kadenza: (nophoto)
Welp, we've just about made it through March Break. It has actually gone quite smoothly. Nat is very good at entertaining herself, and with a few planned activities, we've avoided crowds and had fun. I've got next to no weaving done, but what can you do. I've got a wrap on the go and have been meaning to start another set of towels– the last ones proved very popular.

We've done origami, painting, cooking, and assorted outings. One surprising hit was a trip to Target, which is having a going out of business sale and all toys are 50% off. We were hoping to find some Lego, but not surprisingly, it was long gone and the shelves were bare. We ended up picking up a couple of Minecraft "papercraft" kits. It's basically a bunch of paper blocks you have to punch out and fold. She is totally in love with this set and spends a lot of her time down in the basement, folding and building. She tells me how much she loves "creepers" and makes little beds and houses for them. I know next to nothing about Minecraft, but according to Nat, "Creepers are not evil. They can't help blowing things up. It's just the way they are."
kadenza: (invader)
Lately we've been plowing full speed ahead through season 1 of Dexter, but last night M had to work so I had a chance to check out one of the bazillion documentaries available on Netflix (he is easily bored so they are usually my domain alone). I started and stopped several before stumbling upon one called The King of Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters, and I'm so glad I did. I loved every minute of it. I had no idea that there was this subculture of aging nerds who are still playing Pac Man, Centipede etc. and trying to get the highest score. There are tournaments, prizes, and an official governing body. There is a guy who sits in a room and watches every minute of tapes submitted by people all over the world hoping to break assorted records. They sit in their basements playing their games (only cabinet-style arcade versions are acceptable) and taping themselves in case they have an amazing run.

Documentary-making must be quite a crapshoot-- you pick your subject and hope something interesting happens while you're filming. The movie centred around two Donkey Kong rivals: the challenger, a suburban dad, and the existing record holder, an asshole. The filmmaker could not have come up with a more detestable antagonist if he had just made him up... the guy was a complete and utter douche, from his cocky attitude to his blow-dried mullet, tight jeans, cowboy boots, hideous ties with eagles and American flags on them, and of course his annoying wife with gigantic breast implants. Oh, and when he gets a high score he enters USA as his initials.

Anyway. I recommend this movie, it was great fun.


Dec. 23rd, 2009 08:51 pm
kadenza: (Sackboy)
I have now baked 3 double batches of Double Ginger Crackles so I'm getting pretty good at making them. Last night I started putting little slivers of candied ginger on top which made them look a little nicer. I divided them into boxes and distributed them to the neighbours. To Marshie's delight, there was one box left over so I assume they will all be gone soon.

The Pirates of the Carribean expansion pack arrived in the LBP store yesterday, which includes water as a brand new game element. After a huuuuge game update, Sackboy can swim! The water looks incredibly cool. The way it ripples, the way it bubbles, the way it laps around objects... reflections, shadows, interference patterns. So neat. And I have to say that Sackboy swimming is only the CUTEST THING EVER. He does a little breast stroke when he's swimming, and treads water when he's still. Oh, and his cheeks puff out when he dives as he holds his breath, unless he's wearing the scuba gear which is of course also adorable. I can't believe we still play this game on a daily basis a full year after its release.
kadenza: (ds)
I wanted to mention that I am quite taken with Scribblenauts. The gameplay is pretty ingenious. Basically, you solve puzzles with objects that you summon by writing down words (seriously, anything you can think of that's not trademarked or profane) and having them come to life. There is apparently a database of tens of thousands of objects, and I have been unable to stump it so far. At one point I tried to summon a pogo stick and wrote "pogo", only to be presented with a cornbread-covered hot dog.

As well as the puzzle-solving and action modes, the opening screen is basically a sandbox where you can just summon random stuff and try it out. Ant vs Anteater? God vs Cthulu? Monster truck vs stegosaurus? You can make it happen.

Anyway, it's very cute and quirky and I'm very impressed so far. The controls are kind of sucky, but the originality more than makes up for it.


