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I am two for two on DC Indymedia

September 29, 2004, 10:48 PM

What can I say? I’m good. Twice I’ve submitted photos of an event to DC Indymedia, and twice I’ve managed to get my images on the front page of the DC Indymedia Web site.

The most recent is from a protest held near the US Treasury. Here is the full article. Where I actually submitted the photos is actually low on the page. But guess whose image that is small and up in the corner. Mine! That’s the one that also ended up on the main page of DC Indymedia. (Note: If it’s not on the main page anymore when you see this, it’s dated September 21 and entitled Picket in front of US Treasury calls for 100% Debt Cancellation: 10 Days until the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF, and you can scroll back to find old front page articles at the bottom of the main news feed)

This is also about the only time you’ll ever see me actually defend George W. Bush (I’m as surprised as you are, especially in the highly-liberal Indymedia venue). The poster just before me said:

Look how far away the demonstration is from Treasury. It’s only since the second Bush Administration came in that demonstrations have been forced to move back and way back away from their intended target, in the name of security but in reallity it’s an attempt to marginalize protest and dissent.

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Categories: Activism

There should be a shirt: “I survived inventory”

September 28, 2004, 5:56 PM

We at Wal-Mart just finished having inventory. Fun. A company comes in and counts everything we’ve got. Meanwhile, it was slow at the Service Desk, which made things go smoothly.

I’m just glad it’s over. Now things can get back to normal, plus I have a day off. Don’t know what I’m going to do yet – thinking about going out, though. We’ll see.

Categories: Walmart

Now I’m wealthy… yeah, sure…

September 27, 2004, 4:23 PM

I got a check regarding the Web site today from Overture, a search engine. A whole $3.89. I think I can retire now. Or not.

What’s funny about it is that I have no idea where this came from. Overture is now part of Yahoo, but Yahoo is not the source. I remember when I first joined various affiliate programs in 2000 that Yahoo was one that didn’t have an affiliate program and I noticed how strange that was. I also don’t recall what Overture’s predecessor company was. That would help a lot, since I probably registered for a predecessor’s affiliate program way back in 2000 when I did a bunch of those.

I remember that much of those affiliate programs bit the dust later on, in 2001 or so, with the so-called “dot-bomb” where all kinds of internet businesses died, and the market for online advertising took a nosedive. That was a pity. A number of the affiliate programs I was in discontinued their programs outright. Losing AltaVista’s affiliate program was particularly painful, since it was lucrative.

Still, I have a check for three bucks, which I find amusing. Must be a payment for something I had on my site at some point.

Categories: Internet

Now this is the life (the phone’s fixed)

September 26, 2004, 1:52 AM

This is the life. I’m getting good connection speeds again (“good” being relative here, with this being dial-up), and staying connected for extended periods of time.

As of right now, I’m connected at top speed for my dial-up, and have been online for two hours and thirty minutes.

Considering that at the height of the problems with the phone, we were getting noise on both lines, as well as cross-talk. This caused a lot of cases where the computer couldn’t keep up and dropped the connection. This also led to a database outage this past week, which stemmed from a botched upload following an update. I did get it fixed, but not without lots of problems.

But the phone is now fixed! They ended up going under the house and replaced some cables. And it all works now, which is good.

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Categories: House

Let me show you. This is Trogdor.

September 24, 2004, 4:20 PM

My sister is home for the weekend! What a surprise! I wasn’t expecting her to come home until some time in October. So that was neat. Her boyfriend Chris brought her home to us. And as a result, I finally got to meet Chris. We have to take her back to Tech, though. Chris should chip in the $20 or so in gas. But you know how poor college students are. So we’ll forgive him for it, since he brought us a pleasant surprise.

So why Trogdor in the title? Well, Sis and Dad and I were all talking about something, and how Dad pulled up something on Urban Dictionary to back up an expression that he used. I chimed in how I added a few definitions there myself. My sister said how she found a thousand definitions for “Trogdor” on there.

My father had no idea who Trogdor was. I know who Trogdor is. I showed him, doing up a quick doodle.

Trogdor, as drawn by me

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Categories: Family, Homestar Runner

Don’t be a horse’s… you know.

