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If you really want to know your WMATA information…

June 30, 2006, 8:55 PM

I just found out that the full report about the November 3, 2004 accident at Woodley Park-Zoo came out on the NTSB’s Web site. And I’ve been reading the 66-page report for a while now. I’m on page 18 out of 66 total. So I’m getting somewhere.

And it’s great to finally read exactly what happened in this accident. You may recall that I was in Washington the day after the accident happened, and actually got to see the accident scene firsthand. It was something.

I was amazed, though, about how the first several feet of Rohr 1077 were just plain gone. In my photos, the roof was hanging down from what remained of the car. I received an interior shot of 1077 after it had been taken to Brentwood, but it wasn’t quite the same as seeing it in the accident scene. The NTSB report had a photo of 1077 in place at the accident scene:

Rohr 1077 interior, post-collision
Photo: NTSB

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Categories: WMATA

I would like to know what I was thinking…

June 30, 2006, 10:48 AM

I would like to know what I was thinking back in 2003 when I was laying out these “Photo Essay Blitz” sets. Usually, I try to make the final photo numbers go in order down the page, even if the pictures aren’t arranged in chronological order. This, however, is ridiculous. And it makes my current work retrofitting captions onto these older sets all the more complicated since I have to hop all around the database to find the entries for these photos.

This is why the 2003 set A Protest Against the War received an update last night. I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. The numbers were all out of order, plus the navigation didn’t flow logically. I fixed the numbers by renumbering all the photos. Now they start at 1 and go to 122 in exactly the order that they appear on the page. I fixed the navigation by going from the old descriptors (Freedom Plaza 1 and 2, McPherson Square, Farragut West) to straight parts (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4). The navigation also bugged me because the descriptors were inaccurate, which I noticed in becoming more familiar with DC. The “McPherson Square” section was a block or so away from the square, and then the “Farragut West” section was at 18th and K Streets NW, a few blocks from Farragut Square, though only one block from the Metro station.

I can tell you why I did it that way originally, though. I set it like that because I picked out the photos, numbered them, and put them on the page, and then laid them out on the page like a big storyboard. Thus the numbers ended up all out of order. Compare to now, where I sort them in CompuPic, and don’t pin them up on the Web site until it’s nearly done.

One thing I have to say is that it certainly makes maintenance and updates easy if the numbers go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. It gets to be a real bother if it goes 1, 7, 23, 15, 12, 34, etc.

Categories: Schumin Web meta

I didn’t know this existed!

June 29, 2006, 8:21 PM

I had no idea that there was a place called “Foamhenge” near Natural Bridge, which is a little ways south of where I live. And with my being on vacation this week, and with the weather forecasted to be nice all the way through the weekend, I might just have to pay Foamhenge a visit, and perhaps do a photo set on it (as if I’m not backlogged enough already).

And no, this is not some cheesy substitute for a visit to the real Stonehenge. I went there in June 1998. See?

I pose in front of Stonehenge in 1998

Eight years after visiting Stonehenge, a visit to Foamhenge should be fun.

Categories: Places

An interesting little trip…

June 29, 2006, 5:37 PM

I took a little trip to the DC area via Richmond and I-95 on Wednesday. Fun trip. I went that longer way instead of my usual I-81 to I-66 route because I wanted to visit Fredericksburg and Potomac Mills.

My visit to Fredericksburg was fairly simple. The question before the house was whether it was worth it to make a trip to Fredericksburg, which is somewhat hard to reach for a day trip, to do a photo set. My determination for Fredericksburg was that while it was indeed charming, and definitely a place to visit when I eventually find a job in the DC area and move up that way, I didn’t see anything on this drive through that I would really want to make a special trip for, and that I couldn’t do using a similar feature in another city that is easier to reach.

However, I did see a sign that was, to say the least, surprising.

Gas allegedly for $1.00 per gallon

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And here are the photos of the ark, as promised.

