Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Photo: Snowman Tree

I saw this artificial tree at Walmart. I thought it was cute that not only it is a white "snowy" tree but the top is a Snowman. 

Things I Like: Margaery Tyrell (Game of Thrones)

One of my favorite characters on Game of Thrones was Margaery Tyrell. Being the daughter of the one of the most powerful lords in Westeros, she gets married to King Renly Bartheon after he declares Cersei's children bastards and ignores that the fact that Stannis has more right to the Iron Throne. She would have been Queen then if Renly didn't play games and got assassinated by a weird shadow ghost.

Fact of the Day: Habsburg Castle

One of Europe's most powerful royal families in history (now extinct), the House of Habsburg had obtained its name from Habsburg Castle which is located in Switzerland and built for Count Radbot. His grandson Otto II adopted the name more formally for the family. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Photo: McDonald's Lunch Break With Daisy

My wife's parents live right next to my work. Her mom was off on the same day I was working, so Daisy spent the day over there. So I picked her up and we went to McDonalds, since that day my work began at 5:30 am, it was still breakfast by the time I had to eat. Daisy loves their big breakfast meal. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017 Film) Review

 While Marvel had done really well with most of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was curious to see if Guardians of the Galaxy would do well with fans considering that most normal people never read those comics in comparison to Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, etc. But luckily the movie was pretty good (though I did think people over-rated it) and fans loved it so it did amazing at the box office. Fast-forward now a few years, and we have the first sequel. I originally wanted to see it in theaters, but like the original I ended up waiting for the movie to come out on Blu-Ray. Was it better or worse than the original? 

Fact of the Day: Victorian Baby Shower

In Victorian England, it wasn't very common for mothers to have a traditional baby shower. In truth, most pregnancies were kept secret for as long as possible, even if the mother was married to the father of the baby. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Photo: Great Clips Haircut for Daisy

Daisy gets her haircut about twice a year. She seems to be a fan of the Great Clips hair salons. She wanted to go by the one near the local mall, but there's one next to the house that I assumed that would be slower and with a lot less people and it was. We didn't even have to wait. 

Favorite Quotes: Enemy Prayers

"America prays for God to destroy our enemies. Our enemies pray for God to destroy us. Somebody’s gonna be disappointed! Somebody’s wasting their time! Could it be… everyone?"

-George Carlin 

George Carlin truly knew what was the truth about things people did. Praying for war is like praying for football games, if both sides believe in God, who wins? The ones who pray the most? Like the Crusades, it seemed God didn't have a favorite as the next victory was passed around like a hot potato between opposing sides. You can't show me one country on Earth that has been 100% victorious in war. In the Vietnam War, the communists (who were mostly atheist or at least non-Christian) won that war. Where was God then for the Christians that fought there?  

Fact of the Day: Machu Picchu

While Spain had essentially forced their culture, religion, and language on most of Mexico, Latin America and South America and stole their lands and wealth, they had failed to find Machu Picchu. As a result the world didn't know it existed until 1911. Luckily, the Spanish didn't find it as they would often plunder and destroy sites like that. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Photo: Chinese Food at the Mall

This was one of our outings at the mall food court. Daisy had China Star which is typical Chinese food. She preferred the Japanese place Sarku Japan but they closed down once H&M ate up their space with their huge place. 

Story: Legend of Zelda Fibbing

Back in the late 2000's, I listened to a lot of podcasts about video games. My demand for it was so massive at the time that I had to look and look for good podcasts to find. One of the podcasts was done by some fans in their free-time and not a major magazine or site. I remember they had a three person cast and during the intro they would often play the claim that one of the guys had beaten the original Legend of Zelda on NES before he could walk. For those unfamiliar, the original Zelda was a huge adventure that was difficult not only from defeating enemies but doing puzzles and finding secrets. One dungeon (which you have to complete to end the game) in Zelda 1 is hidden under a tree/bush out of probably thousands of them.

Fact of the Day: Safer Chicago

While Chicago is often pointed out for its high rate of homicides, it actually ranks safer on a per capita basis than many other U.S. cities such as Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama. The most dangerous cities in America are usually always (varies slightly by year) St. Louis, Missouri, Detroit, Michigan and New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Back From Inventory at Work

 I always hate doing inventory, the thought of it sends chills down my spine. It's like you lose a few days of your life to it and you don't have time for not much else. It's five day event at my work, though if we do well we get it done in four. First day was prep, then the next was pure counting. The next two was mostly finding out the differences between what we counted and what the computer said we had.

