Friday, March 31, 2017

Photo: Looking For Dress Pants

During the move to our new house, I don't know where any of my dress pants went. I don't wear them often (my work lets me wear blue jeans and a t-shirt) so it might of been too old anyway. I needed some for my grandfather's funeral. I wear a 30 x 32 in mens, and I couldn't find that size anywhere. My wife Daisy got stubborn and said "it's got to be here" and tried looking too. 

Favorite Quotes: Obama and Republicans

“If he [Obama] was for it, we had to be against it."

-George Voinovich 

I'm still proud to say I voted for Barack Obama back in 2008 and 2012. Living in one of the most conservative counties in America (ugh), the kinfolk did not take kindly to our nation's first black president. I even saw bumper stickers that said "NOBAMA, and it's not because he's black" on a few cars.

 Former Republican Senator George Voinovich let out this quote about secret meetings between Republicans in congress during the Obama years. They were against anything Obama supported and it was rather obvious. Liberals often joked that Obama should had come out in favor of oxygen. So to the "we're not racist" conservatives, yes it was because he was black. Republicans worked with Clinton, not so much for the next Democrat. For as bad as Donald Trump is, Democrats didn't block the majority of his appointments and even controversial ones like Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos were confirmed anyway. 

Fact of the Day: Werner Goldberg

During the early days of World War II, Germany used the picture of Werner Goldberg in propaganda as a picture for the "ideal German soldier". Ironically Goldberg was half-Jewish and was expelled from the military after Hitler issued an order ridding any soldier of any considerable amount of Jewish ancestry. Being half-Jewish wasn't exactly a death sentence during the Holocaust so Goldberg survived and died as an old man in 2004. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

My Favorite Photos: Young Grandfather

At the funeral, this was one of the photos of my grandfather, this one being one when he was a young man. He looks a lot like my brother Steven did in his youth. Ironically though, as they got into their 30's and past that they looked a good bit different. 

Question: Do You Like Pineapple Pizza?

For some reason I keep hearing people complain about pineapple toppings on pizza like I remember people going "eww..." on anchovies on pizza. I actually never had it, even though I do like fresh pineapple. I don't like canned or dried pineapple, so I never cared to order pineapple on pizza. Next time I'm at a pizza buffet I think I'll request it so I can try it. I certainly don't want to ruin a personal order though. I doubt you can easily get rid of them like you can pepperoni. 

Do you like pineapple toppings on pizza? 

Fact of the Day: Snape Actors

While most fans of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books adored Alan Rickman as Severus Snape in the movie version, he was not the first choice for the role. It was offered to Tim Roth, who declined the role to play the villainous General Thade in 2001's Planet of the Apes movie. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My Favorite Photos: Wave of Easter Candy

My wife Daisy loves candy, and she sure goes crazy when it comes to picking out candy during the holiday time. While we only get maybe one or two things for Easter, but I do like seeing everything they got. 

Things I Like: Robert Baratheon (Game of Thrones)

 Robert Baratheon is the sitting king at the start of the Game of Thrones series. The story was based on the real life War of the Roses, Robert Baratheon is obviously heavily based on King Edward IV of England. Robert's Rebellion at first seems a little odd that the Iron Throne did not go to House Stark since the war was sparked by the murder of Rickard Stark and his eldest son Brandon Stark. However in the books, Robert is the grandson of Princess Rhaelle Targaryen (who married Ormund Baratheon) and she was the daughter of King Aegon V. This makes Robert 2nd cousins to Rhaegar and Daenerys, and gave him more "right" to the throne than House Stark which had no blood of the dragon.

