This Day In History: 08/09

Thursday, August 09, 2001

Off to the beach for the weekend... see you all next week!

permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Today's update was originally going to be a trifecta of Top Ten Lists -- my ten favourite sets of lyrics, my ten all-time favourite contemporary songs, and my ten favourite albums. I was hard at work compiling data in the field (since all good data comes from fields) when I noticed a fairly generous overlap between my first two lists. Striving to take advantage of this, I Venn'd the crap out of the two lists and came up with the Optimus Prime of music lists: five of the songs I really like that also have meaningful lyrics.

Now for the most part, I'm completely oblivious to the lyrics of songs. The words are just another pastel in the pastiche of musical sounds that make the song what it is. This is one roadblock to my singing along with the radio -- though I've heard the lyrics to Green Day's Holiday (which made my June list) a million times, I've never actually "listened" to all the words, so I just mumble vaguely similar phonetic sounds in certain places where I'm unsure (see also, Tatu).

So I'm presuming that these lyrics were reasonably significant to me in my past if they sneaked past my automatic lyrics filter (or alternately, my filter is clogged and needs more charcoal). The interesting part of this whole sordid exercise is that there are recurring themes in all five of the songs, which I never connected together until now: recovering from past mistakes, appreciating today, and unrequited love. Perhaps I'm just a sucker for dramatically angsty yet upbeat songs. I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to psychoanalyze me based on my selection of lyrics, because that's a morass of a minefield I don't want to lose a limb in. Here are the five, in no particular order. The first link leads to the lyrics, and the second link leads to an MP3 sample:

  • Coldplay - Shiver (470KB MP3)
  • Muse - Endlessly (496KB MP3)
  • The Monkees - Giant Step (332KB MP3)
  • Ray Stevens - Mr. Businessman (516KB MP3)
  • Kinky - Snapshot (356KB MP3)

Note for the Curious:
I briefly, fleetingly, considered picking five random songs with ridiculous lyrics to trick the analyzers, but decided to hedge at the ever-so-rare personal touchy-feely blog post instead. Selections would have definitely included I'm the Only Gay Eskimo, They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha Ha, and The Rockafeller Skank. If you want more touchy-feely, you can read the 10 new items I added to my 222 Things About Me list: .

Note for the Unscientific:
Venn'd is the past tense of "to Venn" which means "to draw two overlapping circles and then colour in the football in the middle".

Note for Those Who Can Count:
I'm sure that at least one of you wily mathematicians noticed that I mentioned another list. Here are my picks for great albums:

  • Muse - Absolution
  • The Hi-Lo's - Under Glass / I Presume
  • Lennie Niehaus - Quintet & Octet
  • Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band - Once More With Feeling!
  • Kansas - Best of Kansas (can compilations count as albums?)

I could not come up with five more. Most albums suck, even those that have a few good songs, and it's rare to find an album that's solid all the way through. I will definitely have all of these albums with me when I'm ostracized to Elba following my failed coup in Petropavlovsk.

Arms up. Arms up!
Why I stopped wearing pumps to work
Know someone who won't commit? Rip off their leg and beat them about the head and shoulders

Yesterday's search terms:
warez mexico, what is a marching virginian, bare feet on dashboard pics, amputee management, harry potter spellbooks, boulanger ratemyprofessor, brian uri comet head

tagged as lists, music | permalink | 8 comments

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Ballad of the Master Bedroom0

This is the tale of the master bedroom,
the largest of spaces with plenty of headroom.1
I first moved in in the spring of 04,
the curtains infected, and AIDS on the floor.
Through multiple scrubbings and hands raw and red,
the carpet stayed stained so I hid it with my bed.

Fast forward a year to July, near the end.
I shared my house with Anna, Kathy, four cats (and Ben).
With money from work, there was no need to scrimp,
so I bought me some furniture, suitably pimp.
Black walnut trim was both suave and naughty,
and perfect for helping me uri a hottie.

Another year passed and the foliage changed,
but I couldn't see it, and felt quite estranged.
We built in a window, overlooking the rear
so I could enjoy the forest and spit on the deer.
(No sign of Bambi amidst all the cedar,
just a neighbour, a UPS guy, and the meter reader).2

The next step was painting, and you can't go astray
with a sale down at Sears on PUFFIN BAY GREY.3
I coated the walls and then went to the beach
oozing streaks on the trim like a medicinal leech.
With masking tape and fine-toothed comb,
the trim soon looked like a model home.

This weekend past came the final phase,
removing the old carpet to set it ablaze.
I replaced it with a carpet of Berber
which only rhymes with Gerber or maybe James Thurber.
The Oyster style was out of stock
and I had to make due with Road of Rock.4

So once again, I live in my own room
and the window eliminates much of the gloom.
Below you can compare the before and the after
and respond with either envy or laughter.
Or you can help me on my next quest:
To find out what drapes will look the best!

