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Jinny is having minor surgery to improve her eyesight so I will be writing her article for the next 4-6 weeks. We both appreciate your patience and are confident that she will be back writing her article soon...Adele

It is the season to be jolly, or not, depending entirely upon how one feels about the entire business. It is certainly the season to be buying presents, and despite the astronomical cost of gas, food, utilities, and the very basic elements of survival, people are going to do it anyway, sometimes accumulating substantial debt in the process. That isn't so jolly.
Per usual, there are certain items desired by everyone as Holiday gifts, and harder to find than the lost city of Atlantis or Jimmy Hoffa. When my oldest children were young it was Cabbage Patch dolls. There was a black market for the homely little tykes. People were spending obscene amounts of money to get their hands on one. In later years it was Power Rangers dolls and toys. Fortunately, my first two were too old to care by then. When my youngest was a tot it was the 'Tickle Me Elmo' doll. Innocent little Elmo was being lusted after like Marilyn Monroe that year. Chuck didn't have much interested in 'Tickle Me Elmo', which made me happy because I saw one demonstrated and my reaction was one of abject horror. To me, poor Elmo seemed less like he was laughing and more like he was having some kind of seizure. It really freaked me out.
This year one of those hot items is the video game system, Wii. (That's pronounced 'Wee', just in case you have been stranded on a deserted island for the past year). The Wii is a lot like other video game systems with one important difference; in order to play the games the player is required to get up off of the sofa and actually move. This innovation in the video game experience was one joyously welcomed by parents concerned with the health and welfare of their children. It is a statistical fact that our kids are becoming increasingly obese, in part due to their propensity to sit in front of TV's and computers watching and playing games. Personally, I would have to suggest that fast food and calorie-laden microwave meals might also have something to do with it as well. Regardless, all these various factors have led to the present unhappy situation regarding our young people and their well-being.
The Wii, of course, is impossible to find anywhere. Stores get them in overnight, open their doors, and they are gone within the hour, two or three games with them. You might reasonably wonder, given the level of desire, why stores don't have more of them. The answer is simple. If demand is high consumers will pay top dollar. Also, if Wiis are impossible to find during the season, parents will have to give their kids rainchecks and go buy them after the season when sales have dropped significantly overall. It isn't as if they are not making enough Wiis or stores are not getting them, trust me.
I have played the Wii and find it a lot of fun. I played tennis, bowling, golf, baseball, basketball, and boxing. It is not easy and does indeed require physical movement. You can't hit a blazing fastball sitting down. The controller for the Wii is a small, rectangular white box that fits easily in your hand with an adjustable strap that goes around your wrist. I remember hearing that when the Wii first came out it lacked this restraining strap and kids were ending up letting go of the controller and inadvertently heaving it through the television screen and windows. That must have been a hit with parents. They have rectified the situation by adding the strap. If you let go of the thing it just ends up dangling from your wrist. If it smacks some kid in the head or he neglects to put on the strap, it's kind of his own fault.
My one objection to the Wii is the animation of the characters. Why is it that the Japanese feel compelled to make everyone look like their version of western baby dolls? My character looked about a foot and a half tall, had stumpy legs, perfectly round feet, chubby arms and hands, and pigtails. It didn't even look like a cute baby doll. It was kind of grotesque, actually, like some maniacal killer baby doll in a horror movie. Male or female, they all look like that. You get to name your character; I named her 'Stumpy'. I know that they advertise the game as being appropriate for adults; I've seen the commercials, so why can't some of the characters look like adults? Or at least as if they were old enough to go to school. It annoys me.
I have to admit, however, that evil baby dolls looks or not, my toddler was fast on her little round feet and had a wicked right cross. Little Stumpy was a definite Golden Gloves contender. Now, if only she were potty trained.
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