This Day In History: 06/24

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

The Eighth Edition of the URI! Domain opens today to little fanfare. I was unable to update the site two weeks ago because of server problems, and was unable to update last weekend because of my impeccable skill of procrastination. Figuring that I'd better do something good to appease the masses, I decided to go the extra mile and finish off bulk of the new site for this week (one month ahead of schedule! WOW!) (!).

Not everything has been translated over from the previous edition (like the Music page and the Writings page), but there's enough here to keep folks happy for a few days while I continue my efforts. The most important changes you'll find (besides the refinement and simplifying of my interface): news archives are now available directly from the front page so you can check back in time to events of yore, and there are Next and Previous buttons on pages that require a lot of clicking (like the Photos page!) (!! !).

I still will not be updating every day, but updates will occur two to three times a week for the rest of the summer. To get things kicked off in the right direction, I've added a buttload of new pictures of Booty and Kitty. You can find them by clicking on the Photos tab, and then choosing Cat Pictures from the PDA. The newest pictures will always be at the top of the menu under "Newest Pictures", and will then move to their normal position when the next batch comes along. Both Booty and Kitty are doing great, and enjoy playing, sleeping, and fighting all day long.

Besides my homepage efforts, life has been going well in sunny (HEH) northern Virginia. I'm working on a new project at work (there was a switchup a week after I started), and they bought me a P4-2.66GHz computer with all the trimmings to do my work on. I'm not currently doing any Java programming -- I'm doing high-level design and eventually implementation for a demo in August using a content management system. I also treated myself a 19" flat panel monitor which is currently at work for all my coding and lunchtime gaming needs.

Just this past weekend, I went down to Charlottesville and helped my sister and her boyfriend move from there to Christiansburg. They're interested in the Vet school at Virginia Tech and bought a quaint little house for themselves, two cats, and two dogs. In between mowing weeds and dodging mosquitos, I found time to drive up the bypass to Tech, where I hung out with some old friends (one who's getting married in July) and signed on for some marching band arrangements in the Music Department.

Of my wish-list tasks, I still haven't accomplished much, but I'm doing enough sundry activities that I'm not bored or wasting much time. Anna and I are in the process of decorating the apartment a bit (with posters and hangings, not paints and papers), and we also have a fully-stocked kitchen (see below) for tasty experiments.

I haven't learned much guitar, because the positioning of the left hand exacerbates my computer wrist problems. It would probably go away if I practiced more, but I don't have the gumption to get over the initial plateau yet. I also played some basketball with the guys at work and displayed my theory basketball skills by accidentally elbowing someone in the eye. Luckily, no stitches were required.

The next aspect to be added back into this site will be the remainder of the pictures on the Photos page (which should take me no more than a couple days). In the meantime, enjoy this update and the following backlog of news links. There will definitely be a new post here before the end of the week.

P.S. The "Florida" editions of the Domain had 7731 visits as of yesterday. Zounds.

From the incredibly stupid ideas file
Sony is 'cool'
Teens teach FBI agents to be pedophile bait
HSD official obtained Ph.D. from diploma mill
Who the hell plays with a bluegill in their mouth?
Stump the computer at 20 Questions (more fun options if you get an account)
Orrin Hatch: Software Pirate
The Lego Rubik's Cube Solver
Bush negates claims that "anyone" can ride
A novel approach to reviewing games
New software that cuts the bull
Tarzan joins the Special Olympics
Who not to smoke up with
Guppy Love
Pee-A-Mole

Happy Birthday Nikki!

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

Thursday, June 24, 2004

There was a traffic cop in Herndon pulling someone over at 6:20 this morning on Dranesville. Seriously, who cares if you're speeding that early in the morning? When I'm in charge I'll be doing away with any moving violations which don't involve reckless driving.

I made it all the way to work today on autopilot, without realizing any of the turns. That must mean I'm local.

Woman taken off ship in marshmallow mixup
Tunes create context like language

permalink | 1 comment

Friday, June 24, 2005

Following America's obsession with obesity comes the "fat house in a skinny lot" syndrome. This occurs when homeowners can't quite afford to move out of their overinflated housing market so they renovate their existing houses to maximize indoor space at the expense of lawn and aesthetics. The homeowners with amenable houses add a new floor, preserving the balance between indoor and outdoor space, while those with houses that would collapse with added weight allow their homes to bulge at the seams like five pounds of cow manure in a three pound bag. You can see many examples of this ugliness throughout northern Virginia.

On Pegram Street in Alexandria is a ridiculous looking fathouse, dressed up in garish faux stone facing. As you drive up to it, don't be ashamed if you mistake it for a rock golem demanding a toll (apparently having lots of money to renovate does not equate to having any innate sense of design, style, balance, neighbourly concern, pattern recognition, fashion, or composition). There's another fathouse in the Brookfield development in Chantilly which doesn't have any grass left at all. Apparently, the owner broke his lawn mower and felt that this would be a wiser investment than buying a new one. The Arlington yuppies choose to go all out -- they buy two lots next to each other, tear out the old homes, and merge the lots to form one massive Autobot superhouse. Generally in these cases, the entire ground floor is taken by garages -- you often see them big enough for three and four cars.


