Fun with bubble wrap…

2 minute read

May 27, 2010, 9:25 PM

So I was shipping a computer monitor today, and after locating a box and breaking out the bubble wrap, I decided to show the intended recipient (a coworker in another office) that I was getting it ready, since I needed to locate a box before I could ship it. And so here’s the proof:

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Categories: Work

It was always a little kludgy, but it worked…

3 minute read

May 25, 2010, 9:26 PM

Yeah, I’m almost to the point in my redesign where it’s time to design the Journal section. Right now, before even one line of code has been written for it, it makes me nervous. See, I am worried about how many Journal entries will break. After all, I code Journal entries on the fly, and do whatever comes naturally to me. And full CSS layouts are not something I’m accustomed to. So it makes me a little nervous.

But I’m almost there. I’ve done the redesign in this order: the basic page templates, Major Areas, Archives, Odds and Ends, Photography, and most of Life and Times (still working on that last one). That leaves the Journal and then the unnamed “center section” still to do. It’s okay, though. It’s coming along quite well, and with the photo sets mostly done, that’s one less thing I have to worry about.

However, it’s going to be really weird to have done the Journal correctly for a change. Right now, it’s a bit kludgy in places. I cut a lot of corners on the current design, which dates from 2007, to make it look right regardless of whether it was also done correctly. If you look at my code for the Journal, there are a bunch of little invisible graphics that are there just to get the spacing correct. After all, I kind of did the 2007 redesign under a bit of duress. The site had gone down, and I was determined to convert it from ASP to PHP and get it back up as quickly as possible, and the hell with doing it the right way. According to my update log, the Journal was the first item to be restored. Thus not only was I racing to get it back up and running, but I was also perhaps doing most of the learning on a new HTML editor and a new platform on that section. So a few kludges were inevitable, I suppose.

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Categories: Schumin Web meta

You know, that’s a really personal matter, and I didn’t want to join you for it…

2 minute read

May 17, 2010, 11:45 PM

Tonight, while I was on the phone with a friend who shall remain nameless, I was traumatized. I’m going grocery shopping at Giant, and I’m talking about whatever on the phone with this friend, and then I heard this sound in the background:


I asked her, “Are you in the bathroom?” Turned out that we’d been talking in the bathroom for the entire time up to that point. That was a lot more than I wanted to know, unfortunately. The term “oversharing” came to mind. Now mind you, this friend and I are pretty close, and I admit that this friend has seen me in a speedo before (yes, I own one, get over it). But nonetheless, taking the phone into the bathroom is a little bit beyond my comfort zone.

I don’t know about you, but I consider it a shade impolite to take calls in the bathroom. I’ll be in a public restroom and hear someone chatting away while they’re in a stall with their pants around their ankles. What I’ve always wanted to do is to go around the restroom and flush every toilet in there, just to underline the fact to whoever’s on the other end of that call that they’re having that call in the bathroom. You know, President Lyndon Johnson used to take meetings into the bathroom. I’d rather think that this kind of practice stayed in the 1960s, but apparently it’s alive and well with cell phones, where people will take a call just about anywhere. I would have been more than understanding if my friend had not taken my call and then called me back once they were off the commode.

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Categories: Friends, Some people

So let’s review: Solicited attention, good. Unsolicited attention, bad.

2 minute read

May 13, 2010, 2:19 PM

With my birthday coming up at the end of this month, the love-hate relationship I’ve had with my birthday has come up, and we’ve again discovered that the emphasis is more on “hate” in that love-hate birthday relationship. Really, I don’t look forward to it anymore, since I get a bunch of well-intended but unwanted attention. To me, it’s like, okay, it’s a number change, big deal, and so okay and let’s move on.

