Life is a Video Game Part 2

Recently I posted that Life is a Video Game, I Can Prove It, where I talked about going to the Dallas Museum of Art and unlocking achievements at each gallery and how I can up my character score on Waze by reporting problems and interacting with other Wazers.

I’m not the only one who sees life this way. In fact, here is an article by Oliver Emberton: Life is a game. This is your strategy guide. It puts unlocking life achievements in gamer terminology, has some sound advice, and shows how we need balance in our life in order to do the things we need to do to make our lives better. Plus, he has some cool graphics. :)

If you want to have some fun while you are seriously changing your life, check out these other apps that help unlock coins (points) to buy necessary game accessories. Check out Cartwheel and shopkick. Cartwheel is basically a coupon collecting site specifically for Target, then your phone gets a barcode that is scanned when you check out and viola! you’ve saved money.  Check out this article on how to use Cartwheel to its full potential.

With shopkick you collect points just entering a store. You can also get points for scanning items. Your points add up for a gift certificate. I’m collecting points for a gift card to Target. Here is an article on how to maximize earning potential for shopkick.

As a note of perhaps caution, I have not linked a debit card or credit card to either of these accounts. It may ask you to do so, like it did my sister, she just bypassed that option. I haven’t really used these to their full potential yet, as I’ve just downloaded them, but if life is a game, then earning shopkick points should be fun and an added bonus, not stress me out because I forgot to open the app before entering Kroger.

However, since I do hate shopping so much, I think pretending it’s all part of the big game of life where I can earn points and not just food items may make shopping a little bit more fun and manageable.

I did not get paid by Target to promote them or their Cartwheel app thing. But perhaps I should have been….. hmmm. Mostly I think these could be some fun apps to make life a little more interesting and interactive then strolling down the aisles humming sad songs to myself.

Sherlock Love

Due to incoming guests and family meals, I haven’t watched Sherlock. Yet. But I will. So, no spoilers. In the mean time, here is some fun Sherlocky spoiler free stuff on the interwebs.

Sherlock cosplay. His grin is the bestest!

Sherlock and John fan art. Though, I think John is quite clever himself.

Sherlock and MGM lion mash up. Because this one made me laugh out loud.

Sherlock and Mary Hopper anime fan art.

Possible Sherlock Legos to be made. It’s currently in the review stage. In the mean time enjoy the concept art work.

sherlock lego

Life is a Video Game, I Can Prove it

Recently, I had a visitor, my best friend came west for a few days. We went antiquing, to the aquarium, and spent a day at the Dallas Museum of Art. On our way to the museum I pulled up the latest app on my phone, Waze. A community sourcing gps map provider. As people are driving down the road they can input road hazards warning other Wazers of upcoming traffic delays which in turn can be useful in rerouting and avoiding traffic jams. As we by-passed cars on the shoulder, construction, and made our way through the ever present road obstacle, I input hazards and earned points. Upping my Wazer toward the next level, where I will get a shield. I really want that shield!

Once we got to the DMA, which is wonderfully free, we were somewhat bombarded by staff to sign up in their points system. At each entry way into a new gallery there was a code posted, after sending the code as a text message we would get points on our account. These points could be used to get a ticket into one of the two exhibits that cost money, or used as a discount at the cafeteria or store. You can also save up your points over several visits to get free parking etc. At some points, where all the masks start looking the same and I get overwhelmed, I found myself wandering from gallery to gallery just to get the points.

Sara turned to me and said, “I think life is a video game to you some times.”

Yes, yes it is. I love collecting points. I love redeeming points. My smartphone has turned my life into a video game.

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littleBit of Video

My mom, Tara Noftsier, works for a company called littleBits an “open source library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets for prototyping, learning and fun.” She was lucky enough to go to Maker Faire 2013, in San Francisco and was interviewed, along with some other Makers. Here is a clip about the fair, some cool Makers, and my mom talking about the littleBits. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself, with all of my biases.

And littleBits have even been used in a Taylor Swift video ft. Ed Sheeran. The littleBits part starts at 2:25.

Nodds and Nends: Miniature Bag End, Firefly RPG, and a Ron Swanson Cake

The very best thing I have found on the internets recently is this miniature Bag End. I mean, it is just too awesome for words!

And if you are hungry, maybe skip this next paragraph, because cakes! Geeky cakes! First up, an Avengers cake via Pinterest. Also from Pinterest is this really awesome Ron Swanson cake. Awesome, because cake. But also awesome because Ron Swanson is an amazing character, and I love him. Parks and Recreation is one of my favorite comedy shows. And finally a Firefly cake from Pinterest. I’ll admit the people don’t look at all like the characters, but the ship looks like Serenity. . . ish.

Speaking of Firefly, an announcement has circled the internets that an official tabletop RPG is in the making.

Random concept art I’ve found includes a digital painting of Mary Poppins, street art of a colorful woman made of flowers and rainbows, and an illustration of Aurora as a zombie in Un-Sleeping Beauty (thanks for the tip Picture Me Reading!).

