Previous month:
December 2001
Next month:
February 2002

24 posts from January 2002

Oldies: January 31, 2002...

So how'd you like the snow today? If you're a reader from suburban Chicago, IL, then odds are you witnessed our monster overnight snowstorm. By many standards, the snow truly wasn't that bad. However, it was bad enough to shut down almost all schools across the suburban area and shut me out of work today. While Katie and I were both happy to have the day off, I got kinda screwed up because I've got a project that needs to be completed immediately and I've also taken tomorrow off. In other words, today was my day to finish said project and now I'm off. Oh, well. Can't do much about ol' Mother Nature.


Oldies: January 30, 2002...

How cool is this for us Daredevil fans? Many of you may already know that 20th Century Fox is working on a movie version of the comic book Daredevil featuring a blind man named Matt Murdock who works as a lawyer by day and superhero by night. When Matt was a kid, he was hit by a truck carrying toxic waste. The accident resulted in him going blind but all his other senses were heightened well beyond that of any other human - or animal, for that matter. I can't say I'm too thrilled that Ben Affleck will be playing Murdock/Daredevil, but the rest of the cast rocks. Colin Farrell (TigerlandHart's War, and American Outlaws) will be co-starring as DD's arch nemesis Bullseye and Jennifer Garner (TV's Alias) will be Murdock's former lover-turned-assassin Elektra. Both of the aforementioned are good casting decisions... relative unknowns that will likely have their stars cemented after these roles. But the big piece of casting news is who will be playing Wilson "Kingpin" Fisk. Kingpin is a big, and I mean "big," guy who runs a NYC crime syndicate. But you can't just have any big man play him. Kingpin is a very physical and intimidating guy as well. So he must not just be big, he's gotta be exceptionally strong and able to instill fear in others. Take that and the fact that he's cueball bald and white as day. Well, I guess the director and producers couldn't settle on a white guy who fit those traits, so they took some creative license and made Kingpin black. And they cast Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile and Planet of the Apes). Not bad. Not bad at all. I am now officially willing to forgive them for casting Affleck. Not that Affleck is a horrible actor. I just can't see him pulling off playing a blind guy. But that's just my $0.02.


Oldies: January 29, 2002...

As some of you may know, I am a fan of the Fox TV show "Boston Public." It is truly an incredibly well-done show. However, I've been a little less enthusiastic about it so far this year. I have nothing against the new characters. I think Ronnie Cook (Jeri Ryan) and Danny Hanson (Michael Rappaport) are both great additions. In fact, I'd have to say that Hanson is one of my favorite characters on the show. My disillusionment stems from the fact that few to no stories this season have revolved around last year's central characters Lauren Davis (Jessalyn Gilsig) and Harry Senate (Nicky Katt). I can understand that it is important to give emphasis to the new characters so fans will accept them on the show, but to completely disregard Senate and Davis is a severe injustice. Last season, they were the spice of the show. They rocked. I guess that's why I loved last night's episode so much. Senate and his dungeon-ites were taking action against Scott Guber's (Anthony Heald) debate team. Senate was in perfect form pulling out all stops to prove his point. Don't forget the rare show of emotion from Steven Harper (Chi McBride) and the fact that there was no "Hook Lady" (Kathy Baker) to boot... I doubt it could get any better.


Oldies: January 28, 2002...

Do you believe in curses? Not so much that someone can place a curse on someone else, but more like someone or something being cursed with bad luck? This must be the case with the U.S.S. Greeneville. If you recall, the Greeneville was the sub that performed a rapid surface exercise in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and wound up tearing a Japanese research vessel in half killing nine people including several high school students. Apparently, this morning, while on duty in Oman as part of the U.S. Fleet in Operation Enduring Freedom, the Greeneville collided with the amphibious transport ship Ogden while crew were being transferred from the sub to the ship. Granted the collision wasn't all that bad, nobody was hurt and no serious damage resulted from the collision, but wouldn't these two incidents be enough to make you never want to set foot on that sub again? Hell, I wouldn't even tour the vessel if it was dry docked. Yikes.


Oldies: January 27, 2002...

