I spent all of yesterday debugging an 800-line Java method written by the previous team of government contractors, and there was no time to write anything for today. Instead, here is a quickie story I remembered while on Facebook this morning:
When I was a kid, I would wake up before my parents to squeeze in two hours of video games before school. I would even stage a bowl with a little milk and a few cheerios in the sink so it would look like I had already eaten breakfast (10 more minutes of video games!). This ruse worked for several months, until my detective of a dad noticed that there was no spoon in the dirty bowl, and innocently asked me how I had eaten my cereal.
Have a good weekend!
Review Day: Nintendo 3DS XL
My 3DS XL purchase was more a whim than a need -- there were no good computer games on the market at the time, and the 3DS had reached the maturity level where there were a ton of good games available. Plus, there are only so many trips to Popeyes you can spend your massive amounts of disposable wealth on. Previously, my only reason not to buy it was the worry that it would give me migraines all day long. Thankfully, this worry has not materialized in the least.
The 3DS is a surprisingly safe evolution of the DS Lite. Besides the 3D, nothing about it is disruptive technology. There's still a touch screen on the bottom with a stylus tucked away in a hidden sphincter. The circle movement key on the left feels comfortable and is responsive.
3D is achieved by displaying two separate images to the left and right eye. No special glasses or super-concentration is needed to see the effect, so even people who can't see those gibberish 3D mind images will be able to enjoy it. The effect can be increased or turned off with a slider control, which also helps to support different viewing distances. When 3D is enabled, you get an immediate sense of depth that really helps with immersion. And so far, (unlike every other gimmick Nintendo has introduced, like motion controls), it has not been needlessly abused in any of the games I've played.
I've been satisfied with all three starter games I picked up: Super Mario 3D Land, Fire Emblem: Awakening, and Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. (These games will get their own reviews on another day). I've been even more satisfied that the console isn't migraine-inducing, although every game tediously tells you to rest every 45 minutes or so. Battery power has been fine -- I've never gone more than about 5 hours without charging it, but it has never run out early.
In fact, there are only a few minor nitpicks that detract from the experience:
- The volume control is right underneath your left index finger leading to lots of accidental loudness. Also, the L and R shoulder buttons are a little far away if you have tiny hands.
- The fact that it's a handheld console doesn't automatically make it a travel console. It's pretty easy to maintain a good viewing angle and distance while sitting on the couch, but would be harder on the go. I can play turn-based games on the treadmill easily, but not action games.
Final Grade: A-
Stuff in My Drawers Day
This is a Christmas Card I made for my parents in 1985.
On the inside is a folding picture that shows one thing when folded over, but transforms into something completely different when unfolded.
Santa is a child trafficker! Anyone want a baby in a carriage for Christmas?
A smattering of events from 2013January:
- I started "The Daily Hour" for self-improvement, which lasted about six months.
- I went to my first gaming convention, for Evil Mike's bachelor party.
- We tried swing dancing at the Dulles Hilton. Rock-stepping is dumb.
- Mike and Taje got married!
- We spent the Super Bowl at the Crane's.
- I learned how to program in Python.
- I learned how to play the blues in C on the electric bass.
- We went to the horrible Luma Theater of Light show at the Birchmere.
- We took a vacation weekend in Waynesboro, VA.
- I was sorely disappointed by the newest Starcraft sequel.
- We celebrated St. Patrick's Day with the Cranes and Easter with the Whitmers.
- I finally bought a new, expensive office chair, reducing back problems by a factor of 3.
- We started growing homemade tomatoes.
- I started writing open-source bug-tracking software, called Bugler.
- We had a Quatre de Mayo barbeque, which turned out to be one of two barbeques we would have this year.
- We went to Winchester for a Spellerberg reunion.
- Rebecca graduated from PTA school!
- We flew through the air on trapezes.
- We gained a new occupant in our basement.
- We met Brianne at the Hungarian Folk Festival and the world did not end. However, she fled the country immediately after she met us.
- We watched the fireworks at Lake Barcroft.
- Rebecca took her super-crazy PTA exam and passed with a super-crazy high score.
- We took a vacation weekend in Solomons, MD.
- Elisa visited and we went to wineries.
- The URI! Zone started its 18th year.
- We went camping in Greenbrier State Park.
- We went to a wedding at Early Mountain Winery.
- We did a blind wine taste test with the Smiths and Ahlbins, and learned that Rebecca likes the really expensive stuff.
- I gave up on Bugler and started Auricle.
- We hiked the Billy Goat Trail.
- We watched Miss Saigon at the Signature Theatre.
- I turned 34 and probably died.
- We had our Fall Barbeque and met some neighbours.
- We spent the government shutdown hiking around Harper's Ferry.
- We went to the Fall Festival at Doukenie Winery.
- We went to a pumpkin carving party at Katie and Joe's.
- We passed out candy at Max and Leigh Ann's.
- We returned to Harper's Ferry for more hiking fun.
- We traveled to Linden, VA for Elizabeth's birthday.
- We stayed in a posh cabin for Annie's birthday.
- We hosted only 1 Thanksgiving, involving 4 children.
- We had real Thanksgiving with my family.
How was 2013 for you?
You are currently viewing the front page, so the newest post is at the top of the page. Archived news is in chronological order. You can always contact me at The entire URI! Zone is © 1996 - 2013 by Brian Uri!. Please see the About page for further information.