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.)

Monday, March 17, 2014

T-shirt #361 - Michigan Women's Ultimate - PLAY

TODAY'S COUNT: 04 blog posts remaining in the T-shirt year!!

T-shirt #361 - Michigan Women's Ultimate - PLAY

First things first, all my favorite colleges are in the NCAA tournament -- Western Michigan University, University of Michigan, Kansas University, and Kentucky University. Especially where regards WMU, this is a noteworthy achievement.

Monday's has meant an Ultimate shirt for a lot of Mondays. Starting in May of last year, I posted an Ultimate shirt at least every Monday (or Wednesdays when I switched to that day for a while). I have posted forty-nine Ultimate shirts in all, counting today's. I presented my "good" version of this shirt (as in the one I do not want to get muddy) for T-shirt #249. I explained the inscription on the back in that entry if you want to check it. I do not have new content to share that is strictly shirt related, so on to other subjects.

I am also proud that my Saturday post, T-shirt #359, which included my review of The Tempest from the local What A Do Theatre was shared on the theater's Facebook page and spiked my page views to a high not seen in many weeks. The post for T-shirt #359 suddenly jumped to the top spot for last week and with my page view of it (oops) just jumped to a tie for the most viewed page this month (along with T-shirt #348 because apparently blog recap DOES fascinate people as much as it fascinates me). I always assumed that my own views of pages on my blog were excluded from the count, but as I investigate usage, apparently not.

I am not sure how popular last week's "reruns" blog was (check out the new category for reruns!). But it was popular with me. Damn. I am writing too much passive voice. Damn, I am writing it again. I must break free. Okay. Better. Not "that's better" because that is more passive voice. ARG!! I just wrote some more. ACTIVE VERBS ACTIVE VERBS...

Okay, so I liked the "reruns" I posted last Monday with T-shirt #354, which I just made more popular by one page view by clicking the link.

I was somewhat random (though not completely so) with last week's collection of some of the best of my blog work. This week I am going to be more intentional about my choices. Though these blog entries may not be part of my Top Ten Blog Entries (which contains twelve), see the category on the right, these are some parts of some entries (in some cases complete short entries) of which I am fond. I do not have a real plan for choosing these posts. I am just going to kind of wing it, letting the exploration of my own blog guide me in making connections and shifting through THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY ENTRIES!!

But first the boilerplate....

the shirt I am actually
wearing today
OFFICIAL BOILERPLATE TEXT OF THE LAST TWENTY POSTS COUNTDOWN: Hi. Thanks for reading. I am posting this "boilerplate" text everyday for the last TWENTY posts in the T-SHIRT blog year, which started on March 22, 2013. I will close out daily transmission on March 21st, day 365 of my T-shirt blog-tastic extravaganza spectacular. I will give myself a short hiatus of total non-transmission or  publication for an as yet undetermined period of time, though I am estimating about two weeks. After my blog vacation hiatus, I will resume T-shirt posts on a regular basis, also as yet to be determined (weekly? Twice monthly?) to finish blogging about all the T-shirts that were not featured in the blog year. At some point, once I feel I am rolling along nicely, I will begin regular posting through my main blog: SENSE OF DOUBT. T-shirt posts will direct to the T-shirt blog from SENSE OF DOUBT. I will continue to post THE WEEKLY COMIC LIST, the features of occasional T-SHIRTS I AM WEARING THIS WEEK, book reviews, comic book reviews, and other popular culture nonsense as I have been for a year now but all will go up at SENSE OF DOUBT and some will direct back here to 365 T-SHIRTS. Ultimately, I will begin Internet publication of my fiction, primarily the comic book satire episodic story called POP! among other projects. So, in summary, 365 T-SHIRTS will continue though intermittently. SENSE OF DOUBT will host my main blog presence and fiction writing as well as links to any T-shirt posts shared here. I hope you will continue to follow me in my journey as a writer and a content provider. Thank you for your kind attention and time you have spent with me on this and/or any other day this year. I am humbled and blessed by your readership. - chris tower, blogger, originated 1403.02

RERUN #1: This first one is a two-fer as I get this bit on introversion, but I also have a link to T-shirt #161 in which I fixed the broken videos. Looks like I am going to have to cull through the whole blog and fix all the videos. SIGH. I like that T-shirt #161 was exactly 200 entries prior to this entry.

