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Archive for October, 2014

Review of Just Dance 2015 #justdance

just dance 2015 boxIt’s been a while since I reviewed a Wii fitness game and for good reason–seems that over the last year the genre has all but dried up. Just a few years ago it seems that I couldn’t go by a week without finding a new Wii exercise game, and Sony and Microsoft were falling over each other trying to get into motion controls. Today, third party developers have fled the Wii, Nintendo is focusing on trying to recover from its Wii U missteps by releasing traditional games like Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros Wii U, Sony has all but abandoned the Move, and Microsoft paid dearly for trying to force the Kinect onto users.

But one thing is as sure as the dawn: Ubisoft coming out with yet another Just Dance. I admit, when it came time for me to try out Just Dance 2015 (or if you’re keeping score, what should be “Just Dance 6”), I wasn’t particularly enthused. As someone who’s played every version of Just Dance since the first one in 2009, I was admittedly getting “Just Dance Fatigue”. Sure, it’s been a lot of fun over the years, but I wondered if there was really anything more that Ubisoft could add to the franchise that hasn’t already been done?

After playing Just Dance 2015, I’m happy to say that Ubisoft yet again has pushed the franchise forward. And this time they did it with the online play, which they finally got right.

Before I talk about the online play, I’ll review a lot of what I like about the rest of the game.

You start out Just Dance 2015 by creating a “Dance Card” which will be your identify throughout the game. You start by choosing an avatar from a selection of cute cartoon faces. There are 227 avatars in all to choose from. You’ll start out with only 14 but can unlock additional ones by spending “Mojo Points” (the in-game “currency” you earn each time you dance). You also enter a nickname, your country (choosing from 135 country flags), and your age range (which again to the chagrin of us older adults only goes up to 40+).

Once your dancer card is set up, you can track a bunch of statistics, including the number of songs you played, the number of calories you burned, the number of avatars you unlocked, the number of stars you’ve earned, your online level, and the amount of Mojo Points you earned. It’s definitely addicting to come back to the game to try to earn more points

As for the features, most of these are features Ubisoft perfected in previous versions of the game and wisely decided to continue in this version.

The Song List – Once again, the song list is fantastic and has something for just about everyone, from this recent hits like Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando”, One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” and Pharrel Williams’ “Happy. For the nostalgic among us, there are old songs like Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” (complete with authentic moves)…

…and Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding OUt for a Hero”. And for the real old-timers among us, there are classics like Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and a cover of “Only You” by the Platters. For the kids there’s the song we all can’t get out of our head: Disney’s “Let It Go” from Frozen…

They even have the theme music for the video game “Tetris”.

Choreography – The choreography, once again, is fantastic. As they usually do, they did a great job of capturing the spirit of the songs, in some cases using actual moves from the original artists’ video. While 1-4 players can dance to any song, certain songs are choreographed for 2, 3 and 4 players and the moves can get pretty intricate and interactive (making it as much fun for people watching as it is for the people dancing).

Overall, the steps are simple enough that newbies can play along, but complex enough that they’ll look impressive on a real dance floor if you master them. As a bonus, as you play you’ll be able to unlock alternate choreography for many of the songs. For example, “Happy” has a “Sing Along” mode and “Diamonds” has a “Seated Dance” mode.

Motion Controls – Ubisoft pretty much perfected the motion controls a few years ago, at least as well as they can be on the Wii. Even though you still hold a single Wii remote in your right hand, they’ve gotten really good at detecting whether you’re truly doing the dance moves correctly. A lot of people felt over the years that Microsoft would own this category with Dance Central, but as the dust has settled the king of the hill is still Just Dance on the lowly Wii.

Artwork – Again, Ubisoft stuck to the formula of using simple cartoon drawings and backgrounds, and it still works. Some of the artwork is beautiful, others are hilarious, and the animations that build up as you dance really keep you engaged during the game.

Workout – With Just Dance 2015, Ubisoft did away with the confusingly named “Just Sweat Mode”, and simply allows you to turn on calorie tracking for any song as you play the game. Similar to “Just Sweat Mode” in past games, there’s also a Playlist mode that lets you select songs to dance to for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes, or non-stop. Unfortunately, you still don’t have the capability to save playlists.

Community Remix – There’s a feature for the Xbox and Playstation that allows you to record your dances with your console’s camera and share it. While this feature isn’t available on the Wii, you will be able to play remixed videos that feature montages of actual people around the world leading you with their moves. Currently, there’s a version of Pharrel’s “Happy” that’s a lot of fun, and there’ll be more.

