Celsius V. Fahrenheit. Tha Final Smack Down.

I’m going to go political here. And I will catch hell for it.

I am a firm believer in the Fahrenheit scale. When it comes to daily atmospheric temperatures, it is far superior to the Celsius scale.

Now, why would I go crazy anti-science-y all of a sudden? Yes, Celsius is the perfect scale to measure science-ish stuff: Water freezes at 0 and boils at 100.  Life on earth requires water.  So, yeah,  Celsius.  Water.  Naturally.

But, we live in a post-science era, where it doesn’t matter what a fact is if it doesn’t “feel” like a fact.  This what my politicians are telling me.

And, that is why I love the Fahrenheit scale. Because, it Feels right. And when I say “feel,” I don’t mean in some abstract emotional sense. But how a temperature “feels” on my skin.

For most people, the range of 0 to 100 is the range they will mostly exist in. (Your last Geometry test, for example.) When it comes to temperature, there is nothing more secure in the (emotional) feeling that there is a low-point (0˚) and a high point (100˚). Anything beyond those parameters yields a warning from your favorite weathercaster. (Extreme Heat Advisory).

Talk to me about water boiling at 100˚. Ok. How many people have ever suffered through a 100˚ Celsius heat wave and lived to tell the tale? Human experience has a limit of 100. Anything more (other than a few degrees) becomes theoretical. Burn your finger on the stove? How hot? I dunno, Hot. Licked some dry ice? How cold? I dunno. Cold.

So, the beauty of Fahrenheit is that it expresses a range of the coldest a human is likely to experience and the highest they will experience. Outliers exist for sure (International Falls, Minnesota. Death Valley, California). But, when you go beyond the 0˚ and the 100˚ you know that you are experiencing something extraordinary, something regular folk don’t experience.

For all my Celsius fans, tell me how excited you get when it’s 38˚C or it’s -6˚C with a high of -2˚C. People spend months of their lives hoping the temperature will get above 0˚. They live in the negatives.

I believe in being positive. I will always be positive. I am an American, for crying out loud. So, foreigners, your “0” is not zero. And, 100 is the top of the scale. Nothing better than 100.

And, I will give America 100º when I am elected President.

Make America Fahrenheit Again.

(Voice in my head: Ummm… We always were Fahrenheit…

Me: Shut up.)

Leonardo Da Vinci-oh

Isabella (she’s 9) is interested in the Mona Lisa.  She goes to an Arts school.  Hippie.

It just so happens, I bought the Leonardo Da Vinci sketch books like, 100 years ago.

Isabella is confused.

Iz:  Which turtle is he?  Turtles can’t draw.

Me:  Different Turtle.

Iz: Is he on TV?

Me: Different Leonardo.

Iz (to her 11 year old sister):  Julianna! Julianna!!  See!  I told you Leonardo wasn’t just a turtle.

J:  He wasn’t?

Iz: He’s also an actor.  On the TV!  The Titanic!

Doing the Dishes

When did “doing the dishes” become a euphemism? Because, I was texting with a friend when my wife asked me if I could hurry up and do the dishes.

I relayed this to my friend: Wife wants me to do dishes.

And, my friend was all: Oh, I see. Tuesday night. Dishes need doing.

I was like: Yeah, 4 people. Dirty dishes.

And he was: Your wife asked for that? I see. LOL.  Winky emoji.

How old am I? I know that Debbie Did Dallas. Did she also Do Dishes?


Oh, my word. She did.

Back to the Future Past

When you turn 50, you’re supposed to visit the doctor.


Yeah, I don’t want that.

Doctor:  Let’s just make sure everything is Ok.  And, while we’re at it…

Me:  I already don’t like where this conversation is going, and now you want to add a parenthetical clause?

Doc:  Let’s talk about your diet.  Exercise. Life style.  Sleep.  Blood pressure.  We want to add years to your life.

Me:  Yes, Doctor.  But, you are adding years to the end of my life.  If you want to add years, give me a couple more 1984s.  Because, I totally would have asked that cute redhead cheerleader to the prom.

“Sick” day

Julianna (she’s 11) is “sick” today.  She has a headache.  She didn’t sleep well.  Her tummy hurts.

It’s all bullshit, of course.  She just wants to ditch.  School ends soon, and she’s finished with the State Tests.

