Date:         Sun, 8 Oct 2000 04:06:23 -0400
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
Comments:     Resent-From:
Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen

From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS -- 8 OCT 00 -- FAMILYFUN'S 2000 TOY AWARDS
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              TOURBUS Volume 6, Number 23 -- 8 Oct 2000
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   FamilyFun's 2000 Toy Awards
Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from the chilly city of
Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Can you believe that it is actually going to
drop down to freezing tonight?  In ALABAMA!  The nerve!  :)
I know that envy is one of the seven deadly sins (along with pride,
gluttony, Harpo, Groucho, Sleepy, and Doc), but I am truly envious of
fellow TOURBUS rider Jeff Rehbein.  Using the Online
Speed Test we discussed last week, Rehbein learned the following:
     Your Connection Loaded 322,649 bytes in 0 seconds.
     Your throughput is Infinity Kbps.
INFINITY?!  Man, and I thought my cable modem was fast!  :)
TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors.  A big
thanks to Affordable Computer Supply Marketplace, Amazing Bargains,
and comedy site Hillary's Eyes for keeping the Bus rolling.  Please
visit and say thanks!
 Whether you're buying Books, Movies, Music, Toys, Electronics, or
 just about anything, you'll find all the best coupons & discounts
 at  Many stores offer new customers $10 or
 $20 off their first order!  We scour the Internet to find the
 very best deals so you don't have to.  Start saving money today...
+---------------------  [ Hillary's Eyes ]  ------------------------+
    It wasn't health care reform that bothered us.
    It wasn't even the stories we'd heard about her temper.
                      It was... her Eyes!! 
On with the show ...
The 2000 Toy Awards
Just a reminder: the holiday season is sneaking up on us again!  :)
Before you head out to the mall and plop down hundreds of dollars on
toys that your kids or grandkids will either break or discard within
the first 24 hours, take a look at today's TOURBUS stop.
For the past nine years, the folks at FamilyFun magazine have
assembled a panel of hundreds of children to torture test the latest
toys.  Over a 3-week period, 137 kids enrolled in a Maine elementary
school played with 493 different toys from 165 toy companies from
around the world.  The kids then voted on which toy they would like to
take home with them.  Of the 493 toys the kids evaluated, only 69 were
chosen as finalists.
Wait.  There's more.  FamilyFun then invaded 11 different childcare
centers around the US, dumped boxes of the finalist toys on the floor,
stepped back, and watched the madness that ensued.  Like the students
in Maine, the kids at the childcare centers played with the toys for
three weeks and then voted for the toys that they loved the most.
The results of that voting appeared in what is probably the best, most
up-to-date toy-buying guide you will ever find: FamilyFun's 2000 Toy
Awards article at
toyaward/ .
If truth be told, you can pretty much skip this page.  It doesn't say
much.  Instead, use any of the following hyperlinks to jump to the
sections of the article that appeal to you.  By the way, FamilyFun's
Web site uses incredibly long URLs.  If the links in today's TOURBUS
post are too long for your email program, take a look at 
Your fearless bus driver took all of the links in today's TOURBUS post
and put them on a single Web page at
Anyway, FamilyFun's picks for the Top Ten Toys for *ALL* age groups
can be found at
toyaward/famf1000toyaward6.html .
This page is pretty good place to start, but don't let this be the
only page that you visit.  The real "meat and potatoes" of the 2000
Toy Awards article is its amazing breadth of toy recommendations for
each age group.  The page for each age group shows a winning toy and
two finalists in up to eight different categories.  In other words,
the 2000 Toy Awards article gives you a list of up to 24 spectacular,
kid-tested toys for each age group.  Neat, huh?
The Top Toys for children ages 3 to 4 can be found at

mf1000toyaward/famf1000toyaward2.html .
If you have children between the ages of 5 and 7, my condolences.
(I'M KIDDING!).  You can find FamilyFun's toy recommendations for 5-
to 7-year-olds at
toyaward/famf1000toyaward3.html .
The best toys for kids ages 8 to 9 can be found at
toyaward/famf1000toyaward4.html .
Parents or grandparents of kids between the ages of 10 and 12 should
toyaward/famf1000toyaward5.html .
Actually, every one of the toys on the 10 to 12 year old page would
appeal to adults as well.  For example, I know a really tall, bus-
driving, squirrel-loving guy who would love a Lego Championship
Challenge set.  :P
The million dollar question is "which toy is going to be the hot toy
of this holiday, the next Tickle-Me-Elmo or Furby?"  To be honest, I'm
not sure.  What made both Elmo and Furby so hot is that their demand
far outstripped their supply.  Using that as our benchmark, my guess
is that Sony's Playstation 2 will be the #1 gift of the 2000 holiday
season (Sony is only releasing 500,000 PS2 units in the US on October
26th).  One thing is for certain, though: the #2 hot toy is
(somewhere) on FamilyFun's list.
If you want to avoid the rush and ensure that you not only get the
toys that you are looking for but also the toys that your kids will be
playing with well into the new year, take a look at FamilyFun's 2000
Toy Awards ... and think about doing your holiday shopping in the next
couple of weeks.  If not, you may run into this: .
UPDATE: PC's Adventures in Cable Modem Land
When we last joined our hero, he had just finished writing about how
great his cable modem was working when BOOM ... his cable modem
stopped working.  Well, after spending a little time on the phone with
Comcast's Cable Modem tech support, I was able to reset my modem and
everything has been working swimmingly since then.  My connection
speed fluctuates between 200 and 500 kilobits per second, which isn't
quite the "100 times faster than a regular modem" that I was promised
(and it isn't anywhere near the infinity kilobits a second that Jeff
Rehbein is experiencing), but I am not complaining.  200 Kbps is a
HECK of a lot faster than 28.8 Kbps.
A few people have asked why I got a cable modem instead of a DSL line.
The honest answer is that I didn't have a choice.  DSL is not
available in my neighborhood.  Or at least I *THINK* it isn't.  It is
a LONG story.  :(
That's it for this week.  Have a safe and happy weekend, and we'll
talk again next week.
WAW-UH (Noun).  A state of conflict.
Usage: "Yankees burned the University of Alabama to the ground durin
the waw-uh between the states."  (True story, by the way.)
[Special thanks go to Adele Raemer for today's word]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
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