I have conquered the 4000-Series…

3 minute read

April 12, 2010, 12:19 AM

Yes, I have conquered the 4000-Series. And by that, I mean these:

Breda 4099 at Franconia-Springfield
(By the way, the truly dedicated Metro enthusiast ought to be able to tell me what day I took this photo)

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Categories: WMATA

A fun time was had by all…

9 minute read

April 7, 2010, 9:06 PM

So I got back from Stuarts Draft last night, and all in all, it was a pretty good trip. First of all, on the way down, I visited my friend Bergit, who I first met at the National Equality March back in October. We had a good time, chatting it up, and visiting a few stores in Charlottesville’s Corner district. Perhaps the most amusing part of the whole trip was the discovery that UVA sold a Snuggie with their logo on it, which Bergit modeled for the camera:

Bergit models the UVA Snuggie

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I think I probably know why I blocked this fellow…

2 minute read

April 6, 2010, 11:29 AM

As many of you know, I am an administrator on Wikipedia, and with that comes various extra tools that allow me to roll back vandalism, protect pages, and block disruptive editors. There are occasions when administrative actions get some feedback. Some think I may have been slightly too close to a dispute. Or maybe I protected a page on The Wrong Version. Or maybe I speedily deleted something that wasn’t as clear-cut as I thought. It happens.

It’s the people who get blocked that are amusing. This bit of hate mail recently came across my inbox, from a person named Jim Cooper, from Email address, and with an IP address of

hello, 1st, i would like to say that i really enjoy your website. 2nd i noticed that you went to james masdison university, many of my friends attend JMU currently, and its a beautiful place. 3rd, i like were you state that people should act their age, not their shoe size. i wear a size 15 shoe, so i hope that my age wouldnt show.(haha) 4th, im pretty sure my size 15 shoe with proper force would fit up your ass. (jk) 5th, block me on wikipedia for no reason again and i will make sure that it happens. (lol)

take care.

Sincerly, Jim Cooper

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Categories: Wikipedia

See, don’t tell the allergies that it’s their season, because maybe they’ll forget and it will be too late then…

2 minute read

April 3, 2010, 10:10 PM

First of all, hello from my parents’ house in Stuarts Draft. This ought to be a fun weekend. I saw my friend Bergit in Charlottesville on the way down (that was a lot of fun), and then I’m spending tomorrow with the parents, then Monday I’m spending with Katie, and then Tuesday, back to DC.

The drive down here was kind of interesting. Usually I don’t hit traffic on a Saturday, but this time, the Beltway was awful. Almost as soon as we crossed into Virginia, pow. Slowed to a 10 mph crawl. Once I hit I-66, though, no problems, and except for some moderate congestion on US 29 through Gainesville, we were good. Smooth sailing right down 29 to Charlottesville. I noticed that they were expanding the Charlottesville Wal-Mart, and also noticed that an Exxon station at the corner of US 29 and Barracks Road had been demolished and seeded. Very strange seeing a vacant corner lot like that…

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So I got pranked this April Fool’s – big time…

6 minute read

April 1, 2010, 9:02 PM

So this year, April Fool’s Day was a bit more active on the prank front than usual. This is my third April Fool’s with these people, and the last two were fairly blah.

The first prank that I knew about was an Email that I sent out to the staff outlining some new kitchen procedures:

Greetings, all…

I’ve been reviewing how we run our kitchens, and am implementing some changes.

1) All food containers in the kitchen may only be orange in color. I did some research on this, and came to the conclusion that orange containers preserve food better than any other color, and therefore we will be switching to orange containers, effective immediately. The kitchens will be purged of all non-orange containers at 3:00 today.

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Categories: Holidays, Work

It’s been three years since “Firing Day”…

4 minute read

March 31, 2010, 9:40 PM

Today marks three years from the day that I got fired from Wal-Mart back in 2007. That was an interesting experience. I am thoroughly convinced that I was not fired for anything I actually did. After all, the stuff that they accused me of allegedly happened in the store, while I was actually off the clock and off the premises. I believe I was probably viewed as a threat for my various left-wing political views, with a little help from Michelle Malkin and her goons to bring it to light. And let’s admit – by my count, during my time at Wal-Mart, I participated in eight different black blocs. I can say with certainty that Wal-Mart would have disapproved of at least one of them – the one at the Million Worker March. After all, by Wal-Mart’s view, unions are the spawn of Satan, and must be stopped at all costs.

