Sunday, November 29, 2009


The daughter had a friend come over this afternoon so Skinny Kitty and I used that time to fit in a grown-up movie. We love the Pixar cartoons, but we miss Mommy-Daddy date night movies, too.

I DOUBT I could have watched a better movie on a Sunday. Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymor Hoffman were f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c. I love the tension between the "did or or didn't he?" dilemma. You never really know for sure and the movie sparks so many questions.

DOUBT is a top notch drama that addresses the issue of institutional and religious molestation from a much different angle. It is calm, pointed fair and unsettling. There is no graphic imagery of any kind. It's all suspicion which is what creates the tension.

Worthy of its Oscar nods.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


A friend and I went out yesterday, not to fight the shoppers, but to watch a movie: NINJA ASSASSIN. When I took him home his wife commented that we were so keyed up that we were shouting as we told her about it. Shouting. It was so loud and violent that we were shouting when we simply retold the plot.

That's becauase it was it was the most hyper-violent blood ballet to date. I'm talking copious amounts of limb lobbing, decapitations, gut slices, blood spurting, skin lacerating flick I've ever seen, and I've seen a ton of them. The music was loud (l.o.u.d) and it took my heart rate up several beats just being exposed. I don't mind admitting that I liked the feeling.

Buckets of it.

It was a symphony of violence that is worth screaming about. A veritable veg-o-matic of human flesh. Written by some dude then rewritten by J. Michael Straczynski (comic creator extraordinaire) it was a ninja movie with a decent plot – not great but decent. There are a few holes – it is a ninja movie after all – but it provides its key demographic (males ages 15-35) plenty of what it is supposed to: death. 

The character development was surprisingly good for a film of this type. We saw, in fine detail, why the ninjas in this clan kill so willingly. They were young orphans who were kidnapped, brainwashed, and trained to be heartless killers. Period. As the "father" often said, "weakness begets blood" and he used that mantra to train his boys.

NINJA ASSASSIN is a ramped up speed ball of throwing star action. The blood gushed from the get-go and didn't let up until the end.

Our discussion afterward focused on the rating. Should this movie be rated R or NC-17. Heavy P was solid in his argument that it deserved a no children should ever be allowed. We both agreed that the 8-year-old boy that was watching it with his Dad should not have been there. But could a 16-year-old see it? How about a 15 year-old? 13?

We also talked about our society's hang-up on sex while we simultaneous have no problems with extreme violence. Watch THIS MOVIE IS NOT YET RATED for more information. I really enjoyed this film because it gave me exactly what I wanted it to: ninjas who kill. What else do you expect from a ninja movie?

Oh yeah, the ninja hero doesn't get the girl in the end. We liked that.

I don't recommend this film for children, women, or those with a low tolerance of violence. Those of us who are twisted enough will enjoy it immensely. I highly recommend seeing it in the theater and with a group of your closest male friends. It's a guys-night-out kinda movie.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Oh yeah, I am bragging – rubbing my success in your face! 

Skinny Kitty and I have completed our Christmas shopping save a couple of items for some kids in the family who are too teen-like to know what they want yet. Our order started coming in yesterday with one box still on the way. We also shopped locally, but the bulk came from Amazon. It's easier.

The progeny asked to spend time with friends last night so wifey and I took that opportunity to finish the holiday shopping on the local level. Yeah, I said "holiday" and not Christmas. That's cause I feel snarky. As strange as it might sound we considered it a date night and we had the best time holding hands and shopping for others. Not really romantic I guess, at least not in the flowers-and-candlelight sense of the word. I'm sure Oprah might counsel us otherwise, but we really enjoyed the time together When you are married with children anytime alone is precious time, even if you are shopping.

We did have dinner together and that was nice. Nothing fancy. Our iced tea came in plastic cups but the grub was good (and cheap). We pride ourselves on the fact that we finish our shopping before Thanksgiving. It's a thing with us. It sure makes the holiday less stressful and more enjoyable.

