Tag Archives: Christmas

Got Christmas Blend?

No, you don’t.  Because I have it all.

Bwa ha ha ha haaaaaa.

Here’s a picture of my miser’s hoard:


The Mrs. and I really like Starbucks Christmas Blend.  A lot.  Coffee is very important to me.


Merry Christmas. Now I’m Ready for Your Stinkin’ Zombies.

The Mrs., who loves me and knows me all too well after more than 20 years together, put a box with this and this under the tree for me.  I am now ready for your basic zombiepocalypse, Obsidian blackout, or sudden change in the laws of physics.

Not to mention clearing out shrubbery and those annoying maple saplings that pop up by the compressors for the A/C every spring.

Here’s hoping you got something really useful for your gift-giving holiday of choice, and that you have a happy and healthy 2009, and that no one tries to eat your brain.

Stalking Santa.

NORAD tracks Santa. We love this.

Follow up to On Christmas: in which I discover that the fanatics writing reviews on Amazon have their heads up their asses

In my last post, I compared the many wonders of my shiny new Blade Runner Four-Disc Collector’s Edition with the trauma caused by attempting to purchase a DVD of Star Wars to begin the indoctrination of the children (who are currently attempting an escape from their room — just a moment — there we go), due to the hundreds of bad reviews of every DVD version of Star Wars available.

Having actually watched the “theatrical release” version on DVD yesterday with the kids (at least, with the Princess — Junior decided that if he couldn’t talk at the top of his lungs and jump up and down on the sofa during the movie, he didn’t want to watch it), the Mrs., my father-in-law, and my brother-in-law (yes, I married into a family of Star Wars fanatics), I have come to one conclusion:

When it comes to Star Wars, just ignore the reviews.

The same could probably said of any blockbuster. Did you really wait for the reviews of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? The people who are reviewing the Star Wars DVDs aren’t reviewing the movies themselves (“Low budget, cheesy effects, stiff dialogue, and my God! What did they do to Carrie Fisher’s hair?”). They’re reviewing the DVD, and clearly, the people who wrote the reviews I saw must have been watching the movie on a theater-sized screen, because it looked just fine to me, and our TV isn’t small.

Yes, Edward, I know, it’s smaller than yours.

The point is, when the review is being written by fanatics, it probably isn’t going to be terribly objective. When it is being written by fanatics who have been burned by the creator of their faith (and Episodes 1, 2, 3 certainly constitute “being burned”), I think it’s safe to say that the reviews might be more than a little picky. I saw one technical issue with the print they used for the theatrical release version on the DVD (slightly discolored rectangles around the TIE fighters in the fight scenes with the Millennium Falcon and at the Death Star). Other than that, it was fine, and certainly in better condition than some of the prints used at the theaters where I saw the movie originally in 1977. It wasn’t enhanced, it was simply, as advertised, the theatrical release.

Princess loved it, and Junior is pretending he loved it (although clearly, it’s no Batman). We all had a great time, and now Mrs. Unfocused and I can bask in the warm glow of having imparted the important messages of Star Wars (believe in the Force, close your eyes before you shoot, talking robots are really annoying, some people won’t stop giving you advice even after they’re dead, light sabers are cooler than blasters, and so on) to a new generation.

On Christmas: in which I completely geek out

Day four of not going into the office. You’d think I’d be more rested.

Mrs. Unfocused and I were up until 2:45am last night, wrapping and tagging presents for the kids, and Princess was up at 7. It was all worth it, though, watching their happy faces as they opened their presents. Princess, two months shy of turning 7, opened her gifts in approximately 3.4 seconds, a new record. Junior is still young enough to want to play with his presents as he opens them, and the second package he opened was the Geotrax train set he has been lusting after for months. He liked his other presents, but the train set was really all that mattered, and you could tell that even when he was opening another present that he liked, he still wanted to go back to the train set.

I’m sure he’ll become interested in the bike in the spring.

The Mrs. even liked her gifts, which I always worry about. This year, I had her with the new L.L. Bean slippers — everything else was gravy.

