Capn Design

January 2004

This month I posted 24 entries, watched 4 videos.

I'm off to Snowball II 2004

Posted January 30, 2004

Once a year I staff an Operation Snowball retreat at my high school. I am now in Chicago and leave for Wisconsin tomorrow afternoon. The day will begin at the Brat Stop, which I am pumped about.

In other news, I realized that this site is once again broken in IE6 for Windows. Really, why don't you people tell me these things? I would fix it right away, honest. I'm not going to bother this time as I'm going to have a new design some time next month. Hopefully before the middle.

Also, you can find a picture of me in in this week's issue of Time Out on page 24. My head looks a little wonky due to the wide-angle lens though. Sorry about that, adoring fans. Oh, and I am in the magazine because I am the next Stevie Wonder my girlfriend takes photos for the magazine.

8-bit Sports Bloopers

Notes from the Music World

Posted January 28, 2004

  • I finally signed up for Insound's weekly email and I'm glad I did. It began with an editorial about The O.C., which is awesome. Plus, I'll now be on top of all new releases.
  • Air's new album, Talkie Walkie, is fantastic. I bought it last night and listened to it today. I am wholy impressed.
  • I happened upon an in-store performance by Starsailor at the Virgin Megastore in Union Square last night. When I first heard them in London two and a half years ago, I was not that impressed. They are technically talented, but a little bleh. After listening to three songs live I am able to say that they have been upgraded from "bleh" to "hmm, maybe." So, if you have their new album and want to make me a copy, you rule.

And So It Begins...

Posted January 27, 2004

The Snow Arrives

Pacific St. and 4th Ave. in Brooklyn

Update: Meh. It wasn't so bad. Yet, I am one of five people who actually showed up at work today.

2004 Academy Award Nominees

Posted January 27, 2004

This morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 2004 Oscar nominees. On the whole, I am impressed by the nominations.

Return of the King brought in 11 nominations, which is wholy unexciting as this expected. A wonderful surprise is the three nominations for In America, which I just saw this weekend. The movie was fantastic and I wish there was a category for child actor as the two girls in the film were phenomenal. A couple disappointments is the lack of nominations for Spellbound and Elephant. The former should definitely be up for best documentary, but I'm not sure where Elephant would fit in. I guess they had the same problem. Update: Spellbound was apparently nominated last year. Whoops.

Below is a list of who I think should win, not who I think will win.*

Actor in a leading role: Bill Murray
Actor in a supporting role: Tim Robbins
Actress in a leading role: Charlize Theron
Animated feature film: The Triplets of Belleville
Directing: Sofia Coppola or Clint Eastwood, I'm torn
Documentary Feature: Fog of War
Music: Big Fish (Danny Elfman)
Best Film: Lost in Translation
Sound Editting: Pirates of the Carribean
Adapted Screenplay: American Splendor
Original Screenplay: In America

Thoughts from Gothamist
My Top 10 of 2003

*I left out the ones I didn't know enough about to give an opinion.

Spam as Art

See a Spam art exhibit at Spaceworks at the Tank, 432 West 42nd Street in NYC. (note: their website says it begins Jan. 15 while the NYT says Feb. 15)


A trailer for a new Pixar short

I Sit and I'm Proud

Posted January 26, 2004

This evening, Curb Your Enthusiasm discussed the little talked about, but often thought about subject of peeing positions for men. It is more or less assumed that men stand up to pee. The theory is, "We can so why shouldn't we?" Well, I think Larry hit it right on the head when he said, "Why stand when you could sit?"

When you think about it, standing doesn't make that much sense and here are a few reasons why:

  • Sitting is more comfortable and relaxing.
  • When you stand up you run the risk of drippage and that's no good.
  • You can't forget to put the seat down if roommates/significant others usually raise a stink.

The more I think about it, we should be asking, "Why stand?" Really, what's the benefit? The only time I'm guaranteed to stand is when I'm in a public restroom. Then, I'll stand up for sanitary reasons and because sitting down on a public toilet isn't all that comfortable.

I'll conclude by saying that all the men out there who have been in the closet and were afraid to admit they prefer to pee sitting down, tonight is our coming out party. We shall no longer be shamed by our machismo brethren. Move over standy-uppies and say hello to the sitty-downies. Hurrah!

Best Reason to Vote for Clark

Posted January 23, 2004

The AP asked the Democratic candidates to "name the albums they most like to have in their CD players." Here are the results:

Wesley Clark: "Journey - Greatest Hits"
Howard Dean: Music by Wyclef Jean
Sen. John Edwards: "The Essential Bruce Springsteen"
Sen. John Kerry: "Abbey Road" by the Beatles
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Music by Willie Nelson
Sen. Joe Lieberman: "Sueno" by Andrea Bocelli
Al Sharpton: Music by Yolanda Adams

He's just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroi-oit!

In other news, our current President loves ribs.

Smack a Penguin

Woh, this is addictive. High scores: 317.1 and 207.6 nose first. (via Kottke)

A Small Update

Posted January 22, 2004

Two things of note have been happening at Capn Design lately:

1. Yesterday my Open Letter to Apple was linked by MacSurfer. It resulted in over 600 people looking at the page. That's pretty ridiculous. Well, it's either ridiculous or I am just used to my humble level of readership and I'm betting on the latter.

