Detroit “Mower Gang” Rivals Face Off to Preserve City Parks

Detroit "Mower Gang" Rivals Face Off to Preserve City Parks
(Facebook/Detroit Mower Gang)

Any lawnmower owner will tell you, with great horsepower comes great responsibility. The first rule of lawnmownership (the act of owning a lawnmower) is befriend your lawnmower – nobody wants to be up against what is basically a knife windmill on wheels when the robots take over. The second rule of lawnmownership is know your limits. You may think you can handle a cool 130 miles per hour on your sweet riding mower, but please take another look at rule one (see “knife windmill on wheels”) to remember what you’re actually dealing with here. The third rule of lawnmownership is use your lawnmower for good, not evil. That’s exactly what Tom Nardone did, and it ended up saving his city.

In 2010, Tom Nardone realized Detroit was in trouble. Financial hardship meant that the city had to pick and choose between basic maintenance projects, and the city’s inhabitants were left to live with overgrown parks and crumbling playgrounds. Instead of allowing his beloved city to be buried in buckthorn and dandelions, Nardone started a gang. A mower-riding, groundskeeping, donut-eating crew called The Detroit Mower Gang.

The Detroit Mower Gang has been in operation for a decade. Their Facebook page explains, “Every Other Wednesday The Mower Gang gets together to mow the abandoned playgrounds of Detroit. We are a crafty crew that refuses to let small budgets and bureaucracy stand in the way of a great playground.” The group is entirely volunteer-based and open to anyone interested in keeping Detroit looking its best.

Once a year, the Mower Gang kicks things up a notch. For 12 straight hours, grass will be cut. Parks will be revamped. Dreams will be crushed. That’s right gentleman, start your engines. The annual Detroit Mow-a-Thon is about to begin. There can only be one ‘Motown Mowdown’ Grand Champion, the mower who cuts the most grass within the 12-hour period.

Congratulations to this year’s winner, Gage, who rolled right over his competitors.

Though the group hosts other events such as the stinky fish challenge, ice cream night, and donut tasting (hey, the lawnmowers aren’t the only things that need to refuel after a long day’s work), the group’s main goal is to preserve parks so they can continue to be used by the community. Who would have thought that 40 years ago, when Nardone was running around those very same parks yelling “YOUR ASS IS GRASS” at his rowdy friends, he would return all these years later to say “and I’m the lawnmower”, ensuring that the next generation can do the same.

Nintendo Is Celebrating Animal Crossing New Horizons’ One Year Anniversary

(Nintendo)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons continues its reign as one of the best-selling Switch games, and it looks like Nintendo is extremely aware of that.  They aren’t going to let the hype train slow down any time soon.  On March 20th, New Horizons will celebrate it’s one year anniversary and there are tons of new editions just over the “horizon” to check out.  We’ve got new updates, controllers, and villagers (to either shower with gifts or bonk on the head with our nets) to look forward to, so let’s take a look.

Hello Kitty Sanrio Collaboration Pack

The crossover of the century is here.  Yes, we will be getting Hello Kitty themed items… as long as you can purchase the pack of Amiibo cards they come from.  Each pack of cards from the ‘Sanrio Collaboration Pack’ comes with new items and cute little villagers that aren’t currently available in New Horizons.  You can’t pre-order them yet, but they’re going to be available on March 26th, 2021 and will be a Target exclusive.  Personally, I’m more excited for the Mario-themed items coming in the March update, but my wife has already threatened me that if I don’t get at least one of these new Amiibo, she will sell my PS5.

Isabelle & Tom Nook Controllers

(Nintendo)

These new Isabelle and Tom Nook controllers that are officially licensed by Nintendo look awesome.  The colors pop and they’d be a great addition to anyone’s Switch set-up.  They’re available for pre-order right now on Amazon and have a release date of February 14th, 2021.  This Valentine’s Day, forget about buying flowers and make the right choice.  This will win your loved ones over forever.

(Nintendo)

You can pre-order the Isabelle Controller here and the Tom Nook Controller here for $25.

Free Updates

Nintendo will also continue to pump out free updates for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.  They’re nothing fancy (except Halloween, I loved that one) but it is always nice to see new things to do coming out on a regular basis.  Nintendo has even mentioned that they plan on supporting the game with free updates for the next three years.  You can check out the next update in the trailer down below which arrives on January 28th.  This will bring Pave, the Festivale and some sick new dance moves to your repertoire of emotes.

