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Inspirational Dad Measures Son’s Growth With Philly Cheesesteaks

(Strangework.com/Brad Williams)

Parents are obsessed with tracking the progress of their kids, even before they’re born. I remember getting emails comparing the growing fetus to different fruits and vegetables! And it doesn’t slow down once they’re born. You immediately learn their height and weight, and for the first few years, every doctor’s visit brings new percentages, including head size!

It almost gets tiring, and constantly keeping markers of your kid’s progress isn’t always the least stressful way to parent. But one dad found a way to make it fun, using his city’s trademark food as inspiration.

A few years ago, when Philadelphia dad Brad Williams’ son Lucas was born, he and his wife were hungry. So one night about two-weeks in, they ordered take-out. What did they get? A Philly cheesesteak, duh!

“I moved to Philly with my wife in 2010 and quickly became a fan of cheesesteaks. I mean, it’s meat, cheese, onions and bread,” Williams told People . “What’s not to love?”

Upon receiving the sandwich, Brad noticed that it was just about as long as his son, so he snapped a photo with his son and the Philadelphia delicacy side by side and shared it on Facebook. The response from family and friends was positive – what’s cuter than a newborn and a cheesesteak? – and so Brad began taking a similar photo every month.

He would order a cheesesteak from one of his go-to joints – Dalessandro’s Steaks, or Fatty’s and Jerzees in Glenside – and used the sandwiches to measure his son’s growth. He called the series of photos “Cheesesteak for scale” and started sharing the photos on his blog, Strange Work.

Eventually, his boy was even big enough to take a taste of his measuring stick. “On his first birthday we let him try some bites from a cheesesteak and he actually seemed to enjoy it!” Williams said.

His dad stopped with the photos shortly after he turned one, which is a good thing too, since Lucas quickly eventually soured on the sandwich. The 2-year-old Lucas can be seen pushing it away in one of his dad’s videos.

(Strangework.com/Brad Williams)

But he’s getting bigger fast, and something tells me it won’t below long before the famous sandwich is a steady part of the growing Philly boy’s diet.

World’s Oldest Barber Still Makes the Cut at 107 [WATCH]

(YouTube/Inside Edition)

There are countless guesses as to how to stay healthy and live longer. Exercise, eat a Mediterranean diet, stay off social media. But apparently, we missed one, because there’s a barber out there who is 107 years old and does none of those things.

Maybe we all need to stay on our feet for eight hours a day. Or cut someone else’s hair. Or have lots of small talk.

Anthony Mancinelli cuts hair in New Windsor, NY, and he’s been working in barbershops since the 20s. Yes, the 1920s. He started when he was 11. And his customers appreciate his experience,

“I don’t let anyone else touch my hair,” one of Mancinelli’s clients told the NY Times. “The guy’s been cutting hair for a century.”

The Guinness Book of World Records listed Mancinelli as the world’s oldest barber – back in 2007, when he was a sprightly 96. More than 10 years later, he’s still clipping hair. And showing few signs of slowing down!

“I only go to the doctor because people tell me to, but even he can’t understand it,” he said. “I tell him I have no aches, no pains, no nothing. Nothing hurts me.”

When pressed for health tips, Mancinelli insists he doesn’t do much except avoid thick spaghetti, “so I don’t get fat.”

The owner of Fantastic Cuts, where Mancinelli cuts hair, marvels at his lack of a health regimen. “You hear about all these people asking, ‘What medicine can I take, what food can I eat, what anti-aging cream should I use?’” she said, “and he’s doing it with none of those things.”

Nope. He just cuts hair, which helps him stay busy and happy in the years after his wife of 7 decades’ death 14 years ago.

“I have some customers, I cut their father, grandfather and great-grandfather — four generations,” said the great-great-grandfather of six. Even Mancinelli’s 81-year-old son is a client.

Being a 107-year-old barber has earned him far more than 15 minutes of fame.

“Now, I feel like I’m working for him,” the owner of the shop said. “I get a million and one phone calls from people all over the world who have heard about him and want to visit.”

