This Day In History: 07/17

Thursday, July 17, 2003

I moved to a new office on Monday -- a corner office with windows on two sides. I share it with three other people, but it used to be a director's office so there's plenty of space for everyone to coexist. The natural light is great, and it's nice watching the sunrise every morning at 5:50. I just hope that once we move next year, I don't go back to an internal office space.

There's some new pictures of Booty and Kitty on the Photos page, and I've added a new section for Warcraft III maps to the Games page. I still haven't gotten around to re-uploading the Music section, but I did post a new battle report at www.battlereports.com this afternoon . I promise that I'll get at least one more section up this weekend.

Netscape 7.1 has been released with a few helpful tweaks to the tabbed browsing feature. It's a little more stable than 7.02 so give it a try if you're a Netscape user.

France bans e-mail
Single geniuses do best
Litigious valedictorian gets come-uppance
They all looked the same so we just picked one.
Pictionary leads to hostage situation
Cell call leads to cell block
A giant green penis
Woman dumps man for himself
Everyone in San Antonio will die in one week's time
Review of Life
Forked up Folks
People really need to learn what dead bodies smell like
Fishy end for feline sleuth
Didn't know you could make that with Legos
Rubber Ducky comes home
Pass the drumsticks please
Paintball with Naked Women
T3 without Cameron

permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Governor's School Week: Part II of V

In yesterday's comments section, Anna recalled that she was always puzzled why anyone ever wanted to go to Governor's School, and I'll be the first to confess that it wasn't at the top of my list of summer activities. I had to attend a drum major camp during the week immediately before it, and being a home-base-introvert, I didn't think I'd want to go to two separate camps without returning home for a while first. This ambivalence was not positively helped by the "Course II" options that arrived in the mail a few weeks before the month of July.

This was the list of courses being offered every day after lunch, and I could tell that the forecast for all of them was partly ridiculous with a chance of retarded. Despite the New Age inanity, I sent back my "M. Uri [x] Will Attend" RSVP form and tissue paper, figuring that it would be a good bullet point on my college applications. From all these amazing courses, I chose Legendary Visions, because it seemed like it would only register about a 3.2 out of 5 on the Wince-o-meter (and also because I am 1/8th Native American when I purchase and wear an Indian Bonnet).

My fears were confirmed when I walked into the anteroom on the first day. One by one, all thirty students had to go around the circle and introduce themselves by stating a "mystical" fact or title about themselves. After hearing from the "Chaser of Dreams" and the girl who "Danced Amongst the Stars", I couldn't resist a pithy one-liner about the fact that all my Ancestors Are Dead. The pair of teachers in charge of the class never batted an eye, their faces locked in a New Age smile like the Richardsons from The Twinkie Squad by Gordon Korman. After that, we all stood up and learned a circular greeting dance which we would open every single class with for the next two weeks.

Among other activities, we watched the film, "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" (I fell asleep), did an imraam (where everyone draws a picture and one person looks at each picture and talks about how it maps to their own life) and did a "machine dance", where everyone stands around doing a repetitive motion so the full picture looks like a giant machine. After several days of being milled under the New Age Wheel of the Great God Yanni, I had to adapt to survive. I decided to out-New-Age everyone, fully embracing the retardedness that permeated every aspect of the hours from 1:30 to 3:00 PM every day.

One of our many activities was to make a mask, using the face of the person sitting next to us. I put in extra hours after dinner on the paint job (mostly to mingle with the girls in the Dance program who were also painting) and came up with the blue motif you see here. Note that this was in the days before I realized that other colours existed in the visual spectrum besides blue. It wasn't until we went around the circle sharing that I realized we were supposed to have the mask represent something. I quickly made up something about the smiling side representing my happy-go-lucky-ness and the somber side representing my quiet, outer shell, and pointed out that the diagonal slant represented the warring dichotomy between the two, receiving knowing nods from both of the teachers and accolades from other students.

Later, I wrote a puppet show called Journey to Jotunheim (because, of all the myths, Norse myths are the second most manly), using one of my three total CDs (Brassability by the Royal Danish Brass) as the soundtrack. I moved the puppets about on popsicle sticks while reading my script and frantically pressing NEXT on my 90s era CD-Boombox. I no longer have the popsicle sticks, but (knowing that I would one day have an award-winning website reaching thousands of readers per day) I preserved the puppet heads for posterity.

The most mind-numbing activity we had was "Share Preparation". Every Saturday morning, each of the Course II classes would gather in a common area and share everything they had learned during the previous week with another Course II group. This meant that every Friday, the entire session was devoted to sitting in a circle (why don't New Agers ever use chairs?) arguing over which activities were most representative of the class as a whole, and every Saturday morning was spent practicing those moves that my scarred mind had already repressed (hopefully the Governor's School clergy will one day award us all a hefty settlement and a public apology for molestation of the spirit). It took us five minutes to learn the "machine dance", yet we spent another 30 minutes perfecting it for the disinterested masses.

Tomorrow: Night Life in Virginia's Capital...

Intruder caught with his pants down
That's the same combination I have on my luggage
Homer vs. the god of fertility

tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Amazon Day, Part II

My online shopping increased in 2002, and especially in 2003 when I left the music world and had a disposable income.


