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“The name’s Harley. Harley Weewax!”

December 3, 2003, 10:10 PM

The episode of The Cosby Show where the Huxtables show Theo what the real world is like is one of my favorites. I think it’s because they clean out Theo’s room, and then everyone pretends to be all kinds of people. And they all lead Theo from one place to the next to the next. Cliff as Harley Weewax, the apartment landlord, introduces Theo to Clair as Millie Farquahar and also to Rudy as Mrs. Griswold (she owns this building, but she drinks!), and then shows Theo the apartment. From there, Mr. Weewax tells Theo that he needs money, saying, “I can’t feed my family on a promise” and getting him to get modeling references, and such. Amusing is that instead of getting modeling stuff, he brought his “employer” Cockroach as Mr. Dansbury, president of Cockroach Oil. He gets the apartment, and then goes to Amanda’s Furniture City. Then he finds out he can’t afford furniture, and Clair as Amanda tells him that he needs a loan. And Mrs. Griswold denies his loan application! I love this episode, because it’s so amusing.

I think the things that make it so amusing are Rudy playing someone who is obviously supposed to be an older woman, plus Cliff as Harley Weewax, and changing back into Cliff. And you know all he did was take out the cigar and turn his hat around to become Cliff again, and then acting like Harley Weewax is someone else entirely. “Son, Mr. Weewax said you wanted to see me,” and then “You’ll have to ask Mr. Weewax.” And then of course he goes out, puts in the cigar and turns his hat around, and voila! Harley Weewax.

I so love this episode.

Categories: Television

Why does everyone ask me about their public speaking performance?

December 2, 2003, 8:49 PM

After my international relations class today, where two groups did a presentation about different books, a number of people asked me how they did on their presentation as far as performance.

Why me?

Well, I presume that they respect me enough to value my opinion, which is nice to know, but here’s why I found it strange that they asked me. I was the only person in the class who thought ahead and weaseled out of having to speak in front of the class.

I did, however, spearhead the whole PowerPoint presentation for the group. It worked out for us, though, since I commute to JMU from out of town, and thus group meetings would have been very hard to pull off.

Still, the people who asked me did a good job, and that’s what I told them. But nonetheless, it was odd that they asked me of all people, the one who weaseled out of a public speaking appearance…

Categories: JMU

I saw a falling star tonight

December 2, 2003, 12:29 AM

After work I went up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to kind of have a moment to myself, which I’ve found to be a great way to unwind after work, and I saw a falling star (actually a meteor) right ahead of me. It made a lovely streak over rural Nelson and Albemarle Counties, and was a greenish color as it appeared to fall straight down from my vantage point on Afton Mountain.

After the meteor burned up in our atmosphere, as most tend to do, someone else drove up to the overlook where I was standing and commented on how neat it was. I agreed, and he said that maybe we’d see another one.

I didn’t see another one in my time up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but I did get to spend a great hour to myself up there on the Parkway, in the quiet, in the dark, just kind of taking a moment to let my mind wander as I reflect on whatever I want to reflect on, think about whatever I want to think about, and basically just relax as I look up at the stars above and down on the valley below. Very nice, very calming.

Categories: Blue Ridge Parkway

Yay for late night at Wal-Mart…

December 1, 2003, 2:52 AM

I really don’t mind the 4:30-1:30 shift at Wal-Mart… until about 11 PM. Then it starts to suck. And it’s not the employees or the working conditions or anything. It’s the customers. Or more like lack thereof.

See, working cashier at Wal-Mart is an enjoyable job. I get to interact with people, smile a lot, and it keeps me busy to the point where I lose track of time and I’m thinking, already? when the CSMs close my line to go on breaks. But around 11 PM and thereafter until I get off, the customers drop off, and it gets kind of SLOW. I’ll get maybe one customer every ten minutes or so. Maybe I’ll get two in a row if I’m lucky. But it’s slow. Thus I like days because I can stay busy and it makes the day go by quickly.

