Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep64

US Gun debates are running wild around the world. Education reform is stirring up some strong emotions here in Nova Scotia. Change is needed in both places and I feel like those with the most power to make those changes happen aren’t listening to the ones who know what changes need to be made.

But that stuff is too heavy for a Jeudi. That’s French for Thursday. I substituted in a French Immersion class yesterday and today and the little ones had a blast trying to teach me some pronunciations. Guess it’s time I start taking some French courses!

Pouvez-vous parler français?

1. What do you like daydreaming about?

Crash: Minecraft and Pokemon Battles with real Pokemon
Bang: I feel like I’m still sleeping… even when I’m in school.

2. If you could do anything right now, what would you do?

Crash: Stay up late and play video games… Geometry Dash!
Bang: Play electronics all night… Geometry Dash!


3. If you opened a store, what would you sell?

Crash: Candy, Pokemon, Minecraft Figures, Books about Pokemon and Minecraft, and super snuggly, ultracomfy stuffies
Bang: Things from Sobey’s (grocery store) like bread, cookies, and milk

4. If you could grow anything in the yard, what would it be?

Crash: A big orange or apple tree
Bang: I would grow more electronics!

5. What sounds do you like?

Crash: Farting, my favorite songs
Bang: Wawa (imagine Charlie Brown’s teacher) and creepy noises

6. What sounds do you not like?

Crash: When I’m laying in bed at night and I hear thump thump thump
Bang: I hate the word “this”

7. If you could ask a wild animal any question, what would you ask?

Crash: I would ask an eagle if I could be best friends with him
Bang: I would ask a wolf, “Can I ride you?”

8. What animal would make a great racecar driver?

Crash: Cheetah because they’re fast and used to the speed
Bang: A giraffe because he would stick through the roof and be able to see all the cars


9. What makes our family so awesome?

Crash: That I’m in it and that we have an amazingly cute Quaker Parrot
Bang: Nothing, our family isn’t awesome because you yell at us

10. If you could make up a new holiday, what would it be?

Crash: There’s already a Minecraft Day so I’ll make a Pokemon Day
Bang: Booty Time and on June 10th you go outside and take all your clothes off



Go Ask Your Father: Mirrors, Teddy Bears, Brain Messages, and House Water

Sweet Baby Jesus… Thank God it’s Friday! Did anyone else feel like this week was longer the 2016 presidential election? I swear the Universe had some kind of  time malfunction. Her clock was running a bit behind. Time does move slower the faster you go so maybe we went farther. Anyway, here in Canadaland this is a long weekend. Monday is Family Day. What do you think would be a good family day family activity to do with the family? (Did I say family, enough times?)

1. What color are mirrors?

Mirror, mirror on the way, who is the fairest of them all? Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris, the Canadian gold medal winners for mixed couples curling, are pretty cute. I don’t have a talking mirror, though. So the only way I know who the “fairest of them all is” is when DW is standing in front of it. What color is a mirror, anyway? Any color that is put in front of it. I had to look up how mirrors are made to find this one. Turns out they’re silver. Technically, they start as a window, a clear piece of glass. Then they spray it with demineralized water to clean it. It’s sprayed with liquefied tin. Silver is spray atop the tin because silver won’t stick to glass. As the liquid silver sets it hardens and takes on the reflective properties needed for a perfect selfie. A layer of copper is sprayed on to protect the silver and it’s all baked at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The backside of it is painted and it’s all set for the fairest of them all.

2. Why are they called Teddy Bears?

The story I told Crash at bedtime when he asked went something like this. An American president a long time ago, named Theodore Roosevelt went by the nickname of Teddy. For a reason unbeknownst to me, created a stuffed animal that was a bear. People called it a Teddy bear. I was close. Right church, wrong pew. Theo did not create the stuffed animal. Instead its origins are from a bear hunt he attended. After 3 days he had not spotted a bear. So the hunt guides tracked down a bear, tied it to a tree and showed it to the President. Theo, seeing that it was wounded and tied to a tree couldn’t shoot it, deemed it inhumane. However, he did have killed to end its suffering. Political cartoonist, Clifford Berryman, drew a cartoon illustrating the President’s refusal to shoot the bear. That bear appeared in later cartoons by the cartoonist. Then Morris Michtom, a candy shop owner in Brooklyn, NY saw the cartoon and, with permission to call them Teddy’s Bears, put two stuffed bears his wife had made, in the front window of his shop. They became so popular he started mass producing them.

