McDonalds and the Philosopher’s Napkin

When I finished high school my first job was at McDonalds, an occupation many high school and university students have begun with. I envy those who went into retail as oppose to hospitality, the pay is around about the same, but the work is a lot less physical. That aside something I remember from my days a lowly register operator and french fry salter, something sticks out in my mind. This is something that people who’ve never worked in McDonalds might not realise until I point it out.

McDonalds has a policy regarding the number of napkins in a takeaway order. The rule, as I remember it, and still is, based on my recent visit to my local drive-through, is that for every food item a customer orders you receive one napkin. So in a standard Big Mac meal you receive two, one for the burger and one for the fries. Of course as you order more items that number grows.

Now I can understand why the policy exists but who honestly uses this many napkins? Has head office received enough suggestion to know not having napkins piss people off? I honestly feel like it’s a bit of a waste. I recently bought the 24 chicken mc’nugget deal for $10 (I think), good value I must say, I received two napkins, I suppose they figured the number of chicken nuggets justified an extra napkin. I got home, opened up the box and went to town, and yes, before you ask, I did feel guilty for eating the entire box. You know what happened to the napkins? They went unused.

So, to anyone who reads this, give me your opinion on the matter. Do you use the napkins given to you in takeaway bags? Do you think one per customer would suffice, or is one per food item a good policy?

Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 4: Spoils of War – Review

So… yeah… so the shortest episode of the season is the best episode of the season thus far. As oppose to episodes 2 and 3 there isn’t a whole lot wrong with this one, everything felt on point, no scene stretched reality too far. There were a few odd things here and there but nothing major wrong in the plot. I won’t talk about King’s Landing as nothing really changed from last episode.

Starting in Winterfell we get the first interaction between Bran and Littlefinger. Now, for those who haven’t read the books, the matter of who sent the Catspaw to kill Bran has been answered, but many question the credibility of the answer. George RR Martin did say that the mystery would be solved in the third book A Storm of Swords, the answer we were given just felt a bit odd, that’s all. The answer of course being Joffrey. Piecing it together from Jaime, Tyrion and Cersei, they all think it was Joffrey, and that he did it because one night after Bran’s fall, King Robert got drunk and suggested that they shouldn’t let the boy suffer and would be better off mercy killed. Now, if you find that explanation a bit unbelievable, you’re not the only one. Many people maintain that the answer is still to be revealed, the most likely candidate being Littlefinger. In the show at least, we’re being lead to believe it was Baelish, and it makes sense. Though, considering Bran’s abilities, Littlefinger should probably not lie to him. So this dagger, the show couldn’t be less subtle if they tried, call it a mcguffen, call it a Checkov’s Gun, it seems pretty obvious to me this dagger will be plot device in the near future. Considering how incompetent Baelish has been in the last two seasons, I think his story may be wrapping up. I don’t see him leaving this season alive.

We also get the long awaited return of Arya Stark to Winterfell. Right up, what’s the deal with Arya’s question to the guards? “Which Lady Stark?” What other Lady Stark could there be aside from Sansa and herself. Was this script looked over? We know that Arya knows Catelyn is dead, so what’s the deal here? All in all this doesn’t matter all that much, but it did take me out of the episode for a second. The reunion with Sansa has seen a bit of criticism as far as chemistry goes, as the two actresses are close friends, but I don’t really accept this argument. Both in the show and the books Sansa and Arya’s relationship is not one of mutual admiration to say the least. I found the reunion a little underwhelming, I admit, but not for the reasons others had. I was expecting more of a surprise from Sansa and a little less joking about the kill list. All in all, Winterfell was fairly good. I found the training scene between Brienne and Arya to be a little unbelievable, but I didn’t mind it that much. I suppose she was going easy on her. And kudos to Maisie Williams for fighting with her left hand all these years, that’s called commitment to the character folks.

gallery-1501973986-got.jpgNow to Dragonstone, and while I didn’t dislike these scenes, they were for me the least good of the episode. The show runners are not being subtle in their foreshadowing of a romance between Dany and Jon, and I must say, I find it a little weird. I’m not opposed to the idea, as long as neither of them end up on the Iron Throne at the end of the story, I’ll be happy. As far as this romance goes, it feels rushed, and the chemistry is not believable.  They’ve known each other for two episodes, and I know there are time jumps between episodes, but we, as the audience, can’t buy their romance if we don’t see their characters grow close on screen. As I said, this feels rushed. And who else half expected for there to be dragon eggs in the cave?

