Kids’ Show: Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest- Webisodes 7-11

Kids’ Show: Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest- Webisodes 7-11

In my free time this past weekend, I was editing and publishing the newest 5 webisodes of my kids’ show. That wraps up the total of 8 of them that I filmed over Christmas weekend with my dad and brother-in-law.

Now with nearly a dozen webisodes, I feel I have enough collection of material to submit to the major networks, as I mentioned previously.

After watching the finished product with my son this weekend, I am confident that children will really be engaged by Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest. At this point, it’s just a matter of being able to expose kids to my show.

Here’s an overview of what this newest batch of webisodes is about:

Webisode 7: Paulie the Puppy– When Uncle Nick decides to hike a new trail, it leads him to an empty old building and a mysterious barking sound.

Webisode 8: Pokey the Pot-Bellied Pig– Uncle Nick must figure out a way to cross the river to save the little pot-bellied pig who is stuck on the other side.

Webisode 9: Ralph the Red Panda– While hiking later in the evening, Uncle Nick discovers a rare animal as it begins getting dark outside.

Webisode 10: Slither the Snake– Freddie the Fox gets trapped by a hungry snake at the top of a large rock. It’s Uncle Nick to the rescue!

Webisode 11: Barry the Bear– When a scary-looking bear is soon in the Enchanted Forest, Uncle Nick decides to investigate; leading to a lesson about not judging a bear by his cover.

Barry the Bear was first introduced 4 months ago in my other series, Jack-Man:

There are elements in Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest that are unique to the field of children’s entertainment. In the likeness of a real uncle, I begin each show by trying to guess what color the viewer is thinking of, which is by default educational.

Next, I engage their curiosity by introducing them to a different, old trinket of mine. In other words, each webisode is infused with a touch of ongoing mystery.

Before heading outside for the adventure segment, I sing a few catchy (original) jingles to get the viewers excited about going outside in the cold.

Thanks for supporting Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest. My plan is to film at least 11 more webisodes; some of which will feature both the back story of Barry the Bear, as well as his adaptation as a newcomer to the forest.

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat; or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat, or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

Two Christmases ago, I began collecting puffy vests; and gave away my jackets and coats. I now own 7 puffy vests, which only cost me around $18 each; though some of them were gifts:

Red, burgundy, blue, gray, green, orange, and black.

I even own an 8th vest; which is black too, but it’s not a “puffy” vest. It serves as my “outdoor project” vest that I don’t have to keep clean; like when I changed my wife’s car tire after it froze and went flat.

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat, or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

As for my 7 puffy vests, I basically wear one every day from the months of October to March. I think they go well collared button down shirts. I think they look cool and are masculine in an outdoor sort of way.

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat, or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

I fundamentally don’t believe in wearing jackets or coats. I have never liked wearing a jacket or coat. As a kid, my parents always had to tell me to wear one in the winter, telling me I would get sick if I didn’t.

As an adult, in recent years, I’ve gathered my thoughts on the subject and now officially understand why it is that I don’t like wearing a jacket or coat.

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat, or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

1)      I don’t like the responsibility of keeping up with a jacket or coat. Once I’m inside a building, which is most of the day, I typically don’t need my jacket or coat again until the end of the day when I go home. I don’t want to have to worry about forgetting it and leaving it somewhere.

2)      They restrict the use of my fingers. When I first arrive in my office each day, while I am wearing still a jacket or coat because the heat isn’t fully turned on, I find it annoying that the ends of my jacket or coat sleeves slow down my thumbs and sometimes block my view of my fingers as I’m typing; should I need to seem them.

3)       Jackets and coats either keep me too warm or not warm enough. It’s a guessing game. I don’t like having to planning my day about how thick of an outer garment to wear.

Meanwhile, a puffy vest eliminates all 3 of these issues:

1)      Puffy vests take up less space. When I do need to take them off; it’s not a burden having to find a place to put it, nor must I worry about the sleeves of it dragging the floor while it hangs on my chair when I’m not wearing it.

2)      My arms, hands, and fingers are free. When you only wear puffy vests, you learned that unless it’s extremely cold and/or snowing, it’s mainly just your torso that needs to warmth.

3)      They keep my body temperature consistently regulated. Just like an insulated mug keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, the plastic material of my “torso-sized sleeping bag” keeps my body temperature consistent with itself; as opposed to overkilling the heat like a coat can or not keeping me warm enough like a jacket. When it’s really cold, I can simply wearing gloves, a scarf, and a hat; in addition to my vest.

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat, or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

So between my 7 colors of puffy vests, not to mention my “outdoor project” vest, I’m set. Give away your jackets and coats this Christmas. Buy 7 puffy vests instead!

Spring Cleaning and Closet Purging: If You Haven’t Worn That Item of Clothing Within the Past Year, You’re Not Going to Wear It This Year Either, So Get Rid of It!

This black vest I wore at my 10 Year Class Reunion two years ago is now in the give-way bag. (June 2009)

I am in the third week of my new job.  That means I have now worn all my best quality and best matching “outfits” to work.  It’s  during week three that the mediocre stuff comes out of the closet.  Those weird-fitting collared shirts that pooch out in the stomach and make me look 30 pounds heavier.  The sweaters that are a little too short and expose my belt.  The purple shirt.

