December Streaming Guide: What’s New On Netflix, Amazon, and HBO.

The Dad Approved December Streaming Picks
(IMDB)

Dads don’t always get to control the remote, so when the time comes, we need to be ready. Here are our picks for the best movies and shows coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Now this month. (We know it’s December, but we’re mostly skipping the holiday stuff. You’ve seen ’em.)

FAMILY FRIENDLY FLICKS (mostly):

These are great for the whole family. Ideal for that night you come home with the perfect Christmas tree, set it up in the corner, and collectively decide that you’re too tired to decorate it yet.

Netflix:

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (December 1st)
One of the first in the recent trend of kid’s movies being way funnier than you’d think they could be.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Laugh
(Gify)

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (December 7th)
This movie hasn’t gotten much attention in the wake of the Disney “Live Action” Jungle Book movie, but is directed by motion capture master Andy Serkis, and features Christian Bale, Cate Blanchet, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Serkis himself in a more faithful adaptation of the original Kipling stories.

Voltron Legendary Defender: Season 8 (December 14th)
We’re not going to say it’s as good as the one we watched when we were kids, but it’s not like we’re gonna just…not watch Voltron.

Voltron
Actual footage of my kid getting home for winter break. (Giphy)

3Below: Tales From Arcadia (December 21st)
Guillermo Del Toro’s second show in set in the Trollhunters universe, about rogue aliens on the run from bounty hunters (awesome). Reasonably sure nobody will fall in love with a fish here,  but you just never know with this guy.

Avengers: Infinity War (December 25th)
Disney is planning to snatch all their Marvel and Star Wars movies back for their own streaming service, so check out the ultimate superhero showdown before it’s gone in a….you know…

Thanos-Snap Comic
(Doyouevencomicbook.com/John Robinson IV - Jim Starlin, George Perez, Ron Lim)

Amazon Prime:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (December 1st)
Remember when Raphael said a bad word in the first five minutes, and it was like “whoa, this is different than the cartoon?”  Anyway, if you miss the days of rubber suit ninja action, this will probably blow your kids’ minds.

Groundhog Day (December 1st)
“Ok, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties cause it’s coooooold out there today.”

Groundhog Day Winter
(Giphy)

The Dark Crystal (December 1st)
Jim Henson’s successful attempt to live forever in our nightmares is a family classic, apparently.

The Dark Crystal Mouth Muppet
(Giphy)

The Naked Gun Trilogy (December 1st)
Ok, these are maybe, technically, probably not suitable for kids. Like, at all. But let’s be real, your dad probably showed them to you when you were too young, and it’s those traditions that makes the holidays special.

HBO Now:

The Land Before Time (All 2,000 of them available December 1st)
Don Bluth is a legend, and the first adventure of Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Spike, and Petrie is a must-see! The other entries in the series…also exist.

Ready Player One (December 8th)
Every 80s kid’s favorite director made a movie for aughts kids.

Spider-Man Spielberg
This is pretty much how it happened. (ImageFlip)

 

The Dad After Dark:

Check out these titles after the kids go to bed. Assuming you are still awake yourself, that is.

Netflix:

The Big Lebowski (December 1st)
Sam Elliot hasn’t aged in 20 years, which is something we’re looking into. Also, you know, this is one of the best comedies ever made, so.

The Dude Abides
(giphy)

Friday (December 1st)
You know the meme, but have you seen the original? This classic comedy is still leaving it’s mark on pop culture, 23 years later. Don’t believe us? Bye, Felicia.

Friday
(Giphy)

Terminator Salvation (December 1st)
Is this movie good? Is that really what’s important here? As the entry in the franchise that you probably didn’t pay actual money to go see, it’s the ideal “too tired to pay attention to anything” entertainment choice. Plus, if enough people watch this, maybe they’ll bring back the actually great Sarah Conner Chronicles.

District 9 (December 4th)
The best father/son shrimp monster relationship in movie history.

District 9
(Giphy)

The American Meme (December 7th)
This might end up being the most fun or most depressing thing you ever watch, depending on your relationship with social media. Great if you need a reminder why it’s good to limit your kids’ screen time.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale (Available December 14th)
If you are getting some strong Buffy vibes from this take on the Archie comic universe, you’re not alone. In fact, Buffy/Angel star Alexis Denisof is joining the cast for season 2. But first, step back in time with this holiday special that’s sure add some Halloween spirit to the holiday…ahem…solstice season.

