This Day In History: 09/30

Sunday, September 30, 2001

I did a site-wide modification of the locations of various JavaScript files today. This should make things easier to maintain for me, but should also be completely invisible to you. If you run across any broken links or images that weren't there before, please let me know so I can correct my mistake.

"Now that actually is not the answer that I had in mind, because the book that I got this problem out of wants you to do it in base 8. But don't panic, base 8 is just like base 10 really -- if you're missing two fingers..." - Tom Lehrer, New Math

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Monday, September 30, 2002

This week is the newly implemented "Fall Break" which means that there's no classes on Thursday or Friday. I may take the extra time to do something new and ingenious, like compose or practice. The end of September always rushes up quickly, and it's crazy to think that there's really only two months of school left in this semester, and only two or three weeks until we start planning our schedules for the Spring.

Last night's Alias was good, but a little lacking. The first season of any show tends to be very tightly arced, because the writers don't know if the show will survive longer than that. Now that this show's popularity has been established, they're going to have to start introducing new interesting characters for all those that they've been killing off.

I've finally posted a recording of Badinage (version 2) with a proper mix between the piano and trumpet part. An excerpt can be found here (MP3, 655KB).

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Thursday, September 30, 2004

About once every half a year when I make macaroni and cheese, I forget to take the cheese packet out of the box before I dump the pasta into the boiling water. Tonight was such a night.

I might tune in to the Presidential debates tonight, but I'm not sure how much of it I can stomach without changing the channel.

Happy Birthday Jennie!

Indians Pitcher Shot Wearing Cheerleader Outfit
Illegal immigrants think they aren't breaking the law.

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Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday Fragments

  • AskJeeves is considering getting rid of Jeeves as the site mascot. This is a disappointment, because it will mean that I can't make smarmy graphics for my news posts anymore. I'm not sure why they would choose to get rid of such a recognizable icon -- it would be like me dropping my last name and hosting www.zone.net. Where's the fun in that? The only site mascot that really needs to go is the Office Paperclip. At the least, they should replace him with the Microsoft Search Puppy. Both are annoying, but I'd rather anthropomorphize a dog than an office supply.

  • One of the ads on ABC proclaims "We put the SCREAM in TV!". What the heck. Generally when you put expression A into expression B, expression B is an amalgamation of expression A and a secondary additive phrase. If expression B is only two letters long, like "TV", simple logic suggests that you can only put "T" or "V" into it. Perhaps the ad was just a clever way of saying "There is no SCREAM in TV, therefore you should conclude that this new show sucks ass and is about as scary as athlete's foot to a double amputee." After all, it does come from the same station that branded its logo as "A-B-SCREAM" last Halloween. SCREAM doesn't even rhyme with C.

  • Speaking of weird commercials, there was an ad for the Verizon V-Cast last night which depicted various celebrities like Lucy Liu sitting in people's laps to imply that you're really involved when you watch V-Cast. I believe the tagline was similar to "The most entertainment you've ever had in your lap". Now that's a cell phone I would buy.

  • I still don't own a cell phone.

  • My mom recently clipped out a Washington Post article which says that keeping wisdom teeth will lead to gum disease and pregnancy issues. This means that I'm only a 50% risk, because I floss far too much to get gum disease. Kim recently had to get all four of hers out, and she's urged me to take care of it myself before I have no say in the matter. I suppose that one day, when I least expect it, I'll be flossing and babies will fall out1. BABIES EVERYWHERE.

  • In other tooth news, the popularity of bottled water is leading to a rise in cavities because of the reduction in fluoride. I knew we could kill off the yuppies somehow. I've always been a tap water drinker unless I'm in the Outer Banks or the tap has well water. Well water is just foul.

  • Happy Birthday Jennie! I've known Jennie for almost twenty years now and she turns twenty-seven today. My dad recently resurfaced all the home movies from the 80s and 90s on DVD and Jennie is on them at several birthday parties with the rest of the usual crowd. Seeing myself and my friends as youngsters reminds me how annoying all kids can be at various stages in their trip to adulthood. I'm surprised any of us made it this far without a permanent beatdown.

