Thursday, January 29, 2009

Well, It's One Way To Get Me To Stop Buying Games...

I had a big bucket of cold water poured on my urge to splurge today. I went into EB just to see if they had some old PS2 games that I've been trying to track down. The manager was busy marking games UP. Most were $69... used games, $65. Just wrong.

He was just shaking his head and saying, "I've given up trying to figure out how the pricing scheme works." The saddest thing was seeing some new games for $9 on the PS3 shelf and then other, older games for $55-69.

It's like, "Well, the economy is going down the toilet and people are spending less. Let's jack the price on games up $10."

Suffice it to say, it will be very easy for me to stick to my resolution to not buy games this year if this pricing trend continues. Forget the fact that the games are already stupidly expensive. Half of them take about 6 hours to complete for that price. I'll just go rent most of the hot games this year and wait for them to hit the bargain bins in 6 months at this rate.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why WOULD Batman Punch Superman?

This is nerdy and game related, but still pretty funny.

Garrett The Cinemaphile

Looking at Garrett's vampire, I realized that it looks a lot like Max Schreck in Nosferatu.

It's uncanny. By which I mean it's totally canny.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Crazy Forts!

I went out with Kara this morning to do some running around. Since the place we wanted to go had no parking and Rogers wasn't open yet, we ended up killing some time in the elitist toy shop in Georgetown. You know the kind of shop I'm talking about. They only sell overpriced toys made from wood and handcarved in Germany.

Anyway, this shop was actually pretty cool. It was still a little too pricey for the most part, but it had some really interesting things and not everything was stupidly expensive. I ended up buying a really cool product that the kids (esp. Garrett) really like.

It's called Crazy Forts and it's something so simple I'm kicking myself for not inventing it. It's basically a giant set of balls and plastic sticks that interlink like tinkertoys. You make them into a fort or tunnel or what-have-you and then toss a sheet on top and voila. Instant fort.

I'm still experimenting with them to find the most sturdy formulation but while the more vertical forts have been a little wobbly, the kids love making spaceships or tunnels out of the set we've made.

Hmm... it looks like you can buy them from Indigo online but they charge $50 for a set. It was $40 at the toy shop, so go find them local if you can.

Oh, and supposedly the guy who invented them lives in Georgetown (or at least in the local area).

I think my next project is to see if I can make a buckyball (or at least a geodesic dome) from the supplied parts.

My Timing Sucks

Of course... Of course the government brings in a tax credit for doing renovations a couple weeks AFTER we finish ours...


Monday, January 26, 2009

World's Cutest Vampire

Garrett is obsessed with drawing vampires for some reason. Here's his latest oeuvre.

The Emerging (from the sea) Church

This is just an awesome bit of satire. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Should Have Seen This Coming

Ever notice how your kid's parentage changes depending on what he or she is doing?

I got a call from Julie yesterday when I was at work which went along these lines.

"Hey, want to know what YOUR genius son got up to today?"

"I don't now..."

"He was microwaving drink boxes while I was doing laundry."

"Oh boy."

Of course, if he'd cracked the cold fusion formula, he'd be HER genius son.

I guess I'll have to postpone my Tin Lighting: Metal In The Microwave demonstration for a few more years...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Waste Of Time

The guy from the city called me yesterday and after a brief parlay, we came to the conclusion that fighting my ticket would be a waste of my time, his time and the court's time. So he threw it out.


Of course, if I get another ticket (in the same area) I'll have to pay it, but I'll know for next time.

I also found $10 on the sidewalk the other day, so this week has actually been pretty decent, all things concidered.

To top things off, I finally found a store that had Apples To Apples in stock, so I bought it with my parking ticket money. I'm hoping to play it a bit at work on the weekend or next week. We need some fun things to keep us from getting cabin fever this winter!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dad's Doppelganger

So I was watching the Rick Mercer Report last night and in the first segment, bammo!

There's my Dad! (Go to about 45 seconds in.)

Actually, it wasn't, but by Odin's frosty beard, the driving instructor that Rick talks to may as well be my dad's identical twin. I've seen that segment a few times already and I still have to do a double take.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's The Most Depressingest Day Of The Year

So today is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year.

Arnall developed the semi-serious formula — 1/8W+(D-d)3/8xTQMxNA — to calculate the gloomiest day of the year in 2005 at the request of the British travel industry.

In the formula, W is weather, D is debt and other money (d) due in January and T is the time that has passed since Christmas.

Q is the period of time before individuals decide they have failed to stand by their New Year's resolutions and M stands for low motivation levels. NA then represents the need to take action to change the situation.

So anyway, I was actually having a pretty good day until right before I went out to go to work today. I had moved my car onto the road so that the plows could clear out our lot and since the only spot to park was in a no parking spot, GUESS WHO GOT A TICKET!


The upside is that a) it was only $30 and b) there's a chance I might get off and not have to pay it. When I stopped in at the city to pay the ticket this afternoon, I gave the lady at the clerk's desk my sob story about having to park on the road while the plows were coming and that there wasn't anywhere else to put my car except the no parking spot. It turns out that you can contest the parking tickets and write a little essay about why you should be let off. I did so and hopefully I'll hear back within a week about whether they buy my reasons for having to park where I did.

Again, worst case scenario, I'm out $30. I'll definately never move my car onto the road unless I can either find a legal spot or see the plows in the lot...

At least the rest of my day was pretty good. Tomorrow we get to go sit in on Garrett's class for a little bit, so that should be interesting!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Julie!

It's Julie's birthday today! Hooray!

And as always, Phineas and Ferb have a song for the occasion (esp. this weekend, as the kids both seemed to have taken an overdose of crazy pills).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Old School Guitar Hero

This is pretty funny. I remember playing this back in the 80's...

