Father Figures: The Front Lines of COVID-19

“My brother, Ryan, became an ER doctor with a Fellowship in Emergency Management, to help others in a fast-paced and exciting environment. I don’t think much could prepare healthcare workers, or any essential workers, for this current fight against COVID-19.

At this time, he is now driving to work each shift, into the unknown, away from his family, where he will be exposed to COVID-19, often without proper protection, fighting for the lives of his patients, his co-workers, himself, and his family.

He alternates shifts with his wife, Lynzy (@lynzyandco), who is a PA in the ER, who is currently pregnant with their fourth child. They have a system of keeping their dirty clothes outside, a system of encouragement to each other, and a system of keeping life normal and fun for their three children, including ‘dress up date night’ on Fridays.

While I have heard many complaints from other families being stuck at home in social distancing, I have not heard any complaints from this family on the very, very front lines of COVID-19.

Put hearts in your windows to show support for the essential workers at this time who can’t stay home. Follow social distancing rules to slow the spread of this mess. Donate any unopened supplies and equipment to your local hospital. Do it for Ryan and do it for all of us. They are being so brave and though Ryan doesn’t ask for recognition for being a rockstar dad and physician right now, he certainly deserves it.”

– Lindsay Gill

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

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here

Spider-Man 3 Cast Trolls Fans With Potential Titles

Spider-Man 3 Names
(Twitter/Giuls2828)

Over the past few months, there has been endless speculation about the future of the MCU. This extends from the movies that have been delayed by the pandemic, like Black Widow and Inhumans, and the TV universe that kicked off with WandaVision and its continuing surprises.

One of the most obsessed over properties is the forthcoming Spider-Man 3 movie, which may or may not dive deep into the multiverse. The rumors have been flying about Tom Holland’s third (and final) feature film as Peter Parker, from Dr. Strange’s role (the wizard also has a multiverse-focused sequel in production) to the potential appearance of characters from other studio Spideys, like Jamie Foxx’s Electro and both Tobey Maguire’s and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-mans (Spider-men?).

Now that speculation has extended to the film’s possible title.

Three of the movie’s cast members, Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon, ignited social media by sharing the first set photos from Spider-Man 3, and teasing fans with their own ideas about what the title might be. The first movie was called Homecoming, the second was Far From Home, and now the third is expected to feature another spin on the theme.

But it’s probably not one of the ones they shared on their IG accounts.

Each of the cast took to Instagram to share the “news.”

Holland shared a set photo of the trio, which included a mock-up title card for one potential, 80s inflected title (Spider-Man: Phone Home), then Zendaya did the same, but her title had a 90s-slang kinda feel (Spider-Man: Home Slice), and Batalon’s casts the project in a very different, Fatal Attraction sort of light (Spider-Man: Home Wrecker).

As usual, social media took it all in stride.

Obviously, the cast was having some fun, and playing up the constant breathless rumors that have been swirling around this movie, and the MCU in general, for years now.

Unfortunately, there’s no real word on what the actual title might be. But with this clearly coordinated social media goof, some real news must be on the horizon. Maybe even a teaser?

We’re dying to find out what’s in store for us with the multiverse, and everything else, in Spider-Man 3: Homey Don’t Play That!

Metallica’s Twitch Livestream Gets Dubbed to a Avoid Copyright Claim

Metallica's Twitch Stream is Dubbed
(YouTube/ghecco's twitch clips)

The internet doesn’t forget.

Years and years ago, back in the dark ages of the internet and social media, Metallica angered the tech gods by thwarting Napster, the music-sharing software that allowed everyone everywhere to download all the music they wanted – for free.

Was it legal? It was pre-legal, in that there weren’t any real laws preventing it, or, at least, no real way to regulate it. Until Metallica made a stink and Napster essentially got shut down.

In fairness, Metallica, and countless other artists, were being robbed by this widespread pirating, but they still came off like old men yelling at clouds. And now, some 20 years later, the internet got a little payback.

The elder statesmen of metal were playing a concert for BlizzCon – an annual gaming convention held by Blizzard Entertainment – that was being live-streamed on Twitch. The only problem is, Twitch didn’t want to get sued for sharing music they don’t have the rights to, so users who tuned in didn’t hear For Whom the Bell Tolls or One or Enter Sandman or Unforgiven.

