Sunday Reads V: Authentic Living, Savvy Writing and Cookies You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

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photo credit: chris favero StormTrooper Bucket shot via photopin (license)

Never raise a hand to a child, I read once – it leaves your midsection unprotected.

Comedy writer Robert Orben said that. I’ve never raised a hand to any of my children. I have, however, left my midsection – from the bottom of my rib cage to my upper thigh – vulnerable. I’ve been kicked by kids in shopping carts a thousand times.

I should be writing this post in falsetto.

There are better, healthier ways for a dad to remain vulnerable. It’s crucial for us to exude strength to our kids; we often want to take it to the extreme, though. There’s a balance to discover, between The Terminator and The Cowardly Lion.

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Go Ask Daddy About Football Laundry, Wacky Words, and Our Next Outdoors Adventure

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Referees and me. Hmm.

GAD GRAPHICYou know me. I’m mostly the agreeable type. Sure, I mutter insults to people who tailgate me and blow past me on the highway – all while snapping chats on their mobiles. But for the most part? Live and let live.

Except for, maybe, refs.

Not all refs, mind you. I’ve had enough run-ins with our striped adversaries to write a post on it. I’d be itchy afterward, though. I don’t really want to get into it. How bad does it get?

I wouldn’t go to Sports Clips for awhile because the stylists wore referee shirts.

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Sunday Reads IV: Seasonal Nostalgia, Meaningful Numerals and the Day Life Began

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I’m in the midst of some of my favorite sounds of summer as I write this.

I’m in the press box at Sims Legion Park in Gastonia on a Saturday night. I’m covering a pair of Coastal Plain League games. It’s an odd doubleheader: Game 1 was a continuation of a game suspended by rain in the second inning, in another city, 10 days ago.

By the time the Gastonia Grizzlies and Martinsville Mustangs finished that game – a 12-3 Grizzlies victory – it was 10 p.m., and many kids still ran around the park on a steamy summer night with little reason for an early bedtime.

The CPL is a summer league for college players, with a rich history and wooden bats. What a dream it would be to spend a summer on one of these teams, living with host families and playing in historic ballparks.

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Go Ask Daddy About Head Injuries, Soccer Stars, and the Storm That Canceled Everything in Charlotte

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It’s not good when a first-round draft pick in the NFL is known for getting more concussions than championship rings.

GAD GRAPHICThat was quarterback David Carr’s reality. The Houston Texans chose Carr, a star at Fresno State, first overall in the 2002 draft. In five brutal seasons behind a makeshift expansion team offensive line, Carr was sacked 249 times. He signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2007.

I had a chance to talk to him about his concussions when I worked for the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record and Associated Press.

Carr suffered at least three concussions with Houston, and at least one with Carolina. I asked him about the injuries once, and he categorized each hit as distinct from the others. Once, in Tennessee, he said, I took a hit, and sat up and looked around the stadium.

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5 Random Smartphone Photos, Part VII

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So, that number was completely arbitrary.

I’d like to do these once a week, so why not? There’s a divide between my old, beat-up phone and the new replacement. My Google photos won’t sync. So I have pictures on my new phone I can’t get to online, and I can’t get my online photos from my phone.

First world problems, right?

I’ll pick just five at random, and luckily, I have 300-plus to choose from. Amazingly, none are from the trip Camdyn and I took to Jacksonville last fall to see the Denver Broncos play. That trip has made it into every random smartphone post I’ve done!

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Game Developer Carla Kopp

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I’ve made up a tabletop game or two in my day.

cd-interviewsWho hasn’t? My games were good for a round, maybe two. Today’s guest on #GirlsRock does way better than that! Meet Carla Kopp, senior quality assurance test engineer for Synapse Wireless, an Internet technology firm in Huntsville, Ala.

So smart, so creative. She has a cool job – but she does cool things away from work, too, with Weird Giraffe Games.

This is an occasional series on Coach Daddy to celebrate women who do cool things. Carla definitely qualifies. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a MS from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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Sometimes You’re El Maestro, Sometimes You’re Most Definitely Not

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I’m going to tell the team to call me maestro next season, I mentioned to Hayden.

It was in jest, of course. I’d been listening to Mitch Albom’s The Mighty Strings of Frankie Presto. In it, the main character calls his teacher, of course, maestro. Hayden gave me the look. No, she protested.

We could go with guru instead, I offered. They both mean teacher. (I had momentum.)

If you do, I’ll tell the school that you did something awful that you didn’t really do, Hayden threatened. And they’ll have to fire you. This, incidentally, ended the conversation. No maestro. No guru. Just coach, and I’m grateful to have that!

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Go Ask Daddy About Fish Identification, Amphibian Adolescence and the True Nature of Natural Speed

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I did it.

GAD GRAPHICI powered through my first book reading/book signing. It was kind of unexpected, but a wonderful experience. I wasn’t sure I’d go through with it, honestly. I won’t bore you with the grim details. Let’s just say I made a well-informed conscious decision.

I vowed I would just show my appreciation for all who showed up!

A funny thing happened. It wasn’t just the cup of wine I had before, or the fact that Christine from the blog I’m Sick and So Are You showed up (how badass am I that my friend who showed has a blog name like that?)

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Always Enough Happy to Tell You Something Good, Guaranteed

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I can make my famous brown and white sugar pancakes by heart now.

I save time. And a great way to avoid leaving out key ingredients – such as baking soda – or doubling key ingredients – such as baking soda. I’ve flipped these classics – this same recipe – for years, probably since the Milwaukee Brewers (or Jewel) were any good.

I looked Saturday at the dry ingredients in the bowl, mostly white even with the brown sugar integrated, and it started the wheels turning.

Not of Hispanic America’s integration or dispersion into modern caucasian culture. I thought of how sugar – brown and white – mixes with salt, baking soda and flour, to become greater than the sum of parts. To become something delicious.

And if you were forced to choose a single grain of that to eat, you’d wish for sugar, right?

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Sunday Reads No. 1: Routines, Reviews, and Roadblocks

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I wish I had more time to read.

I wish I had more time for other things, too. Like, watching Elizabeth Banks commercials, or melting cheese on anything, or eating cheese with Elizabeth Banks. I somehow manage, during times I should be doing other things, to read a little every day.

(Don’t tell my boss.)

Actually, tell my boss. Reading’s essential to be a writer. I think Stephen King or Steph Curry said that once. Lots of my blogging friends put together a list of favorites every week, and I’m honored they have the misguided tendency to include me sometimes.

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