Category Archives: Holidays

Star Wars Advent Calendar is Jediriffic Year-Round

I got a LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar!

The idea of using an Advent calendar once held deep, religious significance for me – but since evolving into a non-Catholic, I only seem to appreciate the winter Holiday season for nostalgic reasons. I love the sights and sounds of Christmas, but… not its largely-borrowed-by-Christianity foundation. As such, I don’t feel the slightest bit of guilt when I go about my merry way, spreading love and joy without being chained to an outdated dogma.

Speaking of chains and Advent calendars… when I was a child, my brothers and I would find ourselves counting down the days to Christmas by stapling together (then tearing apart) a string of paper rings. It was a Christmastime staple! And, yes, we used staples to keep those chains together. I took the tradition too far one year and accidentally stapled my finger to one of the links.

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a bandage.

I’m quite grateful that LEGO is producing Advent calendars which do not require the usage of any pointed object. I may not have the best hand-eye coordination, but I can click bricks with the best of ’em. I’ve missed a few earlier LEGO Advent calendars, but that won’t happen again now that I’ve come out of the bin as an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO). I even decided to completely assemble the 2011 Star Wars Advent Calendar long before this Holiday season was upon us.

My girlfriend and I stumbled through a couple of the models, but it wasn’t too much of a challenge. We’re certainly ready to open more presents! Having streamed the LEGO build live on YouTube, this particular walkthrough was an hour in the making.

The full list of items (including the ones I couldn’t quite identify by sight):

  • Day 1 – Red Republic ship
  • Day 2 – Nute Gunray
  • Day 3 – Hologram Walker
  • Day 4 – Homing Spider Droid
  • Day 5 – Slave I
  • Day 6 – Chewbacca
  • Day 7 – Weapon holder with barrel of tools
  • Day 8 – Rebel Pilot with completely white helmet
  • Day 9 – X-wing
  • Day 10 – Imperial Shuttle
  • Day 11 – Battle Droid Pilot
  • Day 12 – Rebel Snowspeeder
  • Day 13 – Imperial Astromech Droid
  • Day 14 – Mouse Droid
  • Day 15 – Republic Gunship
  • Day 16 – Clone Pilot
  • Day 17 – Another Weapons Holder
  • Day 18 – Y-wing
  • Day 19 − 2010 TIE Fighter Pilot
  • Day 20 – TIE Fighter
  • Day 21 – Millennium Falcon
  • Day 22 − A-wing
  • Day 23 – Christmas Tree
  • Day 24 – Santa Yoda

Wouldn’t it be nice for LEGO to create a full 365-day calendar with new bricks every day?

Happy 2011

It’s difficult to make myself believe that 2011 is here already. Didn’t 2010 just start a couple of weeks ago? Where the hell has the time gone so quickly? It almost feels as though each and every year goes by faster than the one before. I’m not getting old, so that cannot be the reasoning. In any case – for better or for worse – it’s now 2011.

This year is going to be a better one. I don’t believe in making resolutions on New Year’s Day. I feel it’s more important to make changes in your life as soon as you know they need to occur. Don’t wait for a specific day to start living better. It’s better to evolve yourself year-round. By making a resolution, you’re putting WAY too much pressure on yourself and the chances of failure are much higher. Additionally, some people set unrealistic goals for themselves, making things more difficult and convoluted.

I have hopes and wishes for the coming twelve months, of course. Many of them involve all of you. We plan to continue building the community and giving you the tools and resources you need to go out and make a difference in your world. We hope that by connecting you to each other, collaborations between people who may otherwise have never met will happen. I’ve seen some pretty amazing things begin thanks to the meeting of minds that can occur within a community, and ours is no exception.

I’d like to thank each of you for contributing to the community – and to my life – every day of the year. Doing the things we do isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth it when we see the interaction between you, and the bonds that are created… both personal and professional.

Happy 2011 everyone!

Christmas Unboxing Geek Style

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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good haul! This happens to be my favorite holiday, even when I happen to be celebrating it alone. I’m very glad to know you’re here with me (even virtually, in homes of your own).

I bought myself a very cool Boba Fett hoodie this year. I’ve been wanting one forever, so I decided to go ahead and splurge!

I received several really cool gifts from various friends, including some great new LEGO and Star Wars stuff! Thank you to all of you.

I also bought myself a Panasonic DMP-B500 Portable DVD Player. Gosh, how did I ever figure out what it was I really wanted?

YouTube sent a gift to some of the producers, as well. We were asked to go to B&H Photo and Video and choose a few things we knew we could need/use. I chose wisely, knowing I will be broadcasting live soon from CES 2011. I’ll be in the Grand Lobby, and uploading all of the resulting videos to my YouTube account. Thanks so much to the folks at YouTube for these goodies.

ThinkGeek also sent me a nice care package. It was sitting downstairs for at least a week, and I’ve been dying to open it. They sent me the new Bluetooth Keyboard and iPad Case that I’ve had my eyes on for a while now. I also recieved the USB Classic Atari Joystick, the Star Wars Dark Side Coffee, an Otamatone, a Not Here to Make Friends shirt (which I WILL wear in public frequently!), the FML shirt (which again – I WILL wear often!!) and a few other assorted goodies.

