Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Has enough time passed? It has for me. I was a fan of the oft-accused boy-diddler's music when I was in sixth grade, but it was not long until I moved past his poppy tones to a more metal scene. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I discovered AC/DC. Anywho ...

I offer, for your comic relief, some truly tasteless (but quite funny) jokes about Michael Jackson vis-a-vis Jason Rohrblogger's blog.

My favs:
  • Michael Jackson hasn't been this stiff since Macaulay Culkin spent the night at Neverland Ranch.
  • Rumors that Michael Jackson has died of a heart attack in his home are untrue. He actually died having a stroke in the children's ward.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Click here to read Jason Rohrblogger's Top Ten Things Overheard in Heaven Last Week. Why? Because he's funny, that's why. And, I emailed JR and told him I needed something funny to post on my poor old blog. He obliged just fine. Ain't he a nice feller?

I can only hope that the best of scotch (aged 18 millennium) is readily available up there in the netherworlds. I wonder what shape the ice is? Can you grab your crotch in Heaven? I assume you can't diddle little boys.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Michael Jackson, a pop icon alleged to have yanked the drawers off many a young lad, died. During that same time period the Supreme Court ruled the school-led strip search of the 13-year-old girl alleged to have ibuprofen concealed in her under britches was unconstitutional. You remember that story, don’t you?

Both situations pretty freaky if you ask me. You checked your tighty-whities lately?

By the way, I'm still wondering whatever happened to that LDS church-compound where all the child-brides and other youngsters were taken into custody? No follow-up as far as I can tell. I mention it just in case you haven't gotten your fill of child exploitation.


While watching movies in the theater today, we saw two trailers that made us take notice. M. Night Shyamalan’s THE LAST AIRBENDER and Tim Burton’s 9 both look really cool. (The links take you to the trailers.

The daughter and I have been watching Cartoon’s Network’s AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER on DVD and Netflix streaming. We really enjoy that animated television show. I think think the world of Tim Burton. 9 looks a bit dark, but his flicks are always worth watching. I could not help but think of the fellowship of the nine and I wonder if there are connections to Tolkien’s epic story.


A nearly presidential-term spent in college (you can freely interpret that as unemployed) has wreaked havoc on our family finances to the point that we are running very low on the greenbacks. So our family vacation has consisted of staying home, eating in and watching movies on Netflix.

We did strike out today, during the heat of the day, and caught a double feature at the Hollywood downtown. Yesterday we watched KIT KITTREDGE: AN AMERICAN GIRL. Today we enjoyed LAND OF THE LOST and TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

I was quite surprised at KIT. It was about a girl but wasn’t really a girl movie. It was a depression-era story about a family that split up so they could survive. The father left town for work while the mother and daughter took on boarders. The townships hatred of hobos hit its zenith when there was a crime spree. Fortunately, the clever Kit and her friends solved the mystery and also changed people’s minds about those who are less fortunate. It was great. No wonder it was certified fresh from Rotten Maters.

Well, there were no real surprises here. It was sporadically humorous and altogether ridiculous. That’s okay. It was supposed to be stupid, but we just were not that into it.

I saved this one for the end because I didn’t want it to stink up the rest of the page. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it was close. TRANSFORMERS 2 was fun for a summer movie, but the story was convoluted and once again the movie makers spent more time on the action and the CGI than they did the story. You’d think they would get that message by now. I’ll give you a quick run-down of the problems:

Numerous Resurrections
Who dies and is later resurrected? Megatron. Optimus Prime. The Matrix (the key). Optimus Prime again. You can only kill off characters or items and bring them back again so many times before everyone but the entirely idiotic and superficial will stay with you. Megatron was killed in movie numero uno. The Decepticons bring him back alive 40,000 fathoms beneath the ocean. Megatron then kills Optimus Prime; kills him dead. The military hauls him around and then our protagonist resurrects him using the Matrix (a key which also was destroyed but somehow magically resurrected in the nick of time). The Fallen then just walks up and steals the Matrix out of Optimus’ chest. Just like that. Doo dee doo. Optimus falls again and suffers greatly only to be resurrected through sacrifice by one of the ancient ones. Good grief. Is anyone actually falling for all that nonsense? Have the writers completely lost their minds? Does anyone have any idea what decent writing looks like?

Too Much of the Same
For the love of all that is holy and good, can we not make multiple fight scenes different? I love fighting and battles, but even I grew a bit weary at all the seemingly identical war scenes. It got boring.

The Transformers Don’t Look Like Vehicles
I’ve never liked the way the Transformers look when they are in robot form. Most barely resemble the vehicles they transform into. They also transform too quickly and don’t give us time to see the movement. That’s one of the coolest parts of the Transformers.