Are you still in love with Animal Crossing: New Horizons?  It was one of my family’s favorite games last year and my wife and I still try to play every day.  I’m almost finished donating all the critters to my museum.  I don’t think I’ll ever finish my art exhibit though.  That seems like a lost cause since Redd never wants to show up.

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

Pedro Pascal Teases New Timeline, Crossovers for Mando Season Three

Pedro Teases Mandalorian S3 Details
(Disney+)

After a fantastic second season that culminated in a mind-blowing finale, fans are dying to learn what’s next for The Mandalorian. Not only did the season end with some major changes that could forever alter the show, but the post-credits stinger scene also confused fans by introducing a new story about Boba Fett.

It has since been clarified that The Book of Boba Fett is a standalone spin-off show and that The Mandalorian will be back for a third season. What we don’t yet know is what the third season will be like, now that the driving storyline of the first two installments was seemingly resolved.

With all the new Star Wars shows coming down the pike for Disney+, it might be a while before we see Mando again, and if recent comments by Pedro Pascal are accurate, some time may pass for the character as well…

Pascal gave an interview to IndieWire in which he discussed his monumental 2020, which not only featured The Mandalorian but also a role in Robert Rodriguez’s Netflix movie We Can Be Heroes, and a villainous turn in Wonder Woman 1984.

During the interview, the actor dropped a few hints about the future of his Star Wars show, which may include shifting timelines and cross-overs into other worlds.

“I am told what’s happening and what the plan is,” said Pascal, “but I can’t share it. They are in the expansion of this world, where there are so many unexpected surprises and timelines that are going to be dealt with. If the character were to cross over into these worlds, it will be utilized in a way that isn’t meant to be expected. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise of whether or not characters from the show we already know are crossing over.”

There’s both a lot of info in there and very little. It definitely makes sense that after season two, The Mandalorian will stretch its wings a bit and broaden the scope of his adventures. Exactly how “crossing over” into different worlds will work is yet to be seen, but Pascal seems hesitant to say much more.

One of the main storylines fans are hoping to see is the battle for Mandalore, which includes Mando’s ownership of the dark saber, putting him at odds with Bo-Katan. Not sure how his comments line up with that, which seems like a more expected continuation of the series. There definitely seems to be hinting at something less conventional.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon, as Disney+ moves forward with its plans. Until then, may the force be with you.

I mean, this is the way.

You’ll Relish This Hot Dog and Bun Toaster

hot dog toaster
Amazon

I think we can all agree that there are few things better than a perfectly toasted hot dog, and you can’t get that from microwaving hot dogs and using cold buns. Sorry. It just doesn’t work that way; I don’t make the rules. If you want baseball park-worthy hot dogs, you gotta go pro. And by pro, I mean a hot dog toaster. It’s just as fast and convenient as a microwave, but delivers a far superior product (it even gives you grill marks). And it’s only $20, so you might as well buy one for yourself and everyone you know, because nobody deserves to eat sad microwave dogs.

 

hot dog toaster
Amazon

Purchase for $20

This hot dog toaster will toast two hot dogs at a time, distributing even heat on all sides so that it’s perfectly cooked every single time (it accommodates for extra-large hot dogs, so don’t worry if you prefer them robust). The toaster also features adjustable heat settings, and even comes with special tongs so you don’t have to burn your hands every time you make yourself a hot dog. Cleaning is even easier since all you need to do is remove the drip tray and wipe it down separately.

Is it a novelty gift? Sure. But it’s so worth it (and if your S.O. or roommate are concerned about counter space, rest assured that it’s pretty slim and compact). 5,000+ customers who’ve given the toaster five stars on Amazon would agree. “LOVE IT!!!! I bought this for home so my 7 year old could make a quick snack before bed…he loves hot dogs…. I love the smell of cooking hot dogs and buns without the mess!” one reviewer wrote.

“We LOVE that this makes AWESOME Grill marks on the hot dogs!!! I read all the reviews before purchasing and I am shocked that no one mentioned this! And this is not simply a hot dog Heater Upper LOL! There is a BIG difference in using this versus a microwave. For one, THE Grill Marks LOL Sorry- that just tickled me silly and I am in love with that feature alone 🙂 The hot dog does not get “rubbery” like they can in the microwave. We cook ours on setting number 5 and it gets a perfect sear on the outside trapping in all the juices. This little hot dog toaster will give you perfectly juicy hot dogs every single time,” another customer wrote.

We did mention the grill marks, right?

Get one for yourself for $20.

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

Toddler’s Tangled Hair Is No Match for The Rock

The Rock does daughter's hair
(Instagram/therock)

Being a girl dad is both amazing and challenging. You begin to see the world in new and exciting ways through your daughter’s eyes, but you’re also tasked with learning skills you never thought you’d need. Recently, Dwayne Johnson shared a surprisingly confident (and absurdly adorable) post on Instagram featuring an unlikely skill – hair styling.

Realistically, The Rock probably hasn’t had a whole lot of experience tending to a head full of hair. While he may be slightly hair-deficient himself, his dedication to the cause is admirable. Honestly though, what better motivation to master a skill than a 2-year-old who’s counting on you?

The Rock’s Instagram post features two photos of him with his 2-year-old daughter Tiana, and boy do these pictures tell a story. If you’ve ever been scared to your very core at the beginning of a dentist appointment before realizing that it isn’t actually so bad, Tiana carries the same energy into her dad’s photo series.

The caption explains, “Now despite my two year old looking completely TERRIFIED for her life that daddy is solely responsible for getting all the painful tangles out of her hair…”

Looking at the first picture, Tiana stares desperately at whoever is holding the camera. She sends a silent “help me” plea to the person photographing evidence instead of stepping in, but fortunately, The Rock knows what he’s doing.

“Scroll left and you’ll see the calming energy, exceptional hair skills and extraordinary patience that daddy aka mr golden hands puts on full display,” the caption continues. “I may be bald but I know a thing or two about hair. Mainly because I wish I had it.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by therock (@therock)

In the second photo, Tiana seems to embrace her dad’s hair-styling skills. She’s visibly relaxed, perhaps even enjoying her at-home salon. The 2-year-old is The Rock’s third daughter, so to be fair, he’s had a bit of practice.

This enormous man literally tore a metal gate from its hinges when he was running late, yet he’s as gentle as a person can be when untangling his 2-year-old’s hair. The juxtaposition is both hilarious and endearing, and it’s one of the many reasons we simply cannot get enough of The Rock. There’s nothing the man can’t do – except, you know, grow his own hair.

Father Figures: Everything Fun

“This is Scott McLane – our favorite dad, husband and coach.

Scott works full time as an engineer, and in his off-time as the volunteer soccer coach for both our children’s soccer teams. He started with them in the rec program and transitioned to the travel program.

From the very first season when they were in kindergarten (shown below) through their transition to the more competitive travel program, he has put forth the same effort and dedication to ensure each child he coaches, including our own, has fun, learns, and develops into the best player they can be.

It’s a testament to who he is because on both our daughter’s and son’s teams he has players that have stayed with him from his very first season. His dedication has extended beyond our own children and he’s actually become the president of the soccer club. He is an amazing role model.

He makes everything fun. I can’t express just how much I love him for it and how proud I am to be married to him. Oh, and his dad joke game is excellent.”

– Laura McLane

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

Loyal Dog Spends Days Waiting Outside Hospital for Her Owner

Dog waits outside hospital for owner
(YouTube/Guardian News)

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it a million more times – we simply do not deserve dogs. Even dogs who barely know us are more than happy to lend a helping paw, but when a dog is a treasured member of your family (and boy, do they know it), they will do quite literally anything for you.

When Cemal Senturk fell ill in early January, his loyal dog Boncuk trailed the ambulance to a nearby hospital. Upon arriving, Boncuk waited patiently outside the hospital’s doors for her owner to return. Senturk’s daughter took Boncuk home multiple times, but each day, the determined pup would run back to the hospital.

“She comes every day around 9 a.m. and waits until nightfall. She doesn’t go in,” a hospital security guard told local news station DHA. “When the door opens she pokes her head inside.”

With more self-control than most kids and a fierce determination to stay close to her human, Boncuk spent days following the same routine. She would arrive at the hospital in the early morning and stand guard near the hospital’s entrance until it became clear her owner would not be emerging that day.

Unsurprisingly, Senturk missed his beloved dog just as dearly as Boncuk missed him. After several days apart, Senturk was well enough to be discharged from the hospital. When he finally emerged six days after being admitted, his dedicated pup was beyond delighted.

