This Day In History: 10/02

Tuesday, October 02, 2001

I'd say that today was a successful day. Sometimes a little proactivity can be a good thing. I haven't had time to do serious work on PRIMA yet... it seems that I always come up with interesting projects just as the free time runs out. I have, however, updated my string quartet under "Work in Progress" on the Music page.

I also got a haircut today.

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Wednesday, October 02, 2002

I got in too late this evening to do an update, so I'll think up something wittier for tomorrow.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Picture Day: Kathy and Chris' Wedding

This is my far too comfortable room at the Mount Olive Residence Inn which came with a full kitchen set (including dishwasher), high speed Internet access, grocery delivery service, and free hot breakfast. Tragically, I only stayed in the room for about ten hours (eight that spent sleeping) so I did not get to avail myself to most of the services like the indoor pool and the bordello. However, this hotel would be first on my list if I ever had to have an Extended Stay in the ass-end of northern New Jersey.

Mr. and Ms. Biddick walking down the aisle of the chapel at Aldersgate Camp.

Obviously they aren't sure where to go next, having spent most of the rehearsal in the back with a bottle of Jack and a doobie.

This is why you don't seat your grad student friends at the table near the open bar.

Kathy and Chris dance to a tune they danced to in high school (1958 sure had some great music!)

Our hero makes sure to get a picture with the bride.

The Florida State crowd engages in one of those picture-taking opportunities where there are four separate cameras and no one's quite sure which one they're supposed to look at. Where was Mike of Mike-and-Chompy fame?

You can see larger versions of these pictures (and more!) on the Photos page. If you would like uncropped, uncut copies of all the pictures to print out or build a creepy shrine with, you can download them here (8MB ZIP). I will keep them up for about a week or so.

My work schedule for the next couple of weeks is going to be pretty hectic, so there may be more than one Picture Day per week, which should suit all the illiterate bastards in the audience just fine.

Happy Birthday Dutton!

Ethnic games tainted by cross-dressing cheats
Dry cleaner finds murder note
America's Ten Biggest Wastes of Money

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Newsday Tuesday

A storm seems to be brewing in the IT job market. Pay raises have continued to outpace inflation, and bonuses are downright impressive - 11.6% on average. Yet, as the 2007 Network World Salary Survey finds, dissatisfaction over the salary package is rampant.

Based on the results of this survey, I'm guessing that I'm not a typical IT worker in the United States. Sure there are some minor annoyances in my job, and I wouldn't kick a bigger salary out of bed, but at the end of the day, I'm pretty happy with my package (and I've heard that the ladies are too, but that is a topic for another day -- in fact it might even span multiple days. ROWR!)

Being a software engineer is a wonderful career for people with the right mindsets and skills. Every day I get to work towards a tangible goal by being creative, solving problems, and tracking down hard-to-find bugs. At the end of a development cycle, I have a product I can point to (hopefully with pride) that serves as a visible reminder of my efforts, and on top of that I get a decent salary to boot.

Take a look at the salary chart in the upper right. Even though it costs a million dollars to live in the city nowadays and Popeyes has raised the cost of their two-piece meal from $4.36 to $4.68 while shrinking the size of the chickens by 10% (my lawsuit is in the works), those are decent salaries for what we do. Sure, the numbers for Kansas are a little low, but that's offset by the fact that you can get a spaghetti diner meal and a shoe shine for a nickel, and you'll never worry about spending money on entertainment because there's NOTHING TO DO THERE.

For the amount I'm paid, I get to mosey into the office whenever I feel like it dressed however I want -- an office where the worst catastrophe might be a spoiled lunch in the refrigerator that's been broken for three weeks, or getting bored to death by Mr. Talky around the corner. For those inconveniences, I should be thankful that the pay is so high -- it's not like we're emptying garbage cans, transporting medical waste to be dumped on the beaches of New Jersey, or battling insurgents in the seedy back alleys of Old Town Alexandria. When you compare our situation with any other profession, how could anyone have the nerve to complain? And apparently, the benefits are nice too -- far nicer than I presumed:

Forty-nine percent of male techies say they've fallen asleep at work, while only 35 percent of women admitted doing so. As for smooching, 44 percent of men techies say they've kissed a co-worker, while only 34 percent confessed to puckering up with a colleague.

