Apr 30, 2012

Dear Wiwille,

Ok, it's another time for your author to respond to an advice column question, but of course the question was not intended for me. In this exciting edition, we have a question meant for Dear Abby.

I have a beautiful wife, a dog and an 8-year-old son I love to watch sports with. My son loves sports, but he has trouble accepting a loss. He'll take out his disappointment by beating the dog.

My wife doesn't want to get rid of "Patches" because she has had him since college. I don't want to put my son through counseling because he said he'll hate me forever if I do. I'm afraid if the problem isn't controlled, my son's life goals may be affected. What can I do? -- GOOD DAD IN CLEVELAND

Dear Jackass in Satan's sewer:

Living in Cleveland shows how terrible you are at making good life choices, but to let your kid beat a dog, and thinking of getting rid of the pet as a solution really makes me hope your neighbors have CPS on speed dial. You don't need to be a pet lover to understand that beating an animal for any reason other than self defense is just sick, and your kid is a twisted one who may end up putting Dahmer's acts to shame. Your cowardice is mind boggling as you would actually seem to let your kid bully you into not taking appropriate actions for discipline. Your "beautiful" wife and you have produced a rotten little bastard and you need to put a stop to this before he grows into a teenager. You being a pussy will insure a horrific home life for your entire family. Put your foot down, take anything remotely fun away from your kid and put him into therapy until the behavior improves. Otherwise you've got the makings of a serial killer.

Do not, under any circumstances, have another child.


“If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” — Francis of Assisi

Apr 27, 2012

Daunting indeed.

The folks at ShortList.com have gathered a list (go figure) of 14 daunting books every man should read. Women are strangely absent from this, but whatever. It shows me how little I read, which is something I guess I should be ashamed of, but I'm honestly not. I fall somewhere in the median of being well read, but I've only taken the time to finish three of these books (Moby Dick, War & Peace, and a Brief History of Time), and I can't really remember much about them. I recall enjoying them, but it's been so long I can't tell you exactly why. I can; however, speak to the commitment I made to finishing War & Peace and Moby Dick, which was a task for sure. A Brief History of Time amazed me in the fact that it's written in layman's terms and was quite entertaining considering the subject matter.

Still I'll make a non-gender specific list of books people should read, that were at least daunting to me.

1. A People's History of the United States: Howard Zinn's classic is a must read for anyone that has any interest in learning about the history of the United States. It's a refreshing look, considering it's written from the view of the masses, and not the privileged few. It's a page turner, even with it's length.

2. The Bible: The Bible, Koran, and Tanakh are books everyone seems to have an opinion on, but very few have actually read. They all seem more referenced then actually read for that matter. Still we live in times where religion infiltrates, or some would say poisons, our politics, and a read of our country's most popular holy book should be done, whether your religious or not. The Bible is a daunting piece indeed, especially Leviticus, which is so painfully dull. Still after reading the book you may find the character of Jesus completely different than the prince of peace many make him out to be, and the Revelation According to John is fascinating as it is wacky.

3. John Adams: David McCullough is one of the great writers of our time, and everyone should read at least one of his works. John Adams is by far my favorite, followed by a close second with 1776. His creativity making history into an actual story makes reading about long dead guys actually interesting, which can be difficult for most.

4. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the best sci-fi books to ever be written, and one of the few that made me laugh out loud. The four subsequent novels are equally as hilarious and thought provoking.

5. Confederates in the Attic: It's been often said that if someone wants to understand the character of the United States, one look no further than to the civil war. Confederates in the Attic is really about the lasting impact the war between the states has on the populace today, and how many have transformed memorializing the conflict into something resembling a religion. It's a fascinating look at how people are so fixated on the lost cause and how it still divides us in many ways.

6. Dune: If sci-fi had their Ulysses, Dune would likely be it. I'm not a huge fan of sci-fi literature, but this story captivated me in ways no other has. Timeless in its themes, it really grabs a hold of your imagination and paints a vivid picture of aristocratic strife over resources.

