Tagged: hobbies

A Soft, Gentle Reset

It’s morning. You’ve just woken up. It looks warm outside, the sun is shining, but there’s a thick blanket of snow on the deck. A large mug of coffee sits on the window sill, sunlight illuminating the steam as it lazily escapes the heat of the mug. You may be cozied up with your chin on your knees, a thick blanket wrapped round you as you stare out the window from the overstuffed leather chair. But it’s not a happy time. It’s sad. You’ve just lost a friend, finished the final legal hoops of a failed marriage. It’s a pensive, reflective moment. All cried out. Alone. Relieved, at peace, but saddened and forlorn. A complex web of emotions hangs stagnant amidst the lingering aroma of the coffee. They’re all real. Every bit of it as real as the snow outside. The sun, too far away to melt it, serves as a reminder that it will warm someday. This ain’t the last rodeo. The fingerprints on the window also serve that hope. There is life. And when the bell rings and the kids come traipsing in the front door, your silent melancholy will be abruptly shattered.

I’ve come to find that winter is my favorite season. I do like that cold. But that’s not it. It’s like a hard reset for planet America. Or at least planet North Texas. My world. It gets cold, freezes off the trials of the summer and the first nine months of a year, drops the leaves in the street and starts over. Let’s give it another chance. Let’s see if we can get it right this time. A perpetual trial and error in small, annual runs, like caption bubbles popping, saying “Once more”. Every year I contemplate what I could have done differently to make it a better year. Have I achieved what I set out to achieve this year? Have I grown as a man? A husband? A father? Am I where I wanted to be in life? On that third-grade questionnaire, where it asked ‘where do you want to be at forty-five’ what did I answer? Rich with a mountain home and a private plane? Warm with a red-haired wife and a black dog in a small cottage? Alone with a television blaring nonsense at a sub-audible level while I play solitaire on a sticky TV tray?

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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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Bad Design Diary: Cruddy Cupholder

My red-haired wife and our friends and do a lot of sitting on the driveway. Just about every night, and certainly every weekend. We sit out there drinking Cold Ones and starting at the lake, telling stories, playing guitars, Danae and I singing together, smoking cigars, skinning catfish – whatever. The point being we’re always out there, and the easiest way to accommodate all this madness is fold-up chairs. These things are pretty comfortable, and they’re great for space-saving when you’re done with them. They fold up and stand in the corner of the garage. The problem is, they don’t last very long.

Well, this black chair has one more problem in particular. It’s the top-dollar version of the chair. It used to have a footrest and all that, which is another bad design in and of itself. But today we’re going to talk about the cupholder. Have a looksee.

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The Importance of Good Grammar

In the age of self-publishing, and the ease with which anyone can be a writer and publish his/her own work on Amazon and the like, we find ourselves both blessed and cursed. On one hand, it’s great because anyone who’s ever wanted to write can do so. And be heard. On the other, there is no QA for the work.

Listen, I’m not trying to criticize any particular writer here. I’m sure we all have fine stories. And I applaud everyone who self-publishes for seeing it through, for writing terrible drafts and making them better until they finally have a product they feel is ready for readers! That’s the process we all take as writers. My first manuscripts were pretty horrific. But that was because I didn’t know much about storytelling. The grammar, on the other hand, has to be there.

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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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Here be Space: Collector of Collections

I’ve been home since Saturday. But I’m still getting used to it. Like I said before, it feels like I’ve been in a different airport (and hotel) every week. And indeed, I pretty much have. It’s nice to get home and know you’ll be staying there for at least a little while. Our next trip isn’t scheduled until August, so I have at least a month here before I have to use a suitcase again. Gah, I’m so tired of putting stuff into suitcases.

But you know what I’ve found about being back in the house? Well, besides the fact that when you’ve been gone for a week you get to see what your house actually smells like. I’ve found that it’s too big. You know, 7500 square feet can just get overwhelming for a guy like me. No, seriously it’s only about 2500 square feet, but when you’re home alone, it feels like a whole helluva bunch of wasted space. Of course, when you’ve been living out of a suitcase in a hotel room every other week, you start realizing that you’re doing just fine without all your big luscious space. And furthermore, all your stuff.

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New Discovery: Beer of the Month Club

Beer of the what? Seriously? Beer of the Month Club? How have I not heard of this before now? Actually maybe I had but I didn’t know what it meant. Or maybe I thought you had to go to a bar to get them. Either way, what I do know is that my ridiculously awesome and hot red-haired wife joined the Beer of the Month Club in my name for Father’s Day. Now there’s a wife who cares!

