Friday, June 28, 2013

DotTeeVee: The Sweet Science of Slow Pitch Softball

One of the people I regularly e-mail has informed me that he ventured into what I fearfully call the "outside world" or "forbidden zone" and discovered it is now summer. For those of us committed to the electronic grid this is all the more reason to huddle in our bug-out locations, but for an increasingly marginal number of people it's time for outdoor recreation. This means far out scenes like slow pitch softball.

If you've ever played the S.P.S. you know that winning is absolutely critical, and certainly far more important than alcohol intoxication, socialization with one's peer group or being allowed to swing a bat full-force at things without being jailed or institutionalized. Yes, sweet, sweet winning. The problem is how can I, as a slow pitch pitcher, somehow gain a competitive advantage when my hands are tied by the very rules? The answers will amaze you.

Full of page after page of beer chugging tips.

Music normally associated with videos where people that aren't married and don't love each other engage in pecuniary physical intimacy plays and we're introduced to our guide for this amazing journey. He wrote an entire book on slow pitch strategies. If the death of the publishing industry, the growing illiteracy of the average person and the general war on intelligence has a bright spot it's that we probably won't see another book like that released and, presumably, bought by someone, somewhere.

We start by debunking the myth that the role of the pitcher is just to "throw the ball in the air." Michael actually gets a little angry, insisting that their is a highly tactical side to the position that might not be obvious when you've been laughing, hanging out and drinking with your friends for hours, but it's there, darn it!

"If you're having fun you're doing it wrong!"

The good news is, according to Ivankovich, that you don't have to be a "good athlete" or "in shape" so if you were planning on starting Spartan-style physical training, including hunting giant wolves and learning to endure the elements for your beer league it isn't necessary according to the only expert I know of. I'm very relieved to know that no actual self-improvement, physical or otherwise, will be necessary.

Let's talk about spin. Can you put a ton of english on the ball and make it impossible to hit? The answer, of course, is no. However, our coach insists there's a psychological element and you might be perceived as some kind of technical wizard if you rainbow the ball slightly differently. Once my softball enemies respect me, they'll soon learn to fear me. I guess.

"Oh no! It's spinning slightly differently!"

Should I be intimidated if they have nice uniforms while my team from "The Office" bar are dressed in mismatched Jacksonville Jaguar Tim Tebow jerseys that we fished out of a K-Mart dumpster? According to Michael uniforms don't mean anything, other than the team has money and organization so wear that grease-stained Dole/Kemp 1996 shirt with whatever pride you might have left. The real indicator of quality is the presence of "softball equipment." I'm not sure what that means and we're not told, so I can only assume it covers gloves, kegs, mugs, 36 packs, knee braces, mini-kegs, bottles, raging kegs and maybe sun glasses or whatever. 

Protip: Try not to stare directly at the sun while waiting to pitch.

We're told we can watch batters during batting practice to gather valuable intel for the game. Does he look fast? Strong? Does he have a beer gut? Get ready for lots of "no, no, yes" answers to these questions. We should also try to figure out if he's "single." Easy tiger, we're supposed to being playing a game here, not looking for a hook-up.

Cuddle after or wham, bam, thank you ma'am?

We must assume that every batter is "aiming at your head." How this paranoid cynicism will help is, sadly, never explained. I mean, it's not like points are scored for hitting the pitcher's head. Or maybe they are, who knows? What kind of bloodsport is this?

"Umpires are a lot like elephants." Well, that explains the large, leaf-like ears and prehensile noses. Actually, we're told that "they never forget." Or forgive. They watch and wait, filled with hatred, looking for any sign of weakness. When you feel safest they pounce.

This pathology can actually be made worse if you try to argue a call. This is illustrated by a dopey sequence where the actor playing "angry pitcher" can't get the inappropriate and character-breaking smile off his face, because he's so excited about being in a softball video that maybe a dozen people will actually watch!

Why so not serious?

What is the solution? Show good sportsmanship and never challenge a call? No. Of course not. Get someone else to do the arguing for you so that your strike zone doesn't "shrink." We get some closing words assuring us that the road will be long and treacherous, but we are now on the right path to slow pitch glory.

Looks like they're sending in the "relief bastard."

Komment Korner 

Hey outfield this guy is single....back up!

I want the tape that teaches you how to use roids!  

