Tuesday, April 30, 2019

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

 Out of the stages I like, WarioWare Inc ranks rather low, but I still have liked it since Brawl. It's based on the WarioWare games on GBA.

My April 2019 Favorites

 April seemed like it lasted a long time, for me anyway. I am on vacation now, so I was looking forward to that. Here are my favorites for the month. 

Photo: The Easter Nieces

These are my nieces with their mom at the local mall right before Easter. They both got to meet the Easter Bunny. The baby Little CR was fine with Mr. Bunny. Little K still isn't a fan. 

Fact of the Day: Avocados From Mexico

Mexico is the world's leader in avocado production. More avocados are grown in Mexico than the next top four countries combined. 

Monday, April 29, 2019

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

 The bumper is an item original to the Super Smash Bros. universe, and only missed the series once with Melee, which was rather odd. It's based on the bumpers of pinball machines.  
 While it doesn't deal a lot of damage when someone is hit by it, it has a huge push-back to it. 
 Which make it rather easy to get knocked off the stage with. Any smart player knows to be careful around one of these.
Throwing one near the edge of the stage is a good way to prevent people from getting back up. Though I have found most people usually find a way over or under it. But it is one of my favorite items in the series and in Ultimate. 

We're On Vacation in Pigeon Forge Tennessee

By the time you read this, we'll already be in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for a vacation trip. While you'll see things here at Neko Random all week long, I really won't be back until Friday. 

Fact of the Day: Crayola Founders

The famous crayon company Crayola was once named Binney and Smith, after its founders Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith

Pokemon: Let's Go Eevee! (Nintendo Switch) Review

 One of the fondest things I remember when I was a kid was Pokemon. I remember hanging out with friends from my baseball team and they all started to play the game on their Gameboys. I had no idea the game existed (this was before the web told us everything) and I remember trying my hardest to get my hands on it. Not long afterward, I got Pokemon Blue and I loved it. The new Let's Go Pikachu and Eeevee games are almost remakes of Red/Blue from the late 1990's. 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Things I Like: Mr. Game and Watch (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 A series regular since Melee, and technically the series' oldest fighter. This guy predates Mario and Pac-Man. Nintendo made a bunch of tiny handheld systems with Game and Watch titles, and that's where he's from. I actually played a Gameboy collection of some of those old games, so I'm one of the few whose played his games.

Photo: Happy Baby Little CR

My brother took this photo of my youngest niece in her crib. I will say (unlike her sister) she's been one of the happiest babies in my family. 

A Star Is Born (2018 Film) Review

 A Star Is Born made a decent splash at this year's Oscars, with a nomination in almost everything except Best Director. Though it only took an Oscar home for Best Original Song, which was mainly written by its leading lady, the very talented Lady Gaga. While neither Lady Gaga or Bradley Cooper got an Oscar for acting, I did want to see the movie. I'm a big fan of Lady Gaga's music (especially her first few years), and I'm always curious to see her acting as well.

Fact of the Day: Optometry

Optometry is the medical study of eyes/vision. The key root word in optometry is from the Greek word opsis meaning "view" in English. 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Things I Like: Spike the Piranha (Yoshi's Crafted World)

 While you can choose your order after the first boss, this was my 2nd boss fight. Yoshi confonts Kamek and Baby Bowser and they decide to create a new monster.

Photo: Little Iz the Dinosaur

My niece Little Iz looks a little scary, she just must have come out of Jurassic Park. 

Fact of the Day: Ohio Republican

Ohio has often been one of the most important states in a presidential election. No Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio first. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Things I Like: Rickon Stark (Game of Thrones)

 Rickon Stark is the weakest character among the family of House Stark, mainly as he's a little boy for most of the series. He's even younger in the books. You don't notice him much in the first season, his siblings far over-shadow him.

Photo: Clemson Tree House

 My brother Steven built my nephews a tree house last year. But the last time I saw it, it only had a coat of grey primer. They had it painted mostly orange and purple (though white/orange is an alternate team color scheme) after the Clemson Tigers, their favorite college team.

Fact of the Day: Possum Rabies

Despite their unliked nature, opossums are actually almost immune to rabies. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Things I Like: Figure-8 Circuit (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

While almost unchanged, it was known as Mario Circuit in Brawl and has been in the series ever since. It's based on the Mario Circuit Courses from the Mario Kart games, but it's not based heavily on one incarnation as the course has changed depending on the Mario Kart you're playing.

Photo: Little Iz and Little R Racecar

This was my nieces Little Iz and Little R while their parents got groceries. Interesting enough, they never had those race-car carts when I was a kid. When I started working at 16 as a bagger (at this particular one actually), I had seen kids throw tantrums when all the race-cars were being used. 

Fact of the Day: Old White Castle

While McDonald's was instrumental in the early days of fast food, White Castle certainly did it first. They were founded in 1921, 34 years before McDonald's.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Things I Like: Green Shell (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 An item that has been in every Super Smash Bros. game (and almost every Mario game for the most part), I'm glad to see the Green Shell stay on.

Fact of the Day: Todd Fox

The given name Todd comes from a Middle English word for a fox. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

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

 His game Fire Emblem: Awakening was my first in the series, and it does seem odd that they left him out of Smash 4 in favor of Robin and Lucina.

Photo: Grandma Donna and Little K at the Airport Park

Our city built a new park near the downtown airport (it serves mostly for small one-person planes) and my mother had some fun with my niece Little K there. Little K should never wonder where the genes for her hair came from.  

Fact of the Day: Home of Potato

Potatoes originated in the country of Peru. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Things I Like: Tin-Can Condor (Yoshi's Crafted World)

 The first major boss of the game, he's created when Kamek and Baby Bowser are confronted by a Yoshi near a giant tin can. 

