Home Alone: 30 Years Later

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Keeping with the trend of revitalizing films from 30+ years ago, I have one worth showing. Home Alone was released in 1989, with its sequel showing in theaters two years later with MacCaulay Culkin as the main character, Kevin McAlister.  In honor of the film’s 30th anniversary, Google released a Commercial of Kevin, home alone- only 30 years later. In his 40s and showing age, Kevin uses Google Assistant to order his famous cheese pizza and guard his house from the likes of Marv and Harry. Have a look at the Video:

Ironically, the character who played Marv (Joe Pesci), produced a counter ad of his own:

Honestly speaking, I have a question for one and all: Do you really think a network like Google or Amazon will be able to do what is shown in this ad alone? And while you are watching TV and enjoying Mac and Cheese?

In my humble and honest to Jesus Christ theory, I don’t think so.

It would ruin the fun of doing that all by yourselves.  No computer network program can scare burglars away with a filmmed gunning, a shot in the balls with a BB-gun, race cars at the bottom of the stairs, a nail in the foot, paint cans in the face, and all.

So go away from the screen, get off the couch and get it done. 🙂 We can do it better- and genuinely! 😉

 

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Christmas Lights Poem by Keith Darnay

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There are many poems that have been written about Christmas lights over the past half a century. Some tied in together with the Christmas trees, some deal with the struggles with decorating them with lighting. However, this poem, written by Keith Darnay, puts the Christmas lights in the forefront, as they represent the color, love and true meaning of Christmas.  This video and poem were released 35 years ago on a TV Station in Minot, ND, as Mr. Darnay was starting his promising career in broadcasting, which has been 40 years and counting. Enjoy the video but especially the poem. 🙂 ❤

 

The Files has a quiz on Christmas lights and ist history. Feel free to challenge yourselves and click here.

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Holiday Flick Nr. 4

OK, many of you probably are wondering why there’s a Teddy Bear in the Christmas tree. Right? 🙂

Here’s the Story: Traveling in Saxony one day, I listen to the traffic report on a radio Station based in Leipzig and a person mentioned there was a Teddy Bear on the highway for Blitzer. Blitzer is short for Gatsometer and a further explanation of this can be found in an earlier article. We all know that the nickname for Blitzer is Caddy, although sometimes the Sachsen would pronounce it like Teddy. Hence, the Teddy Bear. Seeing this pic, it gave me an idea for Christmas: A Teddy Bear taking pics of speeders from a tree- without the driver noticing. Most Gatsometers have this God-awful camera that emits a yellow flash that has an “In your face,” look as you drive past. Yet having a bear in the tree can serve as an eye-opener for two reasons: 1. It forces the driver to slow down to take a look and 2. If the driver ignores it and continues to speed, that person would be in for a surprise in the mail three weeks later: 160 Euros for going 30 km/h faster than expected, a point from Flensburg and a one-month driving ban! That would definitely get the driver to think a bit. And for environmentalists, like Greta Thunberg, it would serve as an incentive to slow down and not spew more emissions than necessary.

That’s my wish for Christmas. All we need now are some Teddy Bears and some technicians to make it happen. All I can say there is: bring them on. 🙂

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We walk through the city of Oslo in a cold winter evening with lots of ice, melting here and there making the walk difficult. We come to the more vibrant part of the city towards Karl Johans gate and found out Christmas market of Oslo. It is a beautiful market with lots of handmade winter […]

via Oslo Christmas market .. — Life as we see it..

Maastricht Christmas Market

Maastricht Christmas Market

Maastrict is in the Netherlands. A lovely write-up by a guest columnist who just visited recently. 🙂

We went to Maastricht last weekend, to see the Christmas market going on there. It’s a pleasant market, perfect for families with little children. Lot’s of activities for children – giant wheel, merry-go-round, ice skating to name a few. We went with a ‘very unenthusiastic about Christmas markets teenager’ :D. So, you can imagine. And, the weather played spoilsport too. It rained heavily and was really cold. So, had to drink some extra mugs of hot chocolate to keep ourselves warm( not giving excuses you know!).

There were some nice stalls selling Christmas wares and yummy food. What really caught my eye were these rusty tools like chocolates. I know!! These are chocolates. Genius, right? The teenager I was talking about was really intrigued too :D.

Anyways, I have to admit that the market experience was not as magical as I had expected. But, so glad that we went because…

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A Tribute to Roxette

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1989 was the era of change in many aspects. With the Fall of the Wall, it ushered in a transition from what we knew in the past and what we should know about for the future. It was a bridge connecting the usual environment to the new usual. It was an era of change, where the greats from the 70s and 80s were replaced with those who would eventually lead us into the new millennium and beyond.

