Go Ask Your Father: Life, Babies, Charities, Adult Shows

In case you missed yesterday’s awesome post, check it out here. Normally on Thursdays I ask my kids questions and they give us answers we can laugh at. Yesterday, I didn’t do that. Instead I asked my parents the questions. They were eager to participate and they didn’t let me down. Perhaps they’ll become a regular feature, too?

But today, my kids asked me some questions. Damn, they’re good at that. It’s like it’s their job or something!

1. Where did life come from?

When Bang first asked, I thought he meant babies. Then he clarified by saying, “No. Before people and animals and stuff.” Geez. From a 5 year old! I had to start off by telling him no one really knows. Once upon a time Earth was just a rocky, volcanic, hot mess. Perhaps it was waking with wicked hangover. I used to think that the water came from comets. But have just learned that scientists found glass crystals in the Earth’s mantle (the layer below its crust) that have trapped small droplets of water that are the same composition as the water on Earth now. Those water drops would not have been delivered by comets because comet water is “heavier”. Don’t worry, I thought water was water, too.

2. Are babies inside where the blood is? How do they get out?

sebastiankaulitzkiThis came as a two part question. Are babies inside where the blood is? We just had 2 very pregnant neighbors deliver their babies a couple weeks apart. So naturally Bang was curious to know this answer. The simple answer, yes. More specifically, they grow inside a uterus. While it’s in there with all the blood and stuff, it has a placenta to keep it alive. Oxygen, nutrients and hormones are delivered to the baby though it. So now that he knows they’re inside he wants to know how they get out. I wanted to tell him like the Chestburster from Aliens (Google it if you dare) but it was bedtime and I didn’t want to give cause for him needing serious therapy. So I just told him that sometimes a doctor will cut open a mommy’s belly to get the baby called a “c-section” or sometimes they come out of their pee pee. (This dad chickened out on the word vagina)

His response? “Oh. Well, I’m never having a baby.”

3. What’s a charity?

It could be a girl’s name. I’ve known a couple Charitys.

Or it could be an organization that collect money and/or items for those in need. There are thousands of different charities ranging from cancer to homeless, to animals, to environment, to pretty much everything. According to one article, the number of world wide charities and foundations surpassed 1.5 million.

4. Is that an adult show?

No. He’s not referring to how babies got in mommy’s bellies.

He’s talking about Blindspot. He heard DW and I talking about what shows we had recorded to watch. This is an FBI thriller kind of series. A woman is found in a duffle bag (alive and naked) covered in tattoos and with any memory of who she is. The tattoos are all clues leading to various crimes and crime syndicates. This is it’s second season and we’ve been enjoying it even if it does have a few “gee, that was convenient” moments. We also watch Grey’s Anatomy (what in Sam Hell is Karev getting himself into?) . We’ve been watching that one since season 1. It’s now in season 13! We also watch The Voice. While I don’t agree with allowing some of the contestants they do (ones already in the music business or ones who already have connections) it’s a good show. That one is not an adult show. It just comes on during adult time.

What shows do you enjoy watching sans kids?

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Questions I Asked My Parents

I call them Ma and Pa. Or Mom and Dad.  Over 40 years ago they brought me into this world. Nearly 4 years later they brought in my brother. They did before seatbelts were mandatory. They did it before cell phones. They barely did it before computers (they gained their popularity in my middle school years) (their first computer had 1/2 gig hard drive!). We sure had our share of laughs (too many to list in one spot). Now I’m living through the memories of my childhood as my parents.

They have graciously agreed to take part in today’s blog. They even responded to the questions in time for me publish this today. So in lieu of “Questions I Asked My Kids” I bring you the all new “Questions I asked My Parents”. Even I learned something about them! Thanks Ma and Pa!

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1. What are 3 words your parents would use to describe you?

MaTomboy, talkative, dog lover
Pa: Quiet, patient, smart (I was going to say extremely intelligent but you limited me to 3 words so I will just go with smart)

2. What other names did you like for brad (my brother) and I?

MaYou were Boo (because you liked to play peak-a-boo as a baby). Bradley was Bub because of Aunt Mary Ellen.
PaActually Bradley & Eric were just fine for me, although they were pronounced in various ways depending on the situation, and what you two were up to or into.

