Category: how-to

SpaceBrew Releases an Android App

Just sayin. So the story goes something like this. I play a lot of poker. I don’t host many tournaments. My buddies and I are more into the cash games, or ‘ring’ games, as they’re called. The big difference is that in a ring game, the blinds don’t increase, and it’s just a relaxing, easy-going game between friends, where any many can stand up at any time he’s ready, and cash in his chips for cash value. In a tournament, it’s kill or be killed, and usually only the top three seats are paid out. You might leave with nothing. The point of all this will be discussed in the next paragraph, so please consider this sentence the closing of the first.

So if you go look on the Android market, the Google Play Store, wherever the hell you buy your Android apps, you’ll find a metric butt ton of tournament manager apps. Seriously. Like a million. But they’re all for tournaments. And thus they mainly focus on your blind schedule, and timers that let you know when they’ve gone out. But you’ll not find a single app for cash games. Well, you’ll find one. But it’s so shitty that it shouldn’t even be mentioned. Literally, it sucks like a brand new Dyson 220v industrial elephant vac. For instance, you can add money to people’s accounts in increments of 5 25 or 50. But not 1. Or fifty cents. Because we all play small chip’s a finn, right?

:rolleyes:

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Do we need a better mouse trap?

What is the best mouse trap? You hear all the time in company meetings and motivational speeches alike, “let’s build a better mouse trap.” It has actually turned into a cliche. But why? Are mouse traps really that bad that someone needs to be thinking about building a better one? Or is it just the perfect item to make a joke about because it really needs no improvement?

I can’t tell. See, I think the absolutely perfect mouse trap would completely disintegrate the mouse. Turn it into energy, or a puff of perfume-laced smoke. Every mouse trap I’ve ever used – though all of them worked effectively – was imperfect in that you still had to deal with the body of the mouse when the deed was done. And that’s the part I think we all dread the most. I mean, who wants to have to touch a nasty, dirty, flea-infested, possible-rabies-carrying carcass? Not I. So let’s take a look at some of the mouse traps available on the market, and discuss the pros and cons of each.

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Custom Tap Handle Alternative

Do you brew your own beer? Do you brew more than one style? Do you, therefore, occasionally rotate different styles in and out of your kegerator? Do you take enough pride in your beer to actually come up with names and labels for your delicious creations? Well, then we have a lot in common already. We should get together and share a pint sometime.

I often find myself looking for custom tap handles that I can have painted up with my beer names and labels on them. And I haven’t found a lot of options that appeal to me. Mostly what I find are cool handles with a square at the top where you slide a printed piece of paper into a plastic sleeve for your “custom” tap handle. Or another popular one is the one with a small black square chalkboard at the top where you write your beer name in chalk. Yawn. No, I want something a little more customized. Well, not finding what I wanted, I improvised. Now I’m going to show you what I did.

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The Low-Memory Rubik’s Cube Solution

Are you one of those people who has a Rubik’s Cube sitting on a shelf or in a drawer somewhere, and you’ve had it since the 80s but you’ve never solved it? Are you the type of person who uses more than one conjunction in the same sentence? Great! Then we have one thing in common! No, but seriously, folks.

So I wrote a sort of beginner’s guide to solving the Cube. And I call it the Low-Memory Method, because you only have to memorize 8 (eight) algorithms. There are probably several hundred algorithms one could possibly learn to solve the Cube, but my theory is that the fewer you need to actually solve it, the more people will get interested in picking up their old Cube and giving it a shot. And the trick is that if there’s an alg for rotating three pieces clockwise, then two things are true:

  1. There’s also an alg for rotating those pieces anti-clockwise, and
  2. You can perform the clockwise alg twice and it will achieve the same end result.

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Twisty Puzzle Solutions

I have a rather ridiculous collection of Twisty Puzzles. I used to be able to call it a Cube Collection. But now a large lot of them simply aren’t cubes. I have several dodecahedrons, an octahedron, a quadrahedron, et cetera. And I, being a literal guy, cannot in good conscience call them all cubes any longer. This meant broken links on my website. But all that’s been fixed now.

Anyway, I have a few that I needed a little help with. Megaminx? Seriously? That thing’s got twelve sides. With ten pieces on each side. I was able to solve eight sides on it with no help. But the last four started to get crazy. After several days of pulling out my hair and almost Throwing It Out The Window, I finally sought help. And got it. Well, some of my puzzles weren’t so easy to find help on.

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Life Lessons From Space: Driving

Well I didn’t finish the video I promised you yet. I got a little busy last evening with some other issues. Oh and get this: I found out that the back door on the pickup rebroke itself. I guess the nuclear putty didn’t hold after all. I’ll have to try some SolaGlue. Meh. Anyway, I’ll put some work into it this weekend amidst all the pool time and beer drinking we have planned. I hope to get it done soon though because it’s gonna be good.

So I realized the other day that when Moonshine did her columns about Life Lessons from a Good Girl (here, here, and here), I started my own series here. But I never finished them. And what’s more, the only topic I wrote about, fighting, is not something with which I am even well versed. I mean, I’ve been in a ton of fights in my life, and I’ve faired pretty well, but I’m not really what anyone would call a fighter. I’m more of a “writer”. You like that? And today there’s sort of a new age of fighters. Dudes have gotten really big and really mean. So I just avoid it at all costs and let my friend Mr Browning handle my confrontations for me.

