This Day In History: 11/08

Thursday, November 08, 2001

A Weekend in Blacksburg: Part II of IV

After a late night spent catching up with friends and hearing the latest topics in useless gossip and rumours, I was roused from my sleep around nine o' clock the next morning by a phone call. Philip, Shac, Liz, and I watched the Pittsburgh game at noon, which was a horrible display of uncohesiveness as Tech lost 7-38. Kelley was off in Lexington earning gig money and Nikki was doing the student teaching thing by taking her students to All-District tryouts some three hours away. The rest of the day was pretty low-key. I checked in on my cat a few times, since everyone in that apartment was away for the weekend.

Blacksburg really hasn't changed much in six months. On campus, a couple construction projects have wrapped up while several more are beginning. It's always been a peculiarity at Tech that the construction budget is seemingly endless while departmental budgets suffer. That's how the useless Math Emporium got built, but that's another story altogether. Foxridge is about the same, except that the level of dog crap around the buildings has increased exponentionally. In corporate team-building exercises, they have the routine where you and your coworkers cross a stream or marsh using only a couple of boards and some stepping stones. Now that dog crap is so prevalent, you could probably use it in a team-building exercise and travel at least a hundred yards in any direction without touching the grass.

I went to the Polifrone recital that night with Nikki, and found it fairly well-attended. There was a lack of fanfare surrounding it, but the performances were professional and articulate. Five pieces by Jon Polifrone were performed: three short piano works, a sonata for solo viola, a string quartet, a song cycle for soprano and piano, and a longer single-movement song for tenor and piano. Dr. Polifrone accompanied both of the vocalists. All the performers were either faculty members or professional musicians, and the string quartet was played by the litigation-plagued Audubon Quartet without David Erlich. They didn't call themselves that of course, but there's no doubt that it was on everyones' minds. That's another story as well.

We did dessert at Macado's, which unfortunately has canceled their half-price sundae special after 10 PM, and then spent a low-key night at Nikki's, since everyone seemed too busy with their imminent orchestration projects to hang out.

To be continued tomorrow...

As a bonus feature today, I've added an MP3 of the SC-8850 rendition of the MV Trumpets '99 theme song. This one played on the front page of the MV Trumpets web site in 1999 and is a medley of marching band arrangements from Crosstown Traffic, Twilight Zone, A-Team, Caravan, Chameleon, Scatman, Makin' a World of Difference, Fanfare for the Common Man, and Avalon . This one's small -- only about 370K.

tagged as travel | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, November 08, 2002

There will be no update today because it's already tomorrow.

Chompy holds off police for five hours

permalink | 0 comments

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Food preparation and clean up would be so much better if cheese weren't so sticky and grease weren't so greasy.

The Games section has been revamped.

Man admitted to womens' prison
Playing games at work may be good for you

permalink | 0 comments

Monday, November 08, 2004

I decided not to go into work this weekend, for the first time in a month or so. On Saturday, my dad and I poured the concrete for the sidewalk that now runs the length of my driveway, and removed a crab apple tree from the front yard. Yesterday, Anna and I went out to one of those Corn Mazes in The Plains, Virginia. It was nice afternoon and a cute little romp through corn, but would probably have been much better during peak season or at night -- the corn was dying off and most of the stalks could be seen over.

It's been awhile since I had a news graphic on a news post.

Read Books, Get Brain
Student evicted for telling fat girls to exercise
World's cleverest woman needs a job

permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Not a Good Weekend for Fingers and Toes

I didn't get home from D.C. until around midnight on Saturday, and when I went out to get the paper the next morning, I discovered a bag full of fast-food garbage sitting on my curb, as if someone had parked there, eaten their Burger King crap, and then dropped the bag out the window before driving away.

Later that day, I happened to be practicing my trumpet in the living room when I peered out the window to see an SUV parked in front of my house. The people inside just happened to be eating fries. Now, I'm no private investigator (at least, not licensed) but I'm pretty quick at the whole "cause and effect" thing, so I sat down by the window and put the suspicious car under fast-food surveillance. Roughly fifteen minutes later (how long does it take to eat a burger anyhow?) a guy got out of the back seat, looked up and down the empty street and blatantly dropped his trash on my lawn.

