Saturday, June 25, 2011

Question & Answer Session: June 2011

The time has finally come! I will be answering the readers questions for the month of June, as I did the same for May, and will continue to do the same about once every month. For this month, I got two really good questions that I have been really looking forward to answering. These are questions that I have very passionate answers for. I am going to take that passion and answer them to the very best of my ability and then hope that you are satisfied with the answer. Here we go...

What do you think about Toddlers & Tiaras?

I despise the show. I absolutely positively despise the show. I could consider this a mini special edition segment of "Let's Be Brutally Honest," but I like to keep my segments to once a month (unless you count the four segments of "Check This Out"). Back to my main point, I think that Toddlers & Tiaras is simply the overflow of pride a parent has for their child put into action. I don't believe that parents should be forcing their children to get spray tans, botox, makeup jobs, and the rest of the works, just so they could compete in a competition and win a prize that most likely the parent will choose how the money is spent. If the child is perfectly fine with this lifestyle, then they can go ahead and pursue what they want. However, if they don't feel like pursuing this lifestyle and just want to be a kid, then the parents should have enough respect for their children to respect their wishes. It's just like dog showing in the way that you can clearly tell if a dog doesn't like it. They'll simply resist your commands. Due to the fact that a reality television show always need its drama, Toddlers & Tiaras presents us with some gritty drama in which demanding parents are hard on their kids to do the best. I don't buy it and have no intention of watching this. I'd take a reality show in which the competitors actually want to compete for the grand prize.

How do you eliminate the deficit?

I was asked to give an answer in two paragraphs or less, I could honestly give it in two words or less: common sense.

To be more clear, I think we need to treat the government money like any other citizen's money. You don't eliminate a deficit by spending more. It's just like if you had $200, are at $100, and need to get back to $200. You don't spend $50 of your money to make it back to $200. You'll be down to $50. When we're low on money, we save to make it out of our hole. I feel in order to eliminate the deficit, the government needs to do the same. We have to postpone the projects that we have and only spend on what we absolutely need to spend on. You need to have boundaries, which is called "balancing the budget."

There are two ways in which the government could go along making money: raise taxes or cut spending. To cut spending is the more responsible decision, because that's the fair way to run a government. Everybody makes mistakes, even those in power. However it generally ends up being the taxpayers who get the short-end of the stick on this end. For the record, the government's money is no different than any other money. When the government is low on money, it needs to save up in order to make it back on track and spend only on what needs to be spent.

Two good questions for the month of June. These two topics happened to be two subjects in which I have a passionate opinion about. It's been a great month for blogging as Caponomics is only beginning to grow on It's never too late to submit questions. Keep on submitting and I will most likely be able to answer them within a month at the longest. On most occasions, I will be doing a "Question & Answer" session monthly, so if it doesn't make it in this month, there's a good chance that it'll make it in the following month. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Excellent Reads: Max McCalman and David Gibbons' "The Cheese Plate"

At this time one year ago, I was in Disney World, which many can say is the happiest place in the world. There are several opportunities to purchase items, gifts, and souvenirs while you're in Disney, most of them are pins or related items to the shop that are shaped like Mickey Mouse's head... and they're expensive. I can honestly say that I made one purchase throughout my time in Disney, and that was a book about cheese in a French shop in Epcot. It was a very expensive book, one of the most expensive purchases I have ever made for my book collection, but what can you say, this book was gourmet. After reading the book, I felt that I made a good purchase and the money was worth the genius, because this is a book of genius.

Max McCalman is a maitre fromager (meaning a "cheese master" in French) in New York who is also an author, speaker, and expert in the field of cheese. He also wrote Mastering Cheese and Cheese: A Connoisseur's Guide To The World's Best, which after reading this book, I would be eager to check out both. He wrote The Cheese Plate with David Gibbons and gave us a good book. This book concentrates a lot on the mechanics on how cheese should be handled when you eat it. Surprisingly, we don't follow the best practices as to how cheese should be handled. Cheese should actually be stored in room temperature and is as little wrapping as possible. That's because cheese is living and serves as a "home" to several bacteria. The bacteria can sometimes really play a role on the cheese itself. McCalman speaks against pasteurization and is pro-raw milk (which is hard to find in practices these days due to food safety) and does his best to serve cheeses that fit his practices. Other fascinating aspects in this book include the way that cheese should be served, what should be next to what, and which order should the cheese be prepared while cutting. Also featured in this book are a list of some of his favorites by country. I commend him for his take on processed cheeses, as I agree with the title "cheese food" 110%.

I was on an adventure while reading this book. It's really a fascinating experience to get a good take on someone who knows about a certain subject. In this case, it happens to be cheese. I learned some new things that I'll surely remember when I go cheese hunting. I also felt that McCalman was brutally honest about how you should approach handling cheese, how pasteurization is overrated, what you should do when you go into a cheese shop, and everything in between. I immediately began reading the book when I bought it and I am sure glad that I did so.

