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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Getting ready for the new year, remembering the old.

Yes it is an arbitrary point on the calendar by which we mark our progress through life, but so are birthdays, anniversaries, and April 15. It is still a marker and I do still mark off the last day of the year and think about what I'm going to do different this year.

First off, last year was a good year in most ways. I traveled quite a bit. Las Vegas three times, London once, Singapore once, Minneapolis twice, and Washington DC once. Probably some others mixed in there as well, but those are the ones I remember. Of course, my memories of London were overwhelmed by the picking of my pocket on my last day there and the trauma I went through getting back to the US and recovering from my lost pride and identity. Lessons learned. I wrote two books this year, starting with a sequel to Security & Exchange--Municipal Blondes--that I thought I'd get written in december but really took until March, and then this Year's NaNoWriMo, Stn. George & The Dragon. I got my first ever nibbles from agents who asked to read S&E, and although they didn't choose to represent me, they were encouraging. I finished my certification in Mobile Communications with Merit, got promoted, and got a nice raise and bonus. My work is actually feeling like I'm accomplishing something which is a great surprise at Microsoft. I delivered four services at the Unitarian Universalist church and people have successively told me each was the best I'd ever done. I'm slated for two more this winter and spring, completing my series "Faith, Hope, and Charity."

And, I've spent the past two days mucking out the hell-hole that is also referred to as my home office. It's the place where I spend the most time at home and has become a dumping ground for anything in the house that doesn't have a place, not to mention all the crap I've collected over the past 58 years. I still have only one foot behind my desk chair before I run into artwork stacked up against the bookshelves. My feet are only a third of the way under the desk because of the boxes of records, papers, and other stuff that is under my desk. I have another day and a half to finish getting this in a condition that I can actually function.

That started with cleaning out the four drawer file cabinet that contained all my mother's sermons from thirty years that she served as an active United Methodist minister in Indiana. I wish I knew what to do with them. They filled six banker's boxes. I stacked them in a less space demanding corner so I could use the file cabinet for current finances and such. I have emptied out the penny drawers and set my daughter to sorting the coins to complete the various penny, nickel, and dime collections and see if there is anything of value in there. I read recently that a guy who routinely throws all his change in a drawer takes it once every ten years to buy a new car. I don't have that much, but the daughter gets to toss it all in her college fund.

One of the hardest things has been uncovering the years of backup disks that I have. I've been keeping backups of things for longer than many of you have been alive. The Macs are long gone and I'll never recover the data from things that were created with system 3.0. I'd have to have that same configuration in order to load PageMaker 1.2 and actually recover the magazines that I published in the late 80s. And the media has all changed. I've got 3 1/2" floppy discs, iomega Jaz disks, Zip disks, Bernouli disks, CMT tapes, Syquest disks, flash drives, and CD Roms. Amazing, I can plug most of the CDs in and at least transfer the files, but I don't know about any of the other media. I've got drives for most of them, but they are all SCSI drives. I can get a board for my computer and plug them in, but will Vista even recognize the devices, let alone have appropriate drivers for them? Some of these companies are no longer in existence. They aren't exactly updating the drivers. I'll make one play at recovering "important" historical files and then I'm going to trash the whole lot. There's probably even a book or two in there. No... That's on a five inch floppy for a Wang Word Processor dating back to 1981!

So, this is the year I'm going digital (again). I've decided that my goal for this year is to systematically begin converting paper and vinyl to digital bits. I have over a terabyte of disk space on my desk that takes less room than even one drawer of my file cabinet. (And I haven't gotten to the lateral file of genealogy yet.) I'm going to scan my photos and the two boxes of 35mm slides that I uncovered. I'm going to rip my vinyl disks to the computer and actually listen to them for the first time in last 15 years. I have the first years of my daughter's life recorded on Mini VHS tapes (analog) and will convert them to DVD. And in general I'm going to reduce the amount of stuff taking up space in my office by an order of magnitude.

And all that while I research and prepare to write my next book for which I have my idea and am ready to start researching and plotting in preparation for NaNoWriMo 2008, only 10 months and 2 days away!


You know, I was glad things were going so well for you, and, admittedly, that my packrat situation hasn't advanced quite as far as yours.

Then you go and mention the amount of time I have left until the NEXT NaNo. You are a mean, mean man.
I feel like I've been doing a bit of the same. Moving causes me to "sort" through things...things which I often have no idea what to do with. *sigh* Good luck on the cleaning, and I might add that you are ridiculously ahead of me for NaNo... I'm still trying to wrap up this year's attempt. After I move is looking more promising! I hate writing when I feel so ... unsettled!