Friday, November 18, 2005

Lessons Learned

Lesson #1 – Make Backups!

Earlier this week Mr. P bought a 250 GB external hard drive since I had managed to fill up the 80GB one we got just last year. He had not even had a chance to install the new hard drive when the 80GB drive went poof. Now we are looking at recovery costs for 80GB of photos and video. Luckily we have most all our photos backed up on DVD and on Smugmug.com. And I always keep the original DV tape of all our video. So I think the real losses are very minimal. But I do not look forward to uploading all the video again. Does anyone have any better backup ideas? A DVD is good for photos and data, but way to small for all our un-edited video footage. Plus I would like to have a backup we can store out of the house in case of (god-forbid) fire. Update: seems it will cost over €400 to try to recover the data on the hard drive. Since we have almost everything backed up I will just have to declare the rest a loss.

Lesson #2 – Sometimes it is better just to lie

This is a lesson for my mother. She always taught us to tell the truth, and most of the times the truth is best. However, mom, sometimes it is better just to lie. Like when you send a package to us with Christmas gifts, please do not declare the true value of all items in the box, and NEVER mention you are shipping DVDs. We just had to pay €26.50 in taxes for our own Christmas gifts. European governments want you to shop in Europe, not in America, so when they see you are sending children’s toys, books and DVDs from America, they tax! Especially with DVDs. Importing DVDs, for some strange reason (which goes along with the fact DVDs have different region settings), is a big no-no, including extra fines. That is over 16% tax on every cent you declared. So next time make up something and say it is worth only $20. Didn’t you learn your lesson last year when you told the customs guy upon re-entering California that you had tulip bulbs in your bag? He took them away didn’t he? Now if you had just fibbed, you would have nice tulips in your garden, not his wife.

posted by Laura @ 7:01 AM   2 comments