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Day tripping it to Stuarts Draft…

May 29, 2012, 8:46 PM

I certainly had fun on Monday!  I went with Isis and Cubby to Stuarts Draft and surrounding areas.  First I picked them up, and then we headed down to Augusta County, Virginia.

Our first stop was the old DeJarnette Center in Staunton.  For those not familiar, DeJarnette Center was constructed in 1932 as a privately funded mental institution named for Dr. Joseph DeJarnette.  The facility became a state-operated children’s mental institution in 1975, and was abandoned in 1996 when the DeJarnette Center moved to a new facility across Route 250 from the original.  The facility was renamed the “Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents” in 2001 due to Joseph DeJarnette’s strong support of eugenics.  The facility was boarded up in 2009.

On our visit, we stopped the car nearby, and then took a walk around the outside of the building.  We didn’t go inside for a few reasons.  First, due to the board-up, there was no light inside.  Second, asbestos.  And lastly, snakes.  I’m told that the building is infested with snakes on all levels of the building.  And snakes creep me out.  Speaking of snakes, while walking around the grounds, we found a snake, laying on the ground partly in our path as we walked behind the building.  It was a long black snake.  It wasn’t interested in us, but still, snakes creep me out, especially so when Cubby indicated that it could either be a black king snake (not poisonous), or a cottonmouth (very poisonous).  In any case, I didn’t really want to find out for sure which one it was.

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So the Baltimore Inner Harbor was fun…

May 27, 2012, 10:44 PM

I went up to Baltimore with a friend on Friday evening, where we explored the Inner Harbor for a while. That was kind of fun. The Inner Harbor is a very fun area, though it seems a bit overcommercialized. But such is what happens, I suppose. I loved the smell of the sea air, everyone was having so much fun out and about, and there were all kinds of fun ships sailing around.

The first ship we saw was The Black-Eyed Susan, a paddlewheeler:

The Black-Eyed Susan

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I still don’t consider myself much of an artist, but I guess I can let you decide…

May 24, 2012, 12:07 AM

So I was doing some scanning work for Falcon this evening, and decided to finally scan some drawings that I did in high school. I’m believe that these are from the fall of 1996. And so away we go…

Lord Zedd in his chamber of command

Yes, that is exactly what you think it is. You are looking at Lord Zedd from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, standing in his throne room. It’s true. I was a nerd even back then. And I was pretty detailed. I got the pedestal, I got Zedd, I got the throne, I got the fan behind the throne, and I put a couple of putties in there.

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Categories: Myself, Power Rangers, School

So apparently even my creativity is subject to the laws of supply and demand…

May 22, 2012, 8:19 AM

Apparently so. Last week, I was working on new material for Falcon (by the way, three new photo sets so far to launch with Falcon), and I was running dry on topics for Journal entries. And the one time I did try to write a Journal entry in the past week, I ended up figuratively “ripping it up” midway through it because it wasn’t going the way I wanted.

For those wondering, by the way, the abandoned Journal entry was about those stupid blog disclaimers that you see all over the Internet these days. Specifically, it discussed those “my opinions are my own” lines, because I find it akin to apologizing for one’s opinion. A more realistic sounding blog disclaimer on that thread would read, “I’m sorry if I might offend you because I am capable of forming my own opinion, as said opinion may not necessarily coincide with your own beliefs, and I don’t think you can handle that.” Unfortunately, though, that was about the extent of it. I couldn’t flesh it out any further. Well, crap. And thus into the recycling bin it went.

I was out grocery shopping last night when I figured out why that entry went so badly. Basically, my creativity is limited. I only have so much of it to go around and I have many things to feed with that creativity. I was able to make it work when I was doing the main conversion because that didn’t take any creativity. Just a matter of cleaning up work from previously spent creativity. Thus I could restore content for Falcon and then turn around and do an absolutely fabulous Journal entry. Not so when I do new material. I can’t stop a photo set, and then turn around and do a Journal entry. The Journal entry ends up falling flat.

This, meanwhile, leads to a new way of planning my moves on here. If I don’t space things out and try to force it, mediocre work results. Thus budgeting my creativity, just like money. I only wish I had as much money as I had creativity. Then I wouldn’t need to have a car payment every month.

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Categories: Myself, Schumin Web meta

…and later, Chuck E. Cheese!

