This Day In History: 03/03

Sunday, March 03, 2002

There hasn't been a gratuitous picture of my cat in a while, so here's one to rectify that situation. This one was taken in September of 2000.

I ordered a few texts on design patterns and effective programming this weekend in preparation for my summer job. Now is about the time that I need to pull my computer science alter-ego out of mothballs so I'm current and ready to be a full-time programmer again. Luckily Java still seems to be the industry standard for large-scale designs so I don't have to learn a new language quite yet.

The first thunderstorm of the year rolled through yesterday and last night so it'll probably be shorts weather again pretty soon. The novelty of Tallahassee weather still hasn't grown old.

Mother falsified scores for 'boy genius' son

On Gaming and Substance Abuse:
"Kids, don't try this at home. Drugs and gaming don't mix, unless it's a six-pack of Jolt Cola. Then you'll play like a strung-out lab monkey. Beer is not a good idea either. Take this from someone who stayed up too late one night drinking beer and playing EverQuest. I woke up the next morning with my character dead and no idea where the corpse was. Doh!" - Gamespy's Mark Asher

On Computer Game Reviewers' Hygiene:
"This game has some pretty bad faults in home-life. A character usually requires a 30 minute shower ... per day which is not a realistic standard since many people shower every two days, and not for as long." - from Strategy Informer's review of an expansion pack for The Sims

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Monday, March 03, 2003

My thesis defense was at 3:30 on the 3rd day of the 3rd month in '03. I didn't even consider this until yesterday. Surely this was some cosmic sign to show that the gods (both the old-school vengeful ones and the kinder, gentler twentieth-century model) were looking with favour upon my composition. And surely, that's why I passed. Now all that I need to do is submit my paperwork to the music grad office to be lost, and then submit the CD of the score to the real grad office for archiving. This puts me one step closer to being Master Uri!.

I guess I should go put some slaves on layaway.

Man, he looks old now. 'Hello, Clarice, *cough wheeze*'
How to kill a radio station

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

One last entry in the Living Room contest, post-deadline, submitted by Kathy Biddick. It's actually pretty close to what I had in mind already. I may switch the couch and its end table, or put the TV diagonally in the corner where the stereo is.

My sister got accepted to vet school at Virginia Tech and is now in the Class of 2008. Congratulations! I guess buying that house out in the middle of nowhere was a good gamble.

I have nothing important to talk about today, so I will leave you with this nugget of a thread from a forum:

hypothetical poll type question - Napoleic
suppose you're walking home minding your own business and you hear something. So you look and across a parking lot you can vaguely make out some guy hitting a chick and dragging her along yelling at her, and she is crying. Do you do anything? What?

no - jck
chances are if you do do something short of going up and kicking the sh*t out of him (really f*cking stupid unless you're jamie) he's just going to take it out on the girl.

call the cops if i had a cellphone - Bob the Newt
if not id realize i cant fight and go about my business feeling powerless

I f*cking beat the sh*t out of him... - Avalanche-X
If you don't, you are a big ass pussy.

you're a true southern gentleman =] - Triped

a 300 lb southern gentleman - Napoleic

im prolly same as bob - -zX-Ravage-
call up cops, etc.

like jck pointed out, anything short of physically doing something will probably just make it worse (and you dont know if they have a weapon anyway)

i think maybe with a group of people you could maybe scare the guy off with sheer #'s, but that's about it

i'd keep walking - MERLIN
i doub't i'd even think about it. You don't know if she deserves it, and even if she doesn't, she's with a dude that beats her so whats the point in helping her and risking getting a scratch just so she can turn around and find another guy who beats her

yah but you dont necessarily know that shes with him - Napoleic
or if she is, you dont know why

what if she just lost him 50 bucks MERLIN

what if she killed his father - Bob the Newt

hahaha yeah there's a likely scenario - Redneck_Firebat

ok you just watch - Bob the Newt
i am going to get a girl to kill your father, and then you are going to spend 2 years of your life tracking her down for revenge, and then when you finally find her and throw a punch, ava and toffs friends are going to sweep in and beat the sh*t out of you, and she will escape, and then kill your uncle who took you in and cared for you after your fathers death.

how would you like that

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    lake barcroft running, maynard transfer starcraft, coniferous and decides trees

Those damn Nazi Americans
Say goodbye to Super Size
Civil War: US vs Killington
Invasion of giant crabs from Norway

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

I'm taking a week off from work next week to take care of a lot of outstanding errands and projects. One of them will be a moderate update to this site. Do you have any suggestions for the modifications? Sections you visit that you'd like to see improved? Topics that aren't covered enough or are covered too much in news updates? Let me know!

