And Greta’s back home again.

< 1 minute read

January 18, 2008, 10:34 PM

Well, we can all now breathe a sigh of relief. Greta’s back at home, and doing better. She’s on a special food for kidney patients, and she’s drinking her water. But at least now she can sleep in her own bed again, because the vet’s office stresses Greta out tremendously. Always has, too.

Is Greta totally out of the woods yet? Probably not. But at least she’s improved to the point of being able to return home.

Categories: Greta

Please get better, Greta…

< 1 minute read

January 16, 2008, 8:24 PM

Many of you know Greta, our brown dachshund, who has been part of our family since 1994. In fact, you may recall just yesterday, I was delighted to receive a picture of Greta from Mom.

Unfortunately, when a dog reaches an advanced age, though (Greta’s 13, almost 14), things don’t work as well as they once did. Greta had to be taken to the vet today, and it turned out to be some serious kidney problems. So Greta’s staying at the vet for the next two days for some serious treatment, getting all of her fluids in harmony again, and seeing what the deal is. I hope Greta makes it through this.

Meanwhile, if you could also think nice thoughts about Greta as she gets through this rough time, I would really appreciate it.

Categories: Greta

I so love it when Mom sends photos of Greta…

< 1 minute read

January 15, 2008, 6:43 PM

And here she is:

Greta in the kitchen

Yeah, Greta is perhaps the one I miss most being in Maryland now, as Greta, unlike the rest of them, doesn’t use the phone.

Categories: Greta

As someone who comes from an area where the transit system is mostly concrete, seeing this much wood is really a surprise.

3 minute read

December 28, 2007, 7:22 PM

Mom and I are on our second day in Chicago, and it’s been a lot of fun. I met the parents of Chris Lysy, Sis’s fiance (that still sounds so weird), and we’ve seen a bit of the city. This is certainly not DC, let me tell you that.

So where have we been? We arrived at Union Station yesterday, met Sis and Chris, took the Brown, Red, and Purple Lines of the “L” train to Evanston, where our hotel is, met the Lysys, and then we went around the city a bit. We arrived in the Loop, and went to the observation deck of the Sears Tower. We waited in SO many lines for that. First line was to take the elevator down to the ticketing area. Then the line to go through security. Then the line to purchase the tickets. Then the line to wait to see the orientation film. Then the line to wait for the elevator. Then the line at the observation deck to take the elevator back down. Quite a production. But it was pretty good. The film was informative, and the observation deck offered a 360-degree view from the 103rd floor. I was disappointed that it wasn’t open-air, but hey, it was still fun, and I got a LOT of photos.

One thing about it, though: big elevators loaded with people make me nervous. This was after living in Potomac Hall, where the elevator would make a sudden drop when it arrived at the desired floor. The higher the floor, the bigger the sudden drop. Additionally, the more people in the elevator, the bigger the drop. Scared the crap out of you if you weren’t expecting it, and even if you were expecting it, it was still somewhat unsettling. Thus it’s left me with a slight fear of elevators loaded with people. However, this one went off without a hitch, and they had a video monitor with some cartoons on it in the elevator near the ceiling for people to watch. Still, even with all the various safety features on the elevator, the idea of having a 103-story hole right below me makes me somewhat uptight.

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Categories: Chicago, CTA, Family

Had lunch with the parents today…

2 minute read

December 2, 2007, 1:54 PM

I had a fun time today. My parents went up to New Jersey over the weekend, and I managed to talk them into a stop in my neck of the woods on the way back down. That was fun, as they came in Mom’s Scion. We went to downtown Silver Spring, and went to this place called Redrock Canyon Grill. Nice place. All three of us had the rotisserie chicken. It came with red potatoes and green beans. It was awesome.

Speaking of which, expect to eventually see downtown Silver Spring in a Photography set. It’s a beautiful area, and looks like a good place for a nighttime set.

