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06 February 2010 @ 05:27 pm
The Rain Is Coming, also Nexus One use in real life  
In fantasy books, The Darkness Is Rising = Raise your armies! Train your warriors! Quest for ancient artifacts of power!

In real life, The Rain Is Coming = Quick! Let's go to the mall before it starts so we don't have to deal with traffic in the rain! (At least in LA :)

Given the weather yesterday we were a little surprised when we woke up around 10:30 and not only was it not raining, it was actually a little sunny outside. So i grabbed my phone and we checked the weather report and saw that it was supposed to start raining "real soon now." (In retrospect, every time we checked today it said it was supposed to start raining "real soon now," and we haven't seen a drop yet.) Since we'd been planning to go to the mall this weekend before we knew it was supposed to be rainy, we decided we ought to run out and do that while we had the chance. As we were leaving i reflected that i'd really gotten used to grabbing my messenger bag to take along whenever we went anywhere. Now however anything that i had in my bad i could functionally replace with something on my phone.

When we got to the mall the first place we went was the bookstore. The main reason i'd wanted to go to the mall was to pick up the new C.S. Friedman book, "Wings of Wrath," the second book in the Magister Trilogy, which just came out on tuesday. After grabbing a copy of that i started going around taking notes on various books and authors that i either knew i wanted to get, or was curious about and wanted to do some more research on. I have, scattered about who knows where, several pages with notes (usually with just a few lines each) from previous times when i did have a notepad with me, and who knows how many mental notes from when i didn't which i promptly forgot about. This time i was adding them all to the list app on my phone. Of course that means i was redoing at least some previous work, but it's not worth trying to find those old pages and transcribe them now.

After awhile of that shelleycat was done getting her books so we went and bought our stuff and stopped by the T-Mobile store, since i kinda need a car charger for my phone. There's definitely been more than one occasion where i've been "Ooops, almost out of battery, better not do anything else till i get home just in case of emergency."

And since it was right there we stopped by GameStop after that. One of the advantages of listening to podcasts about six months after the fact (i'm trying to catch up, but it's slow progress) is that when i hear them raving about the latest awesome game, that game is usually available fairly cheap in the present. shelleycat is pretty good about making herself wait until games get cheaper as well, so when we looked through and found Mortal Kombat vs DC, Mirror's Edge, Red Faction Guerrilla, and Soul Calibur 4, we were rather happily surprised by how cheap they all were used. But then i got a bright idea. I pulled out my phone and went to the Amazon website, and found that for values ranging from about $5 cheaper to $5 more expensive, we could get the games new from Amazon. Not only do i like new better than used (for silly reasons,) but i like buying new when feasibly and financially possible because it means the publisher gets some of the money. And also, GameStop bugs me a bit. The fact that they'll buy games back for really low prices and then mark them up to within $5 of the new prices bugs me. So given the chance to spend about the same amount to get new copies from someone else i was happy to take it.

After that we went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. While waiting for the food i added all the games we'd been looking at to my Amazon shopping cart. shelleycat had pulled out one of the new books she'd gotten, the one that's supposed to be "the next Harry Potter," about a modern day kid who's the son of one of the greek gods, and something about it prompted her to ask why/how ancient greek pottery always seems to be black and orange. So i went to wikipedia on my phone to try and find out. The answer turned out to be more interesting than we had been expecting.

After that we headed home, and i spent awhile arguing with Amazon about who i wanted to buy games from =P I actually ended up getting two of the games used just because they would ship faster that way, but Amazon's used prices were cheaper than what we would have paid at GameStop anyways, so it was still a net benefit. I was going to pre-order FF13 from Amazon as well, since i'd heard you could get "release day shipping" for free. Either i heard that in error, or i waited too long, or i'm just not special enough because they wanted to charge me $6 for it. Now i'm not sure if i should just cough up the extra cash, order it from Amazon with free shipping and wait a few extra days, or figure that despite GameStop presumably not ordering enough copies for people who didn't pre-order as usaul, i'll probably be able to pick it up at Best Buy anyways.
Current Mood: busybusy
Kirin: Goomba-transparentkirinn on February 7th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
You'll have to tell me how Mirror's Edge goes - that was a game I was kind of excited about pre-repease and *wanted* to like, but the demo really didn't click for me so I didn't buy it.

I kind of doubt GameStop will under-order FF13. That usually happens with the niche games. Hell, the special edition of FF12 was in stock continuously for years. That reminds me, I should check if there's any pre-order bonuses. And start looking into where I might be able to pick up the limited edition OST for less than an arm and a leg...

