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Dad Hacks Family Dinner Night Decisions With Restaurant Roulette

(Facebook/Jerry Baker)

Choosing a place to eat is rarely easier, and it just gets harder and harder with every new opinion you add to the mix. Ask any married couple or family of five how long it takes them to agree on a meal!

One dad got around all that handwringing with an ingenious hack: he took an old See ‘n Say toy and turned dinner into a gamble!

Jerry Baker typed out the names of all the potential dinner destinations, printed them out, and taped them to the old children’s toy, removing all the guesswork from the equation.

He posted his hilarious solution on Facebook. Because, as he said in his caption, “I’m tired of the ‘it doesn’t matter” Aren’t we all?

Step right up and take a spin! You never know what’s in store for tonight’s dinner.

The internet agree; Jerry’s creation went viral on Twitter and people chimed in with praise.

Of course, not everyone was convinced there weren’t some complications.

And their personal modifications.

Father Figures: Plans Change

“I can tell you this: I had no intention of being a father.

In fact, on my 30th birthday, I made a huge announcement that I was happy being single and didn’t want to get married or have kids!

Lo and behold, a month later I met a girl, fell madly in love, and was engaged in 6 months. In June of 2011, she asked me if I wanted to have a baby and I didn’t even think, I just blurted out “yes.” We weren’t even married yet!

In April 2012, we were blessed with an amazing little girl.

I never cry; I’ve never been that type of guy. But the second I held her, I cried. I was in love and had just met her! She was my ladybug. I started taking her everywhere I went. Then, 10 months later, my wife asked if I wanted another baby. I blurted out “yes” again. In November of 2013, we had a boy. I was so happy. Then something happened.

We brought him home and I got distant from him. It took months for me to feel the same way about him I did for my little girl. I didn’t know at the time, but men can get postpartum. I had that and didn’t even know.

I adore my son, he is my little tank who always wants to be with me and be like Dad. Both my kids are different in every way but I love them dearly. I wouldn’t take back the sleepless nights my wife and I shared because those memories and moments are priceless.

We all are on a different journey with our kids/family. I like to think back to my speech in 2010 and look where I am now.

Meeting one person can totally change your life for the better.”

– Albert Tartaglia

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Blind Father Finally Gets to See a Football Game

(Jamey Dougall/Live Well Nebraska)

Being a sports fan requires dedication. No team wins it all every year, no team offers nothing but happiness and excitement; there are ups and downs with every franchise, every program, every sport. Sticking with a team through all the ups and downs is what being a fan is all about.

Of course, some fans display a loyalty that goes beyond sticking out a new coach or dealing with constant heartbreak. Like Nebraska Cornhusker fan Jamey Dougall.

Dougall is a 37-year-old lifelong Husker fan who, after growing up in Omaha, currently lives in Phoenix and watches his beloved team every Saturday. While perched on a stool directly in front of the TV, his face pressed to the screen. Jamey is legally blind. He can’t see the ball but he can make out formations and follow the action well enough. He’s been to plenty of Nebraska games but relied on his dad to explain what was happening as he could only make out colors.

Until now.

Everything changed when the married father of two saw a story on Facebook about an Indianapolis Colts fan who had a pair of special glasses that let him watch games. He contacted the company who made the glasses, eSight in Toronto, and tried to keep his expectations realistic. And then he saw his wife and two daughters, 11 and 7, who began dancing around and cheering that “Daddy can see!”

“I flipped the glasses up and lost it,” Dougall said. “It was a very emotional time.”

Normally, to see a person’s face, he has to get right up in it. Not with his new glasses! “I didn’t know what a face looked like,” Dougall told Omaha.com. “There were tears. It’s incredible to be able to see cheekbones and eyelashes and eyebrows.” He was able to read a book, see an eye chart, and, most importantly, watch a football game.

(Jamey Dougall/Omaha.com)

He started a GoFundMe to raise money for the $10,000 glasses and received them in the spring. Then he quickly got himself some tickets to the Cornhuskers’ home opener against Akron, which he attended with his family. And when the University learned his story, they let him watch the tunnel walk from on the field.

“It was everything I thought Husker nation was,” Dougall said the game. “That’s something I never knew I was going to see in my life.”

Dad and Daughter Set Speed Record With Souped-up Farm Tractor [WATCH]

(WOWK 13)

Everybody has dreams. Even you. Yours might not involve a tractor, but maybe it does. We don’t judge. Certainly not after we learned of the father-daughter duo in Ohio achieved their tractor-related dream.

It all started a few years ago. Well, “two years, three months, and two weeks ago,” Dave Archer told WOWK in Marietta, Ohio, becuase that’s when he underwent his double lung transplant. While he was recovering from that procedure, he was forced to sit around and do pretty much nothing. Which is not easy for the dad of three, who have a family business fabricating pipe and steel while also running the family farm.

