This Day In History: 05/29

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Museday Tuesday

stimulating the udder of creativity for maximum musical lactation

  1. The composition can be for any instrumentation. It can have an actual score or be a pure synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.
  2. It must not be longer than thirty seconds.
  3. It does not necessarily have to have a start, middle, and end -- it can just be a fragment of something grander.
  4. It must be composed in a single sitting, in thirty minutes or less. If time runs out, I post whatever I managed to finish, be it good, indifferent, or makeup on a corpse.
  5. The title of the piece must be an adverb from a random word generator, although this word doesn't necessarily have to be incorporated in the piece.

If any readers ever have the urge to participate, feel free to send me an image, MP3, or link to your masterpiece and I will add it to the post. You can include a hindsight commentary as well. Anything posted becomes fair game for readers to admire, critique, or poop on in the Comments section.

This Week's Title:
Obnoxiously: (adv.) in a highly objectionable or offensive manner

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I couldn't decide which was more obnoxious: polka music or techno music. I ran out of time, which is why the ending sounds more marching band-y than it should.

Outrage over the iGasm
Adam and Eve in the Land Before Time
Why you shouldn't trust people who say they got into Stanford

tagged as museday | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, May 29, 2008

LOST Recap Day

this post contains spoilers from previously-aired episodes of LOST (season four)

With so many complex timelines and unsolved mysteries, it's often difficult to keep track of everything that has happened so far on LOST. As a public service, here is a summary of the most important plot developments from this season so you are prepared for the upcoming season finale. A special LOLCAT format has been used for ease of understanding.

Episode 1: The Beginning of the End

Episode 2: Confirmed Dead

Episode 3: The Economist

Episode 4: Eggtown

Episode 5: The Constant

Episode 6: The Other Woman

Episode 7: Ji Yeon

Episode 8: Meet Kevin Johnson

Episode 9: The Shape of Things to Come

Episode 10: Something Nice Back Home

Episode 11: Cabin Fever

Episode 12: There's No Place Like Home (Part 1 of 3)

Thanks to Lost Media for the screen captures used in this post.

Telephone operators nicknamed him the Don't Hang Up Man
Toad licking leads to alert
Monkey think, monkey do

tagged as mock mock, media, favourites | permalink | 3 comments

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Fragments

because End-of-the-Month Media Day requires me to actually take pictures

♠ There are only 127 more days until our wedding. Since the number of days can now fit in a single byte of data, we figured that it was probably time to get moving on preparations, and we have now booked airline tickets to Hawaii for the honeymoon, finished our wedding website, and booked the DJ, ventriloquist, ice sculptor, pony rides, and a Beatnik poet for the reception.

♠ We also added the final items to our Wedding Registry, which was difficult because I am yuppy and already own tons of crap. However, we managed to get the essentials in place, including a copy of How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men and an inexpensive CO2 incubator for the laboratory in the basement.

♠ It took weeks for us to get our registry in order, but the unflappable Katie Morton sneakily discovered it almost immediately and sent us our first gifts last month. At the time, the entire registry consisted of some spoons and a live goat, so hopefully she didn't pass judgements on our tastes based solely on that. Thanks, Katie!

♠ Wedding registries should contain live goats more often, to spice things up. If we ever decide to have a second wedding for funsies, I think we'll register for a "farm startup kit", where people can chip in to buy parcels of land, individual chickens, and various tractors. Then we could move to the Midwest, take advantage of all the governmental agriculture kickbacks, and put my Farm Mechanics merit badge to good use.

♠ "His educational career began interestingly enough in agricultural school, where he majored in Animal Husbandry, until they... caught him at it one day." - Tom Lehrer

♠ Plans for the weekend include the 2nd Birthday Party of one of our flower girls out in Front Royal, shown here with Ella (flower girl #2) at the zoo last year. We were considering having them pull us down the aisle in a rickshaw, but the lack of rickshaws in the greater Loudoun area made us feel like that'd be a bad idea.

♠ There was a plethora of wedding garbage in today's fragments, to the point where the fragments might converge into the Voltron of Weddinging, so maybe next Friday I'll only discuss beers, boobies, and NASCAR. Have a great weekend!

