I’m Asher Wolfstein, a wunk of the male variety. A wunk is a hybrid between a wolf and a skunk: a mephitic father and a canine mother. This is possible because I have traveled back in time: I was born approximately four hundred and fifty years in the future.

When I first arrived in the twentieth century, I realized something terrible. My appearance could cause great personal difficulties to befall me since society was only on the brink of genetic engineering and biomechanical cyborg bodies. Clandestine authorities might wish to kidnap, sequester, and study me… or worse. So I used my last transmogrifier to make myself more presentable; more, human.

I am accidentally in this timeline for a reason unknown to me. I unfortunately no longer possess the resources necessary to return to my home timeline or transform back to my original form.

I realize now that this was a mistake.

Falling in the cracks of time, stranded in the apocalyptic past but remembering the dazzling future.

Continuously floating in a transmundane inner ether, striving to comprehend outer definitions of smashing concretes.

Flights of impractical absurdity frequently crash against the continuous banality of everything that is.

Artistry and microchips, irrationality and logic, words and numbers; the soul in the machine.

I was once anthropomorphic, but now I have a human body with my physical identity stripped away. I still retain my anachronistic mind, for boon or bane. Am I an anthropomorph pretending to be a homunculus or a deformed man pretending to be more than he is?

I finally wrested an external existence from being torn between these juxtapositions. Moving my sidereal foot across the trinity’s first threshold, I pulled the rest of my stellular body with me. I finally came upon that which I sought all these decades: myself.

For the first time, I understood my vast potential and couldn’t run from the rage of the ever gentle beast.

Now I persist outside, an angry thrust apart, paradoxically folded over an intuitive acceptance. Outside of time, outside of effect, outside of the burning light, I finally pierced the self-imposed veil.

I live between the inside and the outside.

There is an individual glory in “never making it where everyone else did.” I have rejected striving for conventional accreditations in life. I act for no other purpose than my own.

My last two jobs were wearing a fursuit on a street corner, holding a sign for a dog daycare and grooming salon, and a coffee shop. I’ve worked as a full-time professional programmer, but those two jobs were by far the best.

I am outside the workplace pressures, outside the petty partisan politics, outside of the desire to save the world because I think I’m smarter than everyone else, outside of passive-aggressiveness masquerading as enlightenment, and don’t strive to get where everyone else is going.

On the inside, I live and think by different values and different rules. I live by my own ethics and my own daily life precisely the way I want. What matters here is your virtue and the appreciation of life unadulterated by the prejudices of modern society and its misguided, often vacuous, values. There’s no religion and, at its emotional core, no philosophy, just pure and unique consciousness appreciating the good.

Others’ thoughts and actions have no bearing on me, and their unfounded criticisms and ridicule fall on confidently deaf ears. My lifestyle isn’t dictated by talking heads, brand loyalty, social cred, or self-help gurus. I rarely read headlines or news articles and never listen to pundits because they are often trivial and don’t matter in the long run.

I live in this impenetrable and ethereal inside, constructed by my disregard for that which doesn’t matter to my life and decisions.

Through every psychic dimension of inner space to every individual I’ve met in all my travels in becoming, I realized a paramount virtue.

To fulfill my most extraordinary will, being true to myself is absolutely essential. I must manifest the meaning of what makes up my substance, of who I am, or suffer great regret.

That’s why I endeavor now to become what I once was, and in doing so, also become what I will be.

One of my prime goals now is to become what some in this age only dream: an anthropomorphic wunk once again.

Seeing as I do not have the transmogrifying technologies that existed in my time, nor the knowledge to create such devices, I must rely on the increasing gradations of modern science.

The first incarnation is here and now: a “costume” that can be worn to depict the general form to great effect. This is the popular “fursuit” or “mascot costume.” Its variation has grown and diversified greatly since being used in religious ceremonies. It now enjoys appreciation, and some derision, in the pop culture landscape of the twenty-first century.

The second incarnation is in cyberspace. In the metaverse, that virtual reality space that lives on in the circuits, I can take whatever form I desire. My avatar, the embodied artifice, can project exactly who I am.

