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    "It’s Some Kind Of Bug Going Around"

    I’m writing to you with a big grin on my face. This is because, for some reason, my computer was not functioning the way it should. Herman and I have been sitting here for hours and I just said to him, "Well, it looks like this computer will never work right again." Herman looked over his shoulder and said, "Kathryn, you are so impatient. I think I can get this working." Well, I really did have my doubts. But here I am writing and the computer is once again responding the way I was certain it never would.

    I’d like to be able to share with you how exactly Herman did this. But in asking him, he just kind of smiled and said he didn’t know. He tried a lot of things and one of them must have worked. This all occurred as I was saying the whole time, "You need to take it in Monday morning." Now to Herman, and I think to most any man, those are fighting words. Just say, "It can’t be fixed," or "We need to get help (or directions)" and what comes next is a stubborn resistance, at least in this house.

    I need to tell you that the whole time this is going on, Sally, our kitten, lay fast asleep on the computer printer. She, apparently, didn’t care at all if it didn’t get fixed. As long as her kitty nap remained uninterrupted. The bottom line is that it is working again and it does not have to be taken anywhere.

    You know how sometimes you have to restart a computer when it "freezes?" Well, this time, Herman thought reloading the Windows program would fix the problem. He ran this by me, and I responded that I had no idea. I just wanted it working again.

    Herman tells me that he did reload the Windows program and didn’t think it helped (though it didn’t hurt either.) Upon further grilling him, he tells me that one of the programs he uninstalled may have been in "conflict" with my desktop or word program. It has been my experience that if you ask anyone just about anything about computers, the answer is "you just have to figure it out." That doesn’t fly well in my world.

    It’s a little like Herman’s statement that when he was a boy, his family doctor always answered the request for a diagnosis with, "It’s some kind of bug going around." For computers, it’s some kind of virus, or whatever. Not very satisfying for my mind. I need details, and I need to know it will never happen again. Ironically, when I do get details, it’s information I can’t comprehend and will forget as soon as I get it. But still, there’s something about getting the information and giving it a name.

    The name of this most recent computer headache is something I can’t print here. But I’m sure we’ve all said it as we sit in front of our computers watching them not respond the way we want them to. It’s the end of the column and I’m still smiling, which means the computer is still behaving. And Sally is still asleep on the printer, so all’s right with my world!

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"