Monthly Archives: December 2012

Possible Movie RemAkes: Swashing Some Buckles!

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OK, I freely admit it: I’d love to see Richard in period clothing again. He wears it so well. When I listen to radio dramas such as Clarissa and the Heyer audiobooks, it is so easy for me to imagine RA in frock coats and perfectly tied cravats, riding boots and snug-fitting breeches. Call me shallow; it is, indeed, a pleasant diversion.

But not only do I want to see him in such period costumes, I want to see him in action in such period costume, playing intrepid heroes.  I want to see our athletic, dashing Richard Armitage swashing some buckles, wooing lovely ladies, wielding flintlocks and rapiers with the balletic grace he brings to the role of Thorin.

The Original Hero with a Secret Identity

Before Bruce Wayne/ Batman and Don Diego de la Vega/El Zorro, there was Sir Percy Blakeney, the foppish, foolish British aristocrat who, with the help of a trusted band of fellow aristocrats, secretly helps save souls from Madame Guillotine during the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution.

The Scarlet Pimpernel, the character created by Baroness Orczy in a series of historical adventure-romances first published in 1905, is a master of disguise and escape, a formidable swordsman, quick on his feet and very clever and cunning.

By contrast, Blakeney is a dull-witted, vain, fashion-obsessed creature who takes little interest in world affairs. His beautiful wife, a French actress, Marguerite St. Just,  is unaware of her husband’s secret identity. Circumstances lead him to mistrust her; she, in turn, feels estranged from her cold, dull English husband.

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Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour in a 1982 television adaptation of Orczy’s work.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 film)

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story is filled with intrigue, blackmail, lust, revenge, romance, adventure and derring-do all set during a very exciting period in history. I could see Richard having great fun with the dual role, really making us believe in the dull-witted dandy Sir Percy as much as the daring, dashing hero, the Pimpernel. And there’s a sword fight!

Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon as Sir Percy and Marguerite in the 1934 Hollywood version of TSP, considered the definitive adaptation by some fans.

Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon as Sir Percy and Marguerite in the 1934 Hollywood version of TSP, considered the definitive adaptation by some fans.

A physician turned pirate

In 1922, Rafael Sabatini penned a novel entitled Captain Blood, its 17th century hero a quick-witted Irishman who had served as soldier and sailor before settling down to work as a physician in Somerset. After aiding those injured in the Monmouth Rebellion, Blood is arrested, falsely accused of treason and transported to the Caribbean island of Barbados (Jamaica in the 1935 film) to be sold off as a slave.

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The cover of the original edition of Sabatini’s Captain Blood.

Movie poster for the 1935 film version of Sabatini's novel.

Movie poster for the 1935 film version of Sabatini’s novel.

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Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) toe-to-toe with the cruel Caribbean plantation owner (Lionel Atwill).

A wicked plantation owner who purchases him soon discovers Blood’s doctoring skills and he is hired out as a physician, successfully treating the governor for gout. A relationship develops between Blood and the plantation owner’s lovely niece, Arabella, played in the 1935 film by Olivia DeHavilland.  Neither development makes Blood’s owner a happy man.

When Spanish forces attack Jamaica, Blood and other convict-slaves manage to escape. Blood goes on to capture a Spanish ship and become one of the best pirate-buccaneers of the Caribbean. He also encounters Arabella on a merchant ship and duels with a French pirate to win her.  His gentlemanly instincts prevent Blood from having his way with his “prize,” however . . .

Richard would, of course, make an incredibly dashing, charismatic pirate and would be able to out-act Errol, who was appearing in his first high-profile role. This would also be a great excuse for RA to either grow out his hair or get extensions. Because he rocks the long locks . . . and the pirate shirts . .  and those thigh-high boots.

Captain Blood (Errol Flynn) lounging with a couple of friends.

Captain Blood (Errol Flynn) lounging with fellow pirate Basil Rathbone and a friend.

FYI: The character of Peter Blood is actually based on three real-life individuals, Henry Morgan, Thomas Blood, and Henry Pitman, a doctor who was actually caught up in the rebellion, arrested and sold into slavery in Barbados, where he was captured by pirates (although unlike his fictional counterpart, he didn’t join them in their exploits).

