Go Ask Daddy About Rare Fossils, Famous Eye Patches and Subtleties of Stealing

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc
photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

I never preview any of my future posts here on the CD.

It’s not that it’s a huge secret. Usually, it’s just that I haven’t started on the next post. You know, I like to keep it fresh around here.

I already know what Monday’s post will cover, though. It’ll be about high school graduation.

I’m still a couple of years away from it with Elise, so it’s not like that. You’ll see what I’m talking about Monday.

Before we delve into the stuff the kids asked about, here’s my top 5 commencement speakers I’d love to hear. Just give me a cold one and a comfy place to sit:

5. Comedian Richard Lewis. Can you imagine? “Yeah, graduation. You know, the disappointment of your life will start. Today. In the parking lot. Just, stay where you are. Don’t put yourself through it.”

photo credit: Steven Wilke via photopin cc
photo credit: Steven Wilke via photopin cc

4. Former Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight. Rude, crude, profane. Let The General prepare the outgoing class for the real world. You might not want to go out and save the world, but you’ll be ready to beat Purdue.

3. Oscar Wilde. Hell, I’d even attend class at UNC Chapel Hill to hear that speech. Or nebraska.

2. Lizzy O’Leary. Sigh. NPR’s Marketplace Weekend host knows about everything. Like, everything. Even the unimportant stuff. She breaks news, asks the right questions, makes you laugh. And makes your face hurt from excessive smiling and thinking. Or is that just me?

1. Jennifer Lawrence. Yes. Honesty. Humor. An accidental F-bomb (those are the best), and exuberance. We could all use some of that now, couldn’t we?

1. Have they found dinosaur skin?

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc
photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

No. Fred Flintstone lost his brontosaurus-skin wallet at the end of season 3.

That would have been impossible. Mankind has been around only about 200,000 years. Brontosaurus roamed the earth – all dinosaurs roamed, have you noticed? Never do they amble or flock or amble – 150 million years ago.

(And they were apatosaurs, because a brontosaurus doesn’t even exist.)

Scientists in 2007 found a 67-millon-year-old hadrosaur they called Dakota. Maybe because they found it in North Dakota. The bones they found still had skin and tendons attached. More rare than the state of North Dakota appearing on Coach Daddy?

The process by which a duck-billed dinosaur has to go through to create a fossil like this:

  1. Dakota the Duck Bill had to die, then not have predators or scavengers make lunch of him. Or get swept away by a stream. Or struck by lightning or a meteor. Check.
  2. Dakota’s soft tissue had to mineralize before bacteria got to it. Check.
  3. Got that? Good. Just wait another 7 million years, and you have a golden archaeological find. Check.

2. Who do you like better, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?

photo credit: CraigInDenver via photopin cc
photo credit: CraigInDenver via photopin cc

Oh boy. This is like asking, what do you like best, writing or algebra? One’s about loyalty. The other’s about … not hate. Just, tolerance.

Once upon a time, you could lump either one of them. Tim Tebow was my man. Times change, though. Sometimes, a dream quarterback becomes an unemployed man whose shirtless photographs haunt the Internet.

When Manning graduated from that horseshoe helmet to something with a little fire to it, I became a believer. Almost.

When Denver lost to Baltimore in the AFC title game in Manning’s first season with the Broncos, I prayed to St. Ryan Leaf. He’s the patron saint of bad football trades. I wanted Tebow back from the Jets.

Now, I’m all in. And ready to see Manning kick a little Brady ass Nov. 2 in Foxboro.

3. What happened to Nick Fury’s eye?

photo credit: Jennie Ivins via photopin cc
photo credit: Jennie Ivins via photopin cc

He missed a Peyton Manning audible, perhaps. “Omaha! Omaha!” should never be taken lightly. Even for a super spy.

Nick Fury, the World War II army hero of Marvel Comics and The Avengers fame, took a grenade in that eye.

As part of the treatment for his eye injury, he receives infinity formula injections, which now just slow his aging. And he didn’t have be trapped in ice for decades like Captain America did. And now, the patch is a hit at parties and gives a general bad-ass aura. As if he needed the boost.

No confirmation of the Denver Broncos’ plans to inject Peyton Manning with the same formula. You know, so he can also beat Tom Brady Jr. to get to Super Bowl 75. And 76.

4. Will a heart keep beating if it’s out of a body?

(Warning: The above video shows a human beating heart during surgery. I didn’t find it tough to watch, but you might. Overall, it’s pretty miraculous. As you were.)

No wonder I never win with the horses. I’d have bet that science hadn’t discovered dinosaur skin, and that a heart wouldn’t beat out of a body.

I’d be wrong.

Most of the body’s muscles take commands from the brain. Except for the heart. The heart does it all on its own. It has a set of nerve cells that allow it to continue to beat without instruction from the brain. It’s like Notre Dame in football, doing its own thing.

A turtle heart can beat for several hours after it’s removed. kind of morbid.

