Friday, July 27, 2007
Borderline OCD (self-diagnosed), Part 2
Another frightening look inside my head.
This past Saturday, I wrote about the various perils of filling my car with gasoline.
Today, a different kind of problem that I didn't realize I had until a year or so ago.
It has no name, and can only be described by examples.
I'm one of those people who wash my hands about 30 times a day. (and that's way down from when I worked in the restaurant business, believe you me)
It's a good thing that skin replenishes and replaces itself.
So at work, in the bathrooms, we have those towel dispensers that you crank a handle up and down and with every down stroke it pushes out more of the rough, brown paper towels.
Assuming that there's some towel left in there, and I've just washed my hands and face (yet another compultion, I wash my face almost every time I wash my hands), I push the handle 11 times.
Not 9. Not 10. Not 12.
Because, while any of the above given numbers is a sufficient amount to dispense enough towel to dry both face and hands, 11 is the only prime number of the bunch.
Some people are all into even numbers. Most needing that approximate amount of towel dispensed might a.) choose 10, because it's a nice, even number, or b.) not count at all and just dispense towel until it "feels" right.
Many times I count things, I have no idea why, but in the case of the towels in the restrooms at work, I finally decided on 11 becasue prime numbers are cool. (I also usually count other things like the number of steps to and from my cubicle to where I park at work. It's usually between 150 and 160 steps; a few more when my back/leg are hurting and I take smaller steps.)
But at times, I can really be thrown off my game there.
When they first put a new one of those massive rolls of brown paper towels into the dispensing machine, they're so heavy that each ratcheting of the handle only produces a miniscule amount, and my carefully considered and arrived at prime number of 11 ratchets only gives me enough towel to dry maybe one hand.
In those cases I'm thrown into that pathetic, desperate class of hand/face washer who doesn't really care how many times he pumps the towel dispensing handle and just sit there and crank away like a mad man until what looks like enough towel to dry both hands and face is out and then I just dry off and leave. It's both exhausting and mentally frustrating.
I don't particularly like it when that happens, but I don't lose sleep over it either. A short attention span can be our friend at times like that.
Photoshop Elements slider numbers.
I have neither the guts to plunk down $600 for a legal copy of Photoshop CS3, nor the darkness of heart to search out and buy a cheaper but illegal copy of it.
Therefore I bought Photoshop Elements 4.0, and although it is a surprisingly powerful program, I've finally developed my skills to the point where I would like to have and use some of the real Photoshop's features.
But, I digress.
When I use Photoshop Elements and am adjusting say, brightness or contrast of a photograph, I'll watch the screen and the image I'm working with there and adjust the brightness or contrast slider until the photo looks as I envisioned it looking.
When I have it where I like the brightness and contrast, I'll then look at the numbers above the sliders.
Both contrast and brightness are at a default value of zero. So if I add contrast or brightness I might end up with a +5 or +10, or conversely, lowering contrast or brightness might result in -5 or -10. See?
So when I look at the number that came up in my slider work, remember I was watching the picture, not the slider or it's number, and see, say, -6 or +6, I'll move it to five. +11 or -11 is moved to +-10. (This even weirds ME out, because despite my preference of 11 ratchets worth of brown paper towels at work, I will move 11 to 10 on Photoshop Elements.)
What if I end up smack dab in the middle, like with a contrast of +8. For some strange reason I'll move it to a +7.
I tend to prefer odd numbers over even numbers.
I have absolutely no idea why I do this.
So part of my process of working with images in Photoshop Elements is to first adjust the slider controls to visually give me the look I want in the image, and then, without fail, I'll look at the resulting slider's number value and feel compelled to move it to a multiple of five, and if in the middle, I'll prefer the odd number over the even ones. 3 is better than 4 to me for reasons even I cannot fathom.
I know. I'm a freak. I'm all over the map with this stuff.
You probably all hate me now.