Due to the collection of books that I have, I generally only read my novels one time. With nonfiction reference books, such as this, I generally go back and read them whenever I may need information or want to simply collect some information. I read this book throughout and I will surely return to read this book when and if I need to go over something. McCalman is upfront with his information and definitely knows what he's talking about. The way he explained things in this book makes me want to read more of his writing, attend an event he may be speaking at, and go to restaurants in which he is a maitre fromager. If you need to know more about how to handle cheese, then this is surely a book for you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Memorable Sax Solos

The tragic death of E Street Band sax player Clarence Clemons brought back the thought of my love of a good sax solo. Sometimes, instrumental music does something that vocals cannot, and the saxophone being played in rock and roll hits is no exception. It's kind of a weakness. Since we're on the topic of the saxophone being played in rock and roll, I am going to list a few of my favorites. I will not be doing any ranking, simply because I don't feel like doing so, plus there will be several more ranking submissions the go around. I just feel like naming some of my favorites that are settled on my mind. I may leave out a few that should be on here, but for now, I'm putting those that I have listened to and thoroughly enjoyed. Here we go...

You Belong To The City (Bill Bergman)- Glenn Frey of The Eagles had a hit with the 1985 hit featured on the soundtrack for "Miami Vice." The solo provides a bluesy tone to city life during the night. It creates such a fascinating picture that you takes you, places you in a seat, and then you fly off into paradise. The sax solos and sax background gives it just the right "umph" you are looking for in a sax solo provided hit.

Harden My Heart (Rindy Ross)- Quarterflash released this song back in 1980 and on their album a year later. The song is one of those cheesy, but addicting hits of the eighties, as there were so many from the eighties like there are in any decade. What made this song such a success were the powerful sax solos at the beginning and middle of the song. Ross is one of the few female saxophonists in the rock and roll world and she's a really good one at that. While there are only two sax solos in the song, they make a strong impact on the song.

Take Me Home Tonight (Eddie Money)- Eddie Money's upbeat hit is known for the incorporation of The Ronettes front lady Ronnie Specter, singing part of her sixties hit "Be My Baby." What should be noted is the brief, but powerful sax solo that Eddie Money injected into his song. The solo is fast and flows to the tune so well. It hooks you so much and it makes you wish that there's was more where that came from.

Only The Lonely (Marty Jourard)- This is a 1982 hit from The Motels and is not a cover of the Roy Orbison hit from 1960. I would quite honestly have never come across this song as a starting product, but came across it when I was looking up sax solos from the 1980's. This is just a powerful, quick, and flawless sax solo that fits well with the song. It's by far the best part of the song and the reason to listen to it, though the song itself is okay as well.

It's Still Rock And Roll To Me (Richie Cannata)- Billy Joel is a successful singer and this is his most successful song with a sax solo. By this time, Billy Joel is beginning to perform music that had a feel from past decades, but at the same time had a current feel to it. The sax solo does it part as a fast and swift player in an upbeat song about recalled the old days of rock and roll.

Heartbreak Hotel (Bill Clinton)- One thing I like about Bill Clinton is his easygoing personality. He comes off as being such a friendly guy who would be a great guy to hang out with. In 1992, he went on The Arsenio Hall Show when running for president. Being a sax player, he showed a more laid back side of his by performing "Heartbreak Hotel" on his sax. It's just interesting that a political figure can really play his hand at rock and roll sax playing. Then again, political figures are human.

Baker Street (Raphael Ravenscroft)- This song put the sax solo over the top. This Gerry Rafferty hit is a sad little tune about typical frustrations and how this typical fellow takes out his problems by drinking and ultimately gives up drinking by the songs end. However, while this song was originally supposed to have a guitar solo, swifted to sax solo after a suggestion to do so. The solo is injected into the song perfectly and is given a fair amount of time in the song. The sax solo from Ravenscroft just sends you to another place, feeling like a walk on the evening streets of a flashy city. This sax solo is the bait that lured me in to other great sax solos. It's a shame that Gerry Rafferty died earlier this year.

Jungleland (Clarence Clemons)- If there's any sax player that stands out more than any other in rock and roll, it would have to be the late saxophonist from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, Clarence Clemons. I first heard of him when The Boss gave mention to him in his Christmas hit "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," where he is mentioned as Springsteen mentions that he ask Santa to get him a new saxophone. Then, the Big Man played away. He also had a part in Roy Orbison's "We'll Take The Night," featured on his posthumous 1992 album King Of Hearts. However, I felt his biggest showcase of his talent is from Springsteen's "Jungleland," where Clemons is given the spotlight to just play away, and play away he did. Clemons performance of "Jungleland" was one that left me hooked, wanting to keep on playing it. He just keeps on going. Clemons will surely be missed as a key role in the spice to Springsteen's great hits.

