Go Ask Daddy About Network Security, Industry-Saving Treats and Mysteries of the Deep


Grace has had her eye on my dad’s pocket knife.

GAD GRAPHICOne of them, anyway. They’re in a box of some of his things I keep in my closet. My stepmom gave it to me the Christmas after dad died. There’s an Old Timer vintage pocket knife in there, a bit rusty and well loved, from years of stick whittling and fish gutting.

A couple of days ago, in the week before the 15th anniversary of his death, I gave it to her.

She makes me nervous with it. I’m sure I made dad nervous with mine. She’s used it to whittle sticks (we just whittle until there’s nothing left to whittle!), but also used it to cut the excess string off a bracelet she made me.

To see your kid use your dad’s knife? That’s kind of cool.

I miss you dad. It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years today.

You wouldn’t believe the questions my kids ask.

1. Do we have a wireless password?

photo credit: D-Link DI-774 Front via photopin (license)
photo credit: D-Link DI-774 Front via photopin (license)

Yes! It’s ************.

Don’t give it to anyone, though. (It’s not ‘password,’ either, by the way.) We have one so the neighbors don’t leech off our signal. (I used to think when our Netflix buffered during Ghost Adventures, it meant someone in the neighborhood was hogging the web to watch Charlie’s Angels – the 2001 version.)

And it hasn’t happened since we had a password. Just saying.

2. How did they get that cat to lick itself on Psych?

cat lickAnything more than 10 seconds of self-licking, I say, isn’t grooming. It’s a vacation.

I could find no evidence of training this cat – uncredited on Imdb, if you can believe it – gained classical training for the licky of the peepee. Because a cat will spend 20 hours of a 24-hour cycle licking its privates, it’s a safe bet they didn’t waste much film fixed on this feline before it began the grooming vacation.

Pet peeve about pets – when a cat plops its disgusting ass in the middle of the living room to clean its privates just as I’ve sat down with a slice of pizza and an episode of Malcolm in the Middle.

3. Why do we eat popcorn at movies?

popcornIf we didn’t, we might not have movies to go see at all.

The movie industry just got rolling in the late 1920s. But a real-life horror hit more than the big screen – The Great Depression. To quote Marketplace reporter Sabri Ben-Achour (NPRish folks have the coolest names), “movie theaters don’t make much money from movies. Movie studios do.”

At about 90 cents per bucket, popcorn’s cheap to pop. So you do the math: How much profit comes out of charging $8.15 for each bucket?

Movie studios bully theaters out of a chunk of ticket sales and place conditions on what they show and on how many screens. Popcorn’s a cheap way to keep the house afloat.

And it’s become a status symbol. The man who can afford to buy popcorn for all the kids is downright Rockerfellian. Me? I’ll smuggle Baconators in my cargo pants before I shell out 8 bucks for popcorn.

4. How many cards are in that box?

how many cardsThere are 7,890. Give or take a few.

I’ve sorted my collection of sports cards – mostly football, but also baseball, basketball, hockey and even some racing – by team. I’ve stuffed small plastic bags about 30 cards strong to sell at yard sales for $1 each. I’d rather a cool kid have these cards from my childhood than for them to sit around in the dark.

And to think – I have two more boxes like that. I could be a hundred-aire someday.

5. Where is Oak Island?

oak islandThere’s one in North Carolina, a cool one, in fact, but the mysterious spot is in Nova Scotia, Canada.

It’s the site for a centuries-long treasure hunt that has cost six men their lives. Legend says a seventh must die for the mystery to be revealed. To date, the only significant finding in exploration of tunnels and booby traps has been a single Spanish gold coin.

No one’s been able to excavate the chamber thought to be a vault filled with treasure. Who put it there? Pirates? Captain Kidd? Blackbeard? Not even John Wayne and Franklin Roosevelt could crack this mystery. If it’s any consolation …

I have a treasure of baseball cards, just looking for a good home.

mysteries quote


  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Wow. 15 years…seems like yesterday sometimes? cats licking selves there is Yuck…and on display.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Yes. So much from that day will always be fresh in my mind. Their ability to lick themselves must be a source of pride for cats, I swear.

      1. 1jaded1 says:

        😦 I understand bc after 8 years, I still remember too.. Omgosh, pride or something. My best friend has a cat named Fred. I am one of three people who can pet him. He head butts me…he also shoves his butt in my face…and he licks himself down there…EEW. then my best says give auntie jaded a kiss and I’m retorting “not with THAT tongue”.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I also believe that “here’s my anus!” thing in cat culture must be a gesture of friendship.

  2. Lyn says:

    I have to say, I’ve never seen our cat licking it’s private parts. He sleeps for 20 hours a day. He never cleans his ears either, he leaves that to the dog. She’s quite happy to spend 10-15 minutes reaming out his ears.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Consider yourself lucky, Lyn. If our cats sleep 20 hours, they lick themselves for 2, eat for 1 and poop and pee for the last.

      One of our cats used to clean the others’ ears. It’s like it tastes like Cheetos or something.

