Another Howard Johnson’s bites the dust…

June 29, 2004, 12:03 AM

It’s sad… in the same month, Palace Amusements in Asbury Park, New Jersey bites the dust (see my related quote article), and then the old Howard Johnson’s restaurant in Harrisonburg also gets demolished.

First of all, in its time as a Howard Johnson’s, it looked like this, as seen in these photos from

Howard Johnson's in Harrisonburg while open

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Categories: Howard Johnson's, JMU

Compare for a moment… who looks better?

June 8, 2004, 10:33 PM

Let’s compare for a moment… who looks better in their blue vest? Let me present to you…

Ben Schumin in blue Wal-Mart vest
Exhibit A: Ben Schumin

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Got some new tires today…

June 2, 2004, 7:59 PM

After work, I went to Wal-Mart’s Tire and Lube Express (hereafter TLE). And I got me some tires. And this is the benefit of my sister now also working at Wal-Mart. Only an hour of our shifts coincided today, and so while she was working, and my car was at TLE, I took her car out for a little while, since waiting around at Wal-Mart is a drag if you’re not in the shopping mood, and you can only ride the mechanical horse in the game room so many times before it gets old. Besides, when I rode it, I ended up looking like Strong Bad after he drank a cup of soy sauce, like I’m trying to pilot Bubs’s Concession Stand.

So I rode around in her car, which she calls “The Gray Lady”. Very small car compared to the Previa. I felt like my butt was dragging on the road. In fact, I think I would be literally dragging along the road if that thing were any lower. For her trouble in letting me use it, I did fill the tank, do her windows, and take out the used napkins that were on the floor.

Meanwhile, it’s burning up in here. We need to turn on the air conditioning.

Categories: Walmart

Gotta love the first of the month…

June 1, 2004, 9:58 PM

The first of the month… everyone decides they want to go shopping! So as a result, we were busy. Good to be busy, though. Time goes by quickly.

Meanwhile, this has been a stormy spring! Last spring it rained and rained. This year, we’re getting our fair share of rain, along with some serious thunder and lightning. And wind. Makes for an interesting spring, though it will make for many spoiled attempts at outdoor recreation, like my most recent trip to Lake Moomaw.

By the way, I am going again, and plus after I saw a map of where Lake Moomaw is, I’m going to see if I can find a more direct route to Lake Moomaw than via Covington, since Lake Moomaw is near the border of Alleghany and Bath Counties, which means that the way I go, I go south to Lexington, west to Covington, and then north to Lake Moomaw. I wonder if there’s a southwesterly route I could take. Hmmmm…

So tomorrow I work 7-4, and then going to Tire and Lube Express to get a new tire to replace that blown one. Also probably replacing the one on the other side, since it’s about ready to be replaced, judging by the looks of the treads. I also need an alignment, but sadly, TLE doesn’t do alignments. But I’m told that alignments aren’t too bad cost-wise.

So that’s my life. And I’m now officially 23 years old. Whoopee. But I am ordering those Strong Bad tees soon.

Categories: Walmart

“Arlington Cemetery station is closed! Please get back onto the train and go to the next station!”

May 31, 2004, 9:36 PM

Well… my birthday trip to Washington DC that I took a day early (my birthday is the 30th, and I went on the 29th) went very well. A friend of mine actually put it this way…

Um, do you realize what is going on in DC this weekend? I’d leave Transit Deprived Town in the Middle of Nowhere, VA now if you want parking at Vienna come Saturday morning.

I do not take offense to “Transit Deprived Town in Middle of Nowhere, VA”. I am both transit-deprived locally, and also in the middle of nowhere. And Staunton’s trolley-bus system, the closest thing to transit around here, doesn’t even follow a schedule, but rather, they just say that they run a 20-minute loop, and so a trolley-bus should be there about every 20 minutes or so when service is running. They do call their two services “Green Line” and “Red Line”, which amuses me, though.

But anyway, though, the main concern in the comment was that DC was supposed to be swamped with tourists for the World War II Memorial dedication, which I was already aware about. The concern, of course, was that I would not be able to get parking at Vienna. Hadn’t planned for that, but after thinking about it, I determined that if I didn’t get parking at Vienna, I would head over to Franconia-Springfield on the Blue Line and park over there.

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“When the water fills the clouds, then they call on lightning! When the rain needs to pour, then they call on me! And I crackle, and I flash… people think I’m frightening… when I dance through the clouds and send the rain free!”

May 21, 2004, 11:04 PM

You know the story. Thunder blows its giant trumpet, and then…

“I must dance my dance… at last I am set free! It’s my chance to dance (to dance his dance!) where the whole world can see me! I can flash through the sky… and light up the heavens…”

Yes, it rained today. Specifically, we had some mighty thunderstorms. It’s not often that you can see lightning through the skylights at Wal-Mart. It’s also not often that you can hear the rain on the roof from the salesfloor at Wal-Mart. Usually you can hear the rain on the roof in the back room, since it’s usually quiet back there. But to hear it over the din of the customers is is something else. You know that it’s got to be raining hard for that to happen. And it was LOUD on the roof, too! And to hear thunder loud and clear in the store is another thing.