But this makes sense. The heart often does things without any input from the brain, doesn’t it?

5. What’s the difference between a burglar and a thief?

photo credit: Jenn and Tony Bot via photopin cc
photo credit: Jenn and Tony Bot via photopin cc

I love subtleties like this.

Apatosaurus vs. brontosaurus.

Manning vs. Brady.

Ingrid Michaelson vs. Kesha.

Hold on a sec.


Burglars are the brute force, the unrefined. The AM radio, the home phone without the answering machine. Burglars bust windows and kick down doors and wear black and shove their spoils in a sack.

Thieves are the cunning force, the criminal mind. The Sirius radio, the voice-activated Siri smartphone. Thieves crack codes and launder money and pick your pocket on a busy street without you noticing.

If you burgle real good and don’t lose your black mask and ski mask, you graduate to thievery. Wonder what that commencement speech is like.

thieves quote


  1. NotAPunkRocker says:

    You know, I don’t know who is giving the speech for Matthew’s ceremony next week…I might need to find out and plan my caffeine accordingly.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      If you’re lucky, it’ll be Jennifer Lawrence. Can I come? I’ll buy a gift and everything. Might even wear a tie.

      Oh, and a gift for Matthew, too. Kind of a big day.

      1. NotAPunkRocker says:

        Stay tuned next week for the post where I write about having my family and my ex-husband all together for this joyous event.

        Trust me, Jennifer Lawrence would not be enough to make up for that much fun 🙂

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Sounds like an event made for blogging, Sheena.

        And really? I would so give J-Law a chance. Maybe two.

  2. Love the heart question – and answer. The video, too. Isn’t it fascinating? And yes, heart and brain are not into teamwork. I kinda like it!
    Oh, and the dino skin, just imagine how many purses you could make from one dinosaur alone!
    I’m trying to think if I have ever read about Dakota, never mind if North or South, here. Never too late, though! Mt. Rushmore and all!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      And the kids didn’t even watch Temple of Doom or anything. The video … the heart’s an ugly organ, isn’t it? But such a fascinating sight.

      The heart and brain make up the dysfunctional family that is the human body. But it’s still pretty cool.

      You’ve been to more states than I have … but I can tick the Dakotas off my list. They have Flintstones Amusement Park too.

      1. I might have. But:
        a) I am a really bad Swiss and European person because I spend all my vacation time in Northern America
        b) You can beat me if you’ve got 124 hours to spare:
        http://www.datapointed.net/2012/08/fastest-route-to-visit-all-fifty-united-states/ Just read about this trip this morning, and I am INTRIGUED! I would like to stretch it, though.
        c) I’m still short one Dakota

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Are Swiss and Euros supposed to stay in Europe? I get to travel to far-away states every day of the week – well, if you count northern South Carolina as a far-away state.

        Just don’t spend so much time looking for East Dakota.

  3. 1jaded1 says:

    I knew the difference between burglar and thief. Thank you for making me a bit smarter on much of the rest.

    Almost anyone except Brady (Ick).

    Look out for number one, but don’t step in number two…a funny paraphrase from “Back to School”. That was college, but kids are so accelerated these days.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Who knew there were such specialists and pros in the art of stealing? I also have a pending question regarding the identification of hipsters, punks and thugs.

      The Patriots as a whole, right? It’s just hard to pull for those knuckleheads unless you’re a diehard. Same for Pittsburgh.

      You know, that Back to School advice still rings true, doesn’t it? A kid can be accelerated all she wants, but if she steps in a pile, it’s still sh*tty.

  4. Cheryl says:

    Your girls ask the questions that I never think to ask but find out I really want to know.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You never knew you never knew this stuff, right?

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Sometimes, I forget to actually tell the kids the answers until I’ve written the post.

  5. I think i would love to hear you above all give a commencement speech, because I think that would be pretty damn awesome. Just saying!! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Janine – I’m afraid you might get to read you wish on Monday!

      1. Yay and I guess I know you pretty well now 😉

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’d better listen to those top commencement speeches everyone’s going ape over first … or maybe not.

  6. E. says:

    Couldn’t those three groups be narrowed down to “children and thieves”, since politicians count as thieves anyway? (Or maybe I’m just bitter and jaded.)
    But then the point being made wouldn’t have been made.

    Great post! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It is a bit redundant, isn’t it? You’re not jaded, or at least, not alone in your jadedness – you should have seen the other quotes I had to choose from.

      And thieving politicians kind of made that question necessary – so, thanks!

  7. mountaingmom says:

    Great post. The questions, the answers and the video. You would make a great commencement speaker, just ask the seniors in advance for their questions😁

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks! The definition of bravery: Fielding questions from teenagers who don’t have to behave at school anymore!

      1. mountaingmom says:

        As a retired high school counselor, I concur.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’m ready to take them on, though.

  8. Kim says:

    Bobby Knight all the way – that would make for a super fun graduation ceremony!!!
    I did know about the heart but the dinosaur thing – I struggle to fit them into the real world!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’d want to rile up The General first, you know? Maybe write something half-ass to get his blood boiling.

