Posts from 04/2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

ADD List Day

One book I'm currently reading

  • Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost
  • Four technologies I have never owned (and don't really care about)

  • A Blu-ray player
  • A cell phone
  • Any Playstation
  • Anything with "firewire"
  • Three things I'm going to do in April

  • 4 birthday parties
  • a hike up Old Rag
  • writing a new will
  • Three things I still don't understand fully (but don't care enough about to learn)

  • The whole "9/10ths of a cent" pricing scheme on gas
  • Combinatorics (in which I got a C+)
  • How the Electoral College was ever considered to be a good deal
  • Two projects released on this day

  • Augmented Fourth
  • DDMSence v1.0.0
  • One new due date

  • October 22, 2010
  • Three musicians on rotation in the car

  • The Hoosiers
  • Amy MacDonald
  • Muse
  • Two worst LOST episodes

  • Jack has a tattoo.
  • Sawyer goes to Hydra Island and meets a clone of Tina Fey.
  • 53 Cars Towed From UCF During Glenn Beck Event
    Theme park highlights challenges facing dwarfs
    Man cites boredom after arrest on streaking charge

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    day in history

    Friday, April 02, 2010

    Friday Fragments

    he's my newt

    ♠ The weather is finally nice in the evening, as shown by our 7:45 PM run through Sterling Park, which counts as my weekly effort for ACR (arterial clog reduction), also known as "carbon credits for eating bacon". Rebecca has gotten me in the habit of doing something at least once a week, since I'd otherwise have no incentive for working out ever. After our Puerto Rico trip, full of frijoles and grease, I came home two pounds lighter.

    ♠ I was never a big fan of running -- the farthest distance I used to go was the seven mile trip from the Crew boat house to the airport and back, and now I'm happy with a loping gait for a half hour or so. This is also why I did sprints in high school track: you run for about a minute and then go home (see also, Howard Dean).

    ♠ Perhaps I just had mediocre track coaches, but the only advice I ever got on improving my sprinting was to "DIG" more. Off the marks, they would just shout "DIG DIG DIG!", and if I was dropping into fifth second place, I would have to "DIG IT OUT!". Maybe this early conditioning led me to enjoy digging big holes on the beach, although not as a competitive sport.

    ♠ If digging a hole in the sand WERE a competitive sport, I would take the gold. Sand digging is different from earth digging, because you have to worry about the angle at which a wall will collapse, and the constant threat of hitting the water line. Plus, sometimes you dig a hole too deeply and can't climb out. This has never happened to me.

    ♠ Don't you have the urge to go to the beach now?

    ♠ The weekend begins, unfortunately with a funeral for Rebecca's grandfather, and then continues with all sorts of outdoorsy stuff to take full advantage of the eighty degree temperatures before the snow storm hits next Thursday. I'm hoping to do a little Spring cleaning inside the house as well, although my current system of cleaning (taking everything unnecessary from the top floor and dumping in the basement) is definitely not a sustainable practice.

    ♠ Have a great weekend!

    Woman's phone annoying but not contemptible
    Man climbs through McDonald's drive-thru for fish
    Stolen snack truck triggers feeding frenzy

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    day in history

    Monday, April 05, 2010

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday night, we had dinner at Omia's Pub and Grille on Dranesville Road, which has the same name as another restaurant we used to go to off of Route 28, but with more food diversity. The innards of the restaurant reminded me of going to a 1980s era Pizza Hut for BOOK-IT!, and service was pleasant. I ordered a steak stromboli which seemed surprisingly sparse on steak, but the msytery was soon solved after a delivery customer called in to report that my steak had ended up in him plain stromboli.

    On Saturday, I finally got around to cleaning two years of spider detritus out of my shed, and then spent the rest of the day doing work-work, followed by starting on the next version of DDMSence. Rebecca was out at a kite festival in Front Royal all day, and I cannot remember what we did for dinner that night -- my memory at 30 flickers like loose-filamented light bulb.

    Sunday involved some outdoor weeding and stick collection, and in the evening we went to the home of Kathy and Chris (of Kathy and Chris), accompanied by some pork chops we had been marinating all day long. After playing "catch" with the baby and eating the pork, I lost at that railroad game again.

    How was your weekend?

