Go Ask Daddy About Animal Sorts, Colossal Numerals and Bling on the Ballfield

GAD lede 1 8
photo credit: The eye of admiration via photopin (license)

My girls go through stages.

GAD GRAPHICDon’t we all? Their stages, born of dreams, spurred the next stage, and the next. Lots of what they transition through gets its fuel from imagination. We should, at any age, allow imagination to lead the way sometimes.

Elise hunkered down between the couch and ottoman when she was a kid. “Daddy,” she called out. “Guess who I am?”

No idea, dear. Who are you?

“I’m Saddam Hussein, hiding in a hole for 100 years!”

Oh boy. (This was just after U.S. forces captured embattled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.)

(As a tween, one of my girls raised suspicion from her mom and me for strange, covert behavior. We feared the worst … cigarettes, seedy online activity. Turns out she was pretending to be a spy.)

And yet another transitioned from the I’m a Dinosaur stage to the I’m a Mermaid stage. I’m not saying who. Does anyone else get this kind of thing at home?

1. What category would a mermaid be?

photo credit: It’s a music celebration | Soundsational via photopin (license)

It’s a valid question and one vital to dining for, say, a Pescatarian killer whale.

Is a mermaid fish, or mammal? Mermaids clearly have hair, like a mammal. A mermaid’s ability to breathe air indicates evolutionary progress, perhaps from fish to mammal? I’m certain fish don’t have the mammary glands so often depicted in mermaid renditions.

In the name of taxonomy, perhaps mermaids deserve their own classification, such as a platypus, echidnas and gluten-free tacos.

2. When’s the next meteor shower?

photo credit: 2009 Leonid Meteor (cropped, afterglow closeup) via photopin (license)

We just missed one!

The Quadrantids Meteor Shower shows Jan. 3-4. You might see as many as 40 meteors an hour, pretty good bang for the buck. The meteors come from dust particles form 2003 EH1, an extinct comet. There’s other cool stuff coming in the next few months, too.

MARCH 8: JUPITER AT OPPOSTION | The biggest planet makes its closest approach to earth! This means it’ll shine  bright in the sky. Binocular-toters could even see four of Jupiter’s moons.

MARCH 9: TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE | The good news: The moon will totally block the sun, making for some gorgeous celestialness. The bad news: We’ll have to go to Indonesia to do it.

APRIL 22-23: LYRIDS METEOR SHOWER | This is it! A full moon will drown out the faintest meteors, but the biggest and brightest could be spectacular. I’ll bring the hot cocoa, you bring the blanket.

[See the astronomy calendar I used here]

3. What’s after billion?

photo credit: Sign Museum via photopin (license)

A billion and one!

The illion family goes on to 303 zeros! That one’s called a centillion, which comes into use when counting the number of years since the Cincinnati Bengals have won in the playoffs. Trillion (12 zeros) comes after billion. Next: Quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion and poopillion.

I made that last one up. But here’s a list of the real ones.

4. If you go low when you’re driving, do you just pull over for a snack?

yoda pez

I often pull over for a snack even if I’m not low.

By low you mean my glucose levels, which can dip as far as the 50s if I don’t eat (it happens!) and take my diabetic meds (it happens!).

My blood sugar should be around 80-120, usually. It’s not good when I go low. I could pass out. I have snacks stashed everywhere. My work bag, my console, sometimes my pockets.

It’s not that I don’t want to share. I don’t want to snack on these snacks unless I need to snack on them. This Pez Yoda has been a lifesaver. Well, not a lifesaver, but it has saved my bacon (bacon doesn’t help glucose levels, but it does promote happiness.)

Yoda has given me just the boost more than once to keep on truckin’ (and get to a Jack in the Box. I mean, healthy protein snack.)

5. Can baseball players wear necklaces?

photo credit: RAKUWAネックX30 via photopin (license)

Do they ever.

Baseball players wear necklaces like middle school boys wear cologne. It’s a sign of flash that they seem to care about more than anyone else. (Maybe other players do?) Maybe it’s a way to attract a mate.

I wonder which carries more heft – 24 karats or a .350 batting average?

I couple of years ago, players wore Phiten Necklaces, laced with titanium. They’re braided and not gold, but are said to improve performance. There’s little evidence they work, but since when is that a prerequisite?

