Tag Archives: wii

We know it’s not a real guitar!

We’ve had Guitar Hero for a few years on a couple of platforms (Wii and PS3, the PS3 version is better, the Wii version made a horrible noise when you missed a note and was very distracting).  We also recently bought Band Hero despite the fact that there’s only two of us in the house.  We love the games, we keep trying to find a copy of Rock Band (and Rock Band 2) second hand although they’re still expensive, because they’re still popular.

It amuses me when I hear people talking about how ‘sad it is’ to play Guitar Hero and how they feel it’s not good for kids in case ‘they think they’re playing a real instrument’ and it puts them off playing a proper guitar or learning the drums or whatever.

In fact, it’s worse than amusing, it’s annoying.  Firstly, we know it’s not a real guitar folks.  In fact, if you try and treat it like a guitar you’ll not do very well in the game.  You have to treat it like a game controller (which, amazingly it is) and treat winning like playing a game of hitting the colours.  It helps to have good manual dexterity and it helps to have a good sense of rhythm and it can be useful to know the song, but these aren’t critical.  It’s entirely possible to ace songs with the sound muted, because it’s about pressing the right colour at the right time.

It feels to me that it’s only some part time musicians who feel a little threatened by the fun that people can have playing Guitar Hero and similar games.  Those of us having fun playing them know they’re games, know they don’t make us musicians and know that it’s only a controller.

I never, even as a kid, truly thought I could fly a jet fighter just because I played T.L.L. on the Spectrum for hours on end.  I suspect kids playing Guitar Hero or Band Hero or Rock Band know even better than their parents that it’s a game controller they’re handling and not a real instrument.  But you know what?  If it gets them interested in music and being musical and if it encourages cooperative gaming rather than purely competitive gaming then how can that be a bad thing?

If you are deluded enough to think the little plastic thing in your hands is a real golf club and that you learned to play golf in front of your Wii, maybe you’re better off not playing Guitar Hero, but for the rest of us, we know it’s a game, we know it’s a game controller and we don’t care.  It’s fun.

Weeeeee fit (not yet!)

So, finally we broke out the wii fit again.  It’s been a while, we both got sick and then it was really hard to get back into the habbit, but we managed to today.  Thirty minutes each.  We’ve gone past our initial goals without beating them, but we’ve put new ones in and we’re going to try again each day to do some wii fit.

It’s good for us in so many ways, not least of which it gives us time to be in the lounge together doing something specifically together which doesn’t involve sitting 10 feet apart at the PC’s concentrating and not talking.

So, yay us.

Also, I’m looking for some recommendations for fun, two player games on the Wii.  Something either co-operative or competative I don’t really mind, but it has to be fun and have a lot of life in it.  I look through all the Wii Ware games and they look a bit naff, and I can’t find any decent reviews on the ‘web which is frustrating.  I’m happy buying a game but not looking for anything brand new (light on cash atm).  I know there’s a few games made up of lots of mini games, but I’m not sure how much longevity they have?  So, do you know of any *fun* two player games we can spend an hour with just laughing and enjoying the Wii?

Wii Fit & Toys-r-Us

We got our Wii Fit from Toys-r-Us (not sure if I said that before).  We got it at the time by ringing up a few times, asking when / if they had deliveries.  The day they got a delivery Grete went over and queued with about 14 other people.  They handled that pretty well with tickets and assurances everyone would get one.

Anyway, about 14 days ago we noticed the Wii Fit had a fault.  If you stood in a specific place it would lose connection with the Wii.  It was either being power recycled or the Bluetooth was being reset, or it was causing a short.  It got steadily worse.  We rang Toys-r-Us and first of all they said we’d need to bring it back in, with our Wii (which we didn’t get from them) to test it and they would refund us.

We explained how hard it had been to get one in the first place, and could they not do an exchange when they got stock?  The person on that phone at that time said no.  Anyway, we rang back a day or two later, and this time the (more knowledgeable) staff member said oh yeh, no problem, they would do us a definite replacement when they got stock in, and they never mentioned taking in the Wii to do any testing.  And they said they aught to be getting some stock on Thursday or Friday.

So, Grete (who always gets to do this stuff because I’m a coward) took the Wii Fit in yesterday.  Initially the member of staff she spoke to said they couldn’t promise a replacement, but Grete explained the conversation she had on the phone, and a different staff member confirmed that was possible.  She got a slip of paper and came home.  Today, they called and Grete’s just returned with our new Wii Fit.  We were only without it for a couple of days in the end (although because of the fault, we’d stopped using it anyway).

So, Toys-r-Us, pretty good service in the end, but I think you need to educate your staff more consistently on your policy and processes.

Friday at last

It’s been a long old week, but we finally made it to Friday.  I need to start doing more than 30 minutes on the Wii Fit, because I’m not out of breath after 30 now like I was at the start.  Or, start mixing it up a bit more (I tend to do mostly Aerobic stuff) and throw in some more Yoga.

I’m working on a little Wii Fit high score web-app thingy so that the folk I know with Wii Fit’s can see who’s the champion at Super Hula, but work over the last couple of days ate into my evening free time so it didn’t make much progress last night.

I think we may be about to start tabletop roleplaying again with Chris and Christine which would be fantastic, it’s always going be tougher at our age due to kids, jobs, lives, but hopefully we’ll be able to get together twice a month at least and get some games in.  Really looking forward to that (probably 4th Edition D&D at this stage).

