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“He offered her the world…”

October 14, 2015, 11:50 PM

I’m always surprised to see how some of my photos are used.  I recently got a membership with Pixsy, which skims the Internet for potentially infringing photo usages, and then allows the user to go after infringing users to get them to pay for their usage.  One photo that surprised me as a frequent candidate for infringements was this one from 2003:

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Google Camera is my new favorite toy…

September 6, 2014, 12:38 PM

I recently went on a trip down to Stuarts Draft to see my parents and sister, as well as my sister’s friend Vickey, and I came armed with a new app for my Android device: Google Camera.  If you’ve never used it before, Google Camera is a camera app that will function as a regular camera plus do a few other things.  Besides shooting regular still photos and videos, it will also do a lens blur effect, it helps in shooting panoramic photos, and it also shoots “photo spheres”, also called “spherical panoramas”.  That last one is what I took for a spin on this trip.  Those are the ones that I can post on Panoramio, and I believe that they go in as Street View (but don’t quote me on that just yet, because they haven’t fully propagated to Google Maps/Earth as of this writing).

Shooting them is surprisingly easy.  Here’s a screenshot of the app in action, taking a photo sphere at my place:

Google Camera app in action

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“ZOID”?

December 30, 2009, 11:01 PM

Mom and I went to Roanoke today to get my outfit for Sis’s wedding that’s coming up in a few weeks. I’m the photographer, and we got a really cool black-on-black-on-black outfit for me. We got black dress pants, we got a black shirt, and the surprise: a black vest as well. Mom saw it and wanted to see it on me, and it actually looked pretty good. So we got it. Excellent. I’m covered for the wedding, and at less cost than renting a tux. Oh, and unlike the rest of the boys, I get to keep my new threads after the big “I do”. Plus I’ve got my Metrobus tie that Sis is letting me wear, and we’ve got it all covered.

Then afterwards, we went to Panera Bread for lunch, where the food was good, but a little pricey. Fun stuff, if you ask me. Then after that, we went over to Valley View Mall, mainly just to wander around for a bit. We spent most of our time in three stores.

First, we hit up Bath and Body Works, where Mom got various treatments to mask stinky air in the bathroom. There, they had these giant rubber duckies. I, of course couldn’t resist picking one up. I wondered if they were functional or for looks. So I squeezed it. It let out a squeak that just made my face light up. This was fun! Then I got Mom to take a photo of me with the duck. And here we are:

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Categories: Family, Mercury Sable, Roanoke

After dropping Sis off in Blacksburg…

April 23, 2007, 9:36 AM

After dropping Sis off in Blacksburg after a weekend at home with everyone, I took a side trip into Roanoke on the way back home. I considered it to be somewhat important to swing into Roanoke. You see, Roanoke is currently about 85 miles away from me, and a straight shot down I-81. Once I move to Washington, it will be 240 miles – a little bit out of my travel range. So this will likely be my last trip to Roanoke for quite some time.

So I went up to the Roanoke Star to get some photos. I was quite surprised to find that they had changed the lighting pattern from the red-white-blue combination that it had been showing for five or so years. Now it was lit in all-white, which as I understand it, is the “traditional” color for the star. So here’s what it looks like:

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Categories: Roanoke

I went to Roanoke yesterday…

June 14, 2006, 7:38 PM

I went to Roanoke yesterday, and it was an interesting trip. I don’t find Roanoke to be nearly as fun as Washington DC, but it was still pretty good.

The trip down was via the Blue Ridge Parkway for the most part, taking Indian Ridge Road (a local road from Stuarts Draft to Greenville that roughly parallels US 340) to US 11 to US 60 at Lexington to the Blue Ridge Parkway at Buena Vista. Then I took the Parkway down to US 460.

I took my iPod with me on this trip, and it did fairly well. The iPod’s battery lasted all day, and all was well. However, my FM transmitter didn’t do quite so well, as I had to change the batteries on it twice. I think I need to get a car adaptor for it, since I burned through four AAA batteries over the course of the day.

