Presenting the newest display function for photo sets…

February 25, 2009, 9:51 PM

Yes, I found the coolest new feature for the photo sets. It’s called “lightbox”, and basically, it allows you to enlarge the photos on the page without going to a separate page. What I usually do for photo sets, you may recall, is if you click an image, you go to a separate page where you are presented with an enlargement of the image and the caption. Thus it usually looks like this in this excerpt from the Weekend with Katie photo set:

A Red Line train to Glenmont arrives at Metro Center on the Shady Grove platform.

A Red Line train to Glenmont arrives at Metro Center on the Shady Grove platform.

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Categories: Schumin Web meta, WMATA

A day of railfanning, and then a somewhat disturbing dream…

February 23, 2009, 8:44 PM

First of all, hello! I can’t believe it’s been a week since last I wrote a Journal entry. I guess I haven’t had much to say lately. But now I do.

And by that, let me tell you about the fun I had on Saturday! Matthew Tilley and I got together and hit the Metro, doing a railfan trip on the Blue, Orange, and Yellow Lines. The trip served two purposes. First of all, I really enjoy Matthew’s company, as we always have fun when we get together, and this was no exception. Secondly, I bought a new Canon PowerShot SX10 IS camera in the past week, and so this was also acceptance testing for the camera, as I ran it through all of its paces in the many varied lighting conditions that Metro offers.

Now if you’re wondering about why I got another new digital camera within a year of getting Duckie and the Kodak, and since neither of those cameras have broken down (trust me, I’d tell you), let me explain. When it comes to the Kodak and me, it’s not working out. Basically, the Kodak is a little too automated for my needs, and goes from fully automated to fully manual with very little in between. Big Mavica gave a lot of in-between options for shooting, and I had gotten accustomed to having those, and missed them terribly. So the Kodak will be going on eBay soon. I figure, while it didn’t work out with me, it will almost definitely be perfect for someone else, and so let’s see if I can recover some of my investment in it. Plus I can provide sample images taken with the exact camera being offered for sale, so we’ll see what happens.

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Categories: Dreams, Matthew, WMATA

We had far more than enough win to go around on Saturday night thanks to a model UN conference…

February 16, 2009, 12:35 PM

So I had fun on Valentine’s Day, and it had nothing at all to do with love. After all, I am single, and all these couples getting kissy on Valentine’s Day makes me nauseous after a while. I am one of the many who calls the day “Singles Awareness Day” for that matter.

But yes, the fun came not from actually getting a date or something, but rather, I, along with a small group of other DC Anons, raided outside the Founding Church of Scientology. This was Part 2 of a two-part strategy for that day. Part 1 was a visit to Katsucon, which is an anime and manga convention for enthusiasts of the genre, being held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, where we had previously held AnonyCon. The mission there was basically trolling, going around and handing out literature in the non-paid areas to Katsucon participants. I’m told it went well until Anonymous was booted due to fire code issues – Katsucon was at capacity with the paid participants, and Anonymous trolling put them over the limit as far as occupancy loads went.

I skipped Katsucon mainly because of Metro. Metro took the entire Presidents’ Day weekend to do a major track maintenance project on the C&L Junction (where the Blue and Yellow Lines join just north of Pentagon), and thus Pentagon station was closed, cutting off Pentagon City and below from the rest of the system. I didn’t want to deal with a bus bridge between L’Enfant Plaza and Pentagon City, so I skipped it.

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Categories: Project Chanology

So I have completed my service to the circuit court system of Montgomery County, Maryland.

February 11, 2009, 12:33 PM

So today, I had jury duty, which involved sitting and doing nothing for a shade under three hours over at the Montgomery County Judicial Center in Rockville.

According to them, they had a small docket today judging by the number of jurors that they called. So I got in and found the jury waiting room, where they gave us our little juror badges. Then we watched an orientation film, where the late Ed Bradley, as well as Diane Sawyer, explained why jury service is such a high calling, and how it basically works and what happens. Then it was time to play the waiting game. I found a nice place to park myself and pull out the Lappy, and I took care of some odds and ends while waiting to see what happened. I did some work Email, I fooled around on Wikipedia for a while, and watched some videos on YouTube.

