3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

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Good dads know how important it is to spend quality time with their kids and how fun it can be too. But it can be tough to keep coming up with new stuff to entertain your kids. If you’re dreading a weekend of kids complaining about being bored while you countdown the seconds until bedtime, we feel your pain. So each week we feature 3 simple ideas of things to do with your kids.

Toy Purge

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Let’s face it – your kids’ rooms are filled with tons of toys that no longer spark joy. Explain to them that you’re going to donate them to a good cause and decide as a family where you’ll go – Goodwill or Salvation Army? Or maybe a thrift shop that’s directly tied to a Children’s Hospitals or another charity they like. Encourage them to part with more items by offering to purchase them one item at the shop for every ten items they donate to it.

Roller or Ice Skating

Roller skating in the winter can be a break from the cold – alternatively, ice skating in the summer can be relief from the heat. Dial-up local arenas and ask for their public skating schedule. Admission and skate rentals are reasonable and won’t break the bank. Roller skating tends to be a bit more expensive but you also get a better sound system, themes, and a light show!

Visit a Rural Market

Load everyone in the car and set your destination to a combination flea/farmer’s market. Be sure to break up the road trip by making the journey part of the destination – make regular stops at roadside shops, attractions, a small town and of course a CHIP TRUCK! Once there your kids will find lots of interesting and inexpensive items that will capture their attention. The best part is that you’ll also be able to stock up on some produce and get a bit of grocery shopping out of the way!

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For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

Watch Matthew McConaughey Watch His Dazed and Confused Audition

McConaughey Watches Dazed and Confused Audition
(Twitter/McConaughey)

It’s not often that you see a performance in a movie and immediately know that a star is being born.

One such performance is Matthew McConaughey as Woody Wooderson in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused. Thirty years later, McConaughey is a beloved Hollywood figure, a household name with a good time guy persona, a penchant for going shirtless, and an Oscar under his belt.

But thirty years ago, he was just another struggling actor looking for his big break, which he got when he landed the part of a skeevy high school hero who everyone knows is too old to be hanging with high school kids but nobody really minds because he’s charming and laid-back and Matthew McConaughey.

Of all the memorable characters and quotes from Dazed and Confused, McConaughey somehow manages to walk away with the movie. He went to the audition to get a summer job and ended up a Holywood mainstay for the next three decades and counting.

Recently, McConaughey watched his audition tape for Wooderson, in which he recites a couple of his iconic lines. Somebody filmed the actor watching himself try out for the role, and as he always seems to, the actor had a great time.

Obviously his audition went alright alright alright, because he landed the role, and soon after it landed A Time to Kill, and he was off and running.

It’s fun to see him watch his audition, and then explain what we just saw, as if we didn’t know. In the short clip, he shows off the qualities that make him such a popular star. He’s humble, eternally likable, and cool as a cucumber; that’s what we love about Matthew McConaughey, he keeps getting older, but he stays the same age.

McDonald’s Business Owner Gives Away 10,000 Free Meals After Hurricane

McDonald's Owner Gives Away Free Meals
(SUPPLIED)

Natural disasters are inevitable, and they often present challenges to families and communities that can take years to overcome. When communities are hit with hardship, it often presents an unexpected opportunity for members of those communities to come together and support each other. In difficult situations, as the great philosopher, Mr. Rogers reminded us, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” When Hurricane Laura struck his town, that’s exactly what Rikesh Patel did – he became a helper.

Hurricane Laura was the strongest hurricane to hit Louisiana in over 150 years. The storm caused widespread damage, power outages, and flooding, leaving many without electricity for weeks. Rikesh Patel owns 25 McDonald’s in Louisiana, a career that helps him feel connected to his community. After seeing the damage the storm caused, Patel knew he had to do something.

“My family and I run this business together,” Patel told The Dad. “My dad started it many years ago. My brothers and I grew up in the business and we have always believed in giving back to the communities we do business in.”

The day after the hurricane hit, Patel made a call to the McDonald’s Corporate Office in the hopes of obtaining the McRig. The McRig is a mobile kitchen that is completely self-sustained, meaning that it doesn’t rely on external power to function. Just a day later, the McRig arrived and Patel got to work.

