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10 December 2022

We are happy to report that on our 47th anniversary with Joyce we are marking the 10th anniversary of Photo Corners. Two happy occasions at once, although one took a look more work requiring 8,167 articles and 5,183,479 words (prior to today).

Inspiration. We took the name from the old photo mounting technology in use since albums of photos were treasured.

Today's version of the site would be immediately recognizable to any Rip Van Winkle who saw it only briefly in 2012 before we put him to sleep with our prose. It was an efficient design then and it stills provides everything we need to deliver the content that matters. Still, we've made 74 enhancements to the site since 2012, according to our list of Site Tweaks.

Our home-grown content management system has also evolved as utilities we relied on (like Spell Catcher) were phased out in favor of more powerful ones (like Keyboard Maestro) that we incorporated into our own software that automates production so we can focus on the work itself.

And, shocking as it may seen, we're still using the same two laptops and four cameras we started out with. And their original batteries, for that matter.

Which, on the other hand, gives us the feeling it could all come to a crashing halt at any moment now*.

WE'RE IN THE HABIT of celebrating our anniversaries with a song by Susie Arioli because she was there on the first night. As we told the story 10 years ago on our first anniversary:

The stereo was tuned to the jazz station and, as we finished the chapter [of Jane McGonigal's Reality Is Broken], we were charmed by a singer we didn't recognize performing When You Wish Upon a Star. She sang quietly, as if only the two of us were in the room. It seemed personal.

We looked up from the book through our picture window with a view of the ocean. By then the sun had set. There were just a few lights from the crab boats still out at sea. Above them hung a golden crescent moon, with a star to keep it company, just as if they had been Photoshopped in.

The scene seemed to promise, like the song, whatever our heart desired.

In the years that have gone by since then, we always look for that moon and remember that guitar and soft voice:

And we will tonight, too, through the clouds in the atmospheric river storming through this weekend.

But to mark our 10th anniversary, we're also going to share Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, long a favorite of ours. We first heard it in Padre, Padrone, a 1977 film about a Sardinian shepherd who betters himself, made by the Taviani brothers.

We have always found those deep notes of the basset clarinet, which goes lower than standard clarinets, moving.

Naturally, those notes of Mozart were transposed after his death so standard clarinets could play the piece because basset clarinets were custom made and therefore rare. The marketing guys trumping the creatives again.

But here is the adagio as Mozart intended: on the basset clarinet played by William McColl and the University of Washington Symphony conducted by Abraham Kaplan:

Arioli's When You Wish Upon a Star promised us the moon 10 years ago, but we wouldn't have reached out for it if Mozart's concerto had not, 45 years ago, first inspired us: Be strong but be fair.

WE REALLY AREN'T one for birthdays, anniversaries or other milestones. We down an espresso like Alberto Tomba and roll up our sleeves for the daily round instead. And in that sense this is more like our 3,652nd celebration here.

Can't wait until Monday. But at the moment, with your indulgence, we have another anniversary to celebrate after, well, 17,167 happy days.

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