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Meanwhile, we find out how smart the Sable truly is…

April 27, 2006, 5:54 PM

First of all, to set our story, Katie and I got together on Monday evening for what will likely be the last time in quite some time, since Katie moved to upstate New York this past Tuesday.

After we spent some time at her house with her mother, we went out for a bit. First, we went to Staunton Mall, then to the Staunton Wal-Mart, then finally to Sheetz in Fishersville.

Leaving Staunton Mall, however, Katie got to see my Sable perform. One was one that I expected, and the other I didn’t expect. The expected one was my “automatic car finder”. That would involve walking in the general direction of my car and hitting “panic” on the remote. That lights the lights and sounds the horn, so I can quickly zero in on the car.

Then the other thing was one neither one of us expected. Katie didn’t buckle her seat belt coming out of the mall, and I hadn’t noticed. Usually I remind people to buckle their seat belt before we take off, but this time I forgot. Well, before we’d even left the parking lot, all of a sudden the car’s chime goes off, and the seat belt starts flashing. The car not only detected that Katie was in the seat, but it also realized she wasn’t buckled up. Smart car! The alarm stopped once Katie buckled her seat belt.

I thought it was hilarious, though Katie wasn’t as amused as I was about the car’s ratting her out about her seat belt.

Categories: Katie, Mercury Sable

I photographed downtown Huntsville, er, Waynesboro, today.

April 27, 2006, 3:53 PM

For those of you who are movie buffs, the upcoming movie Evan Almighty (sequel to Bruce Almighty) had some scenes filmed in Waynesboro, specifically downtown. You won’t find me in the film, but you will see the city. For this, downtown Waynesboro is dressed up as “Huntsville”.

It’s interesting what they did to Waynesboro, too. First of all, banners hanging from the lampposts say “Huntsville Festival of Fine Arts”. Then the Waynesboro Heritage Museum, which is very much under renovation, was done up as a coffee shop, with tables and chairs outside on the sidewalk. The Charles T. Yancey Municipal Building, which was a Bank of America before it became a city building, was disguised as a church. The building’s real sign was concealed by trees, and a fake church sign was placed in front. It said, “Obeying God: That means you, Evan.” The sign was covered by a tarp when I did my shoot. And finally, there were all kinds of fake plants attached to the real ones, and placed in various other places. The trees had fake blossoms tied on with wire. There were also piles of mulch on the sidewalk, with fake flowers stuck in there. All in all, downtown Waynesboro looked pretty good. It makes me want to see the movie, if nothing else but to see how Waynesboro ends up looking in the movie, done up as Huntsville.

And I now have a photo set of it all, which you may very well see in Photography.

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Categories: Movies, Photography, Waynesboro

Always wear underwear

April 27, 2006, 9:26 AM

After what happened to me yesterday, I’d like to remind everyone – ALWAYS wear underwear.

With that said, here’s what happened…

I was at work, and running a register. Realizing that the previous customer had accidentally left a bag on the wheel, I went after them to give them their missing bag. In pursuing them, my pants accidentally fell down, right there in front of everyone. My first reaction was to quickly pull my pants back up. And I still caught the customer before they left and got them their bag.

Still, my coworkers saw it. The rest of the day, I heard a number of good-natured comments about a pair of suspenders being a good investment. And 183,000 square feet is not as big as it sounds, as all of my coworkers soon learned of the incident.

And why did it happen in the first place? Well… as I mentioned in a previous Journal entry, I seem to be losing weight. And so my clothes have been a wee bit more loose as of late. And the cheapskate in me has decided not to go out and get replacement clothes. I’ll replace when they wear out, but not before that. So what’s the fix? A new belt, which I’m going to get today. That ought to prevent this episode from reoccurring.

And you know what this whole “wardrobe malfunction” reminds me of? Yolanda Bowsley from The Price is Right, who lost her tube top while going down to contestants’ row.

Still, now you understand why it’s always important to wear underwear. You never know when it might accidentally be revealed.

Categories: Walmart

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a wonderful place for a drive, provided you have the time.

April 19, 2006, 11:31 PM

On Tuesday morning, I made a trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway down to Roanoke. What a wonderful ride. The time in Roanoke was rather uneventful, but the ride down was awesome.

First of all, I took I-81 down to Lexington. This bypassed the section of the Parkway that I take more frequently, and allowed me to start on the Parkway with virgin territory. Thus I started at the Parkway’s intersection with US 60 and headed south.

I also got to drive through a fog-shrouded Lexington and Buena Vista. My April 19 photo feature illustrated this fog quite well. It was clear on the mountain, but quite foggy down in the valley below.

This was a fun photo trip, too. I photographed all kinds of things both on the Parkway itself, and off of the overlooks. I went through a tunnel, I viewed Otter Lake for the first time, crossed the Harry Flood Byrd Memorial Bridge, stopped at Peaks of Otter Lodge, and kept on photographing.

