Capn Design

September 2003

This month I posted 31 entries, watched 5 videos.

Back in the City

Posted September 30, 2003

I have returned to New York. My weekend at home was nice, even if it didn't go quite as expected. I was plagued with a head cold throughout the weekend and it meant that my only realy outtings were ones of necessity. I ran errands, I saw family, I welcomed in the new year. I missed seeing most of my friends but I did have a chance to sit at home and get some things done as well as watch the Cubs doubleheader on Saturday. This was a good thing.

Now I am back in New York and tonight I have an improv show at 6:30pm. I would love it if you could come to see me. I can't guarantee that I'll be funny, but I know that the rest of my class is hilarious. It's at the UCB Theater and it's $5.

Weblogs and ISSN

Print this out if you're having trouble registering an ISSN for your weblog.


Posted September 26, 2003

A while back I heard a comedian discuss the availability of porn in airport magazine shops. It immediately struck me as odd and I wondered, "Who buys porn at the airport?"

I mean, even if you buy the porn and you have no intention to put it to use, are you going to read it on the airplane? Yes, Playboy has articles, but Tons o' Jugs does not. The point is, no sane person would ever consider looking at porn on the plane.

This brings us back to our original question. The only rational explanation I could come up with was that these people are too busy to get to a magazine store. After reading that sentence I realize that even that explanation is far from rational. I have absolutely no clue who buys porn at the airport.

I am writing this on the plane*, so when I get off I think I am going to go to a WH Smith and ask one of the sales clerks if he/she has ever sold porn to someone. I need to get to the bottom of this.

Off the plane and back home: I started to walk up to one of the stores when I noticed a man with a sizeable gut, striped button-down shirt and graying, thinning hair peaking at one of the magazines. He wouldn't take it off the shelf but he had a gross smile on his face. I didn't get up the guts to ask the clerk, mostly because I think I would've frightened her, but this event gave me a pretty good answer.

*It's currently 8:33 CST on Thursday.

Connections at LaGuardia

Posted September 25, 2003

I ended up spending some time updating the resumé and other tidbits on the site, but as I headed towards the gate another Powerbook user asked me if I could help him bring back his laptop from sleep mode.* I helped him figure it out, but I also learned that he was an incredibly nice man named Corbin. He was hoping to do the same thing I was and didn't like that he couldn't get on the internet. We talked a bit but then I had to run to grab a water before my flight.

As I was leaving he held me up to give me his CD. It has a couple songs he played like on K-ROCK here in New York. I thought that was an awesome way to say thank you. I am going to listen to it on the plane and possibly put up an mp3 if he gives his approval (and if it's any good). It's moments like this when I love people.

*It was stuck.

Free Internet!

Posted September 25, 2003

For the second time in a few months, I am stuck at an airport for an extended period of time. The last time I was making my way back from the backwoods of Manitoba, Canada. This time, I am trying to get to Chicago for the Jewish holidays. I have been here since 4:45 and my flight is at 8pm.* Now, I am killing time.

The question you are likely asking yourself is, "Hmm, I wonder how this brilliant young fellow is in an airport and on the internet?" I will tell you, good sir or madam. Today is "One Unwired Day", brought to you by Intel. In an effort to promote their new Centrino chip and wireless internet in general, the internet is free at a lot of hotspots today. So, I get to speak to you.

I realize now that I don't have a whole lot to say. I was all excited about the opportunity to use the internet and now I'm not sure what i want to tell you. Well, I will be here surfing the web if you decide you'd like to say hello. Shoot me an email or something.

*I got to the airport early with the hopes of going standby, but I found out that I have a restricted fare and cannot fly standby. I don't really understand the logic behind it but I almost never hear the words "logic" and "airport" in the same sentence.

Parking Tickets

Posted September 24, 2003

Over the last month or so I have received three parking tickets. Each time it was completely and totally justified as I parked on the wrong side of the street and knew what was coming. Now, I am debating whether to pay them.

See, on all three tickets the officer incorrectly wrote down my information. On two of them he wrote down the wrong license plate number. On two of them he wrote down AL instead of IL for the state. On all three he ommitted the VIN number. When I went online to look up my tickets, and possibly pay them, not one turned up when I put in my correct information. To me, this seems to be a justification not to pay.

