Tagged: money

The Minimum Wage Gap

So I feel like I should weigh in on this. Let me set this up for you. Apparently, all the employees at three separate Ohio Sonic restaurants walked off the job when the company changed their pay to $4.00. I typed that number out in numeric form so you could see just how silly it looks. I mean, four is a pretty good-looking number if you ask me. It’s not as sexy as the eight, but it’s got its points. But I sure as shit don’t want that to be the only number before the decimal in my pay scale.

See, here’s the thing: they say, “Oh, your pay will be $4.00 an hour because you make tips.” And my bottom line, my one sentence that could close this whole thing off to where you wouldn’t even need to read any further would very simply be the following sentence: That’s none of your damned business.

Continue reading…

Intro to the Darkness

Well, friends, fans and foes, the time has finally come. The time, that is, for me to make the announcement you’ve all been waiting to hear. For like three years. Yes, that’s the one! My fourth novel is finally finished! After you finish celebrating by banging pots together and doing jumping jacks and lighting off fireworks on the back patio, come back and read all about it! I’ll wait!

Okay, you’re back. I hope you didn’t burn your hand or lose any fingers. Or shoot the dog with roman candles. So as you might remember, I was closing in on finishing the novel back in January of 2016. Actually, that’s when I was actually technically finished with all the edits my Ideal Readers Group gave me. That’s literally three years ago. Wow. Anyway, alls I needed to finish at that point was the cover. I just needed to shoot a model wearing a blindfold and edit the file in Photoshop. That’s it! That should not take three years.

Continue reading…

Sales Assault

Don’t you hate walking down the front of the electronics aisle at the big blue superstore? You know, the one where they have stacks of TVs and large bins of movies to dig through? Movies, which, by the way, this is a lot of commas, you would never actually watch? Like Sylvester Stallone’s Over the Top, a movie about arm-wrestling. :| Seriously? Who thought that was a good idea?

But that aisle that separates the electronics area from the rest of the store is where they lurk. Standing there with their clipboards and their nice tucked-in polo shirts… The Sales Assaultiate. Dun dun dun.

Continue reading…

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?

Continue reading…

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:

Continue reading…

Gone Are The Good Merchants

When I first started home-brewing, I bottled my beers. There’s something almost magical about popping the cap off a cold bottle of beer that you brewed yourself, pouring it into a pint glass. I love it. But pretty quickly the hassle of putting the beer into the bottles gets old, and most brewers begin kegging. I only bottled two batches of my beer before I said eff it and bought myself some kegs. Then I went online and ordered a kit – the regulator, the hoses and attachments, and a five-pound CO2 tank.

There are smaller tanks available. You see them attached to paintball guns all the time. But when it comes to home-brewing and the like, I’m not sure you can get a smaller bottle than a five-pound. And it’s about the size of one of those large fire extinguishers you see on the wall at work. Anyway, I immediately went to the homebrew forums trying to find where I could get my tanks filled. There were a couple of places in downtown Dallas that did it – well, they swap tanks, but don’t fill your tanks. That means you have to give them your new shiny empty one and they give you one of their rusty old ones full of air. But there was nowhere real close to where I lived. And then I stumbled on a liquor store.

Continue reading…

The Bar Harbor Diaries, Vol. 2

We ran into a couple of hikers the other night, and hung out at the Dog & Pony with them, then ended the night at Leary’s Landing (the Irish Pub) listening to a guy play the guitar and sing songs we all know. Well, we helped him out a little bit. And being at the table closest to him, I asked him if he knew certain artists occasionally. “Do you know any Bette Midler?” I would say, for instance. Or, “Hey, can you play any Barry Manilow? Air Supply?” Unfortunately, he was more of a modern rock guy. It was fun.

The church we attended Sunday morning was very old-fashioned. It reminds me of my childhood. The same tired old songs from the hymnals, the same tired old sermons repeated every Sunday from the same tired old preacher. He was actually reading his notes the entire time. Not very dramatic. He’s no Chris Seidman, I said. But it was good. It was nice to stop down and be reminded of why we’re here in the first place. Spending a little time in worship was pleasant before we hit the streets and bars again. Which we did in short order. The Seaside Grill serves an awful Bloody Mary, by the way (though their haddock popkin is pretty remarkable).

Continue reading…

I Saved the Planet, Dudes

Minnesota Chronicles, Vol. 3

No seriously. It has been made clear to me that alls I have to do is leave my towels on the rack instead of the floor, and it will save the planet. Well, friends, I am happy to announce: the planet is SAVED. You can thank me later.

