10 Reasons that I am Disenchanted by Matt Groening’s Disenchantment

I feel bad criticizing Matt Groening’s work, the man who gave us such wonderful shows like The Simpsons and Futurama really made the last two decades. I have a theory that eventually artists lose their creative streak, or at least go into some kind of downward slide. I mean, just compare Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark with Ready Player One. The former is a game-changing action film that has withstood the test of time (for the most part), but the other is just kind of a movie with a lot of special effects.

Perhaps the way to combat this downward slope of creativity is to constantly evolve. After all, most people in the eighties knew Clint Eastwood as a successful actor, but in his twilight years, he has become quite the director. If one looks at Seth MacFarlene, you can see that Family Guy has declined in quality, but The Orville brought back the Star Trek fun to TV again (mostly by imitating).

So it is interesting to see Groening, with The Simpsons also in constant quality decline, attempt something new with Disenchantment. This Netflix show promised Groening’s subversive humor, but in an epic fantasy setting. Before I get into the show, I will say that The Simpsons already did a high fantasy episode on their Season 29 pilot called “The Serfsons”. Generally, The Simpsons has one good gem every season, but even the giant medieval look did not make this particular episode stand out. Any show that is near its 3rd decade will probably not produce something decent, even by accident. I get the feeling that “The Serfsons” was some sort of test by the animation department to get the visuals right on Disenchantment. By the way, the visuals of this show look fantastic.

Unfortunately, Disenchantment is not good with its story and characters, and this is 10 reasons why Disenchantment fails to enchant. There are spoilers ahead.

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National Parks Free Access Pass for People With Disabilities

Sometimes having a disability can cost lots of money. Therapies and doctors costs, adaptive equipment costs, and not working so you can take care of your loved one- well, it can be quite costly. So here’s some good news for a way to save money while seeing the beauty in our national parks if you or a loved one has a lifelong disability. We’ll be talking about the free National Parks Access Pass.

 I think we’ve mentioned a few times here that our son, Jayden, has Autism. Although he’s not as severely affected as others, he has some limitations that impedes with his ability to do certain activities. I’m glad that he can have this opportunity to enjoy any national park for free now. It will open up more opportunities for us as a family, as well.

 

 

 

 

Who qualifies for a National Parks Access Pass?

Anyone who is a US citizen or permanent resident who has a lifelong, permanent disability. In order to get this pass, you need to prove citizenship/residency. You’ll also need to have a way to confirm the disability.

What documentation is needed to obtain a pass?

You will need documents proving citizenship or residency. This can be a US State or Territory issued Drivers License, ID, birth certificate, U.S. passport, or a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). Also needed is proof of disability. For this, you can use a note from a licensed physician. A document issued by a Federal Agency would also work- for example, the Veteran’s Administration, SSDI (Social Security Disability Income), or SSI (Supplemental Security Income).

How do you obtain the pass?

I was unsure of what to expect when we arrived at Yellowstone National Park a few weeks ago. When I asked how to get the pass on their Facebook page, they simply said to bring the documents needed to any entrance of the park. We got to the park early because I was anxious about getting a campsite without having a reservation. I tried to hand my documents for Jayden to the lady at the gate, but she told us to go to any visitor center, and they would issue the pass card. When I did get to the visitor center at Mammoth Hot Springs, they issued the card quickly and easily. This is all done for free.

If you don’t want to show up to a National Park and wonder if they have a pass available, as some do not, you can order one using this application. This does require a $10 processing fee.

Other bonuses of the Access Pass

Not only will Jayden (and his carload) be able to get into national parks for free for the rest of his life, other amenities are provided at a discount. Camping in the park, for example is discounted. We camped at Mammoth campground, which normally runs at $20 per night. For us, it was only $10. Get your pass before you get to your campsite, though. We did not pick up the pass before heading to our campsite. Since we didn’t have a reserved site, and it was first come/first served, I wanted to make sure we had a site. Unfortunately, there was no reimbursement of our fees. At least we got our 2nd night discounted.

This National Parks Access Pass is going to be a great benefit to those who have a lifelong disability. A beautiful creation available for access to many who qualify. Maybe someday state parks will follow in the footsteps. If you have any questions that I haven’t touched on here, let me know in the comments. Stay tuned for more articles on our trip to Yellowstone.

DriveHD Dash Camera Dual View System from Cobra Review

I think it is going to be very clear that all cars will be complete with a camera as a standard feature. It just makes a lot of sense if you think about it, because why wouldn’t you take advantage of this technology? For those that don’t have the camera now, you might be interested in the DriveHD Dash Camera with Dual View System from Cobra.

Yes, this is dual views, as there is one camera for the front (1080p) and one for the rear (720p). Both of these are on a loop for recording continuously, and there is a G-Sensor for detecting impacts and there is even a parking mode for recording when motion is detected.

Speaking of detection, this product has lane departure and forward collision warnings to let the driver know if you are drifting out of your lane and even if there is an object coming.

