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Ever wanted to see Stuarts Draft?

May 29, 2008, 7:13 PM

For all the time I lived in Stuarts Draft, I really gave it very little airtime on Schumin Web. You have some Waynesboro and some Staunton, but really very little Stuarts Draft aside from photos taken in and in the immediate vicinity of my parents’ house. Oh, and The East Coast Price is Right, which was taken at Stuarts Draft High School.

Well, wonder no more. I found a video on YouTube of someone’s drive through Stuarts Draft. They start just north of White Hill Road (Route 654) and end at The Cheese Shop. Take a look…

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Categories: Stuarts Draft

I also got my “V for Vendetta” mask, and saw the related movie.

May 25, 2008, 5:39 PM

Yeah, my Guy Fawkes masks arrived on Friday. I had them delivered to the house, and they were in a smaller box than I expected, but it works. Anonymous has grown accustomed to how I look in the bandanna, so it’s time to mix things up a bit. And for the next Anonymous raid, which is going to be pirate-themed, a Guy Fawkes mask looks more pirate-like than anything else I can think of. Plus there’s a party store in a shopping center right around the corner from where I live, and there are a lot of pirate things there. I think this might just work, don’t you know.

And on Saturday, Jeff, Isis, and Isis’s daughter all came over to my house, and, after getting Chipotle to go, we sat down and watched V for Vendetta, which Isis has on DVD. What an amazing movie. Watching the movie really brings a lot of why it’s a popular choice for Anonymous into perspective. With constant video surveillance, the V masks made everyone look alike, thus surveillance-proof. Just like we do for the Scilons. In fact, they showed a huge mass of people all wearing Guy Fawkes masks at the end of the movie. Plus the special effects were awesome, as they blew up the Palace of Westminster at the end of the movie.

And of course, it was a quite appropriate setting to watch the movie in, since I have a V for Vendetta mask hanging from the wall for now:

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Categories: Friends, Movies

A belated reportback is better than no reportback at all, I suppose.

May 25, 2008, 5:29 PM

Hey, I’ve been busy. So sue me. But I must report back that Katie and I had a great time last weekend. We went all over the place, and had a great time.

However, it started out somewhat rough – Katie took the train up to DC, specifically the Cardinal. And it was late. According to AmtrakDelays.com, on May 16, the eastbound Cardinal, train #50, was an hour and 42 minutes late arriving in Staunton, where Katie got on. Then at Union Station, where I was waiting for her, the train managed to rack up another 44 minutes of delays, and thus ended up getting in at 8:21 PM. That would make it two hours and 26 minutes late. This thing was supposed to show up at 5:55 PM, which would have fit my schedule quite nicely. Leave work, take Metro to Union Station, wait a few minutes, get Katie, and then ride back to Glenmont. However, I found out about the Staunton delay from Katie well in advance, so no problems there. I compensated other places as far as that delay went, and ended up staying later at work, since there were a few things I needed to take care of anyway, and planned to arrive in time for the new delayed arrival. Okay.

So arriving at Union Station, I got in, and immediately checked the boards to see what the deal was. Another delay. Lovely. So I ended up just kind of wandering around Union Station for the next two hours, as I had nothing else to do. I was totally unprepared for a longer delay. However, I did have my iPod, and so at least I got to listen to Randi Rhodes (now on Nova M Radio!). And with headphones on was how I passed a good hour or so of that delay, as I went in and out of stores, seeing what amused me. I also managed to find a relatively quiet corner of the station to make a phone call, finding out about how things were going on the train from Katie. That quiet spot ended up being in a far corner of the parking garage, interestingly enough. But hey, it was nice out, so it worked. I got to watch train movements north of the station, and found out that the initial delay was due to weather, and then heavy rail traffic caused the delays closer in. Okay. Beyond the control of either one of us. What are you going to do, I suppose.

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I can’t believe I bought one of those “V for Vendetta” masks…

May 17, 2008, 11:38 AM

I can’t believe it – I bought one of those “V for Vendetta” Guy Fawkes masks. One of these:

A woman wearing a Guy Fawkes mask

Yes, after having been to three of these things, I admit – I run with Anonymous, at least during their street protests. And with the next event having a “pirate” theme, I figured it was time to finally buy one of those things, since the V for Vendetta mask looks more pirate-like than anything I could come up with.

All I know is, it’s going to be so fun. I really enjoy myself at these Anonymous events. It’s a great cause, and these people are SO fun!

Categories: Project Chanology

“Operation Fail Game” appeared to be a success, and it’s weird to see my two protest crowds only blocks away from each other…

May 11, 2008, 11:41 AM

Saturday was the day that the DC chapter of Anonymous was putting on “Operation Fail Game”, the May protest against the Church of Scientology. The title of “Operation Fail Game” is a twist on Scientology’s “Fair Game” policy, where anyone opposing Scientology is considered fair game for harrassment by the Church.

Our protest was supposed to start around 11:00 at Dupont Circle, march up to the Hubbard House, and then go from there to our usual location in front of the Founding Church of Scientology at the intersection of 20th Street, R Street, and Connecticut Avenue NW.

