Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Research Paper on the Long Term Effects of Spanking Your Monkey

Reblogged from the Journal of the Academy of Primate Behavioral Studies

A Research Paper on the Long Term Effects of Spanking Your Monkey

Psychologists and Child Development researchers have been analyzing data on the long-term effects of spanking your children for over six decades. The conclusions derived from this intensive collaboration is that parents who spank their children risk causing long-term harm that outweighs the short-term benefits of child obedience.

With this crucial information at hand, we at the Society for Primates And their Natural Kin (SPANK), a worldwide think tank promoting the proper treatment and care of pet monkeys and other primates, had long believed that adequate research was sorely lacking on the long-term effects of spanking your monkey. Now we understand that the proliferation of owning monkeys as household pets has been declining since its initial growth period during the 1940’s, with the popularity of the Curious George series of children’s books, to its peak in the late 1970’s – early 1980’s, when the hit Television show “BJ and the Bear” was airing.

Still, although solid data has been difficult to obtain about monkey ownership, our research suggests that there are over 100,000 homes with pet monkeys in the United States alone, a significant number, albeit a small percentage of the overall world population of pet monkeys. Said lead SPANK researcher Jacque D’Auffe, MD, PhD; “We honestly believe that the estimate of roughly 100,000 households with pet monkeys in the United States is on the low side. But as you have probably inferred from a multitude of television series, movies and books, monkeys have historically been troublesome little critters to keep as pets, with Curious George being a prime example. So when you look at those kinds of numbers and factor in the significant behavioral issues that most monkeys bring to the table, as an organization, we were terribly concerned that there could potentially be lots of folks out there spanking their monkeys.”

“We believed we needed to address that situation” added Chinese Animal Psychologist and SPANK Research Fellow, Wai Xing Mi Dong, PhD. “We knew that children, who are spanked on a regular basis in a structured situation of corporal punishment by their parents, tend to become aggressive, delinquent and have mental health problems not only in childhood, but into their adulthood. Why had we not correlated that the aggressive, delinquent and mentally unstable behavior that monkeys often present is not a direct result of people spanking their monkeys?”

According to SPANK spokesperson Jill Initoff, the organization believes that civilized societies in general need to re-evaluate why we believe it is reasonable to spank our monkeys or any of our pets for that matter. Said Initoff, “in thousands and thousands of interviews we have found links between spanking and a variety of negative behaviors or experiences, including aggression, anti-social behavior and mental health problems.”  The one positive result of spanking that she identified was quick resolution of the situation at hand.

“Sure, spanking may bring an immediate result and may seem like an easy solution” she added. “Our studies suggest, however, that over the long-term, spanking does not result in any positive behavioral changes. Perhaps more importantly, those who are doing the spanking, often feel significant feelings of guilt and remorse which can have long-term consequences of its own.”

A few major Animal Rights organizations, including the Organization for the Optimal Handling of Animals Holistically and Humanely (OOH AHH), have taken an official stance against corporal punishment by pet owners, especially against monkeys which have a tendency to respond in a much more negative and aggressive fashion when spanked regularly.

Said OOH AHH President Hans Jobbe, “when a pet owner is in a situation where they’re considering spanking their pet, especially if that pet is a monkey … stop for a moment — count to 10, whatever it takes.” Jobbe cautioned that his findings do not imply that all monkeys who are spanked turn out to be aggressive or delinquent. But he contended that spanking, on its own, does not teach a pet monkey right from wrong and may not deter them from misbehaving when their owners are not present.

“In conclusion”, said D’Auffe, “SPANK researchers have concluded that until pet owners and more specifically, pet monkey owners, can legitimately conclude that spanking your monkey does not have negative long-term psychological effects on both the animals and those doing the spanking, we cannot condone spanking your monkey as a responsible method of behavioral control and reinforcement. As an organization, we have been implementing significant efforts to discourage having monkeys as household pets as we believe, like all exotic animals, monkeys were meant to live and thrive in the wild, not in people’s homes.

Added Initoff, “as long as we continue to witness a significant decrease in the glamorous representation of monkey ownership through books like the Curious George series, movies and television shows like BJ and the Bear and the pet monkey Clyde, in the Clint Eastwood movies, we believe we should also continue to see decreases in the prominence of monkey spanking.”

Ummmm… what did you think they were talking about??

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To Beard or not to Beard?

Men’s facial hair is a hot topic these days.

Beards, mustaches, stubble, five o’clock shadow… it seems that being clean-shaven is just not that cool anymore.

