05/2013

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Memory Day: This Day in High School

10th Grade

May 1, 1994 Sunday

I finished the assignments for chapters 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 today. Theoretically speaking, I won't have any biology homework until around May 27.

11th Grade

May 1, 1995 Monday

Today was just a normal day. I don't really listen in Physics anymore because the new sub isn't the greatest explainer in the world. American Civ was normal. I tried to stay awake but I couldn't. Stage band went well. I played a good Samba solo. During that period, I started seeing spots, a sure sign that I would eventually have a headache. I had had small pains every so often earlier but not big problems. The spots got worse through precal and the headache came during french. We worked on our stories. I sat out in band and it got a little better. The band voted for drum major today. Hilda and I were the only ones but I'm not sure whether there'll be one or two majors. I'd like to work with Hilda, but at the same time, I don't really want to share the leadership with someone. As Jay said, he thinks that another major would just get in my way. At crew, we did a 30 minute piece up towards the Anacostia River. We got to the Naval Yard in DC. We got back at around 5. I got a ride home with Jay. We talked about a lot of different things. I've got scouts tonight.

12th Grade

May 1, 1996 Wednesday

Today was pretty long. I got up at 4:30 and drove to crew. We did pieces against the junior guys and senior girls and did well. Theory and physics were normal. English was a movie. The rest of the school day was boring. After band, I went back to crew for afternoon practice, and then went to Pit rehearsal. We didn't actually start until 7 so we had to sit around for 1.5 hours. Mr. Randall got angry and yelled at Mrs. Masters (the drama teacher), who doesn't know what she's doing. We got done at 10:30 and I came home. I have crew again tomorrow morning and then tomorrow night is the opening night for the play. Some parts will be really good and some, really disjunct.

tagged as games | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Staples Hyken Technical Mesh Task Chair:
This was the chair I selected to replace the Costco bargain bin chair I'd had for ten years. It's one of the few chairs I've tried that a short person can sit all of the way back in and still have their knees bent properly over the front. The hardest part of adapting was to eliminate old sitting habits and force myself to sit upright for the first few days. The mesh is quite comfortable, and the construction of the chair is sturdy enough.

After a month of sitting, I've found that my acute back pain, generally focused around specific vertebrae, has now distributed itself evenly across my whole back. Following a long sitting session for my Olympic sitting training, I'm most likely to have normal shoulder stiffness, which can be easily resolved with normal stretches. This is a huge improvement, in my opinion.

I'm torn on the head cradle -- the part that supports the head and neck does a good job and is quite comfortable. However, the curved plastic on the edges tends to dig into my shoulders if it's not positioned just right, and its height is only minorly adjustable. I imagine that it'd be worse for taller people -- try in the store before you buy.

Final Grade: B+

Midlife Vices by Greg Giraldo:
Another fun CD of scathing social commentary that might offend people with thin skin. I liked this one slightly more than Good Day to Cross a River.

Final Grade: B+

Game of Thrones, Season Two:
Season Two was highly entertaining, but once I reached the end, I felt like not a whole lot had happened. In the one class session of undergraduate Operating Systems that I did not sleep through, I learned that as your job scheduler tries to multitask on more and more jobs at once, the job slices become too small, and the forward progress on each job is smothered under the overhead of switching between each job. Obviously, the plot for Game of Thrones was written to provide a concrete example of job scheduling, as we rarely got to spend enough time on any one storyline to get invested before jumping elsewhere.

I also felt like this season relied a bit too much on magic over politics, which is a dangerous path for any fantasy series to take. I would watch more scenes featuring Littlefinger's machinations any day over what appeared to be deleted scenes from Harry Potter and the Vagina of Shadows.

Final Grade: B

Budos Band III by the Budos Band:
I bought this CD based on a Pandora song recommendation. The songs on the CD are too uniform, and they all blend together when I listen to them -- definitely a case where a single song in a mix is great but a whole album is overkill. There's also an intensity to the music that's almost grim, as if they wanted to take the "fun" out of "funk". Final note: if you are ever composing a song and need to approximate the feeling of indigestion into musical form, just double the tenor sax and trumpet in unison for about 45 minutes. This CD nails it.