The sax solo has made a difference in rock and roll. It has created a ride for the listener that made the ride only more exciting. If I think of any more hits, I will have to share them I next time I write about saxophones, but there may be an amount of time that passes before that event occurs. Now I'm left to wonder whether or not they have angels up at the pearly gates that know how to play the saxophone. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Check This Out: Valerie's Music Reviews

Okay, this is the fourth "Check This Out" review that I've written this month. The thing is that "Check This Out" is a very broad subject that I may have to make more narrow in order to present you with some monthly treats, along with the random column ideas that pop up throughout the month and are worth writing about. I will consider several ideas that will narrow my "special monthly treats." With that being said, my good friend, a reader and follower of "Caponomics," and music enthusiast, Valerie, now has a blog of her own called "Valerie's Music Reviews." Hoping to write about music, Valerie is taking the step to promoting her writing. I feel it's something worth checking out.

Valerie's field of interests include grunge, alternative, and rock, which range from various artists from Pearl Jam to Soundgarden to Nirvana. She is clearly not into Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga, and she'll tell you that right up front. Her first submission to her new blog was her "Top 10 Songs Of The 90's," which include songs from her favorite genres of music. It was a good list, showed good reasoning behind it, and gave us a taste of how Valerie's music journalism is like. She will have many more submissions up and coming, such as a Soundgarden concert she will be attending and possibly a review of the Idol concert, something the both of us will be writing about. Those of you reading will have to check out both reviews and compare our opinions.

Valerie and I very often discussed American Idol this season and we both had really good discussions. Her music reviews are brutally honest, a lot like many of the people I have written with during each of my writing stints. Even I myself believe that I'm brutally honest. That's exactly what you need when you're writing a review or a column. I know that music enthusiasts, especially those who like grunge, alternative, and rock, will enjoy "Valerie's Music Reviews." Check it out and enjoy listening to that second opinion.

The Interesting Career In Congress For Anthony Weiner Comes To An End

Current events has been a required field throughout high school. One of these current events at the moment we speak is just about ready to wrap up at the moment and that is the end of the Anthony Weiner scandal. Anthony Weiner, the representative of the 9th district in the state of New York (which covers southern Brooklyn and south and central Queens) is preparing to resign after all of the mishaps that have been occurring recently. After sending disturbing pictures of himself to women of various ages, now was the time for Weiner to just step down and go hide away.

Anthony Weiner succeeded Chuck Schumer when Schumer ran for a senate seat during the 1998 elections. Being a Democrat, he was reelected time and time again as his district was satisfied with the way they were being represented. Before the "Weinergate Scandal" (which uses the "-gate" suffix as many scandals have used since the "Watergate Scandal" that ultimately forced Richard Nixon to resign the presidency), I remember Anthony Weiner for his rant on how the Republicans are partisan. What made the rant memorable was how angry and immature he sounded when he was ranting. It sounded more like one of the big kids in the park stole his ice cream. Weiner was also known for throwing furniture when he got upset and for his poor treatment of staff members, in which many resigned. Anthony Weiner was also not a very good driver, as he racked up $2,130 in parking tickets between 2007 and 2010. He eventually had to pay them off as this became news. These aren't necessarily major issues as there are several eccentric individuals who are brilliant at what they do. Somebody with this position, though, should respect their position. It turns out this isn't a happy ending.

What ultimately broke the straw on the camel's back was when Anthony Weiner sent pictures of himself in very suggestive ways to younger women. Some of which included his chest and some of which included much more. While senators such as Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) originally defended him, he was ultimately asked to resign by Democratic figures such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama. Ultimately, today is the day in which the current event of the political world comes to an end.

I think anybody could agree that what Anthony Weiner did was wrong. He's a married man and he's sending pictures of himself to younger women. That in itself is disturbing and I don't care who does it. Sometimes it's an accident, but in this case, it wasn't. The best thing you could do at this point if you hold a political position is to resign it. That is probably the best decision that Weiner made throughout his career in politics. When looking back at political history, a sense of coincidence will fill the air when looking at the political career of Anthony Weiner. Another current event becomes an event of the past and there are sure more events that are ready to become current events.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

RIP Carl Gardner Of "The Coasters"

I read the unfortunate news about the death of the lead singer of "The Coasters," Carl Gardner, who died at the age of 83. He was with the group since the 1950's and continued to perform with the group until recently, when he stopped performing due to his health. It's unfortunate that we lost a pioneer in the doo wop genre of rock and roll music and more unfortunate that Gardner died not receiving the financial worth and group rights he deserved. He was a talented performer of one of the most memorable doo wop groups of the doo wop era.

