Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

To all of my readers, my friends, I want to wish you a happy and blessed new year! Come back often and, hopefully, we will have more fun in the coming year than we did in the one we are saying good-bye to! (Remember, be safe if you are going to be celebrating tonight.)


New Year 2

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wings 4, Coyotes 2

Again, the game was closer than the score shows--at one point the Wings were down by a goal and they didn't tie it until late in the second. The go-ahead goal came late in the third and the fourth goal was an empty-netter. So, kind of close all night. The reffing sucked big time, but that is the way things play out sometimes. My Baby Boy didn't get a goal tonight, but he DID get a point, so his streak continues! Yippee! Next game, at home on New Year's Eve against St. Louis--should be good.



--Phoenix Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, left, of Russia, cannot make the save on a shot by Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, right, of Russia, as Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard, center, looks on in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007, in Glendale, Ariz. Datsyuk's goal proved to be the game-winner as the Red Wings won 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)--

Saturday, December 29, 2007

False Alarm

I just got off of the phone with C and she was sent home from the hospital. (She FINALLY went to be checked about an hour ago.) No sign of amniotic fluid, so it looks as if she was having a badder control problem, not getting ready to have the baby. I guess this kid is going to stay nice and warm where she is until the doctor pulls her kicking and screaming from her mother on the 3rd! :)

Baby Watch--UPDATE

So there really isn't a big update, but here goes. I talked to C just a short while ago and she MAY be ready to have the baby. She isn't 100% sure, but her water might have broken--or, at the very least, she leaked somewhat. (A bit disgusting, but...) Anyway, she will probably be going to the hospital to be checked. If it is determined that her water broke, she probably will stay in the hospital and have the baby tonight. Check back for updates--I've got my fingers crossed!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Now For An Announcement...

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Sorry, but there really is no announcement--just wanted to post the pic. C STILL hasn't had the baby--looks like she will be going until the third after all. While her contractions continue, they are of the 'stop-and-go' variety. She is very frustrated--and I don't blame her. :)

The Game

Baby Boy was named the first star of Thursday's game--the second night/game in a row for him. The reason? Filppula got two goals, again--one of which was a short-handed goal--totaling four goals in the last two games/nights. He is on fire! He now has 13 goals on the season, ten in eight games. Yeah, he is showing his skills in all aspects of the game--and he is beautiful to watch.

Colorado actually played a bit better than Detroit tonight, but the score ended up as Detroit 4, Colorado 2. The last goal for the Wings was an empty net one, so the score was closer than it looked. I'm amazed at how well they are playing without several 'stars'--Z and Homer still aren't back. Now it's on to Phoenix for the game on Saturday and then the New Year's Eve game at home before they get a bit of a rest. Hope they can stay on their roll.

Babcock will be the coach of the Western Conference team for next month's All-Star game. Three of the top four vote-getters for the west are Wings: Lidstrom, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk. While I want to see them play the game, I worry about injuries. What a waste to get injured during an exhibition game. Last year Z was voted in but didn't play--he needed the rest. I know Lidstrom will play, as he did last year, but Z might bow out again. Datsyuk will probably play, I would think. Pretty cool, though, that three Wings AND the coach are all part of the All-Star team.



--Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, left, of Russia, congratulates goalie Dominik Hasek, of the Czech Republic, after the Red Wings' 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in an NHL hockey game in Denver on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)--

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Red Wing News

It was announced that Lidstrom signed a two-year extension on his contract, to the tune of $15 million. And he is worth every penny. It is hard to think of him retiring, but he probably will after his contract runs out--he will be almost 40 then. It's just nice that he accepted the salary he did--he could probably go anywhere else in the league and get much more money. (I sure would like to have the problem of ONLY getting $7+ million a year!)

Detroit shut-out the Blues 5-0 on Wednesday! Lidstrom started out the scoring in the first period--a nice way to earn his salary. My Baby Boy got TWO goals--and they were only 126 seconds apart. (He was named first star of the game.) He is on a nice roll--hope it continues for him. Looks like he is on track for a 20-goal season--good stuff. Ozzie got his 45th career shut-out--he is having an amazing year.

It is good to see that the Wings have been able to continue playing the way they have--after all, they have some big injuries going on. Z is out until after the first of the year with back spasms--the same thing that kept him out for 19 or so games last year. I hate that he isn't playing--not so much that the team can't go on, but because his standings are going to slip. Holmstrom is out for about three weeks or so--his knee is deeply bruised. At least he won't need surgery--thank goodness. There still isn't any word as to what exactly is wrong with Maltby's back, but he isn't coming back any time soon.

Detroit will be playing Thursday, Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday--I sure hope they will be able to keep on winning. Trouble is, with them on the road through Saturday, they just might go into a slump. Hope not, but it wouldn't be too surprising.



