10/2015

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Knick, Season One:
This Cinemax show about a surgeon at the turn of the century never really grabbed me. Maybe I'm too millenial to find period costumes interesting or maybe Clive Owen has all of the stage presence of a beige wall, but I gave up after 3 episodes.

Final Grade: Not Graded

Shift, Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey:
The middle book of the Wool trilogy is very good, but may not satisfy all readers. It acts as a prequel to the first, providing plenty of intriguing backstory but never advancing the story significantly. The characters weren't as interesting as Book One, but it did get me excited to read the final book.

Final Grade: B+

What We Do In the Shadows:
This mockumentary about vampires living in the modern world is very funny without being overbearing. It probably would have been more successfully as a series of Youtube shorts, but it's only about 80 minutes long so it doesn't outstay its welcome.

Final Grade: B+

Heroes of the Storm:
I never played Defense of the Ancients or League of Legends, based on their reputations for being full of angry assholes, so I initially ignored Blizzard's entry into the genre when it first came out. In HotS, you pick a character from the Blizzard game worlds (Diablo, Warcraft, and Starcraft) and then fight against another team to demolish their base, with the aid of auto-pathing cannon fodder armies. The game is successful in many ways: the style and gameplay take me back to the Warcraft III days, and the community is generally pretty friendly. On the other hand, the UI is so streamlined so as not to scare new players that it feels slightly crippling -- information and statistics should be easily available in this type of game, even if some players don't ever look at them. Games generally last 10 - 20 minutes which is great for gamers on the go, but doesn't really give me reason to invest in getting any better. Overall, this is a decent (and FREE) game to mix into the rotation of casual gaming habits like Hearthstone, but not one that I would ever end up playing as much as a Diablo or a Starcraft.

Final Grade: B-

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Friday, October 02, 2015

Sixth Anniversary Day

As anniversaries pass, and senility robs us of our wedding memories, we'll always have the photographic evidence to fall back on (click to enlarge).

Other posts in this series: 2013 | 2014 | 2015

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Monday, October 05, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

Dinner on Friday night was supposed to be a Cornish game hen, but for the first time in recorded history, the hen had gone bad, dripping in cloudy fluids and smelling like death. The backup dinner plan was Domino's, so the evening was saved.

Saturday was our anniversary, and we spent much of the day relaxing at home. Hurricane Joaquin never appeared, and after many puns involving the phonetics of "joaquin", we went up to Leesburg for a visit to Crooked Run Brewery.

We had dinner at Tuscarora Mills, which was pricey and hyped, but deservedly so. It was just un-fancy enough to be comfortable (unlike the time I started eating bacon crumbles out of a bowl at Morton's and the waitress made a show of bringing me a fork). I had the short ribs and Rebecca had the pork platter, and both of us had enough left over for dinner on Sunday.

Rebecca had to work on Sunday while I stayed home playing The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (ESO) and getting my high elf templar up to level 10. I also finished the book, Law and Disorder, ran for 40 minutes on the treadmill, did laundry, and exercised the cats.

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Missing the Point

I try not to descend the spiral staircase of futility into political discussions as much anymore, but I was truly disappointed by this quote from an article about Carly Fiorina's unpaid debts from her failed Senate campaign:

    "People are just upset and angry and throwing her under the bus," said Jon Cross, Fiorina's operations director for her Senate campaign. "If we didn't win, why do you deserve to get paid? If you don't succeed in business, you shouldn't be the first one to step up and complain about getting paid."

I'm sure that this operations director would say the same thing to his loan shark if he borrowed a million dollars and then bet it all on RG III surviving more than two Redskins games without injury, and I'm sure the loan shark would shrug and proclaim, "You win some and lose some, buddy!" before going out for beers and hugs. That's obviously how the real world works.

