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Firefighter Schumin is on his way!

July 26, 2006, 9:09 PM

Wasn’t today an exciting day at work!

Not long after my first break, one of our cart pushers reported that there was a mulch fire in the parking lot. One of our CSMs, knowing I’m on the safety team, came up to the service desk and got me, and handed me a fire extinguisher. I quickly found out what was going on as we were walking out to the parking lot to the fire. I ended up ripping off the tag and pulling out the pin on the way out the door.

We got to the mulch that was on fire in the parking lot. It was on a traffic island about a third of the way down the lot. After chasing off some very stupid teenagers who were trying to put it out by stomping it out in their flip flops (very dumb teenagers), I went to work. Since I had already pulled the pin, I went about it as I’d seen in the past, staying low, aiming for the base of the fire, and sweeping side to side. And I got the fire out, too. It seems that what I’d learned had sunken in fairly well, as I’d performed flawlessly despite having never actually used a fire extinguisher before.

I used up the entire extinguisher on it, just to be on the safe side. It’s just as well, too, since you can’t reuse a fire extinguisher that’s been discharged until it’s professionally recharged. But like I said, I got the fire out.

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Categories: Today's Special, Walmart

“I must dance my dance… at last I am Jeffrey!”

April 14, 2006, 11:07 PM

First of all, yes, I realize that the title of this entry is a mis-quote, from “A Visit to the Opera” on Today’s Special. The correct end of that line is “at last I am set free!” I wrote it with “Jeffrey” in there because that’s how I initially heard it as a child. A little mondegreen right there. It made sense to me – the character of Lightning in “The Rainmakers” was played by Jeff Hyslop, and while it seemed odd that he would sing “At last I am Jeffrey,” it made sense.

But the reason I mention this is because you should have seen the lightning this evening! It looked like a fire drill in the sky with all the flashing going on. And it wasn’t just the twinkly kind of lightning. There were some serious lightning bolts, both in the sky, and also going towards the ground. Some of them really lit up the landscape in this very eerie blue color. They’re very spectacular to watch, but not so fun when you’re out and about, as I was. I hit the Blue Ridge Parkway after work to relax, which I take as far down as Buena Vista, where I cross over to Lexington and then go back home via US 11.

I didn’t get the lightning, though, until I got to Lexington. Thankfully, I had clear skies while I was on the Parkway, though there was a slight haze in the valley below. By the way, the Blue Ridge Parkway is NOT somewhere that you want to be when it’s raining. Because it’s high up in the mountains, it gets VERY foggy up there, and visibility often becomes practically zero.

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I might not have been able to go to DC, but I did get something accomplished…

February 24, 2005, 11:18 PM

I did actually get something accomplished today! Inspired by the umpteenth Email about pictures not working, or the odd state of multimedia on the site, I finally pulled out all my Webmaster’s tools and went to work hammering out that long-deferred new design for the Today’s Special site. In order to keep things neat, there will be a strong influence from the current version of The Schumin Web. To keep its Today’s Special character, the color scheme and a number of other stylings will remain from the existing site.

So let’s compare old to new:

Today's Special site, pre-redesign
This is the old site. It’s got a classic layout and look, but it definitely needs an update. But it is indisputably Today’s Special. Note the inclusion of details from the Children’s Department on the show along the top of the screen.

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I don’t know what it is about this time of year that makes me want to start a project at home

January 13, 2005, 7:44 PM

Yeah, Sis is going back to school on Sunday, and I’m again going to use her room as swing space. This time, I’m attacking the problem spots in my room. Mainly those spots where junk accumulates.

Let me put it to you this way: I still have the tubs of junk from my Potomac Hall room in the middle of my floor, nearly two years later. I moved them out when I redecorated last year, and then moved them back in afterwards. This time, I’m officially attacking those tubs. And the closet. And whatever other corners and spots have become junk repositories.

