This Day In History: 08/30

Thursday, August 30, 2001

The electro-acoustic music project has been given some money so equipment can be bought, although it's definitely not of the magnitude of the original grant. I haven't started composition lessons yet, but he's had a chance to listen to my recital CD from last semester.

I still think that Pedagogy of Music Theory will be my most interesting class this semester. I would really like to take more composition-oriented classes, but it seems that most major music schools train you to become a practicing theorist that can compose, rather than the other way around. It's also the case that there's very little established compositional pedagogy. Where music theory is considered to be more of a teachable science, composition is still viewed as a mysterious art with few well-known teaching strictures.

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Friday, August 30, 2002

There's only one downside to teaching, and that's chalk dust. It gets on your hands and arms, in your hair, and on your pants. If you're short like me and look up at the blackboard, you get a fine layer on your glasses too. In high school, we used to have a calculus teacher, Lou Kokonis, who was perpetually coated in chalk dust. He was so involved in his mathematical knowledge that he never even took the time to clean his glasses, and I'm sure his view of the world was like the snowy static of an old TV with rabbit-ears.

I've updated the work in progress. I can't figure out whether a crescendoed sustained note falling into a faster tempo is too trite or not.

I recently started making MP3s of my remixed Recital CD from 2001. Here's a full-length cut of my jazz chart for brass ensemble, Vanishing Point (MP3, 4MB). This one was fun to conduct and perform, although the most challenging part was getting the non-jazzers to swing. If I had it all to do over, I'd add two more horns to the ensemble for balance's sake.

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Saturday, August 30, 2003

Last night I rearranged my room and then went to Bridges to shoot some pool.

That is all.

Two wives and a million dollars
DNA-based computers
Speeder charged for tossing salad
Vacuum cleaners gone wild

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Monday, August 30, 2004

Welcome back to the URI! Channel. I've posted a bunch of pictures from my travels in North Carolina on the Photos page and had intended to start a daily travelogue today, but right now Hurricane Gaston is giving me a migraine so it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Microsoft pays dear for insults through ignorance
They don't want the name of the airline to end up on the front page of the newspaper because it puts negatives in people's minds
Official Olympics Site Linking Procedures
Beach volleyball's bikini cheerleaders stir up a storm

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Looking Forward to Being Attacked

Looking Forward to Being Attacked is a light-hearted self-defense manual for women, written by Police Lieutenant Jim Bullard in 1977. The book is in black and white with about 90 pages, and can still be found on Amazon (God bless Amazon). The goal of the manual is to change the mindset of women as victims, providing them with simple self-defense techniques to thwart would-be attackers, molesters, and burglars.

For example, if you are accosted by your local supermarket butcher at the golf course and he's wearing a John Deere hat, there are a few easy tricks you can use to keep him from mugging you from behind. Simply grab the arm that's choking you, take a step forward to the left, and swing him around to your right. Based on the illustration, your attacker will end up with a golf ball up his butt and you can continue on to the eighth hole in peace.

Of course, some situations may result in injury or death, so knocking the attacker on his ass might not be enough. In those cases, you have to create weapons out of the things in your purse, like a set of car keys, a ballpoint pen, or a Chinese ninja star. As Mr. Bullard says,

    Killing him in the most efficient manner can be done with your fingertips, but it is really more efficiently done with one of those weapons you conceal about your person every day: a ball point pen, nail file, rattail comb, car keys, toothbrush, and possibly a hand ax (a hand ax, dagger, or sword are more efficient weapons than a ball point pen, but if you walk around town with a hand ax, dagger, or sword in your hand, you'll never be attacked).

I tried this advice out myself with all of the above except the rattail comb, because I do not have a rattail, and if I did, why would I comb it? And don't even get me started on where I conceal my toothbrush on trips to the mall -- I don't even own a purse. Using just the car keys, I managed to kill four attackers, and deterred a fifth who was getting too fresh for his own good. I also tried the sword once, but I had to don a cloak and my Boots of Escaping to blend in. I don't think it's as effective, because you really need to be somewhere like a Renaissance Fair or you will cause a panic, and this means that your attacker will also have a sword, or maybe even a Lightning Bolt spell. Lightning bolt!