3. What was your favorite vacation?

MaTrip to Alaska for our 25th anniversary.  It was a dream trip and never thought it would happen.
Pa: Alaska

4. What’s one memory of Brad and I that makes you laugh?

MaThere are lots of those.  You played so well together.  Homerun Derby in the backyard, you getting your head stuck in the cinder block.  Flashlight Tag and  Mrs. Cooper (our elderly neighbor) thinking we were being robbed because of the dark house and flashlight beams flying around.
Pa: The Drive thru at McDonalds when we ordered sundaes with nuts (balls), I still think about it every time I drive thru
(whole story: back when they asked you if you wanted your sundae with nuts my brother I were in the back seat telling him “yeah, get nuts, wet nuts! Sweaty one!” Dad was laughing so hard he had to leave the drive thru, circle around and try again)

5. What’s something you miss from “the good ol’ days?”

MaAll of yours & your brother’s sporting events. Watching you guys play and the social aspect of watching games with friends. 
Padigging my own worms and walking to the river to go fishing

6. If you get reincarnated as an animal, what do you hope to come back as?

MaAn otter.  They aren’t hunted so much anymore and they don’t fight, but solve their differences with games.  Besides, they are just darn cute!
Pa: Eagle

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7. What’s your karaoke song?

Ma: Really?  Think about that. Dad & I doing Karaoke?  Really?  Think about that. (They don’t do karaokeI sing along to any song I know the words to. Love classic rock, country and Frank Sinatra kind of music.
Pa: Actually I’ve never sang karaoke but if I drank enough I might try Louis Armstrong’s “It’s A Wonderful World” or Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues “

8. What was high school like for you?

MaHigh school was good for me. I marched in the drill team and was the sports editor for the school newspaper. High school was a good distraction from things being tough at home.
Pa: I was 
pretty self-conscious when it came to making friends but I had my own ballpark so that helped, other than that just being oblivious to what an adult working for a living would actually be like

9. What are 3 things (shows, sports, etc…) you like to watch on T.V

MaNCIS, Orioles baseball, Steelers football
Pa: Road Runner cartoons, Orioles Baseball and science shows

10. What was your first car? What color was it? Do you remember how much it cost? 

MaMy first car was a brand new Ford Pinto that was bright orange.  It went on the road with tax, tags & title for a whopping $2800. I, unfortunately, was able to buy it with the insurance money I got when my Dad died right after I graduated from high school.
PaImpala station wagon, blue, free (I think)

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Endings

Endings are so bittersweet.

Endings are so sweet and sour.

Endings are just really something else beginning.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

My Taboo Word Challenge ends today. Numerous bloggers took part and excelled at it. You’ll find a link to read these other blogs down below. We used what Google reports as our top 20 most used words. Today’s word is a toughy, but I’m not telling you what it is, yet. See if you can figure it out.

I once wrote a post (albiet a short post) without using a single “e”. I learned that I as I continued to write it became easier to find words I wanted that didn’t have an “e” but retained its meaning. My experience here was nearly identical; difficult at first but easier as I kept writing.

Much like exercise, it’s hard at first. Difficult to keep a routine. Difficult to complete a workout without wanting to passout. Difficult to stop eating junk food. However, with dedication, determination, and whole lotta sweat, you get better. It gets easier.

All through September I gathered a small, yet loyal, band of bloggers to take on this challenge. Take Google’s list of most used words and write your post without it. We did it and today it ends. Our last word. I want to thank and congratulate those who joined me. I tried to read as many of your posts as I could.

I’m not sad it’s over. We bloggers will continue blogging. I’m sure I’m alone when I say it will be nice to not have to constantly check what taboo word isn’t to be used.

When it’s over, we are left with memories and memories (usually) last a whole lot longer…

One day I’ll only have memories of them being kids…

Today’s Taboo word was “the”.  To read more posts without my Taboo Words just click the blue frog…

Shh… It’s Quiet Here

It’s 8:35. It’s dark outside and has been for an hour and half. I’ve sat down at my computer no less than ten times today. I have two ideas for really neat posts, but they take time. The work is in progress. I had nothing for today. Every time I would sit and try to write I would 

  • read other blogs instead
  • wash dishes
  • paint the hallway
  • walk to the grocery store for peanuts for the crows and blue jays (and damn pigeons and a seagull) (more on that later)
  • go for a 5 mile run
  • email my parents (thanks ma and pa for writing back!)

