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Alex plays Portal

Alex’s full play through of the original Portal is now available as a playlist on his YouTube channel.

He has a little help from me and Amy, but does quite a bit of it himself.

You are going to watch the whole thing right? It is 11 episodes. They total 3 hours, 52 minutes, and 21 seconds of game play. I’ve watched all of it, so should you!

Probably not at one sitting though…

Pics from Nov 2014

937 pictures for the month. First cut got it down to 50. Second cut got it to the required 1 per day 30 for the month of November.

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2014-11-01 01:13 UTC – Remember I divide things based on Universal time, so in Seattle Trick or Treat is early on November 1st and that is how we start the month. For the second year running, Brandy made Alex a train as his costume. He also wore a conductor-like outfit.

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2014-11-01 02:08 UTC – The train leaves the station with Grandma Ruth right behind.

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2014-11-01 02:14 UTC (picture by Grandma Ruth) – At first, all the stops were like this. Alex insisting on hiding in the train while begging me to do the doorbell ringing to collect his candy.

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2014-11-01 02:34 UTC – Later, after a bit of coaxing, we got him to actually go up and ring the bell.

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2014-11-01 02:34 UTC – After which he would immediately turn and run. He would then hide in the train again.

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2014-11-01 02:56 UTC (Picture by Grandma Ruth) – Eventually toward the end, he finally (reluctantly) did the whole thing himself a couple of times.

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2014-11-01 03:57 UTC (picture by Brandy) – This was Amy’s first outfit for Freaknight.

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2014-11-01 04:04 UTC – Trick or Treating over, Alex wants us to inspect some food he found.

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2014-11-02 01:1? UTC (picture by Brandy) – Amy was going to be Chell (from Portal and Portal 2) for her second costume for Freaknight, but it was canceled for this evening. Amy was sad.

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2014-11-02 01:14 UTC – Amy was not the only one in the family into Portal though, and Alex wanted a turn at the Portal Device.

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2014-11-04 20:35 UTC – Alex was working hard in his workshop on new train layouts, but it wouldn’t do quite what he wanted, so he was getting very frustrated. Not much later, this particular layout was no more.

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2014-11-07 00:54 UTC – I got a pic of a nice sunset in Lynnwood, WA.

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2014-11-08 20:23 UTC – Roscoe wants to know why I am taking his picture.

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2014-11-13 21:59 UTC – Alex had a trip to the dentist that required him to be asleep via anesthesia. This was right afterwards. He had roused enough that they were OK sending him home, but he was still basically asleep.

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2014-11-13 22:19 UTC – Once he woke up his first request was McDonald’s. We had to tell him he wasn’t supposed to eat for another hour or so. He was very unhappy about this. He really wanted McDonald’s.

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2014-11-15 21:52 UTC – A few days later though it was all forgotten. He wandered the aisles of a drug store choosing things he wanted, including the hat, glasses and brush, and asked to pose with his loot. (Which he did get to have.)

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2014-11-17 22:42 UTC (Picture by Amy) – Um, then Amy totaled her car. Nobody was hurt except the car.

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2014-11-17 22:?? UTC (Picture by Amy) – Amy was very sad though. Poor car.

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2014-11-20 22:39 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Brandy got to go with Alex to a Thanksgiving thing at his school. Alex made faces while he ate.

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2014-11-22 01:56 UTC – I’ve got Alex pumping gas for me.

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2014-11-23 04:58 UTC – Alex decided that to be warm he needed to join me inside my sweater.

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2014-11-23 18:37 UTC – Alex is starting to REALLY get into Lego. Usually it is vehicles of one sort or another, but this time he made this, which he said was “a dog in his yard”.

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2014-11-27 03:16 UTC – And when he visits Grandma Ruth, he plays with MY old Lego from when I was a kid. You can also see the Mr. Potato Head that was modified to look like my High School Physics teacher Mr. Posa as part of a Rube Goldberg project my senior year of high school.

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2014-11-28 01:45 UTC – Amy is not amused as I attempt to take pictures of her as we get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

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2014-11-28 01:50 UTC – A few minutes later, Alex elaborates on a story he wanted to tell before dinner.

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2014-11-28 05:49 UTC – Later in the evening, food cleared away, Alex starts on some crafts.

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2014-11-28 21:00 UTC – Pair of pants on head as a hat? Check! Second pair of pants in case you lose the first hat? Check! Blanket? Check! One of mommy’s purses? Check! Lets go on an adventure!

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2014-11-29 16:26 UTC – Alex and Roscoe check out the first snowfall of the season.

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2014-11-29 18:24 UTC – Daddy is just cold.

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2014-11-29 18:36 UTC – There wasn’t that much snow, and it wasn’t very good for packing, but this was our pitiful attempt at a snowman. It was about 4 to 5 inches tall.

And thus ends November.

Pics from Oct 2014

941 pictures for the month. First cut got it to 45 pictures. Second cut got it to 27. So then I added some others to get 33. Then one last cut down to 31.  :-)

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2014-10-03 01:21 UTC – Alex still “arting” whenever he gets the chance. This is a nice swirly one.

