Category Archives: Games

there is always soma, delicious soma

When I work on Games of our Lives, I usually listen to Fred on 44 or Ethel on 47. I used to listen to Lucy on 54, but it’s recently become totally unlistenable, thanks to the addition of Sheryl Crow (on the “alternative” station?), and the heavy rotation of Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers, making my satellite radio just as annoying as my regular radio. Way to go, XM.

Today, however, I’m listening to some fantastic radio from the internets that I thought I’d share with the five of you who don’t know about it already: SomaFM, from San Francisco, specifically the Secret Agent station.

I used to listen to Soma quite often in the pre-Mac days, when I’d stream music over shoutcast on my Linux machine, but I usually listened to Groove Salad. I forgot about it until I found the Secret Agent station sort of by accident last night, and I’ve been listening to it pretty much nonstop since I got up this morning. So check it out, if you want to hear something you probably haven’t heard before, or are in the mood for something totally different.

And while I’m off to work on next week’s Games of our Lives, I encourage you to take a look at this week’s installment, Bermuda Triangle, which has some cool (in my opinion, anyway) Easter Egg-ish obscure references for your “hey! I got that!” pleasure. While you’re there, you may want to take a look at Guzzler, which I also think is pretty funny.

parked under the sunsphere

The kids are on Spring Break this week. Anne and Ryan are up in HellaNorCal, checking out colleges, and Nolan and I are hanging out with the dogs until they get back.

It’s been a really fun week so far: lots of Magic: The Gathering, Brawl tournaments, The Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles on TV, and walks with the dogs around the neighborhood when it isn’t raining.

I’ve also introduced him to Lost, and I have the feeling that he’ll run through Season One on DVD in five days, just like I did. Hopefully, he won’t become as hopelessly just-jam-it-into-my-veins addicted to the show as I am (I’m only up to Episode 4 of Season Two, so if you’re going to comment, please don’t post any spoilers, okay? I reserve a special type of wrath for that sort of thing) but I managed to hook him on Battlestar Galactica this way, and I apologize for nothing. Nothing!!1one!

Sorry. I got a little carried away there.


I’ve always felt that, as a parent, my job (and greatest hope) is to help my kids grow into the kind of adult that I’d be proud of, and I’d like to spend time with, even if we weren’t family: honest, honorable, generous, compassionate, and responsible. Sometimes, as part of the whole Pod People experience, I feel like those efforts are failing. Add the bonus of the really great and neverending loyalty conflict game (that I refuse to play, but have to deal with, anyway,) and it’s easy to wonder if any of the work will ever pay off. It’s been easy to lose hope.

But over the last couple of months, I’ve come to believe that the Pods were actually Chrysalises, because it feels like both Ryan and Nolan have emerged as young adults whose company I really enjoy (and I believe the feeling is mutual.) The moments of irrationality are still there, and I’m sure that I am still so lame from time to time, but I have lots and lots of hope.

If you’re a parent dealing with a Pod Person, don’t give up. One day, you may wake to discover that your Pod Person has vanished as quickly as it arrived, leaving behind an honest, honorable, generous, compassionate, and responsible young adult.

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When I was seven years old, my dad had one of those Mattel handheld football games, and I loved it. I bet if you grabbed a few Gen X-ers and told them to close their eyes, they’d all be able to identify that game by the click-click-click-chirrrrp! sound which is as linked to that game as "D’Oh!" is to Homer Simpson.

As a member of the video game generation, I’ve been through most of the console systems, watched the rise and fall of video arcades, and written extensively about some very memorable games. I am a sucker for anything that celebrates the games of our lives, and  Donald Melanson‘s A Brief History of Handheld Videogames at Engadget is hawesome. He starts at the aforementioned (and pictured) Mattel Football, and works his way through the Atari Lynx, past all the incarnations of the Gameboy, to the PSP.

We’ve come a long way in the last 28 years, baby.