So anyway.. about those peanuts… Remember that video I posted of the finches? I hung my GoPro from the bird feeder. It turned out pretty neat. I was impressed anyway. Check it out here if you’re curious. Today I walked to the grocery store for a bag of peanuts, the kind still in the shell. We like to feed the crows and blue jays. But I had alternative motives this time. I was going to catch them on video as I did the finches. 

We have a bird bath that we converted into a bird feeder by filling it with peanuts instead of water.The birds love it. We love watching the birds. I put the peanuts in the feeder and I wasn’t even back in the door yet and the jays were swooping in. Soon enough a pecking order developed. Pigeons ate the nuts that had fallen from the shell. The jays scared the pigeons away. The crows scared the jays away. Then a greedy, bastard seagull flew in and scared the crows away. We stepped in and scared the seagull away. It would eaten EVERYTHING! And I got it all on video…

Fast forward past supper. Crash and his friend were playing some more truth or dare (would you grow up to become a stipper?). Bang and his BFF were in the basement playing. Until they weren’t. They came up and wanted to join in. Crash didn’t want Bang to join. Bang screamed. Bang threw himself on the floor. Bang thew the temper tantrum of the century. 

So I delivered him to his room to cool off.

Shortly after, the friends left because it was 6:30 snack time. Or as the kids think of it, 6:30 show off time. 

Then it was bedtime routine. Or as the kids think it, show off time. They KNOW damn well what they need to do, what I expect them to do, to get ready for bed. Crash has jumped out and scared Bang going up the stairs so many times that Bang will no longer go up by himself. Crash delays bedtime by “not wanting” to brush and floss his teeth. Bang says he “doesn’t know” how to get changed. Meanwhile, I stand there shouting directions like Gunnery Sargent Harmen (Full Metal Jacket). 

The growling has stopped. The littlest one had his nightly poop. The oldest is no longer naked. The books have been read. Night night kisses lovingly delivered. Lights have been turned out. 

It
    is
        quiet!

Today’s Taboo word was “be”.  To read more posts without the Taboo Word (be) or to join the challenge? Just click the blue frog…

To add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.

Truth or Dare

Dare… wrap toilet paper around your head.
Dare… kiss the person on your right.
Truth… Have you ever used someone else’s toothbrush?
Truth… Have you ever pooped in the woods?

This was the game Crash and his friend were playing via a tablet this evening. They were having great fun with it. The best part was that were answering the truth questions and they were performing the dares. Crash bit the big toe of someone in the room. He tasted lemon juice. His friend put toilet paper on her head. She revealed her celebrity crush.They certainly kept DW and I in fits of giggles.

Then Crash got a charade dare – act out the movie The Lion King. Unfortunately, he’s never seen it so he couldn’t act it out. However, his friend knew it well. She even sang a piece of it for him asking him if he’d ever heard it. I hope you smile as big as we did when we heard Little Miss Broadway sing…

I dare you… sing The Lion King song.

Today’s Taboo word was “to”.  Read more posts without the Taboo Word (to)?  Join the challenge? Just click the blue frog…

Add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.

Shunday Share

You just gotta love cold, rainy Sundays.

No. No you don’t.

But it is what is. No point in complaining about it, though.

I do love listening to the rain. We listened to it pound the windows last night in bed. We listened to it patter the roof during church. The rain seems to bring all the finches to our feeder like we’re bird whisperers.

Besides the rain, you know what else is coming down? My stats. It’s really weird. All month my stats were stable and good. Then one day they dropped. not just one or two. But 20 or 30. That’s not much unless you only have 50 to begin with. That’s a 40-60% decrease. I’ll blame it on the first day of fall (or spring for my southie friends). Weird.

