An online survey

7 minute read

June 16, 2005, 12:05 PM

I thought I’d try one of those Email surveys. You know, the ones all your friends send you (you know, the ones that won’t be your friend much longer because they keep sending you all those annoying forward-this Emails). I’d gotten the idea that I wanted to do one on here, and you know me… I tend to be a little long-winded. So let’s take it for a spin, using this survey that I found online.

So, as Strong Bad might say, “Let’s get this train wreck a-rollin!”


The plates in my kitchen are green and white, with an ivy theme on them. They’re cute, but when I find a real job and move out, I’m not getting anything like that. My dinnerware is going to be black, which is really shaping up to be a color I really like.

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Categories: Netculture

Cleaning out another corner of the closet…

2 minute read

June 15, 2005, 7:30 PM

It’s really amazing what I found in this wing of the closet. First of all, I managed to fill up two tubs’ worth of crap that’s getting hauled out (and I’m not even finished with this corner yet).

I did, however, find a whole bunch of pictures (a few of which may end up on this part of the Web site), three cents, and, of all things, the Grimes Good Egg pin that I got in May of 1989 (second grade).

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Good Egg Award is basically a student-of-the-month kind of award, given to one student in each class at Bonnie Grimes Elementary School. Officially, the award is given for “good citizenship”. Though it really was more of a “teacher’s pet” award. And you could tell, too, because the same faces got the award every year, and those kids would wear ALL their Good Egg award pins at once, which always irked me, since until the end of second grade, I’d never gotten the Good Egg award.

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Categories: House

“I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

< 1 minute read

June 14, 2005, 10:42 PM

On my lunch break, I went to our in-store McDonald’s to get lunch, since our lines on the front end were backed out the wazoo (even the self-checkouts!). McDonald’s wasn’t busy. So since they weren’t busy, I decided to see what their reaction would be. I came up to the counter, and said that famous line of Wimpy‘s: “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

And the reaction?

*crickets chirping with blank stares*

Yeah, none of the people at the counter got it. The manager, however, did get it, and got a kick out of it.

Sometimes throwing pop culture references around is fun. Also amusing is that today was Thesday, so “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” was rather odd. Of course, I did gladly pay them Tuesday for a hamburger today, since it was Tuesday and all…

Categories: Food and drink, Television

What do a candidate’s freshman year grades in college really have to do with anything?

2 minute read

June 13, 2005, 7:11 PM

I was reading an article in the Staunton News Leader today at work, talking about John Kerry’s grades in college as compared to those of George W. Bush. I was reading the article, and the question came up again and again – what does this have to do with anything? John Kerry graduated Yale in 1966, and George W. Bush graduated in 1968. As of Election Day 2004, that would make John Kerry’s college days 38 years in the past, and would make George W. Bush’s college days 36 years in the past. Since then, both men pursued their various careers.

I consider career accomplishments better performance indicators than grades, which I consider along the lines of the old saying, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Call it what you will, but I find grades to be rather meaningless, as I’ve seen so many professors play with the numbers to make the grades look the way they want them to look. Besides, what’s important in the college experience? I quote from Dr. Stillion’s Student FAQ:

Since THAT is the very, very valuable thing for which you are investing all this money, time, and energy, you should study with the goal of learning ALL of the material to the best of your ability – and NEVER MIND the grade. In the end, you are NOT learning this stuff for a grade (I know that may seem strange, but it is nevertheless TRUE). Ten years from now, NOBODY will care what grade you made in this course – NOT EVEN YOU … . However, ten years from now, somebody’s LIFE may depend upon how well you comprehended and retained this material with the ability to APPLY it to their situation. … This is true for Psychology classes whether or not you ultimately work in a Psych-related field. Even if you ended up working picking strawberries somewhere, your ability to recognize, for example, a depressed co-worker and get them the help they need could make the difference between life and death for them.

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Categories: National politics

Today was a good day, though a long day.

3 minute read

June 13, 2005, 6:01 PM

Today was a good day. It was also a long day, but a good day nonetheless. The customers were nice, and seemed to do fairly well today on the self-checkouts, compared to a weekend, where people seem to have trouble on them.

All in all, it was quite a pleasant day. It seemed to be a long day, too, but it was a good day. And we were comfortably busy. Not bad.

And then otherwise, I realized that I’m nearly two weeks late writing this month’s newsletter. I guess with everything going on lately it just totally slipped my mind. Well, I’m going to rectify that just as soon as I finish this Journal entry.

Today was also an interesting head-music day for me. I had the weirdest songs floating through my head today. I had Marzipan’s scroll buttons song running through my head. I had the Crying Kitten song in my head today. I had the I Love You Kitten song stuck in my head. I had Yatta playing on a loop in my head. Today just seemed to be a day for all the different “Internet Songs” to take over my mind.

