Dear Jack: Webisode 6 of Jack-Man, “The Juggler Strikes Back” (Featuring Best Fiends)

4 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack: Webisode 6 of Jack-Man, “The Juggler Strikes Back” (Featuring Best Fiends)

Dear Jack,

You and I made 4 new webisodes of our exciting new superhero webseries, Jack-Man, over Memorial Day weekend.

The most recent is Webisode 6, entitled “The Juggler Strikes Back”.

In this storyline, we see your arch nemesis Green Meanie (played by me) and his henchman The Juggler (played by your Uncle Andrew) scheme a plan to defeat you by taking away your new favorite game, Best Fiends; which is free to download…

#LoveBestFiends

This post has been sponsored by Acorn.

In this smartphone game, you get to help the Best Fiends grow up and level-up fast to unlock new powers and take down the slug army.

By playing Best Fiends, players can even help Edward end Malaria. Seriously Digital Entertainment is serious about doing good in the world. They have teamed up with Malaria No More to help players give a child a life-saving test and Malaria treatment by playing this game. That’s an awesome way to help others! (When prompted just enter your email address and $1 will be given to Malaria No More.) 

Of course, in our new webisode, Jack-Man and his superhero cousin Super Calla (played by your real life cousin Calla) think of a clever way to get Best Fiends back.

Your Uncle Andrew had downloaded Best Fiends for free on his smart phone at the beginning of the weekend. By the end, he had gotten to Level 30; he stayed up playing Best Friends as I edited the newest Jack-Man episodes.

As seen in Webisode 6 of Jack-Man, “The Juggler’s Strikes Back”, you really enjoyed counting the items and characters on Best Fiends, and liked defeating the evil slugs.

This post has been sponsored by Acorn.

This is apparently a pretty popular game right now… which I didn’t realize…

Yet it is still continuing to grow in popularity.

We are seeing the same thing happen with our Jack-Man webseries, but I knew it couldn’t hurt to feature Best Fiends as a plot device in a Jack-Man episode, since people who search for Best Fiends footage on YouTube might find this episode of Jack-Man.

Best Fiends is now forever part of the Jack-Man series!

And to make it even easier for people to find our new show, I’ve created a playlist on Youtube so that anyone can watch all episodes together at once, in chronological order:

We had a lot of fun this weekend making new webisodes of Jack-Man and playing Best Fiends!

Love,

Daddy

This post has been sponsored by Acorn.

This post has been sponsored by Acorn.

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Dear Jack: Getting Ready For Your First Soccer Game

4 years, 4 months.

Hello Nick!  We had lots of fun this week outside!  Jack and his friends went on a pirate adventure around the playground. He rowed his boat over to skull rock island, climbed through his way through Vine snake jungle, then snuck up on the sleeping dragon to steal the magical fire rubies! (His face running away from the dragon was priceless!)     Today we had a lot of different activities!  He worked with friends to fold pieces of paper and build a tower. He was extremely proud of himself he built it up so high!     His latest craze, is to write his name with “scary letters” They’re beyond amazing! He has such an artistic talent!     And last but not least (We were busy today weren’t we!) we flew kites!  We took out our parrot kite this morning. He asked to hold the kite and he tried to hold on very tight. Ultimately, the wind was a bit too strong and took the kite across the playground, across the street, and into the corn field! Thankfully Ms. Lara came to the rescue and retrieved our kite!  This afternoon, everyone wanted to make their own kites and flew them outside!     We had an absolute blast!

Dear Jack,

This Monday you had your first soccer practice… and this weekend you will have your very first soccer game! Pretty exciting stuff these days.

We bought you a soccer ball and have been practicing in the driveway. From these pictures your teacher sent me, it looks like you’re getting some good practice there as well.

Dear Jack: Getting Ready For Your First Soccer Game

Here’s what your teacher had to say about what you’ve been doing at school this week:

We had lots of fun this week outside!

Jack and his friends went on a pirate adventure around the playground. He rowed his boat over to Skull Rock Island, climbed through his way through Vine Snake Jungle, then snuck up on the sleeping dragon to steal the magical fire rubies! (His face running away from the dragon was priceless!)

Today we had a lot of different activities!

He worked with friends to fold pieces of paper and build a tower. He was extremely proud of himself he built it up so high!

His latest craze, is to write his name with “scary letters” They’re beyond amazing! He has such an artistic talent!

And last but not least (We were busy today weren’t we!) we flew kites!

We took out our parrot kite this morning. He asked to hold the kite and he tried to hold on very tight. Ultimately, the wind was a bit too strong and took the kite across the playground, across the street, and into the corn field! Thankfully Ms. Lara came to the rescue and retrieved our kite!

This afternoon, everyone wanted to make their own kites and flew them outside!

We had an absolute blast!

When I read this kind of stuff about you, it makes me so proud. I love your creativity. You are a bright young boy and I’m so glad your mine.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Getting Ready For Your First Soccer Game

Effective Immediately: New Facebook Game- I Am Now Deleting Friends Who are Regularly and Continually Negative and/or Vulgar (Plus, How to Actually Delete Facebook Friends)

The Rules: If you have been making a habit of posting negative facebook statuses, the next time it happens, you get deleted.

