This Day In History: 03/23

Saturday, March 23, 2002

Today was Jazz History final project day, so I spent the afternoon transcribing three solos: Miles Davis on "All Blues" and "Freddie Freeloader", and Wynton Marsalis on "Well You Needn't" with Herbie Hancock. Given the choice between transcriptions, a standard paper, and an interview with a jazz legend, I opted for the easy way out. Transcribing is fun when you've got a good recording. However, transcribing bebop is only fun when you can slow the recording down.

I was going to post my list of uneducated Oscar guesses today, but I'm out of time and the list is incomplete. I'll try to post it tomorrow before the telecast. I'm not a big fan of the ceremony itself -- I usually just read the winners list the morning after. The whole idea of the film industry giving itself awards is pretty absurd -- it'd be like all the composition majors here getting together and passing out Prix de Romes within the group.

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Sunday, March 23, 2003

"I don't feel it makes the song any better - the grammar in it is very bad." - Randy Newman, on his award for best original song in Monster's Inc

It's time for round two of the URI! Domain's Horribly Uneducated Picks for the Oscars?! I've seen even fewer movies this year than I did last year at this time, so I created a cardboard partition with two dimensional effigies of various stars and placed it in Booty's litter box. The ones she pooped on are all obvious winners, while the one time she pooped in the corner signifies a wildcard pick later in the ceremony. Send me your picks or complaints using the mail button above this news update.


Best performance by an actor in a leading role

    The Nominees:
    Adrien Brody in The Pianist
    Nicolas Cage in Adaptation
    Michael Caine in The Quiet American
    Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs Of New York
    Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt

    What will happen?
    I haven't seen any of the movies in this category, so I'll go with Nicholas Cage, since he apparently played two roles in his movie. No one watched Quiet American and Daniel Day-Lewis has a hyphen in his name. Obvious losers.
Best performance by an actor in a supporting role
    The Nominees:
    Chris Cooper in Adaptation
    Ed Harris in The Hours
    Paul Newman in Road to Perdition
  • John C. Reilly in Chicago
    Christopher Walken in Catch Me If You Can

    What will happen?
    John C. Reilly was good in Chicago, but he played close to the same role in Good Girl. and did a better job. You can't go wrong with Ed Harris so that's where I'll put my money.
Best performance by an actress in a leading role
    The Nominees:
    Salma Hayek in Frida
    Nicole Kidman in The Hours
    Diane Lane in Unfaithful
    Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven
  • Renée Zellweger in Chicago

    What will happen?
    Salma Hayek can't act and does horribly in roles that require dialogue. I'll go with Nicole Kidman since she does a lot of good movies and deserves some recognition.
Best performance by an actress in a supporting role
    The Nominees:
    Kathy Bates in About Schmidt
    Julianne Moore in The Hours
    Queen Latifah in ChicagoMeryl Streep in Adaptation
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago

    What will happen?
    Julianne Moore's rubbed me the wrong way ever since she was in the horrible Magnolia and I think this race will be between Kathy Bates and Meryl Streep. The ladies of Chicago did a lot of singing and dancing, but it's not really that hard to act campy. I'll go with Meryl Streep since she's old and recognized.
Best animated feature film of the year
    The Nominees:
    Ice Age
    Lilo & Stitch
    Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
    Spirited Away
    Treasure Planet

    What will happen?
    Treasure Planet only got on the ballot because five movies were required so it won't even be considered. The one about the horse sounds like a commercial for gum or crayons or both, and its similarity in title to Spirited Away will drag them both down. The award will go to Ice Age because the characters don't look like rabid koalas.
Achievement in art direction
    The Nominees:
  • Chicago
    Frida
    Gangs of New York
  • The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
    Road to Perdition

    What will happen?
    I just saw Chicago this afternoon, and it was very artsy, but I think this award will go to LotR, because it doesn't have many categories this year. Really though, it's not like they created New Zealand from scratch.
Achievement in cinematography
    The Nominees:
  • Chicago
    Far from Heaven
    Gangs of New York
    The Pianist
    Road to Perdition

    What will happen?
    Chicago will take this category because fade-outs into fantasy world where people sing and dance are always hip.
Achievement in costume design
    The Nominees:
  • Chicago
    Frida
    Gangs of New York
    The Hours
    The Pianist