And for the fact that we are official in Spring now, I’m taking full advantage of my current “Spring Cleaning” mindset: This week as I wear the clothes in my closet that I don’t wear often, at the end of each day I am choosing officially whether to get rid of it (by giving it away) or keeping it.  For example, today I wore my khaki vest to work.  I think I’ve realized I like the idea of vests more than I actually like wearing them.  When I got home today, the khaki vest went into the give-way bag.

Despite the fact I bought this sweater in 2006, it still deserves a place in my closet now in 2011. (April 2011 at my sister's last day of work before leaving on maternity)

For me, I often keep items of clothes too long because of my pride of how long I’m able to keep them around.  But styles change and so do the ways things are supposed to fit.  Jeans from five years ago are going to be lighter and baggier than jeans I buy now.  Some clothes are nearly timeless; most are not.  Feel free to join me in my closet purging campaign:

If You Haven’t Worn That Item of Clothing Within the Past Year, You’re Not Going to Wear It This Year Either, So Get Rid of It!

Goodbye, Black Vest of June 2009. We had a good run.

Rad Web Clips to Watch on a Lazy Saturday

In a world of so many weird and funny Internet clips begging for our attention on YouTube, one that started circulating in the fall of 2008 has officially become my all-time favorite.  I proclaim it my favorite “Clip of My Lifetime”.

I suspect that I’m not introducing this to anyone for the first time ever, but my intentions are to be a guide and companion as we try to squeeze this orange for all it’s worth. Please enjoy “Jesus is My Friend” by a rockin’ band called Sonseed:

Well first of all, it’s from 1983 so automatically how can it not be awesome? The lead singer, Sal (whose wife is the piano player), is quite a cartoon squirrel. His token head nod after every over-pronounced verse is so charming. And the pouty look on his face as he delivers each Vacation-Bible-School-line just warms my heart. It’s almost like watching a 4 year-old boy in the form of a 24 year-old Italian man. (Though he was actually 30 when this was filmed.)

I’ve seen cases of some of today’s popular actors either getting their start in Christian entertainment (or resorting to it once they realize their career is over). One theory is that Sonseed’s snazzy lead guitar player is the young Paul Giamatti. (In reality, the guitar player’s name is Frank Franco. That is stellar in itself.) And the drummer may very well be Will Ferrell’s first cousin. Hard to know for sure.

Depending on what day I’m asked, the back-up singers may be my favorite part of this short film. Having his next-door neighbors jump in at the last minute was a plan that came together after all. The first lady it shows is the answer to anyone who says “what’s the worst that could happen?” when being set on for a blind date. You just know things are bound to get awkward. I’m sure she’s got a heart of gold, but she really looks like she should be a SNL character. Did I see her as an extra on Napoleon Dynamite?

Next is perhaps her husband. I can see him being a youth minister on a weekend retreat in Kentucky.  I would definitely want to be in his raft on the white water rafting. Mainly just because a red plastic vest would befit him. Back home he probably had a Petra poster hanging up in his office so that the kids in his youth group could relate to him more.

Excuse me, John Schlitt, lead singer of Petra, but you're kinda standing on the state of New Hampshire... so if you don't mind...

Um, excuse me, John Schlitt, lead singer of Petra, but you're kinda standing on the state of New Hampshire... so if you don't mind...

All I’ve got to say about the next lady is that I’m proud of her for being able to drag her husband out of the house. It takes a positive spirit like hers when being the other half of someone who can’t even memorize one line, “Jesus is a friend of mine”- he’s looking down at the lyric sheet the only time it zooms in on his face.

And then there are the actual lyrics to the song. Universally, the favorite line tends to be “God is like a mounty; He always gets his man”. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly a mounty is and how to spell it. I think it’s a word for a Canadian policeman. But of course the cherry on top of this whole nostalgia-fest is “Zap!!!” That defines the whole video.

When I was first introduced to this video I just watched it repeatedly. The day after I saw it the first time, my wife came home to find me watching it in a trance. There’s just so much to take in. I found a website where I was able to download the whole album. I’ve got it on my iPod now but “Jesus Is My Friend” is the only song of its class, like “Hey There Delilah” on The Plain White T’s CD.

I can’t imagine any YouTube clip ever having more character than Sonseed’s. But I do also highly recommend “The Renewed Mind is the Key” which was recorded from some hokey adult-contemporary Christian musical in Branson, Missouri. That’s only if you want to see a long-haired white guy moonwalk across the stage, then put his hand over his mouth as if he just “passed gas” and is embarrassed by it, the way a 58 year-old woman from Georgia wearing a sundress and matching hat would do. He is accompanied by two women wearing Hillary Clinton pant-suits who have learned a sort of snap-dance from someone who got their degree in “Modern Dance” from a community college.

And here’s the whole song…

And finally, a must-see is the dog that was born without his front legs; yet his owner taught him to walk on his hind legs. If anything ever looked fake but is completely real, it’s Faith, the Hind-Leg Walking Dog.