Posts categorized “Shopping”

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Great Ideas on the Internet: Turn Your Switch Into an NES!

Is it correctly "A" NES or "AN" NES???

Is it correctly “A” NES or “AN” NES???

There have been reports of Nintendo Switch docks scratching the screens of the Switches themselves. I haven’t had this problem personally (though I did buy a screen protector because common sense). But one ingenious Etsy craftsperson has come up with a solution: a microfiber-backed “Switch Sock” that slips over the front of the dock to keep it from scratching the screen!

My favorite is the one that makes the Switch look like a (an?) NES, but there are many designs from various Nintendo games (as well as solid colors if you’re boring (or just want to coordinate with your home décor)).

Say "Switch Socks" 10 times quickly. Go on.

Say “Switch Socks” 10 times quickly. Go on.

They’re only $14.99 and free shipping! Pretty cheap if you’re worried about ruining your $299 piece of technology.

Seriously, is it a NES or an NES?? Now that’s really buggin’ me.

Categories: Great Ideas on the Internet, Shopping, Video Games.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Original NES Box Art as Wall Art!?

Gasp! 'Tis true!

Gasp! ‘Tis true!

ThinkGeek is right now offering fine-art canvas prints of four classic Nintendo Entertainment System video game boxes:

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Metroid
  • Duck Hunt

You can get a closer look at them in this li’l 30-second ad that ThinkGeek threw together in like two seconds:

Good gods, these would be amazing to have hanging up in an entertainment/gaming room of some sort. <sarcasm>Y’know, one of those extra rooms that you just have lying around your house.</sarcasm>

And though I absolutely adore the Legend of Zelda box art, I kinda wished they’d gone with a different game that fit the same aesthetic as the other three. It looks outta place. Maybe something like Excitebike? Or Kung Fu?

Product Specifications:

  • Classic NES Box Art – Exclusive Canvas Art
  • Officially-licensed Nintendo merchandise
  • A ThinkGeek exclusive
  • Original NES box art printed on canvas
  • Materials: Canvas and pressboard
  • Dimensions: 19″ x 13″ x 3/4″

[Via ThinkGeek]

Categories: Links, Shopping, Video Games.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Leavenworth Octoberfest 2012

Last Saturday Carrie & I (and two of our friends) headed out to Leavenworth for its annual Octoberfest.

The verdict? Leavenworth was awesome. Octoberfest… not so much.

We all really loved walking around Leavenworth, eating in the restaurants (we went to Gustav’s for lunch, where I had a massive Reuben, then Baren Haus for din-dins, where I had a schnitzel done cordon-bleu style), and poking through the shops (we bought many cheeses at the Cheesemonger’s Shop and many meats at Cured).

But the actual Octoberfest itself was underwhelming. For several reasons:

  • It was held on one of the only ugly streets in Leavenworth, right up against this depressing, concrete facade. One of us joked that this was the “East Berlin” part of Germany being represented.
  • It was expensive to get in, and you didn’t even get any beer tickets with admission. Those were extra.
  • None of the beer offerings were in any way exceptional. You could get better beers in most of the restaurants downtown.
  • It was kinda frat-like. Or Douchey. Take your pick from those two adjectives.

I’m pretty sure this was another “I’m too old for this” moment. We left town before 10:00 PM (we were staying at one of our cohort’s parent’s house over in Monroe). That said, Leavenworth was lovely with its changing leaves and dramatic mountain setting. The food and drink outside of Octoberfest was delicious. And the company was delightful. Of course I didn’t take any photos.

I would love to return to Leavenworth in the fall sometime again, but I would completely skip Octoberfest and just go bar-hopping in the town itself or something.

Categories: Life, Links, Restaurants, Shopping.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Going Local: Downtown T-Town

This was all about a month ago, but durn-it-all I’ve been kinda busy what with Skyward Sword and all, so I never got around to posting about it. But this was a fun day.

Some time before Chrissymiss, we were babysitting our friend who in 2011 was one of those little girls who comes out of that lady’s giant dress during Act II of Tacoma City Ballet’s Nutcracker. Part of our babysitting gig was delivering her to Nutcracker practice. So we decided to make an evening of it by going to some local Downtown Tacoma businesses.