Of course I couldn't effectively talk about this book on the URI! Zone without mentioning the example on the right. If Carlos Adolfo Dominguez should approach you with a bag on his head while you are waiting for the bus to go to the movies, and he places his hands on your boobies, a quick sidestep and lean will leave Carlos wishing he'd gone to the discotheque instead.

After the step-by-step section on defusing hostile situations, there are some text-only chapters such as "Putting the Old Spark Back in Your Obscene Telephone Calls", and "Don't Shoot the Peeping Tom, He May Be Your Next Door Neighbor!". All in all, this is a very effective use for your ten bucks, and I highly recommend it.

I found this book in a box at my parent's house, so it probably belonged to my mom at some point. I requisitioned it for my coffee table shelf as a fun conversation piece at parties (I throw excellent parties, apparently). When I get to the age where I actually eat meals at a real table rather than the coffee table, my "entertaining" coffee table will be strewn with books such as these, and NOT dull books with pictures of windmills and waterfalls. My feeling is that if you're entertaining guests and they have nothing better to do than look at pictures of China or babies with flower petals accentuating their opium-induced empty smiles, you're not doing a very good job of hosting. However, a manual such as this provides hours of entertainment, especially if you liqour the crowd up and get them to practice the moves in the book.

Happy Birthday Chris Li!

Credit Card for Palestinian Bomber
He has variously expressed interest in either missionary work or the porn business. [Maybe he could combine the two. LOL!]
Lightning bolt!

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Discography Day

It's a peculiarity of my personality that I generally will pick the longer CD over the shorter, possibly better one. It's a throwback from the days when I had to make every CD purchase count, and the CD player only held one disc at a time. Subconsciously I must believe that there's a higher chance of finding good music if there's more to choose from. The same applies to musical groups -- if I find a group I really like, I'll collect as much of their discography as possible (see also, the complete works of the Hi-Lo's and twenty-odd CDs of the Stan Kenton Orchestra). There aren't many groups that I like well enough to justify shelling out the $15 per CD when I could be using that money to pay one third of the cable bill so I can watch commercials about feeding starving children in Africa for pennies a day, but the Cardigans has become one of them.

There's no single element of their music that propels the group higher than any other, but the combination of Nina Persson's breathy vocals, the jazz harmonies and intentional kitsch, and the tightly structured form of each song really makes the music noteworthy. They've released five major albums in over a decade, and the music has aged organically. Though you can tell each one was done by the same group, you can also tell that they didn't just repeat the same formula over and over to sing themselves a new swimming pool.

Here are capsule reviews and samples from each album. Even if you hate one album, you might be surprised by another:

Life (1994)

Sick and Tired (658KB MP3)
Carnival (369KB MP3)

In a nutshell: Catchy yet forgettable, pure whimsical fun, interesting harmonies and instrumentation. The perfect CD to play on the way to the hippie commune, or while driving through the countryside.

What you'll like: Even though she was just an amateur at the time, Nina's vocals and lyrics soar effortless above the accompaniment with a maudlin innocence.

Not so much: One track fails completely, and a couple are just a little too repetitive -- but then again, it's the exact style they were mimicking/satirizing.

Final Grade: B+

First Band on the Moon (1996)

Never Recover (497KB MP3)
Lovefool (487KB MP3)

In a nutshell: The music of Life made mainstream. Where the first album was whimsical, this one is off-kilter. Strange lyrics, more groovy beats, and a refinement of all the elements from earlier music, as if to say, "Hey, we know what we're doing now!"

What you'll like: More of the songs on this album, like Lovefool which everyone knows, will get stuck in your head. Nina's voice is still perfect.

Not so much: Yet again, one song is just uninviting, and the packaging of the CD looks like it was fed through a Xerox machine from the 80s.

Final Grade: A

Gran Turismo (1998)

Higher (578KB MP3)
Favourite Game (469KB MP3)

In a nutshell: An experiment in electronics, isolation, and desolation. The familiar forms and instruments are abandoned for sparse hollow drum tracks and synth pads. The lyrics of the Cardigans have always been an eclectic mix of sentimental, overly happy, wistful, and despondent, and these lyrics sway towards the pensive end of the pendulum. It's as if they're saying, "We can do more than bubble gum pop."

What you'll like: Even in the coldest sets, there's a signature warmth to the sound which keeps the album from being the soundtrack for a suicide. The perfect CD to listen to when you're just "in one of those moods".