Last weekend, Katie and I had a pretty easy going sort of weekend. Didn't really visit with anyone or go anywhere. We just crashed and did our own thing. Guess it's a good thing we had that weekend quiet because these last few days have been nonstop. On Friday, we went out with our friends Brian and Jen to dinner. We were going to see a movie, but they weren't too keen on how long the lines were so they called it a night. Katie and I stuck around and saw The Count of Monte Cristo. Worth the three minutes wait time. On Saturday, Katie and Mary Ellen went to see A Walk to Remember while I went with my friend Nate to see The Mothman Prophecies. That night (or was it late Friday... I don't remember), Katie's parents and a couple of their friends came over to check out our apartment. They all seemed to like it. Good thing Katie and I cleaned and changed some of our decor late last week. Then on Sunday, Katie's aunt and two cousins came out to see the place and go out to brunch. Afterwards, Katie and I stuck around the shopping area where we went to brunch and took a walk. Yep, we were power walking (even though we did do some shopping). It felt really good, though. We had been working out that morning and needed to stretch our legs because they were sore. We got one of those Total Gyms about a month ago and have been putting it to good use. I don't know how we did it, but we survived the weekend. This coming weekend, Katie and Mary Ellen will have most of the time to themselves because I am going with some friends up to Minnesota for a St. Cloud State hockey game. Should be fun.


Oldies: January 25, 2002...

Yesterday, I got word from my parents that my first cat, Meatball, was really starting to go downhill. If you recall, back on November 11, we had to put our second cat, Jinx, to sleep. I also discussed how Meatball wasn't looking so good. Well, the tumor in his head really started getting worse and was, in my mind at least, looking like it had to be causing him pain. Katie and I really wanted my parents to have him put to sleep just to end his pain. Finally, my mom convinced my dad and brother (who were apparently the stalwarts here) that they were keeping Meatball alive for all the wrong reasons. I went home last night and spent some time with the Ole Meathead (as I liked to call him from time to time). Late this morning, my parents had him put to sleep. I will admit that I have been crying over him as well and I will probably cry some more later, but when I heard the news from my mom, I think I was just relieved that it was finally over. I hated going home only to see Meatball getting worse each time. It's tough to watch someone in pain. Yes, I refer to my cat as "someone" because he was like a brother to me. Significantly smaller and harrier than most brothers, but a brother all the same. Love ya Meatball.


Oldies: January 25, 2002...

Yesterday, I got word from my parents that my first cat, Meatball, was really starting to go downhill. If you recall, back on November 11, we had to put our second cat, Jinx, to sleep. I also discussed how Meatball wasn't looking so good. Well, the tumor in his head really started getting worse and was, in my mind at least, looking like it had to be causing him pain. Katie and I really wanted my parents to have him put to sleep just to end his pain. Finally, my mom convinced my dad and brother (who were apparently the stalwarts here) that they were keeping Meatball alive for all the wrong reasons. I went home last night and spent some time with the Ole Meathead (as I liked to call him from time to time). Late this morning, my parents had him put to sleep. I will admit that I have been crying over him as well and I will probably cry some more later, but when I heard the news from my mom, I think I was just relieved that it was finally over. I hated going home only to see Meatball getting worse each time. It's tough to watch someone in pain. Yes, I refer to my cat as "someone" because he was like a brother to me. Significantly smaller and harrier than most brothers, but a brother all the same. Love ya Meatball.


Oldies: January 24, 2002...

This one should make all you young adults happy. Have you heard of House Bill HR 3598? Well, it is a bill that has been introduced by Republicans Nick Smith of Michigan and Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania to reinstate the military draft. The draft would affect men (and many women) of the ages of 18 to 22 and require them to serve for at least a six-month term of service. There are exemptions, although the bill doesn't state exactly what they are. So you are eligible from the day of your 18th birthday until the day of your 22nd birthday if I read the text of it correctly. I don't understand why we need a draft. Supposedly, our military has more than enough soldiers. Isn't that why they started forcing soldiers into early retirement and why they stopped enlisting troops the last few years? I understand that we are at war now. But it hasn't developed into a full-scale, all-branches-of-the-military war yet. Most regular Marines and Army troops are just being used for security purposes at U.S. military and government installations around the world. The only ground troops fighting in Afghanistan are special forces and other elite troops (Green Berets, Army Rangers, and the like). So what need do we have for a draft? And, why is the mass media not covering this? I know this isn't a bullshit Bill because it's listed on their website. Follow this link and perform a search for "HR 3598" in the search line entitled "Bill Number" near the top of the screen.


Oldies: January 23, 2002...

Not that I really need to mention it as I'm sure you've all heard already, but there will be a fourth Indiana Jones movie. I know they've been talking about it for years and there has been all kinds of speculation, but now it's true. Harrison Ford had been holding out waiting for a great story. Apparently they've got it because, in an interview, Ford said that #4 is a go. Steven Spielberg also said that it's a go and it will be his next movie after he does Catch Me If You Can with Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. Spielberg also said it will costar his wife Kate Capshaw. Whether she will appear as her Temple of Doom character Willie Scott was not specified, but it's more likely than not. Bear in mind, a script has not been written as many media outlets have been claiming. They only have a story idea and a title which has not been announced.

