This Day In History: 03/09

Saturday, March 09, 2002

Today, I did three fugue assignments, composed for three hours, practiced for two, read all the necessary form books, and finished up my web page section on DOOM (which will go up tomorrow). If every day were this productive I could get all my degrees by summertime.

I also had a bowl of Chunky Sirloin Burger soup (with vegetables) for lunch.

"In 1958, Cesare Siepi was playing the part of Don Giovanni in the Vienna State Opera. The script called for him to descend into Hell using a stagelift. So, Cesare said goodbye to the world, and stepped into the netherworld, but the lift got stuck halfway down, leaving his head and shoulders visible to the audience. Stage technicians brought the lift back up and tried to lower it again, but it got stuck a second time and was raised back to stage level. Cesare sang in Italian, 'Oh my God, how wonderful -- Hell is full!' " - recounted in Uncle John's 14th Bathroom Reader

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Sunday, March 09, 2003

I did have an update prepared for yesterday, but the VT Music Department was in the process of changing their server configurations. This site is now located at /alumni/llamaboy/ rather than /students/llamaboy/ -- Make sure you update your bookmarks, so you don't miss out on any of the inanity. There will be a redirecting page at the old site for the next year.

I adopted a kitten yesterday at one of the weekly Petsmart fairs. It's a three-month-old grey Siamese mix that doesn't yet have a permanent name. It's already reached its daily cuteness quota, so I've put up some fresh pictures on the Photos page. There was a brief scaredy cat period where it crawled under the baseboard of the cupboards and wouldn't come out, but it seems to have adjusted fine now. Last night, it fell asleep on Mike's stomach during video games.

They're reshowing the Super Bowl episode of Alias tonight at 9 if anyone still hasn't started watching yet. After watching this particular episode, this is a good (and very brief) overview of the characters and events to date .

Happy Birthday Mark!

"This giant Chee-to could be a boon to our local economy"
Walmart unclear on the storyline of The Hobbit
"I hope, and have asked, that those people who unchain (the girls) and ask them to go wild make that trip" to jail. (From the not-far-from-here department)
A short, dumpy man has been going around town faking choking episodes, apparently to get attention from women.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

It will be nice not to have to drive up and down Route 28 every day after the move. This concrete slab stretching forever into nowhere connects Route 7 in Sterling to Manassas and other locales in the south. It's six lanes of straight and narrow, and constantly congested even at 5 AM. There are shifty parasites with radar guns camping along the exits, as well as secret spies in unmarked cars going with the flow.

Apparently the road, with all its bottlenecks and zones with no shoulders, has had an image problem, so Fairfax County is solving the problem with blinking LED signs that say "SPEED LIMIT ENFORCED - DRIVE SAFE" and "RESPECT RED".

The truth of the matter: everyone respects red so much that traffic is constantly stopped.

Preston Grey , of Dave McGarry fame , has released a new CD with samples . See what you think.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    primary source on francesco sforza, where did don featherstone go to college at, the urizone makes me vomit, in the morning, in the evening, at supper time, cerebralism composer

Happy Birthday Mark!

Sheriff's Web site operator sought $300,000 from county
article on Interactive Fiction
Former kidnapper crashes women's conference
So who did fry those locks?
DIY dill shoots nail into brain

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Movie Day

Kathy came over on Tuesday night for Totino's Pizza, Booty, and movies -- an ancient tradition originally started in Tallahassee in 2002 when Booty was crazy and ran around in circles throughout the movies. The Pledge was this week's pick because Kathy found it on the shelf, so it was $4.50 cheaper than going to Blockbuster. It's a Sean Penn directed film starring Jack Nicholson that came out in 2001, even though I'd never heard of it before. The movie had great acting, including Jack who is always good despite every role being "Jack playing Person X" instead of just "Person X". It starts out as a crime drama and ends up as a character study, but it's just slightly disjointed. As the ending faded out, it felt like we were supposed to come away with some grand message, but I really couldn't think of one. In this case, I think playing with the preconceptions of the genre actually hurt the continuity of the movie, and the ending Penn provides doesn't really flow from his starting point. It reminded me of an eager beaver math major who tries so hard to prove a theorem and then unwittingly ends up at a completely orthagonal solution that really has nothing to do with what he started with.

Last night, I went out to Kim's to see Capote at the Shirlington "We Are Incapable of Providing the Correct Showtime In Our Movie Ads" Multiplex, which tends to show artsy flicks and movies that have outstayed their welcome at other theatres. The movie was excellent, and Philip Seymour Hoffman definitely deserved the Oscar he got for his role. His portrayal of Capote made me completely forget that he was acting, much like the leads in Walk the Line. I don't think Caroline Keener's role was really Oscar-worthy though, so I guess it was just a slim year for nominations.

