Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Updateless Day

I'm wrapping up the first release of a new project, which I hope to release either tonight or tomorrow morning, so there will be no substantive blog post today.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Sparkour Day

My latest side project is Sparkour, an open-source collection of programming recipes for Apache Spark. Designed as an efficient way to navigate the intricacies of the Spark ecosystem, Sparkour aims to be an approachable, understandable, and actionable cookbook for distributed data processing.

Spark is the latest buzzword around BIG DATA, providing a way for developers to analyze and transform vast quantities of data very quickly. If you aren't in the programming world, Apache Spark probably means nothing to you. As a translation, I devoted 80 hours of my own time and $60 worth of books and hostnames over the past two weeks to learning about something new, writing about it, and publishing it to be torn apart (or possibly built up further) by the anonymous masses on the Internet. I earned exactly $0 and a heaping serving of intrinsic satisfaction.

My motivations for creating a knowledge resource instead of a library this time around were myriad:

  • I enjoy teaching, and presenting material you have learned yourself is a great way to retain it.
  • There will always be someone else out there willing to write a super-useful add-on to Spark but there aren't as many people who can write a coherent paragraph that explains the what, how, and why of the original.
  • Laymen inherently understand what a cookbook of programming recipes is. Conversely, most people to this day don't really get what niche DDMSence fills. Sometimes I don't, myself.

If you use Spark at work, I hope this new project is useful! If you're already bored, I hope you like my logo!

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Thursday, March 03, 2016

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Meet the Patels (PG):
This is a harmless documentary-style movie about an American-born Indian trying to meet his future wife through traditional means. The ending is telegraphed pretty far in advance, but it had moments of humour and didn't overstay its welcome. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Inside Out:
The latest Pixar movie is thematically challenging, with anthropomorphized emotions controlling the brain of a pre-teen girl. The setting is inventive and well-done and the voice actors are perfectly paired with the emotions they play (Lewis Black as Anger, for example). It drags a bit in the middle with Back to the Future II syndrome, where continuous roadblocks pop up just to prevent the plot from reaching its conclusion, and is probably better for older kids than the younger set.

Final Grade: B

Mozart in the Jungle, Season Two:
The first season of this show was lightweight fun, and deserving of its awards. The second season goes nowhere, treading plot water with minimal structure. We watched about half of the season, including a useless episode where everyone gets high and has weird dreams without resolution, and then gave up. If I wanted to watch musicians get high around me, I would just go back to grad school. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: D

Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void:
This is the third and final chapter of the Starcraft II video game, whose first part came out back in 2010. I liked the first act, but the load times in the second act drove me up the wall. The last act was released with so little fanfare that I didn't even notice it for a couple months. The whole affair is technically flawless but uninteresting, with too many polished cutscenes telling a story I don't care about and boring missions with too many unnecessary constraints trying to conceal the age of the genre. Given my history with the series, it almost sounds sacreligious to say that playing Starcraft bored me, but this game triggered that emotion. Farewell, college memories.

Final Grade: C-

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Friday, March 04, 2016

Stufff in My Drawers Day

This is an excerpt of Senior Superlatives from my high school newspaper.

In 1996, no one thought it peculiar that the blacks would be athletes and the whites would succeed. Also, the lone Asian winner was voted in for "Best Hair".

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Monday, March 07, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday night, we stayed in with some Wegmans sushi and Squatch Ale. Unlike the rest of the world, we didn't start the next season of House of Cards, as we have too many shows in various states of incompletion to get through first.

Rebecca was off taking a continuing education Physical Therapy class in how to touch people this weekend, so I spent most of each day working on Sparkour. We did, however, get out on the town at least once each day. On Saturday evening, we picked up some Bon Chon chicken and went to the Smiths', where we played Settlers of Catan and helped them isolate their mysterious beeping sound that only emanated once every 14:55. (It turned out to be the backup battery on their telephonics).

On Sunday evening, we had dinner at Clydes in Reston, with an incongruous outdoor view of ice skaters and Christmas light, and then went home for a rare game of Hearthstone and some TV time.