    What will happen?
    Again, Chicago will win here with its 1920s flapper outfits. Gangs, the only serious contender looks too much like a Childrens' Illustrated Classic of New York.
Achievement in directing
    The Nominees:
  • Chicago
    Gangs of New York
    The Hours
    The Pianist
    Talk to Her

    What will happen?
    Gangs will win here, because it's Martin Scorcese's magnum opus even if it did supposedly suck.
Best documentary feature
    The Nominees:
    Bowling for Columbine
    Daughter from Danang
    Prisoner of Paradise
    Spellbound
    Winged Migration

    What will happen?
    I've heard good things about Bowling for Columbine so I'll pick it. Daughter is tempting because it almost sounds like offensive slang, but will lose because of its alliteration (like Prisoner).
Best documentary short subject
    The Nominees:
    The Collector of Bedford Street
    Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks
    Twin Towers
    Why Can't We Be a Family Again?

    What will happen?
    Unless Mighty Times features Rosa Parks in a cape with Andy Kaufmann singing her theme song, it will lose. Why Can't We Be a Family Again? suffers from question syndrome, so the award will go to Collector of Bedford Street. Anyone who can collect a whole street is pretty cool in my book.
Achievement in film editing
    The Nominees:
    Chicago
    Gangs of New York
    The Hours
  • The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
    The Pianist

    What will happen?
    The only way you can tell which films were editing well is by how many scenes suck. Gangs will lose, therefore, and LotR will lose because they didn't cut a single scene. The finalists will be Chicago and The Hours, and The Hours will win by a nose. (LOLZ)
Best foreign language film of the year
    The Nominees:
    El Crimen Del Padre Amaro
    Hero
    The Man Without a Past
    Nowhere in Africa
    Zus & Zo

    What will happen?
    I'd choose either the first or the last, with Zus & Zo being the best title ever. El Crimen Del Padre Amaro will win, because this is a foreign language category and it sure looks foreign.
Achievement in makeup
    The Nominees:
    Frida
    The Time Machine

    What will happen?
    They cared so little about this category that they only nominated two movies. Frida will win because it isn't a remake and it's almost Friday.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
    The Nominees:
    Catch Me If You Can - John Williams
    Far from Heaven - Elmer Bernstein
    Frida - Elliot Goldenthal
    The Hours - Philip Glass
    Road to Perdition - Thomas Newman

    What will happen?
    John Williams and Thomas Newman won't win. I'll put my money on Philip Glass because I want to see him go up and say something wacky. Plus it will give Dr. Spencer more ammunition for his arsenal in future classes.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
    The Nominees:
    Burn It Blue by Elliot Goldenthal from Frida
    Father and Daughter by Paul Simon from The Wild Thornberrys Movie
    The Hands That Built America by Bono et al from Gangs of New York
  • I Move On by Kander/Ebb from Chicago
  • Lose Yourself by Eminem from 8 Mile

    What will happen?
    There were so many songs in Chicago that I don't even remember this one. Lose Yourself is a great song, but it's rap. People seem to like the feel-good buddy songs anyhow, so Paul Simon will win here.
Best motion picture of the year
    The Nominees:
  • Chicago
    Gangs of New York
    The Hours
  • The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
    The Pianist

    What will happen?
    Granted, I haven't seen all of these movies, but none of them seem grand and good enough to warrant Best Picture. Gangs will suffer from the backlash of its newspaper ad which was against Oscar rules. LotR won't win because they'll want to save up for next year when the final segment takes all the awards in a Titanic fit of rage (LOLZ). The final call will be between The Hours and The Pianist and The Pianist will be the final winner. It almost sounds like 'penis' so it's chock full of wonderful joke ideas.
Best animated short film
    The Nominees:
    The Cathedral
    The Chubbchubbs!
    Das Rad
  • Mike's New Car
    Mt. Head

    What will happen?
    Mike's New Car was cute but unmemorable. Normally I'd choose The Chubbchubbs! because you can never go wrong with an exclamation point! However, Mt. Head will win. What a winning title for everyone involved.
Best live action short film
    The Nominees:
    Fait d'Hiver
    J'Attendrai Le Suivant?
    Inja (Dog)
    Johnny Flynton
    Der er en Yndig Mand (This Charming Man)

    What will happen?
    I'm going to choose Inja (Dog) because it's almost like Ninja Dog. The last one won't win because Booty could type better words on a keyboard with her ass.
Achievement in sound
    The Nominees:
  • Chicago
    Gangs of New York
  • The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
    Road to Perdition
  • Spider-Man

