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There’s just something intoxicating about that “new carpet smell”

July 30, 2004, 7:40 AM

Seriously, I love that new-carpet smell. With the whole back-to-school thing in full swing, we’ve got all your need-to-gets for people going off to college. And among other things, we have area rugs, all rolled up and sitting in the action alley. And they smell like new carpet!

You know what? I could probably stand there and smell that new-carpet smell all day and not be unhappy. It really is a wonderful smell.

They should make a cologne scented like that. Call it “DuPont Stainmaster #5”. I would date someone wearing that intoxicating aroma. World’s worst pick-up line for that: “Hey, baby, want to get together and smell the carpet?”

And looking at me after smelling carpets, since I so love the smell, people might just have to ask, “Have you been smelling carpets, or are you just glad to see me?”

Still, I do love that smell.

Categories: Amusing

Things we do on our off-days…

July 28, 2004, 8:37 PM

I was off yesterday and today, and it was quite an interesting time. The highlight of the days off was going to Roanoke on Tuesday afternoon and evening. I did some very minor photography, mostly night photography at Mill Mountain Park, home of the Roanoke Star. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just a certain draw to that location for photographing it at night. The only problem is that with the warmer months, darkness comes later, and thus I get far less time topside before they kick us out of the park at 11 PM (that’s when the gates close) than I would during the winter when it gets dark at like five.

Still, I managed to get a few gems. My only major problem up at the star this time was children. Elementary-aged children running around doing child-type stuff, getting in my way, tromping around on the wooden overlook platforms, messing up more than one shot. One child actually bumped my tripod, creating a double image with some strange trails on it.

On this trip, I also realized why winter is the better time for visiting the Roanoke Star. Besides there being more dark up there at night, the leaves are gone from the trees, permitting us to see more of the area. Foliage is a big blocker, let me tell you.

And then after I was finished at the star, I went over to Hooters, where I had a meal, and also got into a conversation with Cierra, one of the Hooters girls, about the Metro in DC, MARTA in Atlanta, and other transit-type topics. Also found out that Roanoke indeed does have transit service – a bus service called Valley Metro. I will have to chase this and photograph service one of these days. It may be more difficult than I would like it to be, considering that I had never even seen buses in Roanoke before this trip. Still, we’ll figure it all out in the end. May pair it up with the BT in Blacksburg.

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Soy? What’s the problem?

July 26, 2004, 2:24 AM

Well, my Sunday at work was a sweet-and-sour day. And it didn’t even have anything to do with work.

My day was quite a good day up to my lunch break. On my lunch, I bought one of my usual lunch picks, as well as something new I saw in the produce cooler. It was a vanilla chai tea with serious amounts of soy protein.

So I rang it all up on the self-checkout, and went off to the breakroom, where I decided to first enjoy the tea. I drank that down, and boy, was I sick. That was it. It did NOT agree with me, and I was miserable the rest of my lunch break. I don’t think my system settled for some hours after work ended. But goodness, I felt hideous. Not enough to go home early, but still, you could tell I was a touch out of it.

Needless to say, I’m never having that again. I don’t know what it is about soy. I used to drink soy milk all the time, and it would always agree. Then I had one soy milk that did not agree earlier in the year. I had at the time attributed it to drinking it too fast. This time I didn’t drink it fast, so who knows why it didn’t agree with me. And why soy has turned on me lately, I don’t know, especially since I used to drink soy milk a lot. Who knows…

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Categories: Food and drink, Myself, Walmart

I wonder what I’d look like…

July 24, 2004, 9:01 PM

I wonder what I’d look like with blond hair. No, seriously. I had a friend at work ask me about it and volunteer to do the work for me. I said we’d have to see, and it sounds like it would be fun! Add a little color to my head, and mix it up a little!

And the kit is fairly inexpensive at (you guessed it) Wally World.

Categories: Amusing

The deck construction continues!

July 23, 2004, 10:18 AM

I had forgotten what it was like being in a place where construction was occurring on the outside of the building. I think that the last time I lived around construction was from 2000-2002, when, while I was living in Potomac Hall, JMU built Phase II of the College Center (aka “The Festival”). Then there was the time in 1993 at Stuarts Draft Middle School when they built on eight new classrooms while school was in session (but doing all the tie-in work after school was out for the summer).

But now it’s at home, and there is a group working on our new screened-in porch, which has replaced the old deck. It has also incorporated the structure of the old deck, as the workers didn’t demolish the framework, but built new framework around it. Right now there’s no roof on there yet, nor any evidence that one will be there yet except for tall support columns holding nothing at this point.

It’s been a few days since I’ve taken photos due to my work schedule. I took photos on Monday and Tuesday, then haven’t taken any since then. Next I photograph will probably be on Saturday or Sunday. I’m going to show you the progress photos in a Life and Times photo set. That will be neat.

Otherwise, my Washington DC trip on Wednesday went really well! I have now officially railfanned the entire system at the railfan window, and also visited all 83 operating Metro stations. There are three stations currently under construction that will open at the end of this year, which I will be visiting soon after they open. Still, that’s quite an accomplishment, no? Riding into Branch Avenue station at the extreme southern end of the Green Line and saying, “I did it!”

