Tagged: oops

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: E-Brake Pedal

This is an example of when bad design can actually be life-threateningly dangerous. When functionality and design aren’t tested properly through usability tests and just plain standing-back-and-looking-at-it, then this is what you end up with. This is from my van – a Honda Odyssey. And every single time I get into the van wearing jeans, I experience this issue. And it’s not only when I get into the van. It’s when I’m driving. I’ll move my foot, and my jeans leg slips right over the e-brake pedal. This keeps me from being able to move my left foot until I reach down and pull up the pant leg.

Of course it would be worse for something to catch your right leg, but I do use my left foot occasionally for braking. Sometimes it’s more practical and a lot less work – especially in traffic. This, friends, is dangerous. Let’s have a look at a collage. Here you’ll see a picture of my foot beside the pedal and then caught on the pedal.

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Bad Design Diary: Tiny Bathroom

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

Until we enter the bathroom…

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Bad Design Diary: Shower Faucet

I’m beginning a new series about bad design. Being a designer, I’m constantly thinking about it, and thus also always spotting bad design. One of the assignments my instructor assigned at the design conference in New York a few months ago, was to spot and record five things wrong with our hotel rooms. That was easy. I’m always looking out for areas that could use improvement.

But I won’t simply be complaining about bad design. I’ll also be offering up a solution. These will certainly be my own ideas, and not necessarily the best resolutions, but definitely better than the complaint I encountered. These will be short posts – not my usual 700-words-or-better columns I post. They will also have their own category for easy sorting and grouping. So come along with me as we look at some bad design.

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First Day After The End Of The World

We had a party last night. The invite said “Apocalypse Party. What better way to go out than hanging with friends, with a drink in your hand!” I guess we ended up with about twenty people over there. I served from my two kegs full of homebrew, and people brought various six-packs and variety packs of beer. Which I guess is cool, because now I have probably twenty unique types and brands of beer in my BeerFridge. Twenty that I’ve never tried. Pretty cool, I say. But what about the real question here?

Why didn’t the world end?

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Public Transit: A Gloryhole for People-Watching

I ride the train to and from work on most days. Well, I should say public transit. Because part of my trip sometimes involves a bus. In the past I would have thought that only poor and homeless people used the DART buses around here. Boy was I wrong. A couple of guys from my work ride with me, and this one really classy, foxy woman rides our bus too. She’s always reading on her phone. These aren’t the only non-homeless people on the bus. Just the ones I care about. But it has nothing to do with being poor. It’s actually to do with being smart, and wanting to free up your hands to use your time the way you want. I get to ride and read instead of drive and cuss. Anyhow, I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen a homeless person on the bus. Now the train, on the other hand…

But I do ride the bus for part of the trip because it gets me closer to my building. I have a nice little walk up the hill when I get off the bus. But taking the bus (and the train for that matter) every day makes for some interesting encounters with humanity. And since I’ve now been riding for about seven months, I’ve seen some very interesting people. Let me tell you about some of the most interesting encounters:

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Life Comes At You Fast (And So Do Cars)

It’s weird – I never thought it would happen to me. I am so defensive and cautious and alert, and even what one might call ‘super-ambulatory’. But none of that matters. I even saw it coming. He was turning left, but looking right as he pulled onto Lemmon heading Northwest. I noticed he was turning wide, into the center lane, obviously swerving wide to avoid me. But then at the last second, he changed course and started aiming for the inside lane, right where I was.

People have these theories that if ever a car bears down on them, they’ll jump in the air, do a fancy football juke, or a double-back-flip over the car. Well I just thought I’d be able to dash out of the way real fast. Well, as it turns out, time isn’t very elastic, and it just marches forward, second for second. And by the time I realized he wasn’t seeing me, I was out of options. So I turned and faced the truck. A Tahoe, it was. A white one with a black driver. And faster than lightning, he hit me.

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There’s Got To Be A Better Place

I had a most peculiar experience in the men’s room this afternoon. And I think I should tell you about it, because A) that’s what I do here, and 2) you can get a good chuckle. There aren’t very many times one can say he had a ‘peculiar experience in the men’s room’ without getting funny looks, but trust me: this was great, and it had nothing to do with anyone soiling his pants. For once.

