Monday, July 10, 2017

Yin Yang fish --a frightening food.

Cooking, particularly Chinese and Asian cooking, is an interest of mine. And in that context I was recently scouring youtube and internet seeking tips on advanced Chinese cooking and knife use techniques, such as the ones used for "pinecone fish," a particularly complex and delightful sort of sweet and sour fish dish, when I stumbled across one of the most horrible dishes I've ever heard of.

Why is it horrible? Because part of the appeal is that it involves inflicting great pain on the fish and then serving it alive at the table.

To make "yin yang fish" (Yin Yang Yu) one first takes a live, whole fish and then wraps its head tightly in a wet towel. By doing this, one keeps the head from cooking and then also apparently protects the chef's hand from being burned or splashed.

Next one takes the fish and inserts all save the head into very hot, deep frying oil, thus cooking the body and tail but leaving the head uncooked, and the fish, technically, still alive.

The fish is then placed on a plate, body cooked while the head gasps for air, its body overwhelmed with shock and pain, and sauce, reportedly a sweet and sour sauce, is poured over its body.

The dish was reportedly first seen in Taiwan by a chef who claimed to have learned how to make the dish in China. Due to media attention and uproar focused on this unpleasant and sadistic dish, it is now outlawed in Taiwan (where I somehow doubt the ban is much enforced, although that does not make the dish common either) as well as, oddly enough, Germany.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Adventures in Slum Living -Episode 16 --Did Wayne Whitney break into my mailbox?

Well, with a little luck this series will end soon. Hopefully Wayne Whitney can then go away, hopefully drown himself in a river or something, and make the world a better place.

But there's always one more thing.

As mentioned, Wayne Whitney is a selfish and stupid man who does not wish to fix his apartments and instead let's them fall apart. Of course, he insists there's nothing wrong with these apartments, an assertion that I hope this series has allowed you to judge for yourself?

As mentioned, I periodically asked Wayne Whitney to fix his apartments. It wasn't like I had any choice in the matter. The front door had fallen off because he and his handyman had installed it improperly.

Now it's worth mentioning Wayne Whitney does not know how to fix things. Wayne Whitney hired a many named "Lewis" to assist with cleaning and fixing. Now, Wayne, well, Wayne's the kind of guy who calls up his tenants, makes jokes about how incompetent Lewis at fixing things, and then thinks his tenants will find this funny as they live under slum conditions and watch their domicile fall down around them.

But did Wayne Whitney break into my mailbox? (And, yes, this is a federal offense.)

First, Wayne Whitney and I clashed a number of times over the condition of the apartment and the fact that he had broken his promise to provide supplies to have it fixed up free of charge to him.

Second, Wayne Whitney had whined frequently about these clashes to my relatives, one of whom does his taxes.

Third, Wayne ultimately put an eviction notice on my front door.

Now, and here is the amazing thing, Wayne had put an eviction notice on my front door but had put the wrong name on it. Therefore he had tried to evict someone who did not live in the apartment. He did however, have my then girlfriend, the co-tenants name correct, despite my asking him to take her off the lease, as she was in Asia, and his refusing out of laziness. What this meant is that his eviction notice was laughably wrong. He could not take me to court with it, as my name was not on it, and he had tried to evict someone who was on the wrong continent and could not appear in court or have papers served upon them.

Nevertheless, faced with the choice of living in a shit hole with my life entangled with a shit head who specialized in renting shit holes as part of my life, I quietly decided the best thing to do was to move out.

Soon after, someone broke into my mailbox.

Now who had a motive to do so? First, there were three mailboxes on the front of the building and mine was the only one targetted. Therefore it was probably not a random act, but targetted at me. (you can see here two photos of the other mailboxes at the property, both untouched.)

Untouched Mailbox #1

Untouched mailbox #2  

Second, I am not in the habit of getting expensive deliveries. Therefore, I can not imagine who could possible have wanted to break into my mailbox, unless it was someone who had recently put something stupid in it and then wanted to takeit out. Could it be the same man who had put something stupid on my front door?

