Tagged: technology

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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An Open Letter to Adobe

Dear Adobe – and mainly you, Acrobat Reader. Listen here, bub. Your delusions of grandeur have escalated to a whole new level. Well, I guess they did a long time ago. They’ve been at this level for quite some time. But it’s not funny anymore. It used to be kind of cute how you’d show up at the party with the bigger boys acting like you’re one of them. Like you’re the really cool cop who brought the donuts to the Saturday Morning Citation Plus Club meeting. We all used to kind of watch you as you entered and we’d smile and say, “Isn’t that cute?” and “Yeah. Thinks he’s a big boy.”

You are like the high school kid who shows up to a frat party with your older sister and tries to hang with the college kids. The kid who must be reminded that he’s still just a high-schooler, and he shouldn’t try to act so cool while he’s at the party. You can’t drink as much as the big kids, you don’t know the secret handshake, and – no matter what you say – no. You have not been laid near as much as the college kids.

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The Importance of Good Grammar

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

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

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SpaceBrew Review: Bangs & Whimpers

This book, Bangs & Whimpers: Stories About the End of the World is a collection of short stories by different authors. Most of these stories were written some fifty to sixty years ago. It includes passages from all the greats – from Arthur C. Clarke to Robert Heinlein, Neil Gaiman to Isaac Asimov. I’ve owned it for many years now, but have somehow never gotten around to reading it, until now.

I started it several nights ago, longing for the feel of a paper book in my hands after nearly a year of nothing but audio and electronic books. I just finished it. And let me tell you: if you are in the mood to be depressed, pick up a copy of this volume and give a go. Dear Lord.

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The Tree House Bar

I’ve been thinking a lot about tree houses lately. I’m not sure why this is. But Stavi and I have been sitting out on the driveway drinking beer and looking up at my massive trees in my front yard, and it has come to our attention that those are some damn fine tree house trees. I’ve been thinking, therefore, that maybe we should construct a tree house up in one of them there trees.

I’ve long been obsessed with awesome tree houses, and used to try to build them all the time when I was a kid. I was also always jealous of those friends of mine who had really nice ones. My Pop built me a helluvatuff fort when I was a kid. My sister and I had our own two-storey house in the backyard. But it wasn’t a tree house. There’s just a difference. Maybe a tree house can be hidden in the trees. Heck, I even wrote a poem about a tree house when I was younger. Don’t hate.

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Here be Space: Collector of Collections

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

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

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Do we need a better mouse trap?

What is the best mouse trap? You hear all the time in company meetings and motivational speeches alike, “let’s build a better mouse trap.” It has actually turned into a cliche. But why? Are mouse traps really that bad that someone needs to be thinking about building a better one? Or is it just the perfect item to make a joke about because it really needs no improvement?

I can’t tell. See, I think the absolutely perfect mouse trap would completely disintegrate the mouse. Turn it into energy, or a puff of perfume-laced smoke. Every mouse trap I’ve ever used – though all of them worked effectively – was imperfect in that you still had to deal with the body of the mouse when the deed was done. And that’s the part I think we all dread the most. I mean, who wants to have to touch a nasty, dirty, flea-infested, possible-rabies-carrying carcass? Not I. So let’s take a look at some of the mouse traps available on the market, and discuss the pros and cons of each.

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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.

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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.

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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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Farewell to the Help Desk

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

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

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SpaceBrew Review: Ancient Shores

Ancient Shores
by Jack McDevitt

as posted on Goodreads

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

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

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Smart Phone, Dumb User

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

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

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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.

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The Panama Chronicles: Part 1

Part One: Man Versus Murphy

As our tour guide for the Panama Canal said, “Murphy isn’t just a part of our daily lives here in Panama, but he was also born here.” He spoke of Edward Murphy, the Panamanian native who coined the phrase we all know today as Murphy’s Law. Well, we met Mr. Murphy before we even got to the airport.

State Highway 121, which is perpetually in a state of construction, almost caused us to miss our flight. They had blocked the exit to the airport. I don’t know who ‘they’ is, but I’d sure like to have a little chat with them. Yes, they blocked the exit. How can they do that when there are literally thousands of people every day who depend on that exit to get to the airport? Well, you’ll have to ask ‘them’.

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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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My Science Fiction Fantasy

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

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

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Bacon Talk: Books and Reading

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

Winter is historically my season for inspiration. Everything is dead or dying, cold and gray. It’s a blank slate for creativity and thought. I adore these months. My writing, drawing and music all come alive in the winter. I also listen to a lot more country music in the winter. This stems from spending winter months in Germany when I was in the service, being couped up in a barracks room with one other American guy, snowed in and unable to go anywhere, and all we listened to was country music. I love it.

I understand sometimes it gets annoying and begins to all sound the same. But I have very little respect for people who just automatically dismiss it as if none of it is worth listening to. “I listen to everything but country and rap.” Yeah, yeah, you’re too cool for school. So if this describes you, then you probably need not read on. The column ends here for the closed-minded. If, however, you have an ear for talent – whether or not you actually listen to country music, then read on, dear reader. I listen to everything. This even includes Tejano and Irish polkas in which cases I can’t even understand what they’re saying – so long as the music itself is tolerable and attractive.

