Mmm… Nintendo

2004_05_28nintendo.gifYesterday became a very early birthday as my wife let my open my presents. We now have a GameCube. And four controllers. And money to spend on games. Apparently we couldn’t wait to take advantage of the video action — that and friends are moving this weekend and we can take advantage of sales at Best Buy. But I’m not complaining.

So I need to decide what games to buy. Mario Kart seems like an obvious choice, though I’ve played it a lot recently and have beaten 98% of the races. Then again it’s a racing game and always has a life of its own (proven last night by the awesome three and four player gaming). Super Smash Bros. Melee also looks good. I remember playing it on the N-64 and it’s a great multiplayer game. We rented Simpsons Hit & Run tonight, which is basically a Simpsons version of Grand Theft Auto without all the senseless violence. It’s a fun game, but I don’t know if it’s a must own. Only a small portion of the game is multiplayer, so that’s disappointing.

I’m also going to have to get my share of racing games. Burn Out 2 looks good (I’ve played the original), and I’d also love to get a realistic racer like NASCAR Heat 2: Dirty to Daytona, which covers NASCAR from dirt tracks to modifies to the truck series to the full blown pros. Of course NASCAR 2005: Chase For the Cup sounds pretty sweet.

There’s a few other games I have my eye on, like F-Zero (great racing game on the SNES), Medal of Honor (I’ve played on the computer, though I’m curious if a console version would be any good), and the various James Bond and Lord of the Rings games. I also just checked out the web site for Custom Robo — that looks way cool: build a robot and then fight with it. Looks like lots of multiplayer action.

Thankfully GameCube games get pretty cheap when they’ve been out for a while. Several of these games are available for under $20. Bonus. Does anybody have any recommendations for good games?

Saved! Tomorrow

Saved! opens tomorrow. It’s really an intriguing movie for people of faith. Maybe more of a swamp — it’s one of those iffy kind of movies that people will get passionate about.

I wrote up a quick review of it today, more because I felt like I needed to say something about the film.

Straight Pride?

My friend Josh is having an interesting discussion over at his blog about straight pride. He basically proposed a straight pride symbol (the thing over there on the right) and it’s sparked a conversation about sexuality, tolerance and movements. As of this morning, he has 41 comments on the entry, which is a new record among our little circle of college friends with blogs. But the most interesting part is that very few of our college friends have commented. It’s mostly total strangers (well, Josh may know some of them, but I only know one other commenter).

I don’t like the idea of a straight pride bumper sticker, but it’s been an interesting discussion. It started out as a critique of his design (which I’m not a big fan of either) and eventually got around to why such a sticker should or shouldn’t exist.

I liked a comment Josh made in summary: “You can love what you are without malice towards what you aren’t.” I like that idea, though sadly I don’t think that’s the case on every end of the political, religious, or whatever argument you’re having spectrum. And most of the time we don’t even realize the malice in our tone.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out the interesting conversation and see if anybody wanted to jump in. Josh is probably overwhelmed, but how cool is having 41 comments?

Monkey on the Mayor’s Back

Saint Paul Mayor Randy KellyHave you seen a monkey on Saint Paul Mayor Randy Kelly’s back? During a recent trip to Thailand a monkey jumped onto to the mayor’s back during a tour of a Cambodian monastery. Kelly had asked reporters not to photograph the incident, though rumor is someone has a ‘monkey on Kelly’s back’ screensaver. We can only hope it will eventually pop up on the Internet.

Write/Read: Mondays

Abby begins grad school tonight. This means a number of things for me, which of course prompt me to think and blog. It’s a one class per week program, so it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be on my own Monday nights for the foreseeable future.

With that in mind, I want to take the opportunity to accomplish something. I want to devote my Monday evenings to writing and reading. I’m going to say both because I won’t want to write every Monday, and I’m sure I won’t last writing all evening. Reading will be a welcome


I mentioned the other day that I’m thinking about getting a Nintendo. I’ve been pretty anti-Nintendo in the past few years, at least when it comes to owning one. I know myself, and I have a tendency to become addicted to video games. It happened a number of times in college, and by midway through my sophomore year I learned to stay away.

My roommates have fond memories of playing a game called Worms. I have fond memories of righteously refusing to play for fear of becoming addicted.

But it’s also one of those things you need to learn to overcome. Sometimes you want some sort of quasi-disengaged stress reliever. I just need to learn when not to play it, especially since I work at home. That makes it difficult.

I’m just finding myself intrigued by video games. They’re so much cooler nowadays. It’s not dots on a screen anymore, but entire virtual worlds. The video game industry is a $9.4 billion business, which is bigger than the box office (though I think Hollywood as a whole would have to be larger).

And as a volunteer with my youth group, a game system seems like required material. It sounds stupid, but a video game system is the common denominator among guys. I don’t know a single guy in our group who would say no to a night of video games. While basketball, paintball, a concert, or any other event will draw plenty of guys, I don’t think any of them would get the total response video games seem to. Maybe that says something depressing about teen guys, but I won’t think about that now. I certainly realize video games aren’t the best way to spend time with guys, but it does open a door. I recognize if that’s all you ever do you’re in trouble.

Par for the course when being tempted by a new electronic goodie, I have my doubts. I’m leaning toward the GameCube for all the Nintendo-exclusive games, like Mario Cart and Super Smash Brothers. I realize the PS2 and X-Box might be better systems, but the GameCube is also cheaper. Though that does make me wonder how long until the GameCube is relegated to the pile of oldies like the NES, SNES, and N64. Only a matter of time (to which I want to respond, “So buy now! Buy now!”).

Sometimes I think too much.

Long Lost Family Ties

Oddly enough I’ve had comments posted in the past two days from family members I haven’t talked to in at least ten years. In one case it’ll be ten years this summer, in the other case I don’t know how long it’s been. I was probably a baby when I saw them last.

But I mention this more for practical purposes. I tried e-mailing them both after they posted comments, and both e-mails bounced back. The first appears to be a typical bounce back, the second seems to have thought I was spam.

So commenting family members, I’m trying to e-mail you but it’s not working. It’s not a snub! Honest!

Like a Rat in a Cage

Sometimes weekends you intend to be relaxing become stir-crazy. You don’t have a lot going on, but enough so that it’s not a total nothing weekend. Then it starts raining. The water’s been coming down in puddles, steady and slow. Enough to get you wet, but not enough to be an energizing storm. Not light enough to want to take a walk, just the right amount to be a nuissance.

It really dampens the weekend. By Sunday evening you have no drive or energy to get going and do something. You feel sapped. Responsibility will return in 12 hours, so you don’t want to be responsible. You want to do nothing, but nothing doesn’t present itself. Many Sunday evenings we end up at Target, wandering the aisles and shopping for nothing as an activity.

I hate that stir-crazy feeling. It makes me want to spend money, wildly and uninhibited, as if that will ease the feeling. Movies, electronics, restaurants, food. Somehow I think any of those will make me feel better. In general I think I have a major weakness for comfort food. I think munching can make all things better. It’s a wonder I don’t have a weight problem.

Today I thought a Nintendo would be a nice solution to the stir-crazy feeling. That caged in, lack of responsible feeling demands doing something, something not necessarily productive, yet not totally wasteful. Not sitting on the couch drooling in front of the TV passive, but maybe moving an electronic character across the screen and lining up crystals and fruit will do the trick. That’s what I thought tonight anyway. A little $150 solution.

Stir crazy Sundays. They’re about as annoying as writing this entry, probably as annoying as reading it.