Thursday, December 28, 2006

Down Time.... FINALLY!!

Christmas 2006 came and went. And the last of my family left today. Sharkey and I are finally in down time mode. Let out a big SIGH today!! It's time to vacuum everything, pitch what needs to be thrown away and just crash. Maggie Malarkey is fast asleep next to me. She looks how I feel; really freakin' tired!! Our house is none the worst for wear. A few spots to Oxyclean here and there, laundry to be done, but we have an almost clear fridge with little to no leftovers!!! Here's how I felt since around Saturday afternoon:


It was a very nice Christmas overall. It was great to get "The Family" together. I was able to spend some quality time w/ the nephews and they "learned" me all about the video games and movies they watch. The Nintendo Wii got a nice workout. Everyone was basking in the Wii-goodness, even my 70 year old mother was having fun bowling and playing baseball on the Wii. She even hit a home run! That thing was worth the grief Sharkey gave me for buying it. My gigantic 6' 5" nephew also enjoyed the technological wonderment that is Uncle JP. I was able to show him how to rip DVD's on to his Sony PSP.

If you'll excuse me I think I'll catch some "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" and go into a coma now. JP out!!!!!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas DEFCON 4 Status!!

Here's the deal. As you know Sharkey and I come from different areas of the country. She's from Minnesota and I'm from New Jersey. So before we were married we decided that we would alternate the holidays so one Christmas is in Pennsylvania, where we live now, and the next year is in Minnesota. This year we're in PA so I thought I'd see if my family would like to get together over our house. I usually can get my Mom to be here and sometimes one of my two older brothers and their families. Well as fate would have it, everyone is coming this year!! So the day after Christmas we will have a house filled with 14 people and 4 dogs. On top of that, my oldest brother called me the other day and asked if they could come early. For some reason, his teenage kids think I am the coolest. It is most likely because I have the same level of maturity as them. They told my brother they wanted to spend quality time with me and Sharkey before it was taken up by the other family and the other 4 kids that are coming. I call it JP envy. So earlier in the week I was taking my time, pacing out all the chore stuff that needed to get done before our first guests arrived on Christmas day. But no. Now our first family of 5 is arriving TOMORROW!!

CCCCCRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAPPPPP!!! Alert!! Alert!! We are at DEFCON 4 status people!!!!!!!!! We need to finish cleaning, get those gifts wrapped, plan meals out, get food shopping done and try to figure out what to get my Mom for Christmas!!

And a Merry Christmas to you all!!! I leave you with the classic Family Guy Christmas carols:

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy DANCE!!!!!!!!!

Received an "A" in my grad class today... Happy dance time. Seen this commercial? It's totally the crap I do, and it would be totally how I'd get busted:

Almost looks like me too... Well, except I don't weight that much. YET!!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Wii

My arms are sore. Why are they sore you ask? In a word, I have Wii arms. Highly interactive gaming systems have a price and not just the money you spend on it. Plus playing until 2am is really a bad idea. But this system is unlike any other. It reminds me of my first video game system. Remember the Atari 2600? It was my first. I bugged my parents, OK truth be told I targeted my Dad, because he would usually cave into my persistence. So I asked if we could go to Kiddie City to "look" at them. So we went, I then switched from "looking" to "hey this could be my Christmas, birthday, and allowance for a year" gift. My Dad did the thing where he said, "Hmmmmm." This was a good sign mind you. It mean he was considering it. But I think he saw that look in my eyes and before you knew it I was playing Atari at home! It was the best. I would spend hours figuring out all the patterns and I wore out 4 joysticks and 2 power packs. As a matter of fact I think my Atari is still at my Mom's house in NJ. But I took that tangent to illustrate what the Wii is like to me. It's that excitement all over again. It's like gaming is "new" again. I have an original Playstation and I bought a Nintendo Gamecube when they came out, but neither of them compare to the Wii. It's the motion sensitive controllers. They are the absolute BOMB!!! Nintendo put out a real winner with this one.

