Posts Tagged ‘Kane’

Wedding Anniversary

Posted: August 19, 2014 by Noccie in Kane, Life in a Box, Noccie
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Kane and I have been married 7 years and been together for 12 years! The insanity of it all is beyond imaging. I can’t believe that much time has passed. We love each other more every day. We aren’t just husband and wife, we’re friends. Our interests overlap and we enable each other’s passions. That is how we make it work.

Our wedding was Alice in Wonderland themed. We were married by our dear friend dressed as the Chesire Cat. My Maid of Honor was the Unicorn and her daughter was our flower girl dressed as the door mouse.

To celebrate our anniversary, we spent Saturday with my parents. They bought us books and Lego Marvel. Sunday, we went to see Gaurdians of the Galaxy. After we had lunch there was so much time before the movie we played video games at Game Works. I tried Tekkan 6 for the first time. It’s been years since I’ve played. I love Tekkan and it was like getting back on a bike. We played the Taiko drum game together and made sweet music. It was a lot of fun.

He let me make weird Fallout references because we cut through the upper deck of the light rail tunnels on our way.

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Just as we did 7 years ago, we are going to PAX. That was our honey moon. We were poor and some where around here is a video from Yahoo gaming. We were interviewed standing in line for Will Wheaton. I have yet to make it through a meet Will Wheaton line, a few years ago we gave up. That year they cut the line in front of me because he had to run to a DnD session. Then the next day it was cut infront of me because he had to go somewhere else. Both time we spent about 30 minutes… maybe more in line to be sent off on our merry way without so much as a hi! After a few more conventions, I gave up trying to meet him. Since then, I bump into him nearly every year ( except last year). I never realize it till afterwards when one of my friends point it out. My Mom still makes jokes about him being my nemesis like on Big Bang Theory.

We are so lucky to have found each other, 12 years ago. I hope we have so many more years together.

Sometime, I’ll tell you the crazy way we wound up together.

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The Lengths We Go For Legos

Posted: January 7, 2014 by Noccie in Kane, Legos, Life in a Box
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The last Christmas gift Kane and I received was from my Brother. He sent us a gift card to use at Walmart. In the past, Kane and I received these and just let my parents have them. They would give us cash in exchange and we would be all good. We aren’t really near a Walmart. Seattle is just sort of like that. We have a Target, Ross, Macy’s, another Target and all kinds of other things but not Walmart. The closet one is in Renton. This is not a place I like to go but the lengths we will go to for Legos can be a little crazy. Normally Kane and I don’t go further than SeaTac or in the most extreme, Lynnwood. My parents decided they would take us out to a Walmart.

Mapping the trip, we found one in Bellevue. Turned out, that Walmart was just a grocery store. So we went to Renton. Pulling into the parking lot was not as easy as it seems. There were a lot of people going there and all the lanes of the lot were packed with people waiting for other people to pull out of their spots. We parked in the back 40, so to speak, so we could avoid these people. The drivers were all a little crazy. As we got closer to the front of the Walmart, we noticed TWO police cars parked out front with two police officers each. They weren’t there for any particular reason just on duty there. They were parked right outside the front door on the stone landing. All four of us were like… um… what did we just get ourselves into.

I’ve been in Walmart plenty of times. When we lived in Montana, Walmart was the only thing open at 2 am but there were big differences between this store and the one in Montana. The part of Renton this Walmart is in can’t be described as either a good or bad neighborhood. Maybe let’s say, it’s on the edge. I was really surprised to see the cops there though. Once we were inside it was apparent we were in a different world. I’ve never been in a Walmart quite like this because it was actually quite small. The shelves were short and everything felt a little dirty. The toy section was only a few isles and looked picked clean from Christmas still. Most of the store looked pretty barren actually. I’ve never seen a Walmart so poorly stocked. Finding the toy section, they didn’t have much of anything but they did have some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets and Ninjago sets. They had one set for the Lego movies. We were hoping for some LOTR or Hobbit sets so we looked at the Skylanders and My Little Pony items first. They were even thinner. We decided get the two TMNT sets and get out of there.

Something about the place put me on edge. The people were all a flurry of activity and the lighting was harsh. The store was a mess and the presence of the police outside made me nervous. We hurried out of the Walmart, went through the Self Check out to make it out faster. We practically ran to the car because people were acting crazy and driving like idiots in the parking lot. Once we were back in the car it felt much better and I am happy with the two Lego Sets we purchased but man… I hate going to Walmart.

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Skylanders was made by adults for players 6 years of age and up. Then they throw in jokes that children born since 1990 probably wouldn’t get. Here is TerraFin. He’s a part of the earth faction in the game. They can control rocks, dirt and earthy things. That makes TerraFin a “land shark.”

