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I definitely didn’t expect to go to New York City on Wednesday…

August 25, 2017, 12:30 PM

Wednesday, August 23 had been planned as a road trip day for quite some time.  Elyse turned 21 two days prior, and this was my birthday present to her, going on a trip up to Asbury Park, New Jersey to visit the Silverball Museum, a pinball arcade on the boardwalk.  We previously visited this facility in May.  Then the plan was to go up to Menlo Park Mall in Edison to go to Rainforest Cafe, where we were having dinner, and I was buying Elyse a drink.  The day that we ended up having was a lot of fun, but definitely more expansive than I had originally planned.

We left the house around 11:00, with Asbury Park as our destination.  We made a quick stop at Maryland House, and then a White Castle in Howell Township:

White Castle in Howell Township

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A trip to the pinball museum…

May 29, 2017, 10:08 AM

On Tuesday, May 23, Elyse and I, along with mutual friend Brian, went up to Asbury Park, New Jersey for the day.  Our goal was to go to the Silverball Museum, which is a vintage arcade on the Asbury Park boardwalk.

We left in the 10:00 hour, and headed up via the Delaware Memorial Bridge, I-295, and I-195, with a stop for lunch at Maryland House.  On the way up I-295, imagine Elyse and Brian’s surprise when I said, “I think I left my hat at Maryland House,” in that oh, crap sort of way.  Elyse suggested turning around to get it, but we were too far afield to do that.  To turn around would be tantamount to cancelling our trip to return to Harford County, Maryland, just north of Baltimore.  So we continued on, hatless.  After all, we would pass Maryland House coming home, so we could see if it was still there at that time.  I know what I did – I set my hat down on the table next to me when we were having lunch, and I walked off without it.

Arriving in Asbury Park, we located the pinball museum, but first, I wanted to check out a place from my childhood that I had missed during my 2013 trip: Asbury Youth Center, which was a children’s clothing store run by my Uncle Skippy.  I remember Uncle Skippy, and remember his being pretty awesome.  Many of the outfits that you saw me in on the Childhood Days page, such as this one came from Uncle Skippy’s store.  The store closed in the late 1980s when Uncle Skippy retired, and I hadn’t been back there since.  So a quick Google search revealed the address to be 660 Cookman Avenue, and it was off to the races.  This is what the building that housed Uncle Skippy’s store looks like today:

The location of Uncle Skippy's store, now a restaurant called "Taka"

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Alexes’ Alley…

April 25, 2011, 7:18 PM

I’m sure that many of you have seen me talk about two of my coworkers, Alex Patton and Alex Beauchamp, on here before. You may recall that Patton pranked me pretty well for April Fool’s 2010, and then Beauchamp came by an Anon raid in August. It’s these two folks, on either side of me, seen here from last summer:

Alex Patton, me, and Alex Beauchamp
Photo: Sarah Alexander

That’s Patton on the left, and Beauchamp on the right.

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Categories: Video games

This morning’s commute was a time that I would have liked to have been Luigi.

January 18, 2011, 11:08 PM

Yes, that Luigi.

You have to realize, you see, that when it comes to Mario games, I am in the minority on which one I like best. My favorite of the early Mario games is Super Mario 2, which, based on what I see on the Internet, most people don’t like. So when I say that today would have been a good Luigi day, I’m thinking of that version of Luigi. I’m talking about the one who kicks his legs when he jumps way further and higher than everyone else.

See, coming to work today, it was icy, being on the heels of a bout of sleet, snow, and freezing rain (in that order) overnight. And so getting to the bus and then to the office were both a little treacherous this morning. So if I were Luigi, you see, I would look like this going to the bus on a morning like this morning:

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“Oh, it’s terrible! The King has been transformed! Please find the Magic Wand so we can change him back.”

