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Wednesday’s commute home was perhaps one of the most challenging driving experiences I’ve ever had…

January 28, 2011, 9:09 PM

It was also the most unpleasant, for that matter. Wednesday, January 26, you see, the DC area was hit by a fairly large snowstorm. I think the area got about eight inches of snow, which, by last winter’s standards would be just a dusting, but by this year’s standards so far was a major snowstorm.

I think my biggest mistake was that since I had the car with me (due to work-related errands that I needed to run), I decided to wait to leave until it was likely too late. So I ended up getting a six-hour snow tour around Washington DC, watching transformer explosions light up the sky and testing every nerve in my body in the process. And both the car and I came out just fine, thank you.

I left the office around 5:30 on Wednesday, sending a tweet to announce my departure:

I’m outta here: LSMFT @capitalweather: Heavy snow overspreading entire region http://wapo.st/gp0zP2
January 26 5:27 PM

It was in the early stages of being dark, and I figured I was doing fairly well. Traffic was heavy, but moving, albeit slowly.

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You know, that’s a really personal matter, and I didn’t want to join you for it…

May 17, 2010, 11:45 PM

Tonight, while I was on the phone with a friend who shall remain nameless, I was traumatized. I’m going grocery shopping at Giant, and I’m talking about whatever on the phone with this friend, and then I heard this sound in the background:

*flush*

I asked her, “Are you in the bathroom?” Turned out that we’d been talking in the bathroom for the entire time up to that point. That was a lot more than I wanted to know, unfortunately. The term “oversharing” came to mind. Now mind you, this friend and I are pretty close, and I admit that this friend has seen me in a speedo before (yes, I own one, get over it). But nonetheless, taking the phone into the bathroom is a little bit beyond my comfort zone.

I don’t know about you, but I consider it a shade impolite to take calls in the bathroom. I’ll be in a public restroom and hear someone chatting away while they’re in a stall with their pants around their ankles. What I’ve always wanted to do is to go around the restroom and flush every toilet in there, just to underline the fact to whoever’s on the other end of that call that they’re having that call in the bathroom. You know, President Lyndon Johnson used to take meetings into the bathroom. I’d rather think that this kind of practice stayed in the 1960s, but apparently it’s alive and well with cell phones, where people will take a call just about anywhere. I would have been more than understanding if my friend had not taken my call and then called me back once they were off the commode.

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Categories: Friends, Some people

Sometimes I don’t know why I bother…

January 20, 2010, 10:47 PM

Sometimes I don’t know why I bother. I try to get a little discourse going on a political issue with a known hostile crowd on Facebook, and their arguments become so nonsensical that it finally becomes pointless to continue. But then again, it’s also kinda fun. Most recently, it started with this as someone’s status message:

[Name] is lifting up prayers that this healthcare bill DOES NOT PASS

Okay, so we’ve got an opinion. They want to see the healthcare bill fail. So let’s dig in:

Ben Schumin Why don’t you want to see it pass?

So I’ve started the discussion. Why don’t they want to see it pass? Personally, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I won’t get what I really want out of this health care thing (single-payer for all), but it’s still better than nothing, as it outlaws a number of the health insurance industry’s dirty tricks, like denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and recission of coverage. We can then build on this later to ultimately end up where we really ought to be down the road.

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Friends don’t let friends wear mullets…

April 2, 2009, 9:26 PM

The fashion faux pas of the century:

Mullet lady on the Metro

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Even if it does just pain you to get a water cup, you’re not supposed to overtly show it…

July 16, 2008, 8:37 PM

This week, I’m not at the office as I usually would be. I’m at American University all week at Plone Bootcamp along with two of my coworkers. It’s been very interesting, as I’ve been learning about Plone, an online content management system that’s somewhat similar to a few things I’m used to, but on a far deeper level than anything I’m used to. It’s interesting, and I’ll get the hang of it. And I’ve been taking the Lappy along for this, and so we’ve been bonding all week. I figured that rather than borrow one of the Mac laptops from work, for this week, I’ll just use my own personal laptop, a Dell Inspiron.

