August 2008 Archives

BPL Headquarters, Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Office Of Voided Documents, Department Of Artificial Aspects, Marketing Section, Propaganda Division

20 March, 2008

***********************M E M O R A N D U M***********************

    The Enclosed Brower Propulsion Laboratory Stock Certificate has been declared 'Null and Void' by this office for the purposes of flashing it around and trying to seduce prospective investors.  It should be pointed out that, due to the unique nature of Brower Propulsion Laboratory's Corporate Structure, this document loses none of its intrinsic value despite its nullification.  In fact, to date, as this is the only 'Null and Void' document in the entire BPL Filing System, it is unique, and therefore a teeny bit more valuable than its "fully valid" counterparts.  Collectors of such ephemera as 'double minted coins' and 'Inverted Jenny' stamps should be expected to greedily paw at this singular piece of history.

    Speaking of which, the intended purpose of the document, alluded to earlier, is to provide physical evidence of the possession of shares in this recently incorporated aerospace manufacturing company.  New owners of shares of BPL will gain membership to a burgeoning American Elite.  They will not be subjected to the traditional tedium of following their stock's value over time; nor will they have to worry about making decisions and voting for or against plans concerning the Company's future.  Because the Company is incorporated under its own laws (see mention of Soloanthropy in the Brower Propulsion Laboratory Corporate Philosophy-Doc# BPL-05607), it doesn't have to answer to external regulations.  Moreover, the company hasn't really got any profit motive, employees, or tangible capital, other than some funny gadgets and a 1978 Mercedes 300 Deisel.  In essence, you get what you pay for, an unprecedented phenomenon in American investment.  Because of this innovation, just one of many to BPL's credit, Company profits will always increase, and investor risk never will.  This worry - free kind of investment may indeed someday become the standard by which all American companies are judged.
    Brower Propulsion Laboratory stock is fully guaranteed for the life of the investment and can be exchanged at any time for more stock.  There is no limit to the number of shares that can be purchased, although investors must submit to having their contact information entered into BPL's Stock Ledger, held at BPL Headquarters.  Price of stock varies; its value does not.
20 February, 2008

BPL Corporate Headquarters
Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York
Propaganda Division,
Office of Identification,
Department of Trinkets

***************************PUBLIC MEMORANDUM***************************

    It has come to the attention of the Executive office that a BPL employee's girlfriend has been given the opportunity to visit China for six (6) weeks.  Certainly, this turn of events represents some kind of achievement on her part, some accolade or accomplishment worthy of applause. But we are not concerned with that happy circumstance at this juncture.
    What we at BPL are interested in is the fact that this could be an opportunity to finally have a BPL product manufactured in China.  This would represent yet another notch in our corporate belt, legitimacy-wise.  And you, fair member of the consuming public, can help.
    Brower Propulsion Laboratory must raise $1,226.47 USD (at least) to send our employee to China on a secret mission.  Ostensibly, he will be there to help her with the aforementioned accomplishment, but in reality, he will be carrying out BPL-002, our second official mission.  He will be making, by hand, small, tourist style landscape paintings of the Chinese landscape in Henan province and environs.  These products will represent BPL's foray into global manufacturing.  In keeping with BPL's other activities, this mission will be underfunded and lack in certain vital components, such as intellect,  but will at least be guaranteed to be accomplished (owing to low expectations).
To help Brower Propulsion Laboratory carry out its second mission, you can send a check or money order to:
    Steven Brower
    393 Bushwick Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY  11206
Please make this instrument payable to "Steven Brower"
At the completion of the mission you will receive by post:
    1) Hand made-in-China-by-American landscape sketch art painting or similar, at least 5" X 7" in dimension, signed, dated, and otherwise verified at the point of manufacture.
    2) Complete BPL Mission Report, in inimitable yet cheap BPL style
    3) A Certificate Of Authenticity, suitable for filing, which describes your artwork painting sketch in exhaustive detail, places it in the context of other patrons' gifts, numerically, and is wax-sealed and shiny.
    4) One (1) share of BPL, represented by our new "Stock Certificate", which, while having no cash value, is nonetheless quite sincere, gesture-wise.
    It is hardly necessary to emphasize the importance for BPL to have a global presence.  As the smallest and least well equipped of all known aerospace manufacturing companies, we have to be innovative when it comes to production.  For instance, we can think of no other company that doesn't even pay its employees as a matter of policy.  So for us to have a facility in China, spewing out our products at unheard of rates and for unheard of rates, albeit manifested as just one person doodling on a kind of vacation, is a chance of a lifetime.  If BPL is something you have never heard of, please look at our website,, or that of one of our employees,  At these sites you can download information about past missions and half-assed plans, previous schemes and future intentions.  
    This mission is scheduled to take place beginning in mid April, 2008.  Multiple orders are welcomed, but pre payment is necessary.  You should receive your Mission Relics by the beginning of June, 2008.  If you would like an email update of the mission planning and other "progress", just let us know.
    From the management team at BPL, we want to sincerely thank you for your support, such as it is. 
BPL Headquarters,
Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, USA
10 March, 2008


