Posts from 05/2009

Friday, May 01, 2009

Just Plain Friday

Road Rule of the Day: Don't go to all that trouble to cut me off and merge in front of me, only to slow down and drive like a pansy.

FEMA pulls 9/11 coloring book
Girl beats off muggers with marching baton
Shadow Hare saves Cincinatti

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day in history

Monday, May 04, 2009

Clip Show Day

I can warn you right now that this week will continue to be slim on free time for me, so there might not be much new content to read. Since everyone in the world is now killing off all of their pigs to combat swine flu, I thought it might be apropos to clip-show back to an old update, written when George Bush introduced us to Pandemic Influenza.

Until I have time to write something new, talk amongst yourselves.

Florida officers battle drivers in legal street races
Chasing down collateral through Myspace
Couple puts on a show for the Queen

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day in history

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Old Images Day

A smattering of old images from my extensive archives, none of which have ever been seen here.

My desk at work around 2003, when I shared a corner office with three other people and wrote documentation about really crappy third-party software solutions of vendors that start with a V and rhyme with "win yet".

My desk at home around the same time, where the standard decorating strategy for any temporary abode involved recital posters and some cats.

Wikipedia really has a nice taxonomy for when you are researching exploding animals.

Some of the popular searches from around 2002.

Sunshine Superman. Photoshop is fun.

I can't remember why I made this image, but surely it was a parody of something related to bitches. I would play this game.
Hackers hold Virginia health database for ransom
Walking on the sky
Biker hit by driver painting her nails

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day in history

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Just Plain Wednesday

Yesterday evening, we went to Kathy and Chris' house for a delicious Cinco de Mayo celebration. Yum!

Nukes help identify fake whiskey
King Arthur defies eviction notice
Google mows the lawn with goats

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day in history

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Just Plain Thursday

Happy Birthday to Erin and Best Meat!

Named and Shamed: the 16 barred from the UK
Boy just loves to play dress-up
Kid Zapper: Patent Pending

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day in history

Friday, May 08, 2009

Just Plain Friday

Updates will likely resume next week.

Art student makes car disappear
Korean man dies homeless with $100,000 in the bank
Afghanistan's only pig quarantined for flu fears
Hair stylist keeps armed robber as sex slave
Giant spiders invading Australia
Spider sex violent but effective

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day in history

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pup Day

Introducing Jack and Kristy's new European lab puppy, Kiwi:

We met Kiwi on Saturday night at their house, where we devoured delicious barbeque chicken and pasta salad, after which I came in 2nd in an impromptu game of $5 poker. I gave my winnings to Rebecca, who used it to buy a wedding dress.

Don't forget that tomorrow is 12 of 12!

Hispanic Wal-mart looks pretty much like a Wal-mart
City slickers scared off by bird-eating snake
God is now in Salami

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

Today's 12 of 12 will be dull, and not the normal dull of the modest 12 of 12er who insists that their day was boring and then ends up poaching an elephant while on safari with Hugh Jackman. I have some sort of flu-like malady which is manifesting itself in headaches, fevers, and muscle aches (but thankfully, no coughs or overabundance of phlegm).

4:43 AM: After lying in bed, sick and unable to sleep for several hours, I finally got up and took some ibuprofen.

4:48 AM: A temperature of 101.8 (38.8 for the Brits)

5:08 AM: I emailed in sick to work, and then attempted to sleep on the most comfortable couch in the world, which worked out much better than my bed.

6:55 AM: The couch was only comfortable for a couple hours before I was pushed out by its rightful owners.

9:36 AM: I woke up again just after Rebecca left for work, and decided to get a little food in my belly. Only Pepperidge Farm bagels were on the shelves during the last grocery run -- they aren't nearly as good as the Thomas brand. I had to squelch the tastelessness with additional cream cheese.

I spent the rest of the morning asleep, and have not yet mastered the art of sleep-photography, so here is a picture from yesterday of Booty reading Mark Twain.

1:23 PM: Off to CVS to purchase additional drugs.

2:08 PM: Lunch today consisted of chicken noodle soup and a shot of Dayquil. I prefer the chicken soup that DOESN'T have the real pieces of chicken in it, but unfortunately I didn't have any of that in the cupboard.

