You may be wondering what happened to the Halloween Countdown.
Well, the other night I was online, cruising' along, minding my own business, having a grand ol' time reading this and posting that when a little pop-up informs me there's a nice little update for Norton Antivirus and I really, really need to download and install it right damn now or else dire things might happen to my computer, to me, to my friends and family; in fact, failing to do so might hasten the heat death of the universe and I certainly wouldn't want to be solely responsible for that.* Besides, it comes free with my subscription, so, being one of those people who like to keep his/her security software current, that's exactly what I do.
Now, Symantic products are fine, not great, good enough, but as many of us know from bitter experience they're damnably slow to download, install, and activate. One gets used to, nay, expects the inconvenience, and when the screen says "please wait while we rid your hard drive of all those decidedly inferior versions and replace it with something newer and shinier and even more bloated and slow than what you're using now," I figure it's time to read a book, watch a movie, and/or go to bed. In the meantime, my computer is naught but a heat-generating paperweight, otherwise useless.
Several hours later my computer remains a heat-generating paperweight, otherwise useless, which just seems wrong.
Damn. Okay, time to stop the installation and do it again.
Uh-uh. Won't do it. In fact, Norton refuses to respond at all except to refer me to all kinds of online help which, as I discover after couple of hours of pointing and clicking and downloading and extracting and re-booting and re-re-booting, is perfectly useless for solving whatever the problem happens to be.
Fine. I'll do something different later.
Later comes and I try again...and again...then I try some different things...and some more different things...and begin to wonder where, at this hour of the night, I can find a dead chicken to wave over my computer.
To make an incredibly long and boring story just a wee bit shorter, I finally contact Symantic's help line where a lovely woman named May, for whom English is a second language, takes control of my computer and finally...finally...after four long hours...restores my antivirus software to its original state--sans upgrade.
Three days, people. Three days of a balky computer.
Now you know why my wallpaper is a picture of HAL 9000.
In other news, I ran into my good friend Sissy Spacek at Barnes & Noble Friday evening.
Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. We don't actually know each other (duh!), but this is the third time we've been in close proximity:
--Back in the late '80s when I worked for the University of Virginia my friend Roy and I were heading to The Corner for lunch when who should be walking towards us but Sissy Spacek and her father (who was a patient in the U. VA Med Center at the time). Roy was chattering away about some inanity or another**, completely oblivious, and I wasn't about to point and shout as Sissy walked toward us. No, I waited till they passed and then said, sotto voce, "Roy, if you turn around right now you can catch a glimpse of Sissy Spacek's butt."
--In the early '90s I was Chrismas shopping for my Dad at some fancy-ass men's clothing store in Charlottesville, checking out the hideously overpriced shirts when this woman sidles up to me and starts asking about socks. Yep, Sissy Spacek! We continued to chat while we waited in the check-out line, though we spoke of nothing more profound that how huge the Holiday crowd was that year.
--And last night as I entered Barnes & Noble there she was, daughter and daughter's boyfriend (I'm assuming) in tow, muttering something about how the boyfriend had yet to read the books he'd already bought.
That's all. The Halloween Countdown will resume in the evening.
*Well, on most days.
**As he was wont to do. Roy's dead now, but I'm positive he's currently bending God's ear about yet another imagined slight he received from some snooty Seraphim.