This Day In History: 02/10

Sunday, February 10, 2002

And now for something a little bit different...

To break away from the tedium of updates about my real-life escapades, and to reach a balance between my computer-related and music-related news items, I'm devoting this week's News page to the music of video games and computer games. I'll trace the evolution of game music from the Atari to today's common PC games, with more emphasis on highlights from my own gaming past.

A Giant supermarket in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania recently put up an advertisement reading, "In honor of Black History Month, we at Giant are offering a special savings on fried chicken" . There's nothing appropriately relevant in the month of February to game music, but it's a topic that I've been meaning to write about for quite a while.

The original video games of the arcade scene and the first home entertainment consoles didn't place a great deal of emphasis on music in games. In an age where the Atari 2600 had "adult-themed" games with Neo-Cubist pixular phalluses, it was a struggle enough to create recognizable graphics without worrying about music as well. Primitive sound effects were usually generated from simple wave generators, so the shooting gun of one game would be the barking dog in another.

The first gaming system in our household was a later model of the Atari, which had a numeric keypad on its controllers. By this point, games usually featured a catchy tune at its startup screen or when your character died or won. Shigeru Miyamoto, the designer of Donkey Kong, composed the Donkey Kong theme on his own on an electronic keyboard. He would later become famous for the Mario and Zelda franchises which are still popular today.

PCs at this time were still monochromatic wonders in varying shades of ochre, magenta, and green-yellow. The most popular games were those that didn't require flashy media to enjoy, with Infocom's text adventures topping the list. Rather than try to convince players of an experience aurally and visually with such primitive tools, Infocom relied on what computers did easiest - text - and created compelling stories without mediums that would cause more hindrance than help. Those games that did use sound used the internal PC speaker for beeps, and music was still just a pipe dream.

There were musical innovations on minor platforms, like the Apple, Macintosh, and IBM PCjr, but I never had much interaction with those systems, so I can't pretend to know what they were. Know of anything I've missed here, or something you'd like reported on later in the week? Send me an e-mail with the icon on the upper right.

Tomorrow: Nintendo Entertainment System and Early PC Music

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Monday, February 10, 2003

I watched two movies this weekend, Monster's Ball and Bourne Identity. The first didn't do a great job of getting its point across, and was filled with multiple plot-convenient coincidences, although the acting was good. The second had its fun points but was very quiet for an action movie, and occasionally the actors didn't seem quite sure of their motivations.

I had the first two of four meetings about my thesis preliminary draft today. It looks like things should be smooth sailing from here on out, since the only points that were discussed involved formatting and clearing up performance notes.

True Anagrams:

  • The United States Bureau of Fisheries >> I raise the bass to feed us in the future
  • "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil A. Armstrong >> A thin man ran, makes a large stride, left planet, pins flag on moon! On to Mars!
  • The hospital ambulance >> A cab, I hustle to help man
  • A domesticated animal >> Docile, as a man tamed it
  • Why shouldn't America go re-elect President Clinton in Ninety-Six? >> He has a prime or cunning tendency to wildly solicit Internet sex.
  • Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the universe. [Kurt Vonnegut] >> A masquerade can cover a sense of what is real to deceive us; to be unjaded and not lost, we must, then, determine truth.
  • There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about. [Oscar Wilde] >> Wilde died broken, beaten 'n' total nut. Hate being sunk in that rotten gaol. Shh, gay is taboo.
  • To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. >> In one of the Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

  • Tuesday, February 10, 2004

    At work, I'm transitioning over to two projects involving AmberPoint and SalCentral, which I know very little about, beyond their uses for web service management. This means that, at least for the short term, I can stop using the developmental accident that is Weblogic Workshop. The progam is a proprietary rewrite of the Java development wheel for web applications deployed in Weblogic. It boasts such features as an auto-checker that runs so fast that it might crash when you're deleting bad code, a button to click that frees up 80 or 90 megabytes of its 200 megabyte footprint but which crashes the program with an "OutOfMemoryError" if you click it too much, and an app deployer that apparently runs over a 2 baud modem. The project we completed with it, though, was well received, with the ad copy phrase "1000% better than what was there before" pinned on for good measure by the company in charge of integrating.