Watch him in action:

Dad Wins Halloween With DIY Disney Haunted Mansion in His Garage [VIDEO]

(YouTube/Dan Schmidt)

For some parents, Halloween is a perfect opportunity to get their craft on, either through elaborate costumes for their kids or themselves, or by decorating the hell out of their yards. This year one dad took it a step further with his Halloween-themed project.

He recreated a popular Disney ride.

In his garage!

Wisconsin dad Dan Schmidt spends his days as a design director for the Great Wolf Lodge, and apparently he spends his nights and weekends outdoing all the other parents on his block with his insane Halloween decorations.

After seeing videos of some DIY backyard rollercoasters, Dan decided to give his own a try, inside his garage. And thanks to the “Haunt Your Disneyride’ contest in 2017, he decided to model it after Disney’s famous Haunted Mansion ride, complete with all the spooky accouterments!

He used plywood to create the track, and everything was handmade – except for the shifting mirrors he bought at Disneyland itself.

“I cobbled together a “pop up tombstone” replica that I trigger with my shop vac. Again, very simple and crude. Wood, PVC, and a shop vac. I purchased the little ghoul head from a Walgreens clearance rack for a couple bucks. Here is a video of us making that. It works pretty much the same way it does in the mansion. (well, minus the shop vac and person operating it.)” he told ITM.

As you can see in the video, neighborhood kids – all decked out for Halloween – were lining up for the chance to ride the mini-coaster, surely making Dan’s house the most popular candy stop on the block. Thankfully, the ride was more “fun” than scary, according to the little moppet at the end of the video.

He must not have noticed the kid in the Tom Brady jersey. In Wisconsin! Not sure there’s anything scarier than that.

6 Baby Shark Covers to Help Exorcise the Original From Your Mind

(YouTube/MrLopez2112/Kezia Amelia Getty/Shootdiem)

Is Baby Shark playing on repeat in your mind? Unfortunately this invasive earworm isn’t going anywhere soon. So, in the spirit of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” we put together a list of Baby Shark covers in six different genres of music that just might be more tolerable than the original.

For example, if you enjoy listening to R&B – then you might prefer to have an R&B version stuck in your head.

“Might” is the key word here folks, please keep in mind this type of therapy is completely experimental. Proceed at your own risk.

1. R&B

Desmond Dennis was once a member of a boy band called SJ3. Since going solo in 2014 he’s been covering songs R&B style. He must be on to something given his Baby Shark remix has logged over a million views.


If classical string instruments are more your style, meet violin player Kezia Amelia from Indonesia. Her version has racked up over a million views.


MrLopez2112 is a gifted guitar player who does instrumental covers and original songs. He specializes in anime and video game stuff, but recently crossed over into children’s songs.


Joey Muha is a talented drummer who kicks up the drums portion of popular songs by drumming live overtop of them.

5. EDM

If you’re someone who digs dance music then you’re going to want to check out this little ditty released by Musicpedia. With over 4 million views the Baby Shark Bombstyle Remix has ignited dance floors across the globe.


If the previous progressive metal version wasn’t hardcore enough for you, meet Slay Duggee. They take a simple word or two and flush out a thrash metal piece.

Dad Grades- Red Forman from That ’70s Show

(20th Century Fox)

Hello, Wisconsin! This week on Dad Grades we’ll take a quick look at Red Forman, the always disgruntled patriarch of the Forman family on That ‘70s Show. What are his strengths as a dad? His weaknesses? Let’s take a look.


(20th Century Fox)

Red Forman has a very intricate relationship with his two children. He favors and spoils his daughter, Laurie, though he tends to fall for her manipulative daddy’s-girl act. That’s really on her though.

(20th Century Fox)

He’s constantly at odds with his son, Eric, whom he perceives to be weak and routinely calls a “dumbass.” But deep down we know he loves him. The best example of this is the season 6 episode “Sally Simpson,” in which a stress management specialist visits Red. When the specialist tells him Eric is the cause of all his stress, he yells at him and throws him out of the house. “My son is a fine young man,” he defends. Eric tries to thank him, but is once again told “shut up, dumbass.” We know tough love when we see it.

