June 28

Top 10 Conspiracy Theories

Just in case you are new here, I love conspiracy theories. In fact, this is how this whole blog was born. My friend adored my theories and my research on several topics. She asked me to start a blog and I did! Fast forward a few years later and we are here today. Things are a bit different as I have some other theme days as well, but conspiracy theories is still the corner store of this page. This isn’t just a passion, but a love that I shared with my Dad and my Grandpa. Now that they are both gone, it’s just one more thing that connects me to their memory. I have covered several theories over the years, but I haven’t ever done a top 10 of my favorites. These are the reasons that I got into this, and started the very blog that you are currently reading. I hope you enjoy these in no particular order!

1. JFK:

What happened to John F. Kennedy was a tragic and terrible event that shaped the entire nation and changed the way many people thought about the world around them. Many theorists will pin point this as the major event which started their passion for conspiracy theories. There are no answers to why our President was shot in daylight in front of many witnesses, yet the case has never been solved.  My parents and grandparents were much older than any of my classmates, so when this event happened, they were working adults. My Mom and Dad’s stories were filled with where they were. My Grandpa was the one who sat me down and told me that there was no truth to this and that Lee Harvey Oswald was a scapegoat. This startled me as a child because who would question something as powerful as the government. I was pretty little so I didn’t know any better. The rabbit hole I fell down never ended, and I became a person who looked for answers and started questioning everything that was the official word.

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2. Amelia Erheart:

Another theory that I shared with my Grandpa was about Amelia Earhart. He was the first person to tell me about her, and show me picture books about her journey. First and foremost, his goal was to show me that women could do anything. Second, he wanted me to use my head to try to figure out what happened to her when she vanished. It was such a strange story and while logic could dictate that she simply drowned, that is one of many possible outcomes. This is one of the reasons that my dogs middle name is Amelia. Yes, my dogs all have middle names, don’t judge!

 

3. Aliens:

I grew up in the 1990’s and alien mania was in full force. If you look back there were things all over TV such as Alien Autopsy and the X Files. Stories were everywhere about the little green men from Mars. Except the longer these stories went on, the more the image changed from creepy beings to things that look more human. I was so afraid of the concept of an alien as a child. We used to go look at the stars to see the movement. It was very hard to grasp that we were the only things out there. When I got older, I realized that there is no way that we are the only beings in a universe with an unknown amount of time and space.

 

4. Jim Morrison:

As a music fan,  I knew about Jim Morrison from a very young age. When I finally got to visit Paris when I was in my twenties, I talked to a lot of people about what they thought really happened to him. Nothing adds up and no one believes for a moment that he died in a bath tub. When I went to his grave it felt so empty. It didn’t seem right for some reason. I couldn’t shake the feeling that Jim Morrison either died in a very different way than what we were told, or he never died in the first place. I did say in a previous post that if anyone faked their own death, I would believe that Jim Morrison could be the person who would want to pull this off. Many people try to spin their own story, but I know the truth will never be told.

 

 

5. John Lennon

The facts are these: John Lennon was murdered outside of his New York City apartment by Mark David Chapman. What is the conspiracy there? Well, take a look at the film, “The US Government Vs. John Lennon.” There is proof that John Lennon was being not only wire tapped, but was being followed by the FBI and the CIA. The fact that Mark David Chapman also seemed to be a person who as planted to kill this mega star. There is a whole film called “Chapter 27 “which was from the “Catcher in the Rye” which was the book MDC was carrying when he killed John Lennon. People think he was triggered by the government or someone else to kill John Lennon and take the fall for the dirty work. Who knows for sure, but the world has suffered since his death.

 

6.Big Brother is Watching:

While this has become a silly reality TV show for the last several years, Big Brother is a phrase coined in the book, “1984.” This book was meant to be written as a warning, not a guide book. Today, everyone is watching everyone else. We give away our privacy every single time we log on to anything. We get ridiculed for having a view that differs from the norm. People have little to no rights. History is being changed and people are forgetting how to write with a pen. The IQ of the average person is dropping. Why is this all a big deal? It means the public at large is very easy to control. Every Smart TV comes with a warning that you shouldn’t have any sensitive conversations around. Cell phones have so many apps that routinely say they access every phone call, and all your information not limited to your photos and your microphone. Why is this being done? I’m not 100% sure but it is very scary that our information is owned, and we are so willing to give up any privacy that we have.

 

7. The Moon Landing:

Did the Moon landing actually happen? There are so many arguments on both sides of the debate. However, it is hard for many people to believe that we actually landed on the moon. If we think about it, we have more technology in our pockets than what it took to get to the moon. Our cell phones and everything to come after the moon landing are amazing feats. Could we really have had that same technology back in the 1960’s? It doesn’t seem likely, but it can be impossible. Or can it? People site the movie, “The Shining,” as a confession of sorts as to how the moon landing was faked. Many theorists have tried to prove their thoughts on this matter. I think science and magic is the same side of the coin. It’s hard to say, but I think the truth could be ugly!

 

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8. Jesus and Mary:

Yes, there is a whole world of debate about these two historically figures. There are countless books, movies, and even classes about Jesus and Mary. However, it is hard to not wonder about their personal lives. If you believe that they were real, then of course it is normal to wonder about their personal lives. Did they get married? Did they have children? I never come at this from a place of emotion, but from just wanting to know because I am human. I am not going to go into a lot of details here because so many people are so committed to their views, it can be overwhelming. You may never see a full post about this from me because of this thought process.

