Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Oft-Mentioned "Bump In the Road" and a Little Scherenschnitte

There are a few old chestnuts out there regarding the aforementioned bump in the road. Whether it is "If you want to hear God laugh, announce your plans..." or "The best laid plans..." we have all likely been derailed at an inopportune moment. I know, like there's an opportune moment to have life and its intricacies and little practical jokes intrude on our well-managed schedule. There isn't, but as usual, it is how we respond to these little hiccups that determines the real lasting outcome, right? Right.

So the next installment on The White Turkey Inn in Danbury, CT will be a little delayed by one of those life-pitched curve balls.  (Those who know me "in real life" know that I am basically identified by the following things/traits: RayBan Wayfarer sunnies--even when it isn't; my ubiquitous BlackBerry; a scarf of some sort; nail lacquer that functions as an accessory, and my beloved PowerBook G4 laptop.) It is the laptop that was, to continue my silly baseball analogy, hbp--that is, hit by pitch. It is for all intents and purposes no longer with us--it is, an ex-laptop. It isn't resting or pining for the fjords, it is dead. There was hope for at least a small recovery mission which looked good, but in the end, the gods decreed otherwise and I have to accept that.

I'm fortunate that I have most of my files from before November of 2009 on a passport device, which means all is not lost. However, the things I've researched and written over the past couple of months are pretty much gone. So while I still have all the sundry papers for many things, I no longer have them properly written up to share with you (both of you) nice folks. Hope springs eternal, though, and once I'm all sorted out again there will be more on the White Turkey Inn, and even some other local spots that are intriguing to me. I hope you'll bear with me while I reconnoiter, regroup, and rewrite.

The bigger lesson in all this, of course, is to be more diligent with backing up my work, even the little research projects I do on the side. While I'm sure that some of the writing and outlining I'd done for a book project is possible to recreate, I'm not sure I will. I think some of my material had been revised and reworked too many times and maybe this is a chance to look at all I've read and all the information I've processed via a fresh take. Granted, I don't have much of  choice, but this approach seems to make the most sense to me. I had my meltdown over all I'd lost, but holding on to that feeling is totally counterproductive so it's onward and upward and more time spent plugging away on my reliable (and fully backed up, I'll have you know) slow old iMac.

So while I shop around for a new MacBook, and wait to see whether the good people of Apple are going to be releasing a new model, I'm restricted to pretty basic web stuff on this machine. I've been enjoying looking through the marvelous old books at which has some really fun distractions. They also have a nice selection of early 20th century equestrian books on foxhunting, hacking about, and riding techniques. While dated, the writing style and prose is wonderful to read and enjoyable for those of us who enjoy an afternoon spent on horseback. I'm looking forward to doing my exploring there, you just never know what you might stumble upon.

And speaking of being stumbled upon, the image at the top of the page is from a bookplate of a gentleman named John A. Seaverns. It was in the front of a cheeky volume (aptly titled) The Haughtyshire Hunt. I think bookplates are rather interesting and some of the old ones are actual works of this one is. It's an ink representation of scherenschnitte, German folk-art papercutting. In the center is an octet of little foxes who appear to be sticking out their tongues at their pursuers, while in the next circle are hounds at full cry. The mounted (and top-hatted) hunter on the outermost circle is taking the fences with pretty fine form.

I'm going to leave you with the horses and hounds for a bit while I attend to my real work.

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