Friday, January 15, 2010

The leather bustier I always wanted

Earphones arrived for the wii today, and I tried them out with my new Guitar Hero World Tour Band Kit. Check out the durable virtual drum set, with real drum sticks, two cymbal pads, a foot pedal for bass drum, and three color coded drum pads. I'm happy because I can turn the volume up as high as I want, and Goldibear is happy because he doesn't have to listen.

The wireless Ear Force W3 'phones have an on/off switch and volume control on the earphones, and fits tightly enough to stay on with vigorous movement but comfortable enough for extended play sessions. The 'phones use one AAA battery for transmitting the signal to the base unit which plugs into DC power and into the wii. Very cool for keeping peace in a rockin' panda cave.

Now, about that black leather vest... My virtual life includes a new avatar in Guitar Hero. I gave her white hair and dressed her in a $285 leather vest, which I bought with the virtual money I earned playing my virtual gigs with my virtual band.

Practicing songs with Kurt Cobain or The Beatles on the wii may not earn me a place in a live band, but there are some musical elements that are reinforced with these programs, such as developing a sense of rhythm and timing, gaining an ear for the individual parts in a band and how they go together in a song, and getting immediate feedback on coordination and focus.

Plus it is great fun, and the drum set skills are said to transfer to real drums. A nice quiet way for kids of all ages to learn the drums, as long as the earphones are plugged in too. Getting these two wii games for my birthday and Christmas last month was like opening a box expecting maybe a puppy, and finding you got the whole zoo! Thank you my wonderful son and daughter, a million thanks!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sisters Rock

Yesterday, my sister had the the day off from nursing, and she drove from Astoria for a visit. We spent some time at Barnes & Noble where I bought Mennonite in a Little Black Dress - a laugh-out-loud funny book in a darkly humorous sort of way.

For the rest of the afternoon, we played duets on the wii with Rock Band The Beatles. I played the guitar and she sang, and then she played the drums with my guitar. We surprised ourselves with how well we did and it was great fun.

My life is nearly all virtual. The real food I eat gets logged into FitDay.com; I exercise with My Fitness Coach, a wii program; my books are digital in a variety of modes - Adobe and Kindle and other; I listen to digital music on my iPod or on iTunes on my desktop; I'm learning to play chess with ChessMaster - Grandmaster edition on my computer; my ancestors are collected in Legacy, a computer genealogy program.

And to think, when I born, computers were more or less the stuff of fantasy and science fiction.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010

Happy New Year and may it be filled with all your dreams come true.

I have made only one New Year's Resolution for 2010:

To Be Fully Present in the Now.

I have spent the first day of the New Year just doing what is most important to me at each moment - a day filled with little and mundane things but very satisfying - no coulds, shoulds, oughts, in short - no worries mate!

My son and daughter gave me Guitar Hero the complete band set plus Rock Band the Beatles last month. The very best presents ever that I have received. That is what is up for the next moment: I'm going to go rock with the Beatles. (Decisions, decisions: should I choose the guitar, the drum set, or sing along with the mic? Right, all three then - guitar first.)

Yes, my son said it was the biggest shock of his life to come home for lunch the other day and find his mother singing About a Girl with Kurt Cobain. I'm not very tuneful so I like singing Cobain songs as his style is less demanding.

But the Beatles were my generation, and I could sing most of their songs in my sleep, plus the presentation is easy on the eyes and ears. Both Wii programs rate the difficulty of the songs and instruments but I find Rock Band the Beatles interface to be friendlier. Of course. They're the Beatles, after all.

What a wonderful New Year.