Aug 30, 2012

They may not have your best interests in mind

Last night I was at my brother in-law's waiting for our Fantasy Football draft to start, when my phone rang. It was my mom and it sounded as if she needed something urgent. She explained how someone man with a strong accent of unknown origin called and claimed he was from Microsoft. He stated that her computer somehow "called them" and warned them of a virus. Of course my mom had nothing to fear as he was available to assist her to remove said virus.

My mother told the gentleman who I worked for and said she would be calling me before she agreed to something of that nature. I of course told her what she already knew, and thankfully she didn't fall for the scam.

So pro-tip from Wiwille, if someone calls you claiming your computer has a virus, or any abnormality, and they'll offer their services to fix it, for the love of all that is holy and good hang up. Well it couldn't hurt to accuse them of having carnal knowledge with swine, but do not give them any information what so ever. In fact, if someone does call you you may want to take a look at your financial balances just to be safe, because these assholes are sneaky that way.

"The work of Nigeria is not complete for as long as there is any one Nigerian who goes to bed on empty stomach." - Ibrahim Babangida

Avoid tech support phone scams

Aug 29, 2012

Musings on Star Trek: TNG

This may surprise some of you, but I've never seen much of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I tried when it first aired, but I didn't care for the first season and gave up. Years later I tried again as a friend gave me his collection of VHS tapes of all recorded seasons, but I never spent the time as I couldn't bear getting through the first season again.

Still, I caught a few seasons here and there, usually when I was bored and nothing else was on. I watched all four of The Next Generation films, and hated each and every one of them. Something compelled me to give it another go, so I did, thanks to Netflix streaming all Star Trek shows. After quite some time I finally finished the show yesterday.

I kind of wished I would've given the show more of a chance when I was younger, as I may have had fonder memories of the epic series. When it came time for the third season, the writing improved dramatically to where it almost seemed like a different program. It got progressively better, till it peaked in the fifth season, with such iconic episodes as The Inner Light and I, Borg. Yet I still enjoyed the sixth and seventh seasons immensely, especially Chain of Command part 1 and 2, and upon its end I wanted more stories of the Enterprise crew. Oh, Ashley Judd was hot in the two episodes she was in.

I guess my geek cred has become more solid now that I've finished one of the most important sci-fi programs in television history, but yet I've still got a long way to go. Sure I've made it through BSG both old and new, Firefly, and even Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (god help me), but I still have all the Stargate series, Babylon 5, Deep Space 9, Voyager, and Enterprise to sit through to proclaim myself a true dork.

"I am not the archetypal leading man. This is mainly for one reason: as you may have noticed, I have no hair." - Patrick Stewart

Aug 23, 2012

Deep in the crazy heart

Since living in Texas I've grown accustom to being the butt of many jokes about my new home. Granted some of it's warranted, as this state does elect some of the dumbest governors in our nation's history, and with an ego that would rival that of any rock star it's an easy target when a citizen does something stupid. There are just as many nut job, self described rednecks in the Pacific Northwest as their are in the Lone Star State, but here we elect them to positions of power.

Yes Texas asks its residents to elect their judges and I would imagine most just vote down party lines. Come to think of it, I can't recall the name of any of the judges I voted for in the last election, as I just briefly looked at the voting pamphlet bio of each of them to help formulate my decision. Any of the judges I elected could spend their spare time rubbing their genitals on random car door handles, but I would be none the wiser.

In West Texas, their exists a county called Lubbock, which you've probably never heard of. Still a presiding judge, Tom Head, there took his political views to the airwaves to talk about raising taxes. Now asking for a tax hike in Texas seems as politically responsible as campaigning in Harlem in black face, but this man has his reasons. He thinks the county of Lubbock needs to prepare for civil war against Obama and the United Nations, who for some reason is going to turn over the sovereignty of this country to the UN, because the President doesn't need the approval of Congress anymore, men wearing funny looking blue helmets will march on this nation and will occupy Lubbock, because Lubbock's a strategic place of course.

