The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Sent to Nintendo of America

| November 27, 2007

To Whom It May Concern: I’ve recently had the unfortunate experience of downloading the SEGA Title Super Thunder Blade, for my Wii. Unfortunately, it would seem that nostalgia had me jumping at the chance to play the game again, but age seems to have made my memory fuzzy. To wit – this is NOT the game I thought it was. Thus, I find myself in the situation of having spent 800 Wii Points (equivalent to $8 US) on a game which is complete and total garbage, yet I cannot return. Now, while I realize that this is exactly what would happen were I too have bought a game at a store (once it’s open, you own it because most stores won’t accept returns), I can’t really claim that the Virtual Console concept is flawed – it merely takes the current physical game model into the virtual, with the same limitations. However, I cannot help but wonder if it could be better. Suggestions: (1) A time limited window where one can return Virtual Console games after some reasonable amount of time – perhaps 6 hours. (2) A demo version of Virtual Console games containing the first few levels. (3) A demo version of Virtual Console games which allows time-limited play (only works for an hour then requires that you buy it, etc.). I’m sure the technology could be added with a firmware upgrade, and I think that this would present a better value for customers. Personally, I am now hesitant to download any other Virtual Console games with which I am not intimately familiar. Thus, I will not be spending money on games which might be good, or which I heard were good, but will instead be limiting my purchases only to games which I am certain are good. Since I never played anything on Neo Geo, SEGA, or many of the other consoles represented, I will not be looking at those categories for Virtual Console titles, lest I make this same mistake again. Thank you very much for your consideration, Matthew Caron

Lizzy brings home dinner

| November 23, 2007


| November 20, 2007

So, I'm having a dream (borderline nightmare, I guess) last night, which basically consists of me being crew on a ship which is transporting some rock bands for a tour of the verse. So, we're in transit and the ship is hit be Reavers, but in this odd way – there's one on board and she starts infecting the crew, so we end up with everyone on the ship being hunted down one by one, kind of like how it was in Alien.

So, I'm having this dream, and then I start hearing a little girl saying “hello?”, “help me?”.

Then I realize that it is coming from outside the dream, and in slowly waking up to reality, I realize that it is Licorice, who is standing outside the door meowing – and she has a “re-row.. re-ree” sort of meow.

It was messed up.


| November 15, 2007

So, Liz and I are watching some show and an underwear ad comes on advertising womens' underwear printed in delicate floral patterns.

I asked Liz about this, and she said that it is supposed to make one feel more feminine.

I replied “Like superhero underwear for children?”

We were both amused.

Aiming for a low-stress holiday season

| November 5, 2007

So, now that the holidays are creeping up on us, and the time has changed pretty much killing the ability to do a little work outside after work (it is dark by the time I finish my day), I have resolved to do the following:

  • Dig the rest of the potatoes
  • Change the oil in the tractor
  • Take off the mower and put on the blower for the tractor

After that, I'm done with “home improvement” stuff until after the New Year, so that we can focus on enjoying the holiday – decorating, getting a Christmas tree shopping, spending time together, etc.

As a kickoff to that, last night I played some video games (I'm stuck at the same level on Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior, still unable to make progress, and Red Steel is starting to piss me off – you get to the boss and I can't beat him in the swordfight, and yet I can't save my game and come back to it. Lame! I think I need to go through the stack of games and pull out something I haven't played in forever. Maybe a platform game like Ratchet and Clank..)

Anyway, I'll be doing that, working on models, etc.

In a similar vein, we've set Liz up in the basement with a 6' x 4' sewing table w/ sewing machine, etc. She has a lot of sewing she's been wanting to do (drapes, etc) and now that the outside stuff is effectively dead, she can work on it. So, with it set up in the basement, she can watch TV, and I can either read in a chair off to the side or paint models from where I can see the TV.

Anyway, time to go to work.

What a nice weekend…

| November 4, 2007

Simon, Simon's housemate Dan, and Mike came up for the weekend. Much amusement, imbibing, and eating of food was had. Some thoughts:

  • Kittens make everything better. They make drinking quite superlative.
  • Drinking with friends is better than drinking alone.
  • Ribs and wings are better with friends and beer.
  • A house doesn't become a home until you fill it with the laughter of friends and family.
  • Whiskey tastings are fun.

On spirits (the kind you drink, not the kind which scare you):


  • The Sam Adams Oktoberfest isn't as good this year as it has been previous years.
  • Brewery Ommegang's ales are quite good and varied. I knew this, but it was agreed upon by the group. Their Rare Vos, Three Philosophers and Hennepin were the real standouts as far as interesting complexity of flavor. “I like this one. I can taste all the stuff in it.” says Mike of the Rare Vos.
  • Augustinerbrau Munchen is a wonderful beer. Dan contributed this one. It is wonderfully rich and malty, thick on the tongue and quite alcoholic.

Scotch and Whisk(e)y:

  • Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a wonderfully fine blended Scotch Whisky. It is smooth, complex, interesting, and sophisticated. At $180 a bottle, it is also not worth the money. I've had more interesting blends for less money.
  • Jameson's in the UK is not the same as Jameson's in the US. The UK label reads “Product of Ireland” and is 700ml. The US label states “Imported” and is 750ml. The UK version is vastly superior – much smoother, with less of a “hot bite”.

Of course, we also tasted my normal fare – Balvenie 15 year old (the 10 is better), Macallan cask strength, Red Breast, etc. We skipped the Kentucky bourbons and the Islay Scotches, as the smokiness of the Islays tends to kill the palette for most other things and the Kentucky bourbons aren't from that part of the world.

Good times.