If that were it, I’d probably give this game 3 1/2 or 4 stars–it’s a solid game, but up to this point there wasn’t much new. But what blew me away with Just Dance 2015 were the vast improvements in online play.

You might recall that Ubisoft tried their hand at online play with Just Dance 2014 and did a pretty bad job of it. Just to participate in online play, you had to sign in with your Nintendo ID, then sign in again (or create) something else called a “Uplay ID”, agreeing to a bunch of disclaimers on the way. And even after going through all that, chances are their server would kick you out or crash on you.

It’s a world of difference with Just Dance 2015. First of all, there’s no setup nor “Uplay account” necessary. You can just jump right into online play in two ways:

World Dance Floor – On the lower right-hand corner of the main Just Dance 2015 screen, you’ll see the words “World Dance Floor”, along with the number of dancers around the world currently dancing and the song everyone is dancing to. Click on it and within seconds you’ll see a single button that says “DANCE NOW”, along with the avatars of everyone who’s online at the moment and what country they’re from.

Once you click on it, you’ll be placed into a “Party” of about eight dancers. You can compete against each individually, and also choose a “side” (Dog vs. Cat, Sun vs. Moon, etc.).

As you dance to the song, you’ll see how well you’re doing vs. the others in your party. As you hit moves and improve your score, you’ll see your avatar’s position rise against other players. I have to admit, it’s addictive trying to beat your fellow dancers and get that #1 spot. And even if you can’t keep up with the top players, the better you do the more you’ll be helping your “side”.

Once you finish dancing, you’ll see whether your side won, and you’ll also see how you compare not just to your own party but to everyone around the world dancing at the moment. Similar to Wii Sports Club, you’ll also be able to use your Wii remote’s buttons to communicate short, pre-programmed phrases to the community (like “Lol” or “I love it” or “Oh no”). In some cases you’ll be able to vote on the next song to dance to. When you decide to stop, you’ll see your current “online level”, how many minutes you danced, and how many different dancers you were dancing with from how many different countries. I love how they simplified now just the process of joining in the World Dance Floor but the gameplay as well.

Dance Challenger Mode – With typical Just Dance songs you can dance with up to four players holding four Wii remotes. For the first time, you’ll also be able to activate “Dance Challenger Mode” which will fill up any empty slots with online players OR against your best performance from the past. Unlike with World Dance Floor, you’re not competing against live players, but you are competing against real people’s performances.

There’s only one major glitch I encountered; at a certain point when I was configuring avatars, the game crashed my system, resulting in a freeze that required me to unplug my unit and plug it in again. Hopefully that has just a one-time thing.

In addition to continuing to be one of the most entertaining video games you can play at family gatherings or parties, Just Dance 2015 is still one of the best ways you can get exercise while playing a video game. Ubisoft did a great job of carrying over the best things about previous versions of Just Dance, but it’s the updated song list and the improvements in online features that make Just Dance 2015 worth buying.

Here’s the complete track list, along with the number of dancers each song is choreographed for:

Problem – Ariana Grande Ft. Iggy Azalea and Big Sean (solo)
Happy – Pharrell Williams (solo)
The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) – Ylvis (3)
Love Me Again – John Newman (1)
Dark Horse – Katy Perry (3)
Love Is All – The Sunlight Shakers (2)
Me And My Broken Heart – Rixton (2)
I Love It – Icona Pop Ft. Charli XCX (1)
Tetris – Dancing Bros. (4)
Walk This Way – Run-DMC & Aerosmith (4)
Let It Go – Disney’s Frozen (2)
Built For This – Becky G (1)
Bailando – Enrique Iglesias Ft. Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona (2)
Summer – Calvin Harris (1)
Don’t Worry Be Happy – The Bench Men (3)
Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) – The Girly Team (4)
Black Widow – Iggy Azalea Ft. Rita Ora (1)
SING ALONG – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (2)
Get Low – Dillon Francis & DJ Snake (2)
Bang Bang – Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj (4)
Fatima – Cheb Salama (1)
Holding Out For A Hero – Bonnie Tyler (1)
Birthday – Katy Perry (1)
Only You (And You Alone) – Love Letter (2)
Diamonds – Rihanna (1)
She Looks So Perfect” – 5 Seconds of Summer (4)
XMas Tree – Bollywood Santa (2)
Best Song Ever – One Direction (4)
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga (3)
Never Can Say Goodbye – Gloria Gaynor (1)
You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) – Dead Or Alive (1)
4×4 – Miley Cyrus (4)
Epic Sirtaki – The Bouzouki’s (3)
It’s My Birthday – will.i.am Ft. Cody Wise (3)
Burn – Ellie Goulding (1)
Mahna Mahna – Frankie Bostello (3)
Speedy Gonzalez – Los Pimientos Locos (2)
Maps – Maroon 5 (1)
You’re On My Mind – Imposs Ft. J. Perry (4)
Addicted To You – Avicii (1)
Till I Find You – Austin Mahone (1)
Video Remix

