This Day In History: 10/26

Friday, October 26, 2001

I finally got around to finishing the second edition of my marching band arrangement of Brick House by the Commodores. I'll pass it along to the director of the Marching Virginians when I fly up and hope that it works better than the current version. I've put a MIDI file of the piece up on the Music page under Arrangements.

The problem you have to watch out for with arrangements like these is that the band isn't always composed of top-notch musicians. A lick that I, as the arranger, found simple and straightforward could just sound bad in the hands of three Animal Science majors with home-whittled clarinets. When the audience finally hears the arrangement, they usually don't separate the band from the writing, so the arranger's reputation could suffer as a result.

My counterpoint professor didn't notice that I used "Deck the Halls" as a cantus firmus in my last homework assignment, but I got a 99 nonetheless. I'm such a musical geek; if this composing thing doesn't pan out, I can always go on the road doing modal vocal arrangements of popular melodies. What the world really needs is a Phrygian version of "Surfer Girl".

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Sunday, October 26, 2003

We went on the Historical Leesburg Ghost Tour on Friday night at 11 PM. It was actually pretty interesting, and very scientific in presentation. The coolest part of the tour was touching the "residual field" under a tree at the Courthouse. There was no breeze or trick of wind, but you could easily feel a minty tingle when you passed your hand along the line of the EF field.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

There was another teen driving death last week in the area (I think the running tally is up around 15 in two months or something), this one a T.C. Williams student riding in an SUV that flipped on the way to a Crew regatta. Which idiot yuppy parent gave their unskilled teenage driver an SUV, and then thought it was safe for an SUV full of teenagers to be on I-95? People say that limiting teen drivers to having no passengers won't do anything, but I can definitely say from past experience that teenagers drive more recklessly as you increase the number of peers in the car.

Va. Teen Killed In I-95 Crash
It wasn't the backup band, it was acid reflux disease.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

List Day: 10 Cold Weather Tidbits

  1. I HATE waking up to a cold and dark double header. The frostbite-inducing chill of an early morning house and post-shower dryoff would be okay if some semblance of sunshine came softly through my window today, and I have no problems getting up when the night is still pitch black in the summertime. The tactile atrocity coupled with the lack of visual stimuli destroy my wake-up genes and force me to set two more alarms just to get me out of bed. The hungry cats help too, of course.

  2. I LIKE snow. I will sit in a window seat and watch it snow for hours, then I will go outside and shovel my driveway in neat orderly rows or just wander around in the muffled quiet, punctuated only by the faint sounds of the occasional speeding SUV overturning on the highway. I like wet snow more than dry snow. I have tried to make Calvin and Hobbes snowmen, but they're never as good in 3D without ink outlines. I like wearing boots and stomping piles of dirty slush. I like sliding around on ice and like the fact that my neighbourhood does not get plowed -- giving me ample excuses to work from home in snowy weather with a three-year-old Booty on my lap instead of in the office. I think this is the only instance where I can use the phrase "three-year-old Booty" and not end up on an FBI child pornography watch-list.

  3. I HATE warming up the car on cold mornings, and hate deicing windows even more. I am too crime conscious to start the car and head back inside, so I sit out there while losing sensation in my fingers and toes. I hate people in big cars that poke a tiny hole in their windshield view and then bombard people with snow and ice on the highway, so I always clean my windows off fully.

  4. I LIKE holiday cheer. I don't always decorate much, but I like driving past garishly motel-signesque Nativity scenes and seeing candles in the windows. I like holiday food and coming in out of the cold to the smell of oven-fresh giblets. I wish there were more chocolate-based holiday cookies.

  5. I HATE cold feet (the literal variety). The rest of my body could be hypothermic and I wouldn't notice if my feet are warm and dry. I hate having to lounge around the house with socks on, and find it strange that sometimes your feet are actually warmer if you go barefoot and tuck them under your legs (although maybe I just don't own any warm socks). I hate when I have cold feet and I'm wearing shoes, because not only are the shoes failing at keeping the cold out, but there's also no easy way to warm them up without taking off the shoes. I love those little heat packs that you snap and put in your soles to keep your feet warm all day long but I haven't used any since VT football. I hate cold ears too

  6. I LIKE the bite associated with Fall evening air, before it's so cold that you have to bundle up to look like a fat kid who watches TV all day with his hand in the peanut brittle jar. Bitey air is the first sign of Fall.

