This Day In History: 06/21

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A couple weeks back, Anna and I went to see the movie, Crash, an independent movie with quite a few well-known stars. The movie makes heavy use of coincidence to explore all the aspects of prejudice and racism and I liked it quite a bit. Ultimately it's not as deep as it intends to be, but it's definitely worth a watch. All the roles were well-filled (including Ludacris in his first movie role), although Brendan Fraser didn't really have a lot to do (and perhaps that was a good thing).

Happy Birthday Liz Benyo and Daniel Bethancourt!

$24,000 in Chinese food
Time bomb alert: That baby will EXPLODE.

tagged as reviews | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Observation Day

BU's First Law of Size: As products become smaller through miniaturization, the size of their packaging will change in the opposite direction.

The original Nintendo Entertainment System cartridges were comfortably big -- you could grip them under your thumb and slap someone across the face with satisfying sting and sound effect. Their packaging was roughly the same size so there was no wasted space. Today's cartridges for the Nintendo DS are smaller than a packet of Sweet N' Low. One of them actually got lost in the folds of my elbow flab yesterday (I shit you not!). However, these tiny cartridges are still packaged in containers that are the size of the old NES games, and to top it off (because all Americans are dirty shoplifters) retail chains put that package into a giant plastic anti-theft brace to make sure you don't hide the game in the folds of your mammoth American stomach as you walk out the door.

CDs and DVDs also obey this law. When I bought Halo in 2003 (subtitled "The Most Boring First Person Shooter In The History Of Shooters"), it came with no documentation: just a cardboard CD sleeve with a Microsoft authenticity key etched on the front. Since a game in a cardboard sleeve is usually a $9.99 budget game like Mah Jong or Urban Deer Hunting, Microsoft placed the sleeve into a normal-sized computer game box, roughly the size of a DVD case. This was then put into a larger box, much like the computer game boxes from the late 1990s. Every box had the complete Halo artwork and system specs on it -- it's almost as if they'd made too many of the big box and had to find creative ways to use them up. I half expected to open the cardboard sleeve to find an even smaller box, and maybe a tiny Santa figurine.

My second law of size is still undergoing peer review, but it mainly stresses that small people will inherit the planet because we consume less natural resources. The third law is still on the drawing board but it will attempt to codify the reasons why modern plastic package is so obnoxious to open, and why it tries to slice open your arteries when all you want to do is get to the tiny product inside.

Happy Birthday Daniel Bethancourt and Liz Benyo!

People were confused by the designation of Biggie and Great Biggie
You look like you have a criminal demeanor
Just in case you were planning on it

tagged as random | permalink | 4 comments

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Audience Participation Day: Census Time

We're celebrating three separate birthdays today: Daniel Bethancourt, a friend from grade school who I haven't heard from in about four years, Liz Benyo, the soprano from Tech who also vanished into the nether, and Chris Smith, who is Kathy's sugardaddy. Happy Birthday!

To celebrate this trifecta of ancient-baby-deliveries, I've created the first annual URI! Zone census to get a snapshot of the disparate humanity that comes here. (Birthdays are related to censuses because censuses measure population, and people in the population are usually born at some point). This census has seven questions, which can easily be answered by everyone:

  1. Who are you?
  2. How do you know me?
  3. How did you find this site?
  4. When did you start reading?
  5. What is your favourite themed Day?
  6. Where is your website?
  7. What would you like to say to the rest of us?

If you are reading this entry, you should definitely take the census by clicking on the "census responses" link in the lower-right corner of this entry. You don't have to be eloquent or grammatically correct, you just have to be a reader. This includes EVERYONE, including the ever-silent Jim Barry and all the other lurkers who visit but never say anything like my Dad. I know you're all out there and would love to hear from you!

To spice things up, every person that answers the census by the end of the month will have the chance to win a $5 gift certificate to Amazon.com (since Amazon gift certificates have apparently become the legal tender of the URI! Zone). Say hello today and don't make me resort to census acts of violence!

