Monday, April 30, 2018

Photos: Little K at the Carnival

 My niece Little K got to go to the local carnival. Here she is on a little roller coaster. She looks rather indifferent here. 

We're Headed to Washington DC!

Today is the big day, we should be in Washington DC late in the afternoon. We are flying, and this is my first flight. That being said, I won't be back until Friday. Though you'll still see things from me, as Neko Random doesn't stop even when I do. 

Fact of the Day: Tsaritsyn

Before becoming Stalingrad (present-day Volgograd), the Russian city's original name was Tsaritsyn. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Things I Like: Catherine of Aragon (The Tudors)

 While I never cared much for the historical Catherine of Aragon, I did like the character on The Tudors and especially the actress as she did a great job. At the start of The Tudors, she is the loving and loyal wife of King Henry VIII.

Photo: Pizza Arcade with Little Brother

 My Little Brother (through the Big Brother Big Sisters program) was told by his dad, that he would no longer see or talk to him anymore. This was the first day we got to hangout after hearing the news. I thought the pizza place with the arcade would be a fun thing to do. That did seem to cheer him up.

Fact of the Day: Prince Hall

Prince Hall was a black free-man who during the 18th century, tried to join a white freemason lodge with others and they were all denied. He then founded his own version of freemasonry. Prince Hall Freemasonry still remains today, though still very segregated from the "mainstream" Freemasonry which the "mainstream" freemasons are mostly white.   

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Photo: Coat Hanger in the Sink?

In our work bathroom, I noticed someone left a plastic coat-hanger in the sink. My only question is why? We are a home improvement place...

Story: Charles Our Paint Guy

Spring is our busiest time at my work, so we got two seasonal people this year. One of them, Lei was fired for fighting in the parking lot with an ex. The other is Charles, who showed that he really does not want to work. When we train most people, they try to absorb as much knowledge as they can, in case they're ever here alone by themselves. Charles ignored almost all attempts to teach him after the first twenty minutes. He's missed work twice so far by my count, each time saying he had to go to the hospital. Our co-worker Pat tried to make him do some serious labor and he complained about chest pains and went home right then and there. He's only like 21.

Fact of the Day: Gossip

The English word gossip is strangely derived from the Old English word godsibb which was a word for "godparent". 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Dragon Ball Super (TV Series) Season 2 Review

Dragon Ball Super is a series I started not that long ago. While the series just finished up in Japan, it took awhile for the English dub to catch up at all, and even more so for me to. While I do watch some anime spoken in the Japanese language (though my knowledge isn't good enough without subtitles), I grew up with the English voice cast, and I can't really imagine them any other way now. The first season was really disappointing, but how did the second compare? 

Photo: Snow White and Rapunzel Goldfish

After a few years, my niece finally got pets, two goldfish. She's Disney-obsessed so of course they are named Snow White and Rapunzel. It's a good thing the common person can't tell a goldfish by gender and goldfish don't understand the stupid names we give them nor hear them anyway.  

Fact of the Day: William Tyndale Vs The King

William Tyndale was the first notable man to translate The Bible into a more modern form of English. He smartly moved to a more Lutheran-friendly area of Europe before he became well-known for doing something so against the Catholic Church. However when it became known that he opposed King Henry VIII's annulment to Catherine of Aragon, the English king demanded to the Holy Roman Emperor that Tyndale be executed. While there was difficulty at first, Tyndale was eventually and brutally executed for it.    

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Photo: Strawberry Hill Ice Cream

A local place in Spartanburg County called Strawberry Hill specializes in produce, but they also peddle ice cream too. My niece Little K looks happy with her choice of cone. 

Story: No Dinosaurs

 I knew a guy at work who didn't think dinosaurs were real, and sure enough another lady at another workplace named Candace doesn't believe they are real either. Funny enough despite her raunchy attitude which makes me look even more vanilla (along with a son who is a worthless delinquent) she is a proud Republican and devout Christian. But I just couldn't help but to laugh and sigh when I heard the news.

Fact of the Day: Ruby Sapphires

Ruby and Sapphires are actually the same mineral called corundum. It's just the color that determines the name. Rubies are typically always red (sometimes pink) but all other colors (ironically pink as well) can be called sapphires while the typical color of classic sapphires is blue. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Photo: Donut Night at Krispy Kreme Spartanburg

 We were actually going to go much earlier about a week ago, but a notable storm had made it rain all day long. Seems like they had some kind of event going on at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium across the street as there were far more people there than usual.