3. How does our brain send messages to the rest of our body?

Email? Text? Binary code? Shouting “HEY!” Really, I have no idea. Other than the brain using synapses and neurons and sending signals through our nervous system to the body part that needs to move (like my fingers across the keyboard). Your brain, spinal chord, and a tremendous length of nerves throughout your body all work together to give you that “human experience”. There are 2 kinds of nerves, sensory and motor. The sensory nerves send messages to the brain in regards to our senses, touch, temperature, pain, etc… Motor nerves send signals from the brain to our muscles either voluntarily or reflexively. If you’re wondering how it works on the molecular level, you’ll have to ask your friendly, neighborhood neurologist because I don’t understand neurons and synapses and stuff.

4. How does water get from the water tower into our house?

Magic. Just open the tap and out comes fresh, clean water we can drink (though we filter it anyway). We have several water towers around town.  Water is collected from the lake, cleaned, filtered and pumped though the water pipes that are networked through town by pumping stations. The pumping stations provide the pressure required to push the water through the pipes so that it comes out of the sink, the tub, the toilet, or the hose when want it to. There’s something for you to think about when you’re standing in front of your silver mirror, telling your brain to move your arm while holding your toothbrush while water flows from the faucet.


all mirrors start as a window anyway…


Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep63

Have you ever longed for bedtime? Not for yourself, but for your kids. PLEASE! Can it be bedtime now? I know they have only been home from school for 17 seconds, but can I send them to bed anyway? Getting in the truck to come home from school Crash hit Bang on the head with the truck door (accidentally) when he was trying to get in his brother’s side of the truck instead of his own. At home, I send them outside to play since it was sunny and warm. Crash took my GoPro with him to video himself skateboarding. Bang runs into him with his bike and breaks the frame that holds the camera. They come inside because apparently it’s no fun outside without a camera. So they try to play inside but all we hear is “Watch me.” “Watch this.” “Watch watch watch.” We watch some, but they certainly don’t need an audience for everything they do.

It’s 9:34pm. Guess where they finally are? You can probably tell from all the silence around here…

As always, feel free to ask your heathens these questions. Just be sure to tag me so I can read their answers.

1. What are you good at now?

Crash: Playing Beyblade, snuggling stuffies, and being annoying
Bang: Running

2. What will you be good at when you grow up?

Crash: Taking pictures like a photographer
Bang: Serving pizza, which means I’m being a chef


3. How old do you wish you could be?

Crash: 25
Bang: Nobody can live this long but I want to be a million

4. What 3 things would you take to a deserted island?

Crash: Video games, infinite food, and everything required to survive in the wild
Bang: Some food to eat, a ginormous jug of water, and some dessert – ice cream

5. The world just turned into Legos. What do you build first?

Crash: I don’t know, but I would build lots!
Bang: I would build a giant Lego person

6. Did you have a dream last night?

Crash: I had this one crazy dream that me, my friends had Pokemon and they weren’t just cards, they were real Pokemon. We battled for a long time and it boys vs. girls and one of the girl’s Pokemon scratched me and I used Sing and her Pokemon fell asleep. And this is craziest part… My teacher and brother show up to make another team! My team won, though.
Bang: Nope, I stayed awake all night. I just laid there with my eyes open like I do every single night.

