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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

The Lexus Hoverboard is called SLIDE, and it's real...

I spent the past week cruising around the Midwest in a Black 2015 Lexus GS350 F-Sport, falling in love with Lexus engineering and appropriately speeding along while thinking about the future. When it comes to the future, 1989's BACK TO THE FUTURE II sure planted some seeds of things to come, and this October, when the date arrives that the fictional Marty McFly would've traveled to, many will look back on the innovations that really did arrive as predicted by that film. Perhaps none have had as lasting an impact as the Mattel Hoverboard that was featured in the film - for years a punchline, and later made into a non-functioning "Prop Replica" sold through MattyCollector.com, last year the Hoverboard was the inspiration for an elaborate hoax carried out by Funny Or Die and featuring Tony Hawk. Who could've predicted that it would be Lexus who would create the first true, working Hoverboard - and that they'd been working on it while others were creating fakes. The Lexus Hoverboard is called SLIDE, and it's here...

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Garden: Beware The Hogweed... for it will harm you

I'd been meaning to share some words on this one for awhile, but its discovery in Michigan today (and recently being officially outlawed in Illinois) gave me a hearty reminder: Beware The Hogweed.  This gigantic, invasive and highly poisonous oddity first popped-up here in Lake County, Illinois back in 2006, with plants found in Lake Forest. It's a weed with a ton of lookalikes - the 15' Hogweed is almost like a Queen Anne's Lace that's scaled to dinosaur size. It's prickly stalk helps spread sap that can cause blindness, or extremely painful blistering, itching burns that are activated by sunlight. Having already seen it pop-up in other states throughout the Midwest this summer, I'm helping to share the word here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine in hopes that those who encounter this dangerous plant will know to stay away, and alert the proper authorities to help eradicate it. Embedded below are a couple of videos that you need to watch - but be warned that images of the burns may be disturbing for some. The University of Illinois also has some helpful materials that are worth a read, and while this story is certainly picking up steam, you can take comfort in knowing that while Hogweed is spreading, it is still a very rare plant.

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Home Improvement: The Complete Window Replacement of Rock Father HQ - Part IV: Pulling the Trigger & Installation

If you've been following along, you know that we recently completed our first truly major enhancement to Rock Father HQ (sans the garage door a few years back) - total home window replacement. With not a ton of information available online about the true reality of the process, my wife and I decided that I would document the experience here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine in four parts (Part I: BeginningPart II: In-Home Consultations, Part III: The Vast Realm of Pricing), this being the final installment. After careful consideration taking into account the sales approach, style, quality and pricing, we ultimately decided to hire...

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Rock Father Tour is in Grand Rapids to go hands-on with the 2016 Scion iM & iA

The #RockFatherTour is back on the road this week. I'm currently in Grand Rapids, Michigan getting ready to hit the road in pre-production models of the all-new 2016 Scion iM and Scion iA. These new vehicles will be available for sale beginning September 1, and I'll be serving-up some sneak-peeks on social media throughout the day.

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Review: Does the Strider Bike Really Teach Kids to Ride?

With our girls turning 3 and 6 this summer, it's easy for my wife and I to see the difference in skill level between "The Rock Daughters," and to consider the difference in development when comparing how our oldest was when she was the same age as our youngest. In a few spots, Addie was undoubtedly presented with vehicles that were ahead of her age and skill level - something that's easier to see now. She received a 12" bike for her second or third birthday, then a 20" for her fifth birthday, and now here she is about to turn six and there's still training wheels on both. Little Finn on the other hand is working both a Radio Flyer Tricycle and the 12" Huffy Cinderella bike that she's inherited from big sister, but the game just changed. When the folks at STRIDER approached me about having the girls try one of their famed "balance bikes" (no pedals, no training wheels), with the idea that both of my girls could soon learn balance to graduate from the trikes and training wheels, I was skeptical at best. Does the STRIDER Bike really teach balance?

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Home Improvement: The Complete Window Replacement of Rock Father HQ - Part III: The Vast Realm of Pricing...

Back in March, I began a series (Part I: Beginning, Part II: In-Home Consultations) about our first truly major project since buying the home that's become known as "Rock Father HQ" back in 2010 - total home window replacement. Rather than wrap it up right away after the install, I wanted to make sure we'd lived with the windows for a bit prior to sharing some final thoughts on the whole thing so that others might have a little more ammo going into their own project. The odd thing is, buying windows is very much a mystery, and with so little information regarding pricing available online (old-school sales tactics that I don't appreciate), I'm letting everyone know how our job played out. Welcome to Part III: The Vast Realm of Pricing.

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