Stop 1: Füdie’s Open House

Fudie's Logo

Although Füdie had been open for about a month already, this evening just happened to be their official open house. Füdie has a really nice selection of not-commonly-seen wines and beers. The graphic designer in me also really adores their logo. They were doing some beer and wine tasting and it was all festive and nice. I’d link to their website but they don’t have one. I know, right? Here’s their Facebook page, though.

Just last night Carrie & I stopped by Füdie again because they were doing a wine tasting of all South American wines. It was good! We got a nice inexpensive bottle of red.

Anyhoo, after we were done at Füdie we walked through a hole in their wall. Yes, that’s right: Füdie is right next door to and connected to Stink Cheese & Meat:

Stop 2: Stink Cheese & Meat

Stink's Logo

Füdie & Stink are two complimentary and associated businesses, which is why you can walk from one right into the other. Stink is one of those little tiny places that specializes yummy unusual cheeses and salumi. They have a weekly Macaroni & Cheese and a weekly Grilled Cheese Sandwich, as well as other, more-stable menu items.

The three of us had their Antipasti platter for dinner, which has all sorts of yummy pickled things and paper-thin meats and fragrant cheeses. Very good! Unlike Füdie, Stink DOES have a website.

From Stink we walked down to:

Stop 3: The Pantages Theater

Where we dropped off our little ballerina. Carrie helped her change into her costume while I awkwardly waited in the hallway and tried not to seem too much like some creepy guy trying to catch a glimpse of ballerinas in their dressing rooms.

The Pantages is also a notable Tacoma Landmark because that’s where Carrie & I got married.

Anyhoo, then we walked down the hill a couple of blocks to:

Stop 4: Dorky’s Bar Arcade

The Sign on the Side of Dorky's

Dorky’s is one of the best places in Tacoma. A massive, seemingly ever-expanding cavern of classic arcade games and pinball machines. Plus foods and drinks.

Much to my delight I discovered that Dorky’s acquired a standup of Raiden Fighters:

Lemme explain: back many, many years ago when the post-Fools Play ritual included going to an Olympia Red Robin, there was a Raiden Fighters in the little arcade room in said Red Robin. Geoff & I used to drop many a quarter into that machine in 2-player simultaneous action! It’s a pretty crazy SHMUP, with crap flying all over the screen to the point that it often gets nigh-impossible to tell what the eff is going on. Fun! Dorky’s copy had a bit of a wonky joystick, though, and the screen was a li’l washed out. Still, nice to see.

Carrie & I also played quite a bit of the Evel Knievel pinball machine while we were there. 2-Player competitive action! Carrie is quite good at that machine.

Dorky’s is also where they filmed this T-Mobile commercial:

They also don’t have a website! Whatsupwitdat? They only gots da Facebookin’ page, yo.

Stop 5: The Pantages Theater

After Dorky’s we swung back by the Pantages and picked up our li’l ballerina and then headed back to our car to drive up 6th Avenue to:

Stop 6: Metronome Coffee

Metronome's Logo

You might remember Metronome Coffee from an earlier post on this blog wherein it served as the venue for Julia Massey, the Jesus Rehab, and Neighbor Gary. This time it served as a meeting place where we handed off our li’l ballerina to her mother, and were purchased some hot cocoa for our troubles.

Metronome Coffee does have a website!

By the way, the graphic designer in me absolutely adores Metronome’s logo, too.


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Categories: Life, Restaurants, Shopping, Tacoma, Video Games, Videos.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Three Birthdays and a Concert

This post spans two Fridays and one Saturday. Let’s begin.

Friday, 23 January 2009

This was kind of my Christmas present from Carrie. She had the day off, so in the afternoon after I got off work and we had lunch and all that, we drove up to downtown Seattle and spent an hour or so wandering around the fancy shops near Pacific Place and Westlake Center. Carrie didn’t end up getting anything. I know! Not a durned thing. But I ended up getting a Super Mario Bros. 3 T-shirt at Hot Topic, and some musical birthday cards at Daiso. We heart Daiso.