--Detroit Red Wings' Valtteri Filppula, right, of Finland, celebrates with teammate Jiri Hudler, of the Czech Republic, after scoring against the St. Louis Blues' in the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007, in St. Louis. Filppula scored twice as the Red Wings shut out the Blues 5-0. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)--

After Christmas

As you can tell, I DIDN'T write any posts for the last few days, so that means only one thing: C DID NOT have the baby yet. First, they do all they can--including daily injections of a blood-thinner and weekly injections of progesterone--to keep her from going into premature labor, then she can't go into labor even though she TRIES! She is so sure she will be in the hospital on New Year's Eve--just in time to disrupt their party. (She puts on a big celebration for her, her husband and the kids--complete with noisemakers and party hats. They also do it to celebrate their anniversary--they got married on New Year's Eve.) One way or another, she will have the baby in a week.

This was one of the best Christmas's I have had in quite a while. I didn't let myself get too run down and my youngest was home for a few days. I didn't have any meltdowns and I kept depression at bay--actually, I didn't have any depressing thoughts at all. I MUST be getting better! :) The only thing that would have been better is if K wouldn't have had to work. Can't have everything, I guess.

I got some nice gifts--as I usually do. A and her husband got me some of Grisham's early novels in hardcover. I want to have all of his books in hardcover, as I collect him. She is lucky because of living in the city--she has access to used bookstores and they have a great one near them. My very good friend gave me a glass bowl that was made in Finland, designed by a Finnish artist in the 60s. Cool stuff. It looks just like this (the large one):




K managed to surprise me again this year. He only got me one thing from my list: a game for my Nintendo DS Lite. My BIG gift from him was a flat-paneled TV for the computer room. I love the fact that I can now watch the Wings AND do what I have to do on the computer at the same time. (Not to disparage the gift at all, but I think he got it for himself as much as for me. :)) I'm a happy camper.

I'm not sure when I will start taking down the Christmas decorations, but I don't feel a great need to do it right away. I should go out and look for a Christmas tree bag and once I find one, I'm sure I will be getting the house back to normal. But, right now, I'm not in any hurry. All in all, an absolutely amazing year for me!

I hope you all had a great time, also.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wishing You A Merry Christmas



Other than the birth of the baby or other earth-shattering news, I may not be here for a few days. (My baby is coming home!) At this time, I want to wish all of my readers a fantastic Christmas. My hope for each of you: May your Christmas be filled with laughter and joy, friends and family. Take a moment and remember the reason for the season. Merry Christmas to all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

No Baby News

C is not in the hospital--as far as I know, anyway. So, I will leave you with this to ponder:

THREE WISE WOMEN
would have:
asked for directions,
arrived on time,
helped deliver the Baby,
cleaned the stable,
made a casserole,
brought practical gifts,
and then there would be Peace on Earth!

:D

Merry Christmas--Enjoy!

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Just Another Day

I had to go and do some grocery shopping tonight--after all, my baby girl is supposed to be here on Sunday! I just can't wait! (Can you feel me smiling?) Anyway, I had to run into Shopko first and I discovered a very disturbing thing: They had a display of VALENTINE'S DAY socks in the women's sock aisle! Um, we aren't even done with Christmas yet, much less into the new year. I just don't understand this shit!

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C continues with the contractions--they just haven't been strong enough, regular enough, or bothersome enough for her to go to the hospital. She figures she will give birth within the week, as her last progesterone shot wore off today--that means any time now. Knowing her, she will be in the hospital on Christmas Eve and give birth sometime during the early morning hours of Christmas. How fun.

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Detroit lost to St. Louis tonight, 3-2. I don't understand HOW they have such a hard time against the Central teams. (Um, Chicago, anyone?) Detroit was 19 points ahead of the next team in the Central before their loss tonight--I just don't get it.

Sadly, Holmstrom re-hurt his right knee in the first period. He never returned to the game. Losing him is a great, big 'uh-oh' for the Wings--the great un-sung hero. And after he just came back from being out for two games with an injury to the same knee. Yikes.

The bright spot of the game for me: Baby Boy scored the first goal for Detroit! This is his fourth goal in the last five games. He is on a roll. Amazingly, he was quoted earlier today--while talking about the past few games--as saying, "I don't think I played that well. I think there's a lot to improve. I've been playing good but I think I can be better." Don't be too hard on yourself, Baby Boy--you are doing fine--and will continue to improve. (I can't imagine the kind of pressure he--as well as so many other players--have to endure. He is only 23 years old!)

You Paid WHAT???

I believe most of us realize that buying any of the 'big' birds, such as parrots, is expensive. For example, a Hyacinth Macaw will run you $6,500-10,000. A little bit out of the range of most people. They ARE beautiful creatures, for sure.




