Posts from 03/2003
While cleaning out my file drawer yesterday, I came across a Washington Post article I'd clipped out a couple years ago. It's just as interesting now as it was then, so I've posted it on the Potpourri page under "A Composer's Too-Familiar Refrain". It's about Atlanta-based composer, Tristan Foison, and his attempt to pass off a Requiem from the 60s as his own. I've looked for articles since then about his professional fate, but apparently he's still going strong out there somewhere. Anyone heard of him?
Composers must write truly unforgettable music for any new instrument before it will be accepted and made popular
Major Music Labels Use Artificial Intelligence To Help Determine "Hitability" Of Music
For this week's milestone on the Music Fundamentals Instructor's Tool project, I created a small applet that allows you to match barnyard animals together to save them from a landslide. It's completely irrelevant to the project, but it's fun to play. Go to the Coding page and click "Barnyard" to play. This one took me about twelve hours to code.
My thesis defense is scheduled for 3:30 PM tomorrow afternoon, in Longmire 213B. I'm not sure of the protocol on defenses, but I think they're open to the public. You should be allowed to peek in to appease your curiousity, although I think open cheering is risqué.
Happy Birthday Mike Sharp!
Indiana music students are a bunch of terrorists
My thesis defense was at 3:30 on the 3rd day of the 3rd month in '03. I didn't even consider this until yesterday. Surely this was some cosmic sign to show that the gods (both the old-school vengeful ones and the kinder, gentler twentieth-century model) were looking with favour upon my composition. And surely, that's why I passed. Now all that I need to do is submit my paperwork to the music grad office to be lost, and then submit the CD of the score to the real grad office for archiving. This puts me one step closer to being Master Uri!.
I guess I should go put some slaves on layaway.
What numbers do you see in the random dot patterns to the left?
If you're normal, you'll see 25, 29, 45, 56, 6, and 8, although some may be easier to see than others. When I look at this same test, I can see 25 clearly and a thin-line outline of 56. The rest of the circles are just filled with random dots. That's because I'm red-green colour-blind.
It's hard explaining colour-blindness to people sometimes because they just don't get that concrete concepts like red and blue could ever be seen differently. I've always wondered how to show colour-normal people what I see when I look at tests like this and finally came up with a solution. I put the image into Photoshop and isolated the image into channels of red, green, and blue. When I isolate the red channel (the receptors I seem to be missing), I can see all the numbers clearly, as you all probably see it normally. When I remove the red channel completely, I get the image that I normally see.
Follow this link to see the test through my eyes . Note that this isn't a perfect solution, because the channel isolation does not give a full colour picture. Instead, it creates a black and white contrast shot that shows the varying levels of a particular colour. So when you follow that link, realize I don't see things in black & white -- there are definitely visible colours, but its anyone's guess as to whether my interpretation of red matches yours. For comparison, here's the contrast shot for a 'normal' person .
The chicken nuggets pictured before you are easily the most repulsive chicken nuggets on the face of the planet. They look nothing like the cover art, and although the first bite sets up positive comparisons to the texture of McDonald's nuggets, it all goes downhill from there. The remaining bites will lead you to believe that some evil scientist used his atom ray to liquefy the insides of a chicken and then squeezed it wholesale into vaguely breaded pockets like some macabre icing applicator. The aftertaste is even better -- if I had to give it a fragrance name for enterprising perfume makers, I would be torn between "homeless man's crotch" and "mucous of doom".
Today is the first day of my Spring Break even though the real one starts this weekend. -- I have no teaching responsiblities until Tuesday, March 18, so my glamorous and dangerous profession of "coding" (thanks Kathy) will be my main focus for a couple weeks. Maybe I'll take a few trips out to St. Mark's or the beaches too (if it ever stops raining). I'd drive somewhere more interesting and far away if gas weren't so damned expensive.
A couple days ago, I received an e-mail requesting to use my game, Augmented Fourth, in a collection of interactive fiction games. Apparently, someone is creating an IF interpreter for the Dreamcast and wants the game as part of its free provided collection. With my interest renewed in it, I finally got around to setting up Matthew Russotto's Zplet on my site, so you can play the game here without having to download anything. Go to the Games page and look for Augmented Fourth for more information. If you've ever played the old Infocom text games, like Zork, Deadline, or Trinity, you'll be right at home.
I've finished creating an electronic copy of my Master's thesis and I'll be getting all the paperwork signed today. If you missed it the first time around, here it is:
I'm going to be getting a new cat sometime in the next few days (hopefully). The problem with kittens is that they get scooped up faster than horse turds in a parade. I found a listing for four kittens in the local paper and all of them were gone when I called two days later. To the left you can see two possibilities that I wouldn't mind having -- I still have to go through the motions of contacting the foster families and such, but I do know that they're available.
