10 Questions I Asked My kids

I created the first two questions.

The rest were all Crash and Bang. I asked them, “What questions do you want me to ask?” This is what they came up with. Be prepared to be entertained…

1. Instead of building a snow”man” lets build a snow______.

Crash: Castle

Bang:
Fort

2. Did you have any dreams?

Crash: I don’t remember

Bang:
A secret one

3. Why does coal get red?

Crash: Because it warms up

Bang:
Because it gets very very hot when it burns

4. Who is your favorite Pokemon?

Crash: Eevee

Bang:
Pikachu. He’s cute.


5. How long is a giraffe’s neck?

Crash: 17 feet

Bang:
50 inches I think

6. Why is thunder loud?

Crash: It explodes

Bang:
Air moves very very fast that it makes a noise

7. How many pounds can you lift?

Crash: 80 I think. I can lift my friend so over 100.

Bang:
Over 33 thousand

8. What does tax mean?

Crash: Where you pay extra to the government. For every dollar you spend you have to pay an extra 15 cents.

Bang:
Giving mom and dad part of our treat

9. What animal can you run as fast as?

Crash: Giraffe

Bang:
Cheetah

10. What do you get to eat in jail?

Crash: Hungryman (for our jail, he’s right)

Bang:
You get to eat bread

10 Questions I Ask My Kids: Travel Edition

We are now at DW’s brother’s and sister-in-law’s house for a visit with them and their four kidlets. They’ve taken us and our crazies in for a couple nights. It’s always great visiting with them and getting caught up. The cousins love seeing and playing with each other, too. 

The Discovery Center was good, though it wasn’t great because of the number of people and the number of people who’s kids were inconsiderate and the parents were either nowhere to found or had their noses glued to their cell phone. So it didn’t leave much time for learning. However, I did learn about my patience in a public setting. Turns out it’s pretty good. On the plus side, though, the boys got to see a liquid nitrogen demonstration.

1. What has been your favorite part of the trip so far?

Crash: Discovery Center
Bang: Sleeping and dream about my favorite dreams

2. What was your favorite part of the Discovery Center?

Crash: The Sky Dome and the curcuits
Bang: Inside the Sky Dome

3. What is one thing you learned about at the Discovery Center?

Crash: About constellation and planets and stars
Bang: That the bottle was -200 degrees (Liquid Nitrogen)

4. What’s your favorite part of visiting Aunt Mag and Uncle Kevin’s house?

Crash: Playing sports on XBox Kinect
Bang: Getting a sleepover

5. What animal do you wish you could be?

Crash: A dog
Bang: A giraffe

6. Why do you want to be that animal?

Crash: Because you can train them to do stuff
Bang: Because I want a tongue that is 21 cm

7. If you were a Minecraft mob, which would you be?

Crash: Either the Wither or the Ender Dragon
Bang: Enderman

8. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married?

Crash: 22
Bang: 16

9. Where do you want to live when you grow up?

Crash: Here – where we live now
Bang: Aunt and Uncle’s house (Kev and Mag)

10. What color do you want to dye your hair?

Crash: Blue
Bang: Blue

Go Ask Your Father: Spring, Smarts, Lent, and Brains…

Is it spring, yet?

Thanks to that pesky groundhog, the boys think spring is supposed to come early. I had to explain to them that it was a) just a myth and b) it depends on which groundhog you believe because there are many and not all predict the same things. We had one day of unusually warm weather. It was warm enough to go without a jacket. Since that happened it’s warm enough to go without a coat every day. Or so the oldest believes. Officially, the first day of spring is March 20th. But this is Canada. Warm weather doesn’t get here until later. Much later. Like July.

Will he get smart now?