4 of 5 stars

p.s. quick favor…if you liked this review, could you go over to Amazon and “like” my review (titled “Still one of the best video games for groups or workouts, improved by a great song list and vastly improved online capabilities”) over there? It’s a silly thing, I know, but I kind of like having my review rank there 🙂 Thanks!!

All the Way Up Eighth, All the Way across 54th. Day 45

It rained all last night, so I figured I was going to take the subway. Little did I know that it’d be a beautiful day. Slightly warm and a little humid, but still a good biking day, considering the cold we’re going to get soon.

Unfortunately I left my helmet at home. But since it’s still legal for adults to bike without a helmet, I thought I’d be extra careful and try riding without one.

I picked up a bike at 31st and Eighth and biked up the way up Eighth. Instead of leading I decided to follow a pack of bikers so they could deal with the pedestrians in the bike path. I’m finding it’s a mixture of people who A) don’t know the rules, B) know the rules but get careless, and C) know the rules and decide to be a-holes. You can tell easily who is whom; group A will walk out of the way when you ring your bell and say “sorry”, group B will jump out of the way with a look of terror in their eyes, and group C will play a game of “chicken” with you. A pedestrian playing a game of chicken with a bike is as dangerous and foolhardy as a bike playing chicken with a car. One wonders when Darwin will catch up to the good folks in Group C.

I find that when I’m not wearing a helmet, people feel more free to yell things at you. In fairness to them, I was wrong in both instances. In one instance I rolled a little too far into the crosswalk at a red light which got me a “come on, dude”. And in another instance in order for me to get from 54th to 53rd, I had to gingerly go against traffic, which emitted a “wrong way” from a trucker. Mea culpa in both cases, but I wish these folks had the same chutzpah to say those things to the bikers who flaunt the rules on a daily basis (problem is, they usually look too menacing or scary that these folks will not utter a word).

I thought today’s ride would be a little safer, given that I was on bike paths the whole time. Problem is, the potholes and pedestrians and blind left turns on Eighth still pose a menace, and on 54th the bike path doesn’t start until you get to around Sixth, and then it’s a “shared bike lane”, which means double-parked cars, trucks backing up, and cars taking up every last inch, so a biker like I had to weave in and out and try to look for safe places on the sidewalk to make my way across.

Another really, really annoying part. My Citi Bike app told me there were 28 docks open at 53rd and Madison.

citi bike app wrong

When I got there, there were 2 docks open, and both had been locked shut. Thankfully, a guy came by about a minute later and told me he was picking up a bike (he was kind enough to notice I was in duress and unlocked a bike next to me instead of all the way on the other end). I’m guessing the app never updated. I would hope if the app developers ever update this app, they would put a “last updated” message on the “Favorites” page just so their app doesn’t end up being so misleading. Also, I noticed this app doesn’t use “Background App Refresh”, which would think would be pretty important for an app like this. Finally, I really wish the app would let you choose the “Favorites” page as your default home page rather than making you go to that useless, tiny map each time. It’s little things like this that really make me wonder if this app went through any kind of testing at all. So if you’re a Citi Bike app developer, take this free advice (from someone who’s been a digital product manager) to heart on how you can improve your app.

Today’s Route: North on 8th, East on 54th
Best Thing About It: Relatively safe compared to others given the bike lane on 54th
Worst Thing About It: Bike lane on 54th is “for suggestion only”. The usual annoyance with full bike docks during rush hour.
Route Rating: 5 of 10

Cost per ride: $95/65=$1.46 a ride
Stress: 5 of 10
Aggravation: 8 of 10

 

Riding Citi Bike to Central Park: Day 44

Since our experience riding Citi Bike as a tourist to the Intrepid was so good a few weeks ago, my wife and I figured we’d try it again. We had another mission in mind: bike to Central Park and meet my sister and her dog Clancy early in the morning (dogs are allowed to be off lead up to 9:00 AM).

