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FROM THIS EPISODE

Hard-Drive Failure

This is Rob Long with Martini Shot on KCRW.

I've been traveling around for the past few weeks -- well, past two months, really, but it's the past few weeks that matter. You see, I had to go to Connecticut, for my nephew's baptism. Then to New York, for a meeting with some animators I'm working with on a couple of projects, then to Apalachicola, Florida, for the annual field trip of the Southern Foodways Alliance. You know, busy.

But productive, of course, because I brought along my brand new, expensive MacBook Pro computer. You know, the new one. The one that if you're a certain kind of person -- well, let's be honest, a certain kind of guy -- when you saw it, you said, "I want that." And then you'd hang around the Apple Store like it was a dirty book store, until you finally came up with enough lame reasons -- I'm going to cut my own film! I'm going to create my own blog! I'm going to have videoconferences! -- to shell out the thousands of dollars it takes to carry one home, like a magpie bringing a shiny object back to its nest.

So I went on this long trip, with my computer, to work, to be productive. I'm almost finished writing a cool action adventure script, and I've started working on a big international TV kind of project, so there was lots to do on what is, essentially, I admit, a five thousand dollar legal pad.

But I came home, late one night last week, unpacked my bags, and turned on the computer to catch up on emails and generally organize myself for the week back home.

When I turned it on, what heard was this sound, coming from the hard drive: brrrrrrrrrrrr wick kick. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr wick kick. And then, pretty much, nothing else. A black screen.

Brrrrrrrrr wick kick. Brrrrrrrrrrrr wick kick.

So, I... I freak out. Three weeks worth of writing. Three weeks worth of productive, creative effort. The entire work product of three weeks banging away on my zillion-dollar computer, gone. And no, I didn't drop it, or bang it around, or anything. It just... died.

Stop asking me if I backed up my data. Just stop it. In the first place, stop pretending that you do. And in the second place, I usually do, but I kept thinking I'd do it later, when I got home, when I had high-speed access and all of my disky plugger inner things.

So I march furiously into the Apple Store with this huge, pre-irritated expression on my face, glower at one of the employees until he gets this uh-oh, powderkeg energy from me, and heads over to deal with my rage. I go through the whole story -- and he's smart enough not to ask me if I backed anything up, because he knows I didn't and he knows that if he asks, I'll just---I don't know---erupt or something, but he tells me that he's 100% sure that my data is gone and that my hard drive is dead. These things happen, he shrugs. Bad luck, dude, he trills, as I try to remember my yoga breathing. So they take the computer back for a day or two, put in a new drive, and return it to me -- a slighter cooler-headed me, but still cross and cranky and frustrated that three week's worth of work just---.vanished in a---..

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr wick kick. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr wick kick.

When I get it home and reload the software and reset my preferences I sit down and try to reconstruct all the stuff I wrote over the past three weeks. You know, the scripts and stuff. And it's then that I remember that I kind of, didn't do anything for the whole time. I kept meaning to, but I was on the beach and stuff, and running around, and I was reading a good book, and I kept meaning to just sit down and start writing those scripts, just start working, you know? But then... I... didn't. So, there was really nothing on my hard drive to lose, which slipped my mind somewhere between my temper tantrum at home and my righteous indignation at the Apple Store.

Okay, so I goofed off for three weeks. Not a tragedy. I'm home now, and buckling down, and getting to work. No excuses, no distractions, here I go. Right---.now:

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr wick kick. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr wick kick.

I guess all that time, that sound was coming from me.

That's it for this week. Next week, we go global. For KCRW, this is Rob Long with Martini Shot.

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