I’ve done many things for you guys over the years, but none of them probably had the impact that this one single event did. I’m just wondering though… instead of printing up this cute little sign and going through all that trouble, couldn’t the person who placed the sign just left the towels on the rack? He could have saved the planet back when he hung the sign. Oh well, it’s really no sweat to me, and I’m happy (and honored) to have gotten the opportunity to perform such a magnanimous, philanthropic detail.

Continue reading…

Farewell to the Help Desk

For the last 18 years I’ve been working on computers in some capacity. About eight of those years were server engineering and data center operations, but the rest has been help desk. I’ve always preferred the help desk because it’s more hands-on with people. I have the great privilege to make people happy, one person at a time.

Help desk obviously doesn’t pay near as well as the server side of things, but it’s always been enough to support my family and me. And you know me – I’m not greedy. I only want to make enough to cover what I need, plus a little allowance for toys and beer. I have no desire to drive a fifty-thousand-dollar luxury automobile, or have a summer cabin in the mountains. Though that does sound quite nice now that I think about it.

Continue reading…

Smart Phone, Dumb User

Have you ever paid attention to your phone bill? Do you know that they actually still send you a list of all the phone calls you made and received during the billing cycle? Why do they do that? I mean, sure, I think the log should be available if we need it, but really? Who the hell actually looks at every call every month? Does anyone keep a record of it on a notepad or something and then check it like a bank statement, making sure he didn’t get billed for a call he didn’t make?

Another thing you might not have noticed on your bill – for those of you with smartphones – is the fact that they charge you thirty dollars a month for a data plan. Well, I know some charge more, some charge less. But the median is somewhere right around thirty bucks. Well, I know you know you get charged that every month, because when you signed up for the service and got the smartphone you agreed that you had to have a plan on it to be able to use it. But have you really sat back and thought about what this really means? Of course you haven’t, you silly goose!

Continue reading…

The Panama Chronicles: Part 5

Part Five: Dancing in the Streets

When you think of vacation spots, you probably don’t very frequently list Panama City as one of your choices. It seems – to me, at least – to be one of those spots like the Roman Coliseum. It’s beautiful, and you’d love to see it, but you’re not going to lie out and catch some rays on the theater floor. These seem more like educational spots. Culturally rich locations where you go with a history team, or a college class for a field trip. And certainly if you’re staying at Playa Bonita on Diesel Beach, it’s not a great place to catch some sun. The pools are fine for it. Amy (“I’m not getting any sun! I need to wash this crap off my back!”) burned like an unconscious lobster left on a grill. While the fire was lit. On high. And people threw cigarette butts at it. While laughing. Even my red-haired wife caught a little too much sun, and when her skin started peeling it really made a picture of her new Embera Ink tattoos.

But a large part of me is glad we didn’t get to choose the vacation spot for our getaway. Panama is literally the last place on the planet I would have chosen. Ireland? Turkey? Germany? Canada? Kansas? These are all places that sound reasonably like good tourist spots for a nice week away from work. But the company chose for us. As they do every year on their Presidents’ Club vacation. And this unlikely spot made for a fantastic, and life-changing experience I won’t soon forget. Yes, even I – with my terrible memory – am not likely to forget this one.

Continue reading…

Here’s the thing about weddings.

See, I get mad when I think or talk about weddings. Not just the kind of mad you get when someone slams a door behind you unexpectedly. No, not even the kind of mad you get when someone calls your mom a whore. The mad I get is like the burning fiery rage of a thousand suns. It makes me angry in my soul. When I find myself getting into a conversation about weddings, I have to withdraw instantly, lest I burn up inside and start shouting all the reason they’re bullshittical, hogwashical and colossal wastes of money. And there are several reasons why this is so. I shall now tell you about them.

First of all, I know the big white weddings are traditional. Most women (and I know I’m gonna get a lot of flack for this, but that’s fine – I’m ready) seem so stuck on this “tradition” excuse that they turn into robots. I SIMPLY MUST GO SPEND A THOUSAND DOLLARS ON A DRESS. Yeah. You must. Why? Because your mother did it. And her mother before her. And you know what they all have in common? They all had an expensive white dress in their closets that never got used again. Because when it comes time to pass your dress down to your daughter, she’s going to say, “Oh, that’s so 1950s! I need my OWN one.” And your daughter is going to do the same damn thing. “Oh mom, I can’t wear that! That’s so 2001!” So yes, by all means, you’re right. You absolutely MUST go out and spend a thousand dollars on a dress you will wear one time. Ever. Because YOU have to follow tradition. You’re smarter than the rest of them.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

Hyper Space

I’ve lately begun to take offense to high gas prices. I’m not going to go into the politics of why I believe they are so high right now, or why I think the price hikes are completely unjustified, reactive and irrelevant to anything worldly at all. I’m just going to say that the price of gas has started to rise again, and I’m taking action against it.

