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In case this month’s splash page photo shocked you…

May 2, 2007, 9:07 AM

In case the May splash page photo shocked you, where I had considerably less hair than usual, I can explain. Like many men, I am slowly but surely losing my hair. I just have to look at my father to see what the future has in store for me.

This photo actually marks the beginning of what I consider to be a major about-face in what I’ve called my “hair policy”. You see, when it was only a little thin spot, I used the airbrush tool to fill it in. The result was hardly noticeable. Then as the hairline continued to recede, it became like what happens when people lie, as you have to tell more lies to cover for the original lie, and eventually it snowballs out of control. Likewise for the photos. I’ve been “fixing” the bald spot as it’s gotten bigger and bigger, and it’s not exactly been easy to do.

Looking back at my splash pages, my first chop job was January 2004. Then February 2004 was genuine, so you can see what I was covering. Then the next time you got to see the hairline untouched was for November 2005, where I accidentally “outed” my receding hairline in the Thnikkaman costume. I also let a genuine one go through in May 2006 with the elevator shot.

But now I’ve decided to go natural on here, since editing the hair has started to get somewhat cumbersome as it’s become harder and harder to hide it. And this is the right thing to do anyway, especially since even I wasn’t convinced that some of the airbrush jobs looked all that authentic. Some yes, others no. Depended on how much hair I had to give myself.

So now I’ve come clean about the hair. I feel better now.

Update: All of the photos where the hairline was manipulated were replaced with the original unmanipulated versions during a site overhaul in mid 2012.

Categories: Myself, Schumin Web meta

I am moving to Washington DC!

April 18, 2007, 6:30 PM

I am happy to announce that my days at Wal-Mart are over, as I have finally found a job in Washington DC! I will be working for Food & Water Watch in Northwest DC. Needless to say, I am excited.

I would like to thank the following people for their roles in helping me get there… first of all, thank you to my family for putting me through college, and to the student advising people at JMU for getting me out of the College of Business and into the Public Administration program. Thank you to all of my friends in Augusta County, etc. for their encouragement and support whenever I started feeling discouraged. Thank you to all of my friends in the DC area who also lent me encouragement and support in my quest to find gainful employment up in DC.

And in an odd twist of things, I’d like to thank Dorinda Wilson-Bowers and Lee Pinheiro at Wal-Mart… for firing me. Yes, I got fired from Wal-Mart on March 31 for what I consider specious reasons, which we won’t go into here. However, since Wal-Mart had become a very hostile and unpleasant place to be in my last month or so there, after the initial shock of getting fired (I’d never been fired before!), it was a great relief to be fired, because it meant that I no longer had to deal with this situation that was making my life a living hell, and where I used to dread coming into work every day. However, from the moment that they said to me, “You’re fired,” I made it my job to find a new job. And as you can see, I found one, and as it turns out, getting fired was the best thing to ever happen to me.

And throughout the time I was looking for a new job, I’d especially like to thank my friend Katie Shapiro, who really helped me through the day I got fired, and constantly kept me going like a true friend.

And to all of you that I’m leaving behind in Stuarts Draft, Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, etc., thanks for the memories.

This time change, unlike most, has me a bit on edge…

March 10, 2007, 10:17 AM

Unless you live in Arizona, the United States changes its clocks twice a year – once in the beginning of April and once at the end of October, going onto and off of daylight savings. Okay. Routine. Now, however, with this new energy bill that got passed, it’s the middle of March that we go onto daylight savings, and early November (I believe) that we go back to standard time. As a result, it just seems awfully early to be changing over to daylight savings, partly because it is.

Usually this is so routine. We change the clocks and I’m like, okay. And life goes on. But due to the earlier date, I’m running myself ragged on it. I’m fairly confident that my computers will change on their own, and I’m also confident that my cell phone will change on its own. I’ve already changed my alarm clock. Still, I’ve been obsessing over this, worried that somehow I’ll have forgotten to change something, and end up late for work tomorrow.