As for me, in addition to several surprises, Santa (or, more precisely, Mrs. Claus) brought me exactly what I asked for: the new Blade Runner Four Disc Collector’s Edition DVD package, with the original 1982 U.S. theatrical release, the 1982 international theatrical release, the 1992 director’s cut, and the 2007 “Final Cut.” I’m in nerdboy heaven, and will be scheduling a screening soon.

I can’t have the Blade Runner screening until after we have the official first viewing for the kids of Star Wars, which we may do tomorrow. Not the new stuff – Episode Four, Star Wars 77, A New Hope, the original. At least, as close to the original as Lucas will let us get on DVD. Check out the reviews of the various DVD versions of the original Star Wars trilogy on Amazon.com to see what the complaints are all about (essentially, the remastered versions have new material added, and the “original” version available is not remastered or even from a particularly good print) and you’ll see the contrast with the new Blade Runner collector’s edition.

Princess asked me if she could watch Blade Runner. She’s a good kid, but I don’t think I’d be doing her any favors by exposing her to Philip K. Dick at this tender age, even filtered by Ridley Scott. I told her that she had to wait until she was at least 7.

I don’t mean to imply that the whole day was about presents. We had a great afternoon and evening with family, a wonderful Christmas dinner, and watched a couple of classic Bugs Bunny cartoons for the edification of the children. Very low pressure and nice. Also, did I mention the new Blade Runner set I received?

I hope your Christmas was as nice as ours, whether you celebrate it or are simply an innocent bystander, that the coming year brings peace and prosperity to you and your family and, most importantly, that you too receive the Blade Runner Four Disc Collector’s Edition.

Merry Christmas.

On Being Santa: the joys of some assembly required

I’ve done it! It’s 1:05am on Christmas Eve, and I have completely assembled the Spiderman bike that Santa Claus will bring for Junior tonight. I have achieved 50s fatherhood nirvana!

On Holidays: in which the Christmas plague visits our home

From The Parents’ Dictionary:

The Christmas Plague: any of the many viruses or bacteria that infect a household right before Christmas. See also: Hanukkah Hack, Valentine’s Day Virus, Independence Day Illness, etc.

Mrs. Unfocused, who is singing a tricky piece in church tomorrow, has taken a vow of silence for the day — last night, her speaking voice started sounding rough. This morning, it hardly sounded at all. She got through her rehearsal, but wants to conserve what she has until the concert is over.

Junior woke up this morning with a truly horrendous sounding cough. It isn’t croup, yet, but I have a feeling that he and I may be taking a trip to the emergency room tonight. He’s just about four years old, so croup is still something to worry about for another year or so. I think that the Unfocused Princess stopped getting it once she turned five.

The Princess and I are fine. But for how long? (Key the creepy music)

I still have hope that everyone will feel better by Christmas Eve. Last year at Christmas, the Mrs. was still recovering from a godawful sinus infection/flu/pneumonia that hung on for a couple of months, including two rounds of antibiotics. Two years ago, the Princess woke up at 4am on Christmas Eve day with a raging ear infection — she and I spent the morning at the Children’s Memorial Hospital urgent care clinic. Three years ago — who can remember three years ago? Probably the fish had the sniffles.

I did manage to write the introduction to the professional article I’m working on. It’s one of the two writing projects I have committed myself to completing before NaNoWriMo starts on November 1 (and yes, one of these days I’ll post without referring to NaNo), and it is probably the easier of the two, since it’s based on a speech I gave over the summer on a subject I know pretty well. I have most of the research done and outlined in my speech materials, so writing the article is mostly filling in around the dry case descriptions in my outline (and livening up the descriptions). I got the writing done by getting up a little before anyone else did, and then by ignoring the kids while they made a mess in the back room while the Mrs. was at rehearsal (easier said than done).

Time to make some lunch for the Princess and the Plague victims. Here’s hoping the Christmas Plague passes over your house this year.

Update at 2:05pm:

Perhaps I spoke too soon. My nose has started to clog, and I’ve got a funny tickle at the back of my throat …