The scary part about finals is…

2 minute read

December 11, 2003, 9:41 AM

The scary part about finals is when you finish the final exam and turn it in, and know that you have completed all the work for the course, and you now have a final grade, and it’s just a matter of finding it.

It’s downright scary, too. You’ve finished your final exam in a course. So now, you have a grade, and there’s nothing you can do about it. And you don’t know what the grade is, for that matter, until some time next week.

So now is what we call the waiting game. La dee da dee doo… waiting, waiting, waiting. Nerve-racking is what it is. But anyway, on another topic…

I was waiting for the elevator at Taylor Down Under and talking to the desk attendant, and the fire alarm went off. Since I was in TDU, I went out through the main door, past the annunciator. It said that the alarm originated from a second-floor duct detector (a smoke detector in an air duct). Don’t know what caused the alarm, though. But it was cool to hear, plus see the strobes, needless to say.

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Categories: Fire alarms, JMU, Transit

We had an earthquake yesterday? Why didn’t anyone tell me?

< 1 minute read

December 10, 2003, 7:55 PM

Yeah, we supposedly had an earthquake that registered a 4.5 on the Richter Scale on Tuesday around 4 PM. According to news reports, the epicenter was 28 miles west of Richmond, and could be felt into Maryland and North Carolina.

In Harrisonburg and Staunton (roughtly 80 miles from the epicenter) it was very hit-and-miss. Some people felt some shaking. Other people didn’t feel anything.

Me, I was in Harrisonburg about to take a final when the earthquake came, and didn’t know that there was an earthquake until later that night, when a friend IMed me and told me that we had one. I didn’t feel a thing. Likewise, talking to my coworkers at Wal-Mart, no one who was working in the Staunton store at the time felt anything.

I know when I found out, it was like, “We had an earthquake? You’re kidding. Seriously? Hmmm. Must have skipped me or something. I didn’t feel anything.”

Interesting when you have those intra-plate earthquakes, though, since Virginia’s nowhere near a plate boundary, with the nearest plate boundary being quite far away.

Categories: Nature

Today I was Mr. People Greeter…

< 1 minute read

December 7, 2003, 10:17 PM

That’s right, today I was the People Greeter on the General Merchandise side of the store. My job today was to pass out carts, say hello to people, and various other tasks as needed.

In a word, doing the People Greeter’s job this time of year is COLD. I started out without a jacket, and boy, did I regret it. See, you have the big automatic doors that open and let drafts in from outside, plus the door for the carts (Staunton is an older Supercenter), despite all the blowers, still lets a good amount of cold air in.

I took my winter coat with me to work and left my lighter coat in the car. Realizing that my winter coat would first of all be too heavy of a coat, and also be too bulky, I asked and was allowed to go out to the car after my first break to get my other coat. The lighter coat worked out just fine.

So all in all, being a people greeter was interesting. It was a nice change of pace from the registers, and an interesting job nonetheless.

Heartwarming moment: After I said “Good evening” to one customer, he commented to me that I was the first one to greet him like that. That made me feel good. Lets me know that I’m making the customers happy.

Categories: Walmart

It’s interesting way up here!

2 minute read

December 7, 2003, 2:54 AM

Well, my new chair was good, had no rips, was assembled, and my big can is sitting in it.

So how is it? It’s good! It’s firmer than my old chair, and arms that are shiny metal in places and padded in other places. The old chair had arms that were all wood (real wood, mind you). This one also has an all-metal wheel setup, whereas the old one had all the structure made of metal, and wood covers (again real wood). The wood covers were only glued on, though, and were known to come loose from time to time and had to be kicked down. It also raises up higher than my old chair, which is rather interesting, since I can actually dangle my feet in this chair, which I couldn’t do before due to not being able to elevate that high.

For now, I stashed the old chair in Sis’s room (she’s at Tech, so it’s not like I’m inconveniencing her or anything), along with the box, since I don’t feel like taking the box out right now (it is nearly 4 AM), and someone might want the old chair.

I remember when I bought the old chair and retired my two-chairs-ago chair, Kevin Carlton and Chris Derusha, my next-door neighbors in McGraw-Long, gladly took it, removed the base from it, and lashed it onto one of the JMU-issued chairs.

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Categories: House, JMU

Chair replacement, take two.

< 1 minute read

December 7, 2003, 2:06 AM

Okay… I’ve been to work and back, and returned the old chair and bought another one, and let’s hope that this one won’t have a rip in it. That rip was quite a disappointment, as well as a pain in the butt, as I had to box it all back up, load it up, bring it back to Wal-Mart, return it at the Service Desk, and then buy another one after work. (Note that having the employee discount at Wal-Mart is a VERY good thing with big purchases)

So hopefully this chair will be a good one. I’ll let you know.

