This Day In History: 10/28

Sunday, October 28, 2001

The Virginia Tech Hokies lost at home against Syracuse yesterday. Highly disappointing.

I made a second edition of Badinage this weekend, with a slightly easier piano part. I've added a MIDI file and commentary to the Music page. I'm also considering reworking Loneliness for performance... I just need to find a good soprano.

"When you're teaching, try to get yourself into the minds of students, to the extent that some of them have minds." - professor

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Monday, October 28, 2002

I received an offer from FGM for full-time employment now, and all the cards are on the table. I'll be making my career-altering decision in the next couple of days, and I'll post something up when I've decided. Either way I'll definitely be around for one more semester in glorious Tallahassee.

Department of Defense no longer trusts buglers

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The conductor was nervous. It was the last performance of the season, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, and earlier he'd caught his basses passing a bottle around. So far the symphony had gone as planned, but this particular one required a little extra effort from the basses at the end. Taking a deep breath, he cued the basses for the grand finale and succeeded in knocking his music stand over. As the sheet music scattered in every direction, his worst fear was realized; it was the bottom of the 9th, no score, and the basses were loaded.

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

If you're a Warcraft visitor, you should know that Footmen Frenzy 3.5 is coming out tomorrow. Frenzy is a map that I do a fair amount of designing on. You can see a strategy guide I wrote for the custom game .

Lost is still going strong. They just split into two camps last night, one that moved into the caves near fresh water and one that wants to stay on the beach in case someone comes. Why can't they just take turns manning the signal fires? Less drama, I guess.

Monks fall for beer girls
Some early voters say voting machines inconsistent
Bush website blocked outside of US so terrorists can't print out election signs

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday Fragments

A weekly column which eliminates any need for coherency

  • The Hokie's new uniform is funky-looking. Asymmetrical styles don't appeal to my anal sense of order and the white lines on the shoulders make them look like one of those costume shirts with the naked lady outline (generally worn by an obese redneck). Luckily the uniforms don't seem to affect the efficacy of their offense, since they beat BC 30-10.

  • Frank Beamer was quoted in the Post as saying something to the effect of "For Nike, we change uniforms." It's cute that he resisted getting new uniforms until Nike decided to pay him $80,000 to go with the millions of dollars he gets for being a coach.

  • I think it's funny that the announcer on the field had visual aids which she used to demonstrate how one of the player's broken arms was repaired. I also find it amusing that they give the female announcer all the "public interest" type stories (like who travelled a million miles to see their son play and why Michael Vick is a father figure) rather than anything pertinent to the game itself. Which ESPN programmer was the first person to say, "Put some boobies down on the field but don't let her say anything useful"?

  • This is my new favourite example of why people shouldn't be allowed to participate in the elective process: a mayor in Prince George's County enacts a policy to intercept all police mail, gets charged with assaulting people, throws hissy fits at meetings, and then fires the police chief and takes over the department herself. The country would be better off if I had the final say in all elections, and I would probably be pretty well off after hiding all the bribes I get from the IRS.

  • Here's another entertaining example of Amber's learning disability. Watch as she tries to catch the flow of water out of the faucet by biting it! As a postscript, she wasn't upset about being soaked until after she got out (605KB WMV)
    In other cat news, my sister who lives in a house the size of a cubicle with a husband, two dogs, and two cats, just got another kitten. That's an obscene amount of fauna.

  • I'm not counting the husband as one of the fauna, but to each his own.

  • McDonald's runs their burger meat through a metal detector before shipping it out in the name of quality. I don't know if this is a new initiative since 9/11, but it's a good idea -- a terrorist explosion of a Happy Meal would be abominable. Get it? Ha ha!

  • Does anyone seriously go to McDonald's in search of healthy food? All you really need to know is that the chicken products will kill you one day later than the beef products. If you're ordering the salad, you're wasting your money.

  • Really fast turn signals make me agitated. There's no reason why they should make cars with an epilepsy-inducing blink rate, unless they plan to use them to patrol the perimeter of a Maximum Security Prison for the Criminally Epileptic. I also get annoyed when I turn the car off and the windshield wipers get stuck halfway. I will start the car again just to return them to the rest position. Share some of your neuroses in the comments section!

  • The Marching Virginians screwed up the VPI Victory March last night, with half the band playing one beat behind the rest of the band for about 15 seconds. I'm not quite sure how that is possible. The scenarios I have come up with involve one drum major with a vendetta against the other over a baby of questionable parentage, or a segment of the crowd that's so drunk they leave off one letter when spelling out "H-O-K-I-E-S Hokies", thus throwing the band off.

