Monday, September 30, 2002

So much of christiandom is undefined fluff. Thank God for Ajith Fernando.

This peace, like this joy, is essential to life. It guards us. It guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Here is the key to managing stress: grapple with God until joy and peace in believing returns. Only then can we go to the world and take on the stress we need to absorb, if we are to be his agents in a torn world.


Angry Christian leaders have no freshness in their spiritual life. Sooner or later the weight of their anger shows in an ineffective, unattractive ministry. We must work at having our lives controlled by joy, not by anger. Angry people cannot be gentle under provocation. Any kind of provocation acts as a switch to release hidden anger.

from Missionaries For the Right Reasons


Sunday, September 29, 2002

Just wanted to welcome Carol Fox (Mike's wife) to IdeaJoy. Carol is a fellow member of Tribe Geek, she's a Lotus Notes developer, fan of fantasy, long time role playing gamer. She's also an award winning photographer, but I'll let her tell that story. I expect Mike to make a longer introduction, but in the mean time - Welcome Carol.


Friday, September 27, 2002

Just finished Traitor by Matthew Stover. Traitor is book 13 of the New Jedi Order series set in the Star Wars universe. It's a coming of age book for Jacen Solo, son of Han and Leia Solo. It's the book in the serries I've enjoyed the most for some time. The serries has been at it's best when it's focused on the development of the Solo children from teens to adults.

The pop-zen sayings get a bit thick at times. But Stover presents Jacen's new world view with enough artistry that you can feel the appeal of the zenish way of seeing things. The requisite amount of Star Wars action and strong character development make book an enjoyable escapist fantasy read.


read TheForce.Net review of Traitor.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Matthew 6:25

I find it ironic that just before going to worship Jesus, millions of Christians ignore what Jesus said and worry about what to wear to church. When I walk into a church, other than my home church, I'm stuck by how carefully people present themselves on Sunday morning. Jen has a couple of posts "ranting" about people who don't take dressing up for Church seriously (rant 1, rant 2). One of my favorite rants is that we don't take not dressing up, seriously enough.

How is it that we expect people to have special church clothes to honor Jesus when in preparing the way for Jesus, John the Baptist preached:

John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.
Luke 3:11

Jen points out that "your clothing sends a message to people about who you are". And I couldn't agree more. One of the things it says about you, is witch tribe you belong to. I belong to tribe geek. Why does the church send the message that I should look like someone from tribe Gap to worship Jesus?

And they sang a new song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Revelation 5:9

So why are we expected to look like just one tribe on Sunday? The was a picture in the church where I grew up of the graduating class of a mission seminary school, somewhere in Africa. Two rows of beaming black men on fire for the Lord. They looked positively joy filled. But it stuck me as odd they were standing there in polyester suits and ties. So we were helping to spread the Gospel in Africa by training pastors, a great thing. But we were also spreading our culture of pastors wearing suits and ties. I wonder what other cultural baggage we were passing on.

With due apologies to Sprite, we should be saying to our culture "your image is nothing, it's your thirst for the spirit that matters". Instead church is often the place where people are the most image conscious.

It's a Boy!

Announcing the arrival on Sept 19, 2002, of the newest member of the Page household.

Name: Gryffin
Height: 15 cm (20 counting the head)
Weight: 3.6 lbs
Date of Birth: August 1, 2002
Eyes: Brown
Colour: Black and Tan
Breed: Welsh Terrier

Sunday, September 22, 2002

The way over due
Arts Round Up

So much for shedding my geek image by delving into the arts....

One of the best parts of the Fellowship of the Rings movie was how Bag End was brought to the screen. So it should be no shock that I consider Bag End rendered in Lego art. Read the Slashdot story.

On the Fantasy Theam, Credenda takes a has an article titled Most Real Fantasy. Thanks to Blessed Are the Hungry for the link to Credenda.

GK Chesterson on Science Fiction. I've met some Trekers to whom this quote would apply.

