Go Ask Daddy About Freaky Fish, Mistakes on the Job and What Can Fit in a Dorm-room Closet

photo credit: #270/366 via photopin (license)
photo credit: #270/366 via photopin (license)

We’ve all been there.

GAD GRAPHICOur kid acts up in the grocery store/park/church. It might be a burp, a yell, or an anger-induced dash up the center aisle all the way to the pulpit. It’s the verbal meltdown or physical aggression. It’s when your kid just won’t listen, or any of dozens of other ways our kids ‘act out.’

Sound familiar? My friend Kayla Landis, an undergrad at Clark University, wants to hear from you.

She and advisor Dr. Nicole Overstreet are conducting research that focuses on how parents are perceived by other parents when their children blow up in public. They’re also interested in whether the perception of parents changes or stays the same when they learn that child has a certain condition.

Can you answer a few questions for the good of parent-kind?

[Just take this anonymous online survey]

You’ll read a brief scenario, then answer a few questions. You’ll also have a short, open-ended prompt at the end. It’s anonymous, but you can enter your email address to be entered in raffles for Visa gift cards worth from $50-200.

(Email addresses remain confidential and will be deleted when the study ends.)

Clark University’s Human Subjects/Institutional Review Board has approved the study. Questions about the nature of this study may be addressed to the IRB’s Chair, Dr. James P. Elliot, at 508-793-7152.

You can contact Kayla or Dr. Overstreet.

1. How did they discover anglerfish? Have they ever been down there?

photo credit: Angler Fish Mask: hello! via photopin (license)
photo credit: Angler Fish Mask: hello! via photopin (license)

A U.S. Fish Commission steamer first discovered this odd fish when it wound up in a trawl net off a Panamanian shore – in 1891.

One-hundred and 11 years later, researchers sent a remote control vehicle into an extinct volcano off the California coast. At depths of 4,100 to 5,900 feet, they observed anglerfish in action! Looking like something out of the pages of Dr. Suess, an anglerfish looks like nothing else in the sea.

It walks on fins at incredible depths (as deep as 11,000 feet!) and tempts its pray with a built-in lure near the top of its head. Check out this video:

2. How long does a light stay yellow?

photo credit: red light via photopin (license)
photo credit: red light via photopin (license)

Just long enough for 17 cars to get through.

The law doesn’t cover times. It’s not just to keep people from running red lights. A short yellow can be dangerous, too. The National Motorist Association Foundation recommends the following yellow-light times based on speed limit:

Speed time
25 MPH  3.0 Seconds
30 MPH 3.5 Seconds
35 MPH  4.0 Seconds
40 MPH 4.5 Seconds
45 MPH 5.0 Seconds
50 MPH 5.5 Seconds
55 MPH 6.0 Seconds

There’s also a complicated equation for figuring yellow-light time minimums. But because I haven’t used anything close to algebra in exactly 11 years, I won’t break that streak.

3. Does the company pay your ticket if you get pulled over in a work car?

photo credit: Terenure, Co. Dublin - Ireland via photopin (license)
photo credit: Terenure, Co. Dublin – Ireland via photopin (license)

If you get a traffic ticket in the company car, you should be happy to pay the fine.

Unless it’s because your boss didn’t renew the registration. Or get the car inspected. Most companies have policies that absolve them of fees their employees incur when behind the wheel of a company car. It’s not stellar come review time, either.

I knew a dude who got fired for running the hotel shuttle across one of those spike gates at the airport. He got his job back when they determined it wasn’t his fault. Then, he filled the tank with regular gas, not diesel. He was on his own, then.

4. Who is the rich guy on Annie?

He’s Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks.

I’m old-school. I prefer the 1982 version. Nothing against Jamie Foxx. Englishman Albert Finney gave a boisterous performance as a filthy-rich, right-wing, chrome-dome bigwig with no time for a red-headed orphan.

Forbes Magazine ranked Oliver No. 2 in its Fictional 15 in 2005.

The magazine estimated his net worth at $27.3 billion dollars, and rising. His considerable worth and lofty ranking come despite the fact that he spent or gave away most of his fortune.

Jay Gatsby’ estimated worth is just $1 billion. The only dude ahead of Daddy Warbucks? Santa Claus. His net worth? Infinity.

5. Do you have to bring all your clothes when you go to college?

photo credit: 08-30-06_1413 via photopin (license)
photo credit: 08-30-06_1413 via photopin (license)

Only if you have a U-haul truck and closet space that rivals The Horseshoe at Ohio State. (The picture at right isn’t such a closet.)

CollegeConfidential.com suggests you pack only summer clothes for the first couple of months, especially if you can visit home often. Don’t under-pack, though. If Elise chooses Lees-McRae College, at the base of Grandfather Mountain, T-shirts and shorts won’t hold up well until Thanksgiving.