  • Speaking of old faces, Ian discovered my page via Google, after I wrote about hiding from his phone calls in the summer after my eighth grade year. He's still in Pennsylvania and doing well. Who needs classmates.com when you've got urizone.net? I've now reconnected with most of my old friends who dropped off the face of the earth, so maybe I should drop a few more names in hopes that someone will be Googling themselves and stumble across this post (and then we can have conversations with sentences that start exclusively with "Remember that time when..."). I wonder where Michael Buns, Jeremy Blake, Mike Stafford, Sharif Ahmed, Hilda Dundon, Ann Lamond, Ada Holland, and Alyssa Milano are.

  • I did not actually know Alyssa Milano in high school, but she could be Googling herself as I type this. I wouldn't complain. I also need to reiterate that "Googling yourself" is not slang for anything perverted.

  • I really need to find a new party hat image for my birthday pictures.

  • When I use a bathroom in someone else's house, I always check behind the shower curtain to make sure there are no creepy things nearby before I pee. I have been known to check behind my own shower curtain as well. To date, no one has been back there, but my overactive imagination fully expects something scary to jump out on the one day I don't check. I put the SCREAM in SHOWER.

  • Alias last night was "okay". Oompa Loompa Girl asked me not to post any spoilers today, so I won't mention any of the plot twists. This first episode seemed like a pastiche of Alias-y elements. It introduced a new baddie group tangentially related to the original Rambaldi storyline which could turn out to be very interesting, but either way it's going to be a very different show now. Half the time I watched it, it felt like a rehash of the weak seasons (complete with the stock music filler and the jerky camera angles) and the other half, it felt out of place -- like your favourite author died halfway through writing his or her series, and someone else tried to ghost write the remaining books. That seems to be the problem with J.J. Abrams shows: he gets caught up in them at the outset and does really great things, and then loses interest after a couple years and moves on to something else. Hopefully the fact that he's not the direct creator of Lost will protect that show from jumping the shark (I still can't talk about Lost yet because I don't know if everyone's caught up with these new episodes yet). As for Alias though, I feel compelled to keep watching solely because I've stuck with it for four years, but will probably not go out of my way to plan my Thursday around it. Season Two is still incredible though.

  • This weekend I may go out to the Oakton Classic to relive my high school band days and see the Marching Virginians performing as the guest band. I've also got lots of other miscellaneous shopping and house tasks to attend to. Have a good weekend!
  • 1: I do not eat babies -- I'm presuming that they would come out of my teeth because I lack certain other body parts to have a successful pregnancy.

    Drugs to give you that 80s feeling
    Must have kids to sit here
    I wanted to choose a Chinese restaurant for our Mid-Autumn Festival dinner, but my son said he preferred a hamburger [so we went to KFC. What the heck].

    Yesterday's search terms:
    lyric and have lots of kids their scientific name is arachnid, reckless speeding virginia loudoun court -attorneys, caesar jokes, fun facts about freud, fun facts about penguins, fun facts about giovanni gabrielli, cats playing poker

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    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Newsday Tuesday

    Mama's milk ice cream cone, anyone?

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is asking [Ben & Jerry's] to begin using breast milk in its products instead of cow's milk, saying it would reduce the suffering of cows and calves and give ice cream lovers a healthier product.

    Old readers might also remember the time PETA tried to convince the Boy Scouts to ban the Fishing merit badge because it results in mutilated fish who are in tremendous amounts of pain. That campaign fell apart when it was discovered that the interviewed fish was "just a little emo" and a cutter. (Soon after, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed their patriotic mandate to only ban gays and heathens).

    "If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers - and cows - would reap the benefits," wrote Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of the animal rights advocacy group. She said dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies and obesity.

    In rebuttal, the dairy industry notes that their products are also linked to such deliciousness as Velveeta Shells and Cheese and instant mashed potatoes, while human breast milk is "kind of like pee from a different hole". Industry experts also noted the inherent hilarity of "dairy farts" and making fun of lactose-intolerant people, speculating that the world would not be as amusing without milk.