Johny Baker thinks the GeenBelt Festival blog is off to a good start.

The New Aether Chronicle Review takes a good hard look at The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

How Now Brown Pau raises a "defiant fist to the poststructural utopias of new media philosophers".

I love art in unexpected places. I'd have to say this 404 page at the Aglican Church of Canada web site counts as unexpected . Thanks to Ellen for pointing it out. By the way not Ellen's new domain name:

Is an ordinary day art? Does it matter? The Upward Way Press shares some thought on enjoying ordinary days.

In closing, go get Lost in the Waves, a poem by Dan Hues.


Friday, September 20, 2002

Mike's Spot On the Wall
  • Feeling Better:
    Allthough nothing has changed in my situation I am feeling better about things.
    I bought my wife some flowers yesterday to help her feel better.
    The Ranma ½ DVD's I ordered a few weeks ago finally arrived. For those who don't know (which is probably everyone here) Ranma ½ is a Japanese animated TV sitcom about a boy, who by accidently being dunked in a cursed spring, turns into a girl whenever cold water gets dumped on him. What can I say, it makes me laugh (which maybe says more about my sense of humor than the quality of the show).
Mike's Walk
  • Learning to walk again:
    I'm still a bit sore spiritually speaking. I don't really know how Jesus manages to talk me into trying again after I swear I'm not going to.
    Psalms 4:3 See how the Lord has made great his mercy for me; the Lord will give ear to my cry.
Home sweet Blog

It’s been a good new/bad news week. The good news is that I’ve been billable this week. I’m back at my favorite client site. The bad news is that Kim, Sarah and I have been fighting a vicious head cold. So after work, I haven’t had much energy.

What energy I did have, I spent hanging out at another blog. Bene Diction hints at what I was up to. I’ll post something about it, if get the ok from those involved. But let me say it ended well.

I did do an Arts Round this week, up but was too sick to post last night. Will post it when I get home tonight.

Thanks to Sarah for running Who Links Who for me today. I didn’t run it before leaving the house this morning. So I called Sarah and talked her through running it. WLW is so simple even a 9 year old can run it. Sarah and Kim have the day off due to Parent Teacher interviews.


Monday, September 16, 2002

Mike's Spot On The Wall
  • I feel just like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:
    Some day's are like that even in Australia
    I just don't know where to start. I found out today that my aunt who I hadn't seen in 30 years is trying to swindle me out of my inheritance (or most of it). I didn't read the Ferengi print of the document giving her power of atourney.
    The property I was to get my portion of the sales of hadn't been evaluated since 1975. So my share would be about between 3 to 5 times what was quoted.
    She said she needed my signature (giving her power of atourney) in order to sell. This wasn't true. The will clearly states she could sell at any time but that my brother and I would have to get our share (25% each) The reason (and sadly the only reason I can think of) that she all of a sudden contacted me was she had a buyer on the line and she didn't want to give my brother and I half the money from the sale. She figured she could dupe us into signing a document selling her the power of atourney at a fraction of what we would really get.
    Since I already signed my document I won't be seeing a larger share, but it's the principle of the bloody thing. I am so angry that she would come out of nowhere just to rip me off.
Mike's Walk
  • I'm think I'm just going to sit here for a spell:
    I feel yucky. I don't know where I'm going, what I'm doing, what to hope for.
    Well Jesus this is a fine mess I've gotten us into. Would you kindly take me out.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

I'm never sure what to say when someone posts about a painful experience. In this case Dean and his wife are grieving a miscarriage. Bene Diction handels it with grace. There isn't much to say but to our prayers are with you Dean. I will also share the lyrics of Sad Face by Steve Hindalong of The Choir. It was writen after Steve and his wife Nancy went through a miscarriage in the mid 80s. The song is related to Ecclesiastes 7:3, Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.

