Journal

@SchuminWeb

Journal Archives

  • 2020 (22)
  • 2019 (37)
  • 2018 (38)
  • 2017 (37)
  • 2016 (41)
  • 2015 (30)
  • 2014 (42)
  • 2013 (61)
  • 2012 (91)
  • 2011 (90)
  • 2010 (111)
  • 2009 (142)
  • 2008 (161)
  • 2007 (196)
  • 2006 (199)
  • 2005 (207)
  • 2004 (233)
  • 2003 (104)

Categories

  • Advertising (17)
  • Amusing (46)
  • Cell phone (20)
  • Commuting (13)
  • Computer (57)
  • DC trips (120)
  • Dreams (20)
  • Events (24)
  • Food and drink (78)
  • Internet (20)
  • Language (10)
  • LPCM (9)
  • Nature (6)
  • Religion (12)
  • Restrooms (1)
  • Schumin Web meta (190)
  • Security (18)
  • Some people (38)
  • Space (6)
  • Urban exploration (11)
  • Vacations (37)
  • Video Journal (18)
  • Work (79)

Greetings from CAF 5109…

November 17, 2010, 7:29 PM

First of all, hello from CAF 5109. I am riding the Red Line home from the Tenleytown area, having just had a wonderful time enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend. Always good to see friends, and nothing beats a hot cup of coffee on a cool fall evening.

Meanwhile, this is my first time actually writing a Journal entry on my netbook while on the Metro. The train is not crowded by any means, so I’m sitting sideways in a row and typing with the computer on one leg. And it seems to work. I’m listening to Randi Rhodes on podcast, and just tapping away on the keyboard. For those wondering, I don’t have Internet on here right now, but instead, I will post this when I get home. I’m too late for the 51, so I figure, I’m either going to take the Y9 bus or walk. Follow me on the Twitter and find out, I suppose. Meanwhile, this train did not service Farragut North, strangely enough. When we went through (without stopping), there was caution tape on the platform and a bunch of people in safety vests at the outbound end, but a lot of regular people on the inbound end. Go fig. I know that the L Street entrance was closed, but who knows if that’s related.

Then this weekend is raid weekend. It’s always fun to troll Scientology, and this ought to be good, though I’m concerned that our numbers will be down due to its being so close to Thanksgiving. This is, after all, the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I’m sure that many people will be taking off early for the holiday. However, Scientology is not above scamming people out of large sums of their money on the weekend before Thanksgiving, and thus we will be outside to troll. It’s this Saturday from 1-5 PM. Hope to see you there. Should be fun. Hopefully I’ll be proven wrong on the numbers, and we’ll have a good number of (masked) faces out there trolling Scientology.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

When your entire march’s message is “f— the police”, you have lost sight of the forest for the trees…

October 10, 2010, 10:59 PM

What a frustrating weekend.

As you know if you read my previous entry, this weekend was the fall 2010 meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, held in Washington DC. I have demonstrated against the World Bank and IMF on seven different occasions prior to this weekend, most recently prior to this in the spring of 2009. This weekend’s demonstrations were perhaps the worst anti-IMF demonstrations that I have ever attended. They were disorganized, and no one was willing to step up to the plate and even so much as try to keep the group on message.

First of all, there was Friday’s demonstration. As it turned out, the 10:30 meeting point at 16th and Harvard Streets was basically a pickup spot for an ongoing demonstration. I showed up in plenty of time, and when the bloc swooped through, I, along with about four others plus Luke, joined it. That should have been a red flag right there – the group was in and out in less than two minutes, rather than staying at the announced meeting point for any appreciable length of time in case people were late or anything.

As it turned out, this bloc had already lost sight of its message. There was no anti-IMF message going on here, but rather they were trying desperately to keep a step ahead of the police. The bloc was going up and down neighborhood streets, moving water-filled plastic Jersey barriers to slow down the police. Additionally, they were dragging newspaper boxes out into the street, again to slow down police. And if all you’re doing is trying to stay ahead of the police, you have lost your way.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Black bloc, World Bank

Friday is going to be a VERY long day…

October 7, 2010, 11:04 PM

Yes, indeed… Friday will be a very long day. I’m working all day, and then demonstrating well into the night. See, this weekend is the semi-annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), and as such, demonstrations will be held. I have been really bad about World Bank/IMF demonstrations as of late, having missed demonstrations for both the fall 2009 meetings and the spring 2010 meetings. So I’m itching to go to this one.

The weekend will be full of various events – according to DC Indymedia, there were events on Thursday, and then Friday will have three events. There will be a noontime march that I’m going to miss on account of work, and then a block party in Washington Circle starting at 5:30 that I’m also going to miss (too far plus office social event right around that time). Then at 10:30 PM at 16th and Harvard Streets NW (seriously – that far north), there will be an “Anticapitalist Night of Action”. Then Saturday will have what appears to be a family-friendly event at Freedom Plaza from noon to 8 PM, after which time a “roving street party” will take off. Finally, Sunday will have a consulta to discuss future meetings.

