Friday, November 30, 2018

Things I Like: Bowser (Super Mario Bros. 3)

 This was Bowser's first real appearance since the first game (since the Lost Levels was more or less deja vu) and thankfully, it evolved his boss battle instead of that sprint for the axe.

Photo: Dillards Red Christmas Nutcracker

Saw this giant nutcracker in the Christmas section of the Spartanburg Dillards in the Westgate Mall. I always think they're rather neat. 

Fact of the Day: Alois Alzheimer

The disease Alzheimer's was discovered by German doctor Alois Alzheimer. He didn't call the disease after himself (it was coined by a colleague of his) but he called it originally "presenile dementia".

Mario Tennis Aces (Nintendo Switch) Review

 I've been a fan of the Mario Tennis sub-series since the N64 version, though it was predated by a really obscure version for the ill-fated Virtual Boy system. I certainly missed the WiiU sequel Ultra Smash but I heard it failed to really evolve the series. Since I no longer have a WiiU, I guess I'll never know for sure. So how did the Nintendo Switch incarnation hold up after a good hiatus since my days with Power Tennis on the Nintendo Gamecube? 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Things I Like: Ludwig von Koopa (Super Mario Bros. 3)

 The strongest and oldest Koopaling, Ludwig Von Koopa is the last reptilian menace before Bowser himself in Super Mario Bros. 3.

Photo: Mall Cupcakes to Go

Saw this vending machine of cupcakes while at the mall before Thanksgiving. First time I've seen cupcakes, though I've heard of vending machines having them. Wasn't in the mood for a cupcake, so I didn't get one to try. 

Fact of the Day: Avocado Sauce

The word guacamole is derived from the Aztec word ahuacamolli which means "avocado sauce" in English. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Things I Like: Lemmy Koopa (Super Mario Bros. 3)

 Lemmy Koopa is the next to last on the list of Koopalings to fight during Super Mario Bros. 3. Much different from his reptile siblings, he walks on a bouncy ball while sending out others for Mario to dodge.

Photos: Big Pile of Leaves

 Saw this huge pile of leaves as we went to the library one day. I've never seen some many gathered up in one spot before.

Fact of the Day: English French Latin Colors

Typically non-American spellings of the word color are spelled colour with the extra "u". Which is taken from the Old French colour, but the Old French word was derived from the Latin word color. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Things I Like: Roy Koopa (Super Mario Bros. 3)

 One of the later "Koopa kids" his battle isn't too much different from his siblings.

Photo: Soda Snowman

Saw this snowman while getting the last few things before Thanksgiving dinner. The Pepsi people made these, I always thinks it's neat what they come up with. 

Fact of the Day: The Last Man in Europe

George Orwell was originally going to call his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four as The Last Man in Europe. 

My Bloodstained Curse of the Moon (Nintendo Switch) Impressions

 I have been waiting for years for the release of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night since I love the Metroidvania (open world Castlevania games) games. However I was shocked to see this prequel game come out before the real game. It's an 8-Bit game that plays a lot like the classic 2D Castlevania games. 
Your main character is Zangetsu. He uses a katana, which would remind many of Alucard's main weapon in Symphony of the Night.   
 But like Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, you can switch characters on the fly. The 2nd member of the team (ironically the star of the upcoming Ritual of the Night) is Miriam. Her main weapon is a whip, much like the Belmont clan of the Castlevania games.  
I like it so far, it's fun but not terrible tough so far. Luckily the game moves much faster and easier to use the NES Castlevanias which were mainly held back due to the lack of power on the NES system. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Photo: Metal Sphere Water Fountain Downtown Spartanburg

I came across this water fountain I had never seen before while walking near the parking garage down Magnolia Street in downtown Spartanburg. I thought this was pretty cool. 

The Mummy (2017 Film) Review

 The Mummy is a film series I remember watching only a few years ago. I think this 2017 film motivated me to the see the old Brendan Fraser ones. They were good, but not great films. This new Mummy film was to create a new "universe" by copying the Marvel Cinematic Universe but Universal wanted to create a universe (called the Dark Universe) using characters out of their classic monsters line. The Mummy was set to the best first of many...more on that later.

Fact of the Day: Mockingbird Animals

While mockingbirds are famous for making the sounds of other birds, but they can also imitate the sounds of amphibians and insects. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Things I Like: Iggy Koopa (Super Mario Bros 3)

 Ol' Iggy Koopa always reminds me of his brother Larry Koopa for whatever reason.

Photo: Big Inflatable Walmart Tree

I saw this tree while going to the Hillcrest Walmart before Thanksgiving, If only it was that easy to put up the tree in our house. 

Fact of the Day: Zorro the Fox

The fictional hero Zorro gets his name from the Spanish word for fox. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Things I Like: Wendy Koopa (Super Mario Bros. 3)

 Wendy Koopa is the third boss of the game, and the first to pose a real challenge, in my opinion. 
 You have to worry about the bouncing rings, which can mess you up when you're trying to focus on Wendy. The trick is to take her down quickly before the boss battle is filled with those blasted rings. A good and challenging fight for the NES Mario days. 
You then save your third king...wait a minute. He looks like Mario!

Photo: Holiday in Shadowland Spartanburg Lightbulb

My city has these light bulb art pieces all over the city. This one was right near the Children's Museum downtown as I was walking down the sidewalk. This one is painted like a children's storybook, though I always found jesters to be rather creepy. 

