The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #49, February 2002


I'm fascinated by the idea of finding evidence of life in distant solar systems. If you're a geeky kid like Max and I you already know that SETI is an acronym for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and you think reading about this stuff is more fun than a Monday night in Menomonee with the Mennonites. If you've seen the movie Contact, you know the SETI drill; the giant telescopes record all this distant radio data and then huge computers look through the recordings for hints of intelligent life (presumably the KQRS Morning Show would escape detection). Since the really big computers are out of the price range of nutty scientists who don't invent stuff that kills people, someone devised an ingenious screen saver-like program that allows everyone's home computer to help in the effort of sifting through the huge backlog of space recordings. This project is known as SETI@home (details at

The idea of harnessing underutilized resources via the Internet is a brilliant idea that SETI@home has only begun to hint at. As I watched a coworker answer computer questions over the phone while silently playing a blast-em-up computer game, I thought that perhaps the next generation of Star Wars defense systems will utilize the skill of countless joystick-clutching computer gamers by allowing them to target missile firings directly from their home computers. As handheld computing devices and wireless modems get cheaper and more powerful, it's just a matter of time before you can contact a bank of experts who (for a small fee) can answer even the most obscure questions, whether you're an amateur taxidermist seeking authenticity as you recreate civil war scenes with squirrels, or an entrepreneur drafting a business plan to sell cross-dressing maternity wear.

Can technology help me remember how to play the goofy songs I write? At a recent practice Trey was seen reading the lyrics to his new song off a handheld device, so anything's possible. I suggest you visit The Lab (a spacious club in downtown St. Paul) on Friday, March 8th and see for yourself how space age gadgetry impacts our 9:00 PM set, or the subsequent sets by "A Band Called Delicious" or "Troop Of Echo" (with former members of Arm Chair Buddha).

Today's closing thought is from the "Don't You Hate It When... Department”: Don't you hate it when you're driving to work, and you unexpectedly hear your dog being interviewed on public radio, and he's telling all sorts of embarrassing stories about your personal grooming habits, and his cell phone goes off? Don't you just shudder at the thought of others thinking you didn't train your dog any better than to turn his cell phone off during phone interviews? I know I do.

-Scott Yoho, Grand Pooh Bah, The Auto Body Experience

PS: A Band Called Delicious = ABCD. Auto Body Experience = ABEx. Formerly Arm Chair Buddha = ExACB. Becca’s forming a bar address book conspiracy theory.

The Lab (formerly Ryans) is across from the Union Depot at 201 E 4th Street in beautiful downtown St. Paul. Call The Lab at (651) 298-0173. We'll play there on Friday, March 8th at 9:00 PM sharp. See a map & more ABCD info at

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