The future of the past…

19 minute read

June 27, 2024, 6:32 PM

Recall back in December that I spoke of the need to redesign this website in order to take advantage of various new features and functionalities that I’m not currently making good use of.  Lately, unfortunately, I have not made any headway on that due to my being backlogged on new content.  It’s like Jon Taffer of Bar Rescue fame once said, where an owner was too busy working in their business to be able to work on their business.  However, I did recently take a look at screenshots and other materials for various concepts from past redesign efforts to serve as some level of inspiration, and while I didn’t feel particularly inspired by these old concept designs, I thought it might be interesting to share them with you, to think about what Schumin Web might have looked like had I gone further with these various ideas rather than what I ultimately opted to go with.  I don’t regret not going with these various concepts because a lot of these were just explorations, but I definitely learned something about the site with each iteration.

First, recall that before the current “Modern Blue” design, which was introduced in 2012, I had been using a design that I had called “Faded Blue”, which was introduced in 2004 and was later modified into “Blue Squares” in 2008.  One new thing back then was that the advertising banner, which had previously been at the bottom of the page, would now be at the top of the page.  The first concept for that design was… not good.  Here is the initial concept for the Journal:

Initial prototype for the Journal in 2004.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

One of my best years in school…

50 minute read

June 21, 2024, 1:00 PM

Out of all of the school experiences that I’ve discussed in the past, I recently realized while I was out operating the train that I’ve never said a whole lot about sixth grade.  That year is a tie with eighth grade for my best year in school, because for the most part, everything that year just worked out really well.  It was a year where I learned a lot in new surroundings, and I had a lot of great new experiences.

Sixth grade came on the heels of my absolute worst year in school, i.e. fifth grade.  I’ve written about that experience in some detail not once, but twice, but to put it simply, it was an extremely toxic environment where the school was actively working against us, and which we had determined would not get better no matter what we did.  Additionally, sixth grade was still part of elementary school in Rogers at that time, so if we had remained, we would have been right back at the same toxic school environment for another year, which have been far less than ideal.  I admit that I was a bit wary about wanting to deal with school again, but of course, it wasn’t like dropping out and doing something else was an option.  I was absolutely delighted to learn that in my new school district, sixth grade was part of middle school, and not the final year of elementary school.  By fifth grade, it was clear that I had outgrown the elementary school format, so moving up to the next tier made enough sense.  I was ready to do something new, and I was up for the challenge.  It was the perfect stage for a fantastic rebound year after the previous disaster of a year.

On the day that we arrived in Stuarts Draft, we took care of school matters for both my sister and me.  She would be starting second grade at Stuarts Draft Elementary School, and I would be starting sixth grade at Stuarts Draft Middle School.  And there was another twist: sixth grade orientation was that same night.  We all were like, guess we know what we’re doing tonight.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

A weekend loop trip…

22 minute read

June 12, 2024, 8:24 AM

From May 30 to June 1, I took a trip down to the Hampton Roads area in Virginia.  Hampton Roads is by no means an unfamiliar place, even though I don’t get to go there nearly as much as I would otherwise like, but the way I got down there was a bit unconventional.  Instead of going down the west side of the Beltway to I-95 in Springfield heading towards Richmond and then hanging a left on I-64 to go through New Kent, Williamsburg, and the like to get to my hotel in Newport News, I instead went down the east side of the Beltway to New Carrollton, where I got on Route 50 and took that over the Bay Bridge and then continued as far as Salisbury, where I made a right turn at US 13 to head down into Virginia towards the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.  From there, I headed through Norfolk, through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, through Hampton, and finally to my hotel in Newport News.  I was also doing this trip completely unsupervised, as Elyse was going to a bus event up in Hershey that same weekend.

I made a few stops along the way, mostly to do some photography with the drone.  My first stop was at a large park on the east side of the Bay Bridge, where I was planning to get some shots of the bridge itself:

Aerial view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Continue reading...Continue reading…