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2014-10-05 00:23 UTC – Roscoe REALLY needed a bath.

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2014-10-05 23:59 UTC – More art. This time something more realistic. It is a plant growing out of a pot.

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2014-10-06 20:15 UTC – October was also a big comeback month for Portal and Portal 2. Alex had taken a break from them for a few months, but spent MANY hours on them this month!

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2014-10-10 02:46 UTC – We played through both Portal and Portal 2 from start to finish. In both cases Alex did most of the early levels, then handed it over to me. This is right as we finished up Portal 2 and the turrets were singing.

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2014-10-11 03:12 UTC – Alex took my phone and took a bunch of pictures of himself and of his trains. This was the best of the bunch.

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2014-10-11 15:38 UTC – It is important to Alex that his hair reaches his mouth.

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2014-10-12 04:17 UTC – Tortilla Face

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2014-10-13 19:56 UTC – Hat Head

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2014-10-14 05:11 UTC (picture by my mom, time is when I got a copy of this, not when it was taken) – Mom Selfie

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2014-10-14 06:39 UTC – The boys sleeping

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2014-10-15 01:08 UTC – Rainbow from our front porch

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2014-10-15 16:52 UTC – Pumpkin Patch Field Trip!

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2014-10-15 16:53 UTC – A friend from school leads Alex to the good pumpkins

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2014-10-15 17:01 UTC – Alex didn’t want to pick

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2014-10-15 17:10 UTC – So we helped pick one

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2014-10-15 17:59 UTC – Here’s the crew that came in our car as we were leaving. They look thrilled, don’t they?

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2014-10-18 21:35 UTC – We had been talking about how he needed a haircut, so Alex started doing it himself. We caught him after just one cut though. Amy had to take pictures.

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2014-10-18 21:35 UTC (picture by Amy) – One of Amy’s pictures of Alex and the hair he cut off

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2014-10-18 22:18 UTC – Of course, after that, Alex had to cut my hair too.

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2014-10-19 17:55 UTC (picture by Amy) – A squirrel came to visit our back patio

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2014-10-20 02:02 UTC – My mom and Alex work together on an activity book

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2014-10-21 01:24 UTC – If you look REALLY carefully, you might find Alex hiding from us at the store. Hint: Look closely at the four manikins, one of them might not be the same as the others.

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2014-10-25 03:24 UTC – Amy and Shane at Amy’s birthday dinner a few days after her actual birthday

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2014-10-25 05:17 UTC – Amy glares at me as I take a picture of her birthday outfit

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2014-10-25 05:24 UTC – Amy’s birthday cake, made by Brandy

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2014-10-25 05:37 UTC – Alex and Amy eagerly await the presents. Maybe one of them is more excited than the other.

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2014-10-26 05:14 UTC – Crazy Alex attacking me

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2014-10-27 01:58 UTC – Grandma Ruth watches Alex make a drawing for her

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2014-10-27 06:24 UTC – Someone fell asleep in my lap.

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2014-10-31 01:59 UTC (picture by my mom, time is when I got a copy of this, not when it was taken) – Alex getting ready to come home after carving a pumpkin at Grandma Ruth’s house. Ready for Halloween night! (Which happened on November 1st UTC in Seattle, so that will be in next month’s pictures…)

Pics from May 2014

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2014-05-01 01:50 – Climbing a whale at Seattle Center

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2014-05-01 02:02 – Surveying the world from the top

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2014-05-02 00:40 – What Alex does at a playground… clearly my kid.

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2014-05-02 01:22 – Of course that changes once we hit the sand

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2014-05-02 23:55 – Spring is time for dandelions.

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2014-05-03 03:54 – There was a birthday party at a skating rink.  That didn’t go so smoothly.  We will have to try again someday.

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2014-05-03 20:41 – But a portal shirt makes Alex happy again

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2014-05-03 21:21 – Well, at least until haircut time

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2014-05-04 22:20 – New day, and it is time for a trip to the zoo, where Grandma Ruth explains warthogs!

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2014-05-04 22:34 – Why is mom holding me?

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2014-05-04 22:44 – The siamang always seems a little sad

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2014-05-04 22:50 – Brandy spends a lot of time with the siamangs, they have been her favorites for years

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2014-05-04 23:00 – Walking in the rain

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2014-05-04 23:28 – The carousel was a little scary at first

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2014-05-05 00:25 – But it was much better the second time around

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2014-05-05 00:37 – Then we looked at the penguins, or did they look at us?

