04/2005

Monday, April 04, 2005

I spent all of last week sprawled on the couch in the final throes of various diseases (see Figure A for a reenactment of how I sprawled). Since I could barely sit at my computer without falling over, I missed all of last week's planned updates, which were to include: an interview with Astrid Spielman, lead singer of the punk band, The Particles, build-it-yourself instructions for a glow-in-the-dark pinata, and a new composition with the title, Where is Alex?.

To make up for this lack of updates, I've added some new cat pictures to the Photos page, and will describe my week for your reading pleasure.

I was feeling fine last Saturday and made a roast leg of lamb for my parents, who stopped by in the evening for dinner. The lamb turned out just fine, but the recipe apparently called for me to snag the roasting pan on the oven door so the lamb could somersault through the air in an exploding miasma of tomato sauce.

On Sunday morning, I went to work for a few hours to clean up a few outstanding tasks. I felt bad almost immediately and was home by 8 o' clock with a headache and a fever. I spent the next three days with a fever in the hundreds and one of those body-convulsing coughs that reverberates through your body like the bass in Dancing Queen but doesn't seem to have any effect.

After three days of that garbage, I oozed down to the doctor on Thursday. He said I had a Bacterial Chest Infection (which is incidentally going to be the name of my first heavy metal CD, due out next year) and prescribed some antibiotics to mix with my Tussin. Evidently I never fully got over my cold from two weeks ago, and after helping Anna move a bunch of boxes out from underneath the stairs last weekend, my lungs were coated in cobwebs of sick like holiday tinsel.

Life was a lot more manageable on antibiotics. On Friday, I watched Shaun of the Dead which was funny and worth a viewing, and Closer, which was not. On Saturday, I watched Wicker Park which was also quite good, and reread the complete Chronicles of Prydain.

It's now Monday and my lungs are feeling much better, but I'm very weak and have to rest a lot. I lost five pounds since everything I ate tasted like Tussin. I'm going back to work tomorrow, so hopefully things will go back to normal.

Also, Sydney is now fighting crime as the Caped Avenger:

(695KB WMV)

Optimus Prime dies of prostate cancer
Ms. Wheelchair stripped of title for standing up
Four male models who appeared in an ad campaign against domestic violence are suing New York City, saying the posters stayed up beyond the agreed time, leading people to think they really were wife beaters.

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

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I successfully made it through day one of "Take Yourself Back to Work" week. Very little changed in the week I was out -- the guy with the mule laugh is still in the office around the corner and the bathroom still smells like fruit loops when they forget to ventilate it. I'll probably work extra this weekend so I don't have to use up more of my bottomless leave pool on sickness.

"Who is 'the loneliest monk'?" - MTV News Reporter Tabitha Soren after her interview with Bill Clinton, in which Clinton said his dream was to play sax with Monk

Because there can never be too many shows on UPN
Because we need more Al Gore in the media
Teachers fail at peer mediation

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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I added a very simple polling system to the URI! Zone today -- you can see it on the right sidebar underneath the calendar. This will allow you readers to express your opinions on a wide variety of topics such as cheese consumption and whether or not Michael Jackson used the lead pipe in the Conservatory. Abuse of the poll will result in a poll tax.

At some point, I'd like to update the Comments script to show how many comments have been posted on any news update. Are there any other modifications you'd like to see? Let me know through the comments button in the lower right!

I will not reduce the number of exclamation points!

The drama came as the plane [...] prepared to take off [...] for the second time after an earlier fuel scare halted the planned take-off.
Harvard to Librarians: Look the Part!
Star Wars fanatics camp outside of the wrong theatre

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Google has a fun new tool for all you stalkers out there. They quietly released the beta version of their mapping tool, maps.google.com a while back, and have now added a satellite imagery overlay to the equation. Now, you can punch in an address and then see a fairly clear satellite snapshot of the area. Here's a map of Tallahassee, when I lived two blocks from school:

Now all Google needs to maintain their supremacy is the ability to send a pizza to anyone's house through a point-n-click web interface.

Life is like a box of file cabinets
Fatty sheriff tracks down letter writer
POPEMAN to the rescue

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Friday, April 08, 2005

Here are some recent cat videos for your Friday afternoon:

Slinky Cat (1 MB WMV)
Licking (507KB WMV)
Around and Around (400KB WMV)

Happy Birthday Ben and Diana, and Happy Sunday Birthday, Mom!

