Questions I Asked My Kids

The boys are just 2 (and piece) school days away from summer vacation. Monday. Tuesday. An hour and half next Friday to pick up report cards. Their systems on shut down now. They just want it to end. The days are long and sunny and warm and, really, who wants to be in school? No more than anyone wants to be at work. 

I had the questions written last night but forgot to ask them at bedtime. So I meant to ask them at breakfast time but things ’round here got a bit hairy trying to get the oldest to realize that no matter how much he fought us he was still going to school. So I asked them at the bus stop. They answered the last question just as the bus pulled up. So there are only 8 this week instead of the normal 10. However, I’m sure you’ll find just as much humor crammed into these 8. 

1. What are some things you want to do this summer?

Crash: go to the fair, play video games all day, and go to the beach
Bang: go to the fair, get new hamsters, go dumpster diving

2. Why does the sky turn pink or orange when the sun sets?

Crash: because some of the sun is blocked by hills and trees
Bang: Because the sun is behind an orange cloud so it makes the sky orange

3. How many peanut M&M’s can dad put in his mouth?

Crash: 30 because you have  big mouth
Bang: 10

4. what time should bedtime be over summer break?

Crash: 12:00
Bang: 1 o’clock in the morning

5. What scares you?

Crash: wasps
Bang: a rattlesnake 
*Nova Scotia does not have any poisonous snakes

6. What makes you laugh?  

Crash: Cat videos
Bang: When you’re head’s on your butt

7. If you could trade feet with an animal, what animal’s feet would you have?

Crash: Elephant’s, no doubt
Bang: Horse because I want hooves

8. Would you rather have mom’s hair or dad’s?

Crash: Dad’s. but it makes no sense because you don’t have hair
Bang: Dad’s

Being the Dad

It has been a work in progress, really. 40 years in the making. Skills like this don’t happen over night. It comes in tiny portions, miniscule lessons, an observation here and there, a pinch of know how, and a whole lotta luck. 

You don’t get to be a kick ass dad without having a kick ass dad to set the example. Some will tell you how it’s done. Others will show you. Either way, you know you’ve got a good one when you can look back on your childhood and realize that you dad just like your dad did. 

I was a patient kid. I’m a patient man, just like my father. He didn’t teach me to be patient, but I saw the value in it. I understood that it was virtue. Naturally, I lose my patience from time to time. Anyone who knows me knows I lose stuff. My patience shouldn’t be any different. We understand that good things come to those who wait. Work hard. Do your time and your time will come. 

Like patience, my dad knows the value of hard work. So I know a job worth doing is worth doing right. When I walk into a classroom I teach my heart out. I’m a “yes man”. When administration needs me to step up and do extra, I do. My dad worked hard, too. I can still picture him walking into my high school gym still in work clothes to watch my wrestling matches. That was after dark.
Being a good dad isn’t easy. It at comes with it’s share of doubts and hardships. Am I doing the right thing? Am I raising good people? What’s going to happen next? What should I teach them?

However, the rewards outshine both. The laughter. Seeing them act kindly. Watching their excitement when they are successful. Feeling pride swell when they learn, when they win, when they do good when they think no one is watching. 

Any man can be a father. The exceptional ones get to be called dad. I am the dad I am because of the dad my dad is. 

Both of them.

Go Ask Your Father: Soundproof Rooms, Thor’s Hammer, Hiccups, and Brain Messages

*SPOILER ALERT

We’re reading Hatchet. Brian has survived a plane crash and has been stranded in a Canadian forest for 4 days. The night before, he discovered a turtle that had laid some eggs and buried them on the shore Brian both crashed into and is now camped next to.

You should have seen the expression on Crash’s face when he found out they were food and Brian would be eat them raw.

“There’s turtles in them!”
“Are there chickens in the eggs we eat?”
“No.”
“Well, there are no turtles,  in the turtle eggs.”
“How do they get inside the egg then?”
“Okay, there are turtles in there, but they haven’t grown into turtles, yet. There’s just the yolk.”

Crash would never be able to survive in the wilderness.

