It’s been an interesting year so far. The Marshall Fire did burn on our property, but most of the damage we sustained was from smoke.
Fire soot is a vile substance. It gets into everything and is hard to remove. Smoke damage caused the insurance company to total my wife’s car, and flames never touched it.
The past five weeks we’ve been emptying the house in order to de-smoke it. Every room, closet, and drawer. It’s been exhausting, and I’m happy to report it’s almost done and I am back online.
Things can be replaced. What people fear losing the most from fires and other potential home disasters are irreplaceable memories. The ability to store our memories is a uniquely human characteristic. It’s been fascinating to me during my personal archaeological dig just how ephemeral memory technologies are.
I own four boxes of vinyl records, and it’s time for them to go. Records were a technological breakthrough, and were one of the first methods invented to store and playback audio. The phonograph actually led to the telephone
. Yes, I have a lot of old phones in my home too.
Records were popular for decades, but many archival technologies don’t last long at all. In my home I dug out out audio cassettes, data cassettes, floppies (5.25 and 3.25), zip drives, iPods (USD and Firewire), CDs, DVDs, Blurays, VHS, Hi-8, USB drives and sticks, 8 and 16 mm films, and of course boxes of printed photographs. Pro tip: storing memories is not particularly useful unless also saving a means of retrieval.
in 1977, NASA sent the Voyager spacecraft into deep space with a golden record of greetings
in 55 languages. The hope was that some alien race might be able to play the record. A bit optimistic considering we are running out of earthlings that can still play a record.
Print some photos for your great grand kids as they won’t know what to do with (or what to call) JPGs.