Go Ask Daddy About Prehistoric Revivals, Kryptonian Symbols and Precious Time

photo credit: Fuelgrafics via photopin cc
photo credit: Fuelgrafics via photopin cc

This is a night (or morning?) of irony.

Or is it tragedy?

I’ll go with irony. It doesn’t feel tragic. But for the first time in Coach Daddy history, I’ve begun my Go Ask Daddy (once known as 5 for Friday, Go Ask Daddy) at 12:02 a.m. On Friday.

I’d have worked ahead, if it weren’t for Elise’s term paper. She had four pages of rough draft due Friday, and needed my laptop to do it. So I slept on the couch while she worked.

She woke me up at near midnight to ask me to read over her work. It’s pretty good.

I’d wanted to write a short review on Gorton’s fish or write a post for a project about our homes away from home for dogvacay.com.

photo credit: Double--M via photopin cc
photo credit: Double–M via photopin cc

I wanted to write about Marie, who suffered her first soccer injury ever with a sprained ankle that will keep her out for as long as two weeks.

I wanted to write a jump post to the guest blog I have at Deb Runs. She wrote a fantastic post about what it means to be a Virginia Tech Hokie for Coach Daddy on Wednesday. Today, I’m at her place. It’s what I want to say to Elise who, at 16, has ventured into the realm of the driver, the girlfriend, and the kid who stepped up as a goalkeeper when her team needed her.

Hell, there’s even a post rolling around in my head about how the male body is like an automobile. Complete with oil leaks and declining value.

Instead, I have a term paper to review. At 12:06 a.m.

Oh, and the thesis?

Studies show that sleep deprivation is a key factor in teen sports injuries. Why is it such a big factor and how can you help it?

Here’s what the girls wanted to know. There’s good stuff here, too.

1. Have they brought mammoths back?

photo credit: TylerIngram via photopin cc
photo credit: TylerIngram via photopin cc

If we wait for Justin Timberlake to do the trick, it’ll be a while.

Hell, they brought back the Smurfs, so anything is possible. Scientists found blood in a well-preserved  mammoth in Siberia last year. The extinct beast had been on ice for 10,000 years. There’s an evil South Korean scientist at a controversial lab who would like to clone a mammoth now.

The thought makes me wonder if mammoth burgers are as tasty as bison burgers. Or maybe I’m just having one of those Jack in the Box midnight munchies moments.

2. Why does the jar opener work?

photo credit: poppet with a camera via photopin cc
photo credit: poppet with a camera via photopin cc

It’s simple science, and has nothing to do with evil South Korean scientists.

I think.

That round slab of synthetic rubber has many small ridges or cleats. When you wrap one around a stubborn jar lid, it gives you superhuman powers. Or at least the Kung Fu grip. It’s the same principal that keeps Spiderman from falling off the side of a building. Kind of.

Pickles. Maybe I’ll have pickles as a midnight snack.

3. What does the S on everything from Krypton stand for?

photo credit: elbragon via photopin cc
photo credit: elbragon via photopin cc

It’s not for Superman, man of Steel or even “So I can open this jar of grape jelly.”

On Krypton, Superman’s home planet, it’s a family crest, and a symbol for hope. Fitting, for a world that crumbled on itself as his parents jettisoned Kal-El through space as a naked baby refugee. He was just a regular naked Kryptonian baby at that point. Only under earth’s sun did he develop his super powers.

On Krypton, his dad had to use a jar grip just like the rest of us.

4. What if you were in a plane and flew through a rainbow?

photo credit: davidyuweb via photopin cc
photo credit: davidyuweb via photopin cc

You’d get a face full of Skittles – but the S on those candies doesn’t stand for hope.

A rainbow is like a great-tasting health-food cookie – it’s a mirage. You can’t fly through it, because it’s light refracting through moisture. So the rainbow you see from our backyard isn’t always visible on the US Air flight to New Orleans. Even if it looks as if the plane flew right through it.

Not even Superman can fly through a rainbow.

5. How long does it take you to write a story?

photo credit: Images_of_Money via photopin cc
photo credit: Images_of_Money via photopin cc

Pretty fitting, this.

I started this puppy at midnight. It’s now 12:51. So, I can craft one in less than an hour. Stanford’s student affairs site says you can “review the requirements for a major assignment (term paper, term project) to make sure you understand them” in an hour. Psh. Brainiacs.

I guess it’s time better spent than trying to open a jar without a jar grip. But not as good as slow-cooking a rack of mammoth ribs.