I haven’t written about this yet, but Crash has been struggling to focus on tasks. When he loses focus the fidgets set in and getting him back on track becomes near impossible. Last year he was diagnosed with ADHD (though he’s more ADD, it all falls under the same umbrella). As teachers, we know that diagnosis can be given easily and many parents opt to medicate. As we found out from the phamacist, some parents just start with highest dose possible. We are not most parents. We opted to educate ourselves and see if we could use some behavior modifications to help him. A year later and nothing has changed. He’s still struggling to focus. So we looked into medication – the lowest dose possible. Bang, having overheard many of our conversations, knows that his big brother is going to take medicine to help him focus in school. Crash takes his pill on the very first morning and Bang, without missing a beat, asks, “Will he get smart now?” Boy did we laugh.

Why is it called Lent?

Ahh. Good old Lent. What I wouldn’t give for a Coke right now. Or any pop/soda/cola. This is the first full week without and I’ve been craving one all week long. Come on Sunday! I know it’s for the better. I know it’s not good for me. But I want one. Lent originally simply meant spring. It’s origins are Germanic, specifically Old English, lencten; also the Anglo-Saxon name for March – lenct. I just wish it was called over so I can have a Coke!

What happens to your brain when you die?

How’s that for morbid curiosity? Obviously, when we die our brains die with us. The heart no longer pumps the needed blood and oxygen required for it to function. According to LiveScience and Jimo Borjigin, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, a study of rats was conducted as they died from a lack of oxygen. Just prior to heart failure, their brain sent a flurry of signals and chemicals to the heart. This combo caused their hearts to stop. The researchers found that when they blocked those signals and chemicals the heart lastest three times longer. After I die, I know exactly what will happen to my brain. It’ll be put in a jar on a shelf right next to Einstein’s.

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10 Questions I Asked My Kids

Welcome to Thursday. That makes tomorrow Friday! They’re calling for some snow here tomorrow night. 5-10 cm. Not much. But it is much because it’s March. They’re calling for another 10-20 sometime next week. But this is Cape Breton, ‘bye. That’ll change a dozen times between now and then. Plus we’re making a road trip next week. We don’t need no snow storm screwin’ up our plans.  I’m officially ready for spring. I’m tired of winter clothes.

1. If you were going to live on a desserted island, what 3 things would you want to take with you?

Crash: Food, games, and a TV
Bang: Ice cream, Cookies, and Toostie Rolls

2. When is a time I made you angry?

Crash: Not let me on my electronics
Bang: When we lost electronics

3. Want to be when you grow up?

Crash: Construction and ride in the cherry picker
Bang: Construction worker and drive the cherry picker

4. How can you tell when two people love each other?

Crash: They usally play together a lot
Bang: Because they’re hugging

5. What’s a good name for a pet elephant?

Crash: Geronimo
Bang: Tronto

6. What do you think your teacher likes best about you?

Crash: Everything
Bang: That I listen at school

7. What is something mom or dad can do that you wish you could do?

Crash: Stay up late all night and have unlimited amount of electronics
Bang: Play basketball

8. If you could have any animal in the world for a pet, what would you want?

Crash: A chameleon that can change colors
Bang: Giraffe

9. What Mom’s best body part?

Crash: Her head
Bang: Her ribs

10. What’s Dad’s best body part?

Crash: His arms
Bang: His skull

Go Ask Your Father: Air Conditioning, AM vs PM, Getting Ashed, and Getting Bread

This ninth week has proven to provide a small amount of luck (9 is a lucky number in this house). I managed a couple days of subbing and am already booked for a day next week. We received a sympathy card in the mail from my aunt and uncle with some $$ in it. The after school ice skating was free today. Nanny cooked us supper this evening. Crash is off at a sleepover with Nanny and Pop so we’re down a kid. The Nintendo Switch became available today (though I’m not lucky enough to be able afford one, it’s nice to know it’s a possibilty). 

1. How do air conditioners work?

In the year 1902 (I think that’s the same year DW and I got married) a young man by the name of Willis Haviland Carrier needed to control the humidity in a lithographing and publishing company so he created what we now call the air conditioner to cool the air. Cool air carries less humidty, therefore his air conditioner was highly effective. 