As we stated before, "The Coasters" were a doo wop group from the 1950's. Many of their songs were written by the music duo of Leiber and Stoller. For those who watch American Idol, Leiber and Stoller's music has been used as a theme in seasons four and ten. Two of their songs, "Poison Ivy" and "Young Blood," were performed on the show by Anthony Federov and Scotty McCreery respectively. Other hits of theirs included "Charlie Brown," "Searchin'," and probably their most memorable hit, "Yakety Yak." The Coasters were one of the few doo wop groups to actually come out with more than one hit. Many doo wop groups were only one hit wonders and were known for just one song. On many of these occasions, the song was far more memorable than the group. The Coasters maintained the ability of performing memorable songs and being a memorable group.

Unfortunately, doo wop groups didn't get paid the money that the performers of today get paid. They didn't even get paid as well as many of the performers from their generation. Doo wop groups would very often begin as a group of guys getting together at a street corner and singing tunes and injecting a range of voices to create their finished product. The doo wop era started in the fifties and lasted until the British Invasion, folk rock, psychedelic, war protest, and bubblegum genres took over. While "The Coasters" were one of the first groups in be inducted into the Hall Of Fame, Gardner did not receive the money he deserved, which left him bitter. He also fought for the rights of doo wop groups, especially in the respect that new groups don't use the names of these groups.

While those of us will most likely not recognize Carl Gardner or The Coasters, a larger amount should at least recognize songs like "Yakety Yak." Then again, the most that people know about older music is that of Elvis Presley or The Beatles. Some only know them by name. Those who are into the music of the fifties will have a better chance at recognizing The Coasters. While an era is beginning to fade, the music will always remain an important piece of it and will never fade completely. This here is just another loss from an era. RIP Carl Gardner.

Check This Out: Alice's Bucket List

Has anybody ever considered writing a bucket list? Has anybody still at the dawn of their life, only a child or a teenager or in the early years of adulthood even thought about writing a list of things to do before they died? You would think that the majority of people would not even consider writing a bucket list until they retired, which meant you would have to be in your sixties. There are many fortunate people that are able to make it to their sixties (especially in this day and age) and get on with writing a bucket list. Some people aren't as fortunate. Everyday, those across the globe are affected by terminal illnesses and only have so long to live. I was thinking about all of this when I came across the blog "Alice's Bucket List."

"Alice's Bucket List" was named the "Blog Of Note" on for June 13, 2011. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about "bucket list" is the movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman or somebody having a random list of things they want to do before they die. It turns out that it's about Alice Pyne, who's fifteen, lives in the United Kingdom, and is battling cancer. While this looks like a losing battle, Alice is starting a bucket list of her own, and wants to spend the days she does have left to the fullest. She has a list that includes entering her dog in a show, meeting her favorite band, swimming with sharks, make everyone sign up to be a donor of bone marrow, and the list keeps going on. When she completes something, she'll blog about it. The blog will also feature updates on what's on her mind and what she's been doing. The goal behind creating this blog does not have to do with raising money, but instead, raising awareness to such an important cause.

I've only been blogging for three months and this is just a moving experience when it comes to other blogs that are part of the blogging world. People have used blogging to express a hobby, a topic of interest, or what ever they feel is worth blogging about, and everything in between. I myself use blogging as a column to discuss my views on certain topics. "Alice's Bucket List" is a document of a teenager with unfortunate circumstances and a limited amount of time, but is using this time to follow her dreams and accomplish what she wants to in life. Life is about following your dreams. Some dreams may involve obstacles or detours, but everyone has a goal, and everyone should have the right to have the tools in order to accomplish their goals and achieve their dreams. "Alice's Bucket List" is a humble document of someone that just wants to follow their dreams, will fight to do so, and I absolutely hope that most or all of these dreams come true.

I encourage all of you who are reading this and not yet following this blog to check it out. If you become as moved as I have, keep checking it out for updates. I know I will.

CNN New Hampshire Republican Debate

The field of Republican front runners are finally beginning to make some kind of rise, as the New Hampshire primary debate becomes a first opportunity for us to get a sense at who will be participating in the primaries at the beginning of next year. While the first official opportunity was in May, the playing field was very limited and people were only entering. Only one official candidate was actually present (Gary Johnson, who happened to be excluded from the debate). At this debate, six of the candidates had declared their candidacy and the seventh declared their candidacy at the debate. This was clearly the beginning of what could very well be an exciting primary season.

Attending the debate (in standing order) were Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Herman Cain. The issues included fiscal issues during the beginning, social issues afterward, and foreign policy and military issues toward the end. Moderated by CNN anchor John King, the debate began with long responses that tend to stray from the direct question, but quickly went on track and everything flowed.

The debate was pretty light in spots, in such instances as a beginning statement in which the candidates introduced themselves, a "This or That" in which the candidates were asked which of two things they liked better, and a closing that had them talking about the current playing field. I am going to review each of the candidates performances as individuals and give each a school grade...

Rick Santorum- Santorum was the candidate on the field who polled the lowest of the seven that were there on most occasions, and to me, he seems like a typical caricature of the conservative Republican. He didn't stand out as much in this debate and did not take the opportunity to run away with his pro-life views next to Mitt Romney's. I do watch the debate to have my questions answered as oppose to watch them make their own statements and mudsling the other candidates, but it seems like Santorum does not have too much to offer. I must say that he did better in this debate than the last, but there's nothing that makes me think, "this guy really stands out, he definitely has my vote." C+

Michele Bachmann- Bachmann had her highlights, but she's still just feeling the field. At the beginning of the debate, Bachmann was the only one to have not announced a run for president, but announced immediately that she's filing the papers for a presidential run. That and her guarantee that Obama will be a one-term president were her strongest statements of the night. Her answers were clear and she is beginning to give fellow Minnesota candidate Tim Pawlenty something to worry about. I also think she is more presentable than Sarah Palin when speaking. For being someone that most people don't know, Bachmann did a decent job. B

Newt Gingrich- For all that he's been through within the last week, Gingrich really stood his ground. While he has turned from being one of the frontrunners to being a part of the middle of the pack after gains from Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain, Gingrich didn't falter. He gave answers that were short, sweet, and to the point, and they were backed by logical explanations. Gingrich hasn't held political office since resigning from Congress in 1999 and has since been a Republican advocate and frequent guest on FOX News. It's nice to see him back and running for political office. If he was able to form a surprisingly successful chemistry with Bill Clinton, we'll have to see how he does in office. In the debate, I was satisfied with most of his answers. B+

Mitt Romney- Romney is currently the front runner and obviously the main target. Of course, this means that he's going to come under fire for the skeletons in his closet. One of his biggest flaws was the Romneycare that he passed when he was the Governor of Massachusetts. During the debate, Pawlenty had the opportunity to attack him on his coined term "Obamneycare" and Santorum had the opportunity with the topic of abortion. Nevertheless, Romney was able to keep his cool and explain the issues. He gave clear answers and even shifted the context in which his statements were stated. Romney continues to present himself well. B+

Ron Paul- Paul had himself another good debate and addressed the issues in only the way he could. While he went on to answer a previous question when given his first question (which Cain happened to do later into the debate), he continued to provide answers to the problems that we have and the solutions to these problems. Like he constantly states, he stands by the U.S. Constitution, which are the rules of our nation. He provides the most contrast to those on the stage, but he's begun to receive the respect he deserves. He has such a humble way of answering the questions and receives a good amount of applause on top of that. He's sure becoming extremely likable. A-

Tim Pawlenty- Pawlenty has been considered a possible candidate since the Republican National Convention back in 2008 and at the previous debate, was considered the most logical choice for the Republican party (Ron Paul was the shining candidate at that debate, though). I thought as the debate went on, Pawlenty did a better job in this debate. I felt that while he hasn't done everything to stand out, he did a better job answering the questions in this debate. He could have taken the opportunity to start a mudslinging match with Romney on his "Obamneycare," but chose to take it slow to prevent waves. I don't see the slow approaches lasting long as the debates go on, that is, if Pawlenty remains a strong candidate at that time. I felt he made an improvement from the last debate. B-

Herman Cain- Cain is the only one on the field who does not have any political experience and yet he was the best one in the debate. I felt that every answer he gave was clear, thorough, organized, and brought the point across. If given a question that needed a simple answer, he gave the simplest of answers the provided me with just what I needed to know. He's clear with what he's saying and his ideas are absolutely honest. Whether it be about Medicare, immigration, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," same-sex marriage, or anything in between. I knew what Cain was talking about and he was direct with those he was answering. He is surely making his mark on the field. A

The only thing that brought a bit of frazzling to the debate was how John King was really on top of the candidates when it came to direct answers and time limits. Granted, there weren't any bells or timers to keep non-human control of the time, but we should know that debates aren't always filled with direct answers. Nevertheless, the debate became a good watch as it went on. While my opinions seem to remain the same, I'm beginning to like Herman Cain more and more. He seems to have a clear plan on what he wants to do and how he wants to do it.

The next debate will be on July 10th in Las Vegas. I believe the polling requirements are going to be more laid back, thus Gary Johnson and other candidates that weren't invited due to low polling (like Buddy Roemer and Fred Karger) will most likely be invited, Johnson is a definitely, though. We'll just have to see how things go from here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Let's Be Brutally Honest: Morning Radio Shows Aren't Funny

I've got myself another segment to sort out my thoughts. It's another column that I'll be working on roughly once a month. I feel that's enough for a segment, so I don't give you too much of a good thing. When you get too much of a good thing, you generally begin to feel worn out (or at least most people do). It also gives you something to look forward to. That's just me being brutally honest. Speaking of which, my new segment is called "Let's Be Brutally Honest." This is a segment where I give you my honest opinion on a specific subject. This is not saying that all of my opinions are honest, because every opinion of mine is honest. The only difference is that most of these are stronger opinions that provide a criticism toward something that I have an opinion about. On most occasions, "Let Be Brutally Honest" will be something in which I have a negative outlook on. Like all of my other segments, there are exceptions to the rule.