A few FSU composers (including myself) were published in the latest SCI newsletter, responding to an editorial by Karl Korte about the bankruptcy of a contemporary music recording label (Reflections on CRI and the Future, pg 1). My reply was tossed off in about fifteen minutes because I figured it would never get selected for print, but from the flabbergasted tone of the rebuttal and the ensuing discussion on the listserv, it looks like us student composers are naive and simple.
Here's a new MIDIfication of a video game theme: this time around, Saria's Song from the first Zelda on the N64.
News updates are a little shorter than normal this week, because I want to make sure that I have enough useless material to last through Spring Break. That way, I can take a few days off if I so desire.
I did have an update prepared for yesterday, but the VT Music Department was in the process of changing their server configurations. This site is now located at /alumni/llamaboy/ rather than /students/llamaboy/ -- Make sure you update your bookmarks, so you don't miss out on any of the inanity. There will be a redirecting page at the old site for the next year.
I adopted a kitten yesterday at one of the weekly Petsmart fairs. It's a three-month-old grey Siamese mix that doesn't yet have a permanent name. It's already reached its daily cuteness quota, so I've put up some fresh pictures on the Photos page. There was a brief scaredy cat period where it crawled under the baseboard of the cupboards and wouldn't come out, but it seems to have adjusted fine now. Last night, it fell asleep on Mike's stomach during video games.
They're reshowing the Super Bowl episode of Alias tonight at 9 if anyone still hasn't started watching yet. After watching this particular episode, this is a good (and very brief) overview of the characters and events to date .
Happy Birthday Mark!
"This giant Chee-to could be a boon to our local economy"
Walmart unclear on the storyline of The Hobbit
"I hope, and have asked, that those people who unchain (the girls) and ask them to go wild make that trip" to jail. (From the not-far-from-here department)
A short, dumpy man has been going around town faking choking episodes, apparently to get attention from women.
If you use AOL Instant Messenger, you might be interested in a free third-party add-on called DeadAIM . It's a small unobtrusive download that removes all the clutter from the Buddy List and also allows Tabbed Messages. Tabbed Messages are right up my alley since I enjoy the tabbed interface of Netscape 7 -- it makes all of your simultaneous chats appear in a single window, with a tab for each person you're talking to.
My thesis has been submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies, and the School of Music only lost my clearance form once this time. As far as I know, everything official has been submitted now for my graduation -- my remaining responsibilities include six more weeks of teaching and finishing my MFIT project. Before the weekend, I did some more work with the student files and then got bored and started tinkering with an applet to play Tetris.
Musicians' strike dims Broadway's lights
Fast porn will be commercially viable
Police found more than 75 marijuana plants inside a house after a woman who lived there mistakenly called 911 instead of 411.
The worst part about the first day of breaks is that some clown in the building always leaves town and forgets to turn off their alarms. Luckily this week's model citizen had an alarm that shuts itself off after a couple hours, and never plans on waking up until 11:04 AM.
We went out to the Wakulla River to go canoeing yesterday afternoon (pics up on the Photos page). The river was running high from the plethora of rain we'd gotten this weekend so paddling upstream was a chore, but that meant we made it back to the dock in record time.
I think I may call my new kitten 'Booty'. It works on so many levels.What do you get for the guy who has everything?
I'm in love with PDF files now that I can make them. For quick jobs, it's an easy and compact way to preserve layout and formatting when sending something to others. Turning my class handouts into PDF files lets all the lazy bastards who skip class download them later on, and is easier than my old method of scanning documents and saving them as images. Tomorrow I'll convert my cat into PDF and post it for you to download.
I've posted some new Booty pictures on the Photos page. There's also some pictures from yesterday's trip to Marsh Sands Beach in Panacea.Sex for Rover
We watched two movies last night, Joy Ride, and The Ring. The latter was billed as the scariest movie of all time and did have its moments, but ultimately didn't live up to all the hype (kind of like Blair Witch Project). The first was a fun enough thriller/road-trip movie for a couple hours of entertainment.
In case of nuclear radiation, stand directly behind your door, but do not open the door, even if the radiation knocks.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
MOAB tested 100 miles west of Marsh Sands Beach
I took Booty to the vet this morning to get medicines for a leftover sinus infection and tapeworm she picked up in the shelter. The vet pronounced her in good health otherwise, so none of her legs will fall off in the near future or anything. This is also the first cat I've had with a microchip embedded in its skin. If it ever gets lost, they can scan the barcode to determine where the cat is from. I bet though, that the microchip is really a trojan horse like Kazaa, and at some point in the future some crazy scientist will activate all the kittens in the world and conquer everything.