So here it is. The Wii. The box is very similar to Apple designed products. The design is not flashy and very minimalist:


I actually think Nintendo took a page from the Apple playbook with their packaging. When you open the box, there are two separate trays in the box:


The first tray contains the manual, sensor, and controllers. The main controller of the Wii is called a Wiimote. The second controller is the Nunchuk. Both are motion sensitive. They also snap together to form what really does remind you of a martial arts weapon. The second tray contains the main console, power pack, and cables:


The entire unit is about the size of an external DVD drive. The console can be vertically mounted in the included tray or you could put it horizontal.


The game it comes with is Wii Sports. It is extremely addictive. It has baseball, golf, bowling, boxing, and tennis. All of the games except for boxing only use the Wiimote. For the boxing game you hook the nunchuk in and go at it against a computerized opponent. The Wii controllers have built in speakers and are not only motion sensitive, but also give feedback in the form of vibration. For example, when you play golf, tennis, or baseball you can feel it when you strike the ball. It is UNREAL!! And in order to play the games, your posture is the same as if you were playing the real sport. Batting position for baseball. Pivoting to the left and right for tennis. Bending over posture for golf. The first game you play will make your senses just jump because you are not expecting the game to be so interactive. Boxing is wild. You can duck your opponent and you use both the nunchuk and Wiimote. So you can do combos and you use both hands to box.

It is definitely worth the $249 price tag, provided you can get one for that price. Oh did I mention it is WiFi enabled? Oh and the controllers are BlueTooth. And... it takes SD cards if you want to display pictures with the Wii. But the game play is the real strength. Playing this thing makes me feel like a kid again. Ever since I unpacked it, I've played it every day. Even when I first had the Playstation and Gamecube it wasn't like that. I know, being a kid is really not a big reach for me. But get this...I get home tonight and guess who is playing tennis on the Wii? None other than Sharkey! Wii on BABY!! Wii ON!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

What is in a Fortune?

Here's a fortune I recently received in a cookie:

"There is in the worst of fortunes the best chance of a happy ending."

Even though this probably came from the Hong Kong book of really weak philosophy, I do think there is some truth into what it says. How many times have you been through what you thought was the worst situation and then once you're through and can look back you see how it changed you and your life for the better? Does adversity really develop character and reveal our true potential? I think it does. I'm hoping to update this post in a year with a prime example of this philosophy in action. But until then...

May all of your worst fortunes, have the happiest of endings!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Yo Queiro Taco Puke?

Ever been so sick you want to die? Ever have your intestines twist around into knotted geometric patterns? Well that's what happened to me when we went to Sharkey's cousin's wedding in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 2005. We arrived there no problem and I wanted to go to Perkin's for some food, but noooooo, Sharkey wanted to check in and make sure the rooms were OK, which we were sharing with Character Builder and her family. Also, Sharkey and Character Builder's parents were coming too, so she wanted to make sure they were good. So I said, "OK, I'll just go run over to Taco Bell and grab something." I can even remember what I had, Mexican Pizza and 2 supreme tacos.

So I wake up the next morning to a feeling I hadn't felt in a really, really, really long time. Yes, it was that nasty, sickening feeling you had when you were like 8 years old. Why is it that young kids puke a lot anyway? I won't go into the nasty graphic details, and mind you I could, but my day went way, way downhill from there. Actually, it went sort of like this:

I turned a nice pale color and became dehydrated. This lasted for 24 hours. I felt like I was going to die. Heck, I would've gladly welcomed death. It would've been preferable to how I felt. So at hour 25 I finally started to feel a bit better. I was about 2 hours away from telling Sharkey I think I wanted to go to the emergency room. Sharkey, being the kind, loving wife and all ran out and got me crackers, Jello, and Gatorade.

Since that wedding weekend, I have BANNED Taco Bell. People still are amazed that I have not set foot into one since then. I admit I can be a fast food junkie, as I frequent Wendy's, McDonald's, and Arby's. But I nixed out running to the border. In fact, my experience created such a negative impression that I really don't like even seeing Taco Bell commercials. So how fitting now that there's an outbreak of e-coli poisoning in NJ, PA, and DE!!! So if I had overcome my restaurant avoidance, the same thing could've happened again! Oh no, you little chihuahua, you stay the hell away from me. You aren't getting me again!!!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hey I'm not Average

Just a follow up to my previous post. I received the 2nd paper I wrote last night. The comments were, "Very good paper overall, JP." That's an "A" baby!!!! See I'm not average afterall....


