The Web 2006

Oh my crush, I've got a crush...

Is it too late to back out of this?

Yes?

Damn.

Bcdaysm Oh well. I guess I'm committed to and must announce my blog crush considering this is, after all, Reveal Your Blog Crush Day.

Grrrrr...

You would think I would have learned my lesson some months ago when I was revealing a list of some of my favorite bloggers only to discover I had left a few people off the finished list.

I felt guilty as hell about it despite protestations that I didn't need to worry. Call it "Catholic Guilt," if you will. And I'm agnostic. Go fig.

Anyway, at that time, I swore to myself I would never participate in such exclusionary blog practices ever again.

I am, if nothing else, a man of my word.

Yeah right.

I know that Sandra and Sizzle decided that we, as participants in this most valunted day of days, can pick as many blog crushes as we want. And, as much as I may have been leaning this way initially, I will instead just pick one recipient of my blogaffection.

Why? Because I don't want to wind up in a situation similar to the one I described above in which I forget one or two names in a list of many. Perhaps it's just me, but I would be more hurt to have been forgotten from a list of many than to lose out to a single winner. Think in terms of being an actor nominated for an Academy Award. How bad would you feel if, suddenly, all your fellow nominees were awarded a statuette, save for you? Color me crazy, but I'd want to crawl in a hole and die.

That is why, in the words of the Highlander, "There can be only one!"

So who is this lucky person? Who is that one special individual to whom I have devoted myself? The recipient of my bloggy-style lovin'?

It is tough. Really. I read so many damn fine bloggers out there. I literally have dozens upon dozens of people whose new words I await with breathless anticipation. So many of you out there I just know I could meet in real life (if I haven't already) and we'd get along just famously.

(do note my carefully crafted, yet horribly transparent, attempt to stall)

But I have limited this decision to one. And I am a man of my word. This time. Really. I swear.

Okay, enough procrastinating.

[drum roll please]

Continue reading "Oh my crush, I've got a crush..." »


Little ditty 'bout Dave and Diane...

Dealing with traffic on I-88 east: absolute hell.

Putting up with the Hillside Strangler on 290 east: even more hell.

Coping with no traffic flow whatsoever on 90 west: the worst kind of hell.

Being able to meet up with Dave and Diane at Chicago's Pizza and Pasta and then having drinks at two bars afterward: friggin' priceless!

Me, Diane, and Dave

I've raved about meeting Dave before (opportunity #1 and #2) and having a chance to meet up with him again was great. But Diane is a new blogger buddy of mine and far too cool for words. If you have a chance to meet either, do so. By all means.

Oh, and the redeye could be a combination of the flash and the drinking. Who's to say for sure?

I also need to give a big thanks to another blogger buddy of mine, Hilly, who sent me a belated birthday gift. My gift to her was late as well so she need not feel guilty. Plus she fed my craving for all things David Sedaris by gifting me with Holidays on Ice and Live at Carnegie Hall. Sweet!


What is love...

I got this e-mail from Sandra the other day...

Hey Kevin,

Me and Sizzle were just chatting and decided to declare December 15 "reveal your blog crush day". We thought you might like to help spread the word, and perhaps reveal your own (who, of course, will NEVER compare to Katie!).

Whatcha think?

Oh wow. I... I... I'm not sure. The pressure inherent in making such a revelation.

What kind of criteria do I use to make this decision?

Can I have more than one or do I have to be monoblogamous?

If I'm straight in real life do I have to be straight here or can I return the love that Neil gave me some months ago?

Should it be a long-term crush or can I show love to someone that I only recently discovered?

Then, of course, there's the possibility that I may be showing unrequited blog love. Oh how that might crush me inside. Or what if the person I'm crushing on doesn't want my love at all? Perhaps they are cold-hearted bastards and blog love threatens their only known way of life?

There are so many things to take into consideration when taking part in such a grand event.

Oh I'm in!

Anybody else?


Thank you for loving me...

I feel bad.

I feel bad because I haven't had as much time to be a part of the blogosphere as I once was. There was a time when I would spend quite a while reading and commenting on the dozens upon dozens of posts put up by bloggers that I consider my virtual family.

But with all the work I've been doing lately with the new job, plus the additional commute time, some other side projects I have, work around the house, and holiday planning, I've been more than just a bit neglectful.

I still read, mind you. I read as much as possible. But commenting has been at a minimum. And that is one of the things I so love about blogging... commenting. It's the interaction that makes blogging so wonderful.

However, it may take me several days before I really get around to reading some blog posts. And, when I do, I'm reading several days worth of posts at a single sitting from one person.

What's so terrible about this, you might ask? Well, I miss out on great events such as Neil's Second Annual Thanksgiving "Thank Your First Commenter" Day. What a great idea! To recognize the first person that left a comment for you on your site.

Even though it's several days late, I'd like to participate after the fact. I hope that's okay with you, Neil. Don't hate me for being tardy.

To be honest, I don't know my first commenter since I started my static HTML blog. Especially since I didn't have comments implemented and had to rely on e-mail for interaction. So I really need to forego the first seven years I "blogged" and go with the first person who left a comment on my "real" blog.

That taken into consideration, my first commenter is SJ. It was my 17th day of blogging and my post was about whether I should have the right to rerate movies I've seen and books I've read if I feel that a second viewing or reading has made my perception of it better or worse. Her comment was...

I run into this same ethical conundrum myself, on Chronic Listaholic. Sometimes I slam something, then on second (or third) listen/viewing/whatever, decide I like it. Or vice versa. I actually have a list I'm compiling of Ten Things I've Changed My Mind About.

So I vote for updating your review to reflect your revised opinion, then including a link to it in the Recent Updates list.

To SJ, I owe a debt of thanks for my official welcome to bloggerdom. And for still being there as my blog buddy to this day. Even if I have been a bit reclusive.


The goose is getting fat...

It’s cold. Damn cold. It’s so cold I’ve got icicles growing from my…

Yeah, anyway.

Suffice it to say, it’s so cold I’m tempted to just let my winter template drop now.

You read that right. So many of you inspired me with your October Breast Cancer Awareness month, Halloween, and winter holiday templates that I decided to try a shift of my own.

No, it’s not an entirely new template. I worked too long and hard on this look to give up on it that quickly. So, instead, I just took the design I have now and, much like my truck, I simply “winterized” it.

I like it. And Hilly gave it a thumbs up on preview, too, so it’s all good. Speaking of which, she has a swanky new Christmas 'do, as well. Check out who's stylin' now! Actually, it seems she has a new winter template every flippin' time I visit her blog anymore. I can count at least three distinct ones so far. This may or may not be barring any subtle design shifts she has implemented to each in the interim. DECIDE!!!

Basically, I wanted something I could use for longer than a month. The little bit of time during which I could’ve shifted to a Halloween template didn’t strike me as being worth the time I would spend designing it. But why not the whole winter season? I figured I could use it for about three months, being upper Illinois, and make it worth the effort.

But if the weather lately is any indication, I may wind up needing to keep this damn thing for closer to four or five months.

It’s gonna be that bad a winter, I’m’a thinkin’. Commence drooling now, SJ.


Until I touch the midnight sun...

It's another snippet kinda day for me.

Where the Hell in Google Earth is...
It suddenly dawned on me that I never revealed the answers for the latest installment of Where the Hell in Google Earth is? Maybe I was holding out hope that more people would guess and those final few would be figured out. Anyway, here are the answers...

