What a productive day!

April 6, 2004, 12:05 AM

This was a day where I let my organizational skills shine. That Service Desk was looking fine. Everything was arranged in shopping carts and ready to go when I left.

And I came up with the best term for the Service Desk area. It’s a cave. See, in Supercenters, recall that it’s a gymnasium-style ceiling. So the ceiling is very high. So then you go into my little cave, and it’s a lot lower ceiling. So it really does seem like a cave. And I’m the monster who lives inside that cave, hehehe.

Still, my bosses when I was an intern at the Office on Youth last summer said I had great organizational skills. Today, I proved them right beyond a shadow of a doubt.

And Tuesday I am off. Off is good. Means that I can do everything I always wanted to do but couldn’t because I have work.

Still, next week is when I next go to DC. This week is just whatever. And I don’t mind it, because I’m going to hit up the Chatter Bus tomorrow, among other things.

So that ought to be fun. I love coffee.

Categories: Food and drink, Myself, Walmart

That was fast!

April 3, 2004, 9:37 PM

It hadn’t even been a week, and already I got my tax refund from my state taxes. Filing online certainly has its benefits. And it’s harder to screw up than the regular tax forms. So it’s a win-win!

Now all I have to do is take it to the bank to deposit it. Always a good thing. Since I’m not paying $3 for Wal-Mart to cash the check. Not happening. Easier for me to just bank-card it.

Still, I’m glad to have gotten it so fast! I could always use some extra money.

Categories: Internet

I finally took the advice of a friend…

April 2, 2004, 11:41 PM

In taking the advice of a friend, I went and bought a six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade after work. And it’s pretty good. It tastes like lemonade, but has a little kick. So far, so good.

Meanwhile, I’m in pursuit of some new pants. As you know, I’ve stayed the same size for about five years now. And so I don’t have to buy new pants because I outgrow them. Instead, I buy new pants because I wear out the old ones. And considering I have some pants I bought in 1999 and still use, plus replacements in between, they’ve done quite a job for me. And now I’ve worn out enough to make it where I need to get some new ones.

I went to Casual Male in Roanoke, and tried out a lot of pants. Different sizes, different styles. I don’t want jeans, but I also don’t want dress pants. I actually tried out some cargo pants that I really liked, but we had a slight problem when it came right down to it. If they were the right waist, they were the wrong length. If the length was right, the waist was wrong. We figured out what the magic combination would be, but of course they didn’t have it in stock. Quite frustrating. So now I’m trying to figure out what to do next. I want something that will be able to take some abuse, be comfortable, and look good. Probably will find another Casual Male location or find another store that has what I’m after.

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April 1!

April 1, 2004, 11:57 PM

Wow… I haven’t written to you all since Tuesday morning.

Anyway, I have to say that I was successful in my eradication of the virus on Sis’s computer, which was W32.Pinfi. With over 3,000 instances of it, someone really did a number on that machine. But we got it all cleaned up, and she’s back online. Thank goodness. As it is, I was working on her computer until 1:00 AM, and didn’t get home until almost 4:00. That was a LONG day.

And I found out that we missed something on Becky’s computer, which I fixed on Monday night in Harrisonburg, as the W32.Welchia.B virus reappeared. Seems we missed something. So we’re going to make another trip up to fix that. And meanwhile, I’m going to do a little research to find out why the blasted thing came back.

Meanwhile, pouring the candy from a broken bag of chocolates into the trash reminded me of an oft-repeated dream I’ve had. From time to time, I have dreams that I’m at work. Now in these dreams, I know I’m clocked out, because I don’t have to go into work for a while. So with that, I then think, “I’m working off the clock, how did I get into this?” and “I’m working off the clock! I’m going to be in so much trouble!” Etc. The dreams tend to revolve around the fact that I’m working at the Service Desk, and doing so off the clock, and how did I get into this.

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One computer down, and one more to go…

March 30, 2004, 8:39 AM

Well! Monday night at Becky’s (the person whose computer I was fixing) in Harrisonburg was productive and fun. It was determined to be the W32.Welchia.B worm, after a Norton Antivirus scan was run. We also did some general housekeeping, running my favorite “spyware” cleaner, Ad-Aware, as well as getting rid of some unused programs.