During his recovery, he somehow got the idea that he wanted to set the land-speed record. On a tractor. And he enlisted his youngest daughter, Kathy, who inherited her dad’s love of mechanics and grew up working on cars and farm equipment.

“He approached me about being the driver. We kinda looked at each other a little funny,” Kathy said. “I thought he was nuts.  He thought I was nuts for not saying yes.  We said, yeah let’s do it!”

The pair did their research and learned they had to break the standing record of 96 miles per hour, achieved in 2015. Then they started building. Their built-for-speed tractor meant specially made tires, additional bars in the roll cage, a flywheel shield, a fuel cell, parachute, and more. But they wouldn’t know how fast she could go until they tried, which they did in front of their house. And hit 20-30 mph.

Nowhere near the record.

But that didn’t stop them from taking the tractor to one of the East Coast Timing Academy events held at a military base in Arkansas. The pair attended, the lone tractor looking to break a record, and the gave it a go. Three goes, actually. The first was no good. The second was an improvement and Kathy wanted to keep going,.

“Don’t give up.  Don’t let up.  Just keep going and see what happens.” What happened was the third try was the record-breaker at 106 mph! And then she wanted more.

“One more time lets just do one more time.  If we don’t hit it, the 106 stands.  We’re not going to lose anything by trying one more time.”

The Archers are now the proud holders of a 108.5 mph record for speed on a tractor. And they may not be done.

“Records are made to be broken,” said Dave.

Check out the record breaking moment here:

Calm Dad Sings to Daughter While Escaping California Wildfire [WATCH]

(Facebook/Whitney Allen)

Hundreds of thousands have been affected by “Camp Fire,” the massive wildfire raging in Northern California. At the time this is written, the death toll is at 29 and the fire has been deemed the most destructive in California’s history with over 200,000 people fleeing to safety.

Joe Allen and his family were among those trying to escape the flames by leaving their hometown of Paradise, California. Driving two vehicles—Joe’s wife and eldest daughter in one and Joe and 3-year-old Olivia in the other—the family attempted to stay together on the congested roadways to safety.

“There’s so much fire here. We’re gonna get on fire,” Olivia can be heard nervously saying to her father from the backseat. Joe pans the camera around showing a long line of vehicles desperately trying to merge onto the smoke-filled highway.

“Hey, guess what? We’re not gonna catch on fire,” Joe promises his daughter, a completely justified undertone of anxiety in his voice. “We’re gonna stay away from it and we’ll be just fine, okay? We’re doing all right.”

Whitney Allen, Joe’s wife, commented on the dire situation the family faced to Fox News affiliate KTVU: “He was, of course, worried. At one point we both thought we weren’t going to make it out.”

Despite this, Joe remains calm and manages to comfort little Olivia the entire way, singing “Baby, it’ll be all right” while embers spark across the windshield and emergency vehicles speed by.

After a few tense moments, Joe finally reaches the end of the fire lane and the orange haze of the nearby inferno dissipates.

“You did it!” Olivia exclaims from the back.

“We did it together,” Joe responds over the sound of his revving engine, accelerating them to safety.

The harrowing video, which has reached over 116k views on Facebook, has resulted in hundreds of comments praising Joe for his level-headedness while still making sure his daughter felt recognized and heard.

The Allens still celebrated Olivia’s third birthday that night upon reaching safety despite not having a home to go back to.

“As our lives drastically changed today, we are reminded what is most important,” Whitney said. “Tonight, we celebrated Olivia’s birthday because even though we lost everything today and so did my family… we didn’t lose each other and that is truly what matters.”

Father Figures: Veteran’s Day

We at The Dad want to thank all veterans for their sacrifices and service. Happy Veteran’s Day.

“This last year I was on the road more than I was at home. Luckily my deployments have not been longer than three months at a time and I have usually had regular internet access. Having the ability to video chat helps, but three months is long enough that I miss major holidays. Brand new babies are now sitting up on their own, and kids who toddled around in diapers now sprint to the bathroom on their own. No amount of video chat can make up for that.

Deployments are hard for mom because she doesn’t get any nights off and is suddenly and constantly outnumbered.

The hardest thing to watch from the other side of the world though, is a two-year-old’s struggle to understand the emotions of missing a loved one. Sometimes it manifests as a solemn statement of ‘I’m sad’ or an angry ‘I don’t want to talk to Dad!’ Other times it’s things that make Grandma lose it in public places, like naming a new teddy bear ‘Daddy.’

Two days of traveling and a 12-hour time zone change doesn’t decrease the excitement of being home or diminish the feeling of a big squeezey hug and ‘Daddy, I missed you’ whispered in my ear. I will not try to explain that feeling but it is the moment I look forward to every time I leave.

I love my job, I love my country, and I love my family. I do my job and I serve my country because of my family.”

