Friday, December 28, 2007

Ok I'm going to plug some pod-casts
first of all the "show de Ruben Blades"
I am biased as I grew up listening to Ruben Blades, and his counterculture salsa music.
The second link is a solid podcast of observations, recipes and daily life on the farm/ranch interesting so much for it's humanity as it is for it's humor.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Child's Play and Cheap Ass Gamer

Go give, you may even win something!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Puzzle Quest PSP

I bought Puzzle Quest for the PSP for two reasons, the first is that it was $10 on Amazon, the other is I remember reading a positive review/opinion of it on the Penny Arcade site. It plays basically as a turn based bejeweled with power ups, spells and a story thrown in for good measure. I think it is very well done. I played Fri, Sat and Sun during my kids swim meet. It's fun the story doesn't appear irrelevant and adds a positive to the game. I like the pseudo variation... ie you play bejeweled for every battle or action, but they mix in the puzzle mode, variations on spells, 3,4 or 5 in a row requirements. I'm not the best at RPG's so I didn't take the time to outfit my character early on, rather I spent my gold on my citadel. Maybe I would have been more succesfull early on if I had done that, but it didn't detract from the game. It doesn't appear that you can lose, rather you have to try each lost battle again. There is some backtracking which is probably the only negative I've come across, but overall particularly at the price I paid, it's a great game.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hung some glass

My wife and I have a fascination for blown glass. I'm not sure where we started but we love the look of Chihuli pieces (which like any other human being we can't afford). We hung out in some glass blowing studios in Seattle and purchased some pieces that we liked and just hung them up. Hopefully we can add some more in the future. I am signing my wife up for some lessons/classes this coming summer when I take my kids to PAX. She should enjoy the week just as much as the kids!

Jam Session Play

Started playing with Jam Session. It is fun, (and this is the bottom line really... the rest of this blog means nothing, other than my ineptitude at the game, despite sucking, being tone deaf, and making my dog howl throughout the game/music play I had fun) I need to work on my music skills though, I sound worse than my ten year old on the viola. The tutorial is very basic, but it clues you in on the gameplay... but you can suck harder than drinking a Wendy's Frosty through a straw and you can still get through the tutorial. Your music still sounds like my kid on the viola. With some practice, and having heard some of the songs you can figure out the rythm and where the words start and end, but this is far from obvious where they are placed on the sheet music.

Once I emerge from the 8th level of suckitude I may post a song, my son wrestled the game from me and managed to play something much more outstanding than on the viola in about 30 sec... so there is a future.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Jam Session

I have been thinking of getting Jam Session for the DS, but luck would have it that I just won a copy from Ubisoft. So I look forward to playing that soon. Although play is probably not the most appropriate term as it really looks to be a guitar simulator, but we will see. The folks at Penny Arcade have talked it up

Speaking of PA their Child's Play Charity is back up for business.
go give!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

On with the gaming

I finally finished Halo 3, I enjoyed playing it, but after spending weeks avoiding spoilers I was disappointed in the ending. I know, Halo doesn't sport boss fights... unless of course you count the scarab battles which are great, but ending in a -SPOILER- car race against gravity, somewhat anticlimactic. I do look forward to some 4 player legendary coop, with of course known friends as randomly hooking up ends up in the predictable hell of 13 year old racist homophobes. I truly would rather play with my ten year old son, he is good, funny, and not a total tool.

It's hard to overstate my satisfaction with Portal. It is by far the single most striking game I have played with my kids. Both my kids (10+9) can sing the song on command. All I have to do is fire up the "this is a triumph" refrain and they both bust into synchronized song.

I haven't decided what's next for me, although I probably should finally buy Bioshock, I am somewhat torn on PC vs 360 on this title. I thought that the HLep2 was a no brainer on the PC particularly as the mod scene is so important when it comes to replay value... I don't know if this is as important in Bioshock. The main issue with purchasing a game on the pc for me, is that I don't like sharing my pc, it's easier to share the 360 and watch someone play but on the pc I feel stymied by sharing with the kids.

On the other hand I should really commit to Dead Rising, a marvel of a game that is as hard to finish as riding a bike into a lake, but somehow much more enjoyable.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Halloween was great. The kids were a Dementor and Padme respectively. I went as a comic character, if you can guess it you win super dork of the year!

Eating and Playing

I spent two weeks in Vancouver with my wife, (well Vancouver for 8-9 days and 3 days in Seattle.) I had to attend a conference in Vancouver and we decided to make a vacation out of it. Had a great time, great restaurants, incredibly kind and hospitable people in Vancouver. The food highlights were the fresh markets, Joe Fortes Rest, Dim Sum at The Imperial, and breakfast at Cafe Artigiano. I don't think we had a bad meal though. In Seattle we love The Pink Door and were greatly impressed with the wait staff there. We also liked Serious Pie a relatively new pizza place.

I haven't finished Halo 3 yet as real life interferes. Having said that I have managed to play and finish Portal, and I think I am close to the end in Halflife ep2. Portal by far has caused the biggest commotion in my house, my kids think the commentary is hilarious, and the lines have made their way into our daily vocabulary. The game itself is fresh and fun. I hope they plan on expanding it and I look forward to user mods on the PC.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Halo 3 playing

OK, I've played through the first three levels of H3 the first two in coop mode with my 10 year old son and the third level all by my lonesome. My impressions are positive, not disappointed in the derivative H2 game play as some are... hey I enjoyed H2. The game itself looks great, even on my regular old CRT TV. It is hard to adjust at the beginning to the split screen as my TV is relatively small for that. The brutes AI is better, but still limited (try sniping from longer distance... and they don't return fire) There are still tons of nuances I haven't played with, specifically the shields, disruptors etc, not to mention the flamethrower. I have been so far extremely successful in avoiding the finally spoilers so don't screw me here. I am very interested in going back and finding the skulls and consoles though so a second and third play through are guaranteed.
In other console news, the DS kicks ass. I've known that for some time, as both my kids have their own. (check out the Flickr) I recently bought the crush DS Lite special edition with Brain Age 2 and am totally hooked. Need some more game recomendations (I'm playing BA2 and my kids have Super Mario Bros DS which I'm borrowing)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Halo 3

Bummer, unfortunately I am going out of town tomorrow (day after the release or the second emergence as some are calling it) so I will postpone buying Halo 3 till I get back, a whole 6 days post release. (What a loser) (yeah but I have a job) (yeah but your not playing Halo 3!!!) (point taken)

I am going to try and avoid spoilers as much as I can, but that may be difficult. list a good 50K people playing H3 at a time on their servers. Amazing.

So think of me as I play Brain Age 2 on my new DS during my business meeting.


Thursday, September 20, 2007


Isn't this how most blogs start? The test post. I'm not sure how much I'm going to use this, but I may end consolidating some of my web presence.