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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

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Categories: Activism, Health issues, Radio

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:

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Themed subway cars. Now there’s an idea…

August 23, 2009, 11:15 PM

I was listening to the podcast of the August 1 broadcast of Car Talk, and they had this to say regarding public transportation:

Tom: I think we have to use your idea of – my brother has a brilliant idea. Not enough people use public transportation. His contention is that the people who run the public transportation business, subways and buses, especially the subway which we have here in the city of Boston. They try… they almost make it difficult for you and unpleasant.
Ray: They took all the fun out of it.
Tom: They took all the fun out of it.
Ray: They’ve sucked the life out of it.
Tom: Sucked the life out of the train. Like in Washington DC, you can’t eat a donut, you can’t drink a cup of coffee, you can’t do anything, you can’t spit, you can’t smoke a cigar… My brother thinks that all the public transportation systems should have theme cars.
Caller: Theme cars…
Tom: Theme. So that you can go in the “cha cha” car. And there would be band, bands in there, playing, people dancing, and…
Ray: Yeah, Xavier Cugat, would fit right in there!
Tom: Xavier Cugat! Or you could have the cigar-smoking car, or you could have… I mean, there’s no end to the number of themes that they could come up with, so that people would be fighting, paying hundreds of dollars to get on the train.

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Categories: Radio, WMATA

“Cut your cheese in style” probably didn’t go over as well as the writers hoped…

August 12, 2009, 10:46 PM

First of all, let me just say that I am WIRED tonight. One of my coworkers, who recently came back from an extended vacation overseas, brought a loaf of palm sugar and a plate of coffee beans to work, and the idea was to take a pinch of sugar (it has the consistency of brown sugar), and some coffee beans, pop both in at once, and enjoy. Something tells me I had too many coffee beans today – on top of my regular daily cup of coffee. And to add to it, today’s coffee was the best kind – that bottom-of-the-pot coffee that’s super strong. My coworkers even commented that I was particularly “animated” today. I blame the excess caffeine. Perhaps crunching on coffee beans and then washing it down with a cup of coffee wasn’t the best idea…

But the caffeine buzz might just work, because I have a lot to say today.

First of all, the title of this entry. I spotted this on the front page of the Express today:

"Cut your cheese in style"
Image: Express

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“Priceless, Johann!”

April 24, 2009, 7:34 PM

I think that says it best, because my favorite left-wing radio talker, Randi Rhodes, is finally returning to the air on May 11, after which will, by then, have been be a three-month absence from the radio. The last few months have been full of chatter about unfulfilled contract negotiations with Rhodes’ old syndicator, Nova M Radio and wondering when Rhodes would return, and I’ve been filling my commutes with The Mike Malloy Show due to lack of Randi Rhodes.

And let me tell you, I’m glad that Randi Rhodes will be back. I missed the various features of the show. I missed the “pop” sound effect for first time callers, and her various other sound effects. I missed the various comedic bits at the top of the second and third hours. Hell, I even missed “Bounce Your Boobies” on Fridays.

I will, however, miss listening to Mike Malloy, though. Malloy was good to me during the last few months. Randi Rhodes was replaced on Nova M with Nancy Skinner, whom I found almost unlistenable. She just didn’t have “it”, whatever “it” is. But Malloy provided a great show to listen to, though his style is just a tad too coarse for my tastes.

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Categories: Clothing, Power Rangers, Radio

Chris Core, part of commentary and analysis on WTOP radio…

July 29, 2008, 3:06 PM

As you may remember, Chris Core was let go from WMAL as part of a round of layoffs by Citadel Broadcasting back on February 29 of this year. Since then, Core seems to have landed on his feet, as he now works as a guest host on POTUS ’08 on XM Satellite Radio, as well as a featured commentator on WTOP, a local FM radio station that provides news and comment, where Core has a daily one-minute commentary segment called “Core Values”.

I’m not a subscriber to XM, so I can’t speak about Core’s performance on POTUS ’08. However, I did find the WTOP podcast, and have been listening to it for some months now. That’s the Chris Core we all know and love, talking about national issues at times, and also talking about local issues. But there’s something missing. “Core Values”, by design, is very one-sided. One of Chris Core’s strong points was his interactions with callers. Core knew many of his repeat callers well, and very often it was a wonderful place for the community to discuss the local issues of the DC area.

