Rocky the Racoon is Back!

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general

Rocky is a little stuffed raccoon that my father gave me when I was a baby. It’s probably the very first toy I’ve ever owned. I’m not sure why I named it Rocky. Perhaps I named it after Rocky the Flying Squirrel from the The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons (because he kind of resembles the squirrel), which were my favorite as a kid. With my parent’s divorce and moving around a lot from city to city, Rocky was one of the very few constants in my life. Every time we moved to a new town, I had to get use to a new school, a new house, and make new friends all over again. That was always very difficult for me, but no matter where we lived Rocky was there. Rocky provided what little stability I had when I was kid. He was my first and sometimes my only friend, and by far my favorite toy of all time. Still having it to this day is a testament to that.

I remember one time when I was about 5 years old I lost Rocky, and I cried for literally days. I also remember that a little boy had a stuffed raccoon that looked identical to Rocky and I accused him of stealing him from me and took it back away from him. But I was so in touch with Rocky that I soon figured out that that stuffed raccoon wasn’t Rocky. It’s snout was was yellow and it was a bit more worn than Rocky was, so I gave it back. I don’t remember exactly how I got I Rocky back after that; I think my mom eventually found him somewhere, but I remember how much I missed him and I never let him go after that.

A few years later, we got a little pet toy poodle that I named Toto (yeah, after the little Yorkie in the Wizard of Oz). Rocky quickly became a second stringer to Toto, after all Toto was a real living dog. As a matter of fact, Rocky became Toto’s chew toy. I always took Rocky away from Toto if I saw him chewing on it and trying to destroy it. But some times I would leave Rocky on my bed when I would go off to school, and Toto would grab him and try to tear him to bits. Unfortunately, one day Toto succeeded. Toto tore Rocky’s head eyes and nose off, and his felt hands and feet were chewed off. Needless to say, I was devastated. My mother tried her best to repair Rocky. His head was sewn back on, and his nose was replaced with a small shirt button, but one of his eyes was never found. After that I kept Rocky as far out of Toto’s reach as possible.

As a teenager, I had Rocky on a shelf on in my bedroom. Of course, I didn’t sleep with Rocky at my side like I did when I was a kid, but I did take it down from the shelf from time to time just to look at his tattered and torn face and body, especially on days when I was sad and depressed. He reminded my of how much we been through together, and that there is no problem that can’t be solved, or trouble I can’t recover from.

I moved into my university’s dorms during my first year of college, so of course I couldn’t take Rocky with me (for fear of ridicule, but more for fear that I may lose him or that Rocky may be a victim of a college prank). As with my other belongings, I packed Rocky away in a box and stored him away in the attic in my mother’s house. Over the years, I had completely forgotten about Rocky and his whereabouts. My mother had since, moved to Atlanta so I didn’t think that she would take Rocky with her…but she did.

A few nights ago, my mom surprised me with bringing Rocky to Japan. This is perhaps Rocky’s first trip to Japan, and it felt strange to see him here. He still had his tattered torn face and shirt button nose, but it made be so happy to see my oldest and best childhood friend again. He looked very fragile as if his head might fall off or something, and he looks a bit skinnier (undoubtedly from losing some stuffing from holes in between my mom’s hand stitching on his neck.) The fur was no longer soft and supple, but more hard and stiff.

I still have a lot of plenty of sentimental attachment to this toy which now seemed be an old rag. In the condition that Rocky is in, I don’t think he will survive too long. I went online and found some stuffed animal repair shops on the web. Apparently, some of these shops can completely refurbish stuffed animals by unstuffing it, washing the fabric, replacing missing eyes and noses, replacing or restoring any missing material, and then restuffing him. I thought about having Rocky refurbished, but then I got to thinking. Rocky hasn’t never been washed or cleaned before. To me, all of my childhood memories and my tears from all of times I cried holding Rocky is on the fabric that makes Rocky. To me, that is what makes Rocky …Rocky. And if he is refurbished or washed, then Rocky will no longer be Rocky, but rather just another stuffed animal.

Then I thought, that Rocky is no longer my toy, and that although I have a deep sentimental attachment to him, I need to let him go (figuratively of course). So when I go off to the States this next month, I am going to send Rocky off to get repaired.

Rocky (before)

Full Recovery

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general, Techie Stuff

There was some serious downtime in the last few days. I spent a lot of time in the last few days upgrading my blog server and trying to recover data that I thought was lost forever. Luckily for me, I was able to bring the dead hard drive from the broken blog server back to life long enough to recover the years worth of missing blogs. I did this by swapping the logic board. And although the hard drive still made some very occasional clicking, it worked well. This was a HUGE relief to me. I was so sad when I thought I had lost one year of of my life because of my carelessness, but all is well now. I have added a MUCH bigger hard drive the the server, and took a back up of the data. I still need figure out a way of automatically backing up the data on some kind of schedule, because doing it manually is some what of a pain.