Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy New Year!

Enjoy your federally sanctioned holiday of terror.

Yesterday's search terms:

    ELIZABETH BISHOP Poem analysis One Art, cmajorscale, pandiculate, chord functional analysis, second reconstruction acts, Jazz Articulations, time signature 12/8, footnotes on king arthur and the round table, dress into the incinerator, DECENTRALIZATION OF CONGRESS, diagram of keys on the alto sax, colorado's richest resident, Trumpet transposition, enharmonic chords, clearing truck mercedes, advantages of incinerating garbage

Florida News of the Weird

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Friday, January 02, 2004

We watched Bad Boys II last night. Fun action but about an hour too long (estimated running time: 147 minutes). There's just no need for that -- run your ninety minutes, blow something up, and fade to black.

Florida Kathy is in town this weekend, so I'm going up to Rockville tonight for merriment and good times.

Yesterday's search terms:

    transposing key for alto sax, A-Team theme chords, religion in netherland, the groundhog by eberhart, most difficult trumpet, army appropriation act Johnson, THE ART OF LOSING ISN'T HARD TO MASTER, a Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen what he saying about the institution of marriage, tenessee williams a streetcar named desire, cool emotations, fanfare for a common man 2nd trumpet, Marmoset Sally Jacob, Spanish Opener, worst first lines

But "The Two Towers" is okay.

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Saturday, January 03, 2004

I'm still sticking with the jazz piano thing -- practicing ii, V, I's and simple progressions out of a Fake book. I haven't had a chance to work on Auricle in a few weeks, because programming at work has been pretty heavy and I need some computer-away time while at home to relax my wrists.

Today I cleaned the apartment and consolidated a bunch of boxes to make more room in the kitchen. Now, I think I'll read a book in my window seat.

Do you all like seeing the search terms, or are they a boring waste of space to make entries look longer? I find them interesting myself, but I can stop if no one reads them.

Yesterday's search terms:

    mozart's sonata composition style, Prokofiev's first and second movements of the Classical Symphony, "so you thought you could puzzle some affinity through on the rise, mmm, I mean, you couldn't be anymore obvious, though somewhere I tasted a little attempted mug where refered to those that have less urgent reasons to stay awake", interpretation ozymandias, Radish seeds experiment for the seventh grade, Virginia toll plaza job, Toll plaza design Schaufler, Specie Resumption Act of 1875, ewazen sonata for trombone program notes, sprained both ankles, worst sentence ever, Mark Wingate's music, trumpet sonata by antheil, author devices, bread tastes too yeasty, Derek Han complete Mozart, famous tightwads, faulkner similarities toni morrison, Lesa Ray, Original writer of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, marching band rock opera tommy, quantum brass, chord notation, toll booth operator job, Mama Elena, how to write a battle report

Paris Hilton buys plenty of pizza
Homeless by choice
Partying forces hotel to evacuate
Croc Hunter provides tasty morsels

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Sunday, January 04, 2004

Today has been a rather slow day. We had a whole bunch of people over last night and got a slow start this morning. Booty climbed halfway up my screen door when she wanted to come back inside -- much like this . I had to pull her down since she no longer meets the weight restrictions for screen climbing.

The weather outside is high humid sixties. I thought I'd abandoned such climes when I left Florida.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    bare feet on the dashboard, theme from a-team ringtones, the irritating music of brian uri, brian uri is short, brian uri is a shrimp, sulking squirrels, brian uri is not good at piano, brian uri makes noise, brian uri remove all of your clothing for me, brian uri is a squirrel, brian uri likes alias too much, Nikole Giraldi, giraldi music vocal

This is the problem with democracy.

From the "Stupid things to make movies about" department
Plowing dogs for fun and profit

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Monday, January 05, 2004

We watched 25th Hour last night -- a good movie that I'd never heard of before. Starring Ed Norton, the pacing is methodical and thoughtful but the writing was catchy enough to keep things interesting.