You don't have to be the world's best athlete. You don't even have to be in great shape. You especially don't have to be sober!

always observe your batter's marital status.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

News You Can't Use: California Man Faces 13 Years in Jail for Scribbling Anti-bank Messages in Chalk

Punishing the enemies of a bank as harshly as possible is just another example of the freedoms that our heroes fought for in the Spanish-American war or whatever. You don't want to mess with the bank. Somehow having money also seems to attract powerful friends. I know, pretty unbelievable. These friends include crusading messiah-complex judges who will give more prison time for writing "Goldman Sachs Sux" in chalk then for, say, killing someone.

Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence.

If I ever formed a rap-heavy metal crossover group I'd call it Megabank, or maybe Blingtallica. Seriously, we need to distinguish between the megabank and that mom-and-pop bank in your small town with one location in the feed store and three figures worth of total assets.

A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

A judge has realized he can do anything he wants with little, if any, accountability and is now indulging his sick power fantasies, leaving a trail of ruined lives.

Arrested, given show trial where valid defenses were illegal, sentenced to thirty years.

In addition to possibly spending years in jail, Olson will also be held liable for fines of up to $13,000 over the anti-big-bank slogans that were left using washable children's chalk on a sidewalk outside of three San Diego, California branches of Bank of America, the massive conglomerate that received $45 billion in interest-free loans from the US government in 2008-2009 in a bid to keep it solvent after bad bets went south.

Do we really have to keep bringing up that little "we destroyed the economy and possibly civilization with it" mistake? It's that kind of thinking that leads to chalk-wielding monsters who should be locked away forever. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to take my interest-free loan from the taxpayers and bet it all on "red."

"The State's Vandalism Statute does not mention First Amendment rights," ruled Judge Shore on Tuesday.

A judge truly is a law student who gets to grade his own papers.

Put her in jail!

Upon exiting the courtroom Olson seemed to be in disbelief. "Oh my gosh," he said. "I can't believe this is happening."
OMG, megabanks are, like, so creepy LOL. 

"I've never heard that before, that a court can prohibit an argument of First Amendment rights," said Tosdal.

In unrelated news the novel 1984 is now enjoying a resurgence of popularity in the U.S.A.

Olson continued to protest outside of Bank of America. In February 2012, he came across a box of chalk at a local pharmacy and decided to begin leaving his mark with written statements. "I thought it was a perfect way to get my message out there. Much better than handing out leaflets or holding a sign," says Olson.

Best laid plans, mice and men, etc, etc.

Over the course of the next six months Olson visited the Bank of America branch a few days per week, leaving behind scribbled slogans such as "Stop big banks" and "Stop Bank"

In fairness that website is primarily concerned with selling pesticides and fertilizers to keep the plants inside the bank as healthy as possible.

According to Olson, who spoke with local broadcaster KGTV, one Bank of America branch claimed it had cost $6,000 to clean up the chalk writing.

...and yet there's still a few cranks who worry that all that bailout money was mismanaged. 

Receive government bail-out of freshly printed worthless fiat currency, collect $45 Billion.

On April 15, Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard contacted Freeman with a response on his persistent queries. "I wanted to let you know that we will be filing 13 counts of vandalism as a result of the incidents you reported," said Hazard.

On tonight's Megabanks of Hazard: Around about that time them Duke boys were etchin' them bank blight messages on a side walk. Well, the Deputy City Attorney was fixin' to get even. Them boys better hope a judge doesn't get as crazy as a run over possum and ban the first amendment...

Komment Korner  

He should just be lucky he wasn't in the tea party, would of been tried for 20 years.

Welcome to America the land of slave.

Cause spray paint and chalk are the same lol. Dumbass.

Here is the judge's email:

$6000 to clean up some chalk? gimme a scrubber and a bucket ill take that bid.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Twistaplot #18 Calling Outer Space

I'm inadvertently falling into lame "themes" with these and I promise I'll try to stop it before I completely wallow in the "it's Labor Day, here's a book about Labor Day!" pigsty. Last time we were promised desert adventure in a balloon but were instead murdered by big-ear aliens for the crime of being insufficiently helpful. This time it's probably going to be more close encounters of variety number 3 with another Twistaplot book. Yes, the series that is basically a book version of that person who says "I'm so sarcastic and random!" and then wonders why they're also nearly universally despised is back again. At least one of these has to be decent, right? Right?

You know, let's just do this shit.