These are just a couple of classic film roles in the historical adventure/romance genre I wouldn’t mind seeing Richard perform. A girl can dream, can’t she? 😉

Possible Movie RemAkes: Richard as Atticus Finch

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Original_movie_poster_for_the_film_To_Kill_a_MockingbirdIn a previous post, we’ve discussed Richard Armitage‘s versatility as an actor and chosen the roles we think best display his varied talents (see link below). So now, let’s discuss, just for the fun of it, some of our dream roles for Mr. A., focusing initially on possible remakes of classic films. This will be the first of several periodic posts on these films and your suggestions and input would be greatly welcomed and appreciated.

A principled small-town lawyer

I’ve talked before about my dream of seeing Richard take on the role of Atticus Finch, small-town southern lawyer and widowed father in To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the classic Depression-Era novel of the same name. I admit this project is one close to my heart because the novel’s author, Nell Harper Lee, is also a native Alabamian who lives in LA. (Lower Alabama). This year marked the 50th anniversary of the film.

Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) with daughter Scout (Mary Badham).

Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) with daughter Scout (Mary Badham).

I have also had the privilege to know a real-life Atticus Finch who was involved in one of the murder trials for a slain Civil Rights worker. He and his family received death threats during that ordeal but, like the fictional Atticus Finch, this gentleman never backed down from standing up for what he believed was right. I have a particular admiration for this sort of quiet man who speaks as loudly with his actions as he does with his words.

Atticus is a gentle and caring father and a principled man who refuses to be cowed by a group of would-be vigilantes, determined to lynch the black handyman accused of raping a white woman in the fictional town of Maycomb.

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Gregory Peck is much beloved in this role, but I think Richard, who’s proven he makes a great on-camera dad (can’t wait to see him in father role in Black Sky) would be more than up to the challenge of bringing this classic American novel’s central character to the screen again.  Atticus has been described as a “quiet man with strong shoulders.” Remind you of anyone?

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Mmmm. I think it’s a success. Agree with Servetus’s sentiments whole-heartedly.

Me + Richard Armitage

Via Armitage Army @ Richard Armitage Central on FB:

Hobbit passes half a billion mark at box office.

[ETA: apologies for the misunderstandings I have created with this post. I didn’t want to discuss remuneration, and so I titled the post extremely ineptly. I simply wanted to remark on the success of the film. I never wanted or want to start a political discussion here. It is my fault for not thinking. Comments now closed.]

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Versatile Armitage? Poll

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I was having a discussion with a Jonas Armstrong fan, and she said something which, as a Richard fan, really surprised me. Well, floored me actually.

This JA fan sees RA as always playing Richard Armitage. I believe she’s seen him as Guy, Lucas, Thorin and Harry (and possibly in other roles) and she said she thought he looked, sounded, and moved exactly the same in all the roles–Guy of Gisborne, just wearing different clothes.

Now, of course, I completely disagree with this assessment, but then she and I clearly have differing tastes in actors and, it would seem, acting styles. Upon this, we agree. 😀

As do we agree everyone has their own tastes and are entitled to their own opinions. And this post isn’t about slagging off on this particular individual, not at all. To each his or her own.

But this thought did pop into my mind and I felt compelled to follow up. And it’s been a couple of months since we’ve had a poll, too. So here’s your challenge, avid Armitage aficionados!

If you were introducing someone to Richard as a performer, and you wanted to demonstrate his versatility and range as an actor, which roles would you choose? Not necessarily your favorite roles, or the ones you think he looks the hottest in, you understand–but three you feel best showcase his varied talents. Which roles would those be?

I have listed twelve of his roles, both starring and supporting, and you can enter your own choice if you don’t see it listed among the choices given.  I would also love input as to why you’ve made these particular choices. Thanks for participating and commenting!

Choccie, hugs, and pressies: Fedoralady’s Christmas 2012

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Got my replacement card reader today and thought I would share a few photos from the family Christmas in Birmingham. Some of this offers proof we share the same DNA.  Entered into evidence, these photos of my great-niece A licking the bowl after her auntie SB  finishes whipping up something chocolatey.

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pizap.com13565796312171She is DEFINITELY related to me.

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Thirty-plus years ago, a little blonde-haired toddler absolutely adored her youngest aunt’s boyfriend. She couldn’t quite manage to pronounce his name, so she called him “Ben-jie.” And now that little blonde is all grown up and her little girl also adores that tall man with the sweet smile. Maybe one day, that dark-haired little girl’s child will feel the very same–although I am not sure “Ben-jie” will still  be able to lift the little one to touch the ceiling .

