Hello again. It’s Jess’s Dad with another helpful (I hope) Father’s Day post. I actually had one ready for last year but the editor didn’t reach out to me. This year she did (guilt trips are a wonderful tool). I have traveled extensively since you last heard from me. Europe has always impressed me. The food, the people, and their way of life have always moved me. I got to spend a couple of months in Paris. This planet can be a grand experience if you let it (and are able). Admittedly, I found out that I probably couldn’t live so far away from my kids though. Also, they would call me in the middle of the night because they obviously don’t understand the rotation of the Earth relative to the Sun. So I’m happy to be back and writing this post. I hope it is as much fun as the last time. So let’s see what I can come up with.
Everything I suggested last time is still a good bet. The tools, the kitchen knife, a cool T-shirt, or some of the experiential things I mentioned. I will always love a professional baseball game. BTW Minor League Baseball is professional baseball for any dads living in a non-MLB city.
Last time I mentioned the Multi-tool by Ryobi. One of the drawbacks of the multi-tool is when the blade gets dull you replace it with a new blade. The old blade would be discarded. Not anymore! Now they have come up with the Sharp Pog oscillatory multi-tool blade sharpener. What a godsend. Blades can be expensive when your only choice is to throw them away. If your dad is like me it would bug the crap out of him too to toss them. Rockefeller, I am not.
My favorite new gadget is an OBD diagnostic scanner for your vehicle. Ya know when your engine light goes on and you have to head to a mechanic to see what’s wrong? Buy this tool and those days are gone. Just plug it into your vehicle and it will give you the code for your problem. Look up that code online and you’ll know what’s wrong with the vehicle. Hell, half the time you can fix it yourself. It will also keep your mechanic honest if you do need to bring it in. I like that. They range from $20 to $99. My fav is one by Innova. It’s the more expensive model but I love the buttons and bells.
Something else I have just come across is a battery adapter for my Dyson vacuum. Nothing against Dyson. It’s a great vacuum but the battery doesn’t get me through the entire house (my house is small too). Of course, when I have to plug it in to charge it I’ll stare at it so it naturally takes twice as long. There now are adapters to adapt the vacuum to your cordless tool battery. They make them for all major tool brand batteries. I chose the Milwaukee adapter. That vacuum is smoking this house now. Because I have more than one Milwaukee tool I have replacement batteries coming out of my ears. What a difference. I even bought the Ryobi one for Jess. I’m too good to her. Ha!
As long as we’re cleaning the joint, Ryobi makes a scrubber accessory kit for your cordless drill. It’s come in handy on more than one occasion.
Golf Pencils (My Preferred Brand)
As I said, I was living in Paris earlier this year. I ended up making all sorts of improvements to my VRBO apartment (the landlords loved me). What I missed most were my pencils. Years ago I bought a box of small pencils like the ones you see at a golf course. I have never been tasked with looking for a pencil since then. What a relief. It’s a small inexpensive gift that your dad doesn’t even know he needs or wants. I guarantee he will be calling you to thank you on more than one occasion (with apologies for the weird look he gave you when he opened them). I cannot tell you how many times I have set a pencil down and the universe ate it. Now, who cares, I have a supply that seems unlimited (there were over a hundred in the box). Make sure they have erasers. Once in a while even we make mistakes.
If your Dad prefers to wash his own vehicles, Chemical Guys makes a product called the Foam Blaster 6. It connects to your garden hose and covers your car or truck in foam just like a car wash. It works great and you don’t need a power washer. Makes the chore go a lot faster.
If you want to spend a little more money there is a company called Bad Dog Tools. (Less bark more bite) I just purchased a grinding/cutting wheel called the Heavy Diamond HDII. It’s guaranteed for life and will cut through anything. It runs about $170. But it’s the last one you’ll ever buy. They also make drill bits that are guaranteed for life. Bad Dog makes some badass tools. I wish I was aware of them when Jess and I built her playhouse 20+ years ago (pictured above). Quality tools are expensive but worth it to the guy that is going to use them. I’m one of those guys. I’m also a Tom Ford suit guy. Go figure.
