Charting the Charlotte BDSM Scene, Part One: CAPEX

August 25th, 2019

Preface, or what motivates my interest

This is preface is mainly for my personal use. Feel free to read, but if you'd rather jump to the Charting itself, feel free to click here

I've recently begun scouting out the local BDSM scene here in Charlotte. For a long while I have been interested in exploring the lifestyle, but for the past decade I've been in "serial monogamous relationships", and while I use the term of "serial relationships" I really only mean "two". They both lasted a fair amount of time (the first for 3 years, the second for 8 years) and I found them quite meaningful in their own right, but they were also the only two girls I've ever fucked. I don't have issue with this as I'm the type of person who prefers a deep connection with someone before sex. Don't get me wrong, I love sex, but I am also a pretty private person, do not trust people easily, and like to have a semblance of control of the situations I find myself in. In addition to this, I have observed that I seem to have always had a "lower sex drive" than most of my male peers. Not sure why, but I cannot deny reality. My past girl for a time early in our relationship would complain that I didn't want to sex her up as often as she'd like, but on the converse she also stated that I was the best lover she'd ever had (and she had many sexual partners before I).1 Indeed, I remember us both stating that when the sex wasn't "mind-blowing" it was a rarity. You know when you just don't have to speak and are perfectly "in-sync" with the other person? No thought is necessary; just acting on pure instinct, so-to-speak.

Still, there was always something "off" about both of these relationships. One being that I've come to terms that I cannot be with just one woman. I just can't. No matter how much I like one girl, I still want to fuck another.2 This may sound odd after I've stated I have a "low sex drive", but it ain't about quantity; it is about variety and thus quality. I want to extract as much meaning as I can out of each experience, and just boning the same woman over and over again, well, I'm sorry but it just ain't for me. The older I got, the more the idea of the US "traditional marriage w/ kids" terrified me; it seemed more and more like a death sentence to a life of mediocrity and boredom. Still, I am still that same private person who does not trust easily, and I don't just want casual sex with random bar skanks, for e.g., or even prostitutes for that matter (not that I'm knocking those that do; by all means enjoy). I want meaningful long-lasting relationships with multiple women. I want that mental connection, that ongoing dynamic. Indeed, I want the kind of family where I control the gateway, and that if I'm dying in a ditch one day I can trust that said family will do the right thing and take care of my wishes.

Second thing being that all of my past relationships lacked any kind of defined dynamic at all. There were no defined roles, no defined authority. While I was supposedly the "leader" in my past relationship, in the real sense I was more of a poorly casted "service top" if anything. Even during sex the onus was on me to "perform", you see. I always hated that. If I'm going through all the trouble to create a home, to keep the lights on, to feed you and clothe you, the least you could do is service me, you know? Again, this was my fault ultimately. Sure "if I knew what I know now back then" and all that, but still, ignorance is not nor could ever be an excuse. If you sit in the driver's seat of a car and crash it because you don't know how to drive, you still crashed that car regardless; it wasn't the magical Ignorance Gnomes.

Third thing being that, well, I know for a fact that I am quite a sadistic person deep down. I've known this my whole life. Hell, for those that may remember the show "Lamb Chops" there was this one episode (which I can't even remember the plot of; I was probably 4 years old at the time) where some sort of discipline was being displayed. The damn sock puppet got smacked around for doing something or other, and I remember feeling that "not-quite-arousal-but-kind-of" thing that a prepubescent kid feels. I remember specifically setting out to make my own sock puppet, dolled it all up to make it look all "feminine" with a red colored pencil for blush, and then proceeded to beat the shit out of it. I remember having a grand ol' time but never knew why. The examples go on and on. I recall when I was an early teen, sitting quietly and looking out the bus window daydreaming, I'd sometimes have "flashes" in my head of girls I liked. For some reason, in these flashes they would be crying or in some sort of pain/discomfort, and that would really get my jimmies off. Of course, the Great Inca had long trained me that this was a "bad thought" and so I just said "oh shit, better ignore that" and went on with my life.3

In real life examples, I recall one time in my past relationship that I acted on such thoughts. While not strictly sadism, per se, I remember after one argument my girl was all pissy and in the bathroom. I'm not sure what prompted me to do this, but I removed my belt and had disrobed, but kept the belt in my hands. When she emerged from the room I calmly told her to remove her clothes, get on the bed, present her ass in the air, and that I was going to whip her with said belt. She did exactly as I told her, and I remember turning her ass some lovely shades of red. In retrospect, I think I may have overdone it, but we had great makeup sex afterwards anyways. Problem here was that there was no underlying "structure" anchoring this action. Was it a punishment, or was it foreplay? What was the meaning of the action? It was unknown to all parties, never really communicated nor reflected on, and thus it never happened again.

In order to drive a car, you have to first learn how to drive. Likewise, if I want a structured D/s relationship, I realize I have to learn from people who know. What this means in practical terms is talking to people, meeting people with experience, and living it. Sure, Trilema opened my eyes in ways I never thought possible, and further book readin' on the subject for a while had me believing that I knew what I was talking about. But then I talked to a few subs not so long ago who popped my bubble, sort-to-speak. I'll never forget the advice of one in particular who I thought right to proposition to become my sub, despite me having 0 real-life experience (I told her this up-front, at least):

"You said it yourself, you don't have experience. I don't have any interest in serving someone with no experience. You may think you know what you want, but until you've lived it and experienced it, you don't know."

Simple, succinct, and cutting. It made me butt-hurt at first, but she was correct and quite frankly that was exactly what I needed to hear. I took a step back for awhile, but then re-engaged in a more sane manner. Thus began my charting expedition in real life versus simply in my head.

