Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Library Bingo April 2016

Daisy and I both had the day off for bingo at the library which they hold every month. They had a few more people than they did in March. I came close to bingo more times than I did last month and I think Daisy did too, but we never got it. Nobody at our table did either. Maybe next month I suppose...

The Princess Bride (1987 Film) Review

 I had heard of The Princess Bride for many years, but I didn't know more than a little about it. Many movies are about princesses, so I often ignore them. But then I noticed Robin Wright was in it, and so was Cary Elwes who I fondly remember as Robin Hood in Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights. As I watched I realized that the movie is the basis of a few internet memes especially concerning the character of Inigo Montoya. Once I realized that, I figured it was probably going to be a really good movie. And boy was I right!

Fact of the Day: Spanish Canary Dog

The English for the canary bird comes from the Canary Islands in Spain. The islands themselves were derived from a Latin word for dog. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Favorite Photos: End of Circus 2016

Since the parking lot would be a nightmare, we waited for the majority of the crowd to leave the building. My niece Little K is anti-social to pretty much everyone except her mom and dad, my mom, and other kids her age. She started to get photo-shy and had that "look" on her face. One day she'll relax and enjoy spending time with her family. 

Things I Like: Nesquik

I've been drinking Nesquik since I was a kid, and I still love it to this day. My wife on the other hand likes Ovaltine. I think a little while back they changed the formula to be more healthy with less sugar and whatnot. I didn't mind, the more I get older the less "sweet" matters to me. But it sure makes milk taste a lot better. 

Fact of the Day: Communist Albania

While the Soviet Union basically controlled Eastern Europe, there was a exception with Albania. They were a communist nation as well, but they sided with China after their relationship with the Soviet Union crumbled after the death of Joseph Stalin. Like China they opposed the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev. Just like China they also opposed his belief that the communist nations could peacefully co-exist with the West. Because of this, Albania lost the vast majority of Soviet aid though China would help fill the gap of what they lost. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Circus Snowcone 2016

While we had offered Little K some fries and pocorn during the circus she only seemed to be interested in the snowcone her dad (my brother Zach) got her. A little kid behind her had this jealous look on her face while they were eating the dessert. 

Four Rooms (1995 Film) Review

 I had honestly never heard of Four Rooms until just recently. I learned that it was a Quentin Tarantino film, and then realized he only partly-made it. It's also a comedy for the most part unlike his other movies which are far more serious. The movie is made up of four main storylines with each directed by a different person. One is by Allison Anders, another by Alexandre Rockwell, the third by Robert Rodriguez, and the last by Quentin Taratino himself. I had never heard of the other two people before, but I do know of Robert Rodriguez. The movie also has a ton of talented people, so was it any good?

Fact of the Day: Thomas Wolsey

Thomas Wosley was a Catholic Cardinal in England who became very notable during the reign of King Henry VIII. He attempted to persuade European powers to end all wars with each other as they were all Christian and believed they should have no reason to be at war. This plan obviously failed as countless wars and conflicts would plague Europe for centuries. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Circus Popcorn 2016

 If there is one my wife really likes, it's food. As soon as we got the circus she got a hot dog and some fries. I thought the fries tasted like they came out of a frozen food bag. She eventually wanted to get the popcorn which couldn't had been worse than the fries. She waited too long during intermission so when she got the popcorn she had to carefully walk back up to the seats.

Favorite Quotes: Roosevelt Stars

"Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground."
-Theodore Roosevelt 

I really relate to Teddy Roosevelt's quote here and wish more people would to. I'm sure you know people who dream of having a mansion. Why not just a nice house? They dream of driving that sports car, when a modest sedan would do fine as well. A lot of men think about marrying that beautiful super-model, and will reject plenty of decent women in the process. Why do we as humans think we are some kind of divine royalty? It's not a bad thing to want nice stuff, but don't expect things beyond reason or you'll have a hard fall to reality.  

Fact of the Day: King Soldier Albert

King Albert I of Belgium allied himself against Germany during World War I. The life of Belgians were not good during the war because of Germans occupying most of their lands. Albert I fought in the Belgian army often being harm's way like a common soldier. His wife Queen Elisabeth worked as a nurse during the war. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Favorite Photos; Niece at Circus 2016

My brother Zach and my niece Little K came to the circus while we went in April. She's the most anti-social child I've ever known, but she liked the circus. We got there a little early which was good since we could still find a seat on the first floor. I remember going to the circus around her age (she's almost three) and I never forgot it. I hope she liked it as much as I did back then. 

