Previous month:
July 2010
Next month:
September 2010

9 posts from August 2010

Cocked your head to the side and said I'm angry...

It's been a week and a half since I last blogged.

Wow. I'm pretty sure that's the longest I've been neglectful around these parts.

You know it's bad when both your wife and your mom have taken notice of the fact that you haven't blogged in a long time and are actually a little mournful about it.

I know it's a very off-day, but I hope you don't mind some snippets. Given I've missed the last two Snippet Wednesdays -- and even the last two potential Snippet Thursday: The Reckonings -- I don't see it being a big deal that I do it now, right?

Rest
And on the 14th day, they rested.

This past Sunday marked 13 consecutive days of exercise for Katie and me. As you know, we've been working out weekday mornings for quite some time. Well, a couple weekends ago, we started exercising on weekends as well. Two really long walks in a row now that the heat has calmed down a bit and a 20-mile bike ride this past Saturday. That one caused us to be a bit sore, so we took Sunday off. And we're back at it again this week. All five weekdays so far. Not sure what will happen this weekend. We'll have to wait and see.

Camera
I guess it was a good thing I distracted myself with exercise this past weekend. I was feeling a bit naked without my trusty Sony D-SLR. My friend Eric was shooting a wedding and asked if he could borrow it. This is the first time my Sony has not been with me or at least somewhere I knew he should be. I felt a bit "off," if you get my meaning. Nothing was quite right until Monday when I got my camera back -- in perfect working order -- from Eric. Gah!

Bean Extreme (close-up)Beans
But not having my Sony around gave me time to play a bit more with the camera in my new iPhone 4. It's a nice camera. Not perfect by any stretch, but nice... and far more portable. And what's really nice is the automatic geotagging I get in my iPhone photos when they're uploaded to Flickr.

Of course, even this isn't perfect as the geotag of this Jelly Bean photo would indicate. Apparently, I found myself some jelly beans to photograph in "a mysterious place with no name" in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean near the western coast of Africa.

Guess it's a good thing my passport finally came in the mail, eh?

Bloody
Katie and I are tearing through True Blood seasons 1 and 2 on DVD right now. We got free video-on-demand of all episodes of season 1 from Amazon and season 2 came in from the library but is due back soon. Funny thing was a conversation between Katie and I as Bill and Sookie were having sex and he bit her, drawing blood down her neck...

Katie: [jokingly] "Edward would never do that to Bella!"

Me: "That's because Edward is not a real vampire. He has no fangs. He couldn't if he tried."

Heh.

Chiro
Speaking of conversations, this happened at the chiropractor's office the other day. We finally discovered how old he was.

Me: "You're not even in your thirties!?!?"

Him: "You were born in the Seventies!?!?"

I get it, I'm old.

Lamb
The other day, a coworker and I were coming in to work together and she told me about a book she just started reading. She wasn't sure if I'd ever heard of it because it was, to her, a pretty unknown author. Turns out it was Christopher Moore's Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. Only like my favorite book of all time. It took some work to not hug her right on the spot.

Hunger
Speaking of books, on the very strong recommendation of @DownWithPants and @Amanda234, I began reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It's the first in a three-book series and, so far, it reminds me a lot of Takami's Battle Royale (loved the book, hated the movie) and Bachman/King's The Running Man (loved the movie, haven't read the story). And I don't have to wait between books as the final book in the series (Mockingjay) came out this week. I hate waiting. I'm not a patient person at all.

Okay, I'm outta here. Have a great weekend!


All I've got is this touch-tone phone...

This is officially the first post I've written using the Typepad app on my new iPhone.

Yes, I bit the bullet and finally upgraded from my Blackberry. But before anybody freaks out about the $200 price tag, it's best if I admit now that I only spent $25 on it.

How?

Over the weekend, Katie came up with the brilliant idea of asking if the Apple Store would accept gift certificates from the local Chamber of Commerce. I doubted it, but we asked and they said yes. I'd been collecting those things for a couple years now and had amassed quite a few of them. Enough to make my iPhone pretty close to free anyway.

So now I'm working at learning a whole new way to use a phone and it's not bad, but definitely different. In a good way.

Apps rock. The camera rocks. The system speed rocks.

I'm still getting used to the lack of a tactile keyboard and that's not easy. And I have to work with Apple tonight to get the iTunes software on Katie's laptop to work with all the profiles and saved data that is in the iMac version.

Why? Seems iPhone 4s don't work with the old copy of Mac OSX on the iMac. So no syncing just yet. Wish me luck on that one. Gonna need it. It would suck to have to set everything back up from scratch.