The Charting, Part One: CAPEX

So, in an attempt to learn from and meet folx who have lived it, I did some initial research and outreach, eventually settling on a group called the Charlotte Area Power Exchange (CAPEX). Now, because these people were kind enough to invite me "into their house" and teach me the ropes, I do not want to disrespect that trust by revealing too much about the said individuals and locations. I'll do my best to recount my experiences for my personal benefit without putting any of them in (what they perceive as) jeopardy. While I personally don't give a shit if someone finds out about my blog or what I do, I don't want to "out" someone else, ya dig?

They have been around for almost 20 years, and state that their main focus is on education. I've found that the majority of "contributors"4 are part of various "leather houses". From what I can gather re: the history of bdsm in teh U.S., the term "leather" used to refer to primarily gay leathermen and their clubs back in the 50's. Apparently today, though, it has a varied amount of definitions depending on the region and specific group. The fuck if I know, but what I do know is that there are clearly groups of folx in CAPEX that have been doing this for sometime, and teaching others as well.

My first stop was to what is called a "Gateway" munch. A "munch" is just the term used for a "vanilla" gathering at a regular public venue such as a bar or restaurant where like-minded people can meet and chat. This particular munch was intended for newbies such as myself to learn about this specific group, and also for the group to vet me before allowing me to attend any of the real events. I consider myself a typical "shy and introverted" person by default around people I don't know, so I made a point to arrive early and sat my ass down right next to the organizer. I picked this tip up on the interwebz, and it proved to be good advice. You see, because as this was a public and vanilla venue the organizer had to talk loudly to be heard, but not TOO loudly so at to be overheard. Looking back, I'm not sure why this was done at a venue like that, as it seemed a poor choice.

In any case, I mostly just listened as others talked, but made sure to make eye contact with everyone that was speaking. I also made sure never to leave my prime real estate of the seat I chose, because I noticed the people near the end of the table were indeed complaining that they could not hear the organizer talk. While others went up to the bar and got food and drinks, I just stayed put. Though, as the hours went on and the initial group dwindled, I actually got to have some nice one-on-one conversations with various people, and I think I made some of them feel at ease. I also made sure I never misrepresented myself; always stating that I knew absolutely nothing and was just there to learn and explore. Honesty is key. Eventually I was given the chance to become a contributor, pay a tiny fee, and signed up. I was then given the location for the "orientation" event that was to be held some days later.

My second stop was much more interesting. This was the orientation event: The business meeting in the early afternoon, followed by a demonstration, a break for dinner, a second demo, and then the play party. I made sure to attend virtually the whole thing, which totaled about 8 hours; I left my apartment a few hours after noon and didn't get home until roughly 1 am.

Now, this event was held at a generic chain hotel. When I arrived I was a few minutes late to the business meeting so I did not really know where to go. I walked into the hotel lobby and wandered around for a while, before spotting a black curtain that divided the rest of the hotel from the 'business meeting rooms'. Not wanting to deal with the person at the hotel desk, I figured that the other side of that curtain was where I was supposed to be and crossed it. Sure enough, I was eventually spotted by a 'vendor'5 and she went and got the organizer to sign me in. I was then led into the business meeting room where I saw a group of varied individuals of all ages, many clad in leather, others wearing just t-shirts and jeans, and some Hawaiian shirts. I was fortunate enough to pick a seat right next to (as I found out) one of the most well known and older Masters in the leather community there. After the meeting both he and I talked for a while and he walked me around and introduced me to people, as well as gave me his card.6 My meeting with him proved to be a great boon, because at various times throughout the event he would see me and introduce me to other people he happened to be talking to. At one point he even taught me the basics on some of his instruments, and let me give them a test drive. Figure-eights I suppose, are the key to some of the smaller whips; all in how you roll your wrist! I was starting to get the feel of it and I must say it felt pretty "right" to have one in my hands.

After some socializing it was time for the demonstration. For this event it happened to be "cigar service" and this cute girly was gathered in a tent in the outside area with the rest of the group. She went through all the steps for a proper cigar service for her Sir, which included presenting the cigar to him, cutting it, the initial lighting of it (which had multiple steps on its own), and also ingesting the ashes throughout as he puffed it down. He'd ash the thing into her hands, and then she'd just lick it up. At the very end she borrowed another letherman's boot (her Sir had not earned his boots yet, see) in order to demonstrate licking ash off of them. Afterwards more socializing happened and I got to meet some more of the "Old Guard" folx and continued introducing myself around. I was surprised by just how welcoming everyone was and how willing they were to explain their experiences and volunteer advice, etc. Everyone was different from the last, too, which made it quite interesting indeed. I also made acquaintances with a few other newbies, too, which always helps. Lots of different perspectives.

The break for dinner was rather uneventful, so I'll just gloss over that. The point being is that I made sure to tag along to dinner with *a* group of people, versus giving into my urges to sit alone in my car for 2 hours. This was very important because even though the dinner itself was pretty boring, and I was a "seventh wheel" in a sense, I ended up making acquaintances with this other girl who was also kinda new, and later on that evening I had yet another person to "fall back on" for conversation when things got awkward. She also ended up showing me and this other newbie d00d7 around during the play party and gave us some good advice. It is important to talk to people.

