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“I am always so thrilled when people realize how much better a place can look with just a few simple changes!”

October 12, 2014, 12:07 PM

This past week, I finally finished the work that I’d been doing at my house for the past two months.  The way I figured, since there was a period of time while the various processes related to onboarding at the new job were still coming together, I might as well take the time to finish a few things on my to-do list.  It’s funny, however, what inspires a person to decorate.  Back in July or so, my friend Suzie described my house as “a hot mess”.  I thought about that over the next week or so, and came to the conclusion that she was right.  And I admit – it was looking a little bit too “lived in” at the time, with a lot of unfinished business all over the place.  The closets were not being used to their full potential, I had a pile of stuff on the counter between the kitchen and the living room, the table was full of junk, and there were things in visible locations when they should have been in closets.

I started out on August 5, doing what I called the “demolition” phase.  This was where I cleaned out the closets and determined what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to get rid of.  It’s amazing how much junk can fit in a one-bedroom apartment.  I ended up getting rid of a ton of stuff.  I had long-outdated information about the 2008 Democratic National Convention from the Unconventional Action consulta that occurred in January 2008.  I had the banner from the black bloc at the National Equality March from October 2009.  I had an expired bottle of generic Solarcaine from the time when I got sunburned at Splash Down Waterpark in June 2008.  I also had a carton of fabric softener from 2007 that I had never opened, where all the liquid had been absorbed by the carton itself, leaving a blob of whatever solids were in the softener at the bottom.  No, seriously.  Take a look:

Yeah, I believe that the light parts of the carton were supposed to be white...  The blob of fabric softener solids in the bottom of the carton.

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Singing about five overbearing and overemotional humans…

February 6, 2014, 11:34 PM

So Tuesday night was fun.  I got together with my friend Melissa, and we hung out for a few hours.  We did some computer and phone maintenance over at my house, and then headed out for dinner.  We went to The Potomac Grill, which is located in Talbott Center on Rockville Pike.

For those not familiar, The Potomac Grill hosts Blinkie’s Karaoke, which is run by my friends Ken and Luisa.  I’ve done fill-in work as the engineer for Blinkie’s Karaoke from time to time, but this was my first time going solely as a participant.  Melissa didn’t sing, but I did.  I sang a karaoke version of the theme to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  Those of you who are familiar with what I’ve talked about know that I’m a bit of a Power Rangers geek (I got into it in high school).  This was a new addition to the catalog, and so I premiered it.  And to top things off, Melissa filmed my performance:

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Categories: Melissa, Power Rangers

“…you’re in Angel Grove…”

June 27, 2012, 2:47 PM

So now that Falcon is done and pretty much just waiting a few more days to launch on July 1, I’m starting to turn my mind towards other endeavors again.  First of all, I significantly curtailed the amount of Wikipedia contributions that I would make while doing Falcon.  I want to keep the level of my contributions at that lower amount, because Wikipedia has started to annoy me as of late, and I’m happier making far less edits.  Plus I spent too much time on Wikipedia before, and that caused work on Schumin Web to suffer, and so it’s time to spend more time taking care of my first creation.  The time between shooting and publication on photo sets had become far too much, with many months between becoming the norm.  And that was unacceptable.

But looking at what I want to do, aside from the aforementioned Transit Center update, I’m thinking about doing some creative writing.  I’ve been watching a bunch of Power Rangers episodes lately, and I want to try something in that vein (you wondered why I mentioned Angel Grove in the title, didn’t you?).  No, I’m not dressing up in spandex and fighting monsters.  Though that would be kind of fun – three guesses as to what Power Ranger costume I would be wearing, and the first two don’t count.  But no.  I want to do something along the lines of the adapting of stock content into a completely new story and making it believeable.  Realize that the way Power Rangers works is that first the Super Sentai television show is made in Japan for Japanese audiences.  Then Saban acquires the rights to the season, and cuts the episodes up to make a completely new show, adding their own original scenes, and recording new audio to go over the Japanese footage of the suit battles, zord battles, and (sometimes) villain scenes.  A careful viewer of Power Rangers can usually notice when it changes between original footage and the source material from Super Sentai, because the quality of the footage is a little different with regard to lighting and colors, the Power Rangers’ costumes are shiny in the Sentai footage but not in the American footage, and occasionally elements of some costumes are changed (like Elgar’s face in original Turbo footage, vs. in Carranger footage).