It all started when I was in the men’s room, sitting on the toilet. There was another dude in the second stall. These stalls are arranged where you can’t see the feet of your neighbor unless you bend way down. And you don’t want to do that, because your junk touches the water. So basically, I didn’t know who it was in the other stall, and he certainly didn’t know who I was.

So I sat in there and did my thing, got finished, and was about to dismount, when all of a sudden I started hearing some soft moaning. Like the type where you are trying to supress it. Like when you don’t want someone to hear it. Heavy breathing and a little shifting around of the khakis. Yeah. I was pretty startled by the thought myself. I frowned and looked at the wall, thinking, “No way. There’s no way someone’s jerking it in here.”

Well, no sooner did I finish that thought than a loud clack, clack, skid, and voila! there’s a phone lying on the floor in front of me. So in the midst of someone’s payoff, he dropped the phone. It tumbled and cartwheeled into my stall and landed right in front of me.

Face-up.

Sigh. Yeah, of course I looked down to see it. Yes, I was in fact, expecting to see a picture of some hot, oiled-up woman with her mams hanging out. Or perhaps, a pregnant woman taking it from a nameless muscle-bound stud. Twin Asian girls smiling at some lollipop between them. Anything. But not some nameless muscle-bound stud oiled up with his hand on his own lollipop. Alone. OH GOD NO.

I was done with my business, so I stood up, stepped over the phone and made hasty exodus from the bathroom. There was no way I was going to touch that phone. I bet dude hurried up and cleaned himself up to get over there and get his phone before someone else came in to see it, though. But I’ll tell you one thing: he’s now going to be walking around the office in a paranoid craze, wondering who has discovered him. Wondering whether or not someone recognizes the bright red Otter Box. Oh yeah. He’s screwed. So to speak.

I’ve always suspected this guy was pulling taffy in there, because one time I went to use the stall right after he had walked out, and was very surprised to find that the odor he left behind was not that of excrement at all. It was, in fact, the overwhelming smell of bleach. And you know what else smells like semen. I mean bleach. Dammit. I was trying to let you guess it without telling you.

So anyway, now it’s confirmed. I know who Bam Stroker is. The question is, what will I do with that information?

So he was like :fap: and I was like :what: and he was like :doh: and then I was like :gonk: and now he’s like :ninja: and I’m like :cool:

25 Years Later: Chernobyl

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

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

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The Trifecta of Idiocy

Have you ever had one of those days where you just can’t do anything right? Well I haven’t. Everything I ever do is right. Ahem. Okay, well sometimes maybe I make a mistake or two. But… Okay, well sometimes I have those days too. And it seems especially bad when it happens to me because usually when I start messing up, people start getting hurt. I’m not sure why, but it just seems to work out that way most of the time.

For instance, the other day at my nephew’s birthday party, we all went to Blortbortham’s Seafood & Sausage House over on Cooper Street. I was carrying my two-year-old princess on my shoulders, walking around the restaurant so we could see what people were eating. I would stop by a table and bend over to examine their plates and ask them if it was any good. “How’s the squid bladder with octopus semen sauce?” I would ask, for instance. Some of the patrons seemed put off by the fact that I was asking them what they were eating, but come on – you’re in a public eatery! You should expect to have some human interactions with strangers.

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Space Vs. The Heater Bot

I’ve just ended my weeks-long battle with my heater bot. And while it might not be an interesting story to some, I feel like I should write about it in case anyone else ever runs into the same problem and needs some ideas for a fix.

You see, I’m of the opinion that if I can pay someone to come out and fix something in my home, I can darn sure fix it myself. Or I can at least try. I am not afraid to enlist the experience of my buddies and neighbors if they know something I don’t. But so far I’ve found I’ve been able to repair everything myself, and the only detriment to doing it myself is that it takes a little longer. Since I’m not an expert in any of these things that typically go wrong, I just have to use common sense and work backwards on the issue, troubleshooting and just figuring out what it could possibly be. Which, if you don’t know the system, takes a little longer. But it’s a lot cheaper than calling someone out and paying a trip fee and their marked-up parts cost and whatnot.

