Sunday, July 22, 2007

Arctic Thunder & Heinz 57

Not just awesome.  WICKED AWESOME.So the wifi connection at the resort went down after my last post, but my family and I are now safely back in the Land of Lincoln. The bar at the resort we stayed at had a few videogames in the back corner. My daughter and I fell in love with one of these games, a snowmobile racer called Arctic Thunder. While Elizabeth loves racer games of all sort, most of them do little for me. But Arctic Thunder is seven shades of awesome. The little saddle-type seat you sit in is equipped with rumble technology and the accelerator being on the handle bar means that my daughter can completely operate the game herself. She can't reach the gas pedal on most arcade race games. But the real joy of Arctic Thunder is in its sheer over-the-top gonzo-osity. For your choice of racers you can play an extreme sports enthusiast, but you can also select a superspy or a gorilla. Possible race courses include normal places like the Swiss Alps but also a haunted forest, a lost city in the Himalayas, and a post-snowpocalyptic Washington, D.C. In short, you can play an ape-man piloting an atomic snowmobile through the Oval Office. No lie. I have done this myself. Turns out Arctic Thunder was released for the Xbox a few years back and you can bet your bippy I'll be tracking down a copy.

Deaf giftshop: WTF?So Wisconsin seems just a little bit weird to me. Part of it is that the state has hills and forests, whereas I'm used to the vast flat farmlands of Illinois. Hills and mountains are awesome, but they always strike me as a little unnatural. Another factor, no doubt, is the cheese shops and fireworks emporiums that you can find on practically ever street corner. We don't have either in Illinois, and seeing a giant statue of a mouse eating a wedge of cheese every few blocks is just odd. But I really think the thing that set off my weird-ometer the most was the gift shop at the resort. They had all the usual touristy crap that you expect from such a place. But they also had two bottles of Heinz 57 steak sauce. No ketchup. No mustard. No barbecue sauce. No other condiments at all, and precious little else that would assist in the making of a meal. But for $2.50 you could buy one of two ten ounce bottles of Heinz 57. I just don't get it. It's like going to the library and finding a live aardvark filed among the encyclopedias. I almost bought one just to prove to myself that they were real.