Warehouse 13: Secret Santa (2010)

Let me start by saying I didn't know anything about this show going into this episode, other than that it's sort of The Last Scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Series. What I knew by the end is that it's really just that: a series of wacky adventures based loosely on a bunch of made-up magical artifacts based even more loosely on historical figures and events. (I have since watched another, more recent episode, which sucked much less than this one.)

This Christmas episode features a cynical banker-type being tormented by a spectral Santa, who threatens to make him “disappear” unless he changes his ways. There's a sub plot about reuniting another character with his father. It's not boring, but all of the plot turns are horribly cliché and I just want to smack all of these characters for overacting and being morons.

The dialogue is fairly clunky, although the cheesy B-grade CG special effects amuse me. There's some decent use of silly creepy Christmas music, …

Arthur Christmas (2011)

This might change after I see this a few more times, but for the time being I consider Arthur up there with the best Christmas movies ever made. The top three - Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf, and Miracle on 34th Street - are now the top four.

At its core, Arthur Christmas is a brilliant little picture about a dysfunctional family at Christmas time. The reason we should care is that this family is heir to the Santa dynasty, a lineage of Father Christmases going to back to St. Nicholas.

There's a lot to like in this one. Right off the back, the portrayal of the operation is ingenious and original. Comparisons to the Star Trek Enterprise are obvious - I'd argue that there are at least as many parallels with Battlestar Galactica. This Santa's using technology a few hundred years ahead of the rest of the world. Intriguingly, they've also got some more traditional magic in reserve, though that's generally become obsolete.

The elves appear quickly and instantly steal t…

Cracking Open an Ice-Cold Can of Christmas

I know, I know. You've had a long day at work, and you're exhausted. You need something cool, refreshing. Something to take the edge off.

So you crack open a nice, cool can of Christmas Tree. Yeah, that should hit the spot.

When Lindsay and I heard these were for sale at the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. in Seattle, Washington, we hopped a plane across the country to pick one up.

Just thought you might like some background on what's been growing these last few months.

More Photos:

Holiday Flash Games

Yes, it's the holiday season, but you don't need to wrap those presents yet. Come on, you don't really need an excuse to waste time online, do you?

For your amusement: a handful of my favorite Holiday themed online games.

Factory Balls: Christmas Edition

A puzzle game about painting white balls in various patterns.  It's more challenging, and more fun, than it sounds, but won't take that long to finish.

Grow: Ornament

A bite-size grow game, shorter and simpler than the original


A simple "use the objects to jump as high as you can without falling" game, set apart by the use of an adorable snowy setting.

Garden Gnome Carnage

Fling the gnome-on-a-bungee around to fight off legions of Santas and elves as long as you can.  Yeah... it's kinda weird.

Christmas Lights Spot-the-Difference

Like most spot-the-difference games, this is pretty easy, but there are enough scenes for you to get heartily sick of "Angels We Have Heard on High", even th…

Batman Returns (1992)

It's funny – I've always hated this movie.

I actually saw it when it first came out. I didn't know what the word 'campy' meant then, but the portrayal of the characters and setting was just a bit too cartoonish for me at the time. I remember thinking that the first one was serious, while the second one was just a joke.

But I've recently re-watched both Tim Burton Batman movies, and it turns out they're both equally campy; in their own, dark way, they're actually no less campy than the Adam West version. It also turns out I've been wrong about Batman Returns for my entire life.

This movie kicks ass.

Granted, this isn't the Batman geeks like myself have come to embrace. This Batman lacks the comic version's flat out moral refusal to kill. In fact, he incinerates one goon and shoves dynamite down the pants of a second (and then has the audacity to lecture Catwoman about killing later: the hypocrite). But this does a fantastic job exploring the…

A Chipmunk Christmas (1981, 1989)

Erin and I have a... disagreement about The Chipmunks. I find them mostly inoffensive to funny, and I have a bit of a soft spot for their animated selves that stems from a love of The Chipmunk Adventure movie. (I have no idea whether that movie is actually any good, but I loved it as a kid.)

Erin hates The Chipmunks, and he can't even identify why. So for his commentary, you can just imagine him tearing his hair, muttering about stupidity and incoherently shouting in exasperation.

A Chipmunk Christmas (1981)
This TV Special was a loose sequel to the 1961-62 animated series The Alvin Show, and aspects of it make no sense without a basis in that, including a nonsensical dream sequence about the other segment from that series.
So here's the set-up: cliché sick kid at Christmas. Alvin gives the kid his harmonica because he's a big fan. But oh, no! Now Carnegie Hall is calling, and Alvin needs money for a new harmonica! Plus stupid misunderstandings and lots and lots of stop…

Christmas Reading

Because I know you can't get enough of reading me prattle on and on about Christmas HERE, I thought it would be a good time to remind you that I've written a novel about Mr. Claus. You can get my fantasy novel, For Love of Children, in print or for just about any e-format you need.

And that's not all. I've marked the electronic versions down for the holidays. That's right - you can buy For Love of Children for Kindle, Nook, or... what the hell's Sony's reader called again? Oh, who cares - no one owns one of those anyway.
So, yeah. Kindle, Nook, whatever: it's yours for a measly 99 cents. Less than a buck.
Here's where you can buy it on Amazon.

Here's where you can get it for, well, anything and everything on Smashwords (recommended if you own multiple devices and want more than one format).

If you own a Nook, you can get it at Barnes & Noble's online store here.

All of the above sites offer free samples, but Smashwords will give you a big…