One word about the protest on Saturday

2 minute read

September 26, 2005, 2:46 AM

I have just one word for the September 24 protest: WOW.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many people out against the war in Iraq and the like, even counting J20 (which seemed to consist of a smaller, but very dedicated bunch). They say that more than 100,000 people attended.

I’m working on a full narrative for this trip like I did for the Million Worker March, J20, and A16. The full report for this trip will end up in Life and Times as a photo set when I’m done with it. Unlike in those other three cases, however, I’m not posting the narrative here. It will go up when I finish the entire set.

All in all, I took 391 photos and 41 movies. Of that, roughly 360 photos and 30 movies were protest-related, while another 31 photos and 11 movies were rail-geek stuff.

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Categories: Anti-war, DC trips, Family, WMATA

Does anyone else find this amusing?

< 1 minute read

September 23, 2005, 5:51 PM

Categories: Walmart

No cavities!

< 1 minute read

September 22, 2005, 2:53 PM

Well, I was wrong. It was only three years, and not four. Summer of 2002 was the last time I saw them.

Otherwise, though, I got lots of compliments on my dental hygiene despite my not having been there in three years. No cavities and good oral care overall. My brushing was good, and my flossing was good, though I need to improve my technique on the flossing a little bit. And then I got some fluoride.

So all in all, good appointment. I told you I placed a high value on oral hygiene, and personal hygiene in general.

Categories: Myself

My teeth are all ready for show-and-tell!

< 1 minute read

September 22, 2005, 12:35 PM

In about 45 minutes or so (give or take), I will be at the dentist’s office, ready to have a routine cleaning. You want to talk about deferred maintenance… I am embarrassed to say that it’s been about four years since I last saw a dentist’s chair. It started out with having to cancel a dentist’s appointment when I’d realized I’d scheduled it during the wrong week (JMU’s spring break). I intended to reschedule it for the summer. That didn’t happen. Then I had a lapse in insurance coverage after I’d graduated JMU and before Wal-Mart’s insurance kicked in. And then it was just a matter of getting around to doing it.

And now, I’m finally doing it. And so I got my whole mouth ready for show and tell. Brush. Floss. Listerine. Brush again. Not bad. And then, it’s showtime!

(As a side note, I should have also washed my mouth out with soap, but that won’t do any good at the dentist’s office.)

Still, I’m just glad I’m going again. This has been a long time in the making. And as I said up front, it’s embarrassing that it’s been so long.

And even more so when I pay such careful attention to personal hygiene. Just yesterday, I took this Dr. Scholl’s sanding stone with a handle and sanded all the dead skin off my feet that had accumulated around my heels. That was some serious work right there. Plus I try to make sure that I smell clean (but no cologne), use deodorant, wear nice-enough clothes, and present a dignified appearance. I also keep my nails looking nice, so as to prevent that “guys with nails” effect that gives Missy at work the jibblies.

And so enough chatter on here – time to go!

Categories: Myself

That time of year again?

2 minute read

September 21, 2005, 8:33 AM

It’s September! Can you believe it? That means it’s almost redesign time again!

And, like last year, I go into this season once again wondering what the heck I’m going to do. Of course, last year, that turned out very well, turning my site, which still featured “College Life” and “Web Cam”, among other things making the site a college student kind of thing, and gave it a shift to being more an adult kind of thing. College Life was shifted off to its own subsection, Web Cam is gone, and more emphasis was placed on my Journal and Life and Times.

All throughout last year, Life and Times was a bit of a “lost” section, though, housing the Journal as well as a few mostly-transplanted photo sets, but with no strong purpose. It was just a mess. The redesign repositioned it, plus with the introduction of the hybrid photo set style (narratives with photo sets), it gained a reason to live.

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Categories: Schumin Web meta

[expletive deleted]

< 1 minute read

September 17, 2005, 7:13 PM

What can I say? Sometimes simple, well-intended things yield up unexpected results. Why do I bring this up? I was reading my Discussion Forums, and one thread went into state fairs and such. A link was provided to the Web site for the Haddam Neck Fair in Haddam Neck, Connecticut. The address of, due to the way the domain name is formatted, coupled with my forum’s built-in swear filter, caused the URL to be rendered like this:

had[expletive deleted]

I knew that the swear filter would render certain words (the famous seven-plus-three, plus a few others) as “[expletive deleted]” when displayed on-screen, but I never thought it would filter out a URL like that. Still, that’s pretty efficient for the swear filter, even rendering the URL incorrectly in its mission to filter out the profanity I’ve told it to watch for – something no one expected it to do. After all, it took the “damn” right out of

I ended up fixing the problem by taking “damn” out of the swear filter. I rationalized it on the forums by saying, “I figure we’re all old enough for ‘damn’ on here, and since it’s interfering with legitimate activity, I’m going to let it through.”

