This Day In History: 10/20

Saturday, October 20, 2001

My parents were in town for the day, so I took them down to St. Mark's to see the lighthouse and the assorted wildlife in the area. I've added those pictures to the Photos page, as usual. Now it's time to buckle down and start memorizing the names of useless music theory treatises for Monday's test.

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Sunday, October 20, 2002

I've posted another Battle Report at . That's what I did today in between composing and writing for interval drills for my students. Go take a look if you're a visitor.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I got my Java Certification certificate in the mail today, special-delivered bulk rate by USPS. It comes with a letter urging me to add my e-mail address to Sun's membership lists so I can get news about Sun and a piece of cardboard which keeps the thin stock certificate from bending. I also get a Sun Certified lapel pin so people know that I'm a stellar programmer when I go out swing dancing or I'm undercover, and a Sun Certified card with my name on it. On the back of the card is a message to the effect of "this card certifies that you have passed whatever exam is printed on the front".

Best $150 I ever filled an expense report for. Next I should take the 2nd level certification which costs $400.

Kitty likes the cardboard, but I can get that for a buck at Petsmart.

(pronounced "Albin")
Jon Stewart Bitchslaps CNN's 'Crossfire' Show
Tommy Lee goes back to college for a reality show

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Musical Motives

  • I like Muse's Sing For Absolution (807KB MP3) more every time I hear it. It's easy to intend for a song to have an ear-catching haunting sound, but pulling it off is pretty difficult. Another song that I think pulls this off successfully is Train's Ordinary.

  • The end of this excerpt from Skindred's The Fear strongly reminds me of a similar sound from an 80s rock song, but I can't place it. Any ideas? (147KB MP3)

  • It was announced that Sharon Stone recently co-wrote a song for a Hurricane Katrina album. It must be nice to have so much money and fame that you can just decide to do stuff like that out of the blue. When I am independently wealthy after my sitcom script starring Richard Simmons gets syndicated, I will decide to become the lead singer in a Depeche Mode cover band. This will probably make more sense after tomorrow's update.

  • Since I last mentioned one of her songs in August, I've fallen in love with the timbre of Natalie Imbruglia's voice. The songs, like Counting Down the Days (324KB MP3) are nothing to write home about, but the sound of her voice easily adds ten points to the tally. Her use of descending tubular bells at the end of the song is unfortunate though. It sounds way too cheesy.

  • New on my playlist this week is this Girls Aloud song, Life Got Cold (557KB MP3). There's nothing spectacular about it -- I just like the sound of it.

  • This song, Shame and Scandal in the Family by The Madness makes me laugh: (353KB MP3). The complete lyrics are here: . Stress by Jimmy Infantino amuses me as well (483KB MP3).

  • The one thing I hate about XM Radio is how long the station identifications are. After every other song, you usually get to hear a 10 to 20 second bit for the station you're listening to. It's even worse when new DJs get on the air -- their block start with really bad introductions that run for a couple minutes or more.

  • Another new song on my playlist is KT Tunstall's Suddenly I See (430KB MP3). It's got a catchy progression despite the overly repetitive chorus. It almost sounds like it should be the theme song to a bad 90s daytime sitcom that might air after Caroline in the City.

  • We're going to see Serenity tonight. The TV series had great music, although I felt they overdid the whole "we're a Western so we have double stops on a violin" motif. I'll post a review on Monday

  • I have yet to hear a single song on the Black Eyed Peas' latest album that I enjoy listening to.

  • Choking the chicken deemed offensive
    She said she learned a great deal by doing Laurie's class work.
    Now, PLAY DEAD.

    Yesterday's search terms:
    what kind of training skills and education might i need to work in aquarium, "rowers" jerks or morons or idiots, five plus fives who drive millenniums

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    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Friday Fragments

    nuggets of wisdom made with all yellow meat

    ♣ I'd originally planned to spend yesterday afternoon painting my front and back porches with my dad, but the grumbly fog with its 95% humidity shot that idea down. Instead, I spent the afternoon working from home. Luckily the sprint-like conditions of the past three weeks are now wound down like an exhausted grandfather clock.

    ♣ As you can see in the picture, the stoop of my porch is larger than the picturesque roof and railing above it. There's three square feet of useless space outside the railing on either side of the porch which I only use on a yearly basis to set up jack-o-lanterns. I think at one point in the house's twenty-eight year lifespan the two widths matched, but then the wood shrunk after years of being left in the sun for too long, much like a raisin or an old person in Florida.

    ♣ I often have trouble with buying clothes that seem safely oversized in the store but then shrink ridiculously in the first wash, preventing me from wearing them even once. I think the lesson I'm supposed to learn is to just stop washing my clothes. Either that, or wear the clothes I already own until the end of time.