Sad Face by Steve Hindalong

There's a crystal in the window
Throwing rainbows around
There's a girl by the mirror
And her feet won't touch the ground
'Cause she never saw the sky so bright
Isn't that like a cloud, to come by night
Nevermind the sky
There's a tear in her eye

A sad face is good for the heart
Go on cry, does it seem a cruel world?
A sad face is good for the heart of a girl
A sad face

There's a woman in my kitchen
With a rainbow on her cheek
Well isn't that a promise?
Still I never felt so weak
There's a tiny spirit in a world above
Cradled so sweetly in our Father's love
So you don't have to cry
No there's something in my eye

A sad face is good for the heart
Maybe just now I don't understand
A sad face is good for the heart of a man
A sad face

A sad face is good for the heart
It's alright you don't have to smile
A sad face is good for the heart of a child
For the heart of a child
For the heart of a child
For the heart of a child
A sad face
A sad face...

There is a Live Recording of the song on


Saturday, September 14, 2002

Jordon Cooper is looking to buy a new computer. And he's gotten tons of advice, mostly from Mac fans. So in the interest of making sure Jordon gets some unbiased advice I'll point him to How to Buy a Computer by Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie. After all he's going to need that machine to console him when Wendy does her time for copyright infringement. Take note of Wendy's new domain


Oh Foster we hardly knew zee

"Oh Foster we hardly knew zee"

Kevin Frank swears the above comic wasn't intended as the good bye strip for True North, but sadly it worked out that way.

It just wouldn't sell, and so we had to call it off. I'm quite bummed

were his exact words. I'm bummed with you Kev.


PS My previous True North postings:
  • My second blog posting, finding out about True North
  • it being available on the web
  • Milk in a Bag

  • When did the media become reality?

    One of the reactions to the September 11th Media Fast was to accuse those taking part of "avoiding reality". When did the media become reality? Why is taking a day to unplug from the net and mass media avoiding reality? If anything I spent more time with the reality of the world around me that day, than most days when I'm plugged into to the staged world of the media and the net.

    The scary thing is that it took me two days to question the assumption that the media is reality.


    PS you'll need to read Jen's post on criticism of the media fast to put this post in context.

    Thursday, September 12, 2002

    Thanks to Richard Bott for the encouragement. Here is this week's
    Arts Roundup

    Joy of Tech has replayed a moving image they created in the wake of 9/11. I had that image as my wallpaper for part of last year.

    What in Tarnation? gets way too organized for the upcoming TV season. Confession: I'm looking forward to the Alias season opener.

    Soul Glow links to an article titled The Gosple According to Homer.

    Jordon Cooper reviews the book The Gospel According to the Simpsons over at TheOoze. BTW how do you pronounce that is is The Ooze or Theo Oze? Is it Lynux or Linux?

    hotdogblog posts on the real story behind the movie Hardball.

    Marshill review reviews a collection of early singles from The Man in Black, Johnny Cash. The Johny Cash and One Bad Pig rendition of Man in Black is a personal favorite. As is Johnny Cash covering One by U2.

    Xavier+ points us into deep space to gaze at the Eye of the Dragon

    Closer to home, relatively speaking, I'll point you to the Fall in Pennsylvania web site. Having grown up in the north east end of the Appellation Mountains, I miss the vibrant colors of fall. Alberta has many great things, fall isn't one of them, too brief, no red.

    Berek Qinah Smith shares his insights on the cultural significance of Bach in Japan


    What do you do?

    Salon's Math = beauty + truth / (really hard) article tries to explain what mathematicians do. It falls short, but give it A for effort. I've known my fare share of math geeks over the years, and it can be hard to get them to even try and explain what it is they are working on. Math is so specialized, most of us lack the vocabulary to understand what it is they do. While Richard, a good friend and IdeaJoy lurker, was working on his masters thesis my dad asked him "what is there to research in math? Is it not all known?".