Springsteen on Broadway (December 16th)
Oh, is the Boss performing a special Tony Award winning solo show about his relationship with his father? Cool. Cool cool cool. We’re just gonna be chopping some onions over here, don’t mind us.

Springsteen
(Tenor/CatalinaJoel)

Theory of Everything (December 16th)
“However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at.” – Stephen Hawking, winner of The Dad’s first-ever Father of the Space Time Continuum Award.

Amazon Prime:

The Game (December 1st)
Before escape rooms were a thing, this David Fincher thriller had Michael Douglas on the run in a maybe real/maybe not race to escape his father’s legacy. It’s the most fun you probably don’t want to actually have.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2 (December 5th)
If Tony Shaloub in this series isn’t your Dad Goals inspiration, then what are you even doing?

Mrs Maisel Dad
(Giphy)

Hereditary (December 27th)
Here’s the thing. Don’t watch this movie. Is it a well made, wonderfully acted, beautifully shot piece of cinema that tells a compelling story of grief, depression, and the impact parents have on our lives? Yes, absolutely, it’s one of the best films of the year. Do we wish we could burn it from our memory and wash our eyeballs in bleach after seeing it? 100%. Even if you don’t mind gore, and could watch brainless teenagers get off’d at summer camp all day long, trust us. This is not that kind of horror movie. Real talk, parent-to-parent: This movie. Is. Upsetting.

Hereditary Dad
(Giphy)

HBO Now:

Inception (December 1st)
Leonardo DiCaprio folds a city in half in order to get back to his kids, when they could have just easily come to him, but didn’t because they’re stubborn. One of the most honest stories of fatherhood ever told.

So there you have it! The Dad’s binge watch guide to get your family through the winter. Now, these are just the titles we don’t want you to miss. But if you’ve got vacation time coming up…

The Full List

Here’s all of it!

Netflix:

December 1st

  • 8 Mile
  • Astro Boy
  • Battle
  • Bride of Chucky
  • Christine
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  • Crossroads: One Two Jaga
  • Friday
  • Friday After Next
  • Hellboy
  • Man vs Wild with Sunny Leone, season 1
  • Meet Joe Black
  • Memories of the Alhambra (streaming every Saturday)
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Next Friday
  • Reindeer Games
  • Seven Pounds
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Terminator Salvation
  • The Big Lebowski
  • The Great British Baking Show: Masterclass, season 5
  • The Last Dragon
  • The Man Who Knew Too Little

December 2nd

  • The Lobster

December 3rd

  • Blue Planet II, season 1
  • Hero Mask
  • The Sound of Your Heart: Reboot, season 2

December 4th

  • District 9

December 6th

  • Happy!, season 1

December 7th

  • 5 Star Christmas
  • Bad Blood
  • Dogs of Berlin
  • Dumplin’
  • Free Rein: The Twelve Neighs of Christmas
  • Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
  • Nailed It! Holiday!
  • Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas
  • Pine Gap
  • ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?
  • Super Monsters and the Wish Star
  • The American Meme
  • The Hook Up Plan (Plan Coeur)
  • The Ranch: Part 6

December 9th

  • Sin senos sí hay paraíso, season 3

December 10th

  • Michael Jackson’s This Is It

December 11th

  • Vir Das: Losing It

December 12th

  • Back Street Girls: Gokudols
  • Out of Many, One

December 13th

  • Wanted, season 3

December 14th

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale
  • Cuckoo, season 4
  • Dance & Sing with True: Songs
  • Fuller House, season 4
  • Inside the Real Narcos
  • Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons, season 3
  • Prince of Peoria: A Christmas Moose Miracle
  • Roma
  • Sunderland Til I Die
  • The Fix
  • The Innocent Man
  • The Protector
  • Tidelands
  • Travelers, season 3
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender, season 8

December 16th

  • Baby Mama
  • Kill the Messenger
  • One Day
  • Springsteen on Broadway
  • The Theory of Everything

December 18th

  • Baki
  • Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable
  • Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 5

