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.

When a Stranger Calls II: Medicares for Everyone!

I received a mysterious phone call from someone calling themselves “Vicky” this evening. The call was in broken Spanish, and had something to do with Medicare (presumably to phish for my personal and financial information).

Unfortunately for Vicky, I don’t speak Spanish, so I told her, “No habla!”

At this point she switched to Engrish, but after about 30 seconds disconnected the call… so I called her back.

“Vicky! I need to know all about the medicares!”
<hangs up again>
<ring ring>
“Hello?”
“Vicky!”
“coño de la madre…” (I’m pretty sure this means, ‘How do you do, sir?’)
“I care about Medicare! I need to know all the things. Things like whether or not my root beer flavored Flintstones vitamin gummies are covered?? This is important stuff, Vicky…”
<hangs up again>

If Vicky didn’t want to communicate verbally, I figured the only other way to get through to her would be to use the Universal Language (i.e. spam her with text messages of Dick Butt)…After about 5 minutes of this, the number stopped accepting messages…

I’ll never know who Vicky is, who she was trying to reach or what she wanted… But I do know that’s one phone number she won’t be using to do it!

Mission Accomplished! Now all I need to do wait for James Veitch to confirm my induction into the Scam the Scammer Hall of Fame…

any minute now

…A Few More Words…

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since the anniversary of when it all went down.

There have been a lot of new and exciting changes in my life, things I’ve working for and toward for many years are starting to come to fruition. Success is something to be proud of, to enjoy, to look forward to. This seems (to me) to be the natural order of things but that just isn’t true for everyone.

Some people fear success – are terrified of it in fact. They don’t believe they deserve it, they don’t think they can hold on to it – it makes them feel vulnerable;  the more you have the more that can be taken away.

When he first told me about how he burned his school laptop in a bonfire, I assumed this was a triumphant middle finger to the establishment he’d grown disillusioned with. I never recognized it for what it really was – an offering to Damocles, and a cry for help…

“Take a puppy, abuse him, kick him, mistreat him – he’ll revert to feral carnivore. That his litter brother, pet him, talk to him, let him sleep with you, but train him – he’s a happy, well-behaved house pet.

Take another from the same litter, pet him on even days, kick him on odd days. You’ll have him so confused that he’ll be ruined for either role; he can’t survive as a wild animal and he doesn’t understand what is expected of a pet. Pretty soon he won’t eat, he won’t sleep, he can’t control his functions; he just cowers and shivers.”

– Robert Heinlein, Citizen of the Galaxy

I began writing this post over a year ago. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what happened to the friend I’d lost track of – all I knew was that he was in a bad place, and there was nothing more I could do to help him. I felt angry, bitter and betrayed. In fairness, he wasn’t the first person to make a fuck out of me… and probably won’t be the last – good-natured people are often taken advantage of.

###

In time, that anger gave way to reason. I reminded myself that mistakes are how we learn… or don’t. In any case, they give you pause for thought. It’s not my place to dictate to anyone what they should or shouldn’t do with their life. Everyone has the right to go to hell in their own way. All one can do, all anyone can do, is the best they can.

“…Mate, go do what you gotta do.”
– Sassy the Sasquatch

The Nature of the Scorpion

“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, his legs go numb – they 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.

Black Adder

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.

The Procrastinating

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…

The Building

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.

The Lubing

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!

The Completing

So here’s how he turned out:

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 Feeling

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.

The Shooting

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!

…and now I’m Japanese!

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.

When a Stranger Texts, Featuring Judge Judy!

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.

Hilarity ensues.

Observe, all:

 

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!

In Memoriam

~ Alisha ~