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-Hand-held bug zapper. Think of it as an electrified tennis racket. I really hate flying insects, so I liked this gift more than you would think.

-Three bottle cap-sized chunks of the Berlin Wall. They came from a German business that deals in antiques, so I know they are legit. I've always wanted this part of history, and since this year is the 20th anniversary of its destruction I figured I might as well ask for it this Christmas.

-Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy. I've taken an interest in his books in general and this one in particular, as it deals with the possibility of a war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, a scenario I've been curious about for a long time.

-Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War and all of its expansions. After playing with my roommate last quarter I've decided to explore PC gaming more than I have before.

-World in Conflict: Complete Edition. This game lets you play as both sides in another WWIII story (noticing a pattern here?).

-A puppy! Okay, the new Boxer Dexter was more for my parents than it was for me, but I still love him.

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Writer's Block: You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch!

Are there any classic holiday movies or TV shows that you look forward to watching year after year? What are your all-time favorites? Are there any you simply can't stand?

Die Hard and Gremlins are by far my favorites. Yes, they both count. They both take place during the holiday season, after all. I just watched them again this week.

Writer's Block: And the Apple Goes To

Who is/was your favorite teacher in school?

That honor goes to one Travis Doom, PH.D. in Computer Science and Engineering. You read that sentence right. His name is Dr. Doom. Despite that fact, he is far from sinister. He is intelligent, lively, helpful, and has that power to make you interested in the subject he is teaching that only the best teachers have. He is the reason I decided to continue in the field when things got rough.

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The alternate history film Red Dawn debuted in theaters 25 years ago today. Although premise and propaganda make it seem dated, it is a good action movie and a interesting look at the dominant fears and beliefs in the U.S. at the time.

They say if you watch the trailer and yell "Wolverines!" three times, the ghost of Ronald Reagan will appear and give you a jellybean.