This Day In History: 06/29

Saturday, June 29, 2002

This week in my PRIMA work, I completed the algorithms to allow the computer to recognize all regular pitch orders (modes and scales where the spelling going up is the same as the spelling going down). It can also take a MIDI note number or pitch name and translate it into the appropriate enharmonic, based on the current key signature. I'd post the demo applet I wrote, but so much of the work is under the hood that you probably wouldn't be too impressed by it.

Warcraft III comes out on July 3rd, and the advance hype seems to be overwhelmingly positive. I've got a copy ordered for when I finish off Jedi Knight II, which I've been playing these past few weeks. The first few levels are incredibly underwhelming and tedious, but once you get the lightsaber and can start throwing people around with the Force the fun level goes way up. I've never been a big fan of the Star Wars mythos, and the story is as hackneyed as one of the movies, but the game is still solid.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Happy Birthday Kathy!

I put up a gigantic batch of wedding and cat pictures yesterday evening, so feel free to take a look. There are also two new short clips for your pleasure de viewing.

Jail Kitty (2MB WMV)
Vying for Couch (1MB WMV)

Kudu could become a star
Pumping at the bench is not kosher
Guys' night out to Vote
Because the license wasn't already run into the ground upon inception
I'm changing my name to F Gm.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

With their new album, X & Y, Coldplay has chosen to stick with what works rather than be adventuresome, and for the most part, it succeeds. The CD has twelve tracks and a hidden one dedicated to their hero, Johnny Cash. To me, Coldplay has always been about the sound first, and then the lyrics second. They excel at creating a mood using just a wash of sound (a technique that most people who dislike their music find boring and repetitive) and use Chris Martin's vocals as a solid hook. A few of the songs on this CD have already started appearing on the radio, like Speed of Sound and Fix Me. Almost all of them are very strong alone, but they don't necessarily function well as an album. Because they all exist on a thick foam pad of harmonies, they tend to detract from the memorability of any one song when you listen to the whole album at once. However, there are no songs which I hate, and all of them have grown on me over the past couple weeks. If you liked any individual song from their previous two albums, I'd recommend getting this album (as noted a couple days ago, their old song, Shiver, easily ranks as one of my favourite contemporary songs). Apparently not all of you readers will, since I currently have two votes for "You have horrible taste in music" in my weekly poll.

Last weekend while stuck on I-95 South, I had the chance to listen to an exclusive XM interview of Coldplay on their "Artist Confidential" series and found the group to be surprisingly urbane and witty for a rock group. In the one-hour interview, the band talked about how they formed, the significance of the new album title, and why they don't take the U2-approach to writing about world issues. Scattered throughout the Q&A, they played acoustic versions of Clocks, Kingdom Come, and another song from Rush of Blood to the Head which I can't recall. To my pleasant surprise, they're as strong live as they are recorded, with Chris Martin effortlessly hitting notes on pitch (unlike Tom Chaplin of Keane).

Now if only they could keep Chris Martin from looking like an epileptic muppet when he's playing the keyboard on camera, they'd be all set to take over the world.

Happy Birthday Kathy!

Americal Idol contestant arrested for misdemeanor food fighting
Internet crashes in Pakistan. Early CIA reports indicate ICBM or WMD
Oprah Winfrey beats out Franklin Roosevelt in poll sponsored by AOL

tagged as music, reviews | permalink | 3 comments

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I was minding my own business yesterday afternoon when it suddenly occurred to me that one of my cats bears an uncanny resemblance to a map of the United States. Apparently Amber is fiercely patriotic. I quickly rushed to get my camera so you could have photographic proof of this strange phenomenon. Her legs are obviously Baja California and Florida, respectively. If you are having trouble seeing the similarities, then take a look at the overlay below. It's clear as day!

  • I live right at the cat's mouth. I haven't yet figured out what this means, but I'm sure it's important because that's where the food goes. In counerpoint, Portland, Oregon is apparently the pooper end of the U.S.

