Thursday, June 30, 2016

Random Photo: Glowing Fish

While I think the the pet fish industry is far crueler than most people realize (for example very few fish can survive in small tanks) I still like looking at them. I do pity the lives of these glowing fish as that's not natural at all. But they sure are pretty. 

The Spectacular Now (2013 Film) Review

Ever since she watched The Secret Life of an American Teenager, Daisy has always been a huge fan of Shailene Woodley. I knew her mainly from the Divergent series though I do remember when she was just that 15 year old mother from that show I never watched. About a year before Divergent, her and Miles Teller (who plays Peter Hayes in Divergent) starred in The Spectacular Now. I had never heard of the movie before my wife picked it out. It was apparently not in many theaters and mainly was made for the Sundance Film Festival. I also think they were really trying to get an least an Oscar nomination from somebody here, but the Oscars certainly didn't nominate the film, nor any of the actors in it. But critics apparently liked it, and it was one of the last positive reviews Robert Ebert made before he passed away and his pal Richard Roeper really liked the movie as well. I often think Daisy picks some terrible movies, but I guess she did right this time. Or did she? 

Fact of the Day: Old Beer

Beer is one of the oldest beverages in the world by far as its history has been noted in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Iraq. It could have originated in 9500 BC when cereal was first farmed. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Husky Polar Bear

 As many of you know, Daisy has a soft-spot in her heart for stuffed animals. She saw this husky dog and had to say how cute it was. She has too many so she didn't get it, but I thought I'd let her at least say how adorable it was. One of her favorites is a husky dog so that's why she always super-interested when she sees one.

Sad Story: Trixie Broom

When I was very young we had a dog named Trixie (and then we later had a dog of the same name because someone at the house was unoriginal) who had previous owners before we got her. Dogs can't talk but they leave clues about their past. My mother told me whenever she held a broom to sweep, Trixie would cower in fear. Making it obvious that it was the tool that the previous people who had Trixie used it to abuse her with. Trixie also passed away herself a year or two after we got her. I don't remember the cause, probably something like heart-worms or some kind of other parasites. My parents were never keen on taking them to the vet. When it came to medical care, the poor dogs were on their own. 

Fact of the Day: Grebe Flamingo

While flamingos are some of the most unique birds in the world, its closest living relatives are grebes which are not pink. They both belong (and are the sole living members of) to the biological clade known as the Mirandornithes. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Random Photo: Garage Nails

My garage needs a good bit of work. So one of the first things I did was remove a lot of the nails. The bad thing is that I can't really figure out what they ever used them for. There was at least five on every wall. There was just one that I could not manage to get out of the drywall. So I'm guessing I'll just leave it be. It doesn't have to be perfect. 

Question: Do You Like Billiards?

Billiards (or pool) is a popular game but I'm sort of sad and happy to play it at times. It's fun, but sometimes it can be too frustrating. I'll have games where I can't seem to get anything in except one or two at the start. Then I'll have games where I can get 8 out of 10 tries in. And then there's the games where you accidentally knock the 8-ball in and it's game-over. 

Do you like pool? 

Fact of the Day: Patton Anger

While George S. Patton was a famous general during World War II, he was no stranger to self-caused controversy. One of his issues was that he didn't believe in PTSD and would think that soldiers were just cowards. After getting violent with soldiers (including one suffering from malaria) he was relieved of command by General Dwight D. Eisenhower but eventually got his role back. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Random Photo: Caulking

When we got our house, I noticed that a lot of the baseboards that needed to be caulked. The worst was right behind our bed which I'm sure is where most of our spiders came from. I didn't want to use silicone because it's not water-cleanup (and typically not paintable either), so I chose siliconized latex caulk instead.  There also was a spot that was more like a hole between where the baseboards end and the French door begins. I saw a roach escape into it and it probably uses that entrance like a dog uses a doggy-door. But now it's sealed for good. 

Game of Thrones (TV Series) Season Six Review

 I personally think Game of Thrones is the finest show on television. Based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire the show has wowed fans time and time again across the world. By the time season five was over pretty much the entire book series had been covered except a few major and minor things missing from A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons. Author George R.R. Martin had been slow writing Winds of Winter, so the show now had to reveal things that book readers never got to know first. Last season ended rather bleakly. Daenerys lost control of Meereen, Stannis Baratheon was crushed by the forces of House Bolton, Arya Stark went blind, Margaery Tyrell slept in the cells, Sansa Stark was forced to marry Ramsay Bolton, and Lord Commander Jon Snow was fatally stabbed by men of the Night's Watch at the Mutiny at Castle Black. Will things finally look brighter for those of and loyal to House Stark?