  1. Universal Studios, California, USA - good call, Dave.
  2. Paramount King's Island, Ohio, USA
  3. Six Flags - Great America, Illinois, USA - good rationale, Kilax, wrong picture, though.
  4. Epcot Center, Florida, USA - good call, Dave.
  5. Hershey Park, Pennsylvania, USA - I'm kinda shocked Dave didn't get this one.
  6. Sea World - San Diego, California, USA - the prize goes to SJ.
  7. Disneyland Resort Paris, France - good call, Dave.

Photo ops
This was pretty cool. Late last week, I received an out-of-the-blue e-mail from a local park district official saying that she was searching through online photo repositories when she found mine. She really dug my photos and my blog and asked if I would be interested in teaching a class on personal Web site design and basic photography.

Um... heck yeah! Sign me up.

Bear in mind that nothing is set in stone. She was just throwing around ideas for a spring course booklet and, when we talk, it may turn out that nothing will come of this. But one can hope all the same.

I don't need Cialis, really
Have any of you Gmail users out there been receiving an inordinate amount of spam in the last week? By "inordinate" I mean "a helluva lot more than usual." Just over the course of this past weekend, I tallied 175 spam messages of which I'd say 90% have been about Cialis. Already today I've received 30+ spams. Thankfully, they seem to have moved beyond the Cialis push.

Dear God, does it ever end? I pray for a day when all the governments of the world give us "shoot on sight" freedom regarding known spammers. Again, one can hope.

Go Bears!
That's all I want to say. It's their first Monday Night Football game in some time, so I wish them well as they go to pound the everloving crap out of Arizona.


Latest Fun With Dead Trees reviews - Claire returns with reviews of Setting Your Genius Free: How to Discover Your Spirit and Calling by Dick Richards, Portraits: Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre and Elsewhere by Michael Kimmelman, and Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems by Cesar Millan with Melissa Jo Peltier.


Where in the world is...

I broke my consecutive days of blogging streak. Almost made it a year and four months. Funny thing was that I actually had this post almost finished, but never quite got around to completely finishing it and clicking that submit button. C'est la vie. Will you all forgive me?

On to the post.

I warned you that I may do this again. And, even though it has taken me a while to compile all the images I wanted, it is done. Yes, it is round 2 (round 1 challenges and answers can be found here) of what I am now going to call Where the Hell in Google Earth is . . .

This is the Amusement Park edition. It's not going to be easy, so you may have to work together and rely on other people who have visited some of these parks. Talk in the comments if you need to. Use your own judgment on whether you trust someone's resolute claim of "knowing it." But I'll give you some time to answer these. I will throw the answers up on Friday unless you all get the answers sooner than that.

As always, for more Google Earth fun, check out Google Sightseeing.

Here they are in the extended post...

Continue reading "Where in the world is..." »


Carnival time is here, magical time of year...

Welcome one, welcome all to the kapgarized edition of the Carnival of the Mundane...

Ringmaster I gotta tell you all that I'm ashamed of you! We're coming up to week four of the (American) football season and we're 0-3! I expect more than this from you. Our GM has spent a lot of money to ensure that we bring the Lombardi trophy home... where it belongs... right here in our stadium for the fans who have supported you all these years to enjoy again.

And this is how you repay their loyalty?

I was called up to the GM's office last night and got a tongue lashing. I don't like being spoken to like that. That's why we're all here right now. We're going to figure out what it'll take to turn around this season before it's too late!

He's not afraid to cut us all loose at the end of the season. He's got the money to buy a whole new team and, if we keep up these losing ways, you know that stud college quarterback will be his first choice in the draft next year.

Do you really think that all of you, with the way we're playing now, will get a new job all that easily? Do you think other teams are going to care about you when you're languishing on the free agent list?

No!

That's why we need to prove ourselves here and now. Show our mettle. Let people know how tough we can be!

So here's the game plan...

Continue reading "Carnival time is here, magical time of year..." »


Where in the world is...

After rediscovering Google Earth due to that post about the naked sunbather, I've been playing with it a little bit. I forgot how much fun this program is.

But what really strikes me is how odd things appear when you look at them in satellite view. In some instances, you can immediately tell what something is. However, sometimes, the overhead view makes you lose that ability to recognize it.

So I decided to make a game out of it. I have, below, seven screen captures taken from Google Earth. In the vein of my beloved, and unfortunately forgotten, Mystery Photo ID game, can you ID these satellite images? If a photo appears cluttered, it should still be pretty obvious what it is I am trying to focus on for the ID.

Give it a whirl in the extended post...

Continue reading "Where in the world is... " »


I've got a question for you...

I need an opinion from all of you. I received a comment on my review of Joshua Braff's The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green review over on FWDT yesterday. It's a highly negative comment in tone as you can read below...

I extremely dislike this book! It would be better if I could reccomend it to anyone under 50. I don't approve of this book because of the r-rated content. Joshua Braff is a sick-minded perv that needs to lighten up the sexual content in this unbelievably sick novel. I hereby state that this book is for the elderly folk.

The comment has no usable URL (http://mynameisurl.com/) or e-mail address (Noway@idontthinkso.com) for means of commenting back, and it really doesn't serve much purpose overall other than to trash the book in a non-constructive way.

But I hesitate because it's not a spam comment in the traditional sense. And, I think, he's trying to make some point amidst all his rambling.

If you were maintaining the FWDT site, would you pitch it? Or should I just post a counterpoint reply comment in defense of the book, but without taking the low ground and resorting to verbally abusing the commenter?


I am the eye in the sky lookin' at you...

Satellite Unlucky
I don't usually like to jump on the whole "blogging Digg" craze. And I hate it when people start entire blogs based on nothing more than talking about stories they dug on Digg.com. I think this sort of thing cheapens blogging.

However, I'm going back on that today, and today only. Simply because this story cracked me the hell up.

First off, if you want to make the most of this story, you will need to download the latest version of Google Earth. It's a great program and one that everybody should play with at least once in their lives. Basically, Google Earth is a steroid-laced version of Google Maps that allows you to look up any location on Earth using map coordinates or address or whatever and it will pan and zoom in on the location you request using existing satellite photography. Make sense?

On to the story...

Apparently, I'm a bit late on this bit of news, but this past week's Digg.com podcast (vodcast, videocast, whatever the hell it's called) featured what has got to be one of the funniest Web-based errors I've ever heard of in my life.

It seems as though some woman in Holland was caught sunbathing topless in her backyard on Google Earth. Even after more than a week, her satellite image is still there. Oh, the coordinates are in the Digg comments. I'm not going to make it that easy for you.

Granted, once you zoom in enough, you can't really see much. It looks like a fleshy colored blob that just happens to be in the shape of a human. Heck, for all we know (and this argument was posited on Digg) it could be a blow-up doll or even a man. But the likelihood is not that good. What person in their right mind would put a blow-up doll in their backyard and for what purpose? And the ratio of female to male nude sunbathers in backyards leans much more in favor of la femme. We men are much more humble than that. ;-)

Another argument that was raised on Digg was that of privacy and the invasion of it by technology such as satellites.

It's not as though this satellite was intentionally trying to find her. At least not that I can tell. It was a standard geosat taking it's normal round of photographs of the planet for whatever purposes they have for them. It was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not that you won't see a firestorm kicked up because of it anyway, though.

