Monday, December 01, 2014

Week Wrap-up

Because I now accrue leave at a faster rate that I can actually spend it, I decided to take all of last week off for Thanksgiving. This is a far cry from the early days of my career, where I would come into the office on every federal holiday in order to get work done while the halls were quiet.

In fact, I went back through my old work records to see what Thanksgiving Week looked like 10 years ago and found that I actually worked all 7 days out of that week. To be fair, 99% of that time was probably spent waiting for WebLogic Workshop to compile and deploy portlets. I spent that Thanksgiving with Kathy and Chris in Falls Church, dedicating my minimal non-work time to the inception of "Cheese Soup", a recipe that chugged along fitfully for about seven years before I finally accepted that the demanding preparation steps did not give it a good cost-deliciousness ratio.

The first couple days of my 2014 vacation week were lost to proposal work, but the remainder were quite relaxing.

  • I watched the new season of 24 on Amazon Prime, and was happy to see that they took my advice to slim it down to 12 with most of the fat trimmed off.

  • I pulled my trumpet out of storage and played for a grand total of about three hours over the week. I performed the Halsey-Stevens sonata very poorly for Booty.

  • I discovered that Mists of Pandaria had been added for free to my World of Warcraft account and, smelling a loophole, reactivated my account to give it a try. I then learned that this expansion was so old that everyone had gotten it for free and I had not actually stuck anything to the Man.

  • It rained and snowed on Wednesday, but only in a conversational way. "Conversational" snow means that no one can shut up about it even though it's mostly slush.

  • I had my first trip to Morton's with the visiting Gillises, to spend a work-bestowed gift card (from yet another proposal effort) on steaks. They were good, but not exponentially better than the ones I can buy at Costco and make at home -- I continue to remain convinced that there is no meal in the world worth spending more than about $28 on.

  • We had Thanskgiving lunch with Rebecca's parents, and then went to see the unnecessary bio-pic, Theory of Everything.

  • We went to a family reunion for Rebecca's mom's side of the family in Taylorstown on Saturday where they played their traditional chaotic group solitaire game, in which everyone plays solitaire but shares the ace stacks with the rest of the group. We also stopped off at Crooked Run again on the way home, enjoying the ambiance, but finding that their rotating beers weren't quite as exciting this time around.

  • We used a gift card we got from Mike for a dinner at Chili's (first date nostalgia) on Sunday night. We had only been to a Chili's once since that first February 2007 experience, and our local version had been renovated to resemble a luxurious... Pei Wei. The food was plentiful, and exactly what you would expect from a Chili's.

How was your week?

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

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Spam Day

I custom-built a spam prevention filter for The URI! Zone that almost completely nullifies unwanted comments spam. Less than 20 spam comments have ever made it through the filter since 2008. This may seem high until you consider that there were over 5500 attempted spam comments since I last rotated the logs in July 2014. That works out to about 41 spam attacks per day that get destroyed.

Here is a word cloud of the spam that has gotten trapped in the filter in the last 5 months alone, built with Jason Davies' excellent Word Cloud Generator. The bigger words appear more often than the smaller words.

People really want their cheap Uggs.

tagged as data | permalink | 4 comments

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Time-lapsed Blogography Day: 20 Years Ago

December 3, 1994 1:47pm Saturday

The track meet went pretty well. I got a 7.59 in the 55 meter which is only 0.04 off my best time last year. I got a 45.48 in the 300 yards and came in first place. I was first for nearly the whole race and then a guy passed me after the 200. At first, I was going to let him get first but then I changed my mind and pulled it up really hard and came in first by a little bit. My 4x400 team was pretty good too.

Afterwards, while waiting for my dad, I talked to Meghan C who was returning from taking the SATs at TC. Then I went to help out on Chris D's Eagle Project but he was basically done so I just went home.

This afternoon, I'm going to work on my French homework and then call people about the end-of-the-year party. Tonight, Ben, Jack, and I are going to see A Low Down Dirty Shame.

tagged as memories | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Quiz Day: Me Me Me!, Part IV

Part I | Part II | Part III

How much you know about me? Hover your mouse over the right column to see the correct answers.

