Go Ask Your Father: Diamonds, Baseballs, Girls, and Skin Colors


1. How are diamonds formed?

Not by Superman super squeezing coal in his superman super fist. In fact, no coal is harmed in the making of diamonds. Coal is the compressed remains of dinosaur era plants. Diamonds are much, much older. They date back to when my parents met in college. Both are made of coal, just like that graphite in your pencil. It’s the way they formed that sets them apart. Diamonds form deep in the earth’s mantle about 90 miles down. Down there temperatures hover around a balmy 2,000F and the pressure is about 725,000 psi. The only other place to find these conditions are in my bed when I cocoon myself in the blankets. The reason diamonds are clear while graphite (both made of carbon) is black is the way their molecules bond. Diamond molecules bond tightly (called a sigma bond) in a three dimensional point (pyramid) – think toddler strapped in a 5 point harness car seat. This tight bonding doesn’t allow for the absorption of light, hence its clarity.  Meanwhile, graphite carbon molecules bond more loosely (called a pi bond) on flat planes – think toddler on a leash. This loose bonding allows light to be absorbed, hence, it’s black.

2. What are baseballs made of?

Summertime sunshine, peanuts, and the sounds of a crowd going wild when the Yankees and/or Red Sox lose. I, too, wondered as a kid what was inside those wonderful spheres. I found an old one and cut it open. What I found was a whole lotta string. It felt like I could have wrapped the whole stadium with the amount of string I unwound. In the middle of all that string was small rubber ball. What I didn’t discover at that time is that inside the rubber ball is cork. I knew players had tried to cork their bats. They’d hollow them out and fill it with cork then cap it to make it look solid again. This made the bat lighter and was highly illegal so I never thought there’d be cork in the ball. “How It’s Made” did a great episode on nearly exactly how they’re made. I may have watched it a dozen times, it’s that neat. A cork is surrounded by a rubber ball. Around the rubber ball is wound three different kinds of string (helps the ball keep its shape after being smashed by a bat). On the string are two figure eight shaped pieces of leather that get hand stitched with 108 red stitches. The factory had 350 workers making 8-10,000 balls a day! That’s a good thing because a single game uses an average of 65 baseballs. That’s 177,450 balls per season! And that’s just the MLB!

3. Can girls be on the Orioles?

I’ll just start with a quote from Jack Moore of Vice Sports

The question, then, isn’t when women will earn a spot on the diamond next to men. They have been earning those spots for over 100 years. The question is when the men barring the gates will finally stand aside and let them in.

Women have played in the majors before. If you’re familiar with A League of Their Own you’ll know they WERE the majors during WWII. Prior to that, women often made appearances on the diamond with men. Lefty, Jackie Mitchell, playing for the Chattanooga Lookouts took the mound against the Yankees in an exhibition game. She struck out the first two batters. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Maybe you’ve heard of them? Toni Stone played in the Negro League against the likes of Willie Mays and Ernie Banks. In 1953 she was the 4th best hitter. Back in those days a woman’s place was still in the home. Women who attempted to do what men did were shamed by both homemakers and men. After WWII and the merging of of the Majors and the Negro League the men claimed full possession of the majors. In 1952 women were officially banned from Major League Baseball. In 1992 it was repealed. For almost 20 years there has been no rule against women playing in the MLB. However, just like in many other places, there are just men standing in the way.

4. Why do some people have dark skin?

It just depends on which crayon you choose to color them. We all know (or are about to find out) that our skin color is due to a pigment in our skin called melanin. There are two types of melanin, pheomelanin which appears as reds and yellows and eumelanin which is browns to blacks. While darker skinned people produce more eumelanin and lighter skinned people produce more pheomelanin this isn’t the main factor for your color. People’s melanin particles differ in size and number. More and larger melanin particles equals darker skin. There is an evolutionary advantage to skin color, though. Melanin protects our skin from harmful radiation. Those with darker skin reflect more UV/UVA light to better prevent sunburn and skin cancer. However, lighter skin tones absorb more UV/UVA, which aids in making vitamin D. None of us are exactly the same color, no matter what race we are and all the colors are so beautiful. However, we are so much more than the color of our skin.



