The Uncle: Valentine’s Day

It’s almost that time of year again, folks! No, I’m not talking about tax season. Don’t get me started. W4, 1099A. What am I fulfilling a civic duty or playing freakin’ Battleship over here? No, I’m of course referring to Valentine’s Day. That one day a year where the romantically-involved and the romantically-uninvolved can look at one another and say, “Wow, that looks really nice for a few months.”

Last year, I’d hit a bit of a rough patch around this time of year. Valentine’s Day was fast approaching and I was dead broke. I was with my at-the-time girlfriend, Denise, when I received a letter informing me I’d been summoned for jury duty. Cha-ching! One mistrial and forty bucks later, Denise and I are having a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. She dumped me the next day due to “irreconcilable differences” and for “sympathizing with the suspect in an arson case.” I haven’t seen Denise since.

So when my nephew, Ronnie, told me today he was worried no one in his 5th grade class would give him a Valentine. It hurt. I remember those days quite vividly. I’d stay up all night decorating my Valentine box. I’d glue construction paper to a shoe box, cut a slit, write my name, adorn it with Ren & Stimpy stickers. Nothing too showy.

My biggest worry was Kevin. Kevin was the coolest kid at Stoneybrook Elementary. Suave, funny, handsome… like a young Wesley Snipes.

Hey, speaking of Wesley Snipes, how about that whole tax evasion mess, huh? I mean, 1040A, I-9? Folks, I don’t know if these are tax forms or Bingo balls! Wow! Wonder what happens if you forget to pay your taxes. Not much, I hope.

Anyway, all the girls in my class had crushes on Kevin. It didn’t help that his box was much, much nicer than mine was. I was fully prepared to go home with few, if any, Valentines.

But quite the contrary! SIX girls came to my desk to drop Valentine cards in my box. Beth. Kelsey. April. Megan. Amber. Allison. I was stunned. Relieved. Elated. I wasn’t expecting this at all. I didn’t know how to contain my joy. I had to rub it in Kevin’s face.

“Hey, Kevin,” I shouted as I walked over to his desk. “Read ‘em and weep,” I said, turning my box over and dumping its contents onto Kevin’s desk. It was at this moment that I realized, oh, right, I forgot to bury my dead pet hamster. Kevin very un-cooly starts crying as I make a mental note to open the shoebox I use next year and confirm nothing is already inside it.

If Kevin is reading this, just know that I sincerely apologize for what happened that day. Also, it’s been a while! Shoot me an email if you ever want to catch up over a beer or help me forge some Office Depot receipts or whatever.

Dad Buys Ice-Cream Truck to Ensure His Two Adult Children with Down Syndrome Have Jobs

A dad wanted to do something to help his grown children with Down syndrome have an employment opportunity. So he bought an ice cream truck, and now it’s become a hit in the community.

Joel Wegener knew his two adult children, Josh and Mary Kate, could have difficulty finding a job as they both have Down syndrome. And when Mary Kate, 21, finished a program for people with disabilities, she said she “wanted to work with papa,” he told a local media outlet. And that’s how Special Neat Treats was born.

The dad said it started about ice cream, but it’s become so much more because every time they go out, they find a family with special needs or some connection. “It’s been an unbelievable journey,” he said.

The biggest seller is the SpongeBob popsicle, but they’ve sold more than 5,000 desserts this summer and that has them wanting to expand their business for next summer. The dad has been able to work with his two kids, teaching them about the financial side and managing money, and helping them build their social skills by interacting with customers.

It started out as a dad wanting to do something to help his kids be OK in this world, and it grew into something he hopes inspires other parents of kids with disabilities. He wants to change the entire conversation about how society views people like that.

“It’s much more than selling ice cream,” he said. “To give me kids something to do and show other parents maybe there is something creative, out of the box we can come up for our family and kids to do.”

“No matter what your abilities are, there’s something you can do and you can spread joy and interact with people.”

There may be no new business that lives up to its name more than the Special Neat Treats ice cream truck.

12-Yr-Old Skateboarder Lands 1080 on Vert Ramp in Front of Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk’s passion for skateboarding extends far beyond his own accomplishments. Sure, he’s set records and changed the trajectory of professional skateboarding. But Tony Hawk thrives off of the success of other skaters, especially when it comes to the next generation. Hawk is an enormous supporter of the skating community, even starting his own charity which helps fund skate parks across the country. During this year’s Summer X Games, the skating icon witnessed another legend in the making.

A 12-year-old named Gui Khury from Brazil is already making a name for himself in the skating world. At age 10, he became the youngest person to compete in the X Games. This year, the skating whiz set two more records right in front of Tony Hawk himself.

During the Pacific Skateboard Vert Best Trick competition, Khury stunned the audience with his extraordinary skills. Even during a contest packed with other master skaters, the young prodigy stood out above the rest. Khury competed against eight other pro skaters, including 53-year-old Tony Hawk who last participated in the X Games before Khury was born.

