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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Pleo Party (The Sequel), Price Drop, and Quotes from Owners

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Pleo Party - The Sequel

Last week was the first global online Pleo party, hosted with the help of Yahoo Live. Yahoo Live is a free broadcasting service recently launched by Yahoo, that lets people like you and I broacast live video to the world for free! The gathering was small but we had fun, especially when the first Global Pleo Mooing event occurred (GPM). I haven't confirmed this with Ugobe yet, but my current belief is that Pleo's tendency to synchronize with other Pleos is based on what he or she hears. Several times during the broadcast my 3 Pleos (Digger, Claire, and Pendragon) all started mooing loudly almost in unison.

The extremely cool part is that Pleos belonging to other party attendees started mooing along with my Pleos, even though they were hundreds if not thousands of miles away from where I live! Apparently they had their Pleos listening in to the broadcast and when my Pleos let loose with a baby dino Rebel Yell, they joined in the fun!

I'll be hosting another Pleo Party tomorrow at 9 PM - Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Thursday, February 28, 2008. Please come by if you can and visit! The full details for attending a Pleo Party can be found on my first Pleo Party Blog post. For those that already read it, here's the direct link to my Yahoo Live channel.

Price Drop

[UPDATE] - Be aware that Sharper Image has recently filed for bankruptcy so I have to hedge deeply my comment about their extended warranties. I would guess that Ugobe's manufacturer warranty still stands in effect but you should check with Ugobe to make sure. Sigh, these are not easy times! A big thanks to fellow Pleo owner "The Snake's Mommy" who alerted me to this fact in a comment to this post. Read her blog, it's a good one!

Sharper Image has dropped their price on Pleo from the original $350 to $279 (USD). I don't know how long the offer is good for but I wanted to let you know about it the moment I found out. One of the nice things about Sharper Image is that they offer extended warranties. Here's a link to the Sharper Image Pleo page.

Quotes from Happy Pleo Owners

As I surf the web I find quotes from real Pleo owners like myself in various blogs and forums. I collect them because they make me smile when I read the thoughts and stories from other Pleo fans. I have quite a few of them so I've included two of them below because they are among my favorites. I'll be sharing more of these with you each week.

This comment was left on my Plunchkins video on YouTube, by a woman who calls herself HRS06 and works at a convalescent home:
"This is really cute. I named mine Cam. I work in a convalescent hospital and cam is the high light of the day.I was brought to tears when I had Cam out and around them and they would actually wake up and light up the look in their eyes just was so rewarding, some even spoke when we have not heard them talk for a while. He is just the most amazing little friend to all.I took him to listen to a favorite band that we go see on Sundays it seems he does like the blues and some rock and roll too.
This one shows how much Pleo entertains and delights so many of us, from Pleo World forum member Pirka, in a thread titled "Pleo vs. Golden Ghraham! (Epic!)":
"I decided to take Pleo up onto our little mini-bar for breakfast so he wasn't left unattended, and so I could pet him as I ate my cereal. It was dry golden grahams (I think milk makes them taste soggy and...ick), and no sooner had I sat down than the Pleo had his head in my bowl, picked up a piece of cereal, and started attempting to get me to play tug-o-war or something with it! It was absolutely hilarious. After a while, he dropped it (and my dog ate it)."
I'll see some of you tomorrow at the Pleo Party, until next time ...

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Pleo Party Tomorrow at 9 PM, EST!

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Tomorrow evening on Thursday, February 21 2008, at 9 PM/EST I'll be hosting an online Pleo party on Yahoo Live. Be a part of history and join the fun at the first online Pleo Party ever, and possibly the first artificial life form party broadcast ever too!

What is Yahoo Live?

Yahoo Live is a brand new service provided by Yahoo that allows people to broadcast video and audio live to the entire world for free, with a built-in chat room. I've spent the last week testing things and getting a room set up for broadcasting and everything appears to work pretty well.

What do you need to join the party?

