This Day In History: 01/06

Sunday, January 06, 2002

New Year's in Jacksonville: Part II of II

After sleeping in, we drove to the stadium and helped the local economy by paying twnety dollars for parking. At the stadium, we met up with Philip, his friend, Chris, Liz, Kathryn, and Kevin (pictures on the Photos page). We didn't get there in time to see Pre-Game, but apparently the Marching Virginians did their usual routine with the State of Virginia and the VT logo. The VT stands were fairly well packed, but the FSU side had plenty of bare patches which were never filled. FSU scalpers apparently had a rough day, with $40 tickets going as low as $5 a pair. At halftime, the MVs did a lackluster arrangement of Nature Boy and then the traditional Hokie Pokie which I got some good pictures of. They were followed by the FSU marching band, which I finally got to hear from far away for once. The only other time I'd heard them was on the field at the Sugar Bowl in 1999. The band was good if not spectacular. Unlike the MVs, they couldn't hide their playing deficiencies behind solid arrangements -- the MVs are lucky enough to have a single arranger do every arrangement for the band, and the arranger also spent many years as the director of the band. The FSU drum major had a laughable conducting style, but I bet he'd get a great boxing scholarship with his moves.

The game itself was exciting and close until the fourth quarter when FSU pulled ahead to win 30-17. There weren't any surprises -- the same quarterbacks getting sacked, and the same receivers dropping passes. Overall it was a fun game, although I hope Tech doesn't become the resident Gator Bowl team. Three Gator Bowls in five years is pushing it.

After the game, we all drove out to Jacksonville Beach in search of good seafood, but most of the restaurants were closed for the winter. We settled for a little restaurant near the infamous Sea Turtle Inn (where three generations of Marching Virginians have stayed for this trip, and the site of the January 2, 1998 2AM trumpet sectional on the Beach). Following dinner, we headed back to the Lodge to rest up for our respective trips home.

The next morning, I made it back home through sheeting rain by eleven in the morning. The others had left for Blacksburg soon after I did, but snow and ice conspired to keep them on the road until 4AM the next morning. I think there was a big-rig accident somewhere along the way. Snow also hit the Atlanta airport, and the friend I was supposed to pick up at Tallahassee Regional at three in the afternoon didn't stumble in until after seven. I spent the extra time there sampling the fine cuisine and doing an endless string of crossword puzzles. Since then, I've been resting, reading, editing scores, and watching old movies. Classes start tomorrow, and (for the sake of looking ahead) exams will be ending this term on April 26.

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Monday, January 06, 2003

From the Holiday Backlog (continued):

  • Recipe for World Peas (heh).
  • A collage of funny pictures of Santa and/or Elves.
  • Random curling statistics.
  • How to build a house of cards.
  • Even more puppies (really cute ones)

Good luck.
Kathy & Mike

Today is the first day of classes at FSU, and for the first time in years, I don't have a single class to go to. This must be what it's like to drop out of college and live in a basement. This month, my time will be spent editing my thesis score and teaching sightsinging I. Both sections that I teach are on Tuesday and Thursday -- one in the normal music building, and one in the snooty musicians-only self-contained dorm. It should be fun -- I'll be teaching all the students I had last semester, except in two manageable portions.

Gambian wakes up to find his car transformed

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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

We had a few friends over for spaghetti alfredo with marinated chicken breasts last night. Speaking of chicken breasts, there are new pictures up on both the Cat and URI! pages of the Photos section, including a picture of the pirate ship I made with the Supermags I got for Christmas from Anna. I've also uploaded a few new movies:

In a Booty Bag (2.6MB WMV)
Get It Off (3.0MB WMV)

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    dustin hoffman oscar speech 1979, Aether-X, odd book titles bookseller lesbian horse, how many centimeters do green beans grow in 3 weeks, cattlebruiser

Happy Birthday Hilda!

I lost one once too.
XXX ads in video games
Woman encountered twenty-five blind aliens intent on invading the world through subterfuge
'Dumb' cross-burning botched from the get-go

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

I think my hearing is back to normal, though I don't know how much of an effect the decongestants had on anything. Of course now I have no excuse to ignore boring people.