Third, the mailbox was broken into by someone using a power drill. Not only that but you can see that whoever did it was not terrible skilled at using a power drill.

So, we need someone who carries tools, but is not good at using them. Is there a suspect? Hmmm?

Fourth, we also need someone who would feel comfortable being heard using a loud powertool on the front porch of 16 Benson Street. Does such a person exist? Hmmmmm? 

Now, here's the clincher, Wayne Whitney has a large video surveillance system set up at 16 Benson Street. Now I'm not sure how I feel about the ethics or sensibilities of a sex offender taping everything around his property but his entire front porch is videotaped. There are signs clearly stating this. 

Now we need someone with a motive to target my mailbox, someone who does not know how to use tools well but carries them, who is comfortable drilling into a mailbox on the front porch of 16 Benson Street while knowing that he can easily be heard, while not caring if he was videotaped or not. Does such a person exist? Hmmmmmmmmmmm? 

And then pry it open in  a clumsy fashion using what appears to be a screw driver? Does such a person exist? Yeah, probably, but I'll let you figure out who that person might be. 

Note that this break in of my mailbox was reported to both the Albany City Police Department as well as the post office. 

Adventures in Slum Living. Episode 15 --the neighbors

16 Benson Street in Albany, New York was not the nicest place I’ve ever lived.
As stated –repeatedly, in fact—the landlord, Wayne Whitney, was (and presumably still is) a dishonest, selfish, irresponsible dipshit and the place was falling apart in disrepair to an extent that was almost comical. But the neighbors didn’t help either.
I first met the neighbors when I was moving in. A lanky looking guy with floppy, curly hair and dull eyes approached me as I was moving in and asked me where I worked. Harold wasn’t exactly White but he was one of those folks who is difficult to put a finger on if you are trying to guess their racial background.
And, of course, there's no point in asking others what race he was, because most people, if they sensed an ethnic or genetic commonality with him, would, most likely, for the good of the group, deny that any such commonality existed.
Harold asked me if I worked and where.  
I told him that I taught English as a Second Language, but I did not tell him where or for whom. (no need to share too much.)
He told me he was looking for work. I discussed job hunting  a bit with him.
He then told me he needed work, he wasn’t getting enough hours at his job, and he had just gotten out of jail. (I've just spent a bit of time trying to track down for what, exactly Harold was in jail. Although I can't state with certainty if it is the same person, there was a Harold with the same name who was incarcerated for failure to pay child support and violating an order of protection, and who then wrote a clueless letter to the editor of a newspaper claiming the entire situation was completely unfair. This Harold does have a child. He does not live with the child. Probably the same person.)
(Not really the neighbors, but close enough.) 

I didn’t ask for what but simply shared a few more job hunting leads.
This was Harold. Harold’s lived at 16 Benson Street for quite a while. He may still be there. I have no idea. No need to know and no need to check.
Next time I saw Harold, I was moving in. He was sitting on his second floor front porch with an overweight White woman who paid most or all of the rent on the place (I learned this from hearing their fights through the walls, more on this later) and was, more or less, supporting Harold. Harold saw me carrying stuff and offered to help. Harold, however, did not strike me as the kind of guy who I would either like to be indebted to or let into my apartment, so I just thanked him for the offer but let him know I didn’t really need any help.
Third time, I saw Harold he asked me for money. No reason given, no offer to repay, just “Can I have some money?”
I said “No.”
I then called Wayne. Now as mentioned, Wayne is not too bright. Nor does he know how to act right. If you wish to understand how Wayne will act in any given situation, analogies help, I offered one last time about a hungry, stray dog.  Sadly, he and I do have at least one friend in common.
I had made it very clear to Wayne that what I was looking for was a safe apartment.
And now I had a creep asking for money next door.

Which means that not only is Wayne selfish enough to ignore what others want, he's too stupid to look after his own self interests knowing that we had acquaintances in common and his actions would come back to haunt him.

