Transit Center?

November 16, 2008, 3:15 PM

It’s been a frequently asked question for a while about when The Schumin Web Transit Center will reopen. First of all, let me restate: I am fully committed to bringing Transit Center back to the Internet.

However, I continue to state a time frame as “eventually”. The main reason for this relates to plans already in the works at the time that the site went down. In the last year before the outage, updates had become fewer and further between because it had become increasingly troublesome to make updates. This was due to flaws in the site’s original structure design. The old design was very hierarchal, and everything was numbered within those hierarchies. In short: Lots of folders, and the file numbering was specific to the individual folders. I was already devising a plan to address this when the site went down by doing the back-end over again. The images would be pulled from a single large pool, and the database would reflect that. The idea was to create the new structure in the background and then cut over to it when it was all finished.

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Categories: Schumin Web meta

Having returned to the mother ship between protests…

November 15, 2008, 8:41 PM

The first protest was a smashing success, and I’m now fresh as a daisy after having come home and taken a nap before returning to the streets tonight for the “rowdy” march at 11:55 at Dupont Circle.

For the first march, I cheered. This was our last opportunity to use a lot of the Bush cheers, and use them we did. No longer will we be shouting, “George Bush… you motherf—–! Hey, George Bush, can’t you see, that my body belongs to me!”

And the weather held out. I used Duckie early on because it was looking like it was going to rain, but then switched to the Kodak once I saw sky. That will be fun to put together for the set, going from one set of shots to another. The rain held out, and didn’t start until I was in the final 100 feet to Farragut North station.

Meanwhile, I once again tip my red and black radical cheerleader hat to the goddess of radio, Randi Rhodes, for giving us the phrase “privatizing the profits and socializing the losses”, as we worked it into our cheer and it went over very well.

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Categories: Activism

So there seems to be a protest just about everywhere…

November 14, 2008, 10:27 PM

This weekend will be fun, let me tell you. First of all, there is a protest against the meeting of the World Economic Forum, where the G20 will be looking to figure out how to handle the financial crisis. The main demonstration starts at 10 AM at Murrow Park, in front of the World Bank building at Pennsylvania Avenue, 18th Street, and H Street NW. We march to Luther Place near Thomas Circle. There, a people’s forum will be held.

For this event, I will be in radical cheerleader configuration, and cheering. After all, this will be our last opportunity to do the multitude of Bush cheers prior to George W. Bush’s leaving office (and counting the days). My cheer outfit this time around will be nearly identical to the one I wore for October Rebellion, minus the tights. It will be a shade too cold for tights, so I’m substituting jeans. If they weren’t calling for a 90% chance of rain, I might have done the tights, but not with rain in the forecast. As it is, with the foul weather planned, Duckie is being seriously prepped along with the Kodak, since it sounds like it might just get its day in the rain (which is what it was designed for). On days when Duckie is not expected to see use, I just take it along with no special preparations.

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Categories: Activism, Black bloc

“It’s morphin time”?

November 11, 2008, 9:24 AM

Okay, try to explain where this dream came from. I dreamed last night that I became a Power Ranger. Yes, a Power Ranger. It was kind of a cross between in-universe and real life, making it pretty weird.

Presumably, we were a new team of Power Rangers. I found this box that looked like a briefcase, that contained these various items. I instinctively knew how to put some of the pieces together, to make a four-segment stick about a foot long. I then shouted, “It’s morphin’ time!” and held it out in front of me, vertically, with both hands. This electronic stick took a few seconds to light up in four different colors, bottom to top, becoming very warm in the process – almost too hot to touch near the top. And then at the end of it all, I became the Yellow Ranger.

The Yellow Ranger costume I ended up morphing into looked very similar to the suits from Power Rangers in Space. It was primarily yellow, and it had the five-color bar across the chest. But unlike the show, since I was a guy, the costume had no skirt (the Yellow Ranger for “In Space” was a female). I was a male Yellow Ranger, following in the footsteps of Tideus the Alien Ranger, I suppose. But there I was – I was the Yellow Ranger, and was as surprised as anyone to be the Yellow Ranger.