Don’t ask me. I’m the guy who runs out of clean clothes by Day 3 of my four-day company trip.

clothes quote


  1. Lyn says:

    I love the 1982 version of Annie. Albert Finney was brilliant. In fact, the whole cast was pretty darn good. That Angler fish, isn’t that the fish from Nemo that almost caught Nemo and Dory?
    Interesting survey, by the way, Eli 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Me too, Lyn. Finney was just boisterous and blusterous enough to fit the part perfectly. I’ve seen a few fail in that spot after him.

      That’s the fish! And thanks for checking out the survey.

  2. claywatkins says:

    Not good form to turn in a speeding ticket on your expense report. Just not a good idea. Clothes at college are a different issue for a girl, than they are for a guy. Just look at the home closets – yikes! Enjoy your weekend.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Amen to that, Clayton. Although I worked with a sports writer who used to expense “cigars and liquor” any time he had to drive more than an hour to cover a game.

      Buys can dress like Shaggy on Scooby Doo – same clothes every day, basically. I know I’ve found myself in sold V-neck t-shirts all the time lately. Does this mean I’m becoming a cartoon character?

  3. laurie27wsmith says:

    Those angler fish are definitely scary Mate. You wouldn’t want them anywhere nearby when you’re skinny dipping. How long does a light stay yellow? Not bloody long enough. Feel sorry for that bloke, I put 20 litres, about 4 gallons of petrol into my diesel car before I realised what i was doing. It wasn’t a good day. great post as usual mate.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      By going in only to our ankles in the ocean, we can eliminate the likelihood of an anglerfish attack by at least 37%.

      I’m one of those inconsiderate blokes who slows down for a yellow. I get lots of half-peace-signs for that.

      Dude. You’ve had some adventures.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        It won’t stop sharks though Mate. Back in 1960 a woman was holding her baby and dangling its feet at the edge of the water. Bondi Beach was crowded and a shark came through the swimmers and took the baby. Perhaps one should stand at the high water mark. I just bet you get more than your fair share of the single digit. My life can be one long Three Stooges show.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        It really is, mate. I’d love to see the screenplay.

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Well everything I know about home renovations I learned from the Stooges. It would be an epic show.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        You’re the fourth (and missing) stooge, I’ve decided, mate.

      5. laurie27wsmith says:

        Mate that’s a great idea. Kind of like the fourth Beatle. Love it.

  4. Don’t ask me about clothes and going away either, because I usually bring more as I am a bit of clothes and accessories lover, but still I am also with you on the original Annie as still one of my favorite movies from back in the day when I was a kid. So, you just brought back some memories on that one this morning 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ve actually forgotten socks and underwear all together. Separate trips. My boyhood crush, Amanda Peterson, was in Annie. She was from my hometown and that was just beyond anything that any other girl in Greeley, Colo., could have done, according to an 11-year-old boy. (He wouldn’t tell the fellas that, though.)

  5. ksbeth says:

    took the survey, like your math style-it’s the same as mine, and i love santa claus.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      thanks for taking the survey beth – santa’s watching.

  6. 1jaded1 says:

    Love the quote at the end. Red light cameras are huge in Chicagoland, so we hope for long yellows. Thanks again, ladies.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you liked the quote – the scavenger hunt to find it is sometimes an adventure. I heard democrats are trying to do away with red-light cameras because Donald Trump.

  7. garym6059 says:

    So I’m not the only one that under packs on a work trip? The original Annie is by far the better of the two. Generally you can’t go wrong with Carol Burnett though.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      No way, Gary – I always underpack, but seem to have a suitcase full. I’m going to google packing tips next time. Carol Burnett kicks Cameron Diaz’s ass in this case, doesn’t she?

      Look forward to checking out more of your blog, by the way. Dads writing about the good stuff? That’s good stuff.

  8. kismaslife says:

    I love the original “Annie” but still want to see the remake. I may regret it…

    And interesting info on the yellow light!
    Depending on what corner I’m on and the light turns yellow- depends on how fast I go to run it or slam on the breaks to endure the time in eternity on the red light. Ha!

    I only hate clothes in general come laundry day!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      My advice: Forget the original Annie when you watch it. As it’s own movie, I think it’s fine. Not life-altering, but fine. But through the lens of the one we saw as kids, and the whole concept of Annie, it’s just too divergent, in my opinion.

      Every time I feel guilty for going through a yellow, I count the people behind me who went through the red. I still feel bad, but I count them anyway.

  9. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I probably overpack, but I’m a “just in case” type of person.

    Exicting to be thinking about college choices, huh? 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I need to keep some space in the bags for those “just in case” items the girls want me to bring back for them.

      Yes, this college stuff is exciting – but oddly enough, it was Grace, not Elise, who asked that question!

