Tagged: mystery

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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Time Machine Status: Repaired

Some time ago, I requested your help with finding the cause of my failing Fonga Plug on my time machine. I’m sure you remember the column. It ended up not being the Reticulating Cockball Assembly, after all, and instead the Hyperflux Induction Modulator. And since you cannot buy one of those at Auto Zone, I had to craft one myself.

So I started with the basics. Of course you have to have the Hatford Loop. Without a Hatford Loop, your temporal course will never stabilize. You can literally get lost in the ether between seconds, trying to find your way back to 2254. I have heard horror stories about guys tearing off into the mezazoic period with a camera and a dream of photographing a dinosaur and turning up fossilized in the future. Don’t even ask.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Prestige

Occasionally there comes along a film that is so great it makes you say a cuss word and choke on your bourbon. And even more remotely, there comes one that makes you rearrange and alter your top-five favorites list. Well, friends and enemies, this here is one of those.

This film came out around the same time The Illusionist arrived on scene. Just like Deep Impact and Armageddon, The Matrix and The Thirteenth Floor, and Little House On The Prairie: The Movie and James Bond in Casino Royale. Like movies always seem to hit the scene at the same time. Like they both thought of it at the same time and one of them didn’t copy the other’s idea. (Like Leeanne Rimes suddenly deciding she needed to sing How Do I Live Without You shortly after the superior Trisha Yearwood had already sung it. And sang it well. And there’s your introduction.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Adjustment Bureau

It’s been a long time since we actually went to a theater to watch a movie – and I’ve never been to Studio Movie Grill. But that sounds like exactly the kind of place I should be going to watch a movie. They serve beer. Nothing further, your honor. So I took the red-haired wife to see The Adjustment Bureau. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

If you were to write down exactly what I typically look for in a movie, you might get something pretty close to the script for this movie. I mean, on paper, this is exactly the kind of stuff I want to see on film! A behind-the-scenes group who makes sure things stay on the right path, and controls the outcome of events… The ability to open any door in the city and have it take them anywhere they want to go… Wow. Dude, are you sure I didn’t write this script myself?

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Tales from a Repo Man

Thursday night when my phone rang and a friend asked me if I could do a favor, I said yes. But I had no idea it would make for such an interesting weekend, and with so many stories. Of course, some of those stories are better told in person than in writing, so they won’t be mentioned here, but overall, it made for a very entertaining and interesting weekend. Will you allow me to tell you about it? Good. And there’s your opening paragraph.

So the call I got from a friend, who shall remain nameless (and genderless) called to ask if I would run up and repossess a vehicle for him/her. Well, I’ve never been called the Repo Man. And the only experience I have with repossessing a vehicle is when my truck got stolen when I was in the service. I came back home for a weekend, discovered my pickup had been stolen out of my dad’s driveway, and went and got it back. I happened to know where it was, who was likely to have stolen it, and so I got it back. But I’m not really much of a repo man. Well, I wasn’t… until yesterday.

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Coming Out of the Closet

During the Great Robot Fiasco of 2010 a couple of months ago, where my Pusher and Shover Robots malfunctioned and tried to push my red-haired wife down the stairs (instead of my grandmother), I spent a lot of time in my closets. I spent time in my water closet testing and replacing parts on my air handler. I spent time in my master closet testing and replacing circuit breakers. I even spent time in some of my neighbors’ closets looking through their clothing and enjoying the various scents attached to the legs of their slacks and dresses. But now, my friends, it’s finally time to come out of the closet.

Yeah, see, I really just wanted to say that. It feels good to say it. But it feels even better to finally be out of the closet. See, after several long hours spent in all these closets around my house performing repairs, I realized some of those closets could use a good once-over cleaning. I realized I had junk on my shelves in the master closet that had been sitting there for years. Just shit like picture frames and curtain rod holders, cabinet knobs and stacks of important papers, electron shufflers and relastics diodes. You know, the stuff you find in just about every closet in America.

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The The Bacon Paradox

Have you ever heard of the Bacon Paradox? Actually, I think the The is capitalized, so it would technically read, The Bacon Paradox. And since the The is capitalized and part of the title, it would be appropriate in its proper noun sense to refer to it as the The Bacon Paradox. In which case, you should then go ahead and capitalize the first the, e.g. The The Bacon Paradox. You obviously then add another the, it becomes capitalized, and so on, ad nauseum.

Yeah. Sort of like the TTR report, in which the acronym formally stands for “The TTR Report”. Figure that one out.

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A Newfound Fear of the Wind

Once upon a time, I stumbled upon an opportunity that put me within reach of complete and utter insanity. The promise of excitement and adventure also lurked quietly nearby, but when you start adding and multiplying fear with terror and a little bit of horror, the insanity looms much larger. And that’s ultimately what I only just avoided, while merrily breezing through the adventure. For I had found a cave.