"In the United States today, the Declaration of Independence hangs on schoolroom walls, but foreign policy follows Machiavelli." - Howard Zinn

Apr 25, 2012

The Tea Party are a bunch of ignorant fucktards and you know it

A little bit ago I wrote about a FB friend who likes to post all sorts of political misinformation at every waking hour. He continues his nonsense, and goes largely ignored, but one post caught my attention. It was a link to a story about Obama and his birth certificate, posted on a Tea Party publication, which is like reading Thoughts on Common Sense by the cast of Jackass.

Yes the Tea Party, who claim to be all about lower taxes and smaller government, but simply browsing their barely literate Tea Party Tribune is evidence enough that they have other things on their plate. When the neurotic conservatives aren't carrying misspelled signs that make no sense, or are blatantly racist, they love believing that their greatest nightmare of non-white man holding office may not be eligible to do so. These are birthers, and they are liars. Whether they believe in what they're saying doesn't matter, they're spreading a lie with overwhelming, and somewhat entertaining, zeal.

Obama is a citizen and eligible to hold office of the Presidency, as he's proven time and time again, even when it wasn't necessary, but some folks won't accept it, and even lie to support their lie. Here we have the latest, where the Tea Party Tribune claimed Obama lawyer Alexandra Hill, while defending her client's eligibility to be on the ballot in New Jersey, admitted that the birth certificate Obama presented before the public was a forgery while under oath. This never happened, yet even when they have video of the entire hearing, to which nothing of the sort was mentioned, they still won't retract it!

It seems that conservatives are naturally bad at lying, yet they do it all the fucking time. It seems their philosophy is hell bent on telling mis-information to promote their wackiness. When faced with said lie, they shrug. From children their taught to make the pre-Civil War south to be a beautiful antebellum, straight out of God With the Wind, when it actually was anything but. They were told that the traitors known as the Confederates didn't succeed because of slavery, it was because the North was full of people who had poopie pants, or something equally as disingenuous. Oh and billions of species fit into an ark, language is derived from God not wanting people to build a tower, the earth is six thousand years old, evolution is bunk, Reagan was a good President, Rome fell because of welfare only, etc. Lying, it's what they do.

"What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church ... a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them." - Martin Luther

Apr 23, 2012

All glory and praise

For whatever reason I have an avid interest in the odd, or even dark nature, of civilizations. Wherever I travel I find myself enjoying studying the darker periods of their past, such as Sydney's prison museum, Dachau, Medieval justice museums, etc. Still in all my travels I don't think I'll ever visit a place more twisted and evil than North Korea.

Yes the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a place that fascinates me. It's like the world's largest cult, where the dear leader is Lord, and if anyone within questions the authority, or divinity of the state, they and their families can pay the ultimate price for it. The Korean Friendship Association (KFA), has the odd task of being PR for the totalitarian state, and make people believe it's not as bad as it really is. Through the KFA you can travel on a state led tour of the country, which sounds like a real hoot.

For those of you unfamiliar with Reddit, a user can create what is called a subreddit, which is a collection of links dedicated to any particular topic. Most popular are gaming, atheism, geek, etc, but the KFA decided to create their own subreddit dedicated to the dear leader, r/pyonyang. Well quickly browsing through the comments you see a lot that are deleted by the KFA admin, mostly due to the fact people accuse the Kim family of leaders of performing homosexual acts on various communist colleagues.

Well the subreddit had one link, talking about how low level communist orgs praising the DPRK's founder, Kim Il Sung. A lot of the comments were less than kind about the dear dead leader, so they were quickly deleted. Funny enough, they kept mine:

Really, those are the only organizations that spoke highly about the dear leader? You would think that every organization, from the People's Front of Judea to NAMBLA, would be beating their chests in praise of the great general! A thousand suns to the Kim trifecta of greatness! Praise be his name!"

