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Craig Zablo Posts

Her Dad Fought in the American Civil War

Posted in Trivia

If you met a woman and she told you that her dad fought in the war, what war would come to mind?  

Depending on her age, you might think Viet Nam, Korea, or World War II.  If she was really old, you might even think that perhaps her dad fought in World War I.  Of course that would be pushing it a bit since World War I started nearly 99 years ago.

But what if she told you that her dad fought in the Civil War?  The American Civil War.  You know, North vs South, Grant vs Lee, Abraham Lincoln ending slavery.  THAT Civil War.

No way, you’d think.  You wouldn’t even need to do the math to figure out that the Civil War started over 150 years ago.  There’s no way that her dad could have fought in the Civil War, right?


If the woman is Juanita Tudor Lowery, her dad did fight in the American Civil War.  Once you get over that mind-blowing fact, consider this: there are a few others like her.  I found that pretty hard to believe until I read this.


Hanging with Olympic Medalists

Posted in Celebs, and Sports

That’s me, Ato Bolden, Allyson Felix, Joanna Hayes and Aries Merritt.  I’m in some pretty fast company, folks.  In case you didn’t know it, they’re all Olympic Track and Field Medalists.

  • Ato Bolden: 4-time Olympic medalist [two bronze 1996; bronze & silver in 2000]
  • Allyson Felix: 6-time Olympic medalist [silver 2004; bronze & silver 2008; 4 gold in 2012]
  • Joanna Hayes: Gold medal winner 2004
  • Aries Merritt: Gold medal winner 2012


These Olympians were in town for the USA Track and Field annual meeting and are all part of the “Win with Integrity” program sponsored by USATF.  They came to our school and spoke with our 8th grade honor roll students.  Their message focused on students staying in school, getting a good education and living life with integrity.  Our students were able to ask them questions, hold a real gold medal and get photos and autographs.

It was truly a pleasure to have these Olympic heroes on campus to speak to our students.


Mike Henderson Gets Carter

Posted in Art, Celebs, Comics, and Movies

This week we have Mike Henderson and his take on Sly as Jack Carter. Mike is a freelance artist who has worked for DC, IDW, Marvel, and Nike to name just a few. I saw Mike would be a guest at Heroes Con and really liked his art [especially a Conan piece that he drew following Frank Frazetta’s death].

I met Mike at Heroes and set up a commission for the Jack Carter sketch posted today. My son, [also named] Mike, was with me at Heroes and knew how much I liked the Conan piece. Heroes was in June. In October, my son gave me a birthday gift — yep, the Conan piece by Mike Henderson!

You can see more of Mike Henderson’s art at his blog.

UFC on FOX 5 Results and Thoughts

Posted in MMA

Dana White, like most MMA fans (I say most, because if your fighter lost you might feel differently), must have loved the fights Saturday night.  We were presented with an action-packed card that started at 5pm, with the preliminary matches airing on FX, and the main card on FOX immediately following at 8pm.  

The FX fights included: 


  • Yves Edwards winning by TKO in the first over Jeremy Stephens
  • Raphael Assuncao winning by unanimous decision over Mike Easton
  • Ramsey Nijem earning a unanimous decision win over  Joe Proctor
  • Daron Cruickshank won by KO over Henry Martinez in round 2
  • Abel Trujillo won by TKO over Marcus LeVesseur in round 2
  • Dennis Siver won by unanimous decision over Nam Phan

Then the main event UFC on FOX 5.  Here’s the results with my predictions:

  • Matt Brown vs. Mike Swick
    Prediction: Swick takes the decision.
    Result: Matt Brown won
    by 2nd round KO making me 0-1 for the night. 

  • Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn
    Prediction: Penn loses steam and the fight.
    Result: Penn lost by unanimous decision making me 1-1 for the night. 

  •  Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
    Prediction: If Gustafsson can weather the storm, he should earn the decision.
    Result: Gustafsson won
    by unanimous decision making me 2-1 for the night. 

  •  Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz for the title!
    Prediction: Henderson by decision.
    Results: Henderson won
    by unanimous decision making me 3-1 for the night. 

Final Thoughts:

Abel Trujillo is a beast.  He repeatedly stuffed takedowns by an undefeated Olympic Gold medal winning wrestler.  His punches could take down walls and he never tired.  This is a kid to watch.

Daron Cruickshank  has skills. He was throwing punches with evil intentions, but also brutal kicks and spinning backfists.  I look to see him on the main card and fighting tougher competition soon.

Mike Swick didn’t look healthy.  He still has ground skills, but looked like he had a ways to go to be back to his former self.’

Matt Brown’s win streak continues.  He displayed a nice mix of punches and grappling in earning the win over Mike Swick.

BJ Penn needs to either get serious and go back down to 155 or retire.  No more announcing he’s retired and then taking months off only to say, he wants to be considered the best pound-for-pound fighter and is coming back to show the world… only to lose.

Rory MacDonald owned BJ Penn last night.  MacDonald has a bright future.  I would caution him against showboating.  Not only is it foolish, it will quickly turn the fans against him.  MacDonald has a bright career ahead of him.  After his total destruction of BJ Penn, MacDonald called out Carlos Condit [the only person to ever beat MacDonald].  Dana, make the fight!  

Man, did Benson Henderson look great!  He dominated every aspect of his fight against Nate Diaz last night, easily winning every round.  That’s not to say that Diaz was not in competitive.  He was.  Diaz is always dangerous.  A couple of times Diaz was able to lure Henderson into a bad position, but each time Henderson found a way out and continued to dominate the round.  Big Congrats to Ben Henderson! 

