Go Ask Daddy About Awful Sequels, Organic Thuggery and the REAL Computer Age


photo credit: #003 Stormtrooper with a camera - Nature photographer via photopin (license)
photo credit: #003 Stormtrooper with a camera – Nature photographer via photopin (license)

I wasn’t bragging, but I said it.

GAD GRAPHIC“Writer’s block? Never heard of it,” I might have mentioned to a fellow blogger. Well, that is bragging, isn’t it?

You might not know that I don’t believe in jinxes.

To prove that, I once declared on our way into a rural Walmart between soccer matches that we’d win the rest of our games that season. “Dad!” the kids protested. “You just jinxed us!”

I didn’t though. We won some, we lost some. Jinx schminx. Jesus has better things to do than punish me for my big mouth. Did I jinx myself this time with the writer’s block bit?

As time ticked toward midnight last night, I found myself staring at a blank screen for today’s post. Shit.

It didn’t help that [this was going on] on a larger screen in front of me.

So clearly, this is Peyton Manning’s fault.

1. How is there a second Titanic?

photo credit: 有馬玩具博物館 via photopin (license)
photo credit: 有馬玩具博物館 via photopin (license)

The prospects of a Titanic sequel sound about as appealing as Retro Bubonic Plague Night.

And I’m just talking the movie. Romance my ass – Titanic was a mashup of a prostate exam with a sandpaper glove and a Sam and Kat marathon. Titanic the movie clocked in at 3 hours, 30 minutes. That’s 220 minutes of sinking ship. I’d rather watch the Rockies’ bullpen implode.

Again.

As if a sequel to a sinking ship wasn’t enough … this fool has commissioned a replica of the Titanic – the ship, not the movie – to set sail in 2016, on the same course as the original ship.

Maybe we could bundle tickets for the voyage with a one-way ticket on the Hindenberg II.

2. Is guajillo pepper hot?

photo credit: Ingredientes para el Adobo de los Tacos al Pastor via photopin (license)
photo credit: Ingredientes para el Adobo de los Tacos al Pastor via photopin (license)

Only to the ultimate gringo.

Who am I kidding? Chop up a Pablano or Anaheim – both chiles lower than guadajillo on the Scoville Heat Scale – on my enchiladas, and I’ll need a glass of milk. This is what happens when a Chicano kid grows up in a white neighborhood. They’re commonly used in my dad’s home state of New Mexico.

Guajillos are ideal for tamale salsa.

[Where does the guajillo fall on the Scoville Heat scale?]

3. Can I throw this apple core at a car?

photo credit: The Core via photopin (license)
photo credit: The Core via photopin (license)

My teachers used to tell my parents on parent-teacher conferences that “Eli takes things a LITTLE too far.” This apparently replicates genetically.

Tossing an apple core from a moving car is still considered littering. Never mind the gratitude a hungry squirrel or pile of mealworms would show for such a roadside gift. But no, you girls take it a step further: Rather than simply return an apple core to the earth, you’d like to use it as a weapon.

The answer is yes, you can. As long as dad’s driving. And the car you hit is headed the opposite direction.

4. Do you have to use olive oil in these new pans?

photo credit: 4841 via photopin (license)
photo credit: 4841 via photopin (license)

These pans rock, don’t they?

I haven’t tried it, but I’m pretty sure I could toss pancakes in the air like this lady in this ad:

[For those about to rock]

Non-stick pans at one point in my life felt as right as Christina Aguilera blaspheming A-Ha! by using music from “Take On Me” with Pitbull in “Feel This Moment.” Or as right as vegetable lasagna. You get my point. I’ve turned a corner on this, however.

For the long-term life of a non-stick pan, olive oil isn’t as bad as non-stick cooking spray. (Why would you use non-stick cooking spray on a non-stick pan? Is it a double-negative? Do you then create a stick surface by introducing two positives? Are there any scientists out there?)

Olive oil heats my eggs evenly and consistently, which helps me to avoid that crunchy egg part I hate. If it happens that my non-stick pans last eight years rather than 11 – I’m okay with that.

