Thursday, July 27, 2017

Fact of the Day: Furman vs Georgia

In 1972 the Supreme Court decided on the case of Furman v. Georgia which decided that capital punishment was unconstitutional in its current forms. The ruling didn't last forever as states made changes to satisfy the Eight Amendment. The United States is the only Western nation to still enforce the death penalty. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Photo: 2017 Fireworks

This is Daisy as we went to Abbott Farms to get fireworks. Funny enough there was too much rain around the fourth of July so we never got to use the small amount we got. I figured we could save it for New Years. 

Question: Your First Crush?

I actually had my first crush in elementary school in Kindergarten I believe. Her name was Raine and she remained in our school for a few years before moving off to wherever. She is on the top row at the very far left in this photo, and I'm on the bottom right row just one before the last person on the right. Some people think we don't know these kind of feelings before puberty but they were true feelings for me. Like the rest of my school crushes, I was very shy and never really tried anything. I do find it a little funny that she was Asian, because when you're a kid you often don't understand the concept of race. But I've always had a preference for Asian women, and I even carried that trait when I was little. With a very low population of Asian people in our area (especially in the early 90's), Raine could of very well been the first person of Asian descent I've ever met and I thought she was beautiful.  

Who was your first crush?  

Donald Trump Says Transgender People Can't Serve in the Military

Draft Dodger Don recently confirmed that the U.S. military will no longer allow transgender people to serve in the armed forces in any way, shape, form. While I would not recommend a transgender person to serve in the military (too many homophobic and hateful soldiers in the ranks I'm afraid), I do respect their desire to join the military if they wished to do so. I really do think right-wingers can't sleep at night until they are oppressing another minority group. 

Fact of the Day: Moose Orcas

While it's not common, orca whales have eaten moose who unluckily been swimming at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Photo: Longhorn Lunch Before Bowling

I took Daisy to her favorite restaurant Longhorn Steakhouse before going to out to bowl. She had salad, steak, and mash potatoes. 

The Matrix (1999 Film) Review

 Now I wasn't living under a rock between 1999 and the early 2000's, I was fully aware of The Matrix and how many people were talking about it. I can't say why it took me almost twenty years to see the darn thing. I guess it was people calling this thing the greatest thing ever made when it didn't look like the greatest thing ever made to me. It certainly was culturally relevant, but I did hear a lot of people didn't like the sequels. I actually remember a video game called Enter the Matrix which was made to "connect the movies" and it was one of the worst games of that console generation. So what did I think of this "classic"?

Fact of the Day: Ninja Floors

In medieval Japan, it wasn't uncommon for Japanese lords to have floors that would intentionally make a lot of noise when walked on. This would help prevent assassins like ninjas from being successful. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Photo: Chiller and Donuts

This is my wife Daisy after going to Krispy Kreme to get her a chiller that was promised in their little calendar that we got in December of last year. We chose strawberry, and I tasted it. Like I figured, it was okay but it's just not my cup of tea. My wife Daisy wanted to get one again so she liked it a lot.

Things I Like: Silicone Baking Mats

 I got one for my house last year and loved it. It's a lot like parchment paper but much easier to use. Things bake and rarely ever get burnt on the sides.

Fact of the Day: Graveyard Cemetery

While graveyards and cemeteries seems like the same word for most people, the key difference is that graveyards are attached to churches while a cemetery stands alone. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Photo: Popcorn Machine at Work

At my work, they had rented a popcorn machine for the Independence Day weekend. It was neat I guess, but the 2nd day someone burnt the popcorn so it ended up not being very good. 

Question: Do You Think Anyone Wants to Be Royal?

I read a recent interview done by Great Britain's Prince Harry where he says nobody in the British royal family actually wants to be royal. My first thought goes back into history with things like the War of the Roses and the Tudor days where cousins were literally murdering each other over the throne. I can sympathize a little for Prince Harry as he never knew what it was like to be normal. But he also never knew what it's like to be poor either. 

Do you think most royals take their jobs out of regret? 

