This Day In History: 10/14

Sunday, October 14, 2001

This was a good weekend in college football, with another Top 5 team losing, and Miami looking better (because Tech will look better defeating an undefeated #1 team). Even though the Hokies gave up way too many points late in the game against Boston College, they looked pretty good in the first half and won 35-20.

My computer's become pretty unstable from trying to rip so many scratched and marred CDs from the library. Although I love VisualAge as a Java environment, its database structure isn't great with frequent crashes, and I've already lost good chunks of code twice now. Because of this, I'm postponing PRIMA until I have time to do another reformat of the entire system...probably around Thanksgiving or Christmas time.

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Monday, October 14, 2002

Last night I had a long and pedantic dream in which I wrote the third section of my thesis from start to finish. There was no MIDI in the dream, I just wrote on paper with pencil and it played from somewhere. Of course, when I woke up, none of it was done and I couldn't remember a single note I'd put on the paper.

"The Daily Evergreen would like to sincerely apologize for an injustice served to the Filipino-American, Spanish-speaking and Catholic communities on the front page of Thursday's Evergreen.

The story 'Filipino-American history recognized' stated that the 'Nuestra Senora de Buena Esperanza,' the galleon on which the first Filipinos landed at Morro, Bay, Calif., loosely translates to 'The Big Ass Spanish Boat.' It actually translates to 'Our Lady of Good Hope.'

Parts of the story, including the translation above, were plagiarized from an inaccurate Web site." - Daily Evergreen Online

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Muse's Absolution is a pretty good CD. Its style is a mix of overdramatic 80s rock opera, Romantic era chord progressions, and a slight hint of heavy metal. I'm not a big fan of heavy metal or square wave distortion, but Muse dabbles just enough in it that it's not obnoxious (except for one song). For a sample of Muse, see my September 20 news update.

Bush is really a robot
Ukrainian teen fights the Rise of the Machines?
It's an inappropriate use of city equipment, obviously

tagged as reviews | permalink | 3 comments

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Fragments

  • If any of you commenters without a cute icon for your comments wants one, please e-mail me with a picture or the URL of a picture. I will crop it and make it appear on your posts. Comments icons make it easier to read or ignore deep thoughts from your favourite fellow readers ("Oh, there's Kelley's picture five times in a row, I guess I can ignore the comments page today").

  • I recently read this article saying that IKEA would be more successful if they raised their prices a bit and made the service more high-class. This might be true for some stores, but I think IKEA is fine for what it is -- a big-box store with do-it-yourself furniture selection that needs no service. In fact, lower the prices and get rid of all the employees and I'd shop there even more.

  • Another recent story I read involved people who want warning labels on milk for the lactose intolerant. This is ridiculous. Drinking milk when you are lactose intolerant will make you gassy, not give you cancer. If you lack the common sense to realize that the milk is giving you the farts, then a warning label probably isn't going to do you much good.

  • I became lactose intolerant in college because I stopped drinking milk completely. The only available milk was in Dietrick, and I only ate the unhealthy selections at Dietrick Express, Owens, and Hokie Grill. Oh, and Shultz for the all-you-can-eat bacon. After a slow return to milk over a year or so, I now drink the occasional glass of milk with no problems, which leads me to conclusively conclude that those whiners are just a bunch of gassy pansies.

  • When I played Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, I named my character Gassy. I don't know why. It was funny because the name you pick gets put into the story text throughout the game. Gassy saved the world.

  • I really wish it would stop raining. It's been over a week since I could watch the sunrise at work. Someone take care of this for me, please.

  • Today is Dan's birthday, or Beavis if you know him as such. Dan was my roommate at Tech in the 1997-1998 year, and was also the retard that brought a pony keg on the trumpet bus to West Virginia when it got pulled over by a State Trooper. Happy Birthday!

  • Have you ever had a bus war? It's where the back of the bus and the front of the bus face off and try to touch the opposite end of the bus. Anything goes, including crawling through the overhead bins, under the seats, or bodily throwing people around. I'm surprised the bus drivers put up with the mayhem, since the back of the bus generally won, which meant that there were quite a few people jostling about beyond the white line.

  • I remember when Anna was a shiny baby-faced freshman on her first road trip and the weird trumpet player with the not so weird brother tried to keep her from winning by pulling her shorts off. This was a guy that would never look you in the eye and talk to you, but he would go crazy at games, cheering in his own little bubble of space (people didn't stand next to him because of the flailing arms and incoherent cheers which may have been in tongues). He generally stood behind the horn player that Doug made fun of for having no neck.

  • I had Lipton Sour Cream and Chives Noodles for dinner last night for the first time since living in Blacksburg. They taste great but they made my house smell like a hatful of ass. The worst is when you wake up in the morning and you can still smell the aroma of last night's dinner wafting through the air ducts.

  • How do you counter an old lady with a house full of 200 cats? With a man who has 300 birds, of course. It's like a ecological version of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

  • I've started studying for the next level of Java Certification, which costs a whopping $400. If I pass though, my company pays it in full. If there's anyone out there who would like to pretend to teach me something, we can write it off and split the tuition costs, and then use that cash to start a Christmas tree farm.