5. Did you play on computers when you were in school?

photo credit: 『If nothing happens — Check printer 』 via photopin (license)
photo credit: 『If nothing happens — Check printer 』 via photopin (license)

Are you kidding? Without we Gen Xers, you kids’d be playing with jacks and old tires right now.

Maybe not. But we did play on computers. Hell, I remember the first wristwatches that had a calculator on them. A calculator! My gifted and talented class spent weeks in the computer lab, programming our nerdy hearts out.

One kid, David Hagans, replicated a screen from the high-action video game Pitfall. I don’t remember what other kids did, but I created a replica of the Washington Federals logo. That wasn’t even my favorite USFL team.

Washington_Federals_-1In fact, they might have been the worst team in the history of professional sports. Was this a warmup to later life as a Colorado Rockies fan?

Anyway, I even typed up my school newspaper articles in high school on an actual PC. It’s like a laptop, but 329 times heavier. I think they had iron casings, too. There were Apple computers, but you needed a friend to help you move one.

Portable device? What is this, Buck Rogers? Hey, we had floppy disks, too. And then, hard disks. Hell with The Cloud.

Anyway, believe it or not, we even started to use the Internet when I was in college. Back then, some sites closed at 11. Can you believe that? So when the first sites came out that didn’t close, that was a big deal.

“Open 24 hours!” Hell, you can get a Big Mac 24 hours now.

I’m feeling writer’s block coming on again. Or maybe it’s just hunger.


Go Ask Daddy is a weekly roundup of questions my kids have asked – and one dad’s official response. Actual results my vary. 

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62 thoughts on “Go Ask Daddy About Awful Sequels, Organic Thuggery and the REAL Computer Age”

  1. Writer’s block stinks and sadly have had it hit me from time-to-time, but then still I always seem to manage to come out the other end. Oh and by the way, I just rewetted the Titanic ironically enough the other night on HBO and my husband pretty much had a similar reaction and added, “Why?”.

    1. I did a lot of typing and deleting for sure, Janine. I think most of us fellows would rather, if we must watch a ship sink in a movie, it be because it fell victim to a pirate attack than an iceberg.

  2. I know this makes me sound like a bad person, because it was a real-life tragedy, but the only part of Titanic I will watch is when the iceburg hits until (spoiler alert) the ship actually sinks. I liked how they showed all that happening.

    I can’t remember the computers we had in school, but you only got to use them once a week and the biggest deal was learning how to change the color of the cursor (CYAN!). I was 12, maybe? I do remember learning to type when I was 15 on an IBM Selectric Tank though 🙂 Much nicer than the manual typewriter we had at home.

    1. Your interest in the mechanics of the sinking don’t make you sound like a bad person at all. I’d rather see that than watch the orchestra keep playing until they drown.

      The computer lab might as well have been the Legion of Doom’s headquarters. Know what I miss? Lining up the holes on a dot matrix printer to the paper feed and making sure the box was aligned perfectly so that it wouldn’t get jammed after three sheets.

  3. My husband seems to think I have supernatural powers to jinx things. Like when I say, “Wow, traffic is really light! We will be downtown in record time!” And then we get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. I’m not that powerful and Jesus, as you said, has bigger fish to fry. Yes, I used computers in college but they took up an entire room and we were all terrified of dropping our stack of punch cards thereby causing hours spent coding to be worthless.

    1. Just in case your husband is right, could you say a little somethin somethin about the Detroit Lions?

      My Denver Broncos will play them next Sunday night. Thanks!

      Computers were monsters back then. Now they’re stealth killers.

  4. You did pretty good for a guy with writers block! I especially like the line “Jesus has better things to do than punish me for my big mouth!” lol!

    1. I feel like the person who says, “I don’t have anything to say,” and then won’t shut up! I really did struggle though. I hope Jesus today is watching the NFL. I would, if I was the son of God.

  5. I always hoped that if it’s biodegradable, you can throw it out your window – at other cars or not.
    So perfect answer, I say!
    I once asked my mom if I could egg a tree and she sighed and said, “Here. Go get it out of your system.”
    I did!