The KFA, if it is them that's really behind this, has some issues with recognizing sarcasm.

"All of North Korea is a jail." - Kim Y. Sam

Apr 20, 2012

The Godfather Part II

Last night my father in-law joined me to watch The Godfather Part II on the big screen. I've never got to witness this as it was released a year before I was born. Reel classics released the classic film for one night only, and of course I just had to go. In this particular theatre they decided to use their digital IMAX screen to display the movie, which was amazing. The level of detail in the film went largely missed seeing it on the small screen all these years, but viewing the characters and landscape put forth on the behemoth projection was a treat.

Listed below are some the highlights and lowlights of the film.


  • Michael looks far more terrifying on the giant screen then he does on any television.
  • The sound mixing was better than I've ever heard it.
  • They actually had an intermission, just like how it was originally released, which was welcome considering its length.
  • I never noticed just how much attention to detail was made with 1917 Little Italy.
  • (Spoiler) I've seen this film I don't know how many times, but still the execution of Fredo gives me the chills every single time, and seeing it how it was meant to be seen felt exactly how I did when I first saw it.
  • (Spoiler) The execution of Don Ciccio sent gasps through the audience.
  • Years ago Paramount released the Godfather Epic box set on VHS, which included some never before seen footage. For whatever reason, they didn't include this in this theatrical run.
  • There was a strange bald little nugget of a man who sat in the same row as me. He donned a Hawaiian shirt and shorts. He couldn't sit still. Every now and then he would get up from his chair, climb over the rail in front of him, and wander about. He finished three large sodas and two boxes of popcorn. My father in-law stated he was a few bricks short of a load.
  • The Godfather Part II is a pretty quiet film for the most part, but in the theatre next to us must have been some high paced action film, as we could hear the bass tremble in the theatre. Annoying.
  • The theatre was pretty sparse, which was kind of disappointing. I really like the fact that these old films are being re-released and wish there was more of a market for it so it continues.
So I browsed upcoming films that are being re-released. In a few days they're showing The Magnificent Seven, Casablanca, and even From Here to Eternity. So many movies, so little time.

"A rare sequel to a great film that recaptures and expands upon the mastery of its predecessor." - Phil Villarreal

Apr 17, 2012

Book giveaway

The good Claire, of The Country Mouse in the City, has decided to do a book giveaway. As required, I have to blog about this fact to be eligible. So I'm doing so. If you're interested in reading, and I know you all are, I suggest entering. List of books are requirements are here.

"I love to read....and what better way to share that love than by hosting a BOOK giveaway? One lucky reader will receive not one but two of my favourite books (as mentioned in the past posts), delivered to their door." - Claire

Dear Wiwille,

It's that time again, where Wiwille gives unsolicited advice to someone who didn't ask it. In this exciting edition, we have Zach, who wrote to Wayne & Tamara about an issue he and his wife are having. Take it away Zach:

My wife made friends with a woman through her work who is married to an apparent former boyfriend of my wife. My wife, however, adamantly denies they were ever involved. The four of us socialize on occasion at casual dinners with others or parties in our homes.

My wife seems drawn to this man in any social situation. Thirty seconds after I met him for the first time, which was two years ago, he told me he and my wife had not seen each other in over 20 years and did not speak at class reunions.
Then he said, "It was really awkward when your wife and I reconciled, but we got over it and we're glad we did." Since we were in a public setting and I did not know this man, I was cautious about asking what he meant.

There are always innuendos about their past. They might be talking about high school and someone will ask, "What else did you guys do together?" You could cut the awkward silence with a knife while they lean together, touch foreheads, wink or giggle and don’t say a word.

Another time I mentioned after my wife had her wisdom teeth out, I had to pour her into bed, half-naked and totally out of it. This man blurted out, "Oh, yeah, I've seen her like that!" Then he turned to his wife and sternly insisted it happened "back in the day...back in the day." My wife never said a word. Everyone around us was stunned.

