This Day In History: 12/07

Friday, December 07, 2001

Today was the last day of classes for the Fall semester. The only big ticket items left on my plate before I head north on the 12th are my history paper, history final, trumpet audition, and pedagogy final. Of those, the history final will be the most difficult, and the audition and pedagogy final will be easy. The history paper is just going to be long and tedious, and I'd sooner make out with a transexual hobo than finish it off. I'd also like to finish the first movement of my string quartet, but that's probably not going to happen. I'm really pleased with what I've added these past few days though, and it's getting close to the point where I'll want fresh ears to sit down with the score and tear it apart.

I wish people would go back to using ICQ instead of IM. It's so easy to get sucked into talking to people you don't want to talk to on IM. Plus, once a conversation is started, there's a social compulsion to keep talking. With ICQ, you can respond to messages at your convenience and hide from misanthropes. Unfortunately, most of my friends stopped using ICQ in '99 when they all moved off campus and lost Ethernet connectivity.

"Conductor held over 'terrorism' comment" I guess I'd better not post my devious top-secret assassination plans on this website...

Now that classes are over, there won't be any professor quotes for at least a month or so. Tragic...

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Saturday, December 07, 2002

At the end of this past week I did some more rearranging in my apartment, although the placement of the air-conditioner prevents any crazy changes. I sacrificed the faux surround sound setup I had in the bedroom and put the two rear speakers on the endtables in the living room. Now I can listen to music from the computer, CD player, or record player in the living room without blaring.

Virginia Tech lost to Miami 56-45 in a crazy game that played like a textbook of examples of fumbles, interceptions, and key plays. It would have been interesting to have a #14 team beat a #1 team, just to see the resultant effect on the BCS rankings, which have never had to deal with a slew of defeated top teams.

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Sunday, December 07, 2003

I've got five mezzanine tickets reserved for a January showing of Miss Saigon at the DuPont Theatre in Wilmington, DE. Had I been more up on things I would have noticed the Richmond show in October, but Delaware's not too far off. Though it's not the original Broadway production (which closed a while back), the North American Tour version has gotten pretty good accolades from the press. I'm taking some friends up to see it on January 31, as something of a late Christmas present.

Last night, I went to a party hosted by the head team honcho from work. It was held in one of those massive stone Fairfax homes with three wide-open stories, a loft, and in-house gas station. I probably won't be getting anything so extravagant -- I'm looking more for the comfortably-sized homes built twenty and thirty years ago.

Don't put all your money into gold nuggets
Activists fed pork to sheep

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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I purchased World of Warcraft, the latest MMORPG yesterday. We'll see how much of a timesink it becomes...

Action Man sparks rescue attempt
PTC accounts for 99.8% of FCC complaints
'Laser scam' gamblers to keep cash

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The first wave of seasonal drivers hit the roads yesterday -- the ones who apparently stay home all year long and then shower the world with the rain of their inept driving and parking skills, flooding every road and parking lot. Having lived in a cave for eleven months out of the year, they come out in their albino SUVs to go Christmas shopping, completely unaware of how people are used to doing things, like the guy on the Metro who stands on the left side of the escalator, or the retarded coworker that doesn't understand that questions are not welcome when a meeting has already run forty-five minutes over. As Christmas gets closer, these types of people become more prevalent, and you find me staying at home out of stores much more often.

I only have one more present to purchase for Christmas. The reason for this is that it does not yet exist, and while I am a particularly savvy online shopper, even I am not that talented. Now that I have a secret cubbyhole full of presents in my house, I come to the part where I have to wrap them all. I hate wrapping.

Actually, wrapping is tolerable when the items have a predefined shape, are not squishy, all corners are right angles, and there are no more than six sides. If the present should decide to stray from these narrow constraints, it will most likely be thrown in a bag with some colourful tissue paper, or put inside a shape-approved box and wrapped. These constraints are directly responsible for the high popularity of books, movies, and gadgets as gifts that I buy, rather than pillows, livestock, or cornucopias.

