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Archive for January, 2008

Kids are funny!

January 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Having children is an adventure to say the least. As my kids get older they also get funnier…..especially my son. He’s got a great personality (when he’s well rested). I find that his mannerisms and persona are about 70% my wife and 30% me. Sometimes he will just say the most outlandish things, that I just laugh and laugh…..Here’s an example

My son has been taking Karate for about 4 months now. My wife an I wanted to get him into a social environment so that he would not be so shy. Needless to say he has made a tremendous improvement socially. So, we’re at our usual class, with the usual people. The beginning of the class is for stretching and warming up, so the instructors begin with the stretching of the legs, the back and so on. Now the instructor tells the students to place their hands on their hips and pretend to use a hula-hoop. My son, stays still for about 10 seconds and proceeds to turn around and say to me, “Daddy, Are you kidding me?”. At this point every parent and both instructors cannot help but laugh. The funny thing is that my son was dead serious, there was no laughing on his part. At this point the instructors proceed with the remainder of the warm up exercises…..and they asked my son, if those were okay, which he replied, “Oh sure”.

My daughter has her moments as well. At 10 months she is a whiz in her walker. She really gives it and herself a workout. When she first got into it she would move around here and there, nothing major. She would and still does ram into the kitchen cabinets and walls. One night , I’m having dinner and I hear my daughter laugh, all of a sudden, she “rides” into the kitchen at full speed, she must have taken about 8 running steps and then just picks up her feet and glides across the kitchen until she bumps into the wall. While she is doing this she looks me in my eyes and smiles. I couldn’t help but almost choke from laughing so hard.

There are times when my kids drive me nuts, but it’s things like this that I remember and will never forget because it makes my day.

Daniel

Olivia

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Categories: Life

XBOX 360 vs. PS3

January 27, 2008 Leave a comment

I am fortunate enough to have a PS3 and an XBOX 360. So I just wanted to compare the 2 in case anyone was on the fence.

So…Let’s begin.

XBOX 360 (Core)

Build:

The XBOX is built fairly well. The outer shell is basically plastic and feels a little flimsy. It has 2 USB ports in the front of the console that are for the wired controllers, you can also use it to plug in other devices like an MP3 player. The DVD-ROM tray is your standard Media reader. On the back of the XBOX you will find a power input, Ethernet port, a USB port, and HDMI port (The HDMI port is on newer XBOX models) and proprietary video port. The power supply is not built into the XBOX360, it’s packaged with a power brick and this thing is huge and heavy.The XBOX controllers are built very well and they are sturdy. The Wireless controllers are also built very well and have a rechargeable battery.

Pros:

  • Price – starts @ $279.99
  • Ease of setup
  • Great Graphics (provides 1080p resolution with HDMI port or RGB)
  • XBOX Live – The service and available options are second to none
  • Controllers – both wired and wireless, they feel good in your hand
  • Game library – new games and backwards compatible with original xbox games
  • Accessories can be charged when the XBOX is turned off
  • External Hard Drive – 120GB Hard Drive is available
  • HD DVD player is an accessory ( May not matter in about a year)

Cons:

  • Price – the Elite version is $479.99
  • No built in WiFi – costs $99 if you want the wireless adapter
  • Noise – It’s very loud
  • Heat – It gets hot after only an hour
  • XBOX Live costs $50 per year (This price needs to be lowered)
  • Power Brick
  • Red Ring of Death issues (Microsoft did the right thing and extended the warranty for 3 years to fix theses issues)
  • HD-DVD (I like the format, the movies look great, but it looks like BLU Ray has deeper pockets)
  • Accessories are expensive ( Controllers are $50, Wireless headset is $50, 120GB HD is $180, etc)

Playstation 3 (40GB Version)

Build:

The PS3 is built very well. It’s solid and sturdy. It’s plastic too, but it just feels like it’s not going to break. On the front of the PS3 there are 2 USB ports and a slot loading Blu-Ray ROM. The Power and disc eject buttons are touch sensitive. On the back of the PS 3 there is an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet port, proprietary video port, Power cord port and Optical Audio Out. It has built in Bluetooth and WiFi. The wireless controller feels a bit flimsy, it does not have a rechargeable battery. The controller connects to the PS3 via BlueTooth.

