This Day In History: 09/29

Saturday, September 29, 2001

The Hokies won yet again today, 46-14 against Central Florida. I didn't actually get to see this one, but apparently it wasn't very pretty on either side. Also, Florida State regained some lost stature by beating an unranked team.

Tomorrow is the birthday of an old friend, Jennie, who I've completely lost track of during my undergrad years. Happy Birthday wherever you are! I try to keep a list with the birthdays of everyone I've ever met, and add to it when I discover a new one. Sometimes it can just make a person's day when they get a surprise birthday greeting from an unexpected corner. It's the little things in life...

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Sunday, September 29, 2002

Virginia Tech beat Western Michigan 30-0, and Florida State lost to Louisville, an unranked team. So much for a year of "regaining respect" for the Seminoles. the local sports station doesn't show many of Tech's games down here this year, so it's hard to keep up with how the team's doing.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Last night's movie was Mean Girls which turned out to be pretty funny and surprisingly intelligent for a SNL-spawned movie. It had a pretty good take on high school life and all the backstabbing that goes on around it.

Part Two of the pilot for Lost is on tonight. Don't miss the show that actually made ABC win in the ratings for the first time in eleventy years last week.

The URI! Zone as you see it is approaching its one year anniversary. There's easily been over 6500 visitors not including me in this past year. That means that in the eight years of this site's life, there's probably been more than 50,000 visits. What a waste of time.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Musical Motives

I haven't had a musical post in a couple weeks, so this is an attempt to fill the musical void in your life.

  • When given the choice between going to a live concert and buying the CD, I would much rather buy the CD. I want the perfection and the clarity of the recording, and I think listening to that outweighs any added energy the performance gets from being live. Live energy may be good in an improvised jazz solo, but for pop music all you get are uneven performances played too loud. Musicals are different, because the live performance gives you a visual element missing from the recording, and there are no drunk fans trying to sing along. Les Miserables is back at the National Theatre this winter -- I may organize another trip to go see it.

  • There's a new boxed set of Bruce Springsteen music coming out. I really don't understand peoples' love affair with Bruce Springsteen -- I dislike all the music I've heard. To me, he's just another guy with a bad voice who can't sing trying to rock, and those are a dime a dozen. Another group that can't sing but pretends to is the British group, The Paddingtons.

  • When it comes to bad singing, the singer in the group, Athlete, is borderline, but somehow manages to pull it off and still have a pleasant sound (Half Light, 391KB MP3).

  • I think some songs are just written so the performers can be cheeky, like Simple Plan's Addicted with the phrasing that lets them say "I'm a dick" on public radio. The best example of this is the Italian rap song, Piu Fuoco. There's really no reason for Italian people to be rapping, so the ulterior motive behind this song is definitely being able to sound like you're swearing on the radio (296KB MP3).

  • James Blunt's High is a good song, but he hits the note under the word "High" about eighty times too many (375KB MP3). It's like a highly refined and abridged version of the annoying chorus in Daniel Bedingfield's The Way.

  • Nickelback is the inverse pinnacle of good music. I don't understand how their song, Photograph is a Top 20 hit when it sounds just like all the rest of their songs: a grating hoarse lead singer who sounds like he's randy for a walrus, foghorning his mating call over forgettable frat-rock guitars. This type of music does absolutely nothing for me. Creating massive blocks of guitar sound can be very effective when used properly (see also, Muse) but generally it's just mascara for your lack of talent. Luckily for you, their CD on Amazon does not have audio samples of this atrocity because it's not yet released and Amazon knows that "try before you" would scare customers away before the "buy". I've never heard a Linkin Park song I liked either.

  • My Humps is a ridiculously undeserving Top 20 song too. It's painfully apparent that Taboo was not a Boy Scout, because if he had gotten his Orienteering merit badge, the group would not be traveling in a straight line towards Crap. Pretty much every song on their new album is like an aural rendition of the scum that grows on the underside of the rubber trap on your garbage disposal.

  • Putting your voice through a modulator to make yourself sound more like a robot in your song is the most overdone device in the history of overdone devices. If you are still doing this, you need to cease immediately (see also, Cher, and Magnolia's All In Vain).