I also had a Cheesy Bacon Cheeseburger at TGIFriday's for dinner. The "Cheesy" part of this burger is separate from the "Cheese" portion. You get a cute little pancake of fried cheese stacked on top of the bacon, in addition to the normal cheese oozing across the meat patty. I thought it was a fish filet at first, though it also could have been a very odd onion ring. Luckily it was none of the above -- extra cheese is always a plus!

Happy Birthday Mark Connor!

How to get free Girl Scout cookies
Tree-climbing robot
A plant that glows when thirsty

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Fragments

broadcasting coded messages about aliens since 2005

♣ Congratulations to Philip and Kara on the birth of their first daughter! Sadly they did not name the baby "Malibu" -- Madison Grace Barbie was born on Sunday, March 4, weighing 5 lbs 15 ozs. Mother and child are doing fine.

♣ The next baby on the baby-assembly-line will most likely belong to Anna and Ben. Since their due date is March 27, I am now taking bets on the actual date of birth. The person who guesses the closest to the actual date will be allowed to name their baby. I have not yet cleared this contest's prize with the parents-to-be, but I'm sure they won't mind. My vote is for March 28, and since I have supernatural powers that can sense when babies are ripe, you all have probably already lost.

♣ I've been disappointed with this season of LOST, though Wednesday's episode was a tiny step in the right direction. Other than Desmond's episode with the jewelry store owner, the episodes have figuratively (in one case, literally) been driving in circles. When you think about it, the pace of these episodes is very close to the great Season One, where not much happened each week. The only difference is that everyone's been waiting for two years for answers, and the original storytelling formula is no longer good enough.

♣ It would be nice if shows were only as long as they needed to be to tell their stories. The 4400 is a great example of this -- each season is twelve episodes long and continues to push the story forward. I would definitely watch and enjoy 18, featuring Jack Bauer in action without all the driving around the city.

♣ Anna and I are over halfway through the fifth season of 24, which (so far) is easily the best season of the first five. The new soundtrack is much better than the throwaway melodramatic orchestral gestures used in the previous seasons, and there have been no annoyingly worthless characters getting amnesia (though there is a slight misstep with one of the guest appearances for about three episodes). If there were a spinoff show starring Kim Bauer being chased by cougars and becoming a hostage in a liquor store, I would totally watch it, as long as every hour ended with her dying in some fashion, Kenny-style.

♣ We were noticing the other night that 24 really has a problem with casting their female roles. They relegate all the good actresses and eye-candy to secondary or temporary roles, like Kate Mara as Shari Rothenberg, the hottest (psycho) chem major ever to work in CTU's basement (who incidentally looks strikingly like a girl I had a huge crush on in junior high). If they would cast the Shari's of the show as Jack's love interests or family, maybe we would actually feel some sympathy for Jack when he gets so emotional about saving his loved ones. Instead we get Kim Bauer and Kate Warner, horrid actresses and funny-looking human beings. I'd sooner watch Jack Bauer shout, "Damnit, there's no time for that!" for an entire hour than see him tear up over his useless excuse for a daughter.

♣ This weekend, my plans include dinner with the owners of the gay honking kitties, helping an old friend move back to Alexandria from Texas, hosting poker, prepping the living room for painting, and hanging a new light in the foyer to replace the 1970s Space Bubble that's currently there. I'll also be tabulating the results of the Lyrics contest (vote by Sunday!), removing the double votes that Shac added for the song about himself (as if I have more than one visitor from Israel), and preparing for the next 12 of 12 (on Monday!). There will also be a brand new NAME THAT TUNE contest next Wednesday, but with a twist!

♣ Today is also Mark Connor and Larry Newdorf's birthday. Happy Birthday! Have a great weekend everyone!

How to profit with girl scout cookies
Re-imaging history
Buho likes lingerie

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Catch Up Day

I was too busy at work to take a picture of my cats or talk about Alias last week, but my schedule should be returning to normal now. I'm taking today and tomorrow off from work, so normal updates should resume tomorrow.

I did finally get a chance to see last week's LOST on Saturday evening, and liked it, unlike Mike (of Mike and Chompy). I did not, however, like the sponsored ads that showed up between segments.

Gross.

Dump truck hits highway sign
Offbeat name? Then Facebook's no friend
Vampire discovered in mass grave

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Mojitos are delicious.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Memory Day: Snapshots


The URI! Family, circa 1982. There's enough striping and plaid in this picture to make it look like one of those MINI Pages "spot the hidden things" challenges. The lamps and curtains still exist in the house today, but the scratchy, impossible to sleep on, couch is long gone. It was briefly reincarnated in blue-green in my Florida apartment in 2001.

