This Day In History: 07/06

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

My sister's cats finally left on Friday afternoon and Booty and Kitty now have the whole place to themselves again. I think Booty misses the company.

I spent the weekend doing some more work in the basement, and then went down to Colonial Beach for the Fourth. Yesterday I came in to work for a half day and then spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Military on alert for Coke's chip contest
"These psychological damages, which naturally flow from such a 'fecetious' mishap, are increasing 'excrementally,' " Levinson wrote in the lawsuit.
Prickly feeling makes sense
The customer is always right? Not anymore

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Facets of Space: Insight Into Today's Headlines

Space Invaders

Being fat is now a matter of National Security. Military officials worry because too many recruits are now too fat to join the services (although they note that "'Large and in charge' makes soldiers look more formidable to the enemy" . Farther down in the article is a chart of weight-loss methods, with 21% of soldiers trying laxatives (apparently forgetting that they're grown adults and not high school rowers in the Lightweight 8 at Stotesbury).

My feeling on the matter is that they should let them all in. Since I don't plan on joining voluntarily, someone's got to be out there fighting for vague, indeterminate causes. Is it really a big deal if the helicopter has to gas up more frequently or uniforms are a little snug? Evidently the military does not read my website, or they would have seen this previously posted news story touting the BENEFITS of having chunk on the front .

Take a Ride on the Spacehype

Apparently the comet-probe collision is a bigger deal than I presumed . CNN calmly proclaims,

    When space history books are rewritten, NASA's success at blasting a crater in a comet is sure to be included as more than just a footnote.
I didn't realize that anyone was planning to rewrite any history books, but perhaps there was an executive directive to touch up the moon-landing photographs everyone suspected to be fake. In any event, when world history books are rewritten, the URI! Zone's success at forming common bonds between people of every nationality and its role in world peace are sure to be included as more than just a footnote1.

Why is it such a big deal? Well, look at what was accomplished:

  • NASA spent $330 million to crash into a projectile travelling 23,000 mph. The Pentagon has spent billions of dollars on the Star Wars programs, SDI and NMD, over twenty years and still can't accurately and consistently hit anything but weather balloons.
  • We now have pictures, such as the one to the right, which provide us with much to speculate about, as to the origin of comets (In other news, Professor Steven Mithen of Reading University has postulated that comets would have liked rap music, but would have preferred going to rock concerts).
  • We have learned that Professor Richard Berendzen has always wanted to "get up close and personal with an ancestor like this" . When asked for comments, Professor Pete Schultz added, "We touched a comet and we touched it hard".
  • We have learned that five tons of dynamite will make something six times brighter. This is a very good cost/efficiency ratio.
  • We have learned that we were mistaken to think comets were pickle-shaped. In fact, they are shaped "like a muffin or a loaf of bread". Move over, Copernicus.
  • We have learned that Deep Impact, one of the stupidest movies ever made, could have happened!

Based on overwhelming evidence, I have changed my mind. This was "really a key point in our whole lives".

Note: Here is how to make your own commemorative comet photo, free of charge!

  1. Type in 'rock' at Google Images. Pick a rock that looks suitably like a comet. If you aren't sure what a comet looks like, remember to think "loaf of bread" and not "pickle".
  2. Convert the image to greyscale and remove the background.
  3. In Adobe Photoshop 7.0, go to Filter -> Render > Lens Flare. The default settings will suffice, though you may want to increase the brightness to simulate using more than five tons of dynamite.
  4. Voila! Add stars as necessary to give it a spacey-feel. A constellation of Kevin Spacey will also suffice.


1: The rewriting depends upon my hostile takeover of Houghton-Mifflin, which is currently on schedule. This is just a footnote.

tagged as newsday, mock mock | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Memoirs of a BUsha: Ten Years of the URI! Zone

1996 - 1997

I wrote my first homepage on the night of August 30, 1996 at the end of the first week of classes. Being a scholarly freshman concerned about my academics, I was not out partying that night, although my roommate was. I remember this because he stumbled into the dorm room with a girl that was most definitely not his girlfriend (since she was still a senior at his high school) around 2 AM when I was figuring out how online visitors could go to buri.campus.vt.edu to get to my weird page. Surprised to find me quite awake and working on my computer, they quickly did a 180 and departed to have a smoke. I was not totally socially inept or heartless, as I made sure I was asleep when they made their second pass thirty minutes later to prove that lofts are solidly constructed and capable of holding two people at once. Who am I to deny a guy I'd only known for a week the chance to hook up with a Virginia Tech cheerleader?