    No last minute issues have come up with the sellers or the mortgage, so everything is still on track for a closing two days from now. I'm taking Friday off from work to do some cleaning and some scrubbing. If you want to join in on the festivities, let me know.

    Intrepid biker guy was back on the road this morning.

    Yesterday's notable search terms:

      put more blood at cs command, paige poythress, odd llama pictures, using beadgcf, the mightiest tree

    Play a game of Kaba Kick
    A cow walks into a bank.
    Why Eagle Scouts need to be kept busy
    Rock'n rolling aboard Tokyo's infamous orgy bus (text not suitable for children)

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    Thursday, February 10, 2005

    Apparently someone is finally moving on the security clearance I submitted for a year ago -- my Florida friends are getting approached by watchful FBI investigators.

    K (3:52:03): Mike just called me because the guy just called him too (I gave him his number)
    K (3:52:11): So what new job are you trying to get?
    Me (3:54:20): no new job
    Me (3:54:23): just a govt security clearance -- it takes about a year
    K (3:54:33): so you can do cool things in your current job?
    Me (3:54:38): yup
    K (3:54:39): ohhhh, I see
    K (3:54:43): this guy was kind of shady
    K (3:54:59): he wanted to meet in person and was asking if we could meet tomorrow and where
    K (3:55:07): I was like, how do I know you're who you say you are?
    K (3:55:19): so I told him I'd rather do the interview over the phone
    K (3:55:45): hard to explain - just the way he was speaking
    K (3:55:55): but anyway, there literally was nothing bad I could say about you
    Me (3:55:57): they are supposed to be trained to not display emotion in asking questions
    K (3:56:04): YES! he definitely did that
    K (3:56:16): zero emotion, even when I told him funny things
    K (3:56:55): he wanted to know who you worked for here, professor-wise
    K (3:57:34): when he asked me if you'd ever done illegal drugs or sold them, I almost started laughing
    K (3:57:51): he wanted to know if you were friends with any foreign nationals
    Me (3:57:57): Marta
    K (3:58:04): and if you belonged to any anti-american organizations
    Me (3:58:10): SCI at FSU
    K (3:58:14): and what your general patriotic mood was
    K (3:58:18): lol
    K (3:59:31): all kinds of stuff, 12 minutes of stuff
    Me (3:59:38): they should pay you
    K (3:59:56): he told me at the end of the interview that this is public record and that you can see it if you request to
    K (4:00:39): he asked about your financial stability
    Me (4:00:51): yeah, so no foreign govt can entice me to spy for money
    K (4:00:54): I told him you never took out loans because you lived off of your FGM summer fortune
    K (4:01:13): and that you shopped once a week in the early morning at Walmart to avoid the crowds
    K (4:02:25): it's hard to lie about you because there's nothing to lie about
    K (4:02:49): Mike and I were just saying that there's no person we can think of on this earth who we would trust more with govt security clearance than you
    Me (4:03:17): I actually post govt secrets daily, encoded on my website
    K (4:03:28): oooooooooh
    Me (4:03:37): if you enlarge the periods, it's a really tiny font with words in it
    K (4:03:45): Mike's next question was "how are we going to get Brian to tell us all the govt secrets?"
    The gloves come off at American Idol
    Budding Jordan cyber love ends in divorce

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    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Friday Fragments

    I just make the fragments. It's your job to combine them into the Optimus Prime of the English language

  • There was an article in the Washington Post Home section yesterday about couples who live in tiny living areas . One couple lives in a 416 square foot studio, which is roughly the size of the two bedroom apartment I had in Florida. I could very easily live in a tiny area as a single person, since I'm only three feet tall and sleep standing up, but just couldn't fathom sharing that space with another person. Even married, I can imagine there are times when I'd just want to be by myself -- not because I plan on marrying a wretched ho who never stops talking, but because by nature I'm a quiet, solitary person. If my house only had one room that was constantly shared, I would either go insane or take a lot of bathroom field trips.

