Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I humped this big old body up and down 4 flights of stairs for a solid 6.5 hours last night. I helped out by providing adult supervision to a crew of youth until 2 a.m.

We played Nerf Tag.
Several of the kids are great tacticians.
I am a big target …

… which means I spent a lot of time going back to base to get tagged back in. That means all the more stairs to climb.

Today my dogs are barking, crying really. This old body ain't what it used to be, but it was great exercise and good fun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Fish scales, mouse fur, hare hair, blood and ear wax were just a few of the choice items examined under the microscope today in the House of Jack. The 8-year-old, you see, got microscope for Christmas. With all the cousins about, we were unable to open it until we got home.

Safe and secure, we opened the gift, got out the prepared slides and made a few slides of our own. It's really cool to see stuff swimming around in my blood.

The daughter loves science and math. She gets excited when it comes to exploring and explaining the world around her. In our home we promote learning and knowledge. Science neither scares us nor shakes our faith.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Not willing to let the warm weather pass me by, I took my hog out for a quick ride – twice, actually. The younger teen cousin (13) visited us after Christmas. He's never been on a motorcycle, so I took him out for a quick spin down the street. Despite the fact that he had to wear my daughter's white and pink helmet, he asked for another – a longer – ride.

I indulged his request and took him out by the coal plant and the lake. Nice twisty curves and little traffic. He loved it and wanted me to take him home on it, but it was getting late (4 pm) and the cold creeps in as the sun goes down. So we took the van to Branson instead.

I bet he will want a bike ride home next time around. Who can blame him?

Sunday, December 28, 2008


The cub and I (with help from our teenage cousin) put the screws to the Lego Star Wars for the Wii. We are impatient pansies and not true gamers; we buy the strategy guides just in case we get stuck. I make no apologies. It's too frustrating otherwise and we don't have hours and hours to spend on gaming anyway.

We've had this game for awhile, but it had to go down to make room for Lego Batman that we got for Christmas. So we punished Star Wars and put it out of it's misery. We are feeling quite victorious and ready to take on Lego Batman.


Lego Indiana Jones Temple Escape

I must admit, I never understood the purpose when Lego came out with movie themed sets. Why spend all that time building a Star Wars TIE Fighter or Indiana Jones temple? Just get the toys and play with them.

I was thinking too practically and not like a kid. I refer you to this story's headline. My daughter wanted Legos for Christmas and for some reason this was her first set. She got two sets of Indiana Jones Legos.

Indiana Jones and the Lost Temple from Lego

We have had the best time putting those boogers together. The Temple Escape took a long time to put together, but we stuck with it.

(PARENTAL NOTE: We Dads like a building challenge, what with all the construction and sticker placement. I slowed down and made sure my daughter did the work. I helped her decipher the picture instructions, but she put most of the pieces together herself. It was hard at times because I really wanted to help her, but I sat still. It took longer that way, but the whole ordeal was much more satisfying. She was quite proud of herself afterward.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Comedy blogger, Jason Rohrblogger, is at it again with yet another wicked top ten list. I'll leave you with this Christmas list suitable for framing.

May you have a riotous Christmas.


Phillip A. Roberson, a Christian, is none too happy with the attitudes and behaviors of many of Springfield's finest followers of Jesus. He finds there is more lip service and Old Testament anger than Christian love.

Roberson makes a good point about the always controversial Rev. Rice and his homeless ministry, especially centered around veterans. Oh yes, we love to sport those magnetic ribbons on the back of our vehicles, but when it comes to creating shelter and food for the veterans, we are not so supportive.

Seems to me that Jesus was also rather controversial and thumbed his nose at authority and rules. Made the powers that be blood thirsty. Rice does the same, not that he is Jesus. Of course, there is a legitimate concern that Rice is so lackadaisical about rules that rape, murder and chainsaws are real concerns.

You can read Roberson's letter to the editor here.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I choose the N-Strike Long Shot, a sniper-like rife with a detachable pistol.
It holds two, six-round clips and has a righteous bipod.

We had Christmas with Skinny Kitty's family on Saturday and the daughter and I got a wicked-cool gift from Mrs. Claus: Nerf guns! The daughter didn't ask for this, but she has enjoyed it none-the-less.

Our church youth group is having a lock-in over the holiday and we decided rather than playing sardines, our old standby, we thought it would be fun to shake things up and play Nerf tag. So everyone is purchasing a Nerf gun, or asking for one for Christmas.

This is Cubbie's gun. It sports a laser sight, and a detachable barrel extension.
It also has a six-round clip. This puppy shoots a long way
and is a good one for a little one.

