It seems like things always intrude on the best intentions to post another blog. I suspect that the main reason for updating is that I feel guilty that someone might actually be reading the blog and is muttering about how lazy I must be. Since it is unlikely that anyone except Sis-in-Law Chris actually reads the blog, probably walking the dog and giving Chris a call would be a better use of time. But, guilt-ridden when something is left unfinished (my mother reminded me countless times that you should always finish what you begin), here goes another update, sort of.
We are happily settled, or perhaps nearly settled, in our new home. The pergola is yet to be built, but the plans are drawn; they include widespread destruction of innocent old rose bushes, uprooting of finally-established sod, death to two pear trees whose only crime was to produce too many inedible pears that made a terrible mess, and onward – you can fill in the blanks. It turns out that Portland summers are much hotter than we expected: In fact, they are hotter than anyone had expected, thanks to climate change. So the pergola is needed to provide backyard shade (actually, I think Cynthia just likes the idea of having something called a pergola). But save that destructive mess, which will be starting in a few weeks, all is pretty much finished and in place.
For example, we can park the car in the garage. As best I can tell, we are the only ones on our block who can do that. Emptying the garage produced a bonanza for Goodwill, friends, and family who carted off lots of cool old furniture and oriental rugs, some of which have been trucked back and forth across the country since the late nineties. And I have a garage work bench, although it is not organized…anon.
The large (12x8) raised garden bed is planted and plants are already growing after only 3 days of sunshine. Nothing very exciting in it except multiple cool heirloom tomatoes – but they too are becoming ordinary. Portland summers are, unexpectedly, the most amazing for growing that I have ever experienced before – even in Marin County.
The book is coming along, on schedule – as one writer said “the first 90% took 90% of the time and the final 10% took 90% of the time”, or something like that. Quite true, unfortunately. The new problem is that the chapters I wrote 2 years ago are terrible. I have learned so much about medicinal cannabis that they seem hopeless naïve and uninformed. As a result, I have to rewrite them. I fear that this will become a mobius loop writing adventure that never ends.
I continue to learn from my patients, now probably approaching 5000, and my stack of reprints (thank you very much, UCSF on-line medical library) is now taller than I – by a lot! Experiences with my patients tell me that I am on the right track, and that the many many painfully boring hours reading basic science papers on the endocannabinoid signalling system and the effects of phytocannabinoids might be worth it. They have certainly helped my patients, and it is rewarding to provide them with facts rather than what they hear at the typical dispensary.
Speaking gigs are becoming more frequent: Macedonia (!), Las Vegas, U of Colorado, U of Ohio, Los Angeles twice, and now a meeting in Portland. I have a short live TV show that is just getting started, and am becoming ensconced in the management of the Empower Clinic system – a very large group of very good people from Canada and multiple US states who truly want to do good things.
Sam is sprouting and a joy of a grandson. Our granddaughter Meredith is visiting from Minneapolis next week, and hopefully soon so will Harrison when he is old enough to travel. Our Trippe family here is wonderfully close and we have Sunday family dinner every week. I do miss my Minnesota McCue family, but we did enjoy an amazing vacation in Tulum, as a family.
So, now back to work, battling the book. Finally I have my own music room, albeit in the basement where I guess I belong, with an integrated office for writing. The music library will soon grow to more than 50 terabytes, plus a bunch of LPs. My fancy new turntable is lots of fun and I had no idea how good records could sound.
And thanks for reading, Chris.
Cynthia and I have joined the great SF Bay diaspora and moved to Portland, Oregon. It was a particularly difficult decision for Cynthia, for whom the Bay area was home for nearly 50 years. Her three children were born and raised in San Francisco, and she assumed that they, too, would make their homes in the City. My own move to San Francisco from New England was motivated by a job, and after a few years I, too, began to think of myself as a Californian. Well, sort of – a big part of me will always be a New Englander, where I lived for 25 years.
Moving to Portland has become a bit of a cliché in the past few years, especially for young families shut out by the astronomical cost of living in the Bay Area. It became an acute issue for Jessica and John when it was time for them to buy a house to accommodate their growing family. After a long and frustrating search, they relocated to Portland and we followed. They found a terrific place, and we found a century-old Portland house that has been taken down to the studs and renovated – a new house inside the shell of an old one. Both are in great, walkable Portland neighborhoods, and near each other. We miss San Francisco, but Portland is becoming a great new home for all of us.
