This Day In History: 09/16

Sunday, September 16, 2001

In that no man's land between dinnertime and bedtime, there's nothing like peeling the wrapper off a Blue Bunny chocolate eclair and biting intoit. It's the little things that make life worthwhile.

I've added a MIDI dump of my work in progress to the Music page under Volume III. Work is still slow, as I haven't reached that point of inspiration where the remainder of the piece suddenly appears to me like an opium dream.

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Monday, September 16, 2002

I'm liking what's happening with my thesis piece right now -- somehow I feel like it's very different for me, while being written with the same language. Freshness is something that's tough to fake. I need to start working more horizontally though, or it's never going to get done. Working vertically on the score gives you interesting musical moments, but tends to break continuity if you do it too much.

Games made by Blizzard are always cost-effective purchases. I'm still playing Warcraft in my spare time, and probably will for sometime to come. In one on one games, I win about as much as I lose, but I've got a four man team right now that's ranked #592 on the competitive online ladder. It may not be the most productive hobby, but at least I'm not playing with myself (in games).

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

I'm 25 now, which is close to being 24, except that I just saved a bundle on my car insurance. Apparently I'm no longer a reckless high-risk teenage male. I read an article a while back that said teenage girls were starting to be more high risk in their cars than teenage boys now. I believe it.

FEMA Director, Michael Brown, referred to Charley and Frances as a "one-two punch" against Florida. With Ivan making landfall, he's now referred to the trifecta as a "one-two-three punch". I hope there aren't many more hurricanes in the queue; otherwise he's going to run out of catchphrases.

Maryland senator votes on Opposite Day
Dropout repays Brown University for getting all its students drunk
Handball team flees in shame after realizing that no one plays handball

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday Fragments

  • Finally, the media gets something right.

  • The other day, the Washington Post ran an apology for replacing death notices with paid advertisements, except they never really apologized. Using my innate translation skills, I have interpreted this notice as: "Your loved ones will still be dead tomorrow, but we need money today."

  • There are scars all over my hands from an active childhood and years of working in the tar pits. I can only remember how I got three of them. One of them I got by playing with a disposable razor in a babysitter's house when I was four or five. Another came from a bowsaw accident where my finger got a little too close to the blade. The third was the result of horseplay in elementary school where I reached into a desk too fast and came out with a pencil portruding from my hand at a ninety degree angle.

  • I added a bunch of pictures to the BU General page, the BU 2005 page, and the Cats 2005 page. Today is also Cat Movie Friday™ (no affiliation with Cat Picture Thursday):
      Amber and the Balloon: IT'S A TRAP (322KB WMV)
      Amber and the Jack in the Box (249KB WMV)
      Amber and the Jack in the Box, Part 2 (1MB WMV)
  • Thanks for all the birthday well-wishes!

  • I had a great low-key birthday dinner with a few close folks last night. We ordered up a bunch of Boston Market rotisserie chicken with lots of potatoes, stuffing, and macaroni & cheese as sides (and one tin of creamed spinach for the insane vegetable eaters). We also discovered that Boston Market now delivers. This is bad news for the remaining cash in my wallet.

  • There is currently $42 in my wallet. $35 will probably go towards gas this weekend when I go out on some buying sprees. I plan to pick up a lot of decorative stuff for the mostly empty areas of my house, and also shop for carpet and paint colours for the second guest room. Tomorrow, I'll be going to the furniture store to buy guest room furniture, a stand for the sound system in the basement, and a table and some chairs (I'm tired of disassembling the dining room table and moving it every time company comes over).

  • I've noticed that many of the products we use in daily life are only used out of habit because they were present in childhood. I still use Aquafresh, Rightguard, and Lever 2000. There may be better products out there, but these are the ones which my parents used, so I started using them out of convenience.

  • I hate stand-up comics with really annoying voices like Gilbert Gottfried and John Pinette. Maybe they're funny, but the mind-scrambling timbres of their voices makes me dive for the volume control.

  • As if bugs weren't already freaky enough, there's a newly discovered bug that eats fish tongues and then pretends to be one , fooling all the incoming food. My what a nasty bug-eyed tongue you have, grandma.

  • I was planning on writing three or four more fragments, but I slept late (all the way to 8:15!). Now it's time to go shopping, so I'm shortchanging the update. Hopefully this won't make you quit the site in digust -- you will still be reading tomorrow, but I need to spend money today. Have a good weekend!

  • Black Cocks hard to swallow
    It was the other driver.
    Then, the raiding party took her personal and private sex toys and used them for their own amusement and left them strewn about
    Always practice safe rollercoastering

    Yesterday's search terms:
    michael vick's brother has a home in hell, outsourcing marmalade manufacture, lionel kiddie city frown upside down picture, who move my cheese, woman stuck on couch pictures

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 4 comments

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Contest Day

    Name That Tune: Cacophony Edition

    It's been seven months since the last Name That Tune contest, mainly because it took about two months to mix these samples to perfection. There are 20 song fragments bunched together into just 4 clips. The person who correctly identifies the most songs out of 20 will win a gift certificate for $20 to Read on for the rules!