0: The author would like to warn you at this time that this could be the worst ballad in the history of ballads.
1: The author is quite short.
2: The author does not actually spit on blue-collar workers. This is called poetic license.
3: The author would like to recommend that PUFFIN BAY GREY always be capitalized, for emphasis and humour.
4: Rocky Road style looks just like Oyster style, but with a slightly more random pattern.

Happy Birthday Tammy!

Now all they need is a Lord of the Rings remake, for the good of the world
Beware the mysterious Penis Exploder
AOL Searcher No. 4417749

permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Stuff in My Drawers Day

When I was in kindergarten, I had some brilliant ideas on how to improve the quality of life around my house, mainly by building a cooler house. The ground floor of The Pickett Oak had traditional sensibilities -- you came in from the terras and immediately freshened up in the powder room (whatever the hell that is). Food was prepared in the kichen and eaten in the dinner room (no word on where lunch is eaten), and clothes were washed in the youteltey room.

It's the second floor of the house that really deserves the architectural accolades. Our private collection could be displayed in the art gallerey and we could play a rousing game of dodgeball in the pe room (though the team on the far side probably has a disadvantage given the shape of the walls). There's even a little room to dump a baby in.

These plans were, tragically, not approved by the Alexandria Zoning Commission.

In seventh grade, I had moved from avant garde blueprints to doodles of cows and bulls. This collection of bulls was a play on words using the suffix as a homonym (one might say that they are bleprints).

Speaking of beef, here is a sketch I made in Mrs. Hamberger's seventh grade English class -- our teacher had gotten into a somewhat serious car accident and we spent about two weeks with a revolving selection of substitute teachers who didn't assign much work. I'm not sure that every contestant in this picture is humorous, but I must say that I drew a pretty funny fat kid (contestant #7).

Here is a fable I wrote during ninth grade World Literature class with Mr. Bonfanti. Apparently you cannot translate a word into Olde Englishe simply by adding an "e".

Asses booking it for books
Flashlight weapon makes you honk
Baby Einstein not so smart

tagged as memories, media | permalink | 2 comments

Monday, August 09, 2010

Weekend Wrapup

On Friday evening, we played badminton in the backyard until we were chased inside by the dusk-driven swarm of black mosquitoes. We have now used the badminton net a record-setting four times since setting it up in June -- normally it gets used once and then sits dormant in the backyard for the remainder of the summer until I get tired of mowing crop circles around the stakes.

I spent a good chunk of Saturday working, and then played some Starcraft II with Larry, losing game one horribly to a reaper rush, and winning game two against players who didn't know what do to after their initial strategy failed three times. In the evening, we had nine folks and their assorted spawns over for a poker game, during which I went all-in six times and knocked out my wife (not in a physical manner, but dealing with cards, which is what you usually deal in a poker game). I ended up fourth, and Kathy took home the $70 first prize.

Sunday was a quiet, sleep late day, although we made a quick trek to stop by Rebecca's parents' house in the evening. I also solidified my opinion that the Beltway between Tyson's and Braddock Road is now officially a worse stretch of road than the Beltway in Maryland, which was a hard act to top in and of itself. Lanes are now seven inches wide and contain more "no passing" zones than the basement classes at TC Williams High School. In addition, the orange construction barrels on the on-ramps are set up in an optical illusion pattern, not unlike the walls of the first corridor in Labyrinth, and you have to brace yourself for impact before you can discover that there's actually a lane hidden in the pattern.

How was your weekend?

Finalist dies in sauna competition
Assholes in first grade become assholes for life
Wife discovers husband's 2nd marriage on Facebook

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

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Museday Tuesday

As part of this feature, which I started in 2007, I compose a very brief work (under 30 seconds) inspired by a randomly generated title from an online word generator or suggested by a reader. The composition can be for any instrumentation, and could even be a purely synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.

I work on the excerpt continuously for an hour and then post whatever I've managed to complete, even if it could be the hit single from Glenn Gould Plays Tatu.



Iodized: (adj.) to treat, impregnate, or affect with iodine or an iodide.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)

I almost passed this random word by until the use of "impregnate" in the definition got stuck in my mind. This excerpt, then, would probably be better titled as "Salt Baby".

Panda returned to the wild inconspicuously
Captain Morgan's pirate ship found
New saggy jeans designed to improve mobility

tagged as museday | permalink | 1 comment

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Wanderlust (PG-13):
This is a by-the-numbers romantic comedy featuring Paul Rudd being Paul Rudd. It has a few laughs but is mostly forgettable. One of the funnier scenes, showing Paul Rudd talking dirty to a mirror for several minutes seems more like an outtake than part of the narrative.

Final Grade: C-

lovestrong. by Christina Perri:
The "Jar of Hearts" song that plays on every radio station really isn't that good of a song, but somehow manages to get stuck in my head all of the time. There are a couple other good songs on this album, but Christina Perri suffers from a timbre issue similar to April Smith: when you listen to one of her songs in isolation, she's got an impressive set of pipes and a unique sound, but it's overkill when you listen to an entire album without pause.

