This Day In History: 11/05

Tuesday, November 05, 2002
Wednesday, November 05, 2003

C.W. 'Levi' Levy (I)
Age: 71
Residence: None given.
Education: None given.
Occupation: Politician, cat lover and dreamer.
Extra-curricular activities: None.
Why should voters elect you?
"Voting for Levi Levy will guarantee a happy ending to health problems that have not been addressed by currently elected officials."
What do you think is the most urgent problem facing your jurisdiction?
"Raising enough money to cover health insurance premiums for 10,000 to 20,000 eastern Fairfax County residents not currently covered in the event of a typhus epidemic caused by an eruption of wharf rats housed in the sewers."
Web site: www.writeword.us/levy.html
Email address: None given.

Politics would be more interesting if everyone were a single-issue candidate like this one. No word on whether the government would be more or less efficient though. The sad part is that this candidate got almost 2,000 votes (1%) .

Video games are addicting
Where to go when you need an alibi

tagged as random, politics | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, November 05, 2004

I think it's great that one of the supporting arguments for Bush's MANDATE OF THE GODS!! is that "George Bush has received more popular votes than any President in the history of the US." Eat your heart out, Thomas Jefferson.

'Computer characters' shot man
130-year old fire put out
Pirates claim Governor's Island
Justice Roy Moore finds a new issue to be in the spotlight on

permalink | 7 comments

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ask BU Day Preparation

It's now been 1562 updates since I first started my daily writings, and I'm pretty sure that all of my regular readers know me inside and out by now, either from my 222 Things About Me or the stunning regularity with which I repeat myself on the front page after I think no one will notice. Since I'll be busy this week setting up the new computer and reading new books, I'm enlisting your unpaid aid to provide thought-provoking questions for Wednesday's update. The rules are simple:

  1. In the comments section, ask me a question that you would like me to answer, either serious or silly. You must also answer the question for yourself at the same time! (This is so other readers have interesting things to read all day at work today).
  2. On Wednesday, I'll take the best questions and answer them in columnist format, similar to Dear Abby, if Abby were a fried-chicken-loving Asian man.
  3. Everyone is welcome to ask a question, even if you've never delurked before!
  4. The submitter of the arbitrarily-chosen "best question" will win a picture of my award-winning cheddar cheese soup, which is nearly as good as the real thing.

Happy "52nd Anniversary of the Flux Capacitor" Day!

FOXNews is good at photo captions
He screamed as he hit the floor, knocking down defense attorney Pamela Mackey as he fell
Happy endings wanted

tagged as you speak | permalink | 6 comments

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Vote Day

I left the house at 9:42 AM yesterday to perform my Honda Civic1 duty by selfishly voting against new fire houses in western Loudoun County. Although I brought a book for the anticipated wait, there was no line, and I was out the door and back at home by 10 AM.

It was slightly harder for Booty and Amber (a.k.a Fernando and Alexis Uri) to vote, since I had to convince the voting officials that they were dependents born in 1989 with an uncontrollable furry condition, and that their silence was because they did not speak English (not uncommon in Sterling). Nonetheless, they soon voted and were presented with the obligatory voting stickers which are highly prized because all voters are twelve years old and own Trapper Keepers. Personally, I would prefer that any unused campaign funds be donated into a Voter Steak Fund for a post-election party sponsored by the loser.

Although I felt like an utter tool for doing so, I turned on the talking heads around 7:30 PM at the lowest volume, and watched the results come in IN REAL TIME while doing more useful things. Some results actually came in faster than the speed of time, since most networks used complex zero division formulas to call states early (MSNBC called Pennsylvania for Obama around 8 PM last Thursday). I don't fully understand how a state can be won with 0% of the precincts reporting, but next week's PBS special narrated by President Mugabe should shed some light on that.

MSNBC (which I only watched because it was the only one on over-the-air HD) also spent half of their program ogling over their virtual reality election room where the token comely female anchor walked around on a green screen while animated charts and graphs soared around her and her co-anchor joked about giant blue bars flying at her face. Because the results appeared on the screen immediately, the anchors had to constantly remind the idiots in the audience that "TOO EARLY TO CALL" meant that there were no votes reported yet while "TOO CLOSE TO CALL" meant that the candidates were in a dead heat. (The poker term, "TOO SCARED TO CALL" was not utilized).

