This Day In History: 01/05

Saturday, January 05, 2002

New Year's in Jacksonville: Part I of II

I'm feeling mostly better now, and ready to take on a new semester of composition and other enthralling musical ventures. I think I had some variant on the flu, and of course it came at a disappointing time. My friends from Tech, Scott, Wythe, & Nikki, drove down to Tallahassee on Sunday and rolled into town around ten o' clock or so. We got up for a leisurely breakfast of eggs and toast the next morning and were on the road for Jacksonville by 11:30. Scott drove the "party van" and I followed in my car, since we'd be heading our own separate ways after the game. Nikki's dad had secured us a room in the Navy Lodge at the Naval Air Station for $48 a night, which was tons less than the extortionist prices of the downtown hotels. I missed the Gator Bowl Parade and some downtown action for some much needed rest, but went out later for dinner. We ate at a local chain called Harry's, which easily had the worst Philly cheese steak I've ever had.

Restaurants definitely overcharge for their food these days. Because I don't eat much, I've never seen the logic behind paying ten dollars for a meal when you could get fast food at a third of the price. When I go out to eat, I tend to get the cheapest thing on the menu -- not because I'm miserly, necessarily, but because I don't think I could eat $10 worth of food.

New Year's Eve was spent at the Jacksonville Landing surrounded by millions of Hokies and locals. I think every third car on my trip from Virginia had Hokie paraphernalia adorning it, and the numbers just went up as the weekend progressed. By the time the game started, we must have had over forty-thousand fans in Jacksonville. At the stroke of midnight, Jacksonville put on a pretty decent display of fireworks over the river, with the usual gimmicks like stars and happy faces. For the finale, they set off long-burning fireworks down either side of a long steel bridge, lighting up the entire skyline for several minutes.

To be continued tomorrow...

I checked my grades yesterday and everything turned out nicely, as expected. I haven't gotten word on my history paper yet, but the final exam was like a slow pitch right across the plate (or a 1-2-3 spare, depending on your sporting preferences). Everything we studied ended up phrased and asked perfectly to match our prepared answers. On my counterpoint final project, I got bonus points for using "Deck the Halls" against "Fa-La-La" as a double-subject.

tagged as travel | permalink | 0 comments

Sunday, January 05, 2003

From the Holiday Backlog:

12/17/02

Brian,

We are bored. Nous sommes bored. Please make your updates more interesting and leave out any mention of Les Mis. We tried to ignore the first five-day rant that contaminated your domain, but this is too much. Hence, a list of topics we would like to see covered:

  • Puppies.
  • Etymology of the word 'booyah'.
  • Description of funny college mascots (in the style of John Madden)
  • Strategies for the game Battleship (you sunk my battleship!)
  • More puppies (cute ones).

To be continued...

tagged as random | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, January 05, 2004

We watched 25th Hour last night -- a good movie that I'd never heard of before. Starring Ed Norton, the pacing is methodical and thoughtful but the writing was catchy enough to keep things interesting.

I also saw Pirates of the Caribbean a few weeks back, and it was actually a good movie. Easily the best movie ever made about a theme park ride as well.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    microwave popcorn comparisons, drug trafficking Brazil mining company, Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Mind Power : How to Use the Other 90 % of Your Mind to Increase the Size of Your Breasts, Peter Harmatuk

Britney Spears to annul weekend marriage
7-year-old gets stuck in stuffed animal game machine

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I went to the doctor today to check on my ear & hearing, which has improved but isn't 100% yet. He couldn't find anything wrong with the eardrum itself and said that things looked impeccably clean, so he ordered me to dope up on decongestants for a couple days to see if clearing out the Eustachian tubes will have any effect.

That's not why they call it the wiener wagon.
A central Florida teenager survived a six-story fall after he failed on his try to leap [3 feet] from the top of one downtown parking garage to another Friday.
Gadsby

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Audience Participation Day

Are these news stories real or fake? Decide which one(s) are pure invention, and then reveal the hidden text at the bottom to see if you are right. Regular readers of the Washington Post are disqualified from this contest because that's like insider trading, and we're all honest 'round these parts.

Martin Luther King Jr. to be remembered on April Fools Day
A committee appointed by D.C. Council member Marion Barry has moved the District's annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade from its traditional date near King's birthday in wintry January to the warmer month of April, when the civil rights leader was assassinated. Last year, days after Barry was hospitalized for flulike symptoms, the parade was canceled at the last minute because of plunging temperatures. Aside from the disrespectful symbolism of remembering King on April Fool's Day, one activist said, it makes no sense to hold a parade that marks King's murder. A member of the parade committee said the committee discussed April 1 without realizing that it was April Fool's Day.

