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- Wednesday, November 28, 2018:
Stuff in My Drawers Day: Christmas List
This is my joint birthday/Christmas wish list from 1990. Because of my September birthday and horribly delayed video game development cycles, half of the things I'd ask for for my birthday wouldn't actually come out in time. I hedged my bets by making my list a living document and adding/removing on the fly.
I didn't like Castlevania 3 much once I had it -- it was too hard to jump and I always fell down to the bottom of vertical game levels.
Hero's Quest 2 (later Quest for Glory to avoid trademark issues with the classic board game) was a great game featuring an impenetrable maze in the first town as a form of copy protection. (I did not win the contest to get a free copy...
- Wednesday, November 14, 2018:
Memory Day: Snapshots
This picture was taken almost ten years ago today, on November 15, 2008 .
This was the first of 3 hosted Thanksgiving Dinners (two for friends and one for family), back in the days when I was still expending way too much effort making fresh cheese soup, eating Totino's pizzas for dinner, and playing Mario Kart with FSU people on a weekly-ish basis.
In order of when I last saw these people, from most recent to least: BU, Rebecca, Michael, Jessika, Marc, Sam, Annie, Mike. Surprisingly though, I have seen them all in 2018.
- Wednesday, October 24, 2018:
Memory Day: 10 Years Ago Today
On Friday, October 24, 2008 , we had the biggest of our memorable Halloween parties, featuring two Sarah Palins, three pirates, and Vu, in town briefly from San Francisco. 39 people showed up, a mix of all of Anna's friends that just had kids and Rebecca's friends that were still kids.
At the time of this party, Rebecca was working at Customink, so of course we gave out Hanes Beefy T-Shirts with the party logo as costume contest prizes. This was also the first year we experimented with putting cheap tablecloths down all over the basement which made cleaning up after Beer Pong a smashing success. Less of a smashing success was the majority remains of the 64 pack of cheap Miller Lite that always seeme...
- Monday, October 22, 2018:
Stuff in My Drawers Day: Trophies
The next casualty in my war on clutter is my cabinet full of high school and college era trophies. For posterity, they will be preserved in the digital ether for many years to come.
Here are my 9th, 10th, and 11th grade music trophies, including the Director's Award for Band, Outstanding Sophomore at Band Camp, Outstanding Musicianship, Section Leader, and Outstanding Contribution as a Junior.
Next up are my senior year band trophies from my time as the drum major. I actually got two Drum Major trophies, because the band director forgot that he already gave me one after Band Camp. In the middle is the John Philip Sousa Award.
I got the Most Valuable Athlete Award in my...
- Wednesday, September 26, 2018:
Memory Day: 1991 - 1992
In the 1991 - 1992 school year, I was a 12-year-old 8th grader. Still establishing my persona in the middle year of junior high, I was much quieter this year and often signed my name as "Brian the Bestest".
To fit a whopping 3 electives into my scheduled, I started the day with an early bird session of gym with Mr. Korns. No one ever used the aged gym showers (a holdover from when Hammond was a high school), so I'm sure we smelled nice for the rest of the day. I remember standing up to an angry classmate while waiting for the bell to ring. He told me, "get out of my face before I steal you", and I refused. The teacher broke it up before he actually punched, but we were cool after that.
- Wednesday, September 19, 2018:
Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Ten Years Ago Today
Ten years ago today was Friday, September 19, 2008 .
Following an 8-hour day at work on the Metadata Registry v7.1 (6 AM - 2 PM), I drove out to Jack and Kristy's old house in south Arlington for game 11 of the 2008 poker championships. They had recently remodeled their kitchen, and Jack and received a weird (for the time) homebrewer's kit and was eager to give people samples. (It was just okay).
Rebecca (of Falls Church), Kathy & Chris (of Centreville), Recurring Mike (of Glover Park), and Yet Another Chris (of Arlington) also attended. Yet Another Chris was the first out, probably stemming from the bottle of Scotch accompanying him. Kathy ended up winning, a surprising result since she usuall...
- Wednesday, September 05, 2018:
Memory Day: Snapshots
This picture was taken about 4 years ago, on September 7, 2014 .
