Happy Singles Awareness Day

2 minute read

February 14, 2005, 10:23 PM

Today was a day that I could have easily pulled my hair out. Today was Singles Awareness Day, more commonly known as “Valentine’s Day”. And I could have pulled my hair out not only because this is the holiday for lovers – and with me being totally single.

First of all, about being single – I don’t mind it. See, I saved money by not having to buy any of the Valentine’s crap we’ve been selling. The only thing I bought was a heart-shaped box of chocolates for the box design. For ME. I thought it was cute because it says “Choo Choo Choose Me” and there’s a picture of a train. I bought it because it reminds me of the classic Simpsons episode where Lisa Simpson gives Ralph Wiggum a Valentine that says, “I choo choo choose you”.

Now, about today. I was ready to pull my hair out because it seemed that everyone and their mother was buying flowers and cards for their significant others. And flowers don’t like to scan. Seriously, they don’t. I was surprised when I could get a flower to scan. This is when we wish flowers were sold a different way, like by weight or something like produce. Just toss ’em on the scale and put in a number and voila – flowers.

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Categories: Holidays, House, Walmart

I found out now why I have so much junk…

< 1 minute read

February 7, 2005, 6:48 PM

I’ve been cleaning out the tubs in the floor today, and my father came by. Now we know why I’m such a pack rat. I inherited that trait from him.

Here’s how it came about. He says, looking in one of the tubs, “The garbage can is your friend.” Then he goes into Sis’s room, which I’m using as a staging area for junk. He looks at the stuff. “You’re getting rid of this?”

I eventually put it to him nicely, this way: “Now I know why I have so much junk. Now shoo before you get me to keep something else I don’t need.”

The garbage can is our friend. And I haven’t even gone near the closet yet.

And on an unrelated note, I visit DC once again on the 9th. This marks nearly three weeks since J20, the last time I went to Washington DC. My friend Katie and I had to cancel our February 2 trip because of an emergency that came up, and so we didn’t get to go. Katie and I will reschedule. I’m going on Wednesday. I know I’m going to go to Union Station again, if nothing but to reminisce, since besides being a fun place to go for the railfan, the shopper, and the architectural buff, which I first photographed two years ago in my appropriately-named Union Station photo set, I’ve now been to a demonstration there! The Freedom Ball was held at Union Station, and I was outside with Code Pink demonstrating. So Wednesday ought to be a fun DC trip. We’ll see what I do this time.

Categories: House

I don’t know what it is about this time of year that makes me want to start a project at home

2 minute read

January 13, 2005, 7:44 PM

Yeah, Sis is going back to school on Sunday, and I’m again going to use her room as swing space. This time, I’m attacking the problem spots in my room. Mainly those spots where junk accumulates.

Let me put it to you this way: I still have the tubs of junk from my Potomac Hall room in the middle of my floor, nearly two years later. I moved them out when I redecorated last year, and then moved them back in afterwards. This time, I’m officially attacking those tubs. And the closet. And whatever other corners and spots have become junk repositories.

Here’s the battle plan. Sis’s floor will be divided up into four sections. One area will be “keep”. One will be “sell”, which I intend to list on eBay. A third will be “trash”. And a fourth will be “Goodwill”. Now that we have a new Goodwill store in Waynesboro right next to Wal-Mart, I’m most likely going to donate a boatload of stuff from this adventure to Goodwill. Still, I intend to make this room more livable than it is right now. Besides, I’d have to do this anyway after I find a job in Washington and move out. So I might as well just do it now.

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Categories: House, Today's Special

Now this is the life (the phone’s fixed)

2 minute read

September 26, 2004, 1:52 AM

This is the life. I’m getting good connection speeds again (“good” being relative here, with this being dial-up), and staying connected for extended periods of time.

As of right now, I’m connected at top speed for my dial-up, and have been online for two hours and thirty minutes.

Considering that at the height of the problems with the phone, we were getting noise on both lines, as well as cross-talk. This caused a lot of cases where the computer couldn’t keep up and dropped the connection. This also led to a database outage this past week, which stemmed from a botched upload following an update. I did get it fixed, but not without lots of problems.

