Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Photo: Ralph Lauren Teddy Bear

I was in the Haywood Mall without Daisy a few days ago passing some time. I saw this pink teddy bear near the Dillards entrance. I know Daisy would have tried to take this one home, if she had the chance. 

Fact of the Day: Alexander

The given name Alexander is of Greek origin which means "defender of the people". 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Things I Like: Cora Crawley (Downton Abbey)

 Out of the major characters, Cora was one of the weakest in my opinion, but I still liked her greatly. I liked how they made the wife of a British earl, American. She was born in a very wealthy family, and at the time, many girls in similar families wanted to be British ladies. British lords at the time needed good dowries as a modernizing world left them with the ability to not afford the luxuries of their fathers and forefathers.

Photo: Sauna

While looking around in Costco, I saw this stand-alone sauna they had on display. I saw a Finnish one at the Spartanburg International Festival about two years ago, and you could step in for a minute and feel the heat. It does sound appealing in the winter time. Though I wouldn't know where to put the blasted thing at my residence. 

Fact of the Day: King Cinnamon

The spice known as cinnamon has very ancient origins. In ancient times, it was so rare however, that it was said to be only reserved for monarch and deities.  

Monday, February 18, 2019

Things I Like: Temple Stage (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 This stage originated with Melee, and hasn't ever been out of the series since. While many would think it's like a redo of the Ocarina of Time castle, it's actually based more on the palaces of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

Photo: Zaxbys Fries After Aldi

Typically we don't get fast food after we get groceries, but we have a Zaxby's (really good food, mostly around the Southern United States) mere steps away from our Aldi. While it wasn't a real meal, I did let Daisy get some orders of fries there for a snack when we got home. Not many fast food french fries can compared to Zaxby's.  

Fact of the Day: Doctor Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a medical doctor before becoming an author. He strongly believed in the success of vaccines and proudly denounced the movements that are anti-vaccines.  

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Things I Like: Beam Sword (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 The beam sword has been in the series since the original. This obvious Star Wars lightsaber parody has always been one of the best weapons. The Ultimate incarnation favors the Melee version than the big blue one from Brawl.

Venom (2018 Film) Review

 Ever since I was a kid, I've been a big fan of Spider-Man. I later learned that the first Spider-Man comic came out on August 10th (my birthday but not my birth year) and the character of Venom came out in 1988, the year of my birth. Venom was always one of the best Marvel bad guys, but virtually everyone thought Tobey Maguire's version of the character in Spider-Man 3 stunk. Sony surprised many by allowing Spider-Man to join the MCU, but I wasn't shocked when I learned they were making Venom, which showed they weren't going to let their film rights remain in hiatus because of the whole MCU thing. 

So I Got to Meet Senator Elizabeth Warren

 Yesterday Senator Elizabeth Warren was in Greenville, SC for a campaign rally for the 2020 Presidential Election. Both her and Kamala Harris have done pretty well early on, but it could be anyone's race. Though I do think Warren is statistically likely to win at this point in time, and certainly in the general. Once a candidate has the nomination, the chances of meeting them from less than 50 feet away is slim to none. I knew I'd never meet Obama (a fact that hits me right in the heart) but I knew not to miss this chance. I drove about 45 minutes to Greenville and walked to the West End Community Center. Though I was 50 minutes early, the crowd was already large when I got there.

Fact of the Day: Vietnam Minh Awkward

When the communist leader of (North) Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh died, he died on the anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The Vietnamese government falsely reported a slightly different date for twenty years because of it. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Things I Like: Princess Daisy (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

Since she'd play most likely as her counterpart Princess Peach, she wasn't a highly requested character among fans, except maybe Luigi fans (as she's his presumed girlfriend) that is. And sure enough she's an echo fighter of Peach.

Photo: A Valentines Steak and Fries at Longhorn Steakhouse Spartanburg

Daisy obviously gets to pick where to eat for Valentine's Day. She chose her favorite Longhorn Steakhouse, surprise surprise. If she has steak, she's happy, The fries and a sweet tea are just the cherry on top...well you know what I mean. 

Fact of the Day: Sophie Scholl

During World War II, Sophie Scholl along with other students of the University of Munich led a non-violent and intellectual movement called the White Rose group. She became a vocal critic of the Nazi regime and often used leaflets to spread her message of resistance. The Nazi had her arrested and executed her by guillotine. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Things I Like: Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey)

 Before Downton Abbey, I knew Maggie Smith best as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter films. By the time Downton Abbey was over, I kind of forgot about her role as a magical witch, this Lady Crawley outshines that role in my opinion. She's the mother of Robert Crawley, the current Earl. While she no longer lives at the estate, she's a frequent guest. 

