Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas Indeed

Christmas was just awesome this year. I was looking forward to it and I was not disappointed in any way.

This was my first Christmas having a girlfriend. That led to me driving around quite a bit, but it was all worth it. I really enjoy hanging out with her family, and we got to visit my family too. We even saw one of my closest cousins who has been living out-of-state for the last few years.

I hope I did as well in selecting gifts for my girlfriend as she did for me. She really gave me some nice things. But the best gift of all was having her with me.

I couldn't have asked for a nicer Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wherefore Art Thou, Quality?

Things just don't seem to be built to last anymore. Well, except perhaps Legos.

Last week my 3rd Xbox 360 broke as described in my last post. Two nights ago the foot pedal to my Rock Band drum broke. Even my car ('06 Honda Civic) has something broken such that my rear starboard window won't go down. I do consider myself lucky though, because all these things are under warrantee. It's just that all this is such a hassle!

I can understand that the Rock Band equipment has to be made inexpensively so that users can afford to buy the game. And for the most part it seems like they have done a good job. My guitar hasn't had troubles. My drum kit is great aside from the obvious. Those pedals have to be able to take a decent beating I'd think. But 3 next-gen consoles in a year? Car troubles so soon? It's just a little frustrating, that's all.

I guess I shouldn't complain. Really I'm lucky. I've got a great life with many wonderful blessings. I just gotta vent sometimes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Best Buy I Made

The other night I was happily playing Mass Effect on my XBox 360 when it froze up. No matter, I just reset it... only to have it freeze up again. And again. And then it happened. The red ring of death.

The red ring of death (coined after another lovely Microsoft failure state, the blue screen of death) sounds ominous and rightly so. It is a near-unavoidable sentence to brickdom.

But I knew what to do. The same thing that I had done the other two times that my XBox 360s died. I packed everything up and headed over to Best Buy where I bought it in the first place. Now, this would be a futile endeavor if not for the Product Replacement Plan (a sort of warrantee) which I had purchased when I bought my initial XBox 360 (may it rest in peace).

I have to give high praise to Best Buy on this. My experiences in replacing my XBrick 360s have been nothing short of amazing. The process is simple and painless. I don't get hassled by customer service people, rather they are very helpful. They let me keep my hard drive with all my saved games (although they warn me that the HDD could be the problem with my system. That hasn't been the case thus far). They process everything pretty quickly and in a matter of minutes I'm out the door with a new box. And this last time they even credited me the difference in price since the premium package has dropped in price since last year when I bought mine.

I haven't verified it for certain, but I think I got one of the new Falcon XBox 360s. I hope this will mean that I won't have to replace this one for a long time, if ever. But it is nice to know that I still have some 10 months of security through my replacement plan.

I'm sure that the $50 I spent on that replacement plan is the best console related purchase I've made... possibly ever. It's sad that the failure rate on the 360s are so bad to make that the case, but still I very much enjoy the XBox. I would highly recommend that anyone planning on getting an XBox 360 check out Best Buy for their purchase.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let it snow!

It is snowing today. It makes me happy.

Some people complain about snow, especially when they have to drive in it. But I don't mind driving in the snow at all. It can be a bit annoying I suppose -- like when people go too slow or get into traffic-halting accidents. And it can be cold...

But overall I love the snow. I dislike the warm winters where everything is dead for months. A fresh blanket of snow makes everything pretty. Plus when it snows it reminds me of my youth. It always used to snow a lot in the winter when I was a lad.

And it never hurts to grab a blanket and cuddle up to your lover.

Snow falling to earth;
a freezing blanket descends
to cover the ground.