  • I'm looking forward to the holidays already. I don't really have any deep sentimental attachment to Thanksgiving and Christmas (I generally work up to and around those specific days), but I do like the decorating and the eating and all that jazz. Last year, I had XM set to one of their seven all-Christmas stations and piped it throughout my house nonstop. It's a good thing I live alone this year because I definitely plan on doing it again.

  • This weekend shouldn't be as busy as the last. I'm off work at noon today so I can go buy stuff I don't really need (like a new magnet board to fall off the wall and wake me up in the middle of the night, and a rug to catch litter in the bathroom when Amber plays "Litter Bomb"), then I plan to vacuum the house to give my carpets that neat freshly-lined look, followed by dinner at a reasonably swank locale with Kim and company. Tomorrow, I'm buying paint at Sears, returning a shirt at Old Navy, doing some Java studying and Finale work and joining an in-guild 15-man raid of Upper Blackrock Spire to kill General Drakkisath for my Wildheart Vest drinking beer with my hand in my pants while farting the Chinese alphabet. No plans yet for Sunday, but I'm thinking about a hike or a walk or something Fall-y like that.

  • Including the cost of the game and the monthly payments, I have now spent about $200 on World of Warcraft since I bought it last November. This seems like a lot, until I realize that I haven't bought any other games in that time, where I normally would have bought one a month or so. This is a savings of about $300 -- even more when you add up all the days I didn't rent a movie or go to the theater or go parasailing as a result of the game. Charles Schwab would call this a good low-risk investment. I now have eight real characters, but only five I play with any regularity.

  • Have a great weekend!

  • Yesterday's search terms:
    good puns for the royal fireworks, how much to tip bathroom attendant, scary godmother porno, eaten by the couch

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 10 comments

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

    9:33 AM: Sunday Sleep-ins.

    9:50 AM: Obligatory post-shower pic.

    10:08 AM: Rebecca has cereal for breakfast.

    11:31 AM: Making another chocolate cake for a visit to relatives.

    12:32 PM: Studying diligently (five chapters down this weekend!)

    1:35 PM: Tasty, greasy buffalo wings for lunch.

    2:47 PM: Driving up to Silver Spring to visit Rebecca's relatives.

    4:47 PM: Killing time by visiting the local Silver Spring thrift store in search of costume parts for Halloween.

    6:29 PM: Visiting Mike (of Mike and Chompy) in Glover Park, having just walked back from Starbucks.

    6:47 PM: Rebecca meets Chompy.

    8:00 PM: Anne arrives with a hat for the birthday boy.

    9:20 PM: Trying to teach all these clowns how to play Settlers of Catan.

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

    Happy Birthday Dan Shiplett!

    Rap fan pays fine rather than listen to classical music
    Lord British shot into space
    Mutant fish develops taste for human flesh

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    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    I'm sitting in the hole in the giant's chin, on Nounou Mountain.

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

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Sick Day

    Review Day cancelled for migraines.

    I would prefer to be alerted to changes in the weather by a creaky knee, or maybe an Atom/RSS feed.

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    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Vocabulary Friday

    I'm up to my preferred height in preparing briefings this week, so I did not have time to write a Fragments column last night. Here is a recent game of Scrabble instead.

    Stop, Or I'll Tweet! Cops Struggle With Social Media
    Sex forum canceled for lack of interest
    Marathon man undone by bus trip

    tagged as random | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    Chad Darnell's 12 of 12


    6:42 AM: Cats stealing footspace.

    7:14 AM: Breakfast bagel and the newspaper.

    8:04 AM: Playing Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

    9:38 AM: Back from Costco with swag.

    10:00 AM: Reading the work leadership book club selection, Good to Great, while it starts to rain again.

    11:00 AM: Playing video games that purport to teach children how to make difficult decisions.

    11:48 AM: Rainy day inside with the family.

    12:42 PM: Costco's crispy honey chicken for lunch.

    1:33 PM: Folding party.

    2:42 PM: Cheese, tiger, and How I Met Your Mother party.

    5:52 PM: Ahlbin dinner party (spot the kitty).

    8:30 PM: Games with Anna and Ben.

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    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    Truth in Advertising

    According to the guidebooks, this is what we will see when we visit the Pacific Northwest.

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    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    Memory Day: Snapshots

    This picture was taken six years ago today, on October 14, 2009.

    As the "crazy thing we wouldn't normally do" during our Kauai honeymoon, we went on a Jack Harter Helicopter Tour, which cost a few hundred dollars and lasted about an hour. The weather was wonderful on the island, but we were bundled up here because of the blustery conditions in an open-air helicopter. The Tour was definitely a high point, and the guide gave us a well-polished monologue while lingering over the various sites for long enough to take great pictures.

    Afterwards, we had dinner at a Japanese sushi restaurant and tried crazy sushis, including a "fried hand-roll" which turned out to be like a waffle cone full of fishies.

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    Friday, October 14, 2016

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    KIN by KT Tunstall:
    The good KT is back after the disappointing, overly mellow Invisible Empire / Crescent Moon album in 2013. This album is full of catchy hooks that will get stuck in your head.