Notes: main menu numbered items 1-6.  Sub menus labeled 1.x, 1.x.x, etc. Audio portions generally between * and *; excluding items between < and > and indicating numbers.

*  Hello, and welcome to Brower Propulsion Laboratory's PIST system.  The Phone Integrated Service Terminal's Menu has changed so please listen carefully.  You can access the Main Menu at any time by pressing (1).  To get serviced even faster, you can find BPL on the Web at  *
1. <Main Menu>
    *  To hear a brief description of BPL's products, services, philosophy, history, purpose, background, provenance, credentials, legal peccadilloes, and prospects, press (2);

2.    *  To hear a list of current BPL Mission Descriptions, press (3);
3.    *  To access our VRCE System, our Voice Recognition Character Emulator, so that you may use your voice rather than your keypad to navigate the PIST System, press (4);

4.    *  For complaints and technical questions, press (5);

5.    *  To order replacement parts for any of BPL's spacecraft, or for other orders, press (6);

6.    *  To hear this Menu again, press (1)  *
1.1 <BPL History>
    *  BPL originates, develops, and prosecutes space missions with little or no money and very little know-how.  Its various departments, offices, positions, and assets are all represented by one person, for the sake of convenience.  BPL positions itself at the forefront of the aerospace industry in terms of its lack of resources and capabilities.  Founded late in the 20th century, Brower Propulsion Laboratory was created to fill a niche in the aerospace field.  While many large corporations and small companies have been formed to satisfy military, scientific, and prestige goals, none have yet been organized around the principal of disutility.  The missions that BPL creates and carries out are developed in spite of the lack of many elements that other organizations find indispensable.  For instance, the absence of a skill and knowledge base at BPL does not hinder its progress in the least.  Similarly, the fact that BPL possesses neither assets nor appreciable income does not prevent it from completing missions.  Having no staff or employees is not an impediment.  The reason these things don't matter in the case of BPL, but would cripple any normal company, is simply that BPL is only motivated by doing.  The basic goal of each mission at BPL is to do something.  While this goal hovers in the background of every exploratory or inquisitive endeavor undertaken by individual or corporation, rarely does it maintain its prominence when compared with other motivational options such as profit, prestige, dominance, sustenance, mating, etc.  BPL has become the leading innovator with this technique in the industry.  To date, BPL has executed numerous missions and tests, and has constructed a whole line of equipment of limited utility.  Our projects include: The complete reconstruction of a Lunar Excursion Module Ascent Stage, originally as employee housing, then as a public feasibility demonstration.  Our LEM is now hanging in the Museum Of Flight, in Seattle, Washington. We constructed a reiteration of the Apollo era A7lB space suit used on the moon in the 1970's.  Our Munin and Limper exploration missions are ongoing, and we recently completed BPL-001, Conrad Carpenter's Funeral Mission, which launched the deceased astronaut-handyman's remains into the atmosphere over his ancestral birthplace in Wales, UK.  Our future projects will include a docking mission, and several new balloon based experiments, as well as BPL-002, a manufacturing expansion to China.

1.2    *  To hear a list of current BPL Mission Descriptions, press (3);
1.3    *  To return to the Main Menu, press (1);

1.4    *  To hear a historical recording of the first BPL press conference, press (2);

