Monday, July 29, 2013

Culling Old Files

Side affect of culling old back-up CDs and reorganizing old hard drives, is that I've stumbled across all kinds of orphaned oddities. The most pleasant, by far, are frightened herds of old poems I never got around to finishing/posting.

It seems that since I went back to school for my MA/MFA, I've written few poems—but as I shepherded in all those orphan poems (and played the guessing game—when did I write this?), I discovered I have a goodly amount of poems after all. OK, so the titles are often generic, and sucky, but some of the work surprises me (in a good way). A poem a week for 2009 (and counting) ain't so bad. And I haven't properly tackled the other back years in arrears.

There's a saying: Go to grad school and quit writing. In a sense, I traded in poems for prose and memoir. (I had made the blog in back in 2007 and promptly ran the other way—afraid of all that vast potential.)  I let it lay fallow for a year, then began posting sporadically in 2008. I began blogging in earnest in August, 2009. I filled 2007 and 2008 with old work and news stories. I've yet to get around to posting most of my old work from the 80s and 90s.

And now that I've waited so long to open those encrusted files, I've discovered that technology has left them behind. Even photos created in OS 7-9 are locked away in little gray Unix packets. Sometimes I can open them, sometimes not. Talk about having a fire in the belly—and not in a good way.

For a while I was saving things in old AOL emails. NO way in hell can I open those. Luckily it was mostly quotes and jokes. But I now must dust off and  resurrect an old PPC Mac and run Classic on it in order to open old Word 5 files, and SimpleText docs.

Sadly, my old work is on MS Works/Appleworks (the first version) and that's a bit more of a challenge to find a workaround. The stories I posted in 2007-08, were rescued files from when I had a working PPC iMac. Now I don't have one, and I never dreamed vast swaths of unattended work would become charcoal briquettes on my hard drive.

I am haunted by all those little gray tiles holding potential, but there's no way to even peek at the files as Stuffit has a fit every time I compulsively click on something to see what it is/was. Luckily, I found a workaround for some stuff—it's called Unarchiver. But it is flummoxed by AOL files. All I care about is rescuing my old photos from the millennial double oughts to 2009ish.

I also have vast libraries of jpg art I used in my teaching. Those too are little gray icons. I was fond of collecting landscapes, flowers, and wild animal jpgs. I considered it a bank for ideas. I especially loved my deep space pix. Horseshead Nebula, Carmina, etc. Sure I can re-collect them, but that's not the same.

And since I still haven't burnt DVDs of all those old CDs I loaded (and rescued and ameliorated when I could), because I was distracted by the shapely ankles of slender poems of bygone years, I needs must get back on task. It's burn, baby burn time.

And what are people really reading on my blog? All 86,203 visitors? (Since Blogger started counting in 2010). Well, FWIW, 25,103 of them have read my post on Vikings & redheads. Go figure. I guess I really shouldn't be obsessing about posting a dearth of poems. Maybe I should be writing redheaded poems.

THE VIKING IRISH REDHEAD GENE MYTH

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