A) The National Safety Council reports that as of 2017, Americans are more likely to die from an accidental opiod overdose than from a car accident.

B) I don't take opiods, so I cannot overdose.

C) Therefore, I must not be an American.

That's called logic.

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Movies, movies, movies!

197. (1426.) Doctor Strange (2016)
Doc Strange's origin story has a pretty simple plot (and a very flawed hero). It also has Benedict Cumberbatch, who almost succeeds in making his character likable. Almost.

198. (1427.) Hearts and Minds (1974)
This anti-Vietnam War documentary is about as anti-war as any movie ever. There was so much film footage of moments I'd only seen in stills, I felt like I was watching a history textbook come to life. For the record, I'm convinced. Let's get out of Vietnam.

200. (1429.) Trolls (2016)
I wanted to watch something special for my 200th movie in 2018. Instead, I watched Trolls. I shouldn't complain. I was a kid once. I can be marketed to. I saw The Care Bears Movie in a theater. (What can I say? I've always been a sucker for Grumpy Bear.)

201. (1430.) Ma and Pa Kettle (1949)
This is actually the second in the Ma and Pa Kettle series of movies about The Beverly Hillbillies the misadventures of some country folk adapting to life in the modern world. It's enjoyable, and it's easy to see why they went on to make The Beverly Hillbillies six more. (Almost completely unrelated trivia: There is an auto mechanic near my house that calls itself Maw and Paw Kettyle. They do good work.)

202. (1431.) Love Actually (2003)
I heard so much about this movie over the holiday season that I finally watched it on TBS. Even though Martin Freeman was in the opening credits, none of his scenes appear in the edited-for-television version, so I re-watched Mom's DVD (because she owns every Christmas movie). His scenes were, amusingly, the most honest and by far the best. In other words, don't watch this movie on TV.

203. (1432.) Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
I turned the channel to TCM to wash down all that Love. Here Barbara Stanwyck is a lifestyle columnist (a 1940's Martha Stewart) caught in her own web of lies when her boss insists she host a Christmas get-together with a war hero. Good stuff.

More to come.

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Louis Vuitton is a well known French luxury fashion brand famous for their expensive purses like the Artsy MM:

a bag for your shit

That purse retails for $2,000, which explains why they are such a common target for counterfeiters. Therefore, the company is unusually aggressive about taking legal action against perceived violators of their valuable brand. That's why they sent MGA Entertainment Inc. a cease and desist letter over MGA's top-selling toy, the Poopsie Pooey Puitton.

a shit bag

According to Amazon.com, Poopsie Pooey Puitton contains 12 unicorn food packets. "Just add water to make a rainbow of poop!" Who wouldn't want that? Other than Louis Vuitton, I mean.

In response to Louis Vuitton's bullying, MGA has pre-emptively sued to defend their right for parody speech. The following is a real sentence in a real court filing, per Reuters.

The use of the Pooey name and Pooey product in association with a product line of "magical unicorn poop" is intended to criticize or comment upon the rich and famous, the Louis Vuitton name, the LV marks, and on their conspicuous consumption.

Make a statement about rampant materialism; buy your Poopsie Pooey Puitton today! (Did I mention this product is aimed at 5- to 10-year-olds?)

And that's where we are now. 2019. Year of the magical unicorn poop. At least until Louis Vuitton gets their hands on it. Or gets it on their hands.

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But they do get shorter

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Believe it or not, I sold 190 books on Amazon.com in 2018!

The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 1, The Wizards of Ranaloy The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 2, Prince Thorgils' War The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 3, A Quest Before Dying The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 4, Specter of the Lich

To clarify, that "sold" number includes books that Amazon gave away for free to good homes (with my permission). I won't tell you exactly how many of them were free. I will only say that my total take-home revenue for the year was $9.92, which means that for a third year in a row, I can call myself a (marginally) professional writer.

And yes, I am currently working on another novel. The next one will not be in the same series but it still will be about wizards. Wizards who solve locked-room murders. Because even fantasy murders need solving.

I'll tell you more when we get closer to release, sometime later this year.

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Speaking of old acquaintances that should be forgotten... these movies watched in 2018:

193. (1422.) Mythica: A Quest for Heroes (2014)
194. (1423.) Mythica: The Darkspore (2015)
195. (1424.) Mythica: The Necromancer (2015)
196. (1425.) Mythica: The Iron Crown (2016)
199. (1428.) Mythica: The Godslayer (2016)

Like I said last time, I made Dad watch King Lear. He was so dissatisfied, I volunteered to let him choose the next films we watched. He chose these. I should have known better.

It would be fair to compare this whole series of five connected films to the Star Wars saga. The first couple are by far the best, and the rest become so increasingly disappointing that you begin to hope that all the main characters die just to make it all end.

To sum up, the story involves a small band of heroes seeking to stop a necromancer from using an ancient, evil artifact to take over the world and ascend to godhood. (Does that sound familiar?) I admit that it is a pretty tired adventure trope, but if the characters in my books are half as dumb as those in these movies, I apologize for ever writing the damn things.

Dad is no longer allowed to pick the movies.

More to come.

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To be continued...

 

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