This Day In History: 10/04

Thursday, October 04, 2001

This may be old news to some of you, but I just heard about it yesterday. The lengths people will go to these days... . Here's a brief excerpt from the article:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is now targeting the Boy Scouts of America because of a merit badge given to members who exhibit a mastery of fishing, an activity PETA claims "[teaches] young people that hooking, maiming, suffocating, and killing [fish] is acceptable." To spread its message, PETA has begun running television advertisements calling on the Boy Scouts to retire its "Fishing" and "Fish and Wildlife Management" merit badges. "We say fishing is a violent activity, [because] fish suffer when they are impaled in the mouth and yanked out of the water," [Dawn Carr] said. "Kids should be encouraged to participate in other activities that don't involve killing fish."

I think I have both of those merit badges from my Scouting days a decade ago... Does that make me a horribly vicious person?

"Stephen Foster really irritates me [...] He writes these smarmy, nasty, little tunes [...] But it is a good example of a two-phrase period, blast him!" - professor, in a diatribe on the audacity of Stephen Foster, and the use of Camptown Races as a politically incorrect example of periods

tagged as newsday | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, October 04, 2002

We decided to take a trip to the beach this afternoon and found the place pretty much deserted. Besides the usual assortment of humping horseshoe crabs, we also found a cache of fiddler crabs buried just below the waterline, which the dog had a blast with.

There was an incredibly crass commercial on last night for a welding school in Jacksonville. Taking consumer stupidity to its natural extreme, the commercial opened with "Our welding school is a lot like this other welding school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Well, graduates from that school have a 99% employment rate!" The rest of the commercial was one crazy comparison after another, and it ended by saying, "Nationwide, there is a demand for 900 more welders than our school had graduates last year. Think how many job opportunities this means for you!"

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Saturday, October 04, 2003

I've created a new custom game for players of Warcraft III called Caravan Assault. It's essentially a cross between the popular custom game, Footman Wars, and Capture the Flag. Check it out on the Games page if you're into that sort of thing. If you think I'm geeking too far into the gaming side of things, I'll try to get you a musical update in the coming weeks.

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Monday, October 04, 2004

Busy today. Updates tomorrow.

It keeps holding me all the way through. I think this is great because this does not betray me.
Asked about the possible origin of the machine, Torre said, "You can buy one on eBay."

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

It's fun getting packages in the mail, and since I do all my non-impulse shopping online, I get quite a few. I try to limit my Amazon purchases to one a month or so, and just let things pile up in my shopping cart until they reach a critical mass (This also lets me have a grace period when I decide that I don't want to purchase Girls Gone Wild: Boise Edition after all). My most recent Amazon shipment came on Friday, and contained the following:

The Mikado: Gilbert and Sullivan
My friend, Jason, is playing 2nd trumpet in the orchestra for this show in November and had a conflict, so I'm subbing in for him on one night. It should be fun -- it will give me a chance to do some dedicated playing and transposition. I bought a recent recording of it for completeness, but the downside is that it contains modernized lyrics as well. It's jarring to hear a standard Gilbert and Sullivan arrangement talk about Walkmen. I don't know which version will be performed in November, but the recording assures me that the music is all predictable and there will be no surprises.

Scrubs: Complete First Season
Scrubs is one of those shows that I always find hilarious when I get around to watching it, but never watch on a regular basis. I was waiting for it to show up in Costco because I am a cheap miser, but finally decided to just order it online. I was desperately in need of more sitcom-length series to watch while exercising -- Lost, Alias, and 24 are fine and dandy when you split them with someone, but biking by yourself for that long results in sweaty buttocks, which is not particularly sexy. Being sexy while you work out is a must, which is why I do shirtless medicine ball exercises in my driveway and at the mall.

Firefly: Complete First Season
I was hesitant to pick this up, because the box and all the promotional materials scream "space opera", and the space opera is not exactly high on my list of favoured genres (see also, the Wing Commander computer games and movie, where creator, Chris Roberts, decided that his prowess at making space shooter games meant he could also be a cinematographer and write romance dialogue). I finally bought it on the recommendation of both Kim and Rachel, and have decided that it was worth it. Firefly is one of many critically-acclaimed shows that starts out on FOX before becoming prematurely aborted by network executives. Created by the guy who did Buffy the Vampire Slayer (another cult show that I didn't really care for), it was doomed from the start since no one at FOX understood the show. Apparently they promoted it as a comedy-action space show and then proceeded to show about ten episodes (all in the wrong order, by the way) before consigning it to death. Since then, though, it's gone on to become a top-selling DVD and sparked enough interest to lead to the Serenity movie which is currently out.

