Kindle’s Busted – Now What?

My Kindle has died. Well and truly died. I’ve tried every trick the internet suggested. I called Amazon, but since I’m beyond the 1 year warranty, there’s nothing they could do aside from a $20 “sorry there’s nothing we can do” credit to my account. To be fair, that’s more than they had to do, so kudos to the service rep who took my call.

So now what? Continue reading Kindle’s Busted – Now What?

2007: a look ahead

here’s the things that i’d like to do this year:

  • drink less soda (maybe 1 a day?)
  • drink way more water (some in the form of tea)
  • wean myself mostly off of caffeine by march-ish
  • exercise regularly (once week by march, adding a “once” every week every quarter)
  • read one book a month (pitiful goal, i know, but considering i read about 3 all 2006, it’s not an unrealistic one)
  • write (at least 6 hours a week)
  • eat better (one “take out” meal a day, healthier choices in general)
  • take my vitamins
  • finish ryan’s scarf before spring

oh yeah, i know that it takes a few weeks to get a single habit ingrained, and that trying to do all of this at once means i’m probably doomed to fail and all, but ya gotta have dreams, right? speaking of dreams…

loftier “things i’d like to do/have/etc but can’t necessarily do on my own and/or have no real control over” goals:

also, the official motto of 2007 is “fuck that!”

apple bread

to help celebrate apple-picking season, i offer up a family recipe that i’ve spice-tweaked and garnished because that’s what i do (can’t leave well enough alone). it’s called bread, but it’s so soft/sweet/tasty that it don’t even need butter. more like a loaf-shaped brownie-cake thing.

Apple Bread:

In a large mixing bowl (i highly recommend a kitchenaid upright mixer) combine the following:

2 cups sugar
1 cup veggie oil (canola works fine)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 (yes, 3) eggs

sift together the following and add slowly to the bowl:

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
any spices you want (see note below)

once that’s all done, stir (probably by hand) in the following:

2 cups diced apples (size depends on how apple-obvious you want your bread)
1 cup chopped nuts (i skip the nuts and +1 cup apples)

pour into two standard sized loaf pans (see note) and bake for 50-60 minutes. may need more time. freezes well (so they say, but mine never last that long)

spice note: i cannot give you exact amounts, because i do not use them, but i can give you what i’ve found to be a good flavor ratio.

2 units ground cinnamon
1 unit ground ginger/nutmeg/allspice (any or all)
1/2 unit ground cloves

this basically turns into “some” of the 3 single units, “a bit more” cinnamon and “a bit less cloves.

pan note: i use disposable aluminum pans that come with their own lids. makes it really handy for cooking/cleaning/giving away. also, i found that garnishing the tops with sliced apple wedges makes it pretty. make sure you use two rows down the length, otherwise it splits funny on top.

this recipe only needs about 3.5 apples, so you have to bake several loaves to really make a dent in your apple-day pickings. i suggest the following supplemental recipe which still tastes mighty good even when the apples have aged a little.

chunky applesauce

8-10 medium apples peeled and cut into chunks (a bit bigger than the bread size)
1-1.25 cups water
1ish cups of sugar (to taste/tartness of apples)
“some” cinnamon and other spices (about 1tbsp of cinnamon is decent starting point)

put the apples and the water in a crock-pot on low. simmer about 8 hours or so, stirring when you feel like it, until it’s cooked down to a brown mush. feel free to leave this overnight.

dump in the sugar. cook for another 30 minutes or so.

sprinkle in the spices (don’t slow-cook with the spices-makes them bitter) and serve/store.

if i’ve got the straggler ingredients left over from christmas, i might just replace the raisins in my spicy oatmeal raisin cookies with apple bits and see how that works.

i miss my pc

there. i’ve said it. i can’t take it back now.

i didn’t think the lack of games would hurt quite this much. i went into the switch with a relatively open mind, all things considered. at the time i was playing diablo 2 on my pc, because nothing on the market could hold my interest or give me the fix that diablo 2 could. blizzard owns my gaming soul, and since they release games on both platforms at the same time, that was really no big deal. i would be giving up a lot of clones and wanna-bes, but really, is that much of a sacrifice? i didn’t think so, and for the most part i still don’t.

when i get a video game itch, i either need to create, catalogue, or destroy. rpgs, especially of the hack-n-slash variety, can meet either goal most (let’s say 75%?) of the time. i get to build characters, grow an inventory, tick off lists of accomplished goals via quests, and destroy pretty much every/anything that gets in my way while i do it. city builders work when i’m feeling a bit more create-y than destroy-y, and the sims will work when i’m feeling like more mindful destruction (less violence, more diabolical—heh. the sims are more diabolical than diablo ;).

i’m also a fan of pretty things, and things i can play with ryan, so a game can draw/keep me around with one of those, but that’s not really important right now.

the type of games i want are available on the mac. sure your choices are more limited, and unless it’s blizzard, your game will be behind the current offerings on a PC, but that was okay with me. there’s also every major console at our house, so i’m not too terribly limited.

i couldn’t have made the switch a year ago when i was hip-deep in City of Heroes, but since my “mmorpgs are not for me” epiphany (which pre-dated the mac by 3 months), and the fact that i’ve been able to entertain myself by writing more and more often, the gaming sacrifice seemed do-able, and for the last 4 months, has been.