  • Texas does not appear on the catmap, because Amber does not have udders. This is probably a sociopolitical commentary on whether Texas really belongs to us or the Mexicans. Alternately, it's a pangea effect and two of Amber's legs must collide over millions of years to form the Yucatan Penninsula.

  • Amber's eyes are Pittsburgh and New York City, and her ears outline Michigan and Maine, so pay close attention to your surroundings if you visit those places and you might uncover a secret!

  • Amber's big black swatch hugs the eastern border of the Rocky Mountains, and is also a good approxmiation of Tornado Alley. The tan area to the west represents arid desert land and the tan area to the right must be fertile Mississippi River farming area. Her leg dot is somewhat vague but I think she wants to go to Disneyland.
  • To capitalize on my discovery (just in time for the Fourth of July), I now have a line of T-Shirts available. Show your patriotism by buying one today!

    Happy Birthday Kathy Biddick!

    Girl questioned over stolen bus
    You know it's hard out heah foa pimp
    Eyes make you honest

    tagged as random, cats | permalink | 4 comments

    Friday, June 29, 2007

    Friday Fragments

    it's the end of the month as we know it

    ♣ I finally got around to posting all of the pictures I've taken this month but we're tragically short on days to devote to another Media Day. Instead you can pick your poison here:

    • Home Improvement, June Festivities, and Jack's Wedding
    • Booty and Amber

    ♣ Some of these breathtaking photos have never before been seen by human eyes, like the photos from Rebecca's birthday last week, where we went to the Sequoia in D.C. (the cheap outdoor part) and bumped into Jack and his groomsmen partying late into the night. They were still there when we left around 1:30 AM, but Jack was alert and chipper the next day. That's one of the skills they teach you at Princeton.

    ♣ Speaking of birthdays, today is Kathy Biddick Smith's Sweet Sixteen1. Happy Birthday! Kathy and her husband also tied for first place in the "Which married couple would win in a fight?" poll. The most important question to take away from that poll is: "Why the hell do I know so many married couples?"

    1: Times Two Minus One

    ♣ Since Kathy and Chris tied in first place with Anna and Ben, there's nothing left to do but have the face-off and place bets on the outcome. Here's how I envision it will turn out: Ben and Chris start talking about World of Warcraft and get completely sidetracked. Meanwhile, Anna will exploit her baby for the cute factor to distract Kathy and win by a hair.

    ♣ However, this could get reversed if Kathy wins the drawing for the $5 gift certificate and uses it to buy a book of fighting techniques. How would she get entered in this drawing? By filling out my 2007 Census before tomorrow! If you haven't done it yet, do it today!

    ♣ It's interesting to see the distinct layers of visitors from various phases of this site's life, from the fossilized core of 1996 visitors through varying shades of visitor sediment as I moved to Florida and back, to this year's brand new faces. I actually heard from an old friend this week, Andrea from Canada, who was a visitor in 1997, and also a member of the now-defunct URI! Fan Club which had three whole newsletters. I knew her back in the days when text messaging meant you had ICQ installed and chat rooms were not full of FBI agents pretending to be eleven years old.

    ♣ Fun text messaging fact of the day: If you happen to spot me wandering down the street and quickly send a text message to a friend describing what a hottie that Brian character is, and you have one of those phones that tries to guess what you're typing based on the keypad letters, your phone will presume you are trying to type ASIAN instead of BRIAN. I have already petitioned the Roget's people to make this a permanent synonym.

    ♣ This weekend kicks off the summer with all the style of an octogenarian dressed completely in Kmart clearance items. Tonight, we'll be going to Wolf Trap to see Bill Cosby perform and to eat Jello snacks. Tomorrow, we're heading down to Colonial Beach for the Spellerberg's annual Fourth of July Weekend family gathering (since, in the absence of Vu, I am the token adopted Asian brother). Tomorrow is also Matt McGuire's birthday -- happy birthday!

    ♣ Have a great weekend!

