Ringing in the New Year with the Peanuts Gang

December 31, 2012

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!

If you're still looking for a family friendly event for New Year's Eve, I would seriously consider Knott's Berry Farm. I'll be going there tonight with my mom even though the park has been open since 10AM.

If I had my daughter with me, we might have made a day and night of it (talk about aching feet and back!) I'm going to make sure I catch both It's Christmas, Snoopy and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! It's been a long year and I'm more than happy to end it on a fun note.
Knott’s Berry Farm will have something for the entire family this New Year’s Eve with a variety of dance music, a family-friendly comedian magician, Clueless Remix Featuring DJ Reesso, a trip back to the ‘70’s with Elton John – The Early Years, line dancing and salsa dancing. All this plus Knott’s rides, attractions and a Midnight Mayhem Fireworks Show in Calico Square will make Knott’s New Year’s Eve celebration the place to ring in 2013.
I wonder if the rides are faster at night .....

Oh, here are a few of the promotions to save you money on admission:

Military Discounts
Special Savings! Show your Military I.D. card and save on Knott’s Berry Farm Regular admission tickets & Knott's Soak City water parks! Show your ID and Knott’s Berry Farm Regular admission tickets for only $33.99 and Knott's Soak City water park Regular admission for just $27.99 (offer does not apply to Junior or Senior tickets or to Special Ticketed Events, i.e. Halloween Haunt). 
AAA Members
Show your card and save!Show your USA AAA membership card and save 30% on Knott’s Berry Farm Regular admission tickets & save 20% on Regular admission tickets at Knott's Soak City water parks! (offer does not apply to Junior or Senior tickets or to Special Ticketed Events, i.e., Halloween Haunt or New Year's Eve) – Plus get 10% off at select shopping locations in the Knott’s MarketPlace.

You can still pick up a discounted 2013 Season Pass tonight at the park or online. Hope to see you there!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

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Finnish Production of The Hobbits

December 28, 2012
At the Movies ~ The Hobbit, An Unexpected Jour...
At the Movies ~ The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey, 2012 (Photo credit: erjkprunczýk)
Well, I haven't yet seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, But someone posted The Hobbits (Hobitit 1993) on YouTube.

It's a Finnish production with English subtitles. There are 24 videos in the playlist and it runs just over 3 hours. Guess what I'll be watching this weekend?


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Wordless Wednesday: Put the lime in the coconut

December 12, 2012

Cajun Salmon

December 5, 2012
This is another one of those recipes where I just wing it but the results are incredible. It all comes down to the spices. I use Cajun's Choice Creole Seasoning, or you can make your own Cajun Spice.


  • 2 teaspoons salt (or adjust to taste if you want to use less)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder 
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) 

DIRECTIONS: 1. Stir everything together. Store in an airtight container.

Once you have your choice of seasoning (store bought or homemade), grab your salmon (4 4-6oz steaks or filets), some butter (or olive oil, but it tastes better with butter), a sauté pan and get to cooking.

  1. Heat sauté pan until water sizzles when droplets are flicked into it
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter and melt. Sprinkle seasoning evenly in bottom of pan.
  3. Lay salmon filets on top of seasoning, and sprinkle more seasoning on top of filets (this is assuming skinless filets, otherwise, if skin on, just sprinkle the top or you can spice rub or marinate for an hour before cooking). So many options!
  4. I'm lazy -- cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until salmon is flaky and done all the way through
While the salmon is cooking you can make your side dishes -- we like steamed veggies and rice pilaf or salad.

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Menu Plan Monday: Week of December 3

December 3, 2012

I couldn't think of any clever title for this week. C'est la vie. I'm too tired from playing Ingress (more on that later).

It's almost dinner time and I let my daughter pick tonight's meal - chili dogs. The rest of the week I'll be picking. We're still cleaning out the fridge and freezer and making everything last as long as it possibly can.

