This Day In History: 10/16

Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Today was an extremely productive day. I finished several assignments in counterpoint and pedagogy, and also composed several more measures of my quartet piece that I'll probably keep. Some day soon, I'll start studying for History of Music Theory. I've updated the Work in Progress on the Music page (under Volume III as always).

"A mnemonic I use is the phone number, 473-6251. I tell people that's actually a bordello in Miami. Students seem to get a kick out of it." - professor, on remembering the circle of progression harmonic motion

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Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The SCI at FSU website is all but complete now, and even has a dynamically created calendar I hacked together in Javascript for events and the like. There's still a few days before it's an official student organization, so I'll probably rewrite most of the forum from the ground up. I used one of the least offensive CGI forums available for free, and it's actually very well-designed. Still, I have more faith in things working years down the road when I've torn them apart and put them back together again .

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Thursday, October 16, 2003

Poll time. Pick your favourite address, and send it to me by e-mail (bottom of the page):

    www.urirealm.com
    www.uricountry.com
    www.urijungle.com
    www.uriuriuri.com
    www.urizoo.net
    www.urizone.net

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Capsule Review Day

Medium Energy - Todd Barry: This is a stand-up routine of a comedian I heard on XM Comedy. The material itself isn't that funny, especially on repeated listenings -- it's his manner of presentation, in a slow, Steve-Wright type of monotone with a little profanity mixed in. The funniest part of the album is several tracks where he talks about various MTV shows, and the rest is hit or miss. It was only $9 so I can't complain. Final Rating: B-

Skanks for the Memories - Dave Attell: Dave Attell is a very funny guy if you are not easily offended by foul language and coarse topics.I laughed out loud several times while listening to this CD -- here's a "clean" sample that's still quite funny. (530KB MP3) Final Rating: A

Journey from Mariabronn - Kansas: This is a song off one of my recently rediscovered Kansas Greatest Hits CD (3MB MP3). I've always liked how cleanly orchestrated and rhythmically interesting the rock operas of Kansas are, and this is a really catchy example. It's hard to make shfiting meters the foundation of your song without making it an academic exercise or a confusing morass. Final Rating: A

Scrubs - Season Three: Not quite as good as the first two seasons, but still better than most sitcoms on TV. It's amazing that the writers can continue to churn out stories that are both hilarious and touching at the same time. Final Rating: A

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis: This is a new game for the Gameboy DS which is real-time strategy game similar to the old Lemmings. With the stylus, you tap and drag Mini Marios around the screen, through obstacles, and to the exit. The controls are a little frustrating when you want to stop multiple Minis at the same time, but it's an easy game to learn. Since each level takes just a couple minutes, it's a perfect travel/waiting-around game. Final Rating: B+

Principal May Be Charged In Cat Killings
Cat-cloning firm turns tail
Pampered pets dress up for Halloween

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Museday Tuesday

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

Frowzy: (adj.) Dirty and untidy; slovenly / Ill-smelling; musty.

My Composition (0:24 MP3)
Old Musedays:
Sidelong
Moodily
Obnoxiously
Obsessively
Spikiest
Leggier
Carsick
Dinkiest
Reclusive
Trifid

For this word, I pictured a ramshackled hovel, smelling of stale cat urine and just a little bit condemned. It would be a good companion movement with Reclusive.

Student suspended over photo of Pat Robertson giving 'finger'
Mr. White Man's Time wins punctuality award
Lessons Learned: Don't post your parties on YouTube

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Audience Participation Day

Caption Fun

Post an amusing caption to this photo from last night's debate in the comments section. No voting or prizes this time around -- I'm saving up to buy a wife!

New father names daughter Sarah Palin, without mommy knowing
Suit against God thrown out
Fecal bacteria joins the commute

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Friday, October 16, 2009

The Hanakapi'ai Falls sits at the end of an 8-mile round trip hike on the Na Pali coast. It took us six hours and twenty minutes, including all the time we spent dicking around the beach and the bamboo forests.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

List Day: 8 Musical Tropes That Need to Stop

  1. Synthesized Brass Samples: The only circumstances where you're allowed to substitute MIDI for brass instruments is if you're writing music for a cruise line commercial in the late 80s.