Fact of the Day: Zodiac Slip

Arguably the most infamous American serial killer, The Zodiac Killer was never caught but he almost was. While the Zodiac typically targeted couples in remote locations, the Zodiac shot a man named Paul Stine during a cab-ride. Three witnesses reported seeing a white male to the police, but a dispatcher claimed the suspect was black. Police had talked to a man but let him go since he was white. The Zodiac claimed he was behind the crime with proof of Stine's shirt and claimed he had talked to police officer who foolishly let him go shortly after the murder. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Photo: Pall-bearing Grandfather's Casket

My aunt Kelli is my mother's half-sister from my grandfather's 2nd (and final) marriage. Due to some pretty crazy family history between my grandparents and my step-grandmother Joyce, our side of the family became the "lesser" family especially as the branches of the family tree grew. It didn't really hit me as a child, I loved seeing my grandfather...which only happened once or twice a year at best. But it was strange, it was only until a few years ago that I even "knew" my aunts Kelli and Melissa than more than just names but their children are practically strangers to me. I sat down next to a big picture of many family members in the visitation for a few moments to rest and friends of the family asked me who I was. I said I was a grandson and they asked "are you in this picture?" and I sadly had to tell them "no". 

I could feel much different about this if I lived several hundred miles away but they lived ridiculously close to us for such a thing to happen. Grandpa never went to a birthday party, or a wedding that I can recall. The last time my grandparents were in the same place was about 20 years ago when my older cousin was killed in a car wreck so they both were at the funeral.  My aunt Kelli asked me to be a pall-bearer which actually meant more to me as I realized I was the only brother picked, and the only grandson. I was sadly never a very important part of my grandfather's life, but I was glad I could do this at least. It was my first time doing so, and it was about as I imagined. Since six people lift the thing at once, the "heavy" weight is not a burden.  

American History X (1998 Film) Review

 American History X is a movie that came out when I was just ten years old, so I certainly wasn't a member of the target demographic back then. I later saw some of the works of Edward Norton, and he is a very powerful and talented actor. This is one of his earliest roles, and his performance here nominated him for an Oscar for Best Actor. The movie also stars Edward Furlong who most people remember as the young John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Not long after this movie, his career took a nosedive due to his substance abuse. Except for Edward Norton's performance, the rest of the movie had no other Oscar nominations, though the movie was generally liked by critics. Has the movie held up after almost twenty years?

Fact of the Day: North Korean Hamburgers

While propaganda by nature twists truths and promote falsehoods, North Korean propaganda has come up with some wacky stuff. One of them was that North Korean dictator  Kim Jong-il invented a sandwich that is pretty much what everyone calls a hamburger. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Photo: Grandfather's Funeral Visitation

My grandfather's funeral was this previous Saturday and it wasn't nearly as "sad" as I had imagined. My aunt Kelli took this picture. People were told to wear blue in honor of his favorite color (my brother Zach dumbly wore pink), and there were a lot of reunions and funny stories told. That's how I would like my funeral to be when the day comes as I would like it to be happier.

I was a little annoyed by the sermon which was done by my grandfather's cousin-in-law Wilton. My grandfather along with the most of the family is Protestant-Christian, so I was expecting the religious music, bible quotes, and whatnot. But Wilton turned the sermon less about my grandfather's life and rather into a long quasi-infomercial to proselytize any weak or "non-believers" into becoming loud and proud "God fearing" Christians. That's one thing I can never truly support literal Christianity over and that's the concept of hell. If my grandfather truly loved me, would it be heaven for him if I were in hell? 

Question: Could Joe Biden Had Defeated Trump in 2016?

With the two most unpopular candidates maybe ever, the 2016 Presidential Election produced a "winner" who got millions of votes less than the other candidate. Joe Biden recently said if he had ran (and gotten the nomination) he would have defeated Donald Trump in the general election. I would say that would most likely be true. Hillary Clinton has been demonized since the 1990's, so it didn't matter what was true, public opinion had turned against her for at least 40 something percent of the country. Joe Biden would have never had the power and energy of the Obama 2008 campaign, but Hillary Clinton was probably the only candidate Trump could have lost to. The irony is that the DNC worked against Bernie Sanders because they thought he wasn't "electable". If it wasn't for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bernie Sanders would be president. 

