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Lacking Drive... And Other Things

It's been a while! Meant to be posting a steady stream of movie reviews from the backlog the last week or two but time doth not wait for no one... and Pico Day's now closing in. Next weekend. Wonder if there's still time to manage something for it. Would've been nice!

Apart from work, and hoping to help out with a little something on ^ but not yet making the progress I'd hoped, a drive gave up on me last weekend. My project drive. A 3,5' 2TB WD HDD. The one I've occasionally been migrating more space-consuming items to as to free up space on my internal ones. Suddenly it's just... unrecognizable.

I wonder if I unplugged it too fast. I wonder if I jostled the chassis a little. It's an external case that can hot swap two internal drives with either RAID or JBOD formation - and one of those little rubber spots on the bottom of it has been missing for some time, so every time you hit the power switch on or off it tilts slightly. Been meaning to do something about that but figured it wasn't that big a deal. But what if that's the one thing that caused this?!

Drives are brave yet such brittle and easy breakable things.

Regardless of cause though, it's now so that every time I try to plug in said drive I get a 'this drive needs to be formatted' error message, and I keep getting dialog boxes on said error even if I don't click away the first one, so clearly it's more than just a formatting issue. It seems like it might be trying to start up, but can't find any data, and runs into some hardware failsafe in regard to for example a faulty read head that stops it, and then starts up again and runs into the same error, over and over...

I know you're not supposed to even try to activate a drive with a suspected hardware issue, but I tried some recovery/troubleshooting programs anyway in hopes they'd help. Alas they either don't even locate the drive, or they freeze up whilst searching. I tried running a few commands with chkdsk but ran into the same issue there. Either nothing happens or it gives a 'drive data is RAW' message.

So that's not encouraging.

Been researching companies that might be able to mend this drive, but all the reputable ones are hella expensive. Was on the verge of running with a cheaper one but fortunately did some reputation research first. I'm glad I didn't. Soondata, if you're wondering, seems to be a company you'd do best to either avoid or use at your own risk.

Too good to be true? If it seems so it may very well be.

There are some good ones though. I contacted one. They couldn't give a quote without being in actual possession of the drive. Transport's costly. I assume the job would be costly enough already - unless this really has nothing to do with hardware and I might best-case-scenario actually be able to fix this thing myself.

Hmm. What are files worth? What are these files worth? And more importantly: exactly what ARE these files?!

I haven't kept track enough. I have vague recollections of basic folder structure, but not contents. Fortunately I backed up a number of these directories on a whim just a few months back, and this past week I made an effort to backup those backups again in case they're currently the only copies, but I'm not sure exactly what else I had on the drive.

I've been listening to less podcasts than usual the past week though since one of those folders was my main podcast collection. I downloaded the full Joe Rogan Experience archive right before he went all Spotify exclusive (legal downloads - official site) and have been sifting through those a few at a time, moving over a few to the computer every now and then, slowly building up a massive list of private podcast ratings I've been meaning to publish here later...

At least that's still there. At least I know exactly which I've listened to. At least I do have a backup of most of the other directories, too.

There are three larger folders I know I haven't backed up, but don't know if they're important enough to merit a costly data rescue operation. No personal data there. Nothing all too memorable - but maybe useful.

There is a folder of personal video material I'm not sure if I added more material to post the last backup of said directory, and there is a folder for personal music projects I'm not sure I'd added anything to either. If I did I might have cleared out those files on the computer, and those files might be the only copies. There's possibly some other temporary stuff I don't recall at all. Not sure...

If I knew I'd know if a recovery's worth the price, and it's that uncertainty that bothers me. If I had saved lists of all files I could've cross-referenced those, and made sure I had backups of what mattered, and could maybe fetch some of the non-personal files again elsewhere, but as it is it feels like some memorable or monumental bits of of history and/or notable creative endeavors might be trapped in this withering metal box, and it'd be worth the cost to recover those files compared to the sentimental loss if not...

I guess I'll figure that out though huh.

In other news I updated the anime sidebar a while back, fixed a few broken links, removed the old bookmark script in the link sidebar - apparently there's no way to let a user bookmark your page via JavaScript these days! Not at all. Security concerns. It makes sense but... shame.