So, what’s driving this latest bit of hairy manliness? Is it ego, is it a male identity crisis, or is it that all the models in GQ magazine are coated in a perfectly coiffed 1/16” of stubble from their chins to their upper lips to their sideburns.  I don’t really know and I only have a limited amount of life history to look back on.

I was born in 1967, so the 1970’s with its big bushy porno star mustaches is the first decade of facial hair that I really have any recollection. The 1980’s, when I was leaving the realm of teenager hood and becoming an adult, seemed to me to be a relatively clean-cut decade with its short, clean-cut business haircuts and preppy clothing. Then the 1990’s rolled in with its Kurt Cobain grunginess and facial hair in all its wild variations started to come back into fashion. Now it’s the 21st century and as I said earlier, men’s facial hair is a hot topic.

So…  what do you think… “to beard or not to beard?” That is the question.

Personally, I hate shaving! No, I don’t just hate shaving, I despise shaving. I avoid shaving as much as possible.  I limit it to, at most, two to three times a week. That whole “Art of Shaving” branding thing… screw that… shaving is just a pain in the ass. Part of the problem is when I shave I look like I’m about 15 years old for the first 12 hours until a little bit of shadow starts to show up again. So I prefer to keep a few days of stubble on my face. I haven’t broken down enough yet to go out and buy one of those electric razors that allow you to keep that perfect amount of stubble on your face at all times.

But believe me… it’s on the list of things to consider purchasing in life.

I’ve grown a full beard once in my life, back in 2002. My Mom was sick and it was one of those life changing events. They say that Men often grow their beards when they experience a life changing event. So, I let it go for about six weeks at which point the itchiness became so unbearable that I went to a barber shop and had them buzz it off. I was hoping they would do a full soap shave with a straight razor and hot towels, maybe even a glass of whiskey on the side. But they wouldn’t, so I let them buzz it off with one of those electric razors that you cut your dog’s hair with… lame.

So, I guess having a beard is kind of a pain in the ass too.

The circle beard seems to be the beard of choice these days in my part of the world, at least. Many people call it a goatee, but I’ve read that a goatee is actually just the chin part of it and when you add the mustache part, it’s called a circle beard. Whatever… it’s popular, even though in many cases, I think it makes people look scary, especially when combined with a shaved head.

My personal beard preference is the Jesus beard. Yep, I think Jesus had an awesome beard, not too long, not too short, and combined with long flowing hair. You have to have a good chin to have a good Jesus beard. Of course, none of us really know what Jesus really looked like so we go with what we see in paintings of him. But you’ve got to admit, the “Americanized” version of Jesus has a great beard.

jesus

Barry Gibb had a good Jesus beard.

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The 1970’s era Lindsey Buckingham also had a great Jesus Beard. His hair had a little more of that afro look, but still a great beard.

lindsay buckingham

There are plenty of others, but those few stand out in my mind.

So, what’s the verdict… “to beard or not to beard?” Hairy or smooth? Stubble or clean as a baby’s  bottom?

What do you think?

Hairy, inquiring people wanna know!

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The Schmoo and other Notable Warner Family Christmas Ornaments

Over many years we have accumulated enough Christmas ornaments to decorate at least two sizeable Christmas trees. We never use them all, but there are many that always make their way onto a branch. I learned as a child, from my own family experience, that a decorated Christmas tree is not only a central theme for your holiday celebration, but a piece of history, each ornament telling its own story or having its own personal meaning. My wife has taken to labeling many of our ornaments with any relevant information regarding year purchased, where and why or who gave it to us a gift.  Like so many families around the world, part of the holiday tradition is the annual experience of digging through the cartons and recounting the significance of each ornament. Some bring back happy memories, some bring back sad memories and some of course make us laugh.

So here’s a top 10 list of ornaments on the Warner Christmas tree that have special significance to me. They’re listed in a somewhat chronological order. My wife and kids could probably generate their own lists as well, but these are my favorites.

Here goes…

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The Schmoo:  The Schmoo was once a proud snowman, happily hanging in our tree when I was a child, covered in a white felt-like material with painted black eyes and a smiling mouth.  I used to like to play with the snowman until one year I got him all dirty. In my efforts to get the snowman clean, I took him to the bathroom sink and washed him with soap and hot water… at which time the snowman’s felt outer layer disintegrated and washed away down the sink. I cried and cried and cried and cried… and then cried some more. My brothers renamed him “the Schmoo”… which I’m not really sure what a Schmoo is… and he hung on our tree for many more years. Sometime after moving to Michigan in 1993, my mother visited and gave me the Schmoo along with some other leftover memories from my home. He still hangs on our tree today!