Not so much: You really have to be in the mood to enjoy this one. However, the mood they strived to create is perfect.

Final Grade: B+

Long Gone Before Daylight (2003)

For What It's Worth (780KB MP3)
Live and Learn (538KB MP3)

In a nutshell: The country ballad album. The electronics are mostly abandoned for a more acoustic, organic instrumentation. The lyrics may still be pensive, but the arrangements and album as a whole are warm and optimistic. I really don't listen to much country and bluegrass music, but I can listen to this one indefinitely.

What you'll like: The ease that the Swedish lead singer can mimick Jason Chrisley's twang just enough to feel natural without being a Nashville wannabe. For What It's Worth is a great single on its own, and one of my new favourite songs of the past year.

Not so much: Like any CD composed mostly of ballads, it tends to drag a bit, especially towards the end.

Final Grade: A-

Super Extra Gravity (2005)

Diamonds (671KB MP3)
Godspell (414KB MP3)

In a nutshell: There's nothing really special about this album. It's as good as any other band out there, but doesn't feel like a worthy follow-up to the first four. The style is more straightforward rock-oriented, without many special effects, gimmicks, or tricks of acoustics.

What you'll like: There are two or three songs which really shine, but they can't support the other eight songs on the album.

Not so much: A decade of singing can wear down anyone's vocal cords, and you can tell here that her range has dropped dramatically. There's also an annoying quaver to her timbre, similar to Michael Ball in Aspects of Love ten years after being Marius in Les Miserables. It's still a great voice -- it's just not as unique as it once was. One of the songs has the words "so clap your hands" followed by a drum kit clap sound that's even too cheesy for the Cardigans.

Final Grade: C

Happy 30th Birthday Chris Li!

Man arrested for stealing own car
CNN Anchor leaves mic on in bathroom
Postman suspended for anti-junkmail advice

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Musical Musings / Review Day

Amazon Marketplace has been the catalyst to kick start my long dormant CD-buying habits. In the past I averaged maybe five CDs per year, but the ability to get brand new CDs (still shrink-wrapped) for $3 to $6 each drives my clicky yuppy fingers wild. At this price, CDs with a musical prowess roughly equivalent to an undergraduate student trumpet recital recorded from the Green Room are much easier to dismiss without regrets.

Night on My Side by Gemma Hayes
I'd only heard a couple songs by Gemma Hayes when I bought this CD, but I really liked the timbre of her voice -- kind of like a Sia with less laryngitis. It turned out to be a major disappointment, with unmemorable tracks and several of those annoying artsy songs where the singer repeats the same phrase eighteen times over a repeating electronic loop. Good voice, bad music, and minus ten points for being an Enhanced CD that can't play in a computer without special software.

Final Grade: D+

The Roads Don't Love You by Gemma Hayes
Gemma's second released CD is much better than the first, and also contains the song I knew, Happy Sad. This is a very relaxing background CD without edges or complexities -- kind of like a folksy Ivy.

Happy Sad (0:39 MP3)
Undercover (0:47 MP3)

Final Grade: B

Pirate Queen by Boublil and Schonberg
This is the fourth musical by the Les Mis team (who also wrote Miss Saigon), and it played on Broadway this year. The pair definitely has a style -- when I saw Martin Guerre at the Kennedy Center, I kept hearing exact lifts from Les Miserables, and when I listen to this CD, I hear undertones of Martin Guerre, especially in "Here on This Night". The music is pleasant with no stand-out songs, and the story looks like it deserves a musical much more than the ridiculous bad story in Martin Guerre (Irish woman captaining a pirate ship vs. man's best friend returns to village to tell of man's death and gets mistaken for that man and shacks up with his wife then finds out man isn't dead after all and I don't consider this a spoiler because it happened in real life in 1554 so there) -- it's kind of like Martin Guerre with Irish jigs.

Here on This Night (1:13 MP3)
I Dismiss You (0:47 MP3)

Final Grade: B

Permission to Land by The Darkness
This CD has the catchy single with the best throwback 80s rock video ever. The rest of the CD is so-so and clocks in at just under 40 minutes. I'd rate it lower but it only cost me $2 -- it's kind of like finding free pizza in the work fridge and then complaining that it doesn't have any mushrooms.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love (0:54 MP3)

Final Grade: C+

One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back by The Darkness
The Darkness' second release, this CD is full of great songs and is also a pretty cohesive album. I especially liked the song, Bald which really captures the hard rock spirit perfectly. Its only downfall is a running time of 35 minutes -- Rosie has taken longer showers than this CD.