Yesterday evening I was behind an SUV with the license plate, DOG LVER. I couldn't tell, though, if it was someone who really liked dogs or a Korean meat vendor (or maybe both).

Scottish emergency line doesn't pander to wusses
Statler and Waldorf to do movie reviews

tagged as mock mock | permalink | 2 comments

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Boggy: (adj.) Wet and spongy

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I started this piece with the quirky delayed music box sample and built around it, with an emphasis on sounds that have a sluggish attack. I then gave it a motor to distinguish it from an earlier Museday, Damp. Damp is more of a stationary word, while you wouldn't know a bog was boggy unless you tried to travel through it.

Robber has the store in the palm of his hand
Enema of the people
Lost tribe really wasn't lost at all

tagged as museday | permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Baby Day

Update! Have a picture!

Maryrose Faith Ahlbin, little sister of Ella was born yesterday at 2:13 PM. She was 8lbs 6oz and 21 inches long and the family is doing well!

I had hoped to get some pictures by now, but there is a media blackout, probably because she, too, looks like Shirley Temple. Instead, here is a montage of Ella's first year in the world, to remind everyone of her cuteness, and so she doesn't get neglected while everyone is fawning over the littler one.


You can also never forget Ella the Conductor:

If new baby pictures arrive today from the babyrazzi, I'll be sure to post them!

Teen tennis star won't stop grunting
Phuket porker: mutant or miracle?
Trapped nude with a dryer on his head

tagged as media | permalink | 7 comments

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review Day

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

The Big Short by Michael Lewis:
This book on the 2008 mortgage crisis had some potential, but never fully drew me in. The author falls into the trap that Michael Crichton faced in some of his later books: jumping between a gaggle of main characters that rarely interact with each other, resulting in a set of disjunct vignettes and names on a page. By about 2/3rds through the book, I was just reading to finish it -- the writing is good, and the explanations of the more obtuse concepts are as clear as they could be, but it just didn't make me want to read it.

Final Grade: C-

Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost:
This is the third in Troost's set of travel books, and I liked it more than Getting Stoned with Savages but less than Sex Lives of Cannibals. On the plus side, the story is more cohesive than the previous book, and a good dose of historical writing ties his trip through China together from beginning to end. As a minus, his entire reason for leaving his family at home and wandering around China for a couple months seems like a shabby excuse to write a travel book, and it's used more to set up the action rather than to provide a purpose for each of the sights he visits. This book also could have been trimmed by a hundred pages or so without many tears.

Final Grade: B

How We Operate by Gomez:
This CD is an earlier release from Gomez, whose CD, A New Tide I reviewed last month. It's catchy, over 50 minutes long, and lacks any whiny indie songs. Definitely a good pick for $4 from Amazon Marketplace.

Final Grade: A-

Costco's Kirkland Mickey Mouse Chicken Nuggets w/Whole Grain Breading:
These chicken nuggets may have gotten a high score from Consumer Reports, but they break the "everything is good at Costco" mold by tasting peculiar. The innards are not whole chicken pieces or obviously processed -- instead, they contain some sort of hybrid that's too rough tasting to be a McNugget but not flavorful enough to be from Wendy's. The breading gets crispy, even in the microwave, but this requires that each nugget come imbued with too much oil, which seeps through multiple paper towels while cooking. Stick with the Safeway brand chicken strips which are only slightly more expensive but actually taste good.

Final Grade: D

Chatroulette Plans Penis-Recognition Algorithm to Block Pervy Users
Woman sets office on fire to go home early
French prisoner a little sketchy on the anatomical details

tagged as reviews | permalink | 4 comments

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Fragments

good times, bad food

♠ Now that Rebecca has finally seen Labyrinth, the Chilly Down scene is one of her favorite things to watch, after this Friskies commercial. I remember thinking that the wild gang was really creepy when I was young. I also used to fast-forward through the stupid ballroom dance later in the movie because I felt that it didn't advance the plot, and it detracted from the more important parts with mazes in them.

♠ Speaking of mazes, the eastbound Dulles Toll Road at 495 is easily the most poorly designed interchange in the area right now. Between the overhead signs that identify five lanes when there are four and the giant "495 N: Center Lane!" sign in the part with only two lanes, it's definitely on its way to being the next Mixing Bowl.

♠ I've been spending a larger amount of my day in traffic recently, what with work meetings and a volleyball league whose court location is only convenient to paratroopers. Since today's CDs are so short, I've been listening to more of my old jazz CDs -- the ones where they try to cram as many two-minute songs onto an extended CD as possible, not the ones where Chip McNeill plays flat-five variations on Flight of the Bumblebee for twenty minutes.