GO JP, GO JP, GO!!! In case you were wondering, this is the stick figure version of the cabbage patch.... Next time I'll do the Hammer step or running man... =)

Friday, December 01, 2006

The HUNT takes a dark twist

OK, so it started out as a JP harebrained money making scheme. I, like a lot of other greedy folks tried to figure out angles to get one of the hot new toys to sell. In my case, I targeted a Nintendo Wii. I did the typical JP hunt routines:

1. Research
2. Availability
3. Pricing (again retail is for suckers)
4. Timing

So I waited for 11/19, the Nintendo Wii launch date. I staked out some local Walmarts and Targets out and was planning on maybe waiting in line a few hours for a Wii which I would later place up on eBay. So as everyone knows, the release was over the top crazy!!! I was too late to wait in line, and no way I was going to sit out in the rain for one. The Wii sold out in a matter of seconds when the stores opened. So I went to plan B. I staked out

I read posts which I thought were credible so I waited till midnight on 11/19 and refreshed the browser like crazy to see if I could nab one. They never went up on sale. I checked some gaming posts and the thought was that they would go up at 12am PST. That's 3am EST. So I figured what the heck, I'm usually up till 1am normally, I'll stay up and get one. So I stayed up and again nothing. So I went to sleep, the next day was Sunday, so as usual Sharkey and I went to church. I came back and just for giggles I logged back on to Amazon to see what was up. I'm setup on Amazon for Quick Checkout, so I looked at my shopping list, and to my surprise the Wii was on there!! I mouse clicked like a frantic madman, and got it to my cart and then had to enter my password in order to checkout. Hit the keys, I can type pretty fast, and then hit the checkout button, the message I received:

"This item is currently unavailable from the seller, please try again at a later time"


Here's where our story takes a dark twist. I started reading more about the Wii and the reviews it was getting on CNet since that weekend. I also read the gamer sites and this thing is just revolutionary. The controller is wireless and motion sensitive, so no longer are you moving a joystick and pressing buttons. You can now swing the controller like a golf club, or do fighting games and swing the controller like a sword, or make like you are fishing and make casting motions. It's a very cool little piece of technology. Ah, herein lies the rub. If you read JP Jargon, you know my interests are what??? Golf and technology. So my greed turned into, "Hey I think I want one of these things."

So here's where we are. JP wanted a Wii to sell, now JP wants a Wii to keep. So why did he mention his Amazon campaign? So I go to Amazon and check out the Nintendo Wii and it shows as this:

Nintendo Wii
Other products by Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Wii
(170 customer reviews)
Availability: This item is currently not available.

8 used & new available from $535.00

We are currently out of stock: We sold out of our initial supply of the Wii on Sunday morning, November 19, in less than one minute. We expect to receive periodic shipments of the Wii from Nintendo throughout the holidays and we will post availability updates in this section of the product detail page as well as in the customer discussions below.

But I went to my shopping cart just to see if I could add the thing to my checkout cart, and it went in!!!! WHOOOOOAAAA!!! Pulse quickens, neurons in the brain fire, adrenaline starts to pump through the body, and the hunt is on like Donkey Kong!!! Excitement is rising!!! So I yell out a big "WHOOOHOOOOOO!!!" and go to see if I can go to quick checkout. The one problem is Sharkey is here sitting next to me. My voice of reason, she's the love of my life and I truly do not know what I'd do without her. She knows me better than anyone. She's made me a better man. But tonight I whined, I justified like a madman, I figured out how the JP Fun Fund will be impacted by this purchase at the end of December and despite her sound reasoning and call to a better, reasonable way, I pushed THE BUTTON. Forgive me Sharkey for my foolishness...

Houston we have Wii!!! We have Wii!!!!!


Ya I know, I'm nuts and I'm 37 going on 7. Suzieq and Cherie, go for it, I'm an open target...