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This is what vacations are good for…

May 18, 2011, 11:34 PM

Vacations are great for Schumin Web. Usually, every time I take a vacation, I manage to finish a photo set. This time, it’s Plungefest 2011. Normally this wouldn’t be notable, except that I ran out of time to finish this “in-studio”. See, I normally do all my photo sets at home, on my real computer. However, I ran out of time on Tuesday night, and I had planned a trip to Stuarts Draft from Wednesday to Friday. So first of all, hello from my parents’ house in Stuarts Draft. Thankfully, I was able to complete enough of the set on Tuesday night that I could do the rest of the work on the road from the netbook. So I did all the captions on my parents’ couch, and then pulled the covers off the menu entry, and then voila! Done.

On that last part, that was kind of interesting. Before I left the house, I put the menu entries in and then commented them out. Kind of reminds me of when banks change names, which, as you know, happens on a fairly regular basis anymore. They change the signs ahead of time, and then put a cover over the new sign with the old logo on it. I believe Wachovia is in this process right now, with their eventual change to the Wells Fargo nameplate. Then when the time comes, they just yank the cover off and the name is changed. Same here. I just removed the comment tags, and boom – the menu item is revealed.

Of course, this kind of stuff will all change when I eventually convert the site to WordPress. Then I’ll be able to do all of the site from anywhere, rather than the current situation of being restricted to my home computer for some parts and being partially mobile for others. I’m looking forward to that, but it’s going to be a long time still before that happens.

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“Oh, it’s terrible! The King has been transformed! Please find the Magic Wand so we can change him back.”

November 27, 2010, 4:31 PM

First of all, I admit – the title doesn’t mean much in relation to this entry, except that it perhaps reflects that I’ve been playing too much Super Mario Bros. 3 on my Super Nintendo lately. Regardless, this Journal entry has been a long time in coming, since this is about a trip I took to Stuarts Draft two weeks ago. All I have to say is, hey, I’ve been busy. But it’s also somewhat fitting that I post this entry this weekend, since this was “Thanksgiving” with the parents a couple of weeks ahead of the holiday. Traffic is a real pain, you see, and this obviates the need to mess with it. Have you ever driven US 29 in Virginia on Thanksgiving weekend? It’s no walk in the park.

On Friday the 12th, after driving perhaps a shade too fast the whole way down, I arrived at Stuarts Draft Middle School. After all, Mom was there, and I hadn’t seen her new classroom yet. Mom was recently switched from sixth to eighth grade, and so she moved rooms as a result, from Room 24 to Room 1. And here it is:

Mom's new classroom, Room 1

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“And every Friday, he calls me a bastard!”

July 9, 2010, 9:23 AM

And he will again, because… it’s Friday, ya bastards!

Of course, yesterday is what really felt like Friday for me, because I took the day off today. See, I’m going down to Stuarts Draft today, because then on Saturday, Mom and I are going to Buena Vista for my friend Patrick Jarrett’s wedding. Pretty cool, if you ask me. I’ve known Patrick for around ten years, and I’m really excited and happy for him that he’s getting married. And of all the places for Anna (his bride) to be from, she’s from Stuarts Draft! How cool is that.

Of course, that means I have to drive down, which I’m not particularly looking forward to. It’s just a dull drive is all. I try to alternate taking I-81 and US 29 down and back, and so since I took 29 down and 81 up last time, I’m taking 81 down and 29 back this time. So I get to deal with a sea of tractor-trailers early on this time, and then deal with traffic lights on the way back.

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Categories: Friends, Stuarts Draft

The parking lot known as Interstate 66…

November 25, 2009, 10:07 PM

First of all, greetings from Stuarts Draft, where I’ve not been in six months. I’m here until Sunday, and left straight from work, which was interesting.

I tried something new this time around. I drove into work, worked a half day, and then left for Stuarts Draft straight from the office. For that, I took 16th Street from P Street to K Street, and then took K Street to I-66. Then I took 66 to the end, where I caught I-81 down to Staunton, and then from there, moseyed around a few back roads to Stuarts Draft and my parents’ house.

