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I wrote this a few years ago, but recently thought about putting it on record! Hope you like it! My recitation methods are underdeveloped, but I try. ;)

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Cozy up to your CRTs and LCDs and I will tell you a story. Perhaps it's not as much a story as a slice of life. It is a moment in which you can generate your own conclusions and morals (not saying that I won't interject my opinions). Life has its mazes. Though we choose directions, there is no way of knowing the ultimate result of our choice.

Here's how it unfolds ...

I am working on my computer, clicking the mouse. My focus as a cartographer is intricate and steeped in a tradition of accuracy. The files are behemoth for vector data, sometimes upwards to thirty megs! My Mac chugs a happy pace as it is also rasterizing my large format print files (my company is yet to purchase a RIP). Chug - chug. Save. Check email. Check MacJams. Surf. Wait. Click.

I am a bit slow in the mind, at times. I see clues to negative situations that may occur in the future --- and even note them. Yet, like notes on my desk, my brain is willing to let thoughts lie. These resting notations snuggle with other thoughts until they are quite comfortable being unproductive together. The longer they sit, the more useless they become.

"It seems as though my system is hanging a lot lately."

That rainbow beach ball is spinning for almost a minute, even with the simplest tasks in the finder. Weird! How dense am I? Click - click.

Before I say too much about my variable lack of awareness during such situations, I will suggest that nature sometimes intervenes in my life by some act or opportunity. And with random accuracy, these little cherries are seemingly designed to create balance in my cloudy universe. The tipping point is set for me when I realize that we are out of backup space and I chance to find a reasonable deal on one hundred recordable DVD's.

My focus changes as I sit at my desk to create backups. Sit back. Watch. Listen. Happy. Drag. Click. Burn. I'm backing up my work related projects! I listen to music.

My cooling fans are extremely loud. "Pop" my mind activates. In the past when the fans are loud, I have vacuumed the computer out. This increases the air flow, making it cooler and using fewer fans. "Hey," my brain continues, "hasn't my system been acting strangely lately?"

It has been awhile since I defragged and optimized it. So I update the antivirus software, put in the utility disk, and shut it down for cleaning. At this point, I'm glad to have a brain!

The vacuum hums. What is that fuzzy stuff that makes up the dust that clogs the vents, gets behind the USB hub and under the back of my monitor? Dust bunnies! I smile and close it up. "That should do it..."

Startup. It always takes its time when starting up from the CD. I look though the Disk Warrior menus but can't find my hard drive! Wait! Restart. Now the computer can't find the startup disk. Lets try Norton, using the option key startup. The launch screen comes up. My options are Norton 9 and 10 but no hard disk. Norton doesn't see it. My emergency firewire startup drive doesn't see it. Where is it? It is special to me! Why didn't my brain work right before all of this happened?

In my history, if a computer issue takes over two hours to troubleshoot, I get ornery. A sense of reality, or perhaps futility, of the situation causes resignation, so I take my Mac to the clinic the next morning, CPU sitting quietly on the floor behind me in the car.

The computer hospital is a quiet place. It is stark and unadorned. There is a smell of rubbing alcohol. The clerk cordially checks in my computer, gently asking questions about symptoms and what files are most precious to me. Signature. There is no small talk. We speak quietly. I place it on a cart. My G4 tower looks exposed and vulnerable as it is rolled away. My raised eyebrows come together as it is rolled around a corner and out of sight.

It's a beautiful day outside. But having a stretch of unplanned time off leaves me wondering what to do, especially when my brain seems to be working, again. I nap. I clean my desk, which is a great accomplishment. I do so well cleaning, my spouse is inspired, even though her computer is working and her desk far more organized than mine, to start with.

A lazy fly relentlessly bounces off the window until it falls, stunned on its back. It snaps over, pauses, and resumes its head banging. Buzz. Tap - tap - tap - tic. Pause. Buzz. Tap - tap ...

My CRT sits lifeless on my desk. It is a constant reminder of bright days and nights, ghosts of blue hued flickering shadows on the wall. Research. Music. Shopping. Weather reports. Games.

My waiting takes a week (as I didn't want to pay the rush fee). I nap. I clean. I wish I had an imac. The week my computer leaves is the week I step up my yoga. That annoying sharp pain in my left wrist melts away! I watch World Cup games ... in the middle of the day. I get to a point when I desperately persuade my spouse to move over and let me do a little production on her computer. There's that global warming post on MacJams.

I call the clinic to let them know how confident I am in their abilities and for estimates of time and money. I finally get a call from them. The tech says he is able to mount the drive intermittently, but not long enough to recover data. He could put a new drive in for me ... O.K.? O.K.

