It’s that time of year where it is always colder out than I think. Early March in New York. The high for the day is no longer 25º F but is more like 45º F. That’s a whole lot warmer and I’ll take it but 45º F out can get real cold real fast if you’re not prepared for it. Especially with no sun and a little wind. I went out for a walk the other day not in my full winter gear but in my early spring gear. A hat, medium coat, scarf, and light gloves. I was fine but then the sun dipped behind some clouds and the wind kicked up a little. I wasn’t suffering from hypothermia or anything but I wasn’t as warm as when I went walking in 20º F weather with full winter gear on. It’s tricky time of year for dressing. It’s easy to overdress or underdress.

The time I haven’t been cold at all has been on my bike ride. I’m still in full cold gear when I ride. It’s easy to misjudge the temperature for a bike ride and end up cold and uncomfortable. If I’m on a downhill and going ten miles per hour then the “Feels like” temperature drops ten degrees. Add some wind in and things can get cold rather quickly on a bike. That’s why I’m still bundled up. I’d rather sweat a little than freeze on my ride. On the couple of times that I was out riding and it got a little warm all I had to do was crack the zipper on my windbreaker about six inches. That let some cold air in and I was amazed at how fast it cooled me off.

I bought a new video game for my X-Box 360. It got good reviews, seemed pretty interesting, and was only eighteen bucks. It took me a couple of weeks to fire it up and give it a try. For the last year or so if I happen to get a new X-Box game, which isn’t often, the fear of being disappointed has stopped me from playing it right away.

The first part of that disappointment is that I can’t even play the video game on my old standard TV. I bought a game last summer which depended on reading type on screen but it was formated for hi-def TVs. The words were illegible on my TV. I could play 90% of the game just fine but that’s still annoying. I stopped playing the game because I couldn’t figure out what I had to do next. The type that told me couldn’t be read.

“Borderlands” was the game I bought this time. It was also disappointing. I knew I was in trouble when after a five minute intro I finally got to the screen where I had to pick which character I wanted and it took me another five minutes to choose one of the four because none of them interested me. Picking between four boringly typical video game characters is not my idea of a good time.

What really killed the game for me was the health packs. I’ve complained before about the video game cliche of health packs and I’ll complain again. Give me a health/armor system like “Halo” where you have regenerating armor or some such. If you take too many hits you die. If you are still alive and can crawl to safety your armor regenerates back to full strength. No searching for anything.

I hate the method where your character has a health meter that goes down as you take damage and doesn’t regenerate. Instead you have to search for health packs to regain your health. I don’t play video games to spend my tine searching for health packs. It’s annoying. I played “Borderlands” for about forty minutes before I turned it off. I spent about twenty of those minutes looking for health packs, money, and ammo.

You press the X button near objects and if any of those things are present you pick them up. So you end up walking around to every stupid piece of debris around pressing the X button over and over to see if it’s anything useful. Then some guy jumps out at you from nowhere and you have to kill him and search for more health packs. Oh, what a thrill. Eighteen bucks down the drain.

That’s another reason I want an iPad 2. For the video games. I’ve played a lot of good games on my iPod touch but the screen is too small for extended gaming. I’d rather play them on an iPad screen. Plus most games for the iPod/iPad are a dollar to five dollars. Paying a dollar to play a game that I give up on in a hour doesn’t have the level of disappointment that comes with paying eighteen dollars for a game that I don’t like. That’s why I completely stopped buying forty to sixty dollar games.

I bought some new blue ink this week. Though I have worked extensively with black India ink I haven’t used colored ink very much. I didn’t buy the blue ink for anything specific. I was just looking around the local arts and craft store for something new and it caught my eye. I haven’t even had a chance to try it out yet but it sure is a pretty blue.

I have tried out the new black ink that I bought about a month ago. I’m not even sure what the exact brand is because the bottle is all in Japanese. I bought it at where it is said to be “Manga Ink” which means that Japanese cartoonists use it. It’s nice stuff. It’s a very dense black that flows well. The only complaint I have about it it that sometimes the pigment goes on so thick that little pinpoints of pigment can gather on the surface of the paper and smear slightly. If it wasn’t for that slight problem this might be my all time favorite ink. I bought some white ink along with the black but I’ve never been able to find a good use for white ink. It’s sitting there barely touched.

And that’s the report from around these parts. Now I think I’ll go have a little read.