I couldn't find the sprites for a certain type of lava from Super Mario World anywhere on the internet. Sure, the standard non-moving, bubbling, lava is out there, but I wanted the lava that skull platforms ride on. So, I went and ripped them, and I'm sharing them here, because I can.
Years ago I hacked my Wii, and I was/am thrilled with it. I have no interest in pirating games, but I'm very interested in my kids not scratching the game discs, and leaving them out to be ruined. Hacking my Wii allowed me to hook up a hard drive to the Wii, and show them how to play any/every game we own without ruining another (expensive) disc. I'm not going to bother trying to do a comprehensive write-up of how I went about doing it, but I'm doing a clean-up of all of my (still) open tabs, and all of these go together. In case you're a person who cares about this sort of thing, you get the benefit of having some helpful links together. If you're not a person who cares, you'll likely ignore this, as you have with so much other stuff on my site.
The other night I was asked if I had a recommendation for earphones, and after gushing about a pair for 10 minutes, I figured I should share with the rest of you (acknowledging how few people will actually read this). I was tired of going through three pairs of earphones in the $40-$50 range every year, and finally ponied-up for a nicer pair of earphones, and I struck immediate gold. I love Shure's SE215 earphones. I do. I love them. My wife was jealous of the overflowing words of praise I had for them, and she will likely shake her head at seeing this post. Regardless, here's why I love them:
Sound quality - These things sound great. They pick up all the subtleties of my music that I love to hear. You'd think that bass would be missed with these things, but without spending $300-$1000, it'll be hard to beat the range these have. Part of what makes it easy to hear everything is the sound-isolating nature of the earphones. Think of wearing some in-ear earplugs, now pipe some music through those. You're no longer battling with all the traffic noises (for those of us who constantly drive with our windows down), or noisy coworkers. It's just you, and the music.
Shure - Maybe it's too early in the review to say this, but I've needed to use the warranty for earphones (for a now-discontinued model). That being said, Shure has been a pleasure to work with. Replacing $100 earphones? Send them in, replace them for $50. Yes, you read that correctly. I'm not easy on my earphones, and I use them all the time. Despite going through somewhere around six pairs of these earphones, the warranty service has been great. The better part? Shure has only made their products better. That leads me to...
Changeable parts - As I mentioned, Shure's previous (now-discontinued) model was the first pair I stumbled upon, and I still went through several pairs of those. Sometimes the wire would fray right above the ear, as the cord loops around to the back of the head. Sometimes it would fray right by the earphone connector. Both of these were frustrating, since this was the cheap part of the earphones that was breaking - not the expensive part (the earphone itself). So, here's what I love about Shure - they learned, and put out a better product, for the same price:
The cord - Shure's new cord for the SE215 is its own part, completely detachable from the actual earbuds. If your cord frays, you don't need to go out and buy new earphones, just buy a new cable. $30. No biggie. How often should you expect to buy a new cord? I've been on my current cord for 2 years, so not very often. "How can it last for 2 years, if you're not easy on them?" Shure made their new cables reinforced around the ear. These cords now hold their shape fresh out of the box, thanks to whatever support they've added to the cable.
The sleeves - Have you been using the same earbuds, daily, for 2 years? Let's be honest - despite washing your ears, they're not the cleanest things, and the sleeves to your earbuds show it. You need new ones, but what company would make replacement sleeves? Shure. How about a 10-pack? Exactly what I purchased when the time was right. Need a different size, or material? Shure has you covered.
Did I mention that I loved this company? It might seem counter-intuitive to make your products better for the same price. But here's what they have in me: a customer for life, and an entire blog post about how much I love their headphones.
(We'll ignore my alternate love affair with Shure's SRH440's, with the alternate velour earpads. These things are amazingly comfortable, even with a gigantic head. They let your ears breathe, never make your head/ears hot, but they also provide great sound.)
Last night I finished cross stitching this. I didn't measure, but I think it took me around five hours. Why did I all of a sudden decide to cross stitch something? Part of it had to do with my mother cross stitching when I was young, and another part probably had to do with my daughter getting a small sewing kit for Christmas. In that kit was a cross stitch sampler, and that curiosity of cross-stitching was re-ignited. I didn't want to make a Precious Moments cross stitch, so I went to a theme I could enjoy - Zelda. I'll spare you too many details, but I can at least leave you with these few resources if you want to maybe give it a shot yourself:
SpriteStitch.com - A respectable source for various patterns. What's even better is that people will happily convert images to patterns for you.
Here is the pattern I used. Obviously I didn't use each of the pieces. I just wanted Link hoisting the Triforce.
If you want some pattern they don't offer, look for some video game sprites, put something together in Paint, and ask nicely for somebody to make it for you.
Spend some time on YouTube watching how to cross stitch. There are lots of videos, and it's pretty easy to get going.
I'm already debating what my next project might be. I doubt this will become my new passion, but it's a good way to unwind, and have something to show for your time.
As I barely just talked about, I've created another G2 music mix for Mary, because it's been a while since I last created one (despite having posted about the prior mix earlier today). She doesn't yet know about this mix, yet here I am posting about it. Let's just hope she doesn't read her feeds before I present it to her later today. There's no theme to the music for this G2, just that it's enjoyable. Read more...