Say cheese

This morning I got my badge, or rather, I stood for the picture on my badge; I should get it the first day of training, Monday. About twelve people received more info and got their pictures taken. I hope, assuming, of course, that this job works out, to get my various certifications for IT: Microsoft Certified Engineer (MSCE), and perhaps others such as the RHCE, Linux+ and/or A+. Dell has other levels of tech support for people with certs and I hope to qualify for other jobs, as well.

Afterwards, a few of us were chatting in the lobby about the Dell On Call games room: a dark room filled with networked computers loaded with games, especially first-person shooters (Unreal Tournament, Quake 3, &c.). For my breaks, I can choose games or a cigarette.

I think I'll quit smoking.

Meanwhile, a young woman with short brunette hair walked in, wearing a white top and bell-bottoms. She was pretty, but perhaps the most noticeable thing about her was that the fabric was about one step removed from sheer, and, as far as we could tell, she was wearing only a thong. And yes, I looked (discreetly), but mostly I had fun teasing the Georgia boy who had some trouble with the "discreet" part. Honestly, I was wondering more about what her business was that this kind of outfit was considered a "good idea", or even "not remarkable".

I mean, really. It was almost sheer. Like the shirts female, bra-less celebrities wear in front of flash photographers to get their nipples in the tabloids.

I went to Goodwill in Smyrna yesterday and bought a phone, an alarm clock and a French press. The phone ($3) is useless: I thought one of the land lines in the apartment worked but I was wrong. The alarm clock ($4) works fine. The French press ($5) works great. It was so nice to hit the Murfreesboro roads (lots and lots of traffic) with a full dose of caffeine next to my blood cells.

I am lusting after monitors and keyboards, having left mine in Michigan. Nevertheless, I have held off purchasing any before I decided whether or not to come up to Michigan this weekend. Well, I have decided to hold off driving up until after the first few weeks of classes: if I am doing well, I will come up then. Meanwhile, I am looking for a used computer shop that has a DEC VT220 terminal for $5.

Yeah, cheap bastard, I know.

I missed 1 Dell Parkway when the plane roared down the bridge across Murfreesboro Pike and took off directly overhead. I had thought it was a taxiway, not a runway, heh.


Baptist Keith thinks he needs to call the office to get the phone lines fixed. So maybe I will get to use the land line!

The French press (retail $29.95) is, I think, already saving me lots of money on gas station coffee. That's a good thing. Hey, I was down to one cup a day, which for me is almost nothing, but every large cup was $1.20 down the hole, plus tax and gas. I bought a small can of Wal-mart Columbian for $2.16 plus tax. After seven cups or so, I will have amortized the cost of the setup. Of course, having no pans, I microwave the water in my travel mug, then dump it in the press.

Tennessee taxes: the state has an 8.25% sales tax. Many municipalities charge another 1% or so. There is no income tax. Unprepared food is also taxed, but at a lower rate.

The radio today was complaining that Tennessee is facing a budget surplus.

My schedule as a future D.O.C. technician is fluid, but for the training it is strictly 8-5. That means four weeks of fighting traffic on I-24. I am in the wrong place for it: everyone commutes from Murfreesboro. If I was coming down from Nashville, it would be easier, so I think I will look for a place there, once my position is more secure.

Having discovered the "free" computers provided for residents, I have seriously downgraded the KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) search. It can wait, and I can post here. UPS deliveries to apartments are a pain in the butt. And I never thought I would say this, but I am heartily sick of the libraries—or rather, their computer time limits. And of not being able to check anything out.

All these computers have is Internet Explorer and Office 2003. But, that's all the library computers have. No, this will do fine.