 Alternate Title: Billy Makes Homemade Acid

Like any truly great story we begin with a nerd feud. "Fred," of the Computer Club, disrespected me and my radio telescope at the science fair, making dated references to forgotten eighties movies and basically implying that I'm a flying saucer nut. Whatever Fred, we all know the real future is in sending radio waves into space, even though the closest areas that might have intelligent life would take years to get the signal and more years to respond, and not in so-called "computers" which have flash in the pan written all over them. 

Don't mock my radio telescope. Bad things happen to people that do that.

Undaunted by being made the object of fun in front of the local pre-teen scientific community I get the radio up and running, apparently not understanding the vastness of space and so on. A few hours later I think there's a reply. It's thumping. Apparently the shockingly close unearthly intelligence is into "beats." 

Space be droppin' phat bass, yo.

I fiddle with the dials to try to improve the signal. First I think I'm getting an unintelligible voice, like maybe one of those EMPs of my dead gram-cracker telling me to stop wasting the gift of life on radio telescopes. Then I'm all "this is just space noise." It's so disappointing I begin to question my credentials as an "astronomer" and am ready to quit. Rather than allow the agency to make a choice, which is pretty much the whole gimmick of these books, I have to flip a coin. You're pushing me, Twistaplot, you're really pushing me toward that edge. 

My lucky Maryland quarter comes up "Maryland" and I go back to sleep. I awake to "moans" but since I'm told my parents are at an "antique show" it isn't that, you pervert. Instead a cylinder has crashed through the roof of my house and a "bird-like creature" is asking for help with the same voice from last night! Man, the wild adventures this is gonna kick off! This is going to be so totally radical!
Then the story ends on the next page.

It turns out the visitor isn't actually hurt, which is probably lucky because I'm about to deploy some of my patented worst aid. Instead "help" is the only word it knows. I love how creatures that someone master the nearly impossible feat of long distance space travel are always totally inept and slow to adapt to novel situations. Next thing I know, he's falling down the stairs, bouncing off objects and acting like the Serbian E.T. knockoff that didn't quite capture the heart and wonder of the original. The story ends with an attempt to call the "rescue ship" although I'm not told if it was successful. It just ends there. 


We invented faster-than-light travel, when not falling flat on our faces.

I honestly remember this series being better. I always fall back on the "well, it was just one play-through excuse," but there comes a point where that just seems lame. I had to flip a coin to make a choice. Unless little Billy the scientist is also the Creature of Havoc that b.s. gets no love. 0 for 3, Twistaplot. 

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

News You Can't Use: Dim Lighting Sparks Creativity

Bright light is bad. It hurts the eyes, makes it hard to fall asleep, reveals the profound ugliness of so-called "reality" and makes it much harder to get on to the "are you done yet?" In addition to these issues, it may also be the enemy of creativity, according to the latest pseudo-science to come out of a nation that fully personified evil less than a century ago.

There are certain times when you want the lights turned way down low. One such time, according to recent research, is when you need to think creatively.

Arrgghhhh, light! Get it off me, get it off! It's wrecking my creative thinking!

“Darkness increases freedom from constraints, which in turn promotes creativity,” report  Anna Steidle of the University of Stuttgart and Lioba Werth of the University of Hohenheim.

Ja, now to turn off zee lights und deploy mein efficient creativity free of "constraints." We've seen German science freed of those already and it wasn't pretty.

A dimly lit environment, they explain in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, “elicits a feeling of freedom, self-determination, and reduced inhibition,” all of which encourage innovative thinking.

Sounds more like the effects of inhaling a few King Cobras. Could habitual alcoholism, with a heavy focus on the so-called "cheap shit" inspire the innovations of the next century? I'm willing to study this for a very reasonable six figure fee.

After spending two minutes attempting to solve each problem, participants rated how free from constraints they felt. They noted the degree to which they felt externally controlled, and reported their level of self-assurance.

Unless you're, like, hooked to wires or something you're not being "externally controlled."

The results: Those in the dimly lit room solved significantly more problems correctly than those in the brightly lit room. They also felt freer and less inhibited than their intensely illuminated counterparts. Participants in the bright and the conventionally lit rooms did not differ significantly from one another on either scale.

From now on "dim" will describe the intelligent. I like the idea of "intensely illuminated" when there's an ordinary light bulb. "I'm baking like a Turkey here, turn it off, it's externally controlling me!"

May not contribute significantly to "self-assurance."