That was quite a strange thing to happen, though.

Categories: Language, Schumin Web meta

“I’m just an alley cat, with an alley life…”

2 minute read

September 16, 2005, 11:47 PM

You may have seen this before:

Alley Cat in normal position

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Categories: Halloween, Products

“Yeah, shut up, kid.”

< 1 minute read

September 14, 2005, 2:55 PM

First of all, hello from the Infoshop in Washington DC.

It’s interesting… Chevy Chase Bank is having a little publicity stunt today at various Metro station to promote the fact that many Metro stations now have a Chevy Chase Bank ATM near the farecard vending machines. According to the Express, their ATM mascot would be greeting customers at Metro Center in the morning, and then going to Gallery Place-Chinatown from 11:30-1:00. Then he’ll be at Bethesda later on from 3:30 to 5:00. Plus there will be representatives all over the place.

I met up with their ATM mascot outside Gallery Place-Chinatown. And he was surrounded by Chevy Chase Bank people plus others. I got my picture taken with him! Considering how everyone was making a commotion over the guy in the ATM suit, it was almost like meeting The Thnikkaman, as it seems the ATM’s power of distraction is legendary. You almost expect the ATM to say, “Yeah, shut up, kid.”

Then otherwise, today seemed like “one of those” days. First, I got a late start out ot the house. Then I got to Vienna and locked my keys in the car, and didn’t realize it until I got all the way to the station. I carry a spare key, so it wasn’t like I had to call AAA or anything, but still, that’s a long walk to take an extra few times! Then at Rosslyn I had to go back to use the ATM after forgetting to do so. But then things got better (see above).

So fun stuff. And more still to go.

Categories: Advertising, DC trips

Upgrading the fire alarm system at my old middle school brings back a lot of memories…

5 minute read

September 10, 2005, 9:02 PM

I found out on Friday that Stuarts Draft Middle School is getting a new fire alarm system, to replace the charming vintage-but-terribly-obsolete Edwards system installed when the building was constructed. As I’ve not been over there lately, I can’t tell you whether the update is in the process of completion or if it’s done, though my guess is that it’s done. I also don’t know who makes the new system or what model, nor do I know what kind of horns and pull-stations were used.

I found out when Mom brought a Food Lion bag home from school containing, to my surprise, two Edwards 270-SPO pull-stations (“Local Alarm”), two Cerberus Pyrotronics MS-151 pull-stations (from the 1993 addition), and an Edwards Edwards 881D horn. I believe that one of the Edwards pulls came from the gym next to the boys’ locker room, as it has a sticker with a zig-zag line under the “E” logo that I recalled on that spot. I don’t know where in the school the horn came from, or where the other pulls came from.

Altogether, before this alarm update, SDMS had 24 horns, of which 20 were the Edwards 881D (all were originally the Edwards 881D). Two horns were replaced before I started there with large square horns – one in the cafeteria and one outside Room 38 (a stone’s throw away from the other replaced horn). I won’t swear to it, but I think those horns said “Pyrotronics” on them in small white letters. Then two horns were replaced in 1993 with Wheelock 34T horns. One was outside Room 12, and the other was outside Room 22. I remember seeing workers replacing the horn outside Room 12 from a distance, and noticed the Wheelock 34T outside Room 22, which was near the sixth-grade lockers (which were later relocated), as being new when it was replaced during third or fourth period.

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What a wonderful day Wednesday was…

4 minute read

September 8, 2005, 11:41 PM

I went down as far as Blacksburg on Wednesday. My goal was to visit two people: Sis at Virginia Tech, and my friend Amanda Mone, who I first met in December at the Roanoke Star.

But first, I had some shopping to do. Coca-Cola recently launched Vault, which is marketed as an energy drink, but is basically Surge in a new package. Currently, Coca-Cola is test-marketing it, and Roanoke is one of the areas where it’s being test-marketed. So I went down to the Wal-Mart next to Valley View Mall and got some. First I bought a 20-ounce bottle, to make sure it was really Surge in drag. It was a match! So I went and bought ten bottles of it, so that I’ll have lots of it, since I have no idea when I’ll be able to get down to Roanoke again to get some more.

I also checked out the Halloween aisles, since I was looking for a certain Halloween item that Wal-Mart sold last year that I was hoping they were going to sell again. You may recall that I mentioned in December about a mechanized black cat that reared up on its hind legs and sang a song that went like, “I’m just an alley cat, with an alley life.” I’d been unsuccessful in finding it in Waynesboro so far this year. I figured this store in Roanoke is bigger than Waynesboro, so it might be in this store. And I was right! So I bought the cat, and I’ll be figuring out all the lyrics. All I know is that I’m pretty psyched that I finally got my hands on it. I honestly thought I’d never hear that song again. And it’s catchy.