I went to bed around 10:30 after they prematurely called Norway for Obama, so I didn't get to watch Chevy Colorado fall. I still received first word of the new President-elect in the form of fireworks and cheering in my solidly-blue neighbourhood full of illegal immigrants sometime around midnight. Then again, it might just have been MS-13 gunfire.

1: In an effort to generate new advertising revenues, several major companies have purchased dictionary words on my blog.

And God did smite the cows
In this economy, even sex doesn't sell
Canadians play "Grab The Wallaby By the Tail"
A vote for Obama is a vote for ____?

Democracy and Change (8 votes, 66.7%)


Truth, Love, and Courage (0 votes, 0.0%)

Terrorism and Mayhem (2 votes, 16.7%)


Guybrush Threepwood (2 votes, 16.7%)


tagged as politics | permalink | 6 comments

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Review Day

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story:
This is the latest game in the Mario RPG series, which includes Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time -- two of my favourite games. Bowser's Inside Story brings nothing new to the mix, but it's well-done and fun to play. Mario and Luigi accidentally get inhaled by Bowser, and spend the game running around his insides playing mini-games while Bowser travels around the overland map. Bowser's innards are not literally represented, so you don't have to play any minigames in his colon.

Improvements over the old games include being able to practice your special moves in a sandbox mode, although there are far too many tutorials that you have to skip over if you're an experienced player: a cut-scene is not needed to learn that the Hammer is the B button and it breaks stuff. The last dungeon also drags on a bit too long, but none of the game is too hard so it's a good investment of about 20 hours of play-time.

Final Grade: B+

Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica:
Part-memoir and part-expose, this humourous book about a career waiter in an upscale restaurant is well-written and engrossing. He starts repeating himself a little towards the end, but this seems to be a problem with any book that evolved out of someone's blog.

Final Grade: A-

The Brothers Bloom:
I like con/heist movies with intricate plans and twists, and this one was light in tone and easy to follow. The side character, "Yueng Ling" steals the spotlight as an explosive expert who almost never says anything.

Final Grade: B

Mental by Eddie Sarfaty:
This (like Waiter Rant) is one of Rebecca's books, but I burn through books so fast that sometimes they aren't even published yet by the time I'm done. I turned to this one on the plane back from Hawaii -- it's autobigraphical, but told in a series of non-chronological humour essays. Easy to read and easy to enjoy.

Final Grade: B+

Breathalyzer accused of DUI
Researchers fit calf with prosthetic legs
Robbery suspect ID'd through yearbooks

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, November 05, 2010

List Day: 15 Things I Will Never Understand the Appeal Of

  • Anime

  • Everybody Loves Raymond

  • Nickelback

  • Stealth-Based FPS Games

  • Avocados

  • Rum and Coke

  • Pet Ferrets

  • Majoring in Art History

  • Reviewing the Seller Instead of the Product Online

  • The Music of Fatboy Slim

  • Moving End Prepositions Into the Middle of Phrases

  • Reading Online Poker Hand Histories

  • Disproportionately Large Boobies

  • Escalades

  • Ten-Foot Ceilings

Man in disguise boards international flight
Front-yard Virgin Mary owner bans public
Man attacked with a can of refried beans

tagged as lists | permalink | 10 comments

Monday, November 05, 2012

List Day: 10 Ways to Recapture My Election Attention in the Next 24 Hours

  1. Hurricane Sandy is discovered to be a WMD. We invade the Caribbean and storm the beaches of Jamaica to control the world's rum supply.

  2. Each candidate posts a 5 minute campaign rap on YouTube, personally written and performed. Romney may not rhyme "sequestration" with "equestrian". Obama must rap in the style of Busta Rhymes.

  3. Candidates finally flesh out the fiscal cliff metaphor by clarifying whether we're driving off the top or crashing into the base.

  4. Hackers subvert all of the electronic voting machines in Virginia and give Virgil Goode 104% of the popular vote.

  5. A mysterious cabal of fast-food interests reveals that Michelle Obama and her healthy eating initiative are in the pocket of Big Cucumber. (That's what she said)

  6. Super PACs offer $1000 Amazon.com gift cards in exchange for your vote.

  7. Obama, Biden, Romney, and Ryan engage in a team deathmatch on top of a giant cornucopia. Stanley Tucci is involved in some significant way.

  8. Romney drops Paul Ryan as VP candidate and replaces him with Eugene Delgaudio.

  9. Obama pledges to abolish Christmas music in shopping malls. Romney one-ups by outsourcing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to China.

