Soon To Be Classics

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Galaxy's End

The kids and I finished Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii today. It came down to a desperate battle with Bowser at the spot of creation of his new galaxy. On the line was the lovely and perilous Peach as well as the fate of all creation.

Once Bowser finally fell, there was a pretty long ending sequence, which in my own mind, I described as "Crisis on Mario Earths". Forgive me if you don't get the reference.

Once the credits began to roll, the kids actually broke into applause. It was as if we had just sat through a long but immensely satisfying movie. Something we started almost a month ago was finally done, and the three of us did every bit of it together.

I might have mentioned earlier about the the second player control as the "star bit collector". Whereas my 4 and 6 year old couldn't possibly do the platform play of player one, they were completely involved as player two. I found the following bit from an interview with Nintendo President Satoru Iwata:

What I originally had in mind, were situations like where a parent would be sitting by their child, and say, the mother would assist her child playing. I also think it would be great if the opposite happens. The mother would control Mario, and her child would assist his mother saying “Mom, there’s a bad guy over here!” A parent and child playing a game as they help each other, was something that I wanted to bring to a reality for a long time, and with Super Mario Galaxy,

I would like to think he succeeded. We had a blast as a family. It's nice to see that Nintendo, as a company, had the forsight to allow so diverse an age range to participate.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing touted an interview with Jessica Alba on the following:

- Her role in Sin City 2!!!!

- Fantastic Four 3!!!

- And a possible Dark Angel Movie!?!?!!

Here is he exact interview.

Did she actually even say anything??

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mario For the Whole Family

The kids and I have been having a blast playing Super Mario Galaxy on our Wii. J got it for Christmas and we very quickly discovered it was way to hard for him. So, I've been having to play through the game while they watch and participate by being by "star grabber". This means one of the kids has the second remote and moves their cursor over various "star bits" that litter the game worlds. It's very ingenious on the part of Nintendo because, whether intended or not, gives the kids the opportunity to "play" a very difficult platform game.

B, to her credit, has become amazingly adept at figuring out how to do things in the game when her stupid old man can't figure it out. She's had one or two flashes of brilliance that have really floored me.

So far, my favorite part of SMG is the music. The track here, shown in the recording studio, is from the Gusty Garden Galaxy. It has a very Spanish feel to it and is fun to listen to. I offer it for your enjoyment as well.

By the way, we got 5 gold stars tonight so we rock. :)

The Future Begins

In case you missed it, here's the teaser for J.J. Abrams' STAR TREK feature.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Not A Bucket List

This wasn't sparked by the recent film, but rather a co-worker who is attending a Duke game as part of his list. It got me thinking and I found this interesting list.

A lot of items on the list are time dependent and some are just matters of luck, so I almost disqualify them. (Catching a ball at a MLB game, for instance.)

Still, I scored 40. Maybe I'll work up my own list.

#99 is the best, by the way.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Finally A Nice Day

After three solid weeks of rain (pretty much night and day) the clouds broke and we had a nice day. Besides getting some yard work done, seeing the Colts lose, and taking the kids to the park, the highlight was when I stepped outside tonight, looked up, and saw Mars shining a very bright, but deep red. Very nice.

It gave me chance to pull out Google Earth and use the Star View portion. If you haven't done it yet, give it a download.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Next Chapter

We got the diagnosis for mom yesterday. The neurologist confirmed she has Alzheimer's Disease. Based on the tissue lost revealed in the Petscan, she's had it for maybe 2 years. She hadn't really been responsive to much during these visits and tests. I always tried to make sure she understood what was going on and why we were there without pushing her. She never really reacted to much of anything. Until yesterday. She almost broke down crying in the doctor's office. To make matters worse, I had always told mom that we were doing this to make her feel better. I asked the doctor if today was a baseline, would she ever feel better once we started her on the medication. His reply was "no, it will only slow the disease." I feel like I lied to her all these months by giving her false hope.

I think she truly believes she's going to die and that she'll spend the rest of her days in confused pain. She might be right. I really don't know.

Now, we have to figure out what to do next. She's started the meds so we'll see what the side effects are. I suppose I need to call the Alzheimer's Association to get help. I hate asking anyone for help. But I really just don't know what to expect. I've read some stuff online but honestly, after a while it begins to read like worthless platitudes. Mom seems to have aged about 20 years in the last 12 months.

What's really funny is how my sister reacted when I told her we were getting tests for Alzheimer's. She seemed more concerned that my dad had Parkinson's Disease and mom might have Alzheimer's. "With both parents having neurological disorders, that means there's a better chance we might get that, you know." What a way to put yourself first. I guess a crisis shows your true character.

Sooner or later there's going to be a point where she doesn't recognize her grandchildren. The kids don't know anything is wrong. For some reason, Bailey made the strangest comment last night. Out of the blue, she said "...there's no last winter with Grandma, is there daddy?" I had no idea how to reply. Maybe she's smarter than her stupid old man thinks she is.

So there's the update. I'll write more as I know it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

And Speaking of Iron Man

Here's something fun from Marvel's new kid-based website.


The actual website is

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Death to the Graphic Novels and Collected Editions?

I was in Borders today and stumbled upon a couple of amazing products. There several DVDs, each one containing the last 100 issues (up to April 2007) of:

The Amazing Spider-Man
Ghost Rider
Fantastic Four
The Incredible Hulk
The Avengers

Each was over 3000 PDF pages of comics...for $10.99 each.

100 issues takes you back to Spring of 1999 so that makes each separate issue price around $2.75. That's a helluva deal. I almost bought them but I thought I'll check online to see if I can get a better price. Interestingly enough, I cannot find them on Border's site or However, I DID find this jewel:

The Collected Civil War is 199 issues of Marvel Comics. It's all of the various threads and tie-ins to last year's monumental Civil War storyline. And it's $50. That's less than one tenth what buying the series would have cost you. I would assume it's in order too, which is also pretty amazing.

Comet Tuttle

For you Astronomy buffs and fans of me. Comet Tuttle approaches!

By the way, in full disclosure regarding the attached photo, I don't think Comet Tuttle will end all life on Earth but "Namesake of the harbinger of Death" would be bitchin' on my resume!