Thursday, February 28, 2019

Things I Like: Brinstar Depths (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 I forgot I liked Brinstar Depths a good bit back in Melee, but I forgot it wasn't in Brawl or Smash 4 until I looked it up. The stage is based on Kraid's lair in the Metroid series. Though they took a lot of creative liberties as Kraid's lair doesn't look like this in any of the games for the most part. I missed this stage a lot.

Photos: Antonino Bertolo's Pizza Boiling Springs South Carolina

 Antonio Bertolo's pizza is a new place in Boiling Springs, South Carolina (part of Spartanburg County) which took the spot of Pi-Squared, which was a pizza place I was not fond of. This isn't the first one of its name, as they have a really popular Greenville restaurant that's the original. 

Fact of the Day: Brazilian Oranges

The top producer of oranges in the world is Brazil, at over double its rival China in 2nd place. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Things I Like: Fire Bar (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 A rather newer item to the series, this one has been around since Smash 4. It's from the Mario series, but instead of a "sword" item shape, it's an obstacle moving in a circular motion, often in Bowser's castles.

Photo: Mr. B Playing Galaga

This was during a recent visit with my Little Brother (Big Brothers Big Sisters program) Mr. B at a pizza/arcade place called Gatti-Town in Spartanburg. They had two new machines I had never seen before. A Galaga one and a Giant Pac-Man machine. Mr. B realized he wasn't very good at either. Kids today aren't quite are up to the learning curve of retro arcade games.  

Fact of the Day: Italian Ballet

Ballet originated in Italy during the Renaissance. Due to the (Italian-born) French Queen-Consort Catherine de Medici, ballet was made popular in France.   

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Things I Like: Ice Climbers (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 The Ice Climbers are back after being left out of Smash 4. While they were never my favorites in Melee or Brawl, I'm glad to see them back.

Photo: Getting Daisy's Car Brakes Fixed

Daisy got a 2010 Toyota Corolla last year, and she just had her first issue with it. She called me at work and said she had smoke coming from under her tire. She managed to drive it to the local Goodyear place and they had to replace pretty much the whole brake system. I'm not sure what caused it, but it did come at a shock. Usually you can tell when your brakes start to break down and need to be changed. Took them about a day to get the job done (waiting on parts and everything) but Daisy luckily managed to get a ride to work from both me and her dad when she needed it. 

Fact of the Day: Lumber Timber

In North American English, sawn wood is known as lumber. Outside of North American, English speakers typically call it timber. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Big Buck Hunter Arcade (Nintendo Switch) Review

 Big Buck Hunter is an arcade series popular in pizza places, bowling alleys, and small arcades. My Little Brother Mr. B (Big Brothers Big Sisters program) picked this game out for me for my Christmas present last year. While he meant good and it seemed like a logical choice, I knew from the minute I got it that it wouldn't be very good. 

Photos: Meeting Our Long Lost Cousins

 My maternal grandmother Jean doesn't know who her father was, so we got her on the whole ancestry thing. My mother talked to a distant cousin of ours and soon we got enough clues together. Using DNA evidence and my brilliant brain, I'm 90% sure her father was a man named John. John had a brother named Clifton, and he had a living son named Charles who is wearing the hat.

Fact of the Day: Chinese Apples

China is the leader of apple production in the world, with roughly half of the crop originating there. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Things I Like: Thomas Barrow (Downton Abbey)

 Despite his uneven moral compass, I really did like Thomas Barrow on Downton Abbey. At the start of the show, he's a footman who has a decent bit of tenure under his belt. Though he wants to move up the ladder, and is very upset when Lord Grantham hires his old war buddy to be his new valet, when Thomas felt like it was his job.

Photo: Costco Hotdog and Drink Spartanburg South Carolina

While we technically go to both, I haven't been to Costco in quite some time. Sam's has my chips, but I think Costco has the better "food court". I was shocked to see the hot dog and drink combo still on the menu. I heard Costco wasn't getting rid of it for "healthier options". I guess that's only in trial districts or whatever. While I'm a vegetarian, Daisy loves the hot dog and drink at Costco. I love how inexpensive the thing is.   

Fact of the Day: Walter Model

While most historians considered Walter Model as German's greatest commander of defensive strategy during World War II, he was not popular among his troops. He said many foul things, was abusive, micro-managed his people plenty of times, and often ignored basic rules and policies when it suited him. When he was first promoted to a high-ranking status in the military, virtually everyone of merit under him asked to be transferred. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Things I Like: Yoshi's Island Melee Stage (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

This Melee stage is back though it's never left the series since the Gamecube era. It's based on a stage in Super Mario World set on Yoshi's Island, but not based on Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island obviously. While far from my favorite stage, I've liked it. 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017 Film) Review

 During last year's Oscar picks for Best Picture, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri appealed to me the least based on what I saw from just a little bit. I've seen the majority of films nominated for Best Picture last year, including the eventual winner The Shape of Water. I wasn't too pleased with most of those films (most were good, but not in the realm of excellent, in my opinion besides The Post) but I figured I'd give this one a try. Especially considering Frances McDormand beat Saoirse Ronan in the Best Actress category.  

Fact of the Day: Buddha Paper

Like many religions before it, it took some time for Buddhism to be actually written down instead of passed by stories from people's memory. It was about a 400 year gap for Buddhism. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Things I Hate: Lip's Stick (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 I've hated this item since its origin in Melee. If you're ever wondered, it's from Panel De Pon (Tetris Attack in the United States) with a character named Lip. It's her stick. Thus the name. Since Americans never played it, it would seem like this would be an original item to the series, but it's not.

Photo: Peter Rabbit at Dillards

Saw this Peter Rabbit and friend statues at the Dillards in the Haywood Mall in Greenville, SC where the Christmas stuff is put during holiday time. Since it's not Christmas anymore, they had to get a little bit of Easter there.

Fact of the Day: Battle of the Bulge

The Battle of the Bulge was one of the last major battles in Europe during World War II. The Germans wanted to use the last of their men to destroy most of the American/British armies and force the Allies to sign a peace treaty. While America saw many deaths during the battle (partly due to over-confidence), it was eventually an Allied Victory with Germany's western forces essentially crippled to the point of no return and made it easier for the Soviets to invade from the east. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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

 This King of Koopas has been in the series since Melee, but Ultimate was the first time I really liked  playing as Bowser.

Smallfoot (2018 Film) Review

 Smallfoot was a movie I remember seeing the trailer of last year, and honestly, I was impressed by its cleverness. It's a movie by Warner Animation Group, Warner really got left behind for years in terms of 3D animated movies when it came up against Pixar and Dreamworks. Besides Storks (which I have not yet seen), they've only done the Lego movies, but like Storks, Smallfoot is a purely original work.  

Fact of the Day: Religious Prisoners

While many religious people criticize atheists of having "no moral compass" they only make up 0.1% of the prison population.   

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

My Tetris 99 (Nintendo Switch) Impressions

 I've loved Tetris for many years, but I don't really get excited over new versions anymore. I heard of Tetris 99 just a few days ago and ignored it. Until I heard it was a freebie. Nintendo had it made for its online Nintendo Switch community in addition to their NES library.

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.