Oct. 25th, 2009 11:39 am
kadenza: (carcassonne)
Good times chez [livejournal.com profile] epi_lj and [livejournal.com profile] okoshun yesterday. Played Colloseum (fun!) and Pandemic (fun-er!) before I had to bail. Well actually, when I got home Marshall said he had no problem with me staying all night if I wanted. Anyway it was a fun day of doing my own thing which doesn't happen often. I rode to and from on the subway and played DS. I also stopped off at a craft store on the way and bought a bunch of rubber stamps. I just love them, don't know if I've mentioned it here before. I am totally addicted to stamps.

Oh also, I've mentioned it on Facebook and Twitter but not here-- I have 15 11 Google Wave invites left if anyone's interested. Mentioning it on Twitter was not the greatest idea, because I was instantly flooded with pleading tweets from complete strangers. I don't know if you need a gmail account or not, but it might help. [edit] Also, consider yourselves warned that it might take a while. To quote the submission page, "Invitations will not be sent immediately. We have a lot of stamps to lick."
kadenza: (carcassonne)
Well I know I've at least a couple of gamers reading, so what the heck.

For a bit of background, I can't say I'm a real hardcore board game person. I fall somewhere between Candyland and Advanced Squad Leader. I usually don't have the attention span for a game that lasts more than an hour or so.

That said, we spent about 2 hrs. on Agricola last night and only got through round 4 of 14. For the first hour or so, we were completely lost. I had already set everything up and sorted out all the pieces, but once we got got going, almost nothing made sense. So many pieces, so many cards. I'm amazed that we managed to hang in there until something clicked and it all fell into place. The next 45 minutes flew by and then I went to bed (where I read the instruction book again to clear up a few more things). I don't think the playing time listed on the box (30 minutes per player) was misleading, I just think we're dumb. The pace picked up dramatically once we figured out what the hell was going on.

I woke up at about 3 a.m., and couldn't stop thinking about the game. I lay there for an hour until I finally got up to find my iPod and listened to Charlotte's Web to clear my mind. Seriously, it's better than Ambien. Marshie said this morning that the same thing happened to him (minus Charlotte's Web). So I'm looking forward to the next installment, which should begin any minute now.

To sum up: YES, so far it's a lot of fun.


Jan. 20th, 2009 04:02 pm
kadenza: (carcassonne)

Agricola is here! Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] epi_lj!
Winning your contest was one of the most exciting events of 2008 for me.

kadenza: (Sackboy)
Little Big Planet's stock is rising in my world again. Two months on, we had practically finished the final levels so my enthusiasm had waned somewhat. With nothing new to play, further exploration of the user-created content has made me realize this is where the game truly shines (as opposed to being sort of an afterthought as with some games I've played). I kind of wrote off the community levels at first because most of them were pretty lame, but the bar has definitely been raised with the passage of time. This game is definitely more than your average side-scroller. People have somehow managed to create in-game computers with acres of wires and switches. I've seen several calculators, a game of tic-tac-toe and yesterday a giant piano that completely blew my mind. It had 4 octaves and all the keys played when you jumped up and down on them. That was cool enough, but when you pulled a switch on the side of the piano, automated hammers descended from above and proceeded to play Für Elise. Marshall and I were talking about how thrilled the developers must be to see what people are creating with their game.

I certainly don't have the time to figure out how to make this stuff, but if people all over the world have time to spend trying to out-do each other, I'm happy to sit back and let them. The replay value is seemingly infinite at this point. Plus Nattie's love of Sackboy still knows no bounds.

For those who have missed it in previous posts, my PSN name is Hollowgirl and I hope to see you out there.
kadenza: (teh baybeez)
Nat's obsession with Sackboy/Little Big Planet has deepened considerably. All day she either begs me to "draw Sackboy" or "go upstairs pway GAME". There is actually an unofficial knitting pattern coming out in the January issue of Simply Knitting, but to hold her off I found a nice big pic of him online today and printed it out. It was very exciting for her to see him coming out of the printer (and actually, it reminded me quite a bit of her birth). She pranced around the room admiring him and saying "Oh Sackboy... kiss you!" and planting big kisses on his face. It was like the toddler edition of Tiger Beat magazine. She won't kiss us, oh no. She only has eyes for Sackboy.

