This Day In History: 01/22

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

I found a practice room with a perfectly tuned piano yesterday evening. With most of them ten cents flat, finding a tuned piano is like winning the lottery, but without the subsequent monetary satisfaction.

I finally broke down and ordered a copy of Finale 2002, which is supposed to arrive this afternoon sometime. It's really ridiculous the way Microsoft has started the trend to release new versions of software on a yearly basis, with just enough modifications to be useful. Maybe on my next birthday I'll shave my head, add a letter to my name, and charge twenty dollars more per commission.

With Finale 2002 almost in hand, I think my next free-time project will be to read the manual from cover to cover to become an expert. I haven't actually read a Finale manual since they shipped the printed edition that accompanied version 2.0 back in 1994. Consequently, I probably don't do things the most efficient way. I do hate reading online manuals though; after wading through screens of text all day, nothing beats a paper copy for reference and ease of use.

You know, when I listen to the third movement of Beethoven's Seventh, I actually do hear the yaks jumping about.

"There is no doubt that the first requirement for a composer is to be dead." - Arthur Honegger

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Wednesday, January 22, 2003

I lost my Chapstick somewhere yesterday. As crazy as it might sound, trumpet players develop a case of sympathetic chapped lips whenever Chapstick is unavailable. I always keep one in my front left pocket between my keyring and my illegal handgun.

Our valiant basketball team lost to "The Churchill Gang" last night, 21 - 71. However, we achieved a striking ratio with time of ball possession versus time it takes to substitute players in and out, which was probably 1 to 5.

    Kath is allowed into his kitchen
    Kathy is one hot babe
    Kath is the bitch from the bush
    Kathy is a fun instructor and I look forward to taking more classes from her
    Kathy is a graduate of yo
    Kathy is the resident mother amongst all my friends
    Kathy is a female caribou

    - Googlism

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Thursday, January 22, 2004

After my first house tour on Tuesday afternoon, I unexpectedly liked one of the homes I'd visited for comparison's sake. I looked at four that day -- two in Sterling, one in Herndon, and one in Chantilly. The Chantilly house had a driveway that was sinking into the ground and an interior that wasn't much better off. The Herndon house was "okay" and filled with original artifacts from the roaring 70s. It had ample space, but the floor plan was cut up in an oddball way.

In Sterling, the first house had a huge deck, a landscaped yard, a sun room, a screened in patio, AND a workshop on the premises, but the house itself was much smaller. The interior was obviously custom fitted by the handyman who'd lived there before so everything looked smart. This house was my backup -- I liked the outdoorsy bits, but I am a person who'd be using the inside more than the out.

The other Sterling house is the funny shaped one from my Jan. 18 news post. It's a split-foyer house that's oriented from front to back, rather than side to side. This actually provides much more contiguous space on the inside, and five bedrooms & three bathrooms fits together quite nicely. Here are some pictures (floor plan is above):

I ended up liking this house so much that I went back out with my parents yesterday to get their opinion, and then sat down last night with the realtor to stamp out a contract. I didn't expect to be moving forward so soon, but it felt like an opportunity too good to pass on. The house is comparably priced to smaller houses in the area (probably because of its oddball orientation) and is three miles from my job (six when we move).

So now the contract is in the sellers' hands and it's time for the waiting game.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    kill avril games, what is the mightiest tree, spiffy words, florence nightingale pet that fit in her pocket, duke of albemarle barbados, christy kull, cool ranch flavor, camel trader

I need to stop posting long news updates -- you might get in the habit of expecting them.

Chomper loose on the subway
Magazine apologizes for posting hiking trail that leads off a cliff
Stolen SUV driver read aforementioned magazine
I hope they were jumbo shrimp

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Snow Day

Northern Virginia received its first seasonal allotment of snow yesterday -- just enough to look pretty and completely snarl the morning commute for thousands of real-world application-impaired drivers who skipped the lesson on the coefficient of friction of ice versus water. It'll probably be all gone by midday but depending on the "wintry mix" I may have already decided to sleep in and work from home today, since I am writing this from the past because my time machine was a success.

Despite the extended work schedule I've been on, I've still managed to get six to seven hours of sleep each night, but I tend to wake up in that state where you're immediately aware that you didn't have a restful sleep. This is the state where you can close your eyes on the way to work and feel tiny stings under your eyelids, like someone gently sprinkled a fine layer of fireplace ash in your eyeballs while you slept. It's coupled with dreams that run for so long that they start making sense and having their own internal logic, with later events tying back into earlier ones. I don't think the brain was meant to have contiguous dream sequences like that -- it's like someone made you watch the entire Lord of the Rings overdubbed by an Indian in Spanish in one sitting.