“These results indicate that dim illumination heightens perceived freedom from constraints, which in turn improves creative performance,” the researchers conclude. 

Support the Dark Party and our efforts to bring perceived freedom!

Don’t have a dimmer switch at your desk? No worries. Other experiments found that merely priming the idea of darkness—such as by taking five minutes to describe an experience of literally being in the dark, and recalling how it felt—was sufficient to boost creativity. 

Try to visualize, if you can, darkness. Remember how good it felt? Now...create! 

However, the darkness-spurs-innovation equation did not always hold true. In another experiment, the researchers found “the darkness-related increase in creativity disappeared when using a more informal, indirect light instead of direct light.”

Basically the problem was they were dangling a bulb over some poor German student like in one of those police interrogation rooms, while probably barking things like "achtung!" and "schnell, schnell!" I can see how that might prove an issue. 

"Sit there and start being creative. Now!" 

“Creativity may begin in the dark,” Steidle and Werth write, “but it shouldn’t end there.”

Actually in most cases it probably should.

These results would seem to contradict those of an earlier study, which found creativity is boosted by the presence in the room of a bare light bulb. However, a closer reading finds they are compatible: It was the symbolic power of the bulb (which has gone off over many a cartoon character’s head to signify a mental breakthrough) that boosted creativity, not the level of illumination in the room.

Basically if you're willing to do enough bizarre contortions and tell enough "just so" stories you can reach any crazy conclusion you want. 

So if you’re struggling to finish that screenplay or come up with the next must-have app, you might try illuminating your workspace with one bare bulb of minimal wattage. If you don’t want to be thought of as a dimbulb, perhaps the answer is a dim bulb.

Can bright light be blamed for this horrible abomination?

Update: OK, that last suggestion wasn’t as clever as I thought it was. (What can I say? I was writing in a very bright room.)


[Science 17/70] Maybe dimming the lights would make me more creative.

Komment Korner   

Generalization: Distractions inhibit creativity. Who'd a guessed it?

PS the glow from a TV is not NOT "light" it's evil!

Dim Lighting Sparks Creativity. ONLY WHEN SHE IS IN THE MOOD!

Typical liberal train of thought. "By remaining in the dark you shall be enlightened"! Just keep dreaming.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Friday, June 14, 2013

DotTeeVee: 12 mistakes managers make: at will employees

Am I properly managing my competencies, leveraging my synergies and jacking my dannies? Because I'm the successful businessperson of this new age and also a totally unaware knob I'm always asking these questions. Fortunately, there is help. I'm talking about training videos where we watch manager Goofus go full retard and then get a nice post-game breakdown from someone eager to sell us things. For example, today we will examine the issue of making grandiose promises that you can't possibly keep. Is it a good thing? The answer might surprise you. Well, actually it probably won't, but according to a "Build Your Blog Brand" seminar I've been attending I should use this first paragraph to make various bombastic statements to gain reader interest before vomiting out the dull drivel.

Today's feature is brought to us by the good people at "Rose's Dozen Manager's Guide." No, it's actually not a list of "Yo Mama" jokes for corporate suits. Instead it's a series of "best practices" to insure the sweet, sweet capitalism gets done and done well. For example, "Your words can bind the company." Wizard spells or perverted acts, which joke to make? Let's get to the managerial binding and discipline.

I guess every rose has its lessons, just like every CFO sings a sad, sad song.

Cheery music plays and our manager identification figure is joined already in action, talking to a potential hire about "work stations" and "customers." Yeah, that's business all right. Yup. I don't normally comment on video quality, but this one looks like it was, as the kids would say, "recorded with a potato, LOL, epic failz, YOLO, I'm functionally illiterate and there should be another world war to thin out our ranks and teach the rest of us some maturity."

All the hot Adam Smith talk is diverted somewhat by the introduction of "Marvin," an older gentleman who just happened to be all up in the work stations, for real.

 "Give it up for Marvin! This guy is The Man!"

Our "what not to do" hero wastes no time in putting over the virtues of Marvin. Specifically, he's the best computer technician the manager's mom (!!!) has ever seen. Wait, what? I thought this was advice for profit margin assassins, not momma's boys who are only employed because of nepotism and use their foolish words to "bind" their companies. "But my mom says I'm a good executive!" etc.

"I employ this computer stud named "Marvin" and own all these work stations.