I’m currently planning to attend the “Anticapitalist Night of Action” on Friday and the day event on Saturday, plus the street party. The Friday event, though, makes me nervous. I anticipate it will be a black bloc event, and it also concerns me that it’s starting that far north. No idea what its goals are, but I hope it’s not just to wreak havoc in the town. After all, some of us are in the area on a regular basis, and I don’t like having to explain to my mother why my friends broke windows and such. Likewise, a number of my coworkers live in that general area, and I don’t want to have to explain to them why my anarchist friends messed up their neighborhoods. The meeting point is roughly where Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and Mount Pleasant come together. This is not an area that is well known for political institutions. Adams Morgan is primarily known as a bar district, Columbia Heights is an area that is quickly gentrifying, and Mount Pleasant is residential.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Black bloc, World Bank

“What do we want? BEER! When do we want it? NOW!”

October 3, 2010, 10:32 PM

On Saturday, I was one of tens of thousands down in Washington DC, attending the One Nation Working Together rally at the Lincoln Memorial. My plan was to join the youth and student contingent that was marching to the rally site from Freedom Plaza.

Let me say it up front: I was disappointed with the way the One Nation Working Together rally came off. For the radical community, the whole rally was a bit of a non-starter. We’re the kind of types that thrive on direct action. Take your message to the streets, and do whatever it takes to get the word out and force change. Sitting on the grass listening to speeches for four hours is not how you get things going. I have made fun of the Tea Party for this, and unfortunately, this event was essentially “Tea Party Left”, meaning it was the same type of event, but with left-wing ideas, none of the racism, and correctly-spelled signs.

Thus for me, the most effective part of it all was the feeder, taking it to the street on the way to the big rally. When it comes to speeches, you are very much preaching to the choir. And this was a made-for-TV event, as the only view that many attendees got of the speakers was from the television monitors set up at intervals along the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool. Well, hell – for that, I could have just watched it on C-SPAN in my pajama pants, and used my own toilet rather than a port-a-potty.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Activism, Photography

With pupils as big as saucers…

October 1, 2010, 7:06 PM

You know, a trip to the eye doctor can be kind of fun, but let me tell you… recovering from same is less fun. Specifically, recovering from the dilating drops is no fun at all.

I had two different eye exams over the course of the week. One was the standard checkup-type eye exam on Wednesday, and the other was with a specialist on Friday (don’t ask, but I’m not going blind). And in both cases, they give you the little drops to dilate your eyes, in order to be able to see what’s going on inside and make sure all is well. The problem, of course, is going out into the real world afterwards, still dilated and all. Wednesday’s dilation was fine because it was raining out. Thus going home afterwards was fine since the sun wasn’t out. However, for Friday’s exam, it was cloudy in the morning, but after working a half-day at the office and going to see the doctor, it cleared up and was a beautiful day again. It would, of course, normally be beautiful for me, too, except that I would be practically blinded by it all. Yes, they gave me the little horn-rimmed dark inserts that sit behind your glasses in both cases, but they don’t work all that well because they move around a bit and cause their own reflections.

If it gives you any idea what we’re dealing with, here’s what my left eye looked like for Wednesday’s exam:

Dilated left eye on Wednesday

Continue reading...Continue reading…

So this is where “It’s Friday, ya bastards!” comes from…

September 17, 2010, 10:30 PM

Another Video Journal entry, this time discussing the “It’s Friday, ya bastards!” bit:

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Not a soul came to take a stress test while we were out there…

August 22, 2010, 11:19 PM

Well, I’d say that our raid on Saturday was a success. Not a single person came to take a “free stress test” while we were out raiding, and eventually Scientology decided to just pack it in. This is what their stress test table looked like most of the time we were out:

This is what their stress test table looked like most of the time we were out.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Project Chanology

This time, I am saying something substantive while on camera…

August 21, 2010, 11:54 PM

So I gave the “Schumin Web Video Journal” (a name I came up with after I filmed this) a spin once again:

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Everyone say, “Xenu!”

August 15, 2010, 2:18 PM

It’s funny how Fridays work out sometimes. Last Friday, a few of us went out after work, and ended up at Maddy’s in Dupont Circle, on the west side of Connecticut Avenue between R and S streets. All in all, it wasn’t a bad time. We had a couple of beers, and some other bar food. They actually had a baked potato on the menu, which I had. Not too shabby if you ask me.

Then afterwards, some of us were heading back to the Metro and others back towards the office, and our path took us past the Fraser Mansion, which, as you know, is the old Founding Church of Scientology before they moved right next door to my office (someone should consider a cult moving in next door as creating a hostile work environment). So we got a photo while we were there, especially when one considers that one of my coworkers ended up briefly visiting the last Anon raid (after I left).