Where Were The Girl Transformers?
My daughter asked me why there weren’t any girl transformers? That because the creators were thinking only of boys when they made this flick. Apparently, they don’t think boys give a pittly dang about good story. So long as there is a pretty girl and lots of fighting we are happy. I’m here to tell you that’s not enough. There is no sense in alienating 50 percent of the population.

There were girl transformers. They showed up as motorcycles in the beginning, but that’s it. I suppose making girls would be too hard to believe?

An Transformers From Long Ago Was a Stealth Bomber?
Am I to believe that one of the oldest living transformers on the Earth, one that was here long ago is a stealth bomber. Wouldn’t he be a Model A or a prop plane at least? A stealth? No kidding? Um, do they not see a problem with that? He’s supposed to be very old. Stealth bombers are not that old. Duh.

Tomorrow, the wife and I are staying home and having a date day. The daughter is spending the day with her grandmother as part of her month-long birthday celebration. We shall watch SECRETS OF THE HEART and FANBOYS.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I'll leave you with this note before I head out on vacation.

One of my favorite educational sites asks the really hard (and interesting) questions. This month's pondering centers around standardized testing. You know, the bane of the educational system. Is it really as bad as all that?

I've wondered the same, but have kept it to myself thus far. Mostly because I just wasn't sure of the answer. The MAP (Missouri's standardized test) questions I've seen have been deeper, thicker questions.

The article cited above makes the case that our skill and drill tests, those of the memorize and regurgitate facts fare, occur more on the local classroom level than on state tests.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I ate too much for dinner. I hate it when I do that. I've been starving to lose weight and when I pass a certain spot I no longer make good decisions. I was hot, tired and hungry after the garage sale. We cleaned up and I was famished. Too much so. We headed to my favorite local diner (Coyote's Adobe Cafe) for dinner. I had it in my head that I was getting wings, diet be damned.

But then, on the way there, I thought better of it. By the time we hit the parking lot at Adobe I had decided that a heaping plate of wings would taste good but would be such a bad choice. So I opted for a burrito filled with grilled chicken and fajita vegetables. I still ate waaaay too many chips and salsa, but I didn't get the wings.

I calculated it all on the iPod and I did go over my calories, but I don't claim to be perfect at all this eating business. On the good side, I had a veggie sub for lunch. That was a great choice and was more compliant with my fat doctor's requirements that I eat x-number of vegetarian meals per week.


Garage sales make good money but they aren't nearly as much fun when you are in charge. Typically, Skinny Kitty takes care of the garage sales. I help out, move tables and talk to customers, but the wife and her mother are usually in charge. This time Skinny Kitty was out of town so it was left to the mother-in-law and me to handle.

Oh, that part was fine. We work well together.

But man, that garage sale business is hard work. We held it Thursday and Friday and when we closed today at 2 p.m. I had one and a half tubs of junk left. That's it. The rest sold. What I had left I donated to Goodwill.

I am surprised how much hard work running a garage sale is. I don't like waking up at 5:30 a.m. either. The daughter and I have grown accustomed to sleeping in during the summer. Oh, woe is me.

The wife jetted in from St. Louis today, got fed and gave her blessings. That's all good. I done good, but I hope she doesn't get used to it. I'm not a fan of running a garage sale. I prefer being a minor player in the whole affair.

Monday, June 15, 2009


When I was just a wee lad and watched CONAN THE BARBARIAN with Arnold Schwarzenegger I was transformed. He was so cool to my eyes. The video stores had just opened in my small town (that was back when the VHS-Beta debate was still raging) and I hunted down any tapes in the barbarian genre.

I went to my very handy dad and begged for a sword and battle axe. He constructed both for me, and I still have them. He also made me a shield, which I still own. I hunted down all manner of beast and evildoer in the land of Hollister, and the people revered me. I was awesome.

So yeah, I dig Conan. What am I to do with the recent news from Variety that there will be a CONAN rekick directed by Marcus Nispel who made THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and FRIDAY THE 13TH remakes? Dare I even watch lest my childhood adventures be dashed to death? Nispel can't steal my beloved CONAN from me, nor my memories, but he could irritate me to no end.

Yet, I want to see it. If it is good, then I will be able to tap into those old memories and live out those adventures again. I'm danged if I do and danged if I don't.


I have so many thoughts that I want to blog down and I just can't seem to muster the umpf to do it. I've been thinking about politics and religion and the environment and even sexism, but I just don't have the grapes. This will have to suffice.