    The most foolish write-offs ever attempted
    North Korea fears 2012 disaster film will thwart rise as superpower
    Pug's pudginess thwarts wolf

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    day in history

    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

    Museday Tuesday

    As part of this feature, which I started in 2007, I compose a very brief work (under 30 seconds) inspired by a randomly generated title from an online word generator. The composition can be for any instrumentation, and could even be a purely synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.

    I work on the excerpt continuously for an hour and then post whatever I've managed to complete, even if it's a poorly constructed slum of a song supported by a foundation of droning double stops and abused tubas.

    Mussiest: (adj.) the most untidy, messy, or rumpled

    My Composition (0:30 MP3)

    This excerpt was written for whatever sort of patches I decided to throw into the hodge-podge. Today's Museday was a family affair, with Rebecca writing a story for the hour while I wrote music!

    Woman starts tripping over her vagina
    KFC's Bacon Sandwich On Fried Chicken "Bread" Starts Killing People Nationwide April 12
    Robber locks bank workers in vault, leaves package

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    day in history

    Wednesday, April 07, 2010

    Slack Day

    I've reached the point where I have too many projects going on at any given time, as you can see by the pie chart on the right, which shows what I did for the six and a half hours I was awake last night after I got off work. As you can see, "planning a post for my website" received 0 hours.

    Eventually, I'm going to reach the point where I have to reduce my output here to only 4 days a week (which is still an absurd overuse of the keyboard in modern day blogging, where you only update daily when your posts consists of pictures of ferrets talking in English or people falling off of bicycles). However, that's a slippery slope to start on, since I will soon realize that updating four days a week is that much easier than five days a week, and will unilaterally move to updating zero days a week. For now, I'll simply throw in a guilt-free day (like today) every now and again where I post about not posting.

    Proper nouns coming to Scrabble
    Women try to smuggle body on to flight
    Prostitute sign confuses motorists

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    day in history

    Thursday, April 08, 2010

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Weeds: Season Five:
    I was surprisingly bored during this season, and often had to rewind after getting distracted with the multitasking laptop that always accompanies me when I watch shows. The show just kind of meanders through the season without much sense of direction (see also, marching band drunks in a halftime show). It was funny enough, but a little stale.

    Final Grade: C+

    Up in the Air:
    This movie felt longer than it was, but I was entertained. The number of cameos was a little distracting. A good night of entertainment, but it's not actually going to change your life, despite everyone's rabid foaming. I liked it less than Slumdog Millionaire, another movie that was hyped up the butt.

    Final Grade: B-

    Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost:
    The follow-up to Sex Lives of Cannibals, this book has wry humour and an interesting perspective on travel, but it reads more like an aimless road trip than a standalone adventure (which allows me to reuse the word "meander" again today, since someone stuck in a perpetual state of wanderlust might be called a "meanderthrall"). There are a few too many references to his last book, and the "moral of the story" seems to show up just a little too abruptly, but it's a fun read.

    Final Grade: B

    LOST, so far:
    This season must be following some Fibonacci Series of Suck because crappy episodes are periodically augmented with surprisingly good ones. Tuesday's episode was one of the very good ones (as most Desmond-centric episodes are). This episode finally integrates the "Los Angeles" storyline into the main plot, which was long overdue and highly welcome. Up until now, I was having trouble caring about that branch at all, because no matter how many ways you can make the characters bump into each other and caption the screen with "ISNT THIS COOL! THEIR IN THE SAME ROOM LOL", it's just wasted air time until you know how it correlates to the main plot. Either way, I'm glad that the show's almost over.

    Final Grade: B

    Man threatens to down jet with mind power
    Meatless Monday fails in San Fancisco
    Playboy photographers find reality TV hard work

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 5 comments
    day in history

    Friday, April 09, 2010

    Job Security Day

    Today is Jack Wilmer's last day at FGM: like a weather balloon in the troposphere, he is upwardly mobile, moving from being my boss' boss at FGM to being some sort of technical director at DISA. Since his last game of Pictionary involved the phrase, "Was that a baby? I thought it was a pumpkin," we will hope that his new position involves a minimum of blindfolded drawing.

    The going away lunch is at M&S Grill, so I'm going to attend and hope the company foots the bill.

    In other news, DDMSence v1.1.0 is now available.

    Neighbour still in hot water for loud sex
    Typo costs prisoner an extra three years
    Fast food nixed at military base

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    day in history

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

    5:02 AM: The fact that the time is a mirror image of itself is not enough to make waking up palatable.

    5:17 AM: Showered and foggy.

    6:20 AM: Relax. If you lived here, you'd be home now. And you would live in a dump.

