Monday, October 31, 2016

Remembering Halloween With McDonald's Candy Pails


 When I was a kid I remember when McDonald's came out with the Halloween Candy Pail in the mid-1980's.  I especially remember when the trio of McGoblin, McGhost, and McWitch came out.  Three pails looking like a ghost, a witch, and a pumpkin.  I loved the witch, she was my favorite.

I remember several Halloweens when I went out trick-or-treating with one of these pails.  I also have a memory of the handles not being terribly sturdy, much to my candy loving dismay.

This past week on a trip to McDonald's during a Big Mac craving spree I discovered this years Halloween pail theme: It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, in honor of its 50th anniversary.

They're so cute!!!

There's two pails, one with Charlie and Snoopy and the other with Linus and Snoopy.



 I love the handles.


And the handles are sturdy, too.

Each meal even comes with cute stickers.


Happy Halloween!!

I have candy duty tonight, as always.  -_-;;

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ghostbusters, mini movie review


Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5.

It's Halloween!!!  And what's Halloween without a ghost movie or two?  Seriously.  Though I did re-watch Hocus Pocus recently so I'm good on the Halloween movie front.

Anywho, on to the review!

I really wanted to love the new Ghostbusters movie.  Just love it.  Look above all the internet hate and give this movie a chance without reservation.  But alas . . . It doesn't help the fact that the 2nd Ghostbusters movie, which came out in 1989, has a special place in my heart.  (Yes, you read that right.  I know everyone loves the '84 original, but I was two when it came out.  Honestly I haven't seen the first in it's entirety.  Gasp! Horror! I know.)  Ghostbusters II is the first PG-13 movie I saw in the theaters. (Adventures in Babysitting is the first PG-13 movie I ever watched).  I was seven, went with my older cousins, and I felt so grownup.  Plus I watched the Ghostbusters cartoon as a kid so I grew up loving the brand.  (By the way, Adventures in Babysitting just got a Disney Channel remake this year.  Yup.)

So Ghostbusters 2016.  I was actually excited for girls to head up the new reboot.  What bothered me was the fact that this turned out to be a full on remake with new characters.  (Just thinking about it sucked all the steam I had in writing this review.  I'm kinda depressed now.)

Really, Honest Trailers take on Ghostbusters sums up a lot of what I feel.  It's worth a watch and a laugh.

The new Ghostbusters isn't that bad, well, I enjoyed it.  My parents enjoyed it.  We laughed.  It's silly and cookie and I didn't feel I wasted my time over it.  Am I going to run out and get the DVD?  Nope.  But it's fun in a "don't take it serious" sort of way.

I wish when all the stars of the original cast made guest appearances they played their characters, but with this being a remake and not an expansion it wouldn't have worked.  Why couldn't this have been an expansion to the already established universe!!  A spin off sequel of sorts would have been so much more fun.

If you're curious check out Ghostbusters.  You may or may not like it, no promises.  Hocus Pocus has held up over the years.

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some crude humor.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thank You Pikachu For Making Me Feel Old


For starters I feel really quite young.

 When I was a kid and would look up to 30-somethings I would think, "Man that's old!"  For goodness sake it was a couple months before my 9th birthday when my Mom turned 30, which--Oh my goodness, I just realized this--I was 13 when my Mom was my age.  How's that for perspective?  Maybe being single at 34 with a boat load of questions about my life makes me feel young.  I don't know.  But then people are constantly mistaking me for 25, which I'll take as long as I can.

And then life throws a bucket of cold water on you to remind you that time is passing whether you like it or not.  For me I got soaked with ice water when I found a toy at Walmart showing the number 20.

"Why the freak is the number 20 on a Pokemon box!!??" I didn't exclaim this out loud.  Instead I screamed this within the confines of my mind.  A quick Google search later and I found out that the game Pok√©mon Red and Green came out on February 27, 1996, a year before the anime.

It wasn't until my senior year of High School, 1999, when I learned about the phenomenon through my obsessed three younger brothers.

We watched the show.  We collected cards.  They actually played, I just like collecting things.  I had many debates with my friends whether Pokemon is a legitimate anime, because a lot of purest wanted nothing to do with these Pocket Monsters.  Kiki's Delivery Service is the first anime I watched.  Miyazaki was gaining huge popularity in America.  Gundam Wing came out in March of 1996 as well, making strides on Toonami with 1992's Sailor Moon.

