My accomplishment for today, besides those mentioned earlier: The futon is out!

February 1, 2004, 10:06 PM

Yes, the futon is out of here. It’s on its side in Sis’s room across the hall for the time being so that I have room to clean and paint and such. It looks so weird in here without the couch. And it’s soon to get weirder, since the futon’s temporary departure makes room for more cleaning, since it blocked a LOT of stuff.

See, the futon was originally purchased for Potomac Hall. It had no place here, and actually spent the summer of 2002 in storage at Potomac Hall. It still really has no place in this room, and when it needed to go here, I shuffled things around rather quickly to make it fit somewhere. As a result, my recliner got blocked in. Now I can get that loose, and clean around there, and I can also clean around the other side of the couch. I need to take some more pictures just to show the progress of the cleaning alone.

Overarching realization: it’s amazing how much crap accumulates around here. I have some stuff that’s getting straight-up dumped. Other stuff is getting sold. Other stuff is being given away. And what’s left will fill my new “adult” room. I’m excited.

Categories: Bedroom remodel

Returned the Z-Coils, and got a Breda on my phone

February 1, 2004, 7:26 PM

Well, my saga with Z-Coil shoes came to an end, as I returned the shoes to the store, and the gentleman gave me back my check, which the store had not yet cashed. I felt really bad returning them, but I felt even worse that day that I wore them to work. Wearing my Airwalks and having the heel pain actually felt good after dealing with the Z-Coils.

And I repeat, they’re not bad shoes. Just not the right shoes for me. Some people swear by them. They didn’t work out for me.

Meanwhile, I figured out how to download pictures to my computer from my new cell phone and vice versa. So now I have a picture of the Charlottesville Wal-Mart on my computer that I took from the parking lot, and I have a picture of a Breda train on my phone that I took a year ago as my phone background. Now my phone is really me, and has personality.

Plus my ring-tone is “Funicula”, which I remember as a TV jingle for a board game called “Grape Escape”. So now my phone is really me…

Categories: Cell phone, Shopping

And the cleaning continues…

January 31, 2004, 12:35 AM

And the cleaning continues. I moved the clutter line about two feet back or so from where it was an hour ago. I unearthed some decor items that were slated to go up in here eventually, or used to be up in my Potomac Hall rooms. I also unearthed a big United States flag that was still in its packaging that I bought at Pentagon City Mall on the day I did The Schumin Web Salutes America II back in 2001, but that I couldn’t hang up at the time due to space constraints plus reach constraints (I couldn’t reach the spot I wanted to put it). I also found a bunch of books that I’d forgotten about, including a Dave Barry book. The books-without-a-home pile is now about two and a half feet tall. They will go on the new bookshelf I’m getting (and getting it at Wally World along with all my other new furnishings).

The goal in this cleaning is not only to clean and get rid of a lot of junk, but also to ultimately reach my futon couch, which is at the far end of the room, next to the windows. This way, there’s a clear space all the way across the room, so that we can move the couch out and into “swing space” (i.e. Sis’s room). Then after I get the couch out, I can clear out the junk along the perimeter (we have only dealt with junk in the middle of the room and along one wall so far, but that’s a lot of junk), and then the un-decorating begins.

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Categories: Bedroom remodel

And the Z-Coils are going back to the store…

January 30, 2004, 5:57 PM

It was a nice, expensive idea, but I’m returning the Z-Coil shoes. Sure, my heels feel great, and that’s what I bought them for. But geeeeeeeeeeez… that part of my foot felt great at the end of the day. But the entire rest of the foot was killing me by the end of the day. I’ll take the heel pain over the way everything felt at the end of today. Plus I think I was either on the verge of getting, or now have the beginning stages of a blister on my foot. Either way, the cure was worse than the problem. So scratch that and I’ll be going to get my $180 back from the store (did I say these were expensive as hell?), since they have a seven-day return policy, and I only used them on smooth floors so they’re still in new condition.

So I’m getting my money back. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and so I’m going to get my money back since I saved everything. Box, receipt, check carbon-copy, wrapping, everything. So there you go.

Meanwhile, I’m going to try a much less expensive method – I’m going to try some Dr. Scholls inserts that they sell at work and see how they are. And it’s a lot easier to return that way if it doesn’t work.

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Categories: Shopping

Goodbye foot pain and poor cell-phone service!

January 29, 2004, 9:17 PM

Well! I dropped a bundle of money today. I got a pair of Z-Coil shoes (see an entry or so down to see what I mean) and a new cell phone.