December 21st

  • 3Below: Tales of Arcadia
  • 7 Days Out
  • Back With the Ex
  • Bad Seeds
  • Bird Box
  • Derry Girls
  • Diablero
  • Greenleaf, season 3
  • LAST HOPE: Part 2
  • Perfume
  • Sirius the Jaeger
  • Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski
  • Tales by Light, season 3
  • The Casketeers
  • Wolf (BÖRÜ)

December 23rd

  • Watership Down

December 24th

  • Hi Score Girl
  • The Magicians, season 3

December 25th

  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, season 11
  • Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War

December 26th

  • Alexa & Katie, season 2
  • YOU

December 28th

  • Instant Hotel
  • La noche de 12 años
  • Selection Day
  • When Angels Sleep
  • Yummy Mummies

December 30th

  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe

December 31st

  • The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man

Amazon Prime:

December 1st

  • A Clockwork Orange
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • A Fistful of Dollars (Per un pugno di dollari)
  • All the President’s Men
  • Bad Girls from Mars
  • Because I Said So
  • Bestseller
  • Beverly Hills Vamp
  • Blue Hill Avenue
  • Boogie Nights
  • Bright Lights, Big City
  • Event Horizon
  • Gargoyle
  • Groundhog Day
  • Happily N’Ever After
  • Happily N’Ever After 2
  • Hitman’s Run
  • King of the Mountain
  • Line of Duty
  • Livin’ by the Gun
  • Margin Call
  • Mars Attacks!
  • Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
  • Ordinary People
  • Promised Land
  • Silent Tongue
  • Sleepover
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • The Black Stallion
  • The Dark Crystal
  • The Firm
  • The Game
  • The Godson
  • The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
  • The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
  • Trucks
  • Ulee’s Gold
  • Valkyrie
  • War
  • Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins
  • Wild Wild West
  • Windtalkers

December 5th

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, season 2

December 7th

  • Killers
  • Why Did I Get Married Too?

December 8th

  • Before I Fall
  • Collide

December 14th

  • LOL: Last One Laughing, season 1

December 15th

  • 4 Blocks, season 2
  • Life of Crime, Mini-series

December 16th

  • Evan Almighty

December 19th

  • A Most Wanted Man

December 21st

  • Life Itself
  • Vanity Fair, season 1

December 25th

  • Iron Man 2

December 27th

  • Hereditary

December 28th

  • Niko and the Sword of Light, season 2

HBO NOW:

December 1st

  • An Innocent Man
  • The Best Man
  • The Book of Eli
  • Bootmen
  • Dave
  • Dawn of the Dead
  • George A Romero’s Land of the Dead
  • Get Him to the Greek
  • Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
  • The Hangover
  • He’s Just Not That Into You
  • Inception
  • The Land Before Time
  • The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure
  • The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving
  • The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists
  • The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island
  • The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock
  • The Land Before Time VII: Stone of Cold Fire
  • The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze
  • The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water
  • The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration
  • Legend of the Guardians The Owls of Ga’Hoole
  • Light It Up
  • Lost River
  • Mi tesoro (aka My Treasure)
  • Rampage
  • Vida en Marte (aka Life on Mars)

December 2nd

  • Camping, season 1 finale

December 3rd

  • Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

December 4th

  • HBO First Look: Mortal Engines

December 6th

  • Traffik

December 7th

  • Ice Box

December 8th

  • Ready Player One

December 10th

  • Vice Special Report: The Panic Artists
  • My Brilliant Friend, season 1 finale
  • My True Brilliant Friend

December 11th

  • Momentum Generation

December 14th

  • Room 104, season 2 finale

December 14th

  • High & Mighty

December 14th

  • Vice, season 6 finale

December 15th

  • Blockers

December 15th

  • Pete Holmes: Dirty Clean

December 16th

  • Magnifica, season 3 finale

December 17th

  • Bleed Out

December 21st

  • En El Septimo Dia (aka On the Seventh Day)

December 22nd

  • Isle of Dogs

December 23rd

  • Sally4Ever, season 1 finale

So, now it should be easy to make a decision, right?

…Right?

Inception Top
(Giphy)

Woody Harrelson Stops to Help Strangers Move In Full Dad-Mode

Woody Harrelson Helps A Woman Move
(Twitter / Alex Janin)

He may play a symbiote serial killer nowadays, but Woody Harrelson seems way more like his friendly Cheers character in real life.  Beloved funny man and movie star Bill Murray has a legendary reputation for popping up in random places and making strangers’ days with good-natured antics. Now his former Zombieland co-star is stepping in to fill his shoes.

