bentangle

Tag: Lego

Temporarily Single Dad

by on Sep.29, 2009, under family, home & stuff, Internet, movies, parenthood, video games

For the past 5 days, I’ve been Mr. Mom.  My wife went away to a blogging conference in Asheville, NC and left me in charge of managing our 2 kids.  Being actively involved with my kids on a regular basis, this was not a daunting task, per se.  The hard part was not paying attention to work for that period of time – especially since my shine, new iPhone would chirp every few minutes telling me I have some new email to read.  But eventually I turned off that notification and got to the serious business of responsibly entertaining my posse.

First priority – getting them to school on time.  Grasshopper only just started going to daycare (2 days a week) and already being without his Mommy, he was very reluctant to go (though apparently his tears ended within minutes of Cricket and I leaving him there).  Cricket just started Kindergarten this year and has been loving every minute of it, but with the possibility of being able to stay home and play Lego Star Wars with Daddy she suddenly was on the fence about going as well.  But I got them there, they did there time, and got them safely home (all perfectly according to schedule).  But outside of that, it was play time – we went to the park almost every day, we went to a play place for the better part of one cloudy afternoon, and we spent a fair share of time watching a couple of movies and playing Lego Star Wars.

By the end of the long weekend, I was ready for reinforcements.  I love my kids, but I can only be jumped on so many times before needing to tag out.  I only took advantage of the in-laws once for a break (which I spent cleaning).  And I actually made semi-nutritious meals for them for all but 2 meals (pancakes are good for you, right?).  So all in all I think I did okay.  And today it was back to work … to deal with my other batch of kids.  Maybe I should go to a conference.

P.S. – Mywife (who now has 2 blogs) went to a blogging conference, but didn’t post anything the entire time.  Ironic.

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Virtual Road to Riches

by on Aug.18, 2009, under comics, family, video games

So one of my bonding activities that I developed as of late with my daughter is video gaming – specifically playing with the Wii (btw, thanks again Mom).  Initially it was all about Mario Party 8 since that was one of the first games we had with it.  But I, frankly, can only handle so much of that game (especially since the taunt feature has been unlocked).  So for my birthday, I got a couple of new games (thanks, Jesse) – Lego Batman and Lego Star Wars.  And loving the genre, my daughter wants to play it with me every day if she can – she will wake me up early on work days to play before I leave and will barter bedtime stories in exchange for another level in the evening before bed.  I try to keep the game-play time within reason, but she is legitimately getting better at playing and as such learning some good eye-hand coordination skills.  So if it is time that the TV would likely be on anyway, I’ll gladly play for a bit rather than vegging out to some show.

Anyway, she and I have managed to work through all 30 levels in Story mode and managed to get a good amount of the minikits and red bricks in Free-play mode (I think we are around 90% complete right now).  Once we get through all of it, we may move on to Lego Star Wars.  But we have discovered some interesting quirks in the game.  For one, we found that there are 5 different extras you can unlock that are score multipliers (scorex2, x4, x6, x8, x10) and it seems you can enable all 5 at the same time thus getting a score multiplier of x3840.  As a result, it has been cake to reach Super-Hero/Super-Villain mode in any levels we hadn’t before.  But also it has led to another discovery – it seems the game has a maximum allowable score of 4 billion studs (the currency of choice within the Lego realms).  So any studs accrued beyond this amount are simply lost in the ether (possibly garnished for Gotham City urban renewal programs?).  Granted, it is a ludicrously high number (though ludicrously easy to reach with all the sore multipliers on) and those studs will never get spent even if I never use the multipliers again.  But it is funny that a cap exists (probably a programmatic limitation).

So my daughter and I now moonlight as Lego billionaires.  It is a complex and lavish lifestyle, but we try not to let it go to our heads.  We try to keep our priorities straight – after all, we still do have a city to save.

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Can I Get a Witness?

by on Aug.13, 2009, under philosophy, video games

The other night at 9:00pm, a pair of Mormons show up on my doorstep.  I had difficulty arguing the lateness since I was in the middle of playing Lego Batman with my daughter, though I managed to slip out of any lengthy conversation by stating that I was about to get the kids to bed (something I legitimately should have been doing).  A part of me secretly imagined what might ensue if a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses had happened upon my porch at the same time.  The following morning during my commute, I imagined myself playing devil’s advocate with them regarding their faith.  But really, who am I to throw stones – they are entitled to their beliefs.  Though I’d like to think that I’m equally entitled to my privacy.  If they return, it will likely be to square off with my better half – after which they won’t be back.  🙂

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