(It will help if you read this part in a Downton Abby accent.)

Me:  Ok, Darling, You are sick?  You can stay home.   No computah and no TV though.  We don’t want to tax your mind.

J: Wait, you didn’t say that before.  About the tax.

Me:  Yes, Honey, No school.  Sorry, no fun.

J: But, but… Fatha.  My Minecrahft.

So, she reads a while from something called a boohk, then draws pictahs in her notebook ’til ’round noon.

She has broth, and I let her watch Scooby Doo.

And, then.

Me:  So, you were faking it.  Being sick.  Right? Charlatan!

J: No (smiling)  Never, Fatha. I would nevah.

Me: Kidding, Child… I did the same thing when I was your age.  Fakin’ it.  Like those Meddlin’ Kids in Scooby Doo? Laughs galore.

J:  Really?  You faked being sick?  Diseased.  With Scarlet Fever?  Or Consumption?

Me:  Honey… Do you really want to end up like me?  Without schooling?  And, no Futah?

J: Absolutely not, Daddy…  Nevah.  Not like you!  Evah!

Me: Then, tomorrow. School.  Yes?

J:  Of couse.  When does the schooner to school arrive?

Just like real life.

Me:  There is no schooner.  You put you God Damned shoes on and get in the car.

And, that’s how I got Julianna back to school.

Isabella will be a whole ‘nother issue.

Thank you…  The DDFT Players!

Tips welcome!  (just not wise ass ones.)


Bye Bye, Miss America. Pie?

If you are following this blog (doubtful, but I remain hopeful), this week marked my 50th birthday. There’s a hilarious post about it, but I can’t remember where I put it.  They tell me to click the “Back” button.

A long, long time ago…

The day the music died.  Is this metaphorical…?  On the 134 Highway.  Heading East.  In traffic? Hahaha.   Hang on…

And, I can remember how that music used to make me smile.

I am now a firmly middle-aged father. In a Prius.  In the parking lot.  Picking up a 3rd grader. At 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon.  With the milk and eggs in the back.   And, quite probably a case of maybe some wine.  I can practically hear the guitar strumming.  Pling.

Read nothing into that, hipsters, because that is not my point.

I know the tune.  The melody.  The whole song.

The next time you hear American Pie, listen to the bass the line.  It is an absolute clinic in bass playing by Rob Stoner (neé Bob Rothstein, but Rob Stoner is the Best name of all early ’70s musicians.  Maybe ever).  By the 11th or 12th verse, he totally doesn’t care what the root of the chord is, he is writing a magically musical line of his own.  It is brilliant.

Pianist Paul Griffin usually gets credit for giving American Pie its soul.  And, he deserves the accolade.  And, of course, the writer, Don McLean.

But, Rob Stoner drives that puppy home.  Absolutely.

And then I read the news.  My dear friend Ray Colcord died just a few months ago.  He played on this album.  I didn’t know he had done that until I started googling this post.  In February, and it made me shiver. He had played on that Album.   And then my eyes became a faucet…  The day the music…  you know…


I’m 50!

Remarks by
Darren Otero
on the Occasion
of the
50th Anniversary of His Birth
1 June 2016

Pretentious enough?  That’s how I roll.

When I started thinking about my 50th birthday, the first thing I thought of was: Maude. Not the actual actress Bea Arthur.  But, the early 1970s TV show.


I grew up in a household of All in the Family and whatever Norman Lear had next. In 1973, the next thing was Maude.  Florida the Maid transformed to Good Times.  Because: JJ Walker was (Dy-no-mite)

But, I digress.

Who here remembers Maude, not as history, but as an actual telecast?

Crickets.  (Hang on for the ’70s T&A.  Keep scrolling.)

Like I said, we were an “All in the Family” family. And, then whatever came next. In this case, it was either Maude or Baptist Time or Jesus Jesus Jesus. We had three channels in Richmond, Virginia. We chose the Communist Broadcasting System’s (CBS) Maude. We were Revolutionaries. By default. I was 7.

There was an episode in 1973, which I absolutely remember to this day. Maude’s husband Walter (Bill Macy) turned 50. And, this was a Big Deal; the centerpiece of the episode. He hated everything about the milestone. Because he was old. 50.  He was passed by. He was a dinosaur. He was half-a-century old.  His friends were dropping dead.  Maude wore a Mumu.  Because, of course she did.