So I figured two things. First of all, I must be playing the Yellow Ranger on Power Rangers now. Secondly, those items in the case were morphers. I also briefly pondered why my ranger costume was of the “In Space” style, and how saying, “It’s morphin time!” to morph was so 1990s.

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Categories: Dreams, Power Rangers

This is the cutest commercial ever…

November 9, 2008, 9:22 PM

This is the world’s cutest commercial ever. Take a look:

It’s so cute, with the dachshund inviting people to rub its belly. Seeing that made me think of Greta, because the dog in the commercial looks similar to Greta, and how she would roll around having a good time.

I miss Greta. That commercial, however, brought back some very nice memories.

Categories: Advertising, Greta

Scientology thinks they can avoid us by having their awards event elsewhere? I think not…

November 9, 2008, 1:50 PM

Anonymous DC had its monthly raid last night, and we had a blast. We started at the Org, and then moved on to the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Woodley Park, where Scientology was having their International Association of Scientologists (IAS) awards ceremony.

Meanwhile, my Anon look changed again for this one. Early on, I went like I would for a black bloc. Then in June, I did that one-off pirate look with the V for Vendetta mask. Then six raids in zentai. With the weather getting too cold for my zentai, I wore whatever and the V for Vendetta mask – with glasses. That was an interesting look, since it made the grinning Guy Fawkes face look particularly scholarly. Take a look:

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Categories: Project Chanology

My sister is at the big Obama event in Chicago!

November 4, 2008, 10:26 PM

My sister, Ann Schumin, and her fiance Chris, are at the big Obama event at Grant Park in Chicago. Take a look:

Grant Park on election night

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Categories: Chicago, Family

And so we enter… end game.

November 4, 2008, 12:01 AM

The day that I’ve been anticipating for a long time is finally here. Election day! Oh, how I am so tired of this campaign. After all, we’ve been dealing with this race almost as soon as the 2006 midterm elections ended. And now it all comes down to this. Now it’s time for everyone to do their thing and vote. After all, umpteen polls by various organizations are in the end, meaningless. It’s the vote that counts.

And now, hopefully in less than 24 hours, we’ll know who George W. Bush’s successor will be. I’m hoping it’s Barack Obama, but we’ll see. If it is John McCain, though, then we’ve got problems. After all, the man has admitted he doesn’t know much about economics, and we’re in the midst of a big economic crisis. Perhaps if he gets elected, we could all mail him various macroeconomics texts to bring him up to speed. But hopefully, that’s going to be a moot point.

Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to look at the Web sites for the two newspapers that serve Stuarts Draft – The News Leader in Staunton, and The News Virginian in Waynesboro – to see what the endorsements were. After all, I may live in the Washington DC area now, but the two newspapers that I did a lot of growing up with still hold a place near and dear to me. The Staunton paper endorsed Barack Obama for president, and Mark Warner for the Senate. Meanwhile, Waynesboro endorsed John McCain for president, and Jim Gilmore for the Senate. Thus between the two, it’s a wash. Many in Augusta County get both papers, and so it’s kind of a toss-up down that way, I suppose. Still, it’s interesting to see what people are thinking.

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Categories: National politics

Meanwhile, about Sunday…

November 2, 2008, 9:57 PM

I had fun today, as I completed the field work for my Rosslyn photo set. I have followed 1815 North Fort Myer Drive from operating office building to hole in the ground. Today, I finished up with photos of the completed demolition. Basically, we went from this:

1815 North Fort Myer Drive

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Categories: Arlington, Silver Spring

I won “best concept”!

November 2, 2008, 7:03 PM

So halloween went swimmingly. We dressed up at work, and had a costume contest. We had four different categories: best concept, best execution, “that took guts to wear”, and “most likely to traumatize a child”. I ended up winning best concept, with my 3000-Series Breda. Take a look:

My Breda 3000-Series costume

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My comment made the newspaper!

October 29, 2008, 8:18 PM

I can’t believe it… my comment on Express‘s poll question got published! The poll question was, “Would you object to having your bag searched by transit police before riding Metro?” 54% said that yes, they would object, and 46% said that no, they would not object.

