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Special to the Daily How cute would little 4-month-old giant panda cub Tai Shan look under our tree? For now, he's chillin' at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington.

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that thinks baby pandas could be the new dog of Summit Up Land.Yup, it’s true. We have a house full of dogs, as do the rest of you folks out there, but all we want for Christmas is a panda.Ever since we saw that 4-month-old giant panda cub Tai Shan, who’s at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington and also pictured somewhere on this page, on TV, it’s all we can think about.The thought of opening all our loot on Christmas morning only to find 18 pairs of wool socks and a box of Easy Mac is so disheartening – especially when what we really want to see is a living, breathing black and white ball of fur.

Sure, some would say it’s cruel and unusual to force a panda out of its natural environment and into ours. But we say no, no and no again. We think the panda would quite enjoy it here just as much as we do. We could take it skiing and hiking and to the video store. And what panda doesn’t like to roll in the snow, covering his black spots and pretend to be a polar bear? Ha! That one’s a riot!So if any of you folks out there have an in with Santa, please, please, please put in a good word for us.And little panda, if you’re out there reading this: You’re even smarter than we’d hoped, being that you can actually read, and we’re looking forward to seeing you on Christmas morning.***

We’re digging deep into our bag of reader mail today. Here’s a little diddy from Charles of Silverthorne:”Dear Summit Up,”Does anyone else besides me see the irony in the fact that eBay and Amazon are now sending out catalogues?”And speaking about ironies, how about Tom Cruise’s tirade against the psychological profession for their use of drugs to treat such illnesses as depression, yet (he’s) purchasing an ultrasound machine to take daily looks at his unborn baby? Let’s see, purchasing a controlled medical device, using it himself (it takes lots of training to be able to take and interpret ultrasound images), and all this with the uncertainty as to whether the ultrasound is annoying the fetus (studies are inconclusive on this point). One or two ultrasound exams are one thing, but nearly every day? Methinks Tom speaks out of both sides of his mouth.”

We think so too, Charles. And while it may be inconclusive as to whether an ultrasound annoys a fetus, studies have shown that Tom Cruise is most definitely annoying to a fetus.***It’s Friday, and we’re freakin’ cold. You’d think here at the Corporate Suites we could just burn newspapers to keep warm, but no such luck. Apparently, it’s against some kind of fire code or something.How are you guys keeping warm out there? Let us know at summitup@summitdaily.com or give us a call at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13600.See you lato alligato …