More of a review to come after I've played with it a while longer.


Walk like an Egyptian...

Katie and I have been noticing some weird little things regarding nature lately.

DragonflySex For one, there has been a marked increase in the number of dragonflies this year. Evinrude is everywhere! Usually you see a few once in a while around these parts. But, lately, it's hundreds per day. And they're sex starved! You know what I mean. You've seen the "double dragonfly" in flight, haven't you? Horny little buggers. [thanks to the Governor of Maryland for the shot at right]

Crickets have also proven very numerous this summer. Katie says she sees them in some odd places, too. Hopping all over the inside of where she works and the like. She's been working at her current job for eight years and she's never seen it like this. Sure, they can just come in the door when a customer does, but they don't usually do it. Now? Oh yeah, brazen as all get out.

And, finally, there's frogs. I've seen a frog in our front walkway probably one out of every five times I go out there in the last few months. And I don't even use our front walkway that often. So imagine what it might be if I paid regular attention. The other night, Katie and I went for a 45-minute walk and, as we were walking, seven different frogs hopped out of our path. After a while, since the sun was setting, Katie and I were placing bets as to whether or not particular lumps on the ground in front of us would turn out to be frogs.

Something about this feels like it should be the onset of the apocalypse. Dunno why. Just does.

Oh, and I came across a locust carcass yesterday. Coincidence? I think not.

I took a lot of photos this weekend.

Way too many, in fact.

On Saturday, I went with my mom and her group of photographers to the Egyptian Theatre and an old train depot in my former college town of DeKalb. It was a lot of fun, despite being hotter than Hades. And I did manage to nab some shots. Some? More like 250 of them. I have pared it down a bit, but not by much. Here you go...

And, yesterday, Katie and I went with some of my coworkers to the Kane County Cougars (Class A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) game against the Peoria Chiefs. Sure, the home team Cougars lost 8-4, but it was fun and offered up a few photo ops. Again, here you go...

Off to the gym. Adios.


Burnin' down the house...

Pray for us.

Katie and I signed up for two months of Bikram Yoga (read: the hot, sweaty stuff that Sting loves to do; aside from sex with Trudy, of course).

Katie has been wanting to try yoga for quite some time since I've been loving it for two years now. But it can be expensive (mine is a very cost-effective class through my workplace, but she's not eligible to participate) or limiting in terms of class times available especially with Katie's constantly changing work schedule.

However, the other day, a friend updated their Facebook profile with information about a yoga studio in Naperville near where I work that was offering two months of unlimited classes for under $50 via Groupon. How can you say no to that? The price is amazing. So we both signed up.

And I'm dreading its start.

Immensely.

Me + heat no makey a happy Kapgar.

We're becoming fitness nuts. We're hoping to do Bikram at least a couple times per week plus our five mornings per week of working out at the gym. And I still do my regular yoga one day per week.

We'd damn well better lose a ton of weight!

I ran into a friend the other day and as we're all wont to do, I asked him how he was doing.

His reply? "I'm alright. The rest of the world is all wrong."

I LIKE THAT!

I must start using that immediately.


All in all, we're just brilliant thieves...

WANTED:
One person willing to write some book reviews for me on my Goodreads.com account. I have fallen a bit behind and really need to get off my lazy ass, but, well...

Titles that need reviews include:

  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (book 2) by Bryan Lee O'Malley
  • Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness (book 3) by Bryan Lee O'Malley
  • LEGO: A Love Story by Jonathan Bender
  • Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore

PREREQUISITES:

  • The ability to write a fantastically compelling book review.
  • It must have emotion and charm and wit.
  • It must sound like it was written by me, which is what I'm going to say it was anyway.
  • It must speak to my true inner feelings about the time I spent reading these books. Since I have no time to detail how I felt about them, you must figure this out on your own.
  • It must conform to AP Style Guide standards. Not really.
  • It must be good, duh.
COMPENSATION:
The internal knowledge that you have written a fantastic review that will make others either rush out to buy and read it immediately or avoid it like the plague. I emphasize "internal" because once these reviews are written, they become the property of Kapgar, Inc. and you will receive no public credit for the writing you have done. I will disavow any knowledge that you participated in this endeavor.

Oh, and no money will exchange hands. Warm fuzzies only.

TIMELINE:
Now. I need them as soon as possible. The books have already been read and my Goodreads page is making me look like a slacker since I haven't updated it with a review in a couple months. Hell, I never even notified people on my page that I was reading any of those four books. How crappy am I? So the sooner, the better. Get crackin'.

