“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
– Ernest Hemingway
“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
There’s an old fable that tells of scorpion that begs a frog for a ride across the river. The frog replies, “if I give you a ride on my back, you’ll sting me!”
The scorpion assures him, “if I sting you, we’ll both drown!”
The frog accepts this as logical, and agrees to take him across the river on his back. About half way there, the frog feels a sharp pain, and his legs go numb – they both begin to sink.
“Why did you do it?” asked the frog, “Now we’ll both die!”
“I couldn’t help it,” replied the scorpion, “it’s in my nature!”
In other variations, the frog is replaced with a fox. Perhaps this was to illustrate that even a creature as clever and resourceful as a fox is not immune to the cruel indifference of nature.
A modern retelling has the fox place the scorpion on the end of his snout where he can keep an eye on him, flinging him off at the moment he raises his stinger. Interesting, but I think it misses the point (pun intended); The fox learns no lesson and instead, confirms only what he already knew to be true.
The last variation of the story replaces the scorpion’s fellow traveler with a tortoise. According Bidpai (as retold by Maude Barrows Dutton):
Halfway across he was startled by a strange rapping on his back, which made him ask the scorpion what he was doing.
“Doing?” answered the scorpion. “I am whetting my sting to see if it is possible to pierce your hard shell.”
“Ungrateful friend,” responded the tortoise, “it is well that I have it in my power both to save myself and to punish you as you deserve.” And straightway he sank his back below the surface and shook off the scorpion into the water.
The scorpion pretends to understand logic and can parrot reasoned arguments, but he is and will always be a slave to his nature. Is there any point to being upset at a scorpion for being a scorpion?
The lesson here (if there is one) is this: You can only trust a scorpion to be himself. And if you are going to try help him, you’d better have thick skin.
Naming my black rifle “Black Adder” for one my favorite sitcoms seems obvious when you think about it…It was either that, or Black-Helmet Hot Mustard Slinger, but that felt a bit too forced.
I’ve had this rifle for about 2.5 months now, and am just getting around to writing about it. I am blame the potatoes for my lack of initiative…
Putting the damn thing together wasn’t terrible. I watched a lot of assembly videos beforehand to get a good idea of what I needed to do, then got to work putting it together.
Compared to the AK, the AR is a far more complicated animal with lots of tiny springs, detents, roll pins and other fiddly bits to keep track of. All pieces of the build kit were labeled, which made identifying what went where much, much easier. Kudos to Palmetto State Armory taking the guesswork out of it!
A couple of times during assembly, a spring got loose and went flying across the room, but all in all, it worked out in the end.
I decided to go with Supertech Extreme Pressure Multi-Duty Complex Hi-Temp Grease (say that 3 times fast!):
You can find it in the automotive section of Wally World and other fine purveyors of industrial-strength lubricants. It runs about $4 or so for a 14oz can, which is more than enough to outlast both our new Chinese masters and the Robot Apocalypse combined, three times over!
If it’s good enough for a union of Polish AK operators, it should work just fine for Joe-Jim Q. Public!
Since the build came in at under $400, I decided to go ahead and splurge on couple of quality of life upgrades:
- A decent sling (Ferro Concepts Slingster)
- A couple of Magpul QD sling swivels
- Magpul ASAP QD (which would also double as a single-point nut slapper)
- Magpul Sling Mount (M-LOK)
- Magpul Hand Stop (M-LOK)
The swollen testicle mag laying across the sling is Big Jim’s contribution to Project Black Adder, a Magpul D60 (60 round drum) – because ‘America!
The fit and finish is great for the price. No gap, no wobble, the whole thing feels nice and solid. The Magpul furniture adds a bit of weight, but if you’re used to the heftier AKM, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The grip is bit meatier than I’m used to, given that everything else I own uses the standard Comblock AKM variety…
The trigger is nice and crisp, so I’ll probably leave it as is.
