Daughter of Hero Officer Lost on 9/11 Joins NYPD Under Dad’s Badge

Officer Ramon Suarez and Daughter Jillian
(NYPD)

The world changed on September 11th. The lives of countless people were impacted in ways we’re still discovering while wounds of loss still remain as fresh as they were back in 2001.

As families and friends of the nearly 3,000 innocent people who lost their lives that day struggle to carry on, a few bright spots have emerged as reminders that we as human beings and Americans will not be held down or deterred from helping others.

Jillian Suarez had celebrated her ninth birthday just two days before the attacks. Her father, Ramon Suarez, was an officer who lost his life-saving others during the chaos that ensued on the morning of September 11th. Officer Suarez was last seen running back into the North Tower of the World Trade Center after assisting a woman who was unable to walk out of the building. His final resting place, miles from where he was posted that day. “He was on Delancey Street and Essex. He was at his post and he heard the call over the radio. From there he ran to take a taxi. He took a taxi to help others that day,” his daughter Jillian shared back in 2016 with news affiliate PIX11. “It took three months for them to find him and I think it really hit me when my mom had told me that day when they found him that he wasn’t coming home,” Jillian added.

This was the last photo taken of Officer Ramon Suarez on 9/11 (NYPD)

Now almost two decades later, the young girl whose father gave his life in the line of duty has followed in his footsteps to protect and serve. It’s a long way from where she was in the years after losing her father. “For 10 years, I said that he died from a heart attack,” she recalled.

But after remembering her father’s passion for helping others and his love of the career, Jillian decided to apply for the police academy. “I always saw his passion in the job and how he loved wearing that uniform and I want to be able to help others the way he did.”

Last October, Jillian graduated from the Police Academy and was given a shield — the same badge her father wore his many years on the job. It was both an honor and a reminder that her father will always be with her both on the job and off. His spirit of compassion and caring, already deeply ingrained in Jillian’s actions. “If people need me, I’ll drop anything. I don’t care what it is.”

It’s that same mentality that brought her father to the towers that day — the same frame of mind that tens of thousands of emergency service professionals take on each and every day.

Today, and every day, we remember Ramon Suarez and the hundreds of others who gave their lives in the hopes of saving others. We remember the victims of the planes, buildings, and aftermath of the attacks. Most of all, for those who lived through the attacks and those of us watching as they unfolded that day, we remember to never forget.

Keep Off The Grass! Winter Lawn Care Is A Cinch With These Tips

winter lawn care
(Getty/poshfoto)

Dude, your yard looks great. The grass is at the right level. You finally found your groove for creating the perfect mow pattern. And that groundhog? Yeah, he’s gone. You’ve spent hours each week perfecting your lawn. You planted the bulbs your wife bought and even found a spot for the stupid sparkling gazing ball your kid “needed.” Lawn care was practically a part-time job for the last six-ish months. Now winter is coming and you’re packing away that lawnmower and looking forward to a break, right?

Ehhh… not so fast. In order to keep from basically starting over in the spring, you’ll need to put in just a bit more work in the fall with some winter lawn care best practices. It’s also a good idea to remain vigilant over your yard, even in the darkest days of winter. Here’s what you need to know and do.

Start winter lawn care in the fall

Do Leaf Control

We know both Finn and Fido love crunching through those autumn leaves. However, leaving them sitting on your grass can take its toll. For your absolute best bet at a healthy lawn, rake often and pick up the piles immediately. If you can’t get to them right away or they end up rain-soaked on your lawn, you leave your yard more susceptible to critters and your grass is likely to end up diseased. At the bare minimum, use your mower to mulch the leaves into dime-sized pieces.

Aerate Your Lawn

What’s it feel like when you walk across your lawn? Is it firm or do your feet sink into the earth? Aerating your yard is beneficial no matter what, but a harder ground is more likely to benefit.

What is aerating?

To aerate literally means to add air or give air. In other words, loosen the earth under your grass so it’s not so compacted.

How do you aerate?

You can do this in multiple ways. There are spikes you can strap onto your shoes so you can walk your lawn and push holes into the ground. There are also tools/machines you can buy that you push across your yard. As they roll over your grass, they pull out plugs of dirt and, again, leave holes to help loosen the dirt.

Why should you aerate?

An aerated lawn has multiple benefits. To begin, you already know that plants need oxygen. Those holes also allow better drainage during rain and snow. This not only brings water to your grass roots, it also helps avoid standing or pooling water. As an added bonus, it also helps with your next step…

Feed, seed, and treat your grass

Did you know there’s actually stuff you can put on your lawn now that will settle in over winter and help your yard look even better in the Spring? Scotts Turf Builder, for instance, has several different fall and winter lawn treatments you can use, depending on what your lawn needs.

