Monday, February 19, 2018

Fact of the Day: Emilia Lanier

Emilia Lanier was the first woman to be a professional poet in England. In her personal life, she gave birth to the son of Henry Carey (they did not marry) who was the maternal cousin of Queen Elizabeth I. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Photos: Replacing the Bedroom Furniture Hardware

 This is just one piece to a whole room set. But we got these from the previous homeowners, and they certainly are old but still useful. The knobs and pullbars were certainly showing their age. Two knobs were bent as well which I hated looking at all the time.

The Brothers Grimm (2005 Film) Review

 The Brothers Grimm is a movie I remember coming out when I was still in high school. While Matt Damon was pretty famous by then, I wouldn't really notice Heath Ledger as a wonderful actor (at that time, I never saw A Knight's Tale or 10 Things I Hate About You) until The Dark Knight came out a few years later. While she had been in plenty of movies by this point, this was also a few years before Game of Thrones made Lena Headey very recognizable as Cersei Lannister. For the uncultured swine though, the Brothers Grimm were two real brothers in Germany who modernized many of the fairy tales that we grew up on as children. I knew this was not going to be a "historical" piece. 

SC Lawmakers Want to Make Non-Straight Marriages Into Parody Marriages

Throughout the course of human history, liberal ideas eventually become the status quo, but the conservatives of each time period don't embrace change but just kick and scream until progress is done. And nobody quite kicks and screams like the right-wingers of South Carolina. A handful of far-right lunatics want to dub any LGBT marriage as a parody and the bill's language suggests that the state of South Carolina will not recognize the marriage equally either. Now the smarter "lets get elected" Republicans are going to probably kill this bill in committee, but it does anger me that these morons are even trying, and to make matters worse they think they are in favor of "small government" with their Christian-Sharia laws.      

Fact of the Day: Donald Ivana Marla and Tiffany

When Donald Trump was married to his first wife Ivana, he had an affair with a woman named Marla Maples. Not long after, Trump got divorced and Trump's daughter Tiffany by Marla was born out of wedlock. Donald Trump married Marla about two months after the birth of their daughter but eventually divorced in 1999. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Things I Like: Bwario and Bwaluigi (Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle)

 Near the end of the game you get to see these cosplaying mid-bosses as a surprise. Obviously based on Wario and Waluigi. I did smirk at the parody.

Photos: Staining Plastic Wood on My Furniture

 I recently changed all the hardware on the bedroom dresser, armoire, and nightstand. With the pulll bar handles I had to drill new holes and fill the old ones.

My Top Five Michael Keaton Roles

 While I haven't seen every movie with him in it, it's hard to deny that Michael Keaton is a good actor and that he's been in quite a number of good movies. Here's my top five.

Fact of the Day: Aliens From Out There

The English word alien came from the Old French word which itself was derived from the Latin word "alienus" which means "belonging to another". 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Photos: Lidl Bears

When Daisy saw these bears at Lidl, she couldn't resist walking past them without giving them a hug. 

Story: Atlanta Taxi

As I mentioned before, during our vacation to Atlanta in 2017 we took the Amtrak train. As soon as we arrived at the Atlanta station, it is a bit chaotic with all the people going to their destinations. But I do remember seeing lots of taxi drivers. They were waiting like parasites, coming up to everyone and asking if they wanted a ride or not.  

Fact of the Day: Sugar Candy

The English word candy came through a French word but the French word itself was derived from the Arabic words sukkar quandi which roughly translates as "sugar piece".   

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Photo: Pre-Valentine's Day Lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse

My wife and I never go out to eat during Valentines' Day as the crowds are crazy, as many folks have the same idea especially with restaurants like these. So we usually go the day before or the day after. We actually showed up right at 11am and it wasn't very crowded. There was two large groups of elderly women, but other than that, it was pretty slow in the restaurant. Daisy got her favorite steak and shrimp as well. 