Instead, they heard some bland, 8-bit music that made for a hilarious juxtaposition with the band’s hard-rocking histrionics.

According to Eurogamer, the dubbing didn’t occur everywhere, only on the Twitch Gaming channel.

Regardless, the irony was noted:

Watch the beautiful disaster unfold:

Over 5,000 Sea Turtles Were Rescued From Frigid Texas Water by Volunteers

Volunteers rescue sea turtles
(Facebook/Sea Turtle, Inc)

The historically cold weather in Texas left the entire state in shock. Millions were left without power, people were stranded, homes and buildings were damaged – cities were wildly unprepared and unequipped to deal with the extremely unusual weather, and as a result, the people of Texas leaned on each other for support. The humans of Texas suffered, and sadly, so did the animals.

The animals native to Texas prefer the warmer climate, and just like Texas’s human residents, they were caught off-guard by the unexpected cold. In the waters of South Padre Island, thousands of endangered sea turtles live happily in the warmth they need to survive. In a typical winter, there may be a few days too cold for the turtles, but the water generally stays warm enough for them to remain there safely. This winter, however, temperatures dropped and refused to budge. The sea turtles were in danger.

Despite the personal stressors the residents of Texas experienced due to the cold, despite water shortages, dangerous travel conditions, and power outages, selfless volunteers banded together with one mission: they had to save the turtles.

Volunteers scrambled to gather supplies and provide transportation, with organizations like Sea Turtle, Inc. pulling turtles from the frigid water and moving them to the temporary safety of the South Padre Convention Center. SpaceX provided the heroic organization with a backup generator, which proved invaluable after the facility lost power.

When turtles’ internal temperatures drop, similar to humans experiencing hypothermia, their heart rates slow. They experience paralysis and float to the top of the water, leaving them in danger of being attacked by predators. In a typical winter, it isn’t unusual for volunteers to save several dozen turtles from too-cold conditions. But during this extremely taxing winter, thousands of cold-stunned turtles were pulled from the freezing South Padre water, some over 100 years old and weighing hundreds of pounds.

On Tuesday, Sea Turtle Inc. shared an incredible update on Facebook. They explained, “After an exhaustive 24-hour effort that went through the night and has just ended this morning, Sea Turtle, Inc. was successfully able to release more than 2,200 previously cold-stunned turtles into the open ocean of the Gulf of Mexico. We still have lots of work to do but we are rejuvenated with passion and having seen our first released turtles swim away. Thank you for your patience while we worked tirelessly overnight to get this work done.”

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.

Father Figures: Thank the Lord

“This dad works so hard helping to support his dad’s small business that will one day be his.

Sometimes I envy his time alone in the truck when I’ve had a rough day with our three kids, and from time to time my attitude is less than joyful when he walks through the door.

Then he does this quietly without any prompting. Dear Lord in heaven, thank you for this husband and father!”

– Angela Schroeder

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

The Best Recliners for Dad … and Dad Alone, or Else

best recliners
Amazon/Wayfair

If you’re looking for the best recliners, you’re in the right place. When it comes to the traditional rules of the house, few of them are as important or as cherished as the “dad’s chair” rule. If you’re a dad, you should have a chair for watching TV, relaxing, napping after meals, and whatever else you want to do in it. This chair is yours and yours alone. Kids know to stay out of it, your partner knows to stays out of it, and even the pets f***ing know to stay out of it.

When a guest to the home inadvertently sits in the dad chair, the horrified look on the faces of every family member lets you know your control of the dad chair is complete.

For many dads, the chair of choice is the best recliner. My dad had a recliner. His dad had a recliner. If my great-great-great-great-grandfather had been clever enough to invent the recliner, that would’ve been his chair of choice. Hell, some dads threaten to die happily in their recliners … and then follow through.

In fact, I may be writing this article on a laptop while leaning back in my recliner. Later on, I may use my dad chair as one of the best recliners for sleeping in front of the TV before the local news weatherperson finishes screwing up the forecast. (Who am I kidding? There’s no “may” about it.)

I’ve relaxed in a recliner or two or a dozen in my day. (I may have even tried out my dad’s recliner when I knew he was out of town, but I’ll never admit it … even under oath.) Here are the best recliners that will have you claiming them as your dad chair immediately.