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Adoption Day

Since today is the 13th anniversary of adopting Booty at the Petsmart in Tallahassee, here is a visual history of her story.

The Early Years, 2003 - 2005

The Fat Years, 2006 - Present


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Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Sydney Day

And, since today is the one year anniversary of Sydney being a temporary cat in our household, here is her visual history, starting from the few months she lived here back in 2005.

Introduction, 2005

Recapitulation, 2015

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review Day: Overwatch Beta

I've been playing the closed beta of Blizzard's latest game, Overwatch, for about a month now, which is long enough to give it my solid endorsement. Overwatch is a team-based shooter: "team-based" meaning that you'll run into at least one clown daily who thinks too highly of his or her skills, insults the rest of the team for being bad, and then rage-quits in the middle of a match; and "shooter" meaning that your Duck Hunt reflexes are just slightly more important than low network latency.

A team of six players selects "heroes" from an initially overwhelming cast of characters and competes against another team on typical shooter map types like "King of the Hill" and "Escort the Payload". Matches usually last less that 15 minutes so you can manage spouse aggro. Roles are roughly characterized as offense, defense, tank, and support, but there are enough characters available to come up with interesting team compositions. In fact, one defining feature of the game is that you can switch characters during a match, dynamically responding to the other team's composition when things just aren't working.

I haven't really kept pace with multiplayer shooters since that one year in college when everyone else on my hall failed out of school because of Quake. Because of this, my weapon accuracy tends to hover around 25% and I sometimes jump off the environment into unexpected bottomless pits. In spite of this, I'm having lots of fun in Overwatch. Gameplay feels loose enough for new players to get started but tight enough to require some mastery, and rare is the match where you can't effect an amazing last-minute comeback through teamwork. I've focused on 3 heroes so far (Mercy, Mei, and Soldier: 76), but all of them feel surprisingly balanced for a game that's still in beta. This is thanks to an obviously passionate development team that isn't afraid to experiment with balance changes and explain exactly why something was changed.

Overwatch has the unseemly heritage of being Frankensteined together from the detritus of Blizzard's cancelled game, Titan, but this actually gives it much more character and world-building than you might expect to get from a shooty game. The overall design and art direction (exemplified in the Pixar-like cinematic trailer) goes a long way towards making the game feel less anonymous. The weakest part is the cookie-cutter background music which will make you feel as if you're trapped in a Chuck E. Cheese circa 1994, but you'll probably turn down the music to take advantage of the excellent aural cues anyhow. The Blizzard polish makes this a charming, fun package (unlike Starcraft 2 which had such high production values that the end result was sterile and forgettable).

The initial box price ($40) is a little high in this age where Steam has run game prices into the ground like my World of Warcraft alt who cornered the Enchanted Thorium Bar market for three days in 2006, but the addictiveness and replayability feel high. You can buy fun collectibles after the fact, such as extra emotes, catchphrases, and character skins, but thankfully, you can't buy anything that would give you an unfair advantage in a match.

All in all, this is an impressive beta game that has continually improved even in the short time I've played it. I'll be grabbing it at release in May unless development takes a catastrophic turn, such as the addition of an Auction House, the reveal that a main character faked his death and became a secret lumberjack, or anything related to Ubisoft's UPlay service.

Final Grade: Ungraded, but shows immense promise

tagged as reviews, games | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, March 11, 2016

Alt Text Day

I take a yearly refresher course in information security, much like everyone else doing computer work around this area. This year, they released the course with a text supplement for people that couldn't use the website, including image captions that some poor technical writer had to invent for 508 accessibility compliance.

Why take the course when you can get the gist from reading the alt text of the briefing images?

