Friday, December 26, 2014

Stunt Zombie's Christmas Haul!

I can honestly say, I've never had a bad Christmas. There have been leaner times, but my family still managed to provide for me. This was yet another great Christmas, and I'm here to share some of my favorite gifts from under the tree.

First up we have the DC Comics Multiverse Batman, TMNT Newtralizer, and Star Wars Black Greedo. I'd like to think this just goes to show how weird and varied my taste is in action figures. You can look forward to seeing more of these three in the coming months.

I can't believe I finally own this movie. As much as I've grown to love it, I never managed to pick it up over the years. Things are finally right with the universe, and now I can watch it any time I want. Take that all those channels that only show the edited version!

I recently became a fan of Opinel knives, mainly because of their low cost and high durability. They're light, and due to their extremely thin blade grinds, they get ridiculously sharp very, very easily. Of course, when I saw they were offering them in blue painted handles, I had to add it to my list. I've got to reprofile the edge on this one, but I don't mind doing it on a knife that normally costs less than $20.

Chelsea also got me a USB powered turntable. It came with software allowing me to record vinyl to MP3 format, which means I'll be able to better preserve music from what is a rather fragile format. It also gives me an excuse to check out some of the current music being released on vinyl these days. Just what I needed, an excuse to collect something else..

Chelsea's parents introduced me to this wine a little over a year ago. It's called Chili Dawg, and it's a bit spicy and sweet, but the magic really begins when you add some Easy Cheese to the mix. Add a squirt to the back of your hand or to a Ritz cracker, take a sip of the wine, then eat the cheese. I kid you not, it tastes exactly like a chili dog. And a good chili dog at that. I'm sure some folks would see it as a novelty, but I've never been one to turn my nose up at something delicious.

This is the gift I was anticipating the most. I've known bits and pieces of the history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but this book definitely filled in all the blanks. It's a great read, and it really gives you a good idea of how hard it is for creators to maintain control of their properties, while trying to make them profitable. I actually managed to finish this one yesterday afternoon, but I could easily read it again and again.

Those are just a few of my favorite gifts this year. Chelsea also picked me up a couple of awesome Die Hard and Guardians of the Galaxy holiday themed t-shirts, and her parents gave me a much needed pair of sneakers, along with rather nice sweater. I also got a much needed watch, since I seem to be so hard on them. And of course, there was the usual mix of candies, snacks, K-cups, TMNT themed bath products and warm winter socks. All in all, yet another great year.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's Christmas Eve!

It's hard to believe, but Christmas Eve is already here. Chelsea and I both had to work this morning, and I ended up making a last minute trek to Wal-Mart for a couple of things. In the process of walking around the store, I learned a couple of very important lessons: 1. If I haven't gotten it by Christmas Eve, it can wait until next year. 2. I should never go shopping on an empty stomach. Actually, I should never do anything on an empty stomach, since I turn into a shorter, skinnier version of the Hulk. I honestly think I could flip a car over if I got angry enough. Thankfully, I made it home without any Chris SMASHING, since that would have ruined everyone's holiday.

The tree has been trimmed and the presents are wrapped. They're just sitting there waiting for the moment when we free them from their decorated paper prisons. I rather like how the tree came out this year, I feel like it's one of the best ones yet. Growing up, all we had were artificial trees, and as much as I miss the convenience, there really is no competing with a real tree. Well, except for falling needles and dripping sap. Fake trees have them beat there. Still, I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the smell of fresh pine throughout the house.

Chelsea also set up what I like to call our guest tree, for all the gifts that go to everyone else. The past two years it's been made up to look like a snowman. Next year, I want to make a yeti tree. What can I say, I want a little Halloween in my Cringle.

The stockings are hung, though I'm not sure if it was done with care. This is the first year I haven't heard them come crashing down on top of the gas stove. I used to neglect the stockings, but over the years, some of my favorite gifts have come from them. Plus, they're usually filled with candy, the perfect Christmas morning breakfast.

So now we're just sitting here waiting for Chelsea's parents, my future in-laws, to arrive. In the meantime, there's holiday sangria in the fridge, a cake baking in the oven,cookies in the jars, and Christmas specials on the TV.

You couldn't ask for a much better Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dum Dum's Holiday Pops

I'm a sucker for a good lollipop. Yes, I see what I did there....The problem with most lollipops, is that they stick around for way too long. I know it's crazy for me to complain about a piece of candy lasting too long, but come on. You're saying you've never gotten bored before you got to the bubble gum or Tootsie Roll middle? Bullhockey. Enter Dum Dums, a superior candy on a stick, in holiday flavors no less.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

McDonald's Changeable Fry Bot

I was a good kid. I did my homework, I brushed my teeth, and generally did what my parents told me to do and I never stole anything. Well, except for that one time, back in 1989..