These numbers are a bit misleading since we all know that there are only two total women in the entire IT profession, which means that one woman has not kissed any coworkers, while the other one is a total slut (but is also ashamed of it -- wouldn't you be ashamed to smooch a CS major?). Personally, I've never snoozed at work, but that's just because snoozing is so much more comfortable at home, so working straight through the day means I get home for the snooze that much faster. I have started nodding off before, generally during four-hour meetings, but that's usually just a good time to hit the bathroom or scout out the kitchens on every floor in search of leftover pizza. Sure, it's usually crappy Papa John's garbage, but free is free. And, unlike 25% of IT professionals, I've never boozed on the job either, though I have worked on critical code for the United States government following a dinner with wine.

This is fine though, because if one of our missiles ever hits Kansas, the state's population will welcome the diversion from perpetual boredom, and I can blame it on the coworker that was smooching and snoozing on the job.

Happy Birthday Dutton Hauhart!

Video games cracking down on cheating
Man screws company
Turtle power boosted by second head

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

List Day: Google Ten Years Ago

To celebrate their tenth birthday, Google has released a search page that allows you to search the Internet as it was in 2001, seven long years ago. The Internet was much less cluttered back then, although most of the pages returned no longer exist anywhere. Here are a few things you can look up in this ancient snapshot:

Urizone was just a drug that inhibited staphylococcal cell wall synthesis.

Kathy Biddick was on the roster of the 1992 Highlander Marching Band as a bagpipist, with her brother and friends, Deirdre and Sanjeevanne. They played selections from Dead Poet's Society in their field show.

Mike Catania was a budding composer with an embarassing homepage.

♦ The first match for Brian Uri! was my page at youngcomposers.com. I have no idea how they got the categories for my compositions -- I guess I'm a New Age composer.

Kelley Corbett was the leader of a cult.

I predict a mortgage crisis in 2008 returned zero results. Obviously all the pundits are lying.

Anna Spellerberg was signing online petitions to stop ocean dumping, and doing interviews about her home-schooled roommate from freshman year:

    "I thought, 'Oh, she's going to be a big dork,' but when I got to school it was definitely erased. If you define it as drinking and sex, she doesn't fit in at all. As far as friends and balancing work and fun, she fits in great."

What does Ancient Google reveal about you?

X-Ray shows knife stuck in skull
Inner-Tube Robber uses Craigslist for decoys
Superhot chili kills chef

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Singles Day

The motions have been rehearsed, the arch has already fallen over three times, and the outdoor ceremony weather forecast calls for a high of 79 and mostly sunny skies. We have a beautiful cake done by Anna's mom, and tiny gnomes with leopard spots will support Rebecca's train as she walks down the aisle to a wedding soundtrack that prominently features the trumpet and/or cornet.

Everything that can be done ahead of time has been done, and all that's left is to enjoy the fruits of our labour (especially grapes, fermented). Tomorrow after 5 PM, Rebecca and I will get married in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just 364 days after I proposed, and 6 days before Mike (of Mike and Chompy) turns 30 and likely dies.

After tomorrow, the URI! Zone and BU's house will have to slide the cats over to make room for BU's wife (and perhaps in two to three years, there will be children in the BUterus). I'm not sure how this momentous event will affect the posts on this website, but I imagine there will be a drastic reduction in the level of angst, cynicism, caustic vitriol, and misanthropic mayhem, followed by a statistically significant upswing in hugs and reviews of CDs of chicks that sing.

Until tomorrow, though, I'll be spending this evening in solitude, having a glass of pinot noir, and recalling the wonderful memories of singlehood, like the time I worked 80 hours a week for two months in 2005, the time I played World of Warcraft for 80 hours a week for two months in 2006 (honour-grinding), and the time I crashed a wedding and picked up Rachel McAdams and they made a movie about me.

Next week, I'll definitely try to post some Hawaii pictures to show you just how awesome it is where you aren't, and when full updates resume towards the end of the month, your loyal BU will be married!

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Composing Spotlight: Labyrinth

Movement VIII. Determination Redux

Continuing the walkthrough of my Master's Thesis...

The eighth movement of this piece started on page 59 of the score, and having composed it from start to finish in order, I was sick of it. By now, it had been six months since the beginning, and I was back in Virginia for a 2002 winter break that was just slightly colder than a Tallahassee winter break.