Once winter arrives

Keep off the grass!

No. Really. Your grass is much more fragile during colder temperatures. If your dog likes to run in the same path around the yard, look for ways to redirect him every few days, so he doesn’t wear down a path. And, while your kids’ occasional romp through the snow won’t do much damage, make sure they’re sticking to the walk or driveway on regular treks out of the house.

Treat your snow carefully

When managing snow, there are two things to keep in mind: How long snow piles will sit on your lawn and what you’re using on hard surfaces to melt the snow. If your neighborhood plows the street and you end up with snow piled on the easement, it might be worth getting out the shovel and moving it elsewhere. Piled up road slush carries a lot of weight… and harmful chemicals from cars. Leaving snow berms sitting on your grass can actually cause mold, too. Another way harmful chemicals seep into your grass? The chemicals in the “salt” used to melt the snow and ice off your walkways.

This is hard, right? If you have a pet, you might already be buying a special ice melt that’s less painful for your pooch. Is it safe for your lawn, too? There’s a ton of products out there. In the long run, it might be a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. If you’re only worried about your lawn, calcium chloride is the best option. And if you must use straight rock salt? Use it as a pretreatment before the ice and snow arrive instead of using it after the fact. Why? You can use a lot less if you use it before instead of after.

Clear the yard of clutter

Finally, don’t shoot the messenger on this, but you need to bring in anything you can and cover the rest. Winter winds blow ornaments over and knock branches down. Part of your yard’s charm is the cute accessories. Don’t let winter ruin them — that crap is expensive! For bigger pieces, try to invest in covers or even just cheap tarps and bungee cords from any hardware store.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

12 Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week 10/30/20

Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week 10/30/20
(Getty/Westend61 Twitter/HenpeckedHal)

We’re almost there, the spookiest time of the year is quickly approaching. Not spooky because of the ghosts and fake blood, but because the amount of candy kids consume in a few-hour period can turn them from kid-level goofy to a turbo-powered ball of energy until they inevitably crash on the floor at 9 pm with half a Twix bar hanging out of their mouths. In preparation for the long day ahead, take a few minutes and enjoy some good old parenting humor. We’ve rounded up 12 of the funniest parenting tweets this week because kids shouldn’t get all the treats on Halloween. This one’s just for the parents.

Sorry I’m late there was traffic in the living room

Usually, the answer is no

They learn so young

It’s like you’re not even trying

If this isn’t art I don’t want to know what is

Wait until you see #2 – I mean, the second impression

He just aced middle school health class

Crayola’s new “Existential Dread” line is killing it

Third time this week

So heartwarming when they pay attention to your interests

A beautiful family moment

And then they’ll tell you how you messed it up

Did you miss last week’s funniest parenting tweets?

New ‘McBroken’ Website Tracks Every Broken Ice Cream Machine at McDonald’s

McBroken McDonald's Ice Cream Tracker
(McBroken.com Instagram/McDonald's)

It’s the crushing news you expect to hear every time you go to a McDonald’s: our ice cream machine is broken. It’s such a common experience it’s almost rarer to find a McDonald’s that will actually sell you ice cream. It’s even become fodder for stand-up comedy. But now a hero has emerged from our midst, a hero who created a website that tracks every single McDonald’s ice cream machine in America and whether or not it’s currently working.

There’s no questioning McDonald’s standing in the fast-food world. They even try to flex that by offering off-beat items like burger scented candles, just because they can. That doesn’t mean they are resting on their laurels, either, given their new spicy chicken nuggets were a hit. The constantly broken soft serve, machines, are a big hole in their offerings.

24-year-old software engineer Rashiq Zahid is at least making it easier to find the machines that are up in order to save yourself a disappointing trip. He built a website tracking the operational ability of every soft serve machine. How?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Sweet.🍦

A post shared by McDonald’s (@mcdonalds) on

“I reverse engineered mcdonald’s internal api and I’m currently placing an order worth $18,752 every minute at every mcdonald’s in the US to figure out which locations have a broken ice cream machine,” he tweeted. So, by taking advantage of the online ordering (without actually completing his $20,000 ice cream order every minute), he gives real-time data on ice cream at McBroken.com.

He certainly didn’t expect it to blow up the way it did, but it’s been a massive hit online. In less than two days, his site got more than 1.5 million unique users, with 16 million interactions with his McBroken map.

The entire project came from his attempt to order a McSundae using the digital app, but to no avail.

“I was like, there must be something that can be done about this,” he told The Verge. And thus, one bot later, McBroken.com was born, and we never have to be surprised by a McDonald’s soft serve machine again.

Father Figures: Stepped In

“This is my dad.