4:00 PM: After another nap and a bath, I passed my sick day with an old computer game.

5:32 PM: Scanning pictures of wedding cakes for Rebecca.

7:57 PM: Working on tomorrow's web site update.

9:37 PM: In search of symmetry, I end up back at the stove for a late night dinner of Totino's pizza topped with extra pepperoni!

See more 12 of 12ers at Chad's site!

Toilet snake attack: urban legend comes true
The Simpsons to get a postal stamp
A Klingon language opera

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day in history

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Journal Fragments

random excerpts from my first year of grad school

September 3, 2001: Yesterday evening, I went to the department head's house for a music theory welcoming picnic but it's actually next week. Luckily no one was home so I didn't look completely dumb.

October 14, 2001: Mark was drunk and telling Kathy his opinions of people in our Pedagogy class and labeled me as the "quietly competent" one. I've heard that before...

December 1, 2001: In the afternoon, I went out to eat with Mark, Mike, and Beth, and then Mark, Mike, Jim, and some other composers went to Irish Pub with Dr. Wingate for happy hour. I split a whole pitcher of Heiniken with Mike. The outing ended up becoming a bitch session about the bureaucracy of the composition/theory department which was stupid.

December 12, 2001: I hit part of a ladder on the road in South Carolina but survived, and then hit five miles of dense dense fog in southern VA. [...] Anna and I also went across the street to say hi to Philip and Kelley. Kelley wasn't home so we watched Philip play Abe's World on his X-box then went home.

February 1, 2002: Today was a pretty good day, despite my MWF pedagogy class being horrible.

February 23, 2002: I left Mike's around midnight when some of his louder friends showed up.

March 25, 2002: Anna broke up briefly with Ben last week but it was over quickly and now they're back together.

April 20, 2002: Just now, I was talking to Liz online and asked if there was any new gossip this semester. She replied, "____ has messed around with scott, shac, and kelley".

Rotten office fridge cleanup sends coworkers to the hospital
It's raining moose
Mom has plastic surgery to look like daughter

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day in history

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Review Day

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

200 Cigarettes (R):
A 1999 indie flick with a massive ensemble cast including Ben Affleck, Paul Rudd, Dave Chapelle, Kate Hudson, and more, telling various stories about the characters' attempts to get to a New Year's Eve party in 1981. Other than the fact that they all end up at the same party, the stories don't really overlap, and some are more interesting than others. The funniest part of the movie is actually the credits voiceover, where Dave Chapelle narrates the Polaroids from the party and calls Elvis Costello a necrophiliac. I wouldn't seek this movie out, but I didn't mind watching it. Courtney Love is weird-looking.

Final Grade: C

The Heartbreak Kid (R):
We did not have high expectations for this movie, but Ben Stiller can usually be pretty funny in any movie that doesn't involve him meeting some parents. This turned out to be a dud across the board, with long stretches of zero laughs. None of the characters in the movie have a moral center, so there's no one to root for, and none of them deserve a happy ending. This would be fine in a black comedy, but the movie continues to sell itself as a romantic comedy right up to the end. Skip it.

Final Grade: F

Smart People (R):
The parts of this movie were more enjoyable than their sum -- there were enjoyable scenes but they didn't add up to much in the end. This was a typical "improve the surly guy until he loves puppies" type of movie with shades of Regarding Henry (which, fun-factily, was written by J.J. Abrams). Ellen Page plays "Juno as a Republican" and Sarah Jessica Parker has a distractingly-shaped face.

Final Grade: B-

LOST, Season Five Finale:
Nothing unexpected happened in this finale, which is telling for an episode of LOST. In fact, nothing much happened at all. There was zero emotional resonance in either of the two ending scenarios (one in 1977 and one in 2007), and the pacing of the episode dragged ridiculously. Apparently finales without any Desmond suck.

Final Grade: D+

Intelligent women like sex more than bimbos
New weapon turns fire ants into headless zombies
He did not get the burrito, police said.

