This Day In History: 12/29

Saturday, December 29, 2001

It's always interesting to listen to compositions after an extended hiatus. Parts that seemed to work before become painfully facaded and parts that were border-line acceptable organize themselves into keepers or discards. On the first listening, I have to sort through the lines that make me say, "Wow, I wrote that!", and the parts that make me say, "Wow, I wrote that??", and then hope that there are more from the former category. The string quartet's first movement seems to have weathered the vacation pretty well, and the changes I made today were additions rather than deletions. Now it's time for the surgical tweaking and creating a readable score.

I always tend to write in the same manner -- I put notes down in Finale with just enough articulations to make a passable MIDI file. Score markings of all kinds don't even get considered until after I consider the piece "essentially done", because it's easier to see how every part links together by then. The MIDI file has always been something of an aid for me personally although it can come in handy during lessons. Once though, I had a professor who didn't quite understand the limitations of the format. He'd complain if the draft score showed a drum roll but it wasn't on the recording, and then he'd turn around and complain that the other drum rolls shouldn't be notated as tons of thirty-second notes, when it was required to make the MIDI sound correct.

tagged as music | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, December 29, 2003

I'm teaching myself how to play jazz piano in my spare time, using the book by Mark Levine. I know all the theory already -- it's just a matter of voicings, technique, and doing things on the fly. I gave up on the guitar because the fingerings exacerbated my already noticeable wrist problems.

No one sells jeans in my size anymore. It's rather disappointing.

Yesterday's search terms:

    Ethan Haimo, leonardo da vinci homosexual, english timeline, liz benyo, drum major tryout tips

Flying moose lands on car
His friend said she broke her right pinkie finger when she grabbed an attacker's crotch.
Barbie Lobster
Polite robber hitting Florida banks

permalink | 3 comments

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Two of my recent CDs are Paul Weller's Wild Wood and the Scissor Sisters' self-titled CD. The Weller CD, I picked up because I liked the retro 70s feel of his single The Bottle (see the entry from Sep. 20, 2004). It has a very mellow laid-back groove to it, and is great background for relaxing and/or "chilling". I liked Paul Weller when he was fronting The Jam, but his solo stuff is great, even if it has a totally different feel .

5th Season (234KB MP3)

I got the Scissor Sisters CD because a lot of their songs get air time on XM. Their music is a blend of campy pop, dance, and the pretentiousness of 80s rock .

Take Your Mama (320KB MP3)

I'd recommend either of these CDs if you like the sample snippets.

Happy Birthday Becca!

Divers on Tuesday found the body of a woman who apparently was doing doughnuts in her car on an ice-covered lake, officials said.

tagged as music, reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2005 in Review, Part III of III

Based upon Reuter's Pictures of the Year

Happy Birthday Becca!

In 2003 he spent two weeks rolling a monkey nut with his nose
Big suitcase or tiny husband?
How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 in Review, Part III of III

based on Reuter's Pictures of the Year

Happy Birthday Becca Spellerberg!

John Edwards starts his campaign with an Internet glitch
Introducing the talking spy camera
Woman fakes kidnapping to avoid work

tagged as media | permalink | 20 comments

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 in Review, Part I of III

based on Reuter's Pictures of the Year

Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007

Father punishes son with public humiliation
Dead man receives calls in the grave
Monkeys fight back

tagged as media | permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 in Review, Part II of III

based on Reuter's Pictures of the Year

Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008

Man impaled with knife orders coffee
Escaped convict continues to update Facebook
Donkeys escape from nativity scene

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 in Review, Part III of III

based on Reuter's Pictures of the Year

Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009

Mysterious creature found in Nelson County
Amazon patents bad gift exchange system
Smugglers confuse religious holidays

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Impressions: Legenda of Zelda: Skyward Sword

There are no spoilers in this review.

