Merry Christmas

by ExGen on December 25, 2007

Just a quick post to say that I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas today!

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Planting candy cane seeds

by ExGen on December 23, 2007

Looking for a unique Christmas tradition for your family? How about planting candy cane seeds? It is a family favorite in our home, and I’m pretty sure none of your friends are doing this one! You might want to hold off telling anyone about this until after Christmas is over though, or else they might steal the idea because it’s ‘so cute.’

Items needed:

candy cane peppermint candy

  • Candy cane
  • Peppermint (starlight) candy
  • Spoon (or other small digging device for a child)
  • ‘Magic’ Santa dust (colored granulated sugar works well)
  • Story-telling ability

This activity will take about 5 minutes to complete, but your children will love it (and you’ll love how happy they are the next morning). On Christmas Eve, give each child a ‘candy cane seed’ (peppermint candy) and a spoon. Take them outside and let them plant the candy cane seed in the snow, or the dirt if you’re not lucky enough to have snow. Next, let them sprinkle some of the magic Santa dust over each seed. Make sure to mention that the dust is magic, and that it only works on Christmas Eve. We tell our boys that Santa leaves us the dust each year for use the following year.

And now for the magic… After the children fall asleep, replace the peppermint candy ‘seeds’ with the candy canes to create the illusion that the seeds grew overnight.

Tip: You might want to leave the wrapper on the candy canes, because the colors tend to bleed into the snow if the wrapper is removed.

On Christmas morning, our boys always run right to the window to find out if their candy cane seeds grew while they were in bed. It’s a wonderful holiday tradition that is simple to perform, but provides many warm memories.

I hope it works as well for you as it does for us.

Happy holidays!

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How to spend $67.9 million

December 23, 2007

So, you’ve just been handed a $67.9 million dollar bonus (e.g. Lloyd Blankfein). What are you going to do with it? If you’ve got that kind of money in your bank account, I’m pretty sure you’ve already got a plan or two for that cash. But what about the rest of us – those without […]

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Lloyd Blankfein is a pimp

December 21, 2007

Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has just been awarded a $67.9 million bonus for 2007. The payout will be distributed as $26.8 million in cash and $41.1 million in restricted shares and options. Most of us would be lucky to make $68 million in our lifetime, and this guy is getting […]

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The Foundation for Victory – An Examination of the American Experience at Valley Forge

December 16, 2007

Victory was still years away when General George Washington led the Continental Army into winter encampment at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in December of 1777. The Army was to suffer greatly and overcome numerous obstacles during the winter of 1777-1778, but a new efficient, effective fighting force would emerge with the help of a foreign solder, […]

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Questioning religion

December 9, 2007

I am not an overly spiritual or religious person and, in fact, enjoy openly questioning religion in general. I find it interesting and entertaining to discuss religion with individuals from different religious backgrounds. To me, religion ultimately comes down to faith. Sure, there are some archaeological findings that may support religious claims, but, generally, the […]

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How to score awesome concert seats!

December 8, 2007

Earlier this week, I went to a Sugarland concert a few hours away. I was pretty excited, since I had bought the tickets about two months ago and this was also a good excuse to just ‘escape’ for awhile. When we got to the venue, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the arena was […]

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Getting in shape – BEFORE the holidays

December 3, 2007

Beginning January 1, millions of people will chase their New Year’s resolution of losing weight or becoming more fit. I haven’t researched any data, but I would bet that fitness related businesses see a huge boom in sales during January. I’ve been there before… once spending over $700 for a family membership to the local […]

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Renewable energy – wind power

November 27, 2007

The United States’ dependence on fossil fuels is a little scary. Look at what it has gotten us into in the Persian Gulf (twice!). Using corn as fuel is also a little scary, but in a different way. Have you ever thought about how many people in the world are literally starving to death? How […]

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Climbing Mt. Fuji

November 19, 2007

With a summit elevation of 12,388 feet (3776 meters), Mount Fuji (Fuji-san) is Japan’s highest mountain. To be more accurate, Mt. Fuji is a dormant volcano west of Tokyo, with its last eruption occurring in 1707. I have seen the mountain numerous times during my time in traveling in Japan, and its symmetry, power and […]

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