I listened exclusively to jazz and classical music back then. I did not get into Dave Matthews until the marching band played a halftime show in which we danced to Too Much.

This is me walking down the stairs towards Owens on Band Parents' Day, trying not to look annoyed that my dad was taking pictures every ten paces from AJ to Squires. Note the MEMBERS ONLY jacket from 1990 and the ginormous glasses. In the background, you can see Pritchard, because the New Residence Hall had not yet been built, and that area was reserved for bikini-clad volleyball tournaments.

There was a time when I was more quiet and withdrawn than I am even today. I was more connected to the online crowd in 1996 - 1997 than any year to follow and had very few college friends (or the desire to make any). I had a network of contacts across this country, other countries, and even Canada, most of whom I'd never met and never would meet. This was before knowing people online was cool, and even before knowing people online was dangerous. In these first two years, I knew an unhappy woman from Sydney who wanted to marry an American guy (and eventually ended up on the West Coast in what I can only describe as eerily mail-order-bridish), sent an old Soundblaster soundcard to a friend in Canada who couldn't afford his own, fell hard for a pretty girl in Ontario and learned the hard way about online relationships, knew a girl in Atlanta who was constantly plagued by headaches and said she was into vampirism, lived through that girl's apparent suicide (never confirmed, but she never came back), had to fend off some woman who kept trying to cyber, had a girl from Toronto fall for ME, and helped another girl's mom track her down after she ran away. These people were naive, crazy, normal, young and old. Some were handsome or beautiful while others were just eligible to go to a pimply ho party, but they were all real people with real problems, able to connect through the anonymity of the Internet. Here's an excerpt from an essay I wrote back then which proves that I was the first person to recognize the Myspace Phenomenon, and if I had just gotten the patent I'd be living in a chateau by now:

    In the last episode of "URI! Tells All", I lamented about how today's standard is the suppression of real communication. I think the Net is the last place where such communication still can take place. A friend told me that "The Net is the great equalizer" and it's true. On the Net, people can freely express themselves and trade ideas without many of the restraints set in the real world. I think people have a natural tendency to express themselves, and the Net is a perfect environment for it. Just take a trip around the Net and see how many homepages of the "Hi, I work in a button factory. Here is a picture of my cat." variety you can find. People want to express themselves. It doesn't matter who is listening or how relevant their words are, we all just want to say something, an act that is unthinkable in real life. As well, the friends I've made online are less fake, and talk about their problems more than the people you'll meet face to face. And it's healthy too. Despite the myths that everyone online is looking for cybersex or is an antisocial UNIX guru, there are real people online, but people who aren't online refuse to accept it. I know people who's parents refuse to accept online people as "real people", and parents lament their kids for sitting on the computer all day when they should be out socializing... It is socialization, just in a new and unique form.

I do regret that I kept saying "the Net" like I was in some horrible Sandra Bullock movie. It was hip at the time, I swear.

As my second year of college began, I was disillusioned with online realities, and I resolved to at least make the effort to tear away from the comfort of my online world and make friends with people that didn't bankrupt me through phone calls (Did you know it cost $0.32 a minute to call Canada in 1996? Long Distance charges can eat me). Of course, just as I made that resolution I met a girl still in high school in my home town. Now instead of spending weekends inside hunched over a computer talking to "Kytty" (who eventually DID make it into pharmacy school in Texas), I was spending weekends on the phone or hitching a ride with Roommate Dan back north. So yeah, I don't have many college memories from my first two years of school that actually involved college in some capacity.

Through all the ups and downs, my homepage with its Llama Fanfare soundtrack remained a constant upbeat niche of quirkiness, keeping me in touch with all my high school friends and online friends. It was during those formative years that I decided the URI! Domain would always be a light-hearted place to visit, free of angst and bitterness -- the Internet and life offline had enough of that to go around twice.

To be continued...

Maybe they need a bigger hose
Someone really wants to be Miss Florida
Dinner or Tourism?

tagged as memories | permalink | 3 comments

Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Fragments

a cancer-free way to surge into the weekend

♣ Depending on what my afternoon schedule of sleeping and napping is like, I may go into D.C. for another Jazz in the Garden concert. The trip is so much easier when you don't have to bother with the Blue Line which has a route that mimics the old BASIC "snake game", where you try to make your snake as long as possible without eating itself. Tonight's trip will effectively increase the number of times I've gone into D.C. in the past 6 years to 6.

♣ Speaking of repeating numbers, the odometer in my Accord hit 55,555 miles last Friday, which means I've driven about 25 miles per day over the last six years. Not bad for someone who decided to live forty miles from all the "action".