I had a copper bracelet back in the day that golfers wore. I was convinced my brainpower and physical performance would register on the order of, I don’t know, Captain America?

I wore it a couple of weeks. Then lost it. I swear. So faulty.

Next time they make a miracle accessory, I hope they remember to add memory power to it.


  1. Just the fact that baseball is being asked here, gives me hope for spring training being around the corner as crazy as that may sound. But still, got a bit wistful for it. Nevertheless, another great round of questions and answers this week and now wishing you a great weekend.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Not crazy at all. What’s crazy is turning to Marie yesterday and saying, “The Rockies are going to be good this year,” and knowing immediately that I’d just told her the biggest lie of my life. I needed the new band of questions and a new start this Friday.

  2. I want to go to Indonesia!

    Mermaids are magic. No other category needed.

    If I had to guess, I’d say Marie was the one pretending to be a detective. So was my brother. He was also a policeman and a pilote.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’d go, for the meteors, Tamara. Mermaids and Rockies wins seem to be in short order in this universe.

      If both are magic, should also Kesha be included? Our detective was, in fact, Elise. she’s the topic for Monday’s post, too. Funny story with that, but you’ll see.

      What did your brother end up doing as a grownup?

      1. He’s a trained “civil designer”, making the blueprints for construction projects according to the architect’s draft. However, when he was 21 he left Switzerland and moved to Israel. INSERT LONG STORY INVOLVING TWO YEARS AT THE ARMY. Today he creates, builds and maintains furniture and toys for daycare, kindergarten and school at the local kibbutz he lives in. More importantly he’s a Dad to three kids between 9 and 15. Wow, almost like you! 🙂

        The cutest thing he did as a 4yo policeman was arresting the rain – for being annoying!!!

        Can’t wait to read about Elise on Monday 🙂 But first, have a great weekend, E!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        You too Tamara. That comment sounds like it should be expanded in one of those posts you do with the set of keywords sprinkled in.

  3. Holly says:

    Maybe they can make a gingko-infused Pez candy to help with the memory issues?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      what’s the use? I’d forget to take them.

  4. stomperdad says:

    Mermaids usually have well depicted mammaries. Mermen wear no pants, yet have no uh… dangly bits. Thanks for bringing up baseball season! April is only 3 months away! I’m not with snow yet, but am looking forward to Opening Day.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I hadn’t noticed, Eric. On the mermaid or the merman! Baseball feels like a million years away.

      I’d dreamed of going to spring training this year. Blue Jays, where you are?

      1. stomperdad says:

        I’m in Nova Scotia, about a 14 hour drive from the Blue Jays. Though, being a transplant from Maryland, I’m an Orioles fan.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Doh – I remember now. You can take the boy out of Maryland, but you can’t take the Maryland out of the boy (or at least the Orioles fan in him.)

      3. stomperdad says:

        Just like you take a boy from Colorado, but you can’t get the Rockies fan out of the boy!

  5. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says:

    So, Forrest Gump being a “go-zillionaire” isn’t really a thing?? Maybe he was actually a “poopillionaire!” 😉 And, mermaid categories – things that make you go Hmmmmmm . . .

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Forrest’s fortunes aren’t on the list, Lisa, but when you’re Forrest Gump, do you really need that?

      Most of us parents are pooptillionaires and might not realize it. There’s just no limit or boundary to a kid’s questions.

  6. mamarabia says:

    Pooptillion=Number of times I have to ask my kids to put on their pajamas…each night! It’s a lot!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s the best definition I’ve heard all day, Rabia. Same could apply to the asking daily of picking up shoes/clearing dishes/stop kicking your sister.

  7. kismaslife says:

    Mermaids are like unicorns and magical!

    I give my kids new pezz dispensers every Christmas. Everyone got their favorite Starwars person.

    I love baseball , did you know?I know nothing about it but it’s my favorite sport if I had to choose one.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m okay with magical. Pez dispensers are magic, if you ask me. Who’s your favorite Star Wars character?

      I didn’t know you love baseball. The Rockies? They’re the kind of favorite team one chooses if one must choose a favorite team.

      1. kismaslife says:

        Yoda and BB -8! I do love baseball.. It’s calming, weird right? And of course The Rockies and any team Kevin Costner plays on in a movie😉

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        There’s nothing like taking a half day of work to go to the ballpark. yes, it’s calming. Unless you expect the Rockies to play meaningful baseball past July 4.

