Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Happy Memorial Day 
National Memorial Day Parade  2012

 Click Here to read about my grand father a Vietnam Veteran.

Non Americans might wonder what is Memorial Day and why we celebrate it.  Well it's a holiday in the Unites States that observes the men and women who fought in wars to protect our country.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Alibi In Ashes

Title: Alibi In Ashes
Distributor: HER Interactive
Date Released: October 18th, 2011
Age Groups: 10 to Adult


No more wild, crazy, and exotic places for Nancy! She's going home to River Heights (finally!) to compete in a Clues Challenge with George, Bess, and Ned. But as soon as Nancy arrives home, she soon finds that not everyone is as excited as Togo the dog to see her.

At the beginning of, the game, Nancy finds a note on her desk, telling her to come to the town hall. When Nancy arrives, she finds herself locked inside a room that is about to go up in flames! When Nancy finally gets out, though, she is accused of arson, and is sent to jail!

But Chief McGinnis is not to sure about Nancy burning down the town hall, and makes a deal with her: if she can round up enough evidence to prove that she's innocent, he'll let her out of jail. But Nancy can't do it alone, can she?(Hello, she's in jail!) So Nancy Drew calls in her friends, George, Bess, and Ned, (playable characters) to sleuth around outside, and interrogate suspects.

With their help, Nancy is sure she can come up with enough evidence to pin the dirty deed on someone else.


Nancy Drew: The brave and intelligent 18-year-old amateur detective of River Heights and pretty much everywhere else. Nancy spends most of the game in the police station (jail) because she was wrongly accused of arson. Nancy calls her friends and has them investigate the town because she can't. Her dad is in Australia during the game, and often cannot be reached. Her dog, Togo, is staying with George.

Georgina "George" Fayne:

Bess's smart, sleek, and cool cousin who loves electronics. She is a playable character in the game, and can be found (by other characters) in Nancy's living room, sitting on the couch. George's appearance has changed from Ransom Of The Seven Ships, and Shadow At The Water's Edge.

Elizabeth "Bess" Marvin:

George's pretty, girly and ice cream-loving cousin. She is a playable character, just like George. She can be found (by other characters) sitting at a table outside of "Scoop", Antonia Benson's ice cream shop. According to Bess, she is sitting there eating every flavor imaginable while spying on Deirdre Shannon, the girl sitting at the next table. Like George, Bess's appearance has changed.

Ned Nickerson:

Nancy's boyfriend. Ned is very protective of Nancy, often telling her to be careful. He is a playable character, like the cousins, although he is not seen during the game. Nancy uses him to get information out of Deirdre.

Deirdre Shannon:

Deirdre's rich, snooty, and jealous (of Nancy). Deirdre has envied Nancy since they were children, and is tired of her parents nagging her about how adventurous, smart, and responsible Nancy is. She likes Ned, Nancy's boyfriend, and is constantly trying to get him to notice her throughout the game. She's really not sure what to think of Nancy's arrest.

Alexei Markovic:

Alexei Markovic is an antique shop owner, and a suspect. He is sometimes grumpy, though quite kind to certain people, even if his face may say otherwise. He used to be a hot-shot detective before a mix-up ruined him almost completely. Alexei believes Nancy is innocent. He does not like Bess, on account of she broke his old vase, and refuses let her touch or buy anything, or answer any of her questions.

Antonia "Toni" Scallari:

A somewhat cheesy elected official for River Heights who runs the local ice cream parlor, Scoop. Antonia can be interrogated for clues. She seems warm and inviting, while there may be something she's hiding from people. She does not think Nancy is innocent, and hints that to Bess.

Brenda Carlton:*

*One of my favorite characters (next to Bess). Brenda is a pretty and mean news reporter. She does not like Nancy for stealing her spotlight and getting to the crime scene before her. She is a... word twister. For Example:

Brenda: Does she (Nancy) have any enemies?

Bess: Well, she solves crimes so there might be some hard feelings from the people she's gotten into trouble.

Brenda: She solves crimes so she must be pretty familiar with how criminals cover up their tracks.

Bess: Yeah, she knows all of the tricks. Wait. What are you getting at?

Brenda: If anyone could get away with the perfect crime, it'd be Nancy, right?

Bess: I don't know about that.

Brenda: So you think there's potential she won't get away with burning Town Hall.

Bess: That's not what I said at all!

