His Dad Left When He Was 12, Now He Shares ‘Dadvice’ on YouTube

Dad, How Do I? Dadvice
(YouTube/Dad, how do I?)

Dads are good at fixing things. (At least, many dads are. I am terrible at it and am failing my children.) Growing up with a dad who is handy and does do-it-yourself projects and enjoys trips to Home Depot can be a blessing, especially when that dad hands that knowledge down to his kids. My father is a lawyer, and growing up I learned a lot more about doing crossword puzzles than I did about checking my oil or building my own coffee table.

The good news is, we have the internet, and Google, and YouTube, and when I need to know how to fix something, I go online. And now, thanks to one compassionate guy who knows what it’s like to need some help, you can learn some basic skills from a dad.

His name is Rob Kenney, and his dad left when he was 12. He never got the DIY knowledge many fathers hand down to their kids, so he decided he wanted to help make sure other kids who don’t have that kind of father in their lives can get those skills from him.

He started a YouTube channel called “Dad, How Do I?” where he shares videos of his DIY tips that he calls “practical dadvice,” and includes things like how to fix a running toilet, unclog a drain, and even tying a tie.

He had about 40,000 followers, and then a dude named Chris Hart shared his channel on Facebook.

Clearly he wasn’t the only one who loves what Kenney is doing, as Hart’s post went viral, and Kenney’s YouTube subscribers blew up to over 951,000!

Kenney quickly shared a video thanking everyone for the incredible response he’s received for his YouTube channel. He explains that he chats with his daughter and son every day about more than how to fix things, but also “how to manage your life and adulting.”

He’s obviously a tad emotional at the response – and at the time of the video he only had 400,000 subscribers, so he’s probably, even more, overwhelmed now. Let’s keep that going by heading over and subscribing now. God knows I can use the help, and I’m an “adult” dad myself!

“No Drama Llama” Joins Peaceful Protest in Portland

There’s a famous quote from Mr. Rogers about times of tragedy and crisis.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Rogers said, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Sometimes, they’re not even people.

All over the country, protests are in support of justice for the murder of George Floyd. People of all stripes are coming together to make their voices heard and take a stand against racism and police brutality, and some of them are even bringing their animal friends.

Tuesday night, in Portland, Oregon, local celebrity Caesar, the ‘no drama’ llama, was one of them.

Owned by Larry McCool, from the Mystic Llama Farm, Caesar is well-known in Portland, and his presence at the protest was welcomed, cheered, and even used as an example.

The llama helped make Portland a good example of how to hold a peaceful protest.

Caesar even has his own Twitter account, where he responded to people who caught wind of his presence.

His twitter bio describes Caesar as a “Therapy/Charity #llamactivist protecting & promoting civil rights for all.”

Nice to see him putting his money where his mouth is!

Bus Drivers Give a Unique Congratulations to the Class of 2020

Bus Drivers Give a Unique Congratulations to the Class of 2020
(lovelandschools.org)

This year’s graduates have not had it easy. Spending their final months of school away from friends, missing out on irreplaceable milestones like prom and graduation, honestly, it sucks. People around the world are trying to find safe and memorable ways to give graduating seniors some kind of silver lining. John Krasinski hosted a virtual graduation for seniors, which had the additional benefit of eliminating the fear of tripping on stage while accepting your diploma. This crafty dad built an entire graduation stage to give his daughter the graduation she dreamed of (well, close enough). Now, bus drivers for the Loveland City school district in Ohio have come up with their own creative way to celebrate their driven, hard-working seniors.

The incredible result was shared in a viral video, congratulating the 392 graduating seniors. It’s a simple idea, really – you can do it at home to celebrate your own graduate. All you need is a drone, seven drivers, 3 ½ hours, 22 school buses, and Lisa Moorhead to coordinate.

Moorehead has been driving buses for 23 years and has witnessed firsthand year after year the bustling excitement that surrounds high school graduation. Moorehead had taken these seniors to school every single day, through difficult times and incredible successes.

Moorehead told Today, “We didn’t have our last days with any of the kids in district,” she said. “We thought (school closing) was going to be three weeks, but it turned out to be the rest of the year. As bus drivers, we bond with our kids. We’re the first ones they see in the morning and the last ones before they go home.”

