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“…because nobody likes roasted nuts!”

July 6, 2011, 11:02 PM

Oh, did I have a great Fourth of July! As a federal holiday, my office was closed, and so I had the day off. Now for Fourth of July in DC, when you consider that (A) I’m local, and (B) I think the security theater around the Mall is a joke, I don’t normally do the Fourth of July in DC proper unless I have a really good reason.

This year, I had a very good reason to head into DC for Fourth of July. I’ve discussed the YouTube show Is It A Good Idea To Microwave This? before, and they had scheduled a stop in Washington DC on their road trip down the east coast from Boston to Miami. The DC stop was on July 4 at the Washington Monument. And considering I’ve been watching Jory Caron, Jonathan Paula, and Riley McIlwain microwave stuff since March 2008 (the “Sandra” era!), I was not going to pass up the opportunity to meet the folks I’ve gotten to know via YouTube for years. The designated meetup place was on the west side of the Washington Monument at 1 PM, and I was going to be there in plenty of time. Metro from Glenmont to Farragut North, hoof it up the street escalator which was, naturally, stopped (good thing I’m in better shape now!), and then to the Washington Monument on foot from there.

It was smooth sailing for the most part, going past the White House (without stopping), and down 15th Street to Constitution Avenue. There, I was met with a wall of people watching a parade. I was a bit annoyed, as I figured that Jory, Jon, and Riley were already there and that now I was going to be late, despite my best work in getting an early start and such. But I shouldn’t have worried. As I was trying to find someone who looked official to ask about where I could cross the street, I spotted Jon, and with him Jory and Riley. I said hello and identified myself as a fan, and I ended up helping them get to the Monument. We ended up finding a place to cross Constitution Avenue at 16th Street and then backtrack over to almost 15th again where the checkpoint was.

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Categories: YouTube

“I am not a boy. I am a TXL Series 4 computer.”

June 27, 2011, 11:34 PM

Today, I received a second retro t-shirt that I designed for myself. Check it out:

Holding up my "TXL SERIES 4" shirt

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Categories: Swimming, Today's Special

We’ve had a breakthrough!

June 25, 2011, 11:53 PM

Let me tell you… I had a BIG breakthrough in the whole idea of eventually converting Schumin Web to WordPress this weekend. Take a look at this:

Schumin Web "Raven" at a very early stage

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Categories: Schumin Web meta

So I took the “deep water running” class this evening…

June 23, 2011, 10:16 PM

So I took the “deep water running” class at Olney Swim Center this evening. That was a new experience. This is also called “aqua jogging“, and involves strapping on a flotation belt and jogging in the deep end of the pool. The idea is that you’re doing all of this while staying vertical. If you’re on your back, your front, or otherwise not vertical, you’re not doing it right.

The class lasted an hour, which is the same amount of time that I normally would spend doing lap swimming. In the class, we first did a few laps around the pool just running. Then we did it like cross-country skiing, with arms and legs straight and going back and forth. We also did cross-country legs with breaststroke arms. We really mixed it up, working things one direction, the other direction, and side to side. We even did jumping jacks in the water on a few occasions. Then in the second half of the class, we worked with foam dumbbells to give extra resistance.  I was actually disappointed when the class was over, because I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The idea of deep water running definitely has potential for me. However, I didn’t get that great post-workout buzz that I normally get after doing laps. That’s not to say I didn’t get a workout. I certainly worked certain muscle groups, and I can feel some after effects of the workout, but it’s not quite enough to satisfy me.

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Categories: Olney, Swimming

When I eventually convert the site to a CMS platform…

June 21, 2011, 11:16 PM

This is one of those things that I’ve been thinking about, and am looking for some feedback on it. As you may know, I’ve been planning to eventually convert Schumin Web to run on WordPress. I’ve kind of scaled that back, however, because of the way things have been going with the redesign aspect of things. Basically, when I convert the site to WordPress, the site is probably going to look the same as it has for a while.

See, here’s the problem. The redesign end of things has really gone to crap. Recall that the first attempt, while bold, lacked personality:

Concept work in February 2011

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More swimming, Jimbo Wales, and a new exercise guide!

June 13, 2011, 11:10 PM

Oh, do I have a lot to discuss today. First of all, I went swimming on Sunday, which was an interesting experience all its own. What made it so interesting was how busy the pool was. First, though, I got there early, while maintenance work was still going on. So I got to do something I’d told Mom I’d do for a while now: take pictures of the pool. And here they are:

The "leisure pool" (read: kiddie pool) area. This pool is three feet deep at its deepest, and water is normally flowing out of the top of the mushroom structure towards the back, and water fills the buckets in the right of the photo. The buckets tip over and dump their contents when they become full. There's also a small water slide that's mostly out of frame, but you can see part of it behind the buckets. One of the two "hydrotherapy pools" (read: hot tub) is visible in the background.
The “leisure pool” (read: kiddie pool) area. This pool is three feet deep at its deepest, and water is normally flowing out of the top of the mushroom structure towards the back, and water fills the buckets in the right of the photo. The buckets tip over and dump their contents when they become full. There’s also a small water slide that’s mostly out of frame, but you can see part of it behind the buckets. One of the two “hydrotherapy pools” (read: hot tub) is visible in the background.

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And I now have a point-and-shoot camera…

June 6, 2011, 11:56 PM

So I now have four active cameras in my arsenal. I have my real camera, a Canon Powershot SX10 IS. Then I have my waterproof camera, Duckie, a Vivitar ViviCam 6200W. Then I have my cell phone, a Motorola Droid. And now I have a fourth: a point-and-shoot, a Canon Powershot A800. It’s there for when I want to take pictures of stuff in instances when my main camera is unavailable or impractical, like when I’m commuting to and from work, etc. This is something that I can put in my work bag or my pocket, and won’t need its own bag like the Canon. This is the kind of stuff that I would otherwise use my cell phone camera for (making this more of an upgrade over the cell phone camera), but I want to do better quality and have a little more control. This new camera is 10 megapixel, which is the same as my real camera. Thus this one slots between my real camera and Duckie.

And the acceptance testing went as well as one might expect. I’ve used Canon point-and-shoot cameras before, and so this was simply a matter of testing the camera to verify that everything was indeed as I thought it would be, and then declaring the camera ready for operational use.

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Categories: Cameras

Now, you see, plates are something that the average person can understand.

June 4, 2011, 12:44 AM

It recently made its way around the news circuit that MyPlate has replaced the Food Pyramid, which itself replaced the “Basic Four“. For those not yet familiar, it looks like this:

MyPlate

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Categories: Food and drink

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