The Fallenposters Blog

Because the posters fell down, duh.

Archive for the ‘grab bag’ Category

New Home

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Cheri and I managed to move this weekend without killing ourselves (or each other).  We moved from our 780 square foot apartment to a 2200 square foot townhouse.  Our friends from church helped us pack up the moving truck and moved us in this weekend.  We were able to lure them to lift furniture with bagels and pizza.  The only problem with the place is that we have very poor cell phone coverage here for some strange reason.  This might be a good time to switch to Verizon (since we’re with T-Mobile).  Pictures are up on my flickr, but here’s a few pics of the new place.

Finished Basement with Fireplace

Finished Basement with Fireplace

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Living Room

Living Room

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Written by Eric Spiegel

October 19, 2008 at 8:35 pm

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Apartment Flooding — Ark Not Required

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Sunday night (read, 2 AM), our apartment flooded.  Cheri woke up to a noise in the kitchen and yelled to me that the apartment was flooding.  After a frantic search for my glasses I took a look under the sink to find the hose that connects the sink to the dishwasher had busted and water was flowing.  The entire kitchen, bathroom, and half the living room were soaked.

Needless to say, we shut off the water and called the emergency maintenance line.  In about 30 minutes the maintenance guy showed up with a wet-vac and soaked up the water, ripped up the carpet, removed (most of) the soaked carpet padding, and placed two carpet dryers on the floor.

Its been a few days now and the carpets are almost dry.  Hopefully things will work out so we don’t have to move or anything.  We’re just glad that we were home when it happened.

Written by Eric Spiegel

June 13, 2008 at 9:06 pm

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Some Updates

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Here are some updates since I haven’t been posting much lately:

I’m now on Twitter.  You can follow me, join me, or ignore me.

Cheri and I went to C-Peake on Saturday for a quick trip to celebrate her brother’s birthday.  The fun thing was that it was a surprise and had no idea we were coming to see him.  We had a surprise dinner at P.F. Chang’s with him, his parents and his friends.  I got the Double Pan Fried Noodles and didn’t really like it.  I’ll stick to the Kung Pao next time.

I’m almost halfway through my Fall classes.  I’m currently taking Crime Scene Investigation II, Biological Aspects of Forensic Science, and Examination of Questioned Documents.  I’m enjoying them all, but my bio class is a little boring, but at least the teacher is good.  Questioned Documents is my favorite class this semester.

I’m into too many TV shows — (no) thanks to TiVo.  I’m watching Heroes, Chuck, Aliens in America, Reaper, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, The Office, 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers and Sisters.  Thankfully, because of of TiVo, I can just record all of them during the week and have TV marathons on the weekends.  I cannot wait until Lost returns!!!

Cheri and I went camping a few weeks ago at the Big Meadows campground in the Shenandoah National Park.  It was really fun and it was the first time that I’ve been camping without parents.  It was super relaxing.  Plus we hiked some of the Appalachian Trail — which was really cool (and challenging to boot).  Here are some pictures from the trip.

Written by Eric Spiegel

October 15, 2007 at 2:33 pm

One Hit Wonders of the 1990’s

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Everyone knows that 80’s music is great. Everyone loves 80’s music — from Madonna to Duran Duran, from Flock of Seagulls to Devo. No one doubts how great 80’s music is. But what about 90’s music?

Even though I was born in 1982, I really didn’t grow up in the 80’s. Yeah, I physically did, but most of my memories regarding pop culture formed in the 90’s. From watching Batman the Animated Series after school, to staying up late Sunday nights to watch Matt Pinfield hosting 120 Minutes on MTV.

Music in the 90’s was very strange to me. I never really followed music much until I got into middle school (1994). From my perception, early 90’s music tended to sound just like 80’s music to me. It wasn’t really until (and I hate to admit this) Nirvana came on the scene that it seemed that 90’s music really began to separate itself from 80’s music.