1 What do I always name my character in Zelda games?
  1. Link
  2. BU
  3. Zeke
  4. Gassy
2 Why don't I like storing things in plastic bags?
  1. can't see what's inside without opening
  2. bad for the environment
  3. too fragile for most goods
  4. too loud
3 What kind of overnight camp have I never attended?
  1. Boy Scout
  2. Safety Patrol
  3. Young Artist
  4. Police
4 How many times have I ever taken the EZPass HOT Lanes on 495?
  1. 0
  2. 1
  3. 4
  4. over 10
5 Which song have I never written an arrangement of?
  1. Irish Washerwoman
  2. Boys and Girls Together
  3. Theme from MASH
  4. Carry On Wayward Son
6 Where did I drink my first beer?
  1. A crew boat party in high school
  2. A New Years band party in Springfield, VA
  3. My Foxridge apartment on my birthday
  4. An Irish pub in Tallahassee
7 How many times have I driven to (not through) New Jersey?
  1. 0
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. over 5
8 What composition opportunity was I offered 4 months before grad school started?
  1. Ladislav Kubik invited me to a Composition Workshop in Prague
  2. Kevin Fenton commissioned a choral piece because of our shared VT history
  3. Jon Polifrone asked me to lead a freshman master class at Northern Illinois
  4. Martin Ellerby asked for a piano reduction of one of my brass quintets
9 Which movie is not on my list of all-time favourites?
  1. Sneakers
  2. Memento
  3. The Fugitive
  4. Mr. Holland's Opus
10 What kind of store-bought pizza was my favourite while living in Florida?
  1. Ellio's
  2. Totino's
  3. Celeste
  4. DiGiorno

tagged as random | permalink | 7 comments

Friday, December 05, 2014

World of Warcraft Day

Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the day that I started playing World of Warcraft. Over those ten years, I actually had an active subscription for less than half the time, but in those periods, I was really into it. Here is a quick retrospective of my WoW experiences.

  • "I purchased World of Warcraft, the latest MMORPG yesterday. We'll see how much of a timesink it becomes..." - BU. My first character was a Tauren Druid named Cattleb, because "CattleBruiser" didn't fit in the name box. Initially, I thought it was a very pretty game, but not streets ahead of Everquest. What I enjoyed most was just wandering around and exploring.

  • By January 2005, I had gotten both Anna and Ben (as my housemates at the time) playing. We played three Night Elves, Plinky, Llehdoras, and Nedalya, and I would try to den-mother them from quest to quest while they persisted in running off the trails for herbs and minerals only to get ganked by the opposing faction.

  • By February 2005, I had become enamored with the Auction House, and spent nearly as much time buying and selling Enchanted Thorium Bars for profit as I did playing the actual game.

  • It took until May 2005 to reach the maximum level of 60 on my Tauren Druid, Atlee. I tried raiding but it was super boring.

  • In July 2005, the developers of WoW decided that "Maine Coon" was a swear word, and from then on, you could only buy Black Tabbies as pets. In September, many players were killed by a plague epidemic, which was later studied by real-world epidemiologists as a lesson in containment and outbreak.

  • In 2006, I was solely doing Battlegrounds, playing endless capture-the-flag matches with my guild, Team Turtle. I wrote a high-traffic Warsong Gulch Strategy Guide, and spent far too much of my life "grinding honor", which sounds more like something you do in the club. By now, even Kelley, Kathy, and Rosie were playing this game. Doobie played for about an hour.

  • The Burning Crusade expansion came out in January 2007, killing the Battlegrounds for a while (Death Knights everywhere). Burnt out on WoW and work, I cancelled my account and went outside, where I met Rebecca.

  • I reactivated in December 2007, after reading a blog post by Kim's friend, Sam, who said that the game had greatly improved. Our PvP Guild got so good that the other team would usually quit instead of facing us. To rectify this situation, we all leveled "evil" versions of our characters in the opposing faction so we could even out the teams on the fly. This particular WoW phase lasted about a year and a half before I cancelled again out of boredom.

  • I came back again in December 2010, solely to see how the new Cataclysm expansion had changed the old world maps. People like before-after scenarios, which is probably why Zelda's Light-Dark World conceits are so popular. This run was much shorter, as the Warsong Gulch bracket was nonexistent. I couldn't tell you a single thing about questing from 80-85, except that everything was phased, so you could never see other people running around you unless they were on the same quest. This made the world very empty. Also, Rebecca would start singing Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like a Bird" whenever my Druid was in Crow Form.

