Sunday, April 30, 2017

Photo: Little Belle

My niece Little K recently started to have Beauty and the Beast be her new big thing. Now she's dressed like Belle

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) Review

 The Legend of Zelda is a favorite video game series of mine, so much so that I had named my dog Zelda (who sadly passed away last October) when I got her in the early 2000's. My first love in the series was Ocarina of Time, as before 1999-2000 all I ever played was the first game on NES and I found it too difficult for my mental power as a little kid. I later replayed that and loved it along with most of the games in the series. Breath of the Wild took so long to develop that it actually came out after the "death" of the WiiU and arrived as a launch title for the Nintendo Switch. They did make a WiiU version to appease fans, but the Switch version is suppose to be the best as the system is more powerful.

Fact of the Day: McHotdog

McDonald's original CEO Ray Kroc said that hot dogs would never be available no matter how large the demand as nobody could trust what was really inside the meat. About a decade after his death, McDonalds did come out with their own hotdogs but they didn't last long. They can still be found at McDonald's in Japan. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Photo: Goat Friends

I walk to the park near my house and on the way I saw these two goats. I'd see them almost everyday when my dog was still alive as they were on our usual walk-path. They appear to still be doing well. 

Question: The Syrian Republican Double Standard?

I had a co-worker recently bring up on how proud she was of Donald Trump for bombing Syria to "avenge" the deaths of the children gassed there. Yet these same Republicans are against letting any of these children into America as refugees. How can we be so proud if we are willing to shut the metaphorical door and hear the screams from the other side? 

Does the hypocrisy bother you?  

Fact of the Day: French Power Plants

Most French power plants are nuclear, which is the main reason why France produces the least amount of carbon dioxide among the biggest 1st world countries. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Photo: Flintstone House?

 At the park near my house is a reservation of what was left of the old mill. I guess these stone buildings were part of it. Looked like Fred Flintstone's house a little. 
 On the backside, they had been graffiti by some moron or morons. On one side it says "You're on my mind." and the other says "I'm in your shadow." on it. What's the point? This means nothing. Someone will eventually have to remove it and it isn't too easy.  
Another side had someone who spray painted a "green devil", and this is I don't get either. 

Fact of the Day: Prince Beast

While the most famous version of Beauty and the Beast isn't drastically different from the Disney versions, in the original story by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve there are differences. Instead of The Prince being turned into a beast for being a terrible host/person, he was turned into a monster after an evil fairy tried to seduce him and was rejected. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Photo: Labyrinth

In the park near my house they made this "labyrinth" to walk on. It's a neat design, but it's rather dumb to me since you can easily walk around it . It's also not a real maze. It's a pretty simple from start and end. 

The BFG (2016 Film) Review

 The BFG was a movie that flopped pretty big at the box office for Disney. To make matters worse is this a legitimate film for Steven Spielberg who usually doesn't do films that. But it's based on a book by Roald Dahl who also wrote Willy Wonka and Matlida. I liked both books and their movie counterparts, but I never had read The BFG. I never knew quite what it was even about either. BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant. I guess Dahl thought he was clever in the name, but I think it alienates the audience more than anything. I think it's performance at the box office rather proves my point along with the fact that this movie took many decades to emerge.

Fact of the Day: Soda Dispute

A man named Claud Hatcher once owned a grocery store and had a dispute with Coca-cola over how much he was giving them for their soda. It didn't end well and it had Hatcher coming up with his own soda which was called Royal Crown (RC) Cola. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Photo: Iz and Her Garden

My niece Little Iz recently started to learn how to use her green thumb. She's probably going to be better than I am at taking care of plants. 

Question: The Artificial Womb?