Driving into work and then leaving straight from work certainly has its ups and downs. On one hand, I can load up in the morning and then go, and not have to go back home to pick up the car, i.e. go north from the office back to Maryland just to immediately turn south again to go to Virginia. Then the drop-at-Vienna-the-night-before bit is a shade complicated. Recall that the drop-at-Vienna method involves positioning the car with most of the luggage in Virginia the night before, taking Metro and a bus back to Maryland, and then going to work like normal the next day. Then after work, take Metro to Vienna rather than Glenmont, grab the car, and zing off to Stuarts Draft. The idea there was to avoid the inside-the-beltway traffic by putting the car ahead of that and taking Metro to meet the car, but it’s just a bit too much trouble, and involves a lot of advance planning and coordination of what needs to be where. Plus it’s weird stashing the car and one’s luggage in another state for a night.

The whole idea is dealing with the traffic most effciently when there’s a workday involved. See, going into work precludes use of the Beltway for the trip out, since work is in Dupont Circle, near downtown Washington. One would think that it would have been less congested, but I-66 was slow all the way to Vienna. Seriously, I was on the phone with Mom part of the way, and was like, “I’m going eight miles per hour. Oh, wait, now ten. Wait… five.” Yeah, that slow. On the freeway. At least I had people on the phone, plus Randi Rhodes when I didn’t have anyone on the phone.

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Ever wanted to see Stuarts Draft?

May 29, 2008, 7:13 PM

For all the time I lived in Stuarts Draft, I really gave it very little airtime on Schumin Web. You have some Waynesboro and some Staunton, but really very little Stuarts Draft aside from photos taken in and in the immediate vicinity of my parents’ house. Oh, and The East Coast Price is Right, which was taken at Stuarts Draft High School.

Well, wonder no more. I found a video on YouTube of someone’s drive through Stuarts Draft. They start just north of White Hill Road (Route 654) and end at The Cheese Shop. Take a look…

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Categories: Stuarts Draft

This was the first time we were all together in a long time…

March 17, 2008, 10:48 PM

Stuarts Draft was, as always, a lot of fun. And note, that is one sentence I never thought I’d find myself saying. But anyways…

So the whole dump-the-car-at-Vienna plan went according to plan, though it did take longer than I had planned to get out of the exit ramp. Of course, look what I had to contend with:

Traffic on I-66 at Nutley Street

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Didn’t think I’d be going to Stuarts Draft again so soon…

March 4, 2008, 11:18 PM

Yeah, I didn’t think I would be going back to Stuarts Draft again so soon. But… Sis is coming to visit! Yaaaaaaay! I will happily make the drive to see her, since we don’t get to see her all that much, what with her being half a continent away and all.

Plus this will be the first time that the four of us will have all been together since like June. I moved to Maryland in May, and made trips back to visit in May and June. Then Sis left for Chicago with Chris in August, and she’s not been back since, though Mom and I went out to visit her in December. Dad couldn’t make it due to other obligations that he couldn’t get out of.

So this ought to be a lot of fun. Sis and I are both arriving on Wednesday, March 12, and then we’re both leaving on the 15th, as she flies back to Chicago, and I drive back to Washington.

Then I’m also finally going to put a maneuver into practice that I’ve contemplated for months – leaving for Stuarts Draft directly from work. This involves placing the Sable at Vienna the night before, and then taking Metro back home. Thus I’m essentially making two evening commutes, as I’m going from Dupont Circle to Glenmont and taking the 51 back home, and then turning right around, driving to Vienna, and taking the Orange Line to Metro Center, and from there, back to Glenmont, and then the Y9 back home. This would be the day when it would be worthwhile to shell out the extra ten cents for a paper transfer, since bus drivers treat them like day passes. Then I’d have a normal morning commute, work all day, and then go directly to Vienna from work, and then to Stuarts Draft from there. Not bad. That would also mark the first time since May that I will have been to Vienna.

