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Don’t Look Back – Physically Assaulted On A MetroBus
|| 8/12/2010 || 11:58 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

This was first posted on Facebook to allay the concerns of my friends after reading the tweets:


Riding home on the 92 down U street- got on at 18th & Wyoming. Going 8 blocks down U. About 5 minutes after boarding a crazy dude behind me at about 7 rows back says something like ‘look back here again and I’ll kick your ass.’ Thinking it was someone else I looked back. Crazy dude walks up to my seat and proceeds to start swinging at me in my seat. Woman from behind me, about 3 rows back, in between he & I, pulls him away. The bus stops. He gets ejected off at 15 & U. I am asked if I want to press charges. Shaken, I felt my forehead, said No. One block later, this same crazy person, walks/runs to the next block to the 14th & U intersection, outside the McDonalds, and DEMANDS to get back on the bus being that he had already paid his fare. At this point a series of people get out their phones and call 911. I call myself and give my statement. The Darwin award goes to the man who waits for the police to arrive. 3 cars do. Then a couple more. A few people get off the bus to announce to the police what happened. I get up, apologize to the bus for hindering their commute, and as I step off the bus a police officer, last name Ali, asked if I was hit by the man. I said yes. He leaves and proceeds to arrest the crazy dude. It was painful to watch them take him down. He was placed in handcuffs on his belly. Two people from the bus came forward to give their eye-witness statements. The woman in her mid-20’s from Georgia who yanked the crazy dude off me (thank you) and the mid-20’s Asian man both gave their contact information. After all the police left, one by one, the last officer got out the camera, and he took a couple pictures of the welt on my forehead. One photograph included a millimeter measuring stick that actually measured the size of the red mark. I walked two blocks toward and ran into to one of the people I’ve known longer than anyone else in DC– JR Russ– who I had my first Thanksgiving in DC with. Story told. Walked the rest of the way home. Tired. No concussion. Needless drama. Needless pain. Don’t look back.


This is the third time I’ve been physically assaulted in the District of Columbia in the last three years…. The previous assaults happened on July 17, 2008 & October 28th, 2008



Photographs of a Major Laser in the Hallway [Timelapse Laser Painting]
|| 8/23/2009 || 11:15 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Photographs of a red & green laser in my friend's apartment in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC

Saturday night I was on my way over to a friend’s 1990’s-themed house party and when I got to the house I realized that I had left my bicycle lock at my home. Perturbed, I hopped back on my bicycle, pedaled home as fast as I could, and when I arrived at my house, I received a text message from a different friend asking me to bring over his laser that he’d left at my house the previous night. I weighed my options and decided to bring the laser to my friend’s apartment in Adams Morgan. After I arrived, we decided the best place to shoot the laser in the apartment was down the length of his long hallway. I noticed that there was a tripod in the kitchen, so I decided to get out my small camera and take some photographs of this major laser in the hallway.

The following photographs were taken using my Canon SD750 and the aforementioned tripod and laser using long exposure settings to capture the geometric designs the laser created:

+ MORE



A video of an American Goldfinch eating my sunflower’s seeds
|| 8/20/2008 || 7:43 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

An American Goldfinch eats my sunflower’s seeds from Nikolas Schiller on Vimeo

In May I received two sunflower seedlings from an exhibitor at Artomatic and I decided to plant them alongside two tomato plants in a large plastic pot on my third floor deck. After diligently feeding them about 5 quarts of water each day, they bloomed in mid-July. A few years back I harvested the seeds from a sunflower plant too prematurely and ended up with partially matured seeds that were unusable. This year I decided to not cut of the heads of the plants to ensure that the seeds would mature and could be used for next year’s planting.

Last week on Thursday, August 14, my 3rd floor deck was visited by a curious guest who announced that it was time to harvest the seeds. I had seen an American Goldfinch before, but in the 4 years years that I’ve lived in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC, this was my first sighting. I found that his coloring matched the sunflowers perfectly and made me wonder if the specie obtained its yellow coloring generations ago by feeding on sunflowers?

After noticing him return to the plant a second time, I decided to place a camera on a ladder, hit record, go inside, and remotely film him eating my sunflower’s seeds. It’s a no-frills video, just the wildlife of Washington, DC. At about 6:20 there is the obligatory police siren that one can never seem to escape from in this city. At about 9:15 a Mocking Bird swoops down and attacks the American Goldfinch. You can see the Mocking Bird follow the American Goldfinch in the lower corner about a second later, but the American Goldfinch returns and continues to eat for a few more minutes.