She knew she had to honor their hard work somehow. With a little help from her friends, Moorehead was able to give the Loveland City school district seniors an incredible surprise. The crew of dedicated drivers worked for hours to complete the tribute to the graduating class, aligning their buses to spell out an enormous “2020”. They weren’t sure they had done it correctly until the art teacher sent up a drone to check their work.

“To us down on the ground, it looked like a maze,” Moorehead explained. “When Jim Barrett … took (the drone) up, there were tears and screams. We were so excited we’d done it.”

We see you, Loveland City school district bus drivers. Thank you for going extra mile for your students.

15 Impactful Moments From Peaceful Protests Across the Country

Peaceful Protests Moments
(Twitter/RexChapman/GSVarley)

Many images in the news over the past several days have been ones of chaos, violence, and destruction. The grief and anger in response to the unjust killing of George Floyd is palpable. Floyd’s brother Rodney spoke to CBS news, and shared a powerful message with protesters on behalf of his brother. Rodney stated, “I’m asking for peace the same way my brother would ask us to if he could see the situation, if he was here. Peace. Peaceful protests. It is the best option we have to bring justice.”

So this is for you, Floyd—a collection of powerful, peaceful moments from protests across the country.

There was this enormous gathering in Chicago, with residents marching side by side.

Protesters in Augusta, Georgia held signs and embraced.

Long Beach residents sat peacefully in protest of Floyd’s murder.

In El Paso, Texas, protesters held signs with messages like “All lives don’t matter until black lives matter.”

San Diego protesters ask for justice.

Harlem protesters marched for eight peaceful miles.

Brooklyn streets were filled with nonviolent protesters.

David Holt, mayor of Oklahoma City, joined protesters. Perhaps more importantly, he listened.

A diverse group of Sioux Falls, South Dakota protesters unite, powerfully and peacefully.

These LA protesters are even practicing social distancing.

Protesters in Floyd’s home state protest his death peacefully, as he would have wanted.

Elmira, New York protesters carry signs, side by side.

Downtown Indianapolis protesters link arms as they face police officers.

Baltimore protesters take a knee and raise a fist for George Floyd.

And finally, this protester in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ending a long day of peacefully protesting by giving water to the police. He states, “I’m not mad at you.”

Father Figures: Blessed

“Being a dad is the best job in the world.

I’m a firefighter and am exposed to the harsh reality of the real world through death, sickness, and other unfortunate situations. Being able to hug my kids and wife allows me to humble myself through any hard times we may go through, because I am blessed that we are a healthy family with a roof over our heads.

The real world isn’t known to many, nor is it an absolute to those living in it. As long as I can make a difference and teach my children that they are blessed and therefore owe it to society to be a better person and help others, I can sleep at night.

Being a dad is truly the best job in the world.”

– Johnny Gray III

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

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

This Star Wars Cantina-Themed Bar Is the Ultimate Nerd Palace

Star Wars Cantina Bar
(Instagram/scumandvillainycantina)

We all need something to look forward to. Especially now. Even as some states start reopening at reduced capacity, there are plenty of cities that are still on total lockdown. And let me tell you, when your city is on total lockdown and you discover that there is a Star Wars Cantina-themed bar within walking distance of your home, time starts moving very, very slowly.

 

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Have you ever danced with a droid in the pale cantina light? . . #scumandvillainycantina #scifisafehouse

A post shared by Scum & Villainy Cantina (@scumandvillainycantina) on

This LA establishment is called Scum and Villainy Cantina (of course) and it is a self-proclaimed “friendly neighborhood geek bar.” Before you start having kittens because you clicked on the website and saw a guy gesturing at you to ‘live long and prosper,’ know that this bar caters to all geeks, not just the Star Wars variety. That’s right, this is a place where Trekkies, Star Wars fans, Battlestar Galactica fans, and every fan of niche nerdom can come together and live (and drink) in harmony. Vulkans can rub shoulders with Jawas and Cylons can shoot pool with Dr. Who. You are encouraged to dress up and they even host geek-themed tournaments for a variety of properties:

Some of their cocktails include The Mind Trick, Gold Bourbonkini, The Starbuck, Witness Me, Furiosa, I Aim to Misbehave, and the Dumbledore Special. Wondering what blue milk tasks like? This place has got you covered—and they’re even doing curbside pickup for those of us who can’t wait until the quarantine is over:

Just listen to how they describe themselves on their website:

Scum and Villainy Cantina is an intergalactic bar nestled deep within the wretched hive of Hollywood, CA. Inspired by the best drinking establishments from your favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies, Scum and Villainy is the geek bar you’ve been looking for.

