This Day In History: 01/20

Sunday, January 20, 2002

I've decided to switch back to the Schilke 14B3A mouthpiece from the 15 I was experimenting with. Although the 15 gives me much better tone quality in the lower register, I lose some flexibility in fast passages and struggle with intonation in the upper registers. With the 14B3A (which I played for about three years as an undergrad), I retain a breathy quality to notes in the low register, but have much more confidence on intonation and notes in the stratosphere. Someday, if I ever go back to a medium large bore, I'll try the 15 again.

I read another article for pedagogy yesterday. This one wasn't as bad, but it was written by an author whose only arsenal was analogies and metaphors. He was hoping to "roll out the big guns on this one". I think music researchers spend too much time publishing and not enough time enacting the changes they recommend.

"Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it." - Carl Sandburg
"A musicologist is a man who can read music but can't hear it." - Thomas Beecham

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Monday, January 20, 2003

As I continue to clear out my holiday backlog, I thought I'd post about two DVDs I got for Christmas. The first, The Back to the Future Trilogy, is pretty self-explanatory. If you were a normal kid growing up in the 80s, chances are good that you enjoyed this trilogy. Besides the three movies with remastered effects and sound, the DVDs contain lots of extras including interviews, behind-the-scenes effects work, and deleted scenes. I loved the movies when I was a kid and forgot how well all three films tied together as a cohesive trilogy. Definitely worth the purchase if you were ever a fan.

I also received the first season of Malcolm in the Middle, one of the new generation of sitcoms that's remained consistently funny. The episodes are all solid although the special features aren't anything out of the ordinary. In the second season of this show, there was a bowling alley episode that messed with parallel universes and timelines that was easily one of the most unique sitcom episodes ever written.

I'm thinking about purchasing a Nintendo GameCube. Any opinions?

Old people have no talent
An interesting story on why radio is crap

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

If you were wondering why I left such a diminutive update on Monday, I'll tell you now. I posted that I was running a little late. While that wasn't exactly a lie, I feel somewhat duty-bound to explain the whole story...

As you may well be aware, I typically awake at 4am to get ready for work. Since I went to bed extra early the night before (6pm) I woke up before my alarm went off. At 3:26am I got out of bed and made a simple breakfast. By 3:32am I had finished eating my Belgian waffles, eggs benedict and papaya smoothie (made fresh from the papaya trees I had planted in the greenhouse [which I had built from matchsticks, dental floss, some old 2-liter sprite containers and gum] the day after I moved in). From 3:33-3:34 I did absolutely nothing. I felt a little guilty taking that much time off but I also got some good thinking-time in. I took a quick shower and while I was drying off I noticed Booty acting especially crazy. I fed her and took 68 pictures, which I then put online (links below). By now it was about 4:15 and I still had an extra fifteen minutes before I had to fight the idiot drivers on my way to work. While I shot some movies of Booty playing with various household objects (viewable below) I watched three episodes of Alias from the first DVD in 8x fast-forward. The build up was still a little slow for my taste, but it's still the best show on TV.

It snowed a little last night, which always seems to bring out the worst drivers in droves. I managed to avoid no less than four accidents (good thing I filled up my tires the extra .01 psi this morning on my way out). Arriving safely at work at 4:59am, I watched the sunrise while my computers boot(y)ed up. My morning was occupied by inane meetings, where people much less intelligent, motivated and generally inefficient than me blathered on about topics covered by my 8th grade diorama, aptly titled: A Functional Replacement for FORTRAN. With the meetings over, I adjourned back to my desk and chewed the fat with Kathy via Instant Messenger. She had just informed me of some hot Florida-gossip when, simultaneously, sixty-six people messaged me for help with their computers, all from FSU. Although it cut into my lunch hour, I was able to answer all of their questions by avoiding small talk completely. After lunch, my supervisor dropped a bomb on me: he needed me to rewrite the code for some new 'missile defense project'. Fortunately, I had estimated such a task during my 3:33-3:34am brainstorming session and was able to complete the task in 12 minutes, not including the time I spent on eBay, purchasing a signed lithograph of all the Alias cast members. On my way out, one of my co-workers, let's just call him "Guy", asked me I'd mind jumping his car. Lacking jumper cables, I had no choice but to fashion a makeshift one out of some paperclips, his beta fish (Cyrus) and parts from his old Packard Bell monitor. The successful roar of his motor reminded me I needed to renew my Eagle Scout status. I drove up to the headquarters in D.C. on my way home but only after completing the seven good deeds required. All were simple enough, save the one where I had to actually cure a prostitute with Hepatitis C. While I did have the appropriate serum in my glove compartment, it seemed the populous of Washington, D.C. was largely a syphilis and Hep. B bunch.