    I've also found explaining what I do as a software developer a pain. If I mention that I do web systems I get the full range of expressions, from blank stares to "oh I do that, I have web page on tripod". When I'm in particularly flippant mood I explain that "I write software for computers that don't exist", and leave it at that.

    Anyone else have problems answering the "what do you do" question?


    Tuesday, September 10, 2002

    Monday, September 09, 2002

    How many software developers does it take to change a light bulb?
    We have no idea, it's a hardware question.

    That is so me. Software, yeah I get it. real world stuff, umm... So kudos to Mike for replacing his sink! Speaking of renovations, IdeaJoy now has relative font sizes. Jakob Neilson explains why relative font sizes are important in his article "Let Users Control Font Size". I've also installed some new links on the blog roll. Some of those were way overdue. Bonus points to anyone who can point out the two changes I've made but not mentioned!

    Mike's Spot On The Wall
    • Mike The Plumber:
      "If the women can't find you handsome, at least they can find you handy" or so Red Green would have us believe. But what do you do if you're neither?
      It's a very good thing I found a woman to whom it didn't matter. She loved me in spite of my glaring inadequacies. (she's a bit like Jesus that way) So it should come as no surprise that my bathroom sink has been dripping constantly for 5 or 6 months.
      Finally I'd had enough. I screwed my courage to the sticking place and set out (with a good deal of encouragement from the aforesaid woman) to replace the sink.
      It took only three trips to the local Home Depot to get all the bits and pieces. It only took 4 hours or so to do the job. But it wasn't the difficulty that made this experience interesting. It worked. Yup, it worked and it looks good too. I had tried something I had never done before. I was fairly convinced that I would only botch it up but God blessed the work of my feeble hands and it worked. And I feel great.
    Mike's Walk
    • Recovery:
      I'm still struggling with some of the "hang around" from last week. ("Hang around" is that thing sin likes to do to your neck after you've really messed up.) The enemy is using every weasel in the sack to get me to give up, give in, or give him an inch. I should recognize his voice by now but somehow it's still really hard to get up, dust myself off and trust the Lord for my salvation, my healing; His being perfect to make up for my imperfection; His suffering the rejection of God on the cross so I wouldn't have to; His stripes for my healing. So for the next week I'm going to be saying, whenever that serpent's voice hisses in my ear to remind me of all the failures in my life, "Yeah, but Jesus still kicked your butt on the cross, He kicked your friend Death's butt three days later and not only that but you're the one who's gonna burn, you rotten old snake."

    Sunday, September 08, 2002

    some random thoughts on a sad anniversary

    A year ago today, at age 59, my dad lost his fight with cancer and left this world to go to his home, to the reward that awaits anyone who will accept the grace God's wants to give. Dad did not worry about himself, he knew where he was going. He did worry about us, his family – my Mom especially, how we would make out with out him. In that sense I'm glad he passed away on September the 8th and not say a week latter. The event's of September the 11th would have been a burden on his last few days. He would have worried about the type world we would be left to deal with, a world he was leaving.

    I miss him a great deal. One of the things I realized I've lost is getting to know my Dad as an adult. We'd really just started that process, and it was cut short, way too soon. His passing away at age 59 raises the very really possibility that at 31, I am past middle age. A sobering thought. I'd like to say it's taught me not to put things off. I was working on goodbye letter to my dad when he died. We thought he had six months left, but it was less than six weeks. I'd like to say that I've learned to do important things now, but I just learned this morning that a lady from our church that I've meant to visit in a nursing home, passed away suddenly early Saturday morning.

    There are things that I'm thankful for. The time we had together, a close friend lost his Dad when he was 12. Friends of Mom and Dad's in Edmonton who have stayed close friends with Mom over this last year. It's not uncommon that when a spouse passes a way that couple friends fade away. So I'm thankful for this couples friendship and faithfulness.

    I wish I could convey more of what my Dad meant to me, and to us as a family, but at the moment I just don't have the words.