  • I turned on the game briefly during the initial days of Hearthstone in March 2014, but so much in the interface and skill trees had changed in the intervening 3 years that I got scared and quit.

  • Most recently, I resubscribed over Thanksgiving break, solely to have a brain-dead vacation distraction. A full review will be coming sometime later this month.

  • My favorite classes: Feral Druid for questing, Shadow Priest for PvP. Runner-up: Shamans and Paladins (both fun in PvP but boring to level). I never leveled any of the other classes above 40 as I would usually get bored somewhere between 15 and 32.

tagged as games | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, December 08, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

Our Christmas lights went up at the end of last week, even though they are now 9 years old with every 3rd bulb burnt out, and nowhere near as exuberant as the lights of our across-the-street neighbours. On Friday night with Rebecca and Amanda out at the Old Ox Brewery, I was at home with my Domino's Pizza and Vienna Lager, researching multithreaded contexts for the next release of DDMSence.

Saturday was a lazy, relaxy day full of cats sleeping on teddy bears and winter naps. After a morning Costco run for 12 bagels (6 of which will go stale before I can eat them, but all of which are cheaper than 6 total bagels from Safeway), smelly cheese, a leg of lamb, and sundry goods, I leveled a Tauren Druid named Lebru to 26 and read the paper and a book on Java Concurrency. In the afternoon, we tried to play a few games of Setters of Catan, but Booty interrupted game #2 by chasing Amber across the board, and game #3 by belly flopping while playing with a bag tie. In the evening, we went over to the Cranes for a holiday open house, bearing gifts of basil chicken meatballs.

On Sunday, we returned to the Ahlbin's in Manassas for Round Two of DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, this time with the kids observing and miming various actions like shooting bows. Although Rebecca's character was almost killed by a giant bugbear with a morningstar, the adventuring party managed to rescue a hostage and walk away with a small statuette shaped like a frog.

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

2014 Favourites: Top 10 Songs First Heard in 2014

I used to call this list "Top 10 Songs of the Year", until I realized that I always lagged far behind the curve in discovering new music. My relevancy seems to have improved over time -- the oldest song on this year's list is from 2009. Enjoy!

  1. Ingrid Michaelson - Girls Chase Boys (2014):
    Although much of Ingrid's newest album consisted of ghosts singing "woo" to forgettable tunes, this song made the cut of "songs I didn't delete".

  2. Caro Emerald - Liquid Lunch (2013):
    Remixing swing with electronica seems like such a no-brainer that I'm surprised it's taken this long to surface.

  3. Boulevard des Airs - Je reste calme (2013):
    The only thing better than the surprising effectiveness of "heavy metal reggae"is the fact that screamed chorus translates loosely as "I'm remaining calm".

  4. K-OS - 4 3 2 1 (2009):
    I stumbled upon K-OS through Crabbukkit, and like songs like this one more than his more experimental stuff.

  5. Scissor Sisters - Any Which Way (2010):
    This band is always great for peppy, catchy tunes. I didn't realize how much the lead singer resembled Nicholas Brody from Homeland until I pulled up the link to this music video, and now I can't watch it without picturing Brody singing with his tiny mouth.

  6. Lily Allen - Air Balloon (2014):
    This song always gets stuck in my head, even though it doesn't say much -- a perfect pop confection.

  7. The Hoosiers - To the Lions (2014):
    The latest Hoosiers album has continued to grow on me over time, but this still remains by favorite song.

  8. Christina Perri - Be My Forever (2014):
    It's rare for Christina Perri to have an actually happy song, and this one hits all of the right "cute" spots.

  9. Paloma Faith - Stone Cold Sober (2009):
    I like big voices and hints of the 70s.

  10. Dirt Poor Robins - We Forgot We Were Human (2013):
    Dirt Poor Robins continues its evolution from an Evanescence clone to mad escapees from a musical theatre.