So is it easy to install? Well, there is an adhesive windshield mount and the front camera goes, and the back one can mount as easily. It includes a 16 GB SD made for the footage, and the product comes with some video editing software as well. It might not be Movavi, but hey.

If you want to purchase the DriveHD (Dash 2216D), you can purchase from the Cobra website for about $209.95.

Our Review of the UnbelievaBrella from ShedRain

I review a lot of great products here, but this would be the very first time that I have reviewed an umbrella. I’m guessing that umbrella technology hasn’t changed much in the past…however long umbrellas have been around. This UnbelievaBrella is a step in the right direction.

You can see in the image how this umbrella looks like it has been blown away by the wind. I’ve had some umbrellas turn inside-out before, but the UnbelievaBrella opens in reverse on purpose. So what sort of purpose could a reverse-opening umbrella serve?

Well, the website says that the water will stay away from you by funneling into the umbrella when it is closed. It does create a very beautiful blooming effect when you open it.

Too bad it doesn’t have that push the button and it opens feature. It has that button that you have to push to keep it open, and sometimes, it takes a moment before it catches. That’s so far is the only drawback, and I haven’t the chance to try it in the rain.

In addition to its unique opening feature, it also has a handle that is not a U-shape, but a C-shape. In case you are wondering it has this for a reason, and that is because it allows for hands-free usability. Basically, you need to put your hand in the C shape and let the umbrella pole rest on your shoulder. Heck, that is a feature to sell the UnbelievaBrella, and it is available on the ShedRain site for $20.00 in many different colors.

LuDeLa Perfect is the Candle You Didn’t Think You Needed

I’m going to say that when I first saw the LuDeLa Perfect, I thought I had it all figured out. I said: “I get it. It’s a smart candle.” Now, considering that candles are technology from at least the medieval times, that’s like saying you have a “smart rock” or something. The truth is that the LuDeLa Perfect is a smarter candle, but it is not necessarily a candle that you can pair with your smartphone. I will explain more of what I mean later, but let me explain why the LuDeLa Perfect is the candle for you.

First of all, let’s talk candles. If you are like me, you grew up with them, and you know how good they are at setting the atmosphere, but occasionally not working correctly. You know how you get those ones that great that tunnel effect, or ones where the wick gets so buried by wax that it won’t work anymore? Well, the LuDeLa doesn’t work that way, as it always keeps the wick on top.

Yes, the LuDeLa changes technology that probably hasn’t changed for a millennium, or however long candles have been around. The flame always stays on top, so the lighting is consistent, thanks to its Everbrite Flame feature.

You can see from the image here how different these are from regular candles, and these Caring Candle Refills will keep the candle burning as good as new.

Oh, and you know how candles melt, drip, and can make everything so messy? A special feature known as the Forever-New Decor (TM) will keep it so the candle always looks brand new. And if you don’t like the way it looks, and decide to change the color of the outside, or the design, you can apply the Flex-Decor (TM) feature and do it.

Also, you know how buying a scented candle results in having that scent as long as you have it? Perhaps you should consider switching out the scents, and yes, you can do that with the Scent-On Demand (TM) feature.

Now I have already described many features of the LuDeLa Perfect, but I haven’t even discussed the highlights of being able to light it at the touch of a remote button. No more looking for matches or an Aim n’ Flame, and that is just awesome. Check out the video for more:

Oh, you can also set a timer for your candle, so if you want it to go off at a certain time, that can happen. It’s called the Timer Extinguish (TM). If you look closely at the main image above, you can see buttons for a certain number of hours. Pretty cool, right?

I’ll get more into safety later, but thanks to the Tilt Extinguish (TM) feature, the candle will automatically go out if it is knocked over. I’m guessing that will save quite a few lives every year, as there are 25 candle fires in the United States every day.

Believe it or not, it is candle safety that is the inspiration of how this Kickstarter project started out. LuDeLa founder Jamie Bianchini was on a tour of the world on a bike, and stayed at a place in Africa. He had a candle fire that he was able to put out, but it had a profound effect on him. Oh, in case you were wondering if Jamie’s story about riding around the world on a bike is worth reading about, the answer is yes, and you can find out more info here at A Bicycle Built for Two Billion.

I might do a story on that tangent someday, but Jamie envisioned the idea of a smart candle, but figured out after he received funding that a candle that lights itself using Bluetooth is actually dangerous. It is safer to create a candle with sensors all about it, as well as a remote that uses IR frequency or line of sight for extra safety.

Jamie then asked his donors if they wanted their money back, or they would be willing to wait for a safer model. As it turns out, 95 percent of the donors wanted to wait. I have a video you can watch below that is outdated (made in 2016), but I found it worth posting here because it has the creator, Jamie, and his cute two kids with him. In a recent interview that I did with him, Jamie told me that he might take the video down, so if it isn’t there, don’t blame me.

Now, I’m sure you are wondering where and when you can buy these LuDeLa Perfect candles. You can check them out with the exclusive Kickstarter campaign that started just last week. If you need more motivation to purchase, then you should know this: for every LuDela candle product sold, a book will be donated to bring libraries to under served communities.