So until I started to immerse myself in the world of Green Day in middle school, I tended to pretend that I like bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and the Smashing Pumpkins. Once I got to high school, I pretty much set myself to liking rap-rock (311, Phunk Junkeez, Shootyz Groove, 2 Skinnee J’s), punk rock (ALL, Descendents, Bad Religion, Strung Out, etc.), ska (The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, The Slackers, Voodoo Glow Skulls, etc.), and some electronica (Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim). I never would have admitted to liking anything that was popular or on the radio.

But that’s a lie. Even though I was a snob when I was younger, there were a lot of cheap pop songs that I enjoyed in the 90’s. Looking back on things, I especially enjoyed a lot of the 90’s one hit wonders. Here’s a list of some of my favorites from the 90’s:

The Freshmen — The Verve Pipe

This song came out when I was in high school. For some reason the somber tone of the song really spoke to me — despite the fact that the song is about getting an abortion. But I loved this song then and I still rock out to it when I hear it played on the radio.

Three Little Pigs — Green Jelly (formerly Green Jello)

I was still in my “metal stage” when this song came out, so of course I loved it. I particularly loved the video. And I loved the fact that they were called Green Jello (way to stick it to the man!). Looking back on it, its a very strange song.

Life is a Highway — Tom Cochrane

I never really liked this song very much. I still don’t really care for it, but it is catchy as hell. And I somehow know the lyrics to it as well. He kind of reminds me of Bob Seger — but he’s not as good.

Bittersweet Symphony — The Verve

Hey I’ve got an idea! Let’s make a song that takes a sample from a Rolling Stones song, and not get their permission! They won’t mind right? Unfortunately, they did. Too bad this turned out to be the Verve’s only hit in the US — making them forgo most (if not all, I think) of the royalties from this song to the Stones. Its a great song though — my Dad loves this band for some weird reason.

Cotton Eye Joe — Rednex

What the fuck went on here? A strange manufactured Swedish band playing country-techno. Despite how weird and disturbing the video is, the song is strangely catchy and makes me want to attend a hoe-down and eat some Swedish meatballs.

Slam — Onyx

A great hardcore rap song from gangsta-rap’s peak. The one cool thing that I liked about this song, and this band, was that they recorded an alternate version of this song with the metal band Biohazard. I was, as you can tell, in my metal stage again with this one.

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm — Crash Test Dummies

Once again, what the fuck? Another weird, weird song. But yet again, strangely catchy. I guess that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Lump – The Presidents of the United States of America

Holy freakin’ crap. Whoever doesn’t love this song hates America! This band was so weird, I have no idea how they got so popular. I guess it was the catchy hook. But this song brings back memories of me dancing around in my room singing this song with the video. And now, I’m sure this song will be in my head for days to come.

You Get What You Give — The New Radicals

The main thing that I remember about this song was the fuss that it brought because of a line stating that they will kick Marylin Manson’s ass. And I remember him getting on MTV and stating that he hopes that he doesn’t run into the lead singer of the New Radicals, otherwise he might sodomize him. But I also remember thinking — who gives a crap!? Its just a stupid pop song by a stupid band that wasn’t going anywhere. Let it go. Who knew that Manson was so sensitive.

Tubthumping — Chumbawamba

Holy mother of God. What strange concoction did Europe spit out this time? A group of anarchists that decided to write a song about drinking. Despite the large number of members in this band (what like 30?), it seems only a few actually play any instruments. Weird, yet fun to sing along to! I’m sure its even better if you’re trashed.

Flagpole Sitta – Harvey Danger

Cheri says she had this album as a teenager. I think that is hilarious. Anyway, this is a fun little pop rock song that still gets played on DC101 all the time. I think that is hilarious as well. Paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s coming to get me!

Here Comes the Hotstepper — Ini Kamoze

This was a funky little reggae song that was on the soundtrack to some movie about fashion. I think this song was more popular than that movie. But I definitely would sing along to this song when no one was looking.

That’s it for now. What are your favorite 90’s one hit wonders?

Written by Eric Spiegel

July 4, 2007 at 8:02 pm

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Where did I go???