September 22, 2004, 11:30 PM

I need a picture of the back end of a horse. Or two. Or three. Why? Think of the possibilities! Don’t be a horse’s patoot – go vote! Don’t be a horse’s patoot – buy a Schumin Web t-shirt! You get the point, I think. The use of the word “patoot” is my favorite term for it when referring to not being one that belongs to a horse.

The time I’ve heard (or shall we say seen, as you’ll see) the term used most memorably on a poster that the JMU Post Office used in the spring of 2001. They were reminding everyone about the fact that it’s time to forward mail for the summer so that it doesn’t sit at JMU while you’re at home. The poster was right there, and said, “DON’T BE A” at the top. In the middle, it showed a large photograph of three horses in a race, as viewed from behind. Then at the bottom, it talked about forwarding your mail. Point made, and memorable, too.

And I also presume it was effective, since no one wants to be a horse’s patoot.

Categories: Amusing

I went to Washington DC on Tuesday…

September 22, 2004, 8:28 PM

That was fun. I chose the date because of a picket event outside the US Treasury Building, in regards to third-world debt, sponsored by the Jubilee USA Network. It was an hour-long protest, going from noon to 1 PM. I attended the second half-hour of it. I got pictures of some of the speakers, and then got a bunch of photos of the people marching, carrying signs. This was a small event, carried out on the corner of 15th Street and New York Avenue NW. As such, “marching” basically meant all the people in attendance marched in a circle right there at the corner. It was still a spirited event, with all kinds of slogans being shouted. For instance:

“What do we want? Drop the debt! When do we want it? Now!”
“Medication for every nation! Drop the debt now!”
“Secretary Snow! The debt has got to go!”
“Don’t drop the ball! Cancel it all!”

All in all, it was a fun event. I also exchanged Email addresses with one of the Jubilee USA organizers, with the intent of sharing my photos. Maybe some of my photos will end up on there. We shall see. It would have been nice if they’d done it on a sunny street corner, because in the shade, it causes me to have to do some serious retouching to get the color right.

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Categories: DC trips, Driving, WMATA, World Bank

The problem is getting fixed on Saturday

September 22, 2004, 7:57 PM

Yes, the problem with the phones is being fixed on Saturday. Or at least looked at. Hopefully, though, it’s something simple that is able to be fixed on the spot. I just hope it’s not something totally complicated that requires multiple visits and such. Please let it be an easy fix.

And while I’m thinking about it, since we are still getting the noise on the line, I’m writing this journal entry offline in Notepad again. It still works out really well, too. If you put “.LOG” at the beginning of your file, it will put a date and time stamp at the bottom of the file each time you open it. So that’s how I keep it accurate on the time the entry was made, even though I’m manually adding it in later. Still, entering it in manually is easy. I just download the journal files, paste in the new entries, and then re-upload the files.

So the phone problem will be fixed Saturday. I say “yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay”.

Categories: House

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

When people don’t vote, that bothers me.

September 20, 2004, 1:05 AM

It’s amazing how so many people have internalized the notion that their vote doesn’t matter, and thus why bother voting. It really irks me, too. And more amazing is that this is after the election of 2000, where, in order to determine who would be the President of the United States, the de facto leader of the free world, people in Florida were carefully scrutinizing thousands of individual ballots to get an accurate count of the votes in a very close election.

And it’s amazing the excuses people give. My favorite one was when someone said that they don’t vote because of the electoral college system. And in probing further, it turned out that the actual reason for not voting was not the electoral college itself, but more of a lack of understanding of how it works.

For those of you who don’t know, the electoral college system, which we use for electing the President works like this. The people (you and I, for instance) vote for a slate of electors at the voting booth. These electors have committed to voting for the presidential and vice presidential candidates that they are named with. So you’re not voting directly for John Kerry or George Bush. You’re voting for John Doe, Jane Doe, Jim Doe, and Joe Doe, who will cast their electoral votes for their candidate, should their slate of electors win the vote of the state. Thus the winner-takes-all method of giving electoral votes. Then the winning set of electors casts their electoral votes some time after the general election. That makes it official who’s president, and the Vice President then officially counts the electoral votes before the Senate, who officially announces the winner of the election.

