This Day In History: 02/22

Friday, February 22, 2002

The first two Indiana Jones movies were on TV the other night, although I only caught the end of the first. I still think the third was the best of the trilogy, but that may just be because my personality likes puzzly plots with sequential steps that fall into place. I hear they're making a fourth movie now, with Harrison Ford reprising his role, and making tired jokes about being old. By the way, for those who were interested, the kid that played Short Round in Temple of Doom was Ke Huy Quan, and the only other movie he starred in was Goonies.

I've been listening some to the Debussy and Ravel string quartets recently (they tend to appear together on CDs), and I'm really struck by the similarities between the two works, especially gestures in the first two movements. An uneducated listener might easily conclude that they were written by the same composer.

I know that game music week is over, but yesterday I stumbled across another article on game music, tracing much the same path that I did, but with less verbosity . It's on GameSpot and was written last September.

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Saturday, February 22, 2003

I never post anything particularly thought-provoking on weekends, so I thought I'd continue the trend and throw up some more reviews. I read The Summons by John Grisham over Christmas break. John Grisham only writes potboilers these days, but he's like the McDonald's of the literary world: a good choice when you know exactly what you want and how it should taste, even if it's not the best food ever. The Summons is a good page-turner that actually strays a bit from his usual "shoot-and/or-chase-the-lawyer" plots. It keeps you involved although it won't take more than one day tops to get to the end. Unlike The Partner, the threads of the plot are actually resolved in an agreeable way by the end and the plot twist is cute if not particularly surprising. Buy it for a light, enjoyable time waster and you won't go wrong.

I finally beat Metroid Prime for the GameCube on Thursday. It's one of those rare games that does everything right, and is easily the best game, computer or console, I've played in a long time. I played the original Metroid for the NES long ago but never actually owned it, so I didn't really have any grandiose expectations going in. However, the game catches your attention early on and immerses you in the world regardless of whether you've played any prequels. From the beginning there's a constant wow factor, and the little touches (like swarms of vermin pouring out of ventilation ducts as a spaceship's explosion is imminent) show that a lot of time was put into this game. Black & White also had a wow factor, but this game differs because that special quality never wears off! The game is continuously mixing it up with new areas and new equipment. Control is incredibly receptive although it's sometimes hard to turn around quickly in battle. This is more a problem of console shooters in general -- if this were a computer game, the mouse would fix that problem immediately. The game is challenging and offers an easy 20+ hours of gameplay, especially if you go after all the optional goals. The only time I ever got frustated was in the penultimate room which was more obnoxious than challenging.

Metroid Prime is definitely the "killer app" that justifies the purchase of a GameCube. In fact, if you buy a GameCube now, you can get it for free. Bastards.

Fun Fact: The term describing when dogs scratch their butts by dragging them across the floor is "sleigh riding".

Grisly Mexico Factory Breeds Man-Eating Flies

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Sunday, February 22, 2004

There's a few new cat pictures up on the Photos page.

Japanese toymaker Yonezawa Corp. recalled a card game called Bacteria Panic (the loser is the person left holding a card marked AIDS) after complaints from disease-pride groups, the Japanese Patients Council and the Tokyo Friends of Hemophiliacs. "We never meant to hurt the feelings of patients and their families," said Yonezawa spokesperson, Yokuji Okuma, pointing out that the instructions clearly warn, "Never play this game with the real victim of diseases".

Another success in Japan in 1991 was Human Trash. Players gamble with cards representing different kinds of women, who are the "trash". A pregnancy card loses a turn, a virgin card is extremely valuable, and unwanted females can be sold to Hong Kong.

- Countdown to the Millenium

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    what pitches are common on both the treble and bass clef staffs, chips ahoy cookies, ground unit not trained grunt

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I haven't kept up with Oscars or movies much at all this part year, so my selections will be based completely on creative interpretations of anagrams of Nostradamus' propechies. Movies with dots next them are movies I've actually seen.

