Monday, March 27, 2006

Catching up

I had loads of things I wanted to write about and that back up is even larger now that I just got back from vacation. I’ll hit items that are still relevant.

Vacation was good, restful. It’s refreshing to get away from daily internet use. I went the entire trip without drinking coffee too, which isn’t that huge of a deal since I only have one cup in the morning. Still, I did notice an extra buzz this morning after having had even a short break from caffeine.

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I love reading on breaks so went to the local book store before leaving and happened upon a buy 4 get one free sale. I picked up the latest Card “Shadow” book and some others, but couldn’t find a suitable fifth free book.

I had been waiting to read the Harry Potter books until they were all done, but the recent Goblet of Fire movie piqued my interest. It was the first of the movies to make me curious what got cut out. I was afraid of missing other subplots if I just went ahead and started reading Goblet of fire, but it turned out fine. I really have no interest in reading the first of second books (the movies bored me to tears), but Raffy says I should definitely go back and read the third book. Since I greatly enjoyed the movie version, it’s certainly a possibility once I finish the available books. I’m about 200 pages away from completing Order of the Phoenix.

Aside from reading, I was riveted to the final World Baseball Classic match that pitted Cuba vs. Japan. Like most, I was skeptical of this event, but wow did it deliver in the end. I might have to track down one of those Japan team jerseys.

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Other random vacation notes:

- If you ever have a chance to try Warabi Mochi, go for it. It’s sooo soft and delicious.
- I loved the new movie Inside Man. A bit long, but what a great ride.
- Funyuns with Wasabi is pretty decent. I wouldn’t go out of my way to try it, but it’s interesting.
- I discovered Banana Cream Cheesesake at the Cheesecake factory is now my favorite from their massive selection.
- Try to the Green Tiramisu from the Honolulu Coffee company. Fantastic.

I finally got some hands on time with the DS-Lite. Very, very cool. Import prices have started to come down, but it might be better to keep waiting. GRAW still hasn’t received the quality time it deserves, Oblivion just came out, and Rumble Roses 360 is actually hitting stores this week.

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Getting back to DS related news, it looks like the long run of keeping up with Nintendogs is finally over. It’s possible the doggies may get resurrected by resetting the DS clock, but that’s a lot of feeding, walking, and cleaning before it’ll be caught up. Ditto for my Animal Crossing town, although there is a much better chance that it’ll get whipped into shape once a DS Lite is had.

I also checked out an interesting acrobatics show over the break, but that deserves its own full entry. It’s worth waiting for.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Pre-emptive GBA purchase

I’m not sure when I’ll be able to play it, but I picked up Tales of Phantasia for the GBA today. My spider senses tell me this has a good chance of becoming scarce down the road, and eventually I’ll really want to play it. I’m tempted to fire it up now actually, but there really isn’t enough time to commit to a RPG right now. There’s barely enough to make sure this blog doesn’t go too long without an update.

Speaking of time commitments, there’s no doubt I’ll be sinking whatever I have into GRAW. It looks damn sweet every time I see someone playing it in the office. Burnout 360 looks hot too and Oblivion is right around the corner. My long hiatus from the 360 is about to end. Yes, it’s true, I’ve barely touched my 360 in over a month. I’m scared to see how many friends have zoomed past my gamerscore and rankings in Geometry Wars. It just can’t be helped. Work is super hectic and my game time has been sucked up by the DS. Those damn Nintendogs still have me going, my Animal Crossing town is being tended to, and I’ll randomly pop in fare like Elektroplankton or Rub Rabbits (which I also just picked up).

DS time will surely increase whenever I can score a DS Lite. My pre-order for the import one is stalled due to jacked up prices, so might have to actually wait for the official US release. Guess it depends on if they’ll offer the dark blue color at launch here.

Many Toys R Us stores around the country are closed now (there are maybe two left in my area, down from five). They had been slowly reducing prices till a final blow out. During the 30% off phase, I was scored Castlevania DS. After that, I forgot to check in till the last gasp 90% off phase. Barely anything was left except there was still a thick stack of Baten Kaitos GC. The price was $29.99, so it was down to a shocking $2.99. Wow. I wonder where all these popped out from? There was a period this game was considered rare, but that’s definitely not the case anymore.