Last fall this man called to wish my wife a happy birthday. She giggled like an infatuated schoolgirl the whole 40 minute phone call. She kept saying things like, "Oh yes, your voice does sound better. Are you getting enough sleep?" I was fuming, but our kids were home so I didn't question her.

At this man's father's funeral, he and my wife embraced for five solid minutes. His arms were wrapped low around her waist and their bodies pressed tightly together while they pressed foreheads and chatted. I stood by, embarrassed in a room of 100 people.

It feels like I'm being tested to see how far I can be pushed. How do I approach my wife? I'm afraid to bring it up for fear of the ultimate repercussions.


Dear Zach,

I'll have to hand it to you Zach, for not going all violent on this man when he openly states he saw your wife in various states of undress. A lesser man, namely me, would've punched him in the throat.

Being married is about trust, and you should trust her to a point, but when she continues in actions that are highly inappropriate it's normal to address it accordingly, and soon. They've gotten away with this behavior already, and they'll just continue to do so until you say or do something. Your wife clearly has unresolved issues with this guy, and if you're unclear of this fact, ask her if she does. If she gets defensive and angry, you'll know I'm right. She may just flat out admit it.

I would talk to the guy as well about his intentions with your wife. Sure he may go all Hong-Kong Fooey on you, but as my parents always told me, let him swing first, and make him regret that decision. At the very least he'll go to jail, and you'll have your evidence of his feelings towards your wife. Oh and if she wants to bail him out, it's high time to see an attorney.

But really, you have all the evidence you need already that they still have feelings for each other. Get the kids a babysitter, go out to dinner, and bring it up. Tell her exactly how this behavior has made you uncomfortable, and if it continues problems in the marriage will arise. She'll say "you need to trust me" and what not, but it's more important that she needs to act appropriately and not dance around the fact that she wants to be with this guy in some fashion. They're both playing this slow, and their spouses are watching it go on with no intervention. If this continues this won't end well.

I can understand fearing the repercussions of such a discussion, but not doing anything will end your marriage in a fashion you should expect. If she really wants to leave, she'll do so, but fight for your family. If you don't, your wife will see you as a pussy, and she'll fall deeper for her former flame for being the alpha male in this.

"You have a choice. Raise this issue and test the strength of your marriage, or do nothing and wait for your life to collapse around you." - Wayne & Tamara

Apr 16, 2012

Online activism

Facebook, it's such a blessing and a curse. It's great to catch up with old friends and see pictures of loved ones doing stuff that's mildly interesting, but there's those friends you have that use it as a platform to spout off on anything that's on their mind. Whether it's anti-vaccine misinformation or ranting about some political issue that everyone is keenly aware of, Facebook makes many feel important in the public discourse.

We all have that one friend, if not many, that the 'hide' feature becomes a most welcome one. Some people hide their friends for various reasons, whether they're just tired of hearing about their weight loss plan every hour or seeing those stupid photos people share with quotes that are meant to sound profound, but are elementary at best. I do hide a lot of my friends, most notably one who likes to deem himself the champion of Tea Party values.

Yes he's a different sort who likes to post quotes about the second amendment and how helpful it is to stop the secret Kenyan Obama from feasting on unborn fetuses while hosting the Muslim Brotherhood in the Lincoln Bedroom. The rest of the democrats are torturing hunting bald eagles from the roof of the UN building, and the mainstream media is complacent. Yeah, it gets really stupid. Here's an example:

Ahh yes those baby killing democratic cowards who have no interest in killing our enemies. Yet funny enough they won us two world wars, and killed Osama Bin Laden, but they have no interest in killing enemies of our state. Instead they secretly are trying to turn our country into North Korea while they masturbate to pictures of Che Guevera.

