Monthly Archives: April 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse similarities to the comic and cartoon found

A Fan-Favorite X-Men Character Will Appear In The Next X-Men: Apocalypse Trailer

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice might have had a lot of technical errors in it, but the audience loved it anyway. It broke previous box office ticket sales in spite of being panned by critics. Could the current  X-Men Apocalypse movie have done the same thing with their two teaser trailer releases? Maybe there  was another surprise  for people who bought their movie tickets.

This blogger thought there was more to it than leaking the X-Men’s uniforms in the confrontation to defeat Apocalypse and Wolverine’s appearance in the movie. Obviously, the end of the last movie, X-Men Days of Future Past, left Wolverine’s status as a team member in limbo.  Honestly, Wolverine never played well with others anyway, not even in the mid 1980s cartoon when trying to remove Sabertooth from the medical unit. Professor X told him not to come back if he removed his injured rival.

So far, this blogger found that some of the movie titles followed a few of the 1980s cartoon. Just look at some of the hyperlinks in this article. It could be wrong though. That might be where the similarities end–maybe. The last two movies weren’t viewed by me, only the first two in the franchise. Some of the opening and ending music intermingled with the cartoon also. They did it in a Chef Boyardee commercial. This was neat because it was easy to find,

Personally, this writer was going to play ‘ catch up’ because the third movie was missed by me. My brother was the fan of Marvel comics though. This blogger only watched the cartoons until they got complicated. Remember what happened to The Transformers: Generation One after Optimus Prime’s ‘death’? To me, Hot Rod couldn’t carry the role as leader of the Autobots. Once tree of them removed their heads and one became a symbient on Cybertron, it got confusing.

One final clue could be found in the second trailer. Here’ s a tip, one might want to go back to the original 1980’s X-Men cartoons to figure it out.

 

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Travel: Weekend getaways not to miss

Need a choice of  weekend getaways? Spring break not long enough? Well, now the solution has been just a phone call away. My sister had an unfair advantage doing this, her boyfriend took her to Miami Beach for her birthday. Of course, I begged her to send pictures of the area in South Miami. The ones she sent to me on her phone made me wish I were an artist with a sketch pad. Below were my choices. 

One of the greatest day trips taken by me with my church group was the trip to Clark Gardens in Mineral Wells. The site itself said it was a great place to watch birds and have weddings. Our group went to explore the garden. The owner’s wife was confined to a nursing home back then and he used a golf cart to move around the vast acreage of various flowers. It was a great place to have a picnic, which we did. I enjoyed the various colored roses. One might need more than a day to see it all. It wasn’t anything like the Botanical Gardens found in Okinawa, Japan, but it was peaceful. 

If one couldn’t get to Hawaii or Naples for their weekend getaway, there were other places to go in the United States. My Visit to Savannah, Georgia in 1998 was still fresh on my mind. My brother took me to Tybee Beach and Fort Pulaski during my two week visit. They were giving historical tours with people dressed in period costumes right on the battlefield, but my brother was better at it.

Sadly, I missed the Girl Scout House. I never made it past Brownies anyway. This place was not listed on Usnews.com’s The 12 Best Relaxing Getaways in the USA, but it should be, like South Beach in Miami. The nicest thing about visiting places like the above were that there was always family to visit. While in Miami, my sister’s boyfriend saw his brother and they were to both visiting his sister. My visit included one in Palm Coast, Florida to see two aunts and an uncle. One of the aunts would have clobbered me for not visiting and being so close.

If going to Naples, Martha’s Vineyard, or Palm Springs weren’t for the traveler, try the above choices. One was sure to have fun.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Distraction: Skirt’s length wasn’t the only problem

My agreement with Erykah Badu was twofold concerning the length of girls’ skirts in high school. Girls needed protection too. A father should watch what their son wore also. When attending high school myself, the student handbook stated what was allowed regarding the regulation of girls skirts. Short skirts were not allowed any higher than three inches above the knee. The skirt should touch the floor or cover the head of the face on a one dollar bill when kneeling.

Ms. Badu was not ‘slut shaming’ when she spoke out against this. When in school, that was a place to learn. If the young men weren’t allowed to wear shirts with advertisements on them like beer or wine, or saggy pants that showed their underwear or worse, than the girls should have skirts that cover their behinds when they bend over to pick something up.

I like what Henry Winkler said as ‘Fonzie’ on “Happy Days” when talking to Joanie about the way she was dressed, in a tight biker outfit with overdone makeup, “You put out an advertisement like that, someone might answer the ad.’  Ritchie and his friends took a beating to save Joanie from being hurt by those bikers that wanted more than a kiss.

