Capn Design

November 2002

This month I posted 40 entries, watched 1 video.

Chicken Soup for the World

Posted November 28, 2002

I'm just finishing up reading Fast Food Nation, and it reminded me that there is so much wrong with this world. Horrible corporations, famine, disease, war, hate, stupidity, tons of crap. It's very depressing.

Then, as I left the boat and headed to my bus, I noticed a chain of people holding the door for one another. It made me feel good. It also reminded me of an overcommercialized and incredibly sappy book, Chicken Soup for the Soul. I read a number of the books in the series while in high school and they reminded me that there is good in the world. A single person or small group of people can do amazing things. When I review Fast Food Nation in a couple days I'll get into this more when I talk about the McLibel case and other aspects of the book. Look forward to it.

p.s. I'm leaving on a jetplane tomorrow. Enjoy your turkey and cranberries.


Posted November 28, 2002

Tonight I went to see Guster at the Hammerstein Ballroom. I was not intending to go, but my lovely friend Moria* was able to get me a ticket to the big show.

I hadn't been to a proper Guster show in almost a year, and things felt a little different. The ticket I had gave me a seat and I really like sitting. This is something new for me at shows. In the past, I used to love getting there early and getting to the front of the stage. Nowadays, not so much. I'm clearing getting older. The nice thing was that despite me enjoying a lower altitude, I still had a great time at the show. It wasn't like the days where I would scream every song with a group of friends, but it was still fun. Guster is a great band and know how to put on a live show. I will always be happy to go see them.

*Moria is someone I rarely get to see. She lives in Boston. It was great seeing her, if only for an hour or so. Thanks for the good time Moria. Feel better.

Hot Socky

Bad name, bad website, good music. A derivative of Thin Lizard Dawn and they have some good songs online (well one is really good, the others are ok (Melt Down)). I will do some more investigation.

The Cell Phone Conspiracy

Posted November 27, 2002

Last year, around this time, the battery in my cell phone decided to give up. "I can't take it anymore! I'm jumping ship!" So, I went to my cell phone dealer to remedy the problem. The salesman explained to me that the battery would cost me about $45, and a newer, better phone would only cost me $50. Since my phone was a couple years old, I thought it sounded like a pretty sweet deal. The thing that the salesman left out and avoided with a bunch of deceptive wordplay was the 2 year contract that I needed to tack on to my current contract. In other words, I got swindled into a new contract because of a bad battery.

In the last couple weeks, I have noticed that my cell phone battery has had trouble keeping power. It's almost exactly one year later. I smell trouble.

I would not be surprised if this is what they want to happen. Our batteries die a year early and we're forced to buy a new phone, because it's "cheaper." Garg. Capitalism blows. Make sure to take part in Buy Nothing Day.



Posted November 26, 2002

WFUV is quickly becoming my favorite radio station. It is a public radio station run by Fordham University. The music is great and there is more of it, compared to other pubilc stations that tend to play NPR programming all day. I love NPR, but it is nice to have some truly independent programming.

As I was listening today, I realized that I need to start expanding my musical horizons. I like most types of music, but I tend to listen to only a few styles. So, I'm making a point to listen to some of my forgotten genres. Hip hop, country/bluegrass and classical are at the top of my list. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Buffy Academics

A NYT Writer went to England to experience the first academic conference on Buffy. Supposedly it was a lot more serious than you'd expect. Read for yourself. (Reg. Req'd.)

New Features, As Promised

Posted November 25, 2002

I promised you two new features and I am delivering. You can now see the last 50 songs I've played in iTunes and review my Netflix Queue. So, you can always keep tabs on what I'm listening to and watching, even if I'm not reviewing them on time or at all. The links are in the sidebar, but here they are again for your convenience.

Last 50 iTunes Tracks
Netflix Queue

Bears Win! Bears Win!

Posted November 24, 2002

After two months of losses, eight in a row, the Bears managed to eek one out in overtime this week. It's about gosh darned time. I've watched or listened to every game this season and I've been very patient. Now that any hope for a playoff spot is gone and the Bears chance at a great draft pick is high, they go ahead and start winning. I have mixed emotions. When it comes down to it, I am happy. We needed to snap this streak, and we did. Go Bears.


Posted November 24, 2002

Last night, before I went to bed, I took off my pants.

This morning, I woke up and I had jeans on.

I have been known to sleep walk before, but I am still confused.

