Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Video game reviews

Video game rating scale:

2 controllers - Must play
1 controller - rental
0 controllers - don't even watch the trailer

1.) Assassin's Creed 2 - If you played the first one, then you'll love this one. It takes place in Florence, Italy and takes you on an adventure with a new assassin. Ezio is the son of a nobleman who finds out who his dad really was only after his death. He is trained in the way of the assassins and has some pretty cool friends that help him along his way to avenge his father's death. Awesome game! 2 controllers on this one.

2.) Resident evil 5 - Fun addition the the Resident Evil line. I hate the fact that you can't move and shoot, but other than that it's pretty fun. Millions of zombies coming for you and you're equipped with a pistol and 10 bullets. LOL! Have fun. You can pick up more ammo and guns on the way, but it's definitely not a kill everyone on the screen game. Sometimes some good old fashion cardio (running) is in order. Online play is fun and I would suggest a bluetooth in order to communicate with your partner. Rent it first and see if you want to add it to your collection. 1 controller.

3.) Band hero - This game is addictive. It has a nice mix of modern and older songs. If you've played any of the guitar heroes or rock bands, you know how addictive this game is. This is awesome when you have at least another person around to challenge or to rock out with. You can play the bass, guitar, drums, or sing. You have options and they are all fun in their own right, but when played together it's awesome!!! 2 Controllers!

4.) Guitar hero 5 - See band hero review. Main difference is that it has more rock songs. 2 controllers.

5.) Guitar hero world tour - See band hero review. A variety of music and fun for all ages.

6.) Prince of Persia - I've had a blast with this game. you're the prince trying to save the world as always. The graphics are amazing and the game play is pretty good also. It gives you hours of fun. You're trying to help a princess restore "light" and order to her world. You cross each other as you're looking for your goat in the desert and from there it's all one big adventure. You won't be disappointed by this game if you enjoy single player games. It'll keep your interested.

Let me know if there are any other games you'd like to see. Til next time take care!!


Family is the reason why we're here. We are born, navigate our way through life and eventually we pass on. This inevitable journey is rarely taken alone. We have reasons for being. Those reasons are the relationships we make, break and maintain. In this entry I'm going to use the word family to mean relationships that we keep. With that being established we should take a look at the family we have.

Many people love or loathe their families. Family can be a close network of friends with common interest or those people tied to you by blood that you can't escape if you wanted to or you may be one of the fortunate few with that idealic mix of the two. I feel that I've been blessed with just that. I'll talk about me later but for now we'll stick to the overall view.

When you are born into a family you expect/deserve certain things but that's not always the case. Some natural families let their own fall by the wayside. Whether it's from a lack of concern or from a lack of ability sometimes family can't or won't provide what's needed. This is too true for a lot of people. In these cases family must be sought out.

Everybody needs somebody sometime....That song is on point. The people that you go to or call on can be seen as your family and whether you have the same blood in your veins is irrelevant. What is important is that those are the people you can call on and count on. I'll use my family as an example. I can honestly say that my family has shaped my life and helped me become the person I am today. Fortunately, I've been blessed with awesome parents, a great sister and an extended family like no other. We are there for one another, we support one another and they've all helped to shape my life. I am thankful everyday for the family and upbringing that I've had and I wish the same for others. I know that everyone isn't in the same situation, but I would like to believe that even if a blood family isn't available, I would urge people to take the time to be that family to someone and in turn you will broaden your own family.

These words may reach you in a time of plenty, but just let them ring even louder in the times of darkness and despair. Those dark times are the times when we need someone the most. So, if you have that system set up already, thank them. If you don't, try to find one and to my own support and family I'd like to say "I love you" and "Thank you!" Take care everyone and feel free to leave a comment or suggestions for future blog post. Take care!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Movie review

Up in the air - George Clooney earns his sky miles in this one. He takes us across the country with him as he delivers his message. This movie is original and has an awesome musical guest appearance. 2 claps! I see why it was nominated for a bunch of awards.