Now we can sit back, relax and wait for the annual War-on-Christmas idiots to write their typical letters to the editor. It's as if they think no one's heard that old argument before. That's their thing. I like our thing better.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


For the budget or waist-line conscience this Thanksgiving the old fat guy suggests you forgo the traditional stuffing-rich dinner and substitute the following:

  • Choose chili and soup instead
  • Small turkey breast
  • Steamed veggies
  • Fresh fruit

When dindin is done, put it all away in the fridge. It's been an annual tradition at Skinny Kitty's house and I have come to really appreciate the celebration. It's low-key and fat friendly. It takes some getting used to. When we are accustomed to our annual food hangover it can be difficult to go without. It gets easier with time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Lincoln University is concerned about the growing rates of obesity among its students. To combat the problem they are requiring all students with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more to take an additional fitness course, according to this AP story. They do not require this class for the skinny people, just the fats ones, to the tune of denying graduation to the BMI-enhanced.

I respect education and the educational process but it appears the university has been very shortsighted in its attempt to address the health of the students. A BMI score is not the only indicator of health and a university should be educated enough to understand that fact. Many  people – fatties and skinnies – use C-pap machines, have diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart attacks.

Again, I reiterate that America needs to view obesity and all the related complications in a comprehensive manner and not simply jerk the knee. A health and exercise class would benefit all students not just those who are currently overweight. To single out one group is discriminatory. To require the class for all students is much better health policy, assuming the class is well designed. 

It boggles my mind why we choose to single out particular groups for special rules or regulations. For some reason Americans love to point fingers at some persons and not everyone. We only want heterosexuals to marry;  only whites can use that water fountain; only fatties have to take this class. I am dumbfounded at the obvious choice of increasing everyone's health by making the class a general requirement for all students.

But that would not garner headlines.

Keystroke to the prodigal son for blogging about this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The holidays have made me think about my health journey. Holidays are hard for the fat guy. Many families center holiday parties around food rather than people, which I find disheartening; it really shouldn't be the food. 

Sayings like "It's not Thanksgiving without [insert favorite fat-laden food]" is prevalent in the South and along border states like Missouri. Yet it puts the overeater in a precarious situation. Many families chose food over family, insisting the fat person stare at, smell and salivate over their drug and still refrain. The reality is that is not a plausible solution. We do not ask alcoholics to go to bars and we do not send meth addicts to a meth lab and expect them to have the wherewithal to not partake. Our society, especially the southern holiday traditions expect and demand that very thing. 

I have been told that I am selfish if I do anything but go to the parties and refuse. I've even had one family member tease me with cookies, going so far as to take me to the corner and ask me to eat her homemade sugar cookies. I've sat among surgical weight loss applicants and heard stories of wives being forced to cook two meals because the rest of the family insisted she make the meal that she cannot eat. 

Fortunately for me, I've decided to be a polite but firm prick. That is to say, I have decided that I will not attend that one family member's holiday event this year. She has purposefully tempted me and called me selfish for not eating her food one too many times. 

My parents, on the other hand, provide a wonderful Christmas brunch with healthy choices. The food is presented, eaten and put away. It is no longer a day-long buffet of cakes and pies and crap. Now, there are desserts, but my mother discretely tucked away. If one is so inclined to overstuff, there is a bounty to do so, but it is not a hog trough of food.

I am as prepared as I can be for the upcoming holiday. I have a plan, support and a desire. I think it will work out well. I'm looking forward to the holiday without as much food. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Obesity, as reported by the CBS Evening News, is the fastest growing public health problem in US history. If you are at least 30 pounds overweight – 30 pounds – then you are considered to be obese. I'd shudder to think what that makes me (morbidly obese is the term used to describe me). The story frames the debate in terms of dollars, most likely to spark debate, which I think is a mistake, at least in part.

Skinny people – who I define as persons who do not struggle with weight issues – think the solution is simple: put down the fork and take the stairs. There is truth in that statement, but it also implies a simplistic mentality toward the complex paradigm that leads people to have excess (and dangerous) levels of cellulite.

Overeating is an addiction.

I say this not to secure monies for the lipid-enhanced and not to create entitlement mentalities or a helpless framework in those that overeat, such as myself. It would be a gross mistake for me to somehow suggest or imply that we the fatties of Ameirca have no control over our situation. We do. We have choices. W make poor eating and exercise choices, which is one reason I weigh over 300 pounds.

However, there is a significant psychological addiction attached to overeating. There are chemical reactions that occur when one overeats and there are euphoric feelings triggered with overstuffing the stomach. Those feelings involve, among other things: happiness, comfort and escape. It allows one to deal with the world.

