This Day In History: 04/05

Friday, April 05, 2002

Steve Reich: WORKS 1965 - 1995, Part V of V

Disc nine of the set contains excerpts from his theatre piece, The Cave which was for a mix of performers, prerecorded voices, and video clips. I really didn't care for the audio portions that I heard -- perhaps the boring sameness of some of the samples is helped by the visuals in the actual production.

Disc ten contained Proverb, Nagoya Marimbas, and City Life, the last one being his most recently recorded work in the set. Proverb was an interesting vocal work that didn't rely on electronic sampling, but I didn't enjoy it as much as The Desert Music. I found City Life to be an interesting piece in the same vein as Different Trains, although for some reason, this work didn't seem as weighty as the earlier one. When listening to the two back to back, I prefer the earlier work, and this one seems to be just more of the same. It's still got some good material in it though.

Overall, I enjoyed listening through this boxed set, although I would strongly recommend taking it in small doses. Reich's early experimental work is interesting because it shows timbral qualities you might not otherwise discover, and his later works are good because he developed his style, and didn't just rely on gimmicky devices to carry the music. If you are a casual listener interested in sampling his work, I'd bypass the boxed set and look for a CD containing some of the works I mentioned, notably Different Trains and The Desert Music.

The End

I watched the movie, Following, last night. It was the first movie made by the director of Memento and tells the story of a writer who picks people at random out of a crowd to follow. Chronology is mixed up and the whole affair is something of an intimate film noir. It's really well-done and almost like a Memento Lite -- with a tricky premise, but one that's not nearly as mindbending as the later movie. The film's in black and white, and just barely over an hour long, so check it out if you liked Memento.

As DVDs get more and more mainstream, more and more rental discs are getting smudged and scratched, simply because most people don't take the time to care for the discs if they don't own them. I've rented three movies in the last month alone with scratches deep enough to cause scene stuttering. Unless rental stores like Blockbuster come up with a way to mass-remove scratches, this year's DVDs will be pretty worthless in the future.

tagged as music, reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Saturday, April 05, 2003

The movie Catch Me If You Can was playing at the dollar theatre last night. Check it out if you have the time -- it's a light-hearted, slightly over-the-top movie about a check forger based on a true story. Both Hanks and DiCaprio do a decent job in their roles and the movie doesn't feel as long as it actually is.

Today is work day. And maybe clean the apartment day. And maybe take a nap on the couch with Booty after I post these new pictures of her day.

Porn for Geologists
How much did FSU know about its QB's alleged betting?
My political compass

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, April 05, 2004

Another weekend is down for the count, filled with fun activities like hanging blinds, running cable, and installing mirrored closet doors. I came in 9th of 9 on Poker Night, which is a compelling reason for our low $3 buy-in.

I haven't had much reading time recently. I hate when I read a book continuously and then return to it after a long hiatus. I'd gotten through about five hundred pages of the latest Wurts book before the move, but the last week of house stuff has completely broken the flow. I'll have to go back and reread some sections to get back into the groove of the story.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    oak tree worms, irving stone and fragment of lust for life, green sonata form book, trupimp, uri college pictures, the complete manual of suicide "suicide manual", fattening michelle

Tigger gets randy
The valet you don't have to tip
Hells Angels Target Students' Logo Use

permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I successfully made it through day one of "Take Yourself Back to Work" week. Very little changed in the week I was out -- the guy with the mule laugh is still in the office around the corner and the bathroom still smells like fruit loops when they forget to ventilate it. I'll probably work extra this weekend so I don't have to use up more of my bottomless leave pool on sickness.

"Who is 'the loneliest monk'?" - MTV News Reporter Tabitha Soren after her interview with Bill Clinton, in which Clinton said his dream was to play sax with Monk

Because there can never be too many shows on UPN
Because we need more Al Gore in the media
Teachers fail at peer mediation

permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Life in Progress

  • Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time is the funnest video game I've played in a long time. Its use of the split screen feels completely natural, it has charm, and it even has a good English translation. Part role-playing game, part platform hopper, and part adventure, this game is a tiny replica of Paper Mario for GameCube which is a definite compliment in my book. Buy it if only to hear Mario's faux Italian voice proclaim, "BABIES!" (everywhere!).

  • I've gotten so caught up in the above game that I haven't played much with my Nintendog, a golden retriever named Woofer. He's probably run away by now.

  • A thousand bucks later and my brakes are replaced and wonderfully tactile. There's so much padding down there it feels like someone tossed a chunky American baby under the brake pedal when I slow down. If you've ever been in a car with me, you know that I set the parking brake like I'm spinning the wheel on The Price is Right. Now it only takes a couple notches to feel snug, rather than the ninety degree angle it used to take.

  • The first thunderstorm of the year passed through Loudoun County two nights ago but I'm still not sure we can officially call it a storm. Take a look at the radar picture -- what kind of homoerotic storm manifests itself as a straight line?