Costumed bartenders join in the debate while mixing cocktails from a themed menu. Our laid-back atmosphere and strict “no bullying” mission creates a #ScifiSafeHouse not just for casual and mega-fans alike, but for anyone looking for a change of pace from the typical bar scene. Flying solo? Searching for your tribe? We definitely serve your kind here!

I will wait for you Scum and Villainy Cantina. I will wait for you as long as it takes.

Boy with Cerebral Palsy Completes Marathon, Raises Over 50k for Charity

Boy with Cerebral Palsy Completes Marathon, Raises Over 50k for Charity
(Facebook/Tobias’s Marathon Challenge)

Getting any kind of physical activity during quarantine is a struggle. Maybe you made the mistake of building everyone in your family a kickass Millennium Falcon bed and nobody has gotten up in weeks. At this point, even the couch I got at Goodwill feels safer than dealing with all of the unknowns happening in the world. Some people are turning to video games to stay fit inside, but not everyone has the money for expensive gaming consoles. 9-Year-Old Tobias Weller from Sheffield, England proved that all you need to get moving is your own body, and in his case, his trusty walker.

Tobias Weller has cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder that can cause weakness, stiffness, involuntary movements, and problems with posture. Symptoms vary from person to person, but in Tobias’s case, it meant that before quarantine began he was unable to walk more than 50 meters a day with the assistance of his walking frame. Early on in quarantine, Tobias saw news of Tom Moore, a 100-year-old WWII veteran who set out to raise money for COVID relief by walking laps around his home. This absolute beast of a man blew his $1,200 goal out of the freaking water and raised nearly $40 million dollars to date. Tobias watched “Captain” Tom Moore, slowly, carefully, holding onto his walker, putting one foot in front of the other as he circled his garden. Tobias looked down at his own walker and had an idea. If this man can do it, why can’t I?

So he did.

Every single day, Tobias began to walk. 50 meters at first, and then a bit more. Tobias walked through the pouring rain, powerful winds, and if he got lucky, a bit of sunshine. Initially, Tobias planned to walk 1 km, a truly lofty goal when your daily limit is supposedly 1/20th of that. Much like his hero Captain Tom, though, Tobias blew his goals out of the freaking water. Not only did Tobias end up walking up to 750 meters a day, but he also completed a whole. Dang. Marathon. 26 miles since he began his journey on March 21st. Friends, neighbors and even local police came to cheer for Tobias on his daily walks, beaming with pride at his determination.

Tobias stated during his appearance on This Morning, “I love it when I walk up and down my street every day because my neighbors come out and cheer for me – some of them even say, ‘We salute you, Tobias,’”.

Tobias’s campaign has raised over $50,000 so far for his chosen charities, Paces School where he attends classes, and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Tobias has proven to us that all you really need to accomplish your goals is the willingness to put in the work, and the determination to keep pushing when things feel insurmountable.

We salute you, Captain Tobias.

Quentin Tarantino Calls ‘The Social Network’ the Best Movie of the Decade

The Social Network
(Columbia Pictures)

One of the fun things about pop culture is all the material it provides us, not merely to consume, but to discuss, interpret, and argue about. Talking about movies and TV is a fun distraction, and sometimes we can really use one. Like right now.

There are no mathematical equations to measure whether The Godfather II is better than Casablanca, or if Sgt. Pepper’s is better than Exile on Main Street. That lack of empirical truth allows for infinite takes, and for people who are interested in arguing, there is endless fodder for debate.

Sometimes, even the people making the art join in.

That’s what director and cinephile Quentin Tarantino did recently when he spoke to France’s Premiere magazine about the best movies of the decade.

He was pretty definitive about his answer too. “It’s ‘The Social Network,’ hands down… It is number 1 because it’s the best, that’s all! It crushes all the competition,” QT said, christening David Fincher’s movie about Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook as his favorite film of the decade.

