Journal

@SchuminWeb

Journal Archives

  • 2021 (2)
  • 2020 (39)
  • 2019 (37)
  • 2018 (38)
  • 2017 (37)
  • 2016 (41)
  • 2015 (30)
  • 2014 (42)
  • 2013 (61)
  • 2012 (91)
  • 2011 (90)
  • 2010 (111)
  • 2009 (142)
  • 2008 (161)
  • 2007 (196)
  • 2006 (199)
  • 2005 (207)
  • 2004 (233)
  • 2003 (104)

Categories

  • Advertising (17)
  • Amusing (46)
  • Cell phone (20)
  • Commuting (13)
  • Computer (57)
  • DC trips (120)
  • Dreams (20)
  • Events (24)
  • Food and drink (78)
  • Internet (20)
  • Language (10)
  • LPCM (9)
  • Nature (6)
  • Religion (12)
  • Restrooms (1)
  • Schumin Web meta (191)
  • Security (18)
  • Some people (39)
  • Space (6)
  • Urban exploration (11)
  • Vacations (37)
  • Video Journal (18)
  • Work (79)

And tomorrow, I’ll be treated to a lovely view of Virginia from the inside of an Amfleet coach…

September 20, 2011, 10:57 PM

Indeed, tomorrow is going to be fun. I’m going down to Stuarts Draft to visit the family, and unlike every past trip I’ve ever made between DC and Stuarts Draft, I’m doing it via public transportation. Specifically, I’m taking the Cardinal, Amtrak train 51. Since it’s only a four-hour train trip, I’m going in coach. That will be a new experience, because aside from like ten minutes in coach on the Capitol Limited in 2007, I’ve always traveled in a class higher than coach, being in the sleepers on the Capitol Limited, and then traveling business class on the Acela and the Downeaster (though it should be noted that the Acela does not have a coachclass section – business class is the lowest class of service).

The reason I’m taking the train is because I will be hosting a visitor as soon as I get back to DC. Specifically, Mom! The reason it worked out like this is because of a perfect storm of events. Sis and Chris are going to be in Virginia to attend a wedding in Blacksburg, stopping by to say hello and have lunch with all of us on Thursday. And of course, I just won’t pass up a chance to see my sister and my brother-in-law, since they live so far away and I don’t get to see them often. Then there’s the National Book Festival in DC, which Mom has attended for a number of years. So because of the timing, it seemed silly to drive down to Stuarts Draft in the Sable, and then take two cars back to DC. So the Sable is staying in Maryland (and it’s likely already parked where it’s going to stay for about four days), and Mom’s Scion is making the trip up and back. But we’re going to be leaving at 4 AM – yecch. I’m not going to the Book Festival, though. I’m just going home. So while Mom’s out meeting authors, I’m going home and taking a nap, getting the rest of the sleep I won’t be able to get on Friday night.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

And at last, we finish Chicago…

August 30, 2011, 10:16 PM

Just in case you thought I forgot to finish my description of Chicago, let me disabuse you of that idea. Here’s the last installment of the trip to Chicago.

First thing Sunday, Mom and I had breakfast in the hotel restaurant with Sis and Chris. To save money, since my main complaint about the trip in 2010 was that we spent too much on food, we bought food for breakfast, and had something reasonably healthy for breakfast that we bought at a nearby grocery store. I had oatmeal and some fruit. Yes, I did my darndest to be good on this trip, despite it all. But this being the last day, we splurged a little, and ate in the restaurant.

Then we went down to Rogers Park. Sis and Chris promised us a farmers’ market, and so we saw the farmers’ market in Rogers Park. It was initially raining, but we managed. Since I couldn’t buy anything on account of the train trip that Mom and I would be taking later in the day, I decided to have a little camera fun, photographing the fruits and vegetables for sale. And unlike the CTA workers, who think that when they harass photographers, they are doing it in the name of national security (puh-leeze), the folks at the farmers’ market were more than happy to show off their wares for the camera. And here are some of the results:

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Amtrak, Chicago, Family, Friends

“I feel braver when I’m holding a weapon!”

August 19, 2011, 10:37 PM

And now, back to Chicago following that little detour into complaining about pain. After all, I’ve only told you about half the trip!

On Saturday, we headed into the greater Chicagoland area – much further out than our hotel in Evanston. We actually went out to Lisle, Illinois, which is home to the Morton Arboretum. We went to the Morton Arboretum to participate in a Theatre Hike, where we see a play as we walk all around the arboretum. We saw a classic – The Wizard of Oz. Chris, my brother-in-law, was playing the Cowardly Lion. The whole day was a lot of fun from the moment that Sis and Chris picked us up at the hotel in their 1997 Saab.