Nevermind the stats. I read and write and share anyway…

Opinionated Man
Learning to blog

Coach Daddy
Love his new header and directions on how to get where you’re going

Deb Was Here
The measures one little girl took to get out of going to school

A Momma’s View
We’re all fantastically fierce. Let’s just get along…

Ah Dad
On toddlers and teen and they’re one in the sameness

Making Time for Me
Seeing adults in little people

That’s What Anxious Mom Said
Charlotte. Safe again?

Green Grapes
When your planes reroutes from Italy to Holland

In China 8 is a lucky number and since I just found out I’m Chinese I have included 8 links.

*Note: I am not Chinese. Just a running joke from my brother-in-law’s father-in-law. A million bonus points to you if you can follow that lineage. 

Two more notes…

I finally uploaded The Disappearing Wood Pile video to YouTube. It took us about 5 days to stack 16 cords of wood. One cord measures 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet. We had 16 of them. I also got up close and personal with some finches and time lapsed myself from the roof mowing the yard.

The second note is that I joined Instagram. You’ll find me @stomperdad over there.

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Video coming soon to a YouTube near you…

Go Ask Your Father: Earth, LED Bulbs, Antibiotics, and Graffiti

Fall’s first day has come and gone. The leaves haven’t started changing quite yet. They are, however, starting to fall off. On the road, piled against the curb are all the leaves that make autumn lovable. Light and crispy on top, moist underneath. Just like I like my brownies.

Speaking about brownies, I found this recipe for some that look and sound amazing. They’re called Peanut Butter Cup Crack Brownies. You can find the recipe at CookiesAndCups.com. I checked the recipe. Crack isn’t an ingredient. With all that yumminess crack isn’t necessary.

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photo courtesy: Cookies and Cups

Now that you’re done drooling all over your keyboard, lets answer some questions.

How does the earth move?

In simple terms, gravity. Gravity makes everything fall, though it’s not responsible for people falling in love (thanks, Einstein). The sun is huge, mammoth, massive, gargantuan. The easiest way to imagine it is that it creates a bowl in space fabric around it. The planets then roll around the rim in their orbits.

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I once read a book on antigravity. I couldn’t put it down!

You have to remember that while the Earth is orbiting around the sun, the sun is also moving through space as our galaxy travels. So we’re not going in circles so much as a downward spiral. It’ll be more a plummet than spiral should Trump get elected.

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How does an LED light work?

We just replaced our poisonous, mercury ridden, twisty light bulbs with LED light bulbs. I explained TIE fighters and ion engines the other day. In my “research” (does Googling it count as research?) on how LEDs work I discovered that it’s over my head. Way over. Like, it’s up there where the overseas jumbo sail in the jet stream. Here’s how I have come to understand it. LEDs are completely different from incandescent bulbs in that they use a different technology. An LED uses a semiconductor (a solid material that conducuts electricity like rush hour on a Friday – slowly). It’s usually made with aluminum-gallium-arsenide (aka metals, I just wanted to say arsenide). This semiconductor has a positive side and a negative side. The positive side has “holes” while the negative side has electrons. When electricity passes through, the electrons on the negative side rush over and fill in the “holes” on the positive side (like that idiot on the motorcycle squeezing in between you and that truck your tailing). When the “hole” gets filled energy is released (road rage, probably) as photons. Photons = light. There’s more to than that, but that’s as much as I can understand it. My monkey brain can’t comprehend it beyond that.

What is an antibiotic?

Our bodies are in constant warfare. Fortunately, they’re equipped with a military that is armed and ready for the battle. Gorilla warfare. Black Ops style. These white blood cells attack bacteria without mercy. But sometimes the bacteria attack in such force that the white blood cells become overwhelmed. That’s when we get sick. Our white blood cells need reinforcements. Antibiotics. Bactericidals, like penicillin, kills the bacteria by interfering with the bacterium’s cell wall formation or its cell contents. Bacteriostatics stop the bacterium’s growth. There is no debate that they cause autism or if they really work. However, there is serious debate about too much antibiotic causing bacterium to become immune to it. Once that happens the antibiotic is no longer effective. Like listening to Let It Go too many times, we don’t even hear it. Also, antibiotics are as useless as screen doors on a submarine against viruses – colds, sore throats, the flu, chicken pox and measles.

What is graffiti?

