Modern Kitchen

I am loving this kitchen over on Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn.  The faux bois rug/mat is fantastic!

What makes your garden grow?

I started playing Chibi-Robo on my DS this week.  You play as  a cute little robot whose mission is to revitalize a dying park.  You have to plant flowers, keep them watered, and repair various things around the park in order to attract more visitors.  It is fun so far, but a little repetitive.  I am not very far in to the game, so I am not ready to impart a final verdict yet.  All I can say for sure is that the voice of the French marionette is annoying at best.

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$200 later…

…I have a new camera!  As I posted previously, I have been hunting for a good camera to replace my dying 5-year old digital camera before the baby arrives.  I first noticed that my old camera was giving up the ship when we were on vacation earlier this summer.  It seemed like every other picture I took would be distorted and strange.  It was far too old and outdated to bother trying to repair, so I started researching digital cameras.  A lot has changed since I bought mine years ago!  I was way behind the curve!  I narrowed it down to 2 models and then price-watched them using Google Shopping.  I was leaning towards the more powerful one, even though there was a definite trade off in size.  When the price of it dropped to $200 on Newegg, a reputable site that we like to order from anyway, I knew it was the right time.  I wanted to have it in enough time that I could learn how to use it before the baby came and the picture-taking marathon began.

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It turns out, I chose well.  I have been very happy with the camera and have pretty much learned the features I will use.  The size trade-off between it and a regular point-and-shoot will not be too big of a deal.  It doesn’t fit in my pocket, but I never really put my older, smaller camera in my pocket anyway.  The extra zoom will be really nice with the baby and it is still smaller than a DSLR.

It seems to me that this type of hybrid camera will be really popular.  The mix of advanced features, and lower price appeals to me – I wanted a step above the normal point-and-shoot models, but I am not a professional photographer and I don’t have a $600 budget…

Now Playing…

A good deal popped up on the release date of Scribblenauts, so I actually purchased it new at a store – GASP!  I know!

Toys R’ Us was offering a $15 gift card with the purchase of Scribblenauts for $29.99 on the Tuesday it was released.  That seemed like a pretty good deal to me considering I intended to sell it on Goozex when I was finished.  I went over there on my lunch break and made the purchase.  I actually bought two – one for me and one for a co-workers 11-year-old son.  That made me feel a little sheepish…  Anyway, it was a good deal and I had the game on release day (super strange for me).

I have been playing it for the last week or so and the verdict is that it is okay.  The idea is neat and the puzzles are generally fun, but the physics are retarded.  The little dude, Max, is driven exclusively by the stylus and his movements are super awkward and stilted.  I struggled to get him up on a ledge for what seemed like minutes while he just dry-humped the side.  I eventually summoned wings and flew over just to keep things moving – sheesh!

The thing I don’t get is the strategy guide that is also for sale for the game.  I thought the point was that there was no right answer and it was all down to imagination, but I guess I must be wrong…

All in all, it is a fun game that I plan to finish, but it does not make my top 10 list and I will be promptly flipping it (for $37 bitches!) once I have wrung all the fun out of it.

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I met Cthulu and I lived to tell the tale…

It made me cry…

So I bought and played the new Professor Layton game – The Diabolical Box and it was great!  If you are a fan of the first game, you will like this one as well since the play style is very similar and the story is very well written.  Some of the puzzles were pretty hard and I had to get some help online, but otherwise I liked the challenge.  Some added elements made the game a little more interesting.  The hamster training was a little random, but still fun and the tea brewing side game was neat and better integrated to the story.  I really liked the camera assembly since it added side games similar to Mystery Case Files where you identify differences in two photos.  Regarding the crying, it might be down to hormones, but I thought the story was really well constructed and the theme of love lost was well played out.  The closure at the end of the game really did bring me to tears.  “I love someone else who needs me even more than you do”  – that line just did me in.  Sniff, sniff…

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This Guy Gets It!

I heard a great piece on NPR this morning about Safeway’s approach to health care and how it could translate to the entire country.  God forbid we take some personal responsibility in this country…

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Photo from Paul Sakuma/AP

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