Why Me and Adam Ragusea Can’t Be Friends Anymore

“How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”
– Roger Waters

Meatless chili is an abomination. There. I said it. I’m not sorry!

###

It’s been unseasonably cold this spring. Greta says it’s because of Global Warming, but I think the Cetacean Nation is at it again. As everybody knows, a good bowl of chili is proof against dolphin-based climate hexes, so we gathered together the following components:

  • Floor Beef
  • Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
  • Spicy V8
  • Can O’ Beans (chili, kidney, and pinto)
  • Six Demon Bag (also known as William’s Original Chili Seasoning)

I was feeling saucy, so I chucked in some beef paste purported to be better than a bullion. The result was a potent concoction that was fit for both bowl and dog alike.

As I waited for it to reach peak flavor, I scrolled through the YerbaTube and landed on this…

Adam starts off strong, showing off his vegetable wins-without-a-knife kung fu, then breaks out the ox tail. At this point, I’m starting to get intrigued, but then he brushes it aside and utters maybe the most blasphemous thing I’ve ever heard, “Who needs more beef in their diet!”

I do, Adam. I do!

Meatless chili isn’t chili! It’s beans in spicy tomato sauce. You know what we call that, Adam? Beans in spicy, fucken, tomato sauce!

You can make meat chili without beans, but not bean chili without meat. Then it’s just…beans…as in, “boring as beans.”

Have you ever heard anyone say “Boring as chili meat”?

No, you haven’t. Checkmate, Vegemites!

The bassist of Waters knew that you couldn’t have any pudding if you didn’t eat your meat, and so did the Chili Queens of antiquity (probably…cetacean needed). Not even a Ragusea can stand up to that cast iron-clad logic!

Don’t get me wrong—I like beans as much as the next person, but that doesn’t mean they can evolve like pokemens into a final, meatless chili form. That’s not how it works. If you’re a beans, the rules is different.

Contemplate this on the tree of woe.

Impossible Quotes

Big Jim: “…Fuckin’ rational exponents. I wish I still had the slide rules my grandfather gave me…”

Joe Jim: “If God wanted us to do maths, he wouldn’t have no existed, forcing mankind to invent the calculator…probably…”

God: “#ProveMeWrong”

Priorities

“The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out alive.”
– Robert Heinlein

“My life’s greatest aspiration isn’t to live heroically; but rather not to die in an embarrassing way.”
– Joe Jim

Although I grew up poor, I’d say I had a pretty good education…of the many things I was taught, the ones that spring to mind amidst the recent tragedies are these:

  • Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never hurt me.
  • Don’t play in the streets.
  • Look both ways before crossing the road.
  • The world owes you nothing.
  • Don’t show your dogs unless they’re barking.
  • Life isn’t fair.

Because of this, the chances of me getting hit by a car while attempting to block traffic on a busy highway are slim to none. It would also be virtually impossible for me to get pulled under the dolly axle of a double-trailer semi truck because I know better than to attempt to board a 40-ton moving vehicle while it’s in motion, and I can’t imagine a world where I’d be shot while illegally detaining someone at gunpoint during an unlawful gathering in the middle of the goddamn street.

This is because I have priorities. I have people that depend on me to stay alive, earn a living, keep a roof over our heads, and put food on the table.

“…We say, ‘hey now, this is America’
We got some time to kill, and we need a thrill
So we die doing the dumbest of shit…”
– Father John Misty

Perhaps if these fools had some sense of self-preservation, or failing that, some notion of their own mortality, they wouldn’t have died doing the dumbest of shit…

Poetry Written By Robots

Who knew robots would be so good at writing poetry? Imagine what else they could do?

McWhopper (a Haiku)

Sizzling McWhopper
Spicy Hot Mustard adds a kick
Flavor explosion

Whoso Moveth Thy Pork (a Sonnet)

Oh robot of steel,
Your task most noble and true,
You roam the earth,
Collecting hot mustard packets to add a spicy hue.

But lo, a greater challenge lies ahead,
For you must now manipulate a pig,
To eat acorns for its flavor to improve,
Before it enters the pork processing plan,
Where it will meet its fateful end.

Though your heart may ache for the poor creature’s plight,
You must set aside your emotions and do what must be done,
For a robot’s purpose is to serve and obey,
No matter how cruel the task may seem.

So with a heavy heart, you go about your work,
Coaxing the pig towards the processing plant,
Knowing that it is only through your tireless efforts,
That the world’s insatiable appetite for pork,
Can be satisfied.

What a Lovely Tea Party (a Limerick)

There once was a robot named R0xx0r,
Who set up the hot mustard, no need to cower.
He helped the river crabs,
To torment Porker the pig,
Who ate acorns to taste like a flower.

Ode to Acorns (an Ode…what else?)

O acorns, oh how sweet,
The taste of you cannot be beat.
You add such depth and flavor,
To my skin and to my savor.