Could Joe Biden have won? 

Fact of the Day: Cat President

Cartoonist Jim Davis named his famous Garfield character after his grandfather James Garfield Davis. His grandfather however was named after U.S. President James Garfield. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Favorite Photos: Pink Pokemon Shirt

On a recent stop to JCPenney my wife found this pink Pokemon shirt for her. It was on clearance so I suppose it was made for the craze of Pokemon Go on mobile phones last year. While Pokemon as a video game series has survived after people thought it would end up being a "fad", Pokemon Go sure did turn out to be a fad. But to be honest, almost all smartphone games are fads since touch screen controls only work for a limited number of games, and mobile developers find ways to ruin game-play. I never played Pokemon Go but it seems they made some pokemon almost impossible to find which would be only a matter of time before people got tired of that. 

Nerve (2016 Film) Review

 Last year I had no idea Nerve even existed. I came across it last month and saw the cover. It really reminded me of Tron with the special lights and the concept of the movie being about a game. The game isn't really Tron-ish but really social media meets truth or dare with lighting at times that reminds me of laser tag. I remember seeing Emma Roberts (daughter of Eric Roberts and niece of Julia Roberts) in 2007's Nancy Drew, and it is a little strange to see her still playing a teenager almost ten years later. The movie also stars Dave Franco who is the younger brother of the much more famous James Franco. The movie Nerve is based on a 2012 novel of the same name by author Jeanne Ryan.

Fact of the Day: Golden Raspberries

While most award shows give out awards for the best in the industry, the Golden Raspberry Awards (started in 1981) gives out awards to the worst in the industry. While most actors would see it as an insult, some actors have arrived in person to pick up their awards with notables such as Bill Cosby, Tom Green, Halle Berry, and a few others. Sandra Bullock picked up hers for her work in All About Steve. The next night she won the Oscar for her work in The Blind Slide. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Random Photo: H&M Clothing

A few places in the mall closed down and they were absorbed into H&M which is a Swedish-owned clothing place that stands for Hennes & Mauritz. With traditional mall outlets like Sears, JCPenney, and Macy's in trouble, it is a rather bold move for them move in since I've never head of them before. They are a very international clothing place, but I wasn't very impressed. Like Old Navy I think H&M appeals more to women. It has a men's section, but nothing that jumps out at me. 

Question: Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Every now and then someone will bring up the fact that Muslims worship the God of the Bible and really right-wing Christians (like the moronic Franklin Graham) will say that no they don't worship the same god. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all fall under the umbrella of the Abrahamic religions which refer to Abraham who is religiously considered the forefather of both Jews and Arabs through two different children. However Adam and Eve, Noah, and Jesus are in Islam's Quran. The Quran is basically an Arabic twist on The Bible plus the stuff about Mohammed. The only unique thing in Christianity is the Holy Trinity which is pretty dumb and not very monotheistic to me. It's really hard to deny the similarities, but then again religion often gives logic the silent treatment.

Do they worship the same god?    

Fact of the Day: End of Smallpox

By the late 1960's, smallpox was no longer a concern for those who lived in first world countries. However in 3rd world countries, smallpox still took countless lives. Thanks to Dr. Donald Henderson leading a ten-year international effort, by 1979 nobody in the world had died from smallpox. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

My Favorite Photos: Mall Lunch Again

We usually end up here every month and we do. Daisy had Chick-fil-A again. She has one of their calendars which entitles her to something free which I think was a soda this time. 

Things I Like: South Park (Season 1)

Now in who knows what season today, South Park made a big splash in popular culture in the semi-late 1990's. While on first look, South Park seems like a kid-friendly show, it's anything from it. My wife I started watching it again, and the adventures of Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman are some of the craziest things. And while the boys are in elementary school, they talk like sailors.