Then I took Metro back to my neighborhood, and got Breda 4038. I also got to see two photos on the phone – one that Mom sent me, and one that Sis sent me.

Our house in Glassboro in 2007

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Categories: Family

“Greta says HI!”

< 1 minute read

October 30, 2007, 7:28 PM

Just before I left work for the day today, I got a text message from Mom with a photo:

Greta says HI!

And Mom added, “Greta says HI!” It’s always nice to see Greta. I haven’t seen her in a while, after all, since I’ve not been to Stuarts Draft since September. Plus with Greta being a dog, she can’t talk on the phone.

So that was awesome, seeing Greta and all. Next time I see Greta will be on November 22, when I come down to Stuarts Draft for Thanksgiving.

Categories: Greta

Heading out for a weekend away from DC…

< 1 minute read

September 8, 2007, 8:21 AM

I tell you, I do love living in the DC area. However, occasionally, one must escape. And Mom will be glad to see me this weekend.

I’m actually going to be leaving in about ten minutes, and meeting Mom in Harrisonburg. There, we’re going to Costco, and doing whatever other Harrisonburg stuff we decide, then going back to Stuarts Draft. Well, actually, I’m not going back right away – I’m swinging by Satan’s Playground (Sis’s term for our ex-store) to go to SmartStyle to get a haircut. Plus I’ve not been in there since June, and so I’ve not seen a lot of people over there. There are a few folks over there that I actually miss.

Then at home, I get to see Greta again. Seeing Greta’s always a treat, since dogs don’t talk, thus I can’t catch up with Greta over the phone like I do with the humans.

And on Sunday? I get to see Katie! We’re going to go to Shoney’s, and also get her some train reservations for her DC trip at the end of this month. End of this month, she’s coming over to see me and we’re going to like run around DC and do whatever. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Then in that weird twist of things, I’m also doing some photo work for a few of my coworkers who want to see the free-standing Starbucks in Waynesboro complete with drive-through (that will be providing its customers with hormone-free milk by the end of the year), as well as a few of the sights of Stuarts Draft.

So this ought to be a fun weekend. See you in Draft!

Categories: Family, Greta, Katie

I can’t believe my sister is really going to Chicago…

< 1 minute read

August 24, 2007, 2:44 PM

Yeah, my sister, Ann Schumin, is moving to Chicago with her boyfriend, Chris Lysy. They leave on September 1. I’m stunned. I know that they’ve been talking about it, but now they’re really going. They even have an apartment!

I’m just surprised, because I didn’t know the exact date until a few days ago. So wow. Still, Chicago is just so far. It’s in a different time zone, and it’s far, far, far from the coast. Of course, this means I’m finally going to get to visit Chicago. Maybe I’ll get to see some Blues Brothers landmarks, like Dixie Square Mall.

Of course, we wish the two of them all the best in Chicago, though I’m going to miss them. After all, I’m within a day’s drive of the parents and most of my other relatives. In fact, being in the Washington area puts me right in the middle of everyone. Then Sis will be a bit of a time commitment to travel, requiring either an overnight train trip or an airplane trip. Yikes.

Still, September 1. Wow.

Categories: Family

“It’s Friday, ya bastards!”

2 minute read

August 10, 2007, 2:42 PM

What can I say? It’s Friday, the end of the work week. And I got the day started out right, listening to Randi Rhodes on my way to the bus, hearing the beginning of her Friday show (where the title of this entry comes from), and hearing Rusty Warren talk about Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, and Benjamin Franklin having wives and “a few broads on the side, too” while Randi Rhodes makes her own commentary.

Otherwise, though, I’m excited about this weekend. I’m going down to Stuarts Draft, and seeing the family, and also getting together with Katie for breakfast on Sunday morning on the way back up. So that ought to be a lot of fun.

