Just a quick note. The other
day we were watching some Warner Bros Looney
Tunes cartoons, of which
there seems to be a vast resurgence of interest in and Jack was explaining
out loud what was happening at the point in loading up the DVD. He
said something about the "feeble warning" and I
realized and almost lost that he was talking about the FBI Warning!
at the h beginging of every dvd known to man, I think. Anyway, I
just thought it was a great maplapropism.
ftx sm #44
Yesterady was a pretty special
day for my son Jack. It was the first ftx event to be held in Southern
California. After a one week push due to rain and a lot of disgruntled
meanderings about how no one was gonna show up on StuporBowl whatever
it is, we had a our plan.
Let me back up a wee bit.
If you want to catch up on what ftx is go here,
if you want to read little bit about my personal involvement, then here is
where you shall go, but if all you are here to read is about Jack
(it is his his area of my website as you know), well then by all
means read on.
A little while back I told
Jack about the whole ftx sm event and asked if he would help me with
it. He said yes of course. Somewhere in there I must have mentioned
the tee shirts, the french toast logo beret dude and the all important
numbering system. After Jack absorbed all this he asked me if I would
ask Shyam (ftx's front runner) if he could have an ftx tee shirt?
It was a bold move on Jack's part, but it seems to have paid off.
Over the following weeks there
were numerous occasions where Jack would ask me if I had heard from
Shyam about the request. All I told him was what Shyam said. Giving
out numbered ftx shirts is a big deal for him and is usually reserved
for people that have proved themselves to the toasty cause. He claimed
he would take it under serious consideration and on the day of the
event would make his ultimate decision (he is not as tough as I am
making him sound)
More time passed, at one
point Jack got a letter from Daisy and Send-a-hug,
and while he was opening the letter he looked up at me and said, "Do
you think this is an answer from Shyam about the shirt?"
Let's just say it was on his
mind a bit.
Jump cut to yesterday and
Jack was all business. he was a real trooper because not only was
he helpful in setting up the food and pulling the amazing Hawaiian
bread out of there snug boxes, but all in all we were there over
three hours, which is a LONG time for Jack to be hanging out. Luckily
for him, two of his friends from school showed up to slam some toast
The end of the story is really
the begining. We got there, helped get all the food out onto the
tables, set up the dual grill situation to handle the needs of the
hungry crowds and then Shaym asked Jack to join him for a moment.
He kneeled down and told Jack all about what it means to bring someone
into the french toast and hugs gang and without too much folderol
he produced the one of a kind, limited edition, sky blue baseball
shirt with the number 44 on the back.
It was a really touching moment
and Shyam told me later it was one of the two favorite things that
happened that day, he never told me the other? Here is the unfolding
in Shyam's words:
my first magic moment was at the beginning when i got to
give jack cline
his ftx #44 gang member shirt. for those that don't know jack,
and hardcore. besides being a good name for an album it's a fit
description of this
a couple of weeks back thru his dad henry, our 2nd chef in
the early morning, he
told me that he wanted to be in the gang and that he felt he'd
a lot more luck if he was. that's it, direct and to the point.
so yesterday morning we were just starting to set up and people
looking for jobs. they were ready to go but they would have
this was serious business.
i got down on a knee and told jack i needed to talk to him.
i fixed his eyes and he with mine and i told him that i knew
what he told his dad. i told him there was only 1 requirement
to get in
this gang and that was to be 'stone cold'. now stone cold to
me and daisy mae
means only one thing: to only be who you are, and who you are
only adds to this
planet. i told jack that telling people, including yourself,
what you want
in this life is stone cold. it's putting you on the line regardless
of the answer.
i told him that type of attitude would get him far.
he told me he wanted in.
so he's in.
If you would like to read
more of Shyam's thoughts on ftx sm, freindship, cars, and giant seahorses,
check out his blog here. As
for Jack, he was thrilled. Thrilled to the point where I saw look
on his face I have never seen before and cannot find words to express.
Happiness mixed with awe and excitement, there is a glimmer of it
in this photo, but not the full force.
As for the rest of ftx sm
2007? Well, against all odds, the weather was perfect, the Park
Ranger who said in my presence "under no circumstances will I allow
this event to continue" was won over by Daisy, There was a seven
foot tall purple sea horse, hundreds of slices of french toast was
served, and in the end, there was not even a trace of the Crepes
and Gropes gang who threatened to open up shop across the street
and rain on our parade.