SUBMISSIONS:
Please offer up writing samples and/or completed reviews in the comments. If I like them, I'll make sure to copy them into my Goodreads account and delete the comment from this blog to erase any evidence that you wrote it before Google has a chance to index it into its eternal memory.

Good luck!

(For the record, I am not really soliciting reviews. I'm just hoping this will give me the proper motivation to get off my butt and write them myself.)

Cougars A friend of mine just gave me two tickets to see the Kane County Cougars this Sunday. Cool!

Katie and I live a mere five miles from the stadium, and yet we hardly go. I think it's been six or seven years since we've been to a Cougars game.

For the record, the Cougars are a Class A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. And they're playing the Peoria Chiefs, the Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.

Looking forward to some photos!


Go do, you'll know how to...

Just a handful of quick snippets for you today. Sorry it's so rushed.

Vote
Only a month left until CBS2Chicago finalizes the choices for this year's Capture My Chicago book. If you haven't done so already and you have a free moment, can you please check out my profile, create a quick on for yourself, and vote on some of my photos? I hate whoring myself out like this, but I'd appreciate it.

Music
I've been checking out some really great music this week. Stuff from the library and stuff from friends. I've really taken a shine to Hot Chip's albums One Life Stand and The Warning as well as Kelis' Flesh Tone and Jonsi's Go. If you want to check out some new stuff, there you go!

Dune
My buddy Whall Tweeted this earlier today and it cracked me up to no end.

Whalltweet

If you don't get it, I'm not even going to try to explain it.

Tweets
Speaking of Tweets, Avitable posed an interesting question today on his blog -- "has Twitter killed blogging?" I've seen this question asked before but finally decided to comment. As I said on his blog, I can't speak for everyone, but it has certainly diminished my desire to blog as much. And I think being able to distill your thoughts into 140 characters or less is a great skill to have. Don't use as many words and save some time. Maybe it's just me. Head on over there and share your thoughts if you're so inclined.

Well, it's time to get ready for a nice dinner with Katie. Talk atcha soon.


Truckin', got my chips cashed in...

Welcome to a special Blogher edition of Snippet Wednesday. Am I at Blogher? No. I just thought it might get the attention of all the people there and actually drive a few readers here. Am I evil for doing this? Yeah, probably. Will it work? I dunno, I'll tell you in a couple days when I check my stats.

40
I don't really know why, but I TiVo'd 40 Days and 40 Nights and just finished watching it now. It really was a pretty bad movie, but, for some reason, I enjoyed watching it. Me and my bad movies.

Plants
This year, Katie and I pared back all the veggies that we planted. Last year, we just tried growing too much stuff and it got a little out of control. Some of it worked while some of it did not. So, this year, we're growing serrano peppers, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini. The peppers? Great! I've picked six so far and have at least 30 more sprouting. Squash and zucchini? Well, not much in terms of fruit yet, but damn if the plants are huge. Tomatoes? As a result of the squash and zucchini, the tomatoes aren't doing so hot. They're being crowded out. And it's the tomatoes that I really want. Check out the stuff that is growing...

 

Keychains
As I told you the other day, while in Chicago, I picked up a couple of those LEGO keychains. One was the alien from Toy Story and the other was a recreation of the original spaceman minifig that debuted in 1978. I was asked for some pictures, so here they are...

My only problem with the spaceman keychain is that he's not an exacting recreation of the original. The difference is minor, but enough to mean something to a purist like me. It's all in the helmet. Check it out...

The original helmet (right) is flush from the forehead down through the chin guard. The revised helmet (left) has a chin guard that sticks out further than the forehead of the helmet. This was done to provide a way for a visor to stop when pulled down over the face and appear flush with the helmet itself. Plus it looks more realistic.

Fine, I'm picky.

Truck
Speaking of LEGO, when Katie and I were at my parents' house, my dad gave me back an old set I had built years ago and that has been sitting on his desk all this time. It is the 5580 Highway Rig and it's apparently somewhat valuable on eBay. It's also gotten a bit grungy from grime, but I plan to disassemble, wash, and rebuild it. Should be fun. It's a pretty intense set. And I got a chance to try out photographing it with a nice background display.

Photos
I've been bad about this whole Photo365 challenge. The other day, I looked at the set and realized I was a month behind in tagging pictures. Well, I'm all caught up. Through today, even! It took a while to find them all, but I'm good again. And I've passed the 200 day mark. This has been anything but easy. I really can't wait for it to end, but I know I'll miss it. Is that weird?

