Photography 2005-09

He's makin' a list...

I know, I know. Christmas is done... STOP USING CHRISTMAS CAROLS AS POST TITLES!!! I will make a concerted effort. I promise.

Not all of you are Twitter users, I would presume, right? For those of you who are, you know that the most recent gauge of cyber-inclusiveness has nothing to do with your ability to avoid being dealt the Facebook deathcard known as unfriending (I'm still in shock as to how this got "Word of the Year" accolades... whatever). It's all about being added to someone's Twitter List these days.

Since I'm still working on my Top TV Shows and Top Movies lists for this year, I thought I'd spend a day discussing another Top measure that happens to come in the form of Lists: all the Twitter Lists I belong to.

Sure, this is completely me tooting my own horn, I admit. But it sounds like fun.

Currently, I've been "Listed" 19 times by various folks. And I want to point out a few of them real quick.

 
List-foiledcupcakes
While I'd like to be able to say that this is as dirty as it could be perceived by gutter-minded individuals such as myself, it sadly is not. She actually runs a Web-based cupcake company in the Chicago suburbs. Bummer.

List-hismuse
I have always thought of myself as delightfully perverted. I'm proud knowing that my efforts were noticed by you, @hismuse! Thanks.
 
List-karlerikson 
I'd really hate to see his wish-dead list. I'm afraid to look and see if there actually is one.

List-monamildew
Well, we'll just have to work on that one, won't we?

List-neilochka
@neilochka, I would definitely sit there and hold your hand through this ordeal... from the other side of the bars. Feel free to call me. Just don't expect bail money.

List-mightyhunter
While I love being on his cool-mfers list, I think he and I should both create a list called cool-bald-mfers and be the charter members!

List-avitable
This is the ultimate sign of cyber acceptance, IMHO. @avitable is looking pretty damn hot these days and with his increased fitness level, I would assume comes an increased capability level in the sack, right big guy?

Can you tell I'm really reaching for blog fodder right now? I'd make a New Year's Resolution that I will come up with higher quality posts and maybe post more often, but I can't guarantee that the Angel of Inspiration will bind herself to that resolution.

So how was your Christmas this year? Big haul? Small haul?

I'm happy with how it turned out. Several books, some giftcards and cash to buy some new appliances in the kitchen, a copy of Rock Band: Beatles for the Wii (no drumkit, sorry), and, from Katie, a Blackhawks jersey (to be worn at the Blackhawks game for which the two BiLs and the FSiL got us tickets) and a copy of the Monty Python's Flying Circus 16-disc box set, among other things. That's pretty sweet! I can't wait to start watching it. I got Katie a few things including a really pretty garnet necklace. She seemed happy. I guess that's all that counts.

And, in case you're interested, here are some photos from the various Christmas celebrations we attended this year (Facebookers, click through).

But one of my favorite photos of the evening was just a little experimental picture I snapped. Not that it's a true mystery photo like the ones I used to post. Heck it should be easily identifiable. But it's just a different point of view on it. Let me know if you figure out what it is.

Apgar Christmas


Back to that same old place...

I received an e-mail last Friday that the Capture My Chicago photo book had been shipped and, contained in the e-mail, was the list of photos and photographers that were featured in it.

The book came in on Saturday and I started going through it just to confirm that I had read the e-mail correctly.

Mine was not one of them.

I'm upset by this fact. I'll admit it. I really thought I had a pretty good shot.

Then I looked at the photos that did make it in the book and suddenly I feel like I am truly an amateur photographer by comparison. Jesus, these are some great pictures!

I'm still happy I participated and that I bought the book (I think my shots did make it in the included DVD - I think all submitted photos made the DVD) and I will participate again should CBS hold another contest, and I hope they do.

I just gotta work on my "skillz." Why? 'Cause I'm gonna be in that damn book next year, come hell or high water.

The damnable thing is that, hindsight being 20/20, I have a photo that I'm pretty convinced may have made the book... but I completely forgot to submit it.

s&*tf%^kd@#n!

There goes the Tourette's again. I really need to have that checked out.

Katie had to visit the Aurora Police Department on Friday to finish the police report on her collision. She had been in contact with me during the day regarding how to get there and whatnot and the following transpired via e-mail. For the record, she was convincing herself that she was going to be thrown in jail for causing an accident. Just setting the story a bit for you...

Me: Good luck at the APD.

Katie: I'll call you once I am done at APD... it will be my one phone call though... so you need to come and get me:)

Me: What if we don’t have enough money to cover your bail? Should I sell some of our belongings or just leave you in there?

Katie: You would leave me there? Sell the @#%$ing belongings! I feel the love!

I love my wife. She cracks me up.


I'll rush for forty yards and drink four forties later on...

Sure, the Bears won yesterday, but it was a bad win. Against a team that they should've decimated.

But some good things did come of it...

I got a new Bears jersey (Payton #34), a long-sleeve Bears T-shirt, and some other gameday gear from Katie as the rest of my birthday present. I LOVE 'EM!

I discovered both my camera and camera bag are kosher within the new NFL bags-in-stadiums policy.

I found out that the fact I had three Guinnesses (Guinni?) before 11 a.m. is absolutely fine when attendance at a football game is part the equation.

I used my first ever hand warming packet and loved it.

I learned it is possible to miss an entire quarter of football while waiting to pee.

I discovered that even a bad win is fun when the ticket is free.

I found that when you're a big guy walking around with two other big guys (north of 6'3"), you wind up with a lot of people asking if you're willing to take over on the offensive line for the Bears.

I learned that photography at football games is much more fun with a good lens.

Good times. Good times.

A big congratulations to my brother-in-law Scott and his new fiancee Becca. They got engaged on my birthday.

While I'm happy for them, my birthday's still way cooler.


I pulled into town in a police car...

Sometimes the need to flip someone off from your car or honk the horn just needs to be stifled... as painful as it may be to do so.

On the way to work, I was turning at a three-way intersection (I was turning from the road that dead ended into the T formed by the other road). Since no one else was coming from either direction, I was perfectly legal in my turn.

However, once I got through it, I noticed there was a cop car pulled over on the side about 20 feet up from the intersection. As I pulled through the turn and was righting myself to straighten out, he starts pulling off the shoulder... right into me.

I quickly pulled into the oncoming lane and hit my brakes before we collided. The cop stopped too and waved an apology. But I SOOOOOO wanted to flip him off. Anybody else and you can bet they'd be doing a sit and spin on the top of my fist.

ARGH!

