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I’m going to Philly…

2 minute read

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

No better way to say “happy halloween”…

< 1 minute read

October 29, 2007, 8:21 PM

This is what greeted me as I took my usual walk along P Street to work this morning…

Pumpkins on P Street NW

Pumpkins! Aren’t they just darling? I like the one on the right because the face is just slightly off-kilter by design, and then the face on the one of the left isn’t exactly creepy, but it is the perfect complement to the über-happy one on the right.

Meanwhile, this year for halloween, I’m going as an office worker. My costume will consist of dress pants, dark shoes, and a collared shirt. No hat, and glasses on. Accessories to go with this costume include an iMac G5 and my red Swingline stapler. In other words, I’m not dressing up. Then when I get home, I’m changing into those pajama pants that only cost $7.00 at the JCPenney Outlet and making the next day’s lunch.

Still, it was so fun to see those pumpkins this morning…

Categories: Halloween, Work

“You’re not going to become one of those self-righteous Mac people, are you?”

2 minute read

October 25, 2007, 7:23 PM

You know you’re still a computer geek at heart when you get all excited when you see a shiny new operating system and get to install it. I remember back in the old days when I used to get excited over a new version of MS-DOS. I remember when we installed MS-DOS 5. That was exciting. Microsoft had completely revamped the DOS Shell for that version. Fun stuff. Then I remember Windows 95. That was exciting, too, exploring this new Windows with all this new stuff on board. Start menu – what’s that?

This time, though, we’re doing the operating system upgrade to “Tangerine Dreams” – my office Mac. So this will be exciting. I’ve never upgraded a Mac before. So this will be new and uncharted territory. After all, I’ve upgraded DOS and Windows numerous times, but never Mac OS. My understanding is that it’s fairly straightforward, but we’ll see.

This also marks the first time I’ve upgraded an operating system on the day it was released. I got Windows XP on the day after it was released, but never day-of. And this upgrade basically fits in my job description, too, as I’m also the day-to-day IT guy for the office, and so learning the newest operating system is important.

Meanwhile, with the whole excited-about-Leopard thing, in a phone call with Sis, she asked if I was becoming one of those self-righteous Mac people. I was like, no, because unlike a lot of those self-righteous Mac people who had been with Macs since the days of classic Mac OS, I’ve only been a serious Mac user since Mac OS X Tiger. However, I will be the first to say that my next computer will probably be a Mac, since Macs are awesome, and Windows Vista… kinda sucks. I think if I could put Mac OS on my Dell, I’d be a very happy person.

So, yeah, I’m excited.

Categories: Computer, Work

Bells, bells, bells!

2 minute read

October 14, 2007, 12:23 AM

I got to experience something new on Friday – a fire alarm at work. It was around 11:30 AM, and I’m working on some odds and ends in my office, and I hear a bell start ringing. So I look up. I see flashing lights. We all know what that means. Something set off the fire alarm in our building.

Now as the fire marshal for our floor, I have special duties when the fire alarm goes off. I put on an orange safety vest and hard hat, and do a sweep of the floor to ensure that everyone has cleared. Once that was done, I headed out, and joined my coworkers at our designated meeting place. The fire trucks quickly came and went, and it turned out that the alarm was caused by burned food.

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Categories: Fire alarms, Work

Old habits die really hard…

2 minute read

August 7, 2007, 7:28 PM

I learned at work today that old habits die really hard sometimes. I was opening a box of various publications that we were sending out using a box cutter that I have. This was my old “safety cutter” from Wal-Mart, which I somehow managed to get out with when they fired me. So I opened the box, retracted the blade, and then was trying to stick it back in the pocket of the vest that I no longer wear. I was like, ummm, when I remembered, oh, no more vest. What do you know. Yeah, old habits die hard. Still, I’m glad to trade up from a vest and a name badge to business casual. Now instead of a one-cubic-foot locker, I have an office with four walls and a door.

Otherwise, though, could someone please break this heat? According to Weatherbug, it’s supposed to get up to 98 degrees in DC, with a heat index of 107. I’d dare say you could cook an egg on the pavement in this kind of weather. It’s brutal. And I wouldn’t mind it so much if not for the humidity. The humidity is the kicker. If it were a dry heat, it wouldn’t be so bad. But oh, the humidity. It makes waiting for the bus in the evening worse than it already is (I consider the wait for the bus at Glenmont the worst part of the commute, because I’m tired and impatient). All I know is we’re just slightly less than a quarter through August, so in just slightly more than three weeks, it will be September, and with September comes the arrival of fall and cooler temperatures. Then, of course, I can break out the long sleeves, which will be nice. I’ve always thought that I look better in long sleeves. I’d wear long sleeves all year, but you can’t get away with it during the summer. Too hot.

Categories: Weather, Work

What an awesome day at work!

< 1 minute read

July 24, 2007, 7:22 PM

What an awesome day I had at work today! First of all, there was a protest outside our building at noon in support of detained water activists in El Salvador. It was at our building because the Chancery office of the Embassy of El Salvador is in our building. About half the office went down to join in. I was there with Big Mavica taking photos of the event for our office.