So I had to buy one. Skinny Kitty had enough sense to know that I would likely torment our child with the thing, so she insisted that I buy one for my Cubbie. Low and behold, she really enjoys it, so long as I do not pummel her with soft darts, which I don't.


For some reason Britney Spears thinks she has a stink that others want to smell. Judas Priest, she's shloping it all over the TV. Sweet jumping monkeys! Why would anyone purposefully purchase and put on the stank smell of hooker? I can't bear it.


It is official. The Nintendo Wii is the bomb, if sales numbers have anything to say about it. So far the Wii has sold almost 11 million consoles, 666,000 of which were sold in June of this year. Dang, that is a lot of game machines in one month. The report also states that "six out of the top ten games sold in the US were for Nintendo consoles.

In other cool Wii news, manga may be coming to the Wii as well. The big four Japanese manga publishers (manga being Japanese-style comics) have joined forces to bring comics to the already rockin' game machine.

As for the Jack household, we are hoping Santa will bring us Lego Batman and the strategy guide for Christmas.

Thanks to the always cool, Newsarama, for reporting important news.


That's the goal this holiday season and thus far it is working. At least we are finding more success than in years past. We are a big fella, but you probably gathered that from the title of the blog. Our doc made a great suggestion: Don't eat at parties.

I laughed when I first heard this because if not eating were a real possibility I would not have so much in common with Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin. The truth of the doctor's remarks were not so bleak or simple, but they were not complicated either.

She suggested I eat a full, satisfying meal before I go to any holiday parties, especially but not limited to, those endless troughs of deep fried butter-laced, sugar-rolled, early-death concoctions. I'm looking at you Ooey, Gooey Butter Cake recipe so famous during Christmas. This stuff is baked heroine. So anyway, when I got to the party I do not partake of a single morsel of food. Nothing, nit, nadda, no way, no how, no thank you. If I start I will not stop.

It is doable. Not without a good deal of work and mind-prep ahead of time, but it is doable. So far I have used this technique at three parties, and I am using it for one more. Typically, I sit as far away from the kitchen or the food as possible and I refuse to go into those areas. Skinny Kitty is kind enough to refill my water or tea (I drink my plain, thank you. The only thing I don't want sugar added.) If folks want to talk to me, they have to come where I am.

Tomorrow's party is the coup de grace of difficult holiday parties as it involves one family member who equates the food with love. It may be a small party, but we will be knee deep in food: lard, sugar, salt, and butter. I have a plan and I am prepped for battle.

It ain't easy being hungry.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Geeks take notice. Two nods to old TV shows are coming to comics. The first is a comic book tie-in to the new Star Trek movie. Writer Roberto Orci, had this to say about the new Trek comic title: “Star Trek: Countdown lays the groundwork for what happens in the movie. It’s our way of passing the baton from the Next Generation characters and their movies to the new film.” Star Trek Countdown hits shelves January 2009.

The other is a comic version of the cult favorite, The Greatest American Hero. Don't know when this title comes out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This crazy Japanese musician, Merce Death, hooks his guitar up to a Tesla coil rather than an amp. What you see is the electric hell lightning of a super villain in the making.

He's playing AC/DC's Thunderstruck, of course.


Time Magazine announced their Person of the Year on the Today Show this morning. As you can see from the image, it was our president-elect. Time considered making us, the voters, the Person of the Year again, but thankfully they learned from their last mistake of choosing us, all of us, again. That was a ridiculous and trite thing to do, gimmicky and all. 

I'm sure this year's pick will be controversial as well. You can read their reasoning by clicking here. I'm not sure I would have picked him until we see more of what he accomplishes, but I understand why they did. 


I was lamenting my luck the other day, posting a bit on the unfortunate breakdown on my dryer. It's back online and working fine, thanks to the handy services of the appliance guy who had a replacement element in his truck. 

Last night, during my last final for the week, the sole of my shoe explodes. The heel disintegrated, leaving behind bits of black rubber shrapnel all over the floor. Of course, it didn't happen to just any pair of shoes. Oh no, it was my only pair of snow boots. Actually, they are Red Head hunting boots: water proof, tall, and thinsulated. 

Crap almighty. Christmas and taxes have depleted the savings and we are trying hard to save every penny. There used to be a shoe repair shop in the mall, but I don't think it's there anymore. I've got to find one, and quick. Have those expensive boots re-soled before the next storm. I'm hoping that doesn't cost too much. 


The good news is that finals are over. I'm a graduate student and that means I have plenty of homework to work on over break. The majority involves my seminar paper (thesis). Today … well today I am taking a day off. No homework. Just a rest. I'm not feeling all that great anyway – sinus crud. 

