What to do…

April 28, 2004, 11:59 PM

Fixing Becky’s computer, and her roommate Rebecca’s computer went very well on Tuesday. Rebecca’s computer needed to have a DVD-RW drive installed on it, which was a piece of cake. I just slid it in through the front of the computer, secured it, connected it up, and voila. Done. Installing hardware was a snap.

Meanwhile, I think we may have finally gotten W32.Welchia.B off of Becky’s computer. Note I say “think”. We hope we did. I found better instructions than before, with actual manual removal instructions that don’t just say “Run a Norton scan and let us do the rest”. However, we did accidentally delete an important file, svchost.exe. We actually had to scavenge that file from elsewhere to make her Internet work again. But I think that the virus has finally been eradicated from her computer, though I’ll be the first to know if it recurs again.

Becky and Rebecca and I also went out to eat at O’Charley’s in Harrisonburg and then out to the Dayton Wal-Mart to shop. The most priceless visual moment was when Becky climbed in the shopping cart, and proceeded to sit down in it. The most priceless line was by me to the person running the Service Desk after we were finished shopping, with Becky and Rebecca at my side:

And I quote: Is it okay if we leave our cart here while we go use the men’s room?

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Categories: Computer, Friends

Today was a slow day…

April 26, 2004, 9:41 PM

I was surprised. Today was surprisingly slow. Of course, it makes more sense when you think about it. It was Monday, and it was raining. Two things that keep people inside. But all in all it was a good day nonetheless. I’ve been minding my use of the squawk box at work, since people say I page too much.

Meanwhile, the smokers in the smoking room have been having some good-natured fun with me. After going in the smoking room once to talk to someone and being unable to breathe, since the smoke was so thick in there, I vowed never to enter the smoking room again. So when I need a section of newspaper that the smokers have in there, I have to ask for it. I open the door, and ask if I can have the section. They tease, once even blowing a big cloud right on it. Of course, they don’t mean it to be mean, but it’s amusing nonetheless.

I also had a lady who reminded me of Mecca from Potomac Hall today at work. I’m explaining what’s going on with her refund, and all of her options and asking how she wants her refund, and she’s giving me this hard, ugly stare. If her eyes were lasers, they’d have burned a hole in me in no time. Then she acted all arrogant and like she knew it all, and acted like I was an idiot for asking what she wanted me to do.

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Categories: Friends, Walmart

Replacing the fluids…

April 24, 2004, 11:02 PM

Before I begin, let me tell you that this is take two on this journal entry. I lost the first one when my computer froze up. Anyway…

You can tell I’m still recovering from all the heat from yesterday. I lost so much water yesterday from sweating and such, and we’re replacing it, slowly but surely. I’m so glad I bought that 64-ounce mug (more than any sane person should have at once, but this is me we’re talking about) at Wal-Mart on Tuesday. I fill that thing up, and it lasts me a looooooooooooong time. And it makes sure that I’m running smoothly, as water is like the body’s natural lubricant, since, according to the mug (which has water stuff all over it), the body is 80% water, we need to drink at least half our body weight in ounces of water (that’s a LOT of water), and that water plays a role in just about every bodily function.

So from all that sweating I did yesterday, I got myself a wee bit dehydrated. Slowly but surely, I’m going to have all my water again.

Meanwhile, I’m pulling all the photos from yesterday’s trip from the camera and taking a look. We’ll see what we can do with them…

Categories: Food and drink

Yesterday was fun…

April 24, 2004, 11:11 AM

I went to DC yesterday, with the intention of checking out the protest activity surrounding the World Bank’s meeting. Unfortunately, there wasn’t all that much to see, with the big event planned for today, a day I couldn’t get off work for.

I did, however, take several laps around the area looking for activity at various times during the day. And it was hot outside. I did pretty well for the most part out in the heat, though. I did, however, have one thing that concerned me. On one lap, all of a sudden my hands and face went dry in the middle of the heat, which I took as a warning sign to get out of the sun, fearing the early stages of heatstroke. So I went to this little urban shopping mall in DC and went to Au Bon Pain, where I had a little something to eat (some pineapple chunks) and a soda. That took care of that.