“We staffed the McRig with our own employees,” Patel explained, “The employees that returned to the city, which were very few.”

Since most of his staff had evacuated, Patel did what he could with the resources he had. For six days, Patel and his dedicated employees served over 10,000 warm meals to members of the community, completely free of charge.

McDonald's Owner Donates Meals
(SUPPLIED)

“The community was so grateful,” Patel recalled. “We had many people who cried when they came and visited us, and we were just so happy to provide this for our community.”

The cheeseburgers and fries served by Patel and his staff were likely the first and only warm meals many members of the community had all week. Patel and his team worked tirelessly in the McRig, cooking and packing meals and water bottles for anyone in need.

After a natural disaster, there is so much fear and uncertainty. Because of his kindness, Patel provided far more than just food to his town – he provided hope. This generous business owner isn’t only giving back to his community though, he’s giving back to his employees.

“Unfortunately we have had many employees whose houses were damaged or destroyed,” said Patel. “We have started a relief fund and we are helping to cover any costs and repairs that our employees have experienced because of the hurricane.”

For nearly a week, Patel put his own needs on the back-burner as he tended to his community. Now, he’s turning his attention to his employees to make sure every single one of them gets back on their feet. Patel is overflowing with both kindness and generosity, which is basically the McDouble of being a good person.

John Cena Is ‘Peacemaker” in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad Spin-off on HBO Max

John Cena is Peacemaker
(HBO Max/Warner Bros Pictures)

Last month, DC made a big splash at the DC Fandome, during which we got the trailer for Wonder Woman 1984, some news on The Rock’s Black Adam and Shazam 2, the first look at a darker than ever The Batman movie, and a glimpse of James Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel.

Gunn came over from Marvel to helm the sequel to David Ayer’s shoddy Suicide Squad movie, and based on the character introductions and tiny bits of footage we were treated too, it’s clear he’s infused the Suicide Squad with the same anarchic and goofy energy that made Guardians of the Galaxy a big hit. Along with his new tone, Gunn brought in an almost entirely new squad of costumed anti-heroes, one of which is Peacemaker, portrayed by former wrestler John Cena.

It seems that Cena and Peacemaker have made a good impression, as Gunn just announced on Twitter that Cena would be taking the character to HBO Max for a spin-off series.

Peacemaker is a man of contradictions, a hardcore pacifist who’s willing to kill for peace. Not exactly a straightforward hero, as Gunn explained in a press release about the HBO Max show.

“Peacemaker is an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag,” said Gunn in a press release. “I’m excited to expand The Suicide Squad and bring this character from the DC film universe to the full breadth of a series. And of course, to be able to work again with John, Peter, and my friends at Warner Bros. is the icing on the cake.”

Like the Suicide Squad sequel, there’s clearly going to be an element of comedy to the Peacemaker series, and, like Dave Bautista, another wrestler Gunn helped turn into a movie star by leaning on his deadpan humor, Cena is more than game for comedy, having already proven his chops in movies like Trainwreck with Amy Schumer, as well as in bits on SNL and Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver.

HBO Max seems to be diving headfirst into DC’s comic book properties, moving forward with Zack Snyder’s Justice League and now developing multiple DC universe TV shows, with Peacemaker joining the previously announced Gotham PD series. If Wonder Woman 1984 and Matt Reeves’s The Batman deliver, and they can finally straighten out Superman, they might finally have something going.

 

New ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ Trailer Leaves Us at the Edge of Our Seats

Haunting of Bly Manor Trailer
(Youtube/Netflix)

In October of 2018, Netflix released its chilling original series, The Haunting of Hill House. The series exploded in popularity, becoming one of Netflix’s most beloved series. The story followed five adult siblings with pasts that continued to haunt them. The show brilliantly alternated between the lives of the adults and the horrible things they endured growing up at Hill House, beautifully demonstrating how their traumatic childhoods followed them like ghosts as they tried desperately to escape their pasts.

