This will mark the second time I’ve redesigned Schumin Web to have it end up looking almost exactly the same as it did before…

3 minute read

February 21, 2010, 12:30 AM

So I recently built a new template for Schumin Web for an upcoming site redesign:

New site build using CSS layouts

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Categories: Schumin Web meta

Well, isn’t that a beaut…

3 minute read

February 17, 2010, 7:14 PM

Today was one of those days where it could only get better considering the way it started. Take a look at this:

My skinned knee.

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Categories: Myself, Snowmageddon

And that’s the end of the gutter.

3 minute read

February 11, 2010, 8:52 PM

Ah, the joys of record snowfall. Cabin fever and collapsing gutters. And today, the gutter collapse went ahead and finished itself off. First of all, this is what we started with:

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Categories: Snowmageddon

And snowed in again.

3 minute read

February 10, 2010, 3:08 PM

Winter certainly is packing a punch this week, isn’t it? First the snowstorm on Friday, and now today. And meanwhile, the collapse of the gutters continued, as the gutter that had collapsed under the weight of the snow over my neighbor’s balcony now collapsed over my balcony, leaving this board with nails in it hanging ominously overhead:

The board with nails in it hanging ominously overhead

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Categories: Movies, Snowmageddon

More snow? Ayyyyy…

2 minute read

February 8, 2010, 4:59 PM

I can’t get over that they’re forecasting even more snow for tomorrow. But that’s what the folks at Capital Weather Gang are saying. And this after I finally accomplished something:

The Sable is free!

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Categories: Snowmageddon

Okay, that’s enough…

2 minute read

February 7, 2010, 3:08 PM

Well, I got the windows cleared. That’s probably enough for now, since the maintenance folks are going to need to do some more plowing before I can even think about moving the car. There’s more than six feet of two-foot-deep snow (some of which can support my weight) behind the car that I can’t move with the tools that I have.

But just to show you the epicness of this snowfall, here are pix:

The snow next to the car is up to my knees.
The snow next to the car is up to my knees.

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Categories: Snowmageddon

Another gutter bites the dust…

4 minute read

February 7, 2010, 1:36 PM

Yes, another gutter bit the dust, this time on the other side of me:

Another gutter bites the dust  Another gutter bites the dust

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Categories: Snowmageddon, WMATA

The snow caused a gutter to collapse!

3 minute read

February 6, 2010, 8:11 PM

Yes, the wet, heavy snow (compared to the light, powdery stuff in December) caused a gutter on my apartment building to collapse. And I happened to get before-and-after photos. Take a look:

Before the gutter collapsed  After the gutter collapsed

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Categories: Snowmageddon

I am ready to be snowed in…

3 minute read

February 5, 2010, 12:22 AM

I am ready to be snowed in this weekend. The Sable is safely parked, and the cabinets are full. I am set. My castle is stocked up. Bring it on, nature.

Otherwise, today I discovered that adults can be just as bad as children when it comes to getting revved up about a potential snow day. All I heard today was, “Do you think we’re going to get tomorrow off?” I was all, noooooooo, since I think that the Feds have already decided on their course of action. They’re operating under an unscheduled leave policy for Friday, which for us basically means show up. Now whether they close early once the snow starts coming down is another story.

Meanwhile, speaking of snow days, when I was in school, I always just wanted to strangle those teachers that acted like it was our fault for missing school due to bad winter weather when we grumbled about having to go to school on Memorial Day for make-up days. These teachers that would say, “You had your Memorial Day back in January!” Big help. Like it’s my fault that it snowed. I remember my seventh grade year was hell for that kind of thing. We had something like 16 snow days that year. Thus we had no days off of any kind except for weekends from the last snow day in March through to like June 16 plus one Saturday (yes, we had one make-up day on a Saturday). And when you couple that with the fact that my homeroom teacher was a real d—–bag, it made for a very rough year. This particular teacher even made fun of me (in a mean way) in front of the whole class when he presented me my perfect attendance certificate at the end of the year. I had better attendance than he did that year, and he made fun of me

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Categories: Snowmageddon, Walmart, WMATA

And it’s snowing again.

3 minute read

February 2, 2010, 9:37 PM

Yep… it’s snowing again. And of course, I’m still hitting the workahol, staying tonight until 7:30. When I stay late, I drive, and when I drove through, the roads got progressively worse the further north I went. P Street NW in DC was fine. Then 16th Street NW in DC was also fine. Crossing into Maryland, 16th Street was good. Then Georgia Avenue inside the beltway was all right, but once I cleared Wheaton, I started having to guess about where the lanes were. I really had to slow down in the last two miles home, once I cleared Glenmont station. Then my street was white except for tire tracks. But I made it, and I am once again in my nice, warm apartment.

Meanwhile, they’re calling for a good bit of frozen precipitation this weekend. Capital Weather Gang gives a 20% chance of more than eight inches. However, the reality is that they don’t know. They gave a 25% chance of less than an inch, a 25% chance of 1-4 inches, a 30% chance of 4-8 inches, and then the aforementioned 20% chance of more than eight. But instead of saying “I don’t know”, professional weather forecasters just guess. After all, giving something like that looks a lot smarter than “dunno”.

