Pointers of Self-Interest

Hi-de-ho, I just want to direct your attention to some other blogs I contribute to, ’cause interesting things are afoot there.


Tim and I have completed another month’s worth of found notes at A Blog Of Notes. I was honestly slacking this month, but Tim came through with some ridiculously awesome sounds. Tim has also just posted an excellent series of mixes of the April compile.

If you have the technology and inclination to look for musical notes in the world around you, Tim and I are always looking for sound geek contributors.


The lovely and talented night photographer Remi Thornton, who is also a contributor to my blog The Signage Of Negative Space, recently returned from a trip to Chicago, where he took some pics of signage here and here.

This was kinda neat, in that I had previously taken pictures of these same signs. It’s kind of cool to compare and contrast our pics, and see how much better a photo can look when someone like Remi is behind the camera! It’s definitely made me step up with my “A” game (which relatively speaking is more accurately called a “B-” game).

We’re at about 150 instances of negative space signage, but would love to get more geographical regions represented that I’m certain are oozing with negative space signage — the NYC/California area, large urban centers across the world, etc.


Who’s In Charge Here? continues to chug along. Our current band is Belle and Sebastian. Vote for the leader of the band, based on the photo I have included, but please be kind, they are sensitive folk.


That’s all the self-pimping I have for you today! Excelsior!

Dungeons And Databases

It’s been a couple months since I last provided you with an update as to my brother’s progress on World of Warcraft (WoW).

My brother has a little problem. He’s got a little something I’m going to call “organizational mania”. It’s probably more correctly identified as a strain of your garden-variety anal-retentiveness, but lemme just call it what I want to call it.

In WoW, one’s character (or as they say in WoW, “toon”) has lots of different body parts that can be festooned with gear, and a variety of weapons that can be wielded as well. For someone playing multiple toons, it can get rather confusing as to what toon is wearing what equipment.

When I was playing WoW’s predecessor Diablo II, I would occasionally scribble down some of the belongings of my various characters. This is not a valid approach for my brother.

So, enter a new Microsoft Access Database application called Toon!. My brother wrote Toon! to keep track of all his characters’ gear.

In my brother’s words:

I created it was so I could check to see if any new item that dropped would be an improvement in equipment on any of my characters. In order to complete the database I had to overcome the following challenges:

1. I needed to concatenate all modifications into one line because MS Access does not permit nesting sub forms.
2. I needed to be able to minimize the application window to use as little screen space as possible (allowing me to easily enter data while having the game running).
3. Also wanted a “nice to have”, that any new modification type encountered (strength, intelligence, attack power, etc.) would be automatically added to the modifications table.

Originally I was planning on using the report as a paper print-out and marking it up with updates, but I’ve since streamlined by making updates directly to the database. Still, the report is useful to have as an “at a glance” tool while playing.

So, please enjoy these screenshots of Toon!, a database application written by my crazy-organized brother.

Please note that in some of the thumbnails only a partial view of an application screen is displayed. Click on an image to view the app in its full screen glory.

Main screen (it’s more functional than fancy-looking)

Screen to add a new toon:

Screen to edit an existing toon (can update toon data and edit equipment carried or worn by toon):

Screen to edit an individual piece of equipment on a toon:

Report of all items worn by toon:

Appropriate Yet Obnoxious

I was meeting my brother for lunch the other today. He works in a skyscraper in downtown Chicago.

As I was in the elevator, I glanced at a smallish monitor on the wall. The monitor was displaying a mixture of weather, factoids and advertisements. The thing that stuck in my head was the name of the company providing this service:

Captivate Network

I thought, “Hmm, that corporate name is sort of cute, in a completely obnoxious way.”

They’re playing on the words “captive” and “captivate”.

First the definitions of each word, per the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Middle English, from Latin captivus, from captus, past participle of capere
14th century

1 a: taken and held as or as if a prisoner of war b (1): kept within bounds : confined (2): of or relating to captive animals
2: held under control of another but having the appearance of independence; especially : owned or controlled by another concern and operated for its needs rather than for an open market
3: being such involuntarily because of a situation that makes free choice or departure difficult ________________________________

transitive verb
circa 1555

1 archaic : seize, capture
2: to influence and dominate by some special charm, art, or trait and with an irresistible appeal

The name of this corporate entity is essentially a wink at the fact that its advertisements are directed at people who cannot go anywhere, who are essentially trapped, imprisoned, immobilized in a small box with nothing to look at. Or maybe the content on their monitors really does have “irresistible appeal”. But I’m not buying that.

