Monday, October 23, 2017

Fact of the Day: Prince Edward and Joan of Kent

Edward, the Black Prince (name derived from the color of his armor) despite being heir apparent of King Edward III, did not have a very traditional marriage. Instead of marrying a foreign princess (to establish a political alliance) he married his cousin Joan of Kent who not only was older (two years) but she was married twice with one husband still alive. The Catholic Church and King Edward III approved the marriage despite the conditions and Joan only produced one child for Prince Edward when she was almost forty. Their son took the throne as Richard II after the death of his grandfather as Prince Edward had died before Edward III.  

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Photo: Lunch at the Spartanburg International Festival

I ate before I went (cheaper that way) but Daisy always wants to try some food there. She ended up going to the Laos (Hmong) vendor where she got some chicken on the stick and a sandwich and she drank a bottle of coca-cola. 

Story: Pledge of Allegiance in Schools Post-NFL Debate

Unless you're living under a rock, a hot topic debate is on whether or not NFL players should kneel for the national anthem or not. This has spread to public schools where many students especially African-American children who understand why players are kneeling (to protest racial injustice and police brutality) and wish to do the same. Now I've been seeing stories of certain school districts requiring students to stand for the pledge of allegiance with some even claiming it is "the law" when it's actually their right to protest which has been protected by the Supreme Court long before most of us we were even born. It pains me to see this faux-patriotism by right-wingers who are angry for a different reason. Like someone said before, Rosa Park wasn't protesting public transportation, she was protesting racism. But I will say, a country that doesn't respect constitutional and human rights (and hopefully we will remain a free country, but under President Cheeto, who knows?) is not a country that is worth giving any allegiance to. 

Fact of the Day: Saved by the Bell

The phrase saved by the bell is believed to have originated during a paranoia that a person may be buried alive. Coffins were created where they would be attached to a bell in case a person found themselves to buried alive. These coffin devices weren't very practical as its difficult to say if they actually saved one life at all. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Photo: Games at Spartanburg International Festival

Every year me and Daisy play this big chess game. She got destroyed, I am not going to lie. The thing about the games is that they all get picked up fairly quickly and it's hard to get a chance to do anything.

Aeon Flux (2005 Film) Review

 Aeon Flux is a movie I've know of for quite some time, but just never was quite motivated to see until the other day. That being said, I really like Charlize Theron so I guess it was inevitable I'd see it. I actually had no idea that the movie was based on an animated series of the same name that ran originally on MTV from 1991 to 1995. I was too young to have enjoyed the original show which I hear now was actually pretty good. However was there a reason I rarely ever hear anyone talk about the major film version over a decade later?

Fact of the Day: Berlin Wall Denial

Before the Berlin Wall was built, East Germany's leader Walter Ulbricht claimed that they were not building any such wall. Less than 90 days later the wall was starting to be built. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Photos: Spartanburg International Festival Trivia Game 2017

Every year they have this little trivia hunt. You're given a piece of paper, and you're suppose to find the answers. I'm good at trivia, but there are things you can't know off the top of your head. I had one that was "How many volcanoes does Guatemala have?", unless the answer is zero (it's 29) it's almost un-guessable. I got through the game very easy since you can just ask the people in the booth. I spun the wheel hoping to win a t-shirt again like I did last year.

Story: Afraid of Change

 My oldest brother Steven is planning on building a new house. So eventually my nephews Mr. K and Mr. C will have to leave the house they pretty much have known since they were just really little. Mr. K took it alright, but my nephew Mr. C started to cry about it. Mr. K didn't know why he was upset and his mother told him that his brother is afraid of change. 

Fact of the Day: Service Games

While Sega became well-known in the 1990's as a Japanese company that made the Sega Genesis console (Mega-Drive outside the USA) and the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sega originated as an American company called Standard Games based first in Hawaii in 1940. Their first games were really slot machines for the U.S. military which eventually moved to being based in Japan and the name changed to Service Games which Sega get its name from. .   

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Photos: Spartanburg International Festival 2017

 Every year our city has an International Festival, and this year the honored country was Finland. The Finnish people at the festival decorated the statue in Santa gear (they mentioned that Santa doesn't live in the North Pole in Finnish tradition) holding the flag of Finland.