What’d you get for Christmas this year?

Holiday Charity: Chrome for a Cause

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Bowman is using his time this week to urge you to help donate to charitable organizations – without giving up a single cent of your own money. From now until December 19th, Google will donate money on your behalf for every Chrome tab you have open. You’ll need to install the free Chrome for a Cause Extension in your browser. Google has said they will donate up to one million dollars in this venture.

The Extension will keep track of how many tabs you use each day. At the end of the day, choose where you would like your donation to be sent: The Nature Conservacy, Charity: Water, Doctors Without Borders, Un Techo para mi País or Room to Read. That’s all you have to do – choose. Google will do the rest, including writing those checks.

Is TiVo Premiere the Best Holiday Gift?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TiVo. All opinions are 100% mine.

There are so many options available when it comes to finding a perfect holiday gift. How the heck do you know for sure people will actually enjoy what you end up buying for them? I’ve found something that you can grab for pretty much anyone on your list – and it’s something they will enjoy all year long! Buying a  TiVo Premiere has never been easier or more affordable than it is right now.

Thanks to a special holiday offer, the TiVo Premiere box is only about a hundred bucks when you sign up for a one-year service plan of $19.99 per month. If you think TiVo is only a DVR, then you have much to learn. Not only does it record your favorite shows, it offers you many other services. Access movies and TV through the world’s largest on-demand video store. TiVo has partnered with  Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, BLOCKBUSTER On Demand, and more.

The device itself is simple to use and looks fabulous. You won’t have to worry about whether it will fit in with someone’s room decor – it’s made to work well with all color schemes and decorating styles. Your gift recipient won’t need to switch inputs and remotes or clutter up their house with multiple devices, either!

At this price, I’m thinking you’ll probably want to treat yourself, as well.

The best news of all is that you now have a chance to win a TiVo Premiere and one year of free service right here! Simply leave a comment on this blog post between now and December 23rd, and you’re automatically entered to win. Please see the official  sweepstakes rules  to make sure you meet all requirements.

What are you planning to buy for your loved ones this year?

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Star Wars Geek Gifts

What’s the best gift for the hard-core geek in your family? Most likely, you will never go wrong with something – anything – Star Wars related. In my case, you totally will be an epic friend if you hand me something that has Darth Vader on it, as well. Thanks go out to my friend Michelle Gamboa and her fiance for this fantastic spatula set.

Does this mean I have to cook now, though?

How Do You Decorate for the Holidays?

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The weather outside may be frightful wherever you live, but inside my house it’s nice and warm and full of LEGO fun. I am going to stay in this holiday season and celebrate alone – while building more LEGO sets.

I have several different ones, of course. I have the Winter Village Bakery and the Winter Village Toy Shop. Both sets are very detailed with lots of neat little surprises inside.

What types of holiday scenes do you like to build? Do you have a Nativity scene, or perhaps a little village build of some sort? How do you decorate your home to add special little touches that show your personality?

How to Find the Perfect Gift

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of NAVTEQ. All opinions are 100% mine.

There are many people on my holiday shopping list that are nearly impossible to buy perfect gifts for. They already have everything they really “want,” or they are very picky people. In either case, I am stumped every single year when trying to find that one gift they will not only enjoy – but get some real use out of. This year, I’ve stumbled upon nav system map updates from NAVTEQ. This is a gift that will keep giving all year – and one that can be used by nearly everyone.

Many newer vehicles have an in-dash navigational system. The ones that do are usually all powered by NAVTEQ. By having the latest map updates, you’re making sure that the person you care about always knows the best way to get where they are going, where they can stop along the way and is as safe as possible throughout their trip.

With a map update, you don’t have to worry whether you’re buying the right color or size. There will be no re-gifting going on. Heck, this is even a fantastic gift for yourself! You don’t want to get lost on the way to the mall or your in-laws’ house, do you? We all know how desperately you want to be on time for these things!

I have already purchased a map update for myself. I think that my parents totally need this, as well. As I scroll through my list of people on my iPhone, I realize that nearly everyone I know could benefit from the gift of figuring out where to go – and how to get there on time. The only problem now is figuring out what I’m going to get for my dogs, Wicket and Pixie. Those two already have more than they could ever possibly need!

What are you planning to pick up for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list?

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LEGO Advent Calendar 2010

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‘Tis the season to assemble LEGO! You may not celebrate Christmas or Advent, but how cool is this particular Advent calendar, anyway? There are 25 days, just as with normal Advent calendars. Instead of chocolate being behind each little window you open, there are new LEGO pieces!

The kit comes with a total of 257 pieces, including various city equipment, minifigs, a Christmas tree, a fireplace, and much more. You’ll have everything you need to put together a fantastic city scene, which can (of course!) be used as a holiday decoration.

I’m not sure which holiday you choose to celebrate. I choose Christmas, even though I am no longer a practicing Catholic. To me, the holidays are about giving to others, no matter what religion you are a part of or which holiday you call your own. Heck, I keep in mind that we “stole” Christmas from early Pagans. They began their Solstice celebrations many MANY years before Santa Claus or Christmas made their entrance.

No matter what you choose to celebrate this year (and every year), I hope it is a safe, healthy and happy one for you and your family.