Sunday Reads V: Authentic Living, Savvy Writing and Cookies You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

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photo credit: chris favero StormTrooper Bucket shot via photopin (license)

Never raise a hand to a child, I read once – it leaves your midsection unprotected.

Comedy writer Robert Orben said that. I’ve never raised a hand to any of my children. I have, however, left my midsection – from the bottom of my rib cage to my upper thigh – vulnerable. I’ve been kicked by kids in shopping carts a thousand times.

I should be writing this post in falsetto.

There are better, healthier ways for a dad to remain vulnerable. It’s crucial for us to exude strength to our kids; we often want to take it to the extreme, though. There’s a balance to discover, between The Terminator and The Cowardly Lion.

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Go Ask Daddy About Football Laundry, Wacky Words, and Our Next Outdoors Adventure

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Referees and me. Hmm.

GAD GRAPHICYou know me. I’m mostly the agreeable type. Sure, I mutter insults to people who tailgate me and blow past me on the highway – all while snapping chats on their mobiles. But for the most part? Live and let live.

Except for, maybe, refs.

Not all refs, mind you. I’ve had enough run-ins with our striped adversaries to write a post on it. I’d be itchy afterward, though. I don’t really want to get into it. How bad does it get?

I wouldn’t go to Sports Clips for awhile because the stylists wore referee shirts.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with TV Reporter Caroline Vandergriff

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I’ve known who news reporter Caroline Vandergriff is for a while.

cd-interviewsBesides having a cool name, Caroline did a story on a hero of mine, Mildred Meachem. Mildred played in the All-American Girl Professional Baseball League. I knew Mildred from my time as a member at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte.

When Mildred died in January, Caroline did the story for Spectrum News.

Caroline treated my friend like the treasure she was. I expressed my appreciation, and told Caroline I wish she could have met Mildred, a pioneer for women’s sports whose accomplishments paved the way for girls like mine in athletics.

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No More Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

IMG_20170709_170402I’ve been hiding a long time.

I had to go with that opening line, because I’d promised someone I would. I’m glad, though, because this friend suggested it as we talked about how things are going for me now, and it perfectly tells the story.

No, I’m not coming out of the closet.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. You might have noticed more of a mindful bent on Mondays around here. I can’t help it. Between meditation on Wednesday, yoga on Friday (something old and new), and prayers for world peace on Sundays …

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Sunday Reads IV: Seasonal Nostalgia, Meaningful Numerals and the Day Life Began

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I’m in the midst of some of my favorite sounds of summer as I write this.

I’m in the press box at Sims Legion Park in Gastonia on a Saturday night. I’m covering a pair of Coastal Plain League games. It’s an odd doubleheader: Game 1 was a continuation of a game suspended by rain in the second inning, in another city, 10 days ago.

By the time the Gastonia Grizzlies and Martinsville Mustangs finished that game – a 12-3 Grizzlies victory – it was 10 p.m., and many kids still ran around the park on a steamy summer night with little reason for an early bedtime.

The CPL is a summer league for college players, with a rich history and wooden bats. What a dream it would be to spend a summer on one of these teams, living with host families and playing in historic ballparks.

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Go Ask Daddy About Head Injuries, Soccer Stars, and the Storm That Canceled Everything in Charlotte

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It’s not good when a first-round draft pick in the NFL is known for getting more concussions than championship rings.

GAD GRAPHICThat was quarterback David Carr’s reality. The Houston Texans chose Carr, a star at Fresno State, first overall in the 2002 draft. In five brutal seasons behind a makeshift expansion team offensive line, Carr was sacked 249 times. He signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2007.

I had a chance to talk to him about his concussions when I worked for the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record and Associated Press.

Carr suffered at least three concussions with Houston, and at least one with Carolina. I asked him about the injuries once, and he categorized each hit as distinct from the others. Once, in Tennessee, he said, I took a hit, and sat up and looked around the stadium.

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5 Random Smartphone Photos, Part VII

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So, that number was completely arbitrary.

I’d like to do these once a week, so why not? There’s a divide between my old, beat-up phone and the new replacement. My Google photos won’t sync. So I have pictures on my new phone I can’t get to online, and I can’t get my online photos from my phone.

First world problems, right?

I’ll pick just five at random, and luckily, I have 300-plus to choose from. Amazingly, none are from the trip Camdyn and I took to Jacksonville last fall to see the Denver Broncos play. That trip has made it into every random smartphone post I’ve done!

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Game Developer Carla Kopp

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I’ve made up a tabletop game or two in my day.

cd-interviewsWho hasn’t? My games were good for a round, maybe two. Today’s guest on #GirlsRock does way better than that! Meet Carla Kopp, senior quality assurance test engineer for Synapse Wireless, an Internet technology firm in Huntsville, Ala.

So smart, so creative. She has a cool job – but she does cool things away from work, too, with Weird Giraffe Games.

This is an occasional series on Coach Daddy to celebrate women who do cool things. Carla definitely qualifies. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a MS from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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Sometimes You’re El Maestro, Sometimes You’re Most Definitely Not

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I’m going to tell the team to call me maestro next season, I mentioned to Hayden.

It was in jest, of course. I’d been listening to Mitch Albom’s The Mighty Strings of Frankie Presto. In it, the main character calls his teacher, of course, maestro. Hayden gave me the look. No, she protested.

We could go with guru instead, I offered. They both mean teacher. (I had momentum.)

If you do, I’ll tell the school that you did something awful that you didn’t really do, Hayden threatened. And they’ll have to fire you. This, incidentally, ended the conversation. No maestro. No guru. Just coach, and I’m grateful to have that!

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Sunday reads III: Indulgences, Kindness, and a Voice Against More Toys (Here, Here)

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I was in an outlet store with Hayden and Camdyn shopping for school shoes.

As I walked past the back aisle, on the clearance rack, I saw some nondescript black and gray Nikes. “Try them on!” Hayden said, and I did. They fit wonderfully, and I felt an inch taller because they actually had soles.

“Get them!” Camdyn said.

I couldn’t bring myself to. My current sneakers didn’t even have holes in them yet. That was my reasoning. The girls hounded me until I took them to the register. I kept thinking, “I’ll pack a lunch for 17 weeks … I’ll sell a few golf discs … I ‘ll skip meat this month …”

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