This Day In History: 01/24

Thursday, January 24, 2002

My copy of Finale finally arrived yesterday, and it even came with a free designer-blue glass. I presume that if I drink out of it while composing, my work will be of a higher caliber. I spent yesterday afternoon printing out the user manual in its entirety. It will take about nine hundred pages (front and back) and a good deal of toner, but should be a great reference source for the future (as well as a much easier read for me). If anyone ever wants to borrow the hard-copy, just let me know.

Peril's Gate and the calendar arrived on schedule as well. I bought a cat-themed calendar because there was nothing else sufficiently manly or artsy enough to order.

There's something intoxicating about getting a brand new hardbound book of several pounds and seven hundred odd pages, especially when you know it's going to be good. This will sidetrack my other current reading assignment, The Muse That Sings, which I'll talk about on a later date.

Another pedagogy class yesterday. I think the main reason that it's ineffective as a class is that we're wading through tons of minutia and examples of the materials to be taught, but we don't discuss it from the pedagogic standpoint, or study the overarching premises behind the examples. It presents a splintered view of the subject from the outside, when we should be studying from the inside-out. The situation reminds me of the old S. Gross cartoon where several blind men are in an elephant pen trying to figure out what an elephant is through touch alone. They each give their conclusion ("An elephant is like a tree trunk." or "An elephant is like a long wiggly vine"), and then the final guy (who is kneeling in spoor) concludes, "An elephant is soft and mushy".

"If I had the power, I would insist on all oratorios being sung in the costume of the period -- with a possible exception in the case of The Creation." - Ernest Newman

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Friday, January 24, 2003

I ended up buying a Nintendo GameCube and a few games this week. It's played pretty well so far, but I'll post a more in-depth review once I've wasted more time with it. I waited for so long to let the console market even out and to have more games to choose from. Computer gaming is in a slump this year and I've got to have something to waste time with.

The basketball team lost to Lucy Ho's Chinese restaurant last night, 21-51, but it was easily one of the best games we've played. Though we only had six players, I think we worked together pretty well. I got to put 2 points up on the board as well. My leg is a little sore where I took a knee to the shin but it should go away in a few days.

This transcript is almost seven years old, but I rediscovered it yesterday.

What not to do in cybersex

What do you think of the new look?

tagged as games | permalink | 0 comments

Saturday, January 24, 2004

After spending all of yesterday afternoon on the phone, I am steadily moving towards a conclusion to the housal soap opera. After a successful closing, I probably won't move right away -- the remaining time on my apartment lease gives me good incentive to fix up and whatnot without hurry.

Looks like snow tomorrow. Better this weekend than next weekend.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    reganess, pedro's mouth, worm guts, americans fill in 54 acres of this everyday, carl schacter

Eminem's mom carjacked
Jordan boobs may explode

permalink | 1 comment

Monday, January 24, 2005

We ended up with 5 inches of snow over the weekend. Since my street is several streets away from a main road we didn't really get any plowing, so I spent the weekend in doors doing minor house repairs, shoveling, and game playing. Today I worked from six to four and then came home for a little bit of housework.

Prodigy, 12, Compared To Mozart

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

List Day: Five Random Stories from College

1) In my freshman year, I spent 100% of my time in class or in my room. I was one of those guys that always had the door shut. I roomed with a sax player named Andy who had dreams of being in Chip McNeill's jazz band and would spend hours practicing to Kenny G CDs on his soprano saxophone. Despite this, he was much cooler and more outgoing than I, and made it his life's purpose to turn me into a social animal. This mostly failed, but we were good friends. I lived in 5050 West AJ, and to this day, I use a variant of 5050 for passwords on unimportant things like work voice mail. No one except Anna leaves messages for me at work, so you should leave an after-hours message for me today: 703-885-1375.

2) In my sophomore year, I roomed with Beavis (the same famous Beavis who visits this site) in 3119 East AJ. This was the second year that AJ had a serial arsonist, resulting in nightly fire drills. I actually went outside for 100% of them. Beavis was cool because he lived in Maryland and often went home, meaning that carless BU could hitch frequent rides home to lust after his resident high school crush (who was but a junior -- how's THAT for being an old lecherous man?). Beavis also had to endure the three weeks where I bought a boxed set of Henry Mancini's complete works, and played dreary, depressing (but skillfully orchestrated) 70s music nonstop in the dorm room.