Robbed at Gunpoint, Barry Harbors 'No Animosities'
D.C. Council member and former mayor Marion Barry yesterday urged two young men who robbed him at gunpoint Monday night to turn themselves in to police, promising that he would urge authorities not to prosecute them. "I have no animosities," Barry declared. "I don't even want you prosecuted, really. I love you. Give yourself up. Call the police... I will do all I can to advocate non-prosecution. There is a sort of an unwritten code in Washington, among the underworld and the hustlers and these other guys, that I am their friend," Barry said.

Congressman Moran has a Hectic Birthday
Lloyd Grove, "Reliable Source" columnist for the Washington Post, reported that Congressman Jim Moran's (D-Va) house was the site of "a ruckus that a witness described as 'something out of a Jerry Springer episode.'" According to Grove's account, a female friend of Moran visited the divorced congressman and was surprised to find two others, and after screaming and door slamming, Moran had one of the women "by the arm, trying to get her out of the house." Moran's chief of staff, Paul Reagan, explained: "It was just three very good friends who came to give him birthday presents and were surprised that the others were there." Moran has come under fire in the past for suggesting that the Jewish community was responsible for the war in Iraq.

Metro Launches a Star Search
Worried that commuters have turned a deaf ear to the recording that warns when a train is about to pull out of a station, Metro officials plan to record a new message this year and are searching for new talent. The three tones that would-be stars are asked to use are polite, authoritative and serious (Nothing jokey, nothing warm and fuzzy). The winner doesn't get a professional recording contract, a concert tour, or even a free ride on Metro, but will be heard throughout Washington D.C. saying "Doors Opening" and "Doors Closing". A text consultant for the Shakespeare Theatre said candidates should remember the first rule of speech: clarity. "You want to be able to understand the messages, and the trick with that is to let it sound human".

Animal Watch
The following were among cases handled recently by the Washington Humane Society:

  • A woman called animal control to report that a cat was in her back yard with a plastic bag stuck on its head. An animal control officer removed the bag and transferred the animal, a feral male, to the D.C. shelter. The cat was returned to its feral-cat caretaker.
  • A male youth and his unleashed pit bull approached a police barricade during a hostage incident. Police restrained the youth and shot the dog in the foot after the animal appeared to threaten them.
  • In Strange Reversal, Condom Discovered in Nut
    Consider it a modern-day twist on the story of the Trojan horse. When Diane Geist brought home some mixed nuts from Walmart, it turns out one of the shells was concealing a condom. Geist said she could understand Wal-Mart being skeptical. "I'll baggie up the evidence and run it down there," she said. Store representatives expressed surprise at a condom being able to fit into the relatively small shell of a hazelnut. Geist agreed it was a tight fit. As for the rest of the nuts she had bought? "My husband finished them off," Geist said.

    Highlight this empty spot for the answers:
    The story about Jim Moran is a falsehood -- this incident actually happened in 2001 BUT there were only two women, not three.

    How did you do?

    Starring Jennifer Affleck
    Homeless get 15 glasses of wine per day. Three of the 17 participants died during the program, succumbing to alcohol-related illnesses that might have killed them anyway, the study said.
    Jon Stewart to host the Oscars

    tagged as newsday, you speak | permalink | 0 comments

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Friday Fragments

    the culmination of 230 years of American Independence

    ♣ Yesterday afternoon, Philip sent me a picture of his developing progeny, little Malibu Barbie. With his offspring and Anna's sharing a due date, I'm sure March will be a rather busy month for cigar makers. It won't be long before we find out that the Kelley is the proud daddy of triplets. Wouldn't that be a scary start to the new year?

    ♣ Looking back, 2006 was overall a good year -- not too dramatic and not too dull, which is perfect for a status-quo maintainer such as myself. If there's one lesson I learned from 2006, it's that you cannot listen to the theme song from Picture Pages without getting it hopelessly stuck in your head. Go ahead, you know you want to . I bet it's stuck in your head now after just thinking about it.

    ♣ Before the new year, I did my usually yearly clean up of my MP3 collection, which has now grown to 1185 songs and 82 hours. This is probably much less than many folks out there, but my collection is unique because I actually listen to every single song pretty regularly. I'm one of those people that constantly has some form of music playing -- even at the office there's a barely audible stream of music leaking out of the crappy work-issue speakers, so I get through the entire repertoire in about a week and a half.