2. People keep coming to my post on Surprise by Design from November of 2002 and leaving comments. Great, right? Well, it seems most of these people are looking to get on the show. The first time this happened, long ago, I personally pointed the person to the application to apply. Now, eleven comments and a several emails later, I put the information in the post. Some of the replies are funny and some are moving. Here's an example:

I have written for my mother in law to have her yard done. She is sixty years old and just recently lost her husband of 30 years. This past year. She needs some excitement in her life.
Please help me.

In other news, I feel a redesign coming on in the next couple months. I still like this design, but I want something new. I'll keep you posted and may even let you watch as I design. We'll see.

Two Screens?

Apparently the new Nintendo handheld will have two screens. More info in May at E3. Interesting.

An Open Letter to Apple

Posted January 20, 2004

The following is a letter I sent to Apple's support department in regards to iTunes:

Hi, I am currently using iTunes to manage my iPod library. I have a 30GB iPod and somewhere close to 50GB of MP3 and AAC files. Obviously, I can't put all of the songs in my library onto my iPod. The problem with this situation is that I am required to update my iPod manually or via playlists. This makes it very easy for me to have duplicate files on my iPod.

I'm not sure of the best way to do it, but I would like iTunes to know when I am putting multiple versions of a song on my iPod. A possible solution could be a special playlist in iTunes that will list all of the songs on my iPod. When I attach my iPod it will sync with this playlist instead of my entire library. The distinguishing features of this playlist would be its ability to recongnize duplicate songs and its awareness of the size of my iPod. This way I would not add too many songs and there would never be duplicates of the ones I add.

As more and more people begin to transfer their music collections to digital files, this will become a bigger issue. Thanks for your time and I hope to see a similar feature in a future version of iTunes.

For those of you in the same situation (more songs in your library than what can fit on your iPod), how do you deal with the problem? Myself and a couple friends are having issues.

iModz iChat Status

Shows the current song playing in iTunes in your iChat status line. It's the coolest little app I've seen in a while.

Some Thoughts For Today

Posted January 19, 2004

  • I am abnormally tired. I don't get it. I think it has something to do with the extreme temperatures in my office. As a note: you don't have to raise the temperature one degree for every degree it drops outside.
  • My hair is very short now. I like it. This morning I woke up wondering if my hair was messed up, only to realize that it is too short to be messed up. It was a nice feeling.
  • I spent way too much money this weekend, but it was worth it. I had a fantastic dinner at Chestnut with Jori on Saturday to celebrate new haircuts. The dinner was delicious and our waitress liked us so much she gave us free bread pudding, which was the best I'd ever had.
  • Last night I played a rousing round of Trivial Pursuit with my old friend Jonathan and his friends. We capped off the evening with a trip to Cafe Lalo and a slice of Caramel Apple Crumb Pie and sip of a vanilla shake. It was perfect.

Note: Since writing this, my boss has opened a window and I'm much less tired. Phew.

Jersey Girl

Posted January 17, 2004

The trailer is now available for Jersey Girl, Kevin Smith's new movie, and I have two points to make.

1. After viewing the trailer in its entirity, you see Jennifer Lopez for about half a second and her name is only mentioned in the credits at the very end. It seems fairly clear that the folks at Mirimax never want to hear the words "Gigli" and "Jersey Girl" in the same sentence, paragraph or article. The strategy makes perfect sense, but it is still amusing.

2. The movie looks like sappy bullcrap. Kevin Smith: If I had known that any other work you would release after the "Clerks and so on" movies was going to be completely soulless, I would have asked you to quit while your films were still amusing. I pray you are getting paid a boatload of money and are using it to bankroll your next amazing idea. Please let it be true.

Why Is New York So Tired?

Posted January 14, 2004

Yesterday, as I rode the 4 train home from work, I noticed that no less than half the people on my train had their eyes closed. Occasionally I would see a head start to bob back and forth or a jaw start to loosen as a mouth opens just a smidge. All the while I sat listening to Pearl Jam's No Code on my iPod, wondering the cause of all this sleepiness (and the reason for my unearthing of No Code).

Sadly, I could come to no real conclusion. My girlfriend helped me come close to one, as she pointed out that most of New York is overworked, stressed out and stays up way past its bedtime. I agree with this, but it certainly doesn't effect everyone. There are well rested, stress free, jobless people who still seem to nod off when the train starts moving.

So, I bring this to you faithful reader. Why is New York so sleepy? Better yet, why is the world living in this half-awake, half-asleep fog from 9am on Monday through 5pm on Friday?

Bid to Buy Grand Royal Records

The label is in bankruptcy. Do the Beastie Boys a favor and buy them for $10,000. Throw in a tens of thousands of CDs and it's a pretty sweet deal.


Posted January 12, 2004

I know I haven't been posting much since I returned from Hawaii a couple weeks ago, but that's because real life has been getting in the way. I still love the blog and I'll be putting more effort into it soon, but don't expect too much content for the rest of the month.