    What will happen?
    I'm sure the spiders sounded very true to life, but this award will go to LotR for massive scope of the battle scenes.
Achievement in sound editing
    The Nominees:
  • The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
  • Minority Report
  • Road to Perdition

    What will happen?
    Are you still reading this tripe? Minority Report will win here because it can be anagrammed as METRO TRIP IRONY which also describes one of the scenes in the movie.
Achievement in visual effects
    The Nominees:
  • The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
    Spider-Man
    Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

    What will happen?
    The effects in Spider-Man sucked, although they did a passable job at giving Kirsten Dunst tight shirts whenever it rained. Though LotR probably deserves the award, Star Wars will actually win because of its innovative digital filming hooplah.
Adapted screenplay
    The Nominees:
    About a Boy
    Adaptation
  • Chicago
    The Hours
    The Pianist

    What will happen?
    Let's go with Chicago here. We won't get to see this award anyhow, since ABC will cut away to show a missile shooting off of a ship in the Red Sea.
Original screenplay
    The Nominees:
    Far from Heaven
    Gangs of New York
    My Big Fat Greek Wedding
    Talk to Her
    Y Tu Mam? También

    What will happen?
    I presume that the last film translates as Your momma is shaped like a tamborine which ranks up there with My Big Fat Greerk Wedding on the list of "titles that Oscars voters will label as blue-collar". Far from Heaven will win because that's the one Booty pooped on.
The Razzies single out the worst achievements in film.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

My four day sabbatical has drawn to a close and I'm back in the saddle ready to hunt outlaws and Injuns. The majority of my time was spent working at the house, which is why there were no decent updates to be had.

On Friday, I rewired most of the outlets on the upper floor and painted over the rich green master bathroom with several coats of white. Because the house is south-facing, the sun shines directly into the bathroom, illuminating it like a sterile alien probe facility.

After lunch when the sun had slipped to the other side of the house, I moved to the study where I put together my American Dream desk, a gargantuan five million pound gorilla made out of particle board and the ingenious self-install bits that minimize drilling. Whichever engineer invented those must be a retired millionaire by now. The desk is U-shaped with drawers, a giant cabinet, and a set of smaller overhead cabinets. It will actually be able to hold the three printers, MIDI keyboard, scanner, MIDI box, and other assorted computer goods, and it will still have a cupboard leftover for Booty storage. Desk construction took the rest of the day.

That night, Anna, Ben, Jim, Monica, and I went to Champps where we hung out with Anna's people from work, Tina and Randy, who ended up being from the same high school as Monica, and were also friends with Joe and Matt, band people from Tech. Matt of course is currently married to Paige who was a music major at Tech that I knew. It was like the Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon, except without the six, the bacon, or the Kevin.

Saturday's big project was painting the hall bathroom, and Sunday was a little bit of everything, including watching Alias. On Monday, the three guys from Variety Windows came out to tear out my fourteen motel windows and replace them with high-quality vinyl windows. They got them all in by six in the evening. The cable guy also came out to find that every cable on the property had been cut at some point in the past. He had to drill two new ports into the house and run a cable to the back box (which will require a crew to bury the line in the back yard sometime next month).

Now I'm at work in the new building at Two Reston Overlook waiting for my network connectivity to get set back up, and wasting time by writing this update. As an update, I didn't get internet access all day, and couldn't post this until I got home.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    how did senator conkling die, christy kull nc, how do you exterminate japanese beetles, how to wall in lost temple with terran, winter xylem spruce, zippy fan club

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I've added the dynamically generated calendar to all the News pages now, so you can see at a glance which days have important news updates on them. Following one of the links will take you directly to the post from that day.

This leaves a nice aerodynamic black hole at the top of each page. I'm open to suggestions on how to fill said hole. I was considering doing a random cycling through various photos from the Photos page, or possibly rotating banner ads like this one, courtesy of Chris:

Have an idea? Post some suggestions with the Comments link at the lower right.

In other site news, I've helped bring www.nohunters.com back from the dead, for all you Warcraft/Frenzy fans .