  • I don't understand why Ambilight (the glowing light that comes out of the sides of a wall-mounted Philips TV) makes your viewing experience so much better. Isn't it just lighting up the wall around your TV? Wouldn't you want the area around the TV dark to better see the contrasts on the screen itself? I guess I'm behind on the technology curve.

  • Can you tell I wrote this update last night while watching the football game?

  • Introducing Booty with Ambilight. Enhance your Booty enjoyment by pretending she's a low rider on a country road at night, and making vroom vroom noises as she walks into your room.

  • I don't think my $20 ukelele from Target is going to get here until November 2. That's disappointing, especially since the estimated delivery date on their site was October 27.

  • I feel like this year is going by ridiculously fast -- only 57 shopping days until Christmas! I have purchased about 20% of the Christmas gifts I plan on buying and still don't know what to get several other people.

  • I have a variety of Halloween stuff going on this weekend, as well as another rehearsal for Mikado on Saturday morning. On Sunday, I'm arranging the Westfield High School fight song so middle schoolers can play it. This afternoon my Dad and I will be laying the carpet in the upstairs guest room, which is probably my last major house beautification project for a couple months. As the holidays approach, I want to start the next level of certification for Java programming, so I can put another line on my resumé and rake in the big bucks. I also plan on hosting Thanksgiving Dinner four times next month because I am slightly masochistic and stuffing is tasty.

  • Have a good weekend!

  • Peppin said that, seen on the X-ray, the cookie resembled organic material that could be a raw component of a homemade bomb.
    It looked like cracked pepper at the time. But it had a real strong odor ... a foul odor.
    If he succeeds, it will be his crowning acheivement - doubly impressive since he clearly didn't get Claudia Schiffer up the duff despite his legendary powers.

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 13 comments

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    Museday Tuesday

    Votary: (adj.) consecrated by a vow; of a devotee or a follower

    My Composition (0:30 MP3)

    For this definition, I pictured a scene from an epic Technicolor film with a lush orchestral score where the contrast is too sharp by half a notch.

    I envisioned the opening motive sung by a Russian bass, half an octave lower than the normal bass range, accompanied by brass and percussion. Unfortunately, MIDI Russian bass is the equivalent of Jabba the Hutt auditioning for the Sound of Music. Picture a Prokofiev score, like Ivan the Terrible or Lieutenant Kij?, and you'll have the style I was aiming for.

    Fooled job seekers stuck with face tattoos
    Sarah Palin does the Cabbage Patch
    Japan's PM is too busy for comic books

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    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    Hawaii Honeymoon, Part I of V

    If you haven't been paying close attention so far, I got married three weeks ago and fled to Kauai, an island paradise which is the farthest western public island in Hawaii. My oceanic travels are exceedingly limited, comprised of my Fresh Off the Plane trip from South Korea, and a 2008 trip to big cities in Europe. We chose Kauai because the Caribbean was in hurricane season, and there seemed to be enough varied activities to last us for the two weeks we wanted to spend. The fact that I didn't have to fill out any forms at work for leaving the country to face the dangers of converting to Communism was just icing on the wedding cake (exquisitely constructed by Anna's mom).

    The first thing that strikes you when you step off the plane into the pleasantly balmy humidity (besides the availability of the book, A President from Hawaii in every corner market), is the dichotomy of the landscape, with low-lying roads and forests rubbing shoulders with incredibly high volcano crater walls. The island of Kauai doesn't even have the highest peaks of Hawaii (maxing out around 4000 feet above sea level) but for a guy from the perpetually flat Virginia area (where the Blue Ridge Mountains aren't allowed to be taller than the Washington Monument), they get the job done.

    The weather going into winter is perpetually between 70 and 85 degrees, and sporadic rain showers last between 1 and 6 minutes. In the wintertime (which includes October), there's occasionally a longer rain, but it's so localized that you can usually travel a few miles down the road for sunny skies.

    As you drive down Kuhio Highway, the first things you notice are the parties of wild chickens living in the bushes. The second thing you notice is the obscene number of PT Cruisers coasting down the roads -- my guess is that after they failed to become the "IT" car on the mainland, some salesman came up with the bright idea to ship the remaining 500,000 cars to an island populace who didn't realize that they weren't as cool as advertised (Hawaii is also a HORRIBLE place to play the License Plate game). It's unknown whether there are more PT Cruisers than wild chickens.