1.5    *  To order stock in BPL, press (6)  *

2.1 <Current Missions>
    *  Currently BPL is working on MUNIN, LIMPER, BPL-002, a manufacturing mission in China, and BPL-003, a docking mission between a BPL spacecraft and various earthbound objects.  The LIMPER rover mission is an attempt to conduct an extraterrestrial exploration mission without leaving the Earth, which is much less expensive and dirty than going all the way to Mars.  With mathematics, we can extrapolate everything we need to know about other planets so that we never need to go anywhere.  We can just stay in our room if we want....  Munin is a lander based on the 1970's Viking project.  BPL's mission will use the science of the 1970's to prove that there is no life on Earth. As these missions are capital intensive, and BPL is still recovering from a financial scandal involving a high priced call-center ring, progress is slow.  See the website for details.  BPL-002 is a 'piggy back' mission to China.  An employee's partner was invited to China for legitimate purposes.  Seizing the opportunity, BPL has arranged to send our man along, equipped with a custom made AAS, or Art Application System, so that he may execute touristic sketch art paintings, which will be sold to our non existent clients upon his return.  This is an extremely economical way for BPL to expand its production base to China, just like every other American company, and we expect this process to add greatly to our legitimacy, if not our coffers.  In a single occupancy company like BPL, outsourcing and travel coincide.

2.2    *  To hear Mission Control Live, press (2);

2.3    *  To hear the thought of the day, press (3)  *

3.1 <VRCE System>
    *  Welcome to the VRCE System, BPL's voice recognition Character Emulator, part of the PIST System, the Phone Integrated Service Terminal of Brower Propulsion Laboratory.  To initiate the system, without pressing any buttons, and we can't emphasize this enough - you wouldn't believe how many people push buttons at this point, so please, just speak without your hands, and say "Knickers and Cheesy Fries"...<pause> You said "Bumper Sticker", is that right?...<pause>Please say "Knickers and Cheesy Fries" directly into the part of the phone that is not pressed against your ear...<pause> I'm sorry, you said "parsley with a hint of butter and a six pack of wine coolers".  To initiate the system we will need to get a sample of your voice so that our patented software can adjust to your particular speaking patterns.  Please speak slowly and clearly and say "I guess it depends on what the definition of is is, and if is is not what you say it is, then what is it?"...<pause> You said "truck it", is that right?  I'll return you to the main menu while you decide whether or not you want to cooperate.  Thanks!  * <call is routed back to (1)>

4.1 <Complaints>
    *  Welcome to the Troubleshooting Department.  Please find someplace comfortable to ensconce yourself, maybe go to the bathroom first and call back if you have a cord on your phone, as this may take a while, due, needless to say, to Brower Propulsion Laboratory's unrelenting commitment to service, divided by prodigious call volume.  We wouldn't want you to be distracted while we take your very important information, and we wouldn't want you somehow to be tempted to lash out at innocent phone operators, just because you are not prepared to go through the Troubleshooting process. 

4.2    *  If you have a question about installation or adjustment of a BPL Spacecraft, press (2);

4.3    *  If you have found a BPL product on your property or what used to be your property, press (3);

4.4    *  Please note that while the PIST system is functioning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we are closed for Easter <Andrew, this is an Easter Egg clue; ps advise>.  To complain about this, press (...)

4.5    *  If you have a complaint not covered so far by this menu, please reduce your level of expectation and try again.  If you still have a problem, push buttons at random.  Remember, you can't reduce your score by guessing.  *

5.1 <Ordering> <pushing (2) or (3) here does nothing>
    *  Thank you for ordering genuine Brower Propulsion Laboratory replacement parts.  Our products are unconditionally guaranteed to last the lifetime of the product.  And sometimes even longer.  Each BPL spacecraft is composed entirely of custom made components generated in our manufacturing section, excepting in other instances.  All parts are in stock and many are interchangeable.  Many parts have something to do with computers.  To efficiently direct your call, please answer the following questions using your touchtone keypad.  Is the part you want long and skinny, or short and fat?  Press (2) or (3) respectively.  Is the part you want bumpy or smooth? again with the (2) or (3).  Can you fit the part you want in your pocket or is it a little too big? Press (2) for pocket sized, and (3) for over pocket sized.  Finally, is the part you're looking for particularly smelly, or does it have no discernible odor?  (2) or (3)...<pause> We don't have that part, sorry.

5.2    *  If you would like to purchase stock in Brower Propulsion Laboratory, press (4).  Buying stock in BPL is a good idea, because you always know your stock is of the same high quality as all BPL's other great products - and each share in the company comes with a guarantee.  So press (4).