Funny Story: Whiny Politics

As a liberal Democrat, I was delighted to see President Obama win his 2nd term in 2012, but the conservatives in my red-state of South Carolina were not. I knew a guy through work who had claimed he'd lose in a landslide, and then after he was wrong he claimed that by the time 2016 came that we'd see the Great Depression Part 2. He even went far enough to claim that people would be so poor that'd they'd have to eat domesticated animals like dogs and cats to survive. Now it's 2016, and the country for the most part has gotten better since 2012, and especially since the economic crisis of 2007/2008. I guess he was just a tad wrong in his prediction eh? 

Fact of the Day: Acadia Louisiana

One of the most notable colonies of New France was Acadia located in present-day Canada and Maine. While it had lasted under French rule for many years, the British eventually gained control. The residents of Acadia resisted British rule, and eventually fled Acadia. Most of them settled in Louisiana. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Donuts Before Circus

 Before the circus started we had some time to get a snack at Krispy Kreme. I told Daisy to pick out her favorite and get her a drink. She's been keen on drinking orange juice lately.

The Nanny Diaries (2007 Film) Review

 The Nanny Diaries was a movie I had no idea existed until not long ago. The only reason I gave it any consideration was because of its star Scarlett Johansson. I was also surprised to see Chris Evans in this movie too. Both would later have major roles in the Avengers-related movies with Chris Evans as Captain America and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. I later learned that the pair are very good friends and have appeared in more movies than I realized together. But there are no super-heroes in the movie, but rather it's based on a book about a nanny on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The novel was apparently good enough to make a movie on, but is the film any good?

Fact of the Day: Compass

The magnetic compass was most likely invented around 206 BC in China. Its original use was for mystics to create prophecies from it instead of navigating land or sea with it. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Random Photo: Choo-Choo Tracks

On our walk from the library to the arena where they were holding the circus, we crossed a bridge which is located right above some train tracks. I'm rather glad the train wasn't passing by. I'm sure it's speed would transfer some motion to the bridge. You don't see many trains go by very much, though I think many travel by in the early mornings to avoid clogging up traffic during the day. Waiting on a train can be a pain when it never seems to end. 

Favorite Quotes: Ned Stark Justice

"The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword"
-Eddard Stark 

Unlike my previous quotes, this one comes from the realm of fiction. This quote was said by Lord Eddard Stark from the Game of Thrones TV series and the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series. He says this to his young son Bran after the execution of a Night's Watch deserter and in the book you hear the full explanation "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die". Ned Stark was the highest-ranking person in his section (The North) of Westeros, and did not leave this duty to an executioner like his friend King Robert Baratheon did at the capital. While I'm against capital punishment in the real world (I don't believe the government should have the power) I'd be less against it if the task was left personally to Governors.

And for fans of the show, don't forget that season six starts tonight!

I Had My 3rd Car Accident Last Night

Luckily I've never been at-fault, and this time I wasn't in the car. Some new kid at work backed into my car and busted the tail light and it also moved my car quite a bit. He tried to do things "under the table" and I told him I had to talk to my mother and the insurance company first. He wasn't the smartest kid because he was apparently off-duty and with his friends and they left. He called me on the phone and I told him I'd have to call the police about it. He didn't have the common sense to return, and the state trooper had to call him. He was lucky he just got a warning not to do something stupid like that again. Now I have to go through the headache of taking it somewhere to get it fixed... Lucky me!  

Fact of the Day: Ancient Snowman

Humans have been building snowmen longer than we really know. Historians have found evidence that humans had built a snowman since at least the medieval period in Europe. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Reading Before Circus

We had a bit of time to wait before the circus began, so we got the library. I'm not much of a book reader, but I always find it way easier to read at the library rather than at home. My wife Daisy likes it too, she even found herself a new book she likes.

Sad Story: Crazy Aunt

My aunt Denise was the oldest child on my maternal side, and when I was a kid she was one of the more distant of our aunts. It got even worse the older I got, if I saw her today I'd probably wouldn't recognize her. A few years ago her and my mother tried to re-connect, but I honestly believe she is at least a little crazy. She eventually became extremely rude and hateful even to her own family. My mother and her's relationship crumbled and got very bitter. She eventually said she had "forgave her" then mentioned she'd never speak to her again in the same sentence. My mother got upset when I told her that's not what forgiveness is. 

Fact of the Day: An Apple A Day

A common phrase is "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" which stresses that proper nutrition can lead to a healthier body. The phrase originated in the 1860s by Caroline Taggart who said originally ‘‘Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”.

