Travo's Fifth Annual Christmas Party.

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Merry Christmas! The party's a little late this year, but that's alright. I'm your host..

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Travo!

This year, we'll have a seafood feast with shrimp kabobs.

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An oyster roast..

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And a southern favorite, a Low Country Boil.

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Doesn't it look delicious? Mmmmm.

Let's add a little beer to wash it all down with..

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Ah, that's better.

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Ah, glad you could make it!

We all have something to celebrate even if times are tough. I've had one crazy year, with some highs, and lots of lows. But now, during the Christmas season, I'm gonna remember the good things in life. I'm glad to get 2012 out of the way and am certainly looking forward to the upcoming year and the arrival of my baby girl in April.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Glad you can make it. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I just want you to know that you are all the jolliest bunch of **** this side of the nuthouse.

Merrry Christmas!

What have you been reading lately?

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I just got into 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series by George R. R. Martin and I have to admit they are excellent. I've heard about the series for years, many users claimed they were a favorite book series of theirs. I kept telling myself that I would get around to reading them one day. Of course, it took hype from the HBO show before I would really consider actually buying a book and it was a wise decision. I'm currently near the ned of the second book and am sure I'll dive right into the third. How good is this series? I've haven't touched a videogame in weeks, which is quite an accomplishment for me. I'm not sure if these will end up becoming my favorite book series, but I suspect they will be near the top. If you haven't watched the HBO show...don't till after you've read the books. It's so much richer that way.

So, what are you reading lately?

Do you have an old crush?

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I named mine.

http://thevgpress.com/#!/do/seeComment.php?externalID=2129&commentType=4&date=1334234896&id=133783

Feel free to join us at the VGPress where we talk about games, movies and ...ahem..vasectomies. You know, the important things in life. We even have weekly podcasts with Aspro and Tom Towers plus a slew of guests.

It's Travo's fourth annual outdoor Christmas shindig!

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Merry Christmas to all! Let's party. I'm your gracious host...

Travo!

Now let's take this party outside this year. It's been very warm for a December, so why not? Since this party is now an outdoor party so we need a bonfire.

How about these guys singing Christmas tunes for us?

They make take requests for Kumbaya.

How about some Marshmallows and hotdogs for roasting? Roasted weenies?

Plus regular Christmas food as well

And let's not forget the Christmas sprits to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Oh, I meant these spirits..

But I won't be so quick to kick her out.

Anyway, enjoy the party and join me on the dance floor. There are free refills for everyone, so have a Merry Christmas!

What's shaking?

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Hey, everyone! I realized it's been months since my last blog and life has happened, sometimes at an accelerated pace, it seems. I've barely had any time to visit this site during the last couple of months. We started off November with a cancer scare in the family. My dad went to the emergency room for bronchitis and they saw spots on his lungs that could have possibly be malignant cancer cells. My dad is no stranger to cancer, having skin cancer about fifteen years ago. He underwent surgery that removed the cancer from under the skin on his face. This time, there was no cancer, just enlarged lymph nodes that will have to be watched. My father is really quite lucky, or unlucky, however you view it. He has type 2 Diabetes, has had two heart attacks and one stroke, plus all of the problems with cancer. He's gone through quite a lot in his short, sixty-one years here. So why am I blogging about all of this? Dunno, really. I guess as a message to not take your health for granted. Maybe as a reminder to not to take family for granted or that maybe life is too short. Maybe we should all be aware of our family histories to better prepare ourselves. My family history is certainly a wake up call. Sorry for the gloomy message. I considered a blog on my son's success in potty training. :P I promise my next blog later this month will be very cheery.

Report card time! Grade the Wii!

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Plenty of time has passed during this generation and all of us have had plenty of time to try out all three of this gen's consoles.Now, what's the verdict? Which is the best?How does the controller feel?Are the exclusive games worth it?Do the visuals pass muster?Online capability?