  • I started reading the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, since I liked his Ruby in the Smoke series and I love it so far. Most fantasy series spend so long on exposition and explaining why things are the way they are that you might as well go see the documentary instead. So far, this series grips you from the start and tells how things happen to be, leaving it up to the reader to figure out the rules of the world or explaining them throughout the book rather than in an introductory paragraph.

  • Paige is doing well in Spain, but I am not allowed to share her gallivanting dog stories on my website upon pain of death.

  • Last night, I uploaded my Java project and threw down the $150 for the essay portion of the exam (taken from the cock-fighting winnings of my last trip to Durham NC) and have scheduled it for Thursday afternoon after work. Maybe it will be graded before my annual performance review in mid-May so I can buy everyone a present.

  • I also rearranged my office, putting the computer back in its spring/summer position. I did this for two reasons: 1) In the old position in front of the window, the monitor becomes backlit like some yuppy Phillips wall TV as the sun moves further north, and right around April I can't see a thing on the monitor during the day, and, 2) I just can't leave things alone, can I?

  • There are two cats in the picture of my office. Can you spot them?

  • How is your life going?

  • Happy Birthday Geoffrey King! He can enjoy a new episode of LOST tonight.

    Presenting the case for shacking up before you get old
    Keeping in touch through IM without ever talking
    Bug has explosive revenge on teacher

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 11 comments

    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    Psychoanalysis Day

    Sixteen years ago when I was in the seventh grade, the entire class body had to take a series of multiple choice psychology tests to determine which of us should prepare for great ambitions and college life, and which should immediately start reserving spots in the city jail. Here are the results of mine -- how closely do they match up with what you know about me?

    Happy Birthday Geoffrey King!

    It's still a DUI if it's a horse...
    ...but not if it's a Zamboni
    Smoking is good for you

    tagged as memories | permalink | 4 comments

    Monday, April 05, 2010

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday night, we had dinner at Omia's Pub and Grille on Dranesville Road, which has the same name as another restaurant we used to go to off of Route 28, but with more food diversity. The innards of the restaurant reminded me of going to a 1980s era Pizza Hut for BOOK-IT!, and service was pleasant. I ordered a steak stromboli which seemed surprisingly sparse on steak, but the msytery was soon solved after a delivery customer called in to report that my steak had ended up in him plain stromboli.

    On Saturday, I finally got around to cleaning two years of spider detritus out of my shed, and then spent the rest of the day doing work-work, followed by starting on the next version of DDMSence. Rebecca was out at a kite festival in Front Royal all day, and I cannot remember what we did for dinner that night -- my memory at 30 flickers like loose-filamented light bulb.

    Sunday involved some outdoor weeding and stick collection, and in the evening we went to the home of Kathy and Chris (of Kathy and Chris), accompanied by some pork chops we had been marinating all day long. After playing "catch" with the baby and eating the pork, I lost at that railroad game again.

    How was your weekend?

    The most foolish write-offs ever attempted
    North Korea fears 2012 disaster film will thwart rise as superpower
    Pug's pudginess thwarts wolf

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 3 comments

    Tuesday, April 05, 2011

    Arkansas Travelogue, Part I of II

    or maybe "of III", depending on schedules, popularity, verbosity, and line breaks

    Our trip to Arkansas started off inauspiciously with a power outage during our designated packing period. Unlike people living in the PEPCO fiefdom, power outages are rare in our neighbourhood because of the combination of Dominion Power and underground power lines. We made the best of a bad scene by lighting enough candles to make our home look like the nerve center of an up and coming cult and eating in with take-out from Boston Market (quarter dark, with mashed potatoes and gravy, and macaroni and cheese).

    We drove to Dulles Airport the next morning (because a three day stay in the economy lot is still cheaper than the overpriced airport cab monopoly with the illogically abbreviated website, washfly.com, which doesn't make me think of ground transportation in the least bit). Security was painless, as it always is at Dulles before 7 AM, and after skillfully ignoring the temptation of a 500 pound Chipotle spicy burrito for breakfast (really, who eats it that early?) we made it to our gate with time to spare.

    After a brief layover in Atlanta with a greasy Southern breakfast, we arrived to the mild climate of Little Rock, Arkansas, where we joined up with a few other out-of-towners and ended up with a brand new Nissan for our rental car. We had a brief adventure searching for drink supplies in the last wet county before a veritable alcohol desert, and then hit the road to the sound of country songs from the 90s, and radio advertisements for Camouflage Caps ("so no one can see what you're thinking!").

    In just under two hours, we had passed Toad Suck Park and arrived at Mt. Nebo, Arkansas, where the wedding was to be held. We had rented a private cabin for 6 on the very top of the mountain, and were greeted by a wonderful view from our screened-in porch. We were right on the rim of the mountaintop, so a steep decline lurked just out of range (topographically speaking -- this is not foreshadowing).

    To Be Continued...

    Democrat chastised for saying 'uterus' on House floor
    Coach Bernard Wright's talent trap
    Rooftop sex was poor judgement

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

    Thursday, April 05, 2012

    You still visit here?

    I'm still working.

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

    Friday, April 05, 2013

    List Day: Currently...

