Archive for April, 2011

The Captain Was Shipwrecked For Two Weeks

Dammit Dammit Dammit!

So I was all ready to make this a big couple of weeks here at The Captains Quarters.  I had great big plans for several days worth of entries to celebrate my decade as The Captain.  I went to log in on Monday the 18th, and discovered that the ship wad wrecked.  And whatever caused it to crash was way more technical than I could grasp.  So I’ve spent the last two weeks working with the support team trying to get The Captains Quarters back up and running.  They were somewhat helpful, but mostly they just sent me links to DIY tutorials and said good luck.  Most of the problem was associated with an update to WordPress’ blogging tools, so they are now officially on my shitlist.  After numerous backups and reloads, I was finally successful in restoring the ship this morning.  But now we’re at the end of the month that I wanted to celebrate.  Dammit!

So what did I miss out on covering in the past two weeks?  Well, 3 anniversaries, a giant party, a Captains revival, and a tornado.  Yeah, it was a pretty bad time for the ship to go aground.  Since the ship was righted on a Friday, I guess I should pick back up where I left off.

Top 5 Things I Didn’t Get To Cover During The 2 Week Shipwreck

1.  My ten year anniversary as The Captain

My last post before the ship crashed was the story of how I became The Captain.  After the story had been told, I spent the following weekend celebrating my Captain anniversary.  I called most of my friends who were there to witness the beginning and chatted about old times.  And I hit the town with my hat in hand to live it up.  It was pretty festive affair; even Dan Fjord dressed up for the occasion.

I had a whole week of Captain posts already written in my head for the week of April 18-22.  But instead of typing them out I spent about an hour each day trying to fix The Captains Quarters.  At this point, it would feel kind of cheap to write about it ten days later, so I guess I’ll put it in my back pocket and wait for another time.

2.  The tenth anniversary of four-twenty weekend

The weekend that inspired my reign as The Captain celebrated its tenth anniversary this year, and I was MIA.  For those unfamiliar, the weekend of April 20, 2001 is probably one of the Top 5 weekends of my life.  The amount of good times and great stories spawned from this 4 day weekend is still quite impressive ten years later.  I have an elaborate narrative that I’m planning to write about this weekend, but once again I will wait for another day.  At this point, it seems apropos to wait until the 20th anniversary of four-twenty weekend to write about it.  But considering how fast technology advances these days, planning something ten years in the future seems willfully naïve.  So I’ll just mark this date as YTBD.

3.  My seven year anniversary with Meg

April 22nd was the seventh anniversary of my first date with Meg.  I’m so lucky to have spent that long with such a beautiful, classy woman.  See what I mean.

That’s her at Trattoria Marcella.  We went there on our first date seven years ago, and we usually go back to celebrate the occasion every year.  This year was significant for what the amount time represents.  This month marks the double point for us, meaning that we’ve now been married for 3½ years after dating for 3½ years.  It’s strange to think that those two periods of my life are the same length of time as of now.  

And oddly enough, the weather was terrible this year just like it was for our first date.  As we were leaving the restaurant after dinner to head to a friend’s birthday party, the sky opened up and walloped St. Louis.  How bad was it?  Well…

4.  Rachel’s 30th birthday party almost killed several friends

This is Rachel.

Unbeknownst to her, she invited most of her good friends to drive to downtown St. Louis through a tornado.   Lucky for us, we were already in South City when things started to go down.  Sensing an upcoming storm we clicked on the car radio and heard an announcement that a tornado had touched down in Maryland Heights and was headed east at 50 miles an hour.  I promptly put the pedal on the floor and headed east to try and beat the storm to our party downtown.  It actually paid off!  We made it with a few minutes to spare before the wall of rain hit the city.

When we arrived we discovered that about half the guests had beaten the storm like us, and the other half were MIA.  Seeing that the party was at a cool little chocolate shop downtown, it just meant more for candy for Meg!  After the storm passed the other half of the guests arrived and Rachel was able to fully enjoy her 30th birthday.  Here she is basking in our slightly drenched glow.

As I’m sure most of you know, tornados did hit a couple of places in St. Louis that nite.  But everyone we know was lucky enough to avoid any damage.  And considering what hit the South this week, we were very fortunate indeed.  It was a wild nite that pretty much wiped us out for the rest of the weekend.  And it was totally worth it.