And the ride home was just fun. Raining and all that all the way home, with lightning flashing all over the sky, really lighting up the sky. If only I had Big Mavica and a tripod with me to get a long-exposure shot of it all. And watch me get zapped in the process. It would be a heck of a way to go, though.

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Let me tell you about Lake Moomaw…

May 21, 2004, 2:25 AM

What a wonderful day on Wednesday! I admittedly got a late start, not leaving for Covington until 1 PM. But I still had fun. Stopped at Wal-Mart in Covington to grab some cheap flip-flop sandals (palm tree print!) and some sunscreen, and then went off to the lake.

I found the swimming beach, and the little bath house next to it, and changed into my suit, and went to soak for a while. It was fun. Very cool and refreshing. Very quiet, with the Interstate and the city of Covington far away. It’s really a great place to let your mind just go. Way out in the mountains, where you can just let your mind relax. I do love Lake Moomaw. I need to go out there again some time.

Meanwhile, the Covington Wal-Mart is amusing. I think it’s perhaps the smallest Wal-Mart Supercenter I’ve ever seen. It’s also what I’d describe as a “transitional” store. On the outside, it looks like the older-style Supercenters, like Staunton. But on the inside, it’s just like the Dayton Wal-Mart, which is a newer-style Supercenter (the ones with “Always” over the entrances). But it’s painted gray inside like the older Supercenters. It’s also amusing about the signage. You know how practically every Wal-Mart says “Thank you for choosing your (city name) Wal-Mart”? Well, in Covington, over the Grocery entrance, it says, “Thank you for choosing your Covington Wal-Mart” (right over the doors, mind you, vs. over the cart area). Over the General Merchandise entrance, there’s nothing at all. My semi-humorous interpretation is, thanks for shopping at Wal-Mart if you’re buying groceries, but if you’re not, thanks for nothing. We realize that this is probably an omission rather than something done intentionally, but it’s amusing.

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Tomorrow, my own personal hell will be over…

May 17, 2004, 10:44 PM

In case you’re wondering, since Saturday, I have been without my Previa after a brake pad fell off in the driveway. As a result, I have been without wheels, and have had to bum rides from the family to and from work. It SUCKS. See, my parents are using it as an excuse to bring up all the unpleasant topics they would like to bring up all the time, but can’t because I can leave. Now that I’m a captive audience, they used it as an opportunity to bring them up. Makes for a very long drive to Wal-Mart.

It’s best exemplified by this trip home from Wal-Mart, as said by Mom in the car: “So when are you going to lose some weight?”

Realize I’m not a fan of questions about weight in the first place, and I especially don’t give any weight to comments about it from Mom, since she seems to be obsessed with everything that goes into everyone’s bodies, and is obsessed with the appearance of everyone’s bodies.

These rides could be quite painless, and we could talk about fun things like my Web site, or Metro, or about whatever, but instead my parents bring up all the unpleasant topics. Not fun.

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Categories: Family, Toyota Previa, Walmart

What a horrible dream…

May 16, 2004, 3:16 AM

This was quite a dream last night. For what seemed like ages, in my dream, I was constantly telling people to go to the registers, because the Service Desk was CLOSED for the night, and that I had no register in which to give refunds from, and that money transfers would not be available until the Service Desk opened. No telling why I was there in this dream (especially since I even acknowledged in the dream that I was in my bedroom at home), and for the customers to please GO AWAY!

I think this dream came from two things. One, yesterday was day six of an eight-day stretch without a day off. Secondly, yesterday was the day from hell at times, with it being Saturday, plus a number of people (one in particular) with a few screws loose.

And now I work the 7-4 at the Service Desk today. Hopefully today will make up for yesterday, plus I hope it makes up for that dream I had…

Categories: Dreams, Walmart

Rubber Duckie’s got a big mustache now…

May 15, 2004, 12:24 AM

First of all, take a look. Then I’ll explain.

Duck mustache gift card

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Categories: Walmart

Dumb, dumb, dumb animals…

May 12, 2004, 9:58 PM

People really need to get a handle on their animals. On the way home from work, I nearly ran over two rabbits, three cats, and a dog. I didn’t actually hit any of them, thank goodness, though one of the cats was a very close call. We can’t fault people for the rabbits, since they’re wild, but for the cats and the dog, geeeeeeeeeez… People need to keep better tabs on where their animals are because it would really be a shame for them to get run over. I really don’t want to do it. Hit a skunk one time on the way home from Harrisonburg, and that was just ugly. And stinky. But people’s pets out on the road, that’s just unacceptable. People should show a little more love towards their pets and keep them out of harm’s way. That’s what we do with Greta. She has the whole house to roam around in, and her fenced-in yard, keeping her inside and safe, and keeping other things out.

Otherwise, though, tomorrow morning comes early, as I once again work the 7-4 shift, after three blissful days working the 11 AM to 8 PM shift at the Service Desk. I love that 11-8 shift. Not too early, and not too late. So tomorrow morning, I got up early.

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This was one of those days…

May 7, 2004, 9:54 PM

We were very busy. Busy is good, I must say, though. Makes the day go by, and means job security. But nonetheless it makes you want to pull your hair out. Ah, well. Could be worse, though.

