This Day In History: 04/18

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Today was the final day of Fugue class, so there's only one class left between me and the summertime. I've kept busy packing and practicing how to think like a computer guy again, and I'm looking forward to seeing Virginia again. I'm not overly excited about the drive, but it won't be so bad if I leave early enough on Wednesday. In fact, I may even leave earlier, since my jazz class professor mentioned doing the exam by e-mail. I'll keep you all posted on that.

I've settled on the instrumentation for my thesis composition: 2 flutes (1 doubling piccolo), oboe, alto sax (doubling soprano), bassoon, trumpet, 2 horns, trombone, tuba, 2 violins, cello, double bass, 2 percussion, and a conductor. Most of the theses before about 1980 here were for orchestral forces, but a chamber setting may be more successful in getting one or more performances. I've got several ideas on where I want to go, and I'm looking at a sixteen-minute piece in nine continuous movements. Though it may be adventurous in several aspects, it will definitely not be an about-face from any of my previous work.

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Friday, April 18, 2003

My teaching gig's essentially over now -- I've got two periods left for exams and I've done pretty little grade sheets for all the students. Yesterday was SUSSAI day (State University System Student Assessment of Instruction). You'd think they would have picked an acronym that sounds less like "suicide".

I've started looking through Apartment Guides for the northern Virginia area. For now I'm just looking for an apartment for a year, but eventually I plan on owning something. It'd be nice to have a place with a second floor again -- having stairs really makes a home homey.

It's Good Friday. Be good.

LA has different definition of 'gangsta' than the rest of the civilized world
101 Dumbest Moments in Business

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Sunday, April 18, 2004

Yesterday I won $30 at poker. Today is another day of new cat media, include Photos and movies. Tonight is a brand new Alias.

Bedfight (5MB WMV)
Harnessing the Power of Booty (4MB WMV)
Booty Grab (912KB WMV)

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    playing the augmented fourth trumpet, my booty at the urizone, nohunters.urizone.net, yummy yummy yummy i've got in my tummy commercial, scruff mackenzie, music versus noise- difference science project, ben seggerson, baby llama pictures, how to count 5/4 time signature

Sometimes there isn't any difference between noise and music. You count 5/4 by counting to 5.

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Another blog I read recently mentioned the dread of approaching a birthday without being where you want to be in your Grand Timeline of Life. I no longer subscribe to the timeline/goals way of tracking time. To me, life is just a bunch of memorable days interspersed with many more mundane days. Instead of thinking "This is what I'd like to do by the time I'm 30", I'd rather think "This is what I'd like to do this year". I'd rather be living my life than going somewhere in my life.

This weekend, I tore up the old carpet and tackboards in the guest room and repainted the walk-in closet, covering ages of pencil scribblings and scuff marks. Tonight I'll be picking out a paint shade to go with the carpet and tomorrow I'll be doing a bunch of tasks with my dad like sanding and painting. Pretty soon, I'm going to be reviving parts of Auricle, specifically the interfaces I wrote to take MIDI keyboard input and display it on an onscreen keyboard. Since that piece was mostly complete, I'm going to adapt it for my purposes in my August music presentations.

Happy Birthday Kim (yesterday)!

Why did the chicken cross the road?
Who polices the policers?
Another story from the "Person Beats Off Someone" file

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Higher Education Week: Fifteen Things I Learned in College

  1. Less than 2% of sheltered high school relationships will last beyond the first three months of college, simply because each partner is suddenly bombarded by hot people all around. It's like getting promoted to Best Buy after shopping in Radio Shack all your life.

  2. There is no greater concentration of loose women in the world than on a college campus.

  3. Going 73 on I-81 will get cops on your ass. Going 69 is acceptable. There will be a possibility of a speed trap every third crossover, or after each overpass.

  4. The professors with tenure are the ones you will learn the least from.

  5. You can identify freshman music education majors because they will complain during Music Theory about how they don't need any of that garbage to be a band director.

  6. If you have even a whit of musicality, you can practice your instrument for an hour a day and be better than that guy who sucks but thinks he's good and stays in the practice room all day long. The person you notice the most in the vicinity of the practice rooms is most likely the worst musician in the progam. The guy who slips out of the practice rooms under the cover of darkness and is never seen or heard except during concerts is probably a musical genius.

  7. Sopranos are more unstable than altos. Tenors are more neurotic than basses. Flutists are more neurotic than clarinetists, but there are more good flute players than clarinetists.

  8. 80% of music performance majors do not belong anywhere near a microphone, but they will all get their degrees. 5% of freshman Computer Science majors will be girls. This will drop to near 0 by senior year, because they will tire of being followed around campus and cyberstalked by 95% of their fellow majors. 95% of business majors are hambones, and 99% of those will be in a fraternity.

  9. There will be at least one eight obnoxious, pedantic geeks in any Computer Science class you take. They are only there as training for when you enter the real world and have to deal with them daily.

  10. Everyone will notice when you fan your pot out the window, even if you think you are being sneaky by disposing of the evidence with incense.

  11. A fun game to do in lecture classes is to put your head down and take notes until you fall asleep. Later, you can try to decipher the tail end of the notes, or convert them into hieroglyphics.