    ♣ My collection is ridiculously eclectic. If there were ever a contest that involved finding songs with particular characteristics, like "a song like I Feel Good that begins with a female scream" or one that ends with a car honk, I would be the supreme winner of the universe.

    ♣ On my block, there's a particular car full of day laborers that always pulls up to the neighbour's house at six in the morning and honks to get the guy out of the house. Generally the guy moves very deliberately, as if navigating a laser field in a museum safe, so the car will honk three or four times before anyone actually comes out. This is my new pet peeve. Can't you take the four seconds to get out of the car, bang on the door, and get back in? If I weren't already awake and heading for work, I'd probably be more livid about it. As it stands, I'm only slightly annoyed by this habit.

    ♣ I have never worn a habit, though one summer in college I quit my PEPCO job and got to write "none" on an employment form. That turned out to be quite the enjoyable summer, since it was too late to look for another job with any resolve, so I stayed home, wrote my amazingly literary murder mystery , played lots of computer games, and limited my purchases to very small or cheap things.

    ♣ I've made a flurry of small but cumulatively expensive purchases in the past week. True to "razor and razor blades" form, all of my fancy schmancy gadgets and tools from Christmastime require just one more add-on or adapter to have full functionality. I'm now on the list for two additional Wii controllers (sans Nunchucks since they are rare like Ytterbium), a USB Wi-Fi adapter for the Wii's online playing capabilities, an XM tuner to connect to my new receiver (which wasn't enough since XM loves to force purchases upon you), and an antenna for over-the-air HD signals.

    ♣ I'm happy about the last one though, because if it works out I'll get the big networks for free and I'll finally break my inertia and cancel my Comcast cable account (Comcast bought Adelphia by the way). This will save me $600 a year and the only downside is that I won't get ESPN for VT games. $600 vs. football. To some people that might be a difficult decision. NOT SO FOR ME.

    ♣ This weekend, the plan is to have the BCS games on in the background while I continue to chug along with work. I thought it might be slowing down, but a rabid snare of avian flu contaminated one of my coworkers all week and now I have to step into the breach and plug the dike with my finger. I might also get some Poker in on Saturday night, but only if I win.

    ♣ Have a great weekend, everyone!

    Teen has a veritable party in his underpants
    Mob burns down local jerk's house
    She's a lying two-faced cow

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 5 comments

    Monday, January 05, 2009

    Holiday Wrap-up

    Happy New Year and welcome back from your hibernal holidays! My version of the holidays closely matched the traditional script, starting with a Christmas party turned engagement party at Rebecca's parents' house. Christmas Eve involved an evening service with a rather puzzling sermon, and a Christmas morning of opening small amounts of loot with my parents. Both matrices of parents were present for a Christmas dinner of roast beef, after which we transposed to the living room for desserts and the viewing of vacation photos.

    I spent last week quietly working from home while Booty gnawed on the Christmas tree and Israel engaged in their annual holiday attempts to blow someone up. For New Year's Eve, we went to Kathy and Chris' house for the second straight year, eating stuff, drinking stuff, and playing the caption game while making fun of Georgia Tech and Fall Out Boy.

    We celebrated the start of 2009 by driving out to Winchester on New Year's Day, to stay at the Long Hill Bed & Breakfast, our first B&B experience. After our arrival, we descended upon downtown Winchester (in search of a Chair Lunch Dinner), but the pedestrian mall was empty, freezing cold, and shut down for the day -- the only things open were a Thai restaurant and the Cork Street Tavern, where I had the most delicious Philly cheesesteak since I ate at Owen's in 2001. The B&B itself gets high marks though: lots of knick knacks and old stuff to explore, a pinball machine, pool table, and boccerball table, a really tasty breakfast, and a giant indoor Jacuzzi.

    After a brief stop in Front Royal to visit Rebecca's cousin, we returned to Sterling on Friday for a weekend of movies, Mario Kart, Chick-fila, worky work, and website work.

    Last August, I changed my web counter from popup-infested Motigo to the excellent and highly recommended StatCounter, so I don't have exact numbers on how many visitors the URI! Zone had in 2008. Using interpolation (or extrapolation if you hate Interpol), I calculated that traffic was the same as last year -- over 2000 visits per month, and about 24,000 visits for the year. Despite this, we were collectively unable to reach the necessary 30 signatures in last month's drive to win a gift certificate. Obviously, the URI! Zone is a positive influence in the spread of apathy across the nation.