Returning home, I made my roommate and her beautiful sister dinner. I went all out, hunting the game hen and truffles myself. On my way back from the forest, I stopped at Costco. to buy another 480 pack of RC Cola just in case we needed a little extra with dinner. After doing the dinner dishes, I finally completed my 163 symphony as well as the pep band arrangement (you can listen to it hear [hah!]). I then wrote a couple more BattleNet reports (follow link at the bottom). After writing drill for next year's VT Marching Band show (URI: The Epic Saga!) I completed my Valentine's Day, Easter, misc. birthday and Christmas shopping online. Noticing it was getting late, I watched the 8pm news and hit hay, falling asleep to Coldplay.

Today's guest entry was written by Mike Catania .

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    Who's got the Booty, define efficiency, FORTRAN diorama

Taxman dies unnoticed at desk

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

People have said that my Name that Tune challenge is way too hard, so here are some hints for all the folks who haven't already named them all.

  1. It's a concerto.
  2. The singer's name is David, and he has a hyphenated last name.
  3. A signature song of a group who had several songs with the word Artistry in their titles. This song can be heard on Amazon, on a "Best Of _____" CD for this group.
  4. This was a cartoon in the 80s.
CPIP networking
Why strollers, crutches, and small children shouldn't go on escalators

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday Fragments

Happy Who the Hell Put Bush Back in Office Anniversary Day

  • A tiny icon started flashing over my Instant Messenger Tray Icon last night and it's still flashing this morning. I'm not sure what it means, but I'm going to presume at this point that Running Man is low on radioactive isotopes (and/or multivitamins) and needs to recharge soon or my contacts will be lost.

  • Here's a picture of a typical night in the BU household -- BU is multitasking between watching LOST and writing zanily satirical news updates while Booty sleeps on her fat ass and Amber eats the venetian blinds cord.

  • They found more bin Laden tapes threatening violence, but the U.S. Threat level is not going to go up. I think this warrants at least a Hot for a couple days .

  • Two nights ago, I had a dream where I was in a recording studio writing a fanfare by telling the studio musicians what to play and then transcribing their sounds on paper. I had a perfect, accurate score until I suddenly realized I was dreaming and the score disappeared. Now, all I can remember is that it started in 3/4, went to 3+4/4 and had some guy playing agogo bells (though in the dream he was actually playing pitched woodblocks).

  • I don't smile, I just grin. I'm not even sure if I know how to smile correctly.

  • If you are a visitor from Starcraft/Warcraft-Land, you might be interested to know that we released Footmen Frenzy 4.1 last weekend, and it can be downloaded over at www.nohunters.com. I spent this past week updating the strategy guide for the new version, and only have one more page to go. It should be done by tomorrow -- you can find that here .

  • Yesterday, while driving down the Toll Road, I saw a professionally-made magnetic sign on the back of a utility truck that said, "YEILD TO JESUS". It's a shame that someone would spend so much money on a sign only to forget about spell-check. I also think the driver was getting too big for his britches, because he was camped in the left lane going 55 miles per hour, forcing everyone to yeild to him.

  • Last night after a bout of heavy lifting, I watched This is Spinal Tap with Kim while eating Quiznos subs for dinner. It was amusing in a clever, understated way, although I like Christopher Guest's other mockumentaries better. I cannot confirm or deny that the second movie of the night starred Hillary Duff, but if it hypothetically did, I was probably forced to watch it at gunpoint.