    6:24 AM: Arriving in time for the sunrise at Skyline.

    7:58 AM: After some work in the lab, I drive to the nearby home of my parents so I can steal their breakfast foods.

    8:41 AM: It's nice having a job where you can work from anywhere with a computer. My options would be much more limited as a bowling alley manager or Washington Monument elevator operator.

    2:40 PM: After returning to Skyline for a two hour meeting, followed by a trip to the office, I finally return home. Booty wants food. Amber sees a ghost in Booty's butt.

    2:53 PM: A late lunch of 2 leftover hot dogs (already eaten) and three clementines.

    5:05 PM: Working on the laptop, while Booty gets the ghost out of her butt.

    6:13 PM: Stretching for an evening run in Claude Moore Park.

    8:04 PM: A late dinner of leftover Cornish game hen and cilantro broccoli.

    9:15 PM: Working on tomorrow's Museday entry, in which I write a 30 second song based on a randomly chosen adjective, and Rebecca writes a short story fragment on the same word.

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

    School sends lesbian to a fake prom
    Man accused of stealing at least one Polson area home by breaking in, filing false paperwork
    Ohio coach proposes to rival on field

    tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 9 comments
    day in history

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Museday Tuesday

    As part of this feature, which I started in 2007, I compose a very brief work (under 30 seconds) inspired by a randomly generated title from an online word generator. The composition can be for any instrumentation, and could even be a purely synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.

    I work on the excerpt continuously for an hour and then post whatever I've managed to complete, even if it's a poorly constructed slum of a song supported by a foundation of droning double stops and abused tubas.

    Indefatigable: (adj.) incapable of being tired out; not yielding to fatigue; untiring.

    My Composition (0:30 MP3)

    My first impression of this word was that something that can chug along untiringly would probably take a little while to get going. This one's written for harpsichord, strings, marimba, percussion, and other random patches.

    Stuffed animals to be sold at auction
    Son files harassment charges against mother over Facebook
    Bono named worst investor in America

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    day in history

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Progress Day

    It only took a year for the Department of Defense to mea culpa their stance on online music.

    Carlsberg workers strike over drinking policy
    Drug test-cheating fake penis maker sentenced
    New lizard does not require fake penis

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    day in history

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    List Day: 5 CDs that Grow on You

    Like a soul patch on a beatnik, these five CDs grow on you. I enjoy them more now than I did when I first listened to them, and have them in regular rotation in my static-marred car CD player. The links will take you to the Amazon MP3 pages for a sampling.

    1. The Trick to Life by The Hoosiers:
      I originally described The Hooisers with "They steal from every source available and end up like the lead singer of The Darkness mixed with a less-quirky Mika mixed with a less annoying Hives, mixed with a more upbeat Keane, mixed with any number of 80s new wave bands." and this all still holds true. This album is very much an ALBUM, with the songs working together as an artistic whole, and the brass on the bonus track is a nice touch.

    2. The Age of the Understatement by The Last Shadow Puppets:
      This CD is what the Arctic Monkeys might have sounded like in the 1960s. I originally took points off for it being only 35 minutes long, but now feel like this is a very well done album. A few extra songs would never harm it, but the musicians get in and get out to say what they have to say, and no one gets hurt.

    3. One Way Ticket to Hell (and Back) by The Darkness:
      Another shortie, which sometimes ends before I can get from Sterling to Arlington, but every song on this CD is catchy, fun to listen to, and tightly performed.

    4. This is the Life by Amy MacDonald:
      Amy MacDonald excels at upbeat toe-tapping music, and the folksy nature of this CD makes it a fun car listen. With the exception of the last song, where she overuses the phrase "Footballer's Wife", I could listen to this CD ad nauseum.

    5. Lessons to be Learned by Gabriella Cilmi:
      This CD isn't quite as good as the others, but it has a pleasant alto timbre and a mix of contrasting styles holding it together.

    I'm currently listening to the new Wallis Bird CD, New Boots, and my first impression of it is "raucous and unexpected". However, it's too soon to determine whether that's good or bad.

    World's deepest undersea vent discovered
    US power infrastructure vulnerable to ospreys
    Little that's funny in North Korean comedy show

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    day in history

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Off Day

    I'm taking the day off to make up for a dearth of weekend last weekend, and next week looks even busier. It looks like this weekend, at least, will be a good one, featuring a new car purchase, a little poker, and two parents getting a year older combined with food.

