Posted in Writing

Saving Old Journals

About a week ago I found some old journals and have been typing them up. I suppose there’s little point having electronic back-ups unless the data is kept somewhere safe (a remote location). Any ideas? I could give CDs to family members, but how do I know they wouldn’t go and read them? 🙂

‘Promptly lose them’ would be more likely. Several years into the future, after my journals and computers have all been flooded out or burned to a crisp or whatever, I would ask the family members for my back-up CDs, and they would reply “what back-up CDs?”

I have to find a lasting, secure, accessible location that I wouldn’t forget about. (“Opal sesame!… no, that password didn’t work. And where is it anyway? This cave? That one?”)

While typing up the journals in Microsoft Word, I wondered how big each file can be without risk of it corrupting. I consulted the internet, and ’32MB’ is a figure that comes up a few times. As straight text, it wouldn’t be a problem, but I’m starting to add photographs as well. I tend to buy bright notebooks, ensuring each journal is distinct and recognizable. Keeping photos of the covers on the Word documents would be a good cross-reference (as well as a souvenir, supposing that something does happen to the original journals).

As you see, I’ve got it all worked out (except for one or two details), and am doubtless doing it all in the most labour-intensive way possible.

2005 Journal Cover

Here’s the cover for the 2005 journal I’m typing up just now — I bought it in Woolworths for £1.49. Let’s see if there’s a journal snippet I can bear to share… this was from before I started blogging, so it’s unlikely to be repeating anything I’ve already said.

Friday 21 January 2005

Mum abandoned me by the bears in Cancer Research UK. I nearly bought a Disney bear video but decided it wasn’t my scene. So I trudged back to her house, rapping myself at every step with her windscreen wipers, and had bread and margarine for lunch.

Then I walked Thundercloud, sat with my sloth and played ‘Kings and Aces’ on Mum’s computer. Then we reorganized Mum’s I.E. toolbar.

When Mum came home we shared a dish of fish. I showed her the toolbar and then she drove us out to feed Jim, then drove me and the sloth and the new kitchen mat home and I tried to watch Cadfael on ITV3 but it wasn’t subtitled, though the TV Guide said it was. The last time they had Cadfael (a week ago) it WAS subtitled. But it wasn’t subtitled before that. They confuse me.

I wasn’t really in the mood to watch TV anyway, so I turned the TV off without a mumble. I forgot how I started that sentence because I wouldn’t have ended it that way. Very sleepy. Read a letter from Annie.

Wrote an email to Joy about the newspaper article she sent me a week ago. ‘Did the animals sense the tsunamis?’

At some point during the evening I got quite heavy-hearted and wasn’t sure why. I had a feeling I would remember something specific if I thought about it hard enough but I didn’t want to. Though later I remembered I felt sad when Annie said in her letter that she can’t stand Jim Carrey. Mum said the same yesterday – “I wouldn’t watch Liar Liar if you paid me.” I know he overacts but I’m not sure where this strong dislike comes from.

Oh yes, E was telling us this morning that Emma came home from holiday and her parents have a Siamese cat that just turned up on their doorstep and they were trying to find the owner – rather reluctantly as they didn’t think it was possible to find owners. They wanted information on why Siamese cats were so loud and wouldn’t stop yowling. Then E emailed me and said they found the owner and it was the next-door neighbour, who didn’t want the cat any more.

That’s it right there… the defaulting Siamese owner depressed me. There we are trying to say “yes we want to know where our cats stray to,” and this person just didn’t. What are they going to learn from that?

I was sitting here eating an expensive Baci chocolate. A little gold slip of paper fell out of it when I unwrapped it. It said ‘Love asks me no questions and gives me endless support.’


My racing frog (introduced in my last blog post) was 3rd in today’s race, and has qualified for the Superfrog this coming Sunday. He won’t do well in the Superfrog as he’s too young and new, but it’s nice for him to get in this early. This morning he caught a Praying Mantis powerboost in his trap, which is better than yesterday’s Thermal Core and Pike Scales. (Strangely. Is that a statement about the power of stealth and cunning?) Cross your digits for him…

Click image to supersize…


I live in the UK with two cats -- Samson and Delilah.

12 thoughts on “Saving Old Journals

  1. I think Carrey acts quite well in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the Truman Show. Understated, even, in the former.

    It’s just when he’s in stuff like Ace Ventura 4: Watch What I Can Do With My Face that you have to worry.

  2. One way you could back up your data would be to create a new blog on, then set the permissions so nobody but you can read it.

    I read one time that data CDs go bad in about 10 years, so you’ll have to remember to make copies every nine.

  3. My backing-up experience was transformed by buying an external hard drive which came with backing-up software. The external hard drives now are huge (memory-wise) and relatively cheap. I back up to it every two or three weeks – and always after I’ve downloaded digital photos off the camera. Then when we go on holiday I leave the laptop where it is for the burglars (unless we’re taking it with us) and hide the hard drive.

    This doesn’t back up the blog, of course, so when the internet breaks our blogs will be gone. At the moment my plan is someday to print mine out…

  4. Good Luck with the backing up thing… I’m not very techie minded.
    I could never read old journals or blog posts back. I had a blog in 2004, towards the end of the year.. I would be very interested to read it now but sadly it’s gone. *poof*
    Go lil Frog for Sunday!

  5. Pacian: I love the Will Truman show, and I’ve always had that in mind as the one Mum would find most acceptable (of the Carrey films). But you’ll be shocked to hear I haven’t heard of ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’! It sounds interesting — I’m glad you mentioned it.

