This Day In History: 01/18

Friday, January 18, 2002

It's Rush Week here on the campus of Florida State, so you see khaki clones with visors and ties everywhere you go. I've never understood the urgent need to belong to a fraternity -- paying annual fees to associate with a group of people and add a line to a resumé. When I was an undergrad, I never even bothered joining the various Honour Societies, and the only one I've even been associated with is Delta Mu, the non-service music fraternity coined on a whim by three anti-establishment performance majors to mock Delta Omnicron.

Speaking of Delta Mu, one of the three original members (the "Triumvirate") has an MP3 site containing several of his original guitar & vocal songs. They're all good stuff, and I've even burned a CD for the road myself. Others who've heard me play the CD have said that he sounds like a "laidback Dave Matthews". Give a listen at www.davidmcgarry.com .

I finally heard back from FGM where I work in northern Virginia, and it looks like I'll be heading back for another summer of high pay and tricky top-secret coding. It's interesting being something of a full-time employee that only works four months out of the year. Rumour has it that the company has gotten too big for its offices in Dulles and may be moving to some new location in July or August. Hopefully that will do something to reduce my sixty mile round-trip daily commute.

"After I die, I shall return to Earth as the doorkeeper of a bordello, and I won't let a single one of you in." - Arturo Toscanini, to his orchestra during a difficult rehearsal

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Saturday, January 18, 2003

My membership to the National Eagle Scout Association expires today, which means it's been exactly ten years since I was sitting in the basement of the First Baptist church for my Board of Review. Looking back and looking ahead, I will probably never become actively involved in Scouting again. While the whole process of camping and earning merit badges has a lot to offer to kids, it's counterbalanced by the extreme closemindedness of the organization when it comes to issues like religion and sexual orientation. All of the benefits of Scouting can also be acheived outside of its umbrella with a little extra work.

NESA revokes membership of openly gay man
Get money from class action suit if you bought CDs in the past
Be proud to have Allstate insurance

"However, a caution is appropriate: the nonprofessional trumpet player will have great difficulty controlling the soft dynamics almost anywhere in the entire range." - Samuel Adler, The Study of Orchestration

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Sunday, January 18, 2004

Trapped inside by the freezing rain, I have valiantly added new pictures to the URI! Pictures and Cat Pictures pages in the Photos section.

Here's a video of Kitty high on catnip:

High Cat (1.7MB WMV)

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    kent holliday, which is better spruce or poplar, pedro's mouth, christy kull, wacky wall walker, barney doom mod, mark wingate music, anna strunsky

China finds out 'Friends' talks about sex
Man says 'Sike' and uses toddler as taser shield
Tokyo calls for ban on sale of used underwear

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

It's time for a round of Name That Tune! Be the first visitor to identify all of the following (reasonably obscure) tunes based on a five second clip. The winner will get his or her picture posted in a news post with a suitable obituary-style aggrandizement (must provide photo if I don't already have it). Group entries are welcome. Honorable mentions will go to anyone who can guess at least one of the clips. Deadline: Friday at midnight. In the case of a tie, winners must duke it out in a Roman arena of their choice. You can email me using the link at the very bottom of the page.

Name That Symphonic Work (Composer / Title, Movement not required)
Name That Rock Song (Title / Group)
Name That Jazz Chart (Title / Group)
Name that Theme Song (Show or Movie Name)

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

When I was a little tyke in elementary school, my sister and I spent a couple summers at Summer Day Camp since both of my parents worked and we were untrustworthy prepubescents who would probably burn the house down unattended. One time, in an ever-so-eighties kind of way, they ran out of things for us to do, so we all went on a field trip to the roller rink. I had never roller-skated before and lacked the innate sense of rolling balance that everyone else seemed to have (no doubt because in my homeland, the streets are made of sun-baked cow dung and the wheels on roller skates are oblong). However, I amused myself by standing upright and pulling myself along the wall around the outside of the rink. In roller rinks, you see, you have to roll counter clockwise around the rink, like you're a track star on wheels. On a tangent, why do we run counter-clockwise on a track?