We also had a load of fun that evening. We went to Chili’s on East Market Street for dinner after running the system scan, and then while we were out, went to OfficeMax to see if we could cash in on the “STORE CLOSING EVERYTHING MUST GO” sale going on. I didn’t get anything, but Becky and her roommate both found something. At 50-70% off, it’s quite a deal. Becky’s roommate got a DVD-RW for like $75, which I thought was pretty darn good. Amusing product: A do-it-yourself divorce kit. It’s actually a little box that supposedly has everything you need for getting a divorce. No wonder it was marked 70% off. I’d love to hear testimonials of people who used it: “I got a divorce-in-a-box and look at me now!”

After OfficeMax, we went a little bit down the street and headed over to Wally World, a store that all of us are much more familiar with. We bought some stuff, and we had a blast, and I brought my cell phone with me, and so we have pictures. A sequel to the Wal-Mart photo set from 2000? I don’t know, but I definitely got enough to make a photo set out of it for Life and Times. That will also mark the first time that the cell phone gets some extensive use with the Web site. But we had a blast, buying up some junk food, some stuff you want to keep away from the “bad ol puddy tat” (you’ll see), as well as hamming it up with the “quintessential Wal-Mart item”, Spongebob Squarepants, etc., etc., etc.

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Categories: Computer, Friends, Shopping, Walmart

How did this dream come about?

March 29, 2004, 9:41 AM

I don’t get this one. This is a strange dream that I had last night that I don’t understand at all how it came about.

In the dream, they’re scrapping the set for The Cosby Show. So far, so good. The show’s over, we rationalized, and so they’re dismantling the set since the show has ended its run. Heck, we even had an appearance from Theo’s friend Walter Bradley, better known to audiences as Cockroach. Don’t know why I was on the Cosby Show set, but there was the Huxtables’ living room, ready to get dismantled.

Cockroach, however, in my dream didn’t look like he normally did on the show. Instead he looked like he did in the episode where he and Theo were going to audition for a spot with “The Mannequins”, which required them to shave their heads. Theo never got that far, but Cockroach did, and shaved his head.

So in my dream, Cockroach looked like this:

Coakroach with shaved head

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Categories: Dreams, Television

And we said it, and it was.

March 28, 2004, 4:21 PM

No sooner did we say it, and another one said, “Here, smell this nasty meat!”

Pee-yoo. Gross.

Anyway… otherwise, I have two wonderful days off. Time enough to feel refreshed, and ready to come back to work and smell more nasty meat.

So there you go. And to Harrisonburg we go on Monday. I can’t wait. I get to see a friend and fix their computer, and I also get to run some errands while I’m up there. Generally just going to take care of a bunch of odds and ends while I’m around, and visit the old alma mater (that is also a frightening term to use, right along with “alumni”). I’m going to walk around campus and say, “Ah, this is just as I remember it!”

So fun.

And thus the first of the days off. And so there you go.

Categories: Walmart

Here, smell this nasty meat!

March 28, 2004, 4:28 AM

One of the things about working at the Service Desk is that customers sometimes want to show you exactly why they’re returning the products. This is usually the case when they’re returning food items, usually meat. Customer comes up, says politely that the meat was bad, and then insists that I smell it up close (despite it having a rather pungent aroma from a distance).

It’s for stinky, nasty meat, and other things like that which is why Wal-Mart should issue clothespins to the people on the Service Desk. Why clothespins? For our noses, duh… Though for attacking the customers would be amusing, too.

Meanwhile, I discovered that lifting up the center clip on a till looks surprisingly like a certain profane gesture, which got a couple of laughs.

Meanwhile, Sunday is my last day before a “weekend” off, which will be fun. Going to Harrisonburg and Blacksburg. All up and down I-81. So that ought to be fun. Visiting and fixing people’s computers.

So there you go.

Categories: Walmart

Whee, today was an interesting day.

March 26, 2004, 12:21 AM

I worked register! As in cashier. That was an interesting change after working Service Desk for weeks and weeks and weeks.

Though you can tell I still have Service Desk on the brain when I’m on register. My service desk greeting is usually “Can I help the next person?” or “How can I help you?” and so on. On register, it’s “Good morning/afternoon/evening. Did you find everything all right?” When I’m not thinking, I’ll say “Can I help you?” instead of “Good morning”. The problem is that on the Service Desk, it’s not immediately obvious what they’re there for. They could be there to make a complaint, return something, send money, and so on. On the register, we know what they’re there for, for the most part. They’re checking out those six cartloads of canned corn.

The other thing is where I get my ending goofed up. On Service Desk, I say, “[Amount] is your change, and if you would please sign on the dotted line. (They sign) Thank you very much, have a great day.” Since they have to sign for a refund. On register I say, “[Amount] is your change, and here’s your receipt, and have a great day!” I get some weird looks on the register when I ask them to sign on the dotted line (which I say out of habit).

