Not Enough Hours in the Day

Ever have one of those days when you just have nothing to do? Or in my case, I have so many different things that I SHOULD be doing, that I can’t decide what to do, and end up doing nothing of value. I have so many projects in various states of completeness; too many, really. The current list stands as such (in order of priority);

  • Cross stitch birth sampler for my niece (who just turned 3)
  • Tag and organize the backlog of digital photos (currently I’m up to December of 2007)
  • Prepare for sister-in-law’s June wedding (I’m the photographer)
  • Update the online photo gallery, investigate other software options
  • Create digital address book (plans for software to generate reports and Christmas card labels)
  • Convert recipes to digital, add recently tested recipes
  • Work on denherder.net (blog up, but no content)
  • Knit baby blanket (also for my niece)

Of course, there are other projects to be added to the list. Once I finish Laurel’s birth sampler, I need to see about making a Peter Rabbit birth sampler for Marin. After I get all my photos tagged and organized, I was thinking about starting a photoblog, to give myself a reason to practice. I’d like to have my consolidated address book ready to go by this fall, so the mail merge labels are ready for Christmas cards.

Another project that has been floating around in the back of my mind has been a recipe blog. Once I get my recipes typed up into MasterCook, a cooking blog wouldn’t be too difficult. Each recipe would become a post; categories would be for recipe classification – beverages, cookies, breads, desserts, main dishes, etc. The tags could be used for ingredients, or perhaps other criteria (Bread Machine, Crock Pot, ethnicity of the dish, etc.). Of course, if the full text of the recipe is in the body of the post, you wouldn’t NEED ingredients as tags – you could simply search the blog to find a recipe that used buttermilk, for example. Pictures to accompany the recipe would be nice, too. Matt had a suggestion to rate the recipes on various criteria, as well; difficulty, tastiness, and how well it reheats. I do like the idea of giving some honest opinions on how a recipe keeps or reheats – some recipes are great, but don’t reheat terribly well in the microwave. And with any luck, I may have some friends willing to contribute to a recipe blog, so I wouldn’t bear the full weight of upkeep and posting.

Review: Professor Layton and the Curious Village

I got Professor Layton and the Curious Village a few weeks ago, in my Easter basket from Mom & Dad. I was surprised, as Mom doesn’t always have the best track record when it comes to picking out games and movies as gifts, unless she’s working from a list. Professor Layton and the Curious Village seemed like it was perfect for me; a puzzle game with an story and plot, for the Nintendo DS.

The game centers on Professor Layton and his apprentice, Luke. As the game starts, the pair are en route to a village named St. Mystere by invitation of Lady Dahlia, widow of the late Baron Reinhold. In his will, Baron Reinhold stated that whoever solved the mystery of the Golden Apple would inherit his entire estate. Unfortunately, no one in the village has a clue what the Golden Apple is.

The gameplay is fairly simple; using the shoe icon in the corner of the touchscreen, you move about the village. To talk to villagers or inspect your surroundings, touch them with the stylus. Villagers normally have a puzzle for you to solve, or information to help in your investigation. Inspecting the scenery can turn up hidden puzzles or hint coins, which are used to unlock hints on more difficult puzzles.

I was pleasantly surprised by the cut scenes in the game; the voice acting and animation were some of the best I’ve seen on the Nintendo DS, and I was not expecting that from a puzzle game. Some of the puzzles were rather obscure – not difficult, just rather vague and a bit more lateral than logical. The hidden puzzles and hint coins were a bit difficult to find, at times; I explored one shop countless times, missing the one object I had to inspect in order to unlock a puzzle.

As a whole, I enjoyed the game, and was happy to learn that after you finish the game, there is still more. There are 120 puzzles in the game proper, 15 bonus puzzles unlocked for completing sub-quests within the game, and then weekly downloadable puzzles via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. There are also sequels in the Professor Layton series – Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box has already been released in Japan and Professor Layton and the Last Time Travel is currently in the works.