Question: Eternal Summer or Winter?

If you had to choose (assuming food wouldn't run short in endless winter weather) would your rather it always be summer or winter? Both are two extremes, but I'd rather have summer. It's not depressing like winter is, you can always drive, and some other good things. Too bad it's often way too hot in summer. 

Fact of the Day: Big Atlantis

While most modern stories of fiction based on Atlantis deem it as notable (but still rather small) island, the original view of the mythical Atlantis was that is a continent and some views thought it was larger than even Africa or Asia in size. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Photo: Miss Wonder Woman

My niece Little K loves to cosplay, this is the first time I've seen her pretend to be Wonder Woman. 

Story: Tree-house Dreams

 When I was little I was friends with the kid who lived next door. Our two yards were side-by-side but separated by a chain link fence gate. His name was Tyrone, and we had a pretty harmonious friendship until he got older and started to show some of his deep issues. I think one of those issues was that his dad was in prison for a few years, but when he was a kid, he really had high hopes of what it'd be like when he returned. Tyrone had promised that his dad would build a treehouse.

Fact of the Day: Women's Fashion

Like almost anything in Western civilization, women's fashion also changed drastically during the shift between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. While it varied by time and location, generally women's dresses weren't drastically different in fabric and style than the tunics of men. However the Renaissance saw a large creation of more elegant and luxurious gowns. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Photo: Doll House

This is my niece Little K playing with a new doll house. I will say, it's pretty clear she won't grow up to be a tom-boy. 

Fact of the Day: Catherine of Alexandria

According to the early Christian churches, Catherine of Alexandria was a "princess" and converted-Christian who converted many herself to the faith. The legend claims that the Roman Emperor Maximian had 50 of his best Pagan philosophers debate her and that she ended up "winning" the debate. However at the age of 18, she was murdered as a martyr by a Pagan Rome. However modern scholars doubt she existed as her story (along with the time she was supposed to have lived) is very similar to that of Hypatia, though Hypatia was a pagan who was murdered by Christians. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Shameless (TV Series) Season 1 Review

 Shameless is a series I heard of a few years ago. I don't think it was on Netflix at the time, so I didn't think I'd be able to see it anyway. But it is on Netflix now, and I needed a new TV series to watch, so Shameless was the top leading candidate for me to pick. It's based on a very popular UK TV series of the same name (including same names for the majority of the characters as well) though the UK series was almost over by the time the American show began. 

Photo: Chuck E Cheese Time

This was not long ago when my niece Little K went to Chuck E. Cheese. Like any kid her age, the place is like heaven to her. 

Fact of the Day: Wax Art

A far less common name for simple art crayons are wax pastels. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Photo: Little K and Grandma and Troll Doll

I guess my niece wanted her troll doll in the picture, but as she gets older, I will say my niece Little K looks more like my mother than the rest of my nephews/nieces.  

Story: Stupid Guy Asking For Help

My first job was at a supermarket, and one common task at night would be to clean the sidewalk off of dirt and trash. I'd use a leaf blower for most things, but I'd use a broom at the bench where (mostly managers) would have their breaks with their cancer-sticks. Sometimes there'd be someone out on the bench while I was cleaning and this time it wasn't a co-worker or manager, it was just some random person. He looked really shady as he was putting out his bad habit in the ash tray. He basically asked me if I could put in a good word for him as he wanted a job there, but he didn't even give me his name. Good thing for him he didn't, because that would just cause me to put in a bad word for him. But seriously what did he expect for me to go up to the hiring manager and say "Hey this weirdo wants a job, he seems like a good candidate to me". 

Fact of the Day: Communisme

While modern Communism came to reality due to the works of Karl Marx and his later radical supporters, the economical/poltical philosophy was originally the work of French writer Victor d'Hupay. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Photo: Little Clemson Fans

My brother Steven is a big fan of the college football team Clemson. He takes his sons down to Death Valley every year so they can meet the coaches and players. 

Lady Bird (2017 Film) Review

 Lady Bird is a movie I've been looking forward to for quite tome time now. Most Oscar-nominated movies slip by me until they get the nomination, which I think was true for Lady Bird. But Saoirse Ronan, I think is one of the most talented actresses alive so I always try to check out any work with her in it. I honestly thought from what I heard critics were saying that it'd walk away with many Oscars, but it walked away, which is quite surprising considering that Saoirse Ronan lost again.

