This Day In History: 12/30

Sunday, December 30, 2001

I think I'm sick. My head is pounding and it hurts just to move around. I alternate between having a fever and extreme chills, and even the roots of my hair hurt when I comb them. Whatever the source, it can't be good for business. I hope it doesn't interfere with the Bowl plans.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2003

It's almost the end of another year. Things are quiet at work with the high rollers and low ballers on extended vacations through the 5th. I'm saving up my vacation time for house-moving as well as a possible Nags Head trip in the summertime, and rarely take more than four hours off for a single vacation day. I compensate by working a little extra the other days, but it really doesn't feel like you're working extra when you still get home by 3 or 4 in the afternoon.

Traffic is horrible this week though. You'd think that after Christmas, families would have less of an impulse to pile in the Caravan and head for Target.

Yesterday's search terms:

    andrew jackson parrot funeral, the narrator in My Oedipus Complex, mercantilism in Netherland, transpose concert, titillomaniac, using relative minor, urizone, toll collection costs, triplets and sextuplets, Tips for becoming a Drum Major, nate shafroth, republican plan for southerners during civil war, time signature 3/4 4/4 6/8 2/4 5/4, how to make a harmonic minor scale, WBS weary traveler, charles rosen classical style 1971, DIVORCE SHOOTING TIN CANS OFF HEAD, story my oedipus

It looks like the high school essays assigned over break were on My Oedipus Complex. Lots of people arrive by way of the newbie theory guide I wrote for my trumpet students five years ago as well. Maybe I should rewrite it to be more useful.

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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Today's CD review will be of Muse's second album, Showbiz. The feel of this album is very different from their fourth album (Absolution, previously mentioned), but the style is unmistakably Muse. This album is a bit more edgy than Absolution and makes more use of noise as a musical element. The tunes are catchy though not always memorable, and the falsetto is actually very powerful, especially at the end of the song Showbiz. Their non-edgy stuff works well too, though sometimes they sound too much like a frat rock band .

Here are a few samples for your listening pleasure. As usual the sound quality has been greater reduced for downloading:

Falling Down (409KB MP3)
Showbiz (288KB MP3)
Muscle Museum (437KB MP3)

We also watched Anchorman: Legend of Ron Burgundy a few nights back. It was hit-or-miss with some incredibly funny jokes and some incredibly bad Will Farrell cliches. Overall, it could have been edited to be a little shorter with fewer laughter droughts and been more worthwhile.

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Friday, December 30, 2005

Friday Fragments

It's the end of an era!

  • I hit every green light and got to work in seven minutes this morning. I love my commute. Some work friends moved from Del Ray in Alexandria to Herndon yesterday, so I'm sure they'll have so much commuting time freed up that they won't know what to do with themselves.

  • If you missed the stealth announcement in December 26's comment section, Kelley Corbett and Kathy Hanna are all engaged and whatnot. They started dating in 2001 when Kelley (my roommate from college year #4) lived in Foxridge across the street from Anna (my roommate from college year #5) whose current roommate was Kathy's ex (and he, at the time, was dating the girl living upstairs from Kelley). Kelley and Kathy are currently living in Spanish Harlem in New York, where Kathy is pursuing some kind of law degree involving lots of money while Kelley is pursuing some kind of trumpet degree involving no money whatsoever. Congratulations!

  • Here's another picture of Kelley from 1998 when he was a freshman and passed out on the Abbott bus on a Wind Symphony trip (not to be confused with the time he passed out in the bathroom during the Super Bowl while taking a poop). Both he and Shac, the guy next to him, had 40s clutched in their dirty mitts, but I edited them out so the pictures could appear on the trumpet web site, which was too closely affiliated with the marching band to show people consuming large quantities of alcohol. The number of 1998 pictures with hands in strange positions from cropped alcohol led people to joke that the trumpets had their own gang sign. There are more photos such as this one on my Photos page, some of them proving that I have no business being behind the viewfinder of a camera.

  • Hopefully his best man will put together a slide show to run during the reception. There are many more stories and photos which his guests would no doubt find highly amusing.

  • Speaking of Photos pages, I spent this week editing, sorting, and collating all one thousand nine hundred thirty-five (1935) pictures on the Photos page and redesigned the entire section so that you can see a whole album of pictures at one time. No more of this one-click-per-picture nonsense -- go check it out! Trips of nostalgia are always fun, especially when they involve Jason Chrisley in a wifebeater being chased around his own living room.