Yes, Sailor Moon is 24 years old. (Technically Sailor Moon was a middle schooler, so 12+24= 36.  Let that sink in.)

Most of the cards I've collected I've given to my siblings.

I've kept some of the holos.

This is my all time favorite card: Promo Holo Ancient Mew.


Scanning the card into a JPEG made it really dark.


Here's a picture that better shows the colors.

From ToyWiz.com: "Pokemon promo card ancient Mew - given issued out to attendees at the Pokemon Movie in 2000. Ancient Mew is Holographic on both sides and has an amazing illustration of the elusive Mew on the front of the card. The back of the card is wonderfully illustrated with energy balls consisting of grass, fighting, and fire, water, colorless, lightning and psychic."

Apparently it's an ultra rare.  Cool.  I got two on opening day.


Still Pikachu's 20.  20!!  Where is the time going?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Dreaming of California


I just realized that this is the first year in my life I haven't visited or lived in California.  It's where I was born.  When I moved with my family to Utah at 19 I've somehow managed to visit good ol' Cali every year since the move.  Well, 2016 is the year I avoided California.  Not by choice, but out of circumstance.  I can't complain, really, as I've done an amazing amount of travel this year, but I miss it.

My Mom, Grandma, and I were suppose to visit Atascadero, Cambria, and Santa Barbara this week.  But the trip fell through.  Financially it's all for the best.  My Mom and I were taking my Grandma to visit her brother.  Hanging out in Cambria was the fringe benefit.  I miss Cambria most of all.

Well, I'll visit Cambria in my dreams.  Disneyland is my second favorite place in the World for me next to Cambria.  I love it that much.  (Is it sad I love Disneyland so much as well?)  Still, salty air, scent of pines and herbs, walking above and along Moonstone beach, hearing the waves and otters crack shells in the distance.  Heaven on Earth, really.  I'm just glad I've had so many opportunities to visit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, mini movie review


Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.

We've got superheros!  We've got mutants!  We've got superheros who are mutants!  And now we have Peculiar Children.  Strange children with creepy abilities.  Strange enough that no one but the likes of Tim Burton should bring them to us in a strange, haunted dream.  Peculiar children are hidden throughout the World, protecting them from those who would prefer them dead, and somehow Jake, played by , is brought to their war.  Jake is a normal teenager from Florida, hot humid Florida.  Sorry Florida, you get picked on a little in this movie.  Then one day Jake's very normal life turns crazy after his Grandfather is attacked.  A message found in a Ralph Waldo Emerson book sends Jake on an adventure towards his life purpose with the Peculiars.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is strange.  Too strange.  Almost creepy goth side-show strange.  Where did the teenager get all those hearts that reanimates bodies?  The bad guys feasting on eyeballs was a step too far for my likes. I wanted to like this movie.  I really, really did.  I had high hopes.

The movie is sprinkled with opportunity and potential.  Missed opportunities and potential are found in a slow paced opening, awkward storytelling, and rough acting.  The music during a carnival fight scene was just odd.  Not good odd.  Take me out of the moment, cock my head to the side puzzled odd.  By that point I was waiting for the movie to end.

For those liking the odd, you'll find it here.  There are moments to enjoy.  For me I'm perfectly fine with a single viewing.

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy action/violence and peril.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Trying Out a VR (Virtual Reality) Game For the First Time

(My Sister-In-Law Lindsay)

Last Friday I got to try out VR (virtual reality gaming) for the first time at VR Junkies in the mall.  It was all spontaneous. I went to lunch with my Mom, Dad, brother Robbie and Lindsay, and afterword Robbie encouraged my Dad to try a game out.

My Dad loved it so much he got my Mom and I to try it out as well.

I've honestly been on the fence about VR.  I don't know why, I mean, it's what I've been dreaming about since I was a kid addicted to Super Nintendo.  Man was I addicted.  And with growing up on Star Trek TNG I've always been intrigued by the Holodeck, a room the Star Trek crew would go to for recreational, fully immersive virtual reality.  As I've gotten older I've contemplated the downfalls of immersive entertainment.  I guess I'm afraid of getting trapped in the escape.  Too busy living a fake life to make a real life.  It's why, years ago, I stopped playing The Sims.

