I dropped a license plate and didn’t even realize it…

3 minute read

September 13, 2004, 12:27 AM

Seems that on Saturday, I dropped a license plate! When I left for work today, I noticed that my front bumper was bare. I look at it, and I’m thinking, oh, crap, no license plate. I’m also figuring out when I can go to DMV to get my missing license plate replaced. Then my thought process changed to figuring out when it fell away, and whereabouts it would be. I didn’t hear anything that sounded like a metallic object falling off the front of the car on my way home from work, though. And it would have had to have been at least then, since I had my license plate when I left on Saturday.

So being unsure of where my license plate fell away, and being pretty sure it wasn’t malice (I’d had to reattach the license plate once before), as I was driving to work, I was not only looking where I was going, but also scanning the sides of the road on the side I take for my return trip (US 340 is a divided highway most of the way to Waynesboro). I usually ride the left lane, so if it fell away on 340, it should be readily visible from the other lanes.

My assumptions for this quick search (object staying on the left side, and possibly being off the road after falling off of a moving vehicle at 55 mph) were probably wrong anyway, but regardless, the plate was not found, and as it turned out, I didn’t drop the plate on the road anyway. As it turned out, the plate had already fallen off by the time my van was in the area I looked in.

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Categories: Toyota Previa

Something tells me that Kmart is getting desperate…

3 minute read

September 12, 2004, 12:10 AM

Something just tells me that the Kmart in Waynesboro is desperate for business. As I was leaving Wal-Mart this evening, I saw a row of picket-style signs stuck in the ground along Lucy Lane across from Wal-Mart. What did they say? Look at this mock-up of it that I did (it was too dark for a photo).

Kmart sign

These signs are indeed right across the street from Wal-Mart. Seems we at Wal-Mart have been doing something right, and we’re beating the pants off of the Big Kmart down the road. The two stores are out of sight of each other, and about a mile or two away.

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Categories: JMU, Walmart

With all the rain we’ve been having…

4 minute read

September 9, 2004, 2:06 AM

I’m going to Washington DC today, and it’s probably going to be a soggy day, based on the looks of things.

Doesn’t bother me. Means I’ll get to see a lot of Mode 2 operation (Mode 2 is manual with speed protection).

Mom was concerned about all the rain. So I cited that strange dream I had back in February (according to this journal, February 19, entitled “Your assignment: Figure out where this dream came from”). It’s the one where I went Metro kayaking. I still think that’s one darn strange dream, and if I recall, at the time the people on SubTalk thought it was off-the-wall, too. And in that dream, if I recall, paddling a Breda down the water was for the less-experienced while rafting with a Rohr was the more challenging.

What’s odd, though, is how much that matches the actual trains. According to a few train operators I’ve spoken with, the Rohrs have some really weird quirks that make them more challenging to operate. Bredas are much less quirky.

Ah, well.

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Categories: Television, Walmart, WMATA

It’s September, believe it or not.

< 1 minute read

September 3, 2004, 7:51 AM

I just can’t get over that this year is officially two-thirds over and that Halloween will be here sooner than you think. And then Christmas. Goodness.

And this month on my calendar, I have the Qwest Tower in Ballston, a neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington DC. In case you’re wondering, I ordered one of the “Urban Comparison” calendars from my Online Store, and keep it up on a bulletin board above the bed. So that’s this month’s image. Last month was a billboard atop a building in Roanoke, which was nice looking. I rotated between the four areas of my Urban Comparison photo set when I did this, and so as a result, it goes Washington-Richmond-Norfolk-Roanoke and cycles through that two more times. So next month is something in Richmond (what exactly that will be I’ve forgotten), and then something in Norfolk (again I don’t remember), and finally that up-the-tower look at the First Union Tower (now Wachovia Tower).

And then this weekend is Labor Day weekend. And somehow I managed to get Labor Day off. What shall I be doing on Labor Day, pray tell? Laboring. On the Web site. Maybe I can actually get something accomplished. Since, you see, even with my checklist, I’m still falling short on actual cross-it-off accomplishments, having a lot of tasks in partial completeness. I’d rather have a few tasks that are completed than a lot of partly-completed tasks. We’ll get there…

Categories: Schumin Web meta


3 minute read

September 2, 2004, 11:43 PM

Yeah, when it gets slow as the night continues on, we get a tad silly. Our scanners at the Service Desk are handheld and wireless, and are somewhat gun-shaped. And when an associate held up an item so I could scan it to find out what department it was in, I kind of hammed it up a little. Took my scanner gun, held it with both hands, aimed, and fired at the item in question. Zap.