What? That’s not gross. Fred Flintstone used to order brontosaurus ribs. And I’m beyond snack time.

All right. Time for bed. And a snack first.

Sleep deprivation might do a number on the student athlete, and it’s pretty unkind to the 40-something dad. If there’s an S on my chest, it must stand for Sleep.

Good night, y’all.


  1. laurie27wsmith says:

    There’s always a scientist somewhere trying to revive something dead and gone. Heck we already have Hollywood doing that with every movie ever made I think. Brontosaurus burgers sound okay, Buffalo burgers are nice. I think the pic for superman is actually one of the better renditions of the man of steel. (Old fan) There’s nothing worse than fighting with a jar lid and it doesn’t shift, then the missus comes along and flips it off. Then they don’t accept that you’ve done all the hard work.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I wouldn’t mind the dodo bird making a comeback. And speaking of Hollywood, if someone could bring back Grace Kelly, I’ll support the effort.

      I figured you’d chomped buffalo in your time, mate. I did like that Superman image – although I associate more with his Clark Kent side.

      Isn’t it always that way, friend? We fellas are good for the grunt work.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        I guess the dodo would be safer than the three metre tall kangaroos that used to be here. Yes Grace Kelly, what a beauty. With the Clark Kent side uh? I always wanted a tight T-shirt with an S on it. It’s still good to be wanted for something Mate. Have a good weekend.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I heard Superman wears Laurie Smith pajamas.

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Gasp! You mean he goes to bed naked?

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        I was thinking more footie pajamas with a pouch out front with a pocket like a kangaroo.

      5. laurie27wsmith says:

        Oh? Well now everybody knows how I sleep.

      6. Eli Pacheco says:

        The neighbors and kangaroos knew.

      7. laurie27wsmith says:

        They definitely do!

  2. I so would have had pickles with you if you could have gotten that jar open at midnight last night. I had a an issue with my own laptop and was trying to fix it at that time. We so could have shared so war stories at that time it sounds like! Seriously though Happy Friday. We made it 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It sounded so good at the time, didn’t it? I think anyone working around midnight should be eligible for unreasonable snacks.

      I was so sleepy that I went to the kitchen, stopped to scratch my belly, and forgot what I was in there for.

      We’re here .. it’s Friday. When are the snacks on?

  3. Way to crank out a winner in less than an hour! And inquiring minds need to know, what did you select as your late night (early morning) snack? Heck, after midnight, a full breakfast is perfectly acceptable!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you considered it a winner … it felt good coming off the fingers, but that’s what they say for airballs, too. It wasn’t anything of Coach Daddy lore – two graham crackers and a glass of milk.

      I pretended it was a Colorado omelet.

  4. Meg C. DeBoe says:

    I love how you always bring it back around and connect everything, even when I’m sure you’ve gone all random on me. Nice work, especially for the wee hours 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s always random, Meg – that’s what connects it all! Thanks for the props … with a good hair day, a nice shirt and a powdered energy drink, I feel like I almost got a full night’s sleep!

      Thanks Meg!

  5. ksbeth says:

    this is a post that has gone beyond the call of duty. i am happy to know the answer to the ‘s’ that i’ve always wondered about and i am now really craving a flintstone rack ‘o bronto ribs!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      it went beyond bedtime, i know that much, beth. i bet i could eat as many bronto ribs as superman.

  6. tamaralikecamera says:

    Do I even want to hear more about the oil leaks?
    I love this one. I have often wondered about touching rainbows and what Superman would be like had fate had other plans for him.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You don’t have a choice, Tamara. Glad you liked this midnight special. The girls really set me up with this batch, didn’t they?

  7. Kim says:

    I’m impressed that you can come up with something like this in less than an hour – the tie-ins alone would have me stumped. I guess it’s why you do what you do and I just ramble along!!! Funny topic considering the late hour for both of y’all.
    And, on the writing, I need someone to tell my 15 year old that letting someone proof your paper is a good thing and not a form of criticism. He had a paper due today, too and all week I’ve offered to proof it for him – I told him I wouldn’t even comment on content just help him catch those pesky grammar/spelling things. He opted out so I told him that every point taken off for stuff like that he owes me a $1 – I’m such a nice mom!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      sometimes they come easier than others, Kim! You write with purpose … I feel like sometimes I’m on a ramble, but I’ll get to the point – eventually.

