This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Intel.
Disclosure: Some weeks ago, BlogHer and Intel offered the opportunity to review the new Intel® Core™ i5 processor, wrapped up inside a new laptop and a really cool Intel® Wireless Display (a.k.a. WiDi) that I would get to keep. Read on and you’ll see why I was happy to do it. Then stay tuned next week for the actual review.
Life hasn’t been the same since September, when everything changed in an instant. Many of you know the reason for that. On one hand, so many things have been simplified for us. Less clothes to wash, no more of the usual clutter lying around, no growing stacks of old papers to put in their respective folders, and no more of those periodic basement and attic cleanings. It’s quite nice not to have to spend my free time tidying up. On the other hand, our days are now filled with new tasks—more pressing, time-sensitive demands—and a more urgent need for organization.
Within days of the fire, we were given a folder of information to help us with our insurance claim process. One of the first things our insurance agent told us was to start making a list of all the items we lost. We all knew this would be a monstrous list, but even monsters have to start somewhere. So, using a pad of paper given to us by our agent, I started listing everything that came to mind. Which, in my case, naturally meant I started with my camera equipment and the contents of our kitchen.
Then we started filling out pre-printed forms provided to us by our insurance agent. It wasn’t a simple matter of listing items; for each item, you have to indicate when and where you purchased it, the purchase price, and today’s cost if you were to replace the item. (I heard a long sigh there. Wait. That was me.)
Thinking that it might go a little faster if we worked on it together, we started listing items in our shed, since all three of us knew the contents of that area. It quickly grew to 4 pages, and we weren’t done yet. And that was just the shed.
It’s a daunting task. I can’t remember when or where I bought many of my favorite shoes and clothes. We still have wedding gifts that we stored away, not wanting them to break or saving them for a special occasion. How many different table napkins did I have? Bath towels? What were the books in our shelves?
There is something surreal about every single possession you have being reduced to a list, documented on a pile of forms. Writing them down to say that they existed, knowing nothing will bring them back. And it’s not something you attack from one section of the house to another. No, you don’t even go from one room to the next. You sit, take a deep breath, and in your mind, you open the top drawer of the corner table in your topmost, leftmost room, and start from there.
For us, that would be my nightstand. And I know I won’t be able to remember every shirt, every sweater, every sock that was in those drawers.
When you experience this kind of loss, suddenly, all the worst possible scenarios become less unlikely. I think to myself now that if tragedy strikes once, it can certainly strike again. There are things you never imagine would ever happen to you, but once they do, it gives you a new sense of vulnerability. And as we continued building these lists and spending painful hours writing everything down, it occurred to us that we’d be better off doing this on a spreadsheet. What if something happens and all these forms are lost? I couldn’t bear the thought of having to start the list from scratch all over again.
By this time, my mom had loaned us her laptop, so we were able to upload a spreadsheet to Google Documents. We‘d take turns editing whenever anyone had a spare moment, and slowly we started building our home inventory, confident that there will always be an online backup file just in case.
It’s been a slow process, but we’re plugging away.
And so, instead of my former chore of picking up clutter, now I’m trying my best to remember what that clutter was, where I bought it, when, and for how much. It’s time-consuming and energy-consuming. And we need to get all this done while still keeping up with other responsibilities that need to continue, as well as additional items on our to-do list. Like getting more replacement identification documents. Looking at house plans. Keeping track of expenses and purchases for insurance purposes. Or even just doing vast amounts of research online, like trying to track down the exact iPod speakers I had that I loved (they’re no longer being made) or checking if my wedding china pattern is still available.
So when BlogHer offered the opportunity to test and review a laptop with the new Intel® Core™ i5 processor along with an Intel® Wireless Display (a.k.a. WiDi), I jumped on it. For one, it would be great for us not to have to share my mom’s laptop and take turns. The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology also promises to let me “Get more done faster,” and since I’d be happy with just the “done” part, the “faster” part made me think I just might have extra time now to actually bake something (Tim heartily supported that). Then being able to wirelessly connect to the TV so that all of us can look at the same screen without huddling over a small monitor? All I wanted to know was where to sign up. I know how good the Intel® Core™ i5 processors are. The new laptop that I lost in the fire had one.
Yes, I did remember to include that in the list, too.
So stay tuned for my review next week, and in the meantime, give your computer or your laptop a hug. For me. Because, as much as I love old school stuff, I just couldn’t do what I do now without one.
So here’s the deal. They’re letting me give one winner a $250 Visa gift card. Woohoo! How cool is that?
To enter, you may select two (2) of the following methods. Please enter no more than twice, and no duplicate comments. (Don’t worry, you’ll get 2 more chances on the review post coming up next week!) Comments from this post and next week’s review post will be combined and the winner will be picked via random draw.
Sweepstakes ends 5 PM PST on December 22, 2010.
PLUS! BlogHer is also giving you 8 chances (that’s 2 chances every week) to win a new laptop. Yes, that’s right. Your very own laptop with the new Intel® Core™ i5 processor. Check out the round-up page at the BlogHer.com exclusive offers page for those weekly chances to win a new laptop.
(Pssst. Don’t forget to check out the reviews from the other bloggers in the round-up page, too. You can enter their giveaways for even more chances to win a $250 Visa gift card!)