The question is, what do I do now? Do I just ignore them knowing they have no real way of tracking me down or do I contest them in court? Help me figure out how to avoid paying these tickets.

Of course, even if I do end up paying them it will be $105 for two months of parking. Sounds cheap to me.

The Decemberists

Oh my lord. These guys are fantastic. Please go buy their record.

Welcome Back, Television

Posted September 22, 2003

The fall season caught me by surprise this year. Normally I get excited about all the new shows, but I'm more ambivalent this time around. I think it's due to my love of HBO original programming and their rolling premiere schedule. Still, I thought I would give you a list of some shows I like to watch regularly (not complete) and a couple new ones that seem interesting.

Ed: I think this is my favorite show. I'm tenative to say so as there are others I love, but this one will always be number one in my heart. I think this show is funny, smart and just sappy enough. The new season starts Wednesday, which is what inspired this post.

24: This was the best show on television last year. I felt like every single week added something to the plot and I was on the edge of my seat for most of every show. I'm pumped for "Day Three."

Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Sometimes I'll watch the other ones but I love Vincent D'Onofrio's shtick on this show. I know it's over the top and completely unrealistic, but I'm still highly amused.

Home Movies: I thought this show was never coming back, but there are new episodes in November. The best animated show on television right now. No joke.

Six Feet Under: I used to adore this show. Last season was a little disappointing. It just seemed like it was all build up to something that never happened. I hope this season is better.

The Wire: The second season just ended but I needed to mention this show. So good.

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Where are the new shows? Best sitcom on tv.

Ali G: Where are the new shows? Best variety show starting a wanksta.

The Daily Show: Two Emmys yesterday. I watch this show every day.

Boston Public: I'm pretty sure I need to file this one under guilty pleasures. I have a funny feeling this may be the last season thogh.

The OC: Obviousy a guilty pleasure. Still, the writing is clever and the characters are entertaining, not to mention nice to look at.

There are more shows I like to watch, but instead I'll mention a few new ones.

Carnivale: I haven't seen an episode yet but it could be interesting.

K Street: I saw an episode and it's sort of interesting, but might tank.

Handler: Joe Pantoliano's new show on CBS. I think he is great so I will try this one out.

The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.: The premise sounds a little unusual but I will always give David E. Kelley a chance.

That's about it. Any shows you're dying to check out?

The Happiest Hour

Posted September 19, 2003

Last night I did indeed make it down to the Gothamist/601am Happy Hour and I definitely had some good times. Here are bits from the event:

  • I spent a good part of the evening hanging near Hit-or-miss Matt. We, along with others, debated my gayness. Actual gayness: 0%. Theoretical gayness: 50-60%.
  • Oh, and Matt also unintentionally convinced me not to go to the Morning News party tomorrow night. I asked, "Are you not going because it would make three blogging parties in a week?" Matt gave an emphatic "yes." I love you blogging, but I think you're moving a little fast.
  • I was the recipient of a Gothamist t-shirt. I don't know if I will actually wear it. Instead I will hold onto it until Gothamist becomes bigger than Gawker, at which point I will sell it on ebay for $300.
  • There were some good photos snapped. Ones snapped by Remote Lounge's booths (I am visible on this page at 11:22). Ones by Camera phone shots.
  • It was also nice to meet Andrew and Henry. I wish I could have met more of you.
  • At one point Anil said he is planning to dress up as Blog Man for Halloween. I am looking forward to seeing that.
  • Finally, thank you, thank you, thank you to Jen, Jake and Aaron. Good times, all thanks to you guys.

Lost and Found

Posted September 18, 2003

The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, is my absolute favorite book. I have read it 3+ times and it gains meaning every time. About two years ago I lost my copy. I was crushed as it had years of annotations inside and a lot of memories. This was the first book to make me cry sheerly from the power of the words inside. It hurt to lose it.

Today, I have another copy. I decided to go to Amazon and find the translation I had last time and just buy it again. I am so glad I did. After reading the first line, "One hot spring evening, just as the sun was going down, two men appeared at Patriarch's Ponds," a huge smile crept across my face. As much as I'm loving Life of Pi, I may have to put it down to go through Master again.

