Originally uploaded by rustedrobot.

I was moving north and south in the grocery store earlier today when I came across Fig Newtons in the cookie section. Now, I’ve said it before and I will say it again – the Fig Newton is probably my favorite cookie in the whole wide world and while I can only shake my head in sad disapproval at the dizzying options of Newtons these days, I understand Nabisco’s goal to expand a successful product. I remain skeptical (at best) that Apricot Newtons will be around years from now, but I digress. Eeck.

Anyway, I spy that Nabisco now offers a “100% Whole Grain” Fig Newton option. Dazzled by what I perceive may be a more healthy Fig Newton option, I anxiously picked up the package and examined the Nurition Facts, which I’ve generously provided you in the picture above – the new 100% Whole Grain Newton is in the table on the left.

Curious, I pick up the “regular” Fig Newton package (pictured on the right) and quickly realize that, hoo boy, I love America! There is virtually NO difference here, other than the extra 1 gram of dietary fiber in the Whole Grain version. In fact, the Whole Grain version actually has more saturated fat than the regular Newtons!

So remember, folks, just because food manufacturers dress up their boxes, add some earth-tone colors and finish it off with some messaging about “100% Whole Grains,” it doesn’t make it right to eat and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s any better for you. Good stuff.

So, I sit here tonight, entirely bummed out about the idea of returning to work tomorrow morning, but ever mindful and thankful that I have a job. And that we get the week between Christmas and New Years off. Tell you what, this couldn’t have come at a better time. I kept my activity during the break to an absolute minimum – it was much needed. Aside, of course, from the fast pace of Christmas Eve and Christmas day, both of which brought some fine time spent with family, it was a very chill week-and-a-half. That said, some quick highights of the break:

1. Saw two movies: “The Family Stone” and “Rumor Has It.” They were not the two movies we wanted to see this break, but we made the decision to go light. “Syriana” and “Munich” can wait. Lightning strike reviews:

– The Family Stone was solid. It doesn’t hurt that my celebrity crush, Rachel McAdams was in the film, either. One thing, though: the movie seems to be advertised as a family-holiday-slapstick style comedy and while there are some amusing moments (often provided by Luke Wilson), it is most certainly not an upbeat comedy.

– Rumor Has It was much weaker. I’m starting to question some of the dreck Jennifer Aniston is signing up for these days – I feel like she’s got some good movies in her, but she keeps proving me wrong. Time to fire her agent? Two grizzled veterans made the movie somewhat watchable, though. Shirley MacLaine was terrific and Kevin Costner has got the horny old man thing down-pat these days.

2. Visited Portland, Maine on New Years Eve. Some pictures are here, but they don’t really do it justice. Portland is really quite awesome and my kind of town – very New England, i.e. old brick buildings and cobblestone streets. It’s small enough to feel like you’d know everyone before the weekend is over, but large enough to keep you engaged, particularly when you’re walking home, hand-in-hand with your wife after one of the best meals of your life and it’s snowing lightly, providing a quiet, beautiful backdrop for a picturesque stroll through an old New England gem.

3. Acquired the ability to riff “Day Tripper” and “Crossroads” on the guitar.

4. Had ice cream in the freezer for the first time since probably September? It will also be the last ice cream I have until Erikson’s opens in April. Trying to cut back.

5. Read the Mike Wallace book, called Between You & Me. I’ve become a huge fan of 60 Minutes over the past couple of years , so I was really excited when this came from Santa this year. So excited, in fact, that I had read the entire book by December 27th. It was quite good, too, although one would suspect that it took Wallace all of six hours to write it. So sure, some of it is very People magazine-like, but a reminder: my goal this week was for nothing heavy. Mission accomplished. Upon finishing that, it was onto Word Freak, a 400 page account of the history of Scrabble and the author’s descent into the wacky world of competitive Scrabble, complete with Trekkie-like regulars on the Scrabble circuit. Pretty great read so far (and a good source for ridiculous words to try next time I play the game, myself).

6. Took my virgin voyage to Ikea (new location in Stoughton, Mass.). Goodness, what an alien place. Where else in the world can you buy light bulbs, outfit your entire house AND get a quality salmon dinner all under the same roof? Unreal. Word to the wise: only go to Ikea on weekday mornings. Trust me on this one.

Now it is on to 2006. I typically don’t find myself reflecting all that much when the years turn over and I’m not much of a resoloution guy. Everything that happens happens for a reason, it doesn’t necessarily matter on what day of the week things happen or what year it might be. Someday I vow to write a book. It might be this year. It might not. It will happen when it happens (and when I can come up with an idea for one, another issue entirely). Sam Allis really really nailed it reagrding new years in his great Sunday column in the Boston Globe this week. I’ll leave you with that.