But I still hadn't quite grasped Wayne's style of thinking and therefore called him to discuss things. He said that he’d been trying to get rid of these people for months and encouraged me to call the cops on them. He said his lawyer had advised him that he had no grounds to evict them (untrue if they had the same kind of lease I did) but he’d wanted to for some time. But he said that he would tell them not to ask other tenants for money or he would evict them. (Not sure if this happened, but last I heard they were still there.)
So those were the neighbors.
As you can see from the pictures, 16 Benson Street in Albany, New York, one of Wayne Whitney’s apartments, an apartment that he does not like to see called a “slum” nor does he like to see himself as a “slumlord,” is not the best maintained place around. The walls are thin.
Which meant I could hear these folks and get a glimpse of their lifestyle.
First, they had lots of noisy sex. Absurdly, ridiculously, noisy sex.
I’d be cooking and there would be Harold and the fat chick who paid his rent going on at it and the sounds were like something from a comedy movie depiction of a bad apartment.
“Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, yes, yeeesss, Yeeeessssss!!!!!” she would moan.
It was ridiculous. The only thing that could make it more surreal would be the characters from Seinfeld. 

Jerry: My, oh my. quite energetic aren't they?

George: Do you think maybe I could learn to do something like that? I mean think about it? Are there exercises of something you can get? Maybe motivational tapes that you could listen to in the car?

Jerry: You don't own a car.

George: I know, but if I did. I mean is it really that farfetched to think that I might someday listen to tapes in the car?

Jerry: Well, since you don't drive . . .

(Neighbors: Oh God, Oh God, yes, yes, yes. Oh God!!!!!!!!!)

George: Maybe it's a special diet. Do you think it's a special diet?

Kramer: Yo yo ma!!

George: They sound religious. Do you think being religious helps in the bedroom? Do you think it might help if I went to church sometimes?

Jerry: George, they're obviously faking.

George: Well, I fake it all the time. Just not that loudly.

etc. etc. etc.

And then, when they weren’t having sex, they’d fight.
She’d scream, complain about paying his rent, and then tell him to get out. He never did. After all he was getting free or reduced rent and lots of sex in this place and he obviously was not someone with sophisticated tastes or high expectations from life.

When I look back on my time at 16 Benson Street in Albany, New York, one of Wayne Whitney, (a man who does not like to be called “a slumlord”) ‘s apartments, it’s interesting to think about not just the physical surroundings but also the neighbors. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Adventures in Slum Living: –Episode 14: 16 Benson Street, Albany is up for rent again

Adventures in Slum Living –Episode 14: 16 Benson Street, Albany is up for rent again

          Do you ever wish you could just drop a subject, really, yet there were still things to say? That's how I feel now. How long can this possibly go on?

         Well guys, I recently learned that 16 Benson Street, Albany, an apartment owned by a man named Wayne Whitney who does not like being called a slum lord and where I lived, much to my shame, discomfort, and horror, is now up rent again. Apparently someone did live there. Apparently they felt the same way I did and then moved out.

           Alas! Now I’ve called Wayne Whitney such names as “idiot” and “lying dipshit” and “incompetent” here before, and part of it is that if he were to actually fix his apartments and treat people honestly and fairly he might be able to keep tenants longer and make more money. It would be win-win for everyone. Alas! Much of Wayne Whitney’s thinking is done by his limbic region, the so-called “lizard brain,” and therefore complex concepts like planning for the long term are difficult for him, it seems.

           I read the ad and on one hand, while I was not surprised to learn that he had failed to keep another tenant, I was puzzled by the fact that it was advertised as “wheel chair accessible.” When I lived there, it absolutely was not, and I have no idea why or how anyone would get a wheel chair down an alley with uneven stones, up a flight of porch stairs, through a locked door that, if I remember correctly is too high for a person in a wheel chair to reach, and then up an entire flight of very narrow, winding stairs that lack a platform where a person in a wheelchair, should that person somehow drive a highly motorized wheelchair up a 45 degree stair case, could level off, sit upright, pull their keys from their pockets and put them in the door lock.