A wonderful comic of why females are frustrated when they have to “prove” they are geeky. Can’t we all just say nice shirt and only ogle the boobies from the corner of our eyes, like on 40 year old Virgin? Unless it’s the show Lost Girl. Anna Silk’s breasts are awesome and I can’t look away.

Peeps, you’ve probably all heard about this already, but I felt I needed to say a bit about the Kickstarter campaign of Veronica Mars. A movie is going to happen, because fans banded together, and the crew took a cut, and all the Veronic Mars nerds united to say, Hey we want this story told. And this is awesome. Because the best part of life (is not Folger’s in your cup, sorry) but telling stories that have to be told. Check out the Kickstarter campaign. Even though fully funded, you can get in on some extra goodies and help get this movie made. For $35 you get a t-shirt, behind the scenes scoop, and a digital version of the movie within a few days of the movies release. Sounds like a deal to me, especially at the high cost of movie tickets. I understand that some people are concerned about Kickstarter payees not being investors in the sense that they get a return on their money, but in the internet age I do think things will tend toward paying for what you want as you want it instead of a ton of cable shows you hate. And if  you want to get a digital version of a movie and a free t-shirt for $35, why is that a bad thing? And I also get, hey we raised all this money for a weird cause, why not raise money for a good cause. But people use their disposable income for entertainment, who is to say they don’t also give to charity? Personally, I think it is cool.

Finally, 40 inspirational speeches in 2 minutes. Somehow it all makes sense now.

Nodds & Nends: HIMYM Mash-up, Dinner in the Sky, and Adam Levine

Star Wars How I Met Your Mother mash-up. I love mash-ups and this is a classic.

Remember the guy who made those Dinosaur heels I posted a while ago? Well he has created some R2D2 heels, and they are nearly as awesome. He has a tutorial, which again includes a welder, so that probably won’t be a project for me. [via]

Speaking of dinosaurs, check out this awesome Princess Peach to the rescue on a dinosaur shirt! Super bad ass. [via]

In Belgium you can have dinner in the sky. Yah, I could not do this. I have a great fear of heights, and even on Ferris wheels make people hold my hand. Which does not go over so well when you are in the deep south and the person riding the Ferris wheel with you is one of your girlfriends who whispers, If anyone sees us, I’m going to be super mad. To be fair, as we walked around the Fair we were stopped every ten minutes greeting somebody we knew, so it was highly likely someone who knew us would see us. I still love riding Ferris wheels because I think they are awesome, I just warn people beforehand now, I may have a panic attack you will probably have to hold my hand.

This WiiU song by Jimmy uses samples of the WiiU menus, Super Mario Bros. U, and noises made with the WiiU itself.

Adam Levine sings about YOLO. It’s not really nerdy. The man is just way hot.

If you missed the NASA Google+ Hangout out on Friday, you can watch it all on Youtube. I caught the last 30 minutes live, and it was awesome.

Holiday Giving Ideas and Prizes

I had another post planned for today, it included some lovely Doctor Who stuff, which I decided could wait. You would think this was a hard decision but it is not, because every year I try to let people know of some of the wonderful charities I’ve come across on the interwebs. Donations to charities make wonderful gifts, not only to the people themselves who maybe don’t have the funds to create their own holiday magic, but one of my all time favorite gifts was a donation made in my name to a anti-sex slavery organization (yes, I was even happier to get that then the Doctor Who/ Van Gogh mash-up necklace I wear nearly every day and the delicate TARDISes scarf I do wear every day- as all three gifts were by the same person and all three are my top three gifts I know she wont mind that I put the donation gift ahead of the others).

HOW AWESOME IS MY SCARF??!!! Thanks Sara!

HOW AWESOME IS MY SCARF??!!! Thanks Sara!

Don’t know what to get that hard to get a present for person? Want to spread around some holiday cheer? Here are some places to check out:

Geek for Tots

Geek for Tots is all about spreading the geek. For every donation of geekery this season (to a charitable organization) they will enter the donor into a pot to win a prize. All the donor has to do is post a picture on social media of them giving something geeky. Basically you can kill two birds with one stone, or actually three birds, no maybe four. For example, donate a geeky toy to your buildings holiday drive (just remember it has to be a charitable organization), snap a picture, post it and you’ve not only donated but entered to win some cool prizes. Or you could donate a geeky to to Toys for Tots, which in my building is the same drive. Plus we do holiday donations to a women’s shelter and now we have a toiletry drive. Which reminds me, I need to pick up things from CVS this weekend with my coupon for that. Or, if you need ideas for geeky gifts you can check out some of the Geeks for Tots sponsors, such as Luke’s Toy Store, which has some really cool miniatures (if you are really jonsing for something Doctor Who check this out), or Backstage Toy (check out their cool Dalek t-shirt), which has some cool plush toys to bring a smile to the geeky kid who probably is only getting tube socks for a present.