Still, the day that I was fired was quite a day. First of all, the night before, my friend Katie had asked me to join her mother and herself for dinner on the evening of the 31st. I had to decline, since I was scheduled to work the Service Desk from 12 noon to 9 PM. Then at noon, I came in and started my shift. I lasted 90 minutes – just long enough to clean up the Service Desk (those bastards). Then I got called into the back office, and as soon as I saw the green piece of paper on the desk, I knew where that meeting was going. For those who don’t know, Wal-Mart at that time printed their “Exit Interview” forms on green paper, commonly called a “green sheet”. Essentially, it’s your walking papers. And they gave them to me. In short, I had to hand over my maroon “Four Star Cashier” vest and my name badge, and then clean out my locker. I did, however, get to keep my company-issued box cutter, which they never asked for and I never gave them back. And I still use it, too, for that matter. But after cleaning out my locker, they were all, “Don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you!” and escorted me out of the store.

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Categories: Walmart

The Saturn V rocket flies again?

< 1 minute read

March 28, 2010, 11:24 PM

Well, not quite. But this is pretty darn cool, if you ask me:

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Categories: Space

We hijacked the march!

4 minute read

March 20, 2010, 10:02 PM

And another demonstration in the bag. Today, I attended ANSWER Coalition’s anti-war march in DC, and it was very much typical of ANSWER’s marches. ANSWER’s demonstrations usually consist of an initial rally (at the White House in this case), hours of speeches, and then a stop-and-go march, usually following one of two patterns. One pattern takes a circuitous route around DC, ending back at the origin site. The other pattern takes marchers from Point A to Point B, usually going from one key location to another key location in a fairly direct manner. Of course, there are variations in each, with some circuitous marches ending in a different location, and some Point-A-to-Point-B marches taking a somewhat circuitous route. The September 24, 2005 march followed this former pattern, and then the March on Crystal City followed the latter pattern. Note, however, in both of these cases, I participated in a radical feeder march before joining the mainstream march, and so in observing ANSWER’s patterns in those demonstrations, I want you to disregard the initial black bloc activity. This march followed the first pattern, where the march left from Lafayette Park, took a circuitous route around DC and then returned to its origin point.

Also realize that many in the anti-war community hold ANSWER in somewhat low regard, yet they still come out to their marches. I think I put it best today when I described ANSWER as “the Wal-Mart of protest movements”. And it makes sense. ANSWER, like Wal-Mart with their stores, has this amazing way of getting people to come to their events. But at the same time, both are held in somewhat low regard, even by those who attend. ANSWER demonstrations usually draw groups that have a heavy socialist lean to them, and there are too many people handing out literature. One may remember that I used to collect the various literature that was handed to me and scan it all in as part of the photo set. I stopped doing that in 2006 because it gave unbalanced coverage to various groups, not all of which I supported and believed deserved coverage in my photo sets (I am considering dropping these literature pages in the ongoing redesign, but haven’t decided yet). Additionally, ANSWER itself is closely aligned with the Workers World Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation, which I’m not too keen about.

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Categories: Anti-war

Funk the War 9…

2 minute read

March 19, 2010, 10:33 PM

First of all, let me just say that Funk the War 9 was absolutely awesome. It had a lot of energy, though based on my experiences attending three past Funk the War events, things didn’t go completely as planned.

This one started at Farragut Square, and marched in the street through DC past the Project for a New American Century at 17th and M Streets NW, and then to the Armed Forces Recruitment Center at approximately 14th and L Streets NW. There, a paint bomb got thrown at the building, and a demonstrator was arrested for it. MPDC Captain Jeff Herold declared the march an unlawful assembly, and the crowd was removed from the street under threat of arrest, and had to march on the sidewalk from there on. Take a look:

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Categories: Anti-war

So how would you integrate Twitter into Schumin Web?

