Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cheaper than a gym membership


2003 was the year I first tried Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and loved every second of it. I liked it so much that I didn't even care that I looked ridiculous in front of my friends. I've wanted one ever since. Last week I tried it again. Once again I looked ridiculous and loved every moment. I must have been very convincing in my description of my adoration of the game because Kevin started looking around for deals on it.

The main problem was that you need to purchase a gaming system as well as the game, and the dance pad. Gaming systems are expensive, especially if you only want to play 1 game. Nevertheless Kevin looked around for used systems and used games. I told him it was too expensive. Then Kevin made a great discovery: there are DDR games made for your PC. Without the purchase of a game system it would still cost at least $50. Once again I told Kevin it was too expensive. He kept looking, and found an open source version of the PC DDR called Step Mania. "Open source" to me is synonymous with "free!" That made the only necessary purchase the dance pad. We found them for $20 and up. Once again, I told Kevin that was too expensive, and reminded him that it was his idea to be extra careful with money until the new car was paid off.

Suddenly I realized something. I don't ever look at the score anyway. I am concentrating too hard during the game to see if I'm getting any points, and I'm so excited to try again at the end that I just skip over looking at my final score. Finally, my lack of competitiveness is a benefit to my exercise program! (Being competitive in Skip-Bo and Dominoes doesn't exactly help me with my fitness goals.) That took the grand total of my brand new Dance Dance Revolution home gym to ZERO DOLLARS! I've been practicing 30 minutes per day ever since. I may never know if I'm getting any better, but I sure have fun doing it. I'm considering making my own dance pad. Some ideas are to make it out of paper plates, or to paint arrows on the floor in the office, or to make a quilt with appliquéd arrows. It'll be completely wireless!

Part of the open source status of the game means that people can create new songs. You can download MP3's into the game and create dance moves. For that I would need a real dance pad, and a bit more coordination than I have at present, but if any of you out there have better taste in music than the current step-mania crowd you should create some dances for me. I'm looking for some Michael Buble, or Simon and Garfunkel, or James Taylor. Let me know when you've created them, and I'll let you come use my high tech wireless DDR system.

Update: When looking for images to go with this post, I found instructions for making your own DDR pad with aluminum foil, toilet paper, and some other junk. Hmm...

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Dream Come True

I spent a formidable chunk of my childhood coming up with schemes to convince General Mills to get rid of the ridiculous fruit shaped Trix cereal and go back to the spheres. It was my opinion that the fruit shapes were far less sturdy, falling apart when exposed to milk, and became soggy far more quickly than the original. I came up with commercial ideas, (Trix rabbit decided maybe the kids will let him have a taste if the cereal comes out damaged and thus sabotages the Trix machine resulting in blobs rather than fruit shapes. The children discover what I had known all along, that Trix blobs were better anyway.) contemplated writing letters, thought about telling my friends to support me in my efforts (I fear many of them might have fallen for the marketing and found themselves believing that the fruit shaped Trix were in fact more fun), and even considered organizing a fruit shaped Trix boycott. Well, my friends, my work has finally paid off, and General Mills has seen the light. Trix are once again spherical! In celebration I threw a tantrum until Kevin let me put a box in the cart. Now, some of you more productive types might have noticed that I called all of my childhood scheming "work" and claimed that it was that "work" that convinced General Mills to change. You hard-working, industrious readers might scoff at the idea that I had anything to do with it. Well, who are you kidding anyway? How can you claim to be productive, hard-working, and industrious if you're spending time reading my blog? At least at this moment you aren't anything of the sort. And besides, isn't it the thought that counts?

P.S. I also spend a formidable chunk of my childhood thinking of getting you a really nice birthday gift. You're welcome.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Daddy's turn at feeding

Mommy has had all the fun. Up until this past Wednesday, Talyn has been the one privileged to feed Alena for 99.99% of the time (I'd fed her twice with the bottle). But the time has finally come for me, Daddy, to step up and physically nourish our daughter. As is recommended, we started with rice cereal mixed with breast milk, once a day.

The result? She likes it! Sure, it's a little messy, and we're still getting the hang of it, but it's quite an enjoyable experience. I've learned that Alena's quite coordinated - as you will see, I finally let her grab the spoon, which she quite accurately stuffed in her mouth!! Watch the (moderately long) video for the full effect...

video

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ha-ppy Chinese New Year!!

San lihn faai lohk! That means Happy New Year in Cantonese. This year is the year of the rat, an important year for such people as Talyn, my mom, GG, & PP. I love all Chinese holidays because that means that there will be good Chinese food and snacks. But I especially loved Chinese New Year as a kid because I got lucky money! That is, a red envelope with money in it, and it's only for non-married folk. So, being a father, that means that I get to give one to my daughter:

Gung Hei Faat Choih!
Update: We decided to take more pictures the next day in the Asian dress that I found at DI. What a happy baby!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My sweet hubby

I was tagged! Me!
  • What is your husband's name? Kevin
  • How long have you been together? Since April General Conference of 2004.
  • How long did you date? 8 months. Then we were engaged 8 months. We've been dating for 29 months since then.
  • Who eats more? Real food: Kevin, Dessert: me
  • Who said I love you first? It was me by a long shot, like a few weeks.
  • Who is taller? Me. I think this question was written especially for me.
  • Who has more speeding tickets? I win at 1.
  • Who is smarter? Kevin. He works hard at being smart. He deserves to be smarter.
  • Who is more sensitive? That depends on what you mean by sensitive. I cry more, but he notices how I'm feeling better than I do for him.
  • When there is a fight who usually wins? Nobody. We're both just miserable until it's over. (The definition of "fight" here at the Wong house is disagree to the point of ending the conversation and remaining speechless for at least 10 minutes.)
  • Who does the laundry? Me in my fancy-schmancy front loader. However, Kevin folds it just as often as I do.
  • Who does the dishes? Whoever didn't cook, unless that one is nursing the baby. In other words, usually Kevin.
  • Who sleeps on the right? Kevin sleeps on the right of me, but we both sleep on the left side of the bed most of the time. :) I win. I married a cuddler.
  • Who pays the bills? Automatic Bill Pay for the most part.
  • Who mows the lawn? Kevin, or the next door neighbor Gilbert if we wait too long.
  • Who cooks dinner? Me during the week, him on the weekend.
  • Who drives when you are together? Kevin.
  • Who is more stubborn? Good question.
  • Who kissed who first? He kissed me first. I kissed him back on his second try a couple weeks later.
  • Who asked who out first? He asked first, I asked second, he asked third.
  • Who proposed? The one who was willing to kneel in the snow (Him)
  • Who has more siblings? I do, AND my siblings are bigger than his. If my siblings sat on his siblings, his siblings would be squished!

I tag Shaina, Heather, and .... Nancy! (Haha Nancy. You can just predict the future. I just had to pick you, because I know you read this.)