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day in history

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Fragments

breaking two drought-ridden weeks of defragmentation

♠ I'm feeling better now, having subsisted solely on ibuprofen and Nyquil for the past week, instead of the wussy antibiotics I surrendered to the last time I was laid low by major illness.

♠ There was actually a very slight chance that it could have been swine flu, since I work with a DBA who spent last week on a military base five miles from the Arizona-Mexico border. This is the same guy who also lived in my basement in 2004.

♠ I never did take Jim Barry's idea to turn my basement into an extended stay residency location for needy composers. I guess I like my leases to end eventually. Zing! Although honestly, the music performers are struggling just as much as the music composers right now.

♠ My idea to solve this famine is to initiate an infinite loop (because infinite loops are the solution to any devious software engineering problem). Simply have all the composers pay all the trumpet players to play their music, and have all the trumpet players pay the composers for the chance to play the latest and greatest sonata that can only be described as a cross between the Halsey Stevens and the Peeters with hints of Hindemith (I think I had ice cream in Collioure, France that tasted like that, mostly because of the liberal dousing of Grand Marnier).

♠ The Halsey Stevens sonata is constantly shifting between meters like a DC cabbie with multiple personalities. I performed it with the accompanist from hell, whose last name starts with an S and rhymes with "Padowski". She scribbled out any notes that ended a tie because they kept confusing her, rendering my $15 score about as useful as Roomba in a fishtank or the traffic light they're installing on Beech Road. Also, I'm allowed to have $15 scores because I'm a musician -- everyone else needs to find a higher class of prostitute.

♠ This accompanist was the same one who cancelled on me minutes before a Convocation performance, and then forgot to show up for the rescheduled performance the following week at the same time. I looked her up online and she's now a music teacher in Arlington. It's like everyone but Paige gives music educators a bad name.

♠ I haven't heard from Paige in weeks and her blog has fallen off the Bloglog, so I'm presuming that her baby ate her.

♠ "The Babiator" would be a great name for a superhero whose superpower was masterful use of the reproductive system. I'm guessing her Kryptonite would be condoms and practical sex education classes, but she could shoot babies at her enemies like giant cognitive watermelon seeds.

♠ This weekend is shaping up quite well. On Saturday night, we're going to celebrate the fact that Mike (of Mike and Chompy) will be moving to Massachusetts to teach ear training to wicked Bostoners. Then on Sunday, Rebecca and I will be taking a trip to Solomon's Island, Maryland, where we'll take a break from job stress and swine flu to stay at a Bed & Breakfast, dig for shark's teeth in Calvert Cliffs, and learn how to speak Marylander. We won't be back until Monday afternoon, so there will be no new posts until Tuesday.

♠ I've missed writing things for all you clowns -- thanks so much for staying patient and visiting daily in spite of all the boring Just Plain Days, which should really just be relegated to bagel flavours and the Midwest. Have a great weekend! I will.

Headless chicken feted in Fruita
Only modest mannequins allowed
Cash flies out of convertible

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day in history

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Museday Tuesday

  1. The composition can be for any instrumentation. It can have an actual score or be a pure synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.
  2. It must not be longer than thirty seconds.
  3. It does not necessarily have to have a start, middle, and end -- it can just be a fragment of something grander.
  4. It should be composed in thirty minutes or less. If time runs out, I post whatever I managed to finish, be it good, indifferent, or makeup on a corpse.
  5. The title of the piece must be a word from a random word generator, although this word doesn't necessarily have to be incorporated in the piece.

Pellucid: (adj.) Transparent or translucent; allowing the passage of light

My Composition (0:29 MP3)

This Museday fragment is written mostly for woodwinds -- the opening motive was written immediately after choosing the word, and it spun out from there. All of my songs eventually become Latin.

How to see with your tongue
Ball and chain to force children to study
Police shock toy cougar with taser

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day in history

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maryland Day

We arrived at the Back Creek Inn B&B around 10:30 on a stormy Sunday morning. The little detached building on the right was our private cottage.

Evidently, sharing the road means running over pedestrians.

Our cottage had a king-sized bed, gas fireplace, massaging tub, shower, fridge, and microwave. I had to bring my own woman though.