7. What 2 animals would be funny to combine?

Crash: Dinosaur and a pig
Bang: A moose and an elephant and it’s called a mooselephant

8. What is your favorite word?

Crash: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Bang: I like to say dab


9. What is love?

Crash: It’s family and stuff, like girlfriends and boyfriends and husbands and wives
Bang: I love mom because I fell in love with her but I don’t know what it means to fall in love

10. What’s your favorite game to play in gym class?

Crash: Soccerbaseball
Bang: Hockey and soccer baseball (aka kickball)


Go Ask Your Father: Battery Life, Erosion, Frostbite, and Lotion on Dogs

Has anyone had a Fitbit challenge with a friend where the winner is the one with fewest steps? Lounging on the couch all morning watching the Olympics I had just 744 steps by lunchtime. I would have had less had I not had to make breakfast for and play games with Bang. Now that I’ve put some laundry away and put some in the wash, I’m up to 2,789. That’s okay, though. I had 16,000 yesterday. I’ll be teaching gym all next week so I should have no trouble making up for this one slack day. We all deserve a slack day now then, right? I’ll justify my slackness by telling everyone I deserve it. I think there is a lot I deserve, but I’ll set for a slack day.

Why do batteries die in the cold?

It sucks to be a battery. They’re either working or they’re dead. There’s more to life than just working all the time. We need to play. Sometimes we need batteries to play the things we want to play. They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. I just learned that there is actually a thing as AAAA batteries. There are also button batteries, lithium-ion batteries. There are 9 volt and 6 volt and car batteries. There’s even that battery Elon Musk had built in South Australia that can power 30,000 homes for an hour. I can’t even imagine how many A’s come after that one. Anyway, I had my GoPro out doing a timelapse in -10C. The battery was fully charged when I left home, but soon after recording started it started telling me the battery was low. Soon after that it died. This happens because when battery terminals are connect there is a chemical reaction that gets the electrons flowing (science 101: electricity is the flow of electrons). Cold temperatures cause the chemical reactions to happen more slowly. The battery will then run down until it can’t keep up with the demand and it dies a slow, quiet death. When you warm it back up it will resume working normally.

What is erosion?

It’s what the kids do to my nerves every day. They erode them until there’s a landslide and I start motivationally speaking to the selective listener. Erosion is the slow, wearing away of a landform. Water has been eroding land and rock since it got it. Rivers wear away at its banks. You may be familiar with a meandering river. When a river cuts into its bank, the water nearest the bank moves faster and thereby takes more material with it. The bend in the river gets bigger and bigger until the water is able break through and meet itself on the opposite side. The grand canyon was the ultimate meanderer. Rain has been eroding more than farmers patience for millennia. Glaciers of millions of years ago (about the time my parents were in college) eroded lands across the world. Wind has eroded sand dunes and buttes. I like big buttes, I can not lie.

What do you do if you get frostbite?

The boys go out in the Canadian winter and 10 minutes later they’re complaining of frostbite. Dudes, toughen up, walk it off, then go play some more! Kids these days aren’t as tough as we were. Just like I’m not as tough as my parents were. They had to walk to school in 3 feet of snow, up hill both ways! Seriously, though, should you find yourself a survivor of a plane crash high in the Alps and feel the effects of frostbite set in, here are a few tips. Protect the area from further damage. Tuck your frostbitten area into your armpits. Good luck doing that if it’s your feet. DO NOT rub the frostbitten area or put snow on it. When you finally get out of the cold, immediately remove wet clothes. Gently warm the frostbite spot. The key word being gently. Don’t hold it up to a fire, heat lamp or heat pads. These can cause burns. Instead use warm water (not hot). If there’s any chance that the effected area will freeze again, DON’T THAW IT! When you get rescued, get your ass to doctor. You’ll probably need some pain medicine. If you had to eat a friend to survive, go see a therapist.

Do dogs need lotion?

DW laughed and laughed when Bang asked this one. He had been acting like a puppy while she slathered him with post bath Johnson & Johnson. Long story short, yes, dogs could get lotion. They can get dry skin, too. They can also get poison ivy and get Calamine lotion to relieve the itch. However, if the dry skin isn’t bothering the pooch, it shouldn’t bother you, either. If dry skin is bothering your 6 year old son pretending to be a puppy, put lotion on him.

Questions I Asked My Kids

Episode 62. 620 questions. That’s how many questions I answered before breakfast. They ask more questions than Numeris (they’re that survey group). This is my chance to exact a bit of revenge. It’s only 10 questions, though. The difference is, my questions don’t have wrong answers. Theirs do. Imagine all the ways to answer, “Why is windy?”