It's time for bed. Yeah, it's only 9:15. I'm pathetic. I admit it.


Just travelin' along, singin' a song, side by side...

This past Saturday, I hopped aboard a Metra line to downtown Chicago to meet up with Dave2! Just kind of a spur of the moment meet-up where we did nothing but really walk around the city, talk, and generally geek out. I think a photo-laden Snippet recap of the affair works quite nicely despite it not being Wednesday (or Thursday, for that matter), so enjoy!

Weather
Chicago and the suburbs have been sweltering for the last couple months so arriving downtown and seeing a thermometer in the Ogilvie Transportation Center read that it was 67 degrees out was refreshing to say the least! And it was already past noon, to boot. But, then, it always feels nicer in the city for some reason. Lucky bastards. However, by 4 p.m., it was back up in the mid-80s. Not terrible, but not nearly as nice as it was earlier. And Chicago is the greatest city on Earth by far, so when you mix it with nice weather and a good friend, how can you go wrong?

Dave
As any of you who have met Dave can attest, he's always a great person to meet up with and one heckuva gracious guest. So getting together with him never winds up in an awkward moment or with a lack of things to talk about or do. That's why it's always so much fun to meet up with him. I think this visit marks about a half dozen times now. Three Davecagos, one Depeche Mode concert, and a couple random visits. And, so long as he is always willing, I will be too.

Dogs
The first thing we decided to do was get some lunch. Neither of us had eaten yet so we were a bit famished. Dave knew of a place nearby called America's Dog. I figured, heck, why not? I love hot dogs. In fact, I've been darn near addicted to them lately. I can't explain it, but anytime I find myself having dinner at home when Katie's working late, I wind up eating a hot dog. Well, for this special occasion, I had my first-ever full-on Chicago-style hot dog. I've come close in the past having eaten one that only lacked pickles, but I went the whole nine yards this time. Actually, I ordered two of them. I really liked them... a lot. That scares me. Dave had the same, but with a veggie dog, which intrigued me. I've never had a tofu-based hot dog before but if it will cut back on the fat and calories and still taste pretty good, I'll give it a shot. Maybe next time.

(This is Dave's photo, BTW)

3
On our way out to Michigan Avenue, we happened across the set of Transformers 3. While it's not a movie that either of us really want to see, it was still cool to see them out there shooting and we each took some photos. One thing that I noticed in a photo of mine is that the guy situated on top of the pile of rubble is none other than Patrick Dempsey. Cool. Sorry, ladies, I didn't get much closer than this.

LEGO
Being the LEGO geeks we are, you bet your sweet bippy we beelined it for the LEGO store on Michigan Avenue next! Some time was spent drooling over the new sets, but, shockingly, neither of us bought anything. Yet. Oh, and speaking of LEGO, yes, Norman was with us.

Apple
And what kind of Apple Whores (tm) would we be if we didn't hit the flagship Apple Store on Michigan Avenue? Bad ones, duh. We played a bit with the Magic Trackpad, which just blew my mind. I love using the trackpad on Katie's MacBook so knowing that a similar device is now available for desktop Macs is way beyond cool.

Disney
We also visited what we believe to be a relatively new Disney Store just a little bit away from the Apple Store. Pretty nice inside and they had a huge selection of crap. Cool crap, mind you.

LEGO
Yes, we made a return trip to the LEGO Store after Dave told me that they did, in fact, have a key chain of the little green alien from Toy Story. I missed it entirely. Sho 'nuff, they had it and I bought it for Katie along with an anniversary edition key chain of the very first white LEGO astronaut. Hadda be done.

Millennium
And what trip to Chicago is complete without a requisite visit to Millennium Park? We went there, snapped some shots and then took the skywalk over to the Modern Art wing of the Art Institute. We didn't really go inside the wing. It was just a means of getting across the street. Oh well. It worked for us.

Gay
While walking around, we happened across a guy on State Street petitioning on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign specifically for gay rights. We stopped to let him explain to us what he was doing. At one point in his speech, he said something along the lines of "these rights we're fighting for would protect all gay people" and there was just something about the way he said it that made us both think he was referring to us. Dave must've caught on to it too because he then said, "ummm, we're not gay." The guy stopped, taken a bit aback, and replied, "oh... really???" I mean, sure, Dave and I make a cute couple, but c'mon, we're totally not each other's type. Psshhh.

More photos are available in a Flickr album.