Sunday Share: Y2W12


Our week off from school ends today. Tomorrow they are back to the learning box. I didn’t make them do as much math as I intended (for which they are grateful). We did practice tying shoe laces. I know there are “easy” methods, one of which we originally taught Crash. However, these “easy” methods often turn into knots when they come untied. So we are practicing the old fashioned way. Bang, the 6 year old enjoys the practice and is getting the hang of it. Crash, the 10 year old is getting the hang of it, too, though it frustrates him. So does everything else that seems like work.

While we’re practicing shoes, here are a few good reads from this week…

Sam: Living!
A new perspective…

Tracey Tobin
Don’t listen to the experts!

Fatty McCupcakes
Flying is stressful. Here’s how to make it easier for others…

Suzie Speaks
A whole lotta views and where she started…

His Girl Friday
Feel guilty? Don’t. I’ll let her explain why…

As always you can also find and follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook


My grandparents were farmers and they were always outstanding in their field!

Hey Kids, It’s Okay to be Bored

I’m bored.


This was just minutes after ordering supper at a restaurant. You know what? It’s okay to be bored. It’s high time you learned to entertain your thoughts. It’s high time you learned to converse with other human beings. It’s high time you learned that sometimes in life you will bored.

And it’s okay.

Constantly in motion, constantly stimulated, the kids aren’t sure what happens when everything stops. There’s no app for sitting still. Sometimes you will just have to sit and entertain your thoughts for a while. I know thinking is something unusual for you, but it won’t hurt you. I promise.

With all of the lights and sounds and blips and bloops in today’s world, it’s no wonder that a constant need for stimulation is so heavily sought after by kids. TV. Tablets. Phones. Toys. They all need batteries and they all make sound and light up. How many non-battery toys do kids play with these days? How many adults turn to their phone when they have down time or are looking for something to do? It doesn’t matter that they’re sitting in the company of their friends. The lure is there.

It’s okay to be bored. It’s okay to use that boredom to think of wild and crazy ideas.

    A pretty purple giraffe that drives a dump truck

    An ice cream cone with 57 layers… what are those 57 flavors?

    Hitting a homerun in the bottom of the 9th to win the game

    Doing those stunts we saw the slopestyle snowboarders doing in the Olympics

    What would happen if the shit really did hit the fan?

    Daydream! I, myself, am guilty of it. I wander off to “Lalaland” more frequently than I should. Discuss! Talk to the people you are sitting with and tell them about your thoughts. Were you wondering something? Were you fascinated? Were you awed? Were you laughing hysterically? Were you pissed off? Tell them. There’s no need for an app for real life. It is its own app and it’s amazing. It never glitches. It never buffers. The images are always HD. The sound is surround. There are smells. There are feels. It’s amazing.

    It’s okay to be bored. You don’t have start picking fights with your brother just for something to do. Go make something. A dream catcher. A leprechaun trap. A comic book. Draw a picture. Paint a picture. Paint a rock. Or mold with clay.

    It’s okay to be bored. Go outside. Fresh air and sunshine are amazingly good natural remedies for boredom. Climb a tree. Explore the brook. Go “lion hunting” in the backyard. Ride a bike, a scooter, a skateboard, or rollerblades in-line-skates. Throw a Frizbee. Kick a ball. Throw a ball. Whatever… just go!

    It’s okay to bored. You don’t need constant stimulation. You don’t even have to always be in motion. There is much to be learned from sitting still and silent. Finding your inner self can be quite a journey. I found my inner self one day. Turns out my inner self is still 6. You’re not going to find yours sitting in front of a screen surrounded by a cacophony of sounds and lights.

    It’s quite the conundrum to be writing via the internet on my tablet about getting off the screen and being bored without it. So, I’m turning in now and I’m going to go read a book. (side note: I’m reading The Orphan Child about a woman who steals a Jewish baby off a Nazi train then joins the circus)

    And it’s not going to be boring.

    Sunday Share: Y2W11

    The journey of a thousand posts begins with single word. This is my first post in my journey to my next 1,000 posts.

    I hope you have adjusted well to the time change. You probably haven’t, though. It’s okay, none of us have. Especially the kids. Stupid clocks. It was nice to see it light until 7:30, though. Soon, all around the world we’ll hear the old adage “but it’s still light outside!” come bedtime.

    We’re on the road for a few days as this is the beginning of March Break for us. No school this week. It’s like spring break, but without the spring. We’re getting a snow storm Tuesday, so it’s definitely not spring yet. I’m kind of excited for the snow, but at the same time I’m looking forward to sun and warm days.

