Handy Man

Not a lot going on here. Everybody in my house is sick now, except for me. I did my time a few weeks back. Ugh.

With the small amount of free time I do have, I’ve been fixing up the Donkey Kong Junior. I’m even going to start blogging about it. Right now all I’ve  done is picked the name for it and made a header http://donkeykongblogjunior.blogspot.com/ . Last night I was up until 1:00 replacing the t-molding on it. It looks much nicer now, a pretty good return on the $7 replacement molding investment.

Unrelated to that, I got an email the other day that the writing software, Scrivener, is finally going to release a version for Windows. Even better, 2010 NaNoWriMo winners will get 50%  off! That all the motivation I need to do NaNoWriMo this year. All I need now is a story idea. Possibly arcade related?

That’s all for now. Have a nice weekend.

Epic Ending

When I last left you, my local arcade was being closed down and I didn’t get any of the games at the auction. My kids would grow up, never knowing what it was like to play an arcade game. Let’s flash forward to earlier this year, around July. That sounds about right.

It started when I watched the documentary, The King of Kong. I hadn’t seen the movie before, but decided to check it out on netflix. The tale of good versus evil, or Wiebe versus Mitchell drew me in from the start. Plus, Wiebe had an arcade machine in his garage.

After watching the movie, I started browsing eBay, just to see what was out there in the way of arcade machines. I limited my search to within 150 miles of my house, as these things cost hundreds of dollars to ship. Anyhow, there were a few near me and I even bid on one or two, but never won. It seemed like the dream wouldn’t happen.

Just last week, I hopped onto craigslist, just to see what was out there. To my surprise there was a Donkey Kong Junior, only $350, and less than two hours away. I sent an email to the guy expecting it to be gone already. To my surprise, it was still there.

Having cleared it with my wife, my Dad and I went this past Sunday to pick up my game. It’s in need of a bit of work (much cosmetic work), but it works fine. My son and daughter both love it, although my daughter is a bit disappointed that Mario is a bad guy in this game. I told her that Donkey Kong and Mario were just pretending to be mad at each other.

So yeah, I’m pretty excited I have this game sitting there in my dining room (have I mentioned my wife is a saint?), and one dream fulfilled. Maybe Playland is gone, but the memory remains.

Ending Delayed A Day

Yes, I promised an ending to my story but it will have to wait a day. I don’t have much blogging time today as I’m home because my wife is sick. Just know that events this weekend unfolded as planned and there is in fact a happy ending to this tale. 🙂

An Epic Story



A Short Documentary about Playland

Almost ten years ago, my local arcade, Playland, closed its doors. This was, and still is, my favorite arcade. It’s the one I had been frequenting since I was a kid, back in those day playing Star Wars almost exclusively. Playland was right near the movie theater and beside the fancy restaurant my parents liked to go to and we’d often have to spend some quarters while we were there.

When Playland went out of business, they had a big auction and sold everything (you can read that in the article I linked above). There was a line to get in. My wife, then my fiance, and I went not knowing what to expect. I had hoped to get an arcade machine on the cheap. Partly due to nostalgia, and partly due to the dearth of arcade auctions in the area, everything sold for more than it was worth, and a bit more than I could afford. The auction happened only a few months before our wedding, and what money I had in my savings went to that.

My daughter and son never got to play at Playland, and most likely never will in a real arcade (Dave and Buster’s doesn’t count, not to me at least).

You may be asking why I’m telling you all of this. That’s an interesting question for sure. For the answer, check back here on Monday. Perhaps our story has a happy ending after all. For me, at least.

Best Writing Advice I’ve Heard In a While

Author John Scalzi wrote a post today titled: Writing: Find the Time or Don’t. This post is about me.

Maybe it’s not about me literally (shocking), but it certainly speaks to me. He says this:

Either you want to write or you don’t, and thinking that you want to write really doesn’t mean anything. There are lots of things I think I’d like to do, and yet if I don’t actually make the time and effort to do them, they don’t get done. This is why I don’t have an acting career, or am a musician — because as much I’d like those, I somehow stubbornly don’t actually do the things I need to do in order to achieve them. So I guess in really fundamental way I don’t want them, otherwise I’d make the time. C’est la vie.

And this:

So: Do you want to write or don’t you? If your answer is “yes, but,” then here’s a small editing tip: what you’re doing is using six letters and two words to say “no.” And that’s fine. Just don’t kid yourself as to what “yes, but” means.

And of course this:

If your answer is “yes,” then the question is simply when and how you find the time to do it. If you spend your free time after work watching TV, turn off the TV and write. If you prefer to spend time with your family when you get home, write a bit after the kids are in bed and before you turn in yourself. If your work makes you too tired to think straight when you get home, wake up early and write a little in the morning before you head off. If you can’t do that (I’m not a morning person myself) then you have your weekend — weekends being what I used when I wrote Agent to the Stars.

There’s much more over at his blog. I really suggest you check it out. I’ve been thinking about this for some time, to be honest. Do I really want to write? Because with the way I seem to find time to do other things, it sure doesn’t seem like it.

Sure I have the kids at home and the full-time job. Those eat up a lot of time. However, the kids do eventually go to sleep (really). At the least, if I wanted to I could write an hour a day, from 9:00 to 10:00 at night. I could do this, but I don’t.

I’m not giving up, at least not yet. I really do recognize the above about myself. I also don’t ever say that the reason I don’t write anymore is because I don’t have the time. I know I have the time. I just don’t use it for writing.

All is not lost, though. I’m not depressed as I type this. In fact, I’m heartened. As we move into Autumn I feel a bit of a surge in creativity in my body. Seems to happen every year around this time, in fact. After a few months of feeling blah, it’s a nice change for sure. I just hope I have the guts to take the time to take advantage of it.

Good to be Here

Thanks for all the well wishes on my last post. I think I’m finally starting to feel better. And just like every year around this time, I feel rejuvenated by the cooler weather and the changing of the leaves.

I thought of this last night as I hacked away at a shrub in the front or our yard, another one that has simply grown way out of hand this year. It’s not even really a shrub anymore. It’s some type of shrub/stupidgrowyvineweed hybrid that I just haven’t had a chance to maintain. It’s just so hard to do yard work for us right now, with the young kids in the house. Our 4-year-old isn’t too bad and could entertain herself while we work outside. Her brother, the 1 1/2 year old force of nature that has not fear, is another story. Turn your back on him for one second and he’s most likely climbed something dangerous and eaten something bad while on top.

Anyhow, as I was pulling weed after weed from this thing, trying to get to a point where I could trim the actual shrub, I looked up and the full moon and remarked to myself how nice it was to do some work outside in the cool, Pennsylvania night. This is really the best time to live in Pennsylvania. We’ve somehow survived the 90+ days and aren’t yet to the 5 degree days. Plus, the trees which we have chosen to live amongst are even now preparing their show.

I really should take some pictures of the foliage this year. It will no doubt be stunning as ever. I say this every year, but I never really do. It seems no matter how I try, my photos don’t come close to matching the beauty of the real thing. Funny, that.

Disabled List

Hey everybody. Sorry I haven’t posted in a week. I’ve been sick with strep throat and pink eye since last Wednesday. I’m just now emerging from my cave, being able to say for the first time in a week that I feel better than the previous day.

Be back soon.