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A land shark is a reference to a 1970’s Saturday Night Live skit. According to Wikipedia it’s also a term that used to be used for real-estate speculators, German Shepherds and a beer by Busch called “Land Shark Lager.” The Land Shark skit from SNL used to be pretty much the same each time but it was funny regardless.

The set up was a knock on the door. The land shark would try to gain entry by claiming to be a delivery person of some type, like a singing telegram. Here is a video link to one of the skits with Gilda.

I do like that some of the characters in the game, you wouldn’t normally associate with their element. They usually turn out to be some kind of in joke or pun though.

On the other side of the coin, Terrafin is a great character to play. He has two attacks. One is punching and the other he dives under the ground, swimming like a shark. When he pops back up he can slam the earth causing collateral damage to multiple targets around him. There was one part of his character I don’t like. He makes this one random comment “Where’s my five dollars?” He only makes it when he’s collecting money as treasure but it struck both me and Kane as a little offensive sounding. You have to hear it to know what we are talking about. I can see that some people are talking about this on the internet. Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive but until I heard that quip, I thought he was one of the best characters in the game. It just offended me the way that line comes off. It presents itself as racist. There really aren’t races in this game but outside of the context in the real world you brain picks up on the racist nature of this one voice acted comment. He is part of the brown, earth faction and he is hitting you up for money. The accent is a stereotyped black accent. It’s very upsetting.

According to Youtube he’s actually a very popular character. Maybe I am making to much of this one comment. If anything, they just weren’t thinking about it when they recorded it… I hope.

The original, first version of him comes with Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure in a package with the Pirate Ship, a treasure chest and pirate swords. The pack gives you a new level to explore, a huge magical attack, a weapon and a hidden treasure.  The package is $24.99 at most places. Right now Toys R Us has a buy, get 40% off deal going. The price is worth it for the added content.

They do have another version of him that comes with GIANT METAL KNUCKLES. So, we will see what happens with the game and if we keep playing past Giants.

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Kane and I pretty much bought each other blog material for the next few weeks.

Christmas was wave after wave of geeky past times.

Kane bought me three different Lego sets from the Lone Ranger. I bought him a Lego Poly bag set from TMNT that I found at Target for nearly nothing.

Video games abounded. Our lovely friends from Montana sent us Bioshock Infinite, Far Cry 3 and Dead Island. I bought Kane, Dead Island Riptide; Guitar Smith; Rock of the Dead; Lego Batman 2 and Kung Fu Riders.

Kane had a failure in judgement right before Christmas and bought Skylanders Giants. “It was on clearance!” – Kane

This made me a little Skylander happy. I bought him 5 Skylanders as gifts and bought him more in passing. Omg… why?! WHY did you do this to me? I think I actually enjoy the figures more than he does.

Kane bought me “Explore the Dungeon because I don’t know!” for 3 DS and Pokemon X. I love him so much. All this means is I will spend hours trying to listen to him and play the game at the same time. You did this to yourself Kane… you did this to yourself.

Not to mention all the other crazy stuff we got each other AND the Steam Winter Sale going on right now. Wow… yeah.  More to come later.

Kane and I are heading to the Lego Store tonight to see what’s on sale. MWAAHAHA!

What ever happen to the song Toys R Us used to use. You know what I mean. ” I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us Kid.” Well… here’s a ling to a video. (And here are those kids 14 years later. Sorry for the terrible quality, it’s the only one I could find.)

Yeah I know, I am an adult. I go to Toys R Us for a few things Legos, My Little Ponies and now Skylanders. There is nothing that says you have to have a child or be a child to shop there. Yet, when I go there people give me the stink eye.

This Christmas was especially awkward. Kane and I were at a Toys R Us to purchase a gift for a friend and his daughter. After we picked that out we moseyed over to the My Little Pony section to see what Toys R Us exclusive figures they had and found blind bag ponies! I spent a bit checking codes and digging through the bags for some of the Wonderbolts figures I needed. Gawking at all the neat toys and figures. A lady asked my why they had a scary pony named Nightmare Moon. Without missing a beat I explained that “Nightmare Moon is the form that Princess Luna takes before the Elements of Harmony bring her back from the dark side.”

Now, I wasn’t expecting anyone to be impressed but she was more weirded out. She said her daughter probably would have explained that no problem. She joked about being a bad parent or something and I assured her that it was not that. I just watch the show. They passed by and then we bumped into each other looking at the Monster High dolls.