While the macaw is very expensive to buy, I think pound for pound, some saltwater fish are more expensive. And I bet most people don't even realize just HOW expensive they are. Are any of these on YOUR Christmas list? (All pictures and prices are from LiveAquaria.com)

Red Tooth Triggerfish


This bad boy can be had for the price of $199.99



Giant Cream and Pink Wartskin Angler


This one is $299.99, on sale for $249.99.



Australian Blue Devil


This fish can be had for the low, low cost of $329.99--on sale from the regular cost of $399.99.



Deepwater Tongan Goldenback Triggerfish


This specimen lists at $1199.99 at LiveAquaria.com, but you can get it on sale for only $729.99


Japanese Dragon Eel


The dragon eel is priced at $999.99.

Do the people who buy these have to find ways to spend their money, or what? I LOVE watching fish in an aquarium and have had an aquarium of my own in the past, but at THESE prices?!?! Unbelievable!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Poor Baby!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

The Game and The Baby Watch

The Wings beat the Kings 6-2 tonight. They outplayed LA almost every minute of the game, so it wasn't that hard to predict the outcome. The normal cast of characters got goals or assists and my baby boy got his 8th goal of the season. YAY! Now it is on to a five game road trip. Not a REGULAR road trip, however--they will play two games and then take a couple of days off for Christmas and then play the last three.

It looks as if three of the Wings will be going to the All-Star game. Lidstrom is the top defenseman vote-getter (and overall top vote-getter) and Datsyuk and Zetterberg are the top two forward vote-getters in the Western Conference. Do I dare say it? This just may be the Wings' year to win it all! (Okay, maybe I just jinxed the whole thing.) I'm just glad to see a little love and recognition given to some of the Detroit players--they really are ignored way too often. Or, at least, HAVE been in the past.




--Detroit Red Wings' Dan Cleary, left, and Niklas Kronwall (55) of Sweden congratulate Valtteri Filppula of Finland on his goal against Los Angeles Kings during the third period of their NHL hockey game on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 in Detroit. The Red Wings won 6-2. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)--


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Talked to C tonight and she was still at home. She is pretty convinced that the way she has been feeling for several days is an indication that the baby will come very soon. Actually, for her sake, I hope that is true. She has been pretty miserable--and it isn't surprising, as this is only the second baby that is 'normal' sized! So, we continue with the baby watch. Updates will follow as they become available. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Baby Watch, 2007 Version

C called today after seeing the doctor and was told that she probably WILL NOT be going till 3 January before the baby is born. Now, it is just a matter of 'watch and wait.' She was ready to go to the hospital last night because the contractions were so hard, but they stopped--or lessened enough--around 2:00 AM and she was actually able to go to sleep. This is where it begins to be iffy in my mind--she has had so many C-sections that it is in her best health to continue with them. However, if she is too far along in active labor, it gets a bit dicey to do a C-section. I hope she doesn't wait too long just so she can 'do it normally.' I would rather not know until the baby is born, thank you very much. Boy, am I ever happy that I got the gift for the little one already--don't need to be shopping for any more gifts!

So, for those of you who are interested, keep coming back. I will be posting as soon as I have any news whatsoever--even if the news is 'no news!' :D

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Life As I Know It

Yesterday we were out of the house before 7:00 AM--and for those of you who know me, that is a BIG deal--and on the road. By the time we had eaten breakfast at the Appleton IHOP, all of the stores were open, so off we went. I managed to get to most of my usual stores--didn't do DSW because I have too many pairs of shoes as it is--and dropped in to a few that I have missed the last couple of trips. I believe we are done with our Christmas shopping now. Well, except for K's secret Santa gift, but I don't buy that anyway. The worst thing about me finishing up my shopping early is that I can think of all these other things that I want to buy--and then go ahead and buy them! I REALLY have to use a lot of restraint. We DID get some clothes for the grandkids, but they were needed--all of the kids seem to be blowing out their pants at the same time. (Actually, Marcus took a pair of scissors to his newest pair, so that is why HE needed new ones.) I remembered to go to Build-a-Bear and get the soon-to-be-born baby her first stuffed bear--just like I have done for all the rest. We got home around 8:30 PM and I was exhausted. Shopping and traveling will do that to a person.

As I mentioned, we got home late--and we had already missed half of the hockey game! I managed to find a radio station carrying it, but as we came down in elevation into town, we lost it. At least I got to see the finish--the three shoot-out goals were wonderful. And the Wings won, 4-3 over the Caps.

It is times like last night when I REALLY want XM Radio, but I don't think I would use it enough to justify the cost. (We just aren't away from the house often enough when the Wings have a game.) K listens to the radio all of the time, but when we travel, especially, he likes to listen to local stations. He likes to hear weather and traffic conditions for wherever we are. I, on the other hand, very rarely listen to the radio. When we go on trips, I plug myself into my MP3 player and go to sleep, so the radio is lost on me. I probably would listen to the radio much more if I could get music I wanted to hear, but right now I can't. Oh, well.