The idea of this is extremely attractive to me. So if you haven’t heard of it, you get your red-haired wife to join you up, and she can pick monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly delivery. It’s pretty expensive. If you sign up for monthly for a year, it’s upwards of $450 bucks. It ain’t cheap. But you can find coupons and save yourself a little cash on shipping and whatnot. So then they just pick two microbreweries per month and send you two varieties (three bottles) from each, for a total of four unique beers that you have probably never heard of. What’s not to love?

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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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SpaceBrew Review: Ancient Shores

Ancient Shores
by Jack McDevitt

as posted on Goodreads

This book was like a “wave” at a football game. You know the one where people stand up in turn waving their arms around and it gives the effect that the stadium is an ocean? Yeah. That. Let me explain the analogy.

Well you probably got that it was up and down with the suspense, drama and general kickassery of the story. It was indeed. The gait would pick up and get me real interested, then it would slow back down and even bog down with unnecessary character introductions and irrelevant loose ends. But it also reminded me of a stadium wave because of how imperfect the wave part of the wave actually was.

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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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My Science Fiction Fantasy

You know, there are a lot of things in life that get under my skin. So I won’t start this paragraph by telling you there’s nothing that pisses me off more than this one thing. But it does bother me a frightening lot. I mean, most people would think I was being petty and oafish if I complained about it publicly. So I’ll just do it here privately on this here little forum, you see?

So moving along, there are, as I said, many things that bother me. And this is just one of them. I absolutely cannot stand that everywhere you go, Science Fiction and Fantasy are grouped together. Petty? Inane? Shrug. Maybe so. But it really bothers me. Because some people like one or the other, and not both. I, for one, love some science fiction. I like some space opera, which it seems most of the sci-fi genre has moved to, but I really like pretty much anything fictional that involves sciency stuff.

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The Craft Beer Movement

I remember the first full bottle of beer I ever enjoyed. I was fifteen. My buddy and I had a twenty-one-year-old friend, and six dollars. This guy ran up to the beer store with our six dollars with instructions to buy as much Michelob Dry as he could get. Well I don’t know what happened – beer was a lot cheaper back then – but somehow he only came back with two bottles. Well my friend and I enjoyed those two bottles of beer out on the driveway behind my house. We drank it like it was liquid gold. And it did taste good. So what happened?

I can no longer drink BMC. The Big American Three. But that’s what Some-Large-Percentage of the American population buys, in massive amounts, every weekend. I hand one of them my glass of Newcastle, or Full Sail IPA, or Arrogant Bastard and they make a terrible face and some comment about how gross it tastes. I handed a bottle of Newcastle to my cousin’s boyfriend the other day. He thanked me and offered a sip to my cousin, Lara. She took a pull of the rich brown beer and screwed up her face like she’d sucked on a rotten corn dog. She said, “Oh my God, that’s nasty.”

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Bacon Talk: Books and Reading

Welcome back, everyone. Where have you all been? We’ve been right here waiting for you to come read! We don’t like to write something until we know you’re coming. We’re like the Whataburger of websites. We don’t make it ’til you order it. Actually, we’ve just been on sort of a hiatus, since Haycomet got bored of writing, and I lost eight of my fingers in an opossum attack last fall. They finally regenerated though, and I’m ready to write! So without any further ado, let’s get down to today’s Welcome Back Bacon Talk topic, which is Books and Reading!
Now I know I do a lot of both. Well, wait. Okay, one’s a noun and the other’s a verb. I’m still trying to get that straight in my head. Okay, so I have a lot of one and do a lot of the other. There. That’s better. So how about you, Haycomet? Do you have a lot of one? And do you, therefore, do a lot of the other? It does seem that the verb might be dependent on the noun.
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Space and the New Independence

I recently took a new job, as all the computers at my old company were finally fixed. Nothing left to do, time to move on. And though my new POE, or Place of Employement is in uptown Dallas – much farther than my previous commute – I am happy to make the trip for two simple reasons. Number A, it’s good to be back in my old stomping grounds. I’ve worked for several companies over the years that were based here around this area, and have gotten to know and love it. Letter two, working in uptown makes it possible (and logistically preferable) to use public transit.