But out of curiosity I had to try out VR gaming, even if it was for only 6 or so minutes.  (It's about a dollar a minute.  Expensive.  As a kid I spent quarters at the arcade playing Pac-Man and TMNT.  Now it's dollars.  But the memory and thrill of the arcade is back.)

I played Space Pirates and it was so fun!  So, so much fun!  I was on the verge of making it to level 12 when my time was up.  (Though I did get a few extra minutes due to the store getting busy).  But really, now I'm a believer.

My Childhood dream of literally stepping into a game is now a reality!  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Finding the Right Pace


Mosiah 4: 27 "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."

This is the scripture I read over and over again when I was in college, and it's a scripture I've allowed to slip from my mind!  With all the things I'm trying to do and accomplish, my goals get jumbled up in my brain, causing me to not accomplish tasks in a proper time frame, or simply not accomplish at all. 

We all have a lot of things going on in our lives.  When there are so many things to do, it's good to list them, prioritize, and plan accordingly.  "See that ALL these things are done in wisdom and order."  We can do all things, we just need to be wise about it.

And I like the last bit about "that thereby he might win the prize."  Naturally we need to be aiming for good prizes, whatever they may be.  We can aim for prizes, goals, and dreams.

At Anthropologie yesterday I bough a Productivity Planner by Intelligent Change.  I bought it because I need to be more productive and organize my life and priorities better.

When I was in school homework, tests, and essays forced me to stay on track and disciplined toward time frames, but as an entrepreneur working on developing a family business I have to set my own time frames and goal deadlines.  Independently I'm not so talented on self motivation and staying on track.  Regardless there's something nice about weaknesses.  Weakness can become strength.  Good habits can override bad habits.  What fun would life be if everything came easy?

I'm going to organize my life and projects better, and make sure I'm doing things in their proper order, not running faster than need be.

Life's a marathon, not a sprint.  Run too fast and you faint.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Storks, mini movie review


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Before the Birds and the Bees, there were the storks.  Friendly bird creatures who deliver babies to wanting families.  At least that's what I was told growing up.  Are kids still taught this before learning about the birds and the bees in health class or other nefarious means?  Well, in the 80s at least I heard about storks carrying babies, and my little mind wondered if the babies were really too heavy for the birds.  How were they able to fly?  I wondered about a lot of strange things as a kid.

In the world of Storks--the latest animation from Warner Bros. Pictures, though the website doesn't immediately tout this, instead advertising that Storks is from the same studio that brought us the LEGO movie--babies are no longer delivered by Storks.  They've moved on.  Babies were too much of a hassle, anyway.  Now they deliver!  Anything, really, in the same fashion as Amazon.  Storks will deliver anything as long as it's not a baby.

While Storks is a fun movie, in parts, the LEGO movie it is not.  As of writing this review I had completely forgotten about Storks and that super annoying pigeon.  I was perfectly happy forgetting about that pigeon. That's not to say kids won't enjoy it, but Storks is not to the same standard as Finding Dory or Kubo and the Two Strings, two movies Storks were up against this Summer, both of which are exceptional storytelling examples.

Storks is a silly light fare that doesn't take itself too seriously.

The wolves are the best part of the film . . . sorry storks.

MPAA: Rated PG for mild action and some thematic elements.
 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Finding Motivation From Google


This last weekend my siblings and I had a Talea meeting.
 
Usually I have a really inspiring message to start the meeting with, to get it going on an uplifting note, but this last month has been hard for me, so I struggled coming up with something good to say.  My option, then, was to consult the internet, just for some inspiration, and so I searched "motivational quotes" on Google.  The top 5 search results was honestly perfect.

"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations."
~ Anon.

"You can't have a better tomorrow if you're still thinking about yesterday." 
~ quoteslife101.net

"Your mind is a powerful thing.  When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change."
~ Anon.

"The best way to predict the future is to create it."
~ (A few people are attributed to this quote)

"A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence."
~ Jim Watkins

There was honestly something in each of these quotes I needed to hear and ponder over, and it was good doing this blog post just so I can reread these quotes.

In a sorta related, not related note: My brothers and I are working on another cell phone game, this time for both iOS and Android.  We've tested out the first prototype, and my siblings and I are excited over the potential of this game.  I can't give a release date because none of us can guess how long this game will take, plus we're only on the first drafts with many more to come.  The iOS factor, and trying to get it on the Apple store is a challenge none of us have faced.  I'm composing the music!  So I have a lot to learn there as well, but there will be an EP released with the game.

