I am currently obsessed with Geek & Sundry -- especially Co-Optitude, which is a show where a brother and sister play retro video games. During many episodes, I have laughed so hard that I've cried.
This all goes back to my love of video games, which probably began with the Atari 2600 I had as a child. From there I moved on to programming (very) basic games on my TRS-80, and playing games on the computer. When I hit High school, things started to get good. There was the Nintendo NES, Sega Genesis and eventually the SNES and GameBoy. I was addicted.
Co-optitude brings me back to those 8-bit days in a hilarious way. And there's Felicia Day -- love her. (I've also seen her on TableTop and The Guild, which I'll probably talk about at some point in the future.)
As you can see from the photos, the love of video gaming continues in our house. In fact, Maddie loves buying old video games and has been collecting old console systems (as well as new). These photos are from her game "expo" which she created earlier this year.
I woke up my whole family last night to watch the lunar eclipse. There hasn't been a total lunar eclipse since 2011, but there will be 3 more over the next 18 months! I'm planning on learning a lot about astrophotography, which marries my love of astronomy and photography.
The photo above shows the moon and Spica (the brightest star from the constellation Virgo). Click to see more detail.
This photo (which you will most definitely have to click to get a good view), shows the moon, Spica and up in the right hand corner is Mars! Celestial photobombing, huh?
If you are at all interested in following my Astrophotography adventures, you can find me at www.menelvagor.com.
It's been a long and terrible winter, so I'm happy to see Spring arrive. It even felt like Spring today with the sunshine and warm-ish weather.
In other news, I've started a new Wordpress blog where I talk about learning web development. Right now it's under the boogaj name over at boogaj.wordpress.com. In conjunction with that, I've decided to move my website for Black Sheep Bags over to Wordpress and I'm practicing all my skillz on it. You can check out the fledgling site at blacksheepbags.com.
I have always loved numbers -- I'm not talking about mathematics, in particular, although I liked that quite well too. I'm talking about how numbers relate to one another, how they are connected, how they combine to make new numbers. So, when a game like threes (or drop 7) comes along, I'm hooked.
One thing always bothered me about threes though, the computer geek in me wanted it to be twos. Of course, such a thing already exists and it's called 2048. Excuse me now, I need to go and play another round of 2048...
A while ago, I purchased the Martha Stewart Cookie App for my iPad. Why? Because I love her Cookies cookbook and I figured she'd do up this app the right way. And it is super slick. Just take a peek:
The recipes are easy to navigate, include lots of pretty photos and all kinds of extras like timers and technique videos. (I know, this sounds like an advert, but I just really admire a beautiful app.)
So, I made the Lime-Glazed Cookies... and they were awesome! So happy about this, because I would be super upset if the beautiful app didn't serve its purpose.
Yeah, Martha! (Sorry your show got cancelled, btw, but really -- Hallmark Channel? Who watches that?)
In anticipation of the last Harry Potter film -- which we won't see for another couple of weeks when the crowds die down -- we had a movie marathon this weekend. (Although we only made it through 2 movies so far.) There were wands -- handmade by Maddie -- and butterbeer...
Why yes, that is bourbon in the background. The grownups had their butterbeers spiked.
Did you see the latest HP movie this weekend? I have heard a few people around the internets saying it was really good!
While my Macbook is pretty compact and lightweight, my iPad is even more petite, so I knew I would be bringing it on vacation with me. And while I have one of those fancy magnetic covers, I wanted a little more protection for my iPad since my carry on luggage is not well padded.
I whipped up this little felted wool case in literally 10 minutes the day before our trip. I have a bin of pre-shrunk thrift store wool sweaters, so I choose this colorful, stripey piece, stuck the iPad between the front and back of the sweater and pinned very close all the way around 3 sides. Then I simply sewed inside the pins, clipped the seems very close and turned it inside out. to make the flap, I cut straight across one side and made a rounded edge on the other. I ran a line of stitching about 1/4 in. to the inside of the rounded flap to keep the wool from stretching out of shape.
Instant iPad case for next to no $ and very little time or effort.
Reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin on my iPad. Yes, the book is excellent, but I want to talk a bit about the method of delivery.
Since I read quite a bit, I often get my books from the library which means they are good, old-fashioned, paper books. Advantages: Free, huge selection, tactile. Disadvantages: Longer books are heavy and awkward, some books have a 2 week limit, not all fonts are good for my terrible eyes.
Then there is the Kindle. When I got my Kindle, I loved it! I could embiggen the font, carry lots of books around in a small package and those longer, heavier books were now easy to read. Negative: Costly, Amazon store on Kindle is awful.
Then for my birthday I received the iPad2. (Cue chorus!) At first I was worried that the backlit screen would strain my eyes which would have me running back to the Kindle. After reading a good portion of this very long book night after night, I have to say that my fears were unfounded. The Sepia option, easy contrast adjustment and multitude of fonts and sizes have made it easy to be comfortable reading on the iPad. In fact, I like the iBooks app better than the Kindle app. I think it could use some improvements (I have a tendency to accidentally flip forward several pages every now and again), but overall, it's quite nice.
Speaking of reading, I also finished Ape House by Sara Gruen which was pretty good, but nothig to get excited about.
SInce I've already blathered on for quite a while here, I'll leave the knitting and quilting for another day.
Ooooh! My new HP Envy printer just arrived and I love it! It's so little and wireless and sleek! I'm already loving the fact that I'm not pulling the printer cable from one printer to the next. It was a pretty long cord, but still. And the fact that I can print from my iPhone (and soon, my iPad) is pretty exciting too.
Bye-bye, huge, non-wireless printer. You served me well for many years, but it's all about wi-fi and you just can't compete.
(No, HP did not pay me, or give me a printer or anything like that to say nice things about them. Heck, that sure would be nice though, wouldn't it?)
How do you pass the time on a long car ride? We had about 32 driving hours to kill on our vacation, and while I drove most of them (Mainly due to car sickness -- it's much better when I drive and much worse when I'm a passenger. And don't even think of sitting me in the back seat!), it was still boring after a while.
Enter the License Plate State game! Each of us made a guess as to how many states we would see -- cars and other passenger vehicles count -- no semis! Maddie kept track, thus learning her state abbreviation. On the drive down to South Carolina I won, so I got a prize:
I use my Le Creuset French Oven and Stockpot all the time, so the Le Creuset Soup Pot it was! A bit smaller than the French Oven, which is perfect for our little family of three. Thank goodness the Le Creuset outlet was open early Saturday morning when we drove past!
I won on the way home too -- so I guess I have another prize coming. I think I'll combine two of my loves -- video games and knitting -- and purchase Kirby's Epic Yarn for the Wii when it comes out next week.
This weekend we played around a bit with TTV photography. (More over at Pete's blog.) For those of you who have never heard of TTV, or through the viewfinder, basically you use a newer camera to take a photo through the viewfinder of an older camera. We have both a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye -- which I used for this photo -- and a Mamiya C33 Professional. Fun and cheaper than finding or re-rolling film for the old cameras.
And here we have a failure. I love the pattern -- Wisp -- I love the yarn -- Koigu -- I hate the color of said yarn. I was hoping that once I started knitting, it would look muted, but sophisticated, but after seeing it in the harsh light of day, it screams baby blanket to me. While I do have two matching skeins of Koigu in a different colorway, I'm pretty sure I won't like it knitted up into a scarf either as it is a yellow/purple combo. Ah well, time to tink and find another project. What are you knitting?