Finally, after dinner was the play party. Before the festivities started, though, there was a quick "101" on flogging, which I made sure to pay close attention to. Even though my goal was to simply observe for this time around, I still wanted as much info as I could get. There was one Master and his slavegirl for this demonstration, and he put her up on this cross thingy (it is like a giant "X", but with cuffs that allow the hands to be chained to the top-most portions of said "X"). He went through all of the basics of a flail, in general, from the materials they can be made from, to the different grips that can be used, to the different parts of the body to strike, along with which parts are most tender, and how each person takes pain in differently, etc. He then went through the demonstration and flogged this lass, and while I was studying, I also made note of how pleasurable it was to watch her ass twitch and the little squeals she'd emit every so often. Once the quick demo was done, everyone scattered for play.8

This was my first time ever being at one of these things, so I wasn't 100% sure what to expect (though I had a pretty good idea, lol). The girl I mentioned earlier walked me and this one dude into one of the "loud" rooms9 and told us not to say anything while the scenes were in progress (there were always scenes in progress so I just stayed silent). Immediately as I walked in there were four different scenes going on in each of the four corners of this hotel business room: two beatings on crosses, one on this horizontal-laying bench thing, and one on some flat doctor's table thing (I really need to learn the variety speak here). There were two rows of four chairs facing opposite of each other, and one dungeon monitor that was surveying the whole room. Immediately my eyes were drawn to this one scene that was actually happening behind us on that horizontal-laying bench thingy, which required me to crane my head for minutes on end. I didn't care though, because I was mesmerized. It was this one older Domme chick who was beating this younger chick, but oh my god could she use those instruments. There must have been about 20 that she went through during the scene and she was adept at all of them. Not to mention the girly had a very supple ass, was making all kinds of pleasurable noises, and her bare cunt was on perfect display which was just great. I noticed that as the scene went on the two people I came in with had already left, but I was invested in seeing how it was going to end. Afterwards when everyone was outside smoking and at the suggestion of the girl who walked me into the scene, I went and complimented that Domme on said scene. Indeed, she was all smiles when I did and the next time I saw her that evening her face lit up like a christmas tree when she saw me. I guess it takes a lot of work to be able to do something like that; who doesn't like recognition?

After chilling for a bit with people I went back in and watched one more scene, this time my eyes were fixed on this one leatherman and this girl (who, also, had a very supple ass) he had up on the cross. Damn, while he did not use as many instruments, he was quite good at the ones he did use. I cannot begin to describe how pleasing it was to watch this girl's ass slowly turn from white to red with all those subtler deep-purple markings over the course of around 20 minutes. And then afterwards when she was let off the cross and was kneeling with her hair all over the place, and was made to clean all of said instruments. Good times.

All in all I had a great time, and I'm very glad I did not give into my initial urges that day of simply chickening out and not going. I'll definitely be back!

  1. Both girls also said that I had a fairly large penis, but honestly it is just average. Not sure if this was ego-stroking or they had just encountered a series of micro-dicks before me or what. Not that I'm complaining. []
  2. Note, however, that while I've had many an opportunity to 'cheat' on said girls in the past, I never did. This because I value loyalty. Whether or not that loyalty is warranted is another thing, but while an explicit agreement between parties stands, I seek to uphold it. []
  3. This was all before my family had internet, mind, so my research options were limited even if I wanted to explore those thoughts. []
  4. They fear using the term "members", see, because they are located in the reich, and for some reason "contributors" is a legal loophole of sorts? I dun really understand it, but okay. []
  5. She was this lady who had set up her store in one of the meeting rooms that was full of various bdsm instruments: floggers, whips, canning bundles, etc. all for sale []
  6. He also told me about some other events that he organizes, focusing more on the dynamics of such relationships. I told him I was definitely interested and would probably attend []
  7. Who I made a point to befriend at the PREVIOUS event; networking see? []
  8. Amusingly, remember that all of this was still IN THE HOTEL MEETING ROOMS. Not only that, but there was a children's sports event or something going on at the same time, so if you ventured out beyond the designated area you were met with various WASP families and their kids. Top keks. []
  9. "loud" == flogging, impact play, etc. vs "quiet" == bondage I guess? Idk, after seeing the loud room I didn't even have interest in the other lol []

How "Colocation America" almost lost my business, but saved themselves in the end (for now, at least)

August 23rd, 2019

...or how pretense almost claimed another victim.

Early last week I decided to procure a dedicated server from a source outside of Pizarro, partly because I want to stand up a copy of both asciilifeform's logotron as well as my own "logotron-lite"1 , but mainly because I want to stand up a trb node that actually functions2 and the wisdom from the logs seems to be that it makes 0 sense to have ~100% of TMSR's nodes funneled through the same pipe, especially in light of the recent observations regarding said pipe. Now don't get me wrong, I have no plans to give up my Piz Rockchip (which this very blog sits on) nor my shared hosting, as Pizarro is imo the only human ISP out there. Nevertheless, I figured why not spread my boxes around a bit and do some charting of the heathen options.

So after a bit of searching I landed on "Colocation America", chiefly because they were the only provider I could find that offered Gentoo as a pre-installed option on their "managed" dedicated servers. Now, you may be asking "wtf lobbes, wai not just get a proper colocated box??", and my answer would be "I am still moderately poor and moderately stupid", or more aptly put "I don't really know what I'm doing yet with re: to buying my own iron and also cannot afford to shell out THAT much just yet, and I have a lot of irons in the fire that I have to tend to at the moment. Plus, I like to learn the hard way I guess."

With that let's get to the point of this post, which is my initial interaction with this particular band of heathens.

