#AtoZChallenge: P is for Pacheco (Plus Random Thoughts on Names)

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My name and I made one bettor some green one Super Bowl Sunday.

PI worked at the Hilton for Super Bowl XLII, between the yet unbeaten New England Patriots and New York Giants in 2008. A boisterous man, upon check-in, clapped his meaty hands together – Gator style, although I don’t know where he matriculated – when he saw my nametag.

“I’ve been wanting to bet on the Giants all day!” he broke his happy white-boy clapping to say. “Your name is Eli? This is a sign! I’m betting on the G-men!”

Hours later, the Giants, a 12-point underdog, pulled of a classic upset.

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#AtoZChallenge: N is for Not Science, but Art

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I should have invented a slide rule for this sort of thing.

NAt what age should you leave your kids alone at home? This slide rule could have a side for age, one for maturity quotient. One for boy craziness, probably, couldn’t be discounted. What of that kid in your brood who fosters a healthy obsession with setting things aflame?

(Is that just us?)

There’s serious stuff to consider, outside of the kids destroying my stash of graham crackers and provolone (Not together. That’d be gross.) There’s opening the door to strangers, unsanctioned living-room MMA, or setting a Betty Crocker cookbook on a hot stove (okay, that one was me.)

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#AtoZChallenge: M is for My Status Update is … Trill AF?

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photo credit: Blood smeared and battle weary #Finn #StarWars #FN2187 #stormtrooper via photopin (license)

So my boss said I was “trill AF” tonight.

MI had to look that up on urban dictionary, of course. It’s pretty bad-ass, actually. Totally not me, though. I just wanted to cap a rough day with a Red Baron pizza and a 40. Yeah, a 40. Only, apparently, I don’t know what a 40 is.

I bought a tall-ass can of Bud Light at Food Lion right after practice.

Not that tall, though. This can is my under-tall counterpart of the beer-can world. I bought, apparently, a 25. Twenty-five fluid ounces of wimp-ass Bud Light. Oh! The can says, though, there’s an extra ounce. And I’ll probably finish the whole thing in two, three sittings, max.

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#AtoZChallenge: L is for List of Things to do with your Kids

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Life’s better with the kids.

L.jpgYes, dad needs downtime. He’s got to write these posts and, oh, earn a living and stuff. And sometimes, he coaches other people’s kids and even goes out to play disc golf. Really, though, those times we sing AC/DC in the car or crash the Taco Bell happy hour, those are the best of times.

As a dad, I’ve washed my car inside and out with my girls. I’ve taught them to score a baseball game. I’ve coached them in soccer, which changed them almost as much as it changed me.

If you’ve just brought home your first baby or maybe you’re looking for ways to find quality time with your kids, especially girls, here’s a look at my list:

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#AtoZChallenge: K is for Keeping up with my Shiznit

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So, I forgot what letter we’re on.

KTwice. And what’s even better, I razzed fellow blog dad Eric of All in Dad’s Work about a guest post he promised me for this Wednesday. In the midst of the A to Z Challenge. For both of us.

Only, Eric has already guest posted for me.

In what can be attributed in equal parts to Canadian kindness and just being a standup guy, Eric wrapped up a post in his drafts folder to deliver the guest blog he didn’t have to deliver. Good man, Eric.

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#AtoZChallenge: G is for … Go Ask Daddy?

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Some things just fall into place.

GLike, the time I called Jeremy Mayfield’s race team shop on a Friday afternoon to talk to his publicist. All I wanted was a snippet of news I could use as padding in my racing notebook in the Hickory Daily Record. That publicist said, “I’ve been so busy with this driver change for anything else!”

“Oh!” I said. No idea what the hell she meant. “How’s that going?”

She went on to tell me all about the complete team switch happening between Mayfield’s team and another. I played along, and asked more questions as I learned more about the team transaction. It just fell into my lap.

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#AtoZChallenge: F is for Finding a Way with Teens

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Teens get a bad rap.

F image.jpgWith white conservatives and Denver Broncos fans, teenagers rank among the ranks it’s still okay to belittle. They’re moody, they say. They’re unpredictable, they say. They’re a bubbling, volatile cocktail of angst and hormones and turpentine.

Okay, I made that last one up.

Natasha at OMG Parenting wrote of five parenting truths for the OMG teen years. Just this week, Andrea Mowery of About 100% posted the Most Important Lessons for Teens. “The most important thing a teen will learn,” Andrea writes, “is love.”

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☑️ #AtoZChallenge: E is for Everyday Guide to Bravery

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ESo, you’d normally see a guest post in this space here, midweek. Sometimes, that doesn’t work out. When your blog’s page authority registers at just 54, and your favorite baseball team is 1-1 with 16 runs scored (and 16 runs allowed), the universe asks you to sit down and take a number.

No gripes, though.

It’s in those spaces of forced improvisation that revolutionary ideas gain traction, or at least decent facsimiles of such. My friend Deb (of Deb Runs) poses a weekly challenge, Wednesday Word. Of all days, it falls on Wednesday, in the midst of the A to Z Challenge.

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#AtoZChallenge: D is for Daddy School

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What if … what if I could just stay home with the kids … and teach?

DI would. I could. Daddy Homeschool lessons slipped in easily when the girls were young. At the zoo, in the grocery store. At the ballpark. In the park. When we hiked or fished, shopped or ran errands, colored or ventured out on daddy/daughter dates, learning was fun.

It’s not so easy now.

Kids become a bit jaded with age. Inspirational teachers are fewer and further apart. One girl – I won’t say who – issued a cease-and-desist for all “how was school?” inquiries. Ever. Commutes to school aren’t filled with talk of faraway lands and long-lost eras.

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#AtoZChallenge: C is for ‘Can I Just Lie?’

c is for can i just lie
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I don’t remember the circumstance of this question.

CCan I just lie, dad? It sat among hundreds of other questions my girls ask on a given day. The ones I remember to write down, anyway. Some float away into the ether and out of my memory. Sometimes … sometimes, they stick.

Like when my youngest asked, would you die for me, daddy? Then, you give it its own post.

Like, Can I Just Lie, Dad? It’s a question born perhaps of filling a water cup in Taco Bell with Baja Blast Mountain Dew. Or claiming to be 9 when being 10 would mean an extra $3.95 on the buffet.

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