The 10-episode series was so enthralling, social media blew up with discussions and praise for the show within roughly the amount of time it would take a person to watch all 10 episodes consecutively. Fans asked, and now Netflix is delivering – season two of the show, The Haunting of Bly Manor, will premiere on October 9.

The show is set in 1980s England and is based on the 1898 horror novella by Henry James, The Turn of the Screw. Henry James steered away from typical horror tropes, choosing instead to give everyday situations and seemingly normal people sinister twists. Mike Flanagan, creator of The Haunting of Hill House returned for The Haunting of Bly Manor, meaning we can likely expect a similar level of elegant terror in season two.

The synopsis explains, “After an au pair’s tragic death, Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) hires a young American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) to care for his orphaned niece and nephew (Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) who reside at Bly Manor with the estate’s chef Owen (Rahul Kohli), groundskeeper Jamie (Amelia Eve) and housekeeper, Mrs. Grose (T’Nia Miller). But all is not as it seems at the manor, and centuries of dark secrets of love and loss are waiting to be unearthed in this chilling gothic romance. At Bly Manor, dead doesn’t mean gone.”

The show’s second trailer is somehow more beautiful and unsettling than the first, with the stunning cinematography and the spine-chilling music that help make this series far more evocative than your typical horror flick. Watch the full trailer below, and look out for The Haunting of Bly Manor on October 9.

The Dad Gaming Bootcamp: Super Smash Bros and The Art of Not Rage Quitting

(The Dad Gaming League)

(Expert advice from TDG Super Smash Bros Champ Ivan Bunag,  TDG Admin Rueben Qualls and Super Smash Bros Rage Quitter, Jared Warner)

There’s something different about Smash Bros from other fighting games. Most notable is that instead of damaging health and decreasing a life bar, you inflict damage that makes it easier to knock your opponent off the board. That makes for much more of a nail-biting finish to each round because you never know exactly when someone’s going to get sent flying into space. Also, as it happens, it causes losing a round to fill me with a deep and unprecedented fury as though a black hole has ripped a tear in the universe deep in my stomach.

Something about the combination of the bright light that engulfs you as you fall to your doom and the fact that I know freakin’ Jigglypuff is sitting there looking smug as my R.O.B -AN ADVANCED ROBOT WHO SHOULD NOT BE DEFEATED BY A MARSHMALLOW-  gets jettisoned into the ether…I just…ooooooooooooo it gets me worked up. So to help all the dads out there who are new to Smash, we put together this handy rage-avoidance guide to prepare you for our Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tournament!

First off, here’s how the event will go down. Sign up here. Then, on October 9, we’ll all pop a fresh pack of Planters Pop & Pour, and settle in for an elimination bracket. If we have enough signups, we’ll hold two of these. The top 16 – or 32 – will then be invited back for a Double Elimination Grand Final Showdown to secure ULTIMATE BRAGGING RIGHTS.  In order to play in this tournament, you will need Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a Switch console, Nintendo Online, and the determination of Bowser taking his opponent on a flying slam off-stage.  What you do NOT need is to be any good at the game. Just take it from me.

Sign up here, and now let’s learn to overcome our demons…

What is SSBU?

Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game at its core. As we talked about before, though, unlike arcade classics such as  “Boulevard Warriors” and “Fatal Konflict” the idea is to inflict a higher percentage of damage to your opponent, making it easier to throw them off the board and send me into a rage spiral. It’s kinda like a sumo wrestling match, but with Pikachu and Donkey Kong. 