3 minute read

March 17, 2010, 9:39 PM

As you may have seen on a recent site update, I have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. I envision using Twitter as kind of a mini-Journal. In other words, stuff that’s not enough for a full Journal entry, but certainly worth a mention. And with the site redesign going on, now is a good time to do this kind of work, rather than shoehorn it in later.

So far, I’ve come up with a footer link for the page. It takes the existing Facebook page link that’s been at the bottom of every page since October and makes it more prominent and pairs it with the new Twitter link. Thus under the row of links with updates, contact, privacy, etc., there will be a new line that says, “Follow The Schumin Web on Facebook and Twitter”, with “Facebook” and “Twitter” in their own logos. Facebook will still be used the same as it always has, consisting mainly of Journal entries and the like. Then Twitter will be like a mini-Journal. Of course, I first have to get into the habit of actually using the Twitter.

So now the question becomes, how do you integrate Twitter into Schumin Web? Considering I envision Twitter as something of a mini-Journal, I was thinking of putting a box of some sort for the Twitter feed there, possibly in the vicinity of the menu.

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Would you buy a used E-meter from this man?

4 minute read

March 15, 2010, 12:17 AM

Anonymous had its March raid on Saturday. Appropriately, it was Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard‘s 99th birthday on the day we raided. Our theme was over-the-top rainbow.

I, however, had a different look in mind for myself. Working next door to the monstrosity known as the Founding Church of Scientology, I see them around quite a bit. And the uniform for the Org staff at the Ideal Org location is a black suit and gold pocket square. The shirt varies between black turtleneck and white collared shirt. I have a black suit. I also have a black turtleneck. And with this kind of spoofing in mind, I ordered a gold pocket square. And I dressed up in their uniform, in order to possibly de-legitimize the Scientologists in the eyes of the public. So the question becomes, would you buy a used E-meter from this man?

Would you buy a used E-meter from this man?

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Categories: Project Chanology

Now this is what civil disobedience is meant for…

3 minute read

March 9, 2010, 7:21 PM

I read an article on The Washington Post‘s site on my lunch hour at work today, where Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has urged Virginia state colleges to rescind policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Basically, Cuccinelli contends that the colleges have no legal right to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, and that only the General Assembly can ban such discrimination. According to the article, the General Assembly has declined to make that move numerous times, including this week.

I took a few things from this. First of all, Virginia apparently got the administration that it deserved. They voted for these knuckleheads, and they got exactly what they deserved – people who want to take Virginia a few decades backwards on social issues. Bob McDonnell certainly got high points from me during Virginia’s gubernatorial race last year for the privatize-the-liquor-stores bit, and the reopening-the-rest-areas bit. And Creigh Deeds was certainly a weak candidate. But considering that McDonnell wants to cut spending on public education and the attorney general wants to roll back protections for gays and lesbians has me really annoyed. We don’t want Virginia to turn into a state as backwards as South Carolina, where a state lawmaker actually introduced legislation to ban paper currency. I like to say that Virginia can produce an educated citizenry. However, if you can’t pay your professors…

Additionally, this is what civil disobedience is meant for. I’ve thought for a while that a lot of the civil disobedience that happens at protests and such is just for show. I don’t quite see how sitting in the street until you’re arrested (in a pre-arranged arrest, no less) and things of that nature get much accomplished. However, these state colleges should respectfully tell Ken Cuccinelli to go shove it, and that they will continue to maintain their non-discrimination policies that protect people based on sexual orientation regardless. After all, the heart of civil disobedience is in protesting an unjust law by blatantly disobeying it.

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So the redesign for CSS is coming along well…

3 minute read

March 1, 2010, 1:42 AM

The redesign of this site to implement CSS layouts is coming along well. So far, all the major templates are built, the site navigates, and the Archives and Major Areas sections are complete.

