Father Figures: 32 Days

“My name is Alex this is me and my son Ohtli.

This picture was taken last Father’s Day. It was my first ever Father’s Day. I spent it at Rady Children’s Hospital with my son and wife.

My son was born with a few birth defects that required him to stay there for 32 days. Now this is us.

Fatherhood was a little different for me then most dads, but I have to say, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

After everything we’ve been through and continue to go through I can’t imagine my life with being a dad.

– Alex Venegas

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

Breaking Bad Beer “Schraderbrau” Is Brewing


If you watched Breaking Bad, or even know what it’s about, you already know that not everyone made it out of the series alive. But one thing that did survive, and will be coming soon to a package store near you, is the beer that Hank Schrader, Walter White’s brother-in-law and DEA adversary, brewed in his garage.

Hank, who started the show as a kind of blustering macho man and ended it as a tragic figure blindsided by how close he was to Heisenberg, had his hobbies. One was collecting rocks and shit, another was brewing his own beer. And now you’ll get to taste it!

The Blast did some sleuthing and discovered that Sony Pictures Television, the studio behind Vince Gilligan’s landmark TV series, has filed papers to trademark “SCHRADERBRAU,” the cheesy name that Hank gave to his homebrew. Making things explicit, Dean Norris, the actor who portrayed Hank on the show, has been teasing the product on his Instagram account.

Last week, he shared a video of himself inside a meth lab, sorry, a brewery, in which he says, “Just brewing up some ideas if you know what I’m saying.” The actor then laughs while treating followers to a quick look at the brewery before finally saying, “Schraderbrau: brewed to silky perfection.”


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#schraderbrau brewed to silky perfection… #breakingbad

A post shared by Dean Norris (@deanjnorris) on

So you may not be a meth kingpin or a DEA agent, or enjoy breakfast, or love Stevia in your coffee, but you’ll be able to get a taste of what it’s like to live inside Walter White’s world when the beer hits the market. Hell, if you drink enough of it, you might even find yourself hallucinating that very scenario!

No one yet knows when the brew will arrive in stores, but the smart money is on the roll-out coinciding with the release of the forthcoming Breaking Bad movie, which will hit AMC and Netflix at some point in 2019 – presumably.


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Hells yeah, smells like silky perfection… #schraderbrau @amcbreakingbad @breakingbadfeed @breakingbadas @breakingbadfunfacts

A post shared by Dean Norris (@deanjnorris) on

Bob Ross Flash Mob Organized by Texas Art Teacher [WATCH]

(YouTube/KTVE 10 KARD 14)

What better way to teach kids about the “joy of painting” than by dressing up like and following along with the incomparable Bob Ross himself?

As a means of rewarding her students’ hard work and helping them fight school-related stress, Brady Sloane, an 8th-grade art teacher in Abilene, Texas, decided to fundraise for a unique art activity.

The fundraiser titled “Flash Mob? Flash Bob Ross! Paint along for 50 Students” raised $500—enough to buy paint supplies for the 4 dozen students as well as wigs and shirts that comprised surprisingly accurate Bob Ross costumes.

Setting up a projector in the school auditorium, the students donned their “Ross-tumes,” grabbed palettes and music stands as makeshift easels, and dove headfirst into a relaxing afternoon with the zen artist supreme. No mistakes. Just happy little accidents.

“The day of the event was amazing,” says Sloane. “Students came in, got their wigs on and got to work! They worked so hard and had great focus… they are always great workers and do well in my class, but I was so proud of them!”

6-Year-Old Girl With Cancer Sworn in as Honorary Police Officer [WATCH]

(Facebook/Freeport Police Dept)

Many little kids dream of growing up to be police officers and firefighters. Most of them probably don’t end up going that route, life is funny that way. But that doesn’t mean the dream wasn’t real back when they were tiny tots.

One little girl who dreams of being a cop had her wish granted recently, because, tragically, life won’t allow her to achieve her dream when she’s older. So her local police station stepped in to make sure it happened now.

6-year-old Abigail Arias has a Wilms tumor, which is a type of kidney cancer, and after two years spent battling the disease, she and her family look to be out of options. The steps they’ve taken to fight her cancer haven’t worked, and now her family is hoping for a miracle and letting their little girl enjoy whatever time she has left.

“They basically said it’s time to enjoy some life,” Abigail’s mom, Ilene Arias, told CNN affiliate KTRK. “Extremely tough. We cried for a few weeks.”