    1. I’d like to think we’re doing the earth a solid, Tamara. Live and let throw biodegradable trash at each other, like James Bond says.

      Somewhere in an alternate universe, there was a boy asking to TP a lamppost. I wonder what *his* mom said.

  6. No way I’m going to throw something out of a car window – not even an apple core – not since they bought in the “dob in a tosser” rule.

    You had computers when you were at school? We had inkwells and nib pens. I was the last person in 3rd grade to be allowed to use them because I was left handed and smudged all my work. If they’d have let me turn my book sideways, it wouldn’t have been a problem, but noooo, you had to have your notebook straight and your eyes twelve inches from your work.

    It’s interesting that the first known use of the word “computer” was in 1613 in a book called The Yong Mans Gleanings by English writer Richard Braithwait: “I haue read the truest computer of Times, and the best Arithmetician that euer breathed, and he reduceth thy dayes into a short number.” It referred to a person who carried out calculations, or computations.

    Love the quote at the end 🙂

    1. I’d like to dob the cigarette-butt tossers I see everyday. Wait, do I? What does dob mean?

      They were tough on you in school weren’t they? I’d never have survived. I’d have disappeared in the middle of the day without an explanation.

      Glad you liked the quote – there were plenty of pensive ones, but I needed a laugh. Glad you did too.

  7. This was fun. If he makes a replica, will people go? Is that iceberg still there? What is the definition of insanity? The movie was horrible. Fiction based on fact at its worst.

    Heat is awesome. My tortilla soup rocks with heat, or so I’ve been told.

    If someone throws something at my car, I will no longer be oncoming traffic. I will take your plate, track it, and egg your car in the middle of the night. If you park in a garage, your mailbox is on-limits. Speaking of eggs, I do use non stick spray on a sticky pan. The duck eggs I recently made were delicious.
    Finally, I used a computer in grade 5. My parents geared me towards higher maths and sciences in middle and high school. No computers until college. I have never used higher maths and science in the real world, but so glad I took them. Thanks parents! Thank you too, Eli, for this post.

    1. Maybe the fools who thought they were headed to Mars will take a Titanic cruise as a consolation prize.

      Your car story can be neatly filed in the ‘this is how red wings fans do’ department. Are the duck eggs in retaliation from NHL season?

      Thank you, Jaded, for reading this post.

      1. Ha, bc a non red wings fan may call the cops or do real road rage. Mischief begets mischief. Duck eggs are so yum. I laughed until I tried one….and go Lions next week. Happy to read, Coach Daddy.

      2. P and S…when I was back in my growing up town in Aug., for one of the non fun times, two bright bulbs did decide to throw something out the window. The oncoming car was popo and he wasn’t pleased. One of the kids was from my growing up town. Nice going.

  8. Oh my goodness, the first time I watched the movie Titanic was as a freshman in college. I watched it on my residence hall floor with my floormates and if not for the commercial breaks (this was playing on ABC Family or something) I would have been sobbing the whole second half.

    Worst. Movie. Ever.

    Now I know why my mom never had me watch it growing up (i.e. like mother, like daughter—she hates it, too).

    A sequel sounds like the worst idea ever. What would it even be about, anyways? The ship already went down! #soconfused

    Speaking of which, a replica Titanic just seems wrong to me. Where do people get this ideas? Oh, lets go ride on this ship that looks just like the one that sank back in 1912. Let’s remind ourselves of the fact that a bunch of people suffered going down in a ship that’s EXACTLY IDENTICAL to this one back in the day. Sounds pretty morbid to me.

    Also, I started kindergarten in 1998 and I remember the MASSIVE computers we used in computer class back in the day (computer class in kindergarten meant playing Electric Coloring Book for forty-five minutes every other day). Oh, how times have changed (both the computers themselves and how I spend my time on the computer).

    1. There’s not even the prospect that a flock of blue herons would swoop in and right the ship. It was all downhill. If I wanted that kind of prolonged torture, I’d buy oakland raiders season tickets.