Okay, so he isn’t my biological father. But he has been a father figure for me for a long time. His gentleness and calmness has been an inspiration to me for so long.

When my real dad died before he could marry my husband and I, this man stepped in.

I couldn’t ask for a better second dad. He’s there when I’m freaking out at 3am and send a text, he’s there when I’m excited and I text him and Mom (his wife) and let them know about something good in our life.

When I was younger, I had just watched my brother get in an accident (he’s okay now, but has a skull fracture and a TBI). Some girls came up to me and said they hoped I was okay.

Shocked and scared, I got mad and told them I wasn’t the one who got hurt. My dad directed them away from the situation and pulled me in for a hug. He kept hugging me so I wouldn’t look back at my brother and wouldn’t tear into those girls.

He’s a good dad.”

– Ashley McKinney

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

Kevin Hart Takes Jerry Lewis’s Place as Muscular Dystrophy Telethon’s Host

Kevin Hart Hosts Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon
(Youtube/LOL Network)

For almost half a century, Jerry Lewis dedicated himself to helping find a cure for muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease that causes muscle degeneration, weakness, trouble breathing, and sadly, its progressive nature means those symptoms get worse over time. Jerry Lewis wanted to see the suffering caused by MD end – he became the face and voice of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual telethon, spending thousands of hours and helping to raise $2.45 billion for MD research between 1966-2009.

Sadly, Jerry Lewis passed away in 2017, devastating the community he worked so hard to help over the years.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association said in a statement following Lewis’s death, “MDA would not be the organization it is today if it were not for Jerry’s tireless efforts on behalf of ‘his kids.’ His enthusiasm for finding cures for neuromuscular disease was matched only by his unyielding commitment to see the fight through to the end. Jerry’s efforts on the annual MDA Telethon transformed the broadcast into an American tradition each Labor Day weekend for 45 years.”

The telethon, however, must go on. It’s what Jerry Lewis would have wanted – people continuing to use the fundraiser he made famous to raise as much money as possible for the cause he held so close to his heart. The first MDA telethon in six years has a new face (and a much shorter runtime) but was still packed with entertainment. Actor and comedian Kevin Hart stepped up to host the 2020 Muscular Dystrophy Association’s telethon, raising over $10.5 million during the two-hour event.

The October 24 telethon raised money for both the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Kevin Hart’s own Help From The Hart Charity, which provides scholarships to those in underserved communities and helps people struggling with medical needs. The event was star-studded and featured a variety of entertainment from comedy to musical performances.

Guests included Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Usain Bolt, Whitney Cummings, Steph Curry, Adam Devine, Josh Gad, Michael B. Jordan, and more. Though the event itself is over, you can still watch the full telethon – and more importantly, you can still support the cause. Some auctions are still in progress, including a signed Stephen Curry jersey, a Zoom session with Zachary Levi, and several other one-of-a-kind items. If you just want to donate, you can do that here.

“At this point in my life and my career, it’s finding other things to hold on to,” Hart told ABC News. “Entertainment and comedy — it’s been a thing, it’s been what I’m known for, and I’ve pushed hard to be successful at it. If I can match that energy and switch the gears and start to do things for others and bring awareness and a high level of positivity to the world and hopefully bring people together, put smiles on the faces, heal some, do for some, I will feel like I’ve done my job while here.”

Netflix Teams-Up With Ubisoft to Make a Live-Action Assassin’s Creed Show

Assassin's Creed Netflix
(Netflix/Ubisoft)

Video game movies and tv shows don’t always hit the mark, but if anyone is capable of a big swing, Netflix is the one. They nailed it with ‘The Witcher”, which is also getting a prequel series, and now they’ve got another beloved video game franchise they are developing into a show. We are finally getting an “Assassin’s Creed” show.

This is the result of a deal between Ubisoft and Netflix and is the first of several new series. According to a press release the deal will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptions of live-action, animated and anime series.” So, we could be getting a lot of Assassin’s Creed content, but the live-action show is up first.

What do we know? OK, admittedly, not much beyond the fact that it’s going to happen. It could be set in almost any point in history, from the Crusades to the American Revolution, from Pirates to Vikings. Are we getting Ezio or Connor? Edward Kenway? Who knows??

The bottom line, whatever we’re gonna get is gonna come with extremely high expectations, as the video game franchise is one of the most successful over the past decade-plus and one of the best-selling games of all time. There is an enormous amount of potential if they give it the runway a series like this needs to be done correctly. For its part, Netflix is saying all the right things (which is the easy part).

“From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy,” said Netflix original series vice president Peter Friedlander in a prepared statement.

Assassin’s Creed is full of great characters and great stories, but when you cut corners, you end up with the 2016 big screen adaption that was largely panned.