The Most Comfortable Recliner

ANJ Electric Recliner Chair

When you’re seeking the best recliners for sleeping, it’s tough to beat the overstuffed pillows on the back and armrests with this ANJ model. Yet it has the support you’ll want for the back and neck when you’re spending a quality Sunday watching an NFL triple-header, only moving at halftime (out of necessity).

Rather than having to manually lean back to extend the recliner function, just press a button on the side. This actually is a handy feature for grandpa, who may have difficulty manually controlling the footrest on such a large chair.

It even has a USB charging port built into it. If only it had a fridge hidden under the footrest, you’d never have to get up again.

Buy for $500 on Amazon

The Best Recliner Chair for Style

Leonie Manual Recliner

None of us want to admit it, but there are rare occasions where we dads aren’t in complete control of purchasing furniture for the house. Once in a while, our wives have an opinion on a piece of furniture, including the best recliner that will eventually become the dad chair.

Admittedly, this Leonie recliner may not be quite as comfortable as the plush leather recliner we just discussed. But it still has a footrest and leans back just far enough to let you relax fully, making those sighs only dads can make when they finally have a chance to sit down, stretch out, and relax.

Plus, this fabric recliner looks great, which will make your partner happy. Once you sit in it and have a chance to put your feet up, you’ll be comfortable enough that you can live with giving in to your wife’s wishes this time. Next time will surely be different. (Just keep telling yourself that.)

Buy for $347 on Wayfair

The Best Classic Wingback Recliner

Waldo Tufted Wingback Best Recliner Chair

There’s just something about a wingback recliner that makes it fit into almost any type of home. It’s a classic design that has cushioning in all the right places to make it one of the best recliners for back pain.

This Waldo model has all of the accents you’d expect to find in a wingback recliner, including the tufted back secured with buttons, the decorative nail heads outlining the front and sides, and the stylish feet in the front.

This is the kind of style in a dad chair that your grandfather or great-grandfather would’ve been proud to call his own. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Hell, you may want to wear a fedora while you’re relaxing in this chair. Its style is that classic in nature. (Not that any of us need an excuse to break out the fedora.)

Buy for $394 on Amazon

The Best Recliner For Sleeping

Hemington Reclining Glider

If you have little ones at home, it’s more than okay to share the dad chair with them, gently rocking them to sleep (just make sure you don’t leave them alone — this could be dangerous). Sharing is OK, as long as they realize who ultimately owns the dad chair.

This glider recliner swivels and rocks gently. But it also has a footrest and a reclining back to give you the benefits of the best recliner chair. It’s a little smaller than some other of the best recliners on our list, meaning it can fit into a tighter space.

And if you happen to fall asleep after you rock the baby to sleep, call it a win-win.

Buy for $405 on Wayfair

Best Recliner Chair for Watching Movies

Jummico Home Theater Best Recliner Chair

One of the most exciting home improvement projects for the whole family is creating a home theater room. Kids love the idea of having a completely dark special movie room to enjoy watching the same movie for the 99th time. Mom and dad love the idea of having a completely dark theater room to sneak in a nap while the kids watch the same movie for the 99th time.

If you’re going to build a theater room, you will want to outfit it with theater recliner chairs. The extra tall backrest allows you to angle the back of the chair perfectly for the screen while your back remains fully supported.

You can adjust the angle of the backrest between 90 and 165 degrees to the seat. Nap time during a movie at home has never been more comfortable. Just try not to snore, or the kids will want to start the movie over again. After all, they don’t want you to miss the best parts … over and over and over.

Buy for $140 on Amazon

Best Lift Assist Recliner

Three Posts Lift Assist Power Reclining Chair

If you’re looking for the best recliner chair for Grandpa, who may need some help trying to stand up from highly cushioned chairs, this lift assist recliner is a great option.

The entire chair lifts upward and tilts forward when you need a bit of help rising to a standing position. Now, the kids may be tempted to try to fling their little brother halfway across the room with the lift feature, but it, fortunately, doesn’t move quite fast enough to accomplish this trick.

As an added benefit, it has a massage feature and a heating feature, so grandpa may just choose to live in this dad chair … as long as he doesn’t lose the remote control. (Yes, we know the remote is connected to the chair with a cord, but we also know how Grandpa excels at losing his electronics. It should end up being quite the battle between the two.)