So what's your opinion? Is it a violation of privacy although entirely unintended and being something (satellite photography) that happens on a regular basis and for non-invasive reasons anyway? Or was she just one person craving no tan lines who was shit outta luck that day?

And who the hell finds these damn things anyway?

Carnival of the Mundane
Hey! I'm hosting the twentieth edition of the Carnival of the Mundane this Friday. If you are interested, you need simply send me a link to a recent blog post that you consider "mundane" and I will work it into my post. If you would like more information about submitting to this Carnival, check out these guidelines for joining. Don't leave your link in the comments to this post. I'd prefer you send me an e-mail.

I'm not sure what the deadline is for submitting as the official announcement post hasn't gone up on their site yet; but, for all of you, I'd like to call it at midnight CDT on Thursday. We are still on daylight savings time, right?


Play to kill...

Some of you may remember how I was recently recruiting fellow bloggers to take part in Brandon's DWP Blogger Fantasy Football League. Well, we filled up the league with 12 bloggers, drafted, and the season is now into week three.

And I'm sitting in the middle of the pack with a record of 1-1 after getting my ass handed to me by the Commish himself. But I have the second lowest point total after two weeks in the league.

Well, that just figures, now doesn't it? I'm in three leagues this year and I suck in all of them. I'm 1-1 in Brandon's league, 1-1 in the MSR Fantasy League, and 0-2 with the normal crew of guys I've played each year with since 2001. Not a good start to my seasons despite having the highest single-game point total in the MSR league this past week.

I am posting about this because of a realization that I desperately need to get my ass in gear in all my leagues. I've never started a season this poorly before. It's just not pretty because I don't see it getting much better. It seems that the free agent pool is practically non-existent and last year's stars have only been so-so thus far. I have no idea who to drop and who to pick up. It's ugly.

And now I'm giving away tips and tricks of the fantasy football trade to Suze and she's not willing to give anything back.

Suze is new to fantasy football. Hell, she's Canadian, so she's new to American football entirely. Yeah, they have the CFL up there, but that doesn't count. So I've been helping her. She's been asking questions -- ones that I, myself, wondered about my first year (or three) of playing -- and I've been answering to the best of my ability.

So, today, I requested that she play nothing but injured and bye-week players on her team when we play each other in week 7.

It's only fair, isn't it? Don't you think that with all the free advice I've given her that she owes it to me to take a dive when we play?

So what was her response to my request? Get a load of this...

Wouldn't it be much more of a victory to know that the student has learned so well to have surpassed the teacher? ;-)

Oh hell no. That's how she shows her appreciation? Not only will she not grant me the walkover victory, but then she has the gall to imply that she will win.

It's on, girl. It's on like Donkey Kong.

What the hell does that mean anyway?


Every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man...

For some time now, I've been debating the prospect of creating a line of kapgar-themed products. I'm thinking about T-shirts, mugs, mousepads, magnets, spinner rims, action figures, power tools... just a few of the more commonplace items.

Of course, the standard for doing this sort of thing would be to use Cafepress. But I was never too big on that site. All the stuff winds up looking the same regardless of the unique logo that may be on it.

However, SJ referred me to Zazzle some time ago, which is the site that she is using to set up a Chronic Listaholic/Write Coast store. And, SJ, I'm still waiting for your stuff to go live. You owe me a shirt from GBBMC.

With my old design, I could not possibly see selling T-shirts. My design and logo were just too damn boring. Seriously, who the hell would want a yo-yo with my name in Harry Potter fontface? However, with my new design, I think it could be feasible. I just need to get off my lazy ass.

So, during a down moment in my class the other night, I visited Zazzle and dropped my logo in a quickie black T-shirt setup. Here was the result...

Zazzleshirt

Clearly it's not done. I may play around a bit more. Upload a cleaner, higher-res logo. Figure out some accompanying text (maybe). Try other color shirts. Stuff like that. I may also make up some of those Co-ed Naked Blogging shirts that Johnny and I were fooling around with. Or maybe the To Wong Foo image with Karl and Jacquie.

So what do you all think?

Well, if nothing else, I may just create one for myself and wear it around town. At $19.99, it's not bad.

But Zazzle won't let me make my own line of action figures. Damn. Time to E-mail customer service.


Did you ever know that you're my hero...

To remember the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I am taking part in D.C. Roe's 2,996 project. If you recall my earlier post, it is a community blogging project to commemorate the lives of those lost in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

This post is dedicated to the life of Lieutenant Geoffrey E. Guja, 47, FDNY company BC43, who died in the collapse of the second World Trade Center tower on September 11, 2001.

Much of the following information came from The Massapequa Post.

GujaLt. Geoffrey E. Guja was one of a pair of twins born to Doris and Howard Guja of Massapequa, NY. He graduated from Berner High School and went on to attend Harper College in Binghamton, NY. When he was 27 years old, he made a decision that would forever change his life... he joined the New York City Fire Department. In addition to his duties as a firefighter, he was also a registered nurse and an emergency medical technician (EMT). He rose through the ranks of the FDNY and became a lieutenant.

Geoffrey was never one to take life for granted. He always kept an open mind to any new opportunity and was well known for his sense of humor. One story about him told of a prank pulled by his fellow firefighters. They took his locker and managed to suspend it 16 feet above the floor of the firehouse. Instead of getting angry and reactive, he grabbed a ladder, ascended to his locker, and changed his clothes in midair.

One of his great passions was his network of family and friends whom he would regularly bring together for barbecues at a local beach. He was known to send out dozens of invitations at a time.

His own family consisted of his wife, Debbie, and their daughters, Kelly and Jaime, as well as his parents, brothers, sisters, and their families. Not to mention the many firefighters he worked with on a daily basis who became his extended family.

Kids were an important part of his life as Geoffrey was a big kid at heart. He is renowned for playing with kids while dressed up in a bright yellow chicken outfit. "He was bigger than life to the kids," said his brother, Howard. "He never had a bad word to say about anyone and, while the adults would often say he should calm down and relax and act more like a grown up, the kids loved him just the way he was."

Part of the memorial display for Geoffrey included bright yellow flowers laid out to resemble his infamous chicken outfit.

Geoffrey was not on duty at the time that the disaster happened on September 11. In fact, he was recovering from an earlier injury he suffered in the line of duty. When the jets hit the World Trade Center towers, he was on light desk duty in the Brooklyn headquarters of the FDNY.

He immediately jumped on the subway and rushed to the scene and grabbed a turnout coat, pants, boots, and helmet from the Number 10 firehouse across the street from the WTC and headed into the belly of the beast.

Anyone who knew Geoffrey would have expected no less from him. "He always gave everything he had, everything," said his brother, Howard.

The 5-5-5-5 radio dispatch signal is reserved to memorialize those firefighters who fall in the line of duty, serving the good of the people they have sworn to protect. Lt. Geoffrey E. Guja, 47, of Lindenhurst, NY, was the 29th of 343 firefighters who died on September 11 to receive the 5-5-5-5 signal in the days following the attacks.

Being the fan of firefighters that I have been my entire life, I am honored to use my blog to remember Lt. Geoffrey E. Guja.

UPDATE: Due to an excessive amount of visits, D.C. Roe's entire 2,996 site has gone down temporarily. But here is a mirror site listing all the participants in the project. Please do make sure to check them out as they are incredible.


