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This is a question My most treasured possession

What's your most treasured possession? What would you rescue from a fire (be it for sentimental or purely financial reasons)?

My Great-Uncle left me his visitors book which along with boring people like the Queen and Harold Wilson has Spike Milligan's signature in it. It's all loopy.

Either that or my Grandfather's swords.

(, Thu 8 May 2008, 12:38)
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This question is now closed.

Wedding rings etc.
A lot of people have been talking about rings - wedding, engagement and other sorts. This reminded me that last week when I was in Prague, I was looking through the mineralogy section in the Czech national museum. I saw an example of an Australian opal stone and decided there and then that when I get married, I'm getting a ring with an opal in it.

Do you have any ideas on what your ideal vision of a wedding ring should be?
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 11:37, 18 replies)
Whilst at uni...
We had the usual share of false fire alarms in our first year, living in Uni halls 'twas expected...

After a fair few annoying, early-morning ones, people became used to ignoring the alarms and even disconnecting them...

Then, as fate would have it - one day the alarms were going off for longer than usual, so we all trudged out in various states of undress, me in just shorts and a vest!

Upon leaving the building we realise this is actually a fire, with an ever increasing group of students stood opposite the building watching with excitement as smoke billowed out of a top floor kitchen window. This just seemed like a laugh and a joke to most, everyone had been accounted for and we were just waiting to be allowed back in; however within half an hour, the whole top floor was in flames and everyone was starting to look a little bit worried, considering we had nothing with us to save.

We all spent the night in various uni building/friends houses/hotels for 4 nights with absolutely nothing but what we had on us, after 4 days we were allowed back in but we could only take as much as we could carry!

Most of the girls were after their contraceptive pills, no doubt to get back into the first year traditions, as well as makeup and clothes...

Me, I went straight back in, toothbrush, boxers, ps2 and freshly acquired GTA:SA that i had just started as the alarm went off... Back to the hotel (paid for by the uni) and spent the rest of the time ignoring the advances of my flatmate who i was sharing a room with who later binned me off!

Good times...


***turned out it was 2 students who set off a firework that came straight back into the rafters and started the fire. they were arrested and had to pay for the damage, rumours going around it was £80k!***
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 11:35, Reply)
On the subject of data loss
One of my customers has an old Novell server on which the hard drive has failed.

The last backup of their data was 2 years ago.

The drive is currently in the freezer, which has worked for me before - only problem being that if it does work, I don't know enough about Novell to copy the files off in the short time that the drive is still working.

So basically, to sum it up, they're fucked. Back up your files, folks.

(Sorry to hijack the QOTW, but does anyone know, perchance, how to mount a Novell drive under Windows?)
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 11:04, 6 replies)
digital preservation
a.k.a. backing things up.

A few people have posted about the fear of losing digital data. Here's a scary bit of info that I've mentioned in passing before, but it bears repeating because it scared the bejesus out of me: digital information lasts about five years.

Aye, within five years of creating those cutsey photos of your gerbil/goat/child/other half's genitals your digital data will need to be migrated (e.g. moved to a new computer) or updated (so it can be accessed via newer versions of software). Backing it up on CDs/DVDs is not foolproof or futureproof - they disintegrate quite quickly. Think also of the quality of what you create and how capture technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last few decades.

If you want to make sure your digital photos will last, make hardcopy prints of them. Digital photography is convenient and quick and has opened the market hugely to amateurs, but there's a reason the pros still use film (generally better quality being the main one).

One nice way of preserving things is sticking them online and hoping that dissemination will do the trick, or that the servers won't disappear.

If that doesn't alarm you, have a slight panic at the data crisis that could well emerge in the not-to-distant future. We're recording a helluva lot of information - written (takes up a small space), photos (slightly more), video (too much for my liking). Everyone is creating content these days (and the frickin' BBC website and the suchlike actively encourage this shit from their illiterate, opinionated wannabe contributers). Just how much content can we store?

Five years 'til digital obsolescence was the figure calculated a few years ago. It's possibly even less now. The more disposable our belongings become, the more disposable the information becomes.
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 10:12, 41 replies)
My 200kg anvil
It's been in the house for as long as anyone can remember. Indeed, the house was built around it. Though it wouldn't be damaged by a fire, I'd hate to see it blackened and charred.

As a consequence, I have laid out a pathway of greased logs across my carpet, a pivot and a steel ramp so that in the event of a fire, I'll be able to kick the anvil on to the ramp, pivot it on to the logs and roll it directly out of the front or back door.

