Monthly Archives: 

November 2006

Nintendo Wii: First Impressions

I really should give up and add a Wii Category to my blog. It’s right over there on the right hand sidebar (yay WordPress!). I just don’t want to cave; I don’t have a Category for most of my other interests; Mandrina gets her own Category, but I’ve managed to avoid adding even a Cat Category, much less a Glitch category.

Okay, I give up. I added the Category. Wii!

I gave into temptation yesterday. I bought a Nintendo Wii on the day after release (November 20th, 2006). I purchased it at CostCo for about $330 US. I then picked up Red Steel for about $45 (I don’t remember the exact price). After several hours of searching I found a second Wiimote and Wiichuck ($65 US after taxes) at a Walmart in Lynnwood (I think it’s Lynnwood, at least). So all told I dropped over $450 US (taxes, people, taxes) on the cheapest next-generation console. I’m glad I didn’t buy the good more expensive one! The only way I won’t feel bad about it is if it’s just THAT COOL.

Mandrina didn’t know I had bought one; I bought the second Wiimote and Wiichuck on my way home, telling her I needed to “run an errand.” I gave the second controller to her as a present, she laughed and immediately knew why. Makes it hard to surprise the girl, let me tell you.

Now for my Wiiview. (I know, I know, stop with the puns.)

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Where to buy Wiimotes and Wiichucks (Wii controllers)

As previously mentioned (I’m too lazy to add a link to the previous post), I picked up a Wii yesterday in the form of the CostCo Bundle, including The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Excite Truck. In the tradition of gaming consoles of recent memory, the Wii only ships with a single controller. Admittedly, the Wiimote + Nunchuck is decidely cooler than most previous controllers, but it’s still only one simultaneous player. (I like “Wiichuck”, personally — I don’t think I’ve seen it previously, so you heard it here first!)

I, however, have a second person who would want to play; if I wanted a chance to play later, I had to get a second controller. ‘sides, I had purchased some two player games, bring it on!

Short version: The only store that had ANY controllers left when I spent over an hour on the phone yesterday, and the only store that indicated they would be getting more stock: Walmart. I picked up the last Wiimote at the Lynnwood Walmart on 164th just off I5; the Tullalip Walmart 24-Hour Superstore indicated they had a larger quantity when I called. I also was an idiot and asked what time they closed, so… BUT! That’s really your best bet.

Mandrina hates Walmart; I’m not a big fan. However, they get a large supply of items. They also had some of the best phone manners in the deal. But that’s the long version.

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Wii Hunting

Shhh… be vewy vewy quiet. I’m hunting Wiimotes…

It was, admittedly, funnier in my head. Still, you should laugh; I’ll wait.

This post is about how weak I am. How easily I cave. How unable I am to withstand temptation. I admit it up front.

The Nintendo Wii was released on Sunday. Mandrina and I, as previously mentioned, went antiquing all day; I had decided I didn’t want to go Wii-hunting in the AM, despite some rather clever suggestions from Jeremy as to where I should go to look. Antiquing was frustrating and depressing. I elected on our way home to try to find a Wii.

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Antiquing and Driving

I’m not, mind you, entirely certain that “antiquing” is actually a word, nor that I spelled it correctly, nor that I used it correctly. After all, it appears to be a gerund of the verb “to antique,” which, to the best of my knowledge, is not actually a verb.

Regardless of the existence of such a term, that is what I was dragged into participating in yesterday. Mandrina received some funds for her birthday from her mother, earmarked for either an antique piece of furniture or… I forget what else; you can guess fairly accurately that Mandrina chose to use it for a piece of furniture, or more accurately, as justification to shop for a piece of furniture.

Some of the items we came across were fairly nice. Antique knives, antique swords, antique books. Unfortunately, Mandrina was busy looking at antique tables, antique dressers, antique beds, antique warddrobes, antique clothes, antique tea sets, and other things I did not realize it was better to buy USED, rather than NEW. Apparently, and for the guys in the audience, this might be a bit of an education to you as well, “used” items, if they were used long enough, become “antiques.” So those of you who might like to shop at Value Village (and you know who I’m talking to, don’t you?), your shopping choices would apparently be more acceptable if you were to only buy those items that are 15 years or older at time of purchase.

Fifteen years is, in fact, an accurate measure, as I’m about to elaborate on, for it was the most depressing part of the entire antiquing experience.

Walking around, seeing a bunch of old crystal and china is one thing. Old wooden furniture, fine! Toys I know my mother had as I inherited them when I was a child, that’s okay, too.

Seeing toys that came out when you were grade school in an antique store is pushing it.

Seeing toys that came out when you were in HIGH SCHOOL was just terrible. I feel OLD.

