Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 31: Favorite Part of the Season?

How can I choose?

So much is great! The music, the countdown, giving gifts and receiving gifts,
the food, the movies and specials!

But, most importantly, the best part is taking the time to spend moments with friends and family, reminding ourselves what and who is important in life.


This was a fun challenge!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, or whatever,
and I wish you all a great 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 30: Are You Sad?

Always a bit blue when it is all said and done.

So much fun stuff to do, as a family and with friends. That is why we celebrate from Thanksgiving to New Year's, so it isn't all just about "one day".

This year, things got a bit rushed towards the end and a few traditions and things got pushed to the very last minute or lost in the shuffle.
I hate when that happens and hope to do better next year.


And hey, the countdown begins all over again!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 29: Do You Believe In Santa

I believe in the spirit of kindness and giving that Santa represents.

We should all keep a bit of that - of him - alive inside ourselves, all year long.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 28: What Did You Feed The Reindeer

Well, this year we didn't leave anything for the reindeer.

Yeah, we dropped the ball. Was a very busy couple of weeks before Christmas.

Hopefully next year we will be better with getting everything accomplished!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 27: What Did You Feed Santa

My son used the mug and plate that are especially made for Santa to put out a drink of Hood Egg Nog and four cookies - two peanut butter with chocolate chip, 2 sugar.

I am sure Santa enjoyed it, as the Egg Nog was gone
and there was only one small piece of cookies left behind.

(online pic - not our set)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 26: What Did You Give?

Wow, well we gave a lot of stuff to a lot of people!

From Santa, our daughter got a leather coat and our son a laptop.

Our older son got a Wii.

My wife got some stocking stuff, including a Red Sox sign.


And much more.

We love giving gifts!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 25: What Did You Get?

Hopefully, I will find some time to update this post
with some of the gifts I have received.

But, if not, I want to take a moment to wish everyone
a very Merry Christmas and truly Happy Holidays!


Go and enjoy!


Well, I received many wonderful gifts. Among them:





And a few more items, including a much needed winter coat.

Thank you all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 24: Favorite Christmas Thing You're Doing/Done In School

Wow, this is going back!

I guess the best thing was in Kindergarten back in the mid-70s.

The school had a holiday play and our class recited
'Twas the Night Before Christmas while we were on stage in our pajamas.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 23: Advent Calendar You're Doing

We have a few here - chalkboard, tiles, digital, chocolate -
but the kids are the ones who do those.

I have my laptop desktop as a countdown calendar,
and I x'off each day as it goes by!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 22: Anticipation or the Day

To clarify, this means do you like
the anticipation of the holiday or do you like the actual day itself.


For me, it is sort of a mix.

I love the lead up to it, so much so that we have dubbed it our own Christmastime - from Thanksgiving to New Year's - when we try and celebrate all the time, in different ways, so we enjoy it all. Waiting for just one day can be a let down, if you expect it to somehow last longer than any other day.

But it is also good to enjoy that day, to watch people be happy,
enjoying being together and the festivities.

So, that is my answer, if it is one. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 20: How Late Do You Stay Up on December 24th

Usually, about a half hour or so after the kids have gone to bed.

And that is only once the last of the guests have left.
Anywhere between 10:00 PM and midnight!


One year, we hadn't found any time to wrap some gifts,
so my wife and I, with help from my mom, were up until wee morning hours,
wrapping gifts and getting things settled.

That was a long night & a short sleep!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 19: How Early Do You Get Up on December 25th

Usually, pretty early!

We used to wake when we heard the kids moving about,
but the past couple of years, I think we woke before the kids!

We wait for them to come in and show us what Santa put in their stockings,
then we go down, light the tree, get the camera and get settled.

Then the kids come down and the fun kicks into high gear!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 18: Favorite Part of Christmas Day

Without a doubt,
my favorite part of Christmas Day
is when the kids come down and open their gifts.


Love seeing the mixture of joy, happiness and surprise!