Hey boy, welcome to reality...

Kapgar's Lyrical Challenge
Reality is suddenly setting in regarding yesterday's post. Here I was thinking no one would be interested in the concept and now I've got 18 people involved and 54 song lyrics suggested... and that's just so far.

Don't worry, I'm not wussing out on this. I plan to go through with it. I said I would and I will. I've just got to develop a more concrete plan as I wasn't expecting this much participation.

I think I'm going to leave it open for more suggestions until tomorrow. However, at some point during the day, I will simply declare it done, weed through them all, and pick out one or two lyrics from each person. Tomorrow's post will consist of those suggestions and you all get to vote on your four favorites. I'll tally up the totals, and the top four vote getters will be my blog topics.

From there, I am planning to blog two per week over the next two weeks. I was thinking of doing it on Tuesdays and Fridays. If I like how it all turns out, I will open the post back up to more suggestions and we'll go through the whole shebang again.

Sound cool?

Oh, and you can get to the post by simply clicking on the "kapgar's lyrical challenge" button in the left menubar.

Paperless receipts
For any of you who have ever bought anything online, you are accustomed to receiving paperless receipts in the form of e-mail confirmations of your order.

But have you ever had this happen to you at a bricks-and-mortar retail store?

It happened to me yesterday at the Apple Store in Oak Brook. I bought something and they asked me for my e-mail address. I didn't think much about it because my e-mail is already registered with Apple.com for any number of warranties, e-mail newsletters, and the iTunes Music Store. But then the guy explained that Apple is slowly phasing out paper receipts in favor of electronic ones.

Sure enough, the next time I checked my e-mail, there was my receipt. I thought it was pretty cool. Now I just need to back up my e-mail in case it crashes. I'd hate to lose that.


Mama, I'm comin' home...

Last week, I was considering cobbling together an "in memoriam" sort of post to some of my favorite blogs that have gone the way of the do-do. In recent months, we've lost XtineFiles, SuckyBlog, and Two Thoughts Before the Epiphany (the link to the old site is completely dead). All three are brilliant blogs maintained by fantastically talented bloggers (Christine, Jack, and Rabbit, respectively) and I was sad to see them all go.

However, literally the day that I started putting words together for my post, I get a Bloglines notification that a new post is up at XtineFiles. Could it be??? It is! Christine is back! Woo hoo!

Then I received an e-mail last night from Rabbit that she's back, but at a new home that she has dubbed Everyone Loves an Underdog. More great news!

A big, open-armed welcome back to the Bloggy Cosmos to both Rabbit and Xtine. We missed ya.

Now if we can just convince Jack to come back...


I'm a football, baby, rollin' round the field...

This is my time of year. A time I look forward to each year and always seems to fly by far too quickly.

That time is known as Fantasy Football Season! And, this year, I am a part of three different leagues.

The first one is a league with some of the regular posters over at MySportsRadio. It's a private league hosted through Yahoo and it should be fun even though I missed the live draft and wound up with a relatively sketch team overall.

My second team is with the guys that I've been playing fantasy football with since 2001. We start up a new league each year, but this is the first time we've really attempted some sort of keeper league. Each of us chose an offense and defense player from our team last season to "keep" this year. However, since we didn't pay for a true keeper league, we had to just work it out ourselves. Oh, and we also expanded it from six teams last year to eight this year. So we also had to figure out how to make it somewhat of an expansion draft. But it seems to have worked out. Despite some browser issues during the live draft, I've got a pretty good team and I should do decently during the season.

The final team I just signed up for and hadn't even planned on until I read about it on Down With Pants. Yep, our fair commissioner, Brandon, started a blogger fantasy football league. It's a pretty bitchin' idea and I would recommend you all check it out and consider taking part.

Right now, it's just Brandon, Dave, and me. But we're hoping it will expand. Not sure yet what the maximum number of teams are. But it will be fun. Even if you're not a football fan and know little to nothing about the game, you should consider it (Karl, please reconsider). I knew very little about football when I started in on fantasy leagues against my will back in 2001. I wound up doing pretty well. I think I ended in third place out of eight teams. It was great. And I've done it every year since. I always have fun.

Oh, and unless Brandon wants to correct me, there's no rule limiting this league to just men. Having some of you ladies in the league would be a blast, too. Chase? Kilax? Jacquie?

If you're a blogger and you're looking for a good time, then check out Brandon's post for more information.

Cheerleaders
You know you want to. And they want you to, as well.
Just click here.
C'mon... just one little click and football greatness can be yours.


There's somethin' wrong with the world today...

I need to make some changes here at kapgar. Something's gotta give.

Scrat Have any of you ever watched the movie Ice Age? Remember that squirrel-like character, Scrat? He spent the opening sequences of the movie scouring the frozen tundra for acorns that he could horde for the coming, well, ice age? That was all he did. He ran around collecting the nuts to protect himself from future events unknown. And each nut was a prize to him, something worth risking it all for. Damn the consequences.

That's who I've become as a blogger. And I hate it.

Yes, I just compared myself to an animated representation of an animal that we're not even entirely sure existed. Ever.

In my quest to ensure that I have some sort of product here on kapgar on a daily basis, I've become a post whore. I'll find a good idea and write it up and then horde it for that day when it may become needed; that hypothetical future date when I may wind up with nothing to say at all. So I sit on it and save it as a draft post until such a time.

And what happens? It becomes stale. Yep, much like Scrat's acorns, it becomes old and worthless to others. However, much like Scrat, I'll still treat it as important and throw it out there on the web as some sorry excuse for a post for that day.

I've become more worried about my own personal quest to maintain my blogging streak than I am about being a good blogger. One who writes for the sake of writing. A person who blogs simply for love of the art.

I think this became most apparent when Katie and I went to San Francisco. I prewrote a bunch of posts to fill the days that we were gone. I was more worried about keeping you reading than I was about being true to myself as a writer. If I had been a good blogger, I would've just taken the time off (or found some way to blog from California). Since that time, it has seemed like a descent into the abyss of bad writing. Yes, many of my posts have been somewhat fresh, but several have been old, stale acorns. Clunkers.

This is where I need to change. I need to stop worrying about running out of things to say and just be more timely about my posts. I need to live in the moment. I need to stop planning for my own ice age... the hypothetical writer's block.

If there are days when I have a boatload of things to say, I may give you multiple posts. Other days, it may wind up being just a single entry. I may even miss a day here and there. Well, that last one may not be as big a problem. When have I had nothing to say? Heh.

All I know is that I need to be truer to myself as a writer. I need to allow myself to just write as I feel the urge. Instead of hording my words, I need to let them flow. That's one of the things I admire about Karl. He writes. It's more about the craft than some personal goal for him. I need to find my inner Karl. No, I'm not trying to thief his methods or his style. I just want to redevelop the passion that I once held so dear when it came to this site.

But would you all still be willing to read if I give you several posts in a given day? What if I miss one? Will you still come back?

If I've alienated any of you with my bad blogging practices of late, I truly and wholeheartedly apologize. But please give me another chance to make things right.


We are the Bears Shufflin' Crew...

Hey, I finally had a relatively decent eBay experience buying a jersey.

A couple weeks ago, I decided on a jersey I wanted to represent my favorite football team on Earth... the Chicago Bears. And that representative jersey would be Mike Singletary. "Samurai Mike" is da man and, shockingly, despite the love for him that Chicagoans have, you don't see that many people donning the famed #50. So I got one from some guy in South Korea, which, I'm sure, means it was mass produced in a sweatshop. But, c'est la vie.

