Go Ask Daddy about family dynamics, flavoring coloring and manned Martian missions

stormtrooper antique store records
Vinyl is making a comeback. What happened to all my Hall & Oates albums?

I grew up uncle rich.

I’m not talking rich uncles. I’m talking men who took the role to heart. I want to recognize each here with a little shoutout. I love them all (and my aunts too).


Alice: After dad died, she made teddy bears from his shirts for my daughters.

Rosa: Rest in peace. She wrapped a football for under the tree for me without a box.

Sandy: A sister to me. Showed me the band Rush. And Bozz Skaggs.


Efrain: At our going-away party from Colorado to North Carolina, he almost opened a beer bottle with his teeth.

Gilbert: Prisoner of war in Korea. A fighter plane blasted a wall out to free his unit.

Frank: He bought me a Death Star set! I felt cool with him.

Gus: Donated bone marrow when my father was sick.

Ismael: He died at 18 in a car wreck. Dad never met him but has his middle name.

John: Drove a van around Greeley with a Yoda mask on once.

Lee: “Don’t yell “yeehaw!” he warned when I rode the family horse. Shoulda listened.

Herman: Drove an El Camino. Sported a ‘stache that’d make Charles Bronson jealous.

Phillip: Sent us off when we moved from Colorado with a “North Carolina sucks!” cake.

Tony: Cowboys fan. Texan, right down to his belt buckle.

I wrote about uncleness once on this blog.

1. If your parents don’t have siblings, can you still have aunts/uncles?

No. Well, you could adopt. A lot of white people would do this. You could become an uncle or aunt by:

  • Taking the kids camping
  • Giving horsey rides
  • Changing a leaky diaper in K-mart parking lots
  • Being mistaken for your parent’s brother or sister
  • Changed a leaky diaper while giving a piggyback ride at K-mart

Who am I kidding? The families in my old neighborhood shopped at Target. Parents can pick friends or family to become uncle/auntie. My advice: Choose the one who allows jumping on the bed and watching Jackass movies.

(Did you know you could differ in ethnicity from your sibling? Woah. Yeah. Fifty percent of your genes come from each parent. Only identical twins carry the same DNA. You could have abundant Austrian and your brother more Cambodian.

2. What’s the deal with Stevie on Malcolm in the Middle?

You mean wheelchair kid Stevie Kenarban. He has asthma and only one lung. So, not a disease, until they name it Stevieitis. He talks … and takes a … breath every … three or so …


Craig Lamar Traylor portrayed Stevie. He doesn’t use a wheelchair. Both lungs are intact. He was 11 when he debuted, and expected nothing more than the pilot. He’s 27 now, lists himself as a writer.

He designs tattoos, says his Twitter account (last updated three years ago). Here’s a funny scene from Malcolm:

3. Who should I make on the Wii?

Definitely all my uncles/aunts. And Stevie!

My girls make people’s likenesses on the Wii. They’re Miis, of course. Sutton achieved status recently. That’s good. The girls added Larry Fitzgerald but eliminated Tiger after his troubles.

Make … Brett Favre, Jyn Erso, and Emile. The Lane kids, Kesha, and Michael Scott. Ronaldo, that girl from the team you played, and Elizabeth Thatcher. Apolo Ohno, and Morgan Francis. That sweet manager at Freddie’s.

Readers: Who should they make? Which is your favorite?

4. Why is vanilla brown?

Vanilla gets a bad rap. Like Tim Tebow or the Atlanta Braves. Abbie Cornish is brilliant vanilla. Deliciousness aside, do you need peanut butter cups to consider ice cream rockable? I put vanilla in everything baked, Y’all.

But vanilla being dark reminds me. I once questioned why Bud Black was white, and Devon White, another baseball player, black?

Vanilla beans are brown. And expensive. Like, Iranian Beluga caviar. Know how we discourage using name-brand syrup when friends visit? You don’t want to dump your expensive vanilla in pancakes.

So when you use a little bit of vanilla, like in ice cream, it gets diluted. LIke when I moved to North Carolina years ago. A brown dot diluted in a white world. Vanilla.

gray and white robot
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

5. Are there people going to Mars?

God won’t allow colonization of Mars until the red wings reach the Stanley Cup playoffs again. So, a VERY long time.

We’re not, yet. But if the NFL puts a franchise in London, might Mars be next? (We could put the raiders there.)

Mars One is has a plan, though. They’ll send missions to set up shop first. They’ll make houses that look like the spawn of a porta-Jon and the capsule from the Apollo. But this is everyone’s initiative.

Meaning, not only for the Elon Musks of the world. So we could end up there. They’ll need lots of money, though. More than club soccer and peaches at Whole Foods. It’s risky and more earth-shattering than an ice cream machine going on the fritz.

My uncles would so go.

Musk quote Mars


  1. ksbeth says:

    i love the list of how and why you remember your uncles and aunts – amazing memories. as for the wings……

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I haven’t seen any of them in years, beth, but the memories remain. the wings, though … even though colorado is wretched these days, i still hate their rivals.

      1. ksbeth says:

        A woman I teach with is married to one, but he just got traded so they’ll be moving (

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Aw. At least he won’t have to wear that silly sweater anymore 😉

  2. Charlotte says:

    Okay you seriously were raised by the most hilarious and caring aunts and uncles ever ❤️ I love that you had an aunt who made teddy bears out of your fathers shirt and someone donated bone marrow and the warning not to yell Yee Haw is BRILLIANT.

    Always so good to be here. Never thought much about vanilla, but I will now 😊 hope you’re having a great week and staying warm!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I was very lucky, Charlotte! My girls, two of which never met my dad, have teddy bears made from shirts I remember him wearing.

      His brother was a better match than me or my sister for a bone marrow transplant for dad. Forever grateful.

      It’s always good to have you here, Charlotte. I invited a new friend to the Posse. Stay warm up there!

  3. Beth says:

    You have a lot of uncles and aunts like I do! My mom is one of 13. As for my kiddo, he only has one aunt, but many of the “aunts and uncles” we choose as you mention. The Stevie question is timely, we’ve been watching re-runs of Malcolm lately. Did you know Frankie Muniz suffers memory loss (I think after he had an accident doing car racing) and barely remembers his time on that show? Crazy.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s good to have all these branches to swing off of, isn’t it Beth? It’s good to extend the invite to honorary uncles/aunts.

      We love that show and live it in many ways! I had no idea about Frankie. Wow.

  4. Lauren Becker says:

    I have so many aunts and uncles on my dad’s side, but I don’t really see any of them all that often. Definitely have favorites. LOL And I love Malcolm in the Middle!!


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The family tree branches spread wide, don’t they Lauren? I wish I could be more of an uncle. I haven’t seen Malcolm in so long but those boys often remind me of my girls!

  5. If your grandparents had siblings, you could have great-aunts and great-uncles.

    Every generation of your family sounds fabulous.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Woah. I forgot about great aunts and uncles! I’ve been very fortunate with my family tree, Mimi. Very.

  6. Will they have k-mart on Mars? I miss ours and it’s been closed for over 20 years. 😦

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s probably where all the K-marts have gone, Jenn! I miss the one we’d go to after soccer. It had a Little Caesars in it!

  7. Gina says:

    When we bought our WII, my younger son was a preschooler and a die-hard Wiggles fan. So our Miis include Anthony, Jeff, Sam, and of course his favorite.. Murray Wiggle. We also had random people like Michael Jackson, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The stars come out on the Wii! There’s a site that shows you how to make famous people. I’d rather do it by our own!

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