I had become a victim in the long line of faceless, sneezing, shivering, coughing, miserable Americans afflicted by the flu.  I did not get the flu shot as warned, but then again, I never do.  I slept for two straight days and remained mostly a lump for the rest of the week.  I was a miserable sod, a sorry, sick sod.  To top things off, my hard drive crashed, leaving me with nothing.  Four years worth of work, files, projects and photos all gone.  Completely wiped off the face of my hard drive and face of the earth for that matter.  But how?  I’m no computer expert, not even close, but it seems to me it’s become very difficult to permanently delete anything these days.  For example, when my father had passed last Spring, my mom wanted to donate his desktop pc, but not without first destroying any and all personal files.  She asked around and was either told to physically decimate the hard drive with a blunt instrument or pay someone who could wipe it clean and re-install a new drive.  Neither seemed like viable, sensical options.  My mother wasn’t about to smash the hard drive with a hammer or pay someone over $100.00 to erase it, which seemed and still seems somewhat suspicious.  But I didn’t want to erase anything, and yet it happened without intervention from a hammer or IT expert.  I was told it sometimes happens, and they just don’t know why.  The drive wasn’t even a year old and was working up until the point the ominous black screen popped up, telling me the laptop could no longer communicate with the hardware.  At the time, I was hoping the term “hardware” referred to the mouse or a long forgotten disc still sitting in the cd drive, but alas, no.

So what exactly does the flu and a fried hard drive have in common?  A lot.  Prevention.  I took neither, and now I’m suffering the consequences of my actions or inactions.  Now, I’m certainly not promoting everyone get the flu shot.  That would be presumptuous and preposterous.  Not everyone can get a flu shot and not all strains are even covered, but you can certainly wash your hands more often, take good care of yourself, by sleeping, exercising and eating properly and by all means, implement a back up process of some sort, so your files and photos are always safe and sound.  Please, please, please learn from my mistakes.

On a completely different note, it snowed!  Not once, but a few times, yielding the first measurable snow falls of the 2012-2013 winter season.  Finally, it feels and looks like winter…or is it the flu that reminds me of winter…. Both, I guess.

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney