The URI! Zone - 11/2008
After getting the motor in my heating system repaired, I spent Halloween evening at Rebecca's house eating Halloween Party leftovers and watching The Illusionist, which is about as close as you can get to a Halloween-themed movie in a cabinet full of chick flicks. We ran out of candy fairly early in the night, and got to employ the classic child molester technique of turning off the porch light to signal the candy shortage. The next door neighbour tried to put a bowl outside with a TAKE ONLY ONE sign, but that just proved that today's kids are incapable of counting to one, since the bowl was long depleted by the time I arrived.
Saturday was a low-key day filled with raking and gaming, and in the evening we traveled to Winchester for Emily & Matt's going away party. Air Force bases are set up in out-of-the-way places like Oklahoma because inexperienced pilots crash a lot, and the military wants to make sure that nothing of importance is lost -- my proposal to turn all of Maryland into a giant base is still under review). All five Spellerberg sisters were present, as well as all 8 of their kids -- it is left as an exercise for the reader to name them all from oldest to youngest.
We came back from Winchester that night to enjoy the extra hour of sleep from Daylight Losers Time without being trampled by early morning kids, but went back out to Purcellville on Sunday to meet Rebecca's cousin's family. Sunday afternoon was slated as a whirlwind winery tour, both for imbibing and weddinging purposes. The first one we visited was the Bluemont Winery, which came with a nice view, decent prices, and a reception area where they were apparently recreating the planetarium from The Dark Crystal.
From there, we hit Breaux, Hillsboro, Doukenie, and Loudoun Valley in quick succession. Their wines were good (with Breaux's 14-bottle tasting being the most cost-effective), but they all lacked dedicated indoor areas. Since Rebecca's friend recently got married on the day of Hurricane Hannah, tents were not high on the list of wants. Her niece did enjoy the goose poop at Doukenie's lake, although I feel like you wouldn't want to get married at a place that almost sounds like dookie.
The last winery on the tour was Sunset Hills, which had a really nice reception / tasting area but might be a little on the small side without some creative seating techniques. Luckily, I was a pro at the old game, Sokoban, so I discovered extra nooks and crannies where you could seat the people you don't really like but feel obligated to invite. Also, the bathroom seated 3.
After dinner at Main Street Wings in Purcellville (a little dry, but with good sweet potato fries), we returned to the fringes of civilization in Sterling and got ready to begin the month of November (also known as A Month of Thanksgiving Dinners).
What did you do this weekend?Email error ends up on road sign
Giant Lego man appears on beach
How we used to vote
List Day: Top Six Reasons to Vote for John McClane
Rear-view cameras don't show that kind of rear
Stevens juror actually went to the horse races
Nudit group wants clothing-optional polling site
I left the house at 9:42 AM yesterday to perform my Honda Civic1 duty by selfishly voting against new fire houses in western Loudoun County. Although I brought a book for the anticipated wait, there was no line, and I was out the door and back at home by 10 AM.
It was slightly harder for Booty and Amber (a.k.a Fernando and Alexis Uri) to vote, since I had to convince the voting officials that they were dependents born in 1989 with an uncontrollable furry condition, and that their silence was because they did not speak English (not uncommon in Sterling). Nonetheless, they soon voted and were presented with the obligatory voting stickers which are highly prized because all voters are twelve years old and own Trapper Keepers. Personally, I would prefer that any unused campaign funds be donated into a Voter Steak Fund for a post-election party sponsored by the loser.
Although I felt like an utter tool for doing so, I turned on the talking heads around 7:30 PM at the lowest volume, and watched the results come in IN REAL TIME while doing more useful things. Some results actually came in faster than the speed of time, since most networks used complex zero division formulas to call states early (MSNBC called Pennsylvania for Obama around 8 PM last Thursday). I don't fully understand how a state can be won with 0% of the precincts reporting, but next week's PBS special narrated by President Mugabe should shed some light on that.
MSNBC (which I only watched because it was the only one on over-the-air HD) also spent half of their program ogling over their virtual reality election room where the token comely female anchor walked around on a green screen while animated charts and graphs soared around her and her co-anchor joked about giant blue bars flying at her face. Because the results appeared on the screen immediately, the anchors had to constantly remind the idiots in the audience that "TOO EARLY TO CALL" meant that there were no votes reported yet while "TOO CLOSE TO CALL" meant that the candidates were in a dead heat. (The poker term, "TOO SCARED TO CALL" was not utilized).
I went to bed around 10:30 after they prematurely called Norway for Obama, so I didn't get to watch Chevy Colorado fall. I still received first word of the new President-elect in the form of fireworks and cheering in my solidly-blue neighbourhood full of illegal immigrants sometime around midnight. Then again, it might just have been MS-13 gunfire.
1: In an effort to generate new advertising revenues, several major companies have purchased dictionary words on my blog.And God did smite the cows
In this economy, even sex doesn't sell
Canadians play "Grab The Wallaby By the Tail"
Capsule Review Day
Mitch Hedberg: Do You Believe in Gosh?:
"If you're a fish and you want to be a fish stick, you have to have very good posture. You can't be a slouchy fish or you will be a fish clump."
This 40-minute CD is a live recording of one of the last shows before Mitch Hedberg's death. It's very much a work in progress -- a few jokes are hilarious, and others would have become hilarious after a bit more practice and timing. Mitch's delivery is much more confident than Strategic Grill Locations, but this CD isn't nearly as amazing as mitch all together, which is really the only CD you need to understand why people think he's funny. (Like buying things online, it's all about the delivery).
Final Grade: B
Weeds, Season One:
From the network that rolled out Dexter comes this show about a suburban widow who turns to selling pot to support her family and lifestyle. The season consists of ten half-hour episodes that are nicely story-arc'd and does an amusing job of satirizing upper middle class life (starting with an opening credits sequence that reminded me of the beginning of Edward Scissorhands). The first couple episodes are all over the map, but it finds its voice pretty quickly. We're currently in the middle of the second season, which is even better.
Final Grade: B+
Happy Birthday Annie!Fox News throws their VP under the Straighttalk Express
Marathon runners are wusses compared to this
Out of the boot camp and into the compactor
one of the coins is not a nickel
♠ I'm not a big fan of this feebly foggy, rainy weather. At the beginning of November, it should either be globally warm with sunblock, melting icecaps, and residential polar bears, or below freezing with enough snow on the ground to warrant telecommuting. Cold weather rain is just a waste of everyone's time.
♠ Speaking of the water cycle, I'm on a water kick at work. This seems to happen every six months or so, on the day when I stand at the free-soda fridge and realize that I can't stand the thought of one more sickly-sweet Lipton's Green Tea.
♠ The only reason I drink Green Tea at work is little nutrition sticker with "0 calories" printed on it. This is a huge step up from my intern days in 2000 when I drank a free Coke every hour on the hour. I'm amazed that I could maintain such svelte Philip Barbiesque proportions with that extra 1200 calories per day.
♠ I continue to eat microwaveable Chef Boyardee snacks for lunch, although they're just a little bit too small to count as a full meal and eventually become boring. Yesterday, I pulled one out of the box and thought it said BEER RAVIOLI, but tragically, I read it incorrectly.
♠ While searching for pictures to illustrate the previous fragment, I discovered an interesting fact: not only can you purchase Beef Ravioli on Amazon.com in packs of 12, you can choose to have it periodically delivered! Unfortunately they don't offer delivery of beer products, or there would be no reason to ever leave the house again.
♠ Cheddar and I have a lot in common, since we're both yellow and aging. I can tell that I'm aging because I find myself preferring wines over beers, mainly because the lack of internal corrosion and absence of lingering drinking effects. Had you told me eight years ago that I would one day choose Ecco Domani over Killian's, I would have dismissed it as crazy talk.
♠ The weekend is looking pretty busy at the moment. Tonight, I'll be in DC to celebrate Annie's birthday, and tomorrow night I'll be back there to dine with Rebecca's coworker (I anxiously await the post-apocalyptic future when DC is a nuclear crater and Leesburg is the defacto nation's capitol -- I am much better positioned to socialize there). On Sunday, we're heading back out to the Sunset Hills Vineyard to talk weddings and see if it's feasible to fit 120 into a space meant for 90 without the use of helium balloons or trash compactors.
♠ Have a great weekend!Kenyans await Obama: The Musical
Joaquin offers dyslexic farewall to movies
Hens exploding because of hot air balloons
Weekend Wrap Up
Now that the holiday season approaches, weekends fill up with social events faster than poop in a porta-john at a chili festival. We kicked off the weekend in high spirits with a fancy jaunt to Co Co Sala in DC, a high-class bar/restaurant where everything is chocolate-tinged and the wait staff tries to inflate their tips by flaunting cleavage in sharp red dresses. Besides the chocolate stout and the chocolate mojitos, we ordered the three-course dessert meal, resulting in a neverending parade of sampler mousses, candies topped with flakes of gold, and fried stuff in fudge. This would probably be detrimental to your wallet and waistline if you ate here every day, so visit it sparingly.
Annie's birthday celebration continued at the Black Rooster Pub, which we discovered several points to the northwest with our orienteering merit badges and refined Metro skills. The bar was small and half empty, which was perfect -- not too loud, fast orders from the bartender, plenty of seats, and a minimum of drunk sorority girls trying to join a frat by injection. Rebecca and I left around 1 to return to Sterling, but things were still hopping when we left.
On Saturday night, we returned to DC to visit a coworker of Rebecca's in Dupont Circle. She lived in a swank building of condos next door to the Scottish Rite Temple, and said she occasionally heard chanting emanating from the basement. I looked around for Kelley's car, but I guess his days of goat sacrifice have come to an end. Another coworker showed up, and we played a game of Loaded Questions, interspersed with work-related gossip about who was boinking who. I did not participate in this conversation since I don't work there and am also a carrier of testosterone.
To conclude my weekend of manliness, we returned to the Sunset Hill Vineyard to talk with their events planner about wedding stuff. The place looks promising but no decision has been made yet.
This morning, I woke up at 5 AM to commute to Bailey's Crossroad for my biweekly work junket. Booty likes to stretch up and claw the curtains over my nightstand to wake me up, and today she was in the process of shredding when the alarm went off, startling her. Because she was tangled up in the curtains, she flailed all over the nightstand, eventually taking out a lamp and the clock before disentangling and running down the hall. I'm deducting the cost of the light bulb from her daily rations.A gig-goers' guide to queue jumping
Blinded pilot guided to safety after mid-air stroke
British journalist caught on camera in drunk, plagiarism rant
T -Pain is tired of hearing the sound of his own, heavily processed voice. Actually, the Tallahassee hip-hop star is tired of hearing everybody else simulating the sound of his synthesized voice -- the one that's run through a software program called Auto-Tune for a giddy effect that makes him (and them) sound like a singing cyborg.
I have always been of the opinion that the increased popularity of the Auto-Tune effect was one of the worst things to happen to music since they gave TATU microphones. The effect first gained notoriety with Cher's dance hit from the 90s where she asks the audience if they believe in life after love, suffers anterograde amnesia, and then asks continuously for another four tortured minutes -- if repetition is the key to Western music, this song must be one half of our da Vinci code (with the other half being "Funk Soul Brother").
"Every time I hear somebody singing one of their songs, it sounds like them singing karaoke of one of my songs," T-Pain says . . . "Don't think I'm not going to hear it when you take that whole style from me. It's pretty much everybody; they're taking the sound I came out with, which was real different, very distinctive."
If you often write for five saxophones in open-voice harmony and shadow the bass line with a vibraphone, you might be able to make a claim about having "a sound". If you sang into a box and turned a knob to the right until it couldn't go any farther, you don't have a sound -- you have a cheap effect that even a cow could produce if it had opposable thumbs.
The chart-topping Auto-Tune converts Lil Wayne and Kanye West are given a pass by T-Pain, having asked their occasional collaborator for his blessing to use the effect. ... "If you don't like autotune," West wrote on his blog earlier this year, "too bad cause I love it."
Kanye's application of the Auto-Tune effect can be heard in the recent single, Love Lockdown (200KB MP3), an instantly forgettable plate of sheep tripe which tries hard to be minimalistically artistic, but ends up as a poor man's version of "Drop It Like It's Hot". Its one saving grace is the fact that, for an all-too-brief four and a half minutes, you don't have to experience Kanye believing that he can rap.
The great irony of the Auto-Tune explosion is that the software that's now being used to distort vocals in an intentionally obvious, attention-getting, over-the-top way was originally created to do something stealthy in the recording studio: correct pitch problems.
The software was created by a composition major from Rice University, Harold "Andy" Hildebrand, who admits that he doesn't listen to pop music. He created the Auto-Tune effect twenty years ago and then dropped it on an unsuspecting public without caring that it might make Cher popular again. (It is standard operating procedure for composers to create things without worrying about the people who will later have to deal with them -- just look at any one of my wind band arrangements).
Antares is releasing a discounted, stripped-down version of Auto-Tune this month to coincide with the release of T-Pain's album. Whereas Auto-Tune plug-ins typically sell for more than $300, Antares is offering the Auto-Tune EFX for $99 through Guitar Center -- "for the guy who wants a simple T-Pain effect or simple pitch correction," Hildebrand says.
Unless they make this freely available for the recitals of music education majors, inventing an Auto-Tune that anyone can afford is pure bad news, and will only serve to pad out an already burgeoning musical genre -- "Unnecessary Music". Examples of this genre include frat rock songs by bands with missing vowels in their names, the complete discography of Katie Melua, and Avril Lavigne's recent cover of "Scientist" by Coldplay.
Ironically, Avril might have benefitted from a dose of pitch correction, unless she intentionally patched her voice through a Cocker-Spaniel Effect and called it "her sound".
Happy Birthday Kelley!
Don't forget that tomorrow is 12 of 12!Mexico City's water monster nears extinction
Otto the octopus wreaks havoc
Sarah Palin blamed by the Secret Service over death threats
Chad Darnell's 12 of 12
5:42 AM: Clean, awake, and ready to defrost the car. My goatee is slowly growing back after a brief Halloween stint as a woman.
5:52 AM: Breakfast time for cats, who were actually well-behaved this morning, letting me sleep in until 5:15 and not knocking over any lamps.
6:02 AM: Driving to work.
6:16 AM: The view out my window before sunrise.
11:58 AM: Heading home for lunch.
12:07 PM: Checking to see if Anna was working today. Since she was not, she forfeited a trip to Chick-fil-a.
12:15 PM: Arriving home to discover my dad fixing the carpet in the living room.
12:29 PM: The return of the ham sandwich for lunch.
3:29 PM: After finishing up my work, I raked and mowed. You get a lot of leaves when you live next to a forest.
5:12 PM: Working on a website for future nuptials while listening to a new CD, Spoons by Wallis Bird.
7:04 PM: Totino's Combination Pizza and a glass of Frontera for dinner.
7:56 PM: Powering up the Wii for the weekly Mario Kart match, which hasn't actually been weekly in months.
See more 12 of 12ers at Chad's site!Apparently, no one in North Korea can use Photoshop effectively
World's ugliest dog dies
BU player steals what he can get for free
I have nothing of note to talk about today. It's rainy and I have a cold. To fill my void, tell me a true story from high school about something embarassing that happened during sports or in an after-school organization. Feel free to change the names to protect the blushing.
Happy Birthday Rosie!Fifty things you might not know about Barack Obama
Woman dies after falling into boiling water
Earlier this year, a southwest Florida pastor, perhaps having more faith in his congregants' stamina, issued a 30-day sex challenge
bisecting the month of November like a slightly busted compass
♠ Not enough people posted an embarrassing high school story yesterday. I had planned to illustrate them all with cutesie Post-It note art but it's really not worth it unless I hear some more incriminating details. If I don't, maybe I'll just have to make an animated graphic of Katie Lucas falling over with a shotput and put it in the banner at the top of the page.
♠ Do you remember the good old days when there used to be an animated llama in the banner? Right about now would be when Turkey Llama made an appearance, since Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
♠ The Fifth Annual Month of Thanksgivings is running smoothly, with the first of three dinners happening this Sunday, replete with bacon-wrapped scallops and cheddar cheese soup. This is my favourite BU-initiated tradition since it combines both friends and eating (but not eating friends). Pretty soon I'll be able to put up my grotesque blue Christmas lights and pipe XM Holly through the sound system continuously.
♠ Following the merger of XM and Sirius, a stealth-change to the channel lineup occurred on Wednesday, with most of the XM stations gutted to make room for Sirius stations. UPOP was replaced with BBC 1, an actual UK station. On the bright side, this means I get to hear funny British accents, less world music, and never again have to change the channel while . . . Ted . . . Kelly . . . talks . . . over . . . every . . . song. On the bad side, the new morning guy is just as annoying in a different way, and they opened their inaugural day by playing Miley Cyrus -- I guess the idea that Sirius' playlist is narrower and more mainstream is true. I had already planned on cancelling my account when it ran out next March because UPOP was starting to suck.
♠ Speaking of sucking, Day Tours Unplugged sucks for ripping off Paige. I promised her that I would link to that entry so I could boost her Google rank, much like the time Mike (of Mike and Chompy) tried to Googlebomb "Adam Carolla sucks" from his blog. This effort mostly failed because Mike is incapable of spelling Carolla in a consistent fashion -- a Corolla is a car (and Blue Ribbon is a beer).
♠ Speaking of homophones, someone recently discovered my site by searching for "dirty homophone jokes". Ignoring the fact that he might have been searching for homophobe jokes and had a typo, can anyone think of some good dirty homophone jokes? I can't think of any naughty body parts that sound like other words (although my ass sounds like a frog if I eat too much dairy).
♠ Have a great weekend everyone!Pub dog must wear high visibility jacket
Robber threatens to complain after finding no cash
Resort plans nude "anything goes" party
Anyone need some turkey?Vick wants to play, but what team would risk it?
Second Life sex causes divorce
Boy hits mom with saw and then tries hush money
Propulsive: (adj.) Tending to or capable of propellingMy Composition (0:26 MP3)
This definition made me think of all those high-school jazz charts with metronome speeds of 180 or higher, and the single word "Driving" as a tempo marking. In general, these charts were rarely as driving as intended, usually because of unskilled musicians and an overabundance of syncopation. By the time one of these pieces was finished being performed, the tempo had dropped to 136 and at least two players had died.
This is also the final Museday of 2008 -- stay tuned next month when readers vote on their favourites and I convert one of these fragments into a longer tune!For More of Mexico?s Wealthy, Cost of Living Includes Guards
Urine passes NASA taste test
'Meh': new word for indifference enters English dictionary
Memory Day: Table Top Games
When I was younger, I was a bona fide athlete in top physical condition. Evidence of this can be found in the December 1992 issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids, which showcased the strenuous activity of Table Top Games -- not the nerdy, Dew-fueled games of dungeons and wizards, but real feats of physical strength with balls and goal lines and protective gear.
For the sake of full disclosure, we were not called upon by the magazine for our skill at bouncing a tennis ball into a cup. The photo opportunity was set up by the mother of someone in my Boy Scout troop, which was sufficiently ethnically diverse.
So on a rainy Saturday afternoon that would otherwise be spent biking for miles around Alexandria (or alternately, the house of the girl I had a crush on), I went to the townhouse of Richard Grimes dressed in a po po platter of primary colours (at the behest of my dad, who emphatically decided that a colourful shirt would help the photographer adjust his balance levels in the days before Photoshop).
The hardest part about "Bounce Basketball" wasn't getting the ball into the cup -- it was repeating the bounces over and over until the photographer could get a crisp action shot with every kid smiling. At least five other wannabe movie stars were at this three hour shoot, and only these three photos passed through the Ugly/Frowning/Fat editing filter (because apparently it's irresponsible to show fat kids playing games at a table when they could be sitting on the couch playing video games and sparing their parents' rickety chairs).
After "Bounce Basketball", which obviously took someone two and a half minutes to invent (but helped improve the future Beer Pong skills of children everywhere), came "Puff Hockey". Although no real life skills can be gleaned from holding a straw between your thumb and forefinger and taking gentle puffs, it was fun nonetheless.
Initial attempts at playing the game failed because one kid kept blowing over the goals. We solved this issue with Boy Scout perspicacity, reaching into our kits for the emergency Scotch tape. Another player then showed a continued lack of control by blowing the ball off the table as if he were trying to push a softball through fifty feet of vacuum tubing. (A similar situation occurs when badminton players try to play tennis).
After time wasted on recovering the ball and telling the players near the camera to stop blocking the ones in the back, the photographer finally gave up and had us pose without actually playing the game. The bottom picture is an example of this fakery.Earliest nuclear family was murdered
Police haven't said what type of sandwich was involved
Inmate who escaped returns on his own
Silly Ratings Day
In an effort to provide some transparency in the game-rating process, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has started including brief overviews of each reviewed game on its website. You can now see why games were given a particular rating, and just what exactly the term "comic mischief" means.
To assist parents in their search for kid-safe games, the website also allows you to search for games by game content. Although their hearts are in the right place, this search engine of naughty behaviours is more useful as a time-wasting tool for the immature (such as myself), or as a free advertisement to a teenager who reads about the latest zombie game where "Enemies' heads and limbs are frequently blown off, while streaks of red blood are splattered on walls and floors" and puts it on his Christmas list as the coolest game of all time. Here are some excerpts from their website:
Azada: Ancient Magic (Everyone 10+)
[This] is a seek-and-find puzzle game in which players search for items in environments based on classic literature. Some stories depict or describe violent events, such as a witch being pushed into an oven or the Dracula character being vanquished with garlic. [...] One of the selectable items in a puzzle is a wine jar.
Block Party (Everyone 10+)
[This] is a collection of multi-player party mini-games [...] in which players compete in a variety of whimsical contests in order to score the most points. [...] One mini-game requires players to eat several bananas so that they can propel themselves in the air via their flatulence.
DJ Max Fever (Teen)
DJ Max Fever is a rhythm-based DJ game in which players match play cues to a beat by following on-screen prompts. Still images depict female figures in mildly provocative outfits (e.g., bikini, lingerie, and short skirts), highlighted by a variety of camera pans that include mild depictions of cleavage. In one video, still images of a female character are shown as she undresses to take a shower. The same girl is also shown bending over a bed with her posterior displayed, however, the play area and shadowing effects conceal certain body parts. Text bubbles within some cutscenes contain profanity (e.g., "sh*t").
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (Teen)
[This] is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game set in the imaginary world of Azeroth. [...] Players can interact with scantily clad characters, listen to provocative dialogue (e.g., "Is that a mana wyrm in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"), or view sexually suggestive dance routines performed by elves and other player-characters.
Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad (Mature)
[This] is an action horror game in which players control scantily clad female heroines as they battle waves of zombies. The female characters fight in thongs, leather skin suits, tiny bikinis, and other skimpy outfits that reveal cleavage and posterior areas. Bouncing breasts and use of camera pans along body parts are depicted frequently. [...] Profanity (e.g., "sh*t" and "b*tch") is heard in the dialogue and on-screen text of the story.
Far Cry 2 (Mature)
[This] is a first-person shooter in which players assume the role of a mercenary-for-hire involved in covert African combat missions. [...] Dialogue contains strong profanity (e.g., "sh*t," "f*ck," and "c*nt") and references to sexuality (e.g., "d*cks pay good money to watch girls sh*g chap like you?" and "He's sh*gged every woman, married or not, who's come through on holiday."). One mission requires players to steal a bag of 'weed' from a specific location and give it to a character who replies, "you high as a kite or what?"
If you find any other gems while bored at work, post your favourites in the Comments section!Driver convicted for penis in pasta jar, but not terrier
Trouser snake on a plane
Inmates sneak through ceiling to have sex
the numerator in division by zero
♠ The price of the Tuesday Special at Popeyes has gone up fifty cents, but this added expense comes with flexibility: it is now the "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday" Special, which means that I could have cheap chicken three days a week if I really wanted to, although eating the equivalent of a whole chicken every week is a little sickening. It would definitely need to be alternated with Shells and Cheese every other day or I would honk.
♠ When I stepped off the elevator this morning at work, the entire lobby was cloaked in the sickly smell of vomit, putting a whole new spin on being sick of work. It's also possible that a stomach flu is going around and someone didn't make it to the bathroom in time. FGM: Government Contractors OF DISEASE.