Otherwise, I’ve been meaning to show an old family photo for about a month now. Take a look:

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Let me tell you, I had a really good time on Saturday…

5 minute read

January 31, 2010, 9:35 PM

I had a really good time on Saturday. I went to the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge, aka “Plungapalooza”, and while it was really, really, really cold and snowing, I had a blast.

The event was held at Sandy Point State Park, near Annapolis. The idea is simple: put on a swimsuit, and run into a body of ice-cold water in the middle of winter. The proceeds from the event went to support Special Olympics, and of course, all involved had a great time.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t jump in. Nuh-uh. Too cold. And when you consider all the cold-weather gear I was wearing, I was determined to stay toasty warm, too. And for the most part, I did.

Getting there involved taking the Beltway to Route 50, and then a short distance on local roads to the parking area. Parking involved leaving the car at a satellite location and then taking a shuttle bus to the site. I parked at the Naval Academy Stadium, and took a bus from there. That was like jumping into a time-warp. The bus appeared to be of more recent mint than I would have ridden, but the interior was light green, and the seats were dark green. I thought they got rid of that when they started using the brown interiors in the late 80s. I guess I was wrong. Ugly green on uglier green is obviously alive and well in the 2010s.

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This is a photo set that was long in coming…

2 minute read

January 31, 2010, 2:38 PM

I just released the UNITE HERE Picket Photography set. This was a long time in coming. When I attended this event on June 20, I originally planned to just do a Journal entry about the event. I was going to write about it on the night of Monday, June 22. But then the Metro accident happened that evening, and I ended up writing about that instead. Thus the UNITE HERE event got bumped. It was the Photo Feature that week, but nothing else was said about it.

Now, it’s part of Photography, and is one of two planned 2009 sets (the other being the teabagger march). I suppose it worked out well for the event. Rather than getting some discussion in the Journal and moving on, it got a full-page spread, with 35 pictures rather than a select few. And I got a chance to experiment again with Photography set layout. This time, I went for staggered rows. I’m still deciding how the format will look, and this one looks good, but the photos seem a little too close together.

And the weird thing about this group of photos is that every time I’ve published a photo from this event on the site, Metro has had an accident involving their rolling stock. I posted a photo as the Photo Feature on June 21, and the next day, Metro had a major collision on the Red Line. Then I ran a different photo during the week of Thanksgiving, and while that one was up, the yard collision at Falls Church happened. Very weird coincidence, if you ask me. I’m almost afraid with posting 35 photos from this event that an elevated structure will collapse or something. Let’s hope not.

So with another Photography set published, I want to know once again what you think. I’m trying something out, and so let me know!

Categories: Schumin Web meta, WMATA

But the workahol is so good!

3 minute read

January 27, 2010, 10:23 PM

There’s a reason I haven’t written a Journal entry in a week… it’s because I’ve been working myself ragged at the office. These 12-hour days have caused me to question my own sanity. But I’ve got a really big project I’m working on, and am somehow managing to do that plus all the usual stuff I do all the time. It’s been leaving me physically and mentally exhausted by the end of the day. I barely even have the energy to do Wikipedia, let alone actually write an original thought.

So yeah, I’ve been a little workaholic this last week or so. I’m planning to go to Plungapalooza this weekend, and I’m seriously questioning whether I’ll be able to actually drag myself out of bed to go out there on Saturday. If I do manage to get up to go, though, Plungapalooza ought to be fun. I’m not going to be donning a speedo and jumping in, though. Nuh-uh. I’m bringing my camera along and joining whatever other bloggers happen to be there, in order to write about the event in this space, as well as potentially make a Photography set out of the event. And I’ve been looking forward to going for about a year. I wrote about it last year, and noted that I should save the date. Well, I did. If I can muster up the strength to go, I’m going. And bringing a hat, coat, and gloves.

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Categories: Events, Work

Sometimes I don’t know why I bother…

6 minute read

January 20, 2010, 10:47 PM

Sometimes I don’t know why I bother. I try to get a little discourse going on a political issue with a known hostile crowd on Facebook, and their arguments become so nonsensical that it finally becomes pointless to continue. But then again, it’s also kinda fun. Most recently, it started with this as someone’s status message:

[Name] is lifting up prayers that this healthcare bill DOES NOT PASS

Okay, so we’ve got an opinion. They want to see the healthcare bill fail. So let’s dig in:

Ben Schumin Why don’t you want to see it pass?

So I’ve started the discussion. Why don’t they want to see it pass? Personally, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I won’t get what I really want out of this health care thing (single-payer for all), but it’s still better than nothing, as it outlaws a number of the health insurance industry’s dirty tricks, like denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and recission of coverage. We can then build on this later to ultimately end up where we really ought to be down the road.

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So I am now the proud father of a Motorola Droid…

3 minute read

January 19, 2010, 12:27 AM

So I got my Droid today. I now have what I describe as the iPhone for people who don’t want an iPhone. This thing has the touch screen, it has Wi-Fi, it has downloadable apps and games, and it has a five-megapixel camera.

Yes, five megapixels. That’s right – my cell phone just out-megapixeled the late Big Mavica (which was four-megapixel). That’s obscene. My cell phone still slots below my real cameras, though. Duckie has six, and the Canon does ten. And take a look at a sample of its work:

Digging up the floor at Staunton Mall

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Categories: Cell phone, Staunton Mall