Buy for $423 on Wayfair

Best Recliner Chair for Back Pain

Esright Heated and Massage Recliner for Back Pain

With such a high level of padding and comfort in this chair, you may not expect to receive the bonus features of heating and massage too, but this Esright recliner offers varying intensity levels for vibration massages and for the heating control modes. The heat function focuses on the lumbar, making this one of the best recliners for back pain.

Each chair has two cup holders, storage pockets on the sides, and a pillow cushion for your head. It swivels 360 degrees and has a gentle rocking feature. The PU leather surface is easy to clean and offers water resistance.

This chair can do it all, making it worthy of being the perfect dad chair.

Buy for $355 on Amazon

Best Recliner Loveseat

Perrysburg Wide Pillow Best Recliner Loveseat

Sometimes, you have the ability to select your own dad chair recliner. Other times, your wife decides she also would like a recliner. (A mom chair? Not quite the same ring, but it makes sense.) Unfortunately, your TV room may not be big enough for two competing recliners sitting at the optimal viewing position.

This Perrysburg reclining loveseat is the best compromise. This setup consists of two connected recliners, each of which has separate controls. So you can be fully laid back, reclining in perfect napping position, while she sits at the edge of her recliner seat, staring breathlessly at the TV to see who receives the next rose. Win-win.

This loveseat has a center console for storing drinks or other items, keeping everything well-organized in a small room. It’s not quite a full dad chair, but this half dad chair is better than nothing.

Buy for $700 on Wayfair

Best Recliner Sofa

Ullery Pillow Top Arm Best Reclining Sofa

Sometimes, the best recliners for sleeping come in a sofa configuration. You can sleep in your recliner, tilting the backrest to an almost horizontal position to rest comfortably. Or you can stretch across the entire length of this recliner sofa and use it like you would a regular sofa for a nap.

When you’re in trouble and your S.O. tells you to go sleep on the sofa, you’ll appreciate having two options instead of the typical one.

The two outer seats have separate reclining options, so you can set the backrest at the best angle for comfort independently on either end. (The middle seat does not recline.) The metal frame is sturdy, supporting up to 750 pounds in total.

And just think about how many positive “dad points” you’ll receive for sharing your dad chair with two other people at the same time. Surely those dad points will come in handy when it’s time to receive your amazing Father’s Day gifts. (Heck, maybe they’ll even remember to pick up a gift ahead of time this year, rather than running to the convenience store at 8 a.m. on Father’s Day. Not that we’re complaining about the doughnuts with sprinkles they bring back. Keep ’em coming with the real gift.)

Buy for $690 on Wayfair

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 Remake Announced for Nintendo Switch

(Activision/Vicarious Visions)

While Tony Hawk fails to be recognized in public on a regular basis, at least his video games are still well known and loved.

Activision announced today that the fantastic Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 remake that released last September on PS4, Xbox One & PC, will be making its way over to Nintendo Switch later this year.  Unfortunately, no release date has been set for the Switch version, but we do know that there will be a next-gen upgrade available on March 26th, 2021 for PS5 and Xbox Series X players that already own the game.

This upgrade includes access to the secret skater Ripper (a.k.a. the infamous Powell-Peralta mascot), retro gear for Create-A-Skater mode, and retro skins for Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, and Rodney Mullen.  Performance-wise, this next-gen upgrade features the option to play in 1080p at 120 FPS or in native 4K at 60 FPS.

If you currently own the Standard Digital Edition, you’ll be able to upgrade to the Cross-Gen Deluxe bundle for an additional $10.  For those who already own the Digital Deluxe Edtion, it’ll be a free next-gen upgrade.  It’s kind of a bummer since these next-gen upgrades have typically just been completely free for most games, but it’s a small price to pay to shred as ‘The Birdman’ with some sick new visuals, and technically you’re getting some new content as well.

Developed by Vicarious Visions, this remake of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 features everything you loved about the originals, but with some nice quality of life improvements.  Being able to manual (introduced in THPS 2) and revert (introduced in THPS 3) in both THPS1 & 2 to keep our million point combos going is a wonderful edition.  Also, the soundtrack is still as awesome as it was back in 1999.  If you’re a Nintendo Switch player and have been waiting patiently for this release, you’ve got lots to look forward to.