Here is my brief complaint part:

It took the shop a week to do what I could have done in five minutes. They did give me the number of a place who could recover the data for seven hundred to a thousand US dollars ... I can afford to wait.

Here is the wonderful ending:

"Come on little guy," back to the car. We ride home with the windows open. What a nice day. Hard to believe we really haven't had mosquitoes this year. Morning traffic is light.

It may sound strange but I like formatting drives and loading programs. I compare it to being the most successful teacher in the universe. Those dual one Gigs sure can sort through the stuff! Tabula rasa. This Mac will get it right from the start! I will take care and nurture its expansions.

Before the crash, I saved my work data and some of my art! Yay! Years ago I did some beta testing for Iomega. While loading one of their experimental drivers, much of my hard drive was corrupted. That was before I did any significant backups. I thought that the chances of data issues for me were slim to none. I know my brain a little better now.

I wish I would have saved my browser links and email addresses. But those are not too hard to retrieve. Through it all, I lost my Garageband files, I know I could have backed them up at one point. It has even come up in the MacJams forums from time to time. But I just have to struggle with that facet of my brain that thinks it knows more than I. Now when it tells me things are O.K., I wink to myself, smile and create backups.

About the Garageband files, I'm not too disappointed. In a real general sense, it was easy to put these tunes together. If I want to readdress any of them, I will just start over.

MP3's I have submitted to MacJams are like limited edition art, never to be altered. I could say that they have become more valuable as collector's items ... maybe just a little more valuable ... or perhaps nothing has changed about them...

Regardless of what I might say or imply, tell your friends about the rarity of my music (in a positive way). When you listen, nod your heads knowingly. These are testaments or symbols that there is life after data loss.
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Hits: 2606
Comments: 15
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Plays: 49
Downloads: 74
Votes: 1
Uploaded: Mar 27, 2010 - 06:09:15 PM
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2010 - 08:29:03 PM Last Played: Jan 28, 2018 - 12:42:09 PM
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anomalous said 3435 days ago (March 27th, 2010)
is indeed, life after data loss.... its just not always the same as you remember before...... and bizarrely there seems to be even more life sometimes.. during those trips to the hospital......
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dave_b said 3434 days ago (March 27th, 2010)
You're like the Garrison Keillor of the computer world! Good big external drives are cheap nowadays. Time for me to buy another!
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MarkHolbrook said 3434 days ago (March 28th, 2010)
This is totally great Doug!
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davisamerica said 3434 days ago (March 28th, 2010)
pretty cool Doug
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crissew said 3434 days ago (March 28th, 2010)
Cool piece
I love these type of things. I always remember them... a great combination of relaxation and letting the story and sounds take you away. Very enjoyable listen.
Check out my latest song called Runnin' On Empty
awigze said 3434 days ago (March 28th, 2010)
The grey screen of amnesia and demise. Know it well. Spinning Pizzas and all. I empathize. Only two kinds of Hard Drives.... ones that will and ones that haven't. great one doug!
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egobandit said 3433 days ago (March 29th, 2010)
Love it its better than TV crazy visuals! Excellent!
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paul f. page said 3432 days ago (March 29th, 2010)
Radio music
Hey. This would be great as a short radio broadcast, like those of days-gone-by (think: early 50's).

And in the process of writing your script, you do communicate a real message that highlights the experience many people have with the computer world. Your voice, by the way, is extremely pleasant....Dave. D-A-V-E. I'm afraid you can't do that, Dave.
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magnatone said 3432 days ago (March 30th, 2010)
oh man, this is great - thanks for pointing me here, very very much enjoyed! (you have a GREAT speaking voice!)
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lengold said 3431 days ago (March 31st, 2010)
This is
brilliant Doug. Are you sure you're not Frank Zappa.

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scofugate said 3430 days ago (March 31st, 2010)
Can I DVR this?? Ingenious!!
This is so real time.. TRUE!
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Moviz said 3429 days ago (April 2nd, 2010)
I did
enjoy listening to this and now, with my Mac Intel having 10 bars of missing pixel lines and taking a while to do certain things, as though it's become momentarily absent mind, I am now getting worried, cheers Doug, M
Check out my latest song called We'll Meet Again
ste said 3413 days ago (April 18th, 2010)
down with a beer and thoroughly enjoyed your narrative. great stuff
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VicDiesel said 3409 days ago (April 22nd, 2010)
Sad macs
A heart breaking story of loss and loneliness. Enjoyed.
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b0rn2w0rsh1p said 618 days ago (December 11th, 2017)
Fun, insightful story...
love the sound affects... a-la-radio audio-play.

Check out my latest song called Comfort and Funky Joy
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