This Day In History: 11/13

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Things I Need to Do:
Study for an eleven textbook comparison quiz (11/14)
Write a ten page paper on Hauptmann's archaic ideas of harmony and metre as they relate to the Hegelian dialectic (11/30)
Prepare a presentation on enharmonic modulation (12/6)
Finish the first movement of my string quartet (Dec)
Study for the Listening Exam (Dec)

Things I'll Probably Do Instead:
Make CDs for friends
Rework the accompaniment recordings of the Ewazen for Dr. Bachelder
Release an update to my game, Augmented Fourth
Prepare for my trumpet audition (Dec)
PRIMA Coding
Play games

"I'm glad I forgot how that worked. I'll be in a state of theoretical agony until I forget it again." - professor, on how Piston notates secondary diminished seventh chords

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Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Exams are going along fine. Since it's obvious that four hours really won't be needed for each packet of the test, I've been skipping around and going section by section instead. I knew most of the musical terms, and my 16th century writing is functional, if not a work of art. I'm surprised at the density of theorists and early vocal composers on the Biographies section (but then again, I'm really not surprised, since Composition is the third nipple of the Theory Department). After I finish the Biographies, I'm going to try and do the Part-Writing tonight after dinner, so I have all day tomorrow and Friday for whatever the essays have in store.

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Thursday, November 13, 2003

Operation Iron Hammer is such a trite name. No doubt the US wanted a correlation to the previous Operation Iron Hammer, a German sabotage operation in World War II that was rendered ineffective before it even began when 18 aircraft were destroyed at a single airbase. I'm sure the military inspired their troops with this story last night before setting out.

Happy Birthday Rosie!

Activists angered by girl scout's beaver trap
Nude trucker barely escapes injury

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

The laws of probability normally wreck my shop, but for once they finally came through for me -- this month's 12 of 12 actually fell on a day where I deviated slightly from my normal less-interesting routine. You can see more 12 of 12 entries at Chad's site and kid the people who continue to call it 12 on 12. That title really shouldn't be used unless your pictures were taken on the set of Eyes Wide Shut or depict a particularly fierce game of indoor dodgeball.

6:50 AM: Cats wake me up by pushing my camera off the nightstand and onto the floor. Apparently, there is a kitty famine, and I am the only one who can stop it.

7:23 AM: Eating part of this complete breakfast, without any of the healthy parts.

7:45 AM: Putting in a few hours of telecommuting for the good of the nation and the sanctity of my mortgage.

12:25 PM: Setting up tables and tableware in the basement for the evening's early Thanksgiving festivities.

12:58 PM: Taking stock of the fridge, making note of the three pounds of cheese and four tins of bacon bits for the cheddar cheese soup, four rolls of rolls, and one cat for roasting.

1:24 PM: Preparing a twelve-pound turkey for roasting. There'll be lots of leftovers, but this was the smallest bird they had which wasn't a cornish game hen.

2:10 PM: Passing the time while the turkey cooks watching Scrubs.

5:09 PM: Makin' bacon-wrapped scallops with a touch of lemon juice. They're like a heart attack on a toothpick.

5:39 PM: Cheddar cheese soup is messy to make, as is any soup that requires a blender, but the end result is well worth it. It's like a heart attack in a pot.

6:14 PM: Bonus Picture: "Thankful" -- Sitting down for a Thanksgiving dinner! You can't get more thankful than that unless you cheat.

8:30 PM: Playing a game of poker after dinner, much like the Indians did in the late seventeenth century. The other two malefactors left early, obviously knowing they would lose quickly to this powerful powerhouse of power. Chris won.

10:10 PM: The only time I ever use my dishwasher is when there's company over.

10:45 PM: One last shot of me posting my pictures before I slip into a turkey-induced coma.

Happy Birthday Rosie Mirick and Roseanne Harvey!

Evil twin holds up a Qwik Shop
Arrested for selling pot with Hugs
The sound of Vista

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Museday Tuesday

in which I have thirty minutes to write a thirty second song

Gamy: (adj.) Showing an unyielding spirit; plucky

My Composition (0:30 MP3)
Old Musedays:
Sidelong
Moodily
Obnoxiously
Obsessively
Spikiest
Leggier
Carsick
Dinkiest
Reclusive
Trifid
Frowzy
Trampled
Surefooted

Today is Rosie's birthday, and her brother's name is Gammy -- when "gamy" popped up on the Random Word Generator, I figured it was fated! Since Rosie also likes Zelda games, I decided that the plucky tune in question would be written in the style of a Zelda theme song -- specifically a song you might hear while riding on a gamy colt. Happy Birthday Rosie!

What does this song evoke? Leave a note in the comments section!

Giving new meaning to getting your king boxed in
World of Datecraft
China improves court etiquette

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Share Day

I have nothing of note to talk about today. It's rainy and I have a cold. To fill my void, tell me a true story from high school about something embarassing that happened during sports or in an after-school organization. Feel free to change the names to protect the blushing.

Happy Birthday Rosie!

