12/2012

Monday, December 03, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

  • Steam-cleaned the carpet from a year's supply of cat vomit and barbeques with children.

  • Hung the pale blue Christmas lights of subtle cheer.

  • Restocked supplies of yogurt, steak, and wine at Costco.

  • Upgraded the Wiki software used by the division at work.

  • Refinished the seventh season of 24 while on the treadmill.

  • Ate flautas at Los Toltecos.

  • Watched Life of Pi in a ridiculously small theater.

  • Installed a new light fixture in the dining area.

  • Finished Christmas shopping, 100% online for the third or fourth year in a row.

  • Played some Borderlands 2.

  • Changed the calendar and did my monthly finances and computer backups.

tagged as lists, day-to-day | permalink | 3 comments

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

2012 Timeline

A smattering of events from 2012

In the grand scheme of things, 2012 was a rather disappointing year, because I committed so much of it to work. This only happens ever 2 or 3 years, but is definitely more noticeable when married rather than single. I still like my job a whole lot more often than I hate it though -- I get to work my brain to come up with innovative solutions and make enough money to buy lots of really bad television shows and video games.

January:
  • I average 60 hours per week at work on UNIVERSAL CORE while Rebecca returns to Physical Therapy school.
  • We try to escape to Charlotte for New Years, but are thwarted by Booty's urinary tract infection. Instead we have Game Night at Page & Brian's.
  • We buy a treadmill, which will ultimately lead me to losing 11 pounds over the course of the year.
February:
  • I average 72 hours per week at work on UNIVERSAL CORE! while Rebecca spends every day studying.
  • We watch the Super Bowl at Page & Brian's.
March:
  • I average 60 hours per week at work on UNIVERSAL CORE!! while Rebecca spends every day studying.
  • We take a rare break and return to Brightwood Farm for a weekend and eat Bavarian food.
  • We have friends over for St. Patrick's Day and eat corned beef.
  • Oliver the Cat dies.
April:
  • I average 50 hours per week at work on UNIVERSAL CORE!!! while Rebecca spends every day studying.
  • I was slowly sideswiped by a texting teen.
  • I give up on Museday 2012 posts.
May:
  • I return to a regular work schedule, but am so burnt out that I have no idea what to do with all of my free time.
  • I buy a new 2012 Honda Accord with fart-repellant leather seats.
  • I play a lot of Diablo 3.
June:
  • We go to A Taste of Reston for the paella and run into James and Diana.
  • Rebecca goes on a Midwest roadtrip, just in time for me to throw out my back.
  • A derecho devastates my neighbour's tree.
July:
  • We trade in our "we worked for four straight months" tokens for a trip to Brianne's homeland, narrowly choosing Quebec over Edmonton and Banff.
  • We prolong our adolescent summer vacation with a trip to the Outer Banks with Kathy, Chris, Mallory, and Hannah.
  • I think there was a baby born somewhere in one of our circles, but honestly, there are so many babies, that I can't keep track.
August:
  • We go camping with the extended family at Greenbrier State Park.
  • We eat pork skewers while watching the Olympics with Annie and Marc.
  • We use the excuse of a company party to avoid the $15 parking charge at the Air and Space Museum Annex.
September:
  • We have a big barbeque and invite everyone, to apologize for the fact that we were essentially dead like Gandalf for the first half of the year.
  • I turn 33, which is still closer to birth than death (I will die at 80 in an intersection car accident).
  • My first nephew turned 2 and my second nephew turned 0.
October:
  • We celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary by returning to the winery for the first time since 2009.
  • Rebecca decides to live in Winchester 5 nights a week, so I play a lot of video games.
  • We have a rocking Halloween party.
November:
  • I try my hand at live-blogging and decide that having a website is much easier for the lazy.
  • Mike (of Chompy and Mike) finally returns to the East Coast for a Big Gay Football Weekend, and we eat steak and eggs.
  • I learn about HaDOOPen.
  • I skip Month of Thanksgivings because Rebecca is still in Winchester.
  • I discover Reddit and waste a lot of time.

How was 2012 for you?

