Father Figures: All My Fault

“I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety since 7th grade. Coupled with daily migraines that finally subsided after graduating high school (only to resurface in the last 5 years), my middle and high school days were miserable.

Fast forward to a few years ago. My wife and I were thinking about having a baby. I’d been masking my depression and anxiety with a front of socializing and alcohol in an attempt to have, or appear to have, a positive outlook. This is how the pregnancy process happened:

We tried the traditional way. Nothing. We both went to fertility testing. She is fertile. I was what appeared to be sterile. I didn’t realize it at the moment I found out but, with this news, the little remaining confidence I had in myself basically all but disappeared.

I went through multiple testing to find out if sterility was my fate. I learned there was a chance I was creating sperm, but it simply wasn’t getting out due to a genetic anomaly. I went through a surgical procedure – they use a glorified hole puncher on my testicles, multiple times, with the doctor and three incompetent students as my audience. The samples were sent to the lab and turns out there was viable tissue. I tried not to hope at this point because hope is where disappointment hides.

We went through the IVF process. It worked! I know IVF success is not the case for everyone so we were extremely grateful. The pregnancy was awful for my wife. She was unable to eat and threw up multiple times every day. We had hoped for a home birth but had to transfer after 6 days of full labor to the hospital and have a cesarean. It was nothing short of a nightmare situation for my wife. Apparently our daughter had an unusually short umbilical cord which wouldn’t allow her to drop. Something we found out when the doctors first held her up.

I couldn’t help but feel that all of the pain and trauma my wife had to suffer through – the painful shots, the non-stop sickness (all while she was still working a full time job on her feet all day), the 6 days of unsuccessful labor, the failed painful epidural, the massive amount of frightening drugs, and the cesarean itself – is my fault. If she had been with someone whose mechanics worked as intended, she wouldn’t have had to deal with all of this.

I had never felt like I was less than a man more than I did then. My wife repeatedly tried to quell my fears and feelings with love and support but it’s tough to accept anything opposing what your own heart and mind tell you to be true.

Our daughter is 2 now and she’s amazing. She’s so funny and smart and loving and kind. I’m the stay-at-home-dad most of the time. I’ve been trying, and hopefully I’ve been successful, to put all my energy into being the best dad I can be for her. Being around her so much has helped me with working through my own feelings knowing that how I am and how I react to situations will directly affect her.

It’s a learning process that never ends. So just gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

– Cassady Benson

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The First Space Hotel Aims To Be Operational By 2027

Space Hotel 2
(Twitter/OrbitalOps)

Traveling ANYWHERE after 2020 seems like a lot of fun, but it won’t be long before things shift back to normal and everyone is looking for a new hot vacation spot. And, if you’re the type that likes to plan ahead, maybe set aside some PTO for your vacation IN SPACE. Hey, even chicken nuggets have been to space so this is long overdue.

Construction on mankind’s first space hotel is scheduled to start this decade. And, if space construction can stay on target, it will be operational by 2027. Orbital Assembly is the company planning the first outer space hotel, and they plan to start construction on Voyager Station in 2025.

And it looks just as fancy as you’d hope a planned space hotel would:

It’s very chic (as far as space living goes) as you’ll be staying in your own individual pod. There will also be themed restaurants (fingers crossed for Margaritaville!), a spa, a movie theater, a gym, a library, a concert venue, and earth viewing lounges. Because once you leave Earth, you’re gonna want to take some time to look back on all the suckers stuck on the same planet they were born on.

And sure, they are planning on having enough space, air, water, and power for all the guests and crew, so a good portion of the new hotel will be dedicated to that. They’ll be able to accommodate up to 400 guests (again, if literally, everything goes to plan).

And, so people’s bodies “don’t fall apart” (important!), the station/hotel will circle the globe every 90 minutes, in order to generate artificial gravity.

It’s going to be very exclusive, so start saving now so you can take one of the most exclusive vacations in humanity’s history, and do it alongside the most loathsome rich people ever!

A Taco Truck in Texas Fed 800 Families for Free During Winter Storm

Texas Taco Truck
(Facebook/Boombox Taco)

When Texas got crushed with winter storms, millions were left without power and water. And when the government and overwhelmed emergency workers couldn’t get to everyone, regular people stepped up to help each other. Whether it was the man who rescued stranded drivers, or people sheltering a delivery driver, neighbors helping neighbors became the biggest way to stay safe.

