Category Archives: Things I bought

I love gadgets, bikes, and all sorts of cool things. I’f I buy something cool I’ll share it here review it and let you know what I think.

Google Maps is now available for iPhone!

Google Maps for iOS 6I am an iPhone junkie! I love my iPhone and I love iOS. That being said I am not Such an Apple fan boy that I am unwilling to call them out when they screw up. I have very high expectations from Apple when it comes to quality, service, and user experience. When I launched the Apple Maps app for the first time I was stunned by how awesome it looked. Downtown Bellevue Washington was beautifully rendered and I thought “This is going to be awesome!” Then I used it… and let’s just be honest here… They sucked. Now for all you Android fans out there. I had an Android phone and I liked it. I REALLY liked the maps on Android. However, the Google Maps I had on my phone was NOT The same maps Android users were getting, and that was what Apple was trying to fix. With that in mind, for me if ONE good thing came out of the whole Apple iOS Maps debacle; it was that I now have turn by turn directions on my Google Maps iPhone app! YAY! so head on over to the app store and download it!

From Google:

People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here—rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store. It’s designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier.

via Google Maps is now available for iPhone | Official Google Blog.

Lego Galaxy Squad!

Pretty much anyone who knows me knows I LOVED the Lego Alien Conquest series and I was VERY sad to see it go. Luckily I got most of the cool sets before it was out of stores and even picked up a couple on clearance at deep discounts! What made me really sad about this particular discontinuation was that there was not good space series once Alien Conquest was gone (Besides the obvious Star Wars stuff I’m also in love with!) I know everyone says any piece is a space piece and I have done some cool things with Ninjago parts but I really like space Legos. It’s nostalgic for me because I grew up on Lego Classic Space.

The newest Lego space series is called Galaxy Squad, and I’m really excited about it! The creatures are cool because it’s a cool mix of insect looking aliens and more classic looking space ships similar to what you build in the Lego MBA set (That I have yet to finish due to some issues at work). I havent bought any of these sets yet, but I promise I will and as soon as I do there will be pictures!

So what do you think? Id Lego Galaxy Squad an epic win or epic fail?

Free on Amazon: Gluten Free Cookbook: Gluten Free Diet and Gluten Free Recipes for Your Good Health

Gluten freeMost people know I have been a paleo eater for a few months now and I thought I’d give a quick update and share a fantastic free resource! As of right now I am down about 25 pounds, but the more important thing is I feel awesome. The two main things Paleo cuts out are gluten (wheat) and dairy. I don’t know wich one has had the bigger effect for me, but I know I can absolutely feel a difference!  A BIG part of eating Paleo if figuring out how to cut gluten. It’s in EVERYTHING! Right now on Amazon you can get a copy of Gluten Free Cookbook: Gluten Free Diet and Gluten Free Recipes for Your Good Health free from Amazon in the Kindle addition. If you have a Kindle or any iOS device or Android tablet you can get the free Kindle app for it and take advantage of this opportunity! I just downloaded this tonight, but I will try to do a more thorough review soon!

If you download this please let me know what you think in the comments!

 

 

Mayfair Games- Le Boomb!

I love fast small games so when I saw Le Boomb at PAX for just $5 I HAD to buy it and give it a go!

Mayfair Games Le Boomb
a game using dice that is very similar to hot potato

Well folks, I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed! For $5 this game is a pretty good value! You get the special Le Boomb Dice and also the black bomb that acts as a carrying case for it. the rules are fairly simple. Roll the dice… If you get the bomb with the fuse your good. If you get the bomb you have to hold the bomb. If someone rolls the explosion while you hold the bomb your out. I know it sounds overly simple, but it is fun and I hear that there is NO WAY this could be converted to any sort of drinking game! ( he he he!)

Anyway… I played this at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) while waiting in line for events and again with my wife and 3 year old Sarah this morning and the game was a BIG hit. Sarah got it immediately and had a blast! She did NOT want to stop playing. I can see this as a good backpack/ purse game that you could pull out in a restaurant and play with friends or to keep the kids calm or as a warm up game while waiting to get your weekly RPG going.

For such a simple game I have really enjoyed it so far and highly recommend it for anyone looking to kill a few minutes with good clean fun!

Do you have games like this that you enjoy? Share them with me! I love learning about new games and am always looking for new stuff to play!

 

Code Hero – PAX Game Trailer!

Code Hero screen shotI purchased Code Hero several months ago while it was seeking funding on Kickstarter because I’m a gamer, and I’m also very interested in making games and learning to code so I thought a game that taught Unity and Javascript was a GREAT way to learn. Funding the Kickstarter gave you access to a proof of concept level and since playing through that I have been impatiently waiting for its launch! Well I saw the Code Hero booth at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) last weekend and I have to say I am VERY glad the guys at Primer Labs are taking their time and making this game right!

Here is the PAX trailer:

Here is the original trailer used for Kickstarter showing the proof of concept level:

As you can see the PAX trailer has a LOT more polish and gives a lot more insight into how the Unity Game Engine is simulated through the game to modify the world and teach skills that can be translated into actual game development ability. I had a chance to talk to Alex the Lead developer at PAX and he said things got a little crazy leading up to PAX but that the Alpha build would be released to all Kickstarter backers in the next week or two. As you can see when comparing the two videos it’s well worth the wait! He also hinted that there was more Code Hero DLC coming where other skills would be taught like compiling a Linux Kernel! His goal is to be able to traing software engineers using nothing but games! I’m really excited to be along for the ride!

Did you back the Kickstarter for this? What do you think about games being used to teach real life skills?

LEGO Master Builder Academy Set #20200 MBA Space Designer Kit 1

I have been playing with Legos for a long time, but I was never able to design my own stuff that was anywhere near as cool as the kits I bought or the things I saw that were built by official Lego Master Builders.  So I was shopping at the Bellevue Lego Store a couple of months ago when I stumbled upon the Lego Master Builder Academy Kit 1 and holy cow! This thing is cool! First of all it has plans for three space ships (And a jetpack for the limited edition minifigure)  included in the box of parts making it a good value already but more importantly the book includes detailed instructions with tips from Lego Master Builders on things like locking and sideways building. If that wasn’t enough it also includes instructions for building several more models online as well as access to cool videos and tips from real Lego Master builders and an online community to share your creations.

Here are some pictures of ships I built with kit 1:

Lego Master Builder Kit 1 SpaceshipLego Master Builder Kit 1 SpaceshipLego Master Builder Kit 1 SpaceshipLego Master Builder Kit 1 RocketLego Master Builder Kit 1 Rocket with Alien Encounters Tripod WalkerLego Master Builder Kit 1 SpaceshipLego Master Builder Kit 1 SpaceshipLego Master Builder Academy Kit 1 Minifigure with Jetpack

The Master Builder Academy also has an option to subscribe to a service that will send you the next 7 Lego MBA kits (Micro Building, Robots, Flight, Creatures, Auto, Adventure, and Outdoor Adventure. Each of these kits will build on the skills used in the kits before it teaching you new building styles and expanding what you though was possible with Lego bricks.

I am a BIG fan of this kit. I learned a lot about building and how to use some of the specialty bricks in new ways and I had a great time building with my wife and daughters. As you can see in the background of some of the pictures we build together and I feel like this gives us a lot of quality time together many families are looking for. So if you are looking for something do that will pull the family together and is also educational give Lego a GO! I’ll make sure to include updates to this post as I complete the optional online builds.

 

-Brad