Today’s air conditioners use simple physics (if physics can be called simple). According to a law of thermodynamics, when a liquid turns to a gas it absorbs heat from the air, thereby making the air cooler. So inside your AC unit is an evaporator in which refrigerant liquid evaporates. The refrigerant has a low boiling point so it turns from liquid to gas (vapor) simply from the warm air of your house passing over the tubes that contain it. From there the refrigerant, now a gas (like steam, but not steam) passes through a compressor. Naturally, the aptly named compressor compresses the gas thereby raising it’s temperature even higher (like a pressure cooker, but not a pressure cooker). Then the refrigerant passes on to the condenser where, if you haven’t guessed yet, the gas condenses (like warm air on the side of your Coke can) where it cools (releasing heat) and turns back into a liquid. Now cooled off it starts reabsorbing heat from the air again (making the air cold) and the whole process starts over. A fan on the inside of your house blows the cooled air around the evaporator into your house. Another fan near the condenser blows the hot air outside your house.

2. What’s AM and PM?

We have Latin to thank for this one. Carpe diem is Latin for sieze the day. AM is Latin for ante meridiem, or before midday. PM, therefore is Latin for post meridiem or after midday. You can carpe diem if you want. Or for those of you who enjoy your sleep you can just carpe PM. We’ll leave the carpe AMing to the farmers and our children.

3. Why do we get ashes on Ash Wednesday?

This past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday and the first day of giving up happiness that which tempts us. For me (and Bang) that was pop. For Crash, chocolate. DW gave up the can of whoop ass. But the ashes placed on forehead in the shape of a cross symbolize something much larger than that material we chose to forego. The ashes are made from burning the palms of last year’s Palm Sunday and are then blessed. The ashes represent our plea to God for mercy and compassion in the forgiving of our sins. On our forehead they are a public admission of guilt and an expression of sorrow for the wrongs we have committed. They are a promise of reform and a pledge to resist temptation in the future. So we give up something that tempts us so we can better appreciate it. I tried to convince Crash and Bang to give up talking so they could better appreciate silence, but they yelled at me for even suggesting it.

4. Can I get bread?

No, Bang wasn’t asking for prison rations. He didn’t want bread and water. I still had to tell him no, though, because he can’t have bread until he’s 6. Next April he will partake in his first communion. At Jesus’s Last Supper (that supper where everyone sat on the same side of the table) Jesus took bread and wine and told his desciples that the bread was his body and the wine his blood and whenever they ate and drank these in his name he would be with them. Wrapped in the Holy Mystery that is the Catholic church, we too can share in the eating of his bread and the drinking of his wine. Perhaps toasted and buttered with a bit of cheese could make the bread and wine better. However, Jesus was a man of simplicity.

10 Questions I Asked My Kids (ep 33)

It’s hard to believe I’ve asked my kids 330 questions. They all up for grabs, too, so feel free to ask your own kids whether they are 4 or 40.

1. What did you give up for lent?

Crash: Chocolate
Bang: Pop

2. What makes you happy?

Crash: Puppies
Bang:
Getting licked by a dog

3. What makes me happy?

Crash: Reading, teaching, good listeners
Bang: A clean basement

4. What makes mom happy?

Crash: Candy Crush, good listeners, whale watching
Bang: Snuggling

5. What is your favorite song?

Crash: I Gotta Feeling by The Blackeyed Peas
Bang: Ghost Town by Adam Lambert

6. If we got a dog, what would you want to name it?

Crash: Winn Dixie
Bang: Sparky

7. If you could meet anyone from TV who would you want to meet?

Crash: Hope and Alison (or Rebecca) from Hope for Wildlife (Hope for Wildlife is a charitable wildlife rehabilitation and education organization)
Bang: Ellen DeGeneres

8. If a genie granted you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

Crash: More video games (Pokemon Sun and moon), More hockey cards to trade with my cousin, and Minecraft robots
Bang:
To go on stage to dance, being the best player in basketball, if Zoe and Felix were alive

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9. If you could be a sound, what sound would you be?

