Monday, December 31, 2018

Things I Like: Samus Aran (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 One of my favorites since the original game on N64, Samus Aran's form is pretty good here in Ultimate.

My 2018 Favorites

 While it doesn't seem like it sometimes, but I see a lot of movies and TV shows plus play a bunch of video games ever year. For a few to make it to the top, is pretty impressive. 

Photos: Antonio's Pizza and Pasta Powdersville South Carolina

 The Saturday before Christmas, I ate lunch with my mother and my brother's family at a fairly "new" pizza place. Apparently the owner (who I assume is named Antonio) has a son that goes to school with my nephew Mr. C, so they've been several times.

Fact of the Day: Huge Fish

The scientific name for whales, dolphins, and porpoises is Cetacea which comes from the Latin word cetus which means "whale". The Latin word came from the Greek word ketos meaning "huge fish" in modern English.   

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Things I Like: Link (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

Link is one of my favorite characters of all time, and this time he is based on his incarnation in Breath of the Wild. Princess Zelda instead was based on A Link Between Worlds. 

Photo: Air Hockey With the Nephews

On the Saturday before Christmas, I went over to my brother's house with my mom. Before we had lunch, I played air hockey with my nephews as someone had given them the table for Christmas. Both of them were fairly good at it, but I do wish the at-home tables were even close to being as good as what you find in the arcades. 

My December 2018 Favorites

 December breezed by for me, it's hard to believe the year is over. Here are my favorites for the month.

Fact of the Day: 2018 U.S. Senate Outcome

The 2018 U.S. Senate Elections proved to be one of the oddest outcomes in U.S. electoral history. While the Republican Party gained two seats in the Senate, they only did so with 39.1% of the popular vote (all elections pooled together) compared to the Democrat's 59.3% share of the popular vote among Senate candidates. Historically in any election or country, a party with 55% or more of the popular vote would gain an all-right majority in a legislature, not lose more seats and remain in opposition. 

The Seven Deadly Sins (TV Series) Season 1 Review

 While I consider myself a fan of Japanese anime, I've missed out on a lot of shows that made splashes in popular culture among otakus. One of the reasons why is I mainly rely on Netflix Instant for my TV shows. For a long time, Netflix was horrible for anime but overtime, Netflix grew smart and they acquired what they could. Sony's Funimation is the king of anime in the English-speaking world but Netflix smartly picked up The Seven Deadly Sins as a "Netflix Original" which means it will probably be on there forever. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Things I Like: Battlefield Stage (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 Not a new stage at all to the series, it is okay in my opinion. Battlefield also isn't based on another game, just a plain stage that is simple in design.

Photos: Mama's 59th Birthday at Blue Bay Seafood in Spartanburg

 To be honest, it's rare we do anything for my mom's birthday. I guess she always wants to hide the fact that she's "old", but this year the whole family got to go for her birthday dinner. It was at one of her favorites, Blue Bay Seafood.

Fact of the Day: Abe Fortas

After allying himself with the future president Lyndon Baines Johnson, Abe Fortas was nominated to the Supreme Court. Johnson wanted to promote him to Chief Justice, but an ethics scandal prevented the Senate from confirming him. The same problem also led to his resignation before the Court. 

Friday, December 28, 2018

Things I Like: Donkey Kong (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 Like always, Donkey Kong is a good but not my favorite character in the Smash Bros. roster.

Photo: Orange Helicopter Mall Drone

While I don't personally want "Santa" to bring me one of these for Christmas, I do like seeing these fly around. Like most malls around the holidays, they had a guy showing one off at the kiosk. 

Fact of the Day: War German Justice

After World War I, Germany was asked by the Allied Powers to send them their war criminals for trial. However Germany held these trials instead, with a very tiny few who were found guilty versus what the Allied nations wanted. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Things I Like: Assist Trophy (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 While not new to the series, these non-Pokemon assist characters were updated for the new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Photo: Heroes and Villains Haywood Mall

 We saw this new place at the Haywood Mall. The place specializes in comic book nerdom and other things.

