This Day In History: 07/23

Friday, July 23, 2004

There's nothing to say today. Have a good weekend and I'll post some new pictures next week.

permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BU Begins

origins of a superhero

Soon Bok Yoon, from the planet Wooie -- I may as well have been an extra in Star Wars.

Only six days after my birth, they already knew that I would be handsome, intelligent, and able to poop without difficulties.

As part of the Care and Feeding of Your New Alien packet, new parents are warned that all Oriental kids are plague monkeys.

Another part of the packet is a twelve page attachment, Communicating With Your New Alien. To all the ladies out there, Un Je Den Ji Nal Bool Ru.

It takes Americans months to obtain their passport, but little babies who are presumed to be Korean get them immediately. Homeland Security was lacking in those days.

When I flew over to the Great White Santa, my wrist was the size of Booty's leg.


Introducing the vomiting dummy
Little fishies to chew off your dead skin
How not to do an American accent

tagged as memories | permalink | 7 comments

Thursday, July 23, 2009

List Day: Nine People Who Will Be Rich

  • The person who can invent delicious restaurant French fries that become re-crispy when you heat up the leftovers the next day.

  • The person who convinces to sell new cars.

  • The person who creates a mirror system that lets drivers know when their headlights are calibrated incorrectly by blinding them the way they blind me.

  • The person who convinces the US Postal Service to license the UPS package tracking system.

  • The person who convinces to post written versions of all their video stories.

  • The person who invents auto-pilot lane-merging for cars.

  • The person who can replace dentists with home remedies.

  • The person who invents a bed or couch with a hole in it so your arm can go somewhere when you are spooning.

  • The person who invents a DVD player that can skip unskippable content.
  • Who's on your list?

    It seemed like a good idea at the time
    Plowing naked girls and hopes of rain
    Scientists reveal the secret of the girl with an 'all-seeing eye'

    tagged as lists | permalink | 4 comments

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Friday Fragments

    a roller coaster of smug

    ♠ Our trip to the West Coast was good fun, in spite of the fact that the airlines are becoming stingier with each trip. We spent a few days in Spokane, Washington for a wedding, followed by three days in Berkeley and San Francisco. At the end of the Berkeley leg, we rented a Hyundai Elantra and spent four days in and around Santa Cruz. I'll probably do some sort of write-up next week.

    ♠ Based on my experiences with the free XM in our San Francisco rental car, I finally canceled my home account after months of wobbling back and forth. XM's musical output was roughly on par with a freshman bassoon audition right after they merged with Sirius, and it has since declined to "fifth grade orchestra concert". Apparently, music is too expensive now, so XM either plays the same 20 tunes found on normal radio, or throws up hundreds of minimum wage DJs that talk too much with nothing interesting to say to reduce the amount of music royalties being paid. Driving around Santa Cruz with nothing to listen to really drove this point home (if home were on the West Coast and featured Katy Perry's "California Gurlz" simultaneously on four channels).

    ♠ Without XM in the car, I'll probably fall back on CDs more often, which means that I'll have to replace the CD player that has been breathing static ever since my battery died in the parking lot of Popeyes in 2009. I'll also need to find a new source for new music, although I haven't downloaded a song I liked on XM since at least six months ago.

    ♠ I have no big plans for the weekend, other than to get some new shorts and jeans from Target that don't have holes in the ass (I prefer to provide such a hole myself) and to stock up on Costco goods for the first time in five weeks. I may also do some DDMSence work or work-work on Saturday as well.

    ♠ Have a great weekend!

    Jurors get an eyeful in porn trial
    "Zombies" crash on I-84 near Lloyd exit
    Guam Turns Away Spider-Infested Cargo Ship

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Canada Travelogue, Part I of III

    Our trip to Canada came about because we were too busy with school and work to plan our summer vacation earlier this year. Once May rolled around, flight prices were skyrocketing and choices were slimming. A Montreal-Quebec trip turned out to be the perfect antidote, and was easily one of the best vacations we've ever taken. Plus, the Canadian dollar is slightly depressed right now, so every time I withdrew $200 CAD from my bank account, I had the bonus euphoria of seeing only $195 US removed online. Thanks Canada!