♣ Speaking of repeating numbers, tomorrow is July 7, 2007 (7/7/7) which means I should probably host some kind of impromptu cockfighting ring or poker game to maximize the commercial possibilities of "Lucky Number Seven". It is also Doobie's and Marty's birthdays, but they are not turning 7 or 77, so no one cares. Come back in fifty-odd years!

♣ Hogwarts fans all over the world were originally hoping that 7/7/07 would also be the release date for the 7th and final book in the series, but they will tragically have to wait another two weeks to learn that Snape is really Dumbledore in disguise and that Cho is Harry's biological sister. On the plus side, fans will only have to wait one more week for a three-hour movie starring Emma Watson's eyebrows.

♣ I could never be a successful actor because I am incapable of moving my eyebrows independently of each other unless I think very very very strenuously. However, I can snap, whistle, and crack each finger on my right hand individually. If you have need of any of these talents please contact my agent.

♣ After I've become globally renowned for my pioneering literacy efforts to put bookstores in every country (I call it Borders Without Borders), I'll probably have to get a real agent whose job it is to exploit my minority fame. I will call him Agent Yellow. And should I ever meet and marry an equally famous American Indian who already has a like-minded agent, we'll fire one and rename the remaining one "Agent Orange" to manage our joint notoriety. Hopefully that name doesn't have any negative connotations.

♣ I really don't have anything else to say today, so I will turn the proceedings over to Booty, who has promised not to make a mockery of the Friday Fragments ethos.

♣ Have a great weekend!

Most Canadians would fail at citizenship
Desperately seeking condoms
Go to camp. Blow stuff up.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Fireworks Day



Customer drops pants to prove gender
480 pounds and still growing
Marion Barry arrested again

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Stuff In My Drawers Day: Old Websites


I created this Lotus Notes website for PEPCO in the second summer of my $5/hr "computer science" internship. The graphics were excreted from an early version of Paint Shop Pro, and the effort took roughly eight hours of development, spread over twelve weeks of service, in which I also sorted mail, computed fly-ash tickets, and chatted on the Webchat Broadcasting System. It was abandoned after I left, because all of the actual site content existed in a set of four-inch binders on a shelf, and no one wanted to scan or retype them.


I wrote and ran the MV Trumpets website for 3 of my 5 years in band. If I recall correctly, there was drama and a coup following Bob Bowman's edition of the website, whose text sounded like it had been written by a high schooler. While getting this screenshot, I also discovered this sound clip (280KB MP3) of the MVs performing "Carry On Wayward Son" sometime in 1997.

When I was teaching MUT 1241: Ear Training For The Semester Behind, Florida State had a big push for Blackboard as an online teaching resource. I never cared for it, and ended up creating my own class website, complete with exercises, grades, and musical samples.

The Department School OLIGARCHY OF MUSIC at FSU finally created a chapter of the Society of Composers when I was there, which had very little global effect, other than to get me quoted in a about the demise of some CD company that I probably never purchased from in the first place. The fact that there are two conflicting colour schemes on this website stems from the fact that Mark Connor thought that some FSU colours should be prominently featured, while I thought the FSU colours were too riled up for a professional-looking website.


Anna and Ben were married 1843 days ago, according to the Javascript clock on this page. This page may not have had as many bells and whistles as one on purveyor of junk mail, THE KNOT, but at least it didn't automatically publish your private wedding details to a high traffic area for Google to scrape.


Check out this BRAND NEW WEBSITE I made when Ella was born!

Technically, this site is still alive, but I'm including it because I haven't maintained it since I cancelled my WoW account, and the only visitors I get these days are people trying to cheat, looking for flag-grabbing macros.


I may have reused the Warcraft template for this website. Thankfully, there were no orcs at the wedding.
Men indicted in bizarre anti-government extortion plot
'Nerd' shocked that his toys were in G20 weapons cache
After 54 hot dogs, the spectacle began

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Release Day

Following my Kurt-Russell-inspired escape from Charlotte, a city which is impossibly more humid than D.C., I spent ten hours yesterday coding and releasing DDMSence 1.10.0, and then another two hours driving to, and winning, a volleyball game.

I'll try to write up a Charlotte travelogue tomorrow, although if I get too lazy, it's Review Day for the lot of you.

Clowns terrorize neighbourhood children
BPA-exposed mice are undesirable to females
Woman catches toddler after ten story fall

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Friday, July 06, 2012

Random Chart Day: Net Change in Activities During Rebecca's Road Trip

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Monday, July 06, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday, I cleaned the house and released a new version of DDMSence. In the evening, we grilled some salmon between thunderstorms and finished the first season of Rectify.