Researcher blows $15K prize by reporting bug before contest
Rampaging goats blamed for election sabotage
7-year itch becomes 3-year glitch

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Friday, March 09, 2012

Questions Day

There wasn't any time for writing Friday's update, so ask me some questions. Whether it's trivia, recommendations, hypotheticals, or higher education, I'll pick the best ones and answer them next week.

Ford testing USB firmware updates
Stun, Spray, Shoot! New Less-Lethal Weapon Does It All

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Monday, March 09, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

We got away for an early spring road trip this weekend, leaving the cats at home with the dry food auto-feeder from which Booty spends the entire weekend finagling one pellet of food per hour. Our destination was Hopkins Ordinary, and bed & breakfast in Sperryville, Virginia. We got there around 9 on Friday night, full of Subway, and enjoyed a complimentary pint of beer from the Aleworks in the basement before calling it a night.

On Saturday, we got up for a healthy, organic breakfast accompanied by classic, organic jazz combo music. With the unexpected snow storm just two days earlier, our plans to hike Old Rag were abandoned, in favor of a more snow-amenable hike at White Oak Canyon. Another couple at the B&B were planning this same adventure, but we never saw them for the rest of the day after breakfast, so they must have gone elsewhere (worried about hiking awkwardly ahead or behind us all day long).

The hike was a bit messy, with pristine snow on the way up and a slushy Slip'n'Slide on the way back down as temperatures climbed up to 50. There were a few unexpected stream fordings required, but thankfully I was wearing rain boots so I wouldn't have to complain about wet feet (given the choice between footwear built for hiking or dry feet, I will choose dry feet every time, even at the expense of my calf muscles).

On the way back, we passed an alert collared dog in the middle of a country road who begrudgingly went to the shoulder as we passed, only to walk back out into the middle of the road afterwards. Curiosity aroused by this behavior, I watched him in the rear-view mirror and found that he was playing crossing guard for an orange cat. The two rejoined on the other side of the road and disappeared into the brush -- it was very Incredible Journey-esque.

In the afternoon, we visited Ducard Vineyards, which had good reds and forgettable whites, and the Hopkins Ordinary Aleworks, a microbrewery run by our B&B hosts. Unlike the peculiar "dandelion wine" served at a previous B&B, this microbrewery was the real deal, with an excellent variety of beers, including an IPA, a brown, a saison, a rye, and a blonde. Each was memorable, and the flight was just as good, if not better, than the many budding breweries in Loudoun County.

We ate dinner at Thornton River Grille, a surprisingly expensive little restaurant in Sperryville which had the saving grace of being across the street from our beds. I ate the duck, which was a mistake, because the duck is never as good as you hope it will be.

On Sunday, we meandered back northward, stopping for sandwiches at 24 Crowes, and a wine tasting at Rappahannock Cellars, and then came home to do laundry. Rebecca did kitchen-yoga while I studied for my upcoming AWS certification exam, and then we finally started the third season of House of Cards.

How was your weekend?

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Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Sydney Day

And, since today is the one year anniversary of Sydney being a temporary cat in our household, here is her visual history, starting from the few months she lived here back in 2005.

Introduction, 2005

Recapitulation, 2015

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Friday, March 09, 2018

Topanga Day 4

Attending the wedding of Mike Catania and Annie Mueller at the 1909 in Topanga.

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Monday, March 09, 2020

Stuff in My Drawers Day: Bunnies, Part I

A small subset of the bunnies I have been conscripted to draw.

"Maia, what should I draw next? It doesn't have to be a bunny."

"No, it gonna be a bunny."

Other posts in this series: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

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Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Thirty-Two Years Ago

Thirty-two years ago today, on March 9, 1990, I was a 10-year-old in the sixth grade at James K. Polk elementary school. I spent the night at the house of my friend, Mike Buns, who I lost track of somewhere around 9th grade when he transferred schools.

Sleepovers at Mike's house followed a standard pattern. My dad would drop me off in the evening and I would go out to Pizza Hut with his parents and younger sister. There were usually "Book It!" vouchers to redeem for a personal pan pizza and I would always get pepperoni and black olives. After Pizza Hut, we'd head over to Erol's for the night's movie. I don't recall what we watched this particular night, but I do recall seeing Men at Work at least three times with the Buns family once it had finally arrived on VHS. After the movie, we would retire to the basement guest room for games of Loderunner on his Apple II computer and then fall asleep.

Friday night sleepovers never lasted long into the weekend, because my dad would always show up bright and early (usually around 8 AM) to pick me up on the way to do grocery shopping (either Shopper's Food Warehouse or Price Club). Many times, I'd roll right out of a sleeping bag and into the car without breakfast!

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