So yeah, I’m excited!

Categories: Family, Stuarts Draft

When I drive down to see the parents, I’m reminded of why I used to always do the driving on my DC trips in the early morning and late at night.

March 2, 2008, 11:30 PM

First of all, let me say that I had fun in Stuarts Draft and surrounding over the weekend. I came down Saturday morning, and went back up Sunday evening. In the process, I got to see Katie, my parents, and my friend Patrick Jarrett.

And the drive itself reminded me of why, when I did my bi-weekly DC trips for more than three years, I did the driving in the early morning and late at night. Traffic was much lighter than otherwise. On the way up to DC, I’d leave the house around 5:30 AM. Quiet on the highway. Then on the way back, I timed my arrival back at Vienna for around midnight to head back. Traffic was much lighter during those hours than otherwise. On my trip this time, where I took US 29 down, and I-81 and I-66 back, I think the only time when traffic wasn’t thick was on the way down between Culpeper and Ruckersville. Otherwise, it was pretty heavy traffic almost the entire way, including on US 340 going towards Stuarts Draft. Not fun.

However, the rest of the trip was fun. I got to see Katie for a few minutes, and then headed into Stuarts Draft to see the parents. They’ve made some changes to the “Pirate Room” (my old bedroom, which they’ve turned into an upstairs living room) since last I was there, removing my old desk and putting in this dresser with a ship painted on the front in the room in its place. It’s really nice, too. Meanwhile, we also finally named the pair of goldfish that Mom put in there. She hadn’t originally given them names because she couldn’t tell them apart, but I determined that one was more brightly colored than the other, thus we could tell them apart. I named them Castor and Pollux, after the twins in Greek mythology. It has a bit of a personal connection for me, as my astrological sign is Gemini, which is headed up by the stars Castor and Pollux. And in the fish, Castor is the more brightly-colored fish, while Pollux is the one with slightly more subdued colors.

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Stuarts Draft, take two?

February 29, 2008, 2:00 PM

It’s Friday, ya bastards!

And that also means that tomorrow, I am leaving Maryland and the DC area, and heading to Stuarts Draft. No illnesses are getting in my way this time! I feel good, and I will get up and be fresh as a daisy on Saturday morning for the drive to Stuarts Draft. This will also be the first time the Sable comes to Virginia with its new Maryland tags (oooooh!).

And it’s going to be a fun, though fast-paced, trip. I’m coming in midday, and going to see Katie on the way in. Then I’m going to my parents’ house, where we’re all going to do something somewhere (don’t know what yet – sorry, Mom, I still haven’t decided!), either eat out somewhere or eat in, etc. Then on Sunday afternoon, I’m heading back to DC. I’m stopping in Harrisonburg on the way back up to see my friend Patrick, and we’ll probably do lunch or something. And then, back to DC!

The only thing that’s going to be difficult to handle, though, is there being no dog at the house. I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since Greta died. But I’ll get to see where she was buried. Still, that will be strange. After all, it’s one thing to be told that Greta is gone, and it’s something entirely diffferent to actually see Greta not be there.

Then of course the futon that Mom got to replace my old bed is hard as a rock. That I tolerate, but barely. Nonetheless, sleeping on that is no fun. But it will be neat to see all the new furniture that Mom got. There’s this dresser with a ship on it that’s new that’s in the Pirate Room (my old bedroom), plus Mom and Dad both got new dressers from IKEA for themselves. Mom’s is exactly like the one in my apartment, and Dad’s is the taller but narrower version.

And meanwhile, I get to be Linux man for the weekend, as the Lappy currently only has Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on it.

Categories: Family, Stuarts Draft

Gentrification in Stuarts Draft…

November 22, 2007, 1:54 PM

I’m in Stuarts Draft for Thanksgiving, and I was driving around with Mom today, and I was like, whoa at just about every turn. All these new buildings. Dominion Outdoors and all this other shopping going up by Exit 91 in Fishersville. Food Lion and a related huge shopping center on US 250 in Fishersville. There’s a Sonic in front of my ex-Wal-Mart in Waynesboro now. Staunton now has Starbucks.