So you remember when my cooler bot went out during the summer. Well, my cooler bot and heater bot are part of the same physical unit. And in repairing the cooler bot part of it, I disabled part of the heater portion. So here’s what I did, how I eventually came to repair it, and why it took so damn long.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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You Ruined My Friday

Just so you have a frame of reference, you need to know I am lying in bed right now writing this on my SpaceBook. It is Friday night, 18:05 and I’m lying in bed on my laptop. You’re probably out painting the town, tearing it up, getting some trim, drinking some Cold Ones, and I’m lying here in bed. On my computer. On a Friday night. Have I emphasized that enough yet? Well allow me to pour a little salt in the wound. Even though it’s just after 1800 hours – six for you non-military types – my evening is already set in stone. There won’t be a break. I’ll be doing the same thing in two hours, and in six hours. My night is ruined.

Last night my red-haired wife and I were sitting out on the back patio just enjoying the cool summer breeze and a couple of Ones that were – at least to the best of my recollection – pretty Cold. When all of a sudden, from out of the corner of the backyard, I spotted something terrible and sinister. And before I could gather my senses and react appropriately (which would be to grab my Browning from the deep-conceal holster in the small of my back and put two in dead center mass), it was on me. I’ve never been attacked and overcome with such rapid efficiency or tactical precision in my life. My defenses were useless.

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The Law of Averages

I can’t recall how well I did in statistics class, most likely because of one of the few following reasons: I a) didn’t take statistics class in college, b) spent way too much time between the sheets with girls and not near enough between the pages of schoolbooks, or c) didn’t actually go to college. I can’t even recall which of the answers would be closest to correct, so I shall not bother. And there’s your opening paragraph.

But let’s just say that the odds of some things happening are almost statistically impossible. Like that time when my dad and I were at the driving range hitting golf balls, and we both hit at the same time, and our golf balls hit each other in mid-air about fifty yards out. Un-effing-believable. Seriously, we couldn’t do that again in seven hundred years. But it did happen. I wonder if that has ever even happened before to anyone out there at driving ranges all over the world. Surely it has…

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Pusher Robot No Longer Moves Air

Part 2 of the Shover Robot Saga

After many calls to my father-in-law, I am now a certified Master Electrician. I’m also a certified Master Air Conditioner Repair technician. Siege is now also certified in these departments. So when I left you at the end of the last column, my air conditioner was not turning on and my microwave was out. It works fine, it just has that extra feature now that my red-haired wife found to be pretty shocking. Our new status here is this: my microwave is still out, my water heater is out, but my air conditioner is blowing cold mountain air, fresh from the Rockies.

I won’t go into details about how we got to that status, but – wait. Who am I kidding? Of course I will. That’s what I do here. I called an air conditioner company here in SpaceTown, and the dude told me I had either blown a fuse or a transformer on the air handler. I know how much a fuse is. But how much does a transformer cost? And I don’t mean one of the gay autobot types, but rather a Decepticon, like Megatron, Shockwave or Thundercracker. “Well we charge about 200 bucks for it.” Whew! You guys are proud of them puppies! I wasn’t happy about that, but I was determined to find out what was wrong myself. And not pay someone else to come out here and fix this shit for me. I like to be handy, you know. Just ask my red-haired wife how handy I get under the covers. :perv: Oh wait. That’s handsy

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Shover Robot No Longer Cooks Bacon

It’s funny how you never realize how much you count on your electric appliances until one finally comes alive, says, “PAK CHOOIE” and pushes your grandma down the stairs to protect her from the Terrible Secret of Space. Allow me to explain.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Step, my red-haired wife, had decided that she needed to clean out the microwave oven, which is I guess what red-haired wives all over the world do. I don’t ever really pay much attention to it, so long as it reheats my bacon and my bacon-bacon burgers. Though lately it has begun to take on some of the physical properties of a cave, what with the brown rock stalactites that cling to its ceiling, and the rocky crevasses and stalagmites all over the walls and floor. The plates still fit in there, though they sort of sat at an awkward angle on the rocky surface… But I digress.

