This Day In History: 07/27

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

On Sunday night, we finally watched Master and Commander: The Far Side of Title Verbosity, which started slowly and got a little better as time passed. It wasn't a bad movie, just not really Oscar-worthy. If you want a movie with pirates, go watch Pirates of the Caribbean. If you want a movie with Russell Crowe, go watch A Beautiful Mind.

I had another work-related barbeque on Monday night. The weather held up just long enough to cook a bunch of hamburgers, and it's been gloomy and rainy ever since.

Transit officials said they were surprised by how many cards they have sold [since the officials made them almost a mandatory requirement for using Metro]
Sperm donor must pay child support
Most room service personnel work alone. It can be very unpleasant to get called to a room to be met by a naked man.
You may not know it, but chances are you, too, are a programmer. If you've created a spreadsheet, made macros in Excel or Word or used a Web application to fetch news about your hobby or favorite celebrity, you've programmed.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Internet is a scary place -- I must be a magnet for Twilight-Zone connections and illicit coincidences, because they're piling up like fish heads on a poor man's smack. In Monday's update, I posted about an old friend in college whose away message was a line from the original Oompa Loompa song. Within eight hours of posting that she had rediscovered my page and sent me an email, after having vanished without a trace for over two years. She's now living in Houston with her husband, possibly moving to Spain in the Fall. It was good to be able to fill in some blanks, and we were able to reconcile past dramas, melo- and otherwise. Tragically for the nosy, past dramas do not get aired in news updates here, as this is a faux-blog rather than a real blog (a topic I plan to write about later in the week, and most likely tomorrow, since I like my syndicated "Friday Fragments" column).

She also sent me an email full of exclamation points for the next URI! Zone, so there will be more exclamation points than you could possibly imagine for all you punctuation lovers, come August 1 (the effective date when the URI! Zone begins its tenth year of existence). This should excite! many people to no end, including Florida-Mike! There won't be any major differences to the site, although you will be able to link directly to news posts or arbitrary pages and photos. Google will be able to add my news updates to their search engine, and Molly the Mouseover Llama will return as the site mascot.

The first extended thunderstorm of the summer barreled over my house yesterday morning, scattering the feline nativity scene on my bedspread like duckpins. Of course, both cats came out of hiding around 5 AM for the daily ritual of Wake & Eat (I wake, they eat). This usual involves Booty sharpening her claws on the underside of my boxspring, while Amber knocks things off my dresser, one artifact at a time, then pats me on the elbow continuously while meowing. Sometimes, when it's still too early, I'll fake them out by moving towards the kitchen, then juke backwards and shut the bedroom door with them outside. It's like a quarterback sneak, except there's no quarterback and the sneak is more of a feint, so I guess it's more like a feint.

Booty demonstrates the Feint (85KB WMV)
Hungry Hungry Kitties (679KB WMV)
Booty shows a feather who's boss (324KB WMV)
Death from Above (810 KB WMV)

Booty has picked up the habit of eating newspaper, so if I don't feed her quickly enough, she'll demolish things like the cartoons on my fridge. Sometimes I think it would be nice to own the automatic pet feeder that Dr. Emmett Brown invented in Back to the Future. It would not require 1.21 Jigawatts of electricity, because, seriously, no one has that much energy in the morning, not even a machine.

If the weather cooperates, I'll be staying home tomorrow to fulfill the manifest destiny of my sidewalk, which will gain another forty bags of concrete or so. My evening should be an action-packed, fun-filled roller coaster as well.

Why cats don't like sugar
Stuck Cat Ungrateful for Assistance
Eminem not retiring after all

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Fragments

celebrating the two year anniversary of the Friday Fragments Fhenomenon

♣ It's been a busy week -- I have not stopped running since the camping trip last weekend (I'm running as I type this). Hopefully, I'll have some time to slow down and relax tonight -- maybe to wash a few crusty dishes and clean the Matterhorn of poop that has undoubtedly taken over the litter box in the basement.

♣ I just cleaned the litter boxes last night, but sometimes Booty is full of poop, much like the senators who are currently lobbying to filter the entire internet to protect the kids from boobies. The only harm you will ever come to from boobies is if you happen to be walking next to a spritely Amazon with a double-D cup and she suddenly spins around to the left, poking your eyes out. It's kind of like the Three Stooges eye gouge, except that you won't be able to prevent it by jamming your hand in cleavage.

♣ Speaking of cleavage, I do not have cleavage, which is why I did not purchase a girl's bike last week. I got a Schwinn High Timber Men's Mountain Bike off of Amazon for about $170 and have been assembling it in my basement.