Crash: I’d be a “ruff” like a dog
Bang: Mooooo

10. What is love?

Crash: When two people like each other
Bang: Hugging people

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Go Ask Your Father: A Verbal Typo, Acid, Radio, and Pee Pees

Happy Friday everyone. We’ve got friends coming for a sleepover with their two little girls. We can’t to see them! (and their parents, too) So here is this week’s question and answer episode. Let’s get smarter!

1. What’s friction?
Bang was sitting on the couch working diligently at some additions problems I printed for him. He solved them with Lego bricks – make a stack of 7 then make a stack of 5 stick them together, count them up and know that 7+5 = 12. Then he asks his mother this question. She tells him it’s when things rub together. Like when you rub your hands together and they get warm, that because of friction.

“Oh. Well then what is a fraction?”

That’s a verbal typo. He said friction, but meant fraction. The difference a vowel can make! So she then explained that a fraction is piece of something, like when you cut a pizza and eat part of it.

2. What’s acid?

It’s a chemical that can be corrosive and dissolve some metals. It can also refer to fruits like citrus that can be acidic. This is what gives them their sour taste. There are acids everywhere, including in your stomach. Normally, your stomach has ph value of 1-3, or up to 4-5 after a large meal. However, for the most acidic acid, which is fluoroantimonic acid, it lands on the Hammet acidity function (kinda like ph) at -28. To give you an idea of how strong that is, a ph of 1 is acidic enough to burn skin. If it’s that strong, what can an acid that strong be contained it? A can of Coke? Nope, Coke has a ph of 2.53. It’s kept in a container made of the same stuff you fry your eggs on. Teflon.

3. What is FM?

Radio waves, believe it or not (hint: believe it), are a form of light. Like microwaves, ultraviolet rays, x-rays, and gamma rays. Of course, it’s not within the visible light spectrum. Developed in 1895 by Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, radio was born when sent and received his first signal. In AM radio, where all the talk shows are, the AM stands for Amplitude Modification. Amplitude is the hight of the wave. So by changing the hight we can change the sound. FM, where the good stations are, stands for Frequency Modulation. Frequency is the rate at which the wave moves or how often the top (crest) of the waves pass in a second. By changing the frequency we can interpret the electromagnetic frequencies as sound. It’s all over my head, really. Even after reading about it for a half hour I’m still not sure how it works. All I know is that when I turn on the radio and hear Rag-n-Bone Man’s Human, I’m happy.

4. Do girls have pee pees?

Do they ever buddy. In our house, pee pee is a general term and can used for both the male and female genitalia. Yesterday I got to explain the differences, albiet carefully. I told Bang that his pee pee is called a penis. A girl’s pee pee, like his mother’s, is called a vagina. “Oh” he says. All the while I was explaining this I was sitting on the toilet doing my business. 

Questions I Asked My Kids

Spoiler Alert! If you watch The Voice, Gold Rush, This Is Us, Blindspot, or Grey’s Anatomy and you aren’t all caught up, skip down to the questions!

I mark the days of the week by what show is coming on after the boys are in bed. On Mondays (starting next Monday) is The Voice. I’m excited for this season’s group of judges – Adam, Gwen, Alicia, and Blake. 

On Tuesdays its Gold Rush and This Is Us. In Gold Rush I’m rooting for the Hoffman’s to get a little luck and for Parker to find himself again without his Grandpa around.  This Is Us gets me every time. From William’s story and death which  pulled powerfully at heartstrings, to the story of Jack and Rebecca to the growing up of their three kids. The writers and set designers have a done a spectacular job of recreating each time period from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and today. Of the five shows I’m highlighting, this is the one I recommend the most.

