Saturday, December 30, 2006

Look Out Snow, Here Comes The Wovel!

It's a wheel!

It's a shovel!


Sigh. I bet even I could make one of these for about $20 in parts and a few hours of banging things together.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Amber Alert!

So Garrett decided to go wandering around the Lambton Mall today without us. I was trying on some new khaki pants at Mark's Work Warehouse to wear out for our early anniversary dinner tonight and while Julie was getting another pair of pants for me to try - POOF - Garrett pulled a vanishing act.

I had to get my pants on and then the fun started. We started wandering around the store looking for him but no luck there. By the time I ventured into the mall proper, we'd enlisted a large chunk of the staff at Mark's and a lot of the customers too.

I eventually got in touch with the security staff and we headed down to Toys R Us. Thankfully he had been found and was sitting up at the customer service desk wooing the female staff with his irrepressible cuteness. So the first thing I say is, "There you are, you little bugger!"

He was probably lost for about 20 minutes. Man, they're not kidding when they say that time just slows to a crawl while you're trying to find your missing kid!

I'm glad we lost him in Sarnia. We had a lot of fellow shoppers helping us out. I'm not so sure if we'd have been as calm as we were had we lost him around Milton or Toronto.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Watch Out For Biker Chicks!

This is the oddest web game I've ever played. Well, close to it, at least. Hit the guy with your bike and see how far you can launch him.

I've hit him 2617 meters so far. Can you beat that?

Merry (Belated) Chrismasoxing Day


Just wanted to give everyone a belated bit of Christmas cheer. Codeboy and Blitzy just finished a little visit where much Mirrormask was watched and X-Play was mocked. It was either that, or I could have tried driving back to Corunna whilst tired and sleepy.

At least I'm done work for the next week. I don't go back till the third so I can actually relax while in Sarnia for the next few days. Work was fine. No major fires (thank heavens) and the guys were quite cooperative and laid back. Yay!

Garrett had a good Christmas morning. He was actually into the whole "Open Presents!" part of things this year and wonder of wonders, he gets to do it again on Thursday when we have the belated Wager family Christmas! Sadly, I couldn't stick around to play with him because of the aforementioned work obligations, but I hear that he spent the whole day on Monday trying to recruit people to play hockey with him... Thanks Dan...

On the upside of things, I didn't have any reason or compunction to wait in line for the 6am opening of Future Shop or Best Buy this morning. Given that we'd already bought our Christmas/Anniversary present back at the end of October, my lust for all things technological has been sated somewhat. That, and I was just tired last night. I was up till 2am last night watching Deliverance. It's not really a Christmas movie, especially when you're home alone... EEK!

Anyway, I'm kind of tired now. I'd had visions of me sitting around playing videogames all day long when I wasn't working, but surprisingly, I haven't done much besides a quick hop into World of Warcraft for a bit after work tonight. Sigh. My one day of having the house to myself and no real gaming geekfest. Oh well.

And with that, I'm off. But I leave you with the funniest videogame ad since, well, ever. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

No Trees Were Harmed In The Making Of This Christmas Card

Instead of sending out Christmas cards this year, Julie, Garrett and I just wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year here on the ol' blog. Of course, we also don't bother sending out Christmas cards because everyone who'd get one just reads the blog as it is, so this saves a few pennies in postage and saves the trees.

I guess that I'll give everyone a virtual Christmas gift in the form of:

Shark vs. Octopus. Who will win?!

I'll think of everyone celebrating Christmas while I work on Christmas and Boxing Day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

To Ebay or Not To Ebay

A sort of addendum to the previous post:

The EB near me has PS3's coming out their butt. Remember them? The system people were buying for $3000 on Ebay the day it came out? Yeah. No stores can keep Wiis in stock for more than a few minutes but PS3's are gathering dust in the back room. Looks like it helps when a) your system is $400 less than the other new system of the year and b) you actually have fun games that aren't just slightly shinier versions of the previous generation's games.

I was almost tempted to get a PS3 in order to toss it on Ebay and make a few bucks, but given how depressed the market on PS3's is now, it seems like the only way I'd make any money would be to hose people on the shipping.

That, and Julie would eviscerate me if I came home with a $600+ system that I bought at the spur of the moment.

So Close, And Yet...

So I went out to the mall in Guelph today to see how much MGS3: Subsistence was going for. I walked into the mall near EB and lo and behold, a guy is walking out of the mall with an EB bag, talking about how he's never been as excited about a new console as this one. I assume he's got a Wii and high-tail it to EB.