Major news in science broke out when they successfully created an artificial womb with the test subject being a baby lamb. Theoretically, they should be able to do the same with premature human babies once they perfect the process. From what I understand, the lamb did not grow at first in the womb but was transferred over later. I saw a few comments on news stories from people who thought this was "playing God" but to be honest if you think about it, almost anything that requires a doctor's help is "playing God". The sect of Christian scientists (the word science in the same being used incorrectly) believe that all illnesses are psychosomatic and anything can be cured by prayer alone. Prayer does nothing, and many children whose parents belong to this sub-religion die A LOT. Vaccines, antibiotics, and surgeries have saved billions of lives, and we need more science in this world.  

What do you think of the artificial womb? 

Fact of the Day: Ancient Fossils

Fossils have been around the Earth through many points of human history. Even Greek philosophers believed finding such fossils was evidence dry land was once covered long-term by an ocean at one point in history. Early Christian writers mostly rejected this belief.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Photo: New Niece Little R

My brother Brandon just had a new daughter enter the world yesterday. My neice Little Iz is now a big sister. It came at a bit of a shock as my sister-in-law was due next week and I heard nothing about it until it was already over and done with. 

Things I Hate: Rainy Days

Without rain, our fresh water supply would be quite tiny, but I really hate those rainy days where all it does is rain. We recently had a big streak and it makes me mad. It's hard to drive even in daylight, and I don't like sleeping during heavy rain. Bad weather usually gives me bad dreams I think. 

Fact of the Day: Henry Lee Eulogy

While not nearly as famous as his son Robert E. Lee, Henry Lee III was a notable military commander and politician in his own right. He even had the power to give out an official eulogy during George Washington's funeral where he said "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen".

Fact of the Day: Booze Booth

Abraham Lincoln lived before the Secret Service, so he had to rely on a more basic form of security. One of his bodyguards claimed to have been dismissed during Ford's Theaters and went to the tavern in his new free time. This gave John Wilkes Booth an easy window to assassinate Lincoln. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Photo: Old White Mansion

Near the big old rusty bridge near my house is a big white house. I hear the person who owned the old mill (which it still ran a long time ago) lived there. But now it's vacant and I heard some local ghost hunters went searching in a house once near the mill. I assume this is probably it. 

Question: Favorite Kind of Grapes

I'm not very picky but my least favorite of the major kinds is green/white grapes. I guess they taste too tart, I like ones that taste sweeter.

Whats your favorite kind of grapes? 

Fact of the Day: Wolf Love

Gray wolves are typically monogamous where wolf pairs stay together until the one of them dies. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Photo: No Strawberries

The area around my house is technically a park and a local college has a section of their own stuff ro the public. One was this strawberry garden with no strawberries. It was a little early for them to grow, but I still thought it was a little funny. 

Fact of the Day: Canadian Tennessee

The city of Bristol, Tennessee is technically closer to Canada than Memphis, Tennessee. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Photo: Old Glendale Mill

Near my house is what they use to call the Glendale Mill, mainly because it's not really there anymore. The mill was built from early planning in 1830 to finally shutting it's doors in the cotton industry in 1961. In 2004 even though it had been vacant, it caught fire and now it's in ruins. This tower and few other things is really the only things still standing for the mill. 

Question: Is Julia Roberts The World's Most Beautiful Woman?

I have to admit, I don't have anything against Julia Roberts, but People magazine recently dubbed her (for a fifth time but not in-a-row) the most beautiful woman in the world. Beauty can mean different things, but I could name quite a few other women off the top of my head with ease. I think Kate Beckinsale, Charlize Theron, and Scarlett Johansson easily outrank her there. 

What do you think? 

Fact of the Day: President Driving

One of the things that modern presidents cannot do once taking office is drive themselves on public roads. However Presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush did drive on their own private property as they both had ranches. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Photos: Old Glendale Bridge

 I live very close to the Glendale Shoals Reserve in Spartanburg, SC. It's bascially an old bridge, mill, waterfall, and other things that have been "preserved" as a "park" which is located on the Pacolet River. I like going down here as the tiny waterfall is beautiful.

Things I Like: South Park The Movie

 South Park made big waves when it first landed on TVs but the movie was a pretty big deal for the time. I didn't get to see until a few years afterwards when I rented it at Blockbuster. I recently re-watched it the other day. 

