It had to happen.

I wrote something great, put all the links in. Made it really beautiful and then, right out of the blue, Ecto crashed, taking the whole blog post with it.

I am furious. I have no right to be furious, because if I had been even a little bit smart I would have been hitting “save” from time to time and then, when the software decided to give me a little smack, I could have mocked it and it’s attempt to thwart me. “Ha!” I would have exclaimed. I would have smirked smugly and taunted the laptop. I would have screeched “Nice try, you pixel driven ingrate of a pig-dog! You do not vex me today!” and made wild threats about unplugging it’s power-supply and taking away the extra-fancy battery and seeing how it liked losing something without any warning…all this as I resurrected the post and made a little note on my white-board about the time that Ecto tried to get me and failed, because I was too smart. Score, Stephanie 1, Ecto NOTHING.

That’s what I would have written.

If, you know. I was smart.

100 thoughts on “It had to happen.

  1. Oh, I hate when that happens. But it doesn’t mean you aren’t smart, it happens to everyone. And we still got some laughs out of it (granted, they were at your expense but you take what you get right?).

  2. Alas, hindsight is 20/20. Perhaps there is an autosave feature that could be turned on? Chin up – system crashes shall also pass.

  3. The new book arrived this morning. Great job, I’m grinning and trying really hard not to sit here and read it rather than working.

  4. When things like that happen, I say “OUCH” That seems to convey all my feelings, sorrow and support. Know that you will redo it and it will be even better than the first. Or this one I read the other day, somewhere. When stuff hits the fan it is never evenly distributed. Sorry it got you this time.

  5. Oh man, that stinks! I think I might threaten the computer just a wee bit anyway.

  6. Eh, there’s smart, and there’s smart. You have lots of kinds of smart, including learning from past run-ins with Ecto, right? Right?
    And there’s knitting smart, which you have quite possibly more than your share of, so. . . sometimes you forget to hit “save.” You still knit faster and better than I hope to in my lifetime!
    (My family is asking about birthday gifts for me. I mildly said, “Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has a new book out I wouldn’t mind. . .” We’ll see if they caught it. If not, I’m going to have to treat myself!)

  7. Eh, there’s smart, and there’s smart. You have lots of kinds of smart, including learning from past run-ins with Ecto, right? Right?
    And there’s knitting smart, which you have quite possibly more than your share of, so. . . sometimes you forget to hit “save.” You still knit faster and better than I hope to in my lifetime!
    (My family is asking about birthday gifts for me. I mildly said, “Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has a new book out I wouldn’t mind. . .” We’ll see if they caught it. If not, I’m going to have to treat myself.)

  8. Oh, but look! Amazon shipped out my copy of BookbookBookbook 3 on Saturday (a. whole. week. early!) and it should be here tomorrow!
    Oh. Right. Your blog. Your problem. Sorry. Focusing… focusing…

  9. I learned that lesson the hard way. Back in the days of tape drives I was writing an essay for 1st year university. It too soooooo long to save that I was putting it of because I was on a roll. And then the power went out. That’s when I developed “Laurie’s Rules for saving”
    1. Save every ten minutes.
    2. Save when you make an important change.
    3. Save before you leave the machine.
    4. Make a back up and keep it in a safe place.
    You are backing your data up, aren’t you?

  10. oh my god…too many times to count. seriously.
    and that was mostly with blogger. now I’m on wordpress, which is a lot less hand-holdy.
    I’m scared. I should have a “save” button glued to my forhead.

  11. Your ability to laugh at yourself amazes me, Stephanie. When I’m working on something and it all unravels, the air gets very blue and anyone around, including the dog, disappears for fear of their very lives. I do not take defeat well at all. Good for you for turning it around into something humourous. It’s not too early for a drink.

  12. Ah, but that is the beauty of software… it lulls you into a false sense of security by always being perfectly well-behaved, and then, just when you think it’s safe… da… DUM! The Software Shark appears to eat your data.
    Notice that I say “you.” That’s so I can chuckle wryly and not think too much about all the times it’s happened to me.
    (While we’re on the subject… why does your blog never remember my personal info, no matter how many times I ask it to?)

