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Nothing To Do

 

My Xbox One sits patiently below my television set. For the last few months, that’s about all it has done. When I first got the Xbox, we hooked it up to the cable box so that we could change channels through voice command. That was very cool… for about 15 minutes. Now, we’re back to using the remote.

Occasionally, when the kids and the wife are away, I’ll pull up Call of Duty. Unfortunately, first-person shooters have always stumped me. When I play online, my average life lasts just under four seconds. I would like to think that I’ve gotten better in the past few months. In one game, I survived almost 20 seconds. Does that count?

Alas, my Xbox continues to sit there, the mono-eyed Connect just staring, daring me to do something. Watch a movie. Challenge my daughters to Just Dance. Skype someone, for crying out loud! No, for now I’ll just let it sit. Eventually, Minecraft will be ready. Then the games will begin.

 

May the Forth — Just 51 short days after PI day comes the next official holiday on the Geek calendar. Unofficially known as “Star Wars Day,” May the Forth offers fans a chance to celebrate all things Star Wars. This year’s celebrations were highlighted by a selfie-video from JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan wishing everyone a Happy Star Wars day.

Of course the biggest Star Wars news was the announcement that the entire original cast will return for Episode VII. The details of the new storyline are not known, but, from what we know, the new movie will take place 30 years after the Battle of Endor. We also know that Lucasfilm will not be adhering to the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. Lucasfilm made an announcement in late April that Episodes VII-IX will tell a new story. (Yea! I like surprises!)

Did you happen to miss Star Wars Day this year? No worries. You can make it up by hitting You Tube and soaking in the Force. I would highly recommend watching Jim Cummings, the voice of Winnie the Pooh, and Lauren Landa perform a reading of some classic scenes with Darth Vader and Princess Leia. If you’ve never heard Pooh channeling Vader, then you haven’t heard Pooh.

 

Thrill Rides — Growing up in Augusta, I spent many a summer day at Six Flags in Atlanta. The roller coasters were always my favorite. My grandmother and uncle would always take all the cousins to Six Flags during the summer. On the drive there, the talk was pretty big. “This is the year that I’m going to ride the Scream Machine.” Of course, we would all chicken out once we got up close and heard the rumbling and creeking. Over time, the Scream Machine gave way to the Mindbender, and to the more recent additions like Goliath and Dare Devil. Every year it seems, a new coaster opens that raises the bar just a little bit higher.

This year is no different. Several new coasters are opening up around the country. A few promise to set a new standard. Wired.com walks you through a handful of the best, and there are a few I want to point out. At King’s Island in Mason, Ohio, Banshee will open as the longest inverted coaster. It will invert you seven times and throws in a zero-G roll just for laughs.

Texas natives will recognize Schlitterbahn as the name of the popular water park in New Braunfels and the home of the first uphill water coaster. This year, the Kansas City Schlitterbahn is introducing the world’s tallest water slide. This 170-foot beast features two massive drops, and requires riders to actually strap-in to their raft.

Finally, Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey is opening Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. The name is not marketing hype. Zumanjaro is the tallest drop ride, releasing riders from 415 feet high. Even while traveling at a mind-numbing 90 mph, the ride to the bottom still takes about 10 seconds. That’s more than enough time to decide whether or not the wait in line was worth it.

 

Until next time, I’m off the grid @gregory_a_baker.