3) I only ever went to one college party that was actually broken up by the police. It was a trumpet "Pre-Social Social" in 1998 at the Foxridge apartment of one of our section leaders. Jason lived in one of those weird 4-person apartments that was actually two 2-person apartments with the wall torn out of the living rooms, so it had two kitchens. When the cops knocked on the door and asked, "Do you realize how much noise you guys are making?", drunk Jason replied, "Yes." The cop then proceeded to send everybody home, but didn't notice the entire contingent of freshman trumpet players hiding in the back bedroom. This was back in the day when older band members actually took care of their young'ns, making sure they didn't engage in a total alcohol transfusion or pass out on a highway. Technically, I didn't count as an older band member even though I was a junior, because I was still 18. Since I never drank and finally had a car, I often wound up playing chauffeur. This year, I inherited Beavis' old room, but got a new roommate,Nathan, a guy who I went to high school with.

4) In my fourth year, I lived with Kelley "When I was a freshman I drank a bottle of Everclear and showed up the next day at a football game still drunk with vomit on my Marching Virginians pants" Corbett in 3112 East AJ. I went outside for roughly 35% of our continuous fire drills, which was only slightly worse than my class attendance record for that year (and BETTER than my attendance record for the following year). This was the year that Delta Mu, the non-service music fraternity was in its prime (until they took it wayyy too far and had Greek T-shirts made for it, thus turning themselves into the very tools they were mocking), and we spent many nights at Jason "Best Meat" Chrisley's palatial lakeside home in Pulaski (his parents were butcher millionaires who owned gas stations or something) jumping on trampolines and paddling around the lake (I also remember making out with a girl on the shore of this lake in the dead of winter in two feet of snow -- good times). Jason "Best Meat" Chrisley was called "Best Meat" because his parents were butcher millionaires (see above) and he could supposedly make the greatest steaks in the world. We often challenged him to this task because he got the steaks for free, and who wouldn't do something shallow like that to get free steak? By the way, Dave McGarry, the guy who donated his initials to Delta Mu is still making music with his band, Preston Grey. Check them out sometime.

5) In my last year at Tech, 2000-2001, the fire drills of Ambler Johnston finally defeated me and I moved off campus with two hot chicks, Rosie and Anna. Actually, it was originally supposed to be Rosie and Jen, but women always have some sort of drama going on. They were already roommates beforehand and got in a big spat about nothing so Jen got voted off the apartment (and eventually moved into Foxridge in the building next door to us). Since it would have been weird with just Rosie and me in an apartment, we preyed upon the naive and innocent freshman, Anna, to round out our triumvirate of doom. Anna was floored that upperclassmen would want anything to do with her newbie ass, so she agreed immediately, though I'm sure her mother had something to say about moving in with a seedy, disrespectable fellow such as myself. I remember that Shac would constantly ask me what living with two girls was like and whether "they walked around in towels after they took showers". This is also when we got Kitty, who converted Rosie "I'm a total dog person" Pereira into a cat-lover after falling asleep on her back while she did homework.

It's fun to put quoted phrases in the middle of peoples' names.

B- if you don't show up for class
Study: Boys r dum
When your love just burns a little too strongly

tagged as lists, memories | permalink | 10 comments

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Filterless Kills Faster

Our office has had a Web Filter installed for a few months now, ostensibly to protect the network from an influx of spyware and adware. I would argue that opening an attachment from Big Jim Gilgamesh labeled RESPECT_MY_PENAL_CODE.scr raises questions about your credentials for working at a tech company, but I guess they've taken the $10,000 strategy of "better safe than sorry".

Part of the Web Filter's spyware protection comes from its content filter, which blocks sites that are known to be launchpads for viruses, scams, and miniature spy cameras in BLINK tags. This works well in theory, but doesn't quite pan out in practice. As I reported before, I can no longer read Dooce at work because the filter has flagged it as Porn. I'm presuming this comes from the front page banner she had a few months back that said "This Website Sux Sweaty Goat Balls", but then that makes me curious as to what kind of porn the guy in charge of the content filter tends to watch. Sure, sweaty goat balls are tantilizing, but that doesn't mean they're pornographic.