I also saw Pirates of the Caribbean a few weeks back, and it was actually a good movie. Easily the best movie ever made about a theme park ride as well.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    microwave popcorn comparisons, drug trafficking Brazil mining company, Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Mind Power : How to Use the Other 90 % of Your Mind to Increase the Size of Your Breasts, Peter Harmatuk

Britney Spears to annul weekend marriage
7-year-old gets stuck in stuffed animal game machine

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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

We had a few friends over for spaghetti alfredo with marinated chicken breasts last night. Speaking of chicken breasts, there are new pictures up on both the Cat and URI! pages of the Photos section, including a picture of the pirate ship I made with the Supermags I got for Christmas from Anna. I've also uploaded a few new movies:

In a Booty Bag (2.6MB WMV)
Get It Off (3.0MB WMV)

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    dustin hoffman oscar speech 1979, Aether-X, odd book titles bookseller lesbian horse, how many centimeters do green beans grow in 3 weeks, cattlebruiser

Happy Birthday Hilda!

I lost one once too.
XXX ads in video games
Woman encountered twenty-five blind aliens intent on invading the world through subterfuge
'Dumb' cross-burning botched from the get-go

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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

From time to time when I have nothing better to talk about, I'll be posting brief clips of music that I particularly like -- not necessarily the entire work, but a clever turn of phrase or motive that pleases my ear. To start off this trend:

A canon from a Tonight Show Band arrangement of Jumpin' at the Woodside, I first heard this around tenth grade or so. It's still my favourite piece of jazz counterpoint to date. (259KB MP3)

This is an excerpt from the Autumn in New York arrangement sung by the Hi-Lo's. I like the depiction of the words through music in "glittering crowds and shimmering clouds", and especially the shearing swell of the root in "canyons of steel". Also, the depiction of "mingled with pain" later on in the song is just perfect. (409KB MP3)

What do you think? Leave a note by clicking on the Comments link to the lower right.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    map of the uri river, king's funeral procession

There were also quite a few searches for Turn of the Screw and Oedipus Rex -- looks like English teachers are at it again.

Parting with Playboys is collector's sweet sorrow
UPS will get you across the state line fast
'Hunter' snaps
The case for mandatory airport vaginal exams

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Thursday, January 08, 2004

My week is going along at a pretty good clip. I'm wrapping up on a project at work in preparation for a move to a new project next week, so development isn't quite as heavy as it was last week. No big plans for the weekend -- just more of the same.

Patch 1.14 was released for Warcraft III yesterday. It fixes a lot of bugs, so check it out if you play.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    incest in today's society

Football fan banned for penis stunt
The Australian word for waitress is beer wench
Teen's phony tens
Virginia realizes that childrens' nude summer camp may be a bad idea
Photoshop can no longer be used for counterfeiting

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Friday, January 09, 2004

There was millimeter-thick layer of snow on the roads this morning, which was just enough to make people driver like retarded clowns on two-wheeled unicycles. My own commute was only about ten minutes longer, but some coworkers took two and three hours to travel thirty miles from inside the Beltway. Apparently all the accidents were SUVs too.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    jason mirick, misodoctakleidist, composer emotion despair, christy kull, Why is the Wade Davis Plan more harsh than Lincoln's?, pine cone scrapes, uri pictures

Treasury department changes its privacy policy
Woman survives skin falling off
Woman thought bloodstain was rust

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Saturday, January 10, 2004

Today was a pretty productive day for me, as I got a plethora of To-Do tasks off my list. I have my first meeting with a realtor on Tuesday afternoon and took care of some money matters this afternoon. I stayed in for most of the day because the high was 24 Farenheit with a wind chill of 6. Booty stayed in too, because she has no opposable thumbs to open doors.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    Idaho is the only US state that has never had a foreign flag, healthy confusion of pleasure and disquietude

People with too much time and foil on their hands
Fish cannot celebrate the new year
Intercom bandit has it his way at Burger King drive-through

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Sunday, January 11, 2004

For the entirety of today's update, here's a movie of Booty to music. Though low in production values, this hep cat could have real star potential:

Booty to Music (8.0MB WMV)

A new episode of Alias is on tonight at 9 PM, after a five week hiatus. It's supposed to be a turning point of some kind.

Happy Birthday, Kathryn!

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    Art is the perpetual motion of illusion, exterminate spider mites, doom wad ledges, snowpants shoulder, Elliot Del Borgo recording, idaho bus killed 1969, michelle cao

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Monday, January 12, 2004

Anna got an administrative job at a software firm in Tyson's Corner, so she doesn't have to run the office at the dealership anymore. She starts there on Wednesday, just in time for the big snowstorm expected in Thursday. Go Anna!

Last night's Alias was really good, and for once they didn't drag out the exposition. They answered more questions in one episode than they did in the past five, and all the answers fit into the mythos of the show, luckily.