From: Colocation America <Sales@ColocationAmerica.com>

Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 9:53 AM

To: sales@colocationamerica.com

Subject: [Colocation America] New customer order (20609) - August 21, 2019

New customer order

You’ve received the following order from Eric Benevides:

[Order #20609] (August 21, 2019)

Product

Linux Lite - e3-1220 Sever

Operating System: Gentoo

Memory: 32GB (Included)

Primary Storage Drive: 512GB SSD Samsung 850 Pro (Included)

Second Storage Drive ($15.00): 512GB SSD Samsung 850 Pro (Included)

Add Additional Bandwidth: 30TB on GigE Port (Included)

Add Additional IPv4 Addresses: 5 Useable IPv4s (/29) (Included)

Quantity

1

Price

$144.00

[Redacted CC info]

Note that I indeed chose "Gentoo" as the OS, so you can imagine my surprise few emails later when:

Support (Colocation America)

Aug 22, 15:15 PDT

Dear Eric,

Thank you so much for your recent order.

Please find your dedicated server info below:

e3-1220 Sever, 32GB ram, 2 x 512G SSDs

Server ID: [Redacted]

OS: Centos 7.6 64bit

[Redacted]/29Main IP:  [Redacted]

root password: [Redacted] (please, change it asap)

Available IPs:  [Redacted] - [Redacted]

Our 24/7 support hotline is 1-800-296-8915  extension 1.

In case you are traveling abroad you can reach us at  213-928-6929 or you can send an email to Support@ColocationAmerica.com with the credentials.

You can also chat with us online.

Let us know if you need any more assistance with your setup as we are here to earn your business!

Thank you for choosing Colocation America!

Best,

Daniel G.

Support Desk

Ruh-roh, CentOS? "What are these shenanigans?", I ask:

There is a problem: I specifically ordered *Gentoo* as the OS (this was the sole reason I went with this company, in fact). If you cannot provide this then I will have to ask for a refund asap. There are much cheaper options for Cent-OS out there, and this is bait and switch activity.

Regards,

Eric

To which Jay comes back with:

Support (Colocation America)

Aug 22, 17:10 PDT

Please accept our apologies.

We do not support Gentoo install.

For ease, we have included KVM information for installing it yourself.

Server ID: [Redacted]

IPMI IP:  [Redacted]

User: kvm_user

Password: [Redacted]

You must first connect to our VPN before you try to connect to our KVM.

VPN information:

Url: [Redacted]

User: vpn26

Password: [Redacted]

Note: You need Java application installed on your computer to load the KVM console.

Regards,

Jay

Did you catch the part about needing Java on my computer to load the KVM console?

While I appreciate the effort to rectify the situation, this is not enough for me. I understand not supporting a Gentoo install, but this is something that I should have been told *before* I gave the billing dept. my $144, not after.

When I first made my order, Gentoo was listed as an option under 'Operating System'. The implication being that since I was ordering a managed server, that this would be supported as an install (without me having to invest my time to self-install).

Point is: Starting a business relationship with a lie is not a good idea. This raises huge red flags in my mind and I'd rather not continue the relationship at this point.

I ask that you please refund me my initial payment asap. I will look elsewhere.

Thank you,

Eric

Which, to my pleasant surprise, lead to:

Support (Colocation America)

Aug 23, 10:18 PDT

Dear Eric,

You are 100% correct. We have issued a warning to our technician who did not feel like installing something he was unfamiliar with.

We will have the server installed for you and give some credit to compensate for his mistake and your valued time.

Please expect the server info to be delivered to you shortly.

Thank you,

Garry S.

Support Desk

After which I thanked him for the credit and for making the shit correct, and said that I didn't care about getting some technician in trouble or whatever, as long as I got what I paid for. A few hours later and I have a box with Gentoo that I successfully logged into via ssh. They were also pretty prompt in their communications, so I'll give them that at least. Only time will tell if it lasts, however.

  1. Once it is finished it will spit out static colorized html logs from ZNC or irrsi logs in the syle of http://logs.minigame.biz/latest.log.html, but without needing all of the garbage coad in the heathen irclog2html []
  2. my current node is in a sad state; it rests on a hdd, and even with the aggression patch after a full year it still has not caught up to the current block height. Even worse, as I check it today I notice it just... hangs. For example, I issued a simple "getinfo" command last night in a screen session, then came back 24 hours later and it still had not returned the results of said command. Trying to "stop" the server in the same manner about an hour ago also seems to be resulting in the same "hanging" effect. Curiously, my debug.log is still showing connections being accepted, and dropped, so it is doing something, but I am pretty green here so it is hard to tell []

On Relationships or How Pretense Kills

August 19th, 2019

This started, as all good things do, from the logs:

snsabot: Logged on 2019-08-11 16:46:59 lobbes: mp_en_viaje: you actually improved my archive process with just such a bash one-liner. I still use it to this day to get around the 'cloudflare' crapola. But you know, 10 years spent in a pot-induced fog tends to make one miss the obvious. I'm working with a new brain these days
trinque: the fog was induced by you being on your ass if anything; never blame a substance
lobbes: I cannot argue with this. In any case, I no longer intend to be on said ass
trinque: cool, I'm gonna spark a doob and work on deedbot
lobbes: haha enjoy
lobbes: the moral, I guess, is 'pretense kills'.
trinque: shrugs

He is correct, you know. However, I still would like to expand on my meaning of "pretense kills", because this cuts in all directions. Nevertheless, I will return to this at the end. First, let me define some things:

Relationships

My "grand epiphany" outlined in a previous post was that the world in which both this author and the reader of these words inhabit is comprised, at the top-level, of objects and phenomena. This phenomena can perhaps be more aptly defined as actions, or the interaction between objects. Over time, this sustained interaction can then be interpreted as the relationship between objects.

These objects can be further classified as either human or non-human. Therefore, we can observe relationships between people (two or more human objects), relationships between humans and non-humans, or relationships between entirely non-human objects, although in this latter case in order to even be classified... you need a human object in the mix now don't you? Still, for sanity's sake we can still assume that entirely non-human relationships would continue to exist even if every human in this world dropped dead tomorrow, it just wouldn't really be interesting to us in that event.