  • Quzinos subs are really quite tasty. I wish they would bring back the "We Love the Subs" monsters in their commercials though. Babies with lips that talk like adults creep me out.

  • I picked up Mitch Hedberg's first CD, Strategic Grill Locations, which was very hit or miss. On his other CD, you could tell he was "on" for most of the night. Here he's pretty nervous and doesn't always tell the funniest jokes. Most of them can be found on the DVDs that accompany the better CD, mitch all together so stick with that one.

  • I also got the soundtrack to the musical, Avenue Q which has Sesame-Street-style puppets singing such amusing tracks as If you were gay, that'd be okay (385KB MP3), Everyone's a little bit racist (496KB MP3), and The internet is for porn (636KB MP3).

  • I still have an annoying tickly cough. It reminds me of my last two weeks in Blacksburg in 2001 when I became allergic to something in the air and spent every single minute of every single day ticklishly coughing. I could barely get any sleep at night and skipped most of my classes so I wouldn't get stared at for being annoying (though I probably would not have gone anyhow because I was such a fine upstanding student). To this day I'm not sure what caused the coughing down there, but it went away as soon as I moved back up to northern Virginia.

  • This weekend, the plan is to work some to make up for the hours I've taken off recently, and then have people over for a dinner of roast lamb and fun games on Saturday night. Maybe I'll finally get around to cleaning out the storage room as well, but don't hold your breath. Have a good weekend!

  • Spelling bee brings out the stalkers
    Chupacabra shot in Texas
    Double your wealth -- get married!

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    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Museday Tuesday

    1. The composition can be for any instrumentation. It can have an actual score or be a pure synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.
    2. It must not be longer than thirty seconds.
    3. It does not necessarily have to have a start, middle, and end -- it can just be a fragment of something grander.
    4. It should be composed in thirty minutes or less. If time runs out, I post whatever I managed to finish, be it good, indifferent, or makeup on a corpse.
    5. The title of the piece must be a word from a random word generator, although this word doesn't necessarily have to be incorporated in the piece.

    Portentous: (adj.) Ominously significant or indicative

    My Composition (0:30 MP3)

    This excerpt is written for a smattering of woodwinds and plucky things. The word "ominous" stood out in the definition, and also evoked the word "undercurrent" in my brain. Unfortunately, I ran out of time before I could effectively work with the build at the end, but I envision it rolling directly into an explicit brass crescendo.

    Dog held for ransom at neighbourhood park
    Teen charged in taco assault
    Shoplifter runs over herself twice while fleeing

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    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Memory Day: Decades

    The interesting thing about a decade is not how much changes during that time -- it's how quickly the time went by. Since I've now been around for three, here is a look at the road trip of my life.

    Thirty years ago, I was 0 years old, an age that is only interesting when you are in the denominator of a fraction, so let's move ahead a decade.

    Twenty years ago, I was 10 years old and in Mrs. Turner's sixth grade class at James K. Polk Elementary School. We took our picture for the flimsy photocopied brochure that passed for a yearbook on the unapologetic death trap of a wooden castle playground from a non-litigious era.

    I had been a Boy Scout in Troop 131 for six months, and had recently risen to the rank of "Tenderfoot" from "Scout", which is a feel-good freebie rank that everyone earns upfront but which doesn't actually mean anything (see also, Employee Stock Option Programs).

    In sixth grade, I wore velcro KangaROOS on my feet and a shark's tooth around my neck (the glasses were still two years away). Extracurricular activities included helping in the nurse's office, teaching after-school gymnastics, being a safety patrol, and one full year playing trumpet (which put me ahead of some Music Performance majors I knew). I had no strong aspirations for public office or careers yet, preferring instead to come home to play computer games with EGA graphics and copy simple game programs out of BASIC manuals.

    Ten years ago, I was 20 years old and in my fourth year of college. We had just returned from almost not losing the National Championship at the Sugar Bowl, and I lived with Kelley in 3112 East Ambler-Johnston. At this time, I was a double major in Music Composition and Computer Science. I was also first chair in the Symphony Band, but only because none of the other good trumpet players were in it.