I was reading some stuff about diabetes and the HbA1c test, and it suggested that morning glucose readings (basically, fasting readings) should give a good indication of where you are with your blood sugar control.  If the morning readings are high (consistently) then you’re probably not getting enough drugs, or your control is out, or you’re eating too much (or a combination).  Mine tend to be pretty good, I don’t check them all the time (it doesn’t really help to do that with type 2 diabetes), and at 4.8mmol/l this morning I was quite happy.  I had some low GI bread toast from a small bakery chain which I’ve not tried before, it was ok.  I’ll check in a bit and see how it affects my sugar, I had four slices so I should get a decent indication if it’s going to be worth buying or not.  (In fact, I just noticed it’s a couple of hours since I ate it, so off I go to finger-prick).

Hmm, 8.4mmol/l is a little higher than I’d like, I guess I’ll need to stick to less slices and/or the Bergen low GI bread although the strong flavour in that had started getting to me so I needed a break from it.

I suck at ski jumping

I’ve put up a page with my Wii Fit high scores which you can get to from the navigation in the top left.   As the page says, I know a couple of people now with Wii Fit’s and since there’s way that I can find native to the game of sharing high scores, I’ve started my own little page.  Hopefully this will either inspire my friends to greater feats of ball dodging or make them laugh so hard at their obvious superiority that they’ll lose calories in an instant.


(oh and yay me, over 500 posts)

Placebo effect? Who cares!

Today has been a good day.  It’s gorgeous, a little too warm in general for my liking, but clear skies, crisp and cool this morning and dry all day.  We had our regular weekend high class Tesco breakfast before our Saturday shop, and then we headed straight over to B&Q for some random DIY purchases.  We needed more woodchip for the border in the garden, and while we were there found some plastic border things which are better than the ones we were using.

I think I blogged about the last lot when we did the border, this lot are short sections, hammer-in, much sturdier and more durable and look a lot better.  So when we got back, since the weather was so decent we ripped up the old stuff and I hammered the new ones in.  We ended up doing about 5 hours of gardening, which included pruning the small apple tree right back now the leaves are starting to fall off (I have no clue what the best time of year to prune is, so don’t feel you need to correct me, we prune, when we want to prune).  Then we had to chop those branches up and get them into the brown bin1.  Since we were doing that, I chopped up the bigger logs almost from the pruning we did in the front garden a few weeks back that have been lying in the other border.

Then we decided to finally tackle the small shed’s load of cardboard.  We cleared out 70% of the cardboard that was in there a couple of years ago, it’s been there since we moved in.  But as we got near to the bottom it got more and more hairy to move it without freeing up about 100 spiders, so we stopped.  We really want to be able to use that shed for the lawn mower though, it’ll be much easier to get in and out than the other shed, so we sucked it up and pulled all the cardboard out.

Some of those spiders are the size of squirrels.

I’m not arachnaphobic.  I don’t like being surprised by something that’s moving quickly, no matter how big it is, but if I can see a spider and know which way it’s going they don’t frighten me as such, even if they’re on me.  It’s when I’m not sure if they’re on me, or not sure where they’re going to come from or where they are headed that just surprises me and gives me that fright.  Grete is arachnaphobic, but can overcome that with the sort of aggression only usually seen in gladiatorial arenas or bad cases of PMT.

Anyway, once all the cardboard was out, Grete set about chopping it up into sections.

As well as not being arachnaphobic, I’m not claustraphobic either.  However, I think it’s perfectly normal to be a little bit squicked out when you’re in a tight space and surrounded by spiders or other small insects you can’t see but which may be dropping onto you and wandering around your head.  It’s that which to date has stopped us squeezing between the shed and next door’s shed to cut down the sycamore which is regrowing at the bottom of the garden.  Last year, our next door neighbour had the hedge removed and put a fence up.  It’s a nice fence, we weren’t sorry to see it going up and we didn’t like the hedge.  We were a bit sad that she wanted us to have the sycamore chopped down, but we also agreed it wasn’t something either of us could managed.  We paid her contractors to sort the tree, while she paid for the fence.

Now the sycamore is back, not really our fault, but it’s now stuck at the bottom of the garden with no access, because the new fence goes up to our shed and leaves a gap a little less than a foot.  Once past that, there’s more like a foot and a half of space between the sheds, but as you can imagine, it’s pretty well populated with wildlife of the small and creepy kind.

However, it was time to give it a shot and I was pleased to find out I can squeeze through that gap, and as long as I didn’t think about it too much I was ok once I was in the narrow space.  So a bit of chopping and sawing later and the sycamore is back to a tiny stump, and as we know, since nature always prevails, it’ll be back soon enough.  But now we know we can get to it.

We tidied up, put loads of stuff in bags, sorted the cardboard, and have a whole bunch of stuff for several tip runs tomorrow.

I don’t know if using the Wii Fit for 14 days has given me more energy or not, but it certainly feels like it’s done so, and that’s what matters.  I’m not sure I would have been up for 5 hours worth of gardening a few weeks back.  We’ve made huge inroads into some of the stuff that’s been bugging us for ages, and the garden hasn’t looked better than this, including when we first moved in.  Most of that effort is down to Grete since she mows the grass, weeds the border and keeps it in good shape, I’m more of a desctructive energy gardener, but still.  Five hours, and although I’m knackered, I’m not falling over dead knackered.

So, placebo effect or not, 30 minutes of exercise a day (spread out over 40 to 60 minutes as it is with the Wii Fit) certainly feels like it’s elevated my mood, given me more energy in general and made a serious difference.  I don’t even really care if I’ve lost weight I just feel better.

Fingers crossed it’s having a beneficial effect on my blood sugar levels (which reminds me, my HbA1c blood test appointment letter came through, fingers crossed).

  1. our council collects garden refuse once every two weeks in a brown wheelie bin []