three items

November 10th, 2010 | Other Projects

lulu

I just got voted into the Friends of Lulu Hall of Fame. FoL is a national organization whose main purpose is to promote and encourage female readership and participation in the comic book industry.

Giraffecover

If you don’t know Nicole Georges’ work, check it out. She’s a cartoonist who also does pet portraits and every year she does this great animal calendar.

revelriot_godhatesbags

I don’t normally plug stuff to buy but this new LGBT site revel and riot is pretty cool. I love that someone has found a way to not just reclaim but make a buck off the “god hates fags” folks.

56 Responses to “three items”

  1. freyakat says:

    GOD HATES BAGS — superb!

  2. Ruth in RI says:

    Little Lulu Hall of Fame! You have finally made it.

  3. Ruth in RI says:

    Damn it. I meant Friends of Lulu. When you get inducted into the Little Lulu Hall of Fame. That’s when you’ll know you’ve made it.

  4. Swistle says:

    I usually spend a ton of time choosing my office calendar for the next year, but I followed your link and was paying within 2 minutes. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Ian says:

    I’d buy the calendar as it’s gorgeous and the artwork is gorgeous. However, I believe that dressing animals up in human clothing is just plain wrong! There, I said it.

  6. Cathy says:

    Love the bag!

    I was unable to go to the Stewart/Colbert rally because of other plans, but I had thought of attending and carrying a sign that said “God Hates FIGS (Matthew 21: 18-22).” See http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+21%3A18-22&version=NIV

  7. Acilius says:

    Congratulations Alison!

    I wonder which other characters have a Hall of Fame for Friends-of. I for one would recommend steering clear of the Friends of Andy Capp Hall of Fame.

    @Ian: From the look on my beagle’s face when I put a sweater on him, I’d say he shares your opinion.

  8. cd in Madison says:

    Little Lulu was my first crush…..

  9. rinky says:

    Congratulations Alison.

  10. Check out this Female Character Stereotype Flowchart over at Jezebel. In the introduction, they refer to the Bechdek Test. Way cool.
    http://jezebel.com/5661155/flowchart-know-your-stereotypical-female-characters

  11. Marj says:

    Cathy #6 “God Hates Figs” – inspired! AND you can quote a definitive, unambiguous text, which is more than the God Hates Fags lot can do.

  12. Vilnius Gay Person says:

    “God Hates BAGS” that’s pretty funny, extremely witty, maybe the most clever thing I’ve ever seen or heard in years. But in Lithuania it’s not so clear exactly why it’s so funny, can someone explain to a foreigner why it’s funny?

  13. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    @Ian, I am so in agreement with you. The photographer William Wegman takes pictures of weimeraners. When he just shoots the dog, they are gorgeous pictures. When he dresses them in costumes, it’s cruelty to animals. It’s bad enough having to get dressed myself without dressing up creatures of other species.

  14. Diana says:

    Belated congratulations, Alison!
    I was talking to my pal Diana Nock at Minneapolis Fall Con about her nominations. She also made the Hall of Fame and won for Best Children’s Comic. She seemed surprised by the former nomination. “I’m just getting started at this and I’m nominated with ALISON F***ING BECHDEL?”
    Needless to say, I’m tickled you both own. If you’ve not yet read her comic Intrepid Girlbot, give it shot.
    http://jinxville.com/

  15. Olivia says:

    @Therry and St. Jerome #13

    I wholeheartedly agree with the last two sentences of your post.

  16. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Vilnius (#12)

    Sveiki!

    “God Hates Bags” is a parody of a sign typically carried by the homophobic pseudo-Christian Phelps family, which reads “God Hates Fags.” The Phelpses protest the funerals of slain American troops, claiming that they were killed because of the heathen ways of the US Gov’t. They also protest against Jews, LGBT, and just about anything that moves that isn’t a Phelps. They protest at the graduation ceremony of a university where one of our regulars (Kate L) teaches.

    Nearly all of the Phelpses are lawyers, and they use/abuse the legal system to intimidate their opponents, and cash in on monetary settlements resulting from their legal actions. Their so-called church, Westboro Baptist Church, is located in Topeka, Kansas. The founder of the church, Fred Phelps Sr., was disbarred from the practice of law because of his egregious and blatant misuse of the legal system to enrich himself and intimidate opponents.

