Posts from 04/2003

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork,
Bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork.
Bork bork bork bork bork,
Bork bork bork bork bork,
Bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork bork!

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day in history

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

The above excerpt was the April Fools' dictation example for yesterday's classes. My first class caught wind of the joke before I could get very far, but my second class panicked, especially since they had only learned compound meter some ten minutes beforehand.

The Verne Troyer guest appearance on Monday's Boston Public was easily the most gratuitous guest spot in the history of guest spots. Verne Troyer played Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies, and his role here involved being a miniature genius who helped students cheat on their tests by hiding in a locker.

More fun news from the Geraldo Rivera front :

    "It sounds like some rats from my former network, NBC, are trying to stab me in the back."

    Rivera said he had heard nothing about being expelled until he called network headquarters for a scheduled live report.

    "MSNBC is so pathetic a cable news network that they have to do anything they can to attract attention," Rivera said. "You can rest assured that whatever they're saying is a pack of lies."

    A U.S. Central Command official said, "He is being pulled. He just doesn't know it yet. He has not gotten the word."

New Booty pics.

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day in history

Thursday, April 03, 2003

I'm still working on the MFIT project on the side -- last night I successfully opened up an entire class of mock students and stored their progress. All that's left of the Instructor's Tool is to write the various "views" so an instructor can see the data by activity or by student, and other fun paradigms.

I'm anxious to get this project done and get started on updates for the URI! Domain. I still plan on moving onto a better (but no longer free) webspace by the end of the year, and I've got lots of fun things planned for the update. Among the innovations I'm planning: news comments, a message board, and easier navigation. In the eighth edition of the site, you will be able to add blog-style comments directly to this news page so people will be able to read your thoughts and get immediate feedback on all the stupid stuff I post. There will also be a full scale message board so people can keep in touch and talk about random stuff. Beyond this, pages like the Photos page will be much easier to use, with "Next" and "Previous" buttons to move between pictures, rather than requiring you to click on every single picture individually.

I'd also like to update several of the sections, including Reviews and Music. There'll be a lot of fun improvements, and you're welcome to suggest your own too! As a side note, I will probably go back to updating on a weekly basis this summer so I can actually make all these changes. Unlike last summer though, I'll actually update since I'll have internet access all the time.

New Booty pictures are up. Go get your booty-on.

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day in history

Friday, April 04, 2003

I've been taking Booty on four mile jaunts in the car every day now. She still cries some, but it seems to be more annoyance than any fright. The trip home should be a blast -- luckily I'm doing it in two segments this time, rather than one straight shot.

This weekend I'm going to try and finish the Tool portion of my MFIT project. I have most of it done in my head -- the tedious part is just getting it onto the computer and testing it out.

Jason Mewes comes out of hiding
Living organisms fit better into ZIP files
Package of Bones Sent To Florida Congresswoman
Six-year-old terrorist

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day in history

Saturday, April 05, 2003

The movie Catch Me If You Can was playing at the dollar theatre last night. Check it out if you have the time -- it's a light-hearted, slightly over-the-top movie about a check forger based on a true story. Both Hanks and DiCaprio do a decent job in their roles and the movie doesn't feel as long as it actually is.

Today is work day. And maybe clean the apartment day. And maybe take a nap on the couch with Booty after I post these new pictures of her day.

Porn for Geologists
How much did FSU know about its QB's alleged betting?
My political compass

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day in history

Sunday, April 06, 2003

I finished another milestone on the MFIT project: Student records can be pulled up by class and sorted according to name, SSN, or class section. This afternoon and evening, I'm going to write the part that allows the viewing of a student file in depth, and tomorrow I'll do the part that lets you sort results by activity. You can see what the application currently looks like below.

I learned how to play Spades again yesterday too. It's one of those games that I pick up every few years and then never play again, resulting in a total loss of rules knowledge.