I introduced Warner Brothers
cartoons a while back. His interest in them waxes and wanes,
but I always enjoyed his description of when Wyle E. Coyote gets
blown up under his own direction. The event almost always involves
TNT Aden Jack therefore calls these moments tints. I call them
tints now as well and I thought I would do a screen grab of all
the tints I could find amongst the 266 WB cartoons I own.
The other night Jack had
his first taste-off. For the uninitiated, a taste-off is mini gathering,
anywhere from two to a boat load of people all using there god given
senses to determine which is the best of whatever the taste-off is
about. There is a form that each taster has to fill out and the results
are secretly tabulated in the labs of interactivehank and properly
decimated to the tasters forever determining what was the best of
the subject of that particular taste-off. Taste-offs have supplied
the answers to at least one of the Hank
Best Of page entries. Jack's
first taste-off was for hamburgers. Not really the best burgers,
but more a comparison of the four burgers that Jack is currently
Here is how it worked. I
went to the four burger making establishments (Callahan's, Fatburger,
In & Out and the fourth was supposed to be Perry's
Cafe at the beach,
but they were closed so I put a secret entry of Mani's
bought one plain hamburger from each joint. Then I cut each burger
into quadrants, put them on separate plates with the name of the
actual location on a post-it underneath. On the surface the plates
were labeled A, B, C, D.
Jack then had a form that had to have following information filled
Column one: Which restaurant did the burger come from
Column two: on Jack's scale of 1-24, what is your rating
Jack was all business as
you can see form the picture, sharpie in hand. He spent a considerable
time making his choices and after filling in one form three quarters
of the way he decided to start over. Lucky for me I had four clean
copies of the form available.
to see full sized form
The end result? He
got them all wrong, bad word, incorrect. He transposed Faturger
for In & Out
and rated them pretty much in the opposite order that I did. But
THAT my friends is the beauty of the taste-off. It was a resounding
success and before dinner was over we had realized that we could
do another taste-off for desert since we happen to have three kinds
of Lemon ice like sorbet substances in the freezer. A go cup from
Ben and Jerry's, Zesty
Lemon Haagen Daz Lemon Sorbet and
his favorite, Dreyer's
Lemonade Popsicles. Jack prepared the form
this time and here it is.
on image to see full sized glory
While In retelling
the details of Jack's first taste-off to my pal Matt #2*, he kept
saying out loud what a great concept it was. I told him about my
past taste-offs and with each successive description he l kept
saying "when can I be in a taste-off?". Well,
the answer is soon my friend. It made me realize that I have
indeed had a couple of pretty successful taste-offs in the past
and that now was as good a time as any to include them
in the ongoing fascination with all that is Hank. So, here are
all the documented taste-offs I have had.
1999 was the first recorded
taste-off, the subject was Tamales and it was a huge success. Luckily
for you, I keep every single item I create on the computer. Here
is the form we used for the Tamale Taste-Off.
for full sized form, hey print it out for your own Tamale Taste-Off
Moving forward to December,
2001 was the time of the famous Banilla Ice Cream taste-off. This
was a true winner and the results determined the best vanilla ice
cream on the market as evinced by Hanks
Best of page.
you can click this one as well
The there is a big jump in
time to the production of the movie BeWitched. The writer director Nora
Ephron has an uncanny sense of good food and is
not afraid to express it. We had at least four full on ice cream
sundae bars all concocted with ice cream flown in from Graters
in Ohio. Outstanding! There was also something called Cake Wednesday
that started as a piece of improv by Will
Ferrell, but soon became
an established part of our weekly eating schedule. Every Wednesday
there were cakes, usually from one of the best confectionary bakeries
in Los Angeles, Sweet Lady
Jane. These two instances got me going
and at some point late in the schedule I had an informal taste off
to determine the best ice cream and best cub cake. Here is the form.
What can I say?, I love a
taste-off, I promise to have one soon for my pal Matt #2 and wouldn't
you know that when I picked up Jack from school the day after the
burger taste-off, the first thing he said to me was, Daddy,
can we have a taste-ff tonight? Before we got home we had
determined what the next taste-off is going to be. Apples and Meatballs.