I did my first mortgage preapproval today. Good times.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    There were no funny or interesting search terms yesterday.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I've never understood why many mail programs default to replying at the top of the page. Granted, reverse order threading is common on sites with daily updates such as this one, but one of the best features of e-mail is that you can retain an easy-to-read format of a back and forth conversation. Replying at the top of the letter, while convenient for the reader, renders the e-mail pretty useless for archiving later on.

Recently, I picked up Diablo II again, to see whether the last patch was worth the two year wait. It adds a few interesting twists on the game, but nothing that dramatically changes any dynamics. Overall, the game's pretty much the same as it was -- a little shallow but addicting.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    farseer harass, vinny ensuelo, doctors decided to leave the bullet, does music affect math tests, what makes people temperamental, Monarch Publishing, high school slang

It's time for the 17-year cicadas
Forty years on a golf course is "living off the land"
MoveOn.org becomes anti-Bush powerhouse
Filling a computer with potatos not covered under warranty

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I had an initial meeting with my new realtor yesterday and got to review some typical listings for affordable housing. Of course none of those houses will be available one week from now, but it's a good way to get started. We're going to go do some actually looking next Tuesday afternoon.

My characteristics for a desirable house still haven't changed much. I'm looking for something in the Reston - Herndon - Chantilly triangle, but may also look in Sterling since things are a little cheaper up there. Having a basement to store all my important crap that I never look at is a must, and stairs would be nice to have, and I'll be looking for three bedrooms and at least two bathrooms, so I can entertain visitors with bladder control problems.

I definitely don't want to have to cross or use Route 28 regularly and don't want to be directly under a flight path from Dulles Airport, but otherwise, I'm pretty flexible.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    mystic chord and definition, confederate currency distribution, disney fact five countries fit inside, scarlet letter stupid, why use pine instead of oak, encyclopedia on tin, lachrymal constipation, doom my levels

Kodak stops making traditional cameras

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Thursday, January 15, 2004

The snowstorm ended up being a very light dusting with no accumulation whatsoever. Probably a big disappointment for everyone who'd planned to work at home with PJs and BO. I wouldn't mind some blizzard conditions -- I haven't been in a snowstorm since 1995.

Here are some new cat movies for your viewing enjoyment:

Impersonation of a carnival hammer/bell strength machine (1.25MB WMV)
Ups (4.0MB WMV)
Talking to Fuzz (3.6MB WMV)

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    money pit pirates, bronze statues in denver colorado artist rowan, behavior suspicious airport, insecticide aldrin detroit 1959, FOUR BAR PHRASES OF MOZART, exterminate spider mites, pandiculate, evil weevil story, atrophine sulfate, taiwan pepsi come alive

It's amazing how many people still don't understand how to use Google. In reviewing my server logs, I see entries with plain English questions all the time. Things like "How do you plant radish seeds" and "Where can I find out about the population of Denver". As an aside, I have never gotten a useful response from the AskJeeves search engine.

He told his wife of 30 years, "Valerie, we're rich."
Teen burned home to hide parties
University realizes that cheese can be cut with lasers

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Friday, January 16, 2004

I got recruited by Amway yesterday. I'll tell the story this weekend sometime when I can write it out coherently. Right now I'm going to get some eats and browse for houses.

I've been switching my mouse hand back and forth to ease the stress on my wrists. Pretty soon I'll be ambidextrous enough to get in the Guiness Book of World Records, or at least write my name backwards.

This movie is a change of pace for Booty. It's more of a character study than a high action thriller:

Most Boring Movie Ever (7.0MB WMV)

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    does different types of music effect the memorization of the brain, what temperature should radishes be kept at planted and in a room, starcraft naked terran pictures, orthotolidine dihydrochloride, earthworm haikus

Have a good weekend!

Streakers In Restaurant Watch As Their Car Is Stolen
Another case for having rules on who can be a parent

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Saturday, January 17, 2004

This morning I took a fifty mile jaunt through Fairfax County and Loudoun County, perusing neighbourhoods for friendly living conditions and drug deals. I'm not very good at driving without a destination in mind, so I started with the areas surrounding some of the houses I'll be viewing on Tuesday.

The first (shown on the left) is in south Reston on the fringe of the hidden undeveloped heartland above Fair Oaks mall. It's on a neatly-kept court that's a little rustic, and is more woodsy than suburban. It was in a nice location, equidistant from the amenities of life that I would travel to.

