This Day In History: 09/27

Thursday, September 27, 2001

In Tallahassee, you can find the usual array of trash cans and dumpsters, but there's a third method of trash pickup that I've never encountered before. At designated locations along the curbside and median, people simply dump their trash on the ground in little piles. Every week or so, a dump truck drives down the street, followed by a front shovel on a platform truck. The front shovel picks up the trash (including a liberal amount of turf) and drops it in the dump truck. The driver then honks at the dump truck (usually early in the morning) and the pair moves a couple hundred feet up the road. I wonder which civil engineer came up with that one...

"This may be the best first quiz, collectively, I've ever seen. You don't look that bright, but you obviously are." - professor, on quiz grades

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Friday, September 27, 2002

There's an absolutely brilliant use of music in a scene from The Sopranos, Season 3 Episode 1. Close to the very beginning is a two minute montage showing various FBI agents tailing each member of the Soprano family. The first clip of the montage rolls into high gear with Mancini's theme music from Peter Gunn, but the second clip suddenly segues into the Police's Every Breath You Take. As different scenes play through, the two songs fade back and forther between one another, until both are played simultaneously, with all their harmonies matching up. This continues over a repeat of the lyrics "I'll be watching you" mixed with various horn rips from Peter Gunn, while FBI agents sneak into the Soprano household to plant bugs.

My 4-man Warcraft team is now ranked #194 on the competitive ladder. Not a bad leap from our spot in the 700s.

"Log off. That cookie sh*t makes me nervous." - Tony Soprano to associate using computer

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Saturday, September 27, 2003

In Virginia, not only do the trees have leaves, but they actually fall off as the weather gets cooler.

Computers crash in the Ukraine
Top Ten Most Hated Sports
Times when identity theft is not a good idea

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Monday, September 27, 2004

After a great week of late summer weather, we get the sloppiness of another hurricane coming up from the South this week.

Yesterday, my dad and I laid some concrete around the house for a variety of utility purposes. I'll take some pictures later on. I didn't see it, but my dad said the 4 year old next door actually walked through the cement at some point in the day, but luckily it was still soft enough to redo.

The party ended shortly after they ran out of beer, Gerson said. After the crackdown, the men took down the pole and put it in a closet.
In the Lair of a Man Who May Be Hunting Bush
Crowd cheers after Heinz Kerry rebuts heckler

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tallahassee Travelogue, Part II of II

Saturday morning (following a late awakening) was spent tooling around Tallahassee, including a visit to one of Tallahassee's 2.5 malls. We made breakfast for lunch, a balanced diet of bacon, maple sausages, hash browns, and scrambled eggs, and then played one more game of trading wheat for sheep. After this, we decided to take Chompy for a walk around Lake Ella, since it was right across the street and not three miles away like the Tallahassee Dog Park.

Chompy is looking very fit these days, and no longer has the sloppy flab look she had long ago. Apparently she's been working out regularly with John Basedow in his Fitness Made Simple exercise program. Who knew it also worked on dogs? We walked her across the street to the duck lavatory that is Lake Ella, but she decided that she didn't want to walk that day and tried to pull backwards out of her collar and leash. After a couple more weak attempts, we took her back home and played a little practice poker instead.

Around 4 in the afternoon, Mike had to leave for one of his steel drum gigs where their group probably pretended to be Jamaican while playing Margaritaville for the nine millionth time while taking advantage of any open bars. Kathy and I hit the movie theatre to watch whatever happened to be playing, since it was still matinee time. Flight Plan was a very good suspense-y movie, if you're willing to suspend your disbelief of the plot (this should be a given for this type of movie though). It does a good job of slowly building up the tension and reminds me a fair bit of Panic Room, also starring Jodie Foster in a similar role. Besides one very unfortunate special effect involving a character blowing up in slow motion which looks like a high school project in "Introduction to Photoshop" class which mars the ending, I would recommend seeing it.

There are several movies that I'd like to see which are out or coming soon, but none that really need to be seen in the theatre, so I'll probably just end up renting them. I still haven't seen Wedding Crashers or 40 Year Old Virgin, but apparently everyone else in the world already has. I'd also like to see Corpse Bride (which I misspelled as Corpse Bridge the first two times I typed it) but I have issues with paying full price to see a movie that's barely 80 minutes long (this is the same reason I never watched Open Water, that shark movie that was supposed to be quite good).

