Category Archives: Life The Universe and Everything

AirborneSurfer Channel Update May 2017

Back from April vacation with a summary of upcoming projects and state of the channel. Thank you to all of my new subscribers! Please keep commenting, sharing, and liking; y’all make it all possible!

–Follow on Twitter http://twitter.com/airbornesurfer
–LIVE on Periscope every Wed @ 5pm Pacific http://www.periscope.tv/airbornesurfer
–Everything else is at http://airbornesurfer.com
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Tech teardowns, repairs, and reviews; sketches; how-to; games; and lots of other interesting geekery. At least one new video per month! Thanks for watching, and be sure to like, share, and subscribe!

LPT: How To Keep A Trash Bag From Ballooning In The Bin

Ever notice how trash bags balloon up when you place them in the bin? Here’s an easy way to fix the problem!

TRANSCRIPT:

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Have you ever noticed how when you put a

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new bag in the trash bin, it does this

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00:00:03,810 –> 00:00:06,690
annoying balloon thing and you have to go

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back and let the trapped air out and fix

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it all? Well next time you take out the

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trash, try this tip: grab your drill motor

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and use a half-inch twist bit to cut a

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series of holes along the bottom

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edge of one side of the bin. The holes

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will allow trapped air to escape when the

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bag fills, and prevent that annoying

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balloon effect. Don’t forget to like and share

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with your friends! Subscribe for more

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videos; there’s something new every week.

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Visit AirborneSurfer.com for other

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projects. Until next time: tally-ho, y’all!

Top 5 Things You Hope Your Children Will Learn From You

My friend Brian posed an interesting question to me as I liked a post on his Facebook feed. Always one to create thought-provoking threads in his feed, he tasked me with this query: What are the top 5 things you hope your children will learn from you. Of course, this was qualified parenthetically by assuming I have kids or plan to have kids. Since I don’t have kids, and haven’t made any plans to the contrary, I will endeavor to answer honestly by directing these life lessons to my nephews and my niece. My hope is to impart these ideas somehow, but it is easier said than done because I don’t see them often as we live on opposite sides of the continent.

1. Be excellent to each other. Party on, dudes.

Diversity keeps the world full of flavor. Everyone is free to peacefully follow their bliss as long as that bliss does not infringe upon anyone’s right to life, liberty, property, or pursuit of happiness. We don’t have to agree with others, but we must respect their peaceable pursuits. We are all different. We all have different experiences and different strengths, but those differences—when united—make everyone stronger.

2. Stay curious.

Our world is one full of wonder, and there are always new ideas worth exploring. Never let anyone tell you what to believe, and never stop asking “Why?” Unquestioned authority destroys everything in its pursuit of greater authority.

3. Never grow up.

You will get older. You will take on more responsibilities. Never forget what it is like to be unburdened, take every opportunity to laugh and play, and above all just enjoy life.

4. Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.

Sometimes life will conspire against you, and it seems like every step you take is the wrong one. There will be times where it seems like you have no way out. Just keep your eyes open and your wits about you, and you’ll find a solution. When all else fails, though, be ready to take cover!

5. Even heroes need help sometimes.

There will be those times that, no matter what, you simply can’t fix a problem by yourself. No matter what it is, it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Pick up a strategy guide, phone a friend, or hire a professional to get it done. It might never be fully fixed, but you’ll gain insight on how to deal with it.

Quick Thoughts on Public vs. Private Education

Ideally, I’m in favor of school choice because I believe that competition inherently improves the quality of any service. Unfortunately, there are schools that actively oppose teaching certain subjects on the grounds that it would “offend” their “customers” sensibilities (I’m looking at you, Cobb County, and your idiotic evolution disclaimers as well as nearly every religiously-affiliated school in America). That being said, I am a big proponent of public education at all levels. Education is not about making people feel good by reaffirming their bias; it is about challenging those beliefs in the quest to understand the world. Education is about critical thinking and developing new ideas based on currently documented fact and understanding. Effective public education is a capital investment made by the state to the benefit of all its citizens, but it does not carry a profit motive that can be accurately measured in dollars and cents—which is further obscured because it is amortized over generations! Education is not about grades and standardized testing. It is about people. Education is not about making sure kids get into a good college; it is about making sure those kids can function in modern society while understanding where they came from and how they got to where they are.

Do I believe that there are failing public schools? Yes.
Do I believe that there are public schools that excel at what they do? Absolutely.
How do I propose fixing it? I’m not entirely sure. I have no experience or training in that field. Maybe I should ask Betsy DeVos?

AirborneSurfer Update Februrary 2017

LIVE on Periscope weekdays 5pm Pacific @airbornesurfer
Follow on Twitter for more nonsense!
And, as always, check out http://AirborneSurfer.com for the latest!

Currently in the pipeline this month:
–Continuing education work will be taking up a fair amount of time
–3D Printer Upgrades
–AvE Shop Ruler
–VHS Time Capsule
#365PushUps

Service Merchandise DOT COM?!?