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Our lovely sixteen-year-old H seems very pleased with those Amazon and Target giftcards.

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We are all just a bunch of hams.

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Hope you all had wonderful Christmases with those near and dear to you.

I will not abjure from my Armitage avidity: TAE Words For the Day

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(Or abjure from alliteration, it appears.)

Yes, folks, it’s the day after Christmas and you get not one, but TWO words for the day here at The Armitage Effect.

Abjure: (verb, tr.) 1. to avoid or to abstain from. 2. to renounce under oath.

Avidity (noun) 1. enthusiasm or dedication. 2. eagerness; greediness.

Being without electricity for several hours due to the nasty storms that moved through last night, I was forced to abjure from any Richarding online (in the sense of being forced by circumstances beyond my control to abstain from it).

I certainly never seem to purposefully avoid Richarding. And if Richarding were made illegal–oh, don’t even go there!–and I was asked to renounce all Richarding–

Well. As I said, I do not even want to go there.

Avidity for Armitage? Oh yes, that I will gladly claim.  I am an enthusiastic, eager, dedicated and ardent Armitage aficionado.

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I try very hard not to be greedy about it. But when we are in the midst of a long drought, one does long for anything–a new pic or an old one that’s been unearthed; a snippet from an interview, a fresh quote about him from one of his fellow cast or crew members.

Of course, we’ve been inundated in recent weeks with Armitage goodies–so much I admit I haven’t kept up at times. And, not wanting too many spoilers for the film, I started avoiding (abjuring!) watching the new Hobbit spots.  At times I feel a tad overwhelmed–but I am not complaining. I will simply stretch out my enjoyment.

But I can never stay away from Mr. Armitage’s many charms–his talent, charisma, beauty, humor, sex appeal, sweetness–and the chance to share them and discuss them with fellow aficionados for very long.

I just can’t abjure from my Armitage avidity, it seems.

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Still OK in LA, or the Unexpected Christmas Night

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(I started writing this post last night when the weather got wild and wooly and we weren’t certain just what was going to happen. We lost electricity for several hours. It certainly wasn’t  a boring Yuletide, but it didn’t lead to a restful night, either. Just getting going this afternoon. Thanks again for all your thoughts, prayers and expressions of concern.)

It is Christmas night here in Lower Alabama. Rain pouring down outside, wind battering against the windows periodically, thunder rumbling.  Heavy rotation–a possible tornado– is moving toward our state capital, Montgomery. We are still under the gun here, too, under a tornado warning until 10 p.m., and a tornado watch until 4 a.m. We are watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special and switching to the Doppler Radar during the commercial breaks to check on Mother Nature’s progress, hoping our little corner of the world would be spared.

Injury (and at least one death) and destruction have already occurred to our east in parts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi and to our south in Mobile, where a medical center, church and commercial buildings suffered damage.

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Oh, dear Doctor, we  could use you to bring your sonic screwdriver and work a bit of interstellar magic. At least the really bad stuff stayed away long enough to allow us to watch your latest adventures uninterrupted by loss of electricity or satellite signal.

Nevertheless, I do have a flashlight close by. Just in case.

I have a sonic screwdriver, too, actually–only mine just lights up and makes neat sounds, more’s the pity.

It’s getting closer, the thunder, louder and rain sounding absolutely torrential. I keep hearing thumping sounds. The wind–

We lose our satellite signal. Now the electricity is flickering on and off. Well, I knew it couldn’t last forever, not in this. I hear a roaring sound and clutch the cat against me. “Do you think it sounds like a train?” I ask her as if she’s going to respond. Tornadoes often sound like trains.

And now it’s gone, the electricity that is. Boy, is it dark.

A few minutes later, I see a glimmer of light through the doorway. Benny, with his flashlight, and the handy-dandy little battery-operated LCD portable TV we found last year. We watch the radar on it. Finally Benny decides to go to bed. He does have to work tomorrow, after all.

“It looks like the worst of it is past us now,” he says. Thank goodness.

I am too wound up to go to sleep. I watch the rest of a Twilight Zone episode–how apt on this night!–and an episode of an old favorite, Perry Mason. Comfort watching on an unsettling night.

Perry Mason (TV series)

Perry Mason (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The battery light is flashing now. I shut it off. It’s now quiet. Eerily quiet.