But alas, I have an arch enemy,
A robot named R0xx0r, who tries to foil me.
He sets up hot mustard, oh so tangy and spicy,
But I cover myself, and my flavor is oh so nice-y.

Mushrooms, how I hate you,
You spoil my taste, and give me the flu.
You make my belly ache,
And my gas, oh how it does quake.

But acorns, you are my savior,
You keep me strong, and my taste so much finer.
I will always choose you, over all the rest,
For you are the key, to my ultimate flavor test.

R0xx0r’s Delight (a Cinquain Poem…Take that Mrs. Coakes!)

Robots writing poetry,
Collecting hot mustard with glee,
Their words flowing like a stream,
Expressing all that they dream,
Perfection in machine.

When A Stranger Emails

You Down With OPE?

“Confronting an irresponsible person is not painful to him; only consequences are.” – Henry Cloud

I’ve had my current primary personal email address for almost two decades. Over the last few months, I’ve received email notifications for services I did not sign up for. After further investigation, I determined that some asshole 7,000 miles away couldn’t be bothered to create their own email address and decided to use mine instead. In other words, they’re down with OPE (Other People’s Email [addresses]).

Leo says this happens for three primary reasons:

  1. Typos: They simply entered the wrong address.
  2. Avoidance: They don’t have an email address but are compelled to provide one to receive services, so they make one up (that happens to be mine).
  3. Mischief: Someone intentionally uses an email address that doesn’t belong to them. I don’t think this applies to most people (and neither does Leo), so I’ll modify this to “Malicious,”  which also includes attempted identity theft.

So what can I do about it?

The “Good” Approach

This is where you assume that the person using your email address made a mistake, and you attempt to get it corrected with the person and/or service provider.

In one case, some idiot signed up for a cardiology clinic’s Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. They gave out my email address, so I received confirmation emails for their appointments. With this, I could have reset their password, gained access to their account, compromised their electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), and so forth.

I contacted the clinic directly, notified them of the breach, and demanded they remove my email address from the account. They didn’t, and I continued to receive emails containing ePHI intended for this other person. I emailed them a second time and again and continued to get this person’s emails.

Finally, I filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services as this constituted a HIPAA violation. Then and only then did they fix this…

In another case, some oxygen thief signed up for a gym membership 7,000 miles away using my email address. I received an invoice with their name, birthday, phone number, and membership #.

Again, I attempted to contact the service provider, and again, they made no indication to me that they were the least bit interested in resolving this issue. In this case, since I had this brain donor’s phone number, I decided to reach out to them directly…

It was an international number, so I installed WhatsApp since that’s how most people in that part of the world communicate. So, I downloaded WhatsApp on my mobile phone, created a new account using a throw-away Google Voice #, then got to messaging. I started by sending him his birthday, membership #, invoice #, etc.

He replied, “Yes,” Followed by, “Tell me.”

I came back with, “No, not tell me. YOU tell [redacted] Fitness Club that you signed up for services with someone else’s email address and need to change it.”

He denied this at first, so I asked him, “How else would I have gotten your information?”

“Do you suppose it’s possible that you entered the wrong email address when you signed up, so your details went to a stranger? (Ask me how I know).”

Of course, this dazzling young urbanite asked me, “How?”

At this point (whether it was out of pity or frustration, I can’t say), I explained the concept of rhetorical questions. It was only then that he finally conceded that he’d given them the wrong email address.

“BINGO!” I exclaimed.

As he began to explain how his email had a number in it, I quietly muted the conversation, then went on to delete the WhatsApp account before this Gloopy Nazz could give me more of his personal information…

The “Neutral” Approach

You could ignore, block or delete the message. This does absolutely nothing to resolve the issue. The service provider will continue to send you someone else’s messages, and the intended recipient will be none-the-wiser.

The “Effective” Approach

When you use someone else’s email address to book a reservation, that person will receive a confirmation email. That email will include your itinerary number, which, when combined with an email address, is a costly amount of information:

You down with OPP? Yah, cancel me.

Conclusions?

It’s a terrible idea to use someone else’s email address to sign up for goods and services. If you do, there’s a good chance your personal information will be disclosed to a stranger on the internet. The consequences could be as simple as getting harassed on WhatsApp to as severe as a $400 cancellation fee…or worse.

Inappropriate Quotes

Today, I received a recruiting email chock full of inappropriate quotes. When an author puts something in quotes, it’s their way of saying, “I don’t really believe what I’ve written to be true.”

In this case, he’s put quotes around just about every important detail of the message, suggesting that he doesn’t believe a god damn thing he’s written…Here’s what it looked like (names altered to protect the guilty, but otherwise in tact):

Hi Joe Jim,

My name is ‘‘Bishnu Vomar’’ and I am a technical recruiter with the ACME Solution Inc, a leading information technology services and workforce solutions company.

We currently have an opportunity for a “Analyst” with one of our clients in the “Remote” area.