After that we had dinner reservations at The Dahlia Lounge. It’s a nice place, with dark mood lighting. Every meal includes an amuse-bouche, whatever the cook happens to whip up. For us it was tiny li’l open-faced pastrami sandwiches. They were very tasty, and had lots of complex flavors that opened in sequence. For our meals I got potato/leek ravioli in a smoked onion & sage butter sauce, topped with frisée, which was in turn topped with crème fraîche. Carrie got the crab cakes with cracked green olives and a romesco sauce. Both dishes were excellent, and we switched plates when we were each half-finished. For dessert we got freshly-made doughnut holes that were brought out to the table, then placed in a brown paper bag full of cinnamon and sugar and shaken up right in front of us. Our server then cut the top half off the bag so we wouldn’t have to reach down through all that sugar to get to the holes. They came with a jam and a vanilla mascarpone dipping sauces. I also had a really good cocktail made with blueberry vodka and something else, with a float of sparkling wine. Carrie had a margarita on the rocks. It was good and fancy stuff.

After dinner we walked over to The Moore to see a Jonathan Coulton concert.

The opening act was a comedy/musical duo called Paul and Storm. They were very likable geeks, and I thought they did a good job of being funny. My favorite bits were the commercial jingles and the conditional impressions. By that I mean they did impressions of musicians who influenced them growing up, but then they added arbitrary conditions, like “Bob Dylan… in a well” or “James Taylor… on fire.” You could tell that they were honestly awed by the size and intensity of the crowd. It sure seemed like it was the largest audience they’d ever played in front of, and they were very excited. They completely underestimated the Seattle audience, though. Watch as they try to get through a very simple song:

Then it was time for Jonathan Coulton to perform. He did a bunch of songs solo and a bunch of songs with Paul & Storm as backup, as well as Molly, who is famous on teh intarwebs as SweetAfton23. I took all the videos I could find on YouTube of this show and made a handy playlist for you to enjoy. So enjoy:

Molly got to do a solo number, and she did a cover of Britney Spears’s “Toxic” on the ukulele, which I, as a fellow ukulele-player, appreciated a whole bunches.

At the show we ran into Jack, aka “John Hippogriff” from Under the Mailbox Theater. Hadn’t seen him in years, and he looks exactly the same. He came and saw Fools Play the very next day, so it was cool to hang out with him.

Friday, 30 January 2009

This was the day of the triple-birthday party for (using their internet names) HeartFeltRobots, TeezyWeezy, and Jeff the Fish. They were all born in the span of the same week, so they decided to make it easy on all of us and have their birthday parties at the same time and place.

Now, I couldn’t go to their party without bringing them presents, could I? COULD I? I… think… NOT. So I made HeartFeltRobots and TeezyWeezy necklaces. TeezyWeezy likes ghosts, so I made her a Ghostie pendant:

Ghostie is a happy ghost!

I dangled a teardrop black bead from the bottom of the pendant and strung it on black cording.

For HeartFeltRobots I made a double-sided pendant so she could wear it with any outfit.  On one side: TAKO!

tako

And on the other side: IKA!

ika

Tako being, of course, the Japanese word for “octopus,” and ika being the Japanese word for “squid.”  Anyhoo, I strung this double-sided pendant on black cord as well, but couldn’t find a bead I liked amongst Carrie’s copious collection.  So I went down to The Bead Factory to get one and, man, that place was hoppin’!  Being a nice guy, I let everyone checkout before I made my $2.10 purchase.  I found a small lampwork bead with dots all over it that looked kinda like a sliced-up tentacle with suckers on it.  Poifect!

For Jeff the Fish I made a plush narwhal.  I don’t have any pictures of it because I’m an IDIOT and forgot to take any.  I’m bugging Jeff the Fish to take a photo and upload it to his site or something.  When he does that I’ll add it to this post as kind of a retcon.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

This was TeezyWeezy’s ACTUAL, REAL-LIFE birthday, and at Fools Play we always do a special format whenever a Fool’s birthday lands on a performance date: “Fools Play Birthday Party!”

This format includes a part where the other Fools give the birthday person some funny presents that somehow lead to a funny bit or are introduced by a funny bit or something like that.  I’d already given TeezyWeezy that awesome pendant on Friday, so I decided to do something simple.  It, of course, didn’t end up being simple.