Here are the three of us earlier today. It was all I could do to keep her from taking him to bed at naptime.
kadenza: (test pattern)
I was very interested in the US election results but also interested in Little Big Planet so I played that while Marshie gave advice (seriously, what is worse than a backseat gamer?) and we watched the results on his laptop until 10 when the Daily Show special came on. I have to say, it was pretty bad. I laughed about twice. John Oliver and Larry Wilmore are about the only good things about TDS these days (especially the two of them together) and there wasn't nearly enough of them. Mercifully the show was cut off by the network at 11 so then we flipped around.

Election: As soon as it was apparent that Obama had the lead and wasn't giving it back, I started to feel bad for McCain. Anyway, his concession speech was nice and it was especially nice to see Sarah Palin's stupid face for what was hopefully the last time. So congratulations to those of you who are pleased, Americans, which seems to be pretty much all of you.

LBP: This game is really growing on me, especially as I get better at it. There are plenty of frustrating things and it killed me when I finished Level 2 after searching high and low to be told I only found 33% of the prizes (also fun to be reminded now and again that [livejournal.com profile] gandalfgreyhame had obtained such and such a score on such and such a level, just to raise morale). Visually it is killer and I think it will occupy me for a long time to come.

Oh also, Nattie is obsessed with it. I let her watch for a while on Monday night, and then I heard her begging, "Game? Game? Game??" on her way to bath and bed downstairs. Then in the morning, she toddled straight to the stairs leading to the loft and said hopefully, "Game?"
kadenza: (invader)
So far this game is not doing it for me. I rapidly lost interest in the storyline and I'm just not feeling any type of connection with this Russian dude. I played again last night for maybe 10 minutes and got tired of it and went to bed and played DS instead. Marshall has been having a lot of trouble with freezing up in his game, so he's not too impressed either. It looks nice and everything, very pretty, much sleeker interface, but all the flying through the windshield and getting your feet run over by passing cars gets old really fast.

I miss CJ.
kadenza: (invader)
The PS3 was all Marshie's idea, but I seem to be the one that has fallen hardest for it. After a long hard day of baby raising, I do so enjoy my hour of Burnout Paradise before bed. It's essentially a game where you drive around and crash your car. With one push of the D-pad you are suddenly racing other people from all over the damn place. Last night it seemed to be Scotland, from the one dude's accent (I forgot to mention that you can see and hear these other people too), and the night before everyone was speaking French, like from-France French. They seem to be predominantly male and I'm pleased to say I can hold my own with them in most types of competitions. I am too shy to appear on camera so I have it pointed at my Jabba the Hutt action figure. I'm sure it will please all the nerds.


Feb. 6th, 2008 03:50 pm
kadenza: (invader)
Yesterday Nattie learned to clap. Today she learned to kill.

I had turned on the Playstation in the hopes of eventually finding some time to play Grand Theft Auto (never did, actually) and Nattie got a hold of the controller. She guided CJ out of his hideout, switched to the 9mm, gunned down a pedestrian, and was promptly arrested. All with her back to the TV. I don't know what this means, except that I might possibly be a bad mother.
kadenza: (syntax error)
Every time I start up my music player, it tries to interpret my Age of Kings game as a music CD. More specifically, it thinks it might be "Elvis: 30 #1 Hits". Not a bad guess, I suppose.


Dec. 17th, 2006 09:34 am
kadenza: (carcassonne)
Yesterday was simply action-packed!

First off, games at [livejournal.com profile] epi_lj and [livejournal.com profile] okoshun's place with a bunch of LJ people, but I'm too lazy to do all those tags. We only stayed a few hours (ok, five) but managed to get a few games in. My camel game, which was quick and easy, and then British Rails, which was long and hard. Actually, it was kind of fun, but due to bad planning I kept running out of capital to extend my rail lines, which is kind of the point of the game. After about two hours, we agreed to call the game due to mass frustration. I was actually kind of enjoying it despite my dismal performance. I was only two turns away from starting to generate some serious cash and possibly turning my fortunes around. But anyway, fun, and you get to draw on the board. I definitely wouldn't mind trying it again.

