Tagged: art

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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Vincent Hobbes is a Thief

I’m a writer. One might debate how well I perform this craft. Or not. Almost everyone who has read my books has told me they liked them greatly. I say this not in boastful arrogance, but just to say that I do it to the best of my ability, I take it seriously, and I take pride in making it as good as my ability will allow. I’ve written millions of words. A lot of them on this website. If you peruse back through the archives, you will see I have over 450 columns attributed to my name. And most of them are 800 words or more. Not just some quick paragraph about nonsense. Why do I say all this? I don’t know. I think I’m just trying to justify the title I used in the first sentence of my column.

But I don’t need to. Not really. The word writer speaks nothing of the personality of the writing. It doesn’t lend itself to any superlatives or adjectives describing the talent of the human being who takes the title. It only expresses that he or she has set out to perform a task, an effort that takes at least a fair amount of talent or skill, and has thus taken the label.

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Stumbling on a Musical Gold Mine

Winter is historically my season for inspiration. Everything is dead or dying, cold and gray. It’s a blank slate for creativity and thought. I adore these months. My writing, drawing and music all come alive in the winter. I also listen to a lot more country music in the winter. This stems from spending winter months in Germany when I was in the service, being couped up in a barracks room with one other American guy, snowed in and unable to go anywhere, and all we listened to was country music. I love it.

I understand sometimes it gets annoying and begins to all sound the same. But I have very little respect for people who just automatically dismiss it as if none of it is worth listening to. “I listen to everything but country and rap.” Yeah, yeah, you’re too cool for school. So if this describes you, then you probably need not read on. The column ends here for the closed-minded. If, however, you have an ear for talent – whether or not you actually listen to country music, then read on, dear reader. I listen to everything. This even includes Tejano and Irish polkas in which cases I can’t even understand what they’re saying – so long as the music itself is tolerable and attractive.

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Brew Review: Ricky Gervais – Out of England

What? Another review? Yeah, well the only other things to talk about right now are getting kicked like dead horses, with boots covered in bacon. And the guy doing the kicking has a blister on his foot because there’s a hole in his sock. And his wife is a dental hygienist. So yeah, it’s kind of tiring. I’m already tired of the conspiracy theories about how dude isn’t really dead. Or how he’s been dead for a long time. Seriously? We need another conspiracy to latch onto? :rolleyes:

And plus, too, when I see something great, I like to share it with you guys so you can see something great too. So let’s get this starty parted.

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SpaceBrew Review: Gray Matters

My red-haired wife and I watched Gray Matters last night. It’s a chick-flick. You see, chick-flicks are not my first picks when I’m looking for movies, and it’s certainly not my favorite genre. But I am an artist, and can appreciate all kinds of art. Which is why I’ll listen to rap if there’s actual talent to be heard in the track. Shrug. I don’t close my mind and avoid watching (or listening) to something just because it falls into a particular genre of which I’m not typically fond. I am also very objective in my reviews of such pieces, because I’m evaluating the art. Not the category. That being said, this was a fine movie.

I will back up a second and admit to you that the only reason I rented this one was because Heather Graham is in it. And so is Bridget Moynahan. And there happens to be a particular scene in it where they… I don’t know how to say it… uh, they, well, let’s just say they kiss a little bit. No, I am NOT shallow. But these two women are pretty close to the top of my celebrity hit list and so if they’re kissing each other, I need to know about it. And I need to see it. And not to ruin the movie for you, but the kissing scene of which I speak was really well done. Tasteful and not gratuitous, surprisingly. Yes, seriously, I was really surprised that it wasn’t just a gratuitous make-out scene the director threw in just to classify the movie. It was cute, fun and – well, very believable. And damn sexy, if I might say so.

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SpaceBrew Review: From A Buick 8

I’ve told you all before why I like to read Stephen King. Not because of his stories. Most of his stories are pretty unremarkable in and of themselves. I think I might have said before that his stories have all been told before, but that’s not quite accurate either. I can’t think of anyone who’s ever written a story about a car that came alive and ate people. His storylines are pretty original. And some of them are even pretty interesting. But most of them are pretty shrugworthy.

No, I read his books because of his ability to tell the story. And you best believe if I were sitting around a campfire with buddies telling scary stories, I would want him on my left. Welcome, SpaceBrewers, to the first SpaceBrew Review of 2011. It has been a while since I did a book review, so you might want to pop over to my review system page and freshen up on the categories I use to judge.

