This Day In History: 01/14

Monday, January 14, 2002

I had my first lesson of the semester today and it went pretty well. I tend to compose chronologically: adding rough material on the end, while sculpting the material just previous to it to my satisfaction. Once new material survives long enough to be about thirty seconds from the end of the old material, there's a good chance that it's there to stay. My lessons work well in tandem with this approach, because Dr. Wingate gives good observations on the old material while helping to shape the roughness on the end. This approach makes successive lessons into a gradual refining process of my work, and gives me a clarified focus for the week following the lesson.

With my first undergraduate professor, I never looked forward to lessons. It got to the point where I'd finish works before the next lesson, just so I could say it was finished and not have to worry about incessant note-changing. It's probably one of the reasons I was so prolific as an undergrad. By the time I switched professors, I'd gotten into the habit, so lessons were usually a presentation of what I'd done, rather than a collaboration of what I was doing.

Man fainted, will be okay. Dogs watched. (from the "It's a slow day for news in Afghanistan" files)

"What can you do with it? It's like a lot of yaks jumping about." - Sir Thomas Beecham, on the third movement of Beethoven's Seventh

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Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Googlism.com is a site that I've been meaning to feature here for a few months now . If you enter a person's name or some entity, it will return a list of everything the Google search engine knows about that entity. It doesn't always know people, but every so often you get a perfect description, or an inherently funny one. Among its highlights:

    Evan Jones is the proud owner of a big hupmobile.
    Evan Jones is a superb source for older American foods
    Evan Jones is arrested on a warrant for having abandoned his wife and children in England.
    Evan Jones is on a roll.
    Evan Jones is on to something.

    Peter Spencer is no chardonnay.
    Dr. Spencer is involved in an important race to make something that has never been made before

    Basketball is a contact sport and injuries are a possibility

    Mark Connor is lucky to be alive.
    Mark Connor is a highly skilled and versitile guitar player who provides a rich soul and blues feel to his playing.

    Alan Scott is kind of lean and angular.

    Jim Barry is the bloke in charge.

    James Mathes is right.

    Alex is a sexy bitch
    Alex is talking from his arse
    Alex is not macho what do you think

    Robert Kelley is a smart person and I don't think he would be doing anything now with the current charges pending

    Beth Smith is so far ahead of the pack in the 300 hurdles that she'd practically have to fall flat

    Dr. Shaftel is always very helpful in explaining my problems to me

    Chompy is really mad now
    Chompy is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute
    Chompy is helping me stay somewhat sane
    Chompy is a pirhana

    Brian is great brian is great brian is great brian is great brian is great brian is great brian is great brian is great brian is great brian is
    Brian is north central Florida's only honky tonk country showcase
    Brian is a survivor of an airplane crash leaving him alone and desolate in the canadian wilderness

    Music Theory is okay and there's nothing wrong with that
    Music Theory is not music
    Music Theory is often seen as an arcane and somewhat forbidding discipline which stands at a distance from the sweet pleasure and sensuous thrill that is music
    Music Theory is a pain in the backside

    Composing is sh*t
    Composing is like driving down a foggy road toward a house

    Life is good online
    Life is utterly miserable because of you personally

    Sightsinging is the bane of my existence

Great commercials of our time:
Announcer: "What makes Hardee's 'Made from Scratch' biscuits so special?"
Baker: "The fact that they're made from scratch."

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I had an initial meeting with my new realtor yesterday and got to review some typical listings for affordable housing. Of course none of those houses will be available one week from now, but it's a good way to get started. We're going to go do some actually looking next Tuesday afternoon.

My characteristics for a desirable house still haven't changed much. I'm looking for something in the Reston - Herndon - Chantilly triangle, but may also look in Sterling since things are a little cheaper up there. Having a basement to store all my important crap that I never look at is a must, and stairs would be nice to have, and I'll be looking for three bedrooms and at least two bathrooms, so I can entertain visitors with bladder control problems.

I definitely don't want to have to cross or use Route 28 regularly and don't want to be directly under a flight path from Dulles Airport, but otherwise, I'm pretty flexible.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    mystic chord and definition, confederate currency distribution, disney fact five countries fit inside, scarlet letter stupid, why use pine instead of oak, encyclopedia on tin, lachrymal constipation, doom my levels

Kodak stops making traditional cameras

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Friday, January 14, 2005

Not much new to report today. I'm working tomorrow, and going to my parents' for dinner on Sunday. At some point I need to go shopping for some new shoes and some new clothes, but probably won't get time to do that this weekend.

Pair arrested after telling lawyer jokes
Carol singing burglar shoot self in the leg
Pentagon rejects the gA-Bomb

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12:01 AM: Arriving home from a Friday night trip to the Dogfish Head Brewery in Falls Church. The wait was ridiculous, and we didn't end up leaving until after 11. Amber doesn't like it when I suddenly turn on all the lights.

7:18 AM: "I'm not trying to wake you up or anything, but just so you know, I'm here and I'm sorta hungry, so if you could put some food in my bowl that would be great, 'k thanks."

