The Second Annual Mindless Diversions Unsolicited Shopping Guide



Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Maribou says:

    A note that The Silver Chair – the book – is what I appreciate more, not the actual silver chair. Also, the set I adore is from 2004 and out of print. I am *pretty sure* the linked-to set is the same version, just repackaged with the books, because it’s by the exact same publisher, and still unabridged, and why would they rerecord?? – and it’s cheaper than the 2004 version – but I felt the need to point it out anyway.

    Because I’m funny like that.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Audio books to seem to get reissued and repackaged often, for reasons that are obscure to me. Case in point:

      I once checked out an audio version of Brideshead Revisited from the library, to listen to in the car (long commute.) One of the CDs disappeared somehow, which was bad news because the replacement + restocking fee would have been close to a hundred bucks. I looked online and yes! EBay had a copy of Brideshead Revisited, also narrated by Jeremy Irons, for about ten. I’d just buy it, substitute in the missing CD, and no one would be the wiser. Except that when it arrived it turned out that, even though they were the identical version, the library copy was on 10 CDs and the EBay version on 12.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Awesome choice with ‘The Iron Giant”. That was a regular repeat for us when my oldest daughter was around eight. Fantastic movie, great animation, great story.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I keep going back to it. There are so many movies out there that make me say “Man… I could have watched The Iron Giant instead.”Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        The design of the robot was brilliant with it’s art deco feel and they picked such an interesting time period i.e. the Ike years. Plus the voice acting was really good. Can’t go wrong with HCJ and Jennifer Aniston.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I fell in love with the theme.

          I want to say that it might just be the most didactic movie I’ve ever seen… that I didn’t even notice was bludgeoning me over the head.

          Well, except for the anti-gun thing. But it’s a kid’s movie. Let them learn nuance when they hit the teen years.Report

          • Avatar Glyph says:

            Wall-E was pretty didactic too. Doesn’t make it (or the Iron Giant, which is almost criminally underseen) any less brilliant. Two of the best sci-fi movies (not just kids’ movies) of the last 20 years.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Yeah, Iron Giant is awesome.

      (So is the picture you attached to this post, Jaybird.)Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Why doesn’t the baby have a gun too?

        And the picture also brings to mind the mascot from Obsidian WingsReport

        • Avatar Pat Cahalan says:

          Dude. Babies can’t handle the recoil.


        • Avatar James Hanley says:

          The picture had me wondering why Jaybird is on Mike Dwyer’s Christmas Card list and I’m not.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            LOL! There wasn’t enough camo in the picture for my Christmas cards.Report

          • Avatar Glyph says:

            I know it’s just the angle, but the girl in the picture kind of looks like she is holding Santa at gunpoint (“meet our demands, or the fat man gets it!”).

            Mike will personally be putting coal in her stocking for pointing her gun at anyone, much less that jolly old elf.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

              True story: When I was 19 my brother and I were at the State Fair and they had one of those booths where you can get the old-timey b&w portraits done. The photographer suggested he and I dress as civil war soldiers that were brothers, one Confederate and one Union. I was seated and holding a calvary saber with a confederate flag draped across my lap* My brother was supposed to stand behind me with a gun pointed towards me. In unison we both said, “You never point a gun at someone.” The photographer laughed and told us that was a first.

              * This was also one of the most redneck things I have ever done – and my wife would tell you that is really saying something.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP says:

      Seconded. I’d also add anything by Hayao Miyazaki.Report

  3. Avatar Damon says:

    I want the grenade launcher on the right of the picture.Report

  4. Avatar Matty says:

    Is it normal to buy gifts for your boss and your bosses boss? Maybe this is why I never took to corporate life.Report

  5. Avatar Fish says:

    Two thumbs up on XCOM as game of the year. I may gift it to the lads for Christmas, though part of me would love to see them play the original game first.Report