5.  Captain Powers

Perhaps the most unfortunate part about shipwrecking The Captains Quarters was that I was unable to document Captain Powers continued domination.  It’s regrettable that the official mascot for my Captains anniversary was denied to you for a good chunk of the month that he was brought in to celebrate.  Granted, Captain Powers didn’t let the crash slow him down.  He still found time to rage on, and he even let me tag along when he went out.  Hippie Dave was almost destroyed by this powerful Captain combo.

And as news of Captain Powers spreads, more and more people are demanding to party with him.  As such, I am pleased to announce that Captain Powers will be sticking around for the near future so that many more may experience his might.  So now that The Captains Quarters is sailing again let this be a warning to all:  Captain Powers is here and no one is safe!!!

Ciao,

The Captain

The Captains Secret Origin

All month long I’ve been celebrating my decade as The Captain, as I’m sure you gathered. And while most people know me as The Captain by now, very few know how I became my alter ego. Back when it started in 2001, having an alias was pretty foreign to most people. Before social networking and cellphones were integral parts of society, it was a lot less common for people to have alter egos. Mine was created by a series of random events that I’ve spoken of but never written. So to mark my decade as The Captain I’m dedicating this week’s Friday 5 to the origin of Captain Raoul.

Top 5 Things Responsible For Creating The Captain

1. Hunter S. Thompson
It was back in my college days when I first became a fan of Hunter S. Thompson. Back in 1998 Brooklyn Scottie and I went to go see Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas on the film’s opening weekend. At 19 years old this was my first exposure to Hunter and I fell in love with him immediately. During that summer I promptly began devouring Hunter’s novels at a rapid pace. And while I could go on and on about my love of Hunter during my college years, I’ll focus on the part that is relevant to the Captain story.
Hunter’s novels were clearly autobiographical, but the main character was a Hunter stand-in named Raoul Duke. I loved this idea of an alter ego, someone who was created to live a wild life generally free of consequences. I had used various aliases in the past, but after absorbing Hunter’s work I began using Raoul Duke as my go to alias when signing things or making reservations1. I used Raoul as a casual alias for a few years until my last year of college when it became a full time alias thanks to…

2. The Growl
In 2001 I started appearing regularly on Missouri State’s online radio station, The Growl. Back then my buddy J. Fotsch was hosting the afternoon 3-5 show, titled “The Drugs Are Bad, Jenny Eat Something Drive At Five.2” Along with DJ Sackdaddy, I was a regular on the show for most of my final year in college. When I first started on the show, I went with Raoul Duke as the obvious choice for my on air moniker. After a few months on the show regular listeners on campus started referring to me as Raoul. It was the first time in my life that a nickname stuck to the point where people wouldn’t know my real name. This radio show laid the groundwork for me regularly going by an alias, but it would take an actual boat to fully create The Captain as an alter ego.

3. Poopdeck Tom’s lakehouse
Along the shore of Indian Lake in Missouri is where The Captain first began. During my fifth and final year of college I started taking weekend trips to my buddy Poopdeck Tom’s lakehouse on Indian Lake. Poopdeck Tom’s parents’ lakehouse had a lakeside dock in the backyard that featured a jet-ski, a pontoon boat and a bowrider. Our group of friends frequented the lakehouse quite a bit that year and did quite a bit of boating. It was amazing!
Right away I noticed that everyone liked going on boat rides, but hated piloting the watercraft. Driving a boat requires high levels of concentration and low levels of intoxication, which most of my friends were sorely lacking. At the time I had just gotten my Class C drivers license for a job as a shuttlebus driver on campus. I fancied myself a good driver, so I decided to learn how to pilot Poopdeck Tom’s boats. As it turned out, everyone was more than happy to kick back and let me do the driving. Eventually I had driven the boat so often that people began calling me Captain. The name never left the lakehouse with me, until the spring of 2001. That’s when one date changed everything.

4. 4:20:01
During the winter months of college there wasn’t a whole lot to do most weekends besides getting intoxicated indoors. After doing a fair amount of boating in the fall of 2000, I had some major withdraw that winter. So as early as February of 2001 I began planning a massive gathering at the lakehouse for upcoming spring. Eventually I settled on weekend of April 20th. This weekend was chosen for its high likely hood for warm weather as well as the obvious drug reference.
When April finally arrived we had managed to invite a huge crowd to the lakehouse, and we had a slew of fun activities planned. As hosts for the weekend, I decided that Poopedeck Tom and should look the part by dressing like The Skipper and The Gilligan. Our friends had been calling him Poopdeck Tom the same way they were calling me Captain, so dressing up as the parts seemed like a funny idea. The most important part of the outfits were the hats, as seen here