Also got a small pay raise (yay/praise) at work, have been exercising a bit more (had a grueling first-of-the-year-and-then-some jog last Saturday - sore muscles for days - finally recouped enough for a somewhat easier/shorter one today), and I may be taking a one day vacation next weekend, pandemic or no. Fingers crossed. It coincides with another day of esteemed creative endeavor alas (don't usually use that word so often), but I'm hyped about that regardless. Hopefully there's time for both.

Not much else to report. I saw a baby beaver this Friday. That was cool. Shared a spinach and tuna wrap with a hesitant squirrel too.

Next time I post something hopefully there's been a bit more progress made with that one project I'm working on apart from... well, work.

It's eating up my time! I'll see you though; be fine.

Well, Well, Well...

Well, well, well. How the turntables...

Who Do You Trust To Make...

Who do you trust to make your money?
The politicians or the engineers?

On cryptocurrency. Mark Cuban paraphrasing unknown source here.

When they say it like that, hmm...

The Dead A Walking Again

It's been a while since I watched some of this show. Caught up on two more seasons now. Picked it up again with eight and I just ate nine.

Spoilers may follow.

They keep it going the same way as always. Stirring conflict as soon as they find peace. Building new romances. Breaking old ones over conflict stirred. Bringing in suspicions and intrigue, the regular drama in addition to the common Walker threat.

I don't think they really can unite against it - not like Carl hoped - not as long as they want to keep the story going.

The firefight on the hill was a spectacular one, but a letdown at the same time. Season eight finale. And though my last blog post on this series had to have been about the season before it I felt like maybe I'd caught up on this one too a year or two back, but forgot all about it, because even with the surplus firefights and action here they keep on going through the same old shit. A little panic mode and then a little alone time, deep in the woods, friends and enemies (but mostly friends) interacting, and finding peace, and debating the common topic of what it means to survive, and at what cost it has to be done, and that there has to be 'something after'.

I don't like all of it, but it does have moments, and as far as dark and brooding and moments go maybe the eighth season was the highlight so far. I just hate that they draw it out so long, and yet the moments that really matter are now the ones that last the shortest. The sense of adventure's gone, too. There's communion instead. There's bickering between survivors instead of all out war against the Walkers, and I feel like that's probably the main reason the viewer numbers are dropping. I mean just look at this graph:

Walking Dead Viewer Counts Per Episode (peaks around Season 5, drops off slowly but steadily after)

It's not strange is it? With this level of filler and repetition.

The special effects don't always hold either, even if the sets are elaborate, and they have a good cast. Strong personalities. Multiracial ones too. A gay couple. Four black and white couples and counting... if I counted right. I don't mind, I think it's great, I just feel like the main thing might've gotten off track when they have to make an effort to contend to all potential audiences more so than to keep the cast alive.

Maybe some people really think about this stuff though.

Glad to have the Neegan thing done with, and yet it's not, they just drag it on and on, on and on... and wiped out the remaining Saviors after the ring thing? When they finally seemed like decent people? The Sanctuary feels like a lost chapter. For a while plot progression slows down unnecessarily and then suddenly they just skip a big chunk. Imbalanced.

Feels like it's on the right way again from the middle of season 9 and onward though. With the fair, with the new foes, with Neegan suddenly an all the more likable and potentially more central part of the cast, and Judith is a real breath of fresh air.

I'm glad they kept Neegan alive after all. Shame about Jesus. Though I never really did get thoroughly introduced to him either. The new guys though... I think I'll get to like them again too. The ones that remain. Maybe it's getting better again, or maybe it just feels that way after a certain time.

Two seasons in... maybe that's enough to feel that way? But the whisperers and the winter really came with a new touch.

Memorable moment at the start of episode 14, season 8, too. Wholesome.

And there's another name to remember. S08E01 credits. John Bernecker.

He was a stunt guy, who on July 12, 2017, fell 20 feet onto a concrete floor during a stunt rehearsal, missing a safety cushion by inches, and sustained a severe head injury. He was taken to Atlanta Medical Center and placed on life support, but died from his injuries the following day.

