Until I can pimp my tie...

You know what? I'm really excellent at making pre-vacation to-do lists. Before we embarked on our family trip to visit my in-laws in the Philippines, I planned to tie up all my loose ends at work, and also complete my blogging obligations. That way, after the 16 hour flight, all I had to worry about was where my first cocktail was coming from.

You know what else? Turns out I'm really bad at following my excellent vacation to-do lists. As a result, a bunch of people at work still don't know I'm halfway around the world right now. Also... hello from the Philippines!

Why the sudden dedication to posting in a timely manner? Because the store I'm writing about really kicks ass, and they have a Father's Day promo, and I know it's too late to realistically promote anything in time for Father's Day, but I hope they forgive me because I'm posting from a foreign land while on vacation, and that should score some points.

A few weeks ago, Ridemakerz invited the family to spend a morning at their store. This involved picking out any toy car we wanted, and then going nuts customizing every aspect of it with rims, tires, aftermarket add-ons and stickers. Kid. Candy store. Badass candy store.

Looking the part is half the battle. Getting ready to pimp our RIDEZ.And that's pretty much the entire concept right there. But really, do you need more than that? Fury picked a Dodge Viper body, while I went with a Corvette. As did Lessi.

She's a Chevy gal. I did good.What I really wanted was the Camaro body because that's the car I drove throughout high school, but it wasn't yet available to the public at the time of the event. They just teased us with a preview model, which I shot a picture of (it IS available now, along with cars from the Cars 2 movie).

Not exactly my '84 Camaro, but almost as coolAfter that, we got to pick 'chassiz' for our vehicles, which we bolted on ourselves at one of Ridemakerz' workstations, which are all equipped with timers for that pit crew experience. Fury picked a standard radio controlled chassis, and I went with the monster truck radio controlled chassis for my Corvette because I also wanted to make a truck, but they only had Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram bodies and the Chevy loyalist in me wouldn't allow me to do that. At least Angry Julie high fived me for that.

Fury asked Larry all of the hard questions, which he answered without skipping a beat. Larry is ready for the big time!After a little building advice from none other than the "ZEO" of Ridemakerz himself, Larry Andreini, Fury went to work.

The pit crew experience totally makes it worth the tripLook at how fast and furious he isI've met and worked for a lot of CEOs in my day, and they all act enthusiastic about their company and the people they work with. But what makes Larry stand out is that he actually IS enthusiastic. And he loves what he does. Larry isn't afraid to get his hands dirty and swap out a toy rim with his bare hands, or encourage a kid to throw a hood scoop on the hood, and an extra one on the roof, for that matter. If it looks good, it can't be wrong. Fury is really good at internalizing advice, which is probably how his Dodge Viper ended up with a winch.

You never know when you have to pull another streetrod out of the mud.Of course, some streetrods were built to never get stuck in the mud.But that's the point of Ridemakerz. You can pimp your Ride in a million different ways, and you can totally indulge the kid in you.

Pic courtesy of Angry Julie, who always manages to capture me when I'm happily doing immature things, which is awesome.

Although Ridemakerz isn't yet a household name (because they're currently only open in a few cities), if you happen to be close to one on Father's Day, I highly recommend that you take advantage of their Father's Day 2 for 1 special: build one Ride and build another for free. I love ties as much as the next guy, but there's a certain satisfaction you get from applying a flame decal that you can't get from anything else.

While I'm at it, here are a couple of other random Father's Day honorable mentions:

McCormick & Schmick's

There are a few reasons why I have a thing for McCormick & Schmick's. First, my mom brings us there to eat every time she's in town, so I always associate it with good things. Second, my buddy used to be the bar manager there and he brought me along with him whenever he did his alcohol run at the local wholesaler, which meant I got to buy jugs of booze for cheap on his permit, like when you borrow your friend's Costco card to buy diapers. Third, last year McCormick and Schmick's invited me to a blogger appreciation dinner, where I met the executive chef and enjoyed an evening of fantastic eats... and I never got around to writing about it. Guilt. The greatest motivator of all.

Anyway, they invited me to submit a paragraph on why I should win their Deserving Dad contest. If I win, I get 12 dinners for two on them. Only thing is, I hate pimping myself for contests so I never promoted it. Also, I'm not on Facebook and it's a Facebook based contest. I think there's one day left. I'm probably in last place. If you click over, I'd just like you to read my entry on why I love being a dad. No need to vote, just read it.

Also, if you find yourself at a McCormick & Schmicks this weekend, you should enter yourself in their Father's Day Ultimate Golf Experience contest. You have until 11:59 pm EST June 19 to enter to win a 3-day golf trip to one of GOLF Magazine's Top 100 Courses.

Oh, they also are giving away a $50 gift certificate to one of my lucky readers. I know you won't get it in time for Father's Day, but personally, I think anytime is a good time for raw oysters. Just mention in the comments below that you'd like to be entered into my drawing and I'll throw your name in for it.

Wendy's is doing good for foster kids

Did you know that my day job involves helping government agencies track the treatment of child abuse and neglect among Los Angeles County's child welfare/foster care system? True story. So when Wendy's contacted me about Wendy's Father's Day Frosty Weekend, I felt it was kind of my duty to pass it along.

On Father's Day Weekend (June 18, 19), Wendy's will donate 50 cents of every Frosty sold to support Wendy's Wonderful Kids, which finds permanent homes for foster children. In addition, they will donate another 50 cents if you Treat it Forward (http://www.facebook.com/Frosty) by doing the following:

  • Tweet using the hashtag #TreatItFwd
  • Give a “virtual” Frosty as a gift
  • “Virtually toast” your dad by snapping a photo of you raising your Frosty cup, tagging it with the words “Wendy’s Father’s Day Frosty Weekend”
  • Tell friends about Father's Day Frosty Weekend through the application
  • ‘Check-in’ to a Wendy’s during Father’s Day Weekend using Foursquare and a 50¢ donation will be made.

Taking the guilt out of eating ice cream and tweeting? Sign me up!

And a very happy Father's Day to you all! Now can I get my cocktail?