Circus News: "If she can handle lions and tigers she shouldn't have trouble with a 20-year-old man"
"Girls Gone Wild" Busted in Panama City
Anti-social mobile phone users could be punished with an electric shock if prototypes from a design company go into production.

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day in history

Monday, April 07, 2003

I'm up to sixty-one hours of MP3s that don't suck. Most of the collection is pretty incestuous, since I took a lot from my own CDs so I could have a nice mix of songs to listen to at work, but the fact that I have music constantly playing whenever I'm working or sitting around necessitates a nice big list. Normally, I can put the entire thing on random play and hear everything in under a week.

I've decided that my knowledge of popular music from the last forty years is pretty inadequate, so to remedy that, I've been trolling random top 100 lists like this one and listening to everything on them. For every few stupid ones there's a few good songs that I didn't know before, and I can virally expand my musical horizons by listening to more songs by the same group. I've also been reading and listening to the notable groups on for various genres of rock music although that's taking much longer. Give me a few more months and I'll have an encyclopedic knowledge of every musician ever conceived.

Virginia Tech restores affirmative action
Hair-obsessed man gets 8 years in jail
Dead people for sale at K-Mart

New Booty pics are up.

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day in history

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

I've been hard at work on the MFIT project since last night and it's essentially complete now -- I just need to clean up some code and add some documentation. I'll post more about it tomorrow when it's a complete package.

Booty has lived in my apartment for one full month now. In sixteen days, she'll be six months old, so we can take her out drinking and such. You can see how much she's grown in the new photos on the Photos page.

I read a funny article about the state of Alias yesterday, complete with a diagram outlining all the characters before and after the post-Super-Bowl plot simplification. You can read the entire article here . The next new episode isn't until April 27th, so you're safe from my nagging about watching for the next two and a half weeks.

Composers earn big bucks after death

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day in history

Thursday, April 10, 2003

The MFIT student file reader is completed and submitted, so all I have left in that arena is to clean up the code and go over what needs to be done after I'm out of the picture. This weekend, I'll be doing the last of my lesson plans and handouts for class. Once that's complete, I'll be free to start working on the new and improved URI! Domain.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today's Musical Explorations: Donovan, Herman's Hermits, Pretty Things, Chad & Jeremy. I'm also listening to some recent UK groups, such as Coldplay, The Smiths, The Jam, and Clash. It looks like today is British day.

SARS reaches Florida
Great moments in advertising
Puppy wants to join the circus

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day in history

Friday, April 11, 2003

I've decided to learn PHP today. PHP is a server-side language that can be used to add dynamic content to website. Much of the same functionality can be provided with Java servlets, but PHP has the benefit of not being precompiled. So when I'm learning the language, I can just fire up a web browser to test my work, rather than having to compile a bunch of classes and copy them somewhere. I'll try to make some cute demonstration app this afternoon for your amusement.

Update! 1:30 PM: You can now add comments to individual news posts, to express your happiness or dismay on a daily basis. Click on the new yellow button above this post and give it a try! This is just a learning project -- the next edition of the URI! Domain will have a much more robust comments system. Now all the lurkers and readers can come out of hiding and show their ingenious wit.

Jim Barry's Doctoral Recital is tonight at 6 PM in Opperman. Rumour has it that Spoon, Squirrel, Stretch, and Soap will all be in attendance.

All sinners, take ye to Singapore
Where not to Hang the Flag

Have a good weekend!

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day in history

Saturday, April 12, 2003

I was going to go out to Panacea this morning and take a final round of sunrise pictures (EVER), but it was too chilly at 5:30 this morning! Maybe I'll go tomorrow!

I took Booty out for a ride this morning but it was hampered by some random walk-a-thon hosted by the city! Not content with plotting the most efficient course, the walk-a-thon crisscrossed and backtracked across main arteries, accompanied by crossing guards who enjoyed sending walkers across traffic just as lights turned green! I should make myself a charitable organization and set up a walk-a-thon for Booty, with all proceeds going to Booty! There are new Booty pics on the Photos page, by the way!