Really, it’s all a matter of attention. If I am seeking it, I will gladly accept it. However, if I don’t want it, even if it is positive, I will try to escape it, or deliberately ruin it. I escaped my college graduation, where, if I didn’t get my way, I would have gotten undesired attention while at the same time not enjoyed myself. And the hell with what family members want when it comes to me celebrating milestones in my life. If I want to celebrate a milestone with everyone, then great. Let’s all be happy together. If I want to celebrate in my own way, or choose not to celebrate at all, that’s my prerogative. Nothing wrong with that. And if celebration in my honor is forced on me against my will, I will make sure to spoil it. I remember in 2005, my mother was all gung-ho about my birthday, and wanted to go all out for it, and I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. If I recall, I turned the phone off and just left for a while. Then when I got back home, I threw my unwanted birthday cake in the trash right along with the unwanted birthday card. I don’t understand what makes people want to spend money to celebrate something where the person whose thing it is being celebrated doesn’t want it to be celebrated in the first place. I tell people not to buy me a card, and they don’t listen. I tell them not to buy me a cake and they don’t listen…

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Categories: Birthdays

We may have only had three people, but those three were something…

5 minute read

May 11, 2010, 2:34 PM

Yes, on Saturday, May 8, Anonymous DC held its monthly raid from 3-8 PM, protesting the abusive practices of the Church of Scientology. This was also our smallest monthly raid yet, with all of three people in attendance. Those three people were MaidofWin, Sparrow, and myself. Sparrow wore a Guy Fawkes mask. MaidofWin had a stars-and-stripes bandanna and big movie-star sunglasses. I wore my zentai for the first time this season.

It’s funny about the zentai, though. I was actually late to the raid on account of not being sure what I wanted to wear with it. As you know, when I raid, I’ve always used the zentai as a base layer under other clothes. Remember that in 2008, the zentai look was tie dye and funny hat. Then in 2009, I went with black-on-black-on-black as the zentai look. This time, I wanted to do something different, but at the same time, make it fun. I tried a number of different combinations, and nothing seemed to work. I eventually resigned myself to the fact that I was unable to properly accessorize things, and ended up packing the 2008 “look” to change into once I got down there.

However, once I got down there and started putting on the zentai, I got the suit on, and then decided to go out with only the suit. I’d always been a little concerned about doing that in the past, specifically about whether I’d look too “lumpy” under there (“lumpy” in this case referring to the love handles and what have you that I sport). As it turned out, though, I looked fine, as the zentai smoothed out all the lines. After getting up the nerve to actually go out wearing the zentai by itself (never did that in public before), it seemed to work. And then when I got to the raid site, I put the hood up and the “windshield goggles” on (they fit over my glasses), which completed my anonymity, and I got out a stack of You Found The Card cards. I’d say I was ready to raid.

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Categories: Project Chanology


3 minute read

May 7, 2010, 8:24 PM

So I was going to lunch at Lawson’s with a bunch of my coworkers today, and we saw this when we got to Dupont Circle:

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Categories: WMATA

So should I buy another Web cam?

2 minute read

May 6, 2010, 11:25 PM

I’ve been tossing around the idea for a while of buying another Web cam. One may recall that from 2000 to 2003, I had a feature on this site where I had a Web cam that transmitted a still picture to the site every two minutes. So Web cams and Schumin Web are definitely not unfamiliar concepts.

However, before you start thinking I’m going to resurrect the old Web cam feature, forget it. I am so over that. That feature is dead, and is staying dead.

Actually, I’m thinking about the possibility of doing some Journal entries in video format. I think it would be fun, and I could convey some things that I can’t do in written form, like tone of voice, and hand movements and such.

Of course, that requires actually having a Web cam of some sort. The Web cams that I had in the days of the old Web cam feature are long gone. I either threw them away, gave them away, or they’re buried somewhere in my parents’ house. However, you slice it, I don’t have them. Besides, those old cameras were a pain to deal with anyway, and modern cameras are far superior to and cheaper than the old ones, which by now would be eight and ten years old. Right now, the only access I have to a Web cam is the iSight camera on my office Mac, and there are a whole host of reasons why I will never “video blog” for Schumin Web from the office.