Detailed Walking Dead Infographic

Posted in Art, Comics, TV, and Zombies

Here’s something cool that every Walking Dead fan will want to check out.  It’s an infographic created by Andrew Barr and Richard Johnson showing:

  • On-Screen Zombie Kills for Seasons One, Two and Three
  • Main Characters Who Have Become “Zombiefied”
  • Chronological List of On-Screen Zombie Kills, Who Killed Them & Weapon Used
  • The Tools used to Dispatch Zombies
  • The Top Ten Zombie Killers Who are Still Breathing

Well played Andrew Barr and Rich Johnson.

A tip o’ Carl’s cowboy hat to ScreenRant.


UFC Fights on FX and FOX Saturday

Posted in MMA

If you like MMA, then you’re going to love Saturday night.  Starting at 5pm, the UFC has preliminary matches airing on FX, and the main card on FOX starting at 8pm.  

The FX fights include: 


  • Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Mike Easton
  • Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor
  • Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez
  • Marcus LeVesseur vs. Abel Trujillo
  • Nam Phan vs. Dennis Siver

Then at 8pm we have UFC on FOX 5 with one of the best fight cards of the year [and it’s on free-tv!].  Here’s the line up with my predictions:

  • Matt Brown vs. Mike Swick
    Thoughts: Both of these guys come to fight.  Brown swings for the fences with each punch and Swick doesn’t mind a slugfest.  Could be the best fight of the night.
    Prediction: Swick takes the decision.

  •  Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn
    Thoughts: Penn is back again with his same old, “I took this fight seriously and am in the best shape of my life” spiel.
    Prediction: Penn loses steam and the fight.

  •  Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
    Thoughts: Do not miss the first round.  Rua will come out blazing.
    Prediction: If Gustafsson can weather the storm, he should earn the decision. 

  •  Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz for the title!
    Thoughts: I am a Ben Henderson fan, but not so much for Diaz.  However, I do respect the fighting ability of Diaz. Both Henderson and Diaz are warriors.  This is gong to be the fight of the night.
    Prediction: Henderson by decision [but I wouldn’t bet the house on it]. 

Joel Osteen in Jacksonville

Posted in Celebs

I avoid talking politics and religion on my blog.  Instead I focus on [as the subtitle says] a look at the fun stuff.  This post is going to cross the line a bit and talk about Joel Osteen in Jacksonville last Friday night.  

When you start to learn about Joel Osteen your skepticism meter will probably come on.  I know mine did.  

Joel is a second-generation Texas minister who preaches at the Lakewood Church (a former 16,000 seat arena that used to be called the Compact Center and was home of the Huston Rockets).  Joel’s ministry is one of the fastest growing in the nation world.  His weekly sermon is broadcast to over 7 million Americans and is also seen in over 100 nations around the world.  

I’m very skeptical of televangelists.  I’ve seen way too many who preach intolerance and their need for money to, uh, spread the word.  They’ll preach that you, yes you!, need to send in a seed [aka money] to show God that you believe in him.  In return he will return your investment back to you many times over.  Or they’ll talk to you about family values and then later be caught cheating on their spouses, plundering the church donations for personal profit or, well, you get the idea.    

Joel Osteen isn’t like that.  His weekly message, is always positive.  It took me a while to be convinced how sincere Joel is.  I hope he never proves me wrong.  One thing that I do know is that Joel’s message is always positive and uplifting.  Every time I watch him I feel better afterward.  He doesn’t ask for money.  In fact, Joel’s salary is paid from his best selling books.  Money donated to his church goes to his church.  

My wife feels the same about Joel Osteen.  So we made the trip to Jacksonville for his Night of Hope.  It was a wonderful evening.  

I’m not big on singing, especially church music, but I don’t mind listening.  The music was so good at the Night of Hope that I wasn’t ready for it to end.  [Although I still didn’t sing — my voice may sound great to God, but I know the reality for those around me.] The musicians and singers [including Joel’s son and daughter] were awesome.  There would be song and then Joel or his wife, Victoria, would speak.  Even Joel’s mom had a message.  Local preachers from the Jacksonville area came to the stage to speak.  There was just the right balance of speakers and music.  Then at the end Joel delivered a positive message.  What a great way to end a great evening.

The event started at 7:30 and was supposed to last 1 – 1 1/2 hours but went almost 2 1/2.  I don’t get to church as much as I should.  When I do go, I start getting antsy after an hour.  I didn’t look at my watch once during Joel Osteen’s Evening of Hope.

It was a truly fun evening.  And that’s why I wanted to tell you about it.



Riddick is Back

Posted in Celebs, and Movies

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Pitch Black and the character of Riddick.  Vin Diesel owned that movie and [with David Twohy] created a character worthy of a series of films.  

The Chronicles of Riddick was an ambitious sequel that strayed a bit too far away from the core of what made Pitch Black [and Riddick] so awesome.  

Now eight years later, Riddick is back.  So is Vin Diesel and David Twohy [writer and director].  Let’s just hope that the coolness of Pitch Black made the trip as well.

Thanks and a flip of the googles to IMPAwards.

10 Things You Might Not Know About Tarzan

Posted in Books, Movies, and TV

When I was a kid I enjoyed Tarzan movies [Johnny Weissmuller was my favorite], the Tarzan tv show and the occasional Tarzan comic book.  

Over the years, I’ve watched many [if not all] of the  various movie Tarzans from the silent era, to the 60’s when he was a jet-setter, to the 80’s  when Christopher Lambert played him.  

Surprisingly, I’ve never read any of the  Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novels that gave the character his start.

If you’ve read this far, then there’s a good chance you’ll get a kick out 10 Things You Might Not Know About Tarzan.