    The coursework of the latter major actually got less useful as I moved up through course numbers, so I was sleeping through courses like "Public Speaking for CS Nerds" and devoting most of my time to composing songs like Loneliness. The only notoriety this song ever achieved was its 2002 use at Florida State University, where prospective composer candidates took turns ripping it to shreds in front of the panel, to prove that they knew how to be composition instructors.

    On this specific day, January 20th, we'd just had a heavy snowstorm in Blacksburg which cancelled high school Honor Band. Since Honor Band had already pre-empted our regularly-scheduled classes, we had a free day. In the evening, we went to Jason Mirick & John Schurman's apartment in Foxridge and took turns sledding down the hill on stolen Dietrick trays and garbage bags.

    I was still focused on doing the music thing at this point, but the template of my downfall was being drafted, and it started with a phone interview from FGM on Sunday, January 30, 2000. My qualifications for the summer internship was that I knew Jack Wilmer, and the interview lasted less than a half hour, because the Super Bowl was on and Fillipo wanted to get back to his party before the end of half time.

    What were you doing ten years ago?

    Alleged burglar showers, cuts hair, fries chicken
    School staff gets insulin instead of swine flu shot
    Love in London is a galactic equation for aliens

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    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Still Work Day

    I haven't left the office yet, so my insightful, humorous, possibly scatalogical review of the $160 toaster oven I got for Christmas will have to wait until next week.

    German police pick up drunken owl
    Australia floods: teenagers use blow-up doll as flotation device
    How much would you take not to fly?

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

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Friday Fragments

    as the lawyers say, the hilarity is in suing

    ⋄ Other than a complete lack of stickable snow, 2012 has been pretty good so far. The weather has impressed no one, least of all Booty, but at least no one I know has been stabbed, shot, or killed in a tragic blimp accident.

    ⋄ Unlike most years, my mental year tracker immediately rolled over to 2012, and I have yet to accidentally write 2011 on any checks or documents. However, I can only be good at a small number of things at any given time, so this is balanced out by the fact that I consistently have to think to remember whether I'm 32 or 31.

    ⋄ Five years ago in 2007, I was just coming to the end of a three month work cycle of 80 hour weeks working on the METADATA REGISTRY 6.0, had not yet met Rebecca, and was trying really hard to like the new Zelda game for the Wii. Today, there's slightly less work, slightly more Rebecca, and just as much Zelda ennui.

    ⋄ I really want to like Zelda, and I keep on playing it, but it jut feels so slow-paced. I have a feeling that of the 20 hours I've played so far, 18 has been spent watching cinematics with the subtlety of a Will Ferrell movie, and the other 2 hours have been spent waiting for the Wii to power up through 20 menu screens, calibrate the controller, and warn me not to eat it.

    ⋄ Plans for the weekend include some family time with Rebecca's Maryland branch, a company holiday party with a ridiculous theme (The Wild West), some overtime, and some living room bannister painting. It turns out that overbuying ridiculous amounts of WINDJAMMER BLUE has paid off, since it looks good separating our orange kitchen from our beige living room.

    ⋄ Have a great weekend!

    Florida police officers paid to drink alcohol, eat Doritos on the job
    Plane passengers accidentally told they are about to crash into ocean

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    Monday, January 20, 2014

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Happy MLK Day! Today is also the fifth anniversary of Rebecca abandoning a hip, chic Falls Church lifestyle for Sterling.

    This weekend was absolutely low-key. Although we did discover a new pizza place in Herndon called "Mellow Mushroom" on Thursday with Rebecca's coworkers, it would be a stretch to consider that part of the weekend (unless you're a Virginia Tech student elongating the Thanksgiving vacation week). We had cheap Wegmans sushi on Friday night, and I mainly did housework on Saturday.

    I also kickstarted the process of renting an Outer Banks beach house for a week in late summer. It only took a decade, but researching beach houses online has finally caught up to the Internet age, with most of the relevant info immediately available. I only spent about 10% of my time zoomed in on Google Maps trying to calculate beach walking distances or figuring out if the tan blob was a pool or a pup tent.