November 27, 2010, 4:31 PM

First of all, I admit – the title doesn’t mean much in relation to this entry, except that it perhaps reflects that I’ve been playing too much Super Mario Bros. 3 on my Super Nintendo lately. Regardless, this Journal entry has been a long time in coming, since this is about a trip I took to Stuarts Draft two weeks ago. All I have to say is, hey, I’ve been busy. But it’s also somewhat fitting that I post this entry this weekend, since this was “Thanksgiving” with the parents a couple of weeks ahead of the holiday. Traffic is a real pain, you see, and this obviates the need to mess with it. Have you ever driven US 29 in Virginia on Thanksgiving weekend? It’s no walk in the park.

On Friday the 12th, after driving perhaps a shade too fast the whole way down, I arrived at Stuarts Draft Middle School. After all, Mom was there, and I hadn’t seen her new classroom yet. Mom was recently switched from sixth to eighth grade, and so she moved rooms as a result, from Room 24 to Room 1. And here it is:

Mom's new classroom, Room 1

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So I decided to talk and drive again…

July 8, 2010, 2:19 PM

So on Wednesday evening, I decided to talk and drive again. I set the cell phone in the GPS holder once again, and started talking. I started at approximately 16th and T Streets NW, heading north on 16th Street:

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You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance…

April 22, 2010, 8:50 PM

Through intense training and meditation, I have learned the secret… and here’s the result:

HADOUKEN!

HADOUKEN!

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Categories: Video games

If I go the IKEA route, this will be rather complicated…

October 6, 2009, 11:15 PM

You know, IKEA does some things very well, and some things seem just needlessly complicated. The comforter situation fits the latter quite well. I went over to IKEA this evening to get some ideas for a new comforter for my bed. I got my current one from Target in July 2007, and it’s not looking too good, mainly because it’s faded quite a bit. So I’m looking to replace it. The way IKEA sells comforters is more complicated than I think I like. The comforter itself is white – they only come in white. Then you buy a duvet cover that goes over the comforter that provides the pattern and what have you. While it certainly provides the most options for color vs. warmth and such, it’s WAY beyond what I’m going for. I can really see myself having a rough time getting that comforter into the duvet cover and then snapping it in all nice-like. Something tells me I’m going to go a different route than this. It seems more complicated than I want. Sometimes the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle is a good thing. IKEA’s bedspreads, which, while nice and simple, also failed to impress me. However, I’m probably not going to go to Target for another comforter, either. I think I’m probably going to hit Bed Bath & Beyond or something like that for the new comforter or bedspread.

However, they did have lots of nice things there, and I came to the realization recently that my apartment is really kind of blah as far as decor goes. The carpet is tan, and the color scheme pretty much follows that, as everything is different shades of beige. Schumin Web is all flashy with the rainbow-colored logo and the squares-in-squares background, but my house is less so. I need color and flair. I have a striped fitted sheet that I use for guests, and once, after Mom stayed over, I left the fitted sheet on the couch for a week after I put the futon frame back in the upright position. I loved it. So as things wear out, I need to start thinking about bright, vibrant colors. Plus I need to hang up those bloody picture frames, already…

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Nine bucks later, I have a replacement Super Nintendo controller…

August 9, 2009, 9:20 AM

I finally confirmed today that one of the controllers on my Super Nintendo finally went bad. It was a shame, too, but such is what happens sometimes. I bought that controller new like eleven years ago, so it had a good run, giving me plenty of Super Mario-type fun. And then once I confirmed it was the controller and not anything else, I moseyed over to the computer, hopped online, and ordered me a new one. The joys of the Internet.

Meanwhile, does anyone know if the various USB video game controllers work with VirtuaNES? While I’ve certainly gotten some proficiency playing vintage games using the keyboard, as a rule, you can’t play vintage games with the index, middle, ring, or pinky finger. No – vintage video games are played with the thumbs. And maybe then I can really get going when it comes to Doki Doki Panic. After all, Wart is waiting.

