2005 Dec 23
Animal Crossing: Wild World (AC:WW) for the Nintendo DS has got to be one of my favorite games of all-time. It’s so appealing to me on a few different levels. First, it’s on the DS, which I really prefer to a console system because I can power it on in seconds in any room of the house (or apartment in my case). I can use my headphones and play a game in bed without disturbing Mariko or the kids, because I can keep the lights out.
Secondly, the soundtrack of the game is wonderful! It’s really relaxing and soothing. It sounds awesome when using headphones, and even the built-in DS speakers sound great. I even plugged it into my car stereo’s aux-in port to listen a little bit while driving. Ok, that’s so lame, I can’t believe I admitted it! But that just shows how much I like the soundtrack.
The controls are great because you can do just about everything by just using the keypad, but you can also use the stylus for the more complicated tasks, like casting your line when fishing, writing letters, or messing with your inventory and selling things.
But what really has kept me interested in the game is the pacing. It’s not at all a chore, which Nintendogs can be. You can skip days of playing (not that I have), and jump right in where you left off. It’s designed to be played in small time chunks too. The town store closes from 11pm-8am, so you can’t just make money and shop non-stop. The AC world mirrors real-life time, using the system’s built-in clock. So, when you play the game at noon, the AC world is at noon, and when a real-life holiday rolls around, there will be special events in-game as well. It’s just a neat concept which started with the Gamecube version and continues here. This mirroring of real-time has the neat effect of making you want to login at different times to see what is different in the AC town.
And it’s not just the 24-hour timeframe either. It also has seasons! Right now there is snow on the ground, you can make snowmen, and Christmas trees are available in the store. But, since it is winter, there aren’t any insects flying around to collect with your net. A number of people have “time-travelled” and reset their DS time/date to be summer so they can find special summer items, but I don’t think I will be doing that.
Anyways, there is tons of stuff to do in the game. I am currently working on my orchard so that I can make some money and expand my house. And I am keeping an eye out for any UFO’s that I can use as a target for my slingshot. The game is so great!!! It really makes me want to break out my Gamecube version again and play that too!
2005 Dec 22
Have you ever eaten one thing right after another, and the two tastes combine to form a completely different, but recognizeable flavor? This has been happening a lot with me lately, and usually involves coffee. If I have some coffee right after having some minty gum, the resulting taste will be smoky bbq sauce. Another time, I had some coffee, and the aftertaste was just like a Dodger dog. Hmmm…
2005 Dec 20
The 2006 Dodgers are going to be interesting to watch. The recent acquisitions are already giving us fans hope that the Dodgers will make the playoffs. I just watched the press conference where the Dodgers introduced Nomar Garciaparra as their newest player, and now I can’t wait for the new season to begin! It would be great if Nomar can stay healthy and become a team leader. He is from SoCal, and talked about how his first MLB game he ever saw was at Dodger Stadium, and how his parents used to take him to Phillipe’s and pick up French dip sandwiches, then go watch BP at the stadium.
The Dodgers still need help in the outfield, and some pitching. But, the team will be much more fun to watch and follow this year. Nomar is going to be a big hit with the fans. I just hope it doesn’t turn into another Darryl Strawberry fiasco…
2005 Dec 16
As a lifelong Dodger fan, this past year has been totally crazy. The firings of the manager and GM were shockers, as was the hiring of the SF Giants assistant GM as the new Dodger GM. At first I thought that it was awful that the Dodgers would do that, but then I realized that it might be a terrific move. We get a great GM (I’m optimistic), and the Giants lose a valuable member of their organization. Two birds!