Fact of the Day: Jonathan Wainwright

When Japan conquered the Philippines in the early 1940's during World War II, Jonathan Wainwright was the top American official in charge of the army there. After surrendering to the Japanese, he would spend years as a POW before his own liberation in 1945. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992 Film) Review

 I've heard of this version based on the novel Dracula for many years. I heard Gary Oldman was well praised for his portrayal of the demonic vampire. I'm not quite why it took me so long to see the movie, I guess it was the fact I didn't have easy access to it perhaps. But once I saw it was on Netflix Instant, I seized the chance.

Fact of the Day: Mace Letter

The letters F, V, U, W, and Y are all derived from a more primitive letter. The ultimate source seems to be an old Egyptian hieroglyph for mace. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Things I Like: Mario (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 Nintendo's most iconic mascot is obvious as the first character to pick when playing any Super Smash Bros. game. Like always, he's a good all-around character that most people like.

Mary Poppins Returns (2018 Film) Review

 As a child, I knew who Mary Poppins was but I never saw the movie until a few years ago. I thought it was a decent film, but certainly not exactly what I expected it to be from all the waves it made in popular culture throughout the decades. I'm a big fan of Emily Blunt, and when I heard she was going to be Mary Poppins (cause honestly, it's a little late for Julie Andrews to take the role back) I was fairly excited when I saw the trailer.

Photo: Star Wars Lego For Little Brother

 The Haywood Mall in Greenville finally got a Lego place to call their own. We had seen one in the Concord Mills mall (in the Charlotte area) last year and the Greenville one is a bit smaller but less chaotic. I was mainly looking for a gift for my Little Brother (through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program) Mr. B.

Fact of the Day: New Saturn Rings

Saturn's rings aren't that old in comparison to the age of the Solar System. They've only been around for about 100 million years or so.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Things I Like: Bathin (Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon)

 My 2nd favorite boss is right near the finale of the game. This demon would have been impossible to have seen in the NES Castelvania games.

Things I Hate: Andrealphus (Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon)

 Andrealphus was my least favorite boss in the game, the only one I really disliked to be honest.

Photo: Daisy at the Mandarin Express

 We ate at the food court the week before Christmas while getting the last few things. Luckily I waited till they all opened to avoid the later crowds. Daisy went to the Chinese food.

A Wrinkle in Time (2018 Film) Review

 I didn't know much about A Wrinkle in Time when it came out earlier this year, but it did catch my eye. Not so much to make me want to see it in the theaters mind you, but I was interested in it in a mild sense. It eventually landed on Netflix Instant, as I can recall my mother gasping when she saw it pop up on her list at her house. I wasn't super-sure if I was going to like the movie or not, but I was going to give it a try. 

Fact of the Day: Zelda

The name Zelda comes from Griselda, a Germanic name meaning "dark battle". 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Things I Like: Valac (Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon)

 My personal favorite boss in the game, this mighty double-headed dragon is a monster few would tangle with.

Things I Like: Valefor (Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon)

 One of my favorite boss fights in the game, Valefor is certainly a very "golden" demon monster.

Photos: Greenville Gemstone Mine at the Haywood Mall

 We saw this new place at the mall. Even though I don't like material things, I like looking at gemstones and they also have fossils. They actually are the same company behind the one at Chimney Rock, NC so they did look familiar.

Bad Moms (2016 Film) Review

 I'm not quite sure when I first heard of Bad Moms. I wasn't quite compelled to watch it until the other day. I was browsing the Blu-Rays at the library and it caught my eye. I've been a fan of Mila Kunis since That 70's Show, and I also really like Kristen Bell. I also like dark edgy humor, which this film kind of promises. 
 Mila Kunis is the star of the movie, a "normal" mom named Amy Mitchell. She has two children in middle school who love her, but rarely show her the proper respect. She works on the corporate level of a coffee company with a bunch of clueless young people. Her husband isn't perfect either, he's a low-intelligence man-child with very little good qualities. 
Most moms don't have to worry much about life at school, but not Amy. The PTA's president Gwendolyn James is not only tough and commanding, but she tolerates very little. The school's de facto dictator soon starts to hate Amy with a passion, and while she can't do much to her in the real world, she can make her children suffer at school.  
 Amy soon reaches a breaking point and lashes out on "the world" as a whole. This ends up getting her the friendship of Kiki, a housewife that is treated badly by her husband and she looks up to Amy for standing up to Gwendolyn. Amy also meets Carla Dunkler, a mom who really is a "bad mom" which kind of inspires Amy to stop caring. But can a bad mom be a good mom? 
Overall I liked Bad Moms but I didn't love it. I do think it would appeal to a lot of women who can take a joke, and who are mothers who know the stress and whatnot of all these story-lines. I will say Christina Applegate played a villain I just loathed and loathed, and that deserves some praise. It almost made me forget that she once played a clueless pretty girl named Kelly Bundy on Married with Children.  