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Time Machine Status: Repaired

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

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

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SpaceBrew Review: Slaughterhouse-Five

I have begun my endeavor to read a series of classic books, so that I can fully appreciate and understand the cultural growth and development the industry and art has undergone. I want to be weller read, to put it bluntly. So I bought the classic masterpiece entitled Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Let me first tell you the accolades that adorn this book’s jacket: it was ranked number 18 on the all-time most influential and best literary works of the last century. One of the best and most important books ever written. So clearly we’re not dealing with a lightweight here. And I also happened to luck into this one, as it just happens to be about time travel. I felt like reading this book would be like killing one bird with two stones! I was excited to curl up by my virtual fire with my new eBook Reader and delve into this imaginary world of time travel and literary prowess.

I should just go ahead and end the review there, because everything great I have to say about the book is just parroting what others have already said. But just like one can say the phrase “nice things about the IRS” no one can actually say nice things about the IRS. Yeah I said those great things about this book. But I was merely quoting. I don’t feel that way myself. And it’s a damn shame. I was so excited to participate in something so grand that so many millions of people have read! But here’s my little secret that I shall now share with you, dear reader: I think most people voted this book five stars because they’ve seen the ratings it already has. And they didn’t get it either. So as not to sound like a moron, or not seem intellectual, or – perhaps even more plausible – not to sound like they don’t ‘get it’, they jumped on the bandwagon. Clearly, ten hundred million people can’t be wrong! You didn’t think the book was a masterpiece? Well, aha! You just don’t get it.

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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.

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The Summit of Mount Nerdly

It probably doesn’t come as any big surprise to most of you who know me that I call myself a geek. I am familiar with computers, one might say. I have dabbled in code and graphics design and network administration, internet systems, databases and even paintbrush. Heck, this very site you see in front of you was hand-coded from scratch to finish using nothing more than Notepad++ by yours truly. Meh. Not a large achievement there, but I’m proud of it. I like it. Anyway, I still do some things sometimes that make me step back and blink, and sometimes even go so far as to turn my head and frown, thinking, ‘Damn! I really am an insufferable geek. A ridiculously overboard, head-to-toe nerd to the highest power.’ This here’s one of them stories.

Let me back you up a little bit though, just for the sake of the journal. I took a computer lit and a computer programming class when I was in seventh grade. I did exceedingly well at both, as the language and theory just sort of “clicked” with me. It just made sense. The hot teacher, therefore, invited me back the next year to be her lab assistant. I wish this had some kind of awesome twist to it where I told you stories of being stuck in the lab alone with her on several long, late nights, but alas – nothing like that ever happened. Now my English teacher, on the other hand…

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I Hate Websites That Suck

It seems that in this age, everyone is required to have some sort of web presence. Even if it’s just to tell everyone what your name is, that you have a cat and you like listening to the Jonas Brothers. Everyone has a Facebook page. I don’t even know what happened to MySpace, but it has very clearly been supplanted to the far less flashy Facebook. Everyone has a Twitter, from which they let all of their followers know exactly what they’re doing all day long, every single day. The ridiculousness of all this is getting ridiculous. And there’s your opening paragraph.

First of all, no one cares about you and your stupid cat. No one cares that you like Justin Bieber and James Blunt. You don’t need to take up space on a web server hard drive somewhere just to tell people about your pathetic existence. Nor does anyone care that you’re STANDING IN LINE AT PIGGLY WIGGLY AND IT’S TAKING FOREVER OMG LOL WTF!!!!1 Do something useful with your life. Take down your stupid alliteratively titled website (e.g. Hannah’s Heaven, Carol’s Closet, Mykynzy’s Mansion) and post instead, something useful.

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Happy Monday, Planet Earth

There are several things on my mind this morning, all of which I intend to share with you. Well, except one of them. One of them isn’t appropriate for this website. But the rest of them are. In fact, the rest of them are part of the core values upon which this website was founded! Humor, entertainment and a good dose of pissed offedness.

First off, I’d like to award the SpaceBrew Movie of the Week award to Despicable Me. If you haven’t seen it, you should run out and rent it. Or buy it, hell. You’ll end up watching it several times. The other day my kids and I watched it in the morning. We then ended up at my Pop’s house and they wanted to see it so we watched it again. And I still laughed at all the funny bits. I’m still not bored by it.

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A Sour Taste in my Mouth

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

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

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Making the Switch

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

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

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Open-Source My Life

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

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

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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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The New Age of Toys

As you no doubt noticed, this is National Toy And Breast Appreciation Week here on SpaceBrew. And since we spend plenty of time already appreciating breasts around here, we’re dedicating every column to Toy Talk this week. Even our Bacon Talk is gonna be full of toyful awesomeness. We’ll talk about what toys we like and which ones we played with as children – and maybe even which ones we play with as adults.