  10. Nate Silver is revealed to be Ben Romney's twin brother, put up for adoption in 1978 and set on the path towards statistical significance in order to hide a Romney landslide. (also known as the Long, Long, Long Con)

tagged as lists, politics | permalink | 1 comment

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Vote for BU

Ken Cuccinelli is using "think of the children" as an excuse for laws about my penis. Terry McAuliffe looks like that douchey senior from the high school crew team who probably has at least one DUI concealed by his dad's lawyer. Robert Sarvis is getting the obligatory praise usually reserved for the one-legged track star earning a participation trophy. One might say that we have reached the end times, if one wanted to be all biblical about it.

In harsh conditions like these, you might as well throw away your vote on me! I'm pretty sure I could get at least 1% of the vote, and as you can see below, my platform is eminently appealing:

  • No more sales tax on Amazon.com purchases.

  • Super-high gas taxes on SUVs with no passengers, wimpy-looking cars from Maryland with loud, annoying souped-up engines, and texters.

  • Special exemption from the "no foreign presidents" law, specifically for my good friend, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  • Statewide redrawn voting districts, based either on topography or on the mad scrawlings of a preschooler.

  • Reregulation of the cable industry.

  • A tax on dogs to pay for a stimulus on cats.

  • Nintendo will no longer be allowed to use the words "New" or the name of their gaming system in the title of any video game.

  • Northern Virginia gets to use all of the money it contributes to Virginia coffers, even if it means that Rural Retreat has to revert to horse-drawn buggies on gravel roads.

  • Free travel on the Dulles Greenway and elimination of monthly Smart Tag fees.

  • If J.J. Abrams starts a new show, he has to stick with it through the conclusion, and not abandon it after two seasons.

  • Invasion and annexation of the Outer Banks.

  • Deprecation of the "No Child Left Behind" law in favor of a "No Left-Handed Child" law.

  • Immediate cease-and-desist on the creation of the CBS spin-off, "How I Met Your Father".

  • Removal of the "80 mph counts as reckless driving" speed cap.

  • Arlington may no longer reuse numbers and letters on completely disparate streets.

Get the word out! Vote BU for Virginia Governor!

tagged as politics | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Washington Travelogue, Part IV of IV

Our last full day in Washington had us exploring the environs of Lake Quinault. We started at Fletcher's Canyon, where we pulled into an eerie, secluded parking area reminiscent of all of the hiking dead ends on Kauai. The trail here was unmaintained, but passable enough for avid hikers, according to the sign-in sheet at the entrance. One group from Miami wrote that they didn't hike very far because they were worried about their car getting stolen, but nothing like that happened to us.

This trail had a more pleasant mix of ups and downs that Mount Storm King, although areas near the beginning had turned into rushing streams from recent rains -- we spent the first half hour hopping from rock to rock trying not to get our feet wet. When the excitement finally calmed the eff down, we reached a pleasant woodsy trail full of weird mushrooms and mossy rocks.

The trail was well-marked, but we ultimately got to a point were we couldn't reach the "final" waterfall without wading or burrowing through a coyote den in the giant mossed-over root systems of the trees. We got close enough for government work and then headed back out.

From there, we drove around Lake Quinault in search of Roosevelt Elk, testing the suspension of our rental car in a completed Minesweeper map of potholes. We never did see any elk, so we decided to drive to Higley Peak next.

We didn't find Higley Peak either -- the guides said to drive straight up a country road until we saw the turn-off, but the road entered Quinault Indian territory and a seedy-looking logging area with multiple intersections. Rather than get lost on a reservation, we came back to the Lodge instead.

In the evening, we built up an appetite on the Quinault Loop trail, full of waterfalls and a cedar bog that looked just like any other bog, and then had a big dinner in the Lodge Restaurant (fish and chips for me, a burger for Rebecca).

Saturday was our returning home day. We woke up early and drove through several decaying small towns, and got back to the airport around 10 AM. Since our flight didn't leave until 1, we spent a good deal of time browsing SEA-TAC airport shops and freeing ourselves of duty. We then waited in line with all of the indignant ladies who yelled at the airport workers because their carry-ons were bigger than me, and had an uneventful trip back to Dulles.

At home, we fed Booty, immediately unpacked, and did what we could to get back on Eastern time.