Distractions weren’t just for the male or female teaching population, but for the male and female student population too. Both sets still had hormones that were sparked by clothing that showed off someone’s chest or bottom. It wasn’t just the length of the skirt, but how the outfit looked in general. If the curves were accentuated, that set them off also.  Several people have told me that girls were turned on by the shape of a boys’ behind, especially with tight fitting jeans on.  Showing the crease of their bottom was the icing on the cake to some.

Working at the Eastside Girls’ and Boys’ Club and the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs in town, they did not allow saggy pants or Daisy Duke outfits to be worn. One young lady wore a jumper that slid around a lot showing her bra because the top of the outfit was too big. A shirt would have fixed this. The assistant director told her not to wear that outfit again.

One of my friends told me that those that wore saggy pants with their undeSaggy pantsrwear or  back end exposed made them “available’ if they were in prison. While my nephew stated he hoped never to end up in the penitentiary, It might do so for those outside of the prison also. This statement was not exclusively a ‘guy thing’. The sad fact was that girls were mimicking this style of dress too.

Ms. Badu was fully within her right to set limits for both her high school aged girls. They were still allowed to wear what they wanted, but they knew the consequences of their actions with shorter than permitted skirts or anything else against the school dress code considered a distraction. Boys’ needed protecting too.

 

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Ana: Down’s Syndrome did not stop her dancing

When videos like this were made showing someone with a disability doing what they love made me happy. What makes it even better was that she had a persistent parent who refused to give up. Because Ana, who had Down’s Syndrome, was unable to keep up with other people in her dance class at another dancing studio, she was turned away.

According to one article, her mother said one of the dancing studios refused her because she didn’t meet their qualifications. This blogger thought she put a lot of those able-bodied people to shame. The video showed she knew how to dance copying her teacher’s moves. She can shake her shimmy pretty well too. So much for the bad experience with the dancing studio that refused her because she was below par.

Ana loved music and dancing. The search for a dance studio was made easier when, on a friend’s advice, Ana’s mom contacted Amanda’s Academy of Dance. The founder believed anyone should’ve been allowed to dance given a chance. Ana made a lot of friends in class and the teacher enjoyed her too. She learned a lot also. My admiration was Ana’s determination to dance. She had the independent spirit shared by me, not giving up when encountering a barrier.

That wasn’t the case with me all the time, growing up before the ADA Law and full Inclusion in the schools was more difficult. Playing the clarinet in junior high singing in the choir in high school was fun. Finding a job was hard enough, in music, it was a lot harder. The starting point was two hours away in Dallas, Texas. The closest thing to singing was recorded videos on my phone for my friend overseas. The audition for a spot on a record label created by The Housing Authority on the Eastside didn’t materialize because they never came to hear me audition.

While dancing wasn’t my forte, my admiration went out to both mother and daughter. Ana found confidence in the year she spent at the academy and now prepares for her first competition. Maybe by the time she graduates, the barrier holding some back would not be there to stop those with special needs. Ana was certainly on her way to a great career in dancing.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

WhatsApp messages: Access not ‘impossible’

WhatsApp messages were encrypted on both ends for its users. This made it almost impossible for law enforcement to access them. This was in reaction to the San Bernadino, California incident where an Apple iPhone was used to communicate terrorist activity, causing 14 deaths. Even though headline said ‘impossible’, the article said something different.

For WhatsApp users, this encryption will lock hackers and suppressive governments from using one’s information from incriminating them. In simple laymen’s terms, the only person or people who were able to view a message sent via the chat service was the receiver or group for which it was intended.

U.S. investigators requested Apple’s help gaining entry into a device linked to the mass shooting in California, last year. Apple declined the request, but it was technically possible for it to find a way that would have permitted them access into the locked iPhone — as investigators later showed when they hacked into the phone without Apple.

Thankfully, the government didn’t have to breach everyone’s right to privacy by getting the court to rule on whether or not it was legal for them to use their method of retrieving the information. Law enforcement found a way to open the phone without using illegal methods with the above incident. Anytime someone used a chat service for terrorist activity, their rights as an American citizen should be revoked, especially if they showed signs of becoming radicalized by ISIS.

There was a loophole in this situation. While the government couldn’t actually ‘demand’ one turn over their encrypted messages, they were still able to get to them, if they were able to surpass the lock screen that was either protected by password, number or pattern and open the app that way. The biggest uproar with the media outcry was a person’s right to privacy being violated.

In my case, snoopers had to know the five digit code to open my WhatsApp messages when my phone was locked. While there wasn’t anything to hide, keeping the pop up messages privately in the kitchen was paramount, especially since the counter was the communal area used by everyone in the house. My major concern was protecting the innocent from explicit messages, emails and pictures when locking my phone.