Anyways, it seems that the Dodgers owner has loosened his purse-strings (something nobody expected) and has let Coletti go out and sign players. A few weeks ago, it seemed like no one wanted to be associated with the Dodgers. Now it looks like they are righting the ship, and people are willing to come on board again. It all turned around when Coletti signed Rafael Furcal to a big contract. Then came Grady Little as manager, followed by Bill Mueller (and Sandy Alomar Jr.) And the Dodgers are in the running for acquiring a few more free agents as well, including Nomar, who lives in SoCal, and Johnny “The Passion” Damon. I’m pretty psyched about the Dodgers going into the 2006 season. Heck, it can’t be any worse than 2005, and I am thinking it will actually be a whole lot better! Go Blue!!!
2005 Dec 14
Recently, I got a few electronic gadgets that are really great. The first thing I got (which was a birthday gift) was a Belkin 802.11g router with print server.
We were previously using a Netgear 802.11b router, which seemed fine, just slow. But after installing the Belkin, a couple problems went away which I previously thought were the fault of the dsl modem, but were in fact caused by the Netgear router. First, we had trouble configuring our email clients to send using our own smtp servers. This is no longer a problem… we can now send mail using Outlook, Thunderbird, or any other program, using the normal ports. Also, sending data out through our dsl modem used to be super slow… like molasses. It was about 10k per second. Sending photos to Flickr took forever! I blamed this on our dsl modem, but it was something with our Netgear router. With the new Belkin, data flies!
Since our router now uses the faster 802.11g protocol, I figured I would upgrade my laptop card to a new Belkin card
. The transfers from my laptop to our other computers are *much* faster now. I normally download pictures from my camera to my laptop, then copy them from the laptop to Mariko’s laptop and my desktop computer. With the new card, it is very quick. I love it. I have become a big fan of Belkin. Their router and card setup was so easy and trouble-free.
Lastly, I got a 1GB Memorex Traveldrive
. This little USB2 device is so convenient, I don’t know how I lived without it! It fits on my keychain, so I always have it with me. I use it to transfer files to and from work, and keep pictures of my family on it. Sort of like carrying pictures in your wallet I suppose. Anyways, it requires no extra drivers to install on computers. Just plug it into a USB port, and it shows up as another drive on your computer. It’s so simple and easy. Plus the one I got has a cool flashing blue LED.
2005 Dec 09
Here is a slideshow of a collection of great photos
featuring Santa scaring the living daylights out of little kids. We’re taking Bay and Koa to a Christmas party tonight, so I hope to capture a couple photos just like these.
[link via Chris]
2005 Dec 08
Anyone want to exchange friend codes for Animal Crossing: Wild World? Email me using the form at the bottom of THIS PAGE. I am desperate to try out the wifi features!
2005 Dec 07
When we moved out of our house in July, we packed everything in such a hurry and didn’t really think about the stuff we would be needing when it got colder, like heavy jackets. Well, last night we went to the store and bought warm jackets for Bay, Koa, and myself and now we are all set! And it’s just in time, since today the temperature started out at about 50°F, and should drop down to 36°F by lunchtime, and 32°F by quittin’ time. And a hard freeze tonight! But we will be nice and warm with our new jackets! (This post is for you, Mom!)
2005 Dec 06
I received my replacement bolt a couple days ago, and spent an hour putting my C70 back together. It has been sitting on a block, the front wheel off, with no legshield. I put the new bolt into the suspension arm, then put on the red fender, then the wheel, attached the speedometer and brake cables, then attached a red front badge I got off of ebay, and finally the legshield. The battery is all charged up, and I was ready to go for a ride last night. Too bad it was in the 30’s. I stayed inside… Anyways, it feels better to have the C70 back together and road-worthy. I might just take it out to take some artsy night pictures of it. It definitely won’t win any awards for being the prettiest scooter… it’s red and blue, for goodness sakes!
In other news, the bike is still not registered. I am waiting for the previous owner to sign the bill of sale. It’s a frickin pain in the ass. I keep calling his assistant, who is seldom there, and never returns my calls. The last time I talked to her, she said the documents would be signed on the 28th… I am thinking of giving up, and trying to get the bike titled some other way.