This Day In History: 05/05

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I wrote an update yesterday but now I can't find out where it disappeared to.

I've watched a couple movies since Sunday -- The Cooler with William H. Macy and Alec Baldwin, and Big Fish with Ewan McGregor. The first was pretty good and I liked the second one a lot. Most symbolic feel good movies don't tug at any heartstrings, but this is one that I would watch again. The style is patently Tim Burton, and all the actors are perfect for their roles. Plus, I always like Elfman scores, even though they start to sound the same.

We're giving a demo of some of our stuff at a technical exchange this afternoon. I got in today at 5 so it looks like it will be a long day.

Creative Ticket Defense
http://www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com/
The TV show that's quietly going away
Porno Pete the Puppet

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Two recent movies that I've seen are Ocean's Twelve and Sideways. The first used up its entire plot budget on paying the stars, so it wasn't as well-crafted as the original. It had plenty of style and was a fun diversion though. The Twelve in the title is something of a misnomer since there are fewer than five fleshed out characters, so it really should have been called Three with Ocean's Sounds.

Sideways was a good, quiet, well-done film with a few funny bits. If you know nothing about wine, you might even learn a few things. There really haven't been any superb non-animated movies in quite some time -- movies on par with Memento, L.A. Confidential, and Howard the Duck.

Update on the ban on suggestive cheerleading
Ugly children get no respect
Where will Jesus pop up next?

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday Fragments

Fast acting relief for your urge to do any work today

  • So apparently I've been wearing a pink watch for about three months now, ever since my old one died. I did not realize it was pink, since to me, it looks 100% silver, but I stuck it in Photoshop which cannot tell a lie when it comes to colour. You may now proceed to mock me mercilessly for my fashion sense. I still think it's silver, but this leads me to wonder how many articles of clothing I own that are an unfortunate shade of silver.

  • While cleaning out my laundry room yesterday, I found a grey (yes, it's definitely grey, maybe with a tinge of blue) sock behind the washing machine. If you have done laundry at my house in the past two years, please check your feet to make sure that you are wearing more than one sock. Once I figure out who the owner is, I will wash it thoroughly and return it.

  • Surprisingly, there have been five other people besides me who have done laundry in my home in the past two years. I should slap a quarter slot on the front and profit.

  • I will need all the quarters I can get to pay for the repair of my car window yesterday, which stopped going up and down in the winter. It did so last winter as well, so I just figured it was cold-weather-related and would start working again soon. It turns out the motor went kaput -- I blame the caustic salty air of Florida, which is also responsible for the fact that Booty has one ear.

  • Because the window was broken, my car didn't pass the state inspection, which was the whole reason I took it in in the first place. I don't quite understand why a power window is a safety feature, unless your car is quickly sinking in the bay after you careened off the pier to escape the cops, and you can't open your door because of the outside water pressure, so you're forced to roll down the window to escape. Either way, you're screwed because your electrical system would have already shorted out. Better start kicking out the plexiglass and hope the paramedics are standing by.

  • Sunday is Best Meat's birthday. I haven't talked to that boy since I left college -- the last I heard of him, which was a couple years ago, was that he was deciding whether to be a country music singer or a paramedic. I think he should sing, but be a paramedic in the music video for his first single, Meat Wagon.

  • The next version of my Warcraft III map, Micro Frenzy, is now available for download here. I'd tell you what's changed, but none of you care because only people with pink watches play video games. There are meat wagons in it though.

  • I remember that time I bought Warcraft II for Kelley's birthday and he didn't shower or go to class for the next four days.

  • Speaking of video games, that game, Nintendogs, isn't suitable for me. I did not realize that time keeps going if you don't play every day. On Wednesday before LOST, I turned it on to play with Tuba the labrador only to find that she was famished, parched, and very dirty. I took her for a walk and some other dog owner in the town scolded me for not taking better care of her.

  • Speaking of LOST, holy crap. Wednesday night's twist makes a lot of sense, but I didn't see it coming, or expect it to happen so suddenly. That's some good TV. If you have already seen the episode, you can read this article for the producer's spin on what happened: (spoilers for last Wednesday's episode!). I'm not entirely sure I believe them.

