GeekTells Is on Bluesky, Threads, and Post

Hey folks, I am on Bluesky, Threads, and Post, all @GeekTells. Twitter’s poison and X’s stupidity has simply spoiled it for me.

My new landing page on

Yours truly!

Having gotten on Bluesky in the last week, I will agree with Jeff Gamet that it is the most Twitter-like enviornment (I don’t have access to invites yet). It feels the best of the three would-be platforms. We’ll almost certainly talk about it on this week’s Context Machine.

Review: ECM Tamper Station, the Espresso Accessory You Didn’t Know You Needed

Check out the ECM Tamper Station, an espresso accessory I had no idea I needed until I saw it (on IG Reels, FWIW). It is my second favorite espresso accessory after the Asso Dosing Funnel I reviewed last week because it makes every tamped puck easier and faster to do. I’ll tell you why!

ECM Tamper Station

The ECM Tamper Station with a 3/4 view

I Love my ECM Tamper Station

This device, made in Germany, is an aluminum cylinder with a notch for your portafilter handle. It’s designed to hold your portafilter, giving you a stable and level platform on which to level and tamp your puck. And, it’s the same “stable and level” every time, which means less variance in my tamping. That, in turn, means more consistent pull quality and the same, great shot every time. I value that. You might, too.

The ECM Tamper Station is especially useful if you’re using a bottomless portafilter, which I have personally found awkward to make level on a counter. If you have a lip on your counter, forget it. But I also found it useful when I was using a portafilter with spouts, as those spouts were leaving marks on my counter when I tamped. The rubber mat you see in the photo above would have also solved that, but if your spouts are detachable, they probably come off when you’re tamping. That is, at least, what I experienced when I tried tamping on the counter with removable spouts, and the ECM Tamper Station will solve that, too.

Review: Asso Dosing Funnel, Your Magnetic Espresso Grinder Savior

I have a favorite accessory for my espresso setup, and I’m here to apologize for not telling you about it earlier. It’s official name is the Asso Dosing Funnel (Asso being the brand), but in case that doesn’t mean anything to you, it’s a collar that fits on your portafilter to keep your ground espresso beans from going all of the places. And, it’s held on by magnets. This thing works well, is easy to use, washable, and it has made a major difference in keeping my espresso station tidy.

The Asso Dosing Funnel sitting on a bottomless portafilter

Asso Dosing Funnel in action.

It’s US$55 from, which is where I got it.

Note: There are other dosing funnels out there, and many of them are much cheaper than Asso’s. I’ve only tested the Asso one, and when I look at the pictures of competing, cheaper collars, I’m not necessarily filled with confidence. BUT, if you’re on a budget and hate how your ground espresso beans regularly refinish your kitchen in a browner shade of dull, get a dosing funnel you can afford.

Second Note: Dosing funnels are most useful if you grind your espresso directly into your portafilter. If you grind your beans into a basket and then transfer them to your portafilter, you might not need a dosing funnel.

Happy New Year!

My last post was a…well, a wee bit acerbic might be polite. But hey, let’s get 2023 off to a good start with some well wishes! I noted on (which I really like) that the last few years have set a low bar, but 2023 is going to be good on a new level. It’s time to kick butt and not let any bullshit get in your way. Be positive and do the right thing. Be kind to people, both your loved ones and strangers. Work on those things you’ve been putting off, get the toxic people out of your life, and make sure the people you love know that you love them.

We’ve had so much doom and gloom and bad news and malicious asshattery from bad actors. Seemingly every day. I’m done with letting that get to me, though. It’s time to rise above the nonsense and be the best human being you can be. Create, build, and make. Be awesome.

To help inspire you, here’s some amazing Xmas wrapping paper my big sis bought just for me. I mean those clowns are up to no good, and they are not going to mess around. It’s perfect for a festive gift!

Christmas wrapping paper with assorted demented clowns.

Festive gift wrap, fun for the whole family!

May You Live in Interesting Times

May you live in interesting times

Firstly, according to Wikipedia, the titular phrase of this post has never been traced back to a Chinese source, but it’s apt nonetheless. We live in interesting times. And it sucks. So yay us!