First of all, Mom and I had never done much exploring outside the city, and so we were seeing the scenery, as we went through Skokie and a couple of other towns. We were also amazed to see how many companies had large corporate campuses in the greater Chicagoland area. It was something, all right. Plus we got to see Sis and Chris interact as they figured out where Morton Arboretum was and how exactly to plug it into their GPS. As it turned out, they had to Google it on Sis’s phone since the address they had didn’t work on the GPS, and so they navigated off the phone. Whatever works, I suppose.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Amusing, Chicago, Family, Roads, Shopping

John Hancock Center, Schumy Lunch, and Lake Michigan!

August 14, 2011, 10:25 PM

Okay, so I’m late in posting this, but I think most would agree that it’s better to have worn myself out so completely at the pool (and giving myself swimmer’s ear in the process – yay me) and being so tired from it that I go right to sleep when I get home is preferable to not getting my exercise in and writing Journal entries on time.

So aside from the previously-discussed argument with the unprofessional CTA employee, the rest of that day went very well, though the argument did leave me a bit shaken for a while. But when that discussion happened, we were on our way back down to the Magnificent Mile, since Mom and I were going to visit the John Hancock Center observation deck.

We quickly found the Hancock Center, and found the ticket counter for the observation deck. Interestingly enough, the ticket counter is actually one level below street level. I find that kind of ironic when you consider that you have to go down to go up to the 94th floor where the observation deck is. Meanwhile, the lady at the counter, who looked like she was my age, asked where Camp Rainbow was. I told her that it was from Today’s Special, and was created for the show. It clicked with her, and she immediately recognized the shirt. SCORE! Let’s admit it – “Camp Rainbow” is a really obscure reference in Today’s Special, considering it was one episode (“Summer Camp”), though Jeff’s shirt made a cameo appearance later in “Storms”. But the lady at the counter was on her game! I was impressed.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

And fun was had in Chicago, too!

August 11, 2011, 6:10 AM

So before you think that all I did in Chicago was fight with CTA employees, I did a whole slew of other things in Chicago that were fun. First of all, the train trip over was interesting, as Mom and I shared a lower level Superliner I roomette on the Capitol Limited. That was certainly a different experience from before. Each time we’ve traveled before, it’s been on the upper level of the rail cars. The view isn’t that much different, except that you are just about at eye level with people in the stations that you go by, and your window doesn’t necessarily get above the sides of a few bridges. But otherwise, not bad.

And the Superliner I sleeper that I was on had been slightly refurbished. First of all, the three reading lights in the room were all LED (oooooh, ahhhhh), plus the panels above each seat had been refurbished. Take a look:

 

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Amtrak, Chicago, Family, Fire alarms

In 24 hours, I still won’t (quite) be in Chicago…

August 3, 2011, 7:59 AM

…but I will be much closer than I am right now and closing. Yes, 24 hours from now, Mom and I will probably be crossing through northern Indiana on the Capitol Limited in preparation for an 8:45 AM arrival at Chicago Union Station.

This trip is going to be fun. It will be a cool 83 degrees in Chicago while we’re there (it’s been a bit warmer than that in DC lately, trust me), and we’re going to have a lot of fun. Among other things, we’re going to see the new Marilyn Monroe statue, and see a play that Chris (my brother-in-law) is acting in. That I’m particularly excited about, because in all the years I’ve known Chris, I’ve never seen him act, save for a short demo reel on his site. I’m told this will be a children’s version of The Wizard of Oz, which should be fun.

Meanwhile, victory – I was able to explain to Mom in a way that she understood about why the monumental task of converting the site to WordPress is better than what I do now. I showed her the back end of the site and how I can update everything via a Web interface (once I finish building the skin), and how easy this is going to be. I think that Mom was able to wrap her mind around it, at least well enough to get the general concept, and understanding that this WordPress site I showed her really will be Schumin Web when it’s all said and done.

Then I was amazed to find what difference a little water makes. I didn’t have anything to drink all day yesterday on account of being so busy at the office, and I really started to drag in the evening. Turned out that I was just a wee bit dehydrated. All my energy came back once Mom and I got home and I drained one of my steel water bottles.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Chicago, Family, WMATA

And the photos are in…

May 21, 2011, 9:26 PM

I certainly had fun on my vacation week! I went swimming on Monday, sat around like a bum on Tuesday, headed to Stuarts Draft on Wednesday, photographed on Afton Mountain on Thursday, and then went to Kings Dominion and Potomac Mills on Friday. Plus I finished the Plungefest 2011 photo set in Photography across a few days’ time.