      3. kismaslife says:

        Ha, the few games I have attended they have won thankfully.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:


        Please get season tickets.


        The Rockies and all their loyal fans (all 12 of us.)

      5. Eli Pacheco says:

        Kevin Costner’s Asheville Tourists jersey from the movie Bull Durham (classic, by the way) hangs in the team’s stadium to this day. (I love the one with Costner and Kelly Preston (sigh) – For the Love of the Game. I associate hugely with that movie.

      6. kismaslife says:

        That’s very cool! For the Love of the Game is my favorite and I could watch it over and over and never grow tired. Draft Day made me like football just a tiny bit more.😉

      7. Eli Pacheco says:

        I haven’t seen that one, but Field of Dreams is an all-time favorite for my girls and me.

  8. Rhonda Albom says:

    So how many would 304 zeros be? Maybe that is the true poopillion?

    I have seen various depictions of mermaids, some with scales and gills, others more humanoid. Maybe they are amphibians, starting off with gills and then evolving to breathe out of water.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I considered that, Rhonda. It’s not like numbers close for business after that, right? I found the gamut of mermaids in my search, including the original (and ditched) risque Starbucks logo. Seen that?

      Mermaids might rule the world after we humans choke each other out.

  9. Lyn says:

    Speaking of baseball, last November, seven-year-old Ethan Hall sang a memorable version of the Australian national anthem before the Australian Baseball League match between the Adelaide Bite and Brisbane Bandits at Cooper’s Stadium in the City of Churches (Adelaide).
    Unfortunately, right at the start of his big performance Ethan develops a chronic case of hiccups.
    Not to be deterred, he continued to sing right to the very end and received a rousing reception from spectators and players alike at the finish.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Grace and I loved this!

      1. Lyn says:

        I thought you might 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Lisa. I had a different set going last week when I stalled. I tried to go back into that one, but there wasn’t any fuel. So I gathered five new ones … it was like jumper cables.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Just needed to get over the hump, that’s all Lisa.

  10. tamaralikecamera says:

    Going to Indonesia is bad news?? Nah.
    Really? Bacon doesn’t help glucose levels? But it doesn’t hurt them right? Pairing with proteins!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s only bad news because it’s far away and the kids don’t have passports and probably they don’t have many Five Guys locations. Bacon doesn’t raise my blood sugar quickly but it makes me smile. Except for the bacon that was in my breakfast burritos the other day at work because it was too salty.

  11. Rorybore says:

    My kids are obsessed with Minecraft videos right now. My son goes into his room, and shuts the door and puts on his headphones — which caused us a bit of concern because he is 11 and with a Wifi connection. With his door shut. hhhmmmm…. what’s he looking at in there?!!! Cat videos.
    because of course. He loves Simon’s Cat videos.
    All I know about mermaids, is that historically there were a lot less helpful than Ariel was to Prince Eric. No idea about singing crabs as BFFs.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think many parents would take a Minecraft problem, Rore. And cat videos. Even cat videos with Minecraft. Mermaids were rude? I had no idea.

      1. Rorybore says:

        oh yes. Traditionally folklore told tales of mermaids luring seamen to their certain watery fate with their great beauty and melodious voices. But that wouldn’t make a good Disney flick. 🙂

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I don’t think such behavior is limited to women with fish tails!

  12. Charlotte says:

    I’ll be honest—the story of your daughter saying she was Saddam Hussein kind of made me giggle. And she wants to be a spy!! I’m attracted to quirk 🙂 love your yoda pez dispenser, but more importantly that it’s helped you out in a pinch when you have low glucose levels. Smart to leave snacks stashed around in various places!!

    Also mermaids…if I can’t be a mermaid, I’ll gladly live the life of a merwoman 🙂

    Have a great weekend!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Charlotte! Yes, I wish I had it on video. I reminder her of it sometimes. Thes girls have quirk for weeks.

      My new desk at my new job has a huge emptry drawer that the universe obviously wants me to fill with snacks. #justtobesafe

      Mermen are kind of the forgotten brothers, aren’t they? Mermaid life seems cool, except on Fridays during Lent, I’d estimate.

      Can’t wait to get back to your place!

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