Sunday, December 17, 2017

Photos: Christmas Tree Ornaments 2017

 This is our one ornament from last year, Daisy just had to have a Coca-Cola bear. The rest we picked up for almost nothing after Christmas last year.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017 Film) Review

Spider-Man has always been one of my favorite super-heroes of all time. I don't think I've been the only one as there has been now six major movies (Plus Captain America: Civil War) and more cartoons and video games than I can remember on the famous web-slinger. Except maybe Batman, I don't think any other superhero got as much solo treatment. Due to Marvel having bad troubles during the turn of the millennium, their film rights to many films went to several different companies. When Disney took over Marvel, even though they had the rights to the characters in almost everything, Fox had X-Men and Fantastic Four, and Sony had Spider-Man, which made cross-over films extremely unlikely. Luckily Sony managed to make a deal with Disney, and Spider-Man was able to join the MCU. Now we have a major movie with Spider-Man in the MCU, instead of just cameos in Avengers films.

Fact of the Day: Lady Randolph Churchill

Winston Churchill's mother Lady Randolph Churchill (Jennie Spencer-Churchill) wasn't exactly a devoted wife to his father. She is believed to have had several affairs while married including to the married Prince of Wales, who became the future King Edward VII.  

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Photo: Recent Snow Before Christmas Even Starts

 We don't usually get snow, but we got some for about a twenty four hour period not long ago. Our cars got a good bit of it, but I was easily able to get it off with an ice scraper. Didn't even need to use ice melt as the snow didn't freeze up.

Question: Do You Wear Shoes in the House?

If I'm in my pajamas, I obviously won't have them on. But if I'm wearing jeans, I'll have my tennis shoes on. My in-laws are like a traditional Asian family, you wear shoes in the house on purpose, you might get something thrown at you. 

Do you wear shoes in the house?  

Fact of the Day: King Franco

When Francisco Franco overthrew the left-wing government of Spain during the Spanish Civil War, he was able to do this partly over the support of monarchists whom Franco was officially a member. They wanted to restore the Spanish monarchy, however Franco only officially restored it but Spain didn't have a king when he took power. He named himself regent for life, enjoyed the life of a king, but did not carry the title of King of Spain.  

Friday, December 15, 2017

Photo: Chicken and Santa

I got an oil change on my car through Sears, and we use the time waiting for the car to be done by going to the mall. So we ate at the food court, Daisy got one of those freebies from the Chick-fil-a calendar which was some kind of sandwich. While you can't really see it, Santa's booth was behind Daisy and to the right. A massive wave of children were there to greet old Saint Nick. 

Reign (TV Series) Season 2 Review

I originally watched the first season of Reign alone, but my wife noticed it eventually (after turning my down my suggestion due to ignorance of what it was about or if she would like it) and she watched the first season in no time. So eventually it came time for her to watch the second season, and I wanted to watch it with her this time around. While I wasn't the biggest fan in the world, it is well produced and almost all the ladies are just gorgeous on this show as well. I also didn't notice originally, but the woman who plays Queen Catherine (Megan Follows) was Anne Shirley in the works from the 1980's.   

Fact of the Day: Gulag Survival

While the infamous Soviet gulags were far from great places, they weren't as grim as depicted in most fiction. Except during the World War II era, the majority of Russians and other Soviets who were sent to the gulag came out of it alive.  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Photos: Charlie Brown Christmas Window Clings

 We don't decorate heavily for Christmas, but I do like a few window clings. I wanted some with polar bears this year and I couldn't find one. I did find this Santa Claus one. And we were at Big Lots later and Daisy begged me to get these Peanuts ones.

Story: Cheeseburgers vs Equality

Back around 2011 I happened to stumble across a right-wing radio station which was mostly local shows, being a member of the left-wing, some of the stuff they were saying was appalling. The first conversation I ever heard was from a caller who was convinced Abraham Lincoln was a secret communist who preferred the company of men... But it was strangely interesting to hear what these lunatics were saying. When marriage equality was still in hot debate, a female co-host of the show compared being LGBT to her love of eating cheeseburgers, basically saying that only straight couples could marry because it's all "a choice to make bad life-choices". This same radio show would rarely get liberal callers (I can imagine someone was doing tough screenings) but when a few would get through the cracks, they would drop their calls so they couldn't counter-debate because they were afraid of the truth. 