I'm hoping nothing else goes wrong until after Christmas. 


He is probably the most famous and loved character in the X-Men mythos. Deadly, powerful and troubled, the ladies want to save him and the men want him dead. Although the modern lady is a bit turned off by all the body hair. 

Enjoy the movie trailer. Let's hope it is better written than X3, which was such a disappointment. Gotta love the fact that he rides a bike, and not some cafe racer either, but a man's bike. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Why bother composing a piece on the great Bush shoe debacle when these guys already did it? And I might add they did it much better than I could have. I must admit, I hadn't put the Mortal Kombat part together, but I had wondered about the sloth-like reaction of the Secret Service.

While I am busy linking funny stuff from other people, I might as well add another link from the funny folks at Cracked. This one is about some horribly misleading euphemisms.

Monday, December 15, 2008


There is so much news I want to write about, process and rant on and on about. I just don't have the energy or the thought processes to do it. I will say that I think church burning is horrible. If it were politically motivated (and we don't know if it was or was not, but it is possible) then that just makes me crazy. We just shouldn't harbor that kind of hate, political or not.

Other than that, all you get is a hearty and deep felt: JUDAS PRIEST! That should cover all the crap I want to rail on and rant about.

[end pitiful excuse for a rant]


Actually, it's not all that bad. Most of my work are projects and not test-based. Two major things I am working on (my classroom website and my master's thesis) are still in progress. I was hoping to have both done this semester. So was my graduate advisor and technology instructor. Unfortunately, it does not always work that way. Not my fault and not theirs either. Paperwork takes time and anyone that has worked with the government bodies knows that all too well. New projects have kinks. It's just that both problems have hit me this semester. I'm trying hard to stay positive about it all and not freak.

I just don't want to have to finish both projects while I am student teaching next semester. That would just stink. Stink, I tell you. I am taking some down time to work on the classroom web page and blog. It's been fun.


Talk about bad timing. Skinny was doing some laundry last night and noticed that the jeans were taking an extraordinary long time. The heating element on the dryer went out. Double Dang. So I called the man and he fixed it in about 30 minutes. Cost me $120 for parts and labor. Couldn't have come at a worse time. Isn't that how it always works?

On the other hand, it could have been worse. I could have been unfixable, junked, tanked, toasted, shot. That would have really sucked cause we ain't got the goods to buy new equipment. So it's not all that bad. Still sucks, but not as much as it could have.


On Saturday, the teens in our church youth group took $1,300 raised and went to Wal-Mart to shop for other children. One of our church's mission is supporting The Council of Churches' Toy Store. It's like Toys for Tots and other children's Christmas gift outreach programs.

The teens, split into groups of 3, took their carts and budgets and shopped like mad. Our assignment was to purchase for ages 13-18. I was lucky enough this year to go along. The teens have done this for several years, but I've never gone with them.

The other adult and I stood in the electronics department, next to the Apple iPods and watched the teens roll up and down the aisles, laughing, giggling and screaching about their finds. I have never seen teens so excited to give back to someone else. They've served food to the homeless (and not just during Christmas), worked on building projects for a local abused women's shelter … things like that. They have always appreciated and enjoyed the experiences.

But nothing compares to buying toys for kids. Nothing. The teens take off work to do this. They skip scouts to do this. They make it work because they love it. They know what kids their own age like. I'm glad I got to be a part.

I didn't help pick out gifts, although I wanted to, but this is their deal. I was excited when I saw they bought some serious Nerf guns, a Star Wars AT-TE, and some mp3 players. Very cool and very exciting.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's been rumored since The Dark Knight hit theaters that Heath Ledger might be up posthumously for several awards, especially an Oscar. The awards season is turning its wheels and so far the rumor is playing out with Ledger's Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. He is up against the following power houses:

Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Ralph Fiennes, The Duchess
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt

That's the only nod to The Dark Knight. I noticed that Sons of Anarchy didn't make the list either. Dang. I love that show, but it's not necessarily new when considering other mob-like shows with complex and human characters. But it has bikes, that should count for something. [sigh]

I think Tiny Fey may have a good shot at her nod for Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical. Debra Messing is probably her best competition, but I suspect Fey may win, due more to her portrayal of the former vice presidential contender than anything else. I've never seen 30 Rock. I don't watch much TV anymore what with night classes and all.