Feel free to borrow these questions to ask your own kids or spouse or parents or neighbor or next random person who passes you in Wal-Mart. Remember to tag me in it so I can read and share!

So without further ado, my questions…

1. How would you describe a perfect day for you?

Crash: Sitting down playing Roblox with my friends and then we all have a soda, chat and talk and have fun on Roblox
Bang: Electronics all day playing Geometry Dash. Also, I’d live by myself.

2. If you could change anything in the world, what would you change?

Crash: Most important probably would be that no one gets angry, hungry, have to be homeless, and everyone had lots of money
Bang: It would be summer all the time so I could go biking.

3. What is your biggest dream?

Crash: To collect every Pokemon card there is.
Bang: To be a dragon so I can destroy my bother!

4. Where is your favorite place to be?

Crash: Home
Bang: England because they speak “British” (he’s never been to England)

5. What makes you happy?

Crash: Pokemon and video games
Bang: When I get to play Geometry Dash

6. If you become a superhero what would you name yourself and what’s your power?

Crash: Wonder Woman! (NO! JUST KIDDING!) I’d call myself Bald Eagle and I’d could every eagle on Earth and they would help us fight
Bang: Captain C and I could butt kick and fly and super boost.

7. If your stuffie could talk, what would they say?

Crash: Monkey would say “Can we snuggle”. “I peed in your bed last night.” “Keep me away from your little brother because he likes to throw me around.”
Bang: Penguin would say “Hello. My name is Penguin. I’m the cutest stuffie ever.”

8. What is something that made you laugh today?

Crash: Me and my friend were buddy reading and my friend kept making ridiculous faces.
Bang: When you cooked my toes with the green beans in the frying pan!

9. What do you think you’ll dream about tonight?

Crash: Magic flying unicorns that poop on faces. That or I’ll dream about playing video games.
Bang: I’ll dream about nothing or I’ll just stay awake all night until morning.

10. What are some great things about nature?

Crash: It can be really cool, like the noise of water running over rocks
Bang: Robins are great because they’re birds and they’re peaceful. Waterfall noises, too.

There, now I’m going to go climb some walls.

Becoming Dad

I always knew I was going to be a dad some day. I don’t know when exactly I determined that, though. It probably wasn’t until my university days that I entertained that thought. Before that I was just a free spirit. A happy wanderer. A lone wolf looking for a pack.

Because of the parents I had, I thought I knew what kind of dad I would be. I would be the dad who played, the dad who disciplined, the dad who got shit done. It probably wouldn’t get done in a timely manner, mind you, but it would get done.

I was going to parent like my parents did. I would allow my kids to think they were acting on their own when in reality I would be watching from a distance. I wasn’t going to be a helicopter or snow plow, or tiger mom dad. I wasn’t going to be free-range, mind you, but somewhere in the middle. I was going to be involved, too. I wanted to be there to watch them succeed, fail, or just plain try.

I was glad I was a teacher before I became a dad. I learned to discipline other people’s kids before I had to discipline my own. Not that it mattered because discipline comes in as many flavors as there are kids. There is much debate between which consequences work best. Seriously, there is no one size fits all. But that’s for another post, entirely.

Of all the things I was going to be as a dad, the one I nailed is being involved. Not in a helicopter way. I’m just there. When they’re getting ready for school in the morning or ready for bed in the evening I’m there prodding them along. When they’re playing a sport, I’m there to watch. When they have a school performance, I’m there to see them. When there are parent/teacher nights, I go. DW is with me all the way. Or I’m with her all way.

We’re in this gig called parenting together.

However, when I imagined myself being a dad before I was dad, back when I was a clueless twenty something, I didn’t imagine myself being quite as involved as I actually am today. My kids would love school because their parents are teachers. My kids would love helping out around the house because we would include them in such chores from an early age. My kids would be polite, respectful, hard working, smart, and a plethora of spectacular superlatives. Whenever I imagined what my kids would be like, I think God giggled a little bit.