Just like when I got my last traffic citation: I decided that I was no longer going to pay the state one more dime of my hardly earned money. The main highway just out of my neighborhood is a tollway. I have the American standard 2.4 vehicles per household, plus a camping trailer that I have to register plates for every year. Plus inspections, state-required insurance (instead of a check-box that reads “Opt out: Dude, seriously, I don’t need insurance because I’m not an idiot driver”) and all other types of ill fees I have to pay just to exist in this state. No way am I going to let them catch me speeding or something so I’ll have to pay more fines and fees! I decided right then and there that I was going to obey every traffic law to the K.

Continue reading…

A Sour Taste in my Mouth

I was going to write this column yesterday, but got really busy and didn’t end up having time. And now, it seems that delay might have been serendipitous, at least in that I might use fewer curse words in my text. You see, my faith in humanity has once again plummeted. Which is odd on the whole, when you consider the fact that it was already so low as to be considered subterranean. In fact it hit the base rock and got out an auger long, long ago. But you know, that’s the great thing about humanity: it never fails to amaze me with how shitty it can get!

But like I said, I’m glad I ended up waiting, because something terribly awesome happened last night that restored a little tiny bit of that faith. That faith in humanity is strengthened when you realize there are businesses out there made up of human beings who care about people. Or at least they care about money and are so good at making it that they can afford to give away free stuff. Like laptops. Yes, I am, in fact, writing this on my new Google Chrome CR-48 laptop. Thank you for asking. It just arrived on my doorstep last night. I had even forgotten I signed up to be in the pilot program. Yes. Google sent me a free laptop. And it’s probably the most awesome notebook I’ve ever seen. Slicker than whale snot on an ice rink.

Continue reading…

Making the Switch

I know I’ve spoken a lot lately about going open-source. You probably remember my award-winning column called Open-Source My Life, because you remember how it made your skin all bumpy with chills when you realized you could liberate yourself from the oppressive hand of the big boys. I know you also have probably been sitting there hitting F5 every several minutes for the last few weeks, hoping a new column would show up on the site. I know, I know. And I’m sorry. As it turns out, I have learned lately that Haycomet is a lazy writer. She drags butt around the office and almost never writes anything. I see her standing in office doorways and at cube openings, coffee in hand, just talking to all the other SpaceBrew employees.

It’s okay though. There are still plenty in the archives for you to check out. (out which you can check? meh) So anyway, I have one more column to write about going open-source, and I’d like for you to read it. I promise you won’t be bored by it, and it won’t be two thousand words, and you might actually learn something. And it may change your life. The column, not the topic. So read on, my laconic friends.

Continue reading…

Open-Source My Life

Here in the last several months, I have begun to embrace the open-source. I have gone off the corporate teet, one might say. I no longer support the big boys just because they come standard and they’re the most well known and popular. Just because they’re the most well known does not always necessarily mean they are the best. And since I have stopped supporting the big guys, my life has gotten markedly better. Allow me to explain.

You see, there are some products out there whose brands have become synonymous with the product they’re selling. Kind of like how everyone says, “Hey, I have some chunky green snot with some hard furry flakes in it, can you pass me a Kleenex?” Facial tissue would be the proper term for it, without applying the brand name. Another popular one is “Hey guys, let’s set up some plastic cups on the Ping-Pong table so we can see them chicks’ boobs!” Table tennis is the brand-detached term for the game.

Continue reading…

I’m not real proud of myself right now.

For one who considers himself on top of the technology game, I sure did just pull a major blunder. Now I don’t purport to know everything about everything, or everything about all the new tech coming out, but I do keep up with it fairly well. I stay abreast (God I love that word) of all the latest schlit coming out and I’m pretty well aware of the value of technology. I guess maybe I just lost a little of my touch. Or went dumb for a minute.

You remember my talking about getting rid of my iPhone, right? Yeah. I wanted to sell it. Then I decided to keep it. Then I thought maybe I should sell it. I went back and forth like a bi-curious virgin trying to decide which orientation to break chastity with. I know, that was a poorly worded sentence, and I ended on a preposition – but I thought the analogy was worth it. And speaking of analogies… Well, let’s just stick with the story.