    Two Wednesdays ago, we woke up at the incapacitatingly early hour of 4 AM to fly into Montreal (by way of JFK). After an uneventful flight, we hit the road for Quebec City around noon. Driving in Canada is very similar to the US, apart from the increase in signs warning of moose collisions and the use of the metric system. Overall, driving in kilometers is a fairly unsatisfying experience because the numbers climb rapidly even though you don't seem to be getting anywhere any faster. I equate it to driving a Mercury Tracer.

    We checked into the Inn of the Two Lions, which was clean, quiet, and about a fifteen minute walk from the touristy junk. We spent our first night orienting ourselves to the city, watching street performers, and wandering along the top of the Old Wall outside the Old City (this wall would probably have been surrounded by barbed wire fences and harsh words in the US for liability reasons). We also scoped out the locations of all the Summer Music Festival events, a Festival we didn't even know about until days before our departure (I am an excellent travel agent). For dinner, we ate at Chez Victor, a crazy burger joint with all sorts of odd concoctions. I skipped the deer and lamb burgers and went for one sporting cream cheese, while Rebecca conquered the "Mountain Dweller" which was full of goat cheese.

    Day Two in Quebec was already featured in my recent 12 of 12 post, and was characterized by an unnatural amount of walking. Quebec is situated on a promontory, a classic defense strategy that eliminates half of invaders from fatigue and heart attacks before a single shot is fired, and we walked between the high and low points of the city at least three times, trying to see as much as possible. We don't really plan vacations in the itinerary-sense: we just book the flights and hotels upfront and then figure out what to do on a day-to-day basis once we've arrived.

    We stopped at the Place d'Youville around noon. Most guidebooks argue that it was named after a Canadian nun, but I'm fairly sure it was introduced so snarky Canadians could say "Welcome to Youville, population YOU" in the seventeenth century. We learned that by buying an overpriced beer from the local Pub Rickard tent, we could claim a table under an umbrella to escape the heat wave which had followed us from Virginia. We caught the tail end of a Cajun folk group, Canailles, and would later return for Boulevard des Airs (French world pop), Chinatown (pop rock), Chic Gamine (soul), and Caracol (folk pop). While wandering in the streets, we also caught performances of Gruv'n Brass (brass funk), and Fanfarniente della Strada (Busch Gardens fusion). This was just a subset of free performances -- there was also a headliner venue that featured Bon Jovi and Aerosmith, culminating on Friday night with... Sarah McLachlan? Something seemed out of order there.

    We only hit two "traditional" tourist attractions, besides the endless supply of churches. On Day Three, in search of ways to get out of the heat, we went up in the Observatory for aerial views of the city. It differed from normal panoramas because it was no longer the tallest building in the city. We had a great 270 degree view of the cityscape and a not-so-great 90 degree view of the hotels next door. The Observatory was also filled with Fujitsu touchpads intended to provide info about city landmarks -- all they taught me was that Fujitsu touchpads have awful touch sensitivity. Later, we took a free, pleasantly understated English tour of Parliament, marred only by the combative American who spotted a prominent cross in the chambers and wanted to know why no other religious symbols were present.

    One event we made sure to catch was the free nightly performance of Cirque du Soleil, in a slightly seedy looking area of town under a highway overpass. Although initial glances made it appear like a leftover set from The Fisher King, hordes of people descended upon the site once the gates opened. The show was just as good as the expensive variety, full of contortionists, acrobats, people playing guitars on trampolines, and a plotline that would only make sense in anime.

    Miscellaneous Statistics

    • Nights Stayed: 3
    • Cost: $130 per day, per person ($116 stone sober)
    • Churches seen: 3 (Notre-Dame Basilica-Cathedral, Holy Trinity, and the closed Jean-Baptiste)
    • Crepes eaten: 2 (ham, eggs, and mushrooms)
    • Desserts eaten: 2 scoops of gelato, 2 scoops of ice cream
    • High Point: overdosing on unexpected live performances
    • Low Point: seeing the Chateau Frontenac draped in an ugly painted sheet for roof repairs

    To be continued tomorrow...

    tagged as travel | permalink | 0 comments

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    Bat Day


    Early Saturday morning, around 0430, I heard scratching and squeaking sounds in the walls near our bed. It was not an illusion, as the cats were agitated as well, and it sounded sufficiently different from the ghost raccoons that visit on a very erratic schedule.

    Because it is the job of the man of the house to investigate strange noises and stab burglars, I cracked the window and peered into the early dawn to see if any errant Cirque du Soleil performers were maliciously climbing the drainpipe. (Meanwhile, Rebecca thought I had opened the window to fart without bothering her, which shows her interpreation of man of the house duties).