Fact of the Day: Distant Cousin Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell became the king-like Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland after the execution of King Charles I. However he was a very distant cousin of the Stuarts and the Tudors. Oliver Cromwell was descended through a illegitimate daughter of Jasper Tudor, King Henry VII's paternal uncle. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Story: Our 2017 Christmas Tree

 Our tree was new last year, but this our first re-use year. It's pre-lit with little lights. Daisy did 98% of the work, I had done so much with my work and painting the room that I didn't have the energy or time for the tree. 

The Boss Baby (2017 Film) Review

 I remember seeing trailers for The Boss Baby back about this time last year. I will have to admit, it did look promising. Granted I like Pixar way more than Dreamworks, but The Boss Baby looked clever enough. However not clever enough for me to see it in theaters. It actually did really well at the box office, as Dreamworks is planning a sequel to come out in 2021. However it seemed to be rather hit or miss with both critics and regular people alike. Knowing that, it could have been either way with me, but with did I think? 

Fact of the Day: Da Bears

The NFL team the Chicago Bears were originally (but briefly) known as the Decatur Staleys.  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Doug Jones Defeats Roy Moore in Special Senate Election Race

I was watching the news earlier where Roy Moore was up quite a bit, and I thought that Alabama once again showed us that they are still the dumbest state in the nation by far. But color me surprised, Doug Jones made up the difference and the Senate race has been settled. It was a close race, but that's still not a good thing even in victory. Roy Moore was a religious extremist who violated not only the U.S. Constitution but direct Supreme Court orders on two separate issues which got him kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court twice. Then we found out that he preyed on little girls in the past. Little less than half of Alabama voters today voted for this monstrous lunatic, just like forty six percent of voters last year voted for our giant man-baby president that also likes to have his way with women. None of these races should even had been that close. The Republican Party has a serious morality issue, and to be honest, the only difference between Moore plus Trump versus the 98% of the rest of the GOP is that they are more honest about their extremism.  

Photo: Longhorn December

This is Daisy at her favorite restaurant Longhorn Steakhouse in early December. She's always happy with steak and fries. 

Story: Rainbow Paint

As I mentioned before, I work in a paint department. I've gotten some strange calls over the years, and one of the ones I remember most is someone asking for "rainbow paint" where you can paint "all seven" colors in one. I was pretty sure it was a prank, but there are people that stupid. While I will say "nothing is impossible" but since paint shakes with pigment to blend all together, it would be pretty hard for a chemist to come up with such a thing and for such a stupid request too. 

Fact of the Day: Queen Politics

When Mary, Queen of Scots was found to have worked with conspirators to commit regicide against Elizabeth I of England, it left the English queen in a bit of a predicament. Any lesser ranked person would be executed without a second thought, but Elizabeth feared the backlash. While Elizabeth ordered her death anyway, her ultimate concern was that Mary's son King James VI of Scotland (who was ironically Elizabeth's heir and eventually successor) would ally with a foreign power against England in revenge. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Photos: Painting My Living Room Walls Beige

Being a home-owner, painting is a reality. It took me well over a year to get around to painting the living room. I wouldn't say I "hated" the color that the previous family chose but it certainly was not something I was loving. It really is a grey, but it often looks really blue-gray and sometimes even grayish-green depending on the light and camera with the pictures. Grays typically do this and I hate gray colors (too depressing in my opinion) so I went beige in the neutrals.   

My Top Five Tim Burton Films

This list could eventually change in my mind since Tim Burton isn't done making movies, but I have realized that most of his best was always his earliest movies. He really took a lot of creative genius with them while his more recent movies kind of lack it.

Fact of the Day: Kazakh Soviets

Kazakhstan while not as a big or well-known as Russia, was part of the Soviet Union. The native Kazakhs suffered greatly in their early days in the Soviet Union. When famines hit the nation, its estimated that 40% of its native people either died of starvation or fled the country. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Photo: Santa Phone

Our local Target had this cute little Christmas booth setup. Daisy here was trying to call Santa and ask for a truck of stuffed animals, but the call dropped under mysterious circumstances. 