(20th Century Fox)


Red Forman is a stubborn, my-way-or-the-highway type of dad. He served in World War II as a US Navy sailor, and as a result became a very strict disciplinarian with his kids and suffers from what we’ll call “resting no-nonsense face.”

(20th Century Fox)

He has great difficulty saying the phrase “I love you.” We here at The Dad believe fatherhood should be enjoyable, fair, and full of enthusiasm. Constantly threatening to put your foot in someone’s ass isn’t it, fam.

(20th Century Fox)

At times he can be sadistic in his discipline. In one episode, Eric is suspended from school after getting caught holding his girlfriend’s cigarette. Believing the punishment should fit the crime, Red’s solution is to make him smoke an entire pack. We’d like to strongly discourage this torturous, albeit hilarious punishment. Please don’t make your kids smoke.


You’ve gotta take Red in the context of his era. We feel like one out of every three dads in the 70s was a total Red Forman. Administrators of tough love, hardened by the struggles of early 20th century American life. Dude was born right before The Great Depression happened. He gets to call you a dumbass sometimes.

(20th Century Fox)


Check out what Frank Reynolds from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia scored on our previous edition of Dad Grades.

Dad Creates Epic Halloween Costumes for Son With Cerebral Palsy [VIDEO]


One of the fun parts of Halloween – aside from collecting all that candy – is figuring out what to dress as, especially when you’re a kid. As an adult, some of that magic fades. Who wants to wear a scary mask when you just have to keep taking it off to drink your beer? But when you have kids the magic often comes back.

Kids give you an excuse to dress up again, or, at the very least, to help your children realize their best Halloween dreams. That’s what one father does for his son every year, and his reasons go far beyond simple candy-hunting.

Anthony Alfano is a 9-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. But every Halloween, his dad makes sure that Anthony is simply the kid with the best costume in his hometown of Melrose Park, Illinois, if not the whole state!

“He’s always seen as Anthony the boy that can’t do nothing… I just want to make him not be seen that way. Halloween costume is like the best disguise,” Anthony’s dad, Tony, told ABC11.

His father builds Anthony’s costumes from scratch, helping transform him into Mini-Me, a goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks, even a snow globe, Dad has a track record of delivering for his son. And this year the duo nailed their best outfit yet.

Remember the waiting room scene at the end of Beetlejuice? I do, because I just showed that Halloween classic to my son last weekend. The scene features Michael Keaton’s decrepit Beetlejuice sitting in between a witch doctor and a man with a shrunken head. This Halloween, Anthony Alfano is Beetlejuice, and thanks to his old wheelchair and his dad’s ingenuity and crafting skills, he’s flanked by the other two guys in that classic scene.

“He has like a stigma for having special needs. So this is a way that they look at him and they see this like bright, happy kid and it makes them feel good; in return puts a smile on his face when he gets all the attention,” added Deanna Alfana, Anthony’s mom, who helps put the finishing touches on the costumes after Tony builds them.

Last year, they transformed Anthony into the Wheel of Fortune, complete with a spinning wheel, catching national attention. “We got to go and see and meet Pat and Vanna and watch two live tapings and Anthony was ecstatic,” said Deanna.

The two love building the costumes for their son.

“It’s kind of like we’ve built this platform for other families,” she explained, “it feels like this was kind of like our purpose to bring Anthony into people’s lives and homes and to brighten their day and put a smile on their face.”

As for whether dad has peaked with his recreation of the Tim Burton movie? Not so fast.

“No. Not yet. I don’t think so. I think… there’s room for more,” Tony said, before admitting that his son “motivates [him] to do what I have to do as a dad.”

There’s nothing spooky about that.