On the gaming side, I'm still playing World of Warcraft, having gotten the entire household hooked on it, and also working through Metroid Prime 2 which so far is a near-exact clone of the first game (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). For my thoughts on the original Prime, see the entry from February 22, 2003.

Sims 2 hacks spread like viruses

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday Fragments

Spouting nonsensical nonsense like a whale with a blowhole, and it's pointed right at you

  • I beat Fire Emblem: This Title Didn't Really Need a Colon last night after dinner at Anna's family's house. Maybe I'll devote one of next week's updates to a full review, providing a small reminder to my readers that before I was an international playboy, I had humble beginnings as a kid that played a lot of video games.

  • I used to get up early to play games before school started. I can remember being up at four in the morning trying to get some time playing the very fun, but poorly-named Ultima VII: Part 2 on our 486 before running off to Crew practice. Getting up early didn't help there, because saving and loading in that game took about five minutes per file.

  • As a kid, I thought eating breakfast was a waste of time (time which could be better wasted playing games, which I preferred over sleeping). For a few weeks, I had a foolproof system in place: I would wake up before my dad, put a couple Cheerios in a bowl with a splash of milk, and then run water in the bowl and leave it in the sink. Then he would think I had eaten my cereal early and by the time he got up I would already be playing Zelda II: The Adventure of Link up in the living room. Then one morning, he asked me, "So what did you use to eat your cereal?". If I ever have to do that again, I'll remember to put a spoon in the bowl.

  • Games over sleep? Nowadays I would rather sleep. I should eat more breakfasts too, otherwise I might starve like Lindsey Lohan and appear on

  • Currency collectors are in an bidding frenzy over a twenty-dollar bill that has a banana sticker between the bill and its ink . I think it's interesting in a "look at this two-headed snake" kind of way, but not worth twenty thousand dollars. When I was a kid, I collected pennies and had a penny where the date was stamped twice. There were millions of them out there though, so its net worth was about three dollars. Speaking of which, I have a nickel with a piece of gum stuck on it, and it was next to another nickel, so there is an imprint of the tails side of the second nickel on the heads side of the first. Anyone want to buy it? Bids start at $5.

  • Nowadays, I'm a currency collector in the pragmatic sense: the more I collect, the more I can spend on women of ill repute and Happy Meals.

  • McDonald's already sells things that don't belong in their restaurants, like DVD rentals and salad. Next, they should sell hookers. McDonald's: Your one-stop Nevada shop for dinner and a date. Or, McDonald's: Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a super smokin' blonde. They could also team up with this valet service that lets hot women park your car and put hot women in the drive-through and on the counter. Their profits would double in no time -- I have a wonderful business acumen.

  • After all these years I am still a hot chocolate newbie. I can never add just the right amount of hot water to make it immediately drinkable, so it either gets cold way too quickly, or I burn my tongue. I don't like hot chocolate to actually be steaming hot, because then you can't drink it right away and you have severely limited your instant chocolate gratification. They need a service that has hot women make you hot chocolate -- that would be a winner.

  • French fries are a versatile foodstuff because you really can't mess them up (unless you drown them in seasoning like Ruby Tuesday). No matter how thin or thick you slice them up, they still taste great. When I went to FSU, we would always go down to the Loop for lunch after our 10:30ish class where we'd order food and tag-team the crossword puzzle at an outside table before all the annoyingly yippy sorority girls descended upon the patio channeling the spirits of their chihuahua ancestors. Because I was frugal to the extreme, I always had a lunch consisting of "a side of fries". I no longer do that, although occasionally I'll get just soup and fries.

  • Why do lanes that merge onto a main road from a lesser one always have "No Left Turn" signs? Are there really people in the world who get to the end of the merge lane, come to a complete halt, and then make a 180 degree turn against the flow of traffic? The tax money we save from all those signs could probably fill a pothole or two. Speaking of left turn signs, if you do a Google Images search on "NO LEFT TURN" you get the picture on the right, straight from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. That instills all kinds of public confidence.

