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How many of you have secretly wanted to see this happen to me?

< 1 minute read

January 17, 2012, 10:14 PM

So a coworker got a new app for his iPhone today called Action Movie FX, and decided to use me as his test subject. So first my coworker dropped a boulder on me from above:

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Categories: Amusing, Work

An earthquake? In DC?

2 minute read

August 23, 2011, 3:42 PM

Yeah. It happened.

It’s funny how it happened, too. I was at the office, helping a coworker move offices, and I felt the floor start to shake. My first instinct was to look out the window, since you occasionally can feel vibrations when trucks are moving around in the loading dock area. But there was no truck. Then I realized that the whole building was shaking, and that it must be an earthquake, and so I ended up standing in the doorway of the office next to mine (where my coworker was moving), waiting for the shaking to stop. From that vantage point, I saw everyone else standing in their office doorways looking as perplexed as I was. The lights flickered once for half a second, but once everything stopped, that was it. No further shaking occurred, and there was no damage that I could see. I was half expecting the fire alarm system to start up, but it never did.

A number of my coworkers left the building for a little bit, just in case, but I stayed in, and, like a number of others, tried to figure out what was going on. The Twitter and Facebook certainly lit up with earthquake-related buzz. I cross-posted a message to both services:

Okay… that was interesting. An earthquake in DC. Is everyone all right?
August 23 1:55 PM

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Categories: Nature, Work

Greetings from Durham, New Hampshire!

< 1 minute read

July 14, 2011, 7:13 PM

First of all, greetings from Durham, New Hampshire, where I’m traveling on business.

Yesterday evening, I did a two-part Video Journal discussing some of the experiences on the trip up as well as my first day in Durham. Due to all the stuff I needed to take care of while up here, I didn’t get a chance to post it until tonight, but better late than never. So here it is:

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When the fire trucks show up in the middle of the evacuation, that should be your clue that it’s not a drill…

4 minute read

December 11, 2010, 7:29 PM

So I’m a little bit annoyed. Yesterday afternoon marks the second time I’ve missed a fire alarm at work on account of being out to lunch. Let’s admit it – building evacuations on account of a fire alarm of unknown cause are kind of exciting. First there’s the system aspect of it. The Wheelock NS horn/strobes and Wheelock RSS strobes in my office building come to life, and start making a Code-3 pattern and start flashing. That right there is always cool, since these devices are, for the vast majority of the time, silent fixtures on the wall, which I’m sure many forget about. But then there’s the other part of things, and that’s where a little suspense and excitement comes in. The building might actually be on fire! After all, if you don’t get out quickly, the fire might get you, and no one wants that.

And as mentioned, this is the second time in a row that the fire alarm has gone off this year that I’ve missed. And for anyone to miss it, it would be me. I’m just the person with the Wheelock 7002T on his desk, after all. Both times were during what we call “Schumy Lunch”, which is where a bunch of us go out on Fridays to have lunch. The first time was in August, and we were out at Logan Tavern, about two blocks away from the office. We saw a fire truck go by during lunch and didn’t think anything about it, until I got a text message during lunch. Turns out that hey, the fire alarm went off. Put two and two together, and aha – that fire truck was headed to our building! As I understand it, it was an accidental alarm caused by maintenance work. It happens, I suppose.

Then this one on Friday was caused by construction work. They’re renovating the small fitness center that’s in our building, and, well, they presumably tripped a smoke head. Oops. We got back from Schumy Lunch at Chipotle in Dupont Circle, found out coming in that we missed a fire alarm by about ten minutes, and found out what the source of the alarm was. My first reaction was being annoyed that I missed another one, and commenting that they need to stop accidentally setting off the alarm while I’m out of the building (and waiting to do it when I’m around). Then I suggested, in jest, “Can I just pull the alarm so we can do the evacuation with me?” They said no, and I was like, “Darn!” in that I-knew-that-was-going-to-be-the-answer kind of way.

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Categories: Fire alarms, Work

You know it’s something seriously Metro-geeky when I pull out the safety vest…

5 minute read

December 4, 2010, 12:23 AM

And it is. Take a look:

Wearing my WMATA vest

See, we did our annual office trivia contest on Friday, in the usual format. The way that works is that I ask a question, and the first person to get it right wins a prize, which comes from whatever freebie stuff we get over the course of the year. The topics are something I pick. In 2008, it was United States Presidents. In 2009, it was United States geography. In 2010, after complaints that I made the geography questions too easy, I went for something a little harder, yet something that people around here should know more about than they do: the Metro. Thus why I pulled out the safety vest. After all, if one is going to do a trivia contest about Metro, one should at least look the part. Thus I wore my WMATA safety vest at work when I hosted trivia.