    With the $10 I saved by not buying a gift certificate, I hired myself to make a few website improvements over the weekend. You'll notice a few graphical tweaks throughout the site, and several visitors have been given fresh new Comment avatars for 2009. When you post a comment, you'll also notice that people can visit your own blog or your Facebook profile (subject to whatever privacy settings you maintain on that site) -- simply click on the icon to the upper right of anyone's comment. If you need to change your Facebook ID, or your blog location, send me an email!

    2008 in Pictures
    Feces-covered man attacks flight attendant
    Barkley's DUI caused by need for a BJ

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 15 comments

    Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    List Day: Five Website Improvements

    While I travel down the snowy Pennsylvania Turnpike on the way back from Columbus, here is a list of the website improvements I made over the Christmas break, which you may have already noticed.

    1. TABLE-free: In some circles, the use of TABLE HTML tags for layout purposes is a cardinal sin -- you may as well have stuck your baby in FRAMESET with BLINK tags. After almost six years of table layouts, the URI! Zone is now cresting the wave of yesterday's cutting edge innovation with full CSS-based layouts. Of course, it only took six extra hours to make it look correct in Internet Explorer. Next up might be to convert the site into XHTML, which has been on my TO-DO list since October 2003.

    2. Introducing jQuery: I did a test run of jQuery in October to speed up page loads by not loading News images until they were needed on the screen (especially noticeable on the News Archive pages, where a month of posts appear together). It's now being used on the Comments page to sound the death knell for anonymity by validating that you've filled in all the fields before posting your comment. Luckily, there aren't a lot of places that this is needed, since interactivity is a very Web 2.0 concept, and this site embraces Web 3.0 by displaying the content that I think is important and forcing you to love it.

    3. No more "Words" or "Art" sections: The "Art" section was by far the least visited area of the site, and the "Words" section was the most-visited, but only by little pissants trying to plagiarize my musical research for their music appreciation papers. Hopefully this will reduce the number of Google hits I get for the search term, "a form that pits a soloist against an orchestra is called a _____" -- apparently music appreciation students don't realize that you can search for test answers without typing the BLANK. Eventually, I hope to migrate all my Photos over to Picasa as well.

    4. Cutesy Labels:
      Isn't this cute?
      Of course, these labels only achieve maximum cuteness in Firefox -- Internet Explorer ignores small height values and makes it look like a belt buckle on a sumo wrestler.

    5. Redesigned Sidebar: There's nothing inherently new on the sidebar, but I've made the presentation a little cleaner. In addition, you can now hide sections that you don't care about, like the "Old News" box -- just click on the minus icon to hide it, and the plus icon to show it again!

    Teen found after meeting his 42-year-old soulmate
    Burglar trips beer can alarm
    Beaver attacks boy in southern Oklahoma

    tagged as lists, website | permalink | 2 comments

    Wednesday, January 05, 2011

    Photo Backlog Day

    I've finally uploaded the remaining photos from 2010, and started a new album for 2011 on the Photos page. This year, I resolve to be more proactive about photography by implanting a small camera (with zoom lens) in each shoulder, and taking pictures every hour, which will be automatically uploaded into Picasa.

    If that doesn't work out, I'll just take pictures whenever I happen to have my camera with me and the batteries are still good.

    Apocalypse Soon not quite as catchy
    Suicidal man saved by garbage pile
    Days of the "pint" may be numbered

    tagged as media | permalink | 4 comments

    Thursday, January 05, 2012

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Drama by Bitter:Sweet:
    This is the follow-up album to Bitter:Sweet's first album, featuring the same mix of electronica, horn sections, and sultry vocals. The mood is slightly brighter and more playful, making for a nice contrast when I merge them on a blank CD into a super-album. Oddly, the vocalist seems to have developed a much more noticeable lisp since the first album.

    Final Grade: B

    Malcolm in the Middle, Season Two:
    I'm watching old episodes of Malcolm on Amazon Prime, and I think it's stood the test of time pretty well. It even survives the immediate puberty peril that also afflicted seasons of Home Improvement, although Malcolm himself is the least interesting, most annoying character on the show. I feel like this was one of the shows I made time for in college, but don't really remember ever sitting down to watch it.

    Final Grade: B+

    The Hangover, Part II (R):
    Like most comedic sequels, this one was completely unnecessary, but it managed to be unnecessary in the least disagreeable way possible. It brings back all of the original characters in a new setting, and then rebuilds the original plot with slightly different twists. If you loved the first one, you'll love this one -- it doesn't ever try to be more than an obvious reprisal for fans. From my perspective, the first movie was great, and the second was similar enough that I'd rather just watch the first one again. I also tend to think that TV shows and movies that depend on trained monkeys for humor's sake tend to be stretched thin in the ideas department, but maybe someday I'll meet someone who actually thinks they're funny.

