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ß

October 7, 2004, 12:14 AM

Finally I found out what ß means! It’s only found in German, a language which I have not studied seriously. I studied Spanish and Latin in high school, and in college had no formal foreign language study (the benefit of a Bachelor of Science degree), but I did become quite proficient in Foul while at JMU.

Of course, “Foul” only consists of about seven words, and you’re not allowed to say it on the air.

But anyway, ß. For years, I referred to it as “that funky-looking B that they have in German”. And that got me some very confused looks from just about everyone. But think about it. ß does look like a B. See? ß. B. So my description is understandable.

Turns out, though, that ß is not related to B at all. It’s actually related to S. And like most language elements, it has a very long history, and a big description of how it’s used in the German language.

Still, at least now I know what ß really means, and how it’s only a lowercase letter. It has no uppercase equivalent.

I am very pleased with myself for finding out about ß, a letter which has puzzled me for years.

Categories: Myself

Sleep. We got some. And we’re going to get some more.

August 27, 2004, 10:02 PM

How refreshing a little shuteye can be! After working 9-6 and getting maybe eight hours sleep total over the last few days, a little sleep can be great. And I’m going to get a little more momentarily.

Because let me tell you… all this work on the stairs turned into where my butt was really dragging by the end of the day at work. And that’s not fun. I think if I had stayed any longer, I would have fallen down, I was so tired. But we don’t show that to the customers. Based on what I let on to the customers, I was fresh as a daisy. But still, after work I went home and got sleep. Ah, sleep.

And so now, nearing midnight, I’ve slept for some hours, and now I’m going to brush my teeth and then get some more sleep. And then tomorrow…

Doors closing! (ding-dong)

Washington DC. And not “Warshington DC” as some people like to say it. I’ve never seen an “r” in Washington. But anyway, though, I’m excited, especially since last time my first train of the day was not a Breda, as I usually have first thing out of Vienna. I had a CAF! (Ooooooooooooh!)

Anyway, back to sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Categories: Myself

Tired? You bet!

August 27, 2004, 6:24 AM

Seriously, after doing two LONG days due to the stairs (days I otherwise would have slept longer), I have a third get-up-early-for-the-stairs day here.

However, at least I have work at 9 AM today, instead of 2 PM. This is a good thing. I get off at 6 PM, and can thus go home and snooze (provided the stairs are ready) so that I can be fresh as a daisy for my planned trip to Washington DC tomorrow. I need to be fresh as a daisy for these trips, but this whole thing with the stairs has just been running me into the ground, because of the guy’s schedule (bright and early before even 8:00), and my schedule (work at 2:00). So that’s the problem we have.

Still, soon this floor work will all be over, and I’ll get my life back again…

Soy? What’s the problem?

July 26, 2004, 2:24 AM

Well, my Sunday at work was a sweet-and-sour day. And it didn’t even have anything to do with work.

My day was quite a good day up to my lunch break. On my lunch, I bought one of my usual lunch picks, as well as something new I saw in the produce cooler. It was a vanilla chai tea with serious amounts of soy protein.

So I rang it all up on the self-checkout, and went off to the breakroom, where I decided to first enjoy the tea. I drank that down, and boy, was I sick. That was it. It did NOT agree with me, and I was miserable the rest of my lunch break. I don’t think my system settled for some hours after work ended. But goodness, I felt hideous. Not enough to go home early, but still, you could tell I was a touch out of it.

Needless to say, I’m never having that again. I don’t know what it is about soy. I used to drink soy milk all the time, and it would always agree. Then I had one soy milk that did not agree earlier in the year. I had at the time attributed it to drinking it too fast. This time I didn’t drink it fast, so who knows why it didn’t agree with me. And why soy has turned on me lately, I don’t know, especially since I used to drink soy milk a lot. Who knows…

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Categories: Food and drink, Myself, Walmart

Greetings from Asbury Park!