There were two parts to my present.  First, since I know she gets lonely way out there in Wenatchee, and I know she likes ghosts, I made her a ghost finger puppet to keep her company.  But wouldn’t it be better if you couldn’t not only see the ghost, but also TALK WITH the ghost?  So I recorded myself saying a whole bunch of random things in a ghostly voice, with enough space in between so that one could have a “conversation” with the ghostly voice.  I then chopped up each phrase into its own MP3 file, which I burned onto an audio CD so that she could put it on shuffle and it’d be like having a new conversation EVERY TIME!  There ended up being over seven minutes total of ghostly phrases.  Here are a couple of examples:

  1. taishas-ghost-08
  2. taishas-ghost-18
  3. taishas-ghost-28

leiapico came to Fools Play, which was awexome.  I hadn’t seen her in months because now she’s a big-wig science teacher and is too important to hang out with lowly improvisers like me.  *sniff*

Anyway, that’s my story of three birthdays and a concert.  I enjoyed it much more than Four Weddings and a Funeral, mainly because I didn’t have to sit through an Andie MacDowell performance.  Yech.

Categories: Arts & Crafts, Concerts/Shows, Fools Play, Life, Links, Music, Restaurants, Round-up, Shopping, Videos.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Where They Filmed Bits of The Goonies

HAVE BEEN BUSY

Last week was our 4-year wedding anniversarary! Hooray! To celebrate, we both took the whole week off and went on vacation.

The weekend before the vacation we had a big ol’ yard sale. I followed the advice of my own article about Garage Sale Etiquette, and the whole thing went swimmingly. Carrie actually did most of the work during the actual hours of operation due to the fact that I was working on the big Bead Factory Fashion Show handouts, as I had been doing the entire week leading up to that weekend.

I should say that Saturday went very well; Sunday was pretty much dead. We made enough moneys to buy lunch. Carrie did get to hang out in the front yard with Laura & Lawrence and play backgammon while drinking margaritas, so the day wasn’t a bust by any means (I once again spent much of the day working on handouts). After it was all over we loaded everything that was left into my car and I ran up to Goodwill and gave it all to them.

The next day we left for vacation. We rented a house in a tiny little town called Tierra Del Mar, Oregon. We found the house through homeaway.com. We actually stayed at this house. Tierra Del Mar is sewiously small; it consists of about 12 streets branching off from the main thoroughfare. If you sneezed you would practically drive through it without noticing. It’s about halfway between Tillamook and Pacific City.

Wait, did I say Tillamook? If you know me, then you know that I loves me the cheese, and Tillamook happens to have a great big ol’ factory that just pumps out the stuff. So that was the second stop on our journey.

What was the first stop? A Burgerville in southern Washington. They (coincidentally?) have a fantastic bacon burger with Tillamook cheese all up on it. They also have sweet-potato fries and very delicious milkshakes. Y’know, I shouldn’t say that Burgerville was our first stop because we didn’t actually stop there; we just hit the drive-through. We stopped at a rest stop a ways down I-5 and ate our yummy foodstuffs at a picnic table OM NOM NOM. Burgervile is kind of a tradition whenever we drive to Oregon. There was also a dog area at the rest stop, so we let Suki run around in it for a bit.

Then we headed on down to the Tillamook Cheese Factory using this route. It wound up through the “mountains” between Portland and the coast. It was very pretty. But naught so pretty as the pretty cheese in that factory.

We, as is our custom, bought the packaged odds-and-ends. When they carve cheese into those brick shapes, what do you think happens to all the leftover bits? They shrink-wrap them and sell ’em at the factory for a reduced price! They only had one style that day, a garlic white cheddar. That was okay with us!

From there we got on 101 and headed on south to Tierra Del Mar. It was after 4:00 by the time we arrived, so we quickly hauled everything out of the car and then walked Suki down to the end of the road where there was a big, huge, northwest-coast-style beach. A few miles to the south was a big ol’ Haystack Rock, though not the Haystack rock—that was up north many miles out of view near Cannon Beach, where they filmed bits of The Goonies. This Haystack Rock was not in the movie The Goonies. Don’t know why they couldn’t give both rocks different names.