Nothing was ‘impossible’ to gain access to, especially if they can gain access to WhatsApp encrypted messages without using a hacking program.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Regional weather effected the sale of homes

Want to know the best time to sell a home? According to an article in The Huffington Post, it was supposed to be springtime, May actually. Apparently, President’s Day kick started the spring homes selling season. They went on to compare this to the best time to purchase a plane ticket.

Apparently, because of a decrease in the number of available homes last December, down by 4%. The number of houses sold by the same time in 2015 was up by 8%. Whoever wrote this article hasn’t been in Wichita Falls in the last few years. Everywhere one turned, there seemed to be a for sale sign in the front yard of every third house. My former Sunday School teacher got a job in Nevada, last year. His wife came back this week to get the house ready for sale. Of course, they spent the last few years repairing and completing the building of the two-story structure.

A lot of the for sale signs seen in this area could be attributed to economics or a death in the family. Just like the case of my friends who moved to Nevada, both of their children were grown and gone, both of them were retired, not needing all that space. The house across the street from my mother was owned by three people after my moving out. The house down the street from a friend of mine, near Love’s Truck Stop, was owned by someone that died in a nursing home last year. According to her, that house was infested with roaches and should have been treated before laying down the carpet and putting the house on the market.

The above article said that people were more inclined to by houses based on weather. For instance, this area, which has seen a boom in homes for sale, suffered a four year drought that ended last year in May. On the other hand, people avoided places that had a different time frame for home sales like Minneapolis and California, were more apt to see different results based on region. In California homes went faster the in other areas when the weather was good. Zillow had a Best Time to List on site one should see. They went on to state that houses sold within the first two weeks in May sold faster than those listed later.

Twenty years ago, there were a lot of foreclosed homes, those seized by the bank, in the area in which my mother lived. One man down the street that had the big satellite dish in the front yard got arrested for drug possession. That house was stripped and sold too after his wife took what she wanted and he was jailed. Being so close to a school zone, he was probably still there.

Those houses that had wood in the windows were to keep squatters and thieves out. While this didn’t make the property very attractive, it was extremely effective. If the house had anything like copper in faucets, pipes, and window units, thieves sold fixtures with that priceless element for scrap. It brought in a good return with enough of it. If they couldn’t get to the copper in the window unit, they took the entire thing. One man got so angry at his house being foreclosed on that he stripped the entire house of all its upgrades, including the copper.

Times have changed since then. The former pastor of my church announced his resignation in March 2012, put his house on the market at the same time, and sold it in the same month. Once he got to where his next church was, a new home waited for him there. This defied the article by four years.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Beverly Cleary: Seeing myself in some of her characters

Beverly Cleary turns 100 on April 12. As a budding writer, she was one of my favorite authors as a young reader.  Like myself, she wrote from real life experiences and has many other writers that said she was their model.

In the  March 25 article on the Today Show site, she recalled that most of what she read as a child in school came from England. The children seemed to come from wealthy families with nannies and horse drawn carts. She found this unrealistic, because it did not reflect her life back then. The here and now was how she wrote. That was why generations of readers loved her books as this blogger has.

The shame for me was not knowing any black authors before graduating high school or college. Most of what was read to me in special education and after being mainstreamed, or moved to a regular classroom, came from the teacher’s choices, which they read after recess to calm us. At least my third grade teacher allowed books from home, provided they were not comic books or fan magazines, like Mad or Cracked, The only book read in class by Beverly Cleary was Ribsy. This whetted my appetite leading me to read other books by her.

As for myself, writing what was known by me worked. It was great advice that came from my family. Being disabled was something that was known by me, but my stories don’t reflect that or its trappings. My characters weren’t culturally specific or limited to a defined race. That’s why science fiction and fantasy works for me. Parallel worlds were more interesting than whining about my limitations anyway. My hope was to cross gender lines as Eric Jerome Dickey did with The Other Woman, when he wrote from the female point of view.

Seeing some of myself in Beverly Cleary’s characters like Ramona, Beezus and Henry Higgins were refreshing because they weren’t from a different era or had a time stamp on them. If I wasn’t pestering my brother,  like Ramona, who pestered Beezus, my younger sister bothered me a lot, like Ramona, who  also pestered Henry Higgins. In the first book read by me, Ramona corrected an elder, whom all children were taught to show respect, saying that ‘Harry’s name was actually Henry.’   My mother bought these books for my sister to encourage reading, but they ended up in my hands also, just like Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing and Superfudge.

The biggest satisfaction in reading this book, after hearing Ribsy, was how Henry and Beezus came up with a solution to get Ramona to stop bothering Henry when he delivered newspapers.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.