The two big questions I have are: 1) what is Indy going to be trying to find in this new flick?, and 2) how do he and Willie get back together if, in fact, Capshaw is coming back as Willie? If you remember, Temple of Doom (set in 1933), chronologically, comes before Raiders of the Lost Ark (1936) and The Last Crusade (1939?) which means that there are at least six years and two relationships (Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood in Raiders and Alison Doody as Elsa Schneider in Crusade) since their fling in Temple. And I can't possibly see how they could try to make a movie set after Temple and before Raidersconsidering Ford's advancing age (he's 59 now and this movie likely won't start until well after his 60th birthday). That's a lot of makeup and one heckuva suspension of disbelief on the part of the fans. We'll see. Lemme just say that I'd love to see returns by Sean Connery (Dr. Henry Jones), John Rhys-Davies (Sallah), Denholm Elliott (Marcus Brody), and Jonathan Key-Quan (Short Round). If you want some spice, bring back Karen Allen as well. Indy in a love triangle (searching for missing treasure in the Bermuda Triangle?) could be fun. I can see it now... Indiana Jones and the Bermuda Love Triangle. I crack myself up sometimes.


Oldies: January 22, 2002...

Here's some good news for all you Muppets fans out there. Palisades Toys will soon be releasing the first wave of Muppets action figures. This first wave will include Kermit, Miss Piggy, Dr. Teeth, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, and Beaker with a playset (yes, he does come separate from Bunsen). If you would like to check out the figures, go to Toymania.com. Unfortunately, I cannot find jack at the company's site about the toyline. Go fig.


Oldies: January 20, 2002...

Yes, I know the Bears lost in their first playoff game of the post-season yesterday. Yes, I am upset about it. Will I still root for the Bears next season? You damn skippy I will be. Despite the letdown yesterday, I can take solace in one fact... the Packers got smacked harder by the Rams than the Bears were beaten by the Eagles (45-17 as opposed to 33-19). Ouch. El Favre is now tied for the most interceptions thrown in a post-season game (6) which was last reached back in 1951. He's gotta be proud. Judging by the performances of the Rams offense and defense, I don't think anybody will be able to stop them. Only the Steelers have a chance offensively... Kordell Stewart's got one helluvan arm.


Oldies: January 19, 2002...

I realize that I am a picky sonuvabitch. I admit it readily. That's why I noticed today that the license plate rim on a truck driving in front of me was misspelled. The plate rim was supposed to read "Illinois Fire Safety Alliance" but "safety" was spelled "saftey." I know it's picky, but if you pay to have those things mass produced for people to put on their cars to promote your organization, don't you think you should make sure they're proofread first?


Oldies: January 17, 2002...

It's always kinda cool when something like this happens. And when it does, it makes you say stuff like "the Web is so damn cool." I opened my e-mail this morning and had an e-mail from someone with the last Murphy. Now, I don't know too many people named "Murphy" and it was from an unrecognizable e-mail address. However, even though it was in my junk mail folder (being from a strange e-mail address), I read it because it had my name in the subject line. I don't even do that usually because some spammers will personalize e-mails now, so don't ask me why I read it. But, I'm glad I did because it was from one of my old babysitters. She still gets the local paper from Naperville even though she lives in New Hampshire, saw mine and Katie's wedding announcement, did a search for my name through Google, and came up with my website. That's coolness in my book. Just thought I'd share.

Also of note today, when I searched for my name, I came up with a page from NIU Alumni News that mentioned Katie and I getting married. I was stoked. When I e-mailed them months ago about it, I never thought they'd actually post it. I dunno how long it will remain posted so this link may soon die. C'est la vie.


Oldies: January 16, 2002...

Here's a good joke for all you Bears fans out there...

Quarterback Brett Favre, after living a full life, died. When he got to heaven, God started showing him around. They came to a modest little house with a faded Packers flag in the window.

"This house is yours for eternity, Brett," said God. "This is very special; not everyone gets a house up here."

Brett felt special, indeed, and walked up to his house. On his way up the porch, he noticed another house just around the corner. It was a 3-story mansion with a Blue and Orange sidewalk, 50-foot tall flagpole with an enormous Bears flag, and in every window, a Big Blue Helmet with a C.

Brett looked at God and said, "God, I'm not trying to be ungrateful, but I have a question. I was an All-Pro Quarterback, I won a Super Bowl, and I even went to the Hall of Fame."

God said, "So, what do you want to know, Brett?"

"Well, why does Walter Payton get a much better house than me?"

God chuckled and said, "Brett, that's not Walter Payton's house, it's mine."

Go Bears!


Oldies: January 15, 2002...