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Categories: WMATA, Work

Power-walker extraordinaire…

3 minute read

November 10, 2010, 12:16 AM

Well, what a crappy day today was. It just seems like a lot of stuff went wrong today. It started out with a call from the mechanic, where the Sable is currently undergoing yet another expensive repair. This time it’s the fuel pump and related equipment that decided to conk out on me. Basically, it’s a rehash of the problem from last Christmas, when Mom and I almost got stranded in Roanoke, except this time the car didn’t get back up again, and was down for the count, and so I had to fix it. After all, I live in the suburbs, and where I live, you need wheels. The reason that was no good is because I got the final number. The shop called me while I was at the bus stop, telling me that they wanted $2,200 for the work. I told them I’d need to get back with them on that. They called me back again while I was on the Metro, talking it down to $1,900. No go again. Have to get back with them. I managed to somehow get them down to $1,295, and that’s what it’s going to take to get my car going again. I get my car back soon, though I’m thinking that the Sable’s days might soon be numbered, because the old adages of “Fix Or Repair Daily” and “Found On Road Dead” are ringing very true for me, and that starts to add up to real money.

What would be really cute, though, is if the Sable started honking on its own every time I mention the words “new car”, a la Gertrude from Today’s Special.

Then at work, I had to attend to an emergency that would of course rear its ugly little head at 4:59 PM. I didn’t get out of the office until way later than I would have liked. Taking the 51 home was out of the question, since even with the new and later last 51 of the night, I hadn’t even left the office when that pulled up to the bus stop at Glenmont. So I ended up taking Metro home at night, and got to Glenmont around 10:45. According to NextBus, there wouldn’t be another Y9 going north for an hour.

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“This makes me very angry! Very angry, indeed!”

3 minute read

October 29, 2010, 10:57 PM

I have come to the conclusion that if I don’t post this right away, it will become buried under Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and Restoring Sanity and Keep Fear Alive and all of that. So thus we have the take from my office’s Halloween party on Friday. As is usually the case, the costumes ran from political to humorous to tributes to various elements of popular culture. So here’s the spread:

We have, left to right, using character names, Bill Gates, Tim (holding the remains of a brussels sprouts plant), a crazy cat lady, a guy from Aperture Laboratories (from Portal), Christine O'Donnell, then a character that I don't recognize, me in "weekend mode" (wearing pajama pants and unshaven), Marvin the Martian, and a white-trash pregnant woman.

We have, left to right, using character names, Bill Gates, Tim (holding the remains of a brussels sprouts plant), a crazy cat lady, a guy from Aperture Laboratories (from Portal), Christine O’Donnell, then a character that I don’t recognize, me in “weekend mode” (wearing pajama pants and unshaven), Marvin the Martian, and a white-trash pregnant woman.

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Categories: Halloween, Work

Sick days are no fun…

4 minute read

October 28, 2010, 8:03 PM

Ecch… I hate taking sick days. This was the first sick day I’ve taken since 2006. But when I call out sick, I mean it. Talk about an awful time. I tossed and turned the entire night last night, with TBD (formerly News Channel 8) on the TV. And I had a fever the whole time. And I had a major case of nasal congestion and got to know exactly what sinus pressure was all about. I felt like my nose was going to explode, what with all of everything clogged up and in pain. And blowing my nose didn’t do much good. No relief. Just more of the face-wants-to-explode feeling.

And let me be the first to tell you that all-natural nasal sprays are overpriced and ineffective. I bought this all-natural nasal spray from Whole Foods yesterday that was made of saline, glycerin, and – get this – grapefruit seed extract. Lovely. So now the snot smells vaguely like grapefruit, but it’s still there. I went with the all-natural stuff because of the usual concerns about the rebound effect on conventional nasal sprays. However, unlike the natural stuff, the conventional one worked like a charm. When I finally said the hell with the natural spray, I hit my bottle of regular spray, and I could breathe again.

Then you know you’re sick when you call the office to relay some information and they can’t tell who you are by voice. Usually, I’m fairly easily recognized by voice. Not this time. I called twice to attend to various things, and two people each couldn’t tell who I was.