    The British Invasion... of rubber duckies
    The entry should have read that the license plate had been stolen if it was on any vehicle that isn't a giant hot dog.
    Muggers leave behind their own pictures

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 5 comments

    Monday, June 29, 2009

    Ha Ha

    Teen hits tree after turtle rescue
    Pot plants found with dead body in traffic stop
    Doctors baffled by girl who doesn't age

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

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    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. 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's a poorly constructed slum of a song supported by a foundation of droning double stops and abused tubas.

    Fusty: (adj.) Saturated with dust and stale odors; musty

    My Composition (0:30 MP3)

    This excerpt is written for miscellaneous patches, including the jazz scat samples that tend to turn out more creepy than jazzy when I apply them in my music.

    Tennessee promoting new moonshine-NASCAR trail
    Pet turtle causes taxiing plane to return to gate
    Mexican singer El Shaka killed after denying his murder

    tagged as museday | permalink | 0 comments

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Memory Day: Snapshots

    It seems like there are a statistically significant number of pictures from my youth taken in front of this pine tree -- it probably has something to do with the need for a regular background texture and color in my dad's darkroom days when he developed all of his own pictures.

    I always felt that the moose hat was far cooler than the Smokey the Bear hat, even though the moose was anonymous and lacking celebrity. Plus, Smokey had a hard-shelled hat, while Anon the Moose was soft all over.

    The seven biggest dick moves in online gaming
    Woman accused of spraying deputies with breast milk
    Capcom announces unreplayable game

    tagged as memories | permalink | 4 comments

    Friday, June 29, 2012

    End-of-the-Month Media Day

    New pictures have been added to the Life, 2012 photo album. As the number of interesting activities we attend declines, the number of cat pictures increases proportionally.

    This post means that the month is over, which tells us (by induction, or possibly convection) that 2012 is now halfway through. Is that depressing or amazing?

    P.S. If you squint at the picture above, Booty looks like an Ichthyosaurus.

    tagged as media | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, June 29, 2015

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Amidst the usual weekend shenanigans of Rebecca hiking the AT and me working on a proposal, we had a rare Poker Night to celebrate Anna and Ben being in town briefly.

    After dinner at Mellow Mushroom (where the food was delicious as usual although our waiter had a sweaty, manic thing going on), we had a poker game with Larry, Returned Mike, and Annie, while Sydney the cat got reacquainted with the youngest Ahlbin (the rest were off at grandma's house).

    Mike ultimately won the game, followed by Ben, and then Larry. Everyone else was out pretty quickly and spent the rest of the evening eating birthday cake and chocolate eclairs.

    How was your weekend?

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

    Wednesday, June 29, 2016

    Memory Day: Snapshots

    This picture was taken 20 years ago, on June 13, 1996.

    My grandfather and uncle were in town to celebrate my high school graduation, and my mom forced my dad from behind the camera for this single shot. The day was ridiculously hot, and I had an illegal contraband fanny pack under the robe containing a bottle of water, two rolls of Spree, and a deck of playing cards.

    tagged as memories | permalink | 0 comments

    Friday, June 29, 2018

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2018 album. Google Photos sucks.

    • Events
      • Rebecca got purple highlights in her hair on F 6/1 and we had a family dinner at Cafesano.

      • Visited Larry and Janice and the kids in Maryland and had Thai rolled ice cream for the first time on S 6/2.

      • I ordered unhealthy Chinese delivery for dinner while Rebecca opted for a weird hippie dish from Mom's Organic Market on S 6/3.

      • Took Maia to see the paternal grandparents while Rebecca took a continuing ed class on S 6/9.

      • Ghazaley came to visit Rebecca and Maia while BU had a Dad Dinner at Miller's on S 6/10.

      • Voted in the VA primary on T 6/12.

      • Maia learned to go up 14 stairs on W 6/13.

      • Went to the doctor to get rid of my month-long congestion with DRUGS on F 6/15. Maia had her first pool experience at Ghazaley's.

      • Rebecca hit the Farmer's Market with Maia on S 6/16.

      • Spent Father's Day with the family on S 6/17. Hit Crestview Park, set up a semipermanent VR space in the basement, and ate burgers at Burger 21.

