Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I have been working with my fat doctor to lose weight. It is so hard for me. I have struggled with weight all my life; I try but I always feel hungry. This is not a pitty party where I lament my struggles.

The doc tells me that I must, to be success, chart my daily caloric intake in some form and exercise. I am do some kind of fit-pitching with those, I must admit. Seeing me type in my next appointment on the iPod Touch, the doc suggested I use technology to make this laborious task easier.

There is, my friends, an app for that. Both are highly rated by users and health magazines.

Lose It!
Free application
This app gives me insight into my eating and exercise habits by giving me a food journal preprogrammed with many foods. I set, or rather my doctor sets, a calorie maximum and by entering the foods, I can tell if I have gone over, stayed under, and my exercise is also logged. All of it is graphed for me. You can print or export yet, but the company is working on it.

Nutrition Menu – Calorie Counter
$2.99 one time price
This handy-dandy app gives the user access to 80,000 food items including major and minor restaurant chains. So when I go out, and I really shouldn't over the next month, I can make better choices. I can also add those items to the food journal above.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I received a phone call from an uncle. In his basement was an unread copy of The Washington Post dated Friday, November 22, 1963. The headline: "President Kennedy Shot Dead by Assassin in Dallas Parade". My uncle wanted me to have this tragic piece of history. He was in the Navy at the time and a friend of his sent him the paper. He's kept it all these years.

My first thought was to the size of the elephantine paper. It is a whopping 15 inches wide and 1.25 inches thick. That made me reflect on the importance of the newspaper industry at the time and the declining relevance of the newspaper today.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


It is the first I've heard of it although it's been running the tubes for some time. Nickelodeon's popular cartoon, Avatar: The Last Airbender, will get its chance on the silver screen. It is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and is slated to come out in 2010. Dev Patel, the young man from Slumdog Millionaire will play the part of Prince Zuko.

My daughter and I have watched several of the cartoon episodes on DVD. We love it. It's exciting and full of martial arts action. It is pretty exciting.

Picture and information from


Now that I am home by myself, I can rent some movies that are just for me and not the family. I put TAKEN at the top of my Netflix queue and watched it yesterday.

Typical rich girl thinks she is ever so mistreated when her father (parents divorced) refuses to sign a waiver to all the 17-year-old live in Paris for the summer with her girlfriend. The mother, who remarried a wealthy man, sticks it to him for his good common sense. He feels guilty and agrees.

Fortunately for the girl, her daddy is an ex-CIA operative – a "preventer" – and when she calls him when the bad guys enter the house to kidnap the two teens to sell them into a sex ring. He springs into action to save his daughter, while leaving a trail of dead (and tortured) bad buys in his wake.

It was entertaining but not for the mother. A kidnapped daughter movie is not her cup of tea.


Trekkies (or Trekkers as they are also called) are undoubtedly the greatest, and most rabid, fans in the world. When a woman called to serve on a jury goes dressed in her Trek regalia then you know we have hit the zenith of fandom. These folks had an entire movie dedicated to them; we watched TREKKIES this weekend. I have TREKKIES 2 on the Netflix queue.

It's not bad. In fact, I think this the decade of geek-chic where the costumed convention goers of all types are no longer fringe but mainstream (almost). I have geek pride and I celebrate my horn-rimmed brothers and sisters.

I don't consider myself a rabid fan of anything, but I do enjoy comics, sci-fi, fantasy, conventions and all kinds of nerdness. I tell you that it is okay.

So is the movie. My wife and I laughed, sometimes at the extremes the fans go to and some at me. I still have my vintage collection of He-man, G.I. Joe, and Transformer action figures as well as many of the Lord of the Rings toys. They cover the walls in my office and are stuffed in boxes in my garage. I love every single second of it. Why not? I have an original Masters of the Universe Castle Greyskull from the 1980s in its original box, unopened! It's one of my prized pieces.


The lovable 6-pound pet devoured two more animals this week. He caught two rabbits (a baby and an adult bunny). The baby he caught at my grandmother's house. The adult he caught in our yard. I didn't know about it until he got hungry in the middle of the night and woke me up. I thought he needed to pee. I was wrong. I wondered what was taking him so long. I went out there to see him gnawing on a half-eaten carcass. I cleaned him up, threw the remains away and went back to bed. That dog loves his yard. No one would ever guess that really sweet dog could manage to catch and kill adult rabbits. He is something else. The gorging does induce vomitting. He eats too much rich rabbit and hurls it up later. So I to get to his kill as fast as possible.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Last night I donned the bow tie, cuff links and jacket for The Springfield Business Journal's 40 Under 40 celebration. My wife the advocate and do-gooder was honored for her incredible and influential work with persons who have disabilities.