Father Figures: Nobody Did It Better

“That’s my dad & I back in 1991. My dad’s name was Martin Ryan and he was a family man first, business owner second, hunter/skeet shooter third. I’m sure lots of people reading this all say the same thing about their dad, but my dad was the greatest man to ever walk this planet.

We did so many things together as father & son. Fishing, hunting, camping, bike rides, hikes, trips to Europe, the list goes on & on. What I admired about my father the most? He was a self-made man.

Born to Irish Catholic farmers from northern Ontario, my father knew about hard work at a young age. At 15, he left home & joined a seminary because he wanted to be a priest (in actual fact, he told me he just wanted out of his house since my grandmother had serious mental issues LOL) but left after a year because he knew deep down he wanted to be a family man.

He quit high school at 16 to work at a Ford plant & didn’t finally graduate high school till he was 20. Married at 21 years old & no university education. In my mom & dad’s first house, he made all the furniture because they couldn’t afford it. Soon enough, he bought into two business that were in the red & brought them back to the black. Being his son or not, that blows my mind! The reason he was able to do it? He was always determined, no matter what task he was faced with. I remember when we got our first family computer, he sat at that desk for a week trying to learn it all, on his own (before Google!).

But even with all that going on in his life, he still made an insane amount of time for us. Even if he had to work on a Sunday, he’d bring me to the office for a couple hours and then we’d go shoot some pool after. Always made time. Always.

He was also a man that always said “I love you.” Even as a teenager, he’d still kiss me on the cheek before I went anywhere: “Real men show love.”

Other than skeet shooting on Saturdays for a couple hours, my dad didn’t really have a group of buddies he hung out with. He worked, came home, spent time with us & our mom, repeat.

When I was about 10-12, I turned to my dad one day & said “Dad, how come you don’t have any friends to hang out with?” His response? “Michael, one day you’ll reach a point in your life where you’ll have a wife, kids, and all you’ll want to do is spend time with them. I love spending time with you & I love being with you. You’re my friend.”

In 2011, my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. A Glioblastoma tumor which is very aggressive and only 10% diagnosed make it past the two-year mark. But my dad always found the brighter side. He’d tell all the nurses, doctors, “Hey, it’s a no brainer!” To have humour when faced with those circumstances, it really showed me how strong of a person he was.

After a 10-month battle, my father succumbed to his tumor and passed. But I will never forget his last words to me, a couple days before: “I love you,” and he must have said it about 50 times as fast as he could because he knew his speech was going he wanted to make god damn sure I knew that he loved me before he went.

Now I’m a father with a one-year-old son. I get it now. All I want to do is spend time with my son & my wife. I want to do all those things together that my dad & I did when I was a kid. I want my son to know I love him more than anything in this world. And you bet I’ll give you a kiss on the cheek in front of your friends!

Not long ago my son had a really bad cough and as I’m trying to put him to bed through the tears I just kept saying “I love you” about 50 times over. Never has something come full circle in my life as it had in that moment.

If I become half the father he was, I’ll be happy because nobody did it better than him.

I miss you & I love you, Party Marty.”

– Michael Ryan

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

Dad’s Facebook Post to Get Motorcycle Patches for Son With Autism Goes Viral [VIDEO]


Every now and again, a story comes along to remind us that social media isn’t all bad, and neither are the people who connect on it.

One family found that out in the most heartwarming way, when they hopped online and asked a simple favor for their son with autism. Austin, 23 years old and living in South Carolina, is a happy, smiling young guy from Gaffney, South Carolina who loves people and loves motorcycles.

Unfortunately, he’s unable to ride them because he suffers from seizures. But that hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for all things motorcycle, including patches.

“He’s pretty much got his happy switch flipped on all the time,” Austin’s mom, Debbie, told WSPA.com when they asked about the viral Facebook post that resulted in Austin receiving more patches than he could ever fit on his leather vest.

In June, Austin’s dad went on Facebook and asked for patches for that vest, and the response was overwhelming.

“It went viral, I think, three times,” Debbie said.

