This Day In History: 11/07

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

A Weekend in Blacksburg: Part I of IV

I got to Tallahassee Regional by cab around 1:30 on Friday afternoon. After breezing through the security checkpoint (complete with the two National Guardsmen that are now fixtures in every airport), I ended up sitting around the empty airport for about two and a half hours before my flight arrived. In Atlanta, I had a quick meal and sat around for a couple more hours. I sat next to a guy from Bermuda who was apparently heading for Covington, Virginia. His accent was so thick that I could barely understand a single word, but I think we talked about being a chef, playing in a band, and time zones.

Right before my connection flight left, I was paged to the counter for a full baggage search (along with a couple other folks). Either they were instituting random searches, or I looked seedily foreign. The agent looked a little leery about my styrofoam-filled box (which I used to keep my gift of a horseshoe crab shell intact), and seemed confused that I'd brought along a bag of Scrabble letters and the game board, especially since the bag was rolled up in my shoe. I guess efficient Scouting packing habits die hard. She mentioned that when Christmas time came around, they had orders to actually unwrap presents and to have people arrive more than two hours in advance.

I arrived in Roanoke early, around 8:10 PM, and went to the Hertz rental car desk to deal with the stereotypical inept-old-lady-agent who took over twenty minutes to confirm the reservation I'd made over six weeks ago in September. After punching in the credit card number and physically giving me the key, she suddenly had the epiphany that I was under twenty-five years old (which I'd said at the very beginning of the interview) and took the key back, saying that Hertz didn't rent to people under twenty-five. Couldn't that have been said weeks earlier when I made the reservation? All the other rental booths were out of cars, but luckily Philip was willing to make the seventy mile round trip from Blacksburg to pick me up. I finally left the airport around 9:45.

By the way, gas at my perennial favourite, Sparky's in Salem off exit 137, still has cheap gas. It was 99 cents a gallon that night.

To be continued tomorrow...

tagged as travel | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, November 07, 2002

This morning I transitioned between movements with a sudden modulation to b VI. It made me feel like I was in high school again, although I do admit that I like it in context. The next movement will probably have a melody based on I, b VII, VI, V7...

It finally got cool in Tallahassee, which is a nice change of pace from last week's unending humidity and cloudy skies. We'd better enjoy it before summer starts in December.

Everyone should sign up for the Theory/Comp recreational basketball league. It should be a barrel of laughs.

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Friday, November 07, 2003

Kent Kennan, composer and pedagogue, passed away at 90 a couple days ago. He was best known for his books on Counterpoint and Orchestration, as well as the infamous Sonata for Trumpet and Piano that every undergraduate trumpet performer must perform at least once in their career.

The About, Photos, Art, and Words sections have been cleaned and revamped. I even updated the formatting on the oldest Starcraft battle reports, although I kept the latest Warcraft reports as they were, since they already match the site's blue ensemble.

Teacher taught swear words in religion class

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Monday, November 07, 2005

List Day: Ten Things about The Mikado

  1. Driving down M Street in Georgetown is a pain in the ass and reminds me of why I don't like driving in big cities. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper at all hours, and there's a burgeoning crush of humanity surrounding you at every angle, from the high-class yuppies on their evening stroll to the meat market girls from Georgetown University. Everyone is walking in every direction, darting through cars when it suits them, and making it pretty much impossible to turn onto another road in a timely fashion.

  2. I don't understand how it can be possible for a city with such a simple grid-like philosophy (letters from south to north and numbers from east to west) can screw it up so badly. Driving in D.C. is designed solely for the people who already know where they're going, and if you miss a turn, you're generally going to have to travel another fifteen miles in one-way detours in order to get back where you need to be. I like the part where 28th Street magically turns left and becomes R Street, and how the residential areas of Georgetown toss in randomly named streets between the letter streets with no discernable pattern.

  3. Georgetown needs to outlaw SUVs because the roads are far too narrow to allow for parking on both sides AND traffic in both directions. Having grown up in a neighbourhood where every cul-de-sac could easily fit four lanes of through traffic, it's unnerving to have oncoming traffic close enough to touch as you go by. The streets are possibly big enough to have a Little Asian Man Pride parade, where we could march eight abreast, but that's about it.

