6 Random Things - Christine Kane

1. Random Act of Overheating

A few months ago, I read Seth Godin’s blog about his PowerBook dying, about losing his hard drive, and encouraging people to back up their hard drives. I remember thinking, Yes, I need to do that soon. And of course, I didn’t. My PowerBook was very new, and I figured I still had some time. Well, yesterday morning, I woke up to find it fire-y hot, like it had just swallowed a big glob of Wasabi. And it wouldn’t come out of sleep mode. So, I forced it to shut down. But it wouldn’t come back up. Then after an hour on the phone with AppleCare performing rituals and singing mantras, I found out that the over-heating fried my hard drive.

They were nice, and yes, I love Apple Care because they’ll install a new hard drive and hopefully fix the issue. AND it would’ve meant a lot if someone actually apologized for the fact that a fairly new computer heated itself into a salon tool that could’ve straightened my hair. That issue was never addressed.

So, here’s your warning via Seth and via me: Back up your hard drive. Back it up now. Don’t be me.

2. Random Acts of RSS

If you are a blogger, please post a comment so that I can rebuild my RSS stuff without searching through all my blog comments to find you again! (And if you are one of my saved passwords for the many millions of websites, then please write me and email and tell me what you are.) (And if you are my Quicken files, well I’m down on my knees in a sequin dress singing Celine Dion songs.)

3. Random Thoughts of Past Olympics

I’m en route to Lake Placid today. On the way to the airport, I said to my husband, I hear Lake Placid is really beautiful. All I remember is that some winter Olympics a long time ago was there. And it must have been when I was really little because when I hear the name Lake Placid, I see the five colorful rings on a white background. And as I said that last sentence, he said the exact words in unison. It’s the image of the five colorful Olympic rings. And the feeling of possibility. The feeling that if I wanted to, I could still be an Olympian. (I decided at a young age that I couldn’t be a winter Olympian because my feet got cold all the time. They still do. In fact, the flight from Asheville to Charlotte was on a plane made out of ice.)

4. Random Performance Date

Do you know anyone in Lake Placid? Invite them to my show! It’s at the Lake Placid Performing Arts Center. Tomorrow night.

5. Random Moment of Utter Grossness

My cat brought home a mole this week. And I let it stay there on the deck among the fallen leaves and acorns. After a few days I looked out the window and noticed the mole was moving. For a brief moment, I thought it was still alive. My heart about burst open thinking of the suffering it was enduring. I watched it moving, and then I realized that what was moving was the big bugs that were crawling all through it. It was perhaps the most disgusting thing I’ve witnessed ever. That night, as my husband was falling asleep and I was having difficulties falling asleep, I launched into a full description of the mole and the bugs. Then the room was silent for a few seconds. And then my husband said, Well. Thanks for sharing that image with me before I fall asleep.

6. Random Act of Kindness

Last night after my day of overheated computers and rushing around getting my things together, and after I finally packed for this trip, I picked up the office mail. (My record label is in an office downtown.) There was a big box from Salt Lake City. One of my readers had read a past blog post of mine, and had taken seriously my request to send me art-work, and she sent me a beautiful painting she had done of autumn leaves. She wrote a lovely note about the painting. She enclosed a check for me to use as a Random Act of Kindness in any way of my choosing. My lousy day and all the drama within melted away. I felt so honored to be the channel for this act of kindness. I’ve already decided where the money will go, and for now, that will remain a secret. It was her idea, and I loved the idea.

You can visualize all the wealth and riches and hit songs and big breaks you want. And I believe that you can have that kind of high-voltage life. I’ve experienced some of it myself. But I have to tell you, nothing can even come close to the depth of getting something like this in the mail and realizing that your work in the world inspired one person to be randomly kind to another person. Wow.

  • christine

    Hello Dating Specialist! Yep, it was a pretty amazing gift box! Glad to hear you survived losing all those passwords. That’s one of the biggest issues for me. (And all those pix of my dog and cats!)

  • Dating Specialist

    Hi Christine

    I can imagine the warmth you felt when you received that gift box. Oh, just thinking about it is already so inspiring. Thanks for sharing this wonderful feeling with us!

    I did a backup before I reformatted my notebook. BUT, due to a moment of carelessness, I mistakenly thought I had saved my email which I didn’t! Yes, I lost all those emails, and those hundreds of passwords and userids too ha! My boyfriend had to keep consoling me and helping me to retrieve as many as he could. I was touched by his sweetness really, and that made the whole thing not so “disastrous”.

    Cheers to your blog and writing. I love them!

  • christine

    Hi Timothy, Thanks for the compassion! I’m debating sending the hard drive off to do the expensive retrieval thing…

    Thanks John! I’ll go check out your random things now…

  • John Hulsey

    Thank you for the inspiration. I was feeling a bit “random,” but couldn’t sort it out. I read your blog, decided that a little random could be a good thing, and wrote this post on my own blog.


    I don’t often post comments, but I do enjoy your music and am often moved by your writing. Thank you for sharing.

