This Day In History: 02/28

Thursday, February 28, 2002

This week's Movie Night™ feature was Moulin Rouge, which was a very good and interesting movie. The combination of classical musical sensibilities and pop music had the potential to be horribly campy, but it was very well-executed. The only big flaw in the movie was the singing of Ewan McGregor, who apparently felt that belting out all of the lyrics at the decibel level of a lawnmower would make him more of a heartthrob. Nicole Kidman had a surprisingly good voice though, and helped to temper the edge of Ewan's voice.

My cable is still on the fritz. Comcast seems to have lowered the signal strength so it's no longer strong enough to be split between the TV and my computer. I bought a signal amplifier which acts as a partial solution, but I may just have to sacrifice the double setup.

And February comes to a close. The last day of classes is just seven weeks away, and one of those weeks is Spring Break. I have no big plans for the break; I'll just be staying in town and hopefully doing a lot of composing.

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Friday, February 28, 2003

One more month is down for the count. In just two months, I'll be packing up what remains of my meagre belongings and going off in search of affordable housing around the Chantilly area.

My classes did pretty well on the midterm exam. The combined average of all thirty students was 86% and over half of them got an A (90 and above).

In yesterday's news item, I suggested that someone was abusing their vibrato. That was not a typo.

The basketballers capped a perfect record season by losing to Capitol Coin & Diamond, 54-24, last night. Good times were had by all.

Interesting idea for the Arts in Lorton, VA
I never really watched much of this show as a kid. We weren't allowed to touch the TV at the babysitter's, and what normally followed cartoons on the preset channel was the 700 Club and something about Jimmy Swaggart.
Turn your thesis/dissertation into a PDF file without paying $250 for Adobe Writer

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Saturday, February 28, 2004

The Oscars, Part V of VI

Best performance by an actor in a leading role
    The Nominees:
  • Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
    Ben Kingsley in House of Sand and Fog
    Jude Law in Cold Mountain
  • Bill Murray in Lost in Translation
    Sean Penn in Mystic River

    What will happen?
    Johnny Depp modelled his pirate character off of Pepe Le Pew and Keith Richards. Still, a "kid's" movie won't be eligible for an Actor Oscar. Jude Law consistently looks like a creepy Justin Theroux, and I don't know if anyone takes Sean Penn seriously anymore, despite his talents. The Oscar will go to Gandhi in House of Sand and Fog.
Best performance by an actor in a supporting role
    The Nominees:
    Alec Baldwin in The Cooler
    Benicio Del Toro in 21 Grams
    Djimon Hounsou in In America
    Tim Robbins in Mystic River
    Ken Watanabe in The Last Samurai

    What will happen?
    Ken Watanabe sounds like a leftover from one of the Star Wars movies. Benicio del Toro's face always looks like it was mangled in a freak lawn-mowing accident (in fact, his name translates roughly as "Benicio was hit by a Toro"). Tim Robbins and Alec Baldwin kind of run together, so Djimon Hounsou will get the Oscar, because he appeared on an episode of Alias as Kazari Bomani.
Best performance by an actress in a leading role
    The Nominees:
    Keisha Castle-Hughes in Whale Rider
    Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give
    Samantha Morton in In America
    Charlize Theron in Monster
    Naomi Watts in 21 Grams

    What will happen?
    Charlize Theron will pick up her first Oscar because she is hot underneath all the prosthetics. Keisha will lose for being too young, Diane will lose for being too old, Samantha will lose for looking too much like Princess Leia in her IMDB profile, and Naomi will lose for no good reason (and then start a publicly traded company named after herself so stock analysts can say "NAOMI WATTS UP" and chuckle).
Best performance by an actress in a supporting role
    The Nominees:
    Shohreh Aghdashloo in House of Sand and Fog
    Patricia Clarkson in Pieces of April
    Marcia Gay Harden in Mystic River
    Holly Hunter in Thirteen
    Renée Zellweger in Cold Mountain

    What will happen?
    Many voters will choose Shohreh simply to hear her name butchered by a well-meaning presenter, especially since Marcia's name is far too easy to make into an off-colour joke. However, Renée Zellweger will squeak ahead by a nose and take home the Oscar.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    listen to a movement for rosa by mark camphouse, i like beech, guiteau's gun, coca-cola questionnaire sample, caligula fun facts

Cat saliva cleaner than dog saliva
Man steals 25 cents of power
Don't buy the house with body parts in it
Push To Walk doesn't actually work

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Monday, February 28, 2005

As you can see, the accuracy of my Oscar picks is inversely related to how much effort I put into them. I didn't even watch the Oscars -- I just tuned in for the opening monologue and went to bed.