Final Grade: C+

tagged as reviews | permalink | 4 comments

Friday, May 03, 2013

Answers Day

the sequel to Questions Day

Is the future basement dweller one of your urizonetian commenters? - Mom

The future basement dweller is Rebecca's younger cousin, who might be attending NOVA after high school, and lives 22 miles deeper into Loudoun County. Living here would reduce her daily commute to NOVA by 19 miles.

Darth Vader vs. zombie horde: GO - Groovymarlin

This really depends upon the nature of the competition between the involved parties.

Contest Darth Vader Zombie Horde
Battle Royale with each other WINNER
100 Yard Dash WINNER
Dancing With The Stars WINNER
Hot Dog Eating Contest WINNER
Anger Management WINNER
Cultural fads that BU sees no appeal in TIE TIE

Is it better to use spray sunscreen or lotion? - Doobie

  • Spray sunscreen can be self-applied, while lotion requires you to have, or pretend to have, friends with whom body-touching isn't icky. Otherwise, you'll end up with a burnt, smarting negative-space hand mural between your shoulder blades. We had a guy that this happened to on the 2002 OBX trip, who we called Josh, because that was his name.

  • Lotion bottles can be refilled and reused to maintain your green cred. Empty spray bottles accumulate so quickly that you'll quickly bring a landfill to capacity unless you come up with some unnecessary crafts projects, and the world has enough Etsy jewelry.

  • The true SPF rating of any lotion sunscreen is (originalSPF - 20) because that's how much time has passed by the time you're done applying it.

  • Lotion is much cheaper per application, especially since 5% of the spray bottle is sunscreen while 95% is magic propellant dust.

Evidence-based decision marking shows that spray sunscreen is the clear winner here. Screw the environment. In fact, buy the Coppertone bulk spray sunscreen that comes packaged in an SUV.

Have a good weekend! Start it out right with this cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance".

tagged as you speak | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, May 06, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday night we ordered carryout from Joe's Pizzaria, where I discovered a new candidate for the "most consistent wings" award, with a crispy shell and juicy meat. I feel like many of the wing chains I've been to tend to overhype wings with the consistency of an 80-year-old woman's bicep. We also watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which Rebecca had heard about in a radio interview with Robert Downey Jr.

On Saturday, I loaded up on unnecessary Costco goods, and we had a Cinco de Mayo barbeque one day early. Our barbeque features the "Beers of Mexico" sampler pack, a fresh pineapple, and andouille chicken sausages.

Sunday was a recovery day -- I worked on Bugler and Rebecca worked on her last school-related presentation. We also caged our tomato plants, which have fully survived the frosty days and bounced back. Overall, growing tomatoes has been slightly more interesting than growing basil.

We went out for an early dinner at the Old Brogue Pub in Great Falls. It has been a few years since we were last there, but the experience was consistent: good, but not amazing food, pleasant ambience, and spotty service.

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Census Day

Overly Excited Llama is overly excited about the fact that it's been three years since the last website census, and the fact that I can remember this time period is astounding, considering how hard it is to get me to the dentist at least once a year.

As you can see from the chart below, visitor counts to the URI! Zone have declined only minimally over the past three years, in spite of the hyper-competitive web of today which offers so many other ways to waste time on the Internet, from Animals Being Dicks to all of the websites where every article starts with a number in the title. I'm not sure what the spike and decline in 2009 was all about -- perhaps people left after my marriage because they preferred sites with a higher ratio of ho's and a lower ratio of grocers' apostrophes.

It is also more difficult to track visits since the bulk of visitors now read the URI! Zone through a feed reader. According to the stats (and stats don't lie), I have 17 readers using Google Reader to consume this website, in spite of Google's insistence that Google Reader is a dead project.

In order to coax lurkers out of the woodwork, I am having another incentive-based census. Click on the "comments" link below to:

  • Say hello
  • Link to your blog or Twitter feed
  • Say something funny, clownfish

A randomly selected commenter will be chosen to win a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com for their troubles. Hooray! I'll leave this post open for a couple weeks to catch all of the folks that no longer visit every day.

(If you are a feeder, you'll need to click through to the actual website to post).

tagged as website, you speak | permalink | 9 comments

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Random Chart Day: My Car

I've owned my new Honda Accord 2012 for a year now. Surprisingly, I've only filled the tank 20 times, and only driven about 6000 miles. This is why it's nice to live within 7 miles of where you work. The table below shows the raw data from my gas tank fill-ups. You can click on the column headers to sort on a column.

