This Day In History: 06/01

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Eric treated us to a on-the-house meal at Maggiano's last night. It was easily the best high-class Italian food I've ever had. Give it a try, if you're rich and ever in Tyson's Corner.

Where to store your rocket launcher

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Happy June.

This will be the second straight year that I've continued to do page updates throughout the summer months, so hopefully I have enough cat pictures, stupid news stories, and rants to keep you interested in on a daily basis. As always happens on the first of the month, yesterday's news post has been moved to the news archive for the previous month, accessible on the left sidebar.

Anna and Ben get married in 17 days!

Monkey hired to prevent 'simian onslaught'
Jaywalking chick ducks bill
Cheetah Cub-Cam at the National Zoo

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Welcome to the month of June! Unless you are living in the completely wrong hemisphere of the world, June is the bringer of summer, stirring up images of Pop-ice, fireworks, and dirty beaches with crabs. I realize that summer comes early in other places, such as Tallahassee, but it doesn't really count when the average temperature rises from 87 to 94. When you're living in the humid armpit of the Southern giant, the only surefire way to tell that it's summertime is when Chompy hides in the bathtub to get away from the fireworks. Here are some pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that form my summers:

  • The ice cream truck has been making the rounds in the neighbourhood again, although I rarely ever see anyone buy anything. The ice cream man must have met his quota for Klondike Bars last year because he upgraded the sound system on his van. Before, it was only capable of playing two notes simultaneously, and continuously played a duet of Home on the Range over and over again. Now it has flashy 16-voice polphony, much like a state-of-the-art Soundblaster 16 Pro LB Duplex 9200 sound card from 1992. In reedy tones that try to emulate clarinets but just sound like the backup to any 80s rock opera, the ice cream van now plays 8 bars of every public domain song known to man. There aren't even any segues -- just pure unadulterated melodic goodness. It reminds me of being in concert band playing those idiotic medley songs that high school band directors everywhere love to program.

  • My "song of the summer" is not by the Beach Boys, it's Pleasant Valley Sunday by the Monkees. This is somewhat peculiar because my dad doesn't like the Monkees and never played this song in my youth or on beach road trips. My "memory of the summer" is waking up in the morning with the windows having been open all night long. It's warm enough that you don't need blankets and outside you can hear the gentle murmur of early morning lawn mowers mixed with the echoed roar of the Interstate. My "food of the summer" is, of course, Pop-Ice. Pop-Ice sucked because all it did was slice your mouth open. I used to drink them raw without freezing them first.

  • During some summers, our family would be illegal and purchase fireworks in neighbouring Fairfax County for the Fourth of July, then light them off in the backyard after liberally drenching the surrounding trees with sprinklers all day long. The best fireworks were the ones that did more with lights than sounds. The coolest were the flash bombs that made a strobe effect for several seconds so you could pretend to be in a stop motion clay video. The worst were those stupid black snakes that grew out of the sidewalk and then left blotchy black marks on the concrete and your hands. Black snake!
  • Share some of your own summer memories in the comments section!

    Woman shoots fireworks at helicopter
    He also recently skipped his first wedding anniversary to attend a fight.
    Rochdale man fails to prevent neighbour's erection

    tagged as memories | permalink | 7 comments

    Friday, June 01, 2007

    Friday Fragments

    making the world a better place by donating all proceeds to Popeyes

    ♣ As you can see from yesterday's pictures, I had a small intimate barbeque last weekend, where I baked my popular cookies, made my secret onion dip, and cooked fourteen giant kosher hot dogs and twelve not-as-kosher hamburgers.

    ♣ I also bought two cases of beer for the barbeque (Costco had a sale -- $24 for 24 Coronas) and somehow, the nine drinkers managed to consume forty-five bottles by the time the night had ended. All of this alcohol apparently had the side effect of tilting the poker game in my favour.

