03/2005

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Anna and I put a deposit down on a pair of 4-month-old kittens yesterday, and we're going back tonight to pick them up. They're sisters, though they might not look it in the picture. We drove out last night in the snow to see them, and in the few minutes we played with them, we noticed that their personalities are very similar to Booty and Kitty.

Now there will be enough cats for Doubles and/or Four-Square.

None of the winners - Bush, Rumsfeld, Spears or the goat - were on hand to accept their awards.
Criminal mastermind to go whale-hunting in Utah
Those crazy but lovable monks
Bono up for Nobel Peace Prize

tagged as cats | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Here are pictures of the new kittens in the manor. Kitty and Booty are disgruntled at the new arrivals, but more snooty than aggressive. I'm a little behind on pictures, but I hope to rectify that next week when I do tons of updates to the site. In the meantime, I've uploaded a couple movies of the new kittens:

"Cali" (1 MB WMV)
"Tiggy" (1 MB WMV)
Special DVD Commentary from Booty (726KB WMV)

Bush's Obscene Fines
Road kill candy angers animal rights activists
Super Mario in Post-it notes
Adware maker joins federal privacy board

tagged as cats | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I'm taking a week off from work next week to take care of a lot of outstanding errands and projects. One of them will be a moderate update to this site. Do you have any suggestions for the modifications? Sections you visit that you'd like to see improved? Topics that aren't covered enough or are covered too much in news updates? Let me know!

My Dinner at Applebee's With White Supremacists!
City should be at fault for the actions of retarded teenagers
Lawmakers Press for Decency Limits on Pay TV, Radio

permalink | 12 comments

Monday, March 14, 2005

Greetings from "I took a week off and you didn't"-ville. Life and cats are good. We're considering the names Sydney and Amber for the kittens, though April might be in the mix too. I'll talk more about them in another update, since this one is reserved for the new look of the URI! Zone.

After experimenting with several dramatic layout redesigns, I finally decided on a moderate graphic revision while maintaining most of what worked from the old site. The URI! Zone has been around for nine years now, which makes it younger than the shirts I bought in high school and still wear regularly, but older than most cats or dogs you currently own (Chompy included). I think I finally did the navigation well around Year Eight, so I'm sticking to my guns in that regard. The Links page has been trimmed down and the posting bug on the Forum has been fixed, but you won't find much new functionality at this point.

Here are the short-term upgrades that I have planned:

  • A navigation calendar on each month's news updates, so you can quickly locate a particular day.
  • Clean up of dead news links from July 2003 - February 2005 (earlier posts are all cleaned up now)
  • New avatars for frequent posters in the Comments section
  • New text on the About page about this past year's site
  • A picture on every news updates
  • Minutely more interesting news updates
  • More funny quotes
  • The backlog of photos from the past two months

Here are the long-term upgrades that I have planned:

  • A new navigation scheme for Photos (possibly many pictures per page)
  • Weekly or daily polls
  • A local search engine
  • Gaming-related pages

I have no grandiose plans for the site, other than to keep it regularly updated and interesting. I'd like to see the Forum get a little more use, though it's generally hard for the various visitors from school, work, games, and links to find things worth talking about. In general, I've stayed away from the deep and the somber in news updates, and I'll continue this for now. There are plenty of more interesting blogs discussing the meaning of life, angstful teenage poetry, or right-wing conspiracies, so the URI! Zone will continue to be a light site about weird news, stupid people, my personal life, and the occasional critique of a passing fad when my feelings on the subject exceed the Too-Apathetic-To-Write meter.

One of the things I always wanted to do is to create a comprehensive resource about something, be it Alias episodes, a band's music, or gaming tips. I've avoided this for two reasons:

  1. There are very few interesting, non-self-serving subjects which I'd consider myself an expert in
  2. There is already a comprehensive resource for anything you can think of on the Internet.

If you can convince me otherwise, or have a topic I could write about, feel free to let me know. What do you think about the new look? Fire away!

