Why You Shouldn’t Be A Halloween Skipper!


In the recent episode of The Simpsons titled Halloween of Horror, Homer uses the term “skipper” for the ever increasing number of people that turn off their porch lights and close their blinds on Halloween.  There are any number of reasons to skip Halloween: religious beliefs, agoraphobia, going on vacation, and so on, but it seems like the number one reason people are skipping Halloween is just because they don’t want to bother.  Here is why I think you should bother.  Halloween is the one holiday dedicated to meeting your community.

Think about it.  The big holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter you spend with family.  New Years and the Forth of July (or whatever your local patriotic holiday is) you spend with friends, and the greeting card holidays, Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, and whatnot, you spend the day with the person you bought the card for.  Halloween on the other hand is the day that you get to dress up and use getting/giving free candy and toys as an excuse to talk to your neighbors.  As your kid joins the sugar crazy hoard, you get to watch and hang out with the rest of the parents from your block and get the dirt on what has been going down on your street.  You get to see how excited the old lady down the lane is to see so many kids at her door, or interact with the imaginative scares the guy across the street came up with.  In short, you get to be involved in the place where you live.

Halloween is unique in its premise, and by skipping, you are opting out of your community.  I will also say this, if your religion is what is stopping you, I would ask that you reconsider.  I grew up being a lumber jack or fisherman more times than I can count because I couldn’t take part in the creepy aspect of the holiday, but I was still out there, and if God is all powerful, he can certainly sanctify a day meant to celebrate the darker forces.  Don’t be a skipper: buy a cheep bag of candy, turn on the light, dress your kid up as a garden patch, and meet the people of your neighborhood.  You will be glad that you did.

Hangin’ Out In Napa!


You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything on my blog on Wednesday (I am sure you didn’t because no one pays the much attention to my blog), well the reason for that is that I was on my way back from Napa Valley, California.  Mrs. Shmee and I were taking a belated fifth anniversary trip.  I being one to never let an opportunity to be critical pass me by, thought I give you my impressions of a few of the spots we visited.

The Sunburst Calistoga:


First up, our lodgings.  We stayed at The Sunburst Calistoga.  It is a recently renovated motel, and I have to say I forgot how convenient motels are.  You park right next to your room and head in.  No elevators or lobbies, just easy room access.  Of course the downside is if you are looking for that resort experience this is not it.  The Sunburst has nice rooms at good rates, and their only amenities are their mineral pools.  Well the pools and the free snacks (big bonus points for free snacks!).  If you are just looking for a good place to sleep while in the Napa Valley, give The Sunburst a look.

The Food:


Almost as important to the area as the wine, are the many places to eat, and while all the food I had was pretty good, I have a massive sweet tooth, so my favorite places were the bakeries.  You will need to visit Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, though I guess they have locations in Las Vagas and New York as well, but the Village Bakery in Calistoga was great too.  If you want more standard fare, The Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena was my favorite full on restaurant.

Mud Baths:


I guess Calistoga is known for its hot springs and mud baths, so the Wife and I had to give it a shot.  We did the mud baths at the Roman Spa.  While I don’t regret getting a mud bath, I don’t think I will do it again.  It was relaxing, but very, very hot and it got a little uncomfortable towards the end.  If you are going to give it a try drink LOTS of water.  Your skin will feel soft though, so that is a bonus!

The Wine:


Now what you have all been waiting for, my thoughts on the wine.  Sadly I am not a huge wine person, but I did my best.  My three favorite wineries were all in Calistoga: Lava Vine, Huge Bear, and Tank Garage.  Of those Tank Garage had in my humble opinion the best, or at least the most unique wine.  We might end up even joining their wine club.  We tried wine up and down Highway 29 (Napa’s main drag), and in the end it seemed like the tasting rooms and wineries in Calistoga were just simply the best.  Now it is worth it to stop and see the big wineries.  I mean there are castles and art galleries galore, but the wine all tasted generic.  Good, but nothing special.  You were being sold on the “experience” not on the wine, but there is nothing wrong with a good experience, just don’t join the wine club.  So see the cool buildings and vineyards all over Napa, but drink the wine in Calistoga.

All in all I had great trip, and I got some sleep away from Lil’ Shmee.  Bring your checkbook when you go to Napa because nothing is free (unless you are there for the parks, though they probably cost money too), but I am sure you will enjoy your time there.

Post PAX Rainbow Six: Siege Beta Code Giveaway!


UPDATE: I am all out of codes!

Well PAX Prime is over, but I have gift for 18 of ya’ll!  Rainbow Six: Siege beta keys!  All you have to do is look for the tweet linking to this post on Twitter, retweet it and follow @Shmee_Is_Me.  If you are already following me, just retweet the tweet!  This is a first come first served deal so click fast.  Also I understand that since I don’t have a lot of followers it may take some time to give them all away, so while this code giveaway is starting on #FreeCodeFriday 9/4/2015, it will end when all the codes are gone or the beta is over.

If you are one of the first 18, I will message you via Twitter with your key and how to redeem it.  The codes will work for the three major platforms Xbox One, PS4, and PC, so good luck!

Note: This giveaway is not sanctioned by UbiSoft.  I just got a lot of codes at PAX Prime this year, so I thought I would share the wealth!

Note 2: Since I am in the United States, I can only confirm these codes work in the USA, so if you are from another country I will give you the code, but I am not sure if it will work.

Disney D23 Finally Announces The Star Wars Theme Park!


Even since Disney bought Lucas Film from George Lucas people have been waiting for the announcement that there would be more Star Wars based rides at Disneyland and Disney Word.  By people I do mean me (hey I am people jerk!).  Star Tours and Captain EO were definitely not enough.  Well that time has finally come!  We are getting a whole fourteen acre Star Wars based Land or World (depending on the park)!  After seeing the amazing things Disney did with Cars (my least favorite Pixar movie by the way), I can’t wait to see what they do with Star Wars!

All they have to do is get the Marvel rides license back for Universal, and I am sure that Marvel land is right around the corner!  I wouldn’t complain if they brought over the new Tron ride from Disney Shanghai either.  What Disney “Land” would you like to see next?

Shmee Is An Omeganaut!


I don’t talk about myself much here on Shmee.me (besides my opinions that is), even though this my blog, so I should talk about myself all the time.  I am pretty wonderful.  Anyway this is the first time I have been in anything kind of cool enough to talk about.  I will be an Omeganaut at this year’s PAX Prime!  Which means I will be playing in the PAX tournament known as the Omegathon.  Twenty (or at least I think it is twenty it usually is) of us will play games to the death (or elimination, probably elimination) for a fabulous prizes.

I have gone to PAX/PAX Prime every year since this thing started except for 2013 (I was in Hawaii, cry for me), and this is the first time I have gotten to compete, so if you are at PAX Prime this year come and cheer me on, or if you want to stay home I am sure it will be on Twitch or YouTube.  Anyways wish me luck!

Hey just for fun watch this video for Alan Tudyk’s Con-Men!