But I guess all bad things can be made good, though.

How?

Pomegranate Tootsie Pops! FTW * !

Pomegranate Tootsie Pop
Also available on Twitpic.

* That's For The Win, in case you didn't know.


Take all the worry out of your mind...

For whatever reason, the night before last, I woke up around 3 a.m. and had trouble really falling back asleep. So, for the next two hours, I had a quick succession of what I refer to as rapid-fire paranoia dreams. These are quick dreams that happen back-to-back in short order and usually represent some sort of personal paranoia about something that is about to happen. For example, a few years ago when I was interviewing for my current job, I would have these dreams about not waking up on time, forgetting my resume, freezing up during the interview, etc.

The night before last, though, I was having my RFPs about that act of waking up. I slept through my alarm, my alarm never went off in the first place, we had no hot water in the shower, the toilet wouldn't flush, we ran out of soap, I had no clean underwear, the bathroom light burned out as I turned it on, etc.

I told Katie about these at some point yesterday. She gets a kick out of my brain's sleep patterns.

Anyway, last night we were getting ready to go to bed and I was putting dishes in the dishwasher when Katie called me upstairs. She pointed into the bathroom and, sure enough, one of the lights in the fixture above the sink burned out. When she turned on the light switch, the bulb popped and fizzled to black just like in my dream.

We both laughed.

Now if only I could dream about finding a million dollars in untraceable bills...

I promised you more fall photos.

I also have more photos from the Fire Academy last night.

We were playing with ladders and hoses.

And not in a kinky way so get your minds out of the gutter.

Here you go. Facebookers, click through.

Time for worky work.


She broke your throne and she cut your hair...

I finished the St. Baldrick's video!

This is actually the quickest I've turned around a video since, well, ever. And I'm kinda proud of it.

No, the edits aren't perfect and there are several areas where I probably could've improved things. But for a guy who only recently started into the heavy editing of videos as opposed to the shoot-and-post mentality I previously held, this is decent if I do say so myself. We're not talking Scorsese-level quality or anything, but enough to keep me excited enough about video editing to keep playing with it. So enjoy! [Facebookers, click through]


The Damn Fool Network: St. Baldrick's Event from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

If you're having trouble getting it to play, click the play button and then pause it until the progress bar fills up most or all of the way. Might help. I hope. And the video quality is a bit low because it was shot using a little point-and-shoot digicam. I need to get a Web-ready, Mac friendly HD video recorder. *drools*

For the record, the music is by I Fight Dragons (@ifightdragons). And I gotta thank Brian from the band for being so gracious about letting me use their music (despite not knowing exactly what for).

Ifdreply

This'll learn 'im! ;-)

While you're at it and I have you as a captive audience, I've got a couple new photo albums up on Flickr from those field trips I went on with Katie. Don't worry, for the most part I didn't include photos that would identify any of the kids. Not to the point where Avitable's photo waiver would be necessary anyway.

Thank you, Typepad!

Typepad just introduced social media sharing options that show up by default on our posts (look below).

Sure, I could've gone out and nabbed my own code for this and done it myself, but I'm lazy.

And I know you Wordpressers out there are going to say something akin to "well, we've had this for years! So you should switch over." It's not gonna happen. I tried Wordpress when I was redesigning this blog some months ago and hated the experience. Sure, you have all kinds of cool plug-in toys and whatnot. But what you don't have is customer support. You're open source, which, in some cases is great, but in the experience I had with WP, was terrible. I couldn't get my RSS feeds to work and, when I posted on the boards, no one replied at all. Likely still haven't to this day, but I'm not going to bother checking.

So I stick where I have great (and quick) support even if I do have to pay for the service.


The wind in my hair...

When I woke up this morning, one of the first things I did was to reach up and feel my head to make sure that what I thought I did last night I actually did.

Yep, I did.

I'm bald.

Here's some photographic proof (click through, Facebookers). Video is forthcoming. Needs some editing first.

Oh, and I did Bic it this morning for that completely clean-shaven look. Don't have a photo of that yet, though. Sorry.

Yes, I got my wax lion yesterday at Brookfield Zoo.

But he's not red (orange).

He's not deformed (although he is the exact same mold as the one from Wonderfalls).

And he does not talk to me (not yet, anyway; there's still time).

DSC05685


I want to ride it where I like...

As I type this, Katie's asleep on the couch. We're supposed to go run some errands and get some stuff done, but we just got back about an hour ago from a 20-mile bike ride up and down the Fox River Trail

We had beautiful weather and it was a gorgeous ride, save for the point where you ride past the sewage treatment plant in Batavia. If you weren't feeling hunger pangs before...

But Katie's now completely wiped. I know she's getting tired on our rides when she starts to lean forward with her forearms on the handlebars instead of her hands. Never a good sign. Thankfully that didn't happen until about mile 18. 

She did take a few pictures. Sadly my PowerShot is in the shop with a busted zoom dial. But Katie took some (one of those times when Facebook readers should click through to view the photos)

Do I wake her up? I know we've got a lot to do, but I'm not suicidal.

I'm so stoked about this little gem I ordered. It's an official Invaded! coffee mug for Avitable's 2009 Halloween party

This thing is truly a work containing both fine craftsmanship from the folks at Zazzle.com and the artwork of Dave from Blogography. 

Invaded!   Invaded!

Unlike most coffee mugs, the design is not raised at all. It is so protected by ceramic glaze that there is no way to accidentally damage the logo without destroying the mug. And it's a heavy-duty mug at that. This is my favorite coffee mug second only to the kick-ass Jack Skellington mug that Katie bought me down at Disneyworld last year.

Kudos to Adam, Dave, and Zazzle on a fine product.

And no, I'm not receiving any sort of compensation from Adam, Dave, or Zazzle for this shameless plug other than warm, fuzzy feelings. I can't even go to the party. I'm just going to have to celebrate with my mug.

*sniffle*


Hung up on your wall for the world to see...

Some of you may be wondering what the new "Capture Me" widget is in my sidebar. It's my attempt at self whoring. Allow me to explain.

CBS 2 Chicago is running a photo contest called Capture My Chicago and the winners, as chosen by fans visiting the site, wind up in a coffee-table-style book. Accompanying the book will be a DVD with several other pictures as well.

While even making the DVD would be cool, of course the creme de la creme is making it into the book itself. And I've uploaded 20 photos to the contest in hopes of one of them making it. The images in the widget? Those are they.

