Jun 28, 2012

You'll get over it

Well folks, I hope you enjoyed your freedom, because the socialist, Jesus hating Kenyan President of ours has warped the minds of the Supreme Court of the United States, using mind control experiments with fluoridated water no doubt, and had them agree to make Obamacare deemed constitutional. Yes the entire text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act is now law, every single last rat bastard point! So now you'll have to appear in front of a death panel and prove you're an American worthy of life by having a tattoo of the Star and Stripes on your genitals.

Yes all the conservatives getting sand in their vaginas over today's recent Supreme Court ruling is comical, if not sad. Well it's both. As Obi-Wan would say, let the butthurt flow through you. I'm so sorry that the champions of liberty that is the health care insurance industry didn't get their way, because they were so kind to the consumers all these years, putting their customer’s health care needs above all.

Yes, bitch and moan all you want and spread misinformation as you feel you must, but you lost. The working poor has had enough and the people, of which Congress is a representative of (sorry, some needed to be reminded of this), felt strongly that because you don't have a great career doesn't entitle you to lower quality care. We're America, the most prosperous nation in the world, and if Cuba can give their citizens better health care than we can, which they do, we should do everything in our power to make a better system, and hang our heads in shame as we do so.

And to all who say this is a program to enhance the lazy, I can guarantee most folks who are under-uninsured works harder than you. If you're reading this during business hours you're not exactly breaking your back to put a meal on the table.

"I don't know. I'll just tell you this, if this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented -- I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica." - Rush Limbaugh

Jun 26, 2012

Screw you skinny!

Canada sometimes surprises me. A country known the world over for being polite, inclusive, and generally not as cantankerous as their neighbors to the south, Canada has a lot of qualities one could hope for in a state its size, but yet there are stories that would make you swear it could only happen in Florida.

Take Vancouver for example, a beautiful, clean city that's safe and has a lot of things to do. Rarely does it make international news, but now it has a gym that's made headlines, for keeping out skinny people. To be fair, there's also one in Nebraska that's owned by former "The Biggest Loser" contestants.

Accordingly heavier people feel shamed when going into a gym with a bunch of members that are in shape, so they want a better camaraderie and exercise with those who have the same body type. I've heard of fat people being ridiculed or put down because of their weight at a gym, but I've never witnessed it, or have I been subject to it thankfully. Still I'm sure it happens and I guess these kinds of gyms would be popular to those who aren't used to working out regularly.

You know what? I really don't care that they discriminate. Yes it's weird and if a gym only sold memberships to skinny people there would be outrage, and rightfully so. So yeah, it's a total double standard, but one that's encouraging people to get in shape. I really can't be against that.

Still there are some questions to ponder about the wisdom of this:

1.      What happens if a member loses the weight and become skinny? Will they have their membership revoked?
2.      Isn't working out around people who know what they're doing a good thing?
3.      Does having skinny people around amount to good motivation to do a few extra sets?
4.      Should this be legal even if it's harmless, sort of like ladies never paying a cover charge?
5.      Is this really necessary? I mean is there that much taunting at the gym?
Perhaps none of this will ever be answered, even if this business model works, which I hope it does.

“My whole life, I have always wished there was a place for other big people. So I created one.” - Marty Wolff

Jun 18, 2012

Wiwille gives generously

Friends of my wife and I bought us, and a few other friends, tickets to attend a fundraiser for a large charity. I really didn't know what to expect as any charity event I've been to was held at a local auction hall or school gymnasium, but this was supposed to be quite the ball, and a gala it was. It was held not too far from downtown Dallas and was located in a area I imagine was normally reserved for small club shows, but that night there was a band playing a mix of whatever the hell they wanted. The joint threw up a Mardi Gras theme and we were given beads, but it seems no one was interested in seeing my moobs.

This was the turf of folks who are well acquainted in the art of making money. We're talking entrenpenuers who made their fortune in ridiculous service fees, athletes, and what I imagine are a lot of trust fund kids. Money flowed abound, and we were served a decedent meal that most of the world's population will never have the experience of eating anything like it.

We were assigned a table, based on the amount of the ticket we purchased. We were sectioned off from the higher money tables. Speeches were given about how important the charity was and the open bar ensured we all found them entertaining. The band played for a bit while we all ate, and four women decided to get up on stage with them and dance. As expected, there was one huge girl wearing a skirt so short that her moves made sure we saw her funny business. I paid it little mind as this may be the only time she could dance on an elevated platform without being booed off, or be forcibly removed by a bouncer.