Death By Black Hole

This is a very cool lecture by one of my favourite scientists of the day, Neil Degrasse Tyson, who talks about what it's like to die via black hole immersion.

I need to get a copy of this book. It sounds awesome.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Garrett The Playa

Garrett just informed me that his friend Emily was coming over for a sleepover so that he could show her the basement. When asked when this sleepover was happening, he said, "SIXTEEN MINUTES!"

I'll keep you posted...

Where's My Stuff?

A little addendum to the basement being finished:

Kara went running over to where the Art Cart usually is (it has been moved downstairs) and the look of utter confusion on her face when she realized that it wasn't there anymore was priceless.


Mark January 13, 2009 on your calendars, folks. Today is the day the contractors took the last of their stuff out of the basement and we moved things down there. They did the final inspection yesterday and the plumbing inspector popped by to take a look at the last little thing they'd asked for and as far as I know, the permit is now closed.


And now, a little tour of what 3 months of work and about $25K will get you!

Kara gets her stair-legs.

Here's a look down the hallway and at the cubby under the stairs.

This is the laundry room and freezer spot.

Here's my little workroom aka The Man Cave.
I plan to work on models and listen to podcasts on my little iPod radio thingy.

The bathroom is a little small but it is big enough to do what you've gotta do.

The giant closet is Kara's favourite place in the basement so far. Sigh...

We still need to go out and get a lot of stuff for the basement on the storage side of things but here's a look at the playroom.

So... that's about it. I've got a few little video tours that I need to pop up on Youtube or something but until we make another trip or two to Ikea, what you see is what you get. It was just a great feeling to actually get a lot of the stuff that has been cluttering up the living room moved downstairs.

And just to give you a sense of how far we've come since the latter half of October, take a look at how the basement was before we started!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tastiest Game Of The Year

Last week I picked up a little cartridge for my DS called Personal Trainer: Cooking. It's essentially a digital cookbook and I'd heard good things about it.

I perused it during the week and decided to take it for a spin this weekend. On Friday, I made my first ever batch of rice pudding and I have to say that it tasted pretty yummy, though I'll have to tweak it a bit the next time I make it.

I made a couple of other recipes at work today for the guys. I made some cheese pancakes for breakfast and gnocchi with gorganzola sauce for supper. I didn't get a chance to actually try the gnocchi, but I did taste the sauce and it was pretty yummy. The pancakes were sweeter than I expected but a welcome change from the usual sunday brunch menu.

If you've got a DS and $20 and want to expand your cooking, I heartily recommend this program. Even Garrett was getting into it. There's a recipe for banana brownies that he wanted to make but since I had the DS at work, he couldn't wait and ended up making some other kind of brownies. Ah well. He did help with the rice pudding on Friday though!

And it's not a game. Julie even said so and if anyone would classify one of my purchases as a game, well, it'd be her.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

This Post Contains 35% Of Your Daily Recommended Chair News

Behold the throne of Brock!

Considering my old desk chair is something I got... oh... either in high school or university... aka longer than I've been married... well, it's high time I got a new one.

Time to try some games on the ol' PC while letting my butt interface with the new chair.

Friday, January 09, 2009

How I Wonder What You Are

Watching the moon twinkle like frozen stars on the crisp snow at midnight is near zen-like after a long week of working nights.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Eat Your Heart Out, Hussein Bolt!

Let it be said that it is possible to roll over, look at the clock, see that it is 8:14am and still manage to get up, get dressed, get two kids moderately fed and bundled up and out to the bus stop for 8:40am.

I never want to do that again...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

It's Great To Be Home

Well, we've finally made it back home after our sojourn to the Greater Sarnia Area. It was a lovely visit with both sets of grandparents but it's really nice to be back in Acton and, more importantly, our own beds.

Kara demonstrated her ingenuity over the past week by being able to climb out of her playpen and open the door to her room, which meant that during the week I was home and Julie was in Corunna, Kara didn't sleep until the wee hours of the night.

I spent most of the past week sitting in front of Kara's door holding the door shut with one hand while surfing the net on the lappy until she finally fell asleep. The sad thing is that last night, after yet another round of 'Lock Up Your Daughters!', I went into the room once she'd stopped crying and pulling on the door handle to find her asleep in her playpen.

Of course, that was last night... the last night we were in Corunna. Sigh. Who knows if she'd have stayed in the playpen tonight, but I like to think that she would have.

Friday, January 02, 2009

It's Our Anniversary!

Yup. Today is the day we celebrate 10 wonderful years of wedded bliss!

And what better way to pronounce my love for Julie than with a clip from Phineas & Ferb :)

By the way, don't ask people at People's what the gift for the 10 year anniversary is. They're clueless. (Psst. It's pizza!)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Giant Steam Sale!

If you've got a PC and want to score some really cheap games, go on over to Steam and take a gander at their year end sale. It ends tomorrow, but it's well worth checking out as they have some fantastic deals. I mean, you can get Bioshock for $5!

There's someting for everyone. I've been spending a lot of evenings this week playing Bookworm Adventures Deluxe (which is like Boggle and an RPG had a baby... a beautiful, beautiful baby) and Peggle Nights, with some Strong Bad episodes thrown in. And may I heartily recommend World Of Goo. You'll thank me for it.

Happy 2009 Everybody!

I hope everyone had a good New Year's Eve last night. I had a good day with Garrett out at the toboggan hill but I was cranky during the night. I blame the fact that I slipped on some ice and banged my back and the back of my head on the ice for my foul mood.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Oh, and my dad and I called the Chicken Cannon target of the year for the Air Farce NYE show.