This is where you come in. I'm hoping I can snag some votes from you. Registration on the site is free and I would like to take a moment to encourage you to sign up and vote. Preferably for one of my photos, but if you find something else you like, I think you should vote for them as well. Most of us are amateur photographers just trying to gain a little renown. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, right?

So head on over to my photos on Capture My Chicago and vote away. Please? And if you can think of other photos I've uploaded on Flickr that are related to Chicago and the suburbs that you think should be submitted, let me know.

Thanks!


Friends like these...

At Nilsa's

You see that picture? I was trying to come up with some cool name to describe us like the "Blogging Trio o' Terror" but there are five of us. "Sex Kittens"? Nah, not with me in it. 

So just call me Charlie and declare them my Angels. That works.

From left to right, we have Tori, Kim, Sizzle, and Nilsa, thus comprising a killah network of both incredible bloggers and fantastically cool women. And my personal value skyrocketed in their very presence yesterday at Nilsa's house in the way deep north end of Chicago. 

I'd really love to say more, but there are no words in a human vocabulary grand enough to describe them. Suffice it to say that if you ever have the opportunity, you should meet them. Do not pass go, do not colect $200, just GO.

Thank you all for agreeing to get together. And thank you, Nilsa and Sweets, for hosting us.

And I get to move two people over to my "Bloggers I've Met" (and want to meet again!) list.


It's hard to make the good things last...

Updated to add photo link and to remove failed Pictobrowser embed (whoops)

Suffice it to say that after seeing The Flaming Lips in concert last night at the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival, I'm afraid that any live music experience I attend will pale in comparison. The only thing that could be better would be a longer show by The Lips.

Conclusion? The Flaming Lips = awesome. Festivals = crowded, but awesome. Pitchfork = I will be going to again, I don't care who's playing.

During the day, I Tweeted, snapped some photos, and captured a little video. Bear in mind that any photographic equipment with, as they called it, detachable lenses, was strictly forbidden. So all I had was my Blackberry. Translation? The quality isn't as good as it otherwise would be. I need to nab me one of those VIP passes next year. Those peeps all had the big cameras and I was jealous.

As for the rest of my recap, I'm going to let my evening's interactivity do the talking for me...

Photos - Apparently Pictobrowser doesn't want to work any more. Here's a teaser photo from the Flickr set:

Flaming Lips 14

Videos -

The Flaming Lips: Bubble o' Wayne from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

The Flaming Lips: Do You Realize? Finale from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

Tweets - And, finally, the Tweets. Bear in mind, the correct order is from the bottom up. I could've reordered them for your convenience. But your convenience is my inconvenience and anybody who uses Twitter knows how it works and can adapt accordingly. Sheesh. ;-)

Lipstweets

Okay, time for work. Adios!


Oh say can you see...

I'm having a lot of trouble wrapping my brain around the idea that not only is tomorrow the U.S. Independence Day, but that we're already halfway through 2009. Just another half to go before we're making contact with the alien races according to bad Roy Scheider sci-fi films.

But the problem is that since the Fourth of July falls on a Saturday, a lot of employers are not sure just how to deal with giving days off to employees. I am off work today, the day before the holiday, since I'm an 8-5, Monday thru Friday office rat. Katie, who for now only works Monday thru Friday, but for an employer who is open seven days a week, won't see a day off. Her day off would be tomorrow, but since she doesn't work Saturdays, she gets nada. That sucks. So I'm here at home typing to all of you while she toils away at work.

What to do... what to do...

Wake-up? Check.

Check e-mail? Check.

Catch up on Google Reader? Three-quarters of a check.

Shower? (sniff) Nowhere near a check. Yet. I promise I'll get to work on this one, not just for your sake but my own as well.

I think I might also check out my neighbor's garage sale that started up this morning. I saw him out placing signs last night and, as much as I used to love garage saling (can that actually be a verb?) with my mom as a kid, I haven't been to one in years. And I'm told, with the economy in the shithole state it's in, garage sales are totally en vogue. Maybe I should join the hipness and go a salin'.

Do you all garage sale at all? Any cool finds? My curiosity is piqued.

But first, I will shower, and I will download my free Star Spangled Banner from Amazon's MP3 store. Yep, you read right. In honor of the holiday, the Amazon MP3 store is giving away one free copy of any version of "The Star Spangled Banner" that they have in stock. Just click on the link above and follow the instructions. There are a ton to choose from. Once I hit number 400 in my browsing, I gave up looking. I had no idea that song had been recorded so many times.

Burnsbaseball And, shockingly, as much as I thought I'd go for, say, Jimi Hendrix's classic rendition or one from KISS's Alive performances (Ace was on fi-yah playing that one), I instead nabbed one by Branford Marsalis and Bruce Hornsby that was recorded for Ken Burns' Baseball documentary series. This recording really takes me back to my documentary filmmaking days (well, not that I made one on my own, but I was part of a team that made one in grad school). Not to say I'm a huge Ken Burns fan, but the use of music in Baseball was so fantastic and so memorable that it's pretty akin to how Quentin Tarantino chooses music in his movies. Anytime you hear the song afterward, all you can think of is the scene from the movie where it was featured. Just try to tell me you can listen to "Stuck in the Middle with You" by Stealers Wheel and resist the urge to lean over and nibble on your neighbor's ear.

Yeah, okay, anyway. So head over there and nab your favorite version now. Offer ends July 6.

Nuh uh. No way. Not a chance in Heaven or Hell.

Well, maybe I would. But I would have to do some severe steeling up of my gut first. Holy Christ a mighty! Welcome to the new Sky Deck on the outside of Chicago's Sears Tower (fuck Willis Group Holdings).

Skydeck
Stupid SkyDeckChicago Flickr group didn't enable the Flickr photo sharing option, so I did it myself! But I still followed all their linkback rules. So ha!

Update: I did find some cool swag at the garage sale! Checky check!


Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'...

I'm doing one of my least favorite things in the world today, sitting at home and waiting for the A/C repair guy to come out and fix it. Okay, my least favorite thing is not necessarily that specific as I hate waiting for any service or repair person at home.

Of course, this is also the hottest day of the year so far. It's predicted to get up to 95°F with a heat index over 100°F and a ridiculous amount of humidity to boot. And, of course, the repair company gave me one of those cable company-esque half-day windows during which their person can be expected to show up and help. So, I had to take a vacation day to accommodate. Oh yay.

I'm splitting my time right now between laundry, reading my book, and watching episodes of Deadwood on DVD. I would try to do more around the house, but it's just so damned hot that I want to remain as immobile as possible.