When I went down to Stuarts Draft, I headed down via US 29 through Charlottesville. Technically speaking, on my route, you just nick the top of the city itself, but spend a lot of time in the Charlottesville metropolitan area. I think the total time spent within the city limits is about two minutes, depending on whether or not the traffic lights like you. Arriving in Stuarts Draft, I first stopped at Stuarts Draft Middle School, where I attended middle school and where Mom now teaches eighth grade. Checking in at the office, I noticed that they had the cover off the master clock, due to the need to manually sound the tones because of SOL testing. So I got a photo:

The master clock at Stuarts Draft Middle School, a Lathem LTR4-128.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Go for main engine start… 3… 2… 1… we have booster ignition, and liftoff!

April 23, 2011, 10:58 PM

One of the fun things about living in the DC area is the fact that you have the Smithsonian Institution right in your backyard. Of course, it’s not like DC area locals go there on a regular basis. We don’t. But when I have guests over, I have a place to take guests that’s fun and educational. And in the case of this weekend, I hosted Mom from Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon, and on Friday, we went to the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center out by Dulles Airport. The goal: see the Space Shuttle Enterprise before they swap it out for Discovery.

Let’s admit – I’m a bit of a space nerd. I just got finished reading a couple of books about the history of human spaceflight, and have edited quite a few articles on spaceflight-related topics on Wikipedia. I’ve never seen a rocket launch in person (but would like to one day), and I think actually flying in space might be fun, but launch and landing kind of scares me.

And the Space Shuttle, the technological marvel of its time, though in practice seriously flawed in its design, was interesting to see live and in person. First of all, photos do not quite give you a good idea about what the scale of this beast is. In looking at Enterprise (the prototype orbiter used for atmospheric testing that never flew in space), what you find out is that parts of the shuttle are a lot bigger than one would think. But at the same time, a lot of the shuttle is a lot smaller than one might think.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Driving, Family, Space

Make a happy face out of cooking oil, and then light ‘er up!

November 13, 2010, 9:02 PM

Tonight’s dinner experience was certainly a bit more exciting than most when eating out. I went with my parents to Massaki, a Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar in Staunton. That was a cool experience.

See, Massaki is one of those places where they cook the food right in front of you, and put extra emphasis on showmanship. And the food was good, for that matter. But yeah, they put the whole cooking thing on display. First the server takes your drink order, and then after they bring you the drinks, they take your order. The soup comes out, the salad comes out, and then while you’re eating the salad, the chef comes out.

The chef came out with a little cart containing all the raw ingredients for the table. I had the swordfish and mahi mahi, others had a chicken dish, and someone else had steak. First thing the chef did was get started. After doing a little thing with his spatula, he made a happy face on the grill out of cooking oil, and then lit that sucker on fire. Big flame-up right there (and you can feel the heat from the individual flame-ups several tables away). Then he put the rice down, and got to work chopping up the vegetables. Then he did the side dishes. Dad and I had chicken livers, and Mom had sauteed mushrooms. The chef made a big to-do of the cooking, that’s for sure. It was quite fun to watch, as he placed this sauce on this, and this on that, and moved stuff around and flipped stuff.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

As days go by… it’s the bigger love of the family…

July 21, 2010, 11:27 PM

So today, while still in Chicago, we visited the Family Matters house. I have never gone out and photographed a famous TV house before, and so this was a new experience. We did the research ahead of time, and determined that the house was at 1516 W. Wrightwood Avenue in Chicago. I found the address and verified it as the correct location on Google Earth, and then Sis determined how we were going to get there.

From our hotel near Jarvis station, we took the Red Line to Fullerton station. Then we took the 77 bus to Greenview Street. Then we just walked up to Wrightwood Avenue, and there it was:

The Family Matters house

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Chicago, Family, Television

Do what you want ’cause a pirate is free… YOU ARE A PIRATE!

July 17, 2010, 9:34 PM

Yes, today was Anonymous DC’s annual “Sea Arrrgh” raid, where pirates was the theme. We usually do pirates in June, but due to problems with scheduling and then weather, we ended up scrapping the June raid and doing pirates in July.

The big thing about this raid was seeing the most recent development that came out of Sparrow’s solo raiding that he does during the week. Yesterday, Sparrow received an official Suppressive Person Declare, which is the Scientology equivalent of being excommunicated in other religious groups. I got to read his SP declare, and it was absolutely hilarious, with a number of things that just seemed “canned”, but in Scientology’s own little (alien) world, I’m sure it means something totally serious.

And meanwhile, here’s Sparrow, all smiles as a declared Suppressive Person:

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Family, Project Chanology

So I had a fun weekend…

July 12, 2010, 9:21 PM

I certainly had fun this past weekend, spending it in Stuarts Draft. The goal was twofold: to attend the wedding of Patrick Jarrett and Anna Duncan, and to help Mom clean out some of the junk in the house in preparation for new flooring in the bedrooms.