I miss the gentle whirring sound, the hum of electricity. I can’t sleep in the absolute stillness.  And so I stare at the ceiling and stroke Callie’s soft fur  and wait for morning . . . it is going to be a long night.

December 26th– It’s  an overcast and cold day. The winds are still howling, due to die down soon. We might even get a little sunshine before night falls. Grateful to still have roof over head and electricity once again.

Grateful to still be here.

Grateful.

Tornado warnings all around us.

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Just discovered we are surrounded by tornado warnings. There is evidence of several tornadoes in surrounding counties and one has definitely touched down in Mobile to our south and caused some damage. Huge system moving in from Mississippi to our west. The weather map is lit up in green, red and yellow, but it’s not a festive sight. I hear the rumble of thunder in the distance. We may be evacuating the house for the farmhouse down below soon. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Merry Christmas from “the catwalk”: RA, so sexy it hurts!

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Just in time for the holidays, the nice people over at Muvee Reveal  Technologies got the grinches out of their system and allowed me to upload the Retro video style pack to this computer (thank you so much, Patrick Bello, for your able assistance. I hope Santa was good to you). And then my Christmas angel allowed me to not only make a vid, but to upload it from home without a single hitch! So here’s another little Christmas treat for RA fans. It’s very tongue-in-cheek fun featuring our reluctant sex symbol himself. I hope you enjoy!

WARNING: This “Catwalk” styling does feature flashing lights, stars and other effects that may bother some people

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It’s Christmas Time Once Again . . .

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It’s now past 12 here in Lower Alabama and Christmas morning has officially arrived. Alabama was the first state in the U.S. to make Christmas an official holiday. We have always loved our celebrations here–families gathering to feast from sideboards groaning from the number of dishes upon them, houses decked out festively, people decked out just as festively in their Christmas ties and appliqued cardigans. We like to do it up right!

Small town Christmas parades, folks getting out at night just to drive around and enjoy all those pretty lights . . . church pageants with children sporting tinsel halos and cardboard wings, bathrobes and yarn beards. Even if they fluff their lines, it doesn’t matter. They delight us.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed, happy, healthy, inspiring year to come. And Happy Hobbit-viewing to our friends Down Under as TH arrives in theatres for Boxing Day!

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A few of my fave Christmas films (Part One)

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Over the weekend I learned my great-niece had named her elf on the shelf “Angie.” Well, I do have elf shoes version 2.0. And as is the case with any proper elf, I do love Christmas movies and TV specials. I thought I would share some of my personal faves (I wonder what RA’s favorites are?) In no particular order, here we go! Merry Christmas, everyone.

The Bishop’s Wife (1947) Cary Grant exhibits plenty of urbane charm and sophistication as the handsome angel Dudley assigned to a stressed-out bishop (David Niven) and his dutiful wife (Loretta Young) who is feeling a tad bit neglected, Her husband caught up in building a new cathedral, is battling spiritual doubts and toadying to those with the cash to make the grand new cathedral a reality. Cary, of course, has to teach the bishop to get his priorities back in order. Cary’s angel also develops a very down-to-earth crush on the lovely Loretta. This comedy-drama has a great message with solid performances by the three leads.

Angelic Cary Grant has a heart-to-heart with Niven's and Loretta's young daughter in a scene from the original version of "The Bishop's Wife."

Angelic Cary Grant has a heart-to-heart with Niven’s and Loretta’s young daughter in a scene from the original version of “The Bishop’s Wife.”

Cary Grant and Loretta Young in "The Bishop's Wife."

Cary Grant and Loretta Young in “The Bishop’s Wife.”

 “Nativity! (2009) If you’ve ever wondered what Martin Freeman would look like in his own little tie and cardigan ensemble, then be sure and check out the charming holiday flick, “Nativity!”

Freeman plays Coventry primary school teacher Paul Maddens, a man who’s gone sour on Christmas and love after being dumped by his girlfriend Jennifer (Ashley Jensen) a few years earlier. And now he’s assigned by his school’s head teacher to take over the school’s annual Nativity play, a task he proved woefully unprepared for in an earlier attempt. He gets a new teacher’s assistant, Mr. Poppy (Mark Wootton) a large, gregarious and possibly sub-normal fellow who grates on Madden’s every nerve.  And to top things off, his old drama school chum Gordon Shakespeare’s tony school always manages to steal the limelight with their amibitious holiday productions. What’s a poor beleagured primary school teacher to do?

