Tuesday Tidbits of the Random Kind

Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 by Travis Cody in

I'm a little frustrated by Duke (17-4, 5-2 ACC). As my sidebar reminds you, I've been a Duke basketball fan for a long time. But lately it's gotten tough and I've been discouraged. I'm still a fan and I try never to miss a game if I can help it, but after years of high level success and deep runs in the NCAA tournament, the Blue Devils have devolved into a second tier program. They attract good players, but not blue chip recruits. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski gets the most he can out of them. There are flashes of outstanding play and big wins that give me a false sense that the program will re-establish itself as an elite contender. Then they get blown out by Georgetown and I realize, yet again, that this isn't the Duke of my younger days. I'm OK with that, I guess. Well, no I'm not really. Plus, I just don't like the harshness with which the media seems to blame the program for not living up to the media's idea of what it should be. The Blue Devils are a good team, but I'll be shocked if they make it out of the second round of the NCAA Tournament this year.

I'm extremely pleased by Indiana (9-10, 3-4 Big 10). As my sidebar does not tell you, I've been an IU hoops fan since about 1977. The Hoosier program had been in decline for quite some time, even before the events leading to Coach Bob Knight's embarrassing exodus. But Coach Tom Crean has brought a renewed perspective and an enthusiasm that had been leached out of the program by scandal. He has recruited some exciting young talent to Assembly Hall. These kids are skilled, court savvy, scrappy, and predisposed to Coach Crean's style. And I like Coach Crean's style, which is predicated on defense and working hard to take utmost advantage of your ability while recognizing and playing within your limits. And he's so positive. I watch him on the sidelines during games. He smiles and claps his hands, encouraging his players' effort. Coach Crean understands that if you play up to your individual capability and work together, you will reach your potential as a group. And he has recruited players that buy readily into that philosophy. This is by no means a Final Four program yet. In fact, the Hoosiers are unlikely to make the NCAA Tournament unless they somehow win the Big 10 tournament. And despite the last second loss at Illinois on Saturday, I'm still encouraged that Indiana is on the right track and will ultimately reclaim a place on the national scene.

Spoiler alert!

I finished First Lord's Fury, the 6th and final book in The Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. It ended with more than 100 pages of non-stop action from several directions. Despite some tense moments, all the "good" guys survived. Although the enemy was defeated, it wasn't completely destroyed. The story seems to have ended for this group of characters, but I get a sense that Mr Butcher could re-visit this world at some point in the future for the true final battle.

Now I need to figure out which stack of unread books to pull from next. I think I'll move to non-fiction for awhile, starting with a memoir by World War II Marine E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed At Peleliu and Okinawa.

Had a nervous moment on Sunday. I plugged in the old hard drive to find some older poetry, and the files kept coming up empty. I started to panic, thinking I had accidentally erased everything on the drive. I thought I lost all my poetry, all my finished stories, all my unfinished stories, all my story ideas...and my novel project, Outlawed.


But I took several deep breaths and counted to 10. I took out the garbage. I swept the front porch. I spoke quietly with Pam. I pushed back the panic.

I went to those disks. Remember when I had the virus problem and Geek Squad cleaned everything out to the tune of $300? Remember how a disk back up was included in that service?

Whew! Am I glad I did that!

Everything is on the disks.

So I'm telling you all. Back up your stuff. And when you've backed it up...do it again on disks or on some other secondary system. Don't rely on a single source to hold all your data.


  1. Jeni says:

    Good advice Trav on the backing things up aspect. The only drawback is the costs involved -even though our own personal data -writings, photos and the like may truly be priceless, shelling out that much money to back them up can be just a tad too pricey then to keep those priceless entities around too.

  1. I back up my stuff pretty religiously, although I might be due for a whole system backup sooon

  1. Glad you found all your files btw.

  1. You are, as you know, preaching to the choir with that one. There is no WORSE feeling in the word than that.
    Back up is now my middle name.

    DUKE: They need to change their name to something more positive. It's a curse!

  1. That is my official sports opinion, btw.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm so glad about you having he disks. That makes me smile, Travis. Good advice on backing up important stuff. If it's super duper important I'd do it twice... Hard drives fail, disks break, etc.

    Like the boyscouts say, be prepared.

    Big Tuesday hugs!

  1. Bond says:

    We have had the back-up discussion and I support your statement...

    A good external drive and then DVDs to back that up..

    WOW...so glad you found that stuff Travis..though I could have provided OUTLAWED to you!

  1. Whew, thank goodness for those disks! I really need to do that. I have lots of pictures that I haven't printed that I need to get backed up if nothing else.

    *bites nails*!

  1. Travis says:

    Jeni: I hear you about the expense. I'm going to do some shopping for another external storage drive. I have one that I keep my music on, and now I think I may get a second one for all other files.

    Charles: I've gotten into some careless habits. But recent experience is curing me of that fast.

    Mimi: But if Duke changed its name, then it wouldn't be Duke vs UNC coming up next week! I'll be thinking of your dad while I watch too.

    Lois: It sure made me smile too, and laugh a bit nervously when I saw those documents come up on my screen.

    V: I'm glad you reminded me that you have a copy of my book!

    CWM: No kidding about the photos...that scared me too, thinking I'd lost my digital photos.

  1. Linda says:

    Good for you for not panicking and doing a couple of things to get the potential disk-aster off of your mind for a bit then going back and calmly approaching it. I think I would have pulled my hair out and let loose with some major tears before I remembered I'd had things backed up!

    I have a Click-Free backup hard drive that I regularly download files to just in case though I don't think I have anything nearly as important as all of your works of poetry and writings on the computer. Still, there are some pictures I'd hate to lose.

    I've not read a real book in so long that I really need to remedy that and find something good to read. I miss having a book or two going.

  1. jennifer says:

    About 17 years ago I REALLY got into basketball for a season. And then it was over. It's just not my sport of choice.

    Funny you should mention it, but I saved all of my pictures recently and WOW do they take up a lot of space. In the process, I found some writing that I had completely forgotten. It was a sad story and made me cry. I felt sort of stupid and proud of myself at the same time.

  1. JohnH985 says:

    Been there, done that, with the back up thing. It's a really terrible feeling when you think you've lost all your work. Now I make sure I back up.