This Day In History: 07/14

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I read a story in the Washington Post a couple days ago that mentioned Herndon's continued efforts to regulate or do away with the sites where day laborers meet for jobs . Herndon and the proposed sites are literally right down the street from me. While I can see where the opponents are coming from, I think I see a few flaws in their logic:

    "At the 7-Eleven, it's an eyesore [...] Not too many people go to that 7-Eleven anymore . . . and now they want to put that in a residential part of town."

    Several people said in public comments that they worried that the day workers would lower property values and would bring gang violence and diseases.

First, does anyone actually go to 7-Eleven anymore? The last time I was inside a 7-Eleven was on a family trip, pestering my dad for The Dark Crystal collectible cards and those rub-on kits where you could rub stickers of He-Man and Orko onto cardboard backdrops. The paucity of visitors probably has more to do with the footlong hot dog which has been travelling on the treadmill grill for over fifteen years like a hamster with a broken spirit. (Incidentally, every store uses the same hot dog -- they FedEx it around so they can be in the Guiness Book under "well-travelled dogs").

It's true that property values will probably go down near any official day laborer site, and it's minimally possible that the day laborers will form into a gang (aptly named MS-6d2) and steal hammers from Home Depot at gunpoint (actually Lowes, since the hammers at Home Depot would be out of stock). But, diseases? Come on.

I asked Jeeves about day laborer diseases, but all he could tell me was that they should wear gloves at the construction site, or else Aspergillus will put blood in their sputum. Google agreed with this prognosis, but added that illegal immigrants have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases. The solution, then, for those worried Herndon residents? Don't have sex outside of 7-Eleven or any other designated day laborer site! Using protection while having sex in a port-a-John will also help to keep your sputum bloodfree.

I also think it's cute that visiting www.washintonpost.com automatically redirects you to the site with the correct spelling.


The next Harry Potter book comes out on Saturday. I'll probably pick it up in hardcover since I just finished rereading Traitor's Knot. The stories are always decently written, though hopefully Rowling's gotten a new editor to trim out the endless pages of "Harry's angry. GRR! Harry likes girls and is confused. This makes Harry angry. GRR!" that plagued the last book.

Today's funny video from my archives is a montage of cute cat moments from America's Funniest Home Videos (2MB WMV)

Revealing too much in your blog
6 of 6 People found my review useful
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince leaks, Rowling to rename it Harry Potter and the Empty Prince LOL!

tagged as newsday, mock mock, favourites | permalink | 5 comments

Friday, July 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Kwan!

permalink | 2 comments

Monday, July 14, 2008

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

4:48 AM: Thumbs down for the ungodly hour that a guest cat woke me up at. Catsitting is overrated.

7:14 AM: After Caturday morning breakfast, I got a couple more hours of sleep before waking up at a much more agreeable hour.

7:45 AM: Reading the Post while having a breakfast of cream cheese with bagel.

9:54 AM: Taking the front wheel off my bike so it will fit in the back seat for "Bike Around Arlington" Day.

11:55 AM: After a six mile bike ride from Falls Church to Shirlington, we enjoyed cold cut trios at Subway.

12:16 PM: Wondering if there are any laws on the books about operating non-motorized vehicles under the influence.

12:42 PM: Apparently in Arlington, it's acceptable for everyone to bring their dogs to a creek and call it a dog park.

2:36 PM: The pool was closed for renovations so we just took showers and relaxed on the couch. Hot day biking can get pretty rough.

5:49 PM: At a Lebanese restaurant in Clarendon with Rebecca's parents.

7:03 PM: Returning home to find the cats (and guest cats) impatient for dinner.

7:21 PM: Hot day biking results in lots and lots of laundry.

7:31 PM: Pouring a beverage to keep me company while I post my 12 of 12.

See more 12 of 12ers at Chad's site !

Woman kills husband with folding couch
Pringles are not potato crisps
The cats in the hats

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 6 comments

Tuesday, July 14, 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.

Coquettish: (adj.) Lightheartedly flirtateous

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This title initially made me think of something in the style of Count Basie's Cute, so I started with a standard jazz ensemble format, swapping in a vibraphone instead of a guitar. The final result is a bit more boisterous than coy, but it was a fun diversion to write!