    While you’re waiting for spring here are a few good reads!

    Three’s A Herd
    When the end of “raising them” is within sight…

    Ipuna Black
    On strong women… Happy International Women’s Day!

    The Sound of One Hand Typing
    A good quote for a Wednesday…

    Making Time for Me
    On grey hair (something I’ll never have to worry about)

    Riddle from the Middle
    Finding your calling at just the right time…

    *YAWN* Now while you go get caught up on this great reading list, I’m going to go get caught up on sleep. See you in the morning.

    Feel free to find and follow me on Instagram (see my in-law’s cat sleeping in basket), Twitter (where I try to be funny in 140 characters) and Facebook (where I post my blog)


    Celebrating One Thousand


    If a picture is worth a thousand words, what are a thousand posts worth?

    1,000 nanseconds is 1 microsecond. (there are 1 billion nanoseconds in 1 second)
    1,000 microseconds is .001 seconds.

    1,000 seconds is 16 minutes and 40 seconds.
    1,000 minutes is 16 hours and 40 minutes.
    1,000 hours is 41 days, 15 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds.
    1,000 days is 2 years, 8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, 11 hours, 33 minutes, and 19 seconds.
    A thousand years ago it was 1018.
    A thousand years from now it will be 3018.

    Imagine what the world was like a thousand years ago.

    • The world’s population was about 250 million
    • China created gunpowder
    • The Myans and Hindus discover the concept of zero
    • The Anglo-Saxon calendar was produced
    • Printing became standardized
    • My parents graduated from University
    • I was born

    I wish I had a $1,000. Any givers out there?

    Also, this is my 1,000th post. It took me 1,777 days to get to this point. My very first post is here. While that was “The Beginning” this certainly isn’t the end.

    Help me celebrate by leaving a comment down below. I will follow it up by reading your blog and leaving you a comment too. If you’re really lucky, what I read could end up on my next Sunday Share!

    Cheers to 1,000 and here’s to 1,000 more!


    Making Changes…

    Education is a touchy subject. The ones who need it are the ones who can’t pay for it. The ones who need it have the smallest voice in how it happens. Yet, if they don’t get it we’ll all be paying for it later.

    The kids are being left out of the equation, yet right now, in America, at least, it’s the kids who are making the most noise. It’s the kids who are getting people to listen. They are getting businesses to listen.

    And it’s a good thing.

    Here in Nova Scotia, the provincial government is forcing through some serious educational changes. Nevermind that an overwhelming majority of teachers have advised against these changes. Nevermind that other provinces have advised against these changes.

    Has anyone on either side of the border thought of what’s best for the kids?

    The Nova Scotia government seems to be trying to turn the education system into a business. They are making principals more like managers instead of teachers-in-charge. They are eliminating school boards but one. They are creating a board of professionals to deal with licensing and accountability. All of these strategies have been attempted in other parts of Canada. They all report failure on all three accounts. Yet somehow the Nova Scotia government believes it’ll work here.

    But, hey, at least they aren’t trying to give us guns.

    On both sides of the border, governments are fighting to protect and better educate its students. Granted, they’re doing it in completely different ways, but at least they’re talking about improving education. Has either one followed the instruction of the ones who educated them? Has either one bothered to ask what would be best?

    • More teachers
    • More special needs teachers
    • Fewer students per class
    • More classroom support
    • More technology
    • Less (or none at all) standardized testing

    I know it will cost more money. The right changes always do. No one has gotten to where they are without a teacher. Teachers are responsible for educating the minds of the future. Teachers spend 7 hours a day with our kids. We all know what it’s like to spend all day with our own kids. Imagine spending all day with 25-30 kids. 25-30 kids having different wants and needs. 25-30 kids having different skills and abilities while performing on a myriad of different levels. Yet when our teachers advise those in power on the changes that should be made that advice falls on deaf ears.

    Don’t give teachers guns. The NRA doesn’t need that kind of support.

    Don’t make principals managers. They’re teachers, too.

    Stop ignoring those who know best. When the mechanic tells you you need a new transmission, you don’t put on a new set of tires instead. Lets focus on the problem and make the changes that will best help our students.