This, folks, is a partial explanation as to why I’ve found a few hairs coming in white as of late. I’m running myself silly over smaller issues.

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Categories: Events, Myself

Also, do you ever have this?

January 20, 2007, 12:37 AM

Some nights when you don’t get enough sleep, getting up can be a whole lot of fun. This is what happened this morning. The real alarm clock goes off. Snooze bar gets whacked, and I get a few more minutes of shuteye. Repeat a few times. Thirty minutes past the first blast of the alarm clock, my cell phone alarm goes off.

This, by the way, is deliberate. My real alarm clock is within arm’s reach. Then my cell phone is on my desk, and therefore out of reach from the bed. Thus to kill all the alarms, I have to be fully alert.

So I tried to drown out the cell phone. Then my regular alarm goes off again. Snoozed. The cell phone also automatically snoozed, thereby going silent. I then start negotiating with myself. Seriously. I look at the time in big numbers on my alarm clock, and I think about how much wiggle room I have time-wise, and whether I can still catch a few more winks. I make my determination, and then either snooze or get up. So we look, and it’s like this: DEE DEE DEE DEE DEE *whack*.

Then of course actually getting completely up on those kinds of mornings requires a can or two of Coke Zero. Once we clear that, I’m usually good for the day, though. I just find it amazing that I found myself negotiating with myself over about fifteen minutes of sleep…

Categories: Amusing, Dreams, Myself

When food attacks?

December 22, 2006, 10:28 PM

I have a feeling that I must have eaten something that was not quite right today, because around 3:00, I started feeling really bad, and became somewhat feverish. I felt really bad driving home, but still went right back out after work to take care of some stuff.

At least I’m not going to miss any work on account of this little bout of food poisoning, unlike what happened last time, when I took my first and only sick day from work. While I was out, the fever broke, I cooled right down, and life was once again good.

Of course, the thing that always gets me when it comes to eating something that ends up attacking back is not knowing exactly what the culprit was. Everything I ate today was just wonderful, at least from my point of view at the time. So who knows.

If anyone knows the high value I place on personal hygiene, it’s got to be…

September 6, 2006, 1:11 PM

If anyone really knew what a high value I place on personal hygiene, I’d have to say it would have to be the people at the Wal-Mart in Woodstock. I go there on my way home from Washington, and that’s usually when I stock up on all of such personal-hygiene type items.

Seriously, I actually go out of my way to avoid having to shop at the store I actually work at. Trust me, 40 hours inside that place in a week is plenty.

Still, ask the overnight staff at Woodstock. I come in there on my way home from a DC trip, and get eight or nine bottles of shampoo, 30 bars of soap, or a few bottles of body wash when I determine I’m starting to run low. Likewise, I’ve been known to get a few boxes of toothpaste refills (I like Mentadent), a few bars of deodorant, and flosser refills. I like to really stock up when I go shopping. It’s a habit I got when I was in college, and I haven’t outgrown it.

Reason I mention all this is because I’m starting to get to the end of my last bar of deodorant, and am trying to figure out if it will make it all the way to next Tuesday, when I make my next DC trip. So it’s currently an issue that’s really on my mind.

You’ll notice one thing that’s not on my list, though: cologne or after shave. I have no use for scented water. That and one of my many pet peeves is people who use too much cologne. If I can smell you coming a mile away by your cologne, you’re wearing too much. There’s one particular coworker of mine that does this, and you can catch the scent and realize, oh, that’s (name) coming while he’s still a long way off.

So all in all, three cheers for personal hygiene, because the alternative is to smell bad. And it’s never pleasant to have to deal with stinky people.

Categories: Myself, Shopping

Being sick is no fun…

July 30, 2006, 12:58 AM

Let me tell you, being sick straight-up sucks. I don’t know how I got it, but I was out of commission on Saturday. This marks the first time I have called out sick to work since 1999 when I dislocated a shoulder, and the first time ever with Wal-Mart.

This that I had would be your typical “sick”, too. I had a fever, I had a headache, I was wobbly, and I felt like I had weights on both feet. I spent much of the day in bed.