 

9. The Mandela Effect

Do you recall the phrase, “Luke, I am your Father,” or “Life is like a box of chocolates?” If you do, then you are wrong! Those phrases never happened! Do you recall Nelson Mandela passing away in the 1980’s, or in the last few years? Is your memory wrong, or is it an alternative reality? Is it another universe, or are we all just living in a computer simulation? Take a look at my past posts about this, and I will be making more in the future! There are so many examples of this happening that it’s hard to not look at. While it may not be what we think, something strange is going on here!

10. Time Travel:

I believe that time travel is not only possible, but is a reality. This could go hand in hand with the Mandela Effect. It may not. However, I think someone out there has the ability to travel through time and space. Maybe Doctor Who isn’t so far fetched. There are a lot of movies and stories about time travel. Is that because we all wish it’s true, or we got the concept from time travel itself? It’s hard to know for sure, but if I have a chance, I’m going back to Woodstock!

 

 

 

Those are my top 10 favorite conspiracy theories. What are yours? Leave your comments down below.

 

 

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February 22

Tupac Lies: Part 2

Hello Underdogs! If you have not read the first part of my blog called Tupac Lies Part 1, please do so before reading this blog post by following the link here: http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/tupac-lies-part-1/  Doing research for this post has been very eye opening since there are so many moving parts, and no one seems to know the truth of what actually happened.While he is more famous in death than he ever was in life, he still deserves justice for what happened to him. Or did anything actually happen to Tupac? I have been talking polls on my Facebook page in an attempt to see what the people believe happened to Tupac. The majority of people polled believed that Tupac died that night at the fight in Las Vegas. However, an overwhelming amount of people believe that Tupac’s murder was part of a bigger conspiracy. For this post, we are going to explore a step further than the previous post with the amount of people who wanted Tupac dead. We are going to take a look at the conspiracies surrounding why he may have been murdered.

As you may recall, Tupac was murdered in a shoot out on September 13th, 1995. The murder took place right after the famous Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. This was a sold out fight, with lots of people and media attention. Moments before leaving the building, Tupac and his crew supposedly got into an altercation with Orlando Anderson, a gang member. While this was caught on film, it is very hard to tell who is fighting who, although we can all agree a fight took place that night. Tupac left the building with Suge Knight, and at least 15 other cars in their crew. Strangely enough, Tupac and Suge Knight would leave alone without any of their body guards or anyone else protecting them. At a stop light, women were trying to persuade the two men to go to a club when a white unmarked car pulled out next to them and opened fire. They believe 14 shots were fired, with 4 hitting Tupac with one grazing Suge Knight. Tupac was taken to the hospital after Suge Knight drove them down the street. Tupac passed away several days later after being in a coma. So who murdered Tupac? Turns out that question isn’t as easy to answer as one would think.

First, is the most obvious and least shocking theory. Normally, the things that are the most obvious and the most simple answer are usually true. Tupac was killed because of his actions that he took the MGM Grand. He knowingly got into a fight with a gang member who was known for his own violent past. Tupac had his own violent demons and a fight like this could have caused a series of events that ended his life. He was part of a huge fight in a very public place, in a very public event. While many will rightfully point out how strange this whole situation was, it is important to keep in mind the level of racial tension going on at that moment. You could feel it in the air, and the East Coast Vs. West Coast was a very deadly game that many people were not only playing, but taking full advantage of. Orlando Anderson had the means, motive, and opportunity to carry out the murder of Tupac. This was where he lived, and where he had the advantage. It would have taken very little time to carry out the murder. We will never know the truth because Anderson was murdered a few years later. While this seems like a logical belief, the Las Vegas Police Department stands behind their belief that this fight and the murder of Tupac had nothing to do with each other.

Hundreds of people witnessed this murder, and it can be argued that just as many wanted Tupac dead. If it wasn’t Anderson who killed Tupac, there were a long list of people willing to do the job. Tupac was connected to the murder of a young man during a concert that he paid the family a settlement. That young man had a family and people that loved him. It isn’t a far fetched idea to believe that one of them took advantage of the mass confusion of such a huge event. Tupac also had a very violent past, which included the sexual assault of a woman that he served time in jail for hurting. What would stop the victim, or her loved ones from carrying out their own hit against the man who was brutal and violent. Those aren’t the only people that Tupac hurt. He had a long list of people that he took violent action against, and it wasn’t against people who were just going to sit back and let this happen.

Of course, there could be more to this than a simple answer of a long list of people who wanted Tupac dead, or even gang violence. It could come down to the most simple thing in the universe, money. Tupac owed millions of dollars to Suge Knight and Death Row Records. Suge Knight put up the money to defend and get Tupac out on bail for his various crimes including rape. Tupac fulfilled his record contract under Death Row Records which meant he was free to go do what he really wanted, which was to go solo and open his own recording company. It is rumored that Suge Knight hired a hit man to take Tupac out in order to stop him from leaving the company, and to gain control of all of his future music endeavors. It is well known that a celebrity is worth more dead than alive, and Tupac had a large, untapped vault of music that had yet to be released. Tupac was a cash cow that Suge Knight was not ready to stop milking. Who knows, but Suge Knight was very lucky that all those shots in the car were low and hit Tupac instead of him.

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Another theory is that Biggie Smalls had Tupac killed. While literally no one close to the families of the late rappers, believe this, the story is out there and been hashed over and over again by several news media outlets.  It was rumored that Biggie Smalls was also at Las Vegas that night, and hired gang members to carry out a hit on Tupac. No one can connect Biggie Smalls to being at Las Vegas that night. Most people now understand that the tension between these two was mostly fabricated for story purposes and getting record sales. Unfortunately, these men could have been unwittingly maters for their own cause. While Biggie was there when Tupac was shot and robbed the first time, there is still no reason to believe that one event had anything to do with the other. It was all a bunch of circumstances evidence that happened, but both of these men paid with their lives.