    "We're aware this idea is somewhat absurd, and that putting it into practice is a stretch. At the [same time], it's pretty absurd for us to be drinking the milk of cows," [the campaign coordinator] said.

    By conceding that this is not exactly the breast solution to the problem, PETA has once again shown that it cares less about the protection of animals and more about generating worldwide publicity to the fact that they're ape-shit (and/or) bat-shit insane.

    As a standardized product under federal regulations, ice cream must be made with milk from healthy cows. Ice cream made from goat's milk, for example, would have to be labeled as such. Presumably, so would mother's milk ice cream.

    Descendants of Robert Klark Graham have already submitted a labelling system that would identify the ice cream made from blond-haired blue-eyed donors. They suggested the name, Nordic Tracks, but are currently entangled in trademark disputes.

    To Ben & Jerry's, the idea is udderly ridiculous.

    Dear Associated Press, please stick to the news and leave the funny to me. Thank you.

    Then there's the question of who would provide the milk, and whether they'd be paid. ". . . There's a population of women very willing to share their milk. Whether there's enough to do it for a commercial entity, who can say?"

    PETA suggests that milk selling would be a good way for a poor family to make it to payday, or for an elderly relative who requires a caretaker to contribute to expenses. First though, the stigma of the phrase, "putting grandma out to pasture", would have to be removed. Until then, this idea faces a rocky road to acceptance.

    Jen Wahlbrink, 34, of Phoenix, who breast-fed her 11-month-old son, Cameron, said she wouldn't touch ice cream made from mother's milk. "The (breast) pumps just weren't that much fun. You really do feel like a cow," she said, cradling her son in her hands.

    In response, the FOX network has stated that they are developing a reality show called Breast Pumps Are Fun!! as a midseason replacement in 2009, in which new mothers would try to shoot tin cans or fill giant saucers with their breast milk. It could not be determined at press time if the idea had already been done in Japan.

    Exploding custard truck sends driver running
    Pub calls time on equine regular
    Prisoners allowed to order out food

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    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    End-of-the-Month Media Day

    See new Cat Pictures
    See new September Pictures
    See new Baby Pictures

    Shoppers liberate giant lobster
    Woman pulls gun on cop as chihuahua deal goes bad
    Judge rules that cows might not have even been puzzled

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    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Review Day

    There are no spoilers in these reviews.

    Dexter, Season Four:
    The fourth season of Dexter is better than the third, but not quite as good as the second. This season finds Dexter juggling too many responsibilities and masks, and brings back some of the inherent awkwardness in Dexter's social interactions (unlike last season where he seemed more like a normal guy struggling to be a serial killer). The character of Harry as an inner monologue is a little overused this season, especially one episode where he inserts little sidekick narrations throughout, such as "Where'd he go?" and "Let's go that way!" but the story is well-wrapped from start to finish. John Lithgow is extraordinarily creepy, and deserving of his Golden Globe.

    As for the finale, in retrospect it was logical and foreshadowed well but we still found it a little unnecessary. It should make for a great fifth season though.

    Final Grade: A

    Bottle Shock:
    Rebecca picked up this movie because it was supposedly based on a winery we went to in California called Grgich. After finishing the movie and hearing no sign of that winery, we looked on Wikipedia to discover that the one employee who went on to found Grgich was not put in the movie at all, which seems a little spiteful. The movie is pleasant enough and far better than A Walk in the Clouds with Keanu Reeves. Plus, you get to hear Alan Rickman swear, "Knickers!"

    Final Grade: B-

    The Success of Open Source by Steven Weber:
    Since there are no more Girl With The books to read, this was my quick Kindle fix on the beach a couple weeks ago. This tome on open source is full of knowledge, but for people who need to know more about open source for their livelihoods -- it's much deeper than a casual overview of the subject. It's at its most readable when covering historical topics and the people involved, and exceedingly dry and wordy when talking about the legal and political aspects. I retained less than 2% of the final chapter.

