Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #74

Thursday Thirteen Header Graphic - Christmas13 Items from Fiction That I Would Like for Christmas

1. There is a lot from the Harry Potter books that I would like, so I'm only going to limit myself to a few. The first item I would like is my own House Elf. Just think how much help it would be with the cooking and cleaning!

2. From "Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles," I would like the Jolly Boat. This beautiful boat is powered by laughter and comes with a special "fountain" that will make whatever ice cream treat you want.

3. How about a seasons pass to visit Willie Wanka's Chocolate Factory whenever I want?

4. The flying car that Harry and Ron borrowed from Ron's dad and flew to Hogwarts? But I'd want it before it became feral in the Forbidden Forest.

5. I would like to get Bilbo's sword, Sting. I'm sure the fact that it glows when orcs are nearby would come in handy here in Creekistan.

6. From Star Trek, I'd love to get a Replicator. Be handy in the kitchen: "Cafe Mocha, please!"

7. Also from Star Trek, a Transporter. Would be great to get everyone to school on time, and it would save on gas and wear and tear on the flying car.

8. An Ewok. They're just cute and they would love living here in the forest.

9. The Time Machine from H.G. Wells. Just for quick trips into the past or future. I'd try not to step on a moth.

10. There are a lot of robots I'd like, but I guess my pick would be C2PO or other protocol droid. Handy at helping with guests, but also good at diagnosing problems with the other gadgets around the house.

11. Batman's self-driving car. I'd never have to worry about where I parked again--just speak into my communication watch and tell the car to come get me. But when my kids get old enough to drive, I'd have to program an override so they couldn't borrow it. Perhaps I'll let them use the flying car.

12. A Halodeck. I wouldn't have to leave home to go on vacation. I could make up my own environment and do role-playing. Everyone in the family would love it!

13. Lastly, I would like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Not only would it be a wealth of information, but its take on things are refreshing. I'd have to help write the portion about humans on Earth.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #73

My 13 Favorite Chuck Norris "Facts"

1. When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

2. Chuck Norris knows the last digit of pi.

3. Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

4. The leading causes of death in the United States are: 1. Heart Disease 2. Chuck Norris 3. Cancer

5. Guns don't kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

6. Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

7. Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice.

8. Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.

9. Chuck Norris does not get frostbite. Chuck Norris bites frost.

10. Chuck Norris wears a live rattlesnake as a condom.

11. When Chuck Norris says "More cowbell", he MEANS it.

12. When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.

13. One day Chuck Norris walked down the street with a massive erection. There were no survivors.

More can be found at

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #72

You may not know that I grew up in Omaha, and spent a lot of that time in the Westroads Mall. It was the closest and biggest mall in our area of town and it had plenty of ways to keep us occupied. In light of the shooting that happened there yesterday, I'd like to share memories of that mall:

  1. My earliest memories of Westroads was standing in line to see Santa. They had an impressive animated display, complete with a Santa's workshop, moving elves and reindeer, and everything imaginable to make a kid stand there with their mouth open for several minutes. I only stood in line to see the display, and refused to see Santa, much to the dismay of my parents.
  2. When the mall was young, it did not have a food court. But it did have Bishops Cafeteria! You grabbed a tray, and as you went down the line, you can choose whatever foods you wanted. They would total it up at the end. I remember always getting a Jetsons plate with ham, green beans, and the best macaroni and cheese ever made.
  3. There was a cheap theater in the mall. My father and I used to go on Saturday mornings and see Star Wars--for as long as it was playing in the theater. I think we did this about 12 times!
  4. When my half-sister was staying with us, she used to take me to the mall on Saturday. We used to always see a movie--no matter what was playing. I remember seeing some really bad ones: Escape from Witch Mountain, Heaven Can Wait, and Hanger 18.
  5. When the phone company was de-monopolized (aka deregulated), an Omaha Bell store was put in so that you can buy your own phone! They had a display were you can call other phones in the store, and we'd do this for as long as they'd let us.
  6. The Montgomery Wards had a candy counter where my Dad would always buy chocolate stars with the white little balls on them. They sold balloons, too, but my Mother hated balloons and he'd get in trouble if he bought me one.
  7. My Mother worked at the Montgomery Wards for many years. She worked in the back at the very old-fashioned switchboard. It was the kind with all the wires and holes and you had to put the right wire in the right hole to connect someone to the right extension. I'd sneak back and watch her and ask for more money.
  8. When I was a young teen, my Mother would take me and a friend to the mall while she worked. I guess we were considered early Mall Rats.
  9. My best friend's mother owned a t-shirt shop on the lowest floor in a corner. We'd go just to say "Hi" (she didn't live with her Mother.) But it was the kind of store where you can pick out the shirt and the transfer and they'd put it on for you with a steamer. I remember getting a baseball jersey with a rainbow. I also remember they had a shirt that on the front that said, "To entertain an idiot, see other side." It said the same thing on the back.
  10. If I had extra money, I'd always buy an Orange Julius. I almost never had extra money.
  11. My first boyfriend bought me a bracelet there and had it engraved with my name on one side and "Love, (name)" on the other. We went there on my birthday.
  12. One of the last things I did before boarding the plane to move to Ohio, was go to that t-shirt shop I mentioned earlier. I bought a shirt that said, "London, England (with a picture of Big Ben); Rome, Italy (tower of Pisa); Paris, France (Eiffel Tower)' and Omaha, Nebraska (cow)."
  13. Whenever I visit Omaha, I go to Westroads. It's very different now and looks nothing like I remember. But it has a food court that still has Orange Julius and a Runza Hut. If you've never had a Runza, you should.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Christmas Answer #2: Christmas Trees

The Christmas tree is another example of the Christianization of pagan or secular traditions that celebrate the Winter Solstice. Christmas trees are evergreen, remaining green all year round. Evergreens have always been important during winter solstice because they reminded people that things were not all dead, and that Spring would come again.

Many cultures in many different lands used evergreens to decorate during the wintertime. Some of those were Egyptians, Romans, Druids, and Vikings. Our modern tradition can be traced back to 1570 Germany, when a small fir was decorated with apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers. Children would collect the treats on Christmas day.

I've never had a real Christmas tree at home. I look forward to the day when we can go out and find one on our land and bring it home. But for now, we're happy with our cheap, Wal*Mart pre-lit tree. To me, it's still just as pretty and more friendly to the environment. I can't help but think about all those poor trees that are destroyed for a couple of weeks of enjoyment.