This Day In History: 04/30

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Today is the final daily update for the Seventh Edition of the URI! Domain (TRAGIC!). This will also be your last chance to add new comments to News posts (using the Asian button on the upper right corner of this news item) so go ahead and post your final witticism or goodbye as you see fit. The old comments will still be available on the Archive page so you can read them on those long summer days when you get bored with online cards / hook-ups and decide to read all two years' worth of updates in a single sitting. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to devote a little more energy to the updates than I did last semester. How'd I do?

I'll be leaving for the homeland tomorrow morning and may not be online regularly for a couple weeks, but when I return it'll be at the same e-mail address and IM screenname. If you'd like my real address and are or are not a lovelorn stalker, just ask me for it.

The URI! Domain definitely had an interesting evolution these past two years. Originally written to provide a quick and dirty way of keeping in touch with Virginians, the focus of my updates shifted after a few months to cater to Floridans who started reading after Jim Barry became addicted, as well as the few online communities I got back into after a long hiatus. I still get plenty of lurkers too, who visit in search of dancing squirrels or by stalking me through Google (such as the visitors from Central College, University of Missouri at Columbia, and Cogeco Cable in Canada who, to this day, I don't know). To an extent, the site has become split between personal life updates and happy inanities to brighten everyone's day.

There are definitely things I'll miss about living in Tallahassee, although I think I'll benefit from living in a place with a faster pace. I've often said in the past that I don't think I took full advantage of being down here, and that still holds true. Although I arrived with the mindset of getting a complete fresh start, I never truly "settled" here, so I had no real emotional attachment to the place. Florida became a temporary interruption to my Virginia life, which is probably one of the reasons I'm going back. Still, I'm coming away with a few good friends, a cat named Booty, and a degree that I'll stick in my drawer with the others so they're not so lonely. I definitely needed the time here to realize what I should do next.

Someone said I should stir up a hornets' nest by posting honest opinions of everyone in Tallahassee and giving everyone something to talk about all summer, but I don't think that would be the most beneficial way of ending. Instead, I'll just say that I enjoyed meeting all of you clowns and I have no doubt that I'll hear from you all as soon as you have more computer questions. Just remember that I'm on the clock now so my consulting fee has doubled.

My company, FGM, is in the middle of another hiring streak with a panoply of openings for software engineers, managers, interns, system architects, developers, and designers. It's not too late to give up your idyllic lifestyle for the bustle of the D.C. metropolitan area. Every position comes with benefits and concubines.

The next update will be around Memorial Day sometime. Do fun things in your respective lives in the meantime. Once I have a bachelor pad in uptown Chantilly somewhere, you're all always welcome to come visit and say hello to me and Booty. Keep in touch, yo!

Man realizes the benefits of going back to school
Duck seriously wounds Jesus
Duct seriously winds man
Man killed by faulty understanding of "ear training drills"
Extreme ironing combines the domestic chore with dangerous sports, like scuba diving and rock-climbing.
Man loves his crack too much
Women employees of Wal-Mart were taken to strip clubs on business trips, demeaned as "little Janie Qs" by senior managers

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

Friday, April 30, 2004

The College of William and Mary is hiring. Check it out if you're unhappy in your current position (and you can hold another position for thirty minutes or more).

My dad came out yesterday to transport my new grill and lawn mower, so I'll be fueling them up tonight for a lawn-mowing grill party. Tomorrow I'm heading out to Winchester for some Apple Blossom parade or something, and Sunday I'll probably be doing some house-related shopping of some kind.

Bush reaping the benefits of journalistic professionalism
Nude discipline brings arrest
FSU letter warns against Cheney 'diatribe'

permalink | 0 comments

Monday, April 30, 2007

List Day: You're Old and I'm Not

  • It has been 1 year since I did my first 12 of 12.

  • It has been 2 years since Anna and Ben got married and Kathy lived in my basement for the summer.

  • It has been 3 years since I bought a house and moved to Sterling, Virginia.

  • It has been 4 years since I left Florida and started working full-time at FGM.

  • It has been 5 years since we took The Pedagogy of Music Theory II with Dr. Mathes and I lived at the Spellerbergs' for a summer.

  • It has been 6 years since The URI! Recital took Virginia Tech by storm, where storm is more like a gentle rain of polyphony.