    Tomorrow will be marked with 4-6 inches of snow, and the chance to replace a state senator with one of three equally weak candidates in District 33. This is probably why the Hunger Games only had 13 districts -- no one cares as you get farther from the Capital.

    How was your weekend?

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    Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday night, West Coast Mike returned to the area, obviously drawn by the low cost of living. With Rebecca and Annie in tow, we had a late dinner at Mellow Mushroom after which Mike and Annie resumed their journey east to DC. Meanwhile Anna and Ben had child #4, Isaac Benjamin Ahlbin. Congratulations!

    On Saturday night, we drove out to northern Loudoun to celebrate the birthday of Rebecca's Uncle Dave. We had wine at the new Creek's Edge Winery, a lavish, out-of-place winery-in-a-barn in downtown Taylorstown. The winery was packed with two competing events, but we still managed to snag a nice warm spot with table and chairs in the loft.

    On Sunday, I studied for my Amazon Web Services certification, learning about cloudy and partly cloudy architectures while watching the official tutorial videos which used correct grammar about half the time.

    I worked from home Monday, starting on a brand new R&D project with new technologies to learn or refresh. Of course, my previous project's end was delayed by a couple weeks, so I'll probably be working on two or three different things over the next few weeks. We closed the weekend out with homemade burgers and Hearthstone. I've gotten pretty lucky in new card decks recently, having just opened Vol'jin and Blingtron 3000.

    How was your weekend?

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

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    List Day: This Day in Emails

    Nineteen years ago: Catching up with a high school friend in his freshman year at Cornell.

    From: Michael S.
    Subject: Re: Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 21:11:31

    Uri,

    Look, I'm just sitting here eating my dinner, And as you know that can take awhile, I won't be here forever cause I have a 10:30pm intertube water polo game. Hell Yeah.

    Seventeen years ago: Overachieving for marching band.

    To: Jay C.
    Subject: MV Trumpet Music
    Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 14:28:25

    Jay,

    In preparation for next marching season, I have transcribed all three trumpet parts for the entire marching folio into MIDI files for use by incoming freshman. While doing so, I've come across several typos or notes that need clarification. I was wondering if you could answer the few questions below concerning the parts so I can make a note of the correct pitches, etc. Of course, there is plenty of time before next season; so please do not give this a high priority if you are currently busy.

    Thirteen years ago: Teaching remedial sightsinging.

    To: MUT 1241 ListServ
    Subject: MUT 1241: Sightsinging II emails
    Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 10:47:17 -0500

    Hi class,

    I have taken the liberty of removing you from the departmental Sightsinging II listserv. If you received an e-mail this morning from Dr. Shaftel discussing alternatives to Practica Musica, this e-mail does NOT apply to our class. If you continue to get e-mails and announcements from a class you're not in, please let me know.

    Finally, Theresa and Jimin, you do not see to be registered on the Blackboard site. This is because you do not have a valid garnet e-mail account set up with the university. Please do this soon so you can do all of the fun homework that gets assigned.

    Twelve years ago: Arranging for my dad to do a home inspection before placing a contract on a house.

    To: Dad
    Subject: House Location
    Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2004 17:15:54

    Get on Rte 28 heading north past the airport. Cross Rte 606 where my job is. The next light is a T-intersection for Sterling Blvd. Turn right onto Sterling Blvd. About two miles up you will hit Beech Rd (no light). Turn right on Beech Rd. On Beech, pass Fillmore Rd and then take the next left onto Lillard Rd. Take the next left into the cul-de-sac at Hanford Ct. The house is vacant, so you can park in the driveway.

    Also twelve years ago: Troubleshooting a bug on a dead-end project where updating a file upload occasionally replaced the file with 0 bytes.

    From: Mary G
    To: Brian Uri!, Tammy H, Joe C
    Subject: RE: Overwrite Issue
    Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2004 10:56:44 -0500

    Odd...I keep getting that overwrite problem. Sorry I wasn't able to try this earlier.

    I'm using small text files, and when I add a new entry, I change most of the fields in the submission form, but try to add an existing file. And it keeps giving me that error and creating the 0kb file. Check out "Test 2 01202004" in the "Testing" category for an example.