The second is in Herndon, right near where I work at the moment (we're moving to Reston in April or so). The neighbourhood here was a little more high class, and within walking distance of the town centers along the Toll Road.

The third was my favourite, at least from the outside. It's way up in Sterling below Route 7, and has a lot of character. It's bigger than it looks too -- 5 bedrooms and 3 baths -- but equally priced against the others. Price is a little shifty since Herndon lowers their house cost while raising taxes, and Reston has high Homeowners' Association fees as well as a "living in Reston" fee.

The last house was in west Centreville, across Route 28 from Chantilly, in a neighbourhood that's very similar to the one I grew up in. Unfortunately, it had been sold in the past couple days, as the signs were no longer up.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    does music affect the brian, penguins encyclopedia, pandiculate neighbor, jello with a hot dog, brian uri makes -me -puke, are there earthworms in hot dogs

Perle: "Ignore the unfound Iraqi weapons and look at the funny faces I can make."
Flight Sim inquiry raises terror alert
FIFA president wants sexier clothes on women soccer players

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Sunday, January 18, 2004

Trapped inside by the freezing rain, I have valiantly added new pictures to the URI! Pictures and Cat Pictures pages in the Photos section.

Here's a video of Kitty high on catnip:

High Cat (1.7MB WMV)

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    kent holliday, which is better spruce or poplar, pedro's mouth, christy kull, wacky wall walker, barney doom mod, mark wingate music, anna strunsky

China finds out 'Friends' talks about sex
Man says 'Sike' and uses toddler as taser shield
Tokyo calls for ban on sale of used underwear

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Monday, January 19, 2004

I'm running a little late this evening, so you're going to have to wait until tomorrow morning for an update. I did go to work today even though it was MLK Day.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    snark london's ship, rabbit won't drink water, tenessee williams sex, brian uri is an -inflatable -dancing squirrel, kent holliday works, montana county star wars fan club

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

If you were wondering why I left such a diminutive update on Monday, I'll tell you now. I posted that I was running a little late. While that wasn't exactly a lie, I feel somewhat duty-bound to explain the whole story...

As you may well be aware, I typically awake at 4am to get ready for work. Since I went to bed extra early the night before (6pm) I woke up before my alarm went off. At 3:26am I got out of bed and made a simple breakfast. By 3:32am I had finished eating my Belgian waffles, eggs benedict and papaya smoothie (made fresh from the papaya trees I had planted in the greenhouse [which I had built from matchsticks, dental floss, some old 2-liter sprite containers and gum] the day after I moved in). From 3:33-3:34 I did absolutely nothing. I felt a little guilty taking that much time off but I also got some good thinking-time in. I took a quick shower and while I was drying off I noticed Booty acting especially crazy. I fed her and took 68 pictures, which I then put online (links below). By now it was about 4:15 and I still had an extra fifteen minutes before I had to fight the idiot drivers on my way to work. While I shot some movies of Booty playing with various household objects (viewable below) I watched three episodes of Alias from the first DVD in 8x fast-forward. The build up was still a little slow for my taste, but it's still the best show on TV.

It snowed a little last night, which always seems to bring out the worst drivers in droves. I managed to avoid no less than four accidents (good thing I filled up my tires the extra .01 psi this morning on my way out). Arriving safely at work at 4:59am, I watched the sunrise while my computers boot(y)ed up. My morning was occupied by inane meetings, where people much less intelligent, motivated and generally inefficient than me blathered on about topics covered by my 8th grade diorama, aptly titled: A Functional Replacement for FORTRAN. With the meetings over, I adjourned back to my desk and chewed the fat with Kathy via Instant Messenger. She had just informed me of some hot Florida-gossip when, simultaneously, sixty-six people messaged me for help with their computers, all from FSU. Although it cut into my lunch hour, I was able to answer all of their questions by avoiding small talk completely. After lunch, my supervisor dropped a bomb on me: he needed me to rewrite the code for some new 'missile defense project'. Fortunately, I had estimated such a task during my 3:33-3:34am brainstorming session and was able to complete the task in 12 minutes, not including the time I spent on eBay, purchasing a signed lithograph of all the Alias cast members. On my way out, one of my co-workers, let's just call him "Guy", asked me I'd mind jumping his car. Lacking jumper cables, I had no choice but to fashion a makeshift one out of some paperclips, his beta fish (Cyrus) and parts from his old Packard Bell monitor. The successful roar of his motor reminded me I needed to renew my Eagle Scout status. I drove up to the headquarters in D.C. on my way home but only after completing the seven good deeds required. All were simple enough, save the one where I had to actually cure a prostitute with Hepatitis C. While I did have the appropriate serum in my glove compartment, it seemed the populous of Washington, D.C. was largely a syphilis and Hep. B bunch.