    For the second leg of our trip, away from the Resort, we rented a convertible for novelty's sake, so we didn't get to experience the PT phenomenon firsthand. However, we did drive through at least two parking lots where a Bingo card's worth of Cruisers sat in adjacent spots, like the poorly rendered background of a Dreamworks animated movie, where the artists got lazy with the Clone Stamp tool.

    Driving in Kauai is generally on one or two-laned roads with a top speed of 50 miles per hour. Though this seems ridiculously limiting, everyone drive in a relaxed way, often stopping to let chickens cross the road (to get to the other side!) or to allow someone else to turn left across rush hour traffic. Congestion is heavy, but there's never a full-on traffic jam. The people are just generally more laid back, and the locals are just as friendly as advertised, their accents a strange mix of surfer and Minnesotan.

    We spent the first four days of our honeymoon at the Sheraton Resort, pampered and pandered to until the rhythm of work and weddings wore away. Once we had lost track of what day it was, we snatched up our convertible (choosing the less distinctive Sebring over the fire engine red Mustang) and started touring the island. Our days were a perfect mix of beaches, hikes, delicious food, and sometimes just long hours by the pool.

    To Be Continued Someday...

    Police look for suspect in 'zombie' assault
    Sicilian prefers prison to house arrest with his wife
    Kids as young as nine to get career advice

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    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    List Day: Four Mindless Addictions (That I Will Play Anyways)


    Minecraft: Dig mineshafts until your tools break, then use your mined ores to make new tools so the cycle can repeat. Replace an entire riverbed with glass cubes, then mine away the landscape around it and you have a Roman aqueduct. Exit the game four hours later and realize that you haven't accomplished anything in real life.

    Meteos: Use the DS stylus to match colored squares on a Tetris-like board against various songs best described as "techno for aliens". Matches make your stacks shoot to the top of the screen, but you don't get credit until they leave the screen -- some worlds/levels have heavier gravity which requires bigger chemical reactions to launch. Play until you die, then start over. Unlock more alien techno songs and psychedelic sound effects.


    Puzzle Quest: Take the casual game, Bejeweled, and play it against the computer. Then, throw in a bunch of nerdy role-playing game crap to make you forget that you're just playing Bejeweled. Realize how much time you've wasted when you find out there's a level cap at 50 but you're only halfway through the story.


    Diablo 2: Repeatedly run through a single level of the game to kill a final boss, in hopes that there's a 0.05% chance that he'll drop a very rare item from a set of very rare items that are useless unless you own them all. Finally get 7/8ths of the set complete only to realize that you misallocated your skill points 27 levels ago and your character is useless. Start a new character.
    Sweet bypass for student finger scanner
    Museum offers night on a magic mushroom
    UK lawmaker's wife accused of kitten theft

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    Friday, October 28, 2011

    End-of-the Month Media Day

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

    Plans for the weekend involve settling in with the latest Janny Wurts title, Initiate's Trial, just released after a four year wait. It's a nice convenience to wake up on the release date of a book and find it already downloaded on your Kindle, ready to go.

    Have a good weekend!

    Man stuck in kiddie swing
    Man stuck underground in tree trunk
    Dirty, sexy money: people saw sex toys, religious symbols on plastic cash

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    Monday, October 28, 2013

    Weekend Wrap-up

    • Met Anna at Chickfila for lunch on her birthday.

    • Stayed home on Friday night working on Auricle through a BDD ("beer-driven development") paradigm while Rebecca went out to a PT friend party.

    • Rediscovered the DS game, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.

    • Ate Singapore noodles with pork at a Taste of Burma.

    • Finished the second season of Homeland.

    • Went to a pumpkin carving party at Katie & Joe's on Sunday night. (Ours are the least artistic ones in front of the goomba).

    How was your weekend?

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    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    Washington Travelogue, Part I of IV

    Apart from the non-alcoholic beverage service on our United flight, everything else was behind a paywall -- from the snacks and meals to the movie options and even the real-time map of where the plane was at any given time. Luckily, we were blessed by the newfangled "TSA Pre" lines where you don't have to remove any clothing or deconstruct your luggage to get through, followed by an uneventful, direct flight and a majestic view of Mount Rainier looming above the cloudline.

    We arrived in Seattle to a mild rain and, after getting a free rental upgrade from a Toyota Yaris (or Yaris-like alternative) to a Corolla S, we drove to the nearby suburb of Des Moines for lunch with Rebecca's grandmother. Later, we experienced Seattle traffic (which didn't seem nearly as bad as any given day on I-66) and arrived at the 11th Avenue Bed and Breakfast in Capitol Hill. The owner, on his way to a charity event, quickly circled several nearby neighbourhoods that "got wild at night" on our map and then showed us to the comfortable Ruby Room. Intent on beating jet lag as quickly as possible, we spent the next few hours roaming the streets of Capitol Hill amidst a sea of facial hair and horn-rimmed glasses.