  2. Fade Outs: You shouldn't be allowed to release your song until it has a great ending. Wouldn't you be upset if your favourite book just faded out? If you're having trouble writing one great ending, write about twenty mediocre endings and stack them -- it worked for the Lord of the Rings movies.

  3. Autotune: I'll give a pass if you use autotune for it's intended purpose, because I don't want to listen to your awful off-pitch singing. However, is your song really going to be better if you sound like a robot? We should be wary anytime "robot" is the object in a sentence (for example, "Dance The Robot", "Watch a Movie About a Robot", or "Have a Physical Relationship With a Robot").

  4. Techno Farts: Why are all techno bass lines sampled with some variation on a duck fart? And because it's techno, the farts occur on both 1 and 3 AND 2 and 4. There are so many bass farts that I start getting a placebo smell effect -- either that or the people I'm around use the songs as cover for their bowel issues.

  5. Triple and Quadruple Stops: Triple stops are like growing fuzzy back hair on an otherwise sharp attack. If you can't hit all of the notes at the same time, don't fake it. You're playing a violin not a piano.

  6. 8-bit Video Game Samples: It's bad enough that you're an indie singing dude who managed to find mainstream popularity without any sense of pitch -- drop the ugly, retro Mega Man samples and autotune yourself instead.

  7. Hidden Tracks: Gee, thanks for turning your 28 minute CD into a 42 minute CD by adding 12 minutes of silence and a crappy studio outtake.

  8. Unaccompanied Solos for Monophonic Instruments: Hey Mr. Composer, go outside and make friends with some more musicians.

tagged as lists, music | permalink | 3 comments

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Memory Day: Million Man March

Eighteen years ago today, on October 16, 1995, the Million Man March was taking place in DC. Some teachers at TC Williams had bought into the fervor, and were exhorting their black male students to skip school, attend the march, and "participate in something bigger than they were". The rest of the teachers correctly assumed that most people were just going to use it as an excuse to stay home and sleep in.

As an Asian with white adoptive parents, the only impact that the Million Man March had on me was my dad's concession to let me drive to school that day. A surprising number of city bus drivers called out of work, playing havoc with school bus schedules.

As expected, only about 30% of the student body showed up. Although a large number of the missing students did meet the requisite criteria of "black" and "optionally male", several white girls in my classes must have mysteriously grown a penis of participation. This may also be the original impetus for the movie, White Chicks, although that tale's grand spirituality was destroyed by Hollywood when the tagline was converted from "based on a true story" to "inspired by true events".

Most of my classes that day were boring. Depending on the number of missing students, some teachers abandoned all teaching and offered a free study period. According to my journal, none of my classes were memorable, although I did get a certificate for being a Commended Student in the PSATs from Principal John Porter, and Dr. Patel did spend an entire physics period lecturing on how not to fail at life (this was different than succeeding at life, which was a separate lecture we probably got the next week).

In the last class of the day, marching band, I posted new pictures from the last football game on the band bulletin board. My dad was the go-to photographer for the band, and I had the task of putting up pictures (freshly developed in the Price Club photo lab) and selling them for 25 cents each. This is how I learned entrepreneurship -- when you mostly post unflattering pictures, those people will pay to have them taken down, and then you can afford to buy a side of fries with ketchup in the cafeteria. This is also how mugshot websites work today -- I should have patented the idea.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Sons of Anarchy, Season Four:
This was the best season yet, and made the Irish slog in the third season worth suffering through. Plot progression is a tense swirl of dangerous chaos, with the long-term survival of any main character or the motorcycle club itself in jeopardy. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: A