  12. You will never get a parking spot right next to your class. You will pay twice as much as you should for your parking permit and will risk towing at least five times in your academic career.

  13. You'd think that the townhouse party would be less crowded and annoying than the apartment party, but this is never true.

  14. The guy with the loudest music on your hall or in your complex will also be the guy with the worst musical taste.

  15. If you wrap the fire alarm in your dorm room with clear Scotch tape, it will reduce the volume of the alarm by 80%, and no inspectors will realize that you are violating the Fire Code. If you have a loft-bed, you can avoid fire drills and hall-sweeping RAs by rolling onto the slat between the mattress and the wall and pulling the covers back so it looks like you left the room.

That ol' black magic doesn't fly with airline
"To resign because of this, I don't think so."
Immigration protests is to nuclear attack as...

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Interpretation Day


Describe the context behind this photograph, taken last Friday.

  • a) Building an underground drug tunnel across the border between Sterling and Herndon
  • b) Working in the attic mounting a TV antenna
  • c) Backstage with the world-famous jazz combo, The Poots, during a SARS-era tour of eastern Asia
  • d) Other (explain in the comments section)
Drug cartels have made Nogales the tunnel capital of the Southwestern border
Iceland's penis museum finally gets a human specimen
Man engulfed in flames at porn shop

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken in 1993 when I was in 9th grade. I started out playing cornet because it was more amenable to the handspan of midgets. Our junior high band, the Francis C. Hammond Admirals marched in the GW parade yearly, but that was the extent of our outdoor activities.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Random Chart Day: DDMSence

Ohloh has a neat analysis feature that scans a code repository and generates interesting but ultimately useless statistics. Here's what it thinks about my own open source work:

The estimate of 31 years seems a little excessive, especially since the project is only 3 years old, but who can argue with a model named after a Beach Boys song?

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Friday, April 18, 2014

List Day: Hearthstone Tips and Tricks

I'm not a great Hearthstone player, although I have won every game that I didn't lose. Here are some beginner tips and tricks to get you started.

  1. Just because you have enough mana to play a card, doesn't mean it's the right time to play that card, especially on Turn One!

  2. If you don't like one of your Daily Quests, you can reroll it for a new random quest one time. On the Quests page, click on the X in the upper right corner of the quest card.

  3. Don't overcommit. Sometimes it's better to play it safe and keep a few minions in your hand in case the board is wiped on the next turn.

  4. Pay attention to whether a card specifies friendly or enemy minions specifically. If not, you may be able to come up with unexpected ways to play that card. For example, you can use the Mage Hero Power to hurt your own minions, triggering Enrage conditions or Deathrattles. Or, you can Silence your own minion to remove a Frozen effect.

  5. Generally, I've found that a good deck ratio is roughly 20 cards that result in minions and 10 pure spell cards.

  6. You don't have to use up all of your attacks every turn.

  7. You can only have 10 cards in hand. If your opponent has 10 already and you can force him to draw more, those extra cards will get destroyed. When I see a Priest drop two card-draw Clerics, I like to spend the whole game healing things until he runs out of cards. I lose, of course, but it's funny.

  8. If you are about to craft your first cards from enchanting dust, you can't go wrong with Harvest Golem or Defender of Argus.

  9. You can give your constructed decks titles by clicking on the default title ("Custom Mage") and typing. I like to put the date in my titles ("Mage 4/15") so I can remember when the last time I added cards to it was.

  10. Don't let clearing the board of enemy minions distract you from the ultimate goal of killing the hero. I used to treat each round of the game as a standalone zero-sum math puzzle -- this distracts from the big picture and puts you in a constantly reactive play style.

Also, someone in this household has been playing too many murloc cards.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up

On Saturday morning, we did an 8 mile hike from Snickers Gap to Tomlin Hill on the Appalachian Trail. Dubbed "the roller coaster" because of its ups and downs, this hike mostly destroyed me. However, the weather was nice and the mountains haven't yet been overrun by poison ivy and view-blocking leafiness.

In the afternoon, we passed through Leesburg to find an unexpected Flower and Garden Festival. We stopped by our favourite Leesburg haunt, Crooked Run Brewery, and then browsed the endless booths selling unnecessary crafts and landscaping services. We had a delicious pizza from Fireworks and then drove home to recover overnight from the crazy hike.

On Sunday, we went over to Rebecca's parents' house for her dad's Retirement / 65th Birthday Party. We reduced the average age of invitees by about 50 and ate plenty of things on skewers.

How was your weekend?

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 36 years ago in June of 1982.

I am 2 years old and sitting on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, according to my Dad, the historian. I don't remember being in Ocean City at all as a kid, and spent a good portion of my 20s and 30s dismissing it as a poor man's Outer Banks. Based on my 2017 visit for our Babymoon, it kind of is, but there's nothing wrong with that if that's what you need for a long weekend!

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Monday, April 18, 2022

Easy Photos Day

Cue up the Sound of Music soundtrack.

Ian enjoyed his sunrise walks.

Curious calves.

Maia climbs a tree on the last day of our vacation.

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