  • It has been 7 years since I was in a Conducting class where we conducted a patchwork ensemble of a flute, a violin, a clarinet, two saxophones, five trumpets, a horn, a trombone, a tuba, a piano, and a xylophone. It wasn't until later that I learned this was the standard instrumention for any Composers' Concert where the composer could only get his friends to play for him.

  • It has been 8 years since the Hokies went to the National Championship at the Sugar Bowl against Florida State.

  • It has been 9 years since Jason Mirick and Chris Li first became trumpet section leaders in the Marching Virginians.

  • It has been 10 years since I was a freshman at Virginia Tech and lived in West Ambler Johnston.

  • It has been 11 years since I was a drum major.

  • It has been 12 years since I wrote a one hundred page murder mystery.

  • It has been 13 years since both my sister and I were in the same school at the same time.

  • It has been 14 years since I got my Eagle Scout badge.

  • It has been 15 years since I first kissed a real, live girl.

  • It has been 16 years since I was the only cornet/trumpet player in the band and the solo from Somewhere Out There was kicking my ass because "pale moonlight" went up to a G.

  • It has been 17 years since I "graduated" from James K. Polk Elementary School.

  • It has been 18 years since I first started playing the cornet.

  • It has been 19 years since I had to do a project on the imaginary town of Snakeville with Philip Hoyle for Mrs. Marmarino and created an entire page of want ads called "the Snakifieds".

  • It has been 20 years since Mrs. Hutt stuck my copy of The Mouse and the Motorcycle on the overhead projector to trace the mouse on the chalkboard and ended up melting the binding, scattering pages everywhere.

  • You can also see pictures from my weekend in Colonial Beach here.

    Fido is a 'he'
    FOX News repeats parody as real news
    Sony's bloody goats with naked chicks ad campaign backfires

    tagged as lists | permalink | 6 comments

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008

    Euro-tic Adventure, Part VIII of X

    Monday, April 14, 2008

    Most of Monday was reserved for travel. Since we had a 4:35 flight back to London, we woke up late and went straight to the airport, loitering as much as possible but preferring to get there and wait, rather than get held up somewhere out of our control. Our budget-balancing was so immaculate (a.k.a. lucky) that we had just enough euros remaining for a small but filling meal at an airport eatery. We even had enough cents leftover to buy ketchup packets (20 cents each), but did NOT, solely on principle.

    In the airport terminal, we met an American who had been stationed in Iraq for years, and was on his way back after a Spain vacation with his wife (who had already gone back to the States). We then boarded our own plane, which had a thirty minute delay, during which they piped really horrible jazz through the cabin on an 8 minute loop. Picture 105.9 Smooth Jazz mixed with foreign pop stars phonetically singing English and then add some Chick Corea and you've got a good approximation.

    The flight itself was quick, and we breezed through Customs in mere minutes. Upon returning to London, we felt an immense sense of relief and familiarity. When we had first visited two weeks earlier, we were very aware that we were Americans, and felt like everything was foreign. It was intimidating to do anything at all for the first time. Now, we were just glad that everyone spoke our language and we didn't have to constantly work to figure out how to navigate or survive. Returning to London for a day before going home was definitely a good way to ease back into the rhythms of the US.

    To the warm, cheery sounds of "Mind the gap between the train and the platform", we made our way to Earl's Court, a zone of London chock full of restaurants and eateries just outside Central London. We checked into the EasyHotel, an online hotel chain that gives you ridiculously cheap rates for a room that just barely has enough room for a bed. The bathroom is a futuristic pod with a shower and a toilet sharing the same space (so you can poop and wash at the same time, apparently). For an extended stay, it would get old really fast, but for a single night between our flights, it was novel and perfect.

    We had pints and dinner in the Earl's Court Pub down the street, where we struck up a conversation with a jolly Brit while waiting for a table to clear. To celebrate the final night of vacation, I had a delicious fish and chips meal and three pints of some delicious porter whose name I cannot recall. The pub was friendly, with a reasonably old clientele, but a sign in the bathroom said "ABSOLUTELY NO DRUGS. WE ARE WATCHING YOU", and a town bylaw was posted at the door preventing people from taking their pints outside.

    We also noticed that the condom machines in London are ridiculous -- a bloke could buy a single condom from the dispenser for 5 pounds ($10), which is either an ingenious way to make oen-night stands meaningful, or a way to promote unprotected sex. On the conspiracy side of the aisle, there was a condom machine in the womens' bathroom too, offering condoms for half the price.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    The EasyHotel was quirky, but it was also freezing cold because there were no climate controls in the room. We survived the night, but winter stays would probably be much worse.