  13. Who does roggey know? My copy STILL hasn’t shipped (even though it says it will ship Jan 24…)Not fair!!
    And the crashing? We’ve all been there. You will spend the next 6 weeks compulsively saving everything, then you will slack off… and this will happen again. You know it will. It happens to all of us .

  14. I truly admire the way you turn catastrophe into humor! You are a constant inspiration and a great source of much-needed laughter! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ve read your first two books more times than I can count! they are grey and tattered at the edges, and they only get dearer with each read-through. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. We have ALL been where you are. Just not as eloquently, speaking personally! (I’m assuming swearing is not considered eloquent.)

  16. Of course you’re smart.
    When you say “If I was smart,” perhaps you mean, “If I was slightly anal retentive.” And if you were–well, you wouldn’t have half as many stories to tell.

  17. As everyone’s mentioned, smart has nothing to do with it. Everyone suffers web karma from time to time, all you can do it take that lesson to your next post. Internet hubris!

  18. AWH man.. and it was the big post telling all about my blog wasn’t it??hehehe
    I am stalking my bookstore.. I have a special teacher discount this week.. so far the computer says they don’t have your book.. I am not happy..

  19. I know I can identify with you. I’m sure most bloggers can. And although we can identify, it does not make the situation any easier. I get so put out when that happens. Even when I save, I forget to save the most erudite parts and when they’re wiped out, I can’t remember them. I wanted to tell you that our library (here in St. Louis County, Missouri) shows you appearing here on April 26. I know you have alot of dates, so I was wondering if you have a site I could check to make sure that it’s true? Thanks.

  20. Oh, that stinks. It really, really stinks.
    I think it took me at least a dozen times, losing as many posts (why, oh why, are they always the great and beautiful posts filled with links?) before I made myself get in the habit of hitting SAVE (as draft, now by default), early and often — usually starting the minute I insert a picture or paste a link. Not saying I haven’t lost a post recently, just sayin’ it’ll be a long time before I hit the two dozen mark!

  21. Well, I trust that you saw this as a learning experience. No, not for you, dear twit — for the girls. If they didn’t come out of this with new vocabulary you’re failing them as a mother (smart alecky kids think they know all the words, but it’s all in how you comBINE them…)

  22. Ooooh. So sorry. You know it happens to the best of them. I am an IT and a constant NAG to the people I work with. I am sure they would vouch for that! SAVE, SAVE, SAVE. So that someday you may triumph over the machine. Even if it is only once you beat the beast into submission, you will experince such elation!

  23. I hate when that happens and I hate that the “revised” version is never as good as the first post. Whenever this happens a little movie plays in my head; it goes something like this:
    Christina’s sitting in front of the computer merrily typing away at a long involved post when the computer freezes up. She calmly hits ctrl, alt, delete. Nothing happens. She hits it again, computer shuts down. She sits there, trembling slightly.
    Her head explodes.

  24. Hey…wait a minute! How come some of you are getting your books already? I have to wait until tomorrow before it even ships! Hmph.

  25. Apparently you forgot to feed your computer gnomes.
    Nothing they like better than a finished project when they’re hungry.

  26. Freakin’ ‘puters!!!! But, I just came back from the Post Office with your book, so I didn’t need a beautiful, long post anyway. (like its all about me or something…)

  27. Be thankful that you are not perpetually sitting next to a programmer who responds to your frustration and necessary invention of new ways to curse technology by saying to you in a smug little voice, “The problem is on the other side of the keyboard, darling…”
    Incredible that he still has a working head with a mouth in it.

  28. Oh Stephanie, you would be entertaining even if you transcribed pages of the phone directory for a week. It would probably make the news and become a huge fad.
    Amazon says my copy of bookbookbook3 left Massachusetts today on its way to me on the “left coast.” Can’t wait!!!

  29. I hate when I do that. Or don’t do it, rather.
    I’m not even sure *how* to save, when I’m putting a post into blogger, so, what, I’d have to cut&paste it to some other program somewhere else?
    Yah, I’m real likely to do that……………
    Blog on………………

  30. That happened to me the other day – except I lost my post on Blogger when I previewed it and couldn’t get out of the preview! Note to self: save, save, save!

