365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

T-shirt #13: The Unlucky Red Shirt

T-shirt #13: The Unlucky Red Shirt

"He's Dead, Jim."

Star Trek: The Original Series featured the deaths of 59 crew members (out of 430 total or 13.7% of the crew) of those fifty-nine crew personnel forty-three of them wore red shirts.

For more statistical analysis of death rates and other incidents aboard Captain Kirk's Starship Enterprise, check out ANALYTICS ACCORDING TO CAPTAIN KIRK.

Red shirts die.

Wear a red shirt and be prepared to sign a waiver for ASSUMPTION OF RISK, as explained by the Legal Geeks (No, really, they have a web site and everything).

The fact that red shirts die is bad news for my father, Bob Tower on Facebook, who loves red and owns many red shirts. One could not claim that he wears a red shirt every day, but he does wear them several times a week, which makes him at great risk IF HE LIVED IN THE STAR TREK UNIVERSE, which, luckily, he does not.

If you have read to this point, then you are to be thanked. Whether you are a new reader or a returning reader, I am thankful for your patronage and for following my project. I promise not to keep you too much longer.

Scrolling back through the blog, you will find T-shirt #4 (The Gold Command shirt) and T-shirt #11 (The Blue Science/Medical shirt). As I confessed in those blogs, when the ad from NoMoreRack on Facebook snared me, I bought all three shirts. And, so, today April third, I feature the red shirt.

This shirt has special importance as I am just now finishing the audio edition of John Scalzi's Red Shirts, which is  narrated by Wil Wheaton. The novel has been nominated for one of SF's most prestigious awards: the Hugo Award for Best Novel. Scalzi is an excellent writer. With a fusion of influences from Star Trek to Heinlein, he is a funny, original, entertaining, and deftly-skilled writer of some of the best science fiction being published today. He is releasing his latest novel, The Human Division, as a multi-part series of episodes released via Kindle each week on Tuesday. I am also reading those and enjoying them immensely. Check out my Good Reads page for more information and mini-reviews.

Red Shirts, the novel, is hilarious on its own. Wil Wheaton's narration amps up the hilarity to 11 (on a scale of 1-10). If you take my recommendation and check out this book (and audio), then you may also love the retread of the inspiration for the Ewoks: Fuzzy Nation (also by Scalzi and also narrated by Wheaton).

Back to red shirts: I am following in my father's foot steps to some extent with a plethora of red shirts. I do not own quite as many. Okay, maybe that's not true. I do not wear red as often, though this may be changing now that I am past 50 and need more color in my life. You will see many of my red shirts posted this year. Not counting the more maroon or wine-colored King Crimson shirt posted on March 27th, this is my first truly red shirt. Not all of them are so unlucky.

Since I first posted this blog entry, Scalzi won the HUGO award for Best Novel.

There's good information on the book and Scalzi in the next link from science fiction's premier publication.



I’m going to bed. Tomorrow (actually, today) is a travel day, so there may not be any substantive update. Don’t worry, if I don’t post anything Monday there will be a full report on Tuesday. In the meantime: Wheeee!

SCALZI'S Final Hugo Thoughts

Not everyone felt that Scalzi deserved to win: Why Redshirts should be first to die – book review.

But then, some people are just assholes.

To understand the awards better, check links below.



Redshirts is a great book. Try it for yourself if you don't believe me. Because you don't want to take my word for it. I am starting to be convinced that writers cannot be objective about the work of other writers. So my promotion for Redshirts is no more compelling or objective than the asshole's review linked above. Though note, that I am not evolved enough not to call that twerp an asshole three time.

Lastly, check out Jonathan Coulton's theme song for Redshirts. Awesome.

New original song by Jonathan Coulton - "Redshirt"



  • David O Rogers made a parody film, Redshirt Blues, that was well received at the 2000 Boston Film Festival. I will provide the video at the bottom of today's entry.
  • Entertainment Earth has created a Red Shirt Cologne with the tagline "Because tomorrow may never come." Ostensibly, the cologne was meant to promote the new Star Trek film (being released May 2013), but the cologne was announced prior to Christmas in 2011.
  • The Red Shirt is a featured entry in TV Tropes along with other true and amusing motifs, such as Black Dude Dies First and The Worf Effect.
  • I had trouble with this blog as I kept typing "red shorts" and not "red shirts." I was tempted to leave in at least one "red short" to amuse you, dear reader.
  • I am more than a bit pleased that this worked out to be blog #13. If only it was a Friday, too.

Redshirt Blues

Here's the video:
What do those hapless Redshirts talk about when Kirk isn't around? Starring Erik Hill Jack P. Dempsey


- chris tower, 1304.03 10:29
Photo of me courtesy of Liesel MK Tower
UPDATED - 1403.12 - 19:36