I've never run for office, mainly because none of the job descriptions interest me (until someone creates an elected office for Czar of Eliminating Autotune from Popular Music). However, even I can smell the ridiculousness of assuming that losing your campaign equates to a Get Out of Jail Free card on your invoiced goods and services. Unless all of the companies that provided services to the campaign were actually operating as unpaid interns given pizza and bus fares, this sounds like a matter for a collections agency.

Regardless of Fiorina's political positions or whether she was an angel or a demon as HP CEO, the fact that she and her operatives don't recognize the significance of this issue is more telling than the issue itself. I have the same disappointment over Hillary Clinton's flippant "Like with a cloth or something?" line about server wiping -- she can (and obviously does) have her own opinion on the controversy, but by dismissing it the way she is, she's implicitly dismissing the concerns of all potential voters for whom it's still a problem, and going further by deeming those concerns to be illegitimate.

Belittling the electorate is a pretty tone-deaf way of showing that you'll listen to them once you're in office. Feel free to prove to me that any given controversy is not a big deal, but don't try to tell me what I should and should not deem important.

It's like rechanneling an argument by telling everyone to calm down. Everyone here's already calm and you're being patronizingly smug. WHY DON'T YOU SMUG DOWN!

tagged as politics | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Memory Day: Nineteen Years Ago Today

Nineteen years ago today, on October 7, 1996, I was a freshman at Virginia Tech. The URI! Domain had been online for just over a month, and had recently been added to the VT Music Department's Student Homepage Links page.

On this particular evening, I was sitting in the CALC lab doing my ear training assignments in MacGamut. I don't even remember what CALC stands for anymore, but it was some jumble of buzzwords to make the department look like it was on the cutting edge of music technology -- there may have also been a forward slash in the acronym somewhere. In reality, it was a cramped room the size of my living room filled with broken MIDI keyboards and Macs that rarely started, with the exception of the student administrator's machine at the front of the room which was always in perfect shape.

The room was fairly crowded with music majors checking their email in Eudora or failing to identify augmented fourths. The admin that night was a senior clarinetist named James T (who would go on to be a senior for a couple more years, because that is what music majors do when they don't know what comes next). Over the quiet bustle, he suddenly asked the room, "Does anyone know a Brian 'Err-i'?" Before I could say anything, he continued, "Because he's got the weirdest homepage ever. There's pictures of llamas and stuff all over it."

Now at the time, my homepage opened up with a disclaimer that satirized smoking warnings from the Surgeon General, websites that told you what screen resolution your monitor should support, and the constant rain of useless advocacy websites from the early 90s before change.org:

Below this warning was a picture of a llama named Sam stolen from the homepage of a local llama farm and then a bunch of boring links to my music compositions and creative writing. Because I had only discovered that the college library had scanners the day before, there were no pictures of me yet on the site. This allowed me to remain incognito as James continued to pose incredulous questions about who I was and why my site was "so weird". It wasn't bemusement -- it was the complete failure to comprehend that a web page with a warning about llamas wasn't supposed to be taken seriously.

Finally, I piped up and said, "Actually, that's my homepage." James looked at me and completely shut down for seven seconds. You could see the gears grinding in his mind as he struggled to reconcile this new information while backtracking on his previous tirade like a Hungry Hungry Hippo who has just eaten a rabbit dropping and realized that his digestion can only go in one direction.

"Dude, your homepage is pretty cool."

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Thursday, October 08, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Pagans in Vegas by Metric:
The latest album from Metric is consistently good -- though nothing jumps out with the quirky idiosyncrasies of Grow Up and Blow Away, the songs are polished and employ electronica effectively without going overboard (unlike the Cardigan's Gran Turismo album). A representative song that I enjoy is Fortunes.

Final Grade: B+

Mad Max Fury Road (R):
This is a completely pointless movie in the "Tom Hardy has his mouth covered up so you have no idea what he's saying without turning subtitles on" genre. It's an art director's wet dream and does some effective world-building in between endless sequences of action, but unless you're in the mood for a two hour car chase, or are a Mad Max aficionado, you're not going to get anything out of watching.