Returning home, I made my roommate and her beautiful sister dinner. I went all out, hunting the game hen and truffles myself. On my way back from the forest, I stopped at Costco. to buy another 480 pack of RC Cola just in case we needed a little extra with dinner. After doing the dinner dishes, I finally completed my 163 symphony as well as the pep band arrangement (you can listen to it hear [hah!]). I then wrote a couple more BattleNet reports (follow link at the bottom). After writing drill for next year's VT Marching Band show (URI: The Epic Saga!) I completed my Valentine's Day, Easter, misc. birthday and Christmas shopping online. Noticing it was getting late, I watched the 8pm news and hit hay, falling asleep to Coldplay.

Today's guest entry was written by Mike Catania .

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    Who's got the Booty, define efficiency, FORTRAN diorama

Taxman dies unnoticed at desk

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Wednesday, January 21, 2004

About five months ago, I got an e-mail out of the blue from an old college friend at Tech. Amidst the standard "how are you?" and "here's how I am" rigmarole, was this:

    The really exciting thing going on with me is that I started my own business about 4 months ago. It's going really well. I've met a lot of great people. Basically, I'm running a business development team that expands business for companies that have e-commerce websites. So I'm building this business outside of my full-time job. It's very flexible and I take care of all my business online. I'll double my net income over the next 12-18 months.

I thought it was a pretty weird thing to put in a "reconnecting" e-mail but simply replied to the rest and forgot all about it. A few weeks ago, I got a call from someone I'd never heard of, saying that my name had been referred to him through my old friend. He said he was part of a development team that was interested in my technical skills and wanted to get together over coffee. I countered that I was already happy with my current employment but agreed to meet as a courtesy to my old friend.

Last Thursday, the three of us finally had a sit-down at a local hotel. The guy who'd contacted me opened by saying that they were looking for someone who could take technical things and make them easier to understand for laymen, and then went on and on about the money they'd earned to date. It took about ten minutes of pitch before he finally got around to what the business was. In fact, they weren't looking for someone with technical skills, instead, they were looking for independent business owners to market and sell products through a site called Quixtar. The guy proceeded to outline what looked to be a classic pyramid scheme of sales, and when I noted this, he went on to point out all the reasons it wasn't a pyramid scheme. After more questions, which all got perfectly canned responses (my friend said very little throughout, except to nod in agreement and be the straight man to the guy's occasional questions), I said I'd think about it, and asked them to send me some more data on the credibility of the company, who (they said) was owned by Alticor.

The next day, I got a fax with a bundle of studies showing income improvement, as well as audulatory articles in various business mags about Quixtar. I figured throughout that there was something out of the ordinary going on, so I used my Scooby senses online to do some more research. It turned out that the Quixtar web address was owned by the Alticor company at the exact physical Michigan address of Amway, the original pyramid scheme. As soon as I found that connection, search results started pouring in. Page after page described Quixtar as the hidden online hand of Amway and of shady business practices. One page even described the exact procedure used to "rope a new client", including using an old acquaintance and meeting in a hotel. With that proof in hand, I replied back to the sales guy:

    After reviewing the information you provided, doing my own research, and giving it some thought, I have decided to decline your offer for Quixtar.

    There are a variety of reasons behind my decision, most notably the obfuscation of the link between Quixtar and Amway in our discussions and the provided materials, as well as the company's presence on the Federal Trade Commission's "commonly requested complaints" page. It is also unsettling to see scores of pages providing logical arguments against Quixtar and multi-level marketing in general rebutted either by rash personal attacks or canned company bylines.

    I have no doubt that you both have benefitted from participation with Quixtar, but the above factors just give me the gut instinct that I should not get involved in this venture. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me, and good luck with your future sales.