I have been living in NoCal for a while now and it is definitely a chilly climate. My blood has definitely thinned since growing up in Chicago. That’s what 30 years in SoCal will do to you. I have come to rely on Carhartt clothing to keep me from freezing to death. I have grown particularly fond of their lined flannel shirt/jacket. It’s perfect for feeding them damn chickens in the morning. I look pretty good in it also. (not that anyone looks at me anymore) Geez! Their classic ranch jacket has become quite stylish these days also. I see a lot of young women wearing them too. Hell, you can match your Dad.
As long as we’re talking clothes there is a Seattle-based kilt maker by the name of Utilikilt. They make a tool kilt (my favorite), a casual kilt, and also a formal kilt (non-plaid) among others. I own three. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. When I am in any of those or in my formal kilt from Scotland I am a badass 73-year-old male, period (Braveheart). No clothes I own are more masculine. My wife was of Scottish descent and was of the same opinion.
Another item new to the scene are my Slip-In Skechers. Believe it or not, the older we get the less we like bending over. Putting my work boots on is work. Tying my shoes is work. Damn, sometimes gettin’ out of bed is work. Those shoes are like a coffee break. Yay!
For Jess’s 5th The Little Mermaid-themed birthday party (she was obsessed), I portrayed the French chef from the movie and sang his song. Admittedly, I look more like Groucho Marx in a chef’s hat than a classic chef but hell it was fun.
For those dads that like to cook, there is one thing I cannot be without in the kitchen. The Ov Glove is the best kitchen tool I have. For years we were forced to use oven mitts. There goes my masculinity in one fell swoop. Yikes. The Ov Glove has fingers like a regular pair of gloves. When you take the hot pan out of the oven wearin’ these bad boys you feel more like you have created a masterpiece than just a plain ole meal. It’s like wearing gloves to handle a fine piece of art. Cooking is art is it not? Make sure you get two. I couldn’t retrieve my famous meatloaf cordon bleu from the oven with just one glove.
Another item in my kitchen that saves me time and space is my magnetic foil and paper towel holder. I put it on my fridge which is next to my counter. It allows me more space to create my meals and comes in real handy when I need a piece of foil. They also make them without the foil holder. I use foil a lot to make my baking pans easier to clean. Less mess in the beginning less work at the end.
Baseball has been a huge part of my kid’s youth. Between softball, little league, the Cubs, and Wrigley Field, Jess and Morgan are hooked. It’s a good thing.
I was in Louisville, KY last month. I had to visit the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Factory and Museum. I found a t-shirt that just might be my all-time favorite. BEHOLD! You can also buy a real Louisville Slugger Bat with any name engraved on it. I picked one up for my son when I was there. They ship anywhere.
I hope this info helps you. Sometimes we are tough to shop for. If you still cannot decide, try something that all fathers love. TIME! A simple phone call. A visit no matter how short. Jess came to Paris for a week and I cannot tell you the joy it brought me (and her). We were truly and totally father and daughter for that week. It was breathtaking.
As adults, my kids are my best friends. We walked the Camino de Santiago together. It made us whole again after the loss of their mother. I could not have been the father I was or am without her. I never lose sight of that.
Dads don’t need much. A simple card with flowers hand-delivered beats anything I mentioned here (except maybe my pencils). We understand our grown children have their own lives. That was the whole point of fatherhood. It’s ok. If you live far away from your dad how do you think a handwritten letter would go over? Breathtaking? Ha. Whenever I ask a dad with grown children when were they the happiest in their life, the answer is always the same. It’s when we were raising our kids. I look at these pictures that we’ve attached and am quite overwhelmed by that happiness. I forgot that I reenacted The Little Mermaid movie at Jess’s birthday party (I look like an idiot). I cannot imagine what the adults on hand thought (kinda didn’t care either). All I know is that being a dad is what I was meant to be. And damn, I was and am happy about it. Who the hell knew that a lack of sleep, a lack of energy, a lack of money, and a lack of sanity would be so frickin’ enjoyable. Have a nice Father’s Day everyone.
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