Last weekend, I wanted to sleep in a bit to tune my biological clock, but Booty kept running around meowing for breakfast and trying to find all the irritating sounds that would get me out of bed. Because I was particularly tired, this went on for about twenty minutes before I heard a --click-- and then all was silent. I peeked out from under the covers to see that Amber had shut the door with Booty outside it. I high-fived her and we went to sleep for another hour or so. I always knew Amber was slightly Rainmanesque, but it's nice to know that she has some marketable skills. If she ever has to work for a living because of the recession, at least she can get steady employment in the hotel industry manning the front doors.

Dramatic Reenactment: Amber Shuts the Door (3 MB WMV)
Booty gets payback the next day (950KB WMV)

Press Corps regrets using Stephen Colbert
Diary of a goof-off: No work, no pay
Bush quotes most notable of 2006 expert says

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Effuse: (v.) To ooze, pour out or exude

My Composition (0:28 MP3)

The word, "ooze" caught my eye when I generated this random title, and gave me the mental image of a slow, inexorable flow of slime or sludge, slightly ominous and foreboding.

U2 call themselves 'horrific'
Suing in case of an AIDS kiss
Flying Phalluses in Second Life

tagged as museday | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Review Day

there are no spoilers in these reviews

How I Met Your Mother, Season One:
This is one of Rebecca's favourite shows, and we started watching it over Christmas after finding it bundled very inexpensively at Costco. I see it as something of a Friends for the 2000s -- young, hip professionals in New York involved in zany hijacks and ensuing hilarity. There's a broad mix of humour for every viewer, and missing one episode won't ever get you lost on the plot. Overall, a good "don't-have-to-think-too-hard" funny show.

Final Grade: B+

Weeds, Season Three:
The third season of Weeds was better than the second, but not quite as good as the first. The plot is a little more dangerous without being intense in a Prison-Break way, which makes the show continue to work on the funny side. One particular highlight involves Kevin Nealon wandering around a church making up songs about the people he seems on his guitar. The season ended in a interesting, majorly-disruptive way, so I'm not sure how good it will be in the fourth season.

Final Grade: B+

Burn After Reading:
This Coen Brothers movie felt like a fast-paced Fargo, and the number of characters and intersecting storylines was never a barrier to understanding the plot. It's what you would expect if you enjoy their movies, and is over in just ninety minutes, which is the perfect length for this story. John Malkovich costars in his typecast "Malkovich is already a little crazy but gets even crazier" role.

Final Grade: B

Rayman Raving Rabbids:
Anna got me this game for Christmas. Like Wario Ware, it's a collection of zany mini-games, but it's more thematically cohesive than that game. Rabbids are a set of crazy rabbits with plungers (as seen on the cover), and the mini-games include tasks like shot putting a cow, slamming the doors of an outhouse, or shooting rabbids with plungers like the Wild West rail shooters from the arcades of the 90's. The game is hilarious, although the graphics are old enough to appear with distracting artifacts on my newer model TV.

Final Grade: A-

Lost, Season Five Premiere:
I can't yet decide if the premiere was a stew of genius or just a big mess -- I'll have to watch it again. There were plenty of familiar faces and scenes, which made the show interesting in a Back to the Future II kind of way, but there were also too many skips in time, and even more new actors to deal with (though one was fortunately dealt with in a red-shirt kind of way). I totally called the identity of the cloaked woman at the end though.

Final Grade: B

Vomiting birds save icebox pair
Indian artist finds exhibition of his work full of fakes
Planet Nollywood

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fragments

bringing about change like a 96 cent vending machine soda

♠ In the new features department, you can now hover your mouse over any of the links in my Bloglog to see the date when it was updated. I've also merged the "Friendly" and "Trendy" blogs into a melting pot, since I like to think that my cohorts are both friendly AND trendy, and this also makes it easier to publicly shame the folks who are behind on posting tidbits of their life for public amusement. If there are other blogs I should take a peek at, please let me know.

♠ The contents of my Bloglog have evolved over time, but I'm still trying to limit the number of funny picture sites I browse -- while they're all funny, there's just too many to keep up with. The next person who will become rich will be the person that aggregates the best content from all those mini update sites (like IMMD and ) and sticks it on a one-stop-shop website.

♠ "Aggregate" seems to be the word I say most often at work now, based on shifting trends in tech buzzwords, but it's not as stylish as "concatenate". Neither word is as fun as "cachinnate" though, even if Firefox flags it as a misspelling.