Also, that Poseidon's kid thing is an upcoming movie. I was wondering where the hell it came from, and if I was supposed to have heard of it or something.
DonAithnen: Games: Tifa - FF7donaithnen on February 7th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
Shelleycat was interested in the game because she got to watch a friend playing it, and said friend really liked it. And it was only $15.

Yeah, that's pretty much why she picked the book up. I never would have heard of it either except for the movie. Though i'm not sure if the "next Harry Potter" thing is why they decided to make the movie, or if they decided to make the movie and then marketing started pushing the "next Harry Potter" thing.

And the "we'll give you extra stuff if you pre-order" thing that GameStop keeps doing kinda bugs me as well, but i suppose i might strangle my somewhat absurd moral sense and go ahead and pre-order it in this case if they have something good.
balivatn: Hiding Atiabalivatn on February 7th, 2010 07:07 am (UTC)
From what I remember, it does have some similarities to Harry Potter, and it is a young adult series. To me it feels vaguely like Exalted for Kids, but only as I've heard of Exalted (never got to play a game, concept sounded interesting). I have the books on my Kindle, haven't gotten to them yet. So the marketing is going along the lines of "If you liked Harry Potter" and "If you're too young for Clash of the Titans" :)

I heard about it on Journalfen, I think. It also showed up on a random item click on TV Tropes :)
Kirin: tonberrykirinn on February 7th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I certainly hate the fact that pre-order + first week game sales is treated like the only metric that matters in the industry (which is why publishers offer bonuses), and that GameStop corporate pushes pre-orders super hard simply as a way of reducing inventory (which is why they offer bonuses), and that companies have started using "extra" stuff as a way of punishing used sales (which is why publishers offer pre-order only DLC). But that said, if I know I'm gonna buy a game within the first month or so at full price anyway, I'd rather get free stuff that not get free stuff.
Pava: Osaka Sez!jmpava on February 7th, 2010 10:38 am (UTC)
It is quite possible that the free release date shipping (you heard that from me, or at least I'm one of those who mentioned it) is a prime benifit, seeing as the normal prime benefit (free 2 day shipping) wouldn't be all that beneficial for a pre-order.
DonAithnendonaithnen on February 8th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
So a quick search seems to indicate that Amazon Prime costs $80 a year, and pretty much just gets you more free shipping options, or am i missing anything important?

Given that i've made about three Amazon orders in the past year (and was fine with doing the 1-2 week free shipping in all those cases) i'm not sure if it's really worth it for me.

Plus with the recent foofaraw over the Macmillan thing, i'm not sure if this is the best time to jump wholeheartedly into full-on Amazon support.
Pava: OsakaHurahijmpava on February 8th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Heh, my point was simply that's probably why I was seeing that option and you weren't.

Fwiw, Prime allows household sharing, so that's myself, Gina and Cora all on the same account. And between the three of us, yeah, we make a lot of Amazon orders. Also, since Amazon is right here, that means about 75% of our stuff actually comes next day, which is really nice. That said, I certainly never considered bothering with it when it was just me.

Edited at 2010-02-08 08:17 pm (UTC)
DonAithnendonaithnen on February 8th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, i know shelleycat has said before that she orders "a lot of stuff" from Amazon. Perhaps i should check with her on exactly how much "a lot of stuff" is.

Of course Prime probably doesn't cover packages from other retailers through Amazon does it?
(Deleted comment)
DonAithnendonaithnen on February 10th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it certainly seems like it's worth it from a numerical standpoint if you order lots of stuff, so if shelleycat does order a lot it should be simple to calculate the value in that regard. I need to examine how much i care about free 1-2 week shipping vs. "free" 1-2 day shipping though. That part's not quite amenable to simple math unfortunately.
cwendy41cwendy41 on February 7th, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
If you buy things from Gamestop, then you're guaranteed a working copy. If not, you can take it back and get a refund or exchange. If you buy it used from Amazon, it's more of a hassle if it's not working. My experience with Amazon has been good so far, just like my experience with ebay has been good as well. I used to buy lots of used N64 games from ebay. The one time where I got something that was slightly subpar from ebay, the seller was nice enough to give me a full refund without me having to mail it back to him.

It sounds like you enjoy your phone a lot, or at least the web-surfing capabilities when you're out :)
DonAithnendonaithnen on February 8th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Depends on what you mean by "a working copy." You're probably guaranteed to get a copy of the game that's not _physically_ broken, but i've heard a lot of stories of people getting PC games that don't work on their computers and GameStop refusing to take them back. Personally though i've never gotten anything actually busted from either GameStop or Amazon, so it's kind of hard for me to decide between them on that factor.

Yeah, the phone is really cool, despite the not-quite-perfect bits i complain about from time to time :)