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The “Steve” Ornament: I made this when I was a kid back in the early 1970’s. Actually like many of the things my kids brought home as toddlers, I figure my teacher probably made it and gave it to me. I know this because to this day I still can’t write my name that clearly in cursive. Amazing it still survives!

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The Stocking: Another of my childhood creations. Not sure where I was going with this… perhaps this is what I thought Santa looked like at the time, you know, sort of like a terrorist. On the other hand, I do think that perhaps I had some insight into the future popularity of the goatee beard that so many men wear these days. The Stocking usually goes on the back of the tree, sort of towards the bottom, where it’s not very visible.

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The Scary Plastic Made in China Santa Claus: When Kim and I were in college, the first year we were together, we scraped together the little money we had, took a trip into town to the local drug store and bought enough ornaments to decorate a small tree we had in one of our dorm rooms. I vaguely remember even having to call a taxi to drive us there and back because we didn’t have a car. We bought some glass balls, a few plastic icicles and snowflakes and other odds and ends. Several still hang on our tree today, one of which was this fantastic Santa Clause head. My daughter thinks it’s scary… she’s got a point.

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The Beeswax Moose: My Mom bought me this ornament in 1990 when I was in college. Probably from LL Bean or some other Maine retail store. I went through a stage where I was into Moose things and this added to the collection. It survives to this day, it hasn’t melted, it hasn’t cracked, and it hasn’t fallen apart. Give some credit to the bees for producing an amazing, durable, all-natural material that can withstand 22 years and counting.

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The Russian Girl: My brother and his wife were having trouble conceiving a child. After years of fertility treatments and other unsuccessful attempts at a pregnancy, they decided to travel to Russia in 1997 to adopt a baby boy, an absolutely amazing young man who is now 16. This ornament came back with them from Russia… with Love!

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The Honeymoon Bear: Kim and I got married in 1992. We just recently celebrated our 20th anniversary. For our honeymoon we spent a week in Hawaii. We had reserved a week on Kauai, but that year a hurricane tore through and devastated the island. We had to quickly change our plans and ended up spending most of our time on Oahu. Still a fabulous experience and a place we hope to return to someday.

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The Amish Buggy: In 2002 my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive, dangerous and malignant brain tumor. That summer, knowing that her days were limited, several members of our family took a trip with her to the Amish country around Lancaster Pennsylvania. It was a week I will not ever forget. My Mom passed away on October 20, 2002.

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The Bear:  No particular history here other than we bought this ornament the very first Christmas we spent in Michigan after moving from the East Coast. It’s one of our favorites… just because it’s so damn cute.

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The Kids Ornaments: Of course history continues when kids are introduced into the Christmas ornament mix. We have dozens of ornaments that the kids have brought home from pre-school and elementary school. Unfortunately all the ornaments made from that petrified cookie product, that teachers sometimes make ornaments with, have since rotted away. The one’s pictured are made from fired clay. With any luck, someday when my kids have moved away and started their own families, I’ll be able to pass these on.

What ornaments hold special significance to your family?

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Dear Santa

Alright look, let’s get serious about this whole Christmas gig.  I’ve been pretty good this year so you’d better not be thinking about putting me on that damn Naughty List.  Sure, I’ve done some stupid shit, hasn’t everybody? I mean, alright, I know I started the year by getting really drunk at a New Year’s party. But hey, it was the fucking New Year, right? And frankly, 2011 had been a pretty tough year anyway, and we all needed to burn off a little steam, don’t you think? Anyway, beyond that, I think I’ve been pretty good. Sure, in general, sometimes I drink too much. Look I’ll be the first to admit it. I bet you and those creepy, fucking little elves you hang out with sit around most of the year partying it up, drinking and eating nachos and shit. Seriously, there’s no way you’d be that overweight if you hadn’t been pounding down some brewskies here and there. Anyhow, other than that, I’ve been mostly pretty good this year. Sure, sometimes my wife and I have watched some porno movies. C’mon, you got to live a little, right? Look, I know I stopped at the casino last spring and pissed away like twenty bucks in the slot machines.  But hey, I made a sales call on the gift shop in the casino. So it’s a write-off, right? And I know I got pulled over for speeding twice this year, but you know, I’m on the road a lot now, the odds are just fucking higher. Neither cop gave me a ticket, so it’s all good.

Anyhow, so I’m not perfect, but seriously I’ve been mostly pretty good this year, just like every year. I mean, you’ve got to admit, I’ve got a pretty good track record over the last 45 years. You’ve gotta give me some points for that, right? Right?

