September 17, 2012

Not Even Close to 50; Glass U.S.; House Numbers

It is an ongoing frustration to me that the song "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover" has, at most, five ways---and that's only if we count "Make a new plan, Stan" and "You don't need to be coy, Roy," which I do NOT.

I think Paul Simon got trapped by his idea of rhyming it to the guys' names, which is unnecessary and leaves no room for ideas such as "Sit her down and explain you want different things" and "You could try the 'It's not you, it's me' concept" or "Leave her a note and pack up while she's at work." But even if he was going to insist on his Clever Plan, he still could have thought a LITTLE bit about the ideas. How about "Tell her you're through, Lou" or "Say there's someone new, Hugh"?

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William found a rock tumbler at our local "One Man's Trash" hut (a place where people can put stuff that's still good but they don't want/need it anymore, and other people can take it for free). He's been running it for three days now and make it stopppppppppppppppppppp. There is no place in the house where it can run without disturbing SOMEONE.

But it is worth it to me, because look what he's making:


He's putting glass jars and bottles in a paper bag and carefully breaking them, then putting the pieces through the rock tumbler until they're not sharp, then finding ones that are roughly the same shapes as the states. Every time he gets a new batch of glass pieces, he looks for pieces that are a better match than the ones he's found so far; right now he's trying a batch of larger chunks for all those big states, but we're wondering if they'll get broken in the tumbler.

I love this project. I have to be careful not to over-enthuse and scare him off it. But if/when he finishes it, I'm going to figure out a way to mount the pieces and frame it or something.

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Do you want to help us figure something out? My parents are on a road trip, and they're trying to find one of the houses my mom lived in as a child. They had me go to their house and get a photo album and find a picture of the house:


Do you want to take a guess at the house numbers? There's one above the two mailboxes, and another above the door. The photo is blurrrrrrrrry. You can click it if you think embiggening it will help, but I haven't found either larger or smaller has been much use. Paul: "Are you sure those ARE numbers?" Me: "No."


Follow-up on house numbers! My mom was clearing out some things and found the address written on an old postcard. The house number (above the door) is 1760, and the secret to reading it is that it's a white number on a black plaque---not black numbers on a white doorframe. Still no word on what the second number is or why it's there.

52 comments:

Jen said...

My first thought on the house numbers was 1980 and 1978. But then I looked at it again and ??? Maybe someone out there will have some fancy software that could refine it.

Shannon said...

The number above the mailboxes looks like 206 to me. Not sure about the door ones.

lucidkim said...

Looks like 1901 maybe above the mailboxes and above the door...??25, can't really tell.

Mrs. Irritation said...

William's project is just so awesome, it's beyond words.

When I was little I thought the song said "make a new plant stand".

pseudostoops said...

This is a fun game! Numbers above the mailbox look firmly like "206" to me. The stuff above the door, more than anything, looks like the word "INN," but I suppose that doesn't make any sense. If we're sure they're numbers above the door, my best guess is that the first digit is a 1 and the last digit is a 5.

Also, the state seaglass project is SUPER COOL. What a neat kid.

StephLove said...

Don't the lyric go "There must be 50 ways..."? (I was too lazy to look it up.) If so, I wouldn't expect a complete list as the speaker is just speculating about a possible total.

Very cool glass map project.

The numbers above the door and next to the door look completely different, which is vexing. I would guess 17?5 for the top and either 206 or 706 for the side.

shin ae said...

That project is so great I may have to steal it.

I also think the numbers above the mailbox are 206, and that it says something different over the door. It looked like INN to me, too, but that seems kind of weird.

Meg said...

My guess is 206 above the mailboxes and 1760 above the door?

Lawyerish said...

Over the mailbox looks like 306 or 206 to me. I can't tell what the heck it says over the door.

Dawn said...

To me it looks like 1480 or maybe 1980 above the mailboxes. I have no idea what it says above the door. It looks more like a word than a number.

Ashley said...

Tumbling glass - such a great idea! And beautiful too.

As for the numbers my first thought was 206 and 17xx.

Gina said...