Monster High is the favorite topic of discussion for my friend’s adorable daughter, Sheeny. Sometimes I babysit her and it’s the only thing we can talk about or we play with her dolls. It’s better to know when I am doing so she doesn’t get disappointed when I don’t know Cleo is an evil mummy girl and that Draculara is a vegan. While doing my duty as the coolest babysitter ever, I watched the show and I keep track of the dolls coming out. They are pretty cool actually. Well the lady laughed and asked if we were following them. I blushed and said no with an awkward laugh. Then she asks me, “How old is your daughter?”

This stopped me in my tracks. I want kids very badly but Kane and I are having problems in that department. Honestly, I don’t know if we will ever conceive. If it is possible, which I hope it will be in the next year, we will have as many children as we can. Two would be fine with me… or even just one.

I admitted, we were buying the ponies for me. That I am a collector and have loved My Little Pony since I was five. The couple was very weirded out by this fact. I spent a few awkward minutes explaining I was looking at the Monster High Dolls because of Sheeny. That made them feel a little less weird. Then she asked me, openly and honestly out of curiosity, “Do you play with them?” I laughed, no I don’t play with them. “Do you just keep them in the package.” I took a bit to explain that I put them on display but I don’t play with them. Even if I did… ( ok sometimes I have been known to play with them) there is nothing wrong with that. Who am I harming by having these toys?

Sometimes I forget about the real world outside the fandom. Sometimes I forget that some people don’t live in a place where it’s ok to be a little immature or still like toys or play video games. Back in October I asked my Mom, “Did you ever think you would still be buying me toys?” She laughed and said, no. She had never expected this. I guess I don’t really understand why not.

There are ALWAYS collectors. Without the collectors we wouldn’t know so much about the toys of yesteryear. Even if you aren’t a collector, it’s still OKAY to appreciate cartoons, toys and games. It doesn’t mean I am a weirdo or a pedophile.

Alright, I am going to go play Skylanders now. The game is marketed to kids but it’s really well crafted. The models are COOL and the game is harder than it looks.

LEGO : The Video Game Series

Posted: December 5, 2013 by Kane Blaireau in Kane, Legos
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LEGO entered the video game world years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that the name has come to be a reliable brand for quality licensed titles. The turning point was LEGO Star Wars by Traveler’s Tales. This game, released in 2005, was not only the best LEGO video game at the time, but arguably one of the best Star Wars video games as well.

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The game supported two players and minimal penalty for “dying”. Your character would lose some Studs (the games currency used to by extra characters and other add-ons) and you would re-spawn. This made it great for not only younger players, but for people who didn’t necessarily play video games very often. The comedic approach also made the whole thing more approachable and accessible in comparison to most “hardcore” gaming titles then or now. The familiar Star Wars trappings did nothing but favors to the whole proceeding. Kids and adults could enjoy interacting with some of their favorite characters in familiar locales told in a comedic fashion with no voice-work, just pantomiming and general grunts. Win all around!

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Of course, success, especially in the video game world, always breeds sequels. The followup, LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy followed the story of the original movies and refined the formula subtly. No large changes were made, but the formula was still fresh and it still worked. Good thing because it didn’t change through Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Batman and Indiana Jones.

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One thing that remained consistently entertaining through all of these early titles is the sense of humor. For example, Batman feels like Adam West trying to be Micheal Keaton. The silliness was enough that we had to stop to laugh at the game several times in the first level. You are given special suits for environmental puzzles. Batman makes himself a glide suit. For Robin…magnetic shoes. That look like trash can lids. Yeah. This kind of silly humor is all over the series and makes it very much worth playing through the back catalog.
The first innovation in the series after this point didn’t come until LEGO Indiana Jones 2, the 6th game in the Traveler’s Tales LEGO series. This was the first title to support split screen play. Early games relied on fixed camera and players were forced to stay within a fairly close proximity. The split screen shifts and adapts to the characters position relative to each other on the map and lets the players explore individually while still being able to figure out where they need to go to get back together. This allowed for larger levels and more exploration leading into the Harry Potter games and Pirates of the Caribbean.

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Each of these follow ups added a more extensive and interactive hub area where the players could unlock items and select what levels to play next. Harry Potter focused more on exploration, the levels all branching out from a central hub in the middle of Hogwarts school. Pirates of the Caribbean had a dock area with two extensions where there were further puzzles to play with and being a hub for all of the unlock-able characters to play in. Some unlocked characters were even required for some of the hub puzzles!
The next innovation was added in Star Wars III: Clone Wars. It was the first LEGO title to include voice acting in addition to the pantomimic comedy of the early titles. Batman 2 followed and is considered the first fully voiced LEGO title.