Taking the train to work does not save me any time. On the contrary, in fact. It takes me probably an extra half- to three-quarters of an hour to get to work. But it saves gas. To the tune of over seventeen hundred dollars per year. One might also, though, say that it saves my sanity. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams and road rage; douchebags in oversized Chevy pickups who think they own the road. Continue reading…

Dear Lord! Is It Already 2012?

Now that my baby girl is old enough to take care of herself (she’s almost three), I’ve been given back some of my evening time. It’s nice when they’re potty-trained. No more diapers. They tell you when they need to go potty. This means no diaper bags packed with pull-ups and wipes. This means you can do fun things like family bike-rides, visits to the basketball court to play some round ball, and little trips out into the channel in the boat.

I also have a lot more personal time as well. Not that I spend it locked up in an office or anything. In fact, I don’t even have an office. Hmm. I guess I need to remedy that. But my personal time is spent in my reading chair, or on the couch solving my cubes. Or sketching or writing. I actually resolved this year to read more books than I’ve ever read in a year. Now that I’m very rapidly approaching “the hill”, I have finally been able to slow down a little and start reading a lot more – just like I’ve always wanted to do.

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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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Bacon Talk: Toys

Good morning and happy Friday, SpaceBrewers! It’s been an interesting week here with all that has happened. Wade Phillips got fired, the Cowboys lost another game – anyone surprised by that anymore, really? – and Celine Dion did another two shows at Caesars Palace. Wait. That’s not out of the ordinary. Anyway, we’ve pulled up our stuffed Argentinian Whale Bladder recliners and filled our favorite mugs with SpaceBrew. And there’s a plate of hot, greasy bacon in front of us. So you know what that means!
Bacon Talk! Woot woot! Hooray! Woo hoo! :D :) :| :what:
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A Visit to the Toys Store

Welcome to Thursday, SpaceBrewers. On this historic Veteran’s Day, I’d like to salute all of you who served our country in war and at peace, past and present. Thank you all for your time, service and selflessness. God bless you and your families.

I’d also like to remind you that this is National Toy and Breast Appreciation Week, so every column this week has been about toys. We figure we cover breasts enough here on the site. They don’t need a special week devoted to them. Actually, I… Never mind. So Monday I wrote about the new toys with which I find myself playing. I wrote Tuesday about the age of growing out of playing with toys (which I haven’t apparently reached yet), and Haycomet wrote yesterday about her daughter and how she doesn’t play with toys anymore either.

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Silly Kid, Toys Are For Adults

Good morning and happy Veteran’s Day week, friends and family of the Brew. This Thursday, of course, is Vet’s day, and I’d like to welcome you to another edition of the soon-to-be-award-winning segment here on SpaceBrew, called the Monday-Morning Magic. It’s basically where I write a column on Monday morning that magically changes your mood, and your day. It is sure to either make you laugh, make you angry, or make you bored. Studies have not shown that this segment actually posesses any sort of magical ability, or that it changes your mood at all, in fact. But it completes that alliterative title, so we’re sticking with it.

But I wanted to talk today a little about a new hobby of mine. We’ll go into this a little more on this week’s Bacon Talk, but I thought this was interesting enough to mention this Monday morning. My friends and I – all being intellectuals – have taken to a new hobby. And before you laugh and point your fingers at us and call us immature and gay, just finish the column. Yes, the being intellectuals has something to do with the new hobby. We like to find new and interesting things in which we can get involved. Most of these revolve around drinking and spending time standing around the diner table or the bar in the Space Bar. So what’s this new freak time-waster we’ve found?

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Bacon Talk: Friends

Hey, Space! It’s a beautiful cool crisp day. I brought the pumpkin pie flavored coffee, and I see you have brought my favorite meat candy. Uh, I better clarify- I’m talking about your giant sack of bacon.

I love Autumn. The leaves are changing, it gets darker earlier, the air has a slight chill, and Halloween has just passed. That gives me a great idea for today’s topic… friends!