We played fetch with Suki. She seemed to like the beach quite a bit, and didn’t mind getting her entire mouth completely coated with sand. It woulda bothered me. Ah, well.

Suki at the Beach

I took a short video of the beach so you could see just how crowded it was there:

Yeah. After fun in the surf and sand we headed back to the house where I hosed Suki down (she didn’t like that). For din-dins that evening we made clam chowder from scratch (it just seemed right to make clam chowder while you’re staying at the beach).

Carrie made this really fascinating bread product. I’ll see if I can describe it:

For this recipe you will need: 

  • (2) cans of buttermilk biscuit dough
  • Bacon
  • Shredded cheese

Instructions:

  1. Cook the bacon until it’s crispy, then crumble it to bits.
  2. remove all of the biscuits from the cans. Cut them up into little 1″ – 2″ triangles.
  3. Arrange half the biscuit bits in a single layer (as best you can) in the bottom of a greased baking pan (it’s supposed to be a fluted bunt pan, but they didn’t have one there so we just used 2 regular 9″ square pans). The triangles don’t have to be tightly interlocked; it works better if they’re just loosely arranged.
  4. Sprinkle half the crumbled bacon and half the shredded cheese on top of the layer of biscuits.
  5. Make another layer of biscuit bits on top of the bacon/cheese layer.
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the bacon and cheese on top.
  7. Bake in an oven at an appropriate temperature (??) until the biscuits are cooked to a nice, golden brown.

The cheese seeps into all the cracks between the biscuit triangles as it melts, and then when it cools it creates this matrix-like glue holding the whole thing together. To it it, you just rip off a triangle or two and pop it in your mouth. You can dip it in your chowder first if you’d like!

After that first evening, the low clouds rolled in and stayed for the remainder of the vacation. When I say low, I mean like 50-100-feet-off-the-ground low. Fog unless you were at sea level. It was actually kinda nice because it kept the weather very, very moderate. It weren’t too hot and it weren’t too cold. It weren’t too windy, neither.

The rest of the days of the trip were spent exploring all the little towns along the Oregon coast. We went as far south as Newport, where we had some beer inside the “Brewers on the Bay” pub at the Rogue Brewery. That place was really cool; you had to actually walk through the distillery (guided by arrows on the floor and taped-off areas) to get to the pub. It almost felt like you were trespassing. We went as far north as Seaside, which we did not like very much; it had a strange, aggressive, “angry carnie” energy about it.

Our favorite town was Cannon Beach, which was clean, well-maintained, and tourist friendly. Lots and lots and lots of cute shops full of cute stuff. I didn’t buy anything.

An interesting thing to note about our trip: we didn’t ever eat out at a restaurant. We had beer at the Rogue brewpub, but not food. We cooked our own breakfasts and dinners, and we packed picnic-style lunches that we took with us. It was really tasty and a much less-expensive way to have a vacation than to eat out for every meal. We made horribly delicious things from scratch, such as beef fajitas, chicken salad, burgers stuffed with bleu cheese and covered with garlic cheese, etc. We made way too much; we brought home leftovers from pretty much every single meal we made (except for the breakfasts, which we usually scarfed right down).

Another interesting thing to note was that there was neither TV nor internet tubes at our vacation house. We brought my MacBook, though, and it has a nice media player. So we watched a lot of My Boys and Veronica Mars and some Anthony Bourdain while we ate our breakfasts and dinners and relaxed in the evening. We also brought some books but didn’t actually end up reading them!

Early on in our stay we were were heading south through the fog along a big, forested cliff over the ocean. I needed to find a restroom (a side effect of having no large intestines), so we pulled over at this one touristy landmark type place that had a gift shop. It didn’t have any restrooms, but there was a lookout outside where you could stand at the top of a 500′ cliff and look out over the ocean. It was so foggy that you could only see maybe halfway down the cliff. It was like Silent Hill. Still looking for the bathroom we continued up a ways to the Devil’s Punch Bowl area of the Oregon coast, where we just happened to stumble upon a winery at the edge of another (smaller) cliff: Flying Dutchman Winery.

