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Alstom 6017 was the fire car…

April 10, 2007, 11:30 PM

Once again, my travels around DC Metro take me on rail cars that later make the news. Many of you may have heard the news about a fire on a rail car on Sunday, April 8 at the Waterfront-SEU station. According to Metro in a press release, the car whose motor caught fire was Alstom 6017. I’ve ridden that car before. I rode it on January 4, 2007 on the Green Line from Fort Totten to Shaw-Howard U. I was on my way to the Infoshop, after failing to find any Yellow Line trains above Mt. Vernon Square. It turned out that my timing was a bit off. Yellow Line trains had just changed to peak service, terminating at Mt. Vernon Square instead of Fort Totten.

I just hope that they find the cause of the fire. I just took Mom on an Alstom on Monday while we were up in Washington (we got 6040), and I don’t want to have to deal with an Alstom exploding with Mom on board. She was, however, impressed by the new floor plan on the Alstoms. There’s a lot more room for standees, and a lot of new places to grab to hang on.

Meanwhile, finding out that it was an Alstom throws my guess as to the identity of the fire car right out the window. When I heard about the fire on WMAL, I’d hazarded a guess that the fire car was a CAF – the same car class that had the recent derailment at Mt. Vernon Square. Yeah, CAF came out clean this time.

Categories: WMATA

One more snow picture…

April 8, 2007, 8:52 AM

After I posted the previous shots, I was made aware of one more shot of the snow:

More snow

Mom took that one a little earlier than I did for mine, and from the street. As you can see, it really did snow, all right. And, as we expected, it was all gone by 5:00 yesterday evening.

Categories: Winter weather

It’s what month now?

April 7, 2007, 10:47 AM

I’m starting to have my doubts on the springiness of the spring here. Check these out, taken a few minutes ago from my bedroom window:

Snow in the neighborhood in April

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Categories: Winter weather

What a neat use for a hood ornament!

April 6, 2007, 12:47 PM

While Katie and I were at the mall yesterday, we saw one other thing that caught my eye. One patron of the mall had a Mercedes, and they modified the hood ornament on their car:

Mercedes logo turned into a peace sign

It almost makes me wish I had a Mercedes so I could adapt the hood ornament into a peace sign for my own use. What a great use, going from a corporate advertisement to a very relevant sentiment in this day and age.

Categories: Anti-war, Katie, Staunton

“Staunton” and “Augusta County” are mutually exclusive…

April 6, 2007, 10:47 AM

Katie and I went to Staunton Mall yesterday evening, and had a great time. Then we went to Applebee’s for dinner, which was fun (though we ended up having to sweeten the sweet tea!).

One thing that led to an interesting discussion was when we saw a Sheriff’s deputy’s car parked outside the mall. I made the comment about the fact that seeing that is a reminder that technically, Staunton Mall is in Augusta County, to which Katie replied, “Well, yeah, Staunton’s in Augusta County.”

My little ears kind of perked up on that one, and my mind with its background in public administration kicked right into gear. I was like, “Noooooooo… Staunton is an independent city, therefore by definition it is not part of Augusta County.” And being in the car and being on the Belk side of the mall made it much easier to describe, because the boundary roughly runs along the edge of the mall’s property on that side. What better place to have this discussion than right at the city limits, no? I was like, “We’re in the county right now, but that CVS over there is in Staunton. Therefore, if you call Staunton Police for an incident at the mall, they’re out of their jurisdiction, since that’s Augusta County. They’ll refer you to the Augusta County Sheriff’s office.

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The challenges of trying to convert things…

April 5, 2007, 11:04 AM

My life is never dull. I am slowly but surely working to convert my site from one that operates on a Windows-based server to one that runs on a Unix/Linux/whatever-based server. I’m doing this because I seem to have hit a wall in my design. Everywhere I want to go requires a non-Windows server. So we’re converting. I’m going to eventually learn PHP and MySQL, and do it.

Some of you have already seen the forum, running on phpBB. The next thing I’m working on is the Journal, where it will be powered by WordPress. It’s going to look and feel mostly the same as before, though it will have this nifty RSS feed when it’s all said and done. I can phase in other features later.

Otherwise, I’ve been listening to my fair share of conservative radio talk show hosts. I still like Chris Lysy’s way of putting it: “Daily dose of outrage”. Lately, I’ve been listening to Mark Levin on podcast. I think I’ve been listening to too much Levin when I read the newspaper and they mention Nancy Pelosi and the term “stretch” comes to mind. Likewise all of Mark Levin’s other derogatory names for all the Democrats in Congress. And of course, I enjoyed hearing the talk shows’ reaction to M17 on the following Monday. I was at M17, don’t forget. I think the best comment was the accusation someone made of the anti-war demonstrators on Mark Levin’s show. They said that people were taking the Metro back into DC and marching around again to make the numbers look bigger. I find that kind of odd, especially since the Pentagon Metro station is on the south side of the Pentagon, and we were north of the Pentagon. I consider Pentagon station as kind of being required to pull such a stunt off, since Arlington Cemetery would have skipped half the march route. Also consider the fact that police were physically blocking the way to Pentagon station. Plus in DC, the Lincoln Memorial (the start of the march route) is not exactly near any Metro stations. Bottom line is, it’s impractical, and wouldn’t work even if someone wanted to do it.

Sometimes it’s just amusing what the other side comes up with…

Categories: Greta, Radio, Schumin Web meta

“Stop the funding, stop the war, what the hell is Congress for?”

April 2, 2007, 9:59 AM

I was out and about on Thursday, and heard on the news about two similar spending bills passing the House and the Senate that included the withdrawal deadline. Now it must go to conference committee to get all the differences ironed out between the House and Senate version. I was quite pleased, though I highly doubt it will make it to law, because President Bush has promised a veto on the bill should it make it to his desk with a deadline in it.

I’ll be the first to tell you that we shouldn’t have been in Iraq in the first place. Saddam didn’t have anything to do with the price of tea in China when it came to the “war on terror”, and we’ve facilitated the country’s fall into a civil war, which is something that the Iraqi people are going to have to figure out for themselves if it’s ever going to get settled.

Still, I’m pleased to see that the new Democratic Congress is taking steps to end this war. We got the message out loud and clear at J27 and M17, and it seems that it’s taken hold. Good…

Categories: National politics