Saturday, August 31, 2019

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

 This item was new for Ultimate, and actually from the Super Mario Galaxy games. I didn't realize that until I looked it up. Now it's pretty obvious.

The Favourite (2018 Film) Review

 Last year I had no idea that The Favourite even existed. Its lead star (though I had a difficult time understanding how she was really the "main" character) Olivia Colman won the Oscar for Best Actress as Queen Anne of Great Britain.  I had an idea of what the movie was about, in royal courts in Europe, favorites were typically best-friends or even the love of a monarch's life and sometimes both. I would say Britain's most infamous story of a royal favorite was Piers Gaveston, whom was most likely King Edward II's true love and was a major reason Edward II was the first English monarch to abdicate the throne. This favorite story is similar but different. 

Photo: Fastest Typist Guinness World Records Adventure

One of my most hated challenges was this typing one. You have to type this page as fast as you can. The keyboard keys were not my style (too tall and rigid) and I hate following other words that are not my own thoughts. I'm pretty good at typing, but doing this was an uncomfortable chore. 

Photos: Little K and Cinderella

I think Little K's first Disney princess she really liked was Cinderella. A few years later, and I think she still adores her. 

Fact of the Day: Radiant Rays

The English word radiant comes from the Latin word of the same spelling. It means "emitting rays" in modern English. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Things I Like: Mega Man (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 While not the first 3rd party character in the series, if Capcom had to pick just one fighter for Nintendo's beloved series, the original Mega Man (Rock) would be it. He was in Smash 4 and I did use him some here. While I don't hate him, I'm not exactly a Mega Man main.

Photos: Loudest Scream Guinness World Records Adventure

 One of my favorite challenges was the loudest scream. I actually did pretty well, I was pretty close to being number 1 on the chart.

Photo: Alladin and Jasmine Disney World with Zach and Tiffany

Funny pose, Mr. Zach. But let's see you ride a flying carpet, can you?

Fact of the Day: Lead Lipstick

Like many man-made objects of a chemical nature, lipstick is made of many different substances. As such, some of these chemicals accidentally absorb traces of lead. Which means a lipstick could have lead in it, without anyone's knowing nor would it be on the ingredients list. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Things I Like: Claire Underwood (House of Cards)

Claire had always been such a strong and important character. I watched the British series afterward, and Claire is by far much better than her United Kingdom counterpart. When the show starts, not many in America know who she is. Wives of House Majority Whips don't hold nationwide acclaim. But she's always stood by and supported her husband. 

Photos: Guinness World Records Adventure Gatlinburg Tennessee

 While in Gatlinburg Tennessee, we chose a package where we could do any three Ripley's attractions that we wanted. We originally were going to skip this in favor of something else, but we ran into it on our way down the road and we figured we might as well.

Photos: Jessie from Toy Story at Disney World

 She was never my favorite in the films, but I'm not suprised to see the character in costume at Disney World during my brother's family vacation.

Fact of the Day: Priscilla

The name Priscilla is of Roman origin, meaning several things such as venerable, classical, ancient, and primordial. The name first appeared in the New Testament of The Bible, as one of the characters named Priscilla and her husband helped Paul the Apostle in his work.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Things I Like: Frank Underwood (House of Cards)

 Based heavily on the UK's House of Cards anti-hero Francis Urquhart, I thought Frank Underwood was a well-written character. I actually prefer him to his British original. At the start of the show, he's a House Majority Whip in Congress, promised to be the next Secretary of State. 

Photos: Clownfish at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Who doesn't love the Nemos? I know Daisy and I do. 

Photo: Little K and Little CR with Frozen Princesses at Disney World

 Little K loves Frozen, I don't think Little CR is at the age where she really understands movies.

Fact of the Day: Adore

The English word adore came via Old French. It's based on the Latin word adorare meaning "to worship" in English. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Things I Like: Goku (Dragon Ball FighterZ)

 No Dragon Ball Z game is complete without Universe 7's greatest champion, Son Goku. One of the best characters in the game, of course.

Alita: Battle Angel (2019 Film) Review

 Up until recently, I had no idea Alita: Battle Angel even existed. I actually heard about it for the wrong reasons. A lot of conservative Americans got really angry at Brie Larson's political statements and decided to take that out on her title role and movie Captain Marvel. They decided to make Alita their champion film (because it has a strong female lead, that's it) after Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) had Brie Larson's back. Which is really silly because all this film is a dream project to make a big-budget remake of an older anime film from almost three decades ago. 

Photo: Octopus at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

They had this majestic creature with eight legs, but his (or her?) tank was pretty small. I hope he likes it. 

Photo: Donald Duck Lifeguard Disney World

This was one of the few frowns in the pictures from my brother's family vacation this year to Disney World. My niece Little K does not seem to enjoy Donald Duck here. I guess I can't blame her. While I like Disney's duck, there is a Donald that wears a red hat that I cannot stand. 

Fact of the Day: Framboise Raspberry

In English, an alcoholic drink fermented with raspberries is usually called framboise, after the French word for raspberries. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Things I Hate: Mario Bros. Stage (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 While it is a cool ode to the old Mario Bros. arcade game (the setup is nearly the same), I'm not a big fan of the stage.