Fifty things you might not know about Barack Obama
Woman dies after falling into boiling water
Earlier this year, a southwest Florida pastor, perhaps having more faith in his congregants' stamina, issued a 30-day sex challenge

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Fragments

since today is unlucky, he knew that the bank wasn't open on the first of the month

♠ I've come to the conclusion that Pandora.com is secretly owned by certain musicians who use it to nonchalantly inject their music into places it doesn't belong. No matter what types of music I express interest in, be it Chicks that Sing, or the Contemporary Hawaiian genre, sooner or later Jack Johnson's going to come along and croon about his pancakes or some other retardedness. I'm half tempted to start a Death Metal station just to await his inexorable arrival.

♠ I don't really understand the draw of Metal as a kind of music. I understand that noise can be an aspect of music (after all, I liked Muse even before they went soft), but noise without rhythm, pitch, or harmony isn't music. I'd sooner listen to a UNICEF benefit concert featuring Rasputina, M.I.A., and Tatu covering songs by John Tesh than go to a Saliva concert.

♠ I actually have seen Saliva in concert, since they managed to open for Aerosmith/KISS back in 2003. They, and all the fans that just came to hear them, had nothing at all in common with the headliners. Picture a group of guys doing kindergarten calisthenics to the sounds of trucks downshifting on the highway while searching for a bodily alternative to decongestants and you no longer need to go yourself. Plus, if they were a real Metal band, they would employ brass instruments.

♠ Yesterday, some trumpeter from up north requested the canned accompaniments I'd done for the Ewazen trumpet sonata, and it made me realize that I haven't picked up a trumpet in over a year and a half, and I hadn't practiced for two consecutive days in over three years. I think that means that I'm ready to join a community band to give my lack of practice a purpose.

♠ I haven't been in a community band since 10th grade, and at the time, it was really annoying to be last chair to a bunch of rejects from the Glenn Miller Band. I think it was age discrimination.

♠ Plans for the weekend include some more filing, shredding, and cleaning, as well as Thanksgiving #2 on Sunday night. It's time for HAM.

♠ Have a great weekend!

Man sends in new picture for his mugshot
Lowes clerk discounted hardware to woo a boyfriend
Meep! is banned in Massachusetts school

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Composing Spotlight: Scarabus

I wrote Scarabus in the spring semester of my third year of undergrad, solely because of an offhand remark from a piano player.

All music majors at Virginia Tech had to perform once a semester at "Convocation", a weekly gathering with mandatory attendance (but no mandatory wakefulness). Because a composer is the final word in how to interpret his own works, I would sometimes play my own music on the trumpet: an end-run around having to perform the same Persichetti garbage as every trumpeter for ego-filled comparison. The first work I performed was the first movement of The Hero, a wind band trumpet concerto that I squished into a piano accompaniment without much skill or foresight.

As we came off the stage from the performance, another accompanist who did not know that I was the composer (the infamous Jimmy B.) commiserated with my accompanist, "That sounded like one of those orchestral transcriptions that no one ever wants to get stuck with!" He was completely right, and I decided that it was time to learn how to score for piano. I started by transcribing multiple existing accompaniments, such as the Kennan Trumpet Sonata, into MIDI to hear and feel how the lines flowed technically. As a result, impressions of Kennan harmonies ended up prominently in Scarabus.

Scarabus was a through-composed trumpet work in four sections. I had a feeling and style in mind, but no overarching thematic urges. I just wrote until I got bored and then switched styles. Through this piece, I practiced such valuable new techniques as "the trumpeter doesn't have to be playing the whole time", and "pianists like octave arpeggios".

Through this self-study, the difficulty of my piano accompaniments dropped from "digitally impossible" in 1998, to "unnecessarily impudent" by the time that Rob Kelley accompanied me at FSU in 2002.

    Listen to Scarabus, as performed by me at Convo, 9-28-99 (6:23 MP3)

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stuff in My Drawers Day

Twenty-seven years ago, I was stumped by a puzzle in the text adventure game, Zork I. I had to get into Hades to get the final treasure, and needed the bell, the book, and the candle to pass the gates of Hell. However, every time I tried to read the book, I would drop the candles and they would go out. Being the pre-Internet era, I finally wrote a letter to Infocom, not ashamed to admit that I already owned the hint book and STILL couldn't get past this point.

Luckily for this Master Zorker's gaming reputation, I never sent the letter. A couple days later, I realized that you could pick the candles back up and relight them, an action NOT described under the yellow sheen of my Invisiclues marker.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Edge of Tomorrow:
A movie about Tom Cruise fighting aliens would never be at the top of my viewing queue, but I watched it during treadmill time one day (when the latest Sons of Anarchy episode kept featuring long, pensive reaction shots that didn't move the plot anywhere) and liked it a surprising amount. It can essentially be treated as a modern remake of Groundhog Day with tentacles and Emily Blunt, but somehow manages to miss all of the pitfalls of scene repetition that normally plague these affairs (see also, Source Code and Arrested Development, Season Four). Definitely worth a viewing.

