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Madlax (from Madlax)
Friday, December 18, 2009

Busy busy busy!! So much has been going on these past few weeks, I don't even know where to begin. Okay, first off, GaijinWorks helped launch Sunsoft's new U.S. website, SunsoftGames.com, on December 3rd. We originally wanted to launch on November 22nd but were just too busy with other things, so pushing it back a week and a half gave us time to play with and tweak the design and then edit the forum templates so they would match stylistically. I think it still needs a few small tweaks here and there but overall I think it looks pretty good.

A couple weeks ago a Spider decided to take up residence between the legs of my Perfect Grade W-Gundam Zero Custom toy that sits about a foot to the left of my computer monitor. After looking at some photos of California spiders on the web, I believe it to be a grass spider, though without a magnifying glass it's really hard to tell for sure. It was kind of unnerving at first, having a spider sitting between the legs of my toy constantly staring at me as I worked, but as time went on I got used to the little guy (or gal). It started out creating a very thin triangular-shaped web spreading out from the Gundam's legs to a bottle of hand lotion on one side and to the pen holder on the other side. The web gradually got thicker over time, and then Spidey started actually sitting on top of it, almost looking like he was a magic spider floating in mid air.

One day an ant wandered nearby and Spidey lashed out in attack, which was pretty cool to see first hand. I can still see where he is storing the carcass back in his web which now spans out behind the Gundam figure next to a CD-R spindle. A few days ago it looked like Spidey had decided to move as I found him about 15 inches away holding up inside a clear plastic bag containing a modem data cable. I had thought the bag was sealed, so I was extremely curious as to how he got in there, but didn't want to pick up the bag and disturb the little guy in order to figure it out. Well, yesterday I found him back in his web, so I checked out the bag and saw that it has a small hole punched in it, like from a hole punch or something, so that had to have been his point of entrance. At any rate, it's kinda cool having a pet that I don't have to actually take care of.

Alright, what else has been going on? The Wednesday before last I put new insulation around the pipes outside the house. It had been getting really cold at night and when I went to brush my teeth before bed I turned on the water nothing came out. Thus, the following day I went to Lowe's, picked up some insulation for pipes, and insulated the hell out of the pipe that comes out of the ground and into the house. I also put some around the pipes with the lawn sprinkler valves. Even so, later that night the same thing happened, no water, so I don't know what the heck was going on there. But it hasn't happened since and there's no signs of bursting so I guess we're good.

Zhu Zhu Pets... have you heard of these things? They're hamster toys that roll around and make silly sounds, and parents are going crazy over them. They retail for $10, but people were paying $40-50 for them at places like eBay and Amazon from personal sellers. Not surprisingly, eToys (a fairly crappy online toy store) found a way to cash in on this by packaging four hamsters (one of each of the original colors) with a playset and a pack of 8 AAA batteries and charging $89.98 for it. The Fun House list price is $30 (even though it seems to sell closer to $20 at most retail stores) while each hamster's list price is $10, which makes that one pack of 8 AAA batteries cost about $20 in the best-case scenario. Total ripoff.

That being said, I too was able to cash in a bit on this silly Zhu Zhu craze. Some people call it making easy money, but there's really nothing easy about it. Packing, shipping, record keeping, customer service... it's tiring, it's a hassle, and it's just an overall big pain in the rear. It is definitely not preferred method of earning dough and am really glad these toy crazes only come once a year. While doing this, I made it a point to put everything on credit card in order to rack up points that I could then use to get some free crap after it was all over. I've had my eye on that AC/DC Rockband Track Pack for a while now....

Unfortunately, I discovered too late that the credit card I was using was not earning me points, but something called "Extra Cash From Citi". And while that may sound like I'd be getting cash back or something similar, instead it's nothing but a super-lame discount program. They have a bunch of crap on their website, most of which I wouldn't take for free, and this Extra Cash is used to give discounts on their garbage. They have no console videogames, no worthwhile toys, and only a small handful of electronics. No XBox 360 games? No external hard drives? No printers? And even when I saw stuff that I might have been interested in, such as a DVD or a USB extension cord, their discount was completely pointless because I could find the exact same thing at Amazon for way cheaper. The fine print on their site say "Extra Cash from Citi has no cash value". Yeah, ain't that the truth. But I'd take it further and say it has no value whatsoever.

Let's move on to something more pleasant, shall we? Last night I went to see the midnight showing of Avatar in 3D. The 3D was really cool, and the movie was quite good as well, but unfortunately the experience wasn't that fantastic. I don't know what it is with that theater, but the last few times we went to see midnight showings there they end up cutting off the air conditioner so it gets very hot and stuffy and hard to breath. I just submitted a complaint but who knows if that will do any good at all for the next midnight showing. We usually like to do these at the Anderson theater, but this time the movie was in 3D and only Movies 10 is set up for that.

Okay, I guess that's enough for now. Time to go eat dinner.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wow, December all ready? Didn't I just take down the Christmas tree last month? Thanksgiving was nice. We drove down to visit my parents Wednesday afternoon and stayed until Saturday. Treese bought this new card game called Scrabble Slam because my mom and grandmother both love Scrabble. And it turned out to be a fun game as well. We usually go over to my aunt's for Thanksgiving dinner, but this time they were visiting other family so we all had dinner at my grandparents. Oh, and that morning I also went to visit my other grandfather who is recovering from surgery.

The day after Thanksgiving we went with my parents to see the 2012. It was pretty much what I was expecting it to be, a special effects bonanza with little substance and lots of nearly impossible extremely narrow escapes from death. But at least it was entertaining. Afterwards we had lunch at Princess Garden, then went home and messed around with the computers and played board games. The next day we ate at IHOP, then went back to the house and visited a little while longer as my aunt stopped by. During the conversation she mentioned that my cousin bought a new flatscreen TV and so his old 32" TV was now just sitting in the garage to be given away. Just so happens that we were looking for a bigger TV for our bedroom, so we stopped by and picked it up on our way home.

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