C has officially been pregnant long enough, so that if she went into labor now, she would be allowed to deliver where she is. Her C-section has been scheduled for 3 January, but she is bound and determined that this kid will be born before Christmas! And so she cleans. She figures that if she moves around enough--after all, she WAS on partial bed rest for most of the pregnancy--she will be able to get that kid out. And if anyone can WILL herself to give birth, C is the one to do it. She is quite something.

Talking to A tonight, I finally realized that I have to get moving and get stuff done around here: she and her husband could be here already on Sunday! Their plans aren't completely finalized, but it looks as if they might be here for two nights. I can't wait--it has been too long since they were here last.

In the news:

--Dan Fogelberg died. Many of you probably don't know who he was. The really sad part about this is, he was only 56 years old and died of prostate cancer. He wasn't diagnosed early enough to be helped. This is a reminder to all men and women: Men, get yourselves checked ASAP! Women, got the men in your lives checked ASAP! This is a survivable cancer if caught early enough.

--Pam Anderson filed for divorce from her husband of two months. And then she changed her mind. No comment.

--Jamie Lynn Spears--Britney's 16-year-old sister--is pregnant. Now, I realize these things happen. C was pregnant--as big as a house--at her high school graduation. My mother was married and got pregnant with me--in that order--at the age of 16. Probably the only reason I DIDN'T get pregnant in high school was my fear of my parents, but I was lucky that my boyfriend at the time respected me enough to go along with my 'hands-off' policy. I KNOW these things happen. Mistakes are made. But, I really wonder what this family is like--I mean, look at the mess that is Britney! I really hate to say it, but poor white trash just doesn't seem harsh enough for them. Really.

--And, of course, the repercussions continue over the steroid/baseball scandal. There just are no heroes anymore.

Monday

Just dropping in for a few minutes--I'm so tired I can barely see straight, so I will have to wait till later to do a proper post. K and I did a road trip and finished our Christmas shopping. YAY!!! But, it completely exhausts me to push that hard in one day's time. I'll be here tomorrow with a longer post.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Yippee!

Two of my all-time favorite shows are coming out on DVD. The one I have been waiting for way too long is Newhart. I think it is possibly the funniest show of all time. (Larry, Darryl, and Darryl just cracked me up!) I hope they put out all of the 150 seasons the show was on. It will be available on 26 February. The other show that will be available (12 February) is The Equalizer. LOVED that shoe--I really thought Edward Woodward was the sexiest older man I had ever seen. I can't wait!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Traveling Package

(Am I just too tired, or does that title sound just a little bit dirty? ;))

Anyway, I wrote about a package I was waiting for here and mentioned every place the thing had traveled. Well, it finally was delivered today, but it managed to make a few more stops along the way.

When we left the package on 7 December, it was in New Berlin, WI. Here is where it went from there:

--12 December: ST PAUL, MN
--13 December: BROOKLYN PARK, MN
--13 December: ST PAUL, MN
--15 December: delivered to my house

Now, I'm not exactly sure WHY it bounced around the Twin City area like it did, but it seems as if it got caught in some kind of a time warp or something. All I can say is this: NOW I know why our postage keeps going up--the Post Office has to pay to send our mail on sight-seeing tours of this great nation! What a waste. But, at least it got here--and that's the bottom line, as it contained Christmas gifts!

Red Wings 5, Panthers 2

First, let's get the bad stuff over with. The Wings scored all 7 goals of the game. A good thing, you say? Of course not--two of the goals were for the other team! Yes, Lidstrom and Chelios managed to kick the puck into Detroit's net for back-to-back goals for Florida. Absolutely unbelievable--ESPECIALLY from Lidstrom. Nick so rarely makes a wrong move on the ice that it is still surreal when I think about that play. He is one of the (many) Detroit players that makes everything look too easy--so much so, that he doesn't get ALL of the praise from the league as he should. (And I could make the point that some of the other players are in the same position, but I digress.) Both he and Chris had the puck take flukey bounces and lo and behold, the other team had two goals.

The other thing that really gets to me about the Wings is the inconsistent play. If they actually were able to play 60 good minutes of hockey in every game, there isn't a team around that could beat them. They would have the Cup before the playoffs even began! The second period the guys just didn't seem as if they could get it together--well, for the beginning of the period, anyway.

Now, let's get on to the good stuff. With the talk about the flukey bounces, there also was another unusual thing that happened: the Wings got TWO penalty shots awarded to them! And after just having a penalty shot two games ago! Really, really strange. Anyway, Datsyuk didn't score with his penalty shot but--are you ready for this?--Baby Boy got another penalty shot AND another goal! He has now scored two penalty shots and one regular goal and had one assist in the last five games, for four points--he's on a roll.

The Wings play 8 more times before the end of the year, with a five game road trip. They won't be doing a west coast run, but they will be playing as far as Phoenix, so it will be a tiring trip. They will only have one day home before they play their last game of the year. It would be nice if they would win against St. Louis on New Year's Eve--end the year on a good note.

