Tag Archives: father’s day

What Dad REALLY Wanted For Father’s Day

7 Jul

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letter So now that Father’s Day is firmly in the rear-view mirror and Dad has had a chance to drink coffee in his new kid-painted coffee mug, or perhaps even wear the new tie(s) he got, it’s time to let the world in on a little secret.

As much as we appreciate the little tchotchkes, and we really do, we dads secretly hold out hope that the Father’s Day Fairy will bring something just a little different next year. These are things we’ve likely tripped over on the internet and inadvertently slipped into an hours-long “dude, how cool would that be?” daydream while we pretend to work.

So the next time Father’s Day (or a birthday, or an anniversary, or Christmas) rolls around and you want to do something completely irresponsible for the DorkDad in your life, consider one of the following gifts. I guarantee you you’ll get the wide-eyed “Oh my GAWD! That is SO FREAKING COOL!!!” reaction. When it happens, be sure to get a video and share it on Facebook.

Without further ado, here are three things he REALLY wants for Father’s Day:

 The DL44-Blaster from Episode IV.

The “Maker’s Movement” has seen a huge rise in hobbyists crafting their own fandom. If you want that movie-accurate iron man armor there are countless tutorials on YouTube to show you exactly how to make it in your own garage. You want to make a classic Star Trek communicator, no problem. Here’s where to get the parts and how to put them together.

In that vein I recently came across DL44blaster’s Instagram page and instantly I knew “I must have one.” There he showcases photos of the most movie-accurate replicas of Han Solo’s original blaster from the original Star Wars film you will ever come across. This prop replica may not mean anything to you, but a true Star Wars enthusiast will know it immediately.

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As opposed to the toys you can buy in the store these are cast metal, so they have some real heft to give them authenticity. They also have a locking hammer and functioning trigger and they feel damn real. Rest assured, they are only cast from the original Mauser pistols, so the external detailing is exquisite, but the barrels aren’t even hollow. They don’t shoot bullets, but I can personally guarantee that the *pew pew* works perfect.

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DL44blaster himself is a hotel hospitality worker, who builds these things as a hobby in his spare time, and what you realize very early on is that more than quality parts, these prop replicas are made with pure love. Mine sits on my desk at work (I really need to figure out a display stand/case) and it gives me joy every time I look at it.

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Head on over to DL44Blaster’s ETSY page to see what sort of awesomeness you can get Dad next Father’s Day. And if you’re really interested about how crazy the “Maker’s Movement” can be, take a look at Adam Savage’s one-day-build for the same prop.

The Hat

Let’s be clear. We dads wouldn’t change anything about our lives. We love our families desperately. They are our dream come true. But parenthood can be taxing and you can’t blame us for remembering with fondness the wild-stallion days of years (decades) gone past. If we were wild stallions in our youth, sometimes the drudgery of parenthood can make you feel like that moth-eaten pony at the carnival who keeps going around and around in circles, walking in his own poop. If the DorkDaddy in your life needs an infusion of bad-assness, I’ve got the prescription.

The success of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and its sequels suddenly made the fedora relevant again. Fanboys could try to get a little of the Indiana Jones swagger by donning a replica brown fedora. But replicas are just that – replicas. Even the ones they sell at Disneyland just never looked right.

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As it was, the company in England that made Indiana Jones’s original fedora closed down shortly after the release of the original move. There were enough copies of the hat made to get through the two sequels, but the original templates and techniques used for his iconic hat were lost for all time. Over the years one hat maker, Steve Delk of the AdventureBilt Hat Company, became known as the best at replicating Indie’s iconic look. He used tradecraft from 100 years ago (who knew beaver felt was even a thing?) to make an Indie fedora that was without peer. When it came time to select a hat maker for Indiana Jones IV, Steve’s hat was chosen and his hats went from being the best Indie replicas to being the *ACTUAL* hat.

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Steve lives in Missouri and is still making hats. Each one is custom fit and hand-made for the wearer. In a world filled with assembly-line, factory made, mass produced junk, there is something very magical about putting on something of this quality – even without the connection to Indiana Jones. If you think the DorkDaddy in your life would appreciate *THE* Indiana Jones fedora, head on over to Steve’s Website.

The Hat

I promise the Father in your life can’t help but feel like a badass when he puts this hat on.

A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Almost two years ago, in anticipation of my 40th birthday, I wrote this blog post about a group of fans who restored one of the original, most iconic set pieces of the original Star Wars movie way out in the wilderness of Tunisia. I the piece I quipped about how I needed to see these places before I died, how my 40th birthday was the perfect excuse, and lamented about how I had nobody to go with me and actually make it happen. Then my amazing cousin sent me a text message and long story short, 10 months later she and I were walking in the real sands of Tatooine (or Tataouine as the actual Tunisian city is spelled).

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Simply put, if the DorkDad in your life is a Star Wars nerd, there is no holier ground than South West Tunisia.

