Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Things I Like: Queen Elizabeth I of England (Reign)

 Since Reign has Mary, Queen of Scots as the hero, then Queen Elizabeth Tudor had to be the villain. Though she's not really wicked at all, which I thought they were going to try, at least when she tries to ally with Catherine de Medici.

My October 2018 Favorites

 October was a great month for me, here are my favorites in the realm of entertainment.

Photos: October 2018 Bingo at the Spartanburg Library

 Daisy loves playing bingo, so we went to the library bingo again as we both had the day off. Daisy was out of luck again with not a single win.

Fact of the Day: Bingo

The game bingo get its roots from various European games of luck from centuries ago. However the game wasn't in its modern form until the early 1920's. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

My Mega Man 11 (Nintendo Switch) Impressions

Earlier this month, Capcom released Mega Man 11 for all the latest consoles. The Nintendo Switch version already was at my local library (I was really pleased when I saw it) and I knew I had to pick it up right there and then.

Photos: Mr. C's Eighth Birthday Party

 My youngest nephew Mr. C just turned eight this October.

Donald Trump Wants to Violate 14th Amendment and Executive Order End of Birthright Citizenship

The 2nd amendment never mentions the individual but "well-regulated militias" but Republicans will fight tooth and nail to make it mean that any idiot can have any gun they want. The 14th amendment clearly states ALL PERSONS born in the United States are citizens of the United States. What does ALL PERSONS mean? I know a lot of Republicans barely speak their mother tongue of English, but ALL PERSONS does not allow room for exceptions. Funny how they claim to love The Constitution but will gladly put in the shredder when they're in office especially when it gives them a chance to implement literal racist policies. 

Fact of the Day: Chickens vs the Other Birds

With over 19 billion chickens in the world, the species outnumber any single species of bird, whether wild or domesticated. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Things I Like: Lord Narcisse (Reign)

 At first I didn't notice his importance, but he soon becomes a villain in Reign. While he never opposed King Henry II of France, he had other plans for the next Valois king.

Question: Do You Get a Pumpkin For Halloween?

I usually don't, I get too tired to think about it or I don't want to take the time to either carve or paint it either. But sometimes I wish I do. 

Are pumpkins part of your Halloween? 

Photo: A QuikTrip Soda

It was really hot this year in early October, so after the Spartanburg International Festival, we got some drinks at the QT gas station. I rarely ever do so, but I was thirsty and Daisy always is.  

Fact of the Day: Salty Soda

The English word soda gets its name (going through medieval Latin first) from the Arabic word suwwad which referred to the saltwort plant. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

My Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (Nintendo Switch) Impressions

My wife isn't much of a gamer, but she found Yonder at the library and said this was the game she saw her brother playing at her parent's house. Before the Nintendo Switch version, the team made the game for PS4 and PC. I decided to give it a try, though it looked boring and generic. The graphics are rather simple, but the use of lightning is actually really well done. You can create your character though it's really basic. I tried going for the book incarnation of Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones and even though you can have the silver-blone hair and purple eyes, it doesn't look much like her. 

Horrible Bosses (2011 Film) Review

 Comedies are usually not my most watched genre, but I do like them. Though one thing about comedies is that they are best watched in a big movie theater with a huge crowd, if you're watching them alone at home, it does dilute even the best of all time in the genre. I've heard of Horrible Bosses for many years but finally got around to watching it. 

Photo: Globes at the International Festival

We saw these as we were leaving the festival. I had to work later that day, so we were in a bit of a rush to do everything and go. These were in the "kids zone" near the exit but nobody was around them. That's a lot of Earths, and just to point it out to the stupid people reading this, none of them are shaped flat. 

Fact of the Day: Charon

Pluto's largest moon Charon is actually quite large compared to its parent planet. Some consider the two together to be double-dwarf planets. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Things I Hate: John Knox (Reign)

A well written villain, John Knox is a protestant minister in Scotland with a powerful following. Hating all women in power, he is an enemy of both Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I of England, but since Mary Stuart was his monarch, he tries his best to take her down.