    Six years ago: Doing social things.

    Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 21:32:25 -0500
    From: Kristy and Jack W
    Subject: Evite invitation from Kristy and Jack W

    You are invited to "Super Bowl Party" by Kristy and Jack W

    One year ago: Doing more social things.

    From: Brian C
    Subject: Super Bowl
    Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:49:35 -0500

    Wanted to invite everyone over to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday February 1. Game starts at 6:30 but feel free to come around six or a little earlier. Not a huge party just a few couples but we'll have good food. Must root for team handsome aka Tom Brady's team. Let us know!

    Sent from my iPhone

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    Friday, January 20, 2017

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    This Was Tomorrow by Seth Sentry:
    This solo Australian hip-hop artist reminds me a bit of Just Jack with more of a comedic edge. There's a decent amount of variety in the arrangements on this album and it's a fun car listen. Thanks For Your Hospitality is a good, representative track from this album.

    Final Grade: B

    Ocean's Twelve (PG-13):
    I watched Ocean's Eleven on a trip back in 2001 because there was nothing else to do in New Jersey. I never watched the sequels because I felt that adding more characters to a story that already had too many was a really bad idea. This movie proved me right -- there's still far too many characters but the pressure is off to actually develop any of them. It's good enough for a couple hours of light, breezy fun. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B-

    It Doesn't Have to Make Sense by Ingrid Michaelson:
    I don't really understand this album. There are a handful of catchy songs on the last half, but they're buried in a bunch of Adult Contemporary garbage that sounds like everything else on the radio. Get the songs you like and skip the rest.

    Final Grade: C+

    Black Mirror, Season Three:
    This six episode Netflix-funded season is as strong as the original two seasons and retains the unsettling, realistic look at near-future technologies. Each episode is a separate narrative with different characters, and all are best watched without introduction or explanation. Though no episode is weak, a few seem less thematically tied into the canvas that Charlie Booker has created. Episodes 1 and 5 were my favourites, with 4 and 6 close runner-ups.

    Final Grade: A-

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    Monday, January 20, 2020

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Happy MLK Day!

    We had a cold, quiet weekend, starting on Friday with a family dinner of homemade ramen with udon noodles and shaved ribeye.

    Saturday kicked off with an impressive inch of snow that decreased in impressiveness throughout the day. We stayed inside doing warm things, like mother-daughter yoga and finishing a 500-piece puzzle involving cats in less than 90 minutes.

    In the afternoon, we braved the freezing rain to get some interesting beers from Total Wine (mostly trippels with a few IPAs and scotch ales mixed in) and had a family dinner at Miller's. The manager there now knows Maia and I, and always stops by the table to reminisce about the times his daughter was Maia's age and not a difficult-to-handle 14-year-old.

    We closed out the evening with a poker game. From 1st to last: Evil Mike (who is welcome to renegotiate his name anytime), Mike, Kathy, Ghazaley, Rebecca, and BU. I like to think that I went out first to keep the game moving for people with deadlines.

    On Sunday morning, Rebecca went to yoga while Maia enjoyed her new gift of a round kids' table from Kathy. She set up all of her bunnies around it and then pretended to call up her best friend, Nolan, so he could come over and sit there with here.

    We spent the rest of the day inside to avoid the cold. I reread Illusion of Thieves in anticipation of the 2nd book's release in couple weeks. In the afternoon, Rebecca and Maia went off to Ghazaley's house while I stayed home and played Fallout 4 and ate some wings from Joe's Pizzaria. The weekend ended with the great movie, Parasite.

    How was your weekend?

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021

    Stuff in My Drawers Day: Old Newspapers

    One day in 7th grade, my dad gave me the front page of the Washington Post and told me to save it. His paraphrased explanation was, "We went to war today. You're going to want to remember this day sometime in the future."

    He didn't give me another newspaper until 17 years later, the day that Barack Obama was elected the first time. By then, I already had my own subscription, but it was still a nice gesture at a historical moment.

    The corollary to this story is that, apparently, nothing between 1991 and 2008 impressed my dad in the least bit.

    tagged as memories | permalink | 1 comment

     

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