Fact of the Day: Fast Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. It can even grow three feet in a twenty-four hour period. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Photos: Smartphone Battery Solution

 Like many of us, I really do depend on my smartphone. However my Samsung Galaxy GrandPrime had an issue with it's charger port, where the cable would have to be "just right" to charge which was a headache beyond belief. So I decided to fix the problem by getting this external wall charger and a spare battery.

The Lego Batman Movie (2017 Film) Review

 I remember a few years ago watching The Lego Movie after hearing a lot of good critical opinions and I was fairly impressed myself. It was cute, funny, and had a decent story. I'm not terribly shocked we now have The Lego Batman movie. I pondered about seeing it back in the winter, but decided to skip it until the Blu-ray came out. Unlike the original Lego movie, it's pretty much all Batman and DC with just a little bit more of pop culture mixed in. How was Lego Batman's movie in comparison to "real" movies based on Gotham's Dark Knight? 

Fact of the Day: Bully Irony

Donald Trump has been heavily criticized for his harsh and extremely negative comments on social media to groups and individuals even after coming into the Oval Office. Ironically Melania Trump wants to decrease cyber-bullying as one of her goals as First Lady. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Photo: Water Bottle Out of the Blue

On the exterior of one building near our local Target, I saw this water bottle stuck in a hole that had never been fixed and someone decided to be funny. It worked because I laughed about it. 

Sean Spicer Resigns

Pretty much half-a-year in, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has resigned after being absent a lot and filled in often by his now-replacement Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It might be hard for some people to say if Sean Spicer was just a bad apple or just a perfect mirroring of the horrible shape of the Trump administration. It's very rare to see someone of any trade fail miserably at their job literally minutes into it. Press Secretaries should be calm and collective, they shouldn't get extremely angry and blame the free-press as the enemy of the American people. I've seen Sarah Hucakbee Sanders at her post, and she ain't that much better. 

Favorite Quotes: Madison Purity

"Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."

-James Madison

Even when I considered myself a religious person and a Christian, I've always understood the importance of the freedom of religion. I think it's downright scary how some right-wingers believe that the 1st amendment guarantees the right to be a Christian, but not the right to be anyone else. I remember an anti-atheist fellow who wrote the local paper who said you had to believe in something even if it's a pine tree. You know what pine trees and your god have in common? No legal right to influence law and government in the United States of America.  

Fact of the Day: Old King James Bible

In the English-speaking world, the use of the King James Bible is debated among Christians even though a lot of churches use it like a standard. Opponents cite its age as a reason to update it into modern English. It takes about 60,000 changes to make it into modern English. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Photo: Empty Place

A supermarket near my work (and Daisy's parents house) named Bi-Lo closed down recently. I had worked with the company as my first job for a few years, and got Daisy a job at this very location many moons ago. Bi-Lo as a company had never been the greatest, and recent moves has caused closures like these to happen. When Daisy used to work there, there was a manager named Teena (pretty sure that was her name) that did not treat her right and caused Daisy to find another job after giving her almost no hours. While others lost their jobs now, I was one of the few happy over the whole thing. I do not forgive and forget so easily. But at least long-term, the workers will find better things.

Spawn (1997 Film) Review

 When I was about nine, I remember Spawn when it came out in the theaters. I was too young to see it but I do strangely remember the movie poster in the theater lobby very well. After my father's death, my mom got us into some kind of charity program where we got to see movies with groups of other kids of a similar situation and I remember a few of them talking about Spawn. The character Spawn is a comic book super-hero who is not part of DC or Marvel but rather in the independent branch under the umbrella of Image Comics. I hear its creator Todd McFarlane had some hand in helping the film come to life. But 2000's X-Men is considered the start of the true age of comic book movies, so was this a failure?

Fact of the Day: Ancient Snakes

Snakes as a biological order first appeared during the late Cretaceous period where they co-existed for a few million years with the dinosaurs. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Photo: Chick-fil-A Ice Cream

Daisy has one of their calendar cards and last month's freebie treat was some ice cream. 

Favorite Quotes: Citizen of the World

"I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world."

-Socrates 

More or less, nationalism has torn our world apart more times than we can count. The French vs the English, the Americans vs the Germans, the Chinese vs the Japanese, the Iranians vs the Iraqis, and where does it end? No matter where you were born on this blue marble, we were all born here. We are all Earthlings, lets act like it.  

