Monday, December 31, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I know many of you are eagerly awaiting Boxing Day, but some of us are content with a nice relaxing Christmas day. Presents are nearly open. Family has been mostly called. Internet occasionally has been working.

So far Michelle has talked to all her family. I will likely talk to my family tonight once they get back from other family stuff. Miranda has been opening presents like crazy and loving it. Although it is funny when she finds a toy she likes, you can ask her to open more presents, but all you get is vigorous head shaking and a quiet little no.

It might be disconcerting for some but we have been avoiding the whole Santa thing. I think we are better off just telling Miranda what the holiday means and to say that the presents from from those that we love and love us. I think that is better than Santa.

But here is to the start of an excellent day and fun times spent with my small little family. May all of you have a great and wonderful Christmas.

momcam 357

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I am not dead

I swear I will make a real post sometime this weekend. If you want to blame anything, blame the video games. When Miranda is awake it is time to play, but when she goes to bed... I tend to game.

Speaking of which, if you have a 360 and don't have Crackdown, you should pick it up cause it is only $20 at Amazon. (See previous posts...)

$20! Seriously, get it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Review: Call of Duty 4

So recently I purchased Call of Duty 4 based upon the reviews of Tycho and my friend MatchesMMalone. Let me say that the Multiplayer mode had me hooked right away. The role playing game aspects of experience leading to new abilities and new weapons is really addicting as the leveling up is not tedious in the early levels and really addicting as you bring new weapons into play. Basically as you progress through the multiplayer game you have experience affecting your rank and personal abilities, along with unlocking new sets of challenges. Challenges are ways of increasing rank more quickly as you get experience bonuses for accomplishing a challenge. One challenge would be to kill 5 enemies while in the crouched position or perhaps to call in 5 UAVs. Then there are also specific challenges associated with each weapon in the game. By completing these challenges, you not only get experience but you can acquire new camouflage for the guns or new scopes and capabilities.

So multiplayer aside, there is a great single player campaign here as well, but it is missing a multiplayer coop mode that would have made this absolutely stellar. The single player campaign puts you in the shoes of 3 separate soldiers with specific objectives to meet. The missions are well scripted (much to the same degree that the missions in Halo 3 or other Call of Duty games are well scripted), the story is well told and missions range from easy to fun to challenging without getting to terribly annoying. I ran through the game on Hardened difficulty and really got stuck in only a couple of places where I spent ungodly amounts of reloads attempting to accomplish the mission. But the ending is satisfying and spectacular and very anti-climatic.

So based on this, the multiplayer aspects alone would warrant getting this game, but add in a fun, exciting (~6 hours) single player mode and I think we have a winner.

Where have I been?

Well, it seems that I took a long break from posting. I don't count the flash post as I was just playing with one of the Amazon associate widgets. They are written in flash and I was curious about how they looked on a web page. Now I know.

As hit the national news, large chunks of the Pacific Northwest ended up underwater. Luckily, we avoided that, although we did get a large amount of rain, there are advantages to living near the top of a hill although one could worry about mudslides. Nope, we made out ok.

Mostly I have had a few house guests. John "MatchesMMalone" Knight spent a few days with us as he was out for work. He got a tour of a couple of facilities at Microsoft as well as doing some speaking at the University of Portland. But wait he wasn't all. My parents came out for a week as well to spend time with their granddaughter.

Overall it was fun. We had a cookout while John was here so that we could get together some ex-Whirlpool folks for reminiscing. But I also got my butt kicked playing Risk. Never fight a land war in Asia.

friends in town

Past that my parents, wife and daughter spent time traveling the area while I took off a couple of days to hang out with them as well. One of the days we made it down to the newly renovated Seattle Aquarium. They have really done a great job with it and Miranda had a blast. Also caught some lunch at Ivar's Acres of Clams which was excellent.

Otherwise it was just a week of visit with friends and family (not to mention all the cleaning leading up to it) and just had a relaxing time.