  31. My disappointment at not having the great post full of pretty links you reference to entertain me and help me avoid another stinking spreadsheet from hell is somewhat asuaged by the visual I’m currently running of you hopping about in your office screeching at your laptop.
    Only somewhat, however. I rather expect I shall be pouting for the rest of the day. Or until my first glass of wine at least.

  32. My poor 9 yr old lost his entire Saturn project last Monday in a similar computer error. 30 minutes of tears and a big hug from his teacher the next day when he handed in his hand recreated project made it all much better. So cry and get a hug, it’ll all look better tomorrow.

  33. I just started reading The Secret Life of a Knitter, and I have to tell you it is so funny! I was reading it in my office at lunch, and I had to try not to laugh out loud where everyone could hear me! I’m only a couple of chapters in…I can’t wait to read the rest! Thanks for brightening up my lunch!

  34. Did you SEE Lene and Juno’s recent posts? About mercury in retrograde? I wonder if there’s a connection…a strange knitterly cosmic technology-swallowing blackhole…oh, no, wait a minute, in Lene’s case it was just missing batteries. Still, kinda creepy!
    Meanwhile I just picked up the latest bookbookbook and am loving it, AND thanks to you I also bought the Inspired Cables book. Couldn’t resist that sweater with the I-cords. We’ll see how long it takes me to actually knit it ~_~

  35. Oooh, I hate when that happens.
    Of course, at least it was a genuine crash rather than, say…writing your blog post through an internet browser and blithely navigating away from the post before saving it.
    Not that I’ve ever done that. Nope, not me. That would be silly.

  36. As we say here, Bugger.
    BTW, congrats to Canadia on the great gymnastics performance at the C’wealth games. Beautiful!
    Hope the NY trip is going well for Yon Daughter. If it’s any help, the parentals used send me on trips interstate via the train to wicked, wicked Melbourne when I was 12. Probably no real worry cos I was travelling in a group and being met by responsible adults at the other side. Yon Daughter is in a group – she’ll only get up to usual lunacy of her agegroup and this is usually regressive : )

  37. My computer tests me like that about once a week (and I still forget to save as often as I should!) And of course it never happens when you’re writing inane things, like the grocery list or letters to your friends, no, it has to happen whilst typing 36 pages of architectural building specifications — I think I invented new swear words that day.
    It makes me a little sad to think of that lost little blog entry of yours floating around in cyberspace somewhere – never to be found again – although it’s replacement was darn funny – apart from its dragging up old, painful memories for me…

  38. Kinda reminds me of how our server every so often “burps” and causes some of our spreadsheets to revert to previously saved versions. Not the last saved…. sometimes it’s from months ago. They’re telling us to save it with a new name each time. CRAZY!!!

  39. About yesterday’s button link: #127 Aase Kjempe: I used these buttons on a purple corduroy jumper that I made in Home Ec, ca. 1972. They are still beautiful.

  40. I heard this yesterday, and as it was part of commentary on a Zen koan, I think it is ok to use here (directed towards the computer and software of course!):
    “You complete idiot!…You pile of cathedral pigeon sh*t”
    I am not sure whether the pile is like a cathedral or the pigeons live there…but it does feel satisfying when used against an inanimate object…

  41. Would it be silly to suggest that you write everything in your word processing program, save it (in volumes!!!!) then copy and paste into Ecto?
    When stuff like that happens to me, I can’t knit. Everything comes out R-E-A-L-L-L-L-L-Y tight and bears a striking resemblance to steel wool. I suggest early cocktail hour.

  42. You’re now an honorary member of the I-would-throw-the-computer-out-the-window-but-I-don’t-want-to-have-to-replace-the-glass club.

  43. Oh man, I had this really clever, witty, moving comment all typed up-the kind of comment that would be forever imprinted on you-just seeing my name that brilliant comment would spring to mind, and you would think to yourself “ah yes, she is the one…”. It was the kind of comment in which blog legends are made. But then wouldn’t ya know it-my server crashed, taking my fantastic comment and its resulting fame with it.
    Now all you get is this.

  44. Bookbookbook arrived today. Hooray. But I have a project that is on deadline so I only had a chance to thumb through. Bookbook also arrived today and book arrived last week and has been read. JOY JOY JOY
    Computers can be mean. I lost the whole project I was doing while completing my Masters. I cried a lot and a wonderful prof gave me an extension to redo it.
    Now to finish my project and get to book3 and book2.