Approximately 300 of Springfield's finest attended the event to honor these 40 influential people. This year's celebration took on an Oscar theme, which is right up our alley. We walked the red carpet and took pictures getting out of a limo (photo prop) and it was a hoot. Local radio personalities, Kevin and Liz, were the emcees and they were snappy with the impromptu jokes. It was a great time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Missouri's motorcycle helmet mandate repeal is on the desk of the Governor. Will he or won't he? I hope that he does veto the repeal and keep the helmet laws on the books. Now, that will put me in dutch with my biker friends, the Harley ones anyway. Speaking in generalities, the majority of the hog riders seem to support helmet repeals. For them it is a rights issue.

Interestingly enough, the metric bikers appear to be more aligned with the wearing of real helmets. I cannot think of the last time I saw some college kid on a cafe racer without a full face helmet. It is a safety issue with the rest of us.

Rights versus Safety/Common Good

The Common Misconception about Motorcycle Helmets
I think most people assume that all riders wear helmets now because of the law. They would be wrong. Oh, we all wear something on our heads to prevent law enforcement entanglements, but many of the helmets you see on Harley riders and cruiser-styled bikes are not helmets at all.

There are three types of legal, DOT-approved helmets. They are pictured below. All three provide proper protection against head injuries.

The type that most Harley riders were is this plastic novelty helmet shown below. It has no protective foam of any kind. It is merely a plastic shell designed to get around helmet laws.

I have a full face, a half helmet and a novelty helmet. I've worn them all. When I first started riding, I bought a novelty helmet because that's what everyone else did. They are more comfortable. The man that sold it to me gave me a DOT sticker to put on it to keep from getting in trouble with the law. I never put it on. The police don't care so long as you have something helmet-like on your bulb.

I later decided that I wanted to protect my grey matter. I am a father after all. So my wife bought me a DOT half helmet from Harley. I love it. It is a bit bulkier, heavier and hotter than the novelty helmet; however, it offers protection. My daughter has a full face helmet. By the way, a child needs a youth helmet. Adult helmets come too low on a child or youth and can damage their neck in an accident. Also, never buy a used helmet. They may appear safe, but if they have been:
  1. Dropped
  2. In an accident
  3. Are too old
They will not provide protection. Helmets can often get hairline cracks in the foam if they have been dropped or in an accident. They may bust in another accident. The foam breaks down over time and old helmets should be discarded. I don't know if they can recycled but that would be a good idea.

When people cite the statistics regarding increased fatalities because of helmetless riders, I am often skeptical because the people who hate helmet laws, do not wear helmets currently. They wear brain buckets and are at an equal risk of injury and death as a helmetless rider.

I hope Gov. Nixon vetoes the bill. I don't think it is in the best interests of the community. The helmet law is the same as the seat belt law and we don't have active lobbies to repeal those. Do we?

I'm curious if insurance companies have any clauses that prevent them from having to pay out in the event a biker is not wearing a real DOT helmet? I don't think they should, but it would not surprise me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


The pretty boy with less talent won American Idol. That's okay. Kris won the hearts of many a mom who dreamed of her little girl bringing home a nice young man. Forget the fact that he can only sing one or two genres.

I don't think he expected to win. He managed a murmur amongst the music and fanfare: "Adam deserves it." Even Kris knows his talent takes a backseat to Adam. So be it. That is the game we play.

I will say, American Idol was a really entertaining show tonight. Cindi Lauper, KISS, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Queen, and Queen Latifah were among the acts tonight, which made for a great time.

They had their own Golden Idol award, which was a kind of Oscar spoof. I love it that American Idol doesn't take itself too seriously. They gave awards to the stinkers and pot stirrers of the bunch. Really funny stuff.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Tonight's sing-off on American Idol left me a little luke warm. It was okay, but not what I had hoped for. I wanted a bit more rock from Adam. Chris got his backside handed to him in that last song.

They announced twice that tomorrow night's 2-hour finale will go over time. If you DVR, plan for an extra long inning.


Twice last week we went to my favorite restaurant, Umi, to celebrate my graduation. Oddly enough The Springfield Foodie blogged about Umi, too.

I love food, don't you know, but Umi is at the top of my list. I cannot eat their often because lets face it. Who can afford to eat sushi on a regular basis? During my 3.5 year college ordeal, my little family and I have always gone to Umi to celebrate the passing of the semester. We haven't missed a beat.