1. How do they make soundproof rooms?

If we had one they would be in and life would sound sweet. Or I would be in it and life would sound sweet. The quietest room hold the Guinness Record, Orfield Labs in Minneapolis at -9 decibels. The walls, floor, and ceiling absorb all sound. It is anechoic. There is no echo. Derek Muller visited and recorded an episode about this room on his YouTube channel, Veritasium. The cheap way to build a sound proof room is to hang thick blankets on the walls. The thicker the better. If you want serious sound proofing you’ll need sound absorbing material like “Sound Sponge”. Duct tape works wonders, too. It really works to muffle the sounds coming from your kids sound hole.

2. How heavy is Thor’s hammer?

My original answer was “Too heavy for anyone but Thor to lift.” I was basing my answer on Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s explanation. He assumed it was forged of the core of a neutron star – among the densest matter in the universe. A teaspoon of a neutron star would weigh about a billion tonnes. Therefore, a hammer forged of such material would weigh “as much as a herd of 300 billion elephants.” However, the Hammer was forged in a neutron star out of a fictional metal called Uru which is native to Thor’s world of Asgard. So it weighs just 42.3 pounds.

3. What makes hiccups go away?

It’s just a simple problem caused by spasms in your diaphragm. What makes them stop?

  • Swallow something sweet
  • Swallow something sour
  • Eat peanut butter, honey, chocolate
  • Sip hot sauce
  • Breathe in to a paper bag
  • Place a paper towel atop a glass of water and drink through the towel
  • Stick your fingers in your ears and drink through a straw
  • Press the palm of your hand with the thumb of your other hand
  • Hold your breath or cover your mouth and nose with cupped hands and breathe slowly
  • Stand on your head
  • Gargle with ice water
  • Get someone to scare you
  • Pull out your tongue

How do you get rid of hiccups?

4. How does my brain send messages to my body?

Bang is still fascinated by brains. How they work. What they look like. What they do. Like Navajo code, neurons are brain cells that only communicate with each other. And no, you can’t kill brain cells. Though, I swear some people aren’t functioning with a full set.  The neurons are the cells while the synapses are the connections. The axons are the lines in which the messages move. Our spinal cord is responsible for holding that line. All muscle movement messages come through your spinal cord. So while I’m sitting here typing this my brain is sending messages to my fingers (though my fingers can’t keep up sometimes) telling them where to move so that I press the correct letter. I guess it could be compared the connections between the keyboard and the monitor and the internet. If you’re curious to know more, watch this excellent Crash Course video to learn more.

silence-quotes-wallpaper

Bonus question: Where else can you find me?

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This Is the Boy…

You know the cliche, the days go slow the years go fast. Today before me stands a six year old. Yesterday he was five. He started school this year and is learning in leaps and bounds. He’s stubborn but loving. He’s quite the comedian, too. If you’ve read any of the Questions I Asked My Kids posts you’ll see that humor shine through. We never know what’s going to come out of him.

This is the boy who talks to himself while doing his business in the bathroom. He pretends to make YouTube videos. 

This is the boy who loves kayaking. His first time in a kayak he paddled away like he’d been doing it for years. He was 5.

This is the boy who still loves trains, trucks, ships, diggers, dumpers, dozers and crossing bridges. He puts his window down to “hear the bridge” whenever we cross one. 

This is the boy who love dirt more than trains, trucks, diggers, dumpers, dozers, and ships. Dirt loves him, too.

This is the boy who loves to do homework with his brother. It won’t be long before his brother will be paying him to do his homework. 

This is the boy who is a half inch taller than what his brother was at the same age. 

This is the boy who’s taught to say “I love you” without saying “I love you”. “I like your face” has become the new quote around the house. “Night night, like your face”. “Bye! Like your face!” Or at some random time when we’re just sitting around watching TV. 

He’s stubborn as an old mule. He’s got his grandfather’s (Guppie) temper. But he’s a lovey boy who sits with the old ladies in the church choir, who has hugs for his teachers every day, who shovels the neighbor’s driveway. 

Happy birthday sweet boy. 

This Is the Boy…

You know the cliche, the days go slow the years go fast. Today before me stands a six year old. Yesterday he was five. He started school this year and is learning in leaps and bounds. He’s stubborn but loving. He’s quite the comedian, too. If you’ve read any of the Questions I Asked My Kids posts you’ll see that humor shine through. We never know what’s going to come out of him.

This is the boy who talks to himself while doing his business in the bathroom. He pretends to make YouTube videos. 

This is the boy who loves kayaking. His first time in a kayak he paddled away like he’d been doing it for years. He was 5.