Another casualty of the filter is The Superficial which is flagged as Adult. I tried to reverse engineer the rules for distinguishing between Adult content and Porn content, and could only come up with "Porn involves children under the age of 5, while Adult involves one to many from the set of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Tara Reid". At the same time, the blog in my sidebar that has daily discussions of bizarre Japanese porn and getting Kanchoed breezes through the filter without complaint.

Just yesterday I followed a link from a forum post and was greeted with a brand new exciting category:

This could quite possibly be the best category ever, and is definitely one I will aspire to. I believe I'm off to a great start because of my recent posts with the keywords, porn, children, "booby-hugging", and doobie (the last two might even be a compound phrase). Hopefully my site will be needlessly censored for the good of mankind before I know it.

DeNiro voted most shameless
Fake CIA Agent scams $22M
Same Old Song, but With a Different Meaning

tagged as random | permalink | 1 comment

Thursday, January 24, 2008

List Day: Works in Progress

  • I just finished Chapter Twenty-Three of Harry Potter Book 6, after Harry has procured a memory. Following Book 5, which is the literary equivalent of driving your forehead against a very obvious totem pole repeatedly for nine million minutes, book six really moves!

  • I've compiled the first 566 pages of Curse of the Mistwraith on the Paravia Wiki and have another 24 pages until one whole book is completely wikified!

  • Plinkette the Druid is now level 63 and in the Zangramarsh region of the Outlands.

  • I've dusted off my old Warsong Gulch strategy web site and rewritten multiple sections of it based on the past year's worth of game changes. I also played in six games on Tuesday night and won all six (seven on Wednesday).

  • I've gotten approval from my Homonerds Association to install a slab of concrete underneath my heat pump. Currently it's up on cinderblocks like a West Virginian Chevrolet or a very small bank teller.

  • We've planned our way through nine days of our Europe trip, and are mentally situated in the coastal town of Collioure, France at the moment. Next up is to plan out Barcelona. (Europe Day is next week though so stay tuned for details of London and Paris).

  • I've started looking at certifications to get this year. I'm leaning towards the Java Web Development certification because I know much of it already and it seems like a logical step in the Sun series of certifications. This will be a summertime project though.

  • I'm eleven episodes through the third season of LOST, which I want to finish before the new season starts next Thursday. I'm in the boring middle part where every episode is about how Jack's tattoos were inked by leprechauns, so it's hard to stay motivated, even though I know the last third of the season was excellent.

  • I'm also watching Undeclared, billed as the Freaks and Geeks of the college years. I'd seen much of it on TV but didn't remember many of the episodes until I started watching the DVDs. Some of them are tame while others are hilarious!

  • I've created a wishlist of features I'd like to add to the URI! Zone, including the ability to tag posts, a way to easily update from Europe, and a permanent page for all the Musedays. I also want to update the Comments avatars sometime, so if you're sick of yours, feel free to send me a new recommendation!
  • What have you been doing to carpe the diem?

    I am a pet, I generally act animal like and I lead a really easy life.
    Crossing Guiliani often had a price
    They died doing what they loved

    tagged as lists | permalink | 1 comment

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Following the red attack from last Wednesday and Thursday, I stayed home on Friday and tried to cut back on my hours a bit, which was only partly successful. In between left jabs of work, I tried to install Finale 2011, and watched it freeze up the entire computer, only half surprised. On Friday evening, Emily and Other Brian, who are now engaged, came over for a dinner of aromatic stuffed peppers.

    Saturday was a deservedly lazy day -- I watched the third season of The Guild, and looked at a smorgasbord of new kitchen cabinet styles, in preparation for an upcoming overhaul of this room to get rid of the apple-themed tiles. Kelley and Kathy, and Jason and Rosie came over in the evening (followed by the later arrival of Annie), and we discussed how much taxpayer money is wasted on Kelley's new job with the Army band. Rosie's son only fell down the stair once.

    We had homemade blueberry pancakes for breakfast on Sunday, and I did very little for the remainder of the day, other than play some Warcraft and try (unsuccessfully) to get my microphone working under Windows 7, which I mostly hate right now. If a Windows XP 64-bit edition ever comes out, I'll be first in line.

    This week looks like a pretty busy one, but I'm hoping that by frontloading the week and getting a lot done today, I'll have more time later in the week to keep my website commitments, including how to play Uno with Garbage Pail Kids, and why Black and Decker toaster ovens are awful.

