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“Greta says HI!”

October 30, 2007, 7:28 PM

Just before I left work for the day today, I got a text message from Mom with a photo:

Greta says HI!

And Mom added, “Greta says HI!” It’s always nice to see Greta. I haven’t seen her in a while, after all, since I’ve not been to Stuarts Draft since September. Plus with Greta being a dog, she can’t talk on the phone.

So that was awesome, seeing Greta and all. Next time I see Greta will be on November 22, when I come down to Stuarts Draft for Thanksgiving.

Categories: Greta

No better way to say “happy halloween”…

October 29, 2007, 8:21 PM

This is what greeted me as I took my usual walk along P Street to work this morning…

Pumpkins on P Street NW

Pumpkins! Aren’t they just darling? I like the one on the right because the face is just slightly off-kilter by design, and then the face on the one of the left isn’t exactly creepy, but it is the perfect complement to the über-happy one on the right.

Meanwhile, this year for halloween, I’m going as an office worker. My costume will consist of dress pants, dark shoes, and a collared shirt. No hat, and glasses on. Accessories to go with this costume include an iMac G5 and my red Swingline stapler. In other words, I’m not dressing up. Then when I get home, I’m changing into those pajama pants that only cost $7.00 at the JCPenney Outlet and making the next day’s lunch.

Still, it was so fun to see those pumpkins this morning…

Categories: Halloween, Work

“You’re not going to become one of those self-righteous Mac people, are you?”

October 25, 2007, 7:23 PM

You know you’re still a computer geek at heart when you get all excited when you see a shiny new operating system and get to install it. I remember back in the old days when I used to get excited over a new version of MS-DOS. I remember when we installed MS-DOS 5. That was exciting. Microsoft had completely revamped the DOS Shell for that version. Fun stuff. Then I remember Windows 95. That was exciting, too, exploring this new Windows with all this new stuff on board. Start menu – what’s that?

This time, though, we’re doing the operating system upgrade to “Tangerine Dreams” – my office Mac. So this will be exciting. I’ve never upgraded a Mac before. So this will be new and uncharted territory. After all, I’ve upgraded DOS and Windows numerous times, but never Mac OS. My understanding is that it’s fairly straightforward, but we’ll see.

This also marks the first time I’ve upgraded an operating system on the day it was released. I got Windows XP on the day after it was released, but never day-of. And this upgrade basically fits in my job description, too, as I’m also the day-to-day IT guy for the office, and so learning the newest operating system is important.

Meanwhile, with the whole excited-about-Leopard thing, in a phone call with Sis, she asked if I was becoming one of those self-righteous Mac people. I was like, no, because unlike a lot of those self-righteous Mac people who had been with Macs since the days of classic Mac OS, I’ve only been a serious Mac user since Mac OS X Tiger. However, I will be the first to say that my next computer will probably be a Mac, since Macs are awesome, and Windows Vista… kinda sucks. I think if I could put Mac OS on my Dell, I’d be a very happy person.

So, yeah, I’m excited.

Categories: Computer, Work

“I’ll be home a little before 7:00.”

October 22, 2007, 8:06 PM

Famous last words.

I got home at 8:00, and we can say there’s never a dull moment when riding Metro. First of all, my morning commute went swimmingly, and I had a good day at work. However, the evening commute was another story. Normally, going home, I walk to Dupont Circle, I take a Red Line train to Glenmont, and then Ride-On’s 51 bus. But today, due to a fire at Union Station, it took three trains, a bus, and a two-block walk to get home.

So I walked to Dupont Circle, talking to Mom on the phone as I walked. Then I got my Red Line train to Glenmont at Dupont Circle. CAF 5140. So we’re off. Farragut North. Metro Center. Gallery Pl-Chinatown. Judiciary Square. Stop in the tunnel. Sit. Hold. Meanwhile, I was somewhat absorbed in the game of Scrabble that I was playing on my phone, while listening to Randi Rhodes (with Lionel sitting in), so it took me a while to even realize we were stopped. I realized, wait a second, we’re not moving. Then the operator came on the PA. “Due to a fire at Union Station, I have been instructed to bring this train back to Judiciary Square.” So then the little interior LED, which until now said “RED” on it, went blank. The operator gets out, and walks through the train to the other end. Then the interior LED comes on again, and it says “RED” on it, which means the operator is on the Shady Grove end of the train, and he’s turned the train back on.  Which means we’ve gone from this:

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Categories: Commuting, WMATA

And here we are…

October 21, 2007, 1:30 PM

And here we are, RCDC, on October 20 in Franklin Square:

RCDC on October 20, photo Mike Flugennock
Photo: Mike Flugennock

In this photo, I’m second from the right, next to Maddy. You may recognize the outfit I’ve got on – yes, it’s the same one that I wore last halloween. The other people in the group loved it. So finally, my radical cheer outfit has seen an actual protest. Score!

