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Blanking On A Good Father’s Day Gift? Jess’s Dad Has Got You Covered With His 15 “Dad-Approved” Ideas

Hello again. It’s Jess’s Dad with another helpful (I hope) Father’s Day post. I actually had one ready for last year but the editor didn’t reach out to me. This year she did (guilt trips are a wonderful tool). I have traveled extensively since you last heard from me. Europe has always impressed me. The food, the people, and their way of life have always moved me. I got to spend a couple of months in Paris. This planet can be a grand experience if you let it (and are able). Admittedly, I found out that I probably couldn’t live so far away from my kids though. Also, they would call me in the middle of the night because they obviously don’t understand the rotation of the Earth relative to the Sun. So I’m happy to be back and writing this post. I hope it is as much fun as the last time. So let’s see what I can come up with. 

Everything I suggested last time is still a good bet. The tools, the kitchen knife, a cool T-shirt, or some of the experiential things I mentioned. I will always love a professional baseball game. BTW Minor League Baseball is professional baseball for any dads living in a non-MLB city.

Cordless Multi-Tool Kit with 2.0 Ah Battery and Charger | Sharp Pog: Oscillating Saw Blade Sharpener

Last time I mentioned the Multi-tool by Ryobi. One of the drawbacks of the multi-tool is when the blade gets dull you replace it with a new blade. The old blade would be discarded. Not anymore! Now they have come up with the Sharp Pog oscillatory multi-tool blade sharpener. What a godsend. Blades can be expensive when your only choice is to throw them away. If your dad is like me it would bug the crap out of him too to toss them. Rockefeller, I am not.

Car Diagnostic Code Scanner

My favorite new gadget is an OBD diagnostic scanner for your vehicle. Ya know when your engine light goes on and you have to head to a mechanic to see what’s wrong? Buy this tool and those days are gone. Just plug it into your vehicle and it will give you the code for your problem. Look up that code online and you’ll know what’s wrong with the vehicle. Hell, half the time you can fix it yourself. It will also keep your mechanic honest if you do need to bring it in. I like that. They range from $20 to $99. My fav is one by Innova. It’s the more expensive model but I love the buttons and bells. 

Milwaukee Battery Adapter for Dyson Vacuum | Ryobi Battery Adapter for Dyson Vacuum

Something else I have just come across is a battery adapter for my Dyson vacuum. Nothing against Dyson. It’s a great vacuum but the battery doesn’t get me through the entire house (my house is small too). Of course, when I have to plug it in to charge it I’ll stare at it so it naturally takes twice as long. There now are adapters to adapt the vacuum to your cordless tool battery. They make them for all major tool brand batteries. I chose the Milwaukee adapter. That vacuum is smoking this house now. Because I have more than one Milwaukee tool I have replacement batteries coming out of my ears. What a difference. I even bought the Ryobi one for Jess. I’m too good to her. Ha!

Scrubber Accessory Kit

As long as we’re cleaning the joint, Ryobi makes a scrubber accessory kit for your cordless drill. It’s come in handy on more than one occasion. 

Golf Pencils (My Preferred Brand)

As I said, I was living in Paris earlier this year. I ended up making all sorts of improvements to my VRBO apartment (the landlords loved me). What I missed most were my pencils. Years ago I bought a box of small pencils like the ones you see at a golf course. I have never been tasked with looking for a pencil since then. What a relief. It’s a small inexpensive gift that your dad doesn’t even know he needs or wants. I guarantee he will be calling you to thank you on more than one occasion (with apologies for the weird look he gave you when he opened them). I cannot tell you how many times I have set a pencil down and the universe ate it. Now, who cares, I have a supply that seems unlimited (there were over a hundred in the box). Make sure they have erasers. Once in a while even we make mistakes.

Torq Foam Blaster 6 Foam Wash Gun

If your Dad prefers to wash his own vehicles, Chemical Guys makes a product called the Foam Blaster 6. It connects to your garden hose and covers your car or truck in foam just like a car wash. It works great and you don’t need a power washer. Makes the chore go a lot faster. 