Man kidnapped, hunted in the woods
Gnomes smuggling illegal aliens
From robber to robbed

tagged as website, you speak | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

The only event on the calendar for this past weekend was a potluck barbeque for Rebecca's 27th birthday, which offered us a much-needed escape from the overly-planned weekends so far in June. We grilled burgers, dogs, and kabobs and played games of badminton, cornhole, pool, and Imaginiff in weather that was surprisingly accomodating -- though it was still over 90 degrees, the backyard and deck remained shady under what passes for a forest around here.

On Sunday, we did very little beyond relaxing and eating unhealthy leftovers, and also started in on the fifty-plus beers which were left unconsumed at the barbeque (probably because Rebecca's friends are lightweights).

Have you submitted an entry for the Caption Contest yet? The deadline is this evening at 6 PM, and I've already received 8 entries from 6 readers, virtually guaranteeing the existence of a second place prize.

Man who lost arm comes out ahead with a new furnace
Campbell Soup recalls 15M pounds of Spaghettios
Woman with monkey-phobia savaged by monkeys

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Museday Tuesday

As part of this feature, which I started in 2007, I compose a very brief work (under 30 seconds) inspired by a randomly generated title from an online word generator or suggested by a reader. The composition can be for any instrumentation, and could even be a purely synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.

I work on the excerpt continuously for an hour and then post whatever I've managed to complete, even if it could be the hit single from Glenn Gould Plays Tatu.


Coequal: (adj.) equal with another or each other in rank, ability, extent, etc.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

This excerpt is written for a variety of paired instruments. The definition of the word, coequal, didn't trigger any inspiration, but the onomatopoeia of the word itself became the guiding motive, first introduced by harpsichord and glockenspiel.

Deer with wings the cause of power outage
Republicans cut short Obama impersonator
Circus offers clown-selling for big-top fears

tagged as museday | permalink | 1 comment

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Treme, Season Two:
The second season of Treme is more of the same -- if you liked the first season even a little bit, you'll like this one just as much. It's now a year after Hurricane Katrina, and this season follows the lives of the various characters established in the first season, with a minimum of Crash-esque path crossing. It's still a show of character development rather than plots, although there are flashes of inspiration where the writers were obviously trying to channel The Wire. There's still a few too many musical interludes, but I enjoyed the musical styles explored here more than the first season's.

Final Grade: B+

Pushing Daisies, Soundtrack:
It's been a while since I purchased a soundtrack CD -- the last was probably from season two of LOST (after which I made four copies of the CD and put a new season number on each one with a Sharpie). The level of thematic cohesiveness on this soundtrack is impressive, and the show's cute cover of "Birdhouse in Your Soul" sent Rebecca off on a They Might Be Giants nostalgia kick.

Final Grade: B+

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin:
The HBO adaptation of this novel was an unexpected gem (not unlike any heist movie where the jewel thief offloads the goods in the pocket of an unsuspecting passerby while fleeing from the cops). I read the source novel after watching the show, and was impressed by how faithful the adaptation was. Unfortunately, the show was so exact and fresh in my mind that I couldn't help but to picture its visuals while reading. This was not necessarily a bad thing, but it gave me a better opinion of the book than I might have had, had I read it without any introduction. The novel employs the device of telling each chapter from a different character's perspective. This lends itself well to an HBO-esque show, but puts the damper on your reading speed when you get to the end of a favorite character's chapter and then realize you have to read twenty pages of Sansa garbage. Overall, I found it to be a decent, but not amazing fantasy story, and don't plan to continue with the rest of the series.

Final Grade: B

tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, June 21, 2013

Random Chart Day: Stuff I Eat For Breakfast

tagged as data | permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What's Next for the URI! Zone?