This is why I so wish Chris Core had a three-hour show again. While it’s great to hear him on the radio again, I miss the interactions. The one-sided “Core Values” segment is all right, but he needs a full show again. Perhaps he’ll eventually find a home on WWWT, aka “3WT”, an all-talk station owned by the same company that owns WTOP. That would be optimal. I’d hate for the lion’s share of Core’s talent to be on satellite radio. He needs to be back on a DC-area station again, talking about local issues full-time.

I guess you could say that having The Chris Core Show or something similar to it back on the air talking about local issues… is a Core value.

Categories: Radio

It may not have been on the air, but…

March 2, 2008, 10:14 PM

It may not have been on the air, but Chris Core at least did get to tell his audience goodbye on WMAL’s Web site. Give it a read, and you’ll see why I liked Chris Core. He was a gentleman to the end, even though he was abruptly shown the door after what ended up being his final show.

And I wish Chris Core the best, and after reading his new Web site, I think he’s going to land on his feet and do just fine. I, however, hope he ends up back on the radio, doing something like what he did on WMAL. I’d listen, and download his podcast, in a heartbeat.

Categories: Radio

Chris Core got fired?

February 29, 2008, 9:18 PM

As many of you know, I’m a bit of a talk radio junkie. My iPod is filled with radio talk shows, and I listen to talk radio streams online when I’m at my desk at work. My usual cocktail of talk shows consists of the first hour of Air America‘s The Randi Rhodes Show on podcast during my morning commute, The Chris Core Show on WMAL in the morning at work (live), Rush Limbaugh or Thom Hartmann in the early afternoon depending on my mood, then the rest of Randi Rhodes on the way home. I also have Rachel Maddow in reserve should I run out of Randi Rhodes or otherwise need more talk podcasts.

And now today, when I got home, I found out that Chris Core has been fired from WMAL. It seemed that Citadel Broadcasting, the company that currently owns WMAL, went through a major programming shakeup, and Chris Core was one of the casualties. And it was swift, too. Chris Core did his February 29 show as usual, and then was fired that afternoon. Not a cancelling as of a certain date, or they weren’t renewing his contract or something. No, he was gone, effective immediately, end of story. Thus he never got a chance to say goodbye to his audience or anything. It’s a shame. Core, however, was very diplomatic about it, saying that he wasn’t ready to retire, that he was not bitter over his dismissal, and that he hoped to get on the air again on another station.

I for one, though, will miss Chris Core’s show. Unlike most of the talk show hosts that I listen to, Chris Core was local. His show was produced in Washington DC, and only broadcast in the Washington DC area. And because of that, he was able to tackle local issues, which is something that national talk show hosts can’t do. And I like local news a lot. My TV at home, when it’s on, is almost always tuned to News Channel 8, an Arlington-based cable channel whose programming is primarily local news.

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Categories: Radio

More Metro problems?

August 28, 2007, 3:06 PM

Metro, Metro, Metro, what’s going on? As if five smoke and fire incidents on Sunday evening weren’t enough, the problems continued yesterday evening, according to Metro and The Washington Post. This time, there was a power failure from Pentagon to Braddock Road on the Blue and Yellow Lines, smoke in the tunnels near Pentagon City, and smoke at U Street-Cardozo caused by an overheated insulator.

It’s like Randi Rhodes said. Terrorists aren’t going to kill us, because our own aging infrastructure will do us in first. Now in Metro’s case, let’s see… we’ve so far had six stationary problems, and one train problem. I’ve not gotten wind of the car number that had the brake problem, so I can’t make a judgement about age, since it could have been a 30-year-old Rohr car, or a fresh-off-the-line Alstom, for all we know. Then for the others, we’ve had incidents at Mt. Vernon Square, U Street-Cardozo, Farragut North, Huntington, National Airport, and a large chunk of the C Route. Of these, Farragut North is 31 years old, National Airport is 30 years old, Huntington is 24 years old, and Mt. Vernon Square and U Street-Cardozo are both 16 years old. The section of the C Route that was affected was two different ages – from National Airport and on north is 30 years old, and south of National Airport is 24 years old. So this infrastructure is definitely no spring chicken anymore. Metro is also now considered a “mature” system, so one must be mindful of these things. Still, this is not good to have this many incidents happen so close together.

