James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.
He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.
Learn more here.
The long winter months can often leave busy bodies feeling cooped up in their house. And while there isn't usually much you can do outside, there is plenty of work you can do to the interior of your home. So let's take a look at a few easy home projects you can consider to keep yourself busy this winter.
Seal and Insulate
You most likely have the heat cranked up during the winter months. And while this is perfectly fine, it's not okay if your heat is leaving your house through cracks or poorly insulated areas. Not only is this costing you money on your energy bills, but it's also making your HVAC system work harder than it should have to. So why not take a few hours and go around your house to check for leaks. Around windows and doors are the main areas where leaks occur, so pay special attention to these areas. Insulation should be present throughout your house, but it's important to look closely at areas like the attic. Did you know that 40% of heat loss occurs in the attic? Because heat rises, this is usually where it ends up. So check your attic insulation for damage or holes. Sealing cracks and insulating your home will help keep your house comfortable all winter long.
Remodel Your Bathroom
For being one of the most-used rooms in the house, bathrooms often get neglected when it comes to maintenance. So if you look at your bathroom and it seems like it could use some attention, winter is the perfect time to focus on it. And you can decide how much effort you want to put into re-doing your bathroom. More than four out of five homeowners choosing to renovate decide to replace major features in their bathroom like flooring, sinks, and countertops. So you can go all out and completely remodel your bathroom and transform it into a brand new room. Or, if your bathroom just needs a little TLC, you can do some heavy cleaning. You'd be surprised how much of a difference re-grouting tile, adding a fresh coat of paint, and deep cleaning the tub can make. So whether you're completely re-doing the bathroom or just giving it a little extra care, bathroom projects are perfect for the winter.
Make Simple Repairs
Chances are, there are a few repair projects that need to get done around the house. And if you've been slacking off on them, winter is a great time to get things finished. Because what else are you going to do? If you have a leaking sink or other plumbing problems, those should take priority. Each American already uses 88 gallons of water at home every day, so if you have a leak you're using more water than normal. Make sure these plumbing problems get fixed sooner rather than later. Other small repair projects you can tackle could include repairing lose drawers, fixing sticky doors or windows, recaulking tile, or fixing that uneven chair leg. These projects may seem small, but they really do add up over time. So if you're looking for something to keep you busy during the winter, tackle these minor repair projects when you have the time.
Home projects don't always have to be massive renovations. Consider taking on a few of these projects to cure your winter blues and make your home better than ever before.
A typical engineer's salary can vary widely, from around $50,000 to $150,000. But engineers who happen to design revolutionary innovations within the automobile industry can expect to earn a lot more. For instance, designing everyday vehicles that come equipped with more than 700 horsepower, that kind of innovation is surely sought after in the auto market.
There are more than 75 million pet dogs in the U.S., which is more than in any other country. In comparison, there were only 68 million pet dogs the year 2000 across the United States.
Taking care of puppies and dogs is a lot of work -- for anyone. You'll need to bring a puppy in for vaccines every three to four weeks until they're at least 16 weeks old. You'll need to train your dog to prevent dog bites, which impact 4.5 million Americans each year. You'll have to walk, train, and feed your dog, and do so much more.
Even taking care of the healthiest dogs can be difficult. Add in some unfortunate cases, disabilities can amplify those difficulties.
Every year, there are more than 2 million new wheelchair users in the United States. Though it's much more common for humans to utilize wheelchairs, for dogs with mobility issues, these devices are great for allowing them to walk, play, run, and get the exercise they need.
According to VCA, thanks to technological advancements, dogs are living much longer today than ever before. With advanced age, however, comes physical changes to the body and mind that can alter day-to-day actives, including general mobility. Dogs are living much longer, which leads many to subsequently develop progressive degenerative conditions that can lead to disabilities and alter their activities of daily living (ADLs).
Exercise is imperative for all dogs in order to keep them in good physical condition and keep their weight down. Dogs who whine, bark, or are restless at night usually do so out of boredom and lack of exercise. With the aid of a wheelchair, these negative behaviors will typically diminish.
Here are a few different types of wheelchairs and support carts that dogs can benefit from:
Two-wheeled carts are great for dogs with rear limb weakness or for post-surgery rehabilitation.
Two-wheeled carts with extra support and front extensions that gives support to all four limbs.
Hand-held lifting devices are great for helping dogs get up and down stairs, into cars, and through doorways.
Walking aids, which can help support a dog's hindquarters.
It's important to keep in mind that most dogs who previously struggled with mobility issues relish the freedom that a wheelchair provides. Regardless, it typically only takes a few days for them to adjust. In some instances, however, some training will be needed in order to help your dog learn how to handle their new wheelchair. Also, there is a small percentage of dogs that will reject a wheelchair over and over again.
According to WLOS, Brevard High School students in North Carolina have designed a wheelchair for a puppy who has very little movement in her hind legs.
Monkey, the special needs puppy, is now able to roll around and comfortably get around.
Brevard High School student Courtney Meyer designed the wheelchair for Monkey after Sarah Rhymer, animal science teacher, brought the puppy to school.
"I have a real passion for animals, so when Miss Rhymer first showed me the dog and let me see her walk, I was so heartbroken," said Meyer, a senior.
Now, equipped with a new set of wheels and plenty of newfound confidence, Monkey is excited for her new life thanks to some quality engineering and compassion.
"I got to see her run for the first time down the hallway," added Meyer. "She hasn't been able to run, and I was just overwhelmed with joy being able to see her face light up."
After she graduates from high school, Meyer, who won Brevard's Person of the Week award, hopes to pursue a career in computer engineering at N.C. State. The wheelchair she designed has lightweight flex pipes and black joints, which were printed using the school's 3-D printer, as well as a repurposed tourniquet for support.
"You don't need a degree to help animals," Meyer said. "You don't need a vet degree or engineering degree to do something as simple as this."
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS announced today that they will offer free food to every TSA employee working without pay throughout the partial government shutdown at their family-friendly Rock & Brews Restaurants nationwide.
"We are proud to operate restaurants at airports and respect the diligent, hard work of each and every TSA employee to ensure the safety of travelers," said Simmons and Stanley in a joint statement. "They touch our lives daily, and as long as they are working without pay, the least we can do is provide them with a delicious meal to show our support."
This Holiday Wish Guide™ Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Nintendo of America...
Despite the fact that we play games of many kinds here at Rock Father HQ, I've always made it very clear that I grew up a Nintendo kid and our girls are very much on that same path. We've got the 2DS, 3DS, NES Classic, Super NES Classic, and of course, the Nintendo Switch - a system that continues to surprise. Last year, I featured the Switch in my Holiday Wish Guide, and for 2018 its back again - with the release of Super Smash Bros Ultimate, one of the most-anticipated titles of the year (for any platform. There's also Nintendo Labo, including the new Vehicle Kits, plus new Pokémon titles including Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! But that's far from all. Nintendo eShop Gift Cards make great gifts, and the gamers in your life can pick out their favorite titles from hundreds available, including many "Nindie" games (those from independent publishers). Beyond that, there's a host of Nintendo toys and collectibles available - including Hallmark's all-new Mario Kart Keepsake Ornament and Hasbro's MONOPOLY Gamer Edition that brings the excitement of Mario Kart to the table.
After months of preparation, the Mills Entertainment production of American Girl Live had its World Premiere at The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Illinois - just outside of Chicago. Our family was in attendance for the debut performance of the all-new musical, which whisks audiences away to join a group of girls for an adventure at summer camp.