This Day In History: 09/04

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

"Not even [John Cage] would argue that you need to know how to write a C major triad. He wrote so many of them!" - professor, on the importance of teaching music fundamentals

My make-up lesson was postponed until tomorrow so I took the time to consolidate old MIDI recordings. At some point, I should really archive all my old MIDIs as recorded sound files on CDs. That way I'll have an exact record of how I originally heard them, since my sound card has a tendency of changing with every new computer.

While at the music library today, I picked up an early biography of Stan Kenton and Gene Lees' Arranging the Score for a little pleasure reading in my copious free time. I'm also playing a bargain-bin game, Planescape: Torment which won all sorts of RPG awards in 1999. So far it's a really good text-heavy game, and although it's based on an AD&D model, you don't have to know anything about that gaming system to enjoy the game (thankfully).

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Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Every year, a creativity bug strikes me and I get the urge to write another report for www.battlereports.com. This year's bug resulted in a report that I'm pretty happy with, and it even got a front page link at their site . For those in my readership who find game-playing juvenile and lacking in merit, a 'battle report' is essential a play-by-play news story of the more interesting matchups between good players online. Strategic games like Warcraft 3 lend themselves particularly well this reporting. I'll post the report on this site once it's made the rounds over there, but feel free to follow the link to read my report.

We were doing mnemonics for various clefs in my theory class today, and one innovative soul came up with the following for Tenor Clef: Damn Fine Ass Chicks Everywhere.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Museday Tuesday

in which I have thirty minutes to write a thirty second song

Reclusive: (adj.) Seeking or preferring seclusion or isolation.

My Composition (0:30 MP3)
Old Musedays:
Sidelong
Moodily
Obnoxiously
Obsessively
Spikiest
Leggier
Carsick
Dinkiest

I felt that someone who was reclusive would also be a little unsettling, with a meticulous routine bordering on OCD. Had I had more time, I would have made the flute line a bit more droopy and less quarter-notey. This one's not bad, but not one of my favourites.

Introducing the world's first female Beefeater
Man teaches Spanish machine a lesson
Student blushes cause China school to scrap dance

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Weird Search Day

or "how I stumbled upon the URI! Zone"

I thought it would take a few months before I had another worthy batch of search engine queries to post, but less than two weeks have passed since the previous installment and the denizens of the Internet have already proven their disturbing natures. Here are 7 real search engine queries that led the unwitting curious to my page. Since this post will now draw more readers interested in the same subjects, I've done what I can to appease their requests.

  • does frankie muniz sleep shirtless?
    Correspondence with Muniz' agent has revealed the exclusive fact that Frankie Muniz, star of Malcolm in the Middle and My Dog Skip, not only sleeps shirtless, but also races his fancy sports cars without any pants on. "If your willy's not chilly, your racer's just a pacer," said Frankie of his antics. The actor's favourite food is "jello with a hot dog in it" and is rumoured to be engaged in an tempestuous affair with Kelly Osbourne.

  • pictures of girls that are 5'2 and 120 pounds
    Here is a newspaper clipping of the 1996 Girls' Lightweight Boat at T.C. Williams. Crew lightweights are the only girls on the Internet that are guaranteed to appear as advertised, since the tell-all Livestock Scale on Race Day would be sure to reveal their lies and disqualify them.

  • "kathy hanna" kroger
    This sounds like a Craigslist Missed Connection if I ever heard one, although I don't know how Kelley Corbett's wife found a Kroger in Brooklyn. Regardless, here is text of the ad as it might appear on Craigslist: we laughed in the produce section after i admired your melons. you didn't know kroger sold firearms until i showed you my guns. it's obvious your trumpet playing husband will never make it big. i'm like the lighthouse. COME TO THE SHORE.

  • gagged with a bandana
    According to last week's poll about funny fruits, this search query would have been 100% funnier if it were "gagged with a banana". It might stem the visitors and cause my counter to slip, but I would find it much more appeeling.

  • magnet uri porn
    For a limited time, you can buy my pornographic refrigerator magnets online at $5.99 per five inch magnet. Each one is carefully laminated and glows in the dark.

  • les miserables why are they fighting at the 5th section?
    If you put the fighting in an earlier section, you ruin the pace of the plot. They didn't show Jaws in the beginning of the movie for the same reason.

