June 28, 2015


This post has been a long time coming. One distraction leads to another, and things end up getting put off longer than they should. So instead of saying, “I recently played through the best game ever,” instead I’ll say…A couple of months ago, I finished playing through the best game ever- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, or as I’ve come to know it, KOTOR.

That's me!

I used to be heavily into video games when I was a kid. I played Atari with my cousins until I got blisters and joystick claw hand, and once I got my Tandy (Who knows what that is? Yay for us Tandy owners!), I played things like Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island. I LOVED those games. Somehow I never got into console gaming or newer computer games. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it seemed like those games were all about fighting and I preferred games in which you had to figure things out? I don’t know. I do enjoy Asteroids, after all, and there’s no thinking there.

Dave knows that I used to play video games. And of course he knows the deep love I have for Star Wars. He had been telling me that I should check out a computer game called KOTOR. Sure, I thought. It’ll be like the other games I’m not interested in. Shooting and fighting and boring. Dave was certain I would enjoy KOTOR, so he bought it for me out of the blue. (He’s good like that.)

Yep, so he was right. I was immediately hooked. This game feels like Star Wars in a way the prequels never achieved. You pick your character and soon become a Jedi (that’s when the game really kicks into high gear). You explore different planets and talk to a wide range of different people and aliens. You go on side missions while working toward completing your main goal. It’s an adventure game. It’s a role-playing game. There are challenging parts, but it was never so hard that I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do next.

There is fighting, but once you become a Jedi with Force powers, it’s AWESOME. I decided to focus my character’s strengths on Force powers instead of fighting skills. I still did a good bit of fighting with a lightsaber. But I also blew people back with Force waves and persuaded them with my mind powers. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

You can choose to be a light side Jedi or a dark side Jedi. I went with the light side, and I eventually got enough light side points to be a master of the light side, which helped when I used Force powers. If you’re a dark side Jedi, you start to look withered like the Emperor.

I had to make myself take breaks from the game. That’s because I’d sit down to play the game after work, and the next thing I knew it was midnight. It sucks you in. The other characters are interesting and have their own backstories and issues. And Carth! Carth rocks. You can take two characters with you as you travel around, and I almost always chose to bring along Carth. He amused me.

So thanks to Dave, I love KOTOR. There’s a KOTOR 2, but they don’t make it for Macs. I think I found a way around that, so hopefully soon I’ll again be wasting more hours than I should in the Star Wars universe.

June 26, 2015

Doctor Who: The Celestial Toymaker

I'm losing patience at this point with Steven and Dodo episodes. I really can't get to the 2nd Doctor fast enough. And yet, the Whoathon has slowed down since these episodes are generally bad.

The Doctor and the Toymaker

The Doctor, Steven, and Dodo arrive in the land of the Celestial Toymaker. It's filled with crazy characters and creepy clowns. The Toymaker wants people to play games with him. He's bored. And evil. That pretty much sums it up. It reminded me of a lesser "The Mind Robber," but this one came first.


Doctor: First
Companions: Steven, Dodo
Episode: #24, "The Celestial Toymaker," four parts- 'The Celestial Toyroom,' 'The Hall of Dolls,' 'The Dancing Floor,' 'The Final Test'
Adversary: the Celestial Toymaker
Classic Lines: the Toymaker: "I'm bored. I love to play games but there's no one to play against. The beings who call here have no minds, and so they become my toys. But you will become my perpetual opponent. We shall play endless games together, your brain against mine."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The Doctor has met the Toymaker before and hints that he might meet him again, but in the tv show, he never does.
Next Up: "The Gunfighters"

June 3, 2015

My first Iron Pigs game

I like baseball. A lot. I subscribe to MLB.tv so I can watch my favorite team even though I don't live near them anymore. So I love going to games- though I don't go as often as I'd like. Dave and I recently took his nieces to see the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

Seats in the third row for $10?!

It was fun! There's nothing like hearing that crack of the bat in person. I like watching races between bacon and ham and other food between innings. Although, as I pointed out to Dave, you'd think that since they're pigs, they wouldn't like bacon...but there's even a piece of bacon painted on the field near home plate.

I think it's clever that their mascot's name is Ferrous. And they have trams that drive through the parking lot bringing people to the stadium gate and back to their cars. It's a nice touch, especially for people going to the game with young kids. I'm definitely going back.
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