Sunday, June 30, 2019

Things I Like: Erika (Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee)

 I don't remember her that well from the old games, but she's certainly more colorful in 3D graphics. Her name is the same in Japanese, as the gym leaders are named after flowers in Japan, and herself after the Erica flowers. So she's one of the few who were not renamed at all when the series was localized into English.

Things I Like: Dr. Pepper Dark Berry

I love Dr. Pepper but I rarely ever seen variations of its flavor. This one I was a bit skeptical with. But it's good, it's got a mixture of berry and Dr. Pepper flavors. I do prefer the original Dr. Pepper. My wife Daisy loves it, but she'll probably be mad when they most likely discontinue the soda like most extra soda flavors do. 

Photo: WonderWorks' Titanic Water Challenge

This one is a simple idea, and it is a great way to understand what it was like for people on the Titanic. WonderWorks challenges people to hold their hand underwater for as long as they can. It's believed it was 28F (-2.2C) when the Titanic sunk, which doesn't sound so bad. But as soon as I put my hand in water, it was way too cold for me. Now imagine if you were stuck involuntarily in the water from your shoulders to the feet. That's how most perished on the Titanic. It's purely awful and tragic. 

Fact of the Day: Floating on Salt

There's so much salt in the Great Salt Lake (ten times more than ocean water) in Utah, that its density is higher than the mass of a human being. Which gives people the ability to float without any effort. Though drowning is still possible, yet rare. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Things I Like: Distant Planet (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 Distant Planet has been in the series since Brawl on Wii. It's based on the Pikmin games, where Captain Olimar travels to a distant planet.

Photos: Recaulking My Mother's Bathtub

 This had been a problem with my mother's bathroom for awhile now. Every-time I'd go over I'd often see the old caulk when I used the toilet. She doesn't have a ventilation fan so mold runs free often in her bathroom. I tried using bleach spray to curb the problem but there was no going back. 

Photo: Wonderworks' Tesla Coil

 This one is actually an invention of Nikola Tesla, whom many science nerds (like myself) favor over Thomas Edison. You wear a chainmail glove made of metal and 100,000 volts of electricity will touch the edge of your fingers.

Fact of the Day: Passive-Aggressive Origin

The first major study of passive-aggressive behavior came during World War II. An Army psychiatrist named William C. Menninger noted how many soldiers weren't openly defiant, but would use clever ways of immaturity to get around following orders. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

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

 The beetle has been in the series since Smash 4, and is a pretty good weapon in the series. Its game of origin is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword where it replaced the boomerang as a pretty neat far-range weapon.

Photo: Danny and His Christmas Hut

My mother's cat Danny has a new thing he likes a lot, his new bed. Sure it's not Christmas, but with a "box-like" design and a soft layer as a base, he loves going to sleep in it. 

Photo: WonderWorks' Earthquake Cafe

This was the second thing we did at WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It's suppose to re-create what it'd be like if a giant earthquake were beneath your feet. It's loud, annoying, and rather lame. Most things in WonderWorks are actually pretty fun, but this was just dumb. 

Fact of the Day: Mistake

The English word mistake comes from the Old Norse word mistaka meaning "take in error" in modern English. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Things I Like: Diddy Kong (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 Diddy Kong has been in the series since Brawl, but it was only until now that I started to like him a lot as a character. I think Donkey Kong's nephew certainly got upgraded this time around. 

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019 Film) Review

 The Lego Movie was a good animated film I remember seeing about 5 years ago. It's amazing it has been about five years or so since the first film. Granted there has been a few spin-off movies, one of which (Lego Batman) I have seen. I didn't care that much to see it in theaters earlier this year, but they didn't need my help as it did pretty well. Though much smaller than the original film, so I suppose Warner Bros. wasn't too happy with it, I guess.

Photo: Wonderworks Inversion Tunnel and Bridge

As soon as we walked into Pigeon Forge's Wonderworks, there was this neat tunnel. It used the illusion of moving colors and spirals to mess with your brain. It's hard to walk perfectly straight across this little bridge. Unless you close your eyes. I actually walked through this a few times, that's how much I enjoyed it. 

Fact of the Day: Quick Drywall

One of the reasons drywall is extremely popular in homes is its ease of use. For the time it takes an experience tradesman to put up traditional plaster walls in a week, it would take that same person/team about 1-2 days to finish the drywall

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Things I Like: Bran Stark (Game of Thrones)

 Brandon "Bran" Stark is the second youngest son of Eddard Stark in Game of Thrones. Even at the start of the series, Bran certainly is different than all of his brothers. He doesn't seem to be good at fighting, even Arya Stark proves herself to be better at it, to his anger. 