There's a line-up and a couple of security guards, so I assume there MUST be Wiis in.
So I squeezed into the line to see if I could get one. As I'm waiting, the manager comes out with a stack of Wiis. I inquire with the lady ahead of me in line and she said that they had about 12 that had come in. I waited a bit longer on the off chance that I'd actually be able to get one... They sold the last one when there were about 4 people in front of me. ARG!

I'm not THAT distraught. I hadn't intended to get the system when I went in there as I've basically given up looking for it until after Christmas due to the sporadic shipments trickling in hither and yon. That said, I was THIS close to getting my hands on the Wii and I can't help but wonder if I could have been able to get one if I had taken a different route to Guelph or been able to get Garrett out of the house a bit earlier than we left.

Ah well.

I zipped down to my usual store in Milton right after having my hopes dashed in Guelph just in case they got some in. Of course, they had received about 2-3 today but that's it. I guess they're the lowest store on the retail chain in the area so they only get a few in compared to the 10+ other stores receive. Maybe that's because I haven't bought any new games for a few weeks... Their revenue is plummeting!

I did get to try the demo unit though. The Wiimote is a lot smaller than I expected it to be, but I played a few races of Excite Truck and it controlled like a dream. I'm very impressed with the system, what little I've used it. I'm just resigning myself to not getting my hands on one until the new year, which is cool.

Julie's still going to scope out a few stores in Mississauga but I'm not holding my breath. I wish I could just pay the guys at my EB to put one aside but, alas, they can't. If the old staff were there, I could probably swing something, but the new manager is a little more by-the-book than the old one. Oh well.

Come January there will probably be a zillion of them on the shelves. I can wait.
What I'm Reading: Misquoting Jesus, Hellboy: Wake The Devil
What I'm Playing: Final Fantasy XII, Castlvania: Portrait of Ruin, Final Fantasy V Advance
What I'm Watching: Monster House, The Devil Wears Prada, Jarhead

Still Have That Screwdriver Handy?

Remember that PSP video last week? I found an even worse song on the internet.


Not only have they defiled the Birth of Christ to the tune of the worst song in the history of music, those camels just look scary.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Off The Wagon

I had a cup of coffee today.

It was so good.

But I only had one and that's good.

Oh, Monster House is really cool. Garrett picked it out at the movie store and while he keeps running behind a chair during the intense bits, whenever we try to turn it off he almost tackles us to keep us from stopping the movie. I'll have to actually watch the whole movie uninterrupted, because it looks really neat.

It All Makes Sense Now

In the past when I've asked for EB gift certificates for Christmas, birthdays and lunar festivals, I often listen to a tirade about how bad it is to go into the stores to get them. Now, I have nothing against EB. I tend to make friends with the managers of my local EB and most of the time the day staff are actually people who like to chat about games AND provide good customer service unlike the evening staff which tends to consist of teenagers and college students who just want to sit around and stare at the walls.

That said, a lot of the corporate policies drive me nuts. Not nuts enough to never shop there again, but they are annoying. Penny Arcade has a great strip up today that shows how anomalous these practices are when taken out of the videogame store context and applied elsewhere.

As Tycho says in his post,
Try to imagine another shop working this way, and you may find your mind's normal operation interrupted. There is, of course, one other business that operates in this fashion: a pawn shop. All they need is a couple firearms and a sketchy mofo, and the illusion will be complete.

I've been particularly annoyed in my ongoing search for the Guitar Hero wireless controller. It seems that everyone else is seeing them in Best Buys and Future Shops around the country, but EB says they're not even going to be available until mid-January. I still like getting my games at EB because they tend to have rare games that you just never see at Walmart or other non-game specific stores, but even that is becoming less and less the case.

Heck, I'm just going to post his whole rant about it.

Emerging from the dim cavern of the Electronics Boutique into the fully lit mall, I blinked several times and tried to adjust. A single, determined bat still clung to my sleeve. I shook him off, as gently as he allowed, and tried to remember why I shopped for games in a place covered in lichen.

There have been numerous instances over this densely packed holiday season where I would be rebuffed by dedicated gaming retailers for not preordering popular games, only to go across the street to Best Buy (a store I utterly detest) where a young woman simply opens a locked case, and inside this case is a stack of Dead Risings (or whatever) twenty deep. At no point was I required to thumb-wrestle a cashier, bow my head in contrition, or leave the store empty-handed.