The Roanoke Star seemed to be having a rough night, though, as two sections of red went out.

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The Blue Ridge Parkway is a wonderful place for a drive, provided you have the time.

April 19, 2006, 11:31 PM

On Tuesday morning, I made a trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway down to Roanoke. What a wonderful ride. The time in Roanoke was rather uneventful, but the ride down was awesome.

First of all, I took I-81 down to Lexington. This bypassed the section of the Parkway that I take more frequently, and allowed me to start on the Parkway with virgin territory. Thus I started at the Parkway’s intersection with US 60 and headed south.

I also got to drive through a fog-shrouded Lexington and Buena Vista. My April 19 photo feature illustrated this fog quite well. It was clear on the mountain, but quite foggy down in the valley below.

This was a fun photo trip, too. I photographed all kinds of things both on the Parkway itself, and off of the overlooks. I went through a tunnel, I viewed Otter Lake for the first time, crossed the Harry Flood Byrd Memorial Bridge, stopped at Peaks of Otter Lodge, and kept on photographing.

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What a great last trip!

February 9, 2006, 12:12 AM

The Previa’s had an absolutely wonderful last hurrah. I went down to Roanoke, and met up with my friend Amanda Mone, who also now has the honor of being the Previa’s last passenger.

We had a blast, too. We met up in Salem, and kind of ran all over Roanoke. We went to Valley View Mall for a while, then went out to Bonsack, then went out to Tanglewood Mall, went to the Roanoke Star, and finally to the IHOP near Valley View Mall for dinner. Then, after dropping Amanda off, it was back home to Stuarts Draft.

It was really a great trip, and it really was a celebration of the old van while spending quality time with a friend.

In a way, it kind of reminded me of the last voyage of the SS Canberra, because such a tremendous celebration was made to commemorate that ship’s last formal voyage.

And I made sure that this last trip in the Previa was special, too.

And in what has been typical form for the Previa lately, another system stopped working near the end of the trip. This time it was the air vents, as they stopped working on the way home, essentially leaving the car with minimal heat (but nothing like those two months when the heat was out a while back).

Now, though, there are a few things still to do. I have to move all my stuff out of the car, leaving only the things that I need to take the car out on Thursday. And there is only one trip left to make – to Whitesell’s Service Center, where my new car is. There, the Previa will be formally retired, and I will drive off in my new car, a 2004 Mercury Sable LS station wagon. I am just tickled about my new car, but I will certainly miss the Previa.

Categories: Friends, Roanoke, Toyota Previa

What Schumin does on his “weekend”…

January 27, 2006, 12:51 AM

My Wednesday-Thursday weekend was fun. I got to accomplish a few things that I’d wanted to do. First of all, I attempted to visit the new Martin’s store in Waynesboro, that opened up next to Wal-Mart. I attempted to get in, but the store was so crowded that I ended up having to scratch that idea, since I wasn’t about to park at Wal-Mart and walk over to Martin’s. There were literally no parking spaces available in the Martin’s lot. I consider that too far of a distance to walk, plus I consider it rude to park in one business’s parking lot to patronize their competitor. I did, however, get the chance to fill up the car, since Martin’s has a gas station on its premises. I got to fill up for $2.19 a gallon, too, which is pretty good for Waynesboro at this time (the nearby Exxon and Citgo stations were selling at $2.29 a gallon).

After that, I took a trip to Roanoke, which worked out well despite that the friend I was supposed to meet up with in Roanoke never got back with me (so we didn’t end up meeting up). I ended up visiting my usual Roanoke spots, plus I also drove over to Salem, where I basically took a little driving tour of the town. So that was fun.

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Fun day in Lynchburg and Roanoke on Wednesday…

December 2, 2005, 1:21 AM

I got a late start, but things still went well. When I go to Lynchburg, I usually take a back way – 610 to 664 (Mt. Torrey Road), which changes to Delphine Avenue when you hit the Waynesboro city limits. Then I take I-64 to Charlottesville and then take US 29 south to Lynchburg.