Fact of the Day: Maginot Line

The Maginot Line was a series of fortifications and other defensive barriers along France's eastern border. It was built after World War I to deter another German invasion. To avoid causing conflict, the line did not extend to Belgium. When the Germans invaded Belgium and conquered France in early World War II, the Maginot Line proved to be rather useless.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Photo: Easter Egg Hunt 2017 For Little K

Unlike the previous year, Little K's easter egg hunt was just by herself. No cousins or anything. 

Question: Were You Worried Back During Y2K?

Unlike what Prince said, 1999 was more about being paranoid than partying. The Y2K bug was a big scare about every computer in the world was going to go insane because when the year rolled over it would have screwed up with some kind of stupid computer programming. I remember people buying massive amounts of stuff. To be honest, if the world ended in a nuclear apocalypse, a giant pack of toilet paper from Sam's Club ain't going to save you. I was more optimistic of the situation and skeptical about it was ever going to happen. Fear mongering rarely gets to me, but I'm quite a few IQ points above the general population. 

Were you scared of Y2K?

Fact of the Day: Devil Numbers

In Christian theology, 666 is commonly known as the "Devil's Number" or the "Mark of the Beast". But in some of the oldest translations, the number is actually 616. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Photo: Little Ks Easter Basket

This is what my niece Little K woke up to Easter Morning. A big Finding Dory theme it seems. Her birthday last year was Cinderella themed, so it seems she's got a new favorite thing which is also by Disney. Easter eggs are probably easier to find than Dory or Nemo though. 

The Hateful Eight (2015 Film) Review

Despite how much I like Quentin Tarantino's work, I haven't seen all of his films. I waited roughly two years for The Hateful Eight because I wasn't really sure what the film was about and I kind of forgot about it for awhile. This is considered his eighth film (written and directed) and features a lot actors from his previous films like Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell (though I haven't seen Death Proof yet), and Michael Madsen. Noticeably absent was the amazing Christoph Waltz who hasn't lost an Oscar in an Quentin Tarantino movie yet. It might be because it is lame when the same director uses the same people in EVERY movie of theirs, but I also don't think Waltz really had a role that was good for him here. 
The story starts in a snowy mountain area of Wyoming a few years after the end of the American Civil War. John Ruth is a bounty hunter who is notable for taking in prisoners alive just so he can see them hang personally. His prize today is Daisy Domergue who is a notable criminal who is worth an amazing bounty. Ruth has her tied to his wrist and is extremely paranoid. He offers (though not without resistance) a ride to another bounty hunter (and former military commander) named Major Marquis Warren. Before arriving to a remote lodge called Minnie's Haberdashery to wait out the intense snow storm, they see another man. His name is Chris Mannix and he claims to be the newly elected sheriff of the nearby Red Rock, Wyoming. Mannix is a former Confederate and he becomes the ire of both men especially Warren as he not only fought in the Union army but is African-American as well.  
When they get to the cabin, they meet several other folks. One of them is a feeble Confederate General named Sanford "Sandy" Smithers. Another is the British Oswaldo Mobray who claims to be the hangman of Redrock. A Mexican named Bob claims to be the newly hired-help for the lodge. And the one they trust least of all is Joe Gage, a very gruff looking man who claims he's going to visit his mother for the holiday. John Ruth believes that at least one of the men in this cabin (including Warren and Mannix) is out to set Daisy Domergue free as a bird. Most of everyone claims he's paranoid, but John Ruth is absolutely right. But who and how many against him are there in this awful lodge? 
To be honest, The Hateful Eight while being a good movie is a big utter disappointment. I will say it's my least favorite Tarantino so far. At over three hours long, there is a lot of dull moments and the twists aren't really that shocking. The cast is awesome especially for the characters with key moments but I think Jennifer Jason Leigh was certainly deserving of being the only person who got an Oscar nomination (though she lost to Alicia Vikander) for the film for her role as the despicable Daisy Domergue. Besides a script that seems like it's stuffed with filler, it also seems like a rip-off almost of Reservoir Dogs (also by Quentin Tarantino) but set in a different time and place except not nearly as wonderful and shocking. 