Regularly scheduled updates will resume tomorrow, as I have to run to the store to stock up on toilet paper and lantern batteries for tonight's snowstorm.

We need these screens around D.C.
According to Delia, the message said, "you need to go back to Mexico you taco-bending whore."
Vulcan King charged with sexual assault
Rock brings new edge to Oscars

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Oscars Week, Part II of IV

Film Editing
    The Nominees:
    Cinderella Man
    The Constant Gardener
  • Crash
    Munich
  • Walk the Line


    What will happen?
    I'm still not entirely clear on how you can tell if an editing job was good without seeing every single bit of cut film or alternately angled shots. The two movies I saw were equally unobtrusively edited so I'm going to vote for Munich which is almost Munch which evokes memories of eating tasty foods like pizza and herb-roasted chicken.
Cinematography
    The Nominees:
  • Batman Begins
    Brokeback Mountain
    Good Night, and Good Luck.
    Memoirs of a Geisha
    The New World

    What will happen?
    Did anyone actually watch Good Night, and Good Luck.? Like a rash-inducing laxative, that period on the end of the title annoys the poop out of me. I'm going to throw my vote at Memoirs of a Geisha because it's sufficiently worldly and probably has grand, sweeping, cinematography in it.
Costume Design
    The Nominees:
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Memoirs of a Geisha
    Mrs. Henderson Presents
    Pride & Prejudice
  • Walk the Line

    What will happen?
    I don't think movies with American costumes from the past century ever win, and Pride & Prejudice looks just like every other snooty British setting ever seen. This one will be won by Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Makeup
    The Nominees:
    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    Cinderella Man
    Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith

    What will happen?
    Star Wars of any kind winning an Oscar would just be terribly, terribly unfortunate. I would probably throw up out of my mouth a lot, and then put it back in my mouth so the throw-up wouldn't be in the same atmosphere as an Oscar-winning Star Wars. With that out of the way, Narnia will beat Cinderella Man, because there's always more makeup in fantasy flicks (even though those kids are funny-looking). What did they do in Cinderella Man besides pretty up all the extras that Russell Crowe threw phones at?
Visual Effects
    The Nominees:
    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    King Kong
    War of the Worlds

    What will happen?
    Only three nominees? And the best they could do was a lion, an ape, and some aliens? I'm voting for King Kong because the previews for Narnia looked exactly like Lord of the Rings, and there's no one left in New Zealand who hasn't already gotten an Oscar for helping out with those kinds of visual effects. Besides, I hear King Kong had some dinosaurs or something. Any dinosaur effects will lay the groundwork to make the planned Jurassic Park 4 the masterpiece it was always meant to be.
Art Direction
    The Nominees:
    Good Night, and Good Luck.
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    King Kong
    Memoirs of a Geisha
    Pride & Prejudice

    What will happen?
    Initially Good Night to My Period seems like it would be a contender until you realize it's all in black and white, and there hasn't been a classy black and white movie since Memento. Of the remaining movies, I'm going to vote for Memoirs of a Geisha because it's more serious than wizards and apes. I would vote for Pride and Prejudice but if that won, it would just compel more lazy high school teachers to show it in class instead of teaching.

To be continued tomorrow...

Beckham has trouble with first grade math
Black cat saves owner
Low White Trumps Blunt's High

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How the Sugar Daddy Makes His Money

After a development cycle more cranked up than an ADHD two-year-old with a caffeine IV, my company released the next major version of the Metadata Registry to the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Department of Defense yesterday, to much cheering and applause. You can browse a few of the unrestricted pages here , but since most of you are pothead hippies, Russian spies or dirty Canadian socialists, getting an account is not bloody likely. Stupid hippies.