My daughters love toys. They play with the pink, girly things like Barbies, Polly Pocket, Disney Princess, and everything that is pink and girly looking – even if it isn’t supposed to be a girly toy. They are your basic standard American kids: suckers for good toys that fit their age and gender. Now my boy, on the other hand…

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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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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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More Great Ideas From Space

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

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

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Bacon Talk: Space Travel

Hey Space! Look at this huge silver tray full of bacon and that gigantic pot of hot coffee- what a beautiful sight! It’s nice to see you too Space, but for as awesome as you are, you really can’t compete with bacon. Who can? So anyway, how are you doing, Space? What would you like to discuss this morning, Space? I’m a little spaced-out, so I’ll give you some space to talk about whatever you want. Anything in particular come to mind?

Good morning, Haycomet. I’m great, thank you. Well, I’ve been thinking about that, and I think I’d like to ask you a few questions about something very dear to me, and that I someday hope to make near to me. Space Travel! Yes, I went there. I capitalized both words. Because Space Travel – from what I hear – is awesome. Well, not really. The traveling through space part of Space Travel is probably very boring and very slow.
So do you ever spend any time thinking about Space Travel? Where would you go if you could just hop in your HayShip and take off? (See, I’d call mine my SpaceShip…)

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The Time Traveler Convention

We had a little get-together the other night with a few friends, and I think some of the things that happened that night are worth mentioning. It was a hot summer night, just like every other night has been this year, here in Texas. It’s so hot that when my wife and I sit outside and just enjoy the cool night air after the kids are in bed, it’s actually still over 100 degrees. And we’re talking about after nine o’clock. But there is one good thing about it. At least we’re not in Oklahoma.

So Haycomet and Byronic came over and brought their tinycomet – who (and this is another story, but) installed Open Solaris on one of my print servers and re-allocated a slash 28 from my DHCP scope to serve as her science lab, then delved into some hard coding time, whereupon she ran all six of my computers at 98% CPU usage for over two hours grinding out application for her theory about relativistic dimensional vacillation. So in short, we spent a few hours sipping cognac in a fine 17th century hall surrounded by warpainted women in loincloths and pasties who thought we were Norse gods. Thanks, tinycomet!

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Bacon Talk: Video Games

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

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

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

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Universal Solvents

Have you ever heard of the universal solvent? Well basically it’s a solvent that will eat through anything. Or rather, everything. You pour it on the concrete and it will just fizzle away until it all burns up eating stuff. See that’s the thing, it won’t eat its way all the way through the earth. Think about it. As it eats away at whatever it’s eating away, it uses itself up. So if you pour some on a steel table, it will eat through it, then whatever drips to the floor beneath will be a little less. It then eats through the tile, then the concrete, then some soil, and it’s pretty much down to nothing left at that point. But you do have a nice little hole through your table, foundation and the ground beneath.

So, of course, the question at the end of the riddle is, “What do you put it in?” The old anecdote mentions a guy walking into his boss’s office and saying, “Hey, boss, I finally did it! I finally created the universal solvent!” And his boss looks him up and down and says, “Why isn’t it eating through the beaker?”

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Bacon Talk: Cell Phones

Good morning, Haycomet. That’s a very nice bonnet you have on! How’s your bacon? I’ve been really enjoying these little Friday-morning Bacon Talk get-togethers. It’s a great way to start the day, and I always know my weekend will get a little bit better jump start.

Well this morning, I’ve been thinking about connectedness… again… And I started getting a little uncomfortable. Again. Yes, every time I think about how connected we are as a society and as a people, I get a little sad inside. And it’s not because I fear technology, but rather, I fear our dependence on it. Gone are the days when I could leave the house without a phone and access to my six email accounts, facebook, my website, my bank account and my stock portfolio. And just being sad or uncomfortable about it doesn’t seem to be enough. It won’t spur me into changing my ways and leaving the house technologically naked. And for good cause, too. I’m expected to be connected for work as well.  So how connected are you?

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Bra Cups and Batteries

Here’s a list of stuff that’s been occupying at least a small portion of my small mind over the last few days. I want to break them down and share them with you. Tell me what you think.

Have you noticed that both bras and batteries have a lettering system that kind of defies logic? Why is A the smallest bra size, but in batteries there is no A? There’s an AA and an AAA, but no A, and no B. And the AAA is smaller than the AA. In bras, there is a B, C and D. But instead of jumping up to E, it goes to Double D. Hell yeah. All you women wearing Double D out there reprazent! Let’s see ’em! Just kidding. But not really. Even though I kind of am, I kind of ain’t too. Know what I mean? I mean, like, if you want to sh– okay, okay, sorry. I went off on a tangent.

But why is there a Double D? Why not just make the Double D be the new E? And they should have AA as well. For the smaller chested women, you know. And maybe even a AAA. And why the hell are there no B batteries? I love the B size. I think it’s my favorite. So it would probably be my favorite battery too. All you women out there with Bs on your chest, lemme hear you say “YEAH!” Hell yeah. Send your pics here. Okay, okay, I’ll calm down. I don’t really even like boobs that much. Seriously. I’ve just been kidding with y’all.

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Space’s Shuttle Repair and Bacon Shop

I had to open two car doors yesterday. It’s unusual to have to open even just one in a given day. But two? Yes, friends, I’m as serious as a bowl full of mustard-covered lion feces. The crazy thing about opening car doors is that they all open differently. So you have to find the right way to do it. And yesterday, I actually had to get inside the pickup to be able to figure out how to open the back door. Well how about I just tell you what the hell I’m talking about?

