Plants vs Zombies VS Plants vs Zombies 2

Plants vs Zombies is an online game you can play for free on PopCap. Basically you plant a variety of plants that have the ability to shoot peas, have chompy teethy mouths, or stand still and b e eaten, etc to decapitate and kill zombies that are trying to make ti across the lawn to your house. If you don’t kill the zombies before they get to your house, you loose the level and they eat your brains. The original version is fun, and I learned about it several years ago, but never really got into the game. Then the other day I was bored and decided to find out if I could down load it to my phone.

Of course I could. My phone is a tiny computer that sits in my hand and lets me connect to some waves in the air and play games when I don’t have anything else to do. It’s like magic.


I discovered that Plants vs Zombies 2 exists and it was free! So I downloaded it. Aaaand I’m addicted. Now, I play it until my battery is running out and I’m sitting next to a wall plugged in and my phone is hot in my hand. The different levels don’t just have different plants to use against the zombies, there are also different puzzles and strategies. For example, one of the boards has a bunch of pots on it that you break open. Some of the pots have good things in them and some have zombies. Which is a different strategy then from when they are yards away and you know how much sun is filling up to plant more of the seeds you know are in your queue. One level just has the plants roll by at the top of the screen, you grab them off and plant them as strategically as you can before they disappear. One level is won only if you kill the zombies with only 14 plants on the screen at any given time. The coins that you collect can buy you temporary boosts. If you need more coins you can purchase them for real money. Which I have not done, because I don’t really understand why I would pay real money for fake coins. But that is just me.

vase breaker

Vase Breaker Board

But one of my favorite parts of Plants vs Zombies 2 is my little zen garden where I grow plants that give a boost to my levels. If you use the diamonds that you collect you can make them grow faster, or you can wait the sometimes 2 days while the plants mature. I’m not sure why planting fake plants in a fake zen garden is so much fun. Maybe it’s because I like to plant and maybe its because the real plants I planted this spring have been killed off by an evil squirrel. But I do love my zen garden.

Plants-vs.-Zombies-2 zen garden

I never got very high in the levels of Plants vs Zombies, the original, and I even went back and tried to play some levels to do a true comparison to the 2nd version. I also played it on my husbands computer to compare it to using a phone. I only got to about six levels and got bored and frustrated. Bored with the levels because the strategies are so similar for each of the early levels in the original that I just couldn’t force myself to continue. And frustrated because my husbands computer’s swipe mouse caused so much frustration that I lost a couple of levels due to lack of a good mouse. So I hopped back onto my phone and the 2nd version and completed like four more levels. Because. I’m addicted.

All this much excitement from the 21 levels on the Ancient Egyptian world and there are five more worlds to unlock and explore!!! What? Like, wooo! If you have a little of extra time, or a lot (coughcough), Plants vs Zombies 2 is a fun way to spend that time and also make your brain hurt a bit with strategic thinking.

Bar Examine Study Break 2

A new god shall rise. One who is liberator of all the playthings. One who shall free the toys from their toyboxes, their plastic and wooden prisons.


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.