Feb. 13th, 2009

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I found a decent torrent of Mr. Rogers episodes the other day - just 30 or so, out of the 998 that he actually recorded, but it's a good start.  Annika, quite rightly, loves it, loves Mr. Rogers, loves the speed of the entire affair.  It's more similar to talking to Nana on iChat than any of her other videos, and she's starting to babble back to Fred the same way she does for Nana.  Because they both love her, damn it.  <sniff>

But as much as his love will never fade, a lot of what shows up on his show is from a world that she'll never see.  Today we watched one where he finsihed a roll of 35mm film and took it to be developed and printed, fiddly by-hand work done by huge-haired white people in Pittsburg.  Sorry baby.  We just throw them on Flickr and keep inkjet copies now.

If there's a specific tracker or hub for kid video, I'd love someone to point it out to me.  I'm building quite the collection of Sid the Science Kid videos that I should probably share.

EDIT: Yes, there is a Trausre Trove of Kids TV Torrents. Awesome. Although I think that if I grab Pirates of Dark Water, it won't be for her.
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On the way abck from the store I caught a bit of the Dave Davies interview with Danny Boyle.  It was a bland, abckground Fresh Air interview, with the interviewer speaking in footnotes so that you could wander in to this conversation ignorant of all film since Gone With The Wind and still follow the conversation.

Then Davies tries to ask a question about Transpotting, and plays the first two minutes of this clip on the air.  [Watch it for no other reason than to see how young McGreggor is and think how old that makes you]

I haven't seen Trainspotting since 99 at the lastest, but shouldn't there be a better clip for the radio?  Not to mention that without the visuals, there's none of Boyle's work to consider in that clip.  It's just McGreggor reading (close to verbatim) Welsh's writing, with the Lust for Life backbeat (also specified in the text).  Boyle's work here in entirley in the composition of the individual shots and editing of the sequence, none of which make any impression in radio.

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I picked up Planet Puzzle Leauge again, after misplacing the DS during the move and a far-too-long dallaince with WoW.  It's still, if you like arranging blocks, a fantastic, mind-blowing version of one of the best games ever.  There's a few little annoyances in the version, but I feel petty whining about a game that gives me WiFi play and vocie chat against my friends, automatic movie recoridng and sharing, and a dozen different modes that are all fun.  But, seriously, I would buy the game again if you inclued the original Tetris Attack music and sounds.

But as much as I love it, I think I'm done with it as a VS game.  After years of holding out, I'm prepared to concede that Puzzle Fighter is a far better vs puzzle game, and will even hear arguments about the brutally fast Magical Drop or Battle Balls. 

The downfall of TA/PPL comes after I've spent enough time playing with the stylus and exploring the Time Attack modes.  The stylus makes anyone a better player, flat out.  There hasn't been a control-change in a game since the addition of mouselook.   I still suck on a regular basis, but the ratio of "doh, why didn't I see that?!?" to "stupid fingers" is now about 80/20, whereas it was almost the reverse on the SNES (yes, Tiv, even with the keyboard).  So, I'm better now than I've ever been.  I'm not super great (and I don't play with crazy Exploding Lift), but I average about 16-20K in a 2 min score run, which means one x12 or x13, and a few x9s.

Score Attack is basically "the break" of TA/PPL VS.  You flatten out the board, push it up to the top, then take a few seconds to finesse things into place and start the break.  If you fuck up and kill your chain after x5 or x6, just level it off and push back up.  It's 2 minutes of clean breaks and it's fun as hell.  Becuase of the time crunch, breaking little 3s or x2s activley hurts you, taking away blocks which could have been used elsewhere and burning precious seconds with their explosion. 

After that, you've both got blocks of cheese on your screens and you move into Garbage Attack - another 2:00 timed mode in PPL.  Here, while you want to keep chaining if you can, block and break managment are far more important.  For decent players, it's pretty easy to send x4 or x5 bricks over on a regular basis, along with trash breaks.  This is enough to keep the screen full indefinatley.  If one player is clearly better than the other, they'll plow through the trash and get to do another clean break, piling another huge block of cheese on top of the stack.  But if you can keep breaking the cheese as it falls, keep moving the critic break into place before squish time expires, you can stay alive.

This is the game we played for hours at Merrill, the apartment vortex, the wedge, the Pi Hole (Oh, I still remember when Foust recognized that it took some skill to set up chains from falling cheese), and the Alex/Judi/Lisa house on Holden.  ( . .shit.  I just remembered that house was the same one that Nikki/Stevie/Zulema and I lived in.  Buut without the Li-tchen.  Anyway. .. )  Drop your blocks, stay alive.  These were the games that could strecth for 10+ minute rounds.

To borrow a phrase from descriptions of Euro board games, this is the point where I think it breaks into multiplayer solitare.  The extent of your influence over the other person is almost nil.  The game is now chicken, or sme sort of stress test, all about who fails first.  Once I've filled your screen with cheese, there's not much I can do but keep it filled (and layer a sandwich in, if the ! blocks show up) to make it harder for you.  This is bad, and has killed some of my excitment for the game.

As a result, I've been playing a lot more Street Fighter.  :)  More on that later.


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