After the hectic pace of the last two weeks, I thought I'd share some of the things swirling around my head...
1. Back up your back up: Yes, I have secured and bolted the barn door long after the horse is gone. (When I made this comment to Roger the other night, Caroline looked at me in panic. It is her lifelong dream to own a horse, and when she heard "the horse is gone" she figured she'd somehow missed her chance at having one.) Anyway. Yes, my hard-drive contents were totally lost, and no, I had not been diligent about backing up its contents so I lost a LOT of material. Here's how I've now prepared myself against this potential future disaster:
A. I have signed up with an off-line backup system. (I chose Mozy.com for a bunch of reasons, but there are a lot of different ones out there with different services and fees.) Now, the files I've designated will automatically back up to this secure service every night where I can retrieve and restore them, if necessary. The key part of this is that it all happens automatically (as long as my computer is on) so I don't have to remember a dang thing. And aside from the benefit of not having to do anything to ensure constant backing up, this service means that I could still recover my files if our house burned down, all my computer stuff was stolen, etc. Clever, yes?
B. I bought and installed a DVD drive. Yes! I opened my computer cover, poked around in the wires, and changed the hardware! I am woman! I am technologically competent! (Well, sort of, and ignore that what got me into this problem was --ahem -- technological incompetence.) I was able to then copy all of my Itunes music files to ONE DVD, for additional backup.
C. I bought an extra little USB flash-drive for putting my work documents on all the time. This is, for me, the handiest way of making my work portable. This thingie even comes with a cord so you can wear it around your neck. Honestly, you'd think they'd make them in colors and patterns so they look like jewelry! Anyway, I've found these to be handy for moving work from one computer to another but I needed a bigger one. This is the same device that Gary recommended I use to store my work files in my car's glove compartment and update it weekly...But I'm realistic enough to know that I'm not likely to follow up on that very diligently. And besides, what if my car were stolen or wrecked or broken into? Maybe Gary didn't think of that! Hah! (Now I'm a back-up obsessive. There is none so cautious as she who did not back-up to begin with.)
2. You never know who reads your blog. When computer-fixer Gary came to my rescue on Monday, he said, "So, you said on your blog that I was gonna fix your computer?" A friend of Gary's had apparently told him that he'd read on "this blog by some lawyer who makes stuff" that Gary was gonna fix my computer. Now, I hadn't mentioned Gary's full name or business name, and Gary's friend isn't a quilter or a mom or anyone who I'd think would have found -- let alone read -- my blog. And surely there are other computer repair guys in the world named Gary? "Couldn't have been mine," I replied, although I admitted that I'd mentioned his first name. "Yep," he retorted, "it was you. My friend said there was quilt stuff and lawyer stuff and kid stuff and Healdsburg stuff." Geez. I know I write this stuff and that anyone can read it...but the thought that random people actually do read it is ... well, freaky.
3. You can't get there from here: I've mentioned a time or two before that I regularly read a blog called Treppenwitz, by a talented writer and dad in Israel named David Bogner. (It's there in my sidebar links.) I enjoy it because it's so well written, and I learn a lot about life in Israel from the perspective of a normal, family guy, and it makes me think about religion and politics and other Big Issues, and it's entertaining.
Well, today I got an email from David (which is sort of like having an actor whose show you like suddenly call you on the phone...funnily thrilling and unexpected and flattering) saying that he'd connected back to my blog and he was wondering how I'd found his blog in the first place. Well, I'm gonna have to ponder on this for a while, but at present the answer is "I have no clue." I hop from blog to blog, sometimes, following the links on other people's pages. And given that I'm usually lurking among the quilt/ knitting/ writing/ creativity/ motherhood blogs, I can't think how I made my way to Treppenwitz. (Had I not just lost all of those "favorites" links, maybe I coulda traced back...yet another fatality in the Big Computer Wreck of 2006.) I will ponder this further before replying to him. But isn't it interesting how one blog leads to another?
4. This is a BIG day. Healdsburg schools have just a half-day today and tomorrow off, because today is the beginning of the Future Farmers of America fair. Events will kick off with a parade at 6pm, which is always a hoot. Everyone in town either is in the parade or watching the parade. It typically involves a whole lot of firetrucks, little kids straggling along, high school floats with raucous kids shouting at each other, the occasional band tooting trumpets and trombones, a few horses, and clowns throwing candy at the kids in the audience. I've seen signs that the local animal shelter is trying to assemble a Dachshund Brigade to get all the dachsunds in town to walk in the parade together...This could be this year's highlight!
In past years, I have ridden on preschool and school floats with Caroline, walked with Brownies and girl scouts, and watched with skinned-knee-fears as Caroline and her gymastic classmates cartwheeled down the pavement all along the route. (There were a few memorably difficult moments...one year, 5 year old Caroline suddenly and urgently had to go to the bathroom, far from any public restroom...so we had to dash away from the group and look for a private place, and then I had to convince her that it was okay to just "squat and go" in an emergency. Another year -- the Brownie year -- she had a tooth fall out in the middle of the route, which was unusually bloody. I had to beg some kleenex from people watching the parade so I could prevent blood from dripping out of her mouth as we walked along. I remember an indignant, teary Caroline shrieking..." It's HOT, my TOOTH fell out, I'm BLEEDING, and I have to WALK 10 more blocks? WHAT ELSE COULD GO WRONG?")
Tonight, thank goodness, we will just sit on the curb with friends and watch. And tomorrow, we will join various parents and kids at the fair to look at goats and sheep and bunnies, play ring-toss games, and eat traditional fair fare. I'm sure wine will be involved in these festivities as well.