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Cost of Being BU

Everyone hates bills, except for the kinds with Rights written on them (in which case they pretend to love them but really hate them anyhow). The problem with monthly or periodic bills besides the way they prevent you from buying that horse ranch in Utah is that they're spread out just enough so you don't realize how much you're being nickel-and-dime'd to death. You get in the habit of writing the account number on that check and grumbling, but never really stop to think about how much it's costing you and what you're getting out of it. Today, I'm going to break down the bills of a young American middle-class worker bee to provide an object lesson in the hemorrhaging of cash. Of course, I don't yet have to worry about such insanities as day care and poopy diapers, and I won't bother with groceries and leisure, but the outcome is eye-opening, regardless.

Car Tax: $0.24 per day, $90 per year
A tiny, yet palpable rip-off. Stop taxing my little Honda and just apply a massive yuppy tax to anyone who owns an SUV but does not have 8 children or a logging job in the Alaskan tundra.

HOA Fees: $0.40 per day, $147 per year
This is just enough money to keep the street lights on and the common areas mowed, but not so much that the HOA could actually get nosy and intrude in my personal affairs. I wholeheartedly approve. This is probably the cheapest HOA fee in the metropolitan area.

Popeyes: $0.65 per day, $240 per year
My life would not be nearly as fulfilling if I didn't have Popeyes for lunch every Friday. This is a necessity in the strongest sense of the word.

Water: $0.71 per day, $260 per year
Loudoun County water tastes good and makes me lemon-fresh. I approve of this bill.

House Insurance: $0.91 per day, $333 per year
This is my kind of insurance. For less than a dollar a day I protect all my useless crap. A+

Phone Service: $1.41 per day, $514.65 per year
This amount gets me a land line, caller ID and call waiting, and is the smallest possible account type you can get with Verizon. Since I don't have a cell phone, I'd say this is worth it, if slightly expensive -- the only people who call me are my family, a couple friends, work, and an ass caravan full of telemarketers. It would probably be less expensive to just string up a tin-can-phone between the two other people I talk to regularly, and it would mean fewer imbecilic political surveys as well!

Cable Television: $1.47 per day, $536.55 per year
Since I grew up in suburbia, I equate television with a "necessary utility" but it's really not, especially at this price. I honestly can't remember the last time my television wasn't tuned to ABC, FOX, Comedy Central, Animal Planet, or the WB (since Kim is easily 42% of their viewership). With the exception of new episodes of LOST, I probably wouldn't even notice the TV was gone, and there are millions of shows on DVD to fill the void. I look forward to the day when they have à la carte programming, where you only order the channels you want, but the cable industry will probably find some way to screw that up too. If I ever fall down a well, break my typing hands, and have to cut back on my lifestyle while on disability pay, I bet this would be one of the first things to go -- and I would probably start Netflixing too.

High Speed Internet: $1.57 per day, $576 per year
After electricity (and maybe water), this is easily the most necessary of the necessities. I would probably even pay more for this. The Internet is so ingrown into my life now that it actually is a utility feature. I would not move somewhere without Internet service that's reasonably priced and has consistent quality. I hope never to have to bounce the signal off my barn and through Bessie's trough.

Trash Pickup: $0.88 per day, $324 per year
Such a rip-off. it's scientifically proven than small Asians generate less waste. Trash gets picked up twice a week (recycling once), and I barely ever have enough trash to do one pickup bimonthly. The only reason I keep it is because it would be a bigger pain in the ass taking garbage to the dump myself, and I wouldn't want to put trash in my car.

Car Insurance: $2.53 per day, $924 per year
Huge rip-off. My car's never been in an accident and most trips are the 7 miles to work and back. If stuff doesn't happen, you should really get your money back.

Electricity: $2.63 per day, $960 per year
It seems a little steep until I consider just how much stuff I have plugged in and how useful it is. In the winter the monthly bills shoot up to $120, and I thought that was horrible until my coworker mentioned that his Fairfax gas bill was $800 once. Thank the Lord for electric heat pumps.

House Tax: $8.54 per day, $3120 per year
Such a rip-off. I've never had a fire or a burglary or been rushed to the hospital in an epileptic fit from playing Warcraft too long. Plus, they said if I tried to play on the elementary school playground again during school hours I would have to register as an sex offender. I want 80% of this cash back -- the rest they are allowed to use on road improvements.

Mortgage: $46.02 per day, $16800 per year
Steep, but totally worth it. For the same price I could get a queen-sized bed at Super 8 for the night with nary a coin leftover for the escort service. Seeing this number gives me the urge to appreciate my house a little bit more though -- I probably appreciate it $38/day or maybe $40. I guess I could hug the wall or something.