In advance of major holidays, sports events and parades, Luzhkov forks out tens of thousands of dollars for planes to seed clouds with dry ice and liquid nitrogen.
Inmate given laxatives as prank
Attorney accidentally sues himself
Teachers refuse to give homework

"I'd like to buy an owl." - Contestant on Wheel of Fortune

tagged as website, day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The new cats have very distinct personalities. Sydney is the psychotic grey one who likes to make feeding time hard by diving into the food tin while we're trying to scoop. She'll load up her cheeks with food, chipmunk-style, and then jump out and spray pellets all over the floor so she can eat them at her leisure. It's quite possible that she has worms, and we're taking her to the vet on Thursday to get her checked out. Sydney doesn't like being held for long periods of time but she's getting to be a better sport about it. There's a very feral streak in her, as if she were a fighting alley cat in a former life.

Amber is quieter and more thoughtful, and tends to run away from everything (then come immediately back). She doesn't have nearly as much of a food fetish as her sister and is not as gung-ho about playing with us. However, she's like Kitty because she'll play pretend by herself when no one's watching, and go tearing around the house in the process. Both cats play with each other all evening long, and occasionally Booty will join in a chase or two.

Kitty and Booty are tolerating the new ones just fine. If you place a kitten near Kitty, she'll mother it and if you place a kitten near Booty, she'll punch it in the face and chase it down the hall.

City cursed by stone
Anthrax in the DoD
Customers were scared of his riffs
Greyhounds not really dogs

_T TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE
Contestant: "I'd like to solve the puzzle."
Pat Sajak: "This shouldn't be too hard. Go ahead."
Contestant: "E.T. takes one to know one."
Pat Sajak: "Uhh...really?"

permalink | 7 comments

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Last night we watched The Incredibles, which was an all-around excellent movie. The story was cliched enough to be humorous in parody while still having the obligatory kids' message. The graphics were especially good, even better than Finding Nemo, and water and hair were particularly well done. Besides all of that, it was funny, creative, and had a great score. The DVD set is 2-disc, and comes with tons of features, most of which we haven't seen yet. The outtakes are stupid and not up to par with outtakes on other animated movies, but some of the other stuff is pretty interesting.

Of the "new" generation of animated movies, this one ranks up pretty high on my list of favorites, with the Shreks, Finding Nemo, and the Toy Story's.

All the dead links from 2003 news updates have been cleaned up. There's also a new Alias tonight.

Cookies, 99 out of a 100 times, are not an invasion of a consumer's privacy or security.
Boy awakened from coma by Green Day
Woman terrified of pot cookie

"I've outdone anybody you can name -- Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Strauss. Irving Berlin, he wrote 1,001 tunes. I wrote 5,500." - James Brown

tagged as reviews | permalink | 3 comments

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy Saint Patrick's Day. This particular iteration of St. Patrick's Day (the 25th Edition) was relatively uneventful for me. We took the new cats and their poop to Pender Vet for a check-up and de-worming treatment, and then I came home, did some work involving submission statuses, threw a corned beef in the crock pot, and cleaned up the kitchen. The only real interesting facet of this entry is that I actually had to count up from 1979, because I couldn't remember how old I was.

St. Patrick's Day was usually hard for me in school, because my colour-blindness resulted in a paucity of green attire. Generally, I taped a dollar bill around my finger and called it a day. In honour of exciting St. Patrick's Days, here are some things I've done in the past:

  • 1994: Went to the funeral of a high school crew coach who died from complications in a sledding accident at the Masonic Temple
  • 1995: Took three tests: physics, vocabulary, and history. 11th grade vocabulary tests were always easy because they were multiple-choice and the teacher thought she was clever by spelling things like UNCOPYWRIGHTABLE and POUCHFITZGERALD with the answers. Apparently she couldn't think up any other recognizable words because she alternated with those two every couple weeks.
  • 1996: Went to a Crew Open Boathouse and then had corned beef for dinner (It was a Sunday).
  • 1997: No recollection.
  • 1998: Played trumpet at Convocation at Tech, the first movement of my trumpet concerto, The Hero.
  • 1999: Nothing notable.
  • 2000: Home for spring break and spent all day working on an aborted IF game, Robin Caruso (see the Archive for details).
  • 2001: Nothing notable.
  • 2002: Finished composing a string quartet and went to a bar for some pool.
  • 2003: Hung out with friends in Florida at a bar while Booty made a web page (see the Archive for details).
  • 2004: Nothing notable.
  • 2005: How will this holiday compare? Only time will tell.
At the race, the petite woman racer caused yet another upset by beating off her fellow 12 Proton teammates -- all of whom are men -- much to the delight of the small group of female fans watching from their part of the segregated stadium.

tagged as lists | permalink | 9 comments

Friday, March 18, 2005

After days of procrastination, I've finally posted the backlog of cuddly cat pictures to the Photos section. There's also a six-part series entitled Snuggles. The plot of this series is easily accessible for kids of all ages, as it involves two kittens sleeping together in various beds around the house.

