Harry Potter Mania

buy at Amazon.comJust yesterday I preordered my copy of Deathly Hollows… have you?

I just finished reading The Goblet of Fire. I try to re-read the whole series before a new book comes out and with the last one closing in on the horizon I am starting to feel nostalgic. Even if I do have the Wheel of Time series to start reading right after.

I am about to start reading my least favorite book in the series because my favorite character dies. Not even the fact that J.K. Rowling actually cried while writing his death makes me feel any better about her decision. I hope that the last book really gives me some kind of payoff that will make me feel better. This will also be the first time I re-read book six.

I started reading the series while still in college. I have even waiting in line for a copy of the latest book at midnight. I consider myself a Harry Potter fan of the crazy obsessed kind. I have not celebrated his birthday before but have been thinking about doing it with a local group of fans. Why am I so into a series that is for kids?

First it makes me feel like a kid. The most important thing however is that this book is about love… and how love is the most powerful magic there is, even in the magical world.

This book is so popular that it has been hacked! I actually stay away from the internet boards while there is going to be a new release. Speculation can suck the life out of a surprise and I love being surprised by the book.

Someone else’s life

It is hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. While it is easy to point fingers at how something can be done better or more efficiently it is only the one performing the task that really knows what it entails.

I have always pondered the validity of the saying “Those that can do, and those that can’t coach.” I have also wondered if I could be a good coach for soccer or swimming, sports I know more a lot than what I can actually do.

In the programming world I have encountered plenty of people that think that what we do only requires 5 lines of code. While there are times when a simple change (two numbers) can remodel the whole color scheme in a blog in seconds, there are other times when adding just one simple column to a table can take hours if not days.

Plenty of hard decisions in my life have been questioned by others. Many times the people that have questioned those decisions did not know the whole story, or everything that made part of the decision making process. Those same people have been very vocal about what either went right or wrong or how it could have been done differently… the ones that at times get on my nerves are the ones that say, “You could have done it better if.”

I wish that life was all about doing things how we wanted to do them. I do try to live life that way, however, environment plays a huge role into what you can and cannot do. I would love to donate to a charity involving education in a big way, or pay off not just my debt but that of those I love… however money does not grow on trees. Situations at times put us into positions to only do what we can and not what we want.

I love to hear advice and others point of view, I have learned to use what is said to my advantage now. In the past I used to think that I had to use what others said literally in my life in order for me to “take their advice.” I found that the only thing that I accomplished then was living someone else’s life. What was worse is that at times it was the life they themselves could not live.

People around me have said many things, and advice at times comes disguised as “don’t make the mistake I did.” In reality someone else’s mistakes can be someone’s proudest moment. Take for example children and how many couples struggle to have them and some others don’t want them. While I never believe a kid is a mistake, I do believe there are unwanted children out there.

I have learned many things in life, and I am sure I will continue to every day… but today I truly feel like what others say should be listened to… advice from those we trust should be always regarded as positive, even when it seems harsh or misguided… however decisions should always be made by your set of rules and not by others… even those that we are closest to… we should always be proud of the decisions we make, because even mistakes are lessons that we learn from.

Early Theologist

This weekend I had the great pleasure of talking with my fifth grade teacher Pilar. She is one of my Mom’s best friends. Even after more than a decade of living in a different country she is still considered a great friend. She is going to come and visit this summer and I could not be more excited.

We had a catch up session over the phone where she told me plenty about what is going on with her life and I also told her how much my life has changed. Like my grandfather she has always been a great supporter of me. She then told me a story that I did not remember about my early years.

The first time I ever walked into her classroom I was very young, I had been listening to her talking about the sun and what she was teaching stuck with me. Then she was talking about God and I told her that I felt that God was the sun. I said “The sun is everywhere warming us up and even at night it gets to us because its being reflected by the moon.” She is still amazed to this day that I had that capability of reasoning at such an early age. I have very vague memories of this happening and it was not until she mentioned that I even remembered it.

She later on became my fifth grade teacher, but when I first met her I was not even going to school yet. I am not sure if I ever told this story here but I actually started first grade when I was four years old. It was a mixture of luck and opportunity even though if I had the choice I probably would have waited until I was a little older to start school.

Teachers are some of my favorite people in the world. Something I did not tell Pilar was that even as a professional now I still dream of some day becoming a teacher and hopefully affecting people in a positive way as she did with me.

Puzzle Quest, Challenge of the Warlords


buy at Amazon.com

  • Graphics (7)
  • Gameplay (8)
  • Replay (9)
  • Sound (5)
  • Multiplayer (2)
  • Total (6)

Many games attempt to mix genres and not many do it very well. I am happy to inform that puzzle quest does quite nicely mixing RPG and Puzzle elements. The combination is not a new one, but it is one where the puzzle element is not just mixed with the fighting system, it is the way you fight. Puzzle quest uses the connect 3 system of electronic grandkid of connect 4 (Bejeweled).

The graphics while not very animated work for the game. The characters have an anime flavor and the monsters are very RPG. The worldmap is HUGE and all the little towns have their own little feel to them. The story line is quite interesting and adds depth to the game in a surprising way. At first I thought I would not be very interested on the story but the more I played the more I wanted to follow the character progression.

The game’s biggest asset is replay value. This is a game that you can pick up any time and spend hours or just minutes and have just as much fun. There are plenty of sidequests besides the main story as well as paths. There are many choices to make, “Take the princes to the trolls to be married or add her to your party…” You also have four races to pick from and have male and female characters.

Even though the game is highly addicting the most annoying thing is the music. Most of your time is spent in the middle of battles and there is only one song for all of the. A different song per type of creature would have been an excellent mix. I ended up just playing without music. The soundeffects are ok, but not very impressive.

My biggest complaint with this game is the lack of head to head multiplayer with a single card. It would have beens simple enough to strip the game just for a head to head battle. The multiplayer does not work for online play, the only way to battle someone is if they are in the same room with you. While this does not ruin the game completely it does take away from a final score that could have been awesome.

The final word is that if you enjoy puzzle games or love bejeweled, this is a must have for your DS. However, if you are just a casual puzzle gamer I would stick to Tetris DS.

Viernes 15 Feast

Appetizer
Fill in the blank: The best thing about where I live is _________________…
It’s people, almost everyone I have encountered here in KC has been a very nice genuine person. I am amazed by how polite and nice people are.

Soup
Create a new name for a deodorant (like “Flower Fresh” or “Shower Scent”).
Forest Rain.

Salad
What was the last piece of software you installed onto your computer?
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Manager Thingiemagigui.

Main Course
If you were to receive a superlative award today beginning with the words ”Most likely to…”, what would the rest of the phrase say?
Tell you exactly what don’t want to hear but need to.

Dessert

What two colors do you like to wear together?
Lately earth brown and baby blue… I might actually change my blog with those colors.

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