This time, I did things differently – partly by choice, and partly by necessity. I intended on taking Route 610 to 664 and then to US 250 over the mountain, and then follow Route 6 to US 29 near the Nelson County Wayside. I was on a bit of a no-interstates thing on Wednesday. No interstates (except for the dash back home from Roanoke), and nothing controlled-access, either.

The by-necessity change started on Route 610, which was impassable due to the flooding from the day before. Unlike the people in their pickup trucks, my van with its low ground clearance wouldn’t stand a chance if I crossed the water. I think I’d more likely be dead in the water. Visions of June 5, 2004 came to mind, when I hit a large puddle coming off an exit ramp, which caused the car to strain at 25 mph. Thankfully in that case, I was already at the end of my trip, and had less than a mile to go, so I just limped into the parking garage at Vienna and parked. This time, it was at the beginning of my trip, and would have wrecked the trip if I’d had that happen again. So I turned around and took an alternate route. I ended up taking US 340 into Waynesboro like I would take to go to work, went past Wal-Mart, down Main Street, and then up the mountain via US 250.

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What a wonderful day Wednesday was…

September 8, 2005, 11:41 PM

I went down as far as Blacksburg on Wednesday. My goal was to visit two people: Sis at Virginia Tech, and my friend Amanda Mone, who I first met in December at the Roanoke Star.

But first, I had some shopping to do. Coca-Cola recently launched Vault, which is marketed as an energy drink, but is basically Surge in a new package. Currently, Coca-Cola is test-marketing it, and Roanoke is one of the areas where it’s being test-marketed. So I went down to the Wal-Mart next to Valley View Mall and got some. First I bought a 20-ounce bottle, to make sure it was really Surge in drag. It was a match! So I went and bought ten bottles of it, so that I’ll have lots of it, since I have no idea when I’ll be able to get down to Roanoke again to get some more.

I also checked out the Halloween aisles, since I was looking for a certain Halloween item that Wal-Mart sold last year that I was hoping they were going to sell again. You may recall that I mentioned in December about a mechanized black cat that reared up on its hind legs and sang a song that went like, “I’m just an alley cat, with an alley life.” I’d been unsuccessful in finding it in Waynesboro so far this year. I figured this store in Roanoke is bigger than Waynesboro, so it might be in this store. And I was right! So I bought the cat, and I’ll be figuring out all the lyrics. All I know is that I’m pretty psyched that I finally got my hands on it. I honestly thought I’d never hear that song again. And it’s catchy.

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I went to Singles Shopping… or at least tried.

July 23, 2005, 5:38 AM

I went down to Roanoke on Friday evening after work to visit the Wal-Mart on US 220, where, you may recall, I wrote in this space about “Singles Shopping”, the place for desperate singles to tie a red ribbon onto their cart and try to find true love.

So after traveling 90 miles from Stuarts Draft to Roanoke, I arrived at Wally World way down in Roanoke, only to find out that Singles Shopping was cancelled, and that they wouldn’t be having it anymore. I knew something was up as soon as I got in, considering there was no signage for the event, and saw no red-ribbon carts. I asked the greeter, who, after enthusiastically greeting me with a hearty “Welcome to Wal-Mart!” (major plus points there), told me it was cancelled. Turns out that earlier in the day, the store received a directive from Home Office in Bentonville: Do not have Singles Shopping tonight, and do not have it again. Drat. And I was looking forward to it, too. I, along with several others, put in comment cards about how we traveled distances to see this, only to find it was cancelled. Some even came from West Virginia, though from Roanoke to West Virginia isn’t as far as from Roanoke to here. All the store associates I spoke to were very apologetic about it, from the managers and right on down, since this was their great idea, and Bentonville nixed it (though I was told that some associates absolutely HATED the concept). After all, it got such wonderful press in the Roanoke Times (linked in the first entry I posted on this topic), and via the Associated Press to other papers. Jay Leno even made fun of it on his show.

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Categories: Roanoke, Walmart

Wal-Mart in Roanoke – the place for desperate singles to meet and greet?