As most conspiracy theorists, Judge Head considers himself the center of the universe, that everyone's after him because he's so knowledgeable and informed about matters the rest of us sheeple can't comprehend. So of course he makes up these paranoid delusions of civil unrest after an election, which people have predicted since, oh I don't know, since at least as long as I've been alive and of course have been wrong every single time. This man though is an elected official wanting to raise tax payer dollars to prepare for a civil war that will never happen, even though I'm willing to be he secretly wants it to. Conspiracy theorists hate being wrong, even though they always are. Oh and he probably believes in nonsense about Agenda 21.

So people have another reason to laugh at Texas and the sad part is, he'll probably be reelected.

"And the sheriff, I've already asked him, I said 'you gonna back me' he said, 'yeah, I'll back you'. Well, I don't want a bunch of rookies back there. I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me." - Tom Head

Lubbock Co. Judge warns of potential danger if Obama is re-elected

Aug 21, 2012

Wiwille's movie reviews part 91

I used to work at a camera shop and one day a man came in looking for a former employee, who was escorted from his job in handcuffs the previous day (another story) about how the coworker promised to film his audition tape for Survivor. I told him the kid was no longer employed with us, so he asked me if I wanted to go in the woods with him and shoot his video. I had no interest in going into the forest with a stranger and told him that wouldn’t be possible, which made him go on a rant about how he was destined for a show like Survivor and how he’d be the best at survival tactics and living off the land. He had fame in his eyes as he launched into a long monologue of how he was going to be better than anyone the show’s ever seen.

I told him I needed to get back to work, but he didn’t like that answer and continued about how skilled he was at staying alive in any condition, and how he would win the coveted prize of a million dollars for showing off his badassness. He sensed my annoyance as I made little attempt to hide it, and finally asked me what I thought. I told him his plan was foolish, as I saw one episode of the first season, and it was obvious to me and should be to anyone else that the producers didn’t care about casting Eagle Scouts, they wanted people with personalities that create drama. It’s not about starting a fire without matches, it’s about popularity and being a jerk, and some, if not all, of it is quite possible staged. He just stared at me for a few seconds, didn’t say a word, grabbed his jacket off the counter, and left the store. I never saw him again.

Modern cinema has devoted a lot of energy into teaching us how decadent and depraved our entertainment is, which of course is dripping with dramatic irony. Still, as pretentious as it may be the lesson that reality television, and pop-culture as a whole, is catering to the lowest common denominator of intelligence and is really amoral seems lost on most, considering how popular American Idol, Jersey Shore, and various other cruel shows still exist. Now films have existed for years about this very topic while they browbeat us with tales of how moronic we are for exercising our voyeuristic tendencies, but sadly we as a country have learned little and we continue to consume such nonsense like a starving man at a Chinese buffet.

Reality shows have become a staple of our collective television diets, and to miss information on who got voted off the island, house, attention whoring dating show, or whatever would mean you miss out on the party. So as good little television consumers you’ll continue to fill your belly on shows reward a lack of talent, morality, or even possess anything remotely interesting. We’ve turned into a vicious, cruel, and entitled culture that lacks any original thought or merit.

God Bless America takes what The Truman Show, and many others, already told us, and twist such lessons into one of the darkest, least subtle comedies I’ve ever seen. First set in Virginia, it’s the story of Frank, a middle age average loser who just lost his job and is diagnosed a terminal illness. Frank like to talk about how he hates our modern culture, but for whatever reason can’t seem to turn off the television to pick up a book. Finally having enough of the world he decides the only reasonable course of action is to kill everyone he finds repugnant.

Early along the way he meets a teenager, Roxy, who shares his disdain for people that have no business consuming precious oxygen, and joins in the killing spree, shooting tea partiers, Westboro Baptist Church members, an obvious rip off of Bill O’Reilly, and eventually the set of American Superstar (American Idol).

