5 for Friday: Go Ask Daddy About Military Branches, Preseason Classics and Snail-Paced Driving

photo credit: mofoJT via photopin cc
photo credit: mofoJT via photopin cc

Spend a few days in a rustic cabin nearby Camp Lejeune, you kind of feel enlisted. You’ll say stuff like, “oh-six-hundred hours” and “affirmative.”

GAD GRAPHICWhen we visited my uncle Keith at Ft. Erie in Seneca, N.Y., my dad bought a camouflage jacket. You shop and drive and exist among the enlisted, you feel like you could wear a set of dog tags too.

I even felt called to ditch my mountain-man look – 70s Let it Be hair and scruffy beard – at one of many barber shops which promised a military cut and shave for a mere $7. That’s, like, only seven cheeseburgers. But the girls vetoed that. So I stayed scruffy.

It wasn’t for lack of opportunity. Roughly 92.3 percent of all Jacksonville businesses offer military cuts, lap dances or tattoos. None, presumably, at the same place, although … what a concept.

My girls’ questions on that trip centered around the military. And not pole dancers.

This time.

1. What does the Coast Guard do?

Semper paratus – that’s the Coast Guard’s motto, but you don’t see a lot of it on truck stickers or tattoos. It means “always ready.”

The Coast Guard does a bit of everything, from military support and law enforcement to regulatory duty and humanitarian missions.

The Coast Guard protects ports and waterways, on American coasts and in international waters, from threats military and natural, to our territorial integrity.

The Coast Guard does a bit of everything, from military support and law enforcement to regulatory duty and humanitarian missions.

Sometimes, reservists serve a weekend a month. Now, that’s a part-time job.

2. Do fish have ghosts?

Given the death and destruction in our “agua de muerto” fish tank, it must be haunted.

There’s a tale on yourghoststories.com that tells of two fish friends who found their demise in the clutches of a bubble-fueled treasure chest ornament that opens and closes.

All future fish in this tank avoided the treasure chest like it was a sushi bar. It’s like the treasure is now … haunted.

I’m taking a mental tally of the Fillet O Fish sandwiches I’ve terminated in my 41 years.

Shh. Did you hear something??

3. Why is the Hall of Fame Game in Ohio?

You asked this, Elise, while we watched the Dallas Cowboys face the Miami Dolphins on TV in, of all places, Canton, Ohio.

The Hall of Fame Game is no promise for stardom.

The game, which happens after the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions, has been played in a 22,000-seat high school stadium since 1962. Teams are selected that have some connection to the Hall class that year.

Raymond Berry, Buck Buchanan and Dermontti Dawson are among 131 Hall of Fame players who also played in the Hall of Fame game.

But the game is no promise for stardom: The three quarterbacks with the highest completion percentage in the Hall of Fame game are Jon Kitna, Colt Brennan and Joe Germaine – whose only tickets to the Hall of Fame will have to be purchased.

4. What did that woman eat when she swam from Cuba to Florida?

She tried to eat a lot. She kept nearly none of it down.

Diana Nyad, the 64-year-old woman who became the first to swim 110 miles of jellyfish-infested sea between Cuba and Florida without a shark cage, told The Today Show she vomited “constantly” during her two-day swim.

During training, she’d snack on a hydration pack between 45-minute sessions.

The hydration pack includes a mix of electrolytes, sports drink, water and “predigested protein,” which I’m guessing is what she kept putting in the ocean when she barfed on her historic swim.

5. Can you get a ticket for driving too slow?

Hey. I was going the speed limit.

If you’re puttering along at 44 mph, the po-po might shut you down, as Ke$ha says.

Some 65- and 70-mph zones have a minimum speed too, of 45 mph, usually. So technically, if you’re puttering along at 44 mph, the po-po might shut you down, as Ke$ha says.

In Florida, that’s a $60 fine, which seems like a jackpot for the state, given the density of elderly drivers in the Sunshine State.

I’m just driving safely, people.

No need to call in the Coast Guard.

driving quote



  1. I always find the drivers going way under the speed limit. Booked a driver once for doing the speed limit, it just happened that it was raining that heavily you couldn’t see more than ten metres in front of you. Driving without due care and attention. So there’s one to look at Eli. Oh I knew a barber shop in Vietnam where you could get a haircut and I do believe a few other goodies. Not many came out with a new hairdo.

  2. Impressive questions – more impressive you knew the answers! I could have used someone to have passed out a slow going ticket yesterday. We were driving behind someone who must have been learning how to drive a motorcycle. Not only was she going about a mile an hour she couldn’t drive straight, so we couldn’t pass her. It made me wonder – do they sell training wheels for motorcycles?

    1. I might have had to Google a little, but the questions keep me sharp. I think usually we slow drivers (again, by slow I mean driving the speed limit) just get the finger.

      Training wheels for motorcycles is a brilliant idea. I think training wheels for cars sometimes would solve a few of society’s ills.

    1. God should give a pass to good Catholics. Jesus ate a lot of fish, too.

      Fish ghosts don’t travel well. I wonder if you have to leave them in the bag for 15 minutes before you release them into the tank.

    1. Can you imagine if every living thing had a ghost? Every hamburger, every steak, every salad … with spirits swirling around your head.

      It’s nice when the kids start feeding themselves, until they clean out your pantry. You’ll see.

    1. You and me both, JJ! You know, I always look for the connection between answers, because they’re often cosmic … but I completely missed the fish ghosts in those jellyfish-infested waters.

      I’d throw up repeatedly if I ran into fish ghosts, too.

  3. ewww. she puked in the ocean? now why does that scare me more than sharks or jelly fish? That’s just sad, because I have snorkeled off the coast of Cuba and it is darn nice water. very clean. coral is in good condition. now all I can picture is barf covered coral. just. ew.
    I’m staying at the swim at bar.
    Like the new site design! 🙂

    1. I know, poor woman – she swims for two straight days, and all we can talk about is her barf! With a shark you know you’ll get teeth, a jellyfish will sting you, but when it comes to throw-up, you just don’t know what you’re in for.

      I’m guessing the fish probably ate whatever she regurgitated. Don’t you think? It’s probably toxic to coral.Why am I still talking about this??

      Glad you like the new look. I try to change it every time the seasons change.

  4. What on earth would possess someone to wake up one day and say, “I’m going to be the first person to swim from Florida to Cuba without a shark cage.”? There are much easier ways to get on the Today show – I got on the for standing outside at 6 am in the freezing cold holding a sign for Al Roker.

    1. Maybe the same reason I’ve decided to become the first soccer coach to coach 24 straight hours. Because it’s a dumb idea that will bring us notoriety.

      Did they talk to you on the air? I’d hold a sign for Sara Haines.

    1. Leave it to my kids to ask a question that would reduce a feat of human bravery and endurance into a running dialog of sea-dropped vomit!

      I think NASCAR should start a senior circuit of former drivers age 65 and older. Can you imagine? They’d bump into each other and not even know it. They could even wear those huge wrap-around sunglasses and use wooden bead seat covers.

      They’d probably go 100 laps with their turn-signal on and not even know it.

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