When I saw the associate was amused, I hammed it up a little more, posing and jokingly saying, “This is the Service Desk! Step away from the returns and keep your hands up!”

Yeah, we’re nutty. Good, harmless fun. And it works even better with a telxon (pronounced TEL-a-zon), since those things have a longer business-end than our scanners do.

As you can tell, I had a really good day today. I also went over to SmartStyle (in-store hair place) on my lunch break and got my ears lowered. And just to illustrate how much hair I needed to get cut off, I now have a very neat and attractive haircut (can’t keep the girls off me!). But before lunch, I was so shaggy that I could have made great money renting myself out as a mop. I was really shaggy.

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I’m looking up my old stomping grounds

7 minute read

August 31, 2004, 12:11 AM

I went online and did a little Rogers-hunting here. As I found out that a former coworker of mine at Wal-Mart used to live in Rogers, it was interesting to share stories, as her family knew Mrs. Carmical, the principal at Grimes Elementary at the time, Wal-Mart store #1 (though I knew it as a regular Wal-Mart, and she knew it as a Supercenter – the 1991 store was converted), Beaver Lake, and all that. That was just cool. So I went online this evening and went to Rogers.

I actually was somewhat drawn to the parks and rec pages this time around. I found a page about Lake Atalanta in there. Although that name has four A’s in it, making it “Lake At-a-lan-ta” (to break it up by syllables), the common pronunciation in Rogers was “Lake Atlanta” (like the city in Georgia). You pronounce the extra “a” in there and I think that people will look at you strangely. But anyway, they show it as two parks. You have “Lake Atalanta” and “Lake Atalanta Dam Site”. Now I’m confused. I remember there being two major Lake Atalanta recreational areas, straddling Walnut Street. The older area was adjacent to Lake Atalanta itself, which had a large playground made mostly of large wooden beams (nice to play on, but watch for splinters!). They don’t make ’em like that anymore. They also had a skating rink which closed not long after we moved there. I think I went in that building once when it was a skating rink, and I was still not comfortable on roller skates, so my memories are of falling down in there. Most of my memories of the skating rink are of it as an abandoned building. I’m told it’s since been renovated and converted into banquet space. There was and still is a pool at Lake Atalanta, which I remember as being a really cool pool. Had two water slides. A small one for the kiddies (which I used as one of those little kiddies), and a big one that was like huge (but remember I was like eight). That was cool. Then there was the bait shop. There you could not only buy bait, but also rent paddleboats. Those were fun, as I got to drive and pedal the boats with Mom. When we left Rogers, the bait shop had closed. Presumably it’s opened back up since then, since the Web site mentions it.

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Categories: Arkansas

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY! The remodeling is finished!

2 minute read

August 30, 2004, 9:29 PM

Finally! No more hammering. No more nail guns. No more polyurethane. No more getting up at an ungodly hour to vacate so that they can do the stairs. No more! It’s DONE! And I am so pleased with that.

And it looks really nice, too. I’m going to take a final round of photos tomorrow for the Web site, and then I’m going to compile a photo set about the whole remodel for Life and Times.

It’s amazing… when we moved into this house, we had an open deck out back, and light beige colored carpeting in the entire house, including up the stairs. The only areas not carpeted were the entry foyer (immediately in front of the front door), the kitchen, and all the bathrooms. And those were linoleum. We replaced the kitchen floor linoleum with ceramic tile in 1994 (it wore particularly badly), and then in 1998 replaced the downstairs hallway carpeting and entry foyer linoleum with hardwood. Now the only original carpeting left downstairs is in the hall closet. The living room was recarpeted, and the family room and dining room got new hardwood. And the stairs are finally wood, as they should have been from the get-go. So good stuff there. And the upstairs hallway is also hardwood. The bathrooms are all still original, as are all the bedrooms. Good.

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Sleep. We got some. And we’re going to get some more.

< 1 minute read

August 27, 2004, 10:02 PM

How refreshing a little shuteye can be! After working 9-6 and getting maybe eight hours sleep total over the last few days, a little sleep can be great. And I’m going to get a little more momentarily.