Date Gas (gal) Cost ($/gal) Total Miles (mi) MPG
5/16/201216.93.8741924.5
6/7/201215.43.6074421.1
6/18/201216.63.54111922.59
7/1/201213.23.47142423.11
8/9/201216.73.70178721.74
8/29/2012173.77215321.53
9/16/201211.23.85238520.71
10/3/201213.83.85269822.68
10/24/201216.63.80304020.6
11/9/201212.43.51327218.71
11/24/201214.53.43360222.76
12/20/201216.33.29391018.9
1/9/201316.83.46425920.77
1/23/20139.93.49446120.4
2/4/201314.23.56474520
2/24/201314.13.86501419.08
3/7/20135.83.87511918.1
3/10/20138.33.59534126.75
3/27/201315.63.79569022.37
4/17/201315.63.60601921.09

Lessons Learned:

  • The average price of gas this past year has been $3.64 per gallon.
  • On average, I go about 300 miles before filling up.
  • I'm averaging 21.4 miles per gallon. I saw my best MPG in rural Waynesboro.
  • If someone were to steal my car tomorrow, I would have paid about $4.45 per mile for the luxury of driving this past year, not including insurance. I should have just hired a taxi or a music major!

tagged as data | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Silver Linings Playbook (R):
I felt like this movie was oddly paced, which leaves me torn on how to rate it. The first half did a very good job building up the characters in a fairly realistic way and getting me invested. However, when Jennifer Lawrence's character lays out her price for helping to deliver a letter, it seems incredibly contrived and breaks the spell. Had the movie started closer to this point in the plot, it would have been any cheesy 80s movie, complete with montages. It's still worth a watch though, and hopefully we can see some more DeNiro/Cooper pairings in the future.

Final Grade: B-

The Mythical Man Month by Frederick Brooks, Jr:
This 1975 text is a seminal work in the field of software development, and introduces such rules as "Adding developers to a late project makes it later". The writing is academically dry, like any of my dad's enconomics books, and references software projects long gone from the public eye, which makes it more difficult to get engrossed. Also, with forty years of perspective, most of the hypotheses come off as common sense rather than visionary. Save $20 and read the Wikipedia summary unless reading this is on your bucket list.

Final Grade: C+

For True by Trombone Shorty:
This album carries the same fun-loving vibe of Backatown with a little more polish. It's overflowing with guest vocals, from folks as varied as Kid Rock and Lenny Kravitz. As before, the most successful beats are the ones without lyrics -- the title track, Buckjump is one of my favourites.

Final Grade: B

Somersault by Decoder Ring:
I stumbled upon this old soundtrack to an independent Australian film when searching for more music by Lenka. It's a typical atmospheric electronica soundtrack that you might find paired up with any particular student movie in the FSU film department, but it's pleasant enough for studying or coding to -- not unlike a less uneasy Twin Peaks soundtrack. Other than a single song's vocals, there's barely any Lenka at all here though.

Final Grade: C+

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, May 10, 2013

What Google Thinks I Look Like

tagged as media | permalink | 2 comments

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12


1:42 AM: Returning home from a party at Carolyn's in Arlington, to a cat in need of warm feet.

8:19 AM: Framing a shot worthy of a beginning perspective lesson in Art class.

8:22 AM: The rest of the house thinks I am up too early.

8:34 AM: Bagel for breakfast.

9:22 AM: Working on open source software.

11:30 AM: Going across the street to help the neighbours load up a truck for their imminent move. Anyone need a house with us as neighbours?

2:00 PM: Heading west on Route 7.

3:59 PM: Emily is in town!

4:30 PM: Assorted dogs worn out by assorted children.

5:15 PM: Aforementioned assorted children.

5:29 PM: Grilled chicken breasts and corn for dinner.

7:37 PM: Heading home to pick up Rebecca's parents from their China trip.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Weird Search Day

or "How I Stumbled Upon the URI! Zone"

Currently, the ratio of searches for ear training cheats to legitimately insane searches is about 12 to 1.