FROM T-SHIRT #178: I actually re-posted an edited version of T-shirt #161 to Facebook and Twitter last night because I was not finished with this one. It was an instant hit with some folks. Thanks for all the kind words.


This is a good place to share a few thoughts on Introversion and introverts.

I shared the video that Liesel had introduced me to in T-shirt #161. You can either dial back and watch the video or search You Tube for Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts, if you want to watch it and have not yet done so. It will take about 20 minutes of your time.

Susan Cain's video is very thought-provoking. As I explained in T-shirt #161, I am more introvert than extravert. ("Extravert is Jung's spelling, and he created the words.) And yet, I am often mistaken for an extravert. I often play the role of the extravert because our society and culture glorifies and enables extraversion while it denigrates, admonishes, and fails to understand introversion. In our culture, there is something wrong with people who want to be alone, who like to read and have quiet time, who need solitude to work on one project at a time, who do not always feel like collaborating or being a team player, who do not spend all their time out and about being social.

Why are introverts so misunderstood? Why are introverts pressured to change their ways? Why are introverts seen as damaged, sad, or in some other way deficient?

Susan Cain makes several astute observations in her video about the importance of introverts and the contributions they have made to the arts, to science, to world cultures.

According to Jung, we all fall on a spectrum. Each of us is some part introvert and some part extravert. We are yin and yang, light and dark. And yet many people want to homogenize. They want pasteurization. Difference is what is interesting. Conformity is not.

Enjoy the wonderful comic reprinted below (and linked) that makes this point more effectively than my rhetoric.


Susan Cain - The Power of Introverts - Cain's main site.

Introversion Cartoon - Link to the comic strip re-published below, without permission but with due credit.

French Fries and Waffles - Link to main site of Luchie's cartoons, artist of the strip below.


RERUN #3:  FROM T-SHIRT #251: Obviously, I am going to be wrong with my NBA predictions. The Philadelphia 76ers looked good at the beginning of the season, and Charlotte usually fades. But Charlotte has come on strong, the Pistons are fading, and the 76ers are terrible. My predictions in the West are way off, too. I hate the San Antonio Spurs.

Since my post at the beginning of the month (November 4th), the Pistons have struggled to a 6-8 record. Although I was going to write last week, decrying their terrible play and playoff hopes that were already dwindling, we fans must remember that they were in the midst of a very tough four game road trip against Portland, Golden State, Sacramento, and the Lakers.

Though the Pistons only won one of those four games, fans should revel in how close the game against Portland was: a 109-103 loss. The Pistons hung with the Trailblazers--one of the toughest teams in the West--all the way, matching them score for score. The Pistons trailed 58-55 at half. All the stats were very close as the Pistons matched the Trailblazers in field goal percentage, rebounds, assists, and actually got to the line more times than Portland, thus showing that they can control the game better, drawing fouls more than they commit fouls.

Though they won the Sacramento game, it was hardly a blowout. In the other two games, the Pistons were blown out by Golden State and an LA Lakers team that has no business being as good as it is without Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. The Pistons have a rematch coming against the Lakers, at home, which will set that situation to right.

The Pistons are playing well enough, but they need to do a little better to close out games. Though they won the first home game against the Knicks after returning from the road trip, they dropped back-to-back home and away games against the Atlanta Hawks. They should have and could have won both of those games. Since then, the Pistons have won two in a row against the Brooklyn Nets (who are awful despite having many "name" players) and the Milwaukee Bucks, which are a mess.

