Go Ask Your Father: Helicopters, Peppercorns, CCs, and Cancer

Welcome to the weekend! While that might mean 2 days without work, there is still plenty of homework to be done. Have you seen the mess of my kitchen? Painting is a nightmare! Are your kids as needy as mine? Dad. Dad. Dad! Mum. Mum. Mum! Look at this. Watch me. Did you see me? Sometimes I’d like to tell them to go swim in shark infested water wearing a meat suit. Unfortunately, we don’t have either sharks or a meat suit.

How fast do helicopter blades go?

Really fast. Or about the same speed at which kids will touch wet paint after you have told them not to touch the wet paint. There is a ton of math in engineering and piloting a helicopter. And not that easy math either. This is fancy, harder than high school math. Sin and Cos and velocities and fuel consumption equations. It looks like art, but it’s math. Different helicopters have a different rotor rpm. Also, a helicopter will adjust it’s rpm to fit its needs. Weight, speed, wind speed, and temperature will effect its rpm. For the sake of this question and the satisfaction of a 10 year old, helicopter blades spin anywhere from 250 to 600 rpm.

Where do peppercorns come from?

piper_nigrum_fruits-200x300Funny enough they come from the exact same place as eggs and milk – the grocery store. Did you know peppercorn is a fruit? Once upon a time it was a luxury and only available to the wealthy. In Once Upon A Time, I would not have had the luxury of having peppercorn. Peppercorns come from a peppercorn plant. Go figure! In the science community it’s known as piper nigrum. Native to India, they are grown around the world now. The different colors are produced by preserving the pod at different stages of ripeness or by using either the whole pod or its inner seed. You can get black, green, white, and red peppercorns. Pink peppercorns come from an entirely different plant not related to piper nigrum. Pepper is an antioxidant and antibacterial. It is also a carminative meaning it helps prevent intestinal gas. And that’s nothing to sneeze about.

What does cc mean?

In our house it could mean chocolate capacity. My face can hold 350 CCs of chocolate. I know because I measured. In email, however, it means Carbon Copy from the ancient days of using carbon paper to replicate documents. Sadly, this question has nothing to do with chocolate or email, though. When playing Mario Kart the races are divided up by CCs – 50, 100, 150, and 200. The higher the CCs, the faster the karts go. This is because CCs stands for Cylinder Capacity, or more scientific and mathematical it means Cubic Centimeters. Cylinder capacity = cubic centimeter. Therefore, the larger the cylinder the more gas it can take in. The more gas intake it has, the more it’s explosive force and therefore more energy. My kids have 97,000 CCs. This holds true with real life vehicles, too. CCs are also used to measure medicine. I’m sure you’ve heard on plenty of doctor dramas (yay for Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor) to give a patience x number of CCs of a fancy medicine name. CCs are equivalent to milliliters (mL). CC should also be written in lower case (ccs) but I used upper case to help differentiate it. Plus, I’m not a doctor.

What happens if they find cancer?

Remember last week when the boys were asking about breast cancer because DW was going for her annual boob flattening check up? Well, we’re not done talking about boobs yet. According to lexicographer, Jonathon Green, there are at least 212 synonyms for female breasts. He would know, he wrote the most comprehensive dictionary of slang. I guess that makes him the human version of Urban Dictionary. Anyway, DW had swift response to this question. There was no thinking about what would happen should she discover she has breast cancer. I support her as much as her favorite bra. She will have it/them removed. Mastectomy. The end. You can guess down in the comments what they asked about after this answer.



Sunday Share: Week 24

We relayed all day yesterday. Relayed for Life. Our town used to host a Relay for Life. However, last year they opted not because of a lack of support. So “Ray Ray’s Sugarbears” made this their final year for Relay. Their dad put the bug in their ear last fall about taking part in one nearby since our town wasn’t holding one. When he passed in February DW and her brother vowed to make it their best one yet.

They set ambitious fundraising goals. DW wanted to raise $2,000. Her brother, $15,000. Not only did they reach their $17,000 wish, they blew it out of the sky.

They were the top fundraising team with $22,500.

The goal for the town’s Relay was $20,000. They raised $50,000.


Left: DW’s Brother, an Aunt, Nanny, an Aunt, DW, an Uncle Front: Crash, cousin, cousin, Bang

Lutheran Liar
A special party with Champagne and dancing…

A Song Diary
Totally not Beyonce’s song…

Dramatic Momologue
Dammit y’all…

True North Nomad
Finding a new kind of home…

Old Time Rock and Roll
R.I.P. music…

#AtoZChallenge: R is for…



is for Relay. It’s also for Ride.