Fact of the Day: Flat Earth in China

Before astronomers discovered and later proved the Earth was round, virtually most societies believed the Earth was flat. Even in a country known for early breakthroughs like China, the belief of a Flat Earth existed even as late as the Ming dynasty. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Photo: Egyptian Stuff

One of the hall kiosks at the mall has a whole bunch of stuff that looks like it came out of ancient Egypt. While I didn't actually want them enough to take them home, I thought they were fairly neat.  

Question: How Excited Are You Seeing Dogs in Public?

Personally I think man's best friend is one of the most accurate terms ever. I love dogs of any age, not just puppies. I appreciate them more now that my dog Zelda had passed away and I still haven't gotten another dog to be my new pet. I do try to mask my excitement, and find a casual way to have the dog's owner let me pet the dog. 

Do you like seeing dogs? 

Fact of the Day: William the Bastard

While William the Conqueror won the throne of England by war, he was a bastard by birth. His mother was a meager daughter of a tanner. When a town in modern-day France (he controlled Normandy as Duke) mocked his maternal line, he cut off their hands and feet in revenge.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Photos: Abbott's Frozen Custard Spartanburg

 About the time I started dating Daisy (which was in the recovering days of the Great Recession) a lot of local ice cream places folded like Baskin Robbins and Marble Slab Creamery especially when a few Frozen Yogurt places started to appear. Spartanburg is starting to come back with more ice cream places and we heard about Abott's Frozen Custard which just opened this previous Friday I think. I don't know what makes custard so different from regular ice cream but hey whatever.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009 Film) Review

 Not that long ago I started the Underworld film series which began in the early 2000's. The story and action wasn't the greatest, but I really liked Kate Beckinsale and her vampire character Selene. However Kate Beckinsale isn't really in this prequel movie (besides narrating) as the story takes place before her life/transformation or something like that. Instead it goes into the depths of how the war between vampires and lycans (werewolves) really began.

Fact of the Day: Hispanic

While most people who are considered Hispanic are also considered Latino, there is a difference. Depending on who you ask, Hispanic includes people from countries that speak Spanish or from countries that were once owned by Spain. The notable exception in the Americas is Brazil which was conquered by Portugal and Portuguese is the dominant language there. The name comes from Hispania which was a Roman-controlled group of provinces that covered all of modern day Spain and Portugal. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Photo: Clemson John Deere

I saw this lawnmower (even though I didn't bother to throw my name in the hat) at the local mall. I always find it funny to see a John Deere custom made to not be green and yellow. They made this one to appeal to Clemson fans and at least they didn't go for the ugly purple and orange but white and orange instead. 

Things I Like: Yoren (Game of Thrones)

 I think many fans probably forgot about ol' Yoren here. You almost don't notice him much at first. He's a recruiter for the Night's Watch and good friends with Benjen Stark.

Fact of the Day: Old City of Damascus

The oldest city in the world (continuously inhabited) is Damascus in Syria. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Photo: Daisy's New Tires

Daisy's parents gave her an older car that her brother used to drive, about two years ago. Her dad mentioned to her that she should probably have the tires changed, and the guy at Sears Auto agreed. So we got her four brand new tires from Die Hard. While we could have gotten maybe a few more months out of them, at least we don't have to worry about unexpected flats. 

Castlevania (TV Series) Season 1 Review

 For those not familiar with what Castlevania is, Castlevania is actually a video game series produced by Japan but based on the Dracula stories of old in Western fiction. While the video games started out simple, the plot lines grew and they eventually established a large (and often confusing) time-line between the Belmont family and their quest to vanish the dark lord himself Dracula. The Castlevania TV series is a Netflix original and I was surprised to see how hyped people were for it, especially as video game adaptions often stink. The TV series (so far) is based mostly on the events of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse as it was for a long time the furthest back in the timeline of games. Now did this TV series or did it join the rest of the video game adaptations?