      I wonder how Elise will do in her game today with so little sleep!

      There are plenty of grown-ups who don’t like to be edited. It’s a personal thing! Geez, to have a parent who can proofread for you, though … that’s like a free grade upgrade, isn’t it?

  8. Tamara says:

    Four pages on how to prevent injuries caused by sleep deprivation? I can barely make it a four words sentence: Go.to.bed.earlier!
    Hope Marie’s two weeks out won’t feel like forever!

    If men were cars sounds like a fun read – get to work! And I wouldn’t even be too concerned about declining value, just make sure you are really well maintained and give it some time – your price will go through the roof!

    Us Swiss folks brought back the mammoth a while ago, it’s an outdoor brand similar to North Face: http://www.mammut.ch

    Gorgeous double rainbow! And I think the S on your chest stands for smart.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Oh, you know, it has annotations and everything, for all the evidence. The girls are perpetually tired, but don’t ever want to go to bed early.

      I will get to work on that one! it’s all written in my head, but it’ll have to wait until next Monday. I have a deadline to meet.

      Marie one season wanted the soccer team’s name to be Mammoth, but it lasted a day before it was shot down in favor of the Eagles.

      Some would say there are three more letters to smart for me.

  9. Caitlin says:

    I wish if I was in a plane and it ‘flew through a rainbow’, there would be unlimited amounts of skittles!! Great post, even if you were up late!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Give me M&Ms instead … because of the Super Bowl.

      Thanks Caitlin – great to see you again!

  10. In less than an hour, and in the middle of the night to boot? You’ve risen to the level of blogging god!

    I loved your comparison of the male body to an automobile… Hope you were able to sleep in this morning, but I bet you had early soccer games.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      A dude’s gotta do what a dude’s gotta do. We’ve all cranked out posts under duress!

      I can’t wait to write about the whole “man’s body is like a car” post. I think it’ll have to wait a week or so.

      No sleeping in for me today. Or tomorrow. But I could see a nap in my future. Very soon.

      Thanks Deb!

  11. Get your sleep, Daddy. ‘Cuz if your daughter is entering the realm of driving, she’ll soon enter the realm of staying out late with the car…and you’ll have many (many) more nights when you’re up past midnight! 😉 I speak from experience!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I will sneak in Zs whenever I can, Jenn. I can maybe get some writing done while I wait up for her! She’s far from doing it on her own, though … she still has to get her permit!

      Wonder if you’ve ever posted about your experience …

  12. jamie@kreyv says:

    Haha…sleep is definitely important in this house! I remember being in high school and making my mom proof read all of my papers. I don’t know why high school seems so stressful at the time, but I’m sure your daughter really appreciates your support and lack of sleep!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Without sleep, this place would be an asylum. Some people can’t take edits at all, and others seek them out. I feel better if someone’s read through my stuff.

      We both needed a bit of a caffeine boost the next day, but we made it!

  13. Stephanie says:

    I just had to type a story for one of my fifth graders and not proof it. That was crazy hard – staying true to what he wrote even if I thought a different word might work better or a sentence should stop instead of carrying on with a comma. Of course, I would have made it way better, but I guess it’s not my grade to earn. I had my chance, right? And clearly, I need to let it go.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s tough to leave words alone, isn’t it? The editor in us doesn’t have a very good off button. This is how a writer finds their voice, too.

      Think back to posts we wrote a year ago, let alone something in fifth grade! It has to be cool to see a kid’s journey just starting.

  14. Rorybore says:

    Oh poor Marie!! I hope it heals quick. It sucks being on the sidelines, I know from when I dislocated my shoulder in the middle of a volleyball tournament. But, the girl failed to block the spike – so victory was still mine. Until my coach popped it back in. That’s a moment I’ll never forget.
    Sorry getting her so late. I had company and birthday parties and easter celebrations….and then the inevitable migraine. another sidelining injury. Or, it may have been a party food hangover I’m not sure. No mammoth burgers consumed, though I’d totally try them. Since we can finally grill without standing in 4 feet of snow and wearing a toque and gloves.
    It’s almost like being at the rainbow’s end 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      She’s hobbling around a little better today. I think she’ll be back at it next week. This is her first injury. Did it make a sound when your shoulder got popped back into place?

      Wait, do Canadians celebrate Easter early, like Thanksgiving? The best way to combat a food hangover is … with more food.

      It’s 73 degrees tonight, perfect for grilling out.

      But I ran out of gas. Story of my life!

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