A Few Thoughts

Posted November 23, 2002

I'm in Huntington at my grandpa's house right now. My mother's in town for her 30 year high school reunion. That's pretty cool. It's weird to think about where people from high school will be 25 years from now. I only hope that it's nothing like my vision of it, where everyone is stuck in dead end jobs so they can support their family and vacation to Florida every year. Actually, in my home town, people will be stuck but the jobs won't be dead end. They'll probably be making a lot of money but I always question how happy they really are. Thankfully, there are always the few who managed to do something really interesting with their life. Those instances make going to a reunion worth it. I love to hear success stories. It's also nice to hear about people who suck experiencing a dose of karma.

So the next week or so will be quite busy. I have friends who are arriving in NYC for Thanksgiving who I'll want to see, then I'll be heading home to see my friends and family in Chicagoland. We are having 28 people at our house for Turkey Day. It will either be entertaining or incredibly frustrating, but probably a healthy mix of the two. I love being with family, so I'm willing to put up with the hassles of 28 people crammed in a dining room. It won't hurt that there will be some amazing food. Fresh cranberry sauce is just amazing.

All of this means that you may or may not hear from me over the next week. You'll probably get some news in the beginning of the week, but once I head home on thursday it will be unlikely to get much information of substance. Just thought you should know.

The About Page

Posted November 21, 2002

I have redone The About Page. It is now designed to match the site and the copy is all new. Ha ha, new copy. If you copied it, how could it be....

So I fulfilled the promise I made a while back. I have two other new additions that will likely come sometime this weekend. They will be fun. That is all.

On a Schedule

Posted November 21, 2002

Since I've been in New York, I've had absolutely no schedule. It has been annoying, but I've dealt. Last night it took me forever to fall asleep, and it has inspired me to get on a better schedule. No more staying up ridiculously late and no more sleeping until 2. It's good for a hundred reasons, but it will also be good for my LSAT studies.* It is crunch time, you know.

If all goes well, you won't be seeing any more posts at 3am. Yay for adulthood.


Posted November 20, 2002

Dawn Summers, that is. So, as you may or may not know, I have been watching a lot of Buffy. But that's not the point, so you can mock me in the comments. Starting now.

One of the characters thrown into the mix mid-series is Buffy's younger sister, Dawn. The character is one of the most interesting ever introduced into any show. The idea is that she The Key that unlocks dimensional barriers. Big Whoop. What's interesting is how she was introduced to the show. The Key was originally protected by monks until they turned it into human form and put it under the watch of the slayer. So the monks gave her a memory and changed Buffy's and her mother's as well. Here's comes the interesting part.

This is essentially what every writer does in every piece of fiction. They create memories and bonds and birthdays. The writers were able to have Dawn become a member of the cast without having to slowly weave her into the story. If you had started watching the show the week after Dawn was introduced, you wouldn't have known that she hadn't been around the whole. It is a truly ingenious writing tactic. I wouldn't be surprised if this had been done in a soap opera some time ago, but it still a great idea.

The Miners

Posted November 19, 2002

Everyone's heard about the Pennsylvania miners who were caught underground for n days and miraculously made it out alive. Amazing, huh? Yeah.

The question is, why are we being inundated with a pointless human interest story when there are much bigger things going on? I know, this isn't the first time human interest trumped important politcs, but this story is just so inane. Horrible mishap, lots of pain and fear, jubilation. I've heard this story before and it is just isn't important.

Sorry for the frustration, but network news today is complete bullshit. Just watch Bowling for Columbine or Journeys with George. Either movie will give you an idea of how the news is totally filtered to provide you with what is profitable or what is "best for the country."

Ughhh. That's enough. Maybe one day I'll write a more thought out piece, but for now it will have to be pissing and moaning.

Non Experts Desk: Golf

The Morning News' Non Expert Desk is always hilarious, but last week's hit home. Golf is dumb and the NED spices it up. The 'Operation Checklist' option is especially hilarious.


Posted November 18, 2002

Today, it finally feels like winter.

It is cold out, the wind is blowing and the air is crisp. All we need is a little bit of snow. I would love some snow. There are many things I love about winter, but days when everything is covered in a fresh blanket of snow are guaranteed to make me happy. It'd just so beautiful. I don't care if it means difficult driving and slippery sidewalks, it makes my day.

More importantly, wintertime means skiing. I haven't been skiing in almost 2 years and I am going crazy. There is nothing like the feeling of gliding down a mountain with wind in your face and snow at your feet. With no job, I am so tempted to move out west and ski all winter. It would be amazing. So if anyone wants to go, just say the word and I'll start looking for a van to park by the river.