I didn’t imagine I’d have a kid having ADD and needing constant supervision because he’d be a task avoider. He knows what he needs to do, he just doesn’t do it. I didn’t imagine my kid throwing a temper tantrum the size of a Philadelphia Superbowl riot. How dare I make a pancake without chocolate chips? We never imagine that stuff before we become parents. They don’t teach you that stuff in school. They don’t write about that stuff in books, or at least not in the books I read.

What To Expect When You Don’t Expect Your Kid To Be Different From What You Expect.

I learned to be a dad from my Dad. I learned to be a parent from my parents. They set a pretty good example, too. They had awesome kids though, so they had it “easy”. I wish I had it as easy as my parents did. Perhaps I do because I really don’t know their struggles as parents back then because I was just a kid. You can’t imagine #ParentingStruggles when you are a Terrible Two or a Threenager or even a Teenager, for that matter.

The Fresh Prince knew what he was saying when he said “Parents just don’t understand”. Well, neither do kids.

So, to my parents, I want to say thank you for teaching me to parent by example. To my kids, thank you for testing my parenting ability. One day, you two will understand why your mother and I do what we do.


Lucy At Home

Go Ask Your Father: Iron, Hemoglobin, Quarks, and Far Out Man

Happy Ground Hog Day! Our groundhog saw his shadow so it’s 6 more weeks of winter for us.

I love the snow. I love the cold. For now, anyway. When winter is over I’ll be done with it, but for now, I’m enjoying it. However, Mother Nature is playing roulette with the weather. Tuesday we had 6 inches of snow that cancelled school. Wednesday we had a half inch of ice that cancelled school. Today it’s raining and 4 C. Tonight the temperature will drop to -15. Sunday it goes back up to 3. Maybe she’s not playing roulette. Maybe she’s on a trampoline. Up. Down. Up. Down….

Bang was read a book about rockets and he came to the word sub-orbital. He sounded it out perfectly. Sub. Orbital. However, when he put it all together it because suh borbital. No matter how much I tried to correct him, he just couldn’t get it right. We ended up in fits of laughter and I gave up the battle.

1. Why is your hemoglobin low?

I went to give blood back in January. It’s something I love doing it because provides me a chance to save someone’s life and it costs my nothing but little prick in my arm. Plus, I get juice and cookies afterwards, too. My university had blood drives twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall and I would give both times. Here, there is a drive 5 times a year and I try to give 4 of those times. The boys have been coming with me for a year now. Of course, they both fear needles like normal people fear falling out of airplanes, but they come for the cookies. Bang loves to watch them put the needle in and is full of questions for the nurses. However, this time, when they tested my hemoglobin, it was too low. For the first time ever, I was unable to give blood. My only guess as to why it was low is because I gave blood three times last year, two of which were in August and November. Having done that and being over 40 (aka not as young as I used to be) my iron hadn’t had time to replenish. Though, Google tells me it could be dehydration, lead poisoning, or kidney failure. Tip: don’t use Google to diagnose your body.

2. Why do we have iron in our blood?

It would take the iron from 450 people to make a sword. In our bodies, only 1 part in 10,000 is iron. Iron is a major component of hemoglobin. If my hemoglobin count is low, so is my iron. Hemoglobin and iron are important component in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. It also maintains healthy cells, skin, hair (just not my hair), and nails. Males have about 4 grams of iron while females have 3.5 grams. So never mind the gym, your blood is pumping iron 24/7.

3. What’s a quark?

It’s what a subatomic duck says! If you get it, welcome to nerd club. The name was chosen in 1964 from the novel “Finnigan’s Wake”.

Three quarks for Muster Mark.

If you think atoms are the smallest things on Earth, you’re wrong. Atoms’ nuclei are consist of protons and neutrons. Those protons and neutrons are made of quarks. There are 6 kinds of quarks (and antiquarks): up, down, top, bottom, strange, and charm. Particles made of quarks are called hadrons. You may have heard that really big hadron smasher aptly named The Large Hadron Collider. It is the facility that is large (26.7 km circumference) and not the hadrons (about the size of a certain president’s common sense). Fun fact: When two quarks are pulled apart, their bond gets stronger until they are separated. Once separated they form two sets of quarks. I could go into more detail and explain their baryon and lepton numbers but I’d just be copying and pasting because the rest of it is so far over my head it’s suh borbital.