  4. It took three "things" before I even reached the Ellington School for the Friday night show, but once there I realized why I chose to do it in the first place. I miss the pit atmosphere, and the collection of musicians who are all strong enough to do their own part without hand holding. I miss how rehearsals are ADD-friendly since they're really more run-throughs than practicing. I like how people take the music home and work on the hard parts instead of wasting rehearsal time on them, and I like how the music conductor becomes a focal point, tying the singers and players together even though each cannot see the other. Still, it would be nice if their performances were closer, say Reston.

  5. The Friday night performance got a good review in the Washington Post with the orchestra granted one adjective: able. I thought the woodwinds were exceptional, and the rest of the orchestra was quite able. This is also able:
  6. Woodwinds and strings definitely have the better deal when it comes to being in a pit. At least they can see the performance when they're not playing the music. They really need to hook the performance up to a closed-circuit TV for the brass players who are down in the depths. Then, we could have watched the Miami-VT game in picture-in-picture, and I would have been able to prevent VT's loss, 7-27. Instead, I reread Michael Crichton's State of Fear in its entirety. It wasn't as good the second time around -- too preachy.

  7. Between shows on Saturday, I crossed the river into Arlington to find a McDonald's for dinner. Cities lack this staple of life -- more importantly they lack the space for either a drive-through or a place to park, and at least one of these is required when you're already in your car.

  8. The road signs along the GW Parkway, I-66, and I-395 near D.C. are easily the most confusing signs I've ever seen. I don't travel in that area very often, so I'm not down with the whole "people just know where to go" mentality. Trying to get from I-395 at King Street over to the Key Bridge was a neverending parade of alternating left and right exits with signs that don't necessarily tell you what road you want to be on. You've just got to pick a lane and hope you don't get dumped out on the Beltway. On my way home after one of the shows, I passed three deer grazing on the side of the road. Luckily, we did not play Chicken.

  9. Often at performances, there will be one guy with an unfortunate laugh. This laugh is so bad that everyone else laughs at the laugh, especially if the guy thinks that everything in the show was funny. Apparently, we had not one, but three unfortunate laughers at the Saturday night show, and apparently that show was ten times funnier than any of the other shows. Two of the laughers were in their fifties and were obviously married to each other. I can imagine how laugh-y their dinner parties are when they entertain.

  10. I get annoyed when people interrupt performances for talk of fundraising, e-mail lists, and donations. People already bought a ticket and came to your stupid event, so shut up and let them watch the rest of the play. No one cares about your website.

  11. Bonus: I am still the central hub of all coincidences. The other trumpeter taught math at T.C. Williams for a year in 2003 (and went to FSU for undergrad), and the bassoonist, Mrs. From, has been a math teacher there since 1979 (though I don't remember her at all, and didn't know about this until Saturday night). She told me this after bumping into Mrs. Silverman from the guidance office, who is a Savoyards volunteer and saw my name in the program. Also, the first horn graduated from T.C. in 1988, and his band director was Jack Dahlinger, who was my trumpet teacher during high school.

  12. Seal bites off woman's nose
    DogCatRadio believes dogs and cats can be friends
    Everything they done here was unlegal.

    tagged as lists | permalink | 13 comments

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Electrocution Day

Electrocution Day was formalized by the U.S. Congress in 1845, allowing Zachary Taylor the honour of being the first electrocuted President, joining the ranks of infamy with William Kemmler and Martha Place. In their capacity as a governing body, Congress decreed it to be the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, eliminating an older (and slightly more confusing) system which pegged it as the first Tuesday before the tenth Wednesday after Labor Day, except during Leap Years when it was the eighteenth Tuesday after the first Monday following Independence Day.

The term, electrocution, is often misused. Many people equate electrocution with any electric shock, no matter how mild, but it actually only applies to the fatal case in which the end result is a complete breakdown of the country's government (The milder case is better described as a "primary").

The fear of accidental electrocution is a great motivator to undecided voters, which is why pollsters often induce Party loyalty by warning against crossing the lines. The gooey demise of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and the slogan, "Don't Cross The Beams!" are commonly cited examples, and charge sheep-like voters to stay within Party lines, giving them a reluctance to mix and match their candidates.

Although it didn't have much potential, D.C. was established as the nation's capital in 1790. Owing in part to the efforts of Thomas Edison, who launched a false publicity campaign saying that D.C. had a lower crime and fatality rate than the alternatives, the city continues to be the current seat of power.