Teaching about nutrition, health, and exercise are integral parts of the recovery process. However, unless we address the psychological addiction, the problem – I can assure you – will continue to grow.

As for me, I have tried many weight loss programs and diets, yet I have continued to grow to dangerous levels. It took me two years in a comprehensive, physician-monitored weight loss program at a hospital and weight loss surgery in order to gain some control over my weight issues. I have lost 50 pounds so far, give or take, and I am continuing to lose weight. It feels great, but it is very hard. (Even tonight I ate more than I should have. It was drastically less than I used to eat, but it was still too much. What do I need to do? I have a plan to help me during the transition from work to home.)

Keep in mind that it took me two years going to a dietician, exercise physiologist, attending weekly health seminars, and psychological treatment of my overeating addiction in order for me to qualify and be successful after surgery. So far it is the most successful treatment I have ever endured. It's also drastic. It is my opinion, as a over eater currently in recovery, that a comprehensive program addressing all aspects of the person is the only real key to the problem.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I really couldn't think of a better title than to just combine the titles of the two TV shows I enjoy the most: SONS OF ANARCHY (Tuesdays) and HEROES (Mondays). I enjoy HEROES for the obvious reasons of the comic book connection. SONS OF ANARCHY is just bad to the bone. My wife resisted that show for a while, but she has become hooked. I think it is more of a train wreck show for her. SONS is so intense and bothersome that she simply cannot look away.

I don't why I bothered blogging about these two shows. I really didn't say anything in the post. It does nothing to enlighten anyone. I just felt like it, I guess. So there you go. I love these two shows.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


When I was a kid my friend and I rented every single karate movie known to man. We loved them all, the good ones, the bad ones, even Gymkata and They Call Me Bruce. We were especially enamored with ninjas.

We acted those movies out, bought costumes, shopped for swords in catalogs, and trained in our own ninja dogo. We even bought ninja pajamas if you can believe that. I'm telling you, we loved the whole shebang.

Good or bad, I really don't care. I want to see Ninja Assassin … bad. The fact that J. Michael Straczynski (famed comic book writer) wrote the screen play makes it even better. Actually Straczynski came in six weeks before filming and rewrote the script because the Wachowski brothers (producers) were unhappy with the original script. Straczynski rewrote the whole thing in 53 hours.

The question is, can I con the wife to let me go out and watch it on Thanksgiving Day? Maybe the day after would be a better choice.


The daughter asked that we go to the park – what she calls "her park" – today. So we loaded her bicycle, the dog and two books and headed down the way. Mind you, it was a picture perfect day for a motorcycle ride. Sometimes family comes first. I didn't move as much as I should have. I sat under a tree, held the dog's leash and read two books. I probably should have used that time to do a few laps with the dog in the warm sun, but it's been so long since I had time to read. I couldn't resist. It was nice.

The daughter met up with some other kids and they played for a long time. The dog finally convinced us that he was thirsty so we packed up and left for home. He was thankful for the fresh, cool water in his dish, thanks to mommy.


Twinkie Casserole:  24 Twinkies topped with caramel, mini marshmallows 
and brown sugar topped with caramel icing.

Sweet bejeebers! I am a fat man, but I  wouldn't eat most of the food items on this site. Even I have my limits of fat and calories. Twinkie casserole? Are you kidding me? Powerdered Pancake Donut Surprise? How about the Adjaruli Khachapuri, which consists of eggs, cheese and what looks like a stick of butter baked in a bread boat. You really have to see these concoctions to believe them.

[Keystroke to Jason Rohrblogger.]


Skinny Kitty has been bugging me about putting MILK at the top of our Netflix movie queue. We got it a week ago, but only got to it this evening. We weren't about to watch a movie during the afternoon, not with such nice weather in November.

The wife and I are unapologetic supporters of civil rights for all persons, including those who are homosexual. We believe that our grandchildren will look back on the gay rights movement and will link the knuckle-dragging views of the black rights opponents with those who fight to prevent gays from being fully realized citizens. These grandchildren will be ashamed and rightly so.

Sean Penn's portrayal of Harvey Milk was astonishing. I have rarely seen such extraordinary acting. I simply cannot say enough. It is no surprise that MILK garnered a 93 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

A fantastic and tragic film about America's first openly gay public official.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


A male high school student was sent home the other day. He was wearing women's clothing because the teen is transgendered. He stated he had worn girl's clothes to school before, but this time he wore a wig and stiletto heels and was sent home for violating dress code policy. The policy does, in fact, have a regulation prohibiting wigs, but it is very specific referring only to wigs worn just to cover up a hair style that does not conform to dress code policy. 