Final Grade: C-

Dust by Hugh Howey:
The final book in the trilogy returns to the characters originally introduced in Book One, which makes the plot more empathic. The story has a few great reveals left up its sleeves, and the ending is satisfying, although one of the story threads seems to end very abruptly in order to give more space to the other. I'm not a fan of the tagline on the cover, which sounds like a Mitch Hedberg joke. "Every beginning has an end. That's a good place to stop!"

Final Grade: B+

The 40 Akerz Project by Nappy Roots:
The latest album from Nappy Roots is boringly forgettable. It sounds like most of their best voices have left the group, and the bulk of songs are just raps over mellow, repetitive loops. It also sounds like one of the members is a recent atheist, and you know this because he tells you about it every time he gets to insert a verse. Stick with Watermelon, Chicken, and Gritz and the era of the rapping Waluigi.

Final Grade: D

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Friday, October 09, 2015

Off to Blacksburg!

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

On Thursday evening last week, we made the drive down to Virginia Tech for the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Marching Virginians Practice Facility. I had donated some loose change to the construction a while back, which made me eligible for a ceremony invitation and a 1000% uptick in requests for money from poor undergrads working in the VT call center.

The trip down was actually as pleasant as it's ever been with zero cops, even in Botetourt County. Being able to go 75 MPH instead of 65 seems to make all of the difference, especially in the time-warping Bermuda Triangle-like section between Exit 222 and Exit 140.

Dinner in Blacksburg was at Macado's, where they sat us in the Creepy Baby section under King Kong. I almost didn't recognize the area with so much new construction -- the lone Hardees north of campus is now dwarfed by a four story parking garage, and they're in the process of replacing all of the original Corp dorms with Hokie stone buildings.

The new MV facility is pretty swank, featuring a full-sized field with synthetic turf, a covered pavilion for musical rehearsal, real restrooms, and temperature-controlled storage rooms. Following multiple rounds of speeches ranging from obligatory to heartfelt, the entire audience was invited onto the field for a full band performance and a group effort of the Hokie Pokie, which Rebecca got to experience as if she were a new freshman.

Afterwards, we took an hour walk around campus to see what had changed. Besides the new buildings, not much had. The New Residence Hall is STILL named as such, sixteen years after construction (which may constitute false advertising). The Cinnabon in the students' center has been replaced with a dimetrically different offering, Au Bon Pain. And, the dining hall where "all you can eat bacon as long as it fits in your to-go box" reigned supreme has been replaced with a massive arts building with art exhibits and hippie walls covered in poetry.

From Tech, we went to Christiansburg to visit Anna's youngest sister, Becca, and her three kids, two dogs, one cat, and one husband. Kitty, of "Kitty and Sydney" was also there, living out her old age as a fat sun-stoked whale on the woodsy porch.

To close out the day, we visited the Flying Mouse Brewery in Troutville, based on the T-shirt that someone at the ceremony was wearing. It turned out to be owned by an old MV, so we traded a few stories and tried a flight of good, varied beers before getting back on the road.

The drive home wasn't as fun because of a thunderstorm, but we made it safely back around 9 PM on Friday, so Rebecca could get ready for another weekend of yoga teacher training.

The real weekend was pretty low-key -- I played some games and worked on a new web hosting project which should be live sometime this week. How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

5:05 AM: Ready for work but choosing poorly in ISO modes.
5:27 AM: Arriving in the office.
5:36 AM: Because updating when I login makes more sense than during the 4 previous days when I wasn't in the office. Thanks, Windows 10.
7:56 AM: Writing a Python function that maps LDAP fields to a UserMixin. If OpenLDAP were one of my employees, I would have fired it years ago.
9:44 AM: Met at home by two camouflaged cats.
12:01 PM: Fried chicken for lunch.
1:29 PM: Taking over hosting and administration of the official Paravia Wiki, which is now IN MY CLOUD.
2:37 PM: Final mow of the year.
3:26 PM: Treadmilling with iZombie, Season One, recommended by Mary.
5:00 PM: Playing ESO, at level 17.
6:49 PM: Burger Night on the porch.
8:24 PM: Rebecca and Booty organize Physical Therapy binders while I play video games.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken six years ago today, on October 14, 2009.