The police station in Freeport, Texas, where Abigail lives, is helping her do just that. Last week, they swore Abigail in as an honorary police officer in front of a crowd of officers, first responders, local business leaders and others in the Freeport community.

The photo from the swearing-in ceremony, posted on the Freeport Police Department’s Facebook page with a caption about Abigail’s dream of being a cop, has nearly a thousand shares and over 2000 likes.

Abigail had told the police chief, Raymond Garivey Jr., about her dream of being a police officer back in December, at the police department’s annual “Pancakes with Santa” event.

“Her terrific smile and will to keep fighting ‘the bad guys’ inside of her — I wanted to make her dream come true,” Garivey told CNN. “You have to meet her to really understand what a great and inspiring young lady she is.”

Watch video of the ceremony below:

CBS News Personality’s Emotional Tribute To His Dad and “Every Dad” [WATCH]

(YouTube/CBS Evening News)

Losing your dad is not an easy thing for anyone to deal with, whether you’re a professional football player, a Hollywood superstar, or just a regular Joe.

You find yourself looking back on the moments you’ve shared, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have shared a lot. CBS News personality Steve Hartman has plenty of memories of his dad, and if you’ve watched CBS News, you probably remember his dad too. Steve featured his father in 8 of his “On the Road” segments over the years, including a poignant story about helping his dad move out of the home he’d built by himself.

Recently, Hartman’s father passed away, and CBS News ran Steve’s final segment featuring his old man. The video piece aired on February 11th and features a little backstory on how Hartman’s father became a fixture in his stories, starting with the segment they filmed showcasing how the retiree, a father of three (Steve’s the youngest) spent his time now that he wasn’t at work. Steve explains in his new piece that that first segment was a success because his dad was basically “every dad of that generation.” And as such, that final segment became a tribute both to his father and to all fathers.

Steve explains that after his mother died a few years earlier, his father’s passing has made him an orphan and that it’s “a unique kind of emptiness when there’s no one left on earth to love you quite so unconditionally.”

But he took some solace in his tribute to his father, and to wrap up the segment, he offered some beautiful words about parents and their children.

“A great parent does a lot more than make you wash behind your ears. A great parent is a miracle worker who can mold a helpless blob like [Steve] into a child who feels invincible. Although losing such a parent can feel like Kryptonite, remembering them in all their glory can make your heart fly.”

Teen Weighs PlayStation 4 as Fruit and Pays Cashier $10 for It

(Getty/andresr PlayStation.com)

Everyone tries to find ways to hack the system and get a little something extra out of life. Some of us are more clever than others and find loopholes in the system. Others are a tad more brazen and simply go for it, doing something so brazen that you can’t help but admire them for it. Even when they get caught.

That’s what happened to an enterprising young Frenchman who really wanted something and didn’t want to pay for it. At least not full price. And then he tried to do it again.

The 19-year-old, named Adel, strolled into a shop in Montbéliard in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of Eastern France and grabbed himself a PlayStation 4 gaming console. But rather than take it to the register and pay the full 340 Euros (388 American bucks) for the thing, he instead sauntered over to the produce section, weighed the console, and slapped the resulting sticker on it. Since the console only weights 6 pounds, the price for his new PlayStation 4 was a remarkably discounted 9 Euros (10 dollars)!

Somehow he managed to get past the cashier and pay for his hefty sack of fruit without being found out. He then sold the gaming system for $100 Euros and bought himself a train ticket home to Nice. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t use that ticket, and instead returned to the store the next day to replicate his scam. But the coppers were waiting.

Adel got nabbed and was ultimately sentenced to four months in prison. I sort of feel like he should have gotten off easy, purely due to the ingenuity and flat-out balls it took to attempt such a gambit. But at least the internet recognizes his genius!

“Dude should have tried with iPhones. Labeling them as Apples would have been technically correct…the best kind of correct,” a user commented on social media, per Meaww.com.

Clearly, Adel knows how to hack. Hopefully, he knows how to jailbreak too.

Dad Organizes Award-Winning Metal Festival for Son With Cerebral Palsy

(Imgur/Mason Metal Fest II/Richard McDeid)

There’s a certain amount of pride parents get when sharing beloved music with their kids. For true music lovers, it’s like sharing a part of one’s identity, forming a bond that’s difficult to describe yet impossible to deny.

(Richard McDeid)

Richard McDeid and his son, Mason, have a relationship built largely on a foundation of shared musical taste. They’ve attended over 1,200 musical performances, during which Richard learned more and more about the ironically relaxing effect heavy metal music has on his son.