  7. I HATE being the first one at work, since the building's heat does not come on until two hours after I arrive. However, since I get to come home at 2, this balances out, since I am safely ensconced in my warm house long before the sun goes down.

  8. I LIKE the fact that I can be completely lazy without guilt when it's cold out. I can hibernate indoors and play games, read books, or zone out by the television and defer any productive contributions to society until the Spring. I like raking though, so I will always rake. I like raking even more in Sterling because I don't have to bag the leaves -- I just rake them into the forest. I should try that with my trash too -- I would save about $90 per quarter.

  9. I HATE the heating bills that come from living in a house with a heat pump. Using the A/C or the Heat steadily for a month adds sixty dollars to my utilities bill. However, a warm house is classified as a necessity in my book, on par with hot water, light, and weekly meals at Popeyes.

  10. I LIKE piling blankets on my bed. By the time winter has reached its peak, I'm usually burrowed under a sheet, a blanket, the bedspread, two fleece coverlets and a gigantic sheepskin. I like watching cats nurse the sheepskin.

  11. I HATE people who make pretentious lists artistic by capitalizing more words than necessary at the start of a paragraph.

Surely this wasn't how the stickup was supposed to go down.
But the driver -- who had just bought a cup of hot coffee -- slammed the car door into the carjacker's legs, threw the coffee at his neck and face and wrestled him to the ground.
Mourners had laid wreaths and teddy bears for what they thought was a human baby discovered in a back alley.

Yesterday's search terms:
what is cemetary etiquette, joss stone choking mp3, jehovah's witness songs, alizee dentist

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Audience Participation Day: Name That Tune

It's been six months since the last Name That Tune contest which was handily won by Anna and Beavis. The rules are what you've come to expect: Correctly guess each song and send your responses to my e-mail address (there's an e-mail link at the bottom of this page). Song artists are not necessary this time around! The person who gets the most correct will win a $5 gift certificate to If I get multiple correct entries, the first three to get all of them correct will each get a gift certificate. Deadline for entry is next Tuesday, October 31 at Noon EST. Any entries received before midnight today will be ties (so people who check this site early in the morning and people in oddball Spanish time zones don't have an advantage).

The songs in this contest have a common association with each other, but you will need to derive this theme by guessing at least one song correctly (much like the Junior Jumble in the cartoon section!) The first five tunes are fairly easy, and the last five are slightly more tricky. Each excerpt is only a couple seconds long, but they all start at the beginning. Good luck!

Song #1
Song #2
Song #3
Song #4
Song #5
Song #6
Song #7
Song #8
Song #9
Song #10

David Blaine Street Magic: YouTube Edition
25 Rules to Grow Rich By
Paris Syndrome Leaves Tourists in Shock

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Fragments

fast-acting relief from the pains of coherency

♠ The actor that plays Jin on LOST was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving last night, so I guess they're going to kill him off next season. LOST has always been MADD's moral compass, since the three other actors who had major traffic violations were all killed off in the long run (I can't mention names since Rebecca's not caught up yet!).

♠ They recently got Jack Bauer again for drunk driving, but somehow I bet that 24 would not maintain its trajectory to syndication if they killed HIM off. Alternately, they would write the scene where Jack finally dies, and on every take, Kiefer Sutherland would come up with a new meta-way to avoid the death. The seventh season would end with him turning into an invincible superhero and flying away, while giving the finger to the director.

♠ I finished watching the first season of Heroes before I went to Blacksburg and found it enjoyable but not addictive. I didn't like how they occasionally refilmed particular scenes with slightly different details -- nearly ten minutes of the season finale was recap material. I was also highly let down by the ending. Obviously the special effects budget had vanished to pay for that exploding house midseason.