    Today is also 4/16, but in my opinion, "Never Forget" should not be synonymous with "Spend a Whole Day Every Year Reliving It and Feeling Sad While Devoting Every Newspaper Inch and Facebook Update to It". Life is FINE. Go appreciate your loved ones instead.

    Wii Fit leads to sexual arousal syndrome
    Man assaulted with a python
    Man goes for the ride of his life foiling beer bandits

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    day in history

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Look! A new car! (Parked next to a jeep that no longer runs but does a great job of keeping the pavement dry!) We spent three and a half hours on Saturday morning at Tysons Honda purchasing a Civic EX and avoiding the slinking salesman we disliked from the previous visit who smelled money and was trying to get in on the action.

    After driving the car around for a while to show it off and to encase it in a fine protective layer of pollen, we had lunch at Panera with Emily Green, and then came home for the first poker game of 2010, which Chris handily won.

    Sunday was parent day, and opened with brunch at Foxfire Grill with the in-laws. Afterwards, we stopped in Arlington to say hello to Jack and Kristy (to put some meat in the parent sandwich), and then had rib roast for dinner at my parents' house.

    Now that the car-shopping segment of 2010 is over, it's time to start planning some vacations so I can use up my 24 days of leave I have remaining. Maybe Washington state in July? The beach in September? Both? Maybe Sam and Kristen can uninvite some annoying relatives from their wedding and use the money to come to the beach with us instead.

    $3M bond for white black bank robber
    Bank heist foiled by bear hug
    3rd Grade Hustler Gave Out Heroin

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    day in history

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Museday Tuesday

    As part of this feature, which I started in 2007, I compose a very brief work (under 30 seconds) inspired by a randomly generated title from an online word generator. The composition can be for any instrumentation, and could even be a purely synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.

    I work on the excerpt continuously for an hour and then post whatever I've managed to complete, even if it's a poorly constructed slum of a song supported by a foundation of droning double stops and abused tubas.

    Commodious: (adj.) comfortably spacious or roomy

    My Composition (0:30 MP3)

    I started out with an airy, Nestico-like style, but couldn't help making it more ominous as it went on. This one's for a jazz ensemble.

    Quadruplets choose same college
    NJ man purposely vomited on Phillies fans
    Pa. school snared 1,000s of webcam images

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    day in history

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Random Chart Day

    He denied ever touching the shotgun
    Season with ground black people
    Dying man sells advertising space on his urn

    tagged as data | permalink | 2 comments
    day in history

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    A Curious Thing by Amy MacDonald:
    As a sophomore follow-up to This is the Life, this is a very safe album. It feels more like a side B than a new effort, and the toe-tapping infectiousness of the first album is replaced with a mellower Coldplay style of running eighth notes with one chord per bar. In spite of a few overly trite sets of lyrics, it's harmless and pleasant, but not as catchy as the first album.

    Final Grade: B-

    New Boots by Wallis Bird:
    On the other side of the spectrum, this follow-up album to Spoons is daring, and an organic evolution of the old sound. She continues to employ shifting rhythms and time signatures, and bounces into double time just to mix things up. There are fewer quiet songs here, and the first and last songs on the album just prove that when she gets too raucous, her voice no longer sounds good. However, the middle eight songs are great, and will definitely experience a pubertic growth as I listen further.

    Final Grade: B

    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves:
    I borrowed this from my parents because Rebecca had never seen it, and Alan Rickman plays the Sheriff of Nottingham. How did Kevin Costner get to be such a big deal when he's as good an actor as Keanu Reeves? How come he can't speak with an English accent? This DVD was also burned from an old VHS tape, which means that watching it on a 50"+ TV makes me feel like I forgot to put my glasses on and it's impossible to tell what's going on more than five feet from the camera. On the nostalgic side, the VCR auto-Tracking feature appeared on the screen several times throughout the viewing, reminding me of the days when we owned both a Beta and a VHS player.

    Final Grade: B+

    Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card:
    This follow-up to Ender's Game was "okay". The author tended too much towards introspection when evolving the characters, resulting in endless pages of inner monologues, and it's still impossible to picture the main characters as young, brilliant children -- when a main character is nine and acts seventeen, how is it relatable? It only took me two days to burn through, though, which is why I'm fairly forgiving in my book reviews. Also, "hegemon" sounds like a hedgehog-based Pokemon.

