Tagged: death

Walking the Tightrope

So many times my red-haired wife will come home and tell me about news stories she’s read or heard, and I’m always surprised. I don’t read news sites. I don’t watch TV, so I never see the news there. I don’t believe in newspapers. I mean, I’ve seen evidence of them before, but I just really don’t believe in them. Too much like bigfoot. A lot of hearsay and no real proof. And I really don’t listen to any news-bearing stations on the radio. So I guess you could suffice it to say that I don’t really keep up with current events.

I was sitting on the couch today, getting ready for my mid-afternoon nap when I suddenly had the urge to turn on the ole telly. I have one of those real old-school ones that’s not LED or 3D or 4K or any of that. It’s just a simple 1080p LCD. Remember back when those used to be cool? Anyway, I looked through the list of recorded shows – all the Doc McStuffins and Good Luck Charlie and various other Disney crap we record for my daughter – past my Ultimate Treehouses and Treehouse Masters, you know, the good stuff. And I found Nik Wallenda – Walking the Tight Rope.

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Bad Design Diary: Tiny Bathroom

My wife and I are in San Antonio for a conference. We’re staying in a relatively nice hotel room. This room is actually a pretty nice suite. It has a living room area with couches and ottoman, a bar area with a special sink and a mini-fridge, and then the bedroom area which includes the vanity, the bathroom and the closet. It’s a pretty nice arrangement. Nothing wrong so far.

Until we enter the bathroom…

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Six Pints for Doug

Okay, let’s just get this on the record. It’s funny, I can no longer find anything about it on the Internet anywhere. Does this mean that we are the only ones left participating in the tradition? I can’t imagine that. Let me know if you can find anything about it. Maybe there are local groups who could join forces or something. I don’t know. Anyway, I just want to put this on the record for anyone who is interested in getting into this tradition.

Do you like music? Do you like beer? Do you like friends? Do you like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Do you like websites? Well if you answered no to any of those questions, you’re probably not reading this website, because you wouldn’t like it. If you have not read the book I mentioned, you should go ahead and put that on your To Be Read list. Seriously. If you like my site, you would probably enjoy it. You would probably enjoy it anyway. But then, once you’ve read it, you’ll have a better appreciation of who Douglas Adams was.

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New York Diaries, Vol 2

The first order of business upon arriving in a foreign town is to locate a good place to drink. Well, maybe that’s not a rule or anything, but it seems to work well for me. I’ve had almost one-hundred-percent success in using this little scheme when I visit new towns. I want you to look at the inset picture here really closely, without clicking on it yet. There. Right in the middle. Do you see it? Okay, now click it.

Now you see it, don’t you? Yes, friends, that is indeed a BREWERY. Sorry for the shittastic image – there were raindrops on the window through which I took the photo. {aside} When I checked in, I played some charm on the cute clerk and said in my best Texas accent, “I’m from Dallas. I’ve never been here. Can you give me something really high up?” She smiled and said yes, then upgraded my room to the 43rd floor, so I got a pretty good look. So yes, I walked into my room, dropped my crap on the floor and immediately walked to the window to have a look at the world below. Once I spotted the brewery, I was back down on the street within three minutes. My suitcase was still on the bed, zipped up tight.

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SpaceBrew Review: No Country for Old Men

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time – and frankly, the desire – to watch a movie. I’ve been reading a lot more lately, and what with having three kids who need what seems like almost constant attention until almost nine o’clock, it seems I never really have time. How, you might ask, do I have time to read, but not watch movies? Well, the answer is rather obvious if you ask me. Movies involve a lot more than just yourself. And not all movies I like to watch are rated PG or below.

Anyway, whatever supernatural forces favored me, the stars aligned, and I was finally granted a few hours to sit back and watch some good cinema. I chose No Country For Old Men. As always, my red-haired wife fell asleep after about forty minutes, leaving me to absorb the picture basically alone. Allow me to tell you what I thought.

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SpaceBrew Review: Dooms Day Book

I have so many things to say about this book. I’ve never really read anything like it. I do love time-travel tales. It follows that I love anachronistic situations, people getting stuck in a different time, and – well, just a bunch of bad schlit happening. This book has all that. I also rather enjoy tales set in medieval times, or the Middle Ages, as it were. I’m not, however, big on fantasy. You show me a dragon or a wizard, and I’ll show you how to set down a book so fast you risk injury to the wrist. Alas, this novel had nothing of the sort. This book was more like a National Geographic presentation about the Middle Ages.

I hesitate to say anything about what happens in the book for fear of the spoiler. It seems to be that every other review on the book sort of just expects you to know it though. The thing that perplexes me is that if Connie Willis had expected you to know the preliminary twist, why did she write so deeply into the book trying to add suspense and mystery over it? Why did she not just advertise it on the dust jacket? Well, I don’t know. But assuming you aren’t only going to read one review – my review – of the book, I’m going to have to go with the notion that you probably already know what the book was about, and that huge plot device that seems so carefully hidden by Connie yet so destructively advertised by every other reviewer I’ve seen. Further, if I don’t talk about it, then I really can’t tell you why I thought so highly of this story.