  • Image Alt: Three unknown men sitting in chairs
  • Image Alt: Three criteria for an authorized recipient - "Eligibility" is a thumbs-up, "Requirement" is a "Need-to-Know" key on a keyboard, and "Agreement" is a signature on an NdA.
  • Image Alt: A collage of three classified documents, an American flag, and a face.
  • Image Alt: A collage of a man holding a clipboard and a checklist.
  • Image Alt: Various security measures (e.g., security sticker, security guard, cipher lock, shredded paper, circuit board.
  • Image Alt: Collage of an emergency scene, the cover of the WMD Commission Report, and radiological symbols.
  • Image Alt: Six arrows labeled with each category showing a schematic, coffins, a foreign national, money, flags, and a statistical pie graph.
  • Image Alt: Collage on newspaper articles and Soviet hammer and sickle.
  • Image Alt: Cover of Time magazine with headline, "Carnage in Beirut."
  • Image Alt: Collage of newspaper article and Soviet limousine.
  • Image Alt: Newspaper article with images of Richard Welch.
  • Image Alt: Collage of 60 Minutes expose and images of Curveball.
  • Image Alt: Collage of Walter Cronkite, Jack Nelson, and sound waves.
  • Image Alt: Collage of Ted Koppel, Walter Cronkite, and Tom Brokaw.
  • Image Alt: Collage of newspapers, the Newspaper Association of America logo, and the National Newspaper Association logo.
  • Image Alt: Collage of a Newsweek magazine featuring Katherine Graham, the Washington Post building, a Washington Post headline, and a young Katherine Graham.
  • Image Alt: Collage of a newspaper headline, money, the Soviet hammer and sickle, and a Soviet limousine.
  • Image Alt: Collage of a person blowing a whistle, a dollar symbol, and a road sign with arrows pointing to "High Road" and "Low Road."
  • Image Alt: Judith Miller behind bars.
  • Image Alt: Collage of a whistle and the cover of the Federal Whistleblower Laws and Regulations.
  • Image Alt: Collage of a governing document, Judge Harvie Wilkinson, and Supreme Court Justice Byron White.
  • Image Alt: Uncle Sam pointing at learner.
  • Image Alt: Collage of man looking through prison bars, a contract being ripped in half, and an employee packing up his desk.
  • Image Alt: A shocked man looking at a social networking site.
  • Image Alt: Collage of a handshake, governing documents, the Capitol, and eyeglasses and a pen on a contract.)

Once you have successfully completed the training, you can also pick your favourite one and use it as a Creative Writing Prompt.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

7:34 AM: Showered and ready for the day.
7:49 AM: A nutritious breakfast with cat's feet.
8:10 AM: Writing a programming recipe about DataFrames.
10:05 AM: Self-publishing.
10:46 AM: Playing Overwatch.
12:53 PM: Lunchtime for kitties.
1:03 PM: Lunchtime for humans.
4:14 PM: Running through Claude Moore Park with Rebecca.
5:25 PM: Driving down the Fairfax County Parkway.
6:55 PM: Grilled meats at the Lowry's.
7:44 PM: Sitting around the fireplace.
10:11 PM: Welcomed home by buttsniffers.

To wrap up the weekend, we did our taxes on Sunday and then went to Jacksons for an early dinner. On Sunday evening, we did laundry and watched the first half of Gatsby.

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

List Day: 20 Things I Have Never Experienced

  1. I have never played a Pokemon card game.

  2. I have never seen an episode of Power Rangers.

  3. I have never broken a bone (in my body or anyone else's).

  4. I have never knowingly engaged in activities designed to overthrow the U.S. Government by force.

  5. I have never eaten bear meat.

  6. I have never owned anything from Brookstone.

  7. I have never played a double-reed instrument.

  8. I have never walked more than 11 miles by foot continuously.

  9. I have never been on the ground in the state of Texas.

  10. I have never consumed grain alcohol.

  11. I have never worn skinny jeans.

  12. I have never driven a car without back seat.

  13. I have never watched an episode of Mad Men.

  14. I have never gone hashing.

  15. I have never played a single game in the Call of Duty franchise.

  16. I have never used eBay.

  17. I have never spoken before a crowd larger than 200 people.

  18. I have never been the direct victim of a property or violent crime.

  19. I have never had a cavity.

  20. I have never participated in any thrill sport involving me in the sky more than 20 feet off the ground.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Movie Day

It's the ten year anniversary of the time I cast the movie of my life. My casting choices have stood the test of time, although I'll need to make two changes based on actor deaths:

Jason Chrisley. . . . . . . Damon Herriman
Mark Connor . . . . . . . . Michael Chiklis

Also, I didn't know Rebecca at the time. Who do you think should play her in the movie?