I really like the new 350Z and its ad campaign. It makes a sexy car look even sexier.

A Library

Posted November 18, 2002

About a week ago I was speaking with my uncle, and we were talking about his enormous record collection. Often people will ask him if he listens to every album, and the obvious answer is no. That wouldn't be the point. The point is that he has amassed a library. Just like books or movies or anything else, the music is there when he needs it. That doesn't mean that we should all go out and buy albums just to fill up a library, but that we shouldn't feel horrible if we buy an album and only listen to it a few times before it gets put on the shelf. Maybe the week you bought it wasn't the right time for it. Often I'll rediscover an album in my collection months or years later and I'm glad I held onto it.

It's interesting how people exerience media. Some will buy an album and play it to death, but buy books and read them just once. Others do just the opposite. I guess it just depends how much you value each form of media. Personally, I would rather experience a number of different types of music instead of finding one style and latching onto it. This is how I like to consume music. I've only read a few books more than once, but I watch movies over and over if I really like them.

So now I throw this back to you. How do you enjoy your media? Do you like to buy or rent movies? Do you buy one or many albums at a time? Come on, it's sharing time.


Posted November 15, 2002

So, I mentioned yesterday that I was finishing up the Emmie website. It is ready. So why am I not linking to it? Well, because sometime in the last 8 hours my domain name went kaput.

I renewed it through my hosting company a week ago and everything was fine. No word things were amiss, so I assumed that was the case. Now the domain is MIA. Hopefully this will be resolved soon, because it is frustrating.

If you are dying to see it, you can check it out here for now. Let me know what you think.


If you haven't seen this movie/play or heard the soundtrack, then you are a sucker. Rent/Buy it already!

Junior Mints are Evil

Posted November 14, 2002

I'm back, sooner than expected, to relay to you just how evil the junior mint is. (I know, don't end sentences in pronouns)

Last night I bought some Junior Mints before going to the movies. This was a wonderful idea because Junior Mints are incredibly tasty and Walgreens sells them for $1.29. Seems too good to be true? Well, no, it doesn't. Let me explain. As I've mentioned, Junior Mints are delicious, possibly the best movie candy available (Sno-Caps run a close second). They are virtually irresistable. So, when they turn against you, it is clearly a sign of evil.

When I first opened them in the theater, things were fine. It was only when I tried to close them, did I come across a problem. It was because of the Junior Mints Slot Conspiracy. While trying to close the box, my fingers slipped and I lost about 1/4 of the box. This left a Junior Mint minefield on the floor, and the soles of my shoes are now minty fresh. After the movie, I still had a number of Junior Mints left and decided to save them. I closed the box (carefully), and threw it in my bag. After running from the subway to the ferry, I sat down and opened my bag to grab some water. I was only mildly surprised to find 15 Junior Mints smeared on the interiors and contents of my bag. Regardless, I was not happy.

And so, this is where it is easy to see the evil in the Junior Mint. The Junior Mints people know that they have created an irresistable product, and they choose to screw with us by created a poorly designed box. (In addition to the flaw explained in the link, the available slot is quite small, leading to much "popping open.") In addition, the Junior Mint, which is peppermint goo encapsled in a chocolate shell, is not very sturdy. Rogue M&M's can survive an escape, even at the bottom of a bag, but the Junior Mint is helpless.

Therefore, my recommendation is that you fight back. Buy two candies, one box of Junior Mints and one box that is sturdy (candy does not matter). If you must use the box given to you, use tape or another adhesive to secure it. Just don't fall prey to the masterminds behind the Junior Mint.

Hi, I'm Here.

Posted November 14, 2002

I've been hanging back from the blog lately. It's not you though, it's me. I've been busy with other projects and have hadn't the blogging bug. So don't get your panties in a bundle if you don't hear from me in the next couple days. The only thing I can guarantee, is a mini-review of 8 MILE. Here is a super mini-review: it was pretty ok. Eh? Oh, and I want to post more pictures. really. This coming from a man who is admitted he is a procrastinator. I guarantee photos by 2003.

Ok, time to sleep. (Stretch). Good night.

Adult Swim

No words can do this collection of shows justice.

Love in NYC

Posted November 10, 2002

One side of a phone conversation, overheard in Manhattan this morning.