Observant calendar watchers might notice that the 20th birthday of the URI! Zone is creeping closer. Ten years ago, I laid out my plan for a trilogy as follows:

The first ten years of my site, 1996 - 2006, served to introduce the principal characters (Booty) and supporting cast (me and Doobie), while providing enough back story and trivia on everyone involved to keep my readers empathizing with the protagonists. The second part, 2006 - 2016, will document my struggles and conflicts up to the ripe age of 36, although I haven't yet picked a suitable title yet since The Empire Strikes Back was already taken. Finally, 2016 - 2026 will tie up all the mysteries and drama from the first two parts with salty dialogue and a moving musical score. I don't want to spoil anything, but at least one person who's going to die in Part II will come back to life in Part III.

I've maintained my 5-day-per-week update schedule over the past few years in spite of steadily declining readership, to the point where I'm mainly just keeping the lights on for a handful of people bored in their cubicles not yet ready to start working for the day. Looking ahead, here are some thoughts I've considered for the next decade of posts:

  • Drop down to 3 regularly scheduled posts per week in the most popular categories: what I've been up to recently, what I did as a cute Asian child, and reviews of all of the crap I purchase.

  • Eliminate scheduled posting and post more involved, narrative-style posts "whenever I feel like it" which would probably end up being once or twice per week.

  • Abandon it completely and leave it as a preserved fossil for future internet archaeologists (like Mike's blog).

As a member of the elite intellectual group that still reads blogs in 2016, what are your thoughts? Suggestions, votes, and alternatives welcomed!

tagged as website | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Memory Day: Snapshots

The picture on the left is Rebecca at 4 months (October 1983), while the picture on the right is me at 20 months (May 1981).

This should allow you to extrapolate what our daughter will look like. You can check your work against the crazy 3D ultrasound image below!

tagged as offspring, media | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, June 21, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Weber Genesis II E310 LP Gas Grill:
This Weber grill assembles easily and doesn't have that flimsy "gonna break tomorrow" feel that my 8-year-old Weber had (Just after giving that grill an A-, the starter stopped working permanently). Apart from a minor issue with a bent starter connection, I had the grill up and running in just a couple hours. I've used it about 6 times since then and it's resulted in consistent timings and grilling quality. I also like that the burners go from front-to-back, reducing the propane wasted on smaller servings.

Final Grade: A

12 Monkeys, Season Two:
In the second season of this sci-fi show, the rules of cause and effect are massaged just enough that every episode doesn't need to focus on the minutia of time travel. There's a nice arc across the 13 episodes, and a finale that's both surprising and clearly telegraphed.

Final Grade: B+

Complaint by Watsky:
Watsky's latest album isn't bad, but someone dropped it in a bucket of autotune during mastering. The use of autotune is overwhelming and unnecessarily distracting. As Rebecca said, it's like the lead singer of FUN decided to release a rap album with emo lyrics.

Final Grade: C+

Dead To Me, Season One:
Almost anything that Netflix tries to get us to watch with annoying trailers tends to be awful, but this dramedy about two women who befriend each other in a grief support group (is a bro-mance with women called a ho-mance, or is there a less offensive term?) is surprisingly good. Although it's nothing like Barry, it sometimes reminded me of the way Barry can juggle several contrasting tones at once. Here, the comedy, anger, sadness, and murder mystery suspense are well executed without jarring transitions. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A

tagged as reviews | permalink | 3 comments

Monday, June 21, 2021

Ian Week #8 Battle Report

We've reached 8 weeks!

Between work, Maia, and Ian these days, time is a surging torrent of molasses that prevents me from itemizing every single change that Ian has undergone. I'm looking forward to the mythical day some time in the future where the two of them will play together while I play 500 games of Hearthstone in a row. Until then, it's sufficent to say that all is well -- Ian continues to grow and has not shrunk, and everyone is still alive.

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

 

You are currently viewing every post from a specific month and day across history. Posts are in chronological order with the oldest at the top. On the front page, the newest post is at the top. The entire URI! Zone is © 1996 - 2022 by Brian Uri!. Please see the About page for further information.

Jump to Top
Jump to the Front Page


September 2007
SMTWHFS
1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30
OLD POSTS
Old News Years J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
visitors since November 2003