  • I want to plan a simple Super Mario themed birthday party for my 7 year old twins:
    • Buy two plungers and call it a day.
    • Bake a square cake with yellow icing and paint a question mark in it. Then have the firstborn twin smash his face into it (make sure there is a gold coin inside).
    • Put the family turtle on the second step and have the kids stand on the bottom step. Tell them they will get extra points if they keep on jumping up and down. To be humane, the turtle need not ricochet back and forth.
    • Prefix MARIO onto every item in your household and refer to them by name throughout the day. Later, your Mario Husband can take the Mario Kids out of the Mario Party and go to the Mario Playground.
  • Suspected car burglar gets a dirty dumping
    Blame your marriage woes on your husband's genes
    Game of 'Beat the Dog' harder than it seems

    tagged as website, searches | permalink | 2 comments

    Friday, September 04, 2009

    Friday Fragments

    only eleven days to thirty

    ♠ Life has been pretty busy this week, between work, webmastering as a community service, and wedding planning. One of our recent activities was to select wedding ceremony music, and we're currently trying to find a place to tastefully fit Boobies by Carlos Adolfo Dominguez into the processional.

    ♠ We have also brought painting back as an after-school activity in the URI! Household by hand-painting the numbers for our wedding tables. And if people scoff at the crude Tempera primary colours, we can just say Ella did them and suddenly the childlike innocence of the numbers will be considered cute.

    ♠ When I would spend summers as a kid with my grandparents, they would always give us an allowance to take to the crafts store for a clay model to paint. Unfortunately, the allowance was rarely large enough to cover glazing, so we'd either buy a life-size clay beetle, or watch as our castle model crumbled in the back seat on the way home.

    ♠ On Wednesday night, I made a Glazed Chicken Stir-fry, using such disparate ingredients as mayonnaise, vinegar, my closest MacGuyver approximation of sweetened condensed milk, and red dye #2. The only downside to frying stuff in oil is that your house smells like a stale funnel cake stand for up to 36 hours afterwards.

    ♠ I may be the only person in the world to like funnel cakes (and any pastries) without powdered sugar. Then again, I also hate curry, guacamole, and sunflower seeds, and think there should be more meat-based tiers to the Food Pyramid.

    ♠ I've never been a big fan of seeds and nuts, except when using them to humourously threaten those that are allergic to them, but Cashew Chicken as a meal is definitely becoming one of my favourites. It's about even with beef and mushrooms in a rich mushroom sauce.

    ♠ Looks like it's time for a new joke:

      Q: Why did the peanut lose the election?
      A:: He eschewed cashew issues.

    ♠ Plans for the weekend include shopping for wedding supplies, like tranquilizer guns for unruly uncles, a wedding of Rebecca's work friend on Saturday night (also at a Loudoun winery), and maybe a few jogs through Claude Moore park. We'll also continue watching Burn Notice and the eighth season of Scrubs, both of which are quite decent so far.

    ♠ Have a great weekend!

    Seals begin hunting humans
    Man eating out of his own colostomy bag halts trial
    Dirty layers hid painting's penis
    What's the best Chinese takeout meal?

    Shrimp Lo Mein (1 vote, 12.5%)


    Beef and Mushrooms (1 vote, 12.5%)


    Cashew Chicken (1 vote, 12.5%)


    Eggdrop Soup (1 vote, 12.5%)


    General Tso's (3 votes, 37.5%)


    Crap with Pancakes (1 vote, 12.5%)


    tagged as fragments | permalink | 2 comments

    Tuesday, September 04, 2012

    Composing Spotlight: Labyrinth

    Movement IV. Adversary

    Continuing the analysis of my Master's Thesis, about eleven years too late to get invited to speak at any theory conferences...

    The motive that opens this movement is the derived from the last measure of the original theme, and acts in the role of an interrupting cow throughout the piece. In this case, the motive is used to break up the static feeling of the third movement. Although this piece has nine movements, things can get a little more meta by grouping Movement I through IV and Movement VI through IX together. This makes Movement IV the climax of the first third, in a way that would probably satisfy Hauptmann in his grave.

    The interrupting cow motive is followed by a new theme in 5/4 time that represents the minotaurish figure in the piece, which keeps the protagonist from solving the labyrinth too easily. I choose 5/4 time as a challenge, because I rarely ever hear 5/4 used in a useful or natural way and wanted to see if I could do any better. The oboe doubles the trumpet on the melodic line a half step lower to get an uncomfortable effect. An alternate interpretation is that I made the oboe a half step lower because they were going to be flat anyhow, so I thought I'd codify it in the score.

