Saturday, May 25, 2019

Fact of the Day: Belgian Malinois

While German shepards are common dogs in the police and military, the Belgian Malinois has overtaken them by popularity. As they are a little smaller, more agile, have a strong work ethic, and have fewer health problems. 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Things I Like: Halberd (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 Appearing in every game in the series since Brawl, I was happy to see Halberd return. It's from Kirby Super Star in a mini-game where Meta-Knight tries to use a ship to take over Dreamland.

Photos: Dollywood's Shooting Star Drop Tower

 We ended up in the "Carnival fair" part of Dollywood first which is fine by me. I don't like heights (so some rides I do not ride) and almost nothing in these areas of theme parks are that tall. This is a "drop tower" ride but more for kids. Dollywood has a much taller drop tower, and you would never see me on that. That ride is 230 feet tall (70 meters) while Shooting Star is only 30 feet tall.

Fact of the Day: Japanese Battleship Nagato

By the end of World War II, Japan's navy was almost wiped out. Only one Japanese naval battleship, the Nagato survived. 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Things I Like: Unira (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 It's been a favorite of mine since Brawl. This item is a trap of spikes.

Photos: First Moments in Dollywood

 This would be our first time to Dollywood, and I've heard good things all of my life. The only theme park we go to is Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina. Carowinds is pretty well designed, so no matter where you park, you can get to an entrance by walking. Dollywood's parking lot is huge, and we had to take their complimentary trolley bus.

Fact of the Day: Thor's Sacred Bird

In Norse mythology, it was believed that robin birds were sacred to the God Thor and an official bird of the storm-clouds. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Things I Like: Zero Suit Samus (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 While not new, Zero Suit Samus is back again in Smash Bros. The suit comes from Metroid: Zero Mission, and originally in the Smash Bros. series it was what happened to Samus after she used the Zero Laser.

Photos: McDonald's Pigeon Forge Tennessee

 The first thing we did was have lunch at McDonald's when we got to Tennessee, but we meant to have breakfast but we were delayed. I originally wanted Dollywood to be our first thing, but my mother convinced me early that morning that we should do something else on that Monday and let Dollywood be on Tuesday. Eating here gave us a chance to sit down and plan our next move.

Fact of the Day: The Happy Lizzie Borden

While most figure Lizzie Borden had been the one who murdered her parents, she was tried in court, but the jury thought she was not guilty. After her release from court, she told the press that she was "the happiest woman in the world." 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Things I Like: Beric Dondarrion (Game of Thrones)

While we technically see him first in the first season, his importance is so minor that most would forget him. The Hand of the King Lord Eddard Stark calls Beric to lead a force of men to bring the King's justice to The Mountain who had been committing so many horrors in the Riverlands. 

Photos: Spring Fling Carnival Shooting Game

 Spartanburg's Spring Fling is more festival than carnival, and this was one of the very very few games that is straight up carnival. I just had enough left in my pocket for my Little Brother Mr. B to try his luck.

Fact of the Day: Papyrus Paper

The first known paper is papyrus, made from the papyrus plant. It had been used since ancient Egypt. It also is the origin of the English word paper. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Things I Like: Melisandre (Game of Thrones)

 Melisandre was one of my favorite characters on Game of Thrones, partly due to my crush on her as well. For most of the series, we see her as a servant of the Lord of Light, who believes Stannis Baratheon is the chosen one to kill the White Walkers and the Night King.

The Little Mermaid (2018 Film) Review

 When my eyes first came across this, I was a little surprised. In a new era of live-action Disney movies, you'd think I would have noticed a Little Mermaid movie being announced. Well, it's not a Disney movie, but I suppose they were hoping for people to think it was. The only reason I gave this film a chance was because of Poppy Drayton. While a very lesser-known actress, I liked her a lot as Princess Amberle in the Shannara Chronicles TV series.

Photos: Water Ball Ride Spartanburg Spring Fling

 While not very orb shaped, my Little Brother Mr. B wanted to ride this one when he saw it.

Game of Thrones (TV Series) Season 8 Review

I had once considered The Simpsons to be my favorite show of all time. I never thought it would be overthrown, but sure enough, Game of Thrones easily knocked the funny Fox family down in my heart. I didn't start the series until it was about half-way done, which was good in a way. My cousin Danielle just started the series about a month ago, and now she doesn't have to wait at all for a cliffhanger to resolve. When we last saw everyone in Westeros, things weren't looking so happy for those among the living. 