This is the boy who still loves trains, trucks, ships, diggers, dumpers, dozers and crossing bridges. He puts his window down to “hear the bridge” whenever we cross one. 

This is the boy who love dirt more than trains, trucks, diggers, dumpers, dozers, and ships. Dirt loves him, too.

This is the boy who loves to do homework with his brother. It won’t be long before his brother will be paying him to do his homework. 

This is the boy who is a half inch taller than what his brother was at the same age. 

This is the boy who’s taught to say “I love you” without saying “I love you”. “I like your face” has become the new quote around the house. “Night night, like your face”. “Bye! Like your face!” Or at some random time when we’re just sitting around watching TV. 

He’s stubborn as an old mule. He’s got his grandfather’s (Guppie) temper. But he’s a lovey boy who sits with the old ladies in the church choir, who has hugs for his teachers every day, who shovels the neighbor’s driveway. 

Happy birthday sweet boy. 

Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep 47

Today was Field Trip Day for Bang and his class. DW and I were privledged enough to get to chaperone since we have our background checks done and child abuse registry filed. We’re safe around kids. 

Just not our own, on occassion. 

The trip itself is worthy of it’s own post.

Now for the laughs…

1. What was your favorite part about today?

Bang: I loved touching the fish at the fish hatchery
Crash: Going to the computer lab to work on my “History of Basketball” project

2. How many kids do you want to have when you grow up?

Bang: 13
Crash: Geez! One kid.

3. What will their names be?

Bang:  Jonathan, Akrum, Spear, Lainey, David, Nolan, Aiden, Maiden, Sara, Lightning, and Mandy
Crash: If it’s a girl then her name will be Ginny. If it’s a boy, he’ll be Albus.

4. What pets will your kids have?

Bang: Dog, cat, and parrot. cameleon, lizard, tiger, lion, bear, babboon, elephant, skunk, mouse, hippopotamus, wolf
Crash: A cat

5. Where do you want to go on your next field trip?

Bang: To the fire tower to look for fires.
Crash: We’re going to St. F.X. tomorrow. There this place in India and someone took a picture of it and it’s a small small small basketball court and no else has ever found it. I want to take a field trip there. It would be fun. But it’s in India and we’d have to speak Indian.

6. How many people live on Earth?

Bang: Several
Crash: 7 billion

7. What time will you wake up in the morning?

Bang: 8:45 am
Crash: 6:00 so I can play lots of video games before my field trip

8. What is Dad good at?

Bang: Vacuuming
Crash: Editing videos

9. What is Mom good at?

Bang: Snuggling
Crash: Saying bad words

10. What is your brother good at?

Bang: He’s good at playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii, watching TV, and throwing temper tantrums
Crash: There’s more than one. Video games (just like me, following in my footsteps), giving me pain that’s for sure, and coloring

Choose A Book

Saturday. Busy day with Relay for Life. Short post.

We just finished the Harry Potter series. Which book should we read next? Just pick a book, click “vote” and see the results so far…

 

Go Ask Your Father: Fitbit HR, AC/DC, Baths, and Aluminum Cans

In case you missed it this morning, I published yesterday’s Questions I Asked My Kids. Wonder what kind of animal hair Crash and Bang had?

To hell with the intro. Lets answer questions.

1. How does a Fitbit know your heart rate?

A tiny nurse fairy is packed comfortably in each one. I imagine she’s busty and her scrubs are a size or two too small. This is what I thought of while I on my last run. Except the fairy nurse was DW and it was Halloween. I’m sure she’s turning 50 shades of red now, but it sure helped me run faster. Alas, there are no sexy nurse fairies in your Fitbit. Just a flashy green light that uses a technology called photoplethysmography. It’s the same technology hospitals use in those finger and ear clips that also measure heart rates. My Fitbit tells me my heart rate is around 155 beats per minute when I’m running. I’m not sure if that’s from running or from imagining DW as my nurse.