Because let me tell you… all this work on the stairs turned into where my butt was really dragging by the end of the day at work. And that’s not fun. I think if I had stayed any longer, I would have fallen down, I was so tired. But we don’t show that to the customers. Based on what I let on to the customers, I was fresh as a daisy. But still, after work I went home and got sleep. Ah, sleep.

And so now, nearing midnight, I’ve slept for some hours, and now I’m going to brush my teeth and then get some more sleep. And then tomorrow…

Doors closing! (ding-dong)

Washington DC. And not “Warshington DC” as some people like to say it. I’ve never seen an “r” in Washington. But anyway, though, I’m excited, especially since last time my first train of the day was not a Breda, as I usually have first thing out of Vienna. I had a CAF! (Ooooooooooooh!)

Anyway, back to sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Categories: Myself

Tired? You bet!

< 1 minute read

August 27, 2004, 6:24 AM

Seriously, after doing two LONG days due to the stairs (days I otherwise would have slept longer), I have a third get-up-early-for-the-stairs day here.

However, at least I have work at 9 AM today, instead of 2 PM. This is a good thing. I get off at 6 PM, and can thus go home and snooze (provided the stairs are ready) so that I can be fresh as a daisy for my planned trip to Washington DC tomorrow. I need to be fresh as a daisy for these trips, but this whole thing with the stairs has just been running me into the ground, because of the guy’s schedule (bright and early before even 8:00), and my schedule (work at 2:00). So that’s the problem we have.

Still, soon this floor work will all be over, and I’ll get my life back again…

“I don’t want to feel like a fish with no water!”

2 minute read

August 26, 2004, 8:04 AM

At work yesterday, we were actually discussing those public service ads that run on cable TV. Like the one where the fish tank slowly loses water talking about asthma, or the one where the guy walks into the store to buy a wallet and he gets a really tiny wallet for the really tiny money he’ll be making as a high school dropout.

And then there’s one ad that, among the people in our group, that kind of creeped us all out a little bit:

Nobody likes me. Nobody. Maybe it’s because I like to attack people. Men. Women. Kids. I can leave them as stammering, confused, scared imitations of their former selves. If they don’t stop me, I just might leave them that way for life. I am a stroke.

A little creepy, because he looks like a pretty rough character there, with the wrinkled face in the shadow. But still, it’s a very memorable way to get the message across. I think we’ll all understand the seriousness of a stroke now if we didn’t before.

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Categories: Greta, Television, WMATA

This is what we call “hell”…

2 minute read

August 25, 2004, 11:30 PM

Remember how a little earlier in the day, I told you I had to vacate the house for the day while the guy did the stairs? Well, he stained the stairs, as planned. So the whole house smells like stain.

And tomorrow, it begins again. Thursday, the guy puts the polyurethane down on the stairs. What does that mean for me? It means I’m scheduled to work 2-11 again tomorrow like I did today, and so I have to waste about six hours before work. Maybe I’ll actually do something constructive tomorrow.

This is what I did today. Got up, got dressed, grabbed the newspaper off the kitchen table, and left the house. Went to the ATM, then went to McDonald’s for breakfast. From there, I hopped on I-81, and stopped at the rest area on I-81 north just beyond the Verona exit. There, I read the News-Virginian (Waynesboro paper). Got back on the freeway, and went out to Weyers Cave. There, I just turned around, and got back on the Interstate using the southbound ramp. Got off at the other rest area, across the freeway from the other rest area. There, I scrounged up 50¢ to get a copy of USA Today. Read it at that rest area. Then I went into Waynesboro. Went to the library. There, I got online. Wrote the previous journal entry, and then, after I ran out of time there (they limit you to an hour a day), I drove around Waynesboro and into Fishersville, and then finally arrived at Wally World to kill a final 30 minutes. I looked at the musical Christmas toys that they have at the Garden Center. Most amusing thing was the fact that they have a snowman that dances and sings, “Ice, ice, baby” with an LED-lit “bling-bling” around his neck that says “ICE” on it. Cute.

And it all begins again tomorrow, as I waste another few hours out of the house…

This is a bit of a messed-up day…

2 minute read

August 25, 2004, 9:43 AM

If you want to talk about a day without a purpose, this is it. See, I found out a couple of hours after work yesterday that the guy would be coming today to put the finish on the new stairs.