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The Easter Bunny and I were waiting for a bus together…

April 15, 2006, 7:01 PM

First of all, check it out:

The Easter Bunny and Ben Schumin

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Categories: Holidays, Walmart

“I must dance my dance… at last I am Jeffrey!”

April 14, 2006, 11:07 PM

First of all, yes, I realize that the title of this entry is a mis-quote, from “A Visit to the Opera” on Today’s Special. The correct end of that line is “at last I am set free!” I wrote it with “Jeffrey” in there because that’s how I initially heard it as a child. A little mondegreen right there. It made sense to me – the character of Lightning in “The Rainmakers” was played by Jeff Hyslop, and while it seemed odd that he would sing “At last I am Jeffrey,” it made sense.

But the reason I mention this is because you should have seen the lightning this evening! It looked like a fire drill in the sky with all the flashing going on. And it wasn’t just the twinkly kind of lightning. There were some serious lightning bolts, both in the sky, and also going towards the ground. Some of them really lit up the landscape in this very eerie blue color. They’re very spectacular to watch, but not so fun when you’re out and about, as I was. I hit the Blue Ridge Parkway after work to relax, which I take as far down as Buena Vista, where I cross over to Lexington and then go back home via US 11.

I didn’t get the lightning, though, until I got to Lexington. Thankfully, I had clear skies while I was on the Parkway, though there was a slight haze in the valley below. By the way, the Blue Ridge Parkway is NOT somewhere that you want to be when it’s raining. Because it’s high up in the mountains, it gets VERY foggy up there, and visibility often becomes practically zero.

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Thirsty or not!

April 13, 2006, 9:48 PM

Well, I was productive today. I found a little tiny stub article on Wikipedia about the soda Grapette, and adopted it as one of my own, and fleshed it out into an article that very well could become a featured article one day.

But don’t take my word for it. Let me show you. This is what I started out with. And then this is what I turned it into. And this shows the differences in the last revision before I started and the final revision that I made.

And what’s funny is that Grapette doesn’t even particularly send me. The way people talk about this soda, you’d think it was the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a grape soda, and it tastes grapey. Whoopty-doo.

Otherwise, though, today was the first day that I broke out the shorts and flip-flops. It was in the upper 70s today, and being off work today, I went casual. Really casual. I wore my fire alarm t-shirt with it, and so life is good. I don’t wear my Schumin Web apparel nearly enough anymore. Still, life is good.

Categories: Food and drink, Wikipedia

I make do with what I have, what can I say?

April 9, 2006, 5:59 PM

Some people may be surprised by this, but I have been using the same CDs with Big Mavica over and over for the past two years.

Seriously. I use rewritables. Though it’s a little more interesting than you think. I actually have two sets. The set that gets the most use is my “regular” set, that I keep in little jewel cases in the camera bag. These are for regular photo sets. I can carry my regular camera bag with me, and I’m usually moving at my own pace. This is the one I use most often.

Then there’s the other set, which is the “protest” set. These are the ones that I take along when I’m at an event, such as a big demonstraton, when things might get hairy. What’s the difference? Packaging. These CDs live on little tiny spindles rather than in jewel cases. Thus they take up far less space, allowing me to shed the camera bag.

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Categories: Cameras

“I have a feeling that this is not legitimate!”

April 7, 2006, 6:13 PM

For those of you who read my away messages on AIM, you may remember that this past Tuesday, I departed from my standard away messages and put up a new one. It said that I was in northern Virginia for an “unscheduled” DC trip, and to wish me luck. No word on what was going on other than that.

Well, here I am.

When I was on my March 28 trip to Washington, I saw an ad in the classified section of the Express that caught my interest.

Also, in case you’re wondering, I photograph any job ads that interest me so that I don’t have to drag the paper around with me all day.

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Categories: DC trips, Matthew, WMATA

Allergy season begins…

April 2, 2006, 5:23 PM

It’s April 2, and you know what that means – “day two” of allergy season. I generally consider April 1 to be the first day of the season (and I make sure to have allergy medication in my possession before that date), and I consider June 30 to be the last day.

And this year, my allergy medication has changed once again. Last year, I used Equate Allergy Relief D, which was Loratadine with Pseudoephedrine. This is the “Brand X” version of Claritin-D. Generic is cheaper. This year, I’m using Equate Allergy Relief without the D, which is not only cheaper, but does not contain Pseudoephedrine, which is the decongestant that the meth junkies use to make their own kind of wowie sauce.

As a result of Pseudoephedrine being the drug of choice for the junkies, it’s now behind the pharmacy counter, where legitimate users must now fill out miles of paperwork in order to feel good again. So I was just like, the heck with it, since the last thing I need is more paperwork.

Still, regarding the junkies, it’s like I always say – someone who is determined enough to do something will find a way to do it no matter what.

And the next three months are going to be just a real barrel of laughs with allergy season upon us.

Categories: Health issues