2. What’s AC/DC?

92-high_voltage_symbolThey are what my boys call, The Masters of Rock and RollIt’s also my attempt to get them listening to the music I listened to when I listened to the music my parents listened to. AC/DC. Queen. Led Zeppelin. You know… that good ole rock and roll. AC/DC formed in 1973 in Sydney, Australia and are still playing. Their guitars are electric. Their guitars work on AC electricity. Alternating current is the kind of electricity that powers our homes and large rock concert arenas. The current flows both directions through the wire because of the magnet that is spun through coil of copper wire. With the poles of the magnet alternating as it spins so do to the electrons in the wire. Whereas DC, or direct current, supplies constant voltage and the electricity flows in just one direction. The battery in your favorite toy provide a direct current. The electricity flows out of one node, through the wires in your Buzz or Woody and back into the other end of the battery. And this, in fact, is exactly how the band got their name. Except it was from their sister’s sewing machine, not Buzz and Woody.

3. Why do I need a bath? 

Not me. I know I why I need a bath. I stink like a ass end of a fully loaded garbage truck. You, my sons, need a bath because you were playing in the dirt pile again. I’m not sure if you were playing in it or burying yourself in it. From the looks of it you must have been rubbing it all over yourself like Zsa Zsa Gabor puts on make-up. When you take bath, my favorite little dirt balls, please use soap. It’s kind of magical when it comes to removing the layers of grime you have caked on. Soap molecules have two ends. Lets call them a top and bottom (head and arse sound more fun, though). The top part is hydrophobic, it hates water and tries to get away. The bottom part is hydrophilic, it loves water. Remember that oil and water don’t mix and the oil rises to the surface? Well, the hydrophobic end of the soap molecule clings to that oil and dirt from your skin and become suspended in drops of water. When you rinse off, away go those water hating, dirt carrying molecules. Essentially, you make room for more dirt.

4. How much am I worth if I were an aluminum can?

First, I need to thank Antoniusrex for this question. He posed it in his latest post, Aluminum. I thought it was a fun question so I’m going to answer it here, too. Though slightly differently, and more in depth.

Here’s how I did the math…

I am 150 pounds (soaking wet). Google says there are 68,039 grams in 150 pounds (because there are 453.592 grams per pound). Today’s aluminum can weighs about 15 grams. If you do the division (but you don’t have to because I already did) that means I weigh as much as 4,536 aluminum cans. If you take that to recycling depot you’ll get 5¢, $.05, a nickel, per can. I’ll do the math for you again and 4,536 nickels equals $226.80. That’s barely enough to feed the hungry hungry hippos kids for a couple weeks. Guess it’s good that I’m not really refundable. I’m pretty worthless if I were. My Fitbit says my heart rate is 59 so I know I’m not an aluminum can and I will therefore Keep Calm and Be Human.

keep calm and rock on

35 Questions No One Has Asked Me

Except, Sandra over at A Momma’s View has asked them. I’ve got nothing else to on this Saturday night as the O’s take on the Red Sox and John Oliver reruns playing on HBO On Demand. I will now sit here, answer questions and help DW eat the chocolate she had hidden.

  1. Are you drooling when brushing your teeth? Yes, but I try not to, but I can’t help it.
  2. How often do you clean your bathroom? I cleaned it today! I think it was 2 weeks ago that it was cleaned last.
  3. Do you ever scratch your bum or you know what…? Only when I’m at home and there are no guests
  4. Do you smell your own armpits? Nope. No reason for my nose to be in there
  5. How long do you go till you wash your hair? It’s been at least 4 years since I washed my hair
  6. How often do you shower? Every other day or so. Depends on how stinky I am. If I can smell myself, it’s shower time
  7. Have you ever pooed and then realized you had not toilet paper? Yep.
  8. If you run out of toilet paper what would you use to clean your bum? Baby wipes
  9. What’s the silliest way you spend money? On running clothes. Always need more.
  10. Do you feel like the tourist nobody wants to have around when you are on vacation? Sometimes I slip in tourist mode while taking photos, but otherwise I try to pretend I’m not one
  11. Do you misbehave when you are on vacation (thinking spring break crazy)? Nope. Totally behaved
  12. Have you ever vomited over someone’s shoes? Can’t say that I have.
  13. Did you ever get so drunk that you couldn’t remember a single thing? Nope, haven’t done that either
  14. What do people really dislike about you? Probably how amazing of a wife I have.
  15. Is there something you tend to ignore in regards to your spouse? That she’s always right
  16. Do you snore? I’ve never heard myself, but I’m told I do
  17. Does your partner snore? She’s never heard herself, but I tell her she does
  18. How does it make you feel when you hear snoring? like laughing
  19. What do you do with ear wax? Clean it out of my ears with Q-Tips
  20. Do you play with your boogers? Sometimes we jump on the trampoline and sometimes we play with matchbox cars and sometimes the 2 little boogers want to play Wii.
  21. Do you check out your napkin after blowing your nose? Only to see if I have sinus infection. No rorschach tests
  22. When you drop food, do you eat it still? Only at home
  23. When you see a person that you find gross while on the beach, what do you do? Stare in mild amusment
  24. Do you like to be touched? Only by those closest to me
  25. Do you ask people how old they are? Nope. I guess. I’m usually way off.
  26. What do you think of people who have more than 6 kids? That they are either tough or stupid or a bit of both
  27. Have you ever told someone to pluck their eyebrows? Nope
  28. Have your kids ever asked inappropriate questions? Of course.
  29. Have you ever asked a stranger where they live? Nope
  30. Did you ever pee on someones fence or next to someone’s house? On a fence, yes. Didn’t belong to anyone and it was 4 miles away from civilization
  31. Have you ever watched someone while they were… well, you know… Pee? Just DW – open door policy and all
  32. When you are at the gym, do you check out other people there? Yep. I like to see who I’m working out with
  33. While at the gym, do you wipe your equipment after using it? Yep. It’s gross when others don’t
  34. Do you sweat a lot? I do
  35. Do you sometimes put deodorant on instead of showering? You betcha