Blade Runner 2049 (2017 Film) Review

 Blade Runner was a film I only watched a few years ago. It came quite a few years before I was even born, and didn't do nearly as well as something like Star Wars did, despite Harrison Ford in the starring role. It became a bit of a cult sci-fi film and gained a better reputation and fanbase in the years to follow. I thought it was pretty neat they were making a sequel to the film as it had been such a long time since the original. I also thought it was funny that the original film was set in 2019, which now is only a year way from the present day.   

Fact of the Day: King Kaiser

While English/British law always favored male heirs to princesses, there have been reigning Queens when all direct male heirs were either dead or non-existent. If the right to the throne passed through the eldest child regardless of gender when Queen Victoria reigned, her daughter Princess Victoria would have been Queen briefly before her own death. However, her son Wilhelm II (better known as the Kaiser of World War I) would have taken the throne after her. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Photo: Valentines Pizza

I saw this pizza in our local Hallmark recently with their Valentines Day stuff. When I think of good stuffed animal ideas for Valentines, I think teddy bears, husky dogs, but not really pizza. Kind of a cheesy idea.  

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017 Film) Review

 I remember the original Jumanji film back in the 1990's with Robin Williams, and it was one my favorite films of my childhood. When I first heard of this sequel (originally thought it was going to be a "remake") I thought it'd be a huge train-wreck. But when it came out in late December of last year, word was actually surprisingly good. It did really well at the box office, it even dethroned Star Wars: The Last Jedi from the top spot for one week. Daisy wanted to hang out with her friend this previous Monday night but we were both off. I suggested we all go see a movie, and Jumanji 2 was really the only thing I had much interest in seeing at the moment.

Fact of the Day: Australia Diversity

While not the highest in the world, Australia has one of the highest immigrant populations in the world at an estimated 26% of the population. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Things I Like: Bowser Jr. (Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle)

 While not the final boss, for most of the game Bowser Jr. is your main foe. He mainly just shows up in the story. He makes Spawny his BFF but he's not a very good friend. His stupid actions usually lead to more trouble. 

Photo: AMC Spartanburg

This was last night as Daisy and I saw a movie with her friend Amy from work. Unlike some areas of the country, we never had an AMC until recently. We had a dollar theater by Carmike but they recently were acquired by AMC. Except they made it a "regular theater" but they did renovate a bit as the Carmike was starting to show its age. 

Fact of the Day: Recycled Styrofoam

While it's possible to recycle Styrofoam, many recycling centers/programs rarely accept it. The major reason is its low density makes it not very economical to recycle.  

Monday, February 12, 2018

Photo: Batgirl?

My sister-in-law took this photo of my niece Little K. I can't tell if this actually some kind of superhero or just some kind of generic batgirl.  

So We're Headed to Washington D.C. in the Spring For Vacation

We've been planning this for a few years now, but we made it official yesterday. We got our plane tickets (my first flight, but not Daisy's) and our Airbnb (first time for all of us there) reserved. My brother is stationed in D.C. this year so we were able to convince my mother to join us so she could visit him. It's more comforting on a "big scary trip" to have more people with you. It's a very short flight from Greenville, SC to D.C. so things are pretty reasonable. I also found it wonderful yesterday when I found out that the Smithsonian museums (more than you could remember off hand) and its zoo don't require even a penny to enjoy. Daisy is pretty excited, and despite my slight nervousness (I don't like the actual "traveling" part of traveling) I'm excited as well. It will be in the first week of May. 

Fact of the Day: Katyn Massacre

The Katyn Massacre was the mass murder of Polish nationals during the spring of 1940 during World War Two by the Soviet Union's NKVD agency. Germans had discovered the remains in 1943, but the Soviets denied this and blamed it on them. Russia officially accepted the blame in 1990. The massacre killed an estimated 22,000 people. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Photo: Valentine Panda at Aldi

As many of you know, Daisy loves stuffed animals. She just had to hug the big panda before we left Aldi one day. 