ANOTHER Award! {blushes}

Spreader of Love Award (200x240)

This blog has been awarded The Spreader of Love Award created by The Love Blog (http://iamlove.blogspot.com), for an outstanding demonstration of blogging love.

Meleah has been so very kind enough to award me The Spreader of Love Award! Not only am I humbled and thrilled, I LIKE IT! (I HAVE mentioned how much of an attention whore I am, haven't I?) If you haven't ever visited Meleah's blog, do so--she has such a fascinating story to tell.

Now, who to pass this award to?

--burg--Burg is possibly the person who has been reading me the longest. She is the same age as my oldest and if I hadn't ever seen a picture of her, I might think she was one of my kids--we DEFINITELY are related in some way! :) She is a sweetheart who has been so kind and thoughtful throughout our friendship. You deserve this, burg!

--cindi--Cindi and I have 'known' each other for at least a year. She is another one of my readers who has shown concern and compassion whenever I have written one of my depressing posts. Thanks for the love, Cindi.

--sue--Sue is a more recent addition to my daily blog read. She is a 'farm wife' who also works at a job off of the farm. She is a wonderful writer and does it all: humor, introspection, rants... A very good read.

There you have it, three of my favorite people in the 'verse. Visit them and see if you don't agree.

Friday, December 14, 2007

What's In A Name

With the influx of European players in the NHL, it is always fun to get to see the way names are spelled after hearing them pronounced by the announcers. For the most part, they do pretty well, but sometimes they just completely miss. At least half of the time I want to SCREAM whenever I hear the way a Finnish name is pronounced--they usually get it wrong. For example, most cannot pronounce my boy's name, Filppula. They want to say 'fill-POOL-a' when it is pronounced 'FILL-pull-a'. (He let the Detroit announcers know the CORRECT way to say it--and they have remembered pretty well.) (I don't even want to TRY and explain how the Red Wing coach butchers the name--the man has no clue!) There are, of course, names from Russia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and all over Europe, so it can be a bit confusing. There DO happen to be quite a few names that would make one say, "I would like to buy a vowel!" Those are very much fun.

Frankly, I find the French-Canadian names the most confusing. There is a goalie whose name is spelled Huet. And it is pronounced 'oo-ay'. Excuse me? Then, of course, you have the last name of Roy. French-Canadians say 'wah'. Fine, I can get used to that, but THEN along comes a guy with the SAME name--at least the same spelling--and pronounces it 'roy'! It is just too far beyond my comprehension. :)

And they say watching sports is a mindless activity! :D

No Lions Or Tigers, But We Do Have Bears

This is going to be one of my mish-mash posts--a little bit of this, a little bit of that. At the end, you will see what the title means! :)

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The Nephew left yesterday--hopefully for good. Why hopefully? He said he isn't too sure how well he did on one of his exams--the one for the class he MUST pass in order to graduate. I'm REALLY, REALLY hoping he is just being hard on himself. Again, as I have said before, he really wasn't any trouble while he was here, but I. DON'T. WANT. ANYONE. LIVING. WITH. US. AGAIN! I like my freedom and privacy a little too much. And there would be no gracious way to say he couldn't stay here again if he had to come back for another semester. :(

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The room where The Nephew stayed is all ready for whoever (whomever?) comes for an overnight visit. I couldn't rest until I got the room all cleaned up and squared away, so I spent last night doing it. It feels good to have that done.

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The Wings lost to Edmonton in a shoot-out tonight. There went another seven-game winning streak. Z got two goals, so that was a very good thing. Overall, I don't think they played as well as they are able. I guess the injuries are starting to take their toll--tonight there were three players out. The biggest problem is that there really isn't a set timetable as to when any of them are going to be able to come back! Holmstrom's knee is bothering him and he should be out for at least one more game; Draper is just now starting to skate with a brace after hurting his knee on 27 November--and he will be out till Christmas, at least; Maltby got some sort of injection in his back to relieve the pain--they really aren't sure what happened to him and no word on WHEN he might be ready to play. The only good thing: it is still early in the season and far away from playoffs, so they can get the injuries out of the way now and be healthy later on. I certainly hope that's the way this will play out.

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I have been getting a sh*tload of hits on this blog recently--today alone I had 34! This is very unusual for here, so I had to investigate. The second biggest number of hits come from people searching for pictures from Body Worlds. The search leads to the pictures I posted when we went to Chicago this spring and saw the exhibition. All of a sudden there was a surge in people searching for pictures, so Body Worlds must be opening in several places.

The most hits I'm getting is from searches about the Geminid meteor shower. I'm surprised so many people come to read my short piece on the shower and don't just go to a scientific site to get info. Interesting.