  • Anna is bringing Kitty and Sydney over this afternoon for a four-day playdate while she and Ben escape to New York for New Year's. This means that I will once again be in charge of four cats with no helping hands. Hopefully it will be easier this time -- when I did it during their honeymoon, Sydney was a feral Pac-Man that ate everything, including my thumb, Amber, and a bottle of human vitamins. This time around, I plan on locking them in a room with a gerbil and just checking up on them in a few days time. I'll have to keep an eye on Kitty now that my carpets are newer and my computer parts are replaced. She's a sweet cat except for those wire-chewing/carpet-ripping/pee-pee habits, but I guess if you got rid of the damage-dealing parts, all you would have left is a massive belly with a tail. Then you might as well have a pot-bellied pig.

  • Luckily someone else is caring for Baylee. When you pit four cats and an overactive puppy against one BU who has no one to tag-team with, it's called a Fatality. Despite his super powers.

  • I have a magic shampoo bottle. It was about 1/4 full when I moved to Florida and four years later there's still 1/8 left. Since my hair does get washed pretty regularly and it's not a greasy, matted miasma, I can only conclude that the bottle will never empty. Given the choice of magic neverending bottles, I would rather have had something other than shampoo in it, but I guess you take what you can get.

  • Which comes first, the cereal or the milk? And how could it possibly be questionable?

  • In Virginia, there are plain white signs all over the interstate exit ramps with "[your city here]" on them. I went to out of curiousity, only to find that it's just a back door to Yahoo Personals with RESTON hardcoded as the city you're interested in. This is handy, because when you're looking for a date online, you can get to the smooching five seconds faster (as long as you're confident that the city is smooch-worthy). I tried a bunch of other cities, but apparently Sterling, Herndon, and Fairfax are not smooch-worthy. This is probably because it's common knowledge that those cities are filled with gigolos who could get a date without any help from the Internet. Or alternately, there are no women in those cities that drive men wild.

  • Today's Fragments look bigger than normal, probably from the constipation of the picture-heavy segment that ran the past three days. Now that that's over, my words are spewing across the page like literary pimples.

  • There's nothing major going on this weekend, other than using my massive brain to temporally shift the entire world ahead by one year. My Eve plans fall into the "Comfy: I'm staying in" category since they are not party-centric. This is totally fine by me, because even after twenty-fivesix years, I still prefer the quiet evenings with a few folks over drunken raucous parties that end with letting all the animals out of the zoo. You can only do community service rounding up penguins a few times before it starts to get really really old.

  • Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the 2005 edition of the URI! Zone.

  • I made a dream come true. And I am not a pervert.
    It may have been smarter to leave the flour-filled condoms at school.
    The Ultimate Showdown

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    Tuesday, December 30, 2008

    2008 in Review, Part II of III

    based on Reuter's Pictures of the Year

    Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007

    MMO female gamers more likely to be lesbians
    Surgeon uses human fat to power car
    UPS package signed for by terrorist

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    Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    2009 in Review, Part III of III

    based on Reuter's Pictures of the Year

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

    Accused shoplifters cause chaos at Walmart
    Funeral home offers free burial to drunk drivers
    Giant Swedish Christmas goat gets torched

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    Thursday, December 30, 2010

    Tech Day

    I had a hopefully intermittent motherboard-level failure in my three-year-old Dell on Monday night which finally pushed me towards upgrading to a fresh new machine. The main reason I've not done it in quite some time is simply that computer comparison shopping is a much bigger pain in the ass now than it once was.

    Gone are the days when you could just assume that the model with the bigger number is faster or better -- this time around I spent hours comparing CPUs, graphics cards, and memory configurations. I spent two hours alone trying to figure out which Nvidia GeForces were actually good cards and which were just rebranded versions of older cards (pro-tip: even for their gaming machines, NONE of the graphics cards you can order with Dell and HP computers are worth a damn).

    I'm also switching over to HP after years of loyalty to Dell (and Gateway before that), because a comparable model was $200 cheaper, it was easier to deselect a bunch of My Little Pony crap that I didn't want, and because Dell now charge an extra $15 for a Windows Recovery Disk which is just plain greedy.

    My current Dell never worked perfectly anyhow. The DVD drive would cause old-fashioned IRQ blue screens (which I thought had died with Windows 95) when playing music CDs, and sometimes the camera disk drive would just shut off when I inserted disks, forcing me to open the box and reseat it before the computer would recognize it again. Back in high school, I would have had the time to troubleshoot these tricky problems for more than the few hours I put in today, but I'm now a busy, respectable, and important man, having to provide for my wife while reactivating my World of Warcraft account and caring for two and a half cats.

    Here are the specs of the new machine, which I'll be ordering tonight so it doesn't arrive while we're in Williamsburg and get stolen by MS-13.