In the same package, I got Self's Breakfast with Girls, an album I lost probably three years ago. I had downloaded it a while ago but it was on my old computer and is gone. I remembered quickly why this album stayed in my car for over a year. It is such a wonderful balance of pop, warmth, tight production and fun song writing.

It feels good to reconnect with these bits of my past.

Have you ever lost anything and then rediscovered or repurchased the same item?

The Movable Type Gathering

Posted September 17, 2003

I was just reading Matt's account of this weekend's Movable Type gathering and I realized I actually had some worthwhile thoughts on the event. Matt complained that a number of attendees (specifically Anil and Cam) were a bit intimidating. It's funny how different people deal with different situations.

I can understand Matt's problem as meeting someone you respect or admire can often be a difficult thing, but I don't seem to suffer from this phobia.* Despite people's accomplishments or notoriety, they are just people. They have thoughts and they deal with the same problems and see the same movies and take the same subways to work. So, when I sat down between Kottke and Meg I jumped right into a conversation. Why not? What's the worst that will happen? These are people whose opinions I respect and enjoy, so the logical response should be to engage in dialogue instead of continuing the one-sided conversations of reading weblogs.

When I went to the last 601am/Gothamist Happy Hour (another one is coming up tomorrow night) there were a couple college-age girls there who were creaming their pants when they got to meet Nick Denton and Aaron of 601am. These are both cool people but come on, they just run weblogs. It's no big deal.

So, when you go to the Happy Hour tomorrow night or the Morning News Party on Saturday, you should run up to whatever cool/famous people are there and share your thoughts. Oh, and if you think I'm cool then you can talk to me as I'll be at both.

P.S. I get 40,000,000 hits a day. Bow down to me.

*As you continue reading, I don't mean this as a shot at people who have actual problems in these situations, but to those who just don't know how to react around "famous" people, not people in general.

The OC is Brilliant

Posted September 16, 2003

Seth: "Hey, do not insult Death Cab."
Summer: "It's like one guitar and a whole lotta complaining."

Woh, so true. Hilarious. Oh, I love Death Cab.


Hillarious. Seen at The Morning News.

R.I.P. Johnny Cash

I know it was somewhat expected, but it is still upsetting.

Who's Gonna Get My Money?

Posted September 12, 2003

Yesterday I spent the day photographing the city with Jori. We spent a lot of time shooting 9 11 stuff, but we also took a lot of pictures of the San Gennaro Festival on Mulberry Street. It was good times and I think I got a lot of really great shots. We'll see.

Jori is a photojournalist and has an EOS-1D. The camera made me realize how badly I want a digital SLR. I don't really have a need for the 1D but I am dying to get my hands on the 10D. I yearn for the control and image quality of that camera. I love my G1, but it is dying and I know it. The extra megapixels are nice but I realize that for my purposes I can survive without them. Still, there is nothing like using a great Canon lens, be it for digital or film.

In the spring I had planned to get my hands on a new G5 and LCD screen. Together, these are quite expensive. Now I'm planning on dropping the screen, using my old CRT, and buying the 10D. The cost will be about the same (assuming the price drops a couple hundred bucks between now and then) and I don't really NEED an LCD screen as my 19-inch Viewsonic is a great monitor and in perfect condition. So, I get two totally seperate things and can be twice as happy.

I'm not sure why I decided to share this all on the blog. Maybe it was to get some reassurance. More likely it is to remind myself to keep raising the balance in my savings account into next spring.

MORE: I just read this review of the Canon EOS 300D and it sounds like it is VERY similar to the 10D, uses the same chip and is $600 less. Hmmmm.

9 11 03

Posted September 11, 2003

Everyone knows what today is. I have been thinking about it quite a bit, but I don't feel too much like blogging about it at the moment. Maybe tonight.

In the meantime, here are photos from this morning.

Hey Ya

The new video from Outkast. Video, Song = AWESOME

Seal Player

Should I be embarrassed about loving Seal?

A Plea for Company

Posted September 10, 2003

On Saturday, September 20th the Pittsburgh Pirates will host the Chicago Cubs for an evening game. I am dying to go. PNC Park is supposed to be amazing and I haven't seen the Cubs all year. I would go by myself but the drive is around 7 or 8 hours and it just wouldn't be as much fun.