  • chef boyardee rapist
    It is unclear from this search whether this misanthrope was given the name because he did unspeakable things to canned lunches or because he left a can behind at all of his crime scenes. Alternately, he could bear more than a passing resemblance to the iconic logo, although that giant chef's hat would definitely increase wind resistance during his fleeing activities.

  • mnemonic wiseowl shotgun presentation

    This mnemonic device is often used in elementary school gun demonstrations to emphasize the fact that you should never point a loaded gun at someone's face.


  • is chip mcneill gay
    I can't authoritatively answer this question, and I don't think it matters. However, I will admit that his solos get a little gay after the 15 minute mark. Not every jazz solo needs to be the bebop version of Flight of the Bumblebee.

  • bird poops in cindi lauper's mouth
    I'm sure that that was a Night To Remember.

  • real information coolmint icebreaker used in a crime scene
    Power tip: apparently, you can modify your Google search to cut through all of the BS by prefixing "real information" onto your search query. In this case, we would discover that the Chef Boyardee Rapist avoided detection for so long because his breath never smelled like Beefaroni.

  • pepperjack shiraz bolton
    This sounds delicious, but I also kind of hope that it's the name of Michael Bolton's daughter.

  • tagged as website, searches | permalink | 1 comment

    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    Memory Day: Snapshots

    This picture was taken in 1983. I suspect that my expression was caused by my suspicion about the reality of the porthole in front of me.

    tagged as memories, media | permalink | 0 comments

    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Justified, Season Three (free on Amazon Prime):
    The third season of Justified remains pretty strong, although the continued influx of LOST refugees in bit parts is a little distracting. I also didn't appreciate the character of Limehouse as much, since I kept getting distracted by his former roles as Bubba Gump and the annoying guy from 24. However, the characterizations across the board continue to be strong, and it remains a tight ensemble show. Towards the end, the plot got a little too complex for complexity's sake (almost like a heist movie), but the season as a whole had a satisfying arc tying everything together.

    Final Grade: B

    My Name is Hannibal by Hannibal Burress:
    Hannibal Burress pops up often on my Mitch Hedberg Pandora station. His humor is a mix of off-the-wall observations and storytelling, with a very satisfying delivery. I liked his second album slightly better than the first.

    Final Grade: B-

    Animal Furnace by Hannibal Burress:
    This album has a little better flow than the first. One joke is annoyingly rehashed from the first album, but otherwise, I enjoyed it.

    Final Grade: B

    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (R):
    We found this movie to be unexpectedly entertaining, having had no expectations going into it. Take the film noir / murder mystery genre, add Robert Downey Jr.'s wry commentary as the unreliable narrator who occasionally breaks the fourth wall, and allow him to play off of Val Kilmer as Gay Perry, the Gay PI, and you have a couple hours of good laughs, if not an Oscar-worthy production.

    Final Grade: B+

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    PT Day

    Rebecca is a PTA!

    permalink | 4 comments

    Monday, May 20, 2013

    Weekend Wrap-up

    The first half of the weekend was quiet and nondescript. We sat on the back porch with a pinot grigot on Friday night, diligently waiting for the cicadas to arrive, but all we saw was a fearless skunk boldly rooting around in the backyard like a truffle pig.

    On Saturday, I went to Costco for the essentials, such as five pounds of steak and a new badminton net (after nine years, the original net looks like public school gym equipment). I then worked on Bugler in the afternoon while Rebecca did female stuff like yoga and haircuts. We had a late dinner at Taste of Burma and then watched 30 Rock until we fell asleep.

    Sunday afternoon was the huge NOVA graduation, for which we spent a half hour sitting on Braddock Road waiting to turn left into the Patriot Center with PTSD flashbacks to the Nissan Pavilion. We were also in front of an old white guy in an Audi who became cartoonishly upset when it took five cycles to get through an intersection and smashed down on his car horn when I refused to "block the box". I gave him a Miss America hand wave out the window, and his Vesuvian blood pressure probably formed several more arteries in his chest cavity by the time we had gone through.

    There were roughly 1200 students graduating on Sunday, which is apparently the largest community college graduating class in the country. I think we cheated a little though, since they bind all of the neighbouring college campuses into a loosely allied cluster of feudal city states under the Northern Virginia banner. I had a $6 box of nachos and a $4 coke to go with my $0 seat close to the action, and listened as the two of the four chosen name-callers horribly mangled any names that weren't in English or Spanish.