  • When a song has offensive lyrics, there are generally three ways public radio stations manage them. Back when songs had one swear word which was used as the climax of the song, bleeping was standard. Nowadays, with the ratio of swearing to sweet at a raging high, it's more common to simply mute the offending word or change the lyrics all together. I think it would be better for everyone involved if people just got over their hangups with offensive words. Allowing your kids to listen to an uncensored 99.5 in preschool will help eliminate the concept of swearing by 2018. The only downside to this: there wouldn't be anything saucy to say when you accidentally hammer your thumb or drop a cake on the floor.

  • Starsailor's Four to the Floor is awful, but in a good way (268KB MP3). It's got that retro 70s sound with strings that says "this song is trying very hard to be serious and deep but you are welcome to disco to it".

  • At some subconscious level, I am always analyzing the music I listen to at a deeper level than just good vs. bad. This is the curse of years of music school. When I write posts discussing my appreciation of some random chord or device in a song, it's something I automatically hear, not something I worked out after the fact to look smart. I wear glasses -- that makes me look smart enough for all intents and purposes.

  • The season premiere of Alias is on tonight at 8 PM. I find it amazing that the ABC marketing department can consistently churn out horrible print and television promos for this show, regardless of how good or bad the show actually is.

    Yes, officer, it's a lunch box for my kid which I got as a souvenir from an airport kiosk in Bogota.
    People have nothing better to complain about
    Attendants call for boycott of Flight Plan

    Yesterday's search terms:
    jehovah witness songs midi, free anna nalick sheet music, hung upside down in a chastity belt, half blood prince audio cd download

    tagged as music, reviews | permalink | 6 comments

    Friday, September 29, 2006

    Friday Fragments

    Nature's way of telling you to eat more fiber

    ♣ As I write this on Thursday evening, a massive late-season thunderstorm is ripping through Sterling with the pent up aggression of a rabid poodle made to dress up in sweaters one too many times. It's nice living in a place where all the power lines are buried underground because the power never goes out. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't gauge the strength of the storm by the color of the satellite map online. I might have to look out the window or something.

    ♣ The only time I ever go to anymore is when a storm is likely. In college, the site used to possess near-homepage qualities, because you always had to be concerned with how to dress to survive the Arctic blasts of tundrosity in the ten minute walks across campus. Now, I leave my climate-controlled house to get in my climate-controlled car to reach my climate-controlled office, which is a fifty-yard walk total, if that. My next house construction project is a car ramp that goes inside my house so I can park next to my bed and reduce the outdoors distance even further.

    ♣ Climate control is such a stupid marketing term. If my career in computers ever sputters to a halt, I could easily become a marketing naming expert, either for commercial products or for the military/politcal arena.

    I want to get a job as someone who names kitchen appliances. Toaster, refrigerator, blender... all you do is say what the shit does, and add "er". The Kitchen Appliance Naming Institute. "Hey, what does that do?" "It keeps shit fresh." "Well that's a 'Fresher'... I'm going on break." - Mitch Hedberg

    ♣ I cleaned out my refrigerator this week, part of a larger "materialistic decumulation" effort that had encompassed the entire house by Wednesday. Every single closet, file cabinet, and drawer was emptied out and refilled, and I got rid of almost two garbage cans full of old, useless stuff, from a phone that broke three years ago when Kitty chewed up the wires to a Texas Instruments Personal Organizer from the late 1980s.

    ♣ I also finished Curse of the Mistwraith, got through half of Ships of Merior, cleaned all the bathrooms, and started the fourth season of 24 with Anna. Not a bad track record for closing out the month of my 27th birthday. Tomorrow is also Jennie Geisner's birthday, so happy birthday to her!

    ♣ Tomorrow I get to take a road trip up to Lesser New York for the wedding of Kathy and Chris, after which I'll be staying in a five-star Marriott (meaning I'll return from the reception with four A-list celebrities to share the room with). I'll be home some time on Sunday afternoon, just in time to pick up Kathy and Chris' cats while they go on their week-long honeymoon to Purcellville.