Disclaimer: (I do not own these lines, these are by HER Interactive)

Of course, Brenda denies Nancy's innocence.

Chief McGinnis:

Chief McGinnis is head of the River Heights Police department, and is a very good friend of Nancy's. But when she is supposedly accused of arson, he doesn't have a choice but to take her to jail. Chief McGinnis knows Nancy is innocent, and is willing to let her gather enough information to prove she's innocent.


Overall, I thought this game was the best Nancy Drew game in the series! Sure, the game doesn't take place anywhere too exotic, but nothing is really ever revealed about Nancy's home in the games except Nancy's desk, and sometimes some of her room.. I like the goodies Hannah sent Nancy that were in the police station. She had everything from Koko Kringle Bars to Oranges and Lollipops in that basket!

I also like how you could order all the different flavors of ice cream, without being on a budget. My favorite one was the "All American Apple Pie".

I totally loved this game (and some of the puzzles!), so I will give it a jumbo 5 stars!

Happy sleuthing!

Shadow At The Water's Edge

Title: Shadow At The Water's Edge
Distributor: HER Interactive
Date Released: October 19th, 2010
Age Groups: 10 to Adult

(Just for a heads up, I'd recommend this for older kids. *POSSIBLE SPOILER*Nancy encounters strange, ghostly images, footprints, and messages. ) Mouse over shaded area to see spoiler.


Awesome! It's time for Nancy Drew to relax in Kyoto, Japan with her two BFFs, while teaching Japanese grade-schoolers American English and grammar in the mornings, and staying at a cozy and cultural Japanese ryokan owned by a family at night. But Nancy Drew discovers that hot baths and tea are not all that awaits her at the ryokan.

As soon as Nancy Drew arrives at the inn, strange and sinister things are already happening; doing much harm to the family's reputation. The inn is said to be haunted, and scary sounds and images are scaring away guests. So as always, Nancy Drew grabs her magnifying glass and steps in.

Nancy explores Japan, and while gathering clues, makes bento, solves math puzzles such as Sudoku and Nonograms, makes shocking discoveries, and of course, has a little fun making pictures and playing Pachinko. Sayonara!


Nancy Drew: As the lead character, 18-year-old Nancy Drew, amateur sleuth investigates a supposedly haunted inn. Nancy is brave, fearless, and intelligent. Nancy is part of a teaching program for Japanese students, so she has papers to grade (educational value). She is the only playable character in the game.

Georgina "George" Fayne:


George is one of Nancy's best friends; Bess's cousin. During the game, George and her cousin Bess are at a Japanese Expo; (they couldn't get tickets for Nancy). She can be called for hints.

Elizabeth "Bess" Marvin, (Left girl, blond):

Bess is George's cousin and Nancy's other friend. She is with George, at the expo during the game. She can be called for hints as well.

Shimizu Yumi:


The oldest sister of the Shimizu family. Yumi's mother died when she was fifteen. As oldest daughter, Yumi was supposed to take over the ryokan, but she left it for a wild, hip, very pink, and fashionable city life. She owns a bento stand at the expo. Yumi is always wearing a crazy pink outfit that she made herself; she has a closet full of pink clothes she made herself. Nancy talks to her during the game, and assembles bento boxes for her when Yumi falls behind in her work. At one point you can explore Yumi's also very pink apartment. She has a real blog you can go to, called "Let's Happy Bento!" Yumi does not have a Japanese accent, but a high, squeaky voice.

Shimizu Miwako: 

The younger sister of Yumi. Miwako was very young when their mother died. Unlike Yumi, Miwako is simple, plain, responsible, and slightly insecure. Yumi is supposed to be running the inn, but Miwako has taken her place. Miwako works at the ryokan's front desk, so she is the victim of many rude complaints from guests whose families are scared in the middle of the night by ghostly sounds and images. She has a robotic cat named Suki that her boyfriend, Rentaro, got her, since she is not allowed a real cat inside the ryokan.

Aihara Rentaro: 

The awkward, and clumsy handyman and boyfriend of Miwako. He was the Shimizu's neighbor when they were kids. Rentaro is weird and somewhat annoying, often getting into fights with his girlfriend. He loves to give Nancy number puzzles to do. Nancy finishes them all, of course.

Nagai Takae:

As the mother of the deceased Kasumi, and 祖母 to Miwako and Yumi, Takae is "in charge", and all changes must be clarified by her before they are made. She is very cultural and offers lessons on things such as calligraphy. Takae believes that Kasumi's ghost has come back for revenge, and that is why guests are being scared away, but Nancy thinks otherwise. According to Rentaro, Takae likes to give lectures, and he is often the "victim" of them.