  • Timothy Johnson

    Hi Christine. I share your pain. Three years ago my computer crashed. The data on the hard drive was retrievable, but it had to be sent to a place in Atlanta and cost me around $1500 to get my data back (worth the cost given all that I had on the drive). But I’ve been religious about backing up at least once a month.

    Great blog you have… just discovered it through Liz Strauss’ open mic session.

  • christine

    Thanks Susanne! Always good to hear well wishes and stories with good endings…

    Mad Vicar…I’m surprised we haven’t bumped into you yet. And as far as kindness goes, I think it’s good any way it chooses to show up!

    Joy, well, clearly I’m not the one to help you learn to back up. Otherwise, I would offer wise suggestions…!

    Barb, I’m totally with you on the bird thing. Luckily, my cats don’t even pay attention to the birds… even the ones in the feeder. Moles are their thing. And yes, everyone should know that domestic cats are largely responsible for harming the bird populations on our planet. (among other things too.)

    Hey Starbucker! Thanks for leaving a comment. I have to RSS you again. (whenever I get my computer back.sigh.) I’ve never been to Durango. but colorado is pretty much gorgeous all over the place. I’ll keep in mind your disco-singing tip for seducing my husband. I think he’d probably give me an even weirder look than my mole story if I sang Yvonne Eliman to him! Thanks for the kind words…

    Nancy, Wow. Thank you! When I drove by the Siena College sign, I remembered having played there about three times over the years. I’m so happy to know that’s where you first saw me. I really liked Siena. (I can’t say that about lots of other colleges I performed at!) Hey, if you’re into the Myers-Briggs stuff, you’d really like the enneagram. It’s deeper and even more right on. Get the book “The Wisdom of the Enneagram.” (It’s in my Reading list in the ARchives. Click on it, and it’ll take you right to it at amazon.) And no, you weren’t freakish or weirdo at all…

  • NancyCz

    The show in Lake Placid was great… although for the, oh, sixth time I was starstruck and had nothing interesting to say except “Animal House”. Oh, well. There’s always next time. Kris greatly enjoyed his first show (we saw you at the ballet on Long Island but that wasn’t quite the REAL Christine Kane experience) and said at times as it was as if you were reading his mind (ie. my obsession with the Myers-Briggs, our HUGE risk of moving to Charlotte, our recent engagement (Thursday night — just in time for our wknd in Lake Placid), and our strange obsession with our dog and cat whom we seriously treat better than we probably will our kids!). It was excellent and we loved it and only wish we had been our more engaging personas and not the freakish weirdo fans we probably came across as. Oh well… keeps us telling good stories. I have to say, since the first time I saw you at Siena College until now, it just never disappoints! Rock on!

  • Starbucker

    Christine! How are ya! Hope you have fun in Lake Placid (I’ve never been there and I’ve lived in the CT/NY area for 12 years), and boy oh boy I think you’ve scared me into backing up my stuff when I get back home (I’m in Durango Colorado right now – cool place, ever been there?).

    Also, it doesn’t surprise me at all you’ve been the subject of a random act of kindness. As the New Radicals said (great song), “You get what you give”. And my friend, you give a LOT.

    Lastly, perhaps you should sing “If I Can’t Have You” to your husband at night instead of describing dead moles – it really works much better, take it from me! 🙂

    Safe travels, knock ’em dead, and all the best.

  • barb

    as passionate (well I can’t spell) so as an addicted birder, please don’t feed the birds if your cat gets them. believe it or not, research has shown that cats are among the most destructive “things ” to birds. sorry to preach but i am addicted as many of you know. thanks for listening barb the birder.

  • Joy

    you’re blogs have inspired me in many ways…this is the most practical…now if i can just get bob to figure out how to back up…perhaps you could help with that.

  • Colin

    Should kindness be random? Why not every day in all ways? (philosophical question… not challenging kindness, whenever it may show up). By the way, we are here living in Blk. Mtn. again. Hope to see you and your husband soon!
    The Mad Vicar

  • Susanne

    Hi, good luck with the hard drive. I have to tell, the only computer thing that ever broke was – the backup drive. All my Macs are still alive and functional…
    I was lucky, it was not the disk itself, and a very nice and patient apple technician put my old disk into a new case, and voilà, all my data was still there.

  • christine

    Hi Gleb! And welcome to the discussion… Thanks for adding your compassion and encouragment!

    Kathy, Glad I didn’t offend too much. Man, I wish I had KNOWN I could crash at your place. My rental car is a Ford Fusion (Never heard of it!) and it poured rain the whole way up until the last 15 insane curvy miles…when it started snowing. Five inches of snow. Then, the power went out in all of Lake Placid last night. So my guest house was a little teensy bit scary… and not mole and bug scary… Jack Nicholson in The Shining scary!

    Hi Susie, Thanks for the thoughts. And for all the other stuff too! 🙂 Luckily, only one of my cats catches stuff. And the only thing he catches is moles. I don’t think I’d let him out if he brought home bunnies!

