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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#AtoZChallenge: K is for the 7 Women I’d Sing Karaoke With

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photo credit: Nukamari Just voice and guitar via photopin (license)

I get crushy.

KAlways have. At first, it was Judy Jetson, then Ms. Truesdale, the kindergarten teacher’s aide. All of a sudden, I’m drinking whiskey, eating sunflower seeds and writing blog posts about seven famous women I want to sing cheesy duets with.

Just like that.

Two years ago on the company trip, I sang La Bamba. Sally, the tall, winsome blonde from our Dallas office, swayed back and forth, stage left, and let me take center stage. I might as well have been the Mexican Mick Jagger. (Meek Yagger, as it were.)

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#AtoZChallenge: E is for Eight Things I’ve Left Behind

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If only it was only eight.

EIt’s eight – times something. Eighty? Eight thousand? Eighty-eight thousand? That depends on if you count car keys and wallet as two things, left behind regularly, or one for every time. I wouldn’t want to do that math.

If God had a cosmic lost-and-found bin, even The Great I Am would assess me a storage fee.

I’ll forego listing the plastic dinosaurs I buried beside my house just before dad put on a sidewalk, or the UNC Charlotte sweatshirt left on the bus in Louisville. Same, too, for the stormtrooper Tervis, the actual stormtrooper from my youth, a few tons of innocence …

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I Nearly Gave Up On Santa. Here’s What Happened Next

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photo credit: Nukamari Preparing Christmas via photopin (license)

I can’t even blame Christmas.

Would it shock you to hear that even though my blog has collected moss like a molasses-slow manatee, I feel more on top of my game than ever? I feel a better grip on my carry-on? I do.

I have faith that this wresting back of control will lead me to hit the publish button soon, and often.

I have ideas – with no expiration dates, thankfully. I still want to write about elephants. I have a Go Ask Daddy thisclose to finished. The six words express steams on. I’m in talks with fantastic writers about guest posts.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Crossfit Trainer Dana Mather

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photo credit: kurt.stocker stormtoopers via photopin (license)

In all of the uniform fitting nights for all of the soccer clubs in America … she walked into the uniform fitting for the soccer club I’d been coaching for.

cd-interviewsShe’s Dana Mather, Crossfit trainer. That night, though, she was Dana Mather, matchmaker. As her sons tried on the club’s new kits, we talked soccer. Pay attention, and you can learn volumes about someone in a single, initial conversation.

My impression of Dana: Optimistic, energetic, in all the way in all she did.

Dana carries a quiet confidence that falls short of swagger, mostly because of her humility. A mom, wife, and athlete, Dana surprised me by asking lots of questions about my own coaching. That night, my coaching future was uncertain.

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The Matches We’d Like to Make, in 6 Words

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Never trust a T.I.E.-fighter pilot in a crayon conundrum.

Like The Greg Kihn Band says, “they don’t write ‘em like that anymore.”

Check out this old-school ad for Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups.

https://youtu.be/DJLDF6qZUX0

6 words graphicForget the fact that a woman would prance down the boulevard chomping from a jar of peanut butter with her bare hands (dreamy as it sounds.) Forget the creepy old dude who pops in with a candy bar near the end. Chocolate and peanut butter, circa 1927, were separate entities.

Until they mash together through forces of the universe. Sometimes, the combination proves dastardly (a bobcat and me in a phone booth, for instance). Other times, it’s pure magic (onion rings on a cheeseburger, or The Beverly Hillbillies, in fact.)

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