Continue reading…

You Can’t Trust the System

I’d like to tell you that this story is true, and that you need to believe it because I’m telling the truth here. This is not a work of fiction! But how do you say that at the beginning of a column, when the entire purpose of the site upon which you write is entertainment? A lot of what I write here is fiction. Heck, everything Haycomet writes is fiction. But this, my friends, is real. This is true. And it really happened. And I have witnesses.

So I’d like to tell you the ridiculous story of how my pals and I ran into a series of events governed by Murphy’s Law, and were unable to get out from under his oppresive thumb. If I ever meet Harvey Murphy, I have a few words for him, I assure you. And alls we were doing was trying to have a little lunch.

Continue reading…

Bacon Talk: Dream Houses

Good morning, and happy Friday to you all, oh seekers of the bacon! Welcome to another edition of Bacon Talk, the weekly SpaceBrew feature John Goodman mentioned in his recent interview with Conan O’Brien! This week, we’re sitting inside the cozy confines of our office living room, by a crackling fire. It’s cold out there! And after last week’s episode, the new balcony collapsed, killing several birds and a nest of baby kittens. I assure you, this was not Butch’s or Bruno’s fault, though they are on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation. We’re just thankful no one was out on the balcony when it collapsed. Well, the window cleaning guy was, but no one will even miss him.
So how do you feel today, Hay Hay? Word around the campfire is that you’ve got your cake site all set up now. Is that so?

Why yes, Space, that is so… thanks to you. I just need to start adding pictures of the crazy cakes I’ve made in the last eight years. I’ve made everything from guitar and drum cakes to a teddy bear pirate cake. Maybe the site will launch my career as a cakist and then I can quit my day job.

Continue reading…

More Ways to Screw the Customer

I’ve long been of the opinion that companies should listen to their customers. I know you all remember my column about Coca-Cola changing their formula. Well, I highly doubt a consumer requested that. Companies that listen to their consumers though, are the ones that will last. Like Dodge, when they listened to Dodge drivers and installed a step in the tailgates of their pickups. Who doesn’t want a tailgate step? Another example would be Microsoft, when they listened to consumers and made Windows 7.

Ahem. To a lesser extent.

But what about those companies (like Coca-Cola) that don’t listen to their customers and consumers? The ones that make changes that cause all kinds of havoc and ill schlit to happen? Those are the ones I want to talk about this morning. And one of them just happens to be a company I’ve already mentioned.

Continue reading…

More Great Ideas From Space

We all know I was the one who introduced the world to the idea that we could solve the global warming crisis with National Leave Your Refrigerator Open Today day. So, clearly, I’m a pretty smart guy. Apparently, no one has taken this idea and run with it, but that doesn’t really mean the idea isn’t genius. You know? I think the government is trying to get rid of me so that they can claim the idea for themselves, then we’ll start seeing the idea put into practice. But I just wanted to bring that up – not to rub it in your face that I’m a lot smarter than you, but rather just to remind you that I am, in fact, pretty smart.

So anyway, as I always do, I was sitting around yesterday thinking of more ways I could change the world and make it better for people. Like when I came up with the idea of how to run cars on water… Well, they won’t start using that until we run out of gas. Because you’d put all the gas station employees out of a job. See? But just like that, I came up with a few more ideas that will really help the world become a better place. And I’d like to tell you about a couple of these ideas. You can tell me how awesome they are and how smart I am in the comments section below, because I know you’re going to get your socks blown off.

Continue reading…

A Spacey Definition of Fashion

Have you ever gone through your closet and just looked at some of the clothing you have in there, realizing that some of it is actually quite old? Well I did this the other day. I looked through all my nice clothing, all the Structure and Z Cavaricci fashion I have hanging on my closet poles, and realized that I haven’t bought new clothing in quite some time. Now I have plenty of new t-shirts. Seriously. But yeah, my double-belted purple slacks and other fine couture articles have been hanging in my closet now for close to fifteen years. I clearly needed to go shopping.

I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’m not wasteful. I will still wear my purple Z Cavs on occasion, because they still look really good. I only wear them on special occasions – not when I’m changing my oil or digging French drains in the backyard. So there’s no point in getting rid of them. But I felt like I could treat myself to some new fashion. It’s been a long time. It’s time for a trip to the shopping mall.