    Final Grade: C+

    Breast milk satisfies
    Some at MoMA Show Forget "Look but Don't Touch"
    Man loses license after drunk-driving in toy Barbie car

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    day in history

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Friday Fragments: Photo Edition


    Needs shelf space






    Prostitute propositions police chief
    School lunches a threat to national security
    Police find suspect neck-deep in manure

    tagged as fragments, media | permalink | 5 comments
    day in history

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday evening, Anna & Ben (of Anna & Ben) came over for steaks and babies. We also played multiple games of Simpsons Clue, where I put my patented system for monitoring others' responses to work and won game #2.

    On Saturday, while Rebecca was off at a birthday spa outing with her college friends, I released DDMSence v1.2.1, read and finished the next Orson Scott Card book, and then joined the birthday outing in Annandale for dinner at a 24-7 Korean BBQ restaurant. I had never had a particular craving for Korean BBQ, even during normal business hours, so I don't think I would fully appreciate the flexibility for 4 AM dumplings that they have built into the schedule. Dinner was followed with a trip to Cafe Muse, a coffee-shop-turned-speakeasy but with private Karaoke booths in the back, rather than moonshine. Judging from the foot traffic past our booth, Koreans really love their private Karaoke.

    On Sunday, we wasted about seven hours watching 2012 and then went shopping at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, where we purchased a wedding shower gift, and did NOT purchase the "Filet-o-Fish Frankie Fish" singing fish for sale near the registers. After shopping, we returned home to wash the cars and eat a multitude of leftovers for dinner.

    What did you do with your weekend?

    Mo. clerk says he'll use $258M jackpot on bills
    7-Eleven Launches Own, Private-Label Beer
    No sexiness, we're Holy City cheerleaders

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 4 comments
    day in history

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Newsday Tuesday

    Plans to allow women and gays, ban smoking shake world of Navy submarines

    Imagine 150 fraternity brothers packed into a container the size of a three-bedroom house. Announce you are breaking hallowed traditions by taking away their cigarettes and admitting women. Then lock the doors and push the container deep into the sea, for months at a time. That's what the Navy, after decades of contemplation and controversy, has decided to do with its Submarine Force [...]

    Not every sailor was buying into the controversy though, since many were aware from their junior college years just how rank a fraternity house can get. Said one petty officer, "I heard that chicks are pretty good at cleaning stuff." In other news, the Fox network announced plans to install hidden cameras on the submarines for their new reality show, Going Down for Love.

    "The Silent Service is right now very much a boys' club," said Joe Buff, a military commentator and the author of six pulp fiction thrillers involving submarine adventures.

    The Navy's normal spokespeople, Lance Ripped and Blake Throatstomp, were away on active duty and could not be reached for comment. However, the thorny issue of women on subs has been highly publicized in popular culture through television shows like LOST, where every episode involving both submarines and estrogen have been among the worst of the series.

    One active-duty lieutenant said he personally supported the changes but worried about the effect on crews, who have long relied on tobacco and male banter to ease the boredom of serving in a confined space. "There's very few avenues of stress relief," he said, [...] "You can smoke, or you can hang around and get creative with the conversation."

    When asked to provide specific examples of activities that might offend the fairer sex, the lieutenant offered, "We try to incorporate "seamen" into as many contexts as possible." His Lieutenant Commander was quick to clarify that Navy terminology was always eligible for Double Word Scores in the game of Scrabble.

    [...] The complaints often fall into two categories: first, that female sailors will invariably become pregnant, potentially compromising missions during which submarines can remain submerged for months at a time; and second, that submarines are not built for the mixing of the sexes, given the tight passageways, shared berths and lack of privacy.

    Actually, submarines must periodically resurface for supplies and most subs don't carry more than a couple months' worth of food. This leaves only three scenarios: 1) the woman is already visibly pregnant and can invariably be left on the dock, 2) the woman learns she is pregnant onboard, and invariably debarks at the next port, or 3) the woman got knocked up on the sub, a biological hazard that invariably involves the willing participation of seamen.

    "Hormones do not shut down just because you go out to sea and submerge for many months at a time," wrote [John A.] Mason, 53, of Comer, Ga. He said sailors rely on various coping mechanisms to deal with the stress of extended deployments, including man hugs, rear-end patting and other rituals; another veteran cited a tradition in which submariners who cross the equator for the first time are required to strip to their underwear.

