This Day In History: 05/02

Sunday, May 02, 2004

No news is good news.


Lulu the roo gets bravery award
Clearly, the first promo that ran was leaving people with the wrong impression of what this hour is all about
Using his hands for support, the man climbed into the chipper and kicked the branches through.

permalink | 1 comment

Monday, May 02, 2005

Last week, President Bush signed a bill which protects DVD-filtering companies from being accused of copyright infringement in their quest to purify movies for home viewing . (Side note: I originally misread the title of the article and thought Bush was allowing amateur family porn).

People often seem to forget the fact that personal responsibility and avoidance are a much more effective deterrent than censorship. If parents would spend more time wiping the snot off their kids' noses or having quality family time instead of passing responsibility on to the TV-nanny, this would be a moot point. Yes, your precious Snotty McRunnynose will be exposed to material unsuitable for kids if you let them watch grown-up movies, but why are you letting them watch Gayniggers from Outer Space in the first place ? How can you take your screaming four-year-old to the theatre to watch Dodgeball and then complain about movies that you made the conscious decision to rent or buy? You have the right to police the influences on your child's life, but you also need to step up and take responsibility for your child's growth without complaining to everyone else in the world who are watching lowest-common-denominator college comedies and Coen Brothers flicks.

More importantly, for those few movies that are culturally significant, this bill cheapens the creator's original vision. He or she put a particular scene in the movie for a reason, and third parties should not have the right to alter their work on whim. I know I would be upset if someone took out a chord in the middle of one of my songs because it "reminded them of incestuous camel humps". (Side note: the intent of the previous phrase is solely to increase my Google visibility dancing squirrels buy teldrassil online enhancement).

Racial Data Sought for Bush Event
No Democrats Allowed
You're not fat. Really.

tagged as newsday, politics | permalink | 1 comment

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Goo Goo Gaa Gaa

I should have known going into it that I'd never make it as a great composer, because I could never compete with the pure talent which is evident in this song: (2.12MB MP3). Whoever wrote this song deserves to be in Chapter One of every History of Western Music book on the face of the planet.

Goo Goo Gaa Gaa is a representative track from an 80s audio cassette called Are We There Yet?: Songs for the Car published by Rand McNally. I no longer have the book full of car games, but I rediscovered the tape just last week and relived the memories of being strapped into hot leather seats in a Chevrolet being driven to just one more battleground every weekend. Here are some other samples from this groundbreaking tape:

  • Buckle Up! (711KB MP3) in which the kids tell their parents to use their seat belts, accompanied by an 80s version of the Supremes.

  • Speed Bump Blues (348KB MP3) in which the kids tell their parents not to drive fast through parking lots because the kids will get whiplash and the radio will fall out of the dash.

  • Car Seat Exercise (430KB MP3) in which the kids outline the ergonomic workout they do when they're stuck in a carseat.

  • Little Piggy Song (453KB MP3) in which the little piggies have eerie voices obviously triggered by a methamphetamine-laced opium dream.

I'm not exactly sure why the last song counts as a song for the car, but I imagine they were scraping the bottom of the barrel by that point -- the tape even ends with a lullaby as if to tell listening children to go to sleep and stop bothering the parents. I'm sure the tape couldn't have been that great for trips since it's only twenty-five minutes in its entirety, front and back.

Movie promotion confused with a bomb
Stay away from tissue transplants
Excerpts from Stephen Colbert at the White House Press Dinner

tagged as memories, music | permalink | 9 comments

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Million Little Pieces Day

In October of 2003, I purchased the game, Halo, for the PC and was more amused by its Russian-doll packaging than the actual game (which might have been the most boring single-player first-person-shooter since Duck Hunt, no matter what Doobie says). The box was roughly the size of an young armadillo and forced you to tear through multiple layers of shrink wrap and smaller boxes to reach a tiny jewel case containing the single CD needed to play the game. P.S. Booty was such a fat ass in 2003.

The only reason I was reminded of this game is that I received a wedding invitation for the Jack & Kristy wedding by post. Although the matrimonial avalanche ended a couple years ago, I still receive a few snowball wedding notes from people like Kathy and Chris who came late to the party of wedded bliss and free stuff.

Regardless of how environmentally conscious the happy couple are, every wedding invitation is (by ancient law jointly sponsored by Hallmark and Xerox) required to include so many random pieces of paper that the entire package is a delivery system for nuptial anthrax. The calligraphy literally falls in your lap and infects you with espousal spirit before you can react.

