This Day In History: 05/23

Friday, May 23, 2003

May 3, 2003

I got home around noon today unscathed. The trip home was uneventful -- I even let Booty out of her crate for the last six hours. Unlike my old cat, she just wandered around the car for a bit and then fell asleep on top of the crate. While in the crate, she would whine piteously until she got exhausted and passed out with her mouth open, only to start up again twenty minutes later.

I haven't unpacked anything incidental because I'm hoping to move into a real place within the next two weeks. Keeping things in boxes will hopefully induce me to search more quickly.

Tonight, I learned the chords C, F, G7, a, d, and E7, using my mom's old guitar. I have a negative balance in my "ease of transition" account, and my left fingers dampen too many strings more often than not, but it's a start!

May 4, 2003

Driving on the Beltway is like throwing yourself into a controlled chaos where every driver believes that he or she is the sole reason behind the invention of the road. Unlike Tallahassee, drivers in Virginia are bad in predictable ways -- you can see the cut-offs and sharp lane changes miles away if you know what to look for. Floridans just don't know what they're doing, often using their turn signals to keep the beat with the radio.

This afternoon I drove around the Centreville area and scoped out six apartment complexes, ranging from a high-class gated community ($1267/mo) to a poorly maintained complex that looked like it had a permanent hangover ($890/mo). I've narrowed it down to two places right now and will probably pick something out tomorrow to take advantage of the free rent specials that expire soon. Both are within a couple miles of the I-66 exit to Route 28, so I'd be close enough to all the main roads for travelling, but not so close that I hear the interstate traffic and the airport noise.

I'd planned to get a two-bedroom apartment all along, and it looks like I may even have one of my old roommates move in with me unexpectedly.

May 5, 2003

I'm officially the new owner of a two-bedroom-with-fireplace apartment in a nice complex in Centreville with my old roommate, Anna. I opted for one of the mid-priced complexes even the the gated community had stellar ratings at www.apartmentratings.com. This will be a good symbiotic relationship since Anna will get me out of the apartment more and I'll keep her on task more. Plus, Booty can now live with Kitty, and the two won't be lonely and bored while we're at work. Perhaps they'll pee on each other rather than the carpet. I'll be back online on Thursday, and my phone will be hooked up on Friday.

Booty has a scraped lip. Apparently she tried to take on a Brillo pad last night and it was more than she could handle.

The season finale of Alias was last night. All the episodes should be two hours long!

May 6, 2003

This morning I waited in line at the DMV to get a new license and register my car. Surprisingly, it only took two hours and I was out by ten. I also took two trips out to the new place to move all my non-furniture belongings today (it's about 50 miles round trip). Booty stayed home and fell asleep in various windows. Tomorrow, I plan on moving the furniture I already own, with the help of my dad.

May 9, 2003

I've spent the last few days buying assorted goods and getting services hooked up. I finally got an internet connection again today, and Booty moved into the apartment for the first time. She seems to like it so far -- currently, she's sleeping above the computer to take full advantage of the monitor heat.

May 12, 2003

The last of my shopping sprees is finally petering out and I've essentially gotten everything I'll need for my new pad now. Now I've got two weeks until I start work, so I thought I'd get a head start on my web page updates.

May 20, 2003

This last weekend, we went up to Cedar Point, the amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio that's constantly roller coaster records for height and speed. The lines were much shorter than July-lines, but we still only got on seven rides before the day was over. Still, they were exponentially better than the usual King's Dominion and Busch Gardens rides -- especially the Millenium Force and the Top Thrill Dragster, which shoots you from 0 to 120mph in four seconds and then loops up to 420 feet in the air.

This week I'll be mainly focusing on web work. I start working for real one week from today.

May 22, 2003

It's been raining incessantly here which has kept me indoors for the most part. I'm slowly settling into an apartment routine and I've even been doing some real cooking for dinner a few nights a week -- everything from chicken and mushrooms to bacon & cheese meatloaf.

May 23, 2003

I've finally decided to post my miniature updates, for the stalwart readers who continued to visit every day despite the lack of content. You are good people, all of you. I have about thirty new pictures of Booty and Kitty for viewing, but I don't want to update the Photos page (since I'm in the middle of moving it to a new location, I don't want anything to get lost accidentally). Instead, you can see all the new pictures here . You can also see some apartment pictures here .