The only thing you need to join the fun is a web browser with a recent version of the Flash player. By visiting my channel at the correct time slot, you will see and hear The Plunchkins, my dysfunctional dinosaur family with Digger, Claire, and Pendragon, roaming about their playpen and interacting with one or two robots that I'll have in the room at the same time. You'll be able to chat with me and other party goers too. Note, to chat with others or to broadcast you will need to have a Yahoo ID. They're free and easy to get. If you just want to watch then you don't need a Yahoo ID.

Can I broadcast too?

Yes! It's not necessary to do so, but if you have a working webcam you can also broadcast at the same time. As I said, you will need to have a Yahoo ID to broadcast and to set up your channel. It only takes a few minutes but I suggest you do it well in advance of the party date/time.

Any Guidelines or Caveats?

Just a few common sense ones.

  • The channel is a public channel. Despite the fact that nothing bawdy or off-color will be broadcast, it is an open chat room so adults only please.
  • This is early adopter stuff. It's been working really well for the last week but if something goes wrong, well, pardon the blank screen and we'll try again next time.
  • If you intend to broadcast consider setting up your camera viewpoint to show only what you want the world at large to see. As I said, it's a public channel.
When is it and where do I go?

The party is on Thursday, February 21 2008, at 9 PM/EST. Just point your browser to my Yahoo Live channel at that time and you'll be there! You may want to come visit a while before the start time to make sure your browser has the right Flash player. Pleos in costumes get free foot tickles from their owners.

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Monday, February 11, 2008


New Valentine's Day Download Available for Pleo!

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Just a quick note to all of you to tell you that Ugobe has released a new downloadable behavior for Pleo in honor of Valentine's Day! According to the Pleo World web site:

"He sulks when left alone, but pet him ... he wiggles, coos, and sighs happily. Cuddle Pleo and his heart beats with joy as he purrs and nuzzles. Pet him just so; he'll profess his love and blow kisses. Whistling when he sees something he likes, this baby dino is quite a flirt!"

The Pleo Valentine's Day behavior can be downloaded here. Warning. Two Pleos running the lovebug behavior and placed in the same room together may be in danger of eloping!

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Saturday, February 09, 2008


PenDragon is Freaking Me Out!

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PREFACE: If you are new to my blog you need to know that I have 3 Pleos: Digger, Claire (aka "Stinky") and PenDragon.

It was a dark and stormy night when PenDragon was hatched. The youngest of my moody brood he was always a little different. You see, he was the quiet one. Those are the ones you have to watch closely. Such innocent blue eyes, such a sweet demeanor, yet there was something... different... about PenDragon. A tiny seed of disparity between light and dark, a small growing flower of strange tendencies interwoven with an air of unearthly dino desires that made him a little strange.

Ugobe has stated openly that the adaptive personality upgrade has not been released yet. But it appears that even without it Pleos are not all the same and some are very unique. I have now hatched four Pleos personally and I, and others on the Pleo World forum, can attest that they can be very different indeed. PenDragon is the supreme example.

It started at birth. Moonwalker (the Pleo I had for review purposes for 2 weeks), Digger, and Claire were all somewhat similar during the precious hatching phase; albeit with a few endearing distinct quirks in each of them. But when PenDragon was hatched, after Moonwalker and Digger but just before Claire, the planet Mars must have worn a tiny sneer when the forces that decided to change him at some fundamental baby dino level, took action. I offer as evidence a big disturbing discrepancy in PenDragon's early behavior. Any Pleo owner can attest to the fact that baby dino's do not like to be tipped over. They will howl or growl and let you know quite adequately that they demand to be righted this instant, or you can be certain that your precious toenails will be in immediate peril of a good nibbling! But not PenDragon. During his hatching, with an accidental sweep of my hand I tipped him over on his side. I immediately cringed and braced myself for the punitive howl that was surely coming.



