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And this is why I should never be allowed to go to Micro Center unsupervised…

August 14, 2014, 1:27 AM

First of all, I apologize for my silence as of late.  I’ve been busy working on various things plus having some computer issues, and that’s caused me to neglect the website somewhat, save for changing the photo features and splash photos.

However, the good news is that I’ve received job offers from a few different area transit agencies (that I’m not naming) for the position of bus operator.  I should be starting training with one of them soon, once all of the various onboarding processes are completed.  From what I’ve seen, these are not quick processes, but they’re done correctly the first time, and I’m fine with that.  In deciding to become a bus driver, I realized over the course of the job hunt that my heart just wasn’t in it for more nonprofit work.  I also realized that I wanted a career, and not just another job, and I didn’t really have a passion for the issues that the organizations that I was applying to were about.  In looking at my interests, I came to realize that I had a real interest in starting a career in public transportation.  And a job as a bus driver is a foot in that door.  In pursuing that, I took a commercial driving course at Montgomery College over the winter, and I now hold a Class B commercial driver’s license with passenger and school endorsements, plus no air brake restrictions.  So life is good on that front.

I also had a big day on July 26, checking out the new Silver Line stations.  I received an invitation to ride the VIP train before revenue service began, and I brought my friend Matthew as my guest.  I’m going to do a full-on photo set for Life and Times for this day (along with a few other subjects in the photo set queue), so I’m not going to say much about it now, but we had fun.  I got to see a number of congressmen and other various elected officials, I got to talk to former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, and then Matthew and I rode the first revenue train from Wiehle Avenue to Largo.  Then after lunch, we toured the new stations on the way back from Largo.

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Making chili!

April 8, 2012, 7:58 PM

I was cooking today, making a pot of vegetarian chili:

I had a blast, too. Anyone who can go on like this for just over 45 minutes had better be having a blast, I’d say. But what can I say? I love performing for the camera. I do, however, need to be mindful about how long I run the faucet. In reviewing the footage afterwards, noticed that at times I left the water running for a lot longer than I needed to (so don’t write to tell me this – I recognize that I was wasting water).

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So what ever happened to the DNA evidence?

July 8, 2009, 8:45 PM

For the past four days, I’ve been having a little fun with my Facebook friends. I’ve been posting status messages with the phrase “DNA evidence” in it without any explanation, and seeing what kind of responses I get. I chose “DNA evidence” as a phrase as a tribute to the use of DNA evidence as a running joke in six consecutive Strong Bad Emails on Homestar Runner. Then it was all explained in the cartoon DNA Evidence.

All together, I posted four “DNA evidence” status messages:

Ben Schumin is going to have that DNA evidence on the desk by nine!

Ben Schumin is not going to make the 51 bus tonight. The DNA evidence pointed to it.

Ben Schumin wonders what happened to the DNA evidence.

Ben Schumin *sigh*… DNA evidence.

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The Christmas season, for my purposes, is at last over.

December 24, 2005, 5:52 PM

It is Christmas Eve, and I have officially finished for the day at work, which I did at 4 PM. That means that for me, Christmas is over. Opening the presents tomorrow morning is nothing compared to dealing with a bunch of cranky Christmas shoppers.

Meanwhile, there’s nothing like working retail to suck the Christmas spirit right out of a person. The phrase “Merry Friggin’ Christmas” comes to mind. And if that offends your sensibilities, then “Happy Friggin’ Holidays” to you.

And in the break room, we cozied up to reading the children’s letters to Santa Claus that were published in The News Leader today. I tell you… that was high entertainment. The letters were printed verbatim, complete with original spelling and punctuation errors, so Sis and I had fun reading them literally. As both of us enjoy Strong Bad Emails, we have no qualms over making fun of someone’s punctuation and spelling. Still, the letters ran the usual course. Children asked for a long list of very expensive toys, and so there will be some very disappointed little children tomorrow morning, when they didn’t get the three different game consoles they asked for. Same for the kid who asked for a horse and two frogs. Then for one kid, the term “oversharing” came to mind, as he said how he was a big boy who poops in the potty. All of us were thinking that this was too much, and the phrase “I did not need to know that!” came to mind regarding his restroom practices. Of course, there was a fully grown adult male who recently told me in the checkout line, in front of his wife, no less, that he wasn’t wearing any underwear. The wife and I were both telling him, “Oversharing!” Then there were some nearly-illegible Emails, where we couldn’t make out the writer’s intent regarding the words, and where the sentences were far from complete.

