"The fog comes on...."

January 6 is the birthday of poet, journalist, children's writer and biographer, Carl Sandburg. Born to Swedish immigrants in 1878 in a three room shack in Galeburg, Illinois, Sandburg was the quintessential Midwesterner. He stayed in the heartland, writing about his beloved Lincoln, the slaughter houses of Chicago and the whimsical characters of his Rootabaga Stories. Sandburg wrote what he knew from personal experience having dropped out of school in eighth grade, taken on odd jobs and traveled with hobos and tramps across the country.

Who can forget his wonderfully gravelly voice, shock of white hair and his image of fog in a poem of the same name:

"The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on."

Poke-Mom Report: Pokemania super-effective against holiday boredom!

My improbable conversion to a Poke-Mom was foretold a decade ago, when both Pokemon and our son Michael were born. My conversion was completed the week after Christmas 2006, following full immersion in the music, color and magic of the four-day holiday Pokemon tournament led by Eli, a near god in the eyes of Poke-moms, dads and kids.

Eli was managing library technology, while acting as tournament commentator for crowds of kids and parents at the downtown library: “Rayquaza’s Hyper Beam attack was a powerful hit against Swampert . . . Ohhhhhh! Swampert fainted!” Eli’s dramatic, deep-voice Poke-narration sealed my status as a Poke-mom of Great Conviction. I wasn’t there for the whole tournament, but I definitely saw and heard enough to absorb the spirit. For my full report, click on read more below.

THANKS to all the Knitters!

knitknit

Beautiful hats, scarves, and mittens have been donated to the SafeHouse Center, The Residential Treatment Facility, and Mott's Children's Hospital from Mary, Wendy, Pat, Janet and many other generous knitters who attended the 'Knit Your Bit-For Others' program that was offered for Teen Read Week. Everyone's kindness and creativity were impressive, and the gifts were well received.
Anyone looking for knit project to round out your winter break, check out Oneskein

Of Mice and Rats

Are you looking for a good book to listen to with your family on your next car trip? I suggest Redwall by Brian Jacques. The story is about a young mouse Matthias, who becomes the hero of Redwall Abbey when it is attacked by Cluny the Scourge.

How are you celebrating?

Whether in Times Square watching the ball drop, or at Sydney's famouus harbor where over 80,000 fireworks will be set off, New Year's Eve is a time to look back and forward.

If you're throwing a party, check out some great hors d'oevres cookbooks: Mastering Hors d'Oeuvres by Jan Weimer or Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook by guess who?

If you're a nostalgia buff, you can watch the Jack Benny Holiday Hour, especially the episode where he turns down a party invitation for a date that never happens. Or for "Friends" aficianados, check out the episode in Season I, disc 2, in which Ross arrives at a new Years Eve party with a monkey.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

The world of Avatar: The Last Airbender is divided into four nations—Earth, Water, Fire, and Air—each with its own type of elemental magic, known as “bending.” The four peoples lived together in harmony the Fire nation began to invade its neighbors. Only the Avatar, a special bender born with the ability to manipulate all four elements, could have ended the war, but when the Fire nation began its attacks, the Avatar had mysteriously disappeared.

A hundred years have passed since the Fire nation began its invasion, and it now seems poised to complete its conquest. But two siblings from the water tribe, Katara and Sokka, have just found the missing Avatar, a twelve-year-old boy named Aang, and his flying bison frozen in an iceberg. Can Aang learn to master all four elements and restore peace?

This cartoon isn’t technically anime, but it’s certainly heavily influenced by anime in its character designs and plot structure. Creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino have specifically cited the films of Hayao Miyazaki as influences. The action scenes are particularly fun to watch; each type of bending is inspired by a different martial art—for example, waterbending is based on tai chi, and firebending is based on Northern Shaolin—and that makes the showdowns between the different characters very exciting to watch.

DVD Top sellers on Amazon.com

Here are the latest Amazon.com Top Sellers available in our collection. No surprise that It's a Wonderful Life made the list...tis the season! My favorite is A Christmas Story. " Ralphie, you'll put your eye out!"

Little Miss Sunshine
Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest
An Inconvenient Truth
The Devil Wears Prada
It's a Wonderful Life
Cars
Talladega Nights

What is this Christmas thing anyway?

Are you concerned about what Christmas has become. Charlie Brown sure was. If you want to learn about the true meaning of Christmas, sit back and relax with your family as you watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.

There is a Santa Claus…

earthriseearthrise

Apollo 8, Launched on December 21, 1968, was the first manned mission to leave Earth orbit and head for the moon. After ten lunar orbits it was time to go home. To get back on the right path, the crew had to perform the Trans-Earth Injection burn while on the far side and out of radio contact with NASA. Everything went as planned, and when radio contact was restored (at the precise time calculated by NASA engineers) this was the transmission:

Apollo 8: Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
Mission Control: Hello, Apollo 8. Loud and clear.
Apollo 8: Please be informed there is a Santa Claus.
Mission Control: That's affirmative. You're the best ones to know.

It was December 25.

If NASA’s authority isn’t enough to convince you, take a look at NORAD’s (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Santa Tracker website. They’ve been tracking the jolly old elf since 1955 using state of the art radar equipment.

Silly Stories

In the mood for a cozy, crazy family storytime this holiday season? Join us on Wednesday, December 27 at 10:00 am in the Downtown Youth Story Corner for silly stories for all ages. Sing along in an old favorite from the Appalachian Mountains and a dancing folktale from Panama that has lots of opportunities for audience participation.

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