Makes all the chaos well worthwhile!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 17: Favorite Part of Christmas Eve

Once all the family is gone and the kids are in bed and Santa has come and gone,
my wife and I exchange our gifts to one another.


Usually, this is just the stuff we put into our stockings,
but it is still a nice, quiet moment for just the two of us to celebrate together,
and that is the best part.

A moment of peace amidst all the Christmastime fun!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 16: Favorite Tradition You Used To Do

Wow - Lots to choose from!


My brother and I used to "practice" Christmas Morning.

That is a favorite memory, something silly and simple we shared together.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 14: Favorite Candy

Love candy.
Love M&M's, Kisses, Peanut Butter Cups -
- especially in holiday colors!

But for Christmas, I love these the most:


Andes Creme de Menthe Thins!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 13: Favorite Gift You Ever Gave

Wow. Tough to remember so many gifts given over so many years!

The only one that I can remember that especially stands out
is the "custom" action figure of our son that my wife and I gave him one year.

He had been big into playing with his action figures of different characters
from his favorite movies and TV shows, and asked Santa
for an action figure of himself so he could join in those adventures.

At first, we were stumped. Then we came across this:


It is an Elliot action figure from the movie E.T.

We took the figure out of the package and placed it in our son's stocking,
and Santa was able to deliver a custom figure of him that year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 12: Favorite Gift You Ever Got

Woops! Thought I was ahead of the game, and I forgot to write today's post!


My favorite gift has to be my daughter.

She was born just a few days before Christmas, while it was snowing outside!

We had quite a special holiday that year.
Of course, she slept through most of it, and we were exhausted,
but it was an amazing Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 11: Favorite Christmas Book

'Twas the Night Before Christmas (aka A Visit from St. Nicholas)

by Clement C. Moore


Right now, I am reading The Christmas TV Companion by Joanna Wilson.
Good book, with lots of quirky and interesting movies and specials mentioned!


I plan to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens,
since I have never actually read the story itself.
Hopefully I will enjoy it!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 10: Favorite Thing To Wear

I was stumped with this one. What do I wear?

Then I remembered this:


I have this t-shirt, and I love it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 9: Favorite Christmas TV Special

So many to choose from!

I will go with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!


Santa comes off a bit harsh here, at first,
but it is the special I most looked forward to as a kid.

The Bumble scared the crap out of me!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 8: Favorite Christmas Song


Now here I am really stumped.

See, I love Christmas/holiday music. A lot.

Don't believe me? Well, my iTunes "Christmastime" playlist has 456 515 items right now.

That is over 24 hours of Christmas music!

I have many variations of different songs, like 6 versions of "Blue Christmas," 8 versions of "Deck the Halls" and 12 versions of "Silent Night". And those are just a few examples.

But, a favorite? Wow... Okay, I am going with The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole. It is just great and encapsulates so much of what the holiday is about, to me.

How about you?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 7: Favorite Christmas Movie

Again, not easy to choose, but I will pick:


It is a comedy, but it has a heart.

All Clark wants to do is have an old-fashioned family Christmas.
Of course, things don't go his way, but he tries!

We watch every year - can't wait to watch it soon!

30 Second Bunnies have a take on it here!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 6: Favorite Decoration

Another tough one to choose from!

When I was a kid, it was probably this plastic Santa:


It had a hole in the back to insert a bulb to light it up. We usually had it unlit, but I liked it just the same. Was something classic and simple about it that appealed to me.

There was a Mrs. Santa, as well:


My brother and I had found her for sale at a local discount store - Kerr Mill, for those who are curious - and we planned to save our money to buy her. And then the store burned down, Mrs. Claus along with it. We never got her, and I am unsure whatever became of Santa.


And now, with kids of my own, we have so many decorations and memories attached to them, it is hard to choose!

I love the new framed Santa picture my wife got as a gift, almost identical to this one:


My nickname for my daughter is Snowflake,
so, each year I give her a different snowflake ornament:


And my youngest son got the Elf on a Shelf a couple of years ago,
and it is a fun decoration & activity:


So, yeah... I like Christmas decorations!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 5: Favorite Holiday Snack

Wow! Not so easy today!


