This Day In History: 12/28

Friday, December 28, 2001

I'm back in Tallahassee for a few days of diligence before the Gator Bowl. The trip down was completely unremarkable, and it took about thirteen and a half hours to make it, with three stops. My back is killing me though -- I feel like I should take it apart and put it together piece by piece. I think I have barnacles growing on my spinal cord.

There's wings in the oven and rooms are slowly starting to heat up, so I think I'll take it easy tonight and watch an old movie or something. I've also put up new cat pictures on the Photos page (at the end of the Cat section, of course).

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Sunday, December 28, 2003

Here are some new cat movies for your viewing pleasure:

Booty is crazy (6.1MB WMV)
Oliver in enemy territory (2.6MB WMV)
Kitty growling (2.2MB WMV)
Kitty fighting (2.4MB WMV)

The Hokies lost the insight.com bowl against California 52-49. It was 49-49 with two seconds to go and California won by a field goal. It didn't help that Carter Warley missed every field goal he attempted, just like when I was at Tech.

Where's Jim Barry these days?

Yesterday's search terms:

    Oedipus Complex, motivic procedures in Haydn, humans interact with the environment in New Brunswick by polluting, sir lancelot background, penguin's frozen yogurt place, my shorter leg, wade-davis bill, earth wind fire chords september, redenbacher popcorn, mp3 cornet prelude and capriccio, tootsie pop commercial turtle, bass clef pentatonic scale

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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

John Grisham's The Last Juror finally came out in paperback so I picked it up and read it two Sundays ago. As previously noted, I never buy his books in hardback anymore since they only take a few hours to read through. Recently Grisham has had trouble deciding whether he wants to be a passable trashy law fiction writer or a passable trashy historical fictional narrative writer. He's dabbled in both, generally unsuccessfully since people who like one of his styles will hate the other.

This book is another hybrid which fails on both levels. The title and the book summary set it up to be another courtroom thriller but it turns into a small-town snoozer with a minimum of sensible resolution (the last juror referenced doesn't even play much of a role in the major plot thrust). Grisham also tries to toy with the standard chronology (introduction, building excitement, climax, resolution), choosing to split his book into three parts. The first builds like a law thriller then peters out. The second keeps feeling like the thriller part should come back, but ends up being a small town biopic instead. The third has some tension, but ends with a stupid resolution involving a character that got maybe two pages of face time.

As usual, Grisham's characterizations are laughable, especially when it involves women and/or sex. If you want a book to read in the airport, stick with one of his more effective page-turners, anything written before 1996, or The Brethren, the only recent book of his worth reading.

www.penisland.net
Mystery Martian 'Carwash' Helps Space Buggy
Naughty kids' Christmas gifts sold on eBay
Man fools Slashdot readers everywhere
"You are just way too observant for me," Election Clerk Mary Reid said.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

2005 in Review, Part II of III

Based upon Reuter's Pictures of the Year

To be concluded tomorrow...

Happy Birthday James Houck!

Experts stunned: you don't learn anything in college
Tobler told police that it was a longtime hobby of his to deliver the bottles
Fake money stolen from real bank

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 in Review, Part II of III

based on Reuter's Pictures of the Year

Happy Birthday James Houck!

Gerald Ford's death on SNL
Dead drug lord's hippos loose
Sexblog suit heads for trial

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Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 in Review, Part III of III

based on Reuter's Pictures of the Year


Happy Birthday to James Houck! Happy Birthday to Becca tomorrow!

We are pretty sure this is not Santa Claus
The movie salt mine
Idaho tater tots start blaze

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Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 in Review, Part I of III

based on Reuter's Pictures of the Year

Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008

War-torn 'nursery' hopes to send monkeys to Mars
Boy Hands Out Grandparent's Cash On Bus
Search of car turns up gift-wrapped marijuana

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 in Review, Part II of III

based on Reuter's Pictures of the Year

Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009

Satellite-based Laser Hunts Woodpeckers from Space
Students opting out of P.E.
Palin compares herself to Shakespeare

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 in Review, Part III of III

based on Reuter's Photos of the Year

Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010

Louis Vuitton sues Warner Brothers over fake Hangover bag
Conservatory student reunited with $170,000 violin

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Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 in Review, Part III of III

based on Reuter's Photos of the Year

Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011

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Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 in Review, Part I of II

based on the New York Times' Year in Pictures

Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Timeline

A smattering of events from 2016

January: B+
  • Spent New Years in Sperryville.
  • Went to my first DC nightclub, for the company party
  • Snowbound in a big blizzard.
  • Finally got a smartphone.
February: B+
  • Conceived and launched a new open source project, Sparkour.
  • Rebecca became an officially trained yoga teacher.
  • Lots of snow and ice, paving the way for extra time with the Overwatch beta.
March: B-
  • Learned to hate Windows 10.
  • Had a big St. Patrick's Day party.
April: B
  • Went to Pittsburgh with Elisa and Sayak.
  • Enlarged the front porch.
  • Gave up custody of Sydney the cat.
May: B-
  • It rained forever.
  • Visited Anna and Ben in their new Fredericksburg house.
  • Planted new tomatoes after a year off.
June: B+
  • Celebrated the Smiths turning 40.
  • Started taking random days and weeks of off work just to burn leave.
  • Finished adding Book 3 to the Paravia Wiki.
July: B+
  • Had a Bastille Day BBQ.
  • Attacked by yellow jackets.
  • Went to a Sufjan concert at Wolf Trap.
  • Tried "Acro Yoga".
August: A
  • Took a two and a half week trip to Colorado for beers and hikes.
  • Went up a 14er and died.
  • Visited with my nephews, in town from Rhode Island.
September: A-
  • Remodeled the office and started using a standing desk.
  • Turned 37 with style.
  • Discovered a good farm-to-table restaurant in Lovettsville.
October: B+
  • Got another AWS certification.
  • Went to my 20th High School Reunion.
  • Swapped out both sets of across-the-street neighbours, as well as the Lowrys.
November: B
  • Got a new job and left FGM after 16 years.
  • Rebecca taught her first paid yoga class at Sportrock.
  • Joined a book club for a moderately interesting sci-fi book.
  • Printed out some of my old compositions for Peebs' jazz band.
December: B
  • Worked 45 - 55 hours per week, while spending up to 2 hours a day in traffic.
  • Went to tons of holiday gatherings.
  • Spent Christmas in Fredericksburg.

How was 2016 for you?

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Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 Timeline

A smattering of events from 2018

January: B-
  • Spent New Years with Sara, Car, and Ben.
  • Visited lots of friends with Maia in between gentle bouts of snow.
February: C+
  • Got sick with a brutal sinus cold via baby germs.
  • Introduced Maia to the Winter Olympics.
  • Purchased a new oven that had less of a chance to burn down the house.
March: B
  • Flew to LA for Mike and Annie's wedding.
  • Alice visited us for a weekend.
April: C-
  • Got sick again from Maia (twice this month).
  • Visited my sister in Rhode Island.
  • Baby-proofed the heavy junk in the house.
May: B
  • Got sick again.
  • Had a barbeque between rain storms.
  • Finally stopped playing Overwatch cold turkey.
June: B+
  • Set up a VR room in the basement.
  • Spent a lot of time outside between rainstorms and heat waves.
  • Got all of the AWS certifications.
July: B
  • Got Maia a kiddie pool.
  • Had our annual 4th in Taylorstown.
  • Started taking family dinner dates with an agreeable Maia.
  • Joined the Business Development division at work.
August: B
  • Stayed inside through the intense heat.
  • Amber lost a tooth.
  • Sara stayed in our basement for a brief visit.
  • Rented a cabin with Zoe and Tammy.
September: B+
  • Had the Ahlbins over for a birthday visit (turned 39!).
  • Had another barbeque and then got sick again.
  • Went to the Claude Moore Fall Festival.
  • Got to see Michelle and Stu in Reston.
October: B
  • Celebrated 9 years of marriage.
  • Spent a lot of time at Lake Anne.
  • Switched work schedules and went up to 30 hours per week.
November: B
  • Went back to Deer Haven with Car and Ben.
  • Took our 4th trip to Fredericksburg this year to see the Ahlbins and Hickses.
  • Had Thanksgiving in Taylorstown.
  • Resurrected my treadmill and bought the quietest fridge in the world.
December: B
  • Did Advent of Code.
  • Celebrated Christmas in Fredericksburg.
  • Saw the Rhode Island cousins in Alexandria.

How was 2018 for you?

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Monday, December 28, 2020

Advent of Code Day

Another 2nd place finish ($200) for me this year! I was actually in 3rd place on the night before the final puzzle and only inched into 2nd through luck and competitor exhaustion.

The competition for Advent of Code this year was ridiculous, partially due to COVID-19 keeping everyone at home with nothing better to do. In fact while Novetta usually gets a huge number of people in the Global Top 100 throughout the month, I had the only global record this year, and it was only because I was persistent with hitting F5 during the first day's server outage (due to the competition's unexpected popularity). Here is a reenactment of the insane technical skill I needed to get this record.

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