This was the second day of our final trip to the Outer Banks (although we did not realize it at the time: 2015 was Europe, 2016 was Colorado, and 2017 was picturesque Sterling, VA, so we have yet to return).
This house had a pool, an elevator, and a quick walk across the road in Nags Head to the real beach. Among the common themes of the trip, I recall:
Both a horse's head mask and a unicorn's head mask showed up on this trip, giving most evening dinners an equine theme.
Recurring Mike (of Mike and Chompy) did not come, because he was hiking up (and then falling back down) Kilimanj...
- Wednesday, August 22, 2018:
Memory Day: 1990 - 1991
It's been over a year since this BU origin story series atrophied into nonexistence, so I thought I'd try to revive it. I'm switching to school years instead of real years, since that's how my memories are chunked together until I left grad school.
In the 1990 - 1991 school year, I was an 11-year-old 7th grader. Francis C. Hammond was a Junior High School with grades from 7 to 9 (so I was there at the same time as my 9th grade sister) and while everyone else in the 7th grade was a hormonal mess, I was much younger and just wanted to play games all the time. I didn't understand or subscribe to being cool (as evinced by the fact that I was that kid who ran through the halls between classe...
- Wednesday, August 15, 2018:
Memory Day: Snapshots
This picture was taken two years ago today, on August 15, 2016 . Maia did not yet exist.
On our way out of Boulder, Colorado towards Estes Park, we stopped for lunch at the original Oskar Blues for beer flights. These massively American-looking meals were our lunch for the day. Clearly we were bulking up for our attempt at hiking a 14er in the coming weeks. I was also on a mac and cheese kick, ordering mac and cheese at every restaurant that had it in Colorado, in hopes of finding the best one. Although no restuarant's serving was the winner, I won by getting to eat a lot of mac and cheese.
In the evening on this same day, we went hiking at Rocky Mountain National Park and...
- Wednesday, July 25, 2018:
Memory Day: Snapshots
This picture was taken 3 years ago today, on July 25, 2015 .
On our last day in Munich, we rented bikes for a free range exploration of the northeastern part of the city. We chose this area because it was covered by an expansive park (the ironically named Englischer Garten, or "English Garden") and reduced the chance of being run over by a car in the tight windy streets.
In the middle of the park, equidistant from two Biergartens, we stumbled upon this flock of sheep, and naturally, we had to communicate with them.
- Wednesday, June 06, 2018:
Memory Day: Snapshots
This picture was taken ten years ago today, on Friday, June 6, 2008 .
Following a rousing night of Jazz in the Garden at the Sculpture Garden in DC, a portion of the group (myself, Rebecca, Jessika, Baylis, Mike, and Shakir) split off for drinks at a bar near the Verizon Center. Mike is clearly impressed by Jessika's story. One of these people had too much to drink and became obsessed with playing catch with Mike someday, and then threw up at the Blue Line transfer point in the Rosslyn metro, forcing us to wait another 20 minutes for the next train.
- Wednesday, May 23, 2018:
Stuff In My Drawers Day: PEPCO
It's intern season at my current company, and it's pretty impressive how much effort has gone into giving them something interesting and useful to do. For example, one intern is doing data mining of publicly available open-source data to extract intelligence that our company can use. I'm reminded of my first internship at PEPCO which I previously wrote about . While other computer science majors were writing Makefiles or learning UNIX Scripting, I was retyping handwritten invoices and delivering mail.
Here is an article from the PEPCO newsletter about my internship, where I was clearly more politically lenient on the position than it warranted.
"Program a database and create interfa...
- Wednesday, May 09, 2018:
Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Eighteen Years Ago Today
Eighteen years ago today was May 9, 2000 , one of the final days in my fourth year at Virginia Tech. I was living with Kelley in East AJ, had already finished exams, and was just waiting to head back home for the summer (for my first internship at FGM).
On this day, Paige and I went hiking at Mountain Lake, whose only claim to fame was the fact that Dirty Dancing was filmed there. I'm not sure if this particular lake even exists anymore as most reports suggest that all the water drained out through a crack in the lake bed and down into China.
We hiked 3 of the trails over a course of about 5 hours, although much of that was spent sitting on giant rocks and admiring the view of the w...