  3. ksbeth says:

    love the whittling, the legacy and i must admit, i’m a movie smuggler too.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      not the movies only, beth – between a diaper bag and cargo shorts, i can smuggle the entire dollar menu into a baseball game, too.

      including the junior frosty.

  4. What an interesting post! The baseball cards made me laugh because my husband had a huge box of them that had just been taking up space…until I gave them to the boy next door. Hubby was not very happy until he saw the look on the kid’s face. Argument avoided haha!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Rena! There comes a time when a man must part with his cards. I’ve loved giving a few packs to a boy I really like on my soccer team. I know he’ll take great care of them. Nice for the kids to get a chance to collect them, too. I know I would have loved a grownup to give me some of his cards when I was a kid!

      1. A.PROMPTreply says:

        You are such a nice guy, Eli. But don’t forget to save a few for a grandson down the line……

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Oh, definitely, Torrie. I saved the ones that meant the most to me, and the sets I put together as a kid. That was the coolest thing to do, and you’d try to trade to get the whole set if you could! (I’ll save some for my granddaughter, too.)

      3. A.PROMPTreply says:

        Ooops….I guess I was feeding a stereotype, eh? Definitely…..save some for your grandchildren!

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        You weren’t feeding it, Tor – I just know how much my girls like my boy toys – my matchbox cars and Star Wars figures especially. (Although they used to take a bigger car and pair it with a smaller car and pretend it was a mama and baby. Maternal instincts, maybe?)

  5. kismaslife says:

    Happy Friday!

    The cats cleaning themselves is annoying and I have two who like to use the bar in the kitchen especially when we are sitting at it. They know exactly what they are doing and it’s annoying!

    Love that your daughter is enjoying the knife and it’s hard watching them grow up, while fun at the same time.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Cats consider licking themselves to be compelling theater. I have trained one to cower for cover when I simply lift a throw pillow over my head menacingly.

      It is fun, it’s mostly fun, to watch them grow up. I remember when they were infants and I couldn’t wait for them to get old enough to play with real toys!

  6. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Now I want a Baconator!

    That’s cool about the cards, selling them for kids to collect all over again.

    I just realized it has been 16 years since my mother passed away; funny how it feels like yesterday and decades ago, right?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      “Now I want a Baconator!” seems like such a waste of words for me because, yes. Always. Even if I’ve just had a Baconator. (Have you tried the Baconator Fries??)

      It can feel like ancient history and just yesterday when you lose a parent because you miss them like hell, and those things that happened that day, the experience, becomes so ingrained in our souls.

  7. Your Dad would absolutely LOVE to see his granddaughter use his pocket knife!

    The smell of popcorn goes hand in hand with a night out at the movies!

    Oak Island went straight on my bucket list.

    If you ship your hockey cards overseas I know a little guy who would love ’em 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think dad’s with her while she whittles, Tamara. And I’m glad butter and salt don’t count when it comes to movie popcorn.

      Oak Island is intriguing, but there’s just enough there to wonder if it’ll ever be solved. There’s enough to keep you interested, but those guys have invested millions for a handful of coconut leaves and a gold coin.

      Good idea about the cards! Email me.

  8. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Never heard about Oak Island before…sounds intriguing! And that whole popcorn thing….yeah, I’m a smuggler too…..no way I’m paying that much for freaking popcorn!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The concept is intriguing. But the show bogs down, because there’s a lot of spending and digging and hoping, and not a lot of discovering.

      Even knowing that my overblown popcorn helps to keep theaters open still isn’t enough to justify spending as much as I could on packed lunch for a kid for a week on a tub of it!

  9. tamaralikecamera says:

    I’ve always loved popcorn and in fact, I’m popping some right now! When I’m not reading blogs of course.
    It’s not cheap to make here. We use imported truffle oil and local, organic kale flakes on it.

    You know I’m kidding, right?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I never want to be that guy who burns the popcorn at the office, you know? That’s like being the kid who threw up in math class in third grade – you’re forever remembered.

      I’d think popcorn popping and blog reading could work well together.

      I began to doubt your crunchy popcorn story only when the kale flakes came up, and even then, the doubt was only registering 32%!

  10. Rorybore says:

    I hate that our cat uses the free pillow beside me when the hubby is working nights to conduct his “bath.” Geez, I don’t even let the hubby do that stuff beside me in bed…. cats are such jerks. 🙂

    I have such a pile of sports cards – mostly hockey. I don’t even know what to do with them. I even know that I have an Eric Lindros rookie card in the mess somewhere. and an old one of Guy Lafleur. Pretty sure one of those would be more valuable than the other.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think I’d have nailed a cat with my Angry Bird stormtrooper by now (don’t worry, it’s plush. Mostly.)

      Your hubby does this?

      Any CFL cards in your collection? Mine are too old enough to be wanted, and not old enough to be coveted.

      Eric Lindros! Poor kid. Such expectations. Guy Lafleur is a good one to have, too. Mine are so old the Avalanche was still the Nordiques and the Hurricanes were still the Whalers.

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