Archive for 2011|Yearly archive page

Be Kung Fu Panda and a Jedi? I. Am. SO. In.

In gaming, Kinect, Product on March 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I’m being honest here.  I saw this news on Facebook Kinect for Xbox360 and gasped out loud at my computer:

Kung Fu Panda 2 is coming to Kinect.  Aside from the obvious good news, the other good news is that my brother’s family has their own Kinect, so I won’t have to fight my nephew for Shifu time (see posts: A New Decade. Another Day of Kung Fu Panda and I Am A Bad Auntie).

Only slightly better than this (with a little more drool):  getting to be a jedi in Kinect Star Wars.  Ohhhhh….   My nephew and I are going to be bonding big time over that one.  Every time I hear the music or see the Kinect trailer, I get goose bumps.

John Williams, what a composing genius…such an iconic theme with emotionally swelling notes.  You could probably put that theme to a scrolling grocery list, and I would get a tear in my eye.  Two games to look forward to…


Apple of My Designer Eye

In consumer tech, dance, Dance Central, fashion and style, Product on March 3, 2011 at 5:45 pm

You had me at hello, new iPad2, largely because of the new cover.

Call me silly, but this stuff makes a difference to a girl with fashion sense. Silver, orange, navy or red… consumer tech should make you happy to come to it every time and work like a dream.  I have yet to purchase the iPad2, as I was waiting to see how much better it would be.

Richard: “They didn’t change much.   It’s just thinner.”

Me: “But did you see the cover?”

It’s kind of the same principle for car cup holders or the ability to change outfits on my dancer in Dance Central.  Small detail, big impact.  I’m thinking…red.

Snowed Out From Om, I Stay Home to Dance

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Well, it’s not like I needed an excuse to dance, but a Pacific Northwest storm did remind me that I’ve been neglecting my duties to uphold my rank on Dance Central.  I’ve been lamenting how I’ve dropped from the top 10 on Bust A Move (see: Kinect Brings A Little Celebrity Treatment and No Way I’m #6!) to well in the double-digit rankings.  It’s time to get serious again.

There’s no better time than a snow-in to work on your rank and your hip hop.

Here’s the deal.  One of my favorite yoga instructors is leaving and only has two classes left, so I rearranged my schedule a bit to make her last two classes.  Tonight, it was not going to happen.  In the 20  minutes before I was set to leave for class, I went from wrapping up a dog walk in the park with a little hail falling, to turning around because my car started sliding down a little hill one block away.  Here are the tracks of my tears, or tires, as I slid back into the garage and into safety.

About a half an hour later, my husband walks in the door, snow on his head.  “I walked home.  I sat in the same place for 15 minutes, and no one moved.”  (He did manage to put his car in a safe parking spot, rather than abandon it on the side of the road, though.)

Those of you who live in the Pacific Northwest know how a little snow can shut down the region.  Those who live in snowy areas such as the East Coast and Rocky Mountain states may laugh at us, but understand that hills, warm asphalt (and more factors) translate into regional paralysis.

In true yogi style, I will let go of my attachment to my plans to practice Ashtanga with Dawn, be grateful my husband and I are home safely, and take a moment to realize this is just another opportunity to Bust A Move.  Meantime, I will be mindful of Erik B. and Rakim’s mantra: “Don’t Sweat The Technique”.

Dance Central, here I come on a snowy night.  All y’all who jumped above me in rank, just know that this yogini has great focus.

Why Am I So Loud? Observations About Kinect Video Chat

In dance, Dance Central, dog, family, Kinect, relationship on January 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Kinect Video Chat.

Now we can talk to each other, much like a split-screen in a newscast – one person/several people in one box talking to another person/group, or an extension of the web cam experience.  Doesn’t seem super futuristic, but nonetheless, I heard about this and thought it might be cool to do it through Kinect.  I wondered how well it would work.   I tried it out with two parties in my Xbox Live crew:  my friend, a former TV news producer, and my brother, a computer nerd and electrical engineer.   Just for the record, these are smart people with a knack for communications technology (and then there’s me).

First attempt with my friend, the former TV producer, and here are my observations:

  • It was not intuitive where to go.  She and I had to get on the phone to troubleshoot how we accepted each others’ requests to do Video Kinect.
  • Just for the record, when you get a pop up “toast”, you have to go to the Dashboard and check your messages.  Via messages, you can accept.  Then you can Video Kinect.
  • I would really like it if you could just say “Accept” when you get the “Toast” and Kinect does the rest for you.  This would use the voice recognition and leave none of the thinking to the user.  IMO.  (More on my early impressions of “toast” in this post: “We Were Making Out On The Couch…”)

Second attempt, with my brother and his family.

  • Same thing, only he had been trying to figure out a bunch of things, such as how to add friends, for awhile, before we had to get on the phone.
  • Richard was with me, so he talked them through it.
  • My question is this:  If you don’t have a Richard, who helps you?  Normal people need fewer steps.

That being said, when we finally Video Kinect-ed with my brother, my sister and law and my niece and nephew, I have to say it was kind of entertaining.  My niece wanted to see the dog right away, so we sat the dog up to say hi.   Then, we talked about our experiences with Dance Central.  If you don’t think this is all terribly boring, here’s a peek at our Video Kinect conversation.

You might notice that I laugh really loudly.  My mother always told me this was inappropriate, but many years later I just can’t help it.  On video though, it does make me think why AM I so much louder than everyone else? Maybe my mom should answer this random question.