This Day In History: 06/16

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Costco in Loudoun County is allowed to sell bulk packs of fireworks. If you wander all the way to the back, near the bakery goods, you'll see massive pallets of fireworks stacked to the ceiling on the overstock shelves. I'm surprised they don't have a sign up, "No open flames near our muffins."

A most unfortunate turn of naming
Demopolis has trouble adding meaningful images to stories
Bad day for duckies

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

I'm about 200 pages into Traitor's Knot so far. So far so good. For more thoughts on this series, see my news posts from 12/8/01, 1/29/02, and 2/13/04.

There will be no updates tomorrow because I'll be down in Colonial Beach for Anna's wedding. Updates will resume next Monday. Have a good weekend!

Runaway bride doesn't realize they already made that movie
Student throws up on teacher

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Fragments

because no one wants to write with coherency on a Friday

  • Today is the Day of the Gaping Orifice, during which my dad and I will be installing a new window on the back wall of my house. Festivities start at 8 AM and I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures so I can publish them in my forthcoming book, Windows For Dummies.

  • This also means that I have today off from work, but it's not really a vacation since I ended up working extra last week on some time-critical bugs. This, in turn, delayed all my shopping excursions last weekend from Saturday to Sunday which means I didn't waste as much money as expected on cool stuff since many stores aren't open on Sunday morning.

  • One of the things I bought last week was a $30 hair trimming kit that also sucks the hair into a little vacuum canister for easy disposal. I often find myself trimming my hair after haircuts because it's easier than trying to communicate with barbers who don't speak English (which probably justifies the cheapie $12 haircut). My hair takes after me (short and ends up in unexpected places) so it's always a pain to clean up. The suction-enabled trimming kit works reasonably well but not 100%. It captures maybe 80% of the hair, which is definitely a good start. I plan to collect it all and make a small furry pet.

  • Kathy and Chris got their application approved for a small furry pet, so they'll be getting a pair of kittens sometime soon. The kittens she showed me look like very bizarro evil twins to Amber and Booty, so I will be on my guard, in case it's a plot to swap them out when I'm not paying attention. Which reminds me that I need to buy cat food.

  • I won't be buying cat food this weekend though because it's Bonus Honor Weekend in World of Warcraft, so I'll be devoting most of the weekend to geeking out in front of a computer. I need to rush KNIGHT-LIEUTENANT PLINKY up to Rank 8 before the next game patch or else I won't be able to wear any of the neat-o gear rewards. Plinky is currently the highest ranked character under level 55 on the Lightning's Blade server and is #430 in the top 2000 players. My e-peen is bigger than yours.

  • Once I hit Rank 8, I'm going to scale back my Warcraft time in favour of some new hobbies like macramé or bass fishing. It is the summertime though, so maybe I'll just fall asleep on the back porch with one hand tucked in my pants and the other grasping a beer. People at work are already starting to take short weeks and extended absences for the sake of summer, so it's only fair that I do the same.

  • Only four weeks left until the annual OBX trip! Are you excited? I plan on taking two weeks off -- one for the beach, and then one to lay about the house and get this site ready for its "My Site Is Now a Decade Old" celebration. That also means that this site will cease to be updated for about two weeks, so you'd better go out and buy some John Grisham trash novels to read in the interim.

  • Have a great weekend! Happy Birthday Kerry Sugrue!

  • Stuff On My Cat
    I wish I could have eaten my banana split
    Bull semen is commonly obtained using a rubber device known as an artificial vagina

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    Monday, June 16, 2008

    List Day: Five Satisfying Moments

  • Figuring out the reasons for a intermittent software bug after hours of debugging are going nowhere, and discovering that it will be very easy to fix.

  • Driving down Sanger Avenue, seeing some clown try to drive in reverse out of a parking lot onto a busy road and hearing Rebecca shout, "YOU'RE DOIN' IT WRONG!"

  • Rewatching the second season of Alias for the payoff of the storyline where Sloane is haunted by the ghost of his wife and ends up in the Phillipines.

  • Lying down on the couch and having Booty decide that she'll join you for a friendly chest-sit.

  • While playing Warsong Gulch, grabbing the enemy flag seconds before a cap, killing the enemy flag carrier, returning my team's flag, and then running out of the enemy base using a Swiftness Potion and making /train sounds.
  • What satisfies you?

    Introducing Spew the Toad
    Students told friends dead in police hoax
    Piggy gets some boots

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    Tuesday, June 16, 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.

    Idyllic: (adj.) Charmingly simple or rustic

    My Composition (0:32 MP3)

    I wanted to try something more melodic since so many of my musedays end up over vamps. This one's written for strings, horns, and glockenpsiel, with the melodic line on a bowed glass patch. I hear shades of the soundtrack from Dances with Wolves when I listen to it, although that was not an intentional design.