From our screened porch, we could look out across the gardens to the Chesapeake Bay. There was a dock available, in case we wanted to arrive by boat.

Pooping is FORBIDDEN.

All of the fire hydrants in Solomons had wildlife painted on. In the event of a fire, your home could be saved by the maximum pressure ejected from this stork's butt.

The pastor at this church was rather worried about his personal parking space.

Soft serve with sprinkles only ran us $2 each!
Attempted Murder Fail
Online car hysterics drive Shanghainese round the bend
Camera snake used to find wallcat

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day in history

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Previously on LOST

This post may contain spoilers from the previously aired season finale of LOST.

Geometry has always played a role in LOST -- here we learn that the submarine cannot leave the island unless it travels at a bearing of 310 degrees, with its passengers sitting in the shape of a love triangle. After ten minutes aboard the sub, the characters change their minds and go back to the island, seriously pissing off the set guys who spent all that time making a submarine.

From "Hydrogen Bombs for Dummies", Sayid learns how to delicately remove the explosive core of the twenty-year-old H-bomb, after which he delicately tosses it in a knapsack and delicately throws it over his shoulder.

Sun dons the thankless mantle of the "They Took My Boy!" Plot Device character and spends a good third of the episode walking along the beaches asking people about her husband and eliciting exposition.

Another quarter of the episode is spent on brand new characters who we have zero investment in.

Sayid and Jack try to disguise themselves in Dharma outfits, but unfortunately they fail to realize that there were no Iraqis on the island in the 70s. Sayid is delicately shot while trying to protect his backpack bomb from the shooting. Jack is happy, because he now has someone else to fix. Alternately, he's thinking back to the halcyon days when there was only one gun on the island and it mattered.

While attempting to flee from the violent Dharma folks, Jack delicately throws Sayid into a van on his back.

Sawyer discovers that Rose and Bernard have spent the past three years acting out the entire plot of Lord of the Rings. Bernard, who wanted to be Frodo, felt he was typecast.

In flashbacks, it is revealed that Jacob has been present in every main character's life. In this stunning reveal, we learn that he gave Jack a candy bar! This was originally supposed to be Hurley's scene, but the writers felt that it would be unbelievable to make Jacob a tattoo artist.

Sawyer channels the rage of the audience after learning that Jack's prime motivation for wanting to change everything that's ever happened is that "Kate doesn't like me".

The writers have discovered that with a properly-placed flashback, any character can have a change of heart to support the desired plotline, and it can be attributed to deep character motivations rather than lazy writers. Here, we learn that Juliette is just as much a pansy as Jack, and they should go off and have little pansy kids together.

When the dig site becomes magnetized, a chain-link plot twist wraps around Juliette's legs (though surprisingly, it misses her shelving cleavage) and she gets sucked into a mineshaft.

Here we learn that the core of a hydrogen bomb will survive gunfire, getting crushed in a van under Sayid, and a quarter mile drop down a mineshaft, but it will not survive a dying chick with a rock.

Thanks to LOST-Media for the screen captures.

LOST Season Finale analysis
Bodybuilders flee competition after drug testers arrive
Pfizer offers free drugs to the jobless

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day in history

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Fragments

your reliable source for manatee-based news reporting

♠ After last week's bout with the swine flu, I was sick-free for just two days (luckily the two days of our vacation) before coming down with tonsilitis, a malady with a preponderance of i's that makes your tonsils look like moldy potatoes and makes swallowing like giving birth in your throat.

♠ Actually, I think that only women are allowed to make birth jokes, in the same way that only Asians are allowed to call themselves yellow, so I'll say that it makes swallowing feel like you're peeing nickles, but with your throat. To get the mental images of these physical atrocities out of your head, here is a picture of Ella being cute.

♠ Ella was here for Mike's final Steak Night last week, which coincided with the best episode of LOST ever. Mike (of Mike and Chompy) is now in Lowell, Massachusetts, a city which, up until now, has only been known for its presence in the song, "Entering Marion". I don't know how many differences there will be, teaching ear training in a cold city versus teaching in Tallahassee six years ago, but I'm guessing the students will be a litle flat (and not just the late bloomers).