Lingo

  • Stock – your “lives” in a match. Your starting stock can be altered in the game settings.
  • Blast Zone – The outside edges of each stage – your goal is to knock opponents into this, and you lose a stock when you touch it. Trust me, you’ll know. 
  • Normals or Tilts– the basic A-button attach. There are 4 variations based on also pressing on the direction pad. 
  • Specials – the Special  B-button attach. Again, 4 directional variations. These are character-specific moves, so experiment with these to find your “Mains” 
  • Smashes – 3 extra powerful attacks performed by pressing A, but with a hard/fast directional input.
  • Double Jump – all characters can perform a double jump while airborne, and some can even perform multiple jumps (Kirby and Jigglypuff have 5, the smushy jerks). You can use these to pull yourself back from the Blast Zones.
  • Rolling – This is a quick dash-move that makes you invincible for a brief second. It’s good for getting out of a tight fix. Press the directional button while holding the shield button at the same time. 
  • Recovery – The strategy I just described – trying to get back on the board from the Blast Zone so you don’t lose a stock. 
  • Edge Guard – attempting to prevent your opponent from recovering back to the stage. Usually standing on the edge yourself shooting or attacking them so they can’t quite land.
  • Knockback – the force and distance you travel when hit by an attack
  • Percent or Damage – how much damage you have taken on your current stock. As your percentage increases, so does your knockback, making it easier to send you flying into the Blast Zone. 

HOW TO NOT LOSE YOUR COOL

Because Smash is an otherwise straight-forward fighting game, the strategies here are pretty simple to learn but difficult to master.

Learn the “Neutral”  – AKA: Footsies
Have you ever watched any boxing or MMA fights and noticed that those guys don’t throw haymakers and power hits all the time? They only go for it when they are confident it will land. Spamming the slow but powerful hits is a good way to get KO’d quickly. Use quick “safe” moves to test their opponent; momentum can shift quickly in a Smash Bros. match, so sometimes reverting back to the neutral game may be the best choice.

Know Your Character
SSBU currently fields a roster of 74 characters that all handle differently and have different abilities. Knowing one inside and out is difficult enough, trying to generalize that can just dilute your abilities. This is why fight gamers like to have a “Main” – the character they rely on and know how to live in. Definitely play the field at first and be willing to try new things, but when it’s time for a tournament, you’ll want to play with a character you know like the back of your hand. 

Limit Your Rolls
While rolling is an essential tool for bobbing and weaving around a fight, doing it too much gets predictable, allowing your opponent to lay the smackdown on you. They also have diminishing returns, and gradually make you more vulnerable. It’s good to float like a butterfly, but you gotta learn the stinging/bee part, too.

Use Your Shield
Oh how I wish I knew about this the first twenty times I played Smash back in college. Many newer players keep their foot on the attack pedal, forgetting that the shield button even exists. Playing defense doesn’t have to mean losing ground. You need to look for openings, not just button-mash. The game is fast paced, but I promise you’ll do better if you stand your ground and get acclimated to that speed, rather than trying to just hail mary your way through. 

Don’t Burn Your Double Jump
Oh no! You got knocked off the stage! Don’t panic, you have a lot of resources you can use to help you recover, the best of which is your double jump! However, and this is a big instinct to learn to beat – if you use it too soon, but ar being edge guarded, or are just too far away, you’ll still fall into a KO.

Recover Low
If you are recovering – as in trying to get back on the board, not…like, recovering emotionally – it’s usually safer to drop below the stage and approach it from below. It’s harder and riskier for most opponents to edge guard against someone below the stage as opposed to above. 

Pop & Pour
Smash Bros is a fast-paced game, and the tide can change swiftly. Many an overconfident player has found themselves blasting out unexpectedly after reaching for a snack or a drink. Planters Pop & Pour are designed to give you a quick, one-handed snack fix so you don’t lose focus on what’s important. 

Don’t Spam Your Smashes
SSBU has a mechanic that reduces the effectiveness of subsequent uses of attacks. Sometimes it will be better to utilize the weaker attacks that are better at combo-ing, then following up with a quality smash more likely to send them into a blast zone.

Mix It Up and Adapt
Simply put, try to be as unpredictable as you can. If you start showing patterns, your opponent will likely pick up on those and hit you at your most vulnerable moments.

Practice, Practice, Practice!
There’s a training mode in the game, which is a great way to find your Main and get used to the moves and rhythm of the game. 

Watch The Pros
Join The Dad Gaming Smash Bros group and find resources to learn from the best! There are a ton of character-specific and tutorial videos online, and just watching people who are good at the game can help you play better! 