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So the Baltimore Inner Harbor was fun…

May 27, 2012, 10:44 PM

I went up to Baltimore with a friend on Friday evening, where we explored the Inner Harbor for a while. That was kind of fun. The Inner Harbor is a very fun area, though it seems a bit overcommercialized. But such is what happens, I suppose. I loved the smell of the sea air, everyone was having so much fun out and about, and there were all kinds of fun ships sailing around.

The first ship we saw was The Black-Eyed Susan, a paddlewheeler:

The Black-Eyed Susan

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I still don’t consider myself much of an artist, but I guess I can let you decide…

May 24, 2012, 12:07 AM

So I was doing some scanning work for Falcon this evening, and decided to finally scan some drawings that I did in high school. I’m believe that these are from the fall of 1996. And so away we go…

Lord Zedd in his chamber of command

Yes, that is exactly what you think it is. You are looking at Lord Zedd from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, standing in his throne room. It’s true. I was a nerd even back then. And I was pretty detailed. I got the pedestal, I got Zedd, I got the throne, I got the fan behind the throne, and I put a couple of putties in there.

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Categories: Myself, Power Rangers, School

Making chili!

April 8, 2012, 7:58 PM

I was cooking today, making a pot of vegetarian chili:

I had a blast, too. Anyone who can go on like this for just over 45 minutes had better be having a blast, I’d say. But what can I say? I love performing for the camera. I do, however, need to be mindful about how long I run the faucet. In reviewing the footage afterwards, noticed that at times I left the water running for a lot longer than I needed to (so don’t write to tell me this – I recognize that I was wasting water).

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A new geeky shirt and a 30-minute Metro ride inspire me to have some fun…

March 16, 2012, 10:02 PM

Today, I wore my new Power Rangers shirt out for the first time:

Power Rangers!
Photo: Mykia Mahan

This is similar to the Power Rangers shirt that I owned before, except that this new one is a smaller size, and has slightly different styling. I am quite proud to place the old Power Rangers shirt in with my “second tier” clothes. It’s too big for me, which is just as well, because I am getting smaller, after all. Then on different styling, this shirt, unlike the first one, falls victim to an error that many Power Rangers toys and such had: emblems on the center diamond.

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I believe I just tweeted five seasons’ worth of Power Rangers history…

July 29, 2011, 10:27 PM

My, the things that one will do when one has (A) a Metro ride to the suburbs and (B) a few drinks. I was tweeting about whatever this evening, and then broke into a thirty-minute Twitter stream talking about what I thought about various seasons of Power Rangers.

First of all, realize that this evening was pretty interesting. I went out with a few of the guys from work after work, and we had a few beers together. Then after we all parted company for the evening, I caught the Metro for home from Shaw, with a transfer from Green to Red at Fort Totten.

While I was riding on the Green Line and then waiting on the upper level at Fort Totten, my tweets were pretty typical of me:

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Categories: Power Rangers

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:

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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

“Triceratops!”

April 17, 2009, 9:20 PM

So this Friday, I wore my new Power Rangers t-shirt to work. And here I am, at my desk, as seen with my office Mac’s camera:

Wearing the Power Rangers t-shirt

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Categories: Clothing, Power Rangers

It’s the world of Monsieur Stenchy, where even a skunk can come out smelling like… a rose!