On Wednesdays it’s Blindspot. I love the drama and thrill and the “OMG! We only have 3 minutes to this or the whole world explodes!” story line. I really hope Roman turns out to be a good guy. Tonight, Thursday, it’s Grey’s Anatomy nightI’m curious to hear the rest of Karev’s story and where the writers take him. Last week’s episode when the 9 year old who died in a routine surgery hit too close to home since I have my own 9 year old. On a side note, since Izzy left the show years ago I’ve been looking for a new girlfriend. DW likes Karev. I’m okay with that.

Fridays are Fridays! It’s either time to catch up on shows we may have missed through the week or game night with friends. Win win!

Now for the questions…

1. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Crash: Police man
Bang: Heaven-man

2 What superpower do you wish you had?

Crash: To control the world with blue lightning
Bang: Cape power to appear my cape – like teleporting

3. What is something I always say?

Crash: I love you
Bang: Do your math

4. What is something mom always says?

Crash: I love you 
Bang: Room

5. What do you wish we would say more often?

Crash: Yes to the things I want and No to the things I don’t want.
Bang: You don’t have to do anything but play plasma cars

6. Where do you wish we could go during March Break?

Crash: Legoland
Bang: Horseback riding

7. What is something you learned today?

Crash: The line of symmetry in art
Bang: I don’t know… I know everything!

8. What do you NOT want for supper tonight?

Crash: Pickles
Bang: Peas

9. What three words best describe you?

Crash: Amazing, gaming, and brother-annoyer
Bang: Bad, distractive, and beautiful

10. Can you tell me a story or a dream?

Crash: I was in Minecraft and I was a slime and I had a diamond sword. I was hitting chickens and they would split into two chickens.
Bang: I had secret dreams but I’m not telling so just write “I don’t know”

Go Ask Your Father: Hemroids, Sphincters, Constipation, and Seat Belts

It’s been steady going around here. In the last two weeks there should have been 10 days of school. There were only 3. Six of the seven missed days were because of snow. The seventh (today) was because there was a province wide teacher walk out strike. Thousands (I heard 20+ thousand) gathered outside of the Province House (where provincal legislation takes place). According to news reports the demonstrators (teachers and those who support them) were so loud that those inside the building couldn’t hear each other at times. 

#TeacherStrong to make the classrooms better for the students.

Plus all the snow, which was good snowman snow…

Notice the pine needle hair?

What are hemorrhoids?

Simply put, they’re a pain in the arse. According to Google they are a swollen vein or group of veins in the region of the anus. They’re similar to varicose veins. They are often caused by an increase in pressure during pregnancy (or labor) or from a strenuous bowel movement. Sometimes that can feel like labor, too. If they’re inside your rectum (I love that word because it sounds like wrecked ’em) they’re called internal hemorrhoids. If they develop under the skin around your stink eye/one eye’d pirate/starfish they are external hemorrhoids. Most times they are just uncomfortable and cause itching, discomfort and bleeding. Other times a clot forms which will need to be lanced and drained. I apologize if you are eating while reading this. I suggest you put your fork down until this post is over…

What makes our poop come out?

Simply put, muscles, but not the kind you can flex and admire in the full length gym mirror. In more specific terms it’s your digestive system. A series of tubes that connect your mouth to your anus move food along until there is nothing left but waste. The movement within the tubes (esophogus, stomach, and intestine) is called peristalsis. It looks like a wave moving through the muscle. The waves narrow the tube propelling it’s contents closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. Your colon collects the shit waste that wasn’t absorbed by the intestine. After a day or so a good bowel movement expells it for a hole in one. 

Why won’t my poop come out?