But the phone is now fixed! They ended up going under the house and replaced some cables. And it all works now, which is good.

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Categories: House

The problem is getting fixed on Saturday

< 1 minute read

September 22, 2004, 7:57 PM

Yes, the problem with the phones is being fixed on Saturday. Or at least looked at. Hopefully, though, it’s something simple that is able to be fixed on the spot. I just hope it’s not something totally complicated that requires multiple visits and such. Please let it be an easy fix.

And while I’m thinking about it, since we are still getting the noise on the line, I’m writing this journal entry offline in Notepad again. It still works out really well, too. If you put “.LOG” at the beginning of your file, it will put a date and time stamp at the bottom of the file each time you open it. So that’s how I keep it accurate on the time the entry was made, even though I’m manually adding it in later. Still, entering it in manually is easy. I just download the journal files, paste in the new entries, and then re-upload the files.

So the phone problem will be fixed Saturday. I say “yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay”.

Categories: House

The noise is gone…

< 1 minute read

September 19, 2004, 12:23 PM

Well, the noise is gone, which means that I can get back online again (though I’m still doing this one manually). Dad now knows about where the problem is based on what I did, so that’s a good thing. He says he doesn’t know who to call about fixing that. We’ll figure something out, I’m sure.

Categories: House

This is insane!

4 minute read

September 18, 2004, 11:53 PM

This is definitely an unusual journal entry that I’m writing right now. Instead of writing this directly into the Web site, I’m writing this in Windows Notepad, and then I’m going to manually add this entry into my journal online later. The time at the bottom of this entry, in case you’re wondering, does reflect the actual time of writing – not the time it was manually added in online. Wondering why I’m doing this? Let me explain…

For some time now, we’ve been having phone problems. We have two lines at the house. One line for voice (let’s call it Line 1), and the other line for Internet (which we’ll call Line 2). Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of interference and cross-talk on the two lines. If we’re on the Internet using Line 2, we’ll get bumped off periodically, or the line will go dead, leaving Windows showing that we have an active connection, but nothing will go through. No Web, no Instant Messenger. Usually I can tell when that happens when all my IM services (AIM, MSN, Yahoo) will go dead, one after the other. Usually MSN drops first, followed by Yahoo, finally followed by AIM. Web service is also disrupted, though it’s not as noticeable. There’s also the occasion where the modem actually drops the connection, with the audible “click” of it disconnecting, and the computer indicating that it lost the connection. We were quietly blaming this on Velocitus, our ISP, for some time. We figured it was a problem on their end. But not so.

We figured out it wasn’t Velocitus when we started getting cross-talk from Line 2 on Line 1. When someone was connected to the Internet on Line 2, we would hear the modem sounds in the background. Very bothersome. Then something else started happening. Whenever a call would come in on Line 1, or someone would make a call on Line 1, it would disrupt Line 2’s connection. So thus if the phones rang and my strobe started going off, it was bye-bye Internet, and the connection would either die or it would drop entirely.

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Categories: House

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY! The remodeling is finished!

2 minute read

August 30, 2004, 9:29 PM

Finally! No more hammering. No more nail guns. No more polyurethane. No more getting up at an ungodly hour to vacate so that they can do the stairs. No more! It’s DONE! And I am so pleased with that.

And it looks really nice, too. I’m going to take a final round of photos tomorrow for the Web site, and then I’m going to compile a photo set about the whole remodel for Life and Times.

It’s amazing… when we moved into this house, we had an open deck out back, and light beige colored carpeting in the entire house, including up the stairs. The only areas not carpeted were the entry foyer (immediately in front of the front door), the kitchen, and all the bathrooms. And those were linoleum. We replaced the kitchen floor linoleum with ceramic tile in 1994 (it wore particularly badly), and then in 1998 replaced the downstairs hallway carpeting and entry foyer linoleum with hardwood. Now the only original carpeting left downstairs is in the hall closet. The living room was recarpeted, and the family room and dining room got new hardwood. And the stairs are finally wood, as they should have been from the get-go. So good stuff there. And the upstairs hallway is also hardwood. The bathrooms are all still original, as are all the bedrooms. Good.

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Tired? You bet!