Earlier this month, Alex Janin, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and her boyfriend Grant Jefferson were moving out of their Manhattan apartment. Wouldn’t you know it, Hunger Games star Woody Harrelson emerged from a store, started chatting with Alex, and decided to help them move.

Alex shared a photo of the Cheers bartender holding a houseplant and smiling, with the caption “Woody Harrelson helped us move out of our apartment today. Love you, NYC.”

She provided a little extra context in a follow-up tweet, explaining that the actor was looking for a local Citibike station, and after they talked, insisted on doing some manual labor on the couple’s behalf.

Alex told her story to the Huffington Post, and described Woody -who advised her to water her plant more- as having “total dad vibes.” She even hoped he came back later to rescue her dying plant.

“We left it on the street for a (hopefully) better home,” Jefferson said. “I have a fantasy Woody came back later and saved it. He was concerned.”

I bet Bill Murray would have.

NBA Star Putting up Points in Custom “Superbad” Jordans

McLovin Jordans
(Twitter/NickDePaula)

Few things are more sacred to a pro athlete’s uniform than shoes. Whether it’s custom cleats paying homage to an icon or a cool new collab, athletes know how to do shoes. And most fans pay closer attention to the footwear they actually wear in games, rather than what they peddling for endorsement deals. And Blake Griffin’s “Superbad” custom Jordan 35s are standouts when it comes to awesome NBA footwear.

“Superbad” is a classic coming of age, teen comedy. It was a breakthrough movie for Jonah Hill and it was a longtime passion project for Seth Rogen. But it was “McLovin” who stole the best scenes in the film, and even Blake Griffin agrees, given he sports a classic turn from the film on his shoes.

The new Brooklyn Nets addition wore the Jordan 35s complete with a fake Hawaii ID, calling back one of the funniest parts of the flick. He also made sure to customize them his own face instead of Christopher Mintz-Plasse and “McGriffin” instead of “McLovin”, which make for a perfect homage.

Griffin has averaged 17 points per game since joining the team from Detroit. The Nets will be one of the favorites to win the title in the playoffs, and you can’t help but root for a flying, dunking “McLovin” on the court.

The Best Gaming Chairs for Every Budget, Every Dad

gaming chairs
(Getty Images)

If you love to wind down at the end of a long day by playing some video games, comfort is always a top priority.  Your kids might find creative ways to hang off the couch or just lay on the floor to play, but we dads need a throne fit for a king. If you’re like me and work from home on your computer, you probably use that same chair for your PC gaming.  Spending hours a day in the same spot can put a toll on your body, so picking the right chair is essential.  You want something that will feel great to sit in any time of the day.

For some, it might seem like a simple choice.  You could settle for anything, but it makes sense to find something comfortable and supportive.  The list of chairs I’ve put together here will cover all your needs and it’s also worth mentioning that some of these are great even if you aren’t a gamer.  They’ll provide plenty of support for your dad bod if you only need a chair for working from home, and you’ll look stylish sitting in them during those Zoom meetings.  Making your co-workers jealous is just as important as being comfortable.

Best Cool Gaming Chairs

Respawn-Gaming-Chair

RESPAWN 900 Racing Style, Reclining Gaming Chair

First up is the RESPAWN 900.  This reclining gaming chair features a plush removable headrest pillow and 360-degree swivel.  I think what sells me on this chair though is the cup holders.  It’s always important to stay hydrated during those marathon game sessions.  There’s even a removable side pouch that hangs off the left arm for your game controllers (or snacks, because you always need snacks).

Buy for $289.98 on Amazon

Qulomovs-Gaming-Chair

Qulomvs Big and Tall Massage Video Game Chair

Yes, there are massage gaming chairs, and yes, I now feel like I need one.  The Qulomvs Massage Gaming Chair comes equipped with a massage lumbar pillow that fits your waist curvature.  It also features a high strength rubber band in the seat bottom, as opposed to a steel frame design, which improves the softness of the seat.  Basically, your butt is going to thank you for purchasing this chair.