We continue extolling the considerable virtues of Marvin as our clueless manager talks about his "fifteen years" and then foolishly gets all tangled up, or "bound" if you will, in his words by declaring there's excellent job security. Marvin assumes that "she's already hired," just as any sensible person would after mommy's favorite junior exec constructed a verbal cage for himself with poorly chosen vocabulary. I understand that you're enthusiastic about Marvin, who wouldn't be, but you know you just fudged up.

  "Good thing your mom's the boss, loser. I wonder if Marvin wants to hook up..."

A drum fill takes us away from this sorry scene and we're informed by a graphic that "Steve's mistake" was making crazy promises. Then we meet a woman I'm assuming is "Rose," who grinds in additional indignity by calling mom's devoted son "Mister Common Sense." We get some shilling for her product and then an evaluation of what we just saw. She bugs her eyes out and insists that our anti-hero could get in trouble "legally."

The solution: don't promise shit. If people try to force one out of you, just be all "I speak no English" and hide under a work station or behind Marvin. We are advised to consider all employees as "at will" meaning you should regard them more like units in a Command and Conquer game and less like human beings. Specifically, "you can fire them at any time, for any reason." "Marvin, I don't like that you're so bad-ass and make me look even worse by comparison. You're fired." I don't see any way that could lead to legal problems, as opposed to making an empty promise. 

"Marvin, I'm giving you about an hour to put your pants back on."

We close out with a narrated summary of what we were already told. Here we get the fine print that explains you can't just go firing people because they look at you cock-eyed and so on. We also discover that Montana doesn't have "employment at will." What they do have is not explained, so if you were watching this from Butte I'm so sorry it wasn't at all helpful.

I think we'd all rather not dwell on all of that. Instead, more Marvin!

Guess what else your mom says I'm the best at."

Komment Korner 


I love Leonardo DiCraprio in this movie!

this is awful i hate coprorate bull at will means your a niger your black your fired or your gay your fired or i dont like you I im in a bad mood your fired it doesnt matter all they have to say is your fired no reason.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

News You Can't Use: Man Sets Home on Fire While Trying to Kill Bed Bugs

When man battles insects the smart money is on the insects. Well, at least it is if the man in question lives in 2013 New Jersey and is using a space heater and a heat gun as weapons of choice. It might sound like some Buck Rogers shiz-it, but the reality is a little less fantastic, while at the same time being more fantastic in some sort of bizarre proletarian paradox. For once "kill it with fire" wasn't the answer. Perhaps "nuke from orbit" is the next logical step.

A homeowner and four firefighters are recovering after investigators say he accidentally set his own house on fire while trying to kill bed bugs.

"They came out of the freakin' walls, man!"

Police say the unidentified man was using a space heater, hair dryer and a heat gun to kill bed bugs inside his home on Penn Street in Woodbury, New Jersey.

It's like a live-action Looney Tunes cartoon, if Elmer Fudd was replaced with a heat gun-wielding moron and the cute rabbit with horrific blood-sucking vermin.

While doing this, police say he accidentally set fire to the second floor of his home.

Best laid plans and all that.

Bed bugs are tiny, flat insects that feed only on the blood of humans and animals. And they do it while you're sleeping. The biggest bed bugs grow to be the size of Lincoln's head on a penny, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I don't know about you but I was all "Holy Christmas, the size of Lincoln's HEAD!!!" Then the penny part ruined it all. We need some new object to describe bed bug size, but I'm not exactly exploding with hot, hot ideas. The tip of an average size little finger? Half the size of a large cuff-link? Not perfect, but at least we're not bringing the Great Emancipator into this mess.

I'm gonna say "Ouch" for Hugh Grant.

Mostly they're just annoying "because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep," according to the CDC website.

Now I'm annoyed. Get the flamethrower. 

Bed bugs give off a sweet, musty odor and if you have them, you can usually find them in the folds of mattresses and sheets.

"Honey-chile, we're gonna get us some of that sweet, musty odor. That kind you find in the folds of my mattress and sheets. It's finnin' to be so hot you might burn down the second floor."

Of course there are safe ways to get rid of bed bugs if you discover that you have an infestation.

So you might want to put down the giant barrel with "TNT" stenciled on it. We're just sayin' is all.

Komment Korner  

does it work on sodomites too?

Help prevent fires: call Knight Pest Control.

 Anybody who says "Just Sayin'" is a douchebag

Wasn't there a bed bug infestation at the hotel where the Democrats were staying during their 2012 convention? If only they could have called in this heroic guy to deal with it.

certainly a sure fire way to do it!!!