Besides, I'm not sure I can unstick myself from the chair at this point. Fabric and flesh may have melted into one amorphous blob by now, but I'm not gonna check and find out. Too much effort would need to be expended. Screw that.

And to add to the agony, through my open doors and windows, I can hear all my neighbors' air conditioning units kick on and off as they walk through their unnaturally chilled houses.

*sniffle*

Meanies.

OH MY GOD! My cantaloupe is Canadian!

You bastards!

Ike-loupe

Okay, sorry, bad joke. But Katie was cutting a cantaloupe last night and suddenly had a spark of creative inspiration and thought this might make me laugh and forget the heat. It did. Neither of us could stop laughing.

Yes, Ike has a small patch of hair and no eyebrows. But Katie was doing this solely off memory and I gotta say it's pretty damned brilliant.

Boom, baby!


I'll cry if I want to...

As a blogger and general Web nut, one of the things I struggle with is trying to figure out what my audience will enjoy and what they won't. No, this does not translate to me fabricating things I think you'll like or skipping information that I fear might go over like a lead balloon. But I do sit here and try to figure out, as I'm posting something, if it will be liked or not. It's mostly to satisfy my own morbid curiosity. I'll still post it regardless of the answer, but I still wonder all the same.

And typically I'm so off the mark it's ridiculous.

For example, I might've taken a lot of time to compose a photo for posting on Flickr. I try to get it just right in hopes of making it look good. I get some views and comments and whatnot and then it just fades into oblivion after a couple days.

Then, I follow it up with a photo for which I have no time to plan. Often, I just grab a camera and snap a quick photo like when I see something while driving such as this jalopy I dubbed "Crap Car."

Crap car

This, of all the 1,867 photos I've taken and posted on Flickr, is the most viewed image on my account. And it's only been posted for a year. As you can tell, it was snapped while driving, it's not well framed, not particularly interesting in terms of visual appeal, and is basically just a last-second photo taken to prove to myself later that I actually did see this car (I've seen it a couple times since then too).

Now this photo is at the top of the results when performing a Google Image Search for "Crap Car." Even when I post entirely new photos on a given day, this one is still the top daily view. Well, I take that back. Occasionally it alternates with a photo I (innocently, at the time) titled "Wet Clothes." Gee, can't figure out why that one gets hits.

I just don't get it. You people are so weird.

But I still love ya.

I was having a lot of frustration with my work computer over the last week. Yes, it's a Windows machine and, being a Mac lover, it gets tough dealing with it. But I have plenty of years of experience with PCs and Windows dating back to the ol' OS2 days (thank you very much Suzi... you and your PEBKAC claims... plllllbbtttttttt!!!). I know how to handle myself with Windows; I just prefer not to.

Anyway, a couple days ago, I'm trying to get involved in a Webinar using Microsoft Office Live Meeting. I've done plenty of Webinars with Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro and Citrix GoToMeeting and they've worked flawlessly. I didn't even need to download anything to make them work. They just... did.

Microsoft Office Live Meeting, on the other hand...

At one point, I got a pop-up from Internet Explorer (no, it won't work in Firefox; surprise, surprise) as I was about to download a plug-in to make MOLM run. It read, in typical Microsoft fashion, that the plug-in was from an unknown source and asked me if I wanted to "trust" it.

The kicker... the maker of the plug-in was Microsoft. They don't even trust their own products. Oy!

Oh, and I never got it working. Not in time anyway.


But the fire is so delightful...

Sure, the weather has been anything but predictable this spring. In one week's time, we've gone from highs in the 50s and 60s to lows in the teens. But nothing, not even weathercasters prepared me for the shit I saw when I woke up this morning.

DSC03926

DSC03928

WTF 1

DSC03927

It's almost freakin' April. What the bloody hell?


You can comb my hair, undress me anywhere...

I feel so dirty.

I had to Photoshop a head-and-shoulders photo of a woman I know personally for use on a Web page I was putting together. She's a nice girl and cute, but the photo needed some help. Not her so much as the quality of the photograph. Bad shadows cast by the flash, some visual blur, and the person who took the photo forgot to turn off the dreaded date/time stamp.

Shadows? Not a problem.

Blur? Sharpened up a bit and the rest of it was resolved by cropping it down to a Web-usable size.

The date/time stamp? Well that took some use of the rubber stamp tool in Photoshop. I would have to sample some surrounding areas and fill over where the text stood out in bright orange against her dark sweater.

Oh, and did I mention that the stamp was right across her, um, boobs? Yes, I said "boobs." And I was zoomed in tight, as I always am when rubber stamping in Photoshop, in order to maintain as much detail as possible.

It was disconcerting.

I'm not sure I can ever look at her the same way again.

Help! Help! I'm being followed by the Illinois House Republicans (@ILHGOP).

They're on Twitter and they're following me!! Help!


You better run like hell...

Professor Hathaway: "Do you still run?"
Chris Knight: "Only when chased."
--Real Genius, 1985

We've advanced the clocks an hour.

Birds are beginning to chirp.

The weather, for the most part, is getting better. Well, until the last two days... brrrr.

The sun is out longer.

What does this all mean? It means people are going to start exercising outside again. People will begin training for the race season. 5Ks. 10Ks. Triathlons. Iron Man Competitions. And the dreaded marathon.

I know of many people who intend on training for marathons this season and I'm here to tell you why you're all freakin' insane!

Sure, I'm out of shape. I'm a big guy. I always have been. But I am capable of getting in shape and am doing so right now. This no-sugar diet really has been helping both Katie and me. And we're both running again.

And yet, even if I was scientifically proven to be in a physical condition to run two marathons or more consecutively, I would never do it. I wouldn't care even if my name was Steve Austin. I see no purpose in it. A 5K? Sure. A 10K? Perhaps. I even thought about a small triathlon should I get myself in that good a shape.

But to become one of those "elite" people who get to put the oval sticker on their car that reads "26.2"? Hell no.

How many of you know of the origins of the concept of the modern marathon? Let me enlighten you. According to Wikipedia, it dates back to the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC when a Greek messenger, Pheidippides, was sent to Athens from Marathon to inform the assembly that the Greeks won the battle. The poor sap was so dedicated to his singular task that he ran the entire 26.2 miles to get there. He burst into the assembly, delivered his message, and promptly dropped over dead from exhaustion. Dead. Finito. Unliving.

And somehow his travails were twisted around so that people felt the need to memorialize him by running a race of a similar distance.

