This Day In History: 09/14

Friday, September 14, 2001

Tomorrow is my twenty-second birthday, and I'm planning on celebrating by going grocery shopping, fixing the flapper in my toilet, and getting ahead in next week's History of Music Theory readings. I did pick up some fun books on popular music composition at the library though, and there's no doubt I'll get caught up in some frivolous computer game or something, so the weekend won't be completely arduous.

Recently I've been refreshing my meager piano skills through old method books. I don't have the physical dexterity to be fluent with both hands separately, especially since my hands are used to mirroring each other from playing the trumpet. At the least though, I'll be able to do what I could do when I passed piano proficiency some three years ago.

"Fundamentals texts are a lot like gerbils -- they proliferate and then they die." - professor, on why publishers like music fundamentals textbooks

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Saturday, September 14, 2002

There's really nothing new to report -- it was just a slow, rainy day filled with writing, grading, and gaming. I was going to take a trip out to Marsh Sands this morning, but Tropical Storm Hanna probably would have precluded me from getting any good pictures.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Say what you will about Oprah Winfrey and her show -- her gimmick yesterday to celebrate her 19th season was incredibly generous and large-hearted . More people with lots of money should do similar things.

It instructed him to pray and study the Torah, but Mr Rosen admitted that in a state of panic he attempted to kill the fish, injuring himself in the process and ending up in hospital.
Boy spends all his pocket money to kill grandma

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My day got off to a surreal start when I got in the car and the radio blinked on to the sounds of "Bob the Builder sings Mambo No. 5". I'll have to see if it's a one-time thing or if it's going to turn into another Crazy Frog phenomenon like the theme from Beverly Hills Cop. My top three choices for more songs in the Bob the Builder line would be Usher/Ludacris/Lil Jon's Yeah, Spice Girl's Wannabe, and Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.

This is my last day as a twenty-five year old. I'll be taking Friday, the day after my birthday, off but there will still be a Friday Fragments column -- never worry! For today, here are some capsule reviews (they are called capsule reviews because each one is ten thousand words or less, which means you could print them out, fold them in half (then in half again) twelve times, and then fit them in a space capsule. You could still fit them in the capsule without folding, but then they would blow all over the place if it got windy on your space mission and I don't pay taxes to support some shoddy mission where papers are flying everywhere):

House:
Three TV subgenres I never got into are the hospital drama, the forensic crime drama, and the law and/or order drama. I've never seen a single episode of ER, and I can count the total number of CSI: Dayton and L&O: QWERT episodes I've ever seen on one hand. Last night, I watched the first episode of the second season of House on someone's recommendation and liked it. It has all the elements of these other shows, which doesn't impress me much, but I like the characterization of the main doctor on the show. I've always been a fan of wise-ass characters who make cynical remarks. Overall, it's a show I'd watch again if I remember it's on, but not one I would reschedule surgery for. Also, I saw previews for the next season of Arrested Development. They need to hurry up and release the previous season on DVD so I can catch up (it comes out October 11).

Final Rating: Three Stars

Lost: First Season DVD
The production value on this set is very high and for once, the disc full of extras is worthwhile content. Normally DVD extras are a bunch of useless crap that no one would ever want to watch. The cast comes off as very humble and friendly, and the interviews provide lots of insight about the show. It's notable to watch the president of ABC come down off his mountain for a few interviews as if to say, "I had absolutely nothing to do with this show, but look, I was president of ABC when we revitalized TV with a show about a plane crash and some desperate housewives, so therefore I will do an interview so you can remember that!". The one thing I hate about recent DVDs is their interminable load times. First, keep your movie previews off my TV DVD. Second, let me skip straight to menus. Third, every time I choose a menu option, you don't need to do a five second fade-out. I already bought the DVD so you don't need to make me a captive audience to it.

The show itself is still great -- it's a perfect blend of scary, creepy, exciting, mysterious, funny, romantic, and often heartwarmingly sentimental. The subtle clues are much easier to see without weeks and weeks between new shows, although parts of it work surprisingly better on TV than on DVD. Often there will be mini-cliff-hangers right before commercial breaks, and removing those commercials in the DVD gives the viewer less time to really process what just happened.

Final Rating: Twelve Tomatoes

Weightlifting by the Trashcan Sinatras
I picked this CD up because I liked a single song I heard, All the Dark Horses. It's a very mellow offering, with great lyrical imagery and some reasonably complex harmonies for an alt-rock group. A few songs border on easy listening, but for the most part the album is solid. This is not a CD I would listen to regularly, but it's definitely good when you're in the mood for that style of music. The album also comes with a DVD which I haven't watched.

