Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas in November

A number of weeks ago, my girlfriend and I started to discuss the holidays - how much time we were going to take off from our respective jobs, how much time we'd spend together and with our respective families, and how much we were going to spend on presents for each other. Last year we set a budget of how much to spend on each other and did a good job of staying within that budget.

This year we decided to get a 'big' gift for the two of us, which took up a bulk of the budget, and will get a couple smaller things.

This is how I try to decide what smaller item to get.. "Babe, I was going to get you X or Y. Is it something you'd want? Do you care? Okay.. well, then act surprised." I did manage a few surprises last year, so not everything I get is as lame sounding as that fake conversation. Not everything..

So this years big 'us' gift was a Nintendo Wii Console with Wii Fit and Sports Pack

I hemmed and hawed about it until my GF proposed a stipulation about the purchase - if we didn't use it at least 3-4 times a week, we would give it all away for free. That's not saying that we're up at all hours trying to get to the next level of Call of Duty or something, but that we're putting in at least 60 minutes a day of use to get our monies worth.

Aside from that, my glowing review is that it's really cool! I never had a video game console growing up, and would have to play Q*bert on my neighbors Atari, Kid Icarus at the sitter's house on Nintento, or Tetris when babysitting my cousins, so I only have those experiences to compare it with. I grew up playing outside until the porch light went on, making 'houses' by raking leaves into a blueprint of a one story house, and begging to stay out longer. I enjoy the bowling part of Wii Sports and working on my Balance my heading soccer balls (and dodging cleats and decapitated panda heads) as part of Wii Fit. As a spectator, you'll get a good core workout from laughing so much when watching others trying to head the soccer balls. It's friggin hilarious when they get hit in the face and the head whips back.

I was happy that my Wii Age is 'only' 33 when my sister scored a 43 during her first assessment and my GF a 50. She brought it down to a 36 after doing some of the basic yoga poses and playing around for about an hour with other balance, aerobic, and strength exercises. It's a little easier when you know the tests and how to control your balance. Your weight (it was pretty accurate) and BMI also plays into the Wii Age, but I wouldn't live and die by that age.

I've only tried a few of the Wii Sports games - boxing, baseball, and bowling. I enjoy the training that you can do for each sport, which I've tried for boxing, golf, baseball, tennis, and bowling. The controller and the timing takes a little getting used to, but nothing you can't figure out with a little trial and error. And with that, you'll be amazed at how quickly the time flies by because there's always "just one more time!"

The only additional games we've purchased so far are Wii Play and one of an Outdoor Challange. I don't expect to get anymore anytime soon since there's enough variety with what we have to keep us entertained. I do have my eye on Guitar Hero and DDR in the near future. I'm not really into Action or Role-Playing type games, but that remains to be seen. I want to keep the butt-sitting to a minimum and the activity level up, so sitting on a stability ball and working on my core stabilizing muscles isn't really considered increasing my activity level. However, I do see myself practicing my left handed batting stance, boxing stance, and golf swing in the near future. I don't want one arm or one side of me stronger than the other, so why not mix it up a bit?


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