On Saturday night we went to Umi with our group of friends. Four of us shared three huge plates of sushi while the others ordered off the regular menu. It was so much fun and the food is incredible. My favorite is the ninja roll. It has all kinds of junk in it including a Japanese hot sauce. Dang, it is wonderful. I also love the rolls that The Foodie talked about.

The atmosphere is a bit jazzy, intimate, and quiet. I never feel rushed and I can hear all 12 of the people in my party. I hate it when restaurants are so loud you can't converse.


I could care less about yard work. It is not important to me and I avoid it like the plague. However, I had a wild grape vine growing on the house and into the fascia/soffit. I also had some not-so-sapling trees growing next to the foundation

It was time to do something and Grandma was very excited. She is 92 and her health is failing, but the woman lives for two things: teaching elementary school and yard work.

Grandma: "What are you doing tomorrow? Do you want to clean up your yard."
Jack: (Oh, Hell no.) "Sure, why not.
Grandma: "Come pick me up. What time will you be by?"
Jack: "After my meeting."

She was so excited, she starting working in her own, quite meticulous, yard that morning. I picked her up and we started cutting, sawing and snipping. Grandma can't cut or saw, but she can take the hand clips and snip-snip all kinds of little buggers. We worked for a while and then I made us take a break. She looked tired. We sat on the porch with two glasses and a pitcher of ice water and admired our work. She was proud and pleased. We cut more than I wanted to, but it really did need it.

After our break she sat in a chair and bossed me: "cut this; cut that; you didn't cut that right." It was really cute. I took her home in the early afternoon so she could rest, as she was really tired. One might be inclined to cringe that a 92-year-old woman was doing yard work, especially one who has had a mini-stroke.

We have talked as a family and we decided that she is happiest when she can work in her yard and have control over her life. If Grandma, God forbid, were to keel over and die right in the backyard she would, I can assure you, meet God with a smile on her face and snips in her hand. I am okay with that. Even the elderly need control in their lives and they need to do things that make them happy.

She is all the more happy that she gardened with her grandson. So I am. Don't tell her, but I rather enjoyed it. I don't like yard work anymore than I did, but I enjoyed our time together. I loved the fact that she loved bossing me. I don't listen much, but I giggled when she tried to do it.


Today is my day off. Yesterday, I had all kinds of classroom errands to run. Then I came home and cleaned away brush from the back 40. I have four huge piles of brush that need to be hauled away. It was good exercise.

This fine day will consist of a few telephone errands, some movie watching and, perhaps, some Wii playing. Why? Because I can. I started the day off right by waking up at 9:21 a.m. That's quite a record for me. Sleeping in for me is 7:30 a.m. Oh man, did it feel good.

I called Skinny Kitty at work to tell her what time I woke up. Oh, I know. I am a punk.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Indeed, the STAR TREK future does begin again – a new series for a new generation and the old one as well (assuming one is not too rabid a fan).

This mixture of old and new is certainly a reboot of the original in order to bring STAR TREK to a new generation, which will also probably reinvigorate the old generation to the original. There is room for both at the proverbial inn.

No, these are not new characters. Shown above from left to right are: Chekov, Kirk, Scott (in the background), Bones, Sulu, and O'Hura. Nor are they caricatures of the original crew. Rather, this talented group of actors pay great homage to their predecessors, understanding those original characters and their mannerisms, then the newcomers make the role their own.

How do they play the old parts while still making it new and fit continuity? Well, they don't exactly. That is to say, there is a bit of time travel that occurs, which affects the destinies of every creature in the universe. The old history is not gone, but a new history is being forged due to the change in the space time continuum. A new history is unfolding now.

So really, both realities can exists for us. We can enjoy and devour the old universe while simultaneously making room for the new reality.

The story was solid, interesting, engaging, with just enough humor to let us breathe. The nods to the original story were hysterical, with several of us laughing out loud. Really a new future begins.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This should prove to be an exciting movie season. With economic downturns and war factors still going on the American public is searching for an escape. Enter the heroic Hollywood to save the day and spirit away our minds and souls. Considering that, I have put together a list of goodies for the summer.

Terminator Salvation (May 21)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (June 24)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July 15)
Public Enemies (July 1)
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (August 7)
Inglourious Basterds (August 21)

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (May 22)
Up (May 29)
Land of the Lost (June 5)
Ponyo (July 19)

I played with Transformers and G.I. Joe when I was a kid. I still have most of the toys along with He-Man. So I cannot help but be interested in these movies, come what may. And Land of the Lost … well even the wife is interested in that one. Sounds like we will be taking the progeny to see that one.