My red-haired wife, Two-Step, Protector of the Grapefruits, somehow managed to break the back door of the pickup a few days ago. She said she broke a nail on the handle, because it just snapped back and wouldn’t open. I tried explaining to her, “Honey, the door handles aren’t held on by nails. It’s usually a torx screw or some very small bolts. But never nails.” I know. Isn’t it adorable when women talk about cars and shit? I patted her on the bottom and went outside to figure out what the problem was. I grabbed my toolbox, my iPod (yes I still have the damn iPhone), and one of those big ass 24-ounce cans of Schlitz and climbed into the truck.

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SpaceBrew Review: District 9

I finally watched District 9 a couple of weeks ago. It was nothing like I thought it would be. When I originally dropped it in my queue I was only vaguely aware of the plot. Here’s the plot summary from IMDB:

In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed “The Prawns,” appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new ‘Prawn’ friends.

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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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No More Nuts On My Elbows

Well I hope you all enjoyed the last two days, with our two newest writers. What a delightful treat, yeah? Now if we can get them to keep writing, that will be the trick. But you know what encourages them? What motivates them? Responses. Keep posting your comments and letting us know how we’re doing here. I know, I know, Siege ranted about a traffic incident. It’s long been an unspoken law around here that we don’t talk about traffic. But I quite like his perspective on it, not actually coming out and calling the guy a douchebag, but rather implying he is one by saying his helicopter is in the shop. I see those every morning. And they’re usually driving H2s or H3s. Yeah, I said it. You drive a Hummer, you’re a douche. Simple math.

Stout and I were talking last night about the haircut, and how it costs so much damn money. You know, the price of the haircut is going up every year. And I should know, because I only get mine cut twice a year. I despise going to the barber shop. Again, I don’t mind a male barber, or necessarily prefer a female barber… It all comes down to the one question you face when you’re about to have to choose though: “Do I want nuts on the elbow, or boobs on the shoulder?” And of course, at that point, I always have to swing toward the she-barber’s chair. But the nuts on the elbow isn’t why I hate getting my hair cut. I think it’s the act of sitting there for fifteen minutes, paying fifteen dollars for a shitty haircut that I could have done myself, better. Seriously. No, really. I really do cut my own hair most of the time. I don’t do a great job on the fade in the back, but the top part with the scissors? Man I got that shit down.

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Techmophobia

Have you ever had to provide technical support to anyone? Namely someone in their 40s or 50s? Well, if you have, you have probably noticed they had what I like to refer to as ‘Technophobia’. The root word of that is ‘tech’, which comes from the Latin word ‘teach’, which means to show someone how to do something. The ‘phobia’ part comes from the ancient Korean word ‘phear’ which means you’re afraid of something. So basically they’re afraid to teach something. Wait. I messed that up. You know what? Forget it.

What I’m saying is that most 40- and 50-year-olds are “afraid” of “techmology”. And I don’t mean they think the computer is going to wake up at night, start saying “PAK CHOOIE” and push grandma down the stairs. What they’re afraid of is that they will mess something up if they even dare click the Tools menu with the mouse button. And what this results in is technical support calls, wherein I am called upon to perform a rudimentary service on a machine to which I have no physical access. Usually when I’m sitting on a beach with a can of Corona in my hand and several pretty ladies dancing in their bikinis (or out of them) for me. Or when I’m on the back patio with a can of Bart’s Backyard Brew in my hand with my wife and all her hot friends dancing for me in their bikinis.

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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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iPhone, it’s over between us.

First of all, I’d like to take a moment to stop down and say happy birthday to my insanely, ridiculously gorgeous wife. She’s officially a cougar as of today. Aside from that, yes, we’ve already had her birthday party. We had a combined party yesterday and killed one bird with three stones when we celebrated Stout’s, my sister Lisa’s and Two-Step’s all at once. That’s how we do.

So an update on the iPhone front: yes, it’s really over this time. I finally got fed up with the Kin. It was too much like a toy, or a child’s phone. I mean, seriously, no calendar? Even my old junk ass flip-phone had a shitty calendar on it. I tried, guys. I really did. I tried so hard to like this phone. I lied to people. I lied to my wife. “Ah, no, honey, I love this phone! Come on now! Look at how cool it is!” But it was all just lies. I always hated it. I like the way it looks and the way it puts your Facebook and your Twitter all right there on the home screen. I like – well, I guess those are about the only two things. I couldn’t take it anymore.

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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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Seriously, dudes. Save the trees.

Does anyone read the yellow pages? Okay, that’s not what I mean. I know no one reads it! Haha! That would be a boring ass read, amirite? Yeah. Seriously. But yeah, no, see, yeah what I meant to say was, does anyone use the yellow pages? Yeah, see that’s what I thought.

