2009 Feb 01 | trains, UFC, Super Bowl

I generally prefer Wal-Mart to Target for two main reasons. One, they definitely have cheaper stuff, and most of the time I'm fine with that, even if it means lower quality. Except for a few things, like towels. The ones I bought at Wal-Mart pretty much fell apart within a few uses, and the Target ones are still going strong. I even bought the semi-expensive ones at Wal-Mart, too, not this $1.50 one. $1.50 for a towel? No way can that be good. It reminded me of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles when Steve Martin tries to dry off with the one remaining washcloth.

Two, they just have more "stuff" overall, and Target often won't have what I'm looking for. A large part of that is that Wal-Mart has a much bigger craft section, although the Wal-Mart I'm close to now only has two aisles of it, so sometimes I go to the one close to my previous apartment. Hobby Lobby or some other store like that might be an even better choice, I guess, but they're generally more expensive, and that Wal-Mart has had what I was looking for except for in a few rare cases, so I still prefer it.

There's some construction going on at the parking lots on campus, so if you get there after around 9-10am or so, it's almost impossible to find a spot. I've basically had to just sit and wait until someone pulled out and I could take their place. I sometimes go out to the Jeep during lunch to pick up or drop off equipment, and people trying to find a spot get excited because they think I'm going to leave, and then they get all sad when I don't.

I was going to pick up a package at the UPS customer service center, so I took local roads which were on the way there. Unfortunately, this train had stopped traffic.

We all were sitting and waiting when the train stopped completely and didn't start moving again, even though it was still blocking the road. That's when I started looking around for ways to turn around. If this tree hadn't been in the way, I could have U-turned over the meridian. I couldn't go to the right, either, because even though there was a parking lot, there was a big chain across the entrance. Thankfully after about 10 minutes the cars ahead started turning around through an opening, so we all could follow them.

I drove back west and then south, and the train that had been stopped started up again and also headed south, then west. Well, look at the wonderful timing on this. Right when I get to the tracks, the exact same train arrives as well. I had seen the lights start to flash, but there wasn't quite enough time to speed through before the barriers came down. Sure enough, the train stopped again as it was still blocking the road. It was so close; there were only four more cars that hadn't made it across, so if the train had only stopped a few hundred feet away, we could all have kept going. This time I was smart, though. I didn't pull all the way up to the barriers and instead waited back here, just in case I needed to turn around again via the road to the left. So that's what I did, and went back onto the road the train had originally stopped me on.

No way. A different train in the same spot the first train had originally been. You have got to be kidding me.

I finally got lucky, though. This train was on the far side of the road rather than the near side, and since I was turning right here anyway, I turned onto the road I needed just before I reached the train. Whew.

I wish the vents for the heater in my apartment were near the floor rather than near the ceiling. I'm sure it would save a lot of money.

A trash can at a bank. Those have to be great places for identity thieves to dig through the garbage.

The bathrooms at the Cinemark in Pasadena almost make me go into convulsions when I walk in.

Having the four-player Simpsons arcade game there makes up for it, though.

I tried out Don'Key's Mexican Restaurant because it got pretty good reviews online. Unfortunately, it appears only white people write online reviews for restaurants, because it was white-person Mexican food, not authentic Mexican. Still pretty good, but I like my Mexican dirty and spicy. The worse the English translations on the menu, the better the food.

I was actually home one time when the UPS delivery man had stopped by with a package. I'm almost always at school during the day and said I was sorry he kept dragging my packages to the apartment, only to have to haul them back when I wasn't there. He mentioned I could leave the outside storage room unlocked if I knew a package was coming and he could just stick it in there. That way he wouldn't have to keep coming back and I wouldn't have to drive to the customer service center to pick it up, so it works out well for both of us.

A big poster at the Jack In The Box drive through, after you order but before you pay and pick up. I wonder how many people it actually convinces to order more food. It almost worked on me, because that cheesecake looked really good, but I decided not to because I'm guessing it annoys the employees to have to change your order when they have it all ready to go.

Friday night I went to UFC 94, the rematch between Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn. I decided to try Lucky's Pub this time. It was a lot bigger and had more and larger TVs, but even so, seating was pretty limited. Worse, at least in my view, was that most of the people here were using it as a social event rather than actually being interested in the fight itself. At Mezzanine, everyone was a pretty big MMA fan (some even practiced it themselves) and knew what was going on during the fights, whereas here it was just an excuse to go out and drink with friends for the vast majority of the crowd.

The main problem with that is that people are constantly talking and walking around, getting in the way of the TVs, and doing other things to distract you from the actual match. I found some people who I knew from Mezzanine, though, so we all stuck together and yelled at the idiots who stood up and blocked the TV. The main event was unfortunately really lopsided again, but a few of the other fights were good.

Lots of stores were suppsed to have the 3D glasses for the Super Bowl commercial, but I went to four of them before I found a Kroger that actually did. I wonder if all the others had been taken or if then never got them in the first place. Target had someone handing them out instead of just letting you grab them yourself, but s/he was on a break when I went there.

Some of us went to the downtown Slick Willie's to watch the Super Bowl. I'm used to going downtown when it's almost impossible to find a parking spot, so I naturally went into one of the $7 garages. I only noticed these open spaces afterward. I guess Sunday afternoon would be rather empty here.

Actually, that particular Slick Willie's was almost empty. I wonder how they can afford to stay in the Bayou Place, because from what I've heard, it's always like this. Not to mention they only had about half the food on the menu. They were out of wings, popcorn, and some other things, and this was on Super Bowl Sunday. Then again, I think that whole area is kind of dying, so maybe that's the reason.

I had grabbed a bunch of the 3D glasses in case nobody else brought them, and I gave the staff and security guard some so they could watch the commercial, too. Interestingly, the commercials weren't very good this year, but the game was really great, which is the opposite of most Super Bowls.