Was 2012 a great year?

A++, would live it again. (2 votes, 25.0%)


It was a decent yarn. (2 votes, 25.0%)


I blinked and it was December. (4 votes, 50.0%)


Worst year ever, without periods, because putting periods after each word is retarded. (0 votes, 0.0%)

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 7 comments

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Time-Lapsed Blogography Day

On December 5, 1994, I passed out this Christmas poem to my inner circle of high school friends. (To get the full experience, you'll just have to imagine it as an Inkjet printout with Print Shop clip art of a Christmas wreath because I no longer have the hard copy).

On December 5, 1995, I finished composing Neckbone and showed it to my band director. It would go on to become a regular part of the lineup for future high school jazz gigs.

On December 5, 1999, I played a trumpet fanfare with Kelley, Shac, and Stephanie at an Early Music Ensemble concert, which involved us performing antiphonally from various perches in the Recital Salon and then fleeing from the two hours of sackbut music that followed. I also drove Liz to the commuter lot to pick up her car, because I used to be a nice guy.

On December 5, 2001, I passed my FSU Listening Exam with a 23/28. 14 was passing for Masters kiddies and 21 was passing for serious Doctoral folks.

On December 5, 2002, I got a haircut, but I can't remember anything about where I went for haircuts in Tallahassee. This is strange, because I remember all other barber shops from my youth quite clearly and used to go at least once a month. I also helped Kathy with her final project in a computer programming class. A LOT.

On December 5, 2003, Mike (of Chompy and Mike) told me about his new blog.

On December 5, 2008, we went to Indian Food Night at Shakir's apartment.

tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, December 06, 2012

MP3 Cleanup Day

It took fifteen years to coast over the slow rise of apathy, but I finally got around to pruning 10 hours of music out of my MP3 collection. This is the first time EVER that I've permanently retired any of my music, but I finally reached the point where I was skipping the same songs over and over (because Honda is incapable of coding a random-play radio that can play the whole list before repeating a song). My tastes have evolved, Galapagos-style.

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, December 07, 2012

Story Day

I have no idea what's going on with all of you clowns because those of you with blogs are treating the task of updating as a mere suggestion (not unlike dynamics in a tenor sax sheet music), and those of you without blogs are opaque enigmas (like the guy who gave Everybody Loves Raymond nine seasons). So today, I order you to share a brief anecdote in the comments section from one of the following topic areas:

  • Tell us one mishap that occurred that would have been really embarrassing, but luckily went unnoticed by the people around you.
  • Tell me a small life tip that has improved your life in some way.
  • Tell me one off-the-wall aspiration you have that will not get accomplished but is fun to think about.

For your reading pleasure, here are other stories that people have told in the past six years:

tagged as you speak | permalink | 10 comments

Monday, December 10, 2012

List Day: 2012 in Twelves

Top 12 Posts from 2012
  • BU plants an ear-training honeypot
  • BU on things you're supposed to know
  • BU on the life of his car
  • BU remembers working for PEPCO
  • BU invents the Hood-Baby
  • BU goes to Quebec
  • BU makes a mashup of Doogie Howser
  • BU writes pep band music
  • BU reports on the election
  • BU on HOT Lanes
  • BU on Wii U
  • BU on spectralism
Top 12 Review Recommendations from 2012
  • Better Off Ted, Season One and Two
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (American)
  • Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future by Bird and the Bee
  • Breville EW30XL Electric Gourmet Wok
  • Rayman Origins
  • Game of Thrones, Season One
  • Pushing Daisies, Season One and Two
  • Bumpy Ride by the Hoosiers
  • Homeland, Season One
  • Torchlight 2
  • Chuck, Season One - Three (so far)
  • Argo

tagged as lists | permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

List Day: 2012 in Twelves

Top 12 Songs First Heard in 2012

  1. Sia - Academia:
    Roughly half of the time I hear a Sia song, I get annoyed by her voice. However, I like the singsongy quality of this particular song.

  2. April Smith - Movie Loves a Screen:
    A lighthearted song suggested by Pandora before it played three Jack Johnson songs in a row.