The Social Network hit theaters in 2010 and was roundly acclaimed from the start, for Fincher’s direction, Aaron Sorkin’s snappy, pithy dialogue, and Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of the vindictive Zuckerberg. It’s not quite a left-field choice, having been nominated for 8 Oscars and winning three (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Original Score), but not everyone agrees. Which is fun!

Twitter was quick to respond, with users citing their own favorites instead, like Moonlight, Inception, Fury Road, and more.

A few people had some fun with their suggestions.

Tarantino cited Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk as his second-best movie of the decade. Originally he had it on 7th on his list until he watched it a third time. “It wasn’t until that third time where I was gauging it for [my best of the decade list], that I could finally see past the spectacle into the people, into the people of the story. I could finally see the forest for the trees,” he explained.

What’s your favorite movie of the past 10 years?

The Dad Of The Month, May 2020: Andy Salamone

(Photos courtesy of Pier Reiter)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for May, 2020: Andy Salamone. Andy, who lost his eyesight at an early age, is an example of a man who has beaten the odds over and over again to exemplify exceptionalism, not only in his career, but in his role as a father. His brother, Pier, bragged up-and-down about Andy in his nomination:

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“Andy is my older brother. He is totally blind after losing his sight in both eyes to the cancer Retinoblastoma at the age of 3. Andy never lets anything get in his way – he was on the high school and college (division 1) wrestling teams. He took his 1st government job in Pearl Harbor—far from family and the familiarity of Pennsylvania. After that, he settled in Washington DC and is now working for Defense Intelligence Agency.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“He and his wife also have a 9-year-old boy, Michael. Andy slid into the role of ‘dad’ without missing a beat – changing diapers, giving bottles, cooking meals, etc. As the years went on and Michael grew, Andy never let his vision slow his abilities & activities as a dad. Most recently Andy has embarked on numerous Boy Scout trips with Michael that include skill activities, hiking, and overnight camping trips.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“Andy is there for Michael in every way he needs whether it’s help with homework, someone to have a lightsaber battle with, someone to construct the LEGO kits with, or just someone with whom he can be emotionally open when needed. Andy not only demonstrates all these amazing dad qualities to his own son, but to my two young daughters and our other young nephew.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“It is also worth mentioning that he is a phenomenal cook (minus the time he lit a box of cereal & his oven mitt on fire) and can still beat me in a game of HORSE in basketball. Andy has defeated the odds and overcome discrimination as a blind man and never let anything get in his way. Yet, despite his work and extracurricular accomplishments, if you ask him what his favorite and most rewarding job is, he will say being Michael’s dad.”

To honor Andy and his unwavering dedication to killing the dad game, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Thanks for showing us what outstanding fatherhood in the face of adversity looks like, Andy!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

JK Simmons Signs on to Keep Playing J. Jonah Jameson in the MCU

Simmons is back as Jameson
(Sony Pictures)

At this point, there are so many superhero movies, we’re all gonna get a chance to play one. Superman has been played by three actors (and countless more on TV), Batman changes actors every other year, even the Hulk has smashed through multiple guys. Eventually, Iron Man and Captain America and the other Avengers will be rebooted as well. It’s just the way it is.

Some things, however, stay the same. Spider-Man has been rebooted a few times over the past 15 years, but some actors are so well-suited to their roles, they can’t be replaced. I’m talking about JK Simmons, who played J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire. He is so perfect as the bombastic editor that the people behind an entirely different Spider-Man trilogy are not even bothering to replace him.

In Spider-Man: Far From Home’s momentous post-credit scene, Peter Parker is shown being outed as the wallcrawler by Jameson, in a surprise cameo by Simmons. People immediately speculated if the cameo was just a fun Easter egg for fans or the start of something, and based on an interview Simmons recently did with PeopleTV’s CouchSurfing it seems it’s the latter.

He talked about his experience auditioning for Sam Raimi, and whether he’ll appear in more MCU movies as Jameson. He’s not entirely sure – replies, “I don’t know if I would use the word expect” in regards to being in more movies, but be admits he did sign on to do sequels if they choose to use him.

He’s happy to keep playing the role. “It’s great to have the opportunity, as these things evolve, to be one of the holdovers from the previous version.”