  • There's also a stop sign near my house on a small mid-street island that gets run over roughly once a week by people turning left who misjudged the position of the sign. Road crews always put it back up a few days later, sometimes with metal splints around it for more support, but they never do anything to make the sign or the median island more noticeable. Were I on the road crew, I would plant one of those honking huge orange water barrels in front of the stop sign with a smaller sign mounted on it, "If one of you SUV-driving motherlovers knocks this sign over one more time, we are going to splint it to your ass."

  • Someone from the pit orchestra I played with last year contacted me yesterday with a vaguely worded business proposition smelling suspiciously like Amway. Using the skills honed by years of playing Where in the _____ is Carmen Sandiego?, I discovered that the sender's e-mail address was from "Britt Worldwide", another gloved hand of Amway/Quixtar. Since this was already tried on me once before I firmly but fairly declined. Timesink averted.

  • After years of controversial South Park episodes, they finally crossed the imaginary line in the sand and pissed off the Catholics to the point where one episode has been removed from the rerun lineup and all traces of it removed from the Comedy Central site . I'm actually surprised they made it nine years without this level of retraction.

  • This weekend I plan on doing a little shopping, taking down my Christmas lights, putting up the rain gauge my parents got me for Christmas, and seeing Walk the Line before it vanishes from theatres. I'm rather behind on my Oscars-movie-watching this season, but that just means my random guesses will be much more accurate. Have a good weekend!

  • Buy one floor, get one free
    The Pennsylvania couple has seven scooters-one for each floor of their home, some for outdoors, some for travel.
    I blame it on Walt Disney, where animals are given human qualities.

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    Tuesday, January 06, 2009

    List Day: 2009 Resolutions

    1. Vacation in various exotic foreign cities, such that when the itinerary is overlayed on a world map, it creates a connect-the-dots image of an armadillo.

    2. Campaign for the creation of a Cabinet post related to an increased consumption of high quality bacon, bringing a more transparent (and literal) interpretation to "pork-barrel spending".

    3. Make new friends in a higher socioeconomic circle -- friends who enjoy wealth and are not afraid to lavish it upon me in exchange for filling a void in their lonely existences.

    4. Achieve a server-first in World of Warcraft by being the first person to get level 81 (nine level 9's will also suffice).

    5. Develop a cathletics program that teaches cats how to play Red Rover, and then sell it to Animal Planet to fill their lucrative Puppy Bowl timeslot.

    6. Consistently run a four-minute mile, or run at least one cumulative mile by the end of the year while listening to the Madonna/Timberlake song, "Four Minutes" on a continuous loop.

    7. Invent a new sub-genre of trance music constructed around thick, muddy Bsus13 chords in every octave. Call it "trance fat".

    8. Costar in a movie with Rachel McAdams featuring full nudity of questionable artistic merit.

    9. Create a mutual fund whose success is solely based on the novelty-factor of its abbreviation. EARWAX is up!

    10. Successfully petition the National Weather Service to change the 2009 hurricane name from "Bill" to "Brian", and then become the first hurricane to completely lift up a tropical island and set it down somewhere else (or just permanently submerge Florida).

    What are your resolutions?

    Ambulance crew arrested for ignoring dying man
    Traditional fairy tales not PC enough for parents
    One Hacker's Audacious Plan to Rule the Underground

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    Wednesday, January 06, 2010

    Roadtrip Day: New Year's in Columbus

    Like most people's hair, the road to Columbus is boringly straight -- the perfect environment for speed-trapping policemen, had the impromptu ice storm that morning not forced them all to deal with real accidents like flipped SUVs instead.

    We spent the New Year's weekend at the apartment of Rebecca's friend from college, Elisa, who's doing grad work at OSU. On New Year's Eve, we made shrimp pasta and drank trace amounts of alcohol from very small chocolate bottles, courtesy of Annie.

    Since we were in the hometown of OSU, it was only fitting that we spent New Year's Day watching the Rose Bowl (OSU vs. Oregon) followed by two full hours of inane local commentary about the game. We were briefly interrupted with breaking news that Rush Limbaugh had been rushed to the hospital. That tagline was probably the highlight of some news staffer's day.

