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From an entirely new computer setup, here I am.

February 26, 2007, 9:45 PM

First of all, hello! Hello from my new Dell Dimension E521, my new computer. It’s a lot faster than the old Gateway, but it’s also a lot shorter in stature than the old Gateway. The old computer is currently in Sis’s room, having been stripped of a few parts here and there, as the wireless card was a straight move from the old system. The original intention was for one of the two video cards from the old computer to also carry over, but that unfortunately didn’t allow for a dual-monitor setup. As it turns out, a video card added to the system disables the integrated video. So I had to get a new video card that has two outputs, but I’m still not yet online, as I need to get a DVI cable to hook up onto an outlet on the flat panel.

Otherwise, the new Lappy showed up today, and unlike with the delivery of the main computer, this time I was present in person to sign for the package. So all is here and all is well.

Right now, I’m getting moved in. I’m moving all my documents onto the system, and so once that gets done, life will be good.

Then there’s the whole thing of figuring out Windows Vista. This is new territory to me, as I have never before gone to a new computer and a new operating system at once. Usually it was always one or the other. So this is fun.

Once I get all settled into this computer, I have some photos to show you of the new computer, etc.

Categories: Computer

Goodbye, old friend…

February 24, 2007, 11:32 PM

Well, this is it. The Gateway dies tonight. That makes this my last Journal entry on my Gateway G6-400. After I finish this entry, I’m going to shut down Windows for the last time, and boot off of a floppy in order to FDISK and format the hard drive.

So now let’s get started. Goodbye, old friend. We’ve had a lot of great years together.

Categories: Computer

And what a wonderful time in Harrisonburg it was!

February 24, 2007, 9:25 PM

I had a fun day today in Harrisonburg. First of all, my time with Patrick went quite well. I got to meet his father, and the three of us had dinner at Ruby Tuesday. He also got to see the Sable, and he was impressed. It helped that I ran it through the car wash earlier that day, too. I also got to see his Chevy Venture, which was pretty neat.

The three of us were also in agreement that the people who designed the traffic patterns for the Harrisonburg Crossing shopping center deserve to be shot, since there are only three points of entrance to that very large and very congested shopping center. There’s one on Burgess Road, which leads to East Market Street (US 33). Then there are two at the other end on Reservoir Street. And the parking rows have no breaks from one end to the other. Therefore, you have two ways across the shopping center, parallel to the buildings. Right up against Wal-Mart and Home Depot, or right up against the Barnes and Noble/Michaels/Ross/Staples/Circuit City/whatever building. Thus it’s very easy to get stuck in parking lot hell, as you have to go all the way to either end to change rows, and the two side areas are VERY congested with traffic. Two words: It sucks. They would be very well served to reconfigure the parking lot to add another way across that massive lot parallel to the buildings. Imagine another path parallel to the buildings down the center. That would start directly in front of the main entrance at Reservoir Street to right in between O’Charley’s and Ruby Tuesday. The construction work necessary to do this would involve building some new parking lot islands to mark the new ends of the rows, and paving through some long islands that run perpendicular to the buildings and run the full length of the lot. Until they do that, which I don’t see as being likely to happen any time soon, have one hand on the horn, and have the middle finger on the other hand at the ready, because Harrisonburg drivers drive like idiots, and that goes for permanent residents and JMU students alike. Every time I have to cross that shopping center when it’s busy, another hair turns gray.

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Categories: Friends, Harrisonburg

And here we arrive at that point where we “freeze” the Web site

February 24, 2007, 12:20 AM

As I speak, the “master” version of Schumin Web that I have on my computer and do all my editing from is being migrated over to Dad’s computer as part of the move. This requires me to temporarily “freeze” the site, as it’s not wise to make edits to the site while I’m moving things around. Of course, the Journal isn’t affected by this, since it’s done server-side. However, don’t expect to see any edits to the site (and that includes the photo feature) until I’m finished moving the computer.

Hey, it could be worse. I think the snowman is a really cute picture, and at least we still have the Journal during this transition, so I can tell you all about what’s going on. By the way, moving to a new computer is a colossal pain in the behind, and now I understand why I haven’t changed computers in nearly nine years.

Otherwise, tomorrow I’m going to Harrisonburg where my friend Patrick Jarrett from Pittsburgh is coming down for a job fair. Patrick and I met online way back in the day, and then we’ve met in person once before, when I went to Pittsburgh with LPCM in 2003. So this ought to be fun. I’m also going to try to swing by Rocktown Infoshop at some point to get some more photos for their site.

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

February 22, 2007, 11:42 PM

Well, my new computer has arrived! So how is it, you ask? I don’t know. I haven’t opened it yet. It’s very much still in the box. I’m writing to you tonight on the Gateway. The Dell showed up a little sooner than I expected, and I wasn’t finished moving out of the old computer yet. So I’m still on the old computer. I bought a transfer link cable for $20 after work, but then I realized on the way home that I can use our wireless network to bat files around between computers. Dad’s computer is going to be the temporary home for all of my stuff. Also, when you consider that I just dropped a big chunk of change on two computers (the laptop is still in transit), the cable is going back to the store unopened and I’m getting my money back.