July 17, 2005, 5:58 PM

You know what’s so special about this store?

Wal-Mart on US 220 in Roanoke

This is the Wal-Mart on US 220 near Tanglewood Mall in Roanoke, Virginia. They have introduced Singles Shopping, which, according to The Roanoke Times, is “an opportunity for singles to meet while stocking up on milk, underwear, snacks and small appliances.”

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Stand to the right!

April 11, 2005, 11:55 PM

Interestingly enough, a post made on Metroriders made me think about something that I noticed when Katie and I went to Lynchburg and Roanoke last Wednesday.

First of all, the post is here.

Now… so you know the background information, the unwritten rule of etiquette on Metro escalators is to stand to the right, and walk to the left. Tourists in DC are the biggest violators of this bit of Metro etiquette, though we will cut them a little (very little) bit of slack for being from out of town and not knowing DC Metro etiquette. But if you ride Metro, if you’re just riding the escalators, stand on the right side so that those walking the escalators can pass you.

I realized that I had internalized the unwritten “stand to the right” rule when Katie and I were at Valley View Mall in Roanoke. Valley View Mall is a two-story mall, and several sets of escalators link the two levels. I got on the escalator first, and immediately found the right side of the escalator without even thinking about it. Katie, on the other hand, kind of stood wherever. She’s never ridden the Metro before, so she’s never needed to put “stand to the right” into practice. Still, when I saw Katie standing in the middle-to-left part of the escalator, I encouraged her to stand to the right because that’s what you’re supposed to do on the escalator. Then I realized where I was. I wasn’t in Washington. I was in Roanoke, and more than 300 miles from a Metro station.

Still, I stood to the right nonetheless. It made me feel better.

And remember – if ever you go to Washington DC, stand to the right and walk to the left on the escalators, or you’ll leave some very aggravated Metro riders in your wake.

Categories: Katie, Roanoke, WMATA

Eight days until A16…

April 8, 2005, 10:05 PM

Only eight more days until A16, and I can’t wait. Of course, that day has big shoes to fill. I hope it’s as fun as or more fun than J20, the counter-inaugural. That day was SO fun. Still, A16 (World Bank/IMF demonstration), should all go as expected, will be my sixth big demonstration, and my fourth black bloc. I’m excited. And my sister’s coming with me!

Otherwise, Katie and I had a fun time in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke on Wednesday. We saw Teri, a former coworker, at her new job at the Comfort Inn in Charlottesville, and we also saw Steve, our old front end manager, at his current store in Lynchburg. And besides seeing old friends, we also shot a few photo sets with Big Mavica, and also some very humorous photos with the cell phone.

One of the more amusing moments was when we were finished eating at the Radio Grill in Madison Heights. Without even thinking, not only did I throw the contents of the tray away after I was finished eating… but I also threw the tray away as well. And I didn’t even notice that I did it until Katie mentioned it to me. She wondered if, after I threw the tray away, whether I would walk away from it. I did, since I didn’t even realize I did it. But I was a good person and fished it out, since it was right on top.

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What a nice day I had on Friday!

March 26, 2005, 11:26 AM

I went OUT on Friday! I went down and did that Lynchburg-to-Roanoke-and-back circuit, and it seems to work for me. I got a late start, but it still worked. The weather, unfortunately, did not cooperate, which was a shame. I wanted clear skies so I could do a Photography set on downtown Lynchburg. That did not happen. So I skipped it. Downtown Lynchburg, at a glance, looks like a downtown with an older charm to it, but not too old of an older charm. The most prominent building on the skyline is the Bank of the James Building, which was built in 1972. Downtown Lynchburg is going to be fun to do when I get a good-weather day.

In going through Lynchburg, I take US 29. That one has a few different names in Lynchburg. It starts out as Memorial Drive, then changes to Fort Avenue, and then to Wards Road. On Wards Road, I stopped at River Ridge Mall, where I found an interesting sight – a train! I stopped to look, needless to say. I also got a few photos…

River Ridge Express  River Ridge Express

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