Tagged: pics

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…

The Legacy of an Antique

I’m not very big into antiques. In fact, I think I don’t much care for them at all. I’ve stopped at antique stores before, and browsed through the old roll-top desks and the antique china cabinets. I’ve seen the old grandfather clocks and the coffee tables that were built back in the early nineteenth century. And I do a whole lot of yawning, but not much else. That stuff just doesn’t do it for me. But I got a phone call yesterday that changed everything.

Well, not everything. That’s just a cool way to close the opening paragraph of a column. It changed something though. My grandmother called, you see. And she’s the last living grandparent I have. She happens to be my dad’s mother. Happens to be. I mean, I guess she happened to be the one to marry my dad’s dad and thus, happened to end up becoming my dad’s mother. Funny how that happens. She actually didn’t even call me. She called my dad. And she had something she wanted to pass down.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

Bad Design Diary: Cruddy Cupholder

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

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

Continue reading…

The Weekend in San Antonio

My red-haired wife and I spent the last weekend in San Antonio (or as my daughter says, “Sanny Tonio”) at the ISTE conference. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a conference for the International Society for Technology in Education. And as you all know, my red-haired wife and I both work for an EdTech company. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know what the ISTE was. Neither did I, until I found myself working it.

Since I started working in Design, I’ve found myself in a lot of situations like this. Travel situations, that is. Design has already sent me to New York and Minnesota. And there’s a lot more to come. My boss and I were running the Lounge section of our booth, where we were demoing our new dashboard we’ve been designing. There were several other sections of our booth where other products were being shown, and my red-haired wife was working the welcome desk, as seen in the picture below. So let me tell you about this conference center.

Continue reading…

Bad Design Diary: Laptop Latch

My work laptop has a button latch on the front of it. You must press in the button to open the screen. Now this is a really wide notebook, having the ten-key pad on the right side and all that, so it’s like sixteen inches wide. The problem with the button is that it’s pretty wide itself, being about and inch and a half. And the problem with that is that you must press in the whole button. Not just the left side, say, because then it will only pop the left release and the right side of the screen will still be locked.

You can probably see where I’m going with this. It takes two hands to open the screen. No, not one on the latch and one on the screen. I mean two on the screen, while a mysterious third hand presses in the button. Now it can be done with two hands total if you press it just right and lift right in the middle of the screen. However, I like to lift from both corners simultaneously, so as not to stress the screen.

Continue reading…

More Strange Coincidences

I like to pronounce it co – in – `SIDE – ence. I think it sounds a little more swass. Kind of like saying “shed-yule” instead of schedule makes you sound intelligent and business-like. See, saying certain words a certain way keeps people on their toes. ASS – per – AG – us is a rich way to say asparagus, for instance. See? Try them out. See what works best for you.

But speaking of coincidences, I have another couple to add to the list of weird, almost impossible coincidences I’ve experienced. Check this out. You remember the column where I talked about a couple of the crazy things that happened to me? Well here’s another one. When I first moved into this house, my washer went out. See? Crazy, huh? No seriously. It went out, so I got on craigslist, blah blah, met the woman at a storage place that ends up being RIGHT BEHIND WHERE ONE OF MY BUDDIES LIVES TODAY.

Seriously. Well, that’s not the cool coincidence part though. So I brought it home, hooked it up, and of course it doesn’t come anywhere close to matching my dryer. But who gives a shit, right? I like buying used because it helps a brother out when he needs to get rid of something. And as long as it works, and you get a good price, why the hell not? Am i rite? :shobon:

Continue reading…

Custom Tap Handle Alternative

Do you brew your own beer? Do you brew more than one style? Do you, therefore, occasionally rotate different styles in and out of your kegerator? Do you take enough pride in your beer to actually come up with names and labels for your delicious creations? Well, then we have a lot in common already. We should get together and share a pint sometime.