This weekend, I'll be reviewing servlet and JSP info which might come in handy when I start work on Tuesday, and I'll also be doing barbeque things with Kathy and her flock who will be in the area for a couple days. Web work is coming along nicely, and I only have two or three more sections to rewrite before I can start working on the new features.

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

Sunday, May 23, 2004

To get you through the weekend, I've posted a couple house pics in the Photos section, as well as two shorts featuring Booty on a desk.

The Desk Part I (2MB WMV)
The Desk Part II (2MB WMV)

Until tomorrow, this is Brian Uri!. Over and out.

Teens' kidnap plot foiled in Colombia
Bill Cosby thinks he's Chris Rock

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Monday, May 23, 2005

I finally hit level 60 in World of Warcraft, which is currently the maximum level you can reach in the game. It was a fun trip, though I probably wouldn't want to do it solo again. Looking back, I still recommend this game if you like MMORPGs. It's well implemented, not very annoying, and is fun both as a solo game and with friends. It's definitely not like the original Everquest at all. Now that I'm 60, I'll probably play less than before, but it will still be fun to jump on with the rest of the guild for dungeon runs. If you don't play WoW, and have no interest in such games at all, you can skip ahead to the news links. Otherwise, here's a screenshot of the gear I currently have:

Camel mistakes woman for a chair
However, they did edge out law students, who were able to distinguish truth from falsehood 44 per cent of the time.
Walk down the aisle to the sweet sounds of the lawn mower

tagged as games | permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

BU's Guide to Effective and Efficient Wisdom Teeth Removal

  • 1996: Make a website. Give it a unique name like "The [last name] Website", where [last name] is your last name with some random punctuation appended.

  • July 2005: Use said website to brag that you have not been to the dentist since the Hokies went to (and lost at) the Zirconium Diamond Bowl in 2000 .

  • July 2005: In an effort to be a more productive and active senior citizen (rapidly approaching the ripe old age of 27, I might add), make a resolution to visit the dentist, and do so. Receive dire warnings that your wisdom teeth must come out immediately or they will explode like devious nanotech bombs, to the detriment of your beautiful pink gums, which are the same colour as the watch you thought was silver.

  • August 2005: Weigh the pros and cons of removing said teeth. Use a bathroom scale that is fine-tuned enough to weigh arguments. Decide that wisdom teeth removal is a dumb idea since they've never caused any problems, other than creating hard-to-brush spots.

  • October 2005: See, in person, the agony someone goes through when they DON'T get their wisdom teeth out and the teeth get infected, resulting in emergency surgery. Realize that you don't really like applesauce, and you would probably not want to be eating applesauce mixed with painkillers and antibiotics for a week. Decide that maybe preventative removal isn't such a bad idea after all.

  • November 2005: Get a gig playing second trumpet in Mikado. Put off the wisdom teeth removal because it would adversely affecty your embouchure and you would sound like a freshman trumpet major.

  • December 2005: Put off the removal for another month, because it's holiday season, and wouldn't it suck to not be able to eat any tasty foods?

  • January 2006: Put off the removal for another month, because it's cold out, and no one likes to be driving around when it's cold out. Am I right?

  • February 2006: Put off the removal after hearing that your trumpet professor is retiring, and decide to do it immediately following his retirement concert in April, where you will play songs as if you were in a marching band again (yet in a very tiny auditorium).

  • April 2006: Play in said concert and immediately write "Make an appointment to get wisdom teeth taken out" on your planner, immediately before "Get an audition on LOST as Jin's brother".

  • May 11, 2006: Make the appointment with the oral surgeon listed on the referral from your dentist.

  • May 12, 2006, 10 AM: Get a call from the surgeon saying that since your work's insurance provider has changed in the past year, the new provider will not cover any work done at that office.

  • May 12, 2006, 11 AM: Get a call from the surgeon saying that the provider called back and said it was a mistake, and that your work IS covered.

  • May 12, 2006, 12 PM: Get a call from the surgeon asking you to call them back.

  • May 12, 2006, 3 PM: Call the surgeon's office to hear that the provider won't pay anything after all, since the networks are different.

  • May 13, 2006: Find out that to get a new referral to go to a new oral surgeon, you will have to visit your new dentist. Decide that wisdom teeth removal is not so important that you would undergo another routine cleaning purely to get a referral.