Here’s the battle plan. Sis’s floor will be divided up into four sections. One area will be “keep”. One will be “sell”, which I intend to list on eBay. A third will be “trash”. And a fourth will be “Goodwill”. Now that we have a new Goodwill store in Waynesboro right next to Wal-Mart, I’m most likely going to donate a boatload of stuff from this adventure to Goodwill. Still, I intend to make this room more livable than it is right now. Besides, I’d have to do this anyway after I find a job in Washington and move out. So I might as well just do it now.

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Categories: House, Today's Special

Good morning, world!

October 17, 2004, 2:06 AM

Yeah, fan-bloody-tastic. It’s early. Just the right time to bust a move to Washington DC, too.

As soon as I finish this journal entry, I’m hopping into the shower to make myself all fresh as a daisy. Then I’m getting dressed, getting gathered up, and then… I’m going out!

It kind of reminds me of what Jeff Hyslop sang in Today’s Special’s episode “Live on Stage” about going out. It went like this:

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Categories: DC trips, Today's Special

And for you doubters, I can sing, though how well is left to the opinion of innocent bystanders…

September 20, 2004, 1:58 AM

This is my third journal entry in the same evening! I must have a lot to talk about.

Anyway, though, in the Garden Center at work, which is rapidly going from garden stuff to Christmas stuff, there is a small display in the center of the open space. There are four mechanical dancing Santas. For the most part. One is Santa Claus himself. One is a bear in a Santa suit. One is the Grinch in a Santa suit. And the last one is a snowman. These things are about a head shorter than me, and swing their hips, move their arms, turn their heads, and the Santa and the snowman move their mouths. They sing canned songs, but then they also have a jack for a microphone on them, where you can sing into the mic, which causes the heads to turn and the mouth to move.

After clocking out at work, I headed over to the Garden Center to check it out, and discovered the display, and noticed that it was plugged in, and a microphone was sitting there.

See where this is going?

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Categories: Today's Special, Walmart

“Too big! Too small!”

September 16, 2004, 11:15 PM

I saw a commercial for Wilkins Shoe Center on CNN this evening, and it starts out with someone trying on shoes, appropriately enough.

They say, “Too large!” showing someone with a shoe that is obviously too large on their foot. Then they show one saying, “Too small!” with someone with their foot halfway in an obviously-too-small shoe. Then the announcer says, “Just right!” and shoes a person with a properly fitting shoe.

It reminds me of something I saw on Today’s Special’s “Shoes” episode. It was a scene with Jodie walking past a row of shoes, essentially gesturing with her feet at each one, before putting the last pair on. It goes like this:

Too big!
Too small!
Not right… at all!
(These shoes were flippers)
Too loose!
Oh, too tight!
Ahhh… these feel just right!
(Puts these shoes on)

Thus every time I see the commercial, I expect after “Too small!” to hear “Not right… at all!” Interesting, indeed.

Categories: Today's Special

I don’t know what happened, but it definitely looked unpleasant

June 12, 2004, 11:59 PM

On my way back from Charlottesville, where I spent the day today (somehow I got a Saturday off without asking for it – go figure), on US 340 right before the intersection of 340 and 608, I had to slow down considerably. It was the only smart thing to do considering that there were northbound cars traveling in the left southbound lane. I’m like, what in the heck and slowed down and got in the right lane. Once I got closer, it all made some sense. First thing I saw was lots of shattered glass strewn across four of the five lanes of US 340 right where Stuart Avenue meets 340. I looked left, and I see two cars in some poor innocent person’s front yard at a weird angle. Looks like they didn’t go there on purpose. Some other cars were parked nearby. Then there was a guy putting out flares. I don’t know any details other than what I saw, and don’t know how bad the damage was or whether anyone was hurt or not. But I can tell you this. It definitely doesn’t look pleasant.

Otherwise, I had fun in Charlottesville. First, though, I got the Previa’s front end aligned at Eavers Tire in Stuarts Draft. That was related to the blowout I had two weeks ago. While I was waiting, I worked on my phone some, downloading a new version of Mobile IM (remember that my AIM screen name on my phone is Schumin Wireless), plus downloaded Tetris and Ms. Pac Man onto my phone.

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“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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“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