I could never make sense of it, until my last visit. When it comes to the management of a business, as long as people are not shot, drugged, or enslaved in the course of its standard operation I understand that a certain amount of ruthlessness and treachery may enter in. I put together the idea that they pushed pre-orders to the extent that it allowed them to truly refine their margins. That may be a part of it, but I think it's a side-effect: I think they sell just enough product to maintain their fabulously lucrative used business, and no more. No other theory resonates so completely. I love the store I go to, because the men and women who operate it are genuine enthusiasts with an encyclopedic knowledge of the medium. But the corporation's strange aversion to new product has made them a poor choice for the true, day one devotee. They tend to buy new, they don't need a disc cleaner, and they often eschew strategy guides - opting instead for online assistance. It's the worst sort of customer for their model.

Man, I wish I could write as well as that guy.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Week With No Headaches

Well, some headaches, but not the crazy caffeine induced ones.

I've gone a week now with no coffee and minimal caffeine (I think my tea last night at the restaurant had caffeine, but I'm not 100% sure).

I feel so much better. I've been very tempted to get a coffee and almost cracked today, but I made it through.

I want to have a coffee or coke, but I'm waiting for at least another day. I'm not swearing off caffeine altogether, but I want to try to keep it down to a bare minimum instead of the 4 XL's a day...

Cue the Fanfare!

Hey Dave! It's time to trade in that clunky PSP and get a DS. Here's the video proof.

Did I mention that it's co-op?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Burning Crusade

Go here and download the Burning Crusade cinematic for WoW. Mmm...

Oh, and remember that Lost/Weird Al video I posted the other day? Turns out that the guy who did it is a regular poster on Evil Avatar! Small world.

Carte Blanche


I looked away for, what, 2-3 minutes while I was updating ye olde blog here and chaos ensues.

Garrett was in the kitchen puttering around. I walk in there and find him transferring flour from the big flour bin into the sugar bin. ARG! I forgot to put the lock on the pantry when I went looking for batteries for the camera and look what happens.

I guess flour is white and sugar is white, so it should be ok.

Ultimate Nerdity v. 2.0

Well, it's true.

Garrett is officially a nerd. An anime loving nerd, at that.

He was asking me to watch Fatal Frame, a very scary Xbox game that he had pulled out of my stack of games. He kept calling it 'scary Hulk eyes'.

I told him no... then I thought, hmm... maybe he'd like to watch some Princess Mononoke. It has lots of animals and action.

I fired up the movie and he actually seemed to like it. He's made a little tent under a few chairs and a blanket and is busy watching the movie right now. I asked him if he wanted to watch Backyardigans instead (that's his favourite show of all time) and he said, "No... Ashitaka!"

Ashitaka is the main character of Princess Mononoke, for those not in the know.

So yeah, my 2 1/2 year old prefers anime to children's fare. Awesome :)

Return of the Awful Video

Hmm... it looks like Sony has finally admitted to running a crappy website and took down both the site and the video.

Of course, that doesn't stop me from finding a mirror of the video to inflict pain on those I know and love. Enjoy the video here (while you can!)

Oh, and here's the crappy website with their mocking apology.

Busted. Nailed. Snagged. As many of you have figured out (maybe our speech was a little too funky fresh???), Peter isn't a real hip-hop maven and this site was actually developed by Sony. Guess we were trying to be just a little too clever. From this point forward, we will just stick to making cool products, and use this site to give you nothing but the facts on the PSP.

Sony Computer Entertainment America

Yeah, that's clever all right...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

All I Want For Christmas Is A Screwdriver To Jam In My Ear

At least, that's what I'm feeling after watching this piece of crap. I need something sharp to stick in my ear and swirl around until the memory fades.

I'm sure most of the geekier members of my audience are aware of this crappy attempt by Sony to start a viral marketing campaign to get people interested in the PSP. If this is the best they can do, hell, give ME whatever ungodly sum you gave those chumps and I'll make you a video that doesn't totally demean and underestimate your target audience.

HOWEVER, by creating such a craptacular campaign, Sony has drummed up a lot of talk which is publicity of a sort.

But man... That video just hurts.

Eyes Wide Open

So today marks day two of my "Try To Kick Caffeine" campaign. I've had some really nasty headaches over the last few weeks which, while partly attributable to some stress and being sick, seem to be more caffeine related than anything. I've also noticed that I've been drinking a LOT more coffee than I ever used to (at least a cup or two in the morning, usually a few at night while at work) and that just doesn't help anything.

So I decided to try to switch over to caffeine free tea for the next few days to do my biannual caffeine abstention and flush that evil molecule from my body. Of course, I've been more wired the last two nights than I have been since before Garrett was born. This is the second night I've found myself up after 2am (which used to be my bedtime, but not since Garrett started waking up at 6ish) and my eyes are bugging out, I'm so wide awake.