Meanwhile, I’m going to Washington DC tomorrow to do some serious railfanning. The goal of the day is to visit some stations I’ve never been to before, and look ’em over. Let’s admit it – I have plenty of pictures of Vienna. I have plenty of pictures of Rosslyn. I also have plenty of pictures of Ballston-MU, L’Enfant Plaza, Pentagon City, Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Farragut West, King Street, Huntington, and such. But there are a number of stations that I only visited briefly, or only visited inside a train. Those are the stations where I’ll be visiting tomorrow.

And if I get a chance, I may also swing by the new World War II memorial, though I may forgo that on this trip, and just stick to WMATA. See, the WWII memorial is some distance out of my way, since the nearest Metro is McPherson Square, which is under Eye Street. That puts the Washington Monument a number of blocks out of my way. But we’ll see. If not, I’ll do it on my next trip.

So it sounds like I have an interesting day ahead! Now to go to sleep and rest up for it…

Categories: DC trips, Walmart, WMATA

Twelve hours at work…

May 4, 2004, 12:56 AM

This is what happens when we don’t have enough help at the Service Desk. So I worked extra beyond my regular shift to cover the Service Desk. And I did pretty darn well, too. Sometimes on a regular day, I get fatigued in the last couple of hours. On days when lunch doesn’t agree, I get fatigued soon after lunch. This, by the way, led to my no-rich-foods-for-lunch rule, which came about after I ate some of the very rich (and very expensive) “Cherry Cheese Delight” that we sell at the Deli proceeded to not agree with me, and wrecked the entire second half of my day.

Still, today I was going like gangbusters from 11:00 AM when I came into work, through my hour-long lunch break where I had a hoagie and some fruit, and right on through to 11:00 PM when I finally was able to get the heck out of my little Service Desk cave.

And just think… I’ve made it through however many days I was scheduled for, and now I’ve made it to my two days off! And what am I going to do for these days off? Gooooooooooood question! I know that I’m going to spend at least a little time on the phone, trying to find a good price for a garage to put new brake pads on the Previa. Additionally, I need to also find someone who can look at my car’s air conditioner and tell me what’s wrong with it. Since trust me… no air conditioning during the warmer months is HELL. And considering that the air conditioning was weak in 2002 and non-existent in 2003, I have a feeling it may just need a “recharge”. Of course, it might just be more than that, which means it can get quite pricey.

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We’re Wal-Mart. We have TAPE!

May 2, 2004, 8:36 PM

I admit it – we at the Service Desk have tape. And tape really does hold the world together. How does one prove this? Just watch me some time. The item is busted, and obviously unfit for sale. The package is a mess, or it won’t go back in right. How do you close it up? Tape! Good old tape. Fixes things right up.

A customer today said forget the happy face, we’ve got some serious tape going on.

Otherwise, though, I had Bill Cosby’s “Little Ole Man” song in my head today. That’s the one where Bill Cosby talks about the little old man sitting on the step, with the tear kinda trickling down his cheek. He says, “What’s the matter?” and the man says, “A train just ran over me!” He says, “Mmm. How often does this happen?” And the man says, “Every day, about this time.” And Cos says, “Well, why do you just sit out here, then?” And the man says, “Because I cannot believe that it’s happening.” So Bill Cosby says, “Reach out! Take my hand! You’ll understand!” and then the chorus says, “Everything is all right, up tight, out of sight!”

And now I’m going to do some much needed Web site work. New store stuff, hopefully a new quote, and some other miscellaneous stuff.

Categories: Schumin Web meta, Walmart

“It’s my nightly meringue mask…”

May 2, 2004, 4:03 AM

In case you’re wondering, no, I do not mash my face into a cake every night, a la Mrs. Doubtfire. But, in the breakroom at work yesterday, I did do a near-perfect imitation of Robin Williams as Daniel Hillard as Mrs. Doubtfire going “HELLO!” right after he mashed his face into that cake to make up for the fact that Mrs. Doubtfire’s face was run over by a truck.

Meanwhile, I so hate mornings. I have to work 7 AM to 4 PM today. For me, that means getting up at 4 AM to have enough time to perk up and get ready for work. It should be known that I have a big soda and turn on Ducktales on Toon Disney right when I wake up for these early shifts. I so love watching Scrooge and crew, and this episode was amusing, watching Fenton Crackshell, the man behind Gizmo-Duck, deal with a conflict between his girlfriend as Fenton, and this robot maid who has a huge crush on Gizmo-Duck. Either way, it was quite a hoot, as he managed to keep his girlfriend plus get rid of the robot who loved Gizmo-Duck. And he kept his secret identity a secret. If only all of our problems were able to be resolved in thirty minutes, minus time for commercial breaks. That would be nice… imagine that in real life. You’re about to get decked by someone, and inches before you get slammed, it’s like, “HOLD IT! We’ll be right back!” and then people try to sell you the newest way to get your clothes bright shocking white. Then we come back from the commercial, and then get clobbered.

Anyway, though, that’s enough out of me… I should be getting ready for work now…

Categories: Television, Walmart