Knowledge and understanding, then, require relationships. In order to learn anything requires relationships; with the language you speak, the teacher you are learning from, with the world around you. When you can not interface with this world, or worse, when you make yourself believe you are actually interfacing with this world but in reality you are not, well, then you are in trouble. Which leads us right into our next definition.

Pretense

Depending on the dictionary you choose the definitions for this are varied, so let's dig into the etymology of "pretend":

From: https://www.etymonline.com/word/pretend?ref=etymonline_crossreference

pretend (v.)

late 14c., "to profess, assert, maintain" (a claim, etc.), "to direct (one's) efforts," from Old French pretendre "to lay claim," from Latin praetendere "stretch in front, put forward, allege," from prae "before" (see pre-) + tendere "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch."

Using this, I will define "pretending" as: to direct one's efforts to stretching (the truth or your own imagined reality regarding the relationships between objects in the real world). "Pretense", then is simply the past participle of this; after you have finished stretching.

How Pretense Kills Relationships (and thus Humans)

With these definitions in-hand, I will now dive into two real-world examples with the hopes that next time I find myself in a fog, I can look back on my blog and remember. These examples are rather personal to me, and writing about personal things is something I have avoided up until this time for various reasons. However, this is rather silly, because one of the main points of keeping a blog is so that the author can look back on where he was at a later point in time. Reflection is indeed what separates the human objects in this world from the cattle, and the last few times I "got real" only served to bring me greater clarity. Not only that, but in a republic of men (and not laws) meaningful participation necessarily can only be very personal thing to each individual man.


I. How pretense almost killed me

The following was a text exchange a few weeks ago between myself and the ex-girl I recently escaped from. Please excuse the drama, but it is to illustrate a point: which that I was, in fact, the one at fault for the both of us living in pretense.

Her: I need you to put a couple hundred on my [pre-loaded debit card thing I gave her years ago for "allowance"] please. Let me know when you do, thanks.

Me: Why?

Her: Because I can't do it myself right now

Me: I know. I'm asking for what do you need those couple of hundred?

Her: What's it matter to you?

Me: Really? I'm not sure what world you live in but I suggest you head back to reality and fast. I need you focusing on packing and getting ready to go back to your home. I will help you in that aim, but I will not help you sustain this fantasy world you are living in. I have my own problems

Her: If you want to be a dick about it then go ahead. I can't say I'm surprised, it's kind of disappointing though. I'll work it out on my own then. That's alright : ) have a nice day.

Me: Right. It can't be the fact that I'm actually saying something important, because then you'd have to drop the pretense. I'm just a dick. This, ftr, is why I can't be in a relationship with you. Real attempts at communication (which cannot always be puppies and roses and sugar) are met with dismissal. This pretense killed my father, your entire family, and will kill you too. But by all means just plug your ears and say "I'm a dick". I no longer care and *do not intend to stand in your way*1

The mistake I made here was saying anything other than nothing, because at this point the ship had long sailed. As I read this exchange right now, I realize I was talking to myself; and not in the "I'm talking to a wall" sense, but in the "I'm projecting what I should have told myself onto her" sense.

For all of the problems she has, the real problem was that I was lying to myself for years; I had never put her on her knees. I allowed myself to stretch the truth about the reality of the situation, despite all of the obvious red flags, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary. I watched for years as my wealth dwindled while I supported her, and I watched for years while she never worked a day in her life. I flat out ignored it when she stopped cleaning and cooking, when she failed to deliver on her promise to learn how to even drive a car. I just kept right on going about things each day, and no, it wasn't the marijuana or anything else, it was me plain and simple. It was my own fantasy world I was living in, and I was indeed just sitting on my ass letting her bleed me to death until she had me on my knees.

I will (and did) live, and will most definitely learn.


II. How pretense killed my father

It was the first few days in October of 2015. I remember at that time I had a job that had me flying each week to the client site in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from my (at the time) home in northern Ohio. I grew up in Massachusetts, so when I got a phone call in my cubicle at work from a MA number I answered it, naturally. When I answered the phone the man on the other side had that thick "New England" accent2 and introduced himself as a state trooper. "Is this Eric? Yeah, I got some bad news for you. We found your father dead in his apartment yesterday."

The rest was a bit fuzzy. I remember my first words to the trooper were something along the lines of "Shit" or something, followed by, "so... what do I do now?"

See, my father and mother had recently divorced and he had no other children, so I was next of kin. Somehow I needed to fly back to Ohio, then drive the ~18 hour drive over to Massachusetts and take care of burying the man within the week's time I had off of work3. It was a whirlwind of logistics, but what struck me most of all was the fact that I wasn't really sad. Numb, maybe, but I honestly was not that surprised because I had grieved the man years and years before his actual death. He was a coward, you see, and "cowards die a thousand times before their death". He was afraid to face himself, so he took to the (in this case, quite literal) bottle. Finally he got his wish of a near-effortless suicide.

But I don't ever really remember him being drunk when I was growing up, and he always managed to go to work each day (driving a box truck, no less), so either he was great at hiding it or he didn't get heavy into it until later in life. In either case, what I remember was that he was impossible to have a relationship with; to communicate meaningfully with, at least from my early teen years on when I could've used a father. I do credit him in my very early years, though, for he was the only one of my two parents who would engage me in "abstract" thought discussions (my mother, on the other hand, taught me the value of practical things like paying bills and having pride in your work). At some point in his life he was alive and actually used his intelligence. He had a great interest in and knowledge of history, and I remember him teaching me all about World War I and II when I was very young (young boys love war it seems), and about how the American Civil War was not actually about slavery (he was right!).

