Doctor Strange

A few weeks ago, my family watched Doctor Strange. Once again, my daughter wanted to but my older son didn't. Considering that my wife and I wanted to watch Doctor Strange, that is what we did in fact watch. I came into this movie not knowing anything about this Marvel superhero. I've never been a "comic book guy," but I have always enjoyed watching superhero movies. To my knowledge, this movie is a first for the character, Dr. Stephen Strange. I look forward to the movies that we all know will obviously come. Make ONE movie and no sequels? I just fell out of my chair laughing. This is the reality we live in, and it's hard to argue with a good thing (until it's no longer a good thing).

What I liked most about the movie and it's main character is the "mental ability" aspects of it. A lot (or most, in the least) of superheroes seem to have some form of physical strength as the basis for their super-ness. Sure, Dr. Strange has the Cloak of Levitation and a Sling Ring, but his powers have come through education and, in turn, through the will of his mind. Plus, it deals with dimensions and worlds and science and many things that can be debunked but no less interesting to me. It felt like a different kind of superhero movie all of the way through. Sure, there were action scenes and a love interest, but come on, do you actually expect them to... There I go again, falling out of my chair laughing.

Check out this clip from the movie. Spoilers, kind of, it's a clip FROM THE MOVIE after all. Email assassins. Assassin this.

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The Tiny Rant (About Blogger And The Way Forward)

I have had to go back and "re-do" two different blog posts. Fortunately, I subscribe to my own blog. That may seem weird, but it makes sense if you think about it. I was able to save myself a lot of work having a copy of the finished post sitting in my inbox, even though it's still actually a lot of work to restore it. Yes, I published both posts. They were up and accessible to the public. They then went missing from the internet and reverted to a previously saved, unfinished version of themselves. Frustration ensued, both times. Why was it happening!?

Well, I figured it out the second time a post disappeared. The fault was in the Official Blogger App I was using. The point of the app on my phone was to make writing easier, and for a while, it did. However, the app didn't always like to update with what was on the server. You'd think there'd be a timestamp to solve that problem, and even if there was, it didn't work. When the app was opened, it updated the server with what was currently sitting in the app. That meant, as you might already understand, the unfinished post unpublished the finished post and updated to the outdated version. Minutes after I figured this out, the app was mercilessly eradicated.

Will I use another Blogger app from a third party? I don't know. When I'm mobile, I think I'll stick with a Google Doc for now and call it good. Or, I'll write them in Google Keep, which I've actually been using a fair amount lately. I'll have to fix the code when I copy/paste, but lately, I've had to do that anyway. Blogger is free (which is part of the problem, ironically) and fairly easy to use and I'm already using it. But... I've been getting even curious-er about WordPress than I was before. It could totally be a grass is greener scenario or a sparkly mirage in the distance that is slowly ruined by a hot, unforgiving desert. Also, I'm a little intimidated by learning WordPress, mostly when it comes to how much time it may consume. I'm already fighting for time as it is, and as much as I like to play with websites, I'd like to get a lot of other things accomplished this winter, namely music.

I know I'll want to get back into having someone host instead of going the free with ads route when it comes to WordPress. That route would give me the most flexibility and autonomy. Also, while I was at it, I'd move all of my domains to another registrar, the same company I would have host my sites. So, as you can see, heading in that direction would be somewhat time consuming and, to make it mostly seamless, would require plenty of planning. Either way, I know that change is coming, and when it does, I will be going through Iceberg Web Design for my needs.

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Picture This

Back in January, I drew a couple of pictures for the heck of it. While I've never thought I was terrible at drawing, it's never been something I've been driven to do regularly. Regardless, once in a great while there comes a need or drive to do so. Do I have something I want to build? Draw it out first. Website or logo design idea? Draw it out. You name it, I'll attempt to sketch it out.

Earlier this year, I was inspired to draw a couple of pictures. I've thought about posting it on my blog ever since, but it never seemed right, since my blog up to that point had been (by design) just words. Plus, posting pictures I've drawn wasn't something I was going to necessarily make a habit of.

Now that I have expanded my blog's purpose and have introduced three separate "features," I feel like I've created a space that allows me to do more and try things. This may or may not make sense to you, but it does to me. (These features are always a work in progress as to their purpose and to what truly separates them.) Posting these horrible pictures might be a horrible idea. My wife says I should call them comics. 

If I continue to do these picture things, I'm going to figure out a way to make them look better on the computer screen.

Here's the first one that I've appropriately entitled, "Hungry Kids Find Food In All Of The Places: Are You Going To Eat That?"

Click on the image to make it bigger.

kids, family, drawing, boogers

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Shine That Spotlight, You Crazy Diamond

Carissa Nielsen is the person I'd like to share with you in this issue of THE NOT SO DAILY DUMP. Carissa has a photography business, Photograph Minnesota, and does awesome work! She was the photographer for my wedding and did family/engagement pictures for us as well. And what could possibly be better than her eye for photography? Her personality, perhaps. She's a lot of fun to to work with!