Ferris Bueller house on the market
Burglar thwarted by backup program
Parrot steals a passport

tagged as fragments | permalink | 8 comments

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Random Chart Day: URI! Zone Post Tags

The problem with tagging posts consistently is that your tags are either too specific to ever see much use, or too general to be useful for searching.

TagCount
12 of 1275
alias10
cats25
charts21
contests45
day-to-day291
deep thoughts14
favourites26
fragments225
games59
green (recycled) content2
habits3
honeymoon7
house22
hurricane5
job7
lists139
marriage3
media187
memories188
mock mock51
museday104
music102
nasa6
newsday79
oscars18
politics27
random102
recipes8
reviews288
searches22
tags10
teaching18
travel39
website74
you speak33

tagged as website | permalink | 6 comments

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stuff In My Drawers Day

This picture was drawn in May 1986, which would place it in the "first grade" bucket. There are enough noticeable things wrong with it to qualify it for one of those "Spot the Errors" puzzles in the newspaper. For example:

  • People in the North don't hunt with handguns.
  • Ponds don't have tides.
  • A compass is irrelevant when you're in Street View mode.

There's also a solid art trick on display here: if you mess up one of your frogs, cover it with grass and say that it's hiding.

tagged as memories, media | permalink | 4 comments

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Zodiac (R):
Movies based on a true story are always given a bad rap for straying too far from the true story, but this one doesn't stray far enough. It's based on the (still unsolved) Zodiac serial killer case from the 1970s, but while the lack of resolution may be true to life, it results in a movie that just peters out without satisfaction. Much of the running time is spent fading out and jumping forward in time, giving some idea of just how thin the source material is. The two and a half hour span is occasionally beautified by Robert Downey Jr., but this is counterbalanced by Jake Gyllenhaal acting like Tobey Macguire and Mark Ruffalo mumbling a lot. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: D+

West Wing, Season Two:
This continues to be a good background show -- occasionally interesting but slow enough to not require full attention. This season gets a little more preachy, and does some unnecessary timeline devices that feel like cerebral writer exercises. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Ender's Game (PG-13):
This adaptation of Orson Scott Card's sci-fi book is a misfire all around. It hits all of the high points from the book in an expected way, but trims so much character development to fit into two hours that the entire thing lacks any emotional resonance. The diction is wooden, the music is repetitive, and the post-climax ending feels as tacked on as it did when Card rewrote the book so he could tie it to the sequel. Skip this.

Final Grade: D

Hoover WindTunnel MAX Pet Plus (UH70605):
This vacuum is no Dyson, but no one wants to pay that much for a vacuum. It's heavy but maneuverable, and does a decent job of normal cleaning. The only difference between the attachments and a normal vacuum's attachment are exposed rubber surfaces that are intended to draw pet hairs out of cloth so they can be sucked up. This works well with effort, but you still have to go over a surface a few times -- it's not a magic solution. The trap fills up after a full floor of my house, and empties easily. I'm satisfied with its performance after four months of use, and the auto-recoiling extension cord is a nice touch.

Final Grade: B

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, May 29, 2015

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2015 album. Have you noticed that my images are much bigger than they used to be? Storage is cheap in the cloud! THIS IS THE FUTURE.

  • Events
    • Had the first barbeque of the year on 5/2, where Evil Mike smashed a child's pinata.

    • Hiked the White Oak Canyon - Cedar Run circuit with Returned Mike and Annie, and stayed once again at Hopkins Ordinary B&B on 5/9.

    • Met Kathy for adult drinks on 5/21.

    • Went to Old Ox Brewery on 5/22 and saw a serial killer.

    • Hiked at Harper's Ferry and ate local farm foods at DISH on 5/23.

    • Planning to see my sister and her kids, in town from Rhode Island, tomorrow, on 5/30.

  • Projects
    • Inspired, developed, and taught an after-work curriculum designed to get engineers two separate Amazon Web Services certifications throughout the month.

    • Finished a proposal about time series algorithms that I partly understood, and started yet another proposal about clouds that won't be done for the next month or so.

    • Got HOA approval to replace the decaying shed in my backyard, and began researching options for a screen porch on our deck.