Many people have said that an anvil is a curious thing to save from a fire, but they usually don't realise that the sword of King Arthur - the mighty Excalibur - is embedded in the steel and has been for eons stretching back into the time of myth. Legend has it that whomsoever pulls the sword will become king of the realm. Oh, I've tried! But to no avail. Nor has the never-ending queue of knights in armour been able to do anything about it.

If that wasn't bad enough, there's a samurai sword in it, too. Legend has it that whomsoever pulls the sword will become Katana Judoku Kan - the Overlord of the Samurai and ruler of all Japan. I tell you, the number of Sunday mornings I've been got out of bed by little guys in leather armour and ornate carved face masks wanting to have a pull at the sword. Most of them don't speak a word of English and they get tetchy if you tell them to piss off. One of them had the cat's leg of with his sword.

I need hardly mention the Viking sword of Edragar, the Claymore of McWalkers, the Gladius of Magnanimus, the Cutlass of Maltoon or the Sabre of the Mogol Hordes. That anvil is like a bloody porcupine of notorious mythical swords - none of which anyone can pull out. Some days they're queuing round the block, rattling armour and chattering in extinct languages about how they're going to rule the known world. I've had letters from the council about it. Just last week a Mongol horder diced Mrs Buttucks as she tried to gain access to the Co-Op.

What can you do? I'm the guardian of the anvil. It's something to put on your CV.
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 9:41, 12 replies)
I have just had one of those moments where you think about all your treasured possesions and whats going to happen to them after you have gone.

I was in Manchester Airport, enjoying a beer at the airport bar when a muslim bloke walked in and yelled Allah, Allah, Allah.... (This is where I had that moment).... I'll have a coke and a packet of ready salted please

Stuttering bugger, I shit myself

(Gets coat)
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 9:31, 2 replies)
Gary Coleman

He'd probably sleep through the whole thing, bless.
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 8:50, Reply)
I'd save
A small box containing an early cine film of Charlie Chaplin testing out his'tramp' routine (before he became well known). It was left to me by my uncle, in a carrier bag of Elvis records and Laurel & Hardy films. It's so rare there are only the scantest references to it on the net (and it's not even on Chaplin's IMDB as he was so young and only fleetingly mentioned in the credits!)

...that said, I'd absolutely leave my DVD of Peter Jackson's 2005 'epic' King Kong. In fact I'd pour a bit of lighter fluid on it to make sure the fucking thing burned!
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 8:45, Reply)
British Passport
If theres one thing I've learned about this world, its what the British Passport allows you to do. People winge and complain that they cost £75 or whatever to get now, yet there are literally millions of people out there who would kill to get one. Most brits do not know quite how fortunate they are to have one of these. This little book with your photo on it almost allows you to travel anywhere, and stay in any european country. It is that internationally recognised proof that we are British and grants you rights above most other nations.
I would not be where I am in life today if it wasn't for my passport.
I cross a border every day to get to work, and literally sail through where as many other people I know daren't even go anywhere near that border - and this is 1600 miles away from the UK.

My British citizenship would be the first thing I'd save in a fire! Sorry for the lack of humour, but those who think their mobile phone is a cherished posession havnt got a clue.
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 7:33, 15 replies)
New favourite thing...
I wasn't going to bother posting on this QOTW as my Navman, PDA, mp3 player, laptop etc are all too obvious...

...but my nine year old daughter made this rather large painting for my birthday (yesterday) and I'd grab this from it's pride of place on the wall before any of those easily replaceable electronic gadgets.
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 6:04, 10 replies)
So far
I've collected 14 peoples souls , which they exchanged for beers , packets of crisps and all sorted nibbles.
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 1:49, 2 replies)
I don't think I have a treasured possession...
My car, possibly... I've just bought an old Japanese sports car and I love it to bits, but at the end of the day it's just a car, it hasn't got a name (or a gender). If it got written off or stolen I'd be gutted but it's insured and I could probably find another one, although I may have to wait for a while.

And my guitars, love them to bits though I do, are just bits of wood with strings on. I have a friend who insists on naming all his guitars, but my reply to his "What's she called?" when he first saw my Vampirella Mockingbird was "It's not called anything, it's a guitar."
(, Wed 14 May 2008, 1:18, 4 replies)
My treasured possessions...

Well, it'd be my passport. I travel weekly to madrid / other places so i'd be lost without that.

A bit off topic, but a while back i lost my wallet on the london underground. It contained my first ever letter from my girlfriend. It's such a simple thing, yet i was quite pissed off about it. Sod the money and the cards.
I now have photocopies of the letters stored in my wallet and the originals in a folder at home. So i guess i'd save that.