    1. Each clip contains five songs mashed together, one from each of five genres. You must provide the following information to get a song correct:
      • Classical Song: Composer & Title (movement not necessary)
      • Jazz/Dance Song: Artist & Title
      • Musical: Musical & Song Title
      • Rock: Artist & Title
      • Theme: Show or Movie Title
    2. Remember, there is only one of each genre in each clip -- if you've already identified a classical fragment in a clip, there will be no other classical fragments!
    3. You do not need to guess an entire clip to get credit for a single song in the clip.
    4. I don't expect anyone to get all 20 answers this time, so play to your strengths! You can still get first place without knowing anything about musicals!
    5. In the case of ties or teams, the prize will be split.
    6. The deadline to receive your guesses by email (using the link at the top of this page) is Wednesday, September 24, 2008 before 6:00 PM EST.
    Clip #1
    Clip #2
    Clip #3
    Clip #4

    Good luck! Don't go crazy!

    Mom uses daughter's ID to be a cheerleader
    German shepherd dials 911
    Teacher okay after crashing into bear on bicycle
    How many Tunes do you think you can Name in the contest?

    20 (0 votes, 0.0%)

    15-19 (1 vote, 12.5%)

    8-14 (2 votes, 25.0%)

    1-7 (5 votes, 62.5%)

    0 (0 votes, 0.0%)

    tagged as music, contests | permalink | 8 comments

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Stuff in My Drawers Day

    "The Man with a Pan", or "Why You Shouldn't Count On Sixth Graders to Write Worthwhile Childrens' Books"

    That little spindle fiber on the word Virginia is apparently a mouse. There's one mouse in each picture, not unlike the higher quality book, Goodnight Moon.

    I started the book with half of a couplet on each page. This soon became too ambitious, as you shall see.

    All parrots say "BRAWK". I'm not sure how well they tan.

    The man is thinking so hard about his luxury limo with miltary grade satellite dish that his hat is levitating over his pate.

    That's one scary-assed cumulonimbus cloud.

    If your rhyming scheme is less iambic and more iamnotbic, you can stretch out sentences with useless adverbs like "really". Reciting this page aloud will make you sound like Barney Rubble in the Fruity Pebbles Rap.

    Enforcing the values of hard work and determination in children, this book teaches you that if you get lazy early on, gold will come to you.

    Gold in its natural form is a doubloon.

    Kids today would know that this much gold should be stored in a bank account in the Caymans. In the late 80s, your foyer was just as secure.

    My childrens' book doubles as an eye chart.

    Billionaire uses teens to clean asbestos
    China covers suicide bridge in butter
    Hairspray triggers teen's alcohol monitor

    tagged as media | permalink | 3 comments

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Review Day: Starcraft II

    There are no spoilers in this review.

    The original Starcraft from the late 90s was Kelley Corbett's drug of choice after his discovery of beer and before his discovery of World of Warcraft. Starcraft II is essentially an evolved extension of the original -- easier on the eyes with new units and interfaces, but without anything incredibly innovative added to the mix. In this case, it's a decision that works, and anyone who liked the original will probably find something to like here (unless they have passed away in the intervening decade).

    Starcraft is a real-time strategy game, where you build and control a number of units from a top-down perspective and order them around to reach various mission goals, such as "destroy the enemy base" or "gather 10,000 resources before your opponent". There are twenty-six single-player missions with well-calibrated difficulty levels that will easily keep you occupied until you've had your money's worth. The plot which ties it all together is AMAZING, if you're 12, but it's enough to make each of the missions feel worthwhile.

    Gameplay is easy to adapt to if you've played any game like this before, and the game even comes with built-in key mappings where all of the actions are tied to a positional grid on the keyword (for example, the QWERT row). This has always made more sense to me than the "memorize the first, or maybe the second letter of the action, and then hit F to Fire, except when F is already taken so you hit I" approach.

    Also new to the mix from the Warcraft world are Achievements: bonus accomplishments obtainable for bragging rights on your online profile. These achievements are more more attainable and less tedious than their WoW counterparts, but you'll waste just as much time trying to collect them all.

    The other giant chunk of Starcraft II is the multiplayer aspect. I usually don't care about this as much because I have the skills of toddler when not playing against a computer but my limited exposure has been enjoyable. Blizzard made the wise decision to maintain a separate collection of units in multiplayer, so that future balance changes won't affect the single player game, which also makes the single player units feel more powerful and fun to play with. There's also a full-fledged map editor which puts the Warcraft 3 map editor to shame and requires a Ph.D to fully understand.

    The main failure of Starcraft II is the new, possibly improved For a network that's trying too hard to be Facebook-like, they made the worst possible social design choices. is hard to navigate, full of menus and submenus and horrible sound effects and animations (see also, most Flash-based websites). It's tedious to maintain a friends list, and even more tedious to meet up with friends to play games, especially since they made the puzzling decision to drop chat rooms from the interface. Instead, little chat windows pop up all over your screen, one for each person you're chatting with. Thankfully, they dropped their original system of tying your account to your REAL NAME but there are still annoyances like having to be connected to to play single player (and thus, having to tell eighty people that you just want to play with yourself for awhile), and not having a way to be invisible. The final infamy is the fact that my handle of choice is one letter too long for their system. I thought 12-character restrictions went away with ColdFusion.

