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And the new colors reach the 4000s…

September 28, 2007, 3:44 PM

Metro has done something I didn’t think they’d do before at least 2011. They’ve started changing the color scheme on the 4000-series cars, which were built by Breda in 1991. Take a look at Breda 4063, shown here…

Breda 4063 with CAF carpet and seats

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Categories: WMATA

The things you see at Dupont Circle…

September 26, 2007, 8:19 PM

Here’s why I love working near Dupont Circle. It’s because you never know what you’re going to see. And this isn’t even political – it’s sometimes just downright off the wall. Seriously.

Now coming out of the Metro through Dupont Circle station’s south entrance in the morning, you’ll normally see several people. There’s the guy handing out the Express, the guy handing out the Examiner, you’ll possibly see a person playing music, and sometimes people handing out flyers for the deal-du-jour. Today, there was a guy handing out flyers… wearing a chicken suit. Well, actually, I think he was supposed to be a rooster, based on the appearance. But regardless, there he was. Check it out…

A man in a rooster costume hands out literature at Dupont Circle station

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Categories: Amusing, Commuting

Would you believe it’s been two years already?

September 25, 2007, 2:42 PM

Would you believe it? Two years! As of yesterday, it’s been two years since this…

Black bloc participants take a moment to stretch before the march.

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Categories: Anti-war, Black bloc

Four days and counting…

September 24, 2007, 2:33 PM

I am excited! In four days, my friend Katie is coming to visit me up in Maryland. She’s going to be taking Amtrak from Charlottesville to Union Station, and will be staying three nights. It’s going to be so much fun! I’m taking the day off on Friday, and so after I spend much of the day cleaning and scrubbing and making the place look really nice for Katie’s arrival, I’m going to hop on the Metro and ride into DC to go to Union Station to meet her. We’re going to have such fun, too.

Otherwise, I finally finished College Life last night, and so now it’s all back together and looks goooooood. It’s designed a little differently than it was before, with a left-hand menu like Schumin Web. And it’s also up to my current design standards, which required a bit of retrofitting. But we’re done. I’m tickled.

And now, the next thing to do is a small update on the discussion forums, and then Transit Center. That’s going to be fun. Transit Center is not going to be a simple restoration. No way. Transit Center was incredibly cumbersome to handle before, which is why updates were so few – because it was too much of a pain in the butt to deal with. Now, I’m rewriting everything from scratch.

So all in all, I’m excited about this weekend, and in the meantime, I still have plenty to do…

Categories: Katie, Schumin Web meta

I will be so glad when College Life is finished…

September 22, 2007, 4:38 PM

You’re darn right I’ll be glad when College Life is finished. As you may know, I’m still converting the site to PHP following the crash on July 18. I’ve been working in College Life, and I’m “over the hill” as far as that restoration goes. We’re now officially on the back half.

Still, this has proven to be more of a challenge than the larger main Schumin Web site. College Life involved a moderate redesign, and all of the photos were retrofitted with black borders that Schumin Web has had on all photo sets from the Million Worker March on. The menu was also repositioned, and there were other minor changes. It’s still going to look like College Life, though, but it incorporates design changes that various people suggested. The reason for all the headache is because I’m bringing the site up to my current design standards. Thus along with moving pages and what have you, I also did a considerable amount of recoding. Yeah, fun, ain’t it? A lot of stuff has to get changed. But it will look and work well when it’s done.

I’m glad this is the last straight restoration I’m doing. Transit Center is getting redone practically from scratch in order to institute a better system, and then Today’s Special’s going to be redone as a wiki. So work there will be quite different. After all, straight conversions are boring. Hours of work go into something that, when it’s all over, looks to the casual observer exactly the same as what you started with.

Categories: Schumin Web meta

Score!

September 21, 2007, 2:53 PM

Look at this…

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Which leaves you more winded?

September 17, 2007, 2:23 PM

Which leaves you more winded? An anti-war protest, or the Dupont Circle escalator? The escalator. This morning, coming out of the Metro on my way to work, the “up” escalator was not running at Dupont Circle. So I had to climb up rather than ride it up. And for those not familiar, Dupont Circle is a DEEP station. So that’s a lot of steps. And stopping is not an option, either, as you have a whole bunch of my fellow morning commuters right behind me, already cranky for having to climb the equivalent of several stories’ worth of stairs to get to work, before the day’s first cup of coffee. So that was no fun.

