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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On a day with my girls at the auto fair, it kind of felt like dad was there

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photo credit: DocChewbacca Back to the past via photopin (license)

All my dad needed was a glimpse of a tail light.

He could tell you the make, model and year, just from that. Just from a red glow, a glance of it. That’s when cars had cool names, like De Soto and Falcon and GTO. Not Prius and Altima and Cruze. Those aren’t even words, let alone cars.

Dad and I picked out a 1962 Buick Skylark for my first real car.

Maddie was white with red interior. Full-bodied, four-door, hardtop sedan. Sleek lines. We installed glass-pack mufflers with dual exhaust and low-profile tires with sweet chrome rims. She shined brighter than Grace Kelly, Debbie Boone and Brooke Shields.

Combined.

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Behind The Scenes Of My Big Beautiful Eclipse Day

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My schedule eclipsed my ability to write about the eclipse.

The experience though. It began in line before 6 a.m. in a Shoney’s parking lot. It ended with lots of thoughts and yet no time to write about them. It took equal parts cunning and patience to even get my hands on eclipse glasses for the family to share.

And I don’t know about you parents out there. I felt like we were tons more enthused about this whole event than the younger generation.

And that’s fine. I couldn’t wait for eclipse day when I was a kid. I was a dinosaur/space/NFL nerd then. (And now.) It felt like that pressure our parents put on us as kids when the Peanuts holiday specials came on because we MUST watch this!

Because of course.

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

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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

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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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Go Ask (Someone Else’s) Daddy About Childhood Aspirations, Returns from Blog Vacations and How to Make a Bit of Sense of the Wacked-out Universe We Live in

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The kids get a break this week.

GAD GRAPHICCourtney of Baking in my Bathing Suit suggested I extend an invitation to the grown-up world for Go Ask Daddy. A handful of readers submitted questions, so there was enough to set the girls’ questions back on the shelf for today.

Mimi of Messy Mimi’s Meanderings asked me to tell the story of when I broke big-league news at a small-town paper.

I covered racing for the Hickory (N.C.) Daily Record. It was my second job out of college. A racing writer at a tiny paper doesn’t make enough to pay country club dues. Hell, it barely pays enough to buy a club sandwich. In the country.

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Guest Post: Number Recognition Pizza Game from Education.com

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 nephoto credit: DocChewbacca Pizza Injustice via photopin (license)

They had me at pizza.

Today’s post comes from education.com. They offer learning programs for pre-K to fifth- grade students. I wish there were these things when I was a kid. I was a bit scattered at that age – ‘creative,’ they used to tell me.

The cool thing about the programs: They’re fun.

My girls had fun ways to learn at that age. I kind of wish I had stuff like this to help me learn new stuff at work. This game today combines a nemesis of mine (math) with a love (pizza.) Maybe it’s not too late to sharpen my own math skills.

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Go Ask Daddy About Vocabulary, Liability, and Rad 80s 3D Puzzles That Forever Stump Me

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Competition wasn’t a problem for me as a kid. It was the success I had a problem with.

GAD GRAPHICNo bother. I embraced a life of green and white third- and fourth-place ribbons on field day as part of my DNA. (I can’t remember which was for third, which for fourth.) I toiled on the second level of Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, even.

I made the Detroit Lions look like the dynasty to end all dynasties.

Imagine if I’d been able to compete in something squarely in my wheelhouse. Alas, there existed no competition that involved eating tacos (that I knew of) or throwing a plastic football on the roof of my grandma’s house and catching it at least 20% of the time.

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Go Ask Daddy About Utility, Emergency, and Conservation Opportunity

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This might be a good time for a history lesson.

GAD GRAPHICGo Ask Daddy has been a Friday feature around here for years. My girls ask lots of questions. I know your kids do too. It felt derelict of daddy duty to answer with look it up or I dunno. I don’t feel right, not at least putting down my grilled cheese and giving fatherhood a good try.

I wrote the girls’ questions in a notebook, and then feared I would leave the notebook in the cafeteria and not have a thing to write on a Friday.

So I started a Word doc, on my work computer, and I try really hard and follow the rules at my job so I’m not fired and would lose the entire list. This motivates me at work to avoid criminal activity and also to try good like I would with being a dad.

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for Unconventional Loves

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I’d wanted to write, during this A to Z Challenge, about my girls’ stuffed animals.

UAll three have one that has meant something to them over the years. Haven’t we all? I had a stuffed dog I found in a park when I was a boy. I named him … boy. I loved him until he fell apart.

One of my girls loved a German Shepherd, so big she could use him as a pillow.

Another slept with a bear named Daddy. I last saw him tucked behind her headboard. Unceremoniously. A third girl kept a rasta monkey I won her at her bedside. I scrapped the idea, although to read the first four paragraphs here, you wouldn’t know it, right?

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