No one would assume I comment on these posts, telling this mental midget how wrong he is about everything, but I don't, as Facebook is not an appropriate forum for reasoned debate, hell the internet really isn't. There's no winning with folks so dedicated to their cause. Their online activism is paramount to their identity. It makes them feel like their doing something important, narcissistic as it may be. Let it be.

"I really just don’t spend that much time on him, to be honest with you." - George W Bush on Osama Bin Laden.

Apr 9, 2012

Lights out

As many of you are probably aware, the Painter of Light(tm) Thomas Kinkade has passed away on Good Friday. His legacy will probably be as baffling to the art world as it was when he was alive. Kinkade often created idyllic landscapes of country settings, or idealized cityscapes that existed in the imagination of Rockwell. You've no doubt seen his works in malls or in a rest home, and they probably did little for you.

While his work was indeed popular, art critics were particularly harsh towards his paintings and business practices. He was like the Bon Jovi of art, accessible and easily digestible, but nothing that could be taken seriously. One couldn't help but look at his art and find the prints pretty if nothing else. Still they didn't say much, as they were just simple. The human condition was not explored, nor was any sense of meaning.

My folks, as many older people, loved his work, thinking he was the greatest painter since Monet. I understand his appeal, but I can't understand why an artist who's work which was so redundant could keep selling. I mean you can only see so many cottages with babbling brooks in their front yards so many times. And each cottage had so much light coming out of it you'd think it was on fire, and having fourteen smoke stacks didn't help that image.

Much like Andrew Lloyd Webber, Kinkade will never be taken seriously in his medium. We'll never see a major gallery carrying his work, and he knew that, and that's why he made his own across malls the country over. Still if I can say anything good about his work, is that he made paintings accessible, which was something that was far lacking in today's art world. Contemporary art is a fickle, strange, and often dirty business that likes to alienate the public oddly enough, and it was nice to see someone give the finger to them. It is my hope someone does this again, only with more dedication to quality.

"The concept that an artist would be revered by popular culture is an immediate dismissal of his relevance as an artist." - Thomas Kinkade

Apr 6, 2012

Homeopathy awareness week!

This week is Homeopathy Awareness Week, and the council governing the practice has decided to use this week to promote the idea that diluted substances can assist with infertility. Yeah, seriously.

Anyways we the folks at One Bad Apple would like to make you aware of a case that's made our blood boil. Whenever I'm engaged in a discussion about why I dislike the practice I'm often asked what's the harm in homeopathy. Well look at the picture. Her name was Penelope Dingle, and she was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Her husband, a toxicologist, had gone on record stating chemotherapy was useless. Penelope disregarded conventional treatments and decided to seek the counsel of homeopathic practitioner Francine Scrayen, who claimed she could cure Ms Dingle of cancer. On the advice of a couple of other doctors, she went ahead full steam with vitamin extracts and heavy dilutions of venus fly trap to curb her cancer and try and keep her from having the hysterectomy she so feared. Of course, these treatments didn't work, Ms Dingle ended up weighing 35kg and had to be rushed to surgery as the cancer spread wildly through her body, had the hysterectomy, and eventually died a slow, miserable death.

The coroners report came to the conclusion that the advice from homeopath Francine Scrayen led to Penelope's death. Yes this is the harm in homeopathy. Should Penelope chose the more conventional route, she may just be with us today, but sadly a life was taken as she was sold a bill of goods. Desperate people with a terminal illness are often vulnerable to quack medicine, and we sadly can add her name to the already long list of people who decided to pursue alternative treatments with fatal results, including Steve Jobs.

In Penelope Dingle's own words, she wrote a letter to her homeopath Francine Scrayen after her surgery, which is almost tear jerking. Granted Ms Dingle chose Scrayen's treatment against better judgement, but if you were dying of cancer and someone told you they could miraculously heal you, even going so far as telling you you'd have a long healthy life and have the chance at having children, you may just do the same.

