The Meaning of Christmas by Charlie Brown and Linus

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Christmas Meaning Charlie Brown Tree

Linus takes a few minutes to explain to Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas. While others are distracted by Charlie Brown’s pathetic Christmas tree, Charlie knows that there is something deeper that Christmas has to represent. This better quality than most videos of Charlie Brown will get you in the Christmas spirit. Join the Peanuts as they celebrate a Charlie Brown Christmas. Merry Christmas!



Nickelodeon Programming

Nickelodeon Programming

Few networks directed towards children have had as much success as Nickelodeon and its affiliated stations. Since the late seventies, Nickelodeon Programming has been a huge hit with kids and parents alike seeing as it offers family friendly shows in world of “mature audience only” channels. The biggest reason for the network’s high level of success has been the Nickelodeon programming that has been long standing favorites for millions of families worldwide.

Nickelodeon Programming

Old School Nickelodeon Programming

Often referred to as the golden age of Nickelodeon, the nineties era gave birth to some of network’s most recognizable shows. Popular animated Nickelodeon programming directed to kids aged 7-12 that emerged at this time were Doug, Rugrats, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko’s Modern Life, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, and Hey Arnold! just to name a few. Also developed at this time were several preschool programs such as Gullah Gullah Island, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Little Bear, Blue’s Clues, and Franklin. Each of these Nickelodeon programming is educational and informational; many of these are still enjoyed by toddlers and preschoolers to this day.

Nickelodeon programming of the time also included comedies directed towards tweens and teens that gave birth to some quite successful acting careers; the two most prominent shows to launch actors into future stardom include Clarissa Explains It All and Kenan & Kel. Also of note were the ever popular dramas that included Are You Afraid of the Dark?, The Journey of Allen Strange, and Animorphs.

There has been a recent trend demanding for the return of the nineties Nickelodeon programings and executives are finally beginning to listen. Due to persistent Internet demands, social network collaborations, and thousands of video dedications it was recently announced that reruns of their most popular shows will begin re-airing on the TeenNick channel.

More Recent Nickelodeon Programming & Related Entertainment

The newer Nickelodeon programming is directed toward preschoolers includes popular titles like LazyTown, The Backyardigans, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Bob the Builder (aired on a sister network). The tween Nickelodeon programming includes several animated series such as The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Danny Phantom, and Back at the Barnyard.

Current Nickelodeon programming includes the ever popular SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly, The Penguins of Madagascar, Power Rangers Samurai, and The Troop. Without a doubt SpongeBob SquarePants is the most popular program and is the most frequently aired at 9-11 times a day while iCarly is Nickelodeon’s highest rated original series.

In late 2009, plans were announced to purchase the rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise and re-launch the animated series along with releasing a new TMNT movie. Although Nickelodeon doesn’t usually air movies, it does produce made-for-television movies such as Barnyard and SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.

Annually, there is Nickelodeon programming known as the Kids’ Choice Awards that allows children to vote and reward the year’s biggest television programs, movie debuts, and musical acts with a KCA award. This event usually features several superstars, a celebrity host, musical performances, and a recent throw back to the slime stunts popular in the late nineties/early two thousands.


Nickelodeon Big Help

Nickelodeon Big Help Project

Nickelodeon has joined the movement to encourage kids and families to go green. Through a website devoted to an online club known as Nickelodeon Big Help, they are encouraging and rewarding kids to play educational games and volunteer in the real world. By using an engaging animated format that is appealing to kids and young teenagers, as well as through advertising on their TV channels, the Nickelodeon Big Help project is helping to bring awareness of the issues to the next generation, as well as encouraging them to act.But the Big Help is not just about the environment, even though that is a big part of the club’s mission. The Nickelodeon Big Help project is about caring; caring for yourself, your friends, your family, your community, and ultimately your world, whether it is the part of the world you see around you every day or the entire globe. Nickelodeon Big Help is working to change the mindset of this generation from the typical American “me first” mindset, to one of “how can I do my part to make this world better?”

What’s Available on the Nickelodeon Big Help Webpage

The Big Help webpage has several resources for kids on their website. They have videos of their teenage celebrities “lending a helping hand” as well as forums for kids to chat with other kids, and a reward system for kids who take action in the real world. The Big Help reward system consists mostly in points that kids can use on the website for bragging rights and to buy cool stuff for their avatars (more bragging rights). The fun and kid-friendly animations on the website make it engaging enough for elementary age kids, but the challenges make it advanced enough for teenagers to use as well.In addition to everything on the Big Help webpages, one of the biggest advantages that Nickelodeon Big Help has is the fact that they are Nickelodeon. Their TV shows and games draw kids to the website, which gives them a great platform to get the message out to kids about really thinking and caring about their actions, about their education and communities. Nickelodeon (and Disney, the two giants in kids television) both wisely capitalize on this platform, which is good both for their business and for kids.

