A16… and what a day it was!

April 17, 2005, 10:15 PM

April 16, 2005 was definitely an interesting day for all involved. It was on this day that a large demonstration against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund was planned. As is the usual case with days that I go to big demonstrations, I fit the trip into the framework of my regular trips to Washington DC that I make every two weeks or so. The big difference on this trip, though, was that I took my sister with me. I normally don’t take anyone with me when I go on my DC trips. It’s just me. Last time I took anyone to DC with me was when Mom and Sis and I went to Washington DC on August 9, 2003, when we did my A Day in DC photo set. Since then, I’d met both Dad and Mom on trips to Washington DC in April 2004 and July 2004 respectively, but since our agendas were so different, each made their way up to DC separately.

So at the early hour of 5 AM, Sis and I set off for Washington DC, but not before the car gave us trouble starting up. Don’t know what caused that, since it was working fine the day before, and also worked fine on the rest of the trip. So who knows. On the way up, we made my usual stops – one at the Sheetz in Mt. Jackson, and once at Wal-Mart in Manassas. Sis got to give the self-checkouts in Manassas a whirl, and we got a shot of that:

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Is it me?

April 15, 2005, 4:26 AM

Chuck Taylors - are they "me"?

While I was out yesterday, I tried on a pair of classic Converse “Chuck Taylor” shoes (aka “Chucks”) to see how they would look on me, since my Airwalks now sport a growing hole on the side of the right shoe. Plus considering that Airwalk has discontinued their shoe line, it’s time to move on from them. So I tried on the left shoe from a pair of Chucks to see how they look. I couldn’t decide what I think, so I decided to let the jury decide. Thus this Journal entry, with the cell phone picture taken off a mirror. They do feel pretty good, though I don’t know about these. I could go either way, I think.

Still, you have to admit that these shoes are classics.

Categories: Shoes

A proposed new high-rise in Rosslyn, making a dramatic new skyline, and eliminating a frightfully ugly building… and right next to my Rosslyn hangout!

April 14, 2005, 12:40 AM

In the April 13, 2005 issue of the Washington Post, I found this article about a new high-rise proposed for Rosslyn. This high-rise is significant because it would rise to 484 feet, which is an unknown height for Rosslyn. Currently, the tallest towers in Rosslyn top out at around 300 feet. So this one would certainly be a head above the rest. The proposed location, based on artists’ conceptions, places the building right next to Rosslyn Center.

Here’s an artists’ conception as seen in Thursday’s Washington Post:

Proposed building in Rosslyn at 1812 North Moore Street

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Categories: Arlington

I got a compliment…

April 12, 2005, 7:02 PM

Today, as I was clocking out for lunch, I found this on a paper by the time clock:

Cashier Ben – phone call from customer – friendliest associate in store – would wait in his line no matter how long.

That absolutely made my day, you know that? That put the spring in my step, and I was just tickled pink. It’s always good to know that someone appreciates you.

Categories: Walmart

Stand to the right!

April 11, 2005, 11:55 PM

Interestingly enough, a post made on Metroriders made me think about something that I noticed when Katie and I went to Lynchburg and Roanoke last Wednesday.

First of all, the post is here.

Now… so you know the background information, the unwritten rule of etiquette on Metro escalators is to stand to the right, and walk to the left. Tourists in DC are the biggest violators of this bit of Metro etiquette, though we will cut them a little (very little) bit of slack for being from out of town and not knowing DC Metro etiquette. But if you ride Metro, if you’re just riding the escalators, stand on the right side so that those walking the escalators can pass you.

I realized that I had internalized the unwritten “stand to the right” rule when Katie and I were at Valley View Mall in Roanoke. Valley View Mall is a two-story mall, and several sets of escalators link the two levels. I got on the escalator first, and immediately found the right side of the escalator without even thinking about it. Katie, on the other hand, kind of stood wherever. She’s never ridden the Metro before, so she’s never needed to put “stand to the right” into practice. Still, when I saw Katie standing in the middle-to-left part of the escalator, I encouraged her to stand to the right because that’s what you’re supposed to do on the escalator. Then I realized where I was. I wasn’t in Washington. I was in Roanoke, and more than 300 miles from a Metro station.

Still, I stood to the right nonetheless. It made me feel better.