Since my evening was taken up with the installation, followed by some miscellaneous gallivanting in Falls Church, I was unable to write my original update for today: How to make a paper mach? Amber statue. To fill the void, I thought I'd write a public service announcement about why my job is important to the future of mankind1.

Every organization has data of some kind -- inventories, requisitions, or even the details of a particular vehicle. To ensure that everyone in the organization describes these things in the same way, they use metadata which is "data about the data". Metadata can be stored in a language like XML and tells users rules like "every minivan will have four wheels, and can seat four to seven people". By obeying the metadata, Colonel Bob in Omaha can trade his data with Private Poopson2 in the field and be assured that it's compatible.

This works fine within the organization, but over time, different organizations define their data in different ways, resulting in multiple stovepipes which cannot easily interact with other agencies. A simple example of this is the inability of neighbouring police departments to communicate during the 9/11 attacks because there was no standard frequency that could be shared.

This is where the Metadata Registry comes into play to save the world (had The 4400 really returned from the future to save humanity, I bet that building the registry would have been their first act). The Registry acts as a neutral middle ground where different agencies and organizations can publish their metadata. By putting all the metadata here, the Army and Marines might realize they have different definitions of what a tank is and work together to either create a common definition, or understand why there are differences between the two, (or they could duke it out on national television with the loser forced to use the winner's definition, which could be the start of a very lucrative show on FOX). If the Coast Guard suddenly captures a Havana tank on a routine run of the Florida-Cuba circuit but they don't yet have any metadata to describe it, they could just go to the registry and reuse the Army's tank definition. The ultimate goal is to promote reuse of similar metadata so more agencies are on the same page.

The other puzzle piece of the registry involves taxonomies. The Army and the Baltimore Aquarium might have very different definitions of a tank which have nothing to do with each other. Since it would probably not be cost effective to send two ton glass tanks to Baghdad, a taxonomy can be used to classify the Army tank as a "weapon of moving destruction" and the Aquarium tank as a "big thing to put sharks in".

The mix of metadata and taxonomies work together as a massive information playpen which has often been cited as a crucial piece of the Agency's data strategy, and over time, other agencies like NASA have joined in the fun. In laymen's terms, this translates as "no layoffs for BU".

1: I will only discuss the common knowledge portion of my job. There are no such thing as aliens, and we really did land on the moon.

2: etymology: Son of Poop

Sorority kicks out the "socially awkward"
A sheepish house of horrors
Strewth! Australia rocked by 'lesbian' koala revelation

tagged as programming | permalink | 3 comments

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Name-That-Tune Results Day

First Place (tie): Anna (13 pts), Mike and Kathy (13 pts)

Runner Up: Dan (10 pts)

No one got #5, 9, or 10. Dan also skipped #7 and guessed the wrong title for #4. Congratulations to the winners! Anna will receive a gift certificate for $10 and Mike and Kathy each get one for $5.

The answers can be found in the table below -- highlight the empty boxes to read the answers. Thanks for playing!

#Original
Excerpt
Obvious
Excerpt
PointsAnswer
011More Than a Feeling (Boston)
021The Way (Fastball)
031Runaway (Del Shannon)
041Hell (Squirrel Nut Zippers)
052Once Around the Block (Badly Drawn Boy)
062Still the One (Orleans)
072I'm Into Something Good (Herman's Hermits)
084Two Princes (Spin Doctors)
095Raise Your Hands (Bon Jovi)
105Girl I Knew Somewhere (Monkees)
111Theme from Inspector Gadget

Those were all the entries I received. Looks like someone fibbed in the poll!

Beer throws sword after drinking
134-pound burger
Okay, what rhymes with Kyrgyzstan?

tagged as contests | permalink | 10 comments

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm down with a headache from last night's thunderstorms, but here is my take-away lesson from this weekend:

It might be surprising that the P.F. Chang's at Dulles Town Centre has a one hour and twenty minute wait for dinner. What's more surprising is the number of people actually sitting around and waiting for a table.