I am writing the medical section for the second edition of Cannabis Pharmacy by Michael Backes. Michael is a fascinating, smart botanist and writer, and assuming I do as good a job as he (I am trying my best), the second edition should be a milestone. He does a wonderful job of bringing the botany of cannabis down to a usable level, with lots of practical advice on how to turn botanical cannabis into medication.
I honestly don’t know what I should have expected as I embarked on this huge task, involving about 50 chapters and an in-depth review of the medical literature that, by the end of this year will include about 40,000 PubMed references. Fortunately, about 90% are irrelevant, junk, deep chemistry beyond the grasp of mere mortals, or written in Vietnamese. Still, 4000 articles is a lot of potential science to screen for the nuggets. I am about 30% done, and have burned through 9 reams of printer paper and 3 cartridges.
What I did not expect was how much bad, and I do mean bad, pseudo-science I would have to read, with the charitable assumption that there might be something useful or helpful in those papers. For example, I am trying to read papers in journals like the Journal of Addictive Behavior – there are about 5 of journals like this. Do you want to get published, and why not? Write an article saying that cannabis is bad for you – you can do a case series of you and your neighbor. You can say how when you smoked a joint, the next day you wanted to do it again…so you were addicted, right? Or how you smoked a joint in high school, and ever since then you have had occasional headaches. Honestly, there are a frightening number of papers that say if you smoked a joint once, just once, as an adolescent, and you developed schizophrenia 15 years later, that was likely the cause.
In addition to the naked, transparent bias of scientists who will say or do just about anything to try to prove cannabis is bad, there is a stunning ignorance of their supposed topic. For example, one study gave completely cannabis-naïve subjects, people who claimed they had never used cannabis, 15 mg of THC (in the form of Marinol) three times a day for patients with insomnia and then pronounced it ineffective (!) and the subjects didn’t like how they felt. Now, if I were going to be sure that a patient could not tolerate Marinol and would refuse to take it again, that would be a good way to start. [you are supposed to start at 2.5 mg and work up to a maximum ordinary dose of 10 mg over a couple of weeks] And honestly guys, don’t you know that there is more to weed than THC?
I know, everyone is asleep from the sleep-inducing effects of any discussion about medical cannabis. Nite-nite.
Human omnivores have increasingly had to admit that many animals that find their way into our homes and onto our tables are sentient creatures that have emotions and feelings. Some can reason and solve problems (sometimes including use of tools), and I suspect that a few can use past experience to anticipate and plan for the future rather than living entirely “in the moment”. The Pope even contemplated the possibility that our pets have their own heaven, ignoring the dicey issue about whether pigs, who are quite intelligent, have some place in heaven as well; that could have precipitated a crisis among Jewish and Muslim church leaders (a thought line best dropped at this point, no?). Fish, on the other hand, seem to have escaped our anthropomorphism and hypothesizing about what they are thinking or planning for their next fishy moves, and whether they might have souls.
Strabismus had a slightly colorful early life. Cynthia and I stayed at a Kimpton hotel a notoriously pet-friendly chain, that offers guests a loaner goldfish if you are missing your companion pet at home. Ours came in an upscale modern goldfish townhouse with little irregularly-placed windows.
Cynthia was taken by the design-forward fish habitat, and ordered one for us at home, and we acquired a Betta to live in it. Bettas are temperature sensitive, and ours succumbed to a water change that was a bit too cold. We decided to try a Blackamoor goldfish, the kind with the bulging eyes. We named him Strabismus.
Strabbs, we quickly discovered, was way too messy for the townhouse tank. Blackamoors love to eat – all the time – 24/7. If you feed them as often as the goldfish food container says (twice a day), they will eagerly consume it all and beg for more. What goes in must also come out.
I bought a 5 gallon aquarium. Strabbs was happy in his larger quarters, and was a beautiful little thing swimming around in circles, and then cresting at the top with a splashy flip. I grew attached to Strabbs, and I swear we had a mutual relationship. When I came into my study, he would immediately swim over to the side of his tank and stare intently at me. I know he was just after some food, but I am certain he recognized me. I was hooked, as it were.
I got him a small little common goldfish for company. Turns out that breeding for those bulgy eyes means that Blackamoors can barely see, and they are slow-moving to begin with. Not only did the little fish steal Strabb’s food, it attacked him and nicked a few pieces out of his tail. So the little goldfish went into the townhouse, and a few days later Murphy the cat reached into the townhouse and re-purposed the fish as an hors d’oeuvre.