Nickelodeon Big Help
Nickelodeon Big Help

Nickelodeon Big Help for Parents

Yes, there is even a section on the Big Help for parents and teachers to go and find resources to help educate and motivate their kids/students. There is a resource page with sections for the environment, education, community, and health and wellness. They even have a grant program and a forum for parents to meet with other parents. For any families looking for a way to get started making a difference in any or all of these areas, Nickelodeon Big Help club could be just the motivating resource you’re looking for.

The Yes Sirs YouTube Video

The Yes Sirs – Gasoline Blues

The Yes Sirs recently show-cased one of their first music videos and it sure is a fun one. Not only is the tune catchy, but the content is relevant and timely. Check out the catchy music video they released called “Gasoline Blues”. Cory and Travis are sure to get a good following online and will catch up with other music groups that have done the same, like pampamoose and others.

Naturally you can find them on facebook: The Yes Sirs



Directtv contract fine print Direct TV

Directv provides a great service and has the best technology for watching television, but many of the customers get frustrated because the fine print of the contract is confusing and when you are signing up you think it just doesn’t matter. Then when you want to drop the contract or change equipment you find out that there are thing that you didn’t know. Most of these issues are the same if you choose Dish Network.

Directv Equipment Hardware

When you sign up for directv they ask you about the equipment and tell you that you will get receivers for four rooms but that is all equipment that is leased.  Even if you paid a fee for the equipment like a dvr you are almost certainly only paying a leasing fee and at the end of the contract you will have to return the equipment back to Directv as per the contract.   There are some retailers like Radio Shack that will sell you the equipment out right and that will entitle you to an open ended contract and you can sell the equipment when you are done.


Directv Movers Connection

If at any time you are relocating to a new house or an apartment you simply pack up your receivers and at your new location directtv will send out a technician to hook up your equipment and if necessary set up a satellite dish.   This too has a contract implication, you are agreeing to a two year extension to your satellite television service with directv.


Directv Special Offers

Many of the special programming offers from directv like their Sunday Ticket discounted price also include a commitment to additional contract time.  There may be other special offers for movie channels or sports packages that extend the length of your contract for satellite television.


In each of the instances involving the length of the contract it is not a big deal, unless you are unaware of it.  The fact they make it fine print in their contract is frustrating if you are trying to switch service and are obligated for a long term contract.



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Mantracker Terry Grant Science Channel

If you’ve never watched “Mantracker” on the Science channel, you are missing an intriguing show.  Terry Grant is the “mantracker” in this reality TV show.  Terry is renowned for being a part of a search and rescue team helping to find people who get lost in the remote parts of hiking/wilderness areas.  His ability to track down people has been turned into a game.


Terry Grant is "Mantracker"


Here is the basic concept of the reality TV game.  There are two competitors who are on foot trying to avoid being tracked and caught by Mantracker.  In each episode, Mantracker has a sidekick helper who knows the territory and they need to track the runners on horseback.

The runners start at one location and Mantracker begins at another area usually within a couple mile radius of the runners.  A flare is set off at the point the runners are beginning and the game begins.  The runners have a map which directs them to a final destination that is 25 miles away and they have 36 hours to reach that destination without being caught.


Mantracker must then find the runners starting location simply by the clue of the flare being set off and then use his tracking skills to catch the runners.  Each set of runners always seem to have their own strategies, decoys, and plans to keep ahead of Mantracker without being seen.  It is always helpful if the runners are the first to spot Mantracker rather than the other way around.

That first encounter is always such an adrenaline rush for the runners—especially for those who have such cocky attitudes about not getting caught.  The look of utter shock when Mantracker is chasing them down is priceless!!

Terry Grant


Our family enjoys watching this show so much that we have created our own version of this game.  We also have 2 runners and 2 chasers on horseback.  However, for us to take 36 hours and go 25 miles is too much for our children(okay, maybe for us parents) to handle.  So, we have modified how we actually get to destinations.  We have about 6 preplanned locations that all 4 players know about.  The runners must put up flags at all 6 destinations in any order they want and then get back to home base before being caught.  Those on horseback can then scope out, lay in wait, etc. at any of those locations in any order that they want as long as they stay together.  The runners are given about a 10-15 minute headstart before the riders leave the same location.