4. What’s the farthest people have been from Earth?

I, myself, have a tendency to drift away from Earth from time to time often enough. Lalaland is most definitely not a place on Earth. DW radios me back in; “Hello, Earth to Eric”. However, some people seem to be so far Earth they can’t return. Those people withstanding, the farthest humans have been from Earth were in orbit around the moon. That put them 248,655 miles away. This was accomplished by the Apollo 13 crew; Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert while passing over the far side of the moon 158 miles from the lunar surface. However, the farthest spacecraft from Earth is 119 times farther. Launched September 5, 1977 Voyager 1 is now 13,158,907,100 miles away. It was officially outside our solar system an in interstellar space in 2013. To see the 115 images and hear the music, sounds, and greetings on it’s Golden Disk, visit this NASA site.


Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep61

January was a slow month. It only had 9 posts. February will be different. I’ll kick it into high gear. Or at least a couple gears higher. Preferably not reverse or neutral. But I’ll save those stats for Monday’s State of Blog Address.

As for tonight, I’m going to enjoy the silence that is as sweet as the birthday cake flavored ice cream I’m eating. The kids are finally in bed. Putting them to bed is akin to wrestling gators. The gators don’t like it and by the time you’re done you’re both lucky to have survived.

But for now, here are a few laughs…

1. How old is the Earth?

1200px-nasa_blue_marbleCrash: Over a million years old, that’s for sure. Probably over 10 million years old.
Bang: 6 million 10 hundred years old


2. What’s the worst thing about being sick?

Crash: That I have to have a box of tissues by my side as a friend
Bang: Barfing a lot and it doesn’t feel good on your throat

3. What’s the best thing about being sick?

Crash: That Dad lets you go on his computer for 3 or 4 hours.
Bang: You get to stay home and not go to school

4. What should we do this weekend?

Crash: Go to Belize like a girl in my class
Bang: Get pieces of metal and wood and dig in the basement to make a Beyblade Burst arena

5. What two animals would you like to combine together?

Crash: An elephant and a pig
Bang: A cat and a sheep

6. What was your favorite part of the book “Wonder”?

Crash: When he was going to dress up as Boba Fett or when went on the field trip.
Bang: When Amos knocked over Eddie because Eddie was being mean to Auggie

7. What would you do with a million dollars?

Crash: Take a trip on a Disney Cruise
Bang: I’d buy a lot of puppies and a lot of cats

8. How many M&M’s can you fit in your mouth at one time?

Crash: Lots.
Bang: Probably 2 million 3 hundred but I wouldn’t because I want them to last

9. How do you know you’ve met the one you want to marry?

Crash: When the he likes the she and the she likes the he
Bang: Because they’re pretty and she thinks you’re pretty and your boyfriend and girlfriend


10.What does it mean to be married?

Crash: To start a family
Bang: When you kiss and stay together forever


Or you find a Coke that says so…

Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep Four Million

I’ve been reading the book Wonder to the boys. We’re about 90% of the way through it. As soon as I remember I’m going to have them draw a picture of what they think Auggie looks like. Tonight I asked them what they have learned while reading it. I was truly afraid one of them would answer about the farting nurse that made a brief appearance way back in the third chapter. I was pleasantly surprised to hear their answers and hope it sticks with them for a long time.

1. What was your favorite thing about Christmas Break?

Crash: Nana and Pop Pop coming over. It was their first Christmas in Cape Breton
Bang: Seeing Nana and Pop Pop

2. What was your favorite Christmas present?

Crash: My ukelele and camera (so I can make videos for my YouTube channel)
Bang: My Hatchimal and Nana and Pop Pop

3. Is there something you were hoping to get for Christmas but didn’t?

Crash: Two things acutally. A Lego Minecraft set and Cappy.
Bang: I got everything!

