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Family valued 3.2.05

'The Adventures of a Bear Called Paddington'

Theatre Young Kids Enjoy, or TYKEs, is our very own professional theatre for the very youngest audiences. Their premier season continues March 5, 6, 12, and 13 with The Adventures of a Bear Called Paddington. My British sister-in-law brought the Paddington books (by Michael Bond) as well as stuffed animals into our lives years ago, and my kids eat the silly little bear up.

Adventures is a musical with audience participation (like sing-a-longs), and is set in oversized pop-up storybook set by local artist Shawn Dunwoody. Luane Davis Haggerty directs, music direction is by Kevin Lieb, and lighting design is by Jennifer DeHollander.

These and all TYKEs performances take place in the handicapped-accessible UpStage3 theater on the third floor of the Auditorium Center downtown. Shows are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 1 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $10. Get more information or tickets by calling 723-6080 or e-mailing [email protected].

--- Adam Wilcox

This week for families:

The Adventures of a Bear Called Paddington Sat-Sun, Mar 5-13. TYKEs, UpStage3, Auditorium Theatre Center, 875 E Main St, Sat 10:30 a.m.; Sat-Sun 1 p.m. $10. 723-6080

Author Event Sat, Mar 5. Gale "Joy" Harris-Johnson, Lady Rainbow, Mood Makers Books, 274 N Goodman St, 2 p.m. Free.

Brighton Memorial Library Stories for pre-K: Mondays 10 a.m.; for toddlers: Mondays 10:30 a.m.; for families: Thursdays 7 p.m. | Through Feb 25: Alice B. Wilson Literary Awards Contest, for Brighton residents grades 6-12. | 2300 Elmwood Ave, 784-5300

Family Skate Night Fri, Mar 4. Manhattan Square Park Ice Rink, 353 Court St, 6:45-8:45 p.m. $3, $2 kids. 428-7541

Pre-School Storytime Tuesdays 11-11:30 a.m., Wednesdays 10:15-10:45 a.m. Henrietta Public Library, 455 Calkins Rd. Ages 3 and 4. 359-7092, www.hpl.org

Penfield Public Library through Apr 30, poetry contest, grades 6-12. | Sun, Mar 6, poetry workshop, grades 6-12, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Register. Free. | 1985 Baird Rd, Penfield. 340-8720

Preschool Workshop Thurs, Mar 3. art project, story, Gallery tour, ages 2 1/2-5, Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. $17. 473-7720 ext 3056

Purim Palooza Sun, Mar 6. Jewish holiday family event, Jewish Community Center, 1200 Edgewood Ave, 1-4 p.m. Free. 461-0490

RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium 657 East Ave. Giant-screen film: Bears, Wed-Fri 4 p.m.; Sat 2, 4, 8 p.m.; Sun 1, 2, 4 p.m.; Pulse, A Stomp Odyssey, Sat-Sun 3 p.m. | Star shows: Exploring Black Holes with Einstein: Sat 1 p.m.; The Sky Tonight: Sat 10:30 a.m.; I See the Sky: Sat 9:30 a.m.; $7, $6 kids | Laser shows: U2 Laser: Sat 9 p.m.; Pink Floyd Laser, Sat 10 p.m. through February, $6-$7 | 271-1880, www.rmsc.org

Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Ave. Surprise! It's Science, through May 2005 | Rochester's Frederick Douglass, through January 2006 | Live Science! demos and theater, Sat 2, 3 (sign-interpreted), 4 p.m.; Sun 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 p.m. | Ongoing exhibits include: AdventureZone, Carlson Inquiry Room, At the Western Door, Try Science Around the World | Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $5-$7. 271-1880, www.rmsc.org

Seneca Park Zoo 2222 St Paul St. Hours: daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tix: $5, $4 seniors, $2 kids. 467-9453, www.senecazoo.org

Strong Museum 1 Manhattan Square. Sat-Sun, Mar 5-6, All Aboard! | Enchanted Museum, through May 8. Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog, through May 1. | Long-term exhibits include National Toy Hall of Fame, Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? and Super Kids Market. Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $7; $6 seniors, students; $5 children. 263-2700

Sunday in Paradise Sun, Mar 6. Family Sunday, Hawaiian music and dance, Central Library of Rochester, 115 South Ave, 2-4 p.m. Free. 428-8301

Swimming Lessons through June 4. Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-8 p.m., Saturdays 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Freddie Thomas Learning Center, 625 Scio St; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 5-8 p.m., James Madison School, 200 Genesee St. 428-7888

Tutoring Program through Sat, Mar 12. Ages 6-18. Monroe Junior High School, 164 Alexander St (Saturdays, 9:15-11:15 a.m.); Frederick Douglass School, 940 Fernwood (Saturdays, 9:15-11:15 a.m.); Adams Street Comm Center, 85 Adams St (Tues and Thurs, 3:30-5 p.m.); North Street Comm Center, 700 North St (Tues and Thurs, 3:30-5 p.m.) Free. Info: 428-7888

Where Have All the Insects Gone? Sat, Mar 5. Sterling Nature Center, Jensvold Rd, Sterling, 1 p.m. Free. 315-947-6143

X-Box marks the spot?

Something was wrong with Wendy's computer. As hard as she tried, she couldn't install the new game she had purchased for her kids. Confused by error messages, she sought out my advice. It was "déjà vu all over again." The problem? We had both tried to install Electronic Arts Sims2 Special DVD Edition on older computers.

Like many parents this Christmas, we purchased Sims2 for our kids without a second thought. Earlier versions had run without a hitch on her slightly old (but serviceable) Compaq and on my daughter's Barbie© computer (don't ask). We all failed to consider the "bracket creep" that's been driving the PC gaming industry.

To compete with standalone platforms (Microsoft's X-Box, Sony's PS2 and Nintendo's Game Cube), developers are concentrating on enthusiasts who have higher-end processors and graphics adapters. For those who seldom upgrade components, the ramping up of "minimum requirements" needed to run today's games can greatly shorten their computer's effective lifespan.

Wendy blanched when told the game required a processor at least four times faster than hers. She's weighing her options, and wants to purchase a new computer, but it's not high on her list of priorities. While a new computer would be faster and have better graphics (ooh, look at that cool 3-D screensaver), she can't help but feel that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." It might just be cheaper (in the long run) to get an Xbox. As for me, I built my daughter a new (beige) computer. It may not be pretty but it works with Sims2.

--- Stan Merrell