  45. Hi, I have to write quickly (hungry kids in car!)
    There is a knitting getaway at Horseshoe Valley April 7-9 and Fiona Ellis is the featured speaker. I’m short of details right now, but they only have 13 registered; it’s a REALLY good deal! Please let people know and you can come too if you want!?! Will write more soon, Lynn

  46. Just B R E A T H E…..and remember, computers can’t knit beautiful things like you can ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. OH MY, OH MY, OH MY,The monster reared its head again!!! I have a name for my computer NESSY”–the Loch Ness MOnster!!!!When it rears up one never kbows WHAT is going to happen and furthermore its NEVER good for me or others that are in hearing range. Good Luck to you and getting control of this situation . Never the less ,your post was very entertaining as always.

  48. The post was simply not ment to be, but the replacement is damn funny.
    Ecto? As in Ecto 1 from Ghostbusters? Too funny.

  49. Well, these things happen.
    On the plus side, my copy of bookbookbook3 arrived today and I’m up to page 66 and loving it . . . of course! Thanks for another gem, Stephanie!

  50. It is never a question of how smart you are.
    Imagine this: you spent hours putting info into a program that computer geeks all over ensure “will help you run your entire agency.” So you enter names, Social Security info, etc. until it is time to update the program. The new update promptly erases all your info, but of course it does this the day before you are supposed to show it to the government agency funding you. All the computer geek installing it can say is: OOOPS!
    I say throw computers out, get some stone tablets…. never mind, I need to read your blog (and porn).

  51. Oh poor harlot. It might be time for an offering to the hungry or angry computer Gods. Then once satiated, they’ll leave you and your blog alone. Perhaps lighting the candle will help. Here’s an excerpt from the prayer…
    At my workstation I turn to you to help me navigate the tangled mess that is my computer. Banish system crashes and power surges from my consciousness, and protect me from carpel tunnel syndrome. I’m sure you can modify it to suit your needs.

  52. in the original Mr. Deeds, two L.O.L ( little old ladies) testify in court that mr. deeds; is pixelated. a little later they explain that the whole town is pixelated, everyone but they themselves. lol (laugh out loud) pixie-lated might be a good thing if only , you know, it still meant actual pixies.

  53. So sorry, Harlot… I once lost 10 manuscript pages because “I was on a roll!” And couldn’t save… Once I’d actually written past the 10 pages I’d lost, I could safely say (with only a little bit of sour grapes)”Well, it was crap anyway… this new stuff is much better…” (And haven’t we all read a novel where we wished a crucial, craptastic 10 pages had been lost so the the author would be forced to start again and make it better?) Tomorrow you will sacrifice one yard of your best yarn in a good luck knot around your lap top, and all will go better.

  54. Some times you have to let the computer win. That way, down the road, you can sneak up on it and whack it good.
    hum, maybe my Sicilian roots are showing.

  55. Are you familiar with the acronym AFGO? For Another Freakin’ Growth Opportunity?

  56. I HATE when that happens. A few too many times I’ve learned that lesson. Now I take extra precautions and arrange all my text in Word first then paste it in. I’m all paranoid now. =)

  57. The class motto in my gifted program is:
    “We may be gifted but we’re not necessarily smart.”
    By the corollary I guess that you would make you gifted [a given…] so all is not lost. Other than the web page. [Curses be upon cyberspace.]
    Pig-dog! This is teasing me. Some sci-fi show in my past had this expression and it is currently just over the edge of the warp field… Great to be reminded of this.

  58. That happens to me too ๐Ÿ™ What’s worst is when it’s done and someone sends you a link on a messenging service. If you bring up that box and click on the link, it takes you right from your current page (the post you are about to make, in all its glory) straight to that site…the post is no more. Beware the instant messaging!

  59. i am shocked and outraged! haha! no… really! the worst thing you can call someone in italian is “pig-dog” so i am floored laughing! we lived in italy, and my dad to this day says “porco-carni” and we all laugh and pretnd to be shocked. i love you even more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  60. Ah, well.. at least you don’t lose your blog posting monthly using the browser, right? (I love Ecto.)
    I Saw and Held BookBookBook3 today… and put it down, because my copy from Amazon should be here Wednesday. (sniff). In my quick browse, it looks wonderful!

