Monday, January 26, 2009

Just switch already

Today I saw that the senate has voted to delay the switch to DTV for four months. President Obama has called for the same thing. I say, just switch already.

  1. Part of the reason for the delay is so that people who were unable to get coupons for converter boxes will be able to get them. But the program is out of money, so unless that changes, delaying won't help. Even if they get the funding, will the program be able to get the coupons out before the four months are up?
  2. I suspect that those who really rely on broadcast TV already have the boxes. It's kind of hard to miss all those commercials that have been running. I have a suspicion that a lot of people who are waiting are getting a box "just in case" or for a TV that isn't their main TV.
  3. The switch already won't affect those with cable.
  4. Delaying the switch costs the tv stations money because they have to broadcast in standard and hd for longer than expected.
This date has already been pushed back several times. Delaying it again will not help large numbers of people. Let's just get it over with.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Debi's pumpking cookies

This is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law, really great pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I've played with this recipe a lot and it always comes out well.

1/4 c shortening (or 3 T of butter)
3 c sugar
2 c pumpkin (15oz can)
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
4 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
1 c nuts (optional)
12 oz chocolate chips

preheat oven to 375 degrees. combine ingredients. bake at 375 degrees for 13 min on greased cookie sheet. makes 4 dozen cookies.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Review: Endless Ocean for wii

Let me just mention up front that I love Endless Ocean. My four-year-old son loves Endless Ocean. My husband and daughter think it is pointless. I am a very casual gamer, I rarely will play video games by myself. I am also not very competitive. So with that in mind, here's my review.

Game Summary:
Endless Ocean is a single player simulation game. You are a scuba diver and your job is... well, whatever you want it to be. The game suggest several things you can do, but you can do what ever you want. There is no real tension in this game other than a few spooky emails at one point when you find a certain artifact. One review I saw said it is impossible to die, and I'd believe it. Basically, I explore, pet fish, and make friends with dolphins.

Game Play:
I think the graphics are really cool. There are fun areas to explore like coral reefs, underwater caves, and ruins. I like swimming around and learning to identify fish. The tasks the game suggests (via "email") are guiding people on diving tours, photographing fish, and various scientific research dives (ex: mapping whale migration paths). There is also an aquarium that you can stock with fish you identify. (The aquarium is a great place for a younger child to practice controlling the diver.)

This game starts off really slow to get you familiar with the controls. There are a lot of things you can do, and new controls are added after you complete certain tasks. When you start, all you can do is swim and look at fish. Fairly quickly, you make friends with a dolphin (who you can dive with and train) and get permission to do night diving. The slowness of the start almost turned me off the game because swimming around this one particular coral reef and petting fish is only interesting for so long. However, I'm glad they did start slowly because I would have gotten frustrated by all the different keys (remember, I'm not a gamer at heart). The slowness of the start allowed me to learn all the keys gradually and now I know what button does what.

How I play:
Me and my son play together, or rather he watches and points out fish I might have missed seeing. He gets frustrated very easily and this game, since there isn't really a score or anything, allows him to play and not throw tantrums. We start up the game and usually train one of our dolphins. This consists of giving the dolphins commands, shaking the wiimote wildly to tell the dolphin "go", watching the tricks, then feeding the dolphin as a reward. Then we go diving. We pet fish if we don't know what they are. We sometimes go diving with a dolphin and they point out hidden fish, but the dolphin is hard to keep track of since it is much better at swimming than I am at guiding the diver. My son likes looking at the encyclopedia of fish. Once we find a new fish, it adds it to the encyclopdia and my son likes seeing our progress. If we pet a fish enough, it becomes our friend (for the dive) and follows us around. I get lost easily, so learning to read the map was important.

I like this game. I find it interesting and relaxing. I like seeing the new areas, searching for fish, and playing with dolphins. If you are looking for a laid back game, this is a good choice.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

New Version of FoodThinger (food storage tracker) available

Version .91 of FoodThinger is now available for download at .

There have been several changes :
  • In line with new guidelines from the LDS church, you can now set the expiration date up to 30 years from the current date
  • Bug fix: a spelling error has been fixed
  • Bug fix: you can now save the price of the food you buy
  • Bug fix: weight conversion is performed automatically (basically, if you had 32 ounces of wheat but your goal called for pounds, the wheat wouldn't be counted)