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“You mean they want to wear your clothes?”

January 29, 2005, 9:51 PM

First of all, ladies and gentlemen, WE HAVE CABLE! WE HAVE CABLE! All interested parties are now officially connected to what I have dubbed the “Schumin Wireless Network”. That means we have my computer, Dad’s computer, Mom’s laptop, and Dad’s laptop all in place on our little network. Now I don’t have to leave my room for anything. I can just IM the rest of the family.

Otherwise, today was interesting at work. They were calling for winter weather for our area, which came in the form of sleet, sleet, and more sleet. But before the sleet showed up, it was like Christmas in January in our Waynesboro Wal-Mart. Seriously. Like Christmas, with all the registers open and all the lines backed up to the clothes. Everyone was buying the usual winter weather staples – bread, milk, and eggs. One can assume that everyone makes french toast when it snows.

I also ran into a friend at work who had two women at his side – one on each arm. His comment was, “They want to get into my pants.”

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Categories: Amusing, Internet, Walmart

We hit a milestone!

January 29, 2005, 9:34 AM

Yes, we did hit a milestone. One computer is successfully connected wirelessly for the high-speed Internet. And it’s Dad’s laptop. But it works.

For those of you who are wondering what changed without a service call, we moved the modem and router from my room to the family room. And then we tried it all using a laptop. And it works.

So now we need to figure out what’s wrong with mine. The problem I had before was that it wasn’t seeing the wireless card I put in there. So we’ll see. I’m going to fiddle around with my computer a bit after work, and see what I can come up with. Somehow, I’m going to get up and running. Then the rest shall be easy.

Categories: Computer, Internet

Richard White answered my question!

January 28, 2005, 11:07 PM

First of all, in case you’re wondering, who is Richard White, let me explain. Richard White is the General Manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, otherwise known as Metro.

My question was as follows:

Mr. White:
As a recent college graduate with a degree in Public Administration, and also as a transit enthusiast, I am considering a career with Metro. Are there any pointers you might give on how to best “get a foot in the door” with Metro?

And his answer was helpful in providing direction to me. I’ve linked to his response below. It feels so good to have my question answered on the WMATA forum.

And my next trip to Washington is February 2 with my friend Katie.

Categories: WMATA

I’m getting there…

January 28, 2005, 8:23 AM

Aside from fiddling with the new Internet connection and clearing space in my room with the intention of organizing, sorting, and deciding the fate of junk, I’ve also made considerable headway on my J20 photo set in Life and Times.

The photo set will be modeled on the Million Worker March prototype – broken into parts, with a modified narrative from the Journal. And unless something changes between now and the release, the set will have 109 photos, and seven movies (as a point of comparison, the Million Worker March had 75 photos and 14 movies). Right now, the only things that I can tell you are totally complete are the movies. Those are converted, freeze-framed, and uploaded. Done. I thought about offering one up as a preview, but upon looking at them, realized that they don’t stand up too well on their own, and that they need a photo set to support them.

I’m also going to do a “Literature” section again, containing PDF files of some of the pamphlets and such I’d gotten along the way. That, however, is the furthest from completion – I haven’t even scanned anything yet.

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This is odd…

January 27, 2005, 11:30 AM

When I woke up this morning around 8:30, the cable Internet was working correctly. Go figure. So I started surfing around with my newfound power. Went to Oren’s Transit Page to look at his site again now that I have a high-speed connection. His site is rather cumbersome to view using the 56K connection due to the way the graphics are set to load.

However, the connection was somewhat spotty. On again, and then off again. On again, and off again. Then it went off for a long time, cutting off my view of Metro’s old Gillig Phantoms. This also dropped all my IM services. Then it came back on. Reconnect to IM. Once I got all reconnected, it dropped, which disconnected all my IM again. And we repeat.

So we can at least get data to come into the system. That’s a good sign. I called Adelphia to find out what was wrong, and it turns out they have about three modems in our area experiencing difficulty connecting… and ours is one of them. So they kept our appointment for a house call for Sunday. And I’m still writing this on dial-up.

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Categories: Internet

No high-speed Internet yet…

January 26, 2005, 8:43 PM

Nope. No high-speed Internet. More 56K. Oh, boy.

Well, not yet. We have to get the cable guy over to make a house call to get it started because they say that something is wrong hardware-wise somewhere along the line. So they’re coming on Sunday to fix it and hopefully get it going.

Still, I did buy $300 worth of stuff at Wal-Mart to hook everyone up with it. About half of that equipment is opened and scattered around my room. Some of it’s hooked up. Some of it is halfway hooked up. I had to stop when we found out that a house call was needed.