5.3    *  If you'd like to order some other BPL product, such as our 'Pill To Give Astronauts The Sensation Of Shopping', press (5)  *

5.4    *  Brower Propulsion Laboratory also offers a number of products you can order for your own space program, or to reduce your surplus resources.  These include selections from the "Space Bodega", vacuum dried, salted and compressed prepared snack food products in sealed '5G' containers; a device to allow astronauts to smoke cigarettes in low pressure environments; a nose beacon for hip but lost astronauts, 'Squeet', squeezable meat, in a host of flavors with condiment compartments, so that astronauts may create sandwiches without utensils, or for direct ingestion from the tube; a line of 'Prantiques', or pre-antiques, which, briefly, are anticipatory products that are not yet made in expectation of their appearance in the nostalgia market, at which point they are actually created in small numbers to increase their value.  These include future space films about the past which has not yet occurred, and post preretro jewelry found in tombs launched into space on future BPL Missions.  Other products include a test space suit for vacuum chamber work with a chimp or precocious orphan; a space rated watercolor set, called an AAS, or Art Application System, various aluminum geology tools, working but funny digital cameras, surplus electronic equipment, paintings and drawings, posters, paraphernalia, advice, and a dog walking service.  Also you can order a BPL t shirt, or one of the Art Tourist China Manufacturing Mission Painting Sketches, to be created during BPL-002. Oh, press (6).  *
    *  S1.Press Conference...

    *  S2.Mission Control Live...

    *  S3.Thought of the day...

    *  S4.Final message:
        *  Please leave a brief message for the Team at BPL, or press (1) to return to the main menu.  Please be succinct and detailed.  If you fail to satisfy these simple conditions, you may not be called back.  These lines are not monitored for quality assurance.  Too much trouble, frankly.  You may only leave one message per four hour period, which should be about four times as many as necessary.  *

1.2.1        = 2.1        <current missions>

1.3.1        = 1        <main menu>

1.4.1        =        <audio recording S1, press conf., 10 sec., then = S4(message)>

1.5.1        = 5.1        <ordering>
2.2.1        =        <mission control live- maybe calls me at (347) 223-8877?>

2.3.1        =        <audio recording S2, thought/day, 5 sec., then = S4(message)>
3.1.1        = 1        <main menu>
4.2.1        = S4        <message>

4.3.1        = S4        <message>

4.4.1        =        <easter egg?>

4.5.1        = S4        <message>
5.2.1        = S4        <message>

5.3.1        = S4        <message>

5.4.1        = S4        <message>
Arbitrary and abrupt shutdown, "Bad RTC Battery" message, orneryness.  Investigation of the Interweb revealed a proclivity for this type of machine to malfunction due to an inferior design of a cable connector.  Much discussion of whether or not the manufacturer designed this flaw into the machine to facilitate the increased sale of red herring batteries.  Ultimately the remedy seems to be to resolder the connection after dismantling the computer.

soldering station
miniature screwdrivers
cotton Swab
home made blueberry pie wedge
digital camera

lr_mc_repair_004.jpgAfter opening the case and removing several components, the power supply board was separated from the system board.  The offending connector mentioned in the research documents seems to have been 'repaired' already.  The 80 pin connector is surrounded by some kind of epoxy, so soldering any broken connections seems to be unlikely.  Various ways of distorting and flexing the computer case and the boards were experimented with to try to get the connector to stay mated.  All worked equally unsatisfactorily.  The pie was consumed during deep cogitation over the problem.  In typical BPL fashion, the machine was reassembled, thinking that having the thing put all together and having all the screws nice and tight would solve the problem, as it has on so many other occasions.  Repair 002This solution was no different from those other occasions, inasmuch as it was equally unsatisfactory.  The machine sometimes still shits the bed. The next day the machine was dismantled again and a wedge of cedar was inserted under the system board to mitigate the flexing of the case.  Upon reassembly, not much had changed but technicians felt relieved that at least moths would not be invading the computer and causing mayhem.
The repair team is assessing options.  One option is to obtain a ribbon cable and try to 'remote' the connection, i.e., making a hole in the case and moving the power supply board outside the machine (this bulky repair has its aesthetic appeal, and is the most marketable of the solutions tabled).  Another idea is to find a use for the computer which would not necessitate its being on all the time or reliably, such as in prop situations, interior decoration, or various scam scenarios involving the original source for the machine (an interweb marketplace for used or Chinese commodities).  All agree that the pain in the ass about the situation is that the machine 'almost' works fine and there is a reluctance to retire it.  Expensive options involve acquiring a duplicate machine, with supposedly better parts,  to double the price and volume of and for an ever - growing mound at BPL of nearly - useful, once - excellent, in need of some adjustment or cleaning, technological appurtenances.

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This page is an archive of memos from August 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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