Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wii Rules!!

I had a giftcard for Circuit City left over for Christmas. Since Circuit City is about to go to the great corporate beyond, we were in a hurry to cash it in. The place was packed, but Debbie and I decided to get a Wii (for the kids, of course).

Well there were no consoles on sale, but we picked up three games anyway, and I spent the rest of Saturday and a good chunk of Sunday surfing the web for tips on how to find a console. For those of you living under a rock, Nintendo has adopted a marketing strategy of keeping the Wii consoles in short supply. You can buy and Xbox or a Playstation any time you want, but finding a Wii can take a little effort. In my case, very little.

After all this research, I found one obscure post (which I can't find anymore) saying that Nintendo has a corporate store in Rockefeller Center that puts a couple of dozen Wiis on sale every day. I swung by there yesterday with the girls on our way to visit Debbie at work, and two minutes (and $250), later we walked out with our new Wii.

It took me about an hour or so to hook the thing up, and then the girls were bowling. I tried- no, really I did actually try- to get the High School Musical Sing Along game to work without success, but the girls were happy with bowling and golf. Debbie and I were pretty popular, at least for the day.
After bedtime, Daddy tried out the boxing game. So far I'm undefeated, but haven't reached the pro ranks yet.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Greatest Movie Ever

One of the greatest moves we ever made was upgrading our cable service to get a DVR, (patents be damned, everyone calls it a TIVO). The DVR lets us record much easier than the old VCR's, you can set it to record by keyword- Syracuse of course being the most key of words-, or by Series name etc. I like to check out the next few days and record obscure stuff that Debbie and I (OK usually just I) can watch after the kids go to bed. Turner Classic Movies has been rerunning classic silent films for the last week or two and I ran across "Speedy". Speedy was made in 1928 and stars Harold Lloyd and BABE RUTH!! How could I not watch that?

I expected to fast forward through most of it for a glimpse of the Babe, but last night I put it on as the girls were getting ready for bed. Lo and behold they were instantly captivated and watched the first half of the movie before bedtime. As soon as they woke up this morning, they wanted to watch the rest. We read the title cards to Devon, Megan followed on her own.

The hero, Speedy (Harold Lloyd) is a baseball obsessed underemployed everyman who is trying to convince his girlfriend, Jane to marry him. Jane's father, Pops, runs a small streetcar. Some bigshots need to close down Pops streetcar so they can run a central subway through the neighborhood. Speedy battles the thugs hired by the bigshot to win Pops a big buyout and, of course Jane's hand in marriage.

Along the way you get to see Coney Island in its heyday, Babe Ruth handing out baseball to orphans, car chases, a street brawl with septuagenarian Civil War veterans- who are of course on Harold Lloyd's side, and a dog that saves the day. Funny how little has changed in 100 years of filmmaking. I particularly enjoyed the subway scene, it seems that subway "etiquette" hasn't changed much since 1928 either.

Still it was enormous fun, Harold Lloyd was an amazing comedian, sometimes I forget that Charlie Chaplin wasn't the only brilliant artist making silent films. After the movie ended, the girls asked me to record some more Laurel and Hardy who they also love. I think I'll sneak in some Chaplin and Keaton too.