The day after recording this video I decided to cut the heads of the sunflowers and harvest the seeds, but due to the mess recently left on the deck, he’s been back with a hearty appetite and has eaten a few more of the smaller heads. No biggy. I hope he comes back next year.


Related Animal Entries:

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Assaulted on my doorstep [2 hours after returning to DC]
|| 7/18/2008 || 9:30 am || 11 Comments Rendered || ||

Instead of rewriting the entire account, I am posting the e-mail I wrote to the listserv of my neighborhood association:

Neighbors,

I’m sorry to be writing my ‘return to DC’ e-mail in this context but I feel compelled to share this since it just happened.

For the last 7 days I’ve been in Colorado; first for my mother’s wedding, then for a night in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park, and finally to spend some time with friends in Boulder & Denver. I arrived back on Westminster Street at 12:30am after being delayed for 2 hours in Denver. Since I was not tired yet, I decided to go to my favorite nearby watering hole on 14th & T. After one hour and one drink, I decided to ride my bike back to my house.

Upon arriving on Westminster Street, at approximately 1:36am I dismounted my bicycle behind Mr. Lewis’ white pickup truck parked in front of Mr. Brown’s house. As I passed behind my the truck and was turning toward my front door, I noticed 3 African Americans in their mid-20’s had stopped their car in the middle of the street and started to approach me. The tallest of the three wearing a white tank top and khaki jeans pretended to have a pistol in his back pocket and demanded what I had in my pockets. I backed up to my doorstep refusing their request, using my bicycle as a wall (which did not help much). They came up the steps continuing to demand what I had in my pockets. After refusing again, telling them to go away and that I was at my home, I was punched in the face & body multiple times by the three and was able to fend them off by fighting back and because I was not being knocked out cold by the punches to the face. They did not steal anything from me because I refused and fought back.

Before they drove off, I was able to run into the street and catch much of their license plate: A102108 / A101208 / A108021 (one of the variations [all turned out to be incorrect]), which was a Maryland plate with the orange, yellow, and black hues known as the “agricultural plate.” If my memory serves me, it was a mid/late-90’s gold Ford Thunderbird that they were driving (the car has a uniquely shaped trunk). I called the police who arrived within 5 minutes. Since I was bleeding from the lip the officer had the fire & ambulance come, but I signed the document refusing service ($$!!). There was one woman down the block who witnessed it all and ran inside for her safety. I have her contact information but I don’t think it will matter much because she was so far away and was scared enough to run inside– “I knew something was up when I saw them approach you, so I ran inside” (which I would have done too in her position– by herself at night).

In conclusion, this was the type of freak assault that is really really really hard to prevent. If you have people willing to commit that type of crime, there is very little we can do as a community to prevent it. I ride my bicycle at night for this very reason. Its one thing to be jumped because you are walking down the street alone at night, its a completely different issue when you are literally assaulted on your front doorstep. I moved to the neighborhood in May of 2004 and this is the first time something like this has happened to me. Its just very frustrating because I had just arrived back in the city and was refreshed after being in a place I cherish. Tomorrow I expect to receive a call from the MPD’s detective and I hope to hear some good news, but I’m not keeping my hopes up. If there is any type of follow-up, I will share it.

Your neighbor with cut lips & very sore jaw,
Nikolas Schiller

ps
Keep an eye out for this car:
https://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/bm/94-97tbird.htm
I don’t think that’s the exact car, but its as close as my memory recalls.


I ultimately received dozens of kind e-mails from my neighbors, multiple e-mails from my city councilmember, e-mails from the DC Police, and even a hand written note from a police sergeant explaining why they parked a cop car in front of my house.

This type of response was downright flattering and it made me realize that while I might live a somewhat dangerous city, I live in a community that cares about the wellbeing of its residents.


Why the caption: “sometimes memories are worth fighting for” ?

Well in my pockets were not only my wallet and cellphone, but my brand new digital camera that I had purchased to document my mother’s wedding & excursions in Colorado. Had the thugs pulled out a gun or a knife I would have surrendered everything, but they didn’t, and I knew that if I would have voluntarily handed them the contents I would have lost all the photographs & video clips forever. I’ve heard of stories where thugs have allowed their victims the opportunity to remove the camera’s memory card before stealing the camera, but I was not about to take that chance. I held my ground, got a least one solid punch off (my ring left a scare on my hand indicating that I punched the guy hard enough for the ring dig into my skin), and was able to fight to retain my memories. Memories which I hope to share on this blog in the next few days.


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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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  • thank you,
    come again!