For the 4th itself, Rebecca went on her final training hike on the AT, dodging storms until the final half hour. In the evening, we picked up a couple of growlers from Crooked Run and went to Rebecca's parents' house for pork chops and the yuppy fireworks of Lake Barcroft. Fog and smoke hovered over the lake like a sullen toddler, obscuring at least 60% of the fireworks.

The display itself was nice, but suffered from Lord of the Rings syndrome, with at least twelve different brigades that could have been mistaken for the ending. Rather than last 45 minutes with a spurt every four minutes, it would have been more finale-like had they set off everything within 15 minutes -- longer is not always better.

On Sunday, I watched Interstellar and lounged around, doing absolutely nothing useful. We had an early dinner at The V, and the place was so empty that we probably should have tried to hit Ford's Fish Shack while everyone was at the beach.

How was your holiday weekend?

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Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken in the summer of 1983.

While other kids were playing with their Slip'n'Slides and Super Soakers, we got to run in the sprinkler while Dad watered the grass, using nothing but washed out margarine containers and dollar store water guns that leaked everywhere. We also had to dodge prickly sticks and walnuts in the grass, both of which hurt more to step on than Legos.

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Friday, July 06, 2018

Maia Day

tagged as offspring, media | permalink | 4 comments

Monday, July 06, 2020

Maia Battle Report: Year 3

Maia is three years old today! She's 34.5" tall and weighs 27.4 pounds, the lowest possible values in the ranges for average growth.

Due to COVID, she had two separate birthday parties, one for each set of grandparents. She's very aware of age this year and has talked about being 2 and turning 3 for weeks. She expresses excitement by proclaiming, "I so excited!" and then running down the hall and back for no apparent reason. She's also looking forward to our upcoming beach trip where she will "sleep in the top bunk and the bottom bunk".

We finally showed her Frozen 2 and she had a rudimentary grasp of the plot without explaining (other than the endless sequences of nature fairies flying everywhere). She even got worried when the characters sailed into a dark cave and asked, "How will they get out of there?". Frozen 1 is still her favourite but she likes Olaf scenes no matter what. Maia now owns 2 Elsas from 2 different gift givers, Big Elsa and Baby Elsa. Thankfully only one of them sings "Let It Go" in its entirety. If Elsa is not around in the room somewhere when Maia wakes up, she'll call out, "Elsa, where are you?" over and over.

Other fragments from the past month:

  • She got a big batch of new books when the library opened back up and spent her quiet time inventing the stories to go with the pictures since we hadn't read them yet.

  • Like a research chimp, she learned to use a plastic bucket as a stool. She fell off just often enough that I gave her a sturdy footstool to drag around her room instead.

  • She slept on the floor a few nights last week. When we finally asked her why, she said that there were too many bunnies in the bed, and allowed us to move the majority of them onto the stuffed animal shelf. The era of bunnies is not over, though, as she has stated that all bunnies will be going to the beach to help use the bunk beds.

  • She now has a weekly visit to Lake Barcroft to sit on the shady beach and visit with Rebecca's parents from afar which will train her well for the beach.

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

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Birth Day

Maia is 5 today!

Her most recent favourite activities including drawing or painting bunnies and cutting endless crafts out of her Don't Let the Pigeon Finish the Activity Book activity book. However, bunnies have taken a slight dip in popularity -- on June 3, she said that she might not need Original Bunny anymore and that maybe Ian could have him as Ian grows up. She still carries Original Bunny around, but always pairs it with Lyla Cat, a fluffy white cat from her wall of stuffed animals.

Speaking of cats, Maia's favourite pretend game is to be a cat. She wears cat ear headbands (paired with a princess headband to be Princess Cat) and changes her name monthly. In May, she was Pussy Cat, June, Timmy Cat, and July, Hello Kitty. Drawing inspiration from real life, she will pretend to be a cat that has to throw up a hairball so Daddy Cat has to hold her over the kitchen floor so she doesn't get throw up on the carpet.

When not being a cat, Maia will walk around the house making continuous nonsense sounds (think "Lerdle lerdle lerdle..."). Her trifecta of movies is still Frozen, Frozen 2, and Encanto, although the classic 101 Dalmations occasionally pops up.

We're throwing her a little family birthday today, and then a bigger kid birthday in our backyard on Saturday. The latter will not be ostentatious -- a pinata and sprinkler from Five Below, a plate of wrap sandwiches from Costco, and little gift bags for her friends.

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

 

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