Sunday, April 25, 2010


My wife and I have been thinking about getting a Nintendo Wii for a short while now.  I want a Wii so that I can play all my favorite Mario games on one machine; e.g., Super Mario Bros. 3 from NES; Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, and Super Mario RPG from SNES; Super Mario 64; New Super Mario Bros. for DS; and, of course, Super Mario Galaxy and New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii--not to mention some Mario Tennis, MarioKart, and Super Mario Party games.  The title picture of this blog may slightly indicate how serious I am about this.
When discussing possible future purchases, we repeatedly mention both a Wii and a new TV (we got our old TV for free and we fear that it may stop working at any time).  Just last night, however, we realized that we will soon be moving to a house that has a TV, and it does not make sense to buy a new TV now if we're going to almost immediately put it in storage for a year.  So we started seriously to look at a Wii, and the timing could not have been more perfect.

The retail price for the Wii has fallen from about $250 to $200 since it was first released in the US in 2006.  New games sell for $50; older and less popular games sell for between $20 and $30.  A controller (or Wii-mote--clever, huh?) sells for $28 and the nun-chuck addition sells for another $18.

Last night, a Wii was posted on for $300--the offer included: a) the Wii, b) two controllers with nun-chucks, c) a charging dock for the controller batteries, d) Super Smash Bros.-Brawl, e) MarioKart Wii, f) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, g) Big Brain Academy, h) Zelda: Twilight Princess, and g) Wii Sports.

I'll let you do the math if you would like, but the summary is: this is a great deal.

We called the seller right away and learned that she had received numerous calls already from people saying they could pick up the Wii tonight--apparently she did not realize how good the deal was.  She had decided to sell to the person that could pick up the machine the soonest (first come-first served).  Luckily, my lovely wife only works until noon.  She was able to drive right over and pick it up.

Let the games begin...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Plant Vocab- Botany

BONUS: Today is a special 10 New Words of the Day day. In recent readings, I have come across many plant terms. I do not know anything about botany, so I decided that that best way for me to define a plant is via one thousand words--or equivalently, a picture*.

Here are your 16 new words of the day:
  1. myrtle-
  2. hyacinth-
  3. wisteria-
  4. oleander-
  5. sphagnum (peat moss)-
  6. hellebore-
  7. foxglove-
  8. euphorbia (this is actually one of the most diverse genera in the plant kingdom; here are some examples of the over 2,000 species)-

  9. sorrel-
  10. marjoram (this is a spice with sweet pine and citrus flavors)-
  11. lichens-
  12. taro-
  13. linden-
  14. banyan (the strangler fig)-
  15. sumac-
  16. fireweed-

*all images obtained from

General Petraeus' Top-Ten Reasons

Last week, General Petraeus, Commander of the U.S. Central Command, spoke to a room of students at Brigham Young University. I was not able to attend, and I have not heard anything about what was said beyond the General's Top-Ten List introduction. For those of you who have not heard, I have posted that top-ten list here. Apparently General Petraeus was thoroughly briefed on many of the idiosyncrasies within BYU and Mormon culture.

image obtained from

Here is the list:

10 — They have already been on many a mission.
9 — Army chow is no problem for folks accustomed to eating green Jell-o and shredded carrots.
8 — It's not a problem if they don't know what rank someone is, they just refer to them as Brother or Sister so-and-so.
7 — They never go AWOL. They just call it being less active.
6 — They will seize any objective swiftly if you tell them refreshments will be served.
5 — They know how to make things happen. In fact if you ever need a base built quickly in a barren wasteland, stride out to where you want them to start, plant your walking stick down and say in a loud voice, "This is the place."
4 — They have innovative ideas for handling insurgents — like assigning them home teachers.
3 — They always have a years' supply of provisions on hand.
2 — They are the world's most reliable designated drivers.
1 — They understand how far Iraq has come over the last seven years, and they think that Iraq's old spot in the "Axis of Evil" can now be filled by the University of Utah.

Does anyone have any insight into what the address was actually about?