Score: B-

Fact of the Day: Swiss Airspace

While Switzerland stayed neutral during World War II, they did shoot down airplanes from both sides that violated their airspace. 

Super Smash Bros Ultimate (Nintendo Switch) Review

One of my favorite things ever since 1999 is Super Smash Bros. It's kind of funny, this fighting game of Nintendo's best characters didn't seem to make a huge splash with the gaming community as a whole until Melee impressed so many on Gamecube. I remember some critics being utterly surprised to see how excited gamers were to see Brawl announced for Wii. Ultimate improves on all the games before it with its massive roster and they made sure to bring back all the fighters. Was it worth the wait and is it the best Super Smash Bros. of all time?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Things I Like: Focalor (Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon)

 One of the earliest fights in the game, Focalor is like some kind of weird demon turtle guy, or something.

Things I Like: Glutton Train (Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon)

 The first boss of this spiritual successor to the 2D Castlevania games is a decent one, you obviously face it during the end of the last level.

Photo: Arcade1Up at Dillards

I've seen these mini arcade units as Walmart but none were assembled and working. Dillards smartly had one for people to play as they walked by. They're pretty darn expensive though. I know arcade hardware (this being 3/4th the size) is expensive, but the funny thing is that every unit they make, only have a handful of games from the "Golden age" of gaming. Since these games were from much simpler times, I doubt all of them combined would take up even 1MB of space which by 2018 tech standards is virtually nothing. They'd be far more appealing to me if they had virtually every arcade game ever on them.   

Fact of the Day: Lavinia Fisher

America's first female serial killer may have been Lavinia Fisher. She and her husband would gather information and rob men using poisoned tea. Her husband would make sure the victim died with a knife if the tea failed to finish the job. She was caught when a man who hated tea, dumped it away while she wasn't looking and wasn't vulnerable to their scheme. She was hanged before asking the crowd if they had a message they wanted delivered to hell.  

Friday, December 21, 2018

Things I Like: Jeff Hope the Taxi Cab Driver (Sherlock)

 While his name wasn't really spoken well enough during the episode, we find out the serial killer of the first episode of Sherlock is an overlooked Taxi Cab driver. He offers Sherlock a ride to doom after he realizes that the detective is on to him.

Photos: Fortnite Llama at the Haywood Mall

 My Little Brother Mr. B (through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program) is a huge fan of Fortnite. I'll watch him play Fortnite at my house and he mentions the Llama every-time it pops up in the game. Spencers had this pinata up in their display window.

Fact of the Day: Al Capone Furniture

The infamous gangster Al Capone had a business card claiming he was a furniture dealer. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Things I Hate: Koopa Paratroopa (Mario Tennis Aces)

 While it's rare to see Koopa Paratroopa as a playable character, I didn't like him too much.

Photo: Sears Christmas Panda Bear

Our local Sears closed down, so Daisy wanted to see Greenville's Sears (which I warned her would probably be gone in less than five years) stuff. I looked at a few things, and found Daisy hugging the Christmas bears. 

Fact of the Day: Venison

The word venison (deer meat) came to English via the Old French word venesoun. The ultimate root word was venari, which is Latin for "to hunt".  

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Things I Hate: Birdo (Mario Tennis Aces)

 I've never been a fan of their weird Mario character. While Birdo predates Yoshi, she always seemed like Yoshi's cousin nobody talked about.