The benefit of composing in order was that, by now, I knew exactly where the piece needed to go and what I wanted to say in the remaining measures. The poking and meandering of my composing process closely mirrored the exploratory approach of the protagonist in the labyrinth, which sounds more meta than it actually is, and will be useful when my music is adapted into a David Lynch movie.

For the first time, a key center is reused, as the material from movement II is restated. I intended this movement to feel like a lock-and-key, with all of the countermelodies working together to focus the melody. In Movement II and much of the early material, the melody was under constant pressure to winnow away to distraction. Here, each use of a countermelody pushes towards an inexorable conclusion of cacophony. The end of this movement becomes a blur of sound, with an acceptable range of phasing allowed between the poor musicians vamping on short, tight motives, and represents the completion of the labyrinth.

    Listen to the eighth movement (1:25 MP3)

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

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Memory Day: Snapshots

Triking around the backyard in 1983.

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Thursday, October 02, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe:
This book (based on the web feature of the same name) takes random questions posed by the Internet and attempts to provide answers with real science. I thought a book like this would be right up my alley, but it didn't really work for me. Each silly question gets lost in the number of assumptions required to "do the math" and the result isn't quite as interesting as the original question. I ended up skimming through the pleasant cartoons more than I read the science. Better as a coffee table book than a cover-to-cover book.

Final Grade: B-

South Park: The Stick of Truth:
If you are a fan of South Park, this game is a perfect way to experience being in an actual episode. The game was made with the direct participation of the creators, and the easter eggs and attention to detail are amazing. The gameplay that holds it all together, however, is not quite as interesting -- it's really just a framework that pushes you through the game to see all the funny bits, with poorly explained hotkeys and a minimal translation of the turn-based combat from Paper Mario. There are plenty of funny bits, but I'm not enough of a South Park fan that I wanted to battle yet another Nazi zombie rat to get to the end -- I'm about 7 hours in right now.

Final Grade: A- for fans, C+ for everyone else.

Sons of Anarchy, Season Three:
The third season of this show got bogged down in an unnecessarily convoluted plotline that was essentially the Irish version of "They took my boy!" from LOST. The best and worst part of the season is towards the middle, when the action road trips to Belfast and the show's theme song becomes an awful Irish rock remix featuring every pan flute patch from a General MIDI keyboard, pressed at the exact same time. The season ends well with a return to the original setting, but would have been much more interesting without the Irish diversion.

Final Grade: C+

Life in a Bubble by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band:
I enjoyed this modern big band CD, although it's much more subdued than Act Your Age. Composition and orchestration are king over improvisation here, and the charts are tight throughout.

Final Grade: B

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Friday, October 02, 2015

Sixth Anniversary Day

As anniversaries pass, and senility robs us of our wedding memories, we'll always have the photographic evidence to fall back on (click to enlarge).

Other posts in this series: 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022

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Monday, October 02, 2017

Data Day: How Much Sleep Dad Gets

I kept track of my total hours of sleep (starting when Maia was 1 week old) to see if there was any proof to the popular adage about "never sleeping again".

The data seems to disprove the hypothesis, as I slept a total of 631 hours at an average of 8.08 hours per day. Generally, this is lumped into about 7 contiguous hours during the night shift, followed by a floor nap of up to an hour somewhere around 3 PM (when Maia permits).

When I was a double-income-no-kids working stiff, I averaged about 6.5 hours of sleep per night, usually going to bed around 10:30 and waking up around 5 AM. So, I'm actually getting more sleep as a dad!

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Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 10 years ago today, on October 2, 2009.

We were rehearsing our wedding ceremony at Sunset Hills Vineyard in Purcellville, under the direction of Reverend Leslie Chadwick. Not pictured is Vegas Mike, who was busy trying to hang tulle fabric on a flimsy metal archway while being thwarted by the uneven ground, tulle-catching wind, and afternoon heat.

Following Mike's battle with Earth, Wind, and Fire, we practiced walking down an invisible aisle for a few minutes and then traveled to a local restaurant in Leesburg for the traditional rehearsal dinner. The next day, we got married!

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Friday, October 02, 2020

Eleventh Anniversary Day

As anniversaries pass, and senility robs us of our wedding memories, we'll always have the photographic evidence to fall back on.

Other posts in this series: 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022

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