  3. Boulevard des Airs - Paris-Corbeil:
    In high school, I knew a guy named Kwan who later played in a ska band. This is the time of song I imagine him playing nightly.

  4. Elizabeth & The Catapult - Taller Children:
    I like the randomly inserted measures of 5/4 time, which is also why I listen to Kansas. Whenever a song has metrically challenged measures, I repeat it in my car until I can hear the correct meter. WHERE'S THE BEAT?

  5. Schuyler Fisk - Afterglow:
    Nothing too special about this song -- just a pleasant listen.

  6. Eric Hutchinson - Rock and Roll:
    Pandora repeated this song until I liked it which, I suppose, is one way to grow an audience.

  7. Joy Williams - One of Those Days:
    As I catalogue this year's songs, it seems like they're very similar to each other. Someone should distill the elements of all my picks into one super song and sell it to me for $5. I would listen the heck out of it.

  8. Christina Perri - Bang Bang Bang:
    I am so sick of Jar of Hearts. Contrary to the beliefs of Safeway, it is not good grocery shopping music. However, I do like this song and a few others from the same CD.

  9. Erin McCarley - Sticky-Sweet:
    You can't go wrong with descending halfsteps over psycho clown rhythms.

  10. Bitter:Sweet - Neurosis:
    Sometimes when I'm listening to Bitter:Sweet while driving down the road in my leather seats, it feels like I'm my very own yuppy Honda Accord commercial.

  11. Orson - No Tomorrow:
    There's nothing flashy or amazing about this song, but I feel like it's very well-constructed.

  12. Bird and the Bee - Love Letter to Japan:
    This whole CD is like a cushion of sonic warmth. I also like the major sixths in My Love.

Honorable Mention

  • Rayman Origins - Lums of the Water (Glou Glou):
    I have no idea who convinced the brass that this would be a suitable theme for a video game, but it works so perfectly that there's simply no other style of music that would fit the level.

Previous Picks: 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011

tagged as lists, music | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12


5:29 AM: I've been trying to resume my old 5:30 wake-up time.

5:42 AM: Showered and ready for action.

5:59 AM: Breakfast with the paper.

6:40 AM: Booty helps me telecommute.

7:59 AM: Rebecca leaves for her last day at school this semester.

10:01 AM: Time to make cheese soup.

11:12 AM: Mixing in the cheese, otherwise it would just be "Soup".

12:08 PM: At the office for Steve Clifford's retirement party.

12:09 PM: The dessert table.

12:15 PM: Steve's retirement gift, of etched glassware.

6:15 PM: Chicken fingers and the last episode of Chuck for dinner.

7:42 PM: Closing out the day with video games.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Twelve 12 of 12s

The final post of the 12 of 12 series is a highlight reel with the best picture from each month to show the wide and varied extreme sports you engage in throughout the year.


January: This leftover Chicken Reuben may look disgusting, but it was DELICIOUS.

February: The closest we came to blizzards in 2012.

March: All aboard the anal glands express.

April: Hoisin Explosion for dinner.

May: I used to play poker.

June: Hogger never made it past level 12 before I deleted him.

July: Free Cirque du Soleil performance.

August: Making pork kebabs.

September: I continue to improve at multitasking.

October: She mad.

November: Turkey leftovers.

December: Cheese soup takes so much effort.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 3 comments

Friday, December 14, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

After burgers at Red Robin on Friday night (where the new Jim Bean Burger was good, but a little too sweet and incorporated cold accoutrement), we took a walk through the Christmas lights at East Juniper Avenue. Visible on the Internet as a prime light spot, it was decent, if not really a destination street for out-of-towners. One house had an animatronic Santa singing rapid-fire Christmas songs while dancing, like a six-year-old with extra sugar.

On Saturday we had brunch at the Original Pancake House with Rebecca's East Moline relatives and then had liberal amounts of cheese soup for dinner. Post-dinner, we went to a housewarming at the new home of Rebecca's yoga instructor, where everyone either did yoga or was married to someone who did.