Final Grade: B-

The Litigators by John Grisham:
This book is a few notches better than the last 4 or 5 lawyer books from John Grisham's photocopier. There are absolutely no new ideas presented, but he's taken the familiar chunks that work and mixed them together into a "pleasant for reading on an airplane" soup. If you need anything more than that, you're better off finding another author.

Final Grade: B-

Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale:
This is the memoir behind the Leonardo DiCaprio / Tom Hanks movie of the same name. It was a quick read -- finished in a few hours -- and pleasantly engrossing. I read this between the Montreal trip and the beach trip, and it got me in the mood for all of the computer hacker books I read last week.

Final Grade: B+

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, August 09, 2013

The Daily Hour

Unnoticed by most, my Daily Hour experiment came to an ignoble close last month, not unlike US involvement in Iraq. Although I chose not to pursue the experiment for the entire year, it was definitely worth my time, and pointed me in several different directions that I might not otherwise have pursued.

What did I get out of the experiment? I can play scales, simple blues lines, and otherwise navigate my way around the electric bass. I learned the Python programming language, fixed a thirteen-year-old bug in my text adventure game, and started coding an open source issue tracker (which I took a break from during July, but plan to restart very soon) that introduced me to . I organized files full of junk and read about sciencey stuff, while playing 75% fewer video games. All for just an hour a day!

Ultimately, I reached a point where my brain was conditioned to naturally seek out enriching opportunities without needing to track it in a spreadsheet, so I stopped recording every ten minute increment like I used to. However, I'm still interested in new things to try for the last five months of 2013 -- suggest away!

permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Imitation Day

tagged as offspring | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, August 09, 2019

List Day: Top Five Pet Peeves of the Moment

It's been over 9 years since I last talked about the things that annoy me!

  1. Recipe Stories: Every recipe on the Internet now opens with a 6 page testimonial to the efficacy of the ingredients and the reasons why the cook likes smoothies. I understand that this has to be done because Google penalizes bare-bones recipe pages as "lacking original content" but it doesn't make it any less obnoxious. At the very least, give me a link at the top that says "click here to skip the BBC miniseries about how I invented this recipe in my meditation room".

  2. Subreddit Devolution: I've lurked on Reddit for over 4 years now, mainly to read other peoples' responses to threads full of creepy stories or unique experiences. It annoys me when areas of this site (called subreddits) pertain to something I'm actually interested in reading about but have devolved into a bunch of teenagers posting low effort memes only tangentially related to the topic. I visit /r/GrimDawn to discover interesting strategies for playing Grim Dawn, not wade through 800 animated GIFs showing "my reaction when" something inane happens in the game. The only thing worse than a poorly moderated subreddit full of memes is one full of fan art. NO ONE CARES THAT YOU DREW HARRY POTTER ON A NAPKIN.

  3. Safeway Sales: Our local Safeway is effectively demonstrating the laws of entropy by rapidly out-Bottom-Dollaring Bottom Dollar. The salmon is always expired, the produce may have been stolen from last month's farmer's market, and the sale tags are consistently outdated. There is only a 26% chance that that "Buy One Get One Free" tag will actually register correctly at checkout, so trying to save money there is the most dangerous game. As you skim your incorrect receipt on the way to the door, you have to weigh the value of the $3 you lost to the 15 minutes it will take for anyone to actually come to the customer service desk to help you.

  4. Early Morning Commuting: I commute down the 2-lane portion of Route 7 to Tysons, a route made bearable by the fact that I leave at 5 AM and only do it a couple times per week. For the most part, it's actually somewhat pleasant because every single person on the road is committed to getting to DC as quickly as possible. You can feel the teamwork and solidarity as a massive caravan of paper pushers accelerates off the red light to a steady 70 in unison. Of course, this rolling wave of efficient travel usually bottlenecks behind the only 2 people on the road without somewhere important to be driving 50 miles per hour. Although my methodology is not scientific, I can state with 100% confidence that one of the people will be driving a rusted pickup truck with West Virginia tags, and the other will be a hypermiling Prius (silver or white only).

  5. Gas Station Kiosks: Pumping gas has a 10 second overhead from all of the questions you have to answer about unwanted car washes and rewards card memberships. Although the endless loops of Jimmy Kimmel clips and Progressive ads no longer bother me (pro tip: hit all of the buttons on the right side of the screen and you will find one that mutes the kiosk), gassing up is still not a pleasant experience. I never have a chance to clean the bird crap off my windows because there's never a working squeegee and the squeegee water always smells like a bird died in it.

What's annoying you today?

tagged as lists | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, August 09, 2021

Beach Day

We made it to Sandbridge after only 8 hours of tribulation!

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

 

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


September 2008
SMTWHFS
123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930
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