Continue reading…

Retirement Party: This Weekend

So when I heard the news that Brett Farve was finally retiring, I sighed and shook my head, then went to sit on the sofa with a beer. As I was in motion dropping into sitting position, a news flash came on saying he had changed his mind. Again. Now I don’t actually have television service of any kind, and the radio was not on. But a news flash surely did happen, and – well, I just knew he wasn’t really retiring. And now I’m kind of getting a little tired of his Barbra Streisand-like retirement hoopla. Dude, I don’t care how many times you “retire”, you’re only getting one party.

Seriously, how many times can one really ‘retire’ anyway? Take the Eagles, for instance. When Don Henley said, “We’ll get back together when hell freezes over…” everyone believed him. But does anyone believe you can get a snowcone in hell right now? From what I hear they’re touring again, and they’ve even got a new quarterback. Wait. Not that the Eagles. It’s like the ‘in’ thing to do right now is to retire, take a few months off, and come back acting like it’s a whole new gig. Sorry though, Poison. No one wants to hear your new stuff. They only want to hear Unskinny Bop and Talk Dirty to Me.

Continue reading…

Meal Ticket for a Bad Meal

We were talking last night about the concept of the discount coupon, the refund and the free meal ticket. So say you go into a restaurant, you order a nice big meal, you eat it, then you get sick and end up spending the next nine hours pinwheeling in your bathtub. For those of you who don’t know what pinwheeling is, imagine you’re spraying out of both ends. If you were to take a spear and stick it through your side into the wall, the force of the liquids coming out of you would propel you to spin, doing backflips on the spear.

After you spend all night in the shitter, you call the restaurant, or even better – go back up there, and they give you a free meal ticket to make it up to you. Ahem. Like you really want to eat there again? That was one shitty cookie! Can I have a discount on my next shitty cookie? Yeah it really doesn’t make much sense. Same thing with shitty haircuts. You might get a coupon for a free haircut since they effed your head up this time. Uh huh. That is one valuable coupon. I know I don’t keep going back to places that don’t do their job right.

Continue reading…

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.)

Continue reading…

It’s all Exxon’s fault. Again.

Seriously. I am sick to death of gas stations and their evil ways. Oh what, have you not noticed? Seriously? So for the last thirty years there’s been a conspiracy between all gas stations. Every single one of them lists gas prices the same way. It’s not $1.32. It’s $1.32.9. Like anyone actually uses penny tenths. That’s the cheap way of saying the gas costs $1.33 per gallon. Unless you’re giving me back my tenth of a penny, you cobbler.

:rant: I am outraged because I know deep down inside that everytime my wife or my buddies tell me how much gas is, I know they are actually a penny off. And that’s PER GALLON. And I’m actually probably guilty of it too. I fall victim just like the rest of you. I glance up at the sign and think I’m getting a good deal when I see the gas costs 2.42, but I forget to add in the .9. Enough with the chicanery! The tomfoolery! The ballywho! The SKULLDUGGERY!

Continue reading…

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?

Continue reading…

Calling the Call Center

I hate having to call customer service. Mortgage company, bank, cell phone company, whatever. I hate having to call them. If I can’t handle whatever problem I’m having on the website, I’d rather just cancel my service than have to call and sit through all the bullshit. Alas, that’s not very realistic though, as I’d be changing providers and canceling shit about every month. So I have to deal with calling in and talking to someone – hopefully – a lot more often than I would in a perfect world.

The first thing that pisses me off is the menus. Forget the fact that I have to push a certain number to hear it in English. I don’t mind the “Para Espanol prima el numero dos” or whatever, so the Mexican folk have to press two to continue in Spanish. That’s fine. Just don’t make me push something to continue in the national language. But the menus are just silly and time wasting. Now what they’re trying to do here is keep you from talking to someone. If they can take care of your problems with an automated system, they much prefer that. Keeps their call volume down. Store hours, available balance, directions, whatever – they can all be taken care of without having to talk to a human. But most of the time I already know all that shit. And I need to talk to a person. Enter my next complaint.

Continue reading…

Interview With a Feminist

For a long time, I’ve been friends with Stella, who is a true, bona fide, self-proclaimed feminist. But we’ve never really talked about it. Most of what we talk about is about more important things, namely, things centered more around manly things. So what exactly is a feminist, and what do they believe in? Do they really honestly expect people to believe that women should be treated as man’s equal? Ha! Oh. Yeah, apparently they do. So we here at SpaceBrew, in the ever-endeavor to get to the bottom of humanity and its insane ways, have decided to do a little research into one of the biggest problems plaguing our civilization: the women’s liberation movement. (Sorry, Stella, my shift key broke there, or I’d have capitalized all that.)