You'd think a neat and orderly person like myself would be a superb wrapper, but this is not the case. Excess paper gets folded up and hidden under some Scotch tape, the scissors lines look inspired by shots of vodka, and there is never any kind of fancy ribbon in snazzy Moebius patterns unless I can just stick a big bow on the front with more Scotch tape (I also used to wear clip-on ties as a kid). If you think my presents look bad, you should see how I fold my laundry. Undergarments don't even warrant a folding, and all types of shirts, from T-shirts to dress shirts, get folded once in the middle and then once more with the sleeves tucked in a fold. All of my clothes are essentially stored away in quarters, which makes for some rather avant-garde wrinkle patterns when I finally pull them out to wear. I guess it's good that I only have a small number of outfits, since they all end up being wrinkly wads at the end of the day anyhow. I could go out and buy more, but then I would have to put up with seasonal drivers, and nothing in stores fits me anyhow.

Instead I will just stay home with my wrinkly shirts, unwrapped presents, and cats in my lap, pretending to watch new episodes of LOST when in reality the entirety of this month is just a bunch of repeats.

The building wins
Two men were seen running from the blaze, one of whom was disguised as Father Christmas
We wanted to represent the Bible in a different way and to interest young people

Yesterday's search terms:
surviving christmas snood, when will niagra falls disappear, where is george bernard shaw's letter about cremation, who discovered calmagite, when was discovered calmagite, undress woman super site, demolay the charges are monstrous

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Civil War Gets Me Hot

The Virginia Tech Alumni Association is hosting a weekend for Hokie Sweethearts. Make plans for a Valentine's getaway weekend with your special someone.

Friday, February 16

Arrive at the Inn at Virginia Tech to a romantic welcome gift in your room!



  • Registration
  • Welcome Wine Tasting Reception: Join local alumni at the Inn at Virginia Tech as you taste a variety of wonderful wines, delight in sumptuous hors d'oeuvres and enjoy live music with that special someone inside the warm and cozy Inn at Virginia Tech.
  • Dessert Reception

  • So far so good... Wine and inns are romantic.

    Saturday, February 17

    Enjoy a special Morning Delivery to your Room!



  • Couples Massages throughout the day by appointment only
  • Tour of West Side Expansion and Private Boxes - Lane Stadium

  • Let your loved one know how much you care by making them walk up eight thousand stairs to get struck by lightning!
    I hope you at least get to use the private boxes for... stuff.

  • Sign-up for "Chef Joseph Live" $25 per person, 3-course lunch: Executive Chef for Preston's restaurant at the Inn at Virginia Tech
  • Romance and the Civil War - 2:00 p.m (James I. Robertson, Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor of History): Great grandson of a Confederate soldier, Dr. Robertson has had a lifelong interest in the Civil War. Today, his Civil War Era class, with approximately 250 students each semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.

  • PLEASE BE SURE TO BRING AN ECONOMY-SIZED BOX OF PROPHYLACTICS, SHOULD THE OVERPOWERING APHRODESIAC THAT IS THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES CONSUME YOUR SOUL IN PASSIONATE LUST WITH NO OUTLET IN SIGHT EXCEPT FOR THE THROES OF LECTURE HALL FORNICATION.

  • Chocolate Tasting
  • Reception / Dinner
  • DJ and Dancing

  • Featuring the new mashup of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" and "Snoop Dog's Doggystyle".

    Sunday, February 18

  • On Your Own

  • Virginia blue laws say that the cow can't work on Sunday mornings.

    Optional Activities

    Come a day early and see the Women's basketball team take on the University of Virginia on Thursday night.

    Making a long weekend out for the President's Day holiday? Think about attending "Music and Memories of the Civil War: A Living Legacy" at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 18 in Burruss Hall.


    TWO IN ONE WEEKEND! IS YOUR LIBIDO STRONG ENOUGH TO HANDLE THIS ORGIASTIC EXPLOSION OF SEXY CIVIL STORYTELLING? CARESS YOUR LOVER IN A DARKENED AUDITORIUM TO THE MELLOW SOUNDS OF BAYONET FIRE. MOVE OVER AL GREEN!

    So who's signing up?
    Camera found hidden in soap dispenser
    Man accused of faking retardation
    Culture Shock: Congress gets a 5-day work week

    tagged as mock mock | permalink | 5 comments

    Friday, December 07, 2007

    Friday Fragments

    helping you to feel like an alligator in a handbag factory

    ♠ Don't forget that tonight at 7 PM is the deadline for voting in the Museday poll on the left sidebar! You can listen to all the samples in Tuesday's post.