Photo: Sarah Alexander

Continue reading...Continue reading…

The following is completely secret, and absolutely serious…

August 6, 2010, 11:20 PM

So today was interesting. It was a very quiet day at work today, with a lot of people either traveling on business or on vacation. We had so few people, we didn’t even do our regular “lunch buddies” today. However, that’s not to say I didn’t have a few amusing moments…

First of all, I would like to point out that the people that design digital projectors should be required to mount their own projectors and then change the bulbs in them. The bulb in the digital projector in one of our conference rooms recently burned out, and it ended up becoming a much more involved process than I had wanted. See, the manufacturer, InFocus in this case, put the access door for changing the bulb on the same side as the mounting apparatus. Thus in order to change the bulb, one must:

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Project Chanology, WMATA, Work

I’m only twenty minutes in, and already I hate the Seattle Police Department…

August 2, 2010, 8:59 PM

I just finished a 20-minute workout on the exercise bike, and I feel like I got a lot done. I did a few miles, definitely broke a sweat, and I feel like I accomplished something.

In the DVD player for tonight’s workout: Battle in Seattle. Every anarchist should know about the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999, and more importantly, the protest activity surrounding it. I’ve studied it over the years, and I bought the movie Battle in Seattle in order to enjoy a dramatic recreation of the event.

So far, my impressions are this: The protesters are a dedicated bunch, and the cops and the mayor are slime. The WTO ministers can’t get in? The mayor just assumed the protesters are being violent, and had to be talked down from that assumption. The cops then talked him up to allowing them to gas protesters. In the first twenty minutes of the movie. Yikes!

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Do what you want ’cause a pirate is free… YOU ARE A PIRATE!

July 17, 2010, 9:34 PM

Yes, today was Anonymous DC’s annual “Sea Arrrgh” raid, where pirates was the theme. We usually do pirates in June, but due to problems with scheduling and then weather, we ended up scrapping the June raid and doing pirates in July.

The big thing about this raid was seeing the most recent development that came out of Sparrow’s solo raiding that he does during the week. Yesterday, Sparrow received an official Suppressive Person Declare, which is the Scientology equivalent of being excommunicated in other religious groups. I got to read his SP declare, and it was absolutely hilarious, with a number of things that just seemed “canned”, but in Scientology’s own little (alien) world, I’m sure it means something totally serious.

And meanwhile, here’s Sparrow, all smiles as a declared Suppressive Person:

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Family, Project Chanology

So I decided to talk and drive again…

July 8, 2010, 2:19 PM

So on Wednesday evening, I decided to talk and drive again. I set the cell phone in the GPS holder once again, and started talking. I started at approximately 16th and T Streets NW, heading north on 16th Street:

Continue reading...Continue reading…

“We’ve got a store that I explore when the customers aren’t here anymore…”

June 27, 2010, 12:14 AM

Tonight I learned some very disturbing news. G20 protesters in Toronto broke windows at The Bay’s Queen Street store on Saturday. Fans of Today’s Special will know this place best as simply “the store”. I was shocked, and it actually briefly brought tears to my eyes. But they did:

Broken windows at the store  Broken windows at the store
Photos: Karen Liu/Toronto Life

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Now I understand why Randi Rhodes says that the news has been cancelled…

June 15, 2010, 9:25 PM

I recently had a request for an interview by Kathryn Blaze Carlson of the National Post. It’s a Toronto-based newspaper, and according to its Wikipedia article, has a conservative-leaning editorial section. I was asked for an interview about black blocs due to my having participated in more than a dozen black blocs. I figured that since this was a news article and not an opinion piece, that some journalistic integrity would be in effect here, and my comments would be quoted truthfully. Not so, I’m afraid. As political pundit Randi Rhodes has so eloquently put it many times in the past, “The news has been cancelled.”

Now I’ve definitely done interviews with the media before. I was interviewed on WHSV back in 1996 about Virginia’s Standards of Learning, I had an interview in 2001 about Schumin Web in Turf (a short-lived supplement to JMU’s The Breeze newspaper), and then I was interviewed in 2006 by The News Virginian about the Skyline Parkway Motel at Rockfish Gap. This was my first interview about political issues.

What I found out after reading the final story, called “Black Bloc & Blue“, is that I could have said anything, and the story would have come out the same. Seriously, I could have said that when a black bloc forms at a demonstration, the sky turns yellow and people all start singing “La Marseillaise”, and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Carlson seemed to have it already set in her mind that “black bloc” was a movement and a defined group, and despite my best efforts at talking her down from it, it seemed that my assertions that the whole thing was a tactic and not a movement fell on deaf ears.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Black bloc