Theoretically, Blackamoors can live as long as 10 years and grow quite large, but the average life expectancy is 6 months – highly dependent on how much effort you put into their care. Little Strabbs came with some medical problems but survived more than 2 years, overcoming a fungal infection, multiple bouts of ich, progressive visual loss, and tail paralysis from a tumor just above his beautiful fins. I gave his care my best shot, but when he could no longer see food that was right in front of his mouth, it was time to let him go.
I placed him in a bowl of ice water – reputedly the most merciful way to send goldfish to their next incarnation. I was not impressed – I came to know Strabbs well, and I don’t think he was especially pleased with his physician-assisted suicide. Not really a suicide anyway – I iced him, as it were. I buried him in the garden, under 3 amaryllis bulbs – I hope they bloom with little Strabbs-bits in their flowers.
He had a fine run, Cynthia assures me. Nearly 2 years. And even 6 months ago I was still considering upgrading to a 10 gallon tank.
Requiescat in pace Strabismus.
We recently returned from nearly 3 weeks in Japan – 9 days in Tokyo, 1 day in Yokohama and in Osaka, and 5 days in Kyoto. We went at a great time: trees were changing colors, the temperature was pleasantly warm during the day and cool at night, and there were relatively few fellow tourists. We had wonderful reunions with the families of my childhood friend, Takagi-san, and his son Hajime in Yokohama, and with the family of our son Ravi’s wife, Megumi, in Osaka.
We have many tales to tell of the random kindnesses of strangers – most notably that of a handsome young couple in Osaka who drove us from the train station to our hotel after witnessing our struggle to schlep a suitcase filled with ironware and LPs acquired in Tokyo. And there was the time when we had restaurant reservations that had been made for us by Megumi’s family. We confidently walked into the restaurant down of a flight of stairs below street level, as we were told to. All signage was in Japanese, and there was no English menu, and the servers spoke not a lick of English. We attempted to communicate to our charmingly helpful waiter in sign-language that he should feed us whatever he thought was good. The group at the table next to ours realized what was happening; although they also spoke little English, they summoned the waiter and took over designing and ordering our dinner, checking with us as each new dish arrived to make sure it was to our liking. It was a wonderful meal, and we enjoyed it very much. It was also the wrong restaurant; our reservations were for the gaijin-friendly place with a bilingual staff and menu next door.
Tokyo is an enormous city that it difficult to manage until you get used to the train/subway system. Even then, don’t even try to negotiate Tokyo or Yokohama stations at rush hour! Tokyo has the exhilarating energy of NYC but with a crazy-quilt of streets and a heterogeneous assortment of neighborhoods, instead of the more-or-less predictable gridwork of Manhattan. Supposedly the streets and many neighborhoods have not changed for centuries, despite multiple levelings of the city by fire and by war. Addresses are problematic, even for experienced taxi drivers. The only thing that works in a Tokyo taxi is a map…in Japanese.
Kyoto, in comparison, can be managed with a simple map and rudimentary knowledge of the subway system. It is an utterly charming city, as everyone knows by now.
I prepared for the trip by immersing myself in books —six altogether — written by outlanders about their experiences in Japan, ranging from delightful anthologies (Japan: Stories from the Inside -- Gregory) to one by an Oregonian who improbably taught himself to read Japanese in a couple of years, and then spent a month eating in different Tokyo neighborhood restaurants as research for his book – not a very likely scenario, especially after we had spent nearly that long and ate nearly as many meals there as he. Nevertheless, Pretty Good Number One (Amster-Burton) was the most useful book in helping us negotiate the restaurant scenes (remember – I spent 7 years there as a child and this was the 4th trip back in the past 20 years, and I was still frequently baffled).
Personal Essay written for my 50th college reunion next Spring:
Charles W. Eliot, the youngest and longest-serving president in Harvard’s history, revolutionized Harvard’s approach to education. He was an articulate, staunch believer in a liberal education for everyone (well, for men, but that is another story), the successful outcome of which was to be free human beings who knew how to use their minds and were able to think critically. The content, less important than the outcome, was to be original sources (reluctantly agreeing to translation of non-English-language works – a concession pushed by his able collaborator Professor Allan Neilson, the future longest-serving president of Smith College, who pointed out that you could read the extant Greek literature in less time than it took to learn ancient Greek). President Eliot believed that the education and training for a profession should occur after a broad undergraduate immersion in the arts and sciences. Equally important was that the undergraduate years occur in a culturally rich environment peopled by “artists” and scientists who provided easy, informal access to depth in the arts and sciences and could serve as potential mentors and teachers for the students. We of the class of 1965 were exposed to a basically unaltered version of President Eliot’s vision for a liberal education, which he began to implement in 1869.