< 1 minute read

August 27, 2004, 6:24 AM

Seriously, after doing two LONG days due to the stairs (days I otherwise would have slept longer), I have a third get-up-early-for-the-stairs day here.

However, at least I have work at 9 AM today, instead of 2 PM. This is a good thing. I get off at 6 PM, and can thus go home and snooze (provided the stairs are ready) so that I can be fresh as a daisy for my planned trip to Washington DC tomorrow. I need to be fresh as a daisy for these trips, but this whole thing with the stairs has just been running me into the ground, because of the guy’s schedule (bright and early before even 8:00), and my schedule (work at 2:00). So that’s the problem we have.

Still, soon this floor work will all be over, and I’ll get my life back again…

This is what we call “hell”…

2 minute read

August 25, 2004, 11:30 PM

Remember how a little earlier in the day, I told you I had to vacate the house for the day while the guy did the stairs? Well, he stained the stairs, as planned. So the whole house smells like stain.

And tomorrow, it begins again. Thursday, the guy puts the polyurethane down on the stairs. What does that mean for me? It means I’m scheduled to work 2-11 again tomorrow like I did today, and so I have to waste about six hours before work. Maybe I’ll actually do something constructive tomorrow.

This is what I did today. Got up, got dressed, grabbed the newspaper off the kitchen table, and left the house. Went to the ATM, then went to McDonald’s for breakfast. From there, I hopped on I-81, and stopped at the rest area on I-81 north just beyond the Verona exit. There, I read the News-Virginian (Waynesboro paper). Got back on the freeway, and went out to Weyers Cave. There, I just turned around, and got back on the Interstate using the southbound ramp. Got off at the other rest area, across the freeway from the other rest area. There, I scrounged up 50¢ to get a copy of USA Today. Read it at that rest area. Then I went into Waynesboro. Went to the library. There, I got online. Wrote the previous journal entry, and then, after I ran out of time there (they limit you to an hour a day), I drove around Waynesboro and into Fishersville, and then finally arrived at Wally World to kill a final 30 minutes. I looked at the musical Christmas toys that they have at the Garden Center. Most amusing thing was the fact that they have a snowman that dances and sings, “Ice, ice, baby” with an LED-lit “bling-bling” around his neck that says “ICE” on it. Cute.

And it all begins again tomorrow, as I waste another few hours out of the house…

This is a bit of a messed-up day…

2 minute read

August 25, 2004, 9:43 AM

If you want to talk about a day without a purpose, this is it. See, I found out a couple of hours after work yesterday that the guy would be coming today to put the finish on the new stairs.

Now note that when I say “new”, I mean that only because in the process of replacing the flooring, the floor people took out the old wood on the stairs, which was intended for carpeting, and thus had a lot of knots in it. And then they put new wood down, which, for the last week or so, we’ve been using bare. Now it’s going to get the finish and the runner on it, which will also finish the entire flooring job.

So as a result of the work being done on the stairs, and my room and such being upstairs, I had to vacate for the day, with the guy showing up at 7:30. So I had to be all ready for work and such by then, even though I don’t have to actually be at work until 2:00. And so I’m kind of wandering around doing whatever until then. I’m actually at the Waynesboro Public Library right now, which I’d not been to in ages. Still, I also drove out to Weyers Cave today.

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One job finishes, another job begins…

3 minute read

August 10, 2004, 7:04 PM

The deck’s finished! I have some hooray-the-deck-is-finished photos that I took with Big Mavica. The construction is totally finished, and now all that’s left to do is for Mom to pick up the new furniture that she’s getting for there.

Phase two also begins, as we replace the remainder of the downstairs flooring. The living room will be getting a new rug, and the family room and dining room are getting new hardwood flooring. In addition, beyond downstairs, we’re replacing the carpeting on the stairs with hardwood, as well as the carpeting in the upstairs hallway. Also hardwood. Currently, the family room and dining room are finished, and we’re putting things back to how they should be in there. The stairs and upstairs hallway are bare. That looks really weird. The living room has not yet been touched. I’ll be glad when it’s all finished, since waking up to the sound of nailing and other handyman-type jobs is not my idea of a good wake-up call. And now the work is right outside my door.

