5 for Friday: Go Ask Daddy About Overtimes, Anthills and Twisters

photo credit: pwkpwkpwk via photopin cc

photo credit: pwkpwkpwk via photopin cc

A moose is a tough act to follow.

GAD GRAPHICI’ll attempt it with … an ant. Well, a colony of them. And free basketball. Maybe even tales of prisoners of war and dust mites. But let’s face it – you want to follow up a stellar blog about how to photograph kids and moose, which happened here at Coach Daddy earlier this week, about as much as you want to stand behind me in a buffet line.

Thanks, Tamara.

Luckily, the kids asked some nifty questions for me to sift through this week.

1. What’s the most overtimes in a basketball game?

photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via photopin cc
photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via photopin cc

Seven. Rumor is, if they made it to 10, they’d have a mandatory game of H-O-R-S-E to decide it.

The University of Cincinnati beat Bradley in seven overtimes in 1981, which gave fans 35 free minutes of hoops. That’s like, almost a second game, with 40 minutes in regulation. Doug Schlomer sent everyone home when he canned a hoop with 1 second left in the seventh overtime.

It must have been a beautiful game – Dougie’s basket was the only one scored in that last overtime. He did it quietly so as not to wake any of the other players on the court.

2. Have any of my relatives been in a war?

I was shocked at how many Pachecos are on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, but, to my knowledge, none are close relatives.

Two relatives who’ve served our country include your maternal grandfather, who flew supply planes in Vietnam, and your late paternal uncle Gilbert, who was a prisoner of war in the Korean War.

While captive, Uncle Gilbert said a blast by a rescue mission knocked out a wall of his cell, and members of his unit sprinted through it, into the snow, and eventually to freedom. What they did for our country was brave and noble.

I take great heart in the belief those elements are part of your DNA, too.

3. What does the inside of an anthill look like?

photo credit: 'Ajnagraphy' via photopin cc
photo credit: ‘Ajnagraphy’ via photopin cc

Amazingly it looks like Cleveland, without the Browns yucking it up or a Benihana to stop into for a bite.

Ants are not only nasty biters and picnic crashers, they’re also amazing architects. Ant farms –plastic windows we used to put dirt and ants in as kids – didn’t do the housing model justice. Ants live in expansive communities with storage space and nest chambers and maybe even ant night clubs. But no Benihanas.

Check out what this cat does to make casts of ant hills (at the expense of scores of scorched ants, but in the name of science):

4. What is a dust mite?

If ants are architects of dirt, dust mites are termites of humans.

For being just a spec on the radar of pests, a dust mite, no bigger than .012 inches, are powerhouses for allergens. This world has at least 15 mite allergens. A tasty treat to a dust mite? Dead flakes of human skin.

And they’re lazy about it: They prefer food that fungi has already partially digested. That said, the Dust Mites would be a mighty mascot for your next soccer team.

5. When is tornado season?

photo credit: Niccolò Ubalducci Photographer via photopin cc
photo credit: Niccolò Ubalducci Photographer via photopin cc

I hope it doesn’t last as long as a Cincinnati-Bradley overtime.

In the south, it’s March to May, but any summertime thunderstorm has the potential to get all twisty on us. Tornados seem intent to spread the havoc-wreaking love from south to north, from late winter to mid-summer. Florida and Tornado Alley (Texas to South Dakota) get most of the action.

Sometimes, tornado season even goes into overtime in Florida and Tornado Alley. An eighth overtime would bring on a Sharknado event, I’m pretty certain.

tornado quote


  1. Not a bad way to follow up Moose! Love the questions your daughters ask and love your responses! Have a great weekend!

    1. I gave it my best – the goalie moose helps!

      These girls keep me in business, for sure. Hope your weekend is great too!

  2. Theresa says:

    Very interesting questions your kids ask. I love your responses. My daughter is big into H-O-R-S-E right now, so she would probably sit around praying for an 8th round of overtime 🙂

    1. I love them for it – I have a notebook with tons of them jotted in it! What’s your daughter’s go-to shot to get that E in H-O-R-S-E?

  3. Teri says:

    That is the coolest video! I had NO idea ant colonies were that intricate underground. Very very cool! Also, am I the last person on earth who’s not yet seen Sharknado? I feel like I’m missing out.

    1. Oh, I haven’t seen it either. I’m waiting for the sequel: Sharknado, the Musical.

  4. Leah says:

    Amazing questions your kids ask! Mine ask me things like: “What’s for dinner?” or “Where are my cleats?” I’m pretty good at answering those ones though.

    1. Not to ruin the surprise, but there are questions in the hopper about piranhas, the longest note ever in a song and who pays for people’s house repairs after a tornado.

      What’s for dinner is a difficult question in and of itself, Leah. What’s it going to be tonight?

      P.S. I haven’t seen any cleats, including my own kid’s. Which isn’t good, with a match tonight!

      1. lsdavidson says:

        My answer for “what’s for dinner” is always FOOD. If they want to know what kind of food, well, it’s the kind you eat.

        Can’t find cleats? Follow your nose… I can smell ’em a mile away!