    This area of Seattle was typical of a big city, with pedestrian traffic at all hours and scores of the mentally unwell souls who had slipped through the cracks talking to themselves in doorways or swirling through a Venn diagram of students, clubbers, and panhandlers. It was very walkable, and never felt unsafe.

    We ended up at the Elysian Brewery for our first night's dinner, where Rebecca had a flight of pumpkin beers and an organic-sounding dish that she decided was 95% unnecessary carbs, mostly from cous-cous overload. Having stayed awake until 10 PM Pacific, we deemed the night a success and quickly fell asleep.

    The next morning, we got up at 5 AM, and then again later at a less retarded time. After a breakfast of French toast with the other B&B patrons, we walked the 1.5 miles to Downtown Seattle for a typical touristy jaunt through Pike's Market. I mostly moved through the crowds people-watching while Rebecca took pictures of flower arrangements and smelled every item in the lavender stall (spoiler: they all smelled like lavender). From there, we hit the Space Needle by way of the Olympic Sculpture Park.

    For most of the week, the weather was surprisingly accommodating. This day, in spite of the dread calls for rain, it was sunny with highs in the low 70s. We got good views of every mountain (the Cascades, Mt. Rainier, and the Olympians) from the top of the Needle.

    After a quick lunch at Marcina Bakery, we also visited the Chihuly Glass and Garden exhibit. I had low expectations, since all I knew of Chihuly was the awful balloon animal chandeliers in the foyers of many museums and art galleries, and my expectations were just barely met. The museum was small, sparse, and not worth the admission fee. Apparently, Chihuly branched out from glassblowing on occasion, as evinced by the wall of third-grader-quality paintings in a poorly-lit exhibit near the restrooms.

    We walked back to the B&B after Chihuly, straight up the infinite hill on Denny Way, and then drove out to visit Mollie and Hillel in Fremont, who we'd last seen at their Spokane wedding in July, 2010.

    After the navigational challenge of learning that there was a second street directly under the main highway that did not show up properly on Google Maps, we posed for the obligatory tourist pictures with the Fremont Troll, a giant concrete sculpture under Highway 99 that was only mildly tattooed with obligatory big city graffiti.

    We had drinks at the Fremont Brewery, and then walked to a nearby Turkish restaurant for dinner before finally visiting our hosts' temporary home in west Fremont, packed with a pug and three friendly cats. We learned from Hillel, who works in real estate, that a modest single-family home in the nearby Ballard neighborhood started around $600k, crushing Mike's dream of having us as next-door neighbours sometime in the future.

    To be continued...

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    Wednesday, October 28, 2015

    Loudoun Election Cheat Sheet, Part II of III

    Clerk of Circuit Court

    Eileen M. Tagg-Murdock (D) Gary M. Clemens (R)
    Lost (by a 37.8% margin) in the 2011 School Board race
    Lives in Sterling, the jewel of Loudoun County
    Positions aren't much different than the other guy
    Incumbent
    Has increased the level of automation and electronic access to Loudoun records
    His teste is stamped on my marriage license

    Commonwealth's Attorney

    Robert J. Ohneiser (D) James E. "Jim" Plowman (R)
    Can't be sussed to create a proper website.
    Reputation for challenging the school board.
    Incumbent
    Could potentially prosecute new cases under the stage name, "The Plowman"
    Tangentially involved in the whole embezzlement mess.

    Sheriff

    Brian P. Allman (D) Michael L. "Mike" Chapman (R) Steve O. Simpson (I)
    Has filed 25 lawsuits since 1989. "Allman called Nabhan the female anatomical part 20 times, according to court documents." Blames Simpson for the embezzlement mess Blames Chapman for not detecting the embezzlement mess sooner

    What an embarassment!

    Commissioner of Revenue

    Since Bob Wertz, Jr. is the incumbent and the only one running, you might as well write me in. I like revenue and will compose a campaign song cycle called "La Bienvenue Revenue Revue".

    Treasurer

    Evan D. Macbeth (D) H. Roger Zurn, Jr. (R)
    Feels that Zurn is an indifferent treasurer.
    May be more suited for the theatre.
    Incumbent for almost 20 years.