    ♠ Many people have sent me cards and letters wondering why my crotch seems to be emanating heavenly light in the photo from Tuesday's post. As a matter of fact, that light is actually coming from my pants, and not the lamp I keep under the desk for when I tinker inside my computer. It makes life pretty difficult when trying to fall asleep, but it's great for reading in bed. Life is trying with a heavenly body like mine.

    ♠ Other non-believers wrote in to say that they saw no similarities between me and Welsh actress, Catherine Zeta-Jones, in Monday's post. This is pretty hard to fathom since I was her body double in several movies and autograph events. You know that boring, plotless movie, Entrapment, with Sean Connery that was only made so Catherine Zeta-Jones could shimmy under a laser beam with her ass in the air? They paid me double for that scene. I'm probably just taking pictures from bad angles -- otherwise, you'd see the resemblance almost immediately.

    ♠ Speaking of cameras, I just purchased a Canon A650 and it should be arriving by UPS sometime today. The hand-me-down Canon S3 I got from my dad takes great pictures, but it's so cumbersome and heavy that I never want to take it anywhere. I don't really have much use for the 12 Megapixels that the camera boasts, but the older model cameras in the same family line were actually more expensive than an A650. I guess this is how Canon phases out the old technology.

    ♠ Speaking of old technology, the XM Radio I purchased last year isn't nearly as well-engineered as the one I bought in 2004. The contacts are smaller and more prone to snapping, while the power jacks tend to wiggle out during normal car ride vibrations.

    ♠ I might not renew my XM subscription next year anyhow -- it's starting to sound more and more like normal radio every day (loops of the same three or four payola'd radio hits and the increasing presence of ads, combined with the fact that they take my one station, UPOP off the air for a month every Christmas). Even the introduction of Channel 59 LED (All Led Zeppelin All the Time) hasn't helped. All that station has taught me is that Led Zeppelin achieves a droning timbral homogeneousness that's like listening to paint dry if you try to listen to three or more songs in a row.

    ♠ The above fragment is probably inflammatory enough to get me removed from Mike's (of Mike and Chompy) blog links. That's okay though, because I'll retaliate by removing him -- there's already one too many blogs in the Friendly column on the sidebar. It's just not well-balanced.

    ♠ Speaking of blogs, Kathy (of Kathy and Chris) has been writing in her new blog for over a month now. She's linked on the sidebar, so why haven't you visited it yet? Chris could not be reached for a statement, but he probably would have said "What could be more exciting than reading about a Music Theory Conference? Leave some comments, bitches".

    ♠ Speaking of music theory, Finger Eleven has a surprisingly good song on the radio now called Paralyzer . I never thought I would say the words "Finger Eleven" and "good" in the same sentence without also using the word "riddance", mainly because their original one-hit-wonder song was One Thing , a horribly-sung, mind-numbingly boring song that used up all its good will in the first thirty seconds, and overused the tonic like a bartender in a trashy dive trying to conserve the gin.

    ♠ While trolling YouTube for those videos, I also found this one for Jack Penate's Second Minute Or Hour , a fun little ditty that sounds like a less annoying version of The Hives. I really hope he was able to record this music video in a single take.

    ♠ This weekend we're hitting up the National Building Museum in D.C. on Saturday, and then going to a Potluck Holiday Dinner on Sunday. The remaining time will be spent doing my annual clean-out of the filing cabinet, wrapping Christmas presents, playing with my new camera, watching the second season of MI-5, and getting all the extra stars that appear after you beat Super Mario Galaxy (review on the 20th!).

    ♠ Happy Birthday Matt Koerner on Sunday! Have a great weekend!

    Help yourself to a little placenta pizza
    Moon photo mystery solved
    Mr. T plays World of Warcraft

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 4 comments

    Monday, December 07, 2009

    Weekend Wrap-up

    My plans to avoid work on Friday afternoon were thwarted, but I managed to end the evening well with a mushroom burger at Whitlows on Wilson and the chance to navigate through the most poorly conceived underground parking garage in Arlington for free parking -- if you could fit the entire game of Chutes and Ladders onto the Free Parking space in Monopoly, and then rig Mousetrap! around it, you'd have some semblance of similarity.

    On Saturday, everyone on Facebook was mentioning that it was snowing, so I looked out the window and confirmed what I had learned (with less effort) on the Internet. Other than a quick sprint to Costco for essentials (kitty litter and hand soap refills), we stayed in all day through four inches of snow, making chocolate chip cookies, putting up the Christmas tree, and watching the movie, Coraline.