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Yes, the American media has given a lot of air time to Middle East unrest spreading into the largely Westernized, primarily Mediterranean Tunisia. In conversations with my contact there the question was asked “Would you tell someone not to visit France because of what happened to Charlie Hebdo? Would you tell them not to go to church in the United States because of what’s been happening in The South of your country?”

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I can’t speak to any of that. All I can say is that Tunisia is an amazing place. The people there are generous, and friendly and my experience there was nothing short of life-changing.


Now think about the DorkDad in your life. You have nearly 6 months until Christmas… a year before next Father’s Day. Imagine the look on his face when he opens his present to find a shiny new DL-44 Blaster, authentic Indiana Jones fedora, or plane ticket to Tunisia.

-Dork Dad

What I Want

14 Jun

letter My wife asked me a few weeks ago what I wanted for Father’s Day. Seriously, I have everything I ever wanted… or at least everything I ever needed. I don’t want for much, and if I do want something I’m lucky enough to be in a position to just go out and buy it (except the Porsche).

But that doesn’t help UnDorkMommy when it comes to Father’s Day. She wants to do something nice for  me, and she knows she doesn’t have the nerd-cred to know what it is I really want. It’s my obligation as a loving husband to help her out in uncomfortable, difficult situations like this. So here you go, Honey. Here’s a short list of some things that I would genuinely appreciate for Father’s Day:

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Five simple things I want for Father’s Day

(each should be pretty easy to come by)

1) I want security – security to know that I will be able to provide for my family for as long as they need it, and that no horrible tragedies will befall the people I love.

2) I want to be able to share the things that I get excited about with my wife, like the new Superman movie, or the microbrewery that just opened nearby, or the latest Star Wars Lego set — because having a 15-month-old and two other kids makes it so easy for both of us to do things together as a couple. ((not))

3) I want the seasons for “Game of Thrones” and “Walking Dead” to be much, much longer than they already are.

4) I want to resolve the terrible guilt I feel taking time away from my family to take care of myself, and the terrible frustration I feel taking time away from myself to take care of my family.

5) I want to finally be picked to be a volunteer on “Mythbusters,” especially since I’ve tried three times already without getting the call, and my sister tried only once and totally got picked — and she doesn’t even watch the show, dammit!!

You should be able to handle those things, right Honey?

You thought I was kidding about the Mythbusters thing, didn't you?

You thought I was kidding about the Mythbusters thing, didn’t you?

-Dork Dad

FDAY

Why Superman Is A Better Dad Than Batman

10 Jun

letter The boys over at HowToBeADad posted their thesis “5 Reasons Why Batman Would Be A Better Dad Than Superman” with full knowledge of the reaction it would bring. They knew a few of us couldn’t let it slide. They knew we’d be forced to blog our counterarguments, thus driving more attention and traffic to their site. Moreover, they knew we knew they knew, and they knew we were powerless to resist. They are diabolical that way over there… one might say “evil geniuses.”

Ron Mattocks and Alan Kercinik have made their counterarguments, and mine, the third and final installment in the series, follows below:

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WHY SUPERMAN WOULD BE A BETTER DAD THAN BATMAN

1)      Batman is nocturnal.

HowToBeADad presented this as evidence in Batman’s favor, but given a little thought it becomes pretty clear that on balance, this can’t be a good thing. Where’s Bruce Wayne for that class field trip? He’s in the batcave getting his lacerations stitched up and dislocated shoulder reset by Alfred. You want your dad to be there for your first T-ball game? Sorry kid. He’s sleeping right now because he’s been up for the past 72 hours chasing supercriminals.

Then picture this scenario from the Wayne household: You’re a 5 year old kid. It’s the middle of the night and there’s a violent storm outside. The power is out and everything is pitch black around you. You’re scared and you can’t sleep. Your sense of fear slowly turns to panic as the sound of the wind and the driving rain intensify outside your bedroom window. You stare into the inky darkness, unable to see anything, wondering who might be stalking you from impenetrable night all around. Suddenly a bolt of lightning, and in an instant, only inches away, the face of a man is harshly illuminated, looming morosely over you in your bed. How did he get there? How long was he hovering, silently over your sleepless body? Blinded by the sudden flash you reach out into the darkness, feeling … nothing. Another flash of lightning, and this time the figure is gone entirely — disappeared as silently as he came. When the flash dims you are left alone in the dark again, wondering what else happens in your room in the black of night when you are asleep. You stare into the void utterly alone as the sound of thunder finally reaches your ears.

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Nocturnal dad. Yeah… not so great.

2)      Origins.