My Dinner at Applebee's With White Supremacists!
City should be at fault for the actions of retarded teenagers
Lawmakers Press for Decency Limits on Pay TV, Radio

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday Fragments

The Fun Dip of Internet Culture

  • Yesterday I released an updated version of my Warcraft III mini-game, Micro Frenzy. You can go download it over at or right here in the Games section. It's only got a few minor improvements in it, but I figured that I might as well update it since more people seem to be playing it these days.

  • If all you clowns would put down your four-year-old game and commit to paying $156 a year for a World of Warcraft subscription, you would find a much more satisfying addiction in store for you. I hear that Kathy is planning on dropping her doctoral work in favour of resuming the WoW habit that she picked up while living in my house last summer. She'll probably argue that she spent all that time researching where the beat was or watching Iron Chef, but I know what she really did.

  • Speaking of Kathy, Kathy is coming up to visit her sugar daddy, Chris, all of next week, and they are scheduled to lose all their money at poker next Saturday, in a very special episode of Poker Night.

  • Speaking of Poker Night, I'm going to win tomorrow. I can successfully make this prediction, since I spent all week doing Oscar picks with 98% accuracy. Just you wait.

  • Last weekend there was no Poker Night, although we did watch Proof, which deserved an Oscar nod, and Just Like Heaven, which probably didn't. I also got Anna hooked on The 4400 (and she got Ben hooked), and my mom returned the complete Firefly series and Serenity, having been hooked on both. All in all, it was a successful weekend for my part-time occupation of "TV Show DVD pusher".

  • We also went to Maggiano's last weekend to celebrate my dad's 60+ Birthday where we gorged ourselves on the six-course family-style meal with all-you-can-eat leftovers. Those are some tasty treats.

  • An off-duty Alexandria cop moonlighting as a security guard shot up an SUV full of college kids who were fleeing without paying their IHOP bill last weekend. Those kids were morons for not paying their bill, but the cop was an even bigger moron for thinking that an unpaid bill required deadly force, whether he felt threatened by the vehicle or not. In that situation, you just write the license plate number down and radio ahead, or even get in your OWN car and pull them over. If, as the kids in the car say, he shot from the side and back, he gets +1 moron points for making up his story, and if, as he said, he stepped in front of an SUV to make it stop then shot at it because he felt threatened, he gets +2 moron points because he stepped in front of a moving SUV.

  • The mayor of Alexandria has been refusing to comment, citing the ongoing investigation. The least he could do is send out his condolences to the family of the shot kid. That avoids culpability while maintaining his own political stock -- now he just looks uncaring and on the side of the cop.

  • In other news, parents of a boy with Angelman's syndrome are indignant that they were asked to leave the theatre after their son laughed loudly and longly. This is stupid -- the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that the theatre try to accomodate them, but definitely not at the cost of the other moviegoers' enjoyment. They all paid their $10 to see the movie, and anyone who is raucous, cell-phone-talking, or obnoxious during the movie should generally be asked to leave. The family should have just talked to the theatre about coming to a late or private showing rather than going to a crowded theatre knowing that their son has disruptive behaviours. Otherwise it just looks like you have a chip on your shoulder and are trying to provoke a reaction.

  • When I was a kid, we had a lesser-known game that was billed as The Next Monopoly called Hotels. You moved around the board collecting $200 each round, buying hotel property and erecting hotel buildings on the lot. Then you bought entrances which you placed on various squares so you could charge people to stay at your hotel. I also bought the Boomerang Hotel, which was equivalent to Mediterranean Avenue in Monopoly, and got rich charging people pennies to stay in my slummy roach-infested hotel (not unlike the apartment buildings in Florida). I don't remember much more about the game except that getting the Waikiki was always smart because it had the most entrance possibilities.

  • This weekend will be mostly Java certification work. I've been reading and thinking about the assignment all week, and like Tom Fitzgerald in The Great Brain, I've let my subconscious do all the heavy design work. So I should be able to sit down on Saturday morning and just write the entire assignment in about 5 minutes because your subconscious mind is eighty times smarter than your conscious mind. We'll see if this actually holds true in practice though. Tomorrow night I have a full 8-man game of poker lined up, and on Sunday, I'll probably watch the opening monologue of the Oscars and then trundle off to bed. I'm an old man but Jon Stewart is mildly funny enough to stay up for.