    Hope that clears things up.

  17. Kate L says:

    Congrats, AB! Hi, everyone! And, hey, it’s great to be back in my own little corner of the LGBT community! Although, since I came out, literally, in support of adding LGBT to the local human rights ordinance a few weeks ago, a woman on the faculty that I have great respect for told me that she was pleased to know that I’m a part of the local lesbian community. I could just cry! Esp. now that I was able to stay on the cipro antibiotic long enough to finish off my bronchitis from hell. I was only on the cipro for 6 of the 7 days recommended, though, because last night I awoke at 4 am broken out into hives. As I watched the hives go down, I idly wondered if my 54-pound harrier hound knew how to open a closed airway. Didn’t come to that, though.

  18. Feminista says:

    @Armistead Maupin (author of the Tales of the City series)fans:

    He’s currently on a U.S. tour for his latest book,Mary Ann in Autumn (in Portland on Friday at,natch,Powell’s)and will be going to a number of cities in the UK. armisteadmaupin.com is his very informative website.

  19. Ian says:

    He’s coming to my city in the UK Feminista, so thank you for alerting me to that! One of the few that isn’t sold out quite yet. I’ll have to ring tomorrow morning and see if I can get a ticket to the Q&A. I’m such an excited fanboy! In the balance of fairness I would be equally excited were AB to grace the doors of my local feminist bookshop.

  20. Marj says:

    Blog hijack: I have decided to broaden my cultural horizons, so last night I went to see the Welsh National Opera perform The Magic Flute. What an extraordinary spectacle! I had expected a fairy-tale setting (woods, trees, magical creatures); I got Magritte, the Orange Order, and a giant lobster.

    My question to our resident opera geeks: Is this normal?

  21. NLC says:

    Marj#20:

    Hi Marj, two points as to how “normal” this:

    1] One small point to remember about “The Magic Flute is that, underneath, it’s not really a fairy tale, but is actually an “encoding” of Masonic rituals (of which Mozart –and most folks of his society– an active member) in the guise of a popular “family” opera.

    2] But probably the more important point is that, yes, this sort of “re-positioning” an opera/classical play/etc is pretty common as the various troupes try to pull in audiences. Things like setting the Ring Cycle as 1920’s Chicago-style gangsters; or Ian McKellan’s production of Richard III as nazis; –that sort of thing.

    (Or to pick an example near to my heart, a few years back the local –and excellent– New England Youth Theater did a production of Shaxepere’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, relocating it from 16th cent Sicily to 19th cent British India –for example, the “troops” who enter at the beginning were returning from a grand Cricket victory– and retitling it as “Much Adoo about Nothing”. In which [ahem] my daughter was a great hit in the role of Don John.)

  22. Ian says:

    In the 90s I saw Eddie Izzard in Marlowe’s Edward II (the revenge). It had been updated so that all the barons were 80s yuppie bankers with ponytails and shiny suits and Isabella was rather more of a Diana figure than probably intended.

    On the downside I also saw an English National Opera production of something or other where for some reason they were all wearing pig masks and in the middle was an elevated revolving circular floor. No idea.

  23. Andi says:

    Uh, oh, I confess. On Halloween I not only dressed up my dog Princess Nellie but I put her pictures up on my blog!

    http://www.BurningDownTheHouseBlog.com

    Am I going to h-e double hockey sticks?

    I just had to take a break from all the Fire Drama in my life, and thus, I did a Wegman. Mea Culpa. However, it was technically a King costume, so I think that makes Nellie a Doggie Drag King. Ya think?

    Marj@20. Giant lobsters? Yep, pretty much sounds like opera to me.

    And God Hates Bags totally made my day! Snerk.
    Congrats Alison. Well deserved.

  24. Fester Bestertester says:

    Andi, Surely you mean
    “seven-seven-three-four-upside-down-and-backwards”?