  • And if the bathroom were also part of the single room, I think the wedding would be off.

  • Wednesday's LOST was excellent. Even though they didn't really advance the island story very much, it was an episode that toyed with your preconceptions, and just when you thought the "big reveal" had occurred, the writers kept tossing more surprises on top, throwing viewers completely out of their equilibrium zones. TV rarely ever geniuinely surprises me, which is why J.J. Abrams needs to fail at feature films so he'll come back to TV and create more cool shows.

  • There was supposed to be a new LOST on February 22, but ABC replaced it with a rerun after seeing that it would be going up against a two-hour American Idol and the Winter Olympics. I would definitely watch LOST over either of the other two. Why do you need two hours of Idol in one night when the combined Idol time in February already exceeds the rise and fall of some smaller Chinese dynasties? And who really watches the Winter Olympics, or any Olympics at all? I have to admit, though, that I would watch a game show where contestants had to sing songs while ice-skating around a rink and if the audience hated them they would throw sharpened skate blades at them. I would call it "Skate Or Die".

  • I used to think that Brian Uri! was a great name to have on the Internet, because my username could be "buri", which is concise and easy to type. Sadly though, half the sites I visit have a minimum length requirement on their usernames, and the other half already have "buri" taken. How can there be other "buri"'s out there? It's not like I'm "djohnson" or anything banal like that.

  • I never give my cats milk, but they can apparently smell it from a million miles away and come running whenever I pour myself a glass. Milk: It Does a Booty Good.

  • I think everyone who does not have a blog should make a blog. And everyone who has a blog should update today so I have something to read. Have you visited Today at Work yet?

  • Yesterday, President Bush issued a statement about all those Muslim "Danish cartoon" protestors that they were overreacting and selfishly milking the incident for their own agendas. This is 100% true. This is also not something you say as the leader of a country to an already offended body of people. This rule of diplomacy seems like it would be common sense to me. I bet all the Childs Left Behind could deduce this without any exam prep time. Oh well, we don't need all our tall buildings anyhow.

  • The funniest sound effect on TV is Ryan Stiles (of Whose Line Is It Anyways?) saying "squeaky squeaky". I don't know why.

  • No poker this week, but maybe I'll spend some time catching up on Oscar-nominated movies. The problem this year is that most of the multiple nominees are still in theatres, and I don't plan on paying ten bucks a pop for a really crappy movie with impeccable Art Direction. Maybe I can submit my site as a legitimate Oscar predictions site and get a pass that will let me see all the movies for free. And while I'm at it, maybe they will send me a mail-order bride that cooks, cleans, and goes to work, so I can spend all day sitting on the couch watching movies.

  • I'm leaving work today around 11:30 and then doing absolutely nothing productive with my Friday afternoon. Give me a call -- maybe we'll do dinner. This weekend, I'm going to start on my Java Certification. I keep saying that like it's going to happen -- this could be the weekend! It's like winning the lottery except you don't get any money and a ticket costs $450.

  • Have a good weekend!

  • Is World of Warcraft the new Golf?
    Whenever you have a story about a spelling bee, you have to S-P-E-L-L something in the headline
    Teen falls out the window while using the bathroom

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 12 comments

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    List Day: Creating an Effective Stimulus Bill

    I was originally going to spend today examining the Senate stimulus compromise and using my common sense superpower to veto the ideas that were obviously a waste of my fifty dollars. However, the bill is several hundred pages long, and I definitely don't have the inclination to waste a portion of my life doing that when I could just as easily be online watching videos of cats riding Roombas.

    Instead, I will completely ignore the existing stimulus compromise and present my own less expensive plan that will more effectively jumpstart our economy.

