8 Happy Things From My Week

Summer is already shaping up to be a lot looser here on GATM. Traffic is always a little lower in summer, and the content tends to be slightly less serious in general. We’ve also been going through quite a lot here, and the heavy thoughts are not coming with great ease, so here are a few things I’ve encountered this week that made me happy.

 1. Joseph Ratzinger

I’m spending a semester immersed in the writings of Benedict/Ratzinger for a graduate class, and  my family got me Christ Our Joy: The Theological Vision of Pope Benedict XVI for Father’s Day. It focuses on the theme of joy in the pope’s writings, and how Christianity is an outpouring of and invitation to a life of pure joy. I’m enjoying it so far.

 2. The Lego Movie

Lego is the Greatest Toy Ever. Lego games are full of sly wit and brilliant use of pantomime. Even Lego TV shows are pretty decent. About the only bad thing I can say about Lego is the magnetic quality they have for the soft flesh of the bottom of the foot.

And this just looks grand:

YouTube Preview Image

3. Universal Monsters

I’m a 1970s Monster Kid, raised on Universal Monsters, AIP, Hammer, Toho, Harryhausen, Corman, Kong, Aurora Models, and Famous Monsters of Filmland. The original Universal films remain one of my true cinematic loves, and even though I insisted I would not upgrade my whole DVD collection to Blu-Ray, I am picking up some select reissues. The latest are the restored titles in the Universal Classic Monsters Essential Collection. For the first time, the major linchpins of the Universal stable–Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman, Phantom of the Opera, Creature From the Black Lagoon, and the Invisible Man–have been treated to superb digital restorations and cleanups. They have never looked this good, and some, such as Dracula, are an astonishing improvement. Beautiful work on important films, with features carried forward from the old DVD sets and a couple new features as well.

4. Critters

Bertie hanging out in my son’s chess trophy.

Carrie, getting closer to laying

Bell, helping with the gardening

 5. Eggs

My new batch started laying early. Happy happy joy joy.

6. Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption


Drop your toaster-, hairdryer-, and chainsaw-equipped lure into the water; let it drop as deep as possible; catch as many fish as you can on the way up; and then blast them with your orbital laser. Oh yeah. (For iPhone and iPad.)

7. Popeye Volume 5: Wha’s a Jeep?

We now have all but one of Fantagraphics’ beautiful books reproducing EC Segar’s complete run of Popeye. My daughter devours these as soon as they show up. I love ‘em too. In many ways, they’re as good as the Carl Barks and Dona Rosa runs on Uncle Scrooge.

8. This 

And, er … This…

Have a good weekend, folks. May it be filled with popes, Daleks, exploding fish, and 1970s-era kids with mysteriously inappropriate TV show merchandise.

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • http://www.jonathanfsullivan.com/ Jonathan F. Sullivan

    Oh, man. That Lego movie trailer? They had me at “1980-something space guy.”

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com/ Thomas L. McDonald

    That was my favorite bit, too. And Morgan Freeman! Somehow, that makes the gag so much more funny.

    Also: “I only work in black… And sometimes very very dark gray.”

  • http://www.jonathanfsullivan.com/ Jonathan F. Sullivan

    Yeah, the Batman bit was awesome. I’m just hoping that the other major Lego licenses get some love, too. This is our only chance for an Iron Man/Yoda/Gandalf teamup!

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com/ Thomas L. McDonald

    That would be epic.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Yep. For my special needs son who at least for the last six months wants to make a career in Lego, and who wants to start out in the Squires by making a lego model of our Church, that is a must see movie.

  • Thinkling

    The trailer had me at “the greatest movie ever assembled”.

    Tom, ever used the applications Bricksmith, or LEGO Digital Designer? (AKA Dayrazer and Timeannihilator). Thought you might come across them in your gaming.

  • Dale

    In addition to the red flashing light, the Official Star Trek Helmet also beeped. Or as the box describes it: “a pulsing sonic sound.”

    Some adult recently bought one (apparently they are a collector’s item) and he posted numerous photos of it, from various angles.


    The proud owner of this helmet didn’t have to be Spock. He also had the choice to be Kirk, McCoy or Scott.

  • Linebyline

    Well, Disney can get you two-thirds of the way there.

    Edit: Come to think of it, you’ve got a better chance that way, since this is a Time Warner production (hence all the DC characters). I’d better stop there before I accidentally make someone think I actually know anything about comics. ;)

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com/ Thomas L. McDonald

    Yes, both of them. Good stuff!

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com/ Thomas L. McDonald

    I picture some guy with a fat cigar saying, “Eh, I gots this warehouse fulla helmets with lights on ‘em. This Star Track thing is kinda big. Slap some names on ‘em and call it a day.”