As usual, it's been too long between blog posts, but I think that it's better to have too much real life going on instead of too much internet life. I have also decided to be more inclusive of my musical life in this space.
The band that I'm in is losing its keyboard player, but we seem to be making the adjustment. I have talked to a few people about the position, but I have not spoken to anyone that I thought would be a good match yet. We're in no hurry to put a new keyboard player on board unless they're really going to work out. For what we do, we need someone with traditional piano skills and modern keyboard chops. Despite all the kids that get forced to play 'Fur Elise' until Zombie Beethoven rises from his grave to eat their fingers off, it's harder than you think to find a substantial keyboard player. And even if you have classical chops - it's no guarantee that you also have the funk.
A big part of what I like about the holidays is that I get to help other people with video game shopping. I was happy to play the demo of The Legend of Zelda:Skyward Sword at the Nintendo Wii kiosk at Walmart this week, but not as happy as my son was. I only played part of one of the dungeons, but the demo also includes a bird riding section, and a boss battle (and my son played all three sections). We explained to a few passers-by that you needed the Wii Remote Plus for the game, but that it improves the swordplay a lot. I had to stop playing after a couple of minutes since the controls are slightly different from Twilight Princess and I didn't want to pick up any bad habits just yet. I was also a lot happier being able to recommend the Xbox360 or the PS3 to people with younger kids now, since Microsoft and Sony have made real strides in the last year in widening their audience. But, my most favorite thing this holiday season is being able to answer the question "Is that Batman game any good?" with "Yes, it's awesome" after so many years of telling people to stay away from any licensed games that weren't "Goldeneye" for Nintendo 64. Oddly, the first Batman game in that series (Arkham Asylum) didn't spend too much time on Walmart's shelf, and I can't even tell you why. It's just as good. Maybe it's because the original game wasn't a holiday season release, or maybe it's because there was some Gamestop promotion that overshadowed anybody else selling the game.
Other than doing some random cubing demos at the local elementary school holiday breakfast while all the kids were throwing snowballs, and at the top of the bridge at our local boat parade, my cubing activity has been somewhat minimal.