A Very Facebook Halloween

One of the more amusing things on Facebook is the Halloween pics.  My friends’ kids in costume.  This is a list:

  • Big brother was Joker and little brother was Robin.
  • Big brother was Buzz Lightyear and little sister was Daphne from Scooby Doo (that one was awesome).
  • Big sister was candy corn witch and little sister was a vampire.  Their friend was zombie Alice in Wonderland.
  • Twin sister Hobbits
  • Lamb
  • Cow
  • Big brother G.I. Joe, little sister Super Girl
  • Big brother firefighter, little sister princess
  • Michael Jackson
My brother is lame, and has not posted pictures of his kids.  Alex had waffled on the costume.  He has been Spiderman for two years straight, so he thought he would be Batman.  Then he said he wanted to be a football player.  Ainslie and Ashlyn were going as Dora and Boots.
And a gratuitous puppy pic.  This was from the October Facebook album from Doggie Do Rite:
The caption read: Gibbs is all grown up, well almost..”

I Need a New Computer Game

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=leartojugg-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0019017Y8&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThat was not a Christmas wish.  It was just whining. 

I have been buying cheap ($5 cheap) computer games at Half Price Books.  Not World of Warcraft-type games, just little things to keep me entertained for a weekend.  Or at least distracting me from the West Coast road trips of certain professional sports teams.

Last Saturday, I picked up Sally’s Salon, a little “leisure game” along the lines of Diner Dash or Cake Mania.  I beat it on Sunday afternoon.  Tonight, I started Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, a mystery/adventure game.  Turns out to be a first person perspective.  I may be the first person ever to get motion sickness from her laptop. 

I am not kidding.  Uninstall.

I am going back to Bookworm Adventures. 

Dracula: Origin

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=leartojugg-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0017AJMX8&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr I picked up this game on clearance at the holiday sale at Half Price Books.  I wasn’t really interested in one more Dracula game, but I realized that some of the people that worked on this game did the Agatha Christie games that I kinda liked.

The first thing I did, while the game was loading, was Google the walkthroughs.  Because I am a big cheater.  And ever since the incident with the orange juice and conducting electricity (on the Orient Express game), I don’t even feel dumb.  Or guilty.

The player is Van Helsing, trying to rescue that foolish Mina.  Poor Harker is toast.  There are some puzzles, as well as some problem solving, but I am really in it for the storytelling.  It was ok.

However, the feature in the interface that I really liked was that when you hit the spacebar, the screen will highlight with all of your options – the hand for places you should do something, the eye for places you should see something and the footprints for where you can move to a new screen.  Very convenient for cheaters having a “what the heck haven’t I done here?” moment.

This would have been good for a weekend – if there hadn’t been two hockey games that weekend.

What is This?

I like McDonald’s and I am a sucker for good marketing.  So I play the Monopoly.  I ordered a medium fry because I know they don’t give you game pieces on the small.  But then.  Are you seeing this? 

No game pieces on the fries. They have seriously diminished the menu items that have game pieces. I only got them on my drink, And you know what’s worse?

Look at this freakin’ game card!  This is not a Monopoly board! 
I guess I should thank them for turning me off of this racket.

The Wii

Yesterday, in a fit of tantrum over how much exercise I’m not getting, I went to Best Buy and picked up a Wii and a Wii Fit. Then I went to the new burger place to pick up dinner.

After dinner, I brought the new stuff up to my room. And remembered that game consoles require connecting things. Wires. To other things. With wires. I called my brother, who couldn’t help because he wasn’t looking at it and was distracted by a very large spider that had built a web on his lawn furniture.

After the debate over whether this web was in violation of the Treaty of Stay Outside in Your Natural Habitat and You Get to Live, I got off the phone and plugged the Wii into the front of the TV. No stereo. No connecting to one thing to get to another thing to get to another thing. The TV and that’s it.

I played a few games of bowling and a round of golf before figuring out that being left-handed is messing up my game. I’ll have to figure out how to change that in the program. Then I hooked up the Wii Fit, which told me that I am fat and must be tripping over my own feet on a regular basis.

