movie thoughts … Logan

May 18, 2017 1:26pm
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I’ll admit that honestly this movie wasn’t even really on my radar, but I finally got around to watching it and ultimately I was kind of disappointed by it.

Which is really weird for a Wolverine movie, actually!

Ultimately I think my distaste for this final Wolverine movie starring Hugh Jackman stems from the same reasons that I didn’t care for Iron Man 3 in that simply put – I don’t want to watch weak and feeble superheroes, I want to see them kicking ass…

Right off the bat, my heart kind of sunk during the introductory scenes as we pieced together the current state of affairs and realized that … Wolverine is now an Uber driver??? And it honestly didn’t entirely click with me until I read the Wikipedia plot summary after watching the movie that the reason his mutant healing wasn’t working anymore was simply because he was getting old.

Wait a minute – so the superhero who managed to live for 137 years is just now starting to feel the effects of aging?

Also, while we’re at it – apparently now he lives on an abandoned farm, and Professor X is also getting really old. And there’s an albino mutant who’s basically Professor X’s understudy, except that they hate each other.

How did the studio not take one look at this script and say, “Good grief – that’s a really depressing way for everyone’s favorite superhero to go out?!”

I mean, the general plot makes for a fine story and all, but it’s just not really something that I’d get excited about watching unfold on screen – seeing this incredible super-human who we’ve watched kick amazing quantities of ass now only kicking ass when he goes all berserker, and afterwards he’s really tired, and he’s kind of given up hope on life and just wants to go retire and live on a boat with his live-in father who’s often times more of a hassle than he’s really worth, even though he’s also still got incredible superhero powers though he’s too frail to use them and gets really tired after using them, too.

Was the guy who wrote this script an aging baby boomer who was really into X-Men in his youth and still likes them in theory, but also falls asleep in his lounger a lot with Fox News blathering on in the background?

It’s too bad, really, because it was interesting to see them dabble in the X-23 plot line and they could’ve explored that way further, but instead they just put the kids perpetually on the run … which that point didn’t entirely make sense, either … because ok, your crazy mercenaries followed these mutant kids across the border from Mexico and through the United States – guns a’blazing – but somehow the Canadian border is this magical finish line that will keep the bad people out, if only they can get there?

*sigh*

Frankly, I’ve always been a little disappointed that Fox pounded so hard on Wolverine instead of doing a better job of exploring any of the hundreds of other mutants that they have to choose from. And I get that Wolverine has always been a fan favorite, and Hugh Jackman does a great job of playing him, but why haven’t we seen single hero origin movies for other major players like Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm … or even Magneto?!

Was it only because Marvel had Avengers queued up and they thought they needed X-Men: First Class (a good movie, mind you) to come to the mat? Or was it because the Wolverine standalone movie kind of flopped and they wanted to try a different direction … despite later circling back to do two more Wolverine standalone movies before all was said and done?

It was a sad way to see (SPOILERS) both Wolverine and Professor X go out after all that they’ve been in the previous films over the years – you’d think that if you lived your life being an incredible badass, you’d want to be remembered as such and not the geriatric pill-poppers who are just done with it all and ready for a new class to take the reins, even if there’s no clear path for them to do so and teaching kids how to live with their mutant powers was kind of your thing for a really long time. 🙁

So I read a guest column in the Orlando Sentinel – a newspaper that I normally respect – that pitched this tired allegation once again that at the end of the day, Democrats are just sore losers who will stop at nothing to avoid admitting that we lost the election…

…even if it means taking down the president as a result…

And I can’t help but just laugh and laugh and laugh at that hypocritical perspective after all that we’ve endured from the Republican line during President Obama’s time in office:

  • Three years of demands to see Obama’s birth certificate, then his long form birth certificate, under allegations that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii.
  • Three years and seven investigations into the attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.
  • Over 50 attempts by the House to repeal, dismantle, or otherwise defund the Affordable Care Act since it was signed into law in 2010.

Just for the record, Donald Trump got elected 187 days ago and has now been in office for 113 days.

I won’t even argue with the merits of each of those efforts … except for the birther movement because that was just ridiculous … but for Benghazi and critiques over the ACA – fine. Republican representatives had concerns and were obligated by their constituents to see them through, albeit excessively, but still…

Three years to investigate an attack 8,000 miles away in which four Americans lost their lives.

Five years to fight a healthcare bill that has affected the lives of tens of millions of Americans, both for better and for worse.