Health Insurance:
I can't really count this because it comes directly out of my paycheck, and money never seen is money never spent in my opinion. I bet I pay way too much for it though.

Grand Total: $68.01 per day, $24825 per year
It is a sobering thought to realize that every hour of my time costs me $2.83. When I sleep through the night, that's twenty bucks down the drain! To help defray this cost, I will now be charging a $1/hour "social fee" to be your friend or go to parties. I will probably also favour bodily functions over social functions, because then at least I am using two out of thirteen of the above services!

Kim surfaces as a sex symbol
It wouldn't be the U.S. if they didn't acquit the hot teachers
Woman with perfect memory baffles scientists

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Fragments

this is your brain in drag

♣ The earache I had on Monday finally stopped hurting by Wednesday and now I'm just deaf in one ear like I was during the Great Christmas Earache of 2004. Earaches are the only thing that can make my ears bleed outside of a Contemporary Music Festival, and this one did manage to lay me low for a couple of days.

♣ Bleeding ears are not normally fodder for discussion here, but I'm trying a new shock-value thing to up my ratings -- it worked for Fear Factor!

♣ Between all the suffering and painting and flooring and wenching, I've picked out a new project to occupy my time in the coming months: I will become a contributor to the newly-formed Wiki for my favourite series of all time. The War of Light and Shadow series is one point of the triumvirate of multi-medias I tend to push on unsuspecting friends (the other two points of the triangle being Memento, and Alias), and I even wrote an Amazon review a couple years ago that became a Spotlight Review.

♣ I'm sure the fact that all of you visit my site on this interweb thing means you've heard of Wikipedia, at least in passing. The Wiki idea is also used frequently to create more specific encyclopedias (there's even one for all things 24), and since the unfinished WoLaS series is already epic in scope (probably over six thousand pages already), I think a massive glossary would be very helpful to other readers.

♣ I once wrote a post about my desires to write a definitive source on the web, but I can't remember when it was and I can no longer find it in the archive. Because the evidence is gone, the next fragment contains BRAND NEW INFORMATION.

♣ I've always wanted to create one of those sites on the web containing everything you ever wanted to know about      (past ideas to sit on my underline were Alias, Finale tricks, Frequently Asked Questions by Kathy and Mike about Finale, Finale workarounds, music theory, the Java MIDI packages, and dressing your cat). The two obstacles that were always in my way: 1) Usually after I enthusiastically create the initial baseline for something, I get bored and move onto another project. 2) Almost every topic that I might be an "expert" on is a topic where a million other people are at least twice as expert-y as I am so I'd feel like a big poser. However, I'm sure that no one within two degrees of separation from me is as fanatical about this book series as I am, so it should be a good fit! Plus, as you can see from the daily Pulitzer material I write, I do have a way with words.

♣ A couple nights ago, I had a dream that was obviously sponsored by the word, "concinnity". People in the dream kept using it in conversation, it was written on walls, and randomly popped up out of context. The word was so etched in my brain that when I woke up I immediately wrote it down to see if it was a mystic sign that might lead me to buried treasure. It turns out that "concinnity" is an actual word, and means harmony in the arrangement or interarrangement of parts with respect to a whole. I have yet to figure out how this word will change my life, but if I find any riches or doubloons, you all ain't gettin' any.

♣ My weekend plans are pretty light compared to the rest of the month of March. I'll probably just paint the kitchen, work on my will, and dive into my new pet project, as previously mentioned. There are no birthdays this weekend -- in fact there are none on my calendar until April -- so all you preggos better start popping some babies out!

♣ Have a great weekend!

Increasing constraints increases creativity
Blondes suck
Woman buys all the tainted dog food

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up

On Saturday I took a leisurely jaunt out Route 7 to Winchester for the "Ben's 30th Birthday" Surprise Party. Because his 30th birthday isn't even until next month, he was quite surprised, although visually, he registered a normal Ben-sized amount (his eyes may have gotten a couple millimeters bigger as he walked into the house). In lieu of presents, everyone brought a baby.

After the party, I sashayed back to Sterling to work for a little while, and then met Rebecca in Reston to have dinner at Big Bowl. The restaurant was surprisingly packed for 8pm on a Saturday night, but the food was worth it, as it always is. The main dish I get there now is the Barbecue Pork Chow Fun with mushrooms, because you can't go wrong with the word "Fun" in the title.