Score: B

Fact of the Day: DeVos Flip Flop

The highly controversial Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was nominated by Donald Trump, however she originally didn't support him. During the GOP primaries she backed Jeb Bush, then Carly Fiorna, and finally Marco Rubio. She originally called Trump an interloper and said that he "does not represent the Republican Party".

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Photo: Iz Favorite Cat

My mother asked my niece Little Iz what her favorite thing in the world was. She said Buster, which is their housecat. 

Question: Do You Think More Countries Like Taiwan Should Eliminate Pet Meat?

Taiwan became the first Asian country to make the use of dog or cat meat a criminal offense (through fines) for anyone caught. Except Japan and South Korea, most of the other Asian countries suffer often from extreme poverty and hunger, so I know dog and cat meat is more about survival than just choice. But it does disturb me, even though I'm a vegetarian it bugs me more as dogs and cats are not wild animals. They were bred from wild ancestors to be our friends, not food. 

Would like to see the end of dog and cat meat?  

Fact of the Day: Milk and Rickets

One of the reasons why Vitamin D was added to milk (and stays today) was because of the bone disease rickets which is caused by the lack of Vitamin D. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Photo: Candy Time

My nieces Little Iz and Little K are with my mother at my brother Brandon's house in this photo. I wasn't there but looks like someone has that ring pop candy. 

Beauty and the Beast (2017 Film) Review

 Beauty and the Beast is one of the most classic fairy tales and one of Disney's best animated features. Now that remaking them is cool and whatnot, it was time for Beauty and the Beast to get the same treatment. I knew this was coming at least a few years ago and I was a bit dubious on the casting of Emma Watson as Belle. I grew up seeing her as Hermione Granger (even though I didn't watch Harry Potter until much later on) and unlike other men my age (I'm about 2 years older than Watson) I never had a crush on her. She's certainly not a ugly woman by any means, but I always saw her like a little sister for some reason. Even with her in costume, she never wowed me as Belle as Lily James did as Cinderella. I was really excited about Dan Stevens as The Beast. I knew him as Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey and I was really upset when he left the show.

Fact of the Day: Puda Deer

Pudu deer are the world's smallest type of deer. They are native to South America. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Photo: Longhorn Steakhouse Supper

My wife managed to get her way (she was unusually desperate to go) and we went to Longhorn Steakhouse with my mother after my nephew Mr. K's birthday party. She was more than happy. It was on a busy Saturday but luckily the wait was far shorter than expected even with a packed parking lot. One of things that bugs me about these times though is that your waiter is so slammed that you'll never get perfect service. 

Things I Like: South Park (Season 2)

 While South Park made Comedy Central a real TV channel, the 2nd season sure did impress more than the first. Animation was a good bit better but the craziness was still strong. I recently re-watched it while my wife Daisy watched it for the first time.

Fact of the Day: Easter Pascha

The word for Easter comes from the Germanic pagan goddess Eostre, but another name for Easter is Pascha from Greek and Latin. While the Western concept of Easter often shares similarities to European spring festivals, Easter also shares a similar date and customs as the Jewish spring festival Passover. The holiday is known as Pesah in Hebrew and in many languages Easter and Passover are either very similarly spelled or identical. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Photos: Birthday Family Football

 My brother Steven organized a flag-football game during my nephew Mr. K's birthday party. Since there were only four boys (none of the girls wanted to play) the teams had to be filled with some grown-ups. Even though Mr. C insisted I be on his team, I got assigned with my brother Steven, my brother Zach, my nephew Mr. K, and one of his little cousins. Steven was quarterback, and it was more challenging than I'd imagine. We kind of equaled things out as you'd often counter someone of your own age level. My brother Steven's half-brother Micah was my bane that game as every pass had him right in front of me. It was so hard to shake them off given the space of the gym.