Otherwise, the staff retreat at the Bolger Center went quite well. We did a lot of stuff, and really bonded as a staff. Meanwhile, I, as the Senior Office Manager, was in charge of logistics. I think I packed about half of our workroom into the back of my Sable and schlepped it all over to the Bolger. You really don’t realize how much a station wagon will truly hold until you have half the office loaded into the back of it, and luggage in the back seat. But it’s times like this that I’m glad I got a station wagon to replace the Previa rather than something else. You can’t load a mid-size sedan quite as well as you can a station wagon. Imagine if I had my sister’s car. The supplies would not only be in the trunk, but also in the back seat, which meant that I would have had to make a second trip home (on the other side of Montgomery County from the Bolger) to take my luggage.

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Categories: Fire alarms, Video games, Work

One would think it wouldn’t be that hard to find aqua socks in the middle of July, but if you thought that, you would be wrong.

July 19, 2009, 8:29 PM

One would think – July is the middle of the summer. Summer is a time when people spend a lot of time in the water. One would think that one would be able to find water-type shoes in the middle of the summer. But no. I went to seven different stores, and found no aqua socks that fit at a price that I was willing to pay.

The reason, of course, is because of the way retail works. “Spring” starts December 26, and runs to roughly Easter. Then “summer” runs from around Easter to the Fourth of July. Then “fall” goes until around Labor Day or so. Then “winter” runs from Labor Day to Christmas. Thus now, on July 19, the aqua socks are mostly gone, and the stock of sandals is dwindling.

So why am I so worked up about finding a pair of aqua socks? Well, I’m going tubing on the Shenandoah River in Luray next weekend with a bunch of my coworkers, and the Web site for Shenandoah River Outfitters, the company we’re going through for this tube trip, recommends that shoes be worn on the river for safety purposes. Makes perfect sense to me – there could be rough bottom terrain, sharp rocks, or other kinds of hazardous debris, and I don’t want to get hurt on the river. Even more so when you consider that I’m one of the drivers for this outing, and thus my feet will be doing a bit of work beyond the river, and injured feet on the pedals is a Bad Thing.

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Categories: Shoes, Shopping, Video games

Thursday was fun…

August 29, 2008, 9:11 AM

Thursday was fun. I spent much of it wandering along the strip, checking out the various stores and such. However, I only spent money at Flipper McCoy’s, which, unlike the visit on Tuesday night, was pretty quiet this time around. I had so much fun. I took both Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man for a number of spins, I played skee-ball, I played Spin-to-Win, and I got to see someone win 1500 tickets on the Deal Or No Deal machine.

Perhaps the most interesting was skee-ball. They have two different versions. One named along the lines of your typical skee-ball game and styled as such, and then the other was called “Ice Ball”. The gameplay between regular skee ball and Ice Ball was exactly the same, but the Ice Ball balls were white, and they felt ever so slightly heavier, which I preferred. In play, I somehow managed to hit every spot, including the 10,000 spot, except for 5,000. Why not 5,000? Dunno. Got 1K, 2K, 3K, and 4K no problem. Go figure. I also found that I scored better by changing my angle. I was initially playing like it was bowling. Underhanded roll, hitting the rolling surface fairly close to the edge. When I changed to a different style throw, aiming for it to start rolling along the track towards the back, I did a lot better. Go fig.

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Rohr relaxation…

June 22, 2006, 2:48 AM

I went to Washington DC on Tuesday, and it was a fairly typical “regular” trip. I got in right on time, parked at Vienna, and then the main mission this time was to check on some jobs I’d applied for. I also paid a visit to my friend Tristan and then paid a visit to Pentagon City.

On the Red Line en route to Rockville, I encountered a person that knows how to relax on a Rohr train:

"Rohr relaxation"

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Categories: DC trips, Video games, WMATA

What a wonderful two days off I had, and now back to the salt mines…

July 15, 2005, 5:35 PM

Wednesday and Thursday were such wonderful days off. I ran some errands, ran around a bit, and also got a lot of work done on the computer.