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2014-05-05 00:53 – Grandma Ruth watches too

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2014-05-05 00:57 – While this guy contemplates the sky

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2014-05-05 01:43 – After the zoo it was time for dinner, and Alex wanted to know why I was still taking pictures

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2014-05-05 01:50 – Working on Trainz Simulator on his iPad, as he often does during dinner

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2014-05-05 03:38 – Then out like a light as soon as we were in the car

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2015-05-13 20:06 – Back at home, Alex torments the dog as usual

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2014-05-22 05:28 – It is me Roscoe decides to cuddle with though

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2014-05-25 02:08 – Another day finds Alex whispering secrets into Amy’s ear

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2014-05-27 00:02 – Alex made a point of dragging me outside to the back yard to take a picture of this nest of baby spiders

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2014-05-27 00:10 – Roscoe lounges as Alex plays in a large box he had carefully braced with toys so it wouldn’t fall over

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2014-05-27 00:10 – Seconds later, it does of course fall over, right next to Roscoe. Roscoe doesn’t even blink, let alone move.

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2014-05-27 00:13 – Roscoe is used to these shenanigans, and is not going to worry about it.  Not at all.

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2014-05-27 00:17 – Goofing for the camera

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2014-05-27 03:07 – Roscoe really is incredibly patient with Alex.  So here he wears shades, because Alex wanted him to.

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2014-05-30 04:01 – Even on Mom’s shoulders, it is still iPad time.

Less Eventful 6th (UTC)

The day began with intense lego concentration:

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Brandy played with Bananagrams:

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Amy was more educational with the letter tiles:

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Alex was still all about the Lego though:

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Before leaving my office, we needed to take a mugshot:

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Then we finally left the office and headed for the traditional trains. Alex saw the monorail:

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But first we waited for the Seattle Streecar (previously known as the South Lake Union Trolley”):

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Which was ridden with varying levels of interest:

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We got off the train to look at a fountain:

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If you look carefully, you’ll notice we left Alex’s backpack on the train.

Brandy called to make sure they knew it wasn’t a bomb. Then we made sure to catch the same train to go back, and retrieved the bag from the driver.

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Then it was time to eat:

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And monorail:

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And running with sister at Seattle Center:

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And there is the Space Needle!:

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(Picture by Amy)

But eventually, kicking and screaming, it is time to start heading home:

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One more monorail ride first of course:

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And a trip to the bookstore:

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Alex of course fell asleep on the car ride home. He almost made it. But not quite. Fell asleep and was sleep eating a rice crispy treat for awhile.

Then I put together my post about the 5th:

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Later, once everyone was up again, Alex watched a portal walkthrough video while I got ready for my day:

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A couple hours later he was still watching it. He had switched to the iPad, and hadn’t watched straight through, instead watching and re-watching parts he really liked. I’m not sure he has made it all the way through, but I know he has watched the ending a few times, and many of the parts in between. :-) He studies it very intently.

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Finally, we headed out to the Apple store, because Amy’s phone had recently been acting up… and as she was getting ready to go to the Apple store for her genius appointment, she dropped the phone magnificently, and smashed its front, back and sides as bad as any smashed iPhone I’ve ever seen in person. So any chance of getting it replaced under warrantee because it was just acting odd went out the window. :-)

Anyway, on the way there, Alex fell asleep in the car…

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And thus I spent the last couple hours of the 6th (and another hour or so of the 7th) sitting in the car with a sleeping Alex while Brandy and Amy took care of Amy’s phone and a few other things. Can’t say I was totally thrilled by this time in the car. But I did listen to a few podcasts and read a bit of my twitter and news feeds, so I guess that was OK.

Anyway, thus ended our two days of holiday fun.

Alex Plays Portal

Showed him the controls a few seconds before starting this video. Had to convince him to try himself rather than just watching me. Then seconds later he finished his first level! So proud! :-)

Semi-Corrected Time Warp

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner… 

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Easter
  • Portal 2
  • NYT Subs

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”http://www.abulsme.com/CurmudgeonsCorner/CC20110424.mp3″ text=”Recorded 24 Apr 2011″]

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Cake and Cube and Amy

Back when it was free last month I downloaded Portal, because I’d heard good things about it from a couple people in a lunch conversation at work awhile back.  But I hadn’t touched it until this last weekend.  Sometime Saturday I brought it up on my computer on a lark.  I hadn’t been playing it more than 11 minutes when Amy came in and said “What is that, can I play?”  So she sat down and started a new game.  Rather than play myself any more, I just watched her play, offering suggestions at a few key moments.  :-)

Ten hours of game play later, spread over four days, Amy just beat the game.  (Awesome song at the end by the way…)

She had a blast.  And I had fun backseat driving.

Great game.  Great fun.  I haven’t enjoyed a video game like this in many a year.  (Mostly because I haven’t spent any significant amount of time playing anything more involved than Doodle Jump or Peggle for decades.)  Of course, I didn’t actually play this one either.  And given the nature of the game, having watched it played through from beginning to end sort of gives you enough spoilers that I’m not sure I’d have fun playing it myself at this point.  But still.  Fun.

Of course some of that was the game, but a lot of it was just sitting and spending time with Amy, which was great.

And now of course we know that we’ll be getting Portal 2 as soon as it comes out.  I gather it will have a 2 player mode.  I think Amy and I will be all over that.