  • I still don't know what's going on in the last season of Alias but I hear it's as good as it used to be in the early seasons. I plan on getting the DVDs in September and watching them all together. With the show marked as cancelled, it's not like my support during primetime would help it at all.

  • This weekend, the plan is to mow the lawn, restart Poker Night for the summer, and go to a company picnic with some happening ladies. I'm also going to learn how to make Eggdrop Soup next week. If you would like to taste my early iterations, please send a self-addressed stamped tupperware bowl to my house.

  • Have a slaphappy good weekend.

  • What did we get from the dot com boom?
    Al-Zarqawi can't fire his gun, if you know what I mean
    It's no different than putting a worm in it

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 5 comments

    Monday, May 05, 2008

    Plan Day

    Much like the third season of LOST (but without an obnoxious Kate character or any mention of tattoos), my 2008 is divided into two standalone sections. The first four months were a self-contained mini-series during which I ended up going to Europe. The last eight months are more open-ended, giving me room to pursue other projects that might come along. Here is a sneak peek of what you can expect:

  • May: Attend a graduation and a wedding, or a wedding occurring at a graduation if I'm pressed for time. Create another concrete slab outside my house to increase the amount of poisonous run-off leeching into the Potomac River. Install a wireless network in my house so I don't have to keep sync'ing up the MP3 collections on all four computers.

  • June: Get a Loudoun County library card so I can read more books that I haven't read before. Sign up for FIOS, if they ever finish laying the cables in my neighbourhood. Remove my wisdom teeth (or get someone to do it for me).

  • July: Attain the next level of Java Certification to appease the gods of Performance Management and Salary Control. Install Linux on one of my home computers. Put down laminate flooring in the basement bathroom. All of these activities can be done in my home, because July is about hot as balls.

  • August: No plans yet. What do YOU think I should do this month?

  • September: Turn 29. Go to the beach.

  • October: Plan, review, and implement a CMMI Level 3 compliant Halloween Party.

  • November: Eat lots of Thanksgiving food ALL MONTH LONG, including cheese soup and bacon-wrapped scallops. (fat)

  • December: Write a musical about the life of Mike Catania. Or, do absolutely nothing.
  • As you can see, the closer months are more jam-packed with activities, but the later ones will probably fill up quickly. Of course, this website will continue to be updated daily so you can read it at work and use up one billable hour (this is my contribution to the stimulation of the economy).

    And if I get really bored, I'll learn how to play the accordion. What are you going to do with the rest of your year?

    The places Jesus can appear are infinite
    'Sex Pest' seal attacks penguin
    Robot elephant drinks urine

    tagged as lists | permalink | 5 comments

    Tuesday, May 05, 2009

    Old Images Day

    A smattering of old images from my extensive archives, none of which have ever been seen here.


    My desk at work around 2003, when I shared a corner office with three other people and wrote documentation about really crappy third-party software solutions of vendors that start with a V and rhyme with "win yet".


    My desk at home around the same time, where the standard decorating strategy for any temporary abode involved recital posters and some cats.

    Wikipedia really has a nice taxonomy for when you are researching exploding animals.

    Some of the popular searches from around 2002.


    Sunshine Superman. Photoshop is fun.


    I can't remember why I made this image, but surely it was a parody of something related to bitches. I would play this game.
    Hackers hold Virginia health database for ransom
    Walking on the sky
    Biker hit by driver painting her nails

    tagged as media | permalink | 2 comments

    Wednesday, May 05, 2010

    Stuff in My Drawers Day: Mnemonics

    How do you teach a bunch of remedial freshman musicians, most of them theatre majors and trumpeters, to hear standalone intervals? Here are the listening examples I taught in my MUT1241 class in 2003.

    Ascending IntervalsDescending Intervals

    minor second:

    major second:

    minor third:

    major third:

    perfect fourth:

    augmented fourth:

    perfect fifth:

    minor sixth:

    major sixth:

    minor seventh:

    major seventh / perfect octave:

    minor second:

    major second:

    minor third:

    major third:

    perfect fourth:

    augmented fourth:

    perfect fifth:

    minor sixth:

    major sixth:

    minor seventh:

    major seventh:

    perfect octave:

    You are now ready for your interval quiz.