I often find myself looking for custom tap handles that I can have painted up with my beer names and labels on them. And I haven’t found a lot of options that appeal to me. Mostly what I find are cool handles with a square at the top where you slide a printed piece of paper into a plastic sleeve for your “custom” tap handle. Or another popular one is the one with a small black square chalkboard at the top where you write your beer name in chalk. Yawn. No, I want something a little more customized. Well, not finding what I wanted, I improvised. Now I’m going to show you what I did.

Continue reading…

The Bar Harbor Diaries, Vol. 3

What I didn’t consider when I wrote volume two was that it was Memorial Day. I mean, of course I knew it was Memorial Day. But I hadn’t considered that the breweries would be closed. So in short, what this meant was that we could take our time getting to Portland. There was no need to rush to make sure we had plenty of daylight left to hit as many brewhouses as we could. And you know, that worked out after all, because we were able to have a nice leisurely drive back. What should have taken three hours took almost six. And it was completely cool.

Cadillac Mountain was very nice. Gorgeous views. It was a little cold up there, but we had a great experience. Then we sat at Jordan Pond and had a brunch of popovers and lobster rolls with coffee. One of the most excellent brunch experiences of my life, right there. Completely worth the drive, friends. The wind was cool and fresh off the lake, as we sat outside at a picnic table staring out over the water while we ate. So beautiful.

These popovers are apparently the latest craze up there. The bake a muffin until it gets huge and just sort of explodes. So it’s a gigantic muffin that’s hollow on the inside. You put butter and jam on it, and – well, let me back up. You know those spherical scoops of butter they give you in breakfast diners? Yeah, I took that whole thing, sliced a hole in the pop and stuffed the entire butter sphere in it. Then poured the entire cup of jam inside, and sort of mashed it all around. Dear sweet WOW.

Continue reading…

BrewHouse Site Gets a Facelift

Cross-Posted from Tapped Relic Brewhouse

Have you noticed that all these beer websites ask you for your birth date before they’ll let you in? I find myself wondering what the point of that is. Is there a growing concern for the number of children and adolescents visiting beer sites and getting drunk? I understand not letting underage peeps into the liquor store. Or not selling them alcohol. But they can’t even look at your site? And if they really want to see it, what keeps them from rolling the year down a few notches? Nothing. It’s a waste of time, and it’s ridiculous. Trying to make your beer or brewery website look responsible like you care about kids is better accomplished by other means. Well, you’ll never see an age block on SpacePort. No way, ho, say!

But we’ve been brewing a lot of beer lately, friends. That’s what good breweries do, right? And with all the new beers and recipes we’re brewing up, I thought we could use a new logo. So I designed a new, more robust and colorful logo set. You can click here to see the new logo in full size. The Untappd page got a modified version, and there’s a small one at the bottom of this page. Let me know what you think!

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…

The Panama Chronicles: Part 4

Part Four: The Tribal Village of the Embera

We’ve come a long way with technology. This to me is science. I like to stay at the forefront – the leading edge, and all the other buzzwords you can think of that have to do with technology. I sometimes buy devices and gadgets with the full intention of returning them within the fourteen-day window just so I can become familiar with them, learn all about them, and be able to speak intelligibly of them. I would never personally own a Windows phone, but I was quick to hop on my mother’s for an hour or two when she got it, just to check out what they’re all about. I have more gadgets and technology in my house than a Best Buy distribution warehouse. Well, one that’s very small and only has like five laptops and three tablets in it.

I never dreamed I could part with my tech so easily. And maybe I can’t. I brought my tablet and my D/SLR camera with me on this trip to Panama. And my cell phone. And my wife’s laptop, her cell phone, a pocket camera, a 3G wireless hotspot, a GRUB analyzer, a Trip Socket spectrometer, and a bag full of cords, cables, chargers and SD cards. I came fully prepared. Our phones, however, remained off the entire trip. It was nice to be disconnected. Sort of. Not sort of nice. Sort of disconnected. Of course we still fired up Lync and Google Talk to video chat with the kids in the evenings, and I checked my email on my tablet and sent my drawings to my game mates on Draw Something. But we were more off-the-grid than usual. Especially when we went to see the Indians.