The most recent controversy surrounding Electrocution Day is the resistance to electronic voting machines. Amidst allegations of rigged machines in Palm Beach County in which voters were killed when they voted Democrat, notable computer scientists are now bemoaning the lack of a pooper trail (victims of electrocution often lose control of their bowels, providing revolting evidence that the process succeeded). Despite this, electronic voting machines are slated to be used across the nation today. All we can do is hope that the powers that be will conduct themselves with honesty and honour.

Why I Cheated: Inside the Mind of a Male Adulterer
Hot wheels fixed to smash police stations
Cambodia's National Animal Never Existed

tagged as random | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ask BU Day

If you were at a party where celery and wing dip were served, and guest was using the same piece of celery over and over to acquire more dip, dropping the used celery on the tray, and then doing the same with bagels and cream cheese, what would you do?

Had I been at this party, there would not have been any cream cheese left. Ergo, this catastrophe would have been thwarted at the outset.

Will you share the story of the time you saw a ghost?

I told the story of the ghost I saw in 1994 as well as the ghost car I saw after making the 222 Things list a couple years ago:. This story was immediately dismissed by Kelley, who thinks that there are no such things as ghosts, only zombies.

How many filing cabinets do you have? Did your Mom save some of these items and then pass it down to you?

There is a single four-story, legal-sized filing cabinet in my office which I bought at Costco for $90 (the barely legal-sized version was twenty bucks more). The top drawer is filled with artwork, original music scores, and every letter I've ever received by post. The second drawer contains instruction manuals for all the electronics in the house as well as news clippings, programs from concerts, Convocations, plays, weddings, et cetera. The next drawer down is filled with bills and invoices, and the bottom drawer contains oversized calendars dating back to 1993, as well as office supplies like envelopes.

Anything from before high school was preserved by my parents and passed down as part of their "the basement is full so let's get rid of this crap" ritual. The rest was all saved intentionally by me!

Who are the 2 people you've been in love with (#113 on your list)?

I cannot publish names, since neither one signed a release form, and that would open me up to lawsuits over the massive advertising profits I make on this site. However, I am still friends with both, and keep in semi-regular correspondence (one more than the other). Both were people from my undergraduate years -- the first circa 1998 and the second towards the end of my tenure.

I suppose that if I'm to update my 222 Things, I should also add one to this number! (awwwww)

If that is too personal to answer, how about this general question: how do you know when you're in love?

I learned everything I know about love from listening to Avenue Q ad nauseum (1MB MP3).

How long before you complete your world domination plans?

Below is a graph of visitors to the URI! Zone since November 1, 2003. As you can see, my plans for world domination are progressing nicely.

Pretty soon, I'll be able to move my roman numeral V markers out of North America and across the sea routes to neighbouring continents (because, as musicians knows, V is the dominant piece in the game of world domination), where I'll set up dictatorships in whirlwind coup d'etats.

Provide a detailed comparison of the relative merits of the fried chicken served by three major fast food chains, one of which must be Popeyes.

Table 1: Fried Chicken Comparison

CategoryPopeyesKFCBanquet TV Dinner
Batterevenly crispysoggysoggy in the microwave, too crispy in the oven
Chickenalways juicy and tastyusually juicy and tastyoften dry
Portion Sizeshrinking every yearmedium-sizedsmall
Convenienceslightly out of the waythree blocks awayrequires prep time
Cost$4.68 for a meal$4.98 for a meal$1-$2 on sale
SidesCajun fries and a buttermilk biscuittwo small tasteless sides and a non-buttermilk biscuita brownie, mashed potatoes, and corn

Conclusion: KFC may be a bit more convenient to my house, but Popeyes has a cheaper, and better-tasting, package when you consider the sides.

Obama supporters pressed officials to keep Colbert off ballot
Insect causing unsightly zebra chips
Mukasey will soon face questions about cookie torture

tagged as you speak | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Fragments

one of the coins is not a nickel

♠ I'm not a big fan of this feebly foggy, rainy weather. At the beginning of November, it should either be globally warm with sunblock, melting icecaps, and residential polar bears, or below freezing with enough snow on the ground to warrant telecommuting. Cold weather rain is just a waste of everyone's time.

♠ Speaking of the water cycle, I'm on a water kick at work. This seems to happen every six months or so, on the day when I stand at the free-soda fridge and realize that I can't stand the thought of one more sickly-sweet Lipton's Green Tea.

