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Turkey Day Excitement!

Well, we had a very nice Thanksgiving here in MN, with lots of food and family to go around. So, we got home, got the kids to bed, and had just sat down around 10pm to watch a show. Suddenly I hear a thunderclap and all the power goes out.

Alyssa and I fumble a bit for a flashlight, then we look outside to see what happened. We can make out what appears to be headlights in the trees behind our house about 150 yards away!

I get my coat on and rush outside, and sure enough a car ran off the road and into our woods. At first we were concerned about a downed power line, but as it turns out, he had sheared through the (non-powered) guide wire which whipped up over the live wires and shorted them out.

Police and ambulance were on the scene within 15 minutes (amazing!). The driver was standing by his car but bloodied, and they took him out on a stretcher. We were without power for about 2 hours, and then at 1am in the morning they were chainsawing more trees so the tow truck could pull the car out with a tow cable.

I cleaned up the mess a day later, and filled my garbage can with plastic debris. I actually found the driver's cell phone in three (still functional) pieces, so I put it together and called up his family who was grateful to be able to pick up the phone. The driver was a kid, college age I think, and he had some serious gashes in his head but was home from the hospital.

Whew! What a way to end the day.Smile

Good News Everyone!

The new Futurama movie, Bender's Big Score, is released today!


I know there are some Futurama fans out there, and will be very happy to be able to see a new show.  Sara and I both came late to the Futurama express, but have fallen in love with the Planet Express crew and can't wait to watch the movie, or for the new series to begin.


I've heard it's a fun one! 

Holidays for Heroes

Soldier's Angels is a tax-deductible 501 c 3 non-profit which sends gifts to our troops in the Middle East, or those wounded and in a military hospital.


They accept any amount via their "Donate" button found on any page, or for $10 or $25 a person can buy a Christmas gift bag . From the site:

"Each Christmas gift bag contains either a Soldiers' Angels stainless steel mug or a Christmas stocking, with white socks, a 150minute International Pre-Paid phone card, hot cocoa mix, hot cider mix, power
bar, Christmas candy, and a hand-written Christmas card. The cost is
$10 per mug or stocking, or $25 with goodies and overseas shipping
included. For our Jewish soldiers, we will also be sending Chanukah
gifts, kosher goodies and hand-written Chanukah cards."

Happy Holidays everyone. Laughing

Game Review: Super Paper Mario

Super Paper Mario is almost a good game.  It has clever puzzle, excellent control, and a wide variety of levels.  But it also has tedious dialog, annoying restrictions, and a lot of menu work for what is essentially an action game.

The Paper Mario series started out as a cute, stylized sequel to Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.  It took RPG-like elements, experience points, progression, inventory, etc and merged them with a paper cut-out look and feel.  Houses would stand up and fold around you as you walked in, and several of Mario's powers involved him being folded in different ways.

The papery gimmicks are still around, but much of the RPG qualities were dropped for this version. But all the dialog remained!  Some of it was cute and clever, but in the end it got tiresome. 

You have an inventory, still, that you barely ever use.  In fact, it just fills up and becomes annoying. You can store items at certain locations for later retreval, but why?  You really only need health items.

Finally, the levels get kind of tiresome.  Once you get the idea or hook of the level, expect to rinse and repeat at least 4 more times in coming levels.

It was generally fun, and there was a good variety of situations, but it just didn't all come together in the end.

Best moment:  The introduction to Fracktail, the first big boss fight: video


Pat's Rating system:

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It's a girl

well, we found out a couple of weeks ago that we are having a little girl.  SOOOO excited.  Holly has picked at least three names for the baby, all changing within a week or so.  At first, it was Nataleigh.  Then it was Elliette.  And now, I can't say for fear of her wanting to change it again. 


She is due on March 21st!!!

Eric's Trip



I'm back!

Just like almost two years ago, the company put me up in a nice hotel near the ocean. Those pictures are from my room's balcony. Very relaxing and with a cup of coffee a nice way to start the day.


The trip was good. Lots of meetings, but there seemed to be a buzz in the air.

High-quality GamerWear

I came across the Top 10 Best Game Apparel and let's just say I'd welcome any of the items there into the family.  They're all pretty good, go see.

Yes, there is one pair of underwear in the list.  I expect a host of jokes relating to me wearing those -- it won't be a surprise.


I AM The Pumpkin King


We just got back from seeing the 3D version of The Nightmare Before Christmas... and what fun it was.

Gone are the chintzy cardboard glasses. They are replaced by plastic sunglass-like ones which are much more comfortable to wear. For those of you who may remember when 3D movies were done in shades of red, grey and blue (with red/blue lenses for the glasses), gone are those as well--as they have for a long time. The 3D movie experience has really progressed.


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Visions of Sugar Plums

Here's the Christmas list for this year:

  • Shannon - Carl
  • Carl - Eric
  • Eric - Pat
  • Pat - Jake
  • Jake - Shannon
  • Heather - Jodi
  • Jodi - Holly
  • Alyssa - Heather
  • Sara - Alyssa
  • Holly - Sara

I can also include the wishlists for each here in this main post. Maybe links to Amazon or other registries?

Or, would there be any interest in having the option of donating $25 to a military charity of the gift reciever's choice in lieu of gifts this year?

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