The ambitious 12-year-old chose to perform a trick no X Games competitor had ever completed – a vert 1080. On a non-mega vertical skateboarding ramp, Khury flawlessly executed his trick, rotating 1080 degrees (three full rotations) while airborne. After the record-setting maneuver, Hawk proudly pulled the emotional 12-year-old into an embrace.

 

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Setting such a monumental record in front of Tony Hawk would’ve thrilled any X Games competitor, but Khury wasn’t done. The not-yet-teenage skater took home a gold medal for best trick, making him the youngest gold medalist in X Games history.

Tony hawk set a similar record 22 years ago, landing a 900 on a vert ramp. With Khury winning the competition over the now 53-year-old, this year’s X Games felt almost like Tony Hawk passing the torch to the next generation of skaters. If Khury is any indication of what’s to come, they won’t disappoint.

 

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Madman or Legend? This Guy Played Dark Souls With a Controller Made Out of Pizza

This takes the term “greasy controller” to a whole new level.

Youtube/Twitch streamer SuperLouis64 recently decided that Dark Souls wasn’t hard enough, so he needed a real challenge.  Using a special HRD board along with some wires, he plugged them into pizza slices.  He explains that “Each pizza slice is its own button. For example, I have pizza for movement, and then I have pizzas for attacking and dodging.”  Oh, and if you’re wondering how he could heal his character, he would have to take an actual bite of pizza.  I mean, he probably could have just pushed on the pizza that was designated for healing, but that wouldn’t be any fun now would it?

Dark Souls is already a pretty punishing game.  Not only do you need to really learn the world and how to navigate it, one small mistake will cost you your life.  Once you’ve finally mastered how to get through said area, there’s always a boss at the end that is ready to destroy you.  Learning their movements and abilities is integral to your survival.  It can all be pretty intense and punishing.  Now, imagine doing all of that with a controller made out of pizza.  This man is a legend or a madman depending on how you look at it.  If you’re interested in watching the stream with the pizza controller, I’ll leave the link to the actual stream on his Twitch channel here.

This isn’t the first time SuperLouis64 has played Dark Souls with food.  A year ago he used a banana as a controller.  If he’s going to continue this trend and is taking ideas, I would like to request that he play Dark Souls on the KFC console with a controller made out of chicken next.  It just seems like the next logical step.

Paul: Always Has A Moment

“My boyfriend Paul and I have two daughters together (who are ten months apart in age) and I have an almost teenage son from a prior relationship. Life is extremely busy for us, so finding time to get things done for ourselves that we want to do is extremely hard to come by.

Paul loves tooling around in his garage, and sneaking out to do so without a child noticing is a feat we haven’t quite mastered yet.

Our oldest daughter Lily is a complete daddy’s girl and loves doing everything her dad does. Whether it’s watching football, playing outside in the dirt, listening to heavy metal music or cars revving their engine, if her dad’s doing it, so is Lily.

No matter how much he wants to sneak a couple quiet moments for himself, being dad is always a priority, and he always has a moment for his babies.”

– Lindsay Jolly

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

‘The Flash’ Set Photos and Footage Show Batfleck Back In Action

Ben Affleck is having quite the 2021.

The Dunkin Donuts enthusiast is back together with old flame JLo, back together with old friend Matt Damon, and back together with old frenemy Batman, Batfleck.

Unlike Zack Snyder’s Justice League, this isn’t Affleck doing some reshoots to patch together his director’s original vision. This is the Good Will Hunting star actually suiting up as the Dark Knight for a brand new movie. The movie is The Flash, and is primarily about the red speedster, who somehow crosses timelines and interacts with multiple Batmans from different universes, leading to both Affleck and Michael Keaton appearing onscreen as Batman and/or Bruce Wayne.

We already know Tim Burton’s Wayne Manor is returning, as well as his Batmobile, and now, thanks to some photos taken on the set in Glasgow, we’ve learned that Michael Keaton’s Batman isn’t the only one bringing his toys. Batfleck is bringing the Batcycle!

Eagle-eyed viewers also noticed that Affleck is wearing a slightly different Batsuit as well, the better to help differentiate his Batman from Keaton’s, whose classic costume has already been teased.

We don’t yet know how the Flash will access separate timelines in Andy Muschietti’s film, though many suspect the classic Flash story Flashpoint is being adapted here, one way or another. We’ll find out next year when the movie hits theaters. Until then, we have these sneaky set photos to pore over for clues!

New ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Trailer Gets Us Excited For Some Ghosts

After decades of rumors, a year of pandemic-related delays, cartoons, female-led versions, toys, and more, we’re finally getting a third Ghostbusters movie set inside the original universe.

Jason Reitman, director Ivan Reitman’s son, is helming Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which is finally hitting theaters this Thanksgiving, after having been delayed by the pandemic. The movie’s secrets have been largely kept under wraps, but we know that it’s about a mom (Carrie Coon) who inherits her father’s house in Oklahoma and moves her family there. Soon, her two teenage kids (Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace) learn that her dad was one of the Ghostbusters, just in time for local teacher and Ghostbusters fanboy Paul Rudd to unearth some supernatural happenings.