First of all, the Z-Coils. These are shoes with springs in them. I got them to wear at work, because the heel pain I get from standing all day goes from bad to unbearable over the course of the day. And since standing on my toes all day to relieve the pain in my heels is a bother, this is a good potential solution. The lead CSM in Staunton wears this kind of shoes, and she says she is fine in them. Hopefully these will take care of the pain. And if they don’t work out, there’s a seven-day return policy. But if they do work out, then it was a worthwhile investment, despite being expensive as hell. We’ll see what happens at work tomorrow.

Also, I got a new cell phone today, having switched carriers from Ntelos (formerly Intelos) to Verizon Wireless. I switched because I was not pleased with Ntelos’s service. I didn’t think that they had all that great of service. With Ntelos, I only got 200 minutes, no night/weekend service, the local service area generally consisting of the Shenandoah Valley, and local only in Virginia. With Verizon, most of the country is local, and the service area is equally large. Oh, and it works in the underground tunnels on Metro, which is a big plus for me.

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Categories: Cell phone, Shopping

I reclaimed about half the floor space today…

January 28, 2004, 1:17 AM

I reclaimed about half the floor space today, and I am pretty well impressed with myself. Actually, it’s a little less than half the room’s intended floor space, but still, that’s pretty good. I cleared out a CD tower, a bookshelf, a bunch of stuff I’ve not touched in ages, and found a good $2.00 in loose change in the process. Also found a vintage Wal-Mart receipt from Staunton (store #1344) from 1998, when Adam Anderson was manager there, according to the receipt. Changes between then and now is that Matthew Trautwein is now the manager, and they don’t use the old dot-matrix printers for the receipts anymore.

I think I actually filled up an entire garbage can out behind the house with junk that I got rid of. And that’s only the beginning.

Another interesting thing is the kind of imprints you find on the rug. Furniture that’s been sitting in the same place for years like that CD tower and bookshelf really left some imprints. Flat carpet, if you can imagine that. But even more recent stuff really left some imprints that need to be worked out of the rug. I figure that’s a job for vacuums and carpet shampooers to fix, both of which I’m taking across the carpet in here before I’m finished.

Categories: Bedroom remodel

And now we really start cleaning!

January 27, 2004, 1:34 PM

On this lovely very-snowy-and-still-snowing day, which I also have off from work, I am cleaning my room, getting ready to do a little remodeling. I’m working inwards. Start at the door, and work towards the windows. I’ve already taken “before” photos some time last week. Now to get to work, so that the job can be completed…

And this snow is also incentive to do some work, as they still haven’t plowed our road.

Snow? Bring it on! You’ll have to do better than that to keep me from getting to work!

January 26, 2004, 2:16 AM

Yeah, it snowed today. Lots of snow. Several inches’ worth on the car when I left work. But I made it home. Roads were hideous, needless to say. And I saw this one idiot on 340 ahead of me swerving quite a bit as he pulled onto the road before regaining control of his truck. I may have gone 25 mph the whole way, but I did not slide once.

And needless to say, I’m getting to work again tomorrow, even if I have to hitch-hike. I should point out it’s still snowing.

And meanwhile, there is something that just really irks me that I have been wanting to talk about. Some people are the biggest hypocrites that you can think of. Any time I tell someone where I work, it seems they always have something to say about it. Well, big-company this, and mom-and-pop that. And downtown-decay this, and squeezes-out-everything that. And what’s amazing is that these people who talk about this, first of all, are educated people who should know to back their facts up before spouting off. And secondly, they tell me, the associate, that I am wrong. Two examples…

There is a certain religious group that I affiliate with (look elsewhere on the Web site to find out their identity) that I enjoy participating in activities with. Then I mentioned back in October that I had applied to work with good ol’ Wally World. I get the whole evil-corporation spiel from the minister, who then goes on to spout off some “facts” that, if they had actually done any research, they would find were totally false. Then they brag about how long it’s been since they set foot in a Wal-Mart store.

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Categories: Walmart, Winter weather

I met Reo Hatfield today

January 25, 2004, 12:05 AM

Yes, that’s right. Waynesboro City Councilman Reo Hatfield came through my line at work today. Well, actually yes and no. He went through a line I was working, but I did not directly check him out. In case you’re wondering, I was the attendant at the self-checkouts, which is something that I enjoy doing at work, since after using them enough, I can make them scan merchandise, weigh produce, add up the price for donuts, wash your laundry, and sing “The Star Spangled Banner” backwards.

Anyway, though, I recognized Mr. Hatfield as being who he was, and it was kind of like meeting a celebrity. I don’t live in Waynesboro (I live in Stuarts Draft, which is part of Augusta County), so I can’t vote for him one way or another, but still, with him being in the newspapers recently regarding matters pertaining to the Waynesboro City Council, it was kind of neat to see him come through my self-checkouts.

