So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Friday, April 30, 2004

End of the Pepsi/iTunes Promotion

Well, the Pepsi/iTunes giveaway ended yesterday. I wound up with 35 free songs; spent them onI was 165 songs short of the 200 song maximum, and beat the 1 in 3 odds everywhere except in San Francisco where I went 0 for at least 10.

In the end I was getting very good at tilting bottles to see if there was a winning code under the cap. If you need anything tilted about 25-degrees, give me a call.

So, 3.3 albums free with Diet Pepsis I was going to drink anyway ... not a bad deal.

Mikesell : 7:16 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Two for Tuesday

A double shot of reviews tonight. One book, one software item.

For the past few months I've been working on Stormie Omartian's The Power of Praying Together. It's not a fast read, so I finally finished it last night. Also in the took-me-forever-to-finish category is the PC game Crimson Skies. I got it a couple Christmases ago, and finally finished it, also last night (it was a busy day). Like the book, I also reviewed it today.

Why you should read my review of The Power of Praying Together: The book has received 5-star rating from each and every one of its reviewers. Of course, I'm the only reviewer so far. Find out why I gave it 5 stars.

Why you should read my review of Crimson Skies: I reveal that CS is my second favorite flight game. What's my all-time favorite? Read the review.

Mikesell : 10:59 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Phil's New Skill

For the past few weeks Phil has been able to pull his slippers on by himself.

Today he managed to get his socks on all by himself (they were pre-matched and made right-side-out ahead of time).

His current shoes are high-tops, and they're hard for adults to get on his feet, so it'll likely be awhile before he gets those on. Plus it'll be longer before he can run away from home.

"Oh no you don't! You can't leave the house without your shoes on. Guess you'll have to stay."

And then there are the days we'd help him pack....

Mikesell : 10:49 PM : 0 snarky remarks

I Burn through Another Book ... A Review Rises from the Ashes

I've finished another book in Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey collection. This time out it's a collection of short stories entitled Lord Peter Views the Body. This is the 8th Sayers book I've read ... 6.5 remain (after she died, her final book was completed by someone else). It was a pretty good book. I gave it 4 stars. Here's the review.

Why you should read my review of Lord Peter Views the Body: I confess to a poor showing in solving a crossword puzzle. How poor? Read the review.

Mikesell : 1:59 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Another Ice Cream Opportunity

My sister Julia sent me word that Baskin-Robbins is giving away free scoops on Wednesday, April 28, from 6p to 10p. There are 2 in Eugene participating in Free Scoop Night.


Find the B-R stores near you (or where you'll be next Wed.) by clicking here.

Mikesell : 5:27 PM : 0 snarky remarks

I Freely Scream for Free Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's is offering a free scoop of ice cream to patrons of their stores next Tuesday (April 27) from noon to 8pm. There are two outlets in Eugene, so I'm gonna double-dip. If you'd like to know where a store near you is located, click here.

Cold Stone Creamery usually has a free scoop day, too. I'll keep you posted.

And if you prefer a Brain Freeze to an Ice Cream Headache, every July 11th, 7-11 has their free mini-Slurpee day. Last year I wound up driving campers up to Portland on 7/11, so my co-pilot and I stopped at a half dozen 7-11s on the way home. It hurt a lot, but it was totally worth it.

Mikesell : 1:43 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Jaws Is Better Now

As I mentioned yesterday, I've written a review of Jaws, Steven Spielberg's classic film that inspired Shark Week on The Discovery Channel. There were technical difficulties that could have resulted in your vote being lost when they were corrected (and we know how nasty people get when their votes aren't counted).

Anyhoo, the technical difficulties have been resolved, so go on over and vote at your convenience.

Why you should read my review of Jaws: I critique the bonus features, plus I include a mini Latin lesson from the film. Where else are you going to get a free mini Latin lesson, huh? Go check it out.

Mikesell : 2:08 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Buy Some Art - Limited Time Offer

Well, Philip has discovered that crayons are for more than using in coloring books or sticking in the breadsticks at The Olive Garden to make steam-ships.

We now have a bathroom door decorated ala Jackson Pollack with some lovely swirls of red Crayola. Impressionistic, yet modern.

If you want to get in on the ground floor with Phil's first large-form masterpiece, let us know and we'll tell you the dimensions of the door so you can buy us a replacement (oh yeah, plus shipping). Guaranteed to become a collectors item (or at least a collector of dust).

You have until we get the 409 out ... or we discover Mary's face in the design, in which case our hallway will be filled with Guatemalan pilgrims and we'll never get to use the bathroom again.

Mikesell : 1:16 AM : 0 snarky remarks

New Book Review + New DVD Review (Sorta)

A few weeks ago a friend, Ericson "Hawkeye" Teller, dropped off a book by Stuart Woods, called The Run. So I read it. Now I've reviewed it. It's the circle of life. Soon it'll go up to the library in The Lodge and the circle will begin again.

Awhile back I picked up a copy of the 25th anniversary edition of Steven Spielberg's Jaws. It's a beauty. That's been reviewed, too; but see below before you get all excited about voting for the review.

Why you should read my review of The Run: I use the phrase "by-golly" and intentionally employ a pun (it's an American pun, no offshore jobbing for me).

Why you should read my review of Jaws: You shouldn't, at least you shouldn't vote for it at this time. There was a problem with the quotation marks and apostrophes in the title of the review ("Here's to Swimmin' with Bowlegged Women") and they all turned into upside-down question marks. I've tried correcting the problem, but the fix isn't in yet. If you use the link over at the right and read the review, please watch this space and I'll let you know when it's safe to vote.