After the movie, we ate dinner at Rotisserie Grill, a subsidiary of Boston Market which serves the same food. In fact, it's exactly like Boston Market except that they bring the food to your table after you order it. I'm not sure what the point of the different name is, unless they were trying to look a little higher class (hard to do when you're on a decaying Florida road between a Circle K and a pawn shop. Kathy says that the spinach is higher quality than the spinach at Boston Market, but seriously, who cares about the spinach when there's rotisserie chicken? Vegetables are only meant to add colour to the ensemble of your plate because you aren't actually supposed to eat them. Kim sees eye to eye with me on this -- if only we could convince the rest of the world to stop their misguided vegetable eating and swap it with a side of bacon (or two).

From dinner, we went back to Mike and Chompy's house where they were having a Southern edition of Poker Night™ for my benefit. I got to meet some of the new music theory/composition folks that came to FSU the year after I left, like Chris and Marty, but my role as token Korean composer for whom English is a first language remains unfilled. Based on a complex calculation of the cost of living in Florida, buy-in was set at $5, forcing me to pawn off a pair of diamond shoes to get in. Otherwise, it was much the same as up north, except that people were actually good at the game. We split into two tables of four and five respectively, and I came in third at my table. By the time the tables merged with the final four players, it was nearing 2 AM, which is about four hours past my old-man sleeping deadline. I napped on the AIDS-futon with Chompy while Marty (who lives in apartment 222) cleaned out the remaining poker pockets.

My flight home left at 11:20 on Sunday. I ate some ethnic food in the Atlanta airport while waiting for my connecting flight, and paid an exorbitant $8 at Popeyes for bite-size chicken pieces that probably came off a Cornish Game Hen. I then boarded my 1:39 flight and sat on the ground for about an hour. There were problems with the auxiliary power engine which the captain promised us "was only used on the ground to power the air conditioners", so they forced the full plane of passengers to sit in the sweltering cabin while they fixed this. I suspected it was something a bit more menacing than this, because why spend an hour fixing something that we'd only need while grounded? And we wouldn't have needed the ground-based air conditioning at all had we not been grounded.

Despite these troubles, I returned to Dulles in one piece around 4 PM and got home to a couple of fat spoiled cats who got the royal treatment while I was away. A few days on the cat treadmill with free weights should perk them back up again.

Dolphins armed and dangerous
It is rare to see disability in everyday life, let alone naked, pregnant and proud.
He'd expected her to go 'Ooh, ooh!' when he jumped out

Yesterday's search terms:
midget troyer photo gallery, good things and bad things about gas cookers, how to rent weinermobile, what vitamins prevent farting, poythress mp3, "fitness made simple" listen theme song

tagged as travel | permalink | 9 comments

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

No Good Advice

The human race has a morbid curiousity with the misfortune of others, manifested in the way we rubberneck at accidents on the interstate or check the evening news for an increase in violent crimes and embarassing misdemeanors. My personal form of this guilty pleasure is to read the advice columns in the newspaper, because it's always comforting to know that there are people more clueless and socially inept than anyone I've ever known. Just yesterday, the following letter appeared:

    I met a man on the Internet one year ago. We have been exchanging e-mails three times a week. He doesn't like to talk on the phone. He has told me time and time again that he loves me and wants to marry me. We have met only five times because we live in different states. It bothers me that all these times we have met I always pay for my airfare and hotel room. He has never introduced me to his parents or any member of his family. I have asked him to come to visit me, so that I can introduce him to my parents and other members of my family, but every time he seems to have an urgent issue that needs to be attended to.

    He has borrowed $6,000 from me, which he promised to repay, but so far he has not. Whenever I ask him about the money and what he thinks about us, he replies, "I love you." I love him so much, but I have a feeling that he does not love me. What should I do?

Having served many a time as the emotional escrow holder between two dating friends, friends needing confidence building, or friends in the unrequited throes of love and lust, there's only one universal lesson I've come away with: when people ask for advice about a situation that seems (to the outside observer) ridiculously obvious, hopeless, and/or unhealthy, they want to hear advice that affirms the path they've already chosen rather than learn of a more difficult path that might save them some heartache.

It amazes me how many letters like the one above are penned to professional advice columnists every day when the answer plainly lies in a two tick multiple-choice test with A) Ditch the bitch or B) Castrate the bastard (depending on the gender of the offending party). No matter who is asked, the unhappy person will probably get a reasonably similar response, yet he or she always feel compelled to shop around for second and third opinions. This must be why advice columns and self-help books are such a lucrative trade.

Once I've become sufficiently disillusioned with the human race, I brighten my mood by turning the page to Hints from Heloise, because I never would have realized that a rock from my garden could help prop a door open without that letter from Peggy in San Antonio, TX. Thanks, Peggy!