Fact of the Day: Costa Rican Pineapples

Costa Rica produces the most pineapples in the world, however Brazil and the Philippines aren't far behind. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Photo: Danny and His Bed

When I used to get pet beds for my dog, she'd treat it like she had nothing to do with it at first sight. A few hours later, and she'd already be taking a nap on it. My mother's cat Danny apparently took weeks to get on his. 

Things I Like: Fruit Punch Peeps Easter Candy

I don't eat much candy anymore, but I had to try these after seeing them in the Easter section. While virtually all peeps taste the same, these have a "fruit punch" taste. I liked them quite a bit. ironically my wife Daisy didn't like them despite having taste-buds that think almost everything is "good". She called them "sour" but I think they're sweet. I was never a fan of sour candy like warheads or crybaby candy. 

Fact of the Day: Mother Cow

Since cows are considered sacred in Hinduism, most Hindus believe that a cow should be shown the same respect that one would show to their own mother. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Photo: Baby Birds at My Brother's New House

 My brother is having a brand new house built for him in the country across from his in-laws. I heard they were getting "farm animals" as pets. My nephew Mr. C seems to really like this baby chicken (I think) here.

Story: Stupid Lei

 Spring is the busy season at my work, so we usually get a seasonal person to help us out. We got two of them this year, one of them was a young woman named Lei. Despite some feisty attitude (like giving me the bird several times...) she was actually competent at making paint and caught on fairly quickly and heck I can tolerate any imperfections when I can leave our desk and not worry about being pestered over something stupid.

Fact of the Day: James Jacob

The English name James is based on the Hebrew name Yaʻaqov which also led to the creation of the named Jacob as well. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Photo: Little K's Easter Haul

I worked on Easter but this is the stuff my niece Little K had gotten for Easter. 

Story: Little Brother's Father

 Most kids through the Big Brothers Big Sister program lack one parent or both, so when I met my Little Brother, I was surprised to learn that his dad was still alive and allegedly in his life but he lived way up in Pennsylvania. About two week's ago his mom told me they've been trying to contact him but didn't get a message back for quite some time. I didn't take that as a good sign but I'm an optimistic person by nature so I didn't think about it that seriously. 

Fact of the Day: Mohawk

The hairstyle mohawk is named after the Mohawk tribe of Native Americans. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Photo: Da Plane

We have a small airport near my mother's house, I took my little brother (through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program) there to see the planes and whatnot. These are small planes, so there not nearly as big as the commercial ones, but they are neat to see. This one reminded me a bit of a "car from the future" in its design near the front. At least it does fly!

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001 Film) Review

Atlantis: The Lost Empire was a movie I do remember coming out shortly after the turn of the millennium. I remember having almost no interest in the movie and I guess a lot of people did too as it really did poorly compared to other works by Disney. I fault the animation style and the fact that Disney chose to make their lead character look so dorky and ridiculous. But I wanted to catch up on Disney films I've missed over the years.  

Fact of the Day: WD40 Name

WD-40 stands for Water Displacement, 40th Formula. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Photo: Green Bay Packers Truck

I saw this truck right before I went to get some groceries. We are far from Wisconsin, but somebody here really loves the Green Bay Packers. 

Question: Did You Ever Have a Beeper?

While it led to the technology that gave us cell phones and smartphones today, it's easy to forget these little guys ever existed even the more advanced ones. Once almost everyone had a cell phone these went away like the dodo and at this time, I was just a kid in school, and I really had no use for one. I do find it neat when technology suddenly and abruptly becomes obsolete.  

Did you ever have a beeper? 

Fact of the Day: Obese

The English word obese is derived from the Latin word obesus which means to "have eaten until fat".  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Phantom Thread (2017 Film) Review

 An actor I've admired very much is Daniel Day-Lewis because he rarely ever has bad luck with movies. He's very selective about what movie he appears in, so that's a reason he rarely ever gets involved with train-wrecks while almost any actor or actress has had more than their fair share of dumb films. Phantom Thread (allegedly) is his last movie before he calls it quits for the days of retirement. The film got many Oscar nominations but lost almost all across the board, mainly to The Shape of Water in many categories including Best Picture.

Photo: Daisy and Her Cherry Coca-Cola

Daisy wanted me to take her to the downtown library, I had to use the restroom and when I came out I couldn't find her. Then I thought about it and realized she was at the vending machines to get a soda. And...yep there she was. 

Fact of the Day: Abraham Abe Lincoln

Like many early presidents, Abraham Lincoln didn't have a middle name.