The father figure plays chiefly in the forging of the Man of Steel, so much so that Superman actually has TWO fathers to draw experience and guidance from. Batman has only himself. It isn’t much of a stretch to draw conclusions from there. When asked the question “Who would make a better dad, Superman or Batman?” far too many people confuse the word “better” with “cooler”. I’ll grant you, especially in today’s angsty, murky shades of gray times, Batman would be the cooler parent. Heck, I’ll even go so far as to say he’s a more interesting character. But where Superman’s origin is a story of love and sacrifice – two crucial themes central to the experience of any parent – Batman’s story is one of tragedy, trauma and vengeance. In that light I ask you, which hero would you want your child raised by?

For crying out loud, Superman’s kids would have freakin’ grandparents.

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3)      Track record.

No need to dive too far into obscure canonical details about the backstories of each character. Certainly HowToBeADad didn’t feel compelled to adhere to any standards there. But you can’t discuss parenting competence of Supes vs. Bats without bringing up precedent.  In the parenting department no doubt Bruce Wayne has vastly more parenting experience than Clark Kent. In fact, Clark Kent has had precisely zero children during his tenure as a superhero. So we can’t really draw on his past as in indicator for his skills as a parent. Not so with Batman.

In his 70+ years Bruce Wayne has been responsible four different wards, each of whom took on the mantle of Robin during his time spent at Wayne Mannor. Of those four…

…two have died.

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Any chance you’re going to name Bruce Wayne in your living trust as guardian of your children, given the fact that those in his care have precisely a 50% chance of making it to adulthood?

I don’t think so.

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Personal Testimony:

Beyond all of that, as my final testimony I’d like to present a personal story:

This weekend UnDorkMommy took my daughter to a mother/daughter thing until very late, leaving the boys at home to fend for ourselves. After resisting naps all day, Episode VI went down early without a struggle, and Episode V and I found ourselves in the rare situation where we had the house (and the DVD player) all to ourselves. A little dude-time was in order.

Cognizant of the fact that I likely won’t be able to take a 4.5 year old to see the PG-13 “Man Of Steel” this weekend, I opted instead to show him the 2006, Bryan Singer movie “Superman Returns,” which ultimately comes across more of a sequel to the Superman movies my son has already seen. Granted, not a masterwork, but a crucial part of my son’s education nonetheless.

We snuggled under a big poofy blanket and munched on popcorn and salami slices (his request). Towards the end of the movie there’s a scene where Superman is watching his son sleeping peacefully in bed, coming to terms for the first time that he himself is a father. He looks down at the boy, who he only just learned is his own, and with a tear in his eye speaks to his sleeping son, paraphrasing the words his own father (Marlon Brando’s Jor-El) said to him.

“You will be different. Sometimes, you will feel like an outcast, but you will never be alone. You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father, and the father becomes the son.”

I haven’t watched that scene since having a son of my own. I don’t mind saying, sitting there snuggling with my boy, it got me more than a little choked up. Now my son is an incredibly empathetic child, and although he isn’t old enough to understand the complexities of a scene like that, on an emotional level he totally gets it.

There’s a quiet beat at the end of the scene when Superman puts his hand on his son’s sleeping head, as every dad in the world has done to his child. Just as I was fighting to keep my own composure, my son leans over to me and whispers “Daddy… I love you.”

You just don’t get that kind of thing from a Batman move.

-Dork Dad

 

Post Script – 24 hours later:

The debate has grown and taken on a life of its own. Here is a list of the relevant posts on the subject, all well worth your time:

wonder-womanProbably the most intelligent retort to the original premise… and it’s made by a woman (of course). Escaping Elegance made her position known (in defense of Superman) in her piece “Boys, boys… must we bicker?” but with an important addendum… Wonder Woman would likely do a better job than either of them.

 

 

 

2712662-670376_green_lantern___rebirth_06__2005___team_dcp__pg03_04_superAfter following the discussion, fellow dadblogger Eric Bolton felt compelled to tell us that we’re all crazy, and totally off the mark. He contends that as usual, the flashy 1st stringers get all the attention, when there’s another hero just outside the limelight (as opposed to emerald light) that deserves some consideration, with his post “Why Green Lantern is a Better Dad Than Batman AND Superman [Because No One Asked]”

 

batman-son-daddy-issuesCaptain of Team-Clark Kent’s Lunchbox, this is Ron Mattocks’s response to the question at hand. “A Letter To Batman From His Son” examines the long term effects on a child raised by The Dark Knight. The results aren’t pretty.

 

 

 

Screen-Shot-2013-06-09-at-4_13_07-PM-300x285Alan Kercinik, founding member of Team-Clark Kent’s Lunchbox, takes simultaneously an academic and viscerally emotional approach to the debate with his piece “6 Reasons Superman Would Be A Better Dad Than Batman”. As you might assume from the title, his feelings are pretty strong.

 

hywiv8JThe original post from the boys over at HowToBeADad. Their blog is a traffic-generating machine, so they don’t actually need any more hits via links from piddly little blogs like this one, but it’s the original post that sparked the debate. To understand the stakes involved you must first read the buffoonery “5 Reasons Batman Would Be A Better Dad Than Superman.”

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