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SpaceBrew Review: Slash’s Slash

Occasionally, I like to review things for you. Since SpaceBrew has become a trusted household name when it comes to consumer reviews and reports, I know you guys probably swing by here most times before you make a purchase. I, therefore, like to make sure and keep you posted on the latest, greatest and lamest. I have another of these today. Enter Slash.

Saul Hudson, better known as ‘Slash’ was a popular metal guitarist in the 80s when he played the guitar for Guns ‘N Roses. Seriously? Could they not have spelled out ‘and’ or at least used the ampersand? Come on guys. Anyway, he was a great guitarist, performing memorable and catchy licks to some of our favorite songs like Mr Brownstone and Sweet Child O’ Mine. Wait. Really guys? Too lazy to write one more letter? Good grief. Well, his popularity kind of diminished when GNR broke up.

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Bacon Talk: Dancing

Wow, Space! It’s my favorite time of the week already! I thought I would change things up a little this beautiful Friday morning, so I brought maple bacon. Did you bring the gallon carafe of coffee? Mmmm, you sure did! So we’re all set. Sometimes, Space, I eat something that is so delicious, I have to do a little happy dance. Much like this maple bacon is going to make me do right now.
:slick:
This gives me a great idea, Space! Let’s talk about dancing. I love to dance. In general, I’m shy about doing physical activity in public, because I’m tall, lanky, and not always as coordinated as I would like. Now if you put me on a crowded dance floor and blast some 80s music, I’ll dance. My husband says I dance like there is a pole in front of me. Of course, due to that description, he says his favorite dance move is “the pole”. Yeah, he just stands there, but it works for him.
Space, do you like to dance?
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Things sure have changed around here.

Welcome back, friends, family and – well, and I guess you too, foes. Welcome to another edition of the Daily Brew. Or at least Weekdaily. Unless I get lazy and don’t write anything, which most of the time, someone else steps up and knocks one out real fast, in which case you don’t (hopefully even notice anyway), wait, where was I going with this? Oh yeah. Welcome back. There’s someone I’d like you to meet.

CatinaThis here is Catina. Say hi to Ca- — wait. Where the hell did she go? Well actually, I’ve never met her, you see. But I’ve known her for almost twelve years. And what makes Catina so important that she should be introduced here? Well, she’s been here a lot, lot longer than you. Catina has been reading this site since 1999.

When Catina started reading the site, it was still Moon’s Crater. That was the first domain name under which we all wrote. And this site has been through many phases, changes, color schemes and domain names. Well, she’s been here through all of it. And I think that’s pretty damn cool.

So what is your earliest memory of the site, Catina?

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The Best Acting. Ever.

Good morning, Brewers. Today I’d like to list out my top three favorite acting scenes of all time. Too often (like once a year) we see the grammy awards or oscars or whatever the hell award show it is that hands out awards for movies… I guess that lends proof that I don’t watch them… and we always see Best Actor, Best Picture, etc. And yeah, while I agree that Phillip Seymour Hoffman was masterful in Truman Capote, there just wasn’t really one scene that stuck out in my head as being just insanely awesome acting.

This might be hard to get across with flat text but I’ll try. There’s that one scene in that one movie that you’re probably thinking about right now. That one that just sends chills up your spine and makes you say, “Oh my word. That was effing brilliant.” And it might even bring tears to your eyes. Well that’s the scene I’m talking about. Here are my top three.

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Back to Our Roots

Happy Cinco de Mayo, friends! This year, it happened to fall on May 5th, which happens to be a hump day. Couldn’t have asked for better timing! And you can’t ask for a better topic than what I have for you today: music. I like music. In fact, some have said that I even “like it a lot”. I listen to all types of music, and don’t really tie myself down to one genre. Heck, I’m not even one of those guys who says, “I listen to everything except rap,” or “country”. I listen to it all – as long as it doesn’t sound like a bunch of untalented bullsh. There are some rap and even some R&B songs that I dig quite well. I’m very open-minded. Now one thing I cannot stand is that assy sounding crap where the R&B singer just holds out a syllable and tries to hit every note in the scale. You know what I’m talking about? Listen to the Fugees’ Killing Me Softly cover if you’re not sure. That crap makes me want to murder music in the face.