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Blue Screen of Death on the self-checkout…

December 11, 2005, 5:58 PM

I wondered when it would happen, and today it finally did – one of our self-checkouts crashed and displayed the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death”. I just wish I had a camera with me at the time, because I so wanted to take a picture of that…

Otherwise, though, I realized in the last few weeks that the customers don’t listen to a word I say. I put this to the test recently, using one of everyone’s favorite Homestar Runner holidays – Decemberween. Decemberween is, to quote the Homestar Runner Wiki, “a holiday celebrated by the people of Free Country, USA, 55 days after Halloween, on December 25th. It bears many similarities to Christmas with colorful lights and garlands and the giving of presents, but with some obvious differences.” Read the whole article for more information on Decemberween, because it’s otherwise irrelevant. Just focus on the name. So I would casually ask, “Are you all ready for Decemberween?” instead of “Are you all ready for Christmas?” I would get the same response for “Decemberween” as I would for “Christmas”. Not a single person ever questioned my use of “Decemberween”. Not a one. Scary.

Meanwhile, my belief that the more religious stuff a person has on their car, the worse driver they are has been confirmed once again. I first talked about this in this entry from May 23. Today I had two cases on the way home. The first was on US 340 where I got stuck behind this van that had “JESUS” right on the license plate. And it was going 35 in the left lane (and the speed limit was 45 and then changed to 55 before I could pass them). Then turning onto 608, I got behind another person with a bumper sticker where a religious group decided to be cute and do a religious take on the logo for CSI. The bumper sticker said “CSI: Christ Saves Individuals”. Here’s a Web site showing the logo in question. These people not only were going five miles below the speed limit the whole time I was behind them, but they also decided that a green light means “stop”. After dealing with the previous slowpoke coming out of Waynesboro, and then having to sit behind this moron for a few miles, sitting at the green light was the final straw. I hit my horn, and leaned on it until these bozos moved. They moved, and thankfully, our paths diverged after that point.

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Food for thought

December 4, 2005, 5:14 PM

First of all, some food for thought regarding the war in Iraq that came in the form of a letter to the editor in the Staunton News Leader, printed here in its entirety:

If the United States military stays in Iraq 10 more days, 10 more months, or 10 more years will the outcome be significantly different? – Tom Long, Mount Solon

I wonder that as well. I personally lean very strongly towards saying that it was never our business to invade Iraq in the first place.

Thought I’d share that.

Meanwhile, I can’t believe I didn’t hear about the protests against global warming until I read about it in the newspaper this morning. I was like, wow. Not much happened for this one in DC from what I could tell on DC Indymedia. I did, however, find the new Climate IMC site. This is an Indymedia site specifically for climate-related news.

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Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2005, 6:41 PM

What a fun Halloween I had! I spent it where I’ve spent every single Monday for a very long time – work. However, they let us dress up for Halloween, and I had a real blast, too.

This year, I dressed up as The Thnikkaman, which is a variation of Bubs, who runs Bubs’ Concession Stand. All in all, it comes from homestarrunner.com. I love the site, and Thnikkaman was easy to do, too.

All I did was wear an orange “Athletic Works” shirt, my usual black jeans and chucks, and then accessorized it all. I bought some green felt and safety-pinned that around my waist. That made that strange green section on Bubs’s outfit. Then to go from just plain old Bubs to The Thnikkaman, I borrowed a pair of sunglasses from my sister that resembled the ones that The Thnikkaman wore in Strong Bad Email #97. Then to finish the outfit, I printed a red “TH” on paper and pinned that to my shirt. And thus we have Thnikkaman. Check out my costume:

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Categories: Halloween, Homestar Runner

Do I remind you more of Gingy, or Marshie?

September 4, 2005, 9:44 PM

A customer today at work said that I reminded her of Gingy, the little gingerbread man from Shrek that Wal-Mart turned into their little mascot when they dressed him in a blue vest for a few commercials. May I remind you for a moment:

Gingy as a greeter

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Vacation: So far, so good, but it’s raining today.

August 23, 2005, 10:25 AM

So far, vacation has been pretty good. I went to Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant on 21st Street again last night for dinner, which was, as before, a great experience. Then I went down to the boardwalk and did a lot of night photography, which went really well. I even met a couple from Pennsylvania who showed great interest in my work. I gave them the address to the Web site, and so who knows – maybe they’ll see some of the photos I showed them on the camera on the Web site.

So I had wonderful weather coming in. I made all the stops I intended, and a couple more. Breakfast went without a hitch, and then I stopped at the Patrick Henry Mall as planned. Turns out that’s not the mall that I was thinking of. They had mostly System Sensor horn/strobes, and the mall I was after had Edwards. But we did find the mall later. But I’m not there yet.

