I’ve written about it before, and I’m writing about it again: data management is extremely important if you want to keep files around for the long haul. And maintaining organization for those files is key, as we only have so much time on this planet to deal with such issues. I’m writing this as my other computer is copying old CD-RW files to an external hard drive. I have stacks of media that need consolidated, and it’s a shame that the project requires so much of a time investment. That doesn’t have to be the case for data generated today.

In an earlier post (check it out here), I spoke of technology like the Drobo S, which we use at work to backup video footage that costs millions of dollars to produce. As it’s frequently said these days, “storage is cheap,” so there is very little excuse to NOT backup all your important documents, including (but not limited to) your photos and videos.

The file management system that works best for me is a combination of an external hard drive and a pair of DVDs. That is, I try to be meticulous about backing up every single important file to that external drive, and then to a primary and a backup DVD when enough data accumulates and warrants burning a disc.

Also, for my system, I try to keep the data conventions simple. I really enjoy travel and taking pictures – probably spending more time doing so than I should – so I keep a primary folder on the external drive called “Photos-MainBackup”. From there, all photos are narrowed down into more folders displaying the year (if known) and content. For example, one recently created folder is called “2012-Italy”. Nice and simple. That way, you can search for content based on year or the subject. And sometimes it helps you to figure out exactly when the heck you went somewhere.

Also, many of us have pretty sizable music collections these days, so it might not be such a bad idea to create a “Music-MainBackup” primary folder, and maybe even a “Documents-MainBackup” folder.

Of course these are merely suggestions. This is the system that works best for me, so I don’t have to spend a whole lot of time sifting through data to find what I’m looking for. Again, if “storage is cheap these days,” there is very little reason to lose data forever. It’s bound to happen, though, if you don’t plan ahead. Backing up does take a little time investment, but the time spent is very well worth it. Otherwise, it seems that the time invested in creating content that isn’t worth saving is a waste right from the start.

 
 

Colorful Circuits

Wine is a tricky thing. The output between two years is never quite alike because no two growing and harvesting cycles are quite the same. Some days see rain, others not. Some days are stifling and others are perfect. It’s just always different, day to day, year to year. That’s part of what makes it fun – the unknown… and the hunt for a product cultivated under “optimal” conditions (whatever that is). But the wine hobby can also be a frustrating one. That part comes from finding a go-to favorite and realizing how elusive it becomes once new stock is released and the stores stop carrying your favorite year.

My interest in wine tasting really stems from a singular event. It was Thanksgiving in 2007 or so, and the holidays are always a time when my family keeps the wine flowing. One bottle in the mix was a 2005 Turning Leaf Pinot Noir, and it stood out like a sore thumb… but a good sore thumb… a really good sore thumb! That bottle of Pinot Noir was a cheap, $6-7 bottle (in Ohio), and it really made me say, for the first time, “Woah, this is really good!” Years after first trying it, it’s taste is still pretty distinct in my mind – it had strong strawberry notes and a buttery kind of feel/flavor. And now I can’t find it anywhere. By the way, Christmas is coming up in a couple months, in case your sleuth skills are better than mine. Just sayin’.

Back to the real focus of this post… It’s really interesting considering how broad the wine “bouquet” can be. Not only do growing conditions affect the flavor, so do the storage methods. Stainless steel often gives wines a more crisp taste, which can be complementary for light, fruity wines. On the other hand, red wines stored in oak sometimes enhance wines with lovely vanilla notes.

The list below is of notes I have either used or heard others use to describe wine characteristics:

anise
apple
asparagus (as a joke, from the movie “Sideways”)
banana
berry
blackberry
blueberry
butter
butterscotch
cat piss (seriously, I’ve heard this one!)
cedar
cherry
chocolate
coffee
cola
copper
floral
fruit punch
grapefruit
grass (freshly cut, of course)
hay
honey suckle
iron
jam
lemon zest
licorice
melon
metal
minerals
nails
oak
orange blossom
orange zest
peach
pear
pepper
pineapple
plum
raisin
raspberry
rose
smoke
steel
straw
strawberry
tannin
toast
tobacco
vanilla
watermelon
zoo (the first Gew├╝rztraminer I ever had tasted like the smell of a zoo… yuck!)

As for an actual wine wheel, feel free to print/check this one out:

Wine wheel courtesy of:
Public Domain Pictures

This is one of those days I say a thankful prayer for. Alongside a huge group of giddy residents, I chased the retired space shuttle Endeavour as it was being transported from the Los Angeles International Airport to its new home at the California Science Center. The move is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. No doubt, more space vehicles will be retired one day, but there will never again be another space shuttle moved through the streets of L.A. Here are some photos (and a video) I took today:

 

Retired Space Shuttle Endeavour on the last leg of its new home in Los Angeles at the California Science Center.

 

Space Shuttle Endeavour Name Badge

Closeup of the Endeavour cockpit area and entrance hatch

 

Space Shuttle Endeavour’s three main engines and two Orbital Maneuvering System pods.

 

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villiagarosa welcoming Endeavour in front of the California Science Center – Oct. 14, 2012

 

Young girl wears a Space Shuttle inflatable hat behind Endeavour

Walking behind Endeavour and loving the inflatable space shuttle hat!

 

 

Luke Wilson must be a fan of the Space Shuttle, too.