But other than that, yeah, I think I’ve made my point. I like music quite well. But here’s what this column is about: sometimes I like to break into a certain style reminiscent of times gone by. You know. Something like that. And here’s how I really explain it: I am not one who takes a radio with me when I go camping – even though I love and live and breathe music. I go camping to get away from techmology. I don’t want to be bothered by radio waves. But there is a growing list of music I would be okay with hearing while I sit round a campfire drinking Cold Ones and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Let me show you this list.

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Character Flaws

Smug bastard.Ever notice how smug the Quaker Oats guy looks? It doesn’t really make me want to buy their product, it makes me want to kick that pilgrim’s ass. He in fact looks like he’s trying not to laugh at you. And speaking of kicking ass, I’ve now settled my old hypothetical: Mr Clean would definitely kick the shit out of Mattress Giant.

But seriously, brand-name characters are either just really bad ass, or really bad. Bad ass? The Most Interesting Man in the World, for Dos Equis beer. That guy is bad ass. I mean, hell, his blood smells like cologne. Bad? Jared from Subway. Is this guy’s fifteen minutes not up yet? Will someone please run over his stupid ass? Look, Subway Marketing Campaign Advisor Guy, we all know he didn’t lose all that weight only eating Subway sandwiches. Sandwiches have bread. Bread has carbs. Carbs make people fat. We don’t buy it. So please. Retire his stupid ass and let’s move on. We’re all sick and tired of his birth-control face by now.

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Renewable Resources

In an effort to help better the world a little bit, I feel it is my duty as a writer to come up with some ideas. Some things we take for granted, or perhaps never even think about. I feel obligated to come up with some ways to help make this place a little easier to live in for our grandchildren, and our grandchildren’s grandchildren. And our grandchildren’s grandchildren’s grandchildren. So here are some of my ideas that will perhaps help us to save or cut back on our usage of some of those resources that will soon go away.

First of all, and probably most importantly, is gasoline. We’re about to run out. And it costs a shitload of money right now. Patent pending, yo.For future generations, reading this post a hundred years from now, it costs an average of 3.95 per gallon right now. So I’ve come up with a method for propelling these beasts that suck up so much of our gas (and money! ha ha). See in this figure, an attachment to affix the contraption to your front bumper. Then you turn on the fan, and it blows air into the attached sail. This is the same principle of sail boating, except that we’re providing our own draft. Now, I know what you’re thinking. And to answer your question, before you ask it, no, it doesn’t have to come in those silly colors. Don’t be ridiculous.

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Still Life

Back from a crazy weekend. Sorry I’m tardy with the column. When you have a weekend as crazy as mine was, it’s hard to get up on Monday morning and write one before the sun comes up. It’s also damn near impossible to write one the night before because you’re tied up in the craziness of the weekend. I’m going to talk more about my camera though.

Oh, I didn’t tell you I got one? Well I told you I was going to get one. I got one. It’s only 6.1 megapixels. Not that impressive by number, right? But being an SLR, it really uses those on every picture. No digital zoom, no pixel interpolation, just plain bad ass pixelry. You like that word? Pixelry means ‘the ability to utilize pixels’. Anyway, this one is one of my favorites. Took Callie to the ice cream shoppe. And took 200 something pictures. Now keep in mind, I’ve sized these down to 800 by 600. The originals were 3000 by 2000. I hope none of the quality was lost.

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Faults Advertising

You know how you keep hearing that stupid commercial on the radio from a car salesman saying some shit like, “If you can find a better deal anywhere in Texas, we’ll just give it to ya!”? The very first time I heard it, I caught onto their sly antics. Obviously they’re not going to give you the car. It’s actually scary how wildly proper their grammar is in that sentence. It’s just that America is so dumbed down by now that no one gets it. The subject of that sentence is the word ‘deal’. So when they use the pronoun ‘it’ in the predicate, it refers back to the subject, just like it should. If you can find a better deal anywhere in Texas, they’re just going to give you that deal.

And speaking of grammar, of which I know you’re all so fond… Look at how we write things like Texas’ Best Hot Dogs! And Dallas’ Hottest Titty Bar! It’s not technically improper to put an apostrophe without an additional s at the end of a possessive. But in formal writing, it is highly recommended. Ever hear of Strunk and White? Yeah. They say “Always put an s at the end.” So it should be Texas’s Hottest, or Dallas’s Biggest. And my point in telling you this is that people have for so long been omitting that additional s at the end, that we’ve begun to pronounce it the way it’s written. So when you hear these commercials on the air, it sounds phonetically like this: Come check out Dallas finest set of tits! And yeah, I do have a problem with that.