♣ It was a little difficult when I got to the part where it said "attach the pedals" and I realized that it didn't ship with pedals, but I shrugged it off until I found that the front axle was missing too. Luckily, customer service sent me free replacement parts within a couple days, and once I get a helmet and a water bottle, I'll be biking all over the neighbourhood again, much like the days of my youth. Maybe I'll buy a helmet this weekend.

♣ This weekend, we're going to see a play in D.C., written by an acquaintance of Rebecca, and then dashing out to Gainesville (the Virginian variety) for a midsummer barbeque which I will bring cookies too. There's nothing planned yet for Sunday, so I may just lay about like a layabout or lay out a new layout for the TWELFTH EDITION of the URI! Zone.

♣ You may be bemused to muse that the end of this month concludes eleven full years of an online BU presence, so I'll have to come up with some fresh visuals to go with the next year's site. As a result, there will be no updates for the rest of the month (I'm sure you can survive for two paltry days), but you can feel free to post your suggestions on what you'd like to see in the next edition.

♣ Have a great weekend!

New study shows all the girls you went to college with smoked pot
DoD remakes SimEarth
Wasting time at work? You're not alone

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend was a mix of relaxing and administrative activities, starting after work on Friday with the organization of my 500 CDs into three new CD binders. Previously, most of my CDs were jammed into a ratty case older than some fourth graders which was never designed to hold so many. At capacity, it resembled a fat kid in a Speedo, and weighed more than Booty.

On Friday night, Rebecca and I had sushi, and even experimented with a weird seaweed/jellyfish salad which was weirdly weird. It's tasty, if you can ignore the rubber-crisp texture, which tasted like someone had taken one of those spindly rubbery wall-walkers from a cereal box and deep fried it.

Saturday was quite the relaxing day, starting with the organization and labeling of home improvement supplies in my storeroom and ending with several hours of research into Interactive Fiction programming. I've decided to resurrect an abandoned piece I started writing back in 2000 called Robin Caruso, which is written in Inform 6 and is actually over halfway done already, instead of diving straight into learning the new Inform 7 language. My hard drive is already littered with the crushed ash butts of my unfinished projects, and after rereading the plot manifesto I'd laid out, I actually got excited about completing this project.

On Saturday night, we made beer-cheese soup, which may have been sabotaged by our decision to use American Ale and Sharp Cheddar. It was great as a dipping sauce for expensive breads, but more like toe-cheese when consumed alone.

Sunday was spent at a barbeque, where we hung out with Rebecca's coworkers, ate stuff, and played traditional party games like Apples to Apples and Loaded Questions. We left there around 5 so I could come home and work. I also started and finished the book, Ender's Game, another one of those long-known classics that people mention so disgustingly often that I rebelliously never get around to reading. I'll post a full review on Thursday, but it was good enough to keep me reading through the end. The book was a good recommendation by Mom, but she also recommended the Lord of the Rings trilogy which I HATED more than creamed corn on peas.

What did you do this weekend? Discuss.

Jumbo flying squid attacks scuba divers
Brothers breed behemoth bovines
Shooting practice triggers wildfire
Which Lord of the Rings product line is the best?

The books (2 votes, 25.0%)


The movies (2 votes, 25.0%)


The action figures (0 votes, 0.0%)

More like BORED of the Rings, am I right? (4 votes, 50.0%)


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

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trip Day: San Francisco

Part II of III

The first thing we noticed about the BART system in San Francisco is that the trains actually run on time, down to the minute listed in the scheduling pamphlets. After this temporal marvel, we learned that in transfer stations, you can actually get off a train, find your connecting train waiting for you, and simply cross the platform to hop on. After eons of walking two blocks to Gallery Plaza from the Orange Line (to prevent growing old in Metro Center), this fresh perspective on logic was thrilling.

We stayed in "suburban" Berkeley with Anna, Rebecca's aunt and consummate host, and traveled into the city to meet up with Annie and Andrea. On our first day out, we visited Chinatown, and it probably isn't racist to say that all Chinatowns look the same. This particular Chinatown had a traditional gate which was less impressive than a junior Congressman from California -- it barely spanned the road, and looked like a cast off prop from "It's a Small World".

After sampling free fortune cookies from the Fortune Cookie Factory, we walked 10 blocks to Japantown. When we stopped and realized there were another 10 blocks to go, we decided to take a bus the rest of the way, so we would be fresh when we marvelled at the giant mall filled with Hello Kitty and live koi. We didn't make it to any European-towns while on the coast, but we'll rectify that locally with a trip to Germantown as soon as possible.