June 29, 2006, 2:20 PM

As promised, here are some photos of the ark from the upcoming movie Evan Almighty in Crozet:

The ark from Evan Almighty

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Categories: Movies, Places

You know, I could finish this right now…

June 28, 2006, 7:13 AM

If you’ve looked at my site updates, I just released a new photo set in Life and Times called Night March. I wasn’t planning on finishing it this morning, but I got to working on it, and I realized that I was very close to completing it, so I just decided to go ahead and finish the set, and get that out there. So now you can view that protest against the World Bank and IMF that I went to on April 22, where a black bloc snaked through the streets of DC. It was fun.

My only issue with the set is that the dark and the rain, combined with the constant motion of the camera, led to pictures that I don’t consider my best work. Of course, Life and Times is there to showcase events, where capturing the action, rather than creating beautiful photos, is the point. Still, I’ve done better. A16 and the Million Worker March are two Life and Times sets that I consider to be really nice photography-wise. On this one, with the camera having water issues during the event and the need to heavily retouch some of these photos to show the action, it leaves me wishing that the photos had come out better. Still, though, I do like the set, and the photos certainly demonstrate the hostile environment in which they were taken.

For the next set to go up, it’s either going to be one about downtown Waynesboro or Breezewood for Photography, or the “No Armageddon” rally in DC for Life and Times.

Made it! No work for nine days!

June 27, 2006, 7:19 PM

I have made it to my vacation, and I don’t have to return to work until July 7 at 7:00 AM. Very nice, indeed.

And then tomorrow, I’m going to go to Washington DC by way of I-95 to do a few things on the way up.

All I have to say, though, is that I hope that when I do go back to work, that I feel totally refreshed and ready to continue, because I was about at the edge of my tolerance threshold.

Categories: DC trips, Vacations

Rohr relaxation…

June 22, 2006, 2:48 AM

I went to Washington DC on Tuesday, and it was a fairly typical “regular” trip. I got in right on time, parked at Vienna, and then the main mission this time was to check on some jobs I’d applied for. I also paid a visit to my friend Tristan and then paid a visit to Pentagon City.

On the Red Line en route to Rockville, I encountered a person that knows how to relax on a Rohr train:

"Rohr relaxation"

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Categories: DC trips, Video games, WMATA

“I don’t look at porn!”

June 18, 2006, 2:35 AM

Funny what comes up in the breakroom sometimes…

A few of us were discussing churchgoers and possible hypocrisy regarding them, and the idea came up that a particular coworker, about whom customers had said “looked like Jesus” when he had a certain hairdo coupled with a beard, should start his own church. Someone suggested that he would make one related to porn, which elicited the response, “I don’t look at porn!”

What made us all turn our heads was when another coworker, who was just passing through the breakroom to get to the smoking room and caught wind of our discussion, said, “I do!”

The thought that crossed most of our minds was, I did not need to know that. Seriously, we did not need to know that. I don’t think I’ll be able to look at this coworker with a straight face for a while. Of course, people didn’t look at me with a straight face for a while after the pants incident from a couple of months ago.

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June 28 couldn’t come sooner…

June 17, 2006, 12:33 AM

June 28, as you may recall, is my first day of vacation. And I can’t wait. What do I have planned? Not much. I’m planning on going to Washington twice during that time – once on both ends of the vacation.

June 28 will be a trip similar to the “accidental” DC trip, where I approached DC from the south (I-95), rather than my usual westerly approach (I-66). This time, though, I’m going to run it on local roads. Instead of I-95, I’m going to take US 1. I believe this will take me close to the Huntington station, which is one that I’ve never originated from before. That ought to be exciting. That would bring the number of Metro stations to which I can confidently drive up to four.

Currently, I can confidently drive to Vienna, West Falls Church-VT/UVA and Franconia-Springfield. And when I say “confidently”, I mean that I could give someone good directions to drive to the station from outside the DC metro area. Now mind you, I can get to a good many stations by walking – more than I want to list. I can follow the route of the Blue and Orange Lines on foot from Foggy Bottom all the way to L’Enfant Plaza, Green all the way from Shaw to L’Enfant Plaza (and Yellow by extension), and Red from Cleveland Park to Judiciary Square, among other little station-to-station walks. But driving is a whole different ballgame, especially with the suburban stations. Trust me here.