Okay, that’s enough to get you going. I can’t promise you’ll win every round without a lot of practice, but if I’d known these tips when I got started, I’d probably have much better blood pressure. Hop into some rounds with The Dad Gaming to get warmed up, stock up on some Pop & Pours, and then we’ll see you on October 9th!

This article and The Dad Gaming League are sponsored by Planters. Enjoy delicious snacks without gunking up your controller with Planters Pop and Pour

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Planters

Joe Buck Finds Out on Live TV He’ll Be Joining Dad in the NFL Hall of Fame

Joe Buck Joins Dad in NFL HOF
(Twitter/NFLonFOX)

As a broadcaster, Joe Buck has seen it all. Championships, major upsets, historic performances, Buck has been a mainstay as a football and baseball broadcaster. And now, he’ll be joining his Dad in the NFL Hall of Fame. He found out on live TV he’d be enshrined in football history as the winner of the Pete Rozelle Award, which is given annually to recognize “longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.” It’s the same award his dad, legendary broadcaster Jack Buck, won, making them the only father-son duo to win the award.

Joe Buck has honed his broadcasting skills over decades of calling the action, and even kept his skills sharp during the COVID quarantine by doing play-by-play of life around the house. Now that the NFL is back, Buck is behind the mic again calling big games. And during the Cleveland-Cincinnati Thursday Night Game (ok, they can’t all be big games), the president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame David Baker surprised Joe with the announcement.

“Being named this year’s Rozelle Award winner is well-deserved recognition for over two decades of excellence in his craft,” he said in the announcement. “I know his dad would be proud.”

During the announcement, the FOX broadcast began to show pictures of father and son, which brought Buck to tears. It was a truly incredible moment.

“Oh my god, I don’t even know what to say,” Buck started. “That’s unbelievable….Blown away and honored, and also honored to follow in my father’s footsteps.

Great announcer, better man, and I miss him. Thank you.”

Joe Buck won the award himself in 1996, and the elder Buck passed away in 2002. Now his legacy as a broadcaster and as a dad will be carried on in the Hall of Fame.

Boy With Cancer Surprises Siblings After Hospital Release

Father Figures: Could Not Even Imagine

“Like a similar post I saw on your Facebook page, I too am the father that I am despite the father that I had.

My father was an alcoholic who decided hanging out with friends and drinking was more important than coming home to his wife, three daughters, and son.

My parents split when I was in 1st grade and of course, as the only son, I looked up to him and sometimes despised my mom for being strong enough to kick him to the curb.

I am now a father of 3 of the best children I could imagine, and I have learned from his mistakes. I will never have my children go through what me and my sisters had to go through.

I could not even imagine my life without all of my family.”

– Kevin Munk

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

You Can Pre-Order This 1,000-Piece LEGO Version of Baby Yoda

Baby Yoda LEGO
(LEGO Group)

We are a little more than a month away from The Mandalorian returning gracing our beloved screens. But if that’s not enough for you, LEGO Star Wars has announced a special set featuring the true star of the show. That’s right, you’ll be able to build your own LEGO Baby Yoda and it gets released on October 21st (a week prior to the season 2 debut.)

Season 2 of the blockbuster hit for Disney already looks to be pretty badass, and we know much of the season will revolve around Din finding The Child’s home planet. Yes, this is the part where we say he’s not really a baby version of Yoda, but he is “The Child,” a young version of whatever the heck Yoda’s species is. Some people can be really annoying about this distinction, but come on, everyone knows what you’re talking about when you say Baby Yoda.

And just look at how adorable this LEGO creation is.

The 1,073 piece set known as the LEGO Star Wars “The Child” construction set is available for pre-order now. Like the show about our favorite bounty hunter, the playset won’t be released until October 30th. The Baby Yoda set has a posable head, movable ears, and an adjustable mouth, which means it is a must-have for all Mando fans.

A design manager at LEGO Star Wars said they aimed to “capture the charm, and above all, the cuteness of the character.” Nailed it. The set also comes with a miniature toy version of The Child.

You can pre-order it now, right here.