Fact of the Day: Sikh Prime Minister

While Sikhism originated and is strongest in India, it currently is behind Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity by number of followers.  However many Sikhs in India have become very successful such as Manmohan Singh who became the first (and currently only) Prime Minister of India to be of the Sikh faith.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Photo: Summer at Copper River

My old co-worker Teresa got Daisy and me a gift card to Copper River for Christmas, and it wasn't until recently we decided to use it. The chain is rather local (not many outside the Upstate South Carolina area) but it's pretty good. Daisy got this massive burger and fries combination. 

Things I Like: Mountain DEW.S.A.

My wife Daisy wanted me to get some of this new flavoring that was made to go along with Memorial Day and Fourth of July. It's suppose to be a mixture of Big Red (Red), White Out (White), and Voltage (Blue) and they all end up making a purple/magenta like color. My wife really liked it, but I thought it was decent, but I'm not the biggest fan of Mountain Dew. If I ever stray away from the dark colored sodas, I typically like Sprite the best. 

Fact of the Day: English Speaking King

Since William the Conqueror (William I) came from modern-day France, the royal family spoke French (Norman-French) instead of the native English language. It would take over three hundred years until the first King (Henry IV) would speak English as his mother tongue since the Norman Conquest instead of French.  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Photo: Mall Salad and No Fries

On a recent trip to the mall, my wife Daisy got some big salad at Chik-fil-A. Even when she gets salad, she'll bend the "diet rules" and get a side of fries too. But she didn't this time, which caught me off-guard. Luckily I had two pieces of pizza from Sbarro, so I wouldn't have much room for a few fries anyway. 

The Last Unicorn (1982 Film) Review

The Last Unicorn is a film I came upon by chance. I'm a big fan of Jeff Bridges, and I heard about this film because he voices a fairly important character in it along with the awesome Christopher Lee. That being said, I was never a big fan of the whole unicorn thing, and as a realist I know they are pure myth now and back in the ancient days. The film is actually based on a popular book of the same name from 1968 by Peter S. Beagle. I also learned that it was produced by the animators Rankin/Bass who I liked best for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. It was actually animated however by the Japanese studio Topcraft which eventually became Studio Ghibli that produced later movies like Spirited Away, Ponyo, and Arrietty. It has a quite the pedigree, but was there a good reason why I never heard of the film until almost forty years after the fact?

Fact of the Day: Eliza Jumel

Eliza Jumel was the last wife of Aaron Burr who married her late in life and after he had been Vice President and had a very controversial career afterwards. Most believe Burr married her because she was a wealthy widow, and it didn't take long for Burr to almost ruin her own fortune. The couple split after only four months. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Photo: Giant Tootsie Roll Pop

My wife Daisy found this giant tootsie roll pop at Toys R Us one day. We've tried giant candy before and it's always not nearly as wonderful as you'd imagine. I still think it's neat though. 

Favorite Quotes: Old Tech Gurus

"There are some people who imagine that older adults don't know how to use the internet. My immediate reaction is, "I've got news for you, we invented it.""

-Vint Cerf

I know this statement is literally true, but it's also false when it comes to culture. My mother can barely check her email. At work I have older people hand me a smartphone and say "you know how to work this thing". Funny how techno-phobic some older folks are. 

Fact of the Day: Wilson War and Peace

Shortly after being re-elected on a campaign slogan of "He Kept Us Out of War", Woodrow Wilson led the United States into World War I. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Photo: Gamestop Shirts

My wife Daisy often can't resist the urge for a new t-shirt even if she has plenty. We were at Gamestop (which only started recently having shirts) and we found these two in the bargain box for almost nothing for both. She likes Pokemon and Marvel movies, so she was lucky she found them. Most clearance clothes I find are stuff I would never want in a million years. 

Things I Like: Pepsi Fire

Pepsi Fire seems to be the newest fad flavor to come out of the Pepsi line. My wife got a 12 pack awhile ago and I tried it. Kind of tastes like Pepsi mixed with Big Red gum as it's suppose to have a cinnamon flavor to it. It also wasn't nearly as hot as people were saying, but then again we drank it cold. That being said, I liked it to the point where it was okay but I prefer the regular version. My wife liked it more than I did.