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Why SpaceBrew Was Down

Another good title for this column would be “Why You Should Never Host With HostMonster”. Or even another good one might be something like “HostMonster And The Incredible Display Of Incompetence, And How They Are So Disinterested In Their Customers That They Would Rather Cancel Their Accounts Than To Make Money, So I Don’t Know How They Even Stay In Business, But They Should Probably Be Shut Down, Bombed, Or Both”. That would be a pretty long title, but it gets the point across. So let me tell you what happened.

Now this is pretty high-tech stuff, and I have to admit, I wouldn’t understand it if I hadn’t been in IT for fifteen years, and spent four years as an Internet Systems Engineer. So I don’t expect you to get it all, but I’ll try to use some awesome analogies. But I absolutely must write about this, because they pissed me off so bad I almost went postal on them. Through Live Chat. Yeah. It was that bad. Read on, dear friends, loved ones and enemies. Come with me on a little journey of customer disservice, ridiculous policy and guarantees of dissatisfaction.

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I’m sorry, iPhone. I want you back.

I haven’t been using the phone part of the iPhone for the last six months or so. So I guess I’ve basically been carrying around an i. Heh. I got tired of AT&T’s bullsh, so I switched to someone with a more reliable network, and an altogether more affordable calling plan. Paying 200 bucks a month just so I can look cool carrying around my iPhone is ridiculous. Because I still didn’t look that cool. Not once did some hot chick with big boobs come bouncing up to me and say, “OMG you are so hot with that there iPhone, space.” So I dumped them.

So this other company, which starts with a V and rhymes with ‘horizon’ charges me 15 bucks a month to do all this great shit. Well, the phone was just a flip phone though, and – well, it didn’t have apps and all that glorious iPhoney stuff on it. Sniff. So I’ve been carrying around my iPhone and my phone. There’s just no service on my iPhone, so it’s like in permanent airplane mode. Which is cool. I mean, it’s like an iPod touch with a camera on it. Zing! So I’ve been pretty happy. Then came last week, when I made the mistake of my ife. (Get it? Ife? Like the beginning of iPhone… Yeah? No? Okay. Sorry, read on.)

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Keep On The Grass

Well for the last two months I’ve been away from Geek Squad, settling into my new job, and loving it. No more people approaching the counter demanding refunds for the laptop that just “stopped working” with the promise that there’s “no way in hell” they dropped it, and oh, what’s this crack in the LCD? Well that stuff just happens. Or it came like that. Or software did that. :rolleyes:

Anyway, it’s nice not to have to deal with the brunt of society’s idiots on a daily basis. Now I provide desktop and server support to all the clinics for the company for which I work, but really there are no stupid people here. There are those who have no idea what’s what in the world of techmology, but they’re sensible people. This is, after all, the medical industry. And I love it. So why am I writing? Ah, you know me. I don’t write about things when I’m happy about them.

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The Day the World Didn’t End

Space Says:

So what do we do now that the world didn’t end when it was supposed to? Well, I imagine a lot of people will be saying the same thing when December 13, 2012 rolls around. They’ll throw up their hands and say, “Uh, what do we do now? Yesterday was supposed to be it!” And what’s funny is I know some actual people who were preparing themselves for the world to end the other day, when they turned on the large collider. It was thought that it would create some black holes, you know. And the scientists said, “Yeah, well it could, but we’ll be able to manage them.”

Really.

So you have experience with black holes then? You’ve managed them before? You can somehow keep them from sucking in whatever you’re trying to control them with? Uh huh. Just push it into the trash can? Or wait, do you use another black hole to eat up the one that’s causing problems? How, exactly, tell me please, do you plan to control these black holes that might abound? Well, anyway, I’ve gotten off point. There was a lot of fear that the world would end when they switched this thing on. People were even protesting, trying to get the project shut down so it wouldn’t evaporate our world as we know it. Well they didn’t succeed. The thing is now running. And the world, so far as I know, is still here.

