Monthly Archives: February 2006

Two Years

Tomorrow, at 7:45 Eastern time, I’ll be in the sky somewhere between Philadelphia and Las Vegas. My mom will be in Salisbury, North Carolina. Sammi will be in Lynchburg. Ginny will be in Harrisonburg. Dad and Jamie will be at home.

But our hearts and minds will all be in the same place.

I thought for a long time about what I’d write for tomorrow, and ultimately, I decided I didn’t want to write something big this time. We’ve come a very long way. You all know that, and a lot of what I wrote last year is still true.

I will say a quiet little prayer for Ginni and Michael and Janae tomorrow night. If there’s a heaven, I hope they are well and happy there. And I’ll give thanks for Fallon and Timothy and our Ginny, and I’ll hope they are well and happy here.


My arms and legs and joints and back and reproductive organs hurt. I feel like someone beat me with a sock full of nickels. I’m taking a ten-minute lunch to eat pudding and a chicken sandwich (pickles + light mayo only please) and then I’m working working working. We have an event tonight; I will be meeting a Very Important And Famous Republican Person and listening to a lecture. Should be interesting.

I had all these great plans for the weekend. On Saturday I was going to sweep and bag the rest of the leaves on my patio (a project I started and subsequently abandoned in November or so), then take my cameras downtown and/or to the Blackwater Creek Trail to take some pictures. On Sunday I was going to clean the house and get most of the packing done for my trip, since I knew I’d be working late tonight and wouldn’t have a lot of extra time.

What did I do this weekend? Well, I spent most of it reading on the couch. I did at least get the laundry and the dishes done and the trash taken out, but I didn’t take pictures of anything but kitten feet, and I didn’t clean anything but litterboxes, and I didn’t pack anything at all. Mostly because I felt like I’d been beaten with a sock full of nickels.

The back of my neck hurts. My sinuses hurt. My shoulders hurt.

I think I’m going to take a half-day of personal time tomorrow so that I can run out and pick up a few things and run some errands before I leave.

I’m stressed about flying. I love airports but not planes, and my flight from Philadelphia to Las Vegas is five and a half hours long. It’ll be the longest flight I’ve ever had – the next contender was a three-hour flight from Chicago to San Antonio in 2000, and that flight seemed like an eternity. My carrier is US Airways. I fly with them often and I know that they sometimes sell first-class upgrades for less than $100 if they have any seats open. I was hoping to take advantage of that on this trip, but the plane is packed to the gills so chances are looking slim. Maybe I can get bumped and get a free ticket or something.

I’m worried I’ll get airsick. I’m worried I’ll get jet lag. I’m worried I’ll get claustrophobic. I don’t know when in the hell I became such a nervous flier, but there you have it.

Bleargh. I’m really stressed out and I don’t feel good.

Failure v. Fiasco

I’ve been following the story of the Diary-X breakdown with interest for the last couple of weeks. Well, that makes it look like I’m stroking my goatee with evil glee, which is not quite accurate, but I’ve just been keeping up with it and thinking a lot about it.

Diary-X has suffered from an unrecoverable drive failure. Due to a combination of issues, the last backup (from December 2004) contained only configuration files and other non-essential files. We do not have any other backups for the site. All journals, user information, forum posts, templates, images, and everything else are all irrecoverably lost.

The way the whole thing went down is interesting. Two weeks ago or so, Stephen (founder of Diary-X) let everyone know that the hard drive where the site lived had crashed, and that through some error on his part, backups on the drive had not been performed since December ’04. They sent the drive away to DriveSavers to see if anything could be salvaged, and the Diary-X community literally fell all over itself to make donations to offset the cost of this recovery. Sadly, the drive was damaged beyond repair, and as you see in the block above, the last backup didn’t have what they thought it had. So now Diary-X is dead and thousands of people have lost journals that, in some cases, had been kept for years.

I was on Diaryland for two years before I moved to my own domain, and in all that time I backed up those entries once. I’ve put my heart and soul into this site and I would be absolutely devastated if it all disappeared one day. It’s amazing how much we’ve come to rely on technology. I went through this in a way last year when my old cell phone died and I lost a bunch of phone numbers and addresses I hadn’t kept anywhere but on that phone. People tend to count on these expensive toys to keep everything safe for us, and sadly, it sometimes takes a dead cell phone or a hard drive crash to remind us to back our shit up.

There’s a lot of dialogue going on about how people should have taken the responsibility to back up their own journals, and that they have no one to blame but themselves if they lost everything, and I can see that, but on the other hand, I think a lot of people use services like Diary-X and Diaryland and Livejournal and such because they want to keep a journal online in a safe place without having to worry about all of that.