So I sent some interview-like questions to Sean and she replied, myspace interview style, in an effort to better educate us. Ever the good sport, she didn’t get terribly upset at the insults I hurled at her. She just accepted that she is a woman, and therefore, my inferior, and sort of just took it in good spirit. Before posting this column, I actually allowed her to read all my parts as well as her answers, all in context. At the bottom of the column, I gave her a ‘final word’ area, where she can comment on anything that didn’t appear in the questions I sent her.

Continue reading…

Lost Treasures

Over the last couple of years, Captain and I have analyzed and cataloged the inventories of over seventeen thousand couches. We took our science team, which consists of our Department of Couch Research, our Department of Breast Analysis and Appreciation, and our entire Ministry of Sexual Relations. Don’t ask why we needed those departments. But you can see how couches have to do with sex, at least in some respects.

Anyway, what we endeavored to do was to find out what people had lost in their couches. And there were plenty of treasures to be found. People with children usually had a few Legos and some small plastic pieces of play fence. People with cats found a lot of cat hair and an occasional chunk or two of litter, sometimes a play ball (you know the ones with the little bells in the middle of them?). But the most popular items we found in people’s couches were French Fries and pennies. Ninety-six percent of the couches we cataloged had at least one of each beneath their cushions.

Continue reading…

In God We Trust

I read a news article about a man who is suing the nation in an effort to try to get that simple little phrase removed from US currency. He says it represents a definitive stance on religious principles. Does it? There’s a live vote going on as I write this. Looks like so far about three quarters of us think it’s a patriotic and historically significant phrase and should be left alone. What do you think?

My opinion on this is simple. I’m all for the separation of church and state, and no, I don’t think people should have to say “under God” in the pledge of allegiance if they don’t want to. Whatev. But don’t amend it because of a few. Because this nation was founded under God originally. And here’s the other thing. Whether it’s crossing the line between separation of church and state is irrelevant. God is still over both church and state, last I checked. I mean, anyone who creates a universe has the right to run it however he deems fit, and everything in it is technically ‘under’ him, yeah? So whether or not you choose to accept it, speak it, acknowledge it, admit it or otherwise, God’s still pretty much the man. Church, state, city, farm, wherever.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

Rights? What rights?

Why are people so willing and ready to give up their personal freedoms so easily, and with so little objection? Read ahead and you’ll see what I’m referring to. You might not think this is a big deal, or that I’m nitpicking about trivial shit. But I’m not. And I’m not willing to bend on little shit like this, because the more you give them, the more they will take from you. And you have to draw the line somewhere!

When I’m leaving Wal-Mart, I don’t expect to have to show you my receipt. Big deal, you say? Yes, it is a big deal. Number one, I’ve already paid for the shit. It’s mine now. The receipt is also mine. It’s proof that I purchased my stuff in case I need to return it. It’s not yours to see, and you have no legal right to ask for it. If I refuse to show it to the old woman at the door, there is nothing they can do about it, and they certainly cannot detain me over it. Most people just assume they have to show their receipts at the door, when asked for it. No! You don’t!

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

The Price of Ice is Not so Nice

Happy Friday the 13th everybody. Hope spooky things happen today. :rolleyes: Actually, you know what would worry me more, would be Monday the 13th. If I were a superstitious guy, which I’m not, because that’s just gay, and I really don’t get into gay stuff, especially meaningless shit like superstitions, yeah, including that one about throwing the salt over your shoulder, but if I were a superstitious guy, and I actually believed that the number 13 was unlucky, and it fell on a Monday, then I might be worried. But Fridays are awesome!

Anyway, so I went camping this weekend. Just a few close friends and I – nothing big. We only took like six coolers full of food and beer. Don’t you have to be close friends to go camping with someone? I mean, really – are you going to take someone you don’t even like? Anyway, yeah, like I said, we went camping. And it was so son of a bitching hot that we had to keep buying bags of ice. And I finally realized something. I’m in the wrong damn business.

Continue reading…

Relief? Check.

So by now we’ve all gotten our relief checks in the mail. Right? If you haven’t, then please stop reading here. I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you.

Yeah, so I got mine this morning. Well, it didn’t come in the mail, as such. It just sort of came in my bank account. That sounds unnatural and disgusting. It arrived in my account. How’s that? And let me tell you what a relief it was.