Don't you people get it? He wasn't asking to be memorialized. THIS WAS A WARNING! Pheidippides, who likely was the most in-shape and fastest guy in the Greek army, gave his life to tell us that NO HUMAN BEING SHOULD EVER RUN 26.2 MILES. NO. NOT. NEVER.

Pheidippides
Look! Even his fellow Grecians are aghast that he ran so damn far!
[image courtesy of Wikipedia; well, not that they actually gave permission]


So have a heart this running season. Remember that Pheidippides gave his life as a learning opportunity to the rest of us. If you're thinking of registering for a marathon, don't. If you've already registered, quit. If you know someone who is planning to run one, smack some sense into them. Then show up at a race with a black armband and a giant sign that reads "Viva La Phe!" in protest of this brutal and heinous crime against humanity.

You'll live longer.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Much to Marie's chagrin, I'm sure, my quest toward total Huey Lewis immersion this summer is on like Donkey Kong!

DSC03922
Scored for $6 at the Land's End store in Sears. Marty McFly, here I come!


Love letters in the sand...

I know today is Self-Love Day, but before I detail why I love myself, I want to make quick mention of the other holiday that shares this date...

Happy Valentine's Day!

To all of you, to your friends, to your families, to all my friends and family members. But, most importantly, to Katie. I love you, hon.

And I guess the reason why I started this way was because it does work itself in nicely with Self-Love Day. For me, a lot of the things I love about myself revolve around Katie. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Selflove2009altI love my life. It's not perfect in any way, shape or form, but I love it because Katie is in it with me and she loves me as much as I love her. I'm not an easy person to live with. Hell, there are times I've wanted to break up with myself. But Katie has shown an infinite amount of patience with me, which has, in turn, helped me improve my own ability to be patient with others.

Before you laugh or cry foul in my comments because, like you, I have also read some of my ranting posts expressing hatred with others and their stupidity, do take note of one thing... just because I feel I have patience doesn't mean that everyone out there deserves to be a recipient of said patience. I will select those I feel deserve my being patient with them.

I also love my willingness to try new things. There are very few things that I am completely unwilling to try at least once. Life is too short to be closed minded about new experiences. I want to live life as much as I can and so much as our bank account will allow us to (okay, so there is one restricting factor).

And, finally, I love that I'm a sap. I love being romantic when I can. I love public displays of affection, within reason. I love that I watch romantic comedies and enjoy them and that two of my favorite movies of all time are Sleepless in Seattle and Notting Hill. Does this make me less of a man? I'd argue no.

I'd better stop now or I'm going to have nothing left for the Fourth Annual Self-Love Day.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): As you know, this day now also has a bit of a somber side to it for me being a graduate of Northern Illinois University and this being the first anniversary of the campus shootings that took the lives of five innocent students.

The university is holding some memorial services today as well as an art exhibit and wreath presentations. Katie and I were going to attend, but she's pretty sick right now and we're going to stay in.

So I'd just like to take a moment to remember those five students who lost their lives one year ago today... Catalina Garcia, 20, of Cicero; Julianna Gehant, 32, of Mendota; Ryanne Mace, 19, of Carpentersville; Gayle Dubowski, 20, of Carol Stream; and Daniel Parmenter, 20, of Westchester.

Memorials
[Taken by me one year ago. Hey, Chicagoist picked up on this photo today.]


It all keeps adding up, I think I'm cracking up...

All animals have their quirks, right? Oh God, I hope they do or we apparently have psycho-dog on our hands. Okay, even if they don't have quirks, just tell me they do so I don't have to live in fear for my life the rest of the time that Lilly's with us, okay?

Anyway, now that you've all reassured my nerves (you did, right?), I'd like to share one of the many quirks that Lilly has. I'm sharing it because we finally captured it on video. You see Lilly likes to spaz out on occasion. I got a photo of it one time, but it's hard to really make out what happens based on a single still frame.

Spazzing

And yet it's hard to know when she'll go into a full-blown episode to be able to capture it on video. The only time we can guarantee it will happen is after she's taken a bath. So here's Lilly in all her post-bath glory. We hope you enjoy.


Lilly's Freak Out from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

And please forgive us the titling on the video. It's the first time either Katie or I have played with iMovie. I couldn't get it to work for the life of me (I could create titles, but iMovie refused to add them to my video on the iMac), but Katie got it to work on her new MacBook with a newer version of iMovie. I think she did a great job and I'm sure she'll only get better. It's just sad that I, with the media studies degree, can't figure the damn thing out. So she just may be my editor from here on out. We'll see.

Oh, and even though I've proclaimed my disgust with Green Day (oh god, how I love re-reading those comments on occasion; warms my cockles), even I've gotta admit that "Basketcase" is the perfect song to title this post.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I've been trying for nearly a year now to convince Katie to play. And she's staunchly refused. "No," she'll say. "I just don't want to. It just doesn't look fun."

How can Guitar Hero III on the Wii not be fun?

Well, something tipped the scales in my favor and finally drove her to want to play. It came in the form of a challenge from Kristy of Our News... All the Time who received Guitar Hero II for her Playstation II for Christmas. She and her husband, Graham, play a lot. Graham says he just can't quite grasp it but Kristy's glomming on like nobody's business. She'll play on medium and handily defeat Graham who's playing on easy.

I get the feeling this is going to turn into a tag team duel. I'll have to play the medium level (of which I've only played a little bit, but I rock all but one of the easy songs at a 93%+ rating) against Kristy while Katie tackles Graham at the easy setting.

I think we're going to have to spend the next several weeks with a hardcore diet of Guitar Hero III and deprive her of all other things. Oh, we may just have to. There is no way the kapgars are going down. No, no. Not to some Mommy Blogger and her hubby. ;-)

Oh it's on... it's on like Donkey Kong!


'Til one by one they were gone...

I find it funny how Katie and I go out to dinner last night to enjoy each other's company and what do we spend the time doing?

Talking? No.

Sharing details about our day? No.

Staring longingly in each other's eyes? Well, that's half right.

The entire meal, we were fixated by a balloon that had floated over to our table. Enough helium had leaked out that it wasn't drifting toward the ceiling, but enough was left that it was still aloft in the air to some degree. It glided from one couple, who had spent some time transfixed by it as well, along the bench to us. Then it just moved around in circles by Katie. Sometimes it looked as though it was going to leave, only to decide we were worth more of its time and it would stick around. There were a few moments it almost seemed to respond to verbal coaxing from Katie. She offered it a French fry. It didn't accept. But she did name him "Ol' Blue."