Recall that I am/was a Public Administration major at JMU, and so meeting public officials is kind of cool. I should have gotten his autograph.

Two days, and I’m beat…

January 23, 2004, 12:38 AM

Well, as I probably already mentioned, we’re open. Yaaaaay. No more stocking shelves for me.

And guess what! People love our store! It gives me a nice warm feeling to hear that, and also when I see people buying the stuff that I put up on the shelves.

Meanwhile, I think I already said that I took “before” photos of my room in preparation for the big remodel. So how much progress have I made so far? Amazingly, very little. All my work so far has consisted of is going through a single bookshelf of kiddie books that I haven’t touched in ages and taking out maybe three books that I want to keep. The rest can be donated somewhere. And I’m getting rid of the shelf. So I can just give the books on the shelf all to Mom and she’ll handle it.

My next day off from Wal-Mart is Tuesday. My goal for that day is to put a major dent in the cleaning on this room. Because right now, despite having gone through a shelf, it doesn’t look like I’ve done anything.

Categories: Bedroom remodel, Walmart

As of 7 AM tomorrow morning, Wal-Mart comes to Waynesboro!

January 20, 2004, 8:48 PM

We made it! Store #5117, the new Waynesboro store, will open for business tomorrow morning, January 21, at 7 AM.

And tonight we had an open house for all of our Store 5117 families to show off all our hard work. Dad had to work and Sis was at Tech, but Mom was free to come along. I showed her all of our hard work, as I helped set up the furniture department, hardware, the garden center, toys, and fabrics and crafts. I also showed Mom the front end, the self-checkouts, the service desk (my new home at Wal-Mart), and a lot of stuff in between.

I am excited! All of our approximately seven or eight weeks of work in setting the store up will most likely be destroyed in no less than ten minutes by our customers. And we love it.

And now that Wal-Mart finally arrived in Waynesboro, what’s next? The red planet. See?

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Categories: Walmart

Went to DC on Saturday…

January 19, 2004, 5:49 AM

What a day I chose to go to Washington DC as well! First of all, the good part: I got an opportunity to ride the rehabilitated Bredas on the Metro, and I scoped out some sites for possible future photo sets. And I of course was all over that Breda train like stains on white. It even had that new train smell, if you can imagine that.

Now for the unfortunate part. Of all the things to happen when you’re more than two hours away from home, it started SLEETING while I was still in Washington. Sleet. And it was accumulating. A shame, too, since I’d planned this for my evening: Go back to Vienna, get the tripod, and then return for some fancy night photography. Change of plans: Go back to Vienna, and leave the DC area. I got in the car around 8:00. The platform at Vienna, an outdoor station, was decent, since it had been treated with de-icer.

The roads, now, were interesting. Local roads in Vienna were fairly icy, but not impossible. The Interstate close into DC was a little treacherous, but as I got further out from DC, the roads got better. Nonetheless, my average speed going home was 50 (despite the 65 mile speed limit). Took me ages to get home, but I made it.

And so then I posted on Subtalk about the Bredas. Fun…

Categories: DC trips, WMATA

And my adventure with the Ugly Fruit is now complete.

January 16, 2004, 5:43 PM

Look at this:

Ugly fruit

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Categories: Food and drink

How did I do it? Charm…

January 16, 2004, 3:00 PM

Sometimes life will deal you the lemons already made into lemonade, to twist a well-known phrase into my good fortune. You see, somehow I managed to get a three-day weekend, having gotten Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday off from Wal-Mart.

Everyone at work was saying, “A three day weekend? How did you manage that?” I always say, “Charm.” Of course, “charm” really translates to, “I have no idea but I’m not complaining.”

Friday was an at-home and around-town day, and so I think I’m going to go out on Saturday. Maybe DC. Maybe otherwise. Who knows…

Categories: Walmart

“Heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhea!”

January 15, 2004, 5:58 PM

I saw today what could best be described as the strangest and most off-the-wall commercial ever made. It’s for Pepto Bismol.

Already you know where this is going.

As you know, Pepto Bismol is the “pink stuff” that you take for various gastrointestinal ailments. So the single singer on the commercial is saying, “Heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhea!” like it’s something fun to have. Meanwhile, the people on the screen are grabbing their chests (for heartburn), then their mouths (upset stomach), their stomachs (for indigestion), and then their butts (diarrhea).

I have not laughed so hard over a commercial in a long time. And the way they were grabbing their various body parts, it looked like they were doing a very strange dance. The diarrhea dance, we could call it.

Or maybe not. Still, I am quite amused.

Categories: Television