    Lucy At Home

    Sunday Share: Y2W10

    The third month. Oh three. A quarter of the way through 2018! Crash (10) can now do long division and multiply multidigit problems. Bang (6) can tell time on an analog clock and add numbers with carrying. Have you learned anything new this year?

    If not, that’s okay. There’s still time. I visited Body Worlds so I learned how small an appendix and uterus really are and that our veins and capillaries are 60,000 miles long.

    While you’re waiting to learn something new, check out these posts that I read last week. Maybe you’ll learn something.

    Harsh Reality
    A new position and some emotions…

    Three’s A Herd
    Where’d those words go?

    Tania 2 A Tee
    Learning something new…

    Dream Big, Dream Often
    On haters and quicksand…

    Erika Kind
    Things are said,  things are done, be better…

    As always, you can find and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!


    Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep 65

    silly blog

    Today’s your lucky day, folks. It’s a double post kind of day. I was going to write about our trip last night after the boys were in bed. I just didn’t have it in me, though. I got’er done today, though. And since today is Thursday, ’round here it’s also known as Questionday, there are some questions to ask. Let’s see what their creative minds come up with today.

    Here we go again…

    1.What was your favorite part of our trip?

    Crash: Probably shopping and the Body Museum
    Bang: The Body museum… No! Everything!

    2. What was your favorite part of Body World RX?

    Crash: The hearts and the smoking part
    Bang: The guy split right down in half so we could see his brain

    3. If you could give one gift to every child in the world, what would you give them?

    Crash: A shelter and lots of money
    Bang: Diggers

    4. What do you want to be famous for?

    Crash: Playing video games or collecting Pokemon
    Bang: Painting (I’m already famous for that because I paint a lot)

    5. What does your name mean?

    Crash: Awesomeness
    Bang: Truck

    6. What three words best describe you?

    Crash: Funny, Cool, Good looking
    Bang: Smart, Awesome, Gangsta

    7. Did anything make you laugh today?

    Crash: Yeah, my friend at lunch kept making ridiculous faces
    Bang: Yeah, when me and my brother were wrestling, he took me down and I giggled

    8. Did you help anyone today?

    Crash: I helped my friend because she accidentally knocked over her pencil case and everything exploded onto the floor.
    Bang: No, because no one needed help.

    9. If you could choose a new name for yourself, what name would you pick?

    Crash: Pickachu
    Bang: Logan

    10. What food would make the grossest ice cream flavor?

    Crash: Ham
    Bang: Strawberry, orange, chocolate chips, lemon with vanilla ice cream


    A Tale of Two Drivers or A Journey to The City

    *When you don’t know which title to pick, pick both.

    When we left Tuesday afternoon, Country Driver was behind the wheel. He likes wide open spaces, long drives on clear highways, and sing alongs to whatever song is being bluetoothed from his phone’s playlist. His wife rides along shotgun and happy. The kids ride content in the backseat quietly entertaining themselves.

    All is good. They have the rest of the day (and the next day) to look forward to. There’s going to be a hotel stay, shopping, a museum, and a heart checkup. The skies are as clear as the highway. We’re all excited for our trip to The City.

    Fast forward 3 hours and we are in the heart of The City with 415,000 people. This is 138 times bigger than Country Driver’s town. He got out from behind the wheel shortly before arriving in The City. Country Driver is too courteous to drive in The City. City Driver drives like he owns the place. He does what he needs to do to get where he needs to go. Blinkers be damned.

    Anyway, City Driver took the wrong bridge into The City. Fortunately, his wife and Google Maps were able to navigate him to the hotel. The hotel overlooks a lake named “Chocolate Lake”. Hence, the hotel’s greeter is a chocolate lab named Aero (as in the chocolate bar of the same name).


    Loving Aero kisses

    No trip to a hotel is complete until you have bed jumped and pool swam. Having competed the former upon entry, we changed into our suits and went to take a dip. I want to apologize to the couple who was in the pool when my otters arrived. I tried to keep them from splashing as much as I could. I tried to get them to keep their voices down, too. They are two country boys who are used to swimming in wide open lakes.

    Bonus! There was a hot tub and it was nice to finish the swim with a sit in the hot tub. The boys joined me for a few minutes (I limited their time).

    Then City Driver rounded everyone up, got them changed back into city clothes and we headed out to supper at Montana’s. The atmosphere was neat – wild west country style decor. The boys got to see a moose head and see just how big they are.