Photos: Giant Chess and Checkers at the Spartanburg International Festival

 Me and Daisy play giant chess every year, but this year I wasn't in the mood. Daisy doesn't understand chess well and loses awfully terrible.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014 Film) Review

 To be honest, I was on the side of hating on Peter Jackson for making The Hobbit book into THREE MOVIES. If he had a time machine, he should have just made the The Hobbit first and then The Lord of the Rings. The first movie dragged on so much, but I liked the second movie. But due to waiting and my wife pestering about seeing the first two AGAIN, I ended up taking almost four years to see the final film. 

Fact of the Day: Vaquero

While American cowboys are famous for their hats, horses, and ways to work a farm/livestock, the vast majority of cowboy culture was derived from the Mexican vaqueros. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Things I Hate: Koga (Paladins)

 At first I thought he was going to be a pretty awesome character. I've met many other players who whooped me with Koga. I don't know if they nerfed him a little before I had the chance to play him, but I was disappointed.

Forsaken (2016 Film) Review

Typically Forsaken probably wouldn't be a movie I would watch unless someone close to me wanted to see it and I got dragged along. But I did notice that this film has both Kiefer Sutherland and his father Donald Sutherland.  For what I heard, it was the first movie where the two both co-starred not only for just one scene but for the whole movie.

Photo: Spartanburg International Festival Dart Game

 They have plenty of games to play while at the festival, and this was the first time I tried darts. I never played the game seriously before. It's really difficult to throw the things until you learn a trick of where to grab it.

Fact of the Day: Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Russia

After Napoleon's defeat, Russia built the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow to celebrate their victory over the French Empire. When the Soviet Union took over an Imperial Russia, the church stayed until the rule of Joseph Stalin who had it demolished for the site of Communist legislature though that never came to be when the Germans invaded during World War II. The Russian Orthodox Church rebuilt the church during the 1990's with it being finished in 2000. However in 2018, the church leaders there realized the foundations were sinking and were in need of repair. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Aggretsuko (TV Series) Season 1 Review

 One day my wife screams she saw a "red panda" show on Netflix. The red panda is one of her favorite animals, ever since our trip to Zoo Atlanta in Georgia. Sure enough she was right (sometimes she'll get red pandas confused with red foxes) and Aggretsuko was the name of the show. Netflix actually has a foot in Japan, and this was actually the result of them producing an anime off a previous production but just for their service. But since Netflix people aren't dumb, they made an English dub for fans of anime. It's certainly not a "Hello Kitty" niceness despite the cute "kawaii" art, nor a South Park meanness. It's more on the maturity level of The Simpsons or Family Guy. 

Photo: Spartanburg International Festival Giant Jenga

 We tried to play giant jenga last year but other people got to it before us. I always like having fun with jenga but never had the giant version of the game.

Fact of the Day: Surrogate Mothers

It is extremely rare for a surrogate mother to not have been a mother herself beforehand. Most reputable agencies and medical professionals require it as helps prove the woman is emotionally stable and healthy enough to give birth to a child.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Things I Like: James Earl of Moray (Reign)

 While he was a bastard, James was soon to be Mary's closest family member by the time she came to sit on her throne. He was the bastard son of Mary's father King James V of Scotland and not able to be King himself. He had the power of regent until Mary returned.

Photo: Spartanburg International Festival Dog

Didn't get a chance to play this, but some trainer had two (sheepdogs?) I think and let one play at a time with the crowd. The game was simple. There was a circle of rope in a radius and the dog tried to knock it out of the circle and the people around it tried to keep it in the circle. My old dog Zelda would have liked a game like that, if she was not stubborn enough to make her own rules to everything... I tried to her fetch, but she thought it was a game of "take it from me! If you can!".

Fact of the Day: Gum

The English word for gum (as in the candy) came from the Old French word gomme which came from the Latin word gummi and the Greek word kommi. All of these derived from the Egyptian word kemai