We also played SingStar on the PS2, my first foray into the sinister world of karaoke. When it was my turn to sing, my heart actually skipped a few times due to performance anxiety, but I calmed down soon because it was surprisingly fun. And [livejournal.com profile] clawfoot and I ended up exactly tied in a singing duel (Always something there to remind me), which was quite a feat. Marshie and I also did a duet of Love Shack. Amusing.

We left at 6 so I could get home, have dinner and chill before I went out to see Sarah Slean down at the Harbourfront theatre. I got there at 8:15 in the middle of the opening act, which sounded kind of lame so I stayed in the lobby on a couch and talked to a chick who had come with her sister from Florida just for the show. She said that she's a big fan, and SS never tours in the US and no one's ever heard of her down there, so what choice does she have. Anyway, they seemed to be enjoying the city, and I'm sure it was worth the trip for her because it was really good. I had an excellent seat in the second row at a perfect angle. Sarah was accompanied only by her own piano and occasionally a string quartet. She did all of my favourites and finished off with Wake up and Your wish is my wish, my very favourites. I'm very hormonal these days anyway, but I had tears in my eyes.

I called Marshie as soon as it was over, and by the time I got out to the street he was just pulling up. Then we went home and I slept for 9 hours. And that was yesterday.
kadenza: (stunta)
I bought two new games over the weekend, and certain people might be interested.

#1 is Through the Desert (the German name is Durch die Wüste) which we have played only once so far, but it was pretty fun considering that we had to check the rules practically every turn. Anyway, it promises to be quite addictive, now that we're clear on how to play. Camels! Dozens and dozens of pastel camels, and also palm trees. Marshie's favourite aspect is that there is no chance involved-- no dice, no cards-- it's pure strategy. Check out this picture from BoardGameGeek to see how cute it is.

I also picked up We Love Katamari, the sequel to Katamari Damacy, for the Playstation. I haven't actually had a chance to play it yet, but apparently it's better than the original, if that's possible.
kadenza: (Default)
Not necessarily interesting, just recent.

Did some colour-blind tests on Marshie yesterday and determined that what he has is the rarer form of red/green deficiency called Protanopia, an inability to distinguish red from bluish-green. In this image, he only sees the 5. People with Deuteranopia only see the 3, and the rest of us see 35. Here is a website that lets you see what any webpage or photo looks like to a colourblind person. Neat-o.

Last week in NB, a cousin of mine finally got me to play Settlers of Catan. I used to fear it because I thought it was one of those really complicated games that takes all day to play. I don't know where I got that notion, but I was wrong, wrong, wrong. I loves me some Settlers, and we played it almost every day of the vacation. I'm now suffereing from withdrawal, just to let you know. *looks around hopefully*

Moose is Loose is now in the Yukon! I'm very pleased. After two and a half years and 32,069 km, he's back in Canada. We just got the notification yesterday. The people who picked him up in Leipzig, Germany in June emailed me shortly afterwards to ask if it was ok to take him there. Of course it's ok! They didn't post any pictures yet, but they probably have to get back to Germany first. Speaking of caching, our Mt. Pleasant Cemetery cache may have been plundered, so we'll have to check on that ASAP. The cacher who emailed us about it had the right coordinates, but couldn't find it. Then again, it was his very first one so he may not be very good at looking yet. Fingers crossed that it's ok. Replacing it will not just mean hiding it in a slightly different location, it will also mean reworking the clues to match the new coordinates. I really, really hope we don't have to do that.

