14 posts from September 2009

Mother, tell your children not to walk my way...

I knew I wanted to use that lyric for this post but I wanted to get it right so I Googled it. I was so damn convinced it was The Cult. But it's Danzig. How the hell did I mix that one up? Oh well, on with Snippet Wednesday, anywho.

Ack! New Foo Fighters!! NEW FOO FIGHTERS!!! NEW FOO FIGHTERS!!!!

(iTunes | Amazon)

Did I get the idea across that I'm excited? Really? You didn't feel it? Lemme try again...


No, I won't go so far as blinking text. Not even for the Foo Fighters. Sorry.

The other day, while shopping for decade-related costumes for Katie to wear to school in their weeklong celebration of the school's 50th anniversary, we came across a Mother Love Bone T-shirt. Of course we bought it and she wore it on Monday. But it got me a bit wistful for the band and I've subsequently been going a bit nuts listening to their music as well as reading about them and their late lead singer, Andrew Wood. I discovered that there was a documentary made about his life called Malfunkshun, after the name of the band he fronted prior to MLB, and I tried to find it on Netflix. They clearly didn't have it as this mixed bag of search results would indicate.


But seriously, a cult horror film followed by an NC17-rated steamy, dark, cerebral romance about a kid's forbidden desire for his mom, and then... Mulan? A Disney flick. Family animation. I can just see some kid putting Ma Mere in their queue as a mother's day tribute.

I'm sure all of you already think I'm a music addict ("whore" might be more appropriate). But just to confirm the theory, my iTunes account is now showing that I have...


Yes, 10,794 songs that clock in at 29 days, 12 hours, 51 minutes, and 13 seconds (including the copy of Danzig's "Mother" that I just picked up because I felt so guilty). I can listen for nearly a month without hearing the same song twice (unless you're talking February; I so rock that month, even on leap years). Yeah, my name is kapgar and I'm a music junkie.

Katie and I are actually going to try watching The Amazing Race again after giving it up for about two or three years. We kinda miss it. But the problem is that CBS, the network that airs TAR, always seems to have something programmed during the day on Sundays that bumps the start time of everything else after it, including TAR. So I get severely annoyed having to open my TiVo viewing of something we want to watch by seeing snippets of crap we don't want to watch in the form of 60 Minutes, a show that I feel has absolutely no newsworthiness or cultural significance at all. Why is that show still on the air? Somebody please pull the plug already.

Why is part of me morbidly fascinated about the pending release of Sarah Palin's memoirs, Going Rogue: An American Life? Am I doomed to damnation if I read it? Could my damnation be any worse than it already is having forced myself to read an Ann Coulter book as I did a few years back?

Funny thing... I couldn't remember Coulter's name for whatever reason. So I Googled "conservative freakshow blonde pundit" and, lo and behold, a link to a CBS news page about her shows up first in the results. 

I'm off too work. Enjoy!

And I was worried for my hair...

I finally did it. I finally signed up. I bit the bullet, mustered up my courage, and just did it.

What now, you might ask.


I signed up to participate in a St. Baldrick's fundraising event

For those of you who haven't heard of it, St. Baldrick's is an organization that raises funds for childhood cancer research by hosting shave-a-thons. During these events, people can volunteer to help organize, be barbers, or, like me, volunteer to raise funds by having their heads shaved.

You wouldn't think that it would be that big a deal for someone like me who already has a really receded hairline to go ahead and do this. But it kinda is. It's like saying goodbye. My last vestige of head covering save for a hat. 

But it's a long time coming. Why even bother anymore? I may as well take it all off (hair, not clothing) and do it for a good cause.

And while most of these St. Baldrick's events typically take place around St. Patrick's Day, I decided to sign up for this one instead. Smaller scale, off time, and I'm hoping to be able to help as research to fight childhood cancer is a year-round deal, so why not try to raise funds year-round

So, on October 14, the day after our eighth anniversary, my head will be clearcut. And Katie will be there to take pictures or video or both of poor, pathetic me crying it all away.