Story: Airhead Haley

 Working at home improvement place one year, we had a co-worker named Haley who was a seasonal cashier up-front. She was mildly cute, but she was dumb as rocks, I'm not even lying. She would barely understand basic things and it would be up the point everyone would be either laughing about it or doing a face-palm. She went up to me one day and said "How do you make the paint?" She let me know she thought all the cans were empty and that the paint came straight out of the machine. In reality the majority of the paint is in the can and we just use a bit or a lot of tint to change it into the color the person wants. I explained that to her but still she didn't really understand. A few months later she quit and left for whatever else.

Fact of the Day: Denver Miles

Denver, Colorado is known as the Mile-High city because its elevation above sea-level is exactly one-mile. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Photo: The Beanbag Queen

Daisy found this "throne" in a local Walmart. I had one a long time ago when I was in high school. This one however is set up to be more of a proper chair instead of a just a big bag shape. 

Favorite Quotes: Lie Traveling Across the Globe

"A lie travels around the globe while the truth is putting on its shoes."

-Author disputed

In the digital age of information, something can happen from the other side of the world and we know within minutes if not seconds of it happening. However it's very common (especially at first) for the first wave of information to be inaccurate. Then you have the total liars who distort the truth to further a purpose, often political. Fake news was rampant during the 2016 election season, but it's one thing for trolls to do such a thing on social media. It's another thing when the President of the United States lies constantly and has the audacity to call the media fake.    

Fact of the Day: Oregon Trail Generation

The Oregon Trail generation or Xennials, is a micro generation that serves as gap between Generation X and Millennials (Gen Y) as many members who were born between the late 70's and early 80's don't generally meet the qualifications of either of the two main generations. The Oregon Trail name is because many in this micro-generation played Oregon Trail in school computer labs and grew up before the internet and social media changed society forever.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Photo: Snowman Tree

I saw this artificial tree at Walmart. I thought it was cute that not only it is a white "snowy" tree but the top is a Snowman. 

Things I Like: Margaery Tyrell (Game of Thrones)

One of my favorite characters on Game of Thrones was Margaery Tyrell. Being the daughter of the one of the most powerful lords in Westeros, she gets married to King Renly Bartheon after he declares Cersei's children bastards and ignores that the fact that Stannis has more right to the Iron Throne. She would have been Queen then if Renly didn't play games and got assassinated by a weird shadow ghost.

Fact of the Day: Habsburg Castle

One of Europe's most powerful royal families in history (now extinct), the House of Habsburg had obtained its name from Habsburg Castle which is located in Switzerland and built for Count Radbot. His grandson Otto II adopted the name more formally for the family. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Photo: McDonald's Lunch Break With Daisy

My wife's parents live right next to my work. Her mom was off on the same day I was working, so Daisy spent the day over there. So I picked her up and we went to McDonalds, since that day my work began at 5:30 am, it was still breakfast by the time I had to eat. Daisy loves their big breakfast meal. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017 Film) Review

 While Marvel had done really well with most of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was curious to see if Guardians of the Galaxy would do well with fans considering that most normal people never read those comics in comparison to Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, etc. But luckily the movie was pretty good (though I did think people over-rated it) and fans loved it so it did amazing at the box office. Fast-forward now a few years, and we have the first sequel. I originally wanted to see it in theaters, but like the original I ended up waiting for the movie to come out on Blu-Ray. Was it better or worse than the original? 

Fact of the Day: Victorian Baby Shower

In Victorian England, it wasn't very common for mothers to have a traditional baby shower. In truth, most pregnancies were kept secret for as long as possible, even if the mother was married to the father of the baby. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Photo: Great Clips Haircut for Daisy

Daisy gets her haircut about twice a year. She seems to be a fan of the Great Clips hair salons. She wanted to go by the one near the local mall, but there's one next to the house that I assumed that would be slower and with a lot less people and it was. We didn't even have to wait. 

Favorite Quotes: Enemy Prayers

"America prays for God to destroy our enemies. Our enemies pray for God to destroy us. Somebody’s gonna be disappointed! Somebody’s wasting their time! Could it be… everyone?"

-George Carlin 

George Carlin truly knew what was the truth about things people did. Praying for war is like praying for football games, if both sides believe in God, who wins? The ones who pray the most? Like the Crusades, it seemed God didn't have a favorite as the next victory was passed around like a hot potato between opposing sides. You can't show me one country on Earth that has been 100% victorious in war. In the Vietnam War, the communists (who were mostly atheist or at least non-Christian) won that war. Where was God then for the Christians that fought there?  