Of course I snapped a few pictures with Katie's iPhone. Here area a couple of them...

Balloony friend

Balloony friend 2

Yeah, we brought it home. And it subsequently lost all floating power. It has now settled on the floor of our living room.

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

When you're all alone...

First off, I want to thank everyone here for all their birthday wishes. I was truly overwhelmed. To be honest, I wasn't sure if anyone would catch on to my image reference. Yep, that is Sweetness himself, Walter Payton, donning #34, the age I turned on Friday.

However, anyone who has friended me on Facebook needn't have bothered with the reference as they were reminded on their own and I received nearly 30 well wishes. After a couple years on Facebook, during which I've received only a couple birthday wishes, seeing approximately 30 this year just blew my mind. I guess I actually should start paying attention to the birthday list and returning these sentiments. So, anyone not on Facebook, please get on there. It's going to be my primary method of keeping track of your birthdays. Lord knows I won't remember on my own. Seriously... I won't. I'm bad like that. So I guess it's nice to have Facebook.

Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, I took some pictures of the Christmas decorations around our house. I would've taken more of the Christmas tree, but we have a bunch of unwrapped presents underneath and I don't want to reveal them. I'll get a new photo of that later on. Enjoy what I have otherwise in this pictobrowser (or over on Flickr)...

Did I forget to make note of the camera used to take these pictures? Yeah, it's my brand new Sony Alpha A350. Got it earlier today. I bought just the body of it, though, at the Sony outlet store. It's a refurbished camera and with nothing additional but the battery, covers, cords, manuals, etc., and with an additional 20% discount this weekend only, it came to $471. I did tack on a memory card and a four-year protection plan so it came out to a bit more total. But still. I love it. It's wonderful.

My rig

Thank you Katie!

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I woke up this morning and took my shower then came into the bedroom to wake Katie up. She was buried under the covers. Up over her head, in fact. So I peeled back the covers from her head and said, in a sing-song manner, "Katieeeeeee."

She looked at me with the good ol' Katie stinkeye and said, "There is no Katie, only Zuul.

"Are you the Gate Keeper?"

My wife, the movie geek.


And this is my Thanksgiving...

While I won't be able to say it anywhere near as eloquently as John at Buddha on the Road did (thanks for cluing me in to that song so I had a title for this post, BTW), I would like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S.ian friends. And, although a little late, to my Canadian friends as well.

And, if you're either spending time with or hosting family like Katie and I are, I pray you prepared yourself adequately. We did...

Temporary bar


I believe in a thing called love...

It's been a few years since they were posted on the Web, but I'm finally starting to get some earlier photos that were on my static site up to Flickr.

And the first to be posted are the pictures from our wedding!

Why? Because today is our seventh anniversary! Happy anniversary, hon. I love you.

[Check out the album on Flickr if you can't see the Pictobrowser in your reader]

Sorry they are so low resolution. They are scans of print photos and I had so many to do at the time (six years ago), that I scanned them quick and dirty. But they still work.


The old man is snoring...

From what I've read, "remnants" of Hurricane Ike hit us here in Geneva yesterday. I'm having trouble believing it was from Ike. Seems far too soon since the 'cane only made landfall early Saturday morning (like 1 a.m., wasn't it?). But, if they say it, I guess it's true. Anyway, got some photos and video of all that happened in our neighborhood. We actually had to cancel plans because all the routes out of our neighborhood were flooded beyond driveability. But it certainly made for good camera stuffs.

Here are some photos...

And here are a few different videos for your viewing enjoyment...


Ike in Geneva, part 1 from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.


Ike in Geneva, part 2 from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.


Ike in Geneva, part 3 from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Congratulations to Kristy Brown for correctly guessing the order slip challenge from yesterday. The pizzas we ordered were a medium stuffed with cheese and spinach and a medium thin crust with sausage and pepperoni.

The sausage and pepperoni was pretty obvious. But the other... "POPY"... was not poppy seeds or poopie or anything like it. According to the guy at Giordano's, they were going to use SP for spinach but they already used that abbreviation for their special pizza. So they came up with "POPY" meaning Popeye who eats spinach. And it has stuck. Cool.


Open up your mouth and feed it...

Just had to share our little culinary experiment with all of you...

White Pizza

It's a white pizza (yes, MochaMomma, we're starting kitchen race wars again), meaning nothing but crust, garlic olive oil, and cheese. Our definition is, of course, open to interpretation. The cheese we used is a four-cheese blend of asiago, parmesan, fontina, and mild provolone. One half also has goat cheese (that would be my half).

Oh, tres yummy!


I'm torn...

After a long, hard week at work, you hope that the weekend will allow you nothing but mindless relaxation and enjoyment.

And, yet, this is hardly ever the case.

Instead, Katie and I decided to tear apart the garden in the backyard that we designed a couple years ago. Because we had bricked off a garden and, thus, cut off a waterflow area, we would get pooling of stormwater against the garden that would saturate the lawn, cause the grass to die from over watering, and result in moss growth.

So we finally decided to do something about it. We got rid of one pooling area by putting in plants that can soak up the moisture, rebuilt the other garden, transplanted some stuff, and now we're just waiting for the moss patches to die (yay systemic plant killer!) so we can put in some peat moss, sand, soil, and new grass seed. As you can tell, this is still a project in progress so the pictures below are hardly a complete photo album.

Oh, and in case you don't do yard work of your own, this sort of thing is so body/brain killing and soul crushing that we wound up spending the rest of the evening watching Comedy Central's Roast of Bob Saget. How sad is that? At least Cloris Leachman was freakin' hilarious. The rest? Not so much.


The waiting is the hardest part...

Some of you may have read the stories about Lilly on this site or seen a photo or two of her on my Flickr site. Well, if you have, and even if you haven't, I'm hoping you can throw a little good juju her way.

A little over a week ago, the vet found a growth on her gums near her teeth. At first they thought it was simply an abscess, but they decided to have it tested anyway. Yesterday, my brother and SiL got the news that it was a tumor. This coming Thursday, it will be removed and tested to see if it's cancerous or benign (I think I got the terminology right). And then we wait.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, this isn't a huge deal. Some of you may think I'm being completely stupid and immature right now. Some of you may be rolling your eyes as you read this. After all, we deal with our human loved ones who have cancer all the time. Some fight valiantly and survive. Others do not. My uncle is battling it, Katie lost an uncle to it but had an aunt survive it, Lisa's fighting it. So how does an animal measure up when we have human beings dealing with it, too?

