By concretin_nik February 18th, 2014
TheBoy doesn’t dig super heroes like most little boys. Much to my dismay. I mean, it’s ok, kids like what they like. But his lack of any obsessiveness with super heroes also means I don’t have an excuse to buy action figures like I have been counting on for the last 6 years. My action figure desires are somewhat quelled by his fondness of My Little Ponies. (MLP for you hipsters.) At least they do have small plastic action figures, even if they do have hair and are presented in pastels and rainbows. I can still work with this. Crafting playsets out of cardboard and making stop motion movies gets us playing together, and sparks his imagination. And that’s the whole point of action figures (for me anyway). Perhaps the citizens of Equestria will be gateway figures to more ‘core toys like Star Wars, Batman, and The Avengers. Hope springs eternal.
Hasbro has perhaps come through for me with Super Hero Mashers. These are action figures with extremities that have the interchangeability of Legos. Want to see what Spiderman would look like with Iron Patriot’s head? You can do that. Want a hero with the smash power of the Hulk, yet wears the drapes of Thor’s mother. Tada! Easy. (Didja catch that Avengers reference?)
The All American Super Hero Mashers
I received a package of 2 Mashers. Let me first say that on both figures, the elbow joints took some serious elbow grease (see what I did there?) to get moving, as they were locked up out of the box. They loosened up enough after a bit o’ working them back and forth. Other than that, these seem like toys with a cool design that your 11 year old will dig, but are also durable enough that your 5 year old won’t destroy them.
They sent me a Fourth of July set, if you will, of Iron Patriot and Captain America. So the typical mishmashing of trading out arms and legs didn’t produce a particularly dramatic result, though TheBoy was already laughing and having fun. (Score 1!) But let’s see if we can’t come up with something even more fun. Enter… IRON PRIMATE, and CAPTAIN MONKEYPANTS!
Gorillas be super patriotic, yo! #mymashup
We laughed and laughed and made gorilla noises the entire time. I’m not sure these will ever get switched up again. Thank you (again) Hasbro! The Super Hero Mashers are a hit in the Cretin house!
You can get in on the fun and share your mashups on Facebook and Instagram tagging with #MyMashUp.
Disclosure: I received the toys free from Hasbro in exchange for my honest review and opinion. –Concretin Nik
Tags: #MyMashUp, Action Figure, concretin nik, Hasbro, kids, Mashers, Super Hero, Toy Review Posted in Fatherhood, Toys, activities
By concretin_nik January 29th, 2014
(Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Dad Central for ROGAINE®. I received a product sample and promotional item to thank me for participating.)
Hair. As a Dad, as a man, how important is your hair? For some, it’s just hair. For some, essential. For others, it’s a chore, perhaps even a hassle. For me, it’s leaving. And that’s ok. It’s been leaving for about 10 years now. I REALLY don’t mind, as it stuck around for about decade longer than it did for my older brothers. Until I was 26, I even flaunted a ponytail(not a mullet, thank you very much) in their faces, and in turn I was often threatened to be held down and scalped. Probably would have happened too if a career choice didn’t require me to cull my locks(screw you Kinkos!). Older brothers are harsh.
So my thinning and receding hairline was never a big deal. I knew it was gonna suck, but hey, it happens. I’m married to a woman who doesn’t mind, my son has never seen me with more hair than a buzz cut.
Follicle Generation Gap. For now.
And my career now, well, I recognize my office is a 6’x10’ storage closet in a basement. I’m not exactly “the face” of my department. So my hair loss still really doesn’t matter. To me. Do I wish it didn’t happen? Of course. But it’s not devastating or anything, and there’s nothing to be done about it, really. Exactly, except for that last part. You actually can do something about it.
ROGAINE® has come a long way in reversing hair loss for so many, but using it is not without its commitments. I struggle to remember a single vitamin everyday, and their foam treatment requires a twice daily application. But if it works, imagine the feeling every day when you comb your hair. Every time you look in the mirror not worrying about if someone is looking at your bald spot, because it’s gone. Self-esteem, and self-confidence, that’s good stuff. And it comes from within. Not from ROGAINE®.