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Bacon Talk: Music

Good morning Bacon Talk fans, today is a beautiful day. I know this because Space and I are sitting on our new balcony. Wow, Space, Butch and Bruno did a great job! I’m not even concerned that we paid them with beer. I just hope they didn’t drink their pay while building it. I did see a few screws rolling around on the floor out here. They’re just extras… right? That’s what I’m going to tell myself at least. Anyway, let’s turn on some music to drown out the creaking. And since I’m too freaked out to really think of a complex topic, let’s talk about music too. Space, I know you can’t live without music, so it’s obvious that you love it.
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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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Bacon Talk: Video Games

Dude. It’s time we talk about video games. Seriously. Why haven’t we covered this yet, Haycomet? We’ve had how many Bacon Talks now? Welcome, friends, fans and enemies, to this week’s edition of the award-winning feature we call Bacon Talk. For those of you wondering what we mean by Award-Winning, let me give you a list of the awards this feature has won:

  • SpaceBrew’s Best Features of 2010 presented by SpaceBrew
  • Brandon Spacey’s Favorite Blogs presented monthly
  • Haycomet’s Recommended Reading a very prestigious award
  • Jessica Simpson’s “You Gotta Have Someone Read This To You!” presented by Space

So there are a few of the many awards this feature has won. I mean, we’re not trying to brag or anything. Trust me, friends, the Bacon Talk is not near as good as the Bacon we eat while talking! Ain’t that right, Hay?

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The Beer CANundrum

My friends and I have this hobby we like to refer to as “Sitting Out On The Patio Drinking Beer”, which involves sitting out on the patio, drinking beer. We do this quite frequently. And we, being men who drink beer frequently, can drink a lot. So that you’ll know what a lot is, let me tell you what a lot is. When Siege shows up with a 30-pack, he sets it next to the 30-pack Two-Step brought home when she went by the Target’s earlier. So we have sixty beers in the SpaceFridge, which is a pretty good amount. Between the four of us – that’s Two-Step, Stout, Siege and me – that’s about fifteen beers apiece. I’m not saying we drink all sixty in one night. But I’m also not saying we don’t.

See, sometimes, Haycomet and Byron, Fletcher and Julie, Rines and TL, Bill and Amanda – sometimes they come by too. And sometimes they all come over. Sometimes Captain McRight will even come by. What I’m getting at here is that when that many people come over, sixty beers split twelve ways suddenly isn’t that much beer. We’re talking somewhere around five apiece. You know what that means? It means someone’s making a beer run. We’ve been known to drink as many as two 30-packs and a case in one night between our group. On a typical weekend, we go through an average of around 130 beers or so. That’s a lot of damn beer.

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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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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-tips®, 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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No More Goodbyes

I promise – no more farewell letters. I do think it’s important to let you all know when I plan to take a hiatus. But if you look back through the history of this site, you’ll find several ‘goodbye, this is it, no more columns’ type columns. It’s getting to be like the little boy who cried. A very relevant imageAm I rite? I have never lost the passion for writing. I just sort of go through seasons. It’s actually quite annoying, because that’s the way I am with all of my hobbies. Camping is conveniently appropriate, because I don’t like to do much camping in the winter. But I find myself going through periods lasting months where I don’t even pick up my guitar.

I do plan on writing some more here. Maybe even frequently. We shall see. I am presently contacting several people I think would fit in well here among the pages of the Brew. I think you’ll be hearing some more from Captain McRight and maybe even Stout. But I’m also lining up some new writers from whom you’ve not yet heard. We’ll see what happens. I’m not counting my wolves yet. We will have some good fresh content up here though, you can take that to the eggs.

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Toy Review: The Rubik’s TouchCube

I’m sure some of you came over here from my Facebook. Yeah. I really did buy that Rubik’s TouchCube. See, the thing is, since I work at the Geek Squad, and since Geek Squad owns Best Buy, I get an incredible employee discount. I still spent over a hundred bucks for the damn thing, but yes, I really did buy one. Let me explain.

I bought a Rubik’s TouchCube. What’s there to explain?

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Junk Mail and Me

I get junk mail. You get junk mail. We all get junk mail. But lately, I’ve noticed a pattern. It’s hard not to notice when you’re getting the amount I’m getting, actually. But I’ve taken a new tactic here. I’d like to tell you about it.

So WAMU has been sending me shit, I guess to sign up for their credit card, or open a bank account with them. They have two separate mailers they send out. I get both of them. Two or three a week. Let me repeat that so you’ll understand better. I get both of their mailers, two or three times a week. That’s four to six pieces of mail from them, per week. I am not exaggerating here, dudes. It’s insane! I also get an envelop from Overland Mortgage at least once every two weeks. Clearly not as frequent as the wamu shit, but still enough to notice.

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Expensive Hobbies

I’ve kind of gotten into this photography thing. I have always had an eye for it, and a desire to get passionate about it, but just never had the equipment. Well, now I do. Anyway, I’ve been taking pictures of everything lately. You know, you have to take a hundred shots to get ten good ones. If you’re lucky. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. Well, I haven’t gotten to a level yet where I can make an exposure work no matter what. But I almost always can see when there’s potential for a good one.