Before leaving that area, however, I stopped at the Wal-Mart in Newport News, where one of our Waynesboro people transferred. And I found our former coworker Carliqua running register 33. Since it was slow, we got to catch up for a few minutes. It was good to see her again.

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What on earth happened here?

August 20, 2005, 6:10 PM

Check this out:

Crushed shopping cart at Wal-Mart in Waynesboro

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Categories: Homestar Runner, Walmart

I just added an extra day onto my vacation…

August 19, 2005, 4:24 PM

I just added another day to my fabulous Virginia Beach vacation that’s coming up in three days. Now, instead of leaving Tuesday and coming back Thursday, I’m leaving Monday and coming back Thursday. That means that I have Friday to be back at home, and then on Saturday, back to work. So thus it’s going to be a four-day vacation instead of three. Very nice, indeed. So all in all, life is very good. Get some time away from work and home, in order to kind of, like, chill out in a different setting for a few days. And maybe get a nice tan or something.

Of course, getting a tan kind of reminds me of what Strong Bad said in Email #77 about the suggestion that he should turn over to cook evenly: “What? Who wants a tan on their back? There’s no abs to accentuate.”

And if nothing else, maybe I can get something like what happened last year: a sunburn with a blank spot on my chest shaped exactly like Big Mavica.

Malcolm X Park: Mission Accomplished

July 7, 2005, 9:48 PM

Yes, I had a very productive time in Washington DC. Though I did get a touch of a late start. But we recovered. I ended up making up the time by hurrying along my Sheetz stop on the way up, plus traffic was lighter than usual going in. Usually I hit a considerable bottleneck from mile 41-45 on eastbound I-66, and this time, while I did encounter traffic (slowed due to construction vehicle movements), it was not as bad as I’ve seen it. So I was able to breeze right through. I still got to Vienna a touch late, but no problem.

I also finally found some background information on the I-66 construction.

At Vienna, I got a pleasant surprise – a parking spot on the top level, close to the elevator. Usually, and especially since the garage rehabilitation project began, I can only get a parking spot in the North Garage after 10:00, when the guaranteed spaces open up. So that was handy. Also, the rehabilitation work has moved once again, now encompassing the western ramp between levels. How strange it is to have that section closed off now, since that’s the ramp I usually use going up and down.

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Today was a good day, though a long day.

June 13, 2005, 6:01 PM

Today was a good day. It was also a long day, but a good day nonetheless. The customers were nice, and seemed to do fairly well today on the self-checkouts, compared to a weekend, where people seem to have trouble on them.

All in all, it was quite a pleasant day. It seemed to be a long day, too, but it was a good day. And we were comfortably busy. Not bad.

And then otherwise, I realized that I’m nearly two weeks late writing this month’s newsletter. I guess with everything going on lately it just totally slipped my mind. Well, I’m going to rectify that just as soon as I finish this Journal entry.

Today was also an interesting head-music day for me. I had the weirdest songs floating through my head today. I had Marzipan’s scroll buttons song running through my head. I had the Crying Kitten song in my head today. I had the I Love You Kitten song stuck in my head. I had Yatta playing on a loop in my head. Today just seemed to be a day for all the different “Internet Songs” to take over my mind.

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The end of Compy 386?

November 16, 2004, 11:24 PM

Say it isn’t so! But look:

Compy 386 with a big hole in it

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Categories: Homestar Runner

Every so often I go visit…

October 26, 2004, 9:54 AM

You know where to go if you need to get some serious laughing? Homestarrunner.com, of course. I looked at Strong Bad’s three most recent Emails – The Facts, Time Capsule, and Extra Plug.

“The Facts” is about why Strong Mad should not have a cartoon of his own. “Time Capsule” is where Strong Bad sets up a time capsule with a cassette tape and dry ice in it (the dry ice so it will go “froosh” when someone opens it), which Stinko Man from 20X6 (pronounced “twenty-extee-six”) then proceeds to eat. That one also has a song about Grumblecakes as an easter egg.

The one that really had me laughing, though, was “Extra Plug”. Strong Bad was asked what he could use the extra plug under his desk for. Turns out he had bought some light-up shoes, which he believed could attract women to him solely on the basis of his shoes. He managed to flip a breaker, since the power went out. Seems those things really do suck up the juice. They’re also really loud. They finished the Email, however, in an unusual way. And they ended up also sucking up all the juice at Club Technochocolate. They ended up powering the shoes from the King of Town’s place. Fun.

Now what I’m going to have stuck in my head all day is that Grumblecakes song. It’s definitely an interesting song, being quite catchy. And my dirty, filthy, sordid little mind has read two interpretations into to that song.

World’s worst pickup line: “Hey, baby, want to share those Grumblecakes?”

Categories: Homestar Runner