Two more things…

June 30, 2004, 12:20 AM

First of all, it’s interesting having my sister working in the same place as me (mind you, though, she’s a cashier and I’m at the Service Desk). Usually if we get off near each other, one waits on the other, and in the case of this evening, we both took our vests home (vs. putting them in our respective lockers). Reason? Me: “I’m doing a load of vests tonight.” You see, I got powdered sugar all over mine after a lady brought up a broken bag of it. I got most of the sugar in the bag, but also managed to sugar-coat the counter, as well as me. So there you go. So as a result of washing our vests, there are two distinct piles on the kitchen counter. One is topped by a name badge saying “BEN”, with “CUSTOMER SERVICE” and “RISK CONTROL TEAM MEMBER” on it. The other, smaller pile is topped by a name badge saying “ANN”. Still, both vests are now hanging to dry.

And otherwise, I met Moreko Griggs at Wal-Mart today. For those of you who don’t know, Moreko Griggs is one of three valedictorians for Waynesboro High School’s class of 2004. There was considerable controversy there about there being three valedictorians, which in the final accounting turned out to be the adults making a big stink about something that those actually involved (Griggs and the other two valedictorians) didn’t see as too big of a deal. Either way, though, it was neat to meet him, as he has become a bit of a local celebrity.

That’s one reason I like working at Wal-Mart. You see everyone, from the famous (Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers was known to shop here occasionally), to local heroes (like Moreko Griggs), to local politicians (I met Waynesboro councilman Reo Hatfield at the grocery fastlanes once). You also see friends and family, as well as repeat customers. It’s neat.

Categories: Family, Walmart

Finally, an off-day!

June 29, 2004, 11:42 PM

Yes, after six straight days, where I worked all four different Service Desk shifts at least once, I finally have gotten another off-day. This Wednesday, I will be going nowhere near my own Wal-Mart. Other people’s Wal-Marts, on the other hand, are a completely different story, as most other Wal-Marts don’t look at all like Waynesboro’s. Most Wal-Marts are gray, red, and blue. Our store is beige and forest green. Our store has black signage and faux-wood floors. Most stores have some sort of blue signage and carpeting.

So I have yet to figure out what tomorrow looks like. Probably not going to go out, but rather I will probably take the opportunity to do some serious work on the Web site. I really need to work on it, since right now I’m behind on a few different projects, including spinning College Life off into its own subsidiary site, working on “The Lights of the Night” group of photo sets, and my “Memories” College Life set.

Otherwise, the phrase “Are your gas bills so high they make you want to cry?” is just perfect for me. To fill up the Previa costs almost $30 with these astronomical gas prices. And my car isn’t even one of those gas-guzzling SUVs.

Now sport-utility vehicles aren’t helping the price of gas, either. If people would all get small, fuel-efficient cars, maybe we could all get more for our money as far as gas goes. I know that when I eventually replace the Previa, I will be getting a small car, preferably a station wagon.

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Another Howard Johnson’s bites the dust…

June 29, 2004, 12:03 AM

It’s sad… in the same month, Palace Amusements in Asbury Park, New Jersey bites the dust (see my related quote article), and then the old Howard Johnson’s restaurant in Harrisonburg also gets demolished.

First of all, in its time as a Howard Johnson’s, it looked like this, as seen in these photos from

Howard Johnson's in Harrisonburg while open

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Categories: Howard Johnson's, JMU

It’s been a little while since we spoke…

June 22, 2004, 12:57 PM

It’s been just a touch more than a week since last we spoke, and it’s because I’ve been hurrying to finish a massive update to my Transit Center site. There’s LOTS more WMATA on there now, in the Washington DC Rail section. And today, I’m actually writing you from the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville, because I’m over here for two reasons. First off, I returned some pants to Casual Male earlier, because trust me… these pants were WAY too big. Made me feel skinny. The pants were that big.