If you read the Express today and saw the three comments that they published on page 40, you may recall that “Ellen” indicated that Transit could go ahead and search them because they have nothing to hide, “CMJR” suspected that profiling of riders will occur, and a third by “BFS” sounded very similar in tone and idea to a Journal entry that I wrote yesterday, talking about throwing money down a rathole.

“BFS”, as you might have guessed, is me, as I posted semi-anonymously, using my initials. Here’s the page, with the comment circled:

Excerpt from October 29, 2008 issue of the Express

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Categories: DC area local news, WMATA

So Metro throws money down a rathole once again…

October 28, 2008, 8:23 PM

According to an article in today’s issue of The Washington Post, Metro has announced that they will be doing random bag searches in response to security concerns regarding the upcoming election and presidential inauguration.

Based on what I’ve read about it, including the Post article and WMATA’s press release, what they’re going to do is set up shop in a station mezzanine or bus stop, and count off a certain number of people such as 15 (I selected this number and will use it throughout this entry), and then stop the person who happens to be that unlucky fifteenth person to search their bags. It’s kind of like an adult version of duck duck goose, except the one who is “it” has a gun. The idea is that these random searches are being conducted to search for explosives, and will take 15 seconds to complete – about as long as a train station stop lasts.

So let’s poke a few holes in this idea, shall we?

First of all, searching every fifteenth rider or whatever does NOT provide any real security. You see, for every one you inspect, you’ve let another fourteen go by. Thus you’re only inspecting roughly 7% of riders. And so when you’re letting 93% of your riders go through uninspected, all you’re doing is wasting the time of the other 7% who you are stopping.

Additionally, the 15 seconds to conduct the inspection is about as long as a train takes to make a station stop. Therefore, being pulled over for the inspection could make the difference between making your train or missing it. During the evenings when train headways start to run around 15 minutes, that makes a significant difference between making it home at a reasonable hour or not. Just thinking about my commute, if I leave outside of rush hour, I have to take the Y bus home. I’ve had to wait more than 30 minutes for Y buses at Glenmont at times, due to the poor service that Metro provides on that route. Thus for a commute that normally takes an hour, it can get stretched out another 45 minutes just having to stand around waiting for the train or bus because you missed your intended train due to their “security” inspections.

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And the Metro costume made it to work…

October 27, 2008, 4:13 AM

Yes, my Metro costume made it to work:

My Metro costume at the office

So now all I have to do is wear it on Halloween. Score!

Categories: Halloween

It appears that I am ready to vote!

October 25, 2008, 6:50 PM

With a little more than a week to go before the election, I went online and made all of my final checks and such, and it appears that I am ready to vote in Montgomery County for the 2008 election. As a first-time Maryland voter, I was concerned that something might have gone wrong in the process when I registered to vote, and I would, for some reason or other, be unable to vote. So this is a good thing. I’d voted in Virginia on numerous occasions, but this is my first time voting in Maryland, and it will be good to again exercise my right to vote.

The way I see it, voting is key to all the various issues that I attend demonstrations about (except Scientology, since that’s a completely different can of beans). You see, if you are eligible to vote and don’t actually go vote, you don’t really have much room to complain when things don’t go well and it becomes time to demonstrate on an issue. Even my anarchist buddies should make sure they are at a voting booth on November 4, because even though they question the legitimacy of the powers being conferred, a lot of their demonstrations involve the actions of elected officials, especially with anti-war demonstrations and some of the discussion regarding controversial highway projects. There, voting the “right” candidate into office might help their causes. So thus I’ll be voting at Bel Pre Elementary School on November 4, and then I’ll see you in the streets.

Meanwhile, I also got to take a look at the Montgomery County sample ballot, available on the University of Maryland‘s site. Besides voting for president and vice president (where there are six candidates on the ballot, plus a write-in), we’re also voting for our member of Congress, a circuit court judge, two referenda on special appeals court judges, three school board candidates (one running unopposed), as well as state referenda on early voting, and slot machines, and two local referenda on repealing “legally ineffective provisions” of the county charter, and on property taxes.

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And there you have it!

October 23, 2008, 9:41 PM

The costume is complete – well, at least the “A” side is complete. I still have to finish the “B” side of the costume. Still, take a look:

The completed Metro costume

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Categories: Halloween