I used to use them all the time. I’d pop one in Callie’s seat so she could reach the table. But I haven’t actually opened the yellow pages since – well, shit, I don’t think I ever have. Why would I? I have an iPhone. I have google 411. I have the Internets. That’s all free. And faster. And last I checked, no trees had to die to support the internet. So please, Southwestern Bell, save the paper. Save the trees. And stop sending me the stupid yellow pages.

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Where-Fi?

I’m sitting here writing this column on Friday night. I will schedule it for publication as soon as I finish it, for Tuesday morning, the 4th of May. Why, you may ask, am I sitting here writing a column on Friday night when I could be out slipping warm ones into garters and Cold Ones down my gullet? Well, like I told you on Friday’s column, I’m in the hospital with my recovering wife. No, that wasn’t a joke. She really did get surgery. No, it wasn’t really a whoopie cushion. But wouldn’t that be bad ass?

She’s doing well, I guess, or as well as well can be after getting gutted like a fish. She just went for her first walk and made it like twenty feet before having to turn around. She’s hurting pretty bad. And I know you guys probably think I’m an asshole for not tying her gown up in the back for her, and – in fact – telling her it was tied in the back. But I just figured I could give a little back to humanity. And that’s a good way to do it. The Hispanic family in the hallway sure appreciated it.

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Top Five Camping Must-Haves

My wife and I (and most of my close personal friends) are avid campers, as most of you who aren’t my close personal friends probably know. And those who are close but are not personal might know as well. But definitely not those of you who are personal but not close. Wait. Let me go through that again. Those of – you know what? Forget it. Let’s move on.

But yeah, anyway, as I was saying, we are pretty serious when it comes to camping. We like to be prepared. Now I say we, actually here I probably mean “me” or “I”. I like to be prepared. And of course, my wife and buddies tag along. I know they like to be prepared too, but not to the extent where people would laugh at them. Like they laugh at me. Yes, they mock me for having a shower box full of shower supplies, toothpaste, medicines, soap, Q-tips®, tampons, razors and everything else you could ever need in the medicine and bathroom department. This also includes the first-aid kit. Bandages, snake bite kit, water purifiers, needle and thread for Rambo-style arm sewings, fingernail clippers, triple antibiotic ointment, anti-diarrheal pills and, well, you get the idea. They laugh at me that I carry a convenient box with all this stuff in it, neatly organized, but then who’s laughing when they get bit by a snake? Or need good clean shave? Or have to sew up a wound on their arm? Huh? Who’s number one now, bitches?

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SpaceBrew Review: Avatar

I can’t really say much about this movie. It’s one of those things you have to have seen to be able to discuss with someone intelligibly. There’s just so much going on and so much detail and so much intensity that you really can’t do any of it justice by describing it to someone. But I will say one thing. You must see this in Real D 3-D. Seeing it in regular 2-D movie style just wouldn’t suffice. It would still be a great movie, but the 3-D is so incredible that it really puts you in it. You feel like you’re there.

It’s more than just a movie, too. Obviously, the 3-D effect is half of the experience. But the other half is the picture itself. And it really is an experience. Not just a cinematic one. But a life experience. You simply must go see this film, in 3-D, before it leaves the theaters forever. And before you die. I think it’s something any true movie buff should experience. It really is good.

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The Day of the Turkey

I guess to those of you in New York, it would be Day of the Toikey. Well either way, I hope it’s a happy one. I thought I would sit down here on the sofa and write a little post to fill everyone in on what’s been going on lately. It’s nice to have a family day with Step and the girls. We don’t have the boy this week, but it’s still cozy. We’ve historically always gone to the parents’ houses or to be with extended family, but today we decided to stay home and have our own intimate little turkey eating experience.

I haven’t had internet connectivity at home over the last few months, and working the odd hours and schedules that I work now haven’t had the time or the passion to update the site. I brought home a modem last night from the Clear guy to try it out and see what kind of connectivity and speeds I get, and was amazed at how the first thing I wanted to do was write a post on the Brew. Lucky you.

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Toy Review: The Rubik’s TouchCube

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

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

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Connected

Everyone has a facebook now. Myspace, apparently, is dead now. It’s like an electronic wasteland scarcely occupied by the ghosts of old emoticons and status updates. Are we okay with that? Well, certainly we must be. So long as we have something to fall back on, like a twitter or a facebook, we’ll migrate like boids to the next big thing. So the cycle goes.

Remember the iPhone? Remember the long lines of people waiting to get them on the day they came out? Like the line of idiots waiting to be the first people ever to see Star Wars Episode I when it came out. And I’m not talking about the group of guys with whom I went. We only waited about an hour and a half – and I do admit, got a little excited about the long awaited new film, seeing as how it had been twenty years since its predecessor had arrived. Nay, I’m talking about the idiots who waited outside that theater for like two weeks. Asked off work so they could stand in line dressed as Boba Fett or a Stormtrooper and wait in line. Seriously, people.

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Industry Standards

Why is it that when I walk into a barber shop, which is like twice a year at best, someone always turns to me and says, “May I help you, sir?” Yeah, I’m here to get my tires rotated and pick up a meatball sub for the girlfriend. What the hell do you think I’m here for? Yesterday (which was actually October 9 – I know, we schedule these columns way in advance) I walked into the local SpaceTown Barber Shop, which has been there for over thirty years. And this little Asian guy turns and says that very thing to me. “Can I help you?” So I looked about real quickly, and responded, “Uh, yeah. I need a haircut. You sell those here?” I don’t think he got it.

