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JWC Right Now

feeble warning

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 as well.

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, he's 5
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 have
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 were
looking for jobs. they were ready to go but they would have to wait.
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 fond of.

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 Bakery) and 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 in.
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.

click 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.

click 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.

Jan 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.

click 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.

Yes, 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 an end.

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 your behind?

And, smells like bananas??

...Monkey Underpants!!


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 polaroid that 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.

Book Cover


One of my favorite pages, Jack through and through. I was holding him up which accounts for the higher angle.

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 it.

Tonight Jack had four slices of pizza for dinner. It was awesome. I mean these were standard pizza store sized slices from Johnnie's As you might have already guessed, I ate zero slices continuing my "if it ain' t Di Fara, it ain't pizza" observance.

Last night he had a hamburger, but things got a little tricky after I left the house. Earlier when I had asked if he wanted a hamburger sandwich for dinner he said; "no, I want a real hamburger". I said OK, a real hamburger. Turns out I was not making his dinner last night anyway, but when I left there was definitely a real hamburger being made. Patti told me today that Jack sat down to his dinner and after studying the place briefly exclaimed, "That is not a real hamburger!" Patti said she thought it was a real hamburger but maybe it would help if she cut it up the way they usually do. After that Jack had a bite, spit it out and said, "That is not real hamburger!", Patti said, what do you mean?" and Jack replied:

"It does not taste like an In & Out burger"

And so it begins...

Jack just loves hamburgers and I do as well. So we have started a 1-20 scale so that we can define with some exactitude where the best burger in town gets made. It was a 1-10 scale but one day while driving in the car Jack said: "You know Daddy, the 1-10 scale just feels a little to (limiting, restrictive, I cannot remember the exact word he used, there was some arm movements in there as well) and I was thinking we should expand it to say, um, let's see. How about to a 1-17, 18 or 19 scale".

Tonight (9.28.06) in the bathtub we decided once and for all to commit to a scale of 1:21, it has a nice ring to it doncha think?


What is on our hamburger list:
(in no particular order)

In & Out
Pie N Burger
Apple Pan
Jack In The Box

When we go out to eat those hamburgers, Jack always drinks lemonade. The other day he was having his first FATBURGER (16) when I noticed Jack sliding the straw into and out of his lemonade over Aden over and over again. I asked him what was up and he told me: "See Daddy, when you place the straw IN the lemonade it is pink, but when you pull the straw OUT, it turns green".

OK, you try to explain that one an almost five year old.

And why do I feel compelled to talk about what Jack is eating? I dunno, but if you really want to see a great website about a single child's food intake, check out Vegan Lunchbox (thanks Claudia)

Run your cursor over the image to see what Jack saw.


Updated 10.5.04

We also played wit the balsa flyer in the back and it was fun. About the fourth or fifth time we set flight, the plane got caught in a palm tree. You did not see where it landed and I said, Wow, Jack, did yo see that? It is in the tree. And without a moments hesitation Jack turned and said:

"Somebody better get a ladder!"

I was floored, I guess I would say that I know he knows what a ladder is and does, but putting together that we needed it right at that moment was a concept that came from a new sense of understanding. After I returned from my moment of disbelief I suggested we try a broom stick first. Jack was fine with that and ran into the house to show me exactly where it the broom is kept, swinging open the door as if we were putting out a fire and said: "the broom is in there!", and it worked great.

A little while later Jack picked up one of his stuffed animals. One of the many that have been gathering unused in his room for almost three years. It was a colorful Elephant in a spotted outfit. He started prancing around the living room saying "walking, walking, walking, looking for his mommy' this lasted a long time and at time I joined in the prance. We met the stegosaurus and then the Kangaroo doll along our route. the meeting with Kangaroo seemed to have sparked a friendship and Kangaroo stayed with you on the continued walking walking, walking.

We had a pre-established agreement to go to the Nine Nine Bookstore. A place I go once in awhile to pick up some odds and ends (you may know it better at a 99 Cent Store). Spotted elephant and Kangaroo came with us. They sang all the Really Rose songs in the car (Jacks current favorite CD in Daddy's New Blue Car only), and they went inside looking for stuff in the nine nine bookstore. We did not find much of interest, the shelves that previous had 99 cent coloring books now had a bunch of Halloween candy. but the conversation and the fun with the two guys continued, Jack played hide and seek in the isles and then when we were leaving you spotted some small red plastic chairs at the checkout area. You then proceeded to have a small tea party putting out chairs for the three of you in an abandoned checkout lane while all the very odd people that go to the 99 Cent Store waited, and for the most part smiled.

