In one corner, a Microsoft scammer. In another, a YouTuber by the handle of Joe Scambait – playing a character of his, the fictional Russian named Yuri Bagaschitt.
Knowing that the Indian scammer was going to access his computer, Joe had set up a “virtual machine” on his so that the scam could not harm is the main system. When the attempt is made, Yuri had some choice Hindi language for the bhenchod (Hindi for one who fornicates with his sister).
It was one of those days in my life I recognize like it was yesterday – how is that for a frequently-used phrase? But in my story, it’s true. The date in question was January 31, 1991.
Three nights before, on January 28, 1991 – my father had died after a brief fight with cancer a few months shy of turning 63. I was 19, and I wasn’t quite ready for one of my parents to leave the scene forever – but then again, who is? I remember a lot of tears – a scene etched in my brain from that time I can still remember of my mother weeping picking out a casket for her husband, and melancholy organ music droning on. Ever see the scene in Diamonds Are Forever where Sean Connery escapes being cremated alive and the eeriness of that music?
Kind of like what happened yesterday at the “Poppy” Bush where George W. Bush eulogizes his father, I play that role this January 31st day for my dad. The speech is composed, and those who see it love it. It’s a couple of hours before the funeral begins, so I want to unwind. I play a little NES game called Baseball Stars.
On that morning, something happens during this one game that I still remember to this day. Most of us play computer and video games like a drug addict needing a fix. I tend to believe that we don’t spend a long time reliving the results of these games – we just need the distraction. You either “win” these games or you never do.
I play the game, and the team I control is getting out after out after out in the field. I get a couple of runs eventually – but as the game goes on, the outs pile up. No hitter on the computer’s side is getting on base. The next thing I know, it’s the 9th inning, and my pitcher has a perfect game going. Three outs later, it’s a done deal.
It’s something I never accomplished before, or afterward, playing that particular video game. But it wound up happening the day my father was buried. Spooky stuff.
I deactivated one of my Twitter accounts yesterday over a hoax that a famous comedienne/actress had a health dilemma she didn’t have. I’m not going to mention the name here for two reasons: one, it’s a name that’s been in the news this year, and two – I figure you know who I’m articulating about or you don’t.
I wasn’t appalled that there was another hoax about another public figure. Twitter perpetuates this crap and doesn’t take action against those who disseminated false information. (Of course, if something is true and the info is spread by an internet reporter like Laura Loomer – THEN they go after THAT person.) A strange world we live in when those who tell truth are censored, but those who spread false information get off scot-free.
What appalled me was the number of people, some of whom had to have known this was not the first Internet death hoax – totally believed that this particular person had a health issue. Had it been accurate, the media would have been all over it – so when I didn’t see the news story appear in my Breaking News iPhone app, I knew it was dreck. For every person I saw on Twitter that sensed it was a hoax, I saw 100 or so who believed it was real.
We’re all in this world together. We all have to live in one world, not two, or whatever number you want to use that’s larger than one. Hold people accountable in that one world, not in the world you’re so busy trying to conceive that doesn’t exist.
Every now and then I talk about one of my favorite sports computer games, Out Of The Park Baseball. Right now, I tend to think that it’s the best sports game out there, considering you can start from anywhere in history, recreate history, or create your own with fictional leagues, and so on. I favor going for games where it’s not about how good you are with a joystick and graphics superiority – but how well you can think on the fly and make critical decisions.
OOTP recently went the route of the Madden and some of the other uppermost video games out there and introduced an expansion to the game based on online trading cards called “Perfect Team” that adds another element to the fun. When you create your team, you are allotted 36 player cards – most of them not all that great, but you’ll get a gem or two to be the nucleus of your team. You’re also given 1,000 “Perfect Points” to get another six players (or save your points to get packs of higher value) – but the points could also be used to acquire discarded players from other teams that they auction off.
Points can also be obtained by feats your players perform during a season, with games going every half hour for most of a week. There’s also the skill of “flipping” players by picking them up at lower prices and exchanging them at a higher value. You can also purchase points – but as much as I like OOTP, that’s something I wouldn’t do.
Last week, I had earned enough points through the achievement route to get a pack of six players to add to my team, Big Pauly’s Enforcers (as you might have guessed by the blog title) – and I wound up with Nolan Arenado, the Colorado Rockies’ third baseman. Players have scores of ratings in the game – but the one rating that matters the most in “Perfect Team” is the overall rating. Arenado had a 98, which was quite good – considering 100 is the highest conceivable overall rating. Historical players are also available, including some of the best ever to play – such as Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Barry Bonds, and so on.
However, I felt that having one good card really didn’t help me that much, considering Nolan played half his games at Coors Field in real life – a park that seems to favor offensive productivity. Baseball is one of those competitions where having one excellent player often isn’t enough, and the rest of my team had a ways to go to improve. So, I sold Nolan and got good value for him – and was able to improve the Enforcers in a few areas by picking up Didi Gregorius of the Yankees and Starling Marte of Pittsburgh in packs of higher value.
My team chugs along – I played .500 ball my first season/week, with the second “season” well underway.
Here’s a good time waster for those of you over the age of 40. The mission, if you choose to accept it: find something on YouTube that you can prove to be from the exact date you were born.
The video above is from the 1971 MDA Labor Day Telethon from New York, hosted by Jerry Lewis. It began the previous night, September 5th, and went well into September 6th, going the scheduled 20 hours. At one point while speaking with the late soprano Maria Callas, Jerry mentions there are about 15 minutes left in the event so this would be late in the afternoon on the U.S. East Coast.
There’s something else weird about finding footage from my birth date. During the 70’s telethons, Mr. Lewis would always make a special note about when the tote board had a “13” in the last two digits on the end. (For instance, the final tally in pledges when the 1976 telethon completed was $21,723,813.)
I was born on September 6th, 1971 – at 8:13 in the morning, while the telethon was on TV in the Tampa Bay area.
If you dialed my home back then and for a couple of decades afterward, you would need the 813 area code.
Well, I said I wasn’t posting on Labor Day. What I didn’t say was I’d be posting the night before. Devious, aren’t I?
So I’m trying to wean myself off of Facebook yet again, my fourth such effort this year. Needless to say, the first three failed, right?
The experiment is a simple one, really. Not to post on my main page. I want to see how far the experiment goes before people notice I’m not saying anything. I’ll continue to update my “World Of Big Pauly Media” page, but otherwise – I’m staying quiet.
No, I’m not being cruel about it. It’s not like I am pretending I’ve died or anything like that. If anyone asks where I am, I’ll tell them. The purpose of doing this is not to be some sort of social network sadist – I’m trying to prove the point that we should be listening more to each other.
Facebook seems to encourage us to talk to each other. Sometimes, I think we just talk AT each other – and I tend to think there’s a discernible difference.