♠ With the most recent batch of shows on DVD complete, I'm done with TV for awhile until the next seasons of Scrubs and Veronica Mars come out. This is just as well since my schedule is going to be jam-packed for several weeks. This past week, I spent evenings from 5 to 7 in a free training session offered by my company. As a sly tactic by HR, the training was described as free and completely voluntary, but to get out of it, you had to email one of the founders of the company directly with a "I Will Not Attend" RSVP. This seems to be a rather explosive way to further your career, in my opinion.

♠ When not training or working in the basement, I've been frantically reading through Janny Wurts' Light and Shadows series so I'm caught up when the next book comes out next week (according to the British cover, the book will be called Janny Wurts by Stormed Fortress). As Anna mused, this series is like my "Harry Potter".

♠ The book coming out next week is the finale of PART 3 in a five part series. Part 3 has been published in incomplete sections since 1997 (because the entire book is too large to fit in a single binding) so after three thousand pages of unresolved threads and plots, I can't wait to devour the finale. I can't even imagine the willpower and determination it would take to write a book, knowing that it wouldn't be done for ten years -- I can barely update this web page on time every day.

♠ If my updates are ever particularly late, you can also take comfort in the blogs linked on the left sidebar, including the new one by KATHY (of Kathy and Chris). Together, all of us bloggers can ensure that we live in a world where someone, anyone, has updated the next time you're bored at work.

♠ This weekend will be filled with some hardcore Halloween partying, as well as a trip into DC to see "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at the National Theatre. Then I'll recuperate from all the Halloweening and start planning for the Month of Thanksgivings!

♠ Happy Birthday to Jaspreet Singh! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Barmaid crushed cans with her breasts
The Excused Absence Network

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Back-to-Work Day

To the seven remaining visitors who chose to stick with the site through three weeks of me going all Pictures Pages on you, welcome back! I've been home since Tuesday the 20th, catching up on all the news and cheezburger content I missed while in Hawaii, and unpacking a slew of kitchen-related wedding presents that I plan to use in a Rube-Goldbergesque machine that will toast English muffins when my alarm goes off in the morning.

The honeymoon was very relaxing, although jet lag made me sleep 14 hours the first night and then 2 hours the second night back. Because people hate when I do a miniseries, I won't be writing a consecutive travelogue of Kauai this month -- instead, I'll intersperse Memory Days with occasional Hawaii Days and tell bits and pieces of our trip throughout the rest of the year.

Now that my life as a wedding planner is over, I have a laundry list of things I want to accomplish over the coming months (most of which I will still lack the ambition to get done, but writing them down counts as "trying"). "Month of Thanksgivings" is just around the corner, but I'll probably scale it back this year since eating leftover turkey for four straight weeks is not as fun as it originally seemed. "Anna's Halloween Party at My House" is also cancelled this year, but I'll try to come up with a fun costume for other area parties (while reusing the classics for parties with people I've never met before).

So what did you do while I was gone?

Farmer's daughter disarms terrorist and shoots him dead with AK47
Memes strike back: Gerbils, gay blood elves, and Glenn Beck
Neighbors thought dead man's body was part of Halloween display

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Busy Day

Updates this week may be less Catch Me If You Can and more Gosford Park this week, as we devote chunks of our evenings towards weekend Halloween festivities.

As a Lesson Learned from this weekend's trip to Blacksburg though, if you named your new dorm "New Residence Hall East" when you opened it in 1998 and it's still called "New Residence Hall East" today, then maybe you should think about lowering the bounty needed to get it named. I'll be glad to offer my own name so people can live in URI! HALL if the price is under a hundred bucks.

Woman became pregnant after watching 3D Porn
Guests banned from Tate Modern sunflower seed walk
Students win Ugly Dance World Cup

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weird Search Day

or "how I stumbled upon the URI! Zone"

  • popular trumpet solos played at hockey games
    I would definitely recommend the third movement of the George Antheil trumpet sonata, as the technical prowess needed to perform it will surely land you some puck bunnies.

  • redneck pooper

  • What does an augmented fourth look like?
    I've always imagined an augmented fourth to resemble a full-grown lemur with a lazy eye. This is strange because I do not picture a diminished fifth in the same way, even though the two intervals are enharmonically the same. (A diminished fifth looks more like a hunchback in tights).