    Mason's comments placed into stark relief the fundamental differences between Navy personnel and the rest of the general public. When polled, most American males agreed that all of the Navy rituals would actually be more fun with women involved.

    "Serving on board a submarine is not a place to be if you are self-conscious or have any doubts about your sexuality," Mason added. "Silliness, male-bonding, and what might be considered inappropriate or 'politically incorrect' behavior in a civilian environment are all useful techniques that allow a sailor to endure the difficult living conditions and time away from their families and mainstream life."

    Mason neglected to mention an alternate experimental approach which is thriving in the Pacific fleets: each sub is equipped with the movie, Ben Hur, a copy of War and Peace, and the complete Harvest Moon video game series. In fact, test crews were generally halfway through their tours by the time the movie ended.

    "I'm worried that if you add women and remove smoking, some people will say, 'Too much is changing; this isn't what I like, and I'm going to get out,' " he said.

    He noted, with some consternation, that submarine crews are likely to receive little sympathy from the general populace, since most American men who want to get away from their woman and smoke have to do it in the garage.

    "I don't think you can remove cigarettes and add women and it not have some effect on the retention rate."

    This off-the-cuff hypothesis was handily disproved in an episode of Mythbusters, where it was discovered that the new regulations actually increased the number of computer nerds interested in serving. Said one, already used to the tight passageways, shared berths and lack of privacy in his parents' basement, "A smoke-free environment filled with girls that can't run away? That's the best dating service ever!"

    In other news, Fox is suing the Discovery Channel for infringing upon their reality show idea.

    In another episode, SpongeBob's pal Patrick tries to perform a "slimelick" maneuver by reaching around a clam
    Top ten fantastic and surreal creatures
    Google Street View stalks women

    tagged as newsday, favourites | permalink | 1 comment
    day in history

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    List Day: Nintendo Games

    I'm pretty sure that my childhood system for choosing Nintendo games involved equal parts Voodoo and research, because otherwise it'd be nearly impossible for a gamer such as myself to have more crappy games than good ones. Though 19 total games might seem like a poor showing, it's offset by the fact that I owned EVERY computer game in existence.

  • Hudson's Adventure Island II: A caveman riding a skateboard he found in an egg dies if you forget to feed him or touch ANYTHING IN THE ENTIRE GAME. Turned off quickly.

  • Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Tom Sawyer floats down the Mississippi battling giant octopi with his slingshot only to find out it was all a dream. Eventually inspired LOST and Pirates of the Caribbean.

  • The Battle of Olympus: I played this a lot in my Greek mythology fetish phase. Not bad.

  • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse: In every Castlevania game, the protagonist walks like he's wearing skis and jumps like he's wearing concrete blocks. Turned off quickly.

  • Dragon Warrior: I got this game free with my two-year renewal of the fair and balanced gaming magazine, Nintendo Power. You spend about three months fighting little red slimes and then you hit puberty and get interested in girls.

  • DuckTales: One of the few games I actually beat, since the entire game was beatable in about two hours. Scrooge McDuck bounces around on his pogo cane, knocking enemies off the screen since Disney games can't include death.

  • Final Fantasy: I got all the way to the end of this game, only to realize I'd need to spend another two years leveling my characters up far enough to beat the final boss. Also, no one else accepts the fact that one of the enemies was a humanoid alligator dressed up like a pimp.

  • Life Force: The second Nintendo game we ever owned, and one of two my sister was willing to play.

  • Marble Madness: Get to level 4. Die. Repeat. Kids have amazing attention spans when it comes to video games.

  • Mega Man 4: I don't mind when a game is challenging, but the meta-challenge of everything slowing down when there are too many enemies on the screen is retarded.

  • Milon's Secret Castle: Easily the worst game of all time, Milon runs around in his pajamas blowing bubbles out of his mouth and looking for the elevator.

  • Shadowgate: Want to know why adventure games on consoles are stupid? Because after you beat them you'll never play them again.

  • Startropics: Boy goes to tropical island and fights people with a yo-yo. I actually liked this game quite a bit.

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: I actually don't even remember playing this game EVER.

  • Legend of Zelda: I used to love Zelda games, until they turned into neverending cutscenes.

  • Zelda II: Adventures of Link: This was a game I loved and played the most as a kid. I even orchestrated a version of the dungeon theme when I first bought my Roland SC-8850.

  • Super Mario Bros / Duck Hunt: I guess this game doesn't count since it came with the system. To show how bad I was at console games, I didn't actually beat this game until college.