Arwen not featured in X-rated Tolkien
Transsexual chicken wreaks havoc in the henhouse
The mythical 40-hour gamer

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Media Day


At the critically-acclaimed, but box-office-light concert of the Manassas Dingalingers, Anna shows Rebecca how to ring with resounding joy.

Booty breaks into the Cup o' Noodles bulk box to lick the flavouring off the noodles, wisely leaving behind the fake corn because all it does is end up in your poop.

Baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby

Ella poses in a commercial for the new Fall fabrics.

And you thought living at the ass end of campus was bad.

Look at the ripples of disturbed air to my left. Either there was a spectral ghost, we smoked a lot of pot, or the candles were really really hot.

Playing the New Yorker Caption Game with seven people is a long affair -- by the end, all of Kathy's captions were done in the mold of, "Hmm, I wonder when the cheesecake is coming." Rosie is really happy about cheesecake (or wine) (or both).

See more photos by clicking on the Photos link at the top of the page! I try to add new ones at the end of every month.

Attend the $9.11 Fundraiser
Posted speech leaves phonetics inline
Handcuffed kids steal Border Patrol car

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

We kicked off the weekend with a Date Night to the Mediterranee Restaurant in Great Falls, where we dined on three-course meals for $24 each, and I ate the best "seared" steak I've ever had. We don't head out to Great Falls often, but we both agreed that it looks rich and fake, not unlike the North Shore of Kauai.

On Saturday, a Costco pilgrimage allowed us to stock up on lunch meat, soap, and shells and cheese, followed by a late birthday dinner with Rebecca's parents at the local Macaroni Grill (whose restaurants seem to be shuttering at an alarming Blockbuster-esque rate). Rebecca then spent the evening eating yogurt and salads with Annie while I barricaded myself in my home office and worked on DDMSence.

We signed up for a joint Verizon package on Sunday morning, which means that I now have a cell phone for the first time in thirty-one years. This was less about getting a cell phone, and more about the fact that my land line costs $38 + $12 taxes each month now -- a plan with two cell phones is $25 cheaper than having one cell phone and one land line. Once this is all working smoothly, I might switch to FIOS and kick Comcast to the curb as well.

The phone is currently sitting at home on a shelf, WHERE PHONES SHOULD STAY.

We closed the evening out with some nighttime glow-in-the-dark frisbee, where I perambulated over five miles with aerobic steps, according to my pedometer.

Tattooed woman 'told to put bag over head by Jobcentre'
Shipment of 15,432 bongs disguised as lamps seized by US Customs officers
Caged: Drug Gang Parrot Lorenzo The Lookout

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Museday Tuesday

As part of this feature, which I started in 2007, I compose a very brief work (under 30 seconds) inspired by a randomly generated title from an online word generator or suggested by a reader. The composition can be for any instrumentation, and could even be a purely synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.

I work on the excerpt continuously for an hour and then post whatever I've managed to complete, even if it could be the hit single from Glenn Gould Plays Tatu.


Leonine: (adj.) characteristic of a lion

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is written for a typical subset of brass and woodwinds, and is reminiscent of a running lion on a nature show, rather than a crowned lion in a cartoon.

Germans Face Off in Hairy Debate Over Whisker Do's and Don'ts
'First Irish case' of death by spontaneous combustion
Santorum asks Google to clean up search results for his name

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review Day

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

Mr. Universe, Jim Gaffigan:
This is the newest stand-up routine from Jim Gaffigan. I enjoyed it and laughed throughout, but didn't enjoy it as much as the original "Beyond the Pale" routine featuring hot pockets. I felt like the topics he chose for this one just weren't quite as interesting.

Final Grade: B-

The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination by Philip H. Melanson, Ph.D:
One of my favorite coffee table books is It's a Conspiracy!, which contains Bathroom-Reader-styled summaries of major conspiracy theories in US history. This RFK book was referenced, and I chose to read it since I wasn't very familiar with RFK. The book is engaging and obviously well-researched, but it really uses the RFK assassination as a backdrop for showing how the LAPD majorly screwed up throughout the investigation -- there's a plethora of evidence to show how the official cover story is impossible, but nearly zero space devoted to suggesting what the real story might be. For the type of book that this is, it's a good writing choice, but it won't be as interesting if you care more about what really happened. Occasionally, the weight of evidence gets pedantic.