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25 Years Later: Chernobyl

Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the tragic disaster that ruined Chernobyl and affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. I’ve read the story many times over the years, fascinated by the insane breakdown of events that put them in that predicament, and it gets more interesting every time I read it. But it also depresses me greatly.

The greatest weakness in the system was humanity. We caused the catastrophe. Humans are a stupid, self-serving, arrogant bunch. And that arrogance changed Chernobyl and the surrounding towns – basically making them unlivable for the next thousand years. That’s when it will be safe to move back. But there will still be radiation for up to seventy thousand more years.

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Can the 1300s get a little love?

Haycomet just wrote a very nice piece about living in the middle ages, and it sort of touched a soft spot in my emotions. Because like her, I too have always wanted to visit a different time period. I actually wrote an essay about my time machine in the SpaceBrew Scroll. You can read it here if you’re interested. You probably didn’t even know that existed, did you? Yeah? Well it does. You should go check it out. It’s a small series of collaborative efforts by the entire writing staff at the time. Anyway, I’ve gone off on a tangent, and there’s your opening paragraph.

But I have to admit something, friends. I mentioned where I had gone and what I had done with my time machine in that post, but it wasn’t really true. I don’t really own a time machine. I know, I know, I’m a bastard for misleading you and everything, but it was fun to pretend for a while. I really want one though, if that’s any consolation. I like to think I could go back and meet some of those really cool, influential people in history. Albert Einstein. Seka (when she was younger)… Adolf Hitler. You know, just those people you really kind of want to get to know. Find out what made them tick. Well, I know what made Seka tick, if you know what I mean. :perv:

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Farewell, old friend.

Yesterday, one of my favorite authors of all time passed away at the age of 66. He had been privately battling cancer. Michael Crichton wrote some of the greatest science fiction stories I’ve ever read, and more times than not, I found myself wondering if they were reports on events that actually happened. The Andromeda Strain and Terminal Man, for instance – both written like essays on actual events – yet, not at the expense of thrill and good storytelling.

In his later years, Michael began politicizing his writing to the point I almost couldn’t stomach the read anymore. State of Fear was one, then Next was really not even worth reading, in my opinion. I don’t want to use this space to bash Michael’s writing, but to say that it was evident he had an agenda. Maybe this explains some of that.

At any rate, he will be remembered well, and missed. I will have to add yet another date to my calendar where I drink a short of scotch in remembrance of someone. Rest in peace, old chap.

Roadside Memorials and You

Let’s talk briefly about the roadside memorial. Well, I’ll write a few words about it, and you can read them. Then, if you’re not too lazy, you can reply in comment form and let me know what you think. If not, then feel free to throw your hands in the muthafukkin air. Then I’d like to ask you to at least consider waving them around like you just don’t care.

This is sad.Okay. So what is the point of the roadside memorial? And here’s what I mean by that: What is the point of the roadside memorial? You see, if I were to lose someone on the side of the road, or someone I knew were to die in a horrible tragic accident on a highway, I would be pretty saddened. But I don’t think I would feel compelled to decorate the place of their demise with flowers and headstones and whatnot. Seriously, why would you want to decorate and commemorate the place they died? I’m okay with putting those same flowers and trinkets on a grave site. That’s where their final remains lie eternally. Or until the lease is up on the site. :rolleyes:

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There’s a letter in your mailbox!

Shit, piss, f**k, cunt, c**ksucker, motherf**ker, tits – fart, turd and twat. That’s what I wanted to scream out this morning when I heard George Carlin passed away last night. He died of heart failure in the hospital at the age of 71. Supposedly he checked himself in yesterday afternoon, complaining of chest pains. Now he’s dead.

George CarlinCarlin was my favorite comedian of all time. He speaks to the commoner with his jokes, and relates to us in those little ways that remind us we’re all human. Like, “Have you ever looked at your watch, and then didn’t know what time it was? So you look again, and you still don’t know. So you look again, then someone asks you – ‘What time is it?’ – and you say, ‘I don’t have any freakin’ clue!'” Almost all of his jokes were like that in early years.

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Where are the good cats?

This last Monday I took my folks to the airport for their trip to Hawaii. Yeah, I’ve heard it from just about everyone now: “Tell your parents they suck, dude.” Why, because they were smart enough to fly south for the winter? If only a week, at least… Anyway, I loaded them up with memory for their camera and Cheez-Its for their flight and sent them on their way.

