Dear Jack: The Treasure Chest You Found Buried in Pensacola

4 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack: The Treasure Chest You Found Buried in Pensacola

Dear Jack,

Leading up to our recent mini road trip to Pensacola, you announced to me, “Daddy, when we go to the beach, we need to dig in the sand because maybe there is a buried treasure chest… and dinosaur bones too!”

So thanks to a quick trip to Dollar Tree and Party Central, I was able to obtain the treasure chest (a lunch box), plastic coins and jewelry, and some dinosaur bone puzzles; all for less than 10 bucks.

Mommy packed them up in our beach bag, and from there I loaded them up on the back of the 2015 Toyota Sienna we drove for the trip.

https://familyfriendlydaddyblog.com/2015/05/07/dear-jack-our-homemade-jack-man-commercial-for-the-toyota-sienna/

When we arrived at Casino Beach during one of our trips there, you and Mommy immediately began playing in the sand. I snuck over, just about 50 feet away from you, and dug 2 holes: one for the treasure chest and one for the dinosaur bones.

Right as I finished, you ran over to me in excitement. I explained to you that I thought I had just found a good place where someone might have buried some treasure.

Of course, from there, the magic began…

Here’s my video I made, capturing the whole event:

You were mesmerized by your finding for the rest of the weekend; proudly wearing your jewelry in the van and during lunch at the restaurant.

I could actually see this becoming a new tradition for us each time we go to the beach. I’m even imagining you getting old enough to figure out that it’s really just me hiding the treasures but where I would simply hide gifts that you want anyway.

https://familyfriendlydaddyblog.com/2015/05/07/dear-jack-our-homemade-jack-man-commercial-for-the-toyota-sienna/

And it’s all because in your own 4 and a half year-old creativity, your faith led you to believe that there truly would be hidden treasure there at the beach with Mommy and me.

Yes, the hidden treasure is definitely there if you’re looking for it.

Love,

Daddy

https://familyfriendlydaddyblog.com/2015/05/07/dear-jack-our-homemade-jack-man-commercial-for-the-toyota-sienna/

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Metaphors in Super Mario Bros. that Taught Us about Real Life

How many lives do you have left before it’s “game over”?

Something that Super Mario Bros. taught us first, more so than any other video game, was the concept of having “lives”.  If you fell in a hole (which means you instantly died; no chance that the hole wasn’t really that deep or that you could have grabbed on to a branch while falling), you lost a life.  If you touched an enemy, you lost a life (which is completely irrational; I wonder what would happen if Mario touched a “frenemy”?…). If you ran out of time, you lost a life (okay, I admit, that concept is somewhat lifelike).

However, if you accomplished certain goals to better yourself, like ate a healthy mushroom(this promoted organic a lifestyle), saved 100 coins (which causes the game to most likely be endorsed by Dave Ramsey), kicked a turtle shell that slid into 10 enemies (illogical and scientifically impossible on so many levels), or jumped to the top of a flagpole (because that’s normal in real life), you actually would get a “1 Up”, which means that you gained an extra life.

But the whole point of this game, despite collecting gold coins (which instantly disappeared when you touched them- could that be a metaphor symbolizing how money is meaningless?) and muddling through everyday distractions (like busting bricks with your fist because you thought there was a steel box with an “invincibility star” inside- choose your own metaphor for life on that one…) was to save the princess from the evil mutant dragon named Koopa.

If you could run under the dragon in the final castle when he jumped up while breathing fire and hammers at you, you instantly touched an axe that caused the bridge to collapse, therefore sending the dragon into the fiery lava pit (poor architectural planning, if you ask me…). In the next room, the famous princess was waiting to be saved from captivity.  In other words, despite being responsible by saving money, despite gaining power, despite becoming a hero to anyone, it’s all really about helping other people.

Cool Retro Sunday School Bonus!

And for those from a Protestant background, the Mushroom Kingdom represents the Heavenly Kingdom, the dragon symbolizes Satan who will be hurled into the lake of fire in the end, and saving the princess symbolizes sharing Christ’s message of salvation and loving others as ourselves, which is the summary of Ephesians 2:8-10, and in my opinion, the meaning of life and the whole point of Christianity.

Super Mario Bros. from a Logical Perspective, Finally

There are moments in the pop culture highlights of our lives where we are so consumed by awesomeness and groundbreaking concepts that we never even think, “Man, that’s pretty weird now that I think about it…”

It’s been a long time coming, but after 25 years since its introduction to America, (1983 in Japan, 1985 in the US) I need to set aside some time to question the life-changing vice called Super Mario Bros. The first issue that I’ve been thinking about is Mario’s ability to jump.

Have you have really thought about how high he can jump? I would say he probably jumps the distance of about six of himself high. Mario looks like he’s about 5’ 8 (I would say Luigi is more like 6’ 1). Since I’m bad at math I’ll just do some rounding.

Mario can jump about 36 feet high. He can be standing still and just jump 3 stories high. And he never hurts his ankles or knees. 

 That is not normal!

And in case you haven’t noticed, every game is this way in the world of video games (unless the character doesn’t jump at all like in the original Legend of Zelda).

What does Mario do with all those coins? They are about the same size as him. Imagine seeing a coin the same size as you and putting it in your pocket. Then collecting 50 more of them within the next 20 seconds. That’s gottta be heavy!

And what’s so bad about touching an enemy? If you touch a wild creature in the woods, let’s say a mountain lion for example, do you instantly die? No, the mountain lion would have to at least bite you or something. But in Mario’s world, you die if you touch any other living creature. Unless it’s a mushroom or fire flower. And in that case, what is he doing with them? Eating them? Again, how do you eat a five foot tall mushroom instantly?

And what’s up with all the holes in the road? What’s at the bottom of those holes? I mean, I would think that at least some of the time when Mario falls down a hole, he could grab on to a branch or something and not lose his life. But there really shouldn’t be that many holes in the first place.

Lastly, why can Mario hit his head on all those bricks and never get a concussion?  Or if he’s using his first to break the bricks, why is Mario’s fist not a bloody pulp pretty much immediately? 

Nevermind the fact the bricks are floating in the air. I’m willing to get past that. Mario isn’t even wearing a helmet when he busts the bricks with his head or gloves on his hands if he’s punching them!

We have overlooked so much ridiculousness because this game forever changed our lives for the better and for the weirder.  Without this American staple of growing up in the 1980’s, I imagine a world where people in their late 20’s and early 30’s would be more boring and less weird.