  25. Andi, hell came and paid you a personal visit, you’re off the hook for a while.

    Just read your most recent essays, about how nature retains scars and loss just as we do, it’s not all a Disney movie. Well, even in Disney movies mothers die and we secretly know that dad king of the forest is going to be a lesser substitute. The real joy in the midst of grief involves letting yourself have the grief. Thanks again for your incredible sharing and wordsmithery.

  26. Ian says:

    It’s ok Andi (#23), you’re obviously suffering from trauma. ;) And Princess Nellie is a gorgeous dog. And that was clearly a king’s crown, so Nellie was obviously making a statement about gender. It’s okay if it’s ironic or making a gender statement.

  27. Andi says:

    Maggie,

    Thanks so much for your comment. It is hell, indeed. And then each day some marvelous, astonishing thing happens. A few weeks ago a total stranger sent me a sizeable check in the mail, with a post-it note that said, “I hope this in some small way helps you rebuild your life.” I had NO IDEA who he was. So there I was, crying in the Post Office over this generous gift from a stranger. This kind of loss plunges you into the very heart of paradox – it is the worst of times, and, in an odd way, it is the best of times, when you experience acts of Love and Kindness that have never been part of your reality before.

    And then there’s my blog, fer Pete’s sake. I write these little e-mails to my friends, and they harangue me until I make them public, which was never my intention. I have never thought of myself as a Writer, though I’ve kept a journal my whole life and written for work (academic and technical stuff.) So there again is the paradox – Losing everything made me find my voice as a writer. Go figure.

    http://www.burningdownthehouseblog.com has been up for less than a month, and it has readers in 13 countries, and 45 states in the US. It’s being nominated for three Westword Web awards; I’ll be in the November issue of Boulder Magazine, and our local NPR station is interviewing me on Tuesday. Did I ever wish for this? No. I was happily ensconced in my quiet mountain home, flying under the radar of life.

    And now I am drifting into the mainstream, and trying to embrace the ride. Publicity for the blog means that other people dealing with grief and loss and Great Change have a place to go and read about their own experience – at least that’s what readers tell me. I’ve heard from so many people around the world – and they say it helps them get through their day, and deal with their own troubles.

    And for me right now, that’s the whole point. In the midst of losing everything, I have to keep giving.

    If folks want to read the blog, you can go here:

    http://www.burningdownthehouseblog.com

    And if you’d like to support it for a Westword Web Award (Best Personal Blog, Best Design, and/or Best Individual Post) you can go here;

    http://polls.westword.com/polls/den/webawards2010/

    Thanks everyone, for your love and support. Knowing that the DTWOF community is in my corner gives me great strength to face the torrent of my daily, post-fire life. Your thoughts and kind wishes are felt, and most appreciated.

    Wishing you a good weekend,

    Andi and Princess Nellie (who is curled up on the couch, wearing nothing but her lovely fur, and sleeping like the Good Dog that she is.)

    [Freed from spam-filter limbo. –Mentor]

  28. Andi says:

    Thanks Maggie!

  29. Feminista says:

    @Andi:I skimmed your blog and voted. All the best to you.

  30. Alex K says:

    @Andi: Lucky you. No, hear me out.

    Nine years ago the top of the front of our house burnt. Fire took the front roof and third storey. Water ruined the front second and first storeys and the cellar. The back? It stood.

    The rebuilding of the front took two and a half years.

    A friend, hearing us whinge a year or so into the rebuilding, said, “Easier to hire a backhoe and to knock down into the cellarhole what was left.” Yes. But, for insurance reasons, we had around our necks the carcass of a smoke-stinking albatross for two and a half years.

    You’re free to hire that backhoe. Lucky you.

  31. Olivia says:

    [comment snipped]

    [um, I don’t know what’s going on here –nor do I particularly care– but this sort of stuff is not tolerated on this blog. I’m not sure what you think has happened, but so far as I’m aware no one has made any response to your posts that merits a response like this. Nor, to be clear, has any posting of yours been been deliberately removed (i.e. before this one).