A week ago, I got the jersey in the mail. Well, it should have been the jersey. Instead, I got an Oakland Raiders jersey for Otis Sistrunk. Wha??? I e-mailed the seller and told him of the mistake. Then, since the package actually contained the packing slip for the person who really ordered the Sistrunk jersey, I tracked her down and gave her a call.

The eBay seller told me that he had, in fact, made a mistake and would send me out a new one. In the meantime, the actual buyer of this jersey called me and told me she would like it if I sent it to her as it was intended as a gift for her husband for his birthday yesterday. So, this past Tuesday, I did just that. Although we both figured she would probably receive my jersey, she had not gotten it yet to know for sure.

On Wednesday, she called to confirm that she did get my jersey in the mail. She also said she'd put it in the mail to me on Thursday. That day, I also got an e-mail from the seller in South Korea telling me to keep the jersey he had mistakenly sent me as it would cost him too much to pay shipping to have me send it back.

And, on Thursday, I got the replacement jersey from the seller in South Korea (much quicker about this shipment than the original; he must really want a positive review on eBay).

So, in summation, I'm receiving two Mike Singletary jerseys for the price of one. How sweet is that? This almost makes up for the Mark Grace debacle last year.

Here is Mike Singletary back in the day...

Singletary

And here I am doing my level best to look like Samurai Mike. However, I really look more constipated than anything...

Kapgar Singletary

But, hey, it's a damn nice jersey!


Goodbye my friend...

My dear friend,

Why has our friendship failed? I feel as though our relationship was never quite given the chance it so richly deserved.

Was it something I said? Was it something I did (or did not do)?

I've tried to be a good friend. I talk about you on occasion. I visit. Even when I'm exceptionally busy, I will check in to make sure things are kosher with you.

Yet you spite me so.

Regardless of the efforts I have made to allow our friendship to bloom, you make absolutely no move whatsoever to take "us" to the next level. You seem more than happy to just sit there and do nothing; content in my actions, but never reciprocating.

I don't get it.

But I don't want it to end. Clearly, I feel more indebted to our friendship than you.

Some might call it codependency, others obsession. Me? I prefer to use a Web acronym to describe it... BFF... yes, "Best Friend Forever." That's what you mean to me. And that's what I thought I meant to you.

Is it because I am just one man? A lone soul in a sea of millions striving to be your pal?

I know you are well loved. You have many, many friends. But none of them would ever treat you the way that I would if you'd just give me a chance.

Those other 101,872,606 "friends" you have? They don't care about you the way I do. They're nobodies. Just faces trying to be cool by association.

Tom, why am I not your friend? Please explain this to me and help me reconcile my feelings.

Myspacetom

Still your BFF,

Heartbroken in Chicagoland

I've got a meme for you in the extended post, courtesy of C(h)ristine.

Continue reading "Goodbye my friend..." »


Oh that's what dreams are made of...

First off, happy Blog Appreciation Day! If you want to check out the photos I made for others as well as the ones that were taken for me, check out the Flickr album I dedicated to the cause. I really loved doing this and can't wait til next year to do it again. I want to officially thank Neil for coming up with it.

Oh hey, SJ created a Blog Appreciation Day user pool. Cool! Now we can all share!


And now for the meat of the post...

Talk about your childhood flashbacks. I was checking out Karl's site yesterday and he posted about being a child and taking advantage of his first girl-given set of digits by calling her early one Saturday morning.

No, I was not reminded about calling a girl. I usually just went to their house, but at a more human hour. I was not a phone sort of person then and I still hate them with a passion now. What sparked my memory bank was his talk about being a child who is awake really friggin' early on Saturdays.

I was the same way.

While I may have hated waking up early during the week because of the whole "time to go to school" aspect of it all, I was more than willing to dash any hope of sleeping late on Saturdays in lieu of my cartoon schedule.

I woke up at the buttcrack of dawn to make sure I didn't miss any of it. To be honest with you, I cannot even really remember what shows I watched on a regular basis. I only recall the desire -- nay, the need -- to get up early so as not to miss any of it. There is nothing more shameful or sinful than being a child who missed one of the hallowed Saturday morning animated gems, and then have your friends find out.

The kicker was that I never set an alarm clock to wake me up. I don't even think I owned an alarm clock at that age. If I needed to get up, say, for school, my parents were expected to wake me. Back then, there was no way you could possibly expect me to willingly get up for something I didn't want to do.

Saturday morning was something else altogether, though, for despite my lack of a physical alarm clock, I had the oddest internal alarm clock. And I remember him vividly. Yes, my internal alarm clock was a he. Not an "it," not a "she," but a "he."

No matter what I was dreaming about during my slumber from Friday night to Saturday morning, my internal alarm clock would show up at exactly the right time.

WoodytoystoryHe was a cartoon looking guy with a big toothy grin and wide brown eyes. Oddly enough, thinking about it now, he looked an awful lot like Woody from Toy Story. Sans the ten-gallon hat, boots, vest, badge, plaid shirt, and jeans. No, he was not naked. I was not a perverted child despite how I may be now.

Anyway, he would slide in from what amounted to stage left of my dream and he would be wearing a bad 70s/80s brown sportcoat with shirt and tie like so many other reporters or news readers of the day (don't ask me about pants as I only ever saw him above the waist) and he would have one of those ceiling-hanging microphones much like the announcers in boxing matches. And, while my dream was still happening behind him, he would look at me and say, "Kevin, it's time to wake up for cartoons!"

But his voice was so real, unlike anything else in my dream.

I've found that dream-based audio has a sort of faraway feel to it. It's muted and a bit ethereal. This voice, however, was booming and in-your-face. Almost as though it was a person speaking to me in real life to wake me up. But this was never the case because nobody else in my house was ever awake at this time of day.

Until my alarm clock awoke me, that is. My eyes would shoot open and my body would bolt upright in bed. Then I'd run downstairs in my pajamas, grab a bowl and spoon, pour some cereal and milk, and plop my ass down in front of the TV for my four-hour cartoon marathon.

It was childhood heaven and I have my dreamscaped alarm clock to thank for not allowing me to miss a second of it.


Always look on the bright side of life...

The thing I don't understand is why spammers out there actually think we would read the crap they send out to us on a daily basis. They either have the most ridiculous sender names or the most horrendous subject lines. Isn't the purpose to make us want to read your spam so we actually click through and you get paid by whoever hired you?

Check out some of the beauts I've gotten recently...

Spammail
You can click on the image to see it a bit larger.

First, I must point out that I've become seriously tempted about trying that French Fry Spam Casserole recipe listed at the top. It sounds mmm-mmm good, doesn't it?

Well, I'd also like to take this opportunity to reply to some of the spam messages. One on one. Mano a mano. Them and me. And you, too, I guess, since you're reading this.

Dear millerstubbs, there's a Viagra Pro?!?! Damn! My doctor's been holding out on me! That bastard!

Dear kjmn, let me check with Katie and I'll get back to you. 'kay?

Dear Sara Delsie, who knew GNC carried Viagra, Ambien, Cialis, Xanax, Cipro, etc. No prescription?!?! YES! And at 82% off!?!? Do they even know they offer such a discount?