We live out in the country, so we are lucky to experience many of the same things the runners do on the TV show.  We have creeks to cross, woods to bushwhack through, and plenty of open areas that scare the daylights out of you to have to open yourself up to that kind of visibility to the chasers.

At the end of the chase, it is fun to know that you got lots of exercise, had a great time with your family and created a wonderful memory.  No matter if the runners got caught or not, it still was a TON of fun!!


Breakout Kings New A&E TV Shows

Review of Breakout Kings New TV Shows

Breakout Kings is a 2011 new A&E TV series about an ex-cop, Ray Zancanelli (Domenick Lombardozzi), who stole money so that his 16 year-old daughter could get a car without the help of her step-father.  After getting caught,  he is given the option to start a task force of Federal Marshals who capture prisoners who have broken out of prison (hence the name, Breakout Kings) because, having been the one who caught a lot of escapees while he was a cop, he had the idea to develop this task force.
A federal marshal CPA, Charlie Duchamp (Laz Alonso), is the head of the task force- Breakout Kings.  All we know about him is that he is married, is taking pills for something (addiction or condition, we don’t know yet), and he is a very by-the-book leader.  Racist issues are dealt with right away in the first episode of Breakout Kings as one of the criminals throws out some racist comments to our African American marshal in charge.

Breakout Kings on A&E

Expanded review of Breakout Kings

There are 3 criminals also on the task force (all had been captured by Ray) who are working based on a deal that shaves one month off of their sentences for every criminal they assist in apprehending and they were moved to a minimum security facility from their current maximum security facility.  Our 3 criminals on the Breakout Kings consist of a child prodigy behavior specialist, Dr. Lloyd Lowry (Jimmi Simpson), with a severe gambling problem, a female con-artist, Philly (Serinda Swan), who was crowned Miss Idaho?? two years after she started conning people,  and Shea Daniels (Malcolm Goodwin), an “entrepreneur,”  self title meaning I can get you whatever you need for a price.
We also have a female assistant, Julianne Simms (Brooke Nevin), on the Breakout Kings roster who has a genetic social phobia.  The ex-cop is very protective of her, though we don’t know why, yet.
Breakout Kings is like a crime drama but the twist is that there are criminals on both sides so you never know if the “good” criminals are going to cooperate or try to escape or what they will do next.  As you can imagine with this diverse cast, there is also a lot of personality conflicts and surprisingly more conflict between the non-criminals than with the criminals.  There is a power struggle developing between the ex-cop with his gung-ho attitude and the by-the-book marshal in charge of the Breakout Kings.  If you missed the pilot of Breakout Kings, you can watch it online at
I like Breakout Kings because it is similar to one of my other favorite shows “Leverage” where there is a lot of gray areas as you are dealing with criminals who are trying to do good by putting away the bad guys.  I am definitely going to keep Breakout Kings on my list and see what develops.


CBS TV Show Chaos

Chaos Premiers on CBS 2011

Chaos is a new comedy television show on CBS that premiered in April 2011. The show is about a group of CIA agents who go rogue in an effort to fight the bureaucracy. The bureaucrat that they are most resistant to is Higgins played by Kurtwood Smith. Chaos is directed in part by Ron Underwood who directed episodes for Ugly Betty, Monk, Eli Stone, and the movie City Slickers. The group of four agents are played by Freddy Rodriguez, Eric Close, James Murray, and Tim Blake Nelson. The love interest is played by Carmen Ejogo. The pilot is the only episode that has aired at the time of this review.

Review of new television show Chaos

This is a great show with writing that isn’t random but has some well written and directed twists and turns that fit the story line and keep you interested. It really is hard to tell who is really the good guys which is what the lead character Ricky Martinez is experiencing with his first day at the agency. He is almost killed at the front gate because he brings in a bowl of his mama’s gumbo for lunch and his name shows up as a terrorist. Then he is overwhelmed by the director who asks him to spy on the group to whom he is assigned, but the group knows the deal and anticipated they were being targeted for budget cuts so they blackmail him. The hyjinx are interesting and intriguing. Ricky starts to find his feet but is shocked that these guys really are well qualified and passionate about saving people. This is not a political show at all but incidental to the non stop laughs was my interflection after the show about how hard it is for us to sort out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. You may not have the same taste in humor, but I would encourage you to give the show a chance to make you laugh.