We saw Tropic Thunder. It was good, but not as funny as I expected. Downey did a nice job, better than Cruise, but I'm not a Cruise fan, although I tolerated him in The Last Samurai.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Gov. Rod Assbag, (D-Ill.) is accused of douchebaggery at the expense of the people of Illinois specifically and of democracy generally. Government for sale, so long as it benefits me, appears to be his mantra.

He is accused of going so far as to threaten to pull funding from a children’s hospital because his campaign didn’t get a contribution from them recently. Sweet googly moogly! Not to mention the fact that he allegedly tried to auction off Obama’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. He also tried to use his power to force the Chicago Tribune to give some editorial writers the axe for not being nice to him.

The FBI is on it and there are tape recordings of him doing his dirty deeds. The amazing part about all of this is that he knew he was under investigation and that the feds might be listening in.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


The cesspool that is our economy means every facet of life is affected. We've noticed that several restaurants have new menus. We have also noticed that portions are smaller. When Skinny Kitty ordered a burger from the best burger place in town (in her humble opinion) she noticed the burger no longer met the bun, but was tucked deep inside. We also noticed that the weight of the burger is no longer listed on the menu.

The Today Show had a segment this morning on this very issue. Rather than raise prices, many companies are downsizing their product. Oftentimes the packaging is exactly the same. Skippy Peanut Butter was the big one. The package is identical, except for the new indentation in the bottom of the plastic bar. The new product is minus 2 ounces.

It is to be expected, but passing the new thing off as the old one is a tad sneaky.

Mouse Print
follows this kind of stuff, calling it the fine print.

Monday, December 08, 2008


There is one gift this season that is sure to please any member of your family. Buy your loved ones a subscription to FAT JACK's ERRATIC RANTS for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Eid al Adha. They are sure to thank you for it.

Happy Holidays!


While the Springfield News-Leader is firing everyone in sight, some bigger papers are having even bigger troubles. Just more indications that the economy is bad, but then again newsprint has been having troubles competing for sometime. Anyone think Congress will bail newspapers out, too? I doubt it.


It looks like Congress is likely to pass a bail out for the Detroit 3. I'm not sure that is what we should do, but I also don't feel I have enough economic training to make a truly informed decision. I doubt many typical Americans do. What I do believe is that we should not repeat our mistake with the banking industry. We cannot just hand the auto makers a free check to do with what they will. We should not have done that with the banks. We gave them the money with the intention that they would release lending, but that has not happened. Bastards, one and all. If we are going to pass a Detroit 3 bail out then we must:

  1. Make them repay it.
  2. Require them to invest heavily in energy-efficient alternatives.
  3. Kill outrageous CEO pay stubs and bonuses.
  4. Require a real business model that will compete globally. (related to #2)
  5. Have oversight and ability to retract money for noncompliance.


Comics have long been able to respond to real-world events. They have been used to garner support for wars against Germans and Japanese, even being sent to troops during wartime back in the day. Captain America has often gone overseas to fight America’s enemies. The X-Men took on the issue of Black civil rights, using two mutant leaders as a metaphor for the philosophies of MLK versus Malcolm X.

Today is no different. No sooner is Barack Obama elected our next president as his likeness is thrust into the comic world, beginning with Savage Dragon #145, according to Newsarma. Why? Savage Dragon endorsed Obama in the #137 issue in September. Click here to read all about it.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


… that does not include waging a war in order to establish a president's personal legacy. Today the soon-to-be leader of the free world let loose his vision of change, his plan to actually do something to benefit this country without shedding more innocent blood. Thank God.

It's being called the 21st Century New Deal, which I'm sure will have conservatives spinning and whirling, spitting and twirling. His plan, and this over-simplified, is to rebuild road and bridges, help schools prepare students to actually live and function in the 21st Century world, bring more broadband Internet access to Americans, and establish interconnectedness with hospitals. using electronic medial records. It's called investment, and successful companies invest in themselves all the time in order to stay competitive.

You can read all about it at

This all hinges on the creation of jobs, you know those things that are required for a free market economy to function, those things that are flushing down the toilet the longer W is in office. Personally, I am excited to have real change and a real vision that is not just a singular vision of "kill 'em all and let God sort them out" mentality.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Batman goes back to the screen and then we hear word that Superman is getting the reboot, (says Newsarama) meaning they are completely ignoring the swirling mess of poo that was Superman Returns. [shudder]

I've never been too keen on the Man of Steel. I mean, he's okay and all, but there's something about him I think is kinda sissy. Funny isn't it, as he is the strongest being on the face of the planet. In a fair fight, he could take Batman or any other caped hero except maybe Wonder Woman, but there's no such thing as a fair fight is there? Superman is just too sissy and goody for my taste. If I'm going to go the good guy route, I much prefer Captain Marvel (the one you probably know as Shazam!) I like him because he is a boy who utters those magic words (Shazam!) when the world needs him, and turns into Captain Marvel. He's a goody-good if ever there was one, but that makes sense because he is really just a kid in an adult superhero's body. We expect him to say holey moley and golly gosh and things like that.