Favorite Quotes: Electoral College is a Disaster for Democracy

"The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy."

-Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump said this on election day of 2012, which I'm guessing is before the results were made final. President Obama outclassed Mitt Romney by far in both popular and electoral vote. For anyone who knows real history, the electoral college was established as a compromise between a direct popular vote and those who wanted the State Houses to pick the president, and not the people. A COMPROMISE in 1789, probably should't be the standard quo in 2020. If the Democrats manage to turn Texas blue (or blue enough), having almost every single large populous state would have every election in their favor all the time. Then Republicans would be singing a different tune about the electoral college. 

Fact of the Day: Nurse

The English word nurse came via Old French but from the Latin word nutrire which means "nourish" in modern English. The word nourish also comes from the same root word. 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Things I Like: Talisa Stark (Game of Thrones)

 One of the most beautiful women on Game of Thrones, I really liked Talisa for the most part. Funny enough, she was a show-only character. Which is really odd, because the character she replaced didn't seem like it would be that difficult to write about or around.

Photo: Little K the Easter Bunny

This was my niece Little K a few days ago. She's excited for Easter which is today. Happy Easter everyone!

Fact of the Day: Baron Trump Novels

In the 19th century, a not-so-famous series of books featuring a character named Baron Trump were first written. Baron's adventures start in Russia though he is German, and he's mentored by someone named Don. A future book in the series is set in America, called The Last President, where the country is in turmoil as a outsider presidential candidate comes to be.  

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Things I Like: Delfino Plaza (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 This stage has been a favorite of mine since Brawl. Since Super Mario Sunshine came out after Melee, it would take it until the Wii to have a stage based upon it.

Mary Queen of Scots (2018 Film) Review

 When I first heard about this new Mary, Queen of Scots movie, I was excited. I really really like Saoirse Ronan as an actress, and I have a soft-spot in my heart for Margot Robbie too. Both of these talented ladies have come close several times at getting an Oscar, but this film seemed like a good chance for either. That's until the Oscar nominations came about, and the film got nothing. Was that a  big clue?

Fact of the Day: Latin Sock

The modern English word sock comes from the Old English word socc meaning "light shoe" but this was inspired by the Latin word soccus meaning "light slipper". 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Things I Like: Rage Blaster (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 One of the few new items to Ultimate, this one is a Smash Bros. universe original, so it didn't show up in any other Nintendo game. It is one of my favorite items in the game.

Photo: Niece at Ripley's Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

My 2nd oldest niece Little K and my brother Zach (and the rest of their family) went to the aquarium at Myrtle Beach. Daisy and I will be going to the same family of Aquairums, but the one in Tennessee in early May. 

Fact of the Day: Sam Houston Vs the South

Sam Houston was a very important leader in the early history of modern Texas. Near the end of his life, he was the Governor of Texas during the outbreak of the American Civil War. He was one of the few in the South to be a unionist, and one so strong that he refused to let his state join the Confederate States of America. However he was forced out of office because of it.  

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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

 I think Roy has a special place in the hearts of fans of Super Smash Bros. as when we all unlocked him and Marth in Melee, we had zero idea who they were. Technically Japanese players had no idea either, Melee was the first game to feature Roy. His actual game Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade came out on GBA a few months later, but only in Japan.

Photo: Another Trip to Big Air Spartanburg

My Little Brother Mr. B (Big Brothers Big Sisters Program) loves this place. It's a trampoline park, and my 2nd time there. I learned from last time to drink a lot of water before going there. They have a water fountain, but it's easier to hydrate before you exercise. While the place is meant to be fun, I'm more exhausted here than going to a gym. 

Fact of the Day: Earl

The earl noble rank in England came from the word jarl from Scandinavia. It basically meant "chieftain" in modern English. Earls are of equal rank to counts in the rest of Europe.   

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Things I Like: Yarrctopus (Yoshi's Crafted World)

 This is the first boss of the game, more of a mini-boss, and the first monster Kamek uses with his magic since the last game.

Green Book (2018 Film) Review

 Green Book was a movie that surprised many earlier this year as it not got another Oscar for Mahershala Ali, but it walked away with Best Picture. There was some controversy over the film (including a rather petty whining from Spike Lee, whose film lost) winning for various reasons, but we won't get into that. I try to remain unbiased when judging a film, and try to keep an open mind regardless.

Fact of the Day: John Oldcastle

John Oldcastle was a pre-Protestant Christian in England who led the Lollard movement in England which sought to reform the Christian church in the country. He was a friend of King Henry IV, and avoided the charges of heresy for many years. He was in open rebellion during the reign of his friend's son King Henry V. After years in hiding, he was finally captured and killed. His body was burned into ashes, but it is unclear if he was alive when that happened or it was done after-the-fact. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Things I Like: Catelyn Stark (Game of Thrones)

 While she had her faults, I liked Lady Catelyn Stark of Winterfell. Before the show's events, she was the daughter of the most powerful lord of the Riverlands. Originally engaged to Ned's older brother Brandon Stark, when he is killed by the Mad King, Ned marries her instead to cement an alliance with the Riverlands against the Mad King. While their marriage was originally a political one, it becomes one of love, and a lot of children born as a result.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018 Film) Review

 With a deal with the MCU (though Sony still is the main company behind the stand-alone Tom Holland films), many wondered what Sony was going to do with the Spider-Man franchise. One of their ideas was to create a new universe with Venom (with Tom Hardy) and a better idea was to make an animated movie that would be able to tap a deeper comic story that would be hard to achieve in a live-action adaptation. With nearly a half-century of plots, Spider-Man has a lot to offer.

Fact of the Day: Scottish Toaster

While humans toasted bread long before electricity was in homes, the first electric toaster was invented by Alan MacMasters in Scotland in the year 1893.