Meanwhile, I got this text message at work today. Mom asks me, “Do you have a teapot?” I replied, “No.” A couple of hours later, I get a message from Sis: “You has a teapot now.” The last message didn’t surprise me (aside from the bad grammar), since the normal way these things go is that if I say no, one will be in my future. I’m told it’s white with flowers on it. Ought to be interesting. I’m also getting something that has to do with making spaghetti, but I couldn’t tell you what (in fact, Mom couldn’t describe it, either, but she got one for herself, too).

Still, it will be nice to get away from Washington for a day. Boy, I never thought I’d hear myself say that. For years I was constantly longing to live in Washington. Now I live in the area, and work in Dupont Circle, and never thought I’d need to spend some time away from it. But yeah, DC’s nice, but it’s still nice to get away for a while.

Of course, now I just have to figure out what to do after work today. I should go down to Pentagon City for a while, since after all, it’s Friday, and all I have to do to get ready to leave tomorrow is throw some stuff in the back of the Sable. All in all, we’ll see what I end up doing. Should be interesting.

Categories: Family, Radio

When in Washington, this does happen from time to time…

2 minute read

August 8, 2007, 7:50 PM

Towards the end of the day at work today, my cell phone went off for a text message. Dupont Circle, Woodley Park-Zoo, and Cleveland Park stations closed for a while due to a suspicious package. As it turns out, the package was harmless, containing cardboard and paper.

Still, it caused a major delay in Metro service. And all the more amazing was that Metro was actually calling it a “major” delay. Realize that this is a transit operator that considers single-tracking on significant amounts of several lines with 20-minute waits for trains during the day to be a “minor” delay. But this time, Metro even went so far as to say to avoid the Red Line altogether. The suspicious package was on a train at Dupont Circle. Woodley Park-Zoo and Cleveland Park were closed to allow trains to turn back towards Shady Grove using the interlocking at Van Ness-UDC. Then on the other side, trains turned back towards Glenmont using the pocket track at Farragut North. Then Metro ran a “bustitution” (where buses are used to fill in for the lack of rail service) between Van Ness and Farragut North.

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Categories: Family, WMATA

Several hundred bad words later, I have a new dresser.

3 minute read

July 29, 2007, 10:14 PM

First of all, let me preface this story by telling you that Mom came up to visit this weekend, and we went to Ikea in College Park. I’ve finally just about figured the place out, and so it’s no longer as intimidating as that first trip was back in May. Mom wanted to get some more silverware and various other odds and ends. In the end, we came out with a dresser for me, since I’d mentioned I needed to look at dressers since my present one was too small.

In the bedroom department, they had dressers coming out of dressers. Mom and I found a dresser that matched my bed – the “Hemnes” style. Very dark wood. And this dresser was really big, too. So after perusing the “marketplace” where Mom got more silverware and various other stuff, we went into their big warehouse and fished out the two boxes that the dresser came in, checked out, and brought it home in the Sable.

By the way, it’s a real you-know-what to carry that stuff up three flights of stairs. Just thought you ought to know that.

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It’s like tempting fate…

2 minute read

July 13, 2007, 6:52 PM

It’s like tempting fate when you get Breda 4018 as your lead car. You may recall that number. It was the car that got hit in the Woodley Park-Zoo accident in 2004. But now it looks like a regular 4000-series again, with CAF carpet replacing the original orange carpet. Only thing different is it’s missing its exterior Breda horse.

Otherwise, Sunday the 22nd is going to be fun, as two members of the Schumin family travel and meet in the middle. Sis is going to Minnesota to visit Chris at his summer job, flying out of Dulles. Mom is going to be returning to Stuarts Draft from Philadelphia, after a weekend out with her old college roommates. And where is everyone meeting? Silver Spring, Maryland, putting me into play. Dad’s not going to be able to join us, as he’s going to be elsewhere racing the Mini with his autocross group.