Still, after “The Witcher,” it’s hard not to have sky-high hopes for the possibilities of the new partnership.

‘Band of Brothers’ Follow-Up Focuses on World War II Pilots

Band of Brothers Follow up
(HBO)

When it comes to the golden age of TV, HBO has had its fair share of classic shows. From arguably launching the era with The Sopranos and continuing it with Deadwood and The Wire, and then dominating culture with Game of Thrones, the cable network has a sterling reputation for television excellence.

We haven’t even mentioned their comedies like The Larry Sanders Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Veep, or their landmark World War II series The Band of Brothers.

Produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, the Band of Brothers miniseries and its follow-up The Pacific were nominated for 44 Emmys and won 15. Now Hanks and Spielberg are following those shows up with a new series about aerial combat, called Masters of the Air, but this one belongs to Apple TV+.

The show is an adaptation of the Donald L. Miller book Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany. It will last 10 episodes and cover personal stories of the American and British pilots who fought for freedom in the skies. According to Deadline the first three episodes will be directed by Cary Fukanaga, who helmed True Detective and the COVID-delayed Bond movie No Time to Die.

No word on casting yet, but with this kind of talent behind the camera and behind the scenes, and the reputation that Band of Brothers and The Pacific have for illuminating the heroism and sacrifices of the Greatest generation, there should be no shortage of actors willing to suit up.

KFC Brings Back Their Popular Chicken-Scented Firelog

KFC Chicken Fire Log
(KFC)

It is fire season. Fire pits, fireplaces, all of it. And with most of us staying home more, or trying to be outside more, having a log to throw on the fire has never been more important. And if you can make your house smell like delicious fried chicken at the same time, why not go for it? That is the sentiment behind KFC’s 11 Herbs and Spices Firelog, a seasonal delight that is back on sale to help bring a dose of normalcy to your holiday season.

KFC knows the power of their chicken, and more importantly, even the smell of their chicken. Which is why the iconic fast-food brand developed chicken-scented crocs. KFC isn’t afraid to branch out to new products, or even new partnerships, which we saw when they teamed up with Cheetos. And now they are back to giving us the hits again, with everyone’s favorite firelog.


It’s sold exclusively at Wal-Mart (in select stores and of course online at Walmart.com). The log is a big hit, and was quick to sell-out last year.


The log is made by Enviro-Log and there is no limit to how you can incorporate it into your life. OK, there are actually a bunch of limits. It is just a fire log, after all. But whether it’s in the fireplace or in your fire pit, it’s a nice way to up the cozy factor while you’re stuck at home more than usual.

And, if you do get enough of your chicken smell fill, we can help chase it with a familiar smell of our own.

Reese’s Built a Robotic Candy-Dispensing Door for Safer Trick-or-Treating

Reese's Candy-Dispensing Door
(Instagram/Reeses)

In a world where the kid holiday of all kid holidays has taken a serious hit due to COVID, parents have worked tirelessly to find safe ways for their kids to still be able to enjoy the spirit of the season. Many neighborhoods have canceled trick-or-treating altogether, but as everyone knows, it’s not Halloween without a boatload of candy. Some creative folks have come up with excellent workarounds to dispense candy in fun and interesting ways, but the candy geniuses at Reese’s took it to a whole new level.

It’s no secret that Reese’s are a high-value candy. Any kid who’s ever participated in the yearly Halloween Night Trade knows that one Reese’s is worth at least two of any other candy (three if it’s an Almond Joy). And that’s just for the fun-sized cups! This year, Reese’s is safely bringing king-sized versions of their beloved candy to trick-or-treaters – and they’re also bringing the door.

If you’re a true Halloween fan, you can plead your case on Instagram. Some very lucky Halloweenheads will get a very special delivery this year in the form of a robotic door built by the candy brand, a door that can be controlled from up to 5,000 feet away. If you spot this 9-foot-tall door in your neighborhood (it’s hard to miss, with the lights and smoke and Halloween-y music), make sure to say “trick or treat!”

When the robotic door hears those three magic words, a king-sized Reese’s will appear in the mail slot for the lucky Halloween lover to devour, or trade if that’s your MO. Whatever you do with your enormous peanut butter chocolate treat, the delivery method will be one you’ll never forget.

Allen Dark, Reese’s senior brand manager explained, “This Halloween is unlike any other, so we’ve upped the ante on creativity as a result. A robotic Reese’s dispensing door is just what the world needs right now.”

Undoubtedly, a lot of things in the world would be greatly improved by treat-dispensing robots. The robotic door is a safe and convenient way to deliver treats to Reese’s fans, but it also provides some much-needed levity during a stressful time. Honestly, if this is what the robot uprising looked like, I’d be all for it. Candy-Dispensing Robot 2020.