Categories: World Bank

“Loosen the bra that binds you! Take it off if you feel like it!”

October 21, 2007, 11:28 AM

Let’s just say that it was a great march on October 20. The Georgetown march the day before went well aside from one incident where a bystander was struck by a projectile, but this one had no such incidents. The cheer group did its thing, and we were awesome. We cheered at the main rally, we cheered along the march route, and we cheered at the World Bank itself.

What really surprised me about Saturday’s march, though, is what happened once we got there, when a number of women began taking their clothes off en masse, shouting, “World Bank out! Skin is in!” while also encouraging other people to do likewise. I was quite literally speechless, as I couldn’t believe people were stripping in the streets. I, in fact, didn’t even take photos of the scene at first, until Maddy finally basically said, “Don’t be such a prude.” But yeah, some women stripped down to their bra and panties, some just took their shirts off and left the bra intact, while others went completely topless. No one went totally naked. The guys who participated just took their shirts off. Some of the photos will probably end up in the photo set, but I’m still trying to figure out how to display those photos without being explicit about it. They’re going to go up on the site for the sake of completeness, but as Mom and others look at the site, I’m going to clean the photos up a little bit to keep the site at a certain caliber. After all, this isn’t a porn site – this is Schumin Web.

Then after the protest, I went home, changed out of my cheer outfit and into more normal clothes, hopped in the Sable, and rode out to Dulles, where Mom had some teacher convention this weekend. According to her, it went swimmingly. Mom and I had dinner at this little Italian restaurant called “Pomodoro Pizza Pasta & More”, which was kind of like, as Mom described it, the McDonald’s of Italian restaurants. You ordered your food at the counter, and you got your own drink out of the fountain, and they gave you your order on a giant tray to take to your table. However, unlike a fast food restaurant, where everything is disposable, they served you your food on real plates, you had real silverware, and real cups. And the food was good, too. Mom and I both enjoyed it.

So all in all, not a bad day. There’s going to be a new photo set called “October Rebellion” in Life and Times, and what a weekend it was…

Categories: World Bank

And we’re on the flip side of the “rowdy” march…

October 20, 2007, 8:09 AM

Just as an update, I made it to the flip side of the rowdy march. That was something, with everyone in full black bloc going through Georgetown on a very wet night. But most people got out unscathed, and to my knowledge, no pepper spray was used on anyone. But that was an intense little march.

But we made it through. We were soaked, mind you, but we made it through. Now today is the permitted rally. This should be pretty tame, but draw a bigger crowd.

Remember – the cheer group meets at 10:30 at Tenleytown Metro and then will ride down together, and the main rally is at 12:30 at Franklin Square.

Categories: Black bloc, World Bank

It’s short notice from me, but…

October 19, 2007, 12:04 PM

World Bank protests this weekend in DC! Friday night (as in TONIGHT) at 9:00 PM at Washington Circle kicks off the “rowdy” march through Georgetown. Who knows how long that will run, but I’m bringing goggles, if that gives you any idea about what kind of march I’m anticipating this to be.

Meanwhile, Saturday at 12:30 at Franklin Square is the march that I’m really looking forward to. That’s the one where we’re cheering! Anyone who wants to cheer should meet at Tenleytown-AU Metro station at 10:30 AM tomorrow on the side where the AU shuttle picks up. That would be the entrance that’s not in front of Best Buy (Hollywood Video and Whole Foods are on that side). We’ve got a whole new cheer going on, and it’s going to be a real hit, about third-world debt. And I’m going to be dressed in my complete radical cheerleading outfit. Look for it. It’s going to be fun.

Categories: World Bank

Every time I see one of these…

October 19, 2007, 11:01 AM

…I just want to run it off the road. What am I referring to? Take a look:

Hummer limousine

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Categories: Products

I remember this day from three years ago like it was yesterday…

October 17, 2007, 2:32 PM

It’s 2:30 PM on October 17, 2007. Three years ago today, possibly down to the minute, I was running around with Teapot and crew looking for the guy in the hot dog suit and the chicken suit. Then right after that, I met Jess for the first time.

Yes, the Million Worker March was three years ago today. Three years ago today, I was in DC, and supporting the labor movement. Three years ago today, I was in front of the Hotel Washington, supporting the workers. Three years ago today, I visited the Infoshop for the first time. What a great find that turned out to be. Three years. Wow.

That demonstration produced a lot of memorable images, too…

The radical cheerleaders in action.
Radical cheerleaders…

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Categories: Activism

This is looking like it’s going to be a fun weekend…

October 16, 2007, 11:36 PM

It’s looking like it’s going to be a fun weekend coming up, with the protests surrounding the meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. And I’m psyched about it, considering it’s been a year and a half since the last time we protested this organization. Friday, I’m partaking in a “rowdy” march through Georgetown, and then Saturday, I’m participating in a more conventional march.