In no particular order, it turns out that Elon Musk is really, really weird. And a massive hypocrite. I mean, I’ve long thought he was a hypocrite when it came to business, but said hypocrisy is also showing when it comes to philosophy intersecting with business. The free speech absolutist has been banning left-leaning accounts while letting the fascists, racists, and homophobes run loose. He’s been banning journalists who cover him and college kid who posted publicly available data on where his jet is or has been. And as of this weekend, he has forbidden a lot of links to competing sites.

His commitment to free speech is astounding.

Trump’s grifts continue full speed, while election deniers get loonier by the day. DeSantis is going full-blown anti-vax, and the QAnon world has been digging deep to find ever-lower levels of rational thought. While I’m here, fuck FIFA, fuck Putin, fuck white nationalists, fuck christian fascists, and fuck that whackadoodle judge in Texas for his bullshit rulings.

The Context Machine and Other Updates

Looks like a couple of things have happened since my last post. There was the ongoing pandemic. An insurrection. A massive spike in homophobia and transphobia. Book banning (which always works out well). Putin’s bullshit. I moved back to the possibly haunted townhome. My point is that it’s been a while since I posted, and I wanted to make note of a couple of things.

You might have caught that Dave Hamilton and I sold The Mac Observer. It’s still weird, but also still wonderful to see our baby in good hands.

In a related note, Jeff Gamet is once again my partner at The Context Machine podcast, which we did indeed rename to The Context Machine. It now lives at its own little home that we’re working hard to pretty up. And by “we,” I mean Jeff has done all the work. Thanks Jeff, and yay me!

I’ve essentially stopped tweeting from @TMOBryan, and yeah, fine, I wasn’t very active there anyway, but @GeekTells is my official Twitter handle these days. That brings my Instagram, blogging, and Twitter handle together under a matching umbrella. Speaking of umbrellas, I really fancy this one from il Marchesato. I might get it for a trip to England my family is working on for October. Assuming the world doesn’t end, and all.



I love people. I mean, sure, “people” can be trying, exasperating, infuriating…but screw that. I love people. People are lovely, funny, delightful, inspiring, amazing, talented, surprising, and sometimes even awesome.

I’m not just talking about my family, friends, and loved ones. I’m talking about people everywhere. From those little, tiny acts of kindness strangers pay to one another to amazing art painted on the side of a building.

Then There Was the Mayoral Candidate Who Listed Being “White” as a Qualification

I can’t even…I mean…fuck me running, I so want to go low on this one. I so want to heap ad hominem attacks on this creature like an elephant keeper piling up poop at the end of a circus parade. A long circus parade. But I won’t. I’m going to take Michelle Obama’s guidance, and I’m going to go high. Or at least a midway-point on the height chart.

So instead, let’s deconstruct this racist bullshit like adults.

I’m talking about one Kimberley Paige Barnette, would-be mayoral candidate for the truly lovely city of Charlotte, NC. Ms. Barnette recently posted the following to Facebook to promote her campaign—and remember, please, I’m not making this up:


Mason Truman Is on Twitter, and So Is GeekTells

Check this out. Mason Truman is on Twitter. @MasonTrumanPI. Yeah, I know. He’s the   main character of my first novel, and sure, he was born…err…will be born in 2087, but there he is tweeting up a steady diet of algae-strained coffee, eagles, and life in the Dawdle.

It’s Time for Rich Flat Earthers Like Shaq to Prove the Earth Isn’t a Globe

Flat Earthers. This is somehow a thing. Today. It’s a fucking thing. There are people who fucking think the goddamned fucking Earth is fucking flat. In 2017.

And while this exemplary expression of Idiocracy no doubt wallows broadly in the intellectual wasteland of climate change denial, creationism, and other anti-science, anti-elite ignorance, it has some relatively high profile adherents. Specifically, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving and retired NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. Adherents can also claim Tila Tequila and B.o.B.

Flat Earth

Mr. Irving infamously said a few years ago, “This is not even a conspiracy theory…The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat.”

More recently, Shaq said, “So, listen. I drive from coast to coast and this shit is flat to me. I’m just saying.”