While again, everyone they kill seems like an easy target, which they are, and the film says nothing you don’t already know or feel…well if you don’t you’re obviously not reading this and have TMZ as your homepage and have hour long discussions on the marriage dissolving of Tom and Katie. Still the death of people who waste their motor skills on being a moron is a concept I adore, but really the true jackasses are us, the ones who keep Kate Goesslin (or however the fuck you spell that) and the Palins employed. Needless to say I enjoyed the film immensely as it was as hilarious as it is wickedly dark. Social satire is hard to keep engaging, and few have done it so successfully. At times the film gets a little muddled with long, and sometimes sanctimonious rants about how we as a nation suck balls, but I can’t really blame director/writer Bobcat Goldthwaite (seriously he really made this) as we still haven’t learned our lesson as Survivor is entering its 25th season.

So yeah, I’d recommend it. Thanks to Leif for submitting this for review. Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here

"It does take a sledgehammer to crack a walnut and eventually falls victim to the law of diminishing returns but it doesn't pull its punches and is often outrageously funny." - Allan Hunter

Bad Movies I Love part 33

Men, they shoot things indiscriminately, have horrible tattoos, fart loudly, and show off big bulging biceps along with their cosmetic surgery. At least that's the world The Expendables Part 2 inhabits. Big guys, big guns, bad puns, and a fascination with killing everything that moves are to be expected in a film of this nature, but this homage to terrible action movies of the past exists as a parody of itself.

Xenophobia has always been a key ingredient of 80s action films, and of course this has it in spades. This film takes off where the first one left off, if anyone can remember it. The guys have bigger guns and bigger muscles, and are primed for dealing death to anyone who dares gets in their crosshairs. Men shoot people from another country, because damn it that's what they get for being different. "Fuck yeah" should've been the title for this movie, and really, it should have been every line delivered, and the plot would've made as much sense.

Expendables part 2 is an ambitious film, with huge star power if it was made in 1987. Self deprecating and never taking itself seriously, it's actually more fun than it ever had any right to be. I laughed throughout the entire film, and even a few times it was intentional. Granted those moments are few, as the movie is so damn ridiculous it's difficult to suspend disbelief, but if ever the phrase "leave your brain at the door" was apt for a film, this is it. There's not a single line of dialogue that doesn't elicit an unintentional laugh, or a groan, but the director didn't seem to give a damn. It's big, it's loud, it's really really stupid, but if you expected anything else going in, I seriously worry about you.

So why did I love this? Well as previously mentioned I laughed more than most comedies, and certainly more than "The Hangover part 2", "Grown Ups", etc. The action sequences, while ridiculous, are well choreographed and visually impressive. Even though I will never see this, nor its predecessor again, I will look upon it fondly for its campy fun.

"Unlike its predecessor, this one recognizes its inherent stupidity and goes all-in on being the loudest, dumbest and most comically preposterous action movie of the summer." - Ethan Alter

Aug 16, 2012

Why I hate

WIGSF posed an interesting, but good question to me yesterday in the one of two comments I had on my post. The question was:

"In recent years I've noticed a surge in your posts against people who dislike modern science/medicine. Why?"

I've addressed this in passing on my blog once or twice, but I guess now would be a good time to dedicate a post about my loathing for all things stupid. First off, poking fun at the ridiculous is an enjoyable task and feeds my superiority complex, but seriously the reason why I can't stand people who promote the idea that modern science is out to kill them is that they do a lot of harm to the uneducated, and the easily misled. I've learned this first hand when a family member decided to give a bunch of homeopathy literature to my immediate family. One of them believed in it, abandoned all use of modern medicine in favor of the quackery, and almost lost their life because of it. Thankfully they're fine now, but that planted the seed of my skepticism about people who believe they're above modern science.

