So I found an ophthalmologist, and I went today.

5 minute read

September 29, 2008, 10:22 PM

So I found an ophthalmologist, and I had my appointment today. I went to Rodman & Engelstein, and I’ll just say this – this was definitely a different procedure from when I went to Dr. Patel in Fishersville.

First of all, I took a half day off from work, and took Metro up to Silver Spring. First of all, one has to wonder who peed in the train operator’s cornflakes this morning. The train was a Silver Spring train, which meant that it ended its run at Silver Spring rather than going all the way to Glenmont. I usually hate those kinds of trains because they don’t go where I need to go, but this time, I was going to downtown Silver Spring, so I didn’t particularly care. It was there, and I caught it. This guy came down REALLY hard about the whole going-out-of-service thing. “ATTENTION CUSTOMERS ON THE PLATFORM, THIS TRAIN IS OUT OF SERVICE! DO NOT BOARD THIS TRAIN!” And he repeated this a few times before the train was completely berthed. And of course, despite being all like that, he didn’t even bother to change the sign to the “NO PASSENGERS” sign. He kept it on Red to Silver Spring.

Then getting there, I filled out the customary mound of paperwork for when you’re a new patient. After that, it was time to get started. First they checked the pressure in my eyes. Then they looked at my eyes with a microscope, checked my existing prescription, and tested my vision with glasses on. Then they dilated my pupils. This is where things changed. After this, they take you out of the exam room, and have you wait in another waiting room while the drops work. I played Tetris on my phone, and that certainly became a challenge as my pupils dilated. I ended up having to close one eye and hold the phone way far away to play. And the technicians would occasionally come by to check on how well the drops had worked. First time, they said I was almost ready but needed to ripen (my term) a little more. The second time, I was ripe, and was taken into a second exam room. There, they looked at my eyes with the microscope again, tested my vision without glasses, and then figured out what the new prescription would be using the phoropter.

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Categories: Glasses, Personal health

An absentee ballot form in a packet critical of the Democratic Party. Hmmm…

2 minute read

September 25, 2008, 7:25 PM

Well, as you know, it doesn’t take great intelligence to be a member of the Republican Party. George W. Bush is living proof, after all. But the reason I bring it up is because yesterday, I got something in the mail from the Republican National Committee. It was a packet made out to “The Schumin Family” (or current resident) located in Silver Spring. On the outside is a piggy bank with the line, “What are Washington Democrats doing with your money?” Then on the inside it says, “Democrats are pigging out”, with a smaller flyer that says, “OUTRAGEOUS DEMOCRAT WASTE” and shows a smashed piggy bank. Then on the other side is a detachable envelope with an absentee ballot form inside of it.

So what’s the problem? Well, the problem is that the absentee ballot form is for Virginia, and the address the envelope is made out to is for the Augusta County registrar in Verona. The problem is that I am no longer a Virginia resident. I am a Maryland resident now. I haven’t been a Virginia resident for nearly a year and a half, and I am registered to vote in Maryland – as an Independent, no less.

Thus to fill out the form that the Republicans sent me and send it in, it would be playing right into the hands of the GOP. After all, if I did that, they would probably be able to challenge my right to vote in Maryland as well as in Virginia, and get my vote disqualified or otherwise disenfranchise me.

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Categories: National politics

“…when Saturday Rocks, on CBS!”

3 minute read

September 24, 2008, 9:40 PM

Okay, boys and girls… the pants are ironed, and so my neat and crisp professional image will survive for another five workdays (sans Fridays) before I absolutely must iron again. And as always, when I iron, the TV is on. This time, I popped in a tape with “Saturday Morning Fare” on the label. This tape contains mostly Saturday morning cartoons from the 1988-1989 season on CBS. I was in second grade. Just to give you an idea of what we had going on:

This is an example of the commercials that they used to promote the Saturday morning programming block that season. They called it “Saturday Rocks”, and the personalities were three girls, whom I’d guess are around 13 years old or so, who sang the jingle, “Saturday Rocks, on CBS!”

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Categories: Television

Now this is an interesting situation…

3 minute read

September 24, 2008, 7:06 PM

This is an interesting situation. Halloween will involve a costume contest at work, and also likely an Anonymous raid after work. Lots of fun stuff going on, all requiring special outfits.

And the problem is that I can’t exactly wear the same costume for both things. I thought about just wearing the zentai that I wear for Anonymous for both things, but we run into two problems. First of all, the zentai has a set of gloves built into it, and I generally don’t do well with that, since for me, gloves rarely ever fit me “like a glove”. It’s a cruel reality. And my zentai is no exception. I’ve tried typing in it, and it doesn’t work. The other problem is that the zentai only has a back zipper that goes from mid-back to shoulders. No zippers in the front. If I need to answer nature’s call, I have to peel the whole suit off. I’ve commented that going to the bathroom in the zentai takes ten minutes. Four to take the suit off, one to actually answer nature’s call, one to wash my hands, and then four to put it all back on.

However, it’s not like my coworkers don’t know about the fact that I run with Anonymous, and about the zentai I wear to raids. After all, one of my coworkers yelled my name out at the May raid, and another one of my coworkers was passing by and posed with me for a photo at the September raid. Take a look…

Justine and I at the September raid.  I'm obviously the one in the zentai suit.

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How do you think a “Gatsby cap” would look on me?

2 minute read

September 24, 2008, 12:44 AM

So what do you think?