    HP Pavilion Elite 450t

    • i7-870 CPU, 8 GB RAM expandable to 16
    • 1.5 TB HD
    • NVIDIA GeForce 315 1GB (free to a good home)
    • 16x DVD Drive
    • 15-in-1 memory card reader
    • Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer (crappy, as the name implies, but halfway between integrated sound and a high-end card)

    I'll also be ordering these from NewEgg:

    • Gigabyte overclocked edition of a GeForce GTX 460 1GB
    • Antec 500W Power Supply

    I'm also in the market for a better constructed external hard drive, since the Western Digital My Book 3.0 1TB is a piece of crap that I could have put together in my diorama days in 4th grade, but that's a story for another time. Instead, I plan to take an undeserved vacation from updating this site.

    Updates will resume on Tuesday, January 4. Don't kiss any uggos this New Years Eve!

    Man playing real-life 'Frogger' hit by SUV
    Sears rolls out online movie download service
    "Eat' em" stratagem for lionfish invasion in Florida

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    Friday, December 30, 2011

    End-of-the-Year Media Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2011 album. Happy New Year!

    Whale sperm and orgasmic feet top 2011 bad science list
    Weather may be controlled by Kim Jong Il's ghost

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    Monday, December 30, 2013

    2013 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 | 2012

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    Tuesday, December 30, 2014

    2014 in Review, Part II of II

    based on Reuter's Photos of the Year

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

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    Wednesday, December 30, 2015

    2015 Timeline

    A smattering of events from 2015

    January: C
    • Flu into the new year like a butterfly.
    • Had New Years parties for friends and Rebecca's coworkers.
    • Visited the Edwardses in Richmond.
    February: B
    • Went to the American History museum for the company work party.
    • Florida Mike moved back to town and became Returned Mike.
    • Shoveled lots of snow.
    March: C+
    • Discovered Hopkins Ordinary in Sperryville.
    • Picked up a 3rd cat temporarily.
    • Passed two AWS cloud certifications.
    April: B
    • Started hike-training for Rebecca's trip.
    • Went to a Senior Composition Recital.
    • Moved the URI! Zone INTO THE CLOUD.
    May: B+
    • Had a barbeque where Evil Mike smashed a pinata.
    • Taught classes on THE CLOUD at work.
    • Continued to hike all over the place.
    June: B-
    • Saw Book of Mormon with Mike and Annie.
    • Built a shed with my dad.
    • Worked on proposal stuff while Rebecca hiked everywhere.
    July: A
    • Watched fireworks at Lake Barcroft.
    • Went to Munich, Grindelwald, Montreux, and Geneva!
    August: B+
    • Learned how to do indoor wall climbing.
    • Continued the D&D adventure into the town of Phandalin.
    • Briefly tried out game development.
    September: A
    • Had a minimal meats barbeque for yoga people.
    • Turned 36 years old.
    • Read the Wool trilogy.
    October: A
    • Went to Blacksburg for the MV Practice Center.
    • Went to Luke and Carolyn's wedding.
    • Transitioned and launched the new Paravia Wiki.
    • Rebecca started a new job.
    November: C+
    • Resumed hiking before the cold set in.
    • Worked on proposal stuff all month long.
    • Had lots of Thanksgiving dinners.

    How was 2015 for you?

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    Friday, December 30, 2016

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    A few photos have been added to the Life, 2016 album.

    • Events
      • Went to the Cranes for pizza and Christmas Vacation on F 12/2.

      • Ate enchiladas and played games at the Smiths on S 12/3.

      • Put up our Christmas lights and an extra deer on S 12/4.

      • Went to a housewarming party at Parry's on F 12/9.

      • Gained Titan for a week on F 12/16.

      • Went to a Potluck and Cookie Decorating Party on S 12/17.

      • Visited both sets of parents on S 12/24. Had stir fry for lunch and dim sum for afternoon snack.

      • Went to Fredericksburg to see the Hickses and the Ahlbins on S 12/25.

      • Hung out with visiting Annie on M 12/26.

      • Assembled a 3D globe with Sara on New Years Eve then went to bed early.

    • Projects
      • Commuted to Fairfax for my new job all month long. Ate breakfast at Denny's 6 times and worked 45 - 55 hours per week.

      • No time for other projects!

    • Consumerism
      • Got to level 434 in Overwatch and played Rise of the Tomb Raider on and off.

      • Enjoyed Colony, Season One and Glitch, Season One but haven't watched much TV this month.

    December's Final Grade: B, Very busy, but lots of holiday friends and family!

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    Monday, December 30, 2019

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2019 album. Google Photos sucks.

    • Events
      • Vist to the Uri grandparents on W 12/4.

      • Dad-daughter dinner at Fireworks Pizza on H 12/5.

