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The wading pool known as Dupont Circle…

August 27, 2010, 10:18 PM

So our Friday “Schumy Lunch” was more exciting than usual today. We went to Crepes-a-Go-Go west of Dupont Circle, and then went back to the circle to enjoy them. First of all, this place is really worth going back to. It’s got a great selection of crepes for breakfast, lunch, and dessert, and the employees were really friendly.

Then after we finished lunch, since the fountain was running and full of water, with some encouragement from my coworkers, I decided to go for a quick wade in the Dupont Circle fountain. I’d been in the fountain once before, during Funk the War 7, but that was in winter when the fountain was not running, and dry.

So I rolled my jeans up to my knees, and went in. Katy, one of my coworkers, took pictures of me in the fountain…

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Categories: Washington DC, Work

I live in an area with a large hispanic population, and the best I can do is correct my neighbors’ grammar?

August 25, 2010, 7:33 PM

I was recently thinking about what I took from the foreign language classes that I took in middle and high school, and what I ultimately took from them. I took four semesters of Spanish and two of Latin (my high school was on a block schedule). And interestingly enough, I ended up really holding onto different things more than a decade out.

First of all, in Spanish, I could easily become the Spanish language grammar Nazi, because after more than a decade after taking Spanish, I remember very little of the vocabulary, but I could probably run circles around you with the grammar. I could tell you, in English, all about Spanish verb conjugations, how to put sentences together, how to order people around, whether a noun is masculine or feminine and how that works with the adjectives and articles, exactly when and where to place a diacritical mark, and the times when you should use ser vs. estar (both meaning “to be” for different situations). I mean, you wouldn’t say, “Yo soy en la casa,” because that’s a situation where you should use estar. Thus you should say, “Yo estoy en la casa,” because you use estar as “to be” when you’re describing where you are, because estar is for temporary conditions (I’m leaving the house and going to work tomorrow, after all), whereas ser is for permanent conditions and such.

When I was taking Spanish, Stuarts Draft High School used the Scott Foresman foreign language textbook series. Thus we went through Voces Y Vistas, Pasos Y Puentes, and Arcos Y Alamedas. Those of you who took Spanish in the 1990s will immediately remember this book:

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Categories: Language

Not a soul came to take a stress test while we were out there…

August 22, 2010, 11:19 PM

Well, I’d say that our raid on Saturday was a success. Not a single person came to take a “free stress test” while we were out raiding, and eventually Scientology decided to just pack it in. This is what their stress test table looked like most of the time we were out:

This is what their stress test table looked like most of the time we were out.

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Categories: Project Chanology

This time, I am saying something substantive while on camera…

August 21, 2010, 11:54 PM

So I gave the “Schumin Web Video Journal” (a name I came up with after I filmed this) a spin once again:

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Now we have a baseline to improve upon…

August 17, 2010, 6:05 AM

So I bought a new Web cam last night – a Microsoft LifeCam HD-5001. Seems to work well enough, as I sat and video blogged for a bit. Check it out:

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Everyone say, “Xenu!”

August 15, 2010, 2:18 PM

It’s funny how Fridays work out sometimes. Last Friday, a few of us went out after work, and ended up at Maddy’s in Dupont Circle, on the west side of Connecticut Avenue between R and S streets. All in all, it wasn’t a bad time. We had a couple of beers, and some other bar food. They actually had a baked potato on the menu, which I had. Not too shabby if you ask me.

Then afterwards, some of us were heading back to the Metro and others back towards the office, and our path took us past the Fraser Mansion, which, as you know, is the old Founding Church of Scientology before they moved right next door to my office (someone should consider a cult moving in next door as creating a hostile work environment). So we got a photo while we were there, especially when one considers that one of my coworkers ended up briefly visiting the last Anon raid (after I left).


Photo: Sarah Alexander

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So with school starting up again…

August 14, 2010, 9:18 PM

School in Augusta County starts up again this Tuesday, August 17. I think that’s a bit early, but there you go, I suppose. I thought it was neat when one year, they started on a Wednesday. That seems to make a quick first week that still has time to cover all the bases. Day one, you welcome everyone and visit all your classes to see what the teachers’ expectations will be and to get your textbooks. Then day two, you have the big assemblies so that the administrators can explain their own expectations. Then on day three, you have a fire drill (Virginia law mandates a fire drill once per week during the first month of school).