As for the computer data thing. I currently have two off-site servers of my own. One based in chicago and the other in Amsterdam. All three sites (that's including my home servers too) run nightly backups to each other of critical information. (2.09GB was last night's). Loss of information isn't really a worry, as all my file servers run RAID5 and are backed up. Me? Nerd? pah.

Well, apologies for the bad spelling / grammar, it's 11pm and i'm tired.

Goodnight y'all.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 23:01, Reply)
I know these will sound stupid
I have two things, my cat and my cactus.

My cat because she's fucking ace, and my cactus because its one of the first things ive taken care of on my own (apart from the previously mentiond cat) that hasn't died, so im quite proud of it.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 21:57, 1 reply)
Transistor Radio
In 1962, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, my dad bought this orange, purse-sized AM transistor radio to help our family survive after Nuclear Armageddon. Over the years, instead of bringing depressing official information about radiation and fallout, that radio proved superb at catching broadcasts from distant cities, sometimes more than a thousand miles away. Falling grain prices, remote traffic jams, weird science facts, new music: just a turn of the dial! That radio was - is - the best ever!
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 21:52, Reply)
Not that you can tell from my posts but...
I am a writer!

Well, I'm working on it...
...when I'm not engaging in heavy drinking and running riot because I cannot sleep.
See? I told you I was a writer! F. Scott and Ella Fitzgerald have nothing on me!

It goes without saying, then, that I would take everything I've ever written, which is conveniently locked in a large steamer trunk in my bedroom. It contains piles of short stories, notebooks, dream journals, diaries, love letters and assorted junk, like the pink slip I got in high school when I was suspended for refusing to dump out the cup of coffee that I was drinking. Of course, I would have to grab my laptop as well, because it contains about one-fifth of a novel I am working on and those six chapters do not exist anywhere else in the world.

Eek. Is it just me, or is this post paranoia-inducing? I'm going to go home and back up my hard drive...
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 21:48, 6 replies)
If my house was on fire
I would grab the fire extinguisher.

Because it's signed by Keith Richards.

(, Tue 13 May 2008, 21:28, Reply)
My dignity.
Unfortunately, an ex stole it.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 21:18, Reply)
You know, Stephen Frye's buttock, well half of the right one anyway, brought up something that I really hadnt thought about:

I used to work in Washington, DC. 4 blocks from the White House. In my office desk, I kept a Saratoga Suit (NBC - Nuke, Bio, Chem warfare suit), my Draeger Gas Mask and my Kevlar helmet. I had them all in a gym bag to be 'opened in event of an emergency'. This was PRIME time too: it was about a year and a half after September 11th.

I STILL have that bag loaded up, sitting in the closet by the front door. So I guess, as I was careening through the house to exit through the front door, I would grab it in one hand and have the World Trade Center ID in the other.

So, while it may not be as extensive as Stephen Frye's buttock, it would have been enough to get me out of DC through the security details/checkpoints.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 21:18, 1 reply)
Yeah, I'm boring.
I'd just unplug and take my computer. My answer would've been my iPod (which I use to backup all my data) but the screen got broken a few days ago.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 19:09, Reply)
My letter....
I would save the thing that was the most precious to me for ages. A bit of history first....When I was a young indie-pop kid, Manics were everywhere in the music papers - You Love Us on the radio, I had Culture Slut spray-painted on my school shirt...those were the days...
Anyhoo, I digress. I read a piece in the NME or Melody Maker where they were being all pessimistic and nihilistic and I sympathised with them, going through a tough time myself. I was spurred on to write them a letter, a real pep-talk of a letter telling them how much they meant to me etc and I got a reply a few days later saying:
Larissa, take care, Richey. xxx

Soon after he went missing and not long after that so did my letter from him.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 18:56, Reply)
I don't have any treasured possessions.
When it comes to objects I am superficial and fickle.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 18:47, Reply)
the beautiful things god gave us to destroy things we don't really like
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 18:25, 1 reply)
No point saving my cats, they probably set the fire in the first place.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 17:57, Reply)
seeing as we're now blatantly lying
I'd save the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, which were given to my grandfather Tripitaka by the Magic Monkey King one day when he was bringing some Buddhist scriptures from India to China.

I believe they're quite rare.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 17:04, 12 replies)
I think I'd also try to keep hold of
Sherlock Holmes's magnifying glass.

It was left to me by my great-great uncle when he shuffled off this mortal coil. It had been passed down to him as he used to work for Dr.Watson on a Saturday - cleaning his car.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:43, 3 replies)
Or of course....
.... my beloved sprinkler system left to me by my dear departed (etc etc)
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:26, Reply)

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