Story: Paint Shakers

 As I mentioned before, I work in a paint department. 5 gallon paint shakers are key in having a successful day, and we have a standard set of two. After awhile you learn which one is the "good" shaker and which one is the "bad" shaker. This baby here was a horrible machine, it'd work most of the time but when it didn't... Let's just say that it would often throw stuff out and make a large bang noise. Not a mess with a five gallon bucket with a tight lid, but if someone puts one gallons in there, well it's going to be a long time to clean up. 

Fact of the Day: Ancient Fun Jumping

While trampolines are modern inventions, a similar "game" was done by both the Inuit and some places in Europe which involved people being bounced off special types of blankets. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Photo: 7 Moon with Daisy

 Daisy is a big fan of all food but it had been quite some time since we've been to an Asian supermarket. Daisy is in heaven because there are many many things here that you'd never find in Walmart, Target, etc.

Question: Do You Like Microwave Popcorn?

Honestly, I can't really tolerate it for long. No matter which brand I pick, it just doesn't taste right to me. It's also is pretty easy for them to a have burnt taste which is a no-no to me. As a kid it did amaze me to see how the bag could transform, but I prefer getting popcorn already pre-popped. 

Do you like popcorn from the microwave? 

Fact of the Day: Boston Patriots

While the New England Patriots have won eight AFC championships and 5 Superbowls since the early 2000's, most of their early history wasn't very impressive. They were founded as the Boston Patriots in 1960 and existed before the NFL merger. They won the AFC Championship only twice in the 20th century, losing the Super Bowl first to the Chicago Bears in the 1980's and then to the Green Bay Packers in the 1990's.  

Things I Like: Phantom (Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle)

 Phantom is the third major boss in the game. I thought the character was rather goofy and my least favorite boss.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Photos: Winter Visit Spartanburg Humane Society

 The other day I had the urge to visit our local animal shelter. I did notice they had this large outdoor kennel fence for the big dogs to play. So that was nice to see. 

Mudbound (2017 Film) Review

 I heard about Mudbound as it picked up a few nominations at the Oscars, the most notably being Mary J. Blige's nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Unless I'm missing something, Mudbound should be the only Netflix film to have earned any Oscar nominations for the year of 2017. Technically this wasn't suppose to be just for Netflix. It started for the Sundance Film Festival and Netflix picked it up, which limited it theater release. Though smaller "Oscar bait" films like these rarely make splashes at the box office. But I was interested and I wanted to watch it before the Oscar awards start at least, even though it's not up for Best Picture. 

Fact of the Day: Trumpery

While it became less common in usage after World War II, the English word "trumpery" means "worthless nonsense". It is derived from the Old French word "tromper" which means "to deceive". 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Photos: Rocky Moo Spartanburg

 A few months ago I heard of this new ice cream place opening up in our local town. It's the first of its kind (from what I can figure) but the gimmick here to separate it from the other ice cream places is that it's specialty is ice cream sandwiches with custom cookies.

Question: When Did You Stop Watching VHS?

For the majority of the 1980's and 1990's, VCRs were king of the media wars. By the early 2000's, VHS tapes were quickly made obsolete by DVDs. While did use them a lot (especially to tape my favorite shows) I think I finally went DVD-only in maybe 2003 give or take. When Blu-Ray arrived shortly afterward, I do admit I did feel like I was being outpaced by technology. 

When did you throw out the VCR? 

Fact of the Day: Kerosene Cough

Before modern medicine, people came up with some rather dangerous methods of remedies. Kerosene was a key ingredient to many of these, including a coughing remedy.  

Things I Like: Icicle Golem (Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle)

 Icicle Golem is the 2nd main boss in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. He is a fusion of a normal rabbid and a giant fridge after Spawny got scared and accidentally created him. He's the most massive enemy in the game and even takes one of your team members out of the game for the fun of it.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Photos: Krispy Kreme Valentines

 Daisy wanted to stop by Krispy Kreme in our local city of Spartanburg yesterday. They had Valentines Day donuts out so she got some along with some kind of latte or something. 