♠Speaking of food and vomit, someone discovered my website by Googling "does all chef boyardee cans contain rat fesces?". Disregarding the misspelling, the grammar, and the misrepresentation of Google as AskJeeves, it is left as an exercise for the reader to determine the answer to this question.
♠ Google essentially nullified my existence the other day when GMail determined that my place of residence does not actually exist and suggested that I live in DC instead. While I appreciate their attempts to convert me into an urbanite, I'm suspicious that one day we'll wake up to find our borders redrawn to encompass the Republic of Google, and everyone will accept that it's true because Google Maps says so.
♠ I guess I could do a little better than Sterling, though, since it took them six days to repave a one-mile section of Church Road. They milled the old asphalt off in a day, and paved it in thirds over the last two days. For those three days in the middle, they did absolutely nothing other than to watch the soccer moms holding up traffic at 4 miles per hour (worried that they might spin out on the rough unfinished road, and confused by the lack of a yellow stripe down the middle).
♠ Plans for this weekend include a poker game at Mike's in Glover Park on Saturday. Since they'll be using lame Florida rules, I'll be adding my own special earmark to the rulebook -- any time Chompy is sitting on your lap when hands are revealed, you can use her as a wildcard. On Sunday, I'll be hosting Thanksgiving Dinner #2, now with ham!
♠ Have a good weekend!Rapper gets 20 years after writing about shooting
Spider flees to outer space
Helping an injured butterfly go south
Anyone need some ham?
Why does this look like an advertisement for Pictionary?Apparently 'mobile' was a misnomer
School board warns of possible South Park prank on redheads
Breathalyzer is racist
Memory Day: A Day in the Eighth Grade
The 1992-93 school year was my Eighth Grade year at Francis Hammond Junior High School. Because it was a junior high school and not a middle school, the top grade was 9, and eighth graders had no particular positive or negative status. This was part of the Alexandria City Public School System's experiment to inappropriately teach kids that "freshman" are at the top of the food chain. (The failed experiment was cancelled after I entered the tenth grade -- subsequent ninth graders were sent to a special ninth-grade-only school to teach them that they were both highly undesirable and incapable of playing well with others).
Every yearbook staff tried to take a snapshot of the era by polling students about their favourites, but like all yearbook polls, the sample size consisted of the staff's close friends and no one else. I was obviously not consulted for this list -- other than the fact that I often ate pizza, drank Coke, and lip-synched "Down with O.P.P. (Yeah You Know Me)" at the lunch table every day, I didn't give a rat's ass about anything listed.
My typical school day was eight periods long, including an early bird period that started around 7 AM:
In all these classes, I was more familiarly known by my Indian name, "Curve Breaker". I was always required to attend the yearly award ceremonies to receive yet another mimeographed Outstanding Achievement certificate for my collection, which I ultimately laminated into an Outstanding Achievement backpack until it was set on fire by jealous Underachieving bullies, giving me third degree burns.
Outside of academics, I was also an enthusiastic member in extracurriculars, since eighth grade was the year where you had to start building your college resume before brilliantly spinning out of control on sex and drugs in the eleventh grade and making it all for naught. Besides the band, I played bit roles in the Art Club, where we stayed after school to prefix "F" on all the Art-embossed goods in the storeroom, the Literary Club, where we reviewed really crappy student poetry and chose selections for the literary magazine based on grade-point average and notoriety instead of skill, and Crew, where I worked really hard at being 80 pounds. I was also inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, where the pretentiousness of the students was only outshone by the overdramatic induction ceremony involving real candles and metaphors for extinguishing knowledge.Real-time Beethoven
Doctors find worm in woman's brain
Bus driver brakes for students
End of the Month Media Day
Photos:See more Winery pictures
See more November pictures
See more Cat pictures
Movies:Ella feeds the kitty (3.5MB WMV)
Ella dances to Chicken Reel (1.7MB WMV)
Have a tasty Thanksgiving holiday! See you next month!UFO spotted over Sacramento
The 30 greatest conspiracy theories
Fake penis drug test creators face jail
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