      • Put up Christmas lights and kitschy deer on F 12/6.

      • Rebecca taught a "Little Yogis" class at her yoga studio on S 12/7. Followed up with a satisfying prime rib dinner at Bungalow Lakehouse.

      • Dinner with the Jackson's on S 12/8.

      • Visit to the Uri grandparents on H 12/12 to help decorate their tree.

      • Rebecca taught Yoga Anatomy all weekend long while BU and Maia hung out on S 12/14 - 12/5.

      • Christmas Potluck at Mike and Ghazaley's on S 12/14.

      • Family dinner at Marumen on S 12/15.

      • Solo dad dinner at Miller's on T 12/17.

      • Work lunch followed by Dad-daughter dinner at Mellow Mushroom on H 12/19.

      • Missed the Wilmer annual Christmas Open House for a Maia sick day on S 12/21.

      • Had Tammy over for a ramen dinner on S 12/22.

      • Dinner at Marumen with Marc on M 12/23.

      • Christmas Eve dinner of broiled tenderloins with garlic butter after Rebecca and Maia went to Riverside for a church service on T 12/24.

      • Maia and I got mildly sick on Christmas Day W 12/25, but saw Rebecca's parents for lunch. Went on a Christmas Light stroll on Juniper Avenue, a far cry from its glory days.

      • Belated Christmas with my parents on F 12/27. Took Maia to try her new balance bike at the playground in the evening.

      • Dinner with Tammy and Zoe at Mellow Mushroom on S 12/29.

      • Had a low-key New Year's Eve at home with Car, Ben, Tammy, and Zoe on S 12/31.

    • Projects
      • Woke up at midnight for Advent of Code all month long (and won 2nd place at work).

      • Locked in plans for our 2020 Screen Porch.

    • Consumerism
      • Enjoyed new music from Electric Guest this month.

      • Enjoyed watching End of the F***ing World, Season Two.

      • Purchased Red Dead Redemption 2 (PC), but haven't had time to really dig into it yet.

    December's Final Grade: B, Maia loves Christmas but the family can't seem to shake these colds.

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    Wednesday, December 30, 2020

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2020 album.

    • Events
      • Windows-open basement visit with Car on S 12/5.

      • Porch visit with Rebecca's parents on S 12/12.

      • Porch visit with the Smiths on S 12/13.

      • Light snow on W 12/16.

      • Went on a Christmas Lights walk in the neighborhood on W 12/23.

      • Quarantine Christmas with the immediate family (Maia and Rebecca) on F 12/25.

      • Farm visit with the Smiths on M 12/28.

      • New Year's Eve Celebration with the 3 of us at home at 6 PM on H 12/31.

    • Projects
      • Did Advent of Code for the 3rd straight year.

      • Presented "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Business Development" to our Technical Leadership Development Program at work.

    • Consumerism
      • No new music or games of note this month.

      • Just started watching Fargo, Season Four, and the first episode is promising.

    December's Final Grade: B-, we made it through 2020!

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    Friday, December 30, 2022

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2022 album.

    • Events
      • Went to the Claude Moore Christmas Lights event with the family and Ghazaley on S 12/3.

      • Maia and Rebecca saw Seussical Jr starring the Smith kids on S 12/4.

      • Went back to the doctor to review my annual physical results on W 12/7.

      • Holiday Potluck at Mike and Ghazaley's on S 12/10.

      • Quick visit to my parents' house for an oil change on S 12/11.

      • Maia went to my parents' for the weekend, F 12/16 - S 12/18. Dinner with the rest at Ford's Fish Shack on F 12/16.

      • Early Christmas dinner (London broil) with my parents on S 12/18.

      • Sara and Karl visited from Minneapolis on T 12/20.

      • Went to a division Happy Hour at Barrel & Bushel in Tysons on H 12/22.

      • Went to the evening service at Riverside on S 12/24.

      • Had Christmas at home with a later visit from Char on S 12/25.

      • Road tripped to Orange, VA, M 12/26 - W 12/28. Visited the Ahlbins for two days.

      • Met up with the Rhode Island cousins at my parents' house on W 12/28.

      • Walked around to look at Christmas lights in the neighbourhood on F 12/30.

    • Projects
      • Did Advent of Code for the 5th straight year.

      • Gave my annual Business Development brief to our Tech Leadership Development Program on H 12/15.

      • Rearranged my home office again on S 12/31.

    • Consumerism
      • No amazing new shows or movies this month although we're enjoying the Willow TV series as each episode comes out.

      • Still playing Overwatch 2.

      • No new music this month.

    December's Final Grade: B+, a very good month in spite of ongoing colds

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