Fact of the Day: Winston Churchill Religious Views

While debated by historians between whether he was atheist or agnostic, Winston Churchill was a great skeptic and rejected mainstream religion especially Christianity. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Things I Like: Morton Koopa Jr. (Super Mario Bros. 3)

 Morton Koopa is the 2nd main boss of Super Mario Bros. 3. Though he's not much different than his brother Larry Koopa. You still have to dodge the magic from the wand which is slightly faster this time around.

Photo: Christmas Chewbacca

Saw these Chewbaccas as Walmart and I was reminded of the Star Wars Holiday Special which was notorious for being so awful that it only aired once and George Lucas pretended it didn't exist. In the special it focuses on Chewbacca and his family and the celebration of "Life Day" on his home planet. Funny enough, pretty much all the original actors made it for the Star Wars Christmas special. 

Fact of the Day: American Immigration

Until the early 20th century, the United States (like many countries) had "open borders" to immigration. It wasn't until the late 20th century that "illegal immigration" became a major political issue. 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Things I Like: Larry Koopa (Super Mario Bros. 3)

 Larry Koopa is the first of Bowser's "children" in Super Mario Bros. 3, which is the first real Mario Bros game (Doki Doki Panic dressed as Super Mario Bros. 2 doesn't count) to feature bosses that weren't all Bowser impostors plus the real deal. 

Photo: Sleeping Ferrets

While I would not like one as a pet, I saw these two cuddling each other in Petco. Talk about cute!

Fact of the Day: Dwarf Dog

The dog breed corgis originated in Wales (thus the name Welsh Corgi) and the name means "dwarf dog" when translated from Welsh to English. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Things I Like: Wil Ohmsford (Shannara Chronicles)

 Wil Ohmsford is the main character of the series. The son of a great warrior of elvish/human bloodline, he will be brought into bigger battles than even his father.

Photos: Unusual Clownfish

 One of the reasons I go into Petco now and then is to look at the clownfish. They had many this time of a different variety. I've seen black clownfish but this looked like the regular kind just with far too much white spots.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018 Film) Review

While I didn't get into the Harry Potter movie series until it was almost over, I did like the series A LOT. My wife Daisy really could not stand it being over, and kept wanting a sequel to be made. I never thought they would, but they have made a prequel series which takes place many decades before Harry Potter was born. I really liked the first movie, so watching this new one was certainly something we didn't hesitate to do.

Fact of the Day: Bagel

The food known as bagels were invented by the Jewish communities of Poland. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Things I Like: Mareth (Shannara Chronicles)

A character I didn't expect, Mareth is the daughter of Allanon through his previous romance with Pyria Elessedil. Pyria was a sister of King Eventine (making Mareth a closely related cousin of Amberle) which makes Mareth technically a princess of the elves.

Photo: Pretty Bettas and Baby Betta Fish

 Daisy is thinking about getting another betta fish, but I don't want to deal with the hassel of cleaning tanks and whatnot. But I did take a look at them while at Petco one day.

Fact of the Day: Norse Anger

The English word anger comes from the Old Norse word angr which meant "grief". 

Castlevania (TV Series) Season 2 Review

Most movies based on video games are usually pretty darn awful. TV shows fare better but not many exist outside of the children's cartoon genre. Castlevania was much different, it was drawn and produced a lot like a Japanese anime and it was pretty darn dark and didn't really hold much back in the realm of vampires and monsters. I have been a fan of the video game series, so I checked season one out. It had promised but it was way too short for its own good. Finally Netflix delivered on a season two that is the real deal.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Things I Like: Eretria (Shannara Chronicles)

Eretria doesn't seem like she would be the most important character at first, but she's certainly up in the top five of the series. 

Pacific Rim Uprising (2018 Film) Review

The original Pacific Rim was one of my favorite films from 2013. Any movie that takes five years to produce a sequel, typically seems a little odd. What's even odder is that its star Charlie Hunnam is not in this movie, period. Apparently he couldn't do the sequel due to his work on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (horrible movie by the way) not giving him enough time to shoot Pacific Rim 2. So they made a new character casted by Star Wars' John Boyega (Finn in the Star Wars movies) for the new hero of the film.

Photos: Daisy Hair Dyed at Smartstyle Salon

Daisy thinks her natural black hair is boring, so she got her hair dyed completely not long ago instead of just highlights. 

Fact of the Day: French Louisville Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky is named after the French King Louis XVI, the last King of France before the French Revolution. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Things I Like: Allanon (Shannara Chronicles)

 Since the author of the books made it no secret that he was making his own Lord of the Rings story, Allanon is obviously based on Gandalf. I hear the show version is quite a bit different from the books. He's certainly more youthful and muscular than Gandalf in either version of Lord of the Rings. Like the book series, Allanon had been present to see almost everything important to the story.

Photo: New IHOP in East Spartanburg

 For since forever, the only IHOP in town was on the westside near our Target. But I was amazed to see a new one near our side of town come out of nowhere. It's also managed by a different company, as I had not liked the way the folks were running the original IHOP in Spartanburg.

Fact of the Day: Rebel War

The word rebel came into English via the Old French word rebelle which itself came from the Latin word rebellis. The ultimate root word was the Latin word bellum which meant "war".  

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Things I Like: Amberle Elessedil (Shannara Chronicles)

 Amberele starts off as the "main" character in the Shannara Chronicles more than any other character in my opinion, though the only other character to contest that would be Wil Ohmsford. She is a princess of the elves (her grandfather is King) but she wants to become one of the Chosen, a group of elves sworn to protect a tree, or something like that. She has to win a contest which she barely manages to do.