    So to date, the protagonist has entered the labyrinth with steely resolve, tried to find the way through, gotten completely confused, and was then chased away by a minotaur. In the fifth movement, he gives up altogether, although (spoilers!) the fact that there are four more movements later on suggest a happier ending.

      Listen to the fourth movement (1:13 MP3)

    Jump to Movement: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX

    tagged as music | permalink | 0 comments

    Wednesday, September 04, 2013

    Memory Day: Twenty Years Ago Today

    Twenty years ago today, as a thirteen-year-old about to enter the 10th grade, I wrote my first ever journal entry. I would go on to maintain this journal at varying levels of diligence through 2005, but there is a charming naivete in this first year's entries.

    *RECORD OF THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES. BRIAN URI *

    September 4, 1993 6:10 pm Saturday

    This is Brian Uri. I'm writing this file less to keep a record and more because I'm bored. In any case, I will probably forget about this file in a couple of weeks and not write anything else in it. By the way, the reason this file is disguised as a graphics data file is this: if my nosy sister, Ellen, looks through this junk, or my dad is sorting the hard drive and I put any personal info into this file (which I probably won't), they will be less likely to examine this file closely.

    I screwed around with the date in the computer so these files look like they haven't been messed with since 1992. If anyone else is reading this, they are either nosy, experienced with DOS Edit, or fifty years have passed and I am a famous person (yeah right). I think that I'll use this file to record my thoughts (kind of like a diary) although I'm still undecided whether or not I should put the secret stuff in. I know a lot of stuff that is either embarrassing to me or other people. Some stuff could also get people into a lot of trouble. Oh well. If I continue to use this on a regular basis, I'll most likely end up leafing through these first few entries and laughing. My mom just made some nasty Tuna Helper junk for dinner so I have to go.

    Like any teen with a secret journal, I was overly worried about it being discovered, which is why I named the file "GAME.CGA" and edited it with the MS-DOS text editor (this was before WordPerfect and password-protected files).

    In defense of my mom's cooking, I would also like to point out that the very next entry opened with, "The Tuna Helper wasn't THAT bad. It was better than school food."

    tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

    Thursday, September 04, 2014

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Perfect Contradiction by Paloma Faith:
    The 70s soul orchestrations on this album are very fun, but the songs as wholes are kind of forgettable. I can't listen to Mouth to Mouth without picturing the scene from Wario Ware: Smooth Moves with the disco kittens. Overall, this is better than her second album, but has nothing as catchy as Upside Down.

    Final Grade: B-

    Damages, Season One:
    This is a Machiavellian thriller starring Glenn Close as a power-hungry lawyer manipulating all of her associates. It employs the overused narrative device of flashing back and forth between a murder and the events leading up to that murder, but somehow manages to connect the dots in an unexpected way that made it work for me -- usually I find this approach to be the poor man's excuse for reusing film footage. The other main character, played by Rose Byrne, is an empty plot cipher that never becomes interesting, but the twists and turns of the story are strong on their own. Glenn Close is as good as you'd expect, but the surprise stand-out is Zeljko Ivanek as a tragic Southern lawyer -- he definitely deserved his Emmy for this role. Free on Amazon Prime.

    Final Grade: B

    Peak Organic Beer Sampler Pack:
    I picked up this sampler pack on a whim at Costco last week because it was a dollar cheaper than the Sam Adams pack (plus, Sam Adams seems to be on an abbreviated year, where every season is one and a half months long, resulting in the release of Christmas beers in September).

    • Pale Ale: A middle-of-the-road, forgettable pale ale.
    • IPA: A decent brew, if you enjoy the bitterness of IPAs (probably a good beach beer).
    • Summer Session Ale: Much more bitter than expected, as if it was just a half-finished batch of IPA. Nothing to recommend it.
    • Nut Brown Ale: This was the redeeming feature of the pack, with a great malty taste.
    Final Grade: C+, organic doesn't equate to good

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

    Friday, September 04, 2015

    Stuff In My Drawers Day

    Moving into a college dorm is a veritable X-Games of logistics, from claiming the right parking spots to the neverending caravan of packing crates that must arrive at the room without anything getting stolen. Because I spent 4 of my 5 undergraduate years on campus, of course I had optimized the endeavor down to a science by the end.