  9. ksbeth says:

    i would go to an yzerman grad speech.

  10. ksbeth says:

    and my heart would beat.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      and my eyes would roll.

  11. Jennifer would trip walking up on the stage. And then she’d make fun of herself for it. It would awesome.

  12. laurie27wsmith says:

    Over here the definition of Burglary is entering a dwelling with intent between the hours of darkness. In Queensland that’s defined as 9pm-6am. So that intent could be for stealing, or offences against the person. As for a thief, well that’s just anyone that steals. I’ve known a few burglars who had something of a code, they wouldn’t engage in violence, only stole from the wealthy. They were quite good at their job and looked at jail as being par for the course. Still it would be terrifying for the occupants to be confronted by said burglar. I’d rather my house be done over by a professional than some drug crazed idiot though. Oh, beating hearts. I read that the heads of victims of the guillotine, when they landed in the basket moved their eyes, opened their mouths. Their skin blushed. Too mush of a close shave for me.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You should have been on hand to answer this one, mate.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        I have my talents and they’re well hidden Mate.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Court-ordered, I suppose?

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Even deeper.

  13. courtneyconover says:

    Hi, Eli! I made my way here after laughing at the most recent comment you made on Susan’s (Pecked to Death blog) most recent Craigslist post…

    As the wife of a former NFL player who often incorporates sports (mostly professional football, of course) into her writing, I am, of course, genuinely interested in those who also write about sports. A few things:

    One, while I do think Bobby Knight would make for an interesting commencement speaker choice…I can’t go there because The Hubs is a Purdue grad, so, well, you know…

    And, too, that heart video rocks!

    Happy Saturday.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Welcome Courtney! Susan’s stuff is great, isn’t it? It’s good to find another sports writer out there. I think The General could probably fire up some Boilermakers, too, in a different way, right?

      Look forward to seeing your work!

  14. haha – that last quote was awesome! And I’m a fan of the Manning boys. Class acts, those two.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think I’d trust the children to supervise the politicians, but not vice versa! The Mannings are pretty classy. Even though Archie barked at me once for walking in front of a TV showing highlights of Peyton’s game.

  15. MeglyMc says:

    Fuck…I’d deal with just about anything to hear Oscar Wilde. He’s my sort of people…brilliant, funny, Irish, and into men.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You could form a club.

  16. tamaralikecamera says:

    I guess.. I don’t mind watching a heart beating. It’s better than a Kesha video. And yes, I saw one once and I don’t think I was supposed to be seeing it, to be honest. It was not safe for work and not safe for human eyes.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I wish it was a leaner piece of meat … I hope mine has a little less grissle than that one. I try not to look at a Kesha video when I listen to Kesha music, but if I have to pick one? “Blow” is kind of awesome. Even if my eyes burned afterward.

  17. Sandy Ramsey says:

    I got to the Manning/Brady question and wondered if this would be the moment I would have to break up with you. We’re all good. I am a die hard Manning fan, had my heart broken this past February but keep the faith. I have no love for Tom Brady. None. I love that you were a Tebow man…as a Floridian and a Gators fan, I love him. Did you ever read my post about the day I almost met him….stood within ten feet of him…got some great pics. I’m gonna shut up now.
    I love Jennifer Lawrence. She is as real as they come and I think she’d give a great commencement speech.
    The heart info was pretty cool…The heart often does things without any input from the brain, doesn’t it?
    Without a doubt.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We do keep it classy with Mannings over here, SR. Could you imagine me as a Brady backer? Please say no.

      My heart was broken, and nearly my TV, in February. This is the year, though. See, I grew up a Seahawks fan, too, so it was especially hard.

      I even wrote a rant about it the next day.

      One of my social media passwords is dedicated to Tim Tebow, Sandy. Class act, helluva quarterback. I don’t care what the experts say.

      And J-Law … sigh. Dreamy in 17 ways.

      The heart, it seems, is allergic to input from the brain. Sometimes, this even works out beautifully.

  18. Nick Fury also used to be an old white guy…with an eyepatch…Arrgghhh!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I didn’t know that! How the …

      1. I have a wealth of useless information…did you know David Hasselhoff played Nick Fury in a1998 TV movie? Yup! Usless information…

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Now you’re making it up … or are you?

  19. Rorybore says:

    Sandra Bullock delivered a pretty knock out graduation speech recently. And I guess Bill Murray crashed an engagement party and delivered a winning speech. So…. the Jennifer Lawrence thing might not be so far fetched.
    You know I am holding out for the Captain. 😉
    And I am disappointed that the video of the beating heart didn’t load. that would have been cool.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I could see Sandra B. bringing it at the podium. Bill Murray would always be a hit. J-Law would bring the house down, though.

      Maybe the Captain could deliver your own personal commencement speech … would you sign up for that, Rore?

      I will send you the link to the beating heart. You’d love it. (See what I did there?)

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