Another new domain name has been announced for use on the internet. So far, we have .com, .net, .org, .mil, .gov, .tv and a few others not including all the ones specified for foreign countries. Well, now we have .name. It's intended for personal websites. The address would wind up being your firstname.lastname.name. Oh gee, how cool it would have been if I could have gotten kevin.apgar.name as my website. Umm... do note the sarcasm in that last statement. I much prefer kapgar.com, thank you very much. I think dot-name is pretty damn lame in all honesty.


Oldies: January 14, 2002...

Let it be known throughout our fair land that on this day, January 14, 2002, gas prices in the Chicago suburbs finally dipped below $1.00 per gallon. (trumpets sound, people cheer, "and there was much rejoicing...") Gas now costs a mere $0.99. This is the first time that I can recall since before I bought my truck in October 1997 that gas prices have been this low. I'm happy. Just three months ago, while Katie and I were in Hawaii, we saw prices reach $2.25 per gallon. This is a very nice change, I must say. Oh, yeah, in case you were wondering where to buy this bargain-basement fuel, it's at a Mobil station in Batavia at the corner of Randall and Main. Better hurry. You never can tell when prices will shoot back up.


Oldies: January 13, 2002...

I may be safe. According to N*Sync themselves, their scene was cut from the upcoming Star Wars movie. I know I was making a big deal about that one earlier on, but, when you think about it, they would have only been in the background as extras during a big battle scene. Wouldn't have been all bad. And it would have only been three of them, not all five like I said earlier. And they would have suffered a horrible death at the hands of the Sith. Hmmm... now that I think about it... put them back in. I wanna see them bite it.


Oldies: January 10, 2002...

I will be the first to admit that I am a former metalhead. Yep, back in the late 80s and early 90s, I listened religiously to bands such as Poison, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Warrant, Skid Row and many others that today would probably result in my being shipped to some far-off desert island or otherwise ostracized by the Aquanet-fearing popular majority. Okay, so I do still listen to Def Leppard and Tesla. Whoop-dee. Sue me. Anyway, moving on... I recently was introduced to a website called Metal Sludge. This site is a spoof of the magazine Metal Edge and serves as a sounding board for fans of metal bands who may be wondering what the hell has happened to their former heroes since the demise of metal. One of the funniest things on this site is an MP3 you can download that is a spoof of the song "Heaven" by Warrant and makes fun of Warrant's lead singer Jani Lane who is now working as a cook in Lakewood, Ohio. The song is called "7-11 (Isn't Too Far Away)." Check it out.


Oldies: January 8, 2002...

Sad news in the world of fast food today. Dave Thomas, the illustrious founder of Wendy's and the man who helped make commercials fun again, has died. I know it may not be a big deal for too many people out there. But, I can tell you that Wendy's ads are going to go in the dumper as a result. That guy cracked me up. R.I.P. Dave.


Oldies: January 7, 2002...

You remember how I was griping about having to go back to work last week? Well, today marks the day that I really had to get back to my pre-Christmas break routine. This morning, Katie started back to work as well, and I had to make sure she got up and got showered and ready for work. Now that's a tough thing to pull off. She's the sort of person that could just lay there and hit snooze on the alarm clock for about two hours before she finally gets up. I think it's time to start setting the alarm for fifteen minutes earlier. And I used to think that I wasn't a morning person.


Oldies: January 3, 2002...

I have good news and I have, well, shitty news. Let's start with the good...

The Chicago Bears had four players named to the Pro Bowl this year. Congratulations to James "Big Cat" Williams, Brian Urlacher, Olin Kreutz and Larry Whigham. They all deserved it. Although there are many more that should have, in my opinion, been named as well. It was a bit of an oversight to not include Ted Washington, Marty Booker, Brad Maynard and Paul Edinger. If I were running the game, I probably would've thrown in R.W. McQuarters as well. Hell, there are a bunch more that should've been named, but I wouldn't want this game to wind up being a scrimmage between the Bears offense and defense, would I? Oh, what the hell... why not?

Now for the bad news. And when I say "bad news"... This started out as a horrible rumor on Star Wars message boards, but it has recently been confirmed by Lucasfilm. Three out of five members of N*Sync will have cameos as Jedi Knights in the next SW film The Attack of the Clones. Even though they are only going to be part of the background in a giant battle scene, it's just the knowledge that they are in it at all that disturbs me. George Lucas, I don't give a rat's ass if your daughters are N*Sync fans... that doesn't mean you have to ruin your movie and destroy the fans' love of the SW Universe. *Hack*


Oldies: January 1, 2002...

Happy New Year all! I can't believe it's 2002. Just look at that number and think about it for a while. How weird does it look? Katie and I celebrated by going to the BareNaked Ladies concert at the All-State Arena with her brother Steve and her cousin Adam. A good time was had by all. Ed and Steve from BNL really do a great job of getting the crowd involved in the show. If you have the opportunity to see them live, go for it.