    Friday, September 06, 2002

    If you have no idea who Larry Wall is, or what Perl is then this post if for you. See people who know those things already know that Larry Wall has an interview on /. If you didn't know that I plead with you to go and read Larry's interview. Get past the geekness of it all and appreciate that here is a Christian speaking to a group of people normally hostile to the gospel, but Larry has earned the right to be heard by the Tribe of Geek.

    Update Here is a great example of why I get so excited about Larry.

    So let me try to clarify what I mean, and reduce it to as few information bits as possible. A lot of people have a vested interest in making this a lot tougher to swallow than it needs to be, but it's supposed to be simple enough that a child can understand it. It doesn't take great energetic gobs of faith on your part--after all, Jesus said you only have to have faith the size of a mustard seed. So just how big is that, in information theory terms? I think it's just two bits big. Please allow me to qoute a couple "bits" from Hebrews, slightly paraphrased:

    You can't please God the way Enoch did without some faith, because those who come to God must (minimally) believe that:
    A) God exists, and
    B) God is good to people who really look for him.

    That's it. The "good news" is so simple that a child can understand it, and so deep that a philosopher can't.

    That's from question 7, the role of religion?

    Update #2
    I'm not the only one who enjoyed reading what Larry had to say. Here are some other blogs that are commenting on the interview:
  • The Mountaintop
  • The Upward Way Press
  • Keith`s Weblog
  • Christdot
  • JDominator
  • Dispatches from Outland
  • Looking Back ... Looking Forward
  • blogs4God

  • A friend of mine is trying to become a permanent resident of Canada. He's semi-permanent already, essentially if not legally, and has lived in 4 provinces since arriving for grad school in 1995. He is currently on work permit, and trying to navigate the treacherous bureaucratic waters of immigration. He tells me his case would be a done deal if the Alberta Association of Architects would issue a letter of support. Alas, they will not, but have been convinced to offer a "letter of non-objection"..

    Leaving aside obvious bureaucratic head-shaking, his situation struck me as an encapsulation of our modern-day Canada.

    On some level, he is just encountering that greatest of canadian virtues, upon which our entire society, for better or worse, is founded: Tolerance. Rather than a hardship, his experience is potentially quite fortunate! Most of us native Canadians are firmly entrenched in middle-of-the-bell-curve-dom, not too smart, not too stupid, not too weird, not too gay, not too urban, not too rural, ... (Canada defines itself by what it's not, after all..), most of us never get to see Tolerance, being firmly in the realm of boring old Acceptance.

    My nameless friend, on the other hand, is experiencing the joys of the fringe, where people find that they think you don't really fit, but we're too darn polite to say so, so we'll tolerate you and hope you don't bother us too much. This is rare stuff! No more than 5-10% of the population!

    If the association comes through with a "Non-Objection" letter, he may even be perfectly placed for winning in our democratic system, where we don't vote FOR something, we vote AGAINST things. The Charlottetown accord (a 1992 referendum) comes immediately to mind; I recall friends say they agreed with most items, but because of one particular sticking point they'd vote against it - another camel felled by gnats. Our political history is full of people winning by being the second choice of enough people; more people did not object to them than to anyone else!

    Arts Round Up

    cause Ellen said "yes please!".

    Conertstone Festival has posted video clips form this summer's performances. The Five Iron Frenzy clip is too funny. There is also a clip from U2's Bono speaking on the issues facing Africa and asking people to visit the Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa website.

    Poet Warrior posts his ten favorite movie scenes.

    I'm not sure it's art, but it's pure pop culture. Ultraman fans come out of the closest at hotdogblog.

    Still on the pop culture beat, the homeless guy blogs on Spock, God and illogic.

    Conertstone Magazine has a review by John Trott of "Open Enbrace" by Sam and Bethany Torode. The book is on birth control, the review isn't friendly. John does have some things to say on poetry and symbols and their role in the Christian life.

    Stranger in Strange Land shares her favorite love poem and points to discussion on poetry.