Give her work a look, and if you're in the area, do more than consider her for your next shoot.

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The Paradox of Choice

Sometime in the last couple of years, I heard about a TED Talk given by Barry Schwartz through the TED Radio Hour on NPR. (The TED Radio Hour plays excerpts from talks and also interviews the person that gave the talk. Similarly themed talks are highlighted through the show.) The idea he presents is that having too much choice is actually a bad thing. It can be debilitating. I would have to say that I agree from experience.

Rather than try to start rehashing his talk here, give it a watch. Email clubbers, point and click.

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Arrested Development

"Has anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken?"

I've heard that this show will be coming back for another season. I'll be watching it, make no mistake, but I do have mixed feelings about it. The last season felt like a mixed bag for me, like it tried to do too much, too fast. I loved it, though, because it was still Arrested Development. I can only wonder what another season will bring. It seemed like the last season tried to finish the show off, perhaps unsuccessfully. Maybe, that will be a part of the joke in it coming back.

Either way, enjoy the clip below. A classic shtick from the show. Emailers—clickety, clickety, go.

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MEA 2018

Last year, I wrote a whole post about my family's MEA adventures. Actually, the happenings of that week inspired three short posts. This year, it gets a spot in THE NOT SO DAILY DUMP. Did we do less? I don't think so. Do I have less to say about it? That's probably more accurate.

Side Note: Our school district gets the whole week off, not just the official two days that the rest of the state receives.

On MEA Monday, we spent a few hours at Urban Air Adventure Park. Part of the reason we went was to celebrate my son's second birthday, but I think the older two kids and my wife got more out of it. It's a pretty cool place, but I'm not convinced that the experience isn't overpriced. We finished the night with a little gift opening and cake for the toddler. He had a hard time blowing the candle out, so he did it with his finger. Thankfully, he didn't burn himself. His finger already had frosting and saliva on it.

On MEA Tuesday, we took a long drive to Afton Apple Orchard. The last time we went there was September of 2013, and we decided this year was a good time to go back. Over the past three years, we've tried other orchards and "autumn activity farms" and have found that they don't all offer us the ability to do certain things, because we go during the week. I'm sure we'll revisit some of those we have visited in the past again in the future and even try out some different ones. This year, the decision was made to pick apples and do other fun things that Afton provides. Unplanned, we also left with three pumpkins.

It should be noted that my wife and I were once again reminded to not go anywhere with the kids on a Tuesday. This particular day of the week seems to be the day that schools and other organizations filled with kids seem to choose en masse to go on field trips. We have seen this so much that we have given it a title, Field Trip Tuesday.

On MEA Wednesday, we had school conferences with my oldest two kids' teachers in the morning. That night, we had a friend of mine over that I don't get to see too often. We had a fire in the backyard and my friend and I tried to catch up as the kids went wild. Fortunately, he seems to like them.

On MEA Thursday and Friday, we didn't do anything extra. I had to work Friday, and Thursday consisted of to-dos, mostly. In my absence on Friday, the rest of the family made some awesome pumpkin carvings.

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A Big Block Halloween

This year, our Halloween costumes were inspired by the show, Big Block Singsong. Every year, my wife crafts/sews our costumes, and this often requires months of preparation and execution. My wife shared a picture with Big Block Singsong and co-creator Adam Goddard, and this, in turn, caused them to share it in their social media. Long story short, the posts have received many likes and shares and positive comments. It was pretty cool to watch it unfold.

If you'd like to give us a like, a share, or a comment on their social media, here you go!

Facebook | Twitter

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Shine That Spotlight, You Crazy Diamond

Focus your attention on Brain Gallagher. I only know Brian through the internet, in part because he lives in California, but also because I know of him through my wife; they went to college together. Brian writes reviews and does interviews for Movie Web and TV Web. Brian also writes TV and movie scripts, because he has ideas and stories of his own.

Read a recent review he wrote on Thor: Ragnarok.

Brian's Website, where you can read scripts, contact, and learn more about him.

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In a round-about way, I've been learning a little more about the philosophy of stoicism. I kind of just stumbled into it, actually, and I find it interesting.

I was doing some work in my garage about a month or more ago, and rather than put on the radio, I decided to plug my phone into the stereo unit, and "listen" to a YouTube video that I had saved in my "watch later" list. That video is actually the one below, within this section. I was connected to my house Wi-Fi, so there were no worries about data being used. (I won't get into that. Yes, I technically have unlimited data.)

The man giving the TED Talk is Tim Ferriss, and a big part of what he spoke of in this video, unbeknownst to me ahead of time, was stoicism. I found the talk interesting and having points that I can apply to my own life. From there on, I let YouTube decide the video. Considering YouTube then played related videos, I continued to learn more about stoicism and other people's takes upon the subject.

I don't know how many minutes I listened, but I do know I spent at least a few hours in the garage. Will I seek out more information on stoicism going forward? I don't know, but it was nice being exposed to something new, while I was doing something else.

If you're interested, give the video a watch. It's a TED Talk by Tim entitled, "Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals." Email getters, get it.