I've cleared the final paperwork for getting one of my students to sublease the apartment over the summer! He'll be moving in the day after I move out and be the proud new owner of the cemetary-view I've monopolized for the past two years!

Yesterday's Musical Explorations: B-52s, David Bowie, The Jam, and assorted other singles! If you have any groups you think I should listen to, post a comment!

Ethics in Video Game Journalism!

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day in history

Sunday, April 13, 2003

I didn't get out to Panacea today either, but I'll definitely go one last time before I flee the state (countdown: 17 days). This weekend, I continued learning about PHP. It doesn't seem to be a very difficult language to pick up, and I may choose to use it for the next big URI! Domain rather than servlets. It's always easier to test languages which aren't pre-compiled, even if they're a little slower in the long run.

This afternoon, I'm going finish making up the final exams for my class, but right now I think it's time for some fried chicken and Pepsi.

Today's Musical Explorations: REM, U2, They Might Be Giants, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and XTC.

The Apathetic Online Journal Entry Generator
Tony Blair on the Simpsons

Three new Booty pictures today.

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day in history

Monday, April 14, 2003

I started working on the new layout for the next edition of the URI! Domain (hereafter called URI-8, because I'm a lazy bastard). It will be much more compact and easier to navigate, and some sections may get the heave-ho. If you visit a particular section of this site frequently, please let me know using the Comments button, and I'll do what I can to keep that particular page around.

The finale of Married by America airs tonight. The front-running wife-to-be is obviously milking the show for all the publicity possible since she's a struggling actress. Taking a look at her web site brings up some nice gems such as:

  • She graduated high school the same year I did.
  • Her future goal is to host a show on MTV, VH1 or the E! Channel (obviously reaching for the stars).
  • Was a "Fleeing Citizen" in Independance Day [sic]
  • Appeared in principal roles for such companies as Ashley Furniture, Credit King, Gap Clothing, Junior's Café & Pizza Hut.

It's a little old place where he could get together.
Saddam in the house. Everybody in the house say we hate you.
The weekly sex column was written in Ebonics and phony advertisements included a spray that "Kills townies dead"

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day in history

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

The final Tallahassee Winds concert is tonight at 7:30 in Ruby Diamond. Your semester won't be complete until you've stood for the national anthem, heard the obligatory Sousa march, Gillingham-esque contemporary work, and crowd-pleasing Spanish work, followed by a rousing cheer for the ladies of the Better Living Retirement Home. Come on out.

There's a plethora of new Booty pictures on the Photos page. I also found an interesting cat story, but the site requires a login. Here's the story for your reading pleasure:

    Cat spends 35 days trapped inside couch

    Leia, Rosa McCormick's orange, white and black tabby, was trapped in the family couch for 35 days en route from Oahu, Hawaii, to Oklahoma City. With her husband, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Earl Gordon McCormick, scheduled for deployment to Korea for 18 months, she decided to move back to Oklahoma City to be closer to her family. While the family packed, Leia went missing.

    All the racket the movers made did not sit well with Leia, who sought refuge under the couch. It was there, McCormick said, the 2-year-old cat probably found a hole in the netting and hid. "We drove around for a week looking for her," McCormick said. "One of our friends joked that we'd packed her up."

    More than a month later, after their couch crossed the Pacific Ocean by boat and was shipped from California to Oklahoma City, the McCormicks found out their friend was right. "I heard a 'meow' come from the garage," Rosa McCormick said. "I told my husband and he said, 'It can't be her.'" He followed the noise to the couch, ripped open the netting and found Leia inside, she said.

    "We took her to the vet immediately," Rosa McCormick said. "He said she was a little dehydrated, but fine."

An elderly fellow stopped me in Wal-mart yesterday to ask if the "red beer" was any good (Killian's). He said he'd never had it before and was thinking about giving it a try. There was also a new employee working under supervision at the check-out line who had to be reminded not to bag loaves of bread with canned soups.