Buzz Lightyear was the first man on the moon
Wells Fargo sues itself
Illness affects homes with a criminal past

tagged as museday | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Since the Napa Valley gets excessively hot as you traveling north, the moral is to base your winery around the grapes that need the cooler climate.

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

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review Day

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 Programmer's Reference by Michael Kay:
This is the definitive reference tome for XSLT and XPath. Though it is comprehensive, it's not good for learning, and will put you to sleep if you approach it in a cover-to-cover way. The information is definitely thorough and solid, although it seems like the author plugs his own open source libraries quite a lot -- I feel like there's no real need to plug your solution so much if it's the ONLY one out there that does the job. The book gets bonus points for being hardcover and over 1000 pages, because you get a flexor workout as you carry it around the house, intending to read it.

Final Grade: B

Source Code (PG-13):
This movie is like Groundhog Day mixed with 24: mumbo-jumbo pseudoscience allows researchers to relive the last 8 minutes before a bomb explodes on a train, in hopes of identifying the bomber and preventing another attack. It's good throw-away entertainment, but tries to be a little deeper than it actually is. I'd recommend it if you can stop puzzling out a movie once the credits roll -- otherwise the plot holes will drive you crazy.

Final Grade: B-

The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers by Robert C. Martin:
This book is not about showering. Instead, it's a set of anecdotes and war stories about Bob Martin's evolution as a programmer and the key tenets he thinks programmers should follow for computer science to be a true engineering field. It's an interesting read that's over quickly, and I'd recommend it at a 6 or 7 dollar price point for the Kindle, but the current price is over $17. I only picked it up because I was at that information conference last month and needed something besides networking to fill in the downtimes. Plus, I am a yuppy.

Final Grade: C+

Adjustment Bureau (PG-13):
I was surprisingly satisfied by this movie -- I figured it would be some kind of poor man's Inception, but it really stands apart and gets you caring about the protagonists. Be warned that it's less a sci-fi movie and more a romance with sci-fi elements.

Final Grade: A-

Pastafarian allowed to wear colander in driver's license picture
Woman: Hair search by TSA discriminatory
Dim burglars fall through Big Lots ceiling

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

6:59 AM: Showered and ready for the day.
7:22 AM: Home from Safeway with necessary breakfast ingredients
8:03 AM: Breakfast with Rebecca and Amber.
10:52 AM: On the beach at Lake Barcroft. (Classy lakes have "Lake" as the prefix).
11:05 AM: Rebceca goes kayaking.
12:55 PM: Taking a nap at Rebecca's parents' house, with Ruthie.
2:41 PM: Visiting the nephews at my parents' house.
3:15 PM: Taking pictures of pool time, so the nephews can write Memory Day: Snapshots posts in 25 years.
5:12 PM: Pizza Hut pan pizza for dinner.
7:37 PM: Gelato in Reston Town Center.
8:00 PM: Jackass Flats performing in Reston Town Center, amidst teeming masses of humanity.
9:32 PM: Finally home on the couch, finishing Derek, Season Two.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Decade Flashback Day

Ten years ago, in July 2005...

  • I was living here in the same house in Sterling. Kathy was living in my basement for the summer, although she was away on a two-week road trip for the first half of the month.

  • I create a page called "100 Things About Me", as was common in the fading days of Web 1.0. This eventually grew to "222 Things About Me" until I took it down in 2009 after too many recruiters were finding it instead of my resume.

  • I had reconnected with Kim from high school and was seeing really bad movies like Fantastic Four with her in the waning days of Springfield Mall.

  • I experimented with a feature that would eventually become Newsday Tuesday by talking about day laborers in Herndon and their STDs.

  • One of my old web hosts, Futurepoint, outsourced tech support to India, which marked the beginning of a long, frustrating decline. (I moved to Kattare in 2008).

  • Blizzard renamed one of the collectible cat pets in World of Warcraft from Maine Coon to Black Tabby (because Black is less racist?). "This non-combat pet name was changed as there were a number of concerns expressed by players that had never heard of this particular breed of cat. To them it seemed offensive, which was never our intent upon introducing this pet. I'm sorry if you're the owner of such a pet and your desire to love it has lessened since patch version 1.6."

  • Harry Potter Book 6 came out, and I read it in a day and a half.

  • My dad and I built sidewalks around the house. Amber is in the basement in the photo because at this time, the cats were allowed free range and reign (pre Pee-gate).

