Capn Design

April 2005

This month I posted 36 entries, listened to 1302 songs, watched 9 videos, bookmarked 8 sites and took 14 photos.

Making Spam Interesting

Posted April 28, 2005

I put up with advertising for one of two reasons -- either it is financially supporting content that I want to read/watch or the advertisement is for a product I would consider purchasing. Otherwise, I promptly ignore it.

A few minutes ago I got an email entitled "The Blonde and the Sheep" from a person with a believable email address. I didn't know who they were, but I was curious. Inside was a joke about, well, a blonde and a sheep. It wasn't really funny, but below it was this:

Good day. First of all, sorry for inconvenience. I have decided to put one of the best jokes to each of my advertising messages. I promise you to choose one of the best jokes each day, hope it would decrease your irritation of my messages.

And, of course, :-) I need to offer you some goods. I always take only the best offers for my audience, usually I test it by myself. 100% quality, low prices, fast delivery. I hope, this joke about the blonde was new and funny for you. Today i want to offer you absolutely new Penis Enlargement Patch.

Click on this link to keep up my beginning of making spam not so boring thing. Have a nice day.

I've gotta say, if I'm going to receive spam, which is more or less unavoidable, I'd rather get messages like this. I'm not really a dumb blonde joke kinda guy, but maybe one day in the future, spammers will know my tastes and include content I'd actually like (knock-knock jokes) alongside ads for penis pills.

Of course, I'm not in the market for penis pills, so maybe it would make more sense to grab something from the Truly Tasteless Jokes book. Then you'll sell the penis pills like hotcakes.

"I Am 8-Bit" Art Show in LA

Some awesome video game inspired art

Buy a Real, Playable Ocarina of Time

I love people (who love Nintendo). Be sure to check out the videos [via cheesedip]

Infinity Creating Radio Station Consisting Solely of Listener-Submitted Songs

Coming to AM radion in SF

Ben Folds' List of Music You Should Hear

Update on Brendon Small Projects

Posted April 26, 2005

Before I begin, if you already know who Brendon Small is, then I applaud you and invite you into my secret cabal. If not, Brendon Small is the creator of Home Movies. The show was cancelled after its fourth season on Adult Swim, which ended in April 2004. It was utterly and completely brilliant. The first season is already on DVD and the second season will available May 31st.

A year later, Brendon Small has started some new projects. First, is a new series on Comedy Central called Deathclock, which is about a death metal band. According to Brendon's site, the show will "include much shredding and murder." He also posted the theme song to the new show, which can be found on his media page (direct link to mp3). "Expect fast guitar and cookie monster vocals."

His other new project, which may or may not be green-lighted, is called Barbarian Chronicles and will hopefully appear on the Sci-Fi channel. Briefly, it is a show about Middle Earth metrosexuals. Here is a full preview from an NBC press release:

What if 'Lord of the Rings' met 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' The answer: 'Barbarian Chronicles.' This 1/2-hour animated series from Brendon Small, creator of the offbeat series strip 'Home Movies,' is a fresh ensemble comedy set in a magical realm of swords, sorcery and - you heard it here first -- Middle-earth metrosexuals. Executive produced by Small and David Letterman's Worldwide Pants, this series pulls back the curtain on a hilarious and heretofore unknown age of comedy.

In smaller news, Small is apparently working on a super-secret live-action project for Fox. That's all the info he'd give up. If you live in LA and you want to see Brendon do "a bunch of odd characters/videos" for free, head to the Comedy Central Stage at 8pm this Wednesday, the 27th.

Benefit Concert with Stars for Save Darfur Coalition

Posted April 22, 2005

My buddy James put together a concert to be held on Tuesday, April 26th (this coming Tuesday) that will benefit the Save Darfur Coalition. The show is at Northsix and will include Stars, Kevin Devine, Jeffrey Lewis and The Fatales.

You can buy tickets online now for $10 at Ticketweb or pay $12 at the door, but I don't know that they'll last that long. The doors open at 9 and the show starts at 10.

If you need more information about the event, you can a hold of James via his website. See you there.