Monday: Chili dogs - cheap and easy
Tuesday: Ghetto fabulous adaptation of Claim Jumper's Jamaican Jerk Sweet Potato Chicken (because I have like 2.5 lbs of sweet potatoes left)
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Sweet Potato @ Claim Jumper Restaurant
Wednesday: Chicken and broccoli casserole (this will probably last the rest of the week)
Thursday: Lentil Stew
Friday: YOYO
Bonus recipe: African Sweet Potato Soup -- I may have this instead of a chili dog. Since cutting out most carbs (meaning rice, idaho potatoes, and most breads), I really don't crave them anymore. Except for when I go on a cookie baking blitz.

What are you cooking this week? Leave a comment or a link.

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Knott's Merry Farm Savings

It's Christmas, Snoopy!
Who doesn't love a deal?  Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com I'm able to offer you a coupon to "Knott's Merry Farm."

How cool is that? If you haven't been to Knott's at this time of year (sad to say, I haven't. I usually go to Disneyland) here's what you can expect:

Knott’s Merry Farm
Thanksgiving Day – January 1
Knott’s Berry Farm is filled with the magic of the season as it transforms into Knott’s Merry Farm and celebrates “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with seasonal entertainment, spectacular decorations including a 65 foot tall Christmas tree, and a colorful Christmas parade. 
Now a holiday tradition in Southern California, Knott’s Merry Farm is proud to present the holiday ice spectacular, “It’s Christmas, Snoopy!” The show, performed in the 2,100-seat Charles M. Schulz Theatre, is hosted by the famous skating beagle and his PEANUTS friends as they look for the true meaning of Christmas and features Knott’s ensemble skaters, dazzling sets, colorful costumes and plenty of surprises! 
“A Peanuts’ Holiday Parade” offers seven elaborately themed floats featuring the PEANUTS Gang and accompanied by students from Orange County Song and Dance Company. Children and adults alike will be able to get into the holiday spirit with the Peanuts Gang as they get ready for the holidays. 
Knott’s 1880s Ghost Town is transformed into Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village, inviting mall-weary guests to explore one-of-a-kind treasures created by more than 100 artisans in a Victorian holiday wonderland of strolling carolers, musical groups, community choirs and lavish holiday decorations.  
Adding to the unique Village atmosphere are live performances of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and O. Henry’s “A Gift of the Magi” in the Bird Cage Theatre. Additionally, the world famous Timber Mountain Log Ride is transformed into Elf Mountain giving guests an up-close and-personal view into the world of Santa’s Elves. 
Guests can also experience the wonder of “Snoopy’s Magical Nights of Lights.” Hundreds of thousands of twinkling white and multicolored lights merrily light up the nighttime sky accompanied by a festive soundtrack that bring the Christmas spirit alive from dusk to Park closing. 

There's nothing that says you can't go to both parks during the holidays and school break. Don't forget that you can also get a discount on Season Passes. Knott's has extended the offer until Jan 13, 2013.

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Oh my.....

November 30, 2012
So yesterday I had to go to yet another government office to get paperwork filled out, approved and sent back to another government office. And all the government offices that I have been to this month have security that rival TSA. What the hell has happened to this country??? I mean really, why would terrorists take out the SSA?

But anyways, as I was waiting for my number to be called--this gem (and a few others) popped up on the screen. Patty Duke and George Takei in a PSA. I couldn't decide if it was cool, corny, or creepy. What do you think?


Watch all of them here.

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29 Days of Thanks

November 29, 2012
All rolled into one.

A few things are coming together and I can breathe a little easier. Being on the verge of an anxiety attack for almost two weeks, I could feel some of the tension leave. And then I literally took a deep breathe after a huge "Whoosh!" from holding it. I thought that kind of stuff only happened in books.

I'm not out of the dark yet, but there seems to be a light at the end of this very long and very dark tunnel.

Wordless Wednesday: Stress Relief

Good food and good company are instant stress releivers

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Menu Plan Monday: Clean out the Fridge

November 26, 2012
Well, the first holiday feast is over, the leftovers are almost completely gone (enough turkey left for one more sandwich) and I have $40 left in my grocery budget. It's going to be interesting this week.