    I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt here this time; we’ve all had bad days and maybe that’s the case here. Be that as it may, all posts, regardless of content, are welcome here. But, by the same token, all posts will be respectful of other posters and maintain minimal levels of civility. Period.–Mentor]

  32. Dr. Empirical says:

    My sometime employer, Comic Book Resources, has just posted a discussion of sexually explicit comics, including Coleen Coover’s adorable Small Favors and Kishi Torajiro’s psychologically compelling Maka-Maka. Worth checking out, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/11/six-by-6-six-x-rated-comics-you-can-read-without-shame/

  33. Kate L says:

    Each day, I’m a little stronger. I think that I took just as many of the cipro antibiotic tablets that my body could stand without dire consequence, and that appears to have been enough to wipe out my bronchial infection. As always, I try to relate significant events in my life to an episode of Star Trek. Sadly, I don’t know of any Janeway quotes that would be appropriate, but I am reminded of what Captain Jon-Luic Picard said when he was rescued from the Borg hive mind. How did he feel? “Almost human”.

  34. Bee says:

    Congrats!

    Also,
    there’s a band I’m into called Limp Wrist and this is one of their shirt designs: FAGS HATE GOD

  35. Andi says:

    Alex@31

    I do know what you mean. When my house burned down when I was 12 years old, my parents had to rebuild it with parts of the former frame. My bedroom closet smelled like smoke and ashes throughout all of high school. So in that sense, I am lucky. You also get an insurance bonus (and how freaking ironic is this?) if your home is a “total loss.” Yep folks, more money if you are the Biggest Loser. I walked around the piles of ashes and metal with my adjuster and said, “Yep, I think this fits the definition of TOTAL LOSS, don’t you?” Every single thing was incinerated, and there was literally nothing left. Lucky? Hm.

    I had just upgraded my homeowner’s insurance – Lucky. I was out of town when the fire happened and didn’t get to save a single thing – Unlucky. And on and on. The paradox of Lucky/Unlucky.

    Claudia Putnam has a wonderful little essay she wrote a few weeks ago called Lucky/Unlucky, that you can find here http://claudiaputnam.com/2010/10/28/luckyunlucky/#comments

    Right now I reserve the right to feel lucky, unlucky, grateful, and furiously pissed off about this whole thing. It changes by the moment.

    And remember, this is my second time around. Lucky?

    Food for thought.

    Take Care,

    Andi

  36. Andi says:

    PS: Thanks to Feminista, JudyBusy, Ellen O, Maggie J and all the DTWOF folks who voted for my blog. I was just invited as a “nominee” to the Westword Web Awards Ceremony, which is coming up this Thursday.

    So…the envelope please! Fingers crossed.

  37. ksbel6 says:

    @Andi: Good luck! ?

  38. Acilius says:

    I agree with ksbel6- good “luck” to you, Andi! And to you too, Kate, the people I’ve known who’ve taken Cipro have all seemed fantastically miserable.

    @Alex K & Andi- I can see why so many economists are skeptical of insurance, it certainly does create perverse incentives. Not perverse in a fun way, even.

  39. Andrew B says:

    Andi, nice sense of humor. I think everybody concedes you the right to feel fifteen different ways at once.

    This is only tangentially related, but in one of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes strips, Calvin gets himself in trouble by asking his teacher if cannibalism should be a mitigating circumstance in murder trials, since it’s less wasteful. In extreme contexts, our ordinary judgments about better/worse, lucky/unlucky, virtuous/vicious can abruptly veer off in strange directions.

    Best of luck with the Web Award. I’m sure Nellie the dog will be delighted to see you if you win.

    Olivia, I saw your comments before they got clipped. Two responses, unfortunately both from experience:

    1. Alison is very tolerant of people who disagree with her here.

    2. Gotta be careful about hitting that “Post” button when you’re frustrated.

  40. Kate L says:

    Thanks, Acilius. I think I’m lucky to have survived the broncial involvement and then the allergic reaction to the cipro. Also, I’ve not been able to keep up with all the fire news, but I’d like to express my sympathies. My oldest brother and his wife have a cabin up in the foothills of the Rockies, and I’ve often feared a front range-wide fire. Also, the National Research Council has slammed the safety of the National Biological and Agricultural Facility (successor to the Plum Island bioweapons lab) that is currently being built about 1 mile from my back door. Yikes!