It still hasn’t quite dawned on me yet that it’s really the end of the road for the Gateway. It hasn’t sunk in yet. Of course, it didn’t truly sink in that the Previa was going away until I spent the time cleaning it out a couple of hours before it started the trip from which it would not return.

Once I finish moving all my stuff onto Dad’s computer, though, it will finally be time to truly retire that old Gateway. I will shut Windows down for the last time. I will reboot off a floppy, destroy my old partitions, and reformat the hard drive. I will then power down, and start disconnecting cables. Everything will be disconnected, and removed from my desk. And then when we arrive at the bottom, meaning that the desk is completely bare, I’m going to start setting new stuff up. The new computer will go into place, and then my present monitors and speakers will return, my current keyboard and mouse will return, and then we’ll fire the beast up and bring it to life!

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Categories: Computer, Shoes

My Gateway’s days are now officially numbered.

February 21, 2007, 6:15 PM

Yes, my Gateway’s days are officially numbered. I’ve ordered two computers as its replacement. A Dell Dimension and a Dell Inspiron. So I will have a desktop and a laptop. Why both? Well, the old Lappy showed promise as being something useful for me, but as it turned out, Dad and I seem to each be unable to share.

It works out, too, because the amount I’d budgeted for a new desktop machine worked out to be enough for a desktop and a laptop – which is the arrangement I really wanted anyway.

What’s really going to be weird is to actually retire the Gateway (Gateway 2000, to be accurate). I’ve had that computer for nearly nine years. I got it on the same day that the last episode of Seinfeld aired: Thursday, May 14, 1998. I remember it was state-of-the-art when I first got it. A 400 MHz Pentium II, 128 MB of RAM, a 10 GB hard drive, a DVD-ROM drive, and a TV tuner card were considered high power back in their day. A Zip drive was added to the system in December 1998, and a CD burner in January 2000.

Then during the summer of 2001, I gave the computer a mid-life rehabilitation, intended to outfit it for another three years of service. The 10 GB hard drive was replaced with an 80 GB drive, 128 MB became 384 MB, the DVD-ROM and the CD burner were replaced with more powerful versions, four USB ports were added, and the TV card was replaced after the old one had proven problematic. Then in March 2003, the Zip drive was replaced with a second DVD-ROM drive (making three CD/DVD drives total), inherited from my sister’s old Gateway. Then I changed to a dual-monitor configuration in early 2005.

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Categories: Computer

A whole bunch of peanut butter-related topics…

February 19, 2007, 5:41 PM

First of all, I saw this cartoon on the editorial page of today’s edition of The News Virginian. Considering that I’ve spent much of the last five days dealing with peanut butter returns at work, I found this cartoon quite hilarious:

Peter Pan cartoon
Image: Cagle Cartoons

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And we survived the peanut butter scare of aught-seven…

February 17, 2007, 1:40 AM

Jar of Peter Pan peanut butter from the affected lot (Image: Deglr6328/Wikimedia Commons)For the last two days, I think I’ve looked at enough jars of peanut butter to last me a while. People normally don’t return food unless it’s really bad, like if they opened the package and it was green and fuzzy inside when it should be red and slimy. But when the public learned that the Peter Pan and Great Value brands of peanut butter are potentially contaminated with salmonella and the manufacturer (ConAgra) issues a voluntary recall of the product, everyone and their mother came up to the Service Desk with a jar of peanut butter looking for a refund. So far, we’ve taken back two full cartloads of the stuff.

And let me tell you something. Peanut butter may look light, but when you’re pushing an entire cartload of the stuff, it’s HEAVY. I can usually drive two carts through the store with relative ease. I put the heavier one to the rear and drag it, and I put the lighter one in front and steer with my hand and my elbow. But a cart full of recalled peanut butter is something I could barely handle by itself. Usually, to steer a shopping cart, you turn it by the handle in order to point the front end of the cart in the direction you want to go. Not for this. For this kind of a load, forget trying to steer that way. I had to swing the back end of the cart around to point it where I wanted to go, and then kind of beg the cart to continue in the direction I pointed it in. Add to that the fact that I was a bit tired as I’m pushing a whole cartload of peanut butter to the back room, and it made for an interesting walk.

Personally, I can’t wait for this whole peanut butter recall to blow over. First of all, I don’t like pushing heavy carts full of unsellable peanut butter to the back of the store. I don’t like doing it. And secondly, Peter Pan is my preferred brand of peanut butter, even though I only buy it every so often. It competes for my affections with Ragu tomato sauce, and presently, the Ragu is winning.

Still, you have to find it at least somewhat interesting when food goes bad, or is suspected of possibly going bad. Remember the big spinach scare of 2006? That was interesting news, though I don’t remember people coming in droves to return their bagged spinach. I remember only one person coming to return his bagged spinach for a refund.

Categories: Food and drink, Walmart

Were you expecting something else?

February 13, 2007, 11:57 PM

I got home after a very hellish drive back from work through heavy sleet and freezing rain, and Mom says to me, “You’re alive!” My exact response was, “Were you expecting something else?”