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Man it has been a long time since I’ve written anything here. I guess I’ve just been busy the last month. There must be some kind of correlation between the amount of blogging I do and having a full time job.

The semester is beginning to wind down. I’ve only got a few exercises left in Photography and just a bunch of readings to do for Criminal Law–and then finals. I’ve signed up for my courses for next semester. I’m taking Forensic Pathology, Firearms and Toolmark Identification, and Homicide Investigation. Since the classes haven’t been too demaning in this program, I’ve decided to bump up my course load to three per semester. I’m really excited about my classes next semester, especially Firearms and Toolmark Identification. This is one of the two fields I think that I might want to go into after I graduate. I’ve been considering going into Questioned Document Examination as well.

This week Cheri and I will be travelling down to C-peake for Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to the visit, especially since we haven’t been home since June. The only thing I’m not looking forward is the drive home. Since I have to work a whole day on Wednesday, I won’t get home until 4:30, so we probably won’t be able to leave here until 5ish. And this being NOVA, traffic in every direction sucks. So we’re going to try to experiment with some alternate routes to try to find a way home while avoiding the heaviest traffic.

Hopefully I’ll get back into blogging here a little more frequently. Its definitely something I’ve been missing.

Written by Eric Spiegel

November 19, 2006 at 8:09 pm

Goodbye Liboff!

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Today I listed a number of my physics textbooks for sale on Half.com. I guess I just realized today that I’ll probably never need textbooks about quantum mechanics, mathematical methods, analytical mechanics, or linear algebra ever again. Its kind of depressing to a certain extent. I mean I spent five years of my life devoted to physics, and now I’m more or less leaving it behind. And I know that five years is only a small fraction of the rest of the life I will live, but I just feel a certain connection to the subject. I prided myself with the fact that I majored in physics. I loved the reactions I would get. The pleas from people to help them with their introductory physics courses or math classes. The inherent geekiness that went along with being a physics major. I just tended to identify a large part of myself with being a physics geek. And not one of those geeks that follow physics superficially by reading books by Stephen Hawking or Brian Greene but actually being a physicist-in-training. Not only did I know about the subjects studied in physics, but I knew how it all worked mathematically as well.

It makes me look to the future as my graduate school adventure in Forensic Science is about to begin. Will I become a Forensic Science geek as well? Will I learn jokes that only forensic scientists will get? Will I buy forensic science t-shirts to display proudly my degree program as I trot around campus? Will I make friends with fellow geeks who are proud of what they study?

I sure hope so. Otherwise it will be a slow two years.


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Written by Eric Spiegel

August 27, 2006 at 6:27 pm

Amazon.com Recommendations

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Recently I’ve gotten addicted to rating items on Amazon.com. This is a part of my goal to “improve” my recommendations. But I have been having some issues with this system.

Singer, Kelly ClarksonIf I give a book, DVD, or CD a high rating, then it’ll spit out recommendations for books by the same author, movies by the same director, or CDs by the same artist. Now I understand that their logic for this is that, “Hey, if he loved that one Kelly Clarkson album, then surely he’ll love every other album made by an American Idol contestant plus any other pop music!” This, thankfully, is not the case.

Surprisingly, I like “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson. But that doesn’t mean that I necessarily want to go out and buy Carrie Underwood’s, Bo Bice’s and Clay Aiken’s albums.

Author, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. On the same course, I’ve read and enjoyed a number of Kurt Vonnegut’s books . And now because of that, Amazon feels that I need to have every book written by him. Now I’m sure some may argue that Amazon got this one right, but I don’t really feel that way.

The main thing that irks me about it is that I know that I like Kurt Vonnegut, and I’m sure that I would love every one of his books. But why can’t it take that logical step and recommend something else? Who knows, I guess it has to do with the algorithm it uses. Until they fix that, I’ll continue telling it that I’m not interested in Britney Spears’ oeuvre.


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Written by Eric Spiegel

August 23, 2006 at 2:08 pm

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