This Day In History: 06/30
It's been a pretty busy week. I went indoor rock climbing on Saturday for the first time and utterly destroyed all my muscles. Sunday afternoon was spent at the pool. I also picked up a copy of the fifth Harry Potter book on Saturday and finished it today. It was a decent story but parts were definitely bloated and repetitive. The story moved quickly despite that though, and I think I liked this one better than the fourth one. If you're illiterate or long on free-time, you can also get the entire unabridged audio book on 23 CDs.
The expansion for Warcraft III is in stores starting tomorrow.
Here's an excerpt from a technical manual I was reading last week. You know you have no business writing manuals when you cut this gem:
It is not possible to publish content without also publishing the channel and the site with which it is associated. In other words, you cannot simply publish content without also publishing the channel and site that content is associated with.
Five minutes after 9/11
Naked with axes
Al Qaeda joke shot down
I finally got off my ass and rewrote the PHP Comments script to show viewers how many comments are written for any given news update, something that Blogger and other blog software has had for years. Kathy and others have said that they never click on the link because they don't want to see an empty page, so hopefully this will inspire a new age of collective arguing. This is an upgrade I've been putting off since comments were introduced in April 2003, but it actually only took about an hour of coding in the end. I'm not a big fan of PHP but I guess it gets the job done.
I recently decided to shift the focus of these updates slightly. This site has been a "Dear Diary, this is what I did today" site since I first started daily updates upon my move to Florida in 2001, punctured by darts of rare insight when the spirit moved me. Now that I've been a working man for two years, "what I did today" is generally pretty boring, so I've resolved to spend more time on my thoughts & opinions. To this end, I have a notebook to jot down possible news ideas as they come to me. To date, this notebook has not been instrumental in the new style of my updates, because it spent the last four days sitting on my desk (it's too big to carry around anywhere). Currently, the only thing written in it is "Buy a smaller notebook".
This site will still remain angst-free however. Even when it feels good to be an angster, I will keep things light-hearted. There are plenty of other web logs in the world dedicated to hating life, writing bad angstful poetry, or driving the angstmobile down Interstate Angst, and they all do it better than I could, so I'll stick with my award-winning formula of flippancy (patent pending). Rigged buoys taint contest Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music Dave Chapelle loves World of Warcraft
because June is so last monthThe URI! Zone has a new viewer, Lake, who is one half of the dynamic duo that is Lake and the other kitten. I forget what Kathy and Chris decided to call the other one so I'm going to presume that it's called Punchy until I hear otherwise. Lake and Punchy are still only three months old, so they're tinier even than Sydney and Amber were when we first got them. I met the new kittens on the block at Chris and Kathy's birthday barbeque last weekend. You probably weren't invited because they hate you.I have another barbeque tomorrow, this time down in scenic Colonial Beach with an entire cadre of someone else's nieces and nephews. The nice thing about knowing Catholics is that you have a huge ready-made family to revel with on holidays and you don't have to put up with them for the other three hundred days out of the year!Thankfully, it's not supposed to rain today or tomorrow, so the ground should dry out enough for general berbeque mayhem and romping. Berbeque is a real word, and involves the ritual roasting of comfortable carpets. Either that, or my typing continues to degrade over time. Yesterday, I typed 'doog' instead of 'good' in an email. Looks like it's time to buy more console video games and movies to get my crippled hands away from the computer! Maybe I can get my health insurance to cover it.I finished New Super Mario Brothers last weekend. It wasn't too hard, but I went at a leisurely pace. I also have the personality that requires me to find every single secret and collect every single magic doohickey before I finish the game, so that added several more hours of gameplay. Next up are two Gameboy Advance games that I picked up in the bargain bin: Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap which is cute, fun, and old-school so far, and Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, which I hope ends up being a lot like Paper Mario.New Super Mario Brothers wins two awards: Worst Title, and Most Anticlimactic Ending Ever. I've met pooping