  • Politics: Extending the kind hand of Christ is not evil.
  • Religion: Our local newspaper's Op/Ed page is too full of it.
  • Discrimination: It is wrong ethically and religiously.
  • Environment: It's not evil to care about our world. The spotted owl is significant. If you study even basic science then you will know why.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


It's better than pay-per-view. We have watched tons of movies this weekend, despite being so dadgum busy.

  • Friday Night: Went to bed at 2 a.m. (I helped with the teens at our church lock-in.)
  • Saturday Night: Got home at 9:30 p.m. after driving to Windsor, MO to watch my cousin's band play for 45 minutes. They were really good.

The quality is very good. Some are even in high def, which is extra nice. Most of the movies are older, but that's working for me. What have we streamed to our TV:

High School Musical 3
Peter and the Wolf (2008 Oscar, Best Animated Short)
Cloak & Dagger (a childhood favorite of mine)
Ghost Busters

I've also found several Black Belt theater flicks to watch when I need a bad chop sockey in the afternoon. I'm loving it. And now most of the movies sent to me are on Blu Ray, which is awesome. Go Netflix.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I'm sure you are just on pins and needles wanting to find out what happened with our anniversary gift. Did Skinny Kitty approve of a Blu Ray or not? She thought the Blu Ray player (with Netflix hook-up) was a great idea. I did not go splat.

We hooked it up and streamed two different movies last night, just to test it all out. All the movies on my Instant Queue show up on my TV so I can choose the movies from there and can bypass the computer altogether. Very cool.

I went to Mediacom and switched out my cable box for one in HD. Also cool, although I think there is something wrong with that box. I have to switch it out, too. No biggie.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The first motorcycle I ever owned hit the streets today without my butt firmly planted. It sounded good as it pulled out of the driveway and I was a bit sentimental. Then I turned around and as I gazed upon the HOG sitting in my garage all sentimentality slipped away into oblivion.

It was a good bike, the Honda, and it never gave me a day of trouble. It was the perfect first motorcycle being all Goldilocks: not too big and not too small, but just right. I've moved on and so has she to a new owner who is as thrilled with it as I am my Harley. He's a teacher who needs cheap, reliable transportation to commute outside the county every day. She shall serve him well – very well – and I am happy to see her go into good hands.

Farewell my darling. Hello, my new (and much hotter) baby!


You could probably see this coming, as I am a gadget guy anyway. My DVD player started making crazy train sounds last night during our movie (THE WRESTLER). I had to turn the sound up just to hear the movie over the thing.

That is especially annoying with a new hi-def TV. So I am thinking that the wife and I need to buy ourselves a Blu Ray player for our anniversary. Makes sense, right? Might as well get the most use out of that 47-inch TV, don't you think? This is very logical and practical.

While I'm at it, I might as well buy one that is Netflix capable so I can stream the play-it-now movies straight to my television. My logic is sound. Feel free to convince her of this necessity by adding your comments of support below. (You can bet your sweet Aunt Minnie's fanny that I will delete any comments that serve to derail my plans.)

Will she go for it? Will my logical argument be met with acceptance or foot-downing and the counting to three? Will FAT JACK live to see another anniversary? Stay tuned for our next exciting episode:



Skinny Kitty and I watched a movie last night, THE WRESTLER, and it was as tragically interesting as a stranded cow in a tree. No, it's not about wrestling, but about a man – a broken man, really – who traded the glory of the ring for everything else in his life.


He limpingly tries to make up for lost time with his adult daughter, but his hopeless life screws that up once again and she puts an end to it all ... forever. There will be no more mulligans.

And so he heads to the ring once again. The ending has bothered some people, but I think the brilliance of it is lost in the fade to black. I don't really think it matters if he finished the Ram Jam or died in the process because his life is over either way. As his heart barely ticks, he climbs on top of the ropes in a last chance glory move. He is dead be it figuratively or literally after that.

The daughter and I went to see UP in 3-D at the Hollywood downtown. I love the Hollywood because it is never busy when I go so I don't stand in lines and don't feel rushed.

UP is takes its time and is not focused on action as much as fantastic storytelling. The 9-year-old gave it 5 stars, so there was plenty to keep her interested. Loved it. I don't care for 3-D because I have 3-D glasses over my glasses and that's uncomfortable. For me, it's just not important to the experience, but the kid digs it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This week's weight loss was small compared to last week's 6.8 pound melting, but I celebrate any loss at all. I was really hungry that first week, but not so much so this week. I ate more than I was supposed to though, which shows in my weight loss.