    ♣ It hasn't been that long since the last time Lake and Punchy were here, so there shouldn't be a big problem reintroducing them to my cats. Last time they were here, all they did was hump on the couch all day long in completely unstaged conditions. I think they are gay.

    ♣ Have a good weekend without thoughts of Farinelli!

    Dog finds a way to be invited on road trips
    Vote Yes on Proposition Urination
    50 meter insect invades Germany

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 3 comments

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    End of the Month Media Day

    It's been over three months since I last updated my Photo archives, so today's post will rectify this sad state of affairs.

    Fourth of July

    Camping in Gore

    Birthday Party

    Poker, Fairs, and Bethany Beach

    Ella Everywhere

    Cats Everywhere

    Man released in flatulence battery charge
    Take a trip through Sarah Palin's head
    Women drinks bat-filtered coffee

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    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Museday Tuesday

    1. The composition can be for any instrumentation. It can have an actual score or be a pure synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.
    2. It must not be longer than thirty seconds.
    3. It does not necessarily have to have a start, middle, and end -- it can just be a fragment of something grander.
    4. It should be composed in thirty minutes or less. If time runs out, I post whatever I managed to finish, be it good, indifferent, or makeup on a corpse.
    5. The title of the piece must be a word from a random word generator, although this word doesn't necessarily have to be incorporated in the piece.

    Subaudible: (adj.) Barely within the range of hearing; lacking definition

    My Composition (0:30 MP3)

    I used a mix of instruments smack dab in the middle of the bass clef to evoke a feeling rather than a melodic line. It's a good wash of sound, although it might have come out better had I picked a time signature with less motion, perhaps 11/4.

    He explained that these young women are from poor countries and need to make money to help their parents
    This baby seal is a people person
    In Texas, there are only 43 states

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    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    List Day: Tuesday Accomplishments

  • Started building a moat around my Minecraft house, until I realized that there was only one source of water in a four mile radius and went spelunking instead.

  • Worked on a relational database table model for DDMSence.

  • Watched an episode of Glee, Season One.

  • Got my home phone number transferred to the new cellphone and added a ridiculously overpriced Muse ringtone, after several low-quality attempts to create a free one.

  • Marinated chicken thighs in Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce in anticipation of Paige's visit from Russia tonight.

  • Updated the Stone Band website for the new school year.

  • Mexico mudslide toll not as bad as first feared
    Adult video-sharing list leaked from law firm
    Gym culture not working out for the French

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

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Review Day

    There are no spoilers in these reviews because nothing has a plot.

    Record Collection by Mark Ronson:
    Mark Ronson's previous pastiche album had a funk-horns-hip-hop sound culminating with Ol' Dirty Bastard rapping to Britney Spears' Toxic. This new album is full of original works, and has more of a synth sound to it. Songs like The Bike Song are insanely catchy and well-constructed, even though there isn't much substance behind them. I may end up liking this album better than "Version", which got old because of how awful the sax and trumpet players sounded.

    Final Grade: B+

    Two by Lenka:
    Lenka's second album doesn't stray to far from the original "you can't help but be happy when listening to this" pop mold of the first, and reminds me of a cross between Regina Spektor, Ellie Lawson, and an Ingrid Michaelson without angst. It drags a little in middle when it gets too ballady, but the start and finish full of great throwaway pop. I also enjoy the dancing stethoscopes in the last half of this music video.

    Final Grade: B

    the wait by Zox:
    I really liked the song, A Little More Time, but the rest of this album doesn't necessarily match up with it. None of it is bad, but it leans a little towards frat rock with an overuse of guitars, and the lead singer isn't always on pitch.

    Final Grade: C+

    Logitech M510:
    For many years, I used the (now discontinued) Logitech MX620 as my main mouse, which easily fit the curve of my (right) hand and had one of those infinity mouse wheels that you could let fly like you're on the Price Is Right, getting to the bottom of a thousand page document in seconds. It turns out that that mouse wheel was the first piece to go as the mouse aged -- I noticed recently that the mouse was trying to induce epilepsy by scrolling up one line and back down at odd times when I wasn't even touching it. Also, I would browse around a Google Map only to zoom in or out by varying degrees. If the MX620 were still available, I'd by it and three more backups, but I had to settle for the M510. This is a symmetrical wireless mouse which fits comfortably and has the same well-placed thumb button (which I bind to "open in new tab") but doesn't have the free-scrolling wheel, which I greatly miss.

