Go Ask Daddy About Cool Cats, Officials’ Paychecks and Picking Chicks

photo credit: AT-AT Maintenance via photopin (license)
photo credit: AT-AT Maintenance via photopin (license)

Skylab falling out of the sky was the coolest thing ever. Even cooler than the time all the planets magically aligned in the sky.

GAD GRAPHIC(My parents even woke me up at 4 a.m. to see it. My bleary eyes saw what looked like a plain field of stars in the sky. I’d envisioned Oreo-sized representations of the eight other planets, lined up like paper dolls. Nope.)

When Spacelab fell, my friends and I plotted our reconnaissance and recovery mission.

Mrs. Baird told us that she hoped we wouldn’t find any of the colossal space junk from the failed space station. “You’ll probably find a way to use it to bring back the dinosaurs!” she said.

I wonder if she knows that was one of the greatest compliments I ever received.

1. Have they found a frozen saber-toothed tiger?

Imagine my disappointment when I clicked on this YouTube video. I felt like Eli, circa 1979, plotting how to catch chunks of Skylab that fell at 3507 Lilac Lane.

Scientists have found frozen woolly mammoths, but the sabre-tooth tiger is just too cool to be frozen. Snopes.com squelched the rumor that Japanese scientists were nursing a baby sabre-tooth in this video-not-video.

De-extinction of the prehistoric cat shall remain impossible until we find one on ice.

Even then, it might not be enough. DNA from blood can’t be replicated forever. For now, this might be the closest we get. (I bet they did talk like Dennis Leary):

2. Is pinones your butt?

photo credit: AT-AT Maintenance via photopin (license)
photo credit: AT-AT Maintenance via photopin (license)

Oh, honey, no. Your butt is your nalgas, among other slang terms.

Of all the Spanish words to give a lesson on. Pinones. Okay, there’s the literal translation: Pinones (pin-YOHN-es) are pine nuts. They’re delicious, despite sounding like a boyish insult. They come in a hard shell about the size of the Sacramento Kings’ playoff chances, ever. (Muy poquito!)

Pinones are also slang for … testicles.

When you consider that the more common slang for testicles in Spanish is juevos (eggs), you can see where pinones might be considered derogatory.

Okay. Good talk.

3. Do refs make a lot of money?

photo credit: Timeout via photopin (license)
photo credit: Timeout via photopin (license)

Just realized the question about pinones’ meaning might have come directly from something yelled at a soccer ref. Huh.

Celebritynetworth.com says NFL refs earn $180,000 a year. That’s about $10,500 per game. I make a bit less per blog post, if you’re wondering. By 2019, they’ll get a cost-of-living boost to $205,000. Youth soccer refs, on the other hand, make about 25 bucks per match.

That’s a lot of tacos; but it’s not a lot of consolation for the abuse they take!

4. Can you get a bruise on top the roof of your mouth?

photo credit: Yawning jasraj via photopin (license)

It’s not impossible – and if it’s not impossible, a kid will do it.

Roof-of-mouth bruises are unusual. Wrestling while brushing your teeth, for instance, increases the odds of roof-of-mouth bruises by 37%. That’s thin skin on top of bone up there. It’s the oral equivalent to your shins. And we all know shins are devices created to find furniture in the dark.

Roof is an inaccurate term for that part of your mouth, though, isn’t it? It’s more like the ceiling of your mouth. The roof of your mouth would be your scalp, technically. And the mouth would be like the garage and your sinuses the upstairs and your eyeballs and brain the attic.


5. If you had to pick between Shelley, Gabi, Kesha or Jennifer Lawrence, who would you choose?

Guys, this is Shelley. Shelley, this is the guys. Or, girls.
Guys, this is Shelley. Shelley, this is the guys.

This question makes me feel like a gigolo, girls. And I’m as gigolo as the los angeles lakers are a championship threat in the next 11 years. (Poquito!)

See, they all bring something to the table, these ladies. Shelley gives me direction – and a kind voice when I make a wrong turn. Gabi and I have traversed thousands of miles together, through wind, rain, snow, and a package of mini banana-nut muffins recently.

Kesha brings a bit of edgy and trashy from an intelligent source many may find surprising. But she knows TiK ToK isn’t how it’s spelled. She’s brilliant and actually funny. Check out this video for proof.