And remember – if ever you go to Washington DC, stand to the right and walk to the left on the escalators, or you’ll leave some very aggravated Metro riders in your wake.

Categories: Katie, Roanoke, WMATA

Today was a Monday, and there was no mistaking it for anything else but a Monday.

April 11, 2005, 9:45 PM

Now I know why Garfield hates Mondays so much. This particular Monday seemed out to get me. Two significant occurrences happened today.

The first was my shoes. Now, since it’s gotten warmer out, I’ve switched from the Airwalks to some Faded Glory sandals, which I normally wear with socks. Today, I was wearing the sandals. And a piece that holds the top of the sandal together near the toe gave out as I was going to my break. Thankfully, that had an easy quick fix, and an easy permanent solution. The quick fix was to borrow some tape from the bike assemblers. My coworkers suggested duct tape to fix it. I couldn’t find any. So I used masking tape. It held until my lunch break, when I could make a permanent fix. On my lunch, I got another pair exactly like them off the shelf and exchanged them. Problem solved. Hopefully that first pair was just a fluke, and that these will go the distance.

The second thing to go wrong involved the bag spinners at the cash registers and a gallon of milk. I guesstimated how much space I had on top of my spinner, and was wrong. Thus I accidentally shoved a gallon of milk off the top of it, where it bounced off the bottom of the spinner, and then hit the floor. There, the container was compromised, sending milk all over the floor. Thankfully, it was a slow day, plus it spilled into an open area, and so no one was hurt, and nothing was damaged aside from the milk container. Still, I had no idea that a gallon of milk could go so far. But three of us managed to get the spill under control.

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Categories: Shoes, Toyota Previa, Walmart

“I told you I was on a budget!”

April 10, 2005, 1:41 AM

Kids say the darndest things sometimes. This was one of those cases. On Friday at Wal-Mart, a really young girl, probably around first grade or so, said to her mother, proudly, “I told you I was on a budget!” after buying a few things on her own ticket in my line.

Of course, the thing that amused me more than that was what she said while I was ringing up her mother’s stuff. This girl, on her budget, presumably being a real cheapskate with her own money, then turned to her mother, and asked her if she could buy her something. Now we know what “I’m on a budget” really means. We’re not spending much if we’re on our own budget, but on mother’s budget, on the other hand…

I was quite amused, to say the least.

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Eight days until A16…

April 8, 2005, 10:05 PM

Only eight more days until A16, and I can’t wait. Of course, that day has big shoes to fill. I hope it’s as fun as or more fun than J20, the counter-inaugural. That day was SO fun. Still, A16 (World Bank/IMF demonstration), should all go as expected, will be my sixth big demonstration, and my fourth black bloc. I’m excited. And my sister’s coming with me!

Otherwise, Katie and I had a fun time in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke on Wednesday. We saw Teri, a former coworker, at her new job at the Comfort Inn in Charlottesville, and we also saw Steve, our old front end manager, at his current store in Lynchburg. And besides seeing old friends, we also shot a few photo sets with Big Mavica, and also some very humorous photos with the cell phone.

One of the more amusing moments was when we were finished eating at the Radio Grill in Madison Heights. Without even thinking, not only did I throw the contents of the tray away after I was finished eating… but I also threw the tray away as well. And I didn’t even notice that I did it until Katie mentioned it to me. She wondered if, after I threw the tray away, whether I would walk away from it. I did, since I didn’t even realize I did it. But I was a good person and fished it out, since it was right on top.

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The ice man cometh on Tuesdays!

April 5, 2005, 8:24 PM

In our Wal-Mart in Waynesboro, the guy from Reddy Ice comes on Tuesday mornings to fill up the ice machines. And so it’s an excuse to be funny. I say, “The ice man cometh.” And it’s one of those things where it’s perfectly accurate. The ice man did cometh. And he bringeth ice. I asked the Reddy Ice guy one time how many people say “the ice man cometh” when he comes to do the ice machine. I found out that he hears that A LOT… practically at every stop he makes. Of course, if you are the ice man, you must cometh. And we prefer an ice man who bringeth ice. That way, we can selleth ice to the customers.