Laughs were milked in that ’70s live-audience way.

But I mostly remember Walter’s step-daughter Adrienne Barbeau. Because, even a 7-year-old boy would remember her…


Adrienne Barbeau.  You see what I'm sayin'.

Adrienne Barbeau. You see what I’m sayin’.

But, I also remember this specific episode. From 1973.

Walter felt the weight of being half-century old.  Because, he actually was a half-century old.  With the dust and the cobwebs and the aches and the pains.  And the younger people who didn’t make it that far.

Half of a Century.

When you are seven, a half-century is forever. And Adrienne Barbeau had big boobs. These are the things I remember from 1973.  And, they left indelible impressions. (There’s a joke there.  With the boobs…  but I’m keeping it classy.)

So, now I am at the half-century mark.

And, I realize that I won’t be getting a career-retrospective or a lifetime achievement award or a monument or a bridge or a park named in my honor.  I won’t be invited to give a commencement address or asked to write a memoir.  A scholarship won’t be offered in my name, and I won’t shake the President’s hand.  Or, go to Mars.  Or be the center square like Paul Lynde.  (Am I giving away my age?  Ha!)

No, my honor is that today, you have joined in my celebration, half a century in the making.

Hold my hand.  Even if metaphorically.  Give a squeeze if you are inclined.

And, with my incredibly smart, musical, and beautiful wife (also a couple of daughters ,,,  you read the blog, yes?), I get through life,

(And, just so you know. Maude’s husband Walter, Bill Macy, was born in 1922. 13 days ago, he celebrated his 94th birthday.)  So, GO TO HELL Adrienne BarbeauHalf a century ain’t nothin’.

I'm 50!  (Though technically, Molly Shannon is a couple years older than me...)

I’m 50! (Though technically, Molly Shannon is a couple years older than me…)


Stump the Band

The other day, I was talking with some 20-somethings (because they, unlike my pre-teen daughters, see me as something of an authority figure), and they asked me a question to which I didn’t know the answer. So, I said, “You’ve stumped the band.”

And, they were like crickets chirping in the night.

Me: Come on. Stump the Band. You know that, right?

Them: Chirp.

Me: You know Johnny Carson, yes?

Them: Chirp. Chirp… Also, Chirp.

Me: Heeere’s Johnny!


Me: Jimmy Fallon?

Them: Yes. Obviously.

Me: Before him, Jay Leno.

Them: Sorta, kinda…

Me: Before him, the King of Late Night: Johnny Carson. For, like 30 years. 11:30 every night. He had a bit where audience members would sing crazy songs and the band would try to play along…

Them: Wait. You said Late Night. Does that mean at night, night? Or, after the sun comes up night?

The Times are a-changing.

Science Channel Junk

The Science Channel is one of my go-to channels. HGTV, Food Network, MSNBC. But, if there’s something cool on, it’s the Science Channel. Mythbusters. Mike Rowe and the Stars.


I’ve gotta admit, I am disappointed in the Science Channel over the last year.

I know it was designed for as much wide-spread popular consumption as possible. And, they hired a new boss guy a year ago to increase traffic. I thought he would do away with the phony-science stuff. I hoped the Ancient Alien junk was gone.

Sorry. No. If I wanted to watch crap, I could find a Bigfoot or Kardashian on other channels.

But, I want Science. And, that sounds perfect for a Channel. (Guys, find a business model.)

Now we have NASA’s Unexplained Files. Maybe there was a UFO over Salt Lake. Rockets on the moon? Did an alien Text me? You’re looking a little greenish today, are you OK or a Martian?

Explain these “files” already. You’re the Damn “Science Channel.” Who else is better positioned to do this? You have the file. You have a whole research team, with college interns and all. And, you have TV friendly scientists, who may or may not be accredited. Explain these files without the ambivalence of…. “we just don’t know.” “Maybe.” “Perhaps.”

Please. Figure it out, or don’t put it on TV.

I am now watching “What on Earth.” You tell me. Is there a Nazi ice cave in Antarctica? Is there a US Stealth Bomber in China? Is there a secret Martian base in the Sahara Desert?

You’re the goddamn Science Channel. Answer the questions. Don’t leave it up to me to decide.

Because, you know… I will.. click….