    Clean, Efficient, American Energy

  • $25 billion to fill the state of Nevada with the nastiest, smoggiest, high-output power plants available, creating an affordable power grid for the rest of the union at the expense of the Nevadan people.
  • $1 million to systematically assassinate people who start lawsuits against wind power.
  • $12 billion to outlaw and respossess SUVs and Hummers, then convert them into an artificial reef.
  • Transforming our Economy with Science and Technology

  • $10 billion to alchemy research on how to convert lead into gold.
  • $100 billion to quantum teleportation research, eliminating the need for roads and cars.
  • Modernizing Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways

  • This section of the stimulus bill will no longer be needed if we throw enough money into inventing person teleportation technology.
  • Education for the 21st Century

  • $1 billion to prevent teen sex through shock-literature depicting diseased penises in textbooks and on television.
  • $1 billion to cap college textbook costs at $5 per book ($6 with a CD of answers).
  • $25 billion to extend mandatory primary education by three more years, reducing the number of immature idiots in the freshman class of college.
  • Tax Cuts to Make Work Pay and Create Jobs

  • $1 billion to eliminate jobs for a day and then reestablish them, so that the same job can be counted twice in the "Jobs Created or Saved" tally.
  • Lowering Healthcare Costs

  • $5 billion to move horse veterinarians into the medical workforce with instructions to shoot anyone who might require more than 3 days of treatment.
  • $1 billion to increase the size of the medical workforce by allowing one to become a surgeon "over the Internet".
  • Helping Workers Hurt by the Economy

  • $1 million for band-aids to anyone that was attacked by the economy in a dark alley.
  • Saving Public Sector Jobs and Protect Vital Services

  • $2 billion to eliminate all traffic-related responsibilities of police officers so they may more effectively focus on important crimes.
  • $1 billion to increase 911 response time by changing the number to "91".
  • $1 billion in grants to hog farmers so the nation's supply of bacon does not suffer interruption.
  • Grand Total: $174 billion

    Beat that, you elected yahoos.

    Deer Crack Dealer
    Composer's Neanderthal recreation
    At Denny's, free food and long lines

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    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    List Day: Top Five Pet Peeves of the Moment

    1. 48 hours earlier...: Ever watched a show whose opening scene featured the hero/heroine on the brink of a deadly situation, only to fade to black with the caption "XX hours ago"? Wasn't this device cute when Alias treated it like the "grains and carbs" piece in the USDA Plot Pyramid? It's now fallen over the line of overuse and should never be used again. When they start to use this on 24, TV will officially be dead.

      As a sub-peeve, if your show DOES use this device, don't make us rewatch all of the original footage when we reach the climax again -- it's a really lame way to save your footage budget (see also, the first three episodes of LOST's second season, which could probably be aired on three adjacent televisions to get a stereoscopic effect).

    2. Blue LEDs: As one of the elite males blessed with red-green colour-blindness, you'd think I would like a colour of LED that I can actually interpret. However, blue LEDs are so needlessly bright that they transform a darkened room into a crude mockup of a screenshot from the game, LOOM. There's a two-inch blue LED panel on our coffeemaker that reflects around the corner and down the hall to the bedroom which I cover up with a Post-It note every night. The knowledge of prepared coffee is a local kind of knowledge -- you probably don't care unless you're in the kitchen, and even then, the smell will give it away. I'm guessing that the olefactory equivalent to blue LEDs is a milk fart.

    3. LOST DVD Menus: It takes nearly ten seconds to transition between screens on any LOST DVD. After the initial two seconds (I presume my remote signal is travelling through some very slow air), the screen fades out accompanied by the violinistic equivalent of urinating hummingbirds, and then reappears with a new layer of selections. DVD Players are slow enough as it is -- don't interfere with your interface by artistically prolonging load times.