Without further of due, I'm going to be brutally honest about morning shows on the radio. This is not Sirius Satellite, XM, or any "designated topic" station, but ordinary local radio station morning shows. Like most people, two of the so many things that entertain me are music and humor. I like listening to a variety of good music (which I'll have to provide a list of my favorite songs sometime in order to present you with a taste of what I like listening to) and my favorite type of comedy is shock comedy, which is anything that's surprises me in a way that I start exploding with laughter. A lot of these things happen to be inappropriate or vulgar for the public setting. You can ask me to answer a pun or a knock-knock joke and chances are you won't get me to laugh. When you mix the two together, one of your results could very well be a morning radio show.

I like listening to the radio for the music... music that is good and played often. I don't listen to the radio for commercials and I don't listen to the radio for a cheesy little radio show. On many occasions, radio shows feature disc jockeys waking up their listeners on their morning shows, trying to be funny. They generally don't accomplish too much. I can understand the fact that there are restrictions when it comes to censorship and what can and can't be said on the radio, FM radio to be particular. The jokes used on radio shows are basically recycled versions of other jokes. Then again, I don't like puns, because they're not funny. Puns are only light riddles that produce an "a-ha moment" of sorts. They aren't going to make you roar with laughter and they sure aren't going to make you roar with laughter and then chuckle and giggle the next few days afterward. That's why I stay away from morning shows that are induced with cheesy jokes. For instance, I enjoy listening to Philadelphia's radio station, 98.1, WOGL, when they have commercial free music, not when the Breakfast Club is on. I prefer a simple trivia segment in the morning, a fill in on current events, an interesting discussion, or even better... good music!

Good commercials have to bring good appeal as well. Radio commercials don't happen to do it, as a car company decided to fit in a joke about "the difference between roast beef and pea soup," with the answer obviously being that anybody can roast beef. I feel that joke is a useless joke in the way that it's gross and not even humorously so. There needs to be a good attempt at injecting humor into radio shows and that includes good material or not injecting humor at all and finding other ways to entertain. I just wish that radio shows would follow a different path besides the path they're following. Maybe even provide stations that give us more music than anything. I wouldn't have a problem spending the entire morning listening to back to back performances of good music. I wouldn't even have a problem listening to music for the majority and then news and weather and traffic reports every so often.

Choosing a good radio station depends on what best suits you. For me, a good radio station is something that'll make my journey from point A to point B more entertaining. What I provided before does do that, but my point being that the humor is not up my alley. It's just more annoying than it is funny. The best thing I could do is look for the station that suits my pleasures of good music.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Big Cheeses: Pecorino Romano

"Big Cheeses" is another segment of mine in which I discuss some of my favorite cheeses. I will generally name one cheese per month, as I do with my other segments, with the option of rule bending always out there. I am only a connoisseur according to people I know or when I consider myself to be one, but I am an enthusiast on the subject. As we all know, cheese is more than a food, it's an art. My favorite happens to be the hard, strong, salty, assertive cheese known as Pecorino Romano. It's not a highlight cheese that's used in our everyday vocabulary, but more so a cheese that those who actually enjoy the field of cheeses eat. If there's any "must cheese" in my book, this is the one.

Pecorino Romano is an Italian cheese made with sheep's milk. Granted, "pecora" is "sheep" in Italian. There is a wide family of "Pecorino" cheeses and not all of them are the same. For instance, you have Pecorino Toscano and Sardo, which come from Tuscany and Sardinia respectively. The term "Romano" refers to the Roman people when it comes to Italy, thus when you mix the two, you get a Roman sheep milk cheese.

In America, Pecorino Romano is most common for being an alternate grating cheese for pasta. The most common is, of course, Parmigiano Reggiano, which is many instances is referred to as "Parmesan" and meets the unfortunate misfortune of being sold in a shaker where it's dried of its moisture and leaving it with a cardboard like taste. While I enjoy eating Parmigiano Reggiano, the proclaimed "King Of Cheese," I think that Pecorino Romano is a better pasta cheese. When eating pasta, Pecorino Romano gives it more of a tang and takes longer to melt. This means the pasta has more of an extra tang to it while eating. The combination of the sauce, cheese, and pasta in general gives the meal a bit more flavor. Parmigiano Reggiano is a bit more passive on a dish of pasta.