Meanwhile, I decided to take a look at a few school-related things just for the fun of it. One of the things I looked at was supply lists. I went to the Rogers Public Schools Web site, because I’ve always found some of their supply lists amusing. Specifically, I found the supply list for Grimes Elementary, which is where I went to school. And we find out that the tradition continues. For more than twenty years, Grimes has been emphatic: NO TRAPPER KEEPERS. Does anyone even use Trapper Keepers anymore? Now there’s another device that Grimes hates: wheeled backpacks. I would consider wheeled backpacks to be a good thing, as it brings heavy loads to the ground and on wheels, where they probably should be. Maybe Grimes has a deal with a local chiropractor, where they load the kids down with heavy stuff, make them carry them on their backs, and then get a kickback for every Grimes student’s back that the chiropractor cracks. Who knows.

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Categories: School

Oh, what a commute it was today…

August 12, 2010, 10:55 PM

So today is one of those days where I drove to work. I had to do some work-related errands in the suburbs first thing, and when I do those kinds of things, I drive into work because I’m already in the car, and so it just makes sense to do that.

Now mind you, we had some intense storms today. There were some severe thunderstorms in the early-ish morning (enough to wake me up), and then in the late afternoon and early evening, there were more severe storms, including some tornado warnings (eek!) near Fredericksburg and in the northern part of Montgomery County. Needless to say, I hear “tornado warning” and “Montgomery County” in the same sentence, and I drop everything at work to find out exactly where the tornado is, because I would like to know if I’m going to be without power, or worse, homeless, when I get home. Thankfully, not only were the tornado warning areas a considerable bit north of me, but I also never lost power the whole time.

So… the morning’s errands ended at Home Depot near my house. Since Georgia Avenue looked wall-to-wall, I took Connecticut Avenue, which I had hoped was not as bad. It was also pretty bad. It took ages to get as far as University Boulevard, i.e. this far. Basically, as Homer Simpson would say, “Gas, brake, honk.”

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Categories: Driving

The following is completely secret, and absolutely serious…

August 6, 2010, 11:20 PM

So today was interesting. It was a very quiet day at work today, with a lot of people either traveling on business or on vacation. We had so few people, we didn’t even do our regular “lunch buddies” today. However, that’s not to say I didn’t have a few amusing moments…

First of all, I would like to point out that the people that design digital projectors should be required to mount their own projectors and then change the bulbs in them. The bulb in the digital projector in one of our conference rooms recently burned out, and it ended up becoming a much more involved process than I had wanted. See, the manufacturer, InFocus in this case, put the access door for changing the bulb on the same side as the mounting apparatus. Thus in order to change the bulb, one must:

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Categories: Project Chanology, WMATA, Work

I’m only twenty minutes in, and already I hate the Seattle Police Department…

August 2, 2010, 8:59 PM

I just finished a 20-minute workout on the exercise bike, and I feel like I got a lot done. I did a few miles, definitely broke a sweat, and I feel like I accomplished something.

In the DVD player for tonight’s workout: Battle in Seattle. Every anarchist should know about the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999, and more importantly, the protest activity surrounding it. I’ve studied it over the years, and I bought the movie Battle in Seattle in order to enjoy a dramatic recreation of the event.

So far, my impressions are this: The protesters are a dedicated bunch, and the cops and the mayor are slime. The WTO ministers can’t get in? The mayor just assumed the protesters are being violent, and had to be talked down from that assumption. The cops then talked him up to allowing them to gas protesters. In the first twenty minutes of the movie. Yikes!

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So what could cause these freezers to be empty?

August 1, 2010, 11:37 PM

First of all, I have power again. The power was restored last Tuesday evening, only to go out again on Thursday after another storm (but back on before I got back from work). One would think that burying the power lines would eventually pay off if it means saving money from not having to send crews out to repair the lines after every storm. After all, we practically never lost power in Stuarts Draft, where the utilities are buried, even during hurricanes. The power stayed on during Hurricanes Opal, Fran, and Isabel.

Meanwhile, with no power to run the refrigerator for two days, I was kind of screwed, food-wise. After all, even keeping the fridge closed, without refrigeration, things start to get ugly. And therefore I had to dump a whole load of food after the outage. Thankfully, I didn’t have much in there in the first place. I didn’t go shopping before going to Chicago, deliberately letting stuff run out with the intention of replenishing afterward. So I didn’t have to pitch much, but still… I don’t think I’ve ever put so much down the garbage disposal. Seemed to put the least amount of stuff into the waste stream that way (and recycling the containers). I nuked the frozen stuff enough to make it somewhat soft again (I didn’t actually clean out the fridge until the weekend, so everything had a chance to refreeze), and then down the garbage disposal it went. If it was too big to go down the garbage disposal in one piece, I broke it up until it fit. The food item that was the most fun to “flush”, so to speak? A frozen pizza. I put the whole thing down the garbage disposal. You just break that sucker up, and then watch as the garbage disposal obliterates it, piece by piece.

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Categories: House, Target