    Sunday was a quiet, productive day filled with a snow-walk to Safeway, thank-you notes (50 down, 16 to go), and some e-learning about new technologies. In the evening, we ate very small chickens with a rich butter glaze that was very close to four parts butter with one part margarine. Delicious!

    I also posted a few pictures from Fall 2009 for your viewing pleasure.

    Elf jailed over threatening Santa with dynamite
    Lego gun sighting leads to police takedown
    Mayor claims Obama blocked the Peanuts special

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

    Tuesday, December 07, 2010

    2010 Timeline

    A smattering of events from 2010

    January:
    • We travelled to Columbus, Ohio in the dead of winter for New Years, and then got snowed into a B&B in Pennsylvania on the way home.
    • We attended our last CustomInk holiday party, and our first FGM holiday party (where we won the docking station that forced the purchase of an iPod).
    • I added song information to all 1200 MP3s in my collection.
    February:
    • It snowed, a bit more than usual.
    • DDMSence was conceived (blizzards often lead to conceptions).
    March:
    • We saw Muse in concert at the Patriot Center.
    • We spent a week in Puerto Rico, hiking and avoiding beach stalkers.
    • DDMSence was released.
    • Rebecca took a pottery class.
    April:
    • Rebecca bought a new car!
    • Ella turned 3. Some other babies aged throughout the year too, but there are too many to list now so you can assume they are all 3.
    • Jack became the boss of the boss of the boss.
    May:
    • Rebecca went to the Grand Canyon.
    • LOST ended, with the series finale having been written by the producer's seven-year-old.
    • We joined a volleyball team, and competed against the volleyball team at my work.
    • We went camping at Assateague next to piles of pony poo.
    June:
    • We attended an outdoor wedding in 100 degree heat.
    • Rebecca turned 27.
    • We bought a Kindle.
    July:
    • We spent the Fourth of July with family, building things out of matches and torching them down.
    • We attended a wedding in Spokane, Washington.
    • We visited San Francisco and its environs, including the Sterling winery.
    • Mike (of Mike and Chompy) came down to visit on the spur of the moment because he is incapable of planning ahead.
    • Starcraft 2 was released.
    August:
    • We went to Jazz in the Garden on the one day there's a lingering thunderstorm, and ate weird food with people from Grinnell.
    • We traveled to Barboursville for a winery tour and a baby shower.
    • Rebecca quit her T-shirt bidness.
    September:
    • We traveled to Emerald Isle for beach week with Sam and Kristen.
    • I turned 31 and likely died.
    • Sam the Nephew was born.
    • I discovered Minecraft.
    October:
    • We traveled to Massachusetts and New Hampshire to see Chompy and hike up White Mountain.
    • We survived one full year of marriage.
    • We traveled to Blacksburg to meet the baby.
    • We hosted a rocking Halloween Party which was deintensified by the day-long Jon Stewart rally that everyone got tired at beforehand.
    November:
    • Emily visited, with the obligatory cute Spellerberg baby.
    • We went to the Potomac Point Winery and pretended to be yuppies.
    • We ate three Thanksgiving dinners.

    We look a lot less lazy than we actually are when I write everything down!

    Wild boar gets the wurst of the attack
    Explosive-laden Calif. home to be destroyed
    Woman reports snowman theft

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    Wednesday, December 07, 2011

    Memory Day: Snapshots

    I think my current habit of wearing nothing but solid colours can be traced back to having a photographer dad who developed his own pictures in the basement. You see, the solid colours are easier to gauge and provide an easy contrast against a washed out background.

    On the lower left, you can also see the Advent Calendar with all of the Hershey's Kisses eaten. I cannot recall ever buying Hershey's Kisses, because there was a perpetual supply frozen in the freezer, solely used for Advent Calendars. By 1996, we were probably still eating the Kisses from 1986.

    How That $3.8 Million Supercar Crash Happened
    Drunk driver crashes into DWI checkpoint

    tagged as memories, media | permalink | 2 comments

    Friday, December 07, 2012

    Story Day

    I have no idea what's going on with all of you clowns because those of you with blogs are treating the task of updating as a mere suggestion (not unlike dynamics in a tenor sax sheet music), and those of you without blogs are opaque enigmas (like the guy who gave Everybody Loves Raymond nine seasons). So today, I order you to share a brief anecdote in the comments section from one of the following topic areas:

    • Tell us one mishap that occurred that would have been really embarrassing, but luckily went unnoticed by the people around you.
    • Tell me a small life tip that has improved your life in some way.
    • Tell me one off-the-wall aspiration you have that will not get accomplished but is fun to think about.