Faster than you could spit at a frat boy, I was down the stairs and out the door with my best "oh no u dinant" attitude, minus the finger snapping. The guy didn't seem to speak any English, and the girl he was with who was still in the car tried to convince me that he had just dropped his trash on the ground while he got out, and was going to throw it away at home. Not buying this for an instant, I watched like a hawk until he had picked up his trash, said goodbye to his ride, and wandered down the court to wherever he lived (he swaggered of course).

In my haste to confront them, however, I smashed two of my left toes on the front door and had to bandage one of them up while I hobbled around so I wouldn't bleed on the cats. If there's burger boxes on my lawn tomorrow, I'll just snap a picture of their car and phone it in as having been involved in a bank robbery somewhere in West Virginia.

Later on, I was looking at my silverware when I realized that my forks had permanent black spots on them from years of dishwashing. I decided it was high time to open the complete Oneida silverware set I'd bought four years ago but never got around to using. Of course, every utensil was individually wrapped, and I managed to slice open my left index finger on a butter knife about halfway through the unwrapping process. As a public service, I would like to warn you that Oneida butter knives are steak knife hybrids, serrated and quite sharp, and trying to remove the plastic wrapping as if it were a restaurant straw is the definition of a bad idea.

Proof positive that the Japanese are even more messed up than we thought
Never piss off an ex with glue
Patrons got a coupon for a free movie.

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 8 comments

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Review Day - Alias: The Movie

There are no plot spoilers in this review, but I do mention a few plot devices and places that explode.

This summer blockbuster finally came out on video last week, starring post-Scientology Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, the mild-mannered Department of Transportation employee who's really a secret agent and a member of the Impossible Mission Force. The movie was directed by J.J. Abrams, written by his two favourite Alias writers (Kurtzman & Orci), cast by the Ailias casting director, edited by two Alias film editors, with the Alias production designer doing whatever those do, and with music by the Alias guy (Michael Giacchino). Greg Gunberg (a.k.a. Agent Weiss, a.k.a. JJ's kindergarten friend) even gets a cameo where he asks Ethan what he does for a living .

The similarities don't end behind the camera -- the Alias style is in full play here. Bombs get injected into people's brains, people break into the Vatican and meet their handlers in the Slurpee aisle, and there's even a Marshall character who can only be differentiated by the fact that he speaks his Marshall-nonsense with a British accent. Everything about this movie screams "Alias made with more money than God".

None of this makes it a bad movie, because everyone involved in Alias made it such a polished, stylish affair that their work on the big screen just seems like a natural extension of what they were doing before. The movie starts with a cliffhanger, followed by a "72 hours earlier..." segue that was innovative in 2001 but overused by the time Sydney Bristow found out she had a sister. From there, it keeps pressing forward at a manic pace. The gadgets are cool, everything explodes eventually, and the plot holes are large enough to make you not worry too much about the plot, but small enough to maintain your suspension of disbelief. Despite my sense of déja vu, I was highly entertained throughout, and the movie doesn't fall into the 2006 trap of lasting fourteen hours too long. Plus, Michelle Monaghan is a cute supporting actress even though she doesn't really get to do much besides be the eye candy.

Final Opinion: Treat this like a brain-dead two hour Alias special and enjoy it while it lasts. Worth watching, if only to see the Chesapeake Bay Bridge explode.

Happy Birthday Doug Linden!

Party game leads to murder rap
We're not at war. War ended a long time ago.
Shaking Shakira sues

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Golden Arches Day

On Tuesday evening, I drove two blocks over to the shopping center which is the star of Sterling, its centerpiece being a masterfully architected Big Lots, where all the signs are in Spanish and all the wares are under ten dollars. My aim that evening was to have a meal from Kentucky Fried Chicken, strictly to do research for yesterday's question and answer session. (I take my web updates seriously, as evinced by this post and would never think to do an in-depth comparison of fried chicken without trying all the available options).

While driving away with two-piece meal in hand, I passed the McDonald's. Rather, I passed a massive crater in the earth where McDonald's used to be -- the fault of construction, not PETA. In place of the golden arches was a fenced-in block of rubble hanging with banners proclaiming that the renovations were for your future enjoyment of a new and improved McDonald's. Anna and I saw a similar situation last month in Manassas, where her neighbourhood McDonald's closed up in much the same way.

