Father Figures: No Different

“I enjoyed reading about the father of the boy who had a neonatal stroke and their great bond over video games and such!

My son, Kenneth, was born with lissencephaly, which is a brain abnormality that started when the brain formed in the womb. Kenneth’s brain is smooth instead of having all the squiggles and folds like most brains. This lead to infantile spasms and full blown seizures at 4 months of age. In most cases children do not advance beyond a 6 month intellect and struggle with motor skills.

As heartbroken as we were to come to terms with Kenneth’s future my wife and I agreed to never give up on our son and to never think too hard about what Kenneth may not be able to accomplish in his life. The future is not set in stone and doctors conservative predictions can be overcome.

Kenneth works very hard with his physical therapy and smiles the whole time. He fights very hard so I will always fight with him. He brightens everyone’s day and the amount of love and kindness that has come our way from family, friends and even strangers is incredible.

Our family plan has changed but the love we have for our son is no different. Just like how we are dealing with uncertainties in the world right now we are dealing with uncertainties at home and we all have to remember to be kind and help each other out.

Kenneth is now 14 months old and has been seizure free for the last 3 months!

I want other fathers who may be dealing with a similar situation to know that your child loves you even if they cannot express it. It may not be obvious but they feel your love everyday.”

– Andrew Smart

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

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Father Figures: Best Kind

“My dad passed away 9 years ago. He was the best kind of dad. He was fun, kind, and disciplined. He was a devoted Christian, protective father, and cared deeply for our family’s future.

He was a veteran, a pilot, an international award-winning Aviation journalist, an artist, a chef and an overall bad-ass. But most of all, he was hilarious. And he would do anything to make his girls laugh.

I will never forget waking from a nap to my mom and sister telling me that my dad had collapsed at the gym. The shock that hit me in that moment. Just a few hours before he had told me, ‘I can’t wait to see the woman you become.’

I am always sad that my husband won’t know him, and that my future babies won’t be teased and loved and spoiled by him. Sharing helps me remember him. It helps me grieve him.

The time he flew us to St. Simon, just to have a picnic on the beach. All his silly characters: Cowboy Bob, DuckMan, Chipper Dinsdale, Captain Suggins, and more. The massive sand castles he would spend the whole day building, just for us to destroy it that night. How he got me into running and fitness by telling me, ‘Honey, you’re only 5’1. You’re never going to grow taller, you’re only going to grow wider!’ (Thanks for the honest truth, Dad.)

At his funeral, there was standing room only. The house was packed. There was so much laughter, there were so many tears. People I never knew existed came up to us to tell us what an honorable man my dad was and how he’d left a lasting impression on them.

Looking back on all the years and memories, I’m so grateful. I still see and feel him in quick fleeting moments. I hope he’d be proud of the woman I am today and I hope to carry on his incredible legacy for generations to come.

Thanks so much for inspiring me to write this up. It was very therapeutic, and I loved sharing it with my mom and sister.”

– Ashley Blake Newkam

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

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

NBA’s Russell Westbrook Delivers Meals to ICU and COVID-19 Units

Russell Westbrook Delivers Meals

During the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most impactful ways people have been giving back are donations directly to the frontline healthcare workers. From donations of masks or PPE from businesses to just buying a coffee or lunch for someone in scrubs, thousands of people have been trying to support these essential workers in any way they can.

Celebrities too are often following suit. Sure, there are the splashy gifts, made in partnership with a corporation or foundation, that have a high dollar amount with them (don’t get me wrong, these are incredibly generous and impactful) and come with an accompanying press release. But then you also see the smaller stories, where people feel called to give directly to people in their hometowns with a hyper-local gift. We saw that with Tyler Perry buying groceries for seniors in his hometown of Atlanta, and providing pizza for the workers. We saw it when MLB star Mookie Betts did the same thing for people in Nashville. But few have stood out quite like stars from the NBA, whether it’s been with financial help for arena workers, gifts to hospitals, or straight to healthcare workers, which is what Russell Westbrook recently did.

The NBA star, who has been one of the best scorers in the league, has also been known for his off-the-court generosity. Earlier this week, he delivered meals to the ICU and COVID-19 unit at his hometown hospital, MLK Community Hospital. The Houston Rockets guard, clad in a mask, thanked the workers in a post on IG.

The NBA is currently in discussions to finish out their season at Disneyworld, with all teams playing at the Wide World of Sports complex.

