Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today was Friday, September 19, 2008.

Following an 8-hour day at work on the Metadata Registry v7.1 (6 AM - 2 PM), I drove out to Jack and Kristy's old house in south Arlington for game 11 of the 2008 poker championships. They had recently remodeled their kitchen, and Jack and received a weird (for the time) homebrewer's kit and was eager to give people samples. (It was just okay).

Rebecca (of Falls Church), Kathy & Chris (of Centreville), Recurring Mike (of Glover Park), and Yet Another Chris (of Arlington) also attended. Yet Another Chris was the first out, probably stemming from the bottle of Scotch accompanying him. Kathy ended up winning, a surprising result since she usually only came to eat chocolate pie. Kristy came in 2nd, and ultimately robbed Ben of the championship title because of loopholes in the confusing BCS-like rules for the championship (her reasonably good showing at just a couple games outweighed Ben's dismal 6th place finish in 1 of his 5 games). I blame Chris Smith for this since he suggested adjustments to my scoring system using MIT magic.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone:
This is a biography of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, one of the first cryptoanalysts in the early 20th century. It's rare that a person's life is as interesting throughout as Elizebeth's, leading the biography to be a more comprehensive look at her place in history rather than a set of vignettes separated by long time jumps. There are also great, shallow looks at the world events going on at the same time, revealing some interesting stories such as J. Edgar Hoover's concerted efforts to steal credit for her work for the FBI.

Final Grade: B+

Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward:
This is a fairly dry look at the Trump administration through the lens of various policy decisions (North Korea, trade agreements, DACA). The chapters meander along with abrupt transitions that make the content feel more like attention-deficit vignettes than an end-to-end narrative but also mimic how the administration lurched along in real life. The book does not paint a flattering portrait of Trump (depicting him as someone in way over his head who never actually expected to win, rather than an evil mastermind). It's sometimes clear who some of the deep background sources were, based on how sympathetically they're described in the text, and the way quotation marks are used on sourced dialogue but not on deep background dialogue can get confusing.

Final Grade: B-

The 100, Season Five:
The time jump freshens up the plot and perspectives nicely here, and the writers have finally gotten a little better at writing morally grey characters that change their minds for actual reasons (other than, "I'm a teenager in a love triangle"). The "main" main character, Clarke, is still generally unlikable and uninteresting but the rest of the plot and cast make up for it. I enjoyed this season although the shake-up in the finale may be one shake-up too far. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

The Good Place, Season Two:
The tagline on the box, "How long can they keep this up?", was my thought after finishing the great first season of this show. The show continues to evolve beyond its original conceit, with the germ for an entire network show season compressed into just the first few episodes (the first episode of season two is the weakest for exactly this reason). This remains a warm, absurd show where the plot really just functions as a backdrop for great jokes about pop culture and human nature. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

tagged as reviews | permalink | 3 comments

Friday, September 14, 2018

(Almost) Birth Day

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

6:20 AM: Showered and ready for work.
7:03 AM: Working from home today.
8:34 AM: Good morning!
8:57 AM: Breakfast while reading Fear: Trump in the White House
9:14 AM: No pan is safe.
9:48 AM: Grilling premade dinners for our newly un-pregnant neighbours while also hurricane-proofing the deck.
11:21 AM: Working lunch.
12:06 PM: Reading with the grandparents.
1:06 PM: Naptime Beat Saber workout.
3:12 PM: Putting on my socks so we can go out.
4:14 PM: Swinging at Lake Anne.
7:51 PM: Lasagna for dinner.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, September 10, 2018

Beat Saber Day

Since the treadmill broke down, Beat Saber has been my regular cardio workout. Here are a few recent videos of some of the more challenging songs.

Can't Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake (Expert) (previously posted)

The Nights by Avicii (Expert)

Gangam Style by Psy (Expert)

Otter Pop featuring Hollis by Shawn Wasabi (Expert+)

New Rules by Dua Lipa (Expert+)

tagged as games | permalink | 1 comment

 

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