My first thought as I did my detritus drive-through was, "Oh no, how will people know how to get to my house, since they're supposed to pass the McDonald's on the right?". This worry was quashed after I realized that when people get lost on the way to BU parties, it means there's more leftover beer for me.

My second though, then, was that McDonald's doesn't NEED to improve or renovate. Everyone knows the food is crappy and the bathrooms resemble tongue-licked Petri dishes. Everyone knows that eating a hamburger every day will turn you into a master of the eat attack. The draw of McDonald's is nostalgic consistency -- no matter which one you go to, those Chicken McNuggets will taste exactly as they did the day you stopped there as a reward for getting a Pass in first grade social studies. If you change the physical shell of the building, the next thing you'll try is messing with the magic elixir of instant fat rolls.

I personally haven't eaten anything other than hashbrowns from McDonald's since last April, the month where I consumed a cheeseburger after years of being a member of the McDonald's cult and found that my stomach had, overnight, decided that it would no longer tolerate having five-thousand calorie burgers for meals anymore. Since then, the only McDonald's trips I make are at Bailey's Crossroad at six in the morning while waiting for the lab next door to open up so I can go to work.

However, should this trend of renovation continue, the world will soon be faced with hordes of svelte people trying vigorously to reach my house, but failing and ending up on the street corners, where they smother the sorrows of missing Poker Night by eating Veggie Subs on Wheat Bread with Baked Potato Chips. Then where will we be?

Happy Birthday Doug Linden!

Giggling robot becomes one of the kids
UK chooses most ludicrous laws
The laser beams cost too much

tagged as random | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, November 08, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

Saturday was a busy day, opening with a trip to the Potomac Point Winery in Stafford for a Groupon-based Premier Harvest Tour. This tour took a typical tasting and stretched it out over two hours and fourteen different wines, throwing in tips and tricks for better tasting (not unlike a Nintendo Power issue devoted to wine).

In the evening, we made the 1.5 hour commute into DC for Annie's 27th birthday, and after fleeing the crowded confines of Cork, we ended up in the basement bar at Saint-Ex where I tried to convince people that tempranillo is delicious while eating orders of regular fries and adding "Sweet Potato Fries" to Friday's list of Things to Not Get Your Panties In a Knot Over.

Sunday was a low-key day with a little grocery shopping and such, and we closed the evening out with Cornish Game Hens and a game of Scrabble. Now, we're continuing our inexorable roll through November towards various Thanksgivings (although we're cutting back to 2 this year, rather than 4).

How was your weekend?

Bush's all-time low point involves Kanye West
Do you hate waiting? Get in line...
Fur flies over ruling on Hello Kitty rabbit

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

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Museday Tuesday

As part of this feature, which I started in 2007, I compose a very brief work (under 30 seconds) inspired by a randomly generated title from an online word generator or suggested by a reader. The composition can be for any instrumentation, and could even be a purely synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.

I work on the excerpt continuously for an hour and then post whatever I've managed to complete, even if it could be the hit single from Glenn Gould Plays Tatu.


Fusty: (adj.) having a stale smell; moldy; musty

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

For this excerpt, I envisioned a breathy, static feeling. It's written for flutey and mallety patches as well as an 80s computery patch called "Calculating..." that I stumbled across.

Sacking Santa saves six-sixty
Prince William County teens arrested for robbing trick-or-treaters
DARPA asks for help securing defense networks

tagged as museday | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Parks and Recreation, Season One:
The first season of this show is only about six episodes long, and comes off as a poor man's money-grab for The Office popularity. Luckily, like The Office, it improves dramatically in the second season. This season is not worth watching unless you must watch every show for completionist's sake, or you're bored and looking at the free shows available on Amazon Prime. I fell into the latter category, and after watching it, I still can't tolerate Amy Poehler for more than a few minutes at a time.

Final Grade: D

I Suck At Girls by Justin Halpern:
This is the second book by the author of Shit My Dad Says, and it maintains the same mix of racy, yet heartwarming humor found in the original book. I enjoyed it almost as much, but finished it in about two hours. When I saw it in the airport bookstore for $16 in Canada over the summer, I dubbed it a rip-off, and even $7 on Amazon seems a little high. You will probably enjoy it, but it won't hurt to salvage it from a bargain bin.