I'm hoping some of you might be willing to help. I hate asking for money. I really do. But it's for a great cause to help fight a disease that has affected me in a personal way, having lost a friend to cancer. If you can't donate money, believe you me, I understand. These aren't easy times, economically speaking. However, you can also help by finding an event in your area and volunteering to help organize or maybe be a shaver/shavee on your own.  


For anyone who is visiting my site, I'm leaving this post pinned to the top of my homepage until after the event to make it easier to find. 

So give me coffee and TV...

Robin, Dave, and Adam (and perhaps others that I've forgotten to list) have done it, so why not? Here is our list of Big-5 network TV shows we're watching this fall broken down into several categories. 

For the record, "our" and "we're" refers to "Katie and me," not some split-personalitied version of myself.

Returning Shows We'll Keep Watching

  • How I Met Your Mother - SUIT UP!
  • Big Bang Theory - You have no idea how much we love this show.
  • The Office - This one, too.
  • 30 Rock - We were late starters with this show, but it's a lot of fun.
  • Gary Unmarried - We were both surprised by how much we enjoyed this show. 
  • Criminal Minds - One of the few crime dramas we actually like.
  • Castle - Crap! I can't believe I forgot to list this the first time through. Thanks Odie! You just can't go wrong with Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic is a great foil to his behavior.
  • Brothers & Sisters - This one is actually a Katie show only. She loves it.
  • Dexter - This is my show and I will find a way to watch it. Even without premium cable.
  • Private Practice - Katie's more into this than I am and considering how much I like a lot of the cast members otherwise (Kate Walsh, Tim Daly, Taye Diggs), that's really surprising. But we'll keep going.

Returning Shows That Are On the Fence

  • Grey's Anatomy - We were going to quit this show, but I was pretty impressed with the finale from last season and want to see how things wrap up. It may not last, though.
  • NUMB3RS - It's just getting a little uneventful and we don't care much for the newer cast members added over the last couple seasons.
  • Parks and Recreation - We didn't like the first season, but, it could prove to be a slow starter like The Office and it's from the same creators.
  • New Adventures of Old Christine - This show is painful because Julia Louis-Dreyfus is annoying as hell, but the supporting cast is a lot of fun.

New Shows We'll Give a Shot
I did mention at one point about how there wasn't much Katie and I were looking forward to in the new season, but we've decided to give a shot to a few shows anyway. Let's see how it goes.

  • Community - So far it's not boding too well. The first ep was almost painful.
  • Vampire Diaries - It's not that good so it may not last, but it's got Ian Somerhalder playing a rather cool and self-assured vampire and, as Katie says, it's better than Twilight (the movie; she loves the books).
  • Modern Family - We've watched the first episode. We're giving it one or two more episodes, tops. 
  • Cougar Town - These expectations are so rock bottom that I'm not even sure why we're bothering.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles - We like LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell, plus we watched some of the original series in syndication recently, so we'll give it a chance.
  • V - This one will likely be all me as well. And I'm very tentative about it. May not last long.

Big Ol' Hell Nos

  • 90210/Melrose Place - Not a chance in hell.
  • Fringe - I gave it a chance last season and got bored. C'est la vie.
  • Eastwick - A series based on The Witches of Eastwick? Yeah... no.
  • The Mentalist - While I'm over the fact that the concept was stolen from Psych (yeah yeah argue all you want about how much different it may be, whatever), I just can't get over my dislike of Simon Baker. The dude just oozes smarm and I get bad vibes from him. To the degree where I just don't like seeing him.
  • Trauma - Yawn.
  • Mercy - Yawn.
  • Three Rivers - Yawn. So burned on medical dramas.
  • Ugly Betty - So done with this show. The character of Betty has become everything she once battled against. And it used to be so good.
  • And there are so many more, but I just don't want to get into them all.

Bear in mind, this list does not include any midseason starters like 24, Chuck, and Flashpoint. Nor does it include non-standard-season cable shows like Psych, Mad Men, Burn Notice, My Boys, and Royal Pains, among others.

The Kapgar Reading Initiative seems to be working. Slowly, but it's working. 