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fallout from Metro's Emergency Safety Inspection

Yesterday, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority executed an unprecedented shutdown of the entire Metro system in hopes of inspecting a bevy of aging power cables before they exploded in someone's face. Thankfully, they did a great job of keeping disgruntled riders apprised through their Twitter feed.

Mar 16 12:01 AM
Inspectors are walking the 100 miles of underground track on the system, checking power cables for potential issues. #wmata
Mar 16 12:23 AM
FOUND at Greensboro Stn: Badly deteriorated cables. Huge safety impact if anyone actually got off here. #glasshalffull
Mar 16 1:05 AM
FOUND east of Georgia Ave Stn: Body of alley cat by 3rd rail. Apparently choked on a rat eating pizza.
Mar 16 1:42 AM
Just discovered that Bechtel forgot to install power cables at Wiehle Stn. #thenhowdidtrainrun #ghosttrain
Mar 16 2:25 AM
FOUND at Foggy Bottom Stn / Kennedy Center access: Punjab lasso and strange, white mask. Homeland Security notified in case of terrorism.
Mar 16 3:14 AM
FOUND at Vienna Stn: 3 skeletons. Probably people who fell asleep on Orange Line and tried to walk back to East Falls Church.
Mar 16 4:35 AM
LOST north of White Flint Stn: 4 safety inspectors. Reports of disturbed subterranean evil unconfirmed.
Mar 16 5:06 AM
Reports of riders falling over escalator gates into stations. #metroisCLOSED #putyourphoneaway
Mar 16 6:13 AM
FOUND at Eastern Market Stn: Restroom left unlocked #oversight #neverhappenagain
Mar 16 7:31 AM
FOUND east of Pentagon Stn: Secret entrance to CIA black ops division, APO. Still operational.
Mar 16 9:05 AM
FOUND south of Wheaton Stn: Cache of missing parts from multiple out-of-service elevators throughout system. #repairmanjobsecurity
Mar 16 10:54 AM
Smoke in tunnel at Nat'l Airport Stn caused by persecuted smokers pushed farther and farther away from their departure gate.
Mar 16 12:32 PM
Evacuating Benning Rd Stn after reports of explosives and cryptic German instructions to make 4 gallons of water with 3 and 5 gallon jugs.
Mar 16 2:11 PM
We will be removing good power cables from Blue Line to repair other lines until further notice. #rushplus #socialismworks
Mar 16 3:24 PM
FOUND at Archives Stn: Ancient shield with directions to find the cup that held the blood of Jesus Christ.
Mar 16 4:09 PM
Someone has stolen all power cables at Greenbelt Stn and replaced with jumpropes. #policenotnotified #justgreenlinethings
Mar 16 5:15 PM
FOUND north of U St Stn: Bunker with 425 surprise delegates that Bernie Sanders plans to unleash on June 13.
Mar 16 7:30 PM
FOUND at Woodley Park Stn: Mysterious safehouse stocked with red panda food and a scrawled map leading to "FREEDUM".

You might also enjoy these tweets from the opening of the Silver Line in July 2014.

tagged as mock mock | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, March 18, 2016

Automated Delivery Day

I renewed my subscription to WIRED magazine and was offered a free gift subscription with no way to express that I didn't want it. My workaround for those required online form fields did not seem to save them any money.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday, we had dinner at Old Ox Brewery, featuring a chicken sandwich and meatball sub from The Farm Effect food truck and a shared sampler featuring a couple fruity beers that were not our favourites. It was too cool to sit outside, so we sat nears TVs running March Madness endlessly to no one that cared.

On Saturday, we hosted a small St. Patrick's Day gathering featuring 5.86 pounds of corned beef and assorted starches and vegetables. I stocked up on supplies at Costco in the morning, then spent the day managing the appropriate level of simmer in the stock pots.

Sunday mainly involved eating immense amounts of leftovers and doing chores around the house. We watched The Imitation Game in the afternoon, which was another resume builder for Benedict Cumberbatch that demonstrated his effectiveness playing an asshole.