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “the ice man cometh” (or “the iceman cometh”, your pick). It was on America’s Funniest Home Videos. The video showed a man in a martial arts uniform on a stage coming up to a rack of four large blocks of ice. He strikes it, and then falls off the stage, through the ice. The voiceover by Bob Saget was, “The ice man cometh. The ice man breaketh. The ice man falleth.”

Otherwise, though, today was a decent day. I got to rectify my pet peeves today. In other words, I got to neaten up and pull the trash out of the registers today. And dust what needed dusting. Nothing irritates me more than when I come to a register to work, and find that the people before me left me some “surprises” stuffed in weird places. And I always discover them at the most inopportune times, too.

Maybe one day I’ll have a job where I have a desk that only I use, and so I won’t come to work and find little “surprises” in funny places.

Categories: Television, Walmart

Katie and I are going to Lynchburg on Wednesday!

April 4, 2005, 8:32 PM

Finally, Katie and I are going to take a trip somewhere. We’re going to hit three cities in one day: Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke. We’re going to be hitting a few things for each person. For Katie, we’re going to visit our friend Teri, who used to work with us at Wal-Mart, in Charlottesville, and then we’re also going to swing by River Ridge Mall, and also to visit our old manager, Steve, at the Lynchburg Wal-Mart. For me, I’m going to turn the whole day into a Life and Times set, plus I want to do Photography sets in downtown Lynchburg and possibly in Bedford. Then I also need a little “star time” in Roanoke, meaning it’s up to the Roanoke Star for us!

For some reason, when I need to think or something, I like to get up somewhere really high, and then look down and survey the area below. And I can do this either in a natural setting, like on top of a mountain, or I can do this in an artificial setting, like at the top of a parking garage. Just as long as I can see a lot, and can look down and watch things going on. I’ve actually found that the top of the parking garage at Huntington fits this purpose quite well. In Roanoke, I find that place at the Roanoke Star overlook. And then near home, that refuge can be found on the Blue Ridge Parkway, looking down over the Nelson County/Albemarle County side, or over the Augusta County side. I prefer the Augusta County side, since I’m more familiar with it. On that side, you can see Stuarts Draft and Waynesboro. One time when I visited during the day, I even found Wal-Mart! So yeah, I like high places when it comes to unwinding.

Categories: Katie, Myself

And we change the clocks again…

April 3, 2005, 12:27 AM

I can’t believe that our time with Standard Time has come to an end once again. And now it’s time for Daylight Savings! Amazing. I also can’t believe that it’s April, and that A16 is only two weeks away.

Meanwhile, Katie had a birthday on Thursday, March 31. So now she’s 23. She and I and her mother and her mother’s boss all went to Sanzone’s Italian Restaurant in Stuarts Draft for dinner. It was a lovely dinner, too. We all had some sort of pasta. And let me tell you… Sanzone’s is a wonderful restaurant. They really did a number on the old Tastee Freez building. Inside, you wouldn’t think that it was fast food. It’s a gorgeous Italian restaurant now. Now outside, its former use is still evident, as the drive-thru canopy is still there, though not in use, and the exterior looks like it was once fast food. But all in all, though, Sanzone’s is a good place to take your family if you’re interested in Italian food. Good food, and good service.

Okay, end of ringing endorsement. But they are good.

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I’m losing my voice…

March 30, 2005, 2:58 AM

This is like the moment that my coworkers can’t wait for… I’m losing my voice. Of course, they all say that in a joking manner, since I have a bit of a big mouth (and will be the first to say so, too!).

Still, I think I got it while I was out on Friday. Remember how I said I went up to the star, and the weather “let loose”? Well, the rain actually soaked right through my coat, and I also got my hair wet, and I think that contributed to how I caught something that’s causing me to lose my voice.

Still, though, just because I’m losing it doesn’t deter me from using it. If I need to make a page, I’ll still page it myself. I sound a little rough on there, but you know what? If I can get the words out, I can broadcast it over the squawk box. So there.

And this isn’t stopping me from going to Washington DC today as planned. I plan to drive up to Vienna, catch the Metro, and do my DC thing as always. In fact, I’m going to be shooting photos for what I call my “In the Face of Danger” photo set. So we’ll see how that goes.

