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Blue Screen of Death on the self-checkout…

December 11, 2005, 5:58 PM

I wondered when it would happen, and today it finally did – one of our self-checkouts crashed and displayed the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death”. I just wish I had a camera with me at the time, because I so wanted to take a picture of that…

Otherwise, though, I realized in the last few weeks that the customers don’t listen to a word I say. I put this to the test recently, using one of everyone’s favorite Homestar Runner holidays – Decemberween. Decemberween is, to quote the Homestar Runner Wiki, “a holiday celebrated by the people of Free Country, USA, 55 days after Halloween, on December 25th. It bears many similarities to Christmas with colorful lights and garlands and the giving of presents, but with some obvious differences.” Read the whole article for more information on Decemberween, because it’s otherwise irrelevant. Just focus on the name. So I would casually ask, “Are you all ready for Decemberween?” instead of “Are you all ready for Christmas?” I would get the same response for “Decemberween” as I would for “Christmas”. Not a single person ever questioned my use of “Decemberween”. Not a one. Scary.

Meanwhile, my belief that the more religious stuff a person has on their car, the worse driver they are has been confirmed once again. I first talked about this in this entry from May 23. Today I had two cases on the way home. The first was on US 340 where I got stuck behind this van that had “JESUS” right on the license plate. And it was going 35 in the left lane (and the speed limit was 45 and then changed to 55 before I could pass them). Then turning onto 608, I got behind another person with a bumper sticker where a religious group decided to be cute and do a religious take on the logo for CSI. The bumper sticker said “CSI: Christ Saves Individuals”. Here’s a Web site showing the logo in question. These people not only were going five miles below the speed limit the whole time I was behind them, but they also decided that a green light means “stop”. After dealing with the previous slowpoke coming out of Waynesboro, and then having to sit behind this moron for a few miles, sitting at the green light was the final straw. I hit my horn, and leaned on it until these bozos moved. They moved, and thankfully, our paths diverged after that point.

I consider myself to be a man of great patience… except when I’m trying to get home after a very busy day at work. Then, my best advice is to stay the heck out of my way. Still, it’s almost as if these people with the religious stuff on their cars want to get to heaven TODAY, and thus are driving badly in hopes of causing an accident and getting to the pearly gates in time for dinner.

Now let’s back up for a moment, for I went to Washington this past Wednesday. I had two major objectives. One was the Infoshop, which I try to visit every other trip or so (about once a month). The other was to go up to College Park, where I went to College Perk, to visit my friend Rose.

Before actually hitting the Infoshop, though, I stopped at the Giant Food across the street in order to buy a container of liquid soap and a refill bottle of the same. Thus I made a donation to the Infoshop (and it was well received, too), since lack of soap in their bathroom has always been a pet peeve of mine.

Then getting to the Infoshop was also a challenge. The plain concrete sidewalk in front of the Infoshop was being replaced with one of red brick, and so the stairs down to the entrance were blocked. How to get in? Due to the noise of the equipment, I slipped into the liquor store next door, where I looked up the number on my phone and then called them up. They ended up letting me in through the building’s ground-level entrance and then going back around through the building.

And then after doing my Infoshop thing, I forgot my cell phone. I realized it right in front of the building, so it wasn’t like I was that far off. So I went back in and got it, after realizing exactly where I’d left it.

And from there… College Park! This time, I was smart, and took the bus. I took the 83 to Greenbelt Road and 48th Avenue, and walked the remaining two blocks to College Perk. Then I took the 86 back to the Metro. Not bad. And Rose was there as I’d hoped, and so we got a chance to talk about whatever. I’d not spoken with Rose in a little over six months, so that was great to just kind of catch up, etc. I also had a mint steamer, which for those of you who don’t know, is steamed milk with flavoring in it. It’s really good, too. And College Perk is a fun place, too. When I eventually move to the DC area after I find a job up there, College Perk will definitely be one of my hangouts. I love that place. We don’t have places like College Perk around here.

Of course, the same goes for the Infoshop. We have anything like that around here. Of course, Stuarts Draft/Staunton/Waynesboro is too conservative for anyone to even think about starting an infoshop…

So there you go. My life in however many words this took or less.

Web site: Million Worker March on Wikipedia, which recently was marked as a "good article". I'm quite proud of this, because not only did I have a tremendously fun time at the actual event, but I wrote the lion's share of the article about the event.

Song: Tom Lehrer's Alma: "Alma, tell us, all modern women are jealous, which of your magical wands got you Gustav and Walter and Franz?"

Quote: "Blue screen of death!"