Inglourious Basterds is one movie that I am frothing at the mouth to see. Personally, I think Quentin Tarantino is one of America's greatest (but least celebrated) movie makers. I think the guy is genious. I'll just let you watch this trailer and decide. One things for sure: this will not be for everyone. It looks bloody and deep.

Friday, May 15, 2009


In 1994 a friend of mine spent a semester overseas. He went to Scotland and, knowing I was a fan of scotch, brought me back a beautiful bottle of single malt, which in today’s market sells for approximately $62.

Authentic Collection
Cask Strength
Single Malt
Aged 19 Years
Distilled March 1975
Bottled June 1994
Ardbeg Distillery

This whiskey has been bottled from a selected individual cask in its natural state and shows the character of that cask. It has not been diluted with water. It has not been treated to change its colour and is free from all additives. It has not been subjected to any filtration that might remove natural constituents and spoil its flavour. It is the authentic product of its distillery.

Notice the scotch is cask strength. It is unavailable in the US (and it cannot be ordered online) because there is no proof listed. What comes out of the cask is not watered down. This is the real deal.

I mention all of this because I have hung onto this bottle for years. I just didn’t know when to open it. I debated cracking it at my daughter’s birth, and that would have been a perfect time. But somehow celebrating her birth with scotch didn’t seem right. Her birth was not my accomplishment; it was my blessing. We were busy and excited and nervous. I got to work raising my daughter and didn’t open it.

This weekend I will graduate with a Masters of Science in Education (MSEd) degree from Missouri State University. This time, my daughter is a part of my celebration. She has spent time decorating my gift and being excited.

With this accomplishment things are different. This journey has taken my entire village of family and friends to get us through it. I say “us” because while the schoolwork was my accomplishment, it took sacrifice and patience, late nights and dedication on the part of my wife, daughter, and other family members to get us through this experience.

My wife has often felt like a single parent. Our parents and my grandmother have helped us out financially, and everyone has helped watch our daughter when my wife and I were detained or otherwise unable. It has been hard on everyone and it is an accomplishment that is shared by so many.

This weekend seems the perfect time to open this bottle and share with my family and friends. It is my way of thanking them for their love and support.

I tip my glass to all who have offered a hand, and I sip my scotch in your name. Some of you will share in that drink and to you:

I thank you most of all.

To my wife, I say to you that you are no longer a single mother. Although they do say that first year of teaching is pretty rough – long hours spent grading papers and preparing lesson. We’ll drink that bottle of scotch when we come to it.


Thursday, May 14, 2009


Normally, that would be an easy (1-2-3) answer: bawk, bawk. With the introduction to at least 2-3 meals per week being of the grassland variety, the decision is a bit more murky. I had leftover chicken breast (from the wife and daughter's meal last night) and two portabella caps (from my leftover meal last night).


Tonight I opted for another fungi-filled meal. This time I piled a big bowl full of assorted fancy greens, added roma maters, cut up the shrooms and added feta cheese. I've come across some really good dressings that are less fatty than, say blue cheese or ranch, and yet quite flavorful. Kraft makes these vinegrette dressings (balsamic shown above) and I really enjoy them.

I ate a cup (or was it a cup and a half?) of leftover taters with garlic and cheese and drank water. I love water so that is an easy one for me. I don't get tired of water and pretty much drink it all day as long as I have ice.

So there it is for anyone that cares. Another meatless meal for Jack. Tomorrow, I'm having sushi to celebrate the earning of my Master's degree.


I am lamenting the discussion that used to take place in our local blogosphere. I'm not talking about the really heated posts, but the ones where folks would cuss and discuss then go right on being friends. No big deal. There used to be so much more chatter round these parts.

I am also dejected to see all the liberal bloggers leave. It seems so many of our interesting lefty bloggers have moved to the likes of Facebook, Twitter or, even worse, nothing at all. It is sad. We've had more and more conservative bloggers join the rangs (which is great) and at the same time an exodus of the liberals (not great). I think it is a matter of circumstances more than anything (at least that is my hope) but I think an area so steeped in conservative dogma might benefit from a more leftist viewpoint now and again. Keep everyone honest. (I laughed when I wrote that last line. I hope you conservatives chuckled, too.)


One writer in today's News-Leader was lamenting the fact that she cannot have people that use her taxes forced into sterilization. Several commenters agreed. The Constitution: They are not a fan.

Abuse and neglect of children is a horrible crime, and I happen to agree that some people are given their children back when they should not have them. I also agree that some people continue to have children when they are completely incapable of taking care of the children. I think framing the issue around a person's IQ and mental illness is a mischaracterization probably based on erronious experiences and knowledge. Just because someone has a low IQ or has a mental illness does not necessarily disqualify them from the good parent category.