Source: CNN (Enjoy the video)

Monday, November 02, 2009


The city released three hyperlinks to local bloggers the other day to provide information on the pension fund tax. I'll gladly provide them here.

I'd gladly provide links to the opposition as well, but I don't know of any. From what I've seen of their argument, the message is straightforward "oppose all taxes because they come from the gov'ment". That is not good enough reason.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


KY 3 ran a story on the police and fire pension fun, unfortunately (according to the Catanese blog this morning) it ran at 7 a.m. Too early for me, but they put them on their web page good for them). I watched them at 8:35 p.m. tonight. I'm offering the links below.

Parts one, two and four showcase city leaders and union members supporting the tax. Part three offers an opposing view. 

Personally, I don't understand the argument behind the opposition. It seems to me the nay-sayers offer nothing more than a blanket opposition to all taxes. Something about chickens and roosting and other nonsensical answers.

It seems to me that if Springfield residents do not support a tax, then we will end up being sued by the police and fire employees. I can only imagine that a court case would only cost the city more with legal fees and we will still end up paying for the entire pension fund anyway. Again, it leads me to believe that the opposition is merely opposing the tax because it is a tax and cannot let themselves think beyond "it's a gov'ment tax" mentality.

I don't want to pay for court costs that will inevitably tell me to do what I know to be right in the first place, and then cost me more to tell me that. It just isn't logical. We have to support this tax, despite the fact that me might not like taxes at this point in time, in order to save ourselves money later on. It's time to be practical and economical.

I do echo the Busplunge belief that it is time for us to move away from a volunteer city government.


What more could a Star Wars fan and sushi lover enjoy more than a pair of lightsaber chopsticks? How cool are these? They are sold in pairs of Yoda and Luke (green and blue) or Yoda and Darth Vader (green and red) and retail for $22.99 per set. I'm telling you right now that somebody better get me these for Christmas.

They are available for order now from your local comic book store (November issue of Previews page 344).


I told you the cousins were coming to Jackland for Trick-or-Treating. As always we went to a haunted corn maze, rode on a haunted hay ride and watched movies.

My Name is Bruce
It is required for the viewer to be a Bruce Campbell fan to enjoy this film. If you are a fan of the Evil Dead or Army of Darkness, then My Name is Bruce will certainly appeal. I loved it. Hokey, funny B-movie fun. It was rated worse than Quarantine (below) but I don't care. I thought it was a dang hoot.

We streamed this movie from Netflix through the Blu-Ray player. It was pretty good although the reviews were not too hot. That happens with horror sometimes.

Haunted Goings-On
The corn maze we went to was 2.5 miles west of Bass Pro. It was much smaller than the corn maze in Verona that we traditionally go to. But this one had a haunted hay ride, which we loved. The truck got stuck in a 12-inch mud pit in the rode and we had to get off and let them pull it out, but that only added to the fun if you ask me. They had a crane there that they dangled overhead, which was a nice touch. Well worth the money. 

It was a great Halloween here at the House of Jack. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The decorations are already put away and it will soon be time to decorate the Christmas tree. I know; I know. It's too early to talk about Christmas, but I have to admit I am thinking about it and what Santa will bring this year for my little girl.


Costumed kids and adults were roaming the streets in flocks and hoards where my family and I went trick-or-treating last night. My neighborhood gets little attendance probably because of larger gatherings at the mall and in certain neighborhoods. For the past few years we have transplanted our Halloween happenings to one of those neighborhoods as well.

Throngs of ghouls and Star Wars characters cluttered the streets making it hard to drive. We stood in lines at most houses. It was the kind of Halloween you see in the movies, the old school kind of fright night. One house even had a graveyard set up and you had to trek through the spooky fog and tomb stones to get your candy. Another had a dead zombie in the front yard. And yeah, the person inside would jump out and scare you.

I estimate at least 500 people spanned the two block section in Springfield. It was incredible. I am simply surprised the media does not cover the event. I have no idea how the families can afford all the candy.

I know it is an experience my daughter will remember her entire life.