You do not know what two days off will do for you…

< 1 minute read

December 30, 2003, 11:03 AM

After having two days off from Wal-Mart, I am now officially ready to go once again, ready to take whatever the customers are willing to throw at me. Especially since Monday was basically a sleep day, where I basically slept for most of the day. A much-needed day of R&R, especially after a great photo day in Roanoke on my other off-day.

My car’s also ready to go, too, as we replaced a burned-out headlight that was discovered on the way home from Sunday’s Roanoke trip. Quite the longevity, too, when you think about it. My father and I discussed it while replacing it, and realized that on this 1991 Toyota Previa, which we bought in July 1990, we were actually replacing the original bulb. That’s thirteen years with that same bulb, believe it or not. The other headlight’s bulb was not original, having been put in during repairs after we hit a deer in 1994.

Categories: Myself, Toyota Previa

This time, I met all my goals without any problems…

< 1 minute read

December 29, 2003, 3:46 AM

I went down to Roanoke on Sunday to take the new tripod out for a spin and get accustomed to how it operates. I consider the mission a success.

I also didn’t have anyone call the police on me this time thinking I was a peeper or something. Of course, my location was different. Still all public places, but this time, the park was different, being up on top of a mountain (I visited Mill Mountain Park again). I also photographed some of downtown Roanoke at night after the park.

I also was recognized from the Web site by a Taco Bell employee at a combination Taco Bell/Pizza Hut restaurant on US 220 in the same shopping center as a Wal-Mart. I thought that was rather interesting, if I do say so myself.

So all in all, that went well. Will I make a photo set out of it? I don’t know yet. I’ll have to let the images “cook” in my mind before I’ll know for sure.

I also lost a headlight on my trip, as my drivers-side headlight bulb burned out at some point. This is when we’re glad that my father is a “car guy”, as he knows what he’s doing. And a bulb is probably cheap. Compare this to me, where I can stare at it like an idiot all day, and then get bored and more likely break it before ever doing anything like fixing it.

And so that’s my day… all told, I’d mark it off as a success.

Categories: Roanoke

“That’s not a telescope!”

3 minute read

December 28, 2003, 1:40 AM

It’s amusing what happens when you try to take photos sometimes. Let me explain what I mean…

For Christmas, I got a new, heavy-duty tripod, that is MUCH better than my old one. It’s taller, has more features, and a lot of other things that I haven’t figured out how to best use yet.

So on Christmas night (the night of December 25), I took the tripod for a spin to try it out. I went over the mountain to Charlottesville, where I headed to McIntire Park (where I’ve previously photographed on a few other occasions). I chose McIntire Park because it was relatively safe, open until 10 PM based on signage, and a public park (meaning public property).

So I have Big Mavica hooked up to the tripod and I’m doing my thing. A Jeep comes into the park, parks in the lot, powers off, sits for a few minutes, then starts up again and leaves.

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Well, that was fun!

< 1 minute read

December 25, 2003, 11:04 AM

Christmas morning has come and gone, and it went well. First of all, I got a brand new tripod for Big Mavica, which is bigger and more heavy duty than my old one. I shall enjoy this, indeed. I’m going to go out and take it for a spin later today once it gets dark.

And Wal-Mart is CLOSED today! So as a result, I didn’t have to go to work today. Good. I needed the rest. Wal-Mart closed at 6:00 PM on Christmas Eve (with management hitting some of the lights to encourage customers to get finished – a strange sight, seeing Wal-Mart with half the lights out), and will reopen at 6:00 AM on December 26 for the after-Christmas shoppers. And it’s amusing how giddy we all got once we finished, logged off our registers, and turned in the money in our tills. If you can imagine, there was singing (including “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”), and we were dancing in the aisles to an extent. We made it. Christmas Eve was over. We get a day off. And boy, do we deserve it. And so we wasted no time getting back to the breakroom to clock out and leave, needless to say.

So there you go. Now for the rest of the day, we’re going to eat, and then I’m going to play around with this new tripod, and figure out all of what it can do for me.

Categories: Christmas, Walmart

This is going to be like Trading Spaces without the other family. We have a horrid-looking sloppy room about to be remade into a totally new look.

< 1 minute read

December 24, 2003, 12:20 AM

I said this to my friend Chris today as I discussed how I’m redecorating around here. It’s kind of like bringing a little Potomac Hall to my room at home, as I’m reviving the color scheme from my Junior Year room.

I’m also going to do a Life and Times photo set about the whole thing, since it really will be quite a change. It will probably take a few weeks to do (the job, not the photo set), but it will look great when it’s done.

