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Photos of mine, printed ABOVE the fold…

August 28, 2006, 7:51 AM

How often can you say that your photos end up on the front page of the local newspaper? And above the fold, no less. If you look at the August 28, 2006 edition of The News Virginian, you will see two photos anchoring an article about the Skyline Parkway Motel, which, you may recall, had been abandoned for some time, and then was torched in 2004. Both of them are tagged with “Photo courtesy of BEN SCHUMIN”. Here are the photos that the newspaper ran:

Skyline Parkway Motel before the fire  Skyline Parkway Motel after the fire

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Sometimes people just amuse me…

May 5, 2006, 11:50 AM

Sometimes people really amuse me. In this case, a user on Wikipedia not only flamed me on multiple occasions for editing “his” article about Skyview High School (which I encountered while perusing Articles for Deletion), but then, when he realized that he couldn’t do anything about my edits, he proceeded to go from decent contributor to blatant vandal. What’s really funny is that he nominated my user page for deletion on Wikipedia. He also vandalized it three times. These were reverted by myself and two other users.

One thing I like about Wikipedia, though, is that no matter how destructive some individuals can be, their electronic feces can be cleaned up and everything fixed. The Articles for Deletion discussion about my user page was closed 33 minutes after it was opened.

And in the end, the fool was blocked for his vandalism and personal attacks.

Categories: Wikipedia

Thirsty or not!

April 13, 2006, 9:48 PM

Well, I was productive today. I found a little tiny stub article on Wikipedia about the soda Grapette, and adopted it as one of my own, and fleshed it out into an article that very well could become a featured article one day.

But don’t take my word for it. Let me show you. This is what I started out with. And then this is what I turned it into. And this shows the differences in the last revision before I started and the final revision that I made.

And what’s funny is that Grapette doesn’t even particularly send me. The way people talk about this soda, you’d think it was the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a grape soda, and it tastes grapey. Whoopty-doo.

Otherwise, though, today was the first day that I broke out the shorts and flip-flops. It was in the upper 70s today, and being off work today, I went casual. Really casual. I wore my fire alarm t-shirt with it, and so life is good. I don’t wear my Schumin Web apparel nearly enough anymore. Still, life is good.

Categories: Food and drink, Wikipedia

I got called “babe” today, by a man, in front of his wife!

March 26, 2006, 8:53 PM

Of all the stupid things people can say, the thing that a man in my line said today definitely took the cake.

First of all, for those of you who have seen pictures of me (and if you’re here at my site, it’s pretty hard not to), you can tell I’m obviously male.

Yet this man, after I handed him his change and his receipt, said, “Thanks, babe.”

I paused, so as to take a moment to digest this comment, which I was not expecting. Then I said, “Did you just call me ‘babe’?” He explained it away by saying that he was thinking about the cashier before me on that register (we’d just switched out just before I started ringing him up). Still, I wonder if he wanted a little salt with that foot, considering he said that right in front of his wife, of all people.

That just took the cake, let me tell you.

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Categories: Some people, Walmart, Wikipedia

Funny the way things work sometimes…

February 22, 2006, 9:23 PM

Who would have thought back when I was made fun of by Greg Galcik on his Spinnwebe site back in 2000 that now, in 2006, I would be one of the stronger defenders of the Spinnwebe article on Wikipedia?

It’s true!

The article on Spinnwebe on Wikipedia is up for deletion again, after having previously been deleted out from under us, and after someone else recreated the article. I have voted to keep the article, needless to say. I also was the initial creator of the original Spinnwebe article.

This whole process also goes to show how some people can get when they’re determined to accomplish something. A few users seem dead set on killing the article about Spinnwebe. It just kind of amazes me.

Categories: Wikipedia

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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That’s one project completed…

January 16, 2006, 7:22 PM

I have burned EVERYTHING in my image collection to CD that was taken between August 18, 2004 and December 31, 2005. To give you an idea of what a project this was, I burned 29 CDs to accomplish this. But it’s all on CD now, which frees up a lot of space for other projects. What does this leave on the actual hard drive? It leaves my January 4, 2006 trip to Washington, and my trip to the Outlet Village on January 12.

And this was a project I was determined to finish as quickly as possible. I set my away message to “Burning about a year and a half’s worth of images to CD…” and vowed not to take it off until I was done. So there you go.

Otherwise, after not only that one IM that I told you about previously regarding something on Wikipedia, others have contacted me through Schumin Web to discuss Wikipedia. This has led me to put this on my user talk page:

Please do not contact me via The Schumin Web, Email, instant messenger, or any other private communication venues for matters regarding Wikipedia. I will be happy to discuss issues related to Wikipedia with you on my Wikipedia talk page, or any other Wikipedia venue. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

I don’t think it’s that much to ask that what happens on Wikipedia is discussed through the discussion channels that Wikipedia provides, as it adds to the record for Wikipedia, and allows others to help in the collaborative effort, since everyone’s supposed to be there for the same reason – to create an encyclopedia.

Some people, though…

People do some strange things sometimes…

December 29, 2005, 11:11 PM

When I got back from work today, I found an interesting message on my AIM. Check it out:

graphicfly2: hello mr. schumin
graphicfly2: i was led to your website based on a deletion you made on a wikipedia entry that i made regarding sheetz
graphicfly2: in it i stated that karen will make delicous pretzelwich sandmiches after 10:30pm
graphicfly2: these are facts my good sir
graphicfly2: Hi. Are you there?
graphicfly2: :-[

Pretty strange. In case you’re wondering what this is in reference to, it involves this edit made by 20.137.18.50 on the article about Sheetz. I considered the edit vandalism, and reverted it.

I just find it strange that someone actually followed my paper trail on Wikipedia to Schumin Web, and contacted me through the Web site. It’s proper etiquette on Wikipedia to conduct Wikipedia-related discussions on Wikipedia talk pages, and so this really did surprise me.

Categories: Some people, Wikipedia

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