We got up literally at the crack of dawn and took the LIRR in to the City right as the sun was rising.

unrise on the lirr

And happily there were lots of bikes for us to choose from at 33rd and Eighth.

33rd and 8th

But of course by now you know I can’t write a Citi Bike post without something going wrong. And yes, it turns out the station was completely without power, so I couldn’t enter my gift certificate number for my wife.  Yet another example of sloppy management by the Citi Bike people.

dead citi bike station

 

I walked over to my usual station at 31st and Eighthm and happily there were plenty of bikes there. I entered my gift certificate number, acquiesced to the scary question about the deposit being left on my car,acquiesced to the part where they tell you to accept a 200-page document, and finally got my bike code.

You guessed it. The code didn’t work. We tried on at least 5 different bikes. Then we went back to the station and were told…

citi bike mandatory 2 minute wait

So Citibike, you give me a broken code and THEN you tell me I have to wait before you can give me a new one? Thanks a bunch.

Well, we finally got a bike and started biking all the way up Eighth. And then I witnessed a sight I had never, ever seen before on a Citi Bike.

clear roads

 

That’s right, the roads were beautifully clear. But ironically, while there were no cabs in the bike lane to get doored by, or deliver trucks to swerve out of the way of, or pedestrians cluelessly loitering in, there had to be something to get in my way. And that something was PIGEONS. That’s right, every few blocks there were pigeons hanging around in the bike lane, as if they felt they were the understudies for the pedestrians. I kept ringing my bell, but like the pedestrians, sometimes they’d scamper away, but other times they’d fly into my face.

We finally made it to 59th when all of a sudden–the bike lane disappeared. It’s as if whoever painted the bike lanes suddenly said “Central Park South, you’re on your own, dude”. I’m sure there were bike markings somewhere, but heck, they were very easy to miss if there were.

bike to central park

But we finally made it up to Central Park South and 6th, and yes, there were actually empty docks.

bikes at central park

Now the perfect thing to do would have been to bike into the Park and meet my sister in the 70’s where she lives, but of course that was hampered by the fact that there are no docks north of 59th. Once again, it makes you wonder who thought of where to put these bike stations–it’s the nicest place to bike in the City, and you have bike docks only on one end of it.

So we got off the bikes and walked around on a beautiful fall day.

view from central park

And Clancy as always was thrilled to see us.

clancy!

We ended up having brunch at Sarabeth’s; my sister only knew of the one on the Upper East Side and not the one at Central Park South so we ended up taking a cab uptown. This is what I had, which pretty much wiped out any calorie loss from the bike ride.

potato waffles at sarabeth

 

But I think I made up for it by suggesting we walk the 30 blocks back down Madison Avenue. It was such a gorgeous day I didn’t mind. We even stopped at 70th at the La Duree to pick up these.

macarons at la duree

I’d wanted to pick up a bike where we left them and then bike West to the bike path on the West Side, but alas, there was the Hispanic Day Parade that blocked off everything between 44th and 70th, so there was no way we were getting to the West Side.

We picked up bikes at 56th and Madison and biked down 2nd and across 33rd. As I learned from my daily commute, the East Side is not a fun place to ride a bike in midtown, as the otherwise-pleasant East River Greenway completely disappears from 34th to 83rd.  Second wasn’t too horrible, and other than some tight squeezes on 33rd, that wasn’t as bad as usual either, although I can see tourists completely freaking out at a trail like this.

Since I was in tourist mode, I decided to snap this picture, even though in commuter mode I pass it every day without thinking.

empire state building

Happily, the Broadway Bites street food fair is back in town, and we stopped and treated ourselves to some takoyaki from Mimi and Coco NY.

takoyaki

Conveniently, there was a bike dock right there at the food stands, so we just docked the bikes and walked the block to Penn.

biking on east side

All in all, a pretty satisfying day, although had there been Citi Bike stations at 72nd and 92nd, it would have been a perfect Citi Bike tourist day. They’ve got a lot to work on as far as getting more stations and safer paths before they can start making money from bikers in midtown and uptown.

Cost per ride: $95/64=$1.48 a ride
Stress: 3 of 10
Aggravation: 5 of 10

No Rebalancers at Penn Station and Getting Into a Groove: Days 39-43

After my bad Citi Bike experience on Friday I was eager to get back on the saddle. So I got into the City and waited as usual by the Penn Station docks for bike rebalancers to come. It was past 9:30 and there was one lone bike at the dock, which did’t have a red light but of course wouldn’t unlock.