It is the harsh reaction, the anger in the letter and the comments, that strikes me strangely. Considering our Bible belt status, I would expect many of these writers to consider themselves Christians. I'm not entirely convinced the ideas in the article are reflective of Jesus' teachings. Forced sterilization is a pretty strong stance considering the Bible and the Constitution.

I find it so interesting when good people are willing to suspend their ethical and religious beliefs when it comes to war and taxes. Our ethics are more important during perilous times. That is the time when God, our friends and our children are really watching to see what we do. I don't think it is ever okay to suspend our ethics to quash our fears.

Easier said than done, as the saying goes. It's hard to be nice and caring and loving. Hard for me and hard for you. It can be a struggle.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


When you look at talent (singing talent or stage presence) there is no real comparison between the two American Idol contestants for next week's finale. What Chris has over Adam is pretty-boy looks. He looks like such a sweet boy, the one any mom would pick for her princess. That may very well garner him a lot of points.

Larry, you should expect Idol to go over it's allotted time limit next week. It's a sporting event of sorts that will go into overtime. It always does. Sorry.


I hope my dang fat doctor is happy enough. I was tempted to wrap my portabella mushroom in bacon but I figured that would defeat the purpose. Bacon counts as meat. I did call him and leave a message asking if it bacon-wrapped shroom caps counted as meat. Then I laughed and hung up. Wonder if he'll call me tomorrow? No matter. He's used to my sense of humor.

The wife and daughter had grilled chicken breast sandwiches while I had the mushroom cap burger. It had melted provolone (not much though). I had two caps between bread with some tomato, teaspoon of light mayo and teaspoon of brown mustard.

I baked the asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil, garlic and Mrs. Dash. The potatoes came from a box (I know) but they were good. I also added Mrs. Dash to the dish as well as two slices of American cheese. Too much cheese I'm sure, but I'm getting there. It was quite good and much healthier than going out.


Greene County prosecutors have decided to defer prosecution of Mickey Martin if he keeps clean for two years and pays back $7,500 of the $45k he allegedly stole from the Springfield Association of the Blind.

The group had to close its doors because of lack of funds. What the Hell?

I'm too disappointed to comment further.



Okay, so I have this list of songs that I want to play in my elementary classroom next year. I've split them up by tempo (slow, medium and fast) depending on what kind of mood I need to support in the classroom at the time.

Frankly, I'm pretty impressed with the collection. Of those teachers who use music in the classroom, you will find plenty of Mozart and other classical artists and also some Irish instrumental. Good stuff. I need some classical, but I haven't added that yet. If you have some particular favorites, send them my way.

Check out the playlist so far. Pretty eclectic and authentic if you ask me.

  • Norman Blake
  • Enya
  • Beach Boys
  • Bob Dylan
  • Jim and Kim Lansford
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Simon and Garfunkle
  • Big Smith
  • Art Farmer and Benn Golson
  • Pozo-Seco Singers
  • Slim Gaillard
  • Miles Davis
  • Blossom Dearie
  • Sam Bush & Alan Munde
  • Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Clary Terry & Oscar Peterson
  • The Dillards (remember them from Andy Griffith show)
  • Louis Jordan
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Louis Prima
  • Duke Ellington
  • Tony Trischka
  • Johnny Cash and June Carter
  • They Might Be Giants
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Carmen McRae
  • Tim Hardin
  • Dave Brubeck
  • Adam Lambert (singing Ring of Fire)
  • Jimmie Van Zant Band
  • John Coltrane
  • Alison Krauss & Union Station
  • Devo (yes, Whip It)
  • Mel Torme & Margaret Whiting
  • Benny Goodman
  • Captain Underpants (a kid CD based on the book series. It's goofy.)
Next is classical and some Irish – instrumental for those times needed for serious concentration and calmness. Go Alpha brain waves! By the way, I always play the tunes on random so the kids never know what's coming. It keeps life fresh for me, too.


My internet grand mere took good care of me by recommending to me some jazz songs for the classroom. Here were her suggestions if you missed them in the comments section:

  • Rhode Island Is Famous For You by Blossom Dearie
  • What's New At The Zoo with Mel Torme and Margaret Whiting
  • Now You Has Jazz by Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby

She also offered another suggestion – What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong – which brought me to the album, Jazz for Kids, by various artists:

  • Doop-Doo-De-Doop by Blossom Dearie
  • When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bobin' Along by Carmen McRae
  • Mumbles by Clark Terry & Oscar Peterson Trio
  • Old McDonald by Ella Fitzgerald
  • The Muffin Man by Ella Fitzgerald
  • Rag Mop by Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra
  • Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens by Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five
  • Yes, We Have No Bananas by Louis Prima
  • Chicken Rhythm by Slim Gaillard
  • Potato Chips by Slim Gaillard
I have them all now. Thank you very much.