We’ll see once I get a chance to take it out, but function tests using snap caps seem to indicate that it won’t have any issues. To be continued!
In his book, God, No! Signs You May Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales, Penn Jillette fondly recalls the line, “And now I’m Japanese, so fuck off!” from the mid-80’s porno movie, New Wave Hookers as delivered by the late Jamie Gillis.
Unfortunately for Penn, nowhere in the movie does Jamie say this, or anything like it. What actually happens is that the “Vice Squad” busts in on Jimmy (Jamie Gillis) and his partner, Jamal Lincoln Bubba Washington to break up their “New Wave bitches” prostitution ring.
They confuse Jimmy with Jamal, at which point Jamal jumps up and runs off into the night in his fly, banana-yellow jumpsuit. Jimmy, in all his fo-punk glory, is left to deal with the two agents. What he says next is this:
“Hey, listen guys. Hey, I’m not Jamal, but listen, you take it from me. You’re smart enough to throw in with us, you can have any of these fuckin’ bitches you want, any fuckin’ day of the week you want. Get it guys? I mean, fuck it. Don’t you recognize me? I used to work in your fuckin’ office. And now, I’m rich, I’m satisfied, and I’m Chinese you assholes!”
Not quite the impassioned speech from Penn’s Clorox-scented memories, but there it is. Incidentally, this is all an inception-like shared dream between the two protagonists.
Does it really matter what Jamie (Jimmy?) said? Or is this just another manifestation of the Mandela Effect? Like the plastic-covered seats of a seedy porn theater from a bygone era, memories can be slippery.
So there I was, sitting at home, minding my own business, trying to get some work done when I get this mysterious text message from an unrecognized number.
I don’t know anyone by the name of, “Alisha,” let alone one with a cute ass…Or was I the one who has the cute ass? I think I need to buy Alisha a punctuation.
Instead I decided to just go with it…
I decided to play it cool here. A suspicion was beginning to well up inside me that Alisha expected me attend her friend’s party, so I decided to give her a lukewarm response.
As predicted, Alisha counters by announcing her intent to get inebriated, then inquires about my well-being:
I maintain a relaxed demeanor and wait for the veiled invitation that’s sure to come.
My assumption was that Alisha was into older guys and Jerry Springer. I considered breaking out Matlock, but decided instead to combine Matlock with Jerry Springer to form a two-person Voltron (i.e. the Brad Neely technique), resulting in the Judge Judy counterplay:
This is where Alisha demonstrates surprising resilience, undoubtedly bolstered by the Drunken Booty-Call Bulwark™ (DBCB) defense. My improvised Easter Island emoji didn’t stand a chance – oh the carnage!
I realized that Alisha was no slouch, perhaps even – dare I say it, a pro! The way she masterfully rolled with the blow, Fédération internationale des fessiers appelants perhaps? Maybe even a Grand Master??
It was then that I decided to risk it all on the dreaded Boer Goat Gambit!
It is like that scene from Once Upon a Time in the West: I’m a Charlie Bronson, and Alisha is the Frank, and the Boer Goat is my Colt Single Action Army delivering the .45 caliber coup de grâce.
But Frank, errr Alisha wasn’t going to leave us without one last death rattle:
I decided to reply to her rhetorical question with a matter-of-fact answer, then continue expressing my admiration for Judge Judy. I had prepared a 6-page story detailing the adventures I got into on my quest to seek out the new KFC Zinger sandwich I was going use to get Ms. Kitts back into the barn.
Sadly, the lesson endeth here 🙁 …
I haven’t heard from Alisha since. I wonder what she’s doing now? I wonder how her baby sister’s prom went? So many unanswered questions. As I write this, I’m left with a deep sense of gestalt.
The way I figure it, right about now she’d be waking up, fixin’ to recover from her hangover with a Zinger from KFC and sweetened ice tea…
Alisha, wherever you are, whoever you are, know that you will always have a special place on my internets!
