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“…he was from New Jersey! I went to my senior prom with a YANKEE!”

January 13, 2005, 7:22 PM

That line of Blanche’s from The Golden Girls just cracks me up. Since, you see, I am originally from New Jersey, and still consider myself northern, even though I’ve lived in Virginia for more than half my life.

This is why I love it when people say that I sound northern, like one person told me today. Shows I haven’t lost it. And let me tell you – the word “y’all” is not in my vocabulary. And if ever you hear me say “y’all”, slap me.

Meanwhile, I’m going to the doctor’s office tomorrow for pain. Where? Wrists! Over Christmas, I managed to get a repetitive stress injury in both wrists from scanning items for customers. Now it’s painful to scan stuff. I had this happen in 2003 in my right wrist only, and then it went away after a while on the Service Desk. This time it’s both wrists, and I am so done with the Service Desk, so that’s not an escape again. I’m hoping to get some “feel-good medicine” to make me feel good (thus “feel-good medicine”) and make the pain go away. Usually I do so well, and nothing ever ails me. Then within the last month or so, I got two colds in a row in December, and then this. Yuck.

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I finally have a Simplex 4040 in my fire alarm collection!

August 19, 2004, 2:46 AM

At long last, I have a Simplex 4040 in my fire alarm collection, thanks to a person who I’ve been corresponding with online. At last. First of all, to the person who sent it to me, a very heartfelt thank you. This means a lot to me.

For those of you who don’t know, this is what the Simplex 4040 looks like:

Simplex 4040

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Categories: Fire alarms, Fire drills

The little kiddies go back to school soon, and vacation is on the 11th…

August 3, 2004, 12:00 AM

I don’t care if it’s only two days. I plan on making the most of those two days at Virginia Beach, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And at this last count, it will be a week and a day as of tomorrow. I can’t wait. And this time I know exactly how to get there, since no one changed the route number on me this time.

Recall from 2000, when I last went to Virginia Beach, that I actually rode almost completely around the Hampton Roads area, or as it’s also called over there, the “Hampton Roads Beltway”. Before 2000, I had gone to Virginia Beach only once before, on a one-day trip in 1999. I consider that trip a mistake in retrospect, since for all the driving my friend Andrea and I did, we only got a few hours on the beach before it was time to go back home. And we still didn’t get home until 4 AM. But in that 1999 trip, the actual road to the beach was signed as a state highway, VA-44. As a result, this is what I was looking for on the highway:

Virginia State Route 44 green sign

Instead, in 2000, this is what I got:

Interstate 264 green sign

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I went to Harrisonburg today…

July 6, 2004, 9:35 PM

Yeah, I had to run a few errands over in Harrisonburg today, and so that gave me an excuse to go visit JMU. That was fun. I took Big Mavica with me, and so I took some photos of Potomac Hall, the new fire alarm system in Warren Hall, and the progress of the renovation work on Harrison Hall. So that was fun. JMU is doing some changing, all right. They’re also continuing with the work on bricking over the drive right in front of Wilson Hall.

It was also really cool to be photographing Potomac Hall again! I needed some “authentic Potomac Hall” for my new College Life site, and so that felt really nice to be back there again. My exact comment to myself was, “I feel like I’m home again.” I didn’t go in, since it appeared that the place was empty anyway. But I did get to see Potomac’s housekeepers again, whom I hadn’t seen since May 2003. They were all glad to see me again, too.

What amazed me the most about my trip to JMU was the new fire alarm system in Warren Hall. Recently, Warren and Taylor Halls each got new fire alarm systems. Recall that these two buildings share a few levels, and when the fire alarm goes off in one, it trips the other. The fire alarm system in Taylor was replaced last December, with that side getting a new Simplex alarm system. They replaced the smoke detectors and the pull stations, but they did not replace the horns and strobes. Those were non-ADA compliant Edwards horn/strobes from 1993, when Taylor was built. Which I thought was strange, both right afterwards, and even more so now, which you’ll see why after I tell you more. Now the new fire alarm system in Warren Hall that they installed also replaced the smoke detectors and the pull-stations, but they also ran new wires with related conduits for new Simplex notification appliances (horns and such) on the Warren Hall side ONLY. Stranger still that on three of the four floors, this was replacing already-ADA-compliant Gentex equipment installed during the 1999 renovation of the third through fifth floors of Warren Hall (Warren no longer has a first floor, since the floor numbers between Warren and Taylor Halls were synchronized with each other when Taylor was built, and Taylor has a first floor). So they mostly replaced ADA-compliant equipment, and provided about the same or less coverage as before in most areas (they did add some new coverage, though, in some rooms). But they still left the old horns in the other area, and did not upgrade there.

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Categories: Fire alarms, JMU

I have a lot of dreams about fire alarms… this one had to be one of the weirder ones.

November 23, 2003, 12:03 AM

Last night I had a dream about fire alarms. Now that in itself was not a new thing. I regularly have fire alarm dreams, believe it or not.

What’s weird is that lately they have been increasing in frequency in the last while. Now usually when I have fire alarm dreams, it’s more specifically that I’m in a school setting, and I am aware that a fire drill is coming.

See, when I was in school, I obsessed over fire drills. Let me tell you, I did. And it was a control thing. The alarm was set off manually for fire drills, and as such, I couldn’t predict the moment when it would go off. And they also never told us when they were coming. And for me, I hated the initial shock of the alarm starting to go off. The sudden intrusion of a loud noise into my comparatively quiet learning environment. Once the alarm was going, I had no problem, and actually enjoyed hearing the alarm. But it’s the initial “RRRRRRRRRRR!” of the alarm (specifically that first “R”) that caused me SO much stress and related health problems in school.

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Categories: Dreams, Fire alarms

And the worst place to be when the fire alarm goes off is…

September 30, 2003, 7:01 PM

I forgot to tell you this in the newsletter!

I say one of the worst places to be is right below a horn, which happened to me last Thursday in Keezell Hall (someone accidentally burned their lunch).

There’s a discussion about this going on in the forums. Interesting stuff. Still can’t believe I forgot to mention it in the newsletter, despite the subject line…

Categories: Fire alarms, JMU