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Greetings from Asbury Park!

July 20, 2004, 9:11 PM

Mom found the most awesome picture ever today while I was at work. Look:

Riding the carousel at the Casino

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Categories: Asbury Park, Family, Myself

“I’m gellin like a felon!”

July 20, 2004, 8:17 PM

There is no further proof that I spend way more than my fair share of time at Wal-Mart than the fact that I can recite so many of the commercials that they run on the loudspeaker. For instance, Dr. Scholls:

Guy: Hey, Ellen, are you gellin?
Girl: I’m gellin like a felon! Are you gellin?
Guy: I’m gellin. Want some melon?

I also learned that my coworkers also have heard it too many times, too. I casually asked a couple of coworkers if they were “gellin”, and I consistently was told, “I’m gellin like a felon!” And then we all got a good laugh out of it.

Still, we who work at Wal-Mart have heard everything that loudspeaker has done, and heard it numerous times. I still remember when three of us at the Service Desk all sang “Lean On Me” when it came over the PA system. The Service Desk Choir, we were.

Then there’s also the ads for West Nile Virus (informing everyone to get bug spray with deet), and the credit builder tip of the week. I could recite those to you, too.

Categories: Walmart

Demolition begins tomorrow…

July 19, 2004, 7:41 PM

As of tomorrow, the somewhat modest open-air deck on the back of the house will be gone, to be replaced by a larger screened-in porch. That ought to be nice when it’s finished. I got a bunch of “before” pictures of the deck, all cleared off and ready to be removed. I also got some photos of all our deck stuff scattered all over the backyard, waiting for the construction to be finished.

Meanwhile, some good news! Greta is not going to have to go to the kennel during the time we’re having all this work done. Turns out that the two projects (the deck and the flooring) will not be done concurrently, which means that while the deck is going on, Greta can stay inside (and go outside with Mom around), and while the flooring is going on, Greta can stay outside.

Plus Greta won’t have to deal with the emotional shock of coming back to a house that doesn’t look quite the same, and doesn’t smell quite the same. Now she can also get used to the new screened-in porch and new flooring right along with the rest of us. Especially since, for a dog, it’s like, “What happened to my house? $#@$ humans.” Of course, Greta’s areas, as in where her bed is, and where her food and water dishes are, will be unchanged. The kitchen’s not getting any remodeling. Thank goodness.

So there you go. I’ll keep you posted on progress as we go.

“Are your kids well-behaved, or do they need like a few light slams every now and then?”

July 18, 2004, 12:47 AM

I do enjoy watching Mrs. Doubtfire. I’m watching a tape of it right now. It’s amusing, to say the least. It’s got a great story, and some great lines. It’s got its fair share of big names, like Robin Williams, Sally Field, and Harvey Fierstein, but it’s also not what I would describe as a “celebrity clearinghouse”.

A “celebrity clearinghouse”, as I call it, is one of those productions where there is a larger-than-normal amount of big-name celebrities in the movie, usually making little cameo appearances. The Rocky and Bullwinkle movie was like that. Not a bad movie, mind you, but a high amount of celebrities.

Anyway, though, I enjoy Mrs. Doubtfire. One of my favorite lines was where after the bus driver saw Mrs. Doubtfire’s hairy knee (because she’s actually a he). He said, “I like that Mediterranean look in women. Natural. Just the way God made you.” If only he knew…

Otherwise, today has been one of those days where I’ve been giving Schumin Web some much-needed attention. Still working on the uploads for the new College Life site, though I’m almost done with that one. Also cleaned the remains of Almond Street’s storefront out of my Online Store, and so now that’s 100% Schumin Web inside of there. I still have to clean out all the images left over from Almond Street’s storefront (I have all the images saved somewhere, so it’s not like I’m losing anything). I also designed a new line of products for my Online Store around that expression of mine which I learned recently was original: Never underestimate the power and speed of stupid. That will turn up on the Web site before too long.

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Categories: Movies, Schumin Web meta

“Bad fashion makes baby Jesus cry.”

July 17, 2004, 12:51 AM

That’s what my sister told me once. She said that bad fashion makes baby Jesus cry. She doesn’t like the way I dress, it seems. In case you’re wondering, lately, I’ve gravitated to contrasting solids. If I wear dark pants I wear a light shirt. If I wear light pants, I wear a dark shirt. Then of course there’s always all-black, which I also enjoy. And I try to make my colors work, too. I don’t wear something that obviously clashes. I try to look good when I go to work.

Maybe it’s the shoes. I have been known to regularly wear sandals with socks.

But anyway…

I also recently participated in the Wal-Mart cross-town merchandise shuttle. On Thursday, my day off, I went to Staunton Wal-Mart for some odds and ends (did I mention you should never go shopping when you’re really hungry?). Of those odds and ends, I bought two great big throw pillows. They were black with fake fur on one side, and plain on the other. So I got them home. I put them on my couch. One word: YUCK. They were too black for my decor. So back to the store they went. Where did I return them? Not to Staunton. Oh, nay. I had to work the next day. So I returned them to Waynesboro, thus completing the shuttle.