  10. tamaralikecamera says:

    No, you don’t have to pack all your clothes to college, or when you’re moving 3,000 miles away! Apparently they can stay for five months in storage. #TrueStory
    My dad once got pulled over for a yellow to red light. He said, “It was only yellow for me.” The police officer thought that was cute and let him off with a warning! Wonders never cease.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Grace asked 17 questions while we sat in the student union at Wake Forest last soccer season after a clinic.

      Among them? Do college kids have a bedtime? She repeated this as we drove through Davidson’s campus late on a Friday night after a soccer match. her sisters laughed at her, but I feel that’s a fair question! (If so, 97% of the student body apparently chose to ignore it.)

      I wonder if I will ever do something a cop would consider cute.

  11. I just looked up Lees-McRae College on the map – you actually pass “Little Switzerland” on your way up there, I love it!

    I am known to pack too much stuff – because you never know. And I hate to run out of anything.

    Recently it looks like hubby is the one who gets the most tickets within all the guys who drive company cars at the office, and yes, he has to pay them out of his own pockets.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s true! Elise really liked that school. It’s either 1 or 1a on her list. My problem in Mexico is that I wear more than one thing a day, but pack as if I’ll wear one thing Friday, another Saturday, and something else Sunday. Doesn’t work out that way.

      I wonder if there’s a prize for the guy who gets the most tickets in the company car.

      1. Tamara says:

        Excellent idea. I think I should award them a traffic school voucher 😉

  12. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Agree with you on the original Annie, definitely!
    And again this week I’ve learned something new….yellow lights…….good thing I have you and your girls to educate me!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s one of those Ginger/Mary Ann debates I guess, Torrie. These kids think of things I would never have – it’s kind of like pursuing a masters in minutiae.

  13. jonesbabie says:

    This may be my favorite post of all time Eli. I got such a kick out of it. I read it aloud to my (grown) daughter and we both laughed over our morning coffee and tea. I remember reading about the anglerfish, which was kind of creepy fascinating to me. Gotta rewatch Finding Nemo now, and as far as I am concerned, there is only one Annie, and it is the one with Albert Finney. He was brilliant!

    Going to check out that survey now…if grammies can participate, I am in. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Wow – glad you liked it that much! They’re so much fun to put together, as you can imagine.

      I have to live a long life to get to the other 400 questions they’ve asked that I have in the list, if anything!

      Under the seas is like another world. It’s amazing that we’d have an easier time observing something on the moon than we would the ocean floor.

      (Or Pluto, for that matter!)

      Some things are never as good as the original – Annie, Star Wars, strawberry poptarts come to mind.

      Thanks for checking out the survey! I’d love to help our Kayla’s project as much as we can, around here.

  14. Jess Witkins says:

    The angler fish is one of the creepiest sea monsters. Those teeth! I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video because I’ll get nightmares. They’re sooooo freaky!

    And I know I did it once, but I don’t think I could fit my current wardrobe in a dorm room again. You know what I think it is though? I didn’t work jobs in college that required me to buy other clothes – like uniforms or business professional wear. So my daily wardrobe of jeans and tees worked for everything. That helps.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It looks like Dr. Seuss meets Metallica down there, Jess. It’s hard to make up something that vicious – it’s all teeth.

      Simplicity/minimalism definitely helps. I’ve unconsciously pushed most of my closet aside in favor of v-neck t-shirts for most days. I feel like a cartoon character.

  15. reocochran says:

    So, do you have any old enough to head to college or was this just thinking of the inevitable future, Eli?
    I liked the in go in the fish and an not sure about Daddy Warbucks, need to see both again to compare.
    I hope you had a fantastic three day weekend, Eli.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I have one who will head to college next year, Robin. The question came from her littlest sister, though!

  16. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    Here in Boston, yellow means green. Most of the time so does the first three seconds of a red light. You’re best not to move until 4 seconds into your own green light. Just to be safe.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You massholes make DC drivers look like Mayberry drivers. There’s a few of you down here in Carolina, in fact.

      Wow, 4 seconds. I could see that, though.

      Wait at least four
      Or you might be done for

      the more you know …

  17. Rorybore says:

    are you kidding me? that is the worst advice ever…. no no no – bring ALL the clothes girls. believe me, you can get very creative about closet and drawer space. I had hats and shoes on my bookshelf- true story. image first!! LOL
    but seriously, college did feel rather like a fashion show at some times. but you learn to get over that pretty quick in Canada when it becomes minus 40 C.

    Still love the original Annie. The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow is still one of my favourite shower songs. it’s the closing number. because of course.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      My girls are just as apt to stay in college T-shirts and soccer shorts for days, then dress up all pretty on a dime. They’re going to need some closet space I’d estimate.

      The original Annie, I think, is the one everyone wants to emulate when they do the stage productions of it.

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