But now it’s suddenly excessive to spend barely than six months looking into whether there was influence from another nation that compromised the election of the President of the United States?!

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, it’s time for us to put this pettiness behind us and come together to support our President … who may have been installed by a foreign government, but probably wasn’t … we’ll just have to trust him despite not having given any reason to date why we actually should!

No. Just no.

You don’t get to dig in your heels for every passionate argument that your side had during the last eight years and then call the other side a bunch of crybabies when they raise question asking for a similar level of scrutiny. Especially after Donald Trump has done more to act suspicious – like firing the guy leading the investigation against him – than all of the “We need to pass the bill to know what’s in the bill!” and “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor!” you can throw at the Obama administration.

Just like you wanted to know whether those four lives in Benghazi were lost due to negligence, we want to know if Donald Trump is a legitimate president because for all of the talk the Republican party makes about concerns over voter fraud, they sure haven’t seemed too concerned with this notion that a foreign entity may have dipped its hands in our election.

Maybe they’re not so concerned because it resulted in their guy beating Hillary, but the integrity of our election should be worth more than either candidate.

So come back to me in 3 – 5 years if we’re still beating this drum and are just unwilling to accept the numerous facts laid out around us, but for now stop acting like a bunch of babies and let your president stand up to the level of scrutiny that ANYONE in the highest office in our nation should be able to handle.

Rocket Boys
Can you tell that Christopher is really into Buzz Lightyear right now?! First it was every toy getting its own honorary jetpack with whatever water or soda bottles he found laying around, but today when we caught him giving his little brother a jetpack with his empty juice cups, well, the adorable-ness just sort of writes itself… 😉

Refocusing on Disney Humor
It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I’ve finally decided to scrap one Disney project (that I admittedly) wasn’t really doing anything with in favor of another one that I think has much more promise in the long run.

Several years ago now, I created a little project called My Time with the Mouse… that was going to be my site for all things Disney World. I had about half a dozen different columns that I’d write – one each week – about dining and resort reviews, random trip advice, trip reports for my own visits, and more. I was also going to use it as a personal photo gallery and had uploaded a good couple of thousand photos I’d taken over the years, all organized by category and location.

It was a big project and ultimately just way too much work because I never could keep up with the schedule I’d created for myself, nor could I keep up with the other “popular Disney bloggers” who are literally pushing out new park updates every single day as it happens. And I don’t really want to do that, so after a couple of failed relaunches and some soul searching, I’ve finally decided to scrap My Time with the Mouse… altogether and instead replace it with … The Disney Humor Column.

The idea is that I’ve gathered up the Disney humor pieces that I’ve written over the years and now I’m going to write two new humor columns specific to Walt Disney World each month. I think it’s a better use of my time because while there are tons and tons of Disney bloggers online today, I don’t really see any focusing solely on humor. Plus, it will integrate better with my existing humor column, so hopefully there will be some opportunities for cross-promotion and whatnot in the future!

Anyways, long story short – I cleaned up the website this week and I’m ready to start with a fresh, new Disney humor column next week! The plan will be to alternate weeks between this and Scott’s Guide to Life, so both of those features will be bi-weekly and The Humor Column will remain weekly.

I’m excited about it, so go check out disneyhumorcolumn.com and with any luck, you should see a new column pop up sometime around noon next Wednesday. 😉

Planning Our 10th Anniversary Cruise
And lastly, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this yet because honestly Sara’s really been doing most of the research, but this year is our 10th wedding anniversary and I think we’re going to breakdown and go on a cruise this fall to celebrate.

We’re still trying to figure out all of the details and come up with a deposit and everything, but we both agree that we really need a vacation! I don’t think that we’ve ever both been away from the kids at the same time except for maybe a short overnight stay with their aunt. Life is stressful and ten years ain’t nothing to shake a stick at, so we’re hopefully going to pawn the kids and dog off on her parents and sneak away to the Caribbean for some much needed R&R!

According to photos, our last cruise was back in 2012 … before we had kids … and, well, I think this suave, little guy has missed us just about long enough… 😛

I’ll be honest – I don’t really make much of an effort to watch my language when I post on Twitter, even though I actually do with most of my writing projects. With the exception of Just Laugh and occasionally, but not often, this blog, I don’t really swear in my writing because I want it to appeal to the largest audience possible.