    Memorial for Paul the Octopus unveiled
    USDA acknowledges part in mass bird death
    In Twist, Jeff Koons Claims Rights to 'Balloon Dogs'

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 3 comments

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Paint Day

    To go along with HUNGOVER PEE in the kitchen, the living room has been designated as a CREAMY BEIGE zone, which is slightly warmer than the NOUGAT that used to be there (but which can no longer be obtained since the Sears Paint Department no longer exists). This also means that my ridiculous overstock of WINDJAMMER BLUE will see a second life on the railings and bannisters, replacing the existing PUFFIN BAY GREY.

    The problem with the railings is that it takes about two and a half coats of WINDJAMMER BLUE to cover up the PUFFIN BAY GREY completely. On the other hand, it also takes about two and a half coats to completely cover up a layer of primer. Life lesson: doing things the right way does not create any sort of useful efficiencies.

    I also intend to paint my face on the bars, so that I am staring at you when you're at a 40 or 140 degree angle.

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

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Rango (PG):
    This is a non-Pixar animated movie about a lizard in the desert. It's a bleeding heart homage to Westerns, but isn't quite as good when evaluated as its own movie. The animation is top-notch, but unfortunately that is a given for any good animated movie these days. If I were a younger kid, I'd be bored almost immediately. As a kid in a man's body, I was nearly bored on a few occasions.

    Final Grade: C

    Limitless (PG-13):
    Limitless is a quick thriller about a man who discovers a drug that maximizes the potential of his brain. It holds together nicely and is forgettably entertaining, with a satisfying ending. There are probably a few plot holes if you think too hard, but this is a movie that doesn't require much thinking to enjoy. I'm glad that Bradley Cooper made it big after Alias -- he holds his own nicely against DeNiro here.

    Final Grade: B

    House of Lies, Season One:
    House of Lies is the new Showtime show starring Don Cheadle as a management consultant, lying and conniving his way to millions of dollars. It's highly entertaining, if you don't mind lots of nudity and swearing, and is a little less shallow than the pilot might make you expect. It's obvious that Don Cheadle is having a great time, and his supporting cast is decent as well. I was torn on Post-Veronica-Mars Kristen Bell -- I thought she was a little distracting but Rebecca thought she sold the part.

    This DVD set has twelve 28 minute episodes, so it's over quickly. Worth waiting for the price to drop just a bit.

    Final Grade: B

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 3 comments

    Friday, January 24, 2014

    Questions Day

    It's time for another interview with the author. What would you like to know? Leave me some questions in the Comments section, serious or fantastical, and I'll reply to them next week.

    If you can't think of any questions, then give me a recommendation for a show, movie, restaurant, or album!

    tagged as you speak | permalink | 4 comments

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    List Day: Currently...

    • Currently listening to... The Anthology by Return to Forever.

    • Currently reading... Stormed Fortress by Janny Wurts.

    • Currently playing... Overwatch with a little Super Mario Odyssey on the side.

    • Currently composing... nothing in almost 6 years aside from baby jingles.

    • Currently considering buying... nothing.

    • Currently coding... nothing in 4 months.

    • Currently planning... a trip to LA in March and a trip to Rhode Island in April.

    • Currently learning... how salt affects taste and how to play the recorder.

    • Currently watching... Lovesick, Season Three, Westworld, Season One, and Vexed, Season One.

    • Currently anticipating... weather that's consistently warm enough to go back to the park daily.

    • Currently exercising... about two and a half hours per week.

    • Currently weighing... 130 pounds.

    This update was sponsored in part by LiveJournal.

    tagged as lists | permalink | 4 comments

    Friday, January 24, 2020

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch:
    This comedy special functions simultaneously as a parody of, and heartwarming homage to childrens' shows from the 1980s, like Electric Company, Today's Special, Pinwheel, and Sesame Street. It accurately captures the inherent weirdness of the format while being so earnest in its execution that you can't help but to enjoy the ride. The guest stars and musical numbers are equally effective, with the final surprise guest star (as "Mr. Music") clearly giving 110% and having the time of his life. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: A

    Late Night Feelings by Mark Ronson:
    I was hugely disappointed when Mark Ronson finally reached mainstream audiences with Uptown Funk, only to put it on an album full of aural boredom (Uptown Special). This new album is even worse -- a dozen identical low-energy songs with depressing lyrics that flow from one to the next with no sharp edges. We listened to it several times in the car and in the kitchen and our most common recurring thought was, "Oh, this CD's still playing?".