The Eastern conference is shaky. Though Indiana and Miami dominate the top of the standings, the rest of the conference is up for grabs. Damn Miami has soared to an 11-3 record since I last wrote, when they were 2-2. Despite being the rivals of the Pistons, and despite that Brawl at the Palace (long a thing of the past now), I really like Indiana, and I am rooting for them to win it all, especially if the Pistons do not. I think the Pistons are playoff bound if they can continue to play halfway decently, but I hold no hopes that they can win the championship next year (for this 2013-2014 season). Then again, I said the same thing in 2004.

When I wrote my last post on the Pistons, T-shirt #228, I made predictions for the playoffs. I am revising those predictions. I picked New York and Brooklyn out of the East, but I am dubious that they can make it. If the playoffs started today, the East would be match ups of Indiana, Miami, Atlanta, Toronto, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington. But its a close group. Phillie, Boston, and Orlando would all be one game out of the playoffs if they happened today. Cleveland and Brooklyn would be two games out. Even New York and Milwaukee are not that far out.

I like Charlotte making the playoffs. I also think Washington has a good shot, but I did not have Atlanta in my original list, and I think they will be there. Chicago will struggle without D. Rose, but I think they have enough talent to make the playoffs; though given the way they have played in the last four, maybe not. After a month of the season, I just don't see Brooklyn and New York getting to the playoffs with the way they are playing now. Though of the two, Brooklyn has the better shot, I think, simply because of the talent level.

I had Toronto in my list. But I am going to stick with Brooklyn and replace New York with Atlanta, which is hardly surprising. I expect Charlotte to fade, but I would love to be wrong about that. Washington could be a dark horse, and if Chicago fades, look for the Wizards in the playoffs. So my OFFICIAL LIST of predictions (modified which is sort of cheating after a month of the season) is Indiana, Miami, Atlanta, Toronto, Phillie, Chicago, Detroit, and Brooklyn.

It's the Western conference where I voted with my heart and not my head. I want San Antonio to buckle and not make the playoffs. Given that they are the number one team in the West right now with a 13-1 record, tied with Indiana for best in the NBA, indicates that they will likely make the playoffs assuming there is no catastrophe. I would still like to see them fail. I cannot think of a team that I dislike more.

If the playoffs started today, the West would be filled with San Antonio, Portland, OK City, LA Clippers, Houston, Golden State, Dallas, and Denver. I had all these teams except I had the Lakers and the Timberwolves instead of the Spurs and the Nuggets. Obviously, the Spurs are going to make it assuming there is no rash of injuries or massive collapse. Popovich is just too good as a coach, and they have enough talent to succeed. Damn them. I see the Timberwolves beating out both the Lakers and the Nuggets for that last spot. Portland, Golden State, OK City, and the LA Clippers could be the Final Four, but the Spurs are a tough team to beat, obviously and could upset my predictions again.

As for the Detroit Pistons, I am rocking my favorite Pistons shirt in these pics with my favorite Pistons hat, the Breast Cancer Awareness fund raising hat produced by Detroit's WB Channel 20.

RERUN #3: More bucket list. I have been very good with self care all year. The main purpose of the blog was to maintain and support self care. This entry from August shows some self care in action. These were "bucket list" items pre-surgery. (If you're a friend or a regular reader, or both, you probably know I had my prostate removed in August of 2013, just twelve days after posting this entry.)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

T-shirt #136: KUDL 2013: Pink

T-shirt #136: KUDL 2013: Pink

Still maintaining the time off time.

What you will find here are some photos of recent events with captions, and a few links of some good, recent blog things that have caught my attention. If you need something to read, check out some of these.

Photos to the right are actually two different photos with very subtle differences.

Today's shirt is the Pink KUDL 2013 shirt. I wanted to have pink as our team color this year but was beaten to it by Will Maddix and his color theft (as I like to tease him). The pink team won no games all season until they beat our Light Blue team by two points two weeks ago. Fitting and ironic.








