This Day In History: 08/19

Sunday, August 19, 2001

Today I reviewed all aspects of basic theory, analysis, and music in the Middle Ages. Tonight, I'll do the Renaissance, the Baroque period, and some more analysis. That leaves the cracks in tomorrow to do Classical, Romantic, Pre-Modern, and Modern, as well as reviewing the works of 20th century composers and their brethren. I should have no problems with the lower theory exam since Dr. Bachelder did such a stellar job of enforcing retention, but I may slip up in the History and Upper Theory exams. Somehow though, the stereotype that music is the "easy major" perpetuates...

This little plot o' land that I call my own is starting to feel homey now, although the posters keep falling off the walls. Scotch tape and Florida humidity do not make good bed partners. At some point, I really need to clean that burnt cheese out of the oven too.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday Fragments

  • I don't find Gatorade commercials refreshing in the least bit. When I see famous and not-so-famous athletes sweating profusely and the sweat seems to caramelize into M&Ms of salty bodily fluids, I don't think, "Oh boy, that is refreshing. I shall have to try drinking some Gatorade so I too can sweat in pastels." I just think, "That's pretty gross." If the Tidee Bowl Corporation ever invents a diuretic, I sincerely hope they don't show famous people peeing blue pee. I suppose a laxative, "Tidee Bowel" would have an even worse commercial. How the heck do you spell Tidee Bowl anyhow?

  • Speaking of commercials, here's a funny Milk commercial forwarded to me by Anna: (1MB WMV)

  • Lost: Season One on DVD in 18 days. I will be watching the entire thing again before the next season starts, so if you've never watched it, you should definitely join me for a Lost party, complete with funny jungle drinks and tiki umbrellas. I still haven't finished the second season of 24, but I blame Anna who moved out before our watch-TV-and-workout cycle ended. I've also heard good things about a show called Firefly which is currently sitting in my Amazon cart with the eight million other products that catch my interest daily (luckily I don't end up buying most of it). To round out the TV portion of this fragment (read: the whole damn thing), I will probably pick up the second season of Arrested Development and the first season of Scrubs someday, and I really wish they'd get around to releasing the rest of Malcolm in the Middle which has been entangled in music licensing issues for years now.

  • The first roller coaster I ever went on was the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens with my mom and Michael Buns. This was in ninth grade, because I was not tall enough for any of them until that year. The last roller coaster I went on was the Top Thrill Dragster in 2003 . It was fun but not worth the three-hour wait. This fragment came about because I was trying to perfect a phrase similar to "beats you about the head and shoulders more than riding on the Anaconda at King's Dominion" and started thinking about roller coasters. The fragment which would have used that phrase did not make the final cut of my post. Sorry to disappoint.

  • The Anaconda really does kind of suck though.

  • There's no stronger evidence of how stupid people are than reading about the clowns who chose to drive on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge last weekend solely because the previous construction warnings did not result in any gridlock (see Figure A). The reason there was no traffic last time was because morons like you stayed home. Moron. In keeping with a recently popular theme of this site, I think the Department of Transportation should have distracted the gridlocked drivers with roadside exotic dancers, in a show aptly called, "Tits and Asphalt".

  • Christopher Walken Runnen for President in 2008 . Yes, I know it's fake, but that would be a very awesome election. I would definitely be torn between voting for Arnold or Walken, regardless of their respective platforms, and such a race would actually compel me to watch a few debates in the months leading up to the election. When it comes to politics, I usually watch just enough to glean a few out-of-context remarks which I can then make fun of on my site and then turn the TV off.

  • This weekend, I'm helping someone move from the third floor of one building to the sixth floor of another building (see Figure A). Does this count as moving a total distance of nine floors, or just three floors (since the potential energy of boxes going down the stairs cancels out the energy going back up)? I need to know so I can generate the invoice and charge heftily for my services. Who needs College Hunks Hauling Junk when you've got Brian Uri! in a Hurry? It's time to put those Hooters-biker muscles to work.

  • Notice how many references I made to older news posts in the previous fragment. That's called "pandering to the faithful audience". It makes you feel like this site is worth visiting religiously because otherwise you might miss out on some in-jokes. I want to go to the discotheque, but I'll probably be out back smoking crack with Zulfin. Greece.