Actor in a Leading Role
    The Nominees:
    Don Cheadle - Hotel Rwanda
    Johnny Depp - Finding Neverland
    Leonardo DiCaprio - The Aviator
    Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby
    Jamie Foxx - Ray

    What will happen?
    If Leo can't earn an Oscar for a movie about a boat, then he won't have any better luck with a movie about planes. Clint Eastwood will not get an Oscar for his role as a surly old guy because he's essentially playing himself, and that would lead to bad things in future years when Keanu Reeves gets an Oscar for Constantine II. The Oscar will go to Johnny Depp which will allow Chris Rock to make more jokes about the prejudice against black actors.
Actor in a Supporting Role
    The Nominees:
    Alan Alda - The Aviator
    Thomas Haden Church - Sideways
  • Jamie Foxx - Collateral
    Morgan Freeman - Million Dollar Baby
    Clive Owen - Closer

    What will happen?
    Jamie Foxx did a good job in the only movie I saw, but it was an action-y movie which immediately rules it out for Oscars. The neoconservaties will prevent Thomas Haden Church from winning because his name sounds suspiciously like "Tom is hating church". Morgan Freeman will lose because otherwise Clint Eastwood would kick his ass. Alan Alda will lose as well, though he's in dire need of the award so he can get better crossword puzzle clues other than "guy on MASH" when ALDA is the answer to 1 Across. This leaves Clive Owen, and there will be a brief ruckus when the ditzy blonde presenter can't decide whether his movie is a noun or an adjective and mispronounces it. (Clive will eventually use his notoriety to sponsor a new Lays potato chip, "Sour Cream and Clives").
Actress in a Leading Role
    The Nominees:
    Annette Bening - Being Julia
    Catalina Sandino Moreno - Maria Full of Grace
    Imelda Staunton - Vera Drake
    Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby
  • Kate Winslet - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    What will happen?
    These were real movies? The first three nominees will be rejected because no one watched their movies. Million Dollar Baby will not earn anything here because although it's nominated in several categories, it failed to include any hobbits and only had one ending, rather than five in a row. Kate Winslet will win this Oscar (and will thank Leo for being in that boat movie with her during her speech).
Actress in a Supporting Role
    The Nominees:
    Cate Blanchett - The Aviator
    Laura Linney - Kinsey
    Virginia Madsen - Sideways
    Sophie Okonedo - Hotel Rwanda
    Natalie Portman - Closer

    What will happen?
    Sophie will lose because Mike Catania was the only person in the world who saw her movie. This leaves behind three funny-looking blondes and a brunette, so Natalie Portman will win.
Animated Feature Film
    The Nominees:
    The Incredibles
  • Shark Tale
  • Shrek 2

    What will happen?
    Shark Tale was so-so and sounds too much like Duck Tales or Shirt Tales. The Incredibles will win, buoyed by its score written by the Alias guy.
Art Direction
    The Nominees:
    The Aviator
    Finding Neverland
    Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
    The Phantom of the Opera
    A Very Long Engagement

    What will happen?
    LSaSoUE is obviously taken a page from last year's Oscar contenders like Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Unfortunately for it, it's missing a key ingredient: a colon. Of the remaining nominees, The Aviator will win, because the Art Direction Oscar always seems to go to the non-fantasy movie. I know nothing about A Very Long Engagment, but it could be a dark horse based on online comparisons to Amelie and continuous repetition of the word "quirky" in reviews.

To Be Continued...

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy 222 Day! As longtime readers are no doubt aware, 222 is mystical number that occurs frequently throughout nature. 222 was first discovered by scientists (or at least, computer science majors) at Virginia Tech, since the "trumpet house" (where delinquency-contributing parties were often held) was at 222 Janie Lane.