    Hi Pam…Thanks thanks thanks for all those kind words. I’m glad you liked the show. Like I wrote to Susie…I couldn’t let my cats out if they brought me birds. I love love love my birds. Especially nuthatches. For some reason, moles don’t bother me as much. And so far, Gracie has only brought home a large slice of pizza! See my other comments about how cold Lake Placid is at the moment!

  • ChickiePam

    Hi Christine,
    My cats love me lots. I’m always getting moles/mice/snakes/birds…as a matter of fact, we have a “cat feeder” and not a bird feeder at out house. I have some trepidation about it and don’t always keep seed in it for that reason. Anyway, I clean up my “gifts” as soon as I recieve them because I’m a nurse with many years experience in mostly the ICU, but I too cover my eyes when the gross stuff comes on TV. Since I became a massage therapist, nobody bleeds on me anymore.

    Hard drive crashes…been there, done that. Learned to back up and still don’t do it as often as I should.

    I absolutely loved your concert last weekend. You are wonderful. My daughter loves your music, and we are about to go on a road trip and she may listen to your music all the way from Asheville to Indianapolis! We will take our laptop so she can watch a couple of movies along the way so I don’t go stir crazy hearing how bored she is every mile of the way. Being almost 12, she can be quite determined in expressing herself. What am I saying! She’s been that way from birth, it’s just escalating a bit now that she’s almost a teenager!

    Have fun in Lake Placid. I hope you packed your long johns! I lived in Alaska for 3 years and it gets cold at that longitude very early in the year.

  • Susie

    Hey Christine,
    Ouch, about the hard drive…ours at work crashed 2 weeks ago, which was no fun so I feel your frustration. Live and learn I guess.
    My cats don’t usually bring their “gifts” back home; except for once. Just the body of a bunny (no head) on Easter Morning…just glad I found it before my niece came over and thought the Easter bunny was murdered at Aunt Susie’s house.

    I emailed a friend about your show…I hope he can make it; either way, have fun!

  • Kathy

    I’m over it now – it was just a little harsh first thing in the morning. As you know, we live 30 minutes from Albany so if you want a place to crash on the way back or just some company waiting at the airport for your flight, let us know! That’s a long drive.

  • Gleb Reys

    Hi Christine,

    Sorry about your hard drive… You’re absolutely right, we all should back up everything from our hard drives. I believe you more than others because I’m in the middle of an emergency backup trying to save as much as I can from a dying hard drive myself 🙁 And yes, it’s a fairly new one, and they will surely replace it, but it would be awfully sad to lose my 20Gb of photos or 80Gb of home videos…

    Wishing you to never have anything as frustrating with your laptop, and hoping everything else is going to be okay for you too 🙂

  • christine

    Hi Everyone, Thanks for all the quick responses and compassion and suggestions. And, Kathy, I’m sorry if I ruffled your feathers with the vast power of my almighty pen! (I felt like Stephen King for a moment there!) I’ve just arrived in Albany, and I’m heading up to Lake Placid in a little bit. (I am a free wi-fi seeking missile, by the way. My car just FOUND Panera instantly…)

  • Palmtreechick

    What a great thing that person did.

    Sorry about your hardrive.

    You cat loves you that’s why she brought you a mole. The visualization was a little nasty though. 😉

  • Rick Cockrum

    As Dblwyo said, OUCH! I too have been there, done that. I lost two years of data once. 🙁 Not something I want to repeat. You have my sympathy.

    Examples like your random act of kindness, “nothing can even come close to … realizing that your work in the world inspired one person to be randomly kind to another person”, is one of the reasons I write. Thank you for sharing this us.

    Have fun at Lake Placid!

  • Dblwyo

    OUCH…double and triple ouch. Been there, done that, not gotten a lot smarter but….

    not to provide false hope a data recovery service might – note that’s M might not L likely – be able to retrieve your files from your HD. A local computer service that’s used to doing installs, networking, etc. might be the place to start. Ashville being Ashville I’d think there’d be a couple or three…

    a backup 250 gig HD can be had relatively inexpensively from, e.g. Amzn, for around that price ($250) and both Windows and OS-X have archiving and auto-backup for your readers FYI…

    All that blathered have a great concert. Lake Placid was the place of the “Miracle” btw in 1980.

  • Kathy

    eeeeew! If I was watching a show on TV like ER when they are operating, I’d have put my hand up in front of my face so as not to see that nasty image of grossness. But it was a blog and so I read as much as I needed to to realize I didn’t want to read the rest and skipped to the next section. But words (and in a split second, the image) got into my heads anyway, cat….mole…moving….bugs….. etc. YUCK! Just because you’re grossed out doesn’t mean we need to be!!! No more of those!!!!

    Sorry about your computer issues. Backing up is a normal part of our lives now – there are programs that will remind you on a regular basis and actually do it automatically when you have an external drive connected. I don’t know the ones for the MAC but I’m sure they have some.

  • fivecats

    Sadly, nothing teaches the necessity of backing up your data quite like losing a HD.

    You might also want to consider a notebook cooler — a plastic “tray” that your Powerbook can sit on that has a series of fans to pull some of the heat off of the laptop. It’s done wonders for my Powerbook.