May 28, 2017
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The Dancing Grappler

DS Lite: The 40-year Old Virgin

Recently, I've begun to play a DS Lite here and there. Why? Well, because CivRev is coming out in the Spring, and I wanted to see how I'd like playing on a handheld. Fortunately, my oldest son already had one. But, before I go any further, I've got to clear up two things. First, I'm not really 40, I'm 42 (and a half). :D Second, I'm not really a true virgin - just had been w/ the DS. ;-)

My first venture was with AoE: AoK. I really didn't expect much, as the AoE series has always been uninspiring to me. But, AoK was a pleasant surprise. Perhaps, it was the TBS approach that won me over, but I found the game fun and challenging.

As for the DS Lite itself. The controls were good, and the stylus was/is a handy tool. But, playing it in bed was heaven. Actually, playing it in bed was just next to heaven. Heaven is my wife. But, her name really isn't Heaven. At this point, the DS Lite has me intrigued.

For Christmas, my youngest son got a gold DS Lite bundled w/ The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Once I began playing it, I was hooked. The fact that the controls in this game include yelling and blowing on the DS to create wind, made the experience even more enjoyable. And, the game (The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass) rocks! I'm hooked on this Zelda game at the moment. Ingenious design - truly a fun gaming experience.

But, here things went south. My youngest son informed me that he didn't want me to play his DS and Zelda game so much. Well, he's 6 and you know how a 6 y/o can be at times. So, to respect my son's wishes, and to spend the $130 I had in gift cards to Best Buy, I ordered myself a crimson and black DS Lite. :D I've only got to wait a week for it to come off backorder.

Meanwhile, I purchased my own copy of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Of course, I could continue to play my youngest son's copy, but the game only allows two save files. This way, my sons and I can be working on our own games, and play some wireless as well.

Needless to say, I'm eagerly awaiting Sid Meier's CivRev. :-)

Posted on January 2, 2008 at 5:44 am
Starcraft

I must say, you guys were right. Starcraft is a great game, very much so. As I play it, I experience a bit of nostalgia from my early days w/ Civ2.

I had been pretty critical of the graphics I saw in screenshots. And, I've not been a fan of WC3's graphics. But, in-game, Starcraft's graphics work. There is a real steampunk feel, which sets the stage for the storyline, IMHO.

So far, I'm on Terran Mission 8. Mission 7 had me gripped, as I plowed into the Confederate base, then flew in my dropship w/ Kerrigan and the Psi Emitter. The dropship took a hit as I was unloading the precious cargo = victory! I have learned not to go off half-cocked. Several times I've had forces decimated w/ very little to show for it, except no need to build more supply depots and fewer minerals & vespene gas.

Some of the unit special abilities I don't always remember to use, or don't actually know yet when to use them. For example, the action seems to be too fast to try and click on a marine to activate a stim pack.

There are some negatives, like path-finding. Numerous times I have to redirect units that try to do an end-around when their orders are blocked. But, the game was made in 1998. Also, I'd love a higher screen resolution. I wonder why Blizzard hasn't offered this? Would it entail that much more coding? I also find the battles/advancement tedious at times. Of course, playing through the first time and learning the intricacies lessen this to a great degree. But, there doesn't seem to be a combination to exploit the enemy. I know everyone hails the balance in Starcraft. I wonder if it's a result of the balance, or I've not yet stumbled upon the right combinations for specific situations.

For me, I believe the secret to Starcraft's enjoyment is the missions. I don't know if I'd like it as much if I had to settle a spot, collect resources, yada yada yada. Advancing along the storyline is fun.

And, this purchase was made at the right time, for 2 reasons: (1) To get me jones'n for Starcraft II and (2) I've graded all my exams and submitted semester grades for the year. :D

Posted on June 3, 2007 at 3:01 pm
Harry Potter

Well, I've finally begun reading the Harry Potter books. About a month ago, my wife & sons were caught up in it. They rented the 4 movies and watched one a day over Spring Break. And, my wife had finished reading all the books. But,I can't give her full credit. She read only parts of the first one and used an audio CD for parts of 2 & 3, picking up at night where the CD left off.

Anyway, I'm in the midst of book 4 atm. I really am enjoying the series, especially catching all the stuff that was left out of the movies. I want to at least get through book 5 before the movie is released in July, I think in July, after the final book comes out.

Posted on May 3, 2007 at 6:55 am
iMac, Core2 Duo

I picked up one of the new iMacs last week. Now, I don't have money to burn, but I have been saving odd checks here and there for doing camps, etc. I knew my 4 year-old eMac was nearing its limit, plus my old iMac (G3 / 333MHz) was on its last leg. It is now being prepped for posterity. ;-)

I've been nothing but impressed with the new iMac. I purchased the 17-inch (X1600), because of funds, but there are still plenty of "oohs-and ahhs" each time I sit down in front of it.

The machine itself cost less than than the eMac I bought 4 years ago. I got the education discount on both.

Posted on September 28, 2006 at 5:58 am
Summer Review

As far as summers go, this was a good one. The only negative was the loss of my father, in June. But, I'm not getting into that here.

I worked three days a week at school, and then spent 4 days w/ the family. We went to the local aquarium many times, as well as the local Discovery museum. Saw a few minor league baseball games. And, we just returned a few days ago from a camping trip in the Smokey Mountains.

Atm, my wife is away in Seattle working on certification in a type of dance used in physical therapy. She sounds like she's also enjoying a little sweet release from the old ball-n-chain.

Gearing up for the new school year. My oldest son is going to be a second grader, and my youngest is going to pre-K. One more year of that and I'll $215 / mos. back in my pocket for 9 mos. out of the year. Woo-hoo! I just hope he learns to read! ;) (Yes, I am reading to him.) A good bit of news on the school front, is this year, finally, my state is having tax free days for school supplies. Nice.

Gaming all summer long: C3C, Civ4 (laptop), HOI2, Legion Arena, Victoria, and GoT. Even doing a bit of testing. I'm running a Civ4 Democracy Game this year for students. Should be fun. I've also been looking at getting a new iMac. I looked at the educators version, but two things: one, it's video card is of little help, and two, Apple stopped making it available for individuals just institutions. So, I'm going to save a bit more and make the drop on a new iMac later this fall w/ a 256MB video card. Why not. My eMac has lasted me 4 years. That iMac will go a lot further.

My sister bought 4 season tickets to the Atlanta Falcons, for the family to use. Did I mention she's a great sister? So, that'll be something new this year - plus good fun.

Posted on August 3, 2006 at 1:47 pm
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Games Playing:
Civ5: BNW
TWD: 400 Days
XCOM
Crusader Kings 2
 
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Crusader Kings 10/20/2005
   
Hearts of Iron (HOI) 3/31/2005
   
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