Over time, though, he became more and more withdrawn. He also seemed to get off on people feeling sorry for him, and often after years of silence would explode in erratic outbursts that made no sense at all. To this day I still have no idea what the fuck his problem was, because no matter how much you asked him about himself he would just laugh you off in some manner. He also hated admitting he had any kind of weakness and avoided criticism with a passion.

But he loved to PRETEND that he was smarter than everyone else, or more importantly, he genuinely BELIEVED this to be true. I remember one time when I was a bit older, him, my mother, this girl I was dating and I went to a casino/resort-thing together. The entire time all he did was sit at this one specific 'video poker' machine, while the rest of us scattered. I honestly hate gambling, but my girl and I had a nice time exploring the general area and different stores, people watching, and bouncing around different 'penny slots' while enjoying the novelty of being able to smoke cigarettes inside a public place.

He did not move the entire time. Hours and hours he would stay at that one specific machine. At some point I went to sit next to him and he got all excited as he started explaining how he was "learning the patterns" of the hands that would come up, and how he had it all figured out; trying to teach me, you see. I just humored him for a while before getting really bored and leaving. I knew he was disappointed as he watched me go back to join my girl who was futzing around with the colorful penny slots. I knew he thought I was stupid for doing so. But I knew it would be fruitless to try to explain to him how those video poker machines are just "penny slots with extra steps", and how the odds are already programmed to be in favor of the house. He failed to see this relationship, see, but more to the point is that he would not listen even if the casino owner came down and told him that point-blank to his face.

It was depressing, really, but I had long ago stopped caring. He was living in pretense; in world that was entirely in his head, but he thought otherwise. Eventually, it killed him. The sad part is that I just know that in his final hours he was thinking how hurt everyone was going to be about his death, and how they would "regret not doing more for him". The truth is that everyone moved on, and they are doing just fine without him (if not better).


The "Moral" of these Stories

You get it by now, but let's bring it full-circle as promised. With regards to my dear ol' dad, the majority of my family still clings to the tired old trope of "oh no, alcoholism" when I knew from the moment he died that it had nothing to do with alcohol. That was simply the tool he used to further separate himself from reality. You can't blame the substance, indeed, yet I still thought right to blame marijuana for my own failings. This was quite stupid of me.

Still, pretense itself cuts in all directions, with or without substances involved. Yes, the gabriel_laddels of the world who believe they are taking a drug to "enhance their mind" are just deluding themselves, but it is true that even then the ROOT of the delusion starts with them, and the substance is but another layer on top; you can't blame the substance.

Like the woman who bleeds you dry is but another layer on top of your own unwillingness to take control of your life; you can't blame that woman.

Like the bureaucrat leech who you do not take care to butcher into pieces is just another layer on top of your unwillingness to be truly human. If you do not take the steps to be human, to look at yourself with that critical eye, to be honest with yourself when you see your reflection in the eyes of others, then you are just another non-human object and you have no one to blame but yourself.

Don't blame the mice...

  1. Yes, I cribbed these last eight words from the man himself []
  2. they say the accent varies by region, but fuck it I grew up there and I can't tell the difference []
  3. for "bereavement"; did you know that a week is considered a luxury in most salt mines? []

znc2tmsr_etc.kv.vpatch

August 18th, 2019

vpatch: http://lobbesblog.com/src/logotron/znc2tmsr_etc.kv.vpatch
sig: http://lobbesblog.com/src/logotron/znc2tmsr_etc.kv.vpatch.lobbes.sig


Author's notes:

Results from testing

After pressing the logotron and applying a few fixes to eat_dump.py, I was able to eat the entirety of #eulora's logs.minigame.biz archive into my test database. Said archive was created via the znc2tmsr code, which is contained within this vpatch along with the fixes to eat_dump.py. Note: the full four year archive took about 40 minutes to eat and resulted in 176887 total loglines.

Special notes on uniturd handling:

As a working example, please take note of index 8412771.

In the 'raw' logs, the 'payload' is as follows:

"Or in my case, re-write a cooking book. So ladies and gentlorans, I give you Foxy’s Euloran Cookbook V1.1,"

Now, in the database, the 'non-standard apostrophe'2 is stored as '\u0092':

nsalog=# select payload from loglines where idx = '841277';
payload
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Or in my case, re-write a cooking book. So ladies and gentlorans, I give you Foxy\u0092s Euloran Cookbook V1.1,"

Now, here's where it got funky for me in testing with reader.py. When reading the output in the 'links' browser, the apostrophe displayed as I would expect:

"Or in my case, re-write a cooking book. So ladies and gentlorans, I give you Foxy’s Euloran Cookbook V1.1,"

Buuut, when I tested in 'lynx' and 'chromium', the apostrophe was omitted entirely (with just a space in its stead):

"Or in my case, re-write a cooking book. So ladies and gentlorans, I give you Foxy s Euloran Cookbook V1.1,"

Same results for other lines that dealt with the 92 hex. So, at this point I'm not entirely sure if this is worth dedicating more time to fix, or if this is something folks can live with. Seems like some browsers will read it, and some will not. I'm open to further futzing if it is deemed a necessity, but if not then I submit this patch for signing.