One taco truck in Houston embodied that spirit to the fullest, feeding 800 families that were without food, power, and water. Boombox Taco’s owners, Jessica Villa-Gomez and Alex Martinez, who were also without power, decided to help how they could. So they took their taco truck to eight apartment complexes that were even worse off than they were and fed people. For many, it was their first hot meal in days.

“We have been struggling as well, but we’re not struggling as much as other people,” Villa-Gomez told the Houston Chronicle. “And if we have the resources to help others out, why not? We decided to give the food to people in need.”

They made 2,400 tacos (the same amount I have to make on Taco Tuesday for my always-growing children) to give away for free. Villa-Gomez said they were in the cold, but had a generator, so they wanted to go and give back to people who were struggling even more.


That’s what it’s about, giving back to your community during a time of need. A number of Texas restaurants were opening their doors (and/or kitchens) to help those in need, and Boombox Taco was just happy to be part of the crowd. In a Facebook post, they said it was truly moving to know they weren’t alone, and that they were honored to be of service to the city that has given them so much.

“It’s just good to come out of this–not just thinking about yourself, but thinking about others,” Villa-Gomez said. “It just feels good to help someone out in need, if you can.”

The Dad Staff is donating to a collection of food and warming centers throughout Texas to help families in need. Impact Your World allows us to contribute to 14 organizations, including The Red Cross, Mercy Chefs, Austin Pets Alive, as well as local food banks in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. If you are able, please consider donating any amount here.

Archeologists Uncover World’s Oldest Brewery in Ancient Egypt

Old Egyptian Brewery
(Egypt Department of Tourism and Antiquities)

When people think about major archeological discoveries in Egypt, they think of pharaohs and pyramids, but now we have an even better discovery; a brewery. In fact, it’s now the world’s oldest brewery, as on an archeological mission uncovered the oldest high-production brewery in the world in the ancient city of Abydos.

The city is one of the oldest of ancient Egypt and is home to a high number of temples and cemeteries. And now this giant brewery.

The team was a joint effort between American academics from NYU and Princeton and their counterparts in Egypt. The brewery they uncovered dates back to 3100 BCE (waiting for the first beer snob to complain breweries aren’t “like they used to be” because they aren’t in a desert), and Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said the 5,000-year-old brewery was likely used for burial rituals for some of Egypt’s earliest kings.

See? They get it. When a king is asked what he wants at his funeral, the answer was beer. And LOTS of it. It’s that type of wisdom that makes a king beloved. The ancient brewery was split into eight sections to maximize production and the experts (unclear if it’s archeology experts or the beer experts) claim it could produce 5,900 gallons of beer at a time. They (the archeology people this time for sure) said the beer was likely to supply the royal rituals taking place in funeral facilities and that there’s evidence of the use of beer in sacrificial rites.

It sounds like those kings knew how to party. Hopefully, this can get worked into the plot of Indiana Jones 8, when Harrison Ford travels the globe to find an ancient beer that belongs in a museum.

A Playable Build for Cancelled N64 Game ‘Dinosaur Planet’ Has Leaked

(Rare/Forest of Illusion)

Renowned game developer Rare has been having quite the 2021.  Last month we caught a glimpse of the canceled Goldeneye 007 remake for Xbox 360 (that’s playable too).  Now, their canceled N64 game ‘Dinosaur Planet’ has leaked online for everyone to check out.

If you played the Gamecube game ‘Star Fox Adventures’, that’s essentially what Dinosaur Planet would end up becoming.  Originally, it was going to be its own separate story featuring the characters Sabre & Krystal, but Shigeru Miyamoto thought they looked like Star Fox characters, and well, the father of Mario gets what he wants.  They based the entire game around that ideology, Sabre would end up becoming Fox and the rest is history.

The news of this playable build comes courtesy of Forest of Illusion.  They purchased a disc containing the build from a “private game collector” located in Sweden and the file date of this build dates back to December 1st, 2000.