  • I wish more words rhymed with Uri!. There really aren't many, even though the exclamation point is silent.

  • If you don't already read it, The Superficial is a very funny celebrity news site . I've never picked up an entertainment rag at the supermarket, but I used to read Entertainment Weekly online all the time until they got greedy and started charging for accounts. I find the ridiculous situations celebrities get themselves into like a train wreck that you can't look away from, albeit a very beautiful train wreck with gold rims on the wheels. It's almost addictive -- someday I'd like to become famous, just to see how all these crazy celebrities got that way. Would I donate my baby to the Kaballah and shun psychiatrists too?

  • Ruby Tuesday is back to advertising their big fatty burgers rather than healthy entrées . I think this is an excellent strategy, since I want to go to a restaurant with great tasting food, regardless of how healthy it is (see Figure A). I'd like to see a restaurant with the balls to say "our food is so unhealthy that pig-fat will ooze out of every porous inch of your skin, but damn is it good!" -- a restaurant where they're willing to cook your steak so rare that it could be the MacGuffin on an episode of Duck Tales with no stretch of the imagination. I would eat there every day and await the watershed date in 2012 when the National Institute of Health suddenly discovers that fatty food actually defends against heart disease (and also protects you from skin cancer).

  • I have a new song to make fun of at all times. It's M.I.A's Bucky Done Gun, some atrocious dance tune from the U.K (371KB MP3). I would almost rather hear another one of U2's musical genocides than hear this song one more time. Speaking of U2, they should really get a Mulligan which teleports them back to the early 90s when they had good songs.

  • You may have noticed that today's post has been elegantly illustrated with fast pen sketches. Every figure is Figure A, because I'm giving you only the finest in pen and ink illustrations. My readers are too good for the B list.

  • I'm almost out of Post-It Notes. However, I am willing to auction off the originals of my sketches, with the proceeds going to a new pack of Post-Its. These sketches are exceedingly rare, even rarer than my painting, Blue Bus From Hell, but you can own one for only twenty-five cents each. What a bargain!

  • I like Fridays. I try to work a little extra during the week so I can call the game on account of rain around noontime and leave work early (this is really not hard to do when you arrive between 6 and 6:30 every day). Friday is also the day I get a two-piece meal (with fries, dark meat, and mild seasoning) from Popeyes on the way home. Didn't Popeyes used to have an apostrophe? And what happened to Popeye as store mascot? Regardless, it's an afternoon of tasty treats. After lunch I relax by doing random tasks which involve some kind of puttering within or without the house.

  • Have a good weekend, and I'll see you next week!

  • Virginians slug it out for $50 laptops
    Why mom should not be your getaway driver
    An innovative approach to the dating game

    Yesterday's search terms:
    jane ire, bryan richards murdered, "how to avoid huge ships" weird, annoying five for fighting chase commercial

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 9 comments

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Museday Tuesday

    Uncomplicated: (adj.) Not complex or involved; simple

    My Composition (0:30 MP3)

    My initial thoughts for this word were vacation-y and beach-y, since any noun can become an adjective by appending a partial vowel on the end of it. When I sat down at the keyboard, it felt like I had a lot of Latin rhythms in my queue, waiting to be jotted down -- probably a byproduct of watching the third season of Prison Break (set in Panama) and rewatching the first season of Dexter (set in Miami).

    Ugly girls welcome in beer goggle capital
    Woman beats up fiance at prenup party
    Confused turtles march into restaurant

    tagged as museday | permalink | 4 comments

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    Memory Day: Old Snapshots

    This is my old friend, Daniel Bethancourt, at our Sixth Grade graduation in June 1990. Sixth grade graduations are necessary milestones in today's society, since half of the class abruptly drops out immediately after to become car mechanics and air conditioning repair boys. Daniel moved to the West Coast immediately after sixth grade, and I've only seen him once since then -- he is now Father Daniel at an Orthodox Christian parish in Lousiana.

    This is just after seventh grade with my friend, Ian, who I previously mentioned. We had just come back from biking through the mud, so our backs resembled a latrine mishap (for which he later got in trouble with his dad). I am wearing the stylish BOOK IT! shirt I got from rereading Henry Huggins over and over, as well as a pair of sturdy Boy Scout shorts.

