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    Oldies But Goddies at Gog.com

    2012 - 05.30

    I’ve been to gog.com before, but not in a while, and I think every time I discover it I try to forget about it because I see how much money and time I could spend there, or on their products.  But talking about Space Quest 7 got me thinking about these older games again, and they have some real gems, and they are priced for the most part at $5.99 or $9.99 USD.  In most cases the games will run on Windows 7 (at least of the ones I looked at), but it tells you right on the site what OSes they work on, but typically there’s more variety and support than the original version of the game, and if not, it’s still cheaper than the original release price.  Here’s some examples of some gems on the site:

    There are more, but those are some of my favourites, there’s many games on the site that either I never got around to finishing, or I didn’t get a chance to play the first time around.  Definitely worth taking a look.


    Space Quest 7?

    2012 - 05.26

    Found this yesterday on Kickstarter:
    Two Guys SpaceVenture – by the creators of Space Quest

    Basically it’s a potential game by the creators of the Space Quest series, and it’s going to be an adventure game. I very much miss those types of games!

    They’ve got 16 days left to try to raise their $500,000 goal, but they’ve got $233,381 committed by 4,487 people so far.

    Hope they make it because I’d like to see more of those types of games…


    Beef Jerky Party?

    2012 - 02.27

    A friend has recently posted a recipe for Beef Jerky, and it sounds like it could be delicious.  It could be a good addition to a games night…

    Never Buy Beef Jerky Again

    I wanted to share this amazingly easy, healthy, and unbelievably delicious homemade beef jerky recipe I made the other day. MrsTemple found the recipe in magazine. Despite its suspiciously ‘health-conscious’ approach, the mag is surprisingly full of delicious recipes. I’d recommend it, as it is for food-lovers, not weight-losers. Spicy


    Another possible meaty treat appropriate for a games night is “Pig Candy” which we saw on a Saturday morning cooking program Food for Thought:

    Pig Candy

    As one of our friends famously said:

    “Bacon is the Candy of meats!”


    But with all this food, we might need to have a cooking night before we can have a games night… anyone want to help?

    It even looks like the recipes could be glutton free (and otherwise avoid other allergies and aversions).

    Turf Goaltimate Kit: Illustrated Step by Step

    2011 - 12.19

    A while back I talked about my struggles to get Goaltimate to work on turf fields that you couldn’t physically anchor “into”, and documented a bit about how I thought I’d overcome those problems in “Turf Goaltimate Kit Reborn!“.  Well, it’s been 9.5 months since then and we’re still using and happy with that same system, so it’s probably about time I illustrate it a little better.  If you want the full part’s list, check that earlier post.


    Goaltimate Kit




    Goaltimate Kit


    Flange attached to half of shelf:

    Goaltimate Kit

    Goaltimate Kit


    Goaltimate Kit


    Attach reducer to the flange/shelf assembly:

    Goaltimate Kit


    Assembled “base”:

    Goaltimate Kit


    Take the bushing, and put it on one end of the pipe: 

    Goaltimate Kit

    Goaltimate Kit

    Goaltimate Kit

    Goaltimate Kit


    Insert the bushing/pipe assembly into the base:

    Goaltimate Kit


    Voila, a completed support (repeat for the other side):

    Goaltimate Kit

    Goaltimate Kit

    Now assuming that you have an actual Goaltimate arch (generally out of PVC pipe) you can insert each end of the arch into one of these supports, add an Ulti bag, sandbag or some other “weight” to the extended portion of the shelf to provide additional stability.  Ideally use something soft, or at least without any dangerous edges in case someone runs into it.  It should be possible to run into the completed assembly and have the weight move and/or the arch fall down and/or the support come apart.  All of those are definitely preferable to having a broken person.  In almost a year of use, these mechanism has survived tumbles and collisions, has been responsible for zero injuries, and has not needed to have any components replaced.

    Good luck, and let us know if you’re using it, or if you improve upon the design.

    November Projects

    2011 - 11.19

    Since I don’t have enough projects over the last while (The 100 Book Project, NaNoWriMo…etc) I decided to enter another one.

    This is The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen, aka GISHWHES.  I am competing in it as one of 10 people on my team.  There are over 6000 of us signed up, and it’s sponsored/run by Misha Collins from CW’s Supernatural.

    If you think you might be able to help out with one or some of the 219 (!!!) items, please drop me a line.


    2011 - 11.10

    Those of you who are now, or historically have had an addiction to Facebook games, or even just used them to pass the time may have played Gardens of Time.  It’s one of those games where you need to find an object on the screen.

    I hadn’t played it in a while, but went in to give my “neighbours” the assorted help and items they’d requested.  I wonder if that makes me like State Farm?  Regardless, they’ve added a new feature “weekly challenge”, so I thought I’d check it out.

    It’s a new “scene” where you have 60 seconds in order to find as many of the 51 items as you can.  This isn’t totally new game play as they’ve had scenes like that before, but most of those had over 60 items to find, which given the time limit seems highly unlikely at least and impossible at most.

    So after more attempts than I care to admit, I finally managed to find all 51 items in the alloted time (I had peaked at 49 items before finally doing it).  So I was quite pleased with myself.

    Anyone out there remember the old Solitaire that shipped with Windows 3.1 (or maybe it was 3.0 that it came with originally).  The first time you completed it, and those cards start bouncing all over the screen.  I bet you got someone to come and watch it with you.  It was silly, but it was nice to have your accomplishment recognized in some form.

