I worked from home today, as it was time for my quarterly exterminator service. The exterminator (the real one, not Ah-nold) was expected between 8:00 and 10:00, and showed up at about 8:30. I told him about the either hornet's or wasp's nest out back, but he either didn't think there was anything to be done with it, or doesn't exterminate that kind of "bug." In the course of the conversation, he explained to me that what they do is kill spiders to get the eggs out of them and bring them back to their little larvae children who reside in that little mud hut. Well isn't that special.
I took a 10:00-11:00 conference call with Afshan, Abe, and John in Toronto, and Michelle and Greg at RTP, and Abe demoed Project Central for us. Impressive database and function.
For ENG 519, I created the following draft test materials for my upcoming usability test on my website: an orientation script; a consent form; a background questionnaire; a pretest; the eight tasks to be performed by the user; a task list describing the requirements, completion criteria, and maximum time to completion for each task; a posttest, and a debriefing form. This is due on Thursday of this week.
I met Joe for coffee at Cary Town Center, and arrived about a half hour before him to walk for 20 minutes in the mall. This is my last week of tracking at least 3 days of at least 20 minutes of exercise each for 10 out 12 consecutive weeks to get my $150 "health rebate" from IBM. (That last sentence screams for some commas.) With tonight's walk, my dancing on Wednesday, and dancing again on Saturday, I'll be done with it.
While I was walking, I couldn't stop thinking about that Dell Plasma TV mall-walking radio commercial that I'm sick of hearing, which attempts to make it sound like mall-walking is a shameful thing.
I've been in Cary Town Center twice before, both times for coffee at Gloria Jeans, so I've never seen any more of the mall than the food court. I am so not a shopper. I was surprised at how big it was, and had a serious deja vu incident when I came around one corner, and saw a hobby store called Hungate's. That store, I'm pretty sure, originated in Greenville, and I worked there briefly during my college years. I had totally forgotten about that.
I took a walk through the store, which was pretty small, and passed by a half-wall stocked entirely with model cars. I thought about how uninterested I was in those as a kid, and how even then, at such an early age, I knew it was one of those boy things that I should have liked doing. Instead, I enjoyed playing school with my sister, or truth be told, Bewitched. She would be Samantha and I would "pop in" as Endora -- "appearing" up on a dresser. Gee, it never occurred to me to be Uncle Arthur.
When I came out of the mall, the kids (two girls and a guy -- the guy doing the "gouging") were still trying to get into the car in which one of them had obviously locked their keys. There was a pretty big carnival set up in the parking lot, all lit up, but not yet "serving." It looked like maybe they were going to start up tomorrow. A ferris wheel, a tilt-a-whirl, those teacup things that spin while going around, too, and bumper cars.
Since Gloria Jeans in the mall was closing at 9:30, I met Joe over at the Starbucks in Barnes & Nobel for our coffee.