My “Uncle Nick Groundhog Day Special” Accurately Predicted the Groundhog Wouldn’t See His Shadow this Year

My “Uncle Nick Groundhog Day Special” Accurately Predicted the Groundhog Wouldn’t See His Shadow this Year

Sure, I know. There was a 50% chance I’d guess it right.

But for what it’s worth, the most recent webisode of my original series, Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest, takes place on the morning of Groundhog Day and shows that there will indeed be a shorter winter because the “groundhog” can’t see his shadow.

When you watch the video, notice how the letter that Ralph the Red Panda reads clearly indicates the date: February 2nd, 2016. In other words, the setting is right now; not a generic year.

In reality, the webisode was actually filmed on the morning January 30th, and then released on YouTube on the morning of February 1st.

Clearly, all the content and production of this webisode was filmed before Febrary 2nd.

In this webisode, the “substitute groundhog” explains that while the winter will be short and that spring will be arriving sooner, there will be a “dark cloud” in the Enchanted Forest this year.

A new story arc is presented in which it is told that the animals of the Enchanted Forest will have to band together against the “dark cloud”.

After 20 webisodes of Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest, I decided to spice things up by adding the concept of a villain; something that has never really happened up unto this point; unless you count the quickly converted Freddie the Fox in the first 3 webisodes.

As the writer and director, I want to see character development of the animals as they must use teamwork to keep peace in the Enchanted Forest.

I wanted that “dark cloud” to contrast the weather, as to not paint the setting too dim. Therefore, I chose for the “groundhog” to not be able to see his shadow, which makes the “dark cloud” stand out that much more.

Stayed tuned, as the upcoming episodes will feature a fresh and more complex storyline as the “dark cloud” is officially introduced in Webisode 21: Bruno the Blue Jay.

Dear Jack: You, As Green Meanie, Jr.

4 years, 8 months.

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Dear Jack,

This week on our YouTube channel we launched an official new program, The Green Meanie Show.

We will be resuming Jack-Man next weekend with a new webisode, #18, since your preschool has asked me to film another episode there. I don’t mind at all, since our last Jack-Man filmed there was the most popular one we’ve ever done; not to mention, the fast-growing one we’ve done, if that makes sense.

In other words, it hit 100 views in less than 24 hours.

But in the meantime, I’m creating some quicker content with my new spin-off; featuring Green Meanie as the host, with you playing his son, Green Meanie, Jr.

The Green Meanie Show contains its own original theme song and opening montage. Here are the lyrics:

“He is green, he is mean, he is Green Meanie the villain

He makes money from anyone and everyone who drinks his soda

But you should know that he tells his secrets

On The Green Meanie Show”

So far, we’ve done a Lego unboxing video together…

And I made a brief, educational video where Green Meanie explains the 3 “right ways” to eat a banana:

  1. Eat it brown (it contains more nutrients as it begins to ferment).
  2. Open it from the bottom, which helps prevent smashing it.
  3. Mix it smoothies and oatmeal to prevent “banana boredom.”

Then last night, after we made our 2nd Lego unboxing video (which I haven’t published yet), I let the camera roll as you declared a “pants party”.

You had a lot of fun!

I’ve got a trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan coming up soon. Scion (a division of Toyota) is sending me (or is it Green Meanie?) there to preview their newest car models.

Also, next week makes 6 months since we’ve lived in our new house. I guess I better put together something for that, featuring pictures of our house now that we’re definitely completely settled in.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Webisode 1 of Jack-Man- “Here, Kitty Kitty”

4 years, 6 months. 

EP1 Title Card

Dear Jack,

This past weekend, you and I shot our very 1st official episode of our new web series, Jack-Man. You were great! Here it is:

As the writer/producer/director/video editor/theme writer & performer, I can confirm that you (as the main lead) did very well following my instructions, scene to scene. I am very pleased with how “Here, Kitty Kitty” turned out.

I re-recorded the Jack-Man theme song, changing some of the lyrics, from the Toyota Sienna version I did for our homemade commercial.

Here are the new, official lyrics:

“Jack-Man, who will fight for justice?

Jack can, he really likes bananas

That man gets his superpowers from them

Jack-Man, knows just where to hit ‘em

When it comes to creepy villains

He packs a punch and eats a healthy lunch

Jack-Man!”