  • Happy Birthday Dave "Jackpot" Miller!

  • Have a good weekend!

  • Oscars viewers to hear word "bitches" in song
    Death is better than a ticket, until you get another ticket
    Esteppe said she couldn't imagine a more romantic spot for their wedding.

    Yesterday's search terms:
    perverted old farts looking for sluts, hybla valley violence, home mmm 100 moms mature cathy, tapered dork, the theme from the a-team, what year did wendy's opened its 2000th store, sam spanks frodo -spanking -spank

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    Monday, March 03, 2008

    Updates Day

    RETURNED: On February 15, 2008, Paige, her husband, her dog, and her spawning future baby left Spain to return to the sunny lands of Houston, Texas.

    BORN: Nadia Sophie to longtime URI! Zone reader, Brianne, on February 28, 2008. Nadia weighed fifty-seven pounds and thirteen ounces or possibly some other random set of numbers, and will grow up to be a distinguished trumpet player. In celebration, at least one Museday Tuesday this year will be written "for Jay-Z and violas" or a similar instrumentation.

    MOVED: On March 2, 2008, Mike (of Mike and Chompy) finally moved away from Tallahassee, that serenely sluggish cesspool of Southern sloth where the city scenery is selectively speckled wtih slutty sorority sisters and homeless shelters. Recognizing the D.C. area as a place with a strong job market and comprehensive subway system, he rented a house in Georgetown as far from the Metro as you can be without travelling three miles straight up into the atmosphere. As more and more Florida State music alumni illegally immigrate here, plans are underway to create a new School of Music that hires only through nepotism and intrigue, with a well-respected name like the Kathys Biddick School of Music, or maybe the Mikes Catania Composition Academy.

    MOVING: Starting on March 2, 2008, BU has committed to a daily regimen of stretches and biking so he's not an out-of-shape blob on his Europe trip. Sedentary sounds a lot like sediment, and BU ain't no barnacle. To ensure an accurate schedule of exercise, he is rewatching Alias from the beginning.

    MARRYING: On March 4, 2008, Larry, inaugural member of the "Month of Thanksgivings" phenomenon and Poker Champion of 2007, will be marrying fiancée, Janice. This is also their fourth anniversary of dating, which will make it much easier to remember fifty years from now (and the reason why all of my life events, including births, deaths, and purchases of large kitchen appliances will only occur on 12 of 12 day from now on). Sadly, Larry will be moving to Maryland after the wedding which means he'll have to become a crappy driver and bemoan the extinction of the Maryland crab while waiting for the late night drag races to start.

    What have you been up to recently?

    Museum returns tank to Schwarzenegger
    Language barrier scuppers walker
    Italian men can no longer grope

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    Tuesday, March 03, 2009

    List Day: Five Notable First CDs

    Don't forget to submit your Name That Tune entries by TOMORROW at noon! Blink tags are for weenies.

    These may not have been the very first CDs I ever owned, and there were certainly plenty of cassette tapes and comedy records beforehand, but these were the earliest CDs I can remember listening to continuously in junior high school and high school. Whether it was in the CD player that plugged into the tape deck of the 1994 Dodge Spirit, or through my headphones on the back of the Crew bus to some random river in another state, these CDs became so familiar to me that I can remember almost every single beat and flourish even today.

  • The Tonight Show Band, Volume II with Doc Severinsen:
    This was the CD that taught my brain how a tight jazz ensemble should sound, how jazz should be arranged, and how cleanly a lead trumpet should be playing. Later, I bought Volume I, but also liked II better.

  • Red Hot Jazz by the Canadian Brass:
    Our house was filled with quintet music, and this CD was one of the earliest that broke me away from classical quintet arrangements and into jazz, even though it was the whitest sounding jazz you could possibly record.

  • Then and Now... The Best of the Monkees:
    I'm not exactly sure how I got on a Monkees kick, but knew all the lyrics to these songs, including the horrible 80s pop songs stuck on the end from when they tried to make a comeback.

  • Soundtrack from Dances With Wolves, not by Jim Barry:
    We watched this movie on a class field trip in seventh grade for American History, back when the Skyline Mall theatre still existed (They fast forwarded through the naked sexy parts but left Kevin Costner's bare ass on the screen). I may have listened to this soundtrack for three years straight.