Photos: Deck Stain at In-Laws House

 Back in early September, Daisy's parents were getting finished with their enclosed outdoor deck. Since most of the wood was brand new, it was time to stain the wooden boards. I work nearby so I sometimes drop Daisy off if both her and her mother have the same off-days. So we just happened to see them doing it that day.

Things I Hate: The Waif (Game of Thrones)

The Waif is a character that was well-written but I don't think many liked her in the story. She works for the Faceless Men and doesn't like Arya Stark at all.

Fact of the Day: Tyrant Over the Congo

King Leopold II was King of Belgium but his most infamous moves where actually in the Congo than his own country. He eventually gained control of the African country and established the Congo Free State by telling other European powers it was to help improve the lives of the people living there. Nothing was further from the truth as millions died under his thumb, many were also put under forced-labor so he could profit off Congo's resources. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Photo: Conan Vs. Jay Leno

We took this photo a good number of years back. I was wearing the Conan O'Brien mask while my brother Zach had on Jay Leno's mask. This was the same time during the fallout of The Tonight Show where Leno stole the spot of being the host again. I still hated how it happened to Conan, though he did successfully bounce back at TBS. 

Splatoon 2 (Nintendo Switch) Impressions

 The original Splatoon came out for WiiU, and I missed it. I feel a little guilty getting the sequel as my first in the series, but since I no longer have a WiiU, it doesn't matter. I played a tiny bit of a demo on the WiiU at Target once, and I never quite got why it was popular. Mainly because that stage was to show off the controls, not the real core of the game.

Fact of the Day: Miyuki Ishikawa

Miyuki Ishikawa was a Japanese midwife who was found to have murdered newborns to poor parents by neglect as what she "reasoned" as an "act of mercy". Nobody knows the exact number, but it's believed she had at least killed 103 newborns. Despite the serious crimes she committed, she only got a four-year prison sentence. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Photos: Spirit Halloween Bridge

I always like going to the Halloween shoppes and my wife Daisy saw this prop bridge and dared me to cross it. 

Story: No Produce Bags

For most of my supermarket career, I worked for a chain that was rather high-end. Which was good for me, as that filters out a lot of weirdos who would rather be at Wal-Mart. So much of the clientele were nice, respectful, and polite. There weren't many people I remember being that bad, but like anything in retail you eventually find the unreasonable folks.

Fact of the Day: Elisabeth of Valois

Elisabeth of Valois was the daughter of King Henry II of France. She was married to King Phillip II of Spain which brought much needed peace to both nations. Despite a considerable age difference, both the King and his new Queen were quite fond of each other. However she had trouble giving birth to children, and died after a miscarriage. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Photo: Pelican Snoballs Again

 This is the 2nd time we visited Pelican Snoball's on Spartanburg's west-side. I had a craving for shaved ice that day. Daisy chose the coffee flavor as she likes coffee and regular coffee ice-cream.

Things I Hate: Obadiah Stane (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

Obadiah Stane was the secret villain in the original Iron Man movie back in 2008. While he was played by one of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges, I never liked the character much.  The MCU version of Stane is actually quite different from the comics version. Like he was never really friends with Tony or his dad Howard Stark in the comics.

Fact of the Day: Al Gore Awards

While he may have lost the biggest contest of being President of the United States, Al Gore has won many famous awards. He has earned a Nobel Peace Prize, a Grammy Award (Best Spoken Word Album), a Primetime Emmy, and he was the subject of the film An Inconvenient Truth which won two Oscar awards. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Photo: Haywood Mall Chick-fil-a Salad

I think Daisy used her calendar freebie which I think was a fries and drink for September. Her main meal was a salad. We ate there not long after Daisy's birthday. Hurricane Irma kept us mostly indoors, so when the storm cleared Daisy wanted to go to the better mall to the city more west of us for her birthday. 

I'll Be Gone Until Friday

At my work, I was once again put on the inventory team which happens once a year. It's set to be Monday through Friday where we arrive at 5:30 am and leave until...whenever but it's usually more than nine hours a day. So since I can't say if I will have the time to visit any of you, consider me gone. We may be done by Thursday if things go right, but we will see. But as always, Neko Random doesn't stop so you'll still see new things here while I'm away.  