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I went to Roanoke yesterday…

June 14, 2006, 7:38 PM

I went to Roanoke yesterday, and it was an interesting trip. I don’t find Roanoke to be nearly as fun as Washington DC, but it was still pretty good.

The trip down was via the Blue Ridge Parkway for the most part, taking Indian Ridge Road (a local road from Stuarts Draft to Greenville that roughly parallels US 340) to US 11 to US 60 at Lexington to the Blue Ridge Parkway at Buena Vista. Then I took the Parkway down to US 460.

I took my iPod with me on this trip, and it did fairly well. The iPod’s battery lasted all day, and all was well. However, my FM transmitter didn’t do quite so well, as I had to change the batteries on it twice. I think I need to get a car adaptor for it, since I burned through four AAA batteries over the course of the day.

The Roanoke Star seemed to be having a rough night, though, as two sections of red went out.

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By the way, this is the other side of the sign…

June 13, 2006, 12:48 AM

Remember this photo from the Outlet Village photo set?

Outlet Village welcome sign

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Categories: Outlet Village

My new DVD/VCR combo unit seems to work!

June 12, 2006, 12:40 AM

Tonight, I bought a new DVD/VCR combo unit to replace my old VCR, which died a while back. I figure I got my money’s worth out of the old one. It was a cheap VCR that I bought eight years ago, and it’s served me well. Now, it’s in the trash, as it would no longer play anything. It would start up, show a still image for a few seconds, power off, and then spit out the tape.

I was originally going to go with another cheap VCR, but the only cheap VCR that Wal-Mart had was one that I’d seen come back a lot. Basically, enough times to where one could figure out that the product is crap. I asked the associate to open the box for me so I could look at the remote, and that’s when I realized exactly what VCR it was. I’d seen that interior before, as I’d fished through that model’s box before at the Service Desk looking for all the right material.

So I went a notch up and bought a combo DVD/VCR. I ended up getting a Magnavox this time around (the old VCR was an Orion). Oooooooh.

I also took the opportunity to rearrange all of my wires for the cable, TV, VCR, Super Nintendo, and TV card. The old setup received interference from one of my computer monitors, which created weird effects in the TV picture. So yanking out all the cords worked out. This new setup receives no interference, and the picture is GREAT.

Categories: Products

The “No Armageddon” rally went well, and now I’m watching The Blues Brothers

June 8, 2006, 2:28 AM

The “No Armageddon For Bush” rally went quite well, as DAWN really put on a good show. It was also strange seeing David Barrows dressed up in religious robes:

David Barrows dressed up for the "No Armageddon" rally

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Categories: Anti-war

Gas at Martin’s… I heard back from my comment to Giant’s corporate office.

June 6, 2006, 2:31 PM

I recently put in a comment with Martin’s (a division of Giant Food of Carlisle, Pennsylvania) through their Web site regarding the gas station out front. Currently, it’s not available overnight – only until 10 PM. And considering all the late hours I’ve been working lately at Wally World, late-night gas from Martin’s would be quite handy. And I pay with my debit card, so it’s not like I’d need the attendant there.

My suggestion was to have the gas station open 24 hours, even if overnight is cards-only. Here’s what I got back:

Dear Mr. Schumin,

Thank you for contacting us regarding our store in Waynesboro. We do appreciate your comments and feedback.

I have followed up with our Gasoline Department and was informed that they will take your suggestion into consideration, however, at this time, there are no immediate plans to change to a 24-hour operation at the gas station in Waynesboro.

We value your business and look forward to continuing to serve your shopping needs.

[name]
Consumer Affairs Representative
GIANT Food Stores/MARTIN’S Food Markets

So there you go. Maybe something will come of it. Anyone else in Waynesboro who thinks Martin’s should keep its gas pumps running all night should also consider dropping them a line (hint, hint).

Categories: Martin's