One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back (0:54 MP3)
Hazel Eyes (0:44 MP3)
Bald (1:30 MP3)

Final Grade: A-

All I have to do now is burn both Darkness CDs onto a single disc, and end up with a normal length CD worth a B+!

Happy Birthday Chris Li!

Ninja teens not so swift
Welcome to Cappucino Coast
Picking a High School Major

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Booty Day

If you were to embark on a round of self-esteem lowering word association with my cats, some of the words that might come to mind as you think of Booty might be "EAT", "FAT", and "SPANX" (only the last of which would get you a high score in Scrabble).

Much of our daily routine is devoted to preventing a continuous 24-hour intake of food -- had the Macondo rig been spewing kibble instead of oil, Booty would have been a fast, cost-effective solution to the problem. We've moved her mealtimes from 6 AM and 2 PM to 2 PM and 10 PM so she doesn't wake us up in the morning (as much). When mealtime rolls around, she'll knock small trinkets and remotes off of tables, or shred paper products (like bills or paperback books) until we acknowledge her starvation.

To handle the off hours when we're out of the house or trying to sleep, we relied on a child-proofed cabinet -- a plastic latch that allows the cabinet to be opened about two inches, after which you must push down on the plastic tab to open the door the rest of the way. (It should be noted that this wasn't originally for Booty or even a child in search of Mr. Yuck stickers -- it was installed for a previous food-addicted cat, Sydney, who once ate a jar of vitamins).

Sometime during our Puerto Rico trip in March, Booty finally learned how to beat the plastic latch, and a few times since then, we've come home to empty food containers and telltale signs of binging, like atomic fatcats or honking. Last week, she decided that she would make music all night long by clicking the door open an inch and then letting it slam shut. This reminded me of any given jazz concert where the conga drummer finally gets to solo, but isn't quite sure what else he can do after he puts his elbow on the drum for a few minutes.

Since then, I've replaced the dinky plastic lock with two industrial magnets, which are so strong that they can pull the door closed from about a 40 degree angle. So far, Booty has been unsuccessful in thwarting this new deterrent (although I have caught her studying the principles of Mag-Lev trains in the basement). We shall see how long the current peace lasts.

Ghost train hunter killed by real train
Prison dorms for welfare recipients
L.A. jail tests 'intolerable heat' beam on brawling inmates
How long will it take Booty to get to the food?

1 week (3 votes, 75.0%)

1 month (1 vote, 25.0%)

1 year (0 votes, 0.0%)

The magnetic fields will destroy your brains and your credit cards first. (0 votes, 0.0%)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recipe Day: BU's Fake Cheesesteak

This is a recipe I invented on Sunday evening with "things from around the kitchen", when I had a manly hunger for meat but no steaks in the freezer and no desire to go shopping. There are probably all sorts of substitutions you could try, but the end result will turn out to be a pretty good approximation of a cheesesteak sub.

Ingredients (for 1 serving)

  • 1 sesame seed bagel, sliced
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 onion, cut into half rings
  • 1/4 cup Yellowtail Shiraz
  • 1 slice pepper jack cheese
  • sugar
  • thyme
  • minced garlic
  • butter
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • mayonnaise


