Friday, February 4, 2011

Bye Bye to this Teferi Guy

You've been working at this for hours now.  Your eyes are starting to make the screen into a blur.  A seemingly endless stream of cards is being entered into your growing database cataloging your collection of Magic: the Gathering cards.  Roll your Stamina.  If you succeed, you continue to finish the job.  If you fail, you begin to nod off, slowly at first but you will soon go lie down or fall asleep at the desk.

Yes it's true, I've finally decided to sell my Magic: the Gathering collection.  I've played once or twice in the past year and it just seems silly to keep them around when I could make some money from them.  It's not from lack of opportunity, I simply haven't had time.  Having a kid certainly renegotiates your priorities.  Add to that working 40+ hours a week with a forty-minute drive there and back, and my free time limited and prized.

I decided that I will keep two of my favorite decks, just in case the itch strikes amongst my friends and they want to play. They're both five-color decks and rely heavily on Dragon Arch to get multicolor creatures into play.  The decks differ in that one uses these creatures to put the hurt on the opponent, while the other uses them to satisfy the win condition of Coalition Victory.  Using five colors, they are vulnerable during the early game, but they can be particularly nasty in multiplayer if left alone until turn four or five.  With a good opening hand, the beatdown deck can have an Autochthon Wurm in play on turn five.

My mother-in-law was supposed to watch Negligent Mother's daughter today for a little bit.  To refresh, Negligent Mother has been out of her mother's house for one or two months now.  When she dropped off her daughter, her hair and clothes were nasty.  My mother-in-law had to get her clean and get all the clumps out of her hair so they could go get pictures done.  While they were getting pictures, the poor girl kept telling her mom that she had to potty.  Negligent Mother, who was busy texting, said, "I told you to shut the f*** up!"  My mother-in-law marched right over there and slapped her across the mouth.  No matter how bad a day I'm having, I can picture that moment and smile.

Today I'm reviewing Netflix and their streaming service.  Several months ago, we ditched paying roughly fifty dollars each month with cable, and went exclusively to Netflix Streaming.  At the time they didn't offer a streaming-only plan, so we have the one-disc plan which includes streaming.  The selection of available titles is good and is added upon weekly.  I use the service on my Xbox, so watching with a party is possible, but not a feature I have ever used.  And of course, the price of ten bucks a month is a bargain when compared to cable.  

And now for the bad news.  Oftentimes the service will slowdown or reduce your quality.  Other times the service will increase your quality up to HD.  The problem is that each time it raises or lowers your quality, the screen blacks out and returns a few seconds later.  When the service slows down, it kicks you out to a red screen and tells you that the connection has slowed.  On this phase, it takes anywhere from thirty seconds to twenty minutes or longer.  I haven't decided yet whether or not that inconvenience invalidates all the other nice attributes of Netflix streaming, but it is very annoying.

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