    ♣ I really need to buy a new pair of jeans -- my daily wear pair has the telltale frayings of a hole forming on the lower right posterior, and while having one butthole is necessary for bodily functions and evolution, having two is just impolite to random passerby.

    ♣ That's not me in those jeans in the picture. That's merely the second picture that pops up when you do a Google Image search for "jeans". I figured most of you would rather see a picture of that than my own jeans.

    ♣ When I was a kid, the first part of the jeans to go was always the knees, resulting in those iron-on knee patches that permanently prevent you from ever bending your legs again. Now, the ass of the pants is always first to go. This really reflects on my sedentary lifestyle, in which I spend eight to eleven hours per day sitting in an office chair.

    ♣ My posture in office chairs is uniformly horrible. Over the course of the day I'll gradually slouch lower and lower in the chair until the lumbar support supports my shoulder blades and my legs form a hypoteneuse with the chair and floor. The only way to prevent this slippage is to sit Indian-style in the chair or get a chair seatbelt. I haven't tried the latter yet, but I've thought about it.

    ♣ It amazes me that there are still places in this country, and in this state even, where people don't regularly wear their seat belts in the car. How is that not ingrained into the psyche of every single child that grew up in the Buckle Up! era?

    ♣ I'm taking today off to help balance out the overtime of the past couple weekends. Tonight I'll be going down to Manassas to fix Ben's computer since he downloaded some kind of malware onto his computer and now boobies pop up at random intervals. Tomorrow, we'll all go to Maryland to do Halloween-y stuff with Spellerbergian tykes, and I'll be back on Sunday, rested and ready to write Monday's update.

    ♣ Have a good weekend!

    Aquatic car drives with oomph
    America's Dumbest Congressmen
    Man allegedly fires crossbow at motorist

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    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Apple Bacon Day

    Sometime in the past decade, I became mildly allergic to raw apples. A few minutes after biting into an apple, my lip will swell up and my throat will constrict to the point where it feels like something is perpetually stuck down there. The same thing happens when I eat raw watermelon, which has tragically forced me to get my daily fruit intake from Jolly Ranchers to prevent any need for hospitalization.

    This food allergy really doesn't bother me as much as something like a cheese allergy, because apples are just a "sometimes" food for me, and red apples are stupid (everyone knows that Golden Delicious are the only kind of apple worth eating). It does make it Morissettely ironic that I decided to go to the Graves' Mountain Apple Festival in Syria, Virginia this weekend though.

    While strolling through the typical country fair set up with crafts booths and bluegrass bands, I found myself surrounded by my nemesis, the apple. From apple butter to apple cider to keychains shaped like apples, the sheer amount of apple-themed paraphernalia frightened me (to my core). Festivals like this would be more enjoyable if they involved a food that some of our population wasn't allergic to. For this reason, I propose that next year, Sterling should host the First Annual Bacon Festival. Here's a brief list of the kinds of attractions you might find at this festival:

    • Freshly-cooked bacon and bacon pies, just like grandma used to make. Bacon cheeseburgers, bacon-wrapped-scallops, bacon-wrapped-bacon, and baconcakes (strips of bacon coated in batter and dropped into a deep fryer) topped with powdered sugar.
    • Skin-care products like bacon grease butter which greatly soothe dry skin (allow it to cool before applying).
    • Bacon art, where you sprinkle coloured bacon bits into a bottle to make pretty patterns.
    • Games, like "Scale the Bacon", where you have to climb a giant rock coated in bacon butter to win a prize.
    • A tour of a live, working pig farm, where you can sit in a sty and experience the life of a piggy. $5 Hog rides for the youngsters.
    • Custom-made jewelry from pigs' hooves and tails.
    • Festive strips of shellacked bacon with pithy statements like "Home is where the Pork is" etched into them, which you can hang over your mantle if you live in "red-state" Virginia.
    • Fresh pork rinds, obviously.
    • Performances by the extreme metal band, Pig Destroyer.

    What else would you like to see at my Festival?

    Bus driver suspended for playing video games while driving
    Voting machines swapping Democrats for Republicans
    Analyst fired for saying greed is bad

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    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Hunting for dinner on the Kuilau Ridge.

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    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Sleuth Day

    Use your honed skills of stalking, searching, and perspicacity to answer four questions about me.

    1. Why is there a crescent-shaped space in my goatee where hairs will not grow?
    2. How did I first get involved in computer programming?
    3. How did a movement from Sibelius' fifth symphony end up in our wedding?
    4. Other than Muse, what is the only other mainstream rock concert I have attended?

    Post your best Sherlockian ideas, serious and otherwise, in the comments section. Answers will be revealed on Friday.

    In other news, October 20 ties with April 27 for most birthdays of people I know. Happy Birthday!