    Final Grade: B-

    One night stands explained
    TV host announces wrong winner for Top Model
    Basic Religion Test Stumps Many Americans

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    Friday, September 30, 2011

    End-of-the-Month Media Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2011 album. Enjoy!

    Why does anyone still use Bank of America?
    Amazon's Android Tablet May Be the Best and Kill the Rest
    Belgium's "Mr Penguin" dreams of Antarctic funeral

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    Monday, September 30, 2013

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Saturday morning, we got up early to go hiking at Sugarloaf Mountain. The hike set itself apart from other hikes by its sin wave of summits, which put the highest summit within the first quarter mile, followed up regularly-spaced smaller peaks.

    In the evening, we met up with Rebecca's cousin, Elizabeth, and had dinner at Mighty Mike's, where the basement-cousin, Abby, works. The bar/restaurant is a throwback to old Sterling, barely satisfying the intent of the Virginia restaurant smoking law with its million parts-per-million of smoke particles suspended in the air like poor special effects in a high school play. However, the food was good and the ambience was friendly, as long as you don't mind washing your clothes afterwards.

    On Sunday, our friends, the Cranes, had a "gender reveal" party where the baker secretly put their baby in a cake so we could cut it open to see what color it was on the inside. As you can see from the visual aid, Rebecca guessed correctly that it would be a girl.

    We then came home to close out the evening with some of the ninth season of The Office, which is surprisingly good and definitely has a "final season" feel to it.

    I'm on vacation this week to work on Auricle, so blog updates may be sporadic, erratic, insipid, or all of the above.

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    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2014 album.

    • Events
      • Hiked in Riverbend Park and Great Falls on 9/1.

      • Had a successful Beach Week in Kill Devil Hills from 9/6 - 9/13.

      • Turned 35, and am now closer to 40 than 30.

      • Ate dinner with Rebecca's parents on 9/21.

      • Played Gloom with Anna and Ben on 9/27.

    • Projects
      • Worked on more proposals, and also had some long overnighters to support a software deployment.

      • Started an online class in "Usable Security", which is about as soft-skills as it sounds.

      • Arranged a brass quintet tune.

      • Rearranged the office.

    • Consumerism
      • Enjoyed watching Sons of Anarchy's first two seasons and Damages: Season One, and eager to start the third season of Person of Interest this week.

      • Played Hearthstone and South Park: The Stick of Truth.

      • Enjoyed new music from the Scissor Sisters and Caro Emerald, and looking forward to the new Dirt Poor Robins release today.

    September's Final Grade: B+

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    Wednesday, September 30, 2015

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2015 album.

    • Events
      • Had tacos at Old Ox Brewery on F 9/4.

      • Hosted a barbeque for Rebecca's yoga friends with minimal meats on S 9/5.

      • Went back to Sperryville and Hopkins Ordinary for a hiking weekend on F 9/11.

      • Turned 36 and got closer to death on T 9/15.

      • Visited with Anna and kids on F 9/18.

      • Rebecca started a semester of yoga teacher training on S 9/19.

      • Ate brunch with Returned Mike on S 9/19.

      • Went to Prema's wedding party in Ashburn on S 9/19.

      • Ate burgers with Returned Mike on M 9/21 at the Counter.

      • Renewed the urizone.net domain name for its 12th year on M 9/21.

      • Had dinner with my parents on S 9/26.

    • Projects
      • Abandoned a game development side project in favor of playing more games.

      • Worked on another short fuse proposal effort.

      • Cleaned and organized the entire house.

    • Consumerism
      • Enjoyed watching Gone Girl, Whiplash, and seasons of Narcos and Fargo.

      • Enjoyed the entire Wool trilogy by Hugh Howey.

      • Enjoyed new music by Metric, Whitton, and the Hilltop Hoods.

    September's Final Grade: A, turned 36 and can now vote twice.

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    Friday, September 30, 2016

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2016 album.

    • Events
      • Went to Anya's housewarming party in Leesburg on S 9/4.

      • Went to the Lowry's for Labor Day on M 9/5.

      • Converted to a standing desk on H 9/8.

      • Had lo mein at Cheng's on S 9/10.

