Dear reader, the advice I have for you tonight is simple, write notes.
I was about to go on a lovely holiday with a friend who had asked me if I’d like to take a few days off and stay at the farm with her, Katie was allowed to come too, She’s my Malamute.
We had a few days before the trip and I was preparing to leave, I packed my bags slowly and made sure I had everything, clothes, dog food, dog blankets, harness, electronic gizmos, cameras, chargers, keys…
And I also took care to hide special things I would be leaving behind, the kinds of things which may appeal to a thief, there is some security here, but still, a little extra care couldn’t hurt… and this is where it all turned sour.
To me, a hard drive is not so much an electronic device, but a place which houses perhaps the last ten years of your life… photos, videos, documents, artwork… and to have one of these stolen, well it would seriously upset my apple cart.
I have too many hard drives, you know how it goes, the original, the backup, the backup of the backup, the backup backup of the last backup (or something), not that all the drives are synced, there are more things on some drives than the others, it’s a headache, I want something a lot more stable, please science?
I have a super secret location where I put two, it’s a place I’ve used before, which works, and um… I think I put three there, or so I thought.
There is a vague memory involving me thinking about putting a note in my iphone about where I put the third drive, but I didn’t, I was sure I’d remember… however I’m more certain that I forgot where I put it almost instantly.
I do that a lot, I’m using something and just put it down, two minutes later I have no idea where the thing is and have to frantically search for it.
Holidays were had, things went well, and Katie and I came home.
I have had an illness years back and although I can mostly hold my own these days, my energy can drop like a stone… when I returned home, I was happy, but totally rooted and spent a few days lazing around the house, not being particularly concerned about anything.
Katie was just as happy to lay around the house as I was, she spent a lot of time catching up on sleep.
I think two weeks had gone by when my Macbook suggested that it might be time to run a backup, so I went to pull out these hard drives… and there were two.
Now the place is a bit dark, and hard drives are black, so I placed an arm down there and felt around, but felt nothing resembling a hard drive, just some sort of dust and a spiderweb.
Then I got the torch out, a friend gave it to me as a Birthday gift, and I love it, it could light up the Eiffel Tower from here, and I’m nowhere near Paris.
I searched around with that, and found nothing, I couldn’t quite believe it and repeated the routine a few times until the FACT sank in that the other drive was not there, and would not simply re-appear like Schrödinger’s cat might.
That’s when I began the hunt, the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedrooms, I peered into every nook and cranny, I reached, I poked, I prodded… the more I looked, the more I found fragments of a past life which I had forgotten, old faded photos, and objects I hadn’t seen for a decade or more… but no hard drive.
For the next few days, I slowly tore my house apart looking for the stray item, I was ok at first, it had to be there somewhere, but then yesterday the worry hit its peak.
My mind began playing tricks on me.
Had I only thought I had three drives, did I only have two? I couldn’t remember!
This thought haunted me for a while, I recalled some star trek episode where someone goes missing, but nobody could remember them… but they still had a feeling of loss.
I tried to remember when I last saw it, I had taken it next door to save some things to it, using my neighbours computer, as I was having a technical difficulty with my iphone… oddly I couldn’t save my photos from my phone to my macbook, I knew I could do it on PC, but my PC was down.
Had I simply left it there? unlikely, but plausible.
Then I began wondering if it had been stolen, but by who? The house had not been broken into, and even if it had, then why would someone steal the most hard to find object when there are easier things to take?
The worst things played through my mind, who had been there? friends, a friend was a thief? but who? I contemplated this into the wee hours, it was a truly awful thought. I was still awake at dawn. it had been a hot night and I had been naked in bed with just a sheet over me.
There was another missing object which made the situation worse, a radio, about the size of an iphone, given to Dad as a gift from Mum in the 70s. I have no idea where that went either, but why would someone steal that? had someone just seen it laying there and pocketed it?
Not really, I was sure that I had just misplaced it, but It was about 5am, I was hot, stressed, worried, feeling vulnerable and the paranoia was growing.
I was not being as sensible as I should be.
A question popped into my mind “When was the last time you saw the watch your Mother gave you?”
I knew exactly where that was too.
I got out of bed and had a look, it wasn’t there… things began to get worse, I told myself I’d been robbed, I wondered how many other things, small things I didn’t see every day, were missing.
I tweeted that I’d been robbed, I e-mailed a friend and sent a few SMS messages to others, I was having my Daffy Duck moment.
The drawer which contained my missing watch had another watch in it, I wondered why the thief had taken one but not the other, I decided to examine the remaining watch, I’m not sure why… guess what?
The missing watch was at the back of that drawer.
Oh the relief!
I began to come back down from a possible crime, to simply misplacing something.
It was light, I hadn’t slept, there was stuff all over the loungeroom floor, I started getting messages and phone calls from people who were worried about me.
I left Katie out for a pee, and fed the cat, then went back to bed… where I finally went to sleep.
I slept lightly and woke up often, but finally got up about 3pm.
My neighbour had said that I should go into his house while he was at work and have a good look around, he’s not the technical type and had no idea what the drive looked like.
I thought that was a good idea, and got dressed and ready to do that.
But I remembered the thought that I may have only ever had two drives, and the solution I came up with during the night… while I had hidden the drives, I had not hidden the cables fro those drives, it was only a matter of counting the cables and I should have my answer… it should be easy because the cables were branded with a white sticker.
I walked into my Mums room, where I had left the cables… I put one foot in there and saw something black on the carpet.
It was the hard drive.
I must have stepped past it many times as I hauled stuff out of there and covered the lounge room floor in baskets and drawers and suitcases… it was over.
If I had only found it last night, it would have saved me so much stress, but if I had simply written a note to myself, none of this madness would have happened.
Write notes, folks, for your sanity… write notes.