I have two new books that I'm really looking forward to reading:

Essays Harmonica

And I'm currently almost halfway through this book:


And I need to write a review of this book that I finished over the weekend:


Added together with the other three books I've read and reviewed in the last couple months and I'd say that's pretty good, right? Well, better than the nil reading I was doing before that anyway.

We hear he is a wonderful wiz...

Hollow it out, pack it in tight, light 'em up, and take a long drag on Snippet Wednesday.

I was reading a post on Kevin Spencer's blog about his iPod crapping out and how he suddenly became very aware of how dependent he is on his iPod on a daily basis. I completely agree with him except I never needed my iPod crapping out to tell me that. I'm fully aware of my overdependence on this little electronic gem. I listen to it on my commute to work and nearly all day during work. I use it when I work out and anywhere else I drive and sometimes just when I have a free moment and need a music fix. I would be so lost without my iPod. Is that sad?

I wasn't going to talk about the new Pearl Jam album, Backspacer, and how much I'm enjoying it so far (probably my favorite album of theirs since Vitalogy), but then I read this review on Chicagoist and realized how nicely it summed up my feelings and decided to share it with you. So here you go.

After all that to-do yesterday with regard to NCIS: Los Angeles, what do I do? I forget to set the TiVo for last night's premiere episode. Oh well. Guess we'll be starting with episode two as I see no replay of the first episode in the immediate future. Stupid me.

Embryonic I totally want to preorder the new Flaming Lips album, Embryonic, from their Web site. Not that I actually expect to get either the autographed litho or win the tickets for the New Year's Eve show (although either would be damn cool), I'm in it for the dead Muppet CD case! Tell me that's not cool. Okay, there are a lot of reasons I really want this set, like the DVD/CD and the litho, but that is some damn unique packaging. Oh and if one of you, as a result of seeing this snippet, orders the set and wins something, I'd better get a cut of it. If it's the litho, be creative. 

Tonight, Katie and I are off to see the wizard. Yep, the wonderful Wizard of Oz. It turns out that a local theater is showing it and hopefully there are still tickets left. With my luck, there won't be. But we shall see. That would be a cool flick to see on the big screen.

Yep, it's all sold out. Go fig.

Heart cooks brain...

I have become "The Ambassador of Din Din." More specifically, Katie's din din. Oh, and "din din" would be "dinner," not "loud, raucous noise" although I'm sure I could be quite capable of the latter given a chance.

I'm not very self-assured when it comes to cooking. I try it, but I always fear it sucks. And it has a lot to do with the fact that I have very little ability to combine flavors. I know what smells good (although I cannot identify it for the life of me) but I'm not sure if this good smell works with that good smell. 

I guess you have to think of it in terms of clothing. I can buy an individual article of clothing that looks pretty good. I have relatively decent taste in that regard. But ask me to make an outfit out of that piece of clothing with everything else that a guy needs to wear to keep from being arrested for indecent exposure and, well, that's where I need help.

Apply this principle to cooking. I feel I'm okay at making individual dishes. I help Katie pretty well on a course-by-course basis at Thanksgiving. But I need to rely on her for the overall planning. What food goes well with what food, that sort of thing. If left to my own devices, I might have hot dogs with lime-and-cilantro orzo, tater tots, and a side of fruit cup. Ick, right? Individually, nothing really wrong with any of them. Together, they're a gastrointestinal disaster in the making.

Somehow, though, I pulled it together last night. Not sure how, but I made it work. Katie had one of her infamous long days of work and I took it upon myself to cook as I've done a lot lately (good practice). So, intertwined with doing laundry, ironing shirts, and watching Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, I threw together a meal of roasted pork tenderloin with an Italian glaze (thank you, Betty Crocker), green beans, and a long grain wild rice blend. Oh yeah, and throw some Vidal Blanc in the mix as well. It was really the rice I was worried about most, but Katie said it worked. She went back for seconds. That's good, right?


Did I mention that Katie made dessert? She poured a couple glasses of milk and grabbed a pair of Little Debbie football-shaped brownies. She actually hiked one to me like a professional center might. She bent over and pretended to give a snap count and, just as I was thinking there's no way she would actually do this, she fired it at me and nailed me in the thigh. So much for cat-like quarterback reflexes, eh? I was a lineman in high school. What do I care?