To be expected, a lot of criticism has been thrown at Francine Scrayen, and rather than confronting it with facts, she decided to sue bloggers who've spoken out against her, which is disgusting. Typical though, as she can't prove her treatments work, as homeopathy doesn't do a damn thing except maybe cure dehydration. These people profit off the suffering with their bullshit, and we as a society shouldn't stand for it.

I've nearly lost a loved one due to their choice in homeopathy, and thankfully he dodged that bullet. This is wh people need to be aware of what homeopathy really is, modern day snake oil. It's not blending concoctions of herbs and supplements, that's naturopahty. Homeopathy is the idea that like cures like, and to do so, take the original substance and dilute it so much that the active ingredient is no longer present, but homeopaths believe water has memory and will carry the cure with it. If that were true, water would be nothing but human feces. It would be like me throwing a pill of Bayer Asprin into the Gulf of Mexico and claiming the entire gulf could be the world's greatest headache medicine.

For a more detailed view on what homeopaths believe and why it's horseshit, this comic sums it up nicely.

"I followed your advice that I should not have any form of medical monitoring until January/February 2004, after which time you said your treatments would have cured me. So that my positive frame of mind was not undermined I followed your advice that I should not consult with medical personnel unless they approved of your protocol and what you were doing." - Penelope Dingle's letter to Fancine Scrayen

Apr 4, 2012

It's a twister!

Well it finally happened. After being told of the once every few years twisters that hit the North Texas area, I finally got to experience what a southern/mid-west natural disaster was like. Yes we folks in Dallas aren't immune to mother nature's wrath, and she dealt us one with a series of tornadoes yesterday.

I was at the office when over the PA system a man who wasn't educated in the art of public speaking told us to go into a designated tornado safe zone, which my cubicle is, but instead me and the team went into a small conference room and bonded over the possibility of us dying. I've lived through volcanoes and earthquakes, but this was a bit different as it the stress seemed to last forever. My baby daughter was with her grandmother and I felt a bit panicky as I wasn't there to see her, but thankfully she was in good hands.

Many homes and businesses, including truck trailers that shot up over 100 feet in the air, were destroyed, but thankfully as I type this there have been no reports of any deaths due to this. After this storm it made me think, where else do tornadoes strike? Looking it up, they happen in every continent, sans Antarctica, but still the majority of them happen in tornado alley, because America is number one after all.

You hear often in the news about natural disasters in foreign lands, whether they be heat waves, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons,  or volcanoes, but never about devastating tornadoes. We're just lucky I guess.

"Sometimes it takes a natural disaster to reveal a social disaster." - Jim Wallis

Apr 3, 2012

Wiwille wants to be skinny

They say the hardest part about weight loss is keeping it off, and I've become living proof. A few years ago I decided I no longer wanted to weigh 250 lbs, so I dieted and went to the gym almost every day. Well after a while I slacked on the dieting and the exercise, only to end up gaining it all back. Yes I went all Oprah like with the weight fluctuation, and it started to affect my health, physical and mental.

So my wife decided to purchase weight loss shakes and sent me to the grocery store for some healthy food. Many vegetables, fruits, and other foods that are largely considered good for you were purchased, all with various flavorable results. Some taste really good, while others might as well be cardboard. The shake, when added with water, is a foul chalky creation designed to make you poop the size of a small child. I've ate so many tasteless vegetables and low fat cottage cheese that I never really quite feel full, which is the point. I remember the first couple of weeks being the hardest as your stomach adjusts to eating like a bird, and that hasn't changed at all.

Together the wife and I are attempting a healthy lifestyle, and so far it's going good, well except for the fact that I would kill any one of you with my bare hands for a peanut butter burger and a pint of stout. The catch is though, considering I obviously have a metabolism as slow as Rick Santorum's mind I don't think I should resume my normal way of eating after I do reach my goals. I may have to destine myself to eat veggies and stuff forever. I'm not getting any younger and I have a desire to at least play with my grandchildren.

"I'm gaining weight the right way: I'm drinking beer." - Johnny Damon