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“I don’t want you to see how I really live!”

May 29, 2009, 11:15 PM

Once again, this place is clean. And it looks quite nice, if I do say so myself. After all, Mom’s coming tomorrow morning, and so this place has to look its Sunday best. And when it comes to Mom, you see, I must pay extra attention to cleaning, because Mom just can’t help herself. If it doesn’t look spotless, she’ll clean. I still remember the time she “accidentally” swept the kitchen floor.

Still, though, having visitors over on a somewhat regular basis is one way I keep the place all neat and tidy. After all, I don’t want people to see the place the way I see it when I’m just kind of doing whatever. I want to put its best face forward.

Of course, if I really want to make the place look sharp, I need to get serious about decorating. I’ve had a whole bunch of picture frames from IKEA, still in their original shrinkwrap, in a corner in the blue IKEA bags for nearly a year and a half. The idea is that I’m going to take a bunch of my pictures to somewhere to have them printed on nice paper, and then frame them. After all, what better way to decorate than to have selections from your own body of work on the walls, right? And I have plenty of photos that would look very nice on the walls here. It’s just a matter of actually doing it already

Categories: House

What an odd coincidence…

May 23, 2009, 12:47 PM

What an odd coincidence that all these new anti-war photo sets end up hitting the site on Memorial Day weekend of all times. That’s just slightly awkward, but it’s right in line with my policy on photo sets. They are published as soon as they are finished. I do not hold sets for a certain pre-designated “street date”.

Still, this brings a few things together. For one, it explains why there have been few Journal entries this month, as I took production of these sets into high gear. It also explains how MPDC Captain Jeff Herold knows me, plus lends context to a Journal entry I wrote from home between the two G20 events. Then I also kind of went silent about Funk the War 7 and ANSWER’s alleged march on the Pentagon, which I referred to as the March on Crystal City. I did that partly because we spent more energy in Crystal City than at the Pentagon, and partly because I just don’t like ANSWER all that much, and calling it what it was drew attention to ANSWER’s off-the-wall march plan.

Still, I believe I’ve outdone myself with this. 218 photos and seven pages in the Crystal City set still just amazes me. This is why record-breaking photo sets are few and far between, with a few years between record-breakers. After all, from mid-2003 to February 2007, An Urban Comparison was the largest set, a distinction it held for nearly four years. Then on Valentine’s Day 2007, J27 became the largest by a small margin. Now today, March on Crystal City blew that distinction clear out of the water, as I broke that record by 77 photos (J27 has 141, and Crystal City has 218).

Of course, just because this project is finished doesn’t mean my work is done. I still have lots more waiting to be posted in photo set form…

Categories: Schumin Web meta

Dueling advertisements at Dupont Circle!

May 21, 2009, 7:44 PM

Nothing like a mid-spring day to hawk some stuff for the rush hour crowd. Today, there were two groups out doing advertisements.

First, the sign spinners, on the west side of 19th Street:

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Categories: Advertising, Washington DC

If trains were planes?

May 15, 2009, 9:44 PM

I’ve been known to comment about Metro’s YouTube videos as being beyond corny, but this one was actually pretty good. This time, Metro did a spoof of the in-flight safety videos that the airlines do. Take a look:

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Categories: WMATA

No more beautiful a day to get kicked out of the WMATA Rail Rodeo…

May 11, 2009, 8:05 PM

So Saturday was fun. I got together with Matthew Tilley, and we went to the WMATA Rail Rodeo at Branch Avenue Yard, went up to Dupont Circle (I had to stop by my office), and then checked out Amtrak’s National Train Day events at Union Station. The day didn’t go quite as expected, but we still had a lot of fun.

Starting out, of course, I picked Matthew up at his house. This would put my new GPS device, an early birthday present from my parents (thanks, Mom!), to the test. It did very well, and sent me on a very quick and easy route there, and one I would not have thought of – essentially the back way into Matthew’s neighborhood.

After I picked Matthew up, we got back on the Beltway, and rode over to Branch Avenue Yard to watch the rail rodeo in action. The WMATA Rail Rodeo, for those not familiar, is an annual event where Metro’s rail employees get to show off their skills in various competitions. The event is usually open to the public. I’d been wanting to go to the Rail Rodeo for some time, and this year, I finally did my homework ahead of time, writing Metro’s customer service department back in late February to find out the tentative date, and following up in late April to confirm that date.

Arriving at Branch Avenue Yard, we stopped at the security checkpoint at the gate, and indicated that we were here to see the rail rodeo. The security guard asked if we worked for Metro (we didn’t), checked my driver’s license, and waved us in. We parked, and asked a few Metro employees we found where the activity was. They weren’t too sure themselves. Okay, fine. We’re resourceful. So we went about finding out for ourselves. Matthew and I soon found ourselves in the shop building, where WMATA mechanics perform routine maintenance on the trains.

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Categories: Amtrak, Matthew, WMATA

Keeping the pressure on until we can take to the streets…

May 3, 2009, 12:59 AM

In reaction to last weekend’s violence in the streets:

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Categories: Activism

Okay, I’m calling it – Staunton Mall is toast.

May 2, 2009, 1:36 PM

Okay, I’m calling it. Staunton Mall is a dying mall, if not already basically a dead mall. I was in there on Friday with Katie, and I believe there are now more empty locations than there are full ones. Steve and Barry’s, in an anchor spot, is gone. Books-A-Million is gone, in another large spot. KB Toys is gone, as part of the chain’s complete closure earlier this year. The former Piece Goods location has never been filled for any appreciable length of time since Piece Goods left. The old CVS/Pharmacy location is still empty after more than two years since CVS moved to a freestanding location nearby.

Additionally, Peebles, while open, is in deplorable shape, with visibly worn tiles, stained and worn carpet, and stained ceiling tiles. That location needs to be renovated badly, but I doubt that Stage Stores (which owns Peebles) will invest in it, considering that all they did when it changed to Peebles from Stone and Thomas was change the nameplate, change some interior signage, and wall in a gift-wrapping counter. Meanwhile, the Belk store in Staunton Mall has never been remodeled since I’ve been there, aside from changes related to when the store changed its nameplate from Leggett to Belk in 1997 or so. It, however, looks to be in better shape than Peebles, but partly because the lighting is somewhat darker in there, and thus it hides the aging. Still, it certainly says a lot about what a company thinks about certain locations when they don’t bother to ever remodel or update them, while remodeling and updating other locations, sometimes multiple times.

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Categories: Shopping, Staunton