How was your weekend?

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

List Day: Currently...

  • Currently listening to... Self-Explanatory by Classified.

  • Currently reading... The Cactus Eaters by Dan White.

  • Currently playing... Overwatch.

  • Currently composing... nothing in almost 4 years.

  • Currently considering buying... another hanging bar to support the air-drying of Rebecca's non-dryer work clothes.

  • Currently coding... a Python project at work and parallel snippets in Java, Python, R, and Scala on Sparkour at home.

  • Currently planning... to extend the front porch's usable space a foot in each direction.

  • Currently writing... this post.

  • Currently watching... Bosch, Season Two, Modern Family, Season Five, Mr. Robot, Season One, Outsourced, Season One, and Love, Season One. A few of these have stalled, possibly permanently, because they aren't going anywhere fast enough.

  • Currently anticipating... a weekend trip to Pittsburgh.

  • Currently exercising... about three hours per week.

  • Currently weighing... 131 pounds.

This update was sponsored in part by LiveJournal.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 6 years ago in March 2010. We were taking advantage of ridiculously cheap round-trip tickets to Puerto Rico by spending a week on the island. The photo was taken somewhere in the rainforest on El Yunque and we spent a few days in a hippie's eco-lodge with only 1 option for dinners and no beer other than the four bottles bequeathed to us by another departing couple from DC. On the way to this lodge, we were briefly lost in a seedy rural town called Florida, where all of the street signs were mysteriously missing and all of the townsfolk gave us the evil eye.

I spent much of the down time on this trip reading about XML and coding in my head, and released the very first release of DDMSence a few weeks later.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Bridge of Spies (PG-13):
This is a very "safe" Spielburg movie that hits all of the marks you'd expect it to hit. The first hour is incredibly slow-paced, like foreshadowing the Industrial Age with cuneiform, but it gets passably more interesting once the setup is out of the way. It's a little on the long side.

Final Grade: B-

Justified, Season Six:
This show was never really about the plot (which tries one too many double-crosses here) -- it was all about the character interactions and crackling Appalachian dialogue ("I'm so hungry I could eat the ass of a low flying duck"). The cast in this final season is solid (although no one really likes Mary Steenburgen in anything), and the ending is a good one. I actually bought the series set after finishing this up, as it's one of those shows I'll enjoy watching again in a couple years.

Final Grade: A-

The Great Gatsby (PG-13):
This movie was unnecessary, sporadically interesting, and a case study in over-the-top Baz Luhrmann tropes. Tobey Macguire played his typical role with minimal acting involved, not unlike a white Cuba Gooding Jr., and Leo seemed to be simultaneously channeling the Wolf of Wall Street and the Talented Mr. Ripley. This opinion is coming from someone who actually liked Moulin Rouge (of which there are about 4 of us), so it's not just unselective Baz hate. Conversely, Rebecca liked this movie a lot.

Final Grade: C-

Master Apache Spark by Mike Frampton:
This book is chock full of useful code examples for Apache Spark, but is weighed down by too much transitional prose. The author spends so many lines restating his intent for the current section or telegraphing what's coming in the next section that it distracts from the core content. I also felt like there could have been a beginner-to-intermediate chapter added on the Core API, so you should probably read the official Spark docs before diving in here.

Final Grade: B

tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, March 25, 2016

Stuff in My Drawers Day

I took these pictures 25 years ago, in January 1991, as a requirement for the Photography merit badge. This was long before digital cameras and color printers, and the negatives were developed in our basement darkroom.

The badge required a set of black and white photographs that demonstrated good and poor lighting, with no penalty points docked if your family was less than enthused to participate.

This merit badge really drove home the importance of lighting, as you can see. On the left, my dad just looks my dad, but put him in the shadow of a menacing deciduous tree and he could be the "mysterious stranger hanging around the lake when all of those co-eds disappeared last summer".

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up

Not much happened during the final weekend of March. On Friday, I cleaned the house, had wings from Joe's Pizzaria for dinner, and played some Overwatch. On Saturday, I published a new Sparkour programming recipe and watched The Big Short with Rebecca. In the evening, Rebecca's yoga friend, Michelle, came over for porch burgers, although the cooling temperatures pushed us inside pretty quickly.