Final Grade: B

Chuck, Season Two:
The second season of Chuck proves that it's a sustainable show idea, deepening the back story while maintaining the lighthearted mix of spy stuff and jokes about working retail. The guest stars continue to be very fun, and I was impressed by how tightly the story arc was written from the first episode to the last of the season.

Final Grade: A

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, November 08, 2013

List Day: 10 Unnecessary Things

  • The "Turn on Annotations" control on YouTube

  • Marching band baton twirlers

  • Automatic flush on sit-down toilets

  • Ford Taurus

  • Hashtag suggestions overlaid on TV broadcasts

  • Parsley

  • The View (instead of Download) button on Google Drive / Docs

  • Five digit street addresses in the suburbs

  • The volunteer manning the paper ballot vacuum

  • Parades

tagged as lists | permalink | 5 comments

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 34 years ago, in the summer of 1983 on the sky cars at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.

I always had an affinity for the sky cars, and not just because I was too short to ride any real rides until I was old enough to drink. Sky cars were like the real-world implementation of the secret passages from the game, Clue, taking you from one corner of the park to the other effortlessly. This is especially useful when you have a four inch stride and would probably give a Fitbit an integer overflow error if you were to wear one at this age.

I was also fascinated by the machinery in the sky car stations that used gears and belts to slow the cars down just enough for people to get on before launching them back into the sky -- this is probably why I enjoyed playing the game, The Incredible Machine so much.

tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, November 08, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Laughing and Crying by Just Jack:
This EP consists of 4 songs and 3 acoustic version which seems like a recipe for tedious repetition, but the acoustic versions are just different enough to succeed. This is a pleasant, muted set on becoming middle-aged, but I still prefer his early up-tempo stuff much more.

Final Grade: B-

Dolemite Is My Name (R):
I didn't realize that this was a biopic going in (I probably would have skipped it) but I thoroughly enjoyed this Eddie Murphy comeback vehicle. The story and style stay very true to the classic "crass and heartwarming" style of his movies from the 80s and 90s and gave me a nostalgic feeling of sitting in Jack's basement watching Blockbuster rentals on Friday nights. If you don't already have that sense of nostalgia, you might not enjoy it quite as much. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson:
This is a series of short, bizarre comedy sketches that feel a little like "SNL skits too cerebral for mainstream audiences". Like all sketch shows, it's hit-or-miss but there are some really funny gems sprinkled throughout. Our favourite scenes were the one about blaming the babysitter for being late, and the one where the country band tries to impress the record producer. I also like that each episode is only about 15 minutes long, and the scenes are allowed to end before they're no longer funny. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Late Night (R):
This movie is fine. It borders on being a little too preachy and has a little too much of Mindy Kaling's signature style, where something must obviously be hilarious because it references pop culture. Once momentum picks up around the halfway point, the movie becomes more engaging and ends on a cheery, inoffensive note.

Final Grade: B-

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, November 08, 2021

Stuff Maia Says Day

Maia: "I want to go to the grocery store with you but I also want to see who wins the Technical Challenge!"

Maia: "What does a bunny like to eat for dinner?"
RU: "I don't know. What?"
Maia: "No, I want you to make the joke."

BU: "And that's what eating at a restaurant is like."
Maia: "We should do this ALL the time!"

BU: "Ian keeps dropping food under the table."
Maia: "You should clean that right now!"

Maia: "Daddy, don't clean this up yet." (minutes after building something with blocks)
BU: "Why would I do that?"
Maia: "You always clean things."

BU: "Why don't you ever play the Special Cup?"
Maia: "I don't like falling in the lava on Bowser's Castle."

BU: "Fuschia is a complicated color. It's got some purple, some pink, some red..."
Maia: "It's called fuschia because there's a few colors in it."

tagged as offspring | permalink | 2 comments

 

You are currently viewing every post from a specific month and day across history. Posts are in chronological order with the oldest at the top. On the front page, the newest post is at the top. The entire URI! Zone is © 1996 - 2022 by Brian Uri!. Please see the About page for further information.

Jump to Top
Jump to the Front Page


August 2011
SMTWHFS
123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031
OLD POSTS
Old News Years J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
visitors since November 2003