           Perhaps he expects the wheelchair bound future tenants to be so highly motorized that they can speed up all these narrow winding stairs and do it at such high speed that they will be able to crash through the door when they reach the apartment? It is a rather cheap and flimsy door after all, and, as mentioned in a previous blog post, it did fall off once because one had incorrectly installed it.
Or perhaps Wayne did something incompetent once again and pushed the wrong button on the form when running his ad on Craig’s list?

           Or maybe he’s just lying? I’m not sure what gain he expects to get from this lie. It would seem only designed to cause people in wheelchairs who seek an apartment to waste their time before contacting him to (hopefully) get an honest answer that the apartment is not wheel chair accessible?

           Regardless, let’s look at the photos Wayne is running with his ad.


So let’s look at the first four photos from the Craig List ad.


Ha! Ha! Guess what. That’s one of the areas where I did a lot of work and was quite proud of it. When I moved in the door frame you see still had the old hinge left in place with no attempt to improve the frame, the far door that you see had a hole in it, and the wall on the left side still had a lot of holes in it and nail studs and just general ugliness to it. You can see the photos of what it used to look like in early blog posts in this fine series. So . . . 


But alas, short term greed, lack of capital, and just plain stupidity got in the way of that plan, now didn’t it?

            Here’s a few more shots that Wayne is using to sell this ugly place to unsuspecting tenants.

            This one’s kind of interesting.

             We have a window, yet it is blocked by a door so one can’t see it. Why is that way?  Wouldn’t the apartment be more appealing if people were able to see the window and the sun shine in?

               I can only speculate, but if you see a previous post, Wayne Whitney's Wacky Weird Wall Wires you will note that when I lived there, there were some very strange and ugly looking wires on the other side of that unnecessarily opened door. Does anyone want to speculate as to whether or not they are still there?

Also note that the window shades are very high much higher than need be. Please see my previous post on Window Shades. ( )  I do not know if they’ve been repaired or not, but, well, looking at this picture you don’t know either, do you?  Care to bet?

               And to our right, you will see a fuzzy out of focus picture, a close up of a rug and a wall.

              One might speculate that the picture has been framed, perhaps even purposely unfocused to hide blemishes and stains. One has to admit, it is a rather strange picture, isn’t it?

            Another photo, this one shows the room where I spackled all the forgotten nail holes that had been there for years and then planned to paint, but alas, Wayne never delivered the paint he promised.

            BTW, if you rent this place, you may learn that this back porch area is on a different electrical system than the rest of the apartment. If one were to use electricity from the back porch area it would not show up on the bill for the rest of the apartment. Soon after I moved in, because of what I thought was poor communication on Wayne’s part about how to transfer the electricity from the previous tenant to me, the power in my apartment went out. It took me a few days to get it restored, a major inconvenience and I lost a lot of food too.

           But I did learn that the back porch was on a different bill. As at the time Wayne and I had just started our business relationship and I had no malice against him, I informed him of this problem. His response? He just laughed and said “Oh well, I guess someone else is paying for your electricity then,” and did nothing.

That’s the kind of guy Wayne is. What kind exactly? You figure it out, or ask him. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Review: Lameco Eskrima --The Legacy of Edgar Sulite

Lameco Eskrima –The Legacy of Edgar Sulite, by David E. Gould. $29.05, paperback, 274 pp., Tambuli Media, Spring House PA.

This book, Lameco Eskrima, is largely a biography of Edgar Sulite, a prominent Filipino martial arts practitioner and teacher. The first 169 pages of this book deals with his life, his martial arts training, the development of his own style, a style he called Lameco Eskrima, and the legacy he left, and the influence he had on his students.