(UPDATE: I just added A Love Supreme Part 1 by John Coltane thanks to the suggestion of Jon.) A sweet jazz day to you, Jon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I just made some big additions to my classroom iPod. I've been wanting some jazz, but wasn't really sure what to put on there. (You bloggers were no help at all.) Fortunately, iTunes offers a series of iTunes essentials where they offer a 3-5 cd compilation set within a certain genre. I went through and hand-picked 8 jazz greats. Thank goodness they allow me to perview a song.

I know you are just dying to hear what I bought. Well, I'm going to tell you.
  • Cantalope Island by Majestic King Funk
  • Take Five by Dave Brubeck
  • So What by Miles Davis
  • Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Killer Joe by Art Farmer & Benny Golson
  • It Don't Mean a Thing by Duke Ellington

I also downloaded Minnie the Moocher by Cab Calloway, but after I listened to it I realized that hoochie coochie and coker were not lyrics I want in the classroom. Too bad too because it is a wicked rocking song.

If any of you dirty dogs have any suggestions, please let me know.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I was having a theological discussion with a close friend this evening. We got to talking about the boy Jesus. I must confess I've never given the subject much thought. I was informed that the idea that the boy Jesus having miraculous powers was considered heresy by the 5th century. If I understood the discussion correctly – and I was a bit shocked so I don't know that I did – mainline Christians, on the whole, believe that Jesus was spiritually blessed during his baptism as an adult.

I'm just not sure what to think about all of that. I must confess to you, readers, that I find that a bit discombobulating, mostly because I think I made some assumptions a long time ago. Now I have some new schema to construct.

I find this topic so interesting. What do you believe about the boy Jesus? I'm not looking for a sermon, so please don't post those. I'm looking for some discussion.


I ate Mexican Villa for lunch today. Shame on me. My fat doctor would not care for that too much. This evening I had a bowl of salad and some crescent rolls (sans butter). The salad consisted of mixed greens, 2 Roma tomatoes, half a cup of cucumber, 2 tablespoons of feta cheese, cracked pepper, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. That should do me for the evening. If I get hungry I'm planning on a popcorn snack.

Change is slow my friends.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Those were the exact words my childhood Baptist preacher gave me when I asked why our church opposed me going to my junior high dance. The evils of dancing are pretty standard in most Baptist sects.

The Heritage Christian School in Ohio has gone so far as to forbid a 17-year-old student from participating in his girlfriends public school dance. If he goes, school officials have threatened him with suspension and exclusion from attending graduation. The religious school believes it is their right to protect students in and out of school, despite parental permission. By the way, the school also forbids rock music and holding hands.

The boy does not believe prom is wrong. No one cares what he thinks, only that he thinks what they tell him to think.

What is that sound? Oh, it's the church's beliefs being crammed down the teen's throat. It should be. Jesus The War Hammer forced others to follow him or face dire consequences. Why shouldn't other Christians do the same?

I wonder if crazy Fred Phelps, the light of Christianity, went to this same Christian school as a kid?

Did these people not see Footloose?


Saturday, May 09, 2009


It was only a matter of time until media mogul J. Rohrblogger came up with a sensible list of ways to make ends meet in this poor economic climate.

The more robust of the solutions are as follows, but one would be smart to find his or her best fit by clicking here.
  • Also buying used men's underwear on eBay
  • Vacationing in Darfur
  • Replacing fine coffee normally served with Folger's Crystals
  • Limited to dipping every other chicken wing in ranch dressing
  • Traded in framed Jackson Pollock for a bunch of spilled paint
  • Selling one girl-child to the producers of "Slumdog Millionaire"
We needed that J. We needed that very much. Hmm. Can you buy used underpants in size "bigg-un" on eBay?


I believe in having a sense of humor. The way we walk, the way we talk, the things we believe can all be pretty crazy at times and it does us good to have a laugh at our own expense. Our Christian beliefs are no exception.

I laughed out loud when I read Denis Meadows' letter to the editor today. Regardless of his own religious (or non religious) belief system, he points out the strangeness of the Christian theology. I don't have to change my beliefs to see his point and have a good har-har at my own expense. We could do the same with any religion, which was one point in the movie Religulous (something else I found funny.)