Continue reading…

The Panama Chronicles: Part 3

Part Three: The Heart of Panama City

Panama has three beers to offer us. There’s nothing special or fancy – they’re all golden beers, light in flavor and body, and all pretty similar. We tried them all, of course, and actually wanted to venture out into the city to pick some up to keep in our hotel room. Those Panama nights get long, and that balcony that overlooks the Diesel Beach just seems to call to us like the crickets of the jungle. We longed to sit out on that balcony and enjoy a few cold cans of Balboa. Alas, here now we sit in our comfortable leather couches back in Dallas, Texas, and can say we not once sat in those chairs on the balcony.

We did do plenty of sitting and drinking though. I met some really great people on this trip. Certain people with whom I’ve spoken and supported many times were there, and it was great to meet them. But they also brought with them their spouses, and that really rounded out the vacation for me. Tom and Jeremy and Sean – these guys were the perfect compliment to the Suzanne, Shana and Kacy I’ve already come to know and love. Though I’d not yet met Suzanne and Kacy, I was already very fond of them from my dealings with them on the phone. The nights we spent out by the pool crowded around a table drinking beer we had bribed a waiter into serving us were as memorable as the tours and experiences we were talking about around those tables.

Continue reading…

The Panama Chronicles: Part 2

Part Two: Back in the Jungle

This was my second trip to Panama but it was so markedly different from the first in every aspect that I’m beginning to replace negative feelings and emotions about it with positive ones. Where my first trip was dark and unkind, frightening and unforgiving, this one was healing and rewarding. This was my opportunity to change some of my thoughts and feelings on a second-world country and turn an exotic vacation into a therapeutic session and personal growth. Being granted the opportunity to see the jungle again from a cable car, and the safety of a boat, I’ve been able to calm the sense of dread and anxiety that seems to boil up in my gut when I think of the darkness that dwells in that little strip between the Americas.

Continue reading…

The Year in Pictures

Happy Friday, friends. Another year has almost come to an end. Well, maybe I’m a little precocious in saying that – seeing as we still have thirty-one days until it’s over. But it’s almost over. Eleven-twelfths of the way through. So that’s close enough in my book. So I figured I’d go ahead and close out the year with a special photos column, recapping some of the things that happened this year. Some of these pictures are relevant, some are not. All were taken this year. But not all of them actually have anything to do with anything. Some of them, in other words, are just cool pictures.

Another thing they all have in common is that they were all taken with my phone. So I didn’t go digging through my digital photo album looking for good pictures. Just my phone. Meaning these happened while I was out and about, or generally too busy to pick up my DSLR. Anyway, have fun, and enjoy walking back through the year with me. In no particular order, of course.

Continue reading…

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:

Continue reading…

Jesus Made the Jack Bees

It’s hard to believe the summer is coming to a close already. Well, technically I guess it already has. Have you noticed how quickly the years fly by when you get older? It seems to me that only a couple of weeks ago, the State Fair was selling all things fried. Well it was a year ago. Which tells me I’m getting old. I saw a sign the other day Continue reading…

Saturday Night Star Party

Here we are, Two-Step and a couple of friends and I moseyed out to Alpine, Texas to see the stars. They say Alpine is the best place in the continental United States to see the stars. And boy, they’re right. Zero light pollution. No street lights, no bright signage, just perfect darkness and a hundred billion stars in the sky.

Our first night we stayed in Brownswood at a budget inn type place, just to knock a few hours off the nine-hour trek to Alpine. That was a good experience in itself though, as we all sat outside around a wire-mesh table and had some drinks while we talked to some other travelers who had just arrived on their motorcycle. It seems that everyone you meet at a hotel is always so friendly. It almost restores your faith in humanity a little bit. Everyone we’ve met so far has been great.