Now note that when I say “new”, I mean that only because in the process of replacing the flooring, the floor people took out the old wood on the stairs, which was intended for carpeting, and thus had a lot of knots in it. And then they put new wood down, which, for the last week or so, we’ve been using bare. Now it’s going to get the finish and the runner on it, which will also finish the entire flooring job.

So as a result of the work being done on the stairs, and my room and such being upstairs, I had to vacate for the day, with the guy showing up at 7:30. So I had to be all ready for work and such by then, even though I don’t have to actually be at work until 2:00. And so I’m kind of wandering around doing whatever until then. I’m actually at the Waynesboro Public Library right now, which I’d not been to in ages. Still, I also drove out to Weyers Cave today.

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35 CDs and counting…

2 minute read

August 23, 2004, 4:16 AM

Since I started burning CDs of images from Big Mavica a couple of days ago, I have filled up 35 CDs worth of pictures! Amazing? Yeah. It doesn’t look as big until you count the images. Thirty-five. Wow.

And there’s still more to do. I still have yet to burn my recent Virginia Beach trip to CD, which filled 10 of the mini-CDs that the Mavica takes (no telling how many full-size CDs it will use). Then I still have to do all the College Life and LPCM photo sets that I did with Big Mavica.

And this doesn’t count any stuff I took with the old camera, either. That, having much smaller images, is being handled separately, since I can fit all that onto one CD. Can’t do that with Big Mavica, since images from that are generally around 1.5 MB each.

This is what happens when you’re productive and have a big camera, and put off doing your CDs for a long time. The last time I rearranged my images on CD was in 2002, just after coming back home after my Junior Year at JMU. So it’s been about two years and three months (give or take) since I last redid my Images CDs.

I just can’t believe that I had that many images to begin with.

Otherwise, though, today is the first day of school for JMU, Virginia Tech, and also area schools around here. Fun stuff indeed. And meanwhile, I, as always, have to work. But at least now the little kiddies will be away in school, where they can torment their teachers, vs. coming in our store, tearing apart the displays, and tormenting us.

This is also the first time school has started and I’m not going anywhere. Recall that I graduated from JMU back in December, so this is a really weird feeling, watching a first day of school as a bystander.

Categories: Photography, School

“One person. One life. One Web site.”

3 minute read

August 20, 2004, 10:32 PM

Still working on redesign ideas, and I think I’ve come up with a theme for the redesigned site. Some sort of overarching theme for the Web site. Something that will stick in your mind. Something, at least. When I originally thought this up in the shower this morning (all my great Web ideas are thought up in the shower, but few actually leave the shower), I originally thought it up as, “One person. One Web site.” But that sounded too much like, “One person, one vote.” And while this is a presidential election year (SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE: Vote for John Kerry!), that’s not exactly what we’re going for on this Web site, which tries for the most part to keep politics out of frame. (The trick now is to say that with a straight face after I write my next quote article.) So I threw in “One life” in order to make it more personal, and as a reminder that this site is now more so than ever a 360-degree view of my life. So we’ll see how far that goes in the redesign, and how it turns out in the end. I do like that phrase…

Speaking of my life, though, my one hard drive is going to have to become multiple CDs sooner rather than later. I’m out of disk space! An 80-gigabyte hard drive, and I managed to fill ‘er up. Mostly with stuff from Big Mavica, which is a testament to how much use Big Mavica gets. Realize I’ve had to cut stuff on my computer to fit in three out of the last four photo sets. So we’re against the wall, as I’ve cut just about everything I am willing to cut. Time to burn CDs. This is going to hurt.

I also realized how few CD-Rs I have. I thought I had a big spindle of them. Turns out I was imagining one like my sister has as being one of mine. So that sucks. I have maybe ten blank CD-Rs in my possession, in a half-sized spindle, after realizing that my “stash of CDs”, which I had “hidden so well” was a lot smaller than I thought it was.

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I finally have a Simplex 4040 in my fire alarm collection!

3 minute read

August 19, 2004, 2:46 AM

At long last, I have a Simplex 4040 in my fire alarm collection, thanks to a person who I’ve been corresponding with online. At last. First of all, to the person who sent it to me, a very heartfelt thank you. This means a lot to me.

For those of you who don’t know, this is what the Simplex 4040 looks like:

Simplex 4040

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Categories: Fire alarms, Fire drills