I Love Audioscrobbler

Posted April 22, 2005

It's official, my love for Audioscrobbler is off the heezy. Being a music nerd, I am in love with its ability to proccess all the music I take in over the course of the day. My user page shows that I've listened to 3,741 songs since February 9th, when I created my account, and my top played songs and artists of all-time and have the previous week.

It's a great way to see what you've been listening to lately. Looking at mine, you can see that I listen to my music primarily in album form (I'm a purist) and that I really like the new Spoon, Hot Hot Heat and Iron & Wine records.

My other favorite feature is the Network page. It shows my friends and the last five songs they've listened to as well as my "musical neighbours". The latter feature shows other users who have similar tastes as me (I was very happy to find out my friend Robbie was one of my neighbors).

This is the type of service that Apple should build into iTunes and their .Mac service. Apple users love each other and are typically at the front of cool technology, so why not let them connect online. Also, Audioscrobbler could benefit from Apple's design team and some additional servers.

In conclusion, I would make out with Audioscrobbler if that were possible.

Nintendo World

Nintendo's first-ever retail store, opening May 14th in Rockefeller Plaza in NYC [via Game Girl Advance]

You Are Not Weird Al

Posted April 21, 2005

I officially hate all of these hokey song/animation flash movies that come out around holidays and other events. Nearly all of them are painfully bad. This has nothing to do with the technical skill of the creators, it's just that the songs are not funny.

With Passover arriving this weekend, I have been forwarded two equally bad examples. I will link to them, but only for archival purposes.* I don't suggest visiting these sites unless you like hearing 50 Cent songs reimagined for Passover. Here they are:

Seda Club
Passover Greeting

I sincerely hope that the flash developers and animators out there will learn to use their skills for good and not evil. Before you agree to put together a movie for someone, please listen to the song first. If you can screen these for us, we'll never have to see them. I am counting on you.

* Once ironly rears its ugly head, this post will become the one-stop shop for Passover-related, flash-animated, craptular songs. I apologize in advance.

Sit Up Front

Posted April 21, 2005

This may seem silly or obvious, but sitting up front is the best way to get the most out of a talk or conference.

When you've got ten or fifty or three hundred people between you and the speaker, it gets easy to tune out. By sitting in the front row, it becomes a one-on-one conversation. Asking questions becomes less fear-inducing and idle chatter is less distracting.

I suppose people get self-conscious about having all those eyes bearing down on you, but if just sit down and focus on whatever is being presented, it'll make for a better experience. I just wish I had done it more during college.

And this was your pubic service announcement for the day.

WSJ on Online Game Rental Companies

So Many Mergers

Posted April 18, 2005

Today, two big mergers went down. The bigger of the two is Adobe's purchase of Macromedia for $3.4 billion. Andy also pointed out GameStop's purchase of Electronique's Boutique for $1.44 billion. Both are significant, but I wonder if either one was necessary.

In the case of Adobe, they picked up Flash, which is probably the main reason for the merger. In my mind, this makes the deal worth it. Adobe had tried to make a go at the market with GoLive, but it never took off. What seems silly though is all of the product crossover (Illustrator and Freehand, Photoshop/Imageready and Fireworks, etc.). Will Adobe just dump Macromedia's versions or what? I am definitely suspicious of how this will effect consumers, but I don't know if this is much of a benefit to Adobe.

The Gamestop/EB merger seems to have little merit, on the other hand. Gamestop is essentially growing its company by buying up another one. As far as I know, they're not gaining any infrastructure or exclusive sales contracts. So, they are just trying to gain marketshare artificially instead of improving the shopping experience or cutting the costs internally. The Yahoo article explained, "GameStop expects the deal to add significantly to its diluted earnings per share in the second half of fiscal year 2005 and in 2006." To me, this says that EB is doing things right, so we'll just them up and hope their success will make us look better.

I guess my real concern is that mergers like this provide little to no benefit to the consumer. Will this merger provide a better experience for me in any way? Only time will tell, but I don't think it's very likely in the Gamestop/EB example. Yes, I will soon be able to return a birthday gift at a slightly more convenient location, but I think the benfits of competition between the two companies would outweigh those of standardization.