We moseyed over to the theatre after dinner and ended up watching I Love You, Man (rated R for "Ruh Roh, Anna Can't Watch This"). I enjoyed this movie much more than I normally enjoy this genre -- the plot is so-so, but Paul Rudd is just so fun to watch that I didn't even think to look at the time before the movie ended (a rarity for me). Definitely an A- movie.

I was up at 6:30 on Sunday to work and then had bacon and eggs for breakfast, followed by a round of grocery shopping where we impulse-bought the fixings for do-it-yourself pizza.

On Sunday afternoon, Mike (of Mike and Chompy) rounded us all up for a game of ex-Floridan poker, but with Virginia rules. I came in third place behind Chris Smith, and then Mike, but I'm pretty sure I taught them both a lesson.

Twins suspected in heist let go because of DNA
More women needing cash go from jobless to topless
Pink elephant caught on camera

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Señor Skip Day

I've been busy readying my super secret project for release in the face of positive early feedback, so I'm skipping today's update and taking tomorrow off to get it done. To date, it's taken up over 200 hours of my free time since the beginning of the year (and has sometimes felt like a second job), so it will be nice to have something tangible for people to play with. Check back tomorrow afternoon for some sort of announcement!

Unfortunately, it will not be useful to most of the people who read the URI! Zone, but it will be very cool even if you don't know why (see also, me as a college sophomore in my Members Only jacket).

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Memory Day: Old Snapshots


This image was taken on Halloween in 1990. In this year, I was some sort of hybrid wizard / warrior. I was not necessarily trying to be a battle mage -- I probably just couldn't decide which costume to commit to. We were never allowed to buy costumes (since it's economically inefficient to spend money just for 1/365th of a year) so all of our ideas had to come from pieces around the house.

The hat / helm is construction paper, and the pendant is from my mom's jewelry box. The wooden sword with bagtie holster was made by the next-door neighbour of my grandparents, and had a long life until my ADHD friend, Tony, smashed it against a tree. On my left arm is a shield made out of a wicker paper plate holder. It was sure to deflect many attacks, both magical and physical.

Battle mages also wear Kanga ROOS.

Dubai on Empty
Capitalism may have ended life on Mars
Angry San Antonio Taco Bell customer fires at officers

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Habits Day: Driving Directions

  • I use Google Maps for driving directions. When I look them up, I'm more interested in adding the location to my internal, spatial map of the area. I was great at those rotating 3D shape SAT questions.

  • I do not think of directions in the same way that Google Maps prints them out. I have to rewrite them to start with the distance and end with the turn: "Turn left on Main Street and drive 1.2 miles. Turn right on Elm Street and drive 0.5 miles." really should be "Drive 1.2 miles, then turn on Elm Street."

  • When driving out of town, I'll preface the directions with a full route map, and end with a zoomed in map of the surrounding ten blocks in case I miss a turn at the end.

  • I tend to start directions from the closest spot I already know to the destination, rather than my home. No sense in printing the directions out of my neighbourhood every time.

  • If I miss a turn, I'm more likely to try the next turn than make a U-turn.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

Although the first half of the weekend was buried under the weight of proposal work, I did manage to tear away in time to salvage it. On Saturday night, we went over to Joe & Katie's for gender-segregated gathering where all of the women were knitting, sewing, and scrapbooking, while all of the men were playing frisbee, grilling chicken, and playing video games.

On Sunday morning, we drove out to Sky Meadows State Park for a hike described on some online sites as "hiking through the Alps but in Virginia". Virginia State Parks is really on their game with trail maintenance and signage, with accurate mileage markings and enough trail benches satisfy the Eagle Scout requirements for an entire troop of Boy Scouts. I hiked until about the 10 mile marker, while Rebecca was slightly harder-corer and did another circuit up a steep hill, bringing her to 11.75 miles.

In the evening, we had dinner at American Tap Room in Reston Town Center with Returned Mike and Annie. As an apropos appetizer, we had the steak and cheese egg rolls, which could easily be the most American mashup you could make. For dinner I tried, for the first time, fried chicken and waffles. I remain unconvinced that this is a necessary food pairing.

How was your weekend?