Relay for Life was always one of DW’s Dad’s favorites.  He always attended, always ate at the survivors’ supper, always walked his survivors’ lap. Family would come from a hundred miles away to take part in it with him. Some of them are cancer survivors themselves. So many in DW’s family walk that survivor lap in their yellow shirt on the day Relay for Life takes place. Her dad survived lung cancer. Her step-mom survived colon cancer.  I’m learning, there are some within my side of the family who could have walked that lap, too.

The day after the event he would put on a big shindig (party) and BBQ for everyone. People would come by the dozens.

Our town stopped holding the event so he missed out on it the past two years.

This year, he wanted to join the even in another town and it was going to be his last Relay. His last big support for the cancer research fundraiser since this would be his 10th year cancer free. DW had just finished setting up her own fundraiser page. Then she got a phone call…

This year, our Relay will be in memory of him. DW has raised $1,075 of her goal of $2,000. Please, if you can, click on the link above and donate. Whether you can give $5 or $5,000, every little bit counts.


is also for Ride for Roswell.

For eight years my younger brother has been participating in this bike ride fundraiser ranging from 14 to 44 miles. Our dad and his father-in-law take part, as well. Roswell Park Cancer Institute is located in Buffalo, NY, home of Niagara Falls and my sister-in-law. It is known for its cutting edge research on cancers.  This year, he rides for all who have been effected by cancer. Thus far, he has raised $704 of his goal of $1,000. Please, if you can, visit his page and donate here. There’s no telling how many lives you may change.


Brother on the left, Dad on the right, Brother’s F-I-L in the middle

I guess, ultimately, R is for relatives relaying and riding for research.

M is for … Go Ask Your Father: Chemo, Vaccines, Stupidity and Gambling


There’s this little creature, a cartoon character to be precise. He is the most curious creature on the planet. He’s so friggin’ cute, too. He often finds himself in trouble because of his curiosity. He always finds a way to fix his mistakes, though. If you still haven’t guessed who this creature is yet…


georgeM is for Monkey.

We have two. They are curious Georges for sure. The trouble they cause isn’t intentional. It’s curiosity. Is there pancake mix in this box? Shake it and find out. Oops, the lid was open and now there’s pancake mix all over the floor.

Even more important than they messes they make and the frustrations they stir up, are the questions they ask. Let me tell you, they know how to ask questions. We do our best to encourage their questions. They haven’t asked the difficult ones yet. So we’ll continue encouraging them. However, eventually, there will come a question when I hear, “Go Ask Your Father.”

1. What is chemo?

Bang asked this question at bedtime, but first, a little backstory…

Bang and I go to playgroup once a week. There is a little girl, Ione, who’s been going since she was born. We’ve known her mom for many years now. Ione is two now, with three awesome siblings. She has an awe-factor that’s off the charts. That’s how adorable she is. Anyway, they just found out Ione has Leukaemia. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, to be precise. She starts Chemo today. Please visit this darling little girl’s Go Fund Me page. It’s the only link I’m asking you click today.

So Bang  asked, “What’s chemo?” at bedtime while he and DW were saying their night time prayers because they made sure to include Ione tonight.

Chemotherapy, or chemical therapy, introduces chemicals, medicines,  into the body to destroy cancer cells. Since there are so many different kinds of cancer there also many kinds of chemotherapy. Ione will possibly have two and half years of this.

2. What are vaccines?

We didn’t get our flu shot this winter like we normally do. We weren’t vaccinated. The needle-clipart-hypodermic-needleboys ended up getting sick for week. I’ll spare you the details, though. Would a vaccine, a.k.a. flu shot, have prevented it? Possibly. It wouldn’t have hurt. Well, except for the whole needle thing. Just like a flu shot is a vaccine to prevent the flu, there are vaccines for mumps, measles, polio, and number other diseases that can be deadly. I know some out there are anti-vaxxers, and I just don’t understand them. Simply because they don’t know what’s in it, they don’t know the real effects of the medicine, because they still believe they cause autism.

Rant done. Vaccines prevent people from getting sick. Sorry, there’s just no humor here.

3. Why was that stupid?

orioles2Okay. This is better. Stupid is funny. Down right hilarious, sometimes. This question could be asked numerous times a day about any of a variety of things by any of the four of us. This instance, however, occurred during a baseball game. My beloved O’s were undefeated at the time and the game was tied at 6. The Red Sox had a runner on first with 1 out when our pitcher threw a wild pitch. More wild than frat party. “That was stupid,” I said. Why? Because now the Sox have a runner on second, which is scoring position.

They didn’t score, though. That batter struck out. Couldn’t handle the heat. Swung like he was swattin’ flies. Wiffed. The next guy grounded out and the inning was over. It was still a stupid pitch.