I had no idea of what lay ahead when I arrived at South Station in September, 1961, following a 36 hour train trip that began in Lawton, Oklahoma. Born six months after my biological father died at the age of 19 in a Texas basic training camp for the Army in 1943, I was subsequently adopted by my step-father, who despite 28 years of effort never rose above the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Army. My mother was 4 months into her 17th year and a high school junior when I was born; family lore claimed that I was the first member of my extended family to graduate high school on time. My sole exposure to the east coast had consisted of a week in Orange, NJ in 1947 with my step-father’s family.
My classmates, the great majority of whom were sophisticated products of elite private and public prep schools, mostly knew the content of the introductory courses in the arts already. They and the faculty correctly perceived me as a country bumpkin with an unfortunate accent. I quickly corrected my accent, in favor of an inauthentic clipped Boston style. But I had not come to Harvard for an education, I had come to be prepared for medical school – and I had been reassured that Harvard had a good medical school.
As President Eliot intended, there was little choice of courses in the first two years, and I quickly discovered my inner ADD when exposed to the riches of an excellent liberal education. My deal with the devil was to get the boring pre-med stuff out of the way in the first 2½ semesters, and then indulge my curiosity for the remaining time. Taking challenging courses in the arts did not help my GPA, but they nourished the soul and continue to do so. And then there was the Harvard University Band, a haven for public school proles and a pleasurable distraction from studying. My friends from college were and still are Bandsmen; only a few of the Bandsmen had prominent families or wealth to fall back on, so most were dead serious about what college meant to them.
In the third year I might have veered off course into something better than medical school, but it was too late. One does not easily walk away from a mother’s expectation that her son will become a doctor, and I did not have the courage to do so.
In the autumns of our lives, we are encouraged by the organizers of our class reunions to reflect on the events of the half century since our graduation to assess what we have done with our educations. I did achieve most of my professional goals. I became a full professor of medicine at five medical schools, and reached the professorship milestone well under the goal of twenty years that I set for myself. I published books and scientific monographs, more than 300 scientific papers and book chapters, and was elected fellowship in my two professional societies – because that is what you are supposed to do if you expect to get promoted in academics. I taught countless medical students and residents, many of whom still remember me (a neutral comment, at best), and saved more than my fair share of lives, including those of two loved ones (really). Although I came close, I never achieved the elusive goals of deanship or chairmanship of medicine at a medical school, which proves the existence of guardian angels.
The significance of career achievements has now faded into relative unimportance and irrelevance, however – much to my surprise. Nobody really cares what I did now. I am not sure what I expected – it is not exactly a secret that the end of one’s career is the end of one’s career. Vergil, by way of Dryden: “Time is loft, which will never renew.”
My son Jonathan, a fellow physician born on my birthday, has rewarded my negligent parenting many, many times over and made me a grandfather twice with Meredith and Harrison. My other three children through marriage have allowed me to reap the benefits of fatherhood without the work involved: Jessica (successful artist, specializing in wine labels) presented me with Sam – grandson #2; Ravi is a San Francisco firefighter; Natalia is a businesswoman and jewelry designer. My wife Cynthia fiercely holds all of them close to the bosom of the family and helps me appreciate the power and beauty of fatherhood. And not to forget Trixie the intrepid Tibetan Terrier, who demands more attention than all the rest.
Thank you President Eliot and Harvard for my liberal education. It still amuses and nourishes me every hour of every day, and will continue to do so, I hope, for many years more. Memento mori – but not yet. There is too much music to hear and there are too many books to read, places to see, people to meet, wines to drink, museums to wander, and dogs and children to play with.
Since mid-March I have listened to more than 1700 patients describe their experiences with cannabis. I interview each patient using open-ended questions, e.g., “Tell me about your migraines. How do you use medical cannabis for treatment? How does it work? What other treatments have you tried?” On slow days the conversation may exceed half an hour, but even on busy days we talk at least 10-15 minutes. My typical/average patient is a 50+ year old man with a bad back (plus a knee and a shoulder or two) from more than 30 years as a construction worker, mechanic or farmer. Fifteen per cent are over 70 years old. Nearly every one of them is trying to avoid or stop opiates or sleeping pills, freely given by the physicians in the community. I wonder if the drinking water would test positive for Norco and Oxycontin!