So, let’s do this shit.

This is what I want for Christmas this year. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t really want anything that’s wrapped up all fancy-like with bows and shit. Look I’m 45 now, that’s just not a big deal anymore. That’s for my kids, who you probably figured out by now, don’t believe in you anymore. Sorry dude.

Alright maybe I’d take some new socks. You can never have enough socks.

Here’s my list…

Look, you gave me a new job last winter. It’s going okay, but it’s been a pretty lean year. Everyone told me it would take two, maybe even three years to get it going. January is the beginning of year two. This year it’s got to kick the fuck into gear. Let’s get this shit done, okay?

Give me a fucking block… for writer’s block. Seriously, this whole writing gig is sorta becoming a pain in the ass. I used to love to write, now it’s like a fucking struggle all the time. I can see why so many writers are bat-shit crazy alcoholics. God damn, imagine having to depend on writing for your income? I just watched the movie The Shining the other day for probably the 10th time and amazingly it was the first time that the whole Jack Torrance writer’s block thing really sunk in. I haven’t started seeing ghosts or anything so I think I’m still okay. Anyway, give me that motivation again to start cranking this shit out more regularly. Give me that and I’ll write something stellar and profound this year. I promise.

Give me the fucking strength to survive my kids becoming teenagers. I mean seriously dude, these are two of the best kids around, but this is some crazy shit watching them grow up. Not believing in you? That’s the least of my fucking worries. I’ve got a girl talking about boys and a boy talking about girls. Seems like overnight we went from toy trucks and barbies… to boobs, boners and tampons.  This is serious business. Help me out with this shit, alright?

Get me back on a fucking exercise program. Dude, I used to work out all the time, I was like all lean and ripped. At my annual physical this past month I cracked the 200 lb. mark for only the second time in my life. 211 fucking lbs. Of course those douchebags at the Doctor’s office weigh you with all your clothes and shit on. I hate that shit. I mean seriously, my clothes probably add 2-3 lbs onto my weight. Okay so I’m still over 200 lbs, whatever. Anyway, look, I know that probably doesn’t sound like much to you… seriously, you gotta be comin’ in at what, 4 bills? I don’t know how the fuck you get down those chimneys. Maybe you and I can both get back on an exercise program.

How about this, give me some fucking peace-of-mind, okay?  Yeah, I know that’s kind of a vague request. Just seems like I’m always stressing out about everything, work and life and what the Hell I’ve accomplished in my time here and the fact that I’m not famous and I’m just a regular guy. I mean, seriously, what does all that shit matter anyway? Do other people worry about stuff like that all the time? Anyway dude, give me some peace-of-mind, alright?

What about Gay Marriage? Look I don’t stress out much about hot-button political issues. But gay people should be allowed to get married. Can you finally get that shit done? Look, I’ve got no stake in this. It doesn’t even remotely affect me. And seriously, what is it like, 2% of the whole population or something? We’re not going to be overrun by a bunch of gay people in rainbow t-shirts. They’re just people and they should be allowed to get married. I’m tired of hearing about it and there are so many more important things to be talking about.

Give my family and I another year of health. That’s a pretty simple request, right? Look, I’ll admit, the last few years I’ve started to feel older for probably the first time in my life. Plus, I’ve got gray hairs popping up all over the place. Shit, I bet I’m up to like 30 of them. I know, I know, I can hear you saying “get back on the exercise program you lazy fuck!” Okay, you promise me another year of health and I’ll promise you to start hitting the weight bench again, you know, if you promise to help me with #4.

Give me lots of sunny days this year. I know, that’s not really your gig, its Mother Nature’s gig. But she’s kind of a pain in the ass sometimes, so maybe you could put in a good word for me. I just want lots of sunny days.  I want lots of rainy days too… and plenty of snowy days… and days that it’s hot… and days that it’s cold… and days that it’s right in the middle. Those are perhaps the best days, the one’s where it’s right in the middle.  On Christmas day though give me lots of snow. Big fucking piles and piles of fluffy snow. So we can wake up Christmas morning and drink Mimosa’s and coffee and hot chocolate and have a fire in the wood stove and eat my wife’s cinnamon buns. What? They’re cinnamon buns. Get your mind out of the gutter, you creep.

Alright buddy, I guess that’s about it. There’s probably other things, but that’s all I can think of and time’s running out. Seriously, I really have been pretty good this year.

So could you help me out with these requests?  It’s not much, right?  Just these few things.

And maybe a new set of guitar strings.

Thanks,

Steve

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