On Sunday, we had lunch with Rebecca's parents at Panera and then I returned home while Rebecca had girl time with a visiting Annie. I then sustained repetitive stress injuries to my finger trying to scroll through everyone's Easter family pictures on Facebook. Before bed, we finally got around to starting the 4th season of House of Cards, which featured the introduction of a grown-up Neve Campbell looking eerily like an aged Kate Mara. Hopefully this season will not involve time travel or doubling technology.

How was your weekend?

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tech Day: A Year in the Cloud

The URI! Zone has now lived in the cloud for a full year now, and the experiment has been a resounding success. After making the decision to move, I was up and running on Amazon Web Services less than two weeks later.

Here is what the website looks like in the cloud my butt today. It's very easy to spin up new subdomains and bring them down when they're no longer relevant, and I have an "almost one-click" deploy process to push updated code out to the application server. I've never had a problem using the base "micro" tier of services, especially after doing some caching/tuning of the most resource-hungry piece: the PHP-based Wiki software.

Cost-wise, prices came in slightly under my estimates, thanks to the AWS Free Tier which saved me about $20 per month. I used some of those savings to get the multi-domain SSL certificate, which ensures that what you're reading here was not inserted by a stalking hacker trying to impersonate me. Now that my Free Tier year is coming to an end, I can opt to switch from on-demand servers to a reserved yearly or 3-yearly profile to maintain the same savings.

I also make use of AWS alarms, which keep me apprised of my costs over the course of each month. For the most part, my server costs ran at about $10 per month until I started working on Sparkour (Apache Spark requires a little more power than the URI! Zone does). Even then, I can save money by turning on the Sparkour servers for a few hours a day (at $0.12 per hour) rather than investing in extra home computers or leaving things on all day long.

Besides the newsworthy AWS 5-hour outage last September (which was resolved by the time I woke up), service has been very stable. I'm satisfied and would migrate to the cloud again!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Twenty Years Ago

Twenty years ago today, on March 30, 1996, I woke up at 5 AM and drove down to the TC Williams boathouse in Alexandria for a "friendly, not friendly" race against Robinson HS. The lightweight boys boat raced first as I coxed them through heavy fog to row 1500m in 5:00.5, with the Robinson lightweight boys straggling in 19.26 seconds later. Even though only two schools were involved, Robinson didn't win a single race that day, and probably went home to sell their rowing gear on that new Internet site, eBAY.

After briefly celebrating the shut-out, we went back out on the water for another unnecessary hour of practice, because that's how overzealous TC was about Crew back then. I finally got home around lunchtime and spent the afternoon writing up study guides for my prospective marching band drum majors to learn from.

In the evening, I went with Jack, Dutton, and Mike Schoen to the Kurt Russell movie, Executive Decision, which I reviewed succinctly with one sentence: "It was pretty suspenseful."

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2016 album.

  • Events
    • Released a new open-source project on Super Tuesday, 3/1.

    • Enjoyed a hint of snow on H 3/3.

    • Went to the Smiths for Bonchon and Settlers of Catan on S 3/5.

    • Performed invasive surgery on my Dad's computer, obliterated by a Windows 10 install, on M 3/7.

    • Went to the Lowrys for meats around the outdoor fireplace on S 3/12.

    • Did our taxes and ended up owing very little on S 3/13.

    • Hosted a wild St. Patrick's Day party on S 3/19.

    • Porch Burger Night with Michelle on S 3/26.

  • Projects
    • Spent much of my free time learning Spark, R, and Scala.

    • Got HOA permission to enlarge the front porch next month.

  • Consumerism
    • Discovered no new hit shows or albums. Got tired of a few in-progress shows, including Love and Mr. Robot.

    • Bought nothing new this month other than restaurant meals and a $94 SSL certificate.

    • Played plenty of Overwatch, and am finally getting good at it. Played Hearthstone with Rebecca just once this month.

March's Final Grade: B-, Nothing wrong with it but nothing amazing either, kind of like a Brahms symphony.

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