That didn’t go according to plan, because when I got to Dupont Circle just after 11:00, the place was deserted. Where were all the Anons? I rode the Metro in from Wheaton with several other Anons, and so I knew I wasn’t going crazy. We all took an opportunity to mask up at this point, though, since the idea is to be anonymous, and arriving already masked up is considered somewhat important. One difference between masking up for Anonymous and for black bloc: I wear my glasses for Anonymous, but not for black bloc. Anonymous isn’t the kind of deal where I’m afraid that my glasses might get messed up, but black blocs have a much bigger potential to turn ugly. After everyone masked up, I basically took charge in figuring out what happened. I first called Isis. She was at the Hubbard House. Then I called Jeff. He was at the usual spot. Not being quite sure where the Hubbard House was, we ended up going to the usual spot, in front of the Church of Scientology building.

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Categories: Project Chanology

It’s like when worlds collide!

May 9, 2008, 8:32 PM

This was definitely a fun day at the office today! I got to meet my predecessor at Food & Water Watch, a woman named Lis. She left so much information for me as far as how to do the job while I got the hang of things, and now I finally got to thank her. Additionally, Leah, a former Food & Water Watch coworker, was also in town, and so with these two visiting, we had a little office get-together after work. So fun. Knowing they were coming, I brought my “duckie” camera to work – the yellow rubber-covered Vivitar camera. And so here you are:

Leah, Lisa, and Lis

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Categories: Silver Spring, Work

What the…?

May 8, 2008, 10:55 PM

Look what my neighbor and I found in front of our apartment complex upon our return from work today:

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Categories: Silver Spring

The fact that this primary process is still going on amazes me…

May 6, 2008, 11:42 PM

The fact that the Democratic Party has not yet come up with a nominee amazes me. But what can we say? It’s the first serious female contender for president against the first serious black contender for the same. So unless John McCain wins, we will have either the first woman president, or our first black president. Of course, if Grandpa McCain wins, he would beat the record for oldest elected president. Ronald Reagan was 69 when he was first elected in 1981. Grandpa McCain would be 72 if elected. But we’re not talking about McCain. He’s got his nomination sealed up. Let’s discuss… THE DEMOCRATS!

I first began dissociating myself from the Democratic Party in 2007 after the Democrats took power in Congress and proceeded to be an amazing disappointment. And with the way this election has been handled, I’m quite proud to now call myself an Independent. The hell with the party.

First of all, their system has issues. I never thought I’d be praising the Republicans on something, but they do have a simple, straightforward nominating process. It’s winner-take-all, where the person with the most votes in a given primary takes all the delegates for that state. It’s very similar to our electoral college system in every state except Maine and Nebraska (let’s not even go there on the electoral college – we’re not to that point yet). There are also no “superdelegates” in the Republican nominating process. Thus John McCain has had it all sewn up for months now.

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Categories: National politics

There was a downed train on the Red Line this morning… and it was mine!

May 5, 2008, 3:06 PM

What a commute it was to work this morning. Lately, my commutes have been uneventful, but this one was a little more exciting than most. I got on Breda 4051 at Glenmont, the fifth car in a six-car train after missing an eight-car train by seconds. So I boarded 4051, and waited for the train to leave.

*dingdongdingdong* “Step back, doors closing!” Doors close.

*fssh* *clunk*

That clunk sound raised an eyebrow, since it’s not normally supposed to do that. But then the Breda buzz began, and we were off. Wheaton, doors open on the left. Forest Glen, doors open on the left. Silver Spring, doors open on the left. At Silver Spring, the car was full to the point where there are no seats left, but there was no one standing up. Just as well, I suppose.

So then shortly after leaving Silver Spring, we heard a loud clunk, and the train came to a rather quick stop. And we were stopped. The operator was quick to announce, “Train will be moving.” Meanwhile, the train was making some interesting sounds.

*hisssss* *clunk*
*hisssss* *clunk*

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Categories: WMATA

And we are once again fully operational. Now I just need something to photograph…

May 4, 2008, 9:16 PM

I finally got a chance to test the new Kodak Z1012 IS camera tonight, and let me say that this is a big leap from Big Mavica. So here’s a quick round of test shots:

My kitchen

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Categories: Cameras

I have about 7 GB of SD card volume now – think that’s enough?

May 3, 2008, 2:23 PM

After a trip down to Stuarts Draft on Friday night, Mom and I went to Costco in Harrisonburg to get various odds and ends. Among other things, I got two 2 GB SD cards to use on the new cameras. Thus I have the two 1 GB Polaroid SD cards I bought at Target, the free 1 GB card I got from Kodak along with a fanny pack of some kind (I wouldn’t call that thing a camera bag), and now these two 2 GB ones from Costco. And I hope I’m all set. I get like 200 photos on a single 1 GB card on the Vivitar, and that’s 6.0 megapixels. Then I’ve been too busy to give the 10.1 megapixel Kodak a test run yet (it arrived on Wednesday), so I don’t know about how that will go, but hopefully I’ve got enough capacity now.

That’s the thing about this – I have no track record at all with the Kodak, and then I’ve only done about three photo sets with the Vivitar. That was a test set, then Operation Reconnect with Anonymous, and then counter-protesting the Nazis with my regular activist buddies. Going by Big Mavica’s standard’s doesn’t work, since everything’s bigger now. The Vivitar is 1.5 times “bigger” than Big Mavica, and the Kodak is roughly 2.5 times “bigger” than Big Mavica (remember that the “big” in Big Mavica referred to the resolution). Plus the movies are different, too. The Vivitar shoots in AVI format at 320×240 (Big Mavica shot MPEG), and then the Kodak shoots really high-resolution videos.

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Categories: Cameras