All I have to say is that I’m pleased and upset all at the same time. I’m pleased because I know that it’s not a mistake on my part, and that I most likely did it correctly. But then I’m upset because I have to wait for my high-speed Internet, which I’d be hoping to write this Journal entry on this evening.

Somehow, we’ll get it all straight in the end, I’m sure.

Categories: Internet, Power Rangers

Don’t you just love it when some idiot pulls out in front of you?

January 26, 2005, 4:11 PM

I’m chugging up my road at 25 mph (in other words, going the speed limit), and this lady backs right out in front of me. Literally right in front of me. I blew my horn to no avail. I ended up having to make a hard stop to avoid a collision. And at that I was successful. We didn’t hit. We missed each other by about four or five feet, I’d say.

Still, for me that’s too close for a car perpendicular to my direction of travel. After everyone stopped, she pulled back into her driveway, enabling me to proceed.

But anyway, that left me a little shaken nonetheless. Thus why I’m writing in my Journal before hooking up the cable Internet.

Otherwise, though, I had fun while I was out. I went to the Virginia Employment Commission to register for their services for assistance in finding that dream job in Washington. I also went up to Adelphia Cable on Augusta Street in Staunton to get a box of cable stuff for the Internet service. And then I went to Wally World in Staunton to get all the equipment for the connection. And now I get to set it all up. Next entry will be on that sweet, sweet cable.

Categories: Driving

All I have to say is goodbye 56K Internet service!

January 25, 2005, 8:56 PM

This is the day I’ve been waiting for! Tomorrow we abandon our 56K Internet service, in favor of CABLE.

And guess who’s setting up the whole thing. You guessed it – me. I’m also doing all the shopping for it. Wednesday morning, I’m going to Adelphia’s office in Staunton, then going to the Staunton Wal-Mart to get all the equipment. I’m getting a cable modem, wireless router, PCI cards for the big computers, PCMCIA cards for the laptops, etc. And then when it’s all finished, high-speed Internet will finally have arrived.

Let me tell you… having high-speed Internet will be VERY nice. Uploads will be a breeze. No longer will uploading a major update take hours. This is going to be SO nice. I’ll also finally be able to give my Online Store the revamping that it’s so badly needed for some time.

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Categories: Computer, Internet

I can’t believe that this made the Washington Post…

January 23, 2005, 10:55 PM

I’m amazed to see this in The Washington Post for Sunday, after a friend from the Washington DC area brought it to my attention. The article is entitled “Bible Breaks at Public Schools Face Challenges in Rural Virginia”.

The issue is about Staunton Public Schools and a Weekly Religious Education program, where students are pulled out of school for a period of time each week to go off the property to a local church or portable building to have what basically amounts to Sunday school during school hours. Citing higher academic standards, a group of parents have asked the school board to discontinue the program, after Harrisonburg (30 miles to the north) discontinued the program mid-year.

It’s interesting to see what various people have to say about the issue. Now take in mind that I live in a “red state”. My area is quite conservative. What’s amusing, though, is how so many of these so-called “Christians” are showing their true colors. This is the I-don’t-care-what-you-think-and-so-go-shove-it attitude. One letter-writer in the Staunton paper, who said that they were originally from Arlington and were speaking against the program, was told by another letter-writer that if they don’t like it, then they should go back to Arlington. I think it would be quite appropriate to offer this as a reaction: Jesus Christ

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Always be careful what you wish for…

January 22, 2005, 11:45 PM

We got snow again. Fun stuff. And not just a little dusting. This was SNOW, like snow snow, like make-the-parking-lot-treacherous snow. It snowed while I was at work. Coming in, the roads were perfect, and so I was able to run at full speed, set the cruise control, and then slip right into the parking lot. Going home, however, the parking lot was badly plowed, leaving a layer of packed snow on the lot, making walking pretty rough. I was actually partly blocked in by the snow plows, as they had to plow around my car, and thus there was a ring of snow around my car. I had to back-and-forth my way out of my parking space. Getting the tires to “grab” something was a challenge, but somehow I got out, and then it was smooth sailing from there, albeit slippery sailing. I was fine until I was almost home. There’s a stop sign right across from our driveway. I stopped. And then started spinning my wheels. Not a good thing. I was thinking, of all places, right in front of the house. At least it wasn’t in the middle of 340 or somewhere remote. And I also soon got a grip on the road again, and rolled right into the driveway.