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 6 years ago in March 2010. We were taking advantage of ridiculously cheap round-trip tickets to Puerto Rico by spending a week on the island. The photo was taken somewhere in the rainforest on El Yunque and we spent a few days in a hippie's eco-lodge with only 1 option for dinners and no beer other than the four bottles bequeathed to us by another departing couple from DC. On the way to this lodge, we were briefly lost in a seedy rural town called Florida, where all of the street signs were mysteriously missing and all of the townsfolk gave us the evil eye.

I spent much of the down time on this trip reading about XML and coding in my head, and released the very first release of DDMSence a few weeks later.

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Maia Week #37 Battle Report

It has been an eternity since the last battle report at Week #32, and Maia is now 8.515 months old. She finally broke the 16 pound threshold but is not so close to the 18 pound line that we have to worry about her quickly outgrowing her bulk box of Size 2 diapers or reporting her to the local fishing warden.

Much has changed in the intervening month. She started shrieking again back in Week #33, but thankfully that was very short-lived. In Week #34, she caught the gross sickness that both of her parents had suffered through, to the point where her voice sounded like an answering machine message from the 80s and she oozed phlegm all over her crib like a confused snail. This sickness cleared up just in time for our LA trip, which was great because we didn't want to deal with both flight and sickness at the same time.

We flew back from LA on the day after Daylight Savings Time and our attempts at doing the requisite sleep cycle / time zone math took us into a tesseract so we finally gave up at trying to normalize anything. After two uncomfortable days where she got no sleep at all, she is now doing 10.5 - 11.5 hours continuously at night, followed by 1.5 - 3 hours of naps during the day -- almost where an average baby would be at this age.

Today, Maia likes pointing at things and rolling around the room (she just barely started what could leniently be called a "crawl" this week). She can sort of clap at the right places in "If You're Happy and You Know It", and can pick up cereal bits with her pincer fingers. Most importantly, she has two bottom front teeth which make her jut out her lower jaw like Popeye sometimes. With minor mobility, she is pretty agreeable throughout the day, although she does get bored of being in one room for more than about 20 minutes. She is also uneasy about her grandparents right now, possibly a side effect of being the belle of the ball amongst all of Annie's relatives at the wedding and getting passed around like a hot potato.

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

Monday, March 23, 2020

Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend, we took our self-isolation zone south to Sperryville for a two night stay in a private cottage. What was originally going to be a parent getaway planned weeks ago evolved into a family vacation in the face of the world going viral. We took all necessary precautions along the way: no stops to pee, one person on sterile take-out duty throughout the weekend, and only interacting with the innkeepers when handing off a growler for take-out beers.

The weather was wonderful Friday evening and we enjoyed a beer flight that was 9 for 9 in "beers I would drink again" on our private porch. Maia and Rebecca walked along and in the Thornton River until they fell in. Rebecca was more startled than Maia, who spent the rest of the weekend talking about how "mommy lost her sunglasses in the pond" but it's okay because "mommy has lots of sunglasses". For dinner, we had take-out pizza and then Maia took 3 hours to fall asleep in the exciting new cottage.

Rebecca went hiking at Buck Hollow early Saturday while Maia and I stayed home and practiced sleeping in each bed in the cottage. The innkeepers delivered two breakfast omelets made with smoky cheddar cheese and goat cheese and Maia ate all of the kiwi.

After breakfast, we drove into Shenandoah National Park to find it overwhelmed with visitors taking advantage of "No Entry Fees". It was pretty difficult to find a place to get out and hike responsibly distanced but we eventually made it to Skyland Lodge and Furnace Springs Trail. By the time we left the park at 1 PM, the overlooks were beginning to fill up like someone had advertised fall foliage months too early. It was definitely not a scene full of people taking COVID-19 seriously, although we can't impartially judge since we were there ourselves. "You aren't in traffic, you ARE traffic!" as the saying goes.

Maia's favorite part of the trip was when I made Annie's mac and cheese for lunch and all of the pasta was shaped like bunnies. After nap/quiet time, we picked up a lamb sandwich with a side of "balls of fire" from another nearby restaurant we used to get burgers at. The "balls of fire", fried balls of jalapeno macaroni and cheese the size of a stress ball, were serious business and even Rebecca couldn't finish one.

We drove home on Sunday after a breakfast of Eggs Hopkins: eggs over easy, prosciutto, and spinach drizzled over crunchy toast.

How was your weekend?

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

March Day

Twenty years of random photos taken in March

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