I got my old computer back today. They slapped a new hard drive into the laptop and it works like new - literally new, there's nothing on it, none of my programs and none of my old files, just lots and lots of unused disk space (1 terabyte to be precise).
However, it's slowly dawning on me that all is not quite as lost as I had thought. As I mentioned yesterday, I can start re-scanning my old photos again (oh boy, another time-wasting project!) but more importantly, most of the best of my old digital photographs have been posted right here on this very blog since 2004. I used to use a lot of "found" imagery here, but even then, if I had traveled or took a particularly interesting picture, it got posted here. I've still lost a lot, but I've been posting my favorite pictures right here for almost 12 years now, and there's no reason I can't begin another time-wasting project and start downloading those pics that I had previously uploaded.
I've also burned a lot of MP3 music to CD for listening to in my car ("fair use," man!) and while I don't have everything on CD, it's the stuff I liked the most that I wanted in my car, so the best is still recoverable. I'm listening to my old beloved Sung Tongs (2003) by Animal Collective right now.
The tree's still up. I got a bid back from only one of the three contractors who looked at the tree yesterday, and he wants $8,500 to just remove the branches hanging over my house and to cut the trunk down to the same height as its distance to the house. Anything lower that that would be too heavy to carry away. That would effectively kill the tree and it will most certainly fall eventually, but when it does it will be too short to hit me. It feels like a temporary solution, kicking the can down the road if you will, but it may be my only option, although one that could spare me and my house grievous injury.
I walked a couple of miles on the Eastside Beltline Trail today (I live near the Westside trail). It's a very different experience - while near me the trail runs mostly through residential neighborhoods, the Eastside trail runs through a mixed-use commercial area, and there are abundant shops, restaurants, taverns, and townhomes popping up all along the trail. Most interesting to me, though, was that the trail connects parts of town I never realized were so close to each other, as before the trail, my automobile route to The Masquerade, say, on North Avenue went nowhere remotely near, say, Freedom Park off North Highland, but in crow-flying reality they're less than a mile apart.
Sort of makes me look at things differently.