Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Strange Reading Habits

Today, whilst at the library, I happened to think about a possible Christmas present for my 8 year-old nephew/godson. For his birthday last Spring I got him the Scary Stories box set that contained 3 books of short scary stories for kids. He absolutely loves them, to the point where he carries them with him wherever he goes, so to continue on that theme I want to get him some more scary books.

This is what I got today:

While I was getting checked out the librarian looked at me and with a slight smile asked me if I was sure I wanted all these scary books. "I think I'll be OK," I told her.

I'll read these to make sure they are age-appropriate for him and then call his mom to make sure she's fine with it, then I'll buy them for him from amazon or something. I don't want to get Aidan anything that his parents might object to and take away from him the moment I leave the room.

Truthfully, I really just want to read these for myself.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I love you, Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's new book, The Graveyard Book, is coming out soon and to celebrate and promote it, the author is doing a book tour and at each stop he'll be reading a chapter from it. What's this really cool news mean to you? Well, if you go here you'll be able to watch the author reading each chapter without leaving your home.

You're welcome.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Running is good

The road that connects my home street and Route 18 is exactly a mile long, which means going from my house to Route 18 and back equals 2 whole miles. Big deal, right? But when you're slightly overweight and running it, running to 18 and back seems like a journey into Mordor (There and Back Again). But since losing 18 pounds since the beginning of August, I have now been able to run it without stopping. Last night I did it from start to finish, and yes my legs are aching a little but not enough to make it difficult to go about my normal activities.

I took my in-laws advice when I run by not taking as long of a stride and to slow down, that way when I finish it doesn't feel like my legs are about to break into a million little pieces. I guess I was trying before of running the distance in as little time as possible, and yes that's a fine goal, but for just starting out, all it leads to is hurting myself, making me not be able to continue running for a week or so. Hopefully, with this strategy, I'll be able to continue and progress to be able to reach my goal - I want to be able to run an entire marathon by the age of 30. I'm 29 now so I've got my work cut out for me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So I completely suck at blogging

It's been since July since I posted so I officially suck. I'm still alive. Trust me.

What have I been up to since then? I finished my summer course with an A, but it was an internet/computer technology course, so it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. A link to the web site I had to make for the class can be found here if anyone is interested (don't worry if you're not, it wouldn't surprise me in the least).

After just one and a half weeks taking new classes for the fall semester I've come to the conclusion that two classes at the same time is just too much for me and my schedule, what with working full time and trying to be as supportive as I can to Amanda while she's getting her PHD. With one class, I can really focus on it and do a really good job, and still have time to clean up the house, help out in the kitchen, clean up after the damn cats who seem hell-bent on making as much of a mess as they can. Amanda feels guilty that somehow, because of her, I'm not giving my all to something I want, but I've told her, we went into this knowing that she's going to be really busy with school and that I'm to help out as much as possible to keep everything else afloat.

Our plans to move out to Ohio and build ourselves a house on her parents 200 acre farm are still in effect after Amanda finishes with school. It'll be a real nice change of pace to go from working behind a desk to working on a farm getting dirty and sweaty (like a real man) but I'm looking forward to it. It'll be nice taking care of the farm with the tons of horses. I've been thinking of getting some chickens and some goats, preferably those fainting ones just for my own amusement.

Other than that no real news. Our kitchen is finished so maybe next time I'll post some pics, and now with me only taking one class at a time I can get back to working more on the house in my free time like some time never.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I think that of all of Nintendo's franchises, The Legend of Zelda is my favorite. I remember being around 8 years-old, this would be '88 or '89, and going over to my older brother's friend's house, where they were playing the first Legend of Zelda game. Just watching them play was enough for me. I was hooked and I wanted more.

I played the second Zelda game, Zelda II: The Adventures of Link, but after that I pretty much stopped playing. I didn't get a Super Nintendo when it came out, only much later from a friend, I missed all the Gameboy and Gameboy Color Zelda games, I was in college during the N64 Zelda years so I wasn't playing many games (unless they were of the drinking variety), and then I missed the Gamecube because by that time I was a Playstation fan through and through.