    4. Line-of-Sight Blockers: So you drive up to an intersection and edge a little ways out to make a right turn, and you peer to your left to check for oncoming traffic. Then, of course, some impatient clown in an SUV that's taller than most underpasses pulls up next to you for the left turn, completely blocking your view of oncoming traffic. It doesn't matter that the left turn lane has a red light -- they have to be well-positioned in anticipation. When I make a left turn off of main roads, I always cut as closely as possible in front of eager lefters, because passive-aggressive retaliation is fun.

    5. Facebook is not a source: I read the Post from cover to cover every day (except, of course, for the useless sections like Classifieds and Sports), and a distrubing trend I've noticed is an increase in the citing of web sources in articles. Every third article or so will have text similar to "Mr. Jenkinson wasn't available for comment, but his Facebook page says that he is a fan of Farmville, The Peoples' Republic of China, and Likes status updates about pot-smoking". I read the paper to get a real dose of biased reporting to go along with the fly-by-night variety of biased reporting available on the Internet -- and in that context, I don't care that the murdered night watchmen had a Twitter account. How about some verifiable facts?
    Roanoke man beaten for burping
    Dog waste piling up in Wyoming parks
    Sinatra Song Often Strikes Deadly Chord

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    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    The Kids Are All Right (R):
    I like to call this type of movie a "terrarium" movie (and have been doing so for minutes now) -- the plot (a family with two moms is thrown into chaos when their sperm donor reappears) is much less important than the family dynamics and character studies, as if the writer just wanted to mix some interesting ingredients together to watch what happens. The movie's not bad or good, it just IS. It's also better than Gosford Park.

    Final Grade: C+

    The Google Way by Bernard Girard (Kindle Edition):
    This is an easy-to-digest look at how Google was able to become so succesful in the academic and technology climate of its time, and the first sections are pretty interesting. The later sections devolve into a series of "what might make Google fail" topics -- although the author makes it clear that everything is pure conjecture, it felt more like a sequence of unanswered questions without answers, rather than a solid forecast.

    Final Grade: B-

    Crane 2.3 Gallon Cool Mist Humidifier:
    After becoming domesticated a couple years ago, and learning that a house is not supposed to have 20% humidity in the winter, I purchased a giant Honeywell humidifier with HUGE JUGS that only needed refilling weekly, and the bane of all humidifiers: a filter. Although this lasted for quite some time, I eventually abandoned it as hard to clean, hard to find replacement filters, and hard to not have it smell like mildew even when clean. This new humidifier only holds about a gallon of water (the 2.3 is misleading because it's throughput not volume) but is filterless and very easy to transport or clean. The tank fits under a regular sink faucet for refilling, and the humidity comes out in a pleasant visible mist. The only negative to it is the sound of the motor, which is too variable to be white noise -- it took a couple weeks to get acclimated to it. It's not that the motor is particularly loud, it's just that it changes timbre enough while running that it doesn't blend into the ambient environment very well. If you have any trouble sleeping in nonquiet environments, this isn't the humidifier you're looking for, and your parents probably raised you incorrectly.

    Final Grade: B+

    Knife-accessorized cock kills man
    Meat-eating furniture
    Activision cancels Guitar Hero franchise

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    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Work Day

    I'm in a race against time and I'm barefoot.

    Look, an update!

    Why Best Buy is going out of business gradually
    Why being sleepy and drunk are great for creativity

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    Monday, February 10, 2014

    Weekend Wrap-up

    I worked on a proposal this weekend (as I did all of last week), so the weekend wasn't very interesting. However, we did get a lot of conversational snow that temporarily made Sterling just a little bit whiter.

    On Friday afternoon, I picked up Rebecca's parents from the airport, freshly returned from their three weeks in South Africa and its environs. We watched the Olympic opening ceremonies and were mostly underwhelmed. It would seem that Russia cannot out-Cirque Cirque du Soleil, even with their funny little alphabet.