From their website:

Day in and day out, Captivate gives you a one-of-a-kind opportunity to repeatedly reach your target audience during the business day. Our national network delivers more than 54.5 million monthly impressions to more than 2.5 million educated, motivated professionals in North America’s largest markets.

Because we deliver your message to a captive audience in a focused, distraction-free environment, we have an average ad recall rate that exceeds that of most other media. We’re memorable and measurable – and consistently generate strong, tangible results on behalf of our clients. When it comes to keeping your story top of mind with your target customer, Captivate takes your marketing efforts to new heights.

What’s that? You say *you* want the Captivate Network experience? *You* want to be bombarded with some impressions?

Here you go!

Attention: David Patrick Kelly

So, I bought two tickets to the Feelies’ July 1st show at the Hoboken, NJ bar Maxwell’s.

Both the July 1st and 2nd shows are sold out.

I was picking up the extra ticket for MizSplotchy. I had hoped my folks would have been able to babysit our three chilluns so we could jet up to Jersey for a couple days (they had been very gracious to take care of our kids during our trip to San Diego last fall).

Unfortunately, they have prior plans. Hey, I realize that’s a lot to ask of my folks, particularly with such short notice, but my desire to see the Feelies has blotted out my sensitivity to others’ schedules, emotions and plans.

Anyways, unless something unforeseen happens, chances are I’m going to be headed to Maxwell’s by myself. But, I will have an extra ticket that is already paid for.

David Patrick Kelly, my adopted actor, if you want to see a sold-out live show for the low cost of nothing, I have a ticket for you. I am serious. You don’t have to hang out with me or anything, just take the ticket with my compliments.

Hey, I’m not creepy or anything. I’m just a faceless person on the Internet offering you something. And what could go wrong with that?

Send me an email on the address listed on my profile if you are interested. I am fully licensed, bonded and insured to see concerts in the Tri-State area.




Well, it’s started. Casting for my movie! The script has four male leads, two of which are already cast. We had auditions at the Portage Park Center For The Arts on Saturday, for the two remaining roles.

We didn’t get a huge turnout (we advertised the fact that the roles would be non-paying, as this is a low-budget short film), but several people came in and read.

It was really neat having actors read the lines, and interact in a few of the scenes from the script. Some lines were delivered with an inflection that I hadn’t heard in my head. Some lines came out generally clunky, revealing possibilities of improvement for dialogue — you can think a line is natural-sounding, but if someone can’t say it naturally there’s a distinct possibility it’s the words that are the problem. In either situation, it was pretty cool, as I could see something on the written page growing into a more flesh-and-blood, breathing thing. It was like a 2-D shape suddenly becoming 3-D.

After a while, it was hard to judge the effectiveness of a performance. But I felt in the moment. I knew when there was a direction I wanted to go in a scene, and I did a reasonably good job (I think) of conveying my intent to the actors.

It’s really happening. The film is really going forward. It’s pretty exciting.

My next big hurdle is storyboarding, and working with my friend who is shooting the film to solve potential visual problems that arise (special effects shots, dialogue scenes in a moving car, etc.).

We have a couple more people auditioning on Thursday night. I’m looking forward to it.

Oh My Yes It’s Happening

When your favorite band last released some music in the early 90’s, it’s fair to say there’s not going to be lots of fresh news of the band pumping through the Internet capillaries on a daily basis.

The Feelies are my favorite band. The Feelies album The Good Earth has been my favorite album for almost twenty freaking years. If you’re curious, one of my Green Monkey Mixes, Speed It Up has two excellent cuts from The Feelies (one from The Good Earth, one from Crazy Rhythms).

I know it’s possible to set up Google Alerts, what have you, to keep yourself up-to-date with breaking news regarding a topic, but I have never felt the need to do such a thing. For whatever reason, today I decided to do a blog search on “Feelies”.

Holy crap. This photo was taken last month. The Feelies are back together. That’s the elusive Bill Million second from the right.

In my search I discovered that The Feelies are playing at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ on July 1st and 2nd (they’re also playing with Sonic Youth in Battery Park on the 4th).

I had promised myself that if the Feelies ever had a full-fledged reunion, I would travel from Chicago to see them. And that’s what I am going to do.

I bought two tickets online today. They went on sale on April 23rd. I checked later in the day and both shows were sold out.

Can you believe my luck? I happen to search for the Feelies, discover a full-fledged reunion, and buy tickets for that reunion before they sell out. Holy crap.

I’ll probably be flying into NYC or Newark on the 1st, and fly out on the 2nd. Hot damn tamale am I excited.

Feelies, take me away!

Where’s The Meme, Boy? Where’s It Hiding?

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               ooO Ooo