New pictures on the Photos page.
Time flies, and it's already the Saturday at the end of break. I really didn't get much accomplished this week, but it was a good, relaxing time for all. On the MFIT front, I wrote a solid twelve lines of code this week. That's probably a good 0.001% of the project so I'm well on my way.
Booty wrote a line of code too, but it didn't compile.
It's supposed to be in the 70s and 80s all week with scattered thunderstorms. My plans for the week are fairly low-key: I teach on Tuesday and Thursday, with a planning meeting on Monday. Then, my VT friend, Nikki, comes in to town on Thursday night to audition for the voice studio.
Booty is making a guest appearance on a new Alias tonight. Don't forget to watch her.
The plan backfired when on a practice run the bats attacked the wrong target, and set fire to a military airfield in New Mexico.
Male sweat brightens women's moods
Three die in attempt to get mobile phone from a latrine
Genesis of Bush's obsession with Iraq
It's interesting to see how much chronology is affected by surroundings. I lived in a single place all the way through high school, and for those years, I have a very clear chronology of world events, politics, and personal events. In college when I was moving around yearly, I have a recollection of events, but it becomes much harder to associate them with a particular calendar year. It's like the living place is the constant against which I can mark time. Events in my early life follow a stately progression, while the past seven years are more of a couscous of random happenings.
Yesterday, Booty got annoyed that I'm on the computer so much, so I let her create her own webpage. You can see it here (415KB)."I guess he IS a good-looking guy... in a dumb, big, dumb, brainless kind of way."
I introduced minor keys in sight singing today and the students picked up on it surprisingly quickly. By the end, they were shifting melodies between major and minor with facility. Singing in minor keys through the end of the semester will be such a downer though. Good thing that the Sight Singing Clown will be making a guest appearance at least twice this semester.
Booty beat the snot out of a brand new bag of bagels last night while I was asleep. There were no survivors.
New pictures on the Photos page. You don't even have to expand the menu anymore, you lazy bastards.Dick Smothers Jr. wants to be 'Orson Welles of porn'
My old friend, Nikki, is coming into town a day early because she caught a standby flight, so I'm going to take the morning to clean up and make things a bit more homey. My apartment is pretty bare right now since I took most of my books and posters home at Christmas time.
On the side, I'm still tinkering away at the MFIT project, and I should have the Instructor Tool itself done by the end of the month. I still haven't heard from ACNS to see whether this project is possible on FSU servers, so I could end up doing a bunch of work for nothing.
Last night, Booty flew through the air Superman-style and crashed chest-first into an endtable. Her front feet went above it and her back feet went below it, and then she slid down the side, cartoon-style. She's fine though.
I was busy yesterday entertaining Nikki and getting observed while teaching sight singing so I didn't have a chance to put up a meaningful update. Nikki left a few hours ago, shortly after what appeared to be a successful audition, so now I can fall back into my regularly scheduled programming. There's new pictures of Booty and Chompy on the Photos page -- this summer I'll redo the Photos page so it's a little less cluttered and easier to use.
Having a cat is having the ability to throw trash on the floor and call it 'a toy'.
So we're at war now, which isn't surprising. I don't dispute the fact that there are good reasons for removing Saddam Hussein from power -- I just dislike the arrogant way we've taken control of the situation. Although it's true that the United States is probably the most powerful nation in the world, it should not be allowed to usurp the authority of the U.N., unless it is also willing to shoulder all the responsibilities of world order. That would mean taking care of all the world's problems, and not just the ones that we happen to have a vested interest in. Bush has been trying his hardest for the past two years to get a good reason to invade Iraq, even using spurious claims to directly connect Saddam Hussein with Osama bin Laden, and he's finally succeeded. It will be interesting to see just how long he actually maintains interest in setting up a democracy there once his war is won. I anticipate a flashy victory accompanied by many promises, followed by the quiet but steady withdrawal of all US forces and interests.
There was a "walk-out for peace" staged on campus the day after bombing began. Good timing, dumbasses. No doubt, the crowd of three hundred strong compelled Bush to turn one of his tanks around.
We need to start learning how to fly helicopters too.
The Oscars are tomorrow and I've only seen five of the fifty-odd movies up for nominations. The ceremony will probably suck anyhow, since ABC has expressed their intent to interrupt the broadcast at will with late-breaking war news. They should just announce the award winners in a press release and put a new episode of Alias on.