Now, though, I think we’re on the road to recovery. I’ve been sweating, which means that the fever’s going away, and I’m just feeling better overall. I don’t like missing work, and so I’m glad to be feeling better again.

Categories: Personal health

I don’t know where that hand has been…

July 3, 2006, 8:35 AM

I’m going to say it straight up: I don’t like handshakes. And here’s why: I don’t know where that hand has been, and most people aren’t as meticulous about their hand washing as I am. Whenever someone shakes my hand, my first instinct is to find a restroom and re-wash the hand that was shaken. I also have to suppress the urge to smell the hand that they just shook (to see how dirty that hand was) right in front of them, and to wait until after they’re out of sight before going into “damage control” mode.

I don’t know why it is, but I don’t like handshakes for that reason. I don’t know whether the person whose hand I’m shaking washed their hands when they last used the restroom, or what that hand has been up to and into since the last time it saw soap.

The reason I mention this is because I was over in Charlottesville on Sunday night, doing some night photography over in the Corner District, which borders the University of Virginia. The bars and restaurants in the Corner are popular places for UVA students to go to get “polluted”, shall we say. Now when I’m photographing with the tripod, I’m far more noticeable than when I’m photographing without it, since I take up more sidewalk space, and have to be more stationary as a result. So I get far more attention than otherwise. And the males, some of whom smell of beer, more often than not want to shake my hand. It would be quite rude to say, “I’m not touching that!” and so I just go ahead and shake. And then I feel unclean afterwards.

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Categories: Charlottesville, Myself

Gaaaaa! Get me to my vacation!

June 5, 2006, 2:08 AM

All I have to say is please, please, please let June 27 come here soon. That’s my last day at work before I take nine days off for a vacation. Because let me tell you – I need this vacation badly. I’m so in need of time off that I’m dreading coming to work each day. Yeah, it’s that serious.

And what’s funny is that I don’t even have anything major planned for this little vacation. The key is just getting away from Wal-Mart for a while. I did make sure to carefully plan the timing on this, though. June 28 through July 6 was chosen specifically to avoid two really busy periods – the first of the month, and the July 4 holiday.

The only plan I have thus far is to go to Washington DC for the Fourth of July, because Metro runs a special service pattern on that day, and I’m going to experience it for the first time in person. Otherwise, I’m open. We’ll see what I come up with.

Categories: Myself, Vacations

What a wonderful dinner!

May 31, 2006, 11:17 PM

What a wonderful dinner we had at O’Charley’s! Dad met us up there, since it made more sense for him to meet us up there than go back home. So Mom, Sis, and I went up to Harrisonburg in the Sable via Route 11 (the scenic route through several small towns) and then cut through JMU to get to Harrisonburg Crossing.

Everything went well. The only point where things went slightly awry was when all the staff came out to wish some other customer a happy birthday. Sis mentioned how good of an idea it would be to mention it to our server that this was my birthday dinner. Then our server came out, and Sis mentioned it to her. My exact response was, “Don’t even think about it.” It worked out, though. Our server said she’d bring out a cake without the fanfare. And it was a nice cake.

Still, like I need the sugar and calories in a cake.

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My 25th birthday went quite well!

May 31, 2006, 2:09 AM

My 25th birthday, unlike my 24th birthday, did NOT suck.

I was off work, and with Sis in Blacksburg and the parents at their own workplaces, I had the day to myself. I got up, I ate something, and then went to work on the Web site. I got the upcoming Outlet Village photo set very close to completion, with the goal of releasing it on May 31.

I got the photos whittled down to 65, prepped them, and placed them all on a blank Schumin Web template. All I have to do is arrange them like I want, determine a “break point” to split the set into two parts, and I’m done. I chose May 31 for a release date, because that’s the day that the Outlet Village closes for good. Thus after we won’t be able to see the Outlet Village live and in person anymore, at least we’ll still have the memories.