I'm giving out letter grades here, college style: A (4.0), B+ (3.5), B(3.0), C+ (2.5), C (2.0), D+ (1.5), D(1.0), F (0.0 Didn't think we needed a half point if they failed)

Nintendo Wii

Controller-The minute I got ahold of the Wii controller, I was in love.I love the design of it, the seperate nuchuk and remote, the ability to fight in Zelda using actual motions.It was perfect.Then I tried Wii Sports and was in heaven.It was 1:1 control, but it was still fun.I love how it turned game control on it's ear.If I needed a steering wheel, I just turn it horizontally.If I need a gun, I just aimed it at the screen.It simply felt revolutionary.

Of course, after a year, the honeymoon was over.There were too many games that had tacked on motion controls.The motion seemed imprecise at times.A lot of developers weren't really taking advantage of the motion controller, only Nintendo, it seemed.It was also unfortunate that you needed other attachments to play games...Wii balance board, classic controller.We even had to add another attachment for true 1:1 motion control.All of these things can add up, price-wise.Not to mention the clutter.

In the end, the good outweighed the bad.A part of me is sad to see Nintendo pretty much abandon motion controls for next gen. because it seemed so revolutionary.Controller grade- B+

Interface/visuals-Yeah, it's true, Wii graphics are not next gen.But in 2006,I was still impressed by what I saw.Nintendo was bringing out the big guns and, boy, did they look impressive.It would be difficult to find any flaws in Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy.Over time, the divide between Wii's visuals and others got wider.If you owned an HDTV, things got worse.Maybe it's all in the timing for me since I didn't start gaming with an HDTV till this year, butit's certainly a turnoff now.If I had a choice between getting a multiplatform game on the Wii or on another console, I would probably choose the other because of the downgraded visuals.

The Wii channels were brilliant, easy to navigate and easy to use. I loved arranging my VC games by order of preference.The Mario games were all on the first page. Mii's were also a work of genius.Remember all the time you used to spend creating the different, celebrity Miis?Using Miis also elevate some of the mediocre shovelware that the wii received.C+

Online- The online aspect started out slowly, but great.We were getting some awesome Virtual Console games, three a week.Smash Bros and Mario Kart were perfect for online.I spent countless hours playing Brawl against online opponents.Then Nintendo just completely dropped the ball here.What happened?

Uhhh...I didn't like Nintendo's approach to online gaming at all.Friend codes, again? Seriously?Didn't I just enter a code already to be friends with someone, now I've gotta do it again to play Animal Crossing with them?And the microphone?A glorified baby monitor?Plus, where did the VC games go?D+

Exclusives-This is where Nintendo will always shine brightest and they certainly pulled out all the stops here.During the Wii's lifetime, we got TWO incredible Mario games, one 2D Mario platformer, two Zeldas, another AAA Metroid Prime a 2D Metroid platformer, a Donkey Kong Country revival, Punchout, Wii Sports...It's amazing all the exclusives we've seen, so a grade of A

Overrall-The Wii started out strong out of the gate, but is now limping to the finish line. Where are the games for us Americans?Online didn't turn out like it should and had a very archaic system for onliner play.

But we can't forget the Mii's, exclusive Nintendo games, revolutionary controller and the huge number of Virtual Console games that were released.

Overral grade- B

Wii Valedictorian- Super Mario Galaxy

I got a perfect achievement again.

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Yesterday, I got 1000/1000 score from L.A. Noire. I honestly don't know what possessed me to go for it, it wasn't that great of a game. I guess once I found all of the cars I knew I should go for it. So I five-starred all the missions and found the last five locations. It was certainly a flawed game, like how you could only perform certain actions such as firing a warning shot only during certain parts of the game. You could also nearly fail the questioning and still have enough proof to accuse someone. That's not to say it didn't have a lt of fun parts, but it was frustrating at times. I really wished I had gotten it for the PS3 now since it was only one disc and that would've have been my first platinum trophy.

End the end, I would probably score it about a 9.

Has it really been two years?

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Two years ago tomorrow, I was sitting on the couch typing this blog. Baby J. is no longer a baby, he's just J. Well, to avoid confusion, I'll call him Little J on here. He's doing very well, very mischievious and somewhat defiant. That little personality of his is coming out. Of course we'll celebrate tomorrow with a "Buzz, Buzz" theme (Toy Story), his favorite. If we go a day without a viewing of "Buzz" then look out.