I suppose one might argue that we should be more reverant toward our own religion, but I don't take my religion (or myself for that matter) so seriously that I cannot see the silliness in my own beliefs.

Hey, Denis. That poke hurt but it was still funny.

Friday, May 08, 2009


The local bloggers are meeting up at Patton Alley on Tuesday, May 12 @ 7 p.m. It is a more official style meeting with a program on how to build blog traffic by Jason.


The television signal really cut out during this storm. Pixelation and frozen images were the norm at my house. I switched between KOLR 10 and KY3, and while both had signal troubles, KOLR 10 was by far the worst. I'm not sold on the digital conversion but it is done.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Who'd a thunk it? The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life found that those who attend religious services at least once per week are more likely (54%) to believe that torture can often or sometimes be justified.

Catch this: Of those who seldom or never attend church, 42% believe that torture can often or sometimes be justified.

Remember, the law of the land says that torture is illegal. How is it that unbelievers have a higher moral stance than Christians when it comes to the torture of others? How can this be? We should not let our politics get in the way of following Christ.

Romans 12:17
"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody." (NIV)

1 Peter 3:9
"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." (NIV)

Mathew 3:9
"But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." (NIV)

Luke 6:27
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." (NIV)

Jesus would be so proud of us!

The Torture Debate: A Closer Look (Pew Research Center)
The Religious Dimensions of the Torture Debate (Pew Research Center)
Jesus the War Hammer (Fat Jack July 2006)

(Just so you know, I totally ripped these ideas from these sources. This was not my own work.)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Would it surprise you to know that I think Obama has done a good job so far? If you read this blog often it shouldn't surprise you. You might, however, be surprised to find that I am not in favor of a filibuster proof super majority in Congress, even when it is in favor of the liberals. I do not believe having all branches of government run by one party is a good thing for the country.

With great power comes … complicated and nasty fights for exclusive rights of the reins. We've seen it with Republicans and I am assuming we will see the same with the Democratic majority. After all, there is no such thing as a Christian politician.


Adam let her loose tonight and Allison held up pretty well, especially in their duet. The other two boys fell pretty flat tonight. That just further proves my belief that Adam and Allison should be the top two contenders with Adam winning hands down.

The game is almost up.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Dang! I wish I had thought of that headline first. The always controversial Roger Ray has more to say on people's outrage, not that we as a people have tortured our enemies, but that Obama and Ray and many others have said something about it.

I think Ray is on to something when he says:

"We have taken the image of Jesus, covered it in gold and turned it into a silent idolatrous good luck charm to whom we pray when we go to war, buy a lottery ticket or take our seats to watch a ball game."

He goes on to say,

"We have created a church version of Jesus who says a pledge of allegiance to the flag of the USA, who hates taxes, blesses our businesses, tells employees to be happy to have a job whether they have health insurance or not and is going to come and take us to heaven so we don't have to worry about the environment or running out of oil."

I think many Americans have somehow melded their religion and their politics, transfering their belief system onto Jesus. Ray has a point. How have I done that? How have you? Thinking, challenging, contemplating, and even challenging our beliefs – our schema – is the best way to really figure this out. It won't work if we subscribe to the "I believe "x" so I have to believe "y" religious dogma.

Would Jesus waterboard his enemies? Would he support a government that did?


I decided to have another meatless meal for this week. I have to comply with the fat doctor's orders, don't you know. This time I had fat free refried beans, steamed broccoli, grilled corn tortillas, 1/2 cup of guacamole, and some salsa. It was very satisfying and filling. For dessert I had two sugar free pudding cups with some Redi-whip on top.

All I need to do is add in more exercise and I will be on my way. That exercise part is hard, but as the weather gets better, it is easy to walk outside (with or without the dog).


It didn't take Rohrblogger much time to pound out an hysterical and much-needed comedic break from the media's obsessive drive to stir the US into a fearful flu frenzy.

My personal favorites:
  • Boyfriend demands you wallow
  • Aching, fever, coughing, and CNN cameras in your bed
Dr. Fat's advice: wash your hands after you poop, and drink a hot, steaming cup of calm-the-Hell-down.


So many conservatives continue to maintain that waterboarding is nothing more than a fraternity prank, an athletic rite of passage, harmless hazing. Hazing is illegal in most states and has lead to several deaths over the years. (That "boys will be boys" mentality really makes me mad.)

Anyway, Sean Hannity doesn't think much of waterboarding and has even offered to undergo it. This is where it gets funny. Keith Olbermann is calling Hannity on the carpet and neither Hannity or FOX News have any comment. Olbermann is offering to donate $1,000 for every second that Hannity can withstand waterboarding. The money will go to families of US troops.