    After horking down supper, City Driver got them to the mall where the boys could ride the escalators. Only one store had toys for the boys to look at and they were over priced.  $35 for a $10 stuffy. I imagine! They were happy get a bath bomb, though. We perused Build-A-Bear and came out empty handed. We made it to Toy-R-Us, too. One boy spent his $10 from Nanny. The other didn’t because he’s saving up for a puppy. I’ll let you guess which one couldn’t wait to spend.

    Stores closed at 9, we stayed until 9. Back at the hotel we went to spend the remainder of our change down in the games room. Air hockey. Donkey Kong. The Simpsons. Pinball. Double Dragon. Ghosts and Goblins. A photo booth.

    photo booth

    It was a nice try…

    10:45 pm and the kids were finally in bed sound asleep.

    8 hours and 15 very short minutes later we were all bright eyed and bushy tailed. We hit up the free breakfast buffet, packed up all our stuff and made two trips to the truck to get it all loaded.

    It was finally time for the moment we were all excited for. We were going to the Museum of Natural History where the Body Worlds RX exhibit was on display. First, we checked out what else the museum had; a 70+ year old tortoise, frogs and snakes.  Our favorite was the topographical sand table. With the help of a projector and an X-Box sensor bar, the sand would change color and the topographical lines would change to reflect the height of the hill we built. Furthermore, we could “dig” for water and the water would flow according the topography! We all want one for our house. The other really awesome thing they had was a globe that would change depending on what was being projected on to it. It could be any of the nine eight planets or the moon. It showed ocean temperatures over a year, daily air traffic around the world, shipping traffic, earth quakes, tidal waves and that was just the stuff we hung around to see!


    Finally, we visited the Body World RX exhibit. We had to get there before Bang exploded. He was super excited to go. Should you ever get the chance to see this exhibit (there 9 and they travel the world) I highly recommend it. It’s such a learning experience. It shows how our bones work, how our muscles work. It shows our organs and veins and capillaries. It shows our 25 feet of intestines. It shows heart disease and lung disease. It showed our reproductive organs. Neither DW or I realized that a uterus was so small! And it showed it all in pristine detail. We were blown away by it. Unfortunately, our exhibit didn’t include the infant section where would have been able to see fetuses in various stages of development in the uterus. Bang was disappointed as he was really looking forward to that part.

    From here, City Driver took the family to the hospital. It was time for a check up. For those who are newer readers, you can read about Crash’s open heart surgery when he was just five days old. First on the to do list was an EEG of Crash’s heart.


    Our Robot Baby


    2 years ago, Crash was only up to Dr. Wong’s shoulder. 2 more years and he’ll be as tall as him!

    After that it was off to get an echo-cardiogram (ultrasound) done. Once that was done and Dr. Wong had a chance to look over the images he came to fill us in on his findings. There is a normal narrowing of his pulmonary, which is expected from this type of surgery. He said if there was any stress on the pulmonary it would cause Crash’s heart work harder in the right ventricle. He didn’t see that happening so he’s confident Crash is doing well. He doesn’t need to see him for another 2 years…

    What a relief.

    City Driver, ready to be done driving, got the family out of the city and back on the highway toward home where Country Driver gladly took over while the boys watched Cars 3 and DW crocheted. Anxious to be out of the truck and not wanting to fall asleep, Bang threw a couple fits that made us want to throw him from the truck. Fortunately, by 8:30 the boys were back in their own beds, the lights were out, and it was night night time after an exciting day and half journey to The City.

    Sunday… err Monday… Share: Y2 W9

    Welcome readers to another Manic Monday. There was song by that name, too. This week has some fun stuff in store for us. The gun debate in the US still rages on. The Nova Scotia teacher’s union is in talks with the provincial government about serious education reform today. We’re going to the Body World exhibit and staying in a hotel and going to Crash’s heart check up this week, too. And that’s just the beginning of the week!

    Happy Reading!

    American Cancer Society
    Aspertame doesn’t cause cancer…

    True North Nomad
    Finding purpose in some truely difficult times…

    Sounds Like Life To Me
    When you’re day is going all wrong there’s always the DMV…

    JA Allen
    When bad writers give advice…

    Ah Dad
    Letting them fly when you’d rather keep them in the nest…

    As always you can find me and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and All Recipies