♠ Speaking of six years, this weekend marks my 6th year of working for FGM. One more year and my initial goes in the sign -- I haven't decided whether we'll rebrand as FGUM or FUG'M.

♠ This weekend, my dad and I will be starting further renovations in the basement, beginning with some rewiring in the laundry room and storage room (which was billed as a bedroom but didn't even have a light). I ultimately want to enlarge the laundry room a bit to make room for a drying rack -- living with a girl means you're always surrounded by hanging damp clothing that's too snobby to go in the dryer. We're also going to book our Hawaii honeymoon flights and (tonsilitis-permitting) go to a Memorial Day barbeque at Jack's house.

♠ On a more sobering note, Annie's father passed away at the beginning of this past week. Arrangements can be found here if you would like to pay your respects -- please keep their family in your thoughts this week.

Accidental millionaires escape with $3.2 million
Boy puts 43 snails on his face
The Sims 3 on the way

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day in history

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Enjoy your government-sanctioned holiday of consuming large portions of grilled meats!

Komodo dragons terrorize town
Sis finds long-lost brother living across the street
The human Etch-A-Sketch

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Newsday Tuesday

Here, Here! 13 Years Of Perfect Attendance

Cal Ripken, Iron Man of the Baltimore Orioles, played in 2,632 consecutive baseball games. Stefanie Zaner, Iron Kid of Darnestown, is closing in on her 2,340th straight day of public school.

Thirteen years of perfect attendance is quite the accomplishment, although it's ultimately useless. I never got near this lofty attendance record, although I did go to school every day during the sixth grade.

Not once in 13 years was Stefanie marked absent: not for a cold, a family vacation, a college visit or a senior skip day. She once went on a freshman trip to Shanghai with the school marching band and boarded the plane with her clarinet only after securing written assurance from the principal that the trip would not count as an absence.

If you're going to pursue an accomplishment as pendantic as "showing up for school every day", you can't game the system by exempting some of your absences. You're either there, or you're not, and if you're not, then obviously you don't have perfect attendance. Kids today have it so easy -- when I was vying for perfect attendance, my teachers actively tried to make it more difficult for us by including leper-hugging as a mandated part of gym and hiding sharp rusty objects in our desks.

In other news, I ran a triathlon last year in record time, although I got written permission from the judges to skip the swimming and cycling portions, and to do the running part at a moderate (mostly walking) pace over the course of several months.

An informal survey of 20 local school systems turned up just one other graduating senior with perfect attendance since kindergarten (officially, 180 days a year, for 13 years, although the exact annual total hinges on snow days): Kristen Waddle, 18, of Brentsville District High School in Prince William County. A third student, Austin White of Mountain View High School in Stafford County, hasn't missed a day since first grade.

There might be others.

The lack of conclusive data was caused by the abrupt departure of the reporter's research assistant, who realized that she was working on a story about school attendance. This, in itself, would not be a big deal, except that she had just contributed to stories about "people who got wet during yesterday's thunderstorm" and another about how "young people like Facebook". She is currently busy removing the B.A. in English from her resum? and applying to welding schools.

Austin, 18, thinks he knows the moment he decided nothing would keep him from school. It was about fifth grade, the night before a standardized test. "I was puking buckets, and my Mom asked, 'Do you want to stay home?' And I said, 'No, I've got to go to school, I've got to take the test.' "

So at the risk of giving every one of his classmates a dangerous stomach virus, he went to school to take a test that didn't even count towards his grades. In the 1980s, the week where we took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) was prime family vacation week for most families, although I supposed it might be neat to intentionally infect your fellow classmates and then buy a T-shirt that says "I put the TB in ITBS".

Also, who names their male child, Skye?

Stefanie, like Kristen and Austin, didn't enter kindergarten intent on never missing school. The goal crept up on her. Her principal at Darnestown Elementary School, Larry Chep, gave out annual awards for perfect attendance. She won a couple, then found she "really liked being recognized for something."