There is also rumors that Sean “P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy” Combs had something to do with both of their deaths. First, it was rumored that Sean Combs hired a person to take out both Tupac and Suge Knight. Combs and Smalls were friends and Combs apparently hated both Tupac and Suge Knight. The death of Tupac had repercussions, which was the accidental murder of Biggie Smalls. Some investigators believe that Biggie was never supposed to die that day. They believe that Sean Combs, who was directly behind Biggie in a car following him, was the intended target. Given that his death happened in broad daylight with lots of witnesses including police officers, anything is possible. Lucky enough, the two men said to be responsible for the hit of Tupac, and the hit of Biggie are dead and there is no way to prove this story.

As strange as this is, Tupac being killed may have also been a mistake. Suge Knight has come out to say several things, including how he thinks Tupac is alive and well,and also how he witnessed Tupac die. Suge Knight said that the reason Tupac was killed that night was pure accident. Suge theorizes that his ex wife, and a friend hired a hit man to take him out. Suge had done a lot of lying, cheating, and killing, and his wife had enough. Afraid to take him to court because of his powerful status, she opted instead to have him killed. Tupac was not supposed to be at Las Vegas that night. He wanted to stay home, but was convinced at the last minute to join Suge Knight. Suge and Tupac getting together in a car alone also seemed like a last moment choice, and Tupac paid with his life.  Who knows, but with Suge Knights track record, it is really hard to take anything he says seriously. This is the same guy who tried to claim self defense on running over a man repeatedly, and then running down a second man. Sadly, Suge Knight might actually be the only real witness left, but we will never know.

While there are multiple people who wanted Tupac dead, and theorizes of accidents, we still haven’t covered the government. While this may seem like a tin foil hat theory, there is enough reasonable proof to go down this path. Tupac’s entire family was involved with politics, mainly the Black Panthers. While there are many non violent sects of the Black Panther party, several were violent and outspoken. Tupac’s own Mother was a suspect in murder. His Father was on the FBI most wanted list. Aunts, cousins, and step family all were politically charged people which was dangerous in the height of the Black Panther Party in the 60’s and 70’s. Several members of his family were followed by the government, had their phones tapped, and even took political exile in Cuba and other countries. Fast forward to the 1980’s, and 90’s where a young, outspoken black man is shining a light on gang violence and the never ending cycle of poverty, AIDS, and violence within their community, and all of a sudden, Tupac has a target on his back. Both Tupac and Biggie made police brutality, front and center to their music, and they talked about racism and race relations every chance that they could get. This made Tupac a very dangerous person in the eyes of police and the government, and it was easier to take him out than to let him live and keep spreading the word. There has been stories of Tupac being followed and even being on FBI watch lists, not just for who his family was, but for his own thoughts and actions. We all know from history what happens when a person who speaks for the voiceless gets a little too powerful.

Most people believe if Tupac was murdered, then a conspiracy follows and this rabbit hole goes very deep. Tupac’s death is very strange and nothing adds up. There are more and more questions as each year passes, and a few more people are coming forward with their own version of the truth. The thing is, there is enough evidence to really look into the fact that Tupac may have faked his own death. This is not as far fetched as one would believe, and in the next post, you will see how feasible this may be. The song remains the same, but we will never hear it’s end. In the meantime, we can explore all avenues to see what could have happened to this super star that was silenced.

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January 15

Where have I been? A Caregiver’s Life

Hello Underdogs. As you know, I am a caregiver but many of you may not understand what this means. This means that I provide help for those who need it medically. That is from cooking, to cleaning to giving medicine and so much more.  I love blogging but times like these make it very tough to keep on top on anything outside of the people that I take care of and help. I know that I made it a goal to post on the proper days and be consistent. That goal, along with a lot of things in life went out the window on Sunday. I also want to give a small glimpse of what it is like for those who are caregivers. Every story is different, and person has different needs. In the United States alone, there are over 31% of households that have a full time family caregiver. This is a person  is a family member or friend who takes the place of medical professionals that are very costly, and insurance may not cover. There is very little help out there for people who take on this role. Most work full time jobs as well as taking care of people full time. I take care of two people full time, but between those hours, I can’t work “a real job.” Many caregivers like me are laughed at and taunted because in the eyes of many, we “don’t work.”

I am personally very tired of how we caregivers are treated or seen. It has never been by any people in the medical field that I have worked with, or friends. This all comes from family members (not all) who claim to know more yet never visit or help. People who know the health of the people I take care of who feel they know the situation better, or those who just can’t understand that if you don’t punch a time clock, you aren’t working. While many of them work a 9-5 job, I work 12 to 24 hours a day. For example, on Sunday night, I had to wake up and give med every single 15 minutes for 24 hours. When I hoped for a difference the next day, I got one. Instead of every 15 minutes, it went to every 10 minutes for the next 24 hours. Then every half hour for the next 24 hours. I didn’t sleep for 3 days. We were in the hospital for 6 days. That doesn’t mean that was the only thing I had to worry about, because I take care of another person too. I also have dogs, and once in awhile, I need to remember that I have my own things going on that need attention as well.

Life doesn’t stop moving even though you world is crumbling, however life demands that you adjust quickly. I remember the day my Dad died this though kept  going in my mind. My entire world shattered, so how were other people walking around and living their life as if nothing happened. How were people able to smile, and drive, and shop, and eat when my entire life had ended in that moment. And my life did end at the moment because  the person I was, and wanted to be died in order to start taking care of other people who needed it. I’m not trying to sound selfish or dramatic because what needed to be done, had to be done. I wouldn’t change any of it, except the heartache that I get from so many people who claim that this isn’t work. I have never worked more hours, or harder ever in my entire life.