"Alright, Fine. I'll get a computer with you. Let's get a fucking computer."

Sigh. What emotion.


Posted November 8, 2002

Fems and Bots, I believe I have found my favorite short film of all time. I've always believed that a lot of movies could be condensed down to about 10 really solid minutes, and BMW Films has helped to prove my point.

Today they released Ticker, a short film by Joe Carnahan, and it is simply amazing. He is an extremely talented director and it shows in this movie. He is able to tell a story that has heart, but keeps you on the edge of your seat (in all fairness, the concept was David Fincher's). It was clear he's not your average action director. If you compare his film to those previously released by BMW Films, then you'll see the distinct difference. He provides tension without having a 5 minute car chase and avoids a lot of narrative cliches. I was very impressed.

Sometime before the end of the year, his newest film, Narc, will be released. I don't know a lot about the details, but I know there is a lot of buzz. The New York Times Magazine explained its origins last weekend and I was intrigued. Ticker will put me in the front of the line. Here's the trailer for Narc.

Daredevil Disappointment

Posted November 7, 2002

When I saw the teaser for Daredevil, I was incredibly excited. It looked mysterious, exciting and based on a comic book. So exciting. Yes.

Today, the trailer was released. I am much less excited. These are some things I didn't know about the movie that are saddening.

  • Ben Affleck is starring. Blech.
  • "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" is in the movie. The song is awesome/funny, but an action movie it does not make. (huh?)
  • Ben Affleck is Dare Devil.
  • There are a bunch of movie stars who seem ill-suited for this type of film..
  • The guy who plays the main role: Ben Affleck.

There are other things that are less easy to categorize into bullet points, but you can see it for yourself. I hope it gets good reviews or something because I was looking forward to it. Bah.

On the other hand, I am ridiculously excited for Finding Nemo.

A photo blog based out of new york. Some breathtaking shots. (via The Morning News)

American Idol Gossip

Posted November 7, 2002

I have two juicy tidbits of gossip that are widely available and in no way exclusive to this site, but I want to talk about them anyway.

First, Brian Dunkelman will not be back next year. I found this out by waking up to Howard Stern on my alarm clock. I didn't get the full scoop, but it seems as if he doesn't like the 'negative exposure.' He is pursuing his career as a stand-up comic and thinks that another year of Idol will hurt more than it will help. He is turning down a ridiculous amount of money. I'm sorry, but regardless of how talented he is as a comic, he should take the cash. The entertainment industry is so hard to break into, he did it and now he's backing away. Put aside your morals for another few months and you'll be able to live comfortably for the rest of your life.

Second, the mysterious fourth judge backed out. She's a New York radio dj/hip hop artist and she couldn't handle crushing the dreams of budding singers. I guess a few girls cried after being rejected by her in the early rounds. So, she quit. It hit too close to home, so she says. I guess I understand this. In theory, I would love to tell all these hilariously untalented people that they are hilariously untalented, but I could never do it. I think I'm too nice.

These are my gossip pieces. Wheeee!*

*For me, "Wheee!" is a lot like "And then I found five dollars."


Exactly what it sounds like. Amazing. (via JeJune)

Rules for Bless You

Posted November 7, 2002

You must act appropriately to a sneeze. Here are the rules for bless you.

  1. If the person is sitting next to you, say bless you.
  2. If the person is two people away, then there are some conditions. If its loud, then say bless you. If it is quiet, use your judgement and whisper.
  3. If the person is more than two people away, it is out of your jurisdiction.
  4. If the person is in front of or behind you, see #2.
  5. If the person is a friend, the jurisdiction extends by two bodies. No exceptions.
  6. If you are attracted to the person, you must say it.
  7. If you are in church, then say "God Bless You."
  8. If you are German or named Uncle Larry, say "Gazoontite."
  9. If someone sneezes on you, then have no obligations. Do as you please.
  10. During a multipe sneeze episode, bless once after the first sneeze and once after the last. Blessing each time gets tiring.

That's all I've got for now. Any additions?

Oh, The Media

Posted November 6, 2002

Today, I read about how Winona Ryder was found guilty of grand theft and I can't help but think about the media always makes something out of nothing. If I went into a department store and stole $5500 worth of clothes, would I be on tv right now? Certainly not.

In my review of Bowling for Columbine, I mentioned that the film shows how the media is the main cause of gun violence in America. The barrage of information we receive on violent crimes and deviant acts just rile us up and make us nervous and scared. I don't like that hundreds of people are killed every day but being told the gruesome details is not going to change anything. I want the media to inform me of things I can learn from. The Winona thing is not as egregious as gun violence, but it is sucking time from important issues. And we all know, there are plenty of things to talk about.