    Final Grade: B

    Patrons mistake ice cream costume for KKK
    Diversity satire a little too biting
    Two-faced cat sets record as oldest living "Janus" cat

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    Monday, September 29, 2014

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday, I arranged a Civil War song called Tenting Tonight for my dad's brass quintet. I still remember all brass ranges, although it's telling that my Finale music template has a 2002 copyright date in its footer.

    On Saturday, Rebecca left town for a beach weekend in Ocean City with her estrogen-equipped friends, while I disassembled the office to clean Booty's inaccessible cat vomit off of the wall behind my giant desk. This was a success and the room no longer smells like a dog.

    While the desk was in pieces, I decided to rearrange the room and rebuilt the desk in its mirror shape in the opposite corner. This has multiple benefits:

    • My feet are no longer over a cold vent, while my computer's vent will no longer rapidly overheat because it faces a wall.
    • I am no longer in front of the window, so I'm not in my neighbour's line of sight, and I won't be blinded by the winter sun all season long.
    • The router is 8 feet closer to the center of the house, so more Wifi for all.
    • By getting rid of the hutch over the desk, Booty will never have the opportunity to vomit from above again, and I can buy 50 inch monitors without being constrained by whether they fit under a hutch.
    • I have traditionally composed with my left hand, so switching the music keyboard to the other side might lead to some undiscovered melodies and harmonies.

    In the evening, I went to Anna and Ben's and taught them how to play Gloom.

    Nothing happened on Sunday besides some useless online lectures and some Hearthstone. How was your weekend?

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

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    List Day: Currently...

    • Currently listening to... Pagans in Vegas by Metric, Rare Bird by Whitton, and 40 Akerz by Nappy Roots.

    • Currently reading... Dust by Hugh Howey.

    • Currently playing... Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.

    • Currently composing... nothing.

    • Currently considering buying... a Tiffany-style lamp to add directional brightness in a dark corner of the living room, and the updated subscription-free version of Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.

    • Currently coding... on two separate projects at work, one in Java and one in Python.

    • Currently planning... what my next side project will be, following Fall Cleaning and my dabbling in Game Development.

    • Currently writing... this post.

    • Currently watching... Luther, Season Two, Modern Family, Season Five, and Fargo, Season One.

    • Currently anticipating... a whirlwind trip to Blacksburg for the grand opening of the Marching Virginians practice facility.

    • Currently exercising... about three hours per week.

    • Currently weighing... 130 pounds.

    This update was sponsored in part by LiveJournal.

    tagged as lists | permalink | 1 comment

    Friday, September 29, 2017

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2017 album. Google Photos sucks.

    • Events
      • Renewed my driver's license at a mobile DMV on F 9/1, finally eliminating the 2003 picture that looks how I looked in Florida.

      • Maia got to meet Jack on S 9/2.

      • Maia excelled at the 2 month pediatrician visit on W 9/6, but hated shots.

      • Rebecca got sick on H 9/7 and BU had to care for the whole family for a few days.

      • Visited old friends at my old company on F 9/8.

      • Sprayed the yard for mosquitoes on H 9/14.

      • Turned 38 and got a year closer to dotage on F 9/15.

      • Had a barbeque with the Smiths, Jacksons, and Bauer/Bennetts on S 9/16.

      • Took Maia to Burger 21 for her first dinner outing in the dirty public on S 9/17.

      • Rebecca headed back to work on M 9/18.

      • I got an interesting job offer from my old company on W 9/20.

      • We took another nature hike in Claude Moore, saw over 10 deer, and then took Maia to the Colada Shoppe for dinner on F 9/22.

      • Maia went on a road trip to visit the Uri grandparents on W 9/27.

      • Got family flu shots on F 9/29.

      • Planning to have the Uri grandparents over for dinner and a movie on S 9/30.

    • Projects
      • Got back into exercising regularly while rewatching and loving every season of Justified.