  • May 13, 2006: Give up. Better luck next year. What's the worst that could happen?

  • Police adept at lassoing the badger
    More women choose incomplete sentence fragments
    Drinking milk leads to more twins

    tagged as lists | permalink | 7 comments

    Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    Memory Day: Pickett Woods

    The street I grew up on was intended to be a major thoroughfare between Seminary Road and Duke Street in Alexandria. Before this plan could come to fruition, the rich folks in their wooded manors at the north end of the street managed to block it, not wanting additional traffic near their diamond tennis courts. The result of this was that I lived on a dead end street wide enough for five lanes of traffic, which was perfect for pretending to know how to skateboard. Pickett Street stops and starts five or six times as it wends through Alexandria, which meant that the chances of our UPS deliveries arriving on time was roughly one in five (on the rare occasions that the driver didn't end up on Pickett Road in Fairfax).

    In Alexandria, anyone who lived more than a mile from the junior high school got a free bus ride. Living on a street that was essentially a dotted line meant that we were more than a mile from school by road but less as the crow flies (but when was the last time you saw a crow fly in a straight line? Crows in my neighbourhood circle aimlessly and eat carrion. They're loud too -- I can hear them carrion on all morning).

    Looking at the Google Map above, you can see that cutting through the woods on my street shaved a good quarter of a mile off my trip. You can also see that botched construction work in the late nineties turned my school into what looks to be a staple gun or a buck-toothed dinosaur head. It doesn't look much better from the ground, because apparently Alexandria thinks "urban planning" is figuring out which Metro stop to get off at when you visit the Smithsonian.

    This wooded shortcut wasn't much more than an unpaved drainage ditch, and used to be controlled by a redneck and his dog, living in a tiny house at the end of a dirt road within spitting distance of the million dollar mansions. After his house burned down, it became the de facto place for kids to skip school and smoke cigarettes, as long as you could avoid the mother of our friend, Cheryl, who lived one house away and made it her mission in life to keep kids out of the woods.

    I would walk to and from school with Aaron Ulm, and occasionally Allen Lutz, our instrument cases banging at our sides as we raced down the muddy hill, dodging poison ivy and early morning spider webs. When Cheryl's mom wasn't giving us the evil eye, Aaron would sneak into the burnt-out shell of the house on dares to borrow from the redneck's stash of charred Playboy magazines, or we would knock really gross bagworm nests out of trees into the water and set them on fire, because forest fires are cool.

    In ninth grade, we found a squirrel that had been hit by a car and managed to stumble into the woods before dying, and spent the next three weeks before school watching it decay. Maggots are not nearly as cool as forest fires, unless you're twelve years old.

    Strangest disaster of the 20th century
    Flamboyant gay baby stealers
    A new spin on Fish n' Chips

    tagged as memories | permalink | 0 comments

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    Friday Fragments

    the only thing standing between you and total anarchy

    ♣ This weekend marks the official five-year anniversary of my life in the full-time job world. In that time, I've risen from lowly software engineer to CEO of the company, only to lose everything in a tragic whirlwind of blow and hookers, resetting myself back to a software engineer.

    ♣ It used to be tradition to receive a really nice watch of your choice for up to $250. As more and more employees stretched the rules and tried to convince HR that "this MP3 player also has a clock in it", they got rid of the watch rule and just hand out $250 bonus checks in the mail. I'll probably spend the check on blow and hookers, since most hookers can tell time, as far as I know.

    ♣ Speaking of time, Daylight Savings Time seems to be out of whack this year. The sun is already rising as early as 4:30 AM in Sterling, which wakes up Booty (who is part rooster) and compels her to start her breakfast-wake-up routine an hour earlier than usual. Cats have such strange priorities -- if I were asleep, I wouldn't want to wake up JUST to get breakfast, and I wouldn't treat every breakfast with Christmas morning excitement. Then again, I also don't lick my butt.

    ♣ It would really suck if smell was humans' main sense and we introduced ourselves to new people like dogs, licking faces and sniffing anuses. Habits like these would definitely make for awkward first dates, even moreso than a Washington Post Date Lab . Your "how they met" wedding story would involve some variant of "from the moment I sniffed his butt at the park, I knew he was the one for me."