So, if you're willing to join me then I will pay for gas and tolls and you will have an amazing time. To be honest, I don't even care if I don't know you (although it'd be a lot more fun to go with a friend), but if you are completely random then it'd be nice to meet you in person before spending two full days with you.

If you want to go to the game with me then shoot me an email (look to your right) or leave a comment. Help a lonely Cub fan out and make his weekend. You won't regret it.

p.s. I live in Brooklyn.

Rocks In Your Head

Posted September 10, 2003

On Monday I stopped at one of the better record stores in NYC, Rocks In Your Head, and picked up the new Enon and Mogwai albums.* I would have to put Other Music as my number one overall, but RIYH is not nearly as hyped or snotty. RIYH puts more of an emphasis on vinyl and older stuff while OM looks to have the newest and greatest in a variety of genres.

These differences make shopping at RIYH much more pleasant. The staff is very helpful and willing to play a record for you if you ask nicely. They are also pretty willing to give good advice, which is rare even though it is an integral part of a store experience for me. The one thing that OH does better is their description and placement of new and interesting albums. I like seeing what is being featured as combing through hundreds of records is time-consuming and eye-numbing.

Other record stores I frequent in New York:
Rockit Scientist
13 - Great cheap bins outside
Kim's Video

Store that looks promising:
Future Legends

A List of Citysearch's top stores (you can vote for you fav too)

*Both albums are quite good. New Mogwai is definitely as good as Rock Action while new Enon is good but did not blow me away like High Society.

Labels Grab Info from P2Ps

Label's find a use for P2Ps, which goes against their claim they're only good for stealing music. Interesting.

On Language and Bosses

Posted September 10, 2003

A couple of minutes ago someone in the office just said, "If we can't get this accounting together I'm going to get my ass raped." Now I have no problem with profane language but it just seems very out of place when used by "suits" in a big company. As soon as it left his lips I wondered what it would be like if that were the actual punishment for not having his expenses worked out. I guarantee he would never screw them up or be late again.

This is an example of one thing I don't understand about suits -- their general need to be rough, tough and full of testosterone. "I'm in charge! Do it now! Why the fuck isn't this done? I asked for it five fucking days ago?!?" They assume that everyone responds positively when demands are yelled across an office. What makes it worse is that they are rarely descriptive while spewing demands. So, when you finish something you'll often hear that it the result is "not what we had talked about." Bah.

This is reason #203 why I want to get out the corporate world. Sure, I could make more money going into business but it's going to be the same shit every day and I'm not going to be happy. It's time to get my act together and find the right job.

IN OTHER OFFICE NEWS: This girl in my office just said in a sing-songy, OC kind of way, "I just got my two Dave Matthews tickets!" I have no problem with Dave Matthews, unlike many music connoisseurs, but anyone who utters this statement in this manner is definitely not cool. (The fact that she regularly calls things "gay" and loudly discusses her weekend exploits over the phone only confirm her bogus-ness.)

In Local News...

Posted September 9, 2003

  • I think yesterday's "thing-in-the-eye" incident has scratched a vital part of my eye. The optometrist will make the call tomorrow morning.
  • I am cooking dinner tonight. While shopping for the food I realized there is an actual fish market and also a butcher right on Court St. These things are foreign to me in this day of Super-Duper Incredibly Huge Mega-Sized Target Greenland. Staubitz Market Meats, thank you for the ground veal.
  • My boss is gone for the week at one of my jobs. Our internet has also been royally screwed for three weeks. This means I get the week off. Today I spent the day being little suzy houseman. I cleaned up, got started on dinner and played some Madden, just like the olden days.

Wow, Ow, and Yow

Posted September 8, 2003

Wow: The Cubs are back in first and have won 7 of 8.

Ow: I have had something in my eye for two hours. I am not happy.

Yow: 49-7. The Bears suck big time. Much worse than I feared.

All three of these things make me cry in their own special way.

A NOTE: People here must think I'm not drugs. My eye is now bloodshot and I have been sniffling all day. So if you need a dime bag or an 8-ball then give me a ring.

UPDATE: The Thing is still in my eye. I'm not sure what to do. I have been told to wash it out with water, but I would need a shot glass or something. Capn Design will keep you posted on this slowly developing story.

Judging Books by Their Covers

September's installment of book cover reviews.

MT: Gathering at Madison Square Park

9/13 2PM: I will be there.