    For breakfast, we went to Benjy's diner, and savoured the hearty English breakfasts. I ordered the Builder, a massive platter including four pieces of toast, two sausages, baked beans, two over easy eggs, a gross cooked tomato, and a heaping handful of French fries for less than the price of a condom. I couldn't even finish the whole meal. Afterwards, we wandered around South Kensington looking for free paper vendors so we could have some reading material during our wait for a plane. We eventually picked up copies of our old friend, Metro, in the Tube station.

    Back at Heathrow, we had a nice sum of pounds remaining, and reasoned that it would be more effective to spend them than exchange them. I purchased a paperback copy of John Grisham's The Appeal which hasn't been released in the States yet and finished it on the plane ride back (typical Grisham, slightly better than usual, better than his crappy non-lawyer fiction and not as good as his early work). We also stocked up on sandwiches and finger foods so we wouldn't have to rely on horrible airline food for dinner. When we finally boarded the plane a couple hours later, we were as prepared as we'd every be. We got nice seats in the front of the Economy section, giggled whenever they said "DUTY FREE", and listened to XM Radio all the way home.

    Arriving home at Dulles, we were greeting by the ridiculous Customs area. Giant banners give welcome, and widescreeen TVs constantly broadcast images of everyday American life, such as a bear catching a fish in its mouth, cowboys riding across the mesa, and Indians doing tribal dances. In addition, strangely peppy and uplifting symphonic music loops loudly in the background. Had I not written a high school marching band show to this music in 1999, I would not have recognized it as the theme song from the Walt Disney World Millenium Celebration (829KB MP3). Walt Disney is apparently one other foundation of American society. Incidentally, this song, with it's shifting meters, was a bitch to write a show for. The band stood still a lot. They also made Mickey Mouse's face at one point, but if I can be honest about their skills, it probably looked like a hippie fetus.

    A half hour later, Anna picked us up at the airport and we returned to the comfort of Chateauri!. And the next morning, Pierre the French Poodle was adopted by a happy new owner!

    So now that we are back in the US at this point in the narrative, what could be left to talk about? Well, no BU-approved trip would be complete without a Wrap-Up day (tomorrow) or a List Day (Friday). Do you have any questions you would like answered? Post them in the comments section!

    To Be Continued tomorrow...

    You may now kick the bride
    Colossal squid comes out of ice
    Gary Coleman to divorce

    tagged as travel | permalink | 0 comments

    Thursday, April 30, 2009

    Mini Review Day

    There are no spoilers in this review.

    Battlestar Galactica: Season One:
    This show has a relatively huge following, and the entire series recently ended, so I figured it'd be a good candidate for a new show to watch. The first season opens with a three hour miniseries pilot and then about a dozen more episodes.

    I've never really gotten into space shows -- I could care less about Star Wars or Star Trek, so I may not be the target audience. However, I thought that this show was reasonably entertaining, although sometimes it felt like something intangible was missing. Firefly was several orders of magnitude better, but this series would be good enough to keep you watching.

    The effects are pretty solid throughout, although sometimes they veer towards the cheesiness of the first ten minutes of the Firefly pilot, which almost make you embarrassed to be watching. The show really overuses the effect of quickly zooming in and out to show the sheer magnitude of spaceships -- once is enough. Dream sequences are also overused, almost to Sopranos-like extremes, and usually they're just an excuse for a hot half-naked chick to walk around to increase viewership.

    The bottom line: If you were to take Firefly, give it characters that you care less about, and include the annoying lady from Dances with Wolves, you'd end up with this show. Since my other shows aren't releasing new seasons anytime soon, I might pick up another season, but I don't need to keep watching.

    Final Grade: B-

    Florida man against beach integration
    Woman sends a stripper to her high school reunion
    Landlord demands victim's late rent

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 2 comments

    Friday, April 30, 2010

    Friday Fragments

    ♠ Nestled in the bosom of all the DDMSence and work that I've been up to, I found some free time unclaimed by lame sci-fi books and decided to pick up a key for the Starcraft II beta (using my elite credit card connections with Amazon.com).

    ♠ I've only had time to play four or five games so far, but it seems like a good blend of familiar and new: the charm of Starcraft I mixed with the interface of Warcraft III. It even comes with a grid-based hotkey mapping built-in (where all the keys you hit are in the QWERT area so you don't have to memorize the first letter of each action).