  41. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Andi (#36)

    Claudia Putnam’s essay captured yet another side of tragedy, the burden that survivors (or the relatively unscathed) carry, and the guilt they feel both for having been “lucky” and for complaining about whatever troubles they do have. As you noted in one of your recent posts, this is not a Pain Contest. It’s all about personal perspective.

    Claudia’s encounter with the Czech hiker who said he’s “over” losing his house in the fire because, “I spent some time in a refugee camp. When you’ve lost a whole country, and you know you can never go back, a house, well…” really brings the relative nature of tragedy and loss into sharp focus.

    I read one of the articles that Claudia Putnam linked to in her essay, and it had an interview with your neighbor Walter, the Holocaust survivor. He was most pleased that despite having lost everything in the fire, he was able to rescue his computer with his digitized Holocaust photos and his autobiography. I’m sure his experience in the camps has also tempered his view of loss and recovery. Perhaps someone else in her/his 80s who hadn’t survived the horrors of the Nazi regime would have a more difficult time simply letting go. Walter has chosen to let go, because he can’t imagine dealing with the emotional toll of rebuilding and the resurrected memories.

    The other blog that Claudia linked to (in addition to yours) is from Deb Miller, who has “blog envy” of YOUR blog. “What have I learned that Andi hasn’t already written? I’ve learned that I hate the word, the concept, of “victim.” I’ve stayed away from the free store where people donated things to “fire victims.” On the surface I said it was because people who had no insurance and no support system needed those much more than I did. Underneath, it was because I didn’t want that damn label of “victim.””

    As someone far-removed from the Four Mile Canyon fire, I see the Kübler-Ross stages in all the stories I’ve read, but it’s not a clinically-detached and analytic experience. I feel them up-close-and-personal. Such is the power of words. Out of the ashes has come a torrent of honest and heartfelt writing; at the top of the heap, yours.

    Deb Miller finishes her blog post with a thank you to you: “I may be back in hiding by tomorrow or next week. No guarantees. No normal, at least not yet.

    (Thanks, Andi, for helping me to come out of hiding with your words.)”

    Judging from her blog, no matter what the outcome of the Westword Web Awards, you’re already a winner.

    (… goes back to wondering what outfit Nellie will wear to the awards ceremony …)

  42. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Andi, et alia

    N.B. The computer professional in me had two words in mind when I read Walter’s story… “OFF-SITE BACKUP.”

    The “cloud” is an over-hyped marketing thing, but it really does make sense to have critical and irreplaceable digital data stored far away from the physical computer. It’s not just for businesses.

    An online data backup to a hosted webserver somewhere, or a physical copy, even if it means periodically cloning your hard drive or burning data CDs/DVDs and mailing them to someone who lives far away from you, is cheap insurance.

    It’s also very easy (if a bit time-consuming) to scan and digitize important documents and photos, and then store them off-site, so you’ll have SOMETHING in the event of unthinkable disaster, even if the disaster is as simple as a stolen laptop or irretrievably-crashed hard drive, instead of wholesale incineration of your life’s posessions.

    (… end of professional mode, goes back to her quick lunch between seminars …)

  43. Alex K says:

    @31 / Andi: “Pissed off” is ALWAYS appropriate.

  44. Alex K says:

    Oh, hell. How self-referential can you get? NOT @31 / Andi, @36 / Andi.

    And I read your blog, entry by entry, with more and more recognition and sympathy.

    I think of what was lost. But Elizabeth Bishop took care of that for me.

  45. Acilius says:

    @h_o_h #42: ““I spent some time in a refugee camp. When you’ve lost a whole country, and you know you can never go back, a house, well…” really brings the relative nature of tragedy and loss into sharp focus.”

    Well yeah, but come on, it’s still awful to have your house burn down and your library with it. Compared to the Holocaust, not so bad. Compared to what you might reasonably have expected from life at that point, soul crushing.