704_Battle_of_Tumbleton_4

And now we come to the final scene on the opposite side of the Blackwater. What begins with a sincere scene with Dickon Tarly, ends in a massacre. This ending sequence to the episode was quite simply, shocking. Honestly, I’m both surprised and a little disappointed  characters didn’t die in this battle. Bronn was certainly the MVP in this battle, but upon reflection, if he died in dragon fire, that would have sealed the deal on this episode being the best of the last two seasons. There needs to be a cost, and I can’t imagine a more memorable way to go than dragon fire. So many actors on the show have begged to go out this way and been refused. What could be more shocking to the viewers than a last second bait and switch, Jaime going in the water but having Bronn turned to ash, and blown away in the wind? Can you imagine the horrified faces and the people tweeting “I’m done with this show,” only to return next week to watch episode 5?

Best episode of the season thus far.

In one word: “Brutal”

Current placings

  1. 704: Spoils of War
  2. 701: Dragonstone
  3. 703: The Queen’s Justice
  4. 702: Stormborn

Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 2 and 3: Stormborn and The Queen’s Justice – Review

So episodes 2 and 3, how about that? Season 7 continues to be mixed. Some moments ring of season 1 and even of the books but in other areas it resonates with the groan moments of the past two years. So inconsistent to say the least. I couldn’t find the mojo to write up the episode 2 review last week so here’s 2 and 3 rolled into one.

Where episode 1 was quite philosophical, episodes 2 and 3 have moved the action along but as a cost of some of the larger themes of the story. The scene with Arya and Nymeria could have been one of the best scenes this season if it weren’t for the final moment and the show runners from over explaining a moment that is more powerful unexplained. The shoehorned in reference “that’s not you” to a season 1 conversation between Arya and Eddard, is not only clunky in the scene but leaved my friends, who I watched the episode with, perplexed. Something I’ve noticed with this show in the past few years, the best scenes are often the ones without dialogue. If they left this shoehorned line out the scene would have been far better. Arya’s story is not one that people should be rooting for, her moral compass is clearly compromised, people shouldn’t be cheering when she murders two people and bakes them into a pie, they should be shocked at her brutality. If this scene between her and Nymeria ended a few seconds earlier with the brokenhearted look on Arya’s face, the scene would have been perfect. The wolf not recognising her because she’s become a morally corrupt individual. Of course we know the practical reason, they want to spend more CGI money on dragons not direwolves. Still, this scene could have been far better.

Oldtown thus far, has been a disappointment, and I’m forced to ask, why the f**k was Greyscale even included in the show? This apparent Checkov’s Gun was introduced back in season 3, and this is where it leads? A simple surgery and you’ve cured Greyscale, the deadliest disease in this fictional universe. And can we please recognise the ridiculousness of Jorah being healed enough the next day that he can just leave the Citadel a free man? Yes, the next day, the Archmaester says he had one more day and would then be shipped off to Valyria. He came back the next day and he was all healed. Now, I’m not sure if the show runners realise this but, generally speaking when you have a highly contagious disease that has no cure, even if you do survive they don’t let you just walk out the door the next day simply because you no longer show symptoms. Now sure, they need to move the narrative along, but why the hell did they even include this in the story at all?  Did they know where they were going with this? They had the foresight to cut Lady Stoneheart, Young Griff/Aegon, Jon Connington, Victarion Greyjoy and other artefacts like the Horn of Winter, why? I guess they figured they weren’t necessary to the story. Now, people can agree or disagree with their call on that, but if that’s the case that these characters and plot threads were dropped because they weren’t viewed as necessary, then why wasn’t Greyscale dropped, at least after Shireen. There was practically no point to this plot thread other than not killing Jorah off. I browsed the internet to see what people were saying about this and it looks like there are many annoyed, some people on Reddit are suggesting that Sam is going to get the disease now and cause a plague, or that the disease will play a role in the end of the story with the White Walkers/Others. Now, while that would be interesting, I’ve given up hope on this plot. I hope I’m wrong, but there you go. So what did the previous maester do to stuff up this procedure and give himself Greyscale? I bet he didn’t wear gloves.