    ♣ Speaking of weddings, Anna's younger (but not youngest) sister, Emily, is getting married this weekend in Berryville. This adds one more data point to the country's inexorable slide towards a Catholic-conquered world, since the requisite five kids will no doubt arrive within two weeks of each other. If I ever come up with a religion (Burism), I'll have to remember not to neglect the baby-making aspects, because it'll be far easier to raise kids as Burists than go door-to-door to convert people (take notes, Jehovah's Witnesses).

    ♣ So far, the founding tenets of Burism are to have lots of sex and eat fried chicken. I'll probably add some variant of the Golden Rule too. If I lead this religion, I want a more grandiose title than "Pope" though.

    ♣ This weekend, I'll be going to see Garrison Keilor's Prairie Home Companion at Wolf Trap (because apparently some of my friends still listen to the real radio and hear him on something they call Enpy Arr!, which must be the pirate station) followed by the wedding on Saturday. On Sunday, I plan to wash the car, mow the lawn, and try out Mario Kart for the Wii. I'll be working on Memorial Day because no one is having a big Memorial Day barbeque and I spent my own party fund on blow and hookers.

    ♣ Have a great weekend!

    Big rigs go high tech
    Woman teaches whistlers a lesson by stripping
    Identity theft prevention scammer hit with identity theft

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 1 comment

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Kitchen Remodeling Day, Part IV

    (606KB GIF)

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

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    Stuff In My Drawers Day

    This is a story I wrote in the first grade on February 12, 1986, which was graded by my surrogate second grade teacher, Mrs. Uhler. If I recall correctly, she identified superb work with a grade of "S", although one could be forgiven for thinking she was grading it as "Satan", based upon the pointed ears and eyes.

    I had fun in the snow. I and my sister made 2. snowmen. What fun it was! And I throuh a snowball at my sister's face. And made a little hollow fort. And throuh snow in the air. I went out two times. Ellen went two tomes to. It snowed hard yester day. I did not know where the Animals were hibernating. I went in than I had hot dogs and Potato rounds inside. I walked on ice with out slipping there.

    tagged as memories, media | permalink | 0 comments

    Thursday, May 23, 2013

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Django Unchained (R):
    This movie was okay. If you're a diehard Tarantino fan, you'll find plenty to like here, but to me it felt like a weaker remake of Inglorious Basterds, made only for the sake of giving Samuel L. Jackson screen time to ham it up, and to give a bunch of white actors the juvenile excuse to be able to scream the n-word a lot. Still better than Kill Bill.

    Final Grade: C+

    The Last Days of Leviathan by Dirt Poor Robins:
    This album isn't quite as poppy as The Cage, but is also less-distractingly Evanescence-inspired. The song, "Nightingale" has some nice, haunting melodic hooks, but nothing that hasn't been done before. Pleasant, but not life-changing.

    Final Grade: B-

    Please Clap Your Hands by Bird and the Bee:
    This EP of five songs is a great pastiche of Bird and the Bee styles, and a good introduction for people who haven't heard of the group. I could listen to a full album of this style.

    Final Grade: A-

    Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon:
    I grabbed this book off the shelf in my parents' house on the way to one of Rebecca's graduation ceremonies, to keep me entertained in the parts of the graduation where you do some waiting. Unfortunately, I barely made it more than a couple chapters in because the writing is so dry and unengaging. I'm not saying that you have to embellish the story of the Internet with more sea pirates than there actually were (4), but even a completely factual account needs a little human interest. As says, "Life is too short to finish a bad -- or perhaps simply misdirected book -- out of some bizarre sense of duty."

    Final Grade: Not Graded

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

    Friday, May 23, 2014

    Answers Day, Part II of II

    the sequel to the sequel to Questions Day

    I was out late having a delightful dinner with the Wilmer family, which is why this post is so late today.

    If you were going to open up a restaurant what kind would it be? What would you serve? - Evil Mike

    Less important that the specific type of cuisine would be the ways my restaurant is less annoying than other restaurants:

    • The menu is a single page, front-and-back, with drink prices listed.
    • Only the long, skinny French Fries are served.
    • There is a choice of side dishes, but no substitutions.
    • There are no vegetarian, gluten-free, or healthy choice options. My restaurant owns the fact that the food is fatty and delicious.
    • The restaurant is always on the warmer side.
    • Most of the partitions are sound-deadening, so you can actually hear a conversation.

