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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No More Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

IMG_20170709_170402I’ve been hiding a long time.

I had to go with that opening line, because I’d promised someone I would. I’m glad, though, because this friend suggested it as we talked about how things are going for me now, and it perfectly tells the story.

No, I’m not coming out of the closet.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. You might have noticed more of a mindful bent on Mondays around here. I can’t help it. Between meditation on Wednesday, yoga on Friday (something old and new), and prayers for world peace on Sundays …

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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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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 Scholastic Schedules, Commemorative Symbols, and Picking Nits in Our Language

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This week, it’s all academic.

GAD GRAPHICMeaning, there’s some deep philosophical questions here. Well, one at least. And one about cheese, which to me is a sign of higher intelligence. Although, when I was in college, it didn’t really feel like a haven of higher learning.

Was it just me?

I once got an 8 – yes, e-i-g-h-t – on a science test. I stayed after to ask, “is there any mathematical reason I shouldn’t hit drop-add after this?” My prof, he of feathered hair and a beard before beards were cool, simply shook his head.

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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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Go Ask Daddy About Saxophone Glory, the Cost to Watch and Celestial Endings

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So, this one time, in marching band …

GAD GRAPHICWe got to play at halftime of a Colorado State football game in Ft. Collins. It was Band Day, and they played the University of New Mexico. I played baritone sax. I was first chair, I might add. The cheerleaders came with us.

Stick with me … this will tie together eventually.

Her name was Kaylie. (It was actually Shawna, but I don’t want to use her real name.) She was dreamy. Silky, curly brown hair, hazel eyes, braces. Sigh. The universe had a little fun that day and put Shawna – I mean, Kaylie – next to me on the bus.

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