As the "crazy thing we wouldn't normally do" during our Kauai honeymoon, we went on a Jack Harter Helicopter Tour, which cost a few hundred dollars and lasted about an hour. The weather was wonderful on the island, but we were bundled up here because of the blustery conditions in an open-air helicopter. The Tour was definitely a high point, and the guide gave us a well-polished monologue while lingering over the various sites for long enough to take great pictures.

Afterwards, we had dinner at a Japanese sushi restaurant and tried crazy sushis, including a "fried hand-roll" which turned out to be like a waffle cone full of fishies.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Rare Bird by Whitton:
This album is a fun mix of jazz and pop songs. The artist has a weird affectation to her timbre that comes and goes and makes her sound cartoony, but it grew on me over time. A representative song that I like is B Sting.

Final Grade: B+

Luther, Season Two:
Luther continues to be a great example of a police procedural done right. The performances are top notch, and the stories are given room to breathe which effectively builds suspense (each "case" spans two episodes, and the season is four total episodes). This was the weakest of the three seasons because it felt like they weren't sure how to effectively use one of the main characters, but I still enjoyed it. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Fargo, Season One:
This remake of the movie from the 90s is a surprisingly successful -- it has clear ties back to the source material but manages to be something as good as (or even better than) the movie that can stand completely on its own merits. It has whimsical elements that are used just enough to not feel like a cinematographer's circlejerk, and even an overused plot device employed in the 8th episode was able to keep me interested where other shows might have stumbled. The cast, including movie stars like Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Platt, Keith Carradine, and Colin "Mini Tom Hanks" Hanks turn in uniformly excellent performances.

Final Grade: a rare A+

Modern Family, Season Four:
Reliably funny with slightly fewer tedious Cam stories than Season Three.

Final Grade: B

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Random Chart Day: Internet Outrage Over Time

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend was the wedding of Carolyn Hughes and Luke McCabe. Because the wedding was in DC, we embarked on a Silver Line odyssey which took 25 minutes longer than planned once the train started "pausing" at each station because of single-tracking somewhere further down the line. After a brisk nine block walk down F street, we made it to the church with less than 2 minutes to spare and were not the last people to slip inside.

Following the ceremony at 3 PM at Holy Rosary, we dawdled in a Corner Bakery with Annie, Returned Mike, Mar, and her Mike for the gap period until the Cocktail Hour began. The food was plentiful and the bar was open, and everything seemed to go off without a hitch. I had the steak while Rebecca had the salmon, but tragically there was so much that I couldn't even finish.

We left around 10 and got all of the way home just after midnight. The ride back was uneventful although it's always fun to see how many people are still sleeping on the train at Wiehle while the conductor flashes the lights and plays various air raid sirens to get everyone out.

Sunday was a quiet day. Rebecca packed for a trip to Yogaville (which is a real thing) while I hit level 25 in ESO and finished Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

List Day: Jams of the Times

Songs I listened to incessantly during the month of October, based on highly accurate recall, web citations, and Amazon MP3 purchases...

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Time-lapsed Blogography Day: 20 Years Ago

These pictures were taken 20 years ago today, on October 21, 1995.

It was Homecoming at TC Williams, which meant a brief parade through the parking lot of Bradlee Shopping Center followed by an abbreviated halftime show which was mostly preempted by the popular kids.

I wore white shoes as a drum major, which never really made much sense to me -- the band can't even see the top of my head, much less the bottoms of my shoes (this is also why my conducting makes me look like I'm riding my hog in the first picture: eye-level conducting was too low albeit better for overall body mechanics).