I ate a big lunch and knew it once I stopped. My belly was full and I'm supposed to leave the table still feeling hungry. It takes 20 minutes or so for that full feeling to kick in. When I'm on a diet, it never really kicks in.

Tonight is a fruit, veggie, string cheese and bread meal. No meat for me and no ranch dipping either. I hope to counteract my big lunch. I didn't get to walk today so I'll have to walk extra tomorrow. The fat doc says 50-60 minutes of walking (any speed) a week. Period. I'm trying to hit or exceed that amount.


That’s exactly what you do when your 9-year-old decides to have a slumber party for her birthday. Eight soon-to-be fourth graders can wreak havoc on a clean house and drive the pets insane, especially the cat, but it is worth it when that same daughter looks back on her life and remembers the year she had the best slumber party ever.

I kept reminding myself of the memories I was instilling in her spongy little brain as they … did … things … to … me.

No childhood slumber party is complete without scary movies, staying up late, and getting in trouble for being too loud after you are supposed to be asleep. Considering their age we opted for the Goosebumps series of just-scary-enough-to-be-spooky-but-not-enough-to-create-nightmares movies, which they watched in total darkness for the first half hour and with lights on the next hour or so.

After each activity the girls would get restless and goosy, so I often guided them toward fun things that had a purpose. Girls that age tend to argue about cliques and “she’s mean to me” if left to their own devices. So I gently suggested they do their nails. I put down towels but they still managed to spill nail polish remover on the old hardwood floor. Next time I will supervise the nail polish remover. (Note: nail polish remover bubbles the finish on the wood floors.)

Then I gave the girls facials. They loved that. I cut up cucumber and then applied lotion to their faces. I finished their eyes with the veggie. I took pictures but I didn’t want to post the kids’ faces on my site. Use your imagination.

Then the girls got a wild hair and decided to give me a facial and I agreed. Remember the memories you’re creating, Big Daddy. I plopped in a chair in the middle of the kitchen and let them cover my face with whipped cream and cucumbers, and I smiled at their giggles as they did it. It smelled awful, I tell you, but they enjoyed it. The daughter has managed to tell everyone she sees about it.

Of course I had to get on to them for staying up too late and having sleeping bag races across the kitchen floor. I knew that was going to happen before the party ever started. It’s part of the childhood experience. I am okay with that. I did my duty and settled them down. I think they went to sleep about 3 a.m.

I didn’t stop the dog from licking face after face at 7:30 in the morning. That’s all part of the experience, too.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


I'm in the mood for something funny and disgusting. Why not? It's a cloudy summer Sunday. So I offer for your reading pleasure the 10 Bizarre Job-Related Illnesses from Cracked.com. May your chosen profession be kinder than those listed here.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


I’m already headed places, thank goodness, now that I’ve graduated with my master’s degree. I am looking forward to it all. For graduation, my parents bought me two gifts, one practical and one sentimental and I love them both.

The first was a new television. Funny story. Whenever my mother and wife send Dad and I out to buy something … well, there’s really no telling what we will come back with. That day my wife was at work and my mother was visiting friends in the hospital. So, she sent Dad and I out to pick out a new TV for our kitchen/dining room area. (I love to watch the news while I make breakfast for the girls.)

When we got to the store, Dad pointed out the silliness in buying a new LDC television for the kitchen when I have an old school TV in the one room we watch the most boob tube. I love his way of thinking. So we started looking at slightly larger sets down the big boy aisle, and we came home with a 47-inch widescreen big dog. Boy howdy can you watch movies and game on this puppy. There’s no longer glare on my TV. None. Zip. I can have every light on the house on and have no glare. It is a thing of beauty and we love every minute of it. Skinny Kitty is especially enamored with watching with insane hugeness her favorite jewelry craftsman, Jay King, on HSN.

The other gift, which came first, is equally worthy of blog space. My mother, with her artistic eye and infinite creative juices bought a slipcovered version of Dr. Seuss’ gradation book, Oh the Places You’ll Go! Inside, she scrap-booked on the pages using old greeting cards, thank you notes and other memorabilia. The result is a handmade book that I absolutely adore.

One particular page is very sentimental. My parents ran my high school Sunday School class. Two things I remember from the years they took on that endeavor: the biscuits and gravy and her mantra. Every story, every lesson, every unique teaching moment my mother impressed upon us teens this bit of ideology: God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things or a version thereof.

The point, of course, is that one person can make a difference and that regular old folks can be heroes and influential in the world around them. I like that message. I like the idea that heroes are really just ordinary people who have endured a journey in which they emerge from the other side as someone great.