I’m also bus-sighting over here, so I can add Charlottesville’s CTS system to my Transit Center Web site. I’ve actually gotten 42 photos today so far, plus one movie, though I highly doubt I will use everything. Still, look for Charlottesville to join the likes of Metrobus, Dash About, CUE, and Harrisonburg Transit at a Schumin Web Transit Center near you.

And then tomorrow I’m going to DC! I’m meeting two fellow posters from SubTalk, and we’re going to do some serious railfanning. I’m meeting up with Oren H., as well as Jersey Mike. I’ve railfanned with Oren before, but never Mike. This ought to be fun!

Categories: Schumin Web meta, Transit

See anything in this picture that raises an eyebrow?

June 14, 2004, 10:24 PM

I don’t know what happened, but it definitely looked unpleasant

June 12, 2004, 11:59 PM

On my way back from Charlottesville, where I spent the day today (somehow I got a Saturday off without asking for it – go figure), on US 340 right before the intersection of 340 and 608, I had to slow down considerably. It was the only smart thing to do considering that there were northbound cars traveling in the left southbound lane. I’m like, what in the heck and slowed down and got in the right lane. Once I got closer, it all made some sense. First thing I saw was lots of shattered glass strewn across four of the five lanes of US 340 right where Stuart Avenue meets 340. I looked left, and I see two cars in some poor innocent person’s front yard at a weird angle. Looks like they didn’t go there on purpose. Some other cars were parked nearby. Then there was a guy putting out flares. I don’t know any details other than what I saw, and don’t know how bad the damage was or whether anyone was hurt or not. But I can tell you this. It definitely doesn’t look pleasant.

Otherwise, I had fun in Charlottesville. First, though, I got the Previa’s front end aligned at Eavers Tire in Stuarts Draft. That was related to the blowout I had two weeks ago. While I was waiting, I worked on my phone some, downloading a new version of Mobile IM (remember that my AIM screen name on my phone is Schumin Wireless), plus downloaded Tetris and Ms. Pac Man onto my phone.

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It seems that carbohydrates have become the new fat…

June 11, 2004, 1:24 AM

After having just seen two commercials in a row about low-carbohydrate foods, I have to believe that we’ve officially gone off the deep end.

The first commercial was for Special K, which acted as though people were just crushed to death, showing people sitting on the ground with their head buried in their knees and crying if that tells you anything, about not being able to use their cereal bowl due to their low-carbohydrate diet. That’s why this new version of Special K is supposedly so great, because it’s only nine net carbohydrates per serving.

The other commercial was for CarbWell salad dressing, which promotes having no carbohydrates. Not nearly as bad as the first, but still pretty bad…

I’m just amazed, really. I grew up with something else, and it wasn’t long ago when it was the case that fat was the enemy. We counted our fat grams, and counted our calories. And food manufacturers announced how low in calories they were and how low in fat they were.

Now it’s carbohydrates. Sugars. All of a sudden, fat and calories are left by the wayside. The key to slimmer thighs is to lose the sugars now! The way it’s come around, it seems like a huge national fad.

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Compare for a moment… who looks better?

June 8, 2004, 10:33 PM

Let’s compare for a moment… who looks better in their blue vest? Let me present to you…

Ben Schumin in blue Wal-Mart vest
Exhibit A: Ben Schumin

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June 8, 2004, 2:04 AM

It’s been a few days since I last posted, and so I thought I’d fill you in on what’s happened in my life.

Biggest event was on June 5, where I attended an International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) protest in Washington DC. That was FUN. We went from Lafayette Park in front of the White House to Donald Rumsfeld’s house at 2206 Kalorama Road NW. To get there we left Lafayette Park and took H Street to 14th Street. From there we went several blocks up to U Street, where we caught Florida Avenue to Connecticut Avenue, and finally to Kalorama Road.