Final Rating: B+

Freeway:
I generally like weird cult-favourite movies, so I picked this one up based on some positive buzz (and the fact that the Danny Elfman score was pretty catchy). This movie is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in modern day LA, and is often mentioned in the same breath as Natural Born Killers. It's quite hit-or-miss with more misses than hits, and mostly fails as a social satire. The only redeeming features are the performances of Keifer Sutherland and Reese Witherspoon (who's a much better actress than people give her credit for, Vanity Fair notwithstanding).

Final Rating: Trout

Amber:
Climbs in the shower then tries to sit in your lap, making it look like you peed in your pants. Plays games where she puts all her toys in the water bowl, adding Pink Dye #2 to Booty's oasis. Meows constantly from 3:30 PM until she's fed at 5 PM, hoping to score an early treat. Gets so frantic about food that she steps on everything, including Booty. Once broke a food dish by knocking a five pound weight off the table onto the dish. Sleeps in a basket during the day. Cuddles up to you all night long.

Final Rating: 100%

Flame war over a ham sandwich
Do you know where your beauty products come from?
Congressman uses National Guard to salvage his own home

Yesterday's search terms:
ikea dokka midbeam, in miami it's illegal to imitate an animal, this is not a urinal washington state, george fell in and drowned himself

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Capsule Review Day: TV Shows on DVD

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

Veronica Mars - Season Two:
Veronica Mars is like Buffy the Vampire Slayer without any supernatural elements -- a detective story set against the backdrop of high school. Each episode is a mini mystery overlayed by an ongoing mystery spanning an entire season. I was thoroughly if suprisingly entertained with the first season, so I had high expectations for the second season. It was still entertaining, but sacrificed the well-constructed character relationships that made the first season so good, moving the emphasis to plot instead. It's as if the writers felt like they had to outdo the old mystery of Lilly Kane's death, and worked so hard that they forgot some of the original worthwhile elements. There are too many main characters and shady subplots that go nowhere, and the episodes seem very oddly edited. Sometimes I felt like I had just missed a scene somewhere, yet it was just a case of abrupt transitions or plot lines that didn't quite mesh.
Bottom Line: You will still like this season if you loved the first season, but it's not quite as good. Kristen Bell is still hot though. Then again, girls are always hot in Santa hats (see also, Mean Girls).

24 - Season Three:
This season takes a while to get cranked up, but was entertaining enough to keep us watching. The storyline is divided into three 8-hour sections which honestly have nothing to do with each other (and even conflict with each other) but the clock moves too fast to really stop and think about how many plot holes there are. The President's plotline this season was anemic, and they should have just had Kim Bauer move away rather than put her in the Counter Terrorism Unit with her fake hair and bad acting. I don't even think a Santa hat would help her.
Bottom Line: About as good as the previous seasons. Best watched without someone else who doesn't mind making smartass remarks at the overly dramatic situations. Jack Bauer is still a captivating actor though.

LOST - Season Two:
I'm in the process of rewatching this season so I have a fresh perspective when the third season starts in October. I still think the second episode, where two characters sat on a raft for an hour yelling, was the worst episode in the history of episodes, and they reused the "Meanwhile on the other side of the island..." approach too much, but the story kicks back into high gear once people on opposite sides of the island reunite.
Bottom Line: Ana-Lucia was a horrible addition to the island, but I could watch the interplay between Mr. Eko and Locke for hours. Definitely worth a watch, but only if you've seen the first season.

Arrested Development - Season Three:
Despite an abbreviated thirteen episode season before cancellation, this show still has the perfect execution of the "running joke". Plot elements and absurdities from all three seasons tie together here, and occasional moments had me laughing out loud. Towards the end when they knew they were being cancelled, some of the shows are hit or miss, but there's still enough to keep you laughing to the end.
Bottom Line: You can watch all the episodes in about four hours, so you might as well exercise your funny bone.

Vienna Sausages on Fondue
Lollipops to shut up the drunkards
ATM reprogrammed to deliver more cash

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12


7:28 AM: Sleep interrupted by a hungry cat who's not afraid of a flash.

8:37 AM: Post-shower and ready for a gloomy, overcast Saturday.

9:18 AM: Rebecca heads off to work and I head to Safeway.

9:42 AM: Just your typical trip to the grocery store.

11:01 AM: Laundry time!

12:00 PM: Today's lunch consists of bread, mayo, meat, and mayo.

1:04 PM: Doing a little work-work after lunch.

2:14 PM: Playing Half-Life 2, which I have officially rated as "pretty but vapid", not unlike some sorority girls.

6:46 PM: Pizza and babies for dinner.

7:43 PM: My thirtieth birthday shirt, courtesy of Anna.