Categories: Retail

As if it being a large, heavy box wasn’t enough…

< 1 minute read

December 6, 2003, 12:19 AM

Well, I bought that new office chair that I had my eye on after work today. So I came home, carried this big, bulky box from the car upstairs to my room, unwrapped it all, started putting it together, and found…

A rip in the side of the cushion. I’m thinking, “Ah, CRAP!” Because now this means that I have to return this chair and get another one, one that HOPEFULLY won’t have a rip in it. Thankfully, though, I work at the place where I got it, and I kept the receipt, and so it’s not like I’m making a special trip or anything.

Still, this means I have to tape it all up, take it back down the stairs, load it up in the car again, and load it up into a cart again, take it to the service desk, and return it. Not what I want to have to do tomorrow.

But at least I work at the place where I bought it. I figure I’ll probably return it before work, and then get another one after work.

Still, it feels so weird being a customer at Wal-Mart and being waited on right after eight hours being on the other side of the counter, waiting on paying customers. Oh, and at the register I had just vacated like 20 minutes earlier. It’s slightly amusing.

Categories: Retail, Walmart

Karaoke is definitely something else…

3 minute read

December 4, 2003, 5:50 PM

D-Hall had their “Breakfast for dinner and Karaoke” night this evening, and it definitely was fun. And I didn’t know about it coming into it, but it still was fun.

After eating dinner, I decided to look through the catalog for songs that I knew well enough to try and sing. Then I thought, Why don’t I try my hand at it? So I really went hunting.

Now all my really favorite songs are oddball songs that most people haven’t heard of, but I do enjoy some mainstream songs. I originally wanted to sing something by Valdy or Bruce Cockburn, but they didn’t have it in their catalog. So back hunting I go. They didn’t have Five O’Clock World by The Vogues in there, and so I finally found two I felt really confident in singing, and went to choose.

I had narrowed it down to the Macarena and Macarthur Park. Both songs I knew quite well. I ended up choosing Macarthur Park, because of what version Macarena was. It was the Bayside Boys Mix, and besides the fact that it wasn’t my favorite version of the song (preferring the all-Spanish versions of the song), the English lyrics were definitely written for a female. I think people would start to talk if they heard me sing:

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Categories: JMU, Music

Yay for snow…

2 minute read

December 4, 2003, 1:37 PM

Yippity-hoo. It’s snowing. And as such, I slid right into a ditch on my way up to Harrisonburg today on I-64. I was not hurt, and neither was the car, but still, it’s an excellent example of why you need to drive carefully. And if that’s not enough, seeing a huge semi with a big chunk out of it jackknifed in the median of I-81 (thankfully not blocking traffic) should convince you to take it, as gangsters on The Flintstones would say, “Nice and slow.”

But yes, it is indeed snowing outside. Augusta County schools were closed today. So were Harrisonburg City schools, Rockingham County Schools, Blue Ridge Community College, and a host of others. JMU was in session.

Meanwhile, a brief discussion of the rules of the parking lot: there are none. See, some JMU students are some seriously spoiled brats. Now due to landing in the ditch on my way up, I was late for class. So I had to seriously hunt for parking. I first went to the gravel lot, which was full. So I went to J-Lot, my usual lot, which was also full. There was this one girl in her little yuppie SUV sitting smack in the middle of the end of one of the (wide) lanes in the lot. Turns out that sitting and impeding traffic was her way of hunting for parking. But we’ll get to that later.

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“The name’s Harley. Harley Weewax!”

< 1 minute read

December 3, 2003, 10:10 PM

The episode of The Cosby Show where the Huxtables show Theo what the real world is like is one of my favorites. I think it’s because they clean out Theo’s room, and then everyone pretends to be all kinds of people. And they all lead Theo from one place to the next to the next. Cliff as Harley Weewax, the apartment landlord, introduces Theo to Clair as Millie Farquahar and also to Rudy as Mrs. Griswold (she owns this building, but she drinks!), and then shows Theo the apartment. From there, Mr. Weewax tells Theo that he needs money, saying, “I can’t feed my family on a promise” and getting him to get modeling references, and such. Amusing is that instead of getting modeling stuff, he brought his “employer” Cockroach as Mr. Dansbury, president of Cockroach Oil. He gets the apartment, and then goes to Amanda’s Furniture City. Then he finds out he can’t afford furniture, and Clair as Amanda tells him that he needs a loan. And Mrs. Griswold denies his loan application! I love this episode, because it’s so amusing.

I think the things that make it so amusing are Rudy playing someone who is obviously supposed to be an older woman, plus Cliff as Harley Weewax, and changing back into Cliff. And you know all he did was take out the cigar and turn his hat around to become Cliff again, and then acting like Harley Weewax is someone else entirely. “Son, Mr. Weewax said you wanted to see me,” and then “You’ll have to ask Mr. Weewax.” And then of course he goes out, puts in the cigar and turns his hat around, and voila! Harley Weewax.

I so love this episode.