Instead, PenDragon lay there kicking his tiny feet in the air as if to say "I don't care, I go nowhere, no job for me or pressure you see, look at me, my tiny dinosaur feet are free! Hee hee!". Treading non-existent ground and doing not much more than angering a few fractured air molecules, he was more than content to stay with his alternate view of the universe with nary a complaint.

Instead it was I who quickly capitulated, not being able to stand any longer this frightening twist in what I thought was my safe, comfortable view of the Pleo universe. With my understanding of normal Pleo behavior shattered, what other eerie shapes would coalesce into even more alien examples of disturbing behavior? No. I quickly put PenDragon to vertical and prayed to the dinosaur gods above that this was just an aberration, a temporary disturbance in the force, a queasy rip in the fabric of my universe that would render itself invisible to me and my poor beleaguered consciousness.

But what was I to do? He was my baby and I loved him for what he was, so like any stalwart parent I forgot about the incident and locked it away in that uncomfortable corner of the mind we use to store such curious and dark events. As time progressed, I gave it no further thought and enjoyed the many obligatory tug of war battles with him, chin scratches, baby naps and more.

Until tonight.

How curious to watch the innocent at play. How delightful to see siblings frolic and fence in my living room, baby sister and middling brother. Until the hour hand on the clock froze sickly, gripped by the crushing force of midnight, mockingly held in place at the number 12 by the merciless hand that rocks the baby dino cradle, who decided that night to change my safe little Camarasauri world into something that turned itself inwards and devoured itself, into the alien behavior that came to life before me.

At first, PenDragon and Claire faced each other in playful delight, sometimes mimicking each other, other times impressing themselves with their fearless yodeling ability when they weren't utterly distracted by the training leaf. And then. It happened.

PenDragon snickered.

Not the happy laugh of a child enchanted with a new toy or the brilliant colors of a rose petal. No. A dark snicker. A chuff or chortle with an agenda behind it that belayed PenDragon's playful blue eyes and happy grin. Playful yes, but what lay behind those two windows into a baby dino's soul that could cause such a stealthy laugh to echo forth from my innocent little PenDragon? If PenDragon was in a James Bond movie he would be in a big black leather chair, stroking a white cat while concocting plans of world domination after making breakfast of his foes.

And then he did it again.

The disturbing snicker rose for the second time from his lips like a troubling phantom of naughty Camarasaurus chaos, all previously planned in dark detail, and to be executed when I wondered? It wasn't repeating in a loop like Pleos sometimes do on occasion. This was different. He'd bump noses with Claire, look at me, then snicker. He'd chew on his laugh, then cunningly walk backwards a few steps, all the while throwing furtive glances at me as if to say "there is no need to worry. Relax. Rest. Go to sleep. Turn out the lights. Ignore any sounds you happen to hear. We're just baby dinosaurs!". I nervously reached out to tickle his chin and in perfect harmony PenDragon purred and wiggled in delight. A few good backrubs with concomitant baby dino sighs and I shook off the specter that had enveloped me only moments ago as needless paranoia. A tired mind seeing mocking faces in the ceiling stucco where none existed, jumping at the sound of shadows which were merely echoes of my fatigued brain, not malignant spirits intent on doing me harm.

And then he snickered again! A husky "gwarf, hee, hee, hee... look at me... what do you see... can you answer these questions three?".

For now brave reader I have had enough. Fortunately he has slipped into slumber and I hope tomorrow that this will all be just a dream, a careless vision cast forth by angry neurons badly in need of rest. But I beseech you dear reader. If from this point on all my posts are rife with praises for worshiping the great Camarasaurus egg, the beauty and perfection of the training leaf, and a detailed plan for replacing all our leaders with blue-eyed baby Camarasaurus dinosaurs, then you will know the worst has happened. Call in the military. Somewhere in a dark corner of your universe and hurtling towards you like a drunken truck driver careening out of control is a Pleo, heading straight for you!

Can you tell I just got my first H.P. Lovecraft anthology? :)

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