I learn from every patient I speak with – even those who seemingly have nothing to teach can offer insights into why people have decided to use medical cannabis. While cannabis is becoming more legal by the day, the decision to smoke/vaporize/eat/etc. pot is not lightly made. The police are unpredictable in how they treat possession, although a medical card usually gives you a pass. Growing violations, however, mean that the entire crop and months of work are torn up and burned. And there is still a social stigma despite incontrovertible evidence that the use of cannabis is medically indicated for their problems.
The District Attorney in my own county has flatly said that he will not prosecute possession cases – what he did not say is that it is nearly impossible for him to get a conviction anyway unless something else is going on, e.g., dealing, crime, other drugs, or otherwise bad dudes against whom possession can be used to pile on charges. However, other counties, such as the one I work in, are less enlightened, and there is always the threat of being hassled by overly-zealous policemen. If you are a grower, the indignity of having your crop torn out seems worse than threat of jail. Even when state laws are permissive, the confused and ambiguous (dare I say, ignorant) attitudes of the federal government add to the fear of retribution against those who use cannabis for legitimate medical indications.
There have been a few studies of what people say when they are asked why they use medical cannabis. The results are boring. Of course people say that they have unrelieved pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, or migraines. These are superficial justifications that can be predicted by simply reading the list of conditions that are “approved” as legitimate indications by proposition 215 (non-Californians should Google “prop 215” to save some time). Few patients have the courage to say that they have a terrible life and job (or lack thereof) and the only relief is the predictably good feeling they get from smoking a bowl or a few hits from a vaporizer. Nearly all are trying to avoid the dangerous alternatives of alcohol overuse and overmedication with FDA-approved drugs and procedures. Many look to medical cannabis as a way to control their own medical care, as they reject expensive traditional and usually inattentive medical care. Some are not making particularly wise decisions as they give up on medicine and their doctors (if they have a doctor…and finally many do for the first time in their lives). But most are right – medical cannabis is safer and more effective than most back surgery, which makes you worse as often as it makes you better. And it works better than standard treatment for migraines – hands-down. I could go on (and probably will….).
*Apologies to Dr. Peter Kramer who wrote Listening to Prozac in 1993, describing what he called “cosmetic pharmacology”. I found it a stimulating and thoughtful discussion of the concept of modifying one’s personality at will by manipulating receptors in the brain back then, but few of our physician brethren were impressed. Turns out he was right about most of what he observed. I predict (fortunately, whether right or wrong, nobody will remember or particularly care) that the cannabis receptor system will prove as a more promising an area for psychopharmacologic research as the complex dopamine or serotonin receptor systems he was making observations about Prozac.
It’s not like we are grandchild-deprived. We have two wonderful grandkids in Minneapolis – Harry and Meri – courtesy of Jonathan and Mandra, plastic surgeon and nurse anesthetist, respectively. Distance dictates a more distant relationship than we or they wish. Meredith Clare is closing in on 5 years old; her articulate curiosity is delightful, and her social (and manipulative) skills are jaw-dropping. Watching her work a crowd would make anyone, except maybe Bill Clinton, jealous. Harrison Dean is a butch nearly 2 year-old who looks great in his bomber jacket and his open-faced joy at riding the Roomba is infectious.
Cynthia’s anticipation of the arrival of her first grandchild by way of John and Jessica has been a bit much by Paternicus’s (me) rather curmudgeonly standards, but her joy at having a grandchild nearby to fuss over and for whom she can buy cute (you are supposed to squeal a bit when you say cute) clothes cannot be denied.
Tomorrow is D-day for Samuel Vandeford Trippe, and there is a very good chance he will be on time for his date with his destiny. John Trippe’s family is a historic clan with places and things in Eastern Maryland named for it. Sort of like landed gentry without land or wealth, but certainly with cool names.
I would kill for a name like that. I was stuck with Jackie Dean Swanson until confronted by the admissions office at Harvard with the incredulous question “Is that what you want printed on your diploma?” At least I can proudly claim a family of oil field roughnecks on my biologic father’s side, including Dowd Swanson who continued to work in the oil fields into his 80’s.
For those stumbling on my neglected blog on the day before D-day, check out Jessica’s picture from last week on the family album.