Rejected panda adopted by cat
San Francisco officials locked out of their network
Dallas police find cocaine in car used by officers

tagged as lists | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Fragments

celebrating the last day in this century when it will be 07/17/09

♠ I'm in the process of overhauling our home network, because there are far too many computers to maintain (four desktops, two laptops, and a netbook) and I don't want my house to start resembling the Math Emporium. And since my computers have been assigned animal names, I can say that I'll be cannibalizing llama for spare parts to beef up koala, and I just installed Debian Linux on puffin. I'm planning on switching over most of my archival computers to Linux, although I'll keep my main desktop on Windows XP for gaming.

♠ Speaking of gaming, I cancelled my World of Warcraft account again a couple weeks back, because I hadn't played it seriously since late May. This is my second cancellation, since I originally played it for two years, took a year off, and then reactivated for a year and a half. If my life were an SAT pattern, it'd probably mean that I'll start up again in about a year's time but only play for another year.

♠ Filling the void left by WoW, I've been reading some Terry Pratchett and playing through some older Nintendo DS games -- New Super Mario Brothers is still excellent, and Yoshi's Island is still more frustrating than finding a close parking space at Wegmans on the weekend. I haven't replayed any Zelda games, but honestly, you can pick up any one of them and get the experience of playing them all -- sit through an uninterruptable cutscene, learn from a fairy that pressing UP makes you go up, and make bigger triangles out of smaller ones.

♠ There's a triangular construction site at the intersection of the Toll Road and I-66, which is a staging ground for building the Horribly Overpriced Tycoon lanes, probably filled with many expensive building materials. Two sides of this triangle are ringed with barbed wire fence, offering a great deterrent against theft. The last side is just Jersey barriers. I'm guessing that VDOT security is just inept, although I'm secretly hoping it's an elaborate trap for copper thieves, in which the barbed wire sides will close in like an industrial Venus flytrap.

♠ I had a tiny Venus flytrap as a kid, but I think it was mostly domesticated since I generally had to cripple the fly myself and drop it in the plant. Without my aid, it would have been just a Venus anttrap, which phonetically sounds more like a cute Swiss actress than a fierce carnivorous plant.

♠ Speaking of cute, the other day, I saw the license plate, IMAQTPI, on a Jeep. Did you really need to put that on a license plate? Couldn't you have just gotten a novelty keychain license plate and put your sorority house keys on it? No one on the Beltway cares if you're an attractive private investigator.

♠ The Beltway is really ugly now that all the trees have been razed for HOT lanes. I'd imagine the feeling you get from seeing it would be like the first time your girlfriend shaves her head "to be different". Rebecca, please keep your hair and remain a QTPI.

♠ Have a great weekend! Don't forget to vote in the caption contest before Sunday!

Local librarians shake their book carts in dance competition
Attorney's million dollar dare comes back to haunt him
World of Goo arrives in Alaska

tagged as fragments | permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh look, another free music festival.

Oh look, more acrobats.

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

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time-lapsed Blogography Day

Twenty years ago today, on July 17, 1993, I went on a group bowling "date" with a girl from the other junior high school that I had met through Crew. Unfortunately, she spent more time talking to my wingman than to me.

Nineteen years ago today, on July 17, 1994, I arrived at Longwood College for a Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) music camp. I had a roommate from Newport News, Richard Miles, who said he'd been robbed and shot at the age of 7 and told me not to do drugs. For the final talent show, we played a brass quintet arrangement of the Pachelbel Canon, but the horn player broke the strings on his horn so we played with only four of the five parts. This was also the camp where I tried to play tennis and tripped over myself immediately, scarring my shoulder for life.

Eighteen years ago today, on July 17, 1995, I was at Governor's School, doing a puppet show called Journey to Jotunheim, for my required humanities class.

Seventeen years ago today, on July 17, 1996, I was arriving at Virginia Tech for my overnight freshman orientation session. The event was unmemorable, according to my journal, other than the fact that my parents kept wanting to take pictures of me in front of various college landmarks.

Eight years ago today, on July 17, 2005, I spent the entire day finishing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince which had just been released the day before.

One year ago today, on July 17, 2012, we were in Montreal, overwhelmed by free rock concerts and violas launched into space.

tagged as memories | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Captain Phillips (PG-13):
I ended up liking this movie more than expected -- it had plenty of back-and-forth cat-and-mouse action, where I was expecting some kind of talky hostage movie. The movie runs a little long, but is entertaining throughout. We were occasionally distracted from the intensity by the fact that the orange lifeboat in the second half resembles a dinosaur head, as if we were about to get on Jurassic Park: The Ride.

Final Grade: B-

Derek, Season Two:
I gave the first season a rare A, but unfortunately the second season is nowhere near as good. Hurt by the departure of the actor playing Dougie, the show spends too much time with Derek's crass friend, Kev. It still has its pleasant moments, but has lost the magic. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons:
I took a brief stroll through my neglected Steam library yesterday and found this indie game (time played: 22 minutes). It's an adventure/puzzle game with an unfortunate redundant title. There's no text or dialogue in the game other than Sims-like gibberish, which makes it hard to get invested in the story. The control scheme is also irritating because you control both brothers onscreen with different keys on the left and right side of the keyboard. This takes some getting used to, but is fine until the "right" brother ends up on the left side of the screen and your brain explodes.