As a caregiver, you have these earth shattering moments more often than you may realize. This week was a big one, and I realized how hard it is to continue to find a balance. I had to put aside some things that I wanted to do, and things I even committed to in order to provide the new level of help that is needed. I also have that other pesky thing called paying the bills. Caregivers don’t get help, and I’m not trying to say whoa is us! There is nothing available to any of us even though our work saves millions of dollars from insurance money to medical bills, to the government. While there is savings for the person, and those agencies, it comes to great financial cost to those who are the caregivers. The percentage of those who can get some help is very little because there are so many hoops to jump through. To date, only 12 states have some sort of program to help assist caregivers, and I don’t live in those states. There are over 70 million of us unpaid caregivers who keep working our insane hours, but can’t even be seen as a person who works a real job. It’s a tough place to be in.

I will never change the time I have helped and worked as a caregiver. I will continue to do so as long as needed.  There is no work that I have done that is more important. I have never hurt so much, or seen the very best of people. You see more about life in these horrible situations than you will ever realize. Those give you moments of hope, and moments to realize the world isn’t so terrible. I can’t ever become a nurse after this, even though I highly admire all of them for there difficult work. They are under appreciated, overworked, and underpaid. While we caregivers have little to no chance to get paid for the work we do, these wonderful nurses need to be recognized for all of their hard work, and all they do. I find that we all work together for the best instance for the people we take care of. We are a team that work together, and that relationship is very important.

If this may seem jumbled, it is because it is. I want this to be realistic, because as a caregiver, you life is in jumbles. Nothing is easy from point A to point B. Every single day, curve balls are thrown that may be a game changer. No two days are alike, and you may have to adjust minute by minute. When you fail, it could mean life or death. There is a lot of heartache, a lot of depression, and a lot of devastation. My goal is to have caregivers recognized as people who work real jobs, with real work. This is why I do anything that I can to “hustle” some money now and then because I’m not “working a real job,” but have real bills. I find good and happiness while I can which includes blogging. I love blogging so much and that can keep me going some days. I can hope someone who is a caregiver like me may read this and understand that they aren’t alone. Life is hard, but you are appreciated. You do the hard work that no one sees, but it doesn’t make it any less real or important.  You are amazing, loved and supported, even if you don’t realize it! Keep doing the great work because it matters, and you matter!

I’m going to leave you with a small change to my format. I will only be posting 3 days a week instead of 4. I may do the 4th when I am able. The posting dates will remain the same, I just may not get ever single Sunday done. I love blogging so much, and in order to keep going I need make a few adjustments. I hope you all can stay with me during this adjustment phases, and keep coming back to read and comment on my posts. Thank you all who have been there and keep coming back to this page!

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December 7

Opps….

Hello Underdogs, and I hope that you are having a great day. I want to say that I am sorry that I have been so absent this week. There has been a lot of challenges in the past week that have left me very tired, and very, very busy. As I have said several times before, I am a caregiver first. This has taken a lot of my time in the last two weeks which has left me both emotionally and psychically drained. I’m not complaining, I’m just stating fact. I don’t mind taking care of people, and that is my main purpose in life. I love blogging, but being a caregiver comes first.

I’ve found it very hard to find a balance recently, even with the power to schedule things, the daily struggle is nothing is the same. I may know what appointments are when, and how long they can take, but there is that wrench that is always thrown. It may be good, it may be bad, but it is always there. I am doing my best to catch my breath during this very busy time, so please bear with me while I work my tail off and try to get everything done. I love you guys and I thank you for all of your love and support doing this blog, and being there for me when I have to take a step back for a few days.

I have a lot of good stuff coming up that I am super excited to share with all of you! While the next 25 days will be full of treatments for my patient, I will try to get at least one post done a week. I love doing this and sharing my life with you all, and it means the world that a few of you take time out of your day to visit this site, and read my posts. I put a lot of work into this, even though it seems like I don’t. This is all a labor of love made with love, but not with perfection!

Stay tuned, Underdogs, because the best is yet to come!

 

October 3

At a loss…

Today, I am at a loss:

Las Vegas

Tom Petty

And what I was hit with today in my personal life.

Today, it’s very hard to remain hopeful, and positive. It’s almost too much to pretend to believe that the next day will bring something better.

I want to find hope again, but today is won over by the pain, and the sadness.

Today, I am just going to be sad.

July 3

20 Freebies for your Birthday

It’s that time of year again for me, when I gain another year, and probably will gain several more pounds after I am done with this list! There are actually several places out there that will give you free, or deeply discounted items on your birthday! This has come in handy for many reasons. First, it is nice to be able to treat yourself with some fun and free items on your birthday. Many of these offers are available the entire month of your birthday, while others will expire faster. Secondly, this is great for other people. I have found myself being broke most of my life and can’t buy my friends and loved ones gifts. This is a way that I can still get them a present either by getting them free food, or something on a discount. Some of these offers require a purchase of a drink which is something I can do even when I’m scary broke.

I recommend that if you decide to sign up for these freebies, do yourself a favor and get a separate email account. Not only will you get these free offers, but most likely you will get many other offers in your inbox that are both great coupons, and some ads. There are many free hosting sites to take advantage of so I suggest that you do so in order to not clog up your normal inbox. This would also be a great place for you to sign up for other offers that you might want such as newsletters. I also suggest doing research in your local areas for any birthday items they may have that aren’t a chain. It’s always good to give some love to your local places!

