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Horns with bugles attached…

October 27, 2016, 8:24 PM

As I mentioned earlier, the trip to Philadelphia that Elyse and I made on October 3 was primarily about fire alarms.  In short, I now am the proud owner of 16 Federal Signal Model 53 fire alarm notification appliances, and 12 Couch coded fire alarm pull stations.  This was the total haul:

12 pull stations and 16 horns

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The evolution of a cloud…

October 5, 2016, 10:24 AM

Sometimes, you don’t notice the way things change right in front of your eyes until you analyze them a bit more.  I was recently in the Philadelphia/King of Prussia area with Elyse on what was primarily a fire alarm-related mission (more on that later), and was photographing the Manayunk Bridge.  First of all, for those not familiar, the Manayunk Bridge is a former rail bridge that was closed to rail traffic in 1986, and which reopened last year to pedestrian and bike traffic as a rail trail.  I had previously known it as the big arched bridge that the Schuylkill Expressway goes under, i.e. this, as seen in November 2001:

The Manayunk Bridge, photographed November 22, 2001 from the Schuylkill Expressway

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Categories: Nature, Philadelphia

Good to see our old house looking better than it has in quite some time…

June 30, 2016, 6:15 PM

Back on June 9, Elyse and I took a one-day road trip to Philadelphia.  From the outset, this was to be something of a transit adventure, with a visit to the SEPTA gift shop as one of the main priorities.  On the way up, Elyse even got annoyed with me for a few restroom stops (hey, when nature calls…) because she didn’t want to miss the SEPTA store.  But then as we were heading up I-295 towards Lindenwold station to get PATCO, I commented as we were approaching the exit for US 322 that this was the exit that you would take to go see my old house in Glassboro.  Her response was an enthusiastic “Let’s go!”  Looks like someone just gave up their right to complain about the time.

That said, we went over to Glassboro, and over to 304 Cornell Road.  I was surprised to see how nice the place looked:

304 Cornell Road, Glassboro, New Jersey

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Fun in Philadelphia…

April 28, 2015, 11:29 PM

Back at the end of March, I went up to Philadelphia with my friends Melissa and Elyse.  We had a list of things that we wanted to do, and we did as many of them as we could.  We had a blast, plus we got to meet up with my cousins Mike and Tara for dinner.  This trip was also a proof of concept for how my various little outings might go now that I routinely work late nights, since my typical workday runs from approximately 4:00 PM until just before 2:00 AM.

Logistically, it worked out this way: Melissa met me at Glenmont station around 11:00, and then we traveled up to Howard County to get Elyse.  Then from there, up to Philadelphia via I-95.  Then in Philadelphia, everything that we were planning was transit-accessible, save for one thing, but we worked it all out pretty well.

Our first point of interest was the non-transit-accessible one: the SS United States.  This would be a quick look-see for some photos, and then move along to other targets.  We parked at the IKEA store across the street, and then Elyse and I walked over for a look (Melissa stayed in the car).  Here are pix:

The SS United States in Philadelphia

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So I made a little side trip into New Jersey on the way home…

September 27, 2009, 6:42 PM

My travel day on Friday went fairly well, and I am so glad to be home again. As much as I learned on this trip about Mac servers, and as much fun as I had, it’s still great to be back in Silver Spring.

That said, my travel day worked out pretty well for the most part, but I don’t think I’d actually want to live in South Jersey again. Many members of my family have found it wonderful, but I don’t think it’s for me.

After checking out of the hotel, I went down to Chinatown in Philadelphia. I hadn’t been there in ages, and so it was worth a visit. Turns out that Ho Sai Gai, a restaurant that my parents used to go to in the 1970s, has reopened its location at the corner of 10th and Race. We went to Ho Sai Gai at its new location up the street from the old one just about annually from 1996 to 2001, and during that time, the corner location had always been abandoned, with a few improvements here and there. Now it’s once again open for business:

Ho Sai Gai

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Categories: Family, Glassboro, Philadelphia

What is wrong with the drivers up here?

September 21, 2009, 11:21 PM

It makes one wonder – what the crap is wrong with the drivers up here? This is like the outer reaches of the Philadelphia region, and these people drive like maniacs. These drivers make Fairfax County drivers look calm. What really got me is when I got passed illegally on the right on a two lane road because the guy behind me thought I was going too slowly. That just blew my mind. Otherwise, these people won’t let you in, and show no mercy.