Luckily, chicken and fish come in big bags, so I have breasts, thighs, salmon and pollack. And my daughter doesn't mind a little variety. It's easier to make sure the food doesn't go to waste when I have her input.

Monday: Chicken Curry with potatoes and spinach
Tuesday: Cajun Salmon  with rice pilaf and steamed veggies
Wednesday: Baked Parmesan Alaskan Pollack
Thursday: Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Friday: Leftovers (if there are any, I've gotten better at cooking the right portions). If not, Quesadillas
Saturday: Chili (beans only)
Sunday: Breakfast for dinner

Thanks to
for hosting

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Sick with worry

Chronic, dull low back pain.
Lack of focus.

I really need to get my mind off my situation, but I feel that if I don't work tirelessly to solve it, I will have failed myself and my daughter.

I know there comes a point where you can't do anymore than what's already been done, but I'm not sure if I've reached that point. I have this nagging feeling that I missed something, overlooked something, didn't do something right. It's extremely stressful. And distracting. And emotionally draining.

Or maybe I feel like crap because I'm coming down with something. Time for some tea.

Really getting inside my head

November 25, 2012
Meteor crater between Flagstaff and Winslow, AZ taken on my Epic Road Trip
I've been asked, "What is your inspiration for blogging?"

To be honest, sometimes there is just so much in my head that I need an outlet before it explodes (or I do)--and writing is that outlet.

I've always wanted to be a writer. In third grade, I wrote a sequel to The Secret of Nimh and tried writing my own version of the Laura Ingalls Wilder stories. Turns out I'm a better editor. But I still need to write to get my voice heard, even if it's just by me.

I've been journaling since age 12 at the recommendation of a counselor. I wasn't adjusting well to my parents' divorce, puberty, and everything else a 12-year-old introvert goes through. My father saw that since I wouldn't actually talk to someone about what was going on in my head (If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!), I needed a constructive outlet before I did something drastic. I still have that journal and the many others that came after.

With my first computer, I was able to create a locked journal that I didn't have to worry about any snooping relatives getting into. In college, I created my first website--on Geocities. I would take the time to hand-code long essays instead of quick blurbs (the WYSIWYG editor was horrible!).

And then came Blogger and Livejournal. No more hand-coding pages! I could focus on getting my thoughts out. At the time, I would still write longhand (usually on breaks at work) and edit as I typed it up. Self-censorship was high on my list back then. Not so much anymore. But neither are my thoughts as deeply personal and revealing--mostly because I know that there are more people reading my blog and I only want to bare my soul to those I trust.

Luckily, I have plenty of hobbies that I like to share about, as well as stories about my kids and travelogues. So I blog about books, movies, podcasts, cooking and every now and then politics or history when some stupid troll one on the internet gets my dander up gets me thinking and clarifying what I really think about something. It's not all fluff in here.

I think that's the real reason I write. Before twitter, my blog had maybe three regular readers. Good friends who I rarely had the chance to talk to on the phone, but they wanted to keep tabs on me. These days I know many more pop in and a few stick around for more than a few posts.

Plain and simple, I need to blog to get the stories, the pain, the adventures, and the voices in my head out on "paper".

This post is brought to you by Zemanta. Zemanta is a social blogging plug-in suggesting related posts, images, and tags to spice up your blogging. Get it at Zemanta.com.

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Who Says?

November 23, 2012
In reality, I'm the only one who says.


Sometimes I need to make the voices in my head shut up. They are stressing me out and making me focus on the negative instead of the positive. And I really need to focus on the positive right now.

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Chef Mickey Parmesan Potatoes

November 22, 2012
My daughter declared these the absolute best mashed potatoes she has ever had. So of course I had to get the recipe. I think these will replace garlic mashed potatoes as the Thanksgiving staple.

