Category Archives: Ground P

Boxing Day @ Futureshop

Actually, a visit to Futureshop was not as terrible as one would expect on Boxing Day this year. The crowds and the lines were more orderly as barriers were erected to guide people to the correct lines leading to the cashiers; the cashiers were brisk and kept the lines moving at a reasonable pace; and there was even less cut throat competition between salesmen this time around, keeping in line with the “festive” part of the season! To see all these improvements in the afternoon was really reassuring as Futureshop’s in-store “performance” can really be awful for Boxing Day shopping.

However, the only problem that drew my attention – and everyone else’s I’m sure – was the carelessness some of the staff. Flyers were strewn about in some corners of the store; some of the places where one would expect to find particular items on-sale ended up in other sections of the store; and some of the on-sale products carried incorrect price labels. This year I wanted to buy a 4 GB USB key which happened to be more than half-off at $27 – yet their price label read them going for $82! This was also the case with a wireless mouse on sale for $20, but labelled for $52. When I brought these inconsistent price labels to the attention of a staff member, they seemed more eager to leave to attend other matters. No one suggested correcting the labels to reflect the advertised price.

Thus, it doesn’t make sense to go out shopping on Boxing Day without knowing exactly what it is one is looking for. The chances are slim that someone, without research, can walk out for Boxing Day to shop for a good deal and come back with everything he intended to buy. The items you want are likely misplaced, mislabelled, and even hidden from view. While Futureshop isn’t the only store making such errors on Boxing Day, the expectation that all of the on-sale items in store will be properly labelled and easy to find is probably too high.

I don’t have any ideas to offer in terms of remedying the problems at Futureshop as they’re obvious and simple. But, for consumers, I suggest to review the flyers and select the items that are practical. By practical, I mean items that will likely be available at most times of the day. There’s little point in “door crashing” or rushing for hot deals when the available stock is less than a dozen. The prices probably aren’t that great, but, if they are, the product is getting old anyway.

Be surgical! Walk into a store, track down what’s on your list, quickly append to the list any deals that are truly worth your while, hit the lines, and leave! To do anything else places oneself at a disadvantage. You’ll end up using more time than you would have expected and with less than you may have wanted.

Lastly, do keep your eyes open and be aware of what is happening around you. People are in a rush to their destinations and may not be completely aware of what is around them. Take note of the atmosphere and try to avoid angry groups of people. Everyone may be out for the great holiday deal, but you don’t need to be caught up in a potential fight of strangers.

Really, everyone knows what they’re doing. They don’t need a stranger, such as myself, to tell them what they are doing. But, if you really are out to shop, just keep in mind these are merely suggestions. To the guy who fought with me for a parking space, walked into the store for an hour, wondered aloud whether Best Buy had a better deal, and rushed out the door with nothing, this is for you.

Dead Rising

Dear Life,

After a great deal of contemplation, I have decided to issue this one, final challenge:  I will crush you, without mercy or hesitation.  Everything I am, everything I know, shall be used for the cause of breaking you.  The seemingly impossible nature of this challenge no longer matters to me.  My only wish, my one joy, is to dance this cursed dance for all time.

For those of you who are somewhat concerned, I do not intend to go on a killing rampage nor am I suicidal, thank you.  This may seem unusual, but this is how I solve my problems.  I vainly shake my fist against life itself in a bid to motivate myself into a frenzy, much like hockey fans watching television.

Sincerely,

P

Instinct

He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear

His hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace and fear:

And you all know, security

Is mortals’ chiefest enemy

Macbeth – Hecate

Madness?

I was having a shower when the hot water ran out on me. Alright, it’s all good, it’ll warm up soon, I thought. A moment passed…then another…and another. Soon moments transmogrified into what must have been minutes. Why!? Why now? Why me? It was at that moment when a clear thought emerged into my consciousness. I thought to myself ‘I choose to be happy’. Then it began.

At first, I smirked. Soon, my smirk became a full blown smile, and that smile became stifled giggles. What was going on? It’s strange to recall, but I wasn’t thinking of anything funny at all. In fact, I wasn’t thinking of anything! Nothing! Nadda! Zip! Help! Here’s a guy taking a cold shower, telling himself to be happy, and laughing for no particular reason. The image was so stupid I couldn’t help but laugh even more.

I know what you’re thinking. Some are already convinced that I am somewhat insane. Now, after laughing to myself, alone in a cold shower, I wondered if I really was a bit crazy. I took a good look in the mirror and saw myself beaming back a great big smile. Do other people laugh like that? It was then that I heard my brothers laughing, their attention fixed to a computer monitor. I guess so.

I’m just easily amused, that’s all. So what? If you haven’t laughed to yourself while taking a cold shower, you’re the one with the problem. Maybe my brothers had a better excuse, but I don’t need excuses! I’ll laugh in your face if I have to! Maybe I’ll laugh at you…rather than in your face…but you get the picture. I think I’ll just stop here.

23 Minutes

Ah, 23 minutes of running…23 minutes of wonder. Sometimes I think of some crazy stuff while I push myself to my new limit. What? Like, what I’m doing on a treadmill, life, you know, that junk. Then it occurs to me how some things in this world can only be done by one person. How one person must decide to reach for new limits in order to maintain that fragile hold on what has come to be known as sanity. Then I realise I’m thinking about myself. That’s not so good. I don’t need sanity! I want to be a beast! A self-sustaining, self-motivating, auto-actualising monster of cold, terrifying consequences.

But I require other people to act as my standard.

OH GOD WHY AM I SO WEAK!?! So blessedly pathetic? SO HOT?

I’ll leave it at that.

There is peace in my world for one more night

I stay up, do the chores, lock the doors

And all the while, in my messy domicile

I run and explores the path, in my mind

Method of loci, and doin the hokey pokey

Why is it that it’s all so damn smokey?

I burned the bacon. I hates the bacon.

Mnemonics sometimes, but not while cooking.

PEACE, peace, peace, peice?

My Cranky Laptop

For a good long while I have struggled with my laptop, a lovely HP Pavilion N5495 with Ubuntu 6.10 inside. I would describe our relationship as a love-hate type. I hate it when it’s cranky, I love it when it works…and deep down inside I know the feeling is mutual. Each morning, when I start it up, there is a strong chance that it will freeze just after I log in and the splash screen finishes loading. Sometimes I am unlucky and even alt-r,s,e,i,u,b-prt scr does not elicit a response. I run fsck to check if the hard drive is okay and the results turn up positive so why does my laptop freeze on the first start of the day?

At this point I am very suspicious of the RAM so I run memtest overnight. The tests are passed numerous times and there are no problems with the RAM. I then reboot the computer and everything loads up well with no freezes or program crashes. Why?? It is at this moment when I thought of another absurd possibility: Can it be that the RAM needs to be warmed up before I start my laptop?

I suppose the sounds the fan makes when it revs up makes me think of my laptop as more of a lawn mower or a car than an actual PC; and the thought of “warming” up the memory before trying to start Ubuntu doesn’t seem too far out there in nonsense ville…as long as I keep thinking within the engine analogy. So, before my laptop’s first start of the day, I ran memtest for a few minutes. Guess what? My laptop starts with no problems.

N5495, I hate you.