My sister and I didn't have time yesterday to play Carcassonne, seeing as how we were both engaged in full-press kid-wrangling for most of the get-together. I did get some nifty gaming-related stuff as belated b-day and father's day gifts. My sister got me the 2nd and 3rd books of the Cyborg Commando trilogy, Chase Into Space and The Ultimate Prize. I plan on reading them after I finished Stephen Jay Gould's Wonderful Life. (I finished Bernard Lewis's What Went Wrong? this morning. Good read. Lewis mentions in passing an Islamic reform movement called Babism, which I'm curious to learn more about, sorta like my reaction to the brief mention of the Mahdi in my earlier reading of Queen Victoria's Little Wars. What can I say? Heresy is intriguing to me, whatever orthodoxy it springs from/reacts to/rebels against.)
Anyhoo, my folks got me a couple of those neat new joysticks that contain hardwired videogames. The graphic above is for the nifty new SpongeBob SquarePants joystick game. His nose is the stick! Too cute. You just pop some AA batteries into the base and plug it into some AV ports on your TV and you should be gaming in no time flat. The second joystick is a throwback to the good olds days. It is programmed with five old Namco coin-op games, most notably Pac-Man, Dig Dug and Galaxian. A nice touch of this one is that the stick is designed with the old red ball top found on the classic cabinets of yore. I'd really, really love to get one of these babies that was programmed to play Space Invaders, but I've heard that the holders of the Invaders IP are pretty touchy these days.
Unfortunately, I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to play with either joystick. At my sister's urging I tried to get the Namco jobby to work on her TV, but we couldn't figure out how to get her set to flip from TV to "Video 1" mode. Her original remote is MIA, her universal replacement has an appropriate button that was non-functional, and the set itself had nothin'. Since getting home my daughter has managed to monopolize our TV, which isn't the end of the world since we've mostly been watching SpongeBob SquarePants. Still, I'm hoping to finally get a chance to play with these buggers later tonight.