Posted September 4, 2003

Yesterday Universal announced they will be cutting the prices of all their CDs to $12.98. Many of their CDs had MSRPs of $18.98 or $16.98, so this is a considerable change. This is also the smartest thing any of the companies could have done.*

I have long said that I am much more likely to buy an album that is $10 as opposed to one that is $20. In fact, I flat out won't buy an album if it's $20. This new price cuts means I will able to go to Virgin and buy a new mainstream record without breaking the bank. Way to go guys.

It seems fairly clear that this is in response to their slumping sales and influx of P2P networks, but I have a feeling the success of the iTunes Music Store, which sells albums at $9.99, made Universal realize that if the price is right then people will spend moeny. It's just annoying it took them to get their heads out of their asses.

I'm curious to see how independent and discount record stores deal with this change. Since they are already charging less than Virgin or Sam Goody, are they going to drop their prices a couple of dollars as well? I don't know the answer to this as I don't know how much the wholesale cost of the album is changing. They must be lowering it because Virgin is not going to take a $4 an album hit, but I'm not sure how much.

I guess this will all come to light in a couple weeks as the prices start to change. We'll keep each other posted.

*I should note that "all their CDs" really means that. It's not just new stuff it's everything in their back catalogue.

UPDATE: An article from the Register says that they are definitely slashing the wholesale price and planning on market forces to bring the album cost down to about $12-13., They also think that the other labels won't initially follow suit.

ALSO: This article from the NY Times says that the wholesale price went from $12.02 to $9.09. So, the record stores are expected to take a hit as well. We'll see.

The O.C.

Posted September 3, 2003

Holy balls, how did I get sucked into this. I should have known better when people started calling it the new Beverly Hills. Still, I couldn't help myself when it suddenly popped up in my Tivo list.* Now I'm hooked. I've only seen three episodes and I know I won't be able to stop.

Do I embrace this newfound crack or do I immediately drop it? I'm only concerned because I know it is a timesuck and it goes against my general television policy (no clearly crappy or unintelligent shows). Right now I'm planning to embrace my hypocracy and continue watching because manufactured drama is so much more manageable than the real thing (and because some of the ladies are hot to trot).

*I definitely didn't program it and I'm still not sure who in my household did.

Goodbye, My Delicious Friend

Posted September 3, 2003

Today I am making it official. I am saying goodbye to regular Coke. I recently finished off my last 12-pack at home and have no remnants of said sugary-goodness at home. This will make it easier.

In the past I have tried to wean myself off of the delectable drink by only consuming X a day or X a week, but it has never worked. So I'm quitting cold turkey. Today I went to McDonalds and got a number two with a Diet Coke.* This is unheard of for me.

I am cutting back on the con-syruppy sludge for two reasons:
1. I don't need all that extra sugar in my diet.
2. I recently got two cavities and I don't think Coke helped.

In the future, if you see me ordering a regular Coke, slap me. It will stop me and will most likely be amusing.

*I figured the grease of McDonald's would be a good way to balance the lack of sugar.

Journalism is Boring

Posted September 2, 2003

I was just surfing the NY Times site when I came across an article about girls primping for the school year. It talks about how young girls care more about looking good for the school year than their studies. As a reader I am supposed to shocked by how young girls are tanning and waxing. Hopefully, I'll write a letter. I will do none of these things.

Instead, I will complain about how papers -- even quality ones like the NY Times -- have all of these crappy filler stories that come out every year around the same time and say the same things because the editors know they'll get some kind of a reaction. I guess it's just good business but I'd like to see a little more effort. I'd like the paper to be a little smaller each day, the staff to be a little smaller and the price to be a little lower. If there's not much international news then don't add a fourth story just because people expect that.

I guess this is a slam at mainstream media in general, which should not be a surprise as it's become a cyclical story at Capn Design. So I guess I'm guilty of that which I criticize. Either that or it's worth repeating.

Oh, Hi There

Posted September 2, 2003

So, I've been away from the blog for a while. Nearly a week now. I partially didn't have much to say and I've also been pretty busy. I've been working a lot, playing a lot, and starting to work on websites for two friends.

Today you'll get a couple new posts about recent adventures. I have a ton of photos to post but they'll have to wait as I've been having issues with my external hard drive.

That's it. Yay.


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