I guess I’m a bit more lax about Just Laugh because I’ve always considered it to be targeted at an 18+ audience whereas my humor column, etc… are read by all ages.

I also post a lot of off-the-cuff political commentary on Twitter – usually filled with lots of frustration – whereas by the time I’m ready to write an editorial about a topic, I tend to be more reserved and thought out at that point.

And sometimes I wonder if this is all a bad thing – if I’m doing myself a disservice by using Twitter like this instead of a more “controlled manner” that would be less alienating to anyone who might find me through social media and have an interest in something that I write … if only I didn’t have such a potty mouth on Twitter! 😛

The thing is, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t exactly use social media like other people trying to promote a brand … and maybe that’s a separate problem. While I do share links to my new columns and articles when they go up, I just as much use Twitter to share random findings that amuse me or even just talk to myself, in addition to commentary on posts that I find that aren’t substantial enough to make into full-blown blog posts.

…although for what it’s worth, I’m trying to do that more when I find that I’ve got more than a handful of tweets to say about something…

That said, it’s certainly something that I think I want/need to dig deeper into in the future as I work to gain some new attention for all of my writing efforts … it’s constantly getting more complicated to drive traffic to long-form writing with so much focus on social media, but I know that I can’t completely ignore it altogether and expect similar results by just doing my own thing.

Plus, admittedly I can see the appeal of an image focused specifically on my brand – namely, if I want to be the writer known for humor, and Disney, and parenting content, and occasional in-depth political commentary, it does make sense that my social media profiles should center around those topics and maybe steer away from angsty rants every time that Donald Trump says something undesirable … especially because lately that has pretty much been every single day anyways!

For what it’s worth, though, if I can manage to avoid all of the Trump-inspired Twitter rants, do you have any idea how much time I should save?! Maybe I could actually keep up with this newfound writing schedule of mine if I watched my tongue on social media a bit better! 😉

one more thing…

May 10, 2017 6:19pm
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If anything, our current political climate – not even limited to President Trump, but considering the entire establishment as a whole – confirms that the United States desperately needs election reform. And fast.

Because it’s painful to see just how fragile the institution of our great electoral system really is…

  • Voter ID laws, cutbacks on early voting, and new voter registration rules being used to restrict access to voting.
  • Gerrymandering to guide regional votes in a particular direction.
  • The opinion of the people being so easily swayed by widespread information regardless of its accuracy.
  • Campaign finance abuse and corporations buying political favor.
  • Questions of the validity of the Electoral College 200+ years after its introduction.
  • Lackluster voter turnout in general

It’s clear that our current voting system isn’t electing the right people to these offices to actually drive meaningful governance in our country, and I’d like to think that these most recent allegations of foreign interference would lead us to take a step back and figure out what really needs to be done to fix the process from the top down. And it’s complicated because not only do we need a new election process, we also need better candidates that aren’t as dramatically tied to party lines and can help to bridge the nuance between the left and the right so that we can start making things better across the board.

I’d love to see these problems solved during my lifetime because they’re really vital to the core of our democracy, but it’s forever going to be a struggle if uprooting the existing system also means uprooting the politicians who’ve established their careers based on these antiquated systems…

A glimmer of hope…

May 10, 2017 5:38pm
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Maybe it’s still just wishful thinking at this point, but I can’t help but feel that Trump’s firing of the FBI director who was leading the investigation about his collusion with Russia has got to be the smoking gun that begins to sway the tides towards his inevitable impeachment.

I’ve always thought that ever since the election, Trump’s best bet politically would’ve been for him to tell Congress to organize an independent investigation right off the bat to prove to those against him as well as to protect the integrity of the American election – if he really had nothing to hide, it should’ve been an easy enough task and he could only come out at the top after the investigation had found that he’d done nothing wrong.

But of course, the high road is no match for Trump’s ego, and instead his administration has played the same unconvincing line of, “There’s nothing to see here, let’s move along…” that the rest of us have been right to question, and then he makes his most suspicious move to date.