4. What is gambling?

Simply put, gambling is when you pay money or items on chance happenings. The example I used with Crash when something as follows…

You are an Orioles fan. Your little brother is a Blue Jays fan (I know. I’m not proud of it, but we are in Blue Jay country. I won’t call child protective services until he says he’s a Yankee’s fan). If you were to say that the O’s would be the Jays and Bang were to say, like hell, then you could bet $10 or $100 or your share of the Lego pile. Whoever’s team won would get the money or the Legos. Gambling is taking a chance. To do it smartly you need to know your chances of winning. Know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.

Me personally? I’m betting Ione kicks cancer’s ass.




Two Charities


I mentioned it before in one of my Sunday Shares, but I’m going to mention it again.

A friend of mine had just finished running 26.2 miles in Boston in 2013. He was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when the bombs went off.

He was invited back to run in 2014. There, he became connected with a charity called 50 Legs.


The purpose of 50 Legs is to provide amputees with the necessary care and prosthetics that they could not otherwise afford and help them live a happier and healthier life.

This morning he was interviewed on a radio station discussing that terrible day and what he’s doing now to contribute.

Have a listen.

If you feel so inspired that you’d like to give, you can visit Jody’s donation page here.


I’ve written of this second charity as well, but feel it deserves a mention, too. It’s my brother’s Ride for Roswell.

Roswell Cancer Research Institute in Buffalo, NY, provides care to patients and ongoing developments in better ways to battle cancers.

Funds raised through The Ride For Roswell support the cutting-edge research and patient care programs that benefit the 31,000 patients who turn to Roswell Park for hope.  Donations are further used to improve the patient and family experience, support new clinical treatments and procedures and educate the next generation of cancer scientists and clinicians.

This is the 7th year my brother has participated in this even. This year he rides in honor of Melina Selent. When she was just 10 months old she developed retinoblastoma, an eye cancer. Fortunately, it was just in one eye. Unfortunately, her eye had to be removed. That was in 1996. This summer she is scheduled to graduate with a BS in Biology.

My father is riding for the 7th consecutive year, as well. He rides in memory of my grandfather (my mom’s dad) and for a college friend of his.

Both have goals of reaching $1,000.


One is my brother. One is our dad. One is my brother’s in-law. 

If would like to donate to my brother, visit his donation page here.
If you would like to donate to my father, visit his donation page here.

The Roswell Ride

Imagine your little one, not even a year old yet, diagnosed with cancer. Retinoblastoma to be precise, a cancer of the eye. The only cure is remove the eye.

That is only the beginning of Melina’s story. Melina is who my brother rides in honor of this year.

Ride for Roswell is a bike ride ranging from 3 miles to 100. My br4rrother, his father-in-law, and our dad will be riding 44 for the seventh straight year. Part of their route will take them into Canada. For a few minutes we’ll be in the same country at the same time. However, more importantly, their ride is part of a fundraiser for Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

My brother’s goal is to raise $1,000 for this cause. The money raised will be used in researching the sciences in the treatment and prevention of cancer. Like shrinking lung cancer tumors with Vitamin D. Or researching a vaccine for glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor.  Or toward enhancing the treatments and therapies already in practice. Science in its purest form.

Cancer has touched us all in some way, shape or form. Perhaps you are a survivor. You know a survivor. You know someone fighting the battle right now. Or perhaps, sadly, you lost someone to cancer. We all understand the support that is required to beat it. Lets work together to kick cancer’s ass.

Please visit my brother’s page – Bradley Wood’s Fundraising Page. There you can read the rest of Melina’s story. Also, if you can spare a few dollars, help him reach his goal. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

There is also a link in my sidebar to the right that will remain there until the ride in June. Help me help him spread the word and share any way you please.

My brother and Melina thank you.


Brad (my brother) Bob (the father-in-law) Michael (our Dad)

Cancer Can Kiss My Ass

relay for lifeToday our Relay for Life take place. DW has her Team SugarBear, Crash is on the all kids team, Magnificent Monkeys while Bang and I are there for support. It begins at noon and runs until midnight. Bang and I will get take part in most of it. We’ll be there until bedtime. DW has raised over $200. It’s not the $1,700 she raised when she shaved her head, but it’s still good. Crash bagged groceries at the SuperStore with some other Monkeys for donations. He participated in a fundraiser selling flower bulbs. Plus he raised over $100 in donations besides.

We will soon be off to support the survivors, including DW’s dad , step-mom, a cousin, along with some aunts and uncles. We’re also there to pay homage to those who have laid down their torch, including my grandfather and great-aunt and uncle and DW’s aunt. I might compile a more complete, specific list later. As for now, we’re off to walk the track!