Fact of the Day: Aaron

While there is an Aaron in the Bible (brother of Moses), the name seems to predate the Abrahamic tales. The name probably derived from the Ancient Egyptian words aha rw meaning "warrior lion". 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Things I Like: Stannis Baratheon (Game of Thrones)

 We first see Stannis in the second season though he is mentioned in the first. He's King Robert's younger brother, and with Cersei's children really inbred bastards, he's the rightful king by the Baratheon claim to the Iron Throne. Before the War of the Five Kings, he was Lord of Dragonstone. He was sent by his brother to murder the last Targaryens on Dragonstone but they fled in time. So Robert made him Lord of Dragonstone instead, which he thought was an insult, as Lord of the Stormlands was much better, which Robert gave to Renly, his baby brother. 

Photos: Motorcycles at Spartanburg Spring Fling

 They had a showing of motorcycles at the Spring Fling festival we went to. We happened to run into my cousin and her family while looking at them. Her son was very upset that they missed the car show which was apparently the day before. Apparently motorcycles aren't "cool enough" or something.

Fact of the Day; Chinese Cuju Soccer

While soccer would be later "invented", Cuju was a extremely similar game invented during the Han Dynasty of China. The word Cuju translates to "kick ball" in modern English. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Things I Like: Mr. Geary (Yoshi's Crafted World)

 One of the last bosses of the game, Mr. Geary is created when Kamek sees Yoshi in the big factory place.

Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018 Film) Review

 One of my favorite films of the early days of this decade was Wreck-It Ralph. Animated films take a long time to make a sequel, mainly because they want to make sure it doesn't flop before they make all the expensive animation again, and the studio usually wants to do a different project first. Ralph's 2nd movie shouldn't have taken about six years to come out, and for context some kid that watched it before he was a teenager, would have graduated high-school before the sequel came out. Myself, I have forgotten a decent bit of the plot of the original movie, though I still remember the gist of it and the characters.  

Photo: Spartanburg Spring Fling Magician

At Spartanburg's Spring Fling festival, they had a magician guy doing tricks. They were pretty simple tricks though, and not impressive enough to wait too long in the hot sun for. I'll get sunburnt for David Copperfield. 

Fact of the Day: Han Native Americans and the Klondike

The Klondike gold rush saw many ups and downs for those who moved to the region in Canada in search for a wealthy life. One of the worst hit groups of people were the native Han tribe. Most of whom were forced to a reserve, and many died because of this. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Things I Like: Frigate Orpheon (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 While never my favorite stage, the Frigate Orpheon stage originated in Brawl and finally returned for Ultimate. It's another stage based on the Metroid series.

Photo: Living Golden Statue

Like one I saw years before, there was a "living statue" lady at Spartanburg's Spring Fling festival. I don't quite get it honestly, but hey whatever. I did think it was a little odd seeing her walk to her spot as we got there as soon as it started. Breaking character!

Fact of the Day: Battle of Cannae

Before Rome became the ultimate superpower in Europe, the Roman Republic suffered a huge loss against its rival Carthage. Hannibal lead his army and totally massacred about 80,000 Roman troops (virtually all their soldiers on the battle) which not only weakened their overall military but brought depression all over the Roman Republic. But by the end of the 2nd Punic War, Rome did win the overall war.  

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Things I Like: Pitfall (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 The pitfall item has been in the series since Brawl. It comes from Animal Crossing. In Animal Crossing games it's a joke item. You bury it in the ground and if someone walk over it they get stuck for a moment.

Photos: Short Circuit Robot at Spring Fling

 Every year at Spartanburg's Spring Fling, there's a robot of some kind. This year was one that looked like Johnny Five from the Short Circuit movies.

Fact of the Day: First Prince

The English word first is related to the German word Furst meaning "prince" in English. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Things I Like: Dark Pit (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 I think I missed him in Smash 4, but I really liked Dark Pit in Ultimate. He's from Kid Icarus: Uprising, a magic clone of Pit, one made to be "dark" but he ends up fighting for good, well sort of. He's certainly meaner than Pit.

My (Not So) Favorite Quotes: Trump Thinks Nobody Should Protest Him

“I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protesters. You don’t even know what side the protesters are on.”

-Donald Trump

The President Cheeto is a man who speaks before he thinks, but I often don't think he can form real thoughts anyway, but he does chatter about a bunch of nonsense. But look at this quote, a huge attack on democracy, and his Republican base, couldn't agree more with him. If Obama had said this back in the Tea Party days, conservatives would have flipped the world upside down.   