And a lot of McMansions are going up all over the place, as well as all kinds of condos. Oh, dear…

I’m just afraid that with all this building that it’s going to run roughshod over what I like about Stuarts Draft and surrounding areas. Wide open spaces. Scenic views. Leave that field there. Plant a plant, not a shopping center. I’m afraid it might suck the life right out of the area, and turn it into something that looks like Fairfax County. I don’t particularly care for Fairfax County, because it’s a traffic nightmare, and all you have is shopping center after shopping center after shopping center. I don’t want the area where I did most of my growing up to turn into that…

Categories: Stuarts Draft

And now we’re back…

September 8, 2007, 5:17 PM

And welcome to Stuarts Draft, where I did quite a bit of growing up. The trip down was mostly routine, with the most stressful part of the trip being the Beltway. Then it was smooth sailing after I cleared Haymarket. I could probably drive the route with my eyes closed, since I’ve run this route like a zillion times, in both the Sable and the old Previa.

And on the way in, I made a few stops. First of all, I met up with Mom in Harrisonburg where we went to Costco together. I don’t know how I’m going to fit all the stuff she got me in my freezer, but I’m resourceful. I’ll come up with something. Then we went back to Stuarts Draft separately, since she was going straight home, and I went to the Waynesboro Wal-Mart, where I went to SmartStyle and got quite a bit of hair taken off. It had been a very long time since last I got a haircut, so this was much-needed. I also got to say hello to everyone, which I’d not done in a while, since I’d not been to my ex-store since June.

Then I also fulfilled the request for the photo of the freestanding Starbucks in Waynesboro with the drive-through window. And since I already had Big Mavica out, I also took a photo of the anatomically-correct bull statue in Stuarts Draft, the “Welcome to Stuarts Draft” sign, and the cows that live on the farm with the bull statue. And the cows were all staring at me, as cows do. Imagine this:

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Categories: Stuarts Draft, Waynesboro

What a fun weekend…

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…

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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“You mean I’ve slept my last sleep in that bed?”

June 5, 2007, 2:32 PM

I was talking to Mom on the phone yesterday, and found out that Mom is getting rid of my old bed. She’s replacing it with a futon couch, since she claims it will be more comfortable and more versatile. I don’t doubt either claim. I’ve been sleeping on a futon couch for a little less than a month now, until I get my new bed in a week and a half or so.

Still, it’s one of those things where as much as you detest the bed, you never really thought that it would go. But, yeah, she’s getting rid of it. And it will likely be before I go down to visit again, so I’ve most likely seen the bed for the last time. Weird!

It will be so strange next time I go visit the parents to have this futon in my old bedroom. Now mind you, I still haven’t completely removed everything from there. Lots of my stuff still hasn’t made the ride from Stuarts Draft to Silver Spring. Still, that will be strange. But at least I’ll only be using it when I go to visit. Sleeping on a futon gets old after a while. I should know.

Still, as worn out and uncomfortable as it was, I’m going to miss that old bed.

Categories: Family, Stuarts Draft

Free at last!

August 14, 2006, 4:04 PM

The detour is done! The complete rebuilding of Route 608 (Cold Springs Road) has been completed, and so now we have our road back.

To give you a little background information, for the past six months, those who live in my neighborhood have had to go this way to get to US 340 and on to Waynesboro, marked in red:

Map of Stuarts Draft, Virginia showing detour route from Forest Springs/Ridgeview Acres area to intersection of US 340 and VA 608
Image: Google Maps

All that distance to get out of the neighborhood. And the work area, meaning the section of road that was closed, is the section of road in between the green arrows. To give you a comparison, the regular way to 340 is as follows:

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Categories: Religion, Roads, Stuarts Draft