Continue reading…

Dear Lord! Is It Already 2012?

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

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

Continue reading…

SpaceBrew Review: Comparing eReaders

I set out in search of a good eReader, hoping to facilitate the nessecary dwindling of my rather Brobdingnagian collection of hardback books. There are a lot of choices on the market today, but only a few rise to the top, leaps and bounds above the others. These three are the Kindle, the Nook and the Sony Reader. I shall therefore discuss the pros and cons of all three of these and tell you why I ended up choosing the one I did.

Firstly, I did not want a tablet device that runs Android. I don’t need another computer in the house. Good Greg, I’ve got a lot of mother cussing computers. And a tablet is like a waiter at a busy dolphin diner: it serves multiple porpoises. Sniff. I really just wanted something that reads ebooks, and that’s all. Nothing fancy, but something clean, sharp and comfortable.

Continue reading…

Happy Birthday, The Bug!

Today is my youngest daughter’s birthday. It is also, however, comma, the ten-year anniversary of the death of Douglas Adams. So which do I write about? Well, duh! How much can you say about a two-year-old’s birthday? Seriously? Who cares? I mean, I can’t think of– hang on… I’m being told by… What’s that? I am? No? Oh. Okay. Never mind. Apparently we’re uh… Let’s… Well, let’s just back it up a bit.

So as I was saying, of course I’m going to talk about The Bug’s birthday! I mean, how exciting! She’s two years old! And!… And!… Two! Can you believe that? Okay! That’s it!

On a serious note, it is pretty crazy how quickly time flies. Remember when I wrote this column on the day she was born? Yeah dudes. Two years ago. Now she’s running around, talking little baby talk, saying things all cute, climbing up stuff, pulling things off shelves, tearing the pages out of books, spilling milk all over the couch… Okay. Maybe we shouldn’t talk about her.

No, but seriously, she’s a good little girl, well-disciplined and well-mannered, and possibly the sweetest little baby the world has ever known. I mean come on, guys, how many two-year-olds do you know who say “Bless you!” when you sneeze? And she’s been doing that for six months. She’s such an angel, I don’t know how I’m going to live without a two-year-old in the house once she’s grown up. Both of my girls are princesses. And this one, just like her older sister, is a girly girl. I mean, there is no doubt she likes girl things. Everything is pink.

It’s funny – when we painted her room, before she was born, when she was still just an “it”, we painted it an ugly shade of brownish snotty green. My red-haired wife picked the color out and I had nothing to do with it. I have no idea what she was thinking, either. We tried to pretty the room up with little pink letters that spell out her name, but I think she knows. She knows the room is the color of a flu patient’s snot. She’s a good sport about it though. She forgives.

So welcome, Laynie, to the terrible twos. I should have welcomed you about a month ago when you started the pre-game festivities, and started acting like you were two already, destroying my entire house. But all is well. I still love you. And you’re far better than any other child I know of. Your terrible-twos are like most other kids being their best. So I’ll take it.

Happy birthday, Bug. I am honored, privileged, and blessed to be your father, and likewise – to have you as a daughter. Here’s to many, many more.

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.

Continue reading…

Area Man Refuses To Grow Up

So I had a birthday party Friday night. This isn’t very peculiar. However, there were a few items of interest that do make that list labeled peculiar. First of all, as most of you know, I’m almost thirty now. So let’s just for ease of conversation, say that I am “twenty-seven” now. And then allow me to elaborate on those items I found peculiar.