Oh, and I did not manage to take 1,000 photos in 13 days, although I did try. I got through about 350, which isn't bad. I will definitely be putting those up on the site sometime soon.

Screening 6 Year-Olds

Mark Frauenfelder's six year-old daughter was screened at airport security. Was her blanky laced with anthrax?

Best of 2003: Television

Posted January 9, 2004

These are the best television programs at the moment. Instead of numbering them, I am going to group them. Enjoy!

The Absolute Best Shows

Angels in America
Daily Show
Home Movies

Shows That Are Wonderful, But I Wouldn't Keel Over If I Missed An Episode

Curb Your Enthusiasm
The O.C.
The Office
The Wire

Shows I Really Enjoy

Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Arrested Development
Da Ali G Show
Sealab 2021
Sex in the City

Shows I Definitely Like, But Feel Slightly Guilty When Watching Them
Boston Public
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

Finally, why the hell is Good Morning, Miami still on television?

Cinema Treasures

Trying to save movie palaces across the country

Best of 2003: Movies

Posted January 7, 2004

Below are my ten favorite movies this year, but the problem is that I have not seen everything I'd like to. So, this is my list for now, but I'm going to put up another one in a month or two after I see the movies I have listed below. Here goes.

10. Bend It Like Beckham

Formulaic and cheesy, yet it's my tenth favorite film of the year. In other words, it transcends those usual hurdles that make the great majority of these movies complete crap. The film is shot really nicely, the girls are cute, and the family is entertaining. Good times.

9. The School of Rock

Jack Black + cute kids playing rock music = pure gold. I only wish they had actually done the song that Jack Black originally sings to the class. Ah well.

8. Mystic River

This movie was all about acting. The story was interesting, but nothing terribly original. The directing was good, but nothing like other stuff done this year. Still, I was engaged the entire time. I really do like Sean Penn.

7. 28 Days Later

This movie is genuinely scary and beautifully shot. That is all I ask for in a horror movie. I want to be freaked out a bit, but be entertained during the in-between parts.

6. American Splendor

Harvey Pekar is an amazing person and the film was built around his eccentric personality. It was a cool combination of documentary and a comic re-telling of Pekar's life.

5. Elephant

Gus Van Sant took the high road and made a film about Columbine that didn't answer any questions. Essentially, it was as if real-life were the book and this was the adaptation. There was no new information or evidence, but you saw the incident from new perspectives. Quite amazing.

4. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

I have two phrases for you. 1. Pure fun. 2. Johnny Depp is fucking awesome.

3. Kill Bill Vol. 1

This film is completely over the top, but that doesn't stop it from being entertaining, succinct, smart, and beautiful. Quentin is without a doubt one of the most interesting forces in film alive today and Kill Bill is a testament to that fact.

2. Spellbound

I admit, this movie doesn't do much more than entertain. That being said, it does it in a way that is unlike 98% of the films being made today. A great movie for just about any occasion.

1. Lost in Translation

A spectacular film. I love Bill Murray and the film is a great depiction of how an outsider views life in Tokyo (not that I've been there). The acting, the visuals, the writing, all of it was great.

Movies I'd Still Like to See

My Architect
The Station Agent
Intolerable Cruelty
Pieces of April
Shattered Glass
21 Grams
Big Fish
House of 1,000 Corpses
Peter Pan

Feel free to leave comments if you think I'm missing anything else.

Best of 2003: Music (Singles, Etc.)

Posted January 5, 2004

These songs are not necessarily the best songs that were released this year, but they are some of my favorites. The first three are extra special, but the rest are just some good ones. Following the songs are a few awards that needed to be shared but defied the usual categories.

Best Songs of the Year

"Hey Ya" Outkast
The best song of the year. Hands down. Period. Exclamation point.

"Hey Julie" Fountains of Wayne
This wasn't the big radio single, nor is it the best song on their new album but it is my favorite. It is now way up there with "Stickshifts and Safetybelts" as one of the best love songs of all time.

"I Believe in a Thing Called Love" The Darkness
The Darkness reminded me that kitsch can be amazing. Yes, this song sounds like it could have been made 15 years ago, but it is still amazing.

"Crazy in Love" Beyonce
"Babe I'm On Fire" Nick Cave
"Talking to a Brick Wall" The Cooper Temple Clause
"Eskimo Lament" The Coral
"Billy Liar" The Decemberists
"Snooks (Progress Report)" Elbow
"Move Your Feet" Junior Senior
"Blizzard of '77" Nada Surf
"Like Glue" Sean Paul
"Golden Retriever" Super Furry Animals
"My Phone's On Vibrate For You" Rufus Wainwright

CDs I Didn't Realize/Think Came Out This Year/Forgot About But Still Rule
Any one of these could have been in my top thirty, but I screwed up. Forgive me.

Nada Surf - Let Go
Clem Snide - Soft Spot
The Libertines - Up the Bracket
Elbow - Cast of Thousands

Best Compilation
Wig in a Box

Best DJ Name
DJ Tanner (Created By My Sister)


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