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My official Christmas cookie: Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies

I'm typing this while I'm hopped up on various cold medications, so if I go off on a tangent about juicy leprechauns or how Star Wars Episode VII is obviously inferior because of its lack of goats, don't pay it any attention. Today we're here to talk about my favorite cookies for the holidays:  Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Catching creatures with Matchbox!

I never had a preference between Hot Wheels and Matchbox growing up. Once they were out of the package, I never really cared what brand they were. Admittedly though, I used to call all of them "Matchbox" cars. I'm not sure it was brand recognition so much as it was Matchbox had a better ring to it. It amazes me to think I could be so entertained by regular cars and trucks, but I was. I would spend hours in the floor, racing them around, and using the tow trucks to rescue overturned cars. Sometimes my friends and I would sit at opposite ends of the hallway, and flick the cars at each other, hoping to achieve a head-on collision. We weren't always successful, and it wasn't unusual to have to dig out a splinter after letting a hand brush along the wooden floor. I'm not quite sure what the point of it was, since we didn't really want to break the cars. In a testament to their durability, most of the cars emerged from their impacts unscathed. The same can't be said for the baseboard in the hallway.

So, that long and pointless story was a lead-in to a cool series that I saw mentioned on another blog. Sorry, whoever posted it. I can't remember who you are. It's the Matchbox Capture the Creature series, and I would have loved something like this growing up. The basic premise is there are large monsters, and the vehicle is supposed to catch it. It's a simple concept, even if it is out of left field. Going by some of the other things I've seen from Matchbox though, I probably shouldn't be surprised.

The back of the card shows us how to work the capture arm, though I think it's simple enough that you probably don't need the packaging to help you. There's a preview of the other two sets, one including a giant alligator, and the other a T-Rex. I've seen other sets on Amazon that include everything from giant sharks to woolly mammoths. I mainly picked this one because it was a half track with a big freakin' claw on the back.

The monster included in this set is a giant Yeti. Or is it an Abominable Snowman? I can never tell the difference. It's a frightening creature, with a maw full of teeth and an alien-like face. I'm not sure why he's so angry, but maybe it's because there's no snow. Sorry dude, it's just been a warm December..He's the most oddly proportioned Yeti I've seen, and appears to be little more than a head with arms and stumpy legs. Just look at that thing. There's just no room on his torso for anything but his mouth. Maybe he's more alien than I originally thought.

The Side Tracker is a bad ass off roading vehicle. Those tires are at least 7 ft tall, and it doesn't look like there's much that could stop this thing from rolling over it. The winch on the front is at least 4 ft across, which means there's probably enough tow line on there to pull itself halfway across the country. The one thing that concerns me is that capture claw. It's easily as big as the rest of the truck, and probably weighs just as much. It just seems like putting it on the very back of the truck is a bad idea.

There's some molded detail in the back of the truck, with some shackles on top of a diamond plate. I hate to burst their bubbles, but I doubt those shackles are going to work on that Yeti. Speaking of our furry white friend...

I think our boys would be in trouble if they came up against an actual Yeti that size. He's easily towering over the truck, which would make him close to 20 ft tall. That's 20 feet of super strong, pissed off snow ape.

Check another box in the "poor planning" checklist. The arm isn't exactly maneuverable, and as these guys are about to find out, is actually too short to reach the Yeti. If your primary weapon or mode of capture can be defeated by the target backing up a couple of feet, you're about to have a bad day.

What happens when they get their claw on him isn't much better. Since no one thought to add stabilizer arms to the truck body, the weight of the Yeti easily pulls it over. Then it's just a matter of time before the murderous snow beast gets out of the claw, and opens up the big metal can to get at the tasty, screaming treats inside.

Let's pretend for a moment that they were able to get the hook on the Yeti. And they were able to keep from tipping over. And they actually got him in the back of the truck. The sides of the truck only come up to the monster's knees, or where his knees could be. Worse yet, the Yeti's now within arms reach of the truck's cab, which means he's in arms reach of the people inside. Well, shit.

Let this be a lesson to everyone. If you're going out hunting giant, monstrous snow beasts, don't let rednecks design your equipment.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Punisher Holiday Special!

There are so many classic Christmas stories out there. You have the story of Ralphie and his wish for the elusive Red Ryder BB gun, the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge through the Ghosts of Christmas, and the story of how Clark W. Griswold and his family were almost arrested for kidnapping. However, none of them are as epic as the time the Punisher had to take on a bunch of goons in a shopping mall on Christmas Eve. This is going to be a long one, so grab some snacks and a cup of your favorite hot beverage while Mr. Stunt Zombie reads you a Christmas story.

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