Then after about an hour, my number, 73, was called up, along with the numbers of about 30 other people by my best estimate. I went up to Courtroom 14 on the sixth floor with the other prospective jurors, and we sat down in the gallery. At the front of the courtroom, the attorneys for the prosecution and the defendant were seated at tables, as was the defendant himself. Then the judge, the Honorable Mary Beth McCormick, came in, and things began. She explained that this was a criminal case related to an alleged violation of a protective order. The jury’s job was to determine guilt by the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard, and sentencing would be up to the judge. We were all sworn in, and things got started, as the process of voir dire began. The judge asked a number of questions to us related to disclosure of information that might affect our service as a juror in this particular case, and in the event that anyone had something to disclose, those individuals were called up, one at a time, to make their disclosure to the judge and the attorneys for both sides. While disclosures were going on, the judge activated a “husher”, which turned off the microphones and played white noise over the sound system.

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So we had a meeting of about fifteen people, all named “David”, outside the Founding Church of Scientology on a Saturday afternoon. And that means…

February 9, 2009, 9:27 PM

Yes, a meeting of about fifteen people, all named “David”, outside the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington DC on a Saturday afternoon means that it was once again time for Anonymous DC to have its monthly raid, protesting the practices of the Church of Scientology. And as always, we had fun, we had epic win, and we had more than enough lulz to go around. And in Anonymous, everyone is “David”.

This time around, the theme was “Space Opera”, taking a science fiction theme, mainly centering around Star Wars.

MisterTastee wore two cinnamon buns on his head, imitating Princess Leia's distinctive hairstyle.
MisterTastee wore two cinnamon buns on his head, imitating Princess Leia’s distinctive hairstyle.

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Categories: Project Chanology, WMATA

New fire alarms at work…

February 5, 2009, 10:54 PM

You never know sometimes what you’re going to come home with some days. I came home from work today with fire alarms in my bag. That’s not what most people would come home with, but then again, I’m not most people.

So today, they upgraded the fire alarms in our office. The Wheelock 34s and the Space Age light plates went away, and they installed Wheelock NS horn/strobes to replace them.

As such, we went from this:

Old fire alarm setup at the office

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Categories: Fire alarms, Work

I so want to go to one of these…

February 5, 2009, 9:02 PM

I so want to go to a polar bear plunge – one of those events where a whole bunch of people run into a body of water in the middle of winter to raise money for a charitable cause. They look like a lot of fun, based on the photos I’ve seen. One of the bigger events, Plungapalooza, is held at Sandy Point State Park in Maryland. According to Google Maps, it’s a shade under an hour’s driving time to Sandy Point State Park from my house.

The reason I bring it up is because I saw an article in the “Fit” section of the Express on Tuesday about this year’s Plungapalooza event that happened on January 24. They ran three photos of the event with the article. Two in particular caught my attention:

Plungapalooza 2009  Plungapalooza 2009
Photos: Jonathan Newton/TWP (left), AP/Baltimore Sun/Monica Lopossay (right)

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Categories: Events

How Metro turns an eight-car train into six…

February 3, 2009, 7:37 PM

Both yesterday and today, I got to watch Metro separate the train I was on following the completion of its run to Glenmont. That’s kind of interesting to see. First of all, they put the train out of service and close the doors. Then two employees board. Each goes in the cab adjacent to where they’re splitting. One guy removes the ropes between the two cars, and then gets back in his cab. Then you hear a slow “fsssh” sound as the pairs release and the headlights come on at the end of the pair that’s being detached. Then that car goes back to taillights, and the other end goes back to headlights so they can open the doors for the remaining six cars. And then the split-off pair leaves to go to Glenmont Yard, and the now-shorter train goes to Shady Grove for another revenue run.

And I got photos:

Removing the intercar barriers between Rohr 1200 (left) and 1057 (right).
Removing the intercar barriers between Rohr 1200 (left) and 1057 (right).

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Categories: WMATA