    NC State student accused of creating a monster
    Residents fight burglars with flower power
    Sting planned on radioactive wasp nests

    tagged as museday | permalink | 1 comment

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    List Day: A Training Timeline


    • 7:30 AM: Arrive for the 7:45 class.

    • 8:10 AM: Class has not yet started.

    • 8:30 AM: I have learned that the instructor is Canadian and has four daughters who got an award for dancing or something.

    • 8:40 AM: I have learned that the CEO of the training company is leaving to go to Costco now.

    • 12:00 PM: 20 Powerpoint Slides complete at lunch time. We are still in the "Overview" section and have not started Chapter 1.

    • 1:00 PM: Back from a lunch of leftover Cornish game hen.

    • 2:00 PM: I come to the dramatic realization that this week-long course has been, and will continue to be, a pure lecture-based training and eat some chocolate-chip muffins.

    • 5:00 PM: Break for the day. We have gotten through 72 more slides and are halfway through Chapter 1. I have learned that spam is "unrequested or unsolicited junk mail". Thank goodness the company is paying for this.


    • 8:30 AM: Day Two of the Languorous Lecture of Lethargy commences. We still have 44 slides left in Chapter One.

    • 11:00 AM: Chapter One complete! Five more chapters to go by midday on Friday.

    • 12:00 PM: Chef Boyardee for lunch. I have now completed 70% of an online version of this same class. Thank goodness for laptops.

    • 1:30 PM: I eat a bunch of grapes.

    • 3:30 PM: I eat a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

    • 5:00 PM: We get through the first 72 slides in Chapter Two. I learn that the Extranet is the part outside the Intranet.


    • 7:30 AM: For giggles, I count the slides remaining in Chapter Two. There are 110 left in this chapter, and roughly 300 left in the booklet. It's time for a chocolate-chip muffin.

    German student attacks Hells Angels with a puppy
    'Touchdown Jesus' struck by lightning
    Elephants using trunk road to block US Team

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    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Review Day: Lost Cities

    Lost Cities is a rare two-player game that's actually designed for two players. There are only two pages of rules, and setup involves shuffling the playing deck, meaning that this is a very easy game to dive into for a couple quick rounds. In spite of the very simple rule set, gameplay is surprisingly deep, and there are many controllable layers of strategy.

    The exploration motif is really just a backdrop for a Skip-Bo-like card game. There are five coloured suits of cards, representing five expeditions you can launch. You play cards in ascending order from your hand and try to get the sum of your cards (2 through 10) as high as possible before the game ends (each expedition needs 20 points to break even on the cost of supplies and travel). If you're feeling lucky, you can "invest" up to three times at the start of an expedition, which could double or quadruple your final score, but this could also backfire and multiply your losses if the expedition doesn't break even.

    The most difficult part of this game is the simple math required at the end of each round. You can master the rules in no time, and then the depth of gameplay quickly becomes apparent. Because a round ends when you run out of cards in the draw pile, trying to start and complete all five expeditions is generally a bad idea. Will you play offensively and max out a couple expeditions? Or defensively, and hoard the cards your opponent needs to finish his expeditions? Because there are only a single set of numbered cards for each expedition, things can get dicey if both players decided to compete on the same expedition. If your opponent is spreading too thin, you can try to "run down the clock" by always drawing from the draw pile to end the game. If you want to buy some time yourself, you can delay the game by only taking from the discard piles.

    The investment multipliers give the game some suspense, and really make comebacks viable if you're down by a whole lot. If you're in the last round and going to lose by 50 points anyhow, you might as we go out with a bang and try to invest heavily in one or two expeditions.

    Overall, this is an enjoyable, fast-moving, two-player game with minimal learning, wheat, or setup involved. Once both players are in the rhythm, a single round can last as little as ten minutes. Definitely recommended.

    Final Grade: A

    Top ten PIN codes picked by iPhone users
    People argue just to win
    Clever tool use seen with parrots and crows

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    Monday, June 16, 2014

    Weekend Wrap-up

    With DC humidity levels plateauing near 120% (the point at which you can swipe a bottle through the air and capture enough water to drink, and possibly, a heart faerie), we braved the multiple bands of thunderstorms to attend the Taste of Reston festival (a Restival) with Kathy in tow. Among the foods we sampled were scallop sandwiches, foie gras, burgers, and multiple scoops of ice cream. A storm did end up coming through towards the end, but it was short-lived enough that we just ducked and covered under an awning outside of an overpriced clothing store.