As I laughed at her "ball" hiking skills, she asked me, "you're blogging this, aren't you?"

Damn right.

If a reviewer were to compare a new show that you're looking forward to watching (in this case, NCIS: Los Angeles) to "little more than an updated version of 'The A-Team'," would you worry or take that as a compliment?

As a child of the 80s who loved The A-Team, I could see that as a good thing. But, then again, I've watched a few episodes of The A-Team in recent years and they don't really hold up so well anymore.

I'm torn.

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.


Help... not just anybody...

Relieffordads I found this ad on Facebook today.

It disturbs me for a few reasons.

One, why is it that only dads can take advantage of this debt-relief program? No moms? No childless guys? What exactly is involved here? Will they be selling their kids into child slavery behind their wives' backs?

Two, I could be wrong, but in that image I see long blonde hair, a pregnant belly, and boobies. How does this image depict dads in debt? Or is it meant to imply that all men are in debt because of women and pregnancy? Are they claiming women are the root of all evil including excessive levels of debt? That's a bold statement.

Three, what exactly is this woman doing in the picture? It would appear she is sitting/standing in the glow of a TV, but otherwise, what is this image depicting? Looks like her hands are doing an Al Bundy with the waistband of her pants. Is there porn involved in this deal?

So many questions...

Once in a while, I love scrolling through the Chicago Tribune's "Mugs in the News" section. You find a great random sampling of life there.

For example, here's a guy who was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery. Well if you were near a dude looking this sullen who was wearing a shirt that says "Most of the people that drive me nuts are in my family" and you didn't treat it a sign of things to come, well, you probably deserved it anyway...


This girl is actually pretty cute and looks happy to be there getting her mugshot taken. Prison fetish, I'd suspect.


I was going to ask why this guy looks so damn happy after being arrested and booked, but I think we all know why, don't we?


I have no words.


And oh so many more!

He's the world's biggest...

Fasten your seat belt, if you can (more on that later), 'tis Snippet Wednesday!

For any of you reading this or any of my posts in the Notes section of Facebook, you might have noticed how I talk about photo albums or videos that don't seem to be there. This is a quirk of the Notes application. It imports text with some degree of efficacy (minus some formatting) and the occasional embedded image. But photo galleries or videos? Nuh uh. I recommend you all just click on over here to www.kapgar.com to view these posts in all their gory glory.

Here are some pictures I took recently in and around Union Station in Chicago for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

The reason I was downtown and able to take those pictures last week was because I was going to that showing of Million Dollar Quartet where I was going to get my copy of The Last Starfighter signed by Johnny Cash/Lance Guest. Well, here's what my cover looked like prior to the signing...


Wanna know what it looks like now? Exactly the same. Turns out after going all gaga for the showing, Lance Guest wasn't in the cast that night. Actually, he's out of town for a few weeks and they expect him to rejoin, they just don't know when. 

Damn you, Alex Rogan! You owe me a signature!

I can honestly say, there are few things in life I hate buying more than replacement cartridges for our printer. I dread this deed simply because they cost so damn much and rarely last long at all. I'd go to those refill places, but the one or two times I've tried refilled cartridges, they didn't work well at all and did a number on my printer. This may have changed in recent years, though. Any experiences positive or negative?

As I was driving out to pick up the printer cartridges last night at OfficeMax, I discovered that the button on my seat belt buckle was coming loose. The seat belt still works, but it sometimes takes a little fiddling. Thank you to the guy at Advance Auto Parts, though, who told me about a local junkyard that has what effectively amounts to a freeform Saturday. I just drive in, find what I need, grab it, and pay about half price off the normal junkyard costs. He told me he redid the entire interior of an SUV for about $50. Guess where I'll be on Saturday?

Am I the only person who applauds President Obama for calling Kanye West a jackass? Regardless of whether it was off record or not and whether it was appropriate or not, it needed to be said and by someone from whom the message would actually bear some weight. Hey, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and steals the spotlight from a VMA winner like a duck...

Well, time for work. Adieu.

The birds will still be singing...