After enjoying that small snack and generally cooling off, I went to this newsstand in the same mall and looked around. They had all the magazines you could imagine (I stopped to check out an issue of “The Economist”, among others), including some more “mature” titles. Near the mature area as I was making my lap around the store were the men’s magazines, where I found a familiar title. Remember Front? You may recall that my site was featured as “Geek of the Month” in the June 2000 issue. I actually mentioned this to the lady who was working there, who remembered that issue, and thought I looked familiar (a fan?). I bet she hadn’t seen my hilarious parody of that issue’s cover. Still, I was peeking through Front, and it seems the magazine isn’t nearly as wholesome as it once was (wholesome by comparison to its former self). While back then it was about guy stuff and had a reasonable amount of scantily clad women in it, now it’s a lot less guy stuff and a lot of women with their boobs hanging out. And a LOT of ads for naughty things in the back. Basically, it’s a little closer to a magazine like Playboy than it is to Maxim anymore. And no “Geek of the Month” feature, which I specifically hunted for in there.

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Categories: DC trips, WMATA

Today was a good day!

April 22, 2004, 5:42 PM

What can I say? It was payday. Payday always a good thing.

Interesting thing today was the amount of Today’s Special references I inadvertently threw in at work today at the Service Desk.

For instance, someone brought up a toy shark to the Service Desk for us to send off to get put back. I commented, “There’s that guy from my fin club again.” I don’t recall which episode of Today’s Special it’s from, but the reference is from a 1984 or 1985 episode, with Sam referring to that shark we occasionally see in his computer room.

Another one was to a coworker friend later on in the day, where I said, “The only person I know who lives in a department store is a mannequin and wears a magic hat!” Customer overheard me and recognized the reference as being to Jeff the mannequin, and mentioned a Web site about Today’s Special that they thought I should visit. That was amusing, because the Web site they were referring to turned out to be my own. Small world.

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Categories: Walmart

“I might as well have waited!”

April 22, 2004, 5:39 AM

No, I’m not getting a new computer any time soon. My computer turns six years old next month, and still runs better than a lot of people’s more recent computers. Admittedly, it’s literally been years since I fixed a computer older than mine. But my computer runs like a dream. It’s because I am so meticulous about how it’s all organized, as well as how careful I am about what I install on it.

Meanwhile, in fixing the computers of friends and family (my friend Becky’s computer and my sister’s computer come to mind), they tell me they have a problem, and then I sit down, and I’m like, “What did you do to this thing?”

Gotta love surprises, eh?

Meanwhile, here on my working-like-clockwork computer, things are going well. My Transit Center Web site is complete, and I’m just going over it to make sure it’s all how I want it before I say “Doors opening!” and welcome people into the site. Look for a minor redesign on the “Major Areas” section when I am ready to open the site.

And now it’s nearly 7:30… time to get ready for work. I love this quality time with my journal…

Categories: Computer

Three days, three different sets of license plates

April 21, 2004, 9:56 PM

I think that the Previa is going through a bit of an identity crisis lately. As you know, the Previa is now mine, and I’ve also mentioned how I had to wait to put the temporary plates on the car, since they were cardboard, and it was raining cats and dogs outside.

So anyway, yesterday, the weather was nice enough to change the license plates. So I unscrewed the screws on my old leaves-style “CITY PLZ” plates (it stood for “City Please”, a holdover from my directory assistance days), and removed them. I preserved one plate, scrubbing it clean with the dish sponge and some dishwashing liquid. It now is on the bulletin board in my room as a memento.

So after pulling off my old plates, I put on the cardboard temporary plates. And that was it for last night. I might as well have procrastinated a little longer, as you will see…

So fast forward to today. I get the mail, and what’s in the mail? My real plates! Say hello to “SCHMNWB” on my car now. Plus I have some very cool plate frames, with my Schumin Web logo on top, and my URL in red on bottom. I custom-designed it for myself.

So anyway, honk if you see me driving around.

Categories: Toyota Previa

What a rube…

April 18, 2004, 9:13 AM

I love using words that have generally fallen out of use sometimes, and rube is a favorite of mine.

And I certainly did run into quite a rube today after work. I went up to the Blue Ridge Parkway after work to kind of gather my thoughts and such on one of the overlooks. It’s nice up there. It’s dark, it’s peaceful, and it’s quiet.