First, of course, is the outer envelope with the postmarks and the addresses, conveying the crucial information about whether you should bring your significant other through the front door or have them disguised as a waiter until such a time that the open bar has been thoroughly abused and no one will notice one extra BEEF or CHICKEN platter. Next comes a second envelope with nothing but your name on it. Safe wedding advocates know that two envelopes will better protect you from wedding-transmitted diseases than just one -- some are even embossed for her pleasure.

Inside this envelope, you are first greeted by a tiny sliver of tissue paper, which is too small to catch any happy tears you might cry, so it's probably a prototype of Mr. Hoo's paper innersole from the book, The Westing Game. Under the tissue paper is a full-sized card from the parents of the bride announcing the marriage (since brides are incapable of speaking for themselves, and the parents figure they should have a little involvement given the fourteen goats they traded).

This seems like enough stuff to announce a wedding, but wait! There's more! Act now and you can receive an RSVP card with "M. _____ will ____ attend" stamped on it, and a choice of livestock to dine with (or upon). I'm still not sure what you're supposed to put in the second blank if you plan on attending, so I put "seriously". Beneath this card is a self-addressed-stamped-envelope (SASE) which was the staple of every infomercial from the 80s for CDs of MONSTER BALLADS. If there's still room in the envelope, you'll find more cards containing directions to the site, information about parking, and then (on a separate page) the location of the reception. It seems to me like all of this information could probably fit on a single piece of paper with room enough to spare for dotted lines which would allow the invitees to reuse the card for Origami, but what do I know? I'm just a little BU, and the wedding tradition is definitely controlled by the Mafia and goes back millions of years.

There's nothing else to do besides say CONGRATULATIONS and return my RSVP. Got any chicken?

Porn slipped into time capsule
His girlfriend, who was not arrested, told authorities she had been trying to dump him.
Honey buns for hungry bears

tagged as random | permalink | 8 comments

Friday, May 02, 2008

Euro-tic Adventure, Part X of X

List Day: Ten Travel Tips for European Adventures

  • Pack lighter than you could possibly imagine. Slice up guidebooks so you only have to bring the information on the cities you're visiting. Leave extra clothes at home and wash your underwear a lot. The more mobile you are, the more fun you'll have.

  • If you injure your leg on the second day of the trip, buy a cane so you don't look like a total retard hippety-hopping across the Continent.

  • Don't waste your money on maps at magazine stands -- the Tourism Office will be chock full of maps, lodging and restaurant info, and free tips.

  • Not all toilets are created the same. If you can't figure out how to flush, just randomly poke and prod at it until something happens.

  • You will want to take pictures of everything, but don't take so many that you forget to just enjoy the experience. Those 900 pictures of the view from the Eiffel Tower will get junked once you get home (see also, pictures of interesting cloud formations).

  • Picture menus are for the weak. It's far more exciting to point to some foreign words in the menu and have no idea what you might end up eating.

  • Any restaurant with the words "traditional" or "we speak English" in their front window will probably be full of tourists.

  • Be aware that Southern France has a maximum of tiny yappy dogs and a minimum of leash or cleanup laws. Watch your step. The same applies to horses around Buckingham Palace.

  • Paying a little extra so your hotel is very close to a Metro line is always worth it. Paying extra for a toilet or shower in the room is nice but not essential. Paying extra for TV is fun because you can learn that the French are obsessed with Mika and Leona Lewis.

  • Every self-respecting city should have at least one penis-shaped building.
  • The End

    If you would like high-resolution wallpaper-sized copies of any Europe images , right-click and save the little image from my website to your desktop, then mail it to me (so I know which one to use) along with your desktop resolution (i.e. 1024x768, 1600x1200, etc). Here's a sample:

    Tokyo's cat cafes offer serenity
    BASE jumpers land next to police
    Texas state bird attacks outside state office

    tagged as travel, lists | permalink | 1 comment

    Monday, May 02, 2011

    Weekend Wrap-up

    I stayed in on Friday night while Rebecca went out to a friend's Royal Wedding party. I didn't watch any weddings, although I DO plan on ordering an awesome tafetta headpiece resembling an abstract groundhog with tentacles and wearing it to any formal events in my future.

    Saturday was a work day -- I worked a bit on DDMSence, sanded a wall, discovered that my remaining supply of Nougat paint had finally dried up into a paint discus, and picked out a replacement grill for the 7-year-old one in my backyard. For dinner, we went to the Nippon Japanese restaurant in Herndon, continuing our trend of liking restaurants with so few diners inside that they're probably in difficult financial straits. This worked out well for us, because they kept sending us free appetizers and sushi and asking us to come back soon.