Gonna have to go with Christmas cookies.

I love cookies, and at Christmas you can find so many varieties of homemade goodness that any diet will just have to take a back seat to enjoying these sugary wonders.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 2: Favorite Elf

Gonna have to go with Hermey.


Watched "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" every year as a kid, and still watch it every year as an adult, with my wife and kids.

Hermey is the odd-elf out, never fitting in with his cookie-cutter elf friends. Yet he stays true to himself, even when he is laughed at and shunned, and that is a good quality to have.

So, here's to Hermey, the weirdest little elf around!

And here's to my son! I thought he found this Christmas Challenge on another blog, but he created it himself. Very cool!

Day 1: Favorite Tradition

Christmas Challenge Day 1: Favorite Tradition

Wow, so many to choose from! We do lots of things each year here!

I will have to say the new-ish tradition (a few years now) of celebrating Christmastime instead of 'just' Christmas Day.

From the day after Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, we celebrate Christmastime. It involves the spectrum of traditions and fun we all enjoy: decorating the house, watching the movies and specials we all love, listening to Christmas music, having friends and family over and, in turn, visiting family and friends. We also take one night to drive around and look at the lit-up houses around town.

Our Christmastime is non-religious, it is just about enjoying the time together and celebrating the warmth of family and friends.

Christmas is Coming!


I successfully completed another year of NaNoWriMo! I was writing down to the last day, but all went well and the novel is done. Nothing major, a fanfic story, but it was fun to write and good practice, right? Right.


And now it is already 23 days til Christmas. Where does the time go?

Here, we celebrate the day after Thanksgiving to New Year's as 'Christmastime'. We enjoy it all, instead of setting our sights on just one day and having it go by too fast.

To all of you: Happy Christmastime!


On his blog (My Power is Beyond Your Understanding), my son is doing challenges each month. This month is "31 Days of Christmas". I think I might just do it here, too, to keep the blog alive during the busy month ahead! Here is the rundown for the challenge:

Day 1: Favorite Tradition
Day 2: Favorite Elf
Day 3: Santa or Mrs. Claus
Day 4: Favorite Reindeer
Day 5: Favorite Holiday Snack
Day 6: Favorite Decoration
Day 7: Favorite Christmas Movie
Day 8: Favorite Christmas Song
Day 9: Favorite Christmas TV Special
Day 10: Favorite Thing To Wear
Day 11: Favorite Christmas Book
Day 12: Favorite Gift You Ever Got
Day 13: Favorite Gift You Ever Gave
Day 14: Favorite Candy
Day 15: Favorite Christmas Website
Day 16: Favorite Tradition You Used To Do
Day 17: Favorite Part of Christmas Eve
Day 18: Favorite Part of Christmas Day
Day 19: How Early Do You Get Up on December 25th
Day 20: How Late Do You Stay Up on December 24th
Day 21: Favorite Christmas Picture
Day 22: Anticipation or the Day
Day 23: Advent Calendar You're Doing
Day 24: Favorite Christmas Thing You're Doing/Done In School
Day 25: What Did You Get?
Day 26: What Did You Give?
Day 27: What Did You Feed Santa
Day 28: What Did You Feed The Reindeer
Day 29: Do You Believe In Santa
Day 30: Are You Sad?
Day 31: Favorite Part of the Season?

Seems fun, eh?

Enjoy the month and remember to appreciate family, friends, food and fun!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Another Halloween...

... has come and gone.

It all goes by so quickly.

Horror Line
pic by BRYAN LEE

Huge thanks to Jon, John & Shawn @ the Countdown to Halloween Blog for all their work in rounding up so many great blogs. Was quite an awesome month!

Can't wait 'til next October!


So, it is November 1st, and that means it is the first day of NaNoWriMo 2010!

Not feeling as positive about it this year as I have in the past,
but I am signed up and going to give it my best.

Have a story in you? Sign up @ NaNoWriMo!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

The day has arrived! Here are some treats to enjoy!