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The Art of Taxism

Happy Friday Morning, Brewists. Today is not only the last Friday of the month, it’s also Arbor Day. And my sources are also telling me that it happens to be National Oatmeal Cookie Day. I hope it’s a good day for all of you. For me, it’s one of those mixed emotion days. For today, as you’re sitting here reading this, I am in the hospital by my wife’s bedside as she undergoes surgery. She’s having her bladder replaced by a whoopie cushion (so she can hold more pee) and she’s finally having a computer chip put in like the one I got. That way we can text each other, keep track of where we are in the supermarket (what’s so super about the market, anyway, amirite?) and various other important tasks so many of you take for granted. But yes, she’s getting some new stuff put in and some maintenance done on her CPU, so keep her in your prayers.

In other news, it is indeed April 30. The Last Day of April. How many of you just had to touch your knuckles to verify that? I sure did. Thank God our knuckles were made like they are so they line up with the months. But being April 30, you know what that means. It means it’s time to start getting all of our stuff together to get ready to file our taxes. Because tax day is coming up soon. Now we’ve discussed several holidays here on the Brew here lately. Trash Day Eve, Camping Day, National Period Awareness Week, International 14″ Monitor Appreciation Day, etc. You remember them. But notice I did not capitalize tax day. Number 1, it is NOT a holiday. And B, the IRS is the only group who celebrates it. The rest of us hate it. (The IRS, not tax day.)

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Top Five Camping Must-Haves

My wife and I (and most of my close personal friends) are avid campers, as most of you who aren’t my close personal friends probably know. And those who are close but are not personal might know as well. But definitely not those of you who are personal but not close. Wait. Let me go through that again. Those of – you know what? Forget it. Let’s move on.

But yeah, anyway, as I was saying, we are pretty serious when it comes to camping. We like to be prepared. Now I say we, actually here I probably mean “me” or “I”. I like to be prepared. And of course, my wife and buddies tag along. I know they like to be prepared too, but not to the extent where people would laugh at them. Like they laugh at me. Yes, they mock me for having a shower box full of shower supplies, toothpaste, medicines, soap, Q-tipsĀ®, tampons, razors and everything else you could ever need in the medicine and bathroom department. This also includes the first-aid kit. Bandages, snake bite kit, water purifiers, needle and thread for Rambo-style arm sewings, fingernail clippers, triple antibiotic ointment, anti-diarrheal pills and, well, you get the idea. They laugh at me that I carry a convenient box with all this stuff in it, neatly organized, but then who’s laughing when they get bit by a snake? Or need good clean shave? Or have to sew up a wound on their arm? Huh? Who’s number one now, bitches?

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Life Lessons from Space: Fighting

I figured since Shine is posting her series on “How to be a Good Girl”, I could help you fellas out from a male perspective. Now I must preface this with a disclaimer – I will not tell you how to be a “good boy” or anything gay like that. I’m not, nor have I ever been what anyone would call a “good boy”. I know nothing of it, and therefore cannot offer any words of advice in that direction. I can, however, tell you some things that might help you make it through life without being made fun of or getting your ass whipped too badly.

I also can’t promise you that I will have ten rules. I may or may not add to this list at some time in the future, but for now, be happy with the few rules you’re getting. And take these to heart. They’re coming from a tried and true bad boy with personal, first-hand knowledge on how well they work.

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The New Rules of Tipping

Seriously. Where did we get these rules of ettiquette for tipping anyway? It’s all a bunch of hogwash if you ask me. We’re told that fifteen percent of the total cost of the meal is a good standard. Twenty is better. Some people tip only the taxable amount, some people tip on the entire ticket, blah blah blah. All hogwash. Let me tell you my rules of tipping. Feel free to print this out and replace your tipping calculator with it. It will save you a lot of money.

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Closet Mods 101

I live in a two-story house, and so my safe is downstairs. But what about stuff I want quick access to in the night – upstairs? Well, my closet – being four feet from my bed – is a good place. I can lock up my knife and gun collection and not have to worry about the kids getting to them, but secondly, I can use it as sort of a panic room if the need ever arises. Some of the modifications I’ll discuss here were done for mere practicality and storage solutions, while others were done in the interest of being prepared for the worst.

Firstly, and I think one of the key notes in creating a safe house in the closet is to make sure the light switch is inside the door. If this isn’t the case, you will need to move it. I had to move mine. It’s fairly easy. Just measure the exact distance from the jamb to the edges of the rectangular cutout, and replicate that measurement directly the other side of that wall, inside the closet. Make sure your breaker is tripped before you start messing with the wires! If you make the cut right, you can use that piece of sheetrock to fill in the hole on the outside, so don’t destroy it! Once you’ve got the hole cut on the inside, pry the switch box away from the stud and twist it toward the inside of the closet. On the inside, pull the plastic switchbox into the cutout where it’s nice and snug, and screw your switch back in along with the cover plate.

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Almost done.

I recently got in touch with an old friend of mine, who is a published author. And since I’ve been actively seeking publication for my first book, she has become a resource. A wealth of information. She’s been writing for over 25 years, and has published some 60 plus books under several different names. So she knows a little about the business. It’s nice to have someone I can ping when I have questions.

If I would get off my lazy butt and hit my book again, I’d be done with it. This is my second book I’m talking about now. I have probably 20 more pages to write to get the story told, but I’ve been too tired and lazy to get in here and work on it. I have these lulls, you know?

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