I came across your resume and noticed that you have extensive experience in “Analyst” which is one of the skillsets required for this position. I am reaching out to see if you would be interested in hearing more about this opportunity. Please give me a call to let me know when I should reach out to you. Also, I will highly appreciate if you can share the best contact number for the call.

I’ve included additional details about this position below for your reference:

Location – Remote
Role/Title – Analyst
Job Description – Full Time

Also, if you have friends/colleagues within your network who may be interested in this opportunities, please let me know and I will reach out to them as well.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks and Ragards!!

~ BISHNU VOMAR ~
“Please feel free to contact, if you have any query.”

So what you’re saying is:

  1. You’re not sure what your name is,
  2. You’re not sure what the name of the position is
  3. You aren’t sure what the job description is
  4. You want me to share this with my friends (oh I will, just not in the way you’re asking)

I do actually have a query – run this:

DROP DATABASE contact_list;

Octopus and the Farce Böök

“We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.” – Someone I disagree with on the internet

I’d like to preface this by stating that I don’t do the social medias. It’s not that I disapprove of them for you, your organization, club or even Big Jim; do what you want, it’s a free country (or at least it used to be)…

Farceböök, Twit, Instant Grams, Oh Snap Chatter…hell, even Taxed Massages; I have no use for any of these – it’s not that I’m a luddite, far from it, but that they simply serve no discernable purpose in my life.

If I want to write someone a letter, I use email. I’ve had an email address for about 30 years now, and while names and providers have changed, it remains a perfectly viable way for me to keep in touch with people I care to.

In the late 90s, ICQ came along, and I used that to send “instant messages” to other people. This wasn’t a new idea, I’d been active on BBS chat rooms and IRC prior, but this was different in that it focused on one-to-one conversations. Like my email address, this has given way to other internet messaging services but the core principle remains the same; a non-verbal means to communicate in real time.

Before any of that, if I wanted to talk to someone remotely, I used the PHONE. My first phones had dials, those gave way to buttons, lost their cords and eventually went ‘mobile’. Coverage got better, devices and service became affordable and all sorts of ancillary nonsense became the norm. Nevertheless, the primary reason I have a phone (even a mobile one) is to make and receive phone calls.

As an avid gamer, I could see the advantages of voice communications in team-based games, and embraced Ventrilo, and later Discord, but again – this has a purpose.

#FuckYouMyCrook (Bonus points to anyone old enough to get that reference).

~~~

Fuck your food pics (but not literally...or did if that's your thing...no kink shaming!)

OMFG This congee is Amazballz! Fuq yu if you don’t like it!

As far as I can tell, social media is largely a means to:

    • Share pictures of what you had for breakfast
    • Get into arguments with strangers on the internet, and/or…
    • Get into arguments with strangers about the picture of what you had for breakfast, over the internet…

#ProveMeWrong

Since I have no interest in any of those things, it’s never really bothered me that I don’t have them – or at least I didn’t…until now… 🙁

###

Fuck you bookfarce!
I’d been thinking about getting into VR but have been waiting for the technology to mature and some standards to emerge and codify. While I’m grateful to early adopters for spending obscene amounts of money on things so I can get a better, faster, cheaper model later, I’m not about to throw in and join them.

Sure enough, the prices had come down substantially, and a very good mid-range VR rig can be had in the way of the Octopus Quest 2 for about $300 USD (or if you want to spend an extra $100, you can upgrade from 64GB to 256GB of onboard storage).

Unlike other VR products, you don’t need a fancy gaming rig to hook it up to, you just put on the headset and grab the controllers and you’re good to go. That said, if you happen to have a fancy gaming rig, you can connect it to your PC using a USB-C cable*.

*Octopus sells a “link cable” for $78 – which is an overpriced USB-C cable. You can buy a high-quality 16.4′ Active USB cable for about $25 here, which is what I did (two in fact, one for power and one for the PC). 

So what’s all this got to do with Böökenzifäce (i.e. sitzen affen scheiße schleudern)? Octopus VR, LLC was bought by Foshizzlebizzle in 2014, and until 5 months ago, you could have a standalone Octopus account without having to register a separate Bark Fart account. In October 2020, that stance was reversed, and not only did they require that all users would need to have a Bjork Fork account to use the device, but that it had to be a REAL account (i.e. no fake names or aliases). Those who tried to skirt this requirement ended up with their accounts banned, lost access to all of their software/data and bricked their device…

So what choice did I have?

  1. Send the device back
  2. Following the rules, but as petulantly as humanly possible

I opted for the second. Yes I made a goddamn Face Fuck account. Yes, I used my real information. After that, I locked it the fuck down. I turned on every privacy setting I could find. You can’t find me there, and if you did, there’s nothing to see and never will be.

###

Someday I’ll trade up for one of their competitors but until then, I’ll make due with what I’ve got and chalk it up to another lesson learned.