Heifer International

Heifer International is a really cool organization that donates livestock (cows, chickens, goats) and works with parents and grandparents around the world to become self-reliant, so they can give their children the opportunities they never had. The first time I heard about this organization was through my friend Sara who told me about Pat RothfussWorldBuilders team. If you donate on his team you get entered to win some cool signed books from his author friends, and he has many cool friends like Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), or you could win other cool things. The WorldBuilder’s goal is 500K in donations and so far they have raised $118,105.22. A mere $20 donation gets a family a flock of chickens to raise, sell, harvest eggs, and eat.

By giving families a hand-up, not just a handout, we empower them to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity, but our approach is more than that. By bringing communities together and linking them with markets in their area, we help bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.

Quote from http://www.heifer.org/ourwork/mission

Project Night Night

Project Night Night donates totebags with a teddy, a blanket, and a book to homeless children so they can sleep better. The Bloggess (this goes to a posting of the several charities she supports and how she worked a Holiday miracle one year) is a supporter of this organization and often when one of her excellent ideas has gone overboard and her readers have generously donated to one of her causes above and beyond what she needs, she gives the extra money to Project Night Night.

There are approximately 298,000 homeless families in the United States.*  Currently, there are more homeless children in the U.S. than at any other time since the Great Depression.  Nonetheless, family homelessness often goes unseen as most homeless families do not live on the street.**   Instead, most homeless families are transient, living in shelters, in cars, in hotels in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, or staying with friends or family members.***    These environmental stresses negatively influence a child’s early experiences  and often lead to an increase in mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, poor sleep habits, and behavioral issues.

To ease the anxiety associated with shelter living, Project Night Night distributes Night Night Packages to homeless children ages 0-10.  Each Night Night Package includes an age-appropriate book, a baby blanket which can be cuddled, and a stuffed animal which can become a cherished friend.  Finding comfort is vitally important for children in order to feel secure, loved, and valued – even in the midst of the upheaval and uncertainty attendant to homelessness.

Quoting http://projectnightnight.org/AboutUs.html

I grew up super poor. There were several years where people from our church bought groceries for my family because my parents were struggling to afford nutritious meals for a growing family of five kids. In fact, one Christmas our only presents were bags of groceries under the tree. I think every parent or guardian wants to give the children in their lives something special around the holidays and many of them are not able to, these organizations help children in small and grand ways. Personally, I wish I had more to give this year, however, I do have this blog and the ability to tell people about some wonderful ways to give this season. I may have forgone the awkward gifts this year because of financial reasons, but maybe some of my readers still need a thoughtful gift to give to great aunt Agnes who has everything she wants, including several stuff cats, and empty bird cage, and sits in her overheated apartment knitting animal clothes.

P.S. I spent much time trying to get this to format properly to no avail. WordPress is driving me just a tad nuts right now, and so I’m walking away.

TARDIS on a Cat, TARDIS on a Travel Mug, and TARDIS in a Liquor Cabinet, TARDIS Everywhere

Ok, so today’s title is a little long winded and I’d apologize except I think it clever. I generally think I’m clever, and I admit to not being very humble. But I bake delicious treats so that makes up for my braggart ways. Also, I find some of the best most fabulous finds on the internet, which is the only reason I have friends on here ’cause you guys can’t taste my pies.

One of the reasons The Bloggess is one of my heroes is her love for Doctor Who. She even painted the nails on her cat in TARDIS blue. What ridiculous awesomeness.

I’ve watched the first three episodes of this season and have my review forthcoming (though I forgot to take a picture of something, so my forgetfulness this morning is delaying that post and I do actually apologize for that), one fun thing about the new episodes is a title change reflecting the story of that particular episode. You can check out the title changes on this website that is collecting them. Someone told me about this and I honestly can’t remember who. Whoever you are thanks!

This cute geeky girl made a Doctor Who Guess Who game, and she tells you how to  make one for yourself. This is awesome, requires a really good printer and a lot of time. [via The Mary Sue]

Check out this TARDIS fully stocked liquor cabinet. Right now I would love a drink and my day has only started. I twisted my knee on Tuesday had to wear a brace on Wednesday, an ace bandage yesterday, and right now I’m sitting with it propped up. It is really frustrating my lack of mobility without a well working knee. Also I haven’t been able to exercise since Monday when I did yoga so I feel like a slob. Plus I just keep eating this pear bread I made. I even took it into work to get rid of it and then secretly ate the last of it at my desk. Is pear bread addiction a thing?

I love this TARDIS travel mug from Think Geek. Though I think the cup inside of a cub look is a little weird. [via]

BUT my most amazing find this week was this TARDIS De Lorean. OMG!!! I am not kidding, it is amazing. Click over. I just wish it was real and not a computer image. Le Sigh. [via]

Enjoy this Doctor Who and the Master phone call with plushies in anime style by potatobuns.

Doctor Who – Sound of Plushies by Potatobuns.deviantart.com