Movie Miscellany

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Box Set Full of Kryptonite

Display of items in Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition set

Warner Bros.’ 2007 Superman Ultimate Collector’s Edition DVD set is now
on sale at Amazon for an astounding $24.99. List price is $99.98 (per Amazon, a little higher or lower at other sites). You’ll still be a penny shy of free shipping, which is surely intentional.

As there were problems with the release of an almost identical set in 2006, when this Ultimate Collector’s Edition came out in 2007 I waited until it had a clean bill of health in online reports and then splurged the moment Borders held one of its very occasional 40%-off sales on DVD sets — knowing that if the set sold out we might not get another such package until there was another Superman movie to promote. I’ve still yet to watch everything in the set but no fan of the character or any part of the compilation should pass up this opportunity.

On 14 discs, packaged with a lenticular hologram of the Man of Steel in flight inside a tin case sporting both the 1978 and 2006 film versions of the big S, you get...

Christmas + 1

I don’t know when this will get posted so it feels safest to focus my yuletide thoughts
on the morning after.

Many locations have made for a special holiday in my life, but none can match the house way up New Jersey, northwest of New York City, where my father’s parents lived during my first decade. There were decorations, cookies, stockings, relatives, carolers, and gifts under what in memory at least is a majestic tree.

So much could be written about the annual anticipations of Christmas in Wyckoff —
my sister and me standing by the curb to greet Santa, in the company of firefighters,
as they handed out candy to the neighborhood children; trying hard to fall asleep, since we knew that the jolly old elf wouldn’t return to leave presents until we did (but also hoping that his visit would awaken us so that we could finally catch him in the act); preparing for dinner, then waiting for Dad and Grandpa to finish their carbohydrate-
&-tryptophan naps so that we could roughhouse or enlist their help in explaining, assembling, and playing with games and toys opened earlier that day.

For me, though, the afterglow of Dec. 26th was just as magical as the eve of the 24th and the daylong festivities of the 25th.

Kids seem to have an innate ability to wake up early on Saturdays, birthdays, and Christmas no matter their usual routine. And while nothing can be done on Christmas morning until the grownups are gathered, that morning after allows a quiet communion with the holiday’s unwrapped bounty. Of course I can think of plenty of gifts that spurred activity — physical (building a structure with Lincoln Logs or Tinkertoys and then knocking it down, flying my Mego action figures) or mental (attempting to master Othello). But the warmest recurring reverie has me settling into a plush chair next to the tree with one of the oversized comics of the era known as treasury editions and experiencing the classic saga of Batman’s introduction to Ra's al Ghul while toasted by the sunlight streaming through the large windows behind me. Heaven isn’t worth its hype if we’re not able to revisit such moments when we get there.

Whether you lit candles for Chanukah or Kwanzaa, observed Christmas as the birth
of a messiah or simply a time to acknowledge life’s blessings, commemorated the winter solstice, or just enjoyed others’ enjoyment of all the hubbub, I hope that your days
have been merry and bright.

Related: Nick of Time Cube Reporting The ’Vision Thing

Stocking Stuff

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The 'Vision Thing

Schoolhouse Rock logo with conductor from 'Conjunction Junction' and title character from 'I'm Just a Bill'

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If you’ve ever left a comment on a blog, you may very well have come across “word” verification.

On blogs hosted by Blogger, at least, the author can select an option asking people commenting to type a nonsense string of letters that almost always could make up a
real word, but don’t. Unlike the sort of jumbled-up, visually skewed mixes of characters used by some websites to ensure that users are actual humans rather than automated envoys of mischief or malevolence, these nonsense words generally have vowels and consonants placed in such an order that they’re pronounceable; on rare occasion an actual word will even slip in.

I’ve taken to sharing definitions for my verification “words” in comments if they come readily to mind for the strings on the screen at that moment. It’s like Sniglets, which Rich Hall popularized on HBO’s Not Necessarily the News and in a series of books back in the ’80s, except in reverse. I lay absolutely no claim to being either the first or the best at this, but I’ve amassed enough that I have some favorites to share.

forized — What you become when you put on your glasses.

Grango — The energy drink for active seniors.

MyStyMe — Architectural Digest’s companion magazine for pigs.

... Activate!

A pair of T-shirts, each with one of the Wonder Twins' triangular insignia, Z and J

The latest batch of cool stuff offered by Graphitti Designs includes, at long last, some Wonder Twins wear. Adult S through XL will cost you $17.95 each (plus shipping) for either Zan or Jayna. I wish children’s sizes were available, but my nieces have already worn a couple of my old T-shirts to bed; their mom says they should be okay in these — as long as they don’t fight too hard over who gets to wear which one when.

The Irrknowiblowns

Page from The Unknown #1 © 2009 Boom Studios. Script:
Mark Waid. Pencils, Inks: Minck Oosterveer. Colors:
Fellipe Martins. Letters: Marshall Dillon.

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