Boss teased suspect about being serial killer

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day in history

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

I've been hired on to do a manuscript transcription of a violin sonata for one of the music faculty which should keep me out of trouble for a week or two. The manuscript is fairly neat, but all the notes that are beamed down have the beams on the wrong side of the note, no doubt because it's from London.

The Winds concert last night was pretty good. I don't understand why modern American composers have to make everything sound like crap. It's okay to write a triad or two on occasion -- everything doesn't have to be a dissonance.

TNN changing its name to Spike to cater to male viewers. CNN will follow suit with BeerNugget in 2004.
Cog: Behind the Scenes
Cog movie
It's a good week for love shacks.
Terminator for Governor

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day in history

Thursday, April 17, 2003

I wish Finale hadn't changed the articulation shortcuts a few editions back. Before, they were ordered by common usage, with staccato being 1, accents being 2, and so forth. Now, they're haphazardly strewn across the keyboard by first letter or mnemonic. Staccato is S, and Accent is A, which is all well and good. Jazz hats are V because they look like a V, but legato markings are E, for reasons beyond my meagre understanding of music. Perhaps the Greek word for legato is Epsilipsilopsiloop.

Since my brain is still hardwired to the old shortcut keys, I end up with piano fingering numbers all over the place. Of course I could just change them all back to the original settings, but I keep fooling myself into believing that I'll eventually take the time to learn the new keys.

New Booty pics are up. They're Bootilicious.

Poll: What should the new domain name of the URI! Domain be? (Llamaboy is taken by Disney) Answer using the Comments button above.

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day in history

Friday, April 18, 2003

My teaching gig's essentially over now -- I've got two periods left for exams and I've done pretty little grade sheets for all the students. Yesterday was SUSSAI day (State University System Student Assessment of Instruction). You'd think they would have picked an acronym that sounds less like "suicide".

I've started looking through Apartment Guides for the northern Virginia area. For now I'm just looking for an apartment for a year, but eventually I plan on owning something. It'd be nice to have a place with a second floor again -- having stairs really makes a home homey.

It's Good Friday. Be good.

LA has different definition of 'gangsta' than the rest of the civilized world
101 Dumbest Moments in Business

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day in history

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Have a good weekend.

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day in history

Sunday, April 20, 2003

I took a trip down to Panacea yesterday to take in my final Floridan sunrise. Booty came along because I made her, and she's slowly getting more used to the cat carrier. The beach at sunrise is a quiet, relaxing place, but the sunrise wasn't as good as usual. There was so much fog and haze that the sun didn't actually rise until it was several degrees above the true horizon, so everything was already bright before the sun made an appearance.

There are new pictures from the beach on the Photos page under URI! Pictures, and also more Booty pictures in the usual place.

Yesterday I alternated between doing the violin transcription and setting up the News archive for URI-8. Violin triple stops are a pain to enter in Finale's Speedy Entry, but they do give my nose a workout on the piano.

This guy has more free time than I do.
Denver exhibit reveals what artist concealed

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day in history

Monday, April 21, 2003

I finished the violin sonata transcription just a few minutes ago. It took about forty hours total, and luckily all of the measures didn't look like this one. When it comes to nonstandard notation, Finale is a lot less capable than you might think, although it generally does a good job of faking it.

Now, the only school-related task on my to-do list is to grade some sightsinging exams at the end of the week and submit final grades. After that I'll spend the remaining couple of days packing and playing with my Booty.

I have a whole list of things I'd like to do once I'm back in Virginia, although some of them have been on my list for years now. Even though I really enjoy it, I don't plan on making my job the focal point of my life -- I'm still too young to end every day by coming home from work and watching TV all night long. Perhaps, I'll post some of my list tomorrow.

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day in history

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

There was a great vocal jazz concert this evening in Opperman, featuring the twenty-voice "After Five" vocal group and Leon Anderson's small jazz combo (not together). Leon even sat in on a few tunes to show off his rockin' drum acrobatics.