When I walk up to the fresh seafood bar at the local Snostrebla, I expect the worker there to ask me what she can help me with. There’s a variety. I could get the fresh jumbo shrimp, the frozen popcorn shrimp, the Alaskan King Crab legs, the lobster meat, the imitation krab meat (yes, it’s spelled with a K :rolleyes: ), the fresh Atlantic salmon, or whatever else they sell. Of course she needs to ask me what she can help me with. A barber shop sells one service. A haircut. Does anyone really go to the barber shop to buy their haircare products? I mean, obviously they try to upsell you while you’re there, and sometimes people buy the tea tree oil shit, but no one actually just goes there just to buy the products, right? Well this old town barber shop doesn’t even sell them. They, therefore, sell one thing. Haircuts.

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Multi-Use Material

So I was lying there last night, thinking about some awesome things we have, and I came up with what I think might be the most brilliant idea any man has ever had. This column, though, unfortunately needs to be divided into two sections. One is partly a rant, and the other is the brilliant idea. Which one would you like to read first?

Okay, so here’s the genius: you know that memory foam shit that they always tout was developed for NASA? Yeah, they make mattresses out of it. Well I have come up with an alternative use for it, that I think you’ll agree is probably the smartest thing you’ve ever heard in your entire life in the world. You ready for this shit? Okay. Here’s my idea.

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Help Me Fix My Time Machine

I was working in the hangar this morning, trying to get my temporal matrix delineator running again. Something is wrong with the flux bank. It’s getting ridiculously complex though, and I’ve downloaded every manual I can find for it. Something has burned through one of the wires on the fonga assembly, and now the stupid thing smokes whenever I engage the cryostat.

So long story short, I replaced the two bad nodes on the flux bank and rewired the cryofuse with an Atometer 4000 Barker Plug. You know, one of those platinum-plated bad boys? Yeah. No shit. It set me back about two grand. This shit ain’t cheap like it used to be. Anyway, after I got those replaced, my camber light started blinking. NOW WHAT?!? Ha! Good lord, if it’s not one thing it’s another, right? So I removed the camber coil box, and guess what I found. Seriously. Look at this picture:

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Ringtones Are For the Birds

Okay, I guess it’s time to admit something to you, great readers: I don’t really work in a high-rise condo-style office building with a swimming pool in my office and a glorious view of downtown Dallas. Gah. Man, now that I type it out like that it sure does look good. Actually, never mind. I really do work in that. I have a four thousand-square-foot office overlooking glorious downtown Manhattan. Or did I say Dallas? Whatever. The point is my office is probably better than yours. I have more leather in here than a cow farmer in Fort Worth. I would put up a form that allowed you to submit to me your office square footage and value and it would return to you a value of whether or not mine was better than yours. But it’s not worth the time coding it because all it would ever say was, “Nope, sorry, Space’s is better.”

So anyway, to my point. Let’s say I didn’t work in a high-rise luxury office. I would, in that case, probably work somewhere lowly like the rest of you, like a cube farm. Okay, screw it. I can’t really tell my story if I keep up this lie. I will go ahead and shoot straight with you. For the last two weeks, while my office was being renovated with solid platinum and diamond stuff, I have been working in a temporary location at a normal office, in a cube farm. It’s a step down, but it’s also a way for me to keep in touch with the people. The normal people. And I’ve come to learn one thing for sure about cube farms: I hate ringtones.

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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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SpaceBrew Goes Mobile

I know you’re all wondering why there was no column posted this morning. Well, so am I. Actually, I didn’t have anything prepared because most of the writers are slacking or on vacation or just don’t care about their jobs anymore. We’re about to do some major housecleaning here, folks. Let this be a warning to you SpaceBrew writers whose accounts have gone stale! Lay-offs are imminent!

Anyway, the reason I didn’t post was because I lay there last night thinking about my lovely readership, which has grown quite strong here of late. And I realize a lot more people are browsing the site on a mobile device these days. And since I care about each and every one of you, I decided I would spend the morning designing an alternate theme for the mobile browsers of the world. I even made it easy for you all. You don’t have to type in a different address, you don’t have to click some “Go Mobile” link or anything… You just show up.

That’s right. If you’re surfing the web on your iPhone or iPod touch, just visit spacebrew.com and check it out. Compacted and stripped nearly bare to save on your kilobytage and screen space. Now you can view the site the way you want to. Because you know that’s our motto here at SpaceBrew. Browse the Site the Way You Want To™

Screenshots (for those of you without iPhones): 1 · 2

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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And then we camped…

So let me tell you about our camping trip last weekend. It was hotter than a fresh pile of jalapeno-stuffed dog shit. We had fans in our tent, too. I also had a window unit air conditioner. I had it sitting on a TV tray, which was nice. Except that somewhere in the middle of the night, the cat ran into the TV tray, and the whole thing toppled over, crushing her. Rest in peace, Peachez. Damn, I’ll miss that cat.