It got worse when the wife and I tried to have a baby. We were given all sorts of anecdotal information and supposed tried and true methods on how to reproduce, but when looking at the facts, getting pregnant is just a crap shoot. Talk to any Doctor and they'll tell you when and how often you should attempt conception, but any and all people who tell you there are "proven methods" to increase your chance of getting pregnant without the use of modern science is flat out lying. In some cases they're profiting off their lies from desperate couples eager to have a child, which is just sick.

After my wife got pregnant I started looking into the health of my baby, simple things like medicine dosage and vaccines. The amount of anti-vaccine folks, especially Mike Adams and his legion of uninformed fans, scared the living hell out of me. When I started to do research on the web about vaccines and their effectiveness I found a lot of people were listening to fraudulent studies about a correlation between MMR and autism (which doesn't exist), and were refusing to vaccinate themselves or their children against these deadly diseases based on junk science. Now normally I wouldn't care what people do to themselves, if they want to die from polio, be my guest, but to risk passing it on to others, especially babies who are too young to get the vaccine, based on some nutty conspiracy theory that the monolithic entity of Big Pharma wants to keep you sick and dying is really low. I have no patience for this kind of thinking.

When people bring their quackery in the public realm at the cost of the general health of the populace, I really tend to hate them, well I guess hate's a strong word. I do pity them and their families, so their beliefs should be poked at to show how stupid they are in the hopes that it plants the seed of skepticism in at least one person. It's our health, and it's worth it.

“Science is interesting, and if you don't agree you can fuck off." - New Scientist Magazine

Aug 15, 2012

The grown ups are talking

In every community there exists people who would wish harm to the public good to help feed their own persecution complex. Anti-vaxxers have helped children die from completely avoidable diseases, and if some have their way, the entire DFW area would die from contracting the West Nile Virus.

For whatever reason the Dallas area, aka the Metroplex, has seen 200 cases of the deadly virus which has killed as many as 10. As usual, the elderly and the infants are the most vulnerable, so the area responded by trying to kill mosquitoes that carry it. Seems like a reasonable solution to fight an infectious plague, but some in the area don't see it that way.

Many are worried about the government's response to West Nile Virus, as the cities are spraying the entire area with a compound that kills mosquitoes, including that of local officials. Based on the scientific analysis of the researchers at the Pull-it-out-of-your-ass Institute, they're concerned that they may get sick and die from the spraying. This chemical has been used for over twenty years in populous areas such as Sacramento and even New York City without incident. So twenty years of data of using this spray on areas that include millions of people without a single fatality, or any serious incident at all, and people would rather be all paranoid and risk this deadly disease spreading to many more people, because they're stupid.

Even a Dallas City Councilman expressed concern about the imagined effects of the spray, because he hates science I guess. He'd rather see grandpa and little baby Annie die a most miserable death, because some of his constituents are paranoid nut jobs who called his office screaming about the conspiracy of poisoning the good people of North Texas.

In the fine tradition of Texan slang, I say fuck all y'all. If you're worried about the spray, move your happy ass somewhere else and keep your neurosis out of the public scientific discourse. Seriously, if you don't know what you're talking about, there's no shame in shutting the hell up while grown ups talk.

"Since public safety is my No. 1 job, I think it’s paramount to step up to the plate and say we need to do this." - Dallas Mayor

Dallas approves aerial spraying to fight West Nile

Aug 13, 2012


This weekend I planned to have a group outing where the guys would go see the much anticipated Bourne Legacy, and we'd meet up later with the girls for drinks and what not, but those did not come to pass. My brother in-law, Russ', appendix ruptured on Thursday, so surgery and recovery were in order.

Thankfully he came out of surgery fine, but not without its share of complications. The operation took longer than expected as the infection was worse than previously thought. So the family sat out in the waiting room, trying to calm their nerves with mixed results. It of course, got me to thinking.

My brother in-law is a typical sort; tall, handsome, no nonsense sort of gent who likes guns, beer, and women who don't wear much in the way of clothes. Beloved by his family and friends, he's a man who's quick to laugh, even at his own jokes, and doesn't take himself seriously. The family adores him, and to think about the grief they would endure had they lost him was almost too much to think about.

