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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Under the Geek Tree 2007

by Ken Newquist / December 25, 2007

 Under the Geek Tree 2007T'was a very geeky Christmas once again this year, and the Geek Tree's rocket tree skirt is filled with all manner of games and toys for thirtysomething boys.

First up, this year's Hess truck goes off-roading with a huge engine-revving 4x4 with two motorcycles. Very cool, and an instant hit with the kids. My annual Star Trek ornament was the bridge of the Enterprise from Wrath of Khan, with the Reliant depicted on screen. It has dialog from the movie, which just makes me want to pop the DVD in and watch it.

The Advanced Players Guide, by Green Ronin, with new spells, new classes and the big surprise -- a mass combat system compatible with D&D. Another big Green Ronin book is the Ultramodern Weapons Guide, which is a d20 Modern-compatible hardcover detailing hundreds of weapons with descriptions, pictures, specs and game stats. I know, perfect for Christmas, but I've heard nothing but good things about the book from my fellow gamers.

Easily the most beautiful book in the Geek Pile is the Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Reborn which is a hard-cover graphic novel collecting the seven-issue comic book series. The art work is simply stunning; I could spend an hour just looking at the images without reading a word.

On the DVD stack there's one of my favorite Christmas specials: The Wish for Wings that Work featuring Opus and Bill of Bloom County fame. I saw it once back in the 1990s, and have only seen it once or twice since (ABC Family: You can show the bizarre Little Drummer Boy specials, but not our penguin Opus?") and was happily surprised to see it under the tree. There's also the first two Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which will kick off my movie-watching adventures this week. They will be joined by the third one as soon as I can get out of the house tomorrow.

I also got a most excellent Phillips iPod Dock/Alarm Clock/Radio, which means I won't have to listen to the moronic over-the-air radio stations any more (unless I really want to).

This was a clothes-light Christmas for me, but I did get one new long-sleeved "Life is Good" t-shirt featuring a Jeep Wrangler and the ubiquitous logo. I love hanging out in these shirts -- I already have one, and I can safely say I've rarely been more comfortable. I look forward to pulling a Mister Rogers this week and hanging out watching Pirates movies and (if there's time) the Lord of the Rings.

The Xbox 360 wasn't left out -- I also got a copy of the Orange Box from my parents, and can't wait to finally play Half-Life 2. I've never had a PC capable of running it, and I refused to play a next-gen shooter on the original Xbox hardware; it just seemed like a crime.