Categories: Television

Why does everyone ask me about their public speaking performance?

< 1 minute read

December 2, 2003, 8:49 PM

After my international relations class today, where two groups did a presentation about different books, a number of people asked me how they did on their presentation as far as performance.

Why me?

Well, I presume that they respect me enough to value my opinion, which is nice to know, but here’s why I found it strange that they asked me. I was the only person in the class who thought ahead and weaseled out of having to speak in front of the class.

I did, however, spearhead the whole PowerPoint presentation for the group. It worked out for us, though, since I commute to JMU from out of town, and thus group meetings would have been very hard to pull off.

Still, the people who asked me did a good job, and that’s what I told them. But nonetheless, it was odd that they asked me of all people, the one who weaseled out of a public speaking appearance…

Categories: JMU

I saw a falling star tonight

< 1 minute read

December 2, 2003, 12:29 AM

After work I went up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to kind of have a moment to myself, which I’ve found to be a great way to unwind after work, and I saw a falling star (actually a meteor) right ahead of me. It made a lovely streak over rural Nelson and Albemarle Counties, and was a greenish color as it appeared to fall straight down from my vantage point on Afton Mountain.

After the meteor burned up in our atmosphere, as most tend to do, someone else drove up to the overlook where I was standing and commented on how neat it was. I agreed, and he said that maybe we’d see another one.

I didn’t see another one in my time up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but I did get to spend a great hour to myself up there on the Parkway, in the quiet, in the dark, just kind of taking a moment to let my mind wander as I reflect on whatever I want to reflect on, think about whatever I want to think about, and basically just relax as I look up at the stars above and down on the valley below. Very nice, very calming.

Categories: Blue Ridge Parkway

Yay for late night at Wal-Mart…

2 minute read

December 1, 2003, 2:52 AM

I really don’t mind the 4:30-1:30 shift at Wal-Mart… until about 11 PM. Then it starts to suck. And it’s not the employees or the working conditions or anything. It’s the customers. Or more like lack thereof.

See, working cashier at Wal-Mart is an enjoyable job. I get to interact with people, smile a lot, and it keeps me busy to the point where I lose track of time and I’m thinking, already? when the CSMs close my line to go on breaks. But around 11 PM and thereafter until I get off, the customers drop off, and it gets kind of SLOW. I’ll get maybe one customer every ten minutes or so. Maybe I’ll get two in a row if I’m lucky. But it’s slow. Thus I like days because I can stay busy and it makes the day go by quickly.

But then it’s interesting, though, what people call this little number:

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Categories: Walmart

No turkeys!

< 1 minute read

November 29, 2003, 12:45 AM

Today marks the first day in my career with Wal-Mart that I did not ring up any turkeys. My goodness, I really did ring up a lot of turkeys in my first week, and you really get some exercise pumping turkey, since those birds are heavy, and even heavier when they’re frozen. They make a considerable “thud” sound when they touch the bottom of the bag, safely resting on that little bag carousel that we have in Staunton.

Also, something amusing: In honor of it being Black Friday, I wore all black to work today. It was a real hit with the other associates, as they agreed I dressed appropriately.

Categories: Walmart

And one last thing

< 1 minute read

November 28, 2003, 2:30 AM

It is up to my sister to come up with a better picture than my November 2003 picture for the splash page. She said, upon seeing it, “What are you doing to that poor dresser?” I will admit – after being told what it looks like, it does look like I’m humping the dresser, but I swear it was totally innocent. Ask Kathleen from LPCM, who took the picture, and she’ll tell you that it was innocent, too.

So my sister is in charge of December’s picture. She needs a little coaching on what I want in a picture. She wants to find a premade image of a buff guy totally naked except for a Santa hat covering his you-know-what, and photoshop my head onto it. I rejected it out of hand. No way on that one.

She still has to come up with something, and it had better be better than that last idea. I’m interested to see, myself…

Categories: Family, LPCM, Schumin Web meta

And a side note – always make sure your batteries are fresh

< 1 minute read

November 28, 2003, 2:20 AM

Yeah, I was writing the previous journal entry, and my keyboard died on me. Now for those of you who don’t know, I use a wireless. Both my keyboard and mouse have no cords, and I have a receiver on my desk for them both.

So I’m writing my previous journal entry about how FCUK dictates exactly how to give the change out, and the keyboard dies. It won’t type another thing. So I go into crisis mode. First of all, I “evacuated” my journal-entry-in-progress from the Web form to a text file by using mouse commands, thus ensuring that I wouldn’t lose what I was working on. Next, after pressing “connect” buttons on my equipment, I restarted. Still no luck. No signals.

So I went downstairs to where we keep the batteries, and found some Duracell “Procell” batteries, which are supposedly professional alkaline batteries (probably a fancy way of saying “expensive”, but that’s besides the point). I popped those babies in, and it came back to life.

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Categories: Computer