It'll be interesting to see what these monlithic companies look like in 10 or 20 years. Will there be just one company serving us all of our movies and music? I hope not, but this "biggest fish in the pond" mentality is beginning to make me nervous.

Home Movies Season 2 on DVD 5/31


Target Redesigns the Prescription Bottle

A great design article from one of my new favorite magazines

A Tricycle that Morphs into a Bicycle While Moving

Designed to help kids learn to ride a bike [via engadget]

My Birthday Dinner at Grocery

Posted April 15, 2005

Birthday dessert at GroceryLast year, Zagat's gave Grocery a 28 food rating, which is crazy for a 30-seat Brooklyn restaurant. Grocery is a mere 15 minute walk from my place in Brooklyn. Knowing these two facts, I knew it was only a matter of time before I tried it out. Last night, Jori took me for my birthday.

The restaurant is completely unassuming. The outside is painted gray and the sign is slightly difficult to read. The decor inside is equally tame. Even the dishes aren't anything completely crazy. The quality of the food, on the other hand, is outstanding. It has as much to do with the preparation as it does the quality of the ingredients. And now, the blow by blow.

The meal starting out with a taste of their excellent potato leek soup. It was dense and had poignant flavors. Jori and I shared two appetizers. She had an asparagus salad topped with a poached egg, creamy lemon vinaigrette and shaved parmesean. I would never have thought to include a poached egg there, but it was delicious. I had grilled cuttlefish with fingerling potatoes on a bed of romaine lettuce. I had never tried cuttlefish before; it's like a fleshier version of squid. Jori thought it tasted like shark, which I've never had. Either way, it was tasty but nothing special.

For our entrees, Jori had a striped bass with crispy potatoes and assorted vegetables. She said, "it was very good; light and not too fishy tasting." I had the special, which was pan-fried chicken with ramps*, spetzl and romaine lettuce. The chicken was amazing and the spetzl, which I'd never had before, was a salty delight.

For dessert, we decided on a rhubarb cobbler that had a walnut-centric topping and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Being a big rhubarb fan, I loved it. It was like a rhubarb stew. The best part about it was the candle and the birthday message on the plate. Very sweet (get it!?!).

As I've made abundently clear, the dinner was fantastic. The co-owner, Charles Kiely, said in the NYT piece, "I don't think we're doing earth-shattering food. We're just a really good neighborhood restaurant." That hits it right on the head. If you like eating delicious food without all the frills, this is your place.

To see more blurry photos from the meal, check out my flickr gallery.

*As you'll read if you follow the link I posted, ramps are only in season for two weeks a year and are fairly unusual. They also took part in the best meal I've had in my life.

Fountains of Wayne to Release 2 Disc Rarities Album entitled Out-of-State Plates

It'll be out June 28th and looks good. It will be mine.

Self B-Sides and Rarities Disc Available for Free Download

Awesome, as their new full-length appears to have been shelved

Beulah Tour DVD is a Comin'

I'm a sucker for band documentaries [via]

Who Needs Singles?

Posted April 14, 2005

While perusing the newest issue of Rolling Stone, I happened upon an article about Jack Johnson. I'm not really a fan, but the headline was something like, "Jack Johnson stays in the Top 10 without a single." That piqued my interest. I'm often hearing about records being shelved because it would be hard to market (see: Fiona Apple's situation). It's also fairly common for a label to bring in a new producer to make a record more radio-friendly. Jack Johnson managed to avoid these problems, I assume, release his record and still sell about 450,000 copies.

To me, that's pretty incredible. You can mostly credit his talent and rabid fan-base, but I'm hoping the record labels remember that it's not impossible for an artist to grow organically. Sometimes it would be nice if record execs didn't think that their opinions were constantly in tune with the public at large.

Prototype iPod DJ Mixer

Oh man, that's hot. [via gizmodo]

I Have a Clothing Line!

Posted April 13, 2005

For my birthday, which is tomorrow, Jori got me a custom sweatshirt from Neighborhoodies. Now I have my own clothing line. Sweet!