♠ Proofreading is only 5% of the yearly URI! Zone budget (much to the dismay of Finicky), so a fairly respectable number of typos and grammatical errors make their way into my posts. I can usually explain them away by pretending to have invented new words and sentence structures, which is a pretty rashucous thing to do unless you are the e.e. cummings of the blog world, as I am.

♠ Poetry has never been an interest or a strength to me, because I find most poetry to be boring unless it's depressing. On the creative side, other than occasional disparate distichs or the repetition of limericks about the fisherman named Fischer from my youth, I would rather compose a giant chunk of prose with a literally large liter of liberal alliteration.

♠ Back in my roleplaying chatroom days (circa 1997), one of my characters was the Rhyming Couplet Kid, who didn't interact with any of the other characters in the game. Instead he just sat in the rafters and made up snide rhymes about the events around him. This was also the role I played in real life in high school, but without the rhyming.

♠ Plans for the weekend include the FGM Holiday Party which, thankfully, does not take place at the office, and doubly thankfully, doesn't have a retardedly unnecessary theme like "Black-White-Silver Gala" (2005) or "Fire and Ice" (2007), although there is an Ugly Sweater Contest which I won't be entering. I actually plan on attending this time (for the first and only time in the past decade), and hopefully some insane blotto boss hijinx will make it worth my while.

♠ Have a great weekend!

Man posing as cop interferes with sex sting
C and L ran off, and 7 8 9
Human bed-warmers at Holiday Inn

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday evening, we went to a local Pizzaria (Joe's) for the 18th birthday of Rebecca's cousin. We followed this up with a swing dance event at the Dulles Hilton, which was pretty far outside of my comfort zone. Given that the only previous swing dance experiences I've had include a horribly failed attempt to get the Marching Virginians to swing dance during "Zoot Suit Riot" in 1997 and a Knights of Columbus event with Anna's family in Colonial Beach, I maxed out my abilities with "rock-stepping" by the end of the evening. Who puts a six beat dance move in a four beat measure anyhow?

On Saturday, I worked on and released DDMSence v2.1.0, and the site was promptly swarmed by visitors from China in search of US secrets. For dinner, we had delicious noodles at Taste of Burma, which becomes surprisingly crowded after 8 PM.

Sunday was a low-key day -- Rebecca continued to do all of her PT homework, and I did some uselessly technical activities with Maven and DDMSence. I also got further into the third season of Breaking Bad, which is much better than the first two seasons so far. We then went out for dinner a third time in as many days, this time for burgers at Red Robin. To be pedantic, we really only went out twice, because the middle dinner was paid for with a gift card I got at work for my reputation for excellence.

I worked from home on Monday and found time midday to watch the Inauguration activities from the toasty warmth and comfort of my giant blue couch.

How was your extended weekend?

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Time-lapsed Blogography Day

  • Twenty years ago today, on January 22, 1994, we updated the family car to a 1994 Dodge Spirit for fourteen thousand dollars. This would later become the car I learned to drive in and drove to college. It had all sorts of problems, and left me stranded more than once.

  • Fifteen years ago today, on January 22, 1999, I got 2nd chair in the Symphony Band, right behind Kelley Corbett. In the evening, we all went over to Radford for an Arturo Sandoval concert, and then convinced Arturo and his drummer to hang out with us in Blacksburg at The Cellar (picture courtesy of Doobie).

  • Ten years ago today, on January 22, 2004, I had just put an offer on my house.

  • Five years ago today, on January 22, 2009, was pretty uneventful. LOST had just started its fifth season and had not yet gotten to the ridiculous flash-sideways plot device. I paid my $43 Internet bill (now $63) and my $68 water bill (now $101 with women in the house).

  • Today is January 22, 2014. I am a 34-year-old software engineer working from home in the aftermath of our snowy weather and awaiting the delivery of a new vacuum cleaner.

tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Lilyhammer, Season One:
Starring Steven Van Zandt from The Sopranos as mobster in witness protection in Norway, this show focuses less on the Mafia, and more on English-Norwegian culture clashes. Subtitles abound -- there are equal parts of both languages at play, and the humor is very understated and deadpan. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A-

Extract:
This movie by the creator of Office Space and Idiocracy starts strong with a promising cast of actors, but never really goes anywhere. Unlike the other movies, it has no bigger agenda. The plot simply meanders in funny directions until it doesn't anymore. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: C+

Modern Family, Season One:
We used to occasionally catch this show on TV while on our way to other shows and it recently dropped under the $10 price point on Amazon. It's consistently funny without being mean spirited, has made Rebecca break down laughing on two occasions, and is thankfully laugh-track-free.