Final Grade: A+

tagged as travel | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz:
The fourth book in "The Girl With a Prepositional Phrase series by Stieg Larrson" is a faithful posthumous continuation by a different author. It's actually a little too faithful, as it tries so hard to be like the previous books that it repeats many of the flaws: too many supporting characters, extended descriptive monologues, and plot progression through the dialogue of one character telling a story about another character. There's nothing as egregious as the infamous twenty page section on Lisbeth decorating her apartment with furniture from Ikea, but the plot struggles hard to push forward. A few great page turning sections, but otherwise forgettable.

Final Grade: C

Layer Cake:
This movie in the "British heist" genre is very easy to follow and stars a pre-Bond Daniel Craig. Stylistically, it reminds me of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels but with more substance and less flash for the sake of flash. I had to turn to the Internet to understand the last five seconds of the ending, but liked it much more after knowing what was going on.

Final Grade: B

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn:
Gillian Flynn's first book tells of a city reporter returning to her Midwestern home town and unhealthy family dynamics while investigating the murder of some children. Like Gone Girl the writing is exquisite, with turns of phrases you'd wish you'd come up with yourself. The plot and characters aren't quite as good though, and the logistics of the crime seem suspect after the fact.

Final Grade: B-

iZombie, Season One:
The hardest part about enjoying this series is getting past the premise: the main character gets turned into a zombie and works in the morgue for a steady supply of brains, while solving crimes based on visions she receives from the brains of murder victims. It's surprisingly good, although it sometimes tries a little too hard to be like the creator's previous show, Veronica Mars. The supporting characters, especially David Anders, make the show shine, and the plot builds logically and intelligently to a great season finale. I hate zombie-themed things as much as vampire-themed things, but liked this show.

Final Grade: B+

tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, November 05, 2018

Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend, we returned to Deer Haven, a getaway cabin in Edinburg, VA, with our friends, Car and Ben. We made it up the steep mountain road just ahead of a monsoon that lingered overnight on Friday.

The cabin was surprisingly baby-resistant without much effort, and Maia enjoyed taking a few solo steps and climbing the stairs. She also enjoyed reading books with Rebecca.

On Saturday, we had pork shoulder tacos, cookies, chips n' queso, and shells n' cheese, followed by s'mores in the fireplace.

On Sunday night, we had chickpea chicken something-or-other, and also managed to set off the smoke detector with our fire (somehow Maia slept through it).

We did not manage to finish the puzzle this year (brought from home to avoid the puzzles with missing pieces at the cabin) because the whole top half was grey and blue and not particularly fun. Maia learned how to play 104-pickup though.

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

Friday, November 05, 2021

Review Day: Walkabout Mini Golf (Quest 2)

Walkabout Mini Golf is a fun, relaxing VR game that really captures the spirit of going to the mini golf course on your beach trip.

At just $15, the game is packed with more content than some games from big deal companies. There are 8 unique 18-hole courses (each with a separate Hard mode) with new ones being added for free regularly. Early courses are very reminiscent of classic mini golf tropes, while the later ones are more imaginative (ever golfed in space?). When you're done actually playing golf, each course also has treasure hunts that unlock new cosmetic balls and putters to play with.

The mechanics of putting are great, and the fine differences between hard and soft swings feel pretty real -- definitely better than anything the Wii used to do. Trying trick shots is fun, and you never have to wade into the water to get a lost ball. The only downside to putting is that you spend a lot of time looking down and then to the side, which is a little tiring with a heavy headset like the Quest 2.

There are two options for movement: a click-to-move to avoid motion sickness, and free walking/flying. I adapted to the flying over time and experience no motion sickness at all when I'm soaring over a golf course at high speeds. There's also a wonderful "click to get back near the ball" option so you don't have to adjust yourself just right to putt. The graphics are cartoony and not super detailed but the style works well. The music that plays on each course is a perfect complement and makes each round a pretty chill experience.

Walkabout Mini Golf also has an Internet multiplayer option (headset sharing would take too long to swap) which works as both a fun game to play and a framework for just talking to your friends. I can set up a private room with Anna and Ben and we can play mini golf while shooting the breeze. You can see the floating head and putter of each player, which lets you do silly things like lie down next to a hole or wave your arms as a distraction, much as you would on a real course.

This is the game I've played second-most (behind Beat Saber), and it's definitely a must-buy.

Final Grade: A

tagged as reviews, games | permalink | 0 comments

 

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