    For your reading pleasure, here are other stories that people have told in the past six years:

    tagged as you speak | permalink | 10 comments

    Monday, December 07, 2015

    Weekend Wrap-up

    • Installed Windows 10 on all of the laptops in the house, then turned off as much of the "phone home" nonsense as possible and got rid of all of the Live Tiles.

    • Upgraded the URI! Zone webserver to Apache 2.4 and PHP 5.6 (PHP used solely for the Wiki). This task was made more efficient by THE CLOUD, which allowed me to spin up a second copy of the webserver in an A/B configuration and make all of my mistakes without affecting availability for the low cost of $0.052.

    • Had Wegmans sushi for dinner on Friday.

    • Started watching The Man in the High Castle and am roughly 55% interested after 3 episodes.

    • Tried out the new Hearthstone adventure, League of Explorers.

    • Went to an office party of mostly old FGMers (where "old" denotes the last 10 years and "ancient" would have denoted earlier) at Praveena's house. Met Eric B's 1-year-old, Cruz.

    • Finished my Christmas shopping, all online.

    • Put up Christmas lights, inside and out, and fluffed the fake tree for eventual ornament hanging. The outdoor decorations look rather like a diorama for UFO-driven cattle abductions, rather than the staid monochromaticism of yore.

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

    Wednesday, December 07, 2016

    Memory Day: Snapshots

    This picture was taken at Christmas time in 1983. I'm wearing my favourite sweater that shows the designer's inability to understand the concept of wild animal perspective. My dad says that we were at the Economics and Business Department's Christmas party (he was a full-time teacher at Catholic University). The Greek Orthodox Santa was the department's administrative assistant and his costume was a really big deal for him

    We would also attend a yearly event we attended where adoptive families got together and a fake Santa would give kids an early present. I was savvy enough to realize that fake Santa was fake (and had gotten the gift to give from the trunk of our car), but was just happy to get the Megatron Transformers gun early. That toy turned out to be a poorly-designed engineering debacle which couldn't stay in gun form long enough to shoot it.

    tagged as memories | permalink | 4 comments

    Friday, December 07, 2018

    Maia Month #17 Battle Report

    Maia is now one year and five months old, weighing 21 pounds and walking up a storm. After months of getting a feel for how long it will take her to crawl down the hall after you, she can now startle you like a nascent ninja by coming into the room right behind you. She has 3 teeth on the bottom and about 8 on top. Maia reads on her own less than before, but still sucks in knowledge like a sponge. She can identify things by color, continues to refine her animal sounds, and learns a million new things at the library every day.

    She has two stuffed animals, creatively named Bear and Bunny (one is a bear and one is a bunny, and they both identify as such), that she takes wherever she goes. She sometimes cries if she can't find or have one, although she's surprisingly okay with the fact that we have two copies of the bunny (for laundry purposes) that don't quite look the same.

    We put up our Christmas tree a few weeks ago and tentatively left it unprotected by gates. Maia's been great with it so far, choosing to play with the ornaments on the lower branches rather than tipping it over. She likes Christmas trees, lights, deer, and all the accoutrements of the season.

    Life is going well!

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

    Monday, December 07, 2020

    Interview Day: Maia Edition

    wisdom at age 3 and 5 months

    What is your favourite color?

    "Pink!"

    What is your favourite movie?

    "Frozen. 1. Not Frozen 2."

    What is your favourite food?

    "Oranges." (actually chocolate but she was eating oranges during this interview)

    What is your favourite drink?

    "Freckled lemonade."

    Who is your favourite bunny?

    "Original Bunny!"

    What is your favourite activity?

    "Going to the farmer's market. For the apples."

    What do you like to play?

    "Mazes."

    What is your favourite planet in the solar system?

    "Which one is the tiniest?" (Pluto). "That's the one. It's the tiniest planet in the solar system!"

    What is your favourite holiday?

    "Christmas 'cause I like to open the presents."

    What is your favourite book?

    "Little Bunny's Bedtime."

    What is your favourite outside activity?

    "I like to play ball."

    Is there anything else you'd like to share?

    "I like to share the turkey and the ham."

    tagged as offspring | permalink | 5 comments

     

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