The auction took place and various items were being bid for. The lead auctioneer announced that she wanted to raise $50k in five minutes, which was successful. It kind of amazed me that people who seemed so willing to give to charity seemed also to have to be wined and dined in opulence to let out their generous side.

I felt almost a pinch of lower middle class guilt, where I couldn't fathom dropping thousands into a charity. I actually wished I made more if only I could give more back to the society that allowed me my comfortable life.

It would've been easy to make fun of the crowd, but really I have to remind myself that the rest of the world looks at my lifestyle as luxurious and can't imagine my family ever wanting for anything. If I had been born in most other areas of the planet Earth I'd just salivate with envy. Besides, a charity was benefiting from the botox Republicans, and I can't find anything wrong with that.

"A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog." - Jack London

Jun 13, 2012

Individually they're the same, collectivley they're different

So folks keep asking me what's so different about Dallas than Seattle. Well as to be expected there are many, but I'll list a few that I've observed:

The people:
Dallas: The folks are very friendly, open, and engaging, except when they step in their cars. Then they're a bunch of assholes.
Seattle: People are usually standoffish, can be rude, but when they're behind the wheel of a car they're normally polite.

Dallas: People drive as if terrorists are chasing them, except when it rains. Then they decided that 20 mph is too fast. The drivers are impolite, and think allowing someone to merge is akin to letting them sleep with their spouse.
Seattle: People find it a mortal sin to do the speed limit, and feel obligated to go at least 10 mph under said speed limit no matter the weather or the amount of cars on the road.

Dallas: Natives enjoy a variety of sports ranging from golf to MMA. Usually the fans are well versed in the sports they watch.
Seattle: You'll be hard pressed to find a Seahawk fan that can explain the difference between a 3-4 defense and a 4-3 defense. Oh and the city thinks because it's in love with soccer, so is the rest of the country. Also, the city is upset about losing a NBA team they never really liked in the first place.

Dallas: Dallas offers some of the finest steaks, hamburgers, and Mexican food I've ever had, and that's of little surprise. Lacking is their Asian cuisine and seafood, for obvious reasons.
Seattle: Outside of southeast Asia you'll be hard pressed to find better Asian food. The seafood is amazing and you'll find a Thai and/or Pho restaurant on every block.

Dallas: It's normally either really friggin hot, or really cold. There's one month of spring and one month of fall.
Seattle: It drizzles all the damn time.

Dallas: It's about as lovely as a Mad Max film.
Seattle: It has natural splendor that few can match.

Facebook posters:
Dallas: People find nothing wrong with posting all sorts of conservative biased links on FB, but find those who post liberal biased information as pretentious.
Seattle: People find nothing wrong with posting all sorts of liberal biased links on FB, but find those who post conservative biased information as pretentious.

Dallas: Assumes everyone they meet are conservatives.
Seattle: Assumes everyone they meet are liberals.

Seattle: People save up money for years to spend a ridiculous amount on a small home.
Dallas: People save up money for years to spend a ridiculous amount on plastic surgery.

Seattle: When people ask for a soda, they use it's proper name.
Dallas: Every soda, up to and including Tab, is referred to as a coke.

Jun 12, 2012

It's time to create

After a few weeks of careful thought and soul searching, I figured it's time to be a photographer again. There was no real stunning revelation, or moment of clarity, it was just something I've missed doing. My friend has gotten a bit of the shutterbug, who has shown some talent, and has been trying to pass on the virus to me in order to do some weddings and what not. It worked.

I've caught the bug again and it's been on my brain for some time now. The medium has made numerous changes since my day of actually using film. I spent many an hour just masking negatives, calculating the cost per negative, and negotiating prices with labs. Now I can take as many shots as I want and all it will cost me is time.

While I enjoy my job I will only take this venture as a weekend warrior. I don't miss running a studio, spending long hours, and eating dinner at 9pm. Having a family factors into that decision highly, and there's a reason that many in the business are divorced.

I'm actually excited about this and do hope this will work out beneficially for all involved.

"Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit." - Ansel Adams

Jun 4, 2012

You should read Country Mouse in the City for exciting prizes

Claire, of the Country Mouse in the City, posted a contest where the contestant was required to plug the blog in any online arena they take part it, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, hell even Myspace. The prize was a couple of books selected from a list she has. I did so, thinking I never win these things, but it was worth a shot.

Amazingly my wife enters the house saying we got a package. She opened it and proclaimed there was a book on Africa. Ye Gods I'm a big winner! I received the books; The Fate of Africa and Nothing to Envy. The latter is something I'm having difficulty putting down, as it's a fascinating look at the ordinary lives of people living inside the hermit kingdom of the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea, or North Korea as known by most.