Let me tell you, though… in the year that I’ve had the Sable, this makes snowstorm #3 (one last year, two so far this year). And the Sable does so much better than the Previa did in bad weather. Driving the Previa in bad winter weather was kind of like playing Russian roulette. You never knew what was going to happen. The front of the car had a tendency to wobble a bit due to the engine’s location closer to the center of the car than the front, and correcting that made for a very unpleasant ride home, and on more than one occasion, caused me to briefly lose control.

I remember one time spinning out on ice in the neighborhood. I remember spinning counter-clockwise, and was convinced that I was heading for the ditch, and possibly into someone’s mailbox, and in that short time that I was spinning, basically resigned myself to that fate. But I ended up just spinning out on the road, and all I had to do was get pointed right again, and I was able to continue.

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Categories: Driving, Winter weather

It got a little hairy at one point, but I made it…

February 13, 2007, 4:24 AM

I am pleased to say that I am home safe and sound once again, back from my 87th DC trip since I started doing these things back in 2004. This trip was moved up two days due to an impending snowstorm, and even then, I was fully prepared to abort the trip and return home should the weather have turned sour while I was up there. But thankfully, the weather held, and I accomplished all of my objectives for this trip. The weather in DC was beautiful, too. It was cold, but it wasn’t windy, and the skies were clear well into the afternoon.

The trip home was not so nice, though. I encountered light snow briefly around Front Royal, and then I encountered the heaviest snow from just north of Woodstock to just south of New Market. From New Market to Harrisonburg, it was wet, and then the roads were perfect from Harrisonburg to Stuarts Draft.

I also made excellent time going home despite 25 miles of snow, through which I was going 45 mph on the interstate. I made such excellent time in part because I really blew right through my two stops. Seriously, I was in and out of Sheetz in Haymarket and Wal-Mart in Woodstock in record time. All part of making hay while the roads are clear. Especially when I don’t have the luxury of two off-days back to back this week.

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Sad to say, it looks like I will not make my stated goal, but…

February 10, 2007, 11:16 PM

Sad to say, it appears that I will NOT make my stated goal of having the J27 photo set up before my next DC trip on February 14. However, this is because other factors over which I have no control are acting on my plans and throwing a little monkey wrench into it all.

One word: SNOW.

It’s forecast to snow on Tuesday, and also snow through Tuesday night. Therefore, I’m going to project that the roads will not be in sufficient shape on Wednesday morning for me to safely make a trip to Washington DC. So I’m moving it up to Monday the 12th, before the snow comes. Thus I’m losing two days to work on it, and so completion by my next DC trip seems unlikely. However, finishing it by my intended goal date of February 14 still seems likely. After all, I’m going to have all day on the 14th to work on it. The 12th was originally going to be that work day. So there you have it.

And considering the rapid progress on this photo set, I’ve also rediscovered something about how I work: deadlines. If I set deadlines, I get the material out by that deadline. The Outlet Village photo set sat idle for some time, but then once I set a goal of having that set completed by the time the Outlet Village closed for good, I made the goal. So perhaps I need to become more deadline-oriented with this site.

A four-day Photography set, topped by a one-day Life and Times…

February 8, 2007, 3:29 AM

I just finished selecting all the photos for the new J27 set for Life and Times. Now this is still subject to change, but at this juncture, it looks like I’m going to break the size record for photo sets, last set back in 2003 with An Urban Comparison, weighing in at 137 photos. The new J27 photo set weighs in at 140 photos, plus 29 movies, which means 169 things altogether. Wow.

Now of course, all this is subject to change as the photo set nears completion. Right now, while the set has been basically laid out, I still reserve the right to change everything. It’s also still quite incomplete. All 169 things are still on one single page, the photo set still has no title, I have blank blue boxes as placeholders for the video stills and file names where the sizes are supposed to be, and the images themselves simply resized versions of the raw images and have not yet been numbered for the photo set.

The next step involves prepping everything to make it all work. And a few more steps beyond that, and we’ll be finished. I’ll post an update and add it to the menu, and that will be that.

Categories: Schumin Web meta

I feel like a kid on a snow day…

February 7, 2007, 1:24 PM

Look what it did last night:

Snow!

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There you are – UTS 8338 in Waynesboro

February 4, 2007, 12:43 AM

Well, as promised, I got photos of UTS 8338 in front of the Aaron’s/Goodwill building in Waynesboro on my way to work. Also, I was mistaken about what they were promoting. While there is a sign on the premises about cell phones for troops, that is not what was on the bus. The bus is displaying a promotion for a food drive by the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, and it is sponsored by Aaron’s and Liberty Tax Service. So here are the photos…

UTS 8338 in Waynesboro

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What the heck is a UTS bus doing in Waynesboro?

February 3, 2007, 11:13 AM

Remember back in February of 2005 when I went over to Charlottesville and did some photographing at the University of Virginia, getting photos of the University Transit Service buses for Transit Center?

Well, I saw one of the buses I photographed at that time in Waynesboro yesterday. It’s an Orion I, bus 8338. That would be this bus:

UTS 8338, front view  UTS 8338, rear view

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