And what makes this even more frustrating is that it’s not like these people are doing this on a six-lane road like Georgia Avenue or Rockville Pike. This area looks like a cross between Staunton and Stuarts Draft. The roads are narrow, mostly two lanes. And the lines at the lights are long, and the area doesn’t even look like it would be jammed with commuters, but it is. One thing, though – Philadelphia drivers don’t honk like we do in DC. DC-area drivers are quick to lean on the horn, and I’ll admit having driven with my hand close to or on the horn more than once. In the DC area, we don’t give people the finger so much. We just blow our horns.

Otherwise, though, the drive up here was uneventful. I-95 is kind of old and needs upgrading in places, but those drivers were fairly courteous. It’s these commuters that are ruthless.

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Categories: Philadelphia

Anonymous DC does Philadelphia…

March 30, 2009, 1:21 AM

On Saturday, March 28, Anonymous DC pulled off a surprise raid outside the Church of Scientology in Philadelphia. We told no one, not even our own parents. We called it “Operation Inquisition”, because no one was expecting us, just as no one expects the Inquisition. And at 9 AM, we departed, arriving in Philadelphia just past noon. Thank goodness for HT’s GPS, which guided us straight to our destination without problem.

And having parked the cars, our raid began outside the Church of Scientology in Philadelphia. This was a very different experience than raiding outside our own local Founding Church of Scientology. For one, we have more room in DC. We have the sidewalk in front of the Founding Org, as well as the triangle across the street. In Philadelphia, we had half of a somewhat narrow sidewalk in front of – get this – a “storefront church”. Yes, the Org in Philadelphia is a storefront location, with two “Free Stress Test” signs on the door. How fail.

But regardless of what it might have looked like, we raided it. The cops, who came out to see what was up, even noticed that we weren’t the usual Anonymous that raids outside this Org. Yes, we were from DC, and Philadelphia Anonymous had been “pwned”.

The storefront Org.
The storefront Org.

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Hello from the city of brotherly love…

November 4, 2007, 10:10 PM

Well, from the suburbs of the city of brotherly love, at least. I’m not in Philadelphia proper. Anyway, though, I made it. I am spending three nights in Fort Washington for a class in Blue Bell.

What’s weird, though, is how the locations go. I live in Montgomery County, Maryland. Then I traveled however far it is to Philadelphia, to end up in… Montgomery County. Pennsylvania, mind you, but a Montgomery County, nonetheless.

And then otherwise, it cost $11.75 in tolls to get up here. Every time I looked, it seems, there was a guy in a yellow safety vest with his hand out. The Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore cost two bucks. The Susquehanna River bridge cost five bucks(!). Then the Delaware Turnpike, the short stretch of I-95 in Delaware, cost four bucks. Then driving a few miles up the Pennsylvania Turnpike cost another 75 cents.

I’m just glad that tolls are few in the DC area. The only toll road I know of in my area is the Dulles Toll Road.

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Categories: Philadelphia

I’m going to Philly…

November 2, 2007, 9:16 PM

This Sunday, I’m going to Philadelphia, and I’m staying until Wednesday. I’m taking a course which explores the function of a Macintosh in great depth. For those of you familiar, it’s MacOS 101, which is titled “Mac OS X Support Essentials v10.4”. In short, I’m going to be able to troubleshoot a Mac like the pros, so that when a Mac hiccups, I should know how to cure those hiccups, or at least tell you why it’s hiccuping.

Then I’m also going to have two computers in tow. Since I’m going to be doing some of my regular work while I’m out on this little business trip, I’m going to have “Jeff”, one of our office Macs, with me. Then I’m also going to have Lappy, my personal laptop, with me for taking care of the Web site and such while I’m out.

And the drive is almost all Interstate, too, starting at the Beltway in Silver Spring, and going almost all the way to my hotel in suburban Philadelphia. Specifically, it’s mostly I-95, which should be interesting. Last time I rode that stretch of I-95 was to go up to New Jersey in January 2003 for a funeral. So we’ll see.

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Categories: Philadelphia, Work