I have a confession to make, after a few months trying to transform into a runner, I crashed. I crashed hard. No, not a literal accident. Just the figurative "wall" that runners tend to hit. But it still hurt bad.

There was a while there that I was doing pretty good. Constantly attempting to increase the distance that I was running. At one point, I actually hit five miles. For the first time since the summer after my freshman year of college, I ran five miles straight.

Since that day, I have not run more than a mile and a half again.

Physically, I'm not entirely sure why it happened, but it did. Any time I attempted to run, I got winded way too quickly or my body just couldn't move. That so-called "groove" I had during the monster run just would not come back. 

Mentally, I saw myself getting worse. I watched (or read) as people I knew were running longer and longer distances at shorter and shorter times. I kept thinking "Why not me? Seriously, why the fuck not me?"

As a result, I got frustrated and I ran less and less. I think I got stuck in the whole "you lost the race" mindset and gave up. I still worked out, but not nearly as much and running was a once or, maybe, twice-a-week thing I would do that did nothing more than bum me out even more.

Yesterday, though, my brain had a breakthrough. After giving away an hour and a half of my life to Guitar Hero III (yes, I still enjoy playing that one solely because of the mix of songs on it), I decided I just needed to go out and run. 

Screw how long I go. 

Screw how far I go. 

I just needed to go.

And I did.

I'm not sure how long. I'm not sure how far. I don't know how it compares to those of you who are runners... and I don't care. I just know that it was more than I've run in months. And it felt good. And I need to capitalize on this feeling. 

Screw medals.

Screw finish lines.

Screw mentally competing with all the people I know who are runners.

I need to do this for me.

I need to do this for my health.

I need to do this for Katie.

I need to do this for our future family (no, that's not a veiled announcement).

So, nothing personal against those of you who are competitively running. I'm happy for you and I wish you all the best. But I need to stop paying attention to what you say and write about. I need to stop gauging my success on how I compare to your efforts. That's the wrong way to live. 

I need to do this for me. My own rules. My own standards. 

And I need to just be happy that I'm doing something. Something that, hopefully, will result in a longer and happier and healthier life.

Life is just too damn short to worry about keeping up with everyone around me.

On a lighter note. I found this gem of a video via Google Reader. 

A musician named Jarbas Agnelli found a picture of birds perched on a series of five suspended cables as birds are wont to do. But instead of just disregarding the image, he and his musical mind decided to see if there was any compositional value to how the birds were sitting.

Check out what he discovered. It's pretty amazing, really.

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.

Originally posted at Superhero Journal. Well, that's where I found it, anyway. Via Google Reader.

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.

Walk away and taste the pain...

But don't come again some other day or you'll miss Snippet Wednesday!

The big ol' honkin' special edition "Beet Box" set of season five of The Office came out yesterday at Best Buy and I gotta say there's one thing that pisses me off... the whole reason I got it was the T-shirt that was included that says Schrute Farms Beets. Great shirt but it only came in large. That's too big for Katie and too small for me. Why oh why didn't NBC Universal just include a certificate with the set so you could go online and order one in the size you want? That would make so much more sense. Sure you'd have to pay shipping (if they want to be dicks like that) but you get what you want. At least my beet-shaped stress ball is in the right size.

Tomorrow I'm heading into the city with my brother and SiL (Katie can't make it due to work) to see Million Dollar Quartet again. It will be cool to see it and hopefully we'll have most of the same cast members as the last time. The reason why is because there is a Q&A afterward with the cast. I'm hoping this means we can get some signatures because I just bought my 25th anniversary remastered The Last Starfighter and I would really like it signed by Alex Rogan/Johnny Cash/Lance Guest. Cross your fingers for me.


If any of you have been following my Tweets then you know that I've been daring myself to eat several of the peppers I've been growing. Whole. Untainted by being mixed with anything else. And yesterday a coworker and I both ate habañeros and I video'd it. I'm still playing with the video trying to figure out edits and captions and transitions and the like but it will be posted soon. I will beat this bitch known as video editing and hopefully get back to making video posts on a semi-regular basis. They are fun when they don't piss me off.