    Richard Bott has a powerful retelling of a familiar parable. Warning not for the feint of heart.

    emergent downunder has a juxtaposed version of the Lord's Prayer.

    What in Tarnation? is wondering what to do with the Screening Room.


    Thursday, September 05, 2002 now has permalinks. Short for permanent link, they enable one blog to link directly to the story of another blog. The perma-links are imbedded into the title of Martin's articles. Martin's first story with a permalink is a little cheesy.

    Jen has an idea worthy of serious consideration. The September 11th Media Fast. Sainterros has a post pointing to other blogers thinking along the same lines.


    Wednesday, September 04, 2002

    Mike's Spot On The Wall
    • Good Friends:
      Some people say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I don't buy it. I've had to move quite an unbelievable number of times in my life and I would just lose track of my friends each and every time. Moving became for me a synonym for "starting from scratch and not knowing a soul". Whenever a friend moved away from me I figured the same thing would happen. They would forget me.
      Then there was Dave (our fabulous host here). Dave and I met at NAIT and we continued to be friends after our graduation (another "start over" type event).
      Then Dave moved.
      I helped him pack. I doubt I really expressed to him how much his friendship had meant to me over the years or that I thought I would likely never see him again.
      But Dave surprised me. He didn't let me slip into the oblivion of forgetfulness. He phoned me, planned get-togethers, and made me feel, well, loved.
      He arranged for us to meet at Tim Horton's this weekend and we talked about old times, new times, and why I had an armadillo in my rectal cavity about Planned Parenthood but what we said wasn't really important. What was important was that he took the time out to see me, of all people, and make me feel that I was someone important in his life.
      If I fail to make it plain I'll just say I love ya Dave, you minister Christ's love to me in a way that makes it live.
    Mike's Walk
    • Even when I stumble:
      It's hard for me to read the bible some days. I see more of me in king Saul or Esau than David or Paul. I can't understand why God wants anything to do with the likes of me. I mean sure He used a donkey but….
      We had our Wednesday morning prayer group meeting this morning. Normally this is a good thing and it should have been a good thing today. I asked for prayer today for my walk, which had stumbled into the old sin again, and my finances, which are looking reddish. But after they prayed for me I had to leave the room. My heart was broken not only over my sin but after my dreams and hopes for a life which would be pleasing to Him and seemed impossible now.
      All I could see were my failures.
      And yet…
      Even in that dark time He was still with me. He stayed by my side while my facades crumbled away leaving only Him and me. I don't know where God is leading in all of this but after today I know, at a much deeper level than I knew before, that I will not be traveling alone.
      Psalm 139:
      1 Lord, you have examined me and you know me. 2 You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts. 3 You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions. 4 Even before I speak, you already know what I will say. 5 You are all around me on every side; you protect me with your power. 6 Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding.

      7 Where could I go to escape from you? Where could I get away from your presence? 8 If I went up to heaven, you would be there; if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there. 9 If I flew away beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west, 10 you would be there to lead me, you would be there to help me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me or the light around me to turn into night, 12 but even darkness is not dark for you, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are the same to you. 13 You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart. 15 When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there- 16 you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began.

      17 O God, how difficult I find your thoughts; how many of them there are! 18 If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. 19 O God, how I wish you would kill the wicked! How I wish violent people would leave me alone! 20 They say wicked things about you; they speak evil things against your name. 21 O Lord, how I hate those who hate you! How I despise those who rebel against you! 22 I hate them with a total hatred; I regard them as my enemies. 23 Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts. 24 Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way

    From User Friendly:

    Despite not being recognized in Australia, the Jedi prove they are in fact as real as any other religion.


    Tuesday, September 03, 2002

    Ever had that experience of struggling to put something into words only to find someone who does in a short few lines. Stephen Shields' post titled whither fideism closes with just such an example.

    my own Christianity must not be *merely* a theology, merely a code of ethics, merely a socio-cultural phenomenon; but that at its most fundamental level, my religion must be about my personal, daily, normal (sometimes!), interactive, relationship with the Triune God.