See, everyone's a big winner when you read blogs!

"I love to read....and what better way to share that love than by hosting a BOOK giveaway?" - Claire

Jun 1, 2012

Wiwille's movie reviews part 90

Since the movie I'm about to review is mainly about role playing games (RPG), namely the biggest in the field, Dungeons & Dragons, in the interest of full disclosure let me tell you about my one and only experience with D&D.

I was in high school and had a science class with a Game Master, someone who leads the game mechanics and play. He had some D&D books out and I asked about them. After some small talk about the game he invited me to his house to play that weekend.

I attended and actually found myself enjoying the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons. My only prior knowledge of the game was largely due to my church, which warned parents that their children would become homosexual Satan worshippers if they involved themselves in the role play. I was also a huge fan of the short lived cartoon, but I hated the fact that they made the character Eric a candy ass. Still I caught on quickly and enjoyed the math behind the game and the creativity of the character building. It was really fun.

After we were done playing the Game Master asked if he could borrow my science book as he lost his and we had a test the next week. I offered it to him, as it was in my backpack, and made him promise to return it by Monday.

Monday rolls around and I see him in class. I ask him for the book, to which he said he didn't have and wouldn't be returning soon as he's not done with it. I told him I could care less if he was done with it or not that he was to return it the next day. He didn't like the fact that I was giving him orders.

GM: I'll give it to you when I'm done.
Me: You'll give it to me when I say you will.
GM: Fuck you.
Me: No no no no no. It is you who will be fucked if you don't return it tomorrow.
GM: You threatening me?
Me: I'm promising you.

He stood up and knocked over his desk. I did the same. The teacher ran out of the room to get help.
Quiz time folks. If you're me in this situation do you a) try and calm him down and reason with him, b) try to resolve the situation peacefully by offering to study together, or c) kick the ever loving crap out of the jackass? If you answered a or b you certainly are a better person than I.

We stared each other down for a few seconds and he gave me a threat I'll never forget as long as I live.

Me: ......what? A level five....what?

He shoved me. The rest of the incident happened as you'd expect.
My coach ran into the place and pulled me off of him. I don't remember saying this, but it was told to me later that I yelled something about how his level five hex is pussy shit. He was taken to the nurses office for various wounds to the face. I was put in in-school suspension for a week.

I was never invited to play D&D again.

I relayed this incident to someone and their response was "that is exactly what I would expect to happen to you. This is so you." Yeah, it's true, for some reason my good intentions at social interaction do go awry, and this case was no different. Still I feel like I've missed the party, as many of my friends over the years have enjoyed D&D, granted to the demise of their wallets, but still role playing games may be a lot of things, but dull they never seemed.

Today I watched The Gamers: Dorkness Rising and am not sure exactly what the hell happened on the screen. Let me try to describe it for you. A group of RPGers get together with their game master to play D&D in a medieval setting. (Is "RPGers" even a word? Oh hell it is now.) One of the guys, who looks like a poor man's Vanilla Ice, invites his ex-girlfriend to play, who's new to gaming, and they start off on an adventurous quest to get some mask that has evil powers and destroy it. The gamers choose their characters and a bunch of geek humor ensues.

The movie cuts back and forth between the gamers bickering in a room about the rules to their fantasy avatars doing what they tell them to do. The movie is impressive if only for the fact that it makes the most out of what it can on such a slim budget. The acting is not that painful, the special effects are about what you'd expect, and the writing is not horrific. Still, I feel like I've missed the party with this movie as for the most part I didn't get any of the humor. What transpired on the screen could've been hilarious, but I would have no idea. There's not much of a story here, so its greatest strength, or weakness, is the attempt at comedy, which again may or may not be funny. Granted there was one occasion where I laughed, when a girl walked into a gaming store and all the RPGers freaked the hell out when estrogen was in their presence. Ok it had a few more moments of genuine laughter, but it was few and far between, for me at least.

It's hard to recommend this film given my complete lack of knowledge in this arena, but RPGers may enjoy it, or anyone who appreciates geek humor might as well. I'll give the film this, it's ambitious as well as it is kind to the subjects. It doesn't fall prey to harsh stereotypes of nerds, which is refreshing. Setting aside some of the moments that'll make you shake your head, you may appreciate the fact that films like this exist, and maybe this is the portrayal dorks have been asking for.

Thanks to Karin for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on One Bad Apple. Rules are posted here.

"A low budget film that makes fun of gamers but in a fun way that had me laughing at times, cringing at others." - John Manard