There are some things in life I don’t understand. Truthfully, there’s a whole load of things I don’t understand but that goes without saying.

For instance, I have a travel mug from Starbucks. It’s stainless steel, trimmed with brown plastic, and has a leather piece that goes around the middle and snaps together. I know a thing or two about leather; it stretches and it comes from cows.  See, I know it can stretch. What I don’t understand is how the leather around  my stainless steel coffee mug. I don’t remove it except when I’m washing it and when I put it back on it’s not like I have to strain to get it around the middle. I’m fairly sure the mug hasn’t gained weight or inches around the middle. Yet, if left to its own devices the leather strap will eventually get big and fall down. How does that happen?

A couple of years ago (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long) I bought a Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4. For those not “in the know,” it’s a box that fits up to 4 hard drives in it and sits on your network. You can use it to save things to and, supposedly, keep your data safe.

For instance, if you have two or three hard drives in there then one of those drives can go bad and you still get to keep your data. Lose two and you’re out of luck. I don’t know if you can lose two drives if you have four in there; I never got up to putting all four drives in.

Anyway, the point is you can save all your stuff on there and be secure in the knowledge that as long as you don’t lose a bunch of hard drives at one time then you should always be able to get your stuff back.

I use mine to hold all the photographs I take, the music I rip from my CDs before I lose them, and movies from my DVDs before I lose those, too.

Which is why it’s such a travesty to report that my Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4 has kicked the bucket. It does manage to turn on every once in a while, but it’s now convinced that the three hard drives it contains have no data at all.

This upsets me. This upsets me because the reason why I bought the thing was to make sure I still had my data in case something went wrong. And now, it appears that my data is gone. Although I’m reasonably sure it isn’t, it’s just that the box doesn’t want to find it. I’m waiting for Netgear support to ask me if I have a backup because I’ll probably flip my lid. This thing is my backup. I don’t have another 6TB device to save data on to. Well, Blu-ray, I guess. I suppose I could do that.

But even optical media doesn’t last forever. You’d think it would, if it were safe and didn’t get scratched up or used for frisbee practice.

Nothing lasts forever; that’s a fact. Jack.