♠ Someone recently discovered by site with the query "is chip mcneill gay?" and it seems to follow the trend of people asking Google questions as if it were Jeeves. Just yesterday "how do I set up Settlers of Catan?" made an appearance.

♠ I have lost most of my recent Lost Cities games with Rebecca recently, usually because I get distracted too easily from my initial strategy and end up overreaching. I also seem to be very unlucky playing the white deck, but tend to do well when playing the yellow deck. There's probably a life lesson in this as well.

♠ Plans for the weekend include some birthday-related barbequing, possibly with pinatas, margaritas, or tatas on the side, as well as some much needed sleep. Have a great weekend!

Cat steals from everyone in the neighbourhood
Whining is the worst sound in the world
Scantily dressed visitors unwelcome in jail

tagged as fragments | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up

After I took Friday off to push out a new release of while Rebecca continued to study, we had a dinner of grilled steaks in a new paprika-based rub and tempranillo. The rub was good, but still not so good as a plain old steak with salt and pepper.

Saturday was Rebecca's 30th birthday! To celebrate, we went into DC, dodging all of the fleeing Nats fans to go to the Trapeze School of New York (Washington DC edition). With Annie, Katie, and Joe, we got to soar through the air, even doing some advanced-beginner tricks like backflips and getting caught in midair.

After ensuring that our muscles would be sore for days to come, we had dinner at Matchbox, one of those chic pizzerias that only puts weird stuff on their pizzas, followed by birthday cake at Annie's house.

Sunday was a quiet, errandy day, involving grocery shopping, hedge trimming, lawn mowing, and an early dinner at Los Toltecos.

How was your weekend?

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 4 comments

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

List Day: Things I Did on Bachelor Day #1

  • Went to work at 5:45 and replaced ancient JSP scriptlets with Spring authz tag libraries.

  • 2 pieces of Domino's pan pizza for lunch, with a Coke Zero, while reading the paper.

  • Wrote unit tests, increasing automated testing coverage from 61.57% to 62.19% across our project of over 19,000 lines of code.

  • Steam cleaned the scent of "worked in a bar" out of the basement bedroom carpet, with faint flashbacks to Mike's Florida apartment.

  • Ran three miles on the treadmill while rewatching Person of Interest.

  • Did daily Hearthstone quests while playing as a Druid.

  • 3 pieces of Domino's pan pizza for dinner, with a Coke Zero, while watching more PoI.

  • Received voicemail that Rebecca had survived the drive to Stockbridge, MA.

  • Played the new Wildstar MMO. Currently a level 12 Medic on Orias PvE. It's super chaotic.

  • Took out the trash and watered our two tomato plants (and one pepper plant).

  • Went to bed at 10:25.

tagged as lists | permalink | 4 comments

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Memory Day: Snapshots

This blurry mirror photo was taken in 1982 in one of the anchor stores at Springfield Mall (now renamed Springfield Town Center). We're almost twins!

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Monday, June 24, 2019

Weekend Wrap-up

For Rebecca's 36th Birthday weekend, we took a family trip to Weatherlea Farm in Lovettsville, a working sheep farm that was just far enough away to be "away" without travel hassles.

On Saturday, we had brunch at Market Table Bistro (deviled eggs, a white gazpacho, mac and cheese, and an overly decadent pork belly hash). In the evening, we drove out to Harper's Ferry Brewing for the views, bluegrass music, crabcake sandwiches, forgettable beers, and soft-serve.

Among the animals at the farm was a cat named Castor that welcomed himself into the cottage and our adventures.

Maia enjoyed seeing the dog, cats, 2 horses, and a herd of 18 sheep being guarded by 2 goofy llamas. We also enjoyed the explosion of fireflies in the evening -- something we realized that we hadn't seen in the suburbs for a few years now.

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Looking Ahead to Beach Day

One of the few activities that hasn't received a surprise evisceration from pandemics is our upcoming Outer Banks beach trip with the Smith family.

This trip celebrates 8 years since our last beach trip together and boasts several firsts:

  • First beach house directly on the beach, with no road to cross.
  • First beach trip with Maia, who knows that "the ocean is loud", and gets her own room with bunk beds in it.
  • First house in Duck, a town that's equally as "fresh off the bridge" as Kitty Hawk, but feels slightly classier.
  • First beach trip with masks at the ready for trips to Walmart and Food Lion and a very low chance of eating inside a restaurant.

We picked the week of the Olympics so we could make fun of whoever the new Michael Phelps is these days. Now that Olympics are totally just postponed and not cancelled in the least bit, we'll have to find another way to entertain ourselves. Any suggestions?

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

Friday, June 24, 2022

Birth Day, Part 2

A montage of photos from Rebecca's wild and stormy birthday afternoon

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

 

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