I’m building the new version of the site in a “sandbox“, and I’m going to launch it all at once. This isn’t going to be a launch-in-sections like I did in 2004 and 2007. I’m doing the whole thing at once. I’m also deliberately designing it to make sure that no links change. The site still uses PHP, so it’s not like pages are going to have to get re-spidered anyway for an extension change.

As far as how things are going to look, expect to see a number of tweaks. All the screen-captures in Major Areas are updated, and Major Areas has a new header image. In Archives, the Vintage Schumin Web page has been completely rewritten, and I’ve attempted to clean up navigation on the Site Updates page. Then also look for various minor changes throughout, as I bold this or italicize that.

Right now, I’m most worried about two areas. I’m worried about the Main Page, and the Journal. For the Main Page, the Photo Feature concerns me. Currently, the database supplies the left edge of the main content panel, because it varies depending on whether the Photo Feature is horizontal or vertical. I feel that implementing that variable in CSS will be something of a challenge, but I think I’m up to it. Then in the Journal, I’m not too worried about actually designing it all. I’m more worried that a few entries might break a CSS-designed layout and have to get fixed. I’m not too keen about having to comb through 1,200-some Journal entries to find a few bad apples, though I have a feeling I know which ones might break the new page if something is going to break it. Hopefully that concern is unfounded, and everything will go smoothly. We’ll soon find out, I suppose.

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Categories: Schumin Web meta

It’s okay to want to celebrate one’s birthday on one’s own terms…

3 minute read

February 25, 2010, 7:24 PM

I had an interesting discussion with Mom today about birthdays. And at this point in the year, it’s more academic than about planning, because the next birthday is my brother-in-law’s in the middle of next month (and for the record, saying “my brother-in-law” still sounds odd). Then Mom’s doesn’t come up until April, and mine in May. When it comes to my birthday, the last one I was really all excited about was my 21st, and that was kind of tempered when I got a speeding ticket on the way up to JMU that morning. Then 22 and 23 came and passed without much fanfare, but then 24 is one where I rebelled against my birthday. That was the one where I really got serious about celebrating my birthday on my terms. That year, I wanted no cake, and no celebrations of any kind. And my mother never really “got it” on that one.

With mothers, birthdays are kind of interesting. After all, it was a special day for Mom, too. I came into the world, and Mom kinda had to, you know, have a baby. Lots of pain, I’m sure, since Mom went through 30 hours of labor with me before the doctor determined that I wasn’t coming out that way, and I ended up being born via C-section. But I like to think I was worth it, and Mom readily admits the same. But I think the whole giving-birth bit is why she’s not able to quite figure out why I want to celebrate birthdays quietly on my own terms. Mom wants to celebrate it because, after all, she became a mother on my birthday. But still…

I’ve said before in this space, as well as in the old quote section, that I kind of don’t like awards ceremonies. Okay, I loathe them. I would rather eat razor blades than attend an awards ceremony. It’s because I don’t like being thrust in the center of attention. And birthdays, if not celebrated properly, fall into the same category. I for one don’t like birthday cards. It’s unwanted recognition. Save the money you would spend on the cheap sentiment and do something else.

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Categories: Birthdays

It’s raining, and wouldn’t you know it…

4 minute read

February 22, 2010, 8:08 PM

It’s raining, and wouldn’t you know it, I left my umbrella on the Metro coming home. I find this kind of ironic for two reasons.

First of all, while I was still at work, one of my coworkers wanted to take the umbrella, thinking I had pinched this one that had been sitting abandoned in a corner for about six months or so. I told him that this one was my “work” umbrella, and that the other one was still there.

Then secondly, when I got into my seat, I noticed that someone else had already forgotten an umbrella in that same seat. Then on the long ride back to Glenmont, I took one of my famous Metro naps. I woke up as we were pulling into Glenmont (going over the switch south of Glenmont tends to wake me up), and got off the train. The train went out of service at Glenmont, and headed for the yard. Then as I was riding the escalator up to the street, I realized it – no umbrella. Crap. Well, there goes ten bucks. So I saw that some poor schmuck had left their umbrella in the seat, and then left a second one to go with it.

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Categories: Furniture, WMATA