Moving from an old computer to a new one is fraught with terror – if you have more than a few files you wish to keep. I am a backup Nazi  - well, no; that’s a stupid term. Ve vill invade Poland und make an exact rrrreplica in case Stalin erases the orrriginal! Or it sounds like a National Socialist sitting in a case mounted to a wall. Break Glass, and Social Compact, In Case Of Hyperinflation.

Let’s start again. Moving from an old computer to a new one is difficult for the anal-retentive sort, because you might lose something here or there. You pull out one drive to put it into the next machine, and a bolt of static electricity zeroes everything out. Sure, you have another drive with all the data, but you haven’t backed it up in a day. Sure, you have DVDs with all the relevant information, but they might be corrupt. For all we know some star exploded a billion light years ago and showered the cosmos with radiation that specifically affects (you’re really sad I used “light years” as a unit of time, aren’t you? I'm just playing with you) the coating on DVDs. It affects nothing else. Well, maybe the bees. So the big bee die-off was a precursor of the great data evaporation. Then again, the bees aren’t dying off, and if some did perish, it was probably natural causes. Although mass death from the radiation spewed by an exploding star is the very definition of natural causes, I suppose.

Originally I wrote “sprewed,” which seems like a good word for the planet-killing effects of a massive X-ray burst. Man, we are sprewed.

Let’s start again.

I have a new computer. It is in a box. The box is in the basement. The box will remain there until I finish the projects currently going on the previous Mac, because I don’t want to jinx anything. I have three months of video to edit, and since I moved into the brave tapeless future I have no backups.  I’m glad I dumped tapes; the whining sound of the tiny motors has been grating on my nerves for almost 20 years, and it’s cool to fit everything on a chip the size of a thumbnail. But this means the end of the original source material. I wonder if this will mean that fewer things will actually be preserved the future - you can always throw a 3-buck VCR tape in a box in the basement and preserve six hours of 80s TV, but people will probably be less likely to fill up a $350 hard drive with ephemera and pickle it for posterity, just in case. Maybe not, he said, unwilling to spend the next 22 minutes attempting to draw a lesson from an offhand digression, anxious to change the subject.

Anyway, I’m netless, and that means I have to finish the movies, now. Can't hook up the new computer until I finish the movies. That’s a mighty incentive. Tonight I finished October, and it was a pleasure to revisit a month I remember with great fondness. Like all months that preceded the snow, it seems like a very long time ago. (G)Nat watched a bit, and was amazed, because that was like forever and a half ago. I have shots of the neighborhood party, in which I ask my child and her friend if the food they are eating is spoooooky.

The food isn’t spooky and stop taping us thank you.

That’s a direct quote. I also found a segment shot on a day off from school; we got out toys she played with when she was three and four, and had a blast. It’s like a personal DVR; you can rewind your life. You just can’t skip ahead.

Can’t imagine why you’d want to.

Tonight while editing I revisited all the highlights of the last few months – the school play, the piano recital, the time I snuck downstairs and caught her composing a song, the soccer game, Thanksgiving, Christmas tree shopping, putting up the tree, everything. It’s one of the greatest joys technology affords: you can edit your life and set it to music.

When I finish pruning this crop of data I’ll have about 40 DVDs of family history. (Well, 160, if you count the backups. Jawohl!) Then I start anew with a new computer. I’m almost tempted to import no new data; I have a backup of ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY files from a computer I had in 1997, and aside from the stuff I wrote and the website, there’s nothing on it I need today.  But that was before scanners were cheap and I got the idea into my head I had to digitize everything for future generations. Really. My wife asks what I’m doing and when I’m going to take out the recycling, and I say PRESERVING THE PAST ONE PAGE AT A TIME, DEAR. That always works.

I may be deficient on nearly every aspect of this site this week - this is the week I am doing Other Things, in order to lead a richer life, and yes those richer things include playing Wii Pokemon battles with my daughter - but I can still pad ‘er out with Bleat Radio Theater. This is an interesting example of X-Minus One – not so much for the story, which is average, but for the cultural details. It’s told by a 1957 radio DJ, one of those real gone cats who slings the lingo like Mingus, dad. This is what hipsters and other reefer-fiends  who dug the now sound what some cats were laying down were supposed to sound like, I guess. I listened to it with amusement and suspicion, thinking it was some radio-writer’s idea of a platter-jockey patter. And I suppose that’s what it is, but: the end credits noted that it was based on a story by "Jazzbo Collins," and featured . . . Jazzbo Collins as the narrator. That lends it a certain tongue-in-chic legit status, no?

Collins died in ’97. According to his wikipedia bio, the same year he cut this tale, he was “briefly the host of NBC Television’s ‘Tonight’ show.” He had a five-week run between the tenure of Steve Allen and Jack Paar.




See you at, for Lance Lawson Thursday!