*** I am not sponsored by any of these places. I am just spreading the love for some free items on your birthday! If you want to sponsor me, I am open to it though! Not all of these work in your area even if there is a branch of the restaurant close to you. Do your research while signing up because most have disclaimers. These are the ones that have worked for me unless stated otherwise.  Don’t forget to check your junk folder because your email may have gone there and your free item might go unnoticed!

1. Arby’s: One free shake on your birthday. You will also get many other offers and freebies for your local Arby’s, so pay attention. Right away, you will get a free Roast Beef sandwich with a purchase of a drink.  http://arbys.com/get-deals/

2. Baskin Robbins: One free 2.5 oz scoop of ice cream….AND a discount on a birthday cake! Just join their birthday club by filling out their form.  https://www.baskinrobbins.com/content/baskinrobbins/en/signin.html

3. Chili’s: Free desert or app on your birthday. This is not available in every area, and it’s not in mine! Sad face, but here is the link to sign up for the email club: https://www.chilis.com/register

4. CVS: $3.00 off via Extra Care Beauty. You will need to sign up for their free card which is a great way to get points and save money at CVS. It is free to sign up and it’s always nice to get discounts. https://www.cvs.com/promo/promoLandingTemplate.jsp?promoLandingId=join-beautyclub

5. Dairy Queen: Free Blizzard with a purchase of a Blizzard. Join the fan club, but not available in all areas. https://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/Blizzard-Fan-Club/

6. Disney Movie Rewards: Get 100 points on your birthday to go towards many items on the Disney Movie Reward site. Sign up: http://www.disneymovierewards.go.com/

7. Dunkin Donuts: One free drink on your birthday, plus one free drink for signing up for the free account. You don’t need to have a gift card, but it does help you get more offers. You will get offers and coupons. https://www.dunkindonuts.com/en/dd-perks

8. Firehouse Subs: Sign up for their reward program online or via their app and get a free sub on your birthday. You will also earn reward points for every purchase. It doesn’t say what kind of sub or what size. https://www.firehousesubs.com/firehouse-rewards/

9. Gigi’s Cupcakes: A personal favorite of mine! You can’t beat a free cupcake on your birthday. You will also earn rewards towards more free cupcakes! It’s a win-win! https://gigiscupcakesusa.com/

10. IHOP: Free birthday pancakes and more! Sign up for their free Pancake Revolution: http://www.ihop.com/pancake-revolution

11. Jason’s Deli: $5.00 coupon when you sign up for their mailing. Make sure that you read through the bullet points and sign up for their birthday club and enter in your birth date! http://www.jasonsdeli.com/about-us/sign

12. Kohls: $10.00 off coupon which will be mailed or emailed to you before your birthday. Sign up for the Yes2You Rewards here: https://www.kohls.com/feature/rewards.jsp\

13. McCalister’s Deli: $5.00 coupon on your birthday plus other offers will be emailed to you. You will also get a free cookie offer after signing up!  http://mcalister.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx?Action=Subscribe&InputSource=W

14. Olive Garden: Free desert up to $10.00 emailed to you 6 days before your birthday…AND a free app or desert for signing up to their email club. You also have the choice to sign up for other sister restaurant sites as well. Sign up here:  https://www.olivegarden.com/customer-service/joineclub-step1

15. Panera Bread: Free birthday treat and rewards towards free and discounted product when you sign up for My Rewards There is also an app for your phone. I have gotten a lot of use out of this reward program including one month with a free bagel every single day!! https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/company/meet-mypanera.html

16. Sephora: If you join the free Beauty Insider program, then you can get a free birthday gift during your birthday month. You will also get offers and reward points: Sign up here: https://www.sephora.com/profile/beautyInsider/?om_mmc=aff-linkshare-redirect-1EJqTwLQbuk

17. Starbucks: One free drink or food item. You will need a gift card for this, and your free item will be loaded to that card! This will expire the day after your birthday, so pay attention! I advise keeping your card registered to get deals! There is also an app. https://www.starbucks.com/card/rewards/rewards-program-ts-and-cs

18. The Container Store: If you sign up for their POP program, you will get an email with a free offer for a sticky pad! https://www.containerstore.com/pop/

19. Steak and Shake: If you join their eClub, you will get a coupon for a free surprise. Many times, it is a free meal without the drink. http://www.steaknshake.com/eclub

20. Ulta: If you join Ulta Rewards, you will get extra points and a coupon for a free birthday gift. http://www.steaknshake.com/eclub

So, there was a very small list of items that you can get on your birthday! Do your research and see what your local options are as well. Another tip is if you travel and have reward points on airlines, check with them because you might get extra points. If you happen to be staying in a hotel during or close to your birthday, let them know. They might do something for you from an upgrade, to a discounted service.

Remember, you might have to show an ID at some of these places to get your free item. You will have to print off the coupons so if you don’t have access to a printer, go to your library! Make sure you follow up on your emails. They will send you links to confirm your account and this is how they get your birthday or mailing information. This is important, or you could miss out! Read your coupons carefully because it might require a purchase such as a buy one, get one, or you might need to purchase a beverage. Pay attention to the expiration date because some of them will not be the entire month, but only on your birthday. Most of all, explore these offers, and have some fun!

July 3

An Open Letter to DC Comics

Dear DC Comics,

 

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I had such high hopes for you! As a child, I religiously watched your shows on TV, your movies on the big screen, and read the comics when I could. I grew up watching Batman and Superman. I know that the Batman series from the 1960’s was campy, but that show defined camp! I had so much fun watching Batman and Robin tangle with those strange and wonderful foes! Superman was the best thing to see on the big screen! Christopher Reeves was larger than life, and Superman could really save the day! As I grew older, I watched Batman: The Animated Series and was introduced to this strange and lovely being, Harley Quinn. I didn’t know what it was about her, and her terrible abusive relationship with the Joker, but I found myself rooting for her and wanting to see more.

