Friday, March 22, 2013

A Little Update

So, I knit some more on a gift I am making.  Here is a sneak preview:

In other news, we played Yahtzee as a family tonight.  Anna was reluctant to play but she actually won with our help! I'm hoping this gives for the confidence she needs to enjoy math games a bit more.

In funny news, Emily decided she likes Lifetime movies.I was watching the end of one and she wanted to watch the whole thing. I told her it's going to be hard to find movies appropriate for her.

Hoping to paint my bedroom tomorrow I will try to take pictures especially of the multicolored green before. I will be very glad to see the last of that color.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Catch-Up

 You know, I took photos to post on my blog every day.  Unfortunately, real life (and sometimes laziness....) got in the way, so you get them in one big wrap up post!

So first...I was knitting on Anna's owl beret.  Here was the progress:
 Then, it was my wedding anniversary.  Brian and I have been married 17 years.  I had him book a hotel room away from the kids--and he chose one in Elkhart Lake.  We couldn't check in right away, so we did what all Library Geeks do and toured a library!  This one was in Sheboygan.

Mead Public Library is gorgeous.  We were happy to see Appleton isn't the only library with meters (Although, instead of the 20 minutes a quarter gets you in Appleton, in Sheboygan it gets you 50 minutes).

They have this awesome restored cigarette machine converted to dispense tiny works of art for $5.  It's called the Art-O-Mat.  How cool is that??

So I pulled a box from "One Word Wonders" and got some Joy.

There library there is beautiful--3 stories, lots of room for teens (2 dedicated rooms, actually), big Children's Dept on the 3rd floor, giant quiet room.  Just an all around great library.

So, after our library tour, we went to the hotel.  It really wasn't anything to write home about (We were the only people there...), but they did have a fireplace.  And Brian did bring wine:
 So then it was St. Patricks Day.  We continued a tradition of Shamrock Shakes (Even if McDonald's has froo-frooed them up):

 I started a tradition of my own--with green Midori Sours:

 Then.  It snowed.  Another 4".  I guess it's better than Thora's 7" in NY, but still.  I am so over winter.  It can stop any time.

How are birds supposed to eat with all this snow going on??

 And today...I finished Anna's hat.  I don't think she likes it much, especially when she found out it's a slouchy beret.  But I think it's cute.

So that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  :)  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Some Knitting

I am involved in a local Yarn Bombing project called Fiber Rain.  My dear friend Kassie is one of the organizers, so I recruited my girls to help her out along with me. 

They are doing a jungle tree and need I-cord and chains made by kids.  Emily is enjoying her finger knitting I-Cord, and Anna is really enjoying chaining.

I made some leaves (with yarn donated by IRIS Fine Yarns, because Phyllis rocks!) and made the start of a collective light pole project.  It's Vanna's Choice in a pretty purple from my stash:

 We also had some fun outings this past week.  We went to Building for Kids (at Anna's event night, we won a family membership in the silent auction.)  We've decided this will be our "Tuesday" outing. Even Anna had a good time:

 Yesterday we decided to go ice skating.  The outside rinks are crap (and have been pretty much all winter) so we went to Appleton Family Ice Center.  They are generally only open for Public Skating during the middle of the weekdays or Sunday from 3-5, and they are a busy place.  But the kids had's Nicholas mugging for the camera:
(BTW--the bleachers have heaters over the top of them!)

In other knitting news, I'm working on more leaves and some cute anklet socks.  I also am trying to crochet, but I really suck at it.  I think I'm going to start with something simple and work my way up to birds (for the Fiber Rain project).  I can do the stitches--it's understanding the patterns I have a problem with.

Oh, and it's snowing again.  But I did find a really cool site called Sprout Bot.  You put in your zip code, and it tells you what to start or what to plant that week!  Very handy.  Between that and my Pinterest gardening board, I'm hoping it gets me over this blah hurdle!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


So, it's Saturday morning, and my son was trying to play SimCity and can't get on. 

No, I guess that's wrong.  He can't PLAY.  The play button is grayed out.  He can't even open the game THAT I BOUGHT to see if the servers are full.  They just won't let him in.

This sucks. 

So I go on the "Live Chat" to find out what the deal is.  And my wait time is 62 minutes.  How "helpful".

It's going to be a long, SimCity-less day.

Friday, March 8, 2013


I bought the new SimCity the day it came out.  I had a Target gift card for $15, but it was still a big bite to fork over $45 of a $60 game.  But I really wanted to play it.

You see, Maxis and I have a long history together, even if they aren't aware of it.  I played the first SimCity ("Nah, Nah, Nah Traffic").  And the second.  And Third.  I played all the Sims games.  I played Maxis games before EA came along and bought them.

And EA...don't even get me started here.  All the NHL games.  From Atari on up.  Command&Conquer.  SSX Tricky (one of my all time favorites).  Saints Row.  Tons more.  If it was an EA games, I played it or owned it.

I knew the new SimCity would have bugs to work out.  I've found pretty much all the EA/Maxis games (especially The Sims type games) automatically have a patch, and have one after that and after that and after that.

The thing is...I played the beta, and it was fun.  It was so nice to be back in the SimCity world.  The graphics are so much better, I was happy to be part of the beta, and part of a beta that tested their servers the night before launch.  It doesn't get much more exciting than that.

So I bought the game, and downloaded the obligatory patch.  I played for about an hour, and the server booted me.  It was fine, I had stuff to do after an hour.

Now I have to give a disclaimer here:  I am not a big MMP fan.  I rarely if ever play games with anyone else, much less someone I don't know.  I prefer to play alone.  Even on the XBox, if I forget to shut off the multiplayer feature and someone joins my game, I usually kick them out and shut off the feature.  It's not really that I'm antisocial, I just enjoy games at my own pace, and not relying on someone else's game play.

So imagine my surprise when my husband linked to this article, talking about how Amazon suspended selling of the new SimCity amidst all the server problems.  So I found this link and this link.  People are pissed.  SimCity's newest response is here, that they are going to give registered users a free game.  I'm sure it won't be anything expensive or stellar.  I'm kinda hoping for another expansion for my Sims.

But most people are pissed about the response.  Similar to the Knit Picks debacle, and isn't that it happened (although EA did have Diablo III as a perfect model of how this sort of thing can screw the pooch, and evidently didn't take heed of the warning).  It's that people were told they could get a refund.  Than obviously, they couldn'tNow a free game.

I hate to say, "Well, what do you expect?" but seriously, "What do you expect?"  It's EA/Maxis...known for this kind of problem.  It's frustrating and it sucks.  There is really few things worse in the gaming world as a gamer than buying a new game you looked forward to for WEEKS or MONTHS or sometimes YEARS and not being able to play it.  But this is coming from a company that has a LONG history of problem games.  But saying "They always pull this shit" doesn't excuse the fact that they developed a game that must be played with an online connection, only to have servers crashing constantly and having some people not be able to play at all.  They should have known better, and if they are so concerned about piracy, they need to come up with some other unique method.  Because this online thing isn't working.

It also goes back to a slightly off-topic discussion I had with a student worker at the library.  What happens when these games that rely on digital content--and the internet--cease to be supported?  You're kinda screwed.  And as a person who enjoys playing games over and over, that doesn't bode well for what is coming in the future.

So there is my very off-topic rant on the subject of SimCity.  BTW--I haven't had an issues getting on and staying on this afternoon or evening (knock on wood).  My 10 year old even got to play, and seeing him enjoy a game I enjoyed first when I was slightly older than he is makes me pretty happy. I'm sure Saturday morning will bring an all new can of worms.