Friday, April 22, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Downtown Spartanburg

 The Hejaz Shrine Circus came to town in April this year, and we got to the auditorium rather early. Parking and the parking lot can be a nightmare at times, so I always want to get in there stress-free. It's located on the edge of downtown Spartanburg, so Daisy and I decided to walk down to the library. It was only a twenty minute walk, but Daisy complained a little. We never get much chance to exercise, especially for Daisy so this was a way for her to get a good walk.

Pixels (2015 Film) Review

 I noticed the trailer for Pixels back in either 2015 or 2014. I'm a big video game nerd, so it did appeal to me a lot. The trailer was also pretty funny, so it looked promising. I also wanted to see it because of Peter Dinklage because I really like him as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones. Fans of the TV show will also enjoy seeing Sean Bean (who played Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark) make a minor cameo in the movie. The initial reviews came out and the critics acted like it was the worst film to ever be made. Though they are never very kind to most Adam Sandler films especially when he partners with his buddy Kevin James. About a month or two later, I heard some opinions that made it seem like most of those critics over-reacted. So who was right and who was wrong?

Fact of the Day: Ural Mountains

Unlike other continents, there is no real major ocean or sea barrier between Europe and Asia. The only real "barrier" between Europe and Asia is the Ural Mountains and the Caucasus mountains. The Ural Mountains are located in Russia. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Food Court April 2016

My wife Daisy and I went to the mall in early April. Her car needed an oil change, so we took it to Sears. We find it super-easy as by the time we're done with the mall, the car has been ready for us for quite some time. We ate at the food court while we were there. I think Daisy likes Sarku Japan the most as she often picks it over the China Star one right nearby. 

Favorite Quotes: Gandhi Forgiveness

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi was very well known for his peace activism, and I have no doubt that he knew how to truly forgive. He's right about being strong is the only way how to forgive. We all had people who left deep scars physically and mentally. I can say that I'm weak in the fact that I will never be able to forgive some of those people. I think some people get the idea of forgiveness and toleration confused. We can tolerate others for the past wrongdoings, but we often never forgive them. If we still feel pain over the moment, can we truly say we have forgiven? 

Fact of the Day: Anglo-Afghan War

The first Anglo-Afghan War was fought primarily by Great Britain and Afghanistan. The British government started the war not because of any real evil or harm done by Afghanistan. It was all a political move to gain more land in Asia in a competition against the Russian Empire. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Favorite Photo: Birthday Presents For Nephew 2016

This is some of the presents my nephew Mr. K got during his seventh birthday party. When I was a kid, this was always my favorite part. Life gets rather dull when all those big presents morph into small envelopes. 

Question: What Kind of Milk Do You Drink?

I only drink dairy milk as I'm not lactose intolerant and stuff like almond milk is far more expensive. I've only drunk whole milk and I think it will stay that way. I hear 2%, 1%, and Fat Free milk tastes rather awful. The percentages refer to the level of fat in the milk, but I always joke that it's 2% milk and 98% water. 

What kind of milk do you drink? 

Fact of the Day: Aluminum Rust

Unlike iron and steel, aluminum does not rust when oxidized. It does corrode and forms a layer known as aluminium oxide which ironically protects it from further corrosion as it keeps it away from oxygen and water. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K Birthday Cake 2016

My nephew Mr. K's birthday party had a Clemson Tigers football theme this year. They live really close to Clemson, so pretty much all the people who had to drive less than thirty minutes are as well. I'm actually a fan of their rival South Carolina (USC) and good thing I didn't wear one of my shirts there. But I'm glad he got a pretty cool Clemson football cake. 

Things I Like: Gojo Hand Cleaner

I had heard of Gojo hand cleaner before so when I saw it at Advance Autoparts I decided to give a try. It's mainly to get tougher chemicals (especially common things like grease) off your hands as regular soap isn't strong enough to make a notable difference. At my work someone spilled contact cement and I helped clean it up. I got a little of it on my hands which made it very uncomfortable as it's very sticky. When I got home I used some Gojo and it came straight off. 

Fact of the Day: Skanderbeg

George Castriot was an Albanian warrior and nobleman better known as Skanderbeg. He was originally sent (for political reasons) to the Ottoman Empire being raised and educated there. He later deserted against the Ottomans and eventually led in the resistance against the spread of the Ottoman Empire. He was successful in the fight, but after he died Albania quickly fell and became part of the Ottoman Empire which it remained from 1385-1912. Skanderbeg remains a national hero in Albania. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Daisy at Nephew's Birthday Party

While my wife Daisy can be quite the people-person, she can be rather quiet at social events. At my nephew Mr. K's birthday party, she spent a lot of time playing games on her iPod Touch. When the battery died, she asked to use mine. 