And I’m not talking about the Carlsbad Caverns. That shit is artificial and bi-curious at best. I mean, really? Hand rails? Yeah so what for tourists; I think they should have to crawl and climb through there like Harvey Carlsbad when he discovered the damn thing. There are lights drilled into the ceiling for Elephant’s sake. No, I’m talking about the cave in West Texas where we found the skulls. Oh, I haven’t told you about that? Well allow me to elaborate.

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I wear sheets and carry a lantern.

Have you ever heard of the Anson Lights? Anson is a small town about thirty miles north of Abilene. There are some lights there. It’s pretty interesting. Seriously though, there’s a dirt road that leads off one of the main roads there, which you can turn down to get to the cemetery. The cemetery runs all the way down this road until you get to a crossroad. At that point, you’re supposed to turn your car around and flash your headlights three times.

Legend is that a woman’s husband ran off with her baby and so she and a search party went out into the field to look for him. Her request was that if anyone from the party found the child, he should signal by flashing his lantern thrice. So when you do this in your car, the baby appears in your back seat!

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The Mystery of the Keys

I have a keybox mounted in the wall in my secret room. Yes, I built a secret room in my house, because during one of my many excursions into the attic, I noticed an area that didn’t have a ceiling, and there was a bunch of wasted space. So I built it in, utilizing it for something cool. There’s nothing big in there, just my guns and some dirty magazines. You know, the usual. And my keybox. Now this is an American Security Company keybox, mounted between the studs, in my secret room. I have a buddy who works for ASC, so I get a pretty fair discount on their fine products. This keybox is stronger than – well, stronger than something pretty strong. You couldn’t pry it open with a crowbar and a sledgehammer, unless you wanted to.

Anyway, it’s mounted with the lock side right up against a brick wall, so there’s no room to pry it anyway. My point in all this is that you can’t get into that son of a bitch unless you have some dynamite and just a stupid desire to get at my keys. You know, it’d be easier to just steal my car. You know, without the key. Okay, so I’ve told you about the keybox.

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To Get To The Other Side

I spent most of the evening yesterday finishing up the decluttering of my house. This is the supplemental cleaning that compliments Sunday’s share of just over ten hours. I’ve been doing this while the family is out of town, you see. I had just turned off the light and – wait. Let me back up.

I’m not a sissy little pansy girl. I’m a man. A big, strong, mean mother cobbler. I’ve seen just about everything I need to see to qualify that statement, and have confronted every bit of it with a boldness I’d possibly not have considered I possessed. I’m not a bad ass, but there’s really just not anything that can scare me. Sure there’s stuff that will worry me or cause me to fret. Like the safety of my daughter, gas prices (good call, trumby) etc. But I’m scared of nothing. Well, until last night. Last night I became a sissy little pansy girl.

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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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Temporal Displacement

There was a loud knock, then a slipping sound, and I sat up sharply in bed. My head reeled with pain from the night before. Way too late, way too much. I heard footsteps coming down the hall. The hardwood floors creaked as the footsteps came closer to my room. They stopped right outside my door. I could see a shadow standing there. Just waiting.

What the hell was going on? In the other room I heard the dog barking furiously. He didn’t like not being able to see out in the hallways. But since he had gotten into the trash a few nights prior, I had been locking him up at night. The feet outside the door hadn’t so much as moved since they had found their place there. Someone had broken into my home. I wiped the sleep out of my eyes and stared, frowning, trying to make something out of it. Who could it be?

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Fear of a Silent Elevator

Have you ever noticed the silence that fills an elevator when more than one stranger boards together? A nervous tension is evident in the air, and it’s like a vow of silence would be breached if someone were to open his mouth for a simple, “hi”. Why is this? In most cases, if you pass someone on the street, a simple nod, or a “hey, what’s up?” is usually in order. So why does this not carry over into a crowded elevator? It is beyond me. It seems the strangers around you would rather not even look directly at you. Everyone plays the quiet game, and stands as still as possible, staring at his shoes. An occasional glance at the floor indicator is the only sign of life among these passengers.

I have to ride the elevators to the fifth floor every day on my way to my office. As a rule of good measure, I generally try to start up some weird ass off-the-wall conversation, just to break some ice, as well as to observe people’s reactions. You would be amazed at how shy these people are. They treat everything you say like a yes or no question. I have been known to bring up such conversations as “Did you hear about the bicyclist on the freeway this morning?” or “What ever happened to that baby that was trapped in the elevator last week?” It really doesn’t matter what I ask. I sometimes ask the same question for a week. And since I never forget a face, I can tell if I have used it on them before.

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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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