Saturday, May 31, 2008

Episode 8: In which Wii throw a Fit

So, Thursday morning arrives and I am laying in bed, making a concerted effort to sleep between hitting the snooze on the alarm clock, when Jenn calls out to me from the office across the hall.
"Honey, I think we need to get a Wii".

Suddenly, I am awake. But a little puzzled. "Isn't this the woman who has ignored my hints and nudges about the Nintendo Wii for months now?" I said to myself. What has happened to bring this about?

Well, Jenn had been reading a lot of posts on one of her favorite forums, BeautyBuzz, about the new Wii Fit game, which is comprised of a game and a sophisticated scale/balance board that encourages physical activity and health. You can do yoga, strength training, aerobics and some nifty balance games as well. Plus it keeps track of your BMI and weight and helps you set fitness goals.

Plus, it was a Wii. I could play Mario on it.

Now our problem consisted of actually finding a Wii and a Wii Fit to purchase. Online prices were outrageously inflated. We decided last night to make an effort to find one in Cedar Rapids and take it home.

First stop, Best Buy. We walked into the store and were there a total of 20 seconds before I noticed the Wii supplies and attachents for sale, but a distinct lack of Wii's themselves. I asked the salesperson nearest us if they had any Wii's for sale. The salesperson had the expression of "oh-no-not-again" as he replied that they did not. However, then he waits an additional five seconds (for the effect of looking cool, perhaps? Do these Best Buy guys not know that they are just working retail?) to say "We do have the Wii Fit in, though." And, as if on cue, a kid comes out of the back, wheeling a shopping cart full of Wii Fits. So seizing one of them, we made for the registers and got out on the trail of the elusive Wii itself.

It was a dismal search. GameStop, K-Mart, Video Games Etc., all three Wal-Marts in CR and Marion and Toys R Us. No dice. It was looking like the Fit was destined to sit on a shelf for a week or so until we could find a console.

But on a whim, I decided to call the Wal-Mart in Anamosa. "What the heck. Maybe, being out of the way, they might have one." I spoke to the Electronics Guy. "Do you have a Nintendo Wii in stock?". "No" he replied. "We have four of them".

Exhausted after our retail adventure, Jenn stayed behind as I drove out to Anamosa. Would they still have any? Was I being a little too concerned over a stupid video-game console? Perhaps...

I arrive in Anamosa to find the Electronics Guy, whose name was Zack, I believe, putting a Wii console on the shelf. In mere moments, the Wii and all the peripherals we would need were in a bag and coming home with me.

I hate to be one to fall for hype, but the Wii is pretty cool. I spent a good chunk of last night and today navigating Mario around a series of weird little asteroids and trying to walk a virtual tightrope by balancing on the Fit board.

Score one for Commercialism. They got me again.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Addendum: Tabitha the Charming

Adorable, no? She's a sweetie alright.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Episode 4: In which Steve gets Legos and series of hamsters

Okay, since the last post here, a lot has gone down with us. First off, I got back to the doctor and found out my latest CT scan was clear of cancer. This was good news, but also opened the door for more goodness. I had made a deal with myself that if my scan was clear, I would get Legos. Hence, the Y-Wing.

The Y-Wing has to be one of my favorite spaceships from Star Wars. Yeah, the X-Wing gets all the press and the glory, but the guy flying the Y-Wing, well, he knows what's goin' on. He's the guy you ask where to get a good lunch near the Rebel base. He's gonna know where the best deals on astromech droids are. He is the Man. Plus, you knew that the design for the Y-Wing actually predates the X-Wing, right? Of course you did. Here's the concept design for the first film.

Also, we've now had a series of hamsters at the Zieser household. Pippin got sick, and we took him back to Pet-Co to see what we could do for him. They got him to see the vet, and it turned out that the little guy had a serious case of diarrhea, which can kill a hamster. We needed to return him to get him treated, and instead of dealing with visiting a sick hamster for two weeks, we got a different one instead. And so came Walter into our lives. We loved Walter, just as we loved Pippin, but in a few days he started to show signs of sickness as well.

So today, I took Walter back to get treatment. And then we got a hold of Tabitha, who is a reddish-gold colored Teddy Bear Hamster. She has had a full antibiotic treatment and should be in much better health. Plus, she is much tamer than the past two hamsters. We are hoping that there will not need to be any more personnel changes in the hamster department for awhile now.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Meet Pippin, King of the Hamsters!

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to the newest member of Team Zieser: Pippin! Pippin is a Syrian Black Bear Hamster, and is just the coolest little guy ever! I can hear him now, as I type, his little wheel squeaking away happily.

All this came about quite suddenly yesterday. I had been wanting to have a new pet, but another Chihuahua was certainly not going to work out at this time in our lives. So, we went to Pet-Co a few weeks ago and looked around at different little pets. I liked the hamsters best, but nothing seemed to draw our eye enough to purchase anything.

Last night, I was at the GAMES! at the BRBC event and I got a call from Jenn saying that there was a new little friend at our house. She had gone looking at hamsters while I was there and got him as a suprise. Pip came right up to the glass and pawed at her, and that's how she knew he was the one for us! I, of course, was very excited, and soon was rushing home to greet our new little friend. Names were bandied about (Zaphod, Solomon, Boba Fett, Attila) but the one that stuck was Pippin (or Pip, or Pip the Mighty Squeak). We couldn't be happier with the little guy, and once I figure our how to hold him properly, then all will be well. (He made a short-lived escape, but was soon retrieved!) Moses seems to like him a lot, and gets up on his hind legs to peer into the cage at him.

So, please to welcome Pippin into your electronic homes and hearts! Hopefully, I can keep everyone updated on his progress and blather on about yet another pet all the time!

All Hail the Mighty Pip!! 2008

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