Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday DVD Binge

What did I get for Christmas, you ask?

Well, in addition to a couple DVDs received as Christmas Presents I was also given a $75 gift certificate for CIRCUIT CITY.

Oh, yeah. Daddy likes... Daddy likes!
1. HELP! My sister-in-law, Denise got me the new double-disc set of this 1965 movie starring The Beatles. Whew, what a restoration job they did on this old Eastman Color film! I had a 16mm color print back in the 80s that was really, really nice but this blows it away.

The songs have been re-mixed for 5.1, but that is meaningless to a Neanderthal like myself. I can play the soundtrack through my stereo, which was really nice, but I don't have that whole surround sound rigging.

The second disc has some nice bonus features. Nothing life-changing, but I'm glad they're there.
2. Walt Disney Treasures - On The Front Lines. This is a two-DVD collection that came out a couple years back. I missed buying it then, darn it. My Father-In-Law found a bunch at SAM'S CLUB and grabbed me a copy as Christmas Gift.

Good move, Dennis!

This set has a whole bunch of shorts that the Disney studios produced during WWII. There's a mother lode of propaganda, entertainment and instructional titles here. Also included is the entire "Victory Through Air Power" feature.

There are some nice interviews and gallery bonuses, too. I'm not a WWI buff, but as an animation nerd, this is essential!
Saturday, I ran over to Circuit City to see what $75 worth of gift card would buy.

I've been trying to get an iMac configured so that I can edit video files and burn DVDs. I had a vague idea that I might be able to buy some more SDRAM memory or a video capture device that is Mac compatible.

No such luck, so it was onto the DVD bins...

I wanted to score a copy of The Osawald The Rabbit cartoon set that had been released as a one of the latest "Walt Disney Treasures." No gots at Circuit City!

OK, how about the new THREE STOOGES collection that Sony/TriStar?Columbia put out? The shorts are mastered from the original negatives and the reviews from on-line Stooge-Fans have been rapturous. Hmmm... also a "no gots" at CC!

All riiiiight... What do they have?

A-ha! Seinfeld Box sets for $16.99 each! Now we're talkin'! I picked up Seasons seven and eight, as I already had seasons one through six. Sweet!

Hmmm... what else to get?

Oh, there's that "TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE" movie I wanted to see. Michelle and I got hooked on old THUNDERBIRDS shows back when we had sattellite TV, oh so long ago. So did Trey Parker and Matt Stone, so they made a whole feature using marionettes. I see where this is not so highly rated, but I got it any way.

Oh, wow! Here's that two disc set of "THAT THING YOU DO" that I heard about. As a 'sixties garage band nut, you can just imagine how much I like this movie. And here's a two-and-a-half hour "director's cut" of it! Ah, Bliss!

Movie, movies, movies!!!

Now, if I can only find the time to watch them...


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Boxing Day Miracle?

Let's try posting those two Christmas songs again, shall we?

My idea of Duane Eddie meets The Ventures doing SILENT NIGHT.

The haunting love theme from "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians" by Milton DeLugg: HOORAY FOR SANTA CLAUS.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Oh, I had such a treat in store for everyone.

My plan was to upload two Christmas song mp3s I had recorded back in the 'nineties.

I got up bright 'n' early this Christmas Eve and went to my account at DivShare. I clicked on the first tune and let it start to upload. Since I am using my s-l-o-w dial-up connection, I went to start a pot of coffee.

Upon my return, I found a microsoft pop-up so big, it ran off the bottom of my screen.

I shut everything down and tried two more times, each with the same result.

Oh, Mr. Internet was behaving like Mr. Scrooge.

Ah, well...


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fa La-La-La-Lame, Part 3

Sometimes it only takes one line to sour me on a Christmas song.


Hey, this is a great, happy, swing-y tune, but consider this misbegotten lyric:

"There'll be scary ghost stories / And tales of the glories / Of Christmases long, long ago."


Excuse me, but that's HALLOWEEN! Shall we mention valentines, fireworks and the Easter Bunny while we're at it?


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fa-La-La-La-Lame, Part 2

There is a whole sub-genre of "Christmas" songs that aren't about Christmas at all.

They're about Winter, or at least cold weather.

"Jingle Bells" doesn't once mention the holiday, but you can't hear it without thinking of Christmas!

"Frosty The Snowman" likewise has zilch to do with "the season" but you sure only ever hear it in the days leading up to December twenty-fifth.

Yep, Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland, Let It Snow, and the rest are really just "Cold Weather Songs!" The irony here is that Winter starts only a scant three or four days before Christmas.

This leaves us with today's "Fa-La-La-La-Lame" song, which belongs to this category:


Here's a jolly little duet all about using cold weather as an excuse for date rape!

The male singer begs, "Baby, don't hold out!"

The line, sung by the female, "Hey what's in this drink?" really gives the game away, don't you think?

Creepy, just plain creepy. But somehow this evergreen is indelibly linked to the birth of the Christ child.

Side note: The local PBS station re-ran a "Three Tenors" Christmas Concert recently and I laughed my head off thinking about those guys singing this to each other in their vein-popping operatic style!

Friday, December 14, 2007


Christmas is nigh, which means the old Christmas songs are playing, pretty much 24/7. (At my house they play 24/365 because Michelle is such a Christmas Song Junky!)

This series will highlight my least favorite seasonal tunes...


Oh, where to begin with this one?

Obviously the grave droning of "rruumm, pum, pum,pum" immediately identifies this tune as worthy of the severest derision. Oh, how serious the "rruumm-pummers" are. This is obviously very important information, people!

But the "rruumm-pum" thing is just part of it.

The story of this song is that a "little drummer boy" stops by the manger right after Christ is born, and lacking any present, he plays his drum.

What the..?

Number one: In which of the gospels is this recorded? None of them! This is right up there with those depictions of Santa praying at the manger. ARRRGH! Why not have Frosty and Rudolph pay their respects as well?

Number two: Some neighborhood kid banging a drum next to a newborn? I don't think anyone would be "smil[ing] at him" as the song suggests.

Conclusion: This song blows. What sort of mass hypnosis is at play that makes this so dear to so many peoples' hearts? I can't figure it out...

Saturday, December 08, 2007


I'm still in full "Anne Frank Mode" as far as internet access goes, but I thought I'd try to throw together some bits 'n' pieces just because I have this brief window of opportunity.
If I ever write a book about Alfred Hitchcock, I will use the pen name of Craig McGuffin. That is, if I can be sure McDonalds won't sue.
The brakes on our van started chirping just before Thanksgiving. I took it in to a Midas Muffler center to have them look into it.

Their diagnosis?

Warped rotor and, oh, yeah the rear cylinders are leaking. It's gonna be about $775 to fix it all.

Whoah, whoah, whoah! I just put in all new brake lines & cylinders a couple years ago. I decided to have them do nothing and take it over to our usual garage. His diagnosis?

There's nothing wrong with these brakes! The rotors look brand-new. We could use some new rear shocks, though. $169 later, we're back on tha street, kickin' it Grand Caravan style.
We have house guests this week. Michelle's Mom, Dad and sister are visiting. A fun group.
Michelle's Dad likes to troll the dollar stores for cheap videos. I took him to a nearby "Dollar General" after dinner a couple nights back. We pawed through the DVDs and I was able to score the SCTV Volume Three box set for $10! SWEET! I paid beaucoup bucks for volumes one and two back in late 2005, so this was very cool.
Oops. Blogging period is over. Gotta go. Don't tell anyone I was here...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

...My Dear Watson!

cash advance

I shoulda seen this one coming a mile away! Thanks to xboxfornappyrash for the link!