So yeah, people lose data every day, but the scale of this one is kind of mind-boggling. I’ve seen Elizabethtown three times now and have found myself subconsciously using the Spasmotica fuckup as a benchmark for all fuckups everywhere. Like, I made a mistake at work last week and I found myself thinking, well, this isn’t quite a Spasmotica, but it’s pretty bad. The Diary-X thing totally qualifies as a Spasmotica-level fuckup.

I don’t know what the point is here, really – just that I’ve been thinking about all the data I have on my computers and on the internet, and about what I’d do if it all disappeared one day. You should probably think about where your data is and back it up if you can. I hadn’t backed up this site since my latest version update a month or so ago, so I downloaded the whole thing this weekend and will be burning it to a CD.

Oh, and here’s a funny sort of postscript: I was digging around for information on when Diary-X was founded (incidentally, I never found out, so if any of you DX-using readers know, let me know!) and I found this absolutely hilarious page of definitions of Livejournal, which is a service I pretty much hate. Witness:

Livejournal: A contradiction in terms. A journal that really isn’t a journal, created in a place that really doesn’t exist, written by people that shouldn’t be allowed to write, and written about things nobody important (or sane) really cares about…The Warsaw Ghetto of online communities. Thousands of innocent minds find their way here to waste away into degenerate lumps of fecal matter. Spelling, grammar, or anything remotely resembling intelligence is extinguished before it infects the rest of the rotting hive of parasitic subhumans….

Livejournal: Once a popular on-line blogging/journaling site, where one could find interesting and stimulating conversation with people from all over the world. Now, everyone and their Mother’s dog has a LiveJournal, and most of them only use their accounts to post ignorant-ass bullshit, surveys, meme results, quizzes, annoying rants, inside jokes, and cryptic shit only they, and the 5 people on their friend’s list understand…On LiveJournal, you can ‘unfriend’ someone, which lets them know just how much you hate them, and want them to die.

The Myspace definitions are gems too – I laughed so hard reading some of those that I almost peed.

Possessed iPod FRT and Introduction to the Rumspringa Tourist

I have my iPod with me today and it has twice as many songs on it as the iTunes on this computer does, so I decided to use it for this week’s FRT. I just want you to know that I just realized I have 666 songs on the iPod. Maybe I should get those little rhinestone doohickies and put devil horns on it.

1. “El Caminos In The West” – Grandaddy
2. “Caring Is Creepy” – The Shins
3. “Firecracker” – Ryan Adams
4. “What If” – Coldplay
5. “Africa” – Toto
6. “I Will Follow” – U2
7. “Blue Diamonds” – The Long Winters
8. “Airbag” – Radiohead
9. “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” – U2
10. “Get Gone” – Fiona Apple

Girly whining alert: I am about to start my period any day now, and I’m ridiculously uncomfortable. My suit pants feel too tight and ugh. I’m bloated and achy and crampy and I wish it would just hurry up and start already so my body can settle down and, ideally, so that it will be almost done by the time I leave for Vegas on Wednesday.

So, yeah, I’m going to Vegas on Wednesday. I’m not nearly as excited about it as everyone seems to expect – it’s like, you say you’re going to Vegas and all your coworkers and friends are like “you suck!” but seriously. I am going on business, first of all, and I don’t know anyone else who will be there, and I’m not a huge partier or a huge gambler and I don’t have a ton of money. So I’m really not envisioning it as this out-of-control five days of partying where I’m going to come back and find out that I accidentally got drunk and married someone or gambled away my underwear or something. If you have any tips on interesting, not-hellaciously-expensive, traveling-alone-friendly things to do while I’m there, I’d love to hear them.

Oh, and here’s the part where you’re all going to think I’m a total alien who has never traveled before. See, I’m going to this training seminar, and it’s “business casual” and I’m wondering if I can get away with jeans. Not, like, torn up and run over by a car jeans, but, you know, just normal jeans. I totally recognize that I sound like I’ve been raised by Amish wolves or something here, but seriously, I have not traveled to the West Coast since I was like 6, and I feel like I’ve heard that conferences in Vegas are a bit more casual than conferences elsewhere. If I were going to an East Coast business casual thing, I would be packing black dress pants and button-downs or whatever. Do I need to go buy a bunch of khakis? Are you all laughing at me now?

I feel like a tool even writing this.

Sunny Day Music

Everyone cool probably already knows The Changes, but I had an incident with my iTunes files and a bunch of my music went missing for a while in a folder that never should have been there. I recently rectified that situation and was rewarded when the absolutely delightful “Not Too Serious” popped up on iTunes today. Do yourself a favor and head on over to 3hive via that link and grab yourself a copy of it (or any of their others; all are good), especially if it’s as sunny where you live as it is here today.