but here’s where it gets murky.

i’ve been having a sims-specific craving for a couple of months. it comes and goes, and since it’s got elements of the create/destroy that i can meet with d2 it hasn’t been that bad. i could have picked up a copy of sims2 at any time, but i just could not justify spending $50 on a game when i have an exact copy of it sitting in my house. i was mostly intrigued by the college expansion, which i never bought for the PC, but coveted, and probably would have picked up when the next sims craving came around. my problem with the game is that the most interesting clothes/drama come as a teenager, but the time any character spends as a teenager is limited and the game just starts getting weird when you befriend a teen-townie and become an adult. the teen-townie keeps calling and saying “why don’t you call me any more” and all you can do is say “i’m an old man and you’ll never be anything but a little blond girl in pink boots. i’m sorry.” “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” “yeah, but i can’t even process that emotion for you any more. didn’t you see the icons?” the game even chides you for letting the friendship die off. it wants you to be a pedophile. it’s just warped. like when peterpan comes back for wendy and she’s a grandma.

woah, tangent. sorry about that. i mean, the whole thing’s been a tangent, really, but that was special.

so, um… anyway, i wasn’t going to drop the cash on the game when i knew it would only take a few days to get my fix, without at the very least the opportunity to complete the set with a university pack and for all i knew, that would never ever happen, or would take so damn long that sims 3 would be out for the pc and i’d be a bitter old woman, still playing d2 because mmorpgs had taken away any interest blizzard was ever going to have in making d3.

then a couple of weeks ago “they” announced that the university pack would be available in november for the mac. my brain said “yay christmas!” and that was about it.

until a couple of days ago, when i got a new gaming itch. d2 was meeting all the create/destroy/catalog needs i had except that it’s not pretty. it’s 6 years old and i’ve seen pretty much everything it has to offer. this doesn’t usually bother me, because, like i’ve said, the game owns my soul. this round, however, the game couldn’t keep up with my demands. i wanted pretty and i wanted more-different.

yes, i entertained the idea of WoW for a minute. maybe 2. but i know i don’t like mmorpgs, so it didn’t take long to convince limited-allowanced me that WoW would be a bad choice.

the other key anti-sims2 issue was all the user-created content. could i have access to the insane amounts of houses/clothes/people that are waiting for PC users to download off the sims website? this is important. i don’t understand why they even bother with putting sims on harddrive/internet-less platforms. if i was stuck with the 30 bizarre outfits that came with the game, and couldn’t mooch off the people who spent entirely too much time designing ballgowns and such, the game would lose soooooo much of its replay value.

so, last night i went to maxis’ sims site to make sure my mac version was compatible with all that stuff.

there is no mention of the mac version of the game on the sims site.

or on the main maxis site.

nothing in the support files.

nothing that even suggests a mac version of any game was ever anywhere.


they have a version of the game that you can play on a basic mobile phone and it has it’s own section on the sims site, but nothing about mac. i didn’t exist. my needs were so not-important there wasn’t even a courtesy link. they didn’t even want to try and sell me the game, and when a gaming company says “no thanks, we don’t want your discretionary income” your place in the world becomes very very clear.

i started to feel ill. i knew the game existed. i’d seen it on shelves.

i searched for it and found links to amazon to buy it, and for apple’s page about it.

that’s right. there are so few games for the operating system that they have their own pages on the os’s site. It is, in fact, the best place to go for information about the game. Can you imagine the ludicrousness of that sort of situation for the PC? When I looked at the game’s true manufacturer, i discovered aspyr.

it was much, much later in the evening when i realized that i had transposed the name around in my head. i saw “aspry,” and just thought it was a nonsense word. had i realized that the name meant “we can only hope to be as cool as what you really want” at the time, i may have curled up in a ball from the sad.

by the time i found the “macgamers” site, i was already so depressed i could barely stomach skimming the site for the information i was looking for. those sad, deluded little freaks.

anyway, aspyr takes all the games you know and love for PC and clones them. that’s why there’s a delay. it’s possible that aspyr does it’s own development, but for these sorts of things, there’s not a whole lot of support other than your basic “why won’t it run?” kinds of questions. after all 99% of the game is exactly the same. same interface, whatever.

it felt like buying a pair of pantyhose from an “almost perfect” outlet store.

eventually, i received enough confirmation that i could use the existing content, that i broke down and picked up the game. it may not last through the weekend, but it’ll be there waiting for me the next time i need a sim-fix and i won’t have to deal with a half hour of “you’re worthless” surfing to remind me of what i’d given up. and that’s really all i was after.

is that where our story ends?

of course not. that was just a warm-up that took on a life of its own.

the universe could not leave well enough alone. i got an email today telling me that CoH was going to let me back in for 5 whole days for free in hopes of luring me back in permanently. 5 days of playing around with all the new character creation stuff that’s appeared since i quit the game in february would have been great fun. getting a chance to be in the CoV beta for the character creation would have also really interesting.

but i can’t. i could rebuild the still-broke german piece of crap that was the catalyst for my mac-switch just to take advantage of these free things, but that idea makes me feel so…dirty.

still…i kinda miss my pc.

(this should be riddled with links, but i’m at work and links for gaming sites are a bad thing to hunt down)