Enough said.

Thanks to our very own Supervillian for the heads up.
Story citation

Saturday, May 02, 2009


The fat doctor is pretty hip on the idea that I should have 2-3 meatless meals a week. I, on the other hand, am not so keen on the idea. I likes my flesh foods, but I am giving it a chance.

Skinny Kitty went out and picked up dinner the other night. I requested a healthy alternative and we chose Subway. She came home with a big, fat, vegetarian foot long sub. She smiled and said the doctor wanted me to eat some meatless meals. Dang. It was actually okay, but I wasn't expecting a veggie sandwich.

Today the family came into town so we went out to eat. Too much of that puts on the pounds, don't you know. We ate at J. Parrinos and I had the soup and salad. The veggie meal was my choice this time. They have an incredible Marketplace Salad there with greens, onions, artichokes, mushrooms, maters, provel cheese and a wonderful dressing.

I'm trying; I really am. This weight loss business is really hard stuff.


There seem to be more germaphobes now than when I was younger, and I suspect that is leading our country down a new cultural path. With more and more pandemic scares (real or imagined, accurate or perceived) I predict that within 20 years the customary social handshake will be out. In fact, my experience leads me to believe that many people are becoming anti-touch (handshakes, shoulder taps, hugs, close encounters, etc) and that defensiveness is becoming common place and accepted.

It makes me sad because I suspect a casualty will be children. Studies have shown that children need physical touch in order to develop properly. If our society develops into a touch-defensive culture, then I think we may inadvertinently negatively affect our future generations.

The news is reporting that many graduations are foregoing the customary handshake with the principal/dean/president. We have the swine flu to thank for that.


A post for the Foodie

If you cannot tell from my name, I digs the food stuff. Our new blogging buddy over at The Springfield Foodie is calling upon all area bloggers to post about food. As they say in Texas Hold 'em, I am all in! Big Fat Jack surprise there, eh?

In my opinion ...

The Best Wings in Town
Coyote's Adobe Cafe has the rockingist, rollingist, kickingist wings in town. I've been all over this burg of springs and have found nothing that compares. They have 16 different sauces. Original Buffalo, Spicy Garlic, Twice Fried, Whiskey and Carribbean Jerk are among my top favorites. They also have many non hot varieties including: Rooster, Teriyaki, Garlic Parmesian, Plain, Cashew (of course) and Dixie,to name a few. Locally owned and operated, these folks are great. The queso and salas is good, too.

Raspberry Butter Cake
This stuff from J. Parrino's Italian Cafe is baked heroine; I kid you not. It is rich and satisfying, not to mention fattening as all get out. Just so you know, I think their steak meals are really incredible. You wouldn't think steak from an Italian restaurant, but the nightly filet entrees are butter-cutting tender. Served with a side of pasta or asparagas (my choice) and a soup or salad and you are in heaven.

Chili Rellenos
I've had several dishes at Cierlito Lindo that were merely "meh", (and I almost quit going because of it) but the chili rellenos are absolutely to die for. They are not breaded like other varieties, but the flavor of the poblano pepper really shines through. Simple but delicious.

Cashew Chicken
I know that Mr. Yen's is a bit expensive, especially when you consider all the cheap hog troughs in the area. If you want the most authentic and flavorful cashew chicken in town, the only place to go is Mr. Yen's.

Healthy Pizza

Combine Imo's cracker-think crust with McSalty's wheat crust, and you have Wanna Get A Pizza. It is so thin that it is less filling, so be ready. Good flavor and less calories, it is a healthy (and very tasty) alternative. If you have fatty syndrome, such as myself, this is a great place to fulfill your pizza tooth and not feel guilty.

Friday, May 01, 2009


The third grader can't read the digital clock on the oven from 10 feet away. Oh dear, we think she caught the myopia from her pop. The wife got right on it and scheduled her for an eye appointment. Not that we needed to know whether or not she needed glasses. We knew she did. We just needed a Rx. The eye socket doc told us what we knew and she picked out the cutest rectangular plastic glasses. She looks adorable.

AT one time in our history needing braces or glasses was a near death sentence to youngsters, but that's not the case anymore. Both are stylish and accepted. She is not phased at all and I am glad. In fact, she looked forward to them.

I remember the first time I put on my eye glasses. I looked out the window and was stunned at the world I had missed. I could see ... leaves. I never knew I couldn't see them before. For the first time I saw the color distinction between the top and bottom of the leaves. Wow. I was with the daughter when we picked up her spectacles tonight. She had the same reaction, commenting that she could see the rivets in the FedEx van sitting out front.