On Sunday, Rebecca migrated to Maryland for more family time while I stayed home and studied for my Hadoop Certification exam, which I am taking today at 10 AM. We then looked for heartwarming Christmas movies that were free on Amazon Prime, and ended up with Grumpy Old Men after coming up short on the "free" component.

How was your third-to-last weekend of 2012?

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Museday Wrapup

The Museday initiative finally sputtered to a halt in May of this year. It definitely served its purpose, since I composed 99 Museday excerpts totaling about 56 minutes, which is longer than any pop CD released in the past five years. However, I eventually just got to the point where I wasn't mining much good material out of the concept anymore and decided to end early, rather than beat a dead horse for a whole year.

Here is a selection of ten of my favourite Museday compositions, some of which I still think about expanding into longer works someday. And, the intro to Indefatigable is my Instant Messenger alert sound, so I hear it daily when people at work ask me questions.

Someday, I will also release a CD of every Museday excerpt with a higher recording quality (these are 64KB Mono), featuring either William Shatner or Rebecca Uri reciting the title word and its definition before each one. Preorder today!

tagged as museday | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Memory Day: Christmas Twenty Years Ago

On Christmas in 1992, I was 13 years old. My stash consisted of the following goodies:

  • The boardgame, Hero Quest, and an expansion pack
  • The Super NES games, Battle Clash and Super Mario Kart
  • A Super NES Game Genie
  • The Game Boy game, Super Mario Land 2
  • The computer game, Gobliiins
  • A microscope, and many assorted microscope accessories
  • A pack of Bubble Yum grape gum
  • CDs by John Barry and Ray Stevens
  • A Foxtail, which we never actually played with
  • The books, How To Play With Your Food by Penn and Teller, and Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams
  • Two books on programming in Visual Basic
  • The 1993 World Almanac

I still own all of these items except for the almanac and Visual Basic books!

After opening all of the presents, our yearly tradition involved a narrated inventory of the presents. When we were young, this was a detailed deep dive. As we got older it became, "Look, here are some books and games and stuff, now let me play."

tagged as memories, media | permalink | 1 comment

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Safety Not Guaranteed (R):
This is a light, understated comedy starring the actress from Parks and Recreation, Audrey Plaza. It tells the tale of local reporters investigating a man who thinks he can time travel, and is an indie film (in the sense that it cuts in as many random shots of the landscape as it does the protagonists). Its parts are better than its whole, but I got a few chuckles out of it.

Final Grade: B-

Culture Vultures by Orson:
I enjoyed Orson's CD, Bright Idea, a surprising amount for a British band performing American rock. This one feels a little more homogenous without any standout hits. Good for background music.

Final Grade: B-

Chuck, Season Four:
I'm still surprised by how well Chuck has managed to sustain without irrevocably running a character or plotline into the ground. The shape of this season helps, with two shorter half-season arcs rather than an interminable grind full of filler episodes. I greatly enjoyed the guest appearances by Timothy Dalton, although Linda Hamilton really didn't bring anything to the table.

Final Grade: B+

Life of Pi (PG):
We saw this in the theatre after a delicious dinner of pork and egg noodles at A Taste of Burma. Rebecca really enjoyed the book, and I knew nothing about it because reading is for people without video games. The movie started strongly and kept me enthralled for about the first 2/3rds. After that, it catapulted across the fine line between embellished survival story to unbelievable allegory. The structure of the final scenes also completely deflated the tension and good will built throughout the movie. I don't know how they could have done the ending any better, but I know what I don't like.

Final Grade: C

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holly Day

Updates will resume on Wednesday the 26th with my annual Pictures of the Year feature!

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 in Review, Part I of III

based on Reuter's Photos of the Year

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

tagged as media | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 in Review, Part II of III

based on Reuter's Photos of the Year

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

tagged as media | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 in Review, Part III of III

based on Reuter's Photos of the Year

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

tagged as media | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, December 31, 2012

End-of-the-Year Media Day

New pictures have been posted in the Life, 2012 album. I hope that you have been able to spend the last twelve days on a restful staycation like I have. Happy New Year!

tagged as media | permalink | 2 comments

 

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