“She’s very used to me. And I miss her too, constantly,” Senturk told the DHA.

Fortunately for this deeply-bonded pair, their time apart came to an end. Senturk and Boncuk returned home together, after perhaps the most heartwarming reunion of all time. Watch the video below, and give your own pup some extra scratches today.

Ryan Reynolds Shocks Twitter With Filthy Joke About His Sesame Street Appearance

Ryan Reynolds A-Hole
(YouTube/Sesame Street)

Ryan Reynolds is well known for his potty mouth. After all, this is the guy who plays Deadpool in the filthiest comic book movies out there! He is equally well known for his sense of humor, especially when it comes to social media.

Sesame Street is not.

But the other day, the two worlds collided when a mom was watching an episode of the classic children’s show with her kid, and tweeted that Ryan Reynolds’ guest appearance made things fun for both generations.

The episode featured Reynolds dressed as the letter A for an A-Team parody, which was already the kind of thing that was firmly in an adult’s wheelhouse (I don’t know too many kids who are big fans of Hannibal, Murdoch, and B.A. Baracus!). But Reynolds took things even further with the r-rated joke he made in response to the tweet.

Referencing the outfit he was forced to wear for the segment – a giant letter A with his head squeezed into the middle – Reynolds made a subtle joke that had the grown-ups laughing, if a bit shocked.

Not only did my man call it “tight,” he made a crack (sorry) about “pushing through” too!

Twitter, to the complete lack of surprise of anyone who has even been on Twitter, was here for it.

Some marveled at the many sides of the man:

Others at his audacity:

And a few attempted to add to the fun:

CNN’s Jake Tapper had the final word, with a very dad response to Reynolds’ antics:

Check out the segment that inspired this tomfoolery:

Raya Rules in Disney’s New Trailer For “Raya and the Last Dragon”

Raya Trailer
(Disney)

Disney dropped the latest trailer for “Raya and the Last Dragon” and it is truly terrific. While the first look at it didn’t give much away, this trailer gives a much deeper look at what the movie is and why it’s shaping up to be one of the more hotly anticipated releases from Disney.

The trailer has Raya, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran of Star Wars sequel fame (or infamy, depending on where you fall on The Last Jedi), putting together a team to help save humanity, partly by finding the titular last dragon. And it looks outstanding.

It’s got everything you could want, including a CON BABY, which is the type of scheming, conniving toddler parents can probably relate to. And Raya finally finds the elusive Sisu, voiced by Awkwafina.

“I’m gonna be real with you. I’m not, like, the best dragon,” Sisu tells Raya after they meet. “Have you ever done like a group project but there’s like that one kid who didn’t pitch in as much but still ends up with the same grade?”

Another key part of the trailer involves the interaction between Raya and her dad, voiced by Daniel Dae Kim. The cast also includes Gemma Chan and Sandra Oh.

The trailer is full of action and even shines through with some humor and personality, which bodes well for the March 5 release in theaters and on Disney+. It’s got some really strong Moana/Frozen vibes, so it’ll be one your kids lock into for sure.

Thousands Send Cards to Help Girl Celebrate First Birthday Without Her Dad

Bday Cards
(FB/Dorothy Sedlak)

Not that there was any shortage of tragedy in 2020, but a young girl in Massachusetts suffered a double blow last year as her dad passed away tragically at the age of 28. Just weeks later, her godfather passed away. And now, as young Lilly prepares to turn 4, her mom is doing her best to make it a birthday she’ll never forget, and thousands of strangers are answering the call.

As her mom explained in a Facebook post earlier this month, Lilly “LOVES mail.” She said Lilly loves getting the mail, loves the mailman, loves everything about it. To help Lilly celebrate her first birthday without her dad, her mom asked if people would be willing to send her a birthday card, drawing, or letter. She expected a modest response from the community at best, and to date, Lilly has received cards from all over the world ahead of her 4th birthday.

Her mom told a local news station Lilly loves being a little helper and loves ‘to do everything for everyone’ and has been thrilled at the letters she’s received so far. Shes’ received cards from nearly 40 different states and a handful of other countries, including Canada, France, and even as far as Australia.



Her mom told People “Lilly has been so excited! We have been blown away by the response and never expected this. We are just so thankful to feel so much love. It’s been overwhelming in the best way.”