Things my dad taught me

  • 2 to the 8th power is 256.
  • Race car engines are on their sides, and that happened in 1953. Or 1954.
  • Engineers are very creative, and may well be chaos muppets disguised as order muppets.
  • Don’t speed up when cars are trying to pass you on the highway.
  • Don’t worry about what other people are doing – do what you think is right.
  • The joke “There’s no such thing as gravity, the earth just sucks,” which got me in trouble in 9th grade – something that pleases my dad immensely.
  • Have fun. Let your hair down. Put things back where they belong first, though.
  • Measure twice, cut onc…actually let’s measure just one more time.
  • If you forget to measure a couple of times and end up with the wrong size/shape/length piece, that’s going to be just the piece you need on a different project that you haven’t started yet.
  • A project you haven’t started yet, you say? No sense wasting time – get in the car we’re going to Home Depot.
  • Ice cream is a real treat.
  • Your mother’s out of town so we’re getting pizza for dinner.
  • Be fair and speak up even when it’s scary.
  • Don’t let this be the last great thing you do.
  • About that new project; I was up late last night thinking about it and I’ve sketched out a few ideas. Let’s go in the basement and I’ll fire up the router/band saw/drill press.
  • Some of the best times are to be had when you’re young and broke and just starting out.
  • Money isn’t everything. Make sure you have enough to take care of your needs and don’t be stingy when it’s time to give back.
  • Sometimes you forget to get your spouse a birthday card until 12:35 am on the day of her birthday. But luckily you have teenage children who will go to get you one while you shuffle back to bed. It is understood that you will be the one to confess to this at a time of your choosing.
  • Northern California apparently had an embarrassment of oppositionally defiant hills that would cause you to be continually moving ever upward, regardless of whether you were on your way to or returning from school.
  • Northern California also had a stunning paucity of milk-carrying containers and more snow than you can shake a stick at, regardless of the time of year.
  • Boy sheep, in particular one named Peter who was “owned” by dad, get their contestants cut off in the barn.
  • Girl sheep, like Rosie and Snowball, can be caught by making a sly noose and laying it on the ground just inside the fence, then poking a flower through the fence and yanking the noose when the aforementioned sheep come to nibble the flower. Now you can pet your sheep.
  • There’s never “nothing on” when there’s a Mecum auto auction on.
  • You only get once chance at life, so don’t be afraid to follow your heart. It’s ok to take risks – not all of them will work out, but at least you tried.
  • Don’t reserve your friendship for just “important” people. You never know what you’ll learn from someone unexpected.
  • Value family.
  • But if your sister spits on you, trying to throw her out of the boat when she can’t swim isn’t going to work.
  • Find out where you came from. Every family has a genealogist, and dad is ours.
  • Retirement is totally bitchin.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

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