On Wednesday, I spent much of the day out. I first went to the RadioShack store in Waynesboro to return that RF switch that I ended up not needing to hook up my Super Nintendo. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t the switch that was the problem, but rather where along the line I was hooking it up. So no problem. The Super Nintendo works, and I got my thirteen bucks back.

Then I went over to Staunton. Since the Harley-Davidson shop moved to its new location in Staunton, I’d heard a lot about it. Add to that the fact that they had their first annual “Rally in the Valley” about a month or so ago, and that generated a bit more buzz about it. So I went over to take a look. Now I’d never been to the old Harley place when it was in Waynesboro, so I had nothing to compare this to. Still, I was favorably impressed, even though biker stuff isn’t exactly my thing. First of all, the sense of space really gets you. The place is huge. And that’s not even the whole place. That’s just the main salesfloor. And on the salesfloor, there are bikes on display, there are sections for parts and accessories for one’s motorcycle, sections for men’s, women’s, and kids’ apparel, a section for shoes, a section with hats, helmets, sunglasses, and goggles, and even more. Then on the other side of the building, there’s a service area, and a well-appointed waiting area for people whose bikes are being serviced. And then outside the building, down a hill, is a course for people to take on their motorcycles. With it being down a hill from the main building, it makes for a great viewing area. As I said, I was favorably impressed with the place, even with biker stuff not being my thing. The place is very high-visibility (it rises high above the VA 262 loop), but actually getting to it is a little weird, since you have to go south on US 11, turn left onto Rolling Thunder Lane, which is almost right after you get onto Route 11. Then Rolling Thunder Lane is a longish, slightly-curving road with the Harley place looming up at the end.

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We have Nintendo!

July 1, 2005, 7:05 PM

I got it all working, though not through the fix that I intended. The good thing, though, is that I can return the RF switch to Radioshack, since it turns out the problem was not the switch, but where in my massive array of stuff that I hooked it up. I don’t know. Don’t ask me. But it works.

Then I had to find the controllers. I have four Super Nintendo controllers. One is the standard-issue SNES control pad with purple buttons. One is some sort of weird turbo pad that doesn’t work. Then I have two “Superpad” SNES controllers, which look exactly like the standard-issue controllers, except they say “Superpad” on them and have the Super Famicom-style colors for the buttons (think the different-colored Yoshis).

Of course, when I dug the SNES and stuff out, I found only two controllers. The standard-issue one, and the non-working one (that I didn’t know didn’t work at the time). The Superpad ones were nowhere to be found. As you know, I’ve been cleaning out the closet and going through and tossing lots of stuff, considerably lightening my load. The closet looks good. So in looking for the two Superpad controllers, I ended up turning my room upside down. Went through the different totes of stuff, went hunting in dresser drawers, my desk, in stuff, under stuff, through my fire alarms, you name it. You know where I eventually found the controllers?

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Categories: Video games

Still offline, but what a productive day!

July 1, 2005, 4:05 PM

I’m still offline and entering this Journal entry directly into the database, but I found out from Dad what most likely caused this outage. It turns out that the storm that I was outrunning in Amherst County last night was the likely cause of our losing Internet service. According to Dad, that’s when the outage occurred – during the storm. And it seems it was more intense in Stuarts Draft than where I was. Remember that I caught a lot of heavy rain between the town of Amherst and Lovingston in Nelson County. No thunder and lightning while I was getting the rain.

So we’ll see. We’ve got a guy coming to the house tomorrow to take a look at it.

Meanwhile, I got a lot of stuff accomplished today. I paid a bill related to that surgery I had in February, and then I went to the bank to deposit a check. So that worked out well. After that, I went to Radioshack in Waynesboro to pick up an RF switch that will hopefully make my Super Nintendo come to life again (more on that in a second). Then lastly, I went to Goodwill in Waynesboro and dropped off a whole load of stuff from the closet. Nice place, and I was in and out in five minutes. Smelled like a combination of old clothes and new building, though, but such is to be expected.

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Categories: Internet, Shopping, Video games