  • Soloists who aren't plagued with thirty-second note envy
  • Solos with a tune and a direction
  • A good bari sax player
  • Trumpeters who can sound like they're playing flugelhorn
  • Small group jazz vocals
  • Unpretentious solos
  • Closed position vocals planing chromatically
  • Male soloists that don't come off as cheap lounge singers
  • Fun tunes
  • The font

  • When a concert is an hour too long because everyone solos on every song
  • When the bass player goes harmonically kooky in his solo
  • Songs obviously written just for soloing
  • The fact that there are no male soloists that don't come off as cheap lounge singers
  • Drum solos that go for more than a phrase
  • Clapping after every single solo like it's the State of the Union address
  • Singers who just don't have that definitive quality of voice for jazz vocals but still do it
  • Male soloists who can't dance trying to dance, or male soloists that don't know what to do with their hands and look like Eminem on uppers
  • Male soloists doing anything by Gershwin
  • Hell, any male singer singing live outside of an ensemble setting.

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day in history

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Booty came in on little cat feet today. She sat looking at me on silent haunches and then moved on.

Some sort of military plane flew directly over my apartment around noon today. It couldn't have been more than three hundred yards off the ground, judging from my deep knowledge of jet engines and sound physics. It scared the bejeezus out of the cat though.

This must be what they teach in HeadStart
What are you supposed to do when a cow catches fire?
New Techniques in Relationship Communication
First on the list if Sobol ever writes "Five-Hundred-and-Two Minute Mysteries"

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day in history

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I graded all the final exams for my sight singing classes this afternoon. Although the final few late assignments are trickling in as I type, it looks like I'll have 15 As, 9 Bs, 2 Cs, 3 Ds, and 1 F. There's a couple students whose progress I'm skeptical about who squeaked through by a hair, but of course I can't just veto the stated grading policy and fail people on whim. When the grades aren't failing, the best you can do is send them through and wish 'em the best of luck. I don't know how many of the border line students will be able to survive the abbreviated summer section of Sight Singing II though. In terms of final exam grades, I had 4 As, 5 Bs, 7 Cs, 7 Ds, and 6 Fs after an extremely generous curve.

There was a cashier in McDonald's the other night who compensated for slow service times with bigger cups. Waited ten minutes for that cheeseburger? Have a bigger cup! Did the new trainee give you only two chicken nuggets? Take the super size cup! It's amazing that they have any soda left.

Happy birthday Andrea and Philip! Graduate from Tech already, Philip -- six years is way too long.

Booty fights back
All the smart people are from Virginia

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day in history

Friday, April 25, 2003

Booty is six months old today. To celebrate her birthday, I fed her breakfast and told her she didn't have to do chores. I also put her 150th picture up on the Photos page.

My future plans (I of V):
After I return to Virginia in a week's time, my first task will be to become a resident of the state again. This means I need to do all the paperwork, get licenses and IDs, and get my car inspected. At the same time, I'll be looking for a comfortable one or two bedroom apartment outside the Beltway (hopefully in an established development between the Toll Road and I-66). I'd like to have all the moving and signing busywork taken care of before Memorial Day so I can start work with a fresh slate.

Once work is underway and I'm back in a routine, my next big project will be to overhaul this site and move it to a paid server where I have more control over its contents. I'll be doing weekly updates through the summer and I'd like to open up the new site with daily updates starting in September. I've already started tinkering with this, but there's plenty of boring non-fun work that needs doing, like transferring 100 MB of old photos and making sure old pages will still work. Right now, the interface looks pretty snazzy, if I may say so myself.

To be continued tomorrow...

More than 100 animals found in Bear home
Almost 100 tigers found in tiger home

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day in history

Saturday, April 26, 2003

It doesn't look so bad in the picture, but a tree fell on a car outside my building last night. I think the Spanish Moss is fighting back.

