Just checkin

So Honeybun and Bailey got home Sunday night after visiting my in-laws for a couple of weeks. I was helping unpack and took some things downstairs to put away. Of course Bailey followed me. While I was putting things away, she climbed onto the desk chair in front of the computer. The computer was off, but she was pushing buttons on the keyboard like she was using it.

A minute or so into it, Bailey announced, “Just checkin.”

I asked, “What are you checking?”

In that little 2-year old, matter-of-fact voice she said, “just checkin email.” Cracked me up.

Sign of the times. Email was not known when I was her age. I wonder if that means Honeybun and I check it too often.

Anyway, I’m glad they are back. Strange how those little moments make life worth living. Like Merlin Mann said the other day, “Weird part about being a parent isn’t that I’m living all the clichés I ever hated; I’m just startled by how much I’m enjoying them.”

Guitar Hero for real

Disney and Washburn Guitars have announced at CES 2009 that they will release a Guitar Hero-type video game that uses a real guitar. The idea is that you can really learn to play the guitar through this computer game (PC and Mac) due for release this summer. This is cool – a video game that helps you learn something. Reasonable price too: $200 with guitar included. Other versions will be also come out for keyboards and vocals.

The drawback? Being a Disney property, it is being aimed at kids. The guitar that will come with the game will be 3/4 scale and be aimed at the “tween” demographic with ties to Hannah Montana and other Disney properties (although any guitar should be able to work with the software). Looks like this means that the songs will be mostly Disney songs from the current stable of Disney shows.

Disney is missing out here. While there are young kids that are playing Guitar Hero, it is older audiences (teens and 20s) that have spent the bulk of the billions of dollars raked in by the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games. They aren’t going to want Hannah Montana songs to be the first they learn to play on guitar.

I’d even be tempted at picking it up if the game wasn’t filled with tracks from “High School Musical 3” like the demo video. I’d guess that Disney will quickly see the demand and versions for older audiences must surely follow.

I bet that in the next 10 years, we’re going to see a popular musician who first learned to play on Disney Star Guitarist.

Changing times

It just dawned on me that I have always understood the word friend to be a noun. Recently it has also become a verb – as in, “friend me on Facebook.”

Technology does weird things to language.

HD DVD or Blu-ray?

How about neither? I heard a show today talking about the differences between the two competing high definition video formats that have just been released.

I’ve heard the first generation players are not only expensive, they are actually slow to start. Some HD DVD players can take minutes to turn on (they are actually computers that need to boot up).

So should you buy one? Definitely not now. There are few movies available and the players are very expensive ($1,000+) and the two formats are competing. There are a lot of people who remember the VHS and Betamax format wars who will wait until the dust settles. That could take between five to 10 years. Both HD DVD and Blu-ray could be obsolete by then.

Technology is advancing so fast that within five years, HD content may just be delivered electronically. It’s already happening with music. Why not movies? If that is the case, most people will skip HD video players all together.

Tech toys

The video game wars are still raging. Nintendo’s new DS Lite is just getting to stores. Nintendo seems to have a hit on their hands. Reveiwers are impressed with it’s design and feel. Unlike the orignial DS, this one has a more sleek, grown-up look. Definitely iPod-ish with the white scheme.

Nintendo looks like it is going to keep its dominance in the hand held games category. They seem to have ceded the hardcore gaming market to the Sony PSP. Instead, they are marketing family-friendly games (as always) but tapping the adult market of casual gamers with games that might just make you a better person. Their Brain Age game is supposed to help improve you mental capabilities.

What a great market. Adults like games, but don’t have hours a day to play them. Brain Age only asks for a few minutes of play time a day. And unlike the Sony PSP which costs $250.00, the DS Lite will probably go for about $129.00 – much more affordable, especially for families with young kids.

I think I want one. After all, don’t we all need to improve our brains?

Unexplained mysteries

I actually spell checked my last post using Blogger’s spell check before I sent it. Yes, amazing I know.

My question is how does a spell checker on a blogging site not know the words “blog” and “blogging”? That would be like MS Word not knowing how to spell “word processor.”

Now here’s a corny idea*

The high cost of natural gas is encouraging people to look for other ways to heat their homes. One Colorado company is cashing in by selling stoves that burn shelled corn. The corn is about half the cost of natural gas and it burns so clean there are no restrictions on burning it.Now that is cool.

You know they say that the U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of corn.

*(I know that is a horrible pun. Please don’t report me to the blog police.)

Most ridiculous iPod accessory

Anyone who has an iPod knows you need a case for it. The problem with the new iPod is that none of the cases from the previous generation iPods fit it because they moved the headphone jack from the center to the right side.

So Apple’s solution? A sock. Yep a sock which they call “stylish” and “fun”. Really, it is half a sock. They do come in packs of six though. You have your choice of various colors too!

So what do you pay for this innovation in iPod protection?

29 fricken bucks! Yep, that’s $29 for six half-socks. What a bargain. I think that breaks down to $2 for the six half-socks and $27 for the Apple logo sewed on to each one.