Photo: People and Places Spartanburg Light Bulb Art

This lightbulb art is called People and Places by Beth Regula. Since this is a city art project, she apparently based this one on Spartanburg county. While hard to see in the photo, the art has people in the "heavens", mountains, workers (I hope) in a field, and people on bicycles. While I am a little clueless on the symbolism here, it's probably the most artistic of all the ones I've seen so far once you look at the details. 

Fact of the Day: Buddhist Josaphat

A Christian tale of "saints" and "martyrs" named Barlaam and Josaphat had been around since the early days of the Christian churches. In the story Josaphat was the son of a king in India, and the king persecuted Christians. A teacher named Barlaam converts Josaphat and the King eventually becomes Christian too. Prince Josaphat becomes king but later leaves the throne for religious reasons. Many historians believe this fable was heavily based on the story of Buddha.  

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Things I Like: Great Bay Stage (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 One of my favorite stages from Melee, the Great Bay stage returns in Ultimate. It's based on the Great Bay Coast from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. One of the stages that is the most true to the game it's based on.

Photos: Hub City Scoops Ice Cream with Miss Daisy

Hub City Scoops is an ice cream place that opened a few years ago. I had gotten a card from the Scouts during their little fundraiser and Hub City Scoops had a little two for one deal on it, so me and Daisy dropped by.

Fact of the Day: Bee My Valentine

While better known for being the patron saint of love, St. Valentine is also the patron saint of beekeepers. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Things I Like: Home-Run Bat (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 The home-run-bat has been a staple of the series since the original game on N64.

Photo: Denny's Corporate Headquarters Building in Spartanburg

South Carolina is a very mediocre state in many ways, while many famous companies are in New York and California, we have very few. Interesting enough, the restaurant Denny's moved its headquarters here about ten or fifteen years back in the tallest building in the city after BB&T vacated. Now the question is, does this make Spartanburg as a whole really excited to eat at Denny's? That answer is no. We have two, but while they do have some decent traffic, I've never ate at one when it was packed out.

Fact of the Day: Civil War in the Spanish Civil War

While the Spanish Civil War was fought by the Republicans (mostly left-wing) vs the Nationalists (mostly right wing), the Nationalists united firmly behind Francisco Franco. A major reason the Republicans lost the war was because of internal infighting. Sides of anarchists, communists, Anti-Stalin Marxists, and a few others often fought against each other, either politically or violently.    

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Things I Like: Princess Peach (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 A series regular since Melee, Princess Peach has always been a decent (and surprisingly strong) fighter in the series. She's never been one of my favorites of all time, but she's a decent one.

Photo: Indigo Blues For Hub City Light Bulb Art Spartanburg

My city has these light bulb arts all over the city. This one is called Indigo Blues For Hub City by Pat Kabore. She based the art from what I hear on the history of indigo in South Carolina, the crop was used to dye clothing and it was pretty big at that time period. On a visual level, this is one of my least favorite in the city, so far. Just not visually stunning (very subtle) and kind of forgettable. 

Fact of the Day: Beer Hut

The English word tavern arrived into via the Old French word taverne which itself came from the Latin word taberna which means "hut" in English. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Things I Like: Matthew Crawley (Downton Abbey)

 Probably my favorite character on the show, he is the distant cousin of the aristocratic Crawley family. Since British law dictates that only direct-male lines can inherit (irony there considering the royal family switches), Matthew is surprised to hear the news after the future heir dies during the Titanic.

My Big Buck Hunter Arcade (Nintendo Switch) Impressions

 Last Christmas this was my gift from my Little Brother Mr. B (through the Big Brother Big Sisters program), and while I appreciate the thought, I knew from the minute I unwrapped it that this would not be so good. His mom gave him a 30 buck budget (pun intended) so a lot of choices were slim with the Nintendo Switch. We had played the arcade version once in a bowling alley while waiting on his mom to pick him up. 

Photos: Cakehead Bakeshop Spartanburg

 Cakehead Bakeshop is a little tiny bakery in downtown Spartanburg inside the same building as a coffee place called Little River Coffee Bar. While downtown with my mother, we stepped in as she wanted a few things there.

