Remember that A to Z Challenge that went on in April?
It’s time to reflect, apparently. And thank you for sticking with me. I must have felt like that friend who starts selling insurance or scented candles. Or the friend who talks and talks but won’t take a breath to stop and listen. I hate being either of those creatures.
The A to Z Challenge was less a blogging challenge and more a writing challenge.
I cranked out posts of around 400 words daily. Good practice for any writer. I skipped the Hemingway and Paper Rater apps I run my drivel through. I winged the recipe, just like buelita does. I planned out the entire month and stuck to it 94% of the time.
It also made me a horrible blogger.
A blog is about engagement, visits, comments, conversation. Learning and sharing. I shared, all right. I learned, sure. But I didn’t make it out to the handful of blogs I read every day, and failed more miserably at keeping up with new friends here who also write.
I’ll make up for it, though. One comment and read at a time.
1. Why do you drive with one foot?
The wrong answer: So I can scratch my left foot on long trips.
The advent and infiltration of automatic transmissions freed up the left foot for such endeavors. Drivers use their left feet to engage the clutch to shift gears. Using your right foot only for accelerating and braking gives your brakes a break. Holding your brakes (or binders, as they call them in NASCAR) while you mash the gas (as they say in the south) heats up your brake pads and wears ‘em out.
Plus, the Car Talk Guys say to use one foot.
2. Can a club soccer team be co-ed?
It could, but wouldn’t likely be.
In club soccer, girls and boys are usually split. Our club’s U7s didn’t have enough registered to split by gender, so we mix it up. Boys and girls play soccer differently. I’m biased, but I see girls every bit as good as boys at any age. I said it. I also concede that you three girls are better off for playing against the boys all your careers.
Boys play with speed and abandon; girls seem to grasp the mental side of soccer faster.
Here’s something else I’ve learned coaching co-ed teams: A halftime speech to boys about what they’re doing wrong is heard differently than the same words to girls. A boy will believe, “coach is right. These other guys better step it up. I’m doing my job.”
A girl will believe, “coach is right. I need to step it up. My teammates are doing their jobs.”
3. Are cats and dogs the only animals allergic to chocolate?
The main threat to a pet from chocolate comes from a caffeine-like substance called theobromine, which humans can process like champs. Not so for cats and dogs. They could suffer cardiac arrest if they ingest enough. The smaller the dog or cat, the bigger the problem.
Chocolate is a toxic substance to many animals, not so much an allergen. And here’s a cool fact (that might explain why cats’ moods swing like Ray right fielder Steven Souza at a high fastball (he’s the MLB leader in strikeouts): Cats can’t taste sweetness. Licking their privates is as good as it gets.
4. Do wolves have whiskers?
Big ones. The better to get you close enough to chomp you, dear.
The wolf, granddaddy to all domestic dogs, was the original whisker-wearer. They’re handsome and useful, as sensitive as human fingertips and functional as an Apple watch. Whisker nerves are ultra-sensitive and can detect everything from predators to lunch options.
Another cool fact: Animals automatically shut their eyes when something touches their whiskers, as a protective measure. (Which of you will test this out first? Try it with a cat, not an unfriendly border collie, or worse, with an actual wolf, like this lady did.
5. Could a runner keep going if he doesn’t touch the ground?
Remember when we tell you to play to the whistle? In football, you’re not really down until the refs say you’re down. Let’s say Rams rookie Todd Gurley breaks a run to the outside against Tampa Bay. And let’s say Bucs cornerback Mike Jenkins lays a hit on him – but Gurley spins out of it.
Gurley regains balance by just putting his left hand down on the turf, and keeps going, 11 yards into the end zone. Touchdown? Dang right. A runner is down only when a body part other than his hands or feet touch the ground. Where hand becomes forearm and foot becomes ankle is up for debate.
And exhaustive replay.
Which gives me a chance to scratch my feet.