Rock Father™ Local: Featuring news and updates for Chicagoland and Lake County, IL...
Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago has been a long-time favorite destination for our family, and today they've announced plans to host a month-long pop-up satellite museum at Urban Edge, a 5,000-sq.-ft. storefront gallery located in downtown Waukegan, IL at 220 W. Clayton Street. The pop-up Museum will operate during the month of February 2018 and will be free of charge to school and childcare groups during weekday hours and to families during evening and weekend hours. Opening day ceremonies that will include remarks from Museum and City of Waukegan leadership will take place on Saturday, February 3 beginning at 12 p.m.
You may have already seen the headlines - an unusually large boom in ticks throughout the Midwest this year, all due in large part thanks to a relatively mild winter. The lack of a solid deep-freeze kept the tick population from dying off during their dormant state, and warm, wet conditions this spring are bringing them back en masse. We've lived in this house for seven years, and while I'd found the occasional tick while doing yard work (never bitten), we've never had an issue until now - and we've got kids and dogs. Two weeks, two daughters, two different species of tick - and last night we had an ER visit.
My wife is not a big fan of my fashion sense (or lack, thereof). In fact, she's long noted the fact that I "dress like I'm 15" (her words), and with few exceptions - such as when I'm attending a red carpet premiere in Los Angeles), her thoughts are very accurate. I've adopted what I often note as my "uniform" - much like late Apple CEO (and nemesis of PC guys like myself) Steve Jobs was once known for wearing the same thing every day (black turtle neck, jeans, tennis shoes), I'm usually wearing a t-shirt, cargo shorts (generally camo), skate shoes and a chain wallet. For the latter item, I've been wearing a Boba Fett edition that I purchased at Spencer's last year, and for the sake of styling, there's actually three chains on it right now - the "stock" chain that came with it, one from a Walmart chain wallet, and a longer one from Hot Topic. Indeed, I do dress like I'm 15 - despite being closer to three times that. "Chain wallets are stupid," scoffs my wife on frequent occasion, and while I do like the way they look - I truly wear them for another, more important reason: to avoid being pickpocketed at all the theme parks and event locations that we constantly visit with The Rock Daughters™. Today I ran into someone else that had a problem with my Boba Fett chain wallet, and that was security at one of our most frequently-visited spots: Six Flags Great America, right here in Lake County, Illinois. What happened at the gate is a prime lesson in why consistency is so important in any job (especially service industries), and an important reminder that sometimes "it's not what you say, but how you say it" that can make all the difference in the world.
I'm telling you something right now: Disney's ZOOTOPIA is about to be HUGE. Over the past few months, I've been fairly ZOOTOPIA-immersed (they made me an official resident), having once again paid a visit to Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank where I met with Directors Byron Howard (BOLT, TANGLED) and Rich Moore (WRECK-IT RALPH), along with Producer Clark Spencer (WINNIE THE POOH) and much of the key creative team for an inside look at the studio's 55th feature-length animated film. Last week, my wife and I also treated The Rock Daughters to an early screening of the film, and in the days that followed, something remarkable happened... they declared it "Better than FROZEN," with our oldest deeming it her "favorite film so-far," and already noting that when she does her back-to-school chalkboard in the Fall, ZOOTOPIA will replace FROZEN as her film of choice. The kids have spoken, and that's all I need. While ZOOTOPIA by itself is a very special film (and one I will review in detail later), in Chicago's far North Suburbs, just minutes from Rock Father HQ is a very special place to see it - the Marcus Gurnee Cinema at Gurnee Mills. This theatre is home to one of just two 4DX theaters in the United States (the other is in L.A.), and to celebrate a one-week special engagement of ZOOTOPIA 4DX, the folks at CJ 4DX have teamed-up with THE ROCK FATHER Magazine for a very special Prize Pack Giveaway. The trick is, this one is limited to readers in Illinois and Wisconsin... folks within the region of the Marcus Gurnee Cinema and their 4DX screen! Learn about 4DX and enter to win below!
September 1, 2015 started out as a pretty normal, yet very exciting day for our family. It would be a milestone morning in which our youngest daughter, Finley, would embark on a new journey - her first day of preschool. My wife made plans to go into work early on that day, parents welcome to accompany their little ones as they took their first step into a larger world. We were in the classroom filled with the smiles of happy kids and glowing parents when one of the administrators quietly entered and asked for all of the parents to move into the hallway to "discuss an event in the community." Standing in a hallway lined with little red lockers and colorful artwork, we would learn that the school had entered lockdown for "an active shooter in a neighboring town." Information was sketchy, fast-moving and ever-changing, but what we knew was that there was an "officer down" - one who would soon be revealed to be Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz.
Now, perhaps you're thinking to yourself, "Hey Rock Father! Didn't you already feature Halloween Grave Digger?" - and you'd actually be right... but not like this. Last month, I posted news that Mattel was producing a Hot Wheels Monster Jam Halloween Edition Grave Digger monster truck, limited to a run of "up to 5,000 pieces" to be sold exclusively through Feld Motorsports' website. And, if you were looking closely, you may have even seen Grave Digger make a cameo appearance here, but it's only fitting that this glorious monster truck get a proper feature in 31 Days of Halloween, and what better way to do that than to show him in-action at a pumpkin patch?