Warren Ellis Talks About His New Novella And Living In A Science Fiction Present

'Dead Pig Collector': Eight Questions With Author Warren Ellis [INTERVIEW]


Grading Robot rarely has a day off. A true day off. None of these days (Friday-Sunday, today) have been completely work free, but they have been more work free than usual. Today, Sunday, only a very little work needs to be done, and it is not the kind of work that will require powering up Grading Robot. The man-machine goes back online tomorrow (Monday).

In taking off as much time as possible from work and sort of taking off the weekend from the blog, I managed to attend Day Three of the Fab MagiCelebration in Colon, Michigan on Friday, and I rode about 20 miles of the Kal Haven Trail (about 10 out to Kendall and 10 back) with my friend Chris Dilley yesterday, Saturday. Two Bucket List items down.

BTW, there's a nice little old style general store right off the trail in Kendall. It's awesome. I recommend the ride to the general store and back. I should have taken a picture of the general store. Maybe next time.

Here's some photos (with comments and some captions)...

Here's me posing with this handsome bunny in front the Fab Magic Shop,
not to be confused with Abbott's.

This is Abbott's or MECCA for magicians.
It has not changed much in the last 30 some years.

Here's a beautiful depiction of what's happening in Colon:
Two different magic fests, two different companies,
two different weeks.
This all seems a bit silly that there are TWO different magical conventions and that this silliness has been going on for ten years as this was the 10th annual Fab MagiCelebration is all the more silly.

Silly, silly, SILLY. But it is more magic for people and more business into Colon, so it's not all bad.

For more, info: FAB MAGIC


The Abbott's site has some You Tube clips and there's more on You Tube if you are interested.


Find other Wiki links off the page above if interested.

RERUN #4: FROM T-SHIRT #118. I felt inspired to write something about the Trayvon Martin case. This is not the whole thing, but it's a good excerpt, and it allowed me to fix another video. I shared this entry via Reddit and Stumble Upon, and for some time, it was one of my most viewed pages. It's also in my top ten favorite blog posts category, and the only one from that group that I will share today.

A really cool Twitter message: 


Back to the subject of the T-shirt. Not to make light of the Trayvon Martin case, which I take very seriously, but I think this is a legitimate question:What would Kirk do?

The shirt plays on the popular bracelets of a few years back: "What Would Jesus Do?" After the proliferation of that phrase, there were many others asking what Gandhi would do or what Tyler Durden would do.

Kirk would try to fix the situation.

Like in the Star Trek episode "A Piece of the Action," (TOS #49, 2.17), Kirk "fixed" the gangster-based society by unifying the gangs with a concept they would all understand: The Federation will back every few years for its percentage of the "take." Kirk's novel solution worked for the culture that the planet had developed. Yes, the episode is campy and humorous, but the idea is serious. What would work for our culture? Why take race out of consideration when race is clearly the number one consideration in the Trayvon Martin case?

In the episode "A Private Little War," (TOS #45, 2.19), Kirk solves the tribal warfare problem on Neural by arming both sides of the conflict equally, beginning an arms race he knows will escalate and introducing "100 serpents to the Garden of Eden." Though some interpret that the episode's end leaves viewers doubting whether Kirk gave the Hill People weapons or not, I believe it's clear that he did. This solution of Kirk's would have changed the outcome in the death of Trayvon Martin. What would have happened if they both had Concealed Weapons Permits and firearms?

Or what about how Kirk resolved the situation in "The Omega Glory" (TOS#54, 2.23) and the war between the Yangs and Kohms of Omega IV? Kirk finds that the crumbling document in the possession of the Yangs  is the American Constitution, which he recites, pleading with the Yangs to apply these principles equally for both Yangs and Kohms because the words "must apply to everyone or they mean nothing."

A dramatic reading of the American Constitution in the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case by Captain James T. Kirk might be just what is needed.

The Omega Glory: Kirk's Greatest Speech.