    Woman stabbed classmate in anger management class
    Catholics claim Homer Simpson for their own
    Piglet seized to recover woman's debt

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    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    No Updates Today

    There will be no updates today or tomorrow, because I'll be enjoying an all-day meeting in Columbia, Maryland, followed by exquisite overnight accommodations at the Fort Meade computer lab.

    Bored? Why not see what I was up to ten years ago or visit the revitalized blog of Mike (of Mike and Chompy), or watch more shorts of animals being dicks?

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    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Seattle Day

    Rebecca dances with Rainier Beers on Pike Street.

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    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    List Day: Jams of the Times

    Songs I listened to incessantly during the month of October, based on highly accurate recall, web citations, and Amazon MP3 purchases...

    tagged as lists, music | permalink | 0 comments

    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    Debate Analysis

    • Trump's debate style is to fire shotgun blasts into the negative space around a coherent argument and hope that people can deduce what his argument was intended to convey.

    • Clinton's debate style is like a GPS that sends you down every back road through the suburbs when everyone knows there's a six-lane highway leading directly to the point.

    • Country unity depends on the Gregory Brothers to create an auto-tune version of "You're The Puppet", starring Franklin from Arrested Development.

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    Friday, October 20, 2017

    Maia Week #15 Battle Report

    Maia is now 15 weeks old, having finally crossed the 13 pound line and once again entered a competitive quartile in the American Ninja Fattening competition. She has discovered her feet and excels at tummy time, consistently holding her head up for longer than an alcoholic hobo on his 12th Steel Reserve.

    She still only naps for 30 minutes at a time during the day, but this is counterbalanced by 10 to 11 hour night stretches where she only wakes up once to feed (our longest record night went from midnight to 11:30 AM with a 45 minute feed in the middle). Since it can take up to 45 minutes to get her to nap, it's usually much easier and more efficient to just pop her into the front kangaroo pouch and dance to Funk Jazz until she passes out.

    The hardest part at the moment is coming up with enough activities to keep her occupied for the long stretches between naps. Any given activity keeps her happy for up to 10 minutes but there are a limited number of activities to try, especially as it gets colder. This leads to cheat activities like "Look how different Boring Felt Owl looks when I rotate you 90 degrees underneath him!"

    One constant that remains worthwhile is nature hiking in Claude Moore Park which is a 5 minute drive away and eats up an hour out of the day. Maia gains superhuman neck strength from looking up into all of the trees and can eventually enjoy the deer, cows, squirrels, and chipmunks. I travel at a slow enough pace that she can nap and listen to the nearby high school marching band play the same 4 bars of Danse Macabre for the 80th time. Sometimes Maia goes twice in a day, once with Rebecca in the morning and once with me when I come on duty after work. Part-time work is going great as well -- this week I wrote a 6 page article about data analytics and cloud architecture then turned off the computer and played "Eat the Toucan's Nose" with Maia.

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

    Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    Songs of the Enrichment Jungle: Amanda the Panda

    The Enrichment Jungle has returned to the living room since Ian was born, with a few new faces in need of songs. Here is the first new Enrichment Jungle song in four years, about Amanda the Panda.

    The eighth notes are swung, obviously.

    Other Posts in This Series: Volume I | Volume II | Volume III | Amanda the Panda

    tagged as offspring, music | permalink | 2 comments

    Friday, October 20, 2023

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Severance, Season One:
    This show about office workers who "sever" their minds so they never have to remember their day jobs is excellent. It's like Black Mirror meets The Office, with a little bit of Silo thrown in. The show exudes a really weird vibe, like the early days of LOST or Twin Peaks without being just frustratingly weird, and the buildup in tension over the last 3 episodes is well-executed TV. I totally accept that there are very few answers revealed at the moment, and the upcoming second season could completely implode, but I'm here for it. On AppleTV+.

    Final Grade: A+

    Ted Lasso, Season Three:
    The final season of Ted Lasso has occasional great episodes interspersed between awful ones. The writing has some really weird beats, and several of the emotional high points don't feel earned. The finale is overlong and self-indulgent. On AppleTV+.

    Final Grade: B-

    This Fool, Season One:
    This comedy about cousins at a gang rehabilitation clinic is hard to describe but very funny. Something about the setting and characters makes it feel very fresh even though it doesn't necessarily try much that is new. On Hulu.

    Final Grade: A

    Cameras & Coastlines & Covers by Smallpools:
    I wanted to know what Smallpools had been up to since the 2015 album I really enjoyed so I waded through the cesspool that is Amazon's search engine to find my answer: Not much. I listened to this album from start to finish (only about 30 minutes) several times and still nothing stuck with me -- all safe, with edges polished smooth, and no verve.

    Final Grade: C-

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