A Year of Wii : Marble Saga Kororinpa (April)

Marble Saga KororinpaOur Wii game this month was Marble Saga Kororinpa, which Sarah thought would be an interesting puzzle game. The gameplay is like one of those old wooden games where you’re trying to get a marble to a specific point without letting it fall into the holes along the way.   Here, you’re trying to guide your ball through the course, collecting gems without falling off the edge.

We got it home and played for a while with the Wii Balance Board, which was a nice little addition.   Sarah would finish a course, then I’d try to do the same one in a better time than she did, and vice versa.   (This was the only pseudo-multiplayer action we found, even though the game claims that you can “Play with three other people on the same map as you race to the finish line”.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Curtis Gibby on May 6th, 2010

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A Year of Wii : Toy Story Mania! (March)

Our game rental this month was Toy Story Mania! — a carnival-derived bunch of mini-games where you throw darts, shoot wooden animals, and roll marbles along with Woody, Buzz and other fun Toy Story characters.

The kids liked watching me play, and Audrey was even able to do some of the games in multi-player mode.   High scores give you tickets, which you use to purchase new games to play.   My first run-through the game seemed rather repetitive and took less than an hour, but then I realized that there were more mini-games to unlock and have fun with. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Curtis Gibby on April 7th, 2010

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CakePHP containable order

I’m developing in CakePHP at work, and I was trying to do a sort on a contained model.   As in, for all of the Foos, get all the related Bars, but order the Bars by Bar.publish_date (or whatever).

I kept getting conflicting information about whether that was even possible and how to go about it.   I also got the following error several times: Model “Foo” is not associated with model “order” — it thought I was trying to sub-contain “order” into Foo->Bar.   I eventually figured out that I had one too many parenthesis on the contain conditions (i.e. which Bars to get).   This is what I ended up with that worked correctly.

	'Bar' => array(
		'conditions' => 'Bar.publish_date <= "'.date("Y-m-d H:i:s",time()).'"', // only get the bars that have been published
		'order' => 'Bar.publish_date asc' // sort bars by pubdate
$foo = $this->Foo->findbyId($foo_id); // or whatever other kind of find you need

Hope this helps someone in the future!

Posted by Curtis Gibby on March 24th, 2010

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Workin’ for a Livin’

In my almost-30 years on this planet, my father has worked for two companies:   Browning Arms all while I was growing up, then the LDS Church since about the time I went on my mission.   I’d call that a commendable track record, especially in today’s labor marketplace.

I mention this because, this morning, I am about to start a job with my fourth company since Audrey was born four years ago.   (Heck, since Nathan was born two years ago!)   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Curtis Gibby on February 17th, 2010

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A Year of Wii : Lego Rock Band (February)

Lego Rock Band

Our Wii rental for this month is Lego Rock Band, a fun entry in the never-ending parade of Guitar Hero and Rock Band clones.   This one had enough humor and cool songs to differentiate it from many of those games, but in the end, it’s still pretty derivative.

The story mode was pretty cool.   I liked that there were challenges that were related to the specific songs we were playing.   (For example, in the haunted house, we had to get rid of a bunch of ghosts by playing, what else, “Ghostbusters.”)   In the three days that we had the game, I got about halfway through the story, so I didn’t get to buy a jet or go into space. The challenges and rewards were spaced very nicely to keep me coming back to get the next cool thing, whether that’s a new vehicle or new place to play or new song. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Curtis Gibby on February 17th, 2010

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A Year of Wii : New Super Mario Bros Wii (January)

Last year, we bought a set of 12 Hollywood Video rental coupons on eBay — one rental per month for about $1.50 apiece. While some games were better than others, we really enjoyed being able to go out and get a new Wii game every month without breaking the bank. I kept meaning to write about the games that we got, but never got around to it.

So we were on the lookout for the same coupons when 2010 rolled around, and we found a 36-pack online — 3 sets of 12 each. We kept one for ourselves and sold the other two for a tidy profit. (Our price for each rental this year — $0.00!) And I decided that I am going to document each rental — a year of Nintendo Wii fun.

First up for 2010: New Super Mario Bros. The game has gotten great reviews, and even won several awards for best game of the year 2009, so I was looking forward to it. We got it while Sarah’s sisters were staying with us for the holidays, and I wanted to try out some of the cool multi-player stuff that’s new in this latest edition of the classic Mario series.