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Some things just weren’t meant to be.

You all know how badly I want the new iPhone. Well, I have in fact already ordered one and paid for it. Now I wasn’t like some of those fools who went and stood in line for seven days to get one of the first releases of the 3G. I waited a couple of months and then mosied into the AT&T store because I needed a phone. Might as well get the iPhone. It’s been out for a couple of months now, so there shouldn’t be a big wait or anything. So what this should tell you is that I’m a patient guy. When a new electronic device comes out, I don’t rush out and get it right away. I wait until the excitement dies off.

Then I rush out and get one.

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Roadside Memorials and You

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

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

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Orange (Explosive) Candy

While sitting at the lake the other day, we had an interesting experience. I mean besides the BMW that drove by with the 20-inch low-profile spinners and the extra bassy speakers. My sister and her youngest boy were there. A couple of other friends had their kids there, and I had Callie. So all the kids were running around, getting in the water, splashing, shooting water guns and eating hot dogs. A good, relaxing time, it was.

Then my sister’s boy comes walking up with orange goop all over his mouth, face, neck and hands. Oh, hey, Evan, what you got there, pal? Well, it was a paintball. He had put it in his mouth and chomped down. It exploded, sending orange paint all over the place. Hey, at least it was orange, am I right? “Well why did you put a paintball in your mouth?” And his reply? “Well, I thought it was candy!”

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Dude, that’s a lot of money.

So by now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the guy who walked into a bank here in Fort Worth, Texas with a check from his girlfriend’s mother. Not a big deal, I guess. People’s girlfriends’ mothers give checks to them all the time, right? To open a record company and whatnot, I mean. For 360 billion dollars.

Dude, I’m sorry, but I’ve never had a girlfriend whose parents liked me. My wife’s parents like me quite a bit. But if they had 360 billion dollars to spare, I doubt they’d write me a check for it. They might give me a million if they won the lottery or something. To take care of their daughter and grandchild, right? Sounds logical. But 360 billion? From a girlfriend’s mom? Yeah. Sure. It’s believable. I mean, I’m a likeable guy, but – okay, enough on that.

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The Epitome of Abandonment

I’d like to talk about something that has bothered me for quite some time. Twenty-three years, to be precise. On the 23rd of April in 1985, Coca-Cola made their big announcement that they would be changing their formula. Remember that? Well, Katy, you’re excused from this since you weren’t born until a couple of years later. But the rest of you, do you remember that? Let me remind you – or enlighten you – whichever is appropriate.

Pepsi had such a great market share of the soda pop drinkers that it really started threatening Coca-Cola’s business model. So Coke decided they needed to change their formula to taste more like Pepsi. Ahem. Let me repeat that in case you didn’t hear me properly. Coca-Cola decided that the best way to get back in the taste race was to change their formula to taste more like Pepsi. Wait. What?

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How I Plan to Solve the Global Warming Crisis

Global Warming is an issue I don’t take very lightly. I take it extremely seriously. I have, therefore, been working on developing some hard-hitting plans to help our great planet get out of this catastrophe. Some of my solutions may sound silly out of context, but in reality, I think they would really work. Like for instance, since you never hear people complaining about living in Hawaii, I figured we could move a couple of the continents (or build a new one out of dirt from the Sahara desert by dumping it into the ocean near Hawaii) down to around that area. See? That shit is genius. And it solves three problems at once. Number one, it makes a normally cold place like Antarctica really warm and beautiful. Number two, it helps with over-population. Because right now no one wants to live there except people of Eskimo descent. But a lot more people could move down there into that great big space if it was right on the equator. It’s like putting plywood in your attic so you can start using it as a room. And number three, well… Actually I don’t have a third reason. But I bet you can come up with one.

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Not a Happy Customer

If there’s one thing I hate more than slamming my finger in a rusty door, or stepping on a squeaky nail, it’s got to be incompetence in customer service. When I’m in a store inquiring about a product, your sales staff should know the answers to all my questions. Whatever happened to training the employees on the merchandise they are selling? When I worked in the Wal Mart Photo Lab, I took time every day to stand there reading the boxes of all the cameras. I learned what the best features were on every one of them, and was able to effectively compare and discuss intelligibly the best options for the customer. So if I go into Best Buy or Circuit City, why can I not expect someone working in the television department to do the same thing?

