Friday, July 03, 2015

Almost Independence Day

Enjoy this 4th of July interview from 1991, when I was 11 years old.

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Modern Family, Season Three:
We got incredibly tired of the character, Cam, less than halfway through this season, which dulled some of our enthusiasm for watching. He's good enough in a supporting role, but becomes grating when major plotlines revolve around his whining nature. Otherwise, the season was light, funny entertainment.

Final Grade: B-

Luther, Season One:
This BBC show featuring Idris Elba takes your standard cop show format and adds a sociopathic serial killer that the main character may have more in common with than he wants to believe. Nothing here is groundbreaking, but the performances are all great and the action builds steadily in intensity to the season finale. The female serial killer puts in a great performance as well, even though her lips look distractingly like a mushroom growing on a log in the woods. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

Nightcrawler (R):
Jake Gyllenhaal is at his creepy best as a guy on the fringe of society who starts filming accidents and crimes to sell to the local news station. His escalating attempts to get bloodier footage mirrors any given local newscast you might have watched in the last ten years. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

Drones by MUSE:
This new album by MUSE is much better than their last, and approaches the quality of their classics. The lyrical and thematic content (government conspiracies and disillusionment) is tired and forgettable, but I don't listen to the lyrics anyhow. The obligatory "mini-symphony" works much better this time around, and stands alone as a song I would listen to more than once for novelty's sake, although the closing a capella choir track is unnecessary. There's a good ratio of great beats to B-sides on this album, and thankfully, the singing bassist has been relegated back to the bass section and never gets his own song.

Final Grade: B+

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Memory Day: Fourteen Years Ago

An excerpt from a journal entry about my summer internship from July 2001:

Work has been hit-or-miss. I'm working with a newly hired Java guru who always knows the best way to do something, if not the most direct way to do something, which occasionally results in more work for me. It's a worthwhile experience though because I'll learn a lot from him.

This was back when "Enterprise" Java was a really big deal and no one had yet questioned how ridiculously you could stretch code in the name of being enterprise-y. I remember having written a straightforward piece of code that read input from a custom data file. By the time the Java guru had finished explaining the way things should be done, everything was wrapped in an Interface, and code to read the file was replaced by a swappable Adapter (built in a Factory) just in case the data file was going to be in XML or some other format in the future (ignoring the fact that we had created the data file ourselves, and had no intention of doing so).

Part of his didactic approach included a ten minute lecture on coffee filters.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2015 album, although they are mostly shed-related.

  • Events
    • Met Kathy for drinks at Red Robin on 6/4.

    • Had a between-rainstorms dinner at O'Faolain's on 6/11.

    • Went to Taste of Reston with Kathy, Carolyn, and Luke on 6/19.

    • Went to Crooked Run and then ate all of the salt at Cajun Experience on 6/20.

    • Saw Book of Mormon with Mike and Annie on 6/21.

    • Met Anna and Ben for dinner at Mellow Mushroom on 6/27.

    • Lost in Poker on 6/27.

    • Celebrated Kathy's birthday at World of Beer and M&S Grill on 6/29.

  • Projects
    • Built a shed with my dad.

    • Worked on a lot of proposal stuff while Rebecca hiked everywhere.

  • Consumerism
    • Enjoyed finishing Derek, Sons of Anarchy and The Shield, as well as the first season of Luther.

    • Enjoyed new albums from Lenka, Muse, and The Darkness (reviews coming).

    • Played Witcher 3 and Hearthstone.

    • Bought a new Kindle to replace my 5-years-old one. It should be arriving tonight.

June's Final Grade: B-, Fun punctuated the month like exclamation points, but a fairly poor work-to-life balance dampened the weekends.

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