Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Time-lapsed Blogography Day: 20 Years Ago

Twenty years ago today, on February 10, 1996, it was a low-profile Saturday between major bouts of snow. In the morning, my dad upgraded the family computer with a brand new Pentium Pro P6 60MHz chip and I immediately put that raw processing power to work playing Warcraft II over the modem with Jack for most of the morning.

When he finally got kicked off of the landline (sisters, am I right?), I switched gears to composing using Finale 3.2 (long before they started bleeding their customers for money through yearly releases). I was working on Bubba's Fried Chicken Stand, a song that would go on to be the most-performed song in my portfolio despite its absence of any serious musical thought.

In the evening, I drove out to the Masonic Temple in Alexandria for my sporadic side-job: stage foreman for the Alexandria Symphony. Concerts at the Temple were really easy to manage, as we didn't have to tear the chairs and stands down each night like we would at a school. We also got to poke around the creepy halls in search of kidnapped transients and human sacrifices (none were ever found though).

On this particular night, my job was even easier, albeit a bit dull. I was in charge of instrument room security, which meant that I stood in front of a room with a single door in and out to ensure that no one stole any musicians' empty case during the concert. Time passed very slowly, although I was greeted by former Mayor Kerry Donley during intermission, wondering why I was standing alone so far from the main event.

For the next day's matinee concert, I was "cue person", which meant that I had to give the Maestro 15, 10, and 5 minute warnings before the concert, while making sure not to open the door after knocking because his wife was also in the dressing room "helping him prepare".

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Questions Day

It's time for another Questions Day. Want to get a second opinion on something? Ask anything you want, be it about myself, snow, politics, or something you don't understand. Need some recommendations? I'll answer all of your questions next Tuesday!

tagged as you speak | permalink | 3 comments

Monday, February 08, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday night, we stayed in with some Domino's pizza (one cheesesteak and green peppers, and one mushroom and red peppers), Devil's Backbone Kilt Flashers, and the new Hannibal Burress comedy special. The latter third of this combination was underwhelming but the rest hit the spot.

On Saturday evening, we finally got around to seeing the new Star Wars movie before it vanished from theaters forever. We went to the Alamo with Amanda and found it surprisingly packed for a movie that's been out for two months now. In spite of the fact that it essentially rehashed plots from previous movies, I enjoyed it far more than the original trilogy.

On Sunday, Rebecca passed all of her tests to become an official yoga teacher, which means that she can reclaim her weekends and give people private yoga lessons, while I can tell everyone that I'm married to a yoga instructor. While she was doing that, I went to Jack and Kristy's for the Super Bowl and caught up on all of the news since the last time I saw them back in May 2015.

In the cracks between events, I played some Fallout 4 and started brainstorming my next programming side project. I'm thinking of something geospatial, perhaps related to mapping local open source data in some way.

How was your weekend?

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, February 05, 2016

Review Day: Blue Apron

On the recommendation of Annie, Rebecca signed up for a trial of Blue Apron, a service that delivers the fresh ingredients for 3 recipes to your doorstep once a week. The service works out to about $10 per person for each meal, and we quickly cancelled as soon as we got our trial week to avoid auto-renewing subscription hell.

The box contained the ingredients and recipes for 3 separate meals: Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice, Chicken and Sage Biscuit Pot Pie, and Italian Beef Grinders (apparently you get new recipes all year long without repeats). Ingredients were individually packaged and measured so there'd be no leftovers after the recipe, and the recipes were full of pictures and easy to follow. They assume that you own pots, baking sheets, oil, salt, and pepper, but provide everything else. With two people cooking together, each meal had an average of about 20 minutes of prep and 20 minutes of cook time.

All three meals were tasty, thanks to fresh ingredients, although Rebecca felt that the Grinders were something we could have just made on our own. Overall, it was a fun little experiment and a nice way to spice up our dinner routine, but too costly and time-consuming to do on a regular basis. I can prepare a good meal with fewer ingredients and effort for about $5 per person (thanks, Costco meat department), so if I'm paying $10 per person, I don't necessarily want to also devote an hour of cooking. 3 meals per week is also a little overwhelming -- I might like a routine of 1 meal every other week better.

Final Grade: B, a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live here

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