The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Entertainment Centers

My husband and I have had our 37-inch LCD television since last Christmas, but we still don’t have a proper entertainment center for it. It’s currently balanced (a bit precariously) on the stand that we were using for our old CRT TV, which was for a 28-inch unit. We just haven’t had the money to buy something different.

But hopefully that will change in the next couple of months. My husband should get a sizable Christmas bonus this year, so we ought to be able to apply some of that money towards a nice entertainment center. I was looking at Studio RTA furniture earlier this evening and saw some nice ones. I particularly like the one made with a steel frame and tempered glass (pictured below). It would look great in our living room and match our other furniture very nicely!

entertainment-center.jpg

Planning for Retirement

My mom is nearing retirement age, so she now spends a great deal of time trying to get her future figured out. She already knows that she doesn’t want to stay in the Chicago area after she retires. There’s simply no reason she should have to put up with the brutal weather in her golden years, so I don’t blame her for wanting to get out of here. She’s now checking into different communities in California, Arizona, and Florida.

At this moment, my mom is most interested in Broward county real estate. There are some beautiful properties in the area, and the location, climate, and variety of activities are exactly what she’s looking for. If she can save up some more money in the next few years, she’ll be able to afford a very nice home or condo near Ft. Lauderdale.

I would love to have a good excuse to visit South Florida several times per year, so I hope my mom decides to stick with Broward County!

save our homes

Pac ‘N Roll for Nintendo DS

pnr After getting off to a rough start at preschool this year (crying, not participating in activities), my son has been doing great for the past few weeks. I therefore decided to reward him by buying a new game for his Nintendo DS, as it’s been a while since the last new title. It was tough trying to find something that a four-and-a-half year old can play, but I eventually settled on something called Pac ‘N Roll.

Pac ‘N Roll is loosely based on the old Pac-Man game that took the entire world by storm in the 1980s. By “loosely based,” I mean you play as Pac-Man, you eat pellets, and you have ghosts chasing you. Other than those components, however, Pac ‘N Roll is quite different from the original in actual gameplay.

pnr-screen1.jpg Gameplay in Pac ‘N Roll consists of using the NDS stylus to maneuver Pac-Man through various worlds. You more or less just follow a single trail of pellets from beginning to end, trying to avoid ghosts along the way. There are the usual power pellets that allow you to defeat the ghosts, and this game also includes special “modifier items” like a suit of armor or pair of wings that accordingly influence the speed and agility of Pac-Man.

Each world only takes a few minutes to complete (at least in the beginning stages; I haven’t made it all the way through the game yet), which is a plus because you can knock out a few levels while waiting at the dentist office or whatever.

pnr-screen2.jpg Unfortunately, I didn’t take the extensive stylus usage into account when buying this game for my son. At his age, he simply doesn’t have the manual dexterity required to control the stylus precisely enough to play Pac ‘N Roll, so after a few frustrating attempts, he had to give up on the game. I wish there was a way to toggle the controls between the stylus and the directional keys, but that’s not the case. So for now my son has to settle for watching me play the game. Hopefully he’ll be able to handle the stylus a little better in a few months, so we’ll definitely try again later.

Overall, Pac ‘N Roll for the Nintendo DS is a decent game. I must have missed the age recommendation in the product description while I was shopping otherwise I wouldn’t have bought this for my kid. Oh, well. I think I paid $19.99 for the game, so it’s not a big deal to have it sit on the shelf for a while.

(Click images to enlarge.)