PAX and Beerfest

Fantastic Contraption
Originally uploaded by zemekiss.

A couple weeks ago we went up to Seattle for PAX. Stephen got a few photos of the event, which for me wasn’t so much about the games and the ravenous Fantastic Contraption fans (no really!), as getting to spend time with our friends from Vancouver. PAX was a bit crowded (60,000) this year and they had trouble fitting everyone into even the main panels in the huge hall. But we still managed to see everything we came for: Colin and Dan played Star Craft 2, I oogled Fallout 3. The highlight for me was the Jonathan Coulton concert. He brought Felicia Day out to sing “Still Alive” and the several thousand people in attendance sang along. I hadn’t realized I knew all the words…

We headed up to the island after that to spend the week with our families, and remarked over and over on how beautiful Vancouver Island is.

The next weekend was Beerfest – for many Victorians the event of the summer. The Northways got us tickets for Friday (the day for true beer fans) and together we went and sampled many an interesting brew. My favorite this year was Tin Whistle’s Peaches and Cream.. I guess the beautiful day put me in a girly mood because all my picks were the light fruity ones. :) I think Hugo’s Super G was better than ever; somebody else has got to pick up on putting ginger & ginseng in beer because I couldn’t bring myself to enter Hugo’s bar to order it now that their restaurant is closed. Oh – we never guessed Andy’s mystery beer!

I came back last weekend but Colin stayed in Nanaimo for another week. I got back just in time to catch the end of the Power to the Peaceful festival and concert which had the most amazing clothing vendors and some very odd food. Then the San Francisco Opera put on Opera in the Park which I went down and got the perfect seat dead center and just slightly up the hill. I sat and knitted – I’m learning to knit! – while I listened. Culture!

Then I spent a week playing Spore while Colin was away. It’s… well it’s not a gamer’s game, which is what I was hoping/imagining it would be. But they did an excellent job of taking four games that are traditionally hardcore and made them successfully casual. I would have enjoyed if the difficulty slider increased the complexity of the games, but obviously they had enough on their hands with this endeavor. I think they’ve done an amazing job, particularly on the UI which feels absolutely natural, and in integrating the tutorial into the gameplay. And I just can’t get enough of designing my little creatures!

Colin gets back today – huzzah!


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