  1. Preparing the Caramelized Onions
    • Pour olive oil into a small skillet until the bottom is thinly, but fully covered. Add a pat of butter and 3 teaspoons of sugar, and then add onions.
    • Cover and cook over medium-low to low heat for about 20 minutes. Occasionally tilt the contents of the skillet around to keep everything juicy. Continue on to the meat instructions while you wait.
    • When onions are clear and thoroughly cooked, remove from skillet and lightly blot on paper towels.
  2. Preparing the Meat
    • Cut and flatten ground beef into very thin strips that will cook evenly and fit in a bagel.
    • In a second skillet, combine a tablespoon of olive oil, the red wine, a dash of minced garlic, and beef strips. If you are poor and only own one skillet, you will have to wait for the onions to finish first, and you'll want to clean out the skillet. You'll also want to get a higher paying job so you can buy another skillet.
    • Cook beef strips over medium heat until they are no longer purple (from the wine, not salmonella), turning once. Add a very small dash of thyme to the skillet juices and stir the strips around (a little thyme goes very far).
    • When beef strips are nearly done, and you won't be turning them again, spread a little mayo on each strip. Do this at about the same time you might put cheese on a cheeseburger.
    • When done, tilt skillet to separate juices from beef, and then remove strips.
  3. Preparing the Bun
    • Tear up a slice of pepper jack cheese and spread on each half of a sesame seed bagel. add a little parmesan to mellow the taste of the pepper jack a little bit.
    • Toast the cheese bagel until cheese has melted, but bagel is not yet crispy or brown.
    • Spread a little extra mayo on the bagel after toasting.
  4. When all of the pieces are complete, place beef strips inside of bagel and layer onions within the beef. Put the bulk of them on top so any remaining juices gravitate down through the beef.
  5. Enjoy meal, and try not to think of all the dishes you now have to wash.
Fish-catching trick may be spreading among dolphins
Costco can't move "I slipped on a slurpee" lawsuit
Guitar Frets: Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon:
This was the 3rd of 4 books I read on our OBX beach trip. It's much more effective, and tightly edited, than The Corner, although both books do an equally effective job of convincing me not to move into downtown Baltimore. The book jumps around between characters a fair amount, so it takes a little time to get them all straight. Fans of the true crime genre will enjoy it, although the story focuses more on the detectives themselves, rather than the crimes they investigate.

Final Grade: A-

Dexter, Season Six:
I have never been a fan of Julia Stiles' acting abilities, and this point was driven home when she woodenly stumbled through the three Bourne movies, obviously out of her depth and looking for someone to save a dance with. For this reason alone, the sixth season of Dexter gets a tiny bump in grade over the fifth season, but it still doesn't reach the series high points of season two and four.

The theme of this season is faith and religion, but it seems like every "lesson" that Dexter learns throughout the season in endless voice-overs was already learned in a past episode. This highlights the broader problem of inconsistent writing that unbelievably breaks continuity. Dexter often acts out of character, making sloppy mistakes, attacking in broad daylight, or (in the worst episode of the season) speeding down a highway firing a stolen gun out the window at billboards. His voice-overs are overused to provide exposition on things we already know about, to the point of self-parody. As a non-spoilerish example, Dexter escapes from a crime scene. In the next scene, detectives are remarking that no one was found there. Dexter's voice-over helpfully adds, "Because I escaped." He might as well have added, "By swimming away. I eventually reached the beach. Then I had a burger. Then I went home."

The season does build to a great ending, but it feels intentionally drawn out. Had the fifth and sixth season been compressed together, it would have been a much tighter, engaging story to tell.

Final Grade: B-

Dead Like Me, Season One:
This was Bryan Fuller's first show about death before he made Pushing Daisies. It tells the tale of Georgia Lass, who dies at the age of 18 and then has to spend eternity as a grim reaper, finding people who are about to die and helping them to cross over. It has a lot of high reviews on Amazon, and plays with a few fun concepts and characters, but it simply isn't very good. It tries hard to be clever and sound deep, but ultimately has to stretch too hard to tie everything together. Skip it, and watch Pushing Daisies twice instead.

Final Grade: D+

More Java Pitfalls by Michael Daconta, Kevin T. Smith, Donald Avondolio and W. Clay Richardson:
The information in this book is solid, useful, and well-organized. Its only flaw, unfortunately, is that it's now dated by about nine years. Many of the tips cover Java GUIs, or web practices from the days before Struts and Spring took center stage. However, this book would be good for a new CS grad to read for awareness when leaving the cocoon of academia for a real job (as well as Effective Java).

Final Grade: B

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Answers Day, Part I of II

the sequel to Questions Day

Do you have any concepts for a television show that I can steal and share with the industry? - Chompy (the dog)

You have my blessing to take full credit for any concept on this list.