    The music inside the restaurant was a typical trendy XM-style station, heavy on Japanese dance beats, but at one point during the evening, a song came on where the chorus was "I'm going to f*ck you tonight" repeated continuously over a dance beat. Apparently no one else in the restaurant could speak English, because no one batted an eye. The sushi was delicious though.

    On Sunday, we had pancakes for breakfast, set up the badminton net, and grilled steaks for a late lunch. When it started to rain, we moved indoors and watched WarGames on Amazon Video on Demand, starring a pre-Ferris Matthew Broderick. For dinner, I whipped up an impromptu batch of Egg Drop Soup, making use of Rob Kelley's patented slurry techniques. For future reference, you don't need to use extra salt if you're mimicking chicken stock with boullion cubes. There's a fine line between Sodi-yum and Sodi-yuck.

    Brown recluse spiders moving north
    Wal-Mart shoppers running out of money
    Woman fined $300 for ex-lax cookie prank

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

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012

    Memory Day: My Car

    This week is the final week I'll be driving my 2001 Honda Accord on its ridiculously short commute to Reston (7 miles one way). If all goes according to plan, I'll be getting a new 2012 Accord on Friday, gracefully retiring this ugly plain-jane vehicle for good. Black-green is an awful color for a car in any circumstances, but moreso when you are red-green colorblind and the car is rendered invisible. The next car is expected to lean heavily towards primary colors, not unlike most websites I design.

    A habit I inherited from my Dad was to record the date, mileage, amount, and price of gas throughout the life of the car. This provides a historical record of how many miles per gallon you're getting, although I rarely ever used it except to determine that yes, I do drive too aggressively to be considered green. I would lose at hypermiling. On the plus side, this little blue notepad makes for an interesting Wednesday morning update!

    This Accord (which Rebecca has named "Cordy" because girls name their cars and boys just drive them) was purchased by my parents in July 2001 (this is why the color is lame). I promptly drove it down to Florida State University, where it sat in the parking lot under Rob Kelley's apartment, atrophying in the salty Southern climate and used only for weekly Sunday trips to Walmart for groceries.

    At the time of writing, this car has 99,200 miles, and was taken to the gas station 428 times. My dad changed the oil 24 times. In the charts below, the number on the horizontal axis is the year (so 1 is 2001). I made them in Excel, and the time it would take to figure out how to use a column full of years as the labels was longer than the expected time my dinner pizza was going to take to cook.

    The amount I drove in a year spiked in 2003 because Florida is continents away from civilization. It also spiked in 2007 when I started dating Rebecca inside the Beltway, but promptly dropped to normal ranges once I convinced her to move in with me. Shacking up is green.

    I'd better tread lightly over the next couple days, because I think my trade-in value plummets at 100k.

    My favorite gas memories of all time (discounting methane-based memories) include the BP gas station in Salem, Virginia, near Paige's parent's house, which regularly sold unleaded gasoline during college at 79-89 cents per gallon.

    Points of Interest

    • Cordy has been to the Outer Banks four times, and to Anna's parents' house in Colonial Beach too many times to count
    • I once took Booty to see the sunrise at Marsh Sands Beach in Tallahassee
    • On the first trip that I took Kitty somewhere in the new car (July 2001), she peed in the back seat
    • The battery once died in the parking lot of the Herndon Popeyes
    • We drove to Columbus, Ohio, for New Years 2010 and then got snowed in at a bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania filled with hedgehog paraphernalia.
    • Cordy was once bumped by a texter, but never had a serious accident.
    • Cordy has never gone west of the Mississippi. The car has touched Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

    tagged as memories | permalink | 5 comments

    Thursday, May 02, 2013

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Staples Hyken Technical Mesh Task Chair:
    This was the chair I selected to replace the Costco bargain bin chair I'd had for ten years. It's one of the few chairs I've tried that a short person can sit all of the way back in and still have their knees bent properly over the front. The hardest part of adapting was to eliminate old sitting habits and force myself to sit upright for the first few days. The mesh is quite comfortable, and the construction of the chair is sturdy enough.

    After a month of sitting, I've found that my acute back pain, generally focused around specific vertebrae, has now distributed itself evenly across my whole back. Following a long sitting session for my Olympic sitting training, I'm most likely to have normal shoulder stiffness, which can be easily resolved with normal stretches. This is a huge improvement, in my opinion.

    I'm torn on the head cradle -- the part that supports the head and neck does a good job and is quite comfortable. However, the curved plastic on the edges tends to dig into my shoulders if it's not positioned just right, and its height is only minorly adjustable. I imagine that it'd be worse for taller people -- try in the store before you buy.