Pros:

  • Excellent build
  • Great Graphics (supports 1080p resolution)
  • Playstation Network (Online Gaming is free)
  • Fast – Game play seems faster then on the XBOX
  • Price – $399 is a bargain for this
  • Built in Wifi & Bluetooth (didn’t have to spend $99 on an additional accessory)
  • Uses any Bluetooth headset for online gaming
  • Blu-Ray player
  • QUIET – you barely know it’s on
  • Setup
  • SIXAXIS controller is very cool
  • Controller battery life

Cons:

  • Game library – Not too many games
  • Cannot play PS2 games (SONY streamlined the manufacturing process and removed the PS2 emulator)
  • Playstation Netowork – Needs major work…..hard to get online, chat sessions frequently crash, gaming with friends is extremely difficult)
  • Controller does not have a removable battery
  • Charging any accessory requires that the PS3 be turned on
  • All games must be installed before they can be played (not the entire game but a portion of it)
  • Updates and downloads take much longer then it does on XBOX Live

Conclusion:

I like both systems very much. They both have their strengths. Right now, I feel that the XBOX experience in a better choice. XBOX Live is a better online gaming/entertainment network. Now, the PS3 is no slouch, I’m sure that in a year from now they will fix a majority of the issues with the Playstaion network and have a bigger game library. If XBOX games and XBOX live worked on PS3 hardware, I think that would be the perfect console gaming platform.

WINNER: XBOX 360 (barely)

For those of you thinking of having children…..Think twice!

January 26, 2008 Leave a comment

First, let me start by saying that I truly adore and love my kids. That being said, let me go deeper into what I mean. When I was first married, life was great, my wife and I came and went as we pleased, we traveled, we had tons of “fun” (yes…it’s what you think it is). When we first found out that we were having a baby, we were happy and shocked at the same time. Shocked because it wasn’t planned. Happy becuase we both wanted kids.

I think that anyone having a child pretty much knows that they are going to have a lifestyle change…and it will be dramatic. The mistake that my wife and I made was that we didn’t realize how tough being parents was going to be.

We still thought that we would be able to go out and do the things we use to……again, not as much, but every now and then……Yes, Seriously.

After our son was born it was BAD!! My son was not a good sleeper, he was sick for the first 2 months and was colic. Needless to say…this was not what we expected. I mean my wife and I would read all the baby magazines and research what to expect on the web. We even purchased the 1st child bible, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. I mean we were as ready as we could be.

But what we thought was ready…wasn’t close. We were both losing sleep, getting frustrated with the baby and each other. My son was also born in the beginning of winter, so there was no going out. We were captive….literally

We asked each other, “Will this end?”. Eventually when my son turned 6 months old, it did start to get better. He slept, wasn’t sick and was no longer colic…..I’m not much for religion, but I did thank God .

My son is now 4 and we also have an 11 month old daugther…Don’t Ask!

Now…what is my point you ask?

My point is that having kids is not for everyone…..We sure as hell were not ready for kids. If you think you’re ready for children…Think Again!!! No one is ever ready for what kids bring. The funny thing is that I hear other people, friends and family say that it’s not that bad. There are also people out there who fool themselves and never say anything negative about being a parent. People who sugar coat the reality.

The reality is that kids are rewarding, but they also have moments when they suck, when they make you feel like shit, when they won’t shut up, when they don’t listen, when they test their limits with you, when they throw tantrums, when they are sick, when they don’t let you sleep….etc.

That’s reality…..

Again, if you are thinking of having kids…think twice!

Oh, 1 more thing….They are EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!!!!

Gaming at 30+

January 25, 2008 Leave a comment

Gaming is not just for kids anymore. Was it ever?

I’ve always loved to play video games, mainly on a console, never really got into PC gaming, never liked the whole keyboard and mouse thing. Now that I am in my 30’s I can finally afford this addicting hobby. I currently have a Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, took a while to get both, but it’s here. I’m also married with 2 kids.

When do I play you ask? Good Question…

Answer: When everyone is asleep. Unfortunately I have to sacrifice sleep in order to play.

Is it worth it? Absolutely!!

I’ll catch up on sleep once my kids are older or when I’m Dead.

I hope that my kids are into gaming as they get older. It will give me a reason to continue in this mind numming hobby. Do I throw away tons of money? Not really, fortunately these new consoles do alot more than just play games, which is how I justify this to myself and to my wife.

So the moral of this pointless post is……you 30+ guys and gals are not alone. I’m a 32 year old gamer and I’m not ashamed!!

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