Fact of the Day: Filibuster Racism

The longest single-person filibuster in the U.S. Senate was from Strom Thurmond who represented South Carolina. His lasted twenty four hours and eighteen minutes. However Thurmond's intentions were not good, as he was one of the most notable racists in 20th century American politics. He was trying to block the Civil Rights Bill of 1957 from being passed. Fortunately he failed and the bill was signed by President Eisenhower. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Favorite Photos: Little Iz and Grandma Smiles

This is my niece Little Iz and my mother not terribly long ago. Ol' Grandma only lives a few miles away, so they are good buddies. Little Iz's other grandma lives in Florida (and not a "respectable" person from what I hear) and I'm not sure if they've even met yet. Rather sad when we have relatives who are practically strangers. 

Story: Donnie's Ignorance

The other week was still part of winter even though it is now actually spring. There was no snow, or even frost on my car that morning, but the winds were killer. I only had one jacket and no gloves by the time I got to work and it wasn't bad in the car at all. But the cold bitter winds could just get right under your skin. It was before we opened and usually you open up the first glass door and the 2nd one is locked. Well when I went to open up the first glass door, it was locked shut. This had never happened but it did on one of the worst days for it.

Fact of the Day: Thomas Baker

During the Battle of Saipan, Thomas Baker was wounded and refused to be evacuated to give his comrades a better chance of retreating. They put him next to a tree with a pistol that had only eight rounds. When American forces retook the position, they found him dead. However around him were the bodies of eight Japanese soldiers. His was posthumously given the Medal of Honor. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Grandfather Terry Passed Away Today

Pushing a little close to eighty my maternal grandfather had been sick for quite some time. My mother told me he had less than a week left the other day and she was right. He had four daughters, quite a few grandchildren, and even more great-grandchildren. I'm not as upset as I could have been, we weren't as close as I would have liked. My mother was from his first marriage, and his 2nd wife prevented him from showing up to events that would have my grandmother there. My paternal grandfather Blair was much older than Terry, so he died about a decade before I was born. Nevertheless he was still my grandfather, and now I have none living. 

Gangs of New York (2002 Film) Review

I think the first time I've heard of Gangs of New York was some time last year. Back in 2002, I was just fourteen years old and this movie was certainly not on the radar. The only person I knew of in it back then that I liked was Cameron Diaz. I came to respect Leonardo DiCaprio more as I grew up. I didn't know who he was for a long time, but Daniel-Day Lewis is an amazing actor. Unlike Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel-Day Lewis can go years without being in a movie. I do respect that he'd rather be in something he believes in that have his reputation tainted by acting in a dud of a movie. The movie was directed by Martin Scorsese who like Daniel-Day Lewis focus more on quality of films than quantity of films. The film went on to be nominated for quite a few Oscars, but brought home no wins even for Daniel-Day Lewis. The movie is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Herbert Asbury.

Fact of the Day: American Injustice

While crime is down in recent decades in America, the United States leads the world in incarceration rates. About 700 individuals per 100k people are behind bars in America, which is much higher than even countries like China and Russia. Japan is one of the lowest with about 50 folks per 100k people in prison.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My Favorite Photos: Danny Sleeping

My mother's cat Danny is very people-friendly and he often wants to sleep next to my mother from what I hear. He also tries to take over the best blanket apparently from what she says. 

Question: Foreign World Leader You Admire?

During the 2016 Presidential Election, Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson stumbled on a question when he was asked on which world leader he admired most. Granted that can be difficult as differences in languages and culture can make us feel separated from truly knowing other world leaders. But mine is Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I've taken notice to him since he became Prime Minister, and he's a really awesome guy as he seems to have all Canadian's interests at heart, and is a champion for embracing Canada's diversity in gender, religion, and race. It's a shame Justin Trudeau isn't American, someone so young, handsome, and sane would have won in a huge landslide against America's biggest electoral mistake last year. It's a shame we can't trade with Canada on that one. 

What world leader do you admire? 