When the pilot started, with lots of flashing lights and flying spaceships, I cringed inwardly and figured it would turn out to be "Starship Troopers for TV", but thankfully this doomsday prophecy didn't come true. Instead, the show changes gears pretty quickly into a drama / character study show that just happens to be set in space. In fact, I'd go as far as saying it's more of a Western than a Sci-Fi show. I'm about halfway through the fourteen-episode series now and it's grown on me a lot.

Tens of thousands of appliances are releasing a gag-inducing stench of rancid shrimp, sulfurous eggs, and other adjective-laden nouns.
"Is the goal that they should never look at their own vagina and not know about it?"
Doing my part to add Geri Agalia to Google

Yesterday's search terms:
manassas slut, pta sluts, diablo 2 guitar chord sheet

tagged as reviews | permalink | 5 comments

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Open-Ended Games

I've played many a game in my day, and am equally good at first-person shooters and puzzle games -- any game, in fact, that has a set of tangible goals and a feeling of accomplishment at the end. However, the one type of game that has never appealed to me is the open-ended experimental game, like SimAnt or Black and White. If the game has not been given an ending by the game developers, I lose the impetus to continue playing. Even more lightweight titles like A Wonderful Life where you live the day-to-day life of a farmer, or Nintendogs where you care for a dog, lasted only a few short weeks in my gaming library. Even when my puppy was a dirty, crusty whore of a lab from neglect, I felt no compulsion to turn it on and play.

The same applies to my personality in real life. If you give me a list of things to do, everything on life's checklist will be marked with a big fat X in record time. If, however, you tell me to go make my own goals, I'll either mill about in the comfort of the status quo or I'll set goals that allow me to move laterally without much accomplishment or effort.

Flight Sims are the worst offenders -- what do you do once you've successfully launched a plane into the air and are now pretending to fly around the world? Is it even worth the bother when the flight sim box contains a two ounce floppy disk and a twelve pound instruction manual?

For some reason, there was always a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator in our house growing up, dating all the way back to Flight Simulator 2.0, released in 1985 with CGA graphics that made the skylines an impressive four-colour pastiche of leprechaun scabs and vomit. I confess now, after the gamers' statute of limitations has expired, that I never once managed to get a plane off the ground in a flight simulator, no matter how many times I tried. Not reading the instruction manual was part of the problem, but on the rare occasions I'd load up the game, I would generally try to get airborne once more before giving up and purposefully crashing off the runway.

And even then, my need for endings was denied, since the game just reset rather than exploding your plane in a giant monochrome ball of fire.

Season premiere of LOST tonight! Happy Birthday Deborah Lipnick!

Implants act as airbag
Burger King goes gamer
Avoid dark-alley gropery and unladylike fumbling in the back of a cab

tagged as games | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Out of Ideas Day

Don't worry, I'm not out of ideas, because as a last resort I can always string some vaguely rhyming words together and suffix them with DAY (see also, Museday Tuesday, Newsday Tuesday, Manic Monday, and Dave Day).

It's actually Hollywood that's out of ideas, something that's been painfully obvious every since they released The Second To Last Karate Kid and Bewitched. The most recent example of OOI Syndrome (pronounced OO-wee) is the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie coming out in December.

Apparently it wasn't enough to make 120 minute versions of every 30 minute sitcom from the 1950s -- now they have to make a movie based on an animated cartoon from the 80s, which in turn was based on a silly novelty record from the 60s, which was based on the weak gimmick of playing a recording twice as fast to sound like a chipmunk. This, to me, is like figuring that the bassoon has kind of a funny sound to it, deciding that it would be a good idea to write a twenty-minute concerto for one, and then actually getting it performed in public.

