This Day In History: 11/26

Monday, November 26, 2001

Some guy just sold a Nintendo GameCube box for $160 on eBay . Here's the description that accompanied the sale:

    You are bidding on a brand new Nintendo black GameCube box, it does not contain the system, this is just the box and is for collectors only. This is the original box that that the system shipped in, it's is not a promotional display; the box actually contained a GameCube unit. Once again for the really thick headed out there, this is just the box, the system is not inside.

There were at least four cancelled bids, with explanations like "I didn't realize it was just the box!", and I have a feeling that whoever the lucky winner was is proably expected to get the whole system for his money. Gotta love dense people...

Our secret inside source in the graduate office has revealed that there will be cuts in graduate tuition waivers next semester. Instead of covering 12 credits, we're only getting 9 credits paid for, and the rest we have to pay for at cost. I'd say they should cover the difference by firing all the useless people, but that probably includes me at this juncture.

Only nine more days of classes left in the semester. I probably won't be able to get a lot of writing done at home, but it'll be good to see the home-fires again. I haven't started on the history paper yet, but I've put the finishing touches on my enharmonic modulation pedagogy presentation. I'll post a copy of it here after I present on December 6.

Reporter: "Beethoven figures in one of your songs. What do you think of Beethoven?"
Ringo: "He's great. Especially his poetry."

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Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Campus is already dead. It seems like people leave for breaks a few hours earlier every year. If I were still at Tech, I'd probably have left last Wednesday.

Why you shouldn't download kiddy porn at work

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Wednesday, November 26, 2003

We had a little pre-Thanksgiving get together last night with about eight friends from assorted venues. Anna had received two free turkeys from work, so we decided to roast both of them rather than let one go to waste. There's now a ton of leftovers in the fridge, probably enough to last for a couple weeks.

I'm going down to Barboursville tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's fiancé's parents' house, so there will probably not be an update until I get back on Friday.

Putting rattlesnakes in your mouth for fun and profit
Master/Slave banned in LA
Putting Karate to Good Use

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Friday, November 26, 2004

Sorry for the recent lapse in updating -- I've been pretty busy at work. Yesterday, I had Thanksgiving with Kathy & Chris in Falls Church and made some cheddar cheese soup. I just got home from work a little bit ago, and now it's time to do some cleaning.

"Caution: Blondes Thinking." (Hill's mention of this sign did not spark a reaction from the lone blond on the jury.)
J.J. Abrams: Turning Brawny Action Drama Into Sensitive Soap Opera
Bizarre Effort to Hide Drug Bust Robs Town of News
Pirated software used to create help content in Microsoft's Windows XP

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Monday, November 26, 2007

List Day: Ten Snapshots of a Decade

In November of 1997...

  1. I had big glasses, a half-inch crew cut from the Modern Barber Shop on Main Street, and a penchant for blue collared shirts.

  2. I was a seventeen year old college sophomore, living with Dan Shiplett / Beavis in East AJ, on the hall with TCers, Zulfan Bakri, Andrew Gajda, and Paul Liu (I think it was their last semester before they all failed out for playing Quake all day long).

  3. I was majorly crushing on a high school junior back in my hometown. This didn't make me a pedo because there was only a 2 year age difference.

  4. I had just finished the first movement of my twenty-minute trumpet concerto, The Hero (1MB MP3), the incredibly densely orchestrated work that Dave McKee termed "the Grade IV trumpet solo with the Grade VI orchestral accompaniment".

  5. I took a road trip to New Jersey with my dad so he could sell some of his tubas. After the seven-hour round trip of driving, he deemed me experienced enough to have a car at school (having only gotten my license a year and a half earlier). I did not actually get this car for another nine months.

  6. There were advance rumblings of press for the movie, Titanic, staring some clown named Leonardo.

  7. I was taking my first ever course in the Java programming language, and History and Analysis of Musical Styles (HAMS) with such notable old-timers like Matt Hackworth, Dave McGarry, and Gretchen Mourer.

  8. I had just played the third movement of the Kennan trumpet sonata on Convo with Pam Trent, and had moved on to the Hindemith sonata and the Antheil sonata. Pinnacle Brass, with Patrick Butler, myself, Jaime Williams, Donny Riddle, and Hillary Baker, had just played my piece, Nefarium for the music major's weekly Convocation performance. The performance was pretty cringeworthy .

  9. I had never met Anna, Kelley, Chompy, or Rebecca.

  10. On November 26, 1997, I was home for Thanksgiving Break and had gone to my old high school to play some of my compositions for some old music teachers. I was flabbergasted and a little disgusted when they absolutely loved the violin sonata (1MB MP3) I'd written for my "try to add a few more wrong notes" composition professor. The entire piece was essentially composed by tying every other finger together and slapping the keyboard like a blind mongoloid chipmunk, but one of my old teachers liked it so much that she wanted it re-arranged for her son, the oboist at the University of Florida.

What were you doing ten years ago?