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Categories: Radio, Security, WMATA

“It’s Friday, ya bastards!”

August 10, 2007, 2:42 PM

What can I say? It’s Friday, the end of the work week. And I got the day started out right, listening to Randi Rhodes on my way to the bus, hearing the beginning of her Friday show (where the title of this entry comes from), and hearing Rusty Warren talk about Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, and Benjamin Franklin having wives and “a few broads on the side, too” while Randi Rhodes makes her own commentary.

Otherwise, though, I’m excited about this weekend. I’m going down to Stuarts Draft, and seeing the family, and also getting together with Katie for breakfast on Sunday morning on the way back up. So that ought to be a lot of fun.

Meanwhile, I got this text message at work today. Mom asks me, “Do you have a teapot?” I replied, “No.” A couple of hours later, I get a message from Sis: “You has a teapot now.” The last message didn’t surprise me (aside from the bad grammar), since the normal way these things go is that if I say no, one will be in my future. I’m told it’s white with flowers on it. Ought to be interesting. I’m also getting something that has to do with making spaghetti, but I couldn’t tell you what (in fact, Mom couldn’t describe it, either, but she got one for herself, too).

Still, it will be nice to get away from Washington for a day. Boy, I never thought I’d hear myself say that. For years I was constantly longing to live in Washington. Now I live in the area, and work in Dupont Circle, and never thought I’d need to spend some time away from it. But yeah, DC’s nice, but it’s still nice to get away for a while.

Of course, now I just have to figure out what to do after work today. I should go down to Pentagon City for a while, since after all, it’s Friday, and all I have to do to get ready to leave tomorrow is throw some stuff in the back of the Sable. All in all, we’ll see what I end up doing. Should be interesting.

Categories: Family, Radio

As a former RA myself…

April 29, 2007, 7:26 PM

Since the shooting spree at Virginia Tech, I’ve been doing my usual rounds along the AM dial, catching all the different talk show hosts. And one thing that was mentioned time and time again was that the second victim was Ryan C. Clark – an RA at West Ambler Johnston Hall, who was killed in the line of duty, while responding to the situation. I consider that something of a heroic death, as a former RA myself.

You know what Tech ought to do? Name a building in honor of Mr. Clark. And considering the situation, it needs to be a dormitory building. Not necessarily Ambler Johnston, where he was killed, but possibly the next new dormitory to be constructed, or one that isn’t already named after a person or group of people.

If nothing else, it’s a nice thought, and it would certainly be a fitting tribute to someone who ultimately gave his life in the performance of his RA duties for the school.

Categories: Radio, Virginia local news

I made my own podcast!

April 14, 2007, 11:53 PM

I made my own podcast, and it wasn’t that hard to do, either. I must say this, though – it’s not for consumption by the general public. It’s just for me, since I’m really finicky about how I like my talk shows on my iPod. There are a couple of DC area radio talk shows that I listen to that don’t make their archives available in podcast format so that I can manage them like podcasts in my iPod, marking when I’ve listened to them, etc.

So I downloaded a podcast file from another radio show and went to work dissecting it. And it worked! Yippee! So now I can manage them in my iPod just like all the other people that I listen to on there.

And now that I know how to do it, who knows… maybe there’s a Schumin Web podcast in my future. It might be interesting.

Categories: Radio

The challenges of trying to convert things…

April 5, 2007, 11:04 AM

My life is never dull. I am slowly but surely working to convert my site from one that operates on a Windows-based server to one that runs on a Unix/Linux/whatever-based server. I’m doing this because I seem to have hit a wall in my design. Everywhere I want to go requires a non-Windows server. So we’re converting. I’m going to eventually learn PHP and MySQL, and do it.