    On Saturday morning, Rebecca set up her new iPhone, which means that her overall technology quotient is probably slightly higher than mine now -- I win the computer department, and she wins the phone, tablet, and music player departments.

    On Saturday night, we met my sister and her husband for dinner at Mokomandy (which we learned means "Modern Korean" plus the name of the owner's mom). The place was Fairfax-levels of crowded and reservations were defintely handy. Dinner had a very high deliciousness factor coupled with a very poor deliciousness-to-cost ratio. Thankfully, we had a gift card to fall back upon.

    Sunday was quiet. I alternated between proposal editing and playing the new Hearthstone beta when waiting for documents to edit. In the evening, we watched more of the Winter Olympics and decided upon a new rule: companies should only be allowed to run the same commercial for two days in a row during future broadcasts, and then they have to show a new one.

    How was your weekend?

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    Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    BUriversity: Lights On 101

    Based on readers' topic suggestions

    Why do many people refuse to drive with their lights on in the rain?

    It's a phenomenon that most drivers have experienced at least once -- driving in moderate to heavy rain and coming up quickly on a driver whose bland-coloured car (often a Toyota) is nearly invisible against the backdrop of muted daylight and scattered raindrops. Since cloaking technology (and the hoverboard) is still at least eight months away from fruition1, there must be a more mundane reason behind these drivers' decision to place you at risk by making their car harder to spot.

    In today's lecture, we will explore the social and physical roots of this behaviour. Why do people do this?

    Is it political? No.

    Turning on your lights and making your car visible to other drivers in the rain is a recognized and useful safety practice, as evinced by the 19 forward-thinking states who have some variant of "wipers on, lights on" in their law books. Our intial hypothesis was that those states with laws might fall along political divisions, but as you can see from the map below, there is a statistically insignificant2 difference between red and blue states with "lights on" laws. (The lawless states are solid colors, while the lawful states look like glass ornaments from a 1980s Make It and Bake It oven).

    In spite of this lack of conclusion, overlaying various data sets onto a map is a critical activity in big data and trend detection, so we also compared the data against maps of average US rainfall, Nielsen ratings for The Bachelor, day length, and headlight pricing data for the past 50 years. No discernable correlations were discovered, although we did determine that this is mostly an Eastern practice3. (The data from California can be discarded because hippies).

    Is it science? Partly.

    As cars evolve over time to be more curvy and less boxy, the geometric slope of the windshield has decreased. This is a shady trick by car companies to simultaneously increase the advertised volume of the cabin (albeit with completely useless space) while also making it a pain in the ass to remove your tax and inspection stickers every year.

    When rain falls against a more modern windshield, it bounces further towards the front of the car. If headlights are on in this situation, the errant raindrops will diffuse, reflect, and / or refract the potentially blinding light back at the driver, putting them in a dangerous situation comparable to driving through the Windows 3.1 Starfield screensaver4. Surely some drivers opt to leave their headlights off to avoid this, at the expense of all other drivers.

    Is it cultural? Yes.

    The cultural reason for why people don't turn on their lights in the rain is actually the same as the dearth of turn signal usage -- it's not that people are assholes (most are), so much as they are just completely oblivious to the impact of their actions on the people around them. Daytime headlights, like gift cards to Applebees, are really intended for other people, not yourself.

    The good news is that car makers have been phasing in daytime-running lights for many years now. Ten years from now, everyone's lights will be on all of the time (with the exception of that Ford Escort your redneck friend has been replacing the engine in since 1981).

    1 Source: Back to the Future II.
    2 Source: Did some math on Windows Calculator in Scientific mode.
    3 Work not shown. You only show work when you are not confident in your final answer.
    4 Source: That guy in your dorm that often took interstate road trips while on acid.

    tagged as buriversity | permalink | 2 comments

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

    Time-lapsed Blogography Day: 20 Years Ago

    Twenty years ago today, on February 10, 1996, it was a low-profile Saturday between major bouts of snow. In the morning, my dad upgraded the family computer with a brand new Pentium Pro P6 60MHz chip and I immediately put that raw processing power to work playing Warcraft II over the modem with Jack for most of the morning.