Coming down, I took I-66 to I-81, on what had to have been one of the least stressful runs ever. Seriously, the ride went better than I’ve had in a long time. I made really good time, and I reached Waynesboro before you knew it. I only made two stops. At the second one, at the southbound rest area near New Market, I got an interesting picture:

Anyone want to guess what this is? Anyone have any idea what this might be? I'm stumped, and my gut reaction was joking to myself that BP has been busy, spilling more oil.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Family, Friends, Katie

Sometimes one wonders who that “Ms. Right” might be…

April 27, 2010, 3:14 PM

As you may know, I am currently 28 and very much single. I have not been in a relationship since the Clinton administration, and that was the only romantic relationship I’ve ever been in. And it lasted three weeks. And I will openly admit that at the age of 17, when I was in that relationship, I was totally scared, because this whole dating thing was new to me, and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or how to do it. We never kissed – I was too scared. Eventually, she dumped me, claiming that I “don’t know how to communicate.” I was crushed. And I’ve not dated since.

Lately, though, it seems that much interest has come about in addressing my singleness. First of all, with my sister now married, my mother is now trying to get me married, too. She may very well end up with Lysy grandchildren one day, but then she’s said to me on more than one occasion, “I want Schumin grandchildren.” That’s putting the cart a little bit in front of the horse, don’t you think? I mean, forget having children – I don’t even have a girlfriend. I also don’t have this tremendous urge to be anyone’s father at this point in time. I like not having children.

Then my mother also has said that I might have a problem with forming those kinds of relationships, and mentioning the word “sex” in there a couple of times. Yeeew! My mother said S-E-X! I’m sorry, but there are a few things that one does not want to think about. One does not want to think about one’s parents “doing it” (though it obviously did happen to produce my sister and myself), and one does not want to hear one’s parents talking about S-E-X. However, Mom may have a point about the whole relationships bit. I have met numerous women over the course of protests and what have you, but have never asked any of them out socially.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Family, Myself

Someone explain to me why people think that I lose my right to criticize Wal-Mart, a horrible corporation that ultimately fired me, because I once worked there.

April 14, 2010, 8:49 PM

Someone explain that to me. Someone explain to me why I should not criticize Wal-Mart because I once worked there, despite having been treated rather poorly while there, and ultimately fired for nonsense reasons. Someone explain to me why the fact that they once employed me makes them above criticism as far as I should be concerned.

I was on the phone with my mother today, as I usually am right after work while walking to the Metro, and the conversation today turned to Wal-Mart. I came down pretty hard on the Wal-Mart issue this time, as I was quick to call them a horrible corporation that does not buy American, squeezing their suppliers so hard that many of them are forced to move production overseas to cut costs in order to meet Wal-Mart’s demands.

And let’s not forget Wal-Mart’s stance on labor relations, as written on page two of Labor Relations and You at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center #6022: “Wal-Mart is opposed to unionization of its associates. Any suggestion that the Company is neutral on the subject or that it encourages associates to join labor organizations is not true.” In addition, from the same document, “We firmly believe we are capable of running our own Company without any assistance from an outside third party.” Additionally, from page two of A Manager’s Toolbox To Remaining Union Free, it states, “Wal-Mart is strongly opposed to third-party representation. We are not anti-union; we are pro-associate. We believe in maintaining an environment of open communication among all associates, both hourly and management. At Wal-Mart, we respect the individual rights of our associates and encourage everyone to express his/her ideas, suggestions, comments or concerns. Because we believe in maintaining an environment of open communication through the use of the Open Door policy, we do not believe there is a need for third-party representation. It is our position every associate can speak for him/herself without having to pay his/her hard-earned money to a union in order to be listened to and have issues resolved.”

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Family, Walmart

See, don’t tell the allergies that it’s their season, because maybe they’ll forget and it will be too late then…

April 3, 2010, 10:10 PM

First of all, hello from my parents’ house in Stuarts Draft. This ought to be a fun weekend. I saw my friend Bergit in Charlottesville on the way down (that was a lot of fun), and then I’m spending tomorrow with the parents, then Monday I’m spending with Katie, and then Tuesday, back to DC.

The drive down here was kind of interesting. Usually I don’t hit traffic on a Saturday, but this time, the Beltway was awful. Almost as soon as we crossed into Virginia, pow. Slowed to a 10 mph crawl. Once I hit I-66, though, no problems, and except for some moderate congestion on US 29 through Gainesville, we were good. Smooth sailing right down 29 to Charlottesville. I noticed that they were expanding the Charlottesville Wal-Mart, and also noticed that an Exxon station at the corner of US 29 and Barracks Road had been demolished and seeded. Very strange seeing a vacant corner lot like that…

Continue reading...Continue reading…