I like that the exercises are two minutes each, so you can really decide how much time to spend. And I like the idea of working toward “unlocking” other features. I like that it works on my competitive instincts. Although seriously, calling me “unbalanced” and “amateur” is kinda harsh.

But mostly, I like that it feels like playing video games while actually sweating. I love this balance ball game.

I didn’t get very far last night, but I certainly found it more amusing than pretending to ski jump. I am feeling pretty good about this purchase.

Evil Under the Sun

I found Evil Under the Sun, another Agatha Christie PC game, at Half Price Books. I do love that Poirot. And I haven’t read the novel yet, so I was going in pretty cold. But I needed something to get me through the Mold Exile and this was really good for killing time.

The reviews for this weren’t great. Gamespot said:

“Poirot isn’t so much a detective quizzing suspects as he is a kleptomaniacal MacGyver with a fruity moustache. He swipes rope and ladder posts from a beach to craft a bird blind needed to win the sympathies of a little girl. He steals a spatula from a chemist for the pure hell of it, somehow knowing that it will come in handy to clean mud off a cave wall at a later date.”

All true. I don’t care, I had fun. The PC goes back and forth in time with Poirot as Poirot tells the tale and PC pretends that he is Poirot and investigates. There is a contrived hint-maker called the Finger of Suspicion. But as I have said, part of the joy of buying games two years after the release is that the walkthroughs are all online.

I didn’t use them in this game as much as I did in the Dracula series. Mostly it was for things like the bird-blind, pictured and described above. I had most of the materials together, but was missing one rock.

A rock.

I also use it when I think I should be moving on to the next section and want to see what I missed, already.

Going into the big reveal at the end, I honestly did not know whodunnit, but as Poirot asks his series of questions in front of the crowd of suspects, I pulled them together pretty well. So..feeling good, but still surprised. I’ll take that.

Gaming with Alex

Alex’s mom and sister were out of town today, so Scott decided that this would be a good time to try to get Alex to eat Chinese food. Didn’t fly. He asked if he could eat carrots.

Before lunch, we played his football game. Actually, it was more like toy soldiers on a football field. There were red guys and blue guys. I take some blue guys and just as I am figuring out that I can’t teach him to line up an empty set because there are only two wide receivers, he tells me that first we have to “Say all their names”

Me: “We have to what?”
Him: “Say all their names. Go on, Aunt Anne – you know all their names.”

He wanted to introduce them, like at the start of the game.

Me: “OK, but I am getting my camera. I am so blogging this.”

I do not, in fact, know all of their names. And these figures do not have the same numbers as the Bears. And that is when Alex very patiently explained to me about pretending. OK, I’ll play along. Then I found something that resembled a linebacker and declared him Brian Urlacher.

Alex informed me that Brian Urlacher is not number 55.

As I called the names, he made sure all of the little football soldiers got high fives. When we were done, he told me to say all of the names of the ’49ers.

Me: Alex, I don’t know the names of the ’49ers.
Scott: I thought the red guys were the Redskins.
Alex: (turns to me) How about the Redskins?
Me: I really don’t know any of the Redskins.
Alex: ’49ers.
Me: I only know the name of the coach.
Finally I got to set up a play. You will notice that the front line guys cannot hold their positions.

I was getting ready to declare the halfback Man in Motion when Alex knocked all of the players into a pile, swept them off the field and declared a rain delay. He rolled up the tarp, and took this picture.

Me: Alex. There is no rain delay in football.
Alex: I’m pretending.
Scott: (walking back into the room) Are you done?
Me: Your son has declared a rain delay.
Scott: Alex. There are no rain delays in football.
Alex: I’m pretending!

And that was all for the football. Later, I got to pull out the “I’m pretending” line when Alex hassled me for coloring Thomas the Tank Engine purple. Then he decided that he wanted to watch a DVD. He asked for the camera so that he could take a picture.

Me: Why do you need to take a picture of the DVD player?
Alex: Just in case.

OK, then.