Fact of the Day: French Mary Tudor

Mary Tudor was a daughter of King Henry VII of England and she was very close to her brother who became Henry VIII. She was called one of the most beautiful princesses in all of Europe, and became Queen of France by marrying Louis XII who was middle-aged and hopeful to have an heir. The marriage saw no children and didn't last long as the King of France had died mere months into the marriage. Her niece (the future Queen Mary I of England) was named in her honor. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Random Photos: Mother's Fridge

 I knew when I left the house I would come back about a month later and find my mother's fridge filled to the brim. The freezer was always the worst, especially when my brother lived with us. I couldn't get hardly anything in the freezer because there was no room. Which made it difficult to get Daisy fed (besides going out to eat) when she'd come over before we got married. 

My Top Five Countries I Would Like to Visit

 Now honestly there's so many cool countries in the world and it'd be nice to visit them all. Well at least in the First World. There's some countries that I'll never go to under any circumstances from political/religious reasons to fear for my well-being. It's a shame that there are many countries in the world that are not up to par for whatever reason. But on a more positive note, here are my top five countries this American would like to visit one day.

Fact of the Day: Wasilla Politics

Former 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is quite well-known for her politics and style which often can be rude and uncivil. While she only ran for federal office once, even her campaign as mayor of the small city of Wasilla in Alaska got ugly. When she became mayor she ousted the incumbent John Stein. Supporters of Palin called her "the future and first Christian mayor of Wasilla" which was untrue as Stein was Lutheran (his surname sounds Jewish) and previous mayors of the town had been Christian. They also attacked his marriage claiming he wasn't really married at all which was also untrue. Reflecting upon the 1990's mayor race, Stein called Palin's allies her very own "liquor cabinet". 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Random Photo: Air Filter

 Soon after we moved in to our new house somebody reminded me to check the air filter as it would most likely need to be replaced. 
 And they were right. It looks far better in the picture but it was covered in their dog's hair and other dirt and whatnot. 
So I got a new one. All nice and clean now. 

Funny Story: Our Friend the Hornet

One day recently while driving my wife Daisy sees a hornet flying in her window. She freaks out and I have to pull over on the side of the road after she can't figure out if it was still alive after she hit it with an old coat I had in the backseat. I look and see nothing and we get back to the road. Either it survived or had a friend as about ten minutes later I saw it flying the back window. I told Daisy her friend was still alive and we pull over again. We basically opened the car doors until it finally flew away. I might dislike bees, but I hate hornets. 

Fact of the Day: Bible Luther

One of the major things Martin Luther did for reformed Christians (from the first major break from the Catholic Church) was make his own translation of the Bible into his native German. While there had been many translations of the Bible (including German) before Luther, the Catholic church often kept most of their Bibles written only in Latin though many common people in Luther's time (and well before of course) couldn't read any language including their native one. 

Bernie Sanders Says He'll Most Likely Vote For Hillary Clinton

Being defeated in a bitter primary battle, Bernie Sanders admitted he'll most likely vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election without fully-endorsing her. When asked whether he'd vote for Trump he firmly expressed that was not even an option and that his defeat was the top priority. He also expressed that he wouldn't vote for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson but that's not much of a surprise. There was quite a bit of Anti-Clinton folks in the Feel the Bern movement and I'm sure a few will vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party as part of the "Bernie or Bust" pledge. While it's nice to think a 3rd party candidate has a chance of becoming president, it's not going to happen. It's not a reality, it's not even a dream, it's an impossibility.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

United Kingdom To Leave European Union

 The politics of the European Union is sometimes confusing to me as I do not live in Europe. There have been plenty of sides for their own country staying or leaving the European Union. Euroscepticism apparently exists in many parties, but its rage is quite concentrated in the right-wing especially the farther right you go. But a small majority of Britons voted to leave the European Union with England very firm on leaving while Scotland was very firm on staying. Which may cause Scotland to finally leave the United Kingdom and suddenly the United Kingdom is not so united. It's certainly caused havoc (short-term anyway) for markets from Europe to across the world. There's certainly good and bad for all Britons when it comes to leaving the European Union.

My Favorite Photos: Two Cousins

These are my two nieces quite recently. There was once a time where Little Iz hated Little K (jealousy over their grandma) but they seem to be on pretty good terms now. It's always a good thing to be friends with your cousin. 

Sad Story: Mouse Problems

Since we kept finding spiders I decided to get glueboards to keep them out of the room. Well one day my wife screams soon after I had sort of woken up. She saw a mouse on the glueboard, and then we found another one on the other side of the dresser. I never expected mice and can't imagine how they got into our room. My wife called them babies but they were large enough to fit on most of the glue board. I felt so bad for them as I don't want them in my home but pity that they had to die. And it had to be very slow too. I tried to think of ways to give them mercy but no good ideas came to mind. So now I'm never using a glue board again. And I'm really thinking of getting a cat.  