A picture I took with the D40So I went to the dive shop the other day to get some equipment. This – uh, by the way, is a subject change here. Now I’m talking about SCUBA. A buddy of mine from work is a PADI instructor and runs classes at this dive shop. So he got me a discount on the SCUBA gear I needed, because I’m taking a dive trip here next month. I’ll be diving for sharks and buried treasure down in Key West. That’s okay, you don’t need to be jealous.

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Join the Alliance

Some time last year, Kimbre and I inadvertantly formed the Huge Shades Alliance. Bring back beauty with offensively large shades™. Or some such. Well, her legacy lives on, and I’m on a mission to find the largest, most ridiculous – yet still stylish and somehow not gay – shades I can find. It has become a hobby of mine. Looking at and trying on the largest shades I can find in an effort to bring back the beauty.

How, you say? Well it’s really simple. The larger they are, the more space they reflect. And in those reflections you can’t see the ugly and inhumane scum we as humans have become. That’s probably kind of a lame (if not hippy) answer, but work with me. It’s all I got.

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The Fall of a Masterful Empire

When I was young, I collected Hot Wheels cars. Matchbox too. I remember those John Cleese commercials where he’d slip one into his shirt pocket, and that always made me feel so good. I made my mother buy me a white dress shirt with two breast pockets just so I could stand in front of the mirror and slip into my pockets my two favorite Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars again and again.

I collected them. Like I do guitars, books, Elvis Costello albums, tattoos and Evan bottles, I collected every one of them I could find. They had realistic die-cast metal miniature automobiles with vibrant colors and awesome chrome wheels (and sometimes flake paint). It was magical when my mom would take me to the Wal-Mart and I had a five-dollar bill in my pocket. I could buy five new cars. They were 89 cents apiece. The only problems I ran into back then was which five or six to get. There were so many to choose from, and I knew that at any minute, Matel could go out of business and the Wal-Mart could burn down, and I’d be forever kept from completing my collection. So I had to select the best five.

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The Great Dove Hunt of 2007

My Pop and I packed up and headed out early Friday morning, the last day of August, heading west. We followed my buddy Stout and his brother David out to the deer lease for opening day of dove season. Wait, that should be capitalized. Opening Day of Dove Season.

So we got out there Friday night and got everything unpacked and settled in at the lake house. We then sat out on the patio and tossed washers for about two hours while drinking beers like we were in a contest. The point of all this was to do as little as possible. To get away for a weekend out into the country – to do as little as possible… To disconnect. To unwind. It was so nice to be able to become one with nature. And the birds. The boids.

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Wrestlemania!

I went to my first wrestling match Saturday night! Well, that is to say I went to see a match for the first time. I didn’t participate in one. I’m not a wrestler. I mean – I wrestle with my four sisters and whatnot, but that’s not the point.

I live next door to this guy. We spend a lot of time sitting in his garage or by his pool, drinking and shooting the shoot. I’ve been wanting to go see him wrestle for a while, but our nights usually end up canceling out, as my band is usually playing somewhere. But I finally got to go check it out. I have to go through the entire night with you so you’ll get a feel of the atmosphere.

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Goodbye Crater

Greetings friends and family of the Crater…

The Moon’s Crater Network has been alive and prosperous on the web for ten years now. It started as a single page on an AOL account and graduated to a tilde account at a dialup company in Abilene. Upon my discharge from the Air Force, I slid into a position at a web hosting company where I was given a dedicated Proliant 1850 Server with a RAID 5 and a meg pipe to the Internet. All for my own site. I thereby registered spacebrew.com for my humble online home. It’s gone through many changes and has seen many faces over the years. I once even turned it into a Star Wars fan site, though I’ll never publicly admit that. Many writers have come and gone, many columns have been posted and stolen and posted elsewhere. Many visitors came to visit and many memories were made here. During the Crater23 days, the site took more than 2000 unique visitor hits per week. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit. But not much.

The site(s) have seen many colors, have spawned many ideas, and have brought about inspiration in many other people to do the same thing. Some of these sites went on to become well known hard-hitters in the industry. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and FatXXX.com come to mind. Some of the writers here went on to pursue their own projects, never to be heard from again. For instance, none of you remember the catastrophe that was stellasite.com. I think I even paid for that domain name.

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