8:42 AM: After doing a load of laundry so I don't have to wear a washcloth all day, I take a shower.

10:16 AM: Over at the Spellerbergs' house to help move an upright piano. Ella assists (WMV).

11:06 AM: The piano is safely in the back of a truck for transport to another house two hours away.

12:25 PM: Back home, making my first Totino's pizza since last October, when they were discontinued for some silly "e coli" scare. These pizzas are worth the health risk, and cost effective too!

1:29 PM: Amber helps me play World of Warcraft. She likes Druids in cat form apparently.

4:11 PM: After doing some telecommuting for work, I make a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

5:25 PM: Driving down the Fairfax County Parkway, on the way to Falls Church.

5:47 PM: Rebecca shows off her newly-painted living room.

8:37 PM: At the Ghana Cafe in Adams-Morgan, attending a benefit event where drinking saves lives.

10:10 PM: Around the corner at the Jumbo Slice, eating a jumbo slice. I had pizza twice today, which is about average.

See more 12 of 12ers at Chad's site !

Free Sex at Prague Brothel
Pooh Bear pees on mom
Parted-at-birth twins married

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Caption Day

recent highlights from rounds of The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Game


"Your husband said you never did the laundry and you were kind of a slut."

"Sorry Snoop, I just don't think the new desk is me."
"Cancel the next diversity meeting!"
"I think they misunderstood me when I said I wanted to be one of the gang."


"This just in -- my coanchor is a gigantic pussy."
"And in local news, I ate my poop."
"As you can tell from the radar, it's really raining us outside."


Luckily, the name "Robin" worked both before and after the operation.

"Relax honey, it's not a race this time."
"We have to end it. My wife keeps finding strange hares in the sheets."


"ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU CALLED BANANA?"
Man entices carjacker with hot chicks
American Idol sues over Stripper Idol
Wedding bells at Taco Bell

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

List Day: 2010 Resolutions

  1. Start a young adult fiction series with the "next big overused thing" in it, because vampires are retarded.

  2. Compete professionally in one of the following sports: football, skeeball, bog snorkeling, or cheese rolling.

  3. Use jQuery to improve the URI! Zone's interface to the point where you can navigate by staring at a link and blinking with your left eye. (The right eye opens up the context menu).

  4. Successfully fly through an international airport on every continent except Antarctica while transporting potassium nitrate in my underwear.

  5. Create a remake of LOST in which Jack dies in the first episode and time travel is consigned to a single episode.

  6. Compose an operetta featuring twenty musicians playing the game, Operation, and touching the metal sides according to the sheet music.

  7. Introduce roaming herds of bison in suburban Loudoun County, because the horses we already have are no longer exciting.

  8. Accept a post in the Obama administration as the Czar of Russia.

  9. Create a competitor to Facebook, called Buttbook, which shows profiles from a fresh, new angle.

  10. Invent a speakerphone that emanates the scent of farts, so people who take all their calls by speakerphone are compelled to close their office doors out of embarassment.

Did you make resolutions this year?

Meet Roxxxy the robotic girlfriend
Beheaded fish, unknown intruder
Bookie refuses to pay out $11 million on snow bet

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Friday, January 14, 2011

New Computer Day

My oft-delayed new computer is finally arriving sometime today, so I'm in the process of backing up the old one to make a clean break. I'll be back on Tuesday!

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12


8:10 AM: Booty is annoyed at our wake-up time.

8:51 AM: Self-cleaning.

9:06 AM: Enroute to Costco.

10:00 AM: Flatbagging the next six months' supply of ground beef.

11:35 AM: Playing games.

12:22 PM: Amber likes when we wash the sheets.

1:22 PM: Rebecca eats gross non-meat stuff for lunch.

2:29 PM: Learning how to boogie on the high Cs.

5:22 PM: Working out with Gordon Korman.

6:54 PM: Rebecca makes healthy snacks for Game Night.

10:32 PM: Game Night, featuring bad Asian drivers.

11:54 AM: Wheatley (or perhaps, Hamilton) learns how to play Telestrations. What's a good English name for a horse?

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

List Day: My Pandora Stations

My standard operation procedure for Pandora is to start with a single artist and tailor it with ratings until the algorithm goes awry and I'm forced to delete the station. I once had a Henry Mancini station which had a pleasant mix of dinner music like Pink Martini before the Pandora robot short circuited and played nothing but the dystopian accordion tangos of The Gotan Project.

  • Scissor Sisters: Flamboyantly upbeat music with strong dance beats, like Mika, Paloma Faith, or La Roux.

  • Gangstagrass: A mix of twangy bluegrass and hip hop, including groups like Nappy Roots and Rehab.

  • Mark Ronson: An eclectic mix of hip hop, electronica, funk, and disco mixed into contemporary songs, including groups like The Roots and Plan B.