  • Consumerism
    • Enjoyed watching seasons of Scrotal Recall, The Shield, and Game of Thrones.

    • Started playing Pillars of Eternity, but it just made me want to play Skyrim instead. Also bought Witcher 3, but I realize its potential to become addicting and have delayed diving in until I have more time to spare.

    • Enjoyed new music by Breakestra, and looking forward to multiple new albums coming out in June.

May's Final Grade: B+, a healthy mix of work, play, and extracurriculars with decent weather, decent cats, and a decent wife.

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Review Day: An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass / Carol Berg

There are no major spoilers in this review.

An Illusion of Thieves is the first book in a new series by established author, Carol Berg, writing under the pen name, Cate Glass. Set against a pseudo-Italian backdrop of city-states and political factions, the story centers on a young woman, Romy, whose position near the rich and powerful of the city is suddenly cast into jeopardy by family ties.

The tropes of the book (from a distrust of magic to a benevolent ruler with conspiring enemies) are familiar fare, but they are expertly pieced together to support the story and accessible enough to draw the attention of new fantasy readers. The world-building is obviously well thought out and the author does a fine job of mixing flashback, world-building detail, and present day action to avoid exposition overload.

The book is well-paced and divided into two major parts. The first part details Romy's return to poverty and her attempts to make it on her own. This section does a great job of developing Romy, her brother, and the ragtag personalities they meet along the way. Infrequent, tantalizing glimpses of political undercurrents and unrest within the city provide a global backdrop for Romy's character development and also serve as a neat writing device to emphasize her loss of access -- where once she would have known or influenced the actions of the powerful, now she can only theorize or seek out rumors about machinations out of her control.

In the second part of the book, Romy's shaky new beginnings are threatened by the world she left behind. To save herself and her brother, she enlists the help of new friends in a madcap caper. This section is a page-turner, spanning three days of nonstop action and lots of moving parts. The plot concludes in a very satisfying way, tying up all of the local loose threads while leaving enough of the world open for more books.

What I appreciated most about this book is its collection of light-hearted, easy-to-root-for protagonists. The development of the siblings' relationship is believable and the secondary characters add the right amount of color. While the characters sometimes suffer from guilt, shortsightedness, or other flaws, the angst and self-flagellation of Berg's Rai Kirah trilogy are nowhere to be found. The plot is also much more straightforward than the interwoven plots of Berg's Sanctuary duet. (I did enjoy those other series, but neither one can honestly be described as a "joyful romp").

An Illusion of Thieves is a book full of icebergs. What can be seen is delightful and satisfying but it is painfully apparent that there is so much more just below the surface that hasn't even been touched. Key aspects of the society, geography, and mythology are sprinkled throughout the story ready to be mined in a way that upends our perspectives (as Carol Berg is wont to do). While I was definitely happy with the wrap-up of the plot as a "one and done", I felt like too much of the world-building was left unexploited and reserved for Book Two and beyond. That said, I would definitely recommend Book One as a fast-paced, light-hearted break from your more somber fantasy epics.

Final Grade: B

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, May 29, 2020

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2020 album.

  • Events
    • Video chat with the Uri grandparents on T 5/5.

    • Video chat with Mike, Annie, Sam, and Kristen on W 5/6.

    • Got Maia a blue scooter on H 5/7.

    • Safe-distance Mother's Day visit from the Uri grandparents on S 5/10.

    • Safe-distance visit from Rebecca's parents on S 5/16.

    • First Costco run since February on W 5/20. Maia reunited with Nolan for a short outdoor scooter ride. Smashed my middle toe moving furniture in the evening.

    • Safe-distance visit from the Uri grandparents on S 5/24.

    • Safe-distance visit from Rebecca's parents on F 5/29.
    • Safe-distance visit with Tammy and Zoe on S 5/31.

  • Projects
    • No interesting side projects this month.

  • Consumerism
    • Still playing Elder Scrolls Online.

    • Enjoying new music by AJR and the Fratellis this month.

    • Enjoyed watching Dead to Me, Season Two.

May's Final Grade: B-, at least it's getting warmer!

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

 

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