Category Archives: How-to

How to spell: A Tuesday that is mildly embarassing

Happy Tuesday! is the place I come to be brutally honest, and I honestly cannot spell. Spelling is hard. Spelling bees were places where I showed no sign of ambition as a child (now, math contests were very competitive to me, but that’s another thing entirely). I’m going to say something here that will be slightly controversial (Mary hates when I preface a statement like that). I think spelling is entirely outdated.

I know what you’re thinking. Well, I know the arguments that MAY be forming in your head. I appreciate spellers. I appreciate that knowing the correct spelling of a word will give insight to the roots of the word and can tell you an amazing story about the history of the word. I even appreciate that misspelling a word shows your ignorance of the English language, and implies a lack of education or of being well-read, thus, spelling correctly implies the inverse. Spelling well can work to your advantage. I see this. I understand this.

Let’s be honest with ourselves right now, brutally honest. How often are you without a computer or a smart phone? How often are you without a dictionary? It’s not that often. Let me give you a little insight to my life. At age 11 I was diagnosed with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder. I couldn’t spell my way out of a paper bag. My mother was a great speller and tirelessly taught me how to spell words, working on spelling every day and in every situation possible. Teachers would tell me to “look something up” which I thought was the meanest, most thoughtless thing to say. I often could not have told you the first letter of a word, much less find the damn word in a book of words. I hated spelling. Spelling was mean. After being diagnosed with CAPD my mother bought me an electronic “speller” dictionary I used in class that I could type a word into and it would guess what I meant to type and I’d find the spelling I wanted. It’s a funny thing, I can recognize the word once it’s correct, but I’ll be dammed if I can’t pull it out of my brain from the start.

What I’m trying to say is that I cannot spell. I have relied on technology to assist my spelling for more than 13 years now, and I don’t think I’ve been deterred from reading. I don’t think my vocabulary has suffered significantly. I don’t think my writing is any less for it (I usually fix my mistakes). I don’t think I’m any less of a person because I control-click on the little red squiggly line and allow my Mac to help me. I have a learning disability that directly affects my ability to spell, yet I manage to write every day without an abnormal number of spelling errors. If I can get by without spelling, I’m pretty sure anyone can. Who needs spelling?

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t teach kids to spell. Kids need to learn all of that crap. When they grow up they can decide whether it’s important that they can spell something like “deciduous” without technological assistance. Me? I just used the red squiggly line trick. If I can’t use a computer, I’ll just say the tree isn’t evergreen. I can live with that. Now, here is a video of Mary and me trying to write a note to someone in a fairly awesome car. We’ll show you how to spell words on the fly. Or we’ll show you how to look like a twat in public.



How-to Tuesday is here!

The subject of this week’s how-to was mary’s suggestion. She asked me how to expose the sprocket holes of 35mm film using a Holga, as I did in the image above. I will tell you in a few, very simple, steps. You will need:

  • Holga
  • 35mm film
  • Either a solid back for your Holga (no hole) or…
  • Opaque black paper/plastic & tape
  • Plastic bottle cap
  • Heavy-duty cutting implement
  • Changing bag or dark room

How-to load 35mm film into holga
Step 1: Remove the back of your Holga and replace with the accessory back from the 35mm Holga kit. If you don’t want to purchase the kit (or you are too impatient) then you should cut a square piece of opaque paper/plastic and tape securely over the red viewing window. No light should enter from the back of the camera.

Step 2: Cut a plastic bottle cap in half. When you look at each half you will see a rounded, closed side and a straight, open side. Put one half of the bottle cap at the bottom of the left side of your Holga (where you load film) with the straight, open side facing out. Take the other half and jam it in the top portion of the same section of your Holga with the round, closed side facing out. They should stay without having to use tape or glue.

Step 3: Using some scrap film, measure how many rotations you will need to advance your film. This should be pretty universal, it’s about one and a half rotations. For me this is about five flicks of my thumb. I include this step in case you want to try this with another kind of camera.

Step 4: Place your 35mm film between the two bottle caps. It should fit beautifully without slipping around much at all. Now you will pull the film across and tape it to the 120 reel on the right side of your camera. Make sure your film is straight, it’s easy to do this in a hurry and have all your negatives tilt one way or another, your film will not advance properly otherwise.

Step 5: Replace back, advance film, and go shoot!

Step 6: You will have to use a dark room (as in a room without any light) or a changing bag to remove the film. You need to hand-wind the film back into the canister once it is exposed.

Step 7: Develop, print, and enjoy!

For more details, watch our video through our youtube channel.


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