November 28, 2010

Surprised It Took 30 Years for Someone to Sell These

Make any purchase at between now and November 29th and receive a free Princess Leia "Peek-a-Boo" floaty pen

My Vintage Childhood

Zoe sat at the kitchen table pouring through one of the Christmas toy catalogs that we had received in the mail recently. She was working to fill out her wish list so that Heather could share it with the aunts, uncles, and grandparents who had begun asking Heather and I what the kids wanted for Christmas.

I was sitting nearby eating my lunch and not thinking about my age at all.

But that was all about to change.

Zoe called my attention to a toy or game on one of the pages of the catalog. She wanted to make sure I knew something specific about some item and why it would make such a perfect present under the tree next month. But I noticed something else.

On the page opposite to where she was pointing was the page of Star Wars toys. There was all sorts of stuff. Figures, ships, LEGO sets, helmets you could wear - all sorts of great Star Wars stuff. There were toys based on the old movies all the way up to merchandise modeled after the current Cartoon Network animated show.

I noticed a few Star Wars items that I remembered having and playing with as a kid, but then I saw how they were labeled.


I suddenly felt very old.

Were the toys that I fondly remember playing with really considered vintage now? I thought vintage items were antiques. Old and dusty, relics from a time long past.

I still have some of my Star Wars toys stored away in a box in my closet. My memories of staging epic Star Wars battles with my brother in the living room during Christmas break are still fresh. My childhood wasn't so long ago that its now vintage, is it?

I hope not.

November 22, 2010

And Then The Donkey Dies

It's always funny when people are making fun of Windows machines.


November 21, 2010

It's Already a Good Christmas

Recently Heather and I thought that this year we would try and make the Christmas season a little more joyful for a local family. Heather learned that one of the families whose kids attended the same school as our children was in a rough way - a grandpa raising his three grandchildren on a very limited income and little family support.

We decided that we would buy a Walmart gift card and anonymously present it to them. Hopefully our small effort might allow them to celebrate a little more or, for at least a little while, worry less about paying for some of the essentials.

Heather had the idea to share our plan with our kids and present them with the option of contributing some of their own money. Which we did. We also told them that whatever amount they donated, we would match.

Despite how they might treat each other sometimes, I know our kids are caring and compassionate. But I wasn't sure how they would respond to this idea.

They never stop amazing me.

After hearing our plan Ian stepped up right away and said the he would donate half of what we owed him in allowance. Considering that the back-pay in allowance we owed him was $22.50, I found Ian's pledge remarkable. When we checked with him later in the evening - when Heather was actually handing out allowances - Ian stuck to promise and only accepted half of what he was owed. The remaining amount Heather recorded to add to our gift card purchase.

Later, Zoe dug $5 out of her Hannah Montana purse and gladly handed it over to Heather for our family gift.

Emma is still debating how much of her $8 in savings to contribute, but she has been clear that she wants to give up something so that this un-named family can have a nicer Christmas.

As I mentioned earlier, I knew our kids were compassionate, but even I was impressed with how they responded to Heather's idea. I can't imagine being any more proud of them then I am tonight. It's not even Thanksgiving yet, and already it's a good Christmas.

November 18, 2010

You're Kidding, Right?

Definition of idiot: walking through Chicago's Union Station at 5:15pm with your headphones on and flipping through messages on your iPhone.

Encountered a guy doing exactly that yesterday. Not only did he almost walk into three or four people during the time I saw him, but he also cut me off twice while I was trying to get around him.

When those new commercials for Windows Phone 7 started airing recently (the ones showing people emphatically more interested in their mobile device then the real life happening around them), I took them for funny exaggerations. Clearly over the top, but not possible in reality.

Looks like the commercials may be more true to life then I thought.

November 17, 2010

Green Lantern

I've been a Green Lantern fan since being amazed by his powers on the old Challenge of the Super Friends cartoon show. A ring that can create anything you can imagine and whose power is as strong as the will of the wearer? That was beyond cool to my 7 year-old self (and remains so for my 38 year-old self).

I remember as a kid making my own Green Lantern ring out of a Chicago Cubs ring and a flashlight I covered with some green cellophane we had sitting around the house (Having a mom who was a preschool teacher was always great for impromptu creative art projects.).

These days I have a more professional looking version of Green Lantern ring, though I still have to rely on a cellophane covered flashlight to get the glow, and my fascination with the character is no less diminished. So it has been with a considerable amount of interest that I have been following the development of Warner Brother's next DC Comic hero big screen project.

The first look at the Green Lantern movie trailer dropped yesterday. The film stars Ryan Reynnolds as Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of Earth, and Blake Lively as Carol Ferris.

I like the casting and the visuals look fantastic. However the trailer doesn't instill in me the confidence that the film will be a quality flick like when I saw the first trailer for Batman Begins so many years ago.

Let's see how things play out.

November 10, 2010

Doesn't Have to be Good to be a Classic

I enjoy Christmas. The decorating, the celebrating, the food - there probably isn't anything I don't like about the holiday.

I particularly enjoy the Christmas themed entertainment that comes along with the season; music, movies, and television specials. In fact, I will usually allow some leeway on quality when it comes to a movie or TV show if Christmas is at the story's core.

But now I believe I may have found an exception to that statement.

Warner Archives sent me an email today with the intent on enticing me to pre-order their Classic TV Christmas Collection DVD set.

Take read through this synopsis:
This holiday settle in front of the TV with the California Highway Patrol, a Mypos immigrant and other wacky friends and co-workers in this wonderful 4-Disc Collection of Vintage TV Series Christmas Episodes. The yuletide season doesn’t mean less work for Dr. Kildare and Dr. Gillespie and for Jon and Ponch of CHiPs. A prized medallion is passed around as a gift in The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Menorahs, mistletoes and Balky Claus – festive traditions of all kinds are celebrated on Welcome Back, Kotter and Perfect Strangers. The season is nearly ruined twice: on Eight Is Enough the Bradford family’s presents are stolen and Alice gets stuck in a Christmas blizzard. Mama’s Family debates the fate of Mama’s present, a goose. Keep it as a pet or eat it? The staffs from Veronica’s Closet and Suddenly Susan find Christmas with their co-workers to be the most challenging time of the year. So gather ’round and savor this classic compilation filled overflowing with holiday spirit!
CHiPs, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Mama's Family, Suddenly Susan?!

Maybe there was a missprint on the DVD cover. I bet the title was supposed to read, "Classically Bad TV Christmas Collection."

I mean really, there is nothing classic about Perfect Strangers.

The best part about the email was the heading they ran in their creative.

"Never on DVD" - Hmmm, maybe there is a reason for that.

November 03, 2010

Minimalist JLA

The theme this week over at the Comic Twart is "minimalist"

I don't think Chris Samnee's contribution is necessarily minimalist in the same way that some of the other entries have interpreted the challenge, I can't deny that I think his rendering of the JLA looks awesome.