Final Grade: Not Graded

Battle Worlds: Kronos:
I purchased this game last year in the seven second span where I thought I might like turn-based strategy games (I do the same with JRPGs every five years or so). Like Witcher 2, the first tutorial was buggy to the point that it couldn't be completed, so I gave up altogether. (time played: 22 minutes as well)

Final Grade: Not Graded

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, July 17, 2015

Hiatus Day

I'll be taking my traditional end-of-July break in blogging for the next two weeks. Updates will be on a "when I feel like it" basis until Monday, August 3, which marks the start of the TWENTIETH EDITION of the URI! Zone.

The end of July has generally been the time I improve the website with critical features like autoplaying MIDI files and animated llama GIFs. Here is a snapshot of the creative process, taken in July 1997, showing all of the elements that go into maintaining my mediocre modicum of website magic.

  • A: High school era science fair ribbons, constantly reminding me of previous successes.

  • B: Giant glasses which allow me to see more without moving my head.

  • C: Netscape Navigator 3.04 Gold running at 1024x768 for rendering state of the art backgrounds that make it impossible to actually read any text.

  • D: A Gateway Pentium computer with 3.5", 5.25", CD-R, and tape drive for transferring files on several media. One might even call it MULTImedia.

  • E: A drafting ruler for converting inch measurements into pixels in Paint Shop Pro.

  • F: An HP Laserjet 4 for printing out hardcopies of the website for when the Internet is down.

  • G: A full-sized flatbed scanner capable of holding a high school yearbook in its maw like a hungry, hungry hippo.

  • H: A ZIP drive for holding up to ONE HUNDRED MEGABYTES of files.

  • I: Video games for downtimes (since I ran things like a startup and took breaks every hour for team building purposes), including Diablo 1 and The Pandora Directive: A Tex Murphy Adventure.

If there are any new features you'd like to see in the upcoming new edition, or types of posts you'd enjoy reading, share them in the comments section!

tagged as website, media | permalink | 10 comments

Monday, July 17, 2017

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Okja (Not Rated):
This whimsical Korean film tells the tale of a farmer girl and her giant pet pig as they become embroiled in a tug-of-war between a multinational corporation that wants to feed the world and a PETA-like group. The movie mashes an incredible number of themes and moods into its dense 2 hour running time but manages to be charming and evocative throughout, with over-the-top performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton among many others. Definitely worth a watch. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A

Baby Driver (R):
At its core, this is just a car chase movie, but it's put together with plenty of style and just enough character development to make you care. Its use of a musical soundtrack to tie scenes together is reminiscent of Guardians of the Galaxy (but way better than that boring movie) and we enjoyed it thoroughly on one of our rare trips to a real movie theatre.

Final Grade: A-

Fortitude, Season One:
This entry in the "Arctic Noir" genre is a murder mystery in a remote Norwegian town, where scientists have recently stumbled upon something valuable, deadly, or both. The interplay between Stanley Tucci and Richard Dormer is a lot of fun, and the shades of grey in every character is well-explored. To an extent, it reminded me of the old Nolan movie, Insomnia. Worth catching in spite of its awful title credits music. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B+

House of Cards, Season Five:
House of Cards as a series suffers from Frank Underwood's rapid rise to power in the second season -- watching him try to stay afloat is much less interesting than watching him get ahead. The plot is too tangled and references too many minor details from previous seasons that I no longer remember nor care to go back and refresh my memory about. The payoff that comes in the 13th episode of this season is too slow and makes very little sense from the perspective of Frank's character. Watch for Kevin Spacey's always-great monologues, but don't expect to care much about anything that happens plotwise. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: C

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Memory Day: Snapshots

These pictures were taken 7 years ago today, on July 17, 2012, in Montreal.

After a dinner of a burger (for me) and a salad (for Rebecca) at J'm la frite (which roughly translates as "I love fried stuff"), we walked into the downtown area to see what crazy festival was going on this night. The area reminded us greatly of Adams Morgan, and there was nothing excessively crazy happening, other than a giant labyrinth made out of fake hedges set up in the middle of the street. Inside, actors dressed like extras from The Burbs engaged in creepy performance art (speaking French) and got in our personal space as we navigated.

One older lady, dressed as either a hobo or an oracle frantically pulled Rebecca into a dead end, but instead of losing her kidney she gained a tiny plastic flower wrapped in aluminum foil.

At the exit, we were thanked for our visit and each given a travel-sized bottle of Pert Plus.

tagged as memories | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, July 17, 2020

List Day: 5 Fun Songs Written During Quarantine

I'm Good? by Hilltop Hoods

Parmas in June by Illy

Bored by Tessa Violet and Misterwives

All Together Now by OK Go

Wash Ya Hands by KT Tunstall, featuring Grace Savage and the Freelance Hellraiser

tagged as lists | permalink | 0 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


May 2008
SMTWHFS
123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
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