Above the mailbox looks like 206. Above the door isn't as clear, but looks like 1780. Which makes absolutely no sense.

azterya said...

So Looking at it the numbers above the mailboxes looked strange to me. I flipped that section of the image and messed with the colours and came up with a pretty distinct 501. Reversing and messing with the colours didn't have much luck with the above the door. The best I could see was that it looks a bit like something H I

There didn't seem to be anything in the picture to tell whether it was a reversed image but you'd know what your family looks like better than me.

I'm probably completely of base but it was fun trying anyway :)

Laura GF said...

I'm in the 206 Camp for the doorside numbers -- but above the door, maybe IDIN, IDIOV, or roman numerals to show when the house was built? Though it would be an odd sort of roman numeral. Could it be the street name or the family's last name who owned/built the house?

(It's like one of these spambot decodings we have to do to leave a comment!)

Anonymous said...

206!

Christy said...

I am usually very good at captcha things, and I say that it's 206 above the mailboxes and 17_0 over the door. Since there are 2 mail boxes, could the door one be an address and the 206 somehow be an apartment number? Or vice versa.

Sally K said...

My sister had a rock tumbler once We kept it on the floor of the pantry and found that it was pretty effective at controlling the mouse problem that our cats had no interest in helping with.

Elsha said...

Awesome rock project!

For the numbers I'm seeing 206 above the mailbox and 1760 above the door. And I'm usually pretty good at those captcha images, if that helps my credibility any ;)

Swistle said...

azterya- Whoa, that is some pretty sharp detective work! I'm looking at the surrounding photos in the album, and my uncle's hair is always parted on the opposite side as it is in that house photo, so I think you might very well be right!!

Cherish said...

1206 for both. Theres a slight white smudge above the mailbox which I think might blur the number one. Given the other guesses, it seems likely as the "7" that many are seeing above the door could be a "2."

Swistle said...

Laura GF- HA HA HA, YES. It is EXACTLY like those stupid word verification things!! "What is this, a letter or a number? or a picture, maybe? a shadow?"

Swistle said...

Sally K- Oh, good idea! We do have an intermittent mouse problem, AND apathetic cats!

Judith said...

I also thought it was reversed. i flipped it in photoshop and tried some filtering etc. – over the mailbox it looks like 509 to me. over the door, not sure.
And next time, I'll read all the comments first :)

M.Amanda said...

Gah. This will drive me crazy. I've been researching my family tree and trying to read old census records where the handwriting sometimes isn't really clear and sometimes it's almost too faded to read. Please say you will let us know if/when you find out what it really is?

But my guess is 206 or 200 above the mailboxes and 1260 or 1200above the door. The second number does indeed look like a 7, but I think that's just a different style of 2 that's harder to identify as a 2 because it blends with the side of the house, like how there is probably a 1 above the mailboxes that you can't really tell is there. Also, the 6s may both be 0s that look like 6s due to the angle and the blurriness.

If they suspect the house is still standing, have you tried using Google maps street view to find addresses close to that or landmarks in the area? That might save them some gas and time.

Amy said...

My hub and I ink 206 and 1760. He changed it to sepia and it looked clearer. He thinks its a house number on top and maybe duplex/apt number above the mailbox.

Ann Wyse said...

Love the rock project!

I'm going with 1760 above the door and 206 above the mailbox, also. Fun! I hope your mother finds the house and you can let us know what the real numbers were.

chimchim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chimchim said...

Amy was close. Try inverting the colors to "negative" and you'll see the numbers clear as day...

DomestiKook said...

I saved, embiggened and sharpened the numbers. Looks like 206 and 1760. The six in the lower number looks a lot like the blurry number the other. So that's my guess.

Nicole said...

My husband wanted to get a rock tumbler for the boys and I pushed back because dear god the NOISE.

Hop on a bus, Gus. Don't need to discuss much!

Jenny said...

That rock tumbler project is SO COOL.

How about "We can still be friends, Benz," or "I shouldn't have to be the one to tell you this relationship is over, Grover," or "If you don't come and pick up your belongings by Friday I'm going to put them out on the street for the garbage man, Stan." Like that?