    Woman with no arms will kick Mark and Mike's asses
    "Cougar effect" boosts lingerie sales
    Hapless sailor takes a round trip

    tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

    Thursday, May 05, 2011

    Review Day

    There are no spoilers in these reviews.

    In the Plex by Steven Levy:
    I enjoy Levy's articles in WIRED and his previous book, Hackers so I picked up the Kindle edition of this book, even though I was a little Googled out after reading The Google Way. This book is better in every way -- it's less of a theoretical explanation for profit and success, and more a history / behind-the-scenes look at everything Google has done. The chatty, easy-to-read quality of Levy's prose makes it an easy read, and the fact that the book is organized by "types of inventions" rather than a continuous timeline does a nice job of tying everything together. I never got bored reading this book, although less technical folks might not get quite as much out of it as I did.

    Final Grade: A-

    Heroes, Season Three:
    This season was awful, and only survived the F zone because it started to improve towards the end. The season has no clear focus and mainly involves the heroes running in circles, gaining powers, losing powers, or acting in ways completely outside of their predefined characters. Anytime a plot rears its head, it probably came straight from one of the plots already done in The 4400, and in a much more amateurish way. The last five episodes are actually pretty good, but it's too little, too late.

    Final Grade: D+

    Black Swan:
    As a Darren Aronofsky movie, I expected some level of weirdness or artistic freedom here, but the movie managed to be weird without really resonating with me. Other than the fact that Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman are the stars, there's nothing here that would make me watch it again. If you like weird, psychological movies, you'll probably find something to enjoy here, but it wasn't my thing.

    Final Grade: C+

    Office, Season Four:
    This is the writer's strike season, so the number of episodes is greatly pared down (at normal prices, of course). There are also more "super-size" episodes that are doubled in length. The problem with super-sized Office episodes is that the show is best taken in small doses. Twenty minutes is the perfect amount of time for a fresh, funny plot -- any longer than that and it just becomes apparent how irritating some of the characters are.

    Final Grade: B-

    Why Wood Pulp Makes Ice Cream Creamier
    Bin Laden Aides Are Said to Have Bought Bulk Orders of Pepsi, Coke
    German mayor rescues man trapped in women's prison

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, May 05, 2014

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday night, we entertained Joe & Katie with dinner on the back porch, featuring grilled blackened chicken breasts and hot dogs. I ate all of the hot dogs because hot dogs are delicious.

    On Saturday, following a family event in Taylorstown, we purchased and planted our crop of tomatoes for the year. Last year, we planted two normal tomato plants and two cherry tomato plants. This resulted in more tomatoes than anyone could possibly eat, so we cut back this year -- two normal tomato plants and a sweet pepper plant.

    On Sunday, we went to the baptism of Brian & Page's daughter, Hartley, at one of those Catholic megachurches in Reston that is apparently competing with all of the other Catholic churches to win at having an overflowing parking lot. We then had Rebecca's friend, Hannah, over for dinner (Quatro de Mayo tacos and Devil's Backbone Vienna Lagers).

    How was your weekend? Are you going to watch the return of 24 tonight?

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

    Tuesday, May 05, 2015

    Quiz Day: Me Me Me!, Part V

    Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

    How much you know about me? Hover your mouse over the right column to see the correct answers.