There’s nothing I hate more than asking someone a very specific question and having them look at the damn tag. Dude, I can do that myself. And already have. For instance, yesterday, I was in Micro Center, picking up an IDE/SATA I/O controller board for my home PC. I’ve troubleshot the problem down and determined that the root cause must be a bad IDE controller on my mother board. And since the computer I built is around three years old now, it’s a little outdated. It’s still a bad ass machine. I have a Pentium 4, and a good amount of RAM. But you know how quickly technology upgrades and supersedes itself. So my point is that it’s hard to find a socket 775 mother board that still supports the type of memory sticks I have. DDR2 is the new thing.

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Where are the good cats?

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

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

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Why I’m So Cynical

Well, I don’t really know why. But I can share with you a few examples of how I’m cynical.

A friend an I were talking about looking at the stars, and I made a joke about it not mattering if there are clouds or not, because the telescope sort of puts you out past the clouds. You’re looking at stuff much further away than the clouds, you see.

I know, it’s a rolleyes for me too. But you’d be surprised at how many people won’t laugh at that joke. But rather say, “Uh, what’s the joke, Spacey?”

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I’m just a cracker.

I have a friend named Keith who likes to use the word “nigger” a lot. Maybe it’s because he’s black, maybe not. I don’t like to associate behaviors with colors. But a few months after we met and started hanging out, he began insisting that I call him nigger. Not like every time I talk to him. But he wanted me to be comfortable saying that to him. Why?

We stood in the hall one day for several minutes while he tried to talk me into saying the word. I had been talking about this black client of ours who was an asshole, and I said something like, “I can’t stand that big dumb…” and I didn’t finish the sentence. The joke was that I was saying it to Keith to see if he’d catch what I was throwing. And he did, and he called me out on it. He said, “Go ahead, say it.” I shook my head. No, I don’t want to say it, because I don’t really feel that way.

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A Nice Christmas Dinner

It was this time – Christmas – of 1997, and the whole world was happy. I had just gotten back from Panama, and with my hazardous duty pay and my Christmas bonus, I bought a brand new shiny black Dodge 4×4 pickup. It had the works. Everything from leather seats to CD player, heated mirrors and one of those bitchin’ built-in cell phones that looks like a pocket calculator embedded in the visor. It was Wednesday, December 24, and I had spent the better part of three hours negotiating this buy at the dealership. I finally fiinished and tore off across I-20 for Dallas to go pick up my family for dinner. We would head to Three Forks for steak and brandy, followed by lavish dessert and maybe the men would venture outside for a cigar. Well, my Pops and I at least. My grandpa wasn’t much into that.

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Is there a woman who can drive?

I had to miss work yesterday because of an injury. Let me tell you what happened. I (once again) was the victim of a CWDOCP – a Careless Woman Driver On a Cell Phone. Not a big deal, but it did render my vehicle undrivable this time. I was sitting at the intersection of my street and the main street, waiting patiently to get out of my neighborhood when a woman comes barrelling into the entrance, aiming for the wrong side of the median! It was obvious she had been going too fast, and since she didn’t want to set the phone down, she couldn’t stop fast enough, and rather than keep going and u-turn to come back to the entrance of the neighborhood, she decided to turn into the wrong side of the median. While I was there.

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Part-Time Badass

A friend of mine relayed a story the other day that I was quite fond of, as it sounds a lot like something that would happen to me. She was sitting in the right-turn lane at a stop light and saw that the person in front of her started pulling out. So Rebecca (SheBang) looks back to check the traffic, and steps on the gas. SLAM.

The person in the car ahead had started pulling out. But then stopped. So Rebecca gets out of the car and starts walking up to assess the damage and talk to the other driver. As she gets halfway to the driver’s window, the old coot takes off. She had no clue she’d just been rear-ended.

