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I'd only met Dave Brockie a couple of times, and aside from one occasion where I was feeding him questions on the other end of a video webcast with he in New York and I in Chicago, he was in full costume, portraying the character for which he will forever be known - Oderus Urungus, the 43 billion year-old frontman of Antarctica-based metal titans, GWAR. While public perception of what GWAR is or is not may vary, I've always known the band to be highly-skilled, expert musicians and showmen (and women, on occasion) that performed a mix of entertaining metal and killer satire that was always influenced by the Global landscape of politics and pop culture of the time. I was shocked and saddened to find a note from GWAR manager Jack Flanagan sitting atop my inbox this morning...

Published in James' Journal

Last night, I went back to elementary school... our first visit to what will be our girls' home base for learning for the first several grades of their public school careers. We're about six months out from the start of Kindergarten for Addie, and it's a close call as to what's been more surprising - the fact that we just did the open house for the Fall 2014 school year... or the fact that we'll have a kindergartner. I'm going for the latter, as I still can't believe that this little girl is going to be five this year.

Published in James' Journal

I was named after both of my Great Grandfathers on my Fathers side. "James" comes from the middle name of John J. Magoon, a man who died about a year and a half before I was born. "Charles" comes from the middle name of Bert C. Zahn, who I was fortunate to meet and spend some time with as a small child. I knew that Great-Grandpa Bert had been a pioneer of sorts in the world of screen printing, penning the book SILK SCREEN METHODS OF REPRODUCTION, a copy of which I bought on eBay some time ago. Great-Grandpa John was a little more of a mystery, as I'd been told as a child that he was "a coffee taster," but never really explored much beyond that. Despite all the talk of ancestry and genealogy that's been growing in popularity over the years, I hadn't paid much mind to my own... until a trip to Ohio last Fall opened an unexpected door to my family history.

Published in James' Journal

So here's an oddity: Two posts involving THE DUKES OF HAZZARD (here's the first one) here on The Rock Father... not only in the same week, but just about 24 hours apart. Yes, since CMT is airing the old DUKES episodes in HD for the first time this week, it seemed pretty appropriate to break this out for my Throwback Thursday post. I mentioned way back in March of 2012 that I once had the famed DUKES OF HAZZARD Power Cycle by Coleco - a "Big Wheel" of sorts that I received for my fifth birthday, back in 1981. Well, not only did I get the Power Cycle, but I also had a full-blown DUKES-themed Birthday Party that year, and now - for the first time ever - I'm getting to share pictures and video of both, all thanks to some newly-digitized Super 8mm home movies from my youth. Here we go... time for some #TBT action!

Published in Rock Father Rides

I will start by asking you the same question that I've been asked several times so far today: "Have you seen DAD METAL?" (or, "Dude, why haven't you posted about this yet?" if you're me). Now, let's put this another way - you know those OSCAR MAYER Selects "Yes Food" Lunch Meat commercials where some sad Dad is constantly told "NO" by his boring wife when he tries to do cool things like ride a tractor through a Home Depot or quit his job to start a blog (seriously, who would ever do that?)... well imagine that we've just found out what happens to that Dad (played by actor Ben Weber) and his friends after the lunch meat and hot dog ads are over. They turn to DAD METAL and DAD METAL II: 18 YEARS OF HELL, both of which are available from a TV offer or by calling 1-800-666-6666 (or so says FUNNY OR DIE). Take a look...

Published in James' Journal

AdalynIt was sort of surreal, but on a Friday night back in July, I stood inside American Girl Place on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, sipping champagne with other grownups, sans our children. It was a baby shower of sorts to celebrate the relaunch of American Girl's Bitty Baby line (I've blogged about it before), and the one thing I kept thinking the whole night was "I wish that Addie was here with me right now." Bitty Baby arrived here at Rock Father HQ for Addie's birthday in August, and ever since has been a regular companion. Just last week, we took Addie and her little sister to American Girl Place for the very first time.

Published in James' Journal
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