Well, that was fun!

December 25, 2003, 11:04 AM

Christmas morning has come and gone, and it went well. First of all, I got a brand new tripod for Big Mavica, which is bigger and more heavy duty than my old one. I shall enjoy this, indeed. I’m going to go out and take it for a spin later today once it gets dark.

And Wal-Mart is CLOSED today! So as a result, I didn’t have to go to work today. Good. I needed the rest. Wal-Mart closed at 6:00 PM on Christmas Eve (with management hitting some of the lights to encourage customers to get finished – a strange sight, seeing Wal-Mart with half the lights out), and will reopen at 6:00 AM on December 26 for the after-Christmas shoppers. And it’s amusing how giddy we all got once we finished, logged off our registers, and turned in the money in our tills. If you can imagine, there was singing (including “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”), and we were dancing in the aisles to an extent. We made it. Christmas Eve was over. We get a day off. And boy, do we deserve it. And so we wasted no time getting back to the breakroom to clock out and leave, needless to say.

So there you go. Now for the rest of the day, we’re going to eat, and then I’m going to play around with this new tripod, and figure out all of what it can do for me.

Categories: Christmas, Walmart

This is going to be like Trading Spaces without the other family. We have a horrid-looking sloppy room about to be remade into a totally new look.

December 24, 2003, 12:20 AM

I said this to my friend Chris today as I discussed how I’m redecorating around here. It’s kind of like bringing a little Potomac Hall to my room at home, as I’m reviving the color scheme from my Junior Year room.

I’m also going to do a Life and Times photo set about the whole thing, since it really will be quite a change. It will probably take a few weeks to do (the job, not the photo set), but it will look great when it’s done.

And my sister’s room will be used for swing space in the interim. This means I have time to get everything ready like plans and such, plus making the requisite purchases of paint, carpet shampoo (we have the shampooer), and the new lighting, since I have to wait until she goes back to Tech before I can begin using her room for swing space.

Still, there you go. My room is the perfect “before” room like Trading Spaces would have. Ugly paint, weird decorative elements, and altogether looking like a well-intentioned-but-well-past-its-time decor job. This room SO needs a makeover.

Categories: Bedroom remodel

“Your little interviews make me want to shove my purse so far down your throat that it can only be retrieved with a really long hook.”

December 23, 2003, 12:50 AM

That’s what my sister says about those little “interviews” I do with Big Mavica. And all this time I thought that they were fun. It turns out that they think that it’s more like pulling teeth sans anesthesia.

And all this time I thought that they enjoyed them. After all, Mom enjoyed seeing herself say, “People will think you just got out of the home” on one from November 2002.

Meanwhile, remember how I said that Wal-Mart was a full-contact sport? Yeah, it still is, and it drove the point home when I accidentally hit myself in the head with the stick end of one of those horsie sticks. Thankfully, it was a plastic stick.

Categories: Family, Walmart

Giving the gift of cash…

December 22, 2003, 1:36 AM

And another thing… what has Christmas come to in our house? For me, at least, Christmas is really all about cash. Actually, reverse gifts to be more specific. I’m going shopping for my own gifts this year, getting them wrapped, and then getting reimbursed for them by the gift-giver. My parents don’t know specifically what they ended up getting me for Christmas, but I’ve taken it upon myself to act surprised nonetheless when I unwrap the gift that they bought me (by way of me).

Then my sister already knew what I wanted, that being a long-sleeved shirt from Wal-Mart. So since I work there, she said I can go get my gift and provide a receipt. I went and bought the shirt. And I’m still getting it gift-wrapped, though more on principle than anything else.

Speaking of gift-wrapping, when I bought my gift from Mom and Dad in Roanoke on Thursday and then had it gift wrapped at Valley View Mall and asked for a receipt, I got some very strange looks from the people working the gift-wrap station when I said I needed a receipt for the wrapping. The girl who was taking care of me said, “It’s cash-only,” to which I replied, “I still need a receipt.” They produced a receipt.

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No one said in orientation that Wal-Mart was a full contact sport!

December 22, 2003, 12:38 AM

Yeah, Wal-Mart is a full-contact sport, it seems. Of course, the day after Thanksgiving, known as “Black Friday” (a day where I wore all black to be silly) is very much full-contact, with the customers practically killing each other for great deals.

Then there’s me – I’ve managed to hit myself in the face a few times with oddly-shaped-but-light items. Mostly wrapping paper. I’m trying to manage the wrapping paper, getting it from the belt to the bag, and in the process manage to hit myself in the head. Really smooth. There was another time when I accidentally hit the checkout light (you know, the red thing with the number on it) with a roll of wrapping paper. A small flurry of dust fell off of the number and onto me.