(Richard McDeid)

Mason has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that develops before, during, and shortly after delivery and affects a child’s movement, motor skills, and muscle tone. As a baby up until he was a toddler, Mason was crying all the time due to his constant discomfort. One day, during a particularly bad crying spell, Richard discovered something amazing.

“I arrived in from work and his mom took some time out. He would simply not stop, so I put him in his chair and turned on the Metallica ‘Binge and Purge‘ VHS tape. A few minutes later I was washing the dishes and noticed he’d stopped crying. I checked on him and he’d fallen asleep.

“This was the very first time he’d done that without someone holding him. Afterward, it started happening in the car whenever Metallica was on. He would calm down and relax. At first, it was only Metallica and then grew to other bands as he learned to recognize them, he instantly responded and it grew from there.”

Ever since Mason’s first show in 2008 (Rage Against the Machine), he has been hooked. Most venues provide him with front row treatment where the fellow true metalheads are.

(Richard McDeid)

“Mason has now seen Metallica eight times from the front row in 6 different states, including the Iowa raceway for his college graduation party,” Richard said in an interview with My Good Planet.

“I teased him for years that Metallica would play his graduation and, as impossible as that sounded, in the end, it was Mr. Mason sitting next to the stage that day.”

In 2017, Mason began experiencing some serious medical problems and had to be hospitalized. With a temperature of 107.9, things were looking bleak.

“Mason is a fighter and a true champion,” Richard said. “And, by definition, a champion is determined not by how many knockouts they have, but on how many times they get up after being knocked down.”

Mason proved, once again, that he was too much of a badass to go down for good, and in his honor, Richard organized a metal festival for the following March during National CP Awareness Month. With a lineup of ten bands and so many of his fans and supporters around, Mason enjoyed one of the best parties of his life.

Completely unexpectedly, the festival was later awarded best show of the year by the local Metalsota Metty Awards.

(Richard McDeid)

“All those people were nothing but positive, and it was a turning point in his path to recovery,” Richard recalls. “It means so much as our music scene is behind us boys; we are very lucky to have met so many loving, caring metalheads.”

Now, Richard is planning on making “Mason Metalfest” an annual benefit concert, with the second festival scheduled for March 23, 2019, in Minneapolis.

So, if you find yourself in Minnesota in late March and you’re in the mood for a kickass metal show, make your way to Lee’s Liquor Lounge. Get there early enough and you might even be able to snag a prime spot up front with the man of the hour himself.


Man Spends 14 Years Excavating Basement With Remote-Controlled Toys [WATCH]

(RC Truck and Construction)

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

The common phrase typically applies to a person’s career but there’s no reason why such wisdom can’t be applied to daily tasks and responsibilities, which is why Joe Murray of Saskatchewan, Canada has spent the last fourteen years excavating his basement; not with a basic shovel, but with some of his favorite remote-controlled vehicles.

Sure, if you halfway know how to handle a shovel, you could clear out a room the size of Joe’s basement on just a couple of weeks but that’s not the point of the project.

Joe’s day job consists of farming cattle and grain, so his position as overlord of his remote-controlled workers is his preferred way to turn his brain off while still being productive after a long day.

“[It’s] my escape from everyday realities,” he told News.com.au. “Nothing more.”

He estimates that the tiny vehicles move roughly three cubic meters of soil per day—not a lot, but seemingly faster than actual construction jobs I’ve encountered in some cities.

(RC Truck and Construction)

Plus, the hobby has helped Joe develop skills that assist him in his day job as well:

“(I’ve got) greater dexterity in both hand and eye coordination,” Joe says. “I can better judge accuracy at a good distance from me. I can mentally picture several different scenarios of how to best tackle a project, make a better plan for success lessening the chance of a costly failure… and also [have] some specialized tools that I have bought for my hobby and then later used them too to fix my farm equipment myself.”

Despite their toy-like appearance, the vehicles are made to do genuine work like this. The 88lb JD850 excavator Joe acquired in 2010, for example, is armed with an operating hydraulic pressure of nearly 400psi.

(RC Truck and Construction)

Over the years, Joe has uploaded countless videos to YouTube to document the project, which has been surprisingly successful. Altogether, the project videos have earned over 6 million views.

As for where Joe will direct his efforts after the basement is finished, there’s a barn on his property that has already caught his attention.

“The one thing I’m looking forward to about the barn is the much bigger area and it’s flat too, which will work better for bigger, more powerful R/C models,” he said. “I might dig a pond in there with some river channels for tugboats/barges… We’ll see.”