The remaining pages, pages 171 to 267, describe different parts and aspects of this art. In other words, they show Filipino martial artists facing off and possible attacks and responses. 
Some time ago, Mark Wiley, Publisher of this and many other interesting books on Filipino Martial Arts and I had a discussion over what readers today wish in a Filipino martial arts book. Essentially what he told me is that readers today are not as interested in books on physical techniques as they were in the days before the internet, youtube, and widely available videos of practitioners in action demonstrating or teaching techniques. These days, he explained, readers wish to use books to learn the sort of information that is not easily learned from a video, for instance, the history of an art and its lineage as well as stories of the lives and background of its prominent teachers.

Although I’m not completely sure if I agree, this book will be of great interest to those who do wish a book of that type. It does, for instance, get into great depth on the story of the life and background of Edgar Sulite, a prominent martial artist, as told by his students.  
There is also a section from pages 107 to 170 where his students discuss what the art and Edgar Sulite meant to them. 

And for those who prefer a more traditional Filipino martial arts book, one that focuses on techniques and patterns of response, there is an extensive final section of well over 90 pages that offers the reader black and white photo sequences that teach these.

In conclusion, Lameco Eskrima –The Legacy of Edgar Sulite, is a good edition to what some see as the next generation of Filipino martial arts books, books that focus on the teachers and their lineage.  

Book Review: First Defense --Anxiety and Instinct for Self Protection

Hopkins, David. 2015.  First Defense –Anxiety and Instinct for Self Protection. 177 pages. YMAA Publication Center, Inc, Wolfeboro NH

This is an interesting book. The author, a psychologist and martial artist who has worked in personal protection, has written this book to fill the need for a book that discusses some of the links between psychology and self defense from human predators. While labelled as focusing on anxiety and “instinct” the book also discusses the value of empathy, or understanding a person’s needs, fears, and motivations, when facing them as an opponent or potential opponent in a dangerous, violent, or potentially violent confrontation.

Although, in my opinion, a bit padded in places, the results are interesting. I say “padded” because the author tells more stories than I would like and in more detail about dealing with stalkers and gangsters and other predatory or dangerous people who has dealt with, usually in a manner where they were controlled without actual hands-on, physical violence. Although some are informative I felt that others went on longer than necessary.

The book presents a step-by-step program to develop a person’s awareness and observation. There are twenty seven different exercises offered in the book to develop a person’s ability to accurately be aware of their environment and choose how to respond appropriately.

Chosen at random, a few of these exercises are as follows. The first, on page 14, is for a person to spend some time each day focusing on their sensory perceptions and record the results. Others build on this. The fourth, for instance, encourages the reader to do the same, but this time also record anxiety they experience while doing the exercise. On page 57, a random selection, the reader is encouraged to do the same exercise, but this time in a public place. Page 114, another random selection, the author shares a recommended way in which to make after-action observations following a violent or threatening incident. Moving ahead, and selecting another exercise at random, this one comes from a chapter on special considerations for women and children. It encourages an adult, the reader, to think of ways in which games and rituals can help them work through and process trauma and then how these games and rituals can be adapted for children to help them work through trauma. (As an aside, it is my understanding that one of the most effective ways children process trauma is through game playing.)

Such exercises should give the flavor of the book. As stated, it’s an interesting work and someone interested in developing their ability to be aware of both their surroundings to improve their self-protection ability and to process and handle the anxiety that often comes from thinking about and being exposed to violent situations should get a lot out of this book. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Adventures in Slum Living: Episode 12 --Who is Wayne Whitney??

Apartment Repair Fails: or My Idiot Landlord
Adventures in Slum Living Episode 10 --Who is Wayne Whitney? 

I've been neglecting my blog for a while as I focus on other things. It seems about time to finish up this silly series and move on to other things. But why write mean things about Wayne Whitney, a dishonest, incompetent dipshit who does not like being called "a slumlord" and denies the term? Why write such cruel things about a broken and useless human being? 