Photo: Jellyfish at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

While I wouldn't want to be in the water with them, I always like the jellyfish. They're almost hypnotic to look at. Makes you forget there's no peanutbutterfish. 

Photo: Joy and Sadness (Inside Out) at Disney World

Inside Out was one of my favorite of the recent Pixar films. My brother Zach and my niece Little K got to "meet them" at Disney World. 

Fact of the Day: Matinee

The showings of a movie or theater in the day time is called a matinee. It's taken from French word meaning a morning activity. The French word matin means "morning" in English. 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Things I Like: Rocket Belt Jetpack (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 While it came out in Smash 4, I was glad to see this jetpack return. It's from the Pilotwings series, which isn't my cup of tea.

Photo: Splashing with the Stingrays Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Stingrays aren't my favorites, but they are interesting creatures, I will say that.

Photo: Little K Hugging Vanellope Von Schweetz at Disney World

My brother Zach took his family to Disney World before school started this year. Little K really seems to like Vanellope here. She's from Wreck-it Ralph, a pretty good animated movie by Disney. 

Fact of the Day: Cabbage Rose

When cabbage roses were first developed in the 18th century, the original plant was sterile. They had to rely on a future mutant flower for them to be grown over and over again.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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

 While I was happy to see Animal Crossing's Villager make it into Smash 4, Villager wasn't my favorite in the last game. And that holds true for Ultimate, but I do like the fighter.

My Super Mario Maker 2 (Nintendo Switch) Impressions

 Super Mario Maker was one of the few notable games I missed out during the WiiU era. I was expecting Nintendo to make an enhanced port to the Nintendo Switch, but sure enough we got a sequel instead. While I heard some folks complain about its online features, I haven't gotten there yet. I try to finish offline modes before I jump into the online stuff. 

Photo: African Penguins at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

 They had African Penguins here, which makes sense considering that Tennessee is a hot climate. This statue looks pretty close to the real thing.

Photo: Last Day of the Spartanburg Carolina Panthers Training Camp

My brother is a big Carolina Panthers fan, and the NFL team plays in Charlotte but they would train in Spartanburg. But I hear this was the last year for that, as they'll be a new one in Rock Hill. I don't blame them, Rock Hill is much much closer to Charlotte. But he and his family were there to watch their team. 

Fact of the Day: Hedgehog Worldwide

Hedgehogs are found all over the world, but there are some exceptions. There are no living species of hedgehog native to the Americas, and none are known to have lived naturally in Australia. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Things I Like: Doug Stamper (House of Cards)

One of the most important major characters, Doug Stamper is an interesting fellow. And a strange man. 

Photos: The Big Tank at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

 A good chunk of the place is one large tank. You get a pretty good view of it from the top of the place as well.

Photo: Baby Little CR at the Spartanburg Children's Museum

My city has a "museum" full of fun stuff for the kiddos. Even a baby like my youngest niece Little CR can have loads of fun here. 

Fact of the Day: Animal Heart

In mammals and birds, there are four chambers to their hearts. In reptiles it's three, and in fish there are only two. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Things I Like: Freddy Hayes (House of Cards)

 Freddy Hayes was one of my favorite minor characters on the show.

Photos: Seahorses at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

 The seahorse is one of my favorite animals under the sea. So I liked seeing them here.

Photo: Little CR Close to One

My youngest niece Little CR is close to one now. I can tell now that blonde will certainly be her primary hair color while she'll most likely look like her older sister, but with blonde hair instead of the dark. 

Fact of the Day: King Dan Denmark

According to popular legend, Denmark's name comes from one of their more mythological kings, King Dan. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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

 I always liked Lance a lot. His role in the Silver/Gold games and the anime are more memorable than this remake and the Red/Blue games however.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Nintendo Switch) Review

 In the late 1990's, there were two different Castlevania games. One was Castlevania 64, which seemed to be the more promising of the two games since it was in 3D, but it turned out to be one of the worst games in the series and on the N64. The other was Symphony of the Night, which was 2D but it was a surprise hit and the game most fans considered to be the magnum opus for the series. But after many "Metroidvanias" on GBA and DS they ran dry about ten years ago, following a split from Koji Igarashi and Konami. Since he could no longer make Castlevania games, he decided to make another series that plays almost the same. I had the Nintendo Switch version, but it's also on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Photo: Piranhas at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

I always like seeing the piranhas, and the glass that separates us. 

Photo: The Metallic Buddha

I saw this metallic Buddha the other day. I always like seeing Buddha statues for some reason. A bit strange to see him so shiny. Siddhartha Gautama in the year 3080 maybe?

Fact of the Day: Dragon Cactus

Dragonfruit (pitaya) is actually a member of the cactus family, and native to the Americas. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Things I Like: 75m (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 75m is based on the second level of the same name from the classic Donkey Kong arcade game. It's been in the Super Smash Bros. series since Brawl.

Photo: Archelon Fossil Ripley's' Aquarium of the Smokies

They had this extinct turtle hanging near the entrance. The archelon was the largest turtle ever known and it lived in the late Cretaceous period, so it hung out with the last of the dinosaurs.