Space and the New Independence

I recently took a new job, as all the computers at my old company were finally fixed. Nothing left to do, time to move on. And though my new POE, or Place of Employement is in uptown Dallas – much farther than my previous commute – I am happy to make the trip for two simple reasons. Number A, it’s good to be back in my old stomping grounds. I’ve worked for several companies over the years that were based here around this area, and have gotten to know and love it. Letter two, working in uptown makes it possible (and logistically preferable) to use public transit.

Taking the train to work does not save me any time. On the contrary, in fact. It takes me probably an extra half- to three-quarters of an hour to get to work. But it saves gas. To the tune of over seventeen hundred dollars per year. One might also, though, say that it saves my sanity. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams and road rage; douchebags in oversized Chevy pickups who think they own the road. (more…)

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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.

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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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There’s Got To Be A Better Place

I had a most peculiar experience in the men's room this afternoon. And I think I should tell you about it, because A) that's what I do here, and 2) you can get a good chuckle. There aren't very many times one can say he had a 'peculiar experience in the men's room' without getting funny looks, but trust me: this was great, and it had nothing to do with anyone soiling his pants. For once. It all started when I was in the men's room, sitting on the toilet. There was another dude in the second stall. These stalls are arranged where you can't see the feet of your neighbor unless you bend way down. And you don't want to do that, because your junk touches the water. So basically, I didn't know who it was in the other stall, and he certainly didn't know who I was. So…

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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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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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The Trifecta of Idiocy

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

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

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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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Tales from a Repo Man

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

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

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