    As temperatures dropped into the single digits (and as we relished our decision not to travel to Chicago to hang out with Chompy), we took refuge in the Franklin Park Conservatory, which mixes exotic plantlife with very strange glass artwork, which is kind of like mixing baked beans with mayonnaise.

    In the Conservatory courtyard, we watched a glassblowing artisan at work until the frigid temperatures chased us back into the Tropical Rainforest exhibit, which was much warmer.

    The resident cat in Columbus was Christopher, named without irony before he moved there. Our cats stayed home to host parties.

    Our drive back from Ohio featured a Pennsylvanian tradition called "lake snow", where moisture from the Great Lakes combines with cold air living in poverty in West Virginia to dump several hundred feet of snow in the mountains.

    Rather than risk life and limb, we stopped in the town of Somerset, Pennsylvania for a night at the Quill Haven Country Inn which featured a massive bathtub and a creepy headless wedding dress to denote the locale as the "Bridal Room".

    Dad nabbed in kidnapping prank
    Dating site for beautiful people expels 'fatties' after holiday weight gain
    Man opts for jail over New Year with relatives

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    Thursday, January 06, 2011

    Review Day

    There are no spoilers in these reviews.

    Western Digital My Book 3.0 (1TB):
    I bought this external drive to do automated backups of the various machines on my home network, and it performed just fine for a while. In the immediate aftermath of the motherboard failure on my main desktop, my first action was to disconnect the external drive and send it to the Presidential bunker for safekeeping. I removed the USB cable for the first time, and the connector popped right off, rendering it useless. Luckily, I was able to MacGyver it apart and hook it up as an internal drive to save the data, but the soldering craftsmanship was obviously subpar and I've since read of many other people having this problem.

    Final Grade: F

    All-Night Cinema by Just Jack:
    This CD was surprise hit -- I asked for it for Christmas, simply to get a recording of "The Day I Died", and ended up with a CD full of catchy hooks, British rapping, and dance beats. I can count at least 5 songs worth burning like "Doctor Doctor" and "Astronaut", when the usual CD I buy has a record of 2-3 hits.

    Final Grade: A-

    The Guild, Season One and Two:
    Despite having played World of Warcraft for years, I somehow missed the release of this web show about roleplaying gamers and their antics after meeting in real life. I don't know how funny it will be if you know zilch about online gaming, but if you've got the least bit of experience, you'll probably love this show. Although episodes are available online, the DVD version bundles the first two seasons (about 2 hours of airtime) with fewer credits sequences and some fun extras.

    Final Grade: A-

    Lost's Unlucky Lotto Numbers Pay Off in Mega Millions
    Scientists Create 52 Artificial Rain Storms in Abu Dhabi Desert
    New Edition Removes Mark Twain's 'Offensive' Words

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    Friday, January 06, 2012

    Friday Fragments

    even 2012 needs some fragments

    ⋄ Happy New Year! With six days of the new year under my belt, I can now add "living in 2012" on my resumé -- it's at least as much experience as everyone else has, and this is how most people grow their resumés.

    ⋄ Our original New Years plans involved a quick trip down to Charlotte to see an old friend of Rebecca's. However, as we were in the middle of packing on Friday morning, Booty decided to make life more extreme with a urinary tract infection. Everything is more extreme with bloody pee.

    ⋄ Booty is doing much better now after antibiotics, and we were able to invent alternative New Years plans that kept us closer to home, like a Game Night with Page and Brian, and a Hike Day with Brian and Emily, and introducing legislation to ban future use of the name "Brian".

    ⋄ "Brian Uri" is a very aesthetically pleasing name, especially the repeated R and I in the same positions in each part. When I was a child who invented and subsequently abandoned whole fantasy worlds faster than HP's Touch Pad, I would often name my fantasy worlds "Rinurbia". There may have been several SimCities with this name as well.

    ⋄ I never had much fun playing SimCity because I would always want to max/min the gameplay. Rather than building a nice organic town and growing it, I would always start my layouts with the optimal organization of police stations and zoned blocks (and always started with railroads instead of roads). Max/min'ing is great when you want to beat a game quickly, but isn't so great when it's a game that never ends.