    ♠ In the image on the right, the Protoss ships are apparently trying to fertilize the Terran outpost.

    ♠ The only thing I don't like about the game so far is the fact that there's a 12-character limit on your screen name. This takes my overtly witty handle, CattleBruiser, and truncates it to CattleBruise, an enhancement that gives it all the menace of a terrier on a tricycle.

    ♠ I've had surprisingly few online handles in my fourteen years on the Internet, but CattleBruiser is probably the most well-known. What handle was I using when you met me? Answer the poll in the sidebar!

    ♠ In the spirit of twelve character limits, today's Fragments column will be truncated -- mainly because today is a busy day at work and yesterday, I went out for sushi instead of writing salaciously interesting fragments.

    ♠ Plans for the weekend include, unsurprisingly, work and some Starcraft. Rebecca has a wedding shower to go to on Sunday, and I get to play my penis card and stay home. Have a great weekend! April is over!

    Car hangs from 6th floor Tulsa garage
    Cats and dogs are household hazards
    Woman uses eat attack
    What online handle was I using when I met you?

    There was no online. (1 vote, 12.5%)


    Zeke_of_Torknazz (0 votes, 0.0%)

    llamaboy (2 votes, 25.0%)


    ~Squiggy~ (0 votes, 0.0%)

    ~CattleBruiser~ (2 votes, 25.0%)


    Plinky (1 vote, 12.5%)


    BU (2 votes, 25.0%)


    tagged as fragments | permalink | 2 comments

    Monday, April 30, 2012

    Weekend Wrap-up

    The weekend, in list form:

    • Had a steak burrito for dinner on Friday night, since the nearest Chipotle is conveniently and healthily next door to Rebecca's yoga studio.

    • Watched stand-up routines of Craig Shoemaker, Mike Birbiglia, and Mitch Fatel on Amazon Prime's twelve free seasons of Comedy Central Standup.

    • Did a mild amount of work-work which, thankfully, is no longer the norm.

    • Went out to dinner on Saturday at "Taste of the World" in Herndon. Buried in an industrial park, this restaurant has an eclectic mix of Asian, Latin American, and Indian foods. Worth a return visit.

    • Played Diablo 2 some more, until I finally got sick of it again and deleted it. Ready for Diablo 3.

    • Cleaned out the shed for the coming season. Mice-free for two years, in spite of the big bag of birdseed on the top shelf.

    • Took a test drive of the 2012 Honda Accord EX-L V6. Had to convince the salesman who was trying to find a model with the right colors that I wasn't test driving a color.

    • Vacuumed several months of very small rocks and propeller seeds out of my car, increasing its Blue Book value by at least four cents.

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

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    Questions Day

    I was working late last night, and came unprepared for today's post. (I did not realize that there would be writing involved when I signed up for blogging). So, ask me some questions in the Comments section and I'll answer them on Friday.

    If you can't think of any burning questions, then recommend some new blogs for me to read. Or, go update your own!

    tagged as you speak | permalink | 3 comments

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

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

    • Events
      • We took a trip to the Greenbrier Resort for three days of hiking and khaki pants, stopping in Staunton along the way.

      • We had two birthday dinners, one for my mom at the Carlyle in Shirlington, and one for my father-in-law on our back porch.

      • We went to Easter service at Riverside Church, and had post-Easter Easter in Linden with the Whitmer clan.

      • I got sick again this month, which went on longer than necessary but was not nearly as messy as in February. However, I also bit my lip on the same day, and its failulre to heal for the entire duration of the sickness made eating irritating.

      • I worked on multiple proposal efforts, one of which we lost to NGIT.

    • Projects
      • I finished an online course, started another one, built a badminton net, and installed a hook in the shed to hang sheddy stuff.

    • Consumerism
      • We watched Orphan Black and were bored out of our minds by the third season of Game of Thrones (so far).

      • I bought some new dress pants after waddling through the Greenbrier in my old canvas tents.

      • I've been listening to the Nappy Roots album, Wooden Leather, along with the new Hoosiers album, The News from Nowhere.

      • On the games front, still nothing but Diablo and Hearthstone. Briefly considered Elder Scrolls Online, but haven't pulled the trigger.

    April's Final Grade: B, very quiet, but satisfying

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

    Thursday, April 30, 2015

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2015 album.

    • Events
      • Went to Annie's to tie-dye Easter eggs on F 4/3.

      • Went to Elizabeth's for Easter on S 4/5.

      • Met up with Mike for dinner at The Counter on M 4/6.