Buy for $209.99 on Amazon

Saemoza-Gaming-Chair

Saemoza Folding, 360 Degree Swivel Gaming Chair

Alright, so the Saemoza Gaming Chair is one of the more stylish and multi-functional chairs on this list.  Features include a backrest that can be adjusted into 5 different positions depending on the back support you need, and it can be folded up completely for easy storage.  This would be perfect for console gaming and it wouldn’t look out of place in your living room.  Your wife might even love it too, which is always a good thing.

Buy for $139.99 on Amazon

Best Gaming Chairs

Anda Seat Gaming Chair

Anda Seat Kaiser 2 Ergonomic Gaming Chair

The Anda Seat Kaiser 2 features 4D arm rests that you can customize to suit your needs to relieve wrist pressure and muscle strain.  This chair also comes with a large headrest pillow and lumbar cushion which will provide your spine and neck with the support they need.  The cushions are built with high-end premium PVC leather, meaning it’s easy to clean, which is a must if your kids are using it.

Buy for $499.99 on Amazon

AKRacing Gaming Chair

AKRacing Core Series SX Gaming Chair

The AKRacing Core Series SX Gaming Chair comes with an adjustable headrest, lumbar support pillows, and a durable metal frame with anti-corrosive coating covered with high-density, cold-cured, foam padding for maximum comfort and durability.  Each of the 3D armrests can be adjusted up & down, back & forth or rotated to the sides.  There’s also a class-4 gas lift to reach your ideal desk height with ease.

Buy for $349.00 on Amazon

DXRacer Gaming Chair

DXRacer Ergonomic Gaming Chair

With over 19 years of expertise in innovation and design, the DXRacer brand has become the top choice for pros and esports events.  Now, they can add “Dad Gamers” to that list (not sure why we weren’t already on there, but that’s okay).  The DXRacer Gaming Chair comes equipped with a tilt mechanism, adjustable seat height, fully adjustable arms, 135 degree reclining backrest, and is covered with a strong mesh material that will “elegantly take a beating for years.”  

Buy for $329.95 on Amazon

Acethrone Gaming Chair

Acethrone PC Gaming Chair

No matter your skill level, the Acethrone PC Gaming Chair will make you feel like a true gaming king.  Features include 2D arm support and an adjustable backrest.  According to the description, if you adjust the backrest to the deepest level, the chair becomes a small bed.  So, if you’re looking for a gaming chair and somewhere you can sleep, this chair is perfect for you.  

Buy for $269.99 on Amazon

Best Affordable Gaming Chairs

Hbada Gaming Chair

Hbada Racing Style Gaming Chair

The Hbada Racing Style Gaming Chair is quick and easy to install and features a high backrest which will ensure proper alignment and support for your back and neck.  For an extra $20, you can even upgrade to the Hbada Racing Style Gaming Chair that comes with a footrest to get really relaxed.

Buy for $169.99 on Amazon

OFM ESS Gaming Chair

OFM ESS Collection Leather Gaming Chair

If you’re someone who just wants a comfy chair with no bells and whistles, the OFM ESS Leather Gaming Chair is the one for you.  This chair features contoured segmented padding, an integrated padded headrest, and padded arms that will provide comfort whether you’re using it during intense gaming sessions or long workdays.  Sometimes simple is all you need to get the job done, and this chair delivers.

Buy for $106.45 on Amazon

These Budget Desktop Computers Are Great for Diving Right Into PC Gaming

cheap gaming pc
(Getty Images)

For anyone setting foot in the world of PC gaming for the very first time, it can be a daunting experience.  It also shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Unlike picking between Playstation or Nintendo, where your choices essentially boil down to what system-exclusive games you want to play, PC gaming is a very different beast.  Customization is through the roof, with all sorts of different graphics cards, RAM, and processors to think about.  All of these choices will carry over to the games you play in terms of performance and graphics output depending on your setup.  It’s also extremely important you pick the right computer if you want to run Skyrim with every mod available or your kids want to run “graphically intense” games like Minecraft & Roblox at super max settings.

Personally, I’ve always bought my gaming PCs prebuilt.  My PC friends shame me for this, but that’s just how I roll.  Building your own PC or watching Henry Cavill build his own can be a satisfying experience, but not everyone wants to do that.  If you’re like me and just want something affordable, reliable, and ready to go, the list of PCs here are great options for diving into the PC gaming scene right away.

However, if you do end up deciding to go down the route of building your own PC, there are some PC gaming cases included on this list to help you get started.