    ⋄ Speaking of things that never end, we're getting a treadmill this weekend which we plan to install in Rebecca's Exercise Room. I intend to use it to get back down to my optimal 8th-grade-coxswain weight of 88 pounds so I can sneak onto junior high crew teams as a ringer. Alternately, I'll use it as a good excuse to move around while rewatching entire seasons of shows that I would normally just rewatch while lying on the couch eating pieces of fat and sour cream.

    ⋄ Other plans for the weekend include some overtime work and a PT party (pronounced Physical Therapy, not Pity). Have a great weekend!

    PayPal tells buyer to destroy purchased violin instead of return for refund
    China Culls 'Low Taste' Shows

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    Monday, January 06, 2014

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday, we got a decent amount of sticky snow. After finishing up my vacation-y programming project, I did some car thawing, grocery shopping, and shoveling. Dinner was broiled scallops on top of a bed of fettuccine alfredo.

    On Saturday, we had Rebecca's extended family over for a late holiday dinner, smashing previous "Month of Thanksgiving" records for "most people served dinner at our house", and bringing the new record up to 15. As that third of the family is super-musical, there was some Christmas carol jamming, followed by their weird Unsolitaire tradition, where everyone plays Solitaire but all of the aces go in the center to be speed-played on by everyone.

    Sunday was an indoor day, as the weather was uncooperative. I maximized my relaxing since it was my last vacation day before returning to work. I had 17 days off, but that's still nowhere near as long as most college students. In the evening, we went to The V for dinner, although patronage was sparse because of the coming ice storm.

    Today, I am back at work and ready for the new year!

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    Tuesday, January 06, 2015

    2014 Treadmill Stats

    With three full years of treadmill ownership under my belt, here's how much I used it last year:

    • Total Exercise Sessions: 221 sessions in 365 days

    • Total Time on Treadmill: 149 hours 40 minutes (The complete Friends series is 83 hours 40 minutes)

    • Total Distance Traveled: 593.5 miles (Like walking from my house to Savannah, GA)

    • Average Speed: 3.96 mph

    • Active Days (Most - Least): Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday, Friday, Saturday

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    Wednesday, January 06, 2016

    Time-lapsed Blogography Day: 20 Years Ago

    January 6, 1996 was a musically enriched day in my senior year of high school. In the morning, Mike Stafford and I carpooled to West Potomac High School for All-District Band tryouts. For the uninformed, All-District Band is a three day weekend event where you sit in all-day rehearsals with area high school musicians who all think they deserve to play the solos, while a guest conductor trying to earn a little extra cash on the side of their meager symphony day job paycheck berates you for your mistakes and rants about how much better they are than you because their name is Gene Corcoran.

    I was not big on All-District Band, even though it allowed me to skip a day of school. However, trying out for the band was just something everyone assumed you would do if you took private lessons, not unlike assuming that any given episode of LOST involving a submarine is bound to suck. My apathy at the audition led to these less-than-stellar scores, which were just high enough to get last chair:

    (Going to any all-day band rehearsal as a last chair player is a special kind of pain, so I later conspired with winter to cancel the '96 District X All-District Band weekend with record snowfall).

    Later that afternoon, I finished writing my 8th composition, Benality, a stupidly-titled concert band overture from the early days of composing when you think that modal lines are more fun than functional harmony.

    • Listen to Benality (4.7MB MP3)

    The piece's primary fault is that it spends too much time adding flurries above a repeating rhythmic vamp and not enough time developing new ideas -- too much Swearingen and not enough swearing for my modern ears. I also apparently thought that it would be trivial to roll 6 or 7 separate timpani onstage, so it's probably good for percussionists that this piece was never performed.

    Once I had forcefully expressed music out of every orifice that day, I met up with Jack Wilmer and saw 12 Monkeys in the theater at Bailey's Crossroad (long since replaced by a Target). Movie Night with Jack was a regular occurrence in high school, but I didn't make it to the theatre a single time in 2015. Perhaps I need an Alamo outing in the near future.