"They must apply to everyone or they mean nothing."

Here's the video:

This morning there was a baby bird outside my window learning to fly.

It seemed an apt message for this situation with Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.


You work and work and work to raise your children, to teach them right from wrong, to protect them, to let them loose so that they can fly. And then what?

"Live long and prosper."

RERUN #5: From T-shirt #57: I have not shared any comic book material yet on today's page. Here's one that prompted me to generate content that is not strictly comic book related, which was a subject of conversation (the content not the comic book) in a class I am taking yesterday.

T-shirt #57: Batman the Animated Series and my Mimobot

T-shirt #57: Batman: my Mimobot Died

I had planned to feature another Ultimate shirt today. Plans change. This is why I eschew theme weeks. I know this was surely of great concern to you, my readers (all two of you), but do not fret, 365 T-shirts will remain random and open to the vagaries of life and existence.

And so, today's shirt is brought to you by a sad event in my life: the death of my Batman Mimobot flash drive.

I love my Batman Mimobot flash drive. Well, I "loved" my Batman Mimobot flash drive. It has died. I can no  longer access its contents. It is kaput. These flash drives do not last forever. This one lasted about four years, and it had enjoyed nearly daily use.

I am a back-up freak. I back-up constantly. I am terrified about losing data. Back in the olden days, when my computer had no hard drive at all and all long-term storage was committed to 5 1/4" floppy discs, I spent an entire day writing a brilliant (at least I thought it was brilliant) chapter for a novel only to have it vanish in an unexpected power outage. I had not saved it once that entire day. I am sure I am not the only one who has ever had this experience. But for me, this experience heightened my neurosis and anxiety about saving and backing up data by an exponent factor so immense it takes scientific notation to measure its true value (how about at least 6 x 10^24 times the anxiety?).

Here's my neurotic back uppityness explanation: Every time I pause, I save. At least once an hour, and usually more like three-four times an hour, I drag the current files on which I am working to my flash drive, which is always plugged in. Folders are always open for quick drag and drop backup. At least once a week, I move all the recent files to my laptop, backing them up again, and a couple of times a month I backup to a third computer and a backup, external hard drive (totaling at least four backups in all). It's on my to-do list to set up an automatic backup to the external drive from the desktop, but then there are a lot of things on my to-do list. I am running a power backup after years of not having one, so at least, I am more protected from the unexpected power outage. I do not store very much in the "cloud," simply because I have not investigated its best use AND I do most of my writing in Word Perfect, which is not currently supported (as far as I know) in Google Docs. ALSO, I have found the Google Doc system to be slow quite often, and this annoys me.

I know that some of my astute readers will proffer advice about auto-back ups or synching systems in a way that would save me time. I do spend more time than I probably need to spend moving individual files one at a time off a "new file" temp folder on the flash drive to the laptop, the third computer, and the backup hard drive. But I like the process. Having to manually move the files forces me to think about them and consider ways to improve my sorting system.

Granted, my system is a bit old school. I was happy as a pig in slop when I upgraded from my original non-Batman 1 GB flash drive to the what seemed like a huge 4 GB Batman Mimobot drive. Still, I had to be selective as I could not store all my data files on the flash drive with only 1 GB or even 4 GB to work with. However, with my main data folder at 5.9 GB, and probably only another 3 GB at most of vital files I need to move around and backup frequently stored in other directories, I am surely going to be able to store all of that data on my new 16GB Batman Mimobot drive. Yay! Soon, Batman will be back in the HOUSE, suckahs.

Still, the death of my first Batman Mimobot makes me sad as well as increasing my determination to transfer files more often. Checking my records, I had not transferred files to the laptop since May 9th. So, to update the laptop, I ran a search for all the files on my desktop modified between May 9th through May 16th. I am still not quite done with the laptop update. And yes, I could achieve these ends with a wholesale overwrite of all the directories, but yesterday, in a rush to get to a class where I would have time to transfer files, I only had time for the search and moving a few files.