DC, you were doing a great job! Batman was one of the biggest movies of my childhood! Not only did Jack Nicholson play the Joker, but Prince did the soundtrack! Amazing! And Micheal Keaton did a great job as Batman. There was even nods to the source material in the movie which was great for us fans! That is when things started to decline. The second Batman movie was very dark, and visually hard to see. Plus, it was just gross at some points.  Then you switched Batman up, twice in the following years. Batman and Robin is one of the most cringe worthy shows ever! It’s not even on a campy level. It’s just bad, and embarrassingly so. What in the world were you thinking, DC, when you gave the green light to these turds? When do you believe this was okay? Now, you are literally spending time and money making up for these movies because you lost fans.

The Dark Knight series was very successful, but it’s not the Batman movies most audiences want or need! These movies were great entertainment, but we wanted more. We wanted the pure Batman. And we still are waiting because for some reason you thought Ben Affleck would make a great caped crusader? That isn’t even the worst part. You destroyed Superman! The forgettable movie that came out in 2000 something was a boo boo. Smallville was a pretty good TV show so that made up for the kind of sad movie adaption with what’s his name. But “The Man of Steel!” Let’s talk about a monster mistake! I have never wanted to walk out of a superhero movie before (including Batman and Robin) until I saw this movie!

Superman was nothing like he was supposed to be! He was violent, angry, and had a body count in the hundreds. He made the Earth his battleground and destroyed buildings, and so many lives! He snapped a neck without much thought or remorse which made us all wonder, was Superman ever capable of being on our side? Now, if you are saying this was all the set up for Batman Vs. Superman, you are correct. But why didn’t you stick with the source material where there were more ways that you could have gotten these two Titans pitted against each other? I fell asleep during Batman Vs. Superman. I tried watching it again, but kept falling asleep. I woke up at the part where Batman stops killing Superman because they share a Mom with the same name…Wow…that was so deep!!!  Congratulations, DC, you made me no longer care about these wonderful charters that I grew up with.

I watched “Suicide Squad” and this is the closest to your reboots, or New 52 vibe that you have gotten right. While you lacked in a cohesive story, you at least introduced so characters that were worth looking twice at. You missed the boat with the Joker, Deadshot, and Harley Quinn, but I’m hoping you will make up for it in stand alone movies, or a sequel. The potential for some good stories are there. Just leave out the Enchantress, and what was the point of Croc if you weren’t going to do anything with his character? You literally introduced more characters than you had a story for, and we grasped at straws to get one out of the entire move. One word: EDIT! One more word: FOCUS!

Let Lisa tell you what you need to do in order to get to Marvel status and not a joke. First, make all of your writers read your comics! Second, find writers who love writing, in this universe and about these characters! Your writers are coming off as though making these movies are a huge chore! Your current writers seemingly has a distaste for these characters. It’s like they are saying, “I’m sick of Batman so let’s make him a has been!” “Superman is boring, let’s find a way to make him even more boring, but more violent.” Violence does not equal a good story. You actually need conflict, relate able characters that you want to root for or against, and a reason to care. Your stories have been lacking in the very basics of people wanting to go on these adventures with the characters! Why do I care about whiny Batman? Why do should I care about a Superman who killed so many people?  DC, you are a lost puppy, but you can find your way home.

You have a chance to do a first that no other superhero movie has done before. You have the ability to have an all female superhero movie. You already biffed that with Wonder Woman. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that both Wonder Woman and  Justice League will do a great job at the box office. However, no one will actually love these movies!  The way that Wonder Woman was used  was so minor, and so cliche that I could care less that she was on the big screen. You might make it up with her stand alone, but I somehow doubt it. Put your interests in Harley Quinn.  Harley Quinn is a movie where you could have a great female writer, director and star. Don’t mess these up for us! Don’t mess this up for the fans, and for girls. You have the power to start to mend the alienation between your terrible movies and your fans, so start there!

Make good choices when it comes to Nightwing! I have been waiting for a Nightwing movie for years! Cast the right butt! You’ve got this! Don’t mess it up. Batgirl is something I can get behind because you hired Joss Whedon. Guess what, he is a fan and loves the comics! That is what you are missing. You have spent so much time making these characters dark that you didn’t realize that you were making them unlikable! Your writers, directors, and even the very dark tones that you use in your movies only showed how much these characters were annoying you. By trying to breath life into them by making things darker, you lost their humanity. Go back to loving these characters. Get excited at the prospect of seeing them on the screen and don’t treat it like a chore. If it’s a chore, fire the writers, and for gosh sake, fire the actors! We know that Ben Affleck doesn’t want to be Batman so let the guy go. We are better off with someone who is excited and happy to play this character, not someone who hates it!

So, there ya go, DC. A little bit of free advice from a fan. You can change! You have the power and I’m rooting for you! In the meantime, I’m spending my money with Marvel, but I’m still hopeful that one day you will figure it out. All it takes is love of a charter, and the story, actors, and directors will come.

 

*Lisa Tebrinke is available for hire to write for DC Comics. Please, no Aqua Man because that would be a conflict of interest.

July 3

Doctor Who: The Excitment and The Sadness

Since Christmas Day, I have been waiting for the newest episodes of Doctor Who! It comes back on my birthday!!! It’s like the birthday Time Lords smiled down upon me and said, “Lisa, here is your favorite TV show, brand new for you on your birthday! Order some Chinese food and enjoy!” There are so many things coming up that are very exciting and some that are just plain heartbreaking. Here is what I am looking forward to, and what I am worried about with the upcoming season.

