The one Christmas present that's gotten the most mileage (literally) in our household this season is my 7-year-old's Marble Run. As the manufacturer says, you can, "Build a Marble Run track that twists, turns, and spins marbles at incredible speeds! These colorful chutes, tubes, drop-throughs, merry-go-rounds and spinners stack and click, with clear pieces for extra fun." Check it out in action, courtesy of my wife's phone:
I did some very profound thinking over the Christmas break. For example, it's never worth it to eat a candy cane. The effort it takes to peel off the plastic wrapper and the little crumbs that fall when you break off a piece just don't justify what you get in the end.
I have finally cut the cord. We watch so little television in our household that it seemed like a waste to keep paying for our Dish Network service. So I gave it the old heave-ho despite Dish begging and pleading for me to stay. The company even sent me an email a couple of days later saying that, "We belong together." No we don't! Our Roku streaming device and Amazon Prime subscription are enough to meet our limited viewing needs.
The first thing I was thankful for when I woke up on New Year's Day was that nobody's illegal fireworks started any brush fires in or around the neighborhood. I always feel the same way when I first wake up on July 5 too.
As planned, our family celebrated on December 31 by being asleep before Dick Clark's replacement rang in the new year. It was a quiet night of family fun at home, just the way an introvert likes it. But in a cruel twist of fate, the next night I wasn't able to fall asleep until 12:30 a.m.
I'm getting to know my new randomly generated patron saint for 2014. Conversion Diary's Saint's Name Generator came up with St. Cajetan for me, St. John Neumann for my wife, St. Peter Orseolo for my 7-year-old daughter and Blessed Margaret of Castello for my 14-month-old daughter. Eventually we'll figure out why these saints were assigned to us.
The self-checkout lanes at stores are so unpopular that some retailers have to beg you to use them. I was last in line (not a particularly long line) in a regular checkout lane at Home Depot the other day when a cashier tapped me on the shoulder and said she could help me in the self-checkout lane. Sure enough, she scanned my three A/C filters and one toilet tank flapper in the lane that isn't supposed to offer human help. One day I'll have to write about the time several years ago when I bailed out on an entire cart full of groceries (prior to paying) because of an incident in the self-checkout lane.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary; and don't forget to move the three kings into your nativity scene on the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord on Sunday (and then put it away until December).