City puzzled by mysterious mail
Sausage thief wore no pants
How to make oatmeal... wrong

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

List Day: Upcoming Events

  • In a couple weeks, we're going back to Brightwood Farm to stay in an elegant A-frame cabin and feed goats.
  • St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching, which means that there will be Guinness everywhere!
  • My state inspection sticker expires in May, so it's time to upgrade my eleven-year-old Honda Accord. It's too bad that the newer Accords seem so huge and that all new cars have such a raised back window. Will we become a double Civic family? Stay tuned.

  • We're going on a foreign trip in July. It was originally going to be New Zealand, but that doesn't work out climatically, so it'll probably be Canada or the UK (places where we already speak at least one of the languages).

What's on your agenda?

tagged as lists | permalink | 6 comments

Thursday, February 28, 2013

End-of-the-Month Media Day

New photos have been added to the new Life, 2013 album. Enjoy!

tagged as media | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, February 28, 2014

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2014 album.

  • Events
    • Had an adult date with Kathy and Chris at Ice House Cafe.

    • Booty got sick and didn't want to eat for two days (FORESHADOWING).

    • Went to a Super Bowl party at David & Sabrina's in Manassas.

    • Watched a lot of Winter Olympics.

    • Had an adult date with Ellen and Dan at Mokomandy.

    • It snowed a butt-ton and I burned my hand.

    • Reunited old college roommates at a 222 Party invaded by children.

    • Rebecca finally experienced the ghost raccoon phenomenon.

    • I went in for my obligatory dentist visit where they took a bunch of unnecessary X-rays and told me my teeth were fine.

    • Had my parents over for the yearly birthday dinner.

    • I got sick and didn't want to eat for two days.

  • Projects
    • My free time projects were shoved aside by various proposals for work this month.

    • I did start a free online course on Information Security Strategies through Coursera, so we'll see how that goes.

  • Consumerism
    • Rebecca got an iPhone!

    • We've been slowly savoring the second season of House of Cards and are only about 5/13ths of the way through it because of the Olympics.

    • Game-wise, I've only been playing Hearthstone.

Depending on whether or not I can recuperate sufficiently, we plan on leaving for Oklahoma City this evening for a long weekend!

February's Final Grade: C+

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2018 album. Google Photos sucks.

  • Events
    • Had our neighbours, Aaron, Vanessa, and Jaxon, from across the street over for chili on S 2/3.

    • Welcomed the Edwardses over for a snowy visit on S 2/4.

    • Maia got her flu booster as a 7 month old on T 2/6.

    • Watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on F 2/9.

    • Rebecca's parents watched Maia so we could go on a Valentine's weekend date, first to a chocolate-beer pairing at Old Ox Brewery and then to Ford's Fish Shack for an early dinner on S 2/10.

    • Rebecca went to the graduation of the newest batch of yoga teachers from her studio while I took Maia across the street to Jaxon's 1st birthday party on S 2/11.

    • We celebrated Valentine's Day with tasty noodle dishes from Rollplay which Rebecca picked up on her way home from work on W 2/14.

    • We had a family date at Coal Fire Pizza on F 2/16.

    • We had a snowy Olympics viewing party all afternoon with Jessika and Tammy on S 2/17.

    • While settling in for some Overwatch, I spilled a pint of beer all over my keyboard and router on S 2/18. The router ended up working again after a night on the dehumidifier.

    • Went to the mall for a mall-walk on President's Day M 2/19.

    • Enjoyed the 74 degree weather by going to the park on T 2/20, and then got sick for the rest of the week with a sore throat and sinus pressure.

    • Tried out a mechanical keyboard to replace the beer-soaked one on W 2/21 but quickly abandoned it after realizing it would wake up Maia and the dead.

    • Had classic Chinese delivery for dinner on F 2/23.

