Wiiquest, Part Two

A few weeks ago we stopped by the Gresham Best Buy to ask about their Wii availability. I was informed that they were holding back inventory until the 17th when they would put them all on sale. I marked the date on my calendar.

Last week I learned that Target would also be offering another round of Wii’s on the 17th. With that knowledge, I committed to “camping out” in order to get one for the boys. Since the Wii had already been out a month at that point, I figured that most of the hard-core buyers had already gotten theirs and I wouldn’t have to camp out for more than a few hours.

I arrived at the Best Buy in Gresham at about 3:30 am. I quickly counted 15-20 people already there and decided to move on to the Best Buy in Vancouver. On the way there I swung by the Airport Way store where there over 20 people in line including 3 tents. I was happy to see two fathers within the first ten people.

I arrived at the Vancouver Best Buy at almost exactly 4:00. When I arrived, the rumor was that they had 17 units. I was informed that I was 7 back from unit #17. Having explored the other options, I decided to stick it out anyway and hope for the best.

I have learned that after the store manager arrives, he will, in an attempt to preserve order and perhaps to bestow mercy upon the faithful, often hand out numbers to those in line so that they can warm themselves for an hour or so before the store opens for them to buy their item. Both Target and Best Buy were slated to open at 8:00 and would likely hand out numbers at 7:00.

Some after I arrived, a guy arrived who “guaranteed” that there would be 40 units. This was encouraging to all around me. More and more people arrived to shiver with us in the 27ยบ cold as it got later and later. By 6:40, there were approximately 60-70 people in line when the manager came out to tell us that he only had 18 units. I hopped back in the car and sped off to Portland in the hope that I might be able to catch a shorter line at one of the Targets.

I arrived at the Target at 122nd and Glisan at about 6:55. There were about 20 people in line and they told me that the manager had already told them that there were only 15 units. I decided to move on.

After stopping for a gallon of gas, my next stop was the Fairview Target on Halsey, where there was nobody in line when I got there at 7:05. However, the parking lot was quite full of idling cars, so I approached one to find out the story. The manager had handed out numbers five minutes ago and there were none left. My source advised trying EB Games in Wood Village, which was only another five minutes away.

Five minutes later I found 10 people in line for 6 units. By that time, I’d had enough and headed home.

Thus, this week I will be calling stores every day and perhaps camping out for a few hours some mornings. If that fails, I would like to give the boys an empty box with an IOU inside, but I’m not sure Tina is down with that. The whole time I waited in line I kept picturing the looks on their faces when they opened it up. It would be an absolute surprise because we have told them repeatedly they have to earn the money to buy one. I want this to be the best Christmas they ever had.

Guitar Hero

Last Sunday we stopped in at Best Buy after dinner. The boys wanted to look at the games and I wanted to find out the lowdown on their Wii inventory. They had no Wii’s, but they did have a PlayStation II demo that was running Guitar Hero II. I had heard about this game from Wil Wheaton’s blog, but had not seen it in person. We watched a kid play it for about 15 minutes before giving up to browse the rest of the store. We returned 20 minutes later and he was still playing. I think he took the hint because he finally set his guitar down and let us play. I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun this game is. All four of us tried it and we all loved it.

When I got home, I IM’d a collegue about it and he said he had a PS2 with GH1 and GH2 with two guitars! So he brought them in to work yesterday and we’ve lost a significant amount of productivity in the last two days. This might be the best game ever for a rock music fan.

There are four different levels of difficulty which you can apply to each song. GH2 lets you play cooperatively with another player. For example, on “Free Bird” one player plays lead guitar and the other plays rhythm guitar. On other songs, like “War Pigs”, one player has lead and the other plays bass. It’s really a blast.

GH2 costs $80 with a guitar controller. A second controller costs $50. We don’t have a PS2, so that would cost another $120. Over $200, so we won’t be getting one any time soon.

I tell you, though, it’s way more fun than learning to play a real guitar. At least if you’re a talentless, tone-deaf hack like me.

Check out the song lists for each game:


This morning I visited four Walmarts in an attempt to get a certain Christmas present. In each case they only had enough units for the lucky 28 (or 15 or 12 or 9) people that had arrived before me. Hopefully, this item will become available at other stores soon. Interesting factoid: it takes only 45 minutes to drive to three Walmarts from our house. I could have added the fourth for another 10 minutes probably, but they made their items available at 12:01 this morning. The others all started selling at 7:00 or 8:00 this morning.

My shoulder is till sore and pops with certain hand movements. I’ve been trying to keep Nietzsche off it at night, but that’s his favorite shoulder. My other arm is also sore now because we did some garage cleaning over the weekend. The slow healing part of getting old really, really sucks.