First of all, I had a birthday party. That in and of itself should not be viewed as out of the ordinary. I wanted to have a few friends over, listen to some music, stand around and drink beer and tell each other war stories, and compare tattoos. Without necessarily taking our shirts off. It’s not even really all that odd that there would be a cake for me. I mean, well, actually I specifically told Haycomet not to make me a cake. But she wouldn’t have any of that. “If I make one for everyone else, of course I’m going to make one for my partner in rhyme.” She does have a valid point. So thus, I had a cake at my party. No candles, of course. But there was a cake. A ridiculously extravagant cake, no less. A Cake. Capitalized. One that someone might have paid perhaps upwards of a couple hundred dollars for. So what was so odd?

Continue reading…

I just got my FACE rocked off.

Seriously, dudes, I have to tell you about our night Friday night! Okay, well – okay, well hang on. Let me catch my breath. It’s Saturday morning here – well, feels like morning, it’s actually well after noon – but I got my damn face (and most of my ass, neck, thighs, back and arms) rocked the hell off last night. Son of a bitch. Okay, let me back up a little though.

I was sitting at my damn desk at work when the HR director came up to my desk and said, “Hey, yo, Space. I got these tickets, dude,” and gave me four tickets to Nickelodeon Storytime at Verizon Theatre. And yes, they spell it with the tre instead of the ter. Idiots obviously don’t know the difference in the definitions. Anyway, yeah, we took the girls to the theater to see the Backyardigans and Dora the Explorer on stage and all that. They loved it, of course.

Continue reading…

I have the beat wife ever.

The title of this column was based upon a Facebook message my wife left me yesterday, for our anniversary. You know how hard it is to type messages on a cellphone when there is no real keyboard? Yeah. Well perhaps tomorrow when Haycomet and I get together for our Bacon Talk, we’ll have something to say about cellphones. Anyway, yesterday, as a lot of you may or may not know, was my red-haired wife’s and my first anniversary. Yes, friends, what that means is that we have been married for most of a year. Or close to a year. Something having to do with a year. And, as the title suggests, she is the beat wife ever.

You see, she says some things like that sometimes, when there are not even any keyboards around. She misspeaks and they become terms of endearment, naturally, for me. Like how she says, “Chipolte” instead of Chipotle. Or she’ll call me her “Knight and shining armor”. You know, cute things that red-haired wives do that make us smile. But yesterday, for our anniversary, she did what was perhaps to go down in history as one of the awesomest things anyone has ever done for me. She got me a lunchbox.

Continue reading…

Things sure have changed around here.

Welcome back, friends, family and – well, and I guess you too, foes. Welcome to another edition of the Daily Brew. Or at least Weekdaily. Unless I get lazy and don’t write anything, which most of the time, someone else steps up and knocks one out real fast, in which case you don’t (hopefully even notice anyway), wait, where was I going with this? Oh yeah. Welcome back. There’s someone I’d like you to meet.

CatinaThis here is Catina. Say hi to Ca- — wait. Where the hell did she go? Well actually, I’ve never met her, you see. But I’ve known her for almost twelve years. And what makes Catina so important that she should be introduced here? Well, she’s been here a lot, lot longer than you. Catina has been reading this site since 1999.

When Catina started reading the site, it was still Moon’s Crater. That was the first domain name under which we all wrote. And this site has been through many phases, changes, color schemes and domain names. Well, she’s been here through all of it. And I think that’s pretty damn cool.

So what is your earliest memory of the site, Catina?

Continue reading…

The Sunset Beach Diaries, 2010

We made it back. It took twenty-four straight hours on the road, but we did indeed make it back. Man, that’s a lot of driving. We never stop into hotels or anything, what with having several drivers to switch out, we can just catch up on sleep a couple at a time while the others are pulling shifts. We even let the kids drive for a while when we all got too tired to carry on. The closest we came to actual stopping down was this morning around 04:30, we pulled into a rest stop and just leaned the seats back for a few hours. Tampa Bay to North Dallas is just under 1200 miles though. And like I say every year, next year we’re flying.

We had a great time. We got rained out the first few days, so a lot of our time was spent up on the deck at mom and dad’s, or at Ka’Tiki Bar, where you’re basically outside, just covered with palm fronds. It’s nice, the Ones are Cold and there’s always live music. Not all of it is great, but it’s all at least tolerable. Not like the guy who plays the keytar at Caddy’s.