That meant I was driving my mother’s Porsche for the last couple of days, because I was too lazy to make the trip back out to their house to pick up my trusty old Wrangler. It’s amazing how lazy one can get about things like that when he is driving a sports car. Either way, I took the wife and kid out to Red Lobster last night for a feast of seafood (OMG those lobster tails and crab legs holy god they were awesome…) and then made the trip out to Silent Hill to swap out the cars. I gassed up the Porsche (I tend to put my foot in it a little too often and turn what should be a one-gallon trip into a five-gallon adventure) and parked it neatly between the lines in the garage. After my wife hopped out and moved all the shit out of the way.

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Time for a New Orleans

Yeah, I’d just like to give a quick shout out to all our neighboring countries who’ve jumped right in to help us in this time of crisis. What’s up, Canada? Hey Mexico – how you doing? Hey Germany, how’s it hangin? Remember all them boats full of supplies and food and medicine and doctors and clothes and toys and blankets we sent in the wake of the tsunami last Christmas? Yeah. What’s up?

I’d also like to see some interior congregation of goods and services offering. I’d like to see a hotel chain like Hilton offer up ten thousand rooms all over the country – at cost – for some of the million families to stay in for a while. I’d like to see a Luby’s chain open up and say, “What’s up, New Orleansers, come in here and grab a hot cajun meal.” I’d like to see a Wal Mart or a Ross Dress For Less say, “Hey, chiefs, come in here and get some dry clothes.” I’d like to see gas prices hop up over four dollars a gallon so the oil industry doesn’t have to suffer.

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Good Night, Hunter.

Back in the cry room. I can’t cry in the other room. I have to be by myself. I have to allow myself this grief. But it hurts so damn bad.

I’ve tried the lesser reasoning – “He’s just a dog.” But that doesn’t do anything for me. He was such a big part of my life for the last five years. He was the best dog I’ve ever had; so smart, so sweet, so protective, so entertaining. But tonight he had to go.

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Newscasters: A Hive of Scum and Villainy

We watched House tonight on television – great show, by the way – and as I was getting up to turn off the TV, the ‘next on’ bit came on to tell me what was going to be on the news at nine tonight. Immediately I got so disgusted I wanted to hit someone. Real hard. And this isn’t one of those annoyances – this was an almost incoceivably inconsiderate and disrespectful piece they were advertising.

She said it with fervor, “… Plus, how this swimsuit supermodel barely survived the crashing winds of the tsunami!” played against some moving footage of the woman modeling in a bikini.

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My Grandfather’s Farewell

June 1, 2004. Today a candle burned out, tonight the music fades.

My grandfather passed this afternoon. He was 87 years old, frail, and weak. He’s been a soldier for the past few years, battling the years as they fought him with heart attacks and strokes and many other ailments. His grip was iron though, and he held on strong. He’s been burdened by death for much longer than he suffered it. And tonight he’ll finally sleep in peace after so many years.

His spirit, trapped in this old body, was probably long ready to move on, but he held on for hope everlong.

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My War on Wasps

I hate wasps and hornets. They piss me off. I respect them, because – unlike ants – you have to piss them off before they sting you. But I still hate them sons of bitches. They all live up under the eave of my house thinking they own the place, and they dive bomb me when I’m trying to relax in my pool with a beer.

What I want to know, is how the hell do they know how to sting? It’s obviously inborn behavior, but it’s still a mystery to me. At what point in their lives do they become aware of the fact that that stinger on they tail is a weapon? No one teaches them that shit. They just know. And some wasps die after they sting you. So what’s the point of stinging if you know your ass is gonna die? screw that.

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Good News: Suicide is Legal

Here’s my bitch: that 43-year-old woman in the UK who wants to die is petitioning on the Internet, trying to get the law changed because assisted suicide is illegal in the UK. You can get up to 14 years in the pen for helping someone kill themselves. But here’s the funny thing… Suicide is legal. What the what? Can I hear that again? Sure thing, Space. Suicide is legal. Woooohooo!!! Whoa! Thank God for that!

Yeah, well I quoted that from this article. Here’s the syntax, for those who don’t want to leave the site. “Suicide is legal in England, but helping someone else kill themselves is a crime under the 1961 Suicide Act, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.”

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So Long, and Thanks for All the Books

A great light went out this weekend. Douglas Adams died at his home in Santa Barbara on Friday, May 11. He was 49 years young.

He brought us such books as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, and Last Chance to See. All his books were superb. He brought ideas into the world, the likes of which have never been paralleled. He practically invented the Internet back in 1979 in his radio show, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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So this is April?

This story may seem a little out of place amidst the last few columns I’ve written on the site, but I didn’t just write it. I wrote it back in 1996, shortly after it all came to an end. It begins in April. April 13, 1994.

I was sitting in a park. In the middle of downtown Dallas, cool weather, cool shades and cool breeze. The sun was so bright that I could hardly see anything. But it wasn’t hot. It was in fact, quite cool out. But it really felt nice. Middle of April, sitting on this bench watching the fountain come on, then go off and the mist kind of disappears into the cool April air. It was so pleasant. I was waiting on someone to come out of a meeting. It was actually kind of a long wait.

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