This has definitely been a weekend of highs. It started yesterday, when Old Town held its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival. This is one of my favorite events here-- just a super fun day. There's a great parade, a classic car show, lots of people dressed up and ready to celebrate, and the Fun Dog Show. We stumbled upon it last year and remembered to go this year.
The Fun Dog Show is a contest that takes pride in this area's love of goofy dogs. Rounds include Dogs and Owners with Similar Hair, Best Irish Costume, and Largest Feet. A TON of people attend, some with dogs, some by themselves, and there's even a guy who brings his cat.
We saw him last year and were hoping he'd be here again. Apparently the cat enjoys crowds, dogs, and walking on a leash-- he's completely relaxed.
Last year Alice competed in Most Unique Look and Most Unusual Tail. She didn't win either, so we decided to try again in the Tail contest.
And guess what?!
The ribbon is HUGE. It's like the size of her head.
One of the funnier things about the Fun Dog Show is that the crowd is extremely opinionated about who should win. Last year people came up to us afterwards and indignantly told us that she should've won (in truth, the title went to a giant Wolfhound who had a hairy, two-foot tail that corkscrewed at the end-- it was super cool). This year, people stopped us and said, "She won for Unique Tail, right?"
The reward for winning (besides the ribbon and bragging rights) is that you get to walk in the parade (technically, I think anyone who competed can-- it's a very low-key parade). Alice doesn't do well with motorcycles, drums, or bagpipes (aka, 95% of the parade), plus she was getting pretty overwhelmed, so we didn't have her walk. But we did take her picture in the middle of the parade route.
So a bit later in the afternoon I went to download the pictures on my computer, and I got the dreaded Looping Black Screen of Death. You know the one-- it's more hopeful than the Blue Screen of Death, as it tells you that something didn't launch correctly, so you can try again normally or in various flavors of Safe Mode. Click the button, things move, and then... oh hello, same screen as before.
In all honesty, I've been expecting this for a while. It was old and all the telltale signs have been there for a few months. We took it into the Geek Squad today, not really expecting any miracles, but more to have an expert to give us the "It's dead, Jim" talk. After looking at the screen and explaining to the guy about its age and issues, he asked how much we'd be willing to pay for a repair. When I said the amount, he just smiled and said, "Repairs are going to cost at least $200, and that's without new hardware. Why don't you put that towards a new computer?" So I did.
All in all, it's a bummer to have a computer die, and I lost some more recent pictures of Alice, but I did a desktop save onto a thumb drive a couple of months back in case this happened. All's not lost, and now I have a new toy that'll hopefully give me at least a few years of happy Alice postings.
If you've come across any good software lately, please send ideas over! I'm particularly in virus software. I'd been using Norton, but since I'm not sure I can move my recently-renewed subscription to a new computer, I'm opened to new programs.