Ghost Trick (iOS) is 99 cents right now (free download, $0.99 in-app-purchase to unlock all chapters). That’s a steal for a fun, fun game!

Snowpocalypse 2013

Twenty years ago, when I was in middle school, we had an epic snowstorm (by Willamette Valley standards) that dumped a foot of snow in a day and closed school for a week. It was great—at least until we had to add extra days at the end of the school year to make up for the days we lost.

Since then we’ve had an inch here or there, and a couple ice events, but nothing that ever compared to the legendary snow of my childhood. A week ago, nature saw fit to challenge its record.

Impressive snow (for these parts) vs. car

Impressive snow (for these parts) vs. table

Eight inches of dry snow fell early last Friday, which were the opening salvo in a week of sub-freezing high temperatures. One night we had a low of something like 1℉, which was the coldest low we’ve had in forty years.

The roads have been a complete mess, schools have been closed, and kids have been sledding down my hill all week. UPS spent a week tagging my packages with “snow delay” scans instead of actually delivering them. (The FedEx guy actually parked at the base of my hill and walked the rest of the way to deliver his packages.) Oregon State closed for Monday of Finals Week, that’s how bad things were around here.

Marin and I went for a walk in the snow last Friday, and thus a small collection of photos of objects with snow hats was born:

Fire hydrant with snow hat

Box with snow hat #1

Box with snow hat #2

I’ve telecommuted to work a bit (the one saving grace has been that we never lost power), and rode the busses in on Wednesday… Major intersections were still messy as heck, five days after the snow fell, which was pretty galling. On the other hand, I also learned that the bus service out to my area (which is comparatively in the sticks) is a bit better than when I checked a year ago.

Careful, snow children

We finally started thawing out late yesterday afternoon, and while there’s still snow on my road I can at least now see some pavement again. Good thing, too; I’m starting to run a bit low on (non-emergency) food.


The day I have to sign for a package in my pajamas is also the day I discover that the postal worker covering my area is a cute gal.

Good to know that some things never change.

I know I’m a month behind the internet, but Ylivis’ The Fox is hilarious. (Stonehenge is also pretty great.)

As if things couldn’t get any worse, now there are rumors that Sega is buying Atlus?

I’m still waiting for Valkyria Chronicles 3—I don’t think my heart could take it if I have to wait (er, “wait”) for Persona 5, too!


I buy my own insurance, which means I’m stuck on the forefront of the Affordable Care Act revolution. I just got some paperwork from my insurance, noting my new plan option after the first of next year.

I currently pay $133 a month for my coverage. This new plan is $236 a month.

My current plan waives the deductible for my first four office visits each year, save for a $35 copay. The new plan, if I read it right, has a $60 office visit copay after deductible.

My current plan charges a $10 copay for a 90-day supply of generic medication; the new plan charges a $20 copay for a 30-day supply of the same.

If this is representative of all new ACA insurances, I’ll go uninsured and pay the goddamn penalty. Fuck Obamacare.

Games worth playing

Experience has taught me that it’s much easier for me to buy video games than it is for me to actually play them. I played the heck out of my NES and SNES games, but the N64 and later consoles frequently made me motion sick. Consequently, I was slow to adopt the Playstation and PS2—and thereby entered into a cycle that I’m still in today, where I have a massive backlog of games yet continue to buy new ones that sound interesting.

Every once in a while I do get around to playing a game, though, and every once in those whiles (compounding!) I find one that blows me away. Tales of Vesperia was one, and Valkyria Chronicles was another. (OK, I have a fondness for Japanese RPGs, and story-based games in general.)

The ones dearest to my heart, though, have all been quirky DS games. The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series lets you play lawyer and call people out on their lies. 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is a visual novel/locked room puzzle where you have been abducted, locked away in a sinking ship, and forced to find a way to survive. Both are shoo-ins for a list of my favorite games of all time.

The latter is still (and only) available on the DS, but the former is out of print—save for an iOS port. I paid $90 for all three Ace Attorney games, and would do it again in a heartbeat; this iOS version is $17.

The game I just finished playing yesterday—and the one that inspired me to post at all—is called Ghost Trick. You’ve died under mysterious circumstances, and have returned as a ghost that can possess inanimate objects; your main goal is to figure out who you were, and why you died. I’d be lying if I claimed I wasn’t misty-eyed at the end of it all.

Unlike Phoenix Wright, you can still find reasonably-priced (~$20) DS copies of Ghost Trick; like Phoenix, though, it has also been ported to iOS, for $10.

These are amazing games! If there’s any way you can find a way to play any of them, you should!

The construction workers next door are listening to something that sounds like (?) Greek polka. (…and now one is singing along.) WTF

On Chess

Marin: Don’t put me in check. I’m tired of being in check.

Brent: I’m not going to put you in check.

Marin: Don’t take my queen. I like my queen.

Brent: I took your queen several moves ago. It’s been so long, you don’t remember the board.

Marin: Ah, yes! Me and my pawn army!

Nick and Siri in Last Night’s Sexts and …play Dungeons and Dragons. Smart-ass Siri is the best Siri.

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