It was also amusing to see Wal-Mart before and after the snow. Before the snow, everyone and their mother was at Wal-Mart, cleaning us out. It was like Christmas all over again. Then it started to snow. The crowd dropped off quickly, and it became a BORING day, with everyone kind of wondering how their trip home from work is going to turn out.

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Categories: Winter weather

The Counter-Inaugural…

January 21, 2005, 11:10 PM

On January 20, 2005, George W. Bush was inaugurated as President of the United States for a second term. While many were in Washington to cheer Bush on, others were in Washington to demonstrate against the Bush administration. I was with the latter group. We did not agree with the Bush Administration’s policies, and were out there voicing it.

I actually got up for this event at midnight. It turned January 20, and I was up and running. I left the house at 1 AM, and, after having to turn around a few miles out because I forgot some stuff, I was off again for real. I made it to the Sheetz in Mt. Jackson for breakfast at 2 AM, and, realizing that I was WAY further ahead than I anticipated, I decided to eat in rather than eating on the go, which I usually do. Not bad. And then we were off!

Next stop: Wal-Mart in Woodstock for some “protest supplies”. Namely, bottled water. So I bought a 12-pack of Aquafina for possible later use. And we continue, on to Vienna.

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And now, on my way to Washington DC at this extremely insane hour…

January 19, 2005, 10:38 PM

If you can imagine this, I’m going to try to get to Washington a full four and a half hours earlier than usual today. The reason is because it’s Bush’s second inaugural, and I will be attending a few counter-demonstrations today. I call it the we-hate-Bush crowd.

I wonder if I’ll run into Mrs. Weekley, my high school government teacher (and GPOS 225 professor at JMU by virtue of AP credit) while I’m up there. She told me at Wal-Mart that she was going, and that is what sealed the deal for my going to the inaugural protests, even though we won’t be going together. I wonder if Mrs. Weekley’s planning on going to the ANSWER-sponsored events, or if she’s going to the march by DAWN. I don’t know, but I do know that ANSWER has fallen out of favor with a number of people, and even got booed at the Million Worker March. I’m going to the DAWN events.

I also wonder if Bush’s car will get nailed with eggs again this year, since that came up a few times in discussion with coworkers. Speaking of coworkers, I got “mixed reviews” on this demonstration, even from some of the we-hate-Bush crowd. I guess because it is the inauguration, and thus not just a “regular” demonstration such as J5 or the Million Worker March.

And the following Metro stations will be closed at various points in the day to “accommodate the security precautions related to the inauguration, the parade, and inaugural balls”: Smithsonian, Archives-Navy Memorial, and Mount Vernon Square/7th Street Convention Center. A railfan friend of mine was amazed that Federal Triangle was not also closing.

Categories: Activism, DC trips, WMATA

I was raised by a cup of coffee…

January 18, 2005, 7:36 PM

Let me tell you something… at work today on my first break, I made a strong pot of coffee. A lot of people at work were talking about the “really strong” coffee. I had no qualms in claiming ownership of that pot of coffee. I made it strong, and on purpose, because I was kind of tired.

After my cup of that strong coffee, I straight up said what I thought of it. In my best Strong-Bad-as-Homsar voice, I said, “DaAaAaA! I was raised by a cup of coffee!” since today, that was quite true. That coffee raised me up quite a bit. Heck, that coffee that I brewed this morning was so strong it could quite possibly raise the dead. This was strong coffee.

And near the end of the day, I still had my orange soda break. I always have orange soda on my last break.

Categories: Food and drink

Finally, it’s snowing! How long have I been waiting for this?

January 16, 2005, 7:53 PM

Finally, winter came back after two weeks of spring-like temperatures. And tonight, the snow is falling. I am so happy.

And I’m also happy that I’m back home. I had to drive home from work in the snow. And let me tell you… it’s looking a bit ugly out there right now, as snow is not only covering the ground, but also the roads. That was fun to drive in – ha ha ha. It was a long, SLOW trip from Wal-Mart to home. But the car and I made it home in one piece, so that was good.

Now, though, I wonder how much snow we’ll have come morning.

Categories: Winter weather

It only took them nearly two years to do it…

January 14, 2005, 7:21 PM

Finally the US has called off its search for weapons of mass destruction (hereafter WMDs) in Iraq, realizing that there are no weapons. And what amazes me is that George W. Bush has no regrets about it, despite that his primary reason for invading Iraq in the first place – the WMDs – turned out to be from inaccurate information.

I find it worthwhile to show you something that was shown at Metro Center station in April 2004:

MoveOn advertisement claiming George W. Bush knew that there were no weapons

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Categories: National politics