    Final Grade: B+

    Architect by Wallis Bird:
    Wallis Bird strays away from her folksy guitar sound into electronica here, and the result isn't particularly exciting. There are a few good songs interspersed, but overall, the production is cold and forgettable.

    Final Grade: C-

    Stranger Things:
    This series was fun, but not nearly as amazing as hyped. It's a pleasant homage to every 80s movie ever made (like ET meets the Goonies) and has a nice story arc that's just the right length. Winona Ryder's shrill performance is exactly what it's supposed to be, but it gets annoying after just one episode. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B

    Dell XPS 13:
    Although I miss my HP Folio 13, which started having random keyboard failures (and sometimes the failing key was part of my login password) and graphics issues, this has been a great replacement so far. It has a normal amount of bloatware that comes off fairly easily but a much thinner profile than any laptop I've had before. The screen is still 13", but extends all the way to the edges, and boasts a very sharp picture with an unnecessarily high (but appreciated) range of brightness. One area it surpasses the Folio is its matte screen covering, as glass makes it nearly impossible to use a laptop outdoors in the daytime. Windows 10 is annoying as expected, constantly readding apps I removed and making poor UI choices like forcing "All Apps" into the Start Menu.

    There are three minor annoyances, none of which are deal-breakers:

    • There's no bezel on the edge to help you open it with one hand. The form is so thin that you're going to need two hands unless you want to risk dropping it.
    • There's no HDMI port, so you'll need a $15 USB-C to HDMI convertor which looks bulky compared to this tiny piece of technology.
    • The backlit keyboard (a feature I didn't know I needed in my life until I had it) turns off after a few seconds of inactivity. There's no way to have the keys backlit all of the time. I found a Dell utility for it, but it was designed for Windows 7 and crashed on 10.
    Overall, I'm liking the XPS 13 for my use case, which is about 75% hooked up to the big TV for streaming, 15% reading websites in comfortable places, and 10% coding.

    Final Grade: B+

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, October 14, 2019

    Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

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

    6:13 AM: Showered and ready for some early morning work.
    7:18 AM: Breakfast.
    9:00 AM: She woke up and quietly started reading a book this morning.
    10:55 AM: Not happy about the missing piece in this Goodwill puzzle. "Daddy, find it."
    11:41 AM: Sitting in on the stool of an animal at SterlingFest 2019.
    12:15 PM: Petting zoo.
    1:14 PM: The best part of SterlingFest.
    2:38 PM: Exercising and rewatching Serenity.
    5:34 PM: Simultaneously prepping dinner and poker foods.
    6:33 PM: Someone won this interesting sweater in a SterlingFest raffle!
    7:50 PM: Poker Night.
    8:25 PM: Larry is first to go out, with pocket Kings. (Final Ranking-- 1: Larry taking over for Jack's stacks, 2: Chris, 3: Rebecca, 4: BU, 5: Kathy, 6: Larry)

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    Wednesday, October 14, 2020

    Meanwhile, At the Beach... Day

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

    Friday, October 14, 2022

    First Impressions: Overwatch 2

    Overwatch was my favourite game for over 2 years, and a rarity in my gaming library as a competitive game that I could actually hold my own in (at least in the plebeian Unranked bracket). I finally stopped playing in May 2018 (with my account at level 1201 and over 1200 hours played) because the variability of real-time match lengths didn't work well with Maia's nap schedules, and I couldn't carve out enough time to practice enough and maintain my desired skill level.

    It's from this nostalgic background that I decided I had to try Overwatch 2 at least once, in spite of the downward spiral that Blizzard's reputation has been in for many years, the departure of the well-liked game director, and the long delays and changes made to the vision of the new game.

    Overwatch 2 has a weird identity. They shut down Overwatch to make way for the new game, and the key pieces that were supposed to be in it (lore-heavy PvE campaigns) are indefinitely delayed. So really, it just feels like a big content update for Overwatch with slightly fewer features, slightly fewer maps, and tons of cosmetic items locked behind a "Battle Pass" system where you pay periodically through the year to unlock extra rewards. It seems like no one is happy with the Battle Pass system and most of the extra rewards don't really seem worth paying real cash for.

    That said, the GAMEPLAY in Overwatch 2 is very fresh -- featuring smaller 5-player teams with 1 fewer tank, rebalanced heroes and skills, and a new game mode. Games feel faster and less grindy now (will fewer tank shields to fight through) and it seems like it's a little easier to sway the course of a match as a solo player.

    The new heroes (both those just introduced and those that came out while I was on hiatus) all feel pretty fun although I've gone back to my classic mains while I relearn the game. A lot of my precision skills (like Roadhog hooks) came back pretty quickly. A few of the tanks seem a little TOO tanky, but that's probably just because I'm unaware of their weaknesses.

    Overall, I'm happy with how matches feel and looking forward to seeing how this game evolves. It may not take over my entire gaming life as it did back in 2016, but it's fun enough for a match here and there!

    tagged as reviews, games | permalink | 1 comment

     

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