And then meanwhile, there’s the lunch hour. I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know various other people in the class. There’s an Einstein Bros. in one of the buildings near where we’re having the class, which is where I’ve been getting lunch. And obviously, they didn’t hire the woman with the mustache working behind the counter for her personality. She is not a pleasant person. Her style is almost confrontational in asking us what kind of sandwich we wanted. After all, who are we to be asking for a meal from her? Puts me slightly on the defensive as soon as she says it. And I don’t even get a custom-built sandwich. I get the Italian chicken sandwich, where the only question I get is whether to get lettuce and tomato on it, and then I get a fruit cup with it.

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Categories: Some people, Work

“What do you know that I don’t?”

July 1, 2008, 2:22 PM

Well, the Sable’s in the shop at Lindsay Ford in Wheaton, after I had it towed there late last night. That was not a fun experience last night, but the tow guy was really helpful, meeting me at Glenmont, among other things, making it far easier.

So first thing in the morning, as I’m tying my shoes to go out, I got a call from the folks at Lindsay. They want to know what to do with the remote. I said I just need to get it programmed again, since it quit working when I had the battery replaced back in December. Okay. Pretty straightforward.

Then at around a quarter to two, I got a call from Lindsay’s sales department, as a gentleman was looking to see if I was interested in something a little newer. My exact response: “What do you know that I don’t?” Once I watched him start doing some major back-pedaling, I realized what he was up to, as service just casually gave my name to sales to try to drum up some new-car business. I nicely told him off, and that unless there’s something he knows about my car that I don’t, I’m keeping the one I’ve got, thank you very much. And more back-pedaling, and he made sure to give his name again before he said goodbye.

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Categories: Mercury Sable, Some people

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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“Ben Schumin believes his life is very interesting. He’s wrong.”

November 29, 2007, 7:11 PM

Do you remember back in April when I inadvertently stayed up all night because I had too much coffee at Daily Grind? Well, while messing around on the Internet, I discovered the latest person making an attempt to be witty at my expense. This would be a person going by the name “Javier Magnante” (more than likely not the person’s real name), who runs the blog Today’s Special Is Pain, which dissects my Journal entries in a style similar to Mystery Science Theater 3000. He takes a bit of text from my Journal and reposts it in a light gray color, and then he makes sarcastic comments right below it in this salmon-colored text.

His style is rude and crude, as he portrays me in his profanity-laden commentaries as someone who is constantly eating large quantities of ham and paying no attention to personal hygiene, while simultaneously having sexual relations with my digital camera and laptop computer. Needless to say, cheap shots are in no short supply. Frank Wade should go see this guy for advice on how to take cheap shots at me.

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Categories: Netculture, Some people

Once a slimeball, always a slimeball, I suppose…

November 8, 2007, 7:38 PM

Some people never change, I suppose. When I was in seventh grade, my homeroom teacher and I did NOT get along. He was a bit of a jerk back then, and told little seventh graders to work interpersonal problems out themselves and not even so much as assist in the process. I am convinced that he did that because it was easier to let these little children who don’t know any better come to blows, because then, by letting an issue boil over rather than actually having to deal with the issue at hand, he could just pull both students apart and send them to the office, and not have to so much as get his hands dirty. And that would be that.

Now fast forward to 2007. As you know, my mother now teaches in the middle school that I once attended. My former seventh grade homeroom teacher is now an assistant principal at another middle school in the same county. And Mom was at that particular middle school for something, and ran into him. He mentioned to Mom that he’d seen me recently. Mom gave him this puzzled look, and asked where he’d seen me. He said, “Wal-Mart.” Busted. Mom enlightened him, as it’s now been seven months since I left Wal-Mart. She said, “Ben works in Washington now.”

