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So the painting on my costume is finally complete…

October 22, 2008, 12:43 AM

Yes, my Breda has been fully painted. Take a look:

The paint is done!

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Categories: Halloween

Car fire!

October 19, 2008, 2:36 PM

Just about 20 minutes ago, a car caught fire just down the street from my apartment complex. I noticed smoke and flames from my balcony door, and grabbed the Kodak to go down and see what I could see. By the time I got down there, the fire department had put the bulk of the fire out, and was working to make sure that it was completely extinguished before leaving. Check it out…

Spraying foam on the fire.
Spraying foam on the fire.

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Categories: Silver Spring

I’ve seen buses in odd conditions before, but this is ridiculous!

October 17, 2008, 10:50 PM

I wonder what happened with Ride-On’s bus #5718. It’s a 1999 Orion V, and it sported a few unusual features for my commute this morning. For one thing, it sported no stop annunciator – the device that announces the stops. “Georgia Avenue and Glenallan Avenue. Georgia Avenue and Epping Road.” And “Stop requested!” Ride-On put stop annunciators on just about all of their buses last November and December. How did this one get missed? Of course, not that I mind not having to hear that voice sometimes. It’s too loud on Ride-On buses. Then this bus also had no advertising along the ceiling, unlike most Ride-On buses.

And to top it all off, what is wrong with this picture?

Ride On bus 5718, which is missing its farebox

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Categories: Halloween, Ride On

My costume is starting to take form…

October 17, 2008, 12:48 AM

My Breda is brown:

My Metro costume with brown paint on it

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Categories: Halloween, WMATA

One has to wonder what’s going on with this…

October 15, 2008, 7:15 PM

One really must wonder what kind of construction work is going on here:

Sign announcing the temporary closure of the Glenmont bus loop

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Categories: WMATA

Not bad for an hour’s work…

October 15, 2008, 12:09 AM

Take a look:

The Metro costume with the lines drawn

(Apologies for the poor image quality – I hiked the contrast way up to make the lines easier to see)

As you can see, the drawing is basically finished. It looks like a Metro train all right, and it appears that the decision has been made: I’m going to be going as a Breda of some kind. Right now, the windows are square like the 2000 and 3000 series, but that wouldn’t stop me from rounding off those windows and being a 4000-series. Or I could round off one side and not the other and be 4018-4019. After the Woodley Park-Zoo accident, 4018 got squared-off windows during the repairs, while 4019 kept its original rounded windows.

So the drawing phase didn’t take very long at all. Now I get to start painting, turning this thing the proper shade of brown and aluminum to make it properly Metro.

Categories: Halloween, WMATA

Time for a fun little craft project…

October 14, 2008, 10:30 PM

It’s getting close to halloween already, and we’re having a costume party at work. I am going as something that showcases one of my little geekish interests and will certainly be unique. Specifically:

Breda 4000-Series car

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Categories: Companies, Halloween

“On your mark… get set… GO!”

October 6, 2008, 2:47 PM

So I found an episode of the syndicated version of Double Dare on YouTube. It’s here, here, and here. I especially love the third part, which contains the obstacle course. Those were always fun to watch. I actually wanted to be a contestant on Double Dare one day, but you know how it is. During much of Double Dare’s run, I was far too young to actually be a contestant, and then by the time I was about contestant age, my interests had shifted.

Of course, that was the show to watch in its time. And it was always odd that early on, both teams wore red uniforms, but the one side was most definitely blue. I remember thinking, about time! when the team to host Marc Summers’ right (our left) finally started wearing blue uniforms. But yeah, this was my show. I could even recite the rules perfectly:

I’m going to ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer or think the other team hasn’t got a clue, you can dare them to answer it for double the bucks. But be careful, because they can always double dare you back for four times the amount, and then you have to either answer that question or take the physical challenge.

Yes, I was a Double Dare geek in my day. What can I say? And then my mother also made things quite amusing as well. First of all, take a look at the third clip for a moment:

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Categories: Television

And the hat showed up today.

October 2, 2008, 8:14 PM

My Gatsby cap showed up today. So how does it look?

See how much better the smile looks after coffee has been had?
See how much better the smile looks after coffee has been had?

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Categories: Clothing

So here are the new glasses…

October 1, 2008, 7:06 PM

So this is what I look like in my new glasses:

New glasses

As you can see, these are a bit squarer than my old glasses, which were themselves a bit squarer than the pair before that. It’s a nice progression there.

My father said I look handsome and smart in my new glasses. Meanwhile, I was not too pleased with the smile in this photo. It looks forced, doesn’t it? I took it on my office Mac first thing in the morning, and I had not had coffee yet.

But those are the new glasses, and so far, I like them, but they still need a minor adjustment, as they’re slightly up on one side, and I’m noticing it. But I think we have a winner.

Categories: Glasses

So I found an ophthalmologist, and I went today.

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…

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!”

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…

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?

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