All in all, though, I like my job, and so that’s always a good thing.

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Let’s talk hat hair here…

December 20, 2003, 12:37 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, I have severe hat hair! This is what happens when you wear a Santa hat for nine hours straight. We’ve been wearing these little Santa hats on the registers, and I have a big head, and so my hair gets crushed. So say hello to hat hair. I figure it must be Wal-Mart’s method of getting us to wear the hats all day. Once you wear the hat for a little bit, there goes your good hair day. So you keep the hat on all day and only remove it once you’re safely out of the store and somewhere where people won’t comment on your hat hair.

Meanwhile, I’ve finished sorting images for The Schumin Web Transit Center, my new transit-oriented site, and now I’m combing through those images, and prepping images for the site. Basically, I’m clearing out obviously bad images (blurry, not properly framed, etc.), and bringing out the good qualities in the ones that are left. Most of them are of DC Metro (as in Metrorail), and so be prepared to see a lot of trains…

eBay auction: Quite amusing

December 17, 2003, 8:07 PM

Just look at the link below… it’s amusing as hell.

Categories: Netculture

It took me an hour to get home!

December 14, 2003, 2:16 AM

Yay for snow AND sleet. I didn’t run off the road this time (thank God), but still, it took me a full bloody hour to get home from work today. Normally, this is a quick 20-minute drive to get from my house in Stuarts Draft to Wal-Mart in Staunton, going at least 55 most of the way.

Change that to snowy weather, and my top speed was 25, and I’m taking a different route than I usually do. Normally, when I go to and from work, I take Route 608 to I-64 to I-81 to US 250 to Wal-Mart. This is basically the direct route to Staunton via Fishersville from Stuarts Draft.

Tonight, you could say I took a more scenic route home, going from Wal-Mart taking US 250 to Waynesboro, using Lew Dewitt Boulevard to cut across to US 340, and then taking 340 to Stuarts Draft, picking up 608 at its intersection with 340. Why the different route? This different route has practically no curves, and is primary roads almost the entire way. No interstates (which make me nervous in the snow due to truck traffic), and no back roads. Sure it’s much longer, but in the snow, curves are the enemy, and could cause me to slide off the road into God-knows-what. Quite unpleasant either way.

But, hey, I made it. And I get to do it again going back to work again tomorrow, though I may very well see if I can get out of driving it and get Dad to take me. After all, when I parked, I blocked in Dad’s VW Golf, leaving a clear path for the truck to get out, and the truck has four-wheel-drive, and I don’t believe that the Golf has that.

Categories: Driving, Winter weather

I got new shoes!

December 13, 2003, 12:07 AM

So I finally got new shoes, and after you see what the old ones look like (I took pictures, as promised), you’ll see that these were badly needed. The new shoes are Airwalks, and are black with white laces and accents. Cute shoes. The style is called “Ricco”. Take a look:

Airwalk Ricco

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Categories: Shoes, Shopping

Newest D-Hall security device that would be amusing to see: Iron Maidens

December 12, 2003, 6:43 PM

While I was talking to the D-Hall cashier today, we had two people try to sneak in without paying (they were tracked down and made to pay). That led to two discussions…

First of all, we discussed how silly it was to try to avoid paying in D-Hall, since you pay with a punch, which is already paid for with tuition.

However, the second part was amusing. How do we keep people from, shall we say, “jumping the turnstile”? It came up that turnstiles would help, with people swiping their JAC cards like New Yorkers swipe their Metrocards. Metrocards, for those of you who don’t know, replaced the fabled subway token for good in 2003.

So you swipe your JAC, it’s verified, and the turnstile opens. Go eat. But you want to really be secure about it, and prevent people from simply going out the in? Install what is known as an “iron maiden” at the entrances and exits. An iron maiden is a big wheel with bars radiating out from it that only turns one way, and only lets you go one way on it. New York’s used them for entrances and exits on the subway for years. Swipe your JAC on a reader, the inbound iron maiden unlocks and lets you in, and then on the way out you use the outbound iron maiden. In the event of an emergency, people can still exit through the iron maidens. And like I said, New York’s been using them for years in the subway.

I think it would be quite amusing to see an iron maiden-style turnstile installed in D-Hall, and is HIGHLY unlikely to ever happen, but you must admit that an iron maiden would be effective…

Categories: JMU

In a few minutes, I shall be off…

December 12, 2003, 11:11 AM

Today, before work, take two in trying to get new shoes. I went to The Shoe Department at the mall in Harrisonburg yesterday, and they were out of Airwalks. So I’m going to go to Staunton Mall before work today and check out their branch of The Shoe Department and see if they have some Airwalks. And if not there, I’ll go to Super Shoes across the street from the mall.