I'll make sure of it :0)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Spirit of the Game, mini movie review, #MormonYankees


Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars.

About a month ago I saw the trailer for Spirit of the Game advertised on Facebook.  I watched, fascinated.  A Mormon missionary story and sports movie in one, based on a true story about the Mormon Yankees in Australia.

The Mormon Yankees was a basketball team of Mormon missionaries who helped train the Australian Olympic basketball team during the 1950's.  The team was so strong the Olympic committee approached the Mormon Yankees to play exposition games against other basketball Olympic teams from many nations.

A really cool missionary story I had never heard about!

The comments section under the Facebook trailer was filled with many stories other users posted about their fathers or grandfathers who played on the team.  Or how their family joined the church in Australia thanks to the Mormon Yankees.  The team was such a positive influence in Australia that the LDS church tripled in size between 1955-1960.

When October 7th approached I was excited to see the movie, and I went on the Cinemark website to get the times, only to notice that Mormon Yankees wasn't playing anywhere.  After a couple of days I realized Mormon Yankees wasn't the name of the movie, Spirit of the Game was.  This is the first mistake the movie makes, choosing a wrong movie title.  Search Mormon Yankees and many articles about a movie being made about this basketball team pop up, "Spirit of the Game" not mentioned.  Searching Spirit of the Game yields Mormon Yankee results.  This movie should have been titled Mormon Yankees.

That aside, I did enjoy Spirit of the Game.  It's an uplifting movie.  Unfortunately the story telling is very clunky.  There's an unnecessary opening scene where someone gets a call that someone else has died, only I don't remember who died, and there was no follow up to this first scene.  Overall the scene transitions are rough.  Acting in parts are rough as well.

I left the movie theater uplifted.  Spirit of the Game is not a Mormon Movie classic--Best Two Years is still my favorite--I'm still glad I saw it.  The story behind the Mormon Yankees is worth telling, though I wish it was better done.

MPAA: Rated PG for mild thematic elements.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Last Rose of Summer & The Brilliant Bright Moon


I picked this rose from the yard on the last day of Summer.  The fragrance sweet.  Store bought roses never smell nice, which is a shame.  "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."  At least nature roses still smell nice.

The next day after picking this rose Utah nature took a crazy turn.  Rain, wind, and cold, the weather so crazy there was almost a tornado in Utah Valley when a funnel cloud appeared early morning, only to dissipate thanks to the valley mountains.  And between then and now the weather has been back and forth, taking turns between above and below normal temperatures.

This last weekend was heavenly.  The moon was brilliant, more beautiful then I've seen in a long time, passing through clouds, bright and clear.  I'm not the type to stare romantically at the moon, I prefer a night full of stars, but this last weekend the moon almost won me over.  The temperature that night as I stared at the moon was perfect.  Mid-seventies with low humidity, a slight breeze, the wind-chimes dancing in song.  I stayed outside long enough to enjoy natures thrill until the moon was finally engulfed.

The nice thing about living in north Utah during the Autumn is that we get to enjoy this season for quite awhile until snow hits.  Or maybe its lasted so long this year because I took advantage of the changing leaves when they first started to turn up in the mountains.  Every week since the beginning of September I've taken a trip into the mountains to take in the fresh, crisp air and admire the beauty of the trees.  They're captivating.  Now the trees in the valley have started turning.

This is my favorite time of year.

I'm going to enjoy each nice day we get.

I hope Winter minds its business and delays its welcome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Food For Ear and Soul


I hate wanting to listen to music and not knowing what I want to hear.  It's like being hungry and not knowing what I want to eat.  Maybe I'm the only one who goes through this, but it's been happening a lot lately.  A lot!  Craving music and not even knowing what genre I want to hear: Classical, country, American pop, foreign pop, jazz, new age, soundtrack, Broadway, Celtic, bluegrass, etc.

it's like an itch I can't scratch.

A feeling of wanting to play a song on loop and not knowing which one.

It's like wanting to say a word that stays stuck on the tongue.

Or a foggy memory refusing to come into focus.

So I've settled on the next best thing: natural white noise via www.calm.com.  The meditations on the site are way too expensive, but I like the nature sounds, which are free. Listening to ocean waves right now seems to be doing the trick.

I miss the beach.
. . .

In other news I can really go for a Chimichanga, despite it being breakfast!