I've gotten to the point where a cup of coffee at night makes me sleepy... I'm very tempted to have a cup, but I really shouldn't.

Sigh. Ah well. I'll just go upstairs and fire up the DS for a bit. As soon as I get myself doing something fun I'll probably pass out.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Death By Customer Service

Just listen to this. I tip my hat to the guy who recorded it as I would have been reaching through the phone to strangle the guy on the other end by about the 3rd minute.

I can understand there being some confusion, but it sounds like the supervisor was being taught by the supermodel from the computer video.

She needs a Nerd to Supermodel translator

This video sums up what it is like to be a computer person talking to a non-computer person. The sad thing is that I've had far too many of these conversations with people. What always drove me nuts was that I'd start to try to do an explanation in as simple terms as possible (much like what the guy here tries to do) and you'd get people who just wouldn't listen to what you were trying to say. If it didn't synch up with what they had going through their head as the proper way of doing things, they wouldn't listen and would get more frustrated with you. Arg!

The scary part about this video is that she seems to have a lot of trouble with basic concepts like the difference between something being inside and something being in front or behind something. I can understand thinking that the monitor is the PC and not getting that the CPU is housed in something separate from the monitor, but come on!

The Lost: Season 2 Polka

This is pretty cool. This guy rotoscoped all of Season 2 of Lost and set it to Weird Al's Alternative Polka. Funny and neat.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Awesome Coke Ad

Check out this awesome ad for Coke. Make sure you read the explanation about how they did it as it makes it much more impressive.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Terror At The Tollbooth

We went out to visit Dan, Faith and Silas (who lives in a silo... just ask Garrett).

It was a nice visit. Well, that's what I was told, given that everyone I went to the hospital with disappeared and left me with Garrett for the longest 20 minutes ever (for the record, it was an hour and a half... in a hospital... with no toys!)

ANYWAY, Silas is cute and baby shaped. I'm sure I'll have better impressions of him when I actually, you know, get to see him (no, I'm not bitter). I think we might have some pictures and I'll try to get them up soon.

We went back to the car and made our way to the exit. We had our little card ready to go and just needed to pay... Here's where things went pear-shaped. We tried to pay with a credit card (which it clearly stated we could do) but nooo... Credit Card Declined!

We tried at the other booth/gate thingy. DENIED! We figured we'd try paying with cash in the machine... oh, lookie! No area to accept bills.

So we drove around and sent Tim out to try to pay the little magnetic card at the pay meter outside the parking garage.

No dice. We STILL can't get it to work and are trapped in the parking garage. Julie got some change and we were going to try that but then a guy drove in front of us at the gate. We figured we'd watch to see if his change would work in the twisted bowels of that hell-spawned gate. Of course, we got stuck behind the one guy in all of Kitchener who COULDN'T ROLL DOWN HIS DRIVER'S SIDE WINDOW.

So we then had this ballet where he had to wiggle around and try to back his car far enough that he could lean out the door to reach the machine and still have the car on the sensor. Of course, we're now hitting the 20 minute mark on our sojourn from the parking garage and I'm livid.

The guy FINALLY gets the gate to go up and that gave us a chance to try to escape. Sadly, the gate came down before we could sneak out with him BUT he had obviously put in too much change and it only cost us $2.00 instead of $7.00 to leave.

But I'll be damned if I'm ever parking in that god forsaken parking garage again.

I won't even go into the other strange things like the crazed Rice Boys at the Tim Horton's parking lot or the insane trucks on the 401 on the way home, but at least I didn't crash the car and the aneurysm from the parking garage incident didn't kick in and kill me (not for lack of trying).

And here I was, starting to think that the pall of evil and doom that tends to hang over Kitchener/Waterloo had lifted and I could actually not cringe in fear when crossing into town. Nope. It's still there and is darker and more vindictive than ever.

Firefly Lives!

This is some cool news. They're making a massively multiplayer Firefly game!

Hopefully it'll work out well. I just wish they'd stop mentioning Star Wars Galaxies in the article about it (shudder).

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hardcore Parenting To The Max!

Holy moley. This lady in the States called the cops on her kid because he opened his Christmas present early... and he was actually charged with petty larceny!

Yeesh! I'll have to remember this in case I see Garrett peeking at his presents (which have changed from his earlier request for nothing to his current request for cars & trucks).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More Wii Warniings

This is pretty funny stuff. Remember those Wii manual warnings I posted a day or two ago? Here are a lot of spoofs inspired by those nonsensical things.