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Here is a list of some upcoming shows/series on TV:

--Clash of the Choirs (reality show)
--Duel (game show)
--The Singing Bee (reality competition/game)
--Power of 10 (game)
--Dance War (reality competition)
--American Gladiators (reality competition)
--Make Me A Supermodel (reality competition)

That list scares me. PLEASE, PLEASE end this strike already! I can't take it anymore! We are being overrun by ridiculous programming! HELP, someone, HELP!

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I thought I would post a picture of my new Christmas tree. It doesn't really look ALL that different from last year's tree, but still...




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For those of you who have never heard of, or been to, a Build-a-Bear store, here is a little background. These stores allow you to go in and 'build' your own bear--or other stuffed animal/character. They have 'carcasses' in bins and you decide what kind of stuffed character you would want to have. You then take the carcass to the machine where they fill it with stuffing--this is done to your own specification as to how firm or squishy you want your bear. (There are other options to decide at this point, but I won't get into any more specifics.) When you are done building your 'friend,' you get to register it at the computer and then clothe it. As far as the stuffed characters are concerned, the prices aren't too bad--they make their money on the clothing and accessories for these things. (I get a bear for each grandchild as it is born, I put a set of clothes on it as a gift, and then forget about it--I would go broke if I had to try to continue buying clothes for all of the grandkids' bears!) I own two bears, myself. And I buy them clothes. They are part of my decorating scheme all year long--I clothe them according to the holiday or season and they are on display in the dining room. (I know, pretty damn lame!) Considering it is the Christmas season, my bears should be dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, however, since buying my boy bear his last outfit, I couldn't put anything else on him. I now present to you Pikku Bear (this is the girl--'pikku' means 'little' in Finnish) and Iso Bear ('iso' means 'big' in Finnish--and this is the boy bear).

Pikku Bear




Iso Bear




Now, if I could only get that uniform on my cat I would have a really GREAT picture to send in to StuffOnMyCat.com! Like that could EVER happen. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Filppula's Penalty Shot

Valtteri Filppula is currently playing his second year in the NHL as a Red Wing. He is the first Finn ever to wear the winged wheel, so naturally, he is my favorite player right now--and hopefully for a long time. He has some fantastic skills and is compared, favorably, to Zetterberg a lot. Every game he seems to get better and he is showing talent, moves, and a playing level that a lot of veterans would like to have. Last night, he made a goal on a penalty shot that was so sweet, I just had to post the video. Enjoy.


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Detroit 2, Nashville 1

Since the powers-that-be decided there will be no more tie games in the NHL, we have had to see way too many shoot-outs. This has taken the thrill out of the penalty shot for a lot of fans. But tonight, I LOVED watching the penalty shot that Detroit was awarded. Why? Because Filppula--my baby boy--was the one who got to make the shot. AND he got a goal--which just happened to be the game winning goal! It was glorious--he made all the right moves and beat Nashville's goalie beautifully. This gives him two goals in the last two games. Good job.

The Wings certainly didn't win this game in a pretty way--they really looked tired in the third. And, rightfully so. They have played three games in the last four days, one of which they played yesterday. Nashville came into tonight's game fresh, but the Wings still managed to win. They are now, once again, on a seven game winning streak. Ozzie was the reason for the win--he was absolutely amazing again. I know the chances are about slim to none, but it would be great if he would be voted onto the all-star team as a write-in. He deserves every bit of praise he has gotten so far this year--I hope he continues the good work.

Starting Thursday, Detroit will play four games at home. At least they won't have the traveling to look forward to--thank goodness!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Meme

Meleah posted this on her site today and burg sent it to me awhile back, so I thought I would give it a whirl. I think I did this before, but here goes, anyway. I'm not tagging anyone, just let me know if you post this to your site.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags.

I usually do both, but I definitely prefer bags—less work!


2. Real or Artificial tree?

It is just SOOOOO much easier on me since we got our first artificial tree—will never go back to real. (And I LOVE having a pre-lit one—again for the less work!)


3. When do you put up the tree?

I try to do it Thanksgiving weekend.


4. When do you take the tree down?

If I had my druthers, probably 12:01AM on 26 December. I TRY to keep it up a little longer, though.


5. Do you like Eggnog?

EWWWWWW!!!!!!!


6. Favorite Gift you received as a child?

Can’t remember any that stand out. All I can remember about gifts is this: I ALWAYS went looking for my Christmas gifts as a child—The Mother would hide them in their closet. One year, I found EVERY ONE of my gifts, OPENED each one, re-wrapped them, and had nothing to look forward to on Christmas morning. It was a very sad year.


7. Do you have a nativity scene?

I collect Nativities and have 12 right now. I usually add at least one a year—I either get them as gifts or buy one for myself.


8. Hardest person to buy for?

K, because he will usually buy what he needs throughout the year.


9. Easiest person to buy for?

Both of my girls are pretty easy to buy for.