Fact of the Day: Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Dr. Andrew Wakefield was a British doctor who in 1998 famously tried to link the rise of autism with the use of vaccines without evidence to prove so. The United Kingdom revoked his license for fraud in his role to lie about the effects of vaccines and their relationship with autism.      

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Photos: Painting Our Master Bedroom Bayberry Blue

 When we got our house last year, I was never in-love with the color they picked out in our master bedroom. Working in the paint industry, I saw them have Valspar Quikhide in the garage when we toured the house and that's very cheap paint as Valspar made it to appeal for really cheap contractors. Even if the color covers, cheap paint doesn't hold up very well. I have a little color zapper that connects to my smartphone and I'm pretty sure they painted it New Penny (3001-8B) by Valspar. It's beige with a bit of peach in it. Was not a fan of it but I did tolerate it for over a year.

Sing (2016 Film) Review

Sing is a movie I rather ignored last year. I'm not quite sure why, but it's actually made by Illumination Entertainment which made the Minion movies, Hop, The Lorax, and The Secret Life of Pets. Sing got pretty good praise from critics, but it was a tough competition for animated movies as it didn't even get nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Picture. That being said, I was looking forward to it after we had saw The Secret Life of Pets as the movie poster for Sing actually appears as a cameo in The Secret Life of Pets movie. But I was a little dubious myself, as both Sing and The Secret Life of Pets came out in the same year, and that's usually spells trouble when it comes to animated movies. 

Fact of the Day: King Parliament

While his father King John faced hostility which emerged with the creation of the Magna Carta against his will, King Henry III faced a civil war which forced him to see the creation of English Parliament which further weakened the power of the king and established a very basic foundation of democracy. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Photo: Daisy's Birthday Lunch

Daisy had her birthday lunch at her favorite restaurant Longhorn Steakhouse. It was the same day Hurricane Irma's weather "lightly" hit our side of South Carolina. Even though it was just the edge of the storm, it was a lot of rain and heavy winds. We decided to go as early as possible as the winds and rain got more severe in the afternoon. She had a 8 ounce renegade sirloin steak, wild west shrimp, and a strawberry shortcake dessert as a birthday freebie from Longhorn Steakhouse. 

Story: Silk Silk Silk Riddle

When I worked produce for a supermarket, I once asked this cashier a riddle of sorts. It's not really a riddle in the traditional sense but I love it anyways. You first get a person to say "Silk silk silk" multiple times. Then you ask them "what does a cow drink?" and they'll most likely say "milk" as your mind just wants to scream it out after saying silk. Well the real answer is obviously "water" but you get most people than not.

Fact of the Day: Old Dice

Dice games have existed for a long time and nobody is quite sure when they originated. The earliest known dice games came from present-day Iran almost five-thousand years ago. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Photo: Daisy's Birthday Starbucks

Daisy got a freebie coffee at Starbucks for her birthday. She was gleeful about it. 

Happy Feet Two (2011 Film) Review

 Happy Feet is a movie Daisy suggested but it was one film that I had avoided for years. We saw the original about a year ago I was pretty unimpressed. But something inside me still wants to see sequels to movies no matter how bad (well maybe not that horrible) and Daisy had rented the movie in our queue. Now the funny thing is that Happy Feet won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and I didn't like it at all. Critics were saying this one was worse, but could it really be worse than I expected or about the same as the original? 
 The story starts with Mumble's new son Erik. Like his father, Erik just doesn't quite fit in. While Mumble has gotten the rest of the Emperor penguins dancing, little Erik just doesn't do much with his little feet.  His father tries to encourage him to practice dancing, but Erik's peers start to laugh at him. Which causes the cute baby penguin to run away and cry. Erik's two friends Bodicea and Atticus convince him to follow the Adelie penguin Ramon back to the land of his penguin-brothers as Ramon does not really belong with the Emperor penguins anyways. Erik's father Mumble has to follow their trail to find his son. 
 The Adelie penguins have a god-like new ruler named Sven. The other penguins are amazed by Sven as he's the only penguin who can fly. However Sven is not really a penguin, he's a puffin bird. Mumble eventually finds Erik with Sven, and the faux-penguin god sides with Mumble when Erik refuses to go back home. However it will be the journey back that will change the life of all the penguins (and several other arctic animals) forever. Will everyone make it safely back home, or will their be tragedy on the way? 
Overall I thought Happy Feet 2 was just a bit worse than its dull predecessor. That being said, I actually have a soft-heart for Sven, as puffins are my favorite birds and I liked his character. But like the original Happy Feet, the sequel relies too much on cute penguins and music than an amazing story. Critics finally got wise and a lot did not like it, and it flopped at the box office causing one of the studios that helped create it to close their doors for good. We actually watched this the other night after I got home from work, and this movie didn't help keep me awake. It's not horrendous, but lets just say that I hope no idiot manages to make Happy Feet Three. 

