Saturday, March 22, 2014

Let It Go

Reading: Maisie Dobbs Book 1.  1920's English detective novel, need I say more?  I'll just add that my Oxford friend, Sally, sent us a fun package last week with treats for the kids and this treasure that I've been partaking of on a nightly basis!
Watching: Most of my free evenings have been spent at the Apple Store Genius Bar (more on that later).  I did get to transcribe a video lecture on Fast Fourier and Discrete Fourier transforms and other convolution mumbo jumbo.  I was hoping it would be like a free education, but when it comes to Math (or any subject these days), I think I'm too far gone.
Listening to: Let It Go, come on, what were you expecting?  This song has been stuck in my head all week thanks to the kids love for the YouTube video where the guy sings in all the different Disney character voices.  Alas, I haven't even seen the movie yet.  I started to watch it last night but Joci had other plans...
Can't get off my mind: Computer backups.

I'm just going to go ahead and call it, this has NOT been a Top 10 week.  Probably not even a Top 1000 week.  (Yup, I just pulled up the calculator to figure out just how many weeks I've been alive.)  But these kind of days, or runs of days, are to be expected sometimes.

The tongue--her signature pose.
I want to blame the weather.  And the time change.  While we're at it let's throw responsibility at the moon as well.  Because these children are bonkers.  We did have that snowstorm on Monday.  And it ended up being a larger event than our trusty weatherman predicted.  It was beautiful and we appreciated the day off of work (and by "work" I mean Jon's work, because having him off of work also means less of a "work" day for me.)  But I didn't get any pictures because, well, I feel like I've taken a lot of pictures of snow this season.  And apparently there's going to be another opportunity to do so next week.  Old Man Winter has put up quite a fight this year!

"Mom, want to see what my school friends call the creepy face?"

All I can say is, I'm glad I don't have kids in school yet.  Because as of right now, school make-up days are running well into our family's summer vacation.  Yikes!

Sometimes you just gotta stop and smell the flowers ...

... and so does your little sister who copies everything you do.
So I started off the week by walking away from my computer in the middle of a work project.  Four hours later I came back and was welcomed by a blank screen.  Long story short, according to the helpful Apple people, something went amiss in my software and the only way to fix it was to reinstall the operating system.  Not a big deal ... except that none of my files were backed up.  Long-time readers are well aware, this is the story of my life.  You'd think I'd catch on at some point.  I did once.  We have an external hard drive.  And we were using it.  But it got maxed out years ago.  And although figuring out a system for backing up our data has been on my to-do list ever since, it just wasn't a priority since getting a brand spankin' new Mac.

In other words, I was just asking for it.  I left the Genius Bar in search of a way to save my data before doing the reinstall.  It didn't take long to realize such action comes with a hefty price tag.  The Apple-recommended place charged a flat $399 fee.  Which is probably a good deal if you, like, ran over your computer and hadn't backed it up in 10 years.  But with my hard drive still intact and only 9 months of stuff to lose, $400 just seemed a bit steep.  Best Buy's Geeks start out at $249.  I found a local place that quoted me a bit lower and had awesome customer service.  So I took it to them.

The next day they called, while I was in MOPS, to let me know that, uh, sorry, your hard drive really is messed up and there's no way we can back this baby up in our little shop.  But we'd be happy to send it to another company ($39 shipping fee) and they can do it for somewhere around $1000 to $1500.  Ummmm, lemme think about that ... NO.  I mean, when you think about it, it all poses an interesting question.  Just how much IS your data worth?

By data I mean 9 months worth of photos.  Translated: my youngest daughter's entire lifetime.  My shopping/menu-planning/price list spreadsheets.  A few blog graphics.  All my MOPS newsletters and other publicity projects.  A pretty collection of fonts.  And a load of applications/software I've downloaded over the past year.  Soooo, what kind of price would YOU put on that?

By this point I was in tears.  I couldn't even finish my MOPS brunch (which NEVER happens, you guys).  Not only did they say that the hard drive "looked" damaged, but that I wouldn't be able to reinstall the operating system because of that.  Since the computer was still under the initial one-year warranty I decided to take it back to Apple and check out the hard drive once more.  The data suddenly became less of a priority when we're talking the entire computer could be broken.

I suppose I could have tried harder.  I know there are ways out there of retrieving data that I know nothing about.  But the more I thought about it, even $249 is a stretch.  Yes, it's a lot of photos, but at least I still have all my favorite pictures posted on my blog (and hosted by Google).  And the MOPS stuff can be done-over. The fonts can be reinstalled.  The grocery stuff isn't necessary.  At the end of the day, we're just talking about man-hours.

And honestly, I was tired of being sad and stressed.  I wasn't sleeping well at night worrying over my computer.  And my kids were forced to live with a mopey, distracted mother.  It was time to move on.  Time to let it go. *cue the song*

So made another trip to Apple after the kids went to bed and gave the Genius permission to do whatever needed to be done.  (Have I mentioned how nice those Apple people are?  I mean, it's a bit intimidating to sit down across from someone with the word "genius" on their name tag, but they never make me feel dumb.)  As it turns out, my hard drive is fine.  (I have half a mind to call up the other people--the "geeks" as they deem themselves--and let them know they were WRONG!)  So my Mac is back up and running ... minus all my stuff.

Her sympathetic listening face.
And I'm totally okay with it.  Which, believe me, is a relief in itself.  I spent the morning reinstalling some stuff and on the phone with Microsoft trying to retrieve my Office Suite product key (still working on that, by the way).  And then Julia asked for a tea party and it seemed like the perfect break.

I'm bummed about the lost stuff.  And more than anything I'm ticked off at myself for letting it happen.  As "keeper of the home" and I'm also "keeper of the family history."  And I hate that I let a good chunk slip.  But you know what's better than thousands of pictures?  The real deal.  Just one tea party with this girl is better than a million pictures of the same (especially when the majority of those are outtakes.)

I may have lost the birth announcement I designed for my omega baby, but I get to kiss her cheeks every day--multiple times a day.  And not to sound morbid or anything, but I'm not guaranteed that chance tomorrow.

Oh, did I mention she's sitting up on her own now?  I, unfortunately, have no idea when that first happened.  Sometime this month I suppose!
We live and learn.  And right now, I'm learning to clean out the clutter.  Those sweet baby boy clothes that I'll never have the chance to use again.  That maternity shirt that I adore, but that is beyond "repurposing" for my non-pregnant body.  Jack's favorite brown pants that have rips from the thigh all the way down to the ankle (that both Jon and I have tried to throw away a few times!)  The sewing project that I started before Joci was born and haven't picked up since.  The jogging stroller, so full of memories (and rust) from numerous walks along the ocean.  The thousands of mp3's from college days that I'm not even gone to bother to re-load on the computer.  And all the stress over a baby girl that just.won't.take.a.nap.

She has the best "let it go" face ... and accompanying giggle.

He's a little more serious about "letting it go."  Not happy about finding his ripped pants or his "tera-dock-alus (mispronounced dinosaur name) in the trash.

Crazy kid.  Makes everything a game.
Let it go.

Sounds like a good day to start spring cleaning.  But first, time to set up the new backup system.

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