Mikesell : 12:59 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Another Book Review

Well, I finally finished Houses Without Doors by Peter Straub. The short story I had already read (mentioned here) turned out to be the "oogiest" of them all (a fact I mentioned in my Amazon review), but all the stories were very good to great.

Why you should read my review of Houses Without Doors: Well, I've already told you it contains the word "oogiest," so I'm sure a bunch of you are headed over to read the review already. For those of you who require a bit more persuasion, I comment on a book (also a movie) with which I am not familiar. Based on the date of this blog entry, you have about 8 months until my birthday (and 5 days additional grace period until Christmas), so you can get your shopping out of the way well ahead of time.

Mikesell : 2:09 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

400 Helpful Votes and Traction

Well, I've reached 400 Helpful Votes at Amazon. Thanks for all who helped.

And, after three weeks of slippage (more and more people being added to the group I was in), I've bumped up to a 6310 ranking (from a 6666 -- oooh, evil -- low).

Yay, me!

Mikesell : 4:11 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, April 09, 2004

Try a Free Classic Game or Two (or Five)

A long time ago (10-12 years) there were three different adventure game standards: The Infocom text adventure, the Sierra graphic adventure, and the LucasArts SCUMM adventure. The Sierra and LucasArts models were similar, with the LucasArts games more humorous than their Sierra counterparts (which still had some humorous elements). As Operating Systems have advanced (and new platforms appeared) it has became more and more difficult to play your old games on your new computer.

Infocom games have been the most accessible by modern machines, thanks to the fact they were originally designed to be platform independent, playable on a wide range of Z-Machine Interpreters. The fact they lacked graphics also helped.

Now, with the advent of the SCUMM Virtual Machine, old LucasArts games are playable on modern systems.

Several Infocom games are available for download

Available for download for the SCUMM Virtual Machine are:(click "download" to get the games, click the game title to find out more about the game itself).

Have fun!

Mikesell : 4:12 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, April 08, 2004

See the New Camp Brochure

This year I did the brochure for Summer Camp. Actually, I've done it for the past few years, but this year we were able to do it in color.

If you'd like to see it, click here and then click on the link in the "picture column." (The brochure has been modified slightly from the print version; the top half of the first page would otherwise be upside-down and hard to read on screen.)

Mikesell : 12:05 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Three Days Later, Another Book Review

Well, it's been three days since the last book review, so it's past time for another.

If I had stayed home from Men's Night at the church yesterday, I could have done this then. On the other hand, I would have missed out on a hilarious game of whiffleball. Back to the first hand, if I had stayed home my hamstrings wouldn't be killing me.

Name Withheld is the thirteenth book in J.A. Jance's "J.P. Beaumont" series. With such an unlucky number, it should come as little surprise that the book has some significant flaws. Nevertheless, it was still an enjoyable read. Now I'm on to a set of short stories by horrormeister Peter Straub. I've read one of the stories in the collection and sincerely hope that not all of them are as gooshy.

Why you should read my review of Name Withheld: I'm particularly proud of the final sentence of the first paragraph. The rest of the sentences are good too, but that one's the best.

Another reason is that you could be my 400th "helpful vote" (I'm currently at 395). There's no prize package associated with the milestone, but feel free to print yourself out a certificate commending you for your accomplishment.

Mikesell : 5:50 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Later That Same Day ... Another Book Review

As threatened in the Devil's Code blog entry, I now have a review online for Carl Hiaasen's Sick Puppy.

Why you should read my review of Sick Puppy: Well, since you put all that effort into reading the Devil's Code review I'd hate for you to miss out on the pay-off by not reading the Sick Puppy review as well. See, it's all about you. You. You. You. Plus, how often do you get to see the phrase "lopsided ocelots" in print? Okay, it was just there, but if you read the review you'll get to see it again.

Mikesell : 9:22 PM : 0 snarky remarks

We're Number One!!!

... in Oregon, at least. Top 50 nationwide.

Budget Travel Magazine has named their 2004 Top 50 "family camps" nationwide and Triangle Lake is the only camp in Oregon listed. (See our entry, plus the whole list).

Way to go, us!

Mikesell : 3:19 PM : 0 snarky remarks

The Missing Review

On March 23rd I submitted a book review for John Sandford's The Devil's Code to Amazon. A week and a half later it has resurfaced, but with a mystery parenthetical ellipsis added. I can't remember what I could have written that would be excised, so I'm thinking there was a glitch in the transmission (that would also account for the delay). Anyhoo, it's up now. Go read it.

Why you should read my review of The Devil's Code: See the mystery parenthetical ellipsis first hand. I also comment on Carl Hiaasen's novels; a review of his Sick Puppy is in the works, so you can get ready for that review by reading this one.

Mikesell : 10:27 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, April 02, 2004

New Review. No Fooling.

As I mentioned in my review of the PowerBook, I miss having a two-button mouse. No more. I went out to OfficeMax and picked up a doozy. Targus is a manufacturer of fine computer cases and peripherals. I already had their Stowaway Portable Keyboard for my old Handspring Visor PDA; excellent example of industrial design balancing form and function. So when I saw their Ultra Mini Retractable Optical Mouse I stopped looking at other mice and put it in my cart. Well, the review has all the details, but this is one fine gadget.

Why you should read my review of the Targus Ultra Mini Retractable Optical Mouse: I can't stress strongly enough how cool this gadget is. You can either read and re-read that last sentence until it sinks in, or read the review. You choose.

Mikesell : 12:03 AM : 0 snarky remarks