  61. When I was a kid I jabbed myself in the eye lot trying to learn the skill of brushing my hair in the mirror. This is sort of the same. There is no fury like computer mess-up. Most of us have issues with the save thing. I’m looking forward to seeing you in St.Louis!

  62. Ahlala ces ordinateurs…
    Stephanie, I’m reading now ALL your blog from the beginning. March 2004, you posted about the beautiful Snowdrop shawl and its recipiend. You know what? My third child (4 months now) second firstname (sounds rude, is that the right way to say this?) is Flocon. That means, as you may know, as a canadian, snow drop. So I thought :
    1.- It may be a very good idea to knit one Snow Drop Shawl in honor of my Flocon. Very appropriated.
    2.- But this piece of art looks huge when blocked. Will I have the patience to knit it? (Not talking about the time?)
    Idea: Maybe you would love to knit it again for me and my son?
    …Just kidding!
    Encore une petite question: Does the second twin cardigan hide the same green secret? Or did you put another colour inside, for a secret difference between the twins?

  63. It once happened to me two times in a row. With the same post. I was so furious I didn’t publish anything for two days.
    Now I love the auto save feature blogger has. It has saved my butt many times. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  64. Bummer days!
    I bought your latest book Sunday afternoon and finished it Monday morning. Didn’t knit, didn’t cook, didn’t finish the laundry, didn’t get ready to go to work. I loved it, every page! I waas sorry when it ended, but it was just as well, otherwise I’d still be sitting on the sofa in my jammies, reading!

  65. Mercury in retrograde all month long, girlie. It sucks big time.
    On a better note, Amazon shipped Knitting Rules! earlier than expected and it arrived yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚ It is now completely read and giggled over, and I’ve got this really great Irish wool my friend brought back for me – not enough for a sweater, but enough for a smallish shoulder wrap. I’m going to do the wedge thing, I think. Thank you very much!

  66. Bummer, but at least the Software Shark is happy (good one, Lucia!). SS is about to become part of my vocabulary. I’m still impatiently waiting for my reserved copy of Book3.

  67. I have to confess: I work as an IT geek, but I’m on the software end with databases. I wish I could say the software was my knitting but I can’t knit and type at the same time. Working on figuring it out. And I absolutely hate it when a system crashes, and I can’t stop it! My favorite phrase (said very sarcastically when it goes FUBAR): Don’t you just LOVE technology?
    FUBAR = Fouled Up Beyond All Recall/repair
    ps: I can’t wait to get hold of your latest book! Yippee! Something that’s on paper, not to do with computers, and I can knit while I read it!

  68. I was in the house while my computer-wizard sweetheart recovered our friend’s ENTIRE BOOK off her corrupted hard drive. Your blog is great; your book is more important. Listen to me carefully: until the book is physically in bookstores, it is not safe from gremlins, unfortunate events or, even worse, human error. Please become psychotic about backing up your next book, ok? Please?

  69. lol…that just happened to me! I’m usually very good at that but I was a bit distracted today.

  70. Funny thing about words. Once spoken they do good or ill and they are out of our control. Once written and published, the same. Written and unpublished words are a bit like a lost soul. We may think they are gone forever but they will return.

  71. Oh, dear Harlot. I am so sorry, but I know exactly how you feel. The other day I had
    workedworkedworked on a set of Standard Operating Procedures that I am sooo far behind schedule on, and my immediate supervisor — although I do like her personally and admire her on an intelectual level — is one of those Dayrunner people, one of those folks who are all about Productivity and Action Taken, people who can’t immerse themselves in the act of writing and lose track of time, and so she completely did NOT understand the time I got lost in composition and had not saved every ten minutes because I did not set an alarm or timer, and the power went out — why does the computer go “DING” to tell you that you have received and email but does not go “DING” every ten minutes when you are composing to remind you to save your work? Now that would be a damn useful thing for a computer to do.
    AARGH. Yes, I know all the stuff I am supposed to do to avoid Work Lost To Computer Tantrums. But I am also a writer and I lose all track of time when immersed in my work. I look up and “oh, it’s 9:00! And everyone else is gone, and the guard is on his second pot of coffee, and here I am.”

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