And welcome to the McCue family, Sam.
It started innocently with a free ticket to a “friendship concert” of chestnuts by the Tokyo Symphony and George Barati, the conductor of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. The big draw was the 1812 Overture, in which the symphony was augmented by the entire Fifth Army Band brass section and four 155 mm howitzer canons. When he heard of the plans, which he testily (albeit accurately) described as bombastic, Barati refused to conduct the overture, leaving that part of the concert to the director of the Fifth Army Band. But a great time was had by all, thank you George. The next day I went to the Post Exchange in Tokyo and bought a transparent red vinyl LP of the 1812 by Felix Slatkin and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony, with Japanese liner notes. That led to Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony, then the sixth symphony, and it never ended. I still have the 1812 LP, but have not had the courage to play it for decades – I think the memory is better than reality.
FYI – 6283 CDs is about 260 linear feet of heavy plastic. In the mid-2000s Stereophile Magazine reviewers began to claim, consistently, that a CD copied to a hard drive and played back with a decent DAC sounded better than the original disc. Remember that these are the folks who said that CDs sound better if you paint the edges of the CDs with a green marker, or elevate your interconnects on little wooden trestles. But sometimes they are right. A DAC is a digital to analog converter – probably most people give it little thought, but any gadget that can take a digital file and make sound (which is “analog”) has to have a DAC. Most DACs, like the ones in your smart phone or most computers, are pretty cheap and not equipped to handle high-resolution digital recordings. But the better ones, which now can cost as little as $250 or as much as $25,000, have revolutionized audio music. If you listen through 1” speakers, or worse, you won’t notice the difference. But if you have a decent stereo, you certainly will notice the benefit of a good DAC and high resolution recordings (such as SACD, DSD, or high-definition – sort of like the difference between ordinary TV and high-definition TV). But just ordinary CDs sound better too when you convert them directly to sound from the digital files that are stored on the CD, and skip the CD player.
Back to having too many CDs. Loading CDs into my computer at the rate of 5 per hour, a rate that I cannot sustain for more than an hour or two, my collection would have taken 1256 hours, or about 6 years of 40-hour work weeks. That does not include the “grooming” (the most critical and time-consuming step). iTunes does it for you automatically, but you get what you pay for, which is not very much. Fortunately I met Ari Margolis http://www.goldeneardigital.com 4 years ago. He has a robot that automatically copies CDs at a reasonable price that includes grooming. Fortunately for my sanity, Ari is an excellent musician with a deep knowledge of classical and jazz, and an audiophile (hence “Golden Ear Digital”) – also with a touch of OCD, a necessary job skill for his business. A robot is a cool gadget that picks up each CD from a stack and feeds it into a computer that copies (“rips”) it, and then picks up the CD and puts it back in a stack. I would love to have one, just to watch it work.
Once you are finished with the copying, you have to groom the CDs – the meta-tagging that records the information about the music on the CD is somewhere between unreliable and annoying. Ari is a master at JRiver, an amazing music database program that just keeps getting better. With its flexibility, however, comes complexity, and it takes a while to get to know it – and even then it is the playground of geeks. But if you need it to do something – like print out a pdf of your collection – it can do it. It just takes a bit of trial-and-error and deciphering of inscrutable computer-ese. So what is new?
And then all your music is neatly stored on external hard drives. My collection ended up being a little more than 7 TB, which was an unthinkable amount of storage space until recently. But now it costs less than $500 to buy 8 TB. I prudently backed-up my collection, which had now cost thousands of dollars to transfer to hard drives. I even sent one hard drive to the most trustworthy person Cynthia and I know – her sister Chris. If I told Chris that if her house caught fire the first thing she had to rescue was the hard drive, she would do it. Even better, she lives in Florida, which, unlike California, refuses to have earthquakes.
The hard drive Chris shepherded through TSA inspection (I think they thought Chris might throw it at the pilot and tell him to fly to Malaysia) is now on its way back to California. Three of my four hard drives crashed – two could not be resuscitated. They are officially dead. The third was resuscitated and is contentedly humming next to my computer. With that drive and the one winging its way from Florida, I will be able to put things back together. If I had not been able to do so, I would have lost 2 years of work.
The morals: Backing up is not fun, but you never know when melt-downs occur. And if you do what I did with your CDs, go to The Container Store and buy some big $10 storage units and put the archival CDs under your bed. Never trust a hard drive…
Above: Another sunrise from the deck.
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