On Monday, I got a reply back, ignoring the major issues I'd presented, and stooping to the selfsame canned responses and personal attacks that I'd just mentioned (lack of paragraphs, as I received it):

    Brian, Good morning, thanks for your message. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you...ironically, I was in a weekend seminar with about 5,000 IBOs with Quixtar. Your a computer guy, I respect that...unfortunately, the "quixtarsucks" genre of tried-to-be-ibos and their pontification got you. I realize most tech people do all of their research online...I prefer real relationships and first hand in the field research. When I saw this business, I read what all the people who put those sites up had to say...but I had a relationship, a friendship with Greg and I trusted his experience. Additionally, I never really looked for advice on anything in my life from people who werent successful...I always wanted to be on the winning team...not the whining team. That said, you are correct, people can use "logical arguments" to mislead people who dont really understand how it works...in fact, they can be down right convincing. Funny thing is that 95% of it is bunk...our (my wife & I) incomes with this business prove that. The quixtarsucks generation would right that off to me having gotten started early, and Im sure hard work and integrity would not be mentioned. Not trying to be curt, I respect your opinion and Im just sharing mine. You definitely seem like a great guy and I enjoyed meeting you. From the outset, if you recall, I didnt really feel like there would be a good fit from a business standpoint anyway...you seemed happy with your current level of achievment and not looking to change that and I respect that. So, no big deal...perhaps we can connect in the future if our paths cross again. In the meantime, best of luck with what your doing and to all of your future plans. I enjoyed taking the time to meet with you.

So that is the tale of how I was hunted by Amway and valiantly vanquished them. I hope you enjoyed it. At least I got to catch up with my friend.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    shaw cremation mother, peter harmatuk, absolute music composers, poem about cigarettes, goldfish turn white in dark, midnight hamster supplies, what materials would a green bean grow in best, jennie geisner, free million dollar treasure to claim, atlas of tongue coating

I would have stapled him
Russian army saves 10 tons of beer
Churchill's parrot still alive
Man chokes boy over video game

tagged as random | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, January 22, 2004

After my first house tour on Tuesday afternoon, I unexpectedly liked one of the homes I'd visited for comparison's sake. I looked at four that day -- two in Sterling, one in Herndon, and one in Chantilly. The Chantilly house had a driveway that was sinking into the ground and an interior that wasn't much better off. The Herndon house was "okay" and filled with original artifacts from the roaring 70s. It had ample space, but the floor plan was cut up in an oddball way.

In Sterling, the first house had a huge deck, a landscaped yard, a sun room, a screened in patio, AND a workshop on the premises, but the house itself was much smaller. The interior was obviously custom fitted by the handyman who'd lived there before so everything looked smart. This house was my backup -- I liked the outdoorsy bits, but I am a person who'd be using the inside more than the out.

The other Sterling house is the funny shaped one from my Jan. 18 news post. It's a split-foyer house that's oriented from front to back, rather than side to side. This actually provides much more contiguous space on the inside, and five bedrooms & three bathrooms fits together quite nicely. Here are some pictures (floor plan is above):

I ended up liking this house so much that I went back out with my parents yesterday to get their opinion, and then sat down last night with the realtor to stamp out a contract. I didn't expect to be moving forward so soon, but it felt like an opportunity too good to pass on. The house is comparably priced to smaller houses in the area (probably because of its oddball orientation) and is three miles from my job (six when we move).

So now the contract is in the sellers' hands and it's time for the waiting game.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    kill avril games, what is the mightiest tree, spiffy words, florence nightingale pet that fit in her pocket, duke of albemarle barbados, christy kull, cool ranch flavor, camel trader

I need to stop posting long news updates -- you might get in the habit of expecting them.

Chomper loose on the subway
Magazine apologizes for posting hiking trail that leads off a cliff
Stolen SUV driver read aforementioned magazine
I hope they were jumbo shrimp

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Friday, January 23, 2004

I'm accepting a counteroffer from the sellers on the previously mentioned house. No doubt the next couple weeks will be a whirlwind of forms and expenditures.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    klamath weed storing, julia mays clarinet, facts about prostitutes, the meaning of i was married by a judge i should have asked for a jury, only animal with one ear, bryons molds

Drunk elephants on parade
So that's what karaoke is
Oxygen picks more representative programming
Robber failed the peg-in-hole games in kindergarten
Average Joe is a reality series in which a beautiful woman is courted by a group of average-looking guys. In a twist, handsome men then arrive to compete with them. Their arrival was just about to happen when the interruption occurred.

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Saturday, January 24, 2004

After spending all of yesterday afternoon on the phone, I am steadily moving towards a conclusion to the housal soap opera. After a successful closing, I probably won't move right away -- the remaining time on my apartment lease gives me good incentive to fix up and whatnot without hurry.