Then this fellow showed up at the overlook. God knows how many tattoos this guy had, plus he’s driving an old beat-up Ford Bronco (big thing). And he’s got the radio cranked up loud. He parks his car at my overlook. That radio is still turned up loud.

What a rube. How unsophisticated could he be? We came up to the parkway in part for the quiet! You could just tell by how flamboyant tattoo-man was with his music that he wouldn’t understand the idea of turning it down, so that unfortunately was the end of my night on the parkway, since his music was that much of a disturbance. A shame, indeed.

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I place a strong value on consistency.

April 17, 2004, 12:14 AM

I have come to the conclusion that Wal-Mart could schedule me just about any weird hours that they want, just as long as I can have those weird hours for a few days in a row. For instance, this Saturday, April 17, marks the third day in a row that I will be working 2 PM to 11 PM. And then Sunday I do that schedule again. It’s nice because it gives me a chance to adjust and get a routine. Just like if I work 11 AM to 8 PM, I like to do that for a few days in a row, which I actually did last week. I think I could even do the 7 AM to 4 PM shift just fine, if I had it more than one day at a time. Usually when I work an early-morning shift (yes, 7 AM is early for me), I get it for like one day, and that is usually surrounded by evening shifts.

What gets me all screwed up is when my work schedule is all over the place, working early morning and late evening in the same week, often on adjacent days. I try to come to work fresh as a daisy every day. Of course, I shower with soap and all that, and would do no less, since I place a high emphasis on grooming and looking good, making sure that when I pass through those sliding doors in the morning that everyone looks at me and admires how nice I look and smell.

But when I say “Fresh as a daisy” in this case, I mean feeling it. You know how it is. Some days, you just are kind of dragging, and need a few swift kicks to get going. Other days, I am just light on my feet, and just all sunny and really exemplifying our happy-face mascot.

And consistency is what keeps me running full-steam-ahead.

Meanwhile, I’m still working on uploading the forums to their new location on my site. Same forums, but at a far more convenient URL.

Categories: Walmart

“I’d like to know if you all sell vibrators, but not the sexual kind.”

April 15, 2004, 1:00 AM

A customer actually did ask one of our associates that one time (not to me). But that’s besides the point.

You see, I have found a non-sexual vibrator. Let me tell you about my experience with my cell phone today. I went to DC as planned. I was planning to meet up with Dad midway through the day, since he was coming up to DC as well. Well, I was concerned with being able to hear my ringtone (which is Sakura Saku from Love Hina, a Japanese anime cartoon) on the Metro, with all the other background noise from trains and people and such. So I set it to ring and vibrate.

Now I keep my cell phone in my right front pocket when I’m out and about. So there I am railfanning on a Rohr train, on the Blue Line between Pentagon City and Pentagon. Next thing you know, I feel this fierce vibration on my leg, and Sakura Saku starts playing. Let me tell you, I nearly SCREAMED when that thing started vibrating on me. That’s definitely one way to wake up a 28-year-old rail car. I’m sure the other passengers would have really appreciated it if I’d let loose with a scream. As it is, I jumped up from my railfan seat when that thing went off on my leg.

Needless to say, I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever put my phone on vibrate again.

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The van is MINE!

April 13, 2004, 4:18 AM

It is official! The van is now MINE and MINE ONLY! So now to just figure out when to start cleaning it up/out. Since now that it’s mine, I need to take some serious ownership in it. I also need to put the new temporary license plates on it, and take off the old ones.

Yes, temporary plates. I actually have “multi-use” tags right now that are made of cardboard that DMV issued me. I have yet to put them on, since I’m waiting for either time in the garage, or some nicer weather. Either way, since these are cardboard, I don’t want to mess ’em up putting them on the car while it’s all soggy. Thus to give them a fighting chance of survival until my real license plates come in (customized, as always), I’ll put them on while the car is dry.

Then once the new plates come in after a few weeks, off with the cardboard tags, and on with the new! And also by then, my new license plate frames should have arrived, which will make it all just look really smooth.

So that’s the highlight of my day yesterday, making the car mine in title, and ordering my new license plates.

And next up? Another DC trip. I enjoy those.

Categories: Toyota Previa

Good morning!