RIP John. At least your memory will live on. Apparently his demise halted production of the series for some time.

As for the series? I suppose I may get back to it shortly. The next season should be coming soon, and this time I am a little intrigued to pick up where the ninth one left off...

Easter Posting Toasting

Hello peeps! Like RJ used to say.

I've been having a thoroughly fun weekend for a change.

Two free days for Easter, of which one has passed and one's about to, but it's amazing how as long as you change your location a little it can seem like even the shortest additional sessions of spare days last longer than they really do/are more than they really are... even if this is in fact a 200% increase in terms of usual weekend off time.

About the length-enhancing session sensations though: Yesterday I was out at buddy Bear's mom's place in the countryside, getting my first almost serious sunburn of the year, eating good, doing some woodwork, sipping sunshine and chillin' for real in an early morning still... peace like a painting.

And today I went on a quest to find an air compressor to pump up my car tires, that I swapped yesterday afternoon (winter's officially over - even though we'll apparently be getting a little temporary snowfall this coming week too - studs away though).

I drove by the local gas station yesterday after the switch, but their compressor was broken, and apparently the one at the nearest gas station after that was broken too, and that's all we have as far as 'nearest' goes.

Road trip time today! All the way out to BĂ„lsta, which isn't all that far away really, but enough that it's like a different world.

It's beyond suburb. It's outside the city entirely. With woods and fields and grids of villas (that's what we call regular houses here - independence style - with their own square allotment of garden and fence and all) that spread out endlessly... and the first gas station I stopped at also had a broken air compressor! In what ways can people possibly abuse these tools to the point of their breaking with such frequency?!

The next place did have one that worked though, plus a bucket and brush (also missing at the local place these days) so I could clean my somewhat muddled and severely-in-need-of-cleaning car windows and mirrors. I grabbed a double macchiato and a Danish pastry for free while I was there, courtesy of having voted in the OKQ8 representative elections in Stockholm a month back, and drove around a bit for a suitable spot to stop and have a blissful bite before driving back... and it really felt like a way bigger outing that it was.

Now regarding the car I just need to get it washed entirely. Been at least eight months. Water and a brush is not enough for the rest of it. But the tires did need air, so good to have at least that bit taken care of.

I wish I had a lawn btw. So simple a thing to wash if on one.

So pricey if relations, you build with these here stations.

In other news NG had a nice surprise for the first of April this year too - quite unlike previous Easters too. And that's all I got in regard to this year's foolery. Spent the day at work; didn't have time for as much other Internetal exploration as I sometimes do. If anyone's stumbled upon a particularly good one feel free to leave a comment on it!

In other news World Backup Day was the last of March, and I actually did do a proper home computer backup the day after. If you need a good cloud-based backup provider check these guys out. Been with them over a year now, and so far it's been great. And yes that is a referral link. Much obliged if you do sign up. :)

If you need a good host you might want to check these guys out too. Just signed up there and have no real experience of their services yet but good first impressions...

Also Timor Tempus is back! And I've been reviewing a bunch - and watching a lot of martial art movies you'll be seeing a surge of reviews for soon. Plus re-views on these two a while back. Been updating the anime list a bit as well. Some day I'll really catch up there.

And finally, something I planned on writing about just a while after this post: We saw two wild boars in the woods one day. Ran by just 20-30 meters away. Was pretty cool.

In regards to the price on this thing: it's not bad after all. Ten bucks. Looks super useful. The buy-an-iPhone-to-buy-flipsampler thoughts are currently shelved - I just don't need this enough, but if I ever do start requiring this kind of functionality on the go I know what I'll be getting.

Did I mention I voiced the narration in this thing earlier btw? Won this thing earlier too? Bought this thing a while ago?

Was also going to post about the Escobar Fold - a foldable smartphone developed by Pablo Escobar's brother.

They had a pretty cool site for it. Playboy poster girls posing with said hardware, but apparently: it was a scam. :/ A Samsung with stickers, basically, and they didn't ship like they were supposed to.

Not that I was ever close to buying one but... would've been cool.

Read on...

This Is An Anniversary Joke

I'm serious.

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