I ended up connecting with a group of relative strangers from Chicago who drove a long way to come to this event. It was a very diverse group, too. One of the women had their hair colored purple. Another carried a bucket being used as a makeshift drum. Another was dressed for the weather (cool and wet) and were ready to follow the protest. The two men in the group appeared to be my age or slightly older, and were dressed for a Black Bloc, wearing all black and masks over their faces. Considering that I came to the protest alone, I was very pleased about how well this group from Chicago that I never met before and will probably never meet again accepted and welcomed me into their group. Very friendly folks. Me from two hours away, and them from half a continent away.

Chants at this protest ranged from “Occupation is a crime from Iraq to Palestine”, “Ain’t no power like the power of the people ’cause the power of the people won’t stop!”, chants about Mumia Al-Jamal (Free Mumia), “Whose streets? Our streets!” and others I can’t remember off the top of my head.

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It is official: I have ordered two Strong Bad tees!

June 2, 2004, 10:39 PM

Yes, my birthday present is now officially on order: two Strong Bad tees. If only it worked like this, though…

Hey Strong Bad,
Get Bubs to give out free luncch (sic) specials and I’ll show you a hot girl.
Sincerly (sic),

Maybe if I can get Bubs to say his name backwards minus the first B, legend has it we can get a free lunch special, and maybe a free T-shirt if we’re really lucky.

Now if we can only get him to make another appearance on H*R as the Thnikkaman, and life will be perfect.

Though I should let you know that the current plan for the June cover photo (and by extension an explanation why one is not up yet) is that I am planning on dressing up as the Thnikkaman for the cover photo. A little tribute to one of my favorite Homestar Runner characters.

Still, I can’t wait to get my Strong Bad T-shirts. It will go quite well with my sister’s Teen Girl Squad T-shirt.

Got some new tires today…

June 2, 2004, 7:59 PM

After work, I went to Wal-Mart’s Tire and Lube Express (hereafter TLE). And I got me some tires. And this is the benefit of my sister now also working at Wal-Mart. Only an hour of our shifts coincided today, and so while she was working, and my car was at TLE, I took her car out for a little while, since waiting around at Wal-Mart is a drag if you’re not in the shopping mood, and you can only ride the mechanical horse in the game room so many times before it gets old. Besides, when I rode it, I ended up looking like Strong Bad after he drank a cup of soy sauce, like I’m trying to pilot Bubs’s Concession Stand.

So I rode around in her car, which she calls “The Gray Lady”. Very small car compared to the Previa. I felt like my butt was dragging on the road. In fact, I think I would be literally dragging along the road if that thing were any lower. For her trouble in letting me use it, I did fill the tank, do her windows, and take out the used napkins that were on the floor.

Meanwhile, it’s burning up in here. We need to turn on the air conditioning.

Categories: Walmart

Gotta love the first of the month…

June 1, 2004, 9:58 PM

The first of the month… everyone decides they want to go shopping! So as a result, we were busy. Good to be busy, though. Time goes by quickly.

Meanwhile, this has been a stormy spring! Last spring it rained and rained. This year, we’re getting our fair share of rain, along with some serious thunder and lightning. And wind. Makes for an interesting spring, though it will make for many spoiled attempts at outdoor recreation, like my most recent trip to Lake Moomaw.

By the way, I am going again, and plus after I saw a map of where Lake Moomaw is, I’m going to see if I can find a more direct route to Lake Moomaw than via Covington, since Lake Moomaw is near the border of Alleghany and Bath Counties, which means that the way I go, I go south to Lexington, west to Covington, and then north to Lake Moomaw. I wonder if there’s a southwesterly route I could take. Hmmmm…

So tomorrow I work 7-4, and then going to Tire and Lube Express to get a new tire to replace that blown one. Also probably replacing the one on the other side, since it’s about ready to be replaced, judging by the looks of the treads. I also need an alignment, but sadly, TLE doesn’t do alignments. But I’m told that alignments aren’t too bad cost-wise.

So that’s my life. And I’m now officially 23 years old. Whoopee. But I am ordering those Strong Bad tees soon.

Categories: Walmart