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A very hot day in DC!

7 minute read

June 9, 2005, 9:28 PM

What a hot day it was on Wednesday. But it was a fun day, though I tried to spend as little time as possible in the sun, and outside for that matter. A good day to go railfanning for most of the day, as Metro’s air-conditioned in and out, with varying degrees of effectiveness.

But first, some outdoor photography, with an emphasis on vertical photos, so that they would be easy to use in the photo feature on the main page. I spent a little time downtown, since I wanted some new urban photography for use on the Web site. I was successful here, and so I got off at Farragut West and walked down to Murrow Park, across the street from the World Bank. Last time I was down that way was for A16, when Sis and I went to a big demonstration.

This particular day, it was, as expected, normal. I got a few pictures, and then slipped into the Starbucks across the street from the World Bank. Now you want to know what was downright bizarre? Wherever there was a fire alarm strobe, there was not one, but two. A Gentex strobe was to the left, and a Wheelock strobe to the right. Like this:

Two different fire alarm strobes, side by side

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Categories: DC trips, Retail, WMATA

I can’t believe it’s been a year…

3 minute read

June 5, 2005, 8:09 PM

I can’t believe it’s been a year since the June 5 anti-war demonstration sponsored by ANSWER Coalition. I can’t get over that it’s been that long.

Goodness… I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember being excited, but a little bit nervous, since it would be my first time as a true participant, vs. the previous one where I’d stayed on the sidelines the whole time.

I wrote about the June 5 demonstration in the Journal back in June 2004, and it’s good reading. I still regret packing Big Mavica for that demonstration, as all the photos I took were taken with my cell phone. It was a good day temperature-wise, as the rain that fell that day cooled things off a bit.

After the march, I found myself near the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan station. I visited a nearby McDonald’s, where other participants in the march went afterwards, and I also helped out a girl who was in tears because she was stranded by her boyfriend in DC, hundreds of miles from home (she was from the Virginia Beach area). I provided comfort, and help. She was nice. I hope things worked out for her in the end.

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I only cleaned out a little tiny section, and I’m well on my way to three tubs of refuse!

< 1 minute read

June 2, 2005, 8:43 PM

Well, I procrastinated all Wednesday and much of Thursday, but I did get started on Thursday evening. And this is going to be a BIG job. I only cleaned out a little bit of stuff on the floor and ended up with two full tubs of refuse, destined for the landfill, and one tub with the stuff that I’m going to keep, sell, or donate.

It’s interesting what I found, too. A lot of it was literally trash. Paper. Empty boxes. Old, dried-up markers and stuff. I did find three new Sharpies, though, which I’m going to keep.

I also found some old clothes that I didn’t realize I had. I have an old “CFW Information Services” shirt still new in the plastic. That shirt is going away. Look for it in a thrift store near you. I also found a bunch of old, obsolete computer books, and some old textbooks from when Mom was a teacher before, back in the 1970s. Mom taught in New Jersey from 1973-1981, had me and then Sis, and didn’t go back to teaching until 1997.

Speaking of which, today was the last day of school for the county, and Mom tells me that her students all lined up at the end of the day for hugs. How cute!

But anyway, though, I can already tell that this project is going to require quite a few trips to the landfill to dispose of all the stuff that my Schumin High Intensity Target locator (think about that for a moment) came up with.

Categories: House

The enemy has been identified, and we shall clean its clock…

< 1 minute read

June 1, 2005, 11:43 AM

This is the enemy, as identified by the Super High Intensity Target locator (I’m not even going to give you the acronym for that one – figure it out yourself):

The closet

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Categories: House

My birthday: It sucked.

3 minute read

May 31, 2005, 5:02 PM

May 30, my 24th birthday, was awful. I wanted no attention, and had decided not to request the day off so I could forget about my birthday by just doing the work thing.

That didn’t quite work out. Everyone and their mother knew it was my birthday yesterday, and no one would leave me alone. Everyone meant well, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted nothing more than to not hear about it. Still, there were no less than FOUR announcements made on the squawk box – one after I specifically told the person to their face not to make the announcement. Then there was a small group of coworkers that came up behind me and started clapping and singing “Happy Birthday”. I ran the other direction.

It was enough to just want to curl up and die. And so many people didn’t understand why I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday this year. I even mentioned how I vetoed a cake and a card this year. No cake. No card. That’s how you know I’m serious, when I specifically said I didn’t want a cake or even a birthday card.