Chef Mickey's Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Recipe from Chef Mickey's Official Photo folder

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8-12 servings

  • 8 cups peeled and diced Idaho potatoes
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream (or half & half)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes and place in large mixing bowl (or reuse pot)
  3. Heat cream and butter in saucepan over low heat until butter is melted and warm.
  4. Add warm cream and butter mixture to potatoes. Add Parmesan cheese.
  5. Mash (or beat with a mixer) until all ingredients are blended.
  6. Add salt and pepper and mix for another 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
Absolutely divine with turkey gravy.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 20, 2012
Checking on sweet potato pies as
I work on the cheesecake
Not everyone in my immediate circle is a fan of sweet potatoes, though I am slowly wearing them down. As a compromise, two years ago I made my first cheesecake -- pumpkin flavored! At the time, I took lots of pictures because I meant to blog it.

Well, I'm finally getting around to that.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Recipe by Adapted from Pillsbury Classic Cookbook #344 pg. 73

Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total time: 8 hours 40 minutes
Yield: 16 servings
Calories per serving: 440
Fat per serving: 28g


  • 2 cups cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1/4 butter, melted
  • 4 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or allspice

Cooking Directions


  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter (or spray) 9-in springform pan. Warp foil around pan to catch drips.
  2. In a small bowl, mix crust ingredients. Press mixture into bottom and up the side to 1-inch. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes. To minimize cracking, place shallow pan half full of hot water on lower oven rack.


In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just blended. Spoon 3 cups of the mixture onto crust; spread evenly.

Add pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and cardamom (or allspice) to the remaining cream cheese mixture. Mix with wire whisk until smooth. Spoon over mixture in pan.

  1.  Bake 1 hour 15 minutes - 1 hour 25 minutes or until edge of cheesecake is set at least 2 inches from edge of pan but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved.
  2.  Run small spatula around edge of cheesecake to loosen. Turn oven off, crack oven door at least 4 inches and let cheesecake remain in oven for 30 more minutes. Cool in pan on cooling rack for an additional 30 minutes. Cover loosely and refrigerate for 6-24 hours.
  3.  Serve with whipped cream. Refrigerate any remaining cheesecake.

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Sweet Potato Pie

This isn't quite the recipe that I made growing up, but it's pretty darn close. And I get to use less sugar than the original. 

Sweet Potato Pie
Ingredients 1lb sweet potatoes (orange flesh not yellow, might be labeled yams) 1/2 cup butter softened 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup milk 2 eggs 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (or to taste) 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or to taste) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 (9in) unbaked pie crust Directions Peel sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks and boil for 30 minutes or until soft. 
Preheat oven to 350F. 
Drain sweet potatoes, then break apart. Add butter and mix well. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, spices, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. 
Notice the orange hue. If it's yellow, you got the wrong kind of sweet potato.
Pour filling into pie crust. 

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool before serving. Whip cream is optional.

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Menu Plan Monday: Fall Foods

Well, it's autumn here in SoCal, and that generally means that the weather can't make up it's mind from one day to the next. Rainy and cold, rainy and warm, almost 80 ... I long for the days where I can wear boots and sweaters without wondering if I am going to create a personal sauna by being overdressed.

This past weekend was on the chilly side, so it got me to thinking about fall foods. I usually make a lot of soup and casseroles this time of year. This being Thanksgiving week, I get to cook less, and more. This Thanksgiving will be the smallest I have ever cooked for. Ever. Just two people. It seems ... wrong. Onto the menu!

Monday: Broccoli Cheese Soup
Tuesday: Baked Salmon or Chicken Chili
Wednesday: Alaskan Pollak with Black Bean Compote
Thursday: Thanksgiving! Turkey, Bacon Roasted Potatoes & Aspragus, Cranberry Apricot Relish with Ginger & Orange Zest, biscuits, sweet potato pie -- the turkey and sweet potato pie will be my usual recipes (I'll post those soon in case you're still looking for an awesome recipe), but the russet potatoes and cranberry sauce are new that I pulled from Google+.
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Turkey Noodle Soup or Turkey Casserole
Sunday: Leftovers

P.S. I just want to thank everyone who keeps stopping in on Mondays. I have a bunch of posts backlogged as well as recipes, so I will try to get those up ASAP.