At least his supporters were right in that he’s definitely not a politician because a politician would’ve played this whole thing way better! 😛

So the last month or two, I’ve seriously wondered if Trump will even make it through his entire first year in office, and in that direction I think this was a positive move because it’s getting harder and harder for even his most ardent of supporters to admit that something just doesn’t feel right. Boing Boing shared an interesting link today to a spreadsheet someone was compiling of responses on Twitter from every member of Congress about Comey’s firing and it’s very clear to look down party lines and see almost every Republican remaining silent on the matter, which to me is telling in that they’re not exactly jumping to Trump’s defense on the matter, either…

Now don’t get me wrong, as much as I’d like to see something concrete happen sooner than later, I don’t necessarily expect miracles anytime soon, and so I’m sure we’ll likely hear even more ramblings about fake news and paranoia and how everyone is out to get him, except the majority everyone who is still somehow supporting him? 😉

And even if/when he does get impeached, it’s still going to be rough waters because Mike Pence isn’t exactly a saint and Paul Ryan is kind of awful, too. The full line of succession is here – at least Ben Carson and Betsy DeVos are pretty far down on the list! But I think you’ve got to take on one demon at a time and hopefully an event as traumatic as the president leaving office would put the rest of our politicians on notice that it’s time for a REAL change.

We’ll see, and in the meantime I’m going to just soak up every glimmer of hope that I can scavenge as the Trump administration continues to dismantle our society with the remaining power that they’ve been granted. But I think their days are numbered … I’ve got to think that for my own sanity, anyways. We’ll see…

Family Time x3
This week has been very busy, but busy in a good way as we’ve been running back and forth over to Orlando because my Mom is in town for my nephew’s second birthday. Thursday we spent a nice, relaxing afternoon at the beach and yesterday took us over to Disney Springs for a bit of dinner and shopping … during which our kids totally didn’t behave, but what are you gonna do?! And tomorrow we’ll be back in the road again for the birthday party itself, which should be lots of fun and will hopefully give said cranky children lots of time to burn off some energy so that we don’t have a repeat of last night!

Nonetheless, the family time has been nice. 😉

Lego Collectible Minifigs – Series 17
I already mentioned this in my Thing-a-Day post yesterday, but I was both surprised and excited to stumble across the newest series of CMFs at the Lego Store at Disney Springs last night. There was one guy feeling bags when I found them – I’ve never been a fan of doing that, mostly because I’m terrible at it, but also because it defeats the randomness if somebody comes through and grabs all of the rare ones to sell online. Regardless, I grabbed a handful for myself to add to the collection and so far I’m really liking what I’ve seen – fun series overall!

Scott’s Guide to Life Launch!
And I technically already wrote a little bit about this, too, but frankly I’m so psyched to finally get this project off the ground that I’ll gladly advertise it just about anywhere I can! The whole idea for Scott’s Guide to Life is to share some stories that are a little more personal than I might use in something like The Humor Column or Just Laugh. For example, two of my debut essays are about why I started going to therapy and how I learned to bond with my first son, and I’ve got a whole slew of other (hopefully) insightful pieces to come in the future, too!

Granted, they’re not all completely serious, as I already wrote one about never underestimating dirty diapers – it’s going to be a mixture of different moods, so be sure to tune in to see what I come up with next. 😉

374 Lego Minifigures All in a Row…

May 6, 2017 7:08pm
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Apparently I somehow neglected to blog about this a few months ago when I completed my Lego Collectible Minifigure collection, sans Mr. Gold – of course, so now that Series 17 is officially in stores and I was able to pick up a few packs yesterday, I thought I’d knock this post out while the new additions are fresh on my mind…

According to some old blog posts of mine, I first started collecting CMFs around 2011 with series 3, so it took me roughly 6 years to nab 23 series total … with Series 17 that just came out making series #24! It’s kind of fun to track the display itself as my collection slowly grew over the years – how it started with just a handful of minifigs on my desk, then started filling up a single base plate, and a couple of years later I upgraded to four base plates in the display total.

Now about four years after those four plates, I’ve since had to clear off a significant portion of one wall in my office to make room for the massive twelve plate display that are in use today … and really, as soon as whatever follows Series 17 is released, I’m going to have to expand AGAIN!!!

I remember when I first started seriously collecting, I really liked the look of some of the shadow boxes that I saw online, but seriously – with nearly 400 minifigs and counting, it would just take up way too much space … at least in the home office that I have today! Maybe when we eventually move to a bigger house, but for the time being we’ll have to stick to what’s working for now. 😛

My Favorite Minifigs
I know I’m not the only one who’s a fan of the guys in costumes theme that has been present throughout the years, but there’s a good reason – these guys are cool! With so many minifigs, it’s really hard to even pick favorites because there are tons of cool ones, but these guys all stand out, that’s for sure.