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    Friday, January 06, 2017

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Glitch, Season One:
    After how great The Code and Dreamland were, I'll always give Australian shows a chance. This character thriller about six people from different eras who have suddenly come out of their graves in a local cemetary is very well done. The characters are well-developed and allowed to develop at their own pace (not as slowly as in Rectify). I enjoyed the reveals in the final episode of season one, but I really wanted more answers than I got. I'll definitely watch the second season if it comes out. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B

    Giver (PG-13):
    This adaptation of Lois Lowry's childrens' book is loaded with star power (including a heavily made-up Jeff Bridges). It was decent enough although I didn't remember the book well enough to know if the plot diverged. Don't watch it after binging episodes of Black Mirror because it will feel laughably tame as a result. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B-

    Detectorists, Season One:
    A droll British comedy about two friends who spend their days metal detecting while discussing the TV shows they watched the night before is a nice balance of camp and heart. A very pleasant way to end a long day. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B+

    Colony, Season One:
    This new sci-fi show depicts a world that has been taken over by aliens with major cities turned into walled-in colonies under marshal rule. Starring Sawyer from LOST and Sarah from Prison Break, the show has a lot of potential, although it didn't really grab me until the fourth or fifth episode. There's a sense of blandness in spite of the intriguing world-building. By the last episode, I felt like all of the potential had been squandered -- it could have pushed the envelope much more and felt less static. In other words, this is exactly the type of show I would expect Carlton Cuse to create after LOST. I might watch the next season if it's free on Netflix but won't hold my breath. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B-

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    Monday, January 06, 2020

    Maia Battle Report: Year 2 Month 6

    Maia has made it halfway to 5! She's 25.4 pounds, 33" tall, and speaks in full sentences most of the time. She has mostly reformed since the cataclysm of Daylight Savings Time, but still refuses to nap (opting for 2 hours of "quiet time" instead). Full-fledged tantrums are a rarity now, or maybe we're just much better at redirection.

    Maia's favorite toys at the moment are a Vet Clinic she got for Christmas from the grandparents (superceding the Original Vet Clinic from her 2nd birthday), a necklace kit filled with rubber Disney princesses, and a never-ending array of new and hand-me-down 12-piece puzzles which she can do on her own as long as the pieces snap together cleanly. She will offer us things (like bits of food) if she feels like we're being left out. She has a broad selection of sentences to cycle through:

    • "I need something in my hand!" (when hungry)
    • "What shall we do, daddy?" (when bored)
    • "What are you doing, daddy?" (when there is a silence longer than 4 seconds)

    She recently learned how to properly use "so much" (money) vs. "so many" (bunnies), and can count to 12 when not distracted. She burns through "Look and Find" books by memorizing where all of the "Where's Waldo" MacGuffins are and immediately pointing at them as soon as we turn the page. She also demonstrates her mature neurons with interesting observations:

    • "That's the boundless night." (looking up at the sky)
    • "That tree touches the sky!"
    • "This is a half moon."
    • "I will get mac and cheese and applesauce and a brown cup" (going to Miller's for the first time in over a month)
    • "Mommy, probably wants this." (pointing at the Miller's signature appetizer consisting of a foot-high stack of fried doughnut holes)

    She has recently become aware of our Amazon Echo and spends much of her "nap" trying to get it to play the song we put her to bed with. On December 27, she finally succeeded. Since Alexa keeps a log of the voice commands it recognizes (along with the secret details of our boring life, no doubt), we were able to preserve it for posterity:

    She hasn't been able to activate it since, although yesterday I heard, "Alexa, repeat. Repeat. REPEAT. RE-PETE THE CAT!!"

    We still don't do much TV watching -- a few nights of Charlie Brown Christmas or Frosty the Snowman when the weather is dreadful and there's nothing else to do. She recently learned to bounce, kick, and sometimes catch balls, and is able to recognize some alphabet letters in isolation. Sometimes, I let her write a story about her friends in Microsoft Word, which consists of the first letters of her friends' names (A, N, and M for Maia) held down for 3-4 pages.