Dear Nursing Degree, you might want to get a better name. Your parents were cruel. And what gives? You mean my blog doesn't help hundreds of people daily? Now I'm sad.

Dear ronpfaff, that's a mighty bold claim. I'm holding you to it. If it doesn't work, I'm gonna beat you with my Viagra Pro-lengthened penis.

Dear Ms Suzan Gerald, Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!! for what?

Dear support, SUPER VIAGRA?!?! You mean it gets even better than what millerstubbs and ronpfaff are offering???? Dayamn.

Dear Ahmad, oh great. Write to me in some Middle Eastern text, why don't you! If it hasn't already happened, I'm sure my e-mail account has been flagged by Homeland Security now. Thanks a pantload.

Dear servixu, nyah nyah! I don't have my PayPal linked to this e-mail account!! Thought you could trick me, didn't you?

Dear geos1945, after being offered Super Viagra, I don't think I could go back to an inferior product like Viagra Pro. Just won't cut it anymore.

Dear M/s Laura Jones, what's in it for me?

Dear FlowGoFunFlash, and just where are these tattoos located exactly? I've heard Angelina has some pretty provocative ones in some rather, shall we say, "clandestine" locations.

Dear kethera, my penis is not the happiest he can be?!?! Oh hell no! I want a happy cock!

Oh hey, I just got another one from DHL offering me a job as a Part-Time Account Manager for their DHL Mail Services. This job would include a $90,000/year salary, comprehensive medical and life insurance for me and my dependents, annual raises, set work schedule, weekly paychecks, direct deposit, "and so on!" That is quite a generous offer for a part-time position! Sign me up. Let's see, I just need to reply to kricv@eroticfun.co.uk. Excellent! Thanks. My resume is on its way.

There are some strange people out there. And they all seem to be finding my e-mail account. Great. I feel loved.

Oh, and my respect to the first person who can tell me why I used the particular song lyric that I did on this post. No, not just the name of it, but why.


Latest Fun With Dead Trees review - A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger


I think I'll go eat worms...

Neil from Citizen of the Month is a pretty big name in the blogosphere. Or, at least, I think he is. He's a great writer, a great netizen, and just a genuinely good guy.

So, when he comes up with or recommends a cool idea, who am I to say no to the opportunity to take part in it? Be it the Carnival of the Mundane (he didn't come up with this idea, but he was the one responsible for introducing me to it) or his Bloggers with Biceps campaign. They're all great.

Now, however, he has developed the creme de la creme of bloggity goodness. And he shall call it Blog Appreciation Day and he shall schedule it for Thursday, August 24, 2006. So it was said, so it was done.

Put simply, the idea is to show appreciation for your fellow blogger by showing yourself reading their blog. It's that easy. You may wonder how you would go about doing that. It's the wonder of digital photography. Just take a shot of yourself reading this person's blog and send it to them via e-mail.

So I'm going to do just that. If you would like me to show you all some blog love, leave a comment here and I'll take a shot of me reading your blog. Heck, on Thursday, I'll even link to a Flickr album with all my blogger requested photos.

When I first read this on Neil's site, I immediately knew it was cool. And, being the idiot I am, I made what I thought was a ridiculous request of Neil. I said, "Can I get a picture of Sophia reading my blog from New York? Heh." (If you don't know who Sophia is, you clearly need to read more CotM... go there... now.)

Little did I realize just how often she reads his site; and his comments. For I received this from Neil via Sophia's cellphone...

Kapgarsophia
And here we have Sophia reading my site! How cool.

About a half hour later, I received a second e-mail from Neil with another photo...

Kapgarsophia2
Thus proving Sophia is actually reading my site from NYC.

And, let me tell you, this made me feel really cool! I can only hope that this feeling would be shared by everyone else out there. So I am DEFINITELY going to do my part. I have my camera, an empty memory card, and extra batteries. Request away!

Oh hey, Karl's taking part as well!


Tell me darlin', can you picture this...

Just when I thought I had actually discovered the end of the Internets, or at least the end of the useful Internets, SJ sends me this little doozy. It is fd's Flickr Toys.

The site allows you to apply different cool effects such as borders, speech bubbles, templates, etc. to existing photos. And, as the name would imply, it plays quite nicely with Flickr. However, despite being able to directly upload the results of my fd fun to my Flickr site, I really don't want to give them my username and password. I'll upload manually.

Oh the hours of joy that can be had here.

Here are a couple of the images that SJ made with my photos (my lawyer will be contacting you regarding the copyright infringments... heh) to introduce me to the site...

Frame Within a Frame Within a Stamp
This would be my frame within a frame now within a stamp out on Hawk Hill.

Golden Gate Bridge stampified
Here we have a Golden Gate Bridge shot stampified.

Continue reading "Tell me darlin', can you picture this..." »


God put a smile upon your face...

Ahreelee_1 This has got to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen in terms of independent video production.

Basically, an artist named Ahree Lee began taking a digicam self portrait of herself on November 1, 2001. This trend continued every single day. I think it's still going on as she calls this film a work in progress.

Well, she has now taken each shot and spliced it together into a film showing her evolution over what amounts to nearly five years. Each photo is a single frame within the video and, while it may sound a bit weird, the end result is fantastic.

And the music on the video was written by her husband. It, too, is really good.

Yes, this video is also available on YouTube, but if you watch it on AtomFilms, she actually receives a royalty for it. Either way, it's free to you.

Check it out.

Oh, and I've got a meme for you in the extended post, courtesy of SJ.

Continue reading "God put a smile upon your face..." »


I'm still alive...

First off, I want to reassure you all that I will get through all the comments on my site sometime very soon. You know me, if you've commented (and assuming Typepad's notification e-mails work properly), I will reply personally. I also plan to get through the 1,780,345 posts, give or take, that have accumulated in Bloglines. I may not comment on every single one of them, but I will read them. So long as I don't go batty in the process, that is.

I think today's post is going to be spent sharing with you some of the notes I wrote out in my Moleskine while in S.F.


This conversation happened while cruising through the Presidio grounds on Sunday, July 30...

Me: "So what is this building?"

Security Guard: "I really can't say."

Me: "Is this Lucas' film department?"

S.G.: "I'm really not at liberty to say. But you can get more information at w-w-w-dot-lucas..."

Me: "lucasfilm-dot-com?"

S.G.: "Yeah, that's it."

Me: "So you cannot confirm that this is George Lucas' new film department that has been publicly reported to be on Presidio grounds, yet we can get more information about it from LUCAS' own Web site?"

S.G.: "I really can't say."

Me: "Yeah, okay."

I shit you not.


Continue reading "I'm still alive..." »


Mr. Jones and me, we're gonna be big stars...

God it's been a long time since I've visited the Jones Soda Web site.

In all fairness, it's not as though I was ever much of a frequent visitor, but it is a fun site. They have all kinds of kitschy little interactive bits and pieces such as a fortune cookie reader, customizable music player, full nutritional content labels for every single one of their hundreds of drinks, magnetic words game, etc.

LauralabelI first discovered the site a couple years ago when I was at a Panera Bread and picked up my first Jones Soda and saw the cool photo on the label. Turns out that they ran a contest with Panera Bread where photos taken by PB employees were selected to appear on the labels.

I thought it was pretty cool and checked out the site to find out more information about the promotion.

Soon after, I discovered that an old college friend of mine, Laura, was one who had her photo on a label. It's the label at right, save for the fact that mine came on a bottle of root beer, not diet black cherry soda.