Plus I’ve gone to DC before with no voice. I even have a recording of myself dictating a car number into the camera for reference purposes (read: Transit Center). Rohr 1273 on the Green Line to Greenbelt. Rohr cars on Green are rare, so it was worth noting.

And this is also my last DC trip before A16. So that means it will likely be a month or so before I can get any more “leisure trip” photo shoots in, since April 16 will be filled with World Bank protest fun… with my sister!

Categories: DC trips, Personal health

A week of mornings!

March 29, 2005, 3:39 AM

I don’t understand that one. I’m working mostly mornings this week. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday – all mornings. Usually I’m on evenings.

And then on Wednesday I’m going to Washington DC. In the morning. And of course, I’ll be there until late at night. Seriously, I usually hit the Orange Line at Vienna right around 10:00 in the morning, after the all-day passes become valid, and the guaranteed parking spaces become available. Then I don’t leave Vienna in the evening until just beyond 12:00. I do cut it close in the evenings, but I’ve never ridden on the last train of the night. Closest I’ve come is second-to-last, and another time the train I had just gotten off of at Vienna was going to be the last train of the night to New Carrollton. The last trains of the night all meet at Metro Center and Gallery Place-Chinatown depending on color before proceeding to the terminals.

Meanwhile, I am going down to Blacksburg on April 14 to pick Sis up. I figure that since it’s my event that we’re going to, after all (A16), I might as well do the Virginia Tech run at least one of the two runs. So I’m doing the pick-up run. I’m going to let a parent do the drop-off run, since I’m going to be all driven out after A16. You drive 150 miles each way the day before and see how much you want to drive another 100 miles in each direction the next day. At least the drive to Washington has a big urban area at one end of it, and requires busting a move in changing between I-81 and I-66. The Virginia Tech run is just a straight shot through the most boring part of I-81.

Otherwise, I need to come up with a good April Fool’s joke for use at work. I don’t know what I want to do yet, but I want it to be good. On the topic of good April Fool’s jokes, I’m still quite proud of my 2002 joke, which I ran in the quote space. I even X-ed out the logo for that week and changed the circle-pic. It was so much fun.

What a nice day I had on Friday!

March 26, 2005, 11:26 AM

I went OUT on Friday! I went down and did that Lynchburg-to-Roanoke-and-back circuit, and it seems to work for me. I got a late start, but it still worked. The weather, unfortunately, did not cooperate, which was a shame. I wanted clear skies so I could do a Photography set on downtown Lynchburg. That did not happen. So I skipped it. Downtown Lynchburg, at a glance, looks like a downtown with an older charm to it, but not too old of an older charm. The most prominent building on the skyline is the Bank of the James Building, which was built in 1972. Downtown Lynchburg is going to be fun to do when I get a good-weather day.

In going through Lynchburg, I take US 29. That one has a few different names in Lynchburg. It starts out as Memorial Drive, then changes to Fort Avenue, and then to Wards Road. On Wards Road, I stopped at River Ridge Mall, where I found an interesting sight – a train! I stopped to look, needless to say. I also got a few photos…

River Ridge Express  River Ridge Express

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“Boiling popsicle isn’t exactly a romantic dance…”

March 25, 2005, 12:05 AM

Today I worked what I recently dubbed the “Cinderella shift” at work. That would be the 3 PM to 12 midnight shift. At the stroke of midnight, I’m outta there, because at that time, my car turns into a pumpkin, my Wal-Mart vest turns into rags, and I am required by the guidelines set forth in the story to leave one shoe in the breakroom. The assumption is that CSM Charming must then go to all the associates in the land with the shoe and see who it fits so that I can work happily ever after. The “boiling popsicle” comment came from the Today’s Special interpretation of Cinderella, which had Cinderella and the Prince dancing something like rock and roll before doing something a little more romantic.

Okay, all joking aside, I did really work the 3-12 shift, and ask my coworkers – I really did call it the Cinderella shift due to its ending at midnight.

Speaking of work, it’s funny what people will assume when you leave a few pieces of the puzzle missing. With the exception of my friend Katie, I gave none of my coworkers any details about the operation I had on February 28 beforehand. So people knew I was going to be out for two weeks for an operation, but not for what. So when I came back to work, I found out that people were speculating, and trying to fill that gap in their knowledge that I left.

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Categories: Personal health, Walmart