Ahhhhh, Christmas at the Xopls' house. Out there in the [southernmost part of the] North Woods of Wisconsin. I ate so much that I must have shat about three or four squirrels. No lie.
My niece got a complete spread of Dora the Explorer toys. The house, the van, all the friends and family. Each piece stamped out in high density plastics.
My nephew got, among many, many other things, a full line of dinosaurs. (I'm not sure from what movie or whatever, but surely something.) Every one of them had a cool dino-action and a built in noise. The brontosaurus stomped it's foot with a stomping noise. The pterodactyl flapped it's wings. The paulasaurus drank. Then there was also this big T-rex, whose dino-action was to lunge it's head and neck forward and downward, while snapping it's jaws, finished off with a roar. Pretty impressive.
I wanted to reinact the entire Jurassic Park T-rex sequence with the T-rex toy and the Dora the Explorer dolls and van. That would have been great on film. My niece was standing over by her doll house, with a complete line of Dora the Explorer personalities hanging out as if nothing was wrong. As if it were yet another perfectly pink day in the culturally diverse plastic universe.
Little did they know a monster was lurking near by! With a few jumps, and a few sound effects of my own making, T-rex scaled the roof of the house, pouncing onto the crowd below, devouring several with his dino-action. The whole scene unfolded right in front of my not-quite-two-yet niece, and ended with an electronic roar.
I gotta say she looked a bit upset. But only a bit, and only for a millisecond. She clearly only just was beginning to grasp the concepts she will need later in life to understand the horror show that had just transpired in front of her. Some quick smiles and laughter on my part immediately were matched by her in kind.
She's probably still scarred for life.
Highlights as far as swag include a subscription to Nat'l Geographic, something I would have never thought of for myself, but is probably my favourite present in years. Also, an LED belt buckle. Each message can be 512 characters max. Incidentally, that arbitrary number is exactly the max string length in the BASIC programming language. I'm sure this is no coincidence as programmable BASIC EEPROMS are fairly common in these kinds of geek electronics.
Oh, I also picked up Stratego, which is perhaps my new favourite board game. There's so much strategy to learn yet! Exciting!
And then I came home. The End.
I shall stratego you till you collapse in agony.
LED belt buckle?!? Bring that shit to NYE, I see much potential there.
DUUUUUUUUUH! Why'd you think I got it for xmas?
*I* want a National Geographic subscription!
Zach, that "DUUUUUUUUUH!" really cuts me deep.
I got my t-shirt today! you are going to love it.