X Post Modern Man Jack: Choosing a Pocketknife

Knife, pocket-watch, pen, notebook, word-duel-kitchen-knife, tom-kray, the-fas, flashlight-adventure-series. pocketknife

Two days after moving to Brooklyn, I was standing on a subway platform when a cop approached me and asked why I was carrying a pocketknife. I gave him a look that said, “I don’t understand your question,” before slowly sounding out, “because I always have one?” to really drive home that he was absurd one there, not me.

I did this because I didn’t want to go to jail and it had occurred to me before I moved to New York that some of my habits, having a pocketknife with me all the time for example, would be frowned upon in the city.  I briefly considered the idea of not carrying a pocketknife but wrote that off immediately on the grounds that it was incredibly stupid.

The cop asked me where I was from and how long I had been in New York. Somehow he could tell I wasn’t local. So I put a little country in my voice like it had slipped in by accident and told him “Iowa” and “two days,” and in the end he decided he had more pressing things to do than take pocketknives away from farm boys. 

It’s not really a story, it’s more like an anti-story but I can’t think of any particularly good pocketknife stories right now, except maybe the time I used one to break into my own apartment but you wouldn’t want to hear that one. It involves me saving the day with a knife while wearing nothing but a towel. Even if I were to sit down and try to recall some pocketknife stories they would probably all sound about like this: so there I was and something needed cutting. Someone asked if there was a pair of scissors around but I cut the thing that needed cutting with my pocketknife rendering the search for scissors pointless.

Being prepared doesn’t make for great anecdotes.

I’ve carried a pocketknife for years and while I don’t have call to use it everyday, I would say that it comes in handy at least once a week. They are literally the most useful things ever created. In fact this blog was almost named the Pocketknife Adventure Series except it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it and I never had pocketknife as a nickname. But that’s a story for another week. This week is pocketknives. My article on ModernManJack is a guide for choosing a sturdy pocketknife for daily use.


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X Post Daily Syndrome: 3 Amazing Prosthetics Straight Out of Science Fiction

Star-Wars, Luke-Skywalker, Mark-Hamill, Tom-Kray, The-Fas

I love Science Fiction. I love it so much that if Jane Austin novels took place in space I might be able to get through them. One at least. Maybe. But as awesome as SciFi is, sometimes when you spend enough time kicking around a particular verse strange themes start to develop, themes I don’t think the creators ever intended yet are too prevalent to be ignored.

For example: How many limbs get chopped off in Star Wars?

Answer: More than you would expect.

Darth Vader losses four limbs, three to ObiWan  and one to Luke. Luke in turn loses a hand to Vader. Old Ben cuts off an arm at the cantina on Mos Eisely. Darth Maul gets cut in half (and since he comes back in the extended universe so that counts as two legs). The list goes on but you get the idea.

That’s what inspired my latest post on the Daily Syndrome–SciFi not Jane Austin. In the future debilitating injuries didn’t seem so bad because the array of cybernetic replacements often seemed better then the inferior, human originals that got lobbed off. While we’re not at Star Wars levels of awesome cyborg parts yet, the technologies are beginning to blur the line between prosthetic and upgrade.



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tom-kray, cosplay-girl, cosplay, the-fas

The following play was written as part of a Bring Your Own Theater event. It was written in a single night and delivered to the director and cast just before dawn to be performed that night. There were two prompts that created the theme for that night, they were Failure and Porn. With no further adieu..


By Tom Kray


Smut Peddler: Socks with sandals, biking attire of some sort. A German Dominatrix type super villain in disguise, though her evil personal does have a tendency to slip out.

Jack: Button down shirt, pants. A man who has hit absolute rock bottom, chronic masturbation has ruined his life and this is his attempt to turn it around.

Blue Dick: Button down shirt, pants, trench coat, and blue painter’s tape penis. Ideally Jack and Blue Dick will be dressed as similar as possible aside from the tape and coat. A lack-luster detective at best, he is crippled by bouts of sever depression, a fact well known to his enemies. He also works at KFC, which is just kind of a downer.