    Beyond that, I don't know. Burgers will probably be involved.

    what question would you like to be asked, but never have been? - Doobie

    Having a blog means that I never have to worry about this. If there is a question that no one is asking, I'll answer it anyways and silkscreen my answer upon the fabric of the world's consciousness through the magic of the Internet.

    Anything in life you regret and wish you could re-do? - Evil Mike

    All of the major stuff shapes who you are, blah blah blah. Off the top of my head, there are only minor things to be changed:

    • I wouldn't have driven 85 miles per hour on 66 on the way home from college that one night.
    • I wouldn't have walked outside barefoot on those evenings when there were CHIGGERS EVERYWHERE.
    • I wouldn't have purchased Ultima IX or Super Paper Mario.
    • I wouldn't have eaten that leftover pork and / or Mediterranean pizza the day before I got food poisoning.
    • I wouldn't have dragged my safe to another room in a way that allowed the moisture prevention agent to spill all over my important house paperwork.
    • I wouldn't have left the basement open during that year when Booty started having pee problems.

    tagged as you speak | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, May 23, 2016

    Weekend Wrap-up

    This weekend, with its inescapable chilly rain, was very low-key. I had Friday off to burn some overtime hours and did some home tasks like replacing the filters in the water faucets and cleaning the house. In the evening, we had grilled glazed salmon and salads on the back porch, ekeing out the final hours of sunlight with a glass of Devil's Backbone Catty Wompus.

    Saturday was an indoors day. I played some DOOM (review on Thursday), watched the great series, Humans with Rebecca, and worked a little on Sparkour. It was more of the same on Sunday. We had chicken sandwiches at The V for dinner, which was selected as a study in trade-offs -- the somewhat boring menu against the proximity of the restaurant to our house.

    How was your weekend?

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

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    Stuff In My Drawers Day: PEPCO

    It's intern season at my current company, and it's pretty impressive how much effort has gone into giving them something interesting and useful to do. For example, one intern is doing data mining of publicly available open-source data to extract intelligence that our company can use. I'm reminded of my first internship at PEPCO which I previously wrote about. While other computer science majors were writing Makefiles or learning UNIX Scripting, I was retyping handwritten invoices and delivering mail.

    Here is an article from the PEPCO newsletter about my internship, where I was clearly more politically lenient on the position than it warranted.

    "Program a database and create interfaces" translates into "make badly embossed graphics in Paint Shop Pro and drag and drop them onto a Lotus Notes website template, then upload hundreds of pages of manually scanned (non-OCR) plant procedures to a fileserver".

    tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

    Monday, May 23, 2022

    Ian Year 1 Month 1 Battle Report

    Ian is now a month past 1 Year and still weighing about 21 pounds.

    He is very interactive these days, and his favourite games include booping your nose with his finger, giving you something to pretend-eat, pulling up your shirt to boop your belly button, and saying goodbye to everyone and everything even when no one is leaving.

    He is better at roving around the room playing quietly while I work or watch a show (he is uninterested by the TV unless there is a TV show theme song playing) and will always come over to see what Maia is doing if she's in the same room.

    His sleeping schedule has switched towards a huge (2 hour) nap around noon although I still try to fool him into doing the traditional double nap (1.5 hour at 10:30 and 1.5 hour at 4:00) whenever I can.

    His words are mainly first syllables -- "brrr" for bird, "maaa" for meow, and "daa" when he hears me tramping up the stairs from the basement where I spend most of the day working.

    On Saturday and Sunday mornings, he and I take a stroller walk around the neighbourhood around 7 AM while the women of the house sleep. He silently enjoys the ride, kicking his feet, and stays awake for the whole time. Outside of the stroller, he likes trying to climb things, and always has his little leg swiveling up to get to a next level. When he's trying to scale something tall, though, he just looks like a dog trying to pee on a fire hydrant.

    He loves eating veggie burgers and had his first chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast yesterday. He likes drinking water out of a toddler cup but is not yet a fan of whole milk. In a single meal, he can clear a serving of broccoli, veggie burger, a Belvita cracker, and an entire squeeze pouch of assorted vegetables.

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

     

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