Final Grade: A

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag:
I have never played any games in this series, but bought this on sale because being a pirate in an open-world game sounded fun. Strike one was that it, like Far Cry 3, required me to install the useless gaming service, UPlay, when I was already using Steam. I then spent the next two hours in an "on rails" tutorial sequence running around an island, skinning pigs. The movement animations are flexibly fluid, but so fluid that you'll get stuck on scenery and switch into unskippable climbing animations where there's obviously nothing to climb. The whole first section felt over-polished and triple-A sanitized (like Starcraft II), and I got bored quickly. Maybe it gets amazing just a few minutes later, but I'll never know!

Final Grade: Not Graded

Person of Interest, Season Three:
More people should be watching this show, as it's probably the best non-cable show on TV. It hasn't been a procedural since Season One, and deftly juggles a great cast of characters with a fresh set of guest stars that never outstay their welcome. In order to manage this complexity, one of the major storylines from Season One and Two is finally wrapped up early on, which may disappoint fans of that plot. However, it gives one character well-deserved closure, and allows the writers to really dig into the broader privacy and surveillance storylines that sometimes feel almost prescient. The season ends with yet another board-flipping change-up, hinting that the next season will be nothing like the last one, similar in intent to The 4400 cliffhanger where half the population developed super powers.

Final Grade: A

Wired Magazine:
I resubscribed to this magazine because I missed the tactile feeling of monthly mailings and reading away from the Internet. Besides Consumer Reports, the last magazine I subscribed to was PC Gamer, back in the early 2000s. The content in Wired is always timely and relevant to my interests, but its presentation often gets in the way. The typography and page design often feel like some graphic designer's Senior Project, with poorly-spaced columns or random coloured letters that interfere with reading. It's like a high school kid trying to show that he's intrinsically edgy by being SUPER EDGY while also being unable to retain his nonchalance. It also doesn't help that there's an ad on every other page, often with scratch'n'sniff scents that smell like a bro on the subway. Sadly, Consumer Reports must have recently hired alumni from Wired, as their magazine just got remade in the "Design for Design's Sake" mentality too.

Final Grade: B-

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

5:06 AM: Ready for a long day's work.
5:29 AM: Arriving in the office.
7:00 AM: Working on boring proposal things.
8:19 AM: Clouds over Reston.
12:11 PM: Lunch in Springfield.
12:44 PM: Arrived early for the all-afternoon proposal meeting.
5:06 PM: Taking back country routes through fake Alexandria.
5:30 PM: Visiting my parents.
6:11 PM: Stealing dinner from the mini Costco in the basement.
8:07 PM: Arrived home after an hour on 495. "3 RT LNS BLKD"
8:18 PM: Rebecca's home!
8:30 PM: Downloading the memory card.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

7:21 AM: Running on the treadmill and finally starting the 3rd season of Narcos, which has too much subtitled Spanish to watch while trying to bottle-feed Maia.
8:11 AM: Spackling the ceiling around the leaky pipe fixed by the elder Uri.
8:45 AM: Showered and ready for the day.
8:56 AM: Good morning!
9:26 AM: Bagel for breakfast.
10:13 AM: Playtime with Dad.
2:00 PM: Hiking in Algonkian Park.
2:52 PM: These deer just don't care.
5:22 PM: Weekly bath time.
6:30 PM: Finishing the third season of Silicon Valley while Maia eats.
6:48 PM: Pasta-making time!
7:19 PM: Dinner and tempranillo with the family.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

6:53 AM: Showered and ready for work.
7:12 AM: Bagel for breakfast.
7:34 AM: Setting up in the home office.
8:14 AM: These stuffed animals seem to have had a tragic accident overnight.
9:23 AM: Off to school.
12:14 PM: Leftover hoagie from Fireworks Pizza for lunch.
1:24 PM: Exercising and rewatching Fargo.
2:44 PM: Working on a new Puzzle Boat puzzle.
3:58 PM: She woke up and immediately selected the next dress she wanted to wear from the closet she can reach.
5:44 PM: Sandwich and assorted fruits for dinner.
6:04 PM: Helping with the worst puzzle.
7:15 PM: Excited to be in the bath.

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Friday, November 13, 2020

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

5:50 AM: Showered and ready for work.
6:15 AM: Bagel for breakfast (already eaten).
9:04 AM: On my biweekly conference call.
9:42 AM: Building a trampoline for bunnies.
10:25 AM: Writing about human curation of data while listening to Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox.
10:48 AM: Behind bars.
11:17 AM: Shells and cheese for lunch.
2:50 PM: Nap for cats.
3:16 PM: Puzzle Boating while Maia "naps". The leaves on our avocado tree are nearly 8 inches long.
5:14 PM: Helping to spackle. Also, it's an all-day pajamas kind of day.
6:03 PM: The grilled cheese from Joe's is 80% butter and 15% cheese.
7:15 PM: Post-bath and finally in new pajamas.

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