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What a wonderful day Wednesday was…

September 8, 2005, 11:41 PM

I went down as far as Blacksburg on Wednesday. My goal was to visit two people: Sis at Virginia Tech, and my friend Amanda Mone, who I first met in December at the Roanoke Star.

But first, I had some shopping to do. Coca-Cola recently launched Vault, which is marketed as an energy drink, but is basically Surge in a new package. Currently, Coca-Cola is test-marketing it, and Roanoke is one of the areas where it’s being test-marketed. So I went down to the Wal-Mart next to Valley View Mall and got some. First I bought a 20-ounce bottle, to make sure it was really Surge in drag. It was a match! So I went and bought ten bottles of it, so that I’ll have lots of it, since I have no idea when I’ll be able to get down to Roanoke again to get some more.

I also checked out the Halloween aisles, since I was looking for a certain Halloween item that Wal-Mart sold last year that I was hoping they were going to sell again. You may recall that I mentioned in December about a mechanized black cat that reared up on its hind legs and sang a song that went like, “I’m just an alley cat, with an alley life.” I’d been unsuccessful in finding it in Waynesboro so far this year. I figured this store in Roanoke is bigger than Waynesboro, so it might be in this store. And I was right! So I bought the cat, and I’ll be figuring out all the lyrics. All I know is that I’m pretty psyched that I finally got my hands on it. I honestly thought I’d never hear that song again. And it’s catchy.

First person I met up with was Amanda, since Roanoke is on the way to Blacksburg, and Amanda and I were meeting during the day. We met at Valley View Mall, and then went up to the Roanoke Star, where we first met. What a wonderful time! This is Amanda:

Amanda

Then from there, it was off to Blacksburg to meet up with Sis. We went to West End, which, according to Sis and her boyfriend Chris Lysy, is Tech’s upscale dining facility. It was nice. We had steak!

After that, Sis, Chris, and I went back to Sis’s car (which I drove instead of the van for better mileage plus air-conditioning), and after Sis finished telling the car how much she missed it (seriously!), we grabbed my Sega Genesis (the delivery of which was the whole reason for the trip), and whatever else Mom wanted me to bring. And we went to Payne Hall, which is about the same age as Potomac Hall (where I lived for three years), and just as nice. All I have to say is that it’s about time that Sis got a Potomac-like dorm. Lee Hall, where she spent her first two years, is a dump.

Arriving, I met her roommate, JC, for the first time. JC is very energetic, and very much full of sunshine. She reminds me of Bonnie Sutton, who has a similar personality.

So the three of us (Sis, Chris, and I) went about coming up with a game plan to set up the Genesis. Where would it go, and how it was all going to get hooked up was the name of the game. We determined that there wasn’t a spot for it, but… if we could move everything on JC’s side of the room over a couple of feet, we could move the refrigerator around and put it on top of that. After all, JC had the TV, and Sis had already arranged to hook it up to that.

Amazingly, JC actually agreed to our moving all her stuff two feet over so we could move the refrigerator to the other side. So Chris and I did most of that. We pulled the desk out, slid the combination loft bed/hutch/dresser the required two feet, and then put the desk back in. And when JC got back to the room after stepping out for a few minutes, you wouldn’t think we’d moved anything.

Then, in setting up the Genesis, Sis realized we had a problem. Not enough plugs. See, my Genesis is not just a very old-school Genesis (seriously old-school – it’s the original big model with “16-BIT” on the front). It’s also got a Sega CD and 32X attached to it. That requires three outlets for three big adapters. So what did we do? We went to Wally World and bought one.

So Sis, Chris, and I piled into her car and we went. I drove, despite what Sis wanted to do. She understood my reasoning, though – the car was already set for me, so I’ll just drive. They not only bought this cute tiger-striped adapter, but also a whole bunch of other things, and also posed with a whole bunch of other stuff, like a Disney Princess trash can:

They not only bought this cute tiger-striped adapter, but also a whole bunch of other things, and also posed with a whole bunch of other stuff, like a Disney Princess trash can.

And then we went back to the dorm and got it set up. Yay! Sis kicked my butt in Super Street Fighter II, and that was that. So this is my Genesis in place:

Sega Genesis with peripherals

And while I was taking pictures, here’s Sis and JC:

Sis and JC

And after we got everything settled, I got ready to go. Sis and Chris saw me to the car, and from there, we drove to Chris’s car so that he could go back to his apartment (and drop Sis back off at Payne on the way).

And then the trip home was pretty good. Boring as hell, but it was good. It was an easy drive, including through a few work zones where VDOT was doing guardrail work (milepost 150), a repaving job (milepost 170), and bridge replacements (Lexington area).

Web site: Unofficial Web site for Vault, which is the modern-day equivalent of Surge

Song: "I'm just an alley cat, with an alley life..." - From that mechanical cat I bought.

Quote: "Children, we're in public..." - Me to Sis and Chris a few times at Wal-Mart in Christiansburg.