      Did we have any idea with fridge-sized computers that someday we’d play candy crush on a device the size of a kit-kat bar?

  9. Great quote Mate. Does an abacus count as a computer? Another Titanic movie? It’ll probably suffer from the Superman curse. Can’t help with the apple core question, I eat all of mine. We love those new pans, a little coconut oil is good and don’t have the heat on full.

  10. Writer’s block stinks- but it’s all in our heads… when we think too much about what to write, that’s when the jam occurs. I remember the game, Pitfall… man, that was a long time ago! When I graduated high school, I got an electric typewriter with a one-line display screen so you could preview text before it printed. I thought that was pretty cool, haha.

  11. This post had me LOL!

    “This is Peyton Manning’s fault.”

    “Eli takes things a LITTLE too far.”

    So considering you had writer’s block aka you were too distracted by watching football (C told me the Broncos won, so it was all worth it, right?), you did a great job an another GO ASK DADDY!

    I’m pretty sure they put guajillo peppers in the Mongolian Fire Sauce
    http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/2014/02/use-your-words-mongolian-fire.html

    Titanic, the sequel? I’m like WHY? Wasn’t the first one too much already? “Jaaaaack, Jaaaaaaaaaaack!”

    1. It was definitely worth it. And I had to write most of the post the morning after because I lost my Internet connection. It was the universe telling me to get my arse to bed.

      If Jack had come back as a zombie pirate, then we’d be talking. I think I’d rather watch a movie about a cruise ship stuck in the Bermuda Triangle with no working toilets than endure Titanic II.

  12. My kids get a kick out of watching those YouTube videos of people eating hot peppers. Especially that one the Ghost Pepper. I guess it really does sneak up on you. I like some spice, I won’t turn down a nice spicy Cajun Jambalaya; but it needs flavour and not just heat.

    1. I don’t think mine have ever seen those. They have objected to me trying the hottest wings to get my picture on the wall at Buffalo Wild Wings. I’d do it.

      Cajun food … I’ve craved that lately. Wait, you get that, up there?

      1. we probably don’t get the real deal Cajun up here, but I used to work at a place that was not too bad. I can make a spicy mean zucchini shrimp boat myself. 🙂

      2. I don’t even think the real deal is all that important, anywhere – so long as it tastes good. I’d take a bite or six of a zucchini shrimp boat given a chance.

  13. I think these are my favorite kinds of posts 🙂 And yes. Writer’s Block. I know thee well (that bastahd!).

    NO WAY. they are not really making another Titanic, are they? And who are these idiots willing to set sail on a Titanic replica? Le sigh.

    I always thought throwing apple cores (or any kind of fruit remnants) out of vehicle was the only kind of acceptable littering? the hell do I know.

    I totes owe you a phat email. I’m so sorry I’ve been the worst lately. Hope you’re having a great week!!

    1. They’re my favorite to write. It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally the words don’t come easy. I was always dismissive of writer’s block.

      I still kind of am.

      Give me a boat trip on a ship with a better record than 0-1!

      I’m going to use executive orders to have access to executive orders and proclaim that tossing out fruit and veggie remnants shall be considered not only legal, but regal.

  14. Writer’s block? You? Naaah. Say it ain’t so. And do say it ain’t so that Titanic Too is about to set sail. Yikes. I shall give that a miss, thank you! Now as to the tossing of the apple cores. I was a firm believer in that delightful sport. Cars going the other way … biodegradable … blahdeebladee … Then. A pal advised me not to do it as the tossed item will attract the curiosity of animals. Like dear deer. Imagine it – a wee little fawn skipping over to check out the juicy delight of that apple lying within reach on the edge of the highway … and … S P L A T.

    1. It happens, Kel. I had a blockage. And then a faulty web connection, which spelled out a better night’s sleep for me. It’s no good if I don’t post soon after midnight, though.

      Posts that go up the next morning after breakfast really crawl along.

      I just wish there was a way to regulate animals who get the apple bits to the ones who are on that side of the road already. I’m working on this.

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