Constipation. Kinda like writers block. When your poop become hard and dry you’ll have a rough go trying to pass it. It may feel like it’s the size of a bus. In the words of Bang, “No wonder it hurt. It was HUGE!” It could have been from eating too much fatty, sugary, or starchy food. A little more fiber (fruits and veggies and whole grains) should soften it right up. Perhaps it was from not enough exercise. The extra movements help move food through your system. I doubt it was from that, though. The culprit may be a lack of fluid. But with the rate at which I’m buying milk, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t it either. Stress can cause backups, too. With recent events, that’s definitely a posibility.  Could it be IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)? He has complained of belly pains before. IBS can cause diarrhea sometimes and constipation at other times. It also causes pains and farts. “Do I rot?” is a common question…

How do seat belts work?

One of these questions ins’t like the others. You can continue eating now. The shit’s over. 

The first thing is the buckle. Click it or ticket as we tell the kids. Buckle up for safety. When you put the buckle into the clasp, the hole in the buckle catches on a tab. Pressing the release button releases the tab and out pops the buckle. Inside the belt system is a retractor mechanism. This spool winds and unwinds any loose webbing (the seat belt). Inside the retrator is a spring that applies rotational force, or torque, to the belt. This is why when you pull gently to buckle up the belt unrolls smoothy. The locking mechanism inside the spool locks the belt and keeps it from extending when a sudden motion is applied. The webbing of the belt is specifically engineered to help you survive an accident. It can stretch which slows your forward momenum gradually instead of instantly like the dashboard or windshield would. It’s estimated that seat belts save 13,000 lives in the US each year. That’s why I never put it in drive before I hear all the clicks. 

Go Ask Your Father: Fat Lips, Vision, AEDs, and Undertows

Happy Thursday night or whatever time of the week it happens to be for you when you’re reading this. I’m settling in getting ready for yet another snow storm. School was cancelled Monday because of snow. It was cancelled Wednesday because of ice. It’s likely the kids will be home to drive me nuts again tomorrow because of more snow and ice. I’m putting them work if they’re home tomorrow!

Why do we get fat lips?

chapped-lips2You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their lips. You can tell if they’re wearing lipstick, for instance. You tell how big their labial tubercle (that bump in the middle of the upper lip) is. And women, did you know the bigger your labial tubercle the easier it is for you to achieve orgasm? You can also tell if they’ve been in a fight. When the soft tissue of the lips is damaged it becomes inflamed and swollen. This creates what we all know as a fat lip. Bet you never look at lips the same way again.

Beside getting a taste of a knuckle sandwich, fat lips can also be caused by dehydration, an allergic reaction, from a food allergy, or sunburn.

How do eye glasses work?

DW and I are nearsighted (myopia). She wears her glasses all the time. I have a tendency to lose mine. One pair is at the bottom of a river. Being farsighted simply means that our eyes do not have adequate focusing power. In other words, the focus point falls behind the retina instead of on it. Farsightedness (hyperopia) is exactly opposite – it forms a focus point in front of the retina. So eye glasses and contact lenses redirect the light so that it focuses the image on your retina so you see a clear picture.

sight

The top image shows how light focuses on the retina.

What’s an AED?

While ice skating yesterday, Bang noticed an odd looking box attached the wall outside of the ice rink. Naturally curious he wanted to know what it was. It was an AED or Automated External Defibrillator. Automated because all a user needs to do is follow audio commands connect adhesive electrodes to the patient and from there the computer takes over to check for a pulse and heart rhythm. It will only deliver a shock if it detects a heart that is in ventricular fibrillation (Vfib), when the heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses. This causes pumping chambers in your heart (the ventricles) to quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood. The shock momentarily stuns the heart and gives it the chance to resume beating effectively. Essentially, it turns it off and turns it back on it again to restart it.

What’s an undertow?

Not to be confused with rip currents, an undertow occurs in all bodies of water where waves crash on shore. It’s strongest in surf zones where the waves are larger. After the wave rolls onto shore gravity pulls back toward the ocean and the water rushes back out collecting in the next wave. This outward rush of water and the inward rush of a wave creates an undertow. They are only dangerous to those who can’t stand against the backwash (outward rush of water) like children as the undertow only goes out to next incoming wave.

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