    I immediately saw several bats fly past the window, highlighted against the sky, and closed the window before any came inside. Later on, in the brightness of daylight, I could easily see where a piece of siding had come loose, providing refuge for a family of what sounded like at least 5 bats. Bat habitats (or "babitats") are kind of like halfway houses for recently released criminals: they're necessary and beneficial for society, but no one wants to live next door to one.

    The Reston area around my place of work lost power again on Monday (the second time this month). Rather than sit at a desk listening to the dubstep beats of multiple battery backup systems beeping underneath desks, I decided to take the afternoon and deal with the bats.

    I started by scouting the perimeter of the house, looking for additional points of egress. Luckily, the bat activity was localized to a single corner, where the guano streaked down the wall like so much majestic diarrhea. Next, I went up into the attic to check for infestation, and immediately lost ten pounds through sweating in the 130 degree heat. Thankfully, the bats had not migrated into the attic space, and it looked like they were still limited to the area outside of the house, between the siding and the walls.

    I first attempted to scare the bats out with various drumline rhythms on the inner walls, but the family seemed strangely immune to marching bands. Next, I used the garden hose to shoot short, directed bursts of water under the broken siding, and was immediately rewarded by the flight of a single bat. Then a second, and a third. By the time it was over, thirteen bats had flown out of the siding and into the nearby forest, not unlike a Sesame Street counting exercise. A fourteenth escaped when I went up to wash down the siding and seal up the holes.

    After peering into the recessed woodwork for more bats, and half expecting for one to fly at my eyeball and knock me off the ladder, I deemed the crevice empty, and temporarily secured the siding in place with duct tape. Our bat problems were over.

    Or were they?

    To Be Continued...

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

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Zone Updates Complete

    I'm finished giving the URI! Zone code base a much needed refactoring. All code, no matter the source, grows uglier over time -- even if you haven't touched it at all. I cleared out a bunch of detritus from the days when it was written in PHP, and the even-earlier days when it used Netscape 3.0 Gold JavaScript to dynamically write every page.

    All of the pages listing my musical compositions are now database-driven. I should have done this a long time ago, since I'm no longer composing anything new, and spent a good 4 hours every new release trying to edit the 80 static HTML pages that made up the Music section.

    I also modified the directory structure of News Post images from /yymm/dd.jpg to yy/mm/dd.jpg. The explanation will only be interesting to nerds: After 14 years of 12 months each, the first approach resulted in an images directory containing over 160 subdirectories that had to be loaded by the FTP client every time I wanted to upload something. The new approach ensures that no directory will ever have more than 12 subdirectories to list.

    There are a few cosmetic changes to the layout (check out that classy header), but most readers should be unaffected by my work, other than to marvel at my brazen modification of the production database while the site was running. The bulk of my readership uses a feed reader like Feedly anyhow, so updating the look and feel might be wasted effort, not unlike primetime TV commercials in my household. However, the tuning under the hood should keep the lights on for another few years -- at least long enough to hit TWENTY YEARS in August 2016. I won't be going anywhere before then, and neither should you!

    If anything seems broken, and the issue doesn't go away after hard refreshing the page, please let me know.

    tagged as website, programming | permalink | 6 comments

    Monday, July 23, 2018

    Extra Baby Picture Day

    For everyone who wants more baby pictures.

    The last hurrah for the YAY balloon, which held shape for over a year before starting to melt down the wall like a Dali painting.

    Maia is used to the Tallest Grandpa now and doesn't cry when he enters the room.

    An afternoon walk along Holmes Run in Alexandria.

    Maia excels at following directions.

    tagged as offspring, media | permalink | 0 comments

    Friday, July 23, 2021

    Data Day: 80 Days of Sleep Stats

    After Ian was born, Maia had some initial trouble accepting that life had changed. This was reflected in a few days where she didn't fall asleep until 4 hours after her bedtime or she woke up with the roosters. I started tracking her sleep times to give us a better feel for how tired she was on any given day.

    She actually adapted pretty quickly after a couple rough weeks, but I kept on tracking because data is fun. Here is the number of times that Maia woke up at particular times in the AM:

    And here is when she fell asleep (with bedtime typically at 7:30 PM).

    tagged as data, offspring | permalink | 0 comments


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