Couple the relentless (but well-intentioned) unwanted attention with the fact that I hadn’t quite had enough sleep the night before, and I was completely miserable on my birthday. I even got a form letter from the CEO of Wal-Mart’s stores division wishing me a happy birthday. With a misspelling in it, no less. They obviously went to the Dan Quayle school of spelling, as I was wished a “greate” year instead of a “great” year. How professional.

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Categories: Birthdays, Myself

I am trying to make my birthday a non-event this year…

2 minute read

May 28, 2005, 11:00 PM

I am SO trying to make my birthday, May 30, a non-event this year. For some reason I just don’t want to be reminded that it’s coming up, and want it to pass without notice.

And I certainly don’t want it announced over the loudspeaker at work, going so far to say that, while admitting that it is coming up soon, it is on an “undisclosed date”.

I have also told the family in the last day or so that I want NO birthday cake, and NO card. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t particularly want to celebrate my birthday this year. Last year, it was a bit of a non-event, too. That time, instead of saying no cake, I said no chocolate cake, and if I found a chocolate cake, was fully prepared to launch it into the backyard, icing first. It ended up being a red velvet cake, which was satisfactory.

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Categories: Birthdays, Myself

My adventure in College Park…

9 minute read

May 26, 2005, 7:51 PM

I went up to the DC area today, and, in an unusual twist of things, spent NO time above ground in downtown Washington DC.

Arriving at Vienna, one thing I quickly noticed in the North Garage was that the contractor had completed work on the first section of the garage to undergo rehabilitation, and had moved to the second section. I’m not quite sure what they did in rehabilitating it, since it looked exactly the same as it did before. Who knows. On the top level, a pickup truck was parked so badly in its space so as to make the opening for the space next to it a little too close for comfort. Thus there was this very attractive looking empty space, but it was a little too tight of a squeeze to get in there. I ended up having to wait for the guaranteed spaces to open up at 10:00, and then parked on the third level.

Getting on the train at Vienna, I rode a mixed consist of Breda 4000-series cars and CAF cars. Leaving the station, the 4000s were in front, and the four CAFs followed behind. The operator out of Vienna knew me from a previous trip.

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I finally settled my conscience in regards to a March 16 incident…

2 minute read

May 23, 2005, 10:50 PM

I finally settled my conscience regarding a run-in with Metro’s contractor on March 16 at Stadium-Armory. You may know that Metro has Lunchtalk Online chats twice a month. Last Friday’s chat was with Richard White, Metro’s General Manager/CEO, as well as the two new Red Line managers, BJ Jones and Bob Hester, on improving the Metro system.

So I posted a message entitled Safety practices of Metro canopy construction contractor, where I discussed what happened on that day. Mr. White responded that they would follow up with the contractor, which made me feel much better about the whole incident.

By the way, I originally wrote about this incident in my Journal, in the entry dated March 17, 2005 at 5:37 PM, entitled “All in all, it was a good trip to Washington!

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Categories: WMATA

I should do a black-and-white day…

2 minute read

May 22, 2005, 7:17 PM

Seriously, I should do a black and white day. One day when I go to Washington, I should switch Big Mavica over to black-and-white and see what I can come up with. I think it will make me think differently about how I compose my photos, and kind of break the monotony.

I’ve contemplated doing a photo set or something in black and white before, but I’ve always been a bit timid about actually shooting the originals in black-and-white for fear of missing something good in color, or wishing I’d had something in color that was shot in grayscale. Since you can shoot in color and then convert to black-and-white, but you can’t convert black-and-white to color so easily. But of course, that kind of wimping out really got me far. See any black-and-white photo sets on the site? Answer is that at the time of this writing, there are none there. I shot in color, and thus the photos weren’t designed for black and white. Because when you shoot in color, you think in color. And thus they look funky in grayscale.

Compare for a moment, using the Photo Feature that I ran on April 20 of this year:

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Categories: Photography

What’s up? The ceiling.

3 minute read

May 22, 2005, 4:22 PM

Sometimes the “usual” greeting becomes part of the relationship. Other times, it just gets annoying. So goes it sometimes. I have officially had it with people responding to my “what’s up” with “the sky” or “the ceiling”. It’s gotten old, and it’s time to move on to something new.

However, one thing that a coworker and I do is really clever. We each say “hi”, then I say “What’s up?” and she says, “Ain’t nothin’.” That had been going on for months. Recently, we switched it up. I said “hi”, then she said “What’s up?” and I replied, “Ain’t nothin’.” It was clever since we switched our normal responses and it just came off so naturally that we both got a kick out of it. Life is interesting sometimes.

Speaking of interesting days, I went to Lake Moomaw on Thursday as planned. I got there via Lexington and Covington. It’s not the most direct way to get there, but it’s the only way I know (but if you do know of a shorter way to get to the Coles Mountain recreational area, let me know).

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Categories: Lake Moomaw