After six weeks, the Fradys had mail from all fifty states and 12 countries, resulting in 20 rings,countless knick knacks, 100 or more shirts, 1,500 pins and 5,000 patches, even some hats.

“He appreciates everything that we got,” Debbie said. “Even if it was an envelope that only had one patch in it.” To show that appreciation, they sent postcards, signed by Austin, to everyone who sent a patch. But they eventually had to share another Facebook post asking people to stop sending patches, so ridiculous was the amount of mail they were receiving.

But that doesn’t mean the giving has stopped. Instead, a local charity organized the Austin Fray Autism Awareness Benefit Ride to raise money for the Special Olympics in Austin’s name.

Amazing 6-Year-Old Girl Takes Care of Paralyzed Dad


Most parents take care of their children, not the other way around. But sometimes life deals you a different hand, and you do what you have to do to get by. Even when you’re six.

Jia Jia is a six-year-old girl who lives with her father in China, but her daily routine is far from what most 6-year-olds are used to. Because her dad is paralyzed, and ever since her mom left, she’s been taking care of him.

Her father, 40-year-old Tian, was paralyzed from the waist down when a taxi he was riding in was involved in an accident in 2016. Less than three months later, Tian’s wife abandoned him, taking their eldest son along with her, and leaving Jia Jia to tend to her dad.

‘She told me on the day that she was going to stay in her mother’s home for a few days. But she never returned, and she took our son with her,’ Tian told Metro.


So Jia Jia has been picking up the slack, waking every day at 6am to massage her dad’s muscles for a half hour, help him to eat, brush his teeth and wash his face. When she leaves for school, his elderly parents watch over him, until Jia Jia returns.

She even shaves his face for him. ‘At the beginning, I didn’t know how to shave and I cut dad’s face and it bled. But dad said it wasn’t painful. Now, I’m very good at shaving his beard. My grandmother says I shave it very clean,’ she said.

Tian livestreams his daughter’s selflessness on Kuaishou, a Chinese live-streaming app, on which he’s amassed 480,000 followers watching Jia Jia’s extraordinary efforts to care for her dad at the tender age of 6. It can’t be easy, but perhaps the little girl’s age is to thank for her boundless energy.

‘Looking after my dad, I don’t feel tired at all,’ Jia Jia said.

Blessed be the children.

Dad Builds $10k Racetrack Around His House [WATCH]


When most dads want some extra space, they make themselves a man cave, or convert the garage into a weight room. But occasionally, someone goes above and beyond. Like this dad in New Zealand.

After moving from Japan to New Zealand in 2007 and then buying his first house, in Hamilton, on 2013, mechanic Takeshi Teruya has finally had the land he needed to indulge his dream. He quickly began doing what he needed to convert the land into his dream home, which incuded having to spend over 10,000 dollars to add the final touch himself: his very own racetrack.

Thats right, Teruya created a racetrack around his house, on which he can indulge his passion for driving – and for drifting.

“I am the happiest man in New Zealand. I loved drifting ever since I learned how to drive. It is more than just a hobby, it is my life. But land is scarce and very expensive in Japan, and it is an almost impossible dream to even own a small plot,” he told New Zealand Herald.

When he moved to New Zealand, his dream was suddenly within reach.

“When I saw the plot I thought it was a good size to have a drifting track that goes around the house and then my thoughts went wild. There are many petrol-heads around the world owning cool looking super cars, racing cars, drift cars or whatever, but how many own a circuit around their own house? That cost too much, so I had to start thinking about how I can do it with my small budget.”

To do so he bought recycled asphalt and enlisted the help of some fellow motorheads in his neighborhood. The result is a 130-meter track, and a bemused wife.

“Who in the right mind builds a race track around your own house?” says his wife, Yoshie. “He’s a dad, but it seems like he hasn’t grown up.”

Fortunately, the track has other uses besides reenacting the third Fast and Furious movie.

“It is really good for the kids scootering and push bikes, so now we don’t even have to go to the parks,” Yoshie said, finding the bright side.