Archive for March 10th, 2009

The Captain Pays Homage

A few weeks ago I gave a shout out to my buddy Mike for his impending attainment of Captain’s status.  This is a great honor; I take being a Captain quite serious.

This got me to thinking about other Captains that have inspired me over the years.  While there were a few actual Captains, like Mike, that have inspired me I unsurprisingly realized that the majority of Captains I admire are fictitious creations, like me.

I managed to narrow my favorite Captains down to a Top 5 list for the viewing pleasure of my loyal readers here at the Quarters.  Enjoy!

Top 5 Fictional Captains That Inspire Me

1.  Captain Kangaroo

When I was a kid I tuned in faithfully every week for the wacky hi-jinks of Captain Kangaroo.  The Captain, along with Mister Rogers and Sesame Street, made up the holy trifecta of PBS kids shows on channel 9.

Truth be told, my favorite was always Sesame Street.  But there was always something about the Captain I was drawn to; he made me excited and nervous at the same time.  Even as a child I could tell there was something not quite right with Captain Kangaroo.  Maybe it was the bushy eyebrows, the bright red suit, the bowl-cut-moustache combo, or perhaps his crazy smile.

Whatever it was, it gave Captain Kangaroo an edge that most kids shows didn’t possess.  Just look how wild and slightly scary he looks next to Mr. Rogers.1

Captain Kangaroo was a weird guy, but I was the kind of kid that really appreciated weirdoes.  My childhood idols were known for being strange: Steve Martin, Gonzo, Cyndi Lauper, Duckie, etc.  As a Captain that is known for being odd, I have to give props to the original.  Captain Kangaroo, you’re the craziest!2

2.  Captain Hook

When I was really young, I had the same affinity for heroes that most boys my age shared.  As I got a bit older, I began gravitating more towards villains.  Luke Skywalker became boring compared to a complicated guy like Darth Vader.  Nowhere was this more evident than in Peter Pan.

For most of my formative years I found the Disney version of Peter Pan pretty dull.  Peter always seemed like the know-it-all cool kid that made fun of weirdoes like me.  Characters that always win are boring.

Eventually I was drawn into the story through bumbling protagonist, Captain Hook.  Here was a guy that I could relate to.  He had problems.  He was obsessed with trivial things.  He was scared of crocodiles.  He had the best song in the movie.  Years later I discovered that the Captain Hook in the original novel is even better, much more mean and vile.  My kinda guy.

To this day I still prefer Villains to Heroes.  I still love Captain Hook, and I’m happy to report that my nephew shares my enthusiasm.  Before Ben could speak in complete sentences, he was known for chasing the cat around his house with a plastic sword yelling “I Hook!”

I paid Captain Hook tribute back in 2005.  He was and still is the best Halloween costume I’ve ever worn.

3.  Captain Caveman

I never really watched this show when I was a kid.  However, thanks to a late-nite slot on Cartoon Network I caught it on a semi-regular basis in college.

There was a lot to love about the show.  The plot featured a hairy protagonist who hangs out with three hot chicks and randomly goes crazy and loudly yells his name.  What’s not to like?

Actually, this show sums up my last few years of college rather nicely.  I had rather long hair, I frequently did crazy things, and yet I was inexplicably surrounded by beautiful women all the time.

Thankfully I have moved past my Caveman days from college.  But I still love that crazy little hairy bastard.  Captain Caavveemmaannnnnnn!!!

4.  Captain Morgan

Speaking of things I loved in college…

I started a long courtship with Captain Morgan back in college that has only recently tapered off.  Here’s a Captain that knows how to get the party started.  I got to hang with him at Mardi Gras and he’s the best!  He’s cool, has a great smile, and looks great with his leg propped up on anything.  Plus, he espouses the virtues of the magic elixirs known as dark and light Rum.

Rum is such an easy alcohol to love.  It’s high on alcohol content and light on taste.  Captain Morgan mixed with Cola is damn near impossible to resist.  For years I was able to convince myself that by drinking Captain Morgan and Diet Coke I was somehow making a “healthy” choice.  Because we all know that getting shitty-drunk on rum is an important part of living an fit and active lifestyle.

My sister is still a big rum drinker, but she prefers low-quality nemesis of Captain Morgan.

This is nothing new.  Cathie has always seemed to naturally select the opposite of whatever I choose.  Earlier this week I caught Cathie partying with Admiral Nelson before the Cardinals game.

We both ended up with a little Admiral Nelson in us before heading to Busch Stadium Tuesday nite.  It caused us to go a bit wild as was witnessed by our merciless heckling of Pirates right fielder Eric Henske3, and by unfortunate pictures such as this.