Pecorino Romano is sure to play a role in any dish it presides. That's why it can be used with fruit such as grapes. Aside from with pasta or as a device for dipping, my favorite way to eat Pecorino Romano is right on its own. On its own, it becomes a snack that is irresistible. Despite the packaging and how I believe cheese should be given as much breathing rights as possible, my favorite company is Rienzi. I always liked the tang to that specific company. On the other hand, Locatelli and various others are better at packaging, but nevertheless make for a good Pecorino Romano. I grew up on Pecorino Romano cheese on my pasta and families who want to enjoy a delicious pasta dinner should do the same. A wedge is a bit more expensive than pre-packaged cheeses, but this is where the top quality is at.

Pecorino Romano can be found at most to all supermarkets and any other place that features a cheese section. Be prepared for a strong, assertive cheese that has a strong, assertive smell. In the end, you'll be have to have picked up this cheese with a strong, assertive taste. Enjoy the end of the cheese, which I refer to as the "nose." It's the creamiest part, though this is still a creamy enough cheese. Eat and enjoy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Check This Out: Super 8

Generally, I have one "Excellent Read" or "Check This Out" each month. However, I'm going to bend the rules, because this is my blog and I have the right to bend them all I want. I have several segments that make up "Caponomics" and it's a passage to what I think and why I think it. Another reason why I'm bending the rules is because I went to see the Steven Spielberg produced and J.J. Abrams directed film, "Super 8," today and it was an excellent film. This film brings back the essence of a summer film that doesn't have to do with a redundant plot and a one-dimensional cast, but more so characters and a plot that gives the movie such a wonderful flow.

The movie is set in a fictional town in Ohio during the summer of 1979. A few months earlier, Joe Lamb (played by Joel Courtney) tragically loses his mother in an accident and his father, a deputy sheriff, has become really bitter about the event, Louis Dainard (whom she covered for since he was too drunk to go to work), and life in general. Joe is helping a friend, Charles Kaznyk, of whom he knew since kindergarten, on a film he was creating. The film is called "The Case" and is a zombie thriller. Also helping with the film including friends such as Carey (the kid with braces who likes to cause explosions), Martin (with the glasses), and Preston (also with dark hair). Charles has convinced Alice Dainard, played by Elle Fanning (Dakota Fanning's sister), to play the female role in his film that he wants to submit to the film festival.

While filming, a train comes by. While they believe that the train is going to help make for a better movie, a man who turns out being their biology teacher drives onto the train tracks and causes the train to explode. This causes for a massive explosion of an air force train and from there, all hell breaks loose. The town is brought to its knees and the creature that is released (what ever it is) must be stopped.

"Super 8" brings such a vibe that came from such great films of the past and at the same time, stands on its own for being great as its own picture. The explosions are just so believable and come when you least expect it and at the same time, captures 1979 just right, just as Stephen King has time and time again been able to capture the late 1950's and early 1960's. Speaking of which, this film reminds me a lot about the structure of "Stand By Me" and "IT" in the way that it's about a group of good friends faced with a really huge situation. The film is classified as science fiction, but I feel it could be science fiction and thriller, but regardless, it was enjoyable, and that's what counts.

The characters in this film were just very interesting. You had the likable protagonist (Joe), the likable love interest (Alice), the narrow-minded friend (Charles), the comic relief (Carey and the guy in the film shop), and adults that round off the cast (Joe and Alice's dads and several of the others). "Super 8" also injects humor and humorous characters that give the movie that extra boost. It's that good and it's something that anyone will have a good time watching.

I will not go forth with details, but you should definitely stay for the end credits. There is footage that is definitely worth watching and you will have a good time watching it. Well, the Summer of 2011 in film has finally begun and "Super 8" has raised the bar... really, really, really high. It's more than just a popcorn flick. It's got a ton of substance and something much stronger than many popcorn flicks will ever be. This here is a strong footprint into this generation of film, complete with the essence of many good films before it. Definitely check this out, or your list of "good films to see this summer" will remain incomplete.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gary Johnson Excluded From CNN Debate On June 13th

CNN will be hosting a debate for the current presidential nominees for the Republican Party on Monday, June 13th at 8 PM. Those who will be attending the debate include Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann. Others who were invited included Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, and Jon Huntsman Jr., who are either not in the race or have chosen not to run. Bachmann has yet to enter the race, but has still been invited. This leaves us to candidates who have not been invited, because of their troubles in the polls. Fred Karger and Buddy Roemer were the seriously inclined candidates to not be invited to the debate, nor were they invited to the last debate. Also on this list is Gary Johnson, who was excluded due to not polling well enough. Not polling well enough is generally a fair reason to not be a part of the debate, but how legit are these polls?

In order to participate, candidates had to garner at least 2% in many listed polls within the last two months. You can easily check out the polls for yourself to see if they were legitimate enough. Between Santorum, Huntsman (who hasn't even entered the race and will not be attending anyway), and Johnson, the numbers are too close to tell. All three have averaged within the 1% and 3% range and the fact that Johnson has been excluded rings in a ton of questions, the main question being about the accuracy of these polls.