  • Funk Jazz: My only genre-based station, this has a great mix of late 70s funk. For a while, it was overpopulated by Earth, Wind, and Fire, but it looks like they haven't paid their Pandora dues in a while.

  • Sammy Nestico: Pure orchestrated big-ensemble jazz, like the various US service bands, Gordon Goodwin, and some Stan Kenton.

  • The Bird and the Bee: My "chicks who sing" station that focuses more on a fine balance between voice and accompaniment, usually with an electronica basis, like Lily Allen, Bitter:Sweet, and Metric.

  • Lenka: My "chicks who sing" station which focuses on the best voices, like A Fine Frenzy, Wallis Bird, and Regina Spektor. Too much sweetness and light for most listeners, and sometimes Jack Johnson attempts to invade.

  • Sergey Prokofiev: An orchestral station, with shades of Gershwin, Shostakovich, and Sibelius.

Rebecca also sometimes does workouts to a Shuffle mix of the first four stations.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken fourteen years ago, in early January 2001. I was home for Christmas during my fifth year of college, and taking care of Kitty, the apartment cat. My sister's cat, Leia, is shy in the background.

This was back when my hair was violently parted like the Red Sea. The shirt was a 1996 Christmas gift from my freshman roommate, Andy Norton, who was trying to get me to look cooler. I believe that I wore this same shirt for every Christmas picture for the next seven years or so, until it frayed into nothingness.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Person of Interest, Season Four:
Person of Interest slipped heavily in quality after three stellar seasons. It felt like the creators were possessed by aliens who tried to continue creating the show but ended up creating a weird non-human facsimile of the show instead. The pacing is weird and the exposition is wooden. The introduction of The Brotherhood as a new crime organization is weak when compared to past bad guys and the main plot moves along in fits and spurts. The whole season feels emotionally flat, to the point where big plot twists and character changes just feel contrived. They try to hide the problems by covering the entire season with music, which becomes aurally irritating and unnecessary (like later seasons of LOST or anything by John Williams). I wanted to like it more, but now I'm just glad that the next season is probably the last.

Final Grade: C-

Our Own House by Misterwives:
Rebecca introduced me to this band that performs modern pop music with an 80s power ballad DNA. It's full of bubbly, catchy charts like the title track. I was almost certain that the lead singer was Whitton, based on the timbre, but it just happens to be another equally interesting voice.

Final Grade: B+

Better Call Saul, Season One:
I'm torn on this Breaking Bad spin-off. It's not strictly necessary and probably isn't as good if you haven't already watched the original show. However, the creator has put together a pretty decent standalone entity full of cinematographic camera angles and deeply thematic flourishes that TV buffs will probably interpret for hours. Like Breaking Bad, there are episodes where not much happens. The pace is pretty slow, but you can tell that the ultimate product (however many seasons away it is) will be worth it. If you're on the fence, just wait a few years so you can watch it all together.

Final Grade: B

Quality Control by Jurassic 5:
This is a decent hip-hop album that's now 16 years old. It has occasional gems, but most of the songs are just the 90s style of rapping over a beat vamp. It needs way more hooks, not unlike a bass championship tackle box.

Final Grade: C+

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

7:52 AM: Showered and ready for the day.
8:05 AM: Breakfast.
9:09 AM: Back from a Home Depot / Safeway run. I threw those salmon out two hours later -- I should have done a better job checking the dates.
9:59 AM: Finishing the first task on today's agenda: a full cleanse and organization of the nursery.
11:48 AM: Taking a lunch break from my cleaning extravaganza (at 50% completion).
2:19 PM: Christmas is no more!
4:34 PM: Rebecca and Maia return from their overnight Girl's Night at the Smith's house.
4:41 PM: Hints from BUise: Distract the baby from the absence of the Christmas tree with an elephant.
5:08 PM: Playing at dinosaurs.
5:18 PM: Unsure about the health care profession.
6:05 PM: Joe's delivery for dinner.
6:48 PM: Bath time is a favourite time.

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Friday, January 14, 2022

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Day of Rage: How Trump Supporters Took the U.S. Capitol:
This is an investigative documentary about the events of January 6, 2021 built up from the many live recordings captured that day. While it's very visceral and worth watching to refresh your memory of why this day mattered, it's also pretty shallow and doesn't do anything to put these events in a broader context. Free on Youtube.

Final Grade: B-

Shadows and Shinings: Deluxe Edition by Drapht:
In this age of EPs and 30 minute albums, I never thought I'd be able to say that an album is too long ever again. However, 75 minutes is way too long. The album starts strong, leaning heavily on guest performances from the Australian hip-hop scene, but it all starts to sound the same about halfway through.

Final Grade: B

Jack Whitehall: At Large:
A few funny moments throughout, but it's hard to follow Michael McIntyre (who we watched just a few nights earlier). Relies a little too much on manic energy and delivery rather than material that's funny on its own. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas:
A charming, inoffensive Christmas special that Maia enjoyed. The lack of dialogue actually worked against it a little, as Maia sometimes had to ask what was going on. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

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