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Categories: Computer, Schumin Web meta

The FCDC furniture sale was quite revealing in more ways than one…

10 minute read

May 4, 2010, 8:30 PM

While Anonymous raided a yellow tent on the Mall, I took part in a different operation. I went to the Founding Church of Scientology (FCDC) furniture sale at their old Org, the Fraser Mansion, where we had raided many times in the past. I brought my checkbook along, just in case there really was furniture that I was interested in, though I considered that to be highly unlikely.

So I drove down, and parked in the parking lot behind the building:

The Sable is parked on the FCDC property

I considered that a bit ballsy on my part, but then again, this wasn’t a raid, and additionally, if I really did buy furniture, I would have had to bring the car back around regardless. So whatever. If they didn’t like it, whatever.

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Categories: Project Chanology

Orange Line to New Carrollton…

8 minute read

May 2, 2010, 11:06 PM

That about sums things up for Saturday, along with “Orange Line to Vienna”. See, I went railfanning with Matthew Tilley on Saturday, and our goal was to railfan the heck out of the Orange Line, with the goal of getting good photos of a lot of the stations for Transit Center and Wikipedia.

In doing this, we planned to cross the Orange Line twice. Once out to New Carrollton, and once back in to Vienna. On the run out to New Carrollton, we concentrated on the outdoor stations. The idea was that since we needed daylight to get good shots of the outdoor stations, we would do those first. Then we would do the underground stations after that, since they would look the same regardless of what time of day it was.

So starting with Vienna (I drove out to Vienna to start), we did Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, and East Falls Church, and then jumped over to Minnesota Avenue, Deanwood, Cheverly, Landover, and finally New Carrollton. We took a break at New Carrollton, and then turned around and did Potomac Avenue, Eastern Market, Capitol South, and Federal Center SW. Then we skipped over to Court House, Clarendon, and Virginia Sq-GMU. Then we went over to Ballston for dinner, and then back to Vienna.

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Categories: Matthew, WMATA

Now you KNEW that those service cuts were just grandstanding on Metro’s part…

3 minute read

April 30, 2010, 10:49 PM

I was saying it all along, that the proposed Metro service cuts were just grandstanding in order for the public to support a big fare increase. And the public took the bait – hook, line, and sinker. And now it looks like the riders will be forced to eat most of Metro’s budget shortfall. I cringe when I think about what my commute will cost once this fare increase goes into effect. I already pay $9.90 for a day’s commuting with Metro’s “temporary” ten-cent increase in effect. And with this increase being “the largest fare increase in its history” according to The Washington Post, it’s going to cost a lot to get from my house to the office and back.

Now one thing that I find interesting is that one of the options on the table is a $4.00 flat fee for late night service on weekends. I’ve been saying for a while that Metro needs to implement a flat fare for the rail system. Most other rail systems are like that, including the New York Subway. Ride anywhere, and it costs the same amount. It would make figuring out your fare so much easier, and eliminate all the large signage about fares that have to be individualized for each station. All you have to say is “Peak fare is $3.50” and “Off-peak fare is $2.50” (pulling these numbers out of the air here for purposes of illustration) and you’re done. Load $7 or $5 for a round trip, and you’ve got it, regardless of where you’re going. Of course, if Metro Board member and DC councilman Jim Graham has his way, there won’t even be a late-night flat fare.

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Categories: WMATA

Okay, move it or lose it…

3 minute read

April 29, 2010, 7:55 PM

This is currently the largest annoyance for pedestrians in Dupont Circle:

Message sign on the sidewalk in Dupont Circle

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Categories: Amusing, Washington DC

Sometimes one wonders who that “Ms. Right” might be…

3 minute read

April 27, 2010, 3:14 PM

As you may know, I am currently 28 and very much single. I have not been in a relationship since the Clinton administration, and that was the only romantic relationship I’ve ever been in. And it lasted three weeks. And I will openly admit that at the age of 17, when I was in that relationship, I was totally scared, because this whole dating thing was new to me, and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or how to do it. We never kissed – I was too scared. Eventually, she dumped me, claiming that I “don’t know how to communicate.” I was crushed. And I’ve not dated since.