  • Live in Osaka, by the Eastman Wind Ensemble:
    This was one of the few classical CDs I listened to with any regularity -- my dad had a massive collection of wind band music but little to no orchestral recordings (which may be why I write so little music for strings). I remember always skipping the Joseph Schwantner piece because I thought it was lame. Then I went to music school and learned that that's how you compose if you want people to think you're artistic.
  • Your turn! What was your most memorable first CD? Share in the comments section.

    Maryland upholds anonymity for web site commenters
    Obama's helicopter blueprints end up on P2P network
    Cussing at students gets teacher suspended

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    Wednesday, March 03, 2010

    Playa Lucia, on the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico

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    Thursday, March 03, 2011

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    The Guild, Season Four:
    The story in this season of The Guild grows organically from its focus around online gaming and manages to shift around several of the character relationships to support ensuing hilarity. This season (about an hour and twenty minutes) is just as good as previous seasons, although I would have to watch them all again to really pick out a favourite.

    Final Grade: B+

    The Office, Season One:
    When The Office first came out, I stopped watching it after about four episodes. People always looked at me incredulously when I said I didn't like it, but rewatching it today confirms my undeniable prowess at being judgy. The first season is pretty weak, with more uncomfortable moments than funny ones, and the character of Michael Scott is written to be 100% unsympathetic. We're watching the 2nd season now, and I find that all of my perceived issues have been addressed. Note: The first season is only 6 episodes long.

    Final Grade: C-

    Ten by Gabriella Cilmi:
    This is Cilmi's follow-up to Lessons to Be Learned, and though her voice is just as solid, the songs aren't quite as good. There's a larger focus on dance beats, resulting in a CD full of catchy, forgettable pop. This is also not a CD I can blast in the car with the windows down, since most of the songs have lyrics like "I am a woman on a mission (whoa)" that do not reflect well on masculinity.

    Final Grade: B-

    Rare rhino makes public appearance
    Woman survives ride on minivan hood
    Buyer beware of bathtub cheese

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    Monday, March 03, 2014

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Sadly I did not make it to Oklahoma this weekend, as I felt like my body needed a couple more days of quietude to fully recover. I was feeling pretty weak as my digestive system had just done a hard reboot, and my sleep schedule was abnormally paced after having slept for nearly 72 hours straight last week -- my body was exhausted but my mind was wired and unwilling to snooze. (Final Weight Loss for The Biggest Loser: 6 pounds)

    So, while Rebecca went ahead without me to the land of the Gillises (which, I was told, is not actually the Midwest, because that might offend actual Midwesterners), I stayed home, stepping timidly and taking stock. On Friday night, I watched and partially snoozed through the movie, The Family, featuring Robert DeNiro as yet another gangster.

    Saturday was March 1, according to the goat in the tree in my monthly wall calendar, and perfect for a round of Spring Cleaning. In addition to cleaning the entire house, I also reoriented three rooms for novelty and maximum efficiency.

    On Sunday, I caught up on homework for my online class, followed the churning upheaval about the upcoming snowstorm, and ate Domino's pizza while watching Amazon Prime Pilots.

    Throughout the weekend, I also peeked cautiously into old Blizzard games, including World of Warcraft and Diablo 3. All of that Hearthstone action had made me nostalgic for WoW, but after logging in to find completely revamped skill trees, eighteen more UI panes, and a button bar more moth-eaten than the shirt from 9th grade that I still wear, I was overwhelmed by the implied complexity of ever playing it again and ran away.

    My experience with Diablo 3 was a little more positive. The auction house is shutting down, and apparently all of the loot has been retuned to be more sensible (no more barbarian belts full of Intelligence). My run through Act I was enjoyable, finely tuned, and had a few new events. It was a little overkill-y to find 4 Legendary items in that short span, since I only ever got 1 Legendary in my whole game time before that, but it was also more engaging than ever before. They probably knew that I was an influential blogger with a million person gaming audience and coded a few extra Legendaries just for the positive PR.

    How was your weekend?

