Does Dr. Manny have all the answers?

What is the correlation between Dr. Manny Alvarez readers and their fascination/concern for the Year 2012? If you look at the book descriptions for these 2012 books, you'll see that the Weather Channel (and FEMA) will be quite busy that year.
2012. Not to be confused with 2112, that's a Rush album.
What about the voice of Geddy Lee? How did it get so high? I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy?

Midway at the Mall

I was picking up the kids' Christmas pictures (aka our Christmas cards) at JCPenney the other day, when I came across the Midway Arcade. The baby fell asleep in the stroller, and this arcade machine intrigued me more than shopping for Christmas presents. (Giving is cool, it's the shopping part that can be a nuisance.) Anyway the last player had been playing Defender, so I tried that out first. The controls were stiff, but the old games are much better played with a joystick than with your corporate-issue Sony Playstation controller. I tried Wizard of Wor next. I hadn't played that one since my Atari 800XL days, so that was a real treat, untril I got treated to a beat down after about three levels. Nowhere near “The Arena” (level 8), but they say those reflexes slow down with age, so I guess its downhill after age 11.

Scrolling through the selection screens I found something named Timber. I had never heard of this game before so I gave it a shot. You have X amount of time to chop down X amount of trees without them falling on you or getting hit with beehives hurled horizontally by an angry bear. Perhaps this was some sort of environmental statement against the logging industry when it was released. I have to admit it was kind of fun, a gave that game a couple plays, before moving on to Sinistar.

I know Sinistar has a strong following. All I remember in my arcade days was hearing taunt of Sinistar while I was busy with Galaga or something else. I don't know why the machine never piqued my interest, but I'm not ashamed to admit it. Needless to say I was not very good at it. Mining for crystals didn't get me too far before ol' Skullface reared his ugly head and put the kabosh on my futile efforts.

In addition to Wizard of Wor, Defender, Timber, and Sinistar, the Midway Arcade also includes Robotron, Joust, Root Beer Tapper, Rampage, Satan's Hollow, Bubbles, Splat!, and Defender II. For $379 (currently on sale, regularly $499), not such a bad buy. Personally I'd rather have a pinball machine, if I'm going to have a furniture sized piece of arcade hardware, but the price does not seem too bad.

Now I know I'm bigger now than when I was eleven, but I'm sure this has a smaller screen than the typical arcade game, and the placement of the screen was quite low. I would have preferred something with a more upright picture like Centipede, as would my neck if I was to put in the hours like I once did. A coin slot would be nice, too, then I could put it in the waiting room of my business, and have it pay itself off.

This post may or may not also appear at Armchair Arcade. Actually, right now it does under all blogs. Oh no, it looks like I have another blog.