Best Cheap Gaming PCs

Shinobee

Shinobee SSD Ultra 8-Core Gaming PC

  • CPU: AMD FX 8300 8 Core
  • GPU: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1050
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3 PC-1600 (Dual Channel)
  • STORAGE: 1TB SATA III HDD

First up is the Shinobee SSD Ultra 8.  This model of the Shinobee comes equipped with an octa-core processor, 240 GB SSD + 1 TB of hard drive space, and 16GB of DDR3 memory.  It also has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 that will really bring out those beautiful graphics in your games.

Buy for $499.00 on Amazon

Skytech Chronos

Skytech Chronos Mini Gaming PC

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3100 4-Core 3.6 GHz
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 1660 6GB GDDR6
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • STORAGE: 500 GB Flash Memory Solid State

The Skytech Chronos Mini Gaming PC not only looks cool, but it’s capable of running your favorite games at High to Ultra settings, with crisp 1440p QHD resolution and smooth 60+ FPS gameplay.  This PC also features a 500GB SSD that is up to 30x faster than a traditional HDD.

Buy for $1,069.47 on Amazon

iBUYPOWER

iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GT 730 2GB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • STORAGE240GB SSD

If you’re looking for an entry-level gaming PC for your kids or yourself, the iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC is a great place to start.  This PC comes equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 alongside the NVIDIA GeForce GT 730 graphics processor, which is a GPU for gamers who enjoy less graphically demanding games (Roblox and Minecraft, I’m looking at you).  You can also add your own additional storage via the open M.2 or SATA ports.

Buy for $756 on Amazon

HP Pavillion

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop 

  • CPU: Intel Core i5
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 1650
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • STORAGE: 256 GB

The HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop features loads of customization features with interchangeable LED lights and system optimization from the OMEN Command Center.  Outstanding performance with 4K visuals courtesy of the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10400F processor.  This PC also comes equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card that features all-new NVIDIA Turing architecture and 4 GB GDDR5 dedicated memory.

Buy for $859 on Amazon

Acer Nitro Gaming Desktop

  • CPU: 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10400F Processor
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics with 4GB GDDR5 Video Memory
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • STORAGE: Flash Memory Solid State

This might be the most expensive PC on the list, but in the world of computers, this is still a very affordable price for a solid gaming PC.  I personally own this one, so I figured I’d throw it on here.  I’ve had no issues and it runs new games extremely well.  I did upgrade my RAM by purchasing an extra 8 GB.  Some owners claim to have put in upwards of 32 GB of RAM, but that’s totally your call.

Buy for $1,069 on Amazon

Best PC Gaming Cases

For those of you that have decided to go out and build your own, here are a few PC gaming cases to help you get started.  How you build the rest is entirely up to you.

MUSETEX ATX PC case

MUSETEX ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case

This excellent ATX Mid-Tower Gaming computer case supports motherboards up to ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX.  It also features mounts for up to 2 x HDD’s and 3 x SSDs.  This PC case comes equipped with 2 Galaxy dark 4mm thickness translucent tempered glass, allowing you to show off what is running your precious new gaming desktop.

Buy for $199.99 on Amazon

NZXT PC case

NZXT H510 Compact ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case

The NZXT H510 Mid-Tower PC case features front I/O USB Type-C Port and tempered glass side panel with single screw installation.  Other features include a patented cable routing kit with pre-installed channels and straps which will make wiring easy and intuitive.  Seriously, cable management is always important.  You don’t want to show off your new PC and have cables everywhere, it’s the ultimate sin.

Buy for $69.99 on Amazon

Corsair iCUE PC case

Corsair iCUE 4000X RGB Mid-Tower ATX PC Case

The Corsair iCUE Mid-Tower combines stylish tempered glass, customizable RGB lighting, and innovative cable management into one nicely packaged PC case.  Each fan is equipped with eight individually addressable RGB LEDs for your very own customizable lighting.  You can also fully control and synchronize the RGB lighting for up to 6 fans with the included iCUE Lighting Node CORE and CORSAIR iCUE software.