    On Saturday morning, I played meat bingo at Costco and restocked supplies of steak, chicken, and pork. Since the humidity had broken like an opium fever, we went for a run through Sugarland in the afternoon, and enjoyed the surprisingly cool weather. In the evening, we drove out to Rosslyn for a pops concert by the Symphony Orchestra of NOVA (SONOVA, or as I prefer to pronounce it, "SONuva"). Arlington has changed very little in the past few years -- its major roadways continue to twist and turn like a level out of Marble Madness, with occasional hazards in the road like the oblivious girl opening her car door into a traffic lane, and guys in pink shirts and backwards hats.

    Sunday, as usual, was our enforced relaxation day. Rebecca went to church and took a two hour bike ride, while I stayed home doing nothing of note. We had an early dinner at Delmarva's, baking on the sun-drenched patio with just enough awning to protect the pale and keep our beers cool.

    How was your weekend?

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    Tuesday, June 16, 2015

    Shed Day

    Work on a new shed has begun, with the haphazard construction from 2003 razed for a fresh new foundation. The old shed had been in place since I bought the house, and was only missing a pair of ruby slippers sticking out from underneath it to make it a perfect replica of something that might have landed there during a tornado.

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 3 comments

    Thursday, June 16, 2016

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Running on Air by Bliss n Eso:
    Another album of Australian hip-hop with a wide variety of influencing styles in their beats. It has fewer stand-out singles than Circus in the Sky, but is still a fun listen. Late On Night is pretty representative of the album as a whole.

    Final Grade: B

    Game of Thrones, Season Five:
    I haven't really liked any season of Game of Thrones as much as the first one and this one didn't change my mind. (I still watch because Rebecca likes it more than I do). The number of interesting plots thins (while I was glad that we didn't have to see more scenes of Bran possessing wolves, I was also disappointed that Arya's storyline turned into a biding time treadmill).

    This season felt a lot like Star Wars in that most of the scenes involved people traveling somewhere and accidentally furthering the plot. There are a lot of big moments towards the end of the season, but without fail, every single one of them was poorly set up and lacked any emotional investment. That said, the traditional big battle beyond the Wall was well-done and gripping.

    All of the scenes are too dark as well, which is probably an intentional design idea to save money for battle scenes by skimping on the sets. If your TV has the least bit of glare, you'll want to watch at night.

    Final Grade: C-

    Modern Nature by Charlatans UK:
    This newer album by the Charlatans has a warm, mature frat-rock sound that reminds me of being in college. The arrangements are clean and pleasant on the ear. Trouble Understanding is a good representative track. Free on Amazon Prime.

    Final Grade: B

    Hannibal takes Edinburgh:
    This is not a comedy special so much as a documentary on how stand-up routines evolve, based on a month-long Fringe festival in Edinburgh. It's very hit-or-miss with a minimal number of new jokes, and the first half is more interesting than the second. Hannibal is definitely a comic that is incredibly funny when tightly edited, but the dead air and self-laughs of his live performances kill the momentum. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: C-

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    Friday, June 16, 2017

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Off the Grid by Bliss n' Eso:
    Bliss n' Eso's newest album feels a little calmer and centered than their previous work, but not quite as infectiously fun -- it seems like many of the hip-hop artists I like at this stage in my life are all rapping about how they've kicked their alcoholism and are raising kids. I enjoyed Whatever Happened to the DJ? and a few other tracks. As an import CD, it's probably not worth the higher cost unless you're a fan.

    Final Grade: B

    Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King:
    This standup special featuring one of the Daily Show correspondents is great -- best if you enjoy a story-telling style of stand-up. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B

    Modern Family, Season Seven:
    I can't believe there are seven seasons of this show now. This season is one of the stronger ones (with 4 or 5 being something of a low point), as it returns to the style and feel of the first seasons. The main stumble is giving more air time to yet another toddler -- toddler humor just isn't very funny, and should have been allowed to fade off the show when the first toddler grew up.

    Final Grade: B

    Patriot, Season One:
    This is a show with a very unique feel about a depressed spy that struggles to complete his missions. Although it has shades of Fargo, the creator is obviously trying for something very different from your normal TV fare, and it works more often than it doesn't. If you can give it a little patience (at least 3 trial episodes) and can appreciate a plot that unfolds and expands more than it progresses in a straight line, you'll really enjoy this. I'm watching it again with Rebecca and it continues to grow on me. Free on Amazon Prime.

    Final Grade: A-

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    Wednesday, June 16, 2021

    Ian Week #7 Battle Report

    Ian has made it to 7 weeks and is somewhere over 12 pounds at the moment. Having his weekly milestone tied to a Sunday is very logistically convenient, because I can also remember to do other household chores based on multiples (deep clean the bathroom on week multiples of 4, wash the sheets on multiples of 3, etc.)

    He is staying awake and alert much more now but still doesn't like being on his own for very long. He also has trouble with digestion and spends a lot of time grunting and whining about the air in his belly.

    Just yesterday, he learned how to social smile!

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


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