Monday, August 26, 2013

The ToZ Back-to-School Special

It's back to school week here with one starting today and the other three starting tomorrow. Some school & kid thoughts:

The Home Front

  • Everybody is happy - they like their summer but all  four of them do well in school and aren't afraid to head back.
  • Our schedule is going to be significantly busier with three of them in high school, which means prioritizing who does what when will be even more important. On the plus side my job lets me work from home a few days during the week which makes things easier on those days but Lady Blacksteel and I will still be doing a lot of divide-and-conquer to make this work.
  • The intersection of these two points: No more having to shut the door to drown out the My Little Pony marathons while on conference calls. Now Justice League, that's a different story. I don't mind people thinking I work with Batman, but the ponies are right out. Batman Beyond was also a big player this summer. Thank you Netflix.
Game Front
  • Red has discovered the wonders of eBay. It's a little strange getting those packages in the mail that are not for me! If he figures out Amazon he's going to have to get his own mailbox.
  • Looks like Wednesday nights will be Next nights as much as possible. All three boys are interested so it's a go. Hopefully homework and traffic won't interfere too much.
  • Both Red and Blaster have been instructed to Find The Gamers at their respective high schools. I know they're out there - find them! It would be nice for them to be able to play with friends their own age and not just their dad.

Media Front

  • Kick Ass and Kick Ass 2: Two movies that I really really like that I cannot let the kids watch anytime soon. There are R-rated movies they have seen (pretty much all at home) and R-rated movies they have not,  and as much as I like them these will have to wait. I'm shocked at the number of people who think it's cool to take ten-year-olds into them though. Between KA2 this weekend and We're The Millers a week or two back I wonder what happened to babysitters? 
  • Freaks and Geeks is a great show to watch with teenagers. They only made one season but it is on Netflix and the kids (including Apprentice Twilight) were actually demanding that we watch it whenever we let a day or two go by. Who would have thought a show about school would have been so popular during summer vacation? I am pretty happy they liked it though - it's funny but it doesn't pull many punches about high school goings-on. 
  • Minecraft is clearly the game of the summer. Red is too old to care, and Twilight understands it but isn't really interested enough to play it. Who and Blaster though ... they've been all over it, to the point they're making videos and posting them on YouTube, just like the things they've been watching, and they've dragged their friends and cousins into it if they weren't already. A more conventional game would have burned out already and I'm sure "Minecraft 2" would be set for fall release but this game doesn't work that way. It's sort of a Frankenstein of civillization, legos, and warhammer that is more than the sum of those parts and I'm impressed with it.Heck, it broke Blaster's obsession with Call of Duty and Mechwarrior and I never would have guessed a game that looks it came from a Commodore 64 would have been able to do that.
With a bunch of kids running around there's the Calendar New Year and then there's this one, which is at least as important. Good luck to everyone out there - students, parents, and teachers alike. Another year, another set of stories to tell down the road.

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