There’s – well, there’s really not much to talk about. I mean, we camped out. That was about it. We didn’t really sit around drinking beer or anything. I mean, it was just a camping trip. Anyway, I told you I would tell you about it, so there you have it. Now you want to hear something real exciting? Read on, dear friends. Read on.

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White Van Specials

You ever get accosted in a gas station parking lot by one of these gangs in a white van, trying to sell you speakers for cheap? I have. Probably four or five times in my life. I’m always amazed at how this person’s story is so similar to the last person’s I heard. “Oh yeah the guy at the warehouse accidentally gave us a couple of extra speakers and if I don’t sell them, then the guy I’m delivering to will take them for himself and sell them. I just need some extra cash man!” Uh huh.

I’m also always amazed at how rude and persistent these people are. And how when I tell them to go screw themselves they start cussing me out. Well let me back up – I don’t tell them to literally go screw themselves. I say, “No thanks, I have a pretty good set of Klipsch 8.1 surround sound speakers in my theater at home. They cost way more than the speakers you’re selling, and are probably better, therefore.” Then they say, “Well you suck and don’t know a good deal when you see one!” And I say, “Uh, yes I do. Which is why I’m going to have to pass on this one.” Then they get mad and start cussing me out. Then I tell them to go screw themselves.

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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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The Incredible Shrinking Medium

I’m always amazed at how far we’ve come in the last hundred years with technology. It’s crazy that only a hundred years ago we had just invented the telephone, and now we have cellular shit, that doesn’t physically connect to anything, that can send pictures and texts and porn instantly to anyone else with a cell phone. Through the air. I still have trouble understanding how an analog phone worked, transferring voices across a wire. But here we’re sending that stuff through the air. And it’s digital. What?

But I really came to talk about media formats today. Well, cameras would be one qualifier: we used to use photo plates in our cameras. And film. Remember film? Ha! Now we use memory sticks and whatnot. And the idea is apparently to make them as small as possible. Seriously, give it a rest, people. My phone has a one-gig micro SD card in it. It’s smaller than my pinky fingernail. But it holds a gig worth of pictures and music. And porn. What the helling hell.

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Eradicate the Crickets

You know what’s worse than lying there, not being able to fall asleep – when you should damn well be tired enough? Lying there, not being able to sleep – when you should damn well be tired enough – but you can’t because of a stupid effing cricket. Clearly it’s in the laundry room, which backs up to our master bedroom. But every time I open the door to look for his little ass, he shuts up.

So you end up sitting there in the dark, flashlight in hand, waiting for him to speak up. Sitting on the cold tile floor, waiting like a ninja. Or, ooh-ooh a Green Beret! And he never chirps again. I know he must be under the dryer, but I don’t even want to go into how much of an anathema that is. There’s no room in my laundry room to move the dryer unless I disconnect the washer and move it out first. So I have to live with the chirping?

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I just joined the Darwin Awards.

We used to do crazy shit when we were adolescents. Seriously. My mother used to shout at me for jumping off the roof into the pool. Man, if she had seen some of the really crazy shit I was doing, she would have begged me to keep jumping. My girlfriend pulled up beside us on the highway one night, honking and flashing her lights. It was dark, there was no one else on the highway, but my pickup was very recognizable. The graffiti-style paint job was distinct. So she pulled up and rolled down her passenger window, waving at me and shouting something incoherent. Well, I’ll just get my buddy to take over driving!

So my buddy slides behind the wheel and I hop over to the passenger side, crawl out my window and into the bed of the truck (while we’re still moving). Then I did the whole acrobatic stretch between the two vehicles and slipped down through her window and into the seat. I guess I could have just waited, since we were going the same place, and both arrived some three minutes later. I missed her though, you know?

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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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The Wasteful Years of Sleep

I was thinking earlier about how I needed to rotate my mattress. Because there are forming in it two large crevasses where my wife and I lie at night. They say you’re supposed to rotate them 90 degrees every once in a while. I guess so you end up making a pound-sign shape on the bed, rather than the symbol of equality. What’s that all about? A conspiracy?

Anyway, that led me to thinking about how much time we spend on the mattress, and why we should purchase a really good one when we do make that purchase. They say you spend a third of your life sleeping. Well, I retorted in my thoughts, I don’t need to spend a third of my salary on a freakin’ mattress! Ha! I showed them, eh? But then I slowed. And I considered. A third of my life. A third. Wow. So what it boils down to is I’ve spent eleven years sleeping, total. A ninety-year-old has spent thirty years of his life sawing logs.

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If I Had a Time Machine

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

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

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The Rocket Science of Our Generation

Have you ever noticed that everywhere you go, no matter where you are you – hang on. God that sounded stupid. Let me start that over. No matter where you are, if you’re in a bathroom… Shit. Nevermind. Why do all bathrooms suck so badly?

Specifically, the hardware. Why is it that in every bathroom, no matter how nice the place you go, has trouble with this? THERE! That was the sentence I was trying to say in the beginning. Why is it I had such trouble with that? So you can go into a nice hotel or a fancy restaurant or a shitty little gas station, and if they have stalls in their bathrooms, guess what? They’re either wobbly, or coming off the walls.