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Categories: Middle school, Some people

A whole bunch of peanut butter-related topics…

February 19, 2007, 5:41 PM

First of all, I saw this cartoon on the editorial page of today’s edition of The News Virginian. Considering that I’ve spent much of the last five days dealing with peanut butter returns at work, I found this cartoon quite hilarious:

Peter Pan cartoon
Image: Cagle Cartoons

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Sometimes I just don’t understand…

December 4, 2006, 10:12 PM

I don’t understand what makes people think that sending a volley of insults my way will make them look intelligent. I recently received an Email from a fellow named Scott Blevins from Mendota, Illinois. He asked me three rather intelligent questions, though I admit that they’re somewhat frequently asked. The first question was about why I was interested in fire alarms, and whether others were interested in it. She second was why, despite having a college degree, I work at Wal-Mart. The last one was about how many visitors I get to the site on an average week.

My answers were honest and cordial. For the first question, I described how the interest was sparked, and referred Mr. Blevins to my forums for others’ interest in the same topic. On the second question, I described my ongoing job hunt, and about the interview I had in April. For the last question, I told him that I don’t track my numbers, as I don’t find that information particularly useful for a personal Web site.

For this, I got a response that made me realize that I wasted my time in responding to the initial message. After he called me a “tool” several times, he made a few points that I found amusing. And I quote:

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Categories: Some people

The lengths people will go to for video games…

November 17, 2006, 11:00 AM

Sometimes I can’t get over what people will do in order to be the first to get something. Check this out:

Camping in Layaway for the PlayStation 3

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Categories: Some people, Walmart

Just make them an offer that they CAN refuse…

August 17, 2006, 8:11 PM

First of all, hello from Pentagon City.

I went over to Brookstone while here, and they have this new device that you sit on that’s supposed to work your body as if you’re riding a horse. Okay, fine. So I got on, I sat down, and I gave it a whirl. I made some interesting faces while riding that thing, trying to maintain my balance on there.

So then this group of teenaged girls comes in. They see me on the thing, unbeknownst to me. I got off. They want to see me ride it again. I said, “No thank you, I’ve already ridden it. Why don’t you give it a try?” They declined. They want to see ME do it again. I declined again. Then they start offering me money. One girl offers a quarter. Another a penny. Then someone ponies up a dollar. I still refuse.

I got this feeling that they were making fun of me. And I was through riding that contraption and that was all there was to it. So when they asked how much it would take to get me to ride it again, I went for the big guns. “Fifty bucks,” I said. They were quite shocked at the price I named, and left, which is what I wanted them to do. Because when you’re being made fun of, it’s best to one-up them. And one-upping a group of unsupervised teenaged girls that all share one brain amongst the lot of them is not hard to do.

Seeing these groups of teenagers at Pentagon City makes me think that putting these various groups from out of town in chain gangs is not a particularly bad idea. Since the adult leaders of these groups use Pentagon City as a way to cut these children loose while they go take a smoke or something. So they subject the rest of us, the well-behaved members of society, to these obnoxious children.

“I don’t look at porn!”

June 18, 2006, 2:35 AM

Funny what comes up in the breakroom sometimes…

A few of us were discussing churchgoers and possible hypocrisy regarding them, and the idea came up that a particular coworker, about whom customers had said “looked like Jesus” when he had a certain hairdo coupled with a beard, should start his own church. Someone suggested that he would make one related to porn, which elicited the response, “I don’t look at porn!”

What made us all turn our heads was when another coworker, who was just passing through the breakroom to get to the smoking room and caught wind of our discussion, said, “I do!”

The thought that crossed most of our minds was, I did not need to know that. Seriously, we did not need to know that. I don’t think I’ll be able to look at this coworker with a straight face for a while. Of course, people didn’t look at me with a straight face for a while after the pants incident from a couple of months ago.

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Some people have no consideration…

May 22, 2006, 10:13 PM

I can’t believe what happened today after work at the gas station in front of Martin’s. I was waiting in line for the pump, and this old man in a white Honda Accord went forward out of the pumps and rammed me.

Why was forward a bad move? It’s because I was already occupying that position and his clear space was behind him. My gas tank is on the right, and so I sometimes have to make some odd maneuvers.

So this man didn’t even think to look behind him for the clear area to leave. Instead, he tried to go forward past me in a very tight maneuver that he didn’t have the room to make. So in going out, he hit my Sable. In the end, he left some paint from his car on my front bumper, and a small scratch on my car.

Here’s what happened:

Scratch on the Sable's front bumper

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