August 31, 2013

The Deed Is Done

It has been a long time coming.  The decision was not particularly hard to make, but it was difficult to pull the trigger on.  Then finding the time and energy to actually do it, well, that was a feat in and of itself.  But finally, finally, it was accomplished.

I have a new computer.

Unlike many, perhaps all, of you, though, I am not frantically hooking it up and getting it running.  Believe me, I understand that urge, and as recently as a year or two ago, I would have been a whirlwind of activity, cables and widgets and dongles flying everywhichway in my haste and zeal to get the new gadget rockin'.  No, I've still too much to get off Chiyo-chan and stored onto the external drive, and too many logins to recover from too many websites to hurry into this.

So tomorrow, the whirlwind will occur.  And the world will finally meet the computer that will take over for Chiyo-chan.

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August 26, 2013

This Is The One Where Wonderduck Complains

Just giving you fair warning, is all.  As far as complaining goes, it probably won't be too terrible... more like a quiet yet persistent whining sound, exactly like the one emanating from the empty apartment downstairs.  Anyway.  If you're not interested, here's a nice picture that has nothing to do with anything, and might I suggest choosing from a category on the sidebar?

Last week, as I'm sure you all realized, I broke the 60-hour mark with plenty of time to spare.  The week before, I nearly did the same thing, though that was with six days.  This week will probably be right around 60 hours... things are kinda slowing down, but there are things other than customers that take up my time, as well.  As it is, I'm coming in early and staying late just to get stuff done... stuff that by rights I should be doing during the day.

Look, here's how wiped out I was.  This past Saturday, I woke up at 645am, as usual, and by 11am, I had fallen asleep twice as I was browsing the web or reading a book.  After waking up the second time, I gave up and went back to sleep.  I woke up five hours later, watched the Quals for Belgium, did the writeup, then went back to bed.  While I was intending to wake up around 1130pm to work on the next Eva 1.11 writeup (which I haven't touched for a couple of weeks), I blew through two different alarm clocks, only to wake up at 3am Sunday.  After piddling about, I went back to bed and slept until 10am Sunday.  And I'm still tired.

What I'm saying is, all this stuff at work may keep me away from blogginating for a bit longer.  I know this is terrible news for all of you, and some may even feel depressed about it.

However, and this is big big big... a new computer will be coming into my life this week.  Y'all will be introduced as soon as I actually, y'know, get it.  Wish me luck the rest of the week.

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August 22, 2013

And Down The Stretch They Come...

Somewhere around 10 Thursday morning, I clocked my 40th hour in the Duck U Bookstore for the week. I didn't leave today until 8pm.  You do the math.

If things break the right way, I might be able to get out on Friday in about 11 hours.  That'd be the shortest day this week!

I'm so very, very tired.

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August 18, 2013

Wonderduck's Weekend

I worked all day Saturday, as the new fledgelings moved into the Duck U dorms that day, then had dinner with Ph.Duck immediately afterwards.  I got home around 7pm, and by 8pm I was crawling into bed for a nap.  I set the alarm clock AND my cellphone to wake me around 1030p, and I was out cold before my head finished sinking into the pillow.

Hydraulic pressure woke me up at six in the morning on Sunday.  I had slept through two hours of Sports-Talk Radio and my cellphone's alarm (twice), which normally will kick me out of bed like a train had hit the headboard.  Groggily, I purged the hydraulic lines and debated with myself what to do: go back to bed?  Do laundry?  Sleep?  Laundry?

Laundry.  I was nice to my neighbors, however, and waited until 8am to do it.  After that was done, I had lunch while watching the NASCAR race and falling asleep.  By 2pm, I gave up and went back to sleep... and woke up at 7pm.  And I'm STILL sleepy.  Next week is the start of classes at Duck U., so there's no rest for either the weary or for the Duck U Bookstore's manager.

Thanks for your patience.

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August 15, 2013

"...Without You Suffering From Burnout."

Those were the last words my boss said to me on the phone today before I burst into a manic sort of laughter, high-pitched and brittle.  The sort of laughter that inspires ultimate confidence in the listener.

I have nothing else to say, I guess.  A couple more weeks and it'll all be over...

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August 13, 2013

The Nightmares Have Begun

The stress of work is leaking into my sleeping brain, causing nightmares beyond telling.  This one, though, is at least a little humorous.  The other night, I dreamt that I was the only person in the world who remembered a particular song from 1992, and I HAD to preserve that memory, no matter what. 

Now, the way I learned about this song in real life was interesting enough.  I was home from Grad School, and had a few bucks free to spend on stuff.  I had become the unofficial master of the mixtape for just about any party held by the theatre department, owing to my ginormous cassette collection, supplemented by a small but growing assortment of CDs.  Add in the collections of the two roomies, and I had a ridiculously eclectic range of music to play with.  There was only one problem: none of it was new.  I jumped on my folks' computer (a 386, maybe) and swear to god, connected to Prodigy.

THAT was cutting edge back then, folks.  Anyway, I headed to some of the message boards to ask for help... mostly for dance music.  I got a few good song titles back, including the track involved in my nightmare. 

Oh yeah, remember that?  The nightmare?  I woke up from it, thinking I REALLY WAS the only person in the world who remembered the song.  I stumbled into my living room and started going through my CDs, trying to find the maxi-single... and I couldn't find it.  The boxes in the closet didn't have it either.  Actually desperate now, I called up yourfaceinatube, hoping beyond hope that someone else out there knew the tune!  As it turned out, I need not have worried.

In fact, it was rather stupid of me to have been half-scared out of my wits; this was actually a Billboard Hot 100 hit, back when that meant something, and I KNEW that.  Of course people weren't going to have forgotten it.  Still, nightmares aren't supposed to make sense, are they?

