Saturday, February 18, 2023

My laptop died but books are forever

Hello again and I so hope your computer didn't curl up and die this week, like mine did. Let's look at something pretty before we dig in to that awful story, shall we? 

Is it just me or does this remind you of a houseful of pets watching the day unfold?

I found this picture on an old blog post about matching up yarns to make quite a lot of sock kits, which reminds me that I still have a few of these left to work on. If anything else bad happens, I may race to the storage cupboard and get a pair onto needles. This mohair/wool blend has always been the best for calm blue ocean knitting.

So, my laptop. It was a slow-moving disaster, and one I certainly should have addressed before the crisis. It's not like I hadn't noticed the battery wasn't charging, or that the processor was moving like a geriatric turtle. But you know, if leaning a book onto the power cord is enough to improve the contact points inside the machine enough that they touch the points on the cable, why fuss?

Because someday the points will fail altogether, is why fuss. And maybe even when you've been working off the battery for a while, such that there's only an hour of life left in it.

You can imagine how I panicked as I saw what was happening and the implications set in. And no, I hadn't been on top of doing backups either. I did have an external drive, at least. Somebody else needed one and when I was picking it up for them, I spotted another in a pretty blue I thought would look nice on my desk when I was using it. I swear I am more computer savvy than this normally, but this is apparently what I have become over the last few years. 

Turns out not quite an hour is just enough to get a 97% complete backup, download all your browser bookmarks and note all your passwords, order a new computer, and email critical files to yourself. Thank goodness I had the wherewithal to think of this much.

Finally, with a startled squeak, my laptop shut down, and that was that. 

It's taken with it the title of every book I've borrowed from the library over the past three years, which means I finally understand why people keep book journals on paper. I figured, why bother when the library app keeps track? but for some reason, once I logged in on a new device, all that information was gone. 

Fortunately I remember the titles of two I particularly wanted to mention here, including this absolutely marvellous memoir/cookbook by Sally Schmitt with Bruce Smith - Six California Kitchens


I honestly can't think of another book I've read recently that I found as moving and insightful and riveting... I guarantee I will not make any of the recipes, with the exception of the one for pie crust, because I don't have easy access to the ingredients or the audience for most. But I pored over every one, learning a ton of kitchen techniques. I looked forward to every moment I could spend with this book. I learned so much about - well, so much. It's a very approachable, very personal story of a woman who became enormously successful doing exactly what she wanted to do in the way she wanted to do it. If that's not reaching the top of Mount Everest without tools I don't know what is. I cried reading it, and I laughed, and who does that with a cookbok? Highly recommended.

I dove into some Ngaio Marsh mysteries this month as well. These are 'golden age' stories published up to seventy years ago, now, but they stand up. 

The one I found most pleasing of the latest batch was Grave Mistake, because so much of it is told through the view of a witty, engaging character with a very practical view of the people around her. If you haven't read any Ngaio Marsh, I recommend this one.

Have I done any knitting? nope. I did however figure out a fix for my too-tight socks that only requires ripping back to the heel flap, so I'm going to do it. I thought I'd leap into that when my computer died, like it was A Sign I should turn my back on tech for a day, but then I looked at my upcoming deadlines and bought a budget backup laptop locally to keep plowing through the work.

Hope your week was a little smoother than mine! Let's meet up again next weekend and see if things have improved at all. I know there will be pancakes happening here in a few days so that's an automatic win, don't you think?

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