Score: C-  

Fact of the Day: Diane de Poitiers

Diane de Poitiers was a French noblewoman who became the mistress of King Henry II of France. She was about twenty years his senior, but still remained a royal favorite and was considered the most powerful woman in France during Henry II's reign. When Henry II was mortally wounded in a joust, Queen Catherine de Medici assumed full control and Diane's power ceased from there. She was not allowed to see the king on his deathbed nor was she invited to the funeral. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Photo: Bingo on Daisy's Birthday

The county library had bingo day on Daisy's birthday. Hurricane Irma made the weather rather...fun but bearable. The crowd was about the half the size it normally is. We still both lost...

Things I Like: SinkShroom

 My master bathroom doesn't have a guard in the sink. My wife Daisy dropped a toothbrush and at least one toothpaste cap down there since we got our house. I got the toothbrush out, but it was a pain. I tried getting a sink guard installed but I couldn't figure it out myself. Then I found one of these which were more difficult to find than I imagined. But I knew someone had to make a guard that you didn't have to take apart plumping pipes to use.

Fact of the Day: O.J. Simpson

While former football player and convicted criminal O.J. Simpson is quite famous, many don't know what the initials in his name stands for. His first name is Orenthal and his middle name is James. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Photo: Daisy's 31st Birthday Cake

This is Daisy holding her cheesecake for her birthday back in September. I prefer real cake for my birthdays but this was Daisy's choice, of course. She actually had to blow out the candles the day after as Hurricane Irma-derived wind and rains knocked our power out and I couldn't open the refrigerator without letting the cold air escape and potentially spoiling all of our food in there. 

Favorite Quotes: Truth Reaction

"The first reaction to truth is hatred." 

-Tertullian 

I like this quote as it appeals to me when I think of my religious and political beliefs and the backlash throughout time against them. But then again, the quote is also semi-false as people can hate falsehoods as well. While one can argue that political viewpoints can be part-wrong and part-right, there's not many religions that offer co-existence like having a heaven with the Abrahamic god, Zeus, and Thor together. So if Religion A, Religion B, and Religion C hates the other two religions, even if one of them is right, they're all hating falsehoods as well. 

Fact of the Day: Stone of Scone

The Stone of Scone is a block of red sandstone used in the coronation of Scottish monarchs. King Edward I of England took it as a spoil of war and used it to claim his right as "Lord Paramount" of Scotland which was a claim that he was rightfully above Scotland's king. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Photos: NC State Zoo and Sea Life Fridge Magnets

 I started a new hobby back when I went on vacation in Atlanta of collecting magnets of places I've been to. So I added The North Carolina State Zoo and Sea Life Aquarium to the collection. Most places have various magnets, I just had to get a polar bear one (this one having styrofoam snow) and Sea Life had this one with a clownfish on top of gel-water.

Things I Like: Hodor (Game of Thrones)

 For the first few seasons, we just don't realize how much we really cared for Hodor. Granted he doesn't do much besides carry Bran around, say Hodor, and gets hurt by people much smaller than him. Bran could warg into his body and makes him useful.

Fact of the Day: Phillip's Islands

The Philippines were named after King Phillip II of Spain. In Spanish the island is spelled and pronounced Filipinas as in Spanish the name Phillip is actually spelled and pronounced Felipe. Which is the reason why the name for the people of Philippines is spelled Filipinos instead of with a "Ph".   

Monday, October 2, 2017

Photos: Danny and the Bags

 My mother's cat Danny really likes bags. He tried to get in this collapsible cooler we had set up for our vacation trip.