I waited and waited, way past the time it would have taken me to walk to work, but no rebalancers came. There’s a part of me that wonders how much of that was due to Citi Bike employee’s latest decision to unionize. I’m all for fair wages and working conditions, but let’s face it; if the union is pushing NYC Bike Share to make concessions that it can’t afford to make, the result is going to be things like this. One of the only bright spots of the Citi Bike program was how efficiently their bike rebalancers were able to replenish the Penn Station docks.

By 10:00, there was a long line of people behind me. I saw from the app that a few bikes had opened up at 7th and 31st, a block away. I walked over and saw 7 bikes, which was great. I tried to unlock a bike, it turned green, but it continued to be locked in the dock no matter how much I wriggled it to get it out. I then went to three other bikes and got a red and yellow light. Finally, a bike opened up for me. Again, no matter how good the workers is, as long as their technology sucks like this they’re going to lose even more riders.

For the ride up, I went back over to Eighth, went up on 40th, left on Madison, and then around to 47th and Park where there were supposedly three docks available, but one had the red “out of order” sign on it.

The rest of the week went better as far as getting a bike in the morning, but I was completely shut out of getting a bike every afternoon.

10/6/14 AM – Up on Eighth, Across on 40th, up on Madison, docked at 47th and Park (14 minutes, 0 seconds)

10/7/14 AM – Up on Eighth, Across on 40th, up on Sixth, across on 47th, docked at 47th and Park (15 minutes, 37 seconds)

10/8/14 AM – Up on Eighth, Across on 40th, up on Third, back to 47th and Park to dock (14 minutes, 54 seconds)

10/10/14 AM – Up on Eighth, Across on 40th, up on Madison, docked at 51st and Lex (15 minutes, 26 seconds).

The good news is that the rides are getting pretty routine. The bad news is that there still isn’t a ride nor a path that I felt completely safe the whole way. I think my spidey senses have just gotten used to being “always on”, so when trucks and cabs double-park in the bike lane, pedestrians wander into the bike lane, or vendors drag their food trucks through the bike lane, I just ring my bell and swerve around them, which is of course dangerous because it means swerving into the road which the cars are supposed to own or the sidewalk, which the pedestrians are supposed to own. They wonder why Citi Bike hasn’t taken off yet, and I can say with surety now that there are two reasons: the roads are still too dangerous because people don’t want to follow rules AND the management of bike inventory is still too disorganized so what should have been 8 bike rides turned out to be only 4.

On Friday night, I walked down and happened to notice a lone bike at 44th and 5th. I ended up starting my ride at 6:47 PM, or about a half hour after sunset. But I figured I’d take it nice and slow and I did make my way to Penn Station unscathed.

Cost per ride: $95/62=$1.53 a ride
Stress: 6 of 10
Aggravation: 7 of 10

 

GameCube controller Adapter will not work with DDR, Cyberbike, or Active Life :(

The good news is that Nintendo has FINALLY confirmed a launch date for Super Smash Bros., November 21.

While I’m certainly a fan of the game, as I’ve mentioned on previous posts, the thing I was most looking for was the release of the GameCube Controller Adapter. Early indications from Nintendo was that this would allow you to use the GameCube controller (and presumably other devices that used the GameCube connector like the Cyberbike, DDR dance pads, and Active Life controllers) with the Wii U. Even as recent as last week, their Web site proclaimed that the adapter would let you use a GameCube controller with “any game that already supports the Wii Classic Controller, Wii Classic Controller Pro, and Wii U Pro Controller”.

Very quickly, Nintendo scrubbed that from all of its Web sites and released an announcement to the media reiterating that the adapter would work only with Super Smash Bros for Wii U, and would NOT allow other games to use GameCube controllers, nor would it enable GameCube controllers to be used on later versions of the Wii that ripped out the GameCube sockets.

Obviously, this puts a damper on all of us who had hoped to breathe new life into their Wii U consoles by playing old Wii games from the golden age of motion control games. I’ll still plan on buying one and testing it with my legacy controllers, just to see if Nintendo’s converter fares any better than Mayflash’s attempt. So still stay tuned…but don’t get your hopes up. 🙁

My First Citi Bike Accident: Day 38

Friday morning’s commute took me on a pretty circuitous route: north on Eighth, east on 38th, north on Broadway, east on 40th, north on Madison, and then east to 47th and Park where I found parking. The route was circuitous because I wanted to see if there was a route where I could “keep moving” without getting stopped by traffic jams, red lights, or clueless pedestrians, food trucks, and double-parked cars.

