Tuesday, September 11, 2012

WiiU Experience and Refinishing Furniture

Last Friday we attended the Wii U Experience, which was essentially a big room set up with Wii U consoles around playing different games.  Some of the titles we saw: ZombiU, Wii Fit U, New Super Mario Bros. U, Just Dance 4, SiNG, Project P-100, Game and Wario and Nintendo Land.

The party itself was fun, if only to be in a new environment for a while.  Everyone was given a lanyard and allowed to roam around between games, photo booths and the refreshment table.  We were also fed delicious cookies that I'm pretty sure were 98% sugar (the rest was frosting, which is also sugar!)

I couldn't wait.  It was delicious.

DM (formerly A, since I've been advised that A as a name and a letter are difficult to differentiate) and I stood in line to try out ZombiU, which was honestly kind of a let down.  I'd consider myself a pretty decent multitasker but even I was having a lot of trouble keeping track of which screen I was supposed to look at.  Nobody (Nintendo or Ubisoft) can tell us if it's co-op multiplayer yet, which is a huge minus for us.  At one point the gentleman running the game had me pull out the crossbow, which you fire by holding the Wii U tablet parallel to the TV. But before I could use it I had to dig through my inventory, which involved looking down at the tablet and tapping things.  (In fact, all the up and down and up again looking had me thinking of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLL90q3as4M  "Look at your TV.  Now back to your tablet.  Now back to your TV.  Now back to your tablet.  Now back to me... sadly, your inventory isn't on your TV.  But it could be.")

To be honest, I walked away from that party hyped up on sugar but not really feeling the love for the Wii U.  In all fairness, they've got a hard sell with me because I'm also not a huge fan of touch tablets, but the Wii U tablet just feels like its riding along on the coattails of the Wii (case in point: New Super Mario Bros. U uses 4 Wii Remotes to play as characters while the Wii U tablet is a "5th player" that places blocks that can help/hinder teammates).

This weekend we also tried our hand at refinishing our kitchen table and chairs (have you seen them?  They're completely embarrassing.) This is the first time either of us have tried anything like this, so I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was.  And satisfying.  There's just something about scraping up layers of ugly, scratched and splotchy paint to reveal a pretty okay looking surface underneath (I'm all about instant gratification, and this is about as instant as it gets).

We decided to test our mettle on a chair seat, which is relatively small and flat, so (ideally) it would be easy to clean up or abort the mission, if necessary.  Also, the chair we chose was covered in paint blots - white, blue and probably some red in there as well (it's not a patriotic statement, somehow I just manage to get paint on everything.  Never invite me over to paint.  Ever.)

We did this outside, even though the product we used (Citristrip...which I like a lot) said it could also be used for interiors.  There was a minor blip where we had to figure out where to find a metal container and odorless mineral spirits/paint wash, but then we were ready to go.

This is... pretty easy.  Just slop the Citristrip on where you want the veneer/paint/etc. to come off, then leave it alone for 30-60 minutes.  Here's what our seat looked like, fully covered.

About 40 minutes later (I got lazy) we came back and started to scrape with metal scrapers.  This stuff works (at least, in my limited opinion it does).

Bam.  Finished seat.  Looks pretty nice compared to the original, doesn't it?

So then we got bold, and decided to try our living room table... (also heavily damaged).  Once again, we were pleased with the results.  We only bought a 1-quart size and it's almost gone, so we're kind of at a standstill.  To make things interesting, we also discovered one of the chair backs has a huge crack in it that makes it unsafe to sit in, so we're either going to have to remember the brand of this furniture and try to finagle a replacement chair, or buy a whole new set of chairs (though now that we know how to strip old finish off, maybe that wouldn't be such a terrible thing).

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