Question: Do You Take Naps?

Every since I was little I rarely ever took a nap. Kindergarten nap time was just plain boring to me because I'd always be awake. When I got older there'd be a few times I'd fall asleep in the middle of the day. But that would be mostly due to exhaustion from getting home from work or something. I rarely ever take a nap on purpose. I also hate the feeling of waking up and not knowing what time it is or how long you've been asleep. 

Do you take naps? 

Fact of the Day: Franco-Ottoman Alliance

In the 16th century King Francis I of France found himself desperate to counter the power of Charles V the Holy Roman Emperor. He failed to ally with England, so he reached for friendship with  Suleiman I, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire who also did not like the power of the House of Habsburg. This was considered very controversial at the time for a Christian king to ally with a Muslim ruler. Francis I defended his actions as he wanted to be sure that Christians were protected in the lands of the Ottoman Empire. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Birthday Basketball 2016

For most of the birthday party for my nephew Mr. K, we played basketball. I got to see how good my nephew Mr. C is at it too. He'll be six in October, but he's already better than his older brother. We played foam baseball and he was hitting it harder than any other kid in the gym. He's also on a baseball team, which I'm sure helps in the matter. 

Favorite Quotes: Tommy Douglas Society

"The inescapable fact is that when we build a society based on greed, selfishness, and ruthless competition, the fruits we can expect to reap are economic insecurity at home and international discord abroad." -Tommy Douglas

Tommy Douglas was a Canadian politician most famous for starting the process that got Canada universal health care on a Federal level, and he's also Kiefer Sutherland's maternal grandfather. While I'm not Canadian, I've admired the man for many years. He was basically the Bernie Sanders for his country and his time. Advocates for anarcho-capitalism are blinded by their own greed and delusions. An economy extremely focused on the greed of the few will crumble because the many won't have the income to go out and keep that economy moving. 

Fact of the Day: Adelie Penguin

Adelie penguins are named after Adele Dumont D'Urville who was the wife of French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville. Jules discovered the region of Antarctica where the penguins live. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Monkey in the Middle

 During my nephew Mr. K's birthday party in very early April, it was held in a church's gym they called the Life Center. We got there early so my nephews eventually wanted me to play monkey in the middle which the goal is to the pass the ball between two people with a person trying to intercept it. After awhile Mr. C told me to put on this foam sports Clemson finger. I'm guessing he wanted it to water-down my obvious advantage even though I let them win every now and then so they don't get frustrated, I've learned that he's a sore loser.

Contact (1997 Film) Review

 Carl Sagan was one of the most brilliant scientists the world has ever known. The world lost a great man when he passed away in 1996. He had died shortly before Contact was finished which was based on his 1985 novel which originally was suppose to be a movie before it morphed into a book. I never read the novel but I heard some good things about Contact but knew little about it. I figured part of the plot was based on Carl Sagan being inspired by the WOW signal of 1977. This is also the 2nd movie I've seen where I've noticed Matthew McConaughey. The other was Interstellar which is also about scif-fi and space-travel.

Tennessee Governor Vetoes Bill Making The Bible The State Book

About a month or two ago, I noticed the the State House of Tennessee was considering a bill that would make The Bible the official state book. Official things for U.S. states are very pointless, but I'm a firm believer in the 100% separation of church and state and I'm glad it got vetoed. Supporters of it claim many different reasons why they do, but imagine those same people if they had voted to make the Quran the official state book. I don't think they would be very happy now would they? Just like the motto In God We Trust, this is a metaphoric kicking and screaming by the loss of a Christian monopoly on America which was decided long ago by the military power of European nations from Rome to Great Britain. 

Fact of the Day: Adobe Brick

Adobe bricks are one of the earliest and most commonly used building materials in the world. The word adobe comes from Spanish and Arabic words which mean "mud brick" in English. Adobe bricks are made of clay and are sun-dried. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Favorite Photos: April Fool Lunch

On Aprils Fools Day, my mother tagged along with my wife Daisy and I to Longhorn Steakhouse. I went to the bathroom after finishing most of my meal, and my mom texted me that they left and were waiting in the car for me. I texted back "nice try". 

Question: If You Were Given a Last Meal?

A common practice (or so we think?) for death row inmates is a "last meal" which is generally made of whatever they want to eat. I'd certainly would pick pizza myself. It's been my favorite since childhood and still holds true today. Though I would prefer it'd be one of the best pizzas instead of something awful. Imagine something from the freezer as your "last" meal?

What would you choose to eat? 

Fact of the Day: Candle

The English word candle comes from the Latin word candere which means "to shine".