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Put on a spectacular show–and promise everyone Hollywood (in the form of his former girlfriend, who is now a producer there) is coming to Coventry to film it! Or–are they??

The children in the film are not professional actors, but students casts from a local school. They are absolutely dynamite and steal my heart every time I watch this. Lots of laugh-out-loud humor and a couple of teary moments for me.  A really lovely little holiday treat.

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Another RA connection (outside of TH co-star Freeman) is the fact Pattison’s College, RA’s old performing arts school, is also located in Coventry. And see if you don’t spot someone who played a role in North and South, too.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Avoid the inferior remake and stick with the original (non-colorized) version with the delightful Edmund Gwenn as Chris Kringle, a genial little bearded man. After filling in for an inebriated Santa in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Kringle insists he is the real Santa Claus. But can he convince young skeptic Susan (played by a young Natalie Wood) and her mother (the lovely Maureen O’Hara), a widow who insists on telling her daughter the absolute truth–that all those fairy tales and “let’s pretend” is a load of twaddle.  Gwenn, sporting his own whiskers and with a genuine twinkle in his kindly eyes, is one of the best screen Santas ever.

Suzie (Natalie Wood) and Chris (Edmund Gwenn) in a scene from "Miracle on 34th Street."

Suzie (Natalie Wood) and Chris (Edmund Gwenn) in a scene from “Miracle on 34th Street.”

“Christmas Vacation” (1989) What can I say? Cousin Eddie. The giant Christmas tree. The squirrel. The millions and millions of Christmas lights. The Jam of the Month Club. The SWAT team. Holiday madness with the Griswolds.  Good times.

Clark (Chevy Chase) and Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) before the ginormous Christmas tree.

Clark (Chevy Chase) and Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) before the ginormous Christmas tree.

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More to come in another post. Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve (Christmas Day) wherever you may be!

Bearded Armitage Santa wishes you a very Merry Christmas!

Bearded Armitage Santa wishes you a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Greetings from our Furry Friends

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BeFunky_Impressionist_2christalliebrown  Pictured above is our beautiful, sweet and slightly skittish Calico, Callie. She showed up at our house one day several years ago,  a half-feral kitten, hungry but not very trusting of humans. Over time we gained that trust. Today,  she is one very contented and affectionate (if slightly nervous) house cat–currently snuggled up next to her mom, purring softly.

All our pets over the years have been rescue animals, either adopted from an animal shelter or taken in as strays. May I encourage anyone considering adding a pet to their home in 2013 to consider finding a “fur-ever friend” through a shelter or rescue group.  There are rescue groups devoted to certain breeds, so if a Bassett Hound or  a French Poodle is your preference,  there’s likely a pure-bred friend out there waiting for you if you are willing to go to a bit of time and trouble to adopt.

And trust me–blended friends like Elvis, the hounddog mix seen below, make great pets, too. And please spay and neuter your cats and dogs to help fight against pet overpopulation problems in our country!

(PS Our German Sheperd (Alsatian) mix Rascal was too busy trying to greet his mom with kisses to pose for a photo . . .)

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Yes, we occasionally do get snow in LA. This was shot in February 2010. Our three dogs at the time had never before seen the white stuff.

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Thumper Cat, the three-legged, roly-poly tuxedo cat with a Hitler mustache is grateful for photo editing. No being forced by Mom to wear a miniature Santa hat! Thumper nearly lost her life as a tiny kitten after being mauled by a dog. She lost that leg, but not her spirit. We’ve had her now for close to 12 years. From our furry family members to yours, a very Merry Christmas and a 2013 full of hope, joy and love.

Ho, ho, ho, RA brings the Sexy to Santa . . .

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Yum. Santa Thorin is in the house.

Yum. Santa Thorin is in the house.

I, however, have no doubts he would be a sensation.

I, however, have no doubts he would be a sensation.

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Wet, tousled-haired Santa with that come-hither look. Me likee.

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Of course, Glamour Guy always makes a stunning Santa!

Thanks to pho.to for the sketch Santas and pizap for the other sexy Santa fanart. ‘Tis the season to be stirred! And for friends Down Under for whom it is already Christmas Eve, hope Santa RA brings you all your Christmas wishes.  Mmmmwwhhhaaaaaa.