This was a great game, (scary sometimes), and I would play it again, if I wasn't so excited about the Tomb Of The Lost Queen! Go HER Interactive! Nancy Drew is so fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Everything On A Waffle

Title: Everything On A Waffle
Author: Polly Horvath
Pages: 150
Date Published: 2001
Age Groups: 8-13


In a small Canadian fishing village, there is a little eleven-year old girl named Primrose Squarp. Primrose likes sweaters and views things from a sometimes bizarre perspective. But when Primrose's parents supposedly perish at sea, a everyone is scrambling to get her into foster care... or the care of her active and busy Uncle Jack. But Primrose knows her parents didn't die at sea. She knows they are still alive, even if everybody doesn't exactly believe her.

At first, Uncle Jack is reluctant to take Primrose in, and Primrose is not sure if he likes her or not, but then she gradually starts to like him, even if he leaves her at home all the time while he sells real estate, and lets older boys use his gym while she is home.

Primrose's favorite restaurant is The Girl On The Red Swing, where she goes to help the owner, Miss Bowzer, and collect recipes. At The Girl On The Red Swing, everything is served on a waffle, even Shepard's Pie.

As Primrose goes through her twisted and odd life without parents, accidents, a dog, and a rude Miss Honeycut, she finds many people who make her laugh, feel sad, and feel happy.

Main Characters 

Primrose Squarp: Primrose is an eleven-year-old Canadian girl who is newly "orphaned", and has a unique and sometimes bizarre perspective of things. She takes her uncle's dog to the beach often. Miss Honeycut thinks she is emotionally unstable, on account of her constant injuries and such.

Uncle Jack: Uncle Jack is the charming, blonde uncle of Primrose Squarp. He is a developer. Jack has a gym in his house that he lets the boys at Primrose's school use. Miss Honeycut is constantly blushing around him. Uncle Jack is very "heroic" at times. His dog is named Mallomar.

Miss Honeycut: Miss Honeycut is the closest thing Coal Harbour has for a guidance counselor. She is very snippy and rude, and she has "royal blood". Miss Honeycut is always arranging "talks" with her and Primrose during school about Primrose's parents and her "issues", but Miss Honeycut shows an obvious dislike for Primrose, and thinks she will hurt herself if she is left alone. Primrose says her Pear soup tastes terrible, and she even gives a recipe for it.

Miss Perfidy: An old woman whom the town was paying to take care of Primrose for a short while. Miss Perfidy has an odd habit of walking out of a room as soon as Primrose is about to say something. I think Miss Perfidy stated she had something similar to deja vu, but Primrose stated that she thought Miss Perfidy was "failing". Primrose says Miss Perfidy's biscuits taste horrible, and she gives a recipe for them also. Apparently, she always smells of mothballs.

Miss Bowzer: The owner and chef of The Girl On The Red Swing, Primrose's favorite restaurant. She has a lively friendship with Primrose, although she despises Prim's uncle because he wants to have Miss Bowzer's restaurant torn down so something classier can be built. Miss Bowzer shows Primrose how to cook many foods; a lot of Primrose's recipes are from Miss Bowzer. Miss Bowzer hates Miss Honeycut.

Mallomar: Mallomar is Uncle Jack's, preferably Primrose's, dog. Primrose named her after her favorite cookie; she describes her as "round and white and black like a Mallomar". Mallomar grows from a young puppy who likes to chase the seagulls on the beach Primrose takes her to, to a more mature but loving puppy.


In conclusion, this was a very odd, dramatic, and funny children's book that kept me reading without interruptions almost the whole way through. I loved the recipes at the end of each chapter, and Primrose was such and interesting character, who always had the funniest and most backwards things to say to adults.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Food Models

You like hamburgers, right?

Let's say it's Friday and you're coming home from work or school or wherever, and you have a hamburger some hobo-looking guy on the street offered you for free. You're about to take a bite when you realize-

 It's PLASTIC...

 Apparently that hobo was either mistaken or really wanted you to eat plastic...

Anyway, I learned that wax food models were used often in Japanese restaurants for people who had a hard time reading the menus. So they restaurant workers got wax models of their food (really cool) and displayed them for their customers to choose from.

File:Food samples 1.jpg