Me in my new Capn Design sweatshirt

I Just Got Arrested

Please sign the petition to keep Arrested Development alive

Oy, I'm Sore (and Older)

Posted April 12, 2005

On Friday, I picked up my new bike, which was a birthday present. You may be asking yourself, "Why did he need a new bike? Does he get one every birthday?" Well, my wheels, saddle and post were stolen from inside my apartment building last October, which made it tough to ride. Since the bike was over 10 years old and it would have cost over $200 to replace everything, I decided it was time for a new ride.

Biking is one of my favorite ways to get around the neighborhood, but in the past I've also used my bike to commute to work. Excited about my new acquisition, I made the trip to work yesterday, which wasn't the brightest idea.

My ride is somewhere between 8 and 9 miles each way, which is a 17 mile roundtrip for those with addition issues. Now, I haven't intentionally done any aerobic activity in about three months and I haven't riden my bike since the fall. Given this information, you would think I could have predicted the results of riding 17 miles today. As I hinted in the subject line, things were a little rougher than I had expected.

Aside from making me feel like a lazy schlub, which I am, it reminded me that I will forever be losing brain cells and this mound in the middle of my body, which only showed up in the last couple years, isn't going anywhere. On Thursday I turn 25, which may seem young to many of you, but to me it is a reminder that my body now requires upkeep. That's really too bad as I could spend the rest of my days eating pizza, surfing the web and playing videogames if it wouldn't result in an even bigger belly and a heart attack at 35.

Despite my complaining, I'm not really depressed about my birthday. The truth is that I revel in getting older and experiencing new stages of life, I just wish I could do it with my body circa 1998. Instead of getting down about it all, I'm going to eat ice cream with my friends and assume that Aubery de Grey is right about living to be 1,000. If he isn't, then at least I'll die knowing I could finish a ten-scoop sundae.

Drew Shellen Turned 3 Yesterda

Wow, I remember Jason was the first blogger I followed who was going to be a parent. Time flies, no?

Video by DC Shoes Compiles Some Ridiculous Basketball Shots

[via boing boing]

Sufjan Stevens' Crazy Tracklist for the Forthcoming Illinois

It's out July 5th

Tribeca Film Festival

Posted April 8, 2005

I just finished watching Candy with Cinema Ahh*Some and now my brain's in film mode.* So, I began thinking about what to see when the Tribeca Film Festival arrives later this month.

I've been perusing the schedule a bit, but it's daunting. I know I could wait for a preivew of the festival in the local weeklies, but that'll be the week before or the week of and that won't be enough time to get tickets for the good showings. Why can't someone put out a festival preview a month before the event? That would be helpful.

I know I want to see Wong Kar Wai's 2046, but that's about it as of now. Like I said, daunting. I'm going to try and pore over the schedule, but if you have anything you're thinking of seeing and need a companion, I'm your man.

* The movie was crazy. I was entertained and I couldn't even imagine what it would have been like to be on the set during filming, but it is definitely the only time I will watch that movie.

US State Dept. Lifts Travel Warning for Israel


Real Life vs. Internet

Life lessons in video form from the Red vs. Blue guys

Some Quick Notes

Posted April 4, 2005

  • The Cubs are winning their home opener 8-2 in the 4th, which is awesome.
  • Sin City was disappointing, but beautiful.
  • I'm going to Peep and then to see Jump, Little Children. Oddly enough, a kid I went to kindergarden with is opening for them. Good luck Ross.
  • I'm getting a new bike for my birthday, which is in 10 days.
Design Without Reach

Hillarious and cheap [via janelle]

PSP Diet Update

Posted April 1, 2005

Last week I promised myself I would spend less money due to recently purchasing a PSP. After a week on my "diet", I've gone out to lunch once, out to dinner once and bought one CD. Despite this fact, I have procured a few new CDs and I'll be seeing a movie for free on Sunday, Kung Fu Hustle, and I've been taken out to dinner twice. So, I didn't feel too deprived.

Over the next 13 days, I can eat out for lunch once, eat out for dinner four times and see one movie. I think I'll make it.

Shake Shack Reopens on Monday

No, no april fools. I wouldn't joke about such serious matters.

The Sky is Falling!

Posted April 1, 2005

Serious, it is! Look up!

Oh man, I got you.


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