dogs with better endings than that game. The final boss fight is a cake walk too.I've never understood the magnetic draw of a cake walk. Why would anyone want to walk or dance for cake? Cake is gross. The only good part of a cake is the double chocolate frosting. If you don't have that, you just have an odd loaf of bread that happens to goes well with ice cream.Another thing that goes well with ice cream is a spoon. Ice cream can get pretty messy if you eat it with your fingers.Informal poll: Is chicken with bones a finger food? I vote yes. It seems ridiculous to attack a drumstick or a thigh with a knife and fork. You miss out on all the secret niches of tastiness when you use utensils. If your breast were a Mario-themed video game, you would not be able to unlock Star World with a knife and fork.Happy Birthday Matt McGuire! Have a great weekend, everyone else! At least they got their money back Where not to use a penis pump Settle your debts with a mechanical digger
I'm at the Beach Day
Parents keep child's gender a secret
Invention allows pregnant women to hold models of their unborn babies
Bottoms up for winning artist
It was yesterday morning when I was making a legal right turn on red (with no pedestrians present) that I was furiously honked at by a driver in a bright red Mustang. He was driving in the far lane of the two-lane road (Beauregard Street) I had turned onto, and was apparently so agitated that I had come within five and a half feet of marring his finish that he had a musical seizure, belting out some sort of angry Morse code on his horn for the next fifty yards. Evidently, he worked just a few blocks up the road, and as he pulled into his turn lane, he held some sort of law enforcement badge out his window (mounted on a square of black felt that was obviously too big for wallet-size) and gave me his best glare.
I assume that I was supposed to be intimidated by the consequences of driving responsibly next to someone who wasn't a cop but had a badge like one, but his playing of the badge card just made the whole scenario comical. This is probably the only situation in life where it would actually be fun to own a trained monkey, because the threat of being covered in poop or having a baby eaten would be greatly outweighed by the hilarity of getting it to snatch the badge as I drove past (although "drive-by snatch" is another concept that probably sounds better on paper). Afterwards, I could film an FX serial about a monkey that solves crimes.
The reason I was on Beauregard Street yesterday was for my first conference experience in my new role, held at the Hilton Mark Center just upstairs from the American Scientific Glassblowers Society symposium. It was kind of on the small side from my expectations, with about 55 attendees, and the presentations were generally pitched to a management level rather than a technical one -- in the last presentation of the day, the speaker skipped over a slide full of small print with a dismissive "oh, this slide's too technical".
Still, the material being presented was good, even if three of the eight speakers (including the keynote) were last minute replacements -- it connected the dots between my old role and my new one while constantly referencing the Object Management Group (OMG!) and supporting a game of word bingo with phrases like "policy", "swim lanes" and "Federal, State, Local, Tribal".
I also bumped into a guy I went to high school with, who happened to be one of the prime speakers, and whose CV shows that he's done more in the last two months than I have in my entire life. He was the one sweeping the high school science fairs with cures for cancer and rapidly incrementing atomic numbers while everyone else was making volcanoes and plugging things into potatoes.
The conference was well catered, from the breakfast burritos to the steak and salmon entrees served at awkward circular tables where complete strangers played the D.C. game of "So what do you do?" until common ground for conversation could be found. It adjourned at 3 PM with ice cream sandwiches, in plenty of time to flee the city before those pesky HOV restrictions went into effect.
Austin hotel shuts down as more glass falls to the street
Summer's Eve starts campaign to replace Awesome with Vaginal
End-of-the-Month Highlights Day
New photos have been added to the Life, 2014 album.
- Saw Gonzo's Nose at Friday Night Live on 6/6.
- Hiked at Harper's Ferry and ate locally grown foods on 6/7.
- Went to "Church in the Park" on 6/8.
- Went to A Taste of Reston with Kathy on 6/13.
- Attended a pops concert by SONOVA on 6/14.
- Had a small birthday dinner with Asian fusion pork chops for Rebecca's birthday, on 6/21.
- Rebecca went to yoga camp for 4 days while I did bachelor stuff and managed to get a huge abrasion on my knee from an accident involving the treadmill at 9 MPH, loose shoelaces, and a failure to (ever) wear the safety-off clip.