4.5″ Tools Handi Disk Deux Grinding Sanding and Cutting Wheel | 14 Piece Multipurpose Drill Bit Set

If you want to spend a little more money there is a company called Bad Dog Tools. (Less bark more bite) I just purchased a grinding/cutting wheel called the Heavy Diamond HDII. It’s guaranteed for life and will cut through anything. It runs about $170. But it’s the last one you’ll ever buy. They also make drill bits that are guaranteed for life. Bad Dog makes some badass tools. I wish I was aware of them when Jess and I built her playhouse 20+ years ago (pictured above). Quality tools are expensive but worth it to the guy that is going to use them. I’m one of those guys. I’m also a Tom Ford suit guy. Go figure.

Flannel Sherpa-Lined Shirt Jacket

I have been living in NoCal for a while now and it is definitely a chilly climate. My blood has definitely thinned since growing up in Chicago. That’s what 30 years in SoCal will do to you. I have come to rely on Carhartt clothing to keep me from freezing to death. I have grown particularly fond of their lined flannel shirt/jacket. It’s perfect for feeding them damn chickens in the morning. I look pretty good in it also. (not that anyone looks at me anymore) Geez! Their classic ranch jacket has become quite stylish these days also. I see a lot of young women wearing them too. Hell, you can match your Dad. 

Casual Kilt

As long as we’re talking clothes there is a Seattle-based kilt maker by the name of Utilikilt. They make a tool kilt (my favorite), a casual kilt, and also a formal kilt (non-plaid) among others. I own three. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. When I am in any of those or in my formal kilt from Scotland I am a badass 73-year-old male, period (Braveheart). No clothes I own are more masculine. My wife was of Scottish descent and was of the same opinion.

can you tell we went on a family trip to scotland? this was almost my first kilt. hooked ever since.

Ultra Flex 3.0 Right Away Slip-Ins | Go Walk 6 Slip-Ins – Easy On

Another item new to the scene are my Slip-In Skechers. Believe it or not, the older we get the less we like bending over. Putting my work boots on is work. Tying my shoes is work. Damn, sometimes gettin’ out of bed is work. Those shoes are like a coffee break. Yay!

For Jess’s 5th The Little Mermaid-themed birthday party (she was obsessed), I portrayed the French chef from the movie and sang his song. Admittedly, I look more like Groucho Marx in a chef’s hat than a classic chef but hell it was fun.  

The Ove Glove

For those dads that like to cook, there is one thing I cannot be without in the kitchen. The Ov Glove is the best kitchen tool I have. For years we were forced to use oven mitts. There goes my masculinity in one fell swoop. Yikes. The Ov Glove has fingers like a regular pair of gloves. When you take the hot pan out of the oven wearin’ these bad boys you feel more like you have created a masterpiece than just a plain ole meal. It’s like wearing gloves to handle a fine piece of art. Cooking is art is it not? Make sure you get two. I couldn’t retrieve my famous meatloaf cordon bleu from the oven with just one glove. 

Magnetic Paper Towel & Foil Holder

Another item in my kitchen that saves me time and space is my magnetic foil and paper towel holder. I put it on my fridge which is next to my counter. It allows me more space to create my meals and comes in real handy when I need a piece of foil. They also make them without the foil holder. I use foil a lot to make my baking pans easier to clean. Less mess in the beginning less work at the end.  

Baseball has been a huge part of my kid’s youth. Between softball, little league, the Cubs, and Wrigley Field, Jess and Morgan are hooked. It’s a good thing.

Baseball T-Shirt

I was in Louisville, KY last month. I had to visit the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Factory and Museum. I found a t-shirt that just might be my all-time favorite. BEHOLD! You can also buy a real Louisville Slugger Bat with any name engraved on it. I picked one up for my son when I was there. They ship anywhere. 

I hope this info helps you. Sometimes we are tough to shop for. If you still cannot decide, try something that all fathers love. TIME! A simple phone call. A visit no matter how short. Jess came to Paris for a week and I cannot tell you the joy it brought me (and her). We were truly and totally father and daughter for that week. It was breathtaking. 