This is the 1st of many, many webisodes I hope to record with you. I plan to create a large collection of “creepy villains” (mainly played by me) for you to encounter.

In this 1st episode, the main underlying plotline of the show is revealed: Green Meanie attempts to get children hooked on soda, which in the words of Green Meanie, “is filled with sugar, caffeine, and weird chemicals.”

Soda is Jack-Man’s kryptonite, where has bananas and water are what gives him his super powers; those of which will slowly be unveiled as future episodes are released.

I’m not exactly sure who the demographic of the show is going to be. My assumption is that Jack-Man is designed for young children. Hopefully kids will like it; and hopefully, parents will deem it safe enough for their children to watch.

Obviously, being part of the super hero genre, there will be swashbuckling action… but if I do it right, our show should still be age appropriate for kids who would want to watch it.

We’ve already filmed the 2nd episode as well, which I plan to release in the next few days.

This is fun!

Love,

Daddy

Sometimes in Life, I Play the Villain

And so do you.

I am a mild-mannered, well-behaved, law observing kind of guy.  Yet still, if I was part of your daily life, I would at some point be the person to introduce conflict.  Your arch nemesis, your foil.  Because no matter who you are, you can’t always agree with everyone about everything.  If you could, you would have no opinion or personality.  You would be a life-size cardboard cut-out (like the supposed ghost boy in the movie Three Men and a Baby).

If every new day were an episode in the long-running series known as your life, the villain could easily someone different each time.  Some days it would be a coworker insulting your intelligence, some days it would be the policeman that caught you speeding, sometimes it would be your own spouse who you love more than anything but who somehow found a way to hurt you by something off-hand remark they made, unaware.  At some point though, we all play the villain for someone else.  But what if the same “jerk cop” who gave you a ticket two months ago happened to also catch a drunk driver the next day, preventing a possible tragedy in your own life?  The cop would be both a villain and a redeeming character.

Actual picture of me playing Prince Charming during the Snow White play during the summer of 1991.

During the summer of 1991, I played Prince Charming in a community play version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  I remember how after the first performance, when it was time for the girl who played the evil stepmother to walk up to the stage and take a bow, the audience cheered especially loud for her and she was given a bouquet of flowers by her dad.  As a ten-year old boy, evidently still trying to understand the concept of reality, I thought to myself, “Hey!  Why are they cheering for her?  She’s so mean!” I couldn’t separate her the actor from her the person- though in real life, she was very friendly.  But at the time, I couldn’t see past her good acting.

Now as an adult, I think it’s funny when people who hardly know each other but who are in an isolated conflict often immediately assume that the other person’s character is morally flawed.  They make “right or wrong” issues out of political issues, or often just simply a matter of opinion.  Sadly, the lines have become blurred between healthy debate and emotional arguing.  For me, when observing a debate, I often privately award the winner as the person who refrained from speaking sarcastically and in a demeaning manner, yet still remained focused on the actual topic enough to simply counter their opponent’s offenses.  Emotion shouldn’t be the main drive for a debate; principle itself should be.  I fully realized this lesson after while writing “The Blog Sniper”.  (Whenever you see something on here both underlined and in bold font, it’s a link.)

I couldn’t have been on the debate team in high school.  Because at that point in my (lack of) maturity, I would have refused to debate in favor of abortion if I was assigned to do so.   Back then, I wasn’t able to look beyond the emotional and moral side of it, and realize that in a professional debate, like Spy vs. Spy, the goal isn’t to prove the other person to be a classless idiot.  It’s to disprove their theory, opinion, or perspective through logic and consistency.  Today, even though I am an extreme pro-lifer, I would not have trouble debating in favor of abortion, because if nothing else, it would be an exercise in which I could gain a new perspective from looking at things from a different perspective to help my bank of knowledge on how I truly feel on the issue.  In the process, my efforts as the devil’s advocate would cause my opponent to strengthen their thinking tactics as well on the issue.

Being that this post is my 447th post  here on Scenic Route Snapshots, chances are, no matter what your political, religious, and cultural backgrounds are and how similar you are to me in those regards, if you were to read all of my posts, there’s a good chance you would at least disagree with a few.  And that’s okay.  Because despite me being perceivably misguided on a few topics, I’m still the same good guy that wrote the things you did agree with and appreciate.  I am a debater, not an arguer.