Actually, after conducting a search on Jones' photo gallery just now, it turns out she has more than a dozen photos posted in all. And they're all really nice. I'm not sure, however, how many actually made the cut for labels. I know of two offhand.

I was thinking how cool a thing this would be to try out. But I want some input from all of you.

You've seen the many photos that I've posted here on the site and over on my Flickr site. So, if you have a moment, check them out again and let me know in the comments or via e-mail which ones you think I should submit. It doesn't appear that there is a limit to the number I can upload to the gallery.

Oh yeah, and they make some pretty killer drinks, too.


See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet...

... in all honesty, I prefer Ford, though.

I've seen this site on a bunch of people's blogs in the past, but never did anything with it. Until, that is, I saw it again on lynnes' site a week or so ago. This time, I decided to give it a try.

Basically, you just input the states that you've visited and they create a map of those states that you can post on your site.


create your own visited states map

A couple of these are really only brief visits. For example, my family and I drove about a half hour into Utah as part of a trip to the "Four Corners" states. And, Texas, well I've only really seen the airport in Dallas and that was during our flight out here to California. Pretty sad, but they count, don't they?

I know I'll finally see Nevada next year for my brother's wedding and I hope to see both Washington and more of Texas pretty soon. That would be fun.

The site also has a visited countries map, but mine would be so pathetic, I don't even want to bother.


Turn it off...

Wanna hear about my challenge for the week that we are in San Francisco? I'm not going to blog during that week. Well, at least I won't be blogging live.

In an attempt to spend as much time away from my computer and spend as much time with Katie (and Brian and Jen) as possible, I'm leaving the laptop at home and not giving you guys posts as I spend time out in the Bay Area. This effort is being made in conjunction with our desire to travel as lightly as possible. And, in all honesty, my G3 PowerBook is a bit of a space hog.

How batty will this drive me? Probably more than even I can imagine. But I'm going to try.

I do apologize in advance for this, but do you really want to read a day-by-day recap of what we were doing? I fear that might get a bit tedious. I will tell you all the good stuff when I get back, though, I promise.

Fear not, though. This does not mean that you won't have stuff to read here at kapgar. I will still hook you all up with your daily fix of all things entirely nonsensical. To this end, I've been trolling the post idea list in my Moleskine and writing several ahead of time. I'm also looking through some of my old draft posts to see if there are any cool or interesting ones. These are my ramblings that, for some reason or another, never actually wound up being posted. I've even thought about asking a couple people if they'd be willing to guest post here for me just to keep things interesting.

All information about what happens on our vacation will go up the week after we get back, complete with photos. And I'm sure I'll be taking a boatload of them. We didn't own a digital camera the last two times we were out there, so I'm probably going to take a ton this go round. And I don't have to worry about scanning.

God I hope I have enough memory cards. Yikes. Time to clear them out.


Is this love that I'm feelin'...

To review, or not to review. . .
Hey, wish me some luck. I'm submitting revised versions of my blog-based reviews of The Omen and Superman Returns to a local newspaper for consideration as a contributing movie reviewer.

And if I get the role... step one of my plan for total Kapgarization of the mass media will be complete! Muahahahahaha!!

Yeah, okay.

Blog Crushin'. . .
I cannot attest to whether or not this will still be up on his site as this post goes live, but, as of yesterday (Tuesday, June 18, 2006), I was Neil's Blog Crush of the Day!

Blogcrush

It was only a fluke that I happened to find it, too. I missed it when I was reading and commenting on his daily post. I only saw it when I was looking at blogs that were linking to mine via Technorati.

If he sticks to the "daily" aspect of this feature, I will likely be passed over today in favor of a younger and newer me. But I have captured it for the sake of warming my heart for years to come!

I'm stoked!

You like me! You really like me! Or, at least, you did yesterday!

I'm the Blog Crush of the Day of the Citizen of the Month. How cool is that?

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for. . .
If any of you are interested, you can read in the extended post about a debate I had with Dustin regarding the merits of ninja over pirates. I was in support of ninja and he supports pirates. I'm sure I'll be flamed for this by a few of you (Dave). But, hopefully, one or two of you prefer ninja... because they rock!

Continue reading "Is this love that I'm feelin'..." »


We're sending messages, messages, messages...

When you sit at work day in and day out, your expectations for what constitute "entertainment" and "distraction" start to wane a little bit. You pray that a new piece of news will come up on Yahoo's homepage that can divert your attention from the daily humdrum.

Admit it. I'm right.

Well, one of the activities I've taken a liking to lately, since joining Gmail at least, is to check out what people in my contact list have to say in the Google Talk status boxes.

For those not in the know, Google's e-mail service (known as Gmail) has a built in IM service they call Google Talk. When you're logged in to your Gmail account, one of the sidebars shows your list of most common contacts and their availability status for chatting purposes. One of the coolest aspects of it is, instead of just something saying you are there, you can actually customize the message quite easily. And some of the people on my list have some pretty damn cool messages.

They're cool to me anyway.

And, a lot of times, we'll use these messages to start up conversations when I'm on my lunch break.

For example, this is one of my most current status messages...

Gtalkkevin

And it started up a pretty cool conversation with both Alissa and Johnny about the album. Alissa convinced me to buy it, which I will; while Johnny was attempting to sway me to the dark side by stealing it off a bit torrent. Bad Johnny! I would never do something of questionable legality!

Speaking of Alissa and Johnny, here are a couple of their more recent status messages...

Gtalkalissa Gtalkjohnny

I really can't wait to hear more about Alissa's new voiceover gig. That'll be cool. We're going to need a phone number or an audioblog with the message in there. As for Johnny, his never really changes. But I still like it for its simplicity.

Another deuce of cool messages come from Sandra and Karl...

Gtalksandra Gtalkkarl

Sandra, I hope it's not unrequited. Contact him. Karl, you're a lucky bastard. But I'll be there soon, as well.

Jacquie usually has pretty cool status messages up as well. However, she wasn't online when I was writing this so I missed out on posting some of her "witticisms."

I can't really explain why I like these messages so much. Maybe it's just how quick and to the point they are. Maybe it's because it humanizes my address book a bit. Whatever the case may be, I look forward to them on a daily basis and they do help get me through the day.

Keep 'em coming!


My love for you is ticking clock, berserker...

Some little tidbits to carry you through the remainder of the weekend and into next week...

Best. Search Results. EVER.
You remember my post a little while ago about some of the weird web searches that found my site? I posted it because those were some of the best of a weak crop of searches. If you want some really funny and cool ones, you have to check out Karl's or Hilly's sites.

But I finally have a good one all my own. One I can be proud of. One I'd be willing to put on a T-shirt (worn underneath another shirt most likely). One that defines what my site is all about...

"housewives that love black cock"

Yes, you read that one right. Somehow or another, that search found my site. Is Randal on the Web? Woo hoo!!

Know your corporate identity
This Excel-based corporate logo identity quiz was sent my way at work. Off the bat, I was able to get about 40 out of 50 of them. How well will you do? Just save the linked file to your computer and fire it up. It's pretty cool and, if you're anything like me, you'll be addicted until you finally solve the damn thing.

Beware, though, you may have to get creative with some of them to make them work. Spelling has to be spot-on and some need both brand and item. However, it doesn't look as though it's case sensitive. Oh, and feel free to discuss the answers in the comments to see if you can solve the whole enchilada.