  • I wrote my first Friday Fragments column, which ultimately lasted until 2012.

  • Paige resurfaced on my blog from Houston (pre-Spain) and spent several days consuming every single update since 2003.

  • I spent $46.16 at Michael's for frames to hang some posters I'd just purchased from AllPosters.com -- 3 black and white images of jazz icons, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Dizzy Gillespie. They neglected to scan the 3rd frame, so I saved about 40 dollars.

  • My digital music purchasing routine involved buying songs as Windows Media files from Walmart Music and then rerecording them as DRM-free MP3s with Adobe Audition.

What were you doing ten years ago in July?

tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Ronin (R):
This is a well-constructed heist movie from the classic DeNiro era before anyone was meeting any parents. The actors play off each other very well, although there are a few too many car chases that blur together by the end of the movie. It definitely overuses the "person in the way of a car chase flails out of the road at the last minute" trope, but that's one of those fun things that you don't see in modern movies anymore. Besides the back-and-forth of the heist itself, the movie also doubles as a tourism video for nice cityscapes and landscapes in France. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B-

Hail, Caesar! (PG-13):
There's an expectation set up around Coen Brothers movies -- just like I know I will hate Wes Anderson movies before they start, I know that I will find Coen Brothers movies cinematically interesting but not love them (I'm in the minority with Raising Arizona and Fargo being the only ones I really like). This movie is definitely in the top 50% of all Coen Brothers movies that I've seen, but it functions more as an extended love letter to classic film making than it does as a real movie. It's jam-packed with a distracting number of cameos, and dances along the line of reality and fantasy to the point where I almost expected it to end like Blazing Saddles. However, if the Coen Brothers are your jam, you will definitely like this one.

Final Grade: B-

Fresh Meat, Season Two:
The second season of this show about UK university freshmen really found its groove. There are no dud episodes (skip the one about Russell Brand's head in the first season) and the characters all have their own story arcs to root for.

Final Grade: B

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, July 14, 2017

Maia Week #1 Battle Report

Maia is one week old as of yesterday and everyone is doing well. Rebecca has dibs on the birth story and days in the hospital, so I can skip ahead to the days spent since we got home on Sunday afternoon.

Babies have to eat 8 times a day in the beginning, and some early concerns about Maia's weight and ability to breastfeed resulted in a byzantine progression of feeding steps requiring two people. This involved boobs, pumps, and syringes, such that each feeding took 1 - 1.5 hours for both of us to accomplish (8 - 12 hours per day).

Boiling down to pure logistics, caring for a newborn is really just a discrete calculus of hours in the day. With a fixed number of hours required for feeding both the baby and yourself (which you can overlap if you are a pro like me), what you do with your "free time" really comes down to how many hours of sleep you want to get. Every hour you spend doing something fun is an hour of sleep you'll never get back.

For the most part, my free time has all gone towards sleeping and critical errands, a far cry from the week I played Far Cry 3 for 6 straight hours a day. As a result, I am constantly tired, but definitely not sleep-deprived, and reserve a little bit of "me" time for sorting through 8 million photographs, updating this blog for you worthy readers, replying sporadically to work emails, and rereading the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander to verify that they are a safe recommendation for reading by Anna's precocious youngsters.

After getting an "A+" from the lactation consultants we visited with today and the extrapolation that Maia will regain her birth weight far ahead of schedule, our feeding time should drop down to about 30-40 minutes in each sitting, during which Rebecca will feed Maia with her magical founts of life-giving mana and I will tackle small household chores like cleaning dishes, starting laundry loads, or fixing the slowly dripping toilet tank. This will increase the amount of sleep we get and pave the way for non-sick visitors to stop by (Maia has met both sets of grandparents so far).

Being a dad is pretty easy so far, especially since Maia is a very calm baby who communicates her needs well and doesn't get dramatic about much. She spends a lot of alert time looking around at the beauty of her parents and our 1978 Sterling house decor and rarely wakes up in distress. She has only seriously cried a couple times and spends the rest of the time being super cute. She is an overachiever in all medical tests performed on her, but I'll be totally content even if that is the most overachieving she ever does in her long life to come.

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 8 comments

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Maia's 12 of 12

Maia's perspective on life (culled down from 216 pictures taken over several days)

Other posts in this series: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 1 comment

 

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