And my sister’s room will be used for swing space in the interim. This means I have time to get everything ready like plans and such, plus making the requisite purchases of paint, carpet shampoo (we have the shampooer), and the new lighting, since I have to wait until she goes back to Tech before I can begin using her room for swing space.

Still, there you go. My room is the perfect “before” room like Trading Spaces would have. Ugly paint, weird decorative elements, and altogether looking like a well-intentioned-but-well-past-its-time decor job. This room SO needs a makeover.

Categories: Bedroom remodel

“Your little interviews make me want to shove my purse so far down your throat that it can only be retrieved with a really long hook.”

< 1 minute read

December 23, 2003, 12:50 AM

That’s what my sister says about those little “interviews” I do with Big Mavica. And all this time I thought that they were fun. It turns out that they think that it’s more like pulling teeth sans anesthesia.

And all this time I thought that they enjoyed them. After all, Mom enjoyed seeing herself say, “People will think you just got out of the home” on one from November 2002.

Meanwhile, remember how I said that Wal-Mart was a full-contact sport? Yeah, it still is, and it drove the point home when I accidentally hit myself in the head with the stick end of one of those horsie sticks. Thankfully, it was a plastic stick.

Categories: Family, Walmart

Giving the gift of cash…

2 minute read

December 22, 2003, 1:36 AM

And another thing… what has Christmas come to in our house? For me, at least, Christmas is really all about cash. Actually, reverse gifts to be more specific. I’m going shopping for my own gifts this year, getting them wrapped, and then getting reimbursed for them by the gift-giver. My parents don’t know specifically what they ended up getting me for Christmas, but I’ve taken it upon myself to act surprised nonetheless when I unwrap the gift that they bought me (by way of me).

Then my sister already knew what I wanted, that being a long-sleeved shirt from Wal-Mart. So since I work there, she said I can go get my gift and provide a receipt. I went and bought the shirt. And I’m still getting it gift-wrapped, though more on principle than anything else.

Speaking of gift-wrapping, when I bought my gift from Mom and Dad in Roanoke on Thursday and then had it gift wrapped at Valley View Mall and asked for a receipt, I got some very strange looks from the people working the gift-wrap station when I said I needed a receipt for the wrapping. The girl who was taking care of me said, “It’s cash-only,” to which I replied, “I still need a receipt.” They produced a receipt.

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No one said in orientation that Wal-Mart was a full contact sport!

3 minute read

December 22, 2003, 12:38 AM

Yeah, Wal-Mart is a full-contact sport, it seems. Of course, the day after Thanksgiving, known as “Black Friday” (a day where I wore all black to be silly) is very much full-contact, with the customers practically killing each other for great deals.

Then there’s me – I’ve managed to hit myself in the face a few times with oddly-shaped-but-light items. Mostly wrapping paper. I’m trying to manage the wrapping paper, getting it from the belt to the bag, and in the process manage to hit myself in the head. Really smooth. There was another time when I accidentally hit the checkout light (you know, the red thing with the number on it) with a roll of wrapping paper. A small flurry of dust fell off of the number and onto me.

All in all, though, I like my job, and so that’s always a good thing.

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Let’s talk hat hair here…

< 1 minute read

December 20, 2003, 12:37 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, I have severe hat hair! This is what happens when you wear a Santa hat for nine hours straight. We’ve been wearing these little Santa hats on the registers, and I have a big head, and so my hair gets crushed. So say hello to hat hair. I figure it must be Wal-Mart’s method of getting us to wear the hats all day. Once you wear the hat for a little bit, there goes your good hair day. So you keep the hat on all day and only remove it once you’re safely out of the store and somewhere where people won’t comment on your hat hair.

Meanwhile, I’ve finished sorting images for The Schumin Web Transit Center, my new transit-oriented site, and now I’m combing through those images, and prepping images for the site. Basically, I’m clearing out obviously bad images (blurry, not properly framed, etc.), and bringing out the good qualities in the ones that are left. Most of them are of DC Metro (as in Metrorail), and so be prepared to see a lot of trains…

eBay auction: Quite amusing

< 1 minute read

December 17, 2003, 8:07 PM

Just look at the link below… it’s amusing as hell.

Categories: Netculture

It took me an hour to get home!

< 1 minute read

December 14, 2003, 2:16 AM

Yay for snow AND sleet. I didn’t run off the road this time (thank God), but still, it took me a full bloody hour to get home from work today. Normally, this is a quick 20-minute drive to get from my house in Stuarts Draft to Wal-Mart in Staunton, going at least 55 most of the way.