Gatsby caps
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Is it me?

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Categories: Clothing, Myself

What kind of idiot builds his new secret base of operations on the site of his old secret base of operations, which had been destroyed by his enemies?

4 minute read

September 16, 2008, 12:39 AM

Zordon, that’s who. You know, this guy:


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Categories: Power Rangers

Who doesn’t like a free hug?

3 minute read

September 10, 2008, 10:54 PM

So as far as I was concerned, International Free Hug Day was a resounding success, as free hugs were given to all who wanted them. This was an event that I organized with Anonymous as a flash raid, and so we gave our free hugs on the triangle across from the Founding Church of Scientology, in front of La Tomate. I was out there for three hours, having come straight from work, and Heidi joined in about halfway through. Check us out:

Heidi with my "FREE HUGS" sign  Me with my "FREE HUGS" sign

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Phew! The whole place smells like Sharpie…

3 minute read

September 8, 2008, 10:55 PM

Yes, I pulled out my Sharpies to hand-letter a few signs. I made three. This is the general gist of the message:

"Free Hugs" sign

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Categories: Arlington, Netculture

So the meetup went well, though turnout was low.

2 minute read

September 7, 2008, 1:58 AM

I always love getting together with my fellow Wikipedia geeks. We have so much fun, though I admit that the turnout was a bit low this time around. But, I also can’t blame many for not showing, considering that Tropical Storm Hanna came blowing through on the same day. I got pretty wet just walking the ten feet from my door to the car, but otherwise, no problem, since it was a short drive to the Metro station, and then from there, I’m on Metro and it can be as rainy and windy as it wants, because all the stations I’m dealing with (Wheaton and Union Station in this case) are underground.

Otherwise, though, Uno’s was wonderful as always, and the wait staff took very good care of us. One thing we noticed on the check was that they never billed us for the drinks! Much to our surprise, none of the beverages that anyone ordered, alcoholic or otherwise, appeared on the check. Then the conversation was lovely, as we made light of some of the various situations that came up on Wikipedia and all the things we managed to get into. Fun times.

And here we are:

The group that went to the September 2008 DC Wikipedia meetup

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Categories: Target, Wikipedia

I think this is a help more than anything else…

< 1 minute read

September 6, 2008, 1:39 PM

Seriously, we’re getting a lot of rain, and that’s about the extent of it. Tropical Storm Hanna has given us no wind at all worth speaking of, and the lights remain on. So good deal. And all this rain will actually be of benefit to us so long as a lot of it soaks in and doesn’t just run off.

However, as I indicated yesterday, no Rosslyn visit today. I’m not contending with the rain to photograph a building being torn down. It’s supposed to be nice tomorrow, so I’m going out then.

And all systems are GO for the Wikipedia meetup at Union Station today.

Categories: Tropical systems

And they called her “Hanna”…

2 minute read

September 5, 2008, 8:41 PM

As of right now, Tropical Storm Hanna is expected to run up most of the eastern seaboard starting with the Carolinas and going up to New England. Per The Weather Channel, this is the projected path:

Projected path of Tropical Storm Hanna
Image: The Weather Channel

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School days and the oddball things that teachers would mandate for their classes…

4 minute read

September 3, 2008, 7:43 PM

I was talking to a friend of mine over IM who’s presently a senior in high school, and he’s told me about the joys of what teachers mandate for their classes. According to my friend, one of his teachers mandated use of the Cornell note-taking system for taking class notes. The Cornell note-taking system seems to be good enough, but seems right offhand to be a bit more of a use of paper than I would like. Use half the page for non-note activity? You’re looking at someone who, in college, as a cost-saving measure, would find the narrowest-ruled paper possible in order to squeeze a few more lines onto a page and therefore save a few sheets of paper. I’m sure that over an entire college career, I probably saved maybe two sheets total (and even that’s probably a bit optimistic), but at least I felt thrifty.

But that’s really not the point of this entry. It just reminds me of the wacko things that teachers used to mandate when I was in school. I remember that so many teachers thought that they knew best, and thus used that rationale to force various methods of organization on their students. Now my method of organization was always chronological. Everything was in the order that it was done, in a big binder, usually 1½” wide. Then as now, I’m big on dates and time order, since I am really good with knowing that A came before B, which came after C, and that A, B, and C were on or around such and such a date. Thus if I’m looking for something, I would go back to that point in time. Pow. All by date, and I could find my way around. And everything went in that notebook. Yes, I was one of those people who owned a small notebook-size three-hole punch to tote around. And yes, I also had a big three-hole punch at home. In fact, I still have that big hole punch.

So that’s why it frustrated me then and amuses me now when teachers would mandate to students how they were to arrange their notebooks. After all, by high school, one would hope that one has a system that works. I know I did. These kinds of things always frustrated me. I remember some teachers would require notebooks that were so anal-retentive in their organization, requiring separate labeled sections for notes, classwork, homework, quizzes, tests, vocabulary, etc. etc. etc. And half of those sections never got used, and were a waste of space.

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Categories: School

No, no, no, nothing like that…

2 minute read

September 2, 2008, 7:23 PM

Today, I was telling my coworkers, along with how my vacation went, about how I did a little decorating yesterday. Remember back in February when I bought those little mirrors at IKEA? Well, I finally put them up. I put five of those little mirrors on the wall above my bed. Check it out…

The "Malma" mirrors on the wall above my bed

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Categories: Furniture