And out of three escalators, the only working escalator was going down. But hey, I got my cardio workout for the day.

Meanwhile, since I mention it, I did go to the September 15 protest, and what a great time I had. I went with Maddy, Olga, and Jeff, and went with the Radical Cheerleading DC group. What an awesome time. I also ran into Isis, whom I’d first met in June. And I also spent some time with SDS. It was awesome!

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Categories: Anti-war, Friends, WMATA

So does anyone else see this as…

September 13, 2007, 2:41 PM

Does anyone else see Wal-Mart’s new slogan of “Save Money. Live Better” as reminiscent of Target’s “Expect More, Pay Less” slogan? I find it amazing how much Wal-Mart has been chasing Target, trying to be like them, in the last few years. It really looks like the little kid doing everything that an older person that they look up to does. It’s kind of pathetic-looking.

Still, Wal-Mart’s gone from gray to brown. They’ve upscaled their merchandise mix. They rolled out that test store in Plano, Texas. They’ve stopped including self-checkouts in their store updates. They switched from the blue vest to a uniform consisting of a dark blue shirt and khaki pants. Target stores are brown, they have a hipper merchandise mix, they have never used self-checkouts (quoted here as saying, “Target will not install self-checkout ’cause it takes away from the customer experience.”), and they dress their employees in red shirts and khaki pants.

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Categories: Walmart

So I guess you could say I had a good time in Stuarts Draft over the weekend…

September 11, 2007, 10:48 PM

All in all, I did have a good time. Spent time with the parents on Saturday, and with Katie on Sunday. We had a blast, too.

First of all, on the way in, as I mentioned, I photographed the Starbucks in Waynesboro at the request of a coworker, and here it is:

Starbucks in Waynesboro

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And now we’re back…

September 8, 2007, 5:17 PM

And welcome to Stuarts Draft, where I did quite a bit of growing up. The trip down was mostly routine, with the most stressful part of the trip being the Beltway. Then it was smooth sailing after I cleared Haymarket. I could probably drive the route with my eyes closed, since I’ve run this route like a zillion times, in both the Sable and the old Previa.

And on the way in, I made a few stops. First of all, I met up with Mom in Harrisonburg where we went to Costco together. I don’t know how I’m going to fit all the stuff she got me in my freezer, but I’m resourceful. I’ll come up with something. Then we went back to Stuarts Draft separately, since she was going straight home, and I went to the Waynesboro Wal-Mart, where I went to SmartStyle and got quite a bit of hair taken off. It had been a very long time since last I got a haircut, so this was much-needed. I also got to say hello to everyone, which I’d not done in a while, since I’d not been to my ex-store since June.

Then I also fulfilled the request for the photo of the freestanding Starbucks in Waynesboro with the drive-through window. And since I already had Big Mavica out, I also took a photo of the anatomically-correct bull statue in Stuarts Draft, the “Welcome to Stuarts Draft” sign, and the cows that live on the farm with the bull statue. And the cows were all staring at me, as cows do. Imagine this:

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Categories: Stuarts Draft, Waynesboro

Heading out for a weekend away from DC…

September 8, 2007, 8:21 AM

I tell you, I do love living in the DC area. However, occasionally, one must escape. And Mom will be glad to see me this weekend.

I’m actually going to be leaving in about ten minutes, and meeting Mom in Harrisonburg. There, we’re going to Costco, and doing whatever other Harrisonburg stuff we decide, then going back to Stuarts Draft. Well, actually, I’m not going back right away – I’m swinging by Satan’s Playground (Sis’s term for our ex-store) to go to SmartStyle to get a haircut. Plus I’ve not been in there since June, and so I’ve not seen a lot of people over there. There are a few folks over there that I actually miss.

Then at home, I get to see Greta again. Seeing Greta’s always a treat, since dogs don’t talk, thus I can’t catch up with Greta over the phone like I do with the humans.

And on Sunday? I get to see Katie! We’re going to go to Shoney’s, and also get her some train reservations for her DC trip at the end of this month. End of this month, she’s coming over to see me and we’re going to like run around DC and do whatever. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Then in that weird twist of things, I’m also doing some photo work for a few of my coworkers who want to see the free-standing Starbucks in Waynesboro complete with drive-through (that will be providing its customers with hormone-free milk by the end of the year), as well as a few of the sights of Stuarts Draft.