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Copperwound Chronicles Vol. 3

Here in the last week, my band has spent fifteen hours in the studio, recording cuts from our second album. We’re really knocking them out, too. We’ve recorded three complete tracks for the album in that relatively short amount of time. We also recorded a fourth song, which won’t be on the album. It’s a promotional thing for an event planning company. So technically, we’ve recorded four complete songs in fifteen hours. But let me tell you a little bit about what goes on in the studio.

People all the time ask if they can come hang out with us while we’re recording. Somewhere remote in their minds, I think people associate music studios with cocaine and strippers. It’s a helluva good time, all of us hanging out, snorting off their bellies and popping champagne into the air, confetti everywhere, a big wild orgy. It’s off the hook! But yeah, no, yeah, it’s really not like that. Continue reading…

Take the Mall by Voice

In my never-ending quest to find and archive things I’ve written, I’ve come across a little gem here about a friend of mine we all know. And rather than posting it with the date I wrote it, I’ll just post it as current and tell you when it happened, because I remember when it happened. But not when I wrote it. This was back in July of 2002. This story is about Katy 80. Sweet little Katy Fanning, who almost never writes here, but always has something to say. Or in this case, to sing. She had just turned fifteen.

I work at a web hosting company, building the web servers. I often go into work at midnight or later and grab my stack of server build sheets and stay until five or so knocking them all out. My boss doesn’t care when I come in or leave, so long as I get them all built by their due date. And I work better at night. This frees up most of my days to do more important things like baseball games, beer drinking and, well, whatever I want. I live in Flower Mound, but work in Las Colinas. My friend Kim and her sister live in Coppell, and we often have lunch together when Katy has decided to skip school or is off for a teacher’s work day. Oh the glorious Teacher’s Work Day. Yes, that should be capitalized. I think she told her big sister she was out for TWDs a lot more often than they really were. On Friday of last week though, we were all off. It was the day after Independence Day, so everyone was off. And most of the world was at the Vista Ridge Mall. Which is, for whatever reason, where we decided we should head for lunch.

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I just got drawn.

Katy 80 rolled into town last night for her old high school homecoming game. I expected to get to see her at the volleyball game, because – as luck would have it – Heather’s girls were playing Katy’s old school. She called me and let me know last minute that she was coming into town – at around two o’clock I got the call, and I was like hey wow, how convenient, swing by the volleyball game and say hi, and maybe you’ll even get to say hi to some old teammates amirite? I wasn’t going to go. But hey, Katy’s gonna be there. So I went.

And I sat in the stands by myself. For like ninety minutes. Well, Callie was with me. Running around, being her usual butterfly self. Because the same vehicle I raved about so proudly last month was the very vehicle she was driving in up from Austin. And that’s just a beating of a drive in a Jeep. So she was late.

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Finally, Hitchhiker’s Released on DVD

Today is a great day for mankind. And dolphins. Yes, my Earth friends, today was the release of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on DVD. Please notice I’ve made a convenient link to the movie at Amazon on that image, so you can order your own copy of the film.

Hitchhiker's Guide DVD!This film I think was underrated in a big way. I don’t think it was the best film ever made, by any means. And I think there were parts that could have been done a lot better, had they not sucked the humor right out of them like an Arcturan Mega Vacuum. But I do think it’s worthy of watching, and – well, for me, owning a copy or two.

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A Welcome Rain

It would seem that all life has come to a standstill in this drab parsed land we call the flats. There are no trees, just dust. No water lets, just empty, dry barren dirt that once flourished with green effervescence. The cracked thirsty earth stretches as far as my weak eyes can see, and without the full strength of the sun, this distance is spanned twice over by the sounds of the howling wind. Clinging to my thread-bare bag and its dwindling contents of basic sustenance, I grit my teeth against the dry wind, my lips chapped and burning, and my eyes fiery red from the dry dust. Ahead lies what looks to be a tower, but only its silhouette present against the dark red sun. My feet like broken pendulums, I trudge up the rocky trail, shadowed by the dark, lurking precipices high above. I can see only that which is just ahead of me now, and it’s finally getting dark.

The sounds of the wind seem to be backing down ever so slightly. As I glimpse at the trek that lies ahead, the sun says its final words and melts beyond the desert landscape, big as a world in the sky. With darkness rolling in, all sound and motion suddenly ceases. I can hear nothing now but my dry raspy breath, and the beating of my tired heart.

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