In knitting news, I started a scarf yesterday for Marshie with a simple rib pattern. It was coming along well, but at about the one-foot-long mark, I noticed that several stitches were screwed up and couldn't figure out how to fix it. I got used to having my mother around to fix my mistakes on vacation, and didn't know what to do so pulled out the needle and tried to unravel the mistake, which as you can guess only led to bigger problems. I think I've got all the stitches back on the needle but they're facing every which way and the yarn end is somewhere in the middle. I need a knitting 911.
kadenza: (Default)
It was quite temperate yesterday and I actually went out wearing just my corduroy jacket. Well not *just* my corduroy jacket, but, whatever. Actually that reminds me that I had a dream about public nakedness last night, and it wasn't pleasant. Who took my clothes? Where was I, anyway? I think it was Seattle. Anyway, it's over now. Whew.

I was very impressed with the artwork yesterday, everyone. For those who didn't get a chance, it's not too late to draw me something and post the link.

I did this painting yesterday for [livejournal.com profile] ezzvaldez but think it's possibly worth reposting here in my own journal, because I'm just so fucking modest. The site is fun, but they definitely need to implement a larger colour palette, and perhaps an eraser.

Final tidbit: While out walking yesterday I spotted a new gym, only metres from my old bankrupt gym, and it's for women only. While I have no problem with the menfolk (though they do tend to stare at themselves in mirrors while lifting weights and making strange grunting sounds) I'm going to check it out today. My clothes still fit the same, but I can tell that my percentage of fat to muscle is changing just by prodding myself.

Final, final tidbit-- In GTA: San Andreas last night, I made over 20k from one night of burgling. I highly recommend it, as CJ now lives in a posh beachfront abode. Unfortunately, he can't enjoy all his nice new furniture because he can't sit down. Oh well.
kadenza: (Default)
I forgot to mention that we had a most enjoyable time at the home of [livejournal.com profile] juleakab and her husband on Saturday. The visit consisted of a BBQ, outdoor recreation and an evening of indoor games. [livejournal.com profile] androgynousmind and [livejournal.com profile] ficbot were also in attendance, among others. As the introductions were made, a question cropped up in my mind: "When was the last time I made friends who were not from LJ?" This was promptly replaced by another: "Who cares?"

We unfurled our kites in a nearby park, and they were marginally successful. Baby Floyd, in the incapable hands of my husband, crashed down onto a nearby rooftop and became tangled on a satellite dish. Thanks to some helpful neighbours who supplied backyard access, a stepladder and moral support, he was retrieved unharmed. Even the kite line, which appeared to be hopelessly snagged across three yards and two trees, was salvaged in its entirety. At this point it was wisely decided that kite time was over for the day.

During a game of Carcassonne later that evening, it occurred to me that I was hanging out with a kid who was born when I was in Grade 10, and he wasn't half bad. Similarly, he didn't mind being around people who must seem positively Paleolithic by comparison. However, I struggled to restrain myself from breaking into the "when I was your age" stories.
kadenza: (generosity)
Yesterday's games day was a great success, thanks to everyone who showed up and brought food! I thought it all went swimmingly. Note to [livejournal.com profile] epi_lj: I found a piece from Settlers on the floor I'll have to return to you at some point.

On Saturday we took care of various household chores and then went to my parents' place for dinner. My mother tried to get me to eat a fresh chocolate-chocolate-chip sourdough bundt cake which I found surprisingly easy to turn down. All I had to do was think about all the hard work I put in last week.

On the way home I was driving and stuck Comfort Eagle into the CD player and after a few minutes Marshall suddenly said, "You know, that Cake show we saw in Florida was really good." Fortunately we were stopped at a light or I might have driven off the road. The show in question, for those who didn't know me back then, was in February of 2002. Talk about a delayed reaction. "You what? You liked it? Since when?" I demanded. "I dunno... it was really fun and the music was good," he replied. Amazing.

It was a good show, but I didn't know he thought so too. I just leafed through my trip diary and found the appropriate entry. Something that made me laugh was a part where I noted that there was a lot of smoking going on at the show, and not all of it was tobacco, a fact that did not escape the notice of lead singer John McCrea. "We were under the impression that Florida was drug free," he deadpanned. "Cake is very disappointed."


kadenza: (Default)

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