In those days, the tradition of Forty Friday was a weekly occurrence, and band members would regularly stumble to Marching Band practice following a meeting of their lips and a bottle of alcohol with the specified number of ounces. As time went by and the number of 40s increased, the band director decided that alcohol had a negative effect on a band which was already incapable of marching and playing an instrument at the same time (or in many cases, incapable of doing either one individually as well), and frowned heavily upon the tradition. In its place, a new tradition arose, Two 22 Tuesday, which was just like Forty Friday but involved four extra ounces. This was safer, because the alcohol was divided between two bottles, and everyone knows that smaller packages never have as much food in them as an equivalent larger package (see also, mini chip bags in vending machines).

Here are some other places where 222 can be found in daily life:

  • Crazy cat lady in Virginia had 222 dead cats .
  • During the year the Hokies went to the National Championship, the clock stopped at 2:22 in the fourth quarter in four separate games.
  • Mike Catania's street address is 222, and his phone number starts with 222-.
  • Marty lives in apartment 222. There is also an old TV show called Room 222
  • Winning a Jackpot on the MV Slot Machine is represented by internal code, 222.
  • 222 is almost the radian location of the golden ratio .
  • The blue pigmentation in John Basedow's forehead is 222.
  • 2/22/04: Anna and Ben get engaged.
  • 2/22/05: Anna and Ben put a contract on their house
  • Anna inadvertently took 222 pictures on her Honeymoon.

What's going to happen on 2/22/06? Will I get married? Will someone get pregnant? Share your own occurrences of 222 or remind me of any that I missed in the comments section!

No new LOST tonight -- you'll have to wait until next week.

LOST vs. Desperate Housewives
LA under attack by a mysterious blob
Infamous Email Writers Aren't Always Killing Their Careers After All

tagged as random | permalink | 14 comments

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Audience Participation Day: Write My Lyrics

Happy 222 Thursday!

In the spirit of the harmlessly funny movie, Music and Lyrics, which I saw on Sunday, I've come up with a song without words which is just crying out for your lyrical prose. Now is your chance to put all those AP English classes to good use and bury me in your artistic gerunds and dangling participles of doom. Here are the rules for this contest:

  1. Write 2 verses, a chorus, and a bridge to the melodies below (There is a 3rd verse, but only overachievers need to write it). An MP3 sample has been provided for anyone who can't read music.
  2. You may slightly alter the rhythms to fit your lyrics, but you may not make wholesale changes to the chords or melodic lines.
  3. Send your entries by email, NOT the comments section. Half of my visitors are dirty plagiarists that take my high school essays and resubmit them as their own. If you post in the comments section, your lyrics may end up on the poetry black market by sundown.
  4. The deadline for submission is in ten days: Sunday, March 4.
  5. After the deadline, all submissions will be posted for voting. The winner of the popular vote will receive a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com (void if less than three people enter!). I have the deciding vote in case of ties or ballot stuffing.
  6. By entering this contest, you agree only to allow your lyrics to be posted on this site. You still retain all other rights to your own work.


Listen to the song, set against a bare-bones accompaniment (3:40, 3MB MP3)

Here is a sample entry which I cooked up. If I can write this made-for-TV-movie-quality tripe in six minutes, surely one of you can come up with something good in ten days!

In the City, by Brian C. Uri!

Verse 1:
Hear the crickets here,
and you will never stop being
Far away from the deer.
Sniff and smell manure,
and spot a unicorn alight upon the dale.

Verse 2:
Share the fleas with sheep,
and you will wonder why you can
never go-o to sleep.
Taste the mangy rabbits,
and wish that you could sell your farm in I-o-wa.

Chorus:
To go, where the grass never grows,
Where the taxis are numerous,
and they will hit you with a smile,
and then buy you some joe.

Bridge:
Take the Greyhound to L.A.
Pollute your face.
And then enjoy a Big Mac and small fries.
Give some money to a bum.
And sing and dance.
And then get mugged and then lose your pants.

If you have any questions about the rules, just ask! Good luck!

Man sues IBM over porn addiction
Bigfoot's foot found in landfill
How not to talk to your kids

tagged as music, contests | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Fragments

the literary equivalent of Florence Foster Jenkins

♠ Welcome to the 222nd edition of Friday Fragments! It's an apt way to open 222 Day (February 22nd) -- if you are unfamiliar with the 222 phenomenon, you can read more about it in my February 22, 2006 entry: .