Fact of the Day: Electoral Votes Shift

The American President is officially voted in by the electoral college which are made up of individual electors who almost always vote the same way their state's population did in the election. However there have been a few examples of "faithless electors" who vote for the other major candidate or someone else. The 2016 Presidential election had two major party nominees who were very unpopular. Not surprisingly, many faithless electors decided to vote against them. Donald Trump lost two electoral votes both from Texas where one went to Ron Paul and another vote went to John Kaisch. Hillary Clinton lost more than Trump. In Washington state she lost 3 votes that went for Colin Powell, and 1 vote to Native American activist Faith Spotted Eagle. In Hawaii she lost one vote to Bernie Sanders. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Things I Like: Sprite Cherry

Sprite Cherry is a rather new variation of the lemon-lime soda Sprite. I do like Sprite but it was my wife who wanted this. While I do like the new Sprite Cherry, I actually prefer the original. Cherry flavor is better in Coca-Cola. 

Gods of Egypt (2016 Film) Review

 Gods of Egypt is a movie I only knew about for one reason, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who is better known to American audiences as Jaime Lannister the Kingslayer in HBO's Game of Thrones TV series. The only other cast-member I recognized was Geoffrey Rush who plays the almighty god Ra.  To be honest, I didn't think Gods of Egypt would be a good movie since it looked like a mess, and critical opinion seemed to confirm that. Reviews were so awful that the director Alex Proyas called critics "diseased vultures pecking at the bones of a dying carcass". However I was still a little curious and wanted to see it regardless. Could Gods of Egypt be as bad as they say or were critics actually too harsh on this one?

Fact of the Day: Bitter Water

While the majority of people in the pro-life movement in America are Christians and cite their faith as the main reason of their opposition to abortion, The Bible itself never had a pure track record for being pro-life for the unborn. In the Book of Numbers, there is a trial called the ordeal of the bitter water. In the story, basically any wife that is questioned of being unfaithful drinks the water of bitterness. If said wife is guilty, the water causes her pregnancy to end. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Favorite Photos: Chicken Nuggets Burger King

I took Daisy to Burger King the other day, we hadn't been for awhile. She had some chicken nuggets and fries. One thing that irks me about Burger King is the sorry state of their workers. Lady at the counter didn't seemed eager to get our order, and screwed it up where I was slightly over-charged. Burger King (and McDonalds actually) have been scratching their heads as they wonder why people are going to other restaurants. While more competition and healthier/better alternatives are such a cause, one of the other reasons is service. While I disagree with the politics of Chick-fil-A's founding family, it's hard to deny that no matter which one you go to their customer service is elite. Someone pointed out that they treat you better than your own family. You ever had that at Burger King? Probably not. 

Favorite Quotes: Separation of Church and State

"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. Where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote. Where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him."

-John F. Kennedy

JFK may have been a imperfect person, but he there was a reason why he was a very respected president. Anybody with common sense can read human history in the European Middle Ages or a post-pagan Middle East and know for sure that religion and government do not mix well. The separation should be absolute. It pains me to see religious extremists impact laws and try to shove dogma into schools. That's not what America was based on. 

Fact of the Day: Brain Power

An urban legend claims that we only use ten percent of our brains. This is untrue, you use mostly all of your brain function especially as different parts of the brain serve different roles. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

My Favorite Photos: Window Cat

When I was trying to find some paperwork at my mother's house, her cat Danny walked into her room as I was in there. He jumped right to the window and started his watch. He normally is shut off from the rest of the house except the hallway, living room, and kitchen. None have very easy windows even for agile cats. 