Let that be a lesson to everyone.  Say no to the Admiral and yes to the Captain!

5.  Captain Stubing

I have never claimed to enjoy The Love Boat.  The entire series was just a bit too campy and 70s for me.  It was the celebrity reality show of the 70s, where washed out Stars would go to make guest appearances.  The only episode I ever remember liking was the one where Andy Warhol was the guest star.

With that being said, I did enjoy two of the characters immensely:  Isaac the Bartender and Captain Stubing (Your Captain!)

That Captain Stubing was all man, especially when compared to the rest of the idiots running around that mobile orgy.  The Love Boat was one big party, and Stubing was the man in charge.  Who could possibly argue with this?

Over the last few years, I have often found myself taking over the roll of Captain Stubing with many of my friends and associates.  It seems that everyone is usually looking for fun activity (something exciting and new, if you will…) yet no one wants to be in charge.  I began volunteering to a plan activities in college and noticed that I have natural ease in this capacity.

This was especially true when I began boating in Florida.  During my time in the Sunshine State I took my job as Captain quite seriously.  And I still do now, even though I’m land-locked back in Missouri.  Being a Captain requires true grit.  Luckily Mike and I are chocked full of it!

Ciao,

The Captain

1  In retrospect, Mr. Rogers had a mailman named Mr. McFeely.  That’s super creepy!  Definitely the scariest thing ever on a kids show.

2  I take that back.  Making a coffee table out of candle wax, that’s definitely the craziest!

3  Hey Henske, YOU SUCK!!!

The Captain Enjoys The Amenities

So I’m back in freakishly warm St. Louis after an interesting week in Chicago.  What ended up being interesting about the trip was had more to do with what I didn’t do than what I did.

Years ago when I used to travel frequently on business, I usually tried to get out and see the sights during my down time, i.e. Niagara Falls, Yellowstone Park, the Grand Canyon.  My feeling at the time was, what’s the point of traveling if you don’t get out.  And while those trips were quite memorable, they weren’t always enjoyable.

This thought was on my mind my even before I left for Chicago.  I did an internet search of all the fun things that Chicago has to offer for the first week of March, and I came up blank.  All of the exhibits at the various museums closed early, there were no good concerts in town except for the ultra-expensive Fleetwood Mac show, and the only sporting event was the Bulls v. the Golden State Warriors.

I decided that this trip I would simply enjoy my surroundings in whatever capacity I could.  This proved challenging for the first few days since the temperature didn’t get above freezing.  So instead of braving the cold I decided to enjoy the amenities of the Renaissance Hotel.  I used their nice workout room, took a couple of dips in the hot tub and pool, and ordered some deep dish pizza from a local place up the street.

By Thursday the weather took an unexpected turn towards warm, and I was actually able to get out in Chicago.  With no real plans in mind, I decided to go for a run along the Riverwalk.  What started as quick run turned into a two hour trek down Lake Michigan and back.

After a couple of miles it occurred to me that in addition to providing music, my iPhone could also provide some interesting pictures.  So I decided to try and snap pictures of myself as I was running up and down the lake.  The results were a mixed bag.

Some are actually decent action shots of me, like these in front of the lake and the planetarium.

In other shots I managed to capture the background scenery well, like these of the lake and the docks frozen over.

Most of the time I ended up looking exhausted or really out of it, like these by the Navy Pier and the Riverwalk.

But my favorites were the ones where I ended up slightly warped due to the wind, like this one of me on Northerly Island Park.

It was really strange to run in 70 degree weather next to a frozen lake, but it made the experience quite memorable nonetheless.  I had such a good time zoning out while looking at the interesting sites that I totally over-exerted myself.  I paid the price when I arrived back at the hotel.  As soon as I sat down my legs were on fire!

I was still sore for my return trip to St. Louis on Friday, but it was to be expected.  What I didn’t expect is to return home to a heat wave?!?  It was in the 80s when my plane touched down.

The freakishly warm weather really brought out the masses last weekend.  Downtown was already crowded due to the Missouri Valley Tournament at the Scottrade Center.  But something about warm weather in March really brought out the drunks, me included.

Dr. Chris was in town for an interview, which seemed like a good reason to get sloppy.  The only thing that was messier than sake bombs at the Drunken Fish

Was our ill advised trip to the east side.  Only sake would make me think going to Roxy’s was a good idea.

Now I am back home and ready to get back to my life.  Taking time to enjoy myself in Chicago and this weekend really made it easy for me to transition right back where I was before I left.

Ciao,

The Captain

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