It appears to be a “late build” and as a result, features characters like Fox McCloud in it.  This one will be a little more tricky to play too.  Although it isn’t entirely playable yet on emulators, it “should” work perfectly fine on flash carts.  You can check out the footage down below.

I can remember reading about ‘Dinosaur Planet’ in Nintendo Power back in the day.  It was going to be the “next big game” from Rare, who had a track record of delivering larger-than-life experiences like Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64.  This new adventure was going to offer a massive world to explore that would be packed into a 512-Megabit Game Pak.  It was going to be such an advanced game that it would even need the N64’s Expansion Pack to be able to run properly.  As a kid, I thought it looked awesome and my brain couldn’t comprehend the sheer power of 512-Megabits.  After reading about it, that was all the info we got though.  Star Fox Adventures was alright, but it would have been cool to see the original game released as it was intended, without Miyamoto’s Star Fox obsession.

Any guesses as to what canceled Rare game will leak next?

Father Figures: Recovery

“My now husband was 20 when we got pregnant with our son, Xander.

I was a struggling addict for years and when we met he was my PCA when I was in the hospital. Somehow, even as young as he was, he saw through to the person who was not just a junkie and tried pulling me out.

At 8 months pregnant I was arrested and sent to prison for 21 months. Xander picked up our son from the hospital the day he was born, took him home, and cared for him.

He got a good job, moved out of his moms house, and was a single dad for 21 months. He became a man during that time. He stepped up. He went from a kid who just played Xbox to a hardworking, single father.

I’ve been clean for four years now, we just got married and had our second son. He’s an amazing father and husband and I just wanted to appreciate him for a minute.”

– Julie Walter

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

When a Student Was Embarrassed by His New Haircut His Principal Fixed It for Him

Principal Haircut
(Facebook/Lewis Speaks)

A principal in Indianapolis is going viral for the compassionate way he treated a student and it’s a genuinely touching gesture. It was the first day students were back to school for in-person learning, and the pupil in question refused to take his hat off. He was subsequently sent to the principal’s office.

When he got there, the middle school principal Jason Smith, learned the boy wouldn’t take his hat off because he was embarrassed about his haircut. Instead of launching straight into disciplinary action, Smith told the student he had experience cutting hair. He showed him some pictures and proposed fixing his hair with clippers if he’d go back to class. The boy agreed. Smith called the student’s mom for consent and then got to work. A school resource officer shared the photo on Facebook, saying the principal was a great leader.

“The principal could have easily called the child’s parent and put him out of school for the day, but he took time out of his busy schedule to make sure the student was successful completing his first day of school,” he wrote.

The student’s mom said the principal handled it very well.

“I’m just glad he was able to handle that without being put in in-school suspension,” she said. The student apologized for his behavior afterward and went back to class.

Smith told CNN that disciplinary action would’ve just prevented the student from being in the classroom and learning and that he checked in on the student after the haircut and he was following the rules and was doing great in class.

“All behavior is communication and when a student is struggling, we need to ask ourselves what happened to this child instead of what’s wrong with the child,” Smith said. “What need is the child trying to get met and really, the future of urban education rests on that question.”

Now that’s a principal with some positive principles.  It’s a position that often gets ridiculed in popular culture, but the principal can set the tone for an entire school, and choosing compassion and understanding over discipline speaks volumes about his dedication to his students.

Preschoolers Help Senior Home Residents Celebrate Mardi Gras With Parade

Preschoolers hold mardi gras parade for senior home
(Facebook/Country Place Senior Living of Fairhope, Alabama)

COVID has changed the way we do just about everything. Rather than forgo the activities we love, many of us have found creative ways to safely enjoy our favorite things. Some people, like residents of senior centers, don’t always have the resources or the technical abilities to modify their lifestyles as much as they may like. Fortunately, kind samaritans have been stepping up to ensure those quarantined in elderly care facilities aren’t forgotten during such an isolating time.

Residents of Fairhope, Alabama are serious about their Mardi Gras celebrations. In normal times, the town held annual Mardi Gras parades, carnivals, and even a ball to celebrate the festive day. This year, however, the town’s celebrations were canceled.

Preschool students at Stars Early Learning Academy were disappointed about this year’s lack of festivities. The kids loved dressing up and participating in parades, and most kids are still struggling to process why all of their favorite activities have suddenly disappeared. Rather than simply helping their students cope with disappointment, teachers at the academy devised a plan.