Most Expensive Minifigs
If I had to guess, I’d say that each of these three minifigs ran me about $40 a piece … the nurse is one of the rare minifigs from Series 1, the Boxer was a pain because he’s from the London Olympics series and I had to order him from overseas, and I don’t really know why Bunny Suit Guy was so pricey, except that I was a little more cautious because I actually found sellers counterfeiting them when I was ready to order that one. All in all, it’s probably not crazy to estimate that the entire collection cost me a couple thousand dollars between buying blind packs ranging from $2.99 – $3.99, orders on Bricklink, and trading away or selling my doubles.

Ok, so it’s a little crazy, but remember – that’s $2,000 over the course of six years! Maybe that’s not helping… 😛

Most Unique Series
Series 14, also known as The Monsters Series – if these had been more available, I might’ve considered giving them out for Halloween, but the entire line-up is just really creative and spans all sorts of the best themes from ghouls and ghosts, zombies, a wolf man, and even a tentacle monster! (my personal favorite)

Most Coveted By My Son
Anyone who follows me on Twitter may have noticed that I’m currently stuck watching Toy Story approximately 7,000 times a day because my three-year-old son loves Buzz Lightyear. Whenever he comes into my office, the first thing he does is point out Buzz in my minifig collection on the wall, which is thankfully still well out of his reach, but just to help placate him I did first give him the Buzz minifig out of one of the Toy Story sets from a while back, and then later ordered a couple of extra Buzzes from the CMF line as well for when he loses them.

Which he does – often! In fact, I need to remember to look for more, but hey, at least he likes Legos and Disney? 😉


In some ways, it’s definitely a bit of a relief to have my collection done – or at least caught up to the current series – namely because the last ones to grab were the hardest to find either due to price or only being available overseas. I tended to buy them in lots of about $50 worth at a time, though towards the end that would sometimes only end up being a couple of minifigs instead of half a series!

Still, it’s a fun set to look over and enjoy all of the creativity that the designers have put into them over the years, and despite the ever-growing demand for more space, I’d still like to see them keep it going because they’re something simple and fun I can pick up without having to find the time to put together a new set … because not for nothing, but I seriously have a good half a dozen lying around that I just have yet to find the time to build. 🙁

Adult problems, I know. But that adulthood – and its disposable income – allowed me to amass this sweet collection of Lego minifigs over the years, so I suppose growing older isn’t all bad… 😉

Healthcare By Any Other Name

May 6, 2017 6:33pm
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This article from a few years ago from the Huffington Post said it pretty well, but in reading all of the back and forth about the GOP’s new “healthcare” bill that passed the House the other day, I can’t for the life of me understand why everyone who supported it didn’t fight back hard on the simple use of referring to the Affordable Care Act by its formal name rather than the nickname it was given as a jab by its opposition.

By adopting the name Obamacare, it was basically giving the Republican party a free shot to take at the legislation that anyone who hated President Obama could easily get behind, regardless of actual content. We saw that last year when voters were quoted as not understanding that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were literally the same thing!

From politicians to the media, and trickling down to your average Joe on Facebook, this would’ve been such an easy perception to control if every time someone tried to call it Obamacare in discussion, the other party corrected them and called the law by its proper name. It was always meant to be a slam by the Republicans, so make them own it alone and separate the language from the president to better represent what the bill’s actual goal was all along – providing better access to healthcare for all Americans.

I’m honestly not sure if I ever actually was included in one or not, but I frequented a couple of sites that had them and was very jealous of the copious amounts of social fun times that all of their members clearly enjoyed, so for a while I posted my own “cam photos” on comedic-genius.com … I think with the intent of eventually working up the nerve to submit to one of them?

In retrospect, I seemed to like the method of taking a proper picture with a real camera and then using Photoshop to insert the quippy text afterwards instead of having a web cam pointed at me 24×7 and overlaying random quotes or whatever on top of whatever it captured.

Remember, this was long, long before the age of selfies and Instagram and even – *gasp* – moblogging! So you were lucky to get a few witty updates a week in between whatever the hell else we did on the Internet back in the early ’00s!

I stumbled across these when I was hunting for those old blog posts that I just shared, so for the sake of full disclosure … here’s what I looked like back when I had long hair and lived in my Mom’s basement (for about half of them) and divided my time between playing PS2 games and cultivating my budding online publishing empire… 😉

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