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home : columns : rahn larson May 24, 2016

12/19/2012 9:31:00 AM
A few last-minute gift ideas
Christmas is right around the corner and many of us have a habit of leaving a few gift ideas until the very end.
Have no fear, I am here to help with a few last-minute gift ideas. As I venture into my 2012 Christmas list, I can't help but think about Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island.
Again this year, Chafee insists on calling the 17-foot spruce at the Rhode Island State House a "Holiday Tree." Never mind that any 3-year-old will tell you it is a Christmas tree.
This is the second straight year that Chafee has gone with "Holiday Tree." He says the phrase is more "inclusive." And, for the second straight year Chafee has caught major flak from the public and media. Last year, crowds stormed the State House, protesting and singing "Oh Christmas Tree."
Chafee was so horrified of a potential repeat performance at this year's lighting ceremony, his staff waited until 30 minutes before the event to announce the date and time.
I doubt this Holiday Tree fiasco will threaten Christmas, but I have one question-are Chafee and his advisers dumb enough to call it a Holiday Tree again in 2013?
Ok, with that backdrop, here are a few last-minute gift ideas for some important people:
• Gov. Lincoln Chafee-A Jim Carrey autographed DVD of the movie, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
• The community of Newton, Conn. - A little peace and an opportunity to grieve. There isn't a word or phrase in the English language to capture how badly I feel for these people. It doesn't help that their little town is overrun by reporters and camera crews. It's enough for these people to know that the entire world is in their corner, now they just need time and space to grieve.
• Vikings management-A No. 11 Minnesota Vikings jersey with the name "A. Smith" on the back. Along with it comes a note that says, "The name is Alex and he was the first overall pick in the 2005 draft. He's a better quarterback than Ponder could hope to be. Trade for him-please!"
• Center Stop convenience store in Windom - A blueprint for that new solarium the morning coffee guys are always talking about. Wouldn't it look striking, extending just off the east side of the building?
• Twins General Manager Terry Ryan-A gift certificate from the Philadelphia Phillies for the acquisition of the tall, blonde, minor league relief pitcher of his choice, provided the guy's name is Mike Nesseth and his hometown is Windom, MN.
• Island Park-A sparkling new grandstand canopy behind home plate. The Island Park project is essentially finished, except for the canopy which would protect fans from the cool early spring winds, nuisance rains and unbearable summer heat (Island Park has very little shade).
• President Barack Obama and Sen. John Boehner-Dinner for two at a comfortable and fun restaurant. Is it just me, or does it seems like these two guys are always being forced into a tussle? Maybe if Barack and John simply shared a fun social night they could work constructively on this fiscal cliff problem.
• Any member of Congress who voted for the CALM Act (short for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation)-a bouquet of flowers. Thanks to this law which took effect last Thursday, TV stations and cable providers can no longer crank up the sound during commercials.
• Tom Sorel, the former MnDOT commissioner who resigned Dec. 1 to become CEO of AAA Minneapolis-An autographed photo of the unforgettable 2009 MnDOT meeting at the Windom Community Center. Sorel took time from his busy schedule to travel here and hear residents' concerns about Highway 60's dangers. Sorel's genuine concerns and efforts to put the four-lane expansion on the front burner deserve the utmost respect from this community.
• Charlie Zelle, new transportation commissioner-a gold-encased DVD containing the 2009 MnDOT meeting, including a hair-raising story from Windom bus driver Bob Duncan regarding a close call with a bus load of kids near Bingham Lake.
• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie-A treadmill. In a recent interview with Barbara Walters of CBS, Christie said it is ridiculous to suggest that weight should be a factor for a presidential candidate. I completely agree. However, I have always been a guy who looks at the candidate and not the party. This country desperately needs a leader in the Theodore Roosevelt mold. I believe Christie is that person. I don't think his weight will cost him any votes in 2016, but let's not take any chances.
• Brandon Marshall-A gift certificate for dinner at the restaurant of his choice. In last week's pre-game press conference, this Chicago Bears wide receiver offered this comment about the upcoming opponent: "I'm not going to use the word hate, but I really dislike the Green Bay Packers and their players." I am suddenly a Brandon Marshall fan.
• Iowa Hawkeyes basketball coach Fran McCaffrey-the phone number of South Dakota State University Athletic Director Justin Sell. Two years ago, SDSU hammered the Hawkeyes in their own building by the score of 79-69. Apparently, McCaffrey lost Sell's phone number. The two teams haven't played since.
• Bruce Springsteen-A plane ticket to Minnesota and cab fare to Windom (with his band). It's worth a shot, right?
• All Citizen readers-Safe travel and a very Merry Christmas!

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