April 12, 2004, 4:33 AM

My goodness, I hate mornings! But that’s what my day’s going to be today, as I have to work the 7 AM to 4 PM shift at the Service Desk. I don’t know what it is about me, but I’ve never been able to handle the mornings like I do the afternoons and evenings. I so can’t stand mornings. I’m no good before at least 10:00. Those 11 AM to 8 PM shifts on the Service Desk have spoiled me. Thankfully, though, I don’t get these early shifts that often.

Also, I had an interesting thing happen to me last night. I was investigating a troublemaker on the forums, and was zapping some rather obscene posts that this individual posted. All of a sudden, the posts reappeared, plus the forum went out of maintenance mode (which basically turns off the boards temporarily), which I put it in while Entangled Web moved me to a new server.

Turns out that while I was working, the DNS change, which usually takes a couple of days to propagate across the Internet, reached me while I was working on the forums. Thus I went from my site on the old server to my site on the new server. And in an area that made it through just fine.

The forums weathered the move just fine, but you know one thing that didn’t? The main site. Now before the DNS change reached me, I had made a small change to the splash page on only the new site (changing the © date to 2004, which I’d been meaning to do for a while) so I would know that it had cut over. Turns out I didn’t need to. The site looks like a bomb hit it! Basically what happened is when they moved my site, they didn’t get it all over there in all the right places. So now I have to fix it all up and get it running right again.

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Server moves and long lines…

April 11, 2004, 12:09 AM

Well, today was an interesting day. The day before Easter in Waynesboro reminded me of just before Christmas in Staunton. Totally slammed. My father even commented to me when I got home that he drove past Wal-Mart and it looked like we were mobbed. My reaction? “You’re not kidding!”

On the Service Desk, our line was “out the door”, curling out of our little cave and out to near the restrooms. And that’s with three of us on there. Talk about busy.

And I also got to be a cart pusher for about an hour and a half. I, along with a cashier, helped one of our regular cart pushers with clearing the lot. I’d done it once before, and helped show the cashier (who’d never done it before) how to use our cart machine (which basically pushes a long line of carts automatically). And so in showing her the ropes, I tell her, “Make sure you’re not standing in front of the cart machine when you start it up, and don’t get in front of the cart machine to stop the carts. It will knock the wind out of you.” And the biggest offender when it comes to doing that is me. Without even thinking, I’ll be standing in front of it, staring at the machine, and start it up with the remote control, and have to quickly get out of its way. Or we’ll be taking it with a line of carts to the next cart corral to load them onto the machine. Without even thinking, I get in front of it to try to stop it, quickly realize I’m going to get run over, and then quickly get out of the way again. I nearly got the wind knocked out of me by that thing today, but I managed to get away in time. Yeah, I can be a great example sometimes. Watch me tell you how to use the cart machine safely, then watch as I show you how I learned the power of that cart machine. But we got the job done, and I managed not to get killed while doing it.

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Categories: Walmart

Probably the first to do this…

April 9, 2004, 9:46 PM

Okay, let’s talk about all-time dumb thing. I had to get a new box cutter today at work. Why did I have to get a new box cutter?

Promise not to laugh?

I dropped it in the toilet.

So that was embarrassing. I must be the first person in Wal-Mart history to have to get a new box cutter because their old one fell in the toilet. It literally fell out of my vest pocket while I was using the facilities.

Meanwhile, a customer cut me off as I was coming into the parking lot today. A coworker, who once nicknamed me “Reckless” after I inadvertently cut him off one time in the lot and also “Crash” after I managed to run one of the electric sit-and-shop carts into a wall while I was parking it after a customer finished with it, got a tremendous kick out of it because it was the whole idea of “what goes around comes around”. So I was amused.

Otherwise, I’m trying to figure out this new control panel that my host gave me. I think I’ll get it figured out eventually, but it’s going to be fun in the meantime figuring it out. Fun…

Categories: Walmart

What a busy day it was today…

April 8, 2004, 11:13 PM

Somehow, people can smell when there’s only one of us on the Service Desk, and so as soon as it’s only me on there while the other person goes to break or something, everyone and their mother decides to come to the Service Desk with a return, a list of a bazillion money orders, and a few MoneyGrams. And of course let’s not forget people cashing payroll checks, too. Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, as plans currently stand, the van will be MINE by Monday! That’s right, MINE! No longer will it be my parents’ car that they let me use. Now I will own it outright.

I’m talking this car:

The Previa

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Categories: Toyota Previa, Walmart