Go ask daddy about driving rules, alcohol in the kitchen and illegal football moves

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Inspecting the elephants at our Airbnb haunts in Fredericksburg.

I couldn’t wait to get my permit.

GAD GRAPHICI was just a dumb kid in Colorado with the delusion that acquiring my permit would automatically result in:

1) Getting a brand-new Pontiac Fiero;

2) Driving my butt from Greeley, Colo., to Seattle

3) Actually making it back home.

How could I forget? I was also going to pick up my cousin, Raquel, in San Francisco. All this, before I’d even learned to parallel park. But I was ready. Kids these days? They’re not so ready. Why be ready to drive, when you parental Uber toting you around?

I’m okay with this.

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Go ask daddy about human formulation, matrimonial dissention and the state of American soccer

stormtroopers plants (2)There’s a rock rolling around in my dashboard.

GAD GRAPHICI plan to do nothing about it. I log tons of miles in my new (yet unnamed) Hyundai Elantra. Some days, more than five hours worth. Phone chargers, makeup, snack wrappers and slides get left in my car every day.

One child picked up a rock recently.

I won’t say which one. It took me back to days when I had young children (and better hair.) Rocks and toilet-paper rolls with stickers and construction paper adorning it made for the best gifts a dad could get.

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How to teach your kids to take a compliment

stormtrooper golf pga championship

I keep a drawer of beat-up books that I like to open a lot.

One’s a book of coaches’ quotes. I gain perspective from my sideline squad. Another’s a book of lists for parents. I’ve scribbled in that a lot. Another is a pocket-sized, tattered book called “Father to Daughter.” It’s a collection of advice fathers have given.

Occasionally, I’ll grab one of the sentences in it and expound upon it.

My conversation with a T-mobile customer service rep that turned to fatherhood inspired this. I’d love to hear your take on the topic, from the perspective of a parent or having been that daughter with your father.

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For the faith and agony ahead, I’m actually grateful

stormtrooper unicorn fairy garden

My soccer boys must face a team next week that we angered greatly last week.

We did nothing wrong. Outside of beating them. After the match, they sat on the turf in various stages of disbelief. An older, more experienced team tested and topped by a band of upstarts. It’s a sweet feeling to pull out a win like this.

And now, we must go to their place.

Moments that shape us aren’t limited to wins. Moments of discomfort and fatigue and dismay contribute to that ever-changing DNA of self. No matter what happens next week, the team we will convene as the next day will in part become a result of this match.

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5 random smartphone photos, part VIII

stormtrooper chocolate love valentines

Write time has come at a premium lately.

It’s 1:26 a.m. and I ought to be sawing logs. I just watched my Denver Broncos eek out a 24-21 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers. Also, the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks and I had nachos.

Can you blame a boy for not being able to sleep?

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a random-smartphone-pictures post. These are fun because I pick the photos at random. They force me to remember the day, the moment, and tell the story in a snapshot of text.

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Weekend Reads II: Partnership, Peace and Parenthood

stormtrooper nascar jeff gordon

It’s not so much what I’m going to do this weekend that stirs the soul.

It’s what I’m not going to do. I won’t put in more seat time than a NASCAR champ. I won’t pry my eyelids open after another late night and early morning wondering when in the hell I’ll get to write on this blog again.

No, there will be seat time – on the couch, with the laptop, watching football, though.

I’ll throw golf discs and I’ll grill. Also, I’ll read. I want you to read too. This long holiday weekend, wherever you are, check out these posts. Each dropped a mic to some degree as I found them (has it really been three weeks?) and you’ll love them too.

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Go Ask Daddy About Dendrologics, Cool Ballers and Bikes vs. Cars

stormtrooper forest tree
Off the beaten path at Squirrel Lake Park disc golf course.

This week we say goodbye to our last kitty.

GAD GRAPHICBrownie, the runt of the bunch, survived two brothers and a sister. Leo, then Babyface and Cubbie preceded her over the bridge, as they say. Brownie beat them all by several furlongs, but suffered from diabetes and got increasingly weaker in the past few days.

The toughest decision is the one to make the call.

Brownie was one of four kittens I found while driving home from work nearly 14 years ago. They sat lined up on the sidewalk. I walked toward them and they ran away. I walked back to my car, and they came back to me, crying.

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How to Remain Kind (Even When the Universe has Assigned You to the Dipsh*t Quadrant)

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Waiting out a weather delay at Quail Hollow Club during the PGA Championship – on an ice cream cart. (Hayden Pacheco photo)

A bearded doofus stepped right in front of Hayden and me and a dozen other rain-soaked volunteers as we waited to board the bus last week at Quail Hollow Club.

A man short on words but high on intent drove a shoulder into my side as he sought a spot next to his wife and in front of me. A handful of other fellows jostled for position as we filed onto the bus, fighting for space that meant nothing – there was plenty of room.

Men, Hayden breathed out dismissively, and I couldn’t argue.

Embarrassing, not only for my gender, but for the human race. We’d volunteered to man an ice cream cart at the PGA Championship for the day, asking $5 for cherry explosion fruit ice and M&M ice cream sandwiches, and getting nothing but friendly responses.

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17 Ways I Know I’ve Done Okay as a Dad

stormtrooper disc golf catcher

You might have come to conclusion I’m kind of proud of my girls.

It’s not all about athletic accomplishments, although that’s part of it. Their character emerges all the time, in moments especially when no one else can see. I’m most proud in those moments.

Those moments are by no means proof of parenting perfected, of course.

The book List Your Self For Parents (Andrews McMeel Publishing, by Ilene Segalove, Paul Bob Velick and Garreth Esersky) includes 90+ prompts for lists parents compile for a series of snapshots of life with kids. I’ve held a copy for years.

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Weekend Reads I: Travel, Nostalgia, Love

stormtroopers skeleton jungle
photo credit: Chris Blakeley “I’ve got a bad feeling…” via photopin (license)

Who skips over a weekend, honestly?

I did. Not intentionally. There’s sometimes just not even cable cars to carry everything. I’ve tried to recognize just how many cable cars I have a day (or to-go boxes, whatever), and not overfill. Last weekend, that meant leaving Sunday reads behind.

I’ll share seven this week, spanning last week and the week before.

I’m doing this Friday afternoon, so those of you so inclined can check things out Saturday morning. I’ll be back at the soccer fields with Hayden’s team camp, grateful for a random stray Wi-Fi signal that allows me to turn the picnic area into an outdoor office.

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