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Time to Kick My Ass

November 9, 2012
I came across this on Pinterest, and since I have a yoga mat, a jump rope, and lots of time on my hands, I might as well work on dropping 40lbs (I'm down to 176 as of last week!).

For those of you who lost count, I started getting serious about my weight when I hit 200 lbs. It's been a long and arduous trek getting to my goal weight, with many stops and starts. Oddly enough, I lose the most weight when I am unemployed, I'm still trying to figure that one out.

The Workout
Pick a form of cardio you can do for two minutes at an all-out pace. Rich's preferred activity? Jumping rope. It's an incredibly effective cardiovascular workout that can be done almost anywhere, plus it's a killer calorie burner (according to the National Institutes of Health, jumping rope can burn up to 750 calories per hour). It also helps the routine move fluidly—it's faster and easier to drop the rope and hit the mat than wait for the treadmill to come to a complete stop, walk back over to your mat, and so on. But if jumping rope isn't your thing, feel free to sub in any heart-pumping activity (running, spinning, elliptical).
Do this workout three days a week on alternating days: Start with a two-minute cardio interval (go as fast as you can), then immediately do the first two Pilates exercises as instructed. Hop back up (no resting!) and bang out a second cardio interval. Follow with the third and fourth Pilates moves. Finish with two more minutes of an all-out cardio interval and then complete the final two Pilates exercises.
The first time you do the workout, hold your jump rope (you can also use a dog leash or a towel) as you work your way through the Pilates exercises; gripping the stretched rope encourages better posture and engages your lat muscles for even better total-body toning. After two or three workouts, you can make the routine harder by swapping the rope for light dumbbells (try three to five pounds) for extra resistance.

Do you have any favorite at-home workouts?

LEGO® KidsFest Announces 2013 Tour Dates

November 1, 2012

Southern California just isn't cool enough it seems. But for the rest of the U.S. -- get ready, get set, BUILD!

Giant Family Expo Kicks Off Fifth Year of National Tour
  • Richmond, Virginia:  February 15 - 17
  • Louisville, Kentucky:  April 5 - 7 
  • Houston, Texas:  May 17 - 19
  • Phoenix, Arizona:  July 12 - 14
  • San Jose, California:  August 30 - September 1
  • Portland, Oregon:  October 11 - 13 
  • Hartford, Connecticut:  December 6 - 8 
Ready your building skills! The LEGO KidsFest, a nationally-traveling giant LEGO expo, is coming to a city near you!  This interactive LEGO extravaganza brings all of the creative hands-on, minds-on fun of LEGO building and experiences together in an activity- and entertainment-packed family event for children of all ages and builders of all skills and interests.
Among the many LEGO attractions, families will find:
  • LEGO Model Gallery: dozens of life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks
  • LEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get paid to play
  • Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.
  • Race Ramps: build your own custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
  • LEGO Games Arena: roll the dice to play LEGO board games
  • Construction Zones: creative free build, play and display areas
  • LEGO DUPLO®: younger visitors can explore imagination through building
  • LEGO Retail and KidsFest Marketplace: purchase LEGO and official KidsFest tour merchandise
  • Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
  • Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
  • Brickscapes: fantastic displays that combine lots of LEGO and DUPLO sets
  • And much more, covering over 150,000+ square feet of space
On tour since 2009, nearly 400,000 have attended a LEGO KidsFest.  Previous tour stops include Minneapolis, Boston, Austin, Cincinnati, Denver, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Raleigh.  Tickets for many cities have sold out with 25,000 to 30,000 visitors in attendance at each venue.
Based on sell-out attendance in previous markets, advance ticket purchase is strongly encouraged. Tickets for all 2013 tour stops are on sale at www.LEGOkidsfest.com. 
Five sessions - all identical - are available for the each tour stop.  For full details, visit the website at www.LEGOKidsFest.com

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Happy Halloween!