Fact of the Day: New Romes

While the main Roman Empire fell in 476 (and the Byzantine Empire in 1453); the Frankish Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Russian Tsardom (though Russia's was more inspired by the Byzantine Empire) were all attempts to revive the glory of Rome. 

Things I Like: Baby Bowser (Mario Series)

 Baby Bowser is the much younger form of Mario's nemesis Bowser. While he looks almost the same as his future-son Bowser Jr., we see him for the first time when Mario is a baby and Yoshi is trying to save Mario's brother Luigi. Bowser's caretaker Kamek wanted both Mario and Luigi to be Bowser's friends, kinda sad if you think about it.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Photos: Little Ones Christmas Presents Round Two

 Since Christmas is soon, we already got most of the gifts already under the tree. I decided to get my niece Little Iz this board game.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017 Film) Review

 I wouldn't say I had much hype for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets back in the summer, but I was interested at least. It's based on a French comic book series called Valerian and Laureline which started all the way back in 1967. I think the main reason I wanted to see it was because of Cara Delevingne, she had been originally a fashion model (including Victoria's Secret) but moved on to acting. She hasn't really had many decent roles so far, the most notable being the villain Enchantress and her human host Dr. June Moone in DC"s Suicide Squad. But I will say I do have a mild crush on her. Her co-star is Dane DeHaan who played Harry Osborn in the Marc Webb's 2nd Spider-Man movie, but I didn't like his version of it.

Fact of the Day: Columbia TV

The TV network CBS stands for Columbia Broadcasting System. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Photo: Beary Christmas

 Daisy loves Christmas, one of the reasons why is all the cute bears around. She tried getting this one, but I told her no.

Favorite Quotes: Anyone Can Be President

"In America, anyone can become president. That's the problem." 

- George Carlin

I always loved George Carlin, he was calling things for what they were, even stuff that happened after he died. That quote never became truer than on election day last year. Have to imagine what our friend George Carlin would be saying about Mango Mussolini if he were alive to criticize him. 

Fact of the Day: Violin Fiddle

Violins and fiddles are actually exactly the same, the only difference is the style of music people play on it. Violins are synonymous with classical music, while it's common for violins to be called fiddles in country, bluegrass, and folk music. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Photo: Star Wars Christmas

 A local supermarket near us named Bi-Lo apparently really went all out to get Star Wars decor and stuff for Christmas this year, I guess in hopes to leech off the hype of The Last Jedi movie which comes out not long before Christmas. Daisy wanted her picture with the cardboard stormtrooper.

Story: Not so Clear Coat on Deck

While working in a paint department, I had an old man come up to me one day and said he put a clear coat on his deck but now it was white. I asked him to show me what it was, as some people grab the wrong thing. He took me to an expensive deck resurfacer paint which was white in the bucket and we could tint it any color with our machine. I guess he thought it would dry clear, but the paint is pretty thick, I don't know what made him think that. Not only did he waste so much paint, he had to remove it all, then clear-coat his deck with real clear sealant. I asked him if anybody helped him and he said that he just grabbed it. That's why you ask if you don't know. 

Fact of the Day: Paul Brown

The NFL team the Cleveland Browns are named after Paul Brown, who founded the team and was the original head coach. While a great innovator in the sport, he was not well-liked. He was eventually fired, and he went to go on and found the other Ohio NFL team the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Photo: Lost Dog

My brother found this lost dog at his house not long ago. Luckily they found the owners in no time. He has a collar for an electric dog fence, so I assume doggy was either extremely strong, or more likely the fence failed.  

Results From My Mother's DNA Test

 I took a DNA test awhile back, but my mother wanted hers as a Christmas gift this year and her results came early. I had assumed it would happen right near the actual day, but it's fine. Why get her one if I already have mine? Well I don't claim to know everything about genetics, but I do know that a child is 50% their father and 50% their mother (though technically the mother also gives out mitochondria DNA, your father does not) so half of your parents' DNA gets more-or-less lost in the merger that makes you. So the main makeup of her DNA is about the same as mine, Ireland/Scotland/Wales/England, Scandinavian, and Western Europe.