Final Grade: B-

Wallis Bird by Wallis Bird:
Self-titled albums bug me slightly more than albums and artists with names taken from common nouns. Apparently, most musicians need a course in SEO. This third album from Wallis Bird is not quite as good as the previous ones. There are a couple upbeat, catchy songs like Heartbeating City, but the rest of the CD is filled with sleepy songs from the permanent fermata department -- not bad in the least bit, but not good for car listening.

Final Grade: B-

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Friday, September 27, 2013

End-of-the-Month Media Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2013 album.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 14 years ago, in April 2003 and provides a nice time capsule into my life as a music grad student in Tallahassee.

On the top shelf is my Marching Virginians 4-Year Mug, that I kept loose change in (to feed meters around town). To the right are all of the Windows installation disks that still only existed in 3.5" format, and farther right are two giant spindles of blank CDs for burning music from the Florida State music library (in order to pass the really awful PhD listening exam where you had to correctly identify 24 songs out of a pool of several hundred hours of music).

The second shelf contains empty CD cases to hold burned CDs. In the middle is my newly-defended Masters Thesis, Labyrinth, and on the far right is a sculpture of a polar bear at a waterfall. My apartment at the time was decorated wholly with recital posters and high school art projects.

On the bottom shelf is my Peter Spencer music theory textbook, an instruction manual for a Roland Sound Canvas that I used to record MIDI versions of my compositions, and the instruction manual for Cool Edit Pro (the go-to solution for audio recording before Adobe bought and shat on everything). Next are the first two books in the Janny Wurts Wars of Light and Shadow series, which is the only pleasure reading I brought along to Tallahassee from home. Since then 6 more have been published, and the next one comes out on October 1!

In the middle of the bottom shelf is Booty, probably eyeing some mouse toy that she just threw across the room. To the right is a box of envelopes for snail-mailing my undergraduate friends, a companion fiction book to the TV show, Alias (which was the best show on TV until it wasn't), and then two giant binders full of personal music CDs, heavy on Dave Matthews and Kansas.

Booty also hated this sightsinging textbook, as did everyone else in academia at the time:

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Black Mirror, Season Five:
This short, three-episode season consists of great standalone episodes with strong stories, but they all lack the inherent dread that is a part of Black Mirror's DNA. Technology is more of an incidental feature of the setting rather than the looming pitfall. Once these episodes are over, there isn't much that will keep you thinking of them after the fact. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

hip-hop is good by e-dubble:
I find myself constantly impressed with the hip-hop output of e-dubble. He managed to create a unique style and voice without every song sounding exactly the same. Alive 'Til I Die is a good example from this album.

Final Grade: B

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Season One:
I'm glad I powered through after my weak first impression -- this series is exactly what a Dark Crystal prequel should be in this modern age. The story arc is solid, the CGI is used very sparingly, and the lore ties into the original movie. The first episode is definitely the weakest and you also have to get over the fact that you're watching puppets (a weird criticism for a puppet show, obviously). Once my brain got into the right mindset, I enjoyed a story with a perfect mix of nostalgia, creativity, and humor. Rebecca enjoyed it too! Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

The Crystal Calls: The Making of the Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance:
This is a pretty interesting documentary, although the first half is more fluffy human interest than technical reveal. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

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Monday, September 27, 2021

Weekend Wrap-up

Maia helps raise the flag at Capon Springs and Farms over the weekend.

Everyone enjoys the all-you-can-eat buffet for breakfast, shortly before Maia got stung by a yellow jacket.

Maia revives her interest in badminton.

Maia learns all kinds of new sports.

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Weekend Wrap-up

This post is delayed because we took a three-night vacation into the country (and when you announce it in advance, hooligans show up at your house and steal stuff). We went to a crazy farmhouse outside of Front Royal. The family was accompanied by my mom and our friends, Car and Jordan.

We tried to have Ian sleep in the giant cedar closet because it was so dark but he hated it, waking up twice a night. This sunrise picture is from the first full day, when he was fully awake by 6 AM. There is an outtake version of this picture where he faceplanted on the driveway. He fell over a lot this weekend and his face is currently covered in tiny purple bruises.


Every room was chock-full of tchotchkes to the point where some rooms were toddler hazards. Maia and Rebecca played a game about making coffee, and also Monopoly Junior, which has a much better ruleset than normal Monopoly. For one, each game ends in about 20 minutes.


Ian started this fire WITH HIS BRAIN.


We made morning s'mores on this fire and then scrounged up a grate and two lengths of rebar to grill artisanal sandwiches.


We also found a way to get on the Massanutten Trail directly from the property to avoid crowded parking lots. Maia made it to her first overlook (Passage Creek) and only had to be carried down for a short distance.

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

 

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