    Jennie (Geisner) Gordon and Jenny (Young) Osorio both came to my End-of-the-Year party in June 1993. In the background, you can see the crude cardboard cutout intended for a tossing-game with water balloons. Of course, the rules of this game were promptly abandoned, because water balloons are more fun when they're hitting someone who isn't you.

    Freshman Prom in June 1993. From left to right, my date, Rachel Lee, who I lost track of after tenth grade, Jennie, Zulfan (who was the point man in the phrase "They're out back smoking crack with Zulfan" which described any person in high school English class who happened to be absent or tardy), and myself.

    A picture of the 3rd 8 (the 17th through 24th best rowers on the team) on the Occoquan in 1994 after a rare medal win. I believe we got 3rd, which is fitting, and we obviously only did that well because every minority on the Crew team was on this boat.

    This was taken at the End-of-the-Year Party after tenth grade (1994). Best man, Jack, is on the far left, followed by Ben Seggerson, Kwan Burke, Jennifer "Ada" Stuart (Holland) Hettinga (who vanished from my world after her wedding, probably because US computers ran out of name slots in their databases), and little me.
    Diamonds: a girl's best compensation for infidelity
    $15 for 74 screams
    Mindset List for the Class of 2013

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    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Review Day

    There are no spoilers in these reviews.

    The Boy Who Knew Too Much by Mika:
    This Mika CD closely resembles the first, Life in Cartoon Motion, filled with rambunctious pure pop and cheesy falsetto, so if you liked the first, this is more of the same. A few tunes sound too much like the first CD's songs, and there are no stand out singles so far, but it's a solid CD.

    Final Grade: B

    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson:
    I vacillated like a flagellum on whether or not to read this book, based on the reviews that said it was great by the end, but took a long, long time to get there. The book IS very long, but an easy read -- I could see someone quickly getting bored of it if they don't read very fast, but it kept me entertained until the momentum become inexorable. The bigger problem is that the author introduces eight million characters with similar Swedish names, and it's hard to "flip back" to the family tree when you're reading on a Kindle. The mystery is satisfying, and the scope of the book gives plenty of room for the characters to grow, but you definitely need patience.

    Final Grade: B+

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
    I've had this on my shelf on loan from my parents for months now, and never put it on because I didn't think I'd like it. I was mostly right, as is often the case when I analyze myself. On the plus side, the atmosphere of the movie LOOKS great, and the tone of the movie is effectively dark. On the minus side, it's still far too long, but barely manages to get in all of the critical plot points before ending -- it ends up being more of a "Greatest Hits Road Trip of the Book" movie than a movie.

    Final Grade: C+

    City Council In Illinois May Ban Eye-Rolling
    Police bust Paris "booby" trap gang
    'Zombie ants' controlled by parasitic fungus for 48m years

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    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Friday Fragments

    the non-rhyming limerick of life

    ♠ I'm 90% certain that this picture of a fat cat on is NOT Booty, mainly because of the presence of a cat-door. Logically speaking, installing a cat-door into a real door defeats the purpose of the real door -- when I throw Booty out of a room, I want to ensure that she STAYS out. I suppose putting food in a box with a very small entrance might be a good exercise inducer though.

    ♠ Speaking of exercise, I discovered Mike's (of Mike and Chompy) Wii Fit pad while cleaning out the basement and decided to fire it up to see what I've been missing. The device told me I hadn't exercised in over 800 days, which is longer than my marriage. (This is also why all of my Nintendogs ran away when faced with starvation). It still doesn't seem cost-effective to do a workout routine where you exert yourself for thirty second spurts between five minute loading screens -- it feels too much like watching commercials in a sitcom.

    ♠ Speaking of watching things, I finally got around to watching Harry Potter 7 Part 1: The Black Gate. It's a very dark movie, literally, since the colour palette rarely jumps above #3a3a3a and features a lot of black ghosts flying around at night in a thunderstorm during a total eclipse of the (dark) arts. The movie wended its way across various deciduous and non-deciduous forests for two and a half hours, and not a whole lot happened. I hear that the finale is jam-packed with action, which makes this pair of movies the anti-Kill Bill.

    ♠ Kill Bill was such a self-indulgent movie. We watched it at the beach in 2005 -- I think I fell asleep in the middle of it, and then fell asleep again while I was asleep.