The football team ended up getting a rare win against Annandale (39-20), and people liked the choreographed salute I created solely for Homecoming, so it was a win all around. In the evening, I went to Jack's house with Chris Sharp and played the new computer game, Crusader: No Remorse.

tagged as memories | permalink | 1 comment

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

New in Town by John Mulaney:
We listened to this story-driven stand-up session on the road trip to Blacksburg a couple weeks back. His delivery is on point, which makes some of the stories funnier than they should be. The album was worth a listen, but not quite as good as The Top Part.

Final Grade: B

Law & Disorder by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker:
Most of John Douglas' recent true crime books have been pretty forgettable. This one breaks the pattern by being an examination of the flaws of death penalty implementation backed by crime stories, which gives the narrative some overarching direction. A few new cases, such as the West Memphis Three and the Amanda Knox case, are covered in depth -- this helps reduce the feeling of stale fixation caused by citing JonBenet Ramsey in every new book.

Final Grade: B

Luther, Season Three:
The final (4 episode) season of Luther is great, and proves that you don't need 22 episodes to build to an amazing conclusion. The final case exhibits shades of Black Mirror and the characters all get appropriate wrap-ups.

Final Grade: A-

The Sun Never Sets by The Herd:
This is a fun album of Australian hip-hop, notable for its old-school 74 minute running length. The songs are varied in style and clever in lyrics, and generally fun to listen to.

Final Grade: B+

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Friday, October 23, 2015

List Day: Lowest Grades from Review Day

I'm a fairly lenient grader, as can be seen by the fact that I've only given out eight Fs in over a decade of Review Days.

D-

  1. My Name Is Earl, Season Three (TV)
  2. Excelline Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas (food)
  3. 2012 (movie)
  4. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (movie)
  5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (movie)

F

  1. Amazon Prime Day (event)
  2. Down Dog, Pilot Episode (TV)
  3. Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget 33967A Slow Cooker (gadget)
  4. Under the Dome, Season One (TV)
  5. Weather.com (website)
  6. Western Digital My Book 3.0 (1TB) (gadget)
  7. The Heartbreak Kid (movie)
  8. The Darjeeling Limited (movie)

tagged as lists, reviews | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday evening, we tried out a new restaurant in the Lansdowne area called "Not Your Average Joe's", whose name was ironically shortened to "Average Joe's" by our waiter. The food was just good enough, but the ingredients were fresh and the ambience was pleasant enough to try again sometime.

On Sasturday, we replaced Rebecca's car battery, which had recently become incapable of retaining a charge during a cold snap. While she was off at yoga school, I spent the day brushing up on my Python skills -- I learned the language back in 2013 but haven't really had much opportunity to flex those skills until last month. In the evening, we had delicious, oily noodles at Taste of Burma.

Sunday was a quiet, indoor day with plenty of ESO (level 33), Python, and episodes of Sherlock and iZombie. We intentionally kept things low-key so Rebecca could prepare for her first day at a new job with Inova today! For the benefit of people who have never had to pronounce that word before, it's "IN-ovah" not the more logical "I-nova".

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Loudoun Election Cheat Sheet, Part I of III

It's often difficult to cut through the macrame potholder of misinformation that stretches across the loom of general elections. With district boundaries resembling modern day Nazca lines, it can be a chore just figuring out who's eligible for your vote and which voting station to report to (dropping in unannounced on a random elementary school is frowned upon in this day and age).

As a public service, the URI! Zone is offering side-by-side comparisons for every race. Currently, this data is limited to my direct voting area because I'm but a one-man political team with no revenue stream and my district is the only one that matters. If a comparable resource does not exist for your area, you should seriously consider moving to Sterling Park so we can hang out, vote on stuff, and grill things.