March 31, 2009, 11:45 PM

I think that phrase, from an episode of Power Rangers Zeo, could be used to describe my apartment. Seriously. Mom’s coming over tomorrow, and so I made sure this place was in tip top shape. I dusted, I scrubbed, I shined, I mopped, I swept, I vacuumed, you name it. Anything to make the place look less “lived in”. After all, you really don’t want to show your mother how you really live. I carefully control the way my mother views her little boy’s apartment. Any time my mother comes to visit, the place is all shined up and looking awesome. And that’s important, after all.

Plus it’s kind of nice to have the house smelling all clean, too, since otherwise, it can kind of start to smell like whatever, and what “whatever” is depends on many factors, and it’s not always a pleasant thing depending on what’s going on. This time, the cleaning wasn’t to the extent of the total clean I did in December, where I really went to town on the place including shampooing carpets, but that’s a once-a-year kind of cleaning, and we’re not there yet. Nonetheless, I want to make sure Mom is comfortable here while she’s in town for the Virginia Writing Project, where teachers meet in Washington to meet with legislative offices and such, to promote writing in schools. And for the Virginia Writing Project, I find it amusing that Mom will be spending NO time in Virginia whatsoever, since all the activity will be held in the District of Columbia, and she’s staying with me in Maryland.

So I’m excited. And then Mom and I are probably going to hit up IKEA on Saturday after all the writing stuff is over with. Whatever happens, though, my mother will see a neat apartment. After all, I have made sure that it’s like being in the world of Monsieur Stenchy, where even a skunk can come out smelling like a rose.

Categories: Family, House, Power Rangers

“It’s morphin time”?

November 11, 2008, 9:24 AM

Okay, try to explain where this dream came from. I dreamed last night that I became a Power Ranger. Yes, a Power Ranger. It was kind of a cross between in-universe and real life, making it pretty weird.

Presumably, we were a new team of Power Rangers. I found this box that looked like a briefcase, that contained these various items. I instinctively knew how to put some of the pieces together, to make a four-segment stick about a foot long. I then shouted, “It’s morphin’ time!” and held it out in front of me, vertically, with both hands. This electronic stick took a few seconds to light up in four different colors, bottom to top, becoming very warm in the process – almost too hot to touch near the top. And then at the end of it all, I became the Yellow Ranger.

The Yellow Ranger costume I ended up morphing into looked very similar to the suits from Power Rangers in Space. It was primarily yellow, and it had the five-color bar across the chest. But unlike the show, since I was a guy, the costume had no skirt (the Yellow Ranger for “In Space” was a female). I was a male Yellow Ranger, following in the footsteps of Tideus the Alien Ranger, I suppose. But there I was – I was the Yellow Ranger, and was as surprised as anyone to be the Yellow Ranger.

So I figured two things. First of all, I must be playing the Yellow Ranger on Power Rangers now. Secondly, those items in the case were morphers. I also briefly pondered why my ranger costume was of the “In Space” style, and how saying, “It’s morphin time!” to morph was so 1990s.

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Categories: Dreams, Power Rangers

What kind of idiot builds his new secret base of operations on the site of his old secret base of operations, which had been destroyed by his enemies?

September 16, 2008, 12:39 AM

Zordon, that’s who. You know, this guy:

Zordon

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Categories: Power Rangers

Taquitos? Looks more like cigars to me!

December 25, 2006, 11:19 AM

I was watching “I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger”, which was the third-season Christmas episode on Power Rangers. That was the one where Rito Revolto took over Santa’s workshop, forcing the elves to make Rita and Lord Zedd’s toys. The Power Rangers came to fix things up, but due to various odds and ends, they were unable to morph. Of course, the bad guys’ powers didn’t work, either, so all is fair. They just ran on being bad guys.

The scene I find amusing, though, is the scene where Lord Zedd is having his favorite snack: taquitos and dry ice. They didn’t do that great of a job showing what these things were. It looked like Zedd was having a good smoke over there, to be quite honest. See for yourself on these stills from that episode:

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Categories: Christmas, Power Rangers