So the question becomes what to do… the encounter will be brief, since Mom’s going to be roughly in the middle of her travel day. I’ve suggested having either lunch or dinner somewhere in Wheaton. That ought to be fun. I must say, it’s nice being along the I-95 corridor, since Richmond is to the south, and Baltimore and Philadelphia are to the north. In fact, both Baltimore and Philly are on my eventual to-do list, as Baltimore’s really close, and Philly’s about the same distance from me as DC is from Stuarts Draft. So who knows, maybe you’ll get to see some Philly photo sets eventually.

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Categories: Family, WMATA, Work

What a fun weekend…

2 minute read

June 24, 2007, 6:52 PM

The weekend went really well! Patrick came over on Saturday, and it was a lot of fun. One question Patrick had was whether Mom had gotten used to my being gone. My exact comment was, “Do you want to see how used to it she’s gotten? Come look at this.” And I showed him my old bedroom, which Mom totally redecorated, as I described earlier. Then Patrick, Sis, and I went to Mellow Mushroom in Charlottesville, where we split two pizzas amongst the three of us. One was a vegetarian pizza, with a pesto base, and lots of tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms. Then the other was a cheese pizza with mozzarella and feta cheese. Really good stuff.

Then after Patrick left to go back to Harrisonburg, I kind of crashed myself. I slept on that futon Mom got. It was a futon. It’s firmer than mine, and Mom put a fitted sheet over the futon cover, since she claimed the texture of the cover would be uncomfortable to sleep on. I said don’t worry about it, since I would likely be too tired to care, but she insisted, and so it was. And when I went to sleep, I was indeed too tired to care. But it was a decent sleep, though it felt strange sleeping in my old bedroom on this strange new piece of furniture. Of course, I’m used to sleeping on a futon, though I only have to do that for one more week.

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And now we’re in Stuarts Draft…

2 minute read

June 23, 2007, 3:02 PM

And now I’m in Stuarts Draft, where I’ll be until Sunday. Visiting the parents, and spending some time with others as well. I went and visited Katie on the way back in. That was fun.

Then here, Mom’s been busy. She’s already redone my old bedroom. The bed’s gone, and there’s this new nautical-themed futon in there now. In fact, Mom went nautical on the whole thing. She even used some of my old ship posters and such as part of the decor. Additionally, there’s a new coffee table, plus that chair Mom bought at Ikea.

Also, here’s a weird sight – going down to Stuarts Draft from DC in the daytime. I took nearly 100 DC trips over a litle more than three years, and offhand I can think of maybe two where the return trip was made while it was light out. It was weird. The trip was so different. I saw so many things I wasn’t used to seeing. I know what it all looks like in the light in the towards-DC direction, but not in the other direction.

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What a lovely day with Mom today…

4 minute read

June 16, 2007, 11:58 PM

Mom came to visit this weekend, and we had a wonderful time. She came up on Friday, and took the Metro down to Dupont Circle to meet me right after work. We rode back to Wheaton station, where Mom parked, and then went back to my place, where we brought some stuff in. She brought me my computer chair (yay!) and also a coffee table. Mom replaced the coffee table in the family room last year, and so now I have the old coffee table. I love it. It looks so good in my living room, and it will certainly enhance the way things look.

Once we brought everything in, we ordered pizza from Papa John’s. There’s a Papa John’s not far from here – in the same shopping center as H-Mart. We got a pizza that could best be described as unconventional – their spinach alfredo pizza, which has an alfredo base rather than a tomato base. We also got mushrooms on it. I don’t even want to think about how many calories that thing had, but it was good. After dinner, we watched TV, and then went to bed. Mom became the first to sleep in my bedroom on a cot that she brought, and then I slept in the living room on the futon (as always).

Then on Saturday, we went to Ikea in College Park, where I finally got that new bed. I got their Hemnes brown-black bed with a nice, comfortable mattress. Queen-size, and all for me. We’re getting that delivered. Mom got some furniture as well, and we also got a chance to look all over their showroom. The place was not nearly as busy as it was on Memorial Day, and so we got a chance to stroll around a bit. Plus, considering that this was my second trip to Ikea, I was not nearly so overwhelmed.

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