July 20, 2004, 9:11 PM

Mom found the most awesome picture ever today while I was at work. Look:

Riding the carousel at the Casino

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Categories: Asbury Park, Family, Myself

I am now officially beginning my search for employment in or around Washington…

July 13, 2004, 12:34 AM

Yes, six months after leaving JMU, I am finally looking for a job in the Washington DC area.

So many people have asked me, “Why Washington?”

My answer is always something like this. It’s far enough away for me to live my own life (I have NO relatives in Washington), it’s a faster life than around here (where you can count the dotted lines on the highway for entertainment), I love the Washington DC area (I do!), and it’s close enough where it’s not a huge hardship to still visit the family.

So now I’m working on updating the resume some (or perhaps throwing it out and starting fresh), and going hunting. This is where the Internet comes in handy. All the hot spots to get information right at my fingertips. Countless DC area newspapers’ classified ads available, Monster.com, Yahoo HotJobs, etc.

Now mind you, though, my connection is like the equivalent of a 1981 Yugo. I have a dial-up connection. 56K. Slooooooooooooow. It would be nice if I had a faster connection. But still, it is handy nonetheless.

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Categories: Movies, Myself, Washington DC

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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Why do people look at me funny when I say this?

May 22, 2004, 9:42 PM

I always get strange looks when I say this:

Person: I’ll be right back. I’m going to use the restroom.
Me: Okay, have fun.

That’s when I get the strange looks. Right there. I don’t know what it is. It’s just my generic “goodbye” that usually say to people. It could be about something else:

Person: I’m going out. I’m going to head over to the store.
Me: Okay, have fun.

Yeah, but I guess the juxtaposition of “restroom” and “have fun” makes heads turn.

Meanwhile, life at home is kind of blah, with the parents continuing to get on my nerves. Realize that their answer to everything is “move out”. It could be, “Mom, I have a headache. Where’s the Advil?” Her answer would be “You should move out”. Ever have it happen where an unwanted message is repeated so many times it loses its meaning? That’s the “move out” response. It doesn’t mean anything anymore. I’ll move out when I’m ready, and I’m not there yet.

And I still can’t believe that my birthday is in a week, on Sunday the 30th. Another step towards forty, I call it. Scary. And I’m going to Washington DC the day before, on Saturday the 29th, which I just realized tonight is the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. And I’m still going to do some serious railfanning. Joy…

Categories: Birthdays, Myself

“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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What a productive day!

April 6, 2004, 12:05 AM

This was a day where I let my organizational skills shine. That Service Desk was looking fine. Everything was arranged in shopping carts and ready to go when I left.

And I came up with the best term for the Service Desk area. It’s a cave. See, in Supercenters, recall that it’s a gymnasium-style ceiling. So the ceiling is very high. So then you go into my little cave, and it’s a lot lower ceiling. So it really does seem like a cave. And I’m the monster who lives inside that cave, hehehe.

Still, my bosses when I was an intern at the Office on Youth last summer said I had great organizational skills. Today, I proved them right beyond a shadow of a doubt.

And Tuesday I am off. Off is good. Means that I can do everything I always wanted to do but couldn’t because I have work.

Still, next week is when I next go to DC. This week is just whatever. And I don’t mind it, because I’m going to hit up the Chatter Bus tomorrow, among other things.

So that ought to be fun. I love coffee.

Categories: Food and drink, Myself, Walmart

Hands like Death Valley…

February 29, 2004, 1:41 AM

Really and truly, if you look at the back of my hands, you’ll see. There is no difference between the back of my hands, particularly my left hand, and Death Valley. I am so dried out on the back of my hands that they have cracked, and are painful.

And only the back of my hands, too. The palms of both hands are fine. Perfectly fine. Nothing wrong with them.

During December, I’d run into the hands-like-death-valley situation once, and then in January my hands started to recover, and get towards normal, as I started using lotion at night to help things out a little. Then I started redecorating in here, specifically the painting phase. That did it, and sent me back downhill again towards dry, cracked skin. Why? With all the painting I was doing, I was constantly washing my hands to get the paint off. And the constant hand-washing took its toll on my hands. And that undid all that progress.

