Review: Mulan pricing

I can’t review Disney’s live action Mulan because I haven’t seen it yet. But I have had several conversations with people and seen a good bit of commentary on the “they are charging $30 on TOP of the Disney+ sub to watch it” debate. I even know of people who are pirating it (or at least say they are) because of the “principle” of paying on top of a subscription to watch the movie. I am against piracy. If there is a legal means of attaining the property, even if you think it’s ridiculous and unreasonable… no. Just no. The word is piracy – and that is a bad thing people. Always. The only time I have “pirated” media was when I could not find it legally (this was also like 10 years ago, the internet has evolved a little since then). Literally, I tried to reach out to the publisher listed on an old CD (out of business). I

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Review: Freakonomics

This isn’t going to be a true review. This IS however a HUGE recommendation for their podcast this week. I listened to it this morning on my walk and… I might have freaked out another walked coming towards me at one point when I did the double-hands “yes, that!” gesture. I looked up a little further right after I did it and the guy was moving off the sidewalk already…. So yeah. Go and listen. It is a fabulous take on how we can and possibly should look at saving the rainforest. I think my favorite quote was something like “Brazil’s strategy was a lot of sticks, but not a lot of carrots” which made me all the more excited to see how we could add more sticks to the solution.

Review: Blueland

I do not have the same adversity to advertising some people do. I don’t like intrusive ads, but sometimes an ad points me to a product I wouldn’t have known of otherwise. Such was the case with Blueland. I was on Facebook and I just kept seeing this ad for reusable soap dispenser. It is up my alley. I try to be environmentally conscious. So I clicked on the link. We needed soap soon. I went ahead and ordered the Hand Soap Starter Set. I won’t say I’m in love with the product, but it absolutely meets the requirements of hand soap in our most commonly used bathroom. This is the bathroom where we wash our hands after being in the public. This is the bathroom nearby post-meals (baby eats messily ya know!). This is the bathroom guests would use if we were having people over. The little tablets are easy. Not too strong on scent but strong enough that

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Gaming: Microtransactions

There is a lot of conversation in the video game industry on this topic, and I have somewhat mixed thoughts on it. You have seen them, I can almost promise you this. You don’t have to be a hardcore gamer to know what I’m talking about. I use the mobile world first because I think it’s more familiar to more people. I played some Candy Crush back in the day. I got incredibly frustrated and uninstalled it. I reached a point where I couldn’t play it anymore. There came a time when I needed some special things to make the levels possible to beat. Or such good luck it would be ridiculous. And there wasn’t any good reason to go back and play previous levels. Since I wasn’t willing to pay to “win” the game, I uninstalled and went looking for something better. So many mobile games follow this pattern. I get so incredibly frustrated by it. On the other

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Review: The Belgariad

My brother gave me these books by David Eddings when I was in middle school and they are an old favorite. With everything going on in the world, I have been struggling to read. This is breaking my heart, but it’s true. My brain just can’t process new things from books right now. New worlds and characters are too much. So I borrowed the first book on audio book from the library just to have something comforting. I devoured them all over again. This series was a warm blanket of comfort. The characters are not extremely rounded. They are in fact mostly two-dimensional. They were tropes when Eddings wrote the book. The world is kind of flat. Very flat. Nations are not made of diverse people, the people themselves are tropes. There are only two languages (apparently) and one of them might still be more “extreme dialect difference” rather than actually a different language. Like Spain-Spanish vs. Mexico-Spanish. And somehow

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SCOTUS Update

UGH. So the Supreme Court put out decisions a while back and I am too exhausted to read them. Reading SCOTUS opinions takes a lot of brain power and I have been trying for weeks to read the ones I care about. And I just can’t. It isn’t something I can stop and start and between a 13-month old, working from home, and the ambient stress of the world right now… I read a few paragraphs and realize I’m zoned out. So I gave in and just read some summaries. I tried to understand Barton v. Barr, but even the “plain text” articles I found made my brain hurt. I mean honestly, when I originally read up on the case I had to Google a LOT of the language and terms and even then I couldn’t say with entire confidence I understood the issues. Allen v. Cooper was better. I think it helps with the court is 9-0 on a

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Review: Tea Recommendations

I don’t drink coffee. My caffeine of choice is tea. A friend recently posted on Facebook about “not being a coffee snob” and I commented that I totally will claim my tea-snobbery. I am a tea snob. THEN another friend private messaged me and said they are trying to cut back on sodas, what tea would I recommend. I literally spent about two hours trying to respond with a tea recommendation. Because it isn’t that simple. In my snobbery of tea, I have to say – there is no one “best tea.” There are teas that are better for a specific place and purpose (if you are serving an English high tea, you should probably serve a black tea – it’s traditional). And teas are such a specific flavor palate that I can’t just say “you WILL like this one.” So if I have to give a tea I highly recommend, I love me the Tao of Tea’s Ginger Peach

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Review: Rocketbook

I mentioned my Rocketbook on my recent experience fighting to exist. I then realized – I should review this. It’s super useful and people don’t even know it exists. Well I just gave away the gist of my review – I like my Rocketbook. I happen to like it a lot. I use it a LOT. In my job I have a PC rather than a laptop these days, which means when we got to a conference room – I have to *gasp* write things down. I know. So uncool. So low tech. So cliche. I hate using notebooks upon notebooks of paper. I never know what to do with them after the page has been used. Do I use a bookmark? Fold the page I’m on? How do I go back and reference my notes after I made them? More bookmarks? Post-it Notes along the side of the notebook? I hate them and I have for years, but for

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Review: Qualityland

Qualityland was originally published in German, but the English edition came out in January 2020. And I picked it up as an audiobook for my commute. My initial impression is dammmn. It is definitely a book addressing issues of the day. Some of the references are already dated or will be within just a few years, and I don’t understand why the author seems to have a strong hatred for Jennifer Anniston romantic comedies. But the concept of personal data and online profiles is very contextual to today. I wish there had been less foul language. If it had used four-letter words slightly less often I would be able to call for this to be read in every high school. Like EVERY high school. 1984 level. The entire concept is that the main character, Peter Jobless, is struggling with who he is, how he fits in society, and how to feel like his own life is meaningful. The anti-capitalism message is

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Review: The Screwtape Letters

I had not read this since high school. At the time I was deep in Southern Christian Culture (I need to post more about this sometime). I also was just young (duh, right?). When I read it then I thought it was dense and laborious. Now, with more life experience and political experience (not just legal politics, but personal/professional politics) the writing was powerful. Almost painful. I don’t write a lot about my faith, it is something I find difficult to put into words. It is very personal. And that is where Screwtape Letters hits home. It talks of a very personal theology where a young Christian is being tempted. It’s very internal, all about his own choices and lifestyle. How does he approach situations. It isn’t the action that matters, it’s the motivation. Acting humble to prove he’s humble isn’t the same as actually being humble. There were several chapters I almost want to take out and individually discuss,

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