It’s not you… it’s me.  For my own sanity, I have to reduce noise pollution in my own life.  Though I was at skeptical at first, realizing a campaign like this might come across as… rude or judgmental… I’ve already received some positive feedback on it.  So I know there are others who understand where I’m coming from on it. This is what I need to do to be able to afford to keep enjoying facebook:

By enjoying the quality of friends- not the quantity of friends.

Nearly a month ago, I started a new facebook game where I promised to delete any facebook friend who complained about Monday’s. Fortunately, word evidently got out and I have yet to find anyone to delete. Though I admit I was trigger happy, at least my plan worked.  Now I’m taking it a broad step further.

I am a realistic and practical optimist.  I understand that life isn’t always puppy dogs and rainbows, and I understand the importance of emphasizing with someone when they are going through a tough time.  But not all the time… if it’s on facebook.  I am a facebook friend, not a facebook psychiatrist.  (Though I would gladly counsel and help anyone who privately asked me.)

In fact, I went ahead and got a good taste of blood about 30 minutes ago by deleting three friends.  I liked it, a lot.  I’ve been on facebook since March 2005, and I finally got motivated enough to actually delete some people.  Just to make sure we’re clear on what constitutes as being “continually negative/or vulgar”, I’ll give a few examples of what it takes to get deleted:

*make a habit of complaining about the ups and downs of your dating relationships

*often show disrespect to either gender by classifying them all as the bad stereotype, though you yourself are the one constantly attracting and being attracted to that kind of undatable person

*dare to practice tasteless attempts at being funny (ex: using rape as comic material, badmouthing other religions, making fun of physical or mental handicaps, etc.)

*use extreme profanity (when it comes to facebook etiquette, it goes without saying there is no need to use the “f-word” or other sexual slurs, as well as religious slurs or starting religious/anti-religious arguments)

Why have I invented this exciting new facebook game?  Is it to try to be funny? No… that’s only about 5% of the reason.  The main reason is because I have recently begun making a deliberate effort to shape my own reality.  No two people share the same reality. But what we see in front of us day after day can often become what we accept as reality.

And honestly, I don’t need any extra negativity in my life.  There’s no need in allowing more people to add to the noise.  I’m not asking for a PG rated version of life, but I am the kind of guy who appreciates a touch of class.  There has to be some standard of dignity on facebook that I can expect to see each day.  Some people quit facebook all together over stuff like this.  This is my way of taking matters into my own hands, on my own terms.

*Please note: I don’t care what coarse language or subject matter that a person uses in the real world, since that is a person’s private life, but… facebook is not part of our private lives, even though there is an illusion that is.  Facebook is personal, but definitely not private.  I am weeding out the people who have difficulty seeing the difference between the two, for my own sake, not theirs.

If I delete you, the only way you can be welcomed back in the fold is by submitting a 200 word essay explaining why I should accept your friend request and you will have to post it on my facebook wall once I approve you as a friend.  Bribes are encouraged.

This is an open game.  Anyone is welcome to join.

Bonus: How to Delete a Facebook Friend

1.  Look on the left hand side of your screen, whether on your profile or your home page on facebook.  Click on “Friends”

2.  Next, click “Edit Friends”.

3.  Type in the person’s name in the search box.

4. Click on the “x” next to their name when you see it.

5.  Lastly, click “Remove From Friends”.

And that, my friends, is how you lose friends.  On purpose, that is.

When Our Life Expectations are Faster Than the Speed of God

Roll the dice.  Press the buzzer.  Time to play America’s favorite game.  “Solitaire: Life Expectations Edition”.

Life is often a difficult and careful balance of two extremes. Not any two certain extremes- each situation has its own.  But one in particular of these balances has proven consistently annoying: The balance of being a motivated, goal-oriented, hard-working American as well as living in accordance to God’s timing.

I have an agenda, a set plan, an order of events, a timeline by which I’m already behind on, according to me.  Yet on a yearly basis, I’m stalled by a classic answer to many of my prayers: “wait, it’s not time yet”.  And that’s what I call being faster than the speed of God.

Obviously, God, in all his power and lack of limitations can not be outrun.  But by pointing him to my calendar and its several missed and delayed events, I’m simply reminding God of my inability to keep up with him- since his calendar doesn’t simply just move forward; he’s in every moment of the past as well as the present and future.

When God misses my appointments for his involvement in my life expectations, it also serves as a reminder that man-schemed plans are often irrelevant in the face of God.  My life expectations are nothing more than an often-frustrating check-off list of a game that I am playing, involving other people at times, as my volunteers and spectators.

Graduate college and get a job.  Check.  Get married by age 27, which is the national average of American men when they get married.  Check.  Buy a house.  Check.  Have a baby by the time I’m 30.  Check (of course, Lord willing).

Good for me.  I’ve met some of my goals.  My American society-influenced landmarks.  Of course there are plenty more that I’m only beginning to scratch the surface of.  So by playing the rules of my own game, I lose.  Conveniently for me, though, I’ve still got the rest of my life to play this game, and accomplish these goals.  Yet still, the humbling truth is that this game still doesn’t matter to God.  His checklist for my life is much simpler, yet much more complicated.  And from everything I can tell, it mainly just revolves around loving other people.

As for the film based on my non-fiction book, Scenic Route Snapshots, starring James Franco, it’ll have to be postponed until 2013.  Because after all, I need to publish the book first.  And according to my calendar, that’s scheduled to happen next year.

And yet I return to the pointless game of Solitaire: Life Expectations edition.