So there I was breaking the sound barrier at six inches per second when the hip 80s DJ put on some notably denim bubble gum band and said, "All you guys off the floor, it's time for the ladies to roll!". This segregation by gender occurred just when I was at the halfway point on the opposite wall, equidistant from the two offramps at the ends of the rink. I spent the next five minutes laboriously tugging myself towards the exit, as gaggles of girls swooped past me in the left lane, giggling and goggling at my ineptitude. Perhaps this traumatic experience is why I never really got into any activities requiring a lot of balance and forward movement, like skiing and skateboarding (I used to sit on the skateboard and roll down the hill -- that was more fun).

There's a better reason for my lack of skiing enthusiasm though. I simply hate being cold, and feel like the effort you make to buy all the sharp, pointy gear, bundle up, trudge out to a hill, and stand around like an Eskimo is not worth the five seconds you're going down a hill. Cold apathy first grew on me as a kid, when the nearest sleddable hill was at Polk School, half a mile away (Heaven forbid they ever block off our street and let kids sled down that hill). Sure sledding was tons o' fun, especially when there was enough snow to build ramps that induced panic in all the mothers at the top, but what happens after your five sceonds of fun? You get off and walk back up a hill. Then when you can't feel your feet and you want to go home, you still have to walk the half mile back. I think yesterday's post on dooce.com sums up my own feelings nicely:

    And this is one of my biggest hang-ups with winter sports, that it requires so much work to even get out the door. I can't get over how much easier it would be to just sit inside where it's warm and fondle the inside of my nose with my finger.

So should my friends ever drag me out to a ski resort, I will probably be the wise, bearded, professor-looking guy camped in front of the fireplace with books and hot chocolate with snow bunnies on each arm, watching cold people fall on their asses through the thick double-paned windows. Bearded might be a stretch, since I'm Asian, but I'll work on it.

Buy one for your friends!
Mr. T says, "Treat your mother right"
Don't trust a parrot with infidelity

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Time-Lapsed Blogography Day

BU at 15 data points

January 18, 1992: I spent the day, and the rest of the weekend at Camp Big Mac in Markham, Virginia with the Boy Scout Troop. Camp Big Mac was a step down from our usual camping spot because it was a desolate snowy mountain in the frigid wastes of Shenandoah Valley, but it was also a step up because it had a dining cabin with a wood stove.

January 18, 1993: Today was the final Board of Review for my Eagle Scout reward. "Why are you only 13?" was the most asked question, edging out "Why are you so Asian?" and "Why are you so short?"

January 18, 1994: I stayed home from school today, and the entire week as well, for what passes as a snowstorm in northern Virginia.

January 18, 1995: Today was a pretty good day. My calves were sore from the lightweight workout yesterday. In civ, I went to the library to work on a seminar which I didn't do very much on. We watched a dull movie during third period. At stage band, I did another good solo. ___ wasn't at school because of she got rear-ended by a school bus yesterday. There was a track meeting at 3 and then a short workout of 3 200's. ____ said that ____ had worn a "booby-hugging" shirt today but I didn't see her.

January 18, 1996: It was quite foggy this morning. In music theory, we had a simple assignment and a free period. In english, we finished the Macbeth recitations. ____'s grandmother died yesterday and she started crying during her recitation. After that we started reading Othello and I got to play all the spare miscellaneous parts. In band, Mr. Dill made the new girl 3rd chair flute and all the other flutes looked pissed. After school there was a lightweight meeting with Mr. Cannon that I went to and then I arranged the National Anthem for pep band. We got 8 more MB of memory in the mail. It'll speed up my games and music stuff alot.

January 18, 1997: Today was the Bandquet, a not-so-clever play on the words Band and Banquet, where the ugly marching band frat boys make fun of the ugly marching band sorority girls then try to go home with them afterwards.

January 18, 1998: This weekend was spent doing mostly homepage stuff. Last night was the Band Banquet but I didn't go. I did get Outstanding Rank Member again though. This morning, I was up early to do my mandatory two hours over at the "Math Emporium", the big computer lab out at the mall. Just a few minutes ago, some guy called, apparently from a radio station on campus and I won $25 for answering a trivia question about VA Tech. I probably cheated because I was looking at the Tech homepage at the time. Oh well; it's free money.

January 18, 1999: The first day of classes went pretty well. The first two are pretty dull but the music course has some interesting people in it. I did go to all of them and practice though; I'm off to a good start! I had my symphony band audition this afternoon which went fairly well.

