Airbnb Review: Alexis’ Cottage, Honfleur, France.

Are you looking for a place to stay in Honfleur, France? We spent a week in Alexis’ cottage this summer, and here’s what you need to know about the place.

Because love knows no borders, the entire family went to France for a wedding this summer. After the wedding, we joined the happy couple, and their toddler, in Honfleur by the French North coast. To find a place we – 7 people – could all stay at a reasonable price, we used Airbnb. We decided on Alexis’ cottage, also known as “Nafsica’s cottage”, just outside (1092 Chemin du Petit Saint-Pierre) of the Honfleur city center.

The cottage lies secluded behind a locked gate. A short driveway takes you to the cottage’s parking space, which has room for three cars – four if you’re a bit adventurous. You’ll have access to a huge garden with lots of open space, more than large enough for family football matches. In the garage, you’ll find some games for the kids, and a coal based barbecue grill. Inside the house, Alexis was kind enough to leave us a bottle of wine, and a little food, which was great because we arrived on a Sunday when most stores are closed.

The cottage sports everything you’ll need: Kitchen, living room, dining room, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (two with bathtubs and toilets, one with a shower), and 2 separate toilets. The bedrooms will house a total of 7 adults, 1 child, and 2 infants. In short, this place has room for everyone, and then some. It also has high speed wireless internet, because let’s face it, you have to share pictures of your vacation on Facebook.

Sounds like the perfect place, doesn’t it? Well, there’s more.

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911 Operator.

In PlayWay‘s job simulator 911 Operator you answer phone calls. How can that possibly be entertaining?

You might remember the adventure game slash job simulator This is the Police by Belarusian developer Weappy Studio. I reviewed the game late last year, and while it was interesting for a while, it started to feel like a chore after a few hours. This is the Police had two major gameplay elements. You managed resources as a police dispatcher by day, and growing your retirement slush fund by night. Now Polish developer PlayWay has taken police dispatcher element of This is the Police, and turned it into a game of its own; 911 Operator.

911 Operator builds further upon the basic features of This is the Police’ basic dispatcher mini-game. You’re managing all three branches of the emergency services: The police, the fire department, and the ambulance service. You also have to handle vehicles, staff and equipment, assign teams, and make sure the teams have the equipment they need to deal with every situation effectively. Through your 12 hour work shift, you have to use your available units as effectively as possible, while juggling both reported incidents and incoming 911 calls.

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“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline.

The year is 2044. The world has gone to shit. Unemployment. Civil unrest. Famine. Pollution. Overpopulation. War. People’s only escape is OASIS, a digital utopia where you can forget all about the real world.

OASIS is a digital virtual reality simulation, accessible to players by using a visor, and haptic technology. The few rules that apply inside the simulation were defined by its creators James Halliday and Ogden Morrow1. Concerned people were using OASIS to escape the real world, Morrow leaves its parent company, Gregarious Simulation Systems. Halliday remains the sole owner of GSS and OASIS.

Upon his death, Halliday announces a competition: Whoever manages to find an Easter egg his has hidden inside OASIS will inherit GSS, OASIS, and Halliday’s entire fortune. To find the it, the egg hunters, quickly nicknamed gunters, first have to locate three keys that open three different gates. Soon, everyone and their grandmother are searching for the egg. It become apparent that Halliday’s affection with the 1970s and 80s of his childhood is the right path to find the egg. With enough knowledge of 70s and 80s pop culture and nerd trivia, and the ability to connect the dots, a player should be able to find the keys, the gates, and thus the Easter egg, and Halliday’s big pile of dough.

But the first key proves to be hard to find, and years go by without any progress, until suddenly, one day, a name appears on the top of the Scoreboard: Parzival.

Parzival is the avatar of young Wade Watts. An orphan living with his doper aunt in the stacks surrounding Oklahoma City, Watts uses the OASIS to attend high school. It’s also his escape from the real world. For Wade, and most people of his generation, OASIS is in many ways more real than reality itself. His mother used OASIS to raise him, and OASIS is where he spends most of his time. And for Watts, Halliday’s Easter egg becomes an all-consuming obsession.

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INSIDE.

“I love my job” is what I would have written if reviewing video games was something I did for a living, and INSIDE was my current assignment.

Danish developer Playdead entered the indie scene with their puzzle-based side scroller LIMBO on Xbox Live Arcade in 2010. I reviewed it the year after, giving it my very exclusive two thumbs up. Since the release of LIMBO, Playdead has porting the game to no less than 9 other platforms, firmly squeezing every last potential out of that poor kid.

Last year, the company returned with a brand new game: INSIDE. Not only does the game confirm Playdead’s love for ALL CAPS titles, and young, male protagonists. It also shows that they are still very, very good at making puzzle-based games.

INSIDE somehow managed to fly completely below my radar. It wasn’t until Steam’s algorithms decided that it was time for me to buy something new that I realized it existed. And for once, Steam hit a home run with their recommendation.

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BEARD KING Beard Bib.

With the BEARD KING Beard Bib hair clippings catcher, you can focus on your beard, and stop worrying about the mess.

My Van Dyke has been with me for 21 years now. Ever since I did my stint of mandatory military service back in ’97 and ’98, it has tried it’s best to toughen up my cursed baby face. It hasn’t helped much, though, but at least I’m no longer mistaken for a girl1. The only time I’ve shaved off the beard was for a very brief month during Movember 2012.

Never again. Never. Again.

Another reason I got the beard, is that I think shaving is unbelievably boring. With the beard, it’s not strictly necessary to shave every day. Even though it takes a little time to get the right trim, it’s worth it since I only have to shave every week – or every second week if I really stretch it.

Shaving is still a dread, though, especially the cleanup afterwards. Those hairs get everywhere, and the bathroom, in particular the area around the sink, looks like a bombed-out whorehouse.

But I’m not the only one with a beard and a serious debris problem. There are probably a million hipsters in San Francisco trying to clean their sinks as you read this. And where there’s a problem, there’s always a solution. The great minds at BEARD KING have conjured a product that every man with facial hair should own: The Beard Bib.

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