Brian Ho (brianho) wrote,
Brian Ho

Day 3: Free Range(r)

Unfortunately it's been a full week now since this stuff has actually happened. I've just been so busy this past week that I haven't had as much time to record this all as I would have liked. My memories are a little fuzzy at this point, so I won't get as many details in as the past couple parts. I guess it will make it a quicker read, but somewhat lacking in an archival sense.

I didn't really sleep all that well (again), but that's pretty typical for me when there's exciting or unusual things going on. I'm sure the hotel flatbed probably didn't help. Around 9ish I decided to just get up and go down for some of the free hotel breakfast. No one else was up yet. I just went down by myself, ate a bagel and some stuff, and then just went back upstairs to go back to sleep.

After awhile everyone got up and got ready. Everyone wanted to get breakfast before we met up with Drew's dad and Janey. We started out at Waffle House, but it was crowded and it seemed like we'd have to wait for a table. We made our way over to Denny's, but it was even more crowded! So we finally decided on McDonald's since it was right next door. Of course it was lunchtime by then, so we all ended up with lunch foods. The Monopoly game was going on, so I got a game board started and tried to order food that would get me as many pieces as possible. McDonald's Monopoly game is sort of an annual tradition for me.

Then we went back to the hotel to meet up with Mark and Janey. On our (very short) journey Drew had put a CD he had bought on our mall trip the previous day into Juli's car CD player. For whatever reason, it refused to eject the disc. We'd push the button and the stereo would kick back over to radio, but it didn't even sound like it was trying to eject the disc. When we got back to the hotel I took the stereo out of the dash to take a look at it and see if I could do anything. Unfortunately, the screws to open it up were Torx head, and I didn't have any way to work with them.

One of the things we were wanting to do was to go to Best Buy, so I just took the stereo with us. We all hopped into the Rendezvous-thingy and were on our way. Walking into Best Buy I got the stereo tagged by security and made my way back to the car audio department. They had to call a manager to let me into the install bay. Once inside I asked one of the installers if I could borrow a Torx driver. He informed me that they were not allowed ot loan out their tools. Understandable. I told him that I could just use it right there and not take the tools anywhere. He still said he couldn't break policy and pointed at the security camera in the bay. Fair. So I asked him if he'd just open up the unit for me. He agreed. I guess it was just a matter of asking the right questions to get around the rules. ;)

He took all the screws out and went back to what he was doing. I fussed with it for awhile and was finally able to extract the disc. It was a bit of a challenge since everything was still in the play position and the unit wasn't powered. But I was able to move things just enough to work it free without damaging anything. I reassembled the unit and had the installer put the screws back in. He had to call a manager to let me back into the store. I guess they're kind of caged animals in the install bay. :P I also had them call up to the security desk to let them know I'd be up there to have the CD I pulled out tagged so they wouldn't hassle me about carrying around an disc with no case. They seemed to appreciate my consideration of their policies.

I went off into the store to see if I could find someone else from the group. It seemed that everyone had split up and gone to look at various things. I ended up finding Juli first and walked around with her for a bit until we finally sat down at a display they had setup with an Xbox and a 52" TV. It was right up by the cashier lanes, so we figured everyone else would see us there eventually. We sat there talking and playing a demo of Burnout Revenge.
playin' games playin' games

Juli and I played a demo of Burnout Revenge at Best Buy while we were waiting on everyone else to finish shopping.

playin' games playin' games

Eventually everyone regrouped and we headed off to Ranger Joe's and Ranger Rags, a couple of stores that sold Army supplies, surplus, and other paraphenalia. After some time there we headed back to the base where Drew and John wanted to go through the infantry museum. Once again we split off and looked at all the various exhibits. There's quite a lot there and I'm sure none of us saw everything. Drew and John no doubt saw the most as they were the most interested since the museum represents their history now that they are a part of it.
fun with hats fun with hats

Juli found a fun service hat to try on at Ranger Rags.

tank boys tank boys

Drew and John pose next to a tank outside the infantry museum.

From there we went off attempting to find a different mall from the one we went to the previous day. We ended up driving all over theplace for what must have been about an hour. We never did find what we were looking for, but we got a "grand" tour of the Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL (yes, that's how they spell it) area that surrounds Ft. Benning. Eventually we ended up back at the same mall as the day before and went to see Fantastic Four. Once again I think Juli was the only one who had seen it before.

After the movie we went to Applebee's for dinner where John initially politely refused but eventually ate anything that anyone else didn't eat in addition to his own meal. I guess he must have starved his way through basic training. :P

Then it was back to the hotel. John was busy setting up his new laptop and installing games he had bought at Best Buy. I was busy on my own laptop. Juli and Drew went off to talk (yes, talk). Eventually we all came back and played some more You Don't Know Jack before going to bed.

As a side note, I hooked up Juli's stereo and it decided to start working just fine again after pushing the button a few times. I guess something had just gotten stuck or it must have just really like Drew's disc. Regardless, I installed the stereo I had brought with me so that we'd have use of it for the drive back to the Florida the next day.

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