    ♠ Plans for the weekend include dinner plans in Leesburg tonight, and some poker at Jack's house on Saturday, if we can break through the gridlock that's likely to result from the million motorcycle march that is commemorating 9/11 through traffic aggravation. Sunday is highlighted as a "do nothing" day in advance of Rebecca's first day at Physical Therapy School, and we'll probably use it to watch more of The Wire while eating popcorn and chocolate chip cookies.

    ♠ Have a great weekend!

    Super Scrabble players push brain ability beyond what was thought possible
    Online jihadist calls for Muslims to kill David Letterman
    "Vampire" arrest sparks discussion on pop culture

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 1 comment

    Monday, August 19, 2013

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday night, I mashed together multiple recipes in order to satisfy my invented criteria for that evening's dinner: 1) no new purchases required, 2) easy, and 3) involves the grill somehow. We ended up with a grilled blackened chicken breast paired with leftover fettucine alfredo that somehow turned out to be the best (and only) chicken I've ever grilled. I'll post the recipe tomorrow so you can partake in the tastiness while I appear cookwise on the Internet.

    As we were leaving the house on Saturday night, we did some Sneakers-quality sound analysis out the open car window to determine that there was a screw in one of my back tires. Based on the angle of entry, I must have backed over it at some point, although it wasn't nearly as large as the hex bolt in my tire six years ago. I don't really know why my quiet dead end road is home to so many metallic fasteners, so I'll presume that one of the homeowners is building a secret dungeon and is surreptitiously discarding the waste building materials out of their pants leg as they take evening strolls.

    We ended up taking Rebecca's car for our night out with Larry and Janice in Rockville, which also meant that I didn't have to drive in Maryland -- win-win all around (at least for me). We had dinner at a Thai place in the Rockville Town Center, which is smaller than the Reston Town Center, truer than the Dulles Town Center, and classier than the "Springfield Town Center" will ever be once they've demolished and rebranded the Mall there.

    On Sunday, I took an unusual "on-hours" trip to Costco during its peak capacity in order to get my tire replaced. I'm really not sure whether you're more likely to get run over by a bad driver in the parking lot or a soccer mom with a cart in the store itself, but I did notice that the chance for hit-and-runs increases near the Bagel Bites sample stand. We closed out the evening with burgers at Red Robin, followed by the movie, Cedar Rapids.

    How was your weekend? Did you wake up on Saturday and feel any disturbances in the force now that Brianne has moved out of the country and gone back to Canada?

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

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    List Day: 10 Things Learned from Computer Gaming (1985 - 1989)

    not necessarily in order of utility

    1. I learned how to define "stiletto" (Zork I), "receptacle" (Zork II), and "shillelagh" (Beyond Zork), among many other words not in the first grade reader.

    2. I learned that games based on movies are uniformly horrible (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Willow, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure)

    3. I learned how to program in several variants of the BASIC programming language, ultimately leading to my current career.

    4. I learned that all potential witnesses to criminal activity have access to an almanac and speak in riddles (Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?)

    5. I learned how to do math in hexadecimal so you can edit a saved game to boost your stats (Ultima VI).

    6. I learned that if a girl and a boy fall off of a three foot staircase, the boy will be dizzy but the girl will die (King's Quest IV: Perils of Rosella).

    7. I learned how to write secret notes and entire stories in the runic alphabet (Ultima IV).

    8. I learned that you can max out your Strength by cleaning out the stables and throwing rocks daily (Hero's Quest I).

    9. I learned how to type over 100 words per minute without the help of Mavis Beacon or home positions.

    10. I learned that crime and pollution are eliminated if your city consists of parallel railroad tracks that never connect, with a Police Station and Hospital every 4 lots (SimCity).

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    Wednesday, August 19, 2015

    Memory Day: Sixteen Years Ago Today

    Sixteen years ago today, on August 19, 1999, I was in Blacksburg, about to start my fourth year of college. The few days before the first day of class were always a whirlwind of marching band activities (although we didn't have a swank practice facility like the one that just opened). We started the day in the music wing, auditioning a neverending cavalcade of returning old-timers who had not practiced all summer long, but expected to be given first trumpet parts because of their age.