Movie review essentials

I guess this should have been in the first movie review post. 2 claps is a movie you should see. 1 clap is rentable. 0 claps, don't waste your time. A standing ovation, then you should be out the door on the way to the theater.

Law abiding citizen - Gerard Butler and Jaime Fox put on a brilliant display. This movie puts you in the mind of Inside Man (2 claps). Butler ends up in jail and the world must pay for it. This is a guy you don't want to mess with. With that being said...Standing ovation goes to this movie.

2012 - John Cusack takes us to the end of the world and back in this sci fi action film. It gives you all of the science, drama, and action you could ask for in a movie. A little on the long side, but worth the time. See it while you still can. 2012 is right around the just came out on dvd last Tuesday.

Princess and the Frog - Classic Disney animation. The Disney princess has returned with a band of characters that will make you laugh and cry and go through all of the basic Disney emotions. Princess Tiana brings Disney animation back in a big way and takes you back to a time when New Orleans was known for much more than a hurricane. This deserves and receives a standing ovation and a foot stomp.

Zombieland - Woody Harrelson is one of the lone rangers fighting against the zombies. You've seen one zombie movie, you've seen them all. Nothing really different here, just some nice comic relief. This won't win any awards, but it'll keep you gasping and laughing. 1 clap.

If there are any movies you'd like a review on please let me know. Either leave a comment here or reply on twitter or on leave me a message on facebook. Thanks for taking the time to read my reviews. Take care.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Movie reviews!!!

Now to the fun stuff.

1.) Shutter Island - Well written, directed and acted psychological thriller. Scorcese was in rare form with this one and Leo DiCaprio gave a "Titanic" performance. It was about a federal marshal who goes to investigate an escape from an insane asylum but finds out he has more of a connection to the island than he originally expected. It's a good one! I give it 2 claps.

2.) Alice in Wonderland - It wasn't as good as I thought it would be. Depp played a good hatter, but overall I wasn't that impressed. It basically picks up 13 years after Alice first went down the hole and they need her to come back. Alice has grown up and her world is a little different now. It was an interesting concept, but not that well executed. You'll be more entertained watching the Disney cartoon. I give it a clap. View at your own risk or wait for the DVD.

3.) Avatar - Visually stunning! The story line was one that had been done before and honestly if you have seen Ferngully you've seen this movie. This is one case where the effects were really the stars of the movie. It's very long and the 3D effects are awesome, but the 3D glasses will get annoying after about an hour. If you stick it out you will definitely enjoy the movie. I deem it a must see. 2 claps!!

4.) Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief - For all of my mythology fans, you'll like this modern twist on a great classic. Which classic is that you ask? Clash of the Titans!! (Which will be out April 2 - Expect a review). In this movie Percy (Perceus) is told who he truly is and what his missions are. He sets out with some friends to find who stole Zeus' lightning bolt. It's a well paced adventure and a fun story to follow. This gets 2 claps! Enjoy it. It's for young and not so young alike.

As I make my way to the theater over the break look for more reviews. Till then take care!

Childhood obesity

This is serious topic number two and it should get lighter from here. OK. Let's go! It's no question that our country has an obesity problem. From the kids to the adults. I want to look at the kids. I guess some would ask "why?" but it's not really that hard to figure out. The kids today are obese because they don't get exercise, they have horrible eating habits and because their parents are obese. There I go talking about parents again, but I hope that through these post you start to see how much influence parents have on their kids. So let's dissect this piece by piece.