As adults, my kids are my best friends. We walked the Camino de Santiago together. It made us whole again after the loss of their mother. I could not have been the father I was or am without her. I never lose sight of that.

my parenting partner and my favorite picture

Dads don’t need much. A simple card with flowers hand-delivered beats anything I mentioned here (except maybe my pencils). We understand our grown children have their own lives. That was the whole point of fatherhood. It’s ok. If you live far away from your dad how do you think a handwritten letter would go over? Breathtaking? Ha. Whenever I ask a dad with grown children when were they the happiest in their life, the answer is always the same. It’s when we were raising our kids. I look at these pictures that we’ve attached and am quite overwhelmed by that happiness. I forgot that I reenacted The Little Mermaid movie at Jess’s birthday party (I look like an idiot). I cannot imagine what the adults on hand thought (kinda didn’t care either). All I know is that being a dad is what I was meant to be. And damn, I was and am happy about it. Who the hell knew that a lack of sleep, a  lack of energy, a lack of money, and a lack of sanity would be so frickin’ enjoyable. Have a nice Father’s Day everyone.

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1 year ago

LOVE this list and the stories to go with it! 💛

1 year ago

This was a joy to read. My father passed last year but I might use some of these suggestions for my partner. Thank you so much for sharing your advice and memories. Happy Father’s Day!

1 year ago

Love the Les posts! Another great one. Thanks. I am definitely getting the pencils. Happy Father’s Day Les!

Not crying
1 year ago

This may be my favorite post of all time.

1 year ago
Reply to  Not crying


1 year ago
Reply to  Emily

This is the BEST post of all time. Can someone get me a tissue?! What a wonderful guy, dad, spirit- everything!!

Erika Otter
1 year ago
Reply to  Adriane

I’m not crying! You’re crying!

1 year ago
Reply to  Not crying

what she said

1 year ago

Wow, Les, that was truly inspiring. It’s obvious that you’re a proud and loving father who cherishes every moment with his kids. Your love for your family shines through in every word.

I was particularly touched by your acknowledgment of your late wife and her role in helping you become the amazing dad that you are. It takes a truly selfless person to give credit where credit is due, even in the face of personal loss.

I took your advice and ordered my husband the car diagnostic code scanner that you recommended. He’s a fellow dad and car enthusiast. He’s going to be so surprised I picked a great gift.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas, Les. You’re an inspiration to us all!
PS Jess, I know, you know, your dad is a gem. And, your brother is hot! Where have you been hiding him?

1 year ago

This is maybe the best gift guide I have ever seen for dads- I just added to cart and bookmarked just about everything on here and I wouldn’t have thought of a single one! Also, I wept the whole way through it, ha 🙂 This is the kind of parent and child relationship all of us parents with young kids aspire to have. Beautiful! What a special, special post!

1 year ago

Les is my favorite guest writer! Thank you for great ideas, I’m buying the diagnostic car scanner for my husband. Genius!

1 year ago

So much love and humor. Happy father’s day!

1 year ago

Well gosh! I wasn’t expecting to tear up this morning. Your words about your wife and parenting your kids were the sweetest. A very happy Father’s Day to you.

1 year ago

The most joyful, fun post I’ve read in a long time. Jess your dad is the coolest! Bring him back more often!

1 year ago

That was great. Best wishes. ♥️

1 year ago

This was great! Lots of good ideas although I can’t get excited about the kilt…(🤣 JK, you wear it well.) Thanks Jess’ Dad!!

1 year ago

I laughed, I cried! I got good ideas. This was amazing. Thank you!

1 year ago

best thing i’ve read on the internet in a while! What a good dad and great list! better than shot glasses and golf balls on most father’s day gift guides. He is so funny!

1 year ago

Ha! This is great. Thank you!

1 year ago

Might be the fact that I just had my son 2 months ago and am awash in hormones, but this post filled me with joy and made me tear up. Emily — this is the type of thing that AI will never be able to do (to reference a post from earlier this week).

1 year ago

Great post 🥹

1 year ago

Jess’ dad sounds like the most amazing father ever.

1 year ago

Ok. More of your writing please. This was funny, heartfelt and useful. Wish you were MY dad. And I already have a good dad. He can’t write like you though. Thanks

Timmi Davis
1 year ago

I have been trying to tell my husband he would like those step in Sketchers ~ he said he will get them when he is 73 ~that will be in November! Hahaha! Guess what he is getting for his birthday!