Story: Color Changers

 Working in paint, you deal with a lot of different folks. The "I don't cares", the contractors, the "HGTV wannabes", the "I kinda know what I'm doing homeowners" and then we have the fickle people who don't know what they want. Most paint places usually don't take paint back unless something went wrong on our side. I once had a lady who tried bringing back a purple and got mad when I told her I couldn't turn it gray. She also couldn't comprehend why we would take a loss from her stupidity. It's like a birthday cake, odds are you'll never find anyone who wants the same thing as you.

Fact of the Day: Hindi Turkey

In Turkish, the word for the bird turkey is a hindi. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Donald Trump Calls Democrats Who Don't Applaud For Him Un-American and Treasonous

Mango Mussolini knows he isn't very well liked, though he tries to tell his supporters it's all "fake news" and whatnot. Like almost every president in modern times, when he spoke at the State of the Union, some or many members of the opposition party didn't applaud. Frankly I don't blame Congressional Democrats for not doing so, I certainly would have issues applauding the words of an orange lunatic who tells more lies than truths. But Trump called them all "un-American" and "treasonous" as a result. I remember full well how awful Republicans treated President Obama (including shouting "you lie" during a State of the Union) but Obama kept it classy. These same Republicans called Obama a "tyrant" even though all he did was sign executive orders to not change a law but change the way his government operated. If Trump is saying this stuff when he has all the power, what is he going to do when Democrats take back the Senate and perhaps even in the House in mid-terms? Once again I apologize to the rest of the world (except Russia) for this horrible excuse of a man we have in the oval office.    

Photo: Smokin Wings at WestGate Mall

We went to the mall last Friday and ate at the food court after picking up Daisy's car for an oil change. She tried a rather new-ish place called Smokin Wings. Despite the name, Daisy just got a cheeseburger and fries. Daisy isn't difficult to please with food, but I will note that it took awhile for her food to be ready. 

Question: What's Your First Thought in the Morning?

My sleep cycle is pretty much the same. I usually have no issues going to sleep and staying asleep. Waking up is the hardest part for me. However, when I wake up I don't think about the next thing in my day. My first thought is usually why did I have to wake up at that moment?

What do you think first when you wake up?  

Fact of the Day: Royal Family Worries

When Queen Victoria's eldest son (the future Edward VII) was caught having numerous affairs with women, both Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert were quite upset about it. The Prince of Wales had a long talk with his father about it, and not long afterward, Prince Albert died. Queen Victoria went into mourning for the rest of her life and always blamed her son for her husband's death. 

Things I Like: Rabbid Kong (Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle)

 The first major boss of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Rabbid Kong is obviously a parody of Donkey Kong. Unlike some other Spawny creations, he's not a fusion of a rabbid and Donkey Kong. But they seem to go to the same tailor for neck-ties.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Photo: Smiles and Slides

This is my niece Little K at the Cleveland Park playground which is located pretty much right next to the Greenville Zoo. The local zoo is pretty small, but I remember enjoying the playground when I was her age as well. I have to wonder how many times it's been updated in the well over two decades since then. 

Atomic Blonde (2018 Film) Review

 Atomic Blonde is a film I heard about awhile back. I really like Charlize Theron (very gorgeous) but I will say her movies aren't usually the best. Which isn't really her fault, directing and writing plays a bigger part most of the time instead of the actors. James McAvoy is also in it and while he's a phoenomal actor, he has had been in a few films that have been bad despite his effort to act really well regardless. I had high hopes for Atomic Blonde, but did they meet my hype?

Fact of the Day: Heaven Hatuey

Hatuey was a chieftain from Hispaniola who fled to Cuba from the Spaniards who wanted to conquer the island. Sadly for him, he was defeated, captured, and tied to a stake. Before he was burned alive, a priest asked him if he wanted to accept Jesus and go to heaven. Hatuey asked if the Spanish would be in heaven, and the priest told him that they would since they were Christians. Hatuey said he'd prefer to go to hell, as he did not wish to see such cruel people in the afterlife. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Photo: Danny on the Chair

My mother took this photo and asked "what's wrong with this picture?" about her cat. Danny here is not using his pet bed properly, or at all.