LickWell, in our minds, she measures up pretty strongly. And I do not say that to discredit the value of human life in any way, shape, or form. I simply mean that in the short time that Lilly has been with us, she has become an inextricable part of our lives. She just came leaping in, literally, with boundless energy and love and it's just hard to imagine her not being around. And we don't want that. We don't even want to consider it.

Lilly's had a tough life so far. She's about 7-years-old and spent a majority of that time bounced from shelter to shelter and I believe she even lived some time as a stray. Shortly before she wound up with my brother and SiL, she was in a kill shelter. Society had given up on her entirely. At the 11th hour, someone saved her and put her in a rescue shelter. A coworker of my brother's adopted her. However, Lilly had trouble dealing with the other dog they owned even though she was an angel to their newborn baby. So this coworker gave her to my brother. Bear in mind my chronology of events might be a bit off.

To be honest, I never saw my brother owning a dog. He's even more anal retentive than I am, with a dash of obsessive-compulsiveness thrown into the mix for good measure. But my bro has taken to her like gangbusters. And Lilly to him, and to Jen (the SiL), and to Katie and I, and to our parents, and to practically everybody she meets so long as they don't have a dog of their own. She just has this incredibly infectious personality.

And we don't want to lose her.

So all I'm asking for are some good thoughts to be sent her way.

E.T. lives


I got a devil's haircut...

Katie and I are up watching the Olympics last night, it's about 10:30 p.m. and I'm dying. Simply nodding in and out of sleep for the next 15 minutes until we decide to go upstairs. We turn on the Olympics up there and I decide I'm going to sleep regardless. I nod off and then Katie turns out the light. I wake up long enough to kiss her goodnight and see her fall dead to the world.

And, of course, I wind up awake until sometime after 1 a.m. How the hell is this fair?

So, um, yeah, my creativity is kinda shot and I had this really cool idea for a post I was going to write that would serve as a review of this razor that was sent to me as a freebie. You probably saw it over on Karl's site. Apparently we were both hit up at the same time. Combine my tiredness factor with the fact that Karl already did the cutesy review and I'm sorry, but you're not going to wind up with a bunch of photos of people with curious shavings in their heads and facial hair with parts of my own face Photoshopped over them. Just ain't happenin', folks. Shame because I was really looking forward to my face with Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn's zigzag hair from Major League.

[I realize not all of you appreciate product placement, but if you stay tuned, I've got a couple video snippets from the TDFN: Pizza episode in the extended post. No, really!]

Instead, you're going to get a straightforward review of the new Schick Quattro Titanium Trimmer (to be referred to henceforth as the "SQTT").

In the simplest terms, the SQTT is an all-in-one razor and trimmer. One end is your standard razor with four blades, a moisturizing strip, and a single edging blade on the reverse face of the blade. I always like having an edging blade. Pretty handy when you've got cutoff sideburns and a goatee like me. However, on the opposite end of this device is a battery-powered trimmer with a three-setting protective head cover. While I haven't looked for it in stores, I was told by the guy that contacted me that this thing goes for about $14 retail. Not bad considering I spend about $7-8 for a razor and $15 for a trimmer.

The razor works just as well as you'd expect. Nice, clean shave. Didn't nick myself at all and the moisturizing strip makes the blades just glide over my face. One strange thing is getting used to how big this thing is. Most of my razor handles are about half the width of this thing, if not less. Plus the battery and motor used for the trimmer adds quite a bit of heft to the thing. It may sound odd, but once you've been shaving with a certain type of razor, this additional weight can take some getting used to in order to make sure you don't overapply pressure and cut yourself. Thankfully, it really took me no time to get used to it.

The trimmer is a nice little toy to have on this thing. It's a small trimmer head, but it's perfect if you travel a lot and don't want to carry a large trimmer in your luggage. However, the size means it is best used on small areas (no jokes, people!) like sideburns. I used it on my goatee and it took a little longer than I'm used to in order to finish trimming. But the results were quite nice. If you plan on trimming a full beard, you'd better have the patience of a saint, though.

The entire unit is waterproof, which is great. I almost always shave in the shower and knowing that I can use this thing without worrying about frying it or myself is a plus.

My only true concern now is with how much replacement blades cost. The housing used to connect the blade to the base unit is unlike any I've seen before (maybe this is the standard Schick Quattro and I just haven't used one yet), and the high cost of replacement blades is something that has irked me for years.

I would've also liked to see it come with a little bottle of oil that could be used to lube up the trimmer, though, and possibly a cleaning brush. Most trimmers I've owned come with both these things.

Would you like to see the final result? Here you go...

Tom and Katie
Ain't I sexy? Okay, so my creativity was only mostly shot. This was a quick grab and slap, though.
But, c'mon! Tom Selleck in Mickey ears is quality comedy gold!

Overall, I'd give it a B+ bordering on an A-. If you hurry over to TrimFlixx.com and make yourself a free gag movie (akin to those viral dancing elves videos around Christmas time), you can score yourself a free razor. Or at least I think you still can. It might end this week, though, so HURRY!

Continue reading "I got a devil's haircut..." »


Get down tonight...

Sadly, another Davecago has come and gone. I say "sadly" simply because it feels like it will be another eternity spent waiting for Davecago the Fourth to happen next year. I really do enjoy meeting up with fellow bloggers even if I am a bit of a social outcast.

Jeez, there were a ton of cool people there. When Katie and I were heading downtown, I didn't really know who to expect to see since it seemed like a lot of people were unable to make it this year like Kim and diane. I did figure on Tori being there if she could find parking (ha!) as well as Jenny, RW, Mrs. RW, and Gary. But, other than them, I really didn't know.

Mocha made the trip, which always makes me happy because I totally PPH her! And I met a bunch of other people I'd never met in real life before like *lynne*, Leah, and Robin. Plus somebody who was introduced to me as Suzanne, one of Dave's blog stalkers. That's pretty cool in a very creepy, cloak-and-daggerish way.

I have some pictures here for you from the event, and from walking around Chicago beforehand with Katie and Dave. They're in a pictobrowser, so you may need to click through from your reader or you can just surf on over to Flickr to see them.

But one of my favorite things about the whole event was commiserating with my fellow bloggers on things that bug us about the medium. From people squatting on blog names (ever wonder why RW's site is misspelled without a "y"?) to not having the amount of time you'd like to read each and every site to the give and take of commenting to coming up with ideas to keep things fresh.