1 year ago
Reply to  Timmi Davis

Ha….I observed initial reluctance in a 60-something and now those slip-in style Skechers are the only shoes he will wear.

1 year ago

This is the most wonderful, heart-warming way to start my day! Amazing gift ideas and even better reflections on parenting, families, and love. THANK YOU!!!

Mary Beth
1 year ago

Wonderful writing – along with being witty and amusing I could consistently feel the deep love Les has for his children and the role of father.

Crissy Perham
1 year ago

I really enjoyed this post….mostly hearing Jess’s Dad’s take on parenting and how much he loves being a Dad while also reading about gift ideas. As an aside, I just finished up the Camino and the last picture made my heart sing. I know what that must have felt like for you three! Thanks for the great guest post!

1 year ago

This made me cry. My dad passed away in 2019, and I miss him every day. What a wonderful father daughter relationship the two of you have, and thank for some great gift ideas. Getting the pencils for my father in law. Love when Les Bunge makes an appearance on the blog!

1 year ago

Wow, thank you, this was really helpful and a great read! I know a guy who was actually asking for shoes like those. I hope you have a great Father’s Day, Les.

1 year ago

This was so enjoyable.
Jess your dad is very entertaining. He is so cool AND real. A rarity! Thanks for a great start to the day.

1 year ago

Happy Father’s Day, Mr. Bunge! Thank you for the great ideas and even better writing. I’m laughing and crying so hard!

1 year ago

Am I the only one cutting onions over here?

1 year ago
Reply to  Katie

No. I’m a weeping mess.

1 year ago

Definitely the first time I’ve ever been weeping at the end of a gift guide! Thanks for a great post this Saturday a.m.!

Renee Cantwell
1 year ago

Shit, that was great!

1 year ago

Best post of the year!!

1 year ago

Love, love this post!

1 year ago

More of Jess’s dad please! This post had me chuckling and then crying. I rarely comment but felt compelled to say how much I enjoyed this post.

1 year ago

Great list. Two things my husband raves about every time he uses: digital torque wrench adapter (lets you apply the right amount of torque to a bolt without over- or under-tightening it) and the Kühl Radikl Klassic Fit casual pant

1 year ago

Wonderful list and wonderful guy. Love that you have him Jess and he you.

1 year ago

The absolute sweetest, most inspiring post about parenting I have possibly ever read! And it’s a gift guide! Thank you for sharing your ideas and your giant hearts, Les and Jess.

1 year ago

Best. Post. Ever. I’m going to make sure I give my dad a hug today.

1 year ago

This made me cry; Les you’re wonderful. Jess – thanks for introducing him to so many readers.

1 year ago


1 year ago

Okay, now I’m crying (in a good way). Also, “my kids call me in the middle of the night b because they don’t understand the rotation of the earth relative to the sun.” 😂 Best EHD post of all time.

1 year ago

My allergies are acting up. Anyone else???? 🙂
That was beautiful, heartfelt, and practical! Thank you for the guest post! Loved it.

1 year ago

Great great post! Other than tools a custom fun rug would be a great gift as well

1 year ago

Wow, such a great dad!! Love this!

1 year ago

Jess… have to get Les to do one post a month because we currently have to wait way too long in between hearing from him. It really doesn’t matter what the post is about as he is a terrific writer and could make even paint drying entertaining.

1 year ago

Why am I crying? This was beautiful. Going to get a couple things for my husband. Thank you for sharing.

1 year ago

Can Les please win the coolest dad ever 🥇 award!! Laughed and cried, thank you for sharing!!

1 year ago

Wow, that littIe peek into a father’s heart was a gift! To have a dad like that would be a blessing!!!!

1 year ago

Happy Father’s Day Les Bungee. And Jess, I can only hope that you will be able to find a partner in your life who can measure up to your Renaissance man of a dad. If not impossible, really really tough. How lucky you are. How lucky your mother was.

Erin Matt Matt
1 year ago

What a beautiful tribute 🥹

Shannon Palmer
1 year ago