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Following on that was Lord of the Rings. This one stretches across the whole trilogy and includes voice samples from the movie in addition to the usual pantomiming. You would think that something so very dark in subject would be difficult to make funny, but you would be very, very wrong. The other thing that Lord of the Rings added was a fully realized over-world. You travel all over Middle Earth and interact with towns that have their own puzzles and unique interactions. That is broken up by the more action oriented scenes from the movies in their own scene that then leads you back to the next part of the over-world. This is (according to Wikipedia) the first “open world” game in the series and I would not disagree. This open world has lead into the latest game in the series; Marvel Super Heroes which (I am told) also features a narrator in many parts in addition to the voice-work.

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Once these games get their hooks into you, they stay there! You want desperately to unlock every hidden gem. They become engaging on a level that most “kid oriented” games do not. Noccie and I just recently beat the story mode of Pirates of the Caribbean (review coming soon!) and are still going back to finish of those missing bits we missed. It simply has not gotten old yet. We are also working our way through the first Batman title and first Harry Potter. Highly recommend all of them to anyone who has kids or is in touch with their inner kid. Thoroughly enjoyable and a TON of fun!

Loot Crate: Celebrate!

Posted: December 3, 2013 by Noccie in Life in a Box, Noccie
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My Loot Crate is here! YAY! I can’t wait to open it. We picked it up from our building’s front office. I actually opened it on the bus while running errands but we waited till we were home to take picutres of the UNCRATING!

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The theme this month is Celebrate! It’s for partying and all the items inside help you celebrate.

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That balloon has a police box on it. This goes with the sticker in celebration of the Day of the Doctor! That takes care of the decorations. The wallet is for money. You need that to drink right? I think it’s funny that it’s a Batman wallet. I love Batman. Kane and I spent a good part of yesterday playing Batman the Lego video game. That game is hilariously bad. At one point I was playing Robin and I had on magnetic boots. Batman had on a glide suit. Who is more practical in factory where is everything is made of raised platforms made of metal.

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This is a mini-speaker. It’s pretty cool and battery operated. That takes care of the music. Kane’s going to use it at work. His speakers are starting to go bad.

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Cards are for games! Let’s play poker. Poker? I don’t even know her.

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There we go… Shot glass and drink. Eat, drink and be merry. I love it. This shot glass is going with the collection. We have a bunch from all over the place and we also have one with a skull inside. You pour in the drink and it fills the skull.

Finally, they included my member card.

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WOOT! It was a good box this month. They also included a coupon to get more of that breakfest drink.

Pacific Rim : the video game?

Posted: December 1, 2013 by Kane Blaireau in Kane, Video Games
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I am unabashedly a fan of Pacific Rim. Yes, it is basically a live action anime. Yes, its over the top action. The characters, however, fit in that setting and reveled in it without becoming just caricatures with zero humanity. Their was no romantic sub-plot shoehorned into the action. It was it is. Giant robots vs giant monsters with some fun character moments in between the action.

To say I’m surprised I heard nothing of the video game is putting it mildly. I was browsing the PS3 demo section and saw that and thought I read wrong. Pacific Rim. Video game. Downloadable only. Fighting game…? OK. That makes sense. So far so good. Lets download and install the demo. No harm in that right?

The first thing I notice is the launch screen. Yukes. That is a good start! They have made some decent WWE video games. Intro is all still screens with text. No voices to be heard anywhere. VERY low budget, obviously. No access to the campaign. Local multiplayer only for the demo. Par for the course.

Alright, lets fight! Oh, they include a tutorial? How nice. OK…not too difficult. Left attack, right attack, power attack. Hold any of those for a stronger version. Block, alternate attack…all the usual suspects. 2D fighter it would seem, but on a lateral plane. You can move any direction on the ground. No jumping, but that is accurate to the movie.

I played two matches. One as Gipsy Danger (vs. Knifehead) and one as Knifehead (vs. Gipsy Danger). The movement is slow and lumbering, but I expected that. These are MASSIVE beasties and they do have some weight to them. Combat is fairly simplistic, but also tactical due to the deliberate speed. I’ve DEFINITELY played worse fighting games.

For $10, its actually not bad if you are a fan of the movie. Problem is, I’m not sure how much content their is in the base pack. Their appears to have been several characters added on for about $3 each, but its not entirely clear which ones. Then their is the fact that you can buy weapon add-ons and power-ups. Doesn’t look like they can be used in local multiplayer…but what about online? Is it pay to win? That isn’t entirely clear anywhere I look which makes me think that it is. Still, if you are just looking for a simple, fun game and are a BIG fan of the movie, I’d say its worth the $10 for the base game. Even if you ignore the singe player campaign (which I’m seeing in most reviews is pretty boring), the multiplayer is fun enough for a few laughs. Could be a great party game.

That said, it looks like to unlock EVERYTHING, you are looking at nearly $50 and that I can NOT get behind. Caveat emptor.