    Information, what we do with it, what we think about it and how we communicate it, seems to be today’s theme.

    Martin Roth has a great article Too Much Information (And Way Too Much Football) – Why Ignorance Is Power. In short – we don’t always make better decisions with more information. It is also a great example the eXtreme Programming principal of "yesterday's weather". In XP "yesterday's weather" refers to the practice of planing future performace based on past performance.

    Jordon Cooper is working on a review of David Wienberger's Small Pieces, Loosely Joined. Sub title of the book is "a unified theory of the web."

    Deep :: Dirt links to a A chat-room paraphrase of Genesis 18
    by bloggedy blog’s Andrew Careaga.

    Sainteros asks “Question: how might the theory of memes be understood in terms of the action of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church?

    Monday, September 02, 2002

    I just finished playing Ico with Sarah and Maria. If a video game can be art, this is it.

    Approached as an interactive and emotionally satisfying bedtime story, Ico succeeds wonderfully. - Next Generation Magazine

    I think that line sums up Ico nicely. It's a story of a young boy, Ico, imprisoned in a castle who frees a mysterious princes who is being held by the queen of the castle. In a traditional quest to free the princes, the princess is a goal at the end with no character. In Ico, the princess Yorda is an active part of the game. Ico must defend her from the evil wraith that try to kidnap her, and solve the puzzles in each section of the castle to lead Yorda out. As you progress through the game, over coming challenges, Yorda and Ico form an emotional bond that gives the game real depth.

    At it's heart the game is a series of puzzles on how to move Yorda through the castle. Climb this chain her, pull that switch, move that box. The puzzels are well done and enjoyable. Most of the puzzles involved careful observation. Lots of "hey is that a door over there? Did you climb that ledge?" We did need to consult the FAQ on the net, but usally to find that out that we missing some technique in controlling Ico. Being able to swing from a chain or jump and the slash to cut the ropes, two things we learned from the FAQ.

    There is some combat in the game. As mentioned there are some evil creatures, goasts made of black smoke that try and take Yorda from Ico. Ico is armed only with a stick, and later a sword that he uses to beat the creatures back.. When beaten the creatures disappear in a puff of smoke. The girls found the monsters creepy enough to be scared, but not so much that they were disturbed by them. In a departure from tradition Ico does not have a health meter, his mission is just to keep the bad guys from pulling Yorda through their portal into the dark realm. The vilians can momentarily disable Ico, but nothing worse.

    When ever the black gosts apeared the girls handed me the controls, to dispatch the monsters in the room. They were convinced that this was a "dad" duty, and I admit I enjoy playing the hero.

    If you've got some time to spend with a couple of kids who like puzzles then I'd recommend Ico. We finished in just under 14 hours, not including mistakes and restarts. It's a one player game, but we played as team. We worked on the puzzles together, and I fought the monsters.


    PS check out the Ico page on MetaCritic for tons of other reviews.
    Misspelling our way to Google hits.

    Last time it was Mike's spelling of 'blizard' that caught Google's attention. This time it was my mangling of 'Chatholic' that got us the top listing for 'chatholic church view on abortion'.

    Dave King, Who?

    Someone was looking for "Dave King" calgary. Of course they could have been looking for Dave King the former Calgary Flames hockey coach. ... Mike do you want to start using your middle initial? Bonus points for anyone who can guess the secret to Mike's name.


    I'm back from an extended family weekend. Saturday afternoon we watched our nephew compete in Highland Dancing at the Calgary Highland Games. We then headed 300km north to Edmonton to see my mom & sister. This morning I got a change to have coffee with Mike at Tim's. It was good to see Mike's face. New WLW results are up :)

    Sunday, September 01, 2002

    Just a quick note that I'm a way from my home machine till Monday evening, so WLW won't be updated till then.