  • Super Mario Bros 2: I was great at this game, although I was often embarrassed to play as the Princess when my friends were over. Years later, I learned that the female characters always perform better in games.

  • Super Mario Bros 3: I fell victim to the giant marketing craze surrounding this game, and even made my dad come home early from work so we could pick up a reserved copy at Lionel Kiddie City. I never did beat it, although Paige and I made it all the way to the end without warps in the summer of 2000 before her Nintendo decided to turn off.
  • And yes, the games were alphabetized, except in the case of a series, which were ordered separately and numerically. I am an engineer.

    Israeli man jailed for holy semen scandal
    Foreign Office apologises for Pope 'condom' memo
    World's tiniest foal born

    tagged as lists, games | permalink | 3 comments
    day in history

    Thursday, April 29, 2010

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? by Thomas Kohnstamm:
    Billed as something of an exposé of what really goes into writing a Lonely Planet travel guide, this is really more of a passably entertaining story about a guy running around Brazil doing and selling drugs. Kohnstamm's no Troost, but then again, my exposure to travel literature is limited to the books that Rebecca has finished and left lying around.

    Final Grade: C-

    Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card:
    I only read this book last week and can now barely remember any of it -- it's that forgettable, and also suffers from "let's keep milking the villain from the previous books" syndrome. A few interesting insights on philosophy and politics dot an otherwise predictable landscape.

    Final Grade: C-

    Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card:
    This book was a little better than the two that preceded it, (hopefully) closing off the tale of Bean, and continuing the geopolitical struggles in a more interesting manner than the other books. It does a good job of tying all of the loose ends together, and left me satisfied.

    Final Grade: B-

    If they had started this 2.5 hour movie 1 hour into it, I would have given it a solid B-. However, too much time is wasted building up characters that you don't really care about, even going as far as using the whole "here's a bunch of random people and they will have mysterious links together by mid-movie" approach that became so copiable after Crash. The first time things start exploding and falling apart, it's kind of cool in an obvious CGI sort of way. The second, third, and fiftieth time things are blowing up, there's really nothing to distinguish from the previous blow-ups.

    Final Grade: D-

    Man Impersonates Cop, Stays Over at Woman's House
    Officers found "a suspicious wire, with an on/off switch" in the man's front left pocket leading to his anal cavity
    'Boobquake' tests cleric's claim with cleavage

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments
    day in history

    Friday, April 30, 2010

    Friday Fragments

    ♠ Nestled in the bosom of all the DDMSence and work that I've been up to, I found some free time unclaimed by lame sci-fi books and decided to pick up a key for the Starcraft II beta (using my elite credit card connections with

    ♠ I've only had time to play four or five games so far, but it seems like a good blend of familiar and new: the charm of Starcraft I mixed with the interface of Warcraft III. It even comes with a grid-based hotkey mapping built-in (where all the keys you hit are in the QWERT area so you don't have to memorize the first letter of each action).

    ♠ In the image on the right, the Protoss ships are apparently trying to fertilize the Terran outpost.

    ♠ The only thing I don't like about the game so far is the fact that there's a 12-character limit on your screen name. This takes my overtly witty handle, CattleBruiser, and truncates it to CattleBruise, an enhancement that gives it all the menace of a terrier on a tricycle.

    ♠ I've had surprisingly few online handles in my fourteen years on the Internet, but CattleBruiser is probably the most well-known. What handle was I using when you met me? Answer the poll in the sidebar!

    ♠ In the spirit of twelve character limits, today's Fragments column will be truncated -- mainly because today is a busy day at work and yesterday, I went out for sushi instead of writing salaciously interesting fragments.

    ♠ Plans for the weekend include, unsurprisingly, work and some Starcraft. Rebecca has a wedding shower to go to on Sunday, and I get to play my penis card and stay home. Have a great weekend! April is over!

    Car hangs from 6th floor Tulsa garage
    Cats and dogs are household hazards
    Woman uses eat attack
    What online handle was I using when I met you?

    There was no online. (1 vote, 12.5%)

    Zeke_of_Torknazz (0 votes, 0.0%)

    llamaboy (2 votes, 25.0%)

    ~Squiggy~ (0 votes, 0.0%)

    ~CattleBruiser~ (2 votes, 25.0%)

    Plinky (1 vote, 12.5%)

    BU (2 votes, 25.0%)

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 2 comments
    day in history


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