Fact of the Day: Finland Civil War

The Finnish Civil War took place during 1918 as part of World War I and its political instability. Finland at the time was quite newly independent from Russia. A short but notable civil war broke out between the White Army (supported by Germany) and the Red Army (supported by Soviet Russia) in a bitter political battle (and literal war) between left-wing and right-wing ideologies. The White Army claimed victory and crushed the Reds casting Russia out and staying under the thumb of Germany. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Summer Pool

This is both my nephews Mr. K and Mr. C having fun in the pool with my niece Little Iz last year. Pools were always one of my favorite memories as a kid, but never the little ones though. I always thought they were lame.  

Favorite Quotes: Wind and Rain

“If you take a copy of the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible is the wind and the rain.”

-Anonymous Native American Woman

One of America's saddest points in its history was the treatment of Native Americans. Not only did Europeans take their land, but they destroyed their life and culture. The Abrahamic religions were never too big on the idea of co-existence and they had the nerve to try to replace the religions of Native America with their own. While I don't claim to be an expert on Native American religions, I know most had a theme with individual spirituality and a focus on Earth and nature. That's why I like this quote so much is that before all religions, there was just the wind and the rain. 

Fact of the Day: James V of Scotland

James V of Scotland was a grandson of Henry VII (and nephew of King Henry VIII) but despite the English royalty in his DNA, his country of Scotland was at war with England. He died of an illness in times of much tension, only leaving behind an heir (Mary I) who was six days old by the time he died. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Giant Peach

This was taken last year at the local mall. They have a fairly notable playground (which used to be nothing but empty space for many years) and my niece Little Iz seems to be a fan of it. 

Question: What Do You Give Your Pets to Take Their Medicine?

It's very rare to find a cat or dog that will let you give them medicine from the vet. My dog would often chew through food and spit it out. But we found that soft bread or a good bit of cheese were the best things. Especially cheese, she seemed to think it was so delicious that I never saw her chew it. Almost seems like she drinks that stuff. 

What do you give your dogs and cats when they're sick? 

Fact of the Day: Helvetic Republic

At the very end of the 18th century, France invaded Switzerland to "liberate the people" from a more "feudal" system. They established a country known as the Helvetic Republic which would act as an ally of France. While some Swiss people supported the new regime, others strongly resisted the loss of local democracy, attempts to destroy Catholicism, new taxes, and other reasons that came straight from France. The republic dissolved in about five years becoming the Swiss Confederation though it wouldn't truly leave French influence until years later. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Random Photos: Solar Powered Green Lantern

 Before I became a home-owner I got this little solar-powered lantern which also can use AA batteries. I always loved the idea of solar power as it's the cleanest energy around. This one was made for "camping" but I mainly got it to use it for the times when there is no power. And just to see if it was any good or not.

The Mummy Returns (2001 Film) Review

 The Mummy Returns is the first sequel to the most modern Mummy film series until next year when the new series starts with Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, and Sofia Boutella. I just watched the original Mummy movie recently and I liked it a good bit. The Mummy wasn't the greatest movie ever, but a decent adventure. I'd figure I'd see the sequel soon enough, and less than a month later here I am.The title basically gives you the obvious premise of what the sequel is about. The dreaded villain Imhotep will return, and it's rather obvious the O'Connells are not going to be too happy about that nor will The Mummy be happy to see them. The other bad guy is The Scorpion King who is played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson who was actually better known for being a wrestler for the WWF (now the WWE) back then than he was an actor though times did change for The Rock.

Fact of the Day: Anubis and Osrsis

Anubis was an important god in Egyptian mythology. His importance was great when it came to the after-life as he was considered the Lord of the Underworld, he would usher in spirits to the next world, and judge those if they were worthy to enter the after-life. However Anbis' importance faded over the centuries as eventually Osiris became far more important and even replaced him as the Lord of the Underworld. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Glendale Waterfalls

 The best thing about the park near our house is the waterfalls. There's plenty of rocks to walk on so you don't have to worry about getting soaked. I really doubt if there really is any deep spots in these waters.

Question: Did You Ever Have a Kindergarten Graduation?

When I was kindergarten we did not have a real graduation ceremony. My oldest brother Steven went to another school and they did have one. While kindergarten is really just (or at least for me) not really school but rather babysitting, I can see why we need to "graduate" to 1st grade, but I'm a little annoyed we never had one. Could be worse I suppose, my little cousin Morgan actually got held back and went through kindergarten twice. She was the only person I knew that did not graduate kindergarten.

Did you ever have a graduation for kindergarten? 