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Categories: Clothing, Family, Shopping

Photos of the Skyline Parkway Motel fire, and some other stuff

July 15, 2004, 1:56 PM

First of all, before I start showing you photos, guess who I saw on Tuesday afternoon at Wal-Mart. I saw Mrs. Kucs (pronounced “kooch”), my sixth grade math teacher at Stuarts Draft Middle School. That was a lot of fun. She’s retired now, so I don’t see her around SDMS when I go visit. Still, Mrs. Kucs was a great teacher. The one phrase that has stayed with me that I learned from Mrs. Kucs was “That will be fifty whacks with a wet noodle!” All in all, great math teacher, and it was great to see Mrs. Kucs again.

Anyway, after seeing Mrs. Kucs as I was leaving work, I headed out to Afton Mountain and then beyond. Going to Afton, I went by way of downtown Waynesboro, because I had a few other photo spots I wanted to hit on the way. For one, the “scar” on the mountain in Waynesboro:

The scar on the mountain in Waynesboro

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I am now officially beginning my search for employment in or around Washington…

July 13, 2004, 12:34 AM

Yes, six months after leaving JMU, I am finally looking for a job in the Washington DC area.

So many people have asked me, “Why Washington?”

My answer is always something like this. It’s far enough away for me to live my own life (I have NO relatives in Washington), it’s a faster life than around here (where you can count the dotted lines on the highway for entertainment), I love the Washington DC area (I do!), and it’s close enough where it’s not a huge hardship to still visit the family.

So now I’m working on updating the resume some (or perhaps throwing it out and starting fresh), and going hunting. This is where the Internet comes in handy. All the hot spots to get information right at my fingertips. Countless DC area newspapers’ classified ads available, Monster.com, Yahoo HotJobs, etc.

Now mind you, though, my connection is like the equivalent of a 1981 Yugo. I have a dial-up connection. 56K. Slooooooooooooow. It would be nice if I had a faster connection. But still, it is handy nonetheless.

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Categories: Movies, Myself, Washington DC

It was nice while it lasted…

July 11, 2004, 10:38 AM

Remember this?

Skyline Parkway Motel, September 10, 2003

For those of you who don’t know, this is the Skyline Parkway Motel, which, along with the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant, and the Skyline Parkway Motor Court, I photographed on September 10, 2003 for the Afton Mountain: Victim of Progress photo set.

Things have changed since then.

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Wednesday’s DC trip report

July 10, 2004, 1:14 AM

I can’t believe it’s Friday night/Saturday morning, and I still haven’t told you about my Washington DC trip from last Wednesday (July 7).

First of all, the date is significant. You may recall that some three years ago, on July 7, 2001, I did my first full Washington DC Photo Essay (that’s what we called Photography back then – Photo Essays). That was the first one that was all Washington DC. We had Thanksgiving 2000 before it, but that also had a lot of Stuarts Draft in it. So what was this photo set? It was the massive photo set called “The Schumin Web Salutes America”. Remember that one? If you recall, I visited a bunch of sites in Washington DC that were strongly American. After all, we were following on the coattails of the Fourth of July, and it was fitting. I visited the Library of Congress (quick pass-by from the street), the Supreme Court (went to the front doors, but didn’t go in), the Capitol (partly circled the building, didn’t go in), the outdoor sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of American History, the Washington Monument (inside was closed, but the grounds were open), the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, and the White House (just passed by and snapped a few photos).

But that’s about where the similarity ends. In 2001, July 7 was a Saturday. In 2004, it’s a Wednesday. In 2001, I walked the entire length of the National Mall from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, which is essentially the length of the Blue Line from Capitol South to almost Arlington Cemetery. Seriously, if I’d gone further out, going beyond the Lincoln Memorial, I’d have ended up at Arlington Cemetery station, and then Arlington National Cemetery. In 2004, I was providing support for Mom while waiting for Bill Clinton to sign her copy of “My Life”, as well as railfanning the Blue and Orange Lines.

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Categories: DC trips, Weather, WMATA

I found out today that the parents are remodeling…

July 9, 2004, 10:16 PM

Yeah, I just today found out that my parents are doing some fairly significant work on the house soon. Before today, all I knew was that we were getting a new back porch at the beginning of August.

The back porch currently is an open wooden deck, original to the house when it was built in 1992. Now, the old deck is being demolished, and being replaced with a full screened-in porch. It will be bigger than the old one, roofed over, and screened in, essentially creating an extra indoor/outdoor room, complete with two ceiling fans. Again, I knew about the deck already, and have seen drawings of the new deck as it will look when it’s finished.

Now I didn’t know that plans were also set to replace most of the flooring downstairs as well as up the stairs and in the upstairs hall. Currently, the living room, family room, dining room, the stairs, and the upstairs hallway have beige-colored carpeting, which is original to the house (almost 12 years old). The living room will be carpeted in some shade of blue (not sure what specific shade yet, but we’re getting there – actually, Mom’s getting there, since she’s making the final decision, but you get the point). The family room, dining room, stairs, and upstairs hallway will all be hardwood. The dining room and family room will get an area rug “later”.

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