The Geek Advisor

Location: Grand Junction, Colorado, United States

Friday, October 28, 2005

Overcoming Writer's Block

Dear Geek Advisor,

I'm a writer with a bad case of writer's block. What can I do to get over it?


First of all, don't sweat it. Writer's blocks plagues many writers - even the good ones. Stephen King had a major case of writer's block over the Dark Tower series. It took him 20-some years and getting hit by a van to get back on track.

Writer's block is nothing more than your internal editor getting the best of you. To overcome writer's block, the best thing to do is write. Write about your day. Write about your spouse. Write about your job. In plain words, just write, even if it is just "Blah blah blah" on the page until you hit on something to write about.

The idea is to get your pen (or typing fingers) working. It doesn't matter if the end result is crappy. Most of what us writers write is crap. The thing you want to keep in mind is that you have complete control over your finished writings. The public will only see what you want them to see.

Another thing to keep in mind is that us writers always think our stuff is crappier than it actually is. That's the nature of writing, particularly about writing for publishing. When I am working on an article, I find myself getting really close to the subject. When the article is finished, I am usually not ready to let it go, for fear of having it rejected. Inevitably, the article always ends up garnering praise.

The most important thing is to keep writing. Only a small percentage of what you write will be good enough for publishing, and that's alright. In fact, that's what it's all about.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Best Brand of Condoms

Dear Geek Advisor,

Can you tell me what brand of condoms is the best?

Anonymous, via email

There are several things that must be considered here: preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy prevention and comfort. Of course, strength is also a factor shared by all of these considerations. After all, if the condom breaks, pregnancy prevention and protection from STD's are out the door.

Believe it or not, but Consumer Reports has actually tested 23 brands of condoms. Their findings were presented in the February, 2005 issue of Consumer Reports magazine. According to their report, the highest rated condoms are: Durex Extra Sensitive Lubricated Latex, Durex Performax Lubricated, Trojan Extended Pleasure Climax Control Lubricant, Trojan Non-Lubricated and Trojan Ultra Pleasure Spermicidal Lubricant.

Interestingly enough, the CR article states: "There is no reason to choose spermicidal condoms over other kinds as they have no additional benefit in preventing pregnancy, have a shorter shelf life and may cause urinary tract infections in young women. Trojan Ultra Pleasure with Spermicidal Lubricant is the only top rated model with spermicide."

Finally, the article also warns against using Planned Parenthood's "Assorted Colors" and "Honeydew" brands because they rated lowest in strength tests and may have a higher tendency to fail during use. Of course, all of these factors depend on correct condom usage to be effective.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Geek Advisor

This blog was created to give those out in the blogosphere sound advice on ANYTHING - money, relationships, sex, computers - from a geek's perspective.

The concept closely follows that of the Playboy Advisor, where readers can have their questions answered by Playboy Staff. Those with burning questions for the Geek Advisor should send their questions via email to: Answers will be posted on this blog in no particular order.