Not only would their students get to celebrate Mardi Gras, but they would give back to their community by helping others celebrate as well. Specifically, residents of Country Place Senior Living community. The kids and teachers planned and prepared, and finally, it was time to celebrate the fruits of their labor.

Led by a trumpeter, the young students pushed their decorated floats made of strollers, shopping carts, and even Cozy Coupes around Country Place. They smiled and danced, waving at residents through their windows. The parade was a smashing success, leaving residents of the senior center smiling and filled with joy.

Preschoolers host parade for senior home
(Facebook/Country Place Senior Living of Fairhope, Alabama)

“Another big thank you to our neighbors, Stars Daycare for helping put together our social distanced Mardi Gras parade!” Country Place Senior Living shared on Facebook. “Between the festive live music and kids that are cuter than crawdads, our residents are truly in the Mardi Gras spirit! Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

Co-Op Shooter ‘Aliens: Fireteam’ Releasing This Summer on Playstation, Xbox & PC

Aliens: Fireteam Game
(YouTube/Aliens Fireteam)

“Move it Spunkmeyer, we’re rolling.”

Today, developer Cold Iron Studios revealed their Left 4 Dead/Gears of War style, three-player co-op shooter Aliens: Fireteam.  You can check out all the alien/face-hugger madness in the action-packed trailer down below.

Scheduled to release Summer 2021 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, & PC, Aliens: Fireteam will take place over a multi-mission story campaign.  The story is set 23 years after the original Alien trilogy and will drop “players into the role of a Colonial Marine aboard the USS Endeavor, recently tasked with answering a distress call from the outer colonies. Deploy to overrun facilities, abandoned ruins, and strange alien landscapes as you battle terrifying enemies across four campaigns with two friends or AI teammates.”

There will be over 20 enemy types, including 11 unique types of Xenomorphs ranging from Facehuggers to Praetorians and Synthetics.

Players on the other hand will be able to choose from one of five unique classes such as Gunner, Demolisher, Technician, Doc, and Recon.  Each class will have unlockable cosmetics to make your marine your own.  There will also be different levels of difficulty to choose from for each mission that will introduce things like friendly fire, deadlier acid spray from Xenomorphs, and scarcer resources.

I think it’s time to pick a class, get the crew together and slay some aliens.  Maybe we’ll even build a fire and sing a couple of songs in between matches.

Aliens: Fireteam will release on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, & PC Summer, 2021

An American Airlines Pilot Had a UFO Encounter and the FBI Is Investigating It

American Airlines UFO
(Getty/Cooper NEILL)

An American Airlines pilot saw an unidentified flying object last week and I feel like we’re all taking it too lightly. This isn’t a kook or someone publishing a clearly doctored photo to accompany some bizarre theory. This is a professional and experienced airline pilot spotting something and determining what that something was has proven difficult.

It was on Saturday when an American Airlines pilot on a flight from Cincinnati to Phoenix told air traffic controllers that he spotted something else flying in the sky, very close to his plane.

“Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us,” he said. “I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing moving really fast over the top of us.”

The FAA released a statement saying air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radar. So that’s all totally normal and good! Case closed, move along.

The transmission was caught by a blogger who was trying to pick up a different aircraft with a radio scanner. Steve Douglass published the audio on the aviation blog Deep Blue Horizon. Since the report, the airline has confirmed the authenticity of the transmission.

The blogger determined the broadcast was made over the northeast corner of New Mexico, near Clayton. The FBI is currently investigating.

Now, does UFO necessarily mean aliens? Of course not. It’s probably some military test of a missile or something similar, that’s the most logical explanation.

Buuuuuuuut (the buts are always where the fun stuff happens), could it be? I mean, the UFO world does seem to be heating up with news and declassifications in the last few years. It does seem like something the government is investigating more thoroughly and is being more transparent about (which, to be fair, is a very low bar and still isn’t that forthcoming).

So, there is a non-zero chance airline pilots on a routine flight encountered an object from another civilization, and that is pretty cool. Even if it was some new military weapon they’re developing, that would be pretty cool too.

Either way you look at it, something pretty cool happened in the sky of New Mexico last month.