Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekend Assignment #285: Lost and Found

I'm extending the deadline on Weekend Assignment #284: First Day, because our regulars are either stumped on the topic or running late. But that won't stop me from introducing the next topic:

Weekend Assignment: #285: Tell us about something important that you lost.
Extra Credit: Tell us about something you found.

I've been working all week, more or less, for a small high-tech manufacturer of medical equipment. I've also been struggling to get my computer functioning better, compensating for the fact that the techs at Staples think I have a dying motherboard. Today they installed my 2 GB of RAM (I only had 1 before) and reset the computer to its factory settings. The idea was to try to "trick" my failing motherboard into lasting a bit longer, and maybe coax it to recognize my CD drive better. Tonight I picked up the computer, brought it home, and set about reloading software and restoring files from backup. I immediately ran into two problems:

  1. The CD/DVD drive still isn't working, although the techs had hoped otherwise. That means I can't load MS Office from a disc, or PhotoStudio, my beloved cheap but surprisingly versatile photo editor. I downloaded a demo of PhotoStudio, but it won't save files in a decent resolution. So tonight's photos were all edited on Adobe's extremely basic online PhotoShop editor.
  2. I backed up my docs to a Seagate FreeAgent external hard drive a few days ago using Seagate software. On Thursday evening, to be safe, I used Windows Backup and Restore to back it all up again to the same drive. It took five hours. Neither Windows nor Seagate even gave me the option tonight of trying to restore from either backup. Fortunately, after several hours of downloading Firefox, Norton and other stuff, I discovered that the second backup was sitting uncompressed on the G: drive, and could just be dragged over. It only took about 3 hours. Hooray!
What has this to do with the topic? Well, obviously, I've lost access to two important programs that I used all the time; and for a few uncomfortable hours, I was a little worried that all recent drafts of my novels were lost as well. But eventually I found a usable version of my docs, which unlike the software are irreplaceable. What a relief!

On a more literal level, the most important thing I ever lost was my wedding ring. It was a gold and white gold filigree in a Celtic design. A Cuban gave it to John's mother many years ago as an engagement ring, intending to come back and marry her. He never did. It was too big for my finger, and not adjustable. The only thing we could do to try to keep it on my finger was have a couple thin bands made to wear under the ring. But those were uncomfortable, and I couldn;t stop messing with them. Eventually I lost them both. The ring itself soon followed - and np, I never got it back. I had it for less than a year before it was gone forever.

And what have I found? I've had a few good yard sale / estate sale finds, in the days when we were doing the eBay thing. One was a foot tall(?) Snoopy Astronaut from 1969, in a rather battered box. It cost me $5, I think. I sold it for over $100 to someone in Japan. The other really good find was a Niagara Falls motion lamp. The cylindrical shade is painted with a scene of the falls, which moves, powered by the heat of the bulb. The light underneath moves relative to the scene, creating the illusion that the water is moving.

That's it for now! I'll be back Monday night with the reults on Weekend Assignment #224. Meanwhile, I hope you'll jump in with your own Weekend Assignment entry, either #284 or #285. Here are the guidelines if you'd like to participate:

  1. Please post your entry no later than Friday, September 25th at 6 PM. (You can also post your response in the comments thread, but a blog entry is better. )
  2. Please mention the Weekend Assignment in your blog post, and include a link back to this entry.
  3. Please come back here after you've posted, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below.
  4. Visiting other participants' entries is strongly encouraged!
  5. I'm always looking for topic ideas. Please email me at mavarin2 on if there's a Weekend Assignment theme you'd like to see. If I use your idea, you will be credited as that week's "guest professor."
And still to come: my EMPS entry, and my untold story of Bat Night!



Mike said...

Sorry I missed last week, but I got this one done a little quicker.

Hope the computer holds out for you. Congrats on the new job!

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Florinda said...

Lost and found - and on time this week :-).