Danny Hansen

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com.

Son Brews Specialty Beer to Help His Dad and Others Battle Cancer [VIDEO]

(ABC News Denver7 / Untappd/Havanutha_Brewing)

Drinking beer is great. Drinking beer for a good cause is even better.

And that’s exactly what Ben Knutson, a brewer at Blue Moon Brewery, is encouraging people to do in Denver this month.

One year ago this month, Ben’s dad was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. A testicular tumor had spread to his stomach and was only discovered after his father began experiencing chronic back pain.

(ABC News - Denver 7)

“It happened kind of out of nowhere,” Ben told Denver 7 News.

Fortunately, Ben’s dad just got through his fourth round of chemo and his prognosis is good; though, many men don’t have such a happy ending to their cancer stories.

This ongoing, exhausting battle is what inspired Ben to brew a special beer, not only to honor his father but to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

“I kind of came up with the idea that I wanted to brew a beer with him,” Ben said.

(Untappd/Havanutha_Brewing)

He decided on a German Helles style beer and christened it with a special name.

“We called it ‘Cancer can go to Helles,’” he said. “We raised about $2,000.”

On top of brewing a delicious cancer-fighting beer, Ben is promoting American Cancer Society’s NovemBeard Campaign, raising funds in hopes of bringing us one step closer to a cancer-free world.

(American Cancer Society - Denver NovemBeard Campaign)

“I’ve had two uncles with prostate cancer. My wife’s mother and grandmother are both survivors of breast cancer,” Ben said.

So if drinking a beer and growing a beard seems like a couple things you can manage, why not do it for a great cause like kicking cancer in the teeth?

Cancer Can Go To Helles, indeed.

The Best Comments of the Week 11/11

Every week we pan for comedy gold in the the comments section of our Facebook posts. If your comment cracks us up (or warms our hearts) we’ll showcase it here!

Here’s this week’s roundup of the Best Comments of the Week:

1. Just a number.

2. Terrifying.

3. Always plan ahead.

4. Betrayal.

5. Most impressive, but you are not a Jedi yet. 

6. We can relate. 

7. Shoe convention. 

8. I’d like to use a lifeline.

9. Hangups.

10. Couch is more convenient. 

11. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

12. Apply the breaks.

13. Nobody ever wins.

14. Zip-it!

15. Age is but a number.

16. Too much commitment.

17. Oh behave!

18. Bad source material.

Check out the previous edition of our The Best Comments of the Week here.

Community Buys Out Donut Shop So Owner Can Be With Sick Wife

(CBS 2 Los Angeles)

In a society dominated by capitalism, a business either thrives or it fails. In order to survive shop owners are often required to pour their heart and soul into their business. Sometimes it reaps rewards. Sometimes it doesn’t.

John Chhan and his wife, Stella, the heart and soul behind Donut City, are obviously highly valued by their community. They’ve been running the shop in Seal Beach, California for over 30 years, according to CBS 2 Los Angeles.

(Donut City proprietor John Chhan/CBS 2 Los Angeles)

The couple arrived as refugees from Cambodia in 1979 and began serving hot and fresh donuts soon after, becoming a staple in their community. That is, until Stella became too sick to work.

Customers noticed Stella’s continued absence and John eventually began telling people about how she had suffered from a debilitating aneurysm.

Though Stella survived, she still requires constant care on her road to recovery and has been admitted to a rehab facility. Every day, after the store closes, John rushes across town to be by her side. When customers asked if he would like them to set up a GoFundMe account to help the couple during her recovery, he declined, saying he didn’t want money – he just more time with his wife.

That’s when customers decided to get creative.

If the only thing keeping John from Stella was the donuts, they decided to make sure he sells out quickly.

Whether by newsletter, word of mouth, or sharing donuts they buy themselves, Donut City customers are making sure people know where to go for their sugary fried dough needs.

“Hey come and support this guy’s donuts,” customer Todd Gryzwana said. “He’s a great man, great cause.” Most customers buy donuts by the dozen now.

The tactics seem to be working, too.

“We sell out fast, every day,” John said with a smile. He’s now able to close shop hours earlier—sometimes by 10 a.m.—in order to go support his wife without the financial burden or stress of leaving his business unattended. “She can talk, she can write,” John said of Stella’s progress. “Right now she’s trying to talk, swallow…eat something.”

It can be difficult to seek help from others, especially when it comes to personal aspects of one’s life like one’s family and career. In fact, it sometimes feels easier to fail and deal with the repercussions alone than it is to reach out for assistance. That’s why seeing people come together to support a man who specifically didn’t ask for it is so special. The story becomes less about a man’s pride and more about all the people wanting to support him.

“This is like something that will warm your heart, you know?”  another customer said. “It’s unfortunate what happened to his wife but I really believe that something like this, bringing the community together, it’s just… something we really need right now.”