Now that Christmas is over, can we talk about the decor for a moment?

December 27, 2011, 11:42 PM

Well, Christmas is over. Now only 363 more shopping days until next Christmas. *rolls eyes*

As mentioned, I did manage to keep Christmas and myself a safe distance apart this year. I did, however, not understand the Christmas decor that I saw this year. Specifically, purple. There was purple Christmas decor in the lobby of my office building, at my doctor’s office, and in a number of places out and about.

Now I understand the whole idea of liturgical colors, and how Advent = purple. But that doesn’t explain what seems like purple’s explosion into secular Christmas decorations. Seriously, all of the places where I saw the purple Christmas decor made no indication of any sort of religion in the decor. Even my office building, which always decorates the first floor lobbies in December and normally also includes a menorah and a Kwanzaa candle holder on the front desk, omitted the menorah and the Kwanzaa candle holder this year. Go fig. And they went all out on purple.

This is what the first floor decor in my office building looked like this season:


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Categories: Christmas

I’d say I was pretty successful in avoiding it all this year…

December 24, 2011, 4:02 PM

Yes, this is the annual I-hate-Christmas Journal entry. Just saying.

But I do believe I was pretty successful in insulating myself from Christmas this year. Seriously, I even managed to go so far as to forget that Christmas was on a Sunday this year. Think about it: I don’t decorate my apartment, because I can’t be bothered. The extent of the decor at work was some poinsettias. And about the only store I’ve been in this month has been Giant. And you don’t need to decorate a grocery store for Christmas because people have to eat all the time, and not just in late December. And then the pool didn’t decorate, either, and that is fine by me, too. Then my activities outside of work and swimming can be mostly summed up in one word: Falcon. Yes, I’ve been thoroughly wrapped up in working on my Schumin Web work this month. I even gave up Wikipedia for a while in order to concentrate on it. So basically, my life has been home, work, pool, and Falcon. No room for Christmas this year, and that’s suited me fine.

And so owing to the fact that I was pretty successful in insulating myself from Christmas all season, it’s actually left me in a pretty good mood. Thus this year, I can say the following, in the words of Sam Crenshaw from Today’s Special, without grumbling:

"Merry Christmas to you, everybody."
“Merry Christmas to you, everybody.”

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Categories: Christmas

So I don’t know if I’m courageous or insane, but will you sponsor me nonetheless?

December 18, 2011, 10:31 PM

I really don’t know if this makes me courageous or insane, but I’m going to be jumping into the Potomac River on January 21, 2012 as part of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network‘s “Keep Winter Cold” polar bear plunge event to help raise money for climate work.

In other words, I’m going to be doing this:

Scene from 2011's "Keep Winter Cold" polar bear plunge

Yes. That.

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Categories: Events

The Iraq War is over?

December 15, 2011, 9:37 PM

So apparently the big news today is that the Iraq War is over. It’s an announcement that’s come eight years, eight months, and 26 days later than it should have (truth be told, it should never have even started), but it’s better late than never.

Of course, I’m not entirely sure if I want to believe our government when they say that the Iraq War is over. I want to believe them – I really do – but considering that the Iraq War was built entirely on lies from our federal government, I have no reason to take them at their word. How many different rationales were there for our going in? Weapons of mass destruction? Yellowcake uranium? Bring freedom to the Iraqi people? Bringing the fight to them before they bring it to us? Others? As it turned out, there were no weapons of mass destruction. The yellowcake was a lie. The first victory announcement (“Mission Accomplished”) in 2003 was a lie.

We also expended scads of money – much of it off budget – for a war we should have never been in, while people go hungry in this country, while teachers must spend their own money on necessary school supplies, and while we still don’t have universal public health insurance (don’t get me started on the shortcomings of Obamacare). And what did we accomplish in Iraq? Nothing. We are no safer today than we were when we went in. Our own freedom as a nation was never in question. No one fought for your freedom or mine in this war. The war was all about oil, and I don’t believe we even managed to get our hands on that (good!). Your tax dollars at work.

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Categories: Anti-war, News

Discovering a significant bug in Falcon…

December 10, 2011, 1:11 PM

This is where things get frustrating! I discovered a significant glitch in my “Falcon” development site.

But first, for those not familiar: Falcon is my development site, where I’m currently working to convert Schumin Web to the WordPress platform. It’s running WordPress 3.2.1 right now (but will probably jump a version or so before I’m done). I’m running it all in a test location while I build it and then port and restore content. Then when it’s finished, I’m going to move it onto the main URL, and then it will cease to be “Falcon” anymore, since it will become the production site. Then I’ll probably set up a new development site as “Falcon” for future development and experimentation, such as a full redesign (the site under WordPress will look mostly the same as it has for a number of years).

To run certain parts of the site, I set up custom post types. I have custom post types for the Fire Alarm Collection, Quote Articles, Photo Features, Site Updates, and Splash Photos. What this will look like when finished is nothing new, as those of you who have been with me for a while, when you see the way these things look, will see something very familiar, even if it’s totally different under the hood. The problem is that when you page through the pages of these custom post type archives, the site will act as though it’s displaying the next page, but the content will not change. Let me show you what I mean:

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So I believe that the spirit of Patrick’s Christmas lights have attacked my camera…

December 4, 2011, 10:39 PM

Yeah, it’s only been a week since my Thanksgiving trip to Stuarts Draft ended, but better late than never, I suppose. I’ve kicked production work on Falcon into high gear, and just about everything on my Internet life has taken a back seat to that, including Wikipedia (I’m taking a Wikibreak!). I have a feeling that if you look into my eyes, you’ll see that blue squares-in-squares pattern that I use burned onto my retina.

But this is a Video Journal. So that means one of these, which I shot on the drive home from Stuarts Draft along Route 29:

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