Final Grade: B+

Optimus U-31001 1.5-Gallon Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier:
This is humidifier number 3 for me, and easily the best one so far. It's small enough that it can be filled in the bathtub in one hand, but lasts for 2 - 3 nights. There is a small motor noise, but it's a consistent white noise without timbre modulations, and there's a faint but not blue light at the bottom of the tank. Highly recommended if you want a sleeping humidifier.

Final Grade: A

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Data Day: 7 Years of Monthly Finances

  • The chart does not include the billions that Rebecca makes as a Physical Therapist Assistant, nor the trillions she spends on yoga and yogurt pops.
  • Of the money I've taken home over the past 7 years, 40% has gone into savings, 20% has gone towards the fixed mortgage (which now has about 5 - 7 years left on it), and 40% has been spent on bills, taxes, Netflix, and computer games.
  • Come year's end, there has never been a year where I spent more than I took home.
  • Although my salary has gone up every year, take-home pay just barely has a positive slope, thanks to those wonderful tax bracket thresholds.
  • Data is fun!

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

This Is Us, Season One:
This network dramedy tells the story of a minorly dysfunctional family using two separate timelines: a set of sibling triplets in their thirties in present day and flashbacks to key events in their parents' lives years earlier. It's incredibly emotionally manipulative in its feel-good moments, but remains highly watchable anyhow because of strong performances and a good balance of comedy. The season finale is disappointing as the story manipulates you into thinking a key question about the family will be resolved but then punts it after three up-the-middles.

Final Grade: B+

Get Out (R):
This movie suffers from the same issue that many "unexpected horror" movies face -- the fact that the rug is going to be pulled out from under you is telegraphed through previews and the cover art to convince people to watch it, but the various twists and turns function best when you get to experience the building tension without any preconceptions. In spite of this, both Rebecca and I enjoyed watching (and Rebecca usually doesn't like horror movies). It blends jump-scares and unsettling creepiness together well, and has just the right amount of comic relief.

Final Grade: B+

Humans, Season Two:
Everyone is talking about Westworld these days, but this UK gem that came before it is largely unhyped. Season Two of this show about robots gaining consciousness picks up a few months after the first and never stumbles in its delivery. It maintains a hopeful tone with sympathetic characters and ends with a game-changing plot culmination that could work as either a season or series finale. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: A-

Miss Sloane:
This movie about the effect of powerful lobbyists on Congress starts off better than it ends. It gets more predictable as it proceeds and the constant hammering of the "you have to be one step ahead of your opponent at all times" mantra in voiceover eliminates any sense of suspense from the ongoing drama. I think Jessica Chastain was in every single movie made in this year so skip this one and watch a different one instead. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: C+

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

List Day: My 6 Worst Bulk Purchases

  1. 12 Fresh Bagels: A dozen soft, fresh bagels may seem like a wonderful deal, but you're guaranteed to lose half to mold before you have a chance to eat them at a regular pace.

  2. 6-Pack of Aluminum Foil: I use tin foil for everything, from lining pans to reheating leftovers in the toaster oven, so this seemed like a worthwhile purchase. Six years later, I still had four rolls left.

  3. 300 Butterfly Clips: Unless you're a professor making hard-copy packets for a bunch of college students, these will sit in your drawer for years until you throw them out yourself.

  4. 200 Styrofoam Bowls: These are great for easy-cleanup of all those soups you make for your big dinner parties... which is essentially just Cheese Soup... which you make once a year at Thanksgiving... and which you haven't made since 2012.

  5. 1 Bottle of Excedrin Migraine: You may have the perception that you get a lot of migraines, but you're not likely to have 500 before the pills expire. If you do, you should probably see a doctor.

  6. 500 Blank CD-Rs: "I'm gonna burn so many music CDs! What's an iPod?"

tagged as lists | permalink | 3 comments

Friday, January 22, 2021

Patio Day

the sequel to last year's screen porch

Next up on our list of 2021 improvements is a larger patio in the backyard. Having been deckless for the past year, there hasn't been a good place to put the grill where it won't sink in the mud, and I always forget to roll it away from the house (resulting in melted siding).

The new patio will connect to the sidewalk that runs around our house already, and will also feature a cut out behind where the grill would be to prevent toddlers from running near the hot parts. The fancy grill graphic is just a placeholder -- we aren't actually putting a ritzy stone wall around it. The mock patio furniture is also highly unlikely unless we want to go for a Sims-themed layout.

Once this is constructed, we'll have twice as many things to show off to people who we haven't seen since pre-March 2020!

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

 

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