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First, I can’t contain my excitement that John Simms himself is coming back to Doctor Who! You have no idea how happy that this news makes me!

 

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I adore John Simms and he is my favorite Master. I love Missy, and she is a close second, but John Sims brought such pain and insanity to the Doctor’s oldest friend. They say it’s through the power of time travel that we will see him again, so does this mean that we might have both The Master and Missy at the same time? One can only dream, but with Doctor Who, anything in time and space is possible. If you have not seen John Simms as the Master, do yourself a favor and go back to series with David Tennant and watch  “Utopia.” You will get a background about the Master that you have never heard of before in this series of stories. Watch all the way to “The End of Time,” and see what he did in a moment of love.  Don’t forget to Vote for Saxon.  The Master is a very complicated character, but no one brought more depth to this character than John Simms.

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Second, there will also be the return of the original Cyber-men. These are my favorite Doctor Who villains in the Who universe. The Cyber-men are horrific and scary! What they actually are is so much more  scary than all that metal surronding them. They are beings that are free from their own personal thoughts, guilt, love or anything that makes them human. The believe that they need to “upgrade” and “delete” the human race and save them from themselves. The newest incarnations are truly scary, but nothing quite compares to the first ones with their masks, low voices, and the potential of pure horror.  I think we are about ready to see a whole new take on these awesome foes! I also heard that the Ice Warriors are coming back. We saw them last in series 7 with Matt Smith.  The Ice Warriors were also a classic villains who we are lucky to see once again. Speaking of returns, how long do I have to hold my breath to get Captain Jack back? I will do it!

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Third, is we are getting a new companion. We already have one so this will be a trio with The Doctor, Nardole, and Bill. Bill’s character is causing a lot of stir already for two reasons. First, she is rumored to only be a “one off companion,” who will be with us only through one series. I am choosing not to believe these crazy rumors because people take small parts of stories and connect their own dots.  Second, Bill is openly gay. While this is literally nothing new in the Doctor Who universe, the reason thisis a big deal is because the actress playing Bill doesn’t want it to be. I feel that she is correct because it should be normal at this point. It is 2017, and we should be able to turn on the TV to see an openly gay lead character in a role that families can sit down and watch together. This is creating something positive, and more of a way to create a safe and open dialog between loved ones. Gay charters are nothing new on the show, but one who is a full-time lead is a bit different. We should never leave out Captain Jack Harkness, who was one of the notable openly gay characters on Doctor Who, which lead him to star in his own show,, “Torchwood.” These characters are sorely needed and it should no longer be a controversy. However, it will be one because that is how life works. I hope that we can all just enjoy this new companion and the stories!

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Here are the things that I am not looking forward to. Peter Capalidi will be leaving after this series. We are assuming that he will stay until Christmas, and then regenerate as per tradition. However, even though we met our beloved Peter Capalidi during a Christmas episode, his regeneration was nothing like it has been during the “New Who,” series. We didn’t get to see the radiation light shoot through and melt one person away, replaced by a new one.  Matt Smith basically sneezed really hard and become Peter Capaldi. Maybe, they will be following this bit of difference and have 12 go in the middle of a season. That would be a crime because I believe they have not used Peter Capaldi in the way that they should have. There were so many missed opportunists, and he is the one person who has been preparing to play this role from childhood. It actually breaks my heart because I saw such horrible story lines lost on this amazing actor. People were also very mean to him because he was”old.” This generation got so used to the younger Doctors that they never stopped to realize they were only 3 people in the line of 12 who played this iconic role who were younger. The ages vary and there is nothing wrong with that. My beloved Peter Capalidi never got the recognition, and the strong stories that I believed he deserved.

The last is the bitter sweet loss of Steven Moffat. Steven Moffat is currently the head writer of the series and has done so for a few years now. He has created some of the most beloved characters such as  the weeping angels.  His stories are generally among the very best in the “New Who” series.  He has a great style that is complex, but sometimes he misses the boat, and in a big way. By the end of the past series, I was so ready to see Clara go that I actually didn’t care if she died. The relationship between Danny and The Doctor was pointless and even cruel at times. I disliked seeing Danny on screen at all. His character was awful and all that I kept thinking was how big of a waste that this whole thing was, and how they were misusing Peter Capalidi. I will miss Steven Moffat because he doesn’t have any fear when it comes to writing good or bad. He has created some of the best stories that I watch over and over. He is very talented, and is a true fan which makes his work even better. I think he was ready to leave last series and it showed. Now, all we can hope for is a good send off for both Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi.

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Come Saturday, we will have some new friends on our screens. This will be a spoiler free zone, and I ask that you don’t ruin it for other people. Like time travelers, we will all be seeing the new show in different time zones. Many will be hours and hours ahead of us. Be kind and don’t post anything that will take away the joy of watching the show for others. Give it at least 24 hours from the original time it airs in your area. Until then, catch up on past episodes and have fun. Saturday, take The Doctor’s hand and run. Just run and run and run until we can run no more. Then, we will meet our new friend, and run some again.

 

Mini Easter Eggs: Name Game:

What is in a name? The names in Doctor Who are not chosen by accident. The names that are chosen and titles that are given are never by accident.  For example, look at these anagrams used through the series.

Torchwood: (Doctor Who)

Panic Moon: (Companion)

Astrid: (TARDIS)

Mister Saxon: (Master No. Six)

Clara Oswin Oswald: (A window across all)

 

 

Bill is named after Billie Piper who played Rose.