The new trailer stops playing coy and deletes the goods. We learn that the kids are Egon’s grandchildren (and get an Annie Potts cameo!) who dig up ECTO-1 and some other old Ghostbusters gear, including footage from the first movie, and are soon caught up in whatever is happening underneath their town. There’s even a tease of an original cast member’s appearance – and I don’t just mean Slimer.

This new trailer is a lot of fun. It’s a bit heavy on the reverence but finally provides a glimpse of the original Ghostbusters vibe the previous clips had been lacking. Check it out! The movie hits theaters this Thanksgiving.

After Being Stopped by Cops, Dad Modifies Power Wheels Car To Make It Street Legal

A lot of parents made special purchases to help the family get through the pandemic. Maybe it was a tablet, a video game system, or anything to help keep kids excited and upbeat during a tough time. For one dad, it was Power Wheels for his kids to ride around outside with. Then he took it to the next level.

James Scudder, a dad of five from the UK, bought his kids the Power Wheels ride-on car at the start of the pandemic. After driving one of the red Super Sport XLs down the street in the neighborhood, he was pulled over by law enforcement who told him he couldn’t drive it on the street. So he decided to overhaul the toy and make it the first street-legal power wheels car.

He modified it with turn signals, hazard lights, and a horn so it would meet the traffic requirements to be on the road. He put in an amped-up battery to really make it fly, as it can reach a top speed of 22 mph. Think about the toy cars your kids have, and how insane that would be seeing an 8-year-old buzzing around the hood in that. He’d be the coolest kid pulling up to the lemonade stand.

Scudder unveiled his modified road-legal car on his YouTube channel. He also told media outlets he didn’t keep track of the costs, because he would’ve had to explain them to his wife and she “wouldn’t have been happy.”

 

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He said his family and friends love his modified car, even if they think he’s “a bit crazy and weird for doing it.”

A bit crazy and weird could describe a lot of passion projects for dads though, and if you wanna stick it to the law by souping up a toy car so you can cruise the neighborhood with your toddler, we aren’t here to judge.

A famous racecar driver once said nothing was important than family, so go ahead and hit the road, and live your dad life one quarter-mile at a time.

Little Skateboard Fairy Becomes Youngest Brazilian To Win Olympic Medal

This year, skateboarding became an official Olympic sport, and it didn’t take long for it to make headlines. Tony Hawk reflected on how “surreal” it is to see the sport that he pioneered and helped make famous be elevated to such a prestigious stage. Then, two 13-year-old girls won medals in the first-ever skateboarding event, making news all over the globe.

It turns out it’s not the first time one of them went viral.

Rayssa Leal, a 13-year-old girl from Brazil, won the silver medal in the first women’s street skateboarding event. Leal has a nickname, the “Little Skateboard Fairy” (Fadinha do Skate in Portuguese), that she earned six years ago when footage of her skateboarding in a full-on fairy princess outfit – complete with wings – went viral.

Now she’s the youngest Brazilian to win a medal at the Olympics:

Not only did Tony Hawk help pave the way for skateboarding’s respectability, but he also helped Rayssa get her nickname when, six years ago, when he shared the video that made her famous:

She didn’t stop skating, getting better and better until she qualified for and competed in the Olympic Games. And now she has a silver medal.

I bet it will go great with a princess gown.

‘Police Academy’ Star Michael Winslow Makes Comeback After Raising His Kids Solo

No matter how much you plan and prepare, having kids is a constantly-changing and unpredictable experience. Our lives look a lot different than we ever could have anticipated, and for some, life’s curveballs forced us to put important things on hold. “Police Academy” actor Michael Winslow stepped away from his career after the death of his wife, dedicating himself to raising his kids as a single father. But now that his kids are grown, Winslow is making a triumphant return.

Michael Winslow refers to himself as a “voicetramentalist,” but it’s difficult to properly describe the range of his skillset. Winslow stunned viewers with his unique talent, appearing in over 25 movies and TV shows in the 80s alone. Michael Winslow can make sounds – seemingly any sound, using his mouth and probably some sort of magic.

After his first wife Belinda Church passed away, Winslow’s life did a 180. Rather than building upon his massive success as an actor and comedian, Winslow focused on fatherhood. On a recent episode of America’s Got Talent, Winslow returned to the spotlight in front of millions of viewers around the world, stunning a whole new generation with his carefully crafted skill.

Simon Cowell, one of the show’s four judges, recognized Winslow immediately. Expectations were high, given that Cowell knew what “The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects” was capable of several decades ago. Even so, Winslow blew the judges and audience out of the water with his unique and mind-blowing performance.

Winslow combined storytelling, comedy, and the talent that sets him apart from the countless other comedians auditioning for AGT. Beginning with a story about his childhood, Winslow shifts seamlessly into other captivating topics. He brings stories to life with his sound effects, and by the end, a good portion of the audience was staring in open-mouthed awe. Winslow received a well-deserved standing ovation and four resounding yeses from the judges.

“My life has changed again for the better, and I’ve gotten another blessing,” Winslow told Terry Crews after his flawless performance. “America’s Got Talent is the place for me to show I still have something to offer. I’ve still got some sounds to make, and there’s still room for a little more.”