On the following day, we took a driving/walking tour of Berkeley, and then when all of the chicks started shopping, I walked home to post my 12 of 12 and read in the sunshine. Although it was chilly in the evenings, the days were unseasonably warm for the season -- we were probably emanating East Coast heat from our pores, not unlike itinerant convection ovens. For dinner that evening, we met up with East-Coaster-turned-West-Coaster, Vu, and had some delicious sake and sushi in downtown Berkeley.

On our last day up north, we rented a car and drove up to Napa Valley for a wine tour. It took us several blocks of walking to locate the Napa city Visitor's Center, although we were informed enroute by a teenager that "that place is only worthwhile for old people like 30... no maybe 57". The retirees manning the Center were very helpful and loaded us up with maps and glossy uncompostable magazines, because when there are 450 wineries on a thirty mile road, the only way you'll get visitors is if you bribe the Visitor's Center to "highly recommend" your winery to clueless visitors.

We started with a tasting at Grgich, where they sacrifice their vowels for high quality grapes, and then had a bottle of Grgich zinfandel with burgers at a roadside stand. From there we hit a winery inside of a $41 million castle, followed by the Sterling Vineyards which was separated from the road by a 200 yard sky-car trip. This winery was near the top of the valley, and with the temperature hovering up near 100 degrees, it quickly drained us of the urge to visit any others. We returned to Napa for some highly-yuppy organic ice cream and free samples at the olive oil / chocolate sauce stands.

To be concluded tomorrow...

Beer to be sold in dead animals
Saboteur unleashes bedbugs in Des Moines city building
Professor foiled while on vacation

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beach Day


Breakfast this morning was bacon-chocolate-chip pancakes with a side of bacon and mimosas.

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

End-of-the-Month Media Day

New pictures have been added to the Quebec, 2012 and Life, 2012 albums. Our Quebec trip was the first time we tried having just a single camera for both of us to share, and my album contains my favorite 180 out of the 500 we took. There may be some overlap when Rebecca posts her photos, but she's sure to include many photos that I did not.

Enjoy!

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, July 27, 2015

Grindelwald Day

Just arrived in Grindelwald, Switzerland.

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 24 years ago, in February 1992.

Boy Scout Troop 131 was marching in the annual George Washington Birthday Parade in Old Town Alexandria and repeating the pithy slogan, "East is east, west is west, 131 is the best," solely because no one could think of any words that rhymed with "south".

I was carrying the Alexandria City Flag here, not out of civic pride, but because one of the adult leaders said I was too small to do it and predicted that I would get tired before the end of the parade. I survived.

tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, July 27, 2018

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

A Very English Scandal:
This three-part mini-series features Hugh Grant as a member of Parliament who has a gay affair and tries to cover it up very poorly. It has a fun voice and pace, although it starts to lose some momentum in the middle act with too many leaps ahead in time. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B-

Atlanta, Season One:
This show, created by the multitalented Donald Glover, gets a lot of non-mainstream hype. However, I liked the show it started out as more than the show it turned out to be -- over its short (10 episode) first season, plot emphasis drains away, replaced by a set of one-off episodes trying random things (kind of like a black Master of None). The DVD is bare bones, with no special features or even subtitles. I'd watch the second season, but am in no hurry to get to it.

Final Grade: B-

To Ride Hell's Chasm by Janny Wurts:
I first read this book back in 2004 and while it was enjoyable, I didn't like the back half as much as the front half, and never read it again. After 14 years, I like it much more. The book starts with a simple premise of a missing princess and two men-at-arms from very different stations investigating her disappearance. The plot is very tightly paced, with a fast burn and a total timespan of just a few days. There is a distinct point about 60% of the way through the book where the focus closes in on just two characters. In my first readthrough, I was disappointed because I really wanted more time with the other characters that were so well-crafted. Tempered by foreknowledge this time around, I appreciated the change of pace and thought that the ending was just right.

Final Grade: B+

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation):
We got this second Echo on sale over Christmas so we could have one Echo in the kitchen and one in the nursery. The 2nd generation Echo is much shorter and covered in decorative material. This may be why it's incredibly hard of hearing compared to the original. It understands our commands about 80% of the time and background noise lowers this further. Where I can just tell the old Echo to play Lenka, this one keeps asking me if I want to create a station for Lincoln Park -- any good AI would know that NO ONE wants that station. On the plus side, the ability to play synchronized music throughout both Echos is very convenient.

Final Grade: B

tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, July 27, 2020

Beach Day

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

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

ASL Day

BU: "Hey Maia, what does this mean?"

MU: "I love you!"

BU: "And what does this mean?"

MU: "I love you with all that I am!"

tagged as offspring | permalink | 1 comment

 

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