Reeling in the Years – Steely Dan

Here it is, folks: our first Project and first Archive post. I’ve started the process of digitizing the logs. I didn’t think scanning would work all that well given the varied sizes of the source media and the maddeningly slow pace of most flatbed scanners. So I got a little creative and put together a capture studio.


I didn’t want to spend a lot of money or take up a lot of space, so I kept it simple. I’ve got a Canon PowerShot S110 that takes very nice photos but doesn’t have much in the way of advanced features. Unless you mess with it a little, that is. With the help of some clever software called CHDK and a little surgery on a spare USB cable, I crafted a remote shutter button.


I cobbled together a “studio” using my Joby tripod, a few clamps, some white corrugated plastic boards, and two 500-watt work lights. After getting the camera settings dialed in, all I had to do was start turning pages and hitting my shutter remote.

I made my way through the first two books tonight. That takes us from April 27, 1973 to December 2, 1992. Nineteen years of Puckaway history captured in 336 images totaling 954 MB.

Of course, this is the easy part. Transcribing and posting all of this is going to take forever. But I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be nice to be able to put some of the old pictures with their corresponding log entries.

For now, I leave you with this. An entry from 30 years ago, written by Inee:


Wed – Oct 31 – Started up to Puckaway. Got to Theresa & stayed all nite. Arrived here afternoon Nov 1st. Stopped to shop at Waupun.

Visited Ray & Laura & Rhinie & Carl. Took a ride on D & d toward Berlin. Saw geese, sand hill cranes, and deer. Beautiful sunset doing our chores here. Cold nites.

Sue & Joe & J.R. came up Saturday. J.R.’s first trip to Puckaway. He even slept outside for a while.

That was my first trip to Puckaway. I was four weeks old. Puckaweekend ’84!