Lucky for us, they weren’t hard to come by in a town like Springfield thanks to

5. Bass Pro Shops
Springfield Missouri is the headquarters of Bass Pro Shops, and features the gigantic Outdoor World store/showroom/restaurant/museum. Purchasing a captains hat and white scoop hat might be difficult in another town, but Bass Pro Shops had us covered. Not only did we find the hats with relative ease, but we were even able to get them monogrammed right there on the spot. Tom went with “P-Deck Tom 4:20:01” and I opted for “Captain Raoul”.
The idea of combining my radio moniker with my lakehouse alias was done without much thought. It sounded like a fun idea for the weekend. But when I saw the finished product, I knew right away that something bigger had been born.

After the weekend was over I kept wearing the hat. I switched my radio moniker to Captain Raoul. Pretty soon I was wearing the hat everyday and introducing myself as The Captain. I bought more captain hats and I started signing myself as Captain Raoul everywhere I went. And with the explosion of social media a few years later I found myself with the perfect name for my online persona. Ten years later and The Captain is doing better than ever! And that my friend is the long version of how The Captain was created. Cheers!

Ciao,
The Captain

1. For some reason I’ve always hated giving my name when making reservations. Something about a restaurant hostess publically yelling my real name to a group of strangers drives me crazy.
2. At the time, I thought this was about as funny as a title could get. Not only did it have one of my favorite quotes from Swingers, the idea that internet radio could be listened to in a car was hilarious back then.

The Captain Is Gearing Up For April 20th

Captain Powers and I have been gearing up for the next week’s massive celebration. This week begins the ten year anniversary of Captain Raoul, and it’s also my seven year anniversary with Meg. That’s a lot to celebrate!
For some pre-celebration The Captain and I hung out with the Creve Coeur hippies on Sunday. Captain Powers was drinking all afternoon to raise his tolerance level. He also decided to test shoot fireworks in anticipation of the celebration.

Despite his intoxication level, he managed to successfully test a few smoke bombs. As far as this Captain, I was busy testing hats. After all, it’s the hat that started everything. Constable Boom Boom got in on the fun.

And I shot my first washers game of the season. I was super rusty at throwing washers, and what should’ve been a 20 minute game lasted an hour and a half. Luckily I was paired with Lauren, and she was just as rusty if not more so. Of course, Captain Powers wasted no time trying to sweet talk Lauren.

But her man Bryce knows how to regulate. He’s quite imposing for a hippie.
With six days to go till the 20th, the Captain and I are trying to take advantage of the recent emergence of spring. Tonite we hit Sasha’s Wine Bar to grab a drink with D.


And I’m sure we’ll be up to no good this weekend. So hide ya boats, hide ya docks, because the Captains are sailing everywhere.

Ciao,
The Captain

The Captain Likes Freaky Pitching

As a baseball fan, I’ve been fascinated with the art of pitching for a number of years.  One of my favorites to watch pitch is Tim Lincecum of the Giants.  He has a unique delivery that heavily utilizes his legs.  I’ve been curious as to the mechanics of his throw for years, and today I stumbled on this video that breaks his delivery down in super slow motion.  Enjoy!

Ciao,

The Captain

The Captain Kicks It 1989 Style: MR 2011-9

This past week saw the release of singles from two of my favorite bands.  First up is End To The Lies, the new single from my all time favorite band, Jane’s Addiction. 

Jane’s reunion tour back in 2009 was nothing short of astounding.  But I was less than enthused when my favorite band member and main songwriter, bassist Eric Avery, left the group again last year.  I didn’t have high hopes for the band when they announced they were recording new material with Guns ‘n Roses bassist Duff McKagan. 

But McKagan apparently went back to being a lunatic and bolted, and the band brought in musical wunderkind Dave Sitek, bassist for TV On The Radio.  The resulting album is due this summer, and if it sounds as good as this track then I’m definitely on board.

Next up is Make Some Noise, the lead single from the forthcoming Beastie Boys album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2.

Simply put, this track has everything I want in a Beastie Boys song:  old school beats, mathematical verses, a simple refrain and a laidback vibe.  It seems as though they’ve finally returned to their funky hipster sound that dominated the 90s and steered clear of the grouchy preachers that I didn’t care for last decade.  It’s a great start to what should be a solid album, or as Mort’s crew would say “It’s got a funky beat and I can bug out to it!”

Ciao,

The Captain

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