      2. I can’t smell them, because the stench of the shin guards is too great.

  5. laurie27wsmith says:

    Some of those ant nests get huge. Sharknado seems to be right up there with the ‘Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.’ Yeah I can’t wait to see the musical version, tap dancing sharks and chorus lines of them all singing. I think a movie called attack of the killer dust mites would be better. Millions of people sneeze themselves to death, there’s a worldwide shortage of tissues, the military drag us in to WW3 when drone controllers, unable to control their sneezing accidently unleash a torrent of bombs on the white house. Where the president survives to lead a personal attack on collectives of dust mites in American homes. Phew. I’ll send the first draft to the producers of Sharknado, obviously they’re used to reading sh*t. 🙂

    1. You could have the next sensation on your hands (literally), my friend. I’d add that the dust mites grow each time someone sneezes … so we can have gargantuan mites (oxymoron?) terrorizing Sydney (you didn’t think I’d put this in America, did you?)

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        Now come on Eli, be fair you have more people to terrorise there and wait for it – better Swat teams – I have visions of hordes of men in black combat gear carrying fly swatters and insecticide. Swarms of dust mites, joined by crab lice now roam the streets of downtown New York. The size of cats they start on the homeless and work their way up the social strata. Australia sends its greatest weapon *Pthirus Dundee* a man who has fought crab lice in the back street of Kings Cross for years. But it will take more than a man with a big knife to fight the monsters lurking in the big apple.
        Cheers from a now itchy

  6. Dana says:

    Super cool ant video, but now I’m all itchy after watching it. And I asked my husband and son about the basketball overtimes – they guessed 6 and 8. So close!

    1. I smell burning ants. For them, it was sudden-death overtime.

  7. Your kids ask the best questions…my youngest simply tells me bizarre things that he has learned on the discovery channel or the history channel or who knows what else. The kid is a sponge of interesting facts.

    1. They want to know Lady Gaga’s real name, so that should be fun. I wish my kids would watch the Discovery and History channels – instead, it’s a steady diet of brain-cell-murdering Disney channel kid shows.

      1. What about soccer games? Mine watch those too. And if they record it, they get upset if they find out the score ahead of time! A little brain cell murdering tv is ok. 🙂 It’s nice to be mindless sometimes too!

      2. This’ll be the first season we’ve had cable during soccer season, and I just saw they’re putting Premiere League games on NBC, I think. Can’t wait – I’m sure they’re record a little more of that, a little less of “Ally and AJ.”

        At least, that’s how my prayer goes.

        You’re right about sacrificing a little brain-cell existence, though. But for me, that meant Rocky and Bullwinkle or Woody Woodpecker as a kid.

  8. Tamara says:

    This post makes me itchy. So did Tara Reid’s forehead in Sharknado. It was the worst part of the movie. That said, this is still a wonderful follow-up to moose.

    1. I didn’t look much at Tara Reid. She’s no Leelee Sobieski.

  9. Rorybore says:

    Ok – I’m stuck on that ant colony thing. that was just too cool. I mean, poor ants – of course – but still – wicked cool. On the other side of cool, we actually had a tornado touch down in our city!! way up here in Canada; imagine that. They look “cool” to us because they don’t really have the power of the ones down in that Alley…..but it’s amazing that one formed at all. Nature truly is awesome.
    Sharknado *snort* I couldn’t help it – I had to watch a bit. and now I can’t unsee unfortunately.

    1. That’s been one popular video. Cool, and all scientific, but yeah … I’m glad they edited out the screams and wails of dying ants.

      A Canadian tornado? Is it spelled “twistre”? Nature’s especially awesome down in the Alley, devastatingly so. The destruction in Oklahoma this spring was unreal.

      I only wish *I’d* come up the Sharknado idea. I thought of “Tsubadger” – Tsunami meets a badger attack – but I think the genre’s getting overworked.

  10. My favorite part of this post is the Sharknado reference. Here’s hoping for tornado season to end in regulation.

    1. I don’t always like to go with the trendy stuff, but as a boy, the idea of a sharknado is pretty outstanding.

      Yeah, the fewer twisters, the better – unless Helen Hunt’s coming to investigate.

  11. whiteladyinthehood says:

    You have a very sweet blog! I liked the answer to the relatives in the war question.

    1. Thank you, White Lady (this is not the first time I’ve uttered this sentence today) – I happen to like your blog, too. I love that my kid asked me about relatives in the war … I love that they wanted to know!

  12. Wow, the anthill castings were amazing. I would hate to be an ant though. I never realize how much I don’t know until I read your posts. 😀 Thanks for making me less ignorant, and laugh while getting there.

    1. It did suck to be an ant that day. I mean, if Dr. HotMetal had decided to pour aluminum lava down my chimney, he could see that I have a lot of stuff and not a lot of room for it, but that hardly feels like something to die for.

      If these kids weren’t asking these questions, I’d waste my time worrying about Al Qaida, Alex Rodriguez and the next season of Castle.

  13. i love these posts, dude. in this one i’m particularly fond of the last sentences in the first responses and that you tied tornado season to basketball overtime… good stuf.. :]

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