    Getting out of the Patriot Center was much easier than getting in, and we closed out the evening with an early diner dinner at Denny's around the corner in Fairfax.

    How was your weekend?

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    List Day: 10 Least Favourite Things with "Star" in the Name

    • Dancing With the Stars

    • Star Trek

    • Starbursts candy

    • Star Wars

    • Starcraft II, Part II

    • "When You Wish Upon a Star"

    • Homestar Runner

    • Starship Troopers

    • Star Fox (SNES)

    • Gospel renditions of the "Star-Spangled Banner"

    tagged as lists | permalink | 3 comments

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Memory Day: Ten Years Ago

    Thursday, May 22, 2003

    It's been raining incessantly here which has kept me indoors for the most part. I'm slowly settling into an apartment routine and I've even been doing some real cooking for dinner a few nights a week -- everything from chicken and mushrooms to bacon & cheese meatloaf.

    Ten years ago, I had just cut the cord to perpetual adolescence through graduate degrees and moved back to Virginia to work full-time. Having spent the previous two summers getting up progressively earlier to avoid traffic, such that my core hours were 5 AM to 1 PM, I finally resolved to live closer to the office (which was in Dulles at the time).

    After visiting three separate apartment complexes in Centreville, I ended up at The Elms, $1135 per month for two bedrooms. The Elms had the deciding features of being across the street from a Glory Days, (which I ended up visiting once if at all), and having a "park anywhere" lot without reserved spots and towing and all of that nonsense. Runner-up #1 was a gated community, and those are annoying to invite people over to, while Runner-up #2 required a lightless left turn across two lanes of busy traffic to exit.

    I also ended up renting one of the bedrooms to my college roommate, Anna, and the ninety-pound kitty, Kitty, who was consigned to an 8x8 room in Anna's parents house as punishment for peeing on everything. Since Booty had peed on everything in Tallahassee, we hoped that they would channel their pee at each other from here on out.

    The Elms was the complex that solidified my need for a single-family home. While nice enough as apartments go, we had neighbours who held parties where they only listened to the bass notes of songs. When they moved out, they were replaced by a couple that was ghostly silent, except for the occasions where they were fighting, or humping, or both simultaneously. Ultimately, I only lived there for nine months before moving up to Sterling.

    I also started refining my real world persona by doing things like cooking and learning to play the guitar. The latter lasted maybe three weeks total. The former continues to this day, although those seminal meals that I was so proud of weren't so great: chicken and mushrooms was chicken breasts submerged in cream of mushroom soup and baked, while bacon and cheese meatloaf was essentially a cheeseburger that had had an unfortunate accident with some Ritz crackers.

    What were you up to in May 2003?

    tagged as memories | permalink | 3 comments

    Thursday, May 23, 2013

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Django Unchained (R):
    This movie was okay. If you're a diehard Tarantino fan, you'll find plenty to like here, but to me it felt like a weaker remake of Inglorious Basterds, made only for the sake of giving Samuel L. Jackson screen time to ham it up, and to give a bunch of white actors the juvenile excuse to be able to scream the n-word a lot. Still better than Kill Bill.

    Final Grade: C+

    The Last Days of Leviathan by Dirt Poor Robins:
    This album isn't quite as poppy as The Cage, but is also less-distractingly Evanescence-inspired. The song, "Nightingale" has some nice, haunting melodic hooks, but nothing that hasn't been done before. Pleasant, but not life-changing.

    Final Grade: B-

    Please Clap Your Hands by Bird and the Bee:
    This EP of five songs is a great pastiche of Bird and the Bee styles, and a good introduction for people who haven't heard of the group. I could listen to a full album of this style.

    Final Grade: A-

    Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon:
    I grabbed this book off the shelf in my parents' house on the way to one of Rebecca's graduation ceremonies, to keep me entertained in the parts of the graduation where you do some waiting. Unfortunately, I barely made it more than a couple chapters in because the writing is so dry and unengaging. I'm not saying that you have to embellish the story of the Internet with more sea pirates than there actually were (4), but even a completely factual account needs a little human interest. As says, "Life is too short to finish a bad -- or perhaps simply misdirected book -- out of some bizarre sense of duty."