The goal of my day was to finally renew my driver’s license. See this entry and this entry for more information on my license renewal ordeal. This time, though, I was successful, and I got another great license picture. The only difference between my old license and my new license besides the photo is the license number. The old license had my Social Security Number as the license number. I now have one of those “T numbers” on there (e.g. T00-00-0000). So all in all, good deal.

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Categories: Birthdays, Myself

Well, that’s a relief!

May 25, 2006, 1:51 PM

I went and had that eye exam today, and there were no surprises there. When they checked me, they even admitted that it was really strange that I failed the test at the DMV office. Indeed, with glasses on, I have perfect vision. So $90 later, I passed the vision test with flying colors.

It’s funny, though, regarding getting to the appointment. I went to what I thought was the office on the first floor of the Medical Office Building, which is a wing of the Augusta Medical Center building. I get there, and I see something that’s definitely not Augusta Eye Associates. I’m like, What in the heck? I caught the nearest person with an AMC identification, and asked what happened to Augusta Eye Associates. As it turned out, they moved across the street to a new building. Very nice, too. Well-decorated, and so spacious.

And I absolutely love that “new building smell” that the office had. I absolutely love that smell.

Categories: Myself

How does one fail the DMV vision test?

May 11, 2006, 2:49 PM

How does one fail the DMV vision test? I’d like to know. I went to DMV today to renew my license, and subsequently failed the vision test. Weird. And it wasn’t that things were fuzzy. Things did look sharp, but they all looked like 8s. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, because I can see. Quite well, as long as I’m wearing my glasses. I wonder if it’s the machine, because I didn’t think to ask to use a different machine. Either way, though, I have to go see Dr. Patel at AMC again to get an eye exam. But DMV said that once I get the eye exam and Dr. Patel fills out their form, that will bypass DMV’s vision test. All in all, weird.

Otherwise, though, I went up to Harrisonburg today. I actually am writing this from JMU, and I got an interesting photo of myself with my cell phone that will probably end up being May’s photo on the front of the site. Still, things have changed at JMU. Taylor Down Under has been rearranged, with a new TDU stage, and some other stuff has been shuffled around. I also visited Harrison Hall, which was just starting renovations when I graduated. Now, it’s done, and it’s interesting. It’s certainly not the rathole that I remember from my college days anymore.

I also stopped at Steve and Barry’s to see if I could get more tie-dye shirts. In a word: No. They clearanced them all out, and so there are none left to wear. A shame.

So all and all, it’s been an interesting day. I still have more stuff to take care of in Harrisonburg, so I’m not done yet…

Categories: JMU, Myself

Allergy season begins…

April 2, 2006, 5:23 PM

It’s April 2, and you know what that means – “day two” of allergy season. I generally consider April 1 to be the first day of the season (and I make sure to have allergy medication in my possession before that date), and I consider June 30 to be the last day.

And this year, my allergy medication has changed once again. Last year, I used Equate Allergy Relief D, which was Loratadine with Pseudoephedrine. This is the “Brand X” version of Claritin-D. Generic is cheaper. This year, I’m using Equate Allergy Relief without the D, which is not only cheaper, but does not contain Pseudoephedrine, which is the decongestant that the meth junkies use to make their own kind of wowie sauce.

As a result of Pseudoephedrine being the drug of choice for the junkies, it’s now behind the pharmacy counter, where legitimate users must now fill out miles of paperwork in order to feel good again. So I was just like, the heck with it, since the last thing I need is more paperwork.

Still, regarding the junkies, it’s like I always say – someone who is determined enough to do something will find a way to do it no matter what.

And the next three months are going to be just a real barrel of laughs with allergy season upon us.

Categories: Personal health

The first test of my no-red-meat pledge…

March 24, 2006, 10:12 PM

Today at work was the first real test of my will after having given up red meat (as a stepping stone towards vegetarianism) at the beginning of this month.

How was this different from otherwise?

Two words: free food. Work had a cookout for all the associates today.

Considering I’m working on paying off a Mercury Sable, I’m usually not one to pass up a meal that someone else is paying for. And what did I do?

I passed it up.

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Categories: Food and drink, Myself