4. Is there something we didn’t do that you wish would could have done?

Crash: Eat more cinnamon rolls
Bang: Play another game of Life because Nana only played one game

5. What is one thing you learned today?

Crash: That I like Dad’s cheesy chicken cauliflower casserole!
Bang: The song “King of Spain” by Moxi Fruvis

6. What is something you want to learn?

Crash: How to play the ukelele
Bang: Actual algebra and times tables

7. Why do people have different skin colors?

Crash: It’s just the way they were born
Bang: Because they live in different places

8. What’s the best thing to tell Alexa (Amazon Echo)?

Crash: To play Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran
Bang: Make a fart noise

9. What does Mom want for her birthday?

Crash: Guppie
Bang: Lipstick

10. What have you learned from reading “Wonder”?

Crash: That everyone is special in their own way
Bang: About sticking up for my friends like when Amos bulled over Eddie


Go Ask Your Father: Purples, Depths, A Weight, and TVs

You don’t need a calendar to know that Christmas is approaching. There are Christmas decorations and Christmas baking. There are Christmas concerts, Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, Christmas songs, Christmas sweaters and Christmas socks. There are also kids (and dads) around the world bouncing off the walls, quite literally, with excitement. There are also Christmas questions…

1. Why is everything purple?

Once upon a time purple was Bang favorite color. He had purple shorts and purple shoes. He loved to color with the purple crayon. We could have named him Harold (bonus points if you know Harold and his purple crayon). The answer to everything being purple isn’t because of a crayon, though. Thank God. Purple is color of everything churchy these days. It is the color of advent (and lent). In the Catholic church purple is the sign of penance, sacrifice and preparation. Purple is also the color of royalty and wealth as it was once very expensive to produce. In the story of Jesus a purple cloak was draped over his bleeding shoulders to mock him as a king.

2. How do ships know how deep the water is?

Did you hear about the paddle sale at the boat store? I heard it was quite an oar deal! Boats know the depth using sound waves (a lot like ocean waves except smaller, invisible and made of sound). Since we know the speed of sound through water (roughly the same speed Christmas morning will be over), we can determine how far it travelled before being bounced back. There’s a lot of science involved, but all you need to know is the material’s density, compressibility and temperature. We know all this about the ocean, so a ship’s sonar bounces sound waves off the bottom of the ocean and measures how long it took the echo to return and presto bango, you know the depth.

3. How much does the Earth weigh?

Nevermind the Earth for a minute. A butcher is 6 feet tall with blue eyes. What does he weigh? Meat. He weighs meat! Now imagine if you had a scale big enough to set the Earth on, how much would the Earth weigh? Nothing, nada, zip, zero, zilch. It’s weightless in the near vacuum of space. However, using math, science, the laws of gravity, fancy formulas and figuring the densities of the various materials we know the Earth weighs 1.31668×1025 lbs. For those of you who aren’t quite sure what that means, its 13,166,800,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds. Say it with me: 13 septillion 166 sextillion 800 quintillion pounds. It also happens to be the same weight of all the junk food I plan on eating over the next two weeks…

4. You had TV when you were a kid?

First, the backstory. The boys are into this cartoon called “Teen Titans, Go!”. Apparently it’s based on a 2003 show that is based on an ’80’s comic book. In this show, Robin, Raven, Starfire, Beastboy, and Cyborg battle numerous “bad guys”. In one of the episodes they revisited the old ’80’s Robin cartoon and children we’re witness to watch TV animation used to be. This question arose when I informed the boys that that was what my cartoons looked like when I was their age. Yes, heathen, I had TV in the 80’s. TV was actually available in crude, experimental form in the late 1920. It became widely popular after improved black and white broadcasting became available after WWII and during the 1950’s. The first televised sitcom (according to Wikipedia) was Mary Kay and Johnny in 1948. The first televised football game occurred 9 years prior in 1939 by NBC. It was a college game Waynesburg vs. Fordham and it’s estimated that it reach about a thousand television sets (scientifically that’s 1×10^3). That’s how many M&M’s I can fit in my belly. In case you were wondering, the Fordham Rams won 34-7.

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I get to hold the remote. DW says what show to put on.