    When he finally got kicked off of the landline (sisters, am I right?), I switched gears to composing using Finale 3.2 (long before they started bleeding their customers for money through yearly releases). I was working on Bubba's Fried Chicken Stand, a song that would go on to be the most-performed song in my portfolio despite its absence of any serious musical thought.

    In the evening, I drove out to the Masonic Temple in Alexandria for my sporadic side-job: stage foreman for the Alexandria Symphony. Concerts at the Temple were really easy to manage, as we didn't have to tear the chairs and stands down each night like we would at a school. We also got to poke around the creepy halls in search of kidnapped transients and human sacrifices (none were ever found though).

    On this particular night, my job was even easier, albeit a bit dull. I was in charge of instrument room security, which meant that I stood in front of a room with a single door in and out to ensure that no one stole any musicians' empty case during the concert. Time passed very slowly, although I was greeted by former Mayor Kerry Donley during intermission, wondering why I was standing alone so far from the main event.

    For the next day's matinee concert, I was "cue person", which meant that I had to give the Maestro 15, 10, and 5 minute warnings before the concert, while making sure not to open the door after knocking because his wife was also in the dressing room "helping him prepare".

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    Friday, February 10, 2017

    Stuff in My Drawers Day

    This letter was written over twenty one years, in September 1995, by my former band director and sometime-trumpet teacher, George Randall.

    I had just returned from Governor's School interested in music composition and had two whole songs to my name, Scintillation and Glossalalia March. His thoughtful comments kept me enthused about writing more music and, unlike my undergraduate professor, he never asked me to "add some wrong notes to the score so it's more exciting".

    We also used tape recorders back then, as those high-quality copper-based cassette tapes were the Minidisc of their era.

    tagged as memories | permalink | 3 comments

    Monday, February 10, 2020

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday afternoon, I replaced our 9-year-old ice maker water line that was making Rebecca's iced drinks taste skunky. It took 2.5 hours and several newly bored holes behind the kitchen cabinets to remove the old line and just a half hour to install the new line. The operation was a success and our new ice since then is completely tasteless.

    Maia had her first stomach bug on Friday, honking twice -- once at the end of naptime and once in the middle of the night. It was the first, but probably not the last, 3 AM laundry done in our house.

    On Saturday, I cleaned out the basement crawlspace to get ready for finishing. I plan to seal up the holes the mice are using to get in a poop on our Christmas decorations and make the space slightly friendlier for future use as a Maia fort. In the afternoon, the family went to Inner Power Yoga for Rebecca's 3rd Lil Yogis class. Attendance was high and popularity soaring. We finished the evening with dinner at Red Robin to use up a coupon.

    We did our normal Sunday morning routine of yoga followed by McDonald's hash browns. In the afternoon, we went across the street for Jax's 3rd Birthday Party (dinosaur-themed). Maia did unexpectedly well at Pin the Tail, so there may have been peeking involved.

    We might have considered watching the Oscars in the evening had ABC not become completely unfriendly to cable-cutters in its streaming options.

    How was your weekend?

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    Wednesday, February 10, 2021

    Memory Day: Snapshots

    These pictures were taken thirty years ago, in January 1991.

    To fulfill the requirements of the Photography merit badge (which I was working on in parallel with the Safety merit badge and the Coin Collecting merit badge), I had to take a variety of black and white pictures demonstrating different photographic techniques. These two, featuring my 9th grade sister who obviously did not want to be sitting here, demonstrated that it's better to have a light in front of your subject than behind them (this is hard-hitting stuff).

    In the background, you can see our original Nintendo as well as the brown accordion folder containing all of the instruction manuals and Nintendo Power strategy guides. In the adjoining room, you can see the exercise bike which I don't think anyone ever actually used.

    tagged as memories | permalink | 1 comment

     

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