      • Finished adding Book 6 of the Wars of Light and Shadow series to the Paravia Wiki in anticipation of Book 10 from Janny Wurts.

      • Took care of some baby.

    • Consumerism
      • Switched Costco days from Saturday to Friday because I have no job and Costco is a beautiful empty wasteland on Friday mornings.

      • Got to level 842 in Overwatch and started dabbling in Torchlight 2 again (a Prismatic Embermage because that is clearly the funnest class).

      • Enjoyed watching What Happened to Monday and American Vandal on Netflix, but TV-watching time shared with Rebecca has greatly dropped since Maia was born.

      • No amazing new music this month, but I finally went back and purchased a bunch of MP3s based on my Pandora Likes.

    September's Final Grade: B+, would go up a half a grade if Maia had a switch we could toggle off at bedtime.

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

    Wednesday, September 29, 2021

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2021 album.

    • Events
      • Visited Maia's preschool, Kids Under Construction, on H 9/2.

      • Rebecca and Maia went to Lake Barcroft with Rebecca's parents on F 9/3.

      • Visited my mom and had Japanese food for dinner from May Island on S 9/4.

      • The Wilmers came over for lunch on S 9/5.

      • Maia started preschool with Ms. Krissy at Kids Under Construction on T 9/7.

      • Turned 42 on W 9/15.

      • Played Walkabout Mini Golf with the Ahlbins in VR on F 9/17, S 9/18.

      • Had the Smiths over for lunch on S 9/19.

      • Maia went to the ophthalmologist on T 9/21.

      • We went with Rebecca's parents to Capon Spring Resort in West Virginia for the weekend on F 9/24 - S 9/26.

      • Marc came over to visit on W 9/29.

    • Projects
      • Passed the AWS Machine Learning - Specialty exam on S 9/12.

      • Fixed the eternally broken couch spring on M 9/20.

      • Tried out two afternoon babysitters for the kids, Darby on H 9/23 and Laura on T 9/28.

    • Consumerism
      • Enjoyed watching Money Heist, Season Five Part One this month.

      • No new music this month.

      • Got an Oculus Quest 2 for my birthday and am currently exercising with Beat Saber and winding down with Walkabout Minigolf.

    September's Final Grade: A-, Ian's sleeping through the night and it's getting cooler!

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

    Friday, September 29, 2023

    End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2023 album.

    • Events
      • Visited the Ahlbins in Rhoadsville, VA, F 9/1 - S 9/2.

      • Took the kids to Volcano Island on M 9/4. Dinner with the parents (spaghetti) in the evening.

      • Date night at Local Provisions on F 9/8.

      • Maia did a trial dance class at Sterling Ballet Academy on S 9/9. Went to the native plant sale at Morven Park in Leesburg where we also met up with Aunt Carol and Uncle Dave on their anniversary.

      • After church on S 9/10, Maia and Rebecca went to the Cheesecake Factory with Elizabeth and Sammy for Aunt Carol & Uncle Dave's anniversary.

      • Maia started weekly ballet classes at Herndon Community Center, S 9/12.

      • Celebrated my 44th birthday at a Shannondale cabin with the family, Car, and Jordan, F 9/15 - S 9/17.

      • Went to the HOA meeting on W 9/20.

      • Went to Nathaniel's 4th birthday at the fire station, S 9/23.

      • Afternoon visit to the Smiths on S 9/24.

      • Rebecca and the kids went to Great Country Farm with Sena and her kids on M 9/25.

      • Solo dad dinner at Local Provisions on H 9/28.

      • Forest Grove Elementary School 20th Anniversary Event on F 9/29.

      • A visit my parents with the kids on S 9/30, then dinner with Grandpa Tom and Peggy in the evening (kabobs).

    • Projects
      • Continued learning Spanish with DuoLingo (175 day streak).

      • Paid off my mortgage on T 9/12.

      • Removed the front yard maple tree with my dad on W 9/20.

    • Consumerism
      • Briefly jumped back into Grim Dawn again before moving on to Starfield.

      • Enjoyed watching Righteous Gemstones and This Fool this month.

      • No amazing new music or books.

    September's Final Grade: A, a great month!

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


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