We had a TA grading party last night at a professor's house. The purpose was to grade the Sight Singing / Eartraining II final exams and the party came complete with food and vocal renditions of the latest pop hits by a four-year-old. Grading dictation would be much easier if it were multiple choice on Scantrons:

    Can you hear this note?
    • A) Yes
    • B) No
    How about this note?
    • A) Yes
    • B) No

My future plans (II of V):
I have a few programming side projects still on my list. It's anyone's guess as to when they'll finally be completed, but I'm definitely going to try.

Still in limbo since last summer is my Pattern Recognition package, that would search for melodic and harmonic patterns in melodies (which could be used to find motives or partwriting errors). I completed the groundwork for it at the end of last summer but I've mostly lost interest in it since then. This one's not high on my list.

I also need to release an updated version of my game, Augmented Fourth, which was originally released April 1, 2000. There's a few bugs, red herring, and annoyances that I could take out, but none of them were ever showstopping enough to warrant a full update. I meant to release it within six months of the original version, but since then I've forgotten most of the language that it was written in. It will still come out one of these days. Also, the original version will remain on the page as an applet on the Games page, for anyone who never beat it.

One project that I do still have interest in is an aural skills package to improve upon the currently available ones. I'd like to combine the best aspects of various packages like MacGamut and Practica Musica into an intuitive and useable package for undergraduates. I'm sure I could even make a few bucks off of this project if I brought it to fruition, especially if I named it Not Practica Musica. This is a major undertaking, and would probably take a couple years, but hey, it's not like I have homework anymore.

I also plan on learning some synonyms for the word "package".

Once I'm independently wealthy and can retire to my private tropical island paradise, I might even make a version of Finale that works in a logical and consistent manner. Alternately, I'll go on the circuit hiring myself out as a usability consultant -- earning massive amounts of money by telling people what doesn't work.

To be continued tomorrow...

Deliberately Distorting the Digital Mechanism
Do-it-yourselfers remake recent horror movie

By the way, I occasionally post stories from the New York Times. I don't have a login myself since I use a username that someone posted on a website long ago. If you want to read NY Times articles use username: cosmoran password: spider for all your reading needs.

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day in history

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Tonight is the penultimate night of new Alias episodes for season two. Next Sunday, ABC will be showing the last two episodes of the season back to back. Watch.

This afternoon is the annual theory/comp department gala, where grad students and professors team up for three-legged drinking games and sumo wrestling. It will be followed by the annual steel drum concert where various pan players warm up the stage for the weird fruit-slicing gamelan ensemble that follows.

I have the hardest time spelling the various forms of the word "occasion". No matter how many times I look it up, it always looks wrong and I end up double-checking.

My future plans (III of V):
I'd like to learn how to play the violin and guitar. Trumpet is all well and good, but as I've said before, the amount of time you don't practice directly influences the quality of tone you produce. I'd like to play an instrument that you can drop for a few weeks and only lose facility rather than basic tone production. Plus, it's hard to practice trumpet in an apartment.

I'd like to pick up violin simply because I've never played a string instrument before. It would be useful to have some basic ability so that I have more confidence in the next string quartet I compose for a nonexistant competition. As for guitar, it'd just be nice to be able to play a rhythm instrument. No doubt I would become the life of the party.

Clever homeless person wins
He denied band members' accusation that it was underhanded of him to lock their instrument closet, saying the athletic department needed to impose "inventory control" during the transition.

New Booty pictures on the Photos page. This week, Booty fights a clone of herself.

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day in history

Monday, April 28, 2003

During my whirlwind musical explorations, I discovered the British group, Coldplay, and liked their stuff enough to buy their two CDs, Parachutes, and Rush of Blood to the Head. They have a very laid-back and tastefully clean sound that I enjoy listening to. A couple of good numbers you might like listening to: Yellow, Shiver, Clocks, and God Put a Smile on Your Face. Also the song, Scientist, isn't spectacular, but it's got a very artsy video. If you've got a fast enough connection, you can watch it here (WMV 15.7MB).

