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This is why the next-to-last station will show no trains on the inbound display screen, and why no trains on screen is often acceptable…

May 31, 2011, 9:45 PM

So I was perusing the Twitter this morning, and came upon this tweet by FixWMATA:

Inbound PID at Eisenhower during “Peak of the Peak” morning rush. #wmata http://twitpic.com/5500rj
May 31 7:34 AM

FixWMATA's image of the Eisenhower Avenue PIDS
Photo: FixWMATA

What you are looking at is purported to be the PIDS screen on the inbound side of Eisenhower Avenue station.  Other details in the photo seem to confirm this. The concern being raised here is that the PIDS screen is blank.

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My birthday, swimming, and losing weight…

May 30, 2011, 9:18 PM

Yes, it’s Video Journal time again, on my birthday as I turn 30. And here it is:

This is a 20-minute video, but trust me, it’s worth every second of it. Here’s the video in a nutshell…

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Categories: Birthdays, Friends, Weight loss

So I made my first green smoothie…

May 26, 2011, 11:15 PM

Yes, I made my first green smoothie this evening, and it was really good. I actually would have done this a few days ago, but the bananas needed time to ripen, since I got them literally straight out of the box at the grocery store.

But regardless, I have had one, and I enjoyed it. In making this smoothie, I first added ice and some water. Then I jammed a whole bunch of spinach in, like filling half the blender jar with spinach. Then in the remaining space, I put in some grapes, and then peeled and broke up a banana. And when I was finished jamming everything in there, the blender looked like this:

When I was finished jamming everything in there, the blender looked like this.

Very layered. From bottom to top, you have ice and water, then the spinach, then a thin layer of grapes, and finally the banana.

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Categories: Food and drink

And the photos are in…

May 21, 2011, 9:26 PM

I certainly had fun on my vacation week! I went swimming on Monday, sat around like a bum on Tuesday, headed to Stuarts Draft on Wednesday, photographed on Afton Mountain on Thursday, and then went to Kings Dominion and Potomac Mills on Friday. Plus I finished the Plungefest 2011 photo set in Photography across a few days’ time.

When I went down to Stuarts Draft, I headed down via US 29 through Charlottesville. Technically speaking, on my route, you just nick the top of the city itself, but spend a lot of time in the Charlottesville metropolitan area. I think the total time spent within the city limits is about two minutes, depending on whether or not the traffic lights like you. Arriving in Stuarts Draft, I first stopped at Stuarts Draft Middle School, where I attended middle school and where Mom now teaches eighth grade. Checking in at the office, I noticed that they had the cover off the master clock, due to the need to manually sound the tones because of SOL testing. So I got a photo:

The master clock at Stuarts Draft Middle School, a Lathem LTR4-128.

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This is what vacations are good for…

May 18, 2011, 11:34 PM

Vacations are great for Schumin Web. Usually, every time I take a vacation, I manage to finish a photo set. This time, it’s Plungefest 2011. Normally this wouldn’t be notable, except that I ran out of time to finish this “in-studio”. See, I normally do all my photo sets at home, on my real computer. However, I ran out of time on Tuesday night, and I had planned a trip to Stuarts Draft from Wednesday to Friday. So first of all, hello from my parents’ house in Stuarts Draft. Thankfully, I was able to complete enough of the set on Tuesday night that I could do the rest of the work on the road from the netbook. So I did all the captions on my parents’ couch, and then pulled the covers off the menu entry, and then voila! Done.

On that last part, that was kind of interesting. Before I left the house, I put the menu entries in and then commented them out. Kind of reminds me of when banks change names, which, as you know, happens on a fairly regular basis anymore. They change the signs ahead of time, and then put a cover over the new sign with the old logo on it. I believe Wachovia is in this process right now, with their eventual change to the Wells Fargo nameplate. Then when the time comes, they just yank the cover off and the name is changed. Same here. I just removed the comment tags, and boom – the menu item is revealed.

Of course, this kind of stuff will all change when I eventually convert the site to WordPress. Then I’ll be able to do all of the site from anywhere, rather than the current situation of being restricted to my home computer for some parts and being partially mobile for others. I’m looking forward to that, but it’s going to be a long time still before that happens.

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So let’s go swimming!

May 16, 2011, 6:09 PM

So… I went swimming today at the Graham S. Little Natatorium, aka Olney Swim Center. I had never been before, so while I had an idea about what to expect from going online, it was still a new experience. For those wondering, the Olney Swim Center is an indoor swimming pool in Olney, Maryland, owned and operated by Montgomery County.

I got there just before 2:30, and, after changing in the locker room, I got in the water right at 2:30, and swam mostly continuously for an hour. I believe that this marks the first time that I’ve done any serious swimming since I quit Rhonda Dossey’s class, and that was twenty years ago! And I certainly got a workout from this, that’s for sure. I started doing the front crawl for a few laps, and then switched to backstroke. I did that for a while, then did the breaststroke for a bit. Then I spent the rest of the time doing the backstroke. I did the backstroke most because when you consider that I’m just getting back into things, I couldn’t quite manage to get the multitasking together to stroke, kick, and breathe doing the front crawl and the breaststroke. So I decided to work on just stroke and kick, and we’ll deal with the breathing in another session. Something tells me I should work on the breathing with a kickboard for a while and then try to put it all together later. It’s okay – don’t want to overdo it, and I don’t have any swim instructor standing on the pool deck yelling at me about my stroke.