Then later, I was part of the group that went in and actually met with the ambassador to deliver a letter. I met His Excellency Rene Antonio León Rodríguez and got to shake his hand. Pretty darn cool, if you ask me. Don’t ask me what was discussed at the meeting because most of it was in Spanish, and it has been a good ten years since I took Spanish class, and I have unfortunately lost most of it. I’m sure that if you dropped me in the middle of Barcelona or somewhere, it would all come back, but not at the moment.

That’s one thing I really like about my job with Food & Water Watch. You get to meet some very well-known and/or powerful people. I got to meet Ralph Nader back in June. I got to shake his hand, too.

Categories: Activism, Work

It’s like tempting fate…

2 minute read

July 13, 2007, 6:52 PM

It’s like tempting fate when you get Breda 4018 as your lead car. You may recall that number. It was the car that got hit in the Woodley Park-Zoo accident in 2004. But now it looks like a regular 4000-series again, with CAF carpet replacing the original orange carpet. Only thing different is it’s missing its exterior Breda horse.

Otherwise, Sunday the 22nd is going to be fun, as two members of the Schumin family travel and meet in the middle. Sis is going to Minnesota to visit Chris at his summer job, flying out of Dulles. Mom is going to be returning to Stuarts Draft from Philadelphia, after a weekend out with her old college roommates. And where is everyone meeting? Silver Spring, Maryland, putting me into play. Dad’s not going to be able to join us, as he’s going to be elsewhere racing the Mini with his autocross group.

So the question becomes what to do… the encounter will be brief, since Mom’s going to be roughly in the middle of her travel day. I’ve suggested having either lunch or dinner somewhere in Wheaton. That ought to be fun. I must say, it’s nice being along the I-95 corridor, since Richmond is to the south, and Baltimore and Philadelphia are to the north. In fact, both Baltimore and Philly are on my eventual to-do list, as Baltimore’s really close, and Philly’s about the same distance from me as DC is from Stuarts Draft. So who knows, maybe you’ll get to see some Philly photo sets eventually.

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Categories: Family, WMATA, Work

Seems I’m popular at Georgetown…

< 1 minute read

June 21, 2007, 7:58 PM

Seems so, according to one of our interns at work. This particular intern was at the Georgetown University library and was searching for me, and the browser just popped my site right in. Looks like they weren’t the only person with me on their mind that day. I thought it was kind of interesting. I would imagine that they were really surprised.

Meanwhile, today on the Metro on the way back from work, we had an operator who acted like he was our mother or something. “Step into the car. Do not push or shove.” Yes, mother. At Union Station, he said, “Do not run over the people in front of you so you can catch your next train.” I wouldn’t have been surprised if, when we got to Glenmont, he had said, “Remember to eat your vegetables and wash behind your ears.” You get some interesting folks in the cab, I’d say.

Categories: Schumin Web meta, WMATA, Work

Trust me when I say that carrying a large desk up three flights of stairs is not my idea of fun.

3 minute read

May 19, 2007, 11:44 PM

First of all, hello from my parents’ house in Stuarts Draft.

In continuing to outfit my apartment in Silver Spring, I’m bringing my real computer up with me this time, and it will get set up in a little corner of my apartment. And then I’m going to have Internet service on Tuesday, so all in all, life is good. And the first week with my new employer was awesome. Now I’ve kind of caught onto how this whole thing works, and I feel confident. It’s not like the first day anymore, where my level of anxiety was so high that I could barely eat my cereal in the morning, and forgot the lunch that I’d packed.

So what does this have to do with the desk? Well, the original plan would have had me returning to Maryland with the computer in the Sable, and the desk in either the truck or the Sienna, depending on who went with me. Then in looking at the cost of gas to take a second car back and forth to bring this large piece of furniture to Maryland, we realized that it wasn’t exactly a worthwhile proposition. Thus we had a slight change of plans. My parents will put my computer desk of nine years to work for them. Translation: It’s staying. Meanwhile, I went to Staples and ordered a new desk. It’s identical to my original desk in almost every way, except that it’s a lighter shade of brown (I don’t know what you call the original desk’s color, but the new one is “natural oak”). And it’s getting delivered to Silver Spring. That satisfies everyone. No one, including me, really wanted to drag that thing up three flights of stairs. However, I liked the desk. It was sturdy and well-designed. I’ll happily put a new desk together on site after it’s delivered to my door, and I’m sure my parents will like the old desk.

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I’m watching “That’s So Raven”

< 1 minute read

August 8, 2003, 8:46 PM

Boy, oh, boy, those Cosby kids grow, watching Raven-Symone on her Disney Channel show. Also, that kid who played 3J on Family Matters is on this show. Talk about how these TV kids grow.

Meanwhile, it’s FRIDAY NIGHT! Two days away from the Office on Youth, so I can recharge the batteries, and return on Monday morning, as the ball of productivity that has come to define my Mondays.

Seriously, at the Office on Youth, my most productive day really is Monday.

Categories: Television, Work