~ Alisha ~
So yesterday, I went to show my brother-in-law my YouberTuber video of me scoring on Porker: The Quest for Tastiness. I had put up some videos a few days ago, and noticed a new one someone else made…
That’s right, somebody we don’t know actually played this game and posted a video of it! That could be the most amazing thing that happened to me all day yesterday, up to and including the handy I got from that Thai restaurant hostess!
They almost made it to Chairman Mao’s Red-Braised Pork Belly Level, but fell a few acorns short. This is a struggle of Sisyphean proportions… They may never get another chance as there are as of yet, more nights to grind…grinder…night grinders…I feel that that should be a sandwich of some kind…
We need to establish the ‘Cetacean Nation’. I nominate myself to be the United Nations representative to the cetacean nation. Then we will force the white man to give back what he has taken from us.
It is both a philosophical and cultural imperative to perform the seaweed dance prior to making contact with the dolphin spirits. Otherwise, our bodies will be unprepared to receive their awesome powers.
I, for one, have been performing a daily ritual of deep, transcendental meditation, followed by exactly three jimmy flips, two half-berpies and a Krispy Kreme enema to sharpen my senses.
“I actually don’t know what a barrel shroud [is], I believe it’s a shoulder thing that goes up.”
– Carolyn McCarthy, House of Representatives for New York’s 4th Congressional District, 1997-2015
So there’s this infographic goin’ around the interwebs about “The Hero’s Journey”. There seemed to be some strange parallels between it and my weekend, which went down like this:
- NEU! is the perfect soundtrack for a flying guillotine…or any krautrock really…
- Flying guillotines have awesome eyebrows…
- Blind flying guillotines need both krautrock and big bushy eyebrows to guide them down treacherous mountains.
- Doors are for amateurs, REAL masters just jump through the damn roof!
- Jumping is a skill.
- Holding your breath makes you light enough to walk on the rim of a flimsy basket.
- If you’re REALLY good at holding your breath, you can walk across the wall and ceiling. This is the natural progression of the “jumping” skill, and may come in handy if you ever have to fight a blind person, or that Dhalsim guy from Street Fighter 2…
- Flying guillotines have to wear a NAZI bib so everyone knows they’re evil.
- Flying guillotines are vegetarians, which is also evil.
- Thai kickboxers must snort and belch after every sentence – it’s a character trait.
- In order to activate his ass-kicking power, Thai kickboxer must do a crazy little dance…serenaded by an invisible pungi.
- Thai kickboxer has to prove his prowess by beating up a bunch of extras while his evil friends just kinda show up and get to fight.
- That Yogi Tro Le Soung was clearly a rip off of Dhalsim from Street Fighter II.
- Also, yoga is a form of Kung Fu.
- Plus having really long arms lets you choke the bejesus out of people…who knew Yoga was so brutal!?
- Ironically named, “Yakuma Wins-Without-a-Knife” does in-fact use a knife to win.
- Ironically named evil Ronin are pretty in pink.
- The penalty for a dine-and-dash in China is death by flying guillotine.
- The most practical way to kill the real one-armed boxer is to kill all the one-armed men you come across – it’s not like China is a big place or has a large population or anything…how many one-armed guys can there be? Well, according to the movie, there were three.
- If your enemy is too skilled to beat in a fair fight, just lock him in a burning hut and roast him alive. That’ll teach those damned foreigners to enter our open, regionally-unrestricted contests!
- You don’t have to keep a life-debt to a foreigner if you don’t want to.
- Kung Fu tournaments are a good place to see all the
south-east asian ethnic stereotypeserr “different styles of Kung Fu”.
- Kung Fu tournaments sorta make up the rules as they go along…
- …and have no discernible brackets.
- Kung Fu masters who can walk on the ceiling use surprisingly little actual hand-to-hand combat, relying instead on elaborate traps. Go underhanded handi-capable hero! Yay!