    So back to Gardens of Time, there was no congratulations, no cascades of cards either (although that would have been a little odd, funny, but odd).  Instead of any recognition you get the same normal score screen as before.  The only difference this time is that because I finished the level I got a “speed bonus”, no completion bonus, just a speed bonus.  Was it a huge bonus?  Nope.  Three thousand points, yup 3,000, because I completed the level with 2 seconds to spare.  Just to put it in context, here’s the scoring summary:

    Base score: 42,840 (51 items found)
    Chain bonus: 535,500 (51 items in a row)
    Speed bonus: 3,000 (2 seconds remaining)
    Total: 581,340

    Yeah, so that speed bonus accounts for 0.5% of the total score.  Feels good to finish it… but I had hoped for a little more hoopla.  Good thing I can create a little all by myself!

    What do YOU want to be?

    2011 - 09.14

    A while back I made a joke about being Harry Dresden for Halloween, but I don’t really think I could pull it off.  At various times in the past I’ve also thought of being Richard Castle just so that I could wear a bulletproof vest that said “Writer”, although that doesn’t feel nearly as appropriate these days, even if Karin would probably make a better Alexis.  She’s still definitely the writer around here (even if for the last few weeks at least I could claim to be the blog poster).

    Then again, given that there isn’t any trick or treating in the building (don’t think it’s a bylaw, just doesn’t seem to happen), and that we don’t have any party plans at present, maybe I don’t need a costume at all.  Karin on the other hand needs something that she can wear to school at least, if not additionally to a party.  Although, Karin would probably appreciate having the excuse to wear multiple costumes…

    Why am I posting about this now?  Well because if you start figuring it out now, you still have time to pull together an awesome costume for Halloween.  If on the other hand you don’t start thinking about it for another six weeks, then you might just be out of luck.

    So what do you want to be for Halloween?

    Time Eaters

    2011 - 08.26

    I always feel vaguely guilty when I send out a Facebook request for yet another one of their games.  I try very hard to only send it to people who already play those kinds of games so as not to completely spam my friends list, but when they accept and then start playing, I can’t help but feel responsible for the absolute waste of a time suck these games are.  I currently really only play two games, but they are gigantic black holes.  One of them was down for a couple of days and I managed to write several thousand words, edit several thousand more and send a couple of stories into the world to be looked at (one was rejected, but has subsequently been tossed back into the cold toward a different editor).

    I feel guilty when I play them, but they’re so freaking addictive. In some ways it’s really like a heroin addict. When they see the paraphrenalia of their addiction, it sets up a massive craving in their system until they succumb to the craving and use the drug.  When I see advertisements for my FB games, or their icons in my sidebar, or when their names come up in my browser history, or I see someone playing them, I get the massive craving.  Even sitting down at my computer will cause it unless I manage to sidetrack myself by going into email or if I’ve got a story already open on my desktop.

    Avoidance helps. Last summer I deleted all of my games and went completely cold turkey for nearly six months before starting “just one game” over Christmas break.  Setting up routines helps.  Email, Facebook and Twitter on my phone (because it doesn’t run Flash) then straight to Ralan or a word processer instead of a web browser.

    Wow, writing all of this really drives home the fact that this is a form of addiction.  I’m familiar with 12 Step programs…pretty sure that this is a -holic type of thing…I’m just not sure if I’m ready to seek help yet.

    Honey and the Whale

    2011 - 07.28
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    Honey and the Whale, a set on Flickr.

    Via Flickr:
    Unlike Capt. Ahab, Honey always gets her whale.

    “You can call me Stuffie” said the Whale.

    So we took a few pictures yesterday, I made sure to empty my card before I left home, and I essentially filled the 4GB card during the day, of course that only actually represents the equivalent of about 10 rolls of film (to those whom that’s still a useful analogy).  These are shots of Honey dog (mum and dad Abel’s Corgi) and her favourite stuffie (the Whale).

    I had actually gone down to the backyard to take some pictures of some roses, and possibly a nesting robin (couldn’t see it from below), but Honey followed me out and wanted to play.  So in order to be able to take some pictures, I pretty much had to play.  She’s by no means a “big” dog, but she’s definitely persistent, and will happily drop the stuffie at your feet and encourage you to play, if you don’t take the hint, she’ll move it closer (even if it’s already on your feet) essentially saying “Notice me, and play with me!”  So despite trying to tire her out, I’d be taking a few pictures and I’d feel the stuffie and perhaps her snout on my legs.  That said, she doesn’t bark and rarely whines, so it’s all good.  It also meant I had something other than flowers to take pictures of.

    At one point I think I actually had her pretty much tired out, she had retrieved the stuffie, but then went and dropped it in the garden and laid down in front of it, as though she was guarding it (didn’t get a picture of that though) which reminded me of this Travelers Insurance commercial which we had seen the week before (“The Cat Burglar”).  Alas the break was short lived.  Anyway, enjoy.

    Note: this stuffie has lasted a long time, she tends to destroy her other toys reasonably quickly but it seems as though this one has been around for years now.

    P.S.  There may be a few additional photo posts in your future ;-)

    Ren Faire

    2011 - 07.23

    A few days ago we were entertained by some friends with a nice dinner of ribs, potato salad, corn on the cob and edemame.  This was followed by a game of Ren Faire.  This is our second time playing the game, which Karin acquired at the closing sale of Drexoll Games Port Coquitlam (they still have a Vancouver store on W. 4th Ave at MacDonald).

    For a little while now we’ve been using Board Game Geek (.com) to keep track of our games collection, and it has a feature where you can keep track of how often you’ve played a game, and the results thereof.  So if you’re curious you can check out our “collection“.

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