Bored yet?

OBVIOUSLY, I find my whole backup process quite fascinating as you may have inferred from the copious text I have devoted to it. In part, I am just working through the process as I describe it, analyzing whether or not it's the best system for my work, or at least a system I am willing to live with despite its inefficiency. At the very least, I will be moving files more often to the laptop to prevent finding myself in this situation again.

RERUN #6: FROM T-shirt #241. I am not sure what it is about this entry, but it has the most page views of any in my blog year thus far by a fairly large margin. Is it the volcanos? Is it the blog recap? Is that the blog recap contains links copied from Blogger? I really don't know. I was going to feature the second most viewed page, but I am keeping to my six reruns only.


I started writing about The Blog Journey the other day and created a category for the subject. So far, each entry (two) has focused on the Blog Journey and how I have come to work on this project. I found it very edifying that yesterday's shirt for the Veronica Mars Kickstarter coincided with my cancer diagnosis in a way that I did not anticipate when I started writing the entry. I did not remember that my discovery of and funding of the Kickstarter came the same day as learning I had prostate cancer.

My therapist asked me if the momentum shifted in regards to the blog after my surgery. I believe I have mentioned this before, but I have a new point to make. Yes, the momentum shifted. There was less of a sense of urgency. Before the surgery, I was driven by the feeling that I had to get it all in before that dead end date of August 16th. I had this quite irrational feeling that the surgery was the end of my life and that if I did not accomplish certain things before the surgery, I would not be able to finish the things after. Rationally, I knew this was not true. But like I wrote, it was an irrational feeling. Also, I felt as if I had permission to do certain bucket list type things because I had cancer, was having surgery, and so I deserved these things. The sense of urgency came in at trying to get the things I was permitted to do done in time. This urgency also propelled the blog forward. Would I have time to generate all the content I wanted to generate in time?

Since the surgery that feeling of urgency has changed, but the bucket list has remained. After all, we went to Hawaii because of that list and today's shirt comes from that trip. Since the surgery, I have a renewed sense of the need for the journey of self-discovery and self-definition that this blog represents. Today's shirt factors well into this journey and this self analysis process. The T-shirt's message may need to be incorporated into the Rules of Chris.

The journey continues...


This week the top viewed blog entry is the one on the Clash -- T-shirt #238 - The Clash --
two others are tied for second most views:
T-shirt #235 - Fantastic Four Long-Sleeved and T-shirt #236 - Happy Ending Massage.

High views for the week came on November 11th when the blog received 87 page views. The second spike came on Friday with 67 views. Today, others had shown hits, such as yesterday'sVeronica Mars entry, T-shirt #100: Kalamazoo College, and T-shirt #45: Star Wars: The Evolution of Darth Vader.

For the month, and I think this is interesting as I am not sure why it hit so much, T-shirt #220: Star Trek Red Shirt Gift, scored the most page views. I suspect this one was popular because it was shared with all the people included in the photo and shared by my wife who took the picture.

Here's the grid (the links are hot in the grid):

I am happy to see the post on my Dad score well. I am very proud of that entry. Nightwing and Batgirl continue to be popular, I assume, because of DC Comics related searching of the Internet. I find it very interesting that the Powell's Books entry has drawn a lot of views. Is it the Jim Leyland content? The content on Night Film? Or my last blog recap like this one?

In terms of all time most frequented pages, the Nightwing page bumped the What Would Kirk Do page that I dedicated to Trayvon Martin. I am happy to see the Nightwing love, but I am sad to see what I feel is an important issue losing ground to a comic book character.

More »



Words to live by. Potential content for more Rules of Chris.

Stay active.
Keep your inner fire burning.
It's OK to let off steam.
Go with the flow.
Be uplifting.
It's all a matter of time.
Have a blast!

COUNTDOWN TO END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 04 shirts remaining

- chris tower - first published - 1403.17 - 20:05
final publication - 1403.18 - 10:01