There is no tagging. If want to answer them, feel free! 

Go Ask Your Father: Images, Uvulas, PostMortem, and Amusement Parks

We made it to Friday, y’all. Some of you are finished school for the summer. Others are nearly finished. We still have the rest of the month. The kids are pretty much on autopilot now. They’re just cruising through to the end the year.

1. Why am I upside down in the spoon?

Perhaps it’s not you that is upside down. Perhaps it is the spoon. Or better yet, perhaps there is no you or spoon and this is just some computer simulated universe. The real reason is because the spoon is concave- or indented (like a cave). The back of the spoon is convex, and therefore you look mostly normal, whatever your normal is. However, on the concave side, light is not reflected at straight angles as if you were looking at yourself in the knife. Instead, because of its concaveness, light at the bottom of the spoon is reflected upward while light at the top is reflected downward. This effectively flips your image.

2. What’s that dangly thing in my throat?

This is the kind of question you get when your child is inspecting their sore throat in a mirror and notices a little punching bag (speed bag) shaped piece of skin way in the back. Called a uvula [you-view-lah] (not to be confused with a vulva, that’s something completely different). Once upon a time it was believed to help guide food and water as humans were the only mammals to not bend over to eat and drink. Then it was thought to induce the gag reflex. It was also believed to cause chronic coughing which could easily be cured with a simple clipping. These people would undergo uvulopalatopharyngoplasty to have it removed. It was also suspected of causing cardiovascular problems like SIDS. Today, scientists think that it helps with speech as humans are the only animals who have a uvula.

3. What happens to bodies after they die?

I’m not sure if he was looking for a scientific answer or not. I’m hoping not, because I’m not NCIS or a mortician. So instead I opted with what people would like to have done with their bodies after their time here on Earth comes to an end. Some opt to be cremated. This turns their body to ash to be stored in urns and pendants or taken to a location of significance and scattered. Neil DeGrasse Tyson doesn’t want this as the heat from his body is released into space and is of no assistance to Earth. Whereas if he were buried he could “feed” the Earth as the Earth fed him through his life. So some choose to be buried. Some chose to donate their bodies to science. There are now new and creative ways to be memorialized. For example, you can be turned into a tree. Or more specifically, you are cremated then your ashes are used to grow a tree and you are buried so your tree can flourish. You have your cremains pressed into a vinyl record, or put into fireworks, or even into tattoo ink.

4. Can we go to an Amusement park?

Bang has very few fears when it comes to amusement park rides. A fair (think traveling carnival) comes to town at the beginning of every summer and Bang loves to ride the rides. Just last summer he was finally tall enough to ride some of the adult rides. There were a couple he still wasn’t tall enough for and he made his disappointment plainly obvious. This is not how I was at his age. I hated roller coasters. At one park, my parents would tell me every ride that I did get on went upside down. Including the log flume. Fortunately, I wasn’t quite gullible enough to believe them. Now he wants to go to a “real” amusement park to ride “real” roller coasters. Including the ones that go upside down.