Continue reading…

A New Forum for Old Taste

I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to the links over there on the right side of your screen. The little orange ones in the box titled ‘Navigate’. If you haven’t noticed, there are two new links there. Stories takes you to the short stories page, which is something I will be concentrating on pretty heavily over the next few weeks. And Forums is a brand new project. I opened up the SpaceBrew forums so people have a — well, a forum in which they can rant, rave or just read. When the comments section of a column isn’t enough, go open a new thread in the forums.

There are two categories right now on the board; one is the Discussion area, and the other is tentatively titled Media. I may or may not keep that one in place. But for now, it’s there. Inside the Discussion, there are three forums. Your Dose of Humanity is the main one. This is a place where you can post a new topic about anything you want, and get your own responses and interaction going. It’s pretty much an open forum to post whatever topics you want. The SpaceBrew Review is a home for site discussion. If you have something to say about a column someone wrote, or about the technical and design aspects of the main website, this is where you post. The third is Your Chance To Shine, which is a place for those who would like to try their hand at writing.

Continue reading…

A Very Young Space

I thought I would post some old school pictures of me when I was growing up, just to reminisce, if you will. But mostly because almost all of these photos are laughable in some way. And in a lot of them I’m in some sort of costume, though none of these were Halloween costumes or photos.

But in digging through old photos, I found these and thought some of you would get a kick out of seeing what I looked like when I was young and innocent. After a week or two, I will move this post over to the photo journals archive, so it won’t be listed in my archives or anything, but you can always get to it through the “links” link. Anyway, hope you enjoy.

Continue reading…

Let’s recap the weekend.

It was quite a busy one. You probably know by now that I didn’t get a tattoo on Friday, so that won’t be included here. So let’s start with Saturday. I ran out to Shift’s place to catch some college football and a few Cold Ones. The Ones are always Cold at Shift’s place.

Then we walked over to the Blue Note to catch the Tech game, where we sat across the bar from a bunch of losers rooting for Mizzou. Wrong state, assholes. Since I was at the bar already, and Shine lives in the area, I figured I’d call her and get her to join us there for a little football action. So she showed up in her costume (she was on her way to a costume party), which was an autograph book. She was the autograph book. Clever, eh? So I grabbed a marker from the bunch and found the only blank spot left on her shirt by that time, as you can see in this first picture.

Continue reading…

Paris Hilton Eat Your Heart Out

While in Houston, Shift and I were waiting on our friend Khris (I think that’s how she spells it) as she tried on suits in Macy’s. We were in Macy’s too, you see. We were waiting on a woman. And there’s a Sunglass Hut right there inside the Macy’s. So, being bored, we decided we’d shop shades a little bit.

Space HiltonMy eyes almost immediately went to the ridiculously large Paris Hilton shades on the top shelf of the case. They were men’s shades, but just huge. Like something that would have made Eric Estrada proud back in his Chips days. Seriously, they were that big. Well, you know me, I had to try them on. So the lady got them out and I put them on, and magic was made, y’all.

Continue reading…

SpaceBrew Review: Patrice Pike

I’ve seen Patrice live five or six times now in some form or another – mostly with Black Box Rebellion. For some reason I’ve never gotten my picture taken with her though. What am I, an idiot? I’ve been a big fan since the first time I saw her perform. She’s amazing. Her stage presence is ridiculously awesome, and her talent is excessively phenomenal. So this show was really no different.