Do you have any idea how good it feels to know that I'm not the only one who feels bad that I sometimes have nothing more to say in a comment than "I totally agree with you"? That's one of the many things I struggle with in blogging... finding something meaningful to say to show support for all of you that I read. I don't want to be that guy who simply says "I agree" but I also know that for some of you, myself included, that's all you want to hear. That's why we write what we write, to get it out and get feedback to either confirm what we are saying or to let us know that we are nutso beyond compare. And sometimes that seemingly meaningless "throwaway" comment is the easiest way to show that support.

But because there are so many blogs we read and so many posts we agree with and so little time to complete it all, we just don't. It's completely understandable.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, just because I don't comment or because someone else you think is a reader of your site doesn't comment all the time does not mean we are not reading or we do not agree or we do not value what you are pouring out of your heart of hearts. We are and we do. Just know that. 'Tay?

Oh, and I got a killer brownie recipe from Tori that will definitely be a future Damn Fool Network episode. Stay tuned. ;-)


I want some hot stuff...

Well, let's see... we have Avitable complaining about everyone on the Web being "either crabby, bitchy, stubborn, depressed, pathetic, upset, crying, or some combination thereof," SJ hoping to "avoid the drama shitstorm polluting the blogiverse lately," and me with absolutely no clue what the hell is going on... yet again. Or maybe I do and I just don't recall. Am I not reading the right blogs?

Sometimes I really feel out of it with what is happening out here. It makes me sad because I cannot relate to what everyone else is involved with. And, yet, part of me feels happy to not know because then I'm not forced to take sides. So I suppose there's an upside.

In an effort to forget about all this drama I know nothing about, I decided to go get lost in a recently opened Whole Foods. A couple of my coworkers swear by the place so I had to see it for myself.

45 minutes of aimless wandering later and my head is swimming no less than it was before. Just with thoughts of food. My God, that place is scary inside! I haven't felt this overwhelmed by a grocery store since I set foot in Woodman's. And that place is scary!

But I did walk out with some good stuff...

Hot hot hot

The question now is, what am I planning to do with all this spicy goodness? And, no, "giving himself salmonella poisoning" is not a viable answer... or, at least, I hope it's not.

The answer, should technology work in my favor for once, will be coming soon!


Buy me some peanuts...

While I love the fact that Snippet Wednesdays allow me to cover a lot of little items that I wouldn't normally cover in a full-blown post, I gotta admit that they leave me pretty creatively drained. This would be my attempt at coming up with an excuse for the drivel you're about to subject yourself to.

It's a photographic retrospective of me opening the first box of Cracker Jack I've had in years. Like since I was 12. There may have been some here or there, but I certainly don't remember it. So, for the sake of argument, let's just agree that this is my first time with the Jack in 21 years. Yikes.

Cracker Jack 1
Ah Cracker Jack! How I've missed thee!

The rest of this photographic retrospective, due to sheer length of the overall post, is in the extended post. Y'all with feed readers should see it all just fine.

Continue reading "Buy me some peanuts..." »


No bone movies...

Welcome to the Kapgar Cineplex 6 where we try to actually make your moviegoing experience fun again! Tickets are relatively inexpensive as are the food and drinks. And if you follow these simple rules, I guarantee you will enjoy the experience. I do not, however, guarantee the movie will be good, but I will provide direct phone numbers to PR departments of the major studios so you can call and bitch if you so desire...

1. Get here early. The doors to each theater close one minute before the trailers begin and you will not be granted entrance after this time. This is not to inconvenience you, but so you do not bother the patrons that were here on time by stumbling around in the dark, stepping on feet, trying to find a few open seats.

2. Seats are assigned. The earlier you purchase your tickets, the better seats you will have. Plus, our online ticket purchasing system will allow you to select your seats ahead of time just like when you buy tickets for a jet. Gone are the days of Southwest Airlines "cattle call boarding" in the movie theater. We want to reward you for purchasing online or being here enough in advance to get good seats. Plus, it also helps us to know if there will be enough empty seats in clusters for couples and other groups coming in closer to the start time.

3. Don't just shut off the ringer on your phone, turn the whole thing off. It's great that some theaters are cracking down on people making or accepting calls during a show, but that's not enough. Just as bad is when people open their phones for texting and the screen lights up and temporarily stuns the eyes of people sitting behind them. Annoying! Violators will have their phones confiscated and then be "stoned" publicly with our collection of phones.

4. We have audio/video security systems built into seats. So be careful what you say or do. We reserve the right to post stupid things on YouTube. That includes you, Mr. I Moan Every Time Angelina Jolie Does Something Sexy During Wanted (that seriously happened to me last night).

5. Ratings are not just unenforced suggestions. We actually go above and beyond what the MPAA suggests with their ratings system. There is no caveat that allows for parental supervision. "G" means that everyone can enter, "PG" allows for anyone over the age of 7 to view the film, "PG-13" means you must be 13 to enter, "R" means you must be 16, and "NC-17" means nobody under 17. IDs must be presented. If there is any question, we will err on the side of caution and deny entrance. Sure, this might seem Stalinist, but considering I saw an infant in a screening of The Omen, I feel extreme measures must be taken.

What other suggestions would you have to make your moviegoing experience more pleasurable and worthwhile at Kapgar Cineplex 6?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I think I mentioned, at some point in the past, that Katie and I were planning on using a photo I took several years ago of the Golden Gate Bridge as a massive wall hanging in our vaulted-ceiling living room. Well, we did do it and I just completely forgot to post pictures of it. My bad. Here you go...

Framed!
Here is the finished product. No, we did not cut away negative space to account for the "missing area" in between the frames to make it look more like a window view. We just sliced the picture into pieces and framed it. The reason is because, until we started hanging them, we had no idea how far apart we'd space the frames. This is why the line of headlights looks staggered. Oh well. We like it.

Framed! From afar!
This is so you can gain a little perspective. That's a 42-inch plasma on the credenza below the hanging.


Well I walk into the room passin' out hundred dollar bills...

I have a new favorite photo of Katie and me from a wedding we were at yesterday. I only wish the camera that was used to take this was set at higher resolution. The original image is not much larger than this. Sadly.

Save a horse

Oh, and the deejay was playing Big & Rich's "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy." Hence Katie's reaction.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): For anybody questioning whether or not they're going to see WALL*E in theaters. Go now. Fan-friggin'-tastic. Pixar has made one of the best romantic-action-scifi-comedies I've seen in a while. Human actors can't seem to pull off the romantic chemistry that these writers and animators did with cartoon robots with limited dialogue. How?

How does Pixar keep improving on itself?