Here is a man, healthy and strong who all of a sudden is at the mercy of an unneeded organ and could've just made a good woman a widow and my daughter would not know what's it's like to grow up loving her uncle Russ. Life would've been emptier without him in the family I married into, and the thought of his passing terrified me. I've never been extremely close to my brother in-law, and to see him die before I had the time with him so many others had was a depressing thought. I'd miss out on what they all see in him, things my daughter should grow up seeing.

But thankfully after a few days of pondering the fragility of life, he's ok sitting in recovery doing about as well as could be expected. The family rallied around their fortunate son, and he will continue to touch our lives, thankfully. You never realize how much someone means to you and your family, or how much you mean to them, even if all you have to do is just exist.

"Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it." -W. Somerset Maugham

Aug 9, 2012

Attempts to bing justice, ends poorly

The other day I found myself yet again the victim of a random text message, but this went in ways I could've never predicted. The text came in innocently, asking how I was doing. I had no idea who it was, so I responded I was doing well, and asked how they were. They responded asking when they can see me.

Having no idea who it was I pointed them out to that fact. They (he) apologized and then asked how old I was, assuming I was a girl for whatever reason. Thinking this may be the guy who's been messing with me sending all kinds of weird texts I decided to respond that I was 23. He said he was 26 and asked if I had a man. I said no.

I then decided to mess with the ass clown. I sent him a pic of a girl in a bikini, which sparked his interest saying it was me. I told him there was a problem, that I was born a guy. This didn't seem to bother him and asked if him being a Mexican, or "mex" as he put it, would be a deal breaker. I said it didn't and told him I was fifteen years old. He seemed to not care as long as I wasn't a decoy. We kept interacting and he bought the fact that I was a fifteen year old with the body of a 24 year old who born a boy and a virgin. They guy wanted to meet up.

I relayed this to the wife, and she mentioned that we may want to bring this to the proper authorities, as the guy seemed to be a pedophile. After relaying the incident to others, they responded that it may be a good idea to see the police about the matter. My wife called our local PD, who said they could send an officer to meet me, or we could stop by and file a report.

So after work the wife and I go to our local police station to speak with a cop about this. After much wait a cop shows up and I relay the incident to him, complete with transcript in my hand. The cop seemed none to amused. His sweat filled brow started to wrinkle a bit, and then he interrupted my tale to inform me that I committed a crime of impersonation, and I was looking to spend the night in jail. He took out his handcuffs and showed them to us in an attempt to make me nervous, which for a few seconds it did, but it rattled the nerves of my wife. I was sitting there dumbfounded that this was happening, and the portly office decided to give me a stern lecture as to why we shouldn't "PLAY THESE GAMES." After he kept repeating himself, my wife lept in my defense, telling him we were trying to do the right thing and had little to no interest in committing a crime, but all that accomplished was giving the cop another in to talk down to us as if we were ten years of age, repeating himself as if it warranted.

I sat and kept quiet, still baffled by what was going on. I couldn't believe that this was illegal, as the entire crew of "To Catch a Predator" would be rotting in prison. Plus there was no victim in the alleged crime I committed, so I was wondering if the DA would say to themselves, "You know what, throwing a guy in prison for trying to out a pedophile would be great for this department's image." Even more confusing was the fact that this cop was more interested in yelling at me than in a 26 year old guy who wants to fuck a fifteen year told girl. I remained polite, as he seemed like a cop who'd rather see me tazed then actually enforcing the law, so I didn't say much and when given the chance, I thanked him for his time and that we would be on our way. He agreed and said he wouldn't put me in jail and this was his stern warning, which was not only unnecessary, but ludicrous. Also, he didn't take down the potential pedophile's information, nor had any interest in doing so.

We walked out of there and the wife was horribly upset by the events that took place, while I kept trying to process what had just happened. No good deed goes unpunished.

“The challenge for us is also to make it journalistically solid.” - Chris Hansen