I met with Dr. Spencer this morning to go over the details of the MFIT project and he gave it his stamp of approval. From there I wandered around campus turning in keys to key people (LOLZ) and finally returned to HMU to pick up final grade sheets which weren't there yet. The only things left on my to-do list now include packing, getting gas (automotive kind), getting a haircut, and doing final grades.

There's going to be a barbeque at Beth's tomorrow for the end of the year, people leaving, and other assorted phenomena. 5 PM, or so I've been told. Feel free to drop by if you happen to live within a ten mile radius of the city.

My future plans (IV of V):
With Finale under my belt, I'd like to really learn my other musical software and hardware, including Cool Edit Pro, MIDI Orchestrator Pro, and the Roland SC-8850 I bought last year. Right now, I know enough to be dangerous with them, but not enough to take full advantage of their musical possibilities. I still have my nicely mixed Recital CD from Tech that I haven't done more than burn MP3s from. I'd like to be able to tweak various aspects, like the pitch-deaf instrumentalist and the occasional wrong note. Also, now that I'm going back to where all my great singer friends are, I'd like to rerecord some of the vocal numbers in a multi-track manner and toy with the balances. The MP3s from the live recital that I have up on the Music page really aren't the greatest quality -- hopefully that will change in the Fall.

Pickled Mutant Babies have everything to do with alcoholism
So what did you do after preschool?
Spread of buggy software raises new questions

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day in history

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

It's been two full years since my crazy final undergraduate recital. If I had it all to do over, I would have dropped the brass quintet piece, added another brass ensemble piece or a vocal piece, and sped up the Arutunian. I'd also print about fifty fewer of those novel-sized programs.

I'm looking forward to getting a new TV in Virginia and playing video games. Over the past few months, the image on my current TV has slowly bled off the top of the screen so every actor looks like a midget with a giant forehead (the bottom half is still properly proportioned). Since almost every video game puts pertinent information like health and time at the top of the screen, it's like I'm playing the games in an iron man competition, blind to all stats. After dying unexpectedly several times in Zelda a few weeks ago, I put the video games on temporary hiatus. I guess I can add "finish all the unfinished video games" to my list of future plans, although it doesn't sound nearly humanitarian or noble enough.

Booty has a rotating list of favourite games she likes to play. In honour of National Girl Scout Leader Day and the forthcoming Booty cookie (sign the petition if it reaches you!) I've decided to summarize the games here:

  • Reverse Whack-a-Mole: Tilt sofa cushions into standard fort setup with opening at the top. Hide inside until Brian hovers his face over the opening. Spring out with both paws in front and punch him in the face. Return to hiding. Repeat as desired.
  • Fetch: (can be played with fur mouse or string) Chase string around the apartment until Brian gets bored and throws the string in a hard-to-reach location, such as the wet tub or on top of a bookshelf. Retrieve string and bring it back to Brian's chair. Meow until game restarts.
  • Bagtie Derby: Chase bagtie in rapidly expanding concentric circles until dizzy, then try to catch it in a straight line when it's thrown.
  • DaVinci's Cat's Cradle: Chase bagtie in gadually widening arcs, eventually running up walls to heights of four and five feet. (Matrix Variation involves running up the wall and actually stealing the bagtie by pushing off the wall upside down and catching it in midair.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Knock all toys underneath the couch, out of reach. Game ends when there are no toys left.
  • Mental Aerobics: Be CRAZY. Sprint around the room, charging at various objects and occasionally run into things while growling. Pretend there are alien cats chasing you. Be CRAZY.
  • Mexican Peon Game: Drink lots of water and then pee on the carpet.

My future plans (V of V):
I'd like to learn how to do more with Photoshop, since I currently know the bare minimums required to fake effects. I've seen some incredible artwork created with Photoshop, and it'd be nice to get my hand back into the art-biz somehow. I also plan on reading the instruction manual for my digital camera. All I've ever done with it is point n' click, and there's probably many more options that I don't know about which would make my pictures suck less.