Fact of the Day: Many Typewriters

While many inventions had just one creator, the typewriter had far more. Not because there was a great team but it took many different tries by different people to get a workable model. Historians believe it took over 50 inventors to actually "invent" the typewriter. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Getting to the Park

While I had actually visited the park (very close to our new house) many years before, my wife Daisy had not. It's certainly not a park in the sense of baseball, basketball, tennis, and clear trails. It's like a slice of nature kept pure from the modern world. Daisy wasn't quite prepared in her mind to walk paths that do take some effort to get across.

Funny Story: Ned Stark End

 As I've mentioned before, Game of Thrones is my favorite TV show of all time. I finally convinced my mother and her boyfriend Jimmy to watch the series, and I'd ask what happened and explain their questions. One day they mentioned that Ned Stark and Jaime Lannister fought in the streets of King's Landing and that the fight was over when a spear went through his leg. But my mother mentioned that "it's obvious he won't die, because if he did then the story would be over". While Lord Eddard Stark survived his wounds from the battle, his doom followed not long afterwards.

Fact of the Day: Ellen Arthur

Ellen Arthur was married to President Chester A. Arthur. However she never became First Lady during her life-time as she had died two years before her husband took office.  The president's sister Mary Arthur McElroy became the unofficial First Lady and served the duty as the White House hostess. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Random Photo: Boxing Desk

We moved into our new home at the start of my work schedule where I had no days off for almost a week. So I typically would wake up and do things at the new house and go to work then drive back home to the "old" house until we were really moved in. While I was there I brought my computer with me. I didn't have time to get a desk and build it, so I made one out of boxes. 

Deadpool (2016 Film) Review

 When people think of Marvel they think of heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, the X-Men, and many others. The one superhero your mom probably doesn't know is Deadpool. One of Marvel's most unusual and super-popular characters is the anti-hero known far more for his silly humor than a serious story of good vs evil. This isn't the first time we've seen Deadpool as Ryan Reynolds was Wade Wilson/Deadpool in the Wolverine Origins movie and fans were not happy with the way his character was turned into some mute monster with god-like powers by the end of the plot. While it's still part of the X-Men movie time-line, they decided to ignore the previous story and reboot the story of Wade Wilson. Ryan Reynolds originally wanted to be Deadpool in his own movie since about 2003, so was it worth the wait after all these years? Even if this was to disappoint, I think all of us can forget about Ryan Reynolds as the Green Lantern.

Fact of the Day: Roman Francis

When Francis I became Holy Roman Emperor he had very little power during his reign. He left that duty mainly to his wife the Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa.  The Empress' father was the previous Holy Roman Emperor and thus she had the real claim to the throne as her husband only became Emperor by marrying her. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Random Photo: Long Walk

Daisy and I live right near a park that's more of a natural waterfall place on a river with large rocks you can walk on. Parking is terrible there so we decided to walk. We live in a much rural area than before so there isn't many cars or people around. 

Sad Story: Crystal's Baby

One of my old classmates named Crystal in high school got pregnant, but she lost the baby some time into the pregnancy. She was about 15 at the time which is sad in itself. Most people aren't ready for a baby at 25 let alone 15. To make matters worse is that her boyfriend was 21 from what I remembered. When I was 21 I didn't want to date a 17 year old (who was close to 18) who wanted to go out with me because I thought it was creepy. I could only imagine that Crystal's boyfriend was one giant low-life who didn't need to be amongst the general public. 

Fact of the Day: Babington Plot

The Babington Plot was a plan devised by Catholics who wanted Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne instead of her cousin Queen Elizabeth I. The ultimate goal of the plan was Elizabeth I's assassination. The English Queen found out about the plan before it was enacted. Mary gave approval to the plan (in secret letters) and this gave Elizabeth I enough reason to execute her cousin for treason. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Favorite Photos: Summer 2016 Vacation at the Pool Tables

 While I was on vacation, after we got done bowling we played two games of pool while we were still there. Daisy lost the first game very easily.

Favorite Quotes: Angelic Men

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary."
-James Madison

I like this quote by James Madison as it's almost true at least when it comes to national defense and the police. Regardless of how we may like it, there always seems to be a surplus of evil people out there. 

Fact of the Day: American Draft

The first war the United States ever issued a draft on was during the American Civil War. Before that all major wars often were fought by men who were drafted by their state government or a local militia not the federal government and military. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My Favorite Photos: June 2016 Library Bingo

 On the last day of my vacation, the local library had its last bingo game until autumn. Daisy was excited to say the least. We had a lady at our table who would not shut up and would ramble on and on especially when they called number 13 and the day was the 13th. So that day was her "lucky day" and she let the whole room know several times. She did win a game and then left a little while afterwards. While it's unlikely to get bingo twice in a day, they'll still let you try. I was not sad to see her leave though.