So this ought to be a fun weekend. See you in Draft!

Categories: Family, Greta, Katie

And I still haven’t gone grocery shopping…

September 4, 2007, 11:10 PM

I meant to go grocery shopping when… Sunday? And now it’s Tuesday night, and I still haven’t been. Shoppers is probably wondering where I’ve been. But yeah, this is what I get for hanging out late at the Infoshop. I didn’t get home until 9:00. So that shoots shopping for tonight…

So, yeah, the place is starting to look barren. I made my sandwich for tomorrow at work on regular bread (vs. my usual bagel), and packed the last peach for tomorrow. I have plenty of turkey, though.

Maybe Wednesday will be the day, though I could probably go all the way to Thursday if I really tried, before I really have to restock. But think about it. If I can squeeze out another week before I have to buy groceries again, this means I’m saving money. And saving money is good.

Categories: Shopping

I feel good now, for the most part…

September 4, 2007, 6:13 AM

There’s still a little bit of residual congestion going on, but otherwise, I feel good, and I once again express my gratitude that this happened over a long weekend, because it means I won’t miss any work over this.

Of course, it means that I am so behind on some of the stuff that I wanted to do for this weekend. What I did accomplish was at home – I cleaned the bathroom, and I did the laundry. I didn’t get to go grocery shopping, which means there’s still not much food in the house. Methinks I’ll hit up Shoppers tonight.

Still, I’m so glad to be feeling better again. Being sick just plain old sucks.

Categories: Health issues

No better weekend than a long weekend to be sick, I suppose…

September 3, 2007, 5:44 PM

Following my day at Potomac Mills on Saturday, I was sick as a dog on Sunday. Of course, I guess there’s no better time to get sick than on a long weekend, where there is no work to miss. Goodness knows there’s no way I would have been able to go to work today if it were a regular day.

Meanwhile, everything’s going back to normal now, as the fever I’d been running has been burning off, and the sore throat has been going away, and the headache-inducing cough has been getting less and less frequent. And the lymph nodes on the right side of my neck have gone back to normal.

In all the times I’ve been sick, though, I’ve never had “swollen glands”. It was weird. Thursday it started higher up, like it was some kind of food debris that I’d failed to brush out in my lower right molars. Then the next morning, the teeth were fine, but it had gone further down into the neck, and was slightly tender to the touch, and definitely a different feel – harder than usual. Then Saturday, the throat started to kick in, being scratchy and sensitive, and then Sunday, it was full blast – fatigue, throat, glands, fever, cough, headache, congestion… you name it. No fun. About all I did all day was sleep. Sleep, get up, feel bad, go back to sleep, get up, feel bad, go back to sleep… it was a never-ending cycle.

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Categories: Health issues

For seven bucks, who cares what the pattern is!

September 2, 2007, 2:53 PM

I went shopping on Saturday, and I had a blast. I went down to Potomac Mills, where I did some furniture shopping for work at Ikea, shuffled over to Casual Male for some odds and ends, and then went perusing the Outlets at the mall itself.

I have now been to Ikea enough times that I know what’s going on. Not like that Memorial Day trip where I was totally overwhelmed. I’ve got it down, yo. And the Woodbridge store is an exact duplicate of the one in College Park.

This time, though, I was going by myself. No problem. So I picked out the stuff for the office in the showroom, crossed through the “marketplace” without looking, and arrived at the big warehouse where you actually grab your furniture. Yippee. I had no difficulty with the boxes, but then steering was a problem. Usually, when I go to Ikea with someone, I drive the flat-cart from the back, and they steer. Since it was just me, I had to push and steer all at once, from the back. So imagine this if you will. All four wheels turn on this thing. Thus it can move in any direction or spin on the spot. Personally, I think they should have welded the back wheels to make them non-turnable, since that would make it far easier to control, though some maneuverability would be sacrificed. But it would be worth it. Still, I can’t drive these things. The weight of the furniture and my inability to get a good handle on steering would have made it a difficult move to the checkout. Thankfully, I was able to flag down an employee, who helped me get to the checkout.

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Categories: IKEA, Shopping