These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Learning. Again.

I was sitting here about an hour ago, writing a book report, and .....

I decided to go to the kitchen and refill my cup. Unfortunately, I dropped the cup (thank god it was empty!!) on the laptop! Yep, no liquid damage to the interior, but the cup rolled around on the keyboard and the screen went blank. I tried several things to "wake" it. Nothing was working, and I was in a panic! I thought I'd completely killed it.

After twenty minutes or so of near-tears-panic, I went to the desktop, the one I almost never turn on, and looked up how to force a shut down, you know, just in case it wasn't really as dead as it appeared to be. I did the procedure. There was no response that I could see/hear, and my heart sank. But just in case, I pushed the button to start it again.


I was enormously relieved to hear the comforting "bong" chord that sounds when it starts. I was again, almost in tears with the relief, but still holding my breath, waiting for the screen to light up, the next step toward "computer health." It did! And I began breathing again.

Holy cow! It was so scary to think I'd lost  everything in the computer. I hadn't backed up in a while (since June, to be exact). Guess what is going on, right now, as I type??? Yep. It's backing up.

The worst part is that I lost the book report. I hadn't saved it, sadly, so I will start over. It isn't a long one, but my thoughts are scattered now (duh!), thus I'm taking a break here to relax and let it go before I start again. And I'll bet I'm better about saving and backing-up the computer contents! I haven't had to do that in a long time.

Flash back to March 1988. I was in the last semester of grad school. May graduation was SO close! I was sitting at the computer, working on the last few pages of my thesis. It was a report of a research project I'd done regarding measuring change in one of my clients over several months. Lots of material, lots of graphs and charts, lots of supporting notes and other documentation had to be summarized in the report.

At that time, I had an Atari, a very good early computer. There were no hard drives at that time on PCs, only floppy disks. Some of you may not even remember seeing those old 5" soft disks. They were truly "floppy" and easy to bend or scratch, damage that meant loss of the data. Anyway, I pushed "save" as I did often. It was so easy to lose work that I was religious about it. This time, however, everything disappeared immediately after I saved. Yes, everything. My screen was blank. Nothing seemed to be working. I mean, lights were on, but nothing was responding.

I went through several minutes of total terror! Months of work was gone! I couldn't recreate it in time to graduate! I started crying and went to tell my husband what happened. He followed me to the office, and we talked about it.

Now remember that back then few of us who had home computers knew diddly-squat about them. Our "homemade IT" ideas were just wild guesses. But then he said, "Wait. Lyn, we just installed the new word processing program. Didn't it say something about a "recover" feature?" Yes! Yes, it did!!

I grabbed the book to find the method to recover, and to my horror, he started pushing keys on the keyboard!! NO! DON'T!! Any wrong key could forever lose my data!!!

Before I could find the steps in the book, he found the right combination, and my paper popped up on the screen. I burst into tears again, sheer relief pouring through my veins. He saved the document again, just to be sure, then took me out to have a cup of tea or something. Probably "something." I was a mess.

I tried to convince him that I couldn't take the stress any longer. (I'd been in school, still working during most of that time, completing my undergraduate work and being in an accelerated graduate program for the last nine months. I was really tired.) I threatened to quit, then return and finish in a later semester. He gently, but firmly, told me no, I had to go on. I was too close to the end. I was doing really well. I'd have to restart the project that was my thesis, and it was a two-semester process. Yeah, he said it all, and I continued to beg, plead, argue. Finally he said, "No, truth be known, I can't go through this again either. You have to finish, and you have to finish it NOW!!"

I cried and pouted, not becoming for a woman in her mid 40s, but I did. Then I finished the paper (got an A+, thank you very much!) and the semester, and graduated with honors in May. And I remembered to "save" often.

Twenty-four years later, I'm learning again to "save."

It never stops, this learning process.


  1. There are two kinds of people in the world: people who have lost data, and people who will.

    Not funny, but true. Unfortunately.

  2. I could relate to so much in this story. I remember well those floppy discs and the data that was so easily lost on those computers that we didn't understand at all. It reminded me of when I was working on my degree at about the same time. I also was working full-time, going through an accelerated course that required much work and research. I was also a single mom. I have no idea how I got those dang papers done.

    I'm glad you had an encourager. I'm glad you persevered. I'm glad you no longer have that klutzy computer. LOL Indeed, life is a great big learning curve.

    1. RET, I probably wouldn't have quit, in spite of the scene I caused! But it was very stressful, to be sure. I was lucky to have him, for sure. I have to say, for all the other areas that drove me crazy, he was solidly in my corner over the education. That's interesting, too, because I think it was a real threat to him for a long time, but he certainly was there when it counted.

  3. I had a Commodore 64 once and bought a cheap word processing program to go with it. I also bought a dozen or so games, which I still have. But my Commodore is broken. I still have it though. Maybe I can resurrect it like you resurrected your computer.

    Have a great holiday season the a happy, healthy 2013.

    1. We had a Commodore, too, and I think an old TI. Did TI make a relic computer? Anyway, we had a few of those premiers, and for the day, they weren't bad.

      I don't know if dropping a up on it, then forcing restart will work, though, Dave. I guess it's worth a try!


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!