    Other than, which needs a catchy fail name like, this is a well-polished, enjoyable package. The graphics and sound are top notch, and all of the little touches you would expect from a Blizzard game (like /dance making marines dance) are present.

    Final Grade: A-

    Protester steals Quran, thwarts burning
    "Father" of 55 children arrested in suspected benefits scam
    Robbery Foiled When Employees Get Giggles

    tagged as reviews, games | permalink | 2 comments

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    List Day: Collage Picture Locations

    To the best of my recollections, here are the locations of every picture in my birthday collage:

  • 1980: Parents' living room
  • 1981: Parents' living room
  • 1982: On a ladybug ride
  • 1983: Parents' family room
  • 1984: Parents' living room
  • 1985: On a giant rock in a river
  • 1986: James K. Polk auditorium
  • 1987: Parents' family room
  • 1988: Parents' family room
  • 1989: Parents' family room
  • 1990: Parents' family room
  • 1991: Parents' office
  • 1992: F.C. Hammond football field
  • 1993: F.C. Hammond courtyard
  • 1994: T.C. Williams auditorium
  • 1995: Parents' office
  • 1996: Parents' living room
  • 1997: PEPCO, Alexandria
  • 1998: MV practice field
  • 1999: Dave McKee's backyard
  • 2000: Squires, Room 243
  • 2001: Squires, Room 243
  • 2002: Mike's apartment
  • 2003: Mike's apartment
  • 2004: A restaurant in Charlottesville
  • 2005: My office
  • 2006: My office
  • 2007: VT Drillfield
  • 2008: Parent-in-laws' living room
  • 2009: OBX Pool
  • 2010: Emerald Isle condo
  • 2011: My bathroom
  • Injury Code W5922XA: Struck by Turtle
    Twit for tat as NATO and Taliban take battle to internet
    Celebrated Wildlife Photographer Exposed as Fraud in Sweden

    tagged as lists | permalink | 4 comments

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    Weekend Wrap-up

    or "How I spent my 34th birthday"

    • Day off from work to read about ear training pedagogy and write code for Auricle on Friday.

    • Game Night with Anna and Rebecca, featuring corned beef and cabbage with tempranillo, Chuck, and Mario Kart Wii, also on Friday.

    • Miss Saigon at the Signature Theatre, with Rebecca, Annie, and my mom (review to follow on Thursday).

    • Saturday dinner at Lotus Grill followed by fake cake (or "fake") at my parents' house.

    • Brunch with the Cranes at Reston Town Center on Sunday.

    • Lost Cities with wine and cheese on the back porch.

    • Domino's pizza and wings with epsiodes of Awake and the last season of The Office on Sunday night.

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

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    OBX Travelogue, Part I of II

    • F 9/5
      • Dropped the "kids" off at my parents' house.
      • Packed bags and shovels.
      • Ate all of the food to prevent spoilage.

    • S 9/6
      • Picked up Marv in Springfield.
      • Experienced the dreaded "bridge traffic" for the first time, since we didn't leave at the break of dawn.
      • Rode up and down in the elevator several times.
      • Made tacos for dinner.
      • Scratched my face during pool horseplay (not recommended for children).

    • S 9/7
      • Ate bacon.
      • Visited the beach in between rainstorms.
      • Dug a hole on the beach.
      • Read The Racketeer by John Grisham.
      • Zach made pulled pork sandwiches for dinner.

    • M 9/8
      • Ate more bacon.
      • Ran 2 miles on the beach.
      • Stayed indoors playing games during the rain.
      • Annie arrived.

    • T 9/9
      • Ate more bacon.
      • The Edwardses departed.
      • Read Sycamore Row by John Grisham (jury duty research).
      • Enjoyed post-thunderstorm giant waves on the beach.
      • Went to the Outer Banks Brewing Station for dinner.

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

    Wednesday, September 16, 2015

    List Day: Things I Did On My Day Off

    • Woke up at 5 to polish the prose in a proposal response.

    • Had a breakfast of Eggo Buttermilk Waffles and 4 slices of bacon.

    • Created a Hearthstone shaman deck that won 8 games in a row.

    • Continued reading Shift by Hugh Howey.

    • Took a 1.5 hour morning nap on the couch, with Sydney on my chest.

    • Tried out the game, Heroes of the Storm.

    • Had shells and cheese for lunch.

    • Brainstormed some new project ideas for Fall (like crafts for Software Engineers, with less cutouts of leaves).

    • Ran 3 miles on the treadmill while watching Suits, Season Three.

    • Grilled a giant steak for dinner.

    • Had birthday satin cupcakes and finished the second half of the movie, Gone Girl.

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

    Monday, September 16, 2019

    Just After Birth Day

    Aren't you glad there's a space in the middle of today's post title?

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