Oh, and we're feeling much better today. I'm still weak as a kitten but I've been able to actually eat today. Yay. Of course, that means I'll be ready to head to work tomorrow... sigh. Nothing like spending my two days off sick as a dog.

On a high note, we picked up Pirates 2 today. Garrett likes the Kraken.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wii Will Kill You

Be careful! The Japanese manual for the Wii has all sorts of crazy ways to hurt yourself while using it. I love how they actually have to specify NOT to smack the person next to you with the Wiimote.

The captions are pretty funny.

Reverse Peristalsis

Well, today hasn't been a very fun day for Julie or myself. A crazy fun day for Garrett, but not us.

It basically boils down to the fact that we've broken the unwritten rule: We both got sick on the same day.

It started with Julie waking up a few times in the middle of the night to throw up. She even called into work sick, which takes some doing.

I figured it would just be one of those days where she'd be home sick and Garrett and I would have to keep ourselves busy.

Then I started puking. And puking... and puking. I've barely been able to keep anything more substantial than a bit of ginger ale and Gravol down, and even that tends to set me off.

Of course, today is my day off. Go figure. I was finally able to keep the stabbing pains in my stomach to a dull roar by about 3 this afternoon when the cocktail of flat ginger ale and ibuprofen kicked in and knocked me out for a few hours. I know I'm really sick because I've had my DS sitting next to me with Final Fantasy V and Phoenix Wright 2 loaded up and haven't turned the thing on all day. Sigh.

I'm feeling a tinch better right now. I've been able to keep a grand total of 10 crackers down without my stomach rebelling too much. Julie hasn't been sick since first thing this morning, so that's a small blessing.

Garrett has had a wonderful day of watching TV, watching Daddy throw up (which was actually kind of cute; he stood there watching me puke and started yelling, "Mommy! Daddy boogers!" He's convinced that throw-up is called boogers.) and basically doodling all over the walls downstairs while we were passed out this afternoon. He finally nodded off around 5ish, which means that he'll be up for a while given the fact that he had a nap till 6:30pm... sigh.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that today was also the day that Garrett decided to wander around the house with no diaper. He started pulling it off in the morning and it culminated with him telling me he had pooped... while standing there with no diaper.

At least the diarrhea had stopped. Ew...

Not Sure Whether To Laugh Or Cry

This is alternately a hilarious picture and a heartbreaking one. I found it on

Poor ducks. I hope they can swim!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Garrett's Adventures

Garrett's had a busy few days. Yesterday we went out to visit Doug and test to see how kid-proof his house was. Suffice it to say, they failed. You now have 4 years to get it up to code!

On the flip side, Doug is now known as Dug Dug the Monkey, according to Garrett. And Garrett loves his fuzzy short pant stickers... Thanks!

After visiting Doug and convincing him to never have kids, we went over to the comic shop. We're obviously going to the comic shop too often as the first thing the clerk did when we walked in was reach behind the counter and pull out the little kaleidescope that Garrett left at the shop a few weeks ago. Sigh.

Thankfully the midget wasn't there. There is a person of short stature (or whatever the politically correct terminology is this week) who is a regular at the comic shop too. Whenever we go there and he's around, Garrett is just flabbergasted. He tends to stop, point at the guy and say, "Little One!" over and over and over again... Then he follows the guy around the store and stands next to him until I haul him away. Garrett, that is, not the little guy. The sad thing is that Garrett is as tall, if not taller, than the guy. The next time he's around, I'm going to introduce myself so I don't feel so embarrassed by Garrett's outburst :)

I also tried to get Garrett to say, "Happy birthday Grandpa!" but he didn't pull it off when the spotlight was on. He said it a lot during the day, just not when we actually had Grandpa on the phone.

That was about it for yesterday. After I got home from work today, I took Garrett out for a horse-drawn carriage ride that the Acton BIA was putting on down on the main street. Garrett got to sit beside Santa and had a blast. The funniest thing is that when Santa asked Garrett what he wanted, Garrett sat there for a few minutes and then said, "Nothing."

He's said that over and over again whenever we ask him what he wants for Christmas. Should be a cheap year for us :)

We also went over and spent some time at the local hockey rink. Garrett overheard some people talking about hockey and insisted that we go watch some hockey. We didn't see much in the way of actual hockey, but we did watch the Zamboni do its work and had some fries and onion rings. Mmm...

On a less exuberant note, Garrett also seems to be suffering from dysentery or something. He's had really bad diarrhea all day. I think he might have picked it up from Santa. You can't trust those guys with beards. Oh well. Hopefully it'll clear up tonight or tomorrow and all will be well.