Various misc threads related to the testing and uniturds (links in reverse chronological order):

flask cache deprecation eggogs; workaround

various testing notes from author; prompt from alf to vpatch

lots of uniturd wrestling/info throughout day; phf drops in with his [algo]

moar uniturd wrestling - 2019-08-15

moar uniturd wrestling - 2019-08-14

moar uniturd wrestling - 2019-08-13

  1. 5 lines down in http://logs.minigame.biz/eulora_log_2015_to_2019_debug.txt []
  2. i.e. not 0x27 []

irclog2html genesis

August 16th, 2019

vpatch: http://lobbesblog.com/src/irclog2html/irclog2html_genesis.vpatch

sighttp://lobbesblog.com/src/irclog2html/irclog2html_genesis.vpatch.lobbes.sig

From :README.txt":

Genesis by lobbes of the heathen "irclog2html-2.14.0" that is currently used to produce

the colorful logs found on http://logs.minigame.biz/


USAGE: Takes .log files from, e.g., ZNC and converts to html. You can then set a cron job

to run the coad and transfer the files to your web-facing directory.


WARNING: NOT recommended for use as-is due to the need for "pip" to install (see:

http://logs.nosuchlabs.com/log/trilema/2019-07-28#1925233). It does come with

a makefile that allows a "test" installation (still via pip) in virtualenv, but I was not able

to get this to work at the time of this genesis due to various "deprecation" barf (this version

was produced in 2014).


The main cause for this genesis is the want to freeze the important bits in amber for future dissection.

I aim to eventually create a vpatch that eliminates the vast majority of this coad and replaces it with

some simple scripts to achieve the same html colorization without the pip-isms. Others, of course, are welcome

to bring their own scalpels and flamethrowers to it.


Important bits:

coad/src/irclog2html/irclog2html.py

coad/src/irclog2html/logs2html.py


From "MANIFEST.TXT":

590462 irclog2html_genesis "Genesis."


Additional notes: The search that is currently in-use over at http://logs.minigame.biz/search/?q= is NOT included in this genesis as that was something I coded after-the-fact. Ditto for the bot long-line echoing done by lobbesbot. I intend to vpatch these at a later date.

znc2tmsr vpatch

August 12th, 2019
Please do not use this vpatch as it is a dead leaf.
Instead, see: http://blog.lobbesblog.com/2019/08/znc2tmsr_etckvvpatch/

Following Diana Coman's slick and effective bash one-liner for converting irssi logs to a format edible by Stan's logotron, I submit for consideration my not-so-slick, yet still effective1 py-turd as a vpatch. MANIFEST.TXT included.

vpatch: http://lobbesblog.com/src/logotron/znc2tmsr.vpatch

sig: http://lobbesblog.com/src/logotron/znc2tmsr.vpatch.lobbes.sig

  1. the jury is still out on if this is indeed what is causing the utf-8 barfs chronicled in the logs. I honestly doubt it, BUT if it is I can always patch again later. Plus, Stan dun have to sign if he dun wanna! That's the magic of V, ain't it? []

Fog of War

August 6th, 2019

War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty.

It is this uncertainty that prompted me to issue my statement on Trilema this morning (as promised, the signed version proving it was from yours truly), and it was Mircea Popescu's prodding to write about myself that prompted me to create this post. So here it is:

Simply speaking, I do not think I am currently capable of annulling the noise around me to direct myself towards +ev republican work. I'm not sure where my hands should go. Unless I'm misunderstanding the proper role of a lord, then I think I'd be best served 'going back to school' and filling the role of a knight of the republic.

Yes, it is true that I want to be able to make these decisions for myself, eventually. I want to be a lord. But wants are different items from facts. I have made my living the last decade as a data analyst, and right now the data is telling me something. Take, for example, the last 12 months of various "hopper updates"; items that I promised to deliver on. Let's do some data analysis: I enumerated roughly 16 distinct items from that set, and out of those 16 I delivered on only 4 of those items. That's only a 25% success rate, or a 75% failure rate on delivery.1

Maybe I'm making too big of a deal of this failure, or maybe not. Maybe I just haven't been communicating enough. After all, the environment is constantly changing by its very nature, and sometimes it is necessary to change focus to adapt to it, sure. However, all that aside I still have the very real problem of lack of technical knowledge and general experience.

I want to make clear something: When I first came through these doors back in 2014, I had no idea what was going on. Even back then when the snr ratio was much lower than today, I only understood about about 10% of what was being said at any given time. The main reason I even followed pankakke's original breadcrumb to the then fledgling republic, and the only reason I kept reading Trilema back then was because I kept witnessing a strange effect happening over and over again: for some reason, all of the things these people were saying kept being proven true. But it went beyond Bitcoin! Indeed, as the years went by, as I toiled through my various meatworld work and interfaced with the various anti-models, I kept seeing the ever-emerging TMSR ideology being proven correct in my everyday life. The more I learned, the more things made sense.

Fast-forward to today and I somehow understand much more of the logs, of the blogs, and what is being discussed. Not to jerk myself off too much here, but I had never touched an OS besides Macintosh/Windows before TMSR. I had never written a lick of python code, nor of php code, nor of lisp, nor of etc. My programming experience was limited to making Macromedia Flash games using "Action Scripting" when I was 16, followed by 5 or so years of nothing until I got my first job out of college.2 Even in my professional life, the most complex 'technology' I have ever really touched is SQL and loading data into the backend of SAP ERP.3 Even worse, these days I don't even get to touch THAT; being confined to toil on various Excel-like toys. My brain would have surely atrophied by now if it weren't for this place.

Nevertheless, it is clear to me that I still have much more to learn. For example, while I've attempted to read the trb source code, I just don't have the c knowledge to grok any of it, really. Hell, after a year's time my own trb node still hasn't fully synced, even with the aggression patch. Obviously this is a very real problem. And while I learned enough about clisp to run the logbot and to build a python command router off of it, I still would never say I know any lisp or clisp at all.4 The list of things I don't know goes on and on, but I guess at least I can say I know enough to know what I don't know, you know?