Para Abnormal

Consult The Oracle or send some Zombie Mail!


100 Greatest Horror Movie Quotes Of All Time

(thanks to No Room In Hell)


Halloween Horror Classics Megamix

(from last Halloween)


A cover of John Carpenter's “Halloween Theme”

(thanks to The Retroist)


Click here for a spooky surprise!

Myers Ghost


Remember, The Walking Dead premiers tonight on AMC!

Walking Dead

Here's a guide to identifying symptoms of "Walker Disease"

Also, Zombie Shopping in an unexpected place.


Hope you all have a scary, creepy, eerie Halloween!

Sam Jeremy Scott

And remember, it's Halloween...

Everyone's entitled to one good scare!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kill the Zombies!

Kill the Zombies!

Let the circles at the bottom load up,
then click the PLAY button above them,
not the ad in the square box.

The oversize messes with my OCD,
but this was too fun not to post!


Here is another game:

Pumpkin Remover 2



And thanks to Interesting Pile for the heads up on these!

Friday, October 29, 2010


For your enjoyment, the "Hellowe'en" episode of the great "Friday the 13th: The Series"

This episode originally aired October 31, 1987!

23 years ago - Wow, does time fly.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Whatcha Gonna Queue?"

I was contacted by Alex Rabinowitz - co-host of the recently launched weekly video series, "Whatcha Gonna Queue?" - about helping to promote the show, and after viewing, I am more than happy to oblige.

Each week Alex and his co-host Jim recommend some of the best titles that Netflix has to offer: New to Netflix (new releases), What the #!*@% is This??? (obscure stuff) and For Your Consideration (timely or relevant cinematic themes).

I liked the episode I watched, and am going to go back and watch the previous three. Here for you to check out and enjoy is their newly released Halloween episode:

Whatcha Gonna Queue? Halloween Episode

Viewers also have a chance to win a free copy of any DVD they've discussed during the episode. The episode ends with a quote from a horror film and the first 5 viewers to tweet the correct answer to their account (@Whatcha_Gonna_Q) will win any title of their choice, no strings attached.

Some Whatcha Gonna Queue? Links:

YouTube Channel
Main Site
Facebook Page
Twitter Page

A great premise, I will be looking forward to more recommendations from Alex and Jim.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Dead Path - Horror Novel Giveaway!

The Dead Path

I was sent a copy of the debut horror novel The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin to read and review. So far, I am liking what I am reading!

From the publisher:

Do you remember the last time a book gave you the chills? The Dead Path is the ghost story we’ve been waiting for.

A haunting vision in the woods sets off a series of tragic events, leaving Nicholas Close lost amid visions of ghosts trapped in their harrowing, final moments. These uniquely ter rifying apparitions lead him on a thrilling and suspenseful ride to confront a wicked soul, and will leave an indelible mark on lovers of high-quality suspense and horror alike.

Nicholas Close has always had an uncanny intuition, but after the death of his wife he becomes haunted, literally, by ghosts doomed to repeat their final violent moments in a chilling and endless loop. Torn by guilt and fearing for his sanity, Nicholas returns to his childhood home and is soon entangled in a dis turbing series of disappearances and murders—both as a sus pect and as the next victim of the malignant evil lurking in the heart of the woods.

Stephen M. Irwin is the kind of debut author that readers love to discover—and rave about to all their friends. His electric use of language, stunning imagery, and suspenseful pacing are all on full display here. The Dead Path is a tour de force of wild imagination, taut suspense, and the creepiest, scariest setting since the sewers in Stephen King’s It.

A bonus for you all: Random House is letting me run a giveaway for one lucky follower here. You can win your own copy of the book!

Just leave a comment below by the end of Saturday, October 30, 2010. I will choose a winner at random and post their info on Halloween day! Make sure I have a way to contact you if you don't have an email or profile linked to your comment!

Always love supporting new authors and new horror, so this is a win-win for everyone!

Good luck!

If you really want it now, click here for the Random House page for the book!