♠ The only reason I drink Green Tea at work is little nutrition sticker with "0 calories" printed on it. This is a huge step up from my intern days in 2000 when I drank a free Coke every hour on the hour. I'm amazed that I could maintain such svelte Philip Barbiesque proportions with that extra 1200 calories per day.

♠ I continue to eat microwaveable Chef Boyardee snacks for lunch, although they're just a little bit too small to count as a full meal and eventually become boring. Yesterday, I pulled one out of the box and thought it said BEER RAVIOLI, but tragically, I read it incorrectly.

♠ While searching for pictures to illustrate the previous fragment, I discovered an interesting fact: not only can you purchase Beef Ravioli on Amazon.com in packs of 12, you can choose to have it periodically delivered! Unfortunately they don't offer delivery of beer products, or there would be no reason to ever leave the house again.

♠ Cheddar and I have a lot in common, since we're both yellow and aging. I can tell that I'm aging because I find myself preferring wines over beers, mainly because the lack of internal corrosion and absence of lingering drinking effects. Had you told me eight years ago that I would one day choose Ecco Domani over Killian's, I would have dismissed it as crazy talk.

♠ The weekend is looking pretty busy at the moment. Tonight, I'll be in DC to celebrate Annie's birthday, and tomorrow night I'll be back there to dine with Rebecca's coworker (I anxiously await the post-apocalyptic future when DC is a nuclear crater and Leesburg is the defacto nation's capitol -- I am much better positioned to socialize there). On Sunday, we're heading back out to the Sunset Hills Vineyard to talk weddings and see if it's feasible to fit 120 into a space meant for 90 without the use of helium balloons or trash compactors.

♠ Have a great weekend!

Kenyans await Obama: The Musical
Joaquin offers dyslexic farewall to movies
Hens exploding because of hot air balloons

tagged as fragments | permalink | 3 comments

Monday, November 07, 2011

List Day: Nine Signs My Genetic Offspring Will Rule the World

  • I have never stayed in a hospital or had an operation.

  • I have never had a cavity or needed orthodontics.

  • My body is apparently capable of converting red meat, cheese, and bread into any of the necessary vitamins you would get from fruit or vegetables.

  • The whole "blond hair, blue eyes" master race concept never worked out, and global warming increases their susceptibility to sunburns.

  • I am small and consume fewer resources (see also, small furry mammals vs. dinosaurs).

  • I have never broken a bone.

  • I can maintain metabolism while exercising less than one day(s) per week.

  • As an Asian, I likely have a long dormant gene for understanding logogram-based languages. This will be a necessity when China takes over everything.

  • I have never died.

A million-dollar mistake in German museum
Accused Nigeria comic to get last laugh on drug cops
HP Dreams of Internet Powered by Phone Chips (And Cow Chips)

tagged as lists | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Memory Day: Snapshots

Apparently in 1987, I stole my smile from a sock puppet and my pants from a jester.

tagged as memories, media | permalink | 4 comments

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

This Is The End (R):
This is a throwaway comedy of the "Apatow actors" (playing themselves), who are partying at James Franco's house when the apocalypse occurs. It's full of crude humor, fun cameos, and a few great laughs, and doesn't outstay its welcome. Much of the comedy hinges on how the personalities of the actors greatly differs from their normal screen characters, so some familiarity with their movies (like Pineapple Express) will increase your enjoyment.

Final Grade: B

Say That to Say This by Trombone Shorty:
I loved Backatown, and loved the non-vocal parts of For True. However, this new album is pretty forgettable. All of the rough, fun edges are polished down for commercial appeal, and there aren't really any memorable hooks throughout. He seems to have fallen off the funk wagon and onto the adult contemporary wagon.

Final Grade: C-

Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from Data by Charles Wheelan:
This introductory statistics book purports to put a different spin on the subject: rather than teach the concepts through math, it chooses instead to put the concepts into context of why they're important in the real world. This is keeps the book interesting for the first 2/3rds. After that point, the book is held back by the fact that there's too much math to easily conceal behind light-hearted examples and simple hand waves. I still enjoyed reading it as a refresher, 14 years after my A- in Probability and Statistics for Electrical Engineers.

Final Grade: B-

The Guild, Season Six:
Season Five of The Guild kind of lost its way, distracted by too many convention cameos and the lure of having a real budget. However, Season Six returns to the core of the gaming group and provides a nice finale for all of the characters.