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Categories: National politics

The bull@#$% alarm was going off today

September 20, 2004, 12:35 AM

When one works in a place where people try to pull a few fast ones, it really helps to keep your bull@#$% alarm (use your imagination to figure out what the symbols stand for) well tuned. It also helps to keep it in tune in order to rule out weak excuses from coworkers.

I think my favorite instance of the bull@#$% alarm going off at full power was back in 2003 in Potomac Hall. In retrospect it is highly amusing what happened, though a touch disturbing. At the time, I was initially surprised, and then the bull@#$% alarm went off in my head.

Here’s what happened…

At a staff meeting in Potomac Hall one time, it was brought up by one staff member about having a picnic for our residents. Wonderful idea, since it was starting to warm up outside. One person takes offense to the word “picnic”, and explains that the term “picnic” actually is a contraction of the phrase “pick a [racial slur]”. For more information about the origins of that erroneous origin of the word picnic (which is actually rather irrelevant to this discussion, believe it or not), check out this page on snopes.com.

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Categories: JMU

The noise is gone…

September 19, 2004, 12:23 PM

Well, the noise is gone, which means that I can get back online again (though I’m still doing this one manually). Dad now knows about where the problem is based on what I did, so that’s a good thing. He says he doesn’t know who to call about fixing that. We’ll figure something out, I’m sure.

Categories: House

This is insane!

September 18, 2004, 11:53 PM

This is definitely an unusual journal entry that I’m writing right now. Instead of writing this directly into the Web site, I’m writing this in Windows Notepad, and then I’m going to manually add this entry into my journal online later. The time at the bottom of this entry, in case you’re wondering, does reflect the actual time of writing – not the time it was manually added in online. Wondering why I’m doing this? Let me explain…

For some time now, we’ve been having phone problems. We have two lines at the house. One line for voice (let’s call it Line 1), and the other line for Internet (which we’ll call Line 2). Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of interference and cross-talk on the two lines. If we’re on the Internet using Line 2, we’ll get bumped off periodically, or the line will go dead, leaving Windows showing that we have an active connection, but nothing will go through. No Web, no Instant Messenger. Usually I can tell when that happens when all my IM services (AIM, MSN, Yahoo) will go dead, one after the other. Usually MSN drops first, followed by Yahoo, finally followed by AIM. Web service is also disrupted, though it’s not as noticeable. There’s also the occasion where the modem actually drops the connection, with the audible “click” of it disconnecting, and the computer indicating that it lost the connection. We were quietly blaming this on Velocitus, our ISP, for some time. We figured it was a problem on their end. But not so.

We figured out it wasn’t Velocitus when we started getting cross-talk from Line 2 on Line 1. When someone was connected to the Internet on Line 2, we would hear the modem sounds in the background. Very bothersome. Then something else started happening. Whenever a call would come in on Line 1, or someone would make a call on Line 1, it would disrupt Line 2’s connection. So thus if the phones rang and my strobe started going off, it was bye-bye Internet, and the connection would either die or it would drop entirely.

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Categories: House

“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 dropped a license plate and didn’t even realize it…

September 13, 2004, 12:27 AM

Seems that on Saturday, I dropped a license plate! When I left for work today, I noticed that my front bumper was bare. I look at it, and I’m thinking, oh, crap, no license plate. I’m also figuring out when I can go to DMV to get my missing license plate replaced. Then my thought process changed to figuring out when it fell away, and whereabouts it would be. I didn’t hear anything that sounded like a metallic object falling off the front of the car on my way home from work, though. And it would have had to have been at least then, since I had my license plate when I left on Saturday.

So being unsure of where my license plate fell away, and being pretty sure it wasn’t malice (I’d had to reattach the license plate once before), as I was driving to work, I was not only looking where I was going, but also scanning the sides of the road on the side I take for my return trip (US 340 is a divided highway most of the way to Waynesboro). I usually ride the left lane, so if it fell away on 340, it should be readily visible from the other lanes.

My assumptions for this quick search (object staying on the left side, and possibly being off the road after falling off of a moving vehicle at 55 mph) were probably wrong anyway, but regardless, the plate was not found, and as it turned out, I didn’t drop the plate on the road anyway. As it turned out, the plate had already fallen off by the time my van was in the area I looked in.

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Categories: Toyota Previa