And now, just in case something really DOES happen and everybody else forgets "Love U More" by Sunscreem, it'll be here.

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August 12, 2013


The replacement graphics card came in today.  As soon as I got home, I put it in. 

And it didn't work.  Of course.  Of course.

I just realized that I can't return it to Amazon now, either, because I sent the original to EVGA.

I am now taking suggestions on new desktop computers.



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August 08, 2013

An Origins Tale

No, not that Origins, as we were more of a Gen-Con group growing up... naturally enough, since it was (metaphorically) just up the road in Kenosha.  THIS origins tale will be something a little more prosaic.  Those few of you who didn't sear the post out of your memory will recall a little passage in the latest Eva 1.11 post, about how longtime friend Vaucaunson's Duck ran me down with his bicycle and ground my youthful face into the brick street.  Ah, those wacky hijinks!

As with most good fiction, some bad fiction, and the occasional bit of writing you'll see here on The Pond, there is a germ of truth behind the story.  In this case, while Vauc didn't actually run me over, he did have a bicycle, like many kids our age, and by "our age," I mean 12, which would be approximately three years after we first met.  I was already infamous at Q.S. Trotter Grade School for having been the first student demoted from third grade to second in the middle of a school year.  Of course, this naturally meant that I was as dumb as a box of hair, when the truth was somewhat more... strange.

See, my education up until my family migrated to Duckford was... um... well, I was part of an alternative schooling program known as the "Free School Movement."  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the short version is that, instead of having a schedule of classes that I had to take, I learned what I felt like learning.  I believe I attended the Free School for three years, from the ages of 5 through 8, until the Great Migration in '76.  Now, I want you to imagine being five years old, and you're being told that you can learn whatever you feel like learning, and you don't have to learn what you don't want to.  EVER.  As it worked out, I was reading at a high school level when we moved to Duckford and I began attending QS Trotter... but I couldn't math my way out of a paper bag.  The thing is, nobody had any idea where to put me when I got to conventional school.  So I was placed into third grade... and within a month or so, everybody discovered that I didn't have a single freakin' idea of how to school, either.  I never turned in a piece of homework, ever.  Don't get me wrong, I did it all... but I just left it in my desk.  That's what I did before, after all, how was I supposed to know any different?

In a lot of ways, the whole Free School thing was both a blessing and a curse.  On the one hand, I still love to read, and writing?  Well, there's eight years of crap here at The Pond to look back on.  On the other hand, though, I still can't math worth a damn and I have no interest in learning to.  So that's how I came to be infamous at QS Trotter...

...anyway.  Met Vauc sometime afterwards, became friends, and somewhere along the way, he had a 10-speed bicycle; guess that would have been around 1980.  I, on the other hand, had a somewhat clunky three-speed bike, painted a truly lovely shade of brown, and by "lovely," I mean something completely not lovely at all.  I do mean "brown," however.  I'm not denying that brown can be an appealing color, though it makes me look like a pile of dog poo with a pile of red hair on top, I'm just saying that my bicycle was nothing special to look at.  Or ride, come to think of it.

In any case, I don't remember which of us came up with the nickname "Tenspeed and Brown Bike."  Probably Vauc.  Maybe you, earnestly bored reader, remember the short-lived Steven J Cannell show, "Tenspeed and Brown Shoe," starring Ben Vereen and Jeff Goldblum?  I will admit to not remembering it at all, save for that it gave us the nickname that I remember so clearly, despite it being 33 years old... and judging from the response to a text I sent a few hours ago, Vauc remembers not at all.

Well, that's the way these things go.  What my brain remembers as important are not the same as Vauc's, surely.  I'm sure he has vivid memories of... I dunno, playing MAATAC in the Game Room, for example, that I don't have any recollection of. 

In any case, that's the long-form explanation of the "bicycle over the face" gag.  Pointless, wasn't it?

(I still remember modifying the rules to MAATAC to allow OGREs... good times, good times...)

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August 06, 2013

Look, Here's The Story.

Over at the Duck U Bookstore, the Run To Rush has truly begun in earnest.  While classes actually begin on August 21st, next week is when, historically, we take the next step in sales traffic.  Right now, we're doing... oh, let's call it X in sales per day.  Next week, we'll be doing 2X, maybe 3X.  Rush Week itself, though, will see us doing 6X for a couple of days, 5X the rest.  That's busy enough when you've got a full staff, but I don't.

My boss was in the store on Monday, and as always, he asked "what can I do for you?"  My reply was simple: give me an experienced employee for a couple of weeks.  Doesn't even have to be a new assistant manager, just someone I can have cover the sales floor while I do admin stuff.  Unfortunately, pretty much every other store in our region starts classes within a week of me, meaning they'll be at least as busy as me, and loathe to release a trained staffer as well. 

Which leaves me doing two jobs, though as the manager, it's all really my job.  Anyway, I've got to cover the floor, unpack boxes, put incoming stock on the shelves, customer service, all that sort of thing... which I love, don't get me wrong.  But at the same time, I've got to do paperwork, reorders, receiving, keeping the Home Office happy and the vendors paid... and only so much of it can be done after the store is closed.

As I'm hopping around like a frog with its head cut off all day, by the time I get home, a lot of what I want to do doesn't involve the computer.  It does involve having a meal, watching the TV, and sleeping... and if I ever get that stupid graphics card back from EVGA, playing video games.  ANYTHING to keep my mind off work.

So what I'm saying is that I'm going to be a little quiet here for a while.  I'll probably post a random anime picture every day, or every other day, or something, so there'll still be content (or content-like substance), it just won't be the deep, probing, intelligent, thoughtful, erudite material you've grown used to from The Pond.

Like that.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:43 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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