My First Life

In meatspace, I am a married mostly-gay furry in his 30s living in Colorado, USA who likes to make fursuits, program computers, and design video games. I grew up in a rural town in the Rocky Mountains where I was the only gay furry I knew, and everyone sort of knew it. I began my auto-didactic programming career at the age of seven when I taught myself BASIC from the manuals of my family’s TRS-80 Color Computer II 16k. I built my first homemade fursuit in eighth grade for the school’s Halloween event. At the age of thirteen, I telnet-ed into my first MUCK where I discovered there were others somewhat like me. I’ve literally been doing this my whole life.

I spend most of my days working on various projects at various lengths, all of them having to do with computers or technology. I am particularly interested in sharing my hard-earned knowledge, breaking down barriers, and empowering people to be able to be what they want to be, and do what they want to do. Except for very creatively-specific projects (mostly computer games and this blog) I endeavor to release almost all of my work under some version of the MIT/BSD license and/or Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial license.

My Second Life

The global COVID-19 pandemic has rendered my real-life world even more uninteresting than it already was. I spend a great deal of my time on the computer and in my head either working on a project or being online. In that vein, this blog is about my second life as a resident of the metaverse (or just the internet in general). Through online platforms, particularly the virtual world platform Second Life, I am able to “fursuit” digitally with an avatar that more closely resembles how I wish to present myself to the world.

I have always been fascinated by the idea of a place that has no actual location, completely defined by abstract notions and instruments. Video games and online virtual worlds (be they text-based such as a MU* or graphical) construct such a space, and in those mediums, anything is possible in a truly social and interactive sense. So many doors can be opened for anyone willing to open them, democratizing actualization for all involved. As the singularity looms closer, and the metaverse becomes more integral to our lives, I wish to explore the boundaries between real and imagined and push the envelope of self-realization.

My Projects

The Novelty Factor LLC – My current company, The Novelty Factor LLC. This organization endeavors to empower creative individuals and their projects with specialized consulting services and technology solutions. Most of my projects are operated (including this site) under this business and financial umbrella.

How To Program Anything is where I explore the world of computer science in an educational format. This is meant to be the kind of resource I wish I had when I was much younger to help me learn my craft. It aims to be both accessibly comprehensive and engaging and focuses particularly on subjects that aren’t usually covered in free resources.

The Official Chraki Language is for my (computational) linguistics signal concerning my constructed language (conlang) Chraki (pronounced ch-r-ah-k, tʃɹɔk). This constructed language aims to simultaneously provide a unique, creative, and powerful means of natural expression and logical/computational construction. The site is set up as a community project where feedback and contributions are welcome.

Kougeki: Japanese-English Gaming is a website devoted to translating Japanese games (both current and retro) into English as a study aid for Japanese language learners into gaming. I have self-studied Japanese for many years now, and this is practice for me as well. Through Kougeki (攻撃, meaning “Attack”) I hope to raise awareness of Japanese culture and in particular Japanese gaming.

Press Accept Software (GitHub) is where I develop and release my open-source software. Currently, there are three packages that use GDScript and the Godot Scripting Language for the Godot game engine. All projects created through How To Program Anything are also included here, and future developments plan to include WordPress code as well.

Incarnate.me Social Network is a social network I’ve developed as an alternative to Facebook and other social media giants. It’s still in its infancy, but the central premise is that it provides a place where moderation is taken very seriously and assholery isn’t tolerated.

Singer Notes is a video-sharing platform and social network I’ve developed in collaboration with my Maus Merryjest. Its primary audience is vocalists, and other classical performers and singers. The aim is to provide a space where artists can be share and be heard without being drowned out by a monolithic media platform and algorithm.

Poochie Cures Cancer is the ultimate fanfic to end all the fanfics. It’s the largest crossover of all time featuring the strangest, the funniest, and the weirdest you can find amidst all pop culture complete with all the trademarks of fanfiction you love.

Featured Image Graphic Based On A Photo by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash