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Post ItWe’ve had a full plate the past few weeks – buying your first house and planning for a move is no piece of cake, especially while keeping on top of  your day-to-day to-dos.

We’re moving in to our new house in a couple weeks, work is bopping, and I’m also now keeping on top of two other blogs – one for 360PR and the other for the New England Games and Interactive Entertainment SIG.

So, Dan and I are going on a bit of a hiatus for the next few weeks. Once we get settled in (and get the Internet up and running in the new digs), we’ll be back at it!

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I can’t believe 2008 is already over! It was another crazy, but great, year. Work has been as busy as ever for us. Family and friends were getting married left and right and having babies. Our apartment almost burnt to the ground (well, sort of). I got ambushed and made over on a moving train (still waiting for it to air on TLC!). Then, of course, there were all the extracurricular activities (a trip to Texas, 2 seasons of kickball, etc.).

All of this and so much more sometimes made it difficult to find time to blog, but I’m so glad we did and, to wrap up 2008, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite posts from the year. It was quite difficult to narrow a list down, but here it is:

Again, hard to pick out just a few, but it is New Year’s Eve and, honestly, I’m eager to get off this damn computer, so think it is best to wrap it up for the night 🙂 We’ll have to wait to see what is in store for us in 2009 – and I’m looking forward to blogging about it.

New Year's Eve Ball, 1978, New York Times

New Year's Eve Ball, 1978, New York Times

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In my hunt for Christmas gifts, I came across a number of really out of the ordinary and generally useless products that I think would make horrible gifts. I can’t speak for the rest of the world (some people may actually like this stuff, so no offense to any of these companies), but let it be known…Elicia Buzz asks that for the sake of your loved ones’ overall happiness this Christmas, please refrain from giving any of the following items as gifts:

For a mere $99.95, you can swat away germs to your heart’s content. I wonder if, to save time, you could use this to bathe yourself in the morning instead of a shower? No, actually, I don’t wonder that.
Germ Eliminating Wand

The Hog Wild Self Stirring Mug

This one is a bit cheaper at only $14.95, but why not just grab a spoon? Unless you are buying this for an 8-year old who drinks a lot of chocolate milk…bad gift.

Cow Mug

Location Earth Dog Tags

For $12.99 you can buy your special someone a dog tag etched with the “crucial data an alien will need to get you back to Earth” should you be abducted by aliens.

Alien Dog Tags

The Complete Swiss Army Knife 

Looking for a gift for the multi-tasker in your life? Well, this may be a great idea at first, but with a price of $1,400, you might want to think of something else. 87 precision-engineered tools spanning 112 functions will overwhelm even the most talented handyman.

 Complete Swiss Army Knife

Jerome Russell Spray On Hair Thickener

Do I even need to say anything here? You might as well buy spray paint or tell the recipient to shave their head.

Hair Thickener

Kleen Stride Personal Debris Removal

Unlike the Spray On Hair Thickener, this gift is actually a joke (found it on the Onion’s website). I’m sure there are a handful of folks out there that have thought to themselves “Damn! I totally should have applied for a patent. That was my idea!”

Debris Removal 

Pop Up Hot Dog Grill

For $49.95 your loved one can celebrate the holidays with the best home cooking they could ever ask for.

Hot Dog Grill

Honorable Mention:

Bacon Wallet

Pretty much anything having to do with bacon is awesome. I love bacon as much, if not probably more, than the average person, but a bacon wallet? Bad gift. Apparently this is pretty popular – the website that sells it says it is out of stock.

Bacon Wallet

Good luck with last minute shopping and merry Christmas!

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The Elf Yourself website is quite brilliant. When it first debuted as a promotional site from Office Max and JibJab.com, it was everywhere – it seemed like everyone and their brother had heard about the site. It was such a success that Jib Jab and Office Max still promote the site on their home pages around Christmas time. Today I took a few minutes to Elf-ize myself, Dan Buzz, and Willie Nelson – the quality is not great with the YouTube upload, but it is pretty hilarious anyway:

If you’re not a big fan of elves, of the North Pole variety that is (not necessarily the Middle-earth variety), go to JibJab.com and there are all sorts of different goofy scenarios you can drop you or your friends/family members’ head shots into.

Enjoy!

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Christmas PresentChristmas is only 18 days away! The pressure is on.

For some folks, gift ideas come naturally. I, on the other hand, am more like a (rein)deer caught in an extremely bright and shining Christmas light display when it comes to figuring out what will make a good gift.

If you’re like me and are looking for ideas, take a peek at some of these gift guides. There are, obviously, many more out there, but these might be a good place to start. Who knows, you may just find the perfect gift!

Geeky Gift Guides:

Wired Wish List 2008: The 2008 Wish List from Wired Magazine includes tons of ideas with categories like Desk Jockey, Mr Fix It, Kitchen Ninja, High Roller, and Audiophile.

GamePro Holiday Gift Guide 2008: All the items in this guide aren’t necessarily “geeky,” but more than a few items fall into this category. The guide includes various Gifts for Gamers, Movie Gifts, Gifts for Students, Mom, Dad and Under $20.

Gift Guides for Guys:

Men’s Fitness Magazine 2008 Holiday Gift Guide – Includes Sporting Goods, Gadgets, Fashion, Entertainment, and Grooming categories and even has a “fantasy” gifts section that includes a Guinness Home Pub for $250K. Yeah right!

Maxim Magazine Holiday Gift Guide 2008: A little bit of everything in this guide including Apparel, Travel & Outdoors, Entertaining, Gaming, and Home.

Gift Guides for Kids:

Women’s Health Best Gifts for Kids: The kids section of the Women’s Health Gift Guide has a bunch of cool ideas for kids over age 8 or so.

Parenting Magazine Toys of the Year 2008: The editors of Parenting Magazine picked out 26 of the best toys for kids in their Toys of the Year awards. Some good ideas in this slideshow.

Great Gift Guides for Everyone:

Babble Holiday Gift Guide 2008 – Love this guide – big pictures and easy to navigate. It has mostly gift ideas for kids, but other categories include gifts for Grandparents, Mom & Dad, and Charity.

Etsy Gift Guides: Looking for something really unique and different? Etsy.com is a site where everyday folks can sell their own handmade crafts and clothing. The gift guide page has categories of all kinds and includes some pretty neat stuff.

Gifts.com – Not a guide, per se, but Gifts.com is a great resource for finding gift ideas for any occasion. You can get a little lost in the site, but it provides recs for various holidays and occasions as well as breaks gifts down by age, gender, interests or personalities.

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animated-turkey-graphic1

“When we review the calamities which afflict so many other nations, the present condition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction.”
                         George Washington, Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1795

I believe this is as true today as it was in 1795. But what would it mean if we couldn’t honestly conclude that this still rings true? It’s a scary thought. It might mean that our country and our lives as we know them would be very different, and we might not be blessed with all of the fortunate opportunities and circumstances that provide us with so many things to be thankful for.

I guess I’m trying to say that I have lots of things to be thankful for – yes, material things like a home, car, and an unstoppable fantasy football team, but more importantly, immaterial things like my family, my health, and my freedom – lots of things that I otherwise might not have if Washington’s statement were no longer true.

And this Thanksgiving I’m especially thankful for the staying power of Washington’s statement because it’s a reassuring thought to consider as we work through some uncertain and tough times.

OK, that’s more than enough “food for thought.” Now let us commence with the “food for belly” part of Thanksgiving!!

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Over the past week I’ve learned something new about myself – I don’t know a guy. You know, a guy – a guy that can hook you up and help you out, do you a favor that will either save you time or money.

I’m pretty sure my dad has a few guys – he knows a lot of people. Our friend Brad has a guy (actually, he’s got a few too). His Uncle, I guess, is the ultimate “guy.” Need new tires? Forget about it, he’s got a guy. During one of the Red Sox playoff games in Florida this year, he, all of a sudden the night before, had access to a plane ticket from Boston to Florida and tickets to the game at a near-nothing rate. One of my co-workers TOTALLY has a guy. This past week, he got hooked up with tickets to the Celtics game AND the Patriots game on Thursday. Even Dan Buzz knows a guy – he’s got a bakery guy. Yes, a bakery guy.

So the moral of the story is, if you ever need something, I am probably the last person that can help you out. But, I do know a couple of guys that know a guy 😉

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