After quickly ascertaining they did not have a public restroom and backtracking to some port-a-potties we’d spotted, we came back and did a tasting. They had really, really tasty berry wines. We bought half a case of blackberry and raspberry wines. We’d never have known about this place if I hadn’t had to go to the bathroom!

While driving through Pacific City we noticed something familiar about the place. We’d eaten at a restaurant there and stayed at a motel there many, many years ago on an overnight trip we’d taken with Geoff, Josh, and Melissa! It was the trip where Josh and Carrie both tried to learn how to drive stick with Melissa’s car. Ah, nostalgia.

There was also a cute little town to the north called Nehalem. It had like two blocks of cute little shops, all linked up with covered walkways. It also had a bead shop (we stopped at at least two bead shops during this trip) that had a going-out-of-business sale happening. Hey, I just learned that there’s a Google Street View of Nahalem, of all places! Go take a look.

Eventually it was time to head back home. But just because it was our last day didn’t mean we were done with our vacation! Not by a long shot! It was time for wine. Wine time!

Instead of going back the way we came, we jutted south and then headed east on Highway 18 towards McMinnville, towards the heart of Willamette Valley wine country.

Traveling generally northeast on 99, we hit the following wineries:

Yamhill Valley
Had a cool koi pond out front. We bought a couple of whites.
Anne Amie
Very classy place. We bought three bottles, including a shockingly tasty Müller Thurgau and an easy red blend they called Amrita. We ate a picnic lunch at a table on their patio
Archery Summit
Least-expensive bottle there was $48. We didn’t buy any but did the full tasting (generous amounts). Got to drink some $100 pinot noir. It was easily the best wine there, but honestly not $75 better than a good $25 bottle of pinot noir.
Erath
Our perennial favorite. We got a couple of interesting whites, including a dry Gewurztraminer (which was kinda fascinating). We tried to have a snack on their patio but were driven away by bees.
Argyle
Interesting little place, had an unusual selection. We got a bottle of sparkling rose wine (the most expensive single bottle we got on our trip) and a very delicious ice wine.

Carrie did the driving so I did most of the drinking, and I was a little tipsy by the end, I tell you what. But still—still—we weren’t quite done!

Late afternoon, following phone directions, we wound ourselves into that strange hilly area directly south of downtown Portland to the apartment of Heather & Chris. They took us all up curvy roads towards the top of the hill.

The roads skirted around huge, forested chasms, along the sides of which were many terribly expensive houses built on stilts hanging over these chasms. It was kinda crazy. One house was only connected to the hillside by its driveway; the rest of it was supported by stilts. The road was actually level with the TOP floors of these houses. Often they extended three or four stories down into the chasms. Is Portland a more geologically stable area than Seattle? ‘Cause it’d be suicide to build like that up here, what with this being earthquake country ‘n’ all.

Anyway, we did not fall into any chasms on the way to Council Crest Park, which is basically at the summit of the hill. It’s a pretty cool park with a big watertower in it. There’s a steep hill on the southeast side of it that dogs can run around in, so Suki ran around in it with us all.

After that we got back on the freeway and headed north for home. About the only thing we missed on the whole trip was a jaunt to Voodoo Doughnut in downtown Portland, but we didn’t feel like stopping either time we drove through the area.

It was plenty dark by the time we got home. But get home we did.

As a P.S. of sorts, this post wins the record of having the most labels of any of my posts!

Categories: Articles, Cooking, Life, Links, Pictures, Restaurants, Shopping, Vacation, Videos, Weather, Work.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Oh Yeah… Time For a Shameless Plug

I keep on forgetting to mention that the store where I work, Ever After, is having a big ol’ sale all this week (ends Friday the 27th). Everything in the store is 20% off, and there’s a sidewalk sale where things are even more off than that. I know, sounds impossible, but there it is. Undeniable. So you have two days (today, Thursday, and tomorrow, Friday) to take advantage of it.

Also, the website (which I’m in charge of) has everything 10% off all week. So for those of you out-of-towners who can’t make it in to the store and buy something on sale—wrong! You can still buy something on sale! Via teh magic tubez of teh intarwebs.

Categories: Links, Shopping.