Fact of the Day: Leonid Khrushchev

Leonid Khrushchev was the son of Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev. He served in the Soviet Air Force during World War II where his plane was shot down under mysterious circumstances. A popular theory is that he was captured by the Germans and worked with them.The theory also states that when Stalin found out, he had him executed. The theory is often used to explain why Khrushchev was so anti-Stalin after he assumed power. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Photo: Little R and Grandma's Hair

This is my niece Little R at her sister's early birthday party (since my brother/their father is leaving soon for Army duty in D.C.) at Chuck E. Cheese.  My mother had found that Little R loves playing with her hair, like many babies do to other women. 

Fact of the Day: King Albert Edward

King Edward VII of Great Britain was originally known as Prince Albert Edward. It seems his mother originally intended him to rule one day as King Albert I, but he felt that it would diminish the name of his father Prince Albert and that his father's name "should stand alone". 

My Pokken Tournament DX (Nintendo Switch) Impressions

 Pokken Tournament DX is the ultimate version of the original game on WiiU. Since the WiiU did poorly, they decided to re-release it again on Nintendo Switch. I was a bit skeptical but I have heard good things about it. But it basically makes a real fighting game for Pokemon instead of its traditional turn-based RPG format.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Photo: Christmas Dominos Tree

We got a pizza in early December at Domino's, and I saw they put this decent Christmas tree up. There were other holiday lights all over the pizza place. One of the few places I've noticed that somehow felt truly festive instead of forced festive.  

Favorite Quotes: War Dreams

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."

-George McGovern

George McGovern might not be a familiar name to many millennials, but he was a sane man in some crazy times, for example he lost badly to Richard Nixon because people of that time thought Nixon was the "better" man. If it wasn't for decades of anti-war activism, I'm pretty sure George W. Bush would have drafted men of my generation into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Like Vietnam, those were two wars created by old men that sent younger men to fight for their own desires.  

Fact of the Day: Ukraine WWII Deaths

Very much like Poland, Ukraine was a major disaster area during World War II after being stuck between Germany and Russia, though it was part of the Soviet Union. For many reasons, it's estimated that about 1 out of every 6 Ukrainians did not survive the war. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Photo: Popeyes Chicken Lunch Break

As I mentioned before, my in-laws don't live far at all from my work. So I took Daisy to Popeyes which is the 2nd most popular chicken restaurant in the United States. Despite its popularity, we rarely have them in South Carolina. This is the first one I can recall in our county, though its rather new. I heard mixed things from my co-workers, my co-worker Pat refuses to eat there after a few bad experiences. Daisy really wanted to go (she had some last at an airport in Dallas, Texas) so I figured I would rather attempt to make her happy. We had no problems at all. The table was clean, we didn't have to wait long for our food, and the food was good. I will say people aren't lying about those Popeyes biscuits making you thirsty.   

Story: Feathers or Bricks Riddle

I like this riddle because it's very simple and not complicated at all. The answer should be obvious but often times people do get this wrong or think too much on it and screw up. But here's the clever little riddle, lets see if you can solve it without help. What weighs more, a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers?

Fact of the Day: Truman in Retirement

While most U.S. President have more wealth before and after their presidency than most normal people, that was not the case for Harry S. Truman. After his terms were over, he only had a meager army pension, so he had to move in with his mother-in-law.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Photo: Santa Door

I forgot to do a Halloween one this year, but the day after Thanksgiving I got this Santa one out. Merry Christmas! 

My Top Five Worst Movie Sequels

Very rarely are movie sequels better than the originals, but many more are often worse and some are just horrid. Here are my top five film sequels that did not live up to par. 

Senate Passes Horrid Tax Plan in Middle of the Night

Historically taxes have been pretty low since the 2000's, but now Congress seems like they are most likely going to have a final version of the bill signed by Agolf Twitler into law soon enough. The Senate version is by the far the most despicable excuse for governing I've seen in quite some time, Senators were handed a bill hundreds of pages long mere hours before the vote and there was amendments written (badly) by hand on the side of the papers. This never worked recently in Oklahoma, Kansas, or in the 2000's with Bush. All that's going to happen is that the national-debt will further more and more, and the economy will probably see a recession somewhere around 2019-2021.

Fact of the Day: Poor Food

While it varies by location, however most food-banks throw away over half of the food that is collected from drives. Many times (especially canned food) is often over-expired and not suitable for consumption.