Fact of the Day: Machu Picchu

While Spain had essentially forced their culture, religion, and language on most of Mexico, Latin America and South America and stole their lands and wealth, they had failed to find Machu Picchu. As a result the world didn't know it existed until 1911. Luckily, the Spanish didn't find it as they would often plunder and destroy sites like that. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Photo: Chinese Food at the Mall

This was one of our outings at the mall food court. Daisy had China Star which is typical Chinese food. She preferred the Japanese place Sarku Japan but they closed down once H&M ate up their space with their huge place. 

Story: Legend of Zelda Fibbing

Back in the late 2000's, I listened to a lot of podcasts about video games. My demand for it was so massive at the time that I had to look and look for good podcasts to find. One of the podcasts was done by some fans in their free-time and not a major magazine or site. I remember they had a three person cast and during the intro they would often play the claim that one of the guys had beaten the original Legend of Zelda on NES before he could walk. For those unfamiliar, the original Zelda was a huge adventure that was difficult not only from defeating enemies but doing puzzles and finding secrets. One dungeon (which you have to complete to end the game) in Zelda 1 is hidden under a tree/bush out of probably thousands of them.

Fact of the Day: Safer Chicago

While Chicago is often pointed out for its high rate of homicides, it actually ranks safer on a per capita basis than many other U.S. cities such as Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama. The most dangerous cities in America are usually always (varies slightly by year) St. Louis, Missouri, Detroit, Michigan and New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Back From Inventory at Work

 I always hate doing inventory, the thought of it sends chills down my spine. It's like you lose a few days of your life to it and you don't have time for not much else. It's five day event at my work, though if we do well we get it done in four. First day was prep, then the next was pure counting. The next two was mostly finding out the differences between what we counted and what the computer said we had.

Photos: Deck Stain at In-Laws House

 Back in early September, Daisy's parents were getting finished with their enclosed outdoor deck. Since most of the wood was brand new, it was time to stain the wooden boards. I work nearby so I sometimes drop Daisy off if both her and her mother have the same off-days. So we just happened to see them doing it that day.

Things I Hate: The Waif (Game of Thrones)

The Waif is a character that was well-written but I don't think many liked her in the story. She works for the Faceless Men and doesn't like Arya Stark at all.

Fact of the Day: Tyrant Over the Congo

King Leopold II was King of Belgium but his most infamous moves where actually in the Congo than his own country. He eventually gained control of the African country and established the Congo Free State by telling other European powers it was to help improve the lives of the people living there. Nothing was further from the truth as millions died under his thumb, many were also put under forced-labor so he could profit off Congo's resources. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Photo: Conan Vs. Jay Leno

We took this photo a good number of years back. I was wearing the Conan O'Brien mask while my brother Zach had on Jay Leno's mask. This was the same time during the fallout of The Tonight Show where Leno stole the spot of being the host again. I still hated how it happened to Conan, though he did successfully bounce back at TBS. 

Splatoon 2 (Nintendo Switch) Impressions

 The original Splatoon came out for WiiU, and I missed it. I feel a little guilty getting the sequel as my first in the series, but since I no longer have a WiiU, it doesn't matter. I played a tiny bit of a demo on the WiiU at Target once, and I never quite got why it was popular. Mainly because that stage was to show off the controls, not the real core of the game.

Fact of the Day: Miyuki Ishikawa

Miyuki Ishikawa was a Japanese midwife who was found to have murdered newborns to poor parents by neglect as what she "reasoned" as an "act of mercy". Nobody knows the exact number, but it's believed she had at least killed 103 newborns. Despite the serious crimes she committed, she only got a four-year prison sentence. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Photos: Spirit Halloween Bridge

I always like going to the Halloween shoppes and my wife Daisy saw this prop bridge and dared me to cross it. 

Story: No Produce Bags

For most of my supermarket career, I worked for a chain that was rather high-end. Which was good for me, as that filters out a lot of weirdos who would rather be at Wal-Mart. So much of the clientele were nice, respectful, and polite. There weren't many people I remember being that bad, but like anything in retail you eventually find the unreasonable folks.