Rayman Legends Definitive Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

 Rayman Legends came out back in 2014, but since Ubisoft takes cues from Capcom, they often like to re-release their work for the newest consoles. Though to be fair, Nintendo did that often with the Nintendo Switch, but that's mainly because the WiiU was a "failure" and they wanted to prevent some of those titles from fading away. I played Rayman Origins quite a number of years ago and really liked it. How did I like the sequel? 
 In many ways, Rayman Legends will give you a lot of deja vu. The early levels certainly feel more like an expansion pack of the first game rather than a completely new title. There's not much of a story, Rayman and his friends have to go around levels and save the teensies from captivity. While not required to beat the level, further levels will be sealed until you save enough of the little creatures. 
 Rayman Legends like Origins plays like an old-school 2D platformer game with very little sympathy. You only can withstand one hit and on the next go, you're done. However the levels have constant and many checkpoints so if you fall, you can quickly get back on your "horse" and try over and over again. 
 While there are different playable characters such as Rayman, Globox, and a legion of warrior-princesses, they all play about the same. But many of the levels are quite different from one another. And the bonus levels are even more so. And no two boss battles are even remotely the same as the other one.
But overall, my opinion of Rayman Legends was quite a bit lower than Origins. It seemed their best ideas went into Origins, and Legends was the second string. Origins seemed to have levels to be more fun, while Legends sets the challenge bar up high. While things are enjoyable as a challenge, it honestly stops caring if you win the game or not by the end. The quota of rescued teensies is rather ridiculous to get into the final world as well.  

Score: B-

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Things I Hate: Pip (Paladins)

Paladins often makes parodies from popular culture, and this guy seems to be a parody of Rocket Raccoon from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. One of the few non-human champions, I wasn't a big fan of him.

Photos: Spartanburg International Festival 2018 Tents

All of the other countries get their little tents while the Philippines got the big area this year. Since I've been for several years, most of this is deja vu. 

Fact of the Day: River of Heaven Galaxy

In Japanese, the name for our Milky Way Galaxy is 天の川 (Ama no Gawa) which means "river of heaven" in English. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Things I Like: Gideon Blackburn (Reign)

 At first I thought I was going to hate his character. He didn't seem that interesting from the get go. We soon learn that he is from England and sent by Queen Elizabeth to keep an eye on her rival Mary, Queen of Scots.

Photo: Spartanburg International Festival Philippines Honored Country

 At my city's international festival, one country gets to be the new "honored" country every year. Meaning they get a huge space to educate the masses of the crowd about it. They always dress the statue up in clothing native to the honored country.

Fact of the Day: Old Starfish

Starfish as a class of animal have been on the Earth since the Ordovician period, which was about 450 million years ago.  

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Things I Hate: Inara (Paladins)

 Inara is kind of a small giant in the game, but her size does not make up for her lack of usefulness in my opinion.

Photo: Little CR About a Month Old Now

When I saw this photo of my niece, this reminded me of my nephew Mr. K when he was that small. He had the same kind of little playset, though his was in "boy colors". 

Fact of the Day: Horse Life

A typical modern horse lives between 25-30 years on average. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Things I Hate: Lord Darnley (Reign)

Since the real Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley was a pretty horrid person, his incarnation in Reign was not going to be likable. At first (to show watchers who didn't know he would marry Mary, Queen of Scots) it seemed like he might have been able to marry his true love instead of a royal match with the Stuart Queen who was also his cousin. 

Photo: Grandma Donna and Little CR Baby Holding

With three nephews (one stillborn sadly) and three nieces in my family, my mom has had her hands full with grandbabies. But like most women, she really does adore holding them especially when they little bitty babies.   

Fact of the Day: Ye Olde Ghost

The English word ghost was morphed from the Old English word gast which meant "soul" or "spirit". The German word geist also came from an much older Germanic root word. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Things I Like: Lian (Paladins)

 Not one of the most popular champions in Paladins, but I liked her quite a bit. Wasn't quite sure what to expect when I first played as her though.

Photos: Little K at the Piedmont Interstate Fair in Spartanburg

 While I never go, the Piedmont Interstate Fair is typically the biggest fair event in Spartanburg, South Carolina. My niece is finally getting old enough to enjoy all of what the fair offers. When I was her age, the fair was a magical time for me. I loved every minute of this stuff. I'd always hate when the time was up and we'd have to go home. This would usually be at night when we'd go though.

The Shannara Chronicles (TV Series) Season 2 Review

The Shannara Chronicles was a television show I started back in 2016. I liked it, but I didn't love it, so that's a reason why it took me about two years to start it up again. I came out on MTV first, but then the show moved to its sister channel Spike TV for the second season. I watched both seasons on Netflix.