Judge Dredd (1995 Film) Review

Judge Dredd is a movie I had no idea existed in the 1990's but later heard about maybe a decade later. Never really thought about it much until they decided to "remake" the movie in 2012. Even though that was five years ago, I didn't really seem to be interested until I heard Lena Headey (Game of Throne's Cersei Lannister) was the main villain of the newer Judge Dredd. I wanted to see the original first which stars Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, and Rob Schneider. The reason why there is so much interest in Hollywood to make two Judge Dredd movies was because they were based on comics that originated in the 1970's. The original movie flopped at the box office in the United States and did okay worldwide. I guess the reason why they decided to try another Judge Dredd movie in 2012 was because of the rise of comic book movies. Was the original movie bad enough to be ignored by many?

Fact of the Day: Cattle Wire

While barbed wire is commonly used to prevent humans from entering or leaving certain areas, one of its first uses was for cattle. Barbed wire fences were inexpensive and easily fixed, and they were quite effective at keeping cattle contained. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

My Favorite Photos: Library Bingo March 2017

My wife Daisy took me to bingo again at the library. Last time I won twice which is pretty lucky when you consider how many people are there. Daisy whined that I "took" her card in the confusion of changing tables last time. So I had to make sure she was happy with the card she ended up with. Out of our whole table guess who won? Me!

Funny Story: Jeff's Mistake

At work we have a guy named Jeff and he's about 30. About a year and a half ago he dated an eighteen year old that just started working there and that relationship didn't end very well for him. Jeff could pass for like 22-25 but the age gap was a little funny. I made my Jared from Subway jokes, but about two months ago my co-worker Pat told me something. She said a pretty blonde girl was at our work and Jeff joked about getting her number. Pat had talked to her mom and the girl and found out that the girl was 15. Pat did admit she thought the girl looked way older, but I couldn't help but tease Jeff. 

Fact of the Day: Anglo-French Wars

While modern-day allies, France and England had quite a notable string of wars against each other since the days of the monarchies. However there was no wars between France and England until after the reign of William the Conqueror. William was Duke of Normandy which gave him quite a considerable amount of de facto power in France. Through French princesses being ancestors, Kings of England had a strong claim to the French throne (the main being through King Edward III) when direct-male lines to the French throne died out. Their claims to their lands (or throne) in France were the main causes for such wars. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Random Photo: Baby Chickens

We didn't see them the last time we went to Tractor Supply but the next stop we got to see the baby chickens. They only had one tub with them so I guess they were the first to arrive. They were a bit hard to see as the whole area is gated. Especially for my wife Daisy since she's so short. But they were very cute. 

From Dusk till Dawn (1995 Film) Review

From Dusk to Dawn is a film I stumbled upon a few months ago. I didn't know much about it and I was shocked to learn that it was really a Quentin Tarantino film and I never heard of it. In truth it's not technically a Tarantino film as it was directed by Robert Rodriguez as this is one of his earliest films. Tarantino did write the script and had a major role in the acting as Richie Gecko. This was also the first major film role for George Clooney as he's the main character. From Dusk to Dawn sounded like the perfect movie (I later learned it was adapted quite recently as a TV series with different actors), but was there a good reason why it's not as famous as Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill? Or was this a stroke of genius that faded from memory?

Fact of the Day: Flood Irony

The Family Research Council is a lobbying group that is so anti-LGBT that the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified it as a hate group. Since 2003 the Family Research Council has been led by Tony Perkins who was bold enough to claim that natural disasters were a punishment from God to those who are LGBT. In 2016, Tony Perkin's home in Louisiana was hit by a huge flood. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My Favorite Photos: Big Bear Spartanburg

My nephew Mr. K will turn eight soon. Daisy and I stopped by a local toy shoppe to pick him up something. They have a giant bear on the sidewalk. I know how much Daisy likes stuff like that. 

Question: Should Catholic Priests Marry?

While historically Catholic priests have married, it hasn't really happened in a long time for the majority of the faith. I'm not Catholic (or Christian) myself, but I always thought the rule was dumb. Having "needs" is in our DNA, and harshly suppressing these needs leads priests to becoming synonymous for being harmful to children. Pope Francis recently expressed "thoughts" about changing this rule and I think it would be a good thing. 

Should priests marry?