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Kubo is an animated film currently on Netflix. My daughter had talked about watching it for weeks. She had heard about it at school. I don't remember all of the details, but I know her teacher had watched it and recommended it. My older son, for whatever reason, was very much against watching it.

We did end up watching the movie, partly because it interested me. We watched it over two days because of kids' bedtimes and school start times. My older son changed his tune pretty quickly. He likes it as much as the rest of us. Well, maybe not my daughter. It's been her go-to TV choice quite a bit since the inaugural watch. The toddler even stopped and watched most of the movie intently. Part of that might be from the "animation effect." Kids are drawn to animated movies. Pretty simple and not surprising to anyone, especially those who have kids.

I recommend this film for ages young and old (and all of us in between). Email compadres, do me a favor and watch the video at the end of this link.

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New Posts To Consume

Kiss My Grass, the series — If you've been keeping up with this blog over the last few months, you will have noticed, if not have already read, the "Kiss My Grass" series I started this summer. How many posts will be in this series, you wonder? I don't know. I'll keep writing if I have something to say and it fits with the series. I DO know that I have another one coming at some point. Take some time to catch up, if you care. Oh, and the premise for the series is essentially about outdoor home improvements and upkeep I've done since we moved into our house in 2013 and my life within that.

R&D Workshop — It had been a while since I wrote one of these newsletter/update style posts. I've recently published two. What this blog feature tackles is the work I'm doing and plan to do, what I'm researching and developing (and have developed). While "No. 4" serves to bring the feature back up to date by focusing on the past, "No. 5" sets the stage for the future. Both touch on the present.

Social Media OVERLOAD — I started this post much earlier in the year but didn't feel like it was finished or had conveyed what I wanted it to; it's still a little hard to put it into words. I did go back and rewrite/modify the post before publishing it in September. What I cover isn't anything new when it comes to topics one can read about on the internet, but it does apply it to my life within the last year or two.

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Straight Up Pranksters

They got me with a fake spider. I'm proud of them for that. As a family, we like to scare and pull pranks on each other. My family usually has a hard time getting me. That's okay. It makes them try harder and makes their resolve that much stronger.

My daughter had seen a prank on the internet and wanted to play it on me. The whole family set to work on the trap. It was a Saturday and I was at work. I couldn't have been aware of their mischief in the least. Then, I came home and started my routine of preparing for the next day's shift.

They know that I always take a small bag of pretzels to work with me. That is what they adhered a large, fake tarantula to. Well, it wasn't just adhered to the bag. There was a string attached to both the bag and the spider as well. So, when I picked up the bag, the spider dropped a little, and as I pulled the bag toward me, the spider swung toward me. In mere seconds, my brain reacted and I threw the bag. I made a sound as well, which was NOT high-pitched screaming. More like an "Oh, what the!?" I wondered in that instant why a spider that large was in the house, but it was too late. They had already got me.

Instant laughter. My oldest son and daughter laughed and laughed and laughed. They got me and got me good. My wife had left to run a errand shortly after I got home and had just returned. My daughter opened the door and told her before she reached the house. She was now laughing with the kids. Then they explained the trick to me.

They got me with a fake spider. Respect.

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While writing the post entitled "Kiss My Grass, Part 3: The Trees Have Eyes," I noticed that I had been using backyard as one word but front yard as two. I decided to look into this and found that it's more complicated than one way being right or wrong. Technically, they both can be separate words and compound words depending on how you use them. Check out an explanation here. I suppose this means I'll have to be more thoughtful when using them!

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Shine That Spotlight, You Crazy Diamond

In this issue of THE NOT SO DAILY DUMP, I'd like to draw your attention to Nick Morris. While we didn't attend at the same time, he is a fellow alumnus of McNally Smith College of Music. Nick is currently living in Colorado working for a company named MakeMusic. Recently, he had an article published on their site titled "Using Garritan Sounds in Ableton Live 9."

Nick also produces music under the title Draze Force—an electronic music project. A Google search gives you many options on where to find Draze Force on the internet and where to listen to his music. Here are a few options to get you started.

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Harry and the Hendersons

A while back, we watched this movie. The kids couldn't agree on what they wanted to watch and I suggested it. We were looking in the kids' section on Netflix, and I was actually a little surprised to see this movie in the middle of more modern flicks. My suggestion wasn't appreciated. I wasn't necessarily convinced of it either.

The kids continued to disagree and argue about what movie to watch, so I started playing Harry and the Hendersons. I got some groans at first, but as I figured, they warmed up to it pretty quickly. We only had enough time to watch about half of it because bedtime came, but they were looking forward to finishing it after dinner the next day.

While I DID find it interesting to revisit this childhood memory with my kids, it didn't keep my complete attention, and I fiddled with my phone off and on. My wife was also nearby working on a project. The toddler played with the wooden train set, curious about Harry when he was on the screen. The two older kids were actually occupied by the movie the whole time.

Looking to take a stroll down memory lane? Give this a watch. Emailers, go!

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