I liked playing the game, and I didn’t find it too difficult, having beaten Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo back in the day. But none of the other people at our house who were trying to play the game had much experience with the Mario franchise, so they didn’t know how to run and jump high, for example. They didn’t enjoy it very much and kept dying. Multi-player with these guys was a joke. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Curtis Gibby on January 21st, 2010

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Hawaii – Day 8 – Oahu

We started the day in our condo in Kapaa, Kauai. We got out the door right on time and to the airport to return our rental car. Our flight to Honolulu was on Hawaiian Airlines, and it was better than Go! Airlines in every way. Free checked bags for each of the four of us, an on-time take-off, and juice on the flight. We were very happy with Hawaiian, and we swore that we’d never fly Go! again.

We picked up our new rental car at Enterprise. It was a gold Ford Fusion, and all of the controls felt cheap and plasticy — remind me again not to buy a Ford. (I was impressed, however, with the Dodge Magnum that we drove all week on Kauai. Everything seemed to be in the right place and well-designed.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Curtis Gibby on December 13th, 2009

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Hawaii – Day 7 – North Side

Today we hit the north side of the island. We started at the Kilauea lighthouse, which was a really cool scenic outlook and wildlife refuge. We saw a few seabirds, but the place wasn’t officially open until 10:00 am, so we weren’t able to go inside.

We went to the beach at ‘Anini. (It used to be Wanini, but the “W” on the sign fell off years ago, and people just started calling Anini instead. Funny, huh?) We climbed in a big tree and looked at the water for a few minutes, then we were back in the car. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Curtis Gibby on December 12th, 2009

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Hawaii – Day 6 – Plane Ride and Shopping

Today we started off at the Lihue airport for a plane tour of the island. It lasted about an hour and we saw pretty much the whole island. But we were pretty high up in the air, and we weren’t as impressed with the tour as we thought we would be.

We hit Walmart for some food and found a Hawaiian shirt for me there too. After that we came home for some lunch and a nap. We rented a tandem bike and the Welches rode it up to the beach and we all spent the afternoon boogy-boarding on a beach just north of us. We rode the bike home and Sarah went to the Farmers’ Market and got some fruit and bought a nice fruit-and-veggie smoothie. Doesn’t seem like much of a day — pretty low-key, but we had a good time today.

Posted by Curtis Gibby on December 11th, 2009

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Hawaii – Day 5 – Kayaking and Hiking

Today started with a timeshare pitch at Shell Vacation Club just down the road. The saleswoman didn’t appreciate having gotten the two young couples who definitely weren’t going to buy a timeshare today. She was pretty condescending to us, but we got out of there unscathed and with a $100 discount per couple for our airplane flight tomorrow.

After that, we rented a couple of double kayaks and went up the Waimea River. Going upstream for two miles took longer than we thought it would, and the hike to Secret Falls was nice, but longer than we thought. It reminded me of all those scenes on Lost where they’re hiking through the jungles. I was the only one who was wearing decent footwear — everyone else just had flip-flops. Brad even got a nasty-looking cut on his foot.

We got to the falls and ate our PB&J lunch (Sarah had a couple of McDonald’s salads instead), then went for a dip in the pool below the waterfall. It was refreshing but not too cold, and the water was just pounding on us. Sarah said it felt like a hurricane. We had a good time, and it wasn’t until after we got out that we heard a tour guide tell his group not to go directly under the main flow of the waterfall, because a rock or log or fish could fall on your head.

We got a little lost on the hike back to the kayaks, but eventually we found our way back down the river. We met a Hawaiian guy on a surfboard who was paddling downstream with us, and we asked him about the best places to go out to dinner. He also let me and Brad each take a spin on his board when we got back down to the dock.

We didn’t take his advice when it came to dinner, but I wish we had. Instead, we walked up to a place called Olympic Cafe that was recommended by some people we met in the hot tub. (A long soak was absolutely necessary after our hike and paddle.) The food wasn’t great, and the prices weren’t either, but it was close enough to walk. After the food, we walked over to the ABC Store across the street to look for souvenirs. We were checking out calendars when Brad turned over one called “Women of Hawaii.” It turned out to be topless women, quite a sight for Brad and Debbie, which led to this quotable line from our walk on the way home.

Brad: Remember when we saw 24 boobs?

On that note, I’m going to bed.

Posted by Curtis Gibby on December 10th, 2009

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