January 18, 2000: The year is going pretty normally. I've gone to all my classes and been generally productive, although there really isn't much reason to be yet. I sat with Liz in boring MIDI class and later we talked for a while online while searching for poetry for some songs I'm writing for her.

January 18, 2001: I made it into Brass Ensemble, 5th chair but I only play on one song at the moment. Anna and I went over to Kelley and Pip's apartment with Shac where we hung out and played some Blitz. They were all drinking because Kelley had just passed his recital hearing.

January 18, 2002: Another slow day in which I didn't feel like doing much productive work. Pedagogy was a waste of time and I spent the rest of the day in. I also got an offer from FGM to come work for them again this summer. I guess it's a good sign when they call you up five months early.

January 18, 2003: Looking back and looking ahead, I will probably never become actively involved in Scouting again. While the whole process of camping and earning merit badges has a lot to offer to kids, it's counterbalanced by the extreme closemindedness of the organization when it comes to issues like religion and sexual orientation. All of the benefits of Scouting can also be acheived outside of its umbrella with a little extra work.

January 18, 2004: Trapped inside by the freezing rain, I have valiantly added new pictures to the URI! Pictures and Cat Pictures pages in the Photos section. Here's a video of Kitty high on catnip.

January 18, 2005: Today was the birth of the URI! Zone Name That Tune contest! I'll have to do that again sometime, if I can think of more accessible genres of music to exploit. Maybe "Grade IV Songs of the District Festivals"?

January 18, 2006: So should my friends ever drag me out to a ski resort, I will probably be the wise, bearded, professor-looking guy camped in front of the fireplace with books and hot chocolate with snow bunnies on each arm, watching cold people fall on their asses through the thick double-paned windows.

Hi-tech poker cheats jailed
Nintendo Superfan
Michael Vick keeps his pot in a secret compartment

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Fragments

contains 100% of your recommended daily allowance for saturated fat

♠ I hit level 61 in World of Warcraft last night and made my first trip into the Outlands, the expansion pack world that I'd never been in before. Graphically, the new world is as impressive as anything Blizzard has done in the past. I'd like to see a full-length feature film by the Blizzard team -- they could probably give the Pixar guys a run for their money. I'm glad that I got a faster graphics card when I bought this new computer though, otherwise I'd be stuttering through the world like an Arban double-tonguing etude played by a twelve-year-old. With the Geforce 8600 GTS, everything is smooth and speedy.

♠ FIOS is finally bringing smooth and speedy Internet to Sterling. After an attack of paper door-hangers advertising the service ($100 a month for phone/cable/internet), my backyard was spray painted with bright pastel lines. Since it's probably not a runway for Mayan aliens, my guess is that the Verizon workers will start laying fiber optic cable very soon.

♠ Of course, yesterday's snow storm obliterated the lines, but I saw crews out working in other parts of the neighbourhood anyhow. I wonder if cable diggers get extra pay for the five inches of snow -- it means they had to dig five inches deeper than expected!

♠ I came home around lunchtime yesterday to beat the snow, and even then it took thirty minutes to get back. Northern Virginians have a very low tolerance for snow -- every office building in Reston was emptying out as parents rushed off to get their kids from school and people without kids pretended to have kids requiring a pick up.

♠ I don't have a kid, but I did give Ella a hat to protect her from the snow. It barely stayed on for long enough to take a picture, but had the side effect of teaching me how to use the "Continuous Shutter" feature of my camera. Up until then, a continuous shutter to me was just a doorman with OCD.

♠ I've never understood the point of a doorman, especially at hotels with revolving doors. It seems like a position they made up just so you would have one more person to tip, like that annoying guy in the bathrooms of wannabe-upscale restaurants and clubs who tries to give you a towel.

♠ When you have the bladder of a four-month-old puppy, you tend to get lots of face time with the towel guy. He always seems incapable of NOT handing you a towel, even after the politely preemptive "Sorry, I don't have any change". After his third attempt, it should be socially acceptable to pee on his towel.

♠ According to last week's poll, two people pee in the shower, three people don't, and four more are too shy to say that they pee in the shower.

♠ This weekend I'm going to Costco to stock up on my greatly depleted stock of rations, since I haven't gone since the New Year. I'm also going to a housewarming party on Saturday night and working some more on Europe planning. On Monday, I'm going to Martin Luther King Jr's birthday party (at Parkwood Apartments on MLK Boulevard in Tallahassee) and then going to work like any other day. The only thing on my calendar for Tuesday is a Full Moon, so I guess I have to learn how to turn into a werewolf.