Fact of the Day: Bilingue

Greatly due to the province of Quebec, about 20-21% of Canadians are fluent in French. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Things I Like: Kongo Falls Stage (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 Kong Falls originated with Melee, but I never noticed it wasn't ever in Brawl or Ultimate. Like all retro stages, it's mostly the same, but with some graphical tweaks to make everything look nice and good in HD. It was based on a tiny section of Donkey Kong Country. 

The Shawshank Redemption (1994 Film) Review

While I've never really read his books, I do consider myself a fan of Stephen King, who often gets at least solid adaptations of his works made into movies. I missed The Shawshank Redemption back in the 1990's because I was just a kid. I saw Green Mile a few years after it came out. I'm guessing this movie inspired King to make the Green Mile story (as both are set in prisons) as the book came out in 1996, as King was obviously not done with the non-horror theme set in an American prison. The only thing I knew about the movie besides King, is that Morgan Freeman was in the movie.

Fact of the Day: Pizza Holidays

The biggest holidays for pizza in the United States are Super Bowl Sunday, New Year's Eve, and Halloween. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Things I Like: Star Rod (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 The Star Rod (from Kirby's Adventure) has been a series favorite since the original. While not my favorite item, I really loved it.

Photo: Dreamer Horse Art Spartanburg

Saw this art by Lalage Warrington in my city's downtown area. I think it was done to highlight the World Equestrian Games being held at the nearby Tyron, NC last year. It apparently won't be here forever, Mr. Horse will going up to the auction pasture. But I'm glad I saw him before he galloped away. 

Fact of the Day: Second Battle of Fort Fisher

Near the end of the Civil War, Union troops had won the last battle at Fort Fisher. It protected an important naval port for the South, and by 1865 it essentially was its last real way to get things done or imported by sea. With Union control, many called it the last nail in the coffin for the CSA.  

Friday, February 8, 2019

Things I Like: Captain Falcon (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 While F-Zero remains one of Nintendo's more niche series, Captain Falcon has always been a popular fighter in the Smash Bros. games. While never my top favorite, I've had my fun with him from time to time.

Photo: Geobulb Lightbulb Art Spartanburg

 My city has these light bulb art all over the city. This one is Geobulb by Sharon Passmore. I thought this was really neat, it's the globe made to look like a geode rock inside. 

Fact of the Day: Pagan Christian Rose

In Europe the rose flower was commonly associated with Aphrodite (Venus in the Roman mythology) until Europe was Christianized. Then the rose became the symbol of Mary, mother of Jesus Christ.   

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Things I Like: Lady Rose Macclare (Downton Abbey)

 Out of the main characters, she'd probably was my least favorite. I really like Lily James, but Lady Rose has her ups and downs. Not really an unlikable character, but this daughter of a Lord (a semi-distant Crawley cousin) had a lot of growing up to do.

Photos: Spartanburg Art Museum

 My city has its own small art museum in the Chapman Cultural Center. While the first part was student art, the main part is past that. First thing I saw were these jester hats/masks.

Photo: Spartanburg Art Museum Student Art

My city has a small art museum at the Chapman Cultural Center. Before you get to the main bit, you get to see student art. I believe all these were done by students of Dorman High School, which is also the one I attended back in the day. 

Fact of the Day: Beware the Nile Crocodile

While able to swim and live in seawater, Nile crocodiles do prefer areas with freshwater. Because of this (despite not being more aggressive than most other crocodiles), they are responbile for a large majority of human deaths by crocodiles as they commonly live in water that humans interact with.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Things I Like: Jungle Japes (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 This one is a stage that originated in Melee, and is based on Cranky Kong's cabin from the Donkey Kong Country series. While I didn't notice it, it stayed in Melee until the 3DS (not the WiiU) version of Smash 4. It makes its full return with Smash Ultimate.

Photo: Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg

I heard our city had its own art museum in the Chapman Cultural Center which hosts many things. I thought it would be in the center building, but we just got strange looks by some artists putting something together. It was the building to the left, d'oh.  

Fact of the Day: Stonewall Jackson Sister

Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was close to his sister Laura Jackson Arnold until the Civil War. She supported the Union with great patriotism. When he was killed accidentally by his own men, she expressed mixed feelings. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Things I Like: Lightning Bolt (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 This item from the Mario Kart games has been in the series since Brawl. But one of my favorite items, for the same reason it is in the Mario Kart games.

Photo: All Creatures Great and Small Light Bulb Art Spartanburg

My city has these light bulb artworks all over the city. I saw this one the other day. It's called All Creatures Great and Small by Vivianne Carey. 

Fact of the Day: Ancient Wicker

Wicker in its various forms date back to even Ancient Egypt.