Final Grade: B+

tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, November 07, 2014

Mike Day

Mike's in town this weekend!

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Monday, November 07, 2016

Quiz Day: Me Me Me!, Part VIII

Part: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII

How much you know about me? Hover your mouse over the right column to see the correct answers.

1 What is my current ringtone?
  1. Just Jack - Glory Days
  2. Hi-Los - Minor Changes
  3. Muse - Undisclosed Desires
  4. A default Galaxy ringtone
B
2 What was my most recent unhealthy lunch?
  1. Popeyes
  2. Chickfila
  3. McDonald's
  4. Shells & Cheese
D
3 Why don't I do overnight trail hiking?
  1. Having to carry gear
  2. Bugs and the elements
  3. Fear of hillbillies
  4. Lack of electricity and Wifi
A
4 What kind of comment am I most likely to make while watching a movie?
  1. Expressing frustration at a character's actions
  2. Identifying two actors that an onscreen actor could be the love child of
  3. A wisecrack to spice up the dialogue
  4. Deductions about the final plot twist
B
5 Which book did I NOT throw out during Fall Cleaning this weekend?
  1. Java Puzzlers
  2. Beginning Java 8 Games Development
  3. Effective Java
  4. Practical Java
C
6 How many miles does my four-year-old car have on it?
  1. 15,000 - 22,000
  2. 22,001 - 29,000
  3. 29,001 - 36,000
  4. more than 36,000
B
7 How many consecutive carpet cat vomits does it take before I escalate from Oxiclean to the steam cleaner?
  1. 1
  2. 2-5
  3. 6-10
  4. 10-20
C
8 How many times have I washed my car this year?
  1. 0
  2. 1 - 2
  3. 3 - 6
  4. more than 6
B
9 What tool do I NOT keep in my computer desk drawer?
  1. Compressed Air
  2. Flashlight
  3. Tiny Screwdrivers
  4. Stamp Pad Ink
A
10 What service was my most recent credit card charge for?
  1. Amazon Fresh
  2. Amazon Video
  3. Amazon Web Services
  4. Amazon.com
D

tagged as random | permalink | 6 comments

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Maia Month #16 Battle Report

Maia has made it to 16 months with no loss of limbs or traumatic experiences (apart from getting her chin zipped into her jacket at the cabin). Her favourite food is hummus of any variety, with or without substantial food to spread it on. She knows and can recite the sounds that many animals make, although her favourite is the goat (followed by the fish). Other animals in her repertoire include cats, dogs, cows, chickens, and owls.

Maia walks up to 10 steps at a time before falling to the floor again, but still uses crawling as the most expedient form of traveling. Weekly Tuesday visits from Rebecca's parents and almost-weekly trips to my parent's house (when I can wake Maia before rush hour) are regular parts of her life, and Rebecca also takes her to library storytime, where she plays with all of her boy friends. We lucked out with the weather last week so she got one final week of afternoons at Lake Anne and various playgrounds. The mall visits resume in earnest this week (and she's thrilled with the Christmas decorations oozing out of every mall orifice).

Maia has achieved a new level of engagement this past week, and she's now much better at self-play and just hanging out with adults. We sometimes put her in her nursery down the hall with all the side doors closed and she'll sit there reading her books for 20 - 30 minutes before coming out to find us. I believe we're raising an introvert correctly!

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

Monday, November 07, 2022

Vote BU 2022

If elected, I promise to enact the following changes in our society and daily way of life.

  1. All dishwasher soap must come with its own built-in Rinse Agent.

  2. LinkedIn users will be banned if they put a double line break between every single sentence in their post.

  3. Alexa will no longer be able to tell you about all of the amazing additional skills she can do.

  4. High efficiency washing machines will actually show the correct time remaining instead of staying at the 1 minute mark for 20 extra minutes.

  5. Restaurants will no longer be allowed to call their tiniest orange juice "regular-sized".

  6. All bagging area errors in self-checkout lines will be eliminated.

  7. Firefox will update when you're all done and you close it, instead of when you actually need to open it.

  8. Only 5% of the pieces in Lego kits can be unique -- all the rest must be standard blocks that can be reused in other creative contexts.

  9. There will be no more covers or mashups of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

  10. Trying to select the last line in a Word table cell will no longer select the entire table.

tagged as lists, politics | permalink | 1 comment

 

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