So, to bring this full circle, I think I need to go back to focusing on learning. I'm going to spend some time in #asciilifeform and #ossasepia, helping the respective lords of those castles out with whatever they need help with. Hopefully I can learn a thing or two in the process. I sure as hell am not going to stop participating however. My goal is to one day get to the point where I have enough knowledge so that I can truly grab my environment by the throat and bend it to my will. But I am not there yet. I have climbed out of the primordial soup, I have learned to crawl and daresay I have learned to walk, but I am not running yet, nor have I come close to taking flight.

And all of the above is just in regards to the public sphere. As far as my private sphere goes, well, I have a pretty clear path there. In the short term I simply have to continue following-through on what I laid out in my most recent forward looking statement. In the long term, well, lets just say that one Trilema post I read in 2018 started out like a majority of them did: first my 'cognitive kill switch'5 kicked in, but then the switch shorted out. The words continued to burn in the back of my head. Slowly burning and burning for months until suddenly it was impossible to ignore. Nevertheless, just like the above, I know what I don't know, and it will be some time before I have the technical knowledge and experience in that realm as well. All in time, I guess, save for that proverbial truck that may one day take me away.

Until then, onward!

  1. Granted, this is a quick n' dirty enumeration, and some of the items I did deliver on (like ditching the dysfunction in my private sphere, or getting a proper Cuntoo workstation working for me) had arguably more weight to them and a greater positive effect on my life than other items in that set. But I'd like to also point out that making a auxiliary logotron was something I promised back in November of 2018. Which... I did not deliver on, and now look where we are! []
  2. Fun fact, I started out college as a CS major, only to switch immediately to Business Management. Partly because I genuinely enjoy studying business, but mostly because I believed it to be the 'path of least resistance' to a degree that would net me a high salary. Sadly, I was right. I 'exam took' the shit out of that thing... and was high for most of it. Oh well, wasted youth []
  3. LSMW and BDC macros ftw! []
  4. and fuck me if you ask me to delineate the difference between clisp and lisp! Even though I've read the threads in the logs, I just can't fully grok it yet []
  5. ty tlp for that coinage, and fuck you Great Inca for putting it there in the first place []

Btcbase.org snarf: first run

August 2nd, 2019

In response to: http://trilema.com/2019/trilema-goes-dark/#comment-130477

SIGNED plaintext version of below text is available at: http://blog.lobbesblog.com/static/btcbase_snarf_attempt1.asc


On 2 Aug. 2200 hrs (NYC time), I generated a snapshot of Phf's btcbase.org/log/, using the method outlined in http://nosuchlabs.com/pub/snapshot_signed.txt :

'wget --recursive --no-clobber --page-requisites --html-extension --convert-links --domains btcbase.org --reject log-search  btcbase.org/log/'

Resulting item :

btcbase_scrape.tar.gz

sha512=7a6e62f2f1c456ea2d17596434b8acf86fbd4f76e3cd78795075a3a296aa7d8e5aebf8e63b00145928e6ad61be4b3742bca3068794c00ffdd452c993a3d9fb3e

This has been made available at:

http://blog.lobbesblog.com/static/btcbase_scrape.tar.gz

NOTE: The sha512 between this and asciilifeform's original snarf (http://nosuchlabs.com/pub/btcbase_snap.tar.gz) DIFFERS

Standard diff between the two has been run and made available at:

http://blog.lobbesblog.com/static/btcbase_snap_diff.txt

Please see following thread for more details: http://logs.bvulpes.com/asciilifeform?d=2019-8-3#476022

I will be doing a second run with proper wget error logging as well as rate-limiting to rule out simple time-out issues. More to come.

Time estimation for logotron based off of logbot: August 18th

July 28th, 2019

This weekend I came to the conclusion that the current #eulora logotron must die, and that I will replace this with a more proper1 logotron based off of logbot. The problem here is that diana_coman has been busy training new hands, and the benefits of this to the republic could be further amplified if only she had a working logotron.

So, as promised, here is what I was able to spec, and my estimation of how long it will take me to implement said spec.

Current estimated time-to-delivery: August 18th, 2019

Specifications:

  • Based off of the log table in the Postgres database used by the logbot. Will need to make a separate Postgres schema that will be web facing, with php-olade on top that grabs the data needed to display teh loglines.
  • Will need to segment the log by day, with the ability to go to the previous/next days
  • Must be able to search log
    • Allow the "From:nick" syntax in the search
    • Allow to search "with quotes" or without quotes2

NOT included in this spec:

  • Bot log quoting. This will have to wait until later as I want to think this one through a bit more.


  1. Depending who you ask, I guess. I'm not a doctor in this hospital, however, so I honestly couldn't tell you for sure. []
  2. There's probably a term for this but it is almost midnight here and I don't care THAT much; you get the point I'm sure []

Forward-looking report: Weeks 28-31 of 2019

July 7th, 2019

Since the previous report, I managed to hit my goal of loading 100 more lines of the mod lisp coad into my head. For my practical work plan, I will continue to hit this goal of ~100 lines per week for the next 4 weeks.

However, it has become clear to me that I need to remedy some things in my private sphere as a priority, before I can really work/grow at the level I want. It has become clear to me that in order for me to start taking my own life back, I need to start at my home base of operations. Simply scheduling my TMSR work is not enough to fix my real issue.

I'll save the (boring) details for a later, more reflective post after-the-fact, but for now let's just say I need to make some small (and long-overdue) logistical changes in my life that will require a lot my attention in the short-term , with the aim that it'll both greatly reduce my expenses, and greatly increase my free time in the long-term.