There are plenty of other ways to be recognized in elementary school, most of them more fulfilling than perfect attendance. Enter the science fair. Read the most books for Book-It! and get free pizza. Volunteer to clean the erasers and get a certificate for having The Best Clap. Showing up every day just proves you had nothing better to do, which is why God invented "leave" in the workforce.

Chep remembers her as "one of those kids you want in your school."

Serious praise. I hope I'm remembered as such when I die.

Half of virgin auction goes to taxes
Dear Donna: A Pinup So Swell She Kept G.I. Mail
Nudity complaint near Maine topless doughnut shop

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day in history

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memory Day: MV Auditions

For the last two years of my five-year Marching Virginians tour, I was one of two section leaders (with Pat Brown and Joanna Swift), which meant that I had the privilege of sitting in a hot room with the trumpet professor, Dr. Bachelder, listening to seventy or eighty trumpet players zealously murdering their sheet music and vying for one of the sixty-three available trumpet spots in the marching band.

We had all kinds enter the audition room, from eager freshmen who were first chair in their high schools because they could play "Let's Go Band!", to shy music majors who played the Dave Matthews excerpt with vibrato, to oldtimer day warriors who hadn't picked up their trumpet since the Bowl game the previous winter, and expected a guaranteed spot in the band because they were old, and sometimes wise.

Despite all protestations to the contrary, there actually were guaranteed slots for some -- since it's been proven that the collegiate tenure system is highly effective at motivating old professors to teach, we emulated it at the marching band level, secure in the knowledge that a trumpet player who sounds like ass in year 1 will blossom into a beautiful songbird in year 4. (We also saved spots for the hot girls and the rank captains' girlfriends).

The audition music I selected was the same both years -- a slow piece (Colors), a rhythmic piece (Caravan), and then a choice between a low, easy excerpt and a fast, high one which was very effective at proving that most of the players who picked it had no business playing the trumpet. The fast excerpt was taken from the marching band arrangement of that old John Tesh classic, Avalon, which we shamefully performed on the field one year with Yanni's Santorini. (The following year they finally realized that playing new age music in a marching band was retarded, and we spiced it up with the Macarena instead).

Trumpeters entered the auditions with all sorts of ready-made excuses. Were the proceedings to take place on Family Feud, the most popular excuses would be "I just got the music in the mail yesterday!", "I just had my wisdom teeth out!", and "I already know the 3rd Trumpet part so just put me there". One guy by the name of Harry put so little effort into his attempts that he was cut, after which his dad threatened to SUE the marching band.

Since I keep EVERYTHING that doesn't get flushed down the toilet, I still have copies of the audition forms from 1999 and 2000. Here are some of the actual comments on auditions from 2000:

  • Kevin Alexander: "Out of practice. It's very hard to tell anything about him"
  • Denise Aspell: "Needs work on rhythm and technique but could become good"
  • Gordon Dodson (Flip Flop): "Could be strong if he practiced"
  • Rick Dunham (Gold Medal): "Minor flubs but has a G range"
  • Jordan Elmiger: "Said 'I just got my braces off' at least 5 times"
  • Jason Hovell: "Not sure of himself but he could do it!"
  • Mike Jedrey: "Would be good if he put some valve oil on"
  • Ryan Jenkins: "No rhythm at all, but a strong player"
  • Megan LaVorgna: "Good tone. Shyest trumpeter ever"
  • Kristin McKeon: "Has a cheerful, decent sound"
  • Anish Prasai: "Put grace notes on everything. I think he thinks he's improvising"
  • Ryan Somero: "Funny kid"
  • Anna Spellerberg: "Fuzzy tone, needs to practice a little to get chops up"

NY toddler is a cue-ball wizard at pool table
Groom dies after drinking too much at wedding
Scott said Hicks did it "because he felt he could get away with it."

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day in history

Thursday, May 28, 2009

List Day: Four Better or Four Worse

Four Things Which Have Improved Over Time

  1. Driving on Route 28: With a traffic light every hundred yards and bumper to bumper traffic, Route 28 was directly responsible for my 5:30 AM - 1:30 PM work schedule when I lived in Centreville. Now, almost every stoplight has been replaced with an overpass, and you can easily do a crossword puzzle or fall asleep while coasting towards your destination.

