James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

My life in a bag

My life in a bag

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I have became a crime statistic.
It was only a bag. And I didn’t realize the significance it had until it was gone. Jerry gave out laptop bags as a thank you: working with him and that group of people was the best aspect of that stage of my life, so the bag itself embodied a happy memory. On one of my diving trips it picked up a sticker going through security; I never peeled it off and that too was a reminder of happy times. My web cam lived in the front pocket – Peter gave me that as a thank you for helping out on a Unified communications tour in Asia: just being asked to do that made me feel like I was someone again after my self-esteem had taken a pounding. I gave away better webcams because I liked having that one with me. My presenter mouse lived beside the webcam and that too had been a thank-you gift. Was it Slovenia? or was it Belgium? Both involved crazy travel and I’m sure both gave me the mouse with a laser inside. I gave one away as a prize and kept the other – which reminded me of both trips. In the top pocket was a collection of USB connectors I’d built up of the years, a set of headphones with a bullet mic I’d picked up at one of our events and the comfortable headphones which I’d had for 4 or 5 years.  Then there were memory sticks – I’ve never bought one and each of those had their story.

In the main pocket was my laptop: a 2 ½ year old Dell which had seen better days. I care less about the thieving bastards getting that loyal old workhorse than the sticker on it saying “well done”. That came from a supply teacher at my daughter’s school: she had expected to find PowerPoint on the computer in the classroom but it wasn’t there, and I conjured up a copy of the PowerPoint viewer: another good memory. And I’m cross as hell they got the memory card from my camera which was still plugged into the laptop. I’m not sure which pictures were only on the laptop or the card and nowhere else: those memories are gone.

What makes me crosser still is the vermin took my fleece. It was a crappy give away fleece: I guess they were hoping for something in the pocket – my battered old phone wouldn’t have been worth much, but I had that with me, along with all my cash and credit cards. They got my keys, which is pretty inconvenient (as I typed the draft of this, a locksmith was getting to work just in case they work out where I live – replacing car keys is even more hassle), but in the other pocket was my Microsoft security badge. If you’ve seen me wearing my badge there’s about 50:50 chance you saw the side which said Yoda. Lorie got those badges for a group of us who were known as her Jedi. It was a talking point, an ice breaker, and yes, the embodiment of a memory. A little oblong bit of cheap plastic is really the thing I’m most upset about losing.

Moral of the story ? There isn’t one really. Even at Microsoft event someone can walk in and steal something while your back is turned... Using bit locker reduces the data risk in these cases ... the thing that amazes me is how much of my life was in one bag.  I wish I could adapt that Shakespeare quote about stealing someone’s good name , the one which begins  Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands; but I can’t. I just needed to write about that sense of loss. Thanks for reading.



Comments
  • That really sucks James, there is a lot of lack of respect out there and yes you would think that at a Microsoft event it would attract a better class of people. Sadly some people have no morals at all. You just hope it will catch up with whoever did it, doesnt compensate for the loss though.

  • What sad news. I had a similar thing happen to me a couple of years ago.

    The worst bit is knowing that all of the objects that hold a special place in your heart are the ones that the thieves will probably chuck in a bin.

  • Bad times

    Totally understand

    Some things like keys, money and cards are just that "things" that can easily be replaced

    It's "stuff" that can't be replaced..i'm the same and have a bag with "MY stuff" in that i'd be gutted if i lost them

    What goes around usually comes around so whoever did take your bag will have bad things happen to them sometime soon

  • Happens to the best of us. Sorry to hear about it.

    ...a loyal reader from Slovenia.

  • Thanks for the comments. I spoke to a policeman from a different part of the country, he said they find a surprising number of these things because when they catch someone and search their home they often find more stolen property. Not holding out too much hope though.

  • Gutting for you James. Can't believe it got stolen at an event.

  • I'm sorry to hear about that...totally out of order. Hope you get your stuff back :-)

  • SH*t, sh*t, sh*t.

    It's the violation and 'taking' of something that's valued by you. I was burgled many years ago and they emptied-out my Olympus OM2 kit.

    Thay are only things, but they are yours, an expression of you. That's why it's so sh*t.

    This moment, I'm with you.

  • Really sorry to hear about this James. Hint from someone who was mugged nearly 20yrs ago - don't underestimate the emotional impact of such an "invasion" into your life. You're in our thoughts & prayers. Andy & Sally

  • sorry to hear that james....the scum will get there comeuppance!

    altho no consolation, they may have take your tangible possesions, but the one thing they cant take is your knowledge...which is priceless.

    take care, Naz

  • That was pretty heartfelt and esp. coming from someone who for me was one of the highlights of the day. Lets hope the culprit realises this does the community no favours and gets it back to you somehow... maybe you should indicate how this can be done.

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