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The Pool Party That Sank

Yesterday we celebrated my hot cousin’s 20th birthday with a whole bunch of drinking, swimming, music and drinking, and a little sunburn on the side. The party was a wild success. We played water polo, pin the tail on the donkey, simon says, and a rousing game of marco / polo. A good time was had by all!

Space & Hot Cousin LaraSome friends of mine came over to assist in the partyship, and everything seemed dandy. Then suddenly, from out of nowhere, one of the pretty girls splashed a little too wildly and her top came down just a little bit. I’m not talking full boobal exposure – just a tad bit of nipple peeked out. And one of the other girls saw it and made a comment to some of the men who were sitting on the deck (and were not fortunate [as I was] to get to be part of the audience).

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The Long Way to Aquaintance

I was sitting in a bar, watching the tiny television in the corner. This isn’t something I do very often. I stopped into this place to have a cold pint before meeting with a client of mine at the Internet Data Center right down the road. I was to be giving him a tour of the facilities and showing him where his equipment was racked.

Anyway, I’m sitting in there enjoying my pint when a girl comes in and walks up to the bar. As she was standing there at the bar, right next to my stool, I casually looked at her, noticing she wasn’t wearing much. She smelled like a cheap hooker – cigarettes and perfume, and perhaps a little sweaty. Her hair was greasy and matted and her tank top was stained and dirty. She leaned on her elbows against the bar, and I could see through the armhole of her shirt that she wasn’t wearing a bra.

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The Great Canine Collision of 2004

Saturday, before I left the house, I let my dogs out in the back yard. Being a relatively nice day, I decided to step out with them for a few minutes. I was admiring the weather and the scenery (I live on a beautiful green belt). I have a fence that’s almost entirely see-through in the back, being made of what I call dog-wire. Much like chicken wire, but the wire is thicker and forms larger rectangles – great stuff for keeping dogs in but maintaining a pleasant appeal. It’s a very rustic looking fence, and – wait… You didn’t come to read about my fence…

Anyway, I saw a rabbit through the fence and decided it would be nice to let my dogs chase it away down toward the creek. My dogs are some fast mother bitches, but never have they come close to catching one of these rabbits. Well, I opened the gate and my dogs tore out like bullets, running right past the damn rabbit. They love to run in the greenbelt, where they can really stretch their legs and run for five or six hundred yards in each direction.

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How Not to Grill Steaks

Sometimes I wonder how I made it this far. I mean – I like to think of myself as at least a reasonably intelligent guy. Well, I know I’m not stupid. But last night I did something that made me believe otherwise.

Check this out. We had a party. There were like twenty-five people over, and the plan was to cook steaks for everyone. My grill isn’t really all that big. You can fit like six to eight steaks on it at a time. When I found out that many people were coming, I had to run to the store and get another six pack of steaks. I cooked almost twenty steaks last night. For real. I had every single one of my big ass platters (all three) out and was preparing these steaks on them. Marinade. Steak salt. Worcestershire sauce. Liquid Smoke. The works. These steaks kicked serious amounts of ass.

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Women Drivers – An Oxymoron?

I know, I know, you’re all getting sick of hearing about how bad women drivers are. But they keep staying bad. And I had to laugh this morning on my way to work when I saw an overturned SUV in the middle of an intersection.

Now I would never laugh at someone’s misfortune or injury. But I gladly laugh at their stupidity. Because I am of the opinion that 100% of accidents can be avoided with defensive driving. You might not be able to prevent someone REAR-ENDING YOU, but the person behind you COULD HAVE PAID ATTENTION (what a novel idea) and prevented it themselves. So when some pompous SUV driving idiot tries to make a light when it’s yellow – and they’re still a hundred yards out – they end up running through an intersection, phone glued to head, on a red light. They deserve to be plowed into. Teach their ass a lesson.

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Man Falls to Death in Las Colinas

Sander and I were eating at the Italian joint down the way yesterday and took notice of the fifteen cop cars and six fire trucks all parked in front of the new 17-storey apartment complex being built. All the construction workers were outside and none of them were working. We knew something was up.