Police Officer Adopts Pit Bull Puppy He Rescued On Duty

Cop Adopt
(Facebook/mountlaurelpd)

One of the most heartbreaking things is hearing about people who treat animals poorly. Abandoning puppies, or leaving kittens in a comically small box on the side of the road? Terrible. This is why the internet always loves a good “person rescues animal” story. A police officer in New Jersey is the latest to add to this list after he rescued a 14-week-old pit bull. And then he went the extra mile to make sure the pup was safe and adopted him.

Matthew O’Hanlon and colleagues found the puppy wandering in an industrial area in early January. He had a head wound and no identification. The policemen dropped him off at the shelter, and 20 minutes O’Hanlon called to adopt him.

Then he picked up the pooch and took him straight to the vet to have a tooth from another animal removed from his head.

He and his fiance are big Marvel fans and thought the name Thor was a perfect fit.

He said little Thor doing great with the family and that he wants to change the narrative when it comes to pit bulls.

“They’re the most loving, affectionate dogs I’ve ever had … it’s [unfortunate] to see them get bad reputations when it’s really the way they’re raised.”

The department said little Thor is healing nicely and getting plenty of treats. And O’Hanlon’s advice for others looking for a pet: Adopt, don’t shop.

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively Donate $1 Million to Food Banks, Again

Reynolds Lively Donate $1 Million
(Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

Ryan Reynolds is at it again. He and his wife Blake Lively, have donated another $1 million to food banks, in an effort to help those that need it most during the pandemic.

Pandemic fatigue is a real thing, but with several entire industries still locked down or facing restrictions, there are still a lot of people hurting. The tide is beginning to turn when it comes to vaccines and fighting the virus, but there’s a lot more to be done to combat the economic damage the pandemic wreaked.

Reynolds and Lively split the donation between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. The duo gave $500,000 to each charity at the beginning of the pandemic as well (crazy that we can write sentences like that, but hey, we’re a year into this thing, so these times are now “precedented”). They also recently donated $400,000 to New York hospitals and $500,000 to charities helping at-risk youth in Canada.

Food Banks Canada tweeted heartfelt thanks for the donation, calling Reynolds their “favorite Canadian and their favorite superhero (sorry, Hugh Jackman).”


Reynolds responded appropriately, saying “never apologize to Hugh Jackman.”


Feeding America thanked the couple for being their “hunger-fighting dream team.”


This news, revealed not by the couple but by the charities, comes just days after Reynolds (and famous pals Diddy and David Beckham) pledged $1 million to help out-of-work bartenders.

Ryan Reynolds, superhero on and off-screen, we salute you.

Special Ed Teacher Thanks 13 New Twitter Followers, Gains 50,000

Special Needs Teacher Tweets
(Twitter/jenrinehart5)

Twitter gets a bad rap. To be fair, most of social media gets a bad rap, what with the misinformation and the anonymous hostility and the obnoxious posturing. But there are good parts to it too.

Over the weekend, one of those good parts was on full display.

On Friday, a Twitter user named @jenrinehart5 (Jen.Hardy), with a mere 13 followers, tweeted her gratitude for those followers. She explained that she’s a high school special education teacher, and one of the lessons she teaches her students is that we should be grateful for everything we have, and for all the progress we make, even if those things are small.

Someone saw her tweet and retweeted its wholesome message. And someone else saw that retweet and retweeted it themselves. And so on and so forth. Who knows what those retweeters intended, or if they had any idea of what might happen. Jen.Hardy sure didn’t.

What happened is that her tweet blew up.

She followed up her initial tweet with another one, expressing her astonishment at how much her account had grown.

That was on Saturday, at 21k. Now, on Monday, she’s more than doubled that.

Her tweet was retweeted 6200 times, garnering over 180,000 likes. More importantly, her follower count exploded and as of this writing, she had grown from 13 followers (that’s 13: thirteen), all the way up to 50,000. Fifty thousand. In three days.

For all the talk of Twitter and social media being cesspools, there are plenty of instances when positivity rules the day, and this is a perfect example. An unassuming woman posted a simple tweet about gratitude, and Twitter responded to it in droves, spreading her message far and wide.

I bet she’s grateful for that.