  1. A mockumentary like The Office, but featuring TSA agents in a Bible Belt airport.
  2. An American remake of Downton Abbey set in a posh New York high rise after 9/11.
  3. A drama about filming a sitcom in front of a live studio audience that focuses on a different member of the audience each week and how they are all secretly connected to each other.
  4. An extended family lives close enough to get into hilarious hijinks, and they're all vampires. Bonus: It's called Penn-sylvania and has several Amish side characters.
  5. A series of workout videos led by the "Chilly Down" puppets from Labyrinth, called Work Out with the Wild Gang.
  6. A modern reboot of The X-Files where Mulder spends the whole show looking things up on Wikipedia with his smartphone.
  7. Comedians improvise skits based on suggestions from the audience, but the points DO matter because the comedians are in a rapidly flooding container and cannot get out until they get 1000 points.
  8. A TV writer creates brilliant pilots for shows that always go downhill after the first season because she's lost interest and moved on to the next great idea. Inspired by J.J. Abrams. Music by Michael Giacchino.
  9. A Survivor-like reality show is filming on a mysterious island where a smoke monster is killing the people who survive the Immunity Challenges.
  10. Bike Johnson, a bike messenger, has exactly one hour to deliver a different letter across DC each week. Events occur in real time. Starring Kiefer Sutherland.
  11. A black comedy that walks through the graft and corruption in the process of how a bill becomes a law, where the main character is the bill. Starring the voice of Morgan Freeman. Obligatory clarification: He is not the reason that this is a "black" comedy.
  12. A procedural show about a team of crime scene investigators like CSI, but they all work in Butte, Montana.
  13. A confusing, nonsensical show that must be watched in primetime with advertisements in order to find secret clues that will unlock each episode's ending on the Internet.
  14. A spy posing as a garbage man must get out of tight situations by building strange devices out of things he's picked up on his garbage route.
  15. A group of strangers discover that they each have a special superpower, but they spend the whole show sitting around a South Philadelphia bar saying misogynistic things and crafting elaborate plots to use their super powers for personal gain.
  16. An aged rock musician discovers that he has fathered four sons over his twenty years of touring and sets out to turn them into the next Monkees, if only he can survive single parenthood. Starring David Bowie.
  17. A remake of Weeds, with its suburbia-skewering humor, but set in inner city Baltimore and starring a 12-year-old heroin dealer.
  18. A dramedy set in a downtown ER, where the doctors whimsically break out into song to express their inner turmoil.
  19. A procedural show where the first half focuses on an undercover cop who infiltrates criminal organizations and the second half focuses on the SWAT team that raids the building based on the cop's spying (with a lot of gunfights and explosions). Working title: Cloak & Dagger. CHUNG CHUNG.
  20. A British remake of Roseanne with plenty of chavs. Starring Tim Curry and Maggie Smith.

I will answer the rest of my readers' questions on Monday!

tagged as lists, you speak | permalink | 3 comments

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2017 album, but it's a metric ton of baby pictures so keep on moving if you're not into that sort of thing. Also, Google Photos still sucks.

  • Events
    • Continued the Friend Dinner tradition with Sara on F 8/4, M 8/7, F 8/18.

    • Went on our first nature walk with Maia on S 8/5.

    • Maia got to meet more of our friends, including Marc on T 8/8, Elaine on H 8/10, our old neighbours, Casey and Amy, on S 8/13, and Emily on M 8/14.

    • Went back to work for 14 more days on M 8/14.

    • My dad installed a new kitchen faucet for us on F 8/18.

    • Rebecca went to Sara's "Moving to Minneapolis" party on S 8/19.

    • Booty left us on S 8/20.

    • Annie arrived and eclipsed the sun on M 8/21, then stayed all week making us cookies.

    • We helped Sara load her car on H 8/24 so she could drive off to grad school on F 8/25 (with a temporary stop at Elisa's in Columbus enroute). It's been 16 years since I drove off to grad school!

    • We went to Ghazaley and Michael's posh wedding on S 8/26 while Grandma babysat.

    • We ordered Thai food with Car on M 8/28.

    • My sister came over for a Maia visit with our 3 nephews on T 8/29.

    • Wrapped up at work on H 8/31.

  • Projects

  • Consumerism
    • Got to level 815 in Overwatch.

    • Enjoyed watching season three of iZombie and just started watching Justified again.

    • No new music this month.

August's Final Grade: C+, Maia is still cute but I had to say goodbye to Booty. Booooo(ty).

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

Friday, August 30, 2019

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2019 album. Google Photos sucks.

  • Events
    • Family dinner date at Mellow Mushroom on F 8/2.

    • Dad-daughter dinner at The V while Rebecca went to her cousin Luke's wedding at Solomon's Island, on S 8/3.