Today’s Route: What it says above
Best Thing About It: Actually got a bike at Penn Station and a dock at 47th and Park without hassle, for once.
Worst Thing About It: Exhausting trying to find a decent path.
Route Rating: 3 of 10

It was the ride home that afternoon where I encountered a first–my first accident on Citi Bike. Now thank God it was just a fall where I got a little bit of a scraped knee but it could have been a lot worse. I guess it was just a matter of time.

The evening started out uneventful enough. As usual on a Friday afternoon, there were no bikes near my office, a failure of Citi Bike I’ve gotten used to. But I saw on the app there were bikes at 51st and 6th, so I walked over there. Surely enough, I saw a bunch of bikes there. Now as you guessed by now, the reason there were so many bikes late on a Friday isn’t because Citi Bike did what they should have and restocked the bikes. No, once again I quickly found that nothing happened when I stuck my key in the dock. No lights, no sounds, nothing. I tried about 10 different bikes and was surrounded by a half dozen other bikers also going from bike to bike. Miraculously, after a while I had a bike randomly unlock on me. This again is another failure of Citi Bike I’ve gotten used to.

I rode West on 6th, turned left on Broadway, and then made my way to Ninth. It was getting dark by this time. My heart jumped a beat when a Yellow Cab came literally within six inches of me. Now even though it’s dark, the red lights on the bike are bright, so there’s no way he didn’t see me. I started to think to myself–for all the money I’m saving on Citi Bike, all it would take is one bad accident, and whatever money I saved would be completely not worth it.

But I finally got into what I thought was a safe haven on the bike path on Ninth. As usual, there were food trucks, double-parked police cars, and clueless pedestrians blocking the bike path every step of the way, so I was cautious.

But around the intersection at 39th or 40th, I had a green light and was riding when an idiot pedestrian, without looking, walked into my path, completely ignoring me and the bright red DO NOT WALK sign in front of him. I rang my bell frantically and let out a yell before I swerved out of his way, only to lose control and wipe out. As usual when things like this happen, everything went into slow motion. I could feel the bike crumble under me, and I braced myself as my knees hit the ground, and then the heavy Citi Bike twisted on top of me. Thank God there were no cars or other people to crash into, or it could have been a lot worse.

I lay there on the ground for a few seconds to compose myself. My knees hurt bad but I didn’t see any blood through my pants, which was a good sign. I yelled at the pedestrian, “What are you doing in the bike lane??”. To his credit, he wasn’t a jerk back to me, but acknowledged he was wrong and apologized.

I got up. My knees were already stiff, but I didn’t feel anything broken so I told the guy I was okay and rode off. My knees were stiff, but I made my way back to Penn. On the train, my knees got worse but later when I checked them, I just saw a few scrapes and bruises, but thank God, nothing worse than that.

It’s really a crying shame that this City is so bike-unfriendly, even with all the supposed improvements they put in place. I think of the recent tragedy in Central Park. Of course, 99% of the media and public are blaming Jason Marshall the cyclist, and yes, all evidence points to him riding way too fast and not being in full control. But no one points to the pedestrians who were loitering in his bike path whom he swerved to avoid before hitting Jill Tarlov, who were just as complicit in that tragedy. This City will only be safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and cars IF if pedestrians respect the space given to bikers and cars, cars respect the space given to pedestrians and bikers, and bikers respect the space given to cars and pedestrians. Instead, it seems more and more that we have a City full of clueless and/or entitled brats who don’t show any consideration, respect, or decency to anyone else, and a City full of politicians and media eager to demonize bikers rather than educating the public and working together to come up with a solution.

Cost per ride: $95/56.5=$1.68 per ride
Stress: 10 of 10
Aggravation: 8 of 10

Wii Fit U and Balance Board and 2 Fit Meters Bundle on Sale at Groupon #wii #wiifit

Have you been putting off buying Wii Fit U, the Balance Board, and Fit Meters? Your procrastination has paid off! Groupon has a deal where you can get a hard copy of Wii Fit U, a brand new Balance Board, and two Fit Meters for only $50.

Just to break down the price, the Wii Fit U + Balance Board + 1 Fit Meter bundle usually goes for $89.99 retail (street price around $79). An extra Fit Meter usually runs you about $19.99 retail (street price around $17). So you’re paying $50 for something worth at least $96.

Some of us spent well over $100 for this same thing, so if you haven’t gotten one yet, this is a great opportunity. But hurry, this is only good for the next week!

Wii Fit U, Balance Board and 2 Fit Meters bundle on Groupon.