Friday’s “rowdy” march meets at 9:00 PM (yes, 9:00 at night) in Washington Circle. Hope to see you there. Considering the unspecified “rowdy” nature of the march, I’m going in full black bloc, and probably bringing goggles as well, just in case. Can’t be too careful, after all.

Then Saturday’s march starts at Franklin Square (i.e. take Metro to McPherson Square). For that march, I’m planning on getting together with RCDC, where I’ll be doing some radical cheerleading. So yeah, my radical cheerleading costume from last halloween is finally going to see the sun at an actual protest. I can’t wait. Then I have cheerleading practice for Saturday on Thursday night. This way I can get the moves down pat, because on September 15, the last time I was with RCDC, I didn’t have the moves down, and so you could see a “learning curve” as the day progressed. By the way, if this whole thing of my being affiliated with a local radical cheerleading group is coming as news to you, that’s okay. It goes with the Life and Times set for the September 15 protest, which has not yet been released.

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Categories: World Bank

You know you’ve always wanted to do this…

October 15, 2007, 2:41 PM

You know you’ve always wanted to do this:

I can’t believe, first of all, that this guy actually did it, and that he did it and got caught on camera. Of course, he kind of got it in the end, so to speak, as the glass broke on him, and, well, I know I’d hate to have my naked butt that close to shards of broken glass. One can only imagine how this guy tried to tap-dance his way out of that incident, especially having been caught on camera. I also wonder how much he had to pay out to fix the copier, since my guess is that it was probably more than glass that got busted. Additionally, I wonder how much injury he got to his behind. I’d hate to have to tell the doctor, “Well, I was sitting on the copier to copy my behind, and the glass broke.” I hope he came up with a better story than that.

Some people…

Categories: Amusing

He went from Crozet to DC in FIVE MINUTES!

October 14, 2007, 4:11 PM

While I was at Target yesterday, I picked up a copy of Evan Almighty, which is now available on DVD. I figured it ought to be nice to finally see the movie that I experienced during various stages of filming. You may recall that I showed you the ark in June 2006, and the Downtown Waynesboro Photography set was done while the area was still dressed up for the filming.

And now, I’ve seen it. Not a bad movie, no matter what the critics said. In the first part of it, I thought it was going to be a bit over-the-top religious, considering they had a big discussion about prayer and grabbed a Bible, but in the end, it wasn’t too bad. The filming they did in Staunton got shown right up front, as we saw Evan (Steve Carell) campaigning on the stage in Gypsy Hill Park, and riding up Johnson Street. Then Waynesboro got some air early on, too, as he rode up Main Street in his Hummer. Got to see everything. That was fun. Even the museum-turned-coffee-shop got some air, though I couldn’t read the sign in the window. The last thing to be seen in the Waynesboro shot was the Wayne Theatre, with its “40 Year Old Virgin Mary” marquee. That’s something for the Wayne Theatre Alliance to aspire to, as the building was portrayed as a working theatre in the movie. And then the Old Trail neighborhood in Crozet looked pretty good, though Evan’s house and those right immediately around it were fake instant-houses. Seriously, those things are just exteriors, and go up and come down in like a day. Too bad that the neighborhood got destroyed in the end of the movie.

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Categories: Movies

Bells, bells, bells!

October 14, 2007, 12:23 AM

I got to experience something new on Friday – a fire alarm at work. It was around 11:30 AM, and I’m working on some odds and ends in my office, and I hear a bell start ringing. So I look up. I see flashing lights. We all know what that means. Something set off the fire alarm in our building.

Now as the fire marshal for our floor, I have special duties when the fire alarm goes off. I put on an orange safety vest and hard hat, and do a sweep of the floor to ensure that everyone has cleared. Once that was done, I headed out, and joined my coworkers at our designated meeting place. The fire trucks quickly came and went, and it turned out that the alarm was caused by burned food.

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Categories: Fire alarms, Work

I certainly picked a good day to check up on my “local” news…

October 10, 2007, 8:08 PM

On my lunch hour today at work, I took some time to read about what’s going on in Stuarts Draft. I went over to The News Virginian and The News Leader‘s sites, and took a look around. By the way, Target’s now open at the site of the former Outlet Village.

But the story that really caught my eye was in the Staunton paper, about a man who is suing the Staunton city government over their swear/spam filtering system – a program called MailMarshal. According to the article, Dr. Adrian Riskin, a mathematics professor at Mary Baldwin College, filed papers in general district court seeking to obtain the list of words that triggers the software, after the city denied an earlier request for the list. The city denied his request on the grounds that it was proprietary information, and therefore was exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. Riskin argued that if the city edited the list, it is no longer proprietary. Additionally, Riskin is quoted as saying, regarding an unmodified list, “it cannot possibly be proprietary since the software vendor provides it for a free download from their Web site.”

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Categories: Virginia local news