    Soil and Water Conservation District Directors (vote for 3)

    • John P. Flannery II
    • Marina R. Schumacher
    • L. Ali Shahriari
    • James K. Wylie

    There's so much mud in the sheriff's race that I can't even muster up the empathy to care about soil and water, even with their Rain Barrel Workshop about to be held in Purcellville. So off the top of my head, I would recommend voting for Flannery because he looks like a more eccentric version of Robert Redford, Schumacher for her apropos first name, and Wylie because he's the incumbent. As consolation prize, Shahrari can get the Oscar for Sound Mixing.

    tagged as politics | permalink | 0 comments

    Friday, October 28, 2016

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Zootopia (PG):
    Though definitely not an instant classic, this new animated movie has some good moments. The story is a thin skeleton used to segue between funny scenes, and the voice acting (including Jason Bateman and Idris Elba) is solid. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B

    Shameless, Season Three:
    I started getting bored during this season as the plot meandered too much and the situations started to get old. Some parts are only notable for shock value, and there's too much sex and nudity covering up the sparseness of plot. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: C

    Crazy Ex Girlfriend:
    This CW show reminds me of Glee but with original songs. It definitely has a weird, campy vibe, but owns its weirdness completely. If you can get past the concept of a show that breaks into song a couple times per episode, you'll enjoy the musical style parodies and humorous lyrics that emphasize the breaking of the fourth wall. One of my favourites is the Textmergency, an 80s rock song about sending a text to the wrong person and rushing to delete it before it's seen by the recipient. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B+

    Burger 21:
    We tried out this new fast casual burger joint near the Dulles Town Center last weekend. Ordered cafeteria style, burgers are prepared very quickly and paired with thin fries and a variety of interesting house-made dipping sauces (like Toasted Marshmallow and Chipotle Mayo). The patties are sizeable and supported by a thick underbun to sop up the juices. The burgers are pretty good for the inexpensive cost point, making this a cheaper, local alternative to The Counter once the Reston Town Center implodes from charging for parking next year.

    Final Grade: B+

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    Monday, October 28, 2019

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday night, our family dressed up in Halloween costumes for the Sterling Community Center Halloween party. We went way back into nostalgia land to be the Berenstain Bears (although we were also mistaken as the Three Bears and The Wizard of Oz). Maia enjoyed wandering around the gym full of non-profit booths although she probably cheated at all of the ring tossing games that resulted in candy prizes. At a particular point in the night, she decided that she was done being surrounded by other kids and emphatically made a beeline out the front door without goodbyes.

    We spent Saturday-day relaxing around the house. In the afternoon, we went over to Mike and Ghazaley's in Herndon for dinner and a fire for roasting marshmmallows. Maia saw her first giant owl.

    Sunday was a day full of heavy rain followed by bizarre 78 degree temperatures. In the interim, we let Maia stomp around in puddles with her new frog umbrella. We had Rebecca's extended family on the Loudoun side over for a Halloween / Birthday party in the afternoon, where we made ham, chili, roasted sweet potatoes, and a birthday cake, and played lots of Nertz.

    How was your weekend?

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

    Wednesday, October 28, 2020

    Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Twenty-Five Years Ago Today

    Twenty-five years ago today, on October 28, 1995, I was a 16-year-old high school senior with a day full of musical events.

    I woke up at 5:30 AM for breakfast and activated a classic landline telephone tree to marching band section leaders around 6:20. Once the whole band had been awakened (parents HATE morning telephone trees), everyone arrived at TC around 7 AM for an early morning practice. Unfortunately, it had recently stormed and the field was a muddy mess. From there, we boarded buses to North Stafford for a band competition.

    Because of an accident on I-95, it took us quite a while to get there (I-95 has not improved in the intervening time). We passed time by holding up papers with messages on them for the other buses. We also stared at a woman in the car behind the bus until she got so unnerved that she pulled over to a state trooper near the accident.

    The competition itself was a joke. The field there was muddy as well, so every high school band marched in an asphalt parking lot that had no yardlines painted on it. I did a pretty slick drum major salute, but our halftime show was forgettable -- even with lines we rarely made straight lines, so their absence was keenly felt.

    We got back to TC around 1, in time for a repeat of our halftime show at the TC-Robinson game (won, 9-7).

    In the evening, I worked for the Alexandria Symphony, setting up and tearing down for their evening concert with my compatriots. The job was barely worth the money, but I did get $20 extra for each concert series just for calling people up and recruiting them to move chairs, again on my trusty landline.

    tagged as memories | permalink | 1 comment

     

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