To help you “Grow Your Game” in all aspects of your life, not just under your hat, ROGAINE® has teamed up Men’s Health and entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker Bill Rancic. Even if you’re not looking to regrow hair, check out mhgrowyourgame.com and learn how you can grow YOUR game in 2014. Follow along as 5 guys get daily practical direction from professional coaches.
Tags: confidence, Fatherhood, hair loss, Health, Rogaine Posted in Fatherhood, Health
By Daddy Clay January 9th, 2014
I envision a scene: A reporter holds a microphone and asks my daughter, “So where did you get your grit and toughness?” She answers without hesitation, “My mom.”
And that’s cool. In addition to being true. But there are other factors I’d like to consider. Having two brothers for example. Also, team sports.
At the present moment, it’s a little hard to be on the side of youth sports. In countless hours clocked in a folding chair on a sideline, I’ve observed so many tantrums, classless ejaculations of poor sportsmanship, spastic spleen ventings, quasi-criminal insanity and abuse that I almost despair for humanity. Read More
Tags: club sports, courage, dad, dads, daughter, Fatherhood, girls, grit, marathon, soccer, Sports, toughness, training, travel sports Posted in Fatherhood, Sports
By concretin_nik October 20th, 2013
D-Day. June 6, 2014 will mark the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy Landing and the Liberation of Europe.
It’s not something to ‘celebrate’ really, is it? But it’s certainly worth reflecting and honoring those who did no less than save the world from tyranny. We indeed “won.” But at what cost?
I’ll be honest, it was a difficult concept to grasp for me as a young student. It was a war, in the past, that lots of nations joined together to fight and it ended horrendously. Unlike many my age, I didn’t have relatives telling me stories of war, so it was all but irrelevant to my young mind. Well, age really does bring wisdom. And the relevance of WWII was made even clearer on my recent visit to Normandy, France with a student delegation from People to People.
Caen-Normandy Memorial Centre for History and Peace
Outside the Caen-Normandy Memorial Centre for History and Peace, there are stones engraved with various statements of reflection from the Allies. “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” – Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s order to his troops on D-Day. While reading the sentiments, I felt they really were from the entirety of each Allie’s population, not just from their leaders.
Resisting the Naziz 101
People to People arranged for a presentation to the students discussing the hardships of the resistance. There were items actually used during the war for students to handle and explore.
Wandering the museum helps bring the event into perspective even more. But the video presentation, showing actual war footage (mixed with some Hollywood renditions) with no dialogue, depicting both sides of battle just a few days prior to D-day… and ending with the dramatic contrast of how the beaches look today, without thousands of troops battling each other… hit me hard. It was amazing. It’s hard to explain, but it was so well done, and if you don’t grasp the enormity of those events after watching that film, I’m not sure you can.
I was quite surprised at how much the museum affected me. But there was more to come. We traveled on to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. Though we were a bit hurried by our local tour guide, I could not ignore the importance and the sudden weight of the memorial settling on my shoulders. After the students participated in a wreath laying ceremony, the entire grounds ceased to move, as our national anthem was played. It was an extremely emotional experience, to hear that anthem, and witness the respect from all present, on foreign soil and in such a solemn place. Powerful. If you ever want to truly understand a war, if that’s even possible, visit the war memorials of other countries. See how they pay tribute to their heroes.
For me, the most powerful image I captured on the trip. It still raises the hairs on my neck.
People to People is expanding the program and time spent in Normandy for 2014 for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. Student delegates will participate in a service program helping clean the marble crosses, write letters of gratitude to be displayed at the memorial, and help with the flag unfurling or furling during their visit. The wreath laying ceremony will continue as well, but students will also make individual flower placements on graves of soldiers they will research. Having had the emotional impact of the memorial hit me as an adult, I can only imagine how much such a program would have affected me as a teen.
It was a pleasure traveling with this great group of students.
DadLabs was not compensated for this post. While travel was provided to me, Concretin Nik, this is my story and my opinion.
Posted in Fatherhood
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