♠ Have a great weekend!

Patriots fan gets helmet tattooed on head
Forced rectal exams stirs ethics debate
The woman had agreed to the man using a video camera to project live images of them having sex on to the bedroom wall

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Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Day

The URI! Zone takes its federal holidays seriously.

Floor caves under Weight Watchers weigh-in
Clever stingray is a problem solver
Woman found guilty of stalking herself

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

List Day: Fake New Computer Liveblog

  • It takes FedEx 8 hours to get from Alexandria to Sterling.

  • HP may not moneygrub for $15 Recovery CDs like Dell, but that's just because they don't bundle ANY CDs.

  • The wiring job in HP cases is very neat. Too bad I'm going to rip them all out to install a new power supply, a second hard drive, and a graphics card.

  • If the power supply company would just put the power cord in the standard location, I wouldn't have to bend part of the computer frame to install it.

  • I ordered a graphics card and ended up with some sort of Harley-Davidson hydrocraft.

  • The clicking sound in the graphics card fan came from a bundle of wires placed right next to the fan blade. That wouldn't make anything bad happen in a month's time. Poking it with a screwdriver fixes it.

  • Starts up perfectly on the first try!

  • Turning off User Account Control notifications, NOW.

  • On the plus side, you can now repartition a hard drive without reinstalling Windows. On the minus side, it takes three hours to uninstall the bundled crap that HP throws in. Who needs four separate e-reader trial applications?

  • Windows 7 seems to have removed the ability to change MIDI providers. I had to download a third-party app to use my Roland Sound Canvas.

  • It took twelve hours to restore all of my programs and set up the second internal hard drive, formerly known as an external drive, to periodically create mirror images of all the computers in the house.

  • Finale 2006 doesn't work in Windows 7. Time to waste $170 on an upgrade with no new features that I actually use.

  • My 1998 Altec Lansing speakers are finally crapping out. Time to blow another $100 on Logitech replacements.

  • 64-bit versus 32-bit program differences are annoying to troubleshoot.

  • This flat profile HP keyboard makes it impossible to play Warsong Gulch and know which keys your fingers are on. Back to the Dell.

  • I can now play games with nearly max graphics settings. The Warcraft water ripples and reflections are really well done.

Masked vigilante suffers broken nose
Governor cites Jamaican son as reason for skipping MLK festivities
Dog headbutt sends Martha Stewart to the hospital

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

List Day: Pros and Cons of the New Office

Pros

  • The window view has swapped from "a dumpster and a parking garage" to "the Reston Town Center and the secret building with armed guards".

  • They forgot to install a hall intercom, so my day is no longer interrupted by pages.

  • The north-facing window means I no longer have to creatively close parts of the blinds to account for rising and setting suns glaring off the monitor.

  • I currently share the office with an employee who permanently works onsite.

Cons

  • I'm now a floor away from the smorgasbord of food left out in the lunchroom on Monday mornings (from Friday partying).

  • It's now twice the distance to the restroom.

  • It's now five times the distance to the nearest printer.

  • The restroom stalls have automatic flush sensors, which means you'd better not lean too far forward while doing your business, unless you wanted bidet services.

  • Based on how cold and drafty it is, the windows on this floor must have been insulated with nothing but hugs and kisses.

Composer Seeks to Turn His Hallucinations Into Music
Canadian shop sold clay tablet iPads

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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Problem With Amazon's Movie Player

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up

There were no alpine hikes or red carpet parties this weekend, but we still managed to get away. On Saturday, we headed down to Fredericksburg to have lunch with the two Catherine Hickses (elder and junior). We ate at Capital Ale House, a Virginia-only chain that extended for an entire city block with a very narrow storefront, ensuring that their waiters would beat Mike Catania in any Fitbit challenge while walking from the kitchen in the back.

In the evening, we drove on to Colonial Beach. We arrived at the dregs end of a 1-year-old's birthday party and spent the evening with the Ahlbins and Spellerbergs. They had just received a new party game from Vu, Game for Fame, which was pretty fun and required Rebecca to gargle Christmas tunes like a drunk dove.