    1 Which musical job have I never had?
    1. Pit musician
    2. Sheet music transcriber
    3. Trumpet teacher
    4. Student film composer
    D
    2 Of these choices, which animal do I think is the cutest?
    1. Llama
    2. Puffin
    3. Hedgehog
    4. Pug
    B
    3 Which driving practice am I least likely to do?
    1. Coasting over hills in case of speed traps
    2. Speeding up to make it through a yellow light
    3. Turning left out of a business onto a multi-lane road
    4. Slowing down before a red light in hopes of rolling through right at the green
    C
    4 Which programming language have I never used?
    1. Python
    2. Haskell
    3. Scala
    4. C++
    B
    5 What characteristic am I most likely to pick when making a new role-playing game character?
    1. Magic Spells
    2. Two-Handed Swords
    3. Stealth
    4. Healing
    D
    6 How many separate books am I reading (or re-reading) in parallel right now?
    1. 1
    2. 3
    3. 5
    4. 0
    B
    7 Which part of a jazz combo performance would I be most annoyed by?
    1. The bass solo
    2. Applauding the solos
    3. The third hour
    4. Rapid 16th notes
    C
    8 Which news/talk show host do I find least annoying?
    1. John Stewart
    2. Stephen Colbert
    3. Jimmy Fallon
    4. Nancy Grace
    B
    9 What was our name for the daily sixth grade battle recess where all of the boys threw dandelions at the girls?
    1. War of the Weeds
    2. Dandelion Disaster
    3. Death to Girls
    4. Weeds in the Wind
    A
    10 Of these choices, what was the only Boy Scout event I ever attended?
    1. Pamporee
    2. Camporee
    3. Jamboree
    4. Order of the Arrow Campfire
    B

    tagged as random | permalink | 8 comments

    Thursday, May 05, 2016

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Firewall (PG-13):
    This is one of those movies that I will not even remember having watched in about six months. Harrison Ford stars as the network security manager at a bank, in the crosshairs of a team of thieves who want to steal money. The soundtrack is noticeably awful, and Harrison Ford puts on a strong game face in spite of the fact that the role was written for someone twenty years younger. Also, there were no firewalls playing a role in the plot, so the title is rather nonsensical. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: C-

    The Secret Service by The Hoosiers:
    The latest album from The Hoosiers falls somewhere between Bumpy Ride / Illusion of Safety and News from Nowhere on the bombastic energy scale. It has better beats than News, and seems more exciting, although there are no stand out single tracks. This will probably be an album that grows on me over time, not unlike this mushroom on my ankle.

    Final Grade: B

    Spotlight (R):
    This movie about investigative newspaper reporters and the Catholic Church child abuse scandal is a very slow build. The first forty minutes are almost too slow, but you'll be heavily invested by the end. The characters and even the scandal itself are secondary to the process of investigating. It's well-made but you need to be in the mood for a picture with heavy talking and too many old white guys that look similar (Rebecca's words, not mine).

    Final Grade: B-

    V for Vendetta (R):
    I watched this movie because Rebecca was out of the house and it seemed like one she wouldn't be interested in. It's set in a near future dystopia and is full of big ideas, but doesn't really add up to much in the end. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: C+

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

    Friday, May 05, 2017

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson:
    This (dramatized) reenactment of the OJ Simpson trial is well-acted and a lot of fun. I got tired of Cuba Gooding Jr. and whatever he was trying to accomplish with his raspy voice affect, but that happens for me in everything he's in. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B+

    Infiltrator (R):
    This movie features Bryan Cranston as an undercover cop posing as an accountant in the 1980s cocaine trade. It does a very good job sustaining tension, but seems a little redundant when compared to all of the movies and shows it borrows from. There are also too many minor characters to keep track of. Good for a throwaway movie when nothing else is on. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B-

    Gravel & Wine by Gin Wigmore:
    This album has sparkles of promise, but is weighed down by overly repetitive songs and Wigmore's voice, which is similar to the voice of Elle King or Paloma Faith, but more scratchy and less polished. Listening to one song in isolation is a good experience, but the flaws start appearing when you hear more songs back to back.

    Final Grade: C-

    3D by Casey Driessen:
    This album of modern bluegrass came up on my Gangstagrass Pandora station and its a fun change of pace from what I normally listen to. It reminds me a little of Ashley MacIsaac, whose albums I play every year on St. Patrick's Day. Gaptooth is a good, representative track.

    Final Grade: B+

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 2 comments

    Wednesday, May 05, 2021

    Easy Photos Day

    First bath.

    Meeting more grandparents.

    Maia finds a legit four-leaf clover.

    Zonked out.

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

     

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