- I met Rebecca in Morgantown, PA and stayed at a super swank Holiday Inn on 6/26.
- We went hiking and camping in French Creek State Park from 6/27 - 6/28. There were bugs everywhere, but surprisingly no mosquitoes.
- We closed out the month with dinner at Mellow Mushroom in Herndon on 6/29.
- Finished my online Scala class with an A.
- Resealed the driveway with my Dad on 6/26.
- Greatly enjoyed watching Derek, Season One.
- Currently listening to new albums by Karmin and Boulevard des Airs.
- Ordered a new steam cleaner, as they always break with regularity.
- Still playing Hearthstone, but swapped Wildstar for Diablo 3.
June's Final Grade: A, thumbs up for June!
End-of-the-Month Highlights Day
New photos have been added to the Life, 2015 album, although they are mostly shed-related.
- Met Kathy for drinks at Red Robin on 6/4.
- Had a between-rainstorms dinner at O'Faolain's on 6/11.
- Went to Taste of Reston with Kathy, Carolyn, and Luke on 6/19.
- Went to Crooked Run and then ate all of the salt at Cajun Experience on 6/20.
- Saw Book of Mormon with Mike and Annie on 6/21.
- Met Anna and Ben for dinner at Mellow Mushroom on 6/27.
- Lost in Poker on 6/27.
- Celebrated Kathy's birthday at World of Beer and M&S Grill on 6/29.
- Built a shed with my dad.
- Worked on a lot of proposal stuff while Rebecca hiked everywhere.
- Enjoyed finishing Derek, Sons of Anarchy and The Shield, as well as the first season of Luther.
- Enjoyed new albums from Lenka, Muse, and The Darkness (reviews coming).
- Played Witcher 3 and Hearthstone.
- Bought a new Kindle to replace my 5-years-old one. It should be arriving tonight.
June's Final Grade: B-, Fun punctuated the month like exclamation points, but a fairly poor work-to-life balance dampened the weekends.
End-of-the-Month Highlights Day
New photos have been added to the Life, 2016 album.
- Went hiking at Raven Rocks on S 6/4. Visited with the visiting Edwardses in Arlington and then went to a yoga people party in Sterling.
- Met with other neighbours at the across-the-street neighbour's moving away yard sale and made the traditional promises to have more block-wide events on S 6/11. Ate dinner on empty deck at Logan's Roadhouse after finding the new seafood restaurant nearby and deeming it a little too seedy looking.
- Had burgers at The Counter and then went to the Lake Anne Brewhouse on S 6/18.
- Had Rebecca's parents over for salmon on S 6/19.
- Celebrated Rebecca's 33rd birthday with gifts and steaks.
- Celebrated Kathy and Chris' 40th birthday at the Bull Run Winery on S 6/25.
- Took an impromptu vacation from work, H 6/23 - T 7/5.
- Planning to visit Anna in Fredericksburg today.
- Wrapped up work on Year One of a project at work.
- Did Spring Cleaning and got rid of many electronics.
- Finished adding book three (of eight) to the Paravia Wiki.
- Contributed a trivial patch to the Apache Spark OSS project and resumed working on Sparkour (which had stalled recently due to important Overwatch tasking).
- Enjoyed watching Nice Guys and tolerated Game of Thrones, Season Five.
- Reached level 127 in Overwatch by playing it far too often.
June's Final Grade: B+, nice weather, nice people, and minimal responsibilities.
End-of-the-Month Highlights Day
New photos have been added to the Life, 2017 album. Google Photos sucks.
- Kitty died on H 6/1 at the age of 17.
- Had Tammy and Chris over for a dinner of gnocchi and shrimp on F 6/2.
- Took a class about babies and boobs then went to the Smiths for a Game Night on S 6/3.
- Had Weekly Friend Dinner with Sara, and sometimes Car and Ben, on M 6/5, M 6/12, M 6/19, and M 6/26.
- Had an early outdoor dinner at Miller's on T 6/6 and I ate 35 fried shrimp again.