Well, the answer is simple. To protect others and make the world a better place. Long ago, I read that the Bhagvad Ghita, the Hindu holy books says "Once must learn to fight with a loving heart." (note: I have not actually been able to find this in the Bhagvad Ghita, therefore I have chosen by words carefully. I have heard it says this it might not.) Therefore, when I write these means things about this awful man, and should you wonder why, the answer is simple. I write them because, dear reader, I love you and wish you to have the best possible life and success in all things, and if there is one small way in which I can help you do that I will try to do so. And one small way in which I can show my love for you, and all of mankind, is by telling you Wayne Whitney is a dishonest dipshit, do not do business with him. Should you find yourself with the opportunity to do, well, run away. You can thank me later, and then, should you feel grateful for having spared yourself such trouble, pay it forward by giving money to a worthy charity and doing your part, in turn, to make this planet better for all who live here. 

Now should  you feel otherwise, be my guest. He does have apartements for rent, including the fine one I have shown pictures of such as this one at 16 Benson Street in Albany N.Y. If you are interested you may contact him at wish to rent the apartment, you may contact him at --that is "drsnoopy" DOT "2014" AT --and, yes, that really is the e-mail address he uses for professional communications. Now please only use this e-mail in a professional way. 

So who is Wayne Whitney? Here's how to spot him. 

He looks like this. 

The website says the following.

130.40-2 - Criminal sexual act in the third degree
Probation Information: N/AWayne Whitney

Wayne Whitney

Wayne Whitney
Who is Wayne Whitney? Was Wayne Whitney arrested? When was Wayne Whitney arrested? What was Wayne Whitney arrested for? Is this a mugshot of Wayne Whitney? Are there more Mugshots of Wayne Whitney? Are Mugshot laws constitutional? Who decides which Mugshots are Indexed? Is this the Wayne Whitney you know?

Wayne Whitney was booked in Albany County, NY.
All are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Published mugshots and/or arrest records are previously published public records of: an arrest, an indictment, a registration, the deprivation of liberty or a detention. The mugshots and/or arrest records published on are in NO way an indication of guilt and they are NOT evidence that an actual crime has been committed. For latest case status, contact the official law enforcement agency which originally released the information. Submission services for Content Licensing are not offered in all states; please see Content License Disclaimer via Unpublish Arrest.


Now, for those of you who are wondering, yes, Wayne Whitney is a sex offender. However, people who know me assure me he's not so much predatory, at least not in the sly, cunning manner of a tiger or fox, but more just greedy and stupid in the manner of a stray dog covered with fleas. A tiger stalks its prey and then seizes it when the moment is ripe. 

A stray, flea bitten dog, however, sees garbage and runs up and eats it without deliberation or thought. Wayne had the chance to have sex. Being stupid, he took it with little thought, and it turned out his partner was just a little bit under age. Or so it is alleged. Alas! A little bit under age is like a little bit pregnant, and now he's a sex offender with a mug shot and a criminal record. But please don't think he's worthy of respect just because he's a convicted criminal. 

He would prefer it that you neither consider him a criminal nor a slum lord. Just an ordinary, every day guy who is being monitored by the criminal justice system and who rents apartments that he refuses to repair because "they are fine the way they are."  

Does Wayne make money that way? Does Wayne have good self esteem? Does Wayne like to make visible displays of material success to whoever might see them?

Well here we have a photo of Wayne with a car that he owned.  What do you think? 

Wayne and a nice car. Wayne likes to be seen next to a nice car. Wayne thinks that if he poses next to a nice are he might appear like a successful business man. Wayne Whitney does not like to be called a slum lord. He just prefers to spend his money on cars instead of fixing his apartments. Please note the amazing photo shop job that someone, probably Wayne himself, did to conceal the license plate on this car. Apparently Wayne has equal in skill in both interior painting and using photo shop.  

Here's a couple more photos of cars that Wayne Whitney has displayed on line to impress his friends and try to get dates. Wayne's not too bright. (Did I mention that?) Notice how you can see the license plates on this one if you wish. 

Good byeWayne Whitney. Dishonest dipshot bully who does not like being called "a slumlord" --good bye! Good bye!

(I expect this shall be my second to last Wayne Whitney post, but, well, you never know what he's going to do next so you never know what's going to happen here either.)