10. Worst Christmas gift ever received?

HMMMMM…could it be the picture of Jesus The Mother gave us one of the last years they gave us gifts? (I don’t remember for sure, but it might have been the one where He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying. Not a bad picture as far as religious pictures go, but the QUALITY was somewhere BELOW a velvet painting someone would buy from a gas station! VERY strange gift.)


11. Christmas Cards...Snail mail or E-mail?

EXCUSE me?!?!?!


12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

Probably A Christmas Story.


13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Whenever—no set time. And it really doesn’t matter much, as my list is quite short.


14. Have you ever 'recycled' a Christmas present?

Not that I know of.


15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Probably ham and cheese crescents. It used to be prune tarts, but The Mother doesn’t send me any these days.


16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

I now have all clear lights, as my tree is mainly decorated in white.


17. Favorite Christmas Song?

Hard to say—I always loved the candlelight service in church when all of the Christmas hymns are sung.


18. Travel at Christmas or Stay Home?

We used to travel when the kids were young—haven’t done that for many years. I STILL long to go somewhere far, far away for Christmas.


19. Can you name Santa's Reindeer?

Rudolph. What, you mean there are more?


20. Do you have an Angel or a Star on top of your tree?

An angel, which I made myself.


21. Open the Presents Christmas Eve or Morning?

With just K and me here, we open them whenever. Usually on Christmas Eve at some time.


22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

PEOPLE!!!!!!! I REALLY don’t like Christmas, so EVERYTHING about the season annoys me.


23. Shopping ... Mall or online?

I probably do most of my shopping online.


24. Do you decorate outside for Christmas or just inside (or at all?)

I don’t do ANYTHING outside—that is K’s domain. He hasn’t decorated for a few years and at this point, probably never will again. I take care of the inside.


25. Favorite Christmas cookie?

Either peanut butter kiss or M&M cookies.


26. Do you own Christmassy clothing or jewelry?

A few pieces of jewelry—and I only wear the Christmas tree necklace.


27. Do you believe in Santa?

I used to and then I growed up! :)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Detroit 5, Carolina 2

The score of the game makes it seem as if it was a relatively easy win for the Wings, but that is far from the truth. While it wasn't as difficult as other games have been, they were only winning 3-2 with three minutes left. That is when Datsyuk did his magic and stole the puck and scored. Then Holmstrom added a little more icing and scored less than a minute later. The game didn't seem to get too good of a flow to it because of the amount of penalties--to BOTH teams. The refs should just ignore some of this stuff. Filppula scored the first goal early in the first period--it had to be reviewed. But, he got his 5th of the year, so YAY!!!

Tomorrow night the Wings will be in Nashville and Ozzie will be in net. Even though Hasek seems to be back in his groove, somewhat--he has won his last three games--it will be good to see Ozzie play again.

Trivia

Seeing as I haven't done a trivia post in a while, here we go. As usual, these are all courtesy of mental_floss.

--Eagle Scout is the highest rank obtainable in the Boy Scouts of America. The following became Eagle Scouts:
* astronaut Neil Armstrong
* president Gerald R. Ford
* TV personality John Tesh
* film director Steven Spielberg
* billionaire H. Ross Perot
* actor Ozzie Nelson (Ozzie & Harriet)
* Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
* film maker Michael Moore
* TV producer Sheldon Leonard
* entrepreneur Sam Walton

--In 1997, when asked what he would do if he were running Apple, Michael Dell said he would 'shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.'

--Queen Cleopatra tested poisons on her slaves.

--A dog's total field of vision is about 240 degrees, while homo sapiens is 180. Dogs have trouble focusing forward, which is why they tend to cock their heads when you stand in front of them and talk or reach out to them.

--Kraft Foods reports sales of around 60 million boxes of Stove Top stuffing every Thanksgiving season.

--During the reign of King Tut, 15 pounds of garlic could buy a male slave.

--A 2004 British study conducted by Muslim researchers indicated that 58% of Muslims would cease taking a medication if their religion barred it.

--Forks were once forbidden by the Catholic Church because they were thought to be the dining utensils of the devil.

--Saffron is such a valuable spice that, in Bavaria merchants caught selling tainted saffron were once burned alive.

--The active ingredient in Viagara can be found naturally in walnuts.

--The San Diego Chargers have never won a Super Bowl.

--The New Jersey Devils used to be the Kansas City Scouts; The Tennessee Titans used to be the Houston Oilers; the Washington Nationals used to be the Montreal Expos.

--Thriller by Michael Jackson is NOT the bestselling album of all time. Thriller comes in at #2, while the Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-1975 has the number one spot. AC/DC's Back in Black is number three.

--Between Lincoln's assassination in 1865 and his final interment in 1901, his body was moved no fewer than 17 times, and his casket opened twice.

--Bill Cosby was the first African-American to appear on the cover of TV Guide.