Some of you have already seen the forum, running on phpBB. The next thing I’m working on is the Journal, where it will be powered by WordPress. It’s going to look and feel mostly the same as before, though it will have this nifty RSS feed when it’s all said and done. I can phase in other features later.

Otherwise, I’ve been listening to my fair share of conservative radio talk show hosts. I still like Chris Lysy’s way of putting it: “Daily dose of outrage”. Lately, I’ve been listening to Mark Levin on podcast. I think I’ve been listening to too much Levin when I read the newspaper and they mention Nancy Pelosi and the term “stretch” comes to mind. Likewise all of Mark Levin’s other derogatory names for all the Democrats in Congress. And of course, I enjoyed hearing the talk shows’ reaction to M17 on the following Monday. I was at M17, don’t forget. I think the best comment was the accusation someone made of the anti-war demonstrators on Mark Levin’s show. They said that people were taking the Metro back into DC and marching around again to make the numbers look bigger. I find that kind of odd, especially since the Pentagon Metro station is on the south side of the Pentagon, and we were north of the Pentagon. I consider Pentagon station as kind of being required to pull such a stunt off, since Arlington Cemetery would have skipped half the march route. Also consider the fact that police were physically blocking the way to Pentagon station. Plus in DC, the Lincoln Memorial (the start of the march route) is not exactly near any Metro stations. Bottom line is, it’s impractical, and wouldn’t work even if someone wanted to do it.

Sometimes it’s just amusing what the other side comes up with…

Categories: Greta, Radio, Schumin Web meta

You mean this?

March 13, 2007, 9:52 AM

While I was at Daily Grind yesterday burning my mouth, I was listening to Neal Boortz on WTKS out of Savannah, Georgia via an Internet feed. Neal and a caller were discussing ANSWER Coalition (which as of late has become far less mainstream than it once was). The thing that got me a little riled up, though, was the fact they attributed the graffiti-ing of the Capitol on January 27 to ANSWER.

Why did this get me a little riled up, you might ask?

Well, first of all, what did ANSWER have to do with the January 27 march, and also, what did ANSWER have to do with the black bloc that was originally organized by SDS? The answer is nothing. ANSWER had nothing to do with J27, aside from a few banners out in the crowd. It was the anarchist contingent that put graffiti on the front of the Capitol. I should know. I was with them all day.

I have no problems with these radio talk shows criticizing these organizations, whether their target be ANSWER, UFPJ, DAWN, SDS, or otherwise. That’s their right. I do, however, think that if people are going to criticize groups, that they should at least attribute actions to the correct groups. To do otherwise is just irresponsible.

Categories: Black bloc, Radio

You say “AM radio” to a teen, and their eyes just glaze over.

February 1, 2007, 2:34 PM

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh today at home (unusual – usually I only listen to talk radio in the car), and I will be the first to tell you that he’s a wacko. That said (and all that will be said at this juncture, since that’s not what this entry is about), I have to say that I do love listening to talk radio. Hard politics, I love it.

It’s funny, though. I’ll talk to some of my younger coworkers about talk radio, and as soon as you mention the AM band, all of a sudden they’re lost. That’s it. I’m exaggerating a little, but you get my drift. “AM?” Seems many of my coworkers don’t realize or pay much attention to the fact that people also talk about intellectual matters on the radio, rather than just sing. I may not agree with much of what they’re saying, but it’s still stimulating to the mind. It makes you think.

By comparison, I consider music radio to be rather mindless. It doesn’t keep me engaged, and doesn’t give my mind anything to chew on. On the way home from my DC trips, I finally lose the DC area stations around Woodstock, and don’t pick up the stations in my local area until Harrisonburg. I get great reception of the local NPR station, which plays classical music during off-peak times. I like classical music a lot, but not when I’m driving, since it puts me to sleep. The oldies stations and the “top hits” stations do nothing for me. Talk keeps me engaged. It really does.

If I’m really lucky, when driving home late at night, I can get WSB on AM 750 out of Atlanta, where they play what they call “re-Boortz” late at night. It’s a replay of the most recent Neal Boortz show.

Still, mention talk radio to a teen, or AM radio in general, and you get this puzzled look. It’s kind of funny…

Categories: Radio