HOLY CRAP! Check out what I found! Nostalgia rush in 3…2…1….

http://servicemerchandise.com/

 

Remembering Hollywood Video

Remember video rental stores? The days before Netflix and Hulu and any piece of entertainment at your fingertips. Video rentals were a visceral experience. I remember it like it was only twenty years ago….hollywoodvideoWhen I was in middle and high school, there was a Hollywood Video at the intersection of Dallas Highway and the new Barrett Parkway extension where we used to grab a movie or two on weekends. It was like this video wonderland (actually, I think Video Wonderland was down by the Kroger) with shelves upon shelves of not just new releases, but a lot of forgotten 1970s and 1980s B comedies—which might explain my sensibilities today.

“Ugh! Why would you get that? That looks weird!” my mother would protest. Fortunately, I managed to recover and repair our old VHR and a Sears CRT monitor from the trash years before, so I had the luxury of my own private setup in my closet of a bedroom. The fact that my rentals were cheaper than new releases may have further swayed the odds in my favor.

hollywoodvideo2I was a bit like Harry Potter in those years–forced to live in a cupboard after my baby sister was born–as my parents wanted her nursery to be closer to them. Our house was an ancient 2BR/1BA craftsman-style that formerly featured a sun-porch opposite the bedrooms. When it was moved to the country (Yes, it was moved from Marietta to its current location; there’s a story in that for another day), my grandparents converted the sun-porch into an extra bedroom for my cousins who lived there previously. The room is approximately 6×15, barely large enough for a twin bed and a desk. It didn’t help that my desk was a large, hand-built, office desk that was once the property of the Norfolk Southern Railway Company (we got it for cheap from a collector because it was in pretty rough shape), but I learned to respect vertical space (and craftsmanship) in that tiny room.

In the mid-1990s, Pokémon fever was ravaging the country. Anime in the US was just starting to evolve from a fringe interest to mainstream entertainment medium, thanks in no small part to Cartoon Network. I remember watching Robotech and Samurai Pizza Cats on Saturday mornings (Channel 69—when you could pick it up—was the epitome of old-school UHF as lampooned in Weird Al Yankovic’s eponymous 1989 film, showing a literal grab-bag of content that often rotated from week to week), but that appreciation became a near obsession when I discovered a copy of Macross in the animation section of Hollywood Video accompanying the same shelf as Mickey Mouse and—oddly—Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

“Oh, those damned ‘killer cartoons’ that your uncle Tracey watches! Why the hell would you want to watch those?” my father would gripe. My uncle and I are a lot alike, and we’ve both got an oddball streak a-klick-and-a-half long. Anyway, something happens to you when you watch Akira as a 12-year-old, then follow it with Kubrick’s 2001. Something, but I’m not sure what. While the other nerdy kids were trying to catch ‘em all, I was dreaming about giant, transformable mecha and the heroes who piloted them.Pictured: Killer Cartoons

In high school, I finally found more people who shared my affinity for “Japanimation” (“anime” was just now becoming the preferred nomenclature thanks to the Suncoast Motion Picture Company), and we began to coalesce into a regular group of mates. We wanted to watch more, and to enjoy with our friends, but we either didn’t have the money to buy new tapes from Suncoast and Media Play or the resources to borrow from other fans two counties over (Gwinnett County and its sizable Japanese and Korean communities was a hotbed for anime fandom). So, we did the next best thing: we raided the Hollywood Video.

It was a pleasant Saturday afternoon, the gang had all arrived at the house noonish—Gilmore, CJ, Little J, Reed, Danny, Wes, and Chris all came out for the inaugural Angst Haben Anime Party. It was an extremely informal affair, as was the case with any Angst Haben get-together: “Converge, then plan” was our M.O. I figured the best way to get started was to pile everyone into the “Shaggin’ Wagon” (a 1996 Ford Windstar that I had the privilege to drive) and hit the store. After a pit stop at the Publix for snacks and the obligatory case of Citrus Drop soda, we stormed into the Hollywood Video like a Walmart on Black Friday. Armed with caffeine, razor-sharp snark, and a bucket-o-change, we set about determining the agenda.

I’m not even sure what films we ended up renting, two or three titles—Dirty Pair, Area 88, and Macross Plus seem likely candidates—but what does stand out in my mind is a certain Playstation title with particularly appealing cover art:

“Hey, this looks kinda interesting. Maybe a fighting game between different teenage stereotypes? The girl’s kinda cute, too.”


“HOLY SHIT! THERE’S A GUY WITH A BASEBALL BAT AND SOMEONE WITH A HUGE SWORD! SOLD!”

Imagine for a moment that you’re the store clerk: three VHS tapes, a Playstation game, and a plastic pail full of change have just dropped onto the counter and now you’re starting at what might be the cast of a new Nickelodeon series about the “outsider” kids—the punk rocker, the trenchcoat, the raver, the Polo shirt, the jock, the darkly poetic kid, the awkward goof, we were all there—waiting for you to accept their hard-earned US, Grade-A, legal tender in exchange for the opportunity to rent a selection of what might have been considered questionable material (“tits and explosions” were how most people described anime at the time). What do you do?

You reach into the bucket, pull out the two dollar bills floating on top, set the stack of media on the pickup counter by the door, laugh hysterically and mutter “Just…Just go.”

Spoils of war in hand, windows down, stereo up, and bouncing to a classic Sublime track, we set off for The Yella House.

And that, children, is how you get free video rentals.