- Went to a "Bourbon Tasting" party at Ben's on F 6/9.
- Saw Rebecca's parents then went to an ADVANCED BABY CLASS on S 6/10.
- Eradicated a sect of wasps invading our porch on S 6/11.
- Had the Ahlbins for an overnight visit on F 6/16.
- Saw my own parents on S 6/18 before their vacation out west.
- Celebrated Rebecca's 34th birthday by going to the OB on H 6/22.
- Rebecca stopped working on F 6/23.
- Went to a barbeque at Carlos and Karolina's on S 6/24 (Rebecca's Due Date).
- Helped Sara move and helped Ben brew a beer on S 6/25.
- Went to Red's Table with Car and Ben on T 6/27.
- No baby yet!
- Continued to construct, rearrange, and decumulate in preparation for baby time.
- Enjoyed newly discovered music by Smallpools, Electric Guest, and Watsky.
- Continued to play Overwatch and also am enjoying Mage's Tale for the Oculus Rift.
- Really enjoyed watching The Patriot on Amazon Prime.
June's Final Grade: B+, a lot going on and many visits with local friends, but a lot of waiting towards the end!
End-of-the-Month Highlights Day
New photos have been added to the Life, 2021 album.
- Maia started four weeks of summer camp at Trinity Church on T 6/1.
- Drove my Dad around to doctor's appointments all day on W 6/2.
- Rebecca and Maia went to the annual work picnic in Olney Park on F 6/4.
- Tammy came over for dinner on T 6/8.
- Had the Smiths over for a joint birthday party with melted ice cream cake on S 6/19.
- Rebecca turned 38 on T 6/22.
- Grandma Uri came over for a visit on F 6/25 - S 6/26.
- Maia started Sports Camp at the Sportsplex on M 6/28.
- Enjoyed getting back into Grim Dawn but have moved on now. Playing Minecraft and Ori and the Will of the Wisps with Maia.
- No amazing new TV shows or movies this month. Still rewatching The Shield.
- No amazing new music this month.
June's Final Grade: B, it was better last month when I was off work
End-of-the-Month Highlights Day
New photos have been added to the Life, 2023 album.
- Ian recovered mostly from his strep on H 6/1.
- Maia had Kindergarten Field Day on F 6/2.
- Rebecca and Maia went to another middle school musical (Beauty and the Beast) on S 6/3.
- Rebecca took the kids to Elizabeth's to celebrate Renae's birthday while I stayed home to relax on S 6/4.
- Emily came to visit on T 6/6.
- The Edwardses stopped by for a visit on their way to the airport on H 6/8. Annie and Dom visited as well.
- Weekend trip in the country with my mom, F 6/9 - S 6/11. Rented a house in Delaplane. Visited Anna's family at Rady Park in Warrenton on Saturday then went to the retirement party of my old boss. Came back on Sunday after a brief stop at Sky Meadows Park.
- Maia started 3 weeks of summer camp at Trinity Church, M 6/12 - F 6/30.
- Family dinner at Local Provisions on W 6/14.
- Rebecca celebrated her 40th birthday with a petting zoo (Ponies Plus) in the backyard and tons of friends on S 6/17.
- Ian and I spent the night at my parents' house on S 6/18 while Rebecca and Maia traveled to Big Meadow Lodge with Annie and Dom.
- Date Night at Local Provisions on F 6/23.
- Rebecca took the kids to visit with Annie, Jessika, Andrea, and Ben in Arlington on S 6/24.
- Went to Anthony's 5th birthday party on S 6/25.
- Maia lost her first tooth (bottom front) on T 6/27 ($1 from the Tooth Fairy).
- Family dinner at Bungalow Lakehouse on W 6/28.
- Maia lost her second tooth (bottom front) on F 6/30. Rebecca and Maia went to the Sterling fireworks in the evening.
- Continued learning Spanish with DuoLingo.
- Started playing Diablo 4 instead of Overwatch 2.
- No amazing shows, movies, or music this month.
June's Final Grade: B+, nonstop, but very fun
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