And let me tell you… the shoes I have now could easily be described like this: “Did you just come from church? (No, why?) Then why are your shoes so holey?” Yeah. I have a big hole in the bottom of my left shoe, a tear in the top, and a hole developing in the toe of the right shoe. All from regular wear, not abuse, or even any few strenuous uses.

That’s what happens when you wear shoes every day day in and day out for a year. They really get some use. And I’d say that I got my money’s worth out of them. That and then some more.

I will be taking pictures of these shoes once I get a new pair to show you exactly how hard I wore these shoes. It’s amazing, trust me.

Categories: Shoes, Shopping, Walmart

The Wal-Mart Power Ranger

December 11, 2003, 10:59 AM

I can come up with the strangest ways of describing things sometimes. Here’s the latest gem that I’ve come up with…

When I went to clock in after lunch on Wednesday, I casually made the comment “It’s morphin time” just before I swiped my badge. I described it to say that clocking in is like putting on the Power Ranger suit (though note that the Waynesboro associates don’t have vests yet). And with the mighty register zord, my arsenal is complete to take on the customers.

My only disclaimer: I don’t look good in tights.

Still, there you go. Wal-Mart Power Ranger. What will I think of next?

Categories: Walmart

The scary part about finals is…

December 11, 2003, 9:41 AM

The scary part about finals is when you finish the final exam and turn it in, and know that you have completed all the work for the course, and you now have a final grade, and it’s just a matter of finding it.

It’s downright scary, too. You’ve finished your final exam in a course. So now, you have a grade, and there’s nothing you can do about it. And you don’t know what the grade is, for that matter, until some time next week.

So now is what we call the waiting game. La dee da dee doo… waiting, waiting, waiting. Nerve-racking is what it is. But anyway, on another topic…

I was waiting for the elevator at Taylor Down Under and talking to the desk attendant, and the fire alarm went off. Since I was in TDU, I went out through the main door, past the annunciator. It said that the alarm originated from a second-floor duct detector (a smoke detector in an air duct). Don’t know what caused the alarm, though. But it was cool to hear, plus see the strobes, needless to say.

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Categories: Fire alarms, JMU, Transit

We had an earthquake yesterday? Why didn’t anyone tell me?

December 10, 2003, 7:55 PM

Yeah, we supposedly had an earthquake that registered a 4.5 on the Richter Scale on Tuesday around 4 PM. According to news reports, the epicenter was 28 miles west of Richmond, and could be felt into Maryland and North Carolina.

In Harrisonburg and Staunton (roughtly 80 miles from the epicenter) it was very hit-and-miss. Some people felt some shaking. Other people didn’t feel anything.

Me, I was in Harrisonburg about to take a final when the earthquake came, and didn’t know that there was an earthquake until later that night, when a friend IMed me and told me that we had one. I didn’t feel a thing. Likewise, talking to my coworkers at Wal-Mart, no one who was working in the Staunton store at the time felt anything.

I know when I found out, it was like, “We had an earthquake? You’re kidding. Seriously? Hmmm. Must have skipped me or something. I didn’t feel anything.”

Interesting when you have those intra-plate earthquakes, though, since Virginia’s nowhere near a plate boundary, with the nearest plate boundary being quite far away.

Categories: Nature

Today I was Mr. People Greeter…

December 7, 2003, 10:17 PM

That’s right, today I was the People Greeter on the General Merchandise side of the store. My job today was to pass out carts, say hello to people, and various other tasks as needed.

In a word, doing the People Greeter’s job this time of year is COLD. I started out without a jacket, and boy, did I regret it. See, you have the big automatic doors that open and let drafts in from outside, plus the door for the carts (Staunton is an older Supercenter), despite all the blowers, still lets a good amount of cold air in.

I took my winter coat with me to work and left my lighter coat in the car. Realizing that my winter coat would first of all be too heavy of a coat, and also be too bulky, I asked and was allowed to go out to the car after my first break to get my other coat. The lighter coat worked out just fine.

So all in all, being a people greeter was interesting. It was a nice change of pace from the registers, and an interesting job nonetheless.

Heartwarming moment: After I said “Good evening” to one customer, he commented to me that I was the first one to greet him like that. That made me feel good. Lets me know that I’m making the customers happy.

Categories: Walmart