Category: hauls

Put Your Faith in Electronic Arts

Mirror’s Edge’s Faith Connors Battles a Totalitarian Regime, 
I Wonder What the Origin of it Was
Nothing beats playing some good games, except maybe playing those games cheaply.  The latest Humble Bundle is a collection of six PC games from the much-malignedElectronics Arts (EA.)    Some are older titles that can be found fairly cheap or you probably would have played by now if you had any interest, such as Mirror’s Edge and the first Dead Space.  Still, there are newer releases included such as one of the more recent Medal of Honorgames and Dead Space 3.   You can have all this gaming goodness for as little as one measly little penny, but if you want to be a big spender and beat the average (currently hovering around $4.75, for you big spenders) you get last year’s awesome multiplayer FPS-fest, Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3 along with some DLCfor it!
However, all this gaming goodness comes at a price (beyond what you pay for it); you’ll need to install EA’s DRM-laden Origin software to get and play some of these titles on your computer (mainly the newer releases require it, older ones can be redeemed through Steam.)  Is it worth it to you to do that?  EA is already not getting any of your money because 100% of the proceeds go to a charity of your choose from among the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, and Human Rights Campaign among others.  So for all that, you can’t find it in your heart to let EA have a little room on your computer?
Make up your mind fastl; the deal expires on August 27th! 

New Action Figure: Robo Girls

I collect action figures.  I don’t really collect a particular series anymore since every line has kind of … stopped.  You can’t even find much of anything at toy stores anymore and so I’ve turned to almost exclusively buying stuff online.  I mostly focus on “eh, that looks cool.”  In this case, the Disney (Japan) character of Drossel fits the bill.  She’s sci-fi looking and cute.  Kind of has an iMac G3 quality to her. I had bought the Figma version last year and was surprised to find there was a redesign of the character, for what I assume was the second series of animated short featuring her.  I tried watching the original series of shorts and found them too … foreign.  I’ll assume the humor (I think the shorts were supposed to be funny) works better for someone who speaks Japanese natively.  Working from subtitles … they don’t work.

Anyway, I was pretty happy to see a new figures were coming out and ordered the larger (and more expensive) version, made by Bandai in the Soul of Chogokin line, which uses real metal, because it was the first one that became available.  I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that this figure is incapable of standing on its own, given the odd design of the feet.  And legs.  And, uhm …

Robot’s Got Some Mad Hips

But I dig the head with glasses and it goes wonderfully with the book that came with the Figma which was over-sized and never really worked right with a pose. 

RACCOONS IN THE HOUSE!

I was on a raccoon figurine buying binge throughout November.  First I thought “hey, Thanksgiving is coming up, I need a raccoon pilgrim to decorate things!”  Lo and behold, Hallmark released a raccoon pilgrim figurine in the early 80’s and tracking one down on eBay was easy to do.  Second, while I was buying the pilgrim, I got bored and decided to search for “purple raccoon,” expecting to find results related to Bright Heart Raccoon, the Care Bears cousin.  It turned out some urban vinyl designer, Nathan Hamill, put out a purple raccoon figurine which I of course had to purchase.  Also, HOLY SHIT I JUST NOTICED THAT HE HAS A BORIS PILLOW AND HOODIE ON HIS SITE!! Gotta buy, gotta buy … my favorite color is purple and I love raccoons, these are must buys.

Finally, although I had him on preorder for a while he finally shipped in late November, I got the Marvel Universe figure of Rocket Raccoon as a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy collector’s set.  Yeah, I basically paid $30 just for that little guy.  Totally worth it.  Yet I’m unwilling to lay down the $40 for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

October Was an Expensive Month for Music

I’m not entirely sure what got into me last month, but I spent more on music than I have for a very long time.  This is especially vexing because I have espoused often about the evils inherent to music.  You know Footloose?  That town was absolutely better off before Kevin Bacon’s character came in to ruin their safe, moral society.  Even more bizarre, I managed to acquire most of these albums from one of the (few) local used CD stores.

So, what kind of decadent musical product did I buy?

  1. Steely Dan “Aja”
  2. Boz Scaggs “Hits!” (Because a best of album has to be a good place to start!)
  3. The Replacements “Pleased to Meet Me” (their song “Alex Chilton” was played on a recent episode of Sound Opinions)
  4. The Replacements “Let it Be”
  5. R.E.M. “Automatic for the People” (with the band’s recent break up, I realized I’d never really heard any of their music and decided to pick up a couple of their classic albums.)
  6. R.E.M. “Murmur”
  7. The Postal Service “Give Up” (MP3 download from Amazon, part of their 100 albums for $5 each sale.  I went with it because of its slightly electronic sound.)
  8. Mastodon “The Hunter” (A friend of mine is a big fan and recommended it.  I bought the special edition that comes with a psychedelic visualizer.)
  9. Damone “Out All Night E.P.” (I was listening to my “Rock” station on Pandora and a song titled “Time and Time Again” came up.  I flipped my lid because I thought I had all of Damone’s songs and yet I hadn’t heard this one so I quickly went to eBay to track down the E.P.)  
  10. Technically a November purchase, the video game Bastion just went on sale on Steam, which features some interesting folk-sounding music.  One of the purchase options included a download of the soundtrack, so I was happy to buy that.

Oh, Right, Borders is Dead.

More than a week ago Borders bookstores went out of business. I made a final run to the few remaining stores in my area to pick what little flesh was left on the corpse.  Yes, I’m a vulture, but dammit I’m a loyal one! I was shopping at Borders for years … granted I mostly bought from them only when I had a coupon that garnered 30 – 50% off the cover price but I did buy lots of magazines from them (coupons weren’t good for magazines.) Yes, I bought magazines, rather than buying a cup of coffee and sitting in the cafe for a couple of hours while reading magazines.  I may not have been a good customer, but I was still better than most of you! (Points accusingly.)

Ahem.

Anyway, it was an interesting experience shopping at stores that were just short of being abandoned storefronts.  Something I noticed was that there were many times I’d go to Borders, a coupon in hand, and walk away with nothing.  Somehow, out of all of the hundreds of thousands of books in stock I couldn’t find anything worthwhile.  Somehow, with most of the shelves gone and the few that remained standing almost bare, I suddenly found my options much more appealing.  I suppose it was somehow due to the options being much more visible without all of the competing titles acting as distracting background noise.  The fact that they were selling at 10% of the cover price probably helped, too.  That helped make me much less picky in terms of what I bought.

When I say picky, I mean I cast aside all pretense of intellect.  Oh, sure, I bought science fiction books, but I became very curious about the ones with covers that emphasized the … softer … side of sci-fi.  Will these be pulp crap?  Unfortunately marketed works of genius?  Who knows?! Some examples:

My gut instinct? Probably going to be crap.  That’s okay; I made the mistake of reading a Warhammer 40,000 book once.  There’s a good chance I’ll never read these books.  The backlog is already massive and at some time in the future I’ll forget I’d bought these on a lark, think some simpleton had slipped them into my collection at some point to embarrass me, and throw them away or trade them to a used bookstore.

I also bought some nonfiction:

  1. A book about checklists appealed to me as an auditor.  
  2. This analysis of race relations struck me as interesting, especially with the recent opening of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in DC. 
  3. How could I resist a discussion about the importance of the 1980’s, my favorite decade, on modern culture? 
  4. Admittedly, being honest has caused a lot of problems in my life, but presumably a book about how to transform your life through honesty is about how to make things better.