Previous Picks: 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

tagged as lists, music | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2014 Favourites: Top 10 Posts and Reviews

Top 10 Posts from 2014
  • BU invents better ways to squeeze toothpaste
  • BU posts his Facebook video
  • BU on the Winter Olympics
  • BU invents the Pedt Saver
  • BU creates the best grilled pork recipe
  • BU plots to learn more French
  • BU on the Silver Line
  • BU learns things from computer games
  • BU stays married for 5 years
  • BU plays D&D
Top 10 Review Recommendations from 2014
  • Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
  • Person of Interest, Season Two and Three
  • Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls
  • News from Nowhere by The Hoosiers
  • Orphan Black, Season One and Two
  • Derek, Season One
  • True Detective, Season One
  • Sons of Anarchy, Season Four
  • Parks and Recreation, Season Six
  • Edge of Tomorrow

tagged as lists | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014 Un-favorites: Top 10 Personal Injuries

  • February: Second-degree burns on my hand from wiping crumbs off a hot stove

  • Also February: Two-day food poisoning from either a Safeway Mediterranean Pizza or a Wegmann's Pork Roast.

  • March: The first and only migraine headache of 2014

  • April: Extended duration cold simultaneously occurring with a horribly bit lip

  • June: Shooting off the back of a treadmill at 9 miles per hour

  • July: Somehow pulling my left lung muscle, preventing any coughing for two weeks

  • August: Bitten by a spider right between the toes

  • Beach Week: Face scrapes from pool horseplay

  • Also Beach Week: Divot in thumb from trying to pick up an oil-coated blender

  • Late September: Smashed left ankle while rearranging the massive office desk

Stay safe out there, boys and girls.

tagged as lists | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, December 12, 2014

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

5:06 AM: Showered, foggy, and ready for work.
5:38 AM: Arriving at my office. My officemate, T. Suh, left the company a few months back and was replaced by a new officemate, T. Hsu. Asians everywhere!
11:50 AM: Quick stop at Safeway on the way home. This portion of the strip mall has exactly 1 store in it right now, but I bet that Silver Line will be a catalyst for development and smart growth in 8 years.
12:01 PM: Amber looks up from licking the newspaper bag to welcome me home.
12:10 PM: Wings for lunch.
12:29 PM: Back to work for a little bit longer.
2:45 PM: Cleaning and laundry duties.
3:20 PM: Playing Rondo Cappriccioso, a Grade V solo that I always hated in high school because there are no rests in the last minute of a 4 minute song.
3:37 PM: Exercising and watching Lie to Me.
4:25 PM: Cleaning out my trumpet for the first time since I covered Mikado for Jason Mirick in 2005.
7:41 PM: Burgers at The Counter.
8:20 PM: Plenty leftover.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 3 comments

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

Following a leisurely night of burgers at The Counter and trolling for Christmas lights in Herndon, Saturday morning was actually quite productive. We did our final raking of the year and then put up our assorted Christmas decorations.

In the afternoon, we headed to DC, by way of my inaugural ride on the Silver Line. We met up with Marc and toured the annual Christmas tree exhibit on the South Lawn. Th exhibit was much worse this year, thanks to Google, who applied their historical prowess at messing up things that people had already gotten comfortable with.

Instead of quirkily decorated trees from each of the 50 states, the trees were covered in nets of LED lights, supposedly coded into different flashing patterns by millions of girls from all over the country. Since half of the trees had the exact same pattern, one can only assume that most of those coding efforts didn't compile correctly (or alternately, that the girls collectively tried but failed to emblazon the trees with flashing penis shapes for giggles' sake).

In the evening, we went to the second annual Sausageween party at Annie's, a pastiche of all of the different fourth quarter holidays rolled into one with extra sausage. We took the Silver Line home, safely falling asleep since our stop was the last stop, and then fell into bed at 2:22 AM.

Nothing happened on Sunday.

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Twelve 12 of 12s

A montage of my amazingly interesting year.

January: We only made it to Taste of Burma twice this year.

February: Cat hugs.
March: Rebecca gets addicted to Hearthstone.
April: Birthday dinner with my mom.
May: Taco Night would be more enjoyable if there were fewer ingredients to prepare.
June: Arriving at my office.
July: Sunkissed nap.
August: Booty reheats some pizza.
September: A uricorn cake.
October: Steak night.
November: This plant only gave us 1 edible red pepper all year long.
December: Spot the differences from June.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken in 1981 at the age of 2. There is a sane amount of ornaments on the tree, because our next-door neighbour had not yet begun her annual tradition of gifting and regifting tacky ornaments in twos. Ten years later, there would be a regular standing argument between my sister and I, who argued that the tree was full, and my mom, who argued that there were still ornaments left in the box. My mom usually won.