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Categories: Myself

If I wanted a mullet, this would be a good time to start.

February 26, 2004, 10:20 AM

But I don’t, so I need to get a haircut already, since a mullet is the one hairdo I just simply can’t stand. If you can believe it, the last time I got a haircut was on January 5. So I think you’ll agree, with it getting close to two months since I last got a trim, that it’s time.

I figure I’m probably going to go to SmartStyle this time, which is in my own Waynesboro Wal-Mart. I figure that way I can just do it after work, plus Wal-Mart associates get 20% off at SmartStyle.

All the more reason I’m glad I work in a Supercenter, and not a regular Wal-Mart. Regular Wal-Marts don’t have haircut places, among other things. Though not all Supercenter hair places are SmartStyle, mind you. When I lived in Arkansas, the Wal-Mart Supercenters in Springdale and Bentonville (the latter being laid out just like Staunton) had a place called “Fantastic Sam’s” as the in-store barber shop.

Categories: Myself, Walmart

You do not know what two days off will do for you…

December 30, 2003, 11:03 AM

After having two days off from Wal-Mart, I am now officially ready to go once again, ready to take whatever the customers are willing to throw at me. Especially since Monday was basically a sleep day, where I basically slept for most of the day. A much-needed day of R&R, especially after a great photo day in Roanoke on my other off-day.

My car’s also ready to go, too, as we replaced a burned-out headlight that was discovered on the way home from Sunday’s Roanoke trip. Quite the longevity, too, when you think about it. My father and I discussed it while replacing it, and realized that on this 1991 Toyota Previa, which we bought in July 1990, we were actually replacing the original bulb. That’s thirteen years with that same bulb, believe it or not. The other headlight’s bulb was not original, having been put in during repairs after we hit a deer in 1994.

Categories: Myself, Toyota Previa

So sad! I think I’m going to have to retire “the chair”!

November 25, 2003, 1:10 AM

Remember my chair from Potomac pictures and from the Web Cam archives? It’s going to go live with God soon, as it’s going to be retired sooner rather than later.

Here’s why. First of all, the chair’s been getting wobbly lately to begin with, requiring the chair to be lowered then raised again to keep it from getting too wobbly. Plus the fake-leather is starting to give out in places, and the wood on the base is starting to come off.

The thing that is making this ready for retirement, though, is that it’s really wobbly now, like noticeable tilting, at 45 degrees and instablility when you’re sitting on it. Plus the pneumatics officially gave out, as this chair will go up all of an inch before getting stuck. Fan-bloody-tastic. An inch. A whole inch.

And so, on my day off from working at Wal-Mart, I’m going to go to Wal-Mart (albeit the Harrisonburg store, not Staunton where I currently am working), and price office chairs. Considering that Wal-Mart has a pretty good selection of chairs at their “Every Day Low Prices”, coupled with my employee discount of 10%, I think I’m going to get away with a good chair for a nice little price.

Well, wish me luck. I hope I find a good chair for my money after I get paid.

Categories: Myself, Walmart

“Sometimes, I think you must be related to the Forgetful family, Mr. Crenshaw…”

September 30, 2003, 5:41 PM

You may have heard of the Forgetful family (from Today’s Special). You know… Frannie, Farley, Freddy, and Flo Forgetful. I should just change my name to “Frankie” and join right in, because I’m just feeling all paranoid about forgetting something. And so far, I haven’t forgotten anything, that I know of. Somehow, I just have this fear that I’m going to forget where I parked the car today (in the parking garage at JMU), and walk all the way to my usual space in J-Lot and then realize that I’m parked way across campus from my usual space. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. I’ve just been a little paranoid about that.

Now of course, the Forgetful family takes it to a bit of an extreme, forgetting to put wheels on the car, or forgetting who their own cat is, and so on, but still, I’m just afraid I’ll forget something.

Next thing you know, I might just scream out “KEVIN!” or something like that.

Categories: Myself, Today's Special