Desperate Housewives Photo Flap

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Monday, April 11, 2005

Recently, a Baltimore man protested a hidden installation charge at Best Buy by paying it completely in two dollar bills . This act of disobedience got him arrested and inspected by the Secret Service (see the news story for details).

The part of this that irks me is the reaction of the police spokesman after clearing the customer: "It's a sign that we're all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world." What an idiotic, yet effective, way to pass the blame for a mistake which never should have happened. Next time I get pulled over for speeding, I'll just tell the officer that I felt anxious for my safety in this post-9/11 world and was hurrying home to my bomb shelter.

Man goes to jail for shooting himself
Outlaw blows himself up
Woman sues after "fire pole mishap"

tagged as politics | permalink | 1 comment

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Now that I'm no longer living an infected life, I'm back in the swing of doing housal tasks. My next big assignment will be to redecorate the large guest room on the ground floor. I've already picked out a red carpet and next up will be the wall colour. I plan on hiring the recently-fired Paige Davis, formerly of Trading Spaces to report on the ongoing renovation of the room.

Stolen dogs not dead, only dyed
Dominatrix joins the government, finds former client
Fishing for people

"A decorator can make lots of money -- provided she wins the lottery." - Wendy Morgan

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

People are concerned because the latest study of cloned beef showed minimal differences between it and the real thing . Personally, I'm all for cloned foods. Everything we're going to eat will kill us off in the end regardless, and whatever secret genetic mutations may be lurking in the depths of a cloned cow haunch can't be any worse for us than twenty-four buckets of Popeyes chicken. Think how great steak would taste if they bred the perfect cow and then cloned it into oblivion. In addition, it would do a lot to solve the world's hunger problems, given the declining number of farmers versus commercialization and industry.

Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest
Homeowner killed after discovering man living in his home
Early risers are mutants

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

I bought 28 square yards of red carpet for the guest room yesterday and will be prepping the room for painting tonight. I've also started working on a series of four lunchtime seminars I'll be giving at work on various music topics in August. When not cleaning or working or planning, I'm accumulating over 800 gold in World of Warcraft with a Level 48 character.

Alias is slowly getting better. The first half of the season was too self-contained without enough addictive storylines to keep viewers coming back, but now they're starting to explore some meaty stories which could bring the show back up to its former glory.

Demotivational Posters

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Friday, April 15, 2005

Cookies are a sometimes food .

I think by this point in history, it should be common sense that eating the wrong foods will make you fat, and feeding the wrong foods to your kids will turn them into little whining beachballs. Hopefully, McDonald's remains an anytime food.

Nonsense paper accepted at conference
Bush has privacy concerns, endorses Patriot Act anyways
Where not to hide your confession

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Another blog I read recently mentioned the dread of approaching a birthday without being where you want to be in your Grand Timeline of Life. I no longer subscribe to the timeline/goals way of tracking time. To me, life is just a bunch of memorable days interspersed with many more mundane days. Instead of thinking "This is what I'd like to do by the time I'm 30", I'd rather think "This is what I'd like to do this year". I'd rather be living my life than going somewhere in my life.

This weekend, I tore up the old carpet and tackboards in the guest room and repainted the walk-in closet, covering ages of pencil scribblings and scuff marks. Tonight I'll be picking out a paint shade to go with the carpet and tomorrow I'll be doing a bunch of tasks with my dad like sanding and painting. Pretty soon, I'm going to be reviving parts of Auricle, specifically the interfaces I wrote to take MIDI keyboard input and display it on an onscreen keyboard. Since that piece was mostly complete, I'm going to adapt it for my purposes in my August music presentations.

Happy Birthday Kim (yesterday)!

Why did the chicken cross the road?
Who polices the policers?
Another story from the "Person Beats Off Someone" file

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I went out and bought four cans of Pebble Beige last night, using Anna as my seeing-color dog. The picture on the left shows a small test of the color next to a fragment of carpet. The picture on the right was computer-generated with a complex computer algorithm to show you how the room might look after it's painted.

Next up will be sanding, painting, carpeting, and then, of course, buying knick knacks and furniture.

However, the owner of the phone has since refused to have it returned to him saying it was damaged beyond repair and he would be filing an insurance claim.
Some girls say it's weird that he's still here, but the bottom line is they all want him.
Get paid to snitch on your classmates

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Tonight on Alias we find out more about the strange guy pretending to be Arvin Sloane in another country with his own CIA-like operation. The actor they chose for the part, Joel Gray of Cabaret, looks alarmingly like Ron Rifkin's long-lost brother. Coincidentally, Ron Rifkin also played an identical role in a production of Cabaret in his career.