Of course, it's never good enough for Hollywood to bring nostalgia back without "updating" it for the current generation, so for this movie, apparently Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are now 80s rappers and Jason Lee (of My Name is Earl and Kevin Smith fame) has pimped himself out to the highest bidder in the "I would expect Tim Allen to play this part" role of David Seville.

I'm not sure what the plot of this movie will be like, but judging from the official movie trailer, it will involve chipmunks pooping and other chipmunks eating it. Always hilarious. It might actually be a step up from the cartoons, where the chipmunks got into ridiculous scrapes which allowed them to sing songs like Creedence Clearwater Revival's Proud Mary over a chase scene of some kind. The fact that I watched it at all was probably just because DuckTales, a superior cartoon in every way, followed immediately afterwards.

Happy Birthday Deborah Lipnick!

Restaurant's chillis cause London chemical scare
Wouldn't it be great to live at the mall?
Lawmaker shows nude photo to students

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Monday, October 04, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday evening, we braved the inbound traffic to have dinner with Jack & Kristy and their newbie, Johnny. We ate salmon and a pasta salad with ham, followed by two Guinness. We celebrated Rebecca's mom's birthday in Silver Spring on Saturday afternoon, and followed it up with a short hike on the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls (ghetto-side). We then channeled our hiking hunger into burgers at Red Robin, followed by unfrozen wedding cake for anniversary purposes.

On Sunday, we headed to Taylorstown to celebrate Rebecca's aunt's birthday (the pair being twins) and continued to eat a neverending supply of cake. We then tried to play night frisbee, but the cold, rainy conditions (and the fact that orange glow sticks look the same as green glow sticks if you're colourblind) were not conducive to enjoyment, so we returned home after an hour for additional cake.

If you would like some cake, please stop by. The cake is not a lie.

Monkeys on duty at Commonwealth Games
7ft worms, hermaphrodite sailors and resurrection by tobacco revealed in archive
Lord Jesus Christ Claims Discrimination

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

Tuesday, October 04, 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.


Jouncing: (adj.) moving joltingly, or roughly up and down

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I wrote this one with no particular instrumentation in mind, but it could probably be easily adapted for a small jazz combo with a full set of chromatically tuned timpani.

Theater professor's Firefly poster declared threatening
Modern Warfare 3's Pepsi Cross Promotion Steps Over the Line
Bob Cassilly killed in bulldozer accident at 'Cementland'

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Ladder of Opportunity

Fill in the blank with the name of a presidential candidate of your choosing, such that the cartoon accurately depicts your preconceived (yet totally correct and awesome) world view.

tagged as politics | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, October 04, 2013

Auricle Day

I didn't get quite as far as I had planned this week, having been distracted by Tomb Raider and Breaking Bad, but I did manage to finish the "world map" logic so it can quickly be templated for future worlds.

tagged as programming | permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Debate Analysis

  • Tim Kaine is easily the warmest, most inoffensive Muppet that Jim Henson ever created.

  • Mike Pence's stark facial features suggest a man who has overzealously drained his lifeforce into a Horcux in his quest for immortality.

tagged as politics | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Eighth Anniversary Day

As anniversaries pass, and senility robs us of our wedding memories, we'll always have the photographic evidence to fall back on.

Other posts in this series: 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022

tagged as media | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, October 04, 2019

Tenth Anniversary Day

As anniversaries pass, and senility robs us of our wedding memories, we'll always have the photographic evidence to fall back on.

Other posts in this series: 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, October 04, 2021

Ian Week #23 Battle Report

Ian is now 17 pounds and 23 weeks old. He sleeps through the night most nights and is slowly learning to take a formal afternoon nap after about 30 minutes of absolute outrage.

He loves to eat solids, and is equally pleased with being at eye level with the rest of us while eating. He can down three ice-cube-sized blobs of purees without batting an eye, and may soon be participating in competitive eating contests.

He is not quite rolling over yet, but can roll out of different positions. He can also tilt his head all the way back while on the floor to see what's above his head -- he looks kind of like a whale that's about to open his mouth wide and aerodynamically swim through a swarm of chum for his next meal.

Ian has calmed down a lot and is more able to spend longer periods of time just lying around us exploring his environment instead of demanding constant attention. He goes with Rebecca to an outdoor exercise class four times a week but does not do squats.

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

 

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