Looks like snow tomorrow. Better this weekend than next weekend.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    reganess, pedro's mouth, worm guts, americans fill in 54 acres of this everyday, carl schacter

Eminem's mom carjacked
Jordan boobs may explode

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Sunday, January 25, 2004

I rarely, if ever, have anything useful to say on Sundays. Today I sorted through all my old files on the computer and did a full backup on about twelve CDs. Then, I fought crime in a jumpsuit.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    how high penguins can jump, cooking with god, fudge said the judge

Alternate Ending: Home Alone 3
Recruited senior shows he is a winner
Effective debate skills
Good thing it tastes good

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Monday, January 26, 2004

With five inches of snow and forecasted ice, I decided to work from home today, as did most of the rest of the office. My home inspection was postponed until Thursday as well.

Booty and Kitty starred in a trilogy this weekend, much like the Lord of the Rings. The fat one must be Sam:

Part I (1.1MB WMV)
Part II (3.4MB WMV)
Part III (4.7MB WMV)

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    marching virginians pictures, orthotolidine, kharbanda stallworthy, picture of a knight in purple armor riding a horse, complete suicide manual, broad beans germination graphs

Breakdancing for the Pope
Fifty Oddball Slides

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Day two of being icebound. I fashioned a primitive breakfast out of a sliced bagel and cream cheese, using only a toaster oven and a knife. The power was on all day, which prevented me from using any of my candles.

I did some work, signed some loan forms, and tried to get my car out of the parking lot a few times. I also added some new pictures to the usual sections of the Photos page.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    life of beethovian, hot dogs and earthworms, symphony nicknames, robin caruso, chemical formula for hershey chocolate bars, elliot del borgo influences, garfield guiteau horse, conigliaro, circle of fifths for the xylophone

Because the circle of fifths is different for the xylophone than for the rest of the instruments.

What Skippy can't do in the Army
Franken shows faith in freedom of speech by taking out a heckler

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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Under duress, I probably could have made it into work these past two days but when the weather gets bad, I trust my own driving more than I trust the drivers around me. This point is emphasized even more when I see all the cars roaring out of their parking lots with a tiny porthole chipped out of the ice on their windshields, like the drivers believe they're in some futuristic speeder race where they can take out their opponents by launching thick sheafs of ice onto the racetrack.

The drive this morning was fine, if stately, and for the first time in weeks, I didn't see the valiant biker-guy of Route 28 with his flickering safety light cycling at a steady seventy-five miles per hour slower than the surrounding traffic. I'm not sure why he'd want to bike up such a dangerous road before the sun comes up -- perhaps its his way of communing with nature.

Kitty starred in a musical last night:

Singing Cat (2.2MB WMV)

Happy Birthday Jack!

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    real treasure chests, posters of the lost continent mu, the oak island shaft, south american praying mantis scientific name, idealistic thoughts on marriage, essay describing a jungle scene

Funny telepathic parrot communicates with humans
Nuclear power cheats

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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Today I have my home inspection at 1:30. It's the part where the realtor and I shadow a home inspector as he or she goes over every inch of the house for things that could cause future problems. Once I actually own the house, I'll try to get a few panoramic shots of the interior, using the photo-stitching options of my camera.

I hate it when the padding at the top-back of the shoe gets scrunched down. Speaking of shoes, the sixth season of Friends was released on DVD a couple days ago.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    oysters that climb trees, beethoven - champion of absolute music, looking for the matches

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson! (not that one)

Catwoman defeated by new nemesis
Football recruit not into strip clubs
The best they can come up with is "Go before you go"
Rescued cat rescues man
"I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous," [Ctrl+Alt+Del inventor] Bradley said. Gates didn't laugh.

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Friday, January 30, 2004

The home inspection is taken care of, which checks one more task off the list. There were two major problems in the house, but luckily both were already covered in the original contract. My realtor's submitted an addendum with the specific requests for repair/replacement and the sellers now have two days to reply.

Tomorrow, I'm taking some friends up to see the touring production of Miss Saigon in Wilmington, Delaware. If I had been smarter I would have noticed the Richmond show last October, but at least Delaware isn't too far away. I'll be back late tomorrow night, but there will be no updates until Sunday.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    the bible is the most often shoplifted book in, wall walker soft sculpture, liz benyo, mr. clean fun facts, does a b sharp note exist, fake treasure maps

Covert toilet reveals unpaid parking fines

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