7-Yr-Old Girl Begs Mom to Make a Mask for the Tooth Fairy

Tooth Fairy Mask
(Facebook/Kayla Westhouse)

Talking about the coronavirus with your kids can be difficult. It’s hard to explain why school is happening over Zoom instead of a classroom, why you can’t touch grandma, or that the family vacation had to be canceled. But kids are also resilient, and can frequently adapt better than we think. Naturally, they will also uncover areas of concern we never even thought about.

For example, one mom in Michigan shared a story about her 7-year-old daughter, having freshly lost a tooth, expressing concern for the health of the tooth fairy. She is essential, btw. Kayla Westhouse shared the story on Facebook about her daughter’s logical worries for the tooth fairy. Her daughter took what she has been taught about the virus and arrived at some pretty sensible conclusions, including:

  • The Tooth Fairy has to come within six feet to get the tooth from under her pillow.
  • The tooth was in her mouth, which is where all of her germs are.
  • What if the Tooth Fairy gets germs from their house, and then spreads them to the next house? (the idea of a super spreading fairy is concerning, tbh).

And that is what led Kayla, who had been making masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, to make her tiniest mask yet, fit for a Tooth Fairy.

Her daughter left the mask under her pillow with the tooth, and also wrote a note for the Tooth Fairy about the mask, and also asked her to leave a gift for her dad since it was his birthday. The “fairy” obliged, leaving a dollar for her dad, a gift for her, and a thank you note for the mask. The note conveniently mentioned the girl had “the best mom ever” and that she should “be sure to tell her that as often as you can.”

So now kids everywhere no longer have to worry about the tooth fairy catching, or transmitting, any germs or viruses as she pursues her noble duty of replacing old, discarded bones with varying amounts of money.

The Best Games You and Your Crew Can Play Over Video Chat


If you’ve yet to do so and neglected to do so in our previous life, we highly encourage putting together a crew for quarantine game nights. Just because you can’t be in the same room doesn’t mean there aren’t bountiful games of chance and skill to be enjoyed.

So shoot off some invites, remind everyone “flaking” isn’t a thing anymore, and fire up that Zoom call or Google Hangout, because here 10 fun games still feasible in the age of social distancing.


(Jackbox Games)

Whether you’re trading punchlines in Quiplash or conceiving ludicrous t-shirts in Tee KO, Jackbox is destined to be a rollicking good time for anyone with a wicked sense of humor. Effortless setup and laughs aplenty. You can buy all the Jackbox Party Packs right here!


Designate one player King of the Hunt. This person should be decided at least a day beforehand so they can compile a list of household items, the commonness of which is up to them. The King simply requests an item—a wooden spoon, Christmas lights, a DVD with Tom Hanks on the cover—and the players race to find them. The Scoring system is up to you!

Here’s a list of household items to get you started.



Codenames is an ingeniously simple and challenging game, kind of like a more strategic Password. The gist is there are two teams and a grid of random words. Only the designated Spy Masters can see which words belong to their team, which belong to their opponents, and which word instantly ends the game. The Spy Masters then take turns giving one-word clues, along with the number of their team’s words it applies to. It’s a blast and very easy to pick up on.

You can generate your own virtual Codenames boards right here!


(Twitter / bratcontent)

Easily the best incarnation of Pictionary you’ll find on the internet. You know the deal: someone picks a word and draws it. Everyone guesses. Faster the correct answer, the more points awarded. Classic. Pro tip: break out the tablet for this one. Drawing with a mouse is about as easy as drawing with a literal mouse.

Click here to get your Skribblio room going!


(Blogspot / A Board Game A Day)

This is that game where everyone draws a celebrity or historical figure from a hat, affixes the card to their forehead, and asks ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions in an attempt to deduce their identity in as few clues as possible. Of course, we can’t be passing ’round name hats right now, so we suggest simply having the guesser turn down their volume while everyone else agrees on who they are.

Here’s a website that generates random lists of notable people, from John the Baptist to Morgan Freeman.


(Warner Bros)

This is a movie game famously played on the live podcast Doug Loves Movies. Assign one player the role of quizmaster. The quizmaster finds a review by film critic Leonard Maltin. They then give the other players a genre, year, and a couple of hint-worthy quotes from it. The players then bid on how much of the cast list they’d need to identify the movie if names are given in reverse order. A total blast for even the most moderate of film buffs.