Photo: Johann the Biter

My in-laws cat Johann has been more active lately though he's much fatter than my mother's cat Danny. Johann loves to bite people,and I'm sure he knows I don't like it when he tries. He's just trying to play-fight, but he tried biting my leg. Luckily I was wearing jeans. I think I need to carry a spray bottle of water with me. 

Photos: First Moments at WonderWorks Pigeon Forge

 After Dollywood, our next tourist spot in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee was Wonderworks. Daisy had mentioned it, but I didn't really know what it was. She just said "it's an upside down building", and even if you don't even go inside, you really have to park your car in the parking lot and just stand in awe at this upside down "mansion."

Fact of the Day: Pomerania Dogs

 Pomeranian dogs originated in Pomerania, thus its name. It's a historical region between the borders of modern-day Germany and Poland.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Things I Like: Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones)

 Though while I like her as a character, she was certainly the most annoying of the Starks and my least favorite before Rickon. At the start of the show, her father Eddard Stark gets her engaged to Prince Joffrey Baratheon. But their relationship quickly turns sour.

Photos: Howard Johnson by Wyndham Hotel (Pigeon Forge)

 I thought I'd never stay in another hotel again after our first AirBnB in DC, but Tennessee's unique area is kind of a flip-flop on that one. Most AirBnBs in Pigeon Forge were a little expensive, but the hotels were surprisingly cheap compared to other cities, even my own city which doesn't really see tourists. This Howard Johnson is nothing fancy, but it's a good hotel. We had no problems with our room or the bathroom. The only thing that didn't work was a hair-dryer, but that was a minor issue that didn't plague us. 

Fact of the Day: Leon the Lion

The given name Leon comes from the Greek word for "lion." Leo is the Latin form. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Things I Like: Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)

 Arya Stark was one of my favorite characters in the show. She's the youngest daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn Stark (Tully) but the most tomboyish by far. She's also the closest Stark child is to Jon Snow, as both of them always felt like the black sheep of the family. She wants to be a fighter early on, to which her father Ned Stark doesn't approve.

Photos: Leaving Dollywood and Final Thoughts

 Overall, like I mentioned before, I prefer Carowinds as a theme park versus Dollywood. Though I am happy I got to go and see it at least once. Will we be back? I'm doubtful, though maybe. Just depends.

Fact of the Day: True Caviar

Traditionally, the term caviar only refers to the fish eggs of sturgeon fish in the Caspian Sea and Black Sea. But it has also referred to commonly to other species of sturgeon and other types of fish's eggs as well. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Things I Like: Lt. Surge (Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee)

 Lt. Surge is the third gym leader in Kanto, and I enjoyed seeing him in this 3D adventure.

Photos: Pizza Perfect Inman South Carolina

 Pizza Perfect is a place I had been meaning to check out for nearly a decade now. Since I don't live in the area (about 15 miles away), I often have missed my chance. I had heard nothing but good things, actually amazing compliments. So I took Daisy there for a dinner after work.

Photo: Mama Duck and Ducklings at Dollywood

 Near the end of our last day at Dollywood, we saw this mama duck and her babies walking down one of the paths. They were real cute, but I was smart enough not to get too close, in case Mama Duck went into "defense mode."

Fact of the Day: Tennis Bounce

Tennis balls (slowly) lose their ability to bounce as soon as its packaging can is opened. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Things I Like: Castle Siege (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 This one has been in the series since Brawl. It's based on the Fire Emblem series, but not after one true castle in any of the games if I'm not mistaken. The first part of the stage starts on the top of the castle walls. Which is basic and simple.

Photos: Miss Lillian's BBQ Corner at Dollywood

 This is where Daisy had lunch on our second day at Dollywood. She saw it the first day, and I'd knew she come back to it the 2nd day. Daisy really does love BBQ.

Favorite Quotes: Ulysses S. Grant Church and State Separation

"Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separate."

-President Ulysses S. Grant

For all the Republicans who want to mix our secular government with Jesus, probably have no idea how many of our earlier presidents were not just skeptical of mixing religion and government, but they had hated any and all thought of it. 

Fact of the Day: Persian Oil

Unsurprisingly, the Persian Gulf is the world's largest single-source of petroleum. 

Friday, June 21, 2019

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

 While one of the weakest items in the game since Smash 4, I do like using it from time to time. I had assumed it was from Zelda (mainly the first game) but it's technically from the Mario series.