Continue reading

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X Post Modern Man Jack: Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Guardians-of-the-galaxy, Mavel

Guardians of the Galaxy is what happens when nerds are put in charge of nerd projects and given massive budgets. This week on Modern Man Jack, I review the unexpected hit movie. Seriously, Guardians is a top shelf super hero movie equal to the Dark Knight and The Avengers. Read the full review on here and then go watch the movie because it’s outstanding.

James Gunn, welcome to nerd royalty.

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Word Duel: Cue Ball

Tom-Kray, Billiards, cue-ball, I’ve waited my whole life for a movie like this to come along. No matter how it turns out, it’s a huge victory for my people. This movie is going to raise awareness for their struggles. But It’ll be more than that. I’ve seen the previews and I’m sure it’s going to be amazing. That’s why it’s going to be so powerful. It’s not just a plea for our plight. It’s going to be a groundbreaking film. Cue Ball 88 is going to change the lives of billiard balls everywhere.

Continue reading

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X Post Resource Magazine: 12 Tips For Taking The Perfect Selfie

Tom-Kray, selfie, Resource-Magazine,

My editor at Resource Magazine asked me to write a tutorial post on taking the perfect selfie. Now, I’ve never been overly fond of them, probably because I tend to make a weird face when I’m anticipating a photograph. Also they strike me as incredibly narcissistic but that’s neither here nor there.  I could still write a tutorial no problem.

The cruel twist of fate came when she told me I had to send along sample selfies with the article. I figured that with the Internet being so flooded with selfies I could just find examples. Characteristically, I was wrong. While, yes, there are billions of selfies floating about cyberspace, remarkably few of them are them search engine friendly. I folded after about an hour of fruitless Googling and accepted that I’d have to take the pictures myself.

After spending as much time taking selfies as I did writing the article and still looking sort of dopey in most of them, I changed tactics. What if instead of good selfies, I sent ones that were over the top terrible? Then they would have to find better stock images, right?

Or just go ahead and run the photos me looking ridiculous. 




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Word Duel: Extinguish

fire, Tom-Kray, The-Fas, campfire, camp-fire

Standing over the smoldering ruins of my bed, fire extinguisher in hand, I knew my relationship was over. It wasn’t her screaming obscenities at me, or the rhythmic cry of the smoke alarm in the hall, or the white residue that covered my room that told me. It was the realization that when she knocked the candle off the headboard and the embroidered pillow caught fire, I wanted it to burn. Continue reading

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X Post Modern Man Jack: Staying Motivated At The Gym

Gym, Tom-Kray, Battling-Rope


My post this week on Modern Man Jack is a quick primer on staying motivated to keep exercising week after week. Every January lots of people join gyms but by February 99 percent of the new members have left for good. This week I discuss ways of setting the right kind of  goals and keeping motivated so you can achieve them.

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X Post Modern Man Jack: Escaping Handcuffs With a Paperclip

Tom-Kray, The-Fas, handcuffs, paperclip

Escaping from handcuffs is a staple of action movies and one of the weird, little skills I’ve found quite helpful in my life as a gentleman adventurer. So if you’ve ever wanted to know how to pick the lock on a pair handcuffs with a paperclip, you’re in luck. It’s the subject of my article on Modern Man Jack this week.

The illustrated, step-by-step guide takes you through everything you need to know  to slip out of standard, police issue handcuffs without a key.

Pro tip: Make sure you have your key with you before you try escaping or it could make for an awkward call to your local emergency services.

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X Post Daily Syndrome: Soviet Doctor Performs first Auto-Appendectomy.

The soviets had a certain reputation for being unflinching, bat-shit insane, hard asses. A lot of that probably had to do with American movies portraying them that way so that they they would make good foils for our boxing movies. But a lot more of that probably had to do with them being unflinching, bat-shit insane, hard asses.


Spetsnaz, axe-throw, axe-throwing, Russian, Soviet

I’m just going to leave this here.

The story of Leonid Rogozov doesn’t have any axe throwing, at least there wasn’t any axe throwing deemed relevant enough to the story to be recorded. Rogozov was a Soviet doctor and the first person in history to perform an appendectomy on himself. So why did Rogozov opt to cut into himself? Because he was in god-damn Antarctica and literally the only doctor on the continent. You can read the full story in all its Soviet glory here, on Daily Syndrome.

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