And let me know how you did as well. I did finally finish the thing. But some are really obscure. Hence why working on it with blogbuddies might just be the best method available.

News personalities have personality
One of the things I love about Chicago is the news. I try watching the news in other cities when I visit, but it's just not the same as when I'm back home in Chicago. There's just something about our news that I love.

Couldn't possibly be the fact that only in Chicago will you find the NBC 5 news featuring newscasters with such family friendly names as Dick Johnson (a bit repetitive, don't you think?) and Pete Sack (need I say anything at all?).

God I love this town.


I remember you...

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I am taking part in a project called 2,996. This project is the brainchild of D.C. Roe, the man behind the Rough Draft blog and is being used as a blogger memorial to the 2,996 victims of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

Basically, each participating blogger is assigned one victim of 9/11 and is asked to commemorate them on their site. These posts are to go up live on 9/11/06. Once they are all posted, a mass directory of the links will be put on the 2,996 project site.

Here's the info direct from Roe...

2,996 voices…

2,996 remembered…

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.

If you would like to help out, either by pledging to post a tribute on your own blog, or by offering your services to promote this cause, just leave a comment here and I’ll email you the name of a victim.

Then, on 9/11/2006, you will post a tribute to that victim on your blog.

But, and this is critical, the tributes should celebrate the lives of these people–kind of like a wake. Over the last 5 years we’ve heard the names of the killers, and all about the victim’s deaths. This is a chance to learn about and celebrate those who died. Forget the murderers, they don’t deserve to be remembered. But some people who died that day deserve to be remembered–2,996 people.

Thank you,

D. Challener Roe

I want to thank Chanakin for the heads up on this project. I am signed up and I have been given a person to memorialize.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to persuade each of you to take part as well. This project will only work if we have enough people sign up to cover all the victims. It's a small thing to do to remember those who gave their lives on one of the most tragic days in modern American history.

If you'd like to sign up, visit the original project post on D.C. Roe's site and leave a comment. He'll contact you via e-mail with more information.

2996header


So find me...

Let's face it, people search for the weirdest things online. And, if you have even a decent stat tracker, you can uncover what weird words and phrases were used that, somehow or another, happened to result in them finding your site.

Several of my fellow bloggers have posted about this in the past. This is my first time and this post is several days in the making as I've been compiling a list of some of the best searches that found kapgar.

The reason it took me so long is, apparently, because my readers and lurkers aren't quite at the level of depravity of those who read, say, Karl's site (I just hadda, man). He gets some twisted search keywords that find his site.

Here are some of the keyword and phrase searches that have brought people here lately...

  • Catherine Bach's Shoe Size - Apparently a Dukes of Hazzard foot fetishist?
  • sxy_wife - A spam mailer that I covered, indirectly, in my Dennis Haskins spam post a while back.
  • Boxers vs. Briefs research - It was the use of "research" that killed me. Has someone actually spent money on scientifically researching which is better? Maybe I should be that expert.
  • Kevin Apgar - While I'm encouraged that this search did, in fact, find me, I'm scared about who was looking.
  • fire fire fire Beavis - Are they looking for a picture of him in flames? Why the descriptor? And why in triplicate? Well, here's all I've got.
  • Afrospanicindioasianization downloads - Sorry, dude. Only a reference to the episode of The Daily Show here. No vids.
  • Elaine Butters Grey's Anatomy - Huh?
  • Robert DeNiro Suspected Terrorists Video for MySpace - I don't understand this one at all. But I will note that I get a boatload of searches by people looking for custom themes for MySpace pages. Another future business endeavor?
  • See me naked - No, really. You don't want that. Trust me on this one.
  • "kyan" site: http://kapgar.typepad.com - So someone was looking for info about the Queer Eye guy specifically on my site? Is that what I'm to take from this search? While not Kyan, I did write about Ted. Hell, there were four searches in a row that ranged from the above-listed search phrase to "lewd Kyan." Is someone looking for Kyan porn? Hey bonehead... I HAVE NO SUCH CONTENT HERE, SO STOP LOOKING!
  • Celebrity Booty Flickr - um yeah.
  • "Conservative controversy" "Matt Lauer" - There's no controversy... Ann Coulter is Satan. Even conservatives will admit that. And Matt Lauer schooled her and showed the world that she is incapable of spontaneous thought.
  • jennifer love hewitt hairstyle bangs - It is horrendous, isn't it?
  • Meredith Vieira Crying - Did the Today show rescind their offer?!?! Please say yes!
  • catherine bell belly button photos - No, you would need Dave's site for quality pictures of Catherine Bell.
  • bought the wrong size concert shirt - So sorry.
  • Cubs jokes - Actually, I got a couple searches looking for this. Since they suck, I'm happy to oblige.
  • dildo lightsaber fight video - Again, more than happy to oblige.

There are some twisted people living in this world, aren't there?


Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes...

Hey! Click through from your RSS reader so you can see the new look!

Is it wrong of me to say that I'm sweating bullets right now in anticipation of what everyone has to say about the new layout here at Kapgar? I'm freaking out, in all honesty. I actually had to sit here and convince myself to click the button. Literally.

I don't expect everyone to like it. That would be asking far too much. But I hope at least a few of you do.

Here are the details...

  1. Photo banner
    I'm using a photo I took a couple years ago from the balcony of our old apartment at sunrise as the header banner. I've been a geek for this photo since I took it and it still ranks in the top two of my all-time favorite photos that I've ever taken (my fave being one of the Golden Gate Bridge taken in 1999).
  2. Smaller site name
    I want the focus on the photo and, since the name is in a rather uncluttered area of the photo, I feel it still stands out despite the size. Oh yeah, I also pitched the "life in HTML/XML" bit as it was getting too cliche.
  3. Background color
    This only affects the fill bars on the sides of the site. I was getting tired of all the white from the old look so I gave it a bit more life by sampling one of the colors from the lantern in the banner. The fill color behind the text will always remain white for ease of reading, though.
  4. Restrained column width
    I got tired of seeing how different monitor resolutions affected the layout of my site, so I restricted it. Typepad has very minimal options in this area, though. So I went for the widest I could find which was 500 pixels for the body and 200 for the sidebar. Actually, I could've gone 300 on the sidebar, but that makes the sidebar ridiculously wide.
  5. Sidebar changes
    Most of the actual sidebar changes have been implemented incrementally throughout the last couple weeks. Reducing of music recommendations to two from three, reorganizing some of the search functions, switch to Blogroll from my manually maintained link list, a couple new badges, loss of post calendar, and feed switch to FeedBurner.
  6. Font change
    This may be completely unnoticeable for many, but I switched from Trebuchet to Lucida Grande. Not a big deal, really.
  7. Link color
    I sampled some of the blues in the banner to come up with the blue color in the links. It was tough to see at first so I greyed out some of the body text to make the links more identifiable. It may still be a bit difficult for some to see, but I don't mind it. Oh, and the mouseover orange color on the links is also a sample.

Okay, enough from me. Now I want to hear from you. What do you think? Be honest. I'm a big boy, I can handle it.

Lurkers! Come out and tell me what you think as well. All opinions are welcome.

Before I forget, I need to thank Katie, Karl, Kristin, and Johnny for their input on my preliminary designs.

Oh yeah, happy one year blogiversary to me!


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