Excluding secondary candidates isn't anything new. In 2008, Alan Keyes was excluded from almost all of the debates, Mike Gravel ended up on the same track in the later debates, others included Dennis Kucinich, Duncan Hunter, and even Ron Paul was excluded from a few. A lot of this may also be due to the fact that many of their views contrasted from the status quo of the party (Hunter was an exception). For instance, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman Jr. are fairly conservative all around and tend to show views that most quench the principles. Therefore, they would be taken more seriously than a candidate who's more independent like Gary Johnson. Ron Paul has begun to give strong enough polling numbers, fundraising numbers, and number of votes to be taken seriously. This will be what Gary Johnson has to do in order to be taken seriously, because his views are extremely different, but they make sense and he's a likable guy with a sense of humor who doesn't conform to the basic principles of the party. While I'm supporting Paul, I feel that Johnson has a strong future when it comes to making another run. What we need are non-conformists who follow what they believe in, like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

My take on debate requirements is that all serious candidates should have the right to participate in the debates and I mean serious candidates. What would make most sense is to allow anybody who garnered at least 1% in any national poll or 1% in any poll conducted in the state in which the debate is being held to participate in the debate. There should be no loopholes, no exceptions to the rule, and math that is fairly completed, simple as that! In addition, the only polls that should count should be those that include candidates who have announced a bid or are testing the waters to do so. That way, everything is fair and everybody who has a chance at the presidency has a fair chance at speaking their case.

I feel every candidate should have a say and should have a right to defend their say when debating the issues that matter most to America. Taking out candidates because they don't poll well enough in some polls, but not others, and the numbers aren't counted exactly on the spot is not the right decision. When the poll requirements jack up is one thing, but I still feel that the process is more about picking and choosing as oppose to exactly following the polls. Gary Johnson looked as if he qualified just as much as Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman Jr., so my questions point to the legitimacy of the polling. If you're going to base requirements on polling numbers, they have to be firm and explanatory.

Gary Johnson has been invited to a debate next month in Las Vegas, which must have had fewer requirements. I don't see why CNN didn't do the same, though they almost did the same thing in 2007 with Mike Gravel. Eventually, he was invited, but given the least amount of speaking time. Johnson was given the least amount of speaking time on the FOX News debate and the lightest question in the lightning round, which allowed him to show his sense of humor, but made it look as if he wasn't a seriously candidate. His views are pretty serious and make a lot of sense. It kind of reminds me of Ron Paul in 2007, who had to work in order to make it to the spot he's in now. I don't see why Johnson can't do the same.

Check This Out: Clever Clark

First off, I would like to thank "Clever Clark," a devoted follower of the Caponomics blog, who convinced me to begin a blog in the first place. I would like to thank him for his endorsement to the site, as well as for helping me take steps forward when it came to making the experience of finding this site a bit easier. Now, if you type in "," you will be led directly to this site. While it's still part of blogspot, "" is simply a way to make the journey to this blog a bit more of a fun experience. Speaking of fun, this version of "Check This Out" is going to be something that is absolutely positively fun.

It just so happens that Clever Clark has his own site, called "," which is a collection of the best computer games. The site was originally created for Critical Thinking classes in which his students would play computer games that promoted thinking. From there, it only went up. You can find all sorts of games, from arcade games such as "Pac-Man" to online board and card games such as "Solitaire" to puzzle games such as "Fowl Words" to racing games such as "3D Rally Racing" to sports games such as "Pinch Hitter" to strategy and skill games such as "Fall Down." Clever Clark has everything and then some. You name it, has probably got it. 

If you think that is simply a computer game site, then you are thinking wrong. Not only can you play games, you can also learn random information, such as that about the U.S. states and presidents. You can also shop for cleverclark memorabilia, such as shirts and mugs. This site is only getting bigger and bigger, and I can only imagine where this site will be within the next ten years, even sooner.

My personal favorite games to play on ranges on the time and how I'm feeling, but is also encouraged on which records I am most eager to break. Originally, this happened to be "Krazy Keys," the object being to type the alphabet in the fastest amount of time. At one point, I could type the alphabet in 2.614 seconds, and I broke a keyboard stand or two during the process. Some of my other favorites include "Skill Stack," "Papa's Pizza," "Biggification," "Clockz" "DTunnel," "Ultimate Mega Hoops," "Tunnel Racer," "Tetris (NBlox)," "Connect Four," and the list keeps going on and on and on.

I can guarantee you that will provide you with hours and hours of entertainment. If you don't want to spend your summer in the sun, you can easily find yourself enjoyment by playing computer games all day. Nobody can tell you that you're not working your mind, because this site has games that get you to think. On top of that, there are games that are a ton of fun and promote thinking in a different kind of way. This is a thinking site and I can affirm that you will be hooked and addicted, whichever comes first. I strongly encourage you bored web surfers to have yourselves a ball and go on