Not until recently with the purchase of the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii, both presents from my mom because I'm her little baby boy even though I'm pushing 29, and got the Phantom Hourglass for the DS and Twilight Princess for the Wii. Along with the Wii, I also got the Gamecube Zelda game I missed (the Windwaker) and I also got the Gamecube disc that has both N64 Zelda games on it (Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask). All that leaves now are the Super Nintendo game (A Link to the Past) and the couple Gameboy and Gameboy color games.

Well, since I got the DS I picked up the port of A Link to the Past, which is actually a Gameboy Advance title, but since the DS plays GBA games, I'm good to go, and just recently as in today at work (don't worry, the boss is away) I finally beat it. A game that came out in 1991 for the Super Nintendo, I've finally beaten 17 years later. That's just crazy.

I'm pretty happy with the accomplishment and I'm looking forward to playing all the other Zelda games I missed throughout the years. I should let my nephew know I beat it, but since he's only 8 years-old now, I doubt he even knows what the Super Nintendo even is, let alone that there was a Zelda game for it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm not sure how to take this. Am I cool, or not?

My godson/nephew called me early this evening with a question. Apparently, while playing The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on his Nintendo DS, he came to one of it's many puzzles and got stuck without being able to solve it and move on in the game.

The puzzle is this: On the lower screen of the DS is a crest, just an image of a symbol or something. On the upper screen is your "Sea Chart", i.e. just a map of the ocean with some random islands on it. The riddle reads something along the lines of, "To find out where to go next, press the crest across your Sea Chart to find your way."

So he was stuck. He had no idea what he was supposed to do and he just couldn't figure it out. So what does he do? He calls his Uncle Pat and asks him because, well, Uncle Pat has a Nintendo DS and, and get this, not only does he have the Phantom Hourglass game, but has beaten it. This last fact astounds him to no end.

Anyway, he calls me and of course, without having to look it up and having beaten the game more than half a year ago, I tell him that to solve the puzzle, all he has to do is close the DS. When the DS is closed, the two screens particularly rest on each other. It was so simple, but yet, everything about using the DS tells you you're not suppose to goes it while a game is playing or else it "goes to sleep".

Now the problem as I see it, does this make me extremely cool, or extremely lame? Yes in the eyes of my nephew I'm the coolest adult around, but does that, at the same time, make me pretty lame that 8 year-olds think I'm the bomb (and yes, I realize that saying I'm the bomb make me sound very uncool, but whatever, I do what I want, and doesn't that fact make me cool? Oh whatever).

Friday, June 20, 2008

What's the damn point of giving us a great female protagonist if this is what you do with her?

I'll be the first to admit that Lara Croft of Tomb Raider fame isn't your ideal representation of real women - that she's more well known for the size of her...attributes than she is for her intellect, but what was always cool about her was that she was really a strong female character with a strong presence. She held her own around all the boys, some times kicking their asses in the process. And yeah, she was designed to have a killer body so that men/boys wouldn't feel so badly about playing as a female character, but that was just to get her foot in the door, so that people would try her game. But with the new box-art being revealed for the newest incarnation of Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider Underworld (and I do see that it almost sounds like your saying Tomb Raider underwear but whatever - one topic at a time), it's like she isn't important anymore, just her body.

As you can see in the image that they chopped off the parts of Lara on the box-art that just don't matter, one, her feet, because who really cares about a woman's feet unless they hideous, and two, the top of her head, where most people keep their brains.

Maybe I'm just reading way too much into this, but then again maybe I'm not. I've always felt a little uneasy playing Tomb Raider games, almost like I'm above this kind of thing, but when the box looks like this, I'm even more uneasy to go into a store and purchase it, like I'm some prepubescent adolescent who can't get real porn and must settle for this.

I have absolutely no problem with Lara Croft being damn sexy, actually I encourage it, but when her sex-appeal starts to over-shadow everything else about her, well then, she's just another pinup model without any redeeming qualities. What about her puzzle solving abilities, or her exploring through jungles and dangerous tombs? If, after the game comes out, I find out that it really is a great game, I'll probably play it, but otherwise I'll pick something else.