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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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The Mystery of the Keys

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

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

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LeeLee Got Awesome!

I used to sort of consider myself an expert on breasts and breast theory. Breastism, as I like to call it. I could tell you if they were fake or real at just a cursory glance. Even half-covered. I based this expertise on the fact that I’ve seen (and felt) so many of them in my day. I’m talking like five or six of them, okay? Yeah. But, as any technology, I guess, so has this one advanced with age.

My God, it's full of stars...Breast implantism. I guess with enough years, and having found the right ingredients, we can expect them to look more and more real as the doctors get better and better at making the fake titties. If you’ve read half of what I’ve written, you know I stand against this. I would take small, funny-shaped saggers over perfectly formed fake ones anyday. And that’s because of how they feel. You can make them look as much like what you think is “the perfect breast” as possible, and if they don’t feel right – meh. I’m out.

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F Bugs

I’m not a paranoid by any means. Never have been. But a man can only find so many bugs in his corn flakes before he finally decides he’s going to have to call an exterminator. Let me explain.

When I was in the military, I worked in a secure office, secure area, razor wire, etc. My work details were classified. They’re not really now. I could safely tell you what I did – it’s no big secret anymore – but meh, no point. Anyway, there were those who wanted to know more of what I did. Not me personally, but my position. People were always trying to find out what we knew. Not because we were so smart, but rather, because they wanted to get to those we protected. The point being, we had to have bug scans every several weeks in our office, as well as our dorms. We lived in the normal dorms, not separated from the rest of the troops, because they didn’t want us to stand out. But we kind of stood out when the guy would come by once a month with a fat metal briefcase full of equipment. Anyway, I digress. They never found a bug in my room with the sweep. But I did.

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SpaceBrew Review: Star Wars III

We saw the last Star Wars yesterday as a team. My boss took us all out and we saw it, then she took us to the bar afterwards and bought us a hilarious amount of drinks so we would be properly prepared to discuss it at great lengths. I have a few complaints, and a few praises I will share with you. If you’ve not yet seen Episode III, or don’t know the general storyline of Star Wars, then don’t read below here, because there will be spoilers.

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Qualms With Star Movies

I have a bunch of qualms with Star Trek. For some people, all those interstellar movies are the hot shit. But I’ve found that Star Wars and Star Trek cannot peacefully coexist on the same shelf. For most people, it’s either one or the other. First of all, there’s the fact that all the shit in Star Trek is brand new looking. Like it’s never been used. Never been flown through a stellar dust cloud, or blown through an asteroid belt. Star Wars opposes. All the shit in Star Wars looks like it’s been around the universe a few times. Taken a beating. Looks a little more realistic.

Secondly, it pisses me off that Star Trek uses an up reference in deep space. why the hell are all the spacecraft planed on the same scale? Why is it that when two ships come in for close range combat, they are both upright? As if there is some universal up in null gravity. Obviously there is no up or down in null gravity. This tells me that some of the shots of the ships taken from distances should show the ship at awkward angles, not relative to the up and down you know sitting in front of your television screen. And furthermore, when there are two ships on the same screen, they won’t be exactly nose to nose, and there won’t be a common up. It just won’t happen, people.

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Nicotine Lollipops

Good day, Crater Faces. Another month is upon us, and another item of controversy has sprung up on the shelves. Every year we digress as a society, to the point of which we will finally become a sludge pit just like Palestine. Children are learning to kill at younger and younger ages, and all we do is feed it to them, on a shiny silver spoon we call television. In Europe they show nudity in commercials and on regular television. Here we show murder. Crime. Killing and rape, guns, drugs, and a whole slew of other bullshit that has somehow become acceptable. I’d much rather my children see a naked body than a dying one on television.

And don’t hand me that hogwash line “Well that’s the real world, Brandon”. Yeah, only because we make it that way. Anyway, to the point. This item I speak of is the latest development in smoking cessation. The nicotine lollipop.

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Space Saving 101

I’ve been thinking lately about the concept of governmentally invoked population control methodology. You know, like AIDS and stuff. You know that shit didn’t just happen. It had to be introduced. DNA structures don’t suddenly alter themselves to a detrimental deficit. Not even in African Green Monkeys. If that were the case, then I would expect all you idiots who believe we evolved from lower forms to seriously revise your theoretical foundations.

So anyway, I was thinking about these methods they use among other things, like conspiracy theories and the way people just disappear when they know too much. Shit like that. And I came up with an idea. Why don’t we shrink our problems away?

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Drive Space Low on Planet Earth

There are some six billion people alive in the world right now. That is half of all the people who have ever lived. On top of that, the population will have doubled by 2020. And you think it’s crowded now? Think about thirteen billion people. Furthermore, statistics show that by 2020, there will be more people buried than there are alive. I don’t know whether they mean alive now or alive then. (6 billion buried or 12 billion buried.) But that is still a lot.

That’s kind of scary. That’s also one of the main reasons I don’t want to be buried. They better cremate my ass. I think it’s a waste of space to be buried. I know I won’t need this body once I’m gone, anyway. Oh. I know! How about being buried on the moon!

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