More detailed rules and gameplay can be found here, along with lots and lots of rounds ready to go!



This game is incredible. Table Simulator is a multiplayer physics sandbox. In other words, a total free-for-all. It allows you (and anyone else who buys it) play practically whatever board, card, or dice game you can conjure up. Chess, poker, dominoes. Hell, make one up if you want. It’s just you, the pieces, and a super impressive physics engine.

You can even flip the board!


If you’re looking to incorporate a little booze into your quarantine game night, we recommend the easy, fun, and intimate Most Likely To… The rules are simple: someone proposes a superlative. Who’s the most likely be a vampire? Who’s the least likely to skydive? The group has one minute to deliberate, and whoever gets picked has to drink. The pushback is always hilarious, and you inevitably find yourself insisting that no, you are definitely not the most likely to get kicked by a kangaroo.

Click here for a big list of questions you can use!

Goalie Cat Is the Sports Hero We Need in Our Lives

Goalie Cat Saves

Quarantine has been hard for sports fans stuck inside with nothing to watch. (Come on The OCHO!) OK, even if you’re not a sports fan, quarantine sucks, I get it. But the sports world lost the most action-filled quarter of the year, with little relief in sight. NASCAR is back and the UFC is holding fights in empty arenas (and maybe on fight island soon enough), but there’s still nothing concrete for the major pro sports.

It’s possible the MLB players and owners can reach some sort of agreement on a shortened season (not looking great right now), the NBA is exploring finishing the season at DisneyWorld (because why not?), and the NFL is still pretending like everything will be fine, minus the virtual fans. So sports fans need a hero for these times.

Enter Goalie Cat.

Youtuber Chris Dixon put the video online of his cat, who may be the most gifted soccer goalkeeper of all time.

The video shows Dixon repeatedly getting shut out by the most skilled cat I’ve seen in the sport. Each save more difficult than the last, but goalie cat does not falter, he does not fall short. In these sports-starved times, the world has rallied around goalie cat, as the video quickly amassed more than 10 million views.

There has been no official word on if goalie cat will be allowed an Air Bud-esque exemption to play professional soccer, but should it happen, I’m not even sure it would be the craziest thing to happen in 2020.

R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps Coming Back to TV

goosebumps is coming back

When I was a little kid, I loved horror movies. I grew up in the 80s, so that meant slasher flicks. I liked the Nightmare on Elm Street movies the most (especially Dream Warriors), and still think the original Child’s Play is hilarious.

I want my kids to like horror movies too, but I tend to keep a tighter lid on what they can watch than my parents did. And my oldest prefers the idea of scary movies to actually scary ones. Which is why the Goosebumps movies work pretty well, and why I’m excited about the just-announced Goosebumps TV series. 90s kids will remember that this isn’t the first time TV has gotten Goosebumps, as there was a Goosebumps show that ran for a few seasons back then. It’s the latest bit of kids’ lit to get a do-over.

Goosebumps is a best-selling book series from author R.L. Stine featuring the perfect level of scares for young kids. There have been two movies made from the books, both featuring Jack Black as R.L. Stine himself (the movies get pretty meta), and now there are plans for a live-action TV series.

“Goosebumps has been keeping kids and families on the edge of their seats for nearly 30 years and we’re very excited to partner with Sony Pictures Television and Neal H. Moritz to bring the enduring brand to life in a fresh new way for today’s generation,” said Iole Lucchese, Scholastic Entertainment President, and Chief Strategy Officer, Deadline wrote. “From the world-famous book series to a full-scale licensing program and even live-action movies starring Jack Black, Goosebumps remains wildly popular and we look forward to presenting new adventures to give fans even more Goosebumps.”

No word on where the show will live, or if Stine will be involved, but 9that I might go queue up to show my 9yo right now.

This new series is just kicking off development, so it will be a while before we’ll know anything more. Which leaves my kids plenty of time to binge the old series.

90-Yr-Old Gaming Grandma Holds World Record for Oldest YouTube Gamer

90yr Gamer
(Guinness World Records)

Last time we checked in on the Guinness Book of World Records they were celebrating a hero for his massive video game collection. Well, Guinness is still keeping score of the extraordinary, and the newest addition to their esteemed book series is Hamako Mori, a.k.a.


(Guinness Book of World Records)

The 90-year-old Hamako’s YouTube channel has amassed over 274,000 subscribers, making her the site’s oldest gamer.