    • Currently listening to... Bacaktown by Trombone Shorty and the soundtrack to Pushing Daisies, Season One

    • Currently reading... Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg

    • Currently playing... Bioshock 1.

    • Currently composing... nothing.

    • Currently considering buying... a replacement tomato plant.

    • Currently coding... Java objects mapping to geospatial geometries in the Time-Space-Position Information specification for DDMSence.

    • Currently planning... nothing.

    • Currently writing... this post.

    • Currently watching... Parks and Recreation, Season Three, and treadmill-watching The Office, Season Two.

    • Currently anticipating... a lunch of leftover Pattaya Thai food

    • Currently exercising... two and a half hours per week or more.

    This update was sponsored in part by LiveJournal.

    tagged as lists | permalink | 0 comments

    Tuesday, April 05, 2016

    Stuff in My Drawers Day

    Sixteen years ago today was the Spring Concert of the VT Symphony Band, the second-tier band of musicians who liked playing music but didn't necessarily care enough to compete for FIRST CHAIR or practice more than an hour a day (if that).

    This set list was completely unmemorable other than the fact that none of the woodwinds could play any of the runs in the Tschaikowsky, so that piece was fewer HIGHS and more lows.

    This was in my fourth year at Tech, so Anna was still majoring in keeping fish alive, and I was still majoring in everything.

    tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

    Wednesday, April 05, 2017

    Memory Day: Snapshots

    This picture was taken in the Spring of 1992.

    I had just received my first pair of glasses and realized that you were supposed to see the individual leaves in the trees outside without walking right up to one. These are probably the largest frames ever created -- in my poorly developed middle school engineer brain, I figured that if the lenses were bigger, I could see more without moving my head as much. While technically true, larger glasses had the unfortunate side effect of making me look like some sort of half-evolved salmon.

    tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

    Friday, April 05, 2019

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    A Star is Born:
    This is a predictable downer of a musical biopic that never paints outside of the lines and is barely worth watching for the good acting performances. There's a point early in the movie where I hoped it would diverge from the expected path and become a road trip movie featuring a bunch of drag queens cracking jokes on a tour bus, but it was not to be. They need people like me working on screenplays in Hollywood, because my version would definitely have won Best Picture.

    Final Grade: C-

    Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms by Hannah Fry:
    Although written by a mathematician, this book offers a friendly introduction to machine learning and algorithms using common language and a compelling writing style that relies on interesting real-world anecdotes. Instead of focusing on the math and logic within any particular algorithm, it describes the impacts various algorithms have had on our lives. It gives a balanced assessment of the pros and cons of machine learning, and what potential lies on the horizon. The general theme is that the "magic" of algorithms can lead us to bestowing them with unwarranted trust and authority -- human oversight and transparency is critical to avoid a Black Mirror dystopian society.

    Final Grade: B+

    Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze:
    Another transplant from the abortive Wii U to the Switch, this is a polished, difficult platformer. I died many times in the first few worlds, probably because I'm no longer as good at console games as I was in my teen years. The game suffers a bit from controls that feel slow and imprecise and there are way too many collectibles drawing out the play time. Not a bad game, just not my favourite.

    Final Grade: B-

    Arrested Development, Season Five Part Two:
    Skip it. The final 8 episodes are not very funny, have an over-reliance on old catchphrases, and stretch already thin plotlines to infinity. It also doesn't help that the show is still relying on some of the awful plots from Season Four when it would have been better to move on and forget them. Performances are generally obligatory or low energy, and every scene with Tobias' "new family" is awful. If you can't stand not knowing how everything turns out, just watch the final 45 minute episode which wraps everything up. This one episode could have been shown in lieu of the previous 15 Season Five episodes without any loss of plot continuity. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: D+

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, April 05, 2021

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Saturday morning, we drove out to Alexandria to visit my parents. Maia, already in Easter mode, wore her Easter dress and brought along eggs to hide and find.

    Egg hunts with Maia are different than typical egg hunts. She will hide all of the eggs, tell you that they're ready to be found, and then find them herself while leading you around the yard.

    In the evening, we had a fire on our porch and ate leftover homemade pizza. We also relinquished care of the two guest cats and Amber is thrilled to be an only child again.

    On Sunday, we dyed eggs and then spent the day in the backyard, hiding, finding, and burning things. We had egg salad sandwiches for lunch and then worked on trailblazing a semi-permanent trail through the common area.

    In the evening, we grilled Worcestershire-marinated filet mignon on the grill and enjoyed yet another day with temperatures above 60 degrees.

    How was your weekend?

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

     

    You are currently viewing every post from a specific month and day across history. Posts are in chronological order with the oldest at the top. On the front page, the newest post is at the top. The entire URI! Zone is © 1996 - 2022 by Brian Uri!. Please see the About page for further information.

    Jump to Top
    Jump to the Front Page


    May 2004
    SMTWHFS
    1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031
    OLD POSTS
    Old News Years J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    J F M A M J
    J A S O N D
    visitors since November 2003