But then it’s interesting, though, what people call this little number:

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Categories: Walmart

No turkeys!

November 29, 2003, 12:45 AM

Today marks the first day in my career with Wal-Mart that I did not ring up any turkeys. My goodness, I really did ring up a lot of turkeys in my first week, and you really get some exercise pumping turkey, since those birds are heavy, and even heavier when they’re frozen. They make a considerable “thud” sound when they touch the bottom of the bag, safely resting on that little bag carousel that we have in Staunton.

Also, something amusing: In honor of it being Black Friday, I wore all black to work today. It was a real hit with the other associates, as they agreed I dressed appropriately.

Categories: Walmart

And one last thing

November 28, 2003, 2:30 AM

It is up to my sister to come up with a better picture than my November 2003 picture for the splash page. She said, upon seeing it, “What are you doing to that poor dresser?” I will admit – after being told what it looks like, it does look like I’m humping the dresser, but I swear it was totally innocent. Ask Kathleen from LPCM, who took the picture, and she’ll tell you that it was innocent, too.

So my sister is in charge of December’s picture. She needs a little coaching on what I want in a picture. She wants to find a premade image of a buff guy totally naked except for a Santa hat covering his you-know-what, and photoshop my head onto it. I rejected it out of hand. No way on that one.

She still has to come up with something, and it had better be better than that last idea. I’m interested to see, myself…

Categories: Family, LPCM, Schumin Web meta

And a side note – always make sure your batteries are fresh

November 28, 2003, 2:20 AM

Yeah, I was writing the previous journal entry, and my keyboard died on me. Now for those of you who don’t know, I use a wireless. Both my keyboard and mouse have no cords, and I have a receiver on my desk for them both.

So I’m writing my previous journal entry about how FCUK dictates exactly how to give the change out, and the keyboard dies. It won’t type another thing. So I go into crisis mode. First of all, I “evacuated” my journal-entry-in-progress from the Web form to a text file by using mouse commands, thus ensuring that I wouldn’t lose what I was working on. Next, after pressing “connect” buttons on my equipment, I restarted. Still no luck. No signals.

So I went downstairs to where we keep the batteries, and found some Duracell “Procell” batteries, which are supposedly professional alkaline batteries (probably a fancy way of saying “expensive”, but that’s besides the point). I popped those babies in, and it came back to life.

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Categories: Computer

Thank goodness for calculators…

November 28, 2003, 2:09 AM

Many of you know that math is one of my weak points (and if you didn’t know that, you do now). So I always enjoy having a calculator along when I need to do a calculation. At Wal-Mart, it calculates change, and then I give it to the customer in the largest denominations that I can, if available. Makes life easier for them, plus it makes the smaller denominations in my till last longer.

My sister told me about what the screen said when she went to the FCUK (that’s “French Connection UK”) store at Pentagon City Mall near DC. Not only did these machines tell you how much change to give, but it also said how to give the change to the customer, stating like for $5.72 in change, to give one $5 bill, two quarters, two dimes, and two pennies. I found learning about this quite amusing, since I pride myself in giving out sensible, accurate change.

One random retail tip, though. Don’t put your fingers under the drawer just as it’s about to come out. I learned through personal experience that it hurts when that drawer pops open and your fingers are under it.

Categories: Family, Shopping, Walmart

So sad! I think I’m going to have to retire “the chair”!

November 25, 2003, 1:10 AM

Remember my chair from Potomac pictures and from the Web Cam archives? It’s going to go live with God soon, as it’s going to be retired sooner rather than later.

Here’s why. First of all, the chair’s been getting wobbly lately to begin with, requiring the chair to be lowered then raised again to keep it from getting too wobbly. Plus the fake-leather is starting to give out in places, and the wood on the base is starting to come off.

The thing that is making this ready for retirement, though, is that it’s really wobbly now, like noticeable tilting, at 45 degrees and instablility when you’re sitting on it. Plus the pneumatics officially gave out, as this chair will go up all of an inch before getting stuck. Fan-bloody-tastic. An inch. A whole inch.

