If it were bad enough to begin last weekend with a flood in the apartment, where upon the loss of some old (and admittedly not great) work was identified, that'd be par for the course: a typical expectation resulting from the ups and downs that comes with a life lived. It may have also been a forecast for the week to come - a forecast that should have included the consumption of a live frog, daily, first thing in the morning. As the saying goes, nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
Next week I am in California at the College Art Association annual conference. To say the least, I am hopeful; I have interviews. And, with time a precious commodity I have yet to afford, I had been alotted this one week to prepare. Or, so I thought.
Wednesday, as I was in the midst of preparing files, I accidentally knocked my external hard drive off the desk and caught it before it hit the floor. Actually, caught is not the correct word. Pinned is more appropriate. I pinned it - quickly, forcefully - against the leg of the desk before the drive could hit the floor. More appropriately still: I pinned the drive with enough force that it might have been better had it hit the floor because maybe the drive still might work. "Maybe" we can all identify is the operative word.
As a professor of digital media I often tell my students to back up their work. And, while they're at it, to back up their back ups. After all, storage for media is so inexpensive these days that there is nearly no excuse. Get a second travel drive. Get four! Burn things to disc. It's not like they have to buy a Jazz drive. They simply have to be mindful enough not to lose something the size of a stick of gum (which has more memory than those clunky Jazz discs from yesteryear).
As a professor of digital media, I should take my own advice more often. Though, a student backing up a Gig of info is easy. A professor backing up a couple terabytes is a little less.
Fortunately I do take my own advice. Sort of. While the loss of the drive is significant, it is not devistating. The work is backed up, but not as a unit. It is a diaspora of savings, spread across three computers, three additional external hard drives, and a hand full of DVD-Rs. Some where in there is a shepherd metaphore. That stated, some of the content on that hard drive is permanently lost. In all, not a complete waste of nearly 400 GB of content, but one rather large pain in the butt.
A pain that I thought I would be capable of easing on Thursday. That was until I found myself quickly succumbing to stomach flu on Wednesday night. As Bill Cosby once stated (about drunks vomiting, but it is mildly apropos), "and you wouldn't be surprised if you saw your shoes coming out of your mouth." Man! I saw every shoe in my closet come out of my mouth. By Friday afternoon I was back to productivity - in as much as consuming broth and toast is productivity.
So, here I am, trying to pick up the pieces of what was lost on Wednesday evening (prior to my cookies and my lunch). The remnants of one broken hard drive are slowly being pieced together. In the process, a second hard drive has failed - for the life of me I have no recollection what was on it.
Lessons are sometimes learned the hard way, right before interviews at a conference 2,500 miles away. So the time has come to get a back up. And maybe a back up for my back up. And maybe a remote archiving site, tucked somewhere in the corners of Billings, or Calgary, or Memphis. Before the frogs fall from the sky. And the meteors. And Jesus. And the zombies.