Here’s to making 20, something (or, happy birthday, Madison)

stormtrooper madison (2)I had to wait a day to get my favorite birthday present. That was 20 years ago.

Camdyn’s two goals Saturday come in a close second. What kid can score on her dad’s birthday? It’s just Camdyn doing Camdyn things. Hayden’s done it, too. It’s kind of Babe Ruthian to go out and deliver on a day and on a dime.

Sunday, Madison turned 20.

She nearly shared my birthday, did you know that? If her mama’s contractions hadn’t stopped around the time M*A*S*H* comes on TV, this would be a different post. That was 20 years ago now. The girls are rolling through all the milestones, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20 …

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Go Ask Daddy about Floridian Rides, Martian Colonization and science stuff that has to do with eardrums

stormtrooper nascar jeff gordon (2)It’s time this girl got a name.

GAD GRAPHICHere, finally, is a photo of my new Hyundai. It’s strange, but Gabi still inhabits our street, an empty vessel full of fond memories and great escapes. The item put Pontiac on Craigslist has burned a hole in my to-do list.

My preliminary pick for the new car’s name: Yuliana.

(I know no Yulianas. Gabi got her name from my friend, Stacey. Gabi’s touch-and-go status in the auto shop necessitated a few prayers and vexes. Stacey felt if a car had a name, maybe she’d be more apt to capture the well wishes.)

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

stormtrooper car neon black
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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A gray-beard’s advice to a first-time dad. Also, happy birthday, Camdyn

cam vols
Camdyn made this photo illustration for me for a post I wrote about late University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit.

I’m all out of little kids.

Officially. Today Camdyn turns 13. It’s only one milestone in nature’s reminders that I ain’t as good as I once was (but I’m as good once as I ever was.) This means that yes – just as the moon moved into position a coupla weeks ago) there’s a cosmic convergence.

I’m dad of three teenage girls.

Let that sink in a minute. No, not for effect. Just so I can rest my eyes for a minute. I feel like I’m having a time reaching the caffeine quotient to make up for the sleep deprivation. My calculations had been spot on before *removes glasses and wipes them*

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5 random smartphone photos, part VIII

stormtrooper chocolate love valentines

Write time has come at a premium lately.

It’s 1:26 a.m. and I ought to be sawing logs. I just watched my Denver Broncos eek out a 24-21 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers. Also, the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks and I had nachos.

Can you blame a boy for not being able to sleep?

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a random-smartphone-pictures post. These are fun because I pick the photos at random. They force me to remember the day, the moment, and tell the story in a snapshot of text.

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Why you never NEED to have an Ezekiel Elliott

football

I did it.

I chose troubled Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott in my fantasy football draft. It’s not just any draft. It’s a league of four. That’s me and my daughters. The league winner gets a trip with me to an NFL game.

Madison said she didn’t want Elliott and she didn’t want Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

The reasons were different. Luck is hurt. Elliott is in a battle against a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. They say he abused a woman he says wasn’t dating (not that it matters) but that evidence says otherwise.

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Go Ask Daddy About Dendrologics, Cool Ballers and Bikes vs. Cars

stormtrooper forest tree
Off the beaten path at Squirrel Lake Park disc golf course.

This week we say goodbye to our last kitty.

GAD GRAPHICBrownie, the runt of the bunch, survived two brothers and a sister. Leo, then Babyface and Cubbie preceded her over the bridge, as they say. Brownie beat them all by several furlongs, but suffered from diabetes and got increasingly weaker in the past few days.

The toughest decision is the one to make the call.

Brownie was one of four kittens I found while driving home from work nearly 14 years ago. They sat lined up on the sidewalk. I walked toward them and they ran away. I walked back to my car, and they came back to me, crying.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Firestarter LLC Founder Frances Reimers

stormtrooper tree disc golf park

I aim for, oh, 1,300 or so words when I put together these #GirlsRocks posts.

cd-interviewsSometimes, that word count doesn’t do it justice. Frances Reimers tested the standard. That’s what happens when you’ve done a few dozen great things – it’s tough to narrow down the line of questioning (you hear me, Joanna Gammon?)

Her latest endeavor, Firestarter LLC, is a brand consulting firm.

[check it out here]

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Weekend Reads I: Travel, Nostalgia, Love

stormtroopers skeleton jungle
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 Daddy About Friendly Hues, Exiled QBs and the Art of Naming a Road

stormtroopers animation ship
photo credit: Tom Simpson Animation cel from The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) via photopin (license)

Consider the impact of color.

GAD GRAPHICNo, this isn’t an NPR report on the effect of on race relations. (I think they did one on the Viewfield crater and its impact on we Hispanic people once). But the power of color is so powerful. It’s most noticeable to me in the sporting world.

When Camdyn and I watched the Denver Broncos play the Jaguars in Jacksonville last fall, we felt at home in a sea of orange.

The color silver, for example – stellar on the Detroit Lions’ helmets. Paired with black in oakland/Las Vegas for the raiders? Gross. Blue and white is golden with the Kansas City Royals – it’s deplorable with that ugly scripted LA logo with the dodgers.

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