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    Tuesday, March 03, 2015

    List Day: Recent Purchases

    Date Purchase Reason
    2/26 Internet It's comcastic.
    2/27 Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Meal Post-All-Nighter breakfast craving
    2/28 Blackened Sea Scallops Doing our taxes made us hungry for seafood.
    3/1 Propane Refill We grill three times a week for dinner and it sucks when you run out mid-steak.
    3/1 Broom The broom that came with me from Centreville (2004) could no longer perform.
    3/1 Toilet Seat The white coating scraped away in one spot on the rim of the old seat, leaving a dark smudge that looks like either mold or poop from far away. Visitors might judge us.
    3/1 100W Incandescent Bulbs CFLs are overrated.
    3/1 New drain screens Long-haired residents necessitate a healthy supply of expensive drain cleaner or inexpensive drain screens.
    3/2 State of the Art by Hilltop Hoods Haven't listened to new music in a month.

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    Thursday, March 03, 2016

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Meet the Patels (PG):
    This is a harmless documentary-style movie about an American-born Indian trying to meet his future wife through traditional means. The ending is telegraphed pretty far in advance, but it had moments of humour and didn't overstay its welcome. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B

    Inside Out:
    The latest Pixar movie is thematically challenging, with anthropomorphized emotions controlling the brain of a pre-teen girl. The setting is inventive and well-done and the voice actors are perfectly paired with the emotions they play (Lewis Black as Anger, for example). It drags a bit in the middle with Back to the Future II syndrome, where continuous roadblocks pop up just to prevent the plot from reaching its conclusion, and is probably better for older kids than the younger set.

    Final Grade: B

    Mozart in the Jungle, Season Two:
    The first season of this show was lightweight fun, and deserving of its awards. The second season goes nowhere, treading plot water with minimal structure. We watched about half of the season, including a useless episode where everyone gets high and has weird dreams without resolution, and then gave up. If I wanted to watch musicians get high around me, I would just go back to grad school. Free on Amazon Prime.

    Final Grade: D

    Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void:
    This is the third and final chapter of the Starcraft II video game, whose first part came out back in 2010. I liked the first act, but the load times in the second act drove me up the wall. The last act was released with so little fanfare that I didn't even notice it for a couple months. The whole affair is technically flawless but uninteresting, with too many polished cutscenes telling a story I don't care about and boring missions with too many unnecessary constraints trying to conceal the age of the genre. Given my history with the series, it almost sounds sacreligious to say that playing Starcraft bored me, but this game triggered that emotion. Farewell, college memories.

    Final Grade: C-

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    Friday, March 03, 2017

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season Two:
    This remains a fun, no-investment treadmill show that occasionally has some really funny musical parodies. Thankfully, the overarching plot is allowed to naturally shift away from last season's love triangle which was starting to get old even though it was the original premise.

    Final Grade: B

    The Accountant (R):
    I liked this action movie about Ben Affleck as an autistic accountant with surprising skills much more than expected. Good escapist entertainment with some nice character development. The twists are pretty easy to spot miles away, but it didn't affect my enjoyment.

    Final Grade: B

    Game of Thrones, Season Six:
    I was bored for most of this season and I'm glad that the later episodes started showing hints of all of the disparate plot lines starting to come together. Also, how narrow is the Narrow Sea? Seems like everyone started crossing it in minutes once the plots demanded that people be on both continents in successive scenes.

    Final Grade: B-

    You're the Worst, Season Two:
    Season Two is still very profane and funny but with a more serious storyline about a character's depression. I normally don't like shows with morally empty main characters, but the sides characters like Edgar counterbalance the general meanness. The side plot involving a fake rapper grudge was my favourite part of the season.

    Final Grade: B

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    Wednesday, March 03, 2021

    Memory Day: Snapshots

    This picture was taken 3 years ago today, on March, 3, 2018.

    Maia was about 8 months old and in the awkward phase where she wasn't quite crawling yet. While this was a good time for making sure she didn't get away, it required a lot more intervention to move and position her (or her toys) to reset her rapidly decreasing interest meter.

    This particular use of a Walmart mirror of questionable construction integrity probably lasted for about 3 minutes before she needed a new experience.

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    Friday, March 03, 2023

    Thesis Day

    It has now been exactly 20 years since I defended my Master's Thesis at FSU. To commemorate this milestone, I've put together this score video of the piece from start to finish.

    I've done very little with my music degrees since leaving grad school. Apart from a few sub-in trumpet performances and brass quintet arrangements for my dad, I've been content to be a passive consumer of music rather than a creator. In contrast, I've made at least a million dollars with my computer science degree, most of which went towards Popeyes meals and boxed DVD sets of bad TV shows.

    Learn more about each movement: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX

    tagged as music | permalink | 1 comment


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