    ♣ As previously mentioned, I finally won a poker game with nine other players and walked away with $60 in my pocket -- that's SIX times more than I started with! Tallying up my net poker winnings now puts me at around negative sixty dollars.

    ♣ Speaking of sixes, I rewatched the series finale of Six Feet Under on YouTube and found it just as moving as before. If you don't plan on watching the series, and don't mind the ending being spoiled, give it a watch -- I think that the montage is so structurally sound that it's effective even if you don't know the characters. I especially like the constantly rising camera angles in all of the flashes which I didn't notice on the first viewing.

    ♣ Speaking of flashes, I liked the LOST season finale last week -- there weren't a lot of answers but it still managed to be an exciting closure episode. None of the "Locke staring down a hole" garbage from Season One. I just hope the fourth season picks up immediately on the island, and not somewhere else.

    ♣ I know it's a little late to be talking about a show that aired over a week ago, but LOST is well-known for its flashbacks, and the only other viable segue would have been "Speaking of things that are constantly rising...".

    ♣ I guess I could have talked about bread, like the Ziploc bag of Amish Friendship Bread mix Anna dropped off which comes with a very specific list of instructions to be followed over the course of ten days. I have a hard time remembering to do things daily, so hopefully I haven't already utterly obliterated the friendship of the Amish by ruining their loafty tradition. I guess I just wasn't bready to be a baker.

    ♣ Bread mix notwithstanding, I have actually been fairly productive all week long. Besides the usual daily tasks of cleaning litter boxes and cutting and pasting text from other sites to post as my own, I've played my trumpet some, continued work on the Paravia Wiki, and used the stationary bike for 15 minutes a day. That's not a lot, but too much exercise and I would look anorexic, like an Asian Nicole Richie.

    ♣ In addition to intellectual plagiarism, I also reuse old pictures and hope that no one remembers seeing them before. I'm guessing that my site readers have a very limited memory period and anything far in the past is fair game to reintroduce as new content. On Monday, I'll probably talk about going to Fugue class.

    ♣ Before we get to Monday though, we have to get through the weekend. This weekend will involve another online course for work, a little grocery shopping, and some Vintage Virginia Wine Festival time. Sunday is blocked off for the cornerstone-laying ceremony of my other bathroom (They call it the master bathroom, but it's even smaller than the hall version).

    ♣ Over the month of June, my dad and I will transform this bathroom into a near exact replica of the electric blue beauty you have already seen here. In July, I'll be installing some hydraulic presses that will randomly swap the two bathrooms while people are inside, so they never know for sure where they are pooping.

    ♣ Have a great weekend!

    When not to use your pick up lines
    Google launches Street View
    EW on the LOST Finale

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    Monday, June 01, 2009

    Weekend Wrap-up

    The weekend as a whole was characterized by sunny skies, interspersed with just enough cloudburst rain to prevent me from mowing the lawn.

    I stayed in on Friday night, did some work around the house and also did some design work on the favours to be distributed at the wedding (commemorative NASCAR underwear). I also reread the book, Jurassic Park, which I noticed on my shelf and hadn't read in over a decade. It wasn't as good as remembered, mostly because of the annoying eight-year-old girl character, who made me want to toss the book across the room on more than one occasion.

    On Saturday morning, I did two full hours of shopping, ordering brand new pairs of glasses that look exactly like my old pair, a new litter box to replace the five-year-old box that smelled like the inner flank of a horse, and the Jurassic Park adventure pack, containing all three movies for the price of one. I didn't even know that this was a trilogy, but apparently the third movie was tragically horrible.

    After dinner with Rebecca at Cantina d'Italia in Herndon, we wandered down the street towards the Herndon Festival where we watched the gently unraveling coloured lights of the fireworks arc across the firmament over an ancient Sunoco station, and played Spot the White Person. I had it easy, since the white person was constantly by my side in a sea of Latinos. The festival was ridiculously crowded, and the deeper you got into the middle of the grounds, the less you could actually move.