--Qa is an ancient Babylonian unit of liquid measurement. It also is a very handy word to remember when playing Scrabble!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I REALLY Don't Understand

I have been tracking a package since last week. Here is where the package has been since it was shipped (this is the correct order):

LONDONDERRY, NH (where it was shipped from)
NORTHBOROUGH, MA
BROOKLYN PARK, MN
SACRAMENTO, CA
NEW BERLIN, WI (this is where it is as of 7 December)

Now, my question is, WHY? What logic has you send a package from the east coast to the west coast and back to the Midwest, where its final destination is (Michigan)? Can anyone explain this to me? I find the entire thing completely confusing and totally lacking in any sort of logic. I really would appreciate an explanation, if anyone has one! Thank you very much.

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Sad, Sad Game

Of course, it WASN'T sad for Detroit, but for Minnesota. The Wings won 5-0 and Dom had his 77th career shut-out! (Not that he had ALL that much to do, but still...) While seeing a game like tonight's is fun once in awhile, I don't need to see a blowout like that all that often.

Tonight's game had a little of everything: Z got his second career hat trick (GO Z!!!!!), Downey had a fight (a 'gentlemen's fight', not too many punches connected), a shut-out, a short-handed goal (go Z!!), baby boy got an assist, and a goalie got a penalty. As I said, a little of everything. The Wings did come out onto the ice a bit sluggish--I thought things might go sour for them, but they got going very well after warming up. I was really surprised at how poorly Minnesota played--they are much better than they appeared tonight.

The one thing that people will be debating, however, is the penalty Hasek got. Gaborik--Minnesota's star player--was skating on a break-away and Dom came FAR out of the net, met Gaborik not very far from the blue line, and sent Gaborik flying ass-over-teacups! Part of the reason this happened is that Gaborik had his head down and didn't see Dom's move--and the fact that this is the kind of thing ONLY Dom would do caused it to be kind of unexpected. Gaborik wasn't hurt during the play, which is good. It still is a bit of a puzzle as to why Dom got the penalty--after all, he was doing his job by meeting the player and stopping the puck. Oh, well, no harm done. Dom got his shut-out, which should go a long way toward his coming back from his slump.



--Minnesota Wild's Marian Gaborik (10), of Slovakia, flies over Detroit Red Wings' Dominik Hasek, of Czech Republic, after being upended during a fast break in the third period of their NHL hockey game on Friday, Dec. 07, 2007 in Detroit. Hasek received a penalty on the play. The Red Wings won 5-0. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)--

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Geminids

On December 14, the Geminid meteor shower peaks. This is being called the best meteor shower of 2007. You can start watching after 10:00 PM on the 13th and between midnight and dawn on the 14th, things "really heat up." Dozens of meteors could be seen per hour. To read more, you can go here.

I Knew My Readers Were Special!

Over at mental_floss, they had a link to the blog readability test. I put this blog through the test and it came back as this:

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I KNEW I had a smart bunch of people frequent this place! :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Day

funny pictures
moar funny pictures



Two weeks ago I had an appointment with my doctor for a physical--just routine. Of course, he wound up finding a problem. While checking my carotid artery, he heard what is called a 'bruit'--an unusual sound that indicates a possible blockage. This led me to having an ultrasound done last week, with a follow-up appointment for the end of the month. HAH!! Two days after the ultrasound, I got the call that he wants to see me ASAP and not later. Well, I have been a wreck for the past several days--it didn't help that I Googled carotid artery disease--thinking all kinds of bad things. So, I went to see the doctor today and it turns out that the news wasn't as bad as it could have been. I have the beginnings of plaque build-up in my carotid--nothing too terrible--and he wants to keep it from getting any worse. This means I will have to begin cholesterol meds to try and counteract anything that is going on. All of this is preventative, as I have a horrendous family history of heart trouble--combine that with the fact that I am of Finnish heritage (Finns have a lot of heart disease) and I am at very high risk for things to go wrong. I am lucky to have the doctor I have, as he is very conscientious when it comes to my health and he believes in a 'hands-on' approach to keeping things from going bad. I am one relieved woman and happy that things aren't worse. A good day all around.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Great Picture

I love this picture! And I found it at I Can Has Cheezburger.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Detroit 3, Phoenix 2

The Wings didn't play as well as they could/should have, but they managed to get the job done and win. Datsyuk is still flying high and got a goal and Z got a goal and an assist--good job. I was on the phone with A for a good amount of the game, so I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been. I DID, however, see my boy get up-ended--thankfully he wasn't hurt. It could have been bad, and after seeing the picture, I realize just how bad it could have been!




--Detroit Red Wings' Valtteri Filppula, left, of Finland gets upended on an offensive surge by Phoenix Coyotes' Keith Ballard during the third period of their NHL hockey game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007 in Detroit. The Red Wings won 3-2.
(AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)--