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You know you’re from the [Shenandoah] Valley if…

< 1 minute read

September 6, 2005, 8:06 PM

I found this on a friend’s AIM profile, and I was laughing out loud at it. I’ve lived in Stuarts Draft for thirteen years now, which means that most of my life has been spent in this area. Some of it is just SO true, while other parts of it are a stretch. So here goes.

You know you’re from the valley if…

  • You think the traffic on 340 at 5pm on a Friday is a major traffic jam.
  • If you go to Wal-Mart and you see at least 10 people that you know pretty well.
  • The smell of manure makes you homesick.
  • When people ask where you’re from and you never give the specific town… but somewhere about 30 miles away (Charlottesville,
  • When you’re showing an outsider the town, they’re shocked that so many people wave in
    passing… even though you don’t know half of them.
  • Two words POTATO GUN.
  • If you remember shopping at Roses or skating at TRB’s in Waynesboro.
  • If the Stuarts Draft Fireman’s Lawn Party and parade was a must.
  • If you remember when 340 (through Stuarts Draft) was a two-lane road.
  • You had a heart attack when we got TWO Wal-Marts!
  • “Bring your tractor to school day” was a regular part of spirit week.
  • You went to the Frontier Culture Museum for a field trip every year in elementary school.
  • Wright’s Dairy Rite, a movie, and Wal-Mart is the ideal date.
  • “Stuarts Draft” is pronounced as one word.
  • You’re driving down the road and you smell cow manure, you don’t roll your window up, you just breathe it in.
  • One of the cliques at your school was the “Aggies.”
  • Your parents had the same teachers in school you did.

Interesting, no?

Categories: Amusing, Stuarts Draft

Never underestimate the power of a man and his blender…

2 minute read

September 6, 2005, 7:41 PM

Today was interesting. After work, I attempted to recreate one of my favorite Mr. Smoothie drinks, the Lemonade Limeade Freeze, at home.

How was it, you ask? Tart. I did it just like I’d seen the people do at Pentagon City time and time again. Juice from lemons and limes, ice, sugar, and water. However, I’m guessing that the “water” isn’t just water, but really some sort of special Mr. Smoothie concoction that’s a trade secret (which I am of course not privy to).

So I went in the kitchen and tried it, adjusting to taste. To save some trouble, instead of squeezing real lemons and limes, I cheated and bought the juice in a bottle. So I mixed it all up, first in a glass, and then in the blender. Juice in the glass. Add water. Throw that in the blender. So far so good. Next I added the sugar directly to the mix already in the blender. Okay. Next, I went to the refrigerator, set the ice dispenser to “crushed”, and got a big cup full of crushed ice. Since it looked too “wet” in there, I added some more. With me so far? So I have lemon juice, lime juice, water, sugar, and crushed ice in the blender.

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Categories: Food and drink

Do I remind you more of Gingy, or Marshie?

3 minute read

September 4, 2005, 9:44 PM

A customer today at work said that I reminded her of Gingy, the little gingerbread man from Shrek that Wal-Mart turned into their little mascot when they dressed him in a blue vest for a few commercials. May I remind you for a moment:

Gingy as a greeter

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Mom got into the newspaper…

< 1 minute read

September 2, 2005, 4:38 PM

It’s an article in The News Virginian on Friday, September 2 about SOL writing testing in middle schools, and how the middle schools in Augusta County made the mark for the most part.

And here’s the picture with the caption:

Lauren Campbell and Clay Agee, sixth-graders at Stuarts Draft Middle School, read stories they wrote for a homework assignment to language arts teacher Jane Schumin. (Rosanne Viscuso/Staff)
Lauren Campbell and Clay Agee, sixth-graders at Stuarts Draft Middle School, read stories they wrote for a homework assignment to language arts teacher Jane Schumin. (Rosanne Viscuso/Staff)

And here’s a link to the News Virginian article: Middle schools make mark

It’s really neat seeing your mother’s name and photo in print in the newspaper. And in her room at SDMS, no less.

The weather held out, though it looked likely to rain at any moment.

9 minute read

September 1, 2005, 11:43 PM

My trip to Washington DC on August 31 was a good trip, though I was expecting some rain to keep me indoors for much of it. If that turned out to be the case, I was going to go explore the Crystal City Underground (by the way, here’s an interesting article about Crystal City’s future). But it turned out that the weather would hold out for me, and so things went differently.

But on the way, up, I got quite an unpleasant surprise:

Gas prices at the Sheetz in Mt. Jackson, Virginia

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