  46. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Acilius (#46)

    Exactly. That’s why Andi’s blog post about this not being a “Pain Contest” spoke to me. I have a backstory… someone in my life who is dealing with catastrophic illness of a loved one. For years, I felt that I could never voice any concerns about my life to this person, because in that context of awfulness, whatever I was dealing with at the moment was surely not as awful. It didn’t help that the “my pain is worse than your pain, so shut up” card was played regularly. It was not good for me or the relationship. Andi’s observation about the relativity of pain seems lightyears more evolved and insightful.

    And so it goes…

  47. It’s not just the extent of pain and loss, it’s also that individual’s ability to cope with it. Which is why kindness is always a good idea, why comparison and attempts to “make sense” of it for someone else will usually fail. Just say “my god that’s awful, tell me about it” and listen, bear witness, and you will have a profound connection.

    Some amazing writing about these ideas is being produced out there and being linked to/referenced here. I feel grateful for it.

  48. Anonymous says:

    woo hoo andi!

  49. Andi says:

    Thanks for the great discussion everyone, and for letting me know about Deb Miller’s blog (another Fire Person’s blog, Yay!)

    Someone having blog envy is ironic – I didn’t want to start a blog. I hated the very idea. I used to tease my friends that “blog” sounded like throwing up, “Ooooh, BLOG!” And then I started writing these emails to my friends after the fire, and my friend Beth Hayden (shameless plug for her here http://bloggingwithbeth.com/) convinced me to share my stories by putting up a blog.

    And here was the clincher – She said, “I’m going to build you a beautiful house to write in.” That made me cry, which was good, so I said Yes. Being homeless and displaced, a beautiful house to write in sounded wonderful. And it is. I am grateful every day to her that she gently pushed me over the cliff into the Blogosphere. And the free fall is not as disorienting as I anticipated – in fact, it’s rather gentle. Who knew?

    Who knew that by hitting the “Publish” button on a screen in WordPress that I could send my thoughts and love and stories out into space, and people around the world would want to read them? Who knew that people would write to me on a daily basis to tell me how my words help them through their difficult days? Who knew that when my “real” house burned down, my “virtual” house would become so beautiful, so meaningful? Who knew that you all would cheer for me, rage for me, and tell me you’re glad I jumped into cyber-space with you? Who the heck knew.

    Another strange Gift of Fire. Whew.

    So thanks for listening, and writing your thoughtful comments, and for going along with me on this ride. As you can tell, it’s a doozy.

    Take Good Care,

    Andi

  50. NLC says:

    HOH@43: re: Off-site backup

    A cheap-y way of doing this (assuming you don’t need to back up everything on your harddrive and your willing to do a tiny bit more work that using an on-line service –and assuming you remember to do it) is to use a thumb-drive/memory-stick and keep it, say, in the glove compartment of your car.

    Or get two (they’re getting pretty cheap; the Staples here in town regular has 8gig thumb-drives for well under $20) and each time you go out to your car, take one to the car and bring the other one back in.

  51. hairball_of_hope says:

    @NLC (#51)

    If one is only concerned about a small amount of data, or perhaps the daily incremental backup, a set of flash drives works fine. The glove box, however, is a terrible idea (even if the drive is encrypted with TrueCrypt to deter sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands).

    Aside from the obvious problem that one’s car and one’s home/business are in the same general location, subject to the same flood/fire/natural disaster threats, the car is especially prone to outright theft, or at a minimum, being broken into and having its contents stolen, including the aforementioned data backup.

    I go through at least one or two door or trunk locks a year, and a broken window about every 2-3 years, when the creeps break into the car. I’ve lost count how many times the car has been broken into. I actually have a set of door and trunk cylinders already keyed and ready to be installed, and at this stage of my life, I can take apart a car door and replace the lock in under an hour.

    Gone are the days when I kept good tools and flashlights in the car. I opt for the cheapish Chinese socket set and LED flashlights, so it’s no great loss when they get stolen. I do keep a good set of jumper cables, however (the cheap ones don’t work particularly well beyond one or two jumps), thus I do get pissed off when I have to replace them.

    Also, 8Gb is a laughable amount of data storage in my universe. I just pulled out the flash drives in my pocket, I have a 32Gb, two 16Gb, one 4Gb, and a couple of smaller freebies that came preloaded with training material on them. And that’s just the typical traveling stuff in my pocket, I carry along a bunch more with specialized applications (e.g. bootable live USB drives) for various jobs as the need arises.