- Wednesday, May 02, 2018:
Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Twenty-Two Years Ago Today
22 years ago today was Thursday, May 2, 1996 . It was an incredibly long day, starting at 4:30 AM when I woke up to drive to morning crew practice -- as the important races got closer, our super-competitive coaches would practice both before and after school to maximize the time spent on the water. In this case, morning practice was a bust because a rower named Ernesto decided he was sick and didn't show up. When situations like this occurred, all of the other rowers had to use the indoor rowing machines while I sat in the window of the boathouse watching the tide come in.
The school day was pretty lackadaisical, at the tail end where AP tests are coming up but all of the seniors have already gotten into coll...
- Wednesday, April 25, 2018:
Stuff In My Drawers Day: Mail Edition
thrilling emails received on this day in history
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 07:44:27 +0100
From: David McKee
Subject: The URI! Recital
The URI! Recital
Sunday, April 29, 2001 3:00 PM
Squires Recital Salon
Following five years of work and fifteen months of hype, the URI! Recital is the most anticipated event in the history of mankind. With ten original compositions performed by twenty-three musicians in a room that holds two-hundred and fifty-two people, the URI! Recital will be the biggest ninety minutes of your lifetime.
Featuring past and present MVs doing all sorts of wild and crazy things:
- Monday, April 23, 2018:
Stuff in My Drawers Day: Scouting in Alexandria
Back in 1993 when local cable access channels were still a thing and Jones Intercable had not yet been bought out by Comcast, the show, Scouting in Alexandria was featured in an article in the Alexandria Gazette Packet.
I did very little with this show other than to get interviewed once about my Eagle Scout badge although I did attend a few editing sessions when it was an "Explorer Post", turning knobs and splicing VHS tapes like a pro. This participation gradually petered out after I couldn't find anyone willing to give me a ride to the studio on a regular basis.
- Wednesday, April 18, 2018:
Memory Day: Snapshots
This picture was taken 36 years ago in June of 1982 .
I am 2 years old and sitting on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, according to my Dad, the historian. I don't remember being in Ocean City at all as a kid, and spent a good portion of my 20s and 30s dismissing it as a poor man's Outer Banks. Based on my 2017 visit for our Babymoon , it kind of is, but there's nothing wrong with that if that's what you need for a long weekend!
- Wednesday, April 11, 2018:
Memory Day: Snapshots
This picture was taken ten years ago today, on April 11, 2008 .
Rebecca and I were on our first trip to Europe and April 11 was a cold and rainy travel day. After leftover quiches in our room in Collioure while watching Melrose Place, we got on the train to Barcelona. Accompanying us was Pierre the French Dog, who we purchased for Anna's 1-year-old, Ella, and who we took pictures of all over Europe to make a little story book.
Pierre got really bored on this train because it turned out to be a regional train that stopped in every tiny border town south of France. When we finally arrived at the Sants train station in Barcelona, no one knew where our hotel was. It turned out to be another...
- Wednesday, February 21, 2018:
Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Sixteen Years Ago Today
Sixteen years ago today was Thursday, February 21, 2002 .
As a music grad student in Tallahassee, the day opened with Fugue class where we steadily worked through the fugues in the Well-Tempered Clavier (which still sits on my bookshelf today). Afterwards, Kathy, Mark, and I went to Mike's to play Scrabble and pool on his recently-delivered pool table that took up his entire apartment living room. In the evening, Jim Barry joined the 4 of us at Momo's for pizza and the group broke up for the night around 9.
Mark, who also lived in the cinderblock bunker known as Parkwood with me, came back to my apartment to play Conker's Bad Fur Day on the N64. This day was Day One of Mark quitting smoking and...
- Wednesday, January 17, 2018:
Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Twenty Years Ago Today
Twenty years ago today was January 17, 1998 . It was a Saturday in Blacksburg and I lived with Dan Shiplett in 3119 East Ambler-Johnston. This was also the day of the "Bandquet" for the Fall '97 season of the Marching Virginians during which I got an "Outstanding Rank Member" award for having memorized all three trumpet parts of every song and never needing to march with a drill chart after the first two days of learning a new drill. I didn't actually hear about this award until after the Bandquet because Bandquets are social events and why would anyone go to a social event when they have a T1 Ethernet line in their dorm room?
The evening of the 17th started with a trumpet practice session in Squires. As the ...