    On Sunday, I tried to mow the lawn again, but failed, and then went to a birthday party in Front Royal where I mingled with many of Rebecca's relatives. We came home around 7 and baked a homemade pizza with pepperoni, saut?ed mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon bits, and black olives for dinner, and then finished the second season of Alias.

    How was your weekend?

    Man convicted after bragging on Myspace
    Man murders people with homemade electric chair
    Illinois baby obtains gun permit

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

    Tuesday, June 01, 2010

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Like a forklift lifting a crate of forks, we decided to use this holiday weekend for its exact purpose, and spent Saturday and Sunday camping at Assateague National Seashore. We left just before 7 on Saturday morning and had a surprisingly traffic-free drive, making it to the beach in about three and a half hours.

    Camping was a very pleasant experience, with mild temperatures and high winds to keep the bugs away. We were surrounded by free range ponies and their poop, and spent the first day sitting on the beach. The second day, we rented single-speed bikes with pedal brakes and biked all over the island.

    Meanwhile in a fit of self-preservation back home, Booty figured out how to open the child-proofed cabinet containing the cat food and completely devoured what was left inside. Because the bottom inch was several years of accumulated powder, it expanded in her stomach and ended up in six distinct piles of cat vomit throughout the basement.

    On Monday, after folding several baskets of camping-induced laundry, we went to an impromptu barbeque at Jack's house, where we ate delicious ribs and chatted with pregnant people.

    How was your holiday?

    Man admits to vomit assault at Phillies game
    Introducing SPANX for men
    Drugstore Cowboy, Stuck in a Loop

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    Wednesday, June 01, 2011

    Random Chart Day

    Millionaire miser's fortune finally split after 92 years
    Dog Finds His Way Home After Alabama Tornado
    High-tech medical exam cheating alleged

    tagged as data | permalink | 2 comments

    Friday, June 01, 2012

    Treadmill Follow-up Day

    I previously reviewed the Horizon T202 Treadmill in our basement back in March. We've now owned the beast for five months, and it's played a successful role in my continuing quest to eliminate all outdoor activities from my life.

    At the beginning of 2012, I set the attainable goal of walking or running for 2 hours per week, and then met or exceeded expectations every week since. Given that my former level of exercise was 0 hours per year, the 56 hours of walking and running so far this year has been a nice bonus. I have also dropped 9 pounds, and since all weight loss can be extrapolated linearly, I expect to hit my eighth grade coxswain weight in January 2014, and my birth weight about four years after that. The chart below shows my activity for the first five months of 2012:

    This experiment has also shown that the motivation to exercise plays a minimal part in a consistent workout schedule. Instead, the key ingredient is a worthwhile set of TV shows to watch. I overachieved on exercise when rewatching the Dollhouse series, but could barely crank out 2 hours during season 2 of 24. In the only two excessively good episodes during that season, I actually stayed on the treadmill for an extra 40 minutes because I wanted to keep watching.

    If just watching TV isn't sufficient motivation, I'm sure it would be harmless to have a snack too. Bacon-wrapped scallops are bite-sized and not too messy.

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    Monday, June 01, 2015

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Happy June! In 12 days, I will have been out of high school for 19 years, and in 17 days, Anna and Ben will have been married for 10 years. Time is passing like undigested corn, so hopefully you are content with where your life has been and is going.

    On Friday evening, we went to Singh Thai at Lake Anne to eat noodles and people-watch. Local residents could be categorized by whether they owned a dog or had a kid, and both populations fit within the Venn diagram of people incapable of reading the sign that said "No Pets or Children in the Fountain".

    I worked on a proposal on Saturday while Rebecca hiked the AT some more. In the evening, we went over to my parents' house to visit my sister and brood who were in town from Rhode Island, a state smaller than San Antonio (both in surface area and belt size). We learned that my dad dislikes geraniums because, as a child, the family ducks would nest underneath them and attack him if he strayed too close.