I kid you not, it is currently set for December 12th, 2006. Jack
is making the forms again.
Any suggestions? email them here
*I have three friends named Matt. Jack refers to them as Matt #1,
Matt #2 and Matt #3
There must be one of these
moments in every parents recollection of their offspring developing
sense of humor. The first joke. I don't mean the first thing that
felt like joke or the first time a rhyme was used for hours of nonsensical
frivolity, I mean a joke. A joke with a begriming, a middle and
Anyway, Jack made up his
first joke a few weeks ago and if I dare say it is a doozey, it might
even make into the annals of humor history and don the pages of
some future joke-of-the-day website.
So here goes:
What's Big, Wide, fits on
And, smells like bananas??
Jack is really growing fast
and his development astounds me at times. A few weeks ago was his
fifth birthday. He had a blast and among other things was completely
in charge of decorating and setting the table, icing the cake and
inviting the guests. He made invitations, he instructed me specifically
on where to hang each and every ribbon and he thoughtfully, methodically
placed every knife, fork and spoon on the table. You can see photos
of this in my photo
area. These are two of my favorite
photos taken that day, with an age old process of photo chemical
silver halide light sensitive camera film.
One of the most inspired
and astounding moments that I have had recently involved Jack's
contribution to the send-a-hug campaign
previously mentioned on Hank
Right Now. When my friend Shyam came over to pick up and photograph
Jack for his send a hug gift, there was this amazing moment after
Shyam described to Jack how the note that Jack was going
to write would be given to someone who really needed some love in
their life and that even though he didn't know who it would be, that
the love is what mattered. Jack sat down with the crayons and stickers
that Shyam had brought over in his send-a-hug kit and while Shyam
and I gabbed a bit, Jack wrote the letter.
Every once in awhile Jack would look over to me with a look that
I had not seen before. It was filled with a sense of happiness, love,
understanding and playfulness. He knew what he was doing and he
was enthralled by it. At that moment I was so taken by his ability
to be who he is. Of course I am his father and feel similar feelings
quite often, but here was something unique in that moment and I will
never forget the look on his face. There is a piece of it in the
Shyam took that goes in the send-a-hug package. And there is a
greater piece of it in the letter that Jack wrote to the stranger
who will receive his gift of Grover.
Thanks Shyam and thanks Jack
and thanks to Daisy for doing the send-a-hug project. This photo
was taken by Jack as Shyam sailed away in his ride in order to pick
up more send a hug donations. I will say that after a slightly rough
period of Jack having some difficulty in maintaining good headroom
in his photos, he is all dialed in.
A few weeks ago
we went to the LA Zoo. It is
one of Jack's favorite outings. The maps and signs alone are more
than enough to keep him happy as a clam. On this particular day
we went with a friend of his from school named Avery. Part way
through our tour Jack started taking pictures. He said he wanted
to take a picture of every animal he saw. I told him that
we could make a book later on the computer with the pictures and
even give one to Avery.
He was really excited about that. Anything that involves computer
time is good with him.
As I watched him take pictures
I was struck by something. Because he is exactly the same height
as the railing along the top of the fence he was struggling
to get an acceptable frame much of the time. He never said
anything about it, just jockeyed back and forth between vantage
points, looking through the lens, then with his eyes, all the
while thinking. It was exactly what we do at work while searching
for an angle that we believe is appropriate, tells the story.
I guess it is just human nature of some kind, or at least it is
if you the son of a photographer.
The other aspect of his
shooting that I could not let go of was how perfectly framed some
of the images are. I was again reminded of something
we are always trying to emulate at work. When shooting a scene
or a sequence of shots and you want it imbue it with a particular
point of view, (in this case a 42 inch
four and 11/12th year old boy), how to you demonstrate that? All
I know is next time it comes up on the set I will certainly reference
Jacks photos form the Zoo that day.
One of my favorite pages, Jack through and
through. I was holding him up which accounts for the higher
I think this is such a great picture. Oh,
I forgot to mention, when Jack could not see the animal he
was trying to capture, he just photographed the sign instead.
These span a good year of growth and only prove one
thing. As much as I never thought I would tolerate my child putting
on goofy glasses, these photos just slay me. All I can say is really
I had nothing to do with it, kids like to put on glasses, that's