Swistle said...

Jenny- Ha ha! "...over, Grover" got a literally audible laugh!

Swistle said...

chimchim- What do YOU see? I've been struggling with this stupid photo-manipulating software I don't know how to use, and I'm not figuring it out very well!

Jessica said...

I LOVE that rock tumbling project. Maybe you could mount all the glass pieces in some clay? Sort of like a doorstop or something but much more impressive:)

(Can anyone tell me the door numbers on this CAPTCHA?)

Jody said...

I'm seeing 206 over the mailbox and 1760 over the door.

Kenner said...

I had a rock tumbler once - it ran in our (unconnected) garage, and after the first cycle was so disappointing, I never did it again ;) But what a cool project that he is doing all on his own! That must be worth the awful racket! ;)

sono io annie pazoo said...

If you know the street and town, I'd go to Google and see if there is a street view for that street (or try another mapping service). The house numbers in many towns have been updated over the past forty years to comply with postal address standards, and/or as towns and cities have decided to make numering consistent for 911/Fire and other identification purposes.

Heather R said...

206 above the mail boxes...it seems like 4 numbers above the door and I want to say 1875 but I can't really tell on that one. I am 99% sure about 206

Heather R said...

Oh, I see the 1260 or 1760 people are seeing now. I was looking at the black part and not the white part.

Diane said...

I love the glass tumbled states idea - I hope it all comes together beautifully.
The first impression for the number for me was 560 or 580. But then when I looked harder it became 585!
I also hope you can find the number.
Have you tried walking down the streets in Google Maps?
:D

Sandy said...

I can't put this information to use because I don't have photoshop, but this reminded me of a thread on Ask Metafilter where someone used some kind of magic to read a blurry number. Here is the link, maybe someone else will understand what they did? http://ask.metafilter.com/201542/Can-you-read-this-number-plate

Lise said...

I would almost guarantee that the image hasn't been reversed, because your grandfather's suit is buttoned left over right. (Women's clothing is buttoned right over left, because women are always right , and men's clothing buttons left over right.)

I sharpened the image in Photoshop elements and see a one in front of three numbers over the mailbox. It then appears to be 1206 over the mailbox and 1760 over the door. But...because the numbers are such different styles, and because they ought to be two or four numbers apart,I think the number over the door is actually 1208.

Another way to find the house is to see if the local public library has city directories for the years that your mother lived there. The directories for my town are divided into two parts: Listings by last names, and listings by street numbers. I was able to determine who lived in my house every year since it was built in 1909, just by looking in city directories.

Gigi said...

With these old eyes (and the hopelessly out of date contacts) you expect me to read that? I have a hard enough time with the Captcha.

But, I definitely see INN over the door and whatever those numbers are over the mailboxes there is at least four characters.

Not helpful at all, I know.

Anonymous said...

I think 206 above mailbox and 17-- above door.Thats all I've got.

Heather said...

Someone else guessed 206 but I think it might be 1206 based on the number 1 which seems visible above the door (but not necessarily above the letter boxes).

Anonymous said...

Swistle this task is almost as difficult as deciphering the new(ish) captcha!!!!

PhotoshoppingAtWorkWhileBored said...

Is this the best quality scan you have Swistle or is it web optimised?

Any chance of a higher resolution?

Sorry if those are stupid questions :)

Swistle said...

Photoshopper- I'm not sure---I scanned it NOT for web, at some much higher resolution. But then when I was uploading it to Blogger, it took FOREVER and was still only a teeny bit uploaded, so I changed it from "maximum" to "large." But I don't know what those sizes mean in terms of resolution.

It's too late anyway: my parents have left the area. Probably the house wasn't even there anymore, or the numbers had been changed, or it was converted into a single-family or something.

Courtney said...

Yes 206 on the house and 17 something above the door.

Tara said...

To me it looks like 1206 above the mailbox and 1260 above the door. So... dyslexic owners?

Sam said...

What?! Too late! Left the area?! Noooooooo!

DomestiKook said...

OMG! I was right! I was Right!!I deciphered the correct house number! I'm so giddy. :)