      • Got a fraud alert on my debit card on W 4/8 (first time ever, at a Walgreen's in Greensville, SC) and got a new card.

      • Went to High Tea and hiked Sky Meadows with the Ambrognes, followed by burgers at Dogfish Head in Chantilly on S 4/11.

      • Lingered at Old Ox Brewery for a pleasant Friday night on F 4/17.

      • Ate a long lunch with Rebecca's parents and the Wrights on S 4/18.

      • Went to Luke Link's Senior Composition Recital on S 4/19.

      • Hiked Old Rag in record time on S 4/26.

    • Projects
      • Finished moving the URI! Zone INTO THE CLOUD.

      • Made all of my websites mobile-friendly.

      • Created 204 training slides and 95 sample quiz questions on Amazon Web Services for work.

    • Consumerism
      • Enjoyed seasons of The 100, Sherlock, and Halt and Catch Fire.

      • Bought an Amazon Echo, and still use it for music.

      • Bought cheap eyeglasses through Zenni for the first time after my backup pair of normal, expensive glasses imploded in a screw incident.

      • No new music this month.

      • Continued to play Hearthstone and Far Cry 4. Started dabbling in Pillars of Eternity.

    April's Final Grade: B, a productive month with regular social outings and mostly pleasant weather

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

    Monday, April 30, 2018

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

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

    • Events
      • Got sick with something Maia had on Easter, S 4/1.

      • Flew to Rhode Island to visit my sister and the nephews for the weekend on F 4/6.

      • Maia got her 9-month-old vaccines on T 4/10.

      • Went to a Happy Hour for my departing boss at American Tap Room on H 4/12.

      • Maia got sick and passed it on to me on F 4/13. Hiked in Algonkian and had Car over for dinner.

      • Sat on the back porch and in the backyard with Maia to enjoy some spring weather on S 4/14.

      • Rebecca and Maia went to the Farmer's Market and made Shiitake Omeletes for dinner on S 4/15.

      • Up all night sick without sleep on M 4/16.

      • Triumphant return to Claude Moore Park for an afternoon walk on W 4/18.

      • Walked through the golf course at Algonkian on F 4/20 and had Joe's for dinner. Got sick with some weird abdominal cramps for the next four days.

      • Went to a BBQ at Karolina and Carlos' house on S 4/22 after another Algonkian walk.

      • Had my first migraine since 2016 on T 4/24.

      • Took Maia to see my parents on W 4/25. Had dinner from Rollplay -- a little skimpy on the meats.

      • Had a family date at Mellow Mushroom on F 4/27 and gave Maia some delicious pizza crust.

      • Rebecca and Maia went to the Farmer's Market on S 4/28. Went to my parents' house in the evening for a belated birthday dinner.

      • Watched Maia while Rebecca went to Jessika's birthday dinner on S 4/29.

    • Projects
      • Finished securing all of the wide loads in the house to prevent baby crushing.

    • Consumerism
      • Got to level 1150 in Overwatch. Purchased Divinity: Original Sin 2 but have not dived into it yet as I'm still in RPG character creation paralysis mode.

      • No exciting TV shows, movies, or music this month. Currently enjoying the second season of Sneaky Pete though.

    April's Final Grade: C-, spent most of the month sick!

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

    Friday, April 30, 2021

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2021 album.

    • Events
      • Visit to my parents' house on S 4/3.

      • Easter at home on S 4/4.

      • First COVID shot on T 4/6.

      • Visit from Rebecca's parents on S 4/11.

      • Celebrated my mom's 80th birthday on the back porch on T 4/13.

      • Had Tammy over for dinner on S 4/17.

      • Rebecca had a painting party with the Smiths on S 4/24.

      • Ian was born on S 4/25. Maia spent the week with the Uri grandparents.

      • Ian came home on T 4/27.

      • Got my second COVID shot on W 4/28. Maia returned home with the Uri grandparents to meet Ian.

      • Ian met Rebecca's parents on F 4/30.

    • Projects
      • Released a remake of the Don Maitz - Official Website on S 4/10.

      • Created a tiny trail network in our common area where Maia can run in circles until she's tired throughout the month.

    • Consumerism
      • Enjoyed playing DOOM: Eternal this month. Finished Breath of the Wild with Maia and transitioned to Minecraft.

      • Enjoyed new music from the Fratellis.

      • No amazing new TV shows this month.

    April's Final Grade: A, obviously.

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

     

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