So I call my friend Sully, who is the Engineer on the project. She said she couldn’t tell me what had happened but to call her tomorrow and she’d tell me. But she said it was pretty bad. So we ate and the suspense was killing me. I had to wait ’til this morning to find out what the hell happened.

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Boycott movie trailers!

Movie trailers are beginning to really irritate me. They have gotten so good at making movies look really really good. Then you go see them based on the weight of the trailer, and the movie blows horse snot. I’ll give you some examples. Number one is Vanilla Sky. I had so many people telling me it was a great movie, and that it had a good twist at the end. Okay, so I watched the trailer. Excellent! I can’t wait to see it.

It sucked. Well, that’s not really fair either. Most of it was good, but

Spoilers Doodz
when you find out it was all his mind that made all that mysterious shit happen, because of the EL dream package… Hogwash! What a waste of a good plot! The whole story could have been excellent if they wouldn’t have turned that direction. I thought overall it was a waste of a movie plot at that point.

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Some People Should Not Drive

I was riding with a friend of mine yesterday, on the way home from Home Depot, and we had a kind of odd experience. Well, actually – I should clarify – I had the odd experience. It wasn’t odd to her at all. But it tripped my shit right out. She drives a convertible Mustang, but the top was up and the windows were up.

oh no holy shit we're gonna dieWe were driving – actually (again) she was driving [had I been driving (being a more competent driver altogether) we probably wouldn’t have had the experience in the first place] and she cut some lady off in a Buick. My friend drives like a blind, retarded lemur with no legs in the first place, so riding with her is a real treat. You can see in the passenger floorboard, the carpet is kind of worn out from her passengers slamming on imaginary brakes. I’m a pretty laid-back passenger and not much scares me, but when I’m riding with her, I can’t watch the road. Frankly, she scares the great green shit out of me. You are guaranteed an ulcer in twenty minutes if she drives you through downtown Dallas traffic. Not that I would ever actually ride with her through downtown Dallas during traffic.

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The Turd Burglars

Have you ever been sitting on the can in a public restroom, peacefully enjoying your solitude, when all of a sudden the bathroom door swings open and a whole crowd of people come in? Doesn’t that piss you off? You kind of like to be alone and do your business, so to speak, without the element of pressure or hurriedness. In relation to that, if – for some reason – you cannot be alone in the bathroom, the only element that somehow comforts you, is the privacy you attain by the enclosure of your stall. And the security you feel in that privacy is the simple twist lock that keeps the door from swinging open.

If, however, this lock is compromised, all security, privacy, and comfort flee in an instant, as you are left fumbling to cover yourself as a stranger attempts to enter your stall. This happened to me.

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Sharp As A Knife

On my way out the door, I reached into my pocket for my keys.  That wasn’t where they were. That was, however, where my pocket knife was. I always carry it there. It’s a slim line CRKT knife that feels comfortable when clipped in your pocket, all the way to the edge. It has a nifty little knob through the back of the blade that enables the wielder to open it with his thumb quickly, and most importantly, one-handed. Evidently, my key ring had grabbed that knob when I had originally pulled them from my jeans pocket. So the knife was locked open, sticking straight up out of my pocket.

I looked at my hand, because it had felt funny going into my pocket that last time. Nothing. I look down to see the knife sticking out, and then look at my hand again. And like a dam had been compromised, the blood poured from the open laceration in my thumb. I haven’t seen blood flow that freely and quickly since Joint Endeavor. And I had never seen blood flow that freely from my own body.

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Money Well Spent

I think there’s only one thing worse than buying concert tickets and coming to find out you don’t really want to see the concert. We’ve all done this, haven’t we? I did once, when my girlfriend Tina and I thought we wanted to go see Traci – shit I forgot her last name. Hot country singer with the big boobs? Yeah, her. Anyway, Clay Walker was opening up for her and I didn’t really want to see him. I actually can’t stand him, to be honest. But yeah I wanted to see her.

Anyway, so I bought some tickets. The night came that we were supposed to go see her and we just really didn’t feel like going. We didn’t sell the tickets, or give them away or burn them or anything like that. We just… didn’t go.

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