    Midday, I uploaded everyone's pictures to the MV Trumpets website, a classy Javascript-based site (accessible at the SEO-friendly URL "") that contained MIDI files for every single piece of trumpet sheet music in the repertoire for people to practice with (total downloads in 2 years: 7). This website also featured a loud auto-playing MIDI file in which I mashed up 8 different marching band songs, including the oft-maligned "Makin' a World of Diff'rence".

    After an evening rehearsal in Cassell Colliseum, the trumpet section was invited to Doug's apartment in Pheasant Run (the infamous 222 Janie Lane), where everyone tried, but failed, to beat Doug at foozball. New freshman, Anna, was also at this party, and everyone tried, but failed, to sway her away from her high school boyfriend, Ben.

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    Friday, August 19, 2016

    Hiking to Sky Pond

    Today's hike was 9.6 miles long, but felt much easier than Wednesday's hike to Black Lake. We once again got up at 5 AM to get one of the coveted parking spaces and then hiked through the boring Alberta Falls area to get to the good stuff.

    We arrived at the Loch but didn't stay long, as the wind was blowing coldly down the valley.

    The vistas continued to get more impressive after the Loch and we survived the rock scramble that took us up the wet rocks to the right of Timberline Falls in the picture below.

    We were among the first five people to reach the terminus this morning, and Rebecca marked the territory with a yoga pose.

    This time around, the entire hike took just over 6 hours, and now we have the afternoon to nap and then lounge around town! Tomorrow, we're driving the crazy mountain road through Rocky Mountain National Park (taking the long way to Breckenridge).

    tagged as travel | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, August 19, 2019

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday morning we drove to Fredericksburg to visit the Ahlbins and exceeded all previous records for the trip, taking 3.5 hours from driveway-to-driveway.

    Maia ate lollipops with Felicity.

    She also resolved to get better at Guitar Hero than Vegas Mike.

    Maia had her first experience climbing up a bunk bed and announced that "Sister Bear sleeps in the top bunk, Brother Bear sleeps on the bottom, and Brother Bear eats honey in bed".

    On Saturday afternoon, I spun up an impromptu Dungeons and Dragons game for the kids, where they had to invade the castle of Neightwang to get his treasure.

    On Saturday evening, we visited the Hickses for dinner and Maia got to hang out with their granddaughter, Autumn.

    On Sunday, Rebecca played Castles of Burgundy with the older kids and Anna, easily one of the most tediously-paced games of all time.

    How was your weekend?

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    Wednesday, August 19, 2020

    Maia's First Stories

    Here are two works of art created by Maia and Rebecca, along with stories that Maia dictated about them to Rebecca.

    The Beach

    There are dolphins at the beach. Maia, Mommy, and Daddy are looking out at the ocean. The sand is dry.

    Here are the bunnies looking out at the purple ocean. There is a big purple wave coming! Some of the sand fell on the bunny's head. The bunny got a sunburn. There is a rain cloud. But the bunnies have an umbrella! The Big Umbrella! It's hard when you're tall, because when the bunnies grow tall, they don't quite fit under the umbrella. The End.

    tagged as offspring, media | permalink | 0 comments

    Friday, August 19, 2022

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Brooklyn 99, Season Six:
    The sixth season feels a little tired, but offers a continued stream of occasional belly laughs. On Hulu.

    Final Grade: B-

    What We Do In the Shadows, Season One:
    This mockumentary about vampires (based on the the movie of the same name) is a lot of fun and starts out quite promisingly. It doesn't totally maintain the same energy throughout (and there's not much in the way of character development) but it's a harmless, fun show to watch at the end of the day. On Hulu.

    Final Grade: B

    Hands by Wallis Bird:
    This album has a very unique sound to it, with tons of different styles mashed together in unexpected ways. I wasn't sure if I liked it at first, but I like it a lot now. What's Wrong With Changing? is a good representative track.

    Final Grade: B+

    Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (R):
    This parody / mockumentary from the Lonely Island guys is much better than I expected (and my expectations were quite low). It drags a little right near the end, but tells a cohesive story while also having some very funny music. Finest Girl (The Bin Laden Song) (explicit lyrics) is one of the high points although the finale, "Incredible Thoughts" has some great surprise guest appearances.

    Final Grade: B

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments


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