On Sunday morning, we had breakfast while enjoying the snow falling on the Potomac and then headed out. We stopped in Port Royal to catch a sermon by Catherine Hicks at a little Episcopal church barely large enough for one of my Halloween parties, and then had a surprisingly traffic-light trip back up I-95. Lunch consisted of hot Wawa sandwiches and a pint of pesto spilled down the front of Rebecca's jacket while she tried to drive one-handed.

We made grilled glazed salmon for dinner and watched about a half hour of the Democratic debate, during which it seemed that O'Malley had gotten more polite, Clinton had gotten more overconfident, and Sanders had gotten less angry since their previous outing.

Today is Martin Luther King Day, so I'll be in the office a bit in the morning catching up on work without distractions and then working from home for the rest of the day.

How was your weekend?

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Memory Day: 1989

In 1989, I was 9 going on 10 and comfortable in my role as "the smart kid" younger than everyone else in the fifth grade. This was the year that the show, Doogie Howser, M.D., came out, so "Doogie" became one of the nicknames I got stuck with. Still, I had my close circle of friends including Aaron, Mike, Sharif, and Daniel.

I enjoyed playing the cornet, although there were no band concerts in this first year. Instead I spent most afternoons ignoring the Ed Sueta Book I practice book in favour of solo versions of the theme songs to various TV shows. I could dazzle with the theme song from the Garry Shandling show, but I hated to practice boring things.

After school, I was enrolled in a gymnastics class where I excelled at splits:

Meanwhile, my sister was turning into an edgy 7th grader with clothes from the GAP (and it was more important to carry the GAP bag around school than it was to actually have the clothing). We got along reasonably well, although she always bossed me around on Tuesday nights when my parents went out to choir practice and she was in charge.

We had two guinea pigs at home, Speedy and Pokey, which were cute for about a day and then really annoying from then on. They followed the normal progression of pet ownership -- we kept them until my dad got tired of taking care of them himself and got rid of them.

This was also the year we finally got a Nintendo Entertainment System (as well as two Game Boys), months after all of the other kids in the neighborhood. More enthralling than Nintendo, though, was the AdLib sound card we installed in our computer to add sound to all our ____ Quest games. This was the first step in my progression towards writing my own music with a computer. I also bonded with a six-grade girl in our shared multi-grade TAG language arts class because she played Infocom text adventure games, and we would make copies of our latest games and trade them in spite of those crazy write-protected 5 1/4" floppy disks.

In the fall, I started 6th grade (still at James K. Polk Elementary) in Mrs. Turner's class. Around the same time, I graduated out of the Cub Scouts and into Boy Scout Troop 131, where I rapidly became a Tenderfoot rank within the first six months (as part of my dad's drive to get me to Eagle Scout before I lost interest in the whole affair).

Other posts in this series: 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1990 - 1991 | 1991 - 1992 | 1992 - 1993

tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, January 18, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

We All Got Lost by Spose:
If you liked Spose before, this is more of the same -- heavy on witty similes but light on songs you want to listen to more than once. It's also not quite as fun as previous albums.

Final Grade: C+

Homecoming, S1:
This moody, sci-fi show starring Julia Roberts as a counselor in a peculiar military rehabilitation clinic left me bored after two glacially-paced episodes full of cliches. I gave up. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: Not Rated

Crazy Rich Asians:
This is a light, by-the-numbers romantic comedy that's fun while it lasts but will leave no lasting impressions. Awkwafina's character, while very funny, is essentially a female Ken Jeong, which is strange since Ken Jeong is actually in the movie as her dad.

Final Grade: B-

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch:
The latest (standalone) episode of Black Mirror is a self-referential "Choose Your Own Adventure" story about a programmer in the 80s creating a Choose Your Own Adventure video game and questioning his own free will. The ability to decide how the show progresses is fun for awhile, and the "final" ending can be reached before you get bored with the concept (about 80 minutes or so). However, it's not compelling enough to watch again for one of the five different endings. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Paint Day

The reason I relocated my office to the basement last September was to make room for another Uri. This weekend, we finally got around to repainting the shade of "eggshell blue" that first went on 15 years ago, on October 22, 2005.

After painting Interim Bunny, I painted some binoculars over its eyes and then gently concealed it behind a bush using the final paint color. Now Maia thinks it will be hiding in the wall forever, guarding over the room.

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

 

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