tagged as memories | permalink | 4 comments

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Theory of Everything (PG-13):
I'm not a fan of bio-pics because they're either an obligatory parade of truncated vignettes or they go on forever so as not to miss anything. This well-acted movie about the life of Stephen Hawking did not change my opinion. After a setup reminiscent of A Beautiful Mind, the movie starts bouncing through time like the island in LOST (but thankfully only in one direction), fading in on particularly notable events quickly before moving on to the next. This lessens the emotional connection to any given scene, and probably forced the directors to cherry pick the scenes that viewers would most likely expect to see. One of the big problems in my mind was that Stephen Hawking's area of expertise is hard to translate for laymen, and although we are constantly told that he's brilliant, we never see evidence as to why he's so important.

Final Grade: C-

Sons of Anarchy, Season 6:
One thing I appreciate about the storytelling in this show is that plot lines are allowed to naturally end when they're ready to end -- game-changers regularly occur in midseason episodes where other shows would just save it for the finale. One thing I dislike is that the show was extended from 40 to 60 minutes, leading to lots of boring, brooding reaction shots and way too many musical montages (this is a Shakespearean biker show, not Grey's Anatomy). One thing I hated was the very contrived way in which the season finale's climactic events were allowed to occur, based on a lack of communication between characters. One minus two is a negative number, so this season gets a C. The math is sound.

Final Grade: C

24: Live Another Day:
I'm not sure why they didn't call this Season Nine, but I'm glad they took my advice to have only 12 episodes*. This season contains all of the standard 24 tropes you've come to expect, without the dithering usually needed to pad out the run time. Even the female characters aren't as helpless as they're usually written to be.

Final Grade: B+

*"The show would be great if they called it 12 and then pared the plot down to just the major storyline." - BU, February 13, 2006

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 Timeline

A smattering of events from 2014

  • We had 15 of Rebecca's family from her mother's side over for a holiday dinner.
  • I released v0.1.0 of Auricle which quizzed you on music notation, and then I never worked on it again.
  • It rained, snowed, or iced over almost every other day, destroying the fan motor on my heat pump.
  • It snowed a million times and the Winter Olympics had too many speed skating events.
  • We partied with the Miricks for the first time in forever, at a 222 Reunion gathering (on 2/15 because 2/22 was booked).
  • Rebecca got her first iPhone.
  • I got food poisoning and mostly died.
  • We ate bacon for Marv's birthday at a giant McMansion in Arlington.
  • We tried Bonchon for the first time and Rebecca ate all of the super spicy wings without hesitation.
  • We went to Delmarva's Taphouse for one of the last visits before they were closed for tax evasion.
  • We went to the Greenbrier Resort and were confused by modern slot machines.
  • I made my own badminton net.
  • I finished my first Coursera class, which was somewhere between "bad" and "not good".
  • We planted some more tomatoes, which quickly overshadowed a useless pepper plant.
  • Rebecca went to Columbus for a weekend while I played ultimate frisbee.
  • We had our first of two barbeques for the year.
  • We went to Taste of Reston with child-free Kathy.
  • Rebecca had a birthday dinner with Asian Fusion Pork.
  • Rebecca went to yoga camp in Massachusetts, and then we met to go camping in Pennsylvania.
  • We finally saw Anna's parents again in Colonial Beach.
  • We took out a second mortgage to eat tapas at Mokomandy with Marc.
  • I tried out Wildstar, which didn't last.
  • We had a barbeque with the Newdorfs and Ahlbins.
  • We saw Jim Gaffigan at Wolf Trap.
  • Rebecca got a new laptop to replace the one made out of stone.
  • We went to Beach Week in Kill Devil Hills with the Jacksons and many others.
  • I arranged Tenting Tonight for brass quintet.
  • Rebecca went to Ocean City with the girls, and I taught the Ahlbins how to play Gloom.
  • I lost my FitBit in Harper's Ferry, on the occasion of our fifth anniversary.
  • We played a weird German boardgame at the Smiths.
  • We took a whirlwind tour of Seattle and its environs.
  • Mike of (Mike and Ghost Chompy) came out to visit us from the West.
  • We learned how to play Dungeons and Dragons.
  • We had one fake Thanksgiving and two real ones.
  • I started playing the trumpet again for about 15 minutes a day (so more than most undergraduate music ed majors).