  • what gear do i use in my suv to climb mt nebo in arkansas?
    The switchbacks are harried enough that you'll want to stay in first or second gear, although the roads are narrow enough that you'll be off the road and tumbling down the side of the mountain in no time.

  • is urizone safe to use with a history of kidney stones?
    With absolutely no intention of beeping my own horn, reading the URI! Zone next to ANY other work of literature or nonfiction, even something by Stephen Hawking, is bound to set up unfair comparisons, since the sheer loveliness in prose that dominates this website will shatter all literary expectations.

  • is there a cheat to see juno nude wii?
    For starters, I didn't even realize that Juno had been made into a Wii video game, although I hope it stars Rainn Wilson as the protagonist, who jumps around levels hitting people with home-skillets. The cheat code for removing the clothing of all characters in the game is to shake your Wii remote vigorously in the manner first demonstrated by Alec Baldwin.

  • Evan Jones is the proud owner of a Hupmobile

    This search phrase ended up in my archives from my entry on Googlism eight years ago.

    Kathy is a graduate of yo --Googlism

  • free download of Music theory from Zarlino to Schenker: a bibliography and guide #17
    Unfortunately, this music theory tome is much too large to be streamed over the Internet -- you're likely to be flagged for P2P activity if you even try.

  • Two charged with stealing bridge
    Madoff feels safer in prison than in New York
    "Man-flu" is real to a fifth of British women

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    Friday, October 26, 2012

    Party in the (B)USA

    We're open for murder business...

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    Monday, October 26, 2015

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday evening, we tried out a new restaurant in the Lansdowne area called "Not Your Average Joe's", whose name was ironically shortened to "Average Joe's" by our waiter. The food was just good enough, but the ingredients were fresh and the ambience was pleasant enough to try again sometime.

    On Sasturday, we replaced Rebecca's car battery, which had recently become incapable of retaining a charge during a cold snap. While she was off at yoga school, I spent the day brushing up on my Python skills -- I learned the language back in 2013 but haven't really had much opportunity to flex those skills until last month. In the evening, we had delicious, oily noodles at Taste of Burma.

    Sunday was a quiet, indoor day with plenty of ESO (level 33), Python, and episodes of Sherlock and iZombie. We intentionally kept things low-key so Rebecca could prepare for her first day at a new job with Inova today! For the benefit of people who have never had to pronounce that word before, it's "IN-ovah" not the more logical "I-nova".

    How was your weekend?

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    Wednesday, October 26, 2016

    Memory Day: 1986

    The second half of first grade (at the age of 6 going on 7) was an obliviously happy time. My closest friend was Jason McCabe (in the camo shirt in the front row, below) who lived in Brookville and came over to play with bulk quantities of cheap army men (with no moveable joints) in the dirt pile by my house. As a northern exposure location, it never got enough sun for plants to grow, so it remained a place to dig holes and stage large-scale strategic encounters. Sometimes, Jason would spend the night and we would take baths and sing the theme song from GI Joe (but with all of the verbs replaced by some conjugation of "burp", in an arrangement called "The Real American Burper"). I don't know what happened to the other students in the class, but I hope that the little blond boy on my left got an acting job as a hillbilly meth addict on Justified later in life.

    We briefly had a little grey cat named Cindy around this time but it only lasted a few months before my dad got rid of it for poking holes in our leather furniture and peeing on chairs. My parents had dogs before I was born, but the cat was my first pet, and the reason I keep cats today.

    At school, we learned typical first grader stuff, such as "Citizenship in the Community" which facilitated democracy through toy sharing. As the year went on, I spent more and more time in the 2nd grade class of Ms. Uhler, the nicest teacher at the school who had cred for living in a house right next to the school. I would learn to be a good citizen in 1st grade and then walk alone to Ms. Uhler's for language arts and math. I remember getting scared of my first math class because it involved subtraction of double-digit numbers and I had not yet learned how to carry the 1. I also learned about homophones.

    In the fall of 1986, I started 2nd grade in Mrs. Tutt's class, where I learned about Christopher Columbus and made a paper mache bowl for Columbus Day while going across the hall to Mrs. Quinn's for the SAT-ready skills. I bounced around the hallway like Desmond without his Constant until the administration made the executive decision to promote me to third grade early.