The Shield, Season Two:
This was a fun season with similarities to The Wire. There's a good blend of procedural cases mixed in with the overarching storyline. The only misstep was the abrupt resolution of a storyline involving one of the more interesting villains -- it seemed like finale material but happened barely halfway through the season. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B

Parks and Recreation, Season Six:
This might be the best season yet, despite the departure of some regular characters midseason. The season finale was amazing and pitch-perfect, and could easily have worked as a series finale. I'm almost disappointed that there's still one more season being filmed, because I can't see how they could end it any better. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A

Idlewild by Outkast:
This album is almost a decade old now, but I picked it up based on the song, "Call the Law". Apparently there's a movie by this same name. There are lots of catchy songs with classic Outkast stylings here, although a few too many "talky" segues between songs. I also appreciate the fact that the CD is nice and long, although it loses points for the boring 8 minute soundtrack vamp it uses as a final track.

Final Grade: B

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Random Chart Day: Internet Outrage Over Time

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday the 13th in the afternoon, the Uri grandparents came over for a round of babysitting while Rebecca and I flitted off to the wedding of Anya and Matthew in Leesburg. It was a fun, classy affair at the Rust Manor House, with passed hor d'oeuvres and a s'mores construction kit as a wedding favor.

On Saturday morning, we caught the final few minutes of the Reston Farmer's Market (so Rebecca could get her fresh nitrogen-infused ice cream) and then walked the trails of Reston until mid-afternoon. The evening was bath time for Maia, to ensure that no mushrooms were growing in the shade of her neck folds.

On Sunday, I got a little work done in the morning while Rebecca made it to a yoga class. In the afternoon, she and Maia went off to a cousin's wedding shower while I stayed home and took a much-needed nap, followed by up to 3 games of Overwatch (which I hadn't played in over a week!)

How was your weekend?

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Proof of Genius Day

In the early months when Maia started growing attached to a particular bedtime bunny, I wisely purchased a second one online as insurance in case we accidentally left a bunny somewhere or it had a catastrophic encounter with a campfire. Since then, backup bunny has also functioned as a nice way to throw one bunny into the laundry and seamlessly replace it with Maia none the wiser.

Unfortunately, the backup bunny is not an exact match with the original. On our most recent sleight-of-hand attempt (over a year later), Maia noted, "Bunny opened his eyes!" It's a good thing she still loves both.

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Review Day: Wing Wind by Paige L. Christie

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Wing Wind is Book Two of the four-book series, Legacies of Arnan, by Paige L. Christie (I also reviewed Book One). I enjoyed the first book for its uplifting themes, well-developed relationships, and effective use of time jumps.

Wing Wind continues to evolve the childhood friends, Leiel and Cleod, into their 20s and 30s, and thankfully deepens their relationships with wonderful supporting characters like Kilras and Gahree. While the pay-off here is excellent (I immediately started Book Three after completion), the order of how the story is told had me struggling to gain momentum in the first half.

With Draigon Weather, I felt like I was watching the author solve a jigsaw puzzle blind by picking random pieces out of the box and placing them exactly where they belonged, resulting in a surprising, satisfying conclusion. The structure of Wing Wind is more like doing all of the edges first -- and while the edges are necessary, I already know that the interim result will be a rectangle and I'm much more interested in finding out what's going on in the unexplored middle.

In this case, the first half of Book Two sequentially explores Leiel's evolution between two major events in Book One. This section is foundational to the choices that Leiel makes later, but it didn't surprise or excite me as much as I hoped it would. I'm glad I stuck with it though -- once the story catches up in time to the final moments of Book One (around the 60% mark on Kindle), the action explodes and the reveals pile up.

The writing continues to crackle throughout the story. The conversation that concludes Chapter 48 is horrifically awesome and forced me to recalibrate my expectations for the next books. This is not a series that will play it safe and hew close to the familiar baseline it established upfront (and sometimes, I'm in the mood for a book like that!) -- it will continue to grow beyond the original blueprints, much like its thoughtful, compassionate characters.

Final Grade: B

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