Continue reading…

Good Things About the IRS

I wanted to say good things about the IRS. So I did. Now we can move on to other sentences I should say. Like, “To hell with the IRS,” and “Son of a bitch I hate the damn IRS,” and “Wow, so the IRS is like legalized crime, right? What the hell.” Those are pretty typical sentiments when talking about the IRS. IRS, of course, is an acronym that stands for Invasive Rape System. And for those of you who don’t know, they take your hard-earned money from you. So not only do you get raped, they take your money while they’re doing it. Then if you protest or anything, they do what’s called an “Audit” where they bring several friends to your house, dig through all your private shit, then take turns raping you before throwing you in jail. That’s right. If you don’t let them have their way, they throw you in jail to get what? Ass-raped some more.

So tax day has come and gone another year. I know millions of you filed extensions. And you know what I say about that? I say kick ass. I pat you on the back. Because you know why? Because screw them, that’s why! I filed this year on April 1 or so, and throughout the process got more and more angry as I watched more and more dollars get tagged to be sent to them. Oh, so the ten thousand dollars I sent you already last year wasn’t enough? Right. So I found as many deductions as I could, claiming everything I could think of. Donated to charity? (You can claim up to $500 without a receipt.) Uh, oh yeah. Now that you mention it, I did send about five hundred bones their way. Who the hell wouldn’t claim something you have to show no proof for? Duh.

Continue reading…

If I Had a Time Machine

Before we get into the details of how I would use my time machine, I feel the need to expose some technical details to you. There are certain issues one runs into when traveling through time, and these have to be addressed. There are some technical modifications that must be inherent to the machine itself in order to prevent certain things from happening. Some of these are just basic safety features.

For instance. Say if I wanted to travel back in time to 1989 so I could visit Tiananmen Square and watch the protests, I would set my time machine back to the day before it started. I would attach the wrist strap, select the exact time, then I’d click “Insert” on the icon running in the Human Icon application. Now, if my time machine didn’t have a Relative Space-Time Binding Computer built into the architecture, I would arrive at that exact minute I specified, and there’d be no planet beneath me. Forget that the Earth orbits the sun. Remember instead, that the whole of the Solar System (and the Milky Way, beyond that) is moving through space as well. I would appear somewhere in the blackness of space, nowhere near anything terrestrial. That RSTB computer mod basically binds the time to the space, makes calculations based on Earth’s insane kinetic posture, and moves me through space, as well as time. So when I appear on April 15, 1989 at Tiananmen Square, the Earth is actually there underneath me. Relativistic Global Positioning. It’s the new-age, people. I feel sorry for those people who experimented with time machines back in the early 90s, and had to find out the hard way that time and space move separately!

Continue reading…

The Coolest Places I’ve Worked

Being an unruly and independent sixteen-year-old means you don’t take shit from anyone. Or in the parlance of the age, you don’t take shit from no one. Ever. You do as you please. You wake when you want. You go to school if you feel like it. You listen to your parents if it suits you – because obviously you know better than they… How the hell should they know what it’s like to be alive in the 80s as a teenager? They were teens in like the 50s and shit. Trust me, Pop. You just don’t understand.

It also means you have to work in as many jobs as you can fit between your sixteenth and your nineteenth birthdays. Seriously. I didn’t quit because I got sick of places. Actually yes, I did. But I was going to say that I quit because I was ready for something new. I wanted to experience it all. And both are true. How long can you work at Skaggs bagging groceries before you begin to believe you could manage the store yourself? It can’t be rocket science, dude. That’s why you, Mister Store Manager, only make like thirty grand a year. When I grow up, I’ll make twice what you make in my spare time. I’m sixteen, all powerful, hear me roar.

Continue reading…

BMW vs. Jeep Wrangler

I was walking through one of my favorite stores yesterday when I was assaulted (not really, but come on) by a kiosk sales guy. He didn’t sell kiosks. He had a kiosk setup inside my store for his own company. It’s like he pays a lease fee for that floor space for the afternoon or whatever. Anyway, he asks if I’d be interested in hearing about the brand new bmw model – whatever the hell it was. I’m sure it had an X or an L in there somewhere. You know, something fast.

“Sir, are you interested in hearing about the new bee em double you ex el ex seven el ex ex seven el?” he says eloquently.

To which I reply, “No.”

Continue reading…

The Secret to Success

Space & KineticIt was nice having Kimbre in town for a day – even though she had almost nothing positive to say about our fair city. I only got to see her for a few hours, though I’m betting she was at it for most of the duration of her stay – stopping only to sleep. I’m sure I’d notice a stink too, were I to leave for a time and return. But I’m also betting that I’d sneeze my ass off in ‘fresh mountain air’. Because where there are mountains, there are pines. And where there are pines, there are pine needles that make me sneeze like an angry Indian.

