Doing Things Differently

I Bet Newton Never Had To Deal With This

Life is funny, don’t you think? Hmmm, me neither.

Last month, I wrote about how I was going to start doing things differently. How I was going to join a gym, stop eating junk food and get myself back into shape. Well, I did join a gym and I went at least every second day, without fail. And I cut out junk food and subsequently rediscovered my passion for cooking. I lost a couple of pounds and – woohoo! – a couple of inches off my waistline. Wonderful, right? Right.



I momentarily forgot about the delicate balance that is my life and how the third of Nicky’s Laws Of Motion Sickness always applies. You know, the one stating that for every positive action I take in my life, there is a disproportionately huge and totally negative reaction. Yup, that one.

Two weeks into Doing Things Differently, I was feeling great. Energetic, motivated, ready to conquer the world… I felt like there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. So Nicky’s Laws of Motion Sickness kicked in to clearly demonstrate that there was indeed plenty I couldn’t do. While I was out conquering the world, my youngest son Max dropped my laptop and killed my hard drive. Killed it deader than a red-shirted Star Trek crew member minutes after landing on an unknown planet.

Positive physical action, meet disproportionately huge and totally negative cognitive-slash-emotional reaction.

You see, as a modern, tech-savvy woman with a complete understanding of the fragility of our electronic lifelines, I never – ever – backed up my computer. Ever. Because besides being a modern, tech-savvy woman with a complete understanding of the fragility of our electronic lifelines, I am also an absolute idiot. An absolute idiot who lost all her photos, documents, projects, data. Gone. Hard disk failure. It seems there are recovery companies that specialize in this sort of problem but they charge several vital organs for the job.

So I spent the next couple of weeks mourning my loss all while being effectively unplugged. My smartphone was my partial savior, at least allowing me to share my pain on Facebook, catch an occasional blog post and avoid divorce court. Seriously. People who go on and on about how unplugging is great and allows a person to reconnect with their family have obviously never met Jepeto, never mind the rest of my family.


To save my sanity – not to mention the lives of my family members, I bought a new computer. A tablet, actually. I chose the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 because it supports Microsoft Office and Outlook as well as all the apps that you could poke a virtual stick at, so I get the best of both worlds. Awesome. Except that I was still working out regularly and eating well so there had to be a glitch. And there was. I brought home my new tablet and discovered that the salesperson who sold it to me neglected to mention that I had to buy Office separately. For only $250 more. Sigh.

I could tell the third Law was not going to let up as long as I kept up with my positive physical action. I decided to restore the balance in my life. I only went to the gym twice last week and I ate cake and/or chocolate at least once a day. The Law threw me a bone in the guise of a Best Buy Geek Squad employee who was honest enough to tell me the Microsoft Surface Pro was more than adequate to meet my needs while being $300 cheaper than the Surface Pro 2 and I could use the savings to cover the cost of the Office package. I returned my original purchase, downgraded and installed office.

After nearly a month, I finally have a computer again. And I haven’t been to the gym in days. Yet. I will be returning to my previous level of activity, but don’t worry. I’ve taken precautions this time. I have a SkyDrive account that automatically backs up all my files, photos, music and videos to the Cloud, where Max cannot reach. Not that he’s allowed to touch my new computer. Ever.


No matter how adorable he is.


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  • Welcome back! Too bad Nicky’s Law of Motion Sickness stopped your progress. Maybe a Dramamine patch would help.

    Seriously, I’m sorry Max dropped your laptop and killed your hard drive. He is adorable. I had a laptop die on me without having a backup of my hard drive. I turned on the computer and got the message: “Cannot find the hard drive.” To me, that was scarier than any horror flick. Anger was the first stage of hard drive death grief. I lost all the documents I hadn’t printed out. When I finally accepted its fate, I moved on. This was several years ago.

    I’ve been looking into Carbonite. I use Dropbox to save my important files. What’s Skycloud?

  • Just for giggles, send the hard drive to Alex in the mail. Wrap it up good. He will not require organs or sexual favors or your last born son. I’ll bet he can recover your stuff. Better yet, get on a plane with it and bring it yourself! Max is a goof. I adore him!

  • Oh that is NOT good!