    Final Grade: B+

    Midlife Vices by Greg Giraldo:
    Another fun CD of scathing social commentary that might offend people with thin skin. I liked this one slightly more than Good Day to Cross a River.

    Final Grade: B+

    Game of Thrones, Season Two:
    Season Two was highly entertaining, but once I reached the end, I felt like not a whole lot had happened. In the one class session of undergraduate Operating Systems that I did not sleep through, I learned that as your job scheduler tries to multitask on more and more jobs at once, the job slices become too small, and the forward progress on each job is smothered under the overhead of switching between each job. Obviously, the plot for Game of Thrones was written to provide a concrete example of job scheduling, as we rarely got to spend enough time on any one storyline to get invested before jumping elsewhere.

    I also felt like this season relied a bit too much on magic over politics, which is a dangerous path for any fantasy series to take. I would watch more scenes featuring Littlefinger's machinations any day over what appeared to be deleted scenes from Harry Potter and the Vagina of Shadows.

    Final Grade: B

    Budos Band III by the Budos Band:
    I bought this CD based on a Pandora song recommendation. The songs on the CD are too uniform, and they all blend together when I listen to them -- definitely a case where a single song in a mix is great but a whole album is overkill. There's also an intensity to the music that's almost grim, as if they wanted to take the "fun" out of "funk". Final note: if you are ever composing a song and need to approximate the feeling of indigestion into musical form, just double the tenor sax and trumpet in unison for about 45 minutes. This CD nails it.

    Final Grade: C+

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 4 comments

    Friday, May 02, 2014

    Hearthstone Expansion Packs

    Tired of Warcraft-themed cards? Add these other intellectual properties into your decks!

    tagged as games | permalink | 6 comments

    Monday, May 02, 2016

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Welcome to May, the month where Facebook feeds are overrun with overused memes telling you what day of the month it is!

    This weekend was an indoors weekend due to the continuous rain. On Friday evening, I ate Domino's Pizza and watched V for Vendetta while Rebecca spent the day with the visiting Emily Gillis. On Saturday afternoon, I went over to a work-friend's place for some board games and homemade mac and cheese, followed up with Wegmans sushi and Spotlight with Rebecca.

    I spent Sunday morning working on Sparkour. For dinner, we tried a brand new Mexican restaurant, Chuy's, just up Route 7. I don't know how it managed to fill up so quickly or how it expects to survive with three other Mexican restaurants in a 1 mile radius, but our first meal was promising and we'll definitely go back.

    How was your weekend?

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

    Wednesday, May 02, 2018

    Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Twenty-Two Years Ago Today

    22 years ago today was Thursday, May 2, 1996. It was an incredibly long day, starting at 4:30 AM when I woke up to drive to morning crew practice -- as the important races got closer, our super-competitive coaches would practice both before and after school to maximize the time spent on the water. In this case, morning practice was a bust because a rower named Ernesto decided he was sick and didn't show up. When situations like this occurred, all of the other rowers had to use the indoor rowing machines while I sat in the window of the boathouse watching the tide come in.

    The school day was pretty lackadaisical, at the tail end where AP tests are coming up but all of the seniors have already gotten into colleges. At least two of my classes that day featured movie showings.

    In the evening was the opening night of the TC Williams production of Fiddler on the Roof. I was in the pit playing first trumpet and we had actual rental pit scores instead of dumbed down high school arrangements, covered in years of nearly erased cryptic markings like "play this down a minor third because the singer can't go that high". We somehow managed to pull it all off with a hodge podge batch of high school musicians and a drama club where most of the members were not singers. (We did carry on the tradition, started with the Broadway Cast Recording, of giving the song "Now I Have Everything" to one of the non-singer for maximum audience discomfort).

    After a successful opening night, I went home at 11 PM to get some sleep before the entire cycle repeated the next day!

    Here's a cast picture from the production. None of the pit is actually in this picture because we got tired of waiting around for the drama folks to stop doing weird drama things and left immediately after the last show.

    tagged as memories | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, May 02, 2022

    Maia's Art Day

    Notable artwork from the month of April

    One afternoon, under the watchful eye of the babysitter, Miss Laura, Maia decided to make cutout bunnies. She painstakingly outlined and then cut each bunny, as well as clothes and shoes that could be folded onto the bunnies.

    Here is a self-portrait Maia made that matches the clothes she was wearing that day:

    So many bunnies holding hands:

    The Easter Bunny is here hiding eggs. Notable hiding places include a bird's nest and the trunk of a car:

    These bunnies just ran a race and received trophies:

    tagged as offspring, media | permalink | 1 comment


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