Speaking of Indians, I think I’ve finally found the way to make a shit load of money, expending as little energy as possible. It’s pretty simple, really. But let me first outline the other ideas I’ve had before. First of all, you want a business that doesn’t require disposable stock, like cups and hot dog canoes, because you have to order that shit. And our goal here is to do as little as possible, and make as much money as possible. Remember? Okay. So the first idea I had was a bowling alley. You buy all the balls and pins and equipment and people come use it. None of it really goes away, and you just pay for maintenance and upkeep. All you do is spray shoes while you sit on your ass.

Continue reading…

Customer Freaking Service

I’ve something to say today about something that’s very near and dear to me. Well let’s not mince words here, I’m going to rant. I’m going to use very strong language. Language I never use on the site. But I’m so full of rage I can’t see straight, and I think to shave off the language would be to strip the column of its spirit. I’m madder than a mean bull in a – what are those bullfighting things called? In one of those things. This issue about which I want to write is Customer Freaking Service. And yes, those words should always be capitalized. I will attempt to outline the reasons why.

One: Because of the first word, Customer. If I’m a Customer, that means I’m either buying a service or a product from you. I’m not one who is automatically of the opinion that the Customer is always right, but I’m definitely one who believes that the service side of the counter should try to make the Customer happy.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

Lines, lines, lines…

I’ve got something on my mind that’s been pissing me off lately. It’s about waiting in lines. I was standing at the grocery store the other night, waiting patiently to give them my money. The cashier two lanes over opens up and the dude behind me bolts over there like he’s running for his life. Then that checker steps out and says, “Sir, you can come down here.” So I walked on over there. This dude is all looking at me like he’s nervous, but at the same time, he wasn’t about to give me his place in line.

Now. My gripe is this: What in the hell makes him think he should be in front of me? I was in front of him in this line over here, and granted, he ran to the other one first. But my theory is that if a new checkstand opens, it should serve the people who have been waiting the longest. At the fronts of the lines. Not from the backs. I’ve been waiting ten minutes longer than this lunger, but he gets to be in front of me in the new line?

Continue reading…

Hot women don’t wait in line.

Attitude is everything. I don’t care how good looking you are, or what kind of clothes you wear, or what kind of car you drive. Attitude is everything. I would sooner take the hand of the lady wearing poor clothes and driving the hatchback Honda then the bitch wearing the Versace dress driving the Porsche. Well, depending on who has the better tits, of course. But that’s beside the point. We’re not talking physical here. It’s about character.

I saw this woman at the store the other night. I was picking up a loaf of bread and some leche. Thumbing through a magazine while I waited in the checkout line, this chick started talking to me. She was right in front of me. She had a very pleasant smile and glasses, she was humble and kind, and all in all, very attractive. And her voice was friendly and full of care. It was pretty cool, I instantly liked her. She asked what I thought about something in the magazine. I talked to her for probably fifteen minutes. The line gets really long at Wal-Mart Supercenter the day before Independence day. It was incredibly slow.

Continue reading…

Men Will Be Men

I just got into a “heated debate” with a girl friend of mine about the essence of a men’s club. She can’t stand topless dancers, and has no respect for them. Thinks it’s a bad deal for men to go to them. Thinks lowly of the men who go to them too. Has no respect for them. Well who the hell said anything about respect?

While I can think of several other places I would rather have gone for my bachelor party last Saturday night, and several reasons for each, I didn’t have the great providence of being my own best man. Thus I didn’t plan my own bachelor party. And we went to a titty bar. I didn’t object. I am a man. I like titties. (Tell me you didn’t know that.) Plus, it was my party.

Continue reading…

I should really be moving.

We close Friday. We start moving Saturday. That is, of course, after the former owners of the house actually move out. They start moving on Saturday, so as per our contract, they will be leasing the house from me for one day. Would it not make sense to save everybody the time and money, and just move the hell out on the day of closing? I despise the thought of moving boxes in while they are moving boxes out. Therefore I will be waiting until they finish before I move my boxes in. Eff all that. My luck, they would be grabbing the boxes I just brought in and moving them out. So I’ll wait. The pain in the major ass is that that leaves me with only two full days to move everything from my apartment in Carrollton to my house in Flower Mound. Two days may seem like a long time to you, but I will present the following arguments in contradiction:

  • I have a lot of shit.
  • The second day of my two days to move is a Monday. No one else can or will get off that day to help. I will be moving by myself.
  • I have a lot of shit.
  • I still haven’t packed.
  • I have a lot of shit.

Continue reading…