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).


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.

I believe that we are gonna be friends...

Hey! I actually did it! I recorded another video podcast! It's been a year almost to the day, but The Damn Fool Network is alive! Alive, I tell you. Alive!

Actually, I made a commitment to myself to defeat this video editing roadblock that keeps holding me back. So, while the results of this little experiment in habañero pepper consumption may not be the most exciting, I was doing this more for the opportunity to play with recording, editing and use of titles and transitions. I want to do this more often as it should get easier with time. I hope so anyway.

Again, if I only had an iota of Marty's talent.

Be honest and let me know what you think about it...

The Damn Fool Network: Habanero Peppers from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

I received a note from the press people for the Chicago Public Library (CHIPUBLIB) asking if I'd be interested in helping them promote the CHIPUBLIB Sound Off competition.

CPLSoundOffLogo It's a really cool music competition for participants 14 years of age and over to develop their own original piece of music about or inspired by the City of Chicago. The competition is being judged by local music critics Chris Force of Alarm Magazine, Jessica Hopper of The Girls' Guide to Rocking and Kanye West's collaborative songwriter Che Smith, more commonly known as Rhymefest. Submissions are being accepted until September 27, 2009, and the grand prize winner will headline the CHIPUBLIB Sound Off Concert in October and receive a package of recording studio time.

How cool is that? If music (making) were my forte, I'd be all over this.

So if any of my Chicago-area readers are interested, head on over to the CHIPUBLIB and get a bit more information or check out what else is there.

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. ;-)


Okay, time for work. Adios!

Gave proof through the night...

Katie and I hope you all had a great Fourth of July (whether you observe the U.S. Independence Day or not). We had fun with Katie's brother and his girlfriend at the fireworks in St. Charles, IL. We were going to head up to the Wisconsin Dells, but the weather kinda battered down that plan. So we stuck around here and just did our normal thing. And we loved every second of it.

If you weren't able to see any fireworks of your own, here are a couple videos I captured on my Blackberry for you to enjoy. Surprisingly good quality for a phone-based video camera. I was impressed.

Pyrotechnic Uber Fun from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

Pyrotechnic Uber Fun, Finale from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

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.


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!

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.

But I ain't got wings...

I finally got off my butt and strung together the strands of video for that third of three Damn Fool Network posts that I recorded somewhere upwards of a month ago. It's a long one, I'll warn ya now. I don't even remember it taking this long to make the thing. Shame it didn't turn out. Oh, did I just ruin it? Hm, oh well.

The Damn Fool Network: Jello Pretzel Salad from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Katie and I have a fairly busy weekend in store for us. Lots of things to catch up on and places to go/people to see. And yet, if I had the chance, I would totally drop everything to go to Flugtag tomorrow. Is that wrong?

Who wouldn't want to see homemade flying machines crashing down into Lake Michigan?

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 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..." »

And I'm free...

Yay for Vimeo!

The Damn Fool Network: Pizza from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Let's try a little social experiment, shall we?

I'm going to tell you -- nay, I'm going to insist emphatically -- that you not look at Avitable's post for today as it will burn your retinas beyond the point of recovery. How many of you will listen and how many of you will click through out of sheer morbid curiosity?

Last chance.

Av, can you check your stats on this one for me? My eyes still hurt. Thanks.

It's got nothin' to do with Mexican food...

Actually, it's got everything to do with Mexican food. But I just love the theme song from Marzipan Taco (I only wish the guys would record a new podcast finally) and decided to steal it here. Sue me. No wait, don't.

But hey, I promised, and technology played nice, so... welcome to the debut episode of The Damn Fool Network! Yes, the audio and video are a bit out of sync. Seems like the camera likes to add a bit of delay when it shows my face, but seems to work fine when it's not my face on screen. So what does that tell ya? Hell if I know.

Anyway, enjoy!

The Damn Fool Network: Guacamole from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): My buddy madirishman (as you've seen him in the comments on my posts) asked if I could help promote a new Facebook group he created. It's called the "Worldwide Irish Pub Crawl" and what he wants members to do is post pictures of some of their favorite Irish pubs the world over. Places where they are proud to gullet the Guinness. I'm a member (actually, I'm an officer) and AmyD has joined as well. This sort of thing could be cool for people who love to eat and drink in Irish pubs and are looking for new places to visit when they're out of town.

So c'mon by, join, and post away.

The bombs bursting in air...

Happy U.S. Independence Day, y'all! And happy blogiversary to John.

Sorry this is so late, but I wanted to give you some fireworks videos. It almost came a day later than I had planned because YouTube is taking forever to process these little two minute videos. Go fig. Still and all the same, though, enjoy!



We love St. Charles' fireworks!

The sound of silence...

Video blog post #2 has come to fruition!!

Okay, before any of you continue, I want to say that you have to watch this with sound. If you don't have sound where you're at right now, wait until you have a computer with speakers. It will be ruined if you do not have sound and just watch the video now. SJ, this means you. Especially since this is your video post!

I also must apologize for the slight delay between video and audio. There is a bit of, well, something akin to the old mousetrails effect where the video drags a bit. I was mucking with settings on the camera and forgot to reset them. However, since I managed to do all this in one take, I wasn't going to go back and re-record it. I won't mess with unscripted perfection. Oh, I am using "perfection" very loosely. It's highly relative. Relative to my first video, which, as you recall, underwent 20-something takes.

This video is much longer than the first. About 10 and a half minutes total.

If you don't have a sense of humor, well, that's not my problem...



Video killed the radio star...

Oh, how could I not use that song as the title for this post?

I did it. I finally did it. I created my first video post. I'm not sure of the quality (audio, video, or content for that matter). In fact, the only thing I will guarantee is that it will not be the most exciting video you've ever seen on YouTube.

And does anyone know how I can easily control sibilance on an eyeball camera with an integrated mic? I sound like freakin' Cobra Commander.