Image result for rose tyler                                     Image result for doctor who new companion bill

 

Clara’s name came from Elizabeth Sladan who played Sarah Jane. Clara was one of her middle names.

Image result for elisabeth sladen                                                  Image result for doctor who clara

Rose was named after the Doctor’s granddaughter, Susan.  In the language of the Time Lords, Susan translates to Rose.

Image result for doctor's granddaughter                                       Image result for doctor who rose

July 3

Update: Freebies and Promotions for your Birthday

Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Easter. I had a very nice birthday with lots of freebies which I am still taking advantage of right now. I wanted to give you an update on a few of the things that I got, plus add a few items that I forgot about getting! I am all about helping people get free, or discounts, especially for your birthday. As you get older, you don’t make a big deal about your birthday anymore. You may not get any presents, so why not treat yourself!  Don’t forget that I am strongly advising you to get a separate, free email account to use when you sign up to all these glorious sites for freebies. Your inbox will fill up with advertisements and offers. You will also get coupons, and more free products for many of these companies.

What I have gotten so far:

ULTA:           

                     

I got my free item coupon via my email right before my birthday. I also got an offer for 25% off an online purchase. I was able to take my phone into the store and get my free item which was a Lancome Mascara. It was very easy to do, and I happen to be right next to an Ulta so I went in without printing off my coupon. The lady behind the counter was able to do this because I had a bar code to scan.

 

2. STARBUCKS:

 I got one free Venti Drink from Starbucks. I had a choice between a free drink or a free treat. You must have a Starbucks gift card in order to get this deal because they load it onto your card. This expires the day after your birthday, so you will need to hurry in fast! All you need to do is a get a gift card, and register it online at Starbucks.com. Sign up for a free account and you will get updates, and of course, your free birthday drink.
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 3. GIGI CUPCAKES:

I haven’t gotten this one yet, but it’s on my list! This was from last year or the year before. I can’t recall. You sign up at the store with your phone number and get a free birthday cupcake.

 

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4. PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA: 

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 I forgot about this one! Papa John’s will give you 10 reward points towards an item. You must sign up online and order. Even if you don’t have delivery in your area, you can still use this to order carry-out and get the rewards.  Every time that you shop, you earn reward points. Ten points won’t get you a free pizza, but you can put them towards a cheaper pizza, or a free side. I happened to have enough to get a free medium pizza, and two free sides. I could have gotten a free large pizza and one side, but opted to go with a smaller so I could get two sides. I recommend signing up for this free account because you will get deals that you may not even know about! Especially during customer appreciation time where you could get more points or free pizza!

5. WEBER GRILL:

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There aren’t many Weber Grill’s around, but if you are close to one, I recommend sifree cupcake for desert as well. Follow this link to sign up for your Grill  Club for free. You also have the option to order food online which is great. Especially in the location in IN, because it is always busy! https://www.webergrillrestaurant.com/the-grill-club/login/gning up for their birthday club. This is different than when I first signed up so you can either do it in the restaurant, or on the website. They will give you a coupon worth $20.00 off your food! I only go to this restaurant twice a year because it is a bit on the pricey side, but this coupon helps me out a great deal. If you eat there, sometimes they give you a

Other Freebies that I forgot to tell you about! 

Here are a few more freebies or discounts that I forgot to let you know about.

Half Priced Books:

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Go sign up in store, or online for a coupon that you will get on your birthday. It is usually good for up to two weeks. Mine was 15% off, but in the past it was up to 20% off. No worries, because that discount can get you a lot in this awesome bookstore! https://www.hpb.com/home

Speedway:

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Sign up in store, or online for Speedway rewards. You can use those points that you earn on your purchases to get gas, food, or gift cards. On your birthday, they will send you an email worth 200 points. You must print off this voucher and bring it in to a Speedway with your card so they can add your points. The card is free, it’s like any rewards card. They give you about two weeks to use this voucher before it expires.  You will get other rewards such as free drinks. https://www.speedway.com/SpeedyRewards/

Smoothie King:

Here's to making your birthday go smoothly. Enjoy a 20oz. smoothie for just $2.99! Before opening coupon, make sure your printer is ready. You will only be able to view this offer ONCE.

If you sign up with Smoothie King in store, and provide your email address, they will send you an email with an offer. For $2.99, you can get a 20 oz smoothie, which is a nice deal. This is good for about a week after your birthday.  You can also download the app, or sign up online. http://www.smoothieking.com/

Italian Village, Chicago:

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If you are ever in Chicago, make a trip to the Italian Village for some of the best food ever! I recommend that you get reservations, and wear something that is just above casual to more formal. If you sign up in store, you will get an email for a free desert. It is worth it! I  go almost every single time that I am in Chicago.

Jelly Belly:

Exclusive Birthday offer: Happy birthday from Jelly Belly! Get a FREE 10-Flavor Beananza Gift Box with any order over $25 at JellyBelly.com

Jelly Belly will give you a free 10 flavor gift box if you purchase at least $25.00 worth of product. Sign up on their website.

Swagbucks:

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Swagbucks is a place where you can take surveys, and watch videos and get points. You can then redeem those points for various gift cards starting at $3.00 demonination. The more you use this site, the more points you will get. For your birthday, they will send you 55 points to go towards a gift card, so you need to be active on the site. Want to know how to earn gift cards for free, with little work. Check out my link and sign up. http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/ltebrinke

*Remember, these offers are not available in every area. Go to the websites, or the store itself if you have any questions. I do not promise any of these free products because things change all of the time, but these items were free or a discount at the time of this writing. Photos used were either mine, or searched free images to use. I am not sponsored by any of these companies.