Bush wasn't planning on paying for war
Big Mac eater downs 19,000th burger
Exploding brains for fun and profit
"I don't feel it makes the song any better - the grammar in it is very bad." - Randy Newman, on his award for best original song in Monster's Inc
It's time for round two of the URI! Domain's Horribly Uneducated Picks for the Oscars?! I've seen even fewer movies this year than I did last year at this time, so I created a cardboard partition with two dimensional effigies of various stars and placed it in Booty's litter box. The ones she pooped on are all obvious winners, while the one time she pooped in the corner signifies a wildcard pick later in the ceremony. Send me your picks or complaints using the mail button above this news update.
Best performance by an actor in a leading role
My Oscar picks were dismal -- I correctly prophesized four of the twenty-four categories. That's the last time I let Booty have any input on the matter. Booty has new pictures on the Photos page, by the way.
I finally finished reading Victor Hugo's Les Miserables again this week, after diving into it at the beginning of January. Despite Hugo's frequent tendency to get off on political and social tangents, the story of the characters is really well-done and ties together quite nicely. I hadn't read it in about five years, but it still ends the same way.
Last Thursday, the City of Tallahassee fixed a street lamp right outside my window. They arrived in a ground-shaking subwoofer of a truck at 2 AM and spent a half hour replacing the bulb. I didn't even realize that there was a streetlight there, since it hasn't worked for the entire year and a half I've lived here. Now I get a nice motel-sign effect illuminating my room when I go to sleep at night.
Judging from the sudden upsurge in banners, the fraternities and sororities on my street fully support the war with Iraq. The obviously intelligent girls of Tri-Delta even went so far as to paint an American flag across two sidewalk blocks so students could show their patriotism by walking all over it.
The latest edition of Zelda for the GameCube arrives tomorrow.
A smattering of responses from my midterm course evaluations:
New Booty pics on the Photos page -- I definitely uploaded them right this time.
I'm having computer issues so it might be a day or so before the next update.
I was having problems with file locks last night, but thankfully managed to blow up the perpetrating file this morning, rather than having to reinstall my OS. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
The new Zelda game for the GameCube is pretty fun so far. The new cartoon-y style is a little jarring at first but feels natural as you start playing. Controls are very similar to the N64 titles and the story and dialogue are very polished. I haven't run into any obnoxious activities thrown in only to prolong the game yet, and the Japanese stereotypes of American slang are at a minimum so far.
Today's dictation examples were the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Scarborough Fair. A surprising portion of my students knew all the words.Girl beats off snake to save her pussy
I was so caught up in my project work that I nearly forgot to do an update today. I'm hoping to get this MFIT project wrapped up in the next two weeks -- a task that's made easier by the fact that I'll probably have to scrap half of it and just write a design document for the part that's not technologically feasible yet. But enough about me. How's your weekend going?Men are from Mars
New Booty pics up.
At the behest of others, I submitted three of my original maps to Blizzard's Warcraft III Map Contest. I probably won't win, but the selected maps end up in the Expansion Pack and the mapmakers appear in the credits and get a free copy for themselves. Even though I don't play the game anymore, I figure it's at least worth an entry.
I took Booty on a trip around town this morning in hopes of getting her more used to the cat carrier. We saw the State Capitol and the scenic Best Buy before we turned around and came home. She cried for the first half of the trip but seems to be getting better. Last night, she met the big grey cat from two doors down -- the two of them sniffed at each other through the window screen for a few minutes.
Intelligence analysts warned senior Pentagon officials [...] that Iraqi paramilitary units would fight back... Good sleuthing.
People in power still unclear on the separation between church and state
Man goes crazy after getting spade
With most of my school responsibilities done, I'm going to have to work harder at finding interesting things to write about. I could always go back to last year's idea of having specially-themed days -- no doubt everyone would love an all-Alias week (new episode tonight at 9, by the way). Alternately I could have an all-Booty day, but seriously, every day is Booty day. In fact, there's thirteen new pictures up on the Photos page. Be the first on your block to look at them all.
There was an SCI-sponsored composers' concert last night which reassured the world that composers still support the status quo.
I've finalized my leaving date. My parents will be down on April 30th and we'll load and leave on Thursday, May 1st. All my singing exams will be done and I should have my final grades ready to turn in before then. I'll be back in Virginia and staying at my parents' house until I can locate a suitable apartment in the Chantilly/Herndon/Reston area close to work. I start working full-time at FGM on the day after Memorial Day so that gives me about three weeks to move and settle in. You only have thirty days left to play with my Booty -- take advantage of it while you still can.
Geraldo Rivera of FOXNews was ejected from Iraq yesterday. On live TV, he drew the location of his embedded unit in the sand and then showed where they were going to attack next. Excellent work.Robber would benefit from a flowchart on how to hold up a store
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