Much obliged, parents, for the gifts and the lessons and most of all the love and support. (They have done a lot to help put me through school.) It definitely took a village to raise this child.

Friday, June 05, 2009


Otherwise I would be over my daily caloric limit. Subtracting off the calories burned during the 30 minute walk (albeit a slow walk), I am coming in 18 calories under 2,300. Rock on. I even went without the Schwans ice cream pizza at my daughter's birthday party with the family. That's a big feat with me. I don't often turn down food.

I must admit … keeping track of my food and exercise does help me make better decisions. Just knowing that I have to put that food on my iPod makes me think twice (or thrice or more) about downing that sucker. That's the point, right?

Today I felt full, which makes me wonder if I added in all the food. I keep thinking "I can't be full. I must have screwed up somewhere. I shouldn't feel full on 2,300 calories. I even counted the three hushpuppies I scarfed while no one was looking.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


It is so easy and tempting to throw all fundamental Christians together in a big pot and stir them with the wooden spoon of condemnation all the while chanting: All pro-life Christians are violent; all pro-life Christians are haters.

The acts of the man who shot the controversial abortion doctor while at church serves as a great springboard to condemn all fundies. This liberal Christian is tempted as well, but it wouldn't be right.

Interestingly, many Christians do the same thing to Muslims. Idiotic voices constantly throw a barrage of editorials at our local newspaper disparaging all Muslims. because of the acts of some extremists. So does Rush Limbaugh and his parade of haters. It is human nature to categorize and label and fear. If Star Wars has taught us anything, it is that fear leads to hate.

Not all pro-life Christians support abortion clinic bombings or doctor killings. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say most do not. Although one study has found that Church goers are more likely to support torture. Not all Muslims are terrorists or America haters.

It's all a bunch of stereotypical fear-filled bunk.

If you are a Christian who ...

  • supports torture
  • believes in waterboarding
  • takes the "kill them all and let God sort them out" mentality
  • sweeps all Muslims up in one sandy pile
  • supports the eradication of all Muslims
  • supports deportation of all Muslims

then, perhaps, you should take to heart the lesson being presented to you now with this recent abortion doctor shooting. Jesus is peace and love.

For my atheist friends, and I do have several, then I would say to them to not be tempted to condemn all Christians for the idiocy of a few. Otherwise, you will be no better than Rush, Cheney, or the host of ignorant haters routinely published in the News-Leader. Not all followers of Christ support violence.

The Choir will now sing: Do You Call That Religion? Feel free to support my ministry as the baskets are passed around.

Amen and Amen.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Not really, but it sure feels like it. I'm sure the children in Ethiopia might disagree with my use of the word "starvation". It's starving to me and it ain't pleasant, although my stomach is distended for other reasons that malnutrition.

It's been one week since beginning my weight loss regiment. In seven days of starving myself silly, I've managed to lose 6.8 pounds. I am not fond of my 2,300 calorie restriction. It leaves me feeling quite hungry most of the time. Such is life. I'll do it for as long as I can. Hopefully the stomach will shrink in size and I'll feel less hungry all the time.

Just so you know, I've gone over the 2,300 calorie goal almost every day and I've still lost weight. That's good. I'm still trying to meet my goal. That last time I really did this I lost 60 pounds using Jenny Craig. It worked, but I starved for a solid 8 months. It finally became too much. There's got to be a better way.

(In case you are wondering, I've also increased my exercise per fat doctor's instructions. I keep detailed records of every stinking morsel that passes my lips and all exercise routines I take. Thank goodness for the apps available for the iPod Touch.)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Seriously? My nearly 9-year-old wants to know this? Okay, how are you going to handle this one, Big Daddy?

I took a deep breath,
and told her the truth
geared for a child.

She's heard some kids at school call each other that word and she wanted to know what it was. Understandable. I'm glad she had the guts to ask me. I'm glad I had the guts to tell her. She agreed that it is not a nice word and that we don't use it. I also told her that the act of douching is not healthy or natural and that our bodies clean themselves.

Now she knows and knowing is half the battle.

Monday, June 01, 2009


When I asked for Guitar Hero World Tour for Father’s Day, I had it in my mind that my daughter and I would play it over the summer. To date, the Wii has been a daddy-daughter activity. That is, until I got Guitar Hero for an early Dad's Day gift.

Skinny Kitty has found and embraced her inner gamer and it has been so much fun watching her and my daughter play. At times, we all play thanks to the fact that we have the ability to play lead guitar, bass guitar, drums and vocals all at the same time. The drums, by the way, are hard as heck.

We have had a hoot playing those old 80s and 90s songs Skinny Kitty and I grew up and went to college with.