State Senator, District 33



Jennifer T. Wexton (D) Stephen B. Hollingshead (R)
Current PositionIncumbent, Virginia SenateDirector on two boards
Last Election ResultWon (with 52.7% of the vote) for Mark Herring's vacant seat in 1/2014Lost to Barbara Comstock (by a 47.9% margin) in the 2014 Republican primary for US Congress
Degrees InLawPolitical Science
Lives InLeesburgLeesburg
Self-described PrioritiesEconomy, Education, Women's Health, Transportation, Health Care, Environment, Gun Safety & Mental Health, Ethics Reform, Voter RightsLiberties, Education, Jobs, Traffic
EndorsementsWashington Post, NEA, NVTC, and 18 othersNRA-PVF and assorted single person endorsements
NRA Political Victory Fund GradeDAQ
Campaign Website AnnoyancesMouseover menusMouseover menus, Animations, Assumes you're on mobile
Twitter E-Peen Ratio467 tweets : 1388 followers4532 tweets : 772 followers
Number of Kids2, developed internally13, outsourced labor
Went to UVaNoNo
Public LinkedIn Profile LengthNo account8 Page Down taps
Best Name AnagramNew Fen Otter JinxBeholden Staph Shingle
Notable Wikipedia ControversiesAllegedly comparing Tea Party activists to rapistsNot notable enough for Wikipedia
Probable World of Warcraft Raid RoleMaking sure no one cheats on Raider DKPProcess improvement after reviewing raid battle videos
Ink Cost of New Loudoun Stationery16 characters21 characters
Has a Real HostnameNo, jenniferwexton.ngpvanhost.comYes, www.hollingshead.com
Minorities in Team Picture58.3%No Team Photos on Website
Photographed Wearing a Hard HatNoYes

House of Delegates, District 86



Jennifer B. Boysko (D) Raul "Danny" Vargas (R) Paul R. Brubaker (I)
Current PositionAide to Dranesville SupervisorPublic Relations, Board MemberVice President of Strategic Accounts
Last Election ResultLost to Tom Rust (by a 0.3% margin) in 2013 for same House of Delegates seatNo Previous ExperienceNo Previous Experience
Degrees InUnknownMiltary CareerPolitical Science, Public Administration
Lives InHerndonHerndonHerndon
Self-described PrioritiesTransportation, Education, Health / Human Services, Women's Rights, Immigration, Equality, Environment, Economy Education, Transportation, Economy, VeteransTransportation, Education, Economy, Social Issues, 21st Century Government
Endorsements21 organizational endorsementsWashington Post, former incumbent, Tom Rust, and many othersassorted individual endorsements
Second LanguageFrenchSpanishUnknown
Portrayed By (in Lifetime movie of election)Mary SteenburgenJimmy SmitsMichael Chiklis
Profile Most Resembles Shape of DistrictX
Family Photo onA staircaseThe couchThe Herndon caboose
Probable Hunger Games StrategyPoisoned rationsClaim all of the cornucopia weaponsStrategic alliances followed by inevitable betrayal
Most Likely to Care about the Gerrymandered Loudoun tumor on the District

To be continued tomorrow...

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Loudoun Election Cheat Sheet, Part II of III

Clerk of Circuit Court

Eileen M. Tagg-Murdock (D) Gary M. Clemens (R)
Lost (by a 37.8% margin) in the 2011 School Board race
Lives in Sterling, the jewel of Loudoun County
Positions aren't much different than the other guy
Incumbent
Has increased the level of automation and electronic access to Loudoun records
His teste is stamped on my marriage license

Commonwealth's Attorney

Robert J. Ohneiser (D) James E. "Jim" Plowman (R)
Can't be sussed to create a proper website.
Reputation for challenging the school board.
Incumbent
Could potentially prosecute new cases under the stage name, "The Plowman"
Tangentially involved in the whole embezzlement mess.

Sheriff

Brian P. Allman (D) Michael L. "Mike" Chapman (R) Steve O. Simpson (I)
Has filed 25 lawsuits since 1989. "Allman called Nabhan the female anatomical part 20 times, according to court documents." Blames Simpson for the embezzlement mess Blames Chapman for not detecting the embezzlement mess sooner

What an embarassment!

Commissioner of Revenue

Since Bob Wertz, Jr. is the incumbent and the only one running, you might as well write me in. I like revenue and will compose a campaign song cycle called "La Bienvenue Revenue Revue".