    • Cancelled a birthday dinner with my parents due to various sicknesses on S 2/24. Rebecca had waffles with Car and Ben. Noticed Maia's first two teeth (on the bottom).

    • Did our taxes on S 2/25. Rebecca and Maia drove Marc home from the airport while I went out for a solo dad date at Miller's again.

    • Maia had her first real cold on T 2/27, clearly caught from dad. Rebecca caught it too. Dad is a trendsetter.

  • Projects
    • No projects of note this month although I wrote about convolutional neural networks for work and planned out some educational intentions for March.

  • Consumerism
    • Had to purchase a new oven (delivered yesterday) since the old one started smelling like burnt insulation whenever we cooked higher than 350 degees.

    • Got to level 1042 in Overwatch. Gave Super Mario Odyssey another good faith shot and got bored after about 8 moons.

    • Enjoyed watching Big Little Lies, Season One and Good Place, Season One.

February's Final Grade: C+, Sickness sucks.

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

Friday, February 28, 2020

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2020 album.

  • Events
    • Visited the Ahlbins and Hickses in Fredericksburg on S 2/1.

    • Had a Half-of-Super-Bowl dinner of marinated beefs with Chih, Sena, and Nolan on S 2/2.

    • Family playground time in the warm weather on M 2/3, followed by dinner at Ford's Fish Shack.

    • Preschool Open House on W 2/5 (Maia got into the mixed age Starfish class on 2/18!)

    • Maia's first stomach bug on F 2/7.

    • Rebecca and Maia taught Lil Yogis again on S 2/8, followed by family dinner at Red Robin.

    • Jax's 3rd Birthday Party on S 2/9.

    • Maia's first trip to the dentist on T 2/11.

    • Visit from the Uri grandparents on W 2/12 while Rebecca was in continuing ed. classes all day long. Dinner at Ford's Fish Shack.

    • Went to "Tea with Teddy" with Maia at the Sterling Community Center on H 2/13.

    • Visited the Uri grandparents on F 2/14.

    • Rebecca and Maia went to visit the cousins in Front Royal on S 2/16.

    • Family dinner at Cafesano on M 2/17.

    • Dad-daughter dinner at Fireworks Pizza on H 2/20.

    • Poker Night on S 2/22 (1: Chih, 2: BU, 3: Jack, 4: Kathy, 5: Chris, 6: Rebecca)

    • Family dinner at Bungalow Lakehouse on S 2/23.

    • Family dinner at Local VA on W 2/26.

    • Lunch with the Chous at Ariake on S 2/29.

  • Projects
    • Replaced the ice maker line to the fridge on F 2/7. Goodbye skunk ice!

    • Got the air handler fixed after it wouldn't shut off on F 2/14.

    • Finished the mouse-exposed crawlspace F 2/14 - W 2/19.

    • Screen porch work began on M 2/17.

  • Consumerism
    • No amazing new shows or music this month.

    • Enjoying Elder Scrolls Online again as a quiet, solo game in short bursts.

February's Final Grade: B-, Cold without much downtime.

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

Monday, February 28, 2022

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2022 album.

  • Events
    • Maia stayed home from school after a positive COVID test, M 1/31 - F 2/4.

    • I caught something which two rapid tests insisted was NOT COVID on H 2/3. Ian was also a little sick.

    • The COVID finally made it to Rebecca on T 2/8.

    • Last day of quarantine on F 2/18.

    • Mid-day carrot cake for my dad's birthday on M 2/21.

    • Went to my work's Tysons office for the end of the Technical Leadership Development program on T 2/22.

    • Ian and I got sick again on F 2/25. Ian picked up stair climbing in a single day.

    • Maia went to her friend, Ashleigh's, birthday at an indoor playground called Hyper Kidz on S 2/27.

  • Projects
    • Rebecca switched her work schedule from T/H to M/F this month.

  • Consumerism
    • Enjoying Fallout 76 in my slim spare time.

    • Finally subscribed to Disney+ and enjoyed Onwards (and Encanto to a lesser extent).

    • No new shows, books, or music this month.

February's Final Grade: C-, Too much sickness and stretched thin.

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

 

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