    I have data storage needs in the multi-terabyte range. I have what’s called in the computer world “bare metal backup.” “Bare metal” means being able to restore a system to perfect functional condition to a blank hard drive(s) (the “bare metal”). I clone hard drives (drives are really cheap these days), it’s fast and easy. I store the backups in media safes.

    I have a few small media safes for onsite storage. A media safe is Underwriter’s Laboratory rated to keep the contents below 125 deg F for X period of time with the outside temp 2000 deg F, mine are 1-hour safes, you can get them up to 3 hour rating. A safe UL rated for paper records keeps the contents below 350 deg F, which is way too high for data storage or photographic media. Real media safes are heavy, expensive, and worth every penny. I opted for the redundant small safes because they are somewhat transportable as these things go (about 70lbs empty, exterior is about the size of a small ice chest, the interior space is about the size of a six-pack of beer, on a wheeled trolley).

    Off-site storage can be really simple, e.g. mailing a backup set to someone else in another location on a regular basis. Also easily-doable and cheap is using website hosting storage, and FTPing files to your non-public area. Just make sure all your off-site backups are properly encrypted (e.g. TrueCrypt).

    The most important part of any backup system (aside from doing them regularly), is to periodically test out restoring data. You don’t want to find out that your backups are unusable, or don’t have the data you thought they did, just when you need them most. That’s why I love the bare metal backups; I have my drives in removable racks (except for laptops). Power down, swap racks, power up, and I’m in business. Easy to test, easy to maintain, easy to recover from any disaster or “ooops.”

    End of geeky proselytizing for backups.

    (… goes back to backing up her backups, ad infinitum …)

  52. Andrew B says:

    hoh, you provide a nice example of how backup strategies have to include a realistic evaluation of threats. I live in the same general region as NLC (across the Connecticut). Yesterday I left my car with the trunk down but unlatched, for about an hour and a half, in a public parking lot between the back of a church and the local skate park. When I came back and discovered what I’d done, nothing in the trunk had been touched. I park my car over night in the driveway away from the house, so a house fire wouldn’t touch it, and large wildfires and other natural disasters are almost unknown here. My glove compartment is very safe.

    Other people need to consider how safe their cars are, in their regions.

    Do you have any solid information on how secure the online sites are? If I were a pro data thief, I’d much rather break into an online backup site than screw around with a thumb drive that some kid stole out of somebody’s car. And if the thumb drive is gone, you know it’s gone and can take precautions. You won’t have any idea if your online site has been broken into until you start having problems.

    As for 8 gigs, I suspect NLC was thinking of backing up your own work, not backing up systems.

    Some backup is practically always better than no backup. You make interesting points about your needs as an IT pro, but at the risk of making it all sound too complicated for us ordinary schmoes.

  53. ksbel6 says:

    off-topic: I’m attending a Youth Empowerment Summit on Saturday and I’m very excited. It is a chance to see how kids around my state are doing things to prevent bullying and hate in our schools.

  54. MaggieGrace says:

    @ksbel6,
    Bullying is so unacceptable. Unfortunately, My first grandchild just started kindergarten this year. She’s in a public school that has signs all over the place that bullying is not tolerated.
    The bad news is that she has become a bully. This girl is so bright and so smart but because my daughter and son in law are going through a divorce, she’s responding in an unacceptable way.
    We’ve grounded her from everything that she loves and we’re trying our hardest to get her to understand what’s going on. It’s not easy and it’s a long road ahead of us that are reaching out to her. I’m on both sides in this issue and it isn’t pleasant.

  55. Kate L says:

    Secretary of Health and Human Services (and former two-term Kansas governor) Kathleen Sebelius will be speaking at Moo U on November 29. This may bring out the anti-health care and pro-torches and pitchforks crowd, even though Sebelius is one of the most popular politicians in recent state history. Also, her speech is just a few days before the folk against adding LGBT to the local human rights ordinance will hold a save-us-from-gays-and-lesbians rally at the Moo U student union building. Stay tuned. I think that Smallville is about to live in interesting times!