    Nothing of import happened on Sunday. We sat through the third Hunger Games movie, unnecessarily split into two parts, and did laundry.

    How was your weekend?

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    Wednesday, June 01, 2016

    Memory Day: Snapshots

    This picture was taken at my Sterling housewarming party twelve years ago, on June 5, 2004.

    The party featured all manner of friends from various walks of life, including Uris, FGM coworkers such as Jack, Tom, Eric, Tammy, Chris, and Joe C., long-lost high school friends like Aaron, Jennie, and Cheryl, and then about 100 of Anna's sisters and children.

    I'm drinking a Miller Lite because no one had invented craft beer yet. The badminton net in the background was the first in an almost yearly series of cheap nets that always fell apart too soon (although the one I made myself is still going strong).

    tagged as memories | permalink | 3 comments

    Friday, June 01, 2018

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13):
    This unnecessary reboot-sequel to the original movie updates the premise by making the titular board game a video game. It was surprisingly pleasant to watch (especially if you go in with low expectations) as it features actors playing out of their typecast and exploits common video game tropes. I remember very little of the original, other than the fact that it involved screaming children, screaming animals, and very poor sound mixing, but this did not affect my understanding or enjoyment of the new version at all.

    Final Grade: B+

    Jon Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City:
    This stand-up special was consistently funny, and the physicality of his presence adds an extra layer of humour above what you might get from an audio recording of the same jokes. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B+

    Game of Thrones, Season Seven:
    I checked out of caring about Game of Thrones somewhere in season two. However, this abbreviated penultimate season is much better than any season since the first and really pushes the plot forward (as long as you can accept the "Fast Travel" approach to moving people between far-flung cities that would have taken 8 years to travel between in earlier seasons). It seems like a basic script-writing lesson, but the writers have finally figured out that scenes are more interesting when all of the main characters get to play off of each other, rather than having each one of them off in their own little plot worlds. My only fear for the upcoming final season is that we'll get stuck with hundreds of boring battle scenes. You can only make killing a zombie intriguing so many times.

    Final Grade: B+

    Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife:
    Unlike an Amy Schumer stand-up special, this comedian is both vulgar AND funny. This particular special has a lot more new baby jokes than her first special (which was the right target market for us), which may get tiresome if you are kid-free. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 3 comments

    Monday, June 01, 2020

    List Day: Screen Porch Features and Configurations

    • Elevated table fronts window to basement, allowing pass-through of food trays and drinks without having to open heavy doors one-handedly.

    • Plastic, lightweight chairs allow for quick rearranging based on where the sun is during the day (rollup shade for potent sunset sun still in shipping limbo somewhere between here and Georgia).

    • Minimal permanent furniture allows for easy conversion to summer yoga studio.

    • Small plastic bin for easy access to paper plates and plastic silverware rather than a permanent garishly wicker cabinet.

    • Overhead fan has 3 settings and a seasonal switch that goes from suck to blow.

    • Pleasant view of forest and bird feeder.

    • Third folding table for carryout food allows for a safe-distance visit with friends and family, where we play games like "Spit on Someone From 8 Feet Away" and "What Else Can You Lick In Here?".

    tagged as lists | permalink | 1 comment

    Wednesday, June 01, 2022

    Census Day Results

    Congratulations to Asmodues for being the randomly selected winner of the $10 census prize! Email me with your preferred email address to claim your virtual Amazon gift card.

    Asmodues has been visiting for nearly 19 years, commenting at an average rate of 3 times per year. His very first comment asked me if I was obsessed with Alias (I was). I have never met Asmodues in person, although I did bump into him in a World of Warcraft Warsong Gulch match during the brief era (2007?) where Level 49 and 59 cross-server battlegrounds were popular.

    Congratulations also to Rebecca, for being the only respondent to follow my directions and reply to the 3 questions. There is no monetary value associated with this.

    tagged as website, contests | permalink | 3 comments


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