    Final Grade: F

    Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America!:
    Ronny Chieng's newest comedy special feels like it covers a lot of familar ground but it's funny enough to have on in the background while working on a puzzle. I'll admit that I have minimal recollection of any particular joke two weeks after watching it. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B-

    This movie by the director of Okja, Bong Joon-Ho, features a sly family in poverty that cons its way into jobs working for an upper-class family. The first half is a pleasant, meandering thread that gradually builds up the tension and leads into an unpredictable denouement. The movie didn't quite stick the landing with its extended epilogue, but I still enjoyed it from start to finish.

    Final Grade: B+

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, January 24, 2022

    Maia's Art Day

    I still draw bunnies for Maia on request, but very rarely -- she is more likely to want to draw her own.

    This next picture is Mallory Bunny, named after her older friend that shares the same birthday. Mallory Bunny lives in a castle with turrets.

    We used to have a Janny Wurts print of unicorns on the beach hanging here, but Maia moved it to her nightstand so she could "see the unicorn faces" before she goes to bed. She hung this original bunny art here instead.

    Maia was on a room subdivision kick for a week or so after reading The Berenstain Bears and No Girls Allowed for the millionth time. She diligently copied these letters out of the book. Who's allowed to be in a zone where both boys and girls aren't allowed? Bunnies.

    Maia created a checklist for steps she takes before going to school: Wake, Dress, Breakfast, Potty, take Bunny to school, Shoes, Coat, Gooooooo! Rebecca used checklists like these to get Maia off to camp during the summertime.

    When not making bunny towns, Maia is building things from Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This is the Zora Domain, which is essentially a building shaped like a fish surrounded by bridges.

    Here is the actual Zora Domain for reference.

    tagged as media | permalink | 4 comments

    Wednesday, January 24, 2024

    Maia Year 6 Month 6 Battle Report

    Maia is now 6 and a half, halfway to the teen years! She's an absolutely awesome little person. Here are some factual fragments that stand out to me:

    ♣ Bunnies are out and cats are in. Maia will sometimes speak more in cat language than English (2 meows is YES and 1 meow is NO).

    ♣ She takes good care of Ian and is surprisingly patient with his tantrums. They sometimes play together without adult interaction and I can hear them talking in the other room.

    ♣ She has her own style that involves 1 - 2 headbands (usually cat ears), multiple bracelets and her favorite cat-face boots.

    ♣ She took a weekly ballet class last year and is now enrolled in a weekly gymnastics class that she loves even more.

    ♣ Her areas are pretty cluttered but she does a great job of cleaning up when reminded. Her spaces in the house are a warren of unfinished crafts -- construction paper detritus, pipe cleaners wrapped around everything and stray shoelaces used to tie things together with ad hoc knots. She has a few half-written storybooks scattered around as well.

    ♣ She is incapable of sitting at the dinner table for very long. Most dinners involve her taking a bite then getting up and standing somewhere else in the room.

    ♣ She likes board games from the new generation (both she and Ian help Rebecca take her turns on Board Game Arena) and will play both sides of a game against a stuffed animal when no one is around. Once a game is done, she'll invent her own rules for the game using all of the pieces.

    ♣ She got interested in DuoLingo when I was studying Spanish and Korean last year so I let her play on her own a few times per week. She's done a whole unit of Russian/Cyrillic and occasionally falls back on Korean/Hangeul or Spanish when the Russian gets too hard.

    ♣ She is getting better at playing video games on her own but we still only let her play a few hours per week. Favourites include the educational games on her school laptop (Starfall and Prodigy), Contraption Maker (PC), Minecraft (Switch), and Mario Kart with auto-steering on (Switch). She is starting to watch me play Hearthstone and has recently started making her own cards.

    ♣ We put a climbing rope around a massive tree in the woods and (before the weather got cold) she would always stop there on the way home from the bus to practice climbing. Since then, she and Rebecca have cleared out a sizeable clearing in the woods that has become "Cattown".

    ♣ She loves reading and will consume books fast enough that the library makes much more financial sense right now than the book store. During Christmas, each time she unwrapped a book, it derailed the unwrapping process while she started the book. She will sometimes read multiple books in parallel, or pick a chapter at random to start from.

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


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