One of the changes that was taking shape was the style of music. During the 1980s, we were greeted with a combination of rock, techno, pop and disco music, while some of the greats from that era, influenced us through their lyrics that combined events with the past with lessons for the present. Much of that had to do with the Cold War, which was winding down, thanks to Michail Gorbachev’s policies of openness. The 1990s, however, brought a wider, more modern selection of pop and rock music, but also dance music and rap, and it would carry us through, while focusing on the good, the bad and the interesting sides of society.

Yet the 1990s would not have been possible had it not been for some musicians that were up and coming in the late 1980s- before the Revolution of 1989- the ones that would make the 1990s the unforgettable decade that would set the precedent for the future. One of the musicians that led the procession was the music duo Roxette.

Consisting of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle, the Swedish pop group was formed in 1986 and its style of music consisted of pop and dance, with some contemporary hits to add to their storied list of songs produced. Yet their breakthrough came in 1988 with the release of the album “Look Sharp!”. With this album, five singles were released, all of which made it to the top 10 in one way or another through 1989 and into 1990. The album was an immediate commercial success in Sweden, selling over 140,000 copies within ten days of release. In the US, the album was certified platinum on 20 January 1990 by the RIAA for shipments in excess of one million units. It peaked at number four in the UK, where it spent over a year on the charts. It was certified platinum by the BPI in December 1990 for sales in excess of 300,000. The album set the foundation for multiple successes for the group over the course of the next two decades, as eight more albums were released, each one with at least three singles, some of them have garnered additional awards.

If there were three songs that defined 1989 and helped usher in the 1990s and a new era of change, they would be (in no certain order):

Dangerous

The Look

 

Dressed for Success

These three songs looked at society and its strive for success both for individuals as well as a whole. It defined the changes that were going to happen and changes which people can simply embrace and take advantage of. Yet during the first half of the 1990s, a lot of Roxette’s songs dealt with love and heartbreak, including:

Listen to Your Heart

Sleeping in My Car

How do You Do?

Spending my Time.

These songs were solely performed by Marie, whose soprano voice was moving to many, as if an angel was talking to the listener and showing him/her where to go. Marie’s career went back to the 1970s, but she’s best remembered for her time with Roxette, where for 30 years until her retirement in 2016, she and Per had a wonderful joyride, impressing her fans and winning the hearts of millions more. Roxette was one of the top 10 music groups of the 1990s and 2000s and there was no household in America or Europe that did not have an album from Roxette.

Sadly, after 17 years of battle, Marie Fredriksson died of cancer on 9 December, 2019. She was only 61. She had undergone years of treatment and operations until it was time to hang it up for her career and enjoy the last moments of her life. As I was compiling a tribute for Roxette, I ran across Marie’s farewell speech when the group was forced to cancel the last leg of a concert in 2016: “Sadly, now my touring days are over and I want to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful fans that (have) followed us on our long and winding journey.” Her partner’s response was a classic: “The joyride on the road is over now – but we sure had fun, didn’t we?”

My response: We did have one heckuva joyride- one that will last forever in our memories. You will be missed for helping usher in an era of opportunity and success, after years of division. Many thanks for that wonderful journey, Marie and God Bless. ❤

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Christmas Pyramid: Fun Facts and Activities

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One of the main features of Christmas in Germany are the Pyramids. Christmas pyramids have existed for centuries but can be found at every Christmas market big and small. Even some markets in other countries have adopted the pyramid as one of the key attractions for tourists to see, especially as the blades are turning, powered by candles.

But what are they, really?

To answer that, I’ve compiled a pair of activities for you to try out. They include a Guessing Quiz and a wordfind with some words describing figures that you will most likely see in a pyramid. An answer sheet is enclosed so that you can display the colorful murals on the white board while answering the questions on a sheet of paper.

The answer sheet can be found by clicking here. Without further ado, have fun with the activities that you are about to do. 🙂

Christmas Pyramid Fun Facts Part 3

BONUS QUESTION:  Which motif is most likely found on every Christmas pyramid?

a. Nativity set with the Birth of Jesus

b. Winter landscape

c. Miners and angels

d. The Church of our Lady (Frauenkirche) in Dresden?

Christmas Pyramid Fun Facts Part 2new

The printable worksheets you can download via pininterest here:

Christmas Pyramid Fun Facts Part 3a

Christmas Pyramid Gun Facts Part 5

If you don’t have pininterest, you can access the worksheets via link below:

https://www.canva.com/design/DADuEEup26I/Rz1FBuIT8MMQv8fVLusAow/view?utm_content=DADuEEup26I&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=sharebutton

For both versions, just simply save as jpeg, then open before you print. 🙂

Please keep in mind that although the words in the Wordfind and the diagram can be used only once, there is one word in the worksheet in the Pyramid diagram that can be used twice. Can you find that word? thinking-face_1f914

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