♠ This is actually only the 116th episode of Friday Fragments, but that wouldn't be quite as impressive for an opening fragment. However, you could argue that there are 106 more episodes until the 222nd, and if you treat 106 as the numbers 10 and 6, then the next SAT number in that sequence would be 2, and it would be the THIRD number in the sequence, hence 3 2's = 222. Done and done.

♠ Speaking of irrelevant numbers, 13 is the highest unofficial score I've heard about from Wednesday's NAME-THAT-TUNE contest. Now's your chance to do better than that! Entries are due by next Wednesday and answers will be posted next Thursday. Some readers are already begging for hints, but that would be weak sauce.

♠ Speaking of weak sauce, here's proof that Doobie was a lead designer on Warcraft. I almost expected Cookie to have a pet named Hemi.

♠ Obligatory Warcraft fragment: Plinky has over 45,000 lifetime kills and 52 days of play-time (which is the equivalent of going to public school for one complete grade and playing Warcraft the entire time!). Plinkette is 3 bubbles from level 70, but has been sidetracked with gathering potion materials because Plinky is an addict in need of a fix. While Plinkette clowns around gathering swiftthistle, Planky is rapidly rising in level.

♠ This is actually the third character to be named Planky. The other two were both paladins which I deleted because they were boring. Playing a Paladin was like putting on a LOST DVD and watching the ridiculous five-second DVD menu transitions eight thousand times in a row, while Michael Giacchino's "Yo-Yo Ma(ma) on Crack" sound effect plays in the background.

♠ Speaking of LOST and being bored, despite the good twist on the end, I was bored for most of the episode, but mostly because I find Kate boring. Apparently I get bored very easily. (Note the double transition in this fragment. I should write fugues).

♠ In school, the way I showed my aversion to boring things such as classes and music major recitals was to fall asleep at them. This is an incomplete solution for the real world, because apparently you're not allowed to fall asleep during meetings.

♠ Speaking of work, an employee left the company last month, and in his goodbye email he wrote, "I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to interface with all of you while I was here". Fortunately, I have not yet devolved into such officespeak.

♠ This weekend includes two poker games and a dinner for my dad's birthday. Have a great weekend!

This is apparently the first time someone tried to drive into it.
Fish launched into space
Congratulations! You're corrupt!

tagged as fragments | permalink | 2 comments

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

My weekend started out with a jump into the routine (not unlike a thread executing some arbitrary assembly language) via a trip to Costco, where every single previously-snowbound yuppy in Virginia was agitatedly swarming like horny honeybees. Among other things, I picked up the next season of Weeds, 10 more packs of Velveeta Shells and Cheese, and another 64-pack of Coke Zero.

I spent the rest of the day working: reviewing other peoples' code and doing unnecessary things with Oracle materialized views. In the evening I watched 24 while waiting for Rebecca to get home from work, and discovered that there are scuba-accessible tunnels underneath Washington D.C. that could facilitate a terrorist attack.

We decided to go to Red Robin for dinner burgers, but there was actually a wait, which has never happened before. I'm guessing it could be attributed to closure of the restaurant next door, which was either an Uno's or a Macaroni Grill, the limited number of parking spots plowed correctly, and some level of stir-craziness. We ended up at Ted's Montana Grill instead, where I had a delicious six-inch-high "America's Cup" bison burger, with cheese, bacon, grilled onions, and mushrooms on it. After dinner, we rented a bunch of chick flicks at the Cranston Blockbuster, which is now the closest Blockbuster to our home.

Sunday was tax day, and our first chance to file jointly. We celebrated our big refunds with the Ricky Gervais film, Invention of Lying and then baked a homemade pizza with the proportions shown in the pizza pie graph on the right. In the evening, we booked some hotel time for our Puerto Rico trip, and closed the day out with an indie chick flick, (500) Days of Summer.

Happy 222 Day!

