Want a space house? It’s hard to make a down payment in zero gravity

image With mankind’s orbiting studio apartment the International Space Station offering an extra room, and spaceflight becoming more available to the general public, let’s face it; the Re/Max hot air balloon will be replaced by a space shuttle before we know it.

For sale: One-bedroom module. Quiet setting on outskirts of gravity belt. Comes with docking port. Pressurized for maximum comfort. Solor-powered utilities. Includes hot plate. Only two days from Earth. $1 billion obo.

As exciting as the prospect of living in space is, we should temper our enthusiasm with a level of caution. Just like buying a fixer-upper in the Ozark Mountains through someone on the Internet, purchasing a residence 230 miles above the earth can be risky.

During a real estate symposium held last week in Washington D.C., agents stressed that there are a lot of things to consider when looking for a little spot in the solar system to call your own. Consumer activist Ralph Nader further emphasized that notion in his newly released consumer handbook, Don’t Get Hosed By Your Space House. Continue reading

Reasons even a straight man can benefit from watching The Bachelor

image (I had the laps in judgement distinct privilege of being a guest contributor over at Long Awkward Pause today. Here’s an excerpt, along with a link at the bottom. Sorry it’s not the sausage kind…)

Hi.

My name is Ned and I watch The Bachelor.

I’ve been a heterosexual for 17,155 days and counting.

I can see the looks of confusion but that’s okay; I’ve gotten used to it. In fact, I used to hide my Bachelor/Bachelorette watching…

“Hey Ned, how about that Trailblazers game last night?!?”
“Yeah, man! They really dominated the paint!”
“What are you talking about? They LOST!”
“Oh, right. Uh, I got tapped out for a house fire and missed the second half.”
“Was everyone ok?”
“Yeah, but the girls who didn’t get a rose were pretty upset.”
“Wait… what?”

(Read the rest at Long Awkward Pause…)

Teaching public rest room etiquette is difficult when your commode is watching

Robo-urinal Few things can make you look stupid faster than being outsmarted by a public urinal. Especially when it occurs in front of your four-year-old son to whom you are trying to impart rudimentary public rest room etiquette.

I don’t know if potty training is a seasonal thing, like the migration of geese or fluxuating interest in the Kardashians, but I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about potty training their children lately. Apparently, there was a lot more dancing around the May pole nine moths ago than I knew about. Regardless, all this talk about Fruitloops in the toilet got me thinking about my son graduating to the use of a public urinal eight years ago.

We had no problem with the initial stages of our educational process, which began with the proper entrance, i.e., avoid all eye contact and enter the rest room as if you had called ahead and reserved a specific commode. If one isn’t open, go directly to the nearest sink and wash your hands until something becomes available. The trick, of course, is to avoid washing you hands for so long that you appear to have severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. Continue reading

Ratings decline may require Oscars to get jiggy before things go wack

See how getting "Jiggy" saved the Intoxicated Karaoke Awards?

See how getting “Jiggy” saved the Intoxicated Karaoke Awards?

As you’ve probably discovered, we have entered the annual “awards show” season, which officially began with the Golden Globe Awards, and is due to wrap up some time in April, when David Hasselhoff hosts the coveted Intoxicated Karaoke Performance Awards live from Tijuana, Mexico.

Every year, I watch at least some of these awards shows because, as a columnist, it’s important for me to keep up with cultural trends. I also watch because seeing Nicki Minaj always makes me feel better about the way I dress. However, according to a recent poll, ratings for awards shows have actually dropped. So much so that programming executives are calling it “an alarming trend.”

Personally, I think the word “alarming” is a little strong. Continue reading