  2. Amber: Amber has always been an end table cat that goes off and does her own thing. As she gets older, she's spending more time in the same room with the resident humans, and is more amenable to petting, lap dances, and interspecies snuggles.

  3. My Throat: After spending two of the past three weeks sick, my tonsils no longer own more real estate in my mouth than my tongue.

  4. Velveeta Shells and Cheese: It seems like the Kraft corporation is continuing to refine their recipe for Velveeta, to the point where having a bowl of Shells and Cheese obviously contains some sort of whey-based nicotine that makes another serving a must.

Four Things Which Have Gotten Worse Over Time

  1. LOST: The cast is too big and the plot layers are unfolding too deeply, rather than focusing more tightly towards the end. Charlotte sucked.

  2. Dave Matthews Band: I tried listening to Stand Up again, and it still sucked.

  3. John Grisham: John Grisham was a perfectly fine, forgettable, author who you could trust to provide an exciting formulaic law thriller. Somewhere along the line, he decided he was a serious writer and tried veering away from the formula. Unfortunately, that formula is the only thing he's good at writing.

  4. Pizza Hut: The pizza's still good, but the radius continues to shrink like a dying Pacman and the prices keep going up. Now there's even a delivery gas tax added at some shops.

Four Things Which Have Remained the Same

  1. Early Morning Drives to DISA: It's getting harder to wake up at 5 AM, but driving from Sterling to Bailey's Crossroad is still a comfortably acceptable mix of pros and cons. Beating HOV is always nice, but being at DISA isn't.

  2. The Olive Garden: I don't even need to eat there again to know that there's still nothing of culinary interest inside these walls.

  3. Alias: I'm watching this again with Rebecca, who now has spy dreams, and we're almost through the second season. It's aged pretty well for a cheesy escapist show.

  4. I couldn't think of a fourth, so this is the spot for audience participation. What thing in your life is just as good or just as bad as it used to be?
Voyage to the centre of the Plastic Vortex
First thieves, then cops take man's pot
He notes that in all his years of teaching, every man's dog has remained downward.

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day in history

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Fragments

because End-of-the-Month Media Day requires me to actually take pictures

♠ There are only 127 more days until our wedding. Since the number of days can now fit in a single byte of data, we figured that it was probably time to get moving on preparations, and we have now booked airline tickets to Hawaii for the honeymoon, finished our wedding website, and booked the DJ, ventriloquist, ice sculptor, pony rides, and a Beatnik poet for the reception.

♠ We also added the final items to our Wedding Registry, which was difficult because I am yuppy and already own tons of crap. However, we managed to get the essentials in place, including a copy of How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men and an inexpensive CO2 incubator for the laboratory in the basement.

♠ It took weeks for us to get our registry in order, but the unflappable Katie Morton sneakily discovered it almost immediately and sent us our first gifts last month. At the time, the entire registry consisted of some spoons and a live goat, so hopefully she didn't pass judgements on our tastes based solely on that. Thanks, Katie!

♠ Wedding registries should contain live goats more often, to spice things up. If we ever decide to have a second wedding for funsies, I think we'll register for a "farm startup kit", where people can chip in to buy parcels of land, individual chickens, and various tractors. Then we could move to the Midwest, take advantage of all the governmental agriculture kickbacks, and put my Farm Mechanics merit badge to good use.

♠ "His educational career began interestingly enough in agricultural school, where he majored in Animal Husbandry, until they... caught him at it one day." - Tom Lehrer

♠ Plans for the weekend include the 2nd Birthday Party of one of our flower girls out in Front Royal, shown here with Ella (flower girl #2) at the zoo last year. We were considering having them pull us down the aisle in a rickshaw, but the lack of rickshaws in the greater Loudoun area made us feel like that'd be a bad idea.

♠ There was a plethora of wedding garbage in today's fragments, to the point where the fragments might converge into the Voltron of Weddinging, so maybe next Friday I'll only discuss beers, boobies, and NASCAR. Have a great weekend!

Ferris Bueller house on the market
Burglar thwarted by backup program
Parrot steals a passport

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