Lately, though, it seems that much interest has come about in addressing my singleness. First of all, with my sister now married, my mother is now trying to get me married, too. She may very well end up with Lysy grandchildren one day, but then she’s said to me on more than one occasion, “I want Schumin grandchildren.” That’s putting the cart a little bit in front of the horse, don’t you think? I mean, forget having children – I don’t even have a girlfriend. I also don’t have this tremendous urge to be anyone’s father at this point in time. I like not having children.

Then my mother also has said that I might have a problem with forming those kinds of relationships, and mentioning the word “sex” in there a couple of times. Yeeew! My mother said S-E-X! I’m sorry, but there are a few things that one does not want to think about. One does not want to think about one’s parents “doing it” (though it obviously did happen to produce my sister and myself), and one does not want to hear one’s parents talking about S-E-X. However, Mom may have a point about the whole relationships bit. I have met numerous women over the course of protests and what have you, but have never asked any of them out socially.

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Categories: Family, Myself

You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance…

2 minute read

April 22, 2010, 8:50 PM

Through intense training and meditation, I have learned the secret… and here’s the result:



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Categories: Video games

Epic wind!

5 minute read

April 20, 2010, 9:23 PM

On April 17, Anonymous DC raided the Founding Church of Scientology’s “Ideal Org”. This was to be a fun raid, once we figured out how to deal with the weather conditions. It was windy. Really windy. If it gives you any idea about how windy it was, the wind was blowing so hard that we couldn’t wear our Guy Fawkes masks. Anyman tried to wear his Guy Fawkes mask, but actually lost it to the wind. Seriously. It blew right off his face, and blew down the street and out of sight before anyone could recover it. And it was a pretty cool take on the Guy Fawkes mask, too, with half of it colored black, seen here in this June 2009 file photo:

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Someone explain to me why people think that I lose my right to criticize Wal-Mart, a horrible corporation that ultimately fired me, because I once worked there.

4 minute read

April 14, 2010, 8:49 PM

Someone explain that to me. Someone explain to me why I should not criticize Wal-Mart because I once worked there, despite having been treated rather poorly while there, and ultimately fired for nonsense reasons. Someone explain to me why the fact that they once employed me makes them above criticism as far as I should be concerned.

I was on the phone with my mother today, as I usually am right after work while walking to the Metro, and the conversation today turned to Wal-Mart. I came down pretty hard on the Wal-Mart issue this time, as I was quick to call them a horrible corporation that does not buy American, squeezing their suppliers so hard that many of them are forced to move production overseas to cut costs in order to meet Wal-Mart’s demands.

And let’s not forget Wal-Mart’s stance on labor relations, as written on page two of Labor Relations and You at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center #6022: “Wal-Mart is opposed to unionization of its associates. Any suggestion that the Company is neutral on the subject or that it encourages associates to join labor organizations is not true.” In addition, from the same document, “We firmly believe we are capable of running our own Company without any assistance from an outside third party.” Additionally, from page two of A Manager’s Toolbox To Remaining Union Free, it states, “Wal-Mart is strongly opposed to third-party representation. We are not anti-union; we are pro-associate. We believe in maintaining an environment of open communication among all associates, both hourly and management. At Wal-Mart, we respect the individual rights of our associates and encourage everyone to express his/her ideas, suggestions, comments or concerns. Because we believe in maintaining an environment of open communication through the use of the Open Door policy, we do not believe there is a need for third-party representation. It is our position every associate can speak for him/herself without having to pay his/her hard-earned money to a union in order to be listened to and have issues resolved.”

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Categories: Family, Walmart