And then Greta’s away at the vet for a few days, getting a nodule of fat removed on her underside. So Greta’s kind of out of it right now. Greta’s operation was successful, and she’s at Cedarcrest right now, where she’s recovering. She’ll be back home on Friday. It’s probably just as well that she’s getting it done now, while work on the stairs is progressing. And Greta will be a better dog for this, too, which will be a good thing.

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The deck construction continues!

3 minute read

July 23, 2004, 10:18 AM

I had forgotten what it was like being in a place where construction was occurring on the outside of the building. I think that the last time I lived around construction was from 2000-2002, when, while I was living in Potomac Hall, JMU built Phase II of the College Center (aka “The Festival”). Then there was the time in 1993 at Stuarts Draft Middle School when they built on eight new classrooms while school was in session (but doing all the tie-in work after school was out for the summer).

But now it’s at home, and there is a group working on our new screened-in porch, which has replaced the old deck. It has also incorporated the structure of the old deck, as the workers didn’t demolish the framework, but built new framework around it. Right now there’s no roof on there yet, nor any evidence that one will be there yet except for tall support columns holding nothing at this point.

It’s been a few days since I’ve taken photos due to my work schedule. I took photos on Monday and Tuesday, then haven’t taken any since then. Next I photograph will probably be on Saturday or Sunday. I’m going to show you the progress photos in a Life and Times photo set. That will be neat.

Otherwise, my Washington DC trip on Wednesday went really well! I have now officially railfanned the entire system at the railfan window, and also visited all 83 operating Metro stations. There are three stations currently under construction that will open at the end of this year, which I will be visiting soon after they open. Still, that’s quite an accomplishment, no? Riding into Branch Avenue station at the extreme southern end of the Green Line and saying, “I did it!”

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Demolition begins tomorrow…

< 1 minute read

July 19, 2004, 7:41 PM

As of tomorrow, the somewhat modest open-air deck on the back of the house will be gone, to be replaced by a larger screened-in porch. That ought to be nice when it’s finished. I got a bunch of “before” pictures of the deck, all cleared off and ready to be removed. I also got some photos of all our deck stuff scattered all over the backyard, waiting for the construction to be finished.

Meanwhile, some good news! Greta is not going to have to go to the kennel during the time we’re having all this work done. Turns out that the two projects (the deck and the flooring) will not be done concurrently, which means that while the deck is going on, Greta can stay inside (and go outside with Mom around), and while the flooring is going on, Greta can stay outside.

Plus Greta won’t have to deal with the emotional shock of coming back to a house that doesn’t look quite the same, and doesn’t smell quite the same. Now she can also get used to the new screened-in porch and new flooring right along with the rest of us. Especially since, for a dog, it’s like, “What happened to my house? $#@$ humans.” Of course, Greta’s areas, as in where her bed is, and where her food and water dishes are, will be unchanged. The kitchen’s not getting any remodeling. Thank goodness.

So there you go. I’ll keep you posted on progress as we go.

I found out today that the parents are remodeling…

3 minute read

July 9, 2004, 10:16 PM

Yeah, I just today found out that my parents are doing some fairly significant work on the house soon. Before today, all I knew was that we were getting a new back porch at the beginning of August.

The back porch currently is an open wooden deck, original to the house when it was built in 1992. Now, the old deck is being demolished, and being replaced with a full screened-in porch. It will be bigger than the old one, roofed over, and screened in, essentially creating an extra indoor/outdoor room, complete with two ceiling fans. Again, I knew about the deck already, and have seen drawings of the new deck as it will look when it’s finished.

Now I didn’t know that plans were also set to replace most of the flooring downstairs as well as up the stairs and in the upstairs hall. Currently, the living room, family room, dining room, the stairs, and the upstairs hallway have beige-colored carpeting, which is original to the house (almost 12 years old). The living room will be carpeted in some shade of blue (not sure what specific shade yet, but we’re getting there – actually, Mom’s getting there, since she’s making the final decision, but you get the point). The family room, dining room, stairs, and upstairs hallway will all be hardwood. The dining room and family room will get an area rug “later”.

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