In addition, here are a few new cat movies for those of you who think that the Internet should be a phantasmagoria of moving bits.

When Cats Are High (1 MB WMV)
Desperate Foodcats (475KB WMV)
The Shower Game (940KB WMV)
Light Show (2MB WMV)
Booty and Sydney (674KB WMV)

Anna said I was spelling our cat's name wrong, so it's name is now officially Sydney instead of Sidney.

Stop Sexy Cheerleading
Man Found Napping in Car with Holdup Note
A novel approach to bullies
Sex Doll Sparks Bomb Alert

permalink | 0 comments

Monday, March 21, 2005

I've been listening to Origin of Symmetry, an import album by Muse, and as usual, I think it's really good. The first half is more promising than the last half, and there are no "hit" songs on it, but it's a real album (something you don't find often these days). One of the things I like about Muse is that their music is accessible and hard-hitting while still remaining artistic and musical. Also, their songs are more heavy-handed than angry and they get some neat effects out of their instruments.

This album is definitely more "noisy" than my favourite album, Absolution, but it uses noise to the fullest effect. Songs are tied together thematically and sometimes through shared ostinatos or noisy segues.

Here are two extended samples from the CD (in easy-to-download mono MP3 format) to give you a taste. Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section or on the Forum. I particularly like the chromatically descending chorus in Space Dementia (all twelve tones!), and the reuse of similar bass rhythms between two songs in dissimilar styles.

Space Dementia (757KB MP3)
Hyper Music / Plug In Baby (1MB MP3)

I have to admit though, that I hate the CD itself. It's one of those fake-out multimedia CDs that pretends to give you bonus computer features so you can't play it on your computer. I had to record the entire thing to a MiniDisc, copy it onto my computer, and burn it to a CD just so I could listen to it somewhere away from my car or my living room.

For more Muse, see my entries from December 30, 2004, and October 25, 2004.

A movie can't fail when you describe it as 'Titanic in Space', can it?
Two women want to marry Peterson
Bono is now a world policy consultant
Freebird!

tagged as music, reviews | permalink | 2 comments

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Anna and Ben closed on a nearly-new townhouse in Manassas today. It's one of those three bedroom / two and a half bath setups with the high vaulted ceiling in the third floor bedroom. Anna and Ben got engaged on 2-22-04, and they put the contract down on this townhouse one month ago today, on 2-22-05. Chalk another one up to the power of 222 -- congratulations!

Vaginas open up at Georgia State
'Lost' numbers come up as losers
"Well I'm not about to hop up onto the table!" he says. "Unless Michael does that in court himself, of course."
High-tech shoe used to rob casino

permalink | 1 comment

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I've added the dynamically generated calendar to all the News pages now, so you can see at a glance which days have important news updates on them. Following one of the links will take you directly to the post from that day.

This leaves a nice aerodynamic black hole at the top of each page. I'm open to suggestions on how to fill said hole. I was considering doing a random cycling through various photos from the Photos page, or possibly rotating banner ads like this one, courtesy of Chris:

Have an idea? Post some suggestions with the Comments link at the lower right.

In other site news, I've helped bring www.nohunters.com back from the dead, for all you Warcraft/Frenzy fans .

permalink | 3 comments

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ruby Tuesday's redone their menu again and they now have some great Chicken Tenders with mild wing-sauce. Their fry seasoning still sucks though. After dinner, we went out to show Anna's associated relatives the townhouse in Manassas.

I've moved the calendar to the right side of the page, reducing the black hole count by one. I broke down and threw some HTML tables into the code because my CSS books are all at work. Tables get the job done so much faster when you don't plan on changing the site anytime soon. Besides, the W3C validator says my page is perfect in every way, so who am I to argue with standards?

This weekend, I'll add a daily random picture to the news page.

Chili is now finger food
When there's nothing else to do on a Friday night and you won't take your meds
Sue your prof

permalink | 3 comments

Friday, March 25, 2005

There's now a randomly rotating picture on the overleaf of the calendar. You too have a chance at being the centerfold of the minute!

tagged as website | permalink | 1 comment

 

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