How was 2014 for you?

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

Friday: Stayed in playing Hearthstone with Mike while Rebecca went to a going away party in Arlington for a friend moving to Ballard who'll be working at the EMP Museum.

Saturday: Put into practice the concepts of a FIFO queue by arriving at Costco at 8:55 for their annual unpublished holiday season early-open, and left with all of my purchases by 9:10 (doors usually open at 9:30). Started on a little composing / trumpet project which I'll post later this week. In the evening, we relaxed at Old Ox Brewery where we had a flight paired with some cheesy polenta with mushrooms, freshly prepared at a "food truck" that was actually a permanent tent within the warehouse. Hit the East Juniper Avenue Christmas lights afterwards, but we were not impressed this year.

Sunday: Worked on my musical project for most of the day and also watched the movie, In a World.... Had dinner at Thai by Thai and then drove up Algonquin to find the mythical Christmas lights that Rebecca had heard about. Found said lights, which have probably caused many accidents and brown outs along that stretch of the road.

Up Next: I'm on vacation for the next two weeks, so I'll just be lazing around reading Janny Wurts books and working on my musical project. Next week, I plan on starting the materials for an Amazon Web Services certification, since it has now been 3 years since I was HADOOP-en. Fear not, if you are stuck at work, because I will update the URI! Zone every day except for this Friday!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Composing Spotlight: Badinage

I wrote Badinage in the Fall of 1999, inadvertently making it the last piece in my repertoire to be considered "Contemporary 20th Century" music. It was originally performed by Allen Bachelder and Jim Bryant on my 5th Year Recital, and then again by me and Rob Kelley down at Florida State.

With the looming Christmas holiday and my recent interest in trumpet endurance practice sessions (currently up to 12 minutes per day), I thought it'd be fun to do an amateur recording session of this piece. I'm no Kelley Corbett but I still remember which buttons to press.

I recorded this over two days in my home studio (the office with the door closed), using the Roland SC-8850 for the accompaniment and Adobe Audition for the mixing. Enjoy!

From the liner notes: Badinage is an abstract work that started out as a series of major seventh chords. My last trumpet and piano work was deeply emotional and almost programmatic in nature, so this was my attempt at a song on the opposite end of the spectrum. I started writing it as a possible first movement to a Sonata, but eventually realized that it worked much better as a tightly cohesive single movement work. The word "badinage" is French and describes a playful banter. In this instance, both the trumpet and piano share the spotlight with equal importance.

tagged as music | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Stuff in My Drawers Day: Christmas 1989

This was a watershed year for gifts that will make you nostalgic for the late 80s.

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Ho Ho Ho

Updates will resume next Monday!

permalink | 0 comments

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 in Review, Part I of II

based on Reuter's Photos of the Year

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

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in Review, Part II of II

based on Reuter's Photos of the Year

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

tagged as media | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Wrap-up

I only created two pages worth of funny captions this year because of Reuters. They trimmed their normal selection of over a hundred images to about fifty, mostly of people crying, dying, or getting blown up, and then added unskippable interstitial ads to the slideshow. It's hard to keep things light under those circumstances.

Christmas Vacation so far has been quiet. After a Riverside service on Christmas Eve followed by the Muppet Christmas Carol, we had Christmas morning at home and then visited my parents in Alexandria briefly before converging on my sister's place in Maryland for a final Christmas celebration before they flee to Rhode Island. During the festivities, Rebecca was overtaken by a flu variant she had picked up from work, made more virulent with the bitterness of old peoples' tears. We left early and I put her to bed with a 103 temperature.

The flu kept her down through Sunday night, and I caught it myself on Saturday morning. Although she was able to get back to work by Monday, I've been at home unable to do anything useful since Saturday. Being sick involves lots of sleeping and watching things. Among the things I watched: the complete Toy Story trilogy, two Kevin Kline movies from the 90s, the first season of Mozart in the Jungle, episodes of Modern Family, Season One, and episodes of Newsroom, Season Two. Among the places I slept: my bed, the guest bed, the couch, and the floor of the office.

We don't have any crazy New Years plans tonight, since Rebecca works tomorrow, but I'll probably make some steaks and cough on everyone.

New pictures have been added to the Life, 2014 album. Happy New Year!

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment


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