Guest Room Fest 2005 is halfway done, with all the walls painted a pleasing shade of colour. What remains is to recarpet the room, put in new moldings, paint all the trim, and buy some furniture.

Have a happy 4/20. Hopefully no one shoots up any schools today, unless they're intravenous school addicts.

Police called to the scene said Lyonne told the neighbor, "I'm going to sexually molest your dog."
"Reindeer do not normally run off cliffs when they are grazing on the top of the mountain," Pavval said
Journalist does not realize there is such a thing as "past tense"

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

A pet peeve of mine is having to write the account number on checks when paying bills, especially in the case of Adelphia, who assigns account numbers with fourteen digits and a spicing of hyphens. If I, the paying customer, am taking the time and a stamp out of my day to give you money, then your no-talent customer support staff should be able to read the account number off the bill. Or, you could take three cents out of your enormous profits to give us all little stickers with the account numbers printed on them. To alleviate this situation, I write the account number as fast as possible, so it slows them down with deciphering time on the other end.

I also find it ironic that Adelphia is my provider for cable and high-speed internet, yet I cannot pay my Adelphia bills online. I believe this feature was marked as "coming soon" when I first moved up here a year ago.

Ants gearing up to take over the world
Drunk monkeys gearing up to take over the world
Elephants gearing up to take over the world

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Friday, April 22, 2005

There's really nothing new to report today, so have a bunch of news stories instead. Also, Happy Sunday Birthday to Philip and Andrea!

Be the first on your block to squat the Pope
After naked flushing, distraught owner "had a couple of peanuts".
Drive-by Sausaging
Making "voices in my head" a valid defense tactic, one step at a time
You say bomb, I say bong.

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Monday, April 25, 2005

Every so often on XM 29: UPOP, they'll play a "global hit" from another country. I find it quite amusing that this song is apparently one of the best that Europe has to offer: (418KB MP3)

Florida man puts car out of its misery
The Boobies Music Video
One nation under your belief system

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

While helping Anna pick out wedding music yesterday, we stumbled across a bizarre subculture in the music world. Take a well-known classical tune, like Pachelbel's Canon in D, and mix in ambient sound from the beach. What do you get? Pachelbel with Ocean Sounds of course!

Apparently catering to relaxing Zen yuppies is a huge market, as evidenced by the selection of albums available. I have yet to find a recording of Debussy's La Mer with Ocean Sounds, but I bet it's out there somewhere. Then again, this phenomenon could just be a new spin on really bad twentieth-century contemporary music, where Sonata for Contrabassoon and Piano by Philip Reich Cage really should have been called Piano Accompaniment with Contrabassoon Sounds.

A "strange thing in sandwich" lawsuit that finally rings true
High tech solution to highway congestion

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

If you've been living under a rock, (or alternately, under Iraq in a country such as Somalia which may not broadcast US shows), you won't know that Lost is coming back for its last five episodes of the season, starting next week. Lost is arguably one of the best ensemble cast TV shows this year, but it's hard to follow if you haven't been watching all year.

Tonight at 8, ABC is showing a one hour recap-show of all the events to date, so tune in if the show intrigues you but you never got around to watching it. In general, I think clip shows are stupid, especially clip shows that disguise themselves as new shows (see "The One Where They Were Too Lazy to Write a Real Story" from every year of Friends after year two, or Joe Millionaire Finale: Not Really the Finale But We Fooled You Ha Ha, or even every other night of American Idol for examples of these atrocities). However, this particular clip show could be a good way to refresh our collective memories about a show that's taken more months off than a tenured professor at any institution of higher learning.

I also cleaned up some broken pages and refreshed the Links section last night.

Will 'Lost' recap help viewers find some answers?

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Major work on the new guest room is complete, just in time for Florida-Kathy to move in for the summer. All I have left is to move some more furniture in and take care of things like curtains and bedspreads.

Safe places to hide when you're a car thief
101 things to do with condoms
Friends find treasure in back yard

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Friday, April 29, 2005

Withthe end of the month nearing, you should be wary of slack Friday updates which only contain new cat pictures on the Photos page. I believe the government refers to this as Code Orange, White, and Black.

Doctors remove 50 maggots from man's ears
Car takes the wrong exit
Ms. Duncombe had told the Daily Telegraph she did not know what the flag signified until the controversy erupted, but would not remove it because her four-month-old daughter liked its bright colours.
The new alternative to failing out and going home

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