    • Visited my parents in Alexandria on S 8/4.

    • Family dinner at Bungalow Lakehouse on M 8/5.

    • Visited my parents in Alexandria on W 8/7.

    • Dad-daughter dinner at Miller's on H 8/8.

    • Broiled delicious tenderloin cuts on F 8/9.

    • Went to Patrick Crane's 4th birthday party (with bounce house) on S 8/10.

    • Solo dad dinner at Burton's while Rebecca and Maia visited Jessika on S 8/11.

    • Family dinner at The V on M 8/12.

    • Visited my parents in Alexandria on W 8/14.

    • Went to Fredericksburg to visit the Ahlbins and Hickses on F 8/16 - S 8/18.

    • Maia and I got sick for a few days starting M 8/19.

    • Visited with Ellen and the nephews at my parents' house on W 8/21 and F 8/23.

    • Family dinner at Burton's on S 8/24.

    • Had Car and Ben over for salmon on S 8/25.

    • Family trip to Frying Pan Park on M 8/26.

    • Dad-daughter dinner at The V on T 8/27. (I record all of these dinner outings because I don't know what sort of information will be neat to reminisce about 10 years from now).

    • Family dinner at The Counter in Reston Town Center, followed by fun on the lawn of toddlers there on F 8/30.

    • Rebecca and Maia went to Lake Barcroft on S 8/31.

  • Projects
    • Obliterated our infestation of fruit flies with devious red wine vinegar traps on F 8/2.

    • Started planning for my 40th birthday and 10th anniversary.

  • Consumerism
    • No new amazing shows since Dark but just started the third season of The Good Place.

    • No new music this month -- still listening to e-dubble and others of that ilk.

August's Final Grade: B-, I feel like I haven't stopped running all month -- I'm running as I type this.

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Monday, August 30, 2021

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2021 album.

  • Events
    • Car and Sara visited for an afternoon on S 8/1.

    • Went to the beach with the Smiths, S 8/7 - S 8/14.

    • Had dinner at Baja on W 8/11.

    • Visited Carol and Dave in Taylsortown on S 8/21.

    • My parents came over for steak dinner on S 8/22.

    • Maia had a triumphant return to the splash pad on W 8/25.

    • Visited my parents with the whole family on F 8/27.

    • Had Janice and Larry and the kids over for lunch on S 8/28. My Aunt Gladys passed away in the morning.

  • Projects
    • Continuing to study for my AWS Machine Learning certification.

  • Consumerism
    • No amazing new TV shows or movies this month. Finished rewatching The Shield and now working my way through rewatches of Newsroom and Santa Clarita Diet (with Rebecca) and 12 Monkeys (on my own).

    • No new music or games this month. Still playing Ori and the Will of the Wisps with Maia.

August's Final Grade: B, gradually taming the complexity of having concurrent offspring

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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2023 album.

  • Events
    • Solo dad dinner at Local Provisions on W 8/2.

    • Dinner at my parents' house (spare ribs) on S 8/5.

    • Rebecca and Maia went to Nolan and Julia's birthday party at Hyperkidz on S 8/6.

    • Rebecca and I got sick on H 8/10 with COVID EG.5. Maia got sick on W 8/16.

    • Family visit to Folly Lick Park on S 8/19.

    • Went to Maia's first grade open house on T 8/22.

    • Family dinner at Fire Works Pizza on W 8/23.

    • Maia's first day of first grade (Ms. Meissner) on H 8/24.

    • Rebecca took the kids to visit Jessika on S 8/26.

    • Elizabeth and Sammie visited after church on S 8/27.

    • Family visit to the Kids Under Construction playground followed by dinner at Local's Tacos and Tequila on T 8/29.

    • Ian's KUC preschool Open House on W 8/30.

  • Projects
    • Still learning Spanish with DuoLingo (42 units completed).

    • Rearranged my home office on M 8/14.

  • Consumerism
    • Purchased new Cynthia Decker art for our bedrooms on S 8/12.

    • Got a new desktop machine (Dell XPS Desktop 8960) on H 8/17.

    • Still playing Diablo 4 but reaching the end of its interesting portions.

    • Enjoyed watching Ted Lasso, Mythic Quest, and Severance.

    • No amazing new music, movies, or books this month.

August's Final Grade: C+, always challenging when the family shuts down for a week and a half for sickness

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