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Categories: Personal health, Work

Made with REAL sugar…

4 minute read

September 14, 2010, 10:23 PM

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. As you may know, PepsiCo did a five-week run of its limited-edition “Throwback” line of drinks, selling versions of Pepsi and Mountain Dew sweetened with sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. They also introduced retro-style packaging to go along with this:

Pepsi Throwback  Mountain Dew Throwback

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Categories: Food and drink, Work

The wading pool known as Dupont Circle…

2 minute read

August 27, 2010, 10:18 PM

So our Friday “Schumy Lunch” was more exciting than usual today. We went to Crepes-a-Go-Go west of Dupont Circle, and then went back to the circle to enjoy them. First of all, this place is really worth going back to. It’s got a great selection of crepes for breakfast, lunch, and dessert, and the employees were really friendly.

Then after we finished lunch, since the fountain was running and full of water, with some encouragement from my coworkers, I decided to go for a quick wade in the Dupont Circle fountain. I’d been in the fountain once before, during Funk the War 7, but that was in winter when the fountain was not running, and dry.

So I rolled my jeans up to my knees, and went in. Katy, one of my coworkers, took pictures of me in the fountain…

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Categories: Washington DC, Work

The following is completely secret, and absolutely serious…

5 minute read

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:

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Categories: Project Chanology, WMATA, Work

Fun with bubble wrap…

2 minute read

May 27, 2010, 9:25 PM

So I was shipping a computer monitor today, and after locating a box and breaking out the bubble wrap, I decided to show the intended recipient (a coworker in another office) that I was getting it ready, since I needed to locate a box before I could ship it. And so here’s the proof:

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Categories: Work

So I got pranked this April Fool’s – big time…

6 minute read

April 1, 2010, 9:02 PM

So this year, April Fool’s Day was a bit more active on the prank front than usual. This is my third April Fool’s with these people, and the last two were fairly blah.

The first prank that I knew about was an Email that I sent out to the staff outlining some new kitchen procedures:

Greetings, all…

I’ve been reviewing how we run our kitchens, and am implementing some changes.

1) All food containers in the kitchen may only be orange in color. I did some research on this, and came to the conclusion that orange containers preserve food better than any other color, and therefore we will be switching to orange containers, effective immediately. The kitchens will be purged of all non-orange containers at 3:00 today.

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Categories: Holidays, Work

And it’s snowing again.

3 minute read

February 2, 2010, 9:37 PM

Yep… it’s snowing again. And of course, I’m still hitting the workahol, staying tonight until 7:30. When I stay late, I drive, and when I drove through, the roads got progressively worse the further north I went. P Street NW in DC was fine. Then 16th Street NW in DC was also fine. Crossing into Maryland, 16th Street was good. Then Georgia Avenue inside the beltway was all right, but once I cleared Wheaton, I started having to guess about where the lanes were. I really had to slow down in the last two miles home, once I cleared Glenmont station. Then my street was white except for tire tracks. But I made it, and I am once again in my nice, warm apartment.

Meanwhile, they’re calling for a good bit of frozen precipitation this weekend. Capital Weather Gang gives a 20% chance of more than eight inches. However, the reality is that they don’t know. They gave a 25% chance of less than an inch, a 25% chance of 1-4 inches, a 30% chance of 4-8 inches, and then the aforementioned 20% chance of more than eight. But instead of saying “I don’t know”, professional weather forecasters just guess. After all, giving something like that looks a lot smarter than “dunno”.

Otherwise, I’ve been meaning to show an old family photo for about a month now. Take a look:

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But the workahol is so good!

3 minute read

January 27, 2010, 10:23 PM

There’s a reason I haven’t written a Journal entry in a week… it’s because I’ve been working myself ragged at the office. These 12-hour days have caused me to question my own sanity. But I’ve got a really big project I’m working on, and am somehow managing to do that plus all the usual stuff I do all the time. It’s been leaving me physically and mentally exhausted by the end of the day. I barely even have the energy to do Wikipedia, let alone actually write an original thought.

So yeah, I’ve been a little workaholic this last week or so. I’m planning to go to Plungapalooza this weekend, and I’m seriously questioning whether I’ll be able to actually drag myself out of bed to go out there on Saturday. If I do manage to get up to go, though, Plungapalooza ought to be fun. I’m not going to be donning a speedo and jumping in, though. Nuh-uh. I’m bringing my camera along and joining whatever other bloggers happen to be there, in order to write about the event in this space, as well as potentially make a Photography set out of the event. And I’ve been looking forward to going for about a year. I wrote about it last year, and noted that I should save the date. Well, I did. If I can muster up the strength to go, I’m going. And bringing a hat, coat, and gloves.

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Categories: Events, Work