Groovie Goolies Monster Mash Music Video - YouTube: ""

My daughter refused to be photographed this year, but she was a ninja. Her best friend was Katara. She had fun trick-or-treating and is back in time to get a decent night's sleep. Part of me wishes that California could have rescheduled it like New Jersey. But it's over and done with and she's happy.

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The Force is Strong with Disney

October 30, 2012
HOLY SHITtake mushrooms!

I am still in shock after reading this. Never in a million years would I have though that George would sell to Disney, despite all of the collaboration.

I wonder what the seventh film will be like? Will it follow George's original vision? And will they finish out the trilogy so that we have all nine movies (after almost 40 years!)
The third trilogy starting with Episode VII was to deal with Luke's life as a Jedi.
Episode VIII was to deal with Luke's sister (not Leia) coming from another part of the galaxy and Luke was to become a Jedi Master and pass on his training to her.
Episode IX was to feature the appearance of the Emperor and have Luke and his sister confront him on the Imperial Capital Planet of Had Abbadon, possibly bringing about the Return of the Republic and the Jedi Order.
Episodes VII, VIII, and IX would have taken place from approximately 40 ABY to 203 ABY, based on early facts from Lucas. A detailed fan timeline, Star Wars Timeline Gold, has suggested narrowing this further to 59 years after the prequel trilogy and 36 years after the original trilogy though this remains conjectural. Nathan Butler, the timeline's author, suggests that the storyline would have concerned Luke's efforts to save his son from falling to the dark side of the Force.
George Lucas is an incredible storyteller himself, so I'm hoping that the Lucasfilm franchises and movies (Indiana Jones, Willow, Red Tails as well as Star Wars) don't get too Disney-fied in their re-branding and ultimate re-releases. Can you imagine a 5th Indiana Jones? With Shia Lebouf???????

And will I now have to watch Clone Wars on Disney or Disney XD instead of Nick?

Read the full press release below:
Burbank, CA and San Francisco, CA, October 30, 2012 – Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.
Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.
"Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas," said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. "This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value."
"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I'm confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney's reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products."
Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and "evergreen" Star Warsfranchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.
Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney's global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.
The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.
Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm's legendary Star Warsfranchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks.Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world's top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney's strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.
The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney's very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company's unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney's portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company's ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world's highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.
The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.
Note: Additional information and comments from Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, and Jay Rasulo, senior executive vice president and CFO, The Walt Disney Company, regarding Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, are attached.
Investor Conference Call:
An investor conference call will take place at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT today, October 30, 2012. To listen to the Webcast, turn your browser to /investors/eventsor dial in domestically at (888) 771-4371 or internationally at (847) 585-4405. For both dial-in numbers, the participant pass code is 33674546.
The discussion will be available via replay on the Disney Investor Relations website through November 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM EST/2:00 PM PST.
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, interactive media, and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 company with revenues of over $40 billion in its Fiscal Year 2011.
About Lucasfilm Ltd.
Founded by George Lucas in 1971, Lucasfilm is a privately held, fully-integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide; Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties; Lucasfilm Animation; and Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties and businesses. Additionally, Lucasfilm Singapore, produces digital animated content for film and television, as well as visual effects for feature films and multi-platform games. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in San Francisco, California.There are so many unanswered questions. I guess the true believers will just have to wait and see what happens.

UPDATE (via The Verge)

 Disney confirmed that Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound are included in the transaction. It also confirmed a long-term plan of releasing a new feature Star Wars film every two to three years — beyond the planned Episodes 7, 8, and 9. Disney also confirmed some other plans for the franchise, including placement in its gaming and television business as well as its parks and resorts business. It sounds like we can look forward to more Star Tours, new Star Wars video games, and even more non-film tie-in products.

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