Foot-long surgical tool left in woman's abdomen
Cat stew lover skewered in Italy
Cleveland tops list of America's Most Miserable Cities

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Museday Tuesday

As part of this feature, which I started in 2007, I compose a very brief work (under 30 seconds) inspired by a randomly generated title from an online word generator or suggested by a reader. The composition can be for any instrumentation, and could even be a purely synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.

I work on the excerpt continuously for an hour and then post whatever I've managed to complete, even if it could be the hit single from Glenn Gould Plays Tatu.


Plenteous: (adj.) copious; abundant

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is written for a hodge podge of instruments, coupled with big fat-bottomed chords placed too low for clarity. When I was in high school, I used to think that writing with quintuplets was retarded, but they're starting to grow on me now.

From the mouth of Evan Emory: 'I feel like a jackass'
Town renamed to Speedkills to promote road safety
High winds topple National Christmas Tree

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Memory Day: Snapshots

And the award for most awkward portrait pose goes to...

Kenyan chief uses Twitter to foil burglars
Hillary Clinton must not have gotten the white shirt memo

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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Daily Hour

I've made a little change to my Daily Hour project, because I am not a slave to routine. (The only things I'm a slave to are DVD players that can hold more than one disc, and sometimes the Irish Beer Sampler pack at Costco). Since the beginning of last week, I've dropped the 10 minutes devoted to reading the featured Wikipedia article of the day. More often than not, it's an innately boring, if well-annotated, article about extinct birds or coin currency, because apparently you can only have great citations on something if its body of research is forever finite.

Instead, I do three activities for 20 minutes each, or exercise for 40 and throw in a side order of one activity. Learning Python is going well, and putting me in the mood to do other programming-related tasks. I'm also working slightly more this month, which makes me more inclined to run on the treadmill instead of doing more brain-work. Yesterday evening, I shrank to 120 pounds, which means that soon I'll be able to seesaw successfully with high-school coxswains, but not in a creepy way.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend, we made another journey south to see our exurb friends, starting with lunch at Sammy T's in Fredericksburg with Rebecca's family friend, Catherine (the elder of the two). From there, we drove to Colonial Beach to visit Anna and Becca and their combined set of seven children under the age of 10. We played "Hedbanz" with the girls, in spite of the unnecessarily misspelled name that teaches improper pluralization techniques. Ben came down later on for a spaghetti dinner and the game about gargling Christmas carols.

On Sunday, we ate two pounds of bacon and then drove north in the rain to feed starving cats on the homefront. Rebecca went to yoga while I started my next tech project of learning Apache Spark. In the evening, we finished the movie, Inside Out, and watched a really awful episode of Mr. Robot. Dream sequences are never worth including in any show or movie, especially when they last for over 20 minutes.

How was your weekend? Happy 222 Day!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Happy 222 Day!

To celebrate 222 day, we went in for an ultrasound and now know the gender of our baby. Who wants to guess?

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 8 comments

Friday, February 22, 2019

One Year Day

On this excellent 222 Day, here are pictures of Maia and me on 2/21/18 and 2/21/19.

  • A year ago, it was 74 degrees and we were walking in the woods. Today it was in the mid 60s and 5 inches of snow were rapidly melting and turning the yard into a soggy bottom.

  • Over a single year, the quality of our Safeway has declined enough that every third grocery trip is to Giant (for clean, vast, empty aisles full of good selections with the downside of super expensive prices). Wegmans is our "let's feel fancy" grocery store but the traffic and cramped quarters inside often deter us.

  • This week last year, I worked 12 hours. This year, I'm already up over 50 hours.

  • A year ago, West Coast Mike had not yet gotten married. He was probably spending the week playing Civilization VI against his brother.

  • A year ago, I was bored playing Super Mario Odyssey. Yesterday, I tried playing New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe again and got bored 1 level in.

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Monday, February 22, 2021

Quality Control Day

I actually had this problem with the aforementioned wipes, but just presumed that I was using them correctly.

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