But hey she’s got a new band now. Wayne Sutton is still with her – at least he was Saturday night – but the rest are new. She has a keyboard player now, and an amazing female bass player. That bassist is something else. Full of charisma, constantly smiling, and just wildly talented. She really plays the part well, and there’s no doubt she belongs on stage with Patrice. The drummer is the same story. There are those drummers who pretty much just sit there, all resevered, and play their shows… (Like mine.) Then there are rockstars. This guy was just into it. Watching him, you really believe what he’s saying with his sticks. Hands in the air, head moving with the music, just owning the crowd with his licks. Didn’t get much from the keys. Wayne is mostly reserved too, but his talent speaks for itself.

Continue reading…

Meeting another hero.

Remember way back in 2002 when I met Michael Crichton? Well, about two months ago, when I started reading The Plan by Stephen Cannell, I checked out his website and saw he had a book signing coming up, close to home. So I marked it on the calendar. Tonight was that night.

So I rolled up there with Stout and checked out his discussion session about the new book. About twenty people were there in the seats listening as he talked about how he made it in the business. Need credentials? He’s written more shows than I can count. Basically, he’s the fucing man. Anyway, after the discussion, he took one question (the guy asked a question that required a long ass answer, and Stephen warned us it would take a long time, and was real cool about it, then told it…) he started signing books. So I got my book signed, and I asked him, “Is there any way I can send you a book?” He asked what genre it was and whatnot, and said he typically only reads within his genre, and he reads slowly because of his condition (he’s dyslexic) but said yeah, send it on. He loves to read, and said he’ll get to it when he can.

Continue reading…

Ye Ole Hot Dog Roll-Up

Yeah that was a good holiday. Though I spent entirely too much time in the sun. And uh, forgot to put on sunscreen. I’m redder than an angry Indian in a bloodbath. That’s all right, fun was had by all.

Shockingly, we didn’t get any pictures of the event because my camera battery charger is screwed up and doesn’t roast them long enough. I just ordered another on eBay though, so we’ll be set soon. Meanwhile, I guess I can tell you what happened. And theoretically, I could say anything I wanted and you’d have to believe me because I didn’t get pictures – so – wait. I have that backwards don’t I?

Continue reading…

Happy Birthday, Space

Last night, for my birthday, Mellowship let me get up on stage and play a few songs with them. It was exciting to be back up on the stage finally, with a whole band behind me. All my coworkers showed up to cheer me on and get their drink on. Here are the photos.

My Grandfather’s Farewell

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

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

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

Continue reading…

Closet Mods 101

I live in a two-story house, and so my safe is downstairs. But what about stuff I want quick access to in the night – upstairs? Well, my closet – being four feet from my bed – is a good place. I can lock up my knife and gun collection and not have to worry about the kids getting to them, but secondly, I can use it as sort of a panic room if the need ever arises. Some of the modifications I’ll discuss here were done for mere practicality and storage solutions, while others were done in the interest of being prepared for the worst.

Firstly, and I think one of the key notes in creating a safe house in the closet is to make sure the light switch is inside the door. If this isn’t the case, you will need to move it. I had to move mine. It’s fairly easy. Just measure the exact distance from the jamb to the edges of the rectangular cutout, and replicate that measurement directly the other side of that wall, inside the closet. Make sure your breaker is tripped before you start messing with the wires! If you make the cut right, you can use that piece of sheetrock to fill in the hole on the outside, so don’t destroy it! Once you’ve got the hole cut on the inside, pry the switch box away from the stud and twist it toward the inside of the closet. On the inside, pull the plastic switchbox into the cutout where it’s nice and snug, and screw your switch back in along with the cover plate.

Continue reading…

Celebrity Run-In: Michael Crichton

My sister called me this morning and told me Michael Crichton was going to be signing books at the Wal-Mart in Euless, and she’d heard about it on the local radio station. So we blazed out there after work and got in line. I bought myself a book as well as one for my sister, since she told me about it. He’s every bit as cool as I thought he’d be.