      • Turned 37 and had breakfast at Virginia Kitchen on H 9/15.

      • Went to a Lusitanian horse demonstration at Creekside Winery, sampled beers at Mad Horse Brew Pub, and ate fancy local foods at Market Table Bistro on S 9/17.

      • Visited my parents for a birthday dinner of salmon on S 9/18.

      • Ended the weekend with a steak and mushroom pizza at Mellow Mushroom on S 9/25.

      • Watched the first debate on M 9/26.

    • Projects
      • Swapped office and guest bedroom singlehandedly on H 9/1 and then updated the furniture and computers throughout the month for maximum productivity.

      • Resumed work on Sparkour on W 9/21, releasing 2 new recipes and updating everything for Spark 2.0.

    • Consumerism
      • Continuing to play Overwatch, where my play hours are about to break the record I put into Skyrim.

      • Got several new CDs for my birthday, and am enjoying almost all of them.

      • Enjoyed the fourth season of Luther, and currently enjoying the fourth season of Orphan Black much more than the third.

    September's Final Grade: A-, A birthday and plenty of vacation days taken, with a dollop of renewed productivity.

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    Monday, September 30, 2019

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

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

    • Events
      • Had the Jacksons and son over for London Broil on S 9/1.

      • Rebecca and Maia went out to Front Royal for cousin Sammy's birthday party while I stayed home to work on M 9/2.

      • Maia started "Just for 2s" class at the community center on T 9/3. BU-Maia dinner at Miller's in the evening.

      • Visit to the Uri grandparents on H 9/5.

      • Dinner at Mike and Ghazaley's on F 9/6.

      • Morning at Claude Moore Park with Chih, Sena, and Nolan on S 9/7. Dinner at Calypso on Lake Anne in the evening.

      • Dad-daughter dinner at Fireworks Pizza on T 9/10.

      • Family dinner at Fireworks Pizza (again) on F 9/13.

      • 40th Birthday Poker Night in a rental house in Clifton on S 9/14.

      • Relaxing Maia-free day in Clifton on S 9/15, with dinner at Main Street Pub.

      • Dad-daughter dinner at The V on H 9/19.

      • Family dinner at Cafesano on F 9/20.

      • Maia and I go for a nature walk at Sugarland Run while Rebecca works on S 9/21. Family sushi for dinner.

      • Rebecca and Maia went to the Mosaic Farmer's Market with Andrea and Amelia on S 9/22. Flank steak for dinner with Tammy in the evening.

      • Family dinner at Bungalow Lakehouse after yoga on M 9/23.

      • Visit from the Uri grandparents on W 9/25.

      • Rebecca and Maia went on a church retreat with the grandparents while BU had a staycation, H 9/26 - M 9/30.

    • Projects
      • Released Issue 01 of "The Uri Tech Primer" at work on F 9/13.

    • Consumerism
      • Moved on from playing Grim Dawn and now trying out the Director's Cut edition of Bard's Tale IV.

      • Enjoyed watching the third season of Stranger Things.

      • No new music of note this month.

    September's Final Grade: A, turning 40 is great!

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    Wednesday, September 30, 2020

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2020 album.

    • Events
      • Rebecca and Maia went apple-picking with the Smiths in Markham on F 9/4.

      • Spent my birthday weekend in a mountain cabin in Basye, VA with the Smiths, F 9/11 - M 9/14. Rebecca and Maia stayed on for another 3 nights with her parents, M 9/14 - H 9/17. I came back for the last night.

      • Screen porch visit with my parents on F 9/25.

      • Rebecca and Maia went to Lake Barcroft with her parents on S 9/26.

    • Projects
      • Relocated my home office to the basement on S 9/5.

      • Took on a side gig of proofreading an e-book trilogy.

    • Consumerism
      • Enjoyed watching Get Duked! and reading Draigon Weather this month. No new music of note.

      • Started playing Paper Mario: Origami King, which has a tedious battle system but which moves slowly enough that Maia can enjoy watching.

    September's Final Grade: B, still alive at 41

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