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure #3: By Balloon to the Sahara

It looks like the theme of traveling into a travel no-go zone via less than optimal means is going to continue, building off my previous adventures in Africa where snitching was rewarded and heartless worst aid was not. This time around it's all about a balloon and, judging by the cover, just about every bizarre non-sequitur that could be shoe-horned in. I mean, look at this nonsense. We've got the titular balloon, a big-eared martian holding a bag labeled "salt," a North African whose appearance suggests Pancho Villa more than a Berber tribesman, a submarine, and a dog that looks like the non-union version of Snoopy.

Author D. Terman is the only guy not named "Packard" or "Montgomery" to write a single-digit CYOA. Unless he actually is one or both of those guys, which is pretty likely, actually. The world's best Choose Your Own Adventure site is little help on this front and further muddies the waters by declaring this book is "average...with no terribly notable features." I don't even want to know what kind of upbringing causes a person to regard salt-bag aliens as relatively ordinary.

Anyway, this book gets right into the story with a bare minimum of set-up. I'm in Paris with my friends. We decide to rent a hot-air balloon. There's a dog. That's the entire back-story. D. Terman, if you are a real person, I salute you. Later in the series we get page after boring page of largely irrelevant details and lame attempts at useless garbage like "description" and "characterization." Here, it's right to the balloony goodness. Which, by the way, is currently floating toward a storm. Fortunately I have an advanced degree in sugar gliders.

  It would be hard to make an ironic comment if something bad happened.

This time the "low = crash = bad" formula is only somewhat effective. We do make it past the storm, but instead of reaching the Alps we're over the Mediterranean Sea, floating toward Africa and the Sahara desert. I guess this would have been a bigger shock if it wasn't for massive spoilers in the title, but the author promises us "cities in white with minarets, cool oases with date palms (trees, not the lonely Friday night version I'm assuming) and Arabs in flowing white robes." Sure, there will also be inhospitable wasteland, starvation and/or dehydration and a lack of cell phone coverage, but I'm already convinced. Desert it is. 

"Please keep your "grassland" propaganda to yourself, we find it offensive."

Drifting over the desert we take note of the sand, the caravans, the oases and so on while largely ignoring what a terrible idea this actually is. Then, a flying saucer, just chilling there in the open, right on top of the sun's anvil, acting all natural. Should we make contact with the UFO people? My friend Peter is worried we might get probed or worse, but honestly who would pass up a chance like this? Odds are good they're the friendly, wussy E.T. types and not the violent, imperialistic Will Smith movie ones. Pull the cord, head on down.

Seems credible.

Wackiness ensues as the creatures from the cover assume our dog is our leader, complete with bowing to him and the like. See, this is why mastering practical interstellar flight is considered "book learnin'" and not "street smarts." Next thing we know we're in the saucer getting knocked out by "red mist." Well, let's just get the inevitable body cavity violations and mutant cross-breeding experiments over with.

What actually happens is arguably even more ridiculous. The visitors need ordinary table salt to fuel their "space-time" machine, but can't seem to figure out how to get it from "fierce desert men" that are guarding a warehouse full of this White Gold. Apparently just taking their green asses to a "Denny's" and loading up all the shakers, which are not guarded by fierce men, desert or otherwise, is not an option.

I'm pretty sure assault shakers have extra handles and large capacity salt magazines.

They ask for my help, because a child is sure to succeed where advanced extraterrestrial intelligence failed. I'm all "no." The leader is all "kill them." Apparently the promise to go "in peace" was an incorrect attempt to say "in pieces" which you have to concede alters the meaning considerably. So we get "blated" and die a horrible, meaningless death because the spacemen couldn't figure out that they could use the "blat" guns on the "fierce desert men" and didn't study their Rosetta Stone program hard enough. The (BLAT) End, as the book puts it.

This one was a bit of a mess. I think there was some good ideas here but the decision to be straight-to-the-point cuts both ways. What could have been cool and atmospheric is largely forgettable and cliched as a result. In fairness the horrible "wacky space invaders" plot killed any good will the book might have otherwise garnered and I can only assume some of the other directions would have been better. Either way, it's a fast read and that's always the highest praise any writer can hope for, possibly second only to "I liked the ending."

I did not like the ending.


Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

News You Can't Use: This Insane Homemade Lightsaber Burns Straight Through Things

If idle hands are the tools of the devil, then idle, nerdy, overly educated hands are the tools of awesome. Some guy, the name apparently isn't important, has created a lightsaber! And it burns through "things." There's a lot of vaguely defined greatness right there. Search your feelings, you know it's true.

A crazy laser enthusiast actually built his own lightsaber capable of burning straight through things.

If wanting to make your own lightsaber makes you "crazy" I have little interest in so-called sanity.  

The monster 3W laser, made from a diode taken out of a DLP projector bolted to two high-power lithium ion laptop batteries, is capable of burning straight through paper, cardboard, wood, and even a ping pong ball.

For some reason the "ping pong" ball is the most impressive part for this author. Are they really that strong? Should I bullet proof my house with a stack of table tennis projectiles?

...and I've used some strong ones, if you know what I'm sayin'.

You certainly wouldn’t want this bad boy pointed in your direction.

I've got a bad feeling about this.

Not quite a real flesh-and-blood lightsaber, but about as close as we’re ever really going to get. 

I'm not sure why this guy is such a pessimist when it comes to laser sword technology. We're already so close! One of those lame "double ones" from that dog-shit prequel is a year or two away, tops.

Just don’t get this thing anywhere near your eyes. 

Or your groin, for that matter.

"If lung cancer cuts me down I'll become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

Komment Korner 

Lasers scare the crap outta me. I won't even use a laser mouse.

The pussy in me is scared of the refraction and reflections of the beam. 

Here...stand still while I burn a hole in you. ;-)

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

DotTeeVee: Bullet proof your home for SHTF

With the imminent fall of the sky creeping closer it makes sense to start getting super serious about ways to survive the coming Armageddon. I'm talking things like "bug-out bags" and "100,000 rounds of ammunition, minimum," and don't let the Obama-care zombies bite you and so forth. No doubt these ideas will be vindicated, assuming their advocates survive the initial explosion of violence, which does seem pretty presumptuous. Assuming you last long enough, you can then start thinking about making your house bullet proof!

Bring it on, NWO!!!

After displaying the above image out unseen narrator introduces himself as "patriot survival" because nothing is more synonymous with patriotism than constantly imagining all against all scenarios and how you're going to run and hide during them. He proposes a new answer to SHTF or WROL scenarios and frankly it's about time. Apparently "prepping" is full of this sort of lame jargon, because using code words is fun and it's neat to be part of the Sure To Survive The End club. Let's set our decoder rings and keep watching.

Stock up on these while it's still legal!

Unfortunately the new secret weapon against The Beast System turns out to be old grass bags. I have to admit I was a little disappointed, even if our heroic patriot imagines deploying them for bug-in (???) scenarios as well as building "super strong permanent underground bunkers." Before we start creating fortified kill zones in front of our trailer park, we need to discuss the pro and contra as compared to "sand bags." The seed bag is larger, but suffers from a lack of UV protection, meaning the sun will wreck it. Since we're going to be living like moles after the O-bombing I really don't see this as a big deal.

The true American Republic lives this hole.
The Omega Man talks about leaving some of these bags lying on his "gun range," lest we start worrying that there are some stereotypes he doesn't conform to. I'd bet money he has several "how to turn your home into an ammo dump" videos, but let's focus on the bags, please. Speaking of which, we get an endless shot of one such bag, as if it's so interesting we have to thoroughly document it. Dynamic imagery is not exactly a strong suit for this survivor.

We discuss "earth bag building." "They've built museums out of them," we are told. After the bag rots away you've got shaped earth, I guess. I can see the utility, but "museums?" Really? Apparently this happened in California and wasn't just any museum, but a "large museum." Man, that crazy west coast. It sure will be a shame when it all is devoured by cleansing fire during SHTF and/or WROL

"This here is gonna be a museum."
We get more abbreviations and advice on taking your hillbilly sand bags along to the "bug-out location." Time to wrap up this fantasy with the suggestion of a possible "fire fight" where seed bags full of soil just might help you defeat the Obamunists or whatever. Then we get the usually "please like this video" begging that seems out of place from someone who expects the shoe to fall any day now. Those "likes" ain't gonna help you when Big Brother comes to get you, friend. 

For many more good ideas for that bug-out location I recommend this book.

Komment Korner

They will just burn you out.

Become friends with your neighbors and fellow citizens less work and safer as well. 

 awesome is that ur bug out location

 That is brilliant.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.