Toy Story’s Life Lessons, per Woody

Tom Power wrote a great summary of the Toy Story franchise (movies 1-4) from the perspective of Woody, the main protagonist in the series. Here’s a quick summary of Tom’s observations about each movie, recapped because it helped me appreciate the fourth movie with this perspective.

Toy Story 1: Child
“As kids, we don’t understand the hurt we cause others with our immature, coercive personalities. We can’t grasp how big the world is, and the dangers that come with it. We fall out with friends, get jealous over the attention given to others, and lie to spare ourselves from being punished.”

Toy Story 2: Teenager
“In Toy Story 2, Woody faces challenges during the turbulent teenage years. We might find that our friends aren’t the people we thought they were and tests our devotion to them. We experience changes in our familial relationships as we selfishly and stubbornly go against our parents’ wishes. Our need for approval means that we do things we shouldn’t, especially where peer pressure is concerned.”

Toy Story 3: Young Adult
“Andy’s own journey shows that we eventually have to grow up, even if it isn’t easy. We’re conflicted over changes in our lives, such as getting a job or heading off to college. We also experience loss, including friends moving away from home, leaving our own families for pastures new, or the death of loved ones.
Woody proves that we have to accept these situations. We can’t live in the past forever, and sometimes change is necessary to grow. Without it, we’re destined to remain selfish and not selfless.”

Toy Story 4: Adult
“This is adulthood. We fall in love, have our own children, and experience our own midlife crisis. In bringing up our own children, we learn to be responsible for someone other than ourselves. We sacrifice everything for them and, once they’re old enough and leave home, we prioritize our own happiness and do the things we want to before we retire and grow old. This proves to be the final batch of life lessons that Woody symbolizes; an apt end to his and our own stories. “

Two fun Google Maps Travel Games – Get lost and find your location

Have you ever wanted to travel to random places on a map?
Do you virtual travel using street view on Google or Bing maps?

There’s a site called GeoGuessr that will drop you in a random location on earth, and your goal is to put a pin on a map where you think you started out. It’s fascinating to see the different locations and towns out there. It’s also a good reminder that there is a TON of unpopulated areas still left on earth.

A second site is called MapCrunch and it will also drop you in a random map location, but without the “guess on a map” feature. I mention it because you can narrow down specific countries you’d like to randomly end up in, as well as other options that GeoGuessr doesn’t have.

Check them both out!  If anyone knows any additional fun games like these, please post them in the comments.

Washington State has the Worst/Highest Cell Phone Taxes and Fees in the country.

Washington Taxes SuckDo you live in Washington State? It turns out it’s not just your cell phone provider that’s trying to steal your money, it’s our local government as well.

It turns out, WA has the highest rate for local and state taxes on cell phones in the nation.

Rank State State-Local Wireless Rate State-Local Sales Tax Rate Federal Rate Combined Federal-State-Local-Rate
1 Washington 18.59% 9.00% 5.05% 23.64%
2 Nebraska 18.39% 6.50% 5.05% 23.44%
3 Florida 16.26% 7.25% 5.05% 21.31%
4 New York 16.05% 8.19% 5.05% 21.10%
5 Rhode Island 14.62% 7.00% 5.05% 19.67%

How does the rest of the West Coast and HI/AK Compare?

20 California 10.67% 9.10% 5.05% 15.72%
37 Hawaii 7.75% 4.00% 5.05% 12.80%
43 Alaska 6.69% 2.50% 5.05% 11.74%
47 Montana 6.03% 0.00% 5.05% 11.08%
49 Idaho 2.20% 6.00% 5.05% 7.25%
50 Nevada 2.08% 7.91% 5.05% 7.13%
51 Oregon 1.74% 0.00% 5.05% 6.79%
National Averages:

US Simple Average

9.73% 6.26% 5.05% 14.52%
US Weighted Average 10.96% 7.26% 5.05% 15.75%

These numbers shouldn’t be shocking to anyone who has actually looked at their cell phone bill recently.

If you haven’t looked at your WA cell phone bill, go check it out.

/insert rant about our government’s spending problems and their joy to tax everything in our state.


Note: Oregon is 51st because the original list includes DC.