    Final Grade: Not Graded

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

    Friday, May 24, 2013

    Friday Wrap-ups

    Congratulations to Kathy, who was one of 9 readers that answered this year's census and won a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com! Lurkers were unusually uninterested in free money this year, as those 9 responses were only about half of my usual regular anonymous traffic.

    In other news, I have released and taken today off to start on v0.3.0. I'm meticulously tracking the schedule for this work so I can get better at software estimation, and my spreadsheet reports that I've spent 138.5 hours so far, at an average rate of 2.5 hours per day.

    Enjoy the long weekend!

    tagged as contests | permalink | 4 comments

    Monday, May 27, 2013

    Tomato Day

    They even grow on national holidays.

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Memorial Day Weekend has never been a major vacation weekend for me, but we decided to buck inertia on Friday afternoon to get out of town on an impromptu personal junket. As the maxim goes, when you put the "u" in "spontaneity", you'll live longer and have the chance to put all of the vowels in the same word.

    After an hour crawling down Route 7 towards Leesburg, we zoomed into the countryside and stopped at the Veramar Vineyard in Berryville. We had decent reds and forgettable whites, as well as a coupon for a reduced fee tasting at the sister winery down the road. We then made it to Winchester for our stay at the Old Waterstreet Inn.

    We had dinner at Brewbaker's on the "ped mall", which seems like an unfortunate abbreviation although everyone uses it, and then late-night ice cream at the Baskin Robbins that was in spitting distance from the bed and breakfast.

    On Saturday, we tried hiking at Raven Rocks, but again ran into a full parking lot. Instead, we decided to go to the Bull Run access point on Route 28, and did a 7 mile hike towards Hemlock Overlook and back. Cicadas abounded down south, although we still have none in Sterling. On Saturday evening, we met up with Jack and Kristy in Arlington for steaks, and their two-year-old son, Johnny, decided that I was Barack Obama.

    Sunday and Monday were recovery days, which we spent at home grilling salmon and watching Dexter. On Monday night, Rebecca went into DC to meet up with friends, while I stayed home to code and eat 16 wings from Joe's Pizzaria.

    How was your holiday?

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

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    Stuff In My Drawers Day

    This picture was drawn in May 1986, which would place it in the "first grade" bucket. There are enough noticeable things wrong with it to qualify it for one of those "Spot the Errors" puzzles in the newspaper. For example:

    • People in the North don't hunt with handguns.
    • Ponds don't have tides.
    • A compass is irrelevant when you're in Street View mode.

    There's also a solid art trick on display here: if you mess up one of your frogs, cover it with grass and say that it's hiding.

    tagged as memories, media | permalink | 4 comments

    Thursday, May 30, 2013

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Magic Hour by the Scissor Sisters:
    This is a pleasant, 70s-and-80s-tinged album of light pop with a good mix of dance-y, beat-y, and mellow(-y) songs. The album as a whole isn't particularly cohesive, but there's a strong ratio of catchy to forgettable songs.

    Final Grade: B+

    Marie Callendar's Chicken Pot Pie:
    After a childhood full of Banquet Chicken Pot Pies for dinner (2 cooked at 325 for 42 minutes), I had abandoned hope of ever finding a pot pie that tastes good out of the microwave. However, Marie Callendar must have used all of our flying car R&D money to investigate this problem, because this pot pie is both delicious and crispy, after only 5 minutes in the microwave. The only downside is that you have to ignore the fact that the sodium content and calories of the pie are each measured with four digit numbers, and that one website has compared the fat content of a single pie with "23 strips of bacon". YUM.

    Final Grade: B+

    Dexter, Season Seven:
    This is the first great season of Dexter since John Lithgow's inclusion in Season Four. The steadily-building storyline manages to incorporate multiple plot points from old seasons while quietly burying the inconsistencies and failed plot tangents from recent seasons in an organic way. The side plots in this season don't add up to much, but they are never as annoying as the recurring "LaGuerta marries Batista and they argue" plots of yore. The writing in this season really makes up for the fact that season five and six were a perpetual doggy paddle in an above-ground pool.

    Final Grade: A

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 5 comments

    Friday, May 31, 2013

    End-of-the-Month Media Day

    New photos have been added to the Life, 2013 album. Congratulations on surviving 41% of the year!

    Not going anywhere for a while?

    tagged as media | permalink | 0 comments

     

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