Friday, August 07 2015 00:34

Five Back-to-School Essentials... for Dad!

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THE ROCK FATHER is sharing #TheIndisposables in his life as part of a Schick® Xtreme3® sponsored series for Socialstars. Horns up! \m/ \m/

Every time I sit down to pen one of these Back-to-School posts, I still find myself tripping over the fact that we're going to have a first grader and a pre-preschooler this year. We start late compared to some (end of the month), so there's still a little bit of ramp-up time, but I'm getting things in order. My toolkit of essentials is robust, but I'm throwing down five of my top picks right here on the site - from fuel for the day to grooming, rock to play. Check this out...

Coffee: I'm a big coffee lover, but aside from me - this is fuel, people. Especially moving into Fall, you will see me rockin' one of my Contigo travel mugs on a daily basis. I brew it often, lately enjoying Jasmine Cain's Coffin Coffee (yes, that Monster Truck School Bus in these pictures is actually driving on a few grounds).

Schick® Xtreme3® Razors: It's no secret that I've been a fan of these for a bit - even writing about them on occasion (like now). I've been digging the Ultimate, but the Sensitive is good, too. With my habit for fast-growing facial hair and a tendency to be a scruffy-looking Nerf Herder, it's important to stay looking sharp for when I pick Little Finley up from preschool or hit the park with the girls. My 8" goatee already elicits a few "looks" here and there without adding the fully unshaven look into the mix. You have to have these!


Music: The Deftones' "Back to School" always comes to mind first for me at this time of year - much in the same way that Alice Cooper's "School's Out" signals the end of the year. I've always got my own style of signature guitar picks on-hand (a couple in my pocket) for breaking out some six string jams on a regular basis, but new music is always key - and even though streaming is what's fashionable these days, I still stress to buy music and support the artists you love. Have you noticed that it's New Music Friday now? As of July, the norm is a Global release on Fridays - meaning that "New Music Tuesday" is a thing of the past. New albums from CLUTCH, GHOST, FEAR FACTORY, SOULFLY and BEN FOLDS are on my radar.

Hot Wheels and/or Matchbox Cars (or similar): If you're reading this, you've no doubt also seen my "Toyography" over the years. I like to have a few diecast vehicles on-hand for when the right moment strikes, and on the first day of Kindergarten for Addie last year, the moment did strike. I snagged a pic so fitting that the folks at Hot Wheels ended up sharing it on their own Facebook page. Since the girls love School Buses (Finn in particular), we've built a small fleet.

Hot Wheels Monster Jam Higher Education School Bus

Tablet/Phone for Alarm Purposes: Years ago, there was this thing called an "alarm clock" that one would have to place next to their bed in order to get up in the morning. I've had many over the years, from the wind-up variety to battery operated and electric (my 1980s Bugs Bunny version was a favorite "Wake Up, Doc!"). These days, alarms are available on virtually any device, and I'm paranoid about not getting up - not remembering pick-ups, etc. I set about six different alarms to get me up in the morning (staggered failsafes), and additionals timed with things to do - Addie at the bus stop, drop Finn at preschool, pick-up at preschool, be back at bus stop for Addie, etc. 


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James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events 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, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 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.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, 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.

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