We made some photographs, you were very interested and wanted to have the pictures taken of the three of you. Also you asked me specifically to take a picture of you and you posed for the the first time that I know of. I told you I would make a print and give it to you, which I will. But even better than that I will put it all up on my website.







Updated 6.9.04


Jack has taken on a new level of understanding and thoughtfulness recently. It is hard to explain, yet it is so clear when you see it. His verbalization is growing rapidly, and I am getting the parts together to do some archival voice recording. there is something special about just having some sound recordings of him feel.

A few weeks ago he was barely able to mutter a few indecipherable words to a song. Now I hear him singing to himself songs that I did not even know he knew.

His ability to reason and tell us what he is up to has changed a lot as well.

The other day he approached Patti and said:

"If you go into the bathroom with me and read a book to me while I sit on the potty, I will try"

And try he did. And a poop came out, just like he thought it would.


Updated 5.27.04


I have long had an adverse reaction to anything that resembles the "spaghetti bowl on the head" style of advertising that one sees starring children. Usually bill boards, usually aspirin or car insurance.
With that said, I fear this series of photos is treads seriously close to this forbidden territory. But now that I say that I realize I already recently tripped myself up by putting up the "Jack Sunglass Series" of photos, when I now remember stating that I will never put an oversized pair of sunglasses on my child. But, I didn't put them on, he did.

So here is a series of photos showing the genesis of his reading the IQ books.

OK, what the heck, he's my kid and he is the cutest little button around. Therefore it is all right if I expose the "spaghetti on the head" side of myself.
While at Barnes and Noble the other day, also known interchangeably as the "Big Bookstore" and sometimes as the "Big Library" we started playing a little hide and go seek outside the children's area (much to the concern of people trying to read in the quiet recesses). Finally Jack plunked himself down in front of a of these self guided IQ test books, which as he says: "this one is about the alphabet".
As you may or may not know, Jack is enthralled by anything that contains "Big" letters and, more than likely he believes such items will contain the alphabet. If not, that is OK, it is still a book and Jack loves books.

Favorite books of the moment:

Eric Carle: "Panda Bear, Panda Bear..."

"A Kiss for Little Bear" by Else Homelind Minariak



Lego, Lego, Lego

Updated 2.1.04

Of all the things that Jack has been up to recently, the computer is the most compelling for yours truly. We have a daily routine that encounters a certain number of web sites which I will now give you a briefing on. The fist and foremost is Bembo's Zoo. It is by far the most beautiful flash site I have seen for kids. He adores it. We go there at least twice a day and he knows to type "b" into the address bar, allowing the auto fill to complete the address to Bembo's Zoo and then hit the "enter" key.


The other sites I have found that he likes and therefore we bookmark in a folder entitled "Jack's Favorite Web sites" are mostly relating to the alphabet or numerical systems in one way or another. Most are OK, we found one today that is particularly aesthetically pleasing, of course it is done by some place called "literacy Center.net". When you click on one of the activities it goes to full screen mode, which normally annoys the hell out of me, but in this case I really liked it. Very clean and sparse. Other daily "must see's" are Seussville, which has a couple of fun little flash games and overall a consistent Seuss-y like feel. Sesame Street on the other hand is a bit farther from the mark. First off it is divided into two separate sites. Sesame Workshop and SesameStreet.com and then there is PBS Kids Workshop. What's that and why do they have one cool sesame street item there??
Here are the ones to click: "Journey To Ernie" and "Elmo's Peek-A-Boo", but then there are some really lame areas as well. And in four months not a single update. What is up with that?




I know it ain't much, but here a few recent snaps. Remember to come over and see the really cool stuff, stereographic images of Jack Wolff Cline!

At the farmers market, something he talks about all week because of the pony rides.


"Sunday, Ponies!"


Ocean Beach Park


We went to NYC a few weeks ago and here are a couple of shots:

No, not Jack but some good friends having "sink time"



I feel so incredibly embarrassed for how old these images are.(they were below and I removed them) I will try to get some real beauties up here asap, it all happens real fast, but with my handy digital camera Canon S45 at my side, I am at least collecting a fine archive of JWC.

New JWC Movie posted 5/17/02, go to my movie page to see a list.



I will try to keep it simple. These are the most recent shots of Jack Wolff Cline you are ever going to see anywhere on the internet.


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