I'd also like to read some on sociology and history from the past hundred years, but it's so much more fun to read books that I've already read before.

All these grandiose plans are of course accompanied by the usual plan to exercise more and get out of the house more. I'll probably do some sports through work like soccer and basketball and ultimate frisbee, and hopefully I'll live in an area that's conducive to jogging to McDonald's. I've even got a book on how to work out without actual equipment, though I haven't done more than skim it so far.

Finally, I want to get back into hiking and biking since northern Virginia is close enough to trails and mountains for both. I'd rather hike on a mountain and bike on a trail, but maybe I'll mix things up and hike on a bike.

Shyne: F*ck
Shyne: my cat just fell down the stairs
Shyne has left the game

tagged as random, cats | permalink | 2 comments
day in history

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Today is the final daily update for the Seventh Edition of the URI! Domain (TRAGIC!). This will also be your last chance to add new comments to News posts (using the Asian button on the upper right corner of this news item) so go ahead and post your final witticism or goodbye as you see fit. The old comments will still be available on the Archive page so you can read them on those long summer days when you get bored with online cards / hook-ups and decide to read all two years' worth of updates in a single sitting. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to devote a little more energy to the updates than I did last semester. How'd I do?

I'll be leaving for the homeland tomorrow morning and may not be online regularly for a couple weeks, but when I return it'll be at the same e-mail address and IM screenname. If you'd like my real address and are or are not a lovelorn stalker, just ask me for it.

The URI! Domain definitely had an interesting evolution these past two years. Originally written to provide a quick and dirty way of keeping in touch with Virginians, the focus of my updates shifted after a few months to cater to Floridans who started reading after Jim Barry became addicted, as well as the few online communities I got back into after a long hiatus. I still get plenty of lurkers too, who visit in search of dancing squirrels or by stalking me through Google (such as the visitors from Central College, University of Missouri at Columbia, and Cogeco Cable in Canada who, to this day, I don't know). To an extent, the site has become split between personal life updates and happy inanities to brighten everyone's day.

There are definitely things I'll miss about living in Tallahassee, although I think I'll benefit from living in a place with a faster pace. I've often said in the past that I don't think I took full advantage of being down here, and that still holds true. Although I arrived with the mindset of getting a complete fresh start, I never truly "settled" here, so I had no real emotional attachment to the place. Florida became a temporary interruption to my Virginia life, which is probably one of the reasons I'm going back. Still, I'm coming away with a few good friends, a cat named Booty, and a degree that I'll stick in my drawer with the others so they're not so lonely. I definitely needed the time here to realize what I should do next.

Someone said I should stir up a hornets' nest by posting honest opinions of everyone in Tallahassee and giving everyone something to talk about all summer, but I don't think that would be the most beneficial way of ending. Instead, I'll just say that I enjoyed meeting all of you clowns and I have no doubt that I'll hear from you all as soon as you have more computer questions. Just remember that I'm on the clock now so my consulting fee has doubled.

My company, FGM, is in the middle of another hiring streak with a panoply of openings for software engineers, managers, interns, system architects, developers, and designers. It's not too late to give up your idyllic lifestyle for the bustle of the D.C. metropolitan area. Every position comes with benefits and concubines.

The next update will be around Memorial Day sometime. Do fun things in your respective lives in the meantime. Once I have a bachelor pad in uptown Chantilly somewhere, you're all always welcome to come visit and say hello to me and Booty. Keep in touch, yo!

Man realizes the benefits of going back to school
Duck seriously wounds Jesus
Duct seriously winds man
Man killed by faulty understanding of "ear training drills"
Extreme ironing combines the domestic chore with dangerous sports, like scuba diving and rock-climbing.
Man loves his crack too much
Women employees of Wal-Mart were taken to strip clubs on business trips, demeaned as "little Janie Qs" by senior managers

tagged as website, day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment
day in history


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