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, July 10, 2013

T-shirt #111: Atom Ant

T-shirt #111: Up and at 'em, Atom Ant

This T-shirt thing is not a new interest, obviously. If I had not been buying and receiving T-shirts as gifts for years, I would not be in a position to wonder if I have 365 or more shirts.

Today's blog will present various related thoughts and ideas via blurbs and snippets: the proverbial sound bite. Though now, as I edit, I notice that the text looks like more paragraphs than bites. I am so Baroque.

This Atom Ant shirt was a gift from Liesel and the kids for Christmas 2011.

When I was making my gift wish list (yes, I make lists), I examined various T-shirt web sites and discovered that one could now buy T-shirts featuring many of my favorite cartoon characters, such as the Jetsons and Atom Ant.

In trying to decide among the various Atom Ant shirts, I chose this one because it is not the classic pose like some of the other images shown in today's entry. Look down at the one by the Wiki quote.

I liked the look of "surprise" and maybe fear on Atom Ant's face in this image. This is definitely a "what the fuck" look or an "oh shit" look, though Atom Ant would never say either statement.

I remember watching a lot of Atom Ant during my childhood, but in researching for today's entry, I learned that there were only two seasons and a total of 26 episodes produced by Hanna-Barbera and broadcast on NBC between 1965-1968. It seems to me that I saw a lot more Atom Ant and for more years than those years.


I made a top ten favorite list of Hanna-Barbera in
T-shirt #101 for the Jetsons. Atom Ant ranked #3 on that list but maybe I did that simply because I knew I was going to feature this shirt.

Here in the photo to the left, you can see up close the toy I own (as seen in the photo above).

Lots of Atom Ant videos are available for viewing on You Tube.

Some of the You Tube  like "Atom Ant Meets Karate" are very racist in depictions of Asians and Latinos.




Atom Ant Meets Karate Video clip - STEREOTYPE ALERT



"Atom Ant is a cartoon ant and superhero, created by Hanna-Barbera in 1965. His name may have been derived from adamant, which gives indication towards his great strength, exceeding "250 times his own weight". The name and character might also be a gentle parody of the Charlton Comics character, Captain Atom. Atom costarred in The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show (sharing top billing with Secret Squirrel). In syndication, Atom Ant aired alongside Precious Pupp and The Hillbilly Bears.

"Atom Ant (voiced by the late Howard Morris then by Don Messick in later episodes) operated out of an anthill in the countryside, where he possessed such things as a mainframe computer and exercise equipment. His powers mostly consisted of the ability to fly, super speed, and incredible strength.

"He was often contacted by the police, who sent him out on assignment. Some of these missions parodied those of Batman. The police force was constantly shown to be underfunded and inept, as they relied on Atom Ant to do all their police work. The only two police officers were the chief and deputy chief. The department only possessed one rusted patrol car. Atom Ant fights various villains including recurring ones like Ferocious Flea (voiced by Don Messick) and mad scientist Professor Von Gimmick" ("Atom Ant," Wikipedia, 2013).

Atom Ant Intro Full Video



Atom Ant - ''Super Blooper'' Video



Atom Ant's catch phrase is "Up and at 'em, Atom Ant." My shirt reminds me that I need to keep egging myself along to accomplish things with this "go get 'em" -type attitude.

There are lots of things to do in each day. Like, I have to go to the store to buy food so that the wife and the children do not starve. (Though Liesel also goes to the store much more often than she would like. Neither of us like how often we are at the grocery store.)

I often rock the T-shirt as I shop.

"Up and at 'em, Atom Ant."

Things to do. Things to do.

I also dedicated an early shirt to my work attitude: T-shirt #6: Discipline.

I have also mentioned work in
T-shirt #36: Kraftwerk and the concept of Grading Robot.

I have been enjoying a work break but next week I will have to bring Grading Robot up to full power again: "Up and at 'em, Atom Ant!!"









The work matrix

So, back to work. Here's my weekly to-do list (image above). A friend of mine suggested to-do lists to help with my organization and juggling as many as nine classes. After a few weeks of writing daily lists, I noticed that many items were repeated, and I was wasting time writing them over and over again.
So I gave birth to the weekly matrix to-do list. I modify the file each week based on what I have to do.

For instance, last week was not so busy, and so, in the matrix, the far right column, which is the majority of the demanding and time consuming work-work was shorter and contained fewer tasks.

One more week in which Grading Robot is operating at a quarter power and speed. It all ramps back up for the month-long sprint starting next week.


This is the central command station of the home office. I added the second monitor earlier this year, and I have found many uses for it.

The dark blob nestled inside the desk pod is the Herman Miller Aeron chair I bought last year, which has made all the hours of sitting so much more bearable.

Is it all too messy?


In the image on the right, you can see the left side of the office. The art finally hit the walls back in March at the last big work break like the one I am enjoying now.

Note the hats, toys, and yesterday's T-shirt (lower left corner) draped on the standing work station with the laptop underneath.

On the TV, you will find the Mystery Machine, Underdog, Robby the Robot, and Doctor Strange, who is perched on a baseball.
These all may make appearances in future blog entries. I am nothing, if not a show off.



The office is due for an over haul. This is one of the projects for this work break like that so many others has not been accomplished yet. Messy? Oh, yes. But it's a work space that constantly shifts. And actual work is accomplished in the space. The mess is definitely proportionally related to the amount of time I am spending maintaining it and keeping it cleared.

You can see part of Aquaman in the top center of the photo (hmmm, future blog prop?). Previews, with which I order comics from Fanfare, is sitting waiting to be conquered, and that issue of Comic Creator I have been buzzing about it under the phone: KIRBY'S KINGDOM.

- chris tower - 1307.10 - 9:16

PS: Today's is my step-daughter Piper's birthday. This does not seem related to Atom Ant in any way but I wanted to mention it.