I have some excellent advice for all my readers. Back up your hard drive. Now. No really, right now. Do it! Because if you don’t, you could lose everything at any moment. You could be, for example, happily putting the finishing touches on a project you’ve spent a month creating, when poof! Computer dead! You already know this, of course. Sometimes you say to yourself, “Gee, I really should back up all my music and photos and work and papers and like 40 blog drafts that all took hours to research. Because it would really suck if they all went away forever. Eh. I’ll do it later.” Don’t do it later. Do it now. Seriously. If you don’t have an external hard drive or some other back-up method, go out and buy one. Immediately.
Now that I’m done playing Ann Landers, I’d like to thank Kent Lewandowski, Chris Kidd, and Vivek B. for very kindly filling in while I was taking my little break. If you somehow missed their excellent posts about the clean trucks Port rally, the Estuary Specific Plan, and crime trends since 2005, you should go read them immediately. Well, immediately after you back up your hard drive, which, seriously, you should do right now.
Anyway, I’m feeling a little out of practice here after my little vacation. I’m going to need to ease back into this blogging thing. So I’m just going to start out today with some pointless whining about something that frustrated me.
So Tuesday was National Night Out, right? Which I think is really nice and everything, for people to say that once a year, they feel comfortable standing outside on their street for an hour in the early evening, or whatever. There was no party in my neighborhood as far as I could tell, so I went with a friend to an event elsewhere downtown. I had some soda and chips and got a City of Oakland refrigerator magnet and a cool coloring book and talked to some nice people. I hear that Lincoln Park had an awesome party with like 10,000 people and music and dancing and like an Olympic ping pong player or something. That was more exciting than the event I went to, which was kind of winding down by the time I got there, a little after 8. Anyway, National Night Out overall seems like a nice holiday or whatever, although I do have to wonder, what with all the promotion I’ve been seeing for months, just how much money the City has spent on this year’s National Night Out, and whether it’s, you know, the best possible use of tight funds.
I also find it super lame that despite the endless promotion, the City couldn’t like, put together a list of all the registered National Night Out parties so that you could find one near where you live. A friend of mine wanted to attend an event in his West Oakland neighborhood, but didn’t know where there was one. I suggested (in retrospect, I have no idea why, I should have known better), checking Nancy Nadel’s website to see if she had a list of parties. Of course she didn’t! She just had a link to the City’s National Night Out page, which does not list parties that are happening. It just tells you how to register your own party. Compare this to Jean Quan’s National Night Out page, which lists every party in all of District 4. By beat! Then I suggested (again, foolishly) trying the Mayor’s website, but that was also a bust, featuring no information at all about National Night Out except for a press release (PDF), dated August 1st, begging people to register parties before the deadline of 5 PM July 28th. Unable to determine where there was a party, my friend ended up staying home. If the City wants people to celebrate National Night Out so bad, maybe next year they’ll think about telling people where to go to do it.