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Hobbies

Going to Band Practice

After playing Guitar Hero 2 until I got to the death metal levels, and hating most of the songs in Guitar Hero 3, I wasn't sure what to expect from Rock Band. I needn't be worried however, since Rock Band is probably the coolest video game ever. For the uninitiated, it comes (in the special edition), with a guitar (better than the GH guitars), a drum set, and a microphone. You can buy another guitar if you want and have someone playing bass as well as lead. In any case, that's your band. Leif and I formed our own band with him on guitar and me on drums, and I have to say that I'm having a blast on this. I read somewhere that playing the RB drums is close to playing the real drums (closer than the other instruments get to their counterparts at least), and it's definitely hard. I've been playing on Medium level, except for 1 song ("Wanted Dead or Alive") which I'm doing on Hard, and it's so...much....fun. We've spent most of the weekend playing, or when Leif got too tired, I started playing in solo mode.

The songs are so much better than what came in GH 2 and 3, that so far I haven't found one that I haven't liked.

This is what I did all weekend

An Letter to the Makers of Guitar Hero II

Dear Red Octane,

I hate you guys, I really really hate you guys. Prior to you releasing Guitar Hero 2 for the Xbox 360, I had played it for maybe 20 minutes in a Best Buy (going during the day has its benefits) on a PS2 system they had set up. I thought to myself, "well, that's pretty darn cool, I hope it comes out for the 360 at some point." It did, and now I hate you guys since I can't stop playing it.

Granted everything past level 5 is death metal and I can't stand it, but who knew I'd sit and spend hours trying to learn "Cherry Pie" or "Shout at the Devil" on hard? Not just learning them, no doubt, but actually trying to 5-star them? I was so excited today when I hit 96% with "Cherry Pie" on hard that I raced upstairs to tell Leif of my achievement. You would've thought I won some major award, but nope, just my first over 90% song on hard. If it weren't for "guitar solo B" then I would have hit 100, so I still have something to work towards.

Thanks to you, I can't get songs like "Surrender" out of my head, and not only that, but when I hear them in my head, I envision the Guitar Hero notes used to play them. I'm addicted to your stupid game!

We did have some exciting times last week when our friends Ryan and Carol were in town. Rather than just sit and watch a movie at the end of the day, we all played some Guitar Hero, either in career mode or in multiplayer. It made for some entertaining evenings, and by the time they left, we had unlocked all 8 levels and multiple bonus guitars and characters.

Please make the madness stop.

Cars, Beautiful Cars

Leif's all excited because he finished his first 2 paint jobs on his RC cars. The Sharks one is for one of the minis, and the striped one is for his buggy. On the side of the Sharks car it's kind of hard to see from the picture, but it's the "This is Sharks Territory" logo. He saw the striped design in one of the RC car magazines that he reads, and immediately proclaimed, "wow, I have to try that!" With his brand-new airbrush tool, he was able to do all the gradients pretty well. More pictures that he took of the paint jobs are here.

I had also mentioned before that Leif was getting another car, a Team Losi LST-2 Monster Truck. It arrived at the store today, so he was all giddy when he drove down there after work. He met his friend from work who had bought one as well (as his first R/C car ever), and his friend was bouncing off the walls apparently. I don't think I was prepared for how large this car...err truck is, but I guess it's not called a monster truck for nothing.

Too bad it's supposed to rain all weekend...

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The Engine Room

Leif has discovered a new hobby - RC cars. I blame (and thank!) Howard for this, but it's ok, because it's definitely a better hobby than just sitting in front of the computer and hacking. His first car was a Mugen Seiki MBX5 off-road buggy which Howard was kind enough to not only pick out the engine, car, radio, and all the rest of the stuff for, but also built it for Leif as well. After seeing the detail on the car, Leif admitted that was probably a good idea.

Not only does Leif have that, but he bought me a Team Losi Mini-LST which I love! A mini car which is battery powered works fine for me. Not to be outdone however, he decided to buy one for himself. We found a dirt area by a local school which is big enough for us to set up our own track and mess around with the cars. A jump of course is also installed when we set up the track. :)

Of course that wasn't enough. He took a friend from work to the local hobby store to check out the Team Losi LST2 monster trucks and bought one as well. 3 cars in a span of 2 months. A monster has been created!

He's dedicated part of his office to playing car mechanic, and calls it "The Engine Room." I laugh when he tells me he's going off to the engine room, but it's ok, he's having fun with it, and it stops him from hacking on the computer too much.

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