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This Day in My History

2000: No Entry
Where the Heck is Australia?
2002:  The Awkward Dismount
2003:  Fire Breathing Dragon
2004:  Writing Down the Bones
2005:  There ARE Perks
2006 It's a Long Way to Sacramento

"Annie Get Your Gun"

Books Read in 2007

Updated 4/9:
"Mutant Message from Forever"


"Times Past"

Times Past
click here to download

Flash version here

Mefeedia Video Archive

My Favorite Video Blogs

Desert Nut

(for others, see Links page)

Look at these videos!
The Zimmers --
(you MUST watch this!)
Wizard of Oz--Alternate Ending
Phil Donahue vs. Bill O'Reilly
Drunk Driving Test
Steve Irwin Meets Ross the Intern
Volcanic Eruption 4/2/07
Polar Bear Cub

Family Stories Vlog
(updated 4/13/07)

New on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)
Easter 2007
365 Days of Me


2 May 2007

It was the day before I was to leave Australia.  My bed was piled with "stuff" that had to fit into my luggage.  I spent the day going into the bedroom, putting one or two things into the suitcase, realizing that there was no way the rest would fit, and then wandering back out into the kitchen again.

By mid afternoon, Peggy's frustration level with me had risen.  She marched into the bedroom and within 15 minutes, while I stood there looking helpless, she had everything packed, even the things I thought I was going to have to have her ship home for me.  The bags stood in the hallway, neat and tidy.  The room was neat and tidy.  And it had only taken 15 minutes to do it.

There must be some DSM diagnosis for organizational paralysis.  As I approach this computer fix, it is even more blatant.  It's "Mom's Christmas Crisis" all over again.  I seem unable to look at chaos and create order out of it.  What's more, the mere fact of facing the chaos renders me totally ineffectual.  I can't think of where to start, so I just don't start at all.  Anybody in my family can tell you that this has been a life-long problem with me.  Tom knew that when he was 4 years old.

I can plan a dinner for groups of up to 24 people and get it on the table flawlessly, with everything still hot and everything delicious (sometimes with the help of others, but I delegate and I feel competent).  But getting the house neat and the table set seems to be beyond me.  At Christmas, it has fallen to Walt and the kids to get the project started.  In recent years, my mother has come by to help.  Even in the years when "company" consisted only of the people who have lived with me and know my inability to organize, I'm still incapable of clearing away enough space for things to happen.

It is now blatantly obvious to me that what needs to happen to this computer is to re-install XP.  Steve (and others) have reassured me that once that is done, life will return to normal and all will be well.

BUT... before I can think about re-installing XP, things need to be backed up.  Program disks need to be found.  And, since I don't dare  do this re-install myself, my desk needs to be cleaned off so that whoever comes to help will have space to work.

I have been trying to organize all of this for days now, and I've only made it worse.  I've backed up some things, but they need to be catalogued so I can find them again.  I've found the XP install disks but to do that, I took all of the discs that I have and tried to organize them.  They are still spread out all over the kitchen table because I think I should put them back in some semblance of order and I can't see the order.  (The XP install disks, by the way, where right where they should have been.  Whoda thunk?)

I keep thinking of things that I haven't backed up--and not really knowing how to do it.  Do I need to backup something for my high speed modem?  I didn't get any sort of disk when they installed it.  If it's simply copying something off my hard drive, where is it?  The thought of looking for it defeats me.

So instead I'll work on clearing away the pile on my desk, while I'm avoiding finishing the important file back-up.  The desk is roundly piled, with things falling off of it.  As I look to my left I see some of the back-up disks I've made, waiting for me to put them into databases that I set up a long time ago (I don't take the disks off the desk until I've entered them into a database--that, at least, is somewhat organized).

My desk calendar is buried under the pages I printed off telling me how to check for viruses and the For Dummies book I tried to check.  All is under the sweatshirt that was delivered yesterday.  And then there is just the normal detritus which has been buried for so long I don't even know what is there.  It starts on the bottom with a book of copies of letters I wrote back in the 1960s, old 3" floppy disks, some CDs that I haven't catalogued yet, loose photos I've scanned over the past few weeks, which need to go back into the many photo albums from which I took them, a photo album that has been sitting on the desk for some 6 months, which only needs to be put back on a shelf (which involves climbing on a ladder, which involves clearing away space in front of the shelves, which involves organizing the things that are piled on the floor, which involves organizing the cabinet into which I can put some of that stuff).

I decide to start clearing off the desk before I start making more back-ups.  But when I start that I find the pile of tapes that the psychiatrist brought and I really feel that I should do some work before starting this monumental organizational task, but when I sit down to start transcribing, I hear the droning of his voice, the "wait a minute...go back and change this...." over and over again and I can't stomach putting a tape in the transcription unit.  It's like that brief moment before you open wide for the dentist when you're going to have some work done...when you want to be anywhere else, but are trapped and know you have to do it sooner or later, but not opening your mouth prolongs the inevitable for a few more seconds.

But that makes me feel guilty because I should get the work done. I can't set aside a day, or even a few hours, to straighten up until the transcription work is finished and I can't really give myself to the back-ups until the straightening is done, and I can't call a repair guy until the desk is straightened and the computer stuff backed up.

And before I do any of that, I really should clean up the kitchen because it's a mess and fold the laundry that has been piled up for weeks (months?).

This may be a very long process.  How do you organized people do it???

I just can't figure out where to start, so I decided to write this journal entry and take a photo for it instead.


Where to start?


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