Photos: Dollywood's Daredevil Falls

 This was my favorite ride at Dollywood, and we missed it on our first day. It's tucked away, so we easily passed by it. It's a simple log ride, and that one fall you see here is the only real drop. The rest of the time, you're riding a small stream/river until you get to the climb.

Fact of the Day: English George

While Saint George was a popular saint in English culture for centuries, it was until the reign of the German-born George I of Great Britain until it became a popular name amongst the commoners to name their children. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Things I Hate: Pokemon Trainer (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 I believed I liked this pokemon master in Brawl, but when he shows back up after all these years (only Charizard made it to Smash 4) I wasn't too impressed. He's the only character to not really be a fighter. He just stands in the background. You can also choose the pokemon trainer to be female, just like the real pokemon games.

Photos: Dolly Parton Tour Bus at Dollywood

 At Dollywood, they had her tour bus outside a little museum to her. This was her old tour bus she used from probably the 1990's to the early 2000's if I'm not mistaken. I have to imagine her current one (though I doubt she does much now at her age) is a lot nicer.

Fact of the Day: Wolf Peach

The scientific name of the tomato plant is lycopersicum which comes from the Latin words for "wolf" and "peach." 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Things I Hate: Queen Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones)

While a well-written and acted character, it was hard to even feel sympathy for her, even in her darkest hours. She is the only daughter of Lord Tywin Lannister, the most powerful (de facto) man in Westeros. She was originally offered by Tywin as a bride for Prince Rhaegar but the Mad King refused as he was paranoid. She is instead married to the new king, Robert Baratheon. Though she hates the king and is really in love with her own twin brother Jaime.

Photos: Dollywood's Rockin Roadway

 I knew what to expect with this one, as Carowinds has a similar ride. Daisy wanted to ride it more than I, but we had one of the longest lines we saw at Dollywood for it. Go figure on that one.

The Alamo (2004 Film) Review

 I really like American history, but the Texas Revolution is a bit of a blind-spot in my knowledge. I am not from Texas, nor have I ever set foot on Texas soil. So I haven't been to the Alamo, but I have heard of the infamous battle. One of the few battles in American history where it didn't turn out so well in the short-term. I wasn't quite sure how well this 2004 incarnation was, but I decided to jump in to better understand the history behind the movie.

Fact of the Day: GMO Mouse

The first animal to be a "GMO animal" was a mouse. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Things I Like: Ser Jaime Lannister (Game of Thrones)

 Jaime Lannister is one of my favorite characters in the whole series. So complex and unique, not many characters in fiction that can rival his story. When he was a teenager, the Mad King drafted him into his Kingsguard. When King Aerys II wanted to burn King's Landing, Jaime killed him with his sword. While many wanted him to join the Night's Watch, he becomes the "Kingslayer" but remains on the Kingsguard when his soon-to-be brother by law Lord Robert Baratheon becomes king. While he never seemed to like Robert, he obviously enjoyed his time on the Kingsguard. 

Photos: Dollywood in the 1950's

 Or should I say the 1950's in Dollywood. A small little section of Dollywood feels just like 1955 in Back to the Future, which I would assume is probably the case.

Fact of the Day: Battle of Derna

The First Barbary War was a conflict between the United States and states of modern-day North Africa. American merchant ships had been attacked and the United States blamed it on the Eyalet of Tripolitania. One of the greatest victories was the Battle of Derna, where American forces of about 500 men or less defeated troops of about 4,000 soldiers. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Things I Like: Ser Gregor Clegane/The Mountain (Game of Thrones)

One of the most unique bad guys in fiction, the Mountain is a minor villain in the Game of Thrones series. During Robert's Rebellion, he was with his lord Tywin Lannister as they sacked King's Landing. He was the one who murdered Elia Martell and the Targaryen children, ironically having been knighted in the past by Prince Rhaegar himself. As a child, he stuck his brother the Hound's face in a firepit for playing with one of his toys. And as a man, he's a brute and nearly unstoppable. 

Photos: Dollywood Express Train

 It doesn't take long for one to notice the Dollywood Express train as it rolls around the park. I originally thought it served as a "trolley" to get around the park, but it actually is it's own ride. It's a real steam locomotive train, which apparently burns a lot of coal each day. Which is terrible for climate change and pollution in general.

Early Man (2018 Film) Review

 I hadn't heard of Early Man until recently. But I guess not many people last year, as it did poorly at the box office. It's a film by Nick Park, whom is behind the Wallace and Gromit series of clay-animation and other movies/tv shows. But I decided to give it a try, as I typically like (but never quite love) his work.