Monday, October 29, 2007

Pumpkinfest 2007

It's here! Pumpkin carving time arrived yesterday afternoon, and it was so cool!! All four kids are finally big enough to to nearly all of their scooping and scraping by themselves. And their design skills have also matured at least another year since last time. Case in point, Ellysa, who combined the skills she's learned in her 9th grade Art Class with her love for the Nightmare Before Christmas, and working from a small printout, did a freehand sketch that turned into the masterpiece you see to the left!

Next up on the tour of gourds, is Andy's latest. He decided to star in his own pumpkin this year, and anyone who played his hit Halloween game this year, or has read any of his many comic books starring "Andy" will recognize the face. Excellent Effort, Excellent Results!

Kaylee and Tyler went with pre-made stencils, but chose, attached, poked and cut them all by themselves. And Kaylee added the ears on her wolf/cat all by herself, as they weren't included on the stencil. That's Kaylee's on the left, and Tyler's is on the right.

Which brings us to mine. True to form, I picked out a green one this year, and it tried to thwart me by turning orange while waiting to be carved... But one side of it was still sufficiently green to differentiate itself. And for my design, I went with influence from my childhood... A Sleestak from the Land of the Lost. We've got one huge pumpkin left that I would LOVE to turn into Jabba the Hutt, but I don't know if I'll have time to or not. If I do, Jabba will get hooked up to the smoke machine this year. If not, it'll be a smoking sleestak! Stay tuned for the full spectacle that is trick-or-treating at the Brinkerhoffs!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Funny!

Taking a break from escaping ghosts just long enough to post this... Another tragic toy recall, due to obvious safey concerns...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Halloween Contest: Game On!

Okay, so Andy's Halloween Game proved to be quite popular... Which inspired him to announce a contest for the highest score, with the winner receiving an all-expenses paid Bag o' Candy Corn! But then I discovered a couple of "sweet spots" in the game that enabled you to walk away and let the score climb, climb, climb, without end, amen... And that just wasn't right!

So, I convinced Dr. Videogames himself to re-write the game, making it more difficult, and I think we're ready to launch the contest for real! So here are the Totally Official Rules:
1] Contest is based on playing Andy Brinkerhoff Productions' new game, "Andy's Dad In His Own Nightmare", which is downloadable at the end of this blog post.

2] Without pictures, it didn't happen. So if you want to submit a score, send in a screen shot! To do that is really quite simple. When the game ends, hold down Shift and hit the "PrtScrn" or "Print Screen" key, typically located at the top of a standard Windows keyboard. Laptops often require you to hit their function key... Then open Paint, or even Word, and hit Paste. It's that easy! If all else fails, there are a number of screen capture utilities, and our friends at Google could easily help you find one. If it's too much work, then NO CANDY CORN FOR YOU!

3] All high score submissions must be sent in by email, to

4] Deadline for submissions is Thursday, October 25. That gives two weeks and change to master the game, so give it your best shot!

5] Fun must be had!

So there ya go. To download the game and get started, click here!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another Hit On The Music Mafia

Yahoo!Music Well, less than ten days after Amazon's mp3 store debut, an executive at Yahoo! Music is declaring war on DRM (in case you forgot, that's digital rights management, a nice way of saying "strangling restrictions").

In fact, he's taking a stand many of us had hoped Apple's Steve Jobs was about to take when he made his famous "Open Letter To The Music Industry" last year. Unfortunately, business as usual continued at Jobs' house. But Ian Rogers at Yahoo! is making a stand for convenience and consumer friendliness. Here's an excerpt from a speech he gave last week, the transcript of which is now posted on his blog, complete with the slides he used:

I’m here to tell you today that I for one am no longer going to fall into this trap. If the licensing labels offer their content to Yahoo! put more barriers in front of the users, I’m not interested. Do what you feel you need to do for your business, I’ll be polite, say thank you, and decline to sign. I won’t let Yahoo! invest any more money in consumer inconvenience. I will tell Yahoo! to give the money they were going to give me to build awesome media applications to Yahoo! Mail or Answers or some other deserving endeavor. I personally don’t have any more time to give and can’t bear to see any more money spent on pathetic attempts for control instead of building consumer value. Life’s too short. I want to delight consumers, not bum them out.

If, on the other hand, you’ve seen the light too, there’s a very fun road ahead for us all. Lets get beyond talking about how you get the music and into building context: reasons and ways to experience the music. The opportunity is in the chasm between the way we experience the content and the incredible user-created context of the Web.

Very well said, Ian. I highly recommend reading the entire post by clicking here. It's good to see that there are still some people with vision in places of power and influence. I really do pray that their vision will succeed and bring us a bright future where the ability to listen to, discover new, and above all else, LOVE music will be greater than at any time in history.
(thanks to gizmodo for featuring this story)

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Halloween time is here! To celebrate, Andy (age "almost 15", 9th grade) made up a Halloween game starring his dad... also known as... ME! He's been making video games for a couple years now, ever since we got him a video game maker as a reward for a good report card in 7th grade. And he's made several games with it, with varying degrees of success. But this one stands apart, and it's NOT just because it stars me... It's all about good gameplay! Like Bloxors, which I mentioned a couple weeks ago, this is a very simple game. And like Bloxors, it's addictive and gets more and more difficult! The objective is simple. Avoid the ghosts. Points are awarded for avoiding the ghosts. That's it! No boss levels, no power ups, just avoid the ghosts. Click here to Download it! Play it! Have fun with it!
My high score is 1466 - if anybody beats it, post it in comments!!
ALERT: Check the comments section! Andy has decided to make this a contest!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Crunch All You Want - We'll Make More

Meet Sam! Sam is a Seagull from Scotland. Sam likes Doritos! (really, who doesn't?) Unfortunately, Sam doesn't have much pocket-money, so he has to resort to the time honored tradition of stealing to get his chip fix. It's real, you can check it out on snopes, and here's another video of Sam in action.