Photo: Daisy the Lemonade Fan

 Daisy wanted some lemonade at Spartanburg's Spring Fling festival this year. She used some of what she was saving for our Tennessee trip to get it.

Fact of the Day: Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee is the "Volunteer State" which is from the volunteer soldiers during the War of 1812 from the state, most famously at the Battle of New Orleans. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Things I Like: Myrcella Baratheon (Game of Thrones)

 A somewhat minor character in the series, she's the official princess of the Seven Kingdoms. Though her real father isn't King Robert Baratheon, but the Queen's twin brother Jaime Lannister. Unlike her older brother Joffrey, she's kind and sweet, a very pure soul. She's not very important until many seasons on.

Tetris 99 (Nintendo Switch) Review

 Tetris 99 caught my eye a few months ago when Nintendo released it. I originally thought it was some notable DLC game, but it was even better, it was a freebie if you have Nintendo's online service for Nintendo Switch. While they've offered the NES library for those people, Tetris 99 was a pleasant surprise that nobody asked for.

Photo: Man on Stilts

 At Spartanburg's Spring Fling, there was a juggler on stilts. Making him about as tall as the tallest man in history. 

Fact of the Day: Myers v United States

In the 1920's, a postmaster in Oregon was removed from office by President Woodrow Wilson. The case went up the Supreme Court where they ruled that the President can remove an appointed official from federal office for virtually any reason. One of the few exceptions is Vice President, where they have to be impeached and removed by Congress. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Things I Like: King Tommen Baratheon (Game of Thrones)

 When the series starts, Tommen is a prince and often ignored for most of the time. Like his brother Joffrey, he's really a bastard son of his mother Cersei Lannister and her twin brother Jaime Lannister. Unlike his brother, Tommen is kind, and actually likes his uncle Tyrion Lannister. Cersei seems to care for him the most, a lioness proudly protecting her baby cub.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988 Film) Review

 Grave of the Fireflies is a film I've been meaning to see for a few years. It's by Studio Ghibli, which is pretty much the Japanese version of Disney cartoon movies. Though Studio Ghibli had never been afraid to make animation movies with darker themes. This one is set during the very last months of World War II in a very war-torn Japan, so yeah, it gets rather dark.  

Photos: Daisy Meets the White Husky

 I spotted this white husky walking through the crowd at the Spring Fling. I told Daisy to hurry and get the owner to stop.

Fact of the Day: Greek Arrows

The English word toxic came to English via Latin, but the Latin word ultimately comes from the Greek word toxon which meant "bow" in English. The later use of poison arrows in early history would help influence the word.  

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Things I Hate: King Joffrey Baratheon (Game of Thrones)

 While one of the best written characters in fiction, who actually liked this guy, even for a moment? I sure didn't. When the story starts when think Joffrey is the Crown Prince, the trueborn son of King Robert. Until we find out that he's an inbred bastard of Queen Cersei and her twin brother Jaime Lannister.

My Life as a Zucchini (2016 Film) Review

 Most animated films typically come out of Hollywood, but My Life as a Zucchini came from a team based in both Switzerland and France. In French, the name of the movie is Ma vie de Courgette which translates literally to its English name. I really had no idea what the movie was about (I honestly expected this kid to turn into a zucchini) but it did receive an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature but it lost to Zootopia. 

Photo: The Dog Wizard

During our trip to the Spring Fling, we saw this guy dressed as the Dog Wizard. He was there to give notice of some dog training place in the local area. 

Fact of the Day: Cheeto Corn

The main way cheetos are made is by mixing corn with water. 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Things I Like: Gator Train (Yoshi's Crafted World)

 Gator Train is one of the last bosses in Yoshi's Crafted World. Yoshi should have known better than to run into Kamek and Baby Bowser near a train.

My Super Mario Party (Nintendo Switch) Impressions

 I haven't been a big fan of the Mario Party series to be honest. I missed out on the N64 games, but I did like Mario Party 4 on Gamecube. However, I've ignored the series for most of its history. But I figured it would be a good time to give the series another shot with Super Mario Party, which seems to renew a fresh sub-series of this spinoff. 

Photos: Spartanburg Spring Fling Fun Things

 While most things there will set you back a few bucks, there were some fun things for the kids to enjoy that didn't require a penny. One tent had some lego robots. While not very impressive to me, my Little Brother Mr. B and my niece Little K probably liked them more.