I play Zelda games in order to run around fighting things while solving spatial puzzles. It's a franchise, which means I expect some level of deja vu between games, but it seems like most of the recent iterations in the series are focusing on the wrong aspects the game rather than refining the right ones. In fact, most of my pet peeves from Twilight Princess still have not been repaired. I'm about five hours into the game right now, having just reached the first dungeon, and here are my thoughts:

  1. Motion controls are still tacked on for the sake of legitimizing the Wii. This game even requires an extra accessory to make your Wiimote more accurate, but the precision of the controls will still never be as accurate as a good push of a button.
  2. The game still thinks I am 12, coloring in text and repeating important dialogue in duplicate and triplicate. There's more overemphasis in this game than in a high school production of Les Mis. I have learned (unskippably) that a red rupee is worth 20 rupees four times so far.
  3. A fairy continues to take you out of the action for useless interruptions like "He said that Zelda went to the temple. Maybe we will find her in the temple! Let's go to the temple."
  4. The biggest pet peeve I have is with the cutscenes, which are long, cinematic, and never skippable or even speed-controllable. Every iteration of Zelda tries to be more movie-like, and I'd estimate that three of my five hours of playtime have been spent watching dialogue or waiting through loading screens. If I wanted to watch something, I'd watch a show, not a Wii game.

On the plus side:

  1. When you do actually get to play the game, the action is fun, familiar, and well-paced.
  2. The introduction where you learn to play is still slow, but not Twilight Princess slow -- if that game were like trudging through the first third of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, this one is like watching the first third of Jurassic Park twenty years later when you already know that dinosaurs are involved. A minor improvement!
  3. The game is musically and graphically decent.
  4. The characters have much stronger facial animations now, which makes it easier to connect with the story, and less like you're wading through the mind of a crazy Japanese game developer.

Bottom Line: So far, this game is just as good AND bad as Wind Waker or Twilight Princess, and better than Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Based on what I've experienced, I expect that this game will get much better in spite of its problems, but I just wish it didn't have to take so long to get there. Although nothing about it makes me want to run home after work and start playing (see also, Skyrim), I'll probably play it to completion at a leisurely pace.

tagged as reviews, games | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 in Review, Part I of II

based on Reuter's Photos of the Year

Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 in Review, Part II of II

based on New York Times' Year in Pictures

Old Pictures of the Year: 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014

tagged as media | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, December 29, 2017

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

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

  • Events
    • Went to Eric B's son's (Cruz) 3rd birthday party on S 12/2 and walked the W&OD trail afterward to give Maia a nap. Did the 3rd and final raking for the year. Had the night off as Rebecca took Maia to Ghazaley's Christmas Party.

    • Had another Cafesano family dinner on F 12/8.

    • It snowed on S 12/9. Rebecca took Maia to the farmer's market and then we went to the Smiths for Game Night.

    • It hail-snowed on F 12/15 and we got pizza from Joe's Pizzaria for dinner, finding it much better than what Domino's has degraded to these days.

    • We went to "Scotch Night" at Car and Ben's on S 12/16. Maia did not partake.

    • It was warm enough to take a walk in the park on M 12/18.

    • Mary came to visit Maia on W 12/20, then Sara moved into our basement for the holidays.

    • Maia learned to clap on H 12/21.

    • We discovered that Sara knew how to play multi-person solitaire as well, and played all evening long after a dinner of shrimp quinoa on F 12/22.

    • Rebecca threw a bachelorette party for Annie on S 12/23.

    • We walked up Juniper Avenue to see Christmas Lights on S 12/24.

    • We visited both sets of grandparents on Christmas on M 12/25.

    • Maia learned to roll over completely, but only towards the left on W 12/27.

    • We had Jonathan over for a salmon dinner on H 12/28.

    • Had a Cookie Decorating Party on F 12/29.

    • Went to Grace and Andrew's wedding with Maia in Alexandria on S 12/30.

    • Had a low-key New Year's Eve with Sara, Car, and Ben.

  • Projects
    • Installed new venetian blinds for the upstairs rooms after the last cheap 2004 set finally split in half from vigorous cord pulling on F 12/1.

    • We got a tiny red food processor and Rebecca started pureeing everything for Maia on S 12/2.

    • I bought a recorder and started learning to play it for additional Maia distraction opportunities on H 12/14.

    • I took the last half of the month off from work because why not?

    • Took care of some baby.

  • Consumerism
    • Bought a Nintendo Switch and a few games on T 12/5 to open up new options for things to do while walking around the house with Maia sleeping on me.

    • Got to level 961 in Overwatch.

    • Not a lot of TV or music this month -- slowly slogging through the second season of Stranger Things.

December's Final Grade: A-, The unusual cold severely reduces baby-distraction options, but it has been a fun, relaxing month with good company.

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Cabin Day

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

 

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