So I'm always looking for ways to cut out the bullshit. I don't watch local news, I avoid celebrity gossip and I seek out the untold story. It won't solve the problem, but it helps to keep my head clear.

Pop Matters

Such a great music site that I recently rediscovered. If you're looking for daily reviews and you find Pitchfork annoying, give this a shot. Actually, go anyway. It rules.

Comics Blog

Exactly what it sounds like. A blog about comics. From a man who works for Fantagraphics. Fragment Sentences.


A really cute comic strip. I think I'm going to have to read it every day now. Cute things are good.

Almost M$ Free

Posted November 6, 2002

Finally there is only lone piece of software made by Microsoft that I am dependent on, and I could actually manage to survive without it.

Web: Chimera
Email: Mail
News Aggregator: NetNewsWire Lite (okay, so M$ doesn't make one, but I want to plug it again)

All I'm using, and very occasionally, is Word. It is the best word processor and I don't want to sacrifice quality and time for morals. At least not right now.

I've also realized that this site's audience really doesn't care about this. Oh well.


Posted November 5, 2002

I found a new software that creates a blog on your iDisk (obviously for OS X users). It's called iBlog. I don't really like the feature set, the the usability is poor, and the sole template is ugly. But, I love the interface.

I would love it if someone created a similar interface that worked with a number of blog softwares. I know the Blogger API is available, so that is doable. I'm not sure about Radio or Movable Type, but I'm sure it's possible. Anyway, if you know a programmer or if you are a programmer, then do it.

The Squirrel

Posted November 4, 2002

Friday 11:14am (duh-duh! (that's the Law & Order sound))

I wake up to the sound of scratching on the door, thinking it was my uncle looking for my car keys. "Uncle Ted?" I glance towards the door and notice its closed, but in the corner of my eye I catch a fuzz ball. The Squirrel. There is a squirrel in room. Immediately I close the door between my "kitchen" and my "bedroom" and call my uncle. During this time, I have managed to trap The Squirrel in the closet.

Friday 11:51am

My uncle arrives with a squirrel catcher (he's had this problem before). We decide to slide it into the closet, trying not to rouse The Squirrel. We accomplish the feat and hope for the best. Right after that, my uncle dives in and grabs a handful of clothes for me. I leave to meet my mom.

Friday 5:56pm

I call my uncle to check up on the situation. He hasn't had a chance to look.

Saturday 1:24pm

I talk to him once again and find out The Squirrel has sprung the trap and is still loose. Hmm. He reset the trap and prays for a favorable outcome.

Sunday 2:08pm

I arrive home and check the trap. It hasn't been touched. I call my uncle and we agree we'll have to open the window to try and let him out, despite the chance that he might attack.

Sunday 5:56pm

Uncle Ted and Mike arrive in my room, and we make our move. Ted opens the window, I hold the flashlight and Mike cheers us on. We also reset the trap. The problem now is that I can't be sure The Squirrel is gone unless I check every corner. Hmm.

Monday 12:58pm

Uncle Ted and I go in to check if The Squirrel is there. I'm on backup watch and Ted goes in to poke around. He pulls a few things out and checks behind some boxes. Then, he sees furriness. The Squirrel. The Dead Squirrel. Apparently he died of starvation, even though he refused to eat the peanuts and peanut butter we left for him. It was a little sad but it gave us a sense of relief. At least he was given a proper burial.


Oh man, this is my favorite new candy. Your lips pucker from the dark chocolate and then it all smooths out with the milk chocolate caramel in the middle. Mmm, so tasty.

Rock the House!

Posted November 2, 2002

In my ongoing search for home redesign shows (Trading Spaces, While You Were Out, etc.) and celebrity reality shows (The Osbournes, The Anna Nicole Show), I have found a wonderful combination. Rock the House. This is a new VH1 show that brings in music stars to redecorate the room of one of their biggest fans. This could be very entertaining, but I don't know if I would trust a star to redecorate my room. (They do have interior designers working with them, but they are celebrity designers.) Sammy Haggar was the first, but Paula Abdul and Weird Al are coming up. We'll have to see about this one.

$3000 Plasma Screen

Gateway is releasing a 42-inch plasma screen for this ridiculously low price. Time to start saving.


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