Change that to snowy weather, and my top speed was 25, and I’m taking a different route than I usually do. Normally, when I go to and from work, I take Route 608 to I-64 to I-81 to US 250 to Wal-Mart. This is basically the direct route to Staunton via Fishersville from Stuarts Draft.

Tonight, you could say I took a more scenic route home, going from Wal-Mart taking US 250 to Waynesboro, using Lew Dewitt Boulevard to cut across to US 340, and then taking 340 to Stuarts Draft, picking up 608 at its intersection with 340. Why the different route? This different route has practically no curves, and is primary roads almost the entire way. No interstates (which make me nervous in the snow due to truck traffic), and no back roads. Sure it’s much longer, but in the snow, curves are the enemy, and could cause me to slide off the road into God-knows-what. Quite unpleasant either way.

But, hey, I made it. And I get to do it again going back to work again tomorrow, though I may very well see if I can get out of driving it and get Dad to take me. After all, when I parked, I blocked in Dad’s VW Golf, leaving a clear path for the truck to get out, and the truck has four-wheel-drive, and I don’t believe that the Golf has that.

Categories: Driving, Winter weather

I got new shoes!

3 minute read

December 13, 2003, 12:07 AM

So I finally got new shoes, and after you see what the old ones look like (I took pictures, as promised), you’ll see that these were badly needed. The new shoes are Airwalks, and are black with white laces and accents. Cute shoes. The style is called “Ricco”. Take a look:

Airwalk Ricco

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Categories: Retail, Shoes

Newest D-Hall security device that would be amusing to see: Iron Maidens

< 1 minute read

December 12, 2003, 6:43 PM

While I was talking to the D-Hall cashier today, we had two people try to sneak in without paying (they were tracked down and made to pay). That led to two discussions…

First of all, we discussed how silly it was to try to avoid paying in D-Hall, since you pay with a punch, which is already paid for with tuition.

However, the second part was amusing. How do we keep people from, shall we say, “jumping the turnstile”? It came up that turnstiles would help, with people swiping their JAC cards like New Yorkers swipe their Metrocards. Metrocards, for those of you who don’t know, replaced the fabled subway token for good in 2003.

So you swipe your JAC, it’s verified, and the turnstile opens. Go eat. But you want to really be secure about it, and prevent people from simply going out the in? Install what is known as an “iron maiden” at the entrances and exits. An iron maiden is a big wheel with bars radiating out from it that only turns one way, and only lets you go one way on it. New York’s used them for entrances and exits on the subway for years. Swipe your JAC on a reader, the inbound iron maiden unlocks and lets you in, and then on the way out you use the outbound iron maiden. In the event of an emergency, people can still exit through the iron maidens. And like I said, New York’s been using them for years in the subway.

I think it would be quite amusing to see an iron maiden-style turnstile installed in D-Hall, and is HIGHLY unlikely to ever happen, but you must admit that an iron maiden would be effective…

Categories: JMU

In a few minutes, I shall be off…

< 1 minute read

December 12, 2003, 11:11 AM

Today, before work, take two in trying to get new shoes. I went to The Shoe Department at the mall in Harrisonburg yesterday, and they were out of Airwalks. So I’m going to go to Staunton Mall before work today and check out their branch of The Shoe Department and see if they have some Airwalks. And if not there, I’ll go to Super Shoes across the street from the mall.

And let me tell you… the shoes I have now could easily be described like this: “Did you just come from church? (No, why?) Then why are your shoes so holey?” Yeah. I have a big hole in the bottom of my left shoe, a tear in the top, and a hole developing in the toe of the right shoe. All from regular wear, not abuse, or even any few strenuous uses.

That’s what happens when you wear shoes every day day in and day out for a year. They really get some use. And I’d say that I got my money’s worth out of them. That and then some more.

I will be taking pictures of these shoes once I get a new pair to show you exactly how hard I wore these shoes. It’s amazing, trust me.

Categories: Retail, Shoes, Walmart

The Wal-Mart Power Ranger

< 1 minute read

December 11, 2003, 10:59 AM

I can come up with the strangest ways of describing things sometimes. Here’s the latest gem that I’ve come up with…

When I went to clock in after lunch on Wednesday, I casually made the comment “It’s morphin time” just before I swiped my badge. I described it to say that clocking in is like putting on the Power Ranger suit (though note that the Waynesboro associates don’t have vests yet). And with the mighty register zord, my arsenal is complete to take on the customers.

My only disclaimer: I don’t look good in tights.

Still, there you go. Wal-Mart Power Ranger. What will I think of next?

Categories: Walmart