Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

We kicked off the weekend with a pleasant night on the porch at Old Ox Brewery, with giant sandwiches from Pittsburgh Rick's food truck (tasty but a little too much tasteless cabbage filler) and a flight of local beer. Behind Rebecca in this picture is a band of local roller derby teammates -- we only discovered this because one of them gave us a flyer for their upcoming match against the Beltway Brawlers (or maybe it was Capital Punishment).

On Saturday, Rebecca went on a 9 mile hike down the Bull Run - Occoquan Trail while I went to Costco and worked on AWS training slides. In the afternoon, we had lunch with Rebecca's parents and the Wright family at Clydes of Tysons, which also happened to be hosting two bat mitzvahs and some Ferrari Club that was taking up all of the parking spaces. Food was okay, but the service was slower than the plot in the show, Bloodline, with our food arriving a full hour after we got there. In the evening on Saturday, we sat on the back porch eating salads (and bonus hot dogs for me) and enjoying the hot weather pre-mosquito.

On Sunday, Rebecca went back to Bull Run - Occoquan to simulate her multiday hike in the Alps (14 miles this time) while I continued to work on training slides at home. In the evening, we drove all of the way out to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, for the senior composition recital of Rebecca's cousin, Luke, who is diligently doing his part to add some much-needed undergraduate tonal music to the world's repertoire.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Questions Day

It's time for another Questions Day. Ask anything you want, be it about myself, the world, or something you don't understand. I'll answer all of your questions next Tuesday!

tagged as you speak | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Book of Postfix by Ralf Hildebrandt and Patrick Koetter:
I purchased this as a PDF book when I was setting up my short-lived cloud mail server, after getting annoyed with the vast number of online tutorials that threw out a bunch of settings to change without actually explaining what those settings did. This book has a nice, consumable format, using one chapter to explain a concept and a follow-on chapter to provide common usage patterns. You are unlikely to be in its target audience, but it was just what I needed at the time.

Final Grade: B+

The 100, Season One:
If you can get through the obligatory CW show tropes (unnecessarily hot teenagers in various love polygons looking longingly at each other), this science fiction show finds its footing very quickly and actually becomes rather smartly written. I was hooked by about the fourth episode, and enjoyed the unexpected plot developments within this LOST meets Firefly meets Battlestar Galactica Without Annoying Cylon Sex Dream Sequences show. The main character is pretty unsympathetic and wooden (and the main love triangle is worthless), but the supporting cast (including Desmond from LOST and Sierra from Dollhouse) more than makes up for it. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

The IT Crowd, Season Two, Three, and Four:
The remaining 18 episodes of this show are hit-or-miss, with a continuing reliance on absurdity as a primary laugh generator. However, it's always charming and a few hilarious episodes such as "Are We Not Men?" in Season Three are well worth the price of admission. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Sherlock, Season One:
This is a very well-done show, and a neat modern take on the subject matter. However, you need the attention span to be able to focus throughout each of the 3 ninety minute episodes. If you're like me, and married someone who consistently falls asleep at the 44 minute mark (which is perfect for primetime dramas on DVD), and then watch each episode at a rate of 1 per week, you'll find yourself losing the momentum and forgetting the rapid-fire details form the previous sections. As Evil Mike said a while back, treat it like a miniseries of movies rather than a show, and try to watch an episode in its entirety. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Memory Day: Snapshots

I took this picture in June 1983 at the age of 3, as you can tell from the low-earth perspective. My dad was always impressed at how steady and well-composed the shot came out, given the fact that the camera probably weighed as much as I did. However, the photographed subjects do not look very patient with the whole process.

Update: My dad says that this was at one of the James River Plantations (possibly the Shirley Plantation).

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