    By the end of October, I was in Mrs. Hutt's third grade class. This was always a pretty traumatic transition in my history as I chose to remember it and had a direct impact in the type of person I ultimately evolved into. Leaving 2nd grade before friend groups had really formed and entering 3rd where cliques were calcifying like the tap water in a beach house made it difficult for me to make close friends. This transition wasn't helped by the fact that Mrs. Hutt had an unusual dislike for me, possibly because I pushed her class size up to 21 kids. My introduction to the class on the first day was exactly like this, and it was immediately followed by a set-up-to-fail situation where I had to measure the bottom of a milk carton and she made fun of me for not knowing how millimeters worked. Later, a student lost his dollar bill and she made me empty out my pockets, never convinced that I hadn't stolen it.

    Luckily, I continued in Mrs. Quinn's class for language arts, where I started making friends with kids who had no teacher-driven notions of who I was. This core group, including kids like Jennie and Mike Buns, would end up sticking together up through junior high school.

    At home, I was playing all of the Zork games, occasionally getting stuck. I enjoyed drawing and dinosaurs, and could correctly categorize dinosaurs into the appropriate eras.

    Other posts in this series: 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1990 - 1991 | 1991 - 1992 | 1992 - 1993

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    Friday, October 26, 2018

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Magic of Thieves by C. Greenwood:
    The second book in the Secrets and Spells anthology is a pretty big letdown after The Gallant. Though billed as Book 1 of 6 in a series, it barely contains enough plot or character development for a full story and feels more like a Prologue. I grew irritated with the main character fairly quickly -- although I realize that it might be a style choice to narrate in a juvenile manner to match the character (first-person perspective), it just felt wooden and unnecessarily episodic (I had the same feeling about Fitz sometimes in the Farseer Trilogy). Events simply meander randomly along until a big conflict, at which point the main character decides to change and suddenly the book is over. The book was an easy read, but did not pique my curiosity enough to ever pick up the next in the series.

    Final Grade: C-

    Night Circus by Bryce Vine:
    Bryce Vine's first EP, Lazy Fair, was my favorite album of YOLO Pop in 2017. This follow-up EP is still fun, but lacks the same cohesive, rambunctious spirit.

    Final Grade: B

    Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose by Plan B:
    Boring soul music, nothing like The Defamation Of Strickland Banks.

    Final Grade: C

    Modern Family, Season Eight:
    This was one of the better recent seasons of the show, which sagged in season 3 - 5 as Modern CAMily. The weakest link continues to be giving too much air time to unfunny toddlers (Cam included), but we burned through the whole season very quickly.

    Final Grade: B

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    Monday, October 26, 2020

    Maia's 12 of 12

    Another day from Maia's perspective.

    Other posts in this series: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI

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    Wednesday, October 26, 2022

    Answers Day

    The sequel to Questions Day

    "If you had to have one, what would your last meal be composed of? " - Evil Mike

    A rare ribeye grilled with salt and pepper, a side of shells and cheese (fake creamy cheese, not real melted cheese or powder-based cheese), and one Popeyes thigh, all washed down with a Magic Hat #9.

    "Will you ever get another pet? If so, what would it be - cat, dog, other mammal, fish, reptile, invertebrate, plant...?" - Mom

    Amber the cat turned 18 yesterday, and we're definitely waiting until she's passed before considering a new pet. We'd probably wait a year or so, allowing me a brief respite from 20 years of litter box duty (doody). After that, I'd get another cat, or an old medium-sized dog that doesn't bark. We have a book about owning bunnies that suggests they're a lot harder to care for than one might expect.

    "Who do you think you are?" - Doobie

    I'm the guy that blends into the background and takes everything in, anticpating everyone's needs and thinking of great ideas / solutions but rarely ever following through on them.

    "How long before gas cars aren't a thing anymore?" - Doobie

    Not in my lifetime. I predict that electric cars will take over and become uncontroversial in urban / suburban settings during the next 20 years (once the infrastructure is in place for ubiquitous charging). However, we will struggle for another 20 years to get a reliable national charging grid in place, so people will continue to keep a gas car around for longer trips and disaster scenarios.

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