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Categories: Walmart

This proves that I can sing…

March 23, 2004, 11:52 PM

It was an associate’s birthday, and so I got to sing Happy Birthday over the loudspeaker for them, at the urging of one of our CSMs. So my rendition of “Happy Birthday” was the talk of the store today. So that was fun.

Otherwise, I had a little shopping disappointment after work. My order from Casual Male was waiting there on the porch for me. That was exciting. So then I took them in and opened them up. Now I wasn’t sure what “French Terry” meant exactly when I ordered the “French Terry Cargo Pants”, but I expected more along the lines of what you would think of as cargo pants. These were more like sweatpants. They were too much like sweatpants to use at work. So I never even took those out of their little bags.

I also got some Dockers corduroy pants. Those fit the program as far as appearance, but failed in the fit, being too small in the lower leg (that’s a new one – usually it’s quite loose around my calves, and I’m worrying about waist and thighs). So I neatly folded the pants back up and put them back in their little bag. How disappointing.

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“Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?”

March 23, 2004, 11:22 AM

I remember that phrase from the commercials in the 1990s. You have someone asking some totally random person at a random location, “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” It just strikes me as amusing.

I mean really, who is going to just randomly be carrying a bottle of Grey Poupon with them?

I usually mention that when I get the Dijon Mustard dipping sauce for the chicken at work. I say, “This is the kind of thing you just want to say, ‘Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?’ for.” And I’ve never even had Grey Poupon before, either. One of those things I need to do one of these days, I guess.

Especially if I’m going to say it, I might as well have at least eaten it, eh?

Categories: Television, Walmart

I went to Washington DC on Saturday…

March 23, 2004, 2:40 AM

I went to DC on Saturday, March 20, the year anniversary of the beginning of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (a name that still doesn’t sit right with me). Originally, there was supposed to be a big ANSWER anti-war rally in DC, but it unfortunately never materialized. I found it strange that there were rallies in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc., but not the obvious choice for a political rally, Washington DC.

However, there were two small rallies that I kind of swung by in passing. One was at Constitution Gardens a few blocks from the White House, which was a pro-Aristide march for Haiti. The other was a silent anti-war vigil at the Capitol, which is documented in the “A Sunny Day at the Capitol” Photography set that I just posted.

The Haiti rally was interesting, as it was interesting seeing the rather small group on the sidewalk along Constitution Avenue saying “Whose streets? Our streets!” That one chant just seemed out of place, what with the difference in how it was presented last April, where it was the anarchists’ call as they actually marched out into the road, and shut off a lane of traffic.

Meanwhile, the silent vigil at the Capitol seemed to go well, as the small group stood in silence (for the most part). Between the Capitol group and the Haiti group, the Haiti group was a lot more united. The Capitol group didn’t seem as “together” and presenting as strong of a message due to their appearance.

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Categories: Activism, DC trips, WMATA

And if there was anyone who thought it was otherwise, let me restate it. I am not a cowboy.

March 19, 2004, 4:15 PM

Nope. No cowboy blood in me. No wild west spirit yearning to break loose within me.

And how do I know this?

Well, I decided, since I had a long lunch break, to ride the mechanical horse in the game room. It’s one of those things I’ve kind of wanted to do for a while, and so I seized the opportunity and did it. So I got on, fed the horse my quarters, and then went out to the wild west. I should have bought a hat in softlines first, and then gone riding. But no. Still, I was having a blast, really hamming it up pretending to swing a lasso and saying, “Hi-yo, Silver!”

Let’s put it this way: The Lone Ranger I am not. End of story, but it was fun, and funny.

Categories: Walmart

More flamingo photos!

March 18, 2004, 11:52 PM

As promised, here’s some better flamingo photos…

Pink flamingoes in the Camdens' front yard

This is the whole yard, as seen from the street. Lots of pink flamingoes, let me tell you.

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What a surprise to find as I was leaving for work…

March 17, 2004, 9:39 PM

Look at this:

Pink flamingoes on the neighbors' yard

This is our neighbors’ front yard. And it is covered with pink flamingoes. Yes, pink flamingoes. From what I understand, it has something to do with a church program, but I’m not sure what it is. Still, I was amused, and snapped a picture of it with my cell phone. I’ll take some higher-resolution ones with Big Mavica tomorrow before I go to work.

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Categories: Amusing, Television, Walmart