      • Made chicken pesto for Rebecca's birthday on F 6/22.

      • Rebecca and Maia went to the Farmer's Market with Tammy and Jessika on S 6/23.

      • Went on a Paint Date with Rebecca on S 6/24.

      • Went to the Inova summer picnic on F 6/29.

      • Having the Smiths over for food and games on S 6/30.

    • Projects
      • Worked on a big proposal effort at work all month long.

      • Reacquired my expired AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate cert on S 6/10.

      • Reacquired my expired AWS Certified Developer - Associate cert on S 6/17.

      • Obtained my new AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional cert on M 6/25.

    • Consumerism
      • Pulled the Oculus Rift out of storage and enjoyed Beat Saber this month. Invested in an SSD hard drive for faster load times.

      • Watching TV more slowly than ever. Enjoying season two of 3%.

      • No new music of note this month.

    June's Final Grade: B+, no peaks or summits, but a nice rhythm with lots of fun daily activities.

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

    Monday, June 29, 2020

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

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

    • Events
      • Took the day off to watch Maia so Rebecca could take the day off and go hiking on H 6/4.

      • Sprayed the yard for mosquitoes on F 6/12.

      • Rebecca went hiking again on S 6/13.

      • Screen porch visit with my parents on S 6/14.

      • Two nights at Weather Lea Farms in Lovettsville, H 6/18 - S 6/20.

      • Rebecca turned 37 on M 6/22.

      • Screen porch visit with my parents on H 6/25.

      • Family picnic dinner at Algonkian on F 6/26.

      • Maia and Rebecca had a picnic dinner with Tammy and Zoe on S 6/27.

      • Backyard dinner with the Smiths on S 6/28.

      • Watched Maia while Rebecca hiked Raven Rocks again on T 6/30.

    • Projects
      • Volunteered for a side gig in web hosting and website modernization.

      • Installed sunset blinds on our screen porch on H 6/11.

    • Consumerism
      • Enjoyed watching Hunt for the Wilderpeople and excited to start Dark, Season Three.

      • No new music this month.

      • Less Elder Scrolls Online this month as I start freshening up my web development skills again.

    June's Final Grade: B, as good as it could have been

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

    Wednesday, June 29, 2022

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2022 album.

    • Events
      • Hosted Oklahoma Emily and her 3 kids for an overnight visit on F 6/3 - S 6/4.

      • Went to the Loudoun Farm Heritage Museum on S 6/4 to donate a spinning wheel.

      • Rebecca and Maia went to a play, "Into the Woods Jr.", featuring the Smith sisters on S 6/5.

      • Family dinner at Bungalow Lakehouse on T 6/7.

      • Ian had a fever and slept a lot, W 6/8 - F 6/10.

      • Went to our new neighbor's housewarming party on S 6/11.

      • Went to Virginia Kitchen for breakfast with Maia on S 6/12. Family outing to the farmer's market and playground.

      • Went to the HOA meeting on W 6/15.

      • Maia stayed with my parents, F 6/17 - S 6/19 and went to the Glen Echo carousel.

      • Rebecca was interviewed about bluebells for the Rootbound podcast on S 6/18.

      • Rebecca turned 39 and had visits from Annie & Dom, Andrea & Amelia, and Evil Mike, Taje, & Tobias on W 6/22.

      • Rebecca took a weekend continuing ed course, F 6/24 - S 6/26.

      • I took the kids to visit my parents on S 6/25.

      • Had our babysitter over for dinner on W 6/29.

      • Rebecca and Maia went to the pool while Ian and I went to the mall on H 6/30.

    • Projects
      • Continued maintaining the Lillard sidewalk.

    • Consumerism
      • Replaced my 9-year-old office chair and added new art on the office wall.

      • Enjoyed watching Emergency and Inside No. 9 this month.

      • No amazing new music or books this month. (What is reading?)

      • Still playing Fallout 76 at Level 223.

    June's Final Grade: B, nice month but I need more restful sleep!

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


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