Giant claw points to monster sea scorpion
Airline tries to poison its workers
Woman used drugs with cartoon characters

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

End of the Month Media Day

Photos:

See more Winery pictures
See more November pictures
See more Cat pictures

Movies:

Ella feeds the kitty (3.5MB WMV)
Ella dances to Chicken Reel (1.7MB WMV)

Have a tasty Thanksgiving holiday! See you next month!

UFO spotted over Sacramento
The 30 greatest conspiracy theories
Fake penis drug test creators face jail

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

I took off Tuesday through Friday last week, after having looked at my leave pool for the annual leave sale at work and realizing that I had something like seven weeks saved up. We kicked off the Thanksgiving holiday with a free screening of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles on Amazon Prime, along with some chicken pot pies and the last dregs of leftover wine from our Halloween party.

On Thanksgiving Day itself, we went out to Edgewater, Maryland to visit my sister and her husband and drove around both halves of the Beltway in a single day. We did not take any HOT lanes, as the fluctuating fare was $1.60 and the main lanes were traffic-free.

We went bowling with Rebecca's parents on Friday afternoon, where I managed a high score of 139 with a ten pound ball. We then went to a reunion of the Yorktown High School theater department, which is apparently a big deal -- evidently, they were busy acting and stuff while T.C. was beating them in crew.

On Saturday, we went out to Taylorstown for a second Thanksgiving with Rebecca's mom's family. For this, we prepared our traditional asparagus dish with maple mustard sauce. Afterwards, we returned home and watched BIG, and resolved to spend Sunday as antisocially as possible.

How many Thanksgiving dinners did you eat?

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Random Chart Day: 20 Years of Thanksgiving

Year City Memories
1993Alexandria, VALast Thanksgiving before my sister went to college.
1994Alexandria, VAI mailed out invitations to my Christmas party, the Tenth "Other" End-of-the-Year Party!
1995Alexandria, VAI spent the afternoon practicing my high Eb on the trumpet.
1996Alexandria, VAA family friend from Australia, Katrina Takayama, came for dinner.
1997Alexandria, VA
1998Alexandria, VA
1999Alexandria, VAWe ate at 3 so I could drive back to Tech to be ready for a football game.
2000Burton, MIMy first "restaurant Thanksgiving", with grandpa
2001Tallahassee, FLI crashed Keely and Scott's Thanksgiving. The Friends episode with Brad Pitt was premiering and was a big deal.
2002Tallahassee, FLMike covered his pool table in plywood for a massive dining surface.
2003Barboursville, VADinner with my sister's in-laws.
2004Falls Church, VADinner with Kathy and Chris, introducing Cheese Soup.
2005Alexandria, VADinner at Ramparts with Kim and her mom, who sent my meat back because it was rare.
2006Barboursville, VA
2007Sterling, VAThe first family Thanksgiving hosted at our house after marriage.
2008Sterling, VA
2009Falls Church, VADinner at Rebecca's parents' house.
2010?I can't remember where we went, but we had lasagna there.
2011?I can't remember where we went, because my record-keeping is no longer award-winning, but Becca Spellerberg got married that weekend.
2012Edgewater, MDThe sibling with the new baby gets to stay home and claim Thanksgiving.
2013Alexandria, VA(expected)

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 3 years ago today, at Jason and Becca's wedding. Rebecca was asked to dance by one of the Spellerberg cousins, Joseph, and they tore up the dance floor.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day

Updates will resume on Monday. Have a great weekend!

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Treadmill Rehabilitation Day

In January 2012, I bought a treadmill for the basement because running in the real world is incredibly boring, everyone is watching you, and at some point, you have to run all of the way back home. For over 5 years, the treadmill played a key part in my exercise routine as well as my "watch shows that are good enough to watch while running but not worth devoting precious single-tasking time to enjoying" routine.

After running over 500 miles per year, the treadmill eventually started to decay. The ball bearings in the rear roller wore down and started rattling as I ran, giving off a virtual reality feeling of exercising on a rickety pirate ship. Its unnecessarily loud beeper, which activates whenever you change the speed or incline, or start, stop, or pause, was also a huge detractor from exercising while Maia was directly upstairs sleeping. Because it was harder for us to get Maia to sleep than it was for me to lose weight, I slowly stopped using it. By summer 2018, it was folded up in the corner of the basement destined for the junk hauler.

Recently, I decided that I would give the treadmill one last shot before abandoning it. As all good engineers might do, I started by unscrewing anything that could be unscrewed until I reached the inner sanctum of the circuit board. I located the beeper and unsoldered it from the circuit board, rendering the treadmill immediately mute. Next, I removed 5 years of dust bunnies from the motor and scrubbed down the treads with silicon oil (which is much more expensive than it should be). Finally, I replaced the rear rotor with a $150 part which was still much cheaper than buying a brand new treadmill.

I now have a ninja-silent treadmill that makes no noise other than the panther-like tread of my jogging gait. It is deadly like a Prius, in that it might trip me at 5 miles per hour if I forget that it no longer makes noise. My current plan is to resume treadmilling on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a bonus bout on Sundays if I'm not already booked solid. We shall see how I do!

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