And Jennifer Lawrence … where’s she been lately?

She brings a genuine spirit, and humor. See, my admiration for her isn’t as simple as “hey, you’re hot. And young.” She’s closer to Elise’s age than mine. Hell, she’s closer to Grace’s, probably. (I don’t feel like doing the math.)

She’s a young woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously at all.

All while she gives her work her best effort.

I see some of that in all three of you girls.

(And this interview seriously rocks.)

jlaw quote


  1. stomperdad says:

    Damn you for spoiling the bit about the saber tooth being a hoax. Oh well, it went extict for a reason, maybe we shouldn’t bring it back.I remember reffing for a free hotdog and pop from the concession stand after the game. Not exactly 10,500 per game, but it was still fun.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Sorry, brother. If we can’t handle tiger sharks in the Carolinas, I don’t want to consider our odds against saber-tooth tigers in … well, anywhere.

      The question is, Eric – was it a good hot dog, and what names were you called between whistles?

      If it’s fun and I get fed, I’m in.

      1. stomperdad says:

        At 14 that was my philosophy. Who am I kiddinmg, that’s still my philosophy. If I was called any names I didn’t hear them. But a ref friend of mine was harassed and he got so pissed off that he gave his whistle to the heckler and left.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        There’s no more vile a creature at times than the sideline parent spitting venom at a teenage referee.

  2. ksbeth says:

    i like the jlaw quote, she’s not that far out from school and remembers it well – and thanks for answering the nuts question, something i’ve wondered about, my spanish is still at the kindergarten level after 10 years of kinder level spanish and this hasn’t come up yet.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I just wish I knew where Grace even heard the term pinones. Maybe it was a cooking show, even.

  3. All I have to say is I have burned the roof of my mouth and damn that was probably the worst week of my life as far as eating and enjoying my food! On a side note, I am loving your new header with the cartoon pics of the girls. Absolutely perfect!! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I do this almost every time I have pizza, Janine. I think I’ve built up a resistance physically, or even mentally.

      Glad you like the header! The girls made those of themselves a while back. I’ve wanted to switch headers for some time … and I made that one on Canva.

  4. Kim says:

    Bruising the roof of your mouth? Totes possible. So is getting a sticker stuck there. Also getting a chopstick or fork stuck into it. Kids will do *more* than you think is possible!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      If it can hurt, it can bruise I guess, right Kim? Looks like it’s not only possible in your house – but historically probable?

      You could write a post devoted to the plight of the palate.

      1. Kim says:

        I could write it, yes. Thankfully, it’s from what I’ve seen working as a nurse and not at home. 🙂

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Even better – if it has to happen to someone, let it be to someone else’s kids. What? We’re all thinking that.

  5. Lyn says:

    Everyone should have known that Japanese video was a load of pureed bat guano. I mean, c’mon, if the Japanese were going to clone anything it would be Gamera or maybe Godzilla, but my personal favourite would be Mothra.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      What if I’d posted it and said, “good God, y’all – can you believe this is happening?” If they’re going to clone, they might want to consider a copy of legendary slugger Sadaharu Oh.

  6. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Eli, I really enjoy your posts, but that new header up there is AWESOME!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Torrie – a change was overdue.

  7. tamaralikecamera says:

    I still want to believe! In sabre-toothed tigers.
    I can’t stand Kesha, but maybe I can learn to believe in her too.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ll always believe, Tamara. Kesha’s not so bad if you give her a chance.

  8. As I read your post, I thought…”here is my word for the day! I love saying it over and over again. It just rolls off the tongue – pin-YOHN-es!! Then, I read what it stood for. Perhaps I’ll change my word of the day…
    (Always fun and informative. Thank you Eli!)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It still can be your word for the day, Michelle. It has an appeal to it. Don’t let details such as definition ruin that.

      I’m always learning here in my own classroom. Thanks, girls.

  9. Rorybore says:

    I love pine nuts!!! I mean…. the actual …er .. nuts. not the other… well, you know. although I guess technically being married with 3 kids I must like those too.
    so yeah….um anyway. yes, good talk.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I do too! The actual, er, nuts, too. Went right down the rabbit hole with this one, didn’t you Rore?

      1. Rorybore says:

        I’m taking everyone with me…. LOL

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        96% of readers here will be with you. 66% of them will be ahead of you.

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