Treasurer

Evan D. Macbeth (D) H. Roger Zurn, Jr. (R)
Feels that Zurn is an indifferent treasurer.
May be more suited for the theatre.
Incumbent for almost 20 years.

Soil and Water Conservation District Directors (vote for 3)

  • John P. Flannery II
  • Marina R. Schumacher
  • L. Ali Shahriari
  • James K. Wylie

There's so much mud in the sheriff's race that I can't even muster up the empathy to care about soil and water, even with their Rain Barrel Workshop about to be held in Purcellville. So off the top of my head, I would recommend voting for Flannery because he looks like a more eccentric version of Robert Redford, Schumacher for her apropos first name, and Wylie because he's the incumbent. As consolation prize, Shahrari can get the Oscar for Sound Mixing.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Loudoun Election Cheat Sheet, Part III of III

Chairman, Board of Supervisors

Phyllis J. Randall (D) Charlie L. King (R) Thomas E. Bellanca (I) Scott K. York (I)
"Radically anti-illegal immigration"
No domestic violence charges
No domestic violence charges
Lost (by a margin of 30%) to York in 2011
No domestic violence charges
Washington post endorsement
Doesn't mind domestic violence charges
Doesn't know what a "one-sentence statement" is.

Sterling Supervisor

Koran T. Saines (D) Eugene A. Delgaudio (R)
Using his first name on campaign signs for the Muslim vote
Drunk driving arrests in 2003 and 2007
Not Eugene Delgaudio
Investigated for fundraising improprieties
Censured by his own Board and removed from all committees in 2013
Founder of "Public Advocate" which has been designated as a hate group for its anti-gay activism.

Really, Democratic party -- this is the best candidate you could come up with?

Member At-Large, School Board

Beth A. Huck Stephan A. Knoblock
2 kids in school
Minimal education-related work experience
2 graduated kids
Experience as teacher, district administrator, and music conductor.
Last name could be used in witty Stay-in-School ads (as Knowledge-Block, the Mortal Enemy of Learning).

Sterling School Board Member

Brenda Sheridan is the only person running.

Projects

$2,940,000 debt for fire and rescue apparatus?

Counter-proposal: How about we take our existing Disneyland-sized stations and sell them off for parts, then use the proceeds to build more numerous yet modest stations?

$150,995,000 debt for Dulles North schools?

Counter-proposal: How about we lease the endless miles of available strip mall storefront throughout the county and convert them into classrooms? The neighbouring Safeway is kind of like a cafeteria. Also, running in a parking lot for P.E. builds character.

tagged as politics | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, October 30, 2015

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2015 album.

  • Events
    • Celebrated our sixth anniversary with dinner at Tuscarora Mill on 10/3.

    • Went down to Blackburg for the Marching Virginians Practice Center opening on 10/8 - 10/9.

    • Met Kathy at Red Robin for drinks and gossip on 10/15.

    • Attended Carolyn's wedding on 10/17.

    • Went to the average Not Your Average Joe's for dinner on 10/23.

    • Rebecca started her new job on 10/26, after a trip to Yogaville (10/19 - 10/21).

    • My sister had son #3 on 10/27.

    • Weekend plans to go to a Halloween potluck at the Lowry household on 10/31.

  • Projects
    • I took over the web hosting duties for the Paravia Wiki, and it's now IN THE CLOUD.

    • Replaced an aging light switch and a dying car battery.

    • Wrapped up work on the Java half of my job, with plans to be a full-time Python developer next week.

  • Consumerism
    • Enjoyed watching seasons of Luther, Fargo, and iZombie.

    • Enjoyed playing Elder Scrolls Online. Hearthstone is still fun, but has become the game I play in the background when browsing the Internet.

    • Enjoyed new music by The Herd.

    • Bought a new lamp for the living room and now there is light.

October's Final Grade: A, lots of free time, no overtime, and it's Fall!

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