9:14 PM: Couples Poker, during which the babies kept attracting all the chips to their parents.

10:03 PM: I came down with a little bug and had to retire before the end of the game, so instead of a picture of the winner (Ben), here's another picture of the stacks of someone with a baby.

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

For your health, Fruit Loops
Official says castration comment a joke
Pair accused of playing porn at Wal-mart

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Beach Day


Stick a pointed hat on me and I could perpetuate some stereotypes.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Memory Day: Old Movies


A movie from my birthday, twenty years ago. See if you can recognize any gifts which still might live in my basement.

Audience at tea party debate cheers leaving uninsured to die
FHP does U-turn over speed-trap flashing drivers
Hold the pillow mint, send up the yoga mat

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Birth Day

Actually, my 33rd birthday isn't until tomorrow, but it would be virtually criminal for me to post on a Saturday.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

8:23 AM: Waking up in the Oregano room at Hopkins Ordinary B&B.
8:43 AM: Eggs over easy, arugula, and prosciutto on broiled toast.
10:01 AM: Starting the Little Devil's Stairs hike.
10:38 AM: Heading up the gorge.
12:29 PM: Random crayfish on the trail.
12:36 PM: After the second thunderstorm.
1:26 PM: Examining the dead folks.
4:14 PM: Dried off and warm at the Ale Works with a complimentary flight.
5:48 PM: Eating cookies in and around Sperryville.
6:27 PM: Rudy's pizza and an ESB for dinner on the balcony.
7:28 PM: From the generic history department.
9:15 PM: A game of Morels before bedtime.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Memory Day: 1981

I have always been awful at remembering how old I was in any given year, and have had to rely on a simple number trick: The age at which I started a year ends in the same digit as that year. In the simplest base case, I started 1981 as a 1 year old.

Having been a normal 1 year old (albeit one with no visible peculiarities), I have no recollections of this year in my life and now have to rely on home videos, old documents, and tribal records to piece together my chronology. (I'm 80% certain that this fossil record was put here merely to test my faith, and I sprung fully formed and self-aware from the head of a god somewhere around 1986).

According to available records, I spent most of the year running around the house, the backyard, or the driveway. My photographer dad also instilled strong tradecraft skills at an early age -- whenever a camera appeared, we had to look directly at it and wave. Candid photos do not exist in our family.

Here are a few shots of me demonstrating my prowess at waving. The first was taken in May 1981 June 1982 near Ocean City, on a beach that featured those white and silver clam shells in huge numbers before we killed and ate them all as a society. The second was taken at home in the ground floor bathroom.

Here's a video of me in my high chair, more concerned with magpie tendencies than any waving:

This kitchen still has the exact same layout and accoutrements today, even if the exteriors of the cabinets have been modernized. I did not live in a house with a dishwasher until my college apartment, and even today, I still wash about half of the dishes by hand.

In September, I turned 2 on the exact same day that Rafael Mendez passed away, so there was probably some sort of vampiric lifeforce thing going on. Tragically, I did not acquire his trumpet-playing skills. To celebrate, we had a small party where the only guests were my sister and the blond Fisher twins from next door. The entire video of this event is just ten minutes of four kids waving at the camera, so I opted to omit it -- your imagination will suffice.

This final picture was taken at Christmas time that year, when my dad was the exact same age as I am as I write this. The math is left as an exercise, to reinforce the number trick I taught you at the beginning of the lesson.

Other posts in this series: 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1990 - 1991 | 1991 - 1992 | 1992 - 1993

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Friday, September 14, 2018

(Almost) Birth Day

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Monday, September 14, 2020

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

7:58 AM: Showered and ready for the day.
8:22 AM: Bagel and smoked salmon for breakfast on our mountain deck.
8:44 AM: She believes she can fly.
9:41 AM: Playing Othello for the first time. "You're trying to make sandwiches and turn the lunch meat into bread."
10:39 AM: Hike around Lake Laura with our vacation quarantine pod.
11:35 AM: "Tired of walking" after 0.5 miles.
1:05 PM: View of lunch from the video game nook.
5:34 PM: 7 Wonders and Colouring while I make dinner.
5:41 PM: Broiled filet mignon with a Worchestershire marinade, mushrooms, and hot dogs for kids. Paired with a 2014 tempranillo.
6:38 PM: Blowing COVID everywhere.
7:08 PM: Birthday group shot.
7:13 PM: Presents!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Maia's 12 of 12

Maia's perspective on life (pictures taken between July 2022 and September 2022)

Maia gives Ian walking lessons:

Maia uses practical effects to make a movie about the Fire Lizard:

Daddy eats Hestu, from Breath of the Wild:

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

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