Buy for $134.99 on Amazon

Why I’m so Freakin Excited for the Brood X Cicadas, a Letter to My Kids

Artistic depiction of what the 2021 Brood X Cicadas will look like on the Joel Willis family.
Artistic depiction of the 2021 Brood X Cicadas, cicadas may or may not be to scale (Joel Willis)

Author’s note: When my kids were born, I made each of them an email address. From time to time I email them thoughts, advice, pictures, videos, notes from their teachers, etc. They don’t check the email now, but one day they will. It’s a time capsule of love and memories. What follows is an email I sent them today.

My earliest memory is picking cicada shells off of trees in the front yard of my childhood home in Millville, Ohio. It was 1987. I was 4 years old. I know this because it was the first time I witnessed the Brood X Cicadas, which descend upon the midwest United States every 17 years.

Joel Willis, 4 years old, in a car ride at Americana theme park
Joel Willis, approximately 4 years old, at Americana theme park (Joel Willis)

17 years, the time it takes a human to go from a baby to an adult.

The second time I witnessed the Brood X Cicadas, it was 2004. I was 21. I worked downtown Cincinnati while going to school at the University of Cincinnati. Snappy Tomato Pizza changed their jingle to Snappy Cicada Pizza. At a Reds game in nosebleed seats in the summer heat, I dared a friend to eat a nacho with a cicada on it and he did. I remember driving down Columbia Parkway along the river to my tiny apartment in Mt Lookout. Cicadas fell from the trees at such great volume that I had to use my windshield wipers.

I had recently started dating a girl who moved away to Chicago for the summer. She was my best friend and I missed her so much while she was away. One night I was sitting on the couch and there was a knock at the door. My roommate told me to get it. There she was. She had coordinated with my roommate, randomly made the 5-hour drive, and surprised me. I was giddy. I’ll never forget it. That woman is the love of my life. She is your mom.

Young, in love, and blurry, Chicago, 2004
Young, in love, and blurry, Chicago, 2004 (Joel Willis)

The Brood X Cicadas served as the backdrop for 2 formative times in my life, so far. I’ll never forget the sound they made, and the way those big dumb idiots fly around bumping into each other so clumsily. But they’re also memory enhancers for everything else happening at that time.

Any day now, the Brood X Cicadas will be back. I’m so freakin excited. The timing couldn’t be better. You guys are 11 and 9. Going into 7th grade and 4th grade. You’re going to remember this your entire life.

I wasn’t always such a memories or “time”-obsessed person. I think it just happens to parents as they slowly watch their kids grow up. I used to think I’d never be sappy or sentimental about you guys growing up. Now I can get teary-eyed checking a video from Facebook memories.

So I think about it all the time, making sure to stay in the moment and cherish your childhood, making happy lifelong memories along the way.

4th grade and 7th grade. Formative years to be sure. I have distinct memories of the friends I made in 4th grade. How it felt to be on a winless basketball team, or even junky computer games I played after finishing schoolwork early. But 7th grade? Junior high?! Everyone has super vivid memories of that time. This summer is the last summer before everything gets real.

The fact that these bugs are here may be annoying to some. Your mom is already dreading it. The dog is gonna eat snacks for days. I find them fascinating. I’ve been telling you both for months how excited I am for the cicadas. But really, I’m excited for you to see the cicadas. They’re lifelong memory fuel. We’re gonna be positive. Have laughs. And one day you’ll look back on that summer when the cicadas invaded, your dad was giddy for some reason, your mom was grossed out, and we had the best summer ever.

17 years, the time it takes a human to go from a baby to an adult.

Shhh, you hear that buzz. That’s the sound of memories being made.

Little Girl Is Comforted by Sweet Dog During Her Dad’s Funeral

Passing Dog Comforts Girl During Dad's Funeral
(YouTube/CBS Evening News)

6-Year-old Raelynn Nast from Fort Smith, Arkansas was a daddy’s girl through and through. She loved spending time with her dad, and took great pride in introducing him to everyone she knew. Tragically, Raelynn’s dad Davey developed colon cancer and passed away at just 41 years old. The Nast family was devastated, but Raelynn was hit particularly hard by the loss of her hero and father.

Losing a parent is always heartbreaking, but at just six years old, the enormous loss is even more difficult to comprehend. Every aspect of life changes when a child loses a parent, and that level of grief is extremely challenging to process at any age.

On the day of Davey’s visitation, family and friends alike gathered to mourn. While many adults feel comforted by the support these visitations bring, kids often cope differently. When Raelynn spotted a jogger run by outside with her dog, in that moment, she wanted nothing more than to soak up the soft comfort that animals bring.