May 11, 2012, 10:37 PM

After spending a few hours at Montgomery Mall where we got Adelle’s bear, among other things, Mom and I headed home, and then later, for dinner, headed over to the Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant in Laurel, Maryland.

Now you’re probably thinking: aren’t you a little old for Chuck E. Cheese’s? Answer is, yes, probably so. But we had a good time. It had been just over 20 years since the last time that any of us went to one of these sorts of places, and so this was the time to revisit some fun childhood memories. In fact, the Laurel location was specifically chosen because it was a former Showbiz Pizza location, and had the three-stage setup just like at the Showbiz Pizza in Fayetteville, Arkansas that we used to go to when Sis and I were growing up. Recall for a moment, from 1987 in Fayetteville, on the occasion of the party for my sixth birthday:

Billy Bob's stage, with the "Smitty's Super Service Station" background.
Billy Bob’s stage, with the “Smitty’s Super Service Station” background.

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Build-A-Bear…

May 11, 2012, 9:06 PM

What a fun day today! Mom came to visit for the weekend, and so we spent the day on Friday kind of out and about. First stop: Montgomery Mall. Mom wanted to go to Lush for some bar shampoo and such. I’m not that big on that kind of soap, but it’s kind of fun to go. Then after Lush, we kind of wandered around the mall for a while. We eventually ended up at Build-A-Bear Workshop, where we made a bear for Adelle, who is the daughter of my cousin Kate and her husband Nathan.

And while we were there, we got photos. So for Adelle, this is how it happened when your cousin Ben and your Aunt Jane built your bear:

Getting the bear ready for stuffing.
Getting the bear ready for stuffing.

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Categories: Family, Shopping

Man bangle number two…

May 10, 2012, 9:50 PM

So I tried another “man bangle” recently. This time, I got this one from Amazon.com:

Men's Massive Solid Stainless Steel Handcuff Bracelet Bangle Jewelry

And this time I remembered to get photos of me wearing it:

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Categories: Jewelry, Schumin Web meta

Well, if being civil makes me a Metro apologist…

May 7, 2012, 11:27 PM

So apparently, my being civil and reasonable on the Twitter when it comes to all matters Metro makes me a Metro apologist. Go figure.

Today, you see, I finally decided that enough was enough when it came to certain “transit advocates” on the Twitter, and unfollowed them. Specifically, I unfollowed @MedievalMetro and @unsuckdcmetro. In both of these cases, there may actually be a point somewhere. But that point is lost in all of the other stuff that they post that is somewhat off message. In MedievalMetro’s case, I think that their main thrust is safety and maintenance concerns. However, they come off as ridiculing Metro, rather than making a point. For example, this tweet, discussing a staircase that was barricaded:

#WMATA even struggles with stairs. #maintenance Columbia Heights. http://twitgoo.com/5ppwz5

That particular one was enough for me to challenge them on it:

@MedievalMetro Without any other context, I can't make any judgment based on this photo. What's your point? #wmata

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So the question is, what is a suitable bribe?

May 5, 2012, 10:14 PM

So I’m currently working on restoring Journal entries from August 2011 for Falcon. The end of the main conversion is near, though there’s other work to be done before any launch happens. The plan from here to launch is to finish the main conversion, fix all of the flagged content issues (connections that I couldn’t make right away for whatever reason), do a whole bunch of scanning and restoring for a few Odds and Ends areas, do all new photos for the Fire Alarm Collection pages, and then work on a number of new photo sets.

Once I get to that last part, where I’m working on new material, I will begin doing beta testing on Falcon. That’s where I get other people to go in and start using the site like normal users would. The idea is to get other sets of eyes on things, in order to hopefully identify and correct any issues or errors that I may have missed. I fixed a lot of weirdness and old errors with the conversion, but as always, I am not above inadvertently introducing brand new flies into the ointment. And with nearly 1,500 Journal entries and a bunch of photo sets and other pages, mistakes are inevitable. I was showing Falcon on my cell phone to a coworker on Friday, and discovered a mistake in the theme, getting Falcon’s 404 error message instead of the page that I was expecting on a certain link (that issue is now fixed).

My current plan is to get a few folks to come over to my house with their laptops and take the site for a spin. It is my intention to fix any problems that get identified on the spot. Why my house rather than a coffee shop or something, you may ask? Because if we’re looking for bugs, I want to be at my real computer where the site is made just in case I need to fix problems on the theme or dig through an archive to find an image or something.

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Categories: Friends, Schumin Web meta