1.) Not enough exercise. Most kids that are obese don't get enough exercise. Well let's look where they are most of the school. Well shouldn't they be out at recess? No, that has been taken out of most schools so that there is time for test prep. Well don't they get exercise in gym class? No, most schools have reduced the time of their gym classes so that kids have more "instructional time" - test prep. Also, most schools allow students not to participate in any physical activities with a note from the parents. So we're back to the parents. I'm not sure why they do it, but the parents let the kids not exercise at school, so I'm almost convinced they're not getting it at home either, so there is where the issues come in. The schools aren't being allowed to provide students with exercise because they have to get kids ready for the test and the parents are allowing the kids to sit and be sedentary. These two are part of the obesity problem. The next part is the biggie in my mind-nutrition.

2.) When you look at what our kids are eating it's really sad, but what's more unfortunate is that it's cheaper to eat unhealthy than it is to eat healthy in most cases. In some places, healthy choices are just plain hard to find. It's usually in poorer areas where the healthy choices are the hardest to find and these are usually the people suffering from the most dietary diseases. I guess it's like the question of the chicken or the egg. Do poor areas not have healthy choices because they don't want or use them or are there no healthy options because they can't afford them? who really knows. Back to the topic, in the school setting, schools are able to regulate what they serve and because they serve such a large population they get food at cheaper prices. The problem is that they still go with the lowest bidder which is the most unhealthy slop that is available. Instead of paying a few dollars more for something that will actually have some kind of nutritional value. I think districts should be more mindful of what they offer as food to the students since they are not allowing them to get the amount of activity that they need. Again, if they look at the research it shows that schools with healthy lunch programs have less discipline problems and better scores. Why they don't latch on to that research is still beyond me.

3.)Parental obesity- Since this is about childhood obesity I'm not going to say much about the parents except this "If the parents are obese, then the children will more than likely be obese."

For any parents or students reading this, I urge you to go to your local school board and push for a better school lunch program. This will not only help with the health of your child, but with their overall education. Well, that's what research shows... Feel free to comment. Take care!

Spring break is here and boy do I have some stuff to talk about

I'm going to get the serious stuff out of the way and then move on to some lighter topics. Let's start. Of course education is up on the docket. I was talking with a couple of co-workers about Oprah's school for girls that she opened in Africa and the backlash it got from people here stateside. Her reasoning is what really made me think. It was said that she sent out surveys to see what kids wanted and when she got the surveys back almost overwhelmingly the American kids wanted material goods. The kids from other countries simply wanted schools and education. Armed with that knowledge she embarked on spending her own money to build an all girl school in Africa.

I'm by no means an Oprah fan, but I think this should be a wake up call for those who think that education doesn't need to be addressed in this country. It seems as though it has been taken for granted and that has led to the quandary we're in now. The students are not achieving on a competitive level, the teachers are stressed beyond reason and are leaving the profession and the "expert" and states are not trying to address the true issues. They fire teachers, fire administrators, close schools and when all of that still doesn't work they still refuse to look at the 900 pound gorilla in the room....the parents!

Since education officials like to look at research so much, let's focus on the fact that kids are most influenced by their parents. Kids often times will take the educational, professional, career routes that their parents took. My question is why don't we focus more on this aspect in education? Hmmm, I think I know. Most of the people that are in places of power to make these decisions are too scared to have to actually deal with telling a parent you need to do better because the education system has taken the Disney route. They like to tell the kids that everyone's a winner and can and will do everything you want to do.....without having to put forth any effort. Now they can't stop people from believing that and it's hard to go in a different direction. Secondly, the frivolous lawsuits have made a lot of officials scared to stand for anything because they fear being sued. Just like doctors, school districts play the ultra conservative role to avoid lawsuits. I guess it's necessary, but it ultimately let's the kids down.

All that I want to say is if we expect our kids to learn at a higher level we have to hold them to a higher level. We can't keep giving reprieves for a hard upbringing or because there's only one parent in the house. We have to show them that in order to get an education, you have to want an education. The more you want it the more you get from it and the better you'll be because of it. That's how education was in my house growing up and it's made me a better person. Let's start holding the parents to the flame if you really expect the kids to achieve. If you have any comments feel free to leave some and if not feel free to hang around and read some of my other post. Take care!!