Digital Existence, Bane of


I’m still using an iBook G4 laptop I bought six years ago. I’ll knock on wood and note also that it’s not as impressive as it seems. I had a hard drive die when the computer was in its third year, and I’m running on a refurbished one that Apple installed “free”–I had bought the long-term service plan. Although I got a functional computer out of the deal, I hadn’t backed up the big library of pictures on the original drive. That included a bunch of nice shots from a trip down to Southern Illinois my dad and I took in 2004.

Being a bottom-of-the-line machine from ancient times, the iBook doesn’t have a huge hard drive. It’s got about 25 gigabytes of total storage. I now back things up on a 200-gigabyte drive I bought after the Mac died. But here’s the thing about the pictures I download: I always want to sort through them and post some online and maybe someday do something ambitious such as actually make photo albums for relatives or friends. So I tend to keep them on the laptop than dump them on to the external drive (from which I have to transfer them to edit them). Of course, those projects, big and small, tend to get put off. So my laptop drive still gets eaten up, and I have accumulated a big pile of pictures I think about but do nothing with. Such as the ones here.

They’re nearly a year old. I took them during a drive Kate, my dad, and my brother John made to Lake Pymatuning, on the Ohio-Pennsylvania state line during our visit to Lake Erie last August. More specifically, these are pictures of carp that congregate at a spillway between the eastern and western sections of the lake. Why do they congregate there. Because the nice people who stop to see the sights throw them food; a nearby concession stand sells loaves of bread for tourists to throw, slice by slice, into the roiling mass of eager fish. I have about 20 pictures of the scene I took and another couple of dozen from my brother. I would say we documented the scene well. The question remains, do the carp go on to a less hellish-looking existence after the people leave for the day

Maybe now, having posted this, I can store the pictures on some other drive and move on to the next scene from last summer’s travels. After that, I might get to the pile of images still left to sort through from our 2008 trip to Japan. It could happen.


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