There is one other thing that I need to work on, and that’s direction. When I was a kid, I had no problems swimming in a straight line. Tell me where to swim, and I could get there in a straight line. Kind of like this:

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Categories: Fire drills, Olney, Swimming

People don’t step back and observe enough anymore…

May 14, 2011, 9:42 PM

No one ever seems to step back and just watch things happen, and I noticed myself doing exactly that today. I was at the Barnes & Noble store in Montrose Crossing shopping center in Rockville today, and in walking past the windows on the second floor, I caught myself just watching the traffic through the parking lot of this rather busy shopping center on a busy Saturday afternoon. Then I filmed some of it, because we all need to kind of step back and observe. Enjoy:

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Categories: Photography, Rockville

One more day until vacation…

May 12, 2011, 7:36 PM

Yes, one more day to go. I am one “It’s Friday, ya bastards!” away from a week’s vacation. I am looking forward to it. This is going to be something of a hybrid, too. Last time I took a vacation was when I went to Chicago. Thus almost the entire time was spent out of town. Then two vacations ago was two weeks just hanging out at home and around town. This one will be about half just chilling out at home and thereabouts, and half out of town.

So you may ask, where am I going? A day and a half in Stuarts Draft and thereabouts, and then off to Kings Dominion with Mom and the eighth graders for “Math and Science Day”. It’s kind of funny, too, that I’m finally going to Kings Dominion. See, I’ve lived about two hours’ driving time from Kings Dominion for almost 19 years (believe it or not, my parents’ house and my house are about the same distance from Kings Dominion), and I’ve never been. We’ll see if it was worth the wait. The waterpark won’t be open (still too early in the season), but the rest of it will be. So we’ll see how it goes, I suppose. Otherwise while I’m in Virginia, I’m hoping to swing by SDMS again and visit Mom at school and such, do some photography in Staunton or Waynesboro or so, and then hopefully see Katie if all goes well, since it’s been far too long since last I’ve seen her.

Then in the first half of the week, I’m going to give lap swimming a try again. There’s a county-operated indoor pool in Olney, and considering how close it is to my house (only four miles), I should visit, and give it a spin. I’m thinking I’ll do it on Monday when all the children are at school. They have designated lap lanes, and so we’ll see how it goes.

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National Train Day!

May 7, 2011, 11:17 PM

Today was National Train Day, and so I headed on down to Union Station to check it all out. I had been to National Train Day once before in 2009, so I kind of knew what to expect, but still, it’s always neat to see the different rolling stock that they had on display. Rail cars that travel over the national rail network are very different from those on urban mass transit systems, and so it’s always a treat to see them.

I took the Metro from Grosvenor (yes, Grosvenor) to get to Union Station. The way I figured, since I was also going to a Wikipedia meetup afterwards in Tenleytown, this made more sense than going all the way around to Glenmont afterwards. Plus I’ve never originated a day’s Metro riding from Grosvenor before.

Arriving at Union Station, I found the line. Specifically, the line for the train equipment display. After all, I came to see the real trains. The model trains don’t interest me so much. I want to see the real thing when I go out. The line was long. The end of the line, when I found it, was out in the shops, back here:

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Categories: Amtrak, Events

The death of the world’s most wanted man brings out a number of emotions…

May 2, 2011, 11:50 PM

Well, I’ll be. They actually captured Osama bin Laden. I did not expect to see such a thing happen. I always figured that bin Laden would die of natural causes, and we would never find out about it. But they actually managed to capture him, though not alive.

First of all, I think it’s probably a good thing that we did not bring bin Laden in alive. For me, this is not any sort of kill-that-bastard vengeful line of thinking. It’s that we very much need to be able to move on as a country. If we had brought bin Laden in alive, then he would have to stand trial. The question would have been how do we try him, choosing between a civilian court or a military tribunal, and all of the discussion related to that. Then a trial would reopen many painful emotional wounds in too many people. With bin Laden dead and without a trial to reopen all of those 9/11 wounds, perhaps now we can move on as a country. Nothing anyone can do will ever bring back the lives of those who were killed on 9/11, and nothing will erase the pain of losing a loved one, but perhaps bin Laden’s death will help bring closure to some, and help with the healing process.

I am, however, disgusted by the behavior that I’ve seen exhibited by many Americans after bin Laden’s death was announced. First of all, there is no doubt in my mind that Osama bin Laden is the scum of the earth. There is no doubt in my mind that he was instrumental in the commitment of many atrocities against innocent victims. However, for Americans to be dancing in the streets celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden seems a bit barbaric. There are certainly times to dance in the street and celebrate (the overthrow of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak being one), but in this instance, it seemed wrong. I for one don’t feel any joy in bin Laden’s death, just as I don’t feel joy when anyone dies. The problem is that this action by Americans seems to erase any outrage that we might have been able to claim about people who will celebrate publicly when bad things happen to Americans. We just proved that when people we don’t like are killed, we will do the exact same thing. There goes our claim to the moral high ground, since as a country, we just did what we had expressed outrage about when it was done about us. Rick Telfer put it best on the Twitter when he said, “Always the same stupidity. When ‘they’ cheer for death, it’s barbaric. When ‘we’ do, it’s cathartic.” I believe it’s barbaric when either side does it.

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Categories: National politics