Hamako’s love of video games started 39 years ago when her curiosity piqued at the sight of some boisterous children playing one. “It looked so much fun,” she told Guinness. “I thought it’s not fair if only children played it.”

Her first console was a Cassette Vision, which was essentially the Japanese version of an Atari 2600. This beast:

(Wikimedia Commons / Evan Amos)

She now specializes in Playstation 4, noting that action games have become “visually spectacular” in recent years. “They often use actors for characters,” she obsessed. “So I’m really obsessed with it now.”

Her current favorite game? Grand Theft Auto V. That’s right. This sweet old lady’s “knitting” is simulated vehicular mayhem.

(Guinness World Records)


But at the end of the day, she says it’s all for the fans.

“I receive a lot of comments saying don’t work too hard. Everyone is so kind. Their comment leave a strong impression on me, and makes me want to make more videos that people enjoy. I still look forward to everyone’s comments.

They also say watching my video gives them hope for the future. I feel so happy. That’s why I want to create lots and lots of videos. That’s my dream.”

Aw. So wholesome and good. You can subscribe to Hamako’s channel right here, and watch her jack an armored truck in GTA V right here:

Peter Dinklage and Jason Momoa to Star in “Good Bad & Undead”

Mamoa and Dinklage in Twins
(Getty/Frazer Harrison)

It’s a Game of Thrones reunion! Except it’s only two people from the show and has nothing to do with Game of Thrones. Deadline is reporting that Peter Dinklage and Jason Momoa will star in the action-adventure film, Good Bad & Undead which is a super clever and not overdone riff on the title, The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly — except without those pestering the’s. Legendary Pictures will front the cash and Max Barbakow will direct, whose most recent credit is the soon-to-be-released film, Palm Springs, which is currently sporting a cool 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is based on an original idea by Mark Swift & Damian Shannon.

According to Deadline, “Dinklage will play Van Helsing, last in a long line of vampire hunters. He develops an uneasy partnership with a vampire (Momoa) who has taken a vow never to kill again. Together they run a scam from town to town, where Van Helsing pretends to vanquish the vampire for money. But when a massive bounty is put on the vampire’s head, everything in this dangerous world full of monsters and magic is now after them. The intent is Midnight Run in a Bram Stoker world.”

Midnight Run meets Dracula” is the most ‘Hollywood’ thing I’ve ever heard and I can almost see executives salivating in a room somewhere. Someone definitely yelled, “It’s gold!” at one point.

Well color me excited. I’ve always wanted to see a Momoa-esque vampire (who is definitely already a vampire) run around grabbing people and yelling, “I’m a hugger!” And a British-accented Dinklage being all like, “You can’t scare people like that or we’re gonna get caught!” And then Momoa talking like Hulk Hogan being all like, “C’mon brother! You’re just mad cause I can live forever!” And then the other vampire slayers show up and they’re both like, “Uh-oh! LET’S GET OUTA HERE!” Man, those executives were right, this movie writes itself.

Restaurant Solves Social Distancing Problem With Human Bumper Cars

(Facebook / John Middlebrook)

Social distancing guidelines are tougher than ever to enforce as restaurants nationwide reopen their doors to the hungry, restless masses. Masks can be annoying unless you get one like this. Maintaining that mindful gap of six feet is at worst an inconvenience and at best a buzzkill. We’re all eating lots of take-out but how exactly do we make dining out fun?

One seafood restaurant in Maryland had an ingenious idea: mandatory rubber forcefields.

(Facebook / John Middlebrook)

The Fish Tales Bar & Grill in Ocean City has invested in “bumper tables,” which will allow patrons to roam freely without the lingering apprehension that comes with unwittingly violating CDC guidelines. Basically, Fish Tales has turned its customers in human bumper cars.

Owners Shawn and Donna Harman say the bumper tables will be available to anyone mingling at the bar or waiting to be seated. “If you put the two tables together, you can’t get within 6 feet of each other,” Donna said in an interview. “It’s fun.”

“It’s a novelty,” Shawn added. “It’s cool. It’s a great photo opportunity for them.”

Novel as they may be, the bumper tables are a hit with the bar regulars. And why wouldn’t they be? You’ve essentially converted the premises into a massive air hockey table.

Very rad, very responsible. We wish Donna and Shawn and all the heroic workers at Fish Tale Bar & Grill the best!