    Final Grade: B-

    Crazy Stupid Love (PG-13):
    This movie is something of a romantic comedy mixed with a bromance, and was surprisingly enjoyable. The main stars are Steve Carell as a man whose wife wants a divorce, and Ryan Gosling, as a club-trolling manwhore. The tone is generally pretty light, and though the plot tries to be cleverer than it actually is, the twists and turns merely serve the comedy -- it doesn't steamroll-vomit into a storm of frogs, Magnolia-style. Steve Carell's character was colored by all of the seasons of The Office we've watched recently, but this did not destroy the movie.

    Final Grade: B

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, January 05, 2015

    Weekend Wrap-up

    To make up for the fact that Rebecca had to work on real New Year's, we had a Fake New Year's party on Saturday night, replete with Telestrations, a table full of snacks, and a New Years cake. Beyond this social event, I didn't do much of anything, as I was trying hard to recuperate from last week's flu.

    We did go to Mellow Mushroom on Sunday night for dinner, and I ate half of a delicious Mushroom Club. Eating the whole one would have been out of my weight class.

    I am back at work starting today. How was your weekend / vacation?

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

    Tuesday, January 05, 2016

    Recipe Day: Meatless Stuffed Mushrooms

    Timing

    • Prep Time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking Time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 20 white mushrooms
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 8 ounces cream cheese (block rather than spread)
    • 6 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese (as fine as possible)
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

    Instructions

    1. Make friends with people who have an aversion to meats, otherwise this recipe is a useless travesty.

    2. Preheat the oven to 350 and start warming the cream cheese (perhaps on the "warming area" on your yuppy stove) so it's easier to melt later on.

    3. Use a damp cloth to remove visible dirt from mushrooms. Rock the stems back and forth like an Atari 2600 joystick until they are detached. Discard any unusually hard, dried portions of the stems, and then finely chop the remaining stems.

    4. Saute the chopped stems in garlic and oil in a large skillet over high heat for 8 minutes. Turn heat to low and stir in cream cheese, parmesan cheese, pepper, and oregano. Mixture will become pasty and sticky.

    1. Add heaping spoonfuls of the cheese mixture into each mushroom and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned, and serve fresh from the oven.

    2. Depending on the useable volume inside of your mushrooms, you may end up with far more cheese mixture than you need. Throw it at the ceiling and try to get it to stick, or buy a bunch of crackers.

    tagged as recipes | permalink | 0 comments

    Friday, January 05, 2018

    Maia Week #26 Battle Report

    Maia has finally reached the 6 month milestone, which is probably the point at which I should stop measuring her age in weeks and start using a more common metric like fortnights or eons. The two weeks since the last battle report have been holiday-centric and fairly disruptive, so there haven't been many crazy developmental milestones. She rolled over four successive times (only to the left) one day, then never wanted to do that again.

    She can also say "em" which is clearly the 13th letter of the alphabet, and she can string this into multi-syllabic SAT words like "emememem" and "emememememememem". Surely, "Eminem" and "M&M" are not far off. Yesterday, I taught her how to use our touch lamps which blew her mind and entertained her for about 10 minutes before she just wanted to grab the lamp with both hands and lick it (much like the reaction she has to my ice cold Coke Zero cans).

    Maia naps even less now than she used to, getting about 9 hours continuously at night and then just 2 - 4 hours of 30 minute naps during the day. We've tried all of the tricks short of buying "I ♥ naps" T-shirts but she's just someone who wants to be up and experiencing things all day long. It has been a little harder with the weather so cold this past week, but we had the temporary distraction of watching Sara play the new Zelda game on the Switch in the afternoons to keep us from having to trek out for a mall walk. I also just discovered that she sometimes naps up to 90 minutes if I wear her, sit very still, and play Zelda myself, so look for my academic paper on the impact of video games on baby naps in the next quarterly journal if the hypothesis continues to prove itself.

    tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 5 comments

    Wednesday, January 05, 2022

    Snow Day

    After an unseasonably warm day looking at the animals of Frying Pan Farm, we had a nice 2 - 3 inches of snow for Maia to enjoy (and two snow days off from school).

    BU: "It's really warm right now but tonight there will be a cold snap and then SNAP, it will be cold enough to snow."
    MU: "I don't know how to snap so for me it will be a cold CLAP."

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

     

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