    I have always backed up on to external hard drives,. When my computer drive died on me and I had to replace the computer and before I could get anything back on to my new computer, the external drive died also! I lost all my photos and videos. I now have three (yes three) external drive that I back up to, I run Mac’s Time Machine AND I backup on-line with Carbonite! I have learned, the hard way, that one back-up is usually not enough. May I also suggest. At a later date, you get an external and have another back-up. Sites do go down and servers do crash. I lost my blog that way. I feel your pain!

  • I use Carbonite and find it great. It’s very easy to use.

  • Oh no! Nicky, that’s terrible. TRULY TERRIBLE.

    While I’m glad you have the “cloud” now – I would be utterly devastated if my hard drive died and I lost all of my photos, documents, ect.

    I feel horrible for you!

  • I’m a Carbonite believer!

  • Carbonite has saved my sorry (size 4) ass on more than one occasion. Don’t take all this too personally. Sometimes the Universe just like to fuck with us. 🙂

  • Woops! That should have been SkyDrive, not SkyCloud – I’ve corrected it. SkyDrive is basically the Microsoft Cloud.

  • I try not to take it personally but it’s hard not to when you can hear the Universe laughing so loud. 🙂

  • I must admit, sweet thing, I still get a little emotional if I think too much about it. But I still have the hard drive so I just keep thinking “one day…”

  • Babs, I have learned my lesson, believe me! The only thing I’ve asked Santa for this Christmas is an external hard drive. 🙂

  • Maybe it really does expect you to work for cheese. 🙂

  • Max is a total goof, but he’s an adorable goof. 🙂
    I’ll send it to Alex, if he’s still interested in taking a look at it. Honestly, the more I read, the less hope I have that anything can be done but I also think that if anyone could pull a rabbit out of a drive, it would be Alex!

  • Yes ­ keep thinking that.

    My friend, Junebug, had the same thing happen to her. And a YEAR later ­ her husband ­ super tech guy ­ was able to retrieve everything.

    So it IS possible.


  • It’s a hard lesson to learn. So many priceless photos and memories – gone! Mine went back to the seventies, so I know just how you feel.

  • ReformingGeek

    Ah, geez. Take off that red shirt! Sorry about the hard drive.

  • Sorry to hear about the death of your hard drive. That’s never fun. The new tablet is cool though. I use my IPad for a lot of things and it’s easier to lug around than a laptop. If I had it to do over again I think I would get a Surface as well.

  • Send it. I think he will recover your stuff. He always has mine!!

  • Thanks, Cheryl. The tablet is cool and I was actually thinking about getting it before the old computer bit the dust. Just ended up getting more motivation to buy than I originally planned… ah, well!

  • Thanks, Reffie. I tried putting a blue shirt on the computer, but it didn’t fool the evil aliens.

  • Hah! I think cheese is probably more than it thinks I deserve 🙂

  • Aw, thanks for giving me a little hope!

  • The seventies! Yikes, Babs, that’s even worse than me. Now I understand why you back up everything times four!

  • We have Carbonite at work and it’s simple to use. But it’s expensive for 2 or more computers.

  • Okay, and if he does, the Silver Oak is on me! 🙂

  • Yes, it would be. Thankfully, I only have one that needs backing up.

  • xoxox

  • My condolences on losing your hard drive. We certainly have come to depend on these things. I just recently backed up all my stuff to an external drive because my computer occasionally make a strange humming sound. At least I have some warning that there may be a problem. A sudden death is hard to recover from. I’m glad you like your new tablet and are backing your stuff up now.

  • I had a whole witty missive for you as I was reading the beginning, but then I reached the part about losing the data on your computer and I went a little pale. I’m so sorry you experienced that. I cannot imagine how I would deal with it, and you’ve inspired me to back up my data tomorrow, it’s been a few months. I hope you were able to retrieve some (or all!) of it. And if you haven’t, I do admire how you seem to have handled it. I would be destroyed. (Perhaps I should become less attached to my computer…)

  • Aw… Max made sure you got a new tablet for Christmas, Nicky. (If you think of it that way, you won’t have to kill him. Just sayin’!) And big congrats on the newer, lesser you!

  • Oh man, that sucks. I can tell Max feels terrible about what happened. I sure hope he recovers soon. (I’m sending my very best thoughts that Alex can magically pull the good data off your hard drive. Miracles do happen.)

  • mikewjattoomanymornings

    Curious here. What did you do with the old computer?

  • Max just seems to be taunting you there, Nicky.


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