Yesterday I looked and saw that nearly 20% of the music in my iTunes was loaded on my computer this year. Holy crap! That's nearly 20 GB of music just this year and it isn't even over! Oh I knew this Time Capsule was going to be both a blessing and a curse. Mostly a blessing though!

The fall TV season is upon us. Are there any new shows that have piqued your interest? Sadly there are very few for us. We're going to give Accidentally on Purpose a shot since we're both fans of Jenna Elfman from her Dharma & Greg days. But we're not holding out much hope for it. And then there's Community. Hard to go wrong with Joel McHale and Chevy Chase. Or I hope it's hard to go wrong anyway. Finally there's NCIS: Los Angeles. We've watched NCIS on occasion in reruns and like it but have never committed to it. Just too much to catch up on. Hopefully starting this from the beginning will make up for it somewhat.

I can't believe I went a whole post without typing any commas. Not that I didn't need them. I just opted not to. Meh. Screw commas. Overrated little pieces of punctuation. Maybe next time I'll shoot for no periods or paragraph breaks and just turn my whole blog into a James Frey novel.

Time for workity work workin' workers.

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.


Somebody else's body, someone else's head...

I swear I must be the only person in the history of the working world who doesn't pay attention to when federal holidays are happening.

This past Monday at work, everyone was discussing their plans for the upcoming long weekend.

How did I respond? "Long weekend? Huh?"

Hey dumbass, Labor Day is this coming Monday, we have a three-day weekend.

I'm really bad like this. It must be a disease. If people didn't tell me, I'd probably show up at work anyway. Labor Day, Memorial Day, Veterans' Day, and a few others, I'm sure. Heck I'd likely even show up on Thanksgiving despite the sweet smell of food cooking in our kitchen. That's how dense I am to these things.

Aren't we all supposed to be programmed to think of nothing but holidays? What's wrong with me?

I just got final word that I've been accepted into a local citizen's fire academy. No, I'm not becoming a firefighter despite my lifelong obsession with being one. I'm just going through an eight-week academy where residents get to learn about the stuff that firefighters do.

Oh, but we do go through variations of the actual training and situations that firefighters face and we get to wear the gear and go running into a live-fire drill. How sweet is that?

I'm hoping I can get some pictures if the circumstances allow (not while in the fire, obviously... Kapgar Flambé... bad form).

Here come the story of the hurricane...

I feel like the floor of a taxicab. Hmm, must be Snippet Wednesday!

I finaly got my new earbuds and I did wind up getting the Bose in-ear buds again. Turns out those of you, including Katie, who said to talk to Bose were absolutely right. They actually do have a replacement program. Turn in your old ones and get a new pair for half price. Sure, this half price is still more than I was looking to spend, but Katie even said I use them religiously and we know we like them, so I might as well. Can I tell you how nice it is to have bass again in my music?

And what better to listen to with my new earbuds than the new double album, Before the Frost... Until the Freeze, by one of my longtime faves, The Black Crowes. Glad to see they came back from their hiatus. I only hope the Foo Fighters do the same.

Not only can I see parents doing this, it's really not a half-bad idea. Funny though it may be. And when The Onion, in an attempt at lampooning morning "news" shows, does a better job than the shows themselves, you know something is wrong. Or maybe it's right. Hmmm...

Facebook, Twitter Revolutionizing How Parents Stalk Their College-Aged Kids

Reevesuperman The idea that somebody would pick Spider-Man 2 over Superman in a head-to-head superhero poll just floors me. Please avert this travesty of superheroic injustice by visiting Cinematical and changing things before it's too late! (I agree with all the other results so far, though).

Yeah bitches! I'm a hurricane this year and I'm bearing down on Mexico! Rock on!

Check that. I've been downgraded to a tropical depression. I guess I pussed out. Talk about depression. I was so excited when I saw the name "Hurricane Kevin" on the Google Earth hurricane tracker. This blows, but apparently not enough.

Somehow I don't see that a subject line of "Jerry plays fetch with himself" on a spam e-mail message is really going to make me want to open it. Just so many things about that I'm much better off not knowing.

And it's time to head on out into the void.