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die hard christmasBeloved Girlfriend and I began  celebrating the holiday season by breaking out the Christmas movies. We started with possibly the finest Xmas movie ever made... Die Hard.

We decided it holds up so well because it resists being dated. The hair styles aren't much of an issue because most of the film features Bruce Willis, famous as much for his shiny pate as for his acting abilities. Bonnie Bedelia's fuzzy mop is the only real dead 80s give-away.

Then there are the communication devices, mostly handheld CB radios that the constabulary still uses. (I'm just guessing about that as I rarely encounter the gendarmes since I quit brewing white lightning down by the crick. For all I know they might have broadband routers surgically implanted in their hoo-hoos .)

And the vehicles are mainly a limo, a van and a police car, all of which employ form factors apparently set in stone in 1973 by the Trilateral Commission. Unless you're some kind of stickler for automotive detail you hardly notice they're almost 30 years old, especially with everything going FOOM! all around them.

Anyway, good times.

Then it was on to Rudolph the rheostat-activated Reindeer, the uncut version. I love it mainly for the clunky, bargain-basement stop-motion animation and for the finest performance ever by Burl Ives. But every time I watch it I wonder why:

(1) Yukon Cornelius didn't simply plug the Snow Monster with that hog-leg he had conspicuously crammed down his shorts, or

(2) Why Rudolph never simply flew away from danger, or took to the air just to drop a hot steaming load on that mean old mama polar bear.

Yeah, I know. Shut up, Lefty.

Rudolph Trivia: The "Fame and Fortune" segment and the rescue of the Misfit Island toys was not in the original airing. They were both added for the 1965 broadcast. Plus, the copyright date on the title sequence is wrong. It reads MCLXIV (1164).

Finally, BG and I were enchanted all over again by the remarkable simplicity of A Charlie Brown Christmas. I recently learned that the original version was sponsored by Coca-Cola and so the animation featured several intrusive instances of product placement. Thankfully, they were removed once Dolly Madison assumed sponsorship.


On the Eighth Day of Xmas Shopping my Reddit Secret Santa gave to meeeeeee:

weighted companion cubeA Plush Weighted Companion Cube


Raging Pencils storeOh, my god! Raging Pencils has a store! That is, if you call a couple of t-shirts a store. I'll be adding more content as I get the hang of the interface but, until then, check it out.


end rant

What's in Mike's iPod?
"Christmas Balls" by Ben Light & His Surf Club Boys

Today's amazing mystery comic is:


Raging Pencils is a jolly old conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
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Today's Google Chow.

Santa: "And what do YOU want for Christmas, little boy?"

Little boy: "Puberty."