And so, on my day off from working at Wal-Mart, I’m going to go to Wal-Mart (albeit the Harrisonburg store, not Staunton where I currently am working), and price office chairs. Considering that Wal-Mart has a pretty good selection of chairs at their “Every Day Low Prices”, coupled with my employee discount of 10%, I think I’m going to get away with a good chair for a nice little price.

Well, wish me luck. I hope I find a good chair for my money after I get paid.

Categories: Myself, Walmart

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

I wish I had this font back then…

November 22, 2003, 11:04 PM

I’m looking at this page about highways in Texas, and if you look at the link (it will open in a new window, so don’t worry about losing me), notice the font on the road sign. That’s the actual road-sign font, which is officially called “FHWA Series E Modified”. For Windows, someone made a font called “Blue Highway”, which looks like FHWA Series E Modified.

I wish that I had this font back in 1997 when I did my site up with a highway theme. All my page titles were graphical road signs, but instead of the official highway font, I used about every different font I could find on those signs. I used Arial, Times New Roman, some ransom-paste type font, you name it. It was interesting, but if I had the real font, oh, how sharp it would have looked…

Categories: Schumin Web meta

It’s like a casino in there…

November 22, 2003, 10:13 PM

Day two on the registers: I kicked butt. I am definitely getting proficient at Wal-Mart’s registers.

I also can say that Wal-Mart is kind of like a casino when you get inside to work. There are no windows (and you can’t see out the doors from my vantage point), and you can’t really see out the skylights, either. Plus there are no clocks. And besides, doing checkout, it’s easy to get so absorbed in your work that you lose track of time. Makes the day go really quickly, though. Every time they close my register for breaks, I’m like, it’s time for a break already?

Needless to say, I’m adjusting to this job quite well.

Categories: Walmart

I can do this job!

November 21, 2003, 5:54 PM

Today was my first day behind the Wal-Mart register! And you know what? This is a job that I can do! (I caught on pretty quickly.) And the customers even commented about what a sunny disposition I had.

So I feel good. I’m still not used to standing up all day, but at least I know that I can do Wal-Mart cashiering. I know how to use all my zappers, make the register sing, and can organize the customers’ bags in a way that makes sense.

So there you go. I’m quite pleased with myself.

Categories: Walmart

Like fast food? Think again?

November 20, 2003, 1:32 PM

I found this article (linked below) linked from my friend Chris’s Web site. That’s scary, with what these fast food restaurants contain, like rodent droppings. Kinda gross. Read the article. All the more reason to give up fast food.

Categories: Food and drink

Sometimes I just amuse myself…

November 18, 2003, 11:32 AM

I had my CARR (Case Analysis Research Report) presentation today in PUAD 420. And since all the projects in that class are individual, I’ve been known to embellish my projects somewhat to make them amusing for myself. And I know I’ve mentioned it here before, but my CARR was about the fictional transit agency called the Carinthia Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, otherwise known as CMATA, which is loosely based on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, otherwise known as WMATA, or Metro.

So I did my presentation, and spent hours preparing it. And thus the amusing parts come in. All the characters were named for Metro stations. I had a guy named Farragut West as the chairman of the board, a guy named Dan Loring (after Dunn Loring/Merrifield station) as the general manager, Woodley Park (after Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan station) as the financial manager, Forrest Glen as the CASHRail Manager (CASH stands for Carinthia Accesses Surrounding ‘Hoods, by the way), Amanda McPherson (after McPherson Square station) as the CASHBus Manager, and the maintenance supervisor was a woman named Franconia Springfield. I also had customers named Addison Rhodes (Addison Road), Naylor Rhone (Naylor Road), Anacostia Rivera (Anacostia), and Ford Totten (Fort Totten).

But where I really amuse myself is with some of the visuals. I introduced what the fundamental problem in the case was (which was capital planning) via two pictures. Here they are:

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Categories: JMU, WMATA