    Here is the codified checklist I would pack against in the days leading up to the new school year, with all contents carefully locked into four giant plastic steamer trunks and then stored in the back of the family truck (along with me) for the ride down to Blacksurg.

    It could be argued that this is far too much stuff for a 12 x 12 room shared with someone else. This is a 100% valid concern.

    tagged as media | permalink | 4 comments

    Monday, September 04, 2017

    List Day: 10 Post-Booty Changes

    1. Naps on the couch are 100% less snuggly without Booty to perform chest compressions throughout the nap.

    2. We can leave food out on the counter unprotected for many minutes and no one jumps on the counter to eat it. The same goes for bills and other important pieces of paper left unsheltered around feeding time.

    3. I still think I see Booty when I spot a dark shape (like the base of a floor lamp) in my peripheral vision.

    4. I only have to scoop the litter box every other day.

    5. Amber has moved from the beta position at the foot of the bed to the alpha position at the head of Rebecca.

    6. Amber is softer because she hangs out more and gets more brushing and pets.

    7. There is no rigorously scheduled food time on the agenda -- we just eventually realize that Amber hasn't eaten in a while and she begrudgingly agrees to eat a bit.

    8. No one serenades us from the living room during the first 15 minutes we go to bed.

    9. I can no longer see both cats in the same room and refer to them as "Booty and the Ho-fish".

    10. I no longer have to place or clean up puppy pads outside of the litter box from Booty's ingrained habits of peeing elsewhere. I also have a full box of puppy pads (unused!) left over if anyone needs any.

    tagged as lists, cats | permalink | 1 comment

    Wednesday, September 04, 2019

    Maia Battle Report: Year 2 Month 2

    Maia is still alive, hovering near 23 pounds and 33". We've started a height wall in our hallway where we can mark her height at different intervals, protected by a thin layer of clear gloss for the day when she inevitably starts drawing all over it like I did in my childhood.

    She speaks in surprisingly complete sentences, except when she gets too exciting about desiring something and babbles "IwantIwantIwantIwant!" without ever telling us what she wants. I have been keeping track of her sentence lengths, and 5-6 words is about average. She's never said a 7 word sentence, but her first 8 word sentence was the appropriate and truthful, "I got a big poop in my pants!". It was the size of a small peach.

    On August 25, she pulled the magnetic M off of our fridge and said, "M for Maia!". She has also shown hints of "singing", namely the first words to Happy Birthday and the Welcome Song. In the car, she knows that red means stop, green means go, you go on a circle to get on the highway, and the highway is for driving fast.

    Yesterday was her first day of "Just for 2s" class, a 1.5 hour session at the Sterling Community Center. She enjoyed the class without qualms, only crying briefly when she had to come inside from the playground. She was very proud of her school attendance when we picked her up, proclaiming "I went to school!" and that her friend had "cried a little".

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

    Friday, September 04, 2020

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    We Need Medicine by The Fratellis:
    A solid Fratellis album exactly halfway between the earlier T-shirt shop music and the more mature recent stuff. Seven Nights Seven Days is a pretty good representative track.

    Final Grade: B

    Codenames Duet:
    Rebecca and I started playing this game after a summer too chock full of Patchwork. Two players work together to guess target words on a board (uncovering spies) without accidentally picking the assassins or hitting innocent bystanders. The first couple games will stretch your mind in odd directions, but it's pretty fun once you're in the groove. Plenty of replayability -- we usually play 3 or 4 games in an hour.

    Final Grade: B+

    Dead Horse, Alaska (Onyx, Red, and Gold) by Dirt Poor Robins:
    The latest "musical story" album from Dirt Poor Robins came out on 3 sequential, colored EPs. The whole thing is dense, somber, and low on hooks. I've listened to it 4 or 5 times now but it's not really fun to listen to and I struggled to stay focused. Maybe in a dark theater with no distractions, it'd be worth a listen.

    Final Grade: C

    You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane:
    This book on machine learning (from the author of the AI Weirdness blog in the sidebar) overlaps a little bit with Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms but goes a little deeper into the technical side of ML. It's a quick read but overloaded with cartoons and examples of ML making silly mistakes, which are less interesting as the number of examples increase (the content is much more enjoyable in blog format). If you'd like to learn about ML with a focus on real-world impacts, read the other book instead.

    Final Grade: C+

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

     

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