That was not fun. I’m sorry, I just don’t think that items that were made fifteen years ago (I wasn’t in high school that long ago, mind you) belong in an “antique” store next to hundred-year-old handmade wooden something-or-others. Antiques are items that have outlived their original owners, and not just because they died in depression after Lucas ruined Star Wars (which would be since he did the reedits of the original trilogy up through the release of Episode 3: Revenge of the Suck). It’s just not right! In my office (at work), I currently have a “laser-tag”-esque system my dear brother bought me two or so years ago. I think he picked it up on ebay — but it still works!

I saw ONE of the pistols in a case yesterday, with a $25 price tag on it. Gah.

So, the second and much calmer part of my entry (I’m lying): I hate the bus.

Now, those of you who know Mandrina know she REALLY hates the bus. I’m usually fairly ambivalent about it; it keeps idiots off my road, and if you happen to live in the right place (ie, not where I live), it’s a much more convenient way of getting to and from work without dealing with the idiots on the road.

I hate the bus.

I was on an interchange, transferring from I-405S to 520-E; it’s a cloverleaf interchange (with exceptions), but has poor visibility due to a concrete barricade. I drive an Audi — I’m not slow to accelerate, and I’m not slow on a curve. So I get down to where I can actually see oncoming traffic — and see a bus barreling down at me. A double-length bus, on top of that. And it’s followed immediately by another bus.

There are three lanes. The buses are, inconveniently, in the right-most lane, where I’m supposed to be merging in. Thank God there was no one behind me; I didn’t have enough space and time to get ahead of the bus, so I had to come to a dead halt — at the end of the entrance ramp. I may have been able to make it in front of the bus, provided there was no one on the far side. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see around him, so I got stuck sitting at the end of the entrance ramp; had anyone been behind me, there would have been a massive collision, with me being, well, dead. Pity, I could have sued the hell out of the bus company.

I know how to merge. I’ve done it thousands of times. I also know that if possible you’re supposed to get out of the way of merging traffic — which these buses did not do.

Alls well that ends well and all that, but next time… Change #@$#@$ lanes, you damn bus!

As a side note: after I ran my errand today (more on that later), I was driving back into the parking lot, and an idiot ran a stop sign while blissfully pulling out into traffic right in front of me, watching the STOPPED CAR on the other side of the street. It had been raining, there was skidding, there was a car behind me. Thankfully the car behind me was paying attention, when the idiot in front of me was not.

*grumble* And I still have to drive home.

I win!

Mandrina celebrated her 25th birthday yesterday — no, that’s just the hangover talking, it was two days ago. When I told my parents a few weeks ago what I had bought her as a present, the response was a great big stunned, “Huh?” They just couldn’t grasp that Miss I Love Designer Shoes would absolutely adore the antique — working — 1920s telephone I found.

I was right, Mandrina loved it. It’s the first time since we started dating (we celebrated two years not quite two weeks ago) that I’ve really gone out on a limb to choose a present for her. Sure, I chose the necklace, and the engagement ring, but definitely with her input. This time around, I saw the phone while shopping for something else, and knew she would love it. I bought it almost a month and a half ago, and kept it from her.

Today I found her Christmas gift.

We’re saving for the wedding, so I have a sneaking suspicion the plan would have ended up being a moratorium on gifts for each other. (Last year’s worked out very well for her, I must say.) However, this year… I was weak. There was a deal on something I know she wants, and I snatched it up. I guess instead of having no gifts, we’ll just have a spending limit. I’ll just have to place it above what I spent… maybe I should put it really high above what I spent, so that she feels inclined to spend more… Nach.


Mandrina, sweetie, this does mean you’re not allowed to open any packages addressed to me that come into the house. =] Love you.

Small Ship Cruises

I’m getting married in March. This, at least, is what the invitation says. I’m currently of the opinion that both parties will be present, but I could be wrong.

Going on the assumption, however, that I will be getting married, I need to at least try to make plans for a “honeymoon.” Given that we’re paying for the wedding, it won’t be quite as extravagant as it would be if her father was paying for it, as she had originally assumed.

I’m still shopping around; I don’t know what will happen.

I came across a useful website for the peculiarities of our situation:

Mandrina hates large cruise ships. As in “deathly terrified” hates. So a site dedicated to small ships? Perfect, saves me a lot of time. Of course, they’re just trying to pigeon-hole you into using their travel agent system, which is nearly archaic. It also doesn’t list itineraries or dates of departure, so I’m taking the name of each cruise line, then searching based off it.

If I only had a few hundred thousand dollars more, I’d already have found the perfect cruise! (If I only had a few hundred thousand dollars more, I don’t think I’d be still looking.)

There’s the link, in case anyone else needs to find a cruise ship holding less than 200 passengers.