    Her dislikes include eating healthy food, washing her hands, and getting in her car seat in less than 10 minutes.

    tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

    Wednesday, January 06, 2021

    Maia Battle Report: Year 3.5

    Maia turned 3.5 years old today. At this point, her life is a laundry list of individual quirks that I want to remember in 30 years rather than a coherent narrative. MAIA FRAGMENTS!

    ♠ 2020 was the first year that Maia had true holiday awareness, and she was super excited about Christmas starting around November 1. (Thanksgiving was an interim necessity without value, like Reading Day before college exams). On Christmas Day, the goal was to open as many presents as possible in succession rather than seeing what was inside.

    ♠ Maia remembers everything. One night, we ordered new candles on Amazon and three days later, she woke up telling us that the candles were arriving today. Three weeks after abandoning Paper Mario: Origami King, I mentioned that it was a dumb game because of all the wave battles and she remembered exactly where we had last stopped and saved the game.

    ♠ We spend 20 - 40 minutes per day playing video games now, mostly Zelda with a little Animal Crossing. Afterwards, she'll play pretend games based on the concepts she saw. Over Christmas break, I showed her a massive hardcover Zelda game guide I had bought and she spent her whole quiet time studying the book, especially all of the ingredients you can harvest in the game. Now she traces paths on the game maps (the way I used to do with Rand McNally atlases) to find new towers that will download maps onto her Sheikah Slate (a rectangular Christmas ornament that also doubles as her smartphone).

    ♠ Maia spends about 30% of the day either standing on her head or jumping/falling off of things.

    ♠ She learned how to make a squishy tick-tock sound with her mouth and does it constantly now.

    ♠ Her first snow in aware memory happened on Dec 16. She loved every minute of it, making snow angels, snow men, shoveling, and falling over for no good reason.

    ♠ She has memorized roughly 75% of the nursery rhymes in a giant book of Richard Scarry Mother Goose rhymes. We'll watch her on the baby-cam at night skipping the pages she doesn't remember and reciting the other poems exactly.

    ♠ She still loves mazes. In a book of mazes the grandparents got, there is an owl swooping down to eat the mouse and the tagline is, "Help the mouse get to safety in his burrow." I explained that the owl was trying to eat the mouse, and then she finished the maze the long way, making a stop near a picture of some food. "Maybe the mouse will take the food up to the owl's nest so the owl can feed her babies." This is called empathy.

    ♠ She can consistently count the numbers on two dice, and can count in order up to 20. She skips 17 about 50% of the time.

    ♠ She's big on the solar system and we often repeat the number of moons each planet has while sitting at the dining room table.

    ♠ I gave her the original Where's Waldo? book and she found Waldo in the first puzzle immediately.

    ♠ She has had a few doozies of tantrums (once, I put the laundry in the washing machine without her), but is otherwise good-natured and very outward-focused.

    tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

    Friday, January 06, 2023

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    The Peripheral, Season One:
    This sci-fi show is about a brother and sister in the near future, asked to beta-test a new VR headset and embroiled in a conspiracy spanning time and space. The exposition-to-action ratio is low (sometimes a little TOO low) and it's pretty easy to follow from start-to-finish if you don't think too hard. I enjoyed the show but the finale really made this whole season feel like a prequel to the real meaty story. I wish it had been a little faster paced. Still, it was much better than Westworld. On Amazon Video.

    Final Grade: B

    Breeders, Season One:
    What starts out as a surface-level parenting comedy deepens in maturity and poignancy pretty quickly. Martin Freeman, as always, is great in his role and the supporting cast, especially the grandparents, are lots of fun. On Hulu.

    Final Grade: B

    The Producers (1967) (PG):
    After finally getting Rebecca to watch Blazing Saddles last month, she wanted to see more Mel Brooks comedies. This one was a pleasant watch, blending the traditional rapid-fire dialogue of a show written for theater with the zaniness Mel Brooks is known for.

    Final Grade: B-

    Plus One (R):
    A by-the-book rom-com buoyed by the performances of the leads and the one-off jokes about bad wedding speeches. I didn't mind watching this one, although the male lead, Jack Quaid, looks too much like Joel McHale which distracts from his acting.

    Final Grade: B

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment


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