    Thomas and Iain: Thanks for the suggestions on backing up. I have thought about both. I’m worried maybe a private blog would be hacked into, but maybe they’re more secure than I thought, especially if encrypted, so I’ll keep an open mind. It would be an option for anything that I didn’t regard as that sensitive or personal.

    I love external hard drives too… in fact I have two of them backing up at the same time. This became a must when the one I had before broke down. Even more interesting is the idea of leaving the computers out where they can be seen, but hiding the data. I wonder if one can wipe the data off the computers without fear of loss… before going on holiday.

    About backing up blogs… it’s possible to download a file, certainly from the WordPress blogs. More about that in my next blog entry, perhaps…

    Thanks Daffy, frog is doing very well, still in 3rd place! It might get tougher, not tomorrow, but the day after, when he is reorganized into a fresh racing group. They try to keep frogs racing with their nearest in performance, which could mean he would sink a number of places. Which reminds me, I’ve got more frog-training to do…

  6. Ooops, I never watch anything with Carry in it. His face is so rubbery, like maleable clay, that I find it too distracting and can’t keep up with whatever else is going on, so lose most of the sense (if there is any) of what’s actually going on.

    Until this past year, I wrote my journals long hand and kept them in 3 ring binders. They occupy one long shelf in my library since I found stationary boxes to hold them that also had date forms on the cover which makes them easy to sort. Each box holds a year of pages.

    This past year, however, I switched to writing my pages on the word processor. I immediately print out a hard copy upon finishing the page. That goes into a folder, kept handy for that purpose and labeled with month and year. On the last day of the month, the folder gets put in the file cabinet and a new one is brought out. I also immediately and on a daily basis, make a back up copy that goes on a floppy disk. Each month that in turn is stored in my exterior hard drive storage modem. It sounds like a lot of extra fooling around, but takes far less time and effort than writing this all out. Am in the process of looking for more storage boxes to put last year’s horde into. I’ll find what I’m looking for eventually.

    I really like your notebooks. They are not just colorful, but also expressive. Looking at them, I realized I might have found a good use for all the Mandalas I’ve been making. I could sum up the year in one colorful design and then paste it onto the storage box. The Mandala could be decoded, by me, as to what lies inside of the box. While typing this out, a thought occurred to me. 1997 was a long year of confusion, pain, and unexpected surprises, not all of which were nice ones. I have a Mandala I did that I call a study in Browns. The Mandala turned out rather nicely and only I would know that because it is mostly earthtones, it would stand for that muddy year in my history, lol.

    Something tells me that I am getting very methodical in my old age.


  7. I think Jim Carrey can act, and despite my better tastes, when he’s allowed to be the guy in Ace Ventura, I laugh until I am a bit queasy. I have a soft spot for that movie. I have to be in the mood for it, it is just so incredibly silly that I cna’t help but laugh out loud. It’s the absurd over the top humour that gets me more than his acting tho – it jsut fits so well. In Me Myself and Irene there is a scene where his face morphs about for about a full minute…it was really amazing…and I dont’ think I have laughed harder at anything. To me he should only do that kind of thing on a crazy level like only he can do. Like Steve Martin used to be…that kind of thing that only Steve could do. I’m sure not everyone liked him either. (loved him)

    It’s when he tried to carry it over into other things sort of half way that I balk. Then it’s just dumb wackiness reserved for circus clowns.
    He was really good in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind though. You should look it up if you can find it- a great movie.

  8. Elizabeth: Typing the journal straight out…I did that for a while too; great minds think alike! Then I found I couldn’t keep it up; I liked to take my journal to bed with me and write it there.

    I like your colour coded design idea! I thought something like that a few weeks ago when Mum bought several DVD boxes; some silver and some dark brown. I was sorting the DVDs into piles (dark DVDs, light DVDs)… and thought it might help me find the right DVDs if I put the darker DVDs (such as Alien) into the brown boxes. Things like Shrek and Ice Age go in the silver boxes. Now I just need some mid-coloured boxes for the mass of inbetweeny DVDs!! Or I could steal your idea and put my own designs on.

    Geo: I’m glad you like Ace Ventura… it makes me laugh as well! Perhaps it’s the way his hair sticks up. He’s making fun of himself and not just other people. Having said that, there are bits I find it hard to watch… and other bits I’m perfectly happy to! 🙂 I want to see it again, now.

  9. Backing up always seems so time-consuming doesn’t it. For computer-related stuff I save copies to Yahoo Briefcase or Google documents, but as you (or someone) said – if the internet breaks, it’s gone.
    I tried to make a copy of emails from a dear friend which I wanted in one file – but that too is time consuming – copying and pasting into say a word document then updating it every now and then and backing up on top of that – I’ve fallen behind. I started printing out the document but fell behind there too. (I wanted a word document rather than printing out separate emails to save paper.) So much to do, so little time!

  10. You’re right about keeping anything of value “off site”. I use a service that is highly recommended called Carbonite. It costs like $50 US per year and I can get to it easily if I need to retrieve something. You might try googling “Online Storage” or something like that. There are a couple of really good ones and they aren’t very expensive. May be worth it for your treasures.

  11. Drifting, I’m with you on the ‘so much to do, so little time!’ I wrote the same thing in my journal last night, only I changed it to “so many frogs, so little time”…

    Thanks, Ladybeams… I looked at Carbonite before (I was directed to it by the last external hard drive I bought) but decided to think about it a bit more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s