“She was like, ‘May I pet your puppy?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, of course, as long as your parents don’t mind,'” Emily Beineman recalled to CBS.

Beineman was unaware of the circumstances that brought the 6-year-old to the funeral home, but Raelynn soon explained that her own dad was laying inside. As Beineman’s dog Blue soaked up the little girl’s attention, Raelynn had a touching idea.

For her entire life, the 6-year-old proudly introduced every new friend to her dad. With the clarity and pureness only a child can possess, Raelynn decided that she wanted to enjoy that tradition one final time.

“I asked if she wanted to come in and see my dad,” Raelynn said.

Torn between her desire to support the young girl and the knowledge that she was about to walk into a funeral home with her dog and running gear, Beineman decided that Raelynn was more important than whatever a room full of strangers may think.

“Everyone was kind of looking around like, ‘Where did she come from?’” Raelynn’s mom Lacey recalled. “And she came in right next to Rae like they’d known each other for so long. There was that connection there.”

When Your 3-Year-Old Wants To Have A Tea Party

‘Friends: The Reunion’: Long List of Guest Stars Makes Up For Lame Trailer

Friends The Reunion Trailer
(YouTube/HBO Max)

It seems like ages ago that the Friends reunion was announced. And then Covid hit and it was delayed. And delayed some more. Well, it’s finally coming, and soon!

Today, HBO Max released a completely empty teaser trailer – seriously, it’s just a shot of the cast walking away from the camera as an overly dramatic instrumental version of the familiar theme song plays – and announced that the special will land on the streaming service on May 27th.

They also made up for the lack of sizzle in the teaser by laying out a long list of guest stars who will appear in the special, along with all of the original cast (Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc). Many of the guests have tenuous – at best – links to the popular sitcom.

The list includes David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon and Malala Yousafzai.

Malala Yousafzai?! Wait, what?

Given that the special is an unscripted reunion, as opposed to a scripted look at where the characters are now, my money is on most of those guest stars giving testimonials about what the show means to them, but that’s just a guess.

We’ll find out for sure in two weeks! Until then, here’s that underwhelming teaser trailer:

Italian Firefighter Overcome With Emotion After Saving Kitten

Italian firefighter emotional after rescuing kitten from hole
(Twitter/Thund3rB0lt)

Few occupations allow you to experience the full spectrum of human emotion quite like being a firefighter. The rush of adrenaline as you respond to a call, the highs of successful days, and the lows when things don’t go as planned. Firefighters have the unique responsibility of addressing unusual emergencies, staying calm while quickly formulating plans for action. There aren’t many things quite as satisfying as saving a life (or so I imagine), but it’s rare that we get a glimpse into the lives of heroes celebrating their wins.

In a recently resurfaced clip, we’re invited to share a touching moment with an Italian firefighter after an incredible rescue. A small kitten around three weeks old fell into a hole in the road, and the small bundle of fur had neither a route or the motor skills to escape. Fortunately, someone heard the kitten’s cries and contacted emergency services.

Without a doubt, working as a firefighter has its fair share of heartbreak. The firefighter in the viral 28-second clip likely really needed a win, and the tiny kitten needed a hero. When the two came together, it was nothing short of magic.

The clip opens with a group of several firefighters surrounding a hole in the ground, one of them laying on his stomach as we hear the heartbreaking cries of a terrified kitten. As the firefighter sits up, we see that his mission was a success – he managed to pull the tiny kitten to safety.

Our hero holds up the kitten, gently petting the small ball of fur as he continues to let out panicked mews. Taking a deep breath as he realizes the initial danger is gone, the firefighter truly looks at the kitten for the first time and becomes immediately overwhelmed with emotion.

In 28 seconds, the team of firefighters moves from the tense focus of addressing a dangerous situation to the celebration of a job well done. The hero of the day sheds happy, relieved tears as a fellow firefighter pats him on the back both in comfort and congratulations.

Though the video is several years old, it received over 200,000 likes on Twitter when it was reposted by a user named Thund3rB0lt. Twitter users praised the hero for saving the small kitten’s life and celebrated the emotional win right along with him. No matter what’s happening in the world, we’ll never get tired of watching touching moments like this.