There’s American Graffiti – George Lucas’s 1973 film about some high school grads cruising town before they leave for college. We’re not talking about that Graffiti, though. We’re talking about the art work. In general, graffiti can be described as writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. This is what some local graffiti looks like (I left out the foul language and drug references)

However, some graffiti is much more elaborate. Some work on public surfaces like Picasso worked in blues.

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Graffiti artist Odeith “Welcome to Baton Rouge”

This is yesterday’s post. Yesterday’s Taboo word was “of”. To read more posts without the Taboo Word (of) or to join the challenge just click the blue frog…

To add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.

 

 

The Seastar Thrower

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*I heard/read this story long ago so I don’t remember the specifics. I have adapted it to my own storytelling abilities.

The beach was small and quiet, tucked out of the way. There were some small houses nearby, but nobody important. The surfer enjoyed the beach for its solitude, peace and waves that were just good enough. That’s how he found it that morning, surfboard tucked under his arm, sand in his toes. As he approached the shoreline he noticed something odd. Thousands and thousands of seastars lay on the cool, wet sand.

Continue reading

Meet & Greet…Hypervigilant Style

A Hypervigilant meet-n-greet! Link up, read up and she’ll pay up!

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5609784286_bbc60fca66_z-1 “Ooooooh, you were right. I DO like her!”                                                                                “Dude. I said you could MEET her. Hands off.”

Photo by Peter Nijenhuis

We’ve all seen (and occasionally participated in) a Meet & Greet post. You know, “drop your link in the comments and maybe someone will click.”

Instead of posting a hit-or-miss link, let’s change it up. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: 

1.Describe your blog in nine words or less.

2. Paste a link to a post you’re proud of writing. Bonus points for adoption, mental health or parenting themes*, but it can be anything.

*With your link, please note the post theme, e.g., “Adoption,” “Mental Health,” “Parenting,” “My…

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Better Than Star Wars

Sometimes when you write one post it inspires ideas for your next. That’s what happened when I wrote last week’s episode of “Go Ask Your Father“.

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Crash asked what TIE stands for. A T.I.E. fighter is, of course, a Star Wars vehicle. It’s what Vader and his Empire gang fly. T.I.E stands for Twin Ion Engine.

 

While I was researching that answer I discovered how a twin ion engine works, I found a real life NASA story about ion engines. To put it as simply as I can, an ion engine takes a gas, like xenon, smashes them off each other so they lose electrons and then shove it through an electric field. When the ion is shot from the engine the rocket/spaceship/probe/whatever it’s attached to, it’s propelled forward. Thanks to Newton and his third law; for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Hence, when the ion goes backwards, the rocket goes forward. If you’ve ever inflated a balloon just to let it go and watch it zoom around the room then you understand Newton’s third law. There’s your physics lesson for the day. There will be a test later.

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A long time ago, the year of 2007, NASA developed and successfully tested an ion engine (NSTAR). While the force generated was equal to the force needed to hold up a sheet of paper it could generate that force for incredibly long periods of time, think years, with incredibly little fuel. The DAWN mission, a mission to send an orbiter to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter to study Ceres and Vesta, uses this engine. It reached speeds over 41,000 kmh (25,500 mph).

“If you remember the TIE fighters that Darth Vader and the Evil Empire used to fight the rebel alliance, TIE stood for ‘twin ion engines’,” he said. “Well, Dawn does the Star Wars TIE fighters one better because we use three ion engines.”

However, NASA has improved upon that engine from 9 years ago. The NEXT (NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster) produces up to 3 times the amount of force as its predecessor and was tested continuously for 51,000 hours (6 years). Imagine having to fill up once every 6 years!

It doesn’t stop there, though. There is yet another ion engine being developed that will far exceed the performance capabilities of NEXT. The first engine (NSTAR) would be the equivalent of a ’92 Toyota Carolla. The NEXT would be a Corvette. The NSTAR a Lamborghini. Perhaps one day these engines will power our own vehicles and finally end our dependency on fossil fuels. Gas stations will look extremely different by then!

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Research gathered from:
NASA
New Scientist

This Taboo Word Challenge wasn’t too tough today! Today’s word was “in”.
To read more posts without the Taboo Word (in) or to join the challenge just click the blue frog…

To add the blue frog to your post get the InLinkz code.