   

At first, while shaking his hand, I asked him if I could come around back and get a picture taken with him. His security guard said, “No, no, move on please.” Then Michael looked up as I was walking away and said, “Did you want a picture with me? That’s fine, come on back here, Space.” So I went back and got the shot. That was pretty bad ass of him. You know he probably wouldn’t just do that for anyone. But since he knew I’d be writing about it on a major website, he was cool with it. Well, that, and plus we’re old friends too.

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.

Continue reading…

And they were none too happy.

She’d blown past us at the intersection. I looked out my window and shouted, but she didn’t hear. I told Flavio to speed up. We were on the way back from lunch, and now we sat stalled by a stop light. She was two cars ahead and one lane to the right. We couldn’t get her. Damn!

“She’s gorgeous, dude. You have to get up there so you can check on her,” I shouted. Before lunch I had said, “Should I bring my camera? In case we see anything happen during lunch?” He’d said yes. “Cool. You drive. I’ll shoot.” So I rode shotgun to Quizno’s.

Now we’re at the stop light. I’m shaking my head like a box of rice fidgeting. The camera! Yes. I reached back and unzipped it from its pouch and pulled it up. Cocked it, readied and focused. She cuts into our lane and turns left ah

Continue reading…

Storm’s Run-in with Tiffany

My associate and good friend Storm had a little run in today. Being a professional photographer, he “happened to be” at the Tower Records Playboy Signing tonight. so he caught some excellent pictures of Tiffany. Oh. My. God. I was just talking about liking Tiffany and that she’s in the new Playboy and everything then he suddenly comes along and sends me pictures of himself with her. Bastard.

I think she looks better in these photos than the Playboy ones. Well besides the fact that she isn’t naked, I mean, she just looks more natural. No airbrushing either. And those tits! I think the buttons on that shirt must have popped off. These are four of the fifty or so that he sent me. And of course, I bled the color out and pasted a tag on them for his benefit. But if you want to see more, you can carry your lazy ass over to his site and order the full size ones. Eat your heart out, kinetic kim:


Continue reading…

The Hot Women Like Dorks

You don't stand a chance.Why do hot women like this always end up with nerds and losers? I mean, I’m a nerd. I know how to fix computers and I read a lot of books. But I don’t look like one, you know? At least I think I don’t. But I’m certainly not a loser! But seriously, I saw this chick the other day and she was hotter than a jalapeno on fire in Texas on the sidewalk in August. Or something. And the dude she was with was a short, oddly lumpy, frog-faced dude who looked like he never showered. What in The Elephant’s name is that shit all about?

One of my best friends is knockdown drag-out gorgeous. She has the body of a – well, a great body, and has a good head on her shoulders. And she told me one time that most guys are too intimidated to ask her out. So she is single most of the time. Then here comes compuboy who has nothing to lose, so he starts asking at the top. And guess what? Bada Bing, Bada Boom. He gets himself a hot chica. At some point in their lonely single lives they say to themselves, “I’m going out with the very next guy who asks me.” So there you have it, fellas. Start asking out all the hot chicks. One of them is bound to say yes sooner or later.

Continue reading…

National Breast Awareness Week

Well, it’s Mardi Gras time again, gentlemen. And you all know what that means. I think it’s the main reason most men even attend a Mardi Gras festival. Yep. Tits.

When and where else can a man stand around on the street and watch girls lift their shirts and let their boobs bounce out just to get beads? You really can’t beat it. Course, I have never gone to Mardi Gras. I have been to smaller versions of the same thing, locally. Every year in Denton is the Fry Street Fair. And if you have ever been there, you know there are plenty of women showing plenty of booby. A lot of them fail to wear shirts entirely.

Continue reading…

The Early Days of Space

I found some more crunk ass pictures reflecting my sordid teenage years. The first one is of me holding my nephew, Alex. This was about four and a half years ago. Well, I guess that means it wasn’t in my teens then. But regardless, he is almost five now. Then we have another, just shortly after the first one, chronologically, that shows him learning to play the guitar. I always knew he would grow up to be like me. That’s my sister – his mom – in the right of that picture.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…