So help me, if they make this Superman a family-deserting bastard, who can amazingly lift a freaking island infused with Krypton, (his only death sentence) I am going to explode. Explode, I tell you. Judas Priest! These writers get paid how much to completely ignore the basics of the mythos?

I'd much rather see a Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel or new Batman movie over Superman, but they didn't ask me, did they? I doubt they plan on it either.


Newsarama has the story that the newest Batman film – the best Batman flick ever made in my opinion – is re-opening in theaters on January 23. The next big question is: Will Heath Ledger get an nod from the Academy. It's been rumored ever since the film was released. This is a film that is a must-see on the big screen. The television, even if it is over 50 inches of high def coolness, simply will not do the movie justice.


Cracked has done it again, this time asking readers to submit their tackiest, photo-shopped holiday decorations for the holiday season. You simply must click. I dare not post the photos, but this is some funny stuff. Click here and enjoy.

Personally, number 11 is my favorite.


We don't see too many female superhero comic book titles, and when we do often times the female is hyper-sexualized with pouty lips and big breasts. This is not always the case, but it occurs often. Finding a super female protagonist suitable for children is not too easy.

Johnny DC (DC's children's line) released Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade #1 yesterday and it is exactly what this father has been looking for. Supergirl is a 13-year-old girl who acts like a girl and not like a teenager masquerading as a 22-year-old college student with club clothes.

My daughter and I read it last night and it was fantastic reading. I highly recommend it for anyone with a young girl in the home. She's just what the daddy ordered. Good for DC and good for us.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


How exactly does a book review serve as an op/ed piece in the paper? Would they publish my review of Hellboy II as a Voice of the Day now? Where is the criteria for submissions? Judas Priest! No wonder people are forecasting the death of the daily newspaper. We want opinions of national, state and local interest not book reviews. Besides, it's a poor book review at that. If I wanted a synopsis I could read the book jacket. Is insight too much to ask?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Thanks to a Jack operative, we read Den of Geek's article on the 84 comics that are becoming movies. I am particulary interested in Thor and Wonder Woman, Caliber, Iron Man 2, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Akira, Iron Fist, Pet Robots, and Billy Batson and the Legend of Shazam.

What strikes your fancy? What tickles your crazy bone? What glazes your eyes with geeky goodness?

Monday, December 01, 2008


Grandma Juju holding my new born daughter back in 2000.

The manager of The Complaints Department is a big puking putz for sending out a meme. Worst part is that he is so dadgum lazy that he doesn't even send it personally, but just tacks the thing on to the end of his post as if we should comply. I didn't think I would, but just for fun I checked out the fourth photo in my iPhoto library. It's one of my favorite photos.

Grandma is now deceased, having passed on earlier this year. Granny is holding my baby girl not long after she was born. I love this photo. The pain still stings, especially for my mother. This will be our first Christmas without Juju. But we are keeping positive and thankful working to remember good things. So I'll post this picture of my granny, but not because of any stinking meme.


Most of my conservative buddies – and yes I have plenty of cons in the friends and family tree – think the moon glows for Ronald Reagan. He is a favorite president for many people, that is for sure. I write this blog post with friend, Larry, especially in mind as he loves comics and Ronald Reagan. See where this is going?

I was search the tube this morning and found a comic book biography of Ronald Reagan. It is from Hill and Wang, a subsidiary of Macmillan. I just had to blog. From the website:

“He confronted evil empires, planned Star Wars missile defense systems, and advocated supply-side economics. Let’s face it: Ronald Reagan’s presidency is tailor-made for comic-book art. Whether explaining how the onetime Franklin Roosevelt New Dealer became the conservative right’s standard-bearer, how a B-list actor became General Motors’s pitchman then governor of California, or how a union president became an anti-union President, this graphic biography does what no other biography can: visually narrate the life of a man who relied on stage directions and political theater to become America’s “Great Communicator.” The blended genius of Andrew Helfer (onetime group editor at DC Comics), Steve Buccellato (whose artwork has been published by Epic, Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse), and Joe Staton (artist for E-Man, Green Lantern, and most recently Scooby-Doo) makes Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography an absolutely original, absolutely factual, and absolutely unforgettable history of America’s fortieth president.”