Euron Greyjoy continues to be an overly crude cartoon character, but you know what, I’ve embraced this incarnation, I’ve accepted it. Sure, he’s not sublte… at all for a matter of fact, like he is in the book. Overall I don’t mind what they’ve done with the character, but the one thing they haven’t succeeded at with this character is make me fear him. He acts like a madman, which is entertaining sure, but book Euron is much, much more creepy.

I’ve never been one to dislike Daenerys, hbz-got-dany-jon-index-1501469319.jpgbut these episodes did it, if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s entitlement. Having said that, the final scene with Dany and Jon in episode 3 was pretty good, their chemistry is believable. All in all, not much to comment on. The scenes at Dragonstone haven’t really moved me in anyway.

I’m finding myself routing for Cersei in these last two episodes. In the books Cersei really isn’t very smart, though she thinks she is. A Feast for Crows is essentially Cersei failing at everything and quickly going insane. While this is a weird departure from where the books at currently, I like it. She’s winning, 3-0 Cersei. That’s probably not going to last long, I know, given the preview for next week, cersei-lannister-759-1but it’s still good to see politics back in this show, and done well. And Lena Heady always brings her A-game. It doesn’t matter whether script isn’t great, she can make it great because she’s simply that good. Highlights include her scene in the dungeon with Ellaria Sand and the one remaining Sand Snake.

I am juggling the idea, as others have, that Tyrion is, either consciously or subconsciously, sabotaging Dany. These plans are awful. I understand the whole “let’s not burn King’s Landing” thing, but does anyone on Dany’s small council realise that besieging the city isn’t going to be any more endearing than taking the city by force, either way people die, the only difference between a siege and taking the city by force is the whether the death is fast or slow. And who will be the first to die? So instead of taking the city and winning the war in one battle with her superior forces and three dragons, Tyrion suggests splitting their strength in two, sailing one half to Dorne and back (despite the fact we saw the Dornish army sailing with Dany in the finale last year), and the other half all the way around to the opposite side of the Kingdom to take Casterly Rock. Why not just sail right down the Blackwater rush and take the city? Did Tyrion forget that he was in the Battle of Blackwater, that Stannis almost took the city with significantly less forces, no dragons, and were disadvantaged by wildfire? Taking Kings Landing would win them the war instantly, from there each castle would yield one by one. War won. Make me hand of the king, coach, I’m ready. So either Tyrion is really dumb or subconsciously sabotaging Dany’s invasion. Ehh… I need to move onto the positives before I get bogged down in this.

I’ll end on the highest note of the last two episodes, the final scene of episode 3. Jaime and Olenna Redwyne, two fantastic characters played by two fantastic actors. Now, sure the show has taken a huge departure with Jaime’s character, but he’s still enjoyable. Add in Diana Rigg and you’ve got the makings of a great scene, and it didn’t disappoint. Despite being beaten the Queen of Thorns lived up to her name and still got the last word. That takes the cake for me this season thus far.

I’m hoping this season becomes less mixed in a good way. I know I didn’t really touch on Winterfell but all in all, not much has happened since episode 1. Sure, Bran showed up but it’s not like anything significant has happened. The situation with Lewin’s letters and Littlefinger will obviously play a role going forward, but when a character like this has been reduced to this, that usually means he isn’t long for this world, and will be dead by season end.

Episode 2 in a word: “explosive”.

Episode 3 in a word: “thug-life”.