Fact of the Day: Elisabeth of Valois

Elisabeth of Valois was the daughter of King Henry II of France. She was married to King Phillip II of Spain which brought much needed peace to both nations. Despite a considerable age difference, both the King and his new Queen were quite fond of each other. However she had trouble giving birth to children, and died after a miscarriage. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Photo: Pelican Snoballs Again

 This is the 2nd time we visited Pelican Snoball's on Spartanburg's west-side. I had a craving for shaved ice that day. Daisy chose the coffee flavor as she likes coffee and regular coffee ice-cream.

Things I Hate: Obadiah Stane (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

Obadiah Stane was the secret villain in the original Iron Man movie back in 2008. While he was played by one of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges, I never liked the character much.  The MCU version of Stane is actually quite different from the comics version. Like he was never really friends with Tony or his dad Howard Stark in the comics.

Fact of the Day: Al Gore Awards

While he may have lost the biggest contest of being President of the United States, Al Gore has won many famous awards. He has earned a Nobel Peace Prize, a Grammy Award (Best Spoken Word Album), a Primetime Emmy, and he was the subject of the film An Inconvenient Truth which won two Oscar awards. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Photo: Haywood Mall Chick-fil-a Salad

I think Daisy used her calendar freebie which I think was a fries and drink for September. Her main meal was a salad. We ate there not long after Daisy's birthday. Hurricane Irma kept us mostly indoors, so when the storm cleared Daisy wanted to go to the better mall to the city more west of us for her birthday. 

I'll Be Gone Until Friday

At my work, I was once again put on the inventory team which happens once a year. It's set to be Monday through Friday where we arrive at 5:30 am and leave until...whenever but it's usually more than nine hours a day. So since I can't say if I will have the time to visit any of you, consider me gone. We may be done by Thursday if things go right, but we will see. But as always, Neko Random doesn't stop so you'll still see new things here while I'm away.  

Fact of the Day: Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Dr. Andrew Wakefield was a British doctor who in 1998 famously tried to link the rise of autism with the use of vaccines without evidence to prove so. The United Kingdom revoked his license for fraud in his role to lie about the effects of vaccines and their relationship with autism.      

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Photos: Painting Our Master Bedroom Bayberry Blue

 When we got our house last year, I was never in-love with the color they picked out in our master bedroom. Working in the paint industry, I saw them have Valspar Quikhide in the garage when we toured the house and that's very cheap paint as Valspar made it to appeal for really cheap contractors. Even if the color covers, cheap paint doesn't hold up very well. I have a little color zapper that connects to my smartphone and I'm pretty sure they painted it New Penny (3001-8B) by Valspar. It's beige with a bit of peach in it. Was not a fan of it but I did tolerate it for over a year.

Sing (2016 Film) Review

Sing is a movie I rather ignored last year. I'm not quite sure why, but it's actually made by Illumination Entertainment which made the Minion movies, Hop, The Lorax, and The Secret Life of Pets. Sing got pretty good praise from critics, but it was a tough competition for animated movies as it didn't even get nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Picture. That being said, I was looking forward to it after we had saw The Secret Life of Pets as the movie poster for Sing actually appears as a cameo in The Secret Life of Pets movie. But I was a little dubious myself, as both Sing and The Secret Life of Pets came out in the same year, and that's usually spells trouble when it comes to animated movies. 

Fact of the Day: King Parliament

While his father King John faced hostility which emerged with the creation of the Magna Carta against his will, King Henry III faced a civil war which forced him to see the creation of English Parliament which further weakened the power of the king and established a very basic foundation of democracy. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Photo: Daisy's Birthday Lunch

Daisy had her birthday lunch at her favorite restaurant Longhorn Steakhouse. It was the same day Hurricane Irma's weather "lightly" hit our side of South Carolina. Even though it was just the edge of the storm, it was a lot of rain and heavy winds. We decided to go as early as possible as the winds and rain got more severe in the afternoon. She had a 8 ounce renegade sirloin steak, wild west shrimp, and a strawberry shortcake dessert as a birthday freebie from Longhorn Steakhouse. 

Story: Silk Silk Silk Riddle

When I worked produce for a supermarket, I once asked this cashier a riddle of sorts. It's not really a riddle in the traditional sense but I love it anyways. You first get a person to say "Silk silk silk" multiple times. Then you ask them "what does a cow drink?" and they'll most likely say "milk" as your mind just wants to scream it out after saying silk. Well the real answer is obviously "water" but you get most people than not.

Fact of the Day: Old Dice

Dice games have existed for a long time and nobody is quite sure when they originated. The earliest known dice games came from present-day Iran almost five-thousand years ago.