Rain, Koko, First Fruits


DAY 38 -- I forgot to mention the other day, I'm pretty confident that Anna has more of my DNA in her than the other two kids. She's got my skin tone, my eyes, and she ordered a small bowl of gravy to go with her pancakes as the Hen House last weekend.

That rules.

. . .

I'm not sure who in the Champaign/Urbana area drives this car, but I think we need to set up a grown-up play date.


. . .

Anyone heard of Mac Sabbath? A Black Sabbath cover band that dresses in their own interpretations of the McDonaldLand characters? Apparently my brothers-in-law caught their show somewhere out west this week.


I need someone to dress like Daniel LaRusso and Mr. Miyagi and knock out some Beastie Boys covers.

. . .

I power-washed the deck today with the intention of staining/sealing it.

And then it rained.

. . .

DAY 39 -- Koko the Gorilla died today.

Koko and Mister Rogers were pals.


. . .

I've been binge watching the In-Betweeners on Netfilx lately. It's solid despite it's two-star rating. Cross the original American Pie movie with It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and then slap on a British accent ... there you have the In-Betweeners.

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DAY 40 -- Now granted I started a few weeks before I was completely finished with work for the year, we've already reached Day 40 in the Summer of Tim.

I'm not a big fan of that.

. . .

We've started giving the kids earned allowances and our house has never been cleaner! An app called Homey keeps us up to date with our kids' responsibilities and lets us make sure all is well before any screen time or other rewards are granted.

Mason's not too happy about this and Charlotte is somewhat indifferent. Anna, on the other hand, I think would hand scrub our concrete driveway if it meant an extra 75 cents on her allowance.

. . .

Speaking of Anna, she's been taking guitar lessons from one of my students over the past several weeks and it seems that she's actually making some progress. Not that I ever doubted her teacher, but Anna's dedication is along the same lines of mine when I took piano lessons around the same age. But she's really been practicing over these past few weeks as she plays along with a song she loves.


. . .

I picked the summer's first tomato out of our garden tonight.


Hiding it in my palm, I asked Amy to hold our her hand for a surprise. Sure that I was giving her a frog or some other viscous creature, she borderline peed her pants as I dropped the red cherry tomato in her hand.

All is well in the end. Apparently it wasn't quite ripe.

. . .

It rained like crazy today. Not just a light summer rain, but an hour-long steady downpour. The perfect kind of rain to play in.


I'm pretty sure the last time I played in the rain with the kids was when Charlotte was two.

Father's Day, Chia Bob, Liquor Barrell (sic)

DAY 35 --Father's Day kicked off with a trip to the local greasy spoon -- The Hen House -- a favorite of this particular dad. Since I'm a pretty progressive daddio, I bypassed the Country Boy breakfast and ordered the Country Girl Breakfast.

Actually, I just didn't want the sausage patties.


My kids gave me a Father's Day card that doubles as a construction-type warning sign for those nearby of the "Quiet Dad Relaxation Zone." Anna didn't waste any time making sure my zone was comfy and I took full advantage. Amy and the kids swam in the afternoon while I watched a few hours of COPS on TV and took at least two solid dad naps.


Chia Bob Ross was doing well...


...until one of the kids decided to investigate a little too closely and the entire back section of Bob's glorious chia 'fro fell off.

Also, another tooth fell out of Mason's face today.


. . .

DAY 36 -- Amy and the kids joined some friends for Incredibles 2 at the local IMAX while I ran some errands. One stop was at Friar Tuck to see if I could find something interesting. New Belgium never fails me as they've got a new IPA out for the summer -- Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze. It's exactly what it sounds like -- a somewhat fruity IPA -- and it's pretty solid.


While I was waiting on my credit card payment to go through at Friar Tuck, the cashier looked at my arm and asked, "Is that the Karate Kid headband?" Pretty thrilled that someone actually recognized my tattoo for what it is, I confirmed and was met with something in the neighborhood of annoyance and arrogance.

Thanks for your unspoken opinion, beer store cashier. You've got a stupid haircut.

Leaving Friar Tuck (which happens to be right next door to the theater where Amy and the kids were about to start watching Incredibles 2), I headed across town for one final stop.

Then the call came.

Apparently, Mason was freaked out by the craziness of the IMAX experience and couldn't even make it through the previews. Back across town I went to pick him up. It's cool though. He and I spent the hot afternoon at home in the basement with a movie experience of our own (The Phantom Menace, by his request).

Later in the evening, the girls were relaxing a bit after dinner and we caught them in a moment we don't often see -- and one they deny despite the photo evidence.


Speaking of the girls, they've been into creating their own fairy gardens lately and both have their own in pots on the back deck.


As for me, I stayed up way too late last night watching Evil Genius on Netflix.


My first mistake was starting the series at 11PM. My second was feeling like I had no choice but to watch all four hour-long episodes once I got interested.

Whatever. It's summer. Totally worth it.

. . .

DAY 37 -- It was officially announced that the school district I work for will be hiring a resource officer this year. I won't share my thoughts in this public forum, but if you're local and you want to chat about this, let's grab a beer or a cup of coffee sometime.

Amy and the kids had lunch with some of her extended family this afternoon (I'm not avoiding the kids this week...I just need some Tim-time after last week) and I spent that time tying up some loose ends around the house and tackling one of my summer goals -- exercising more creativity.

As many of you know, I love things that stir up nostalgia within me. That, combined with my seemingly seldom-used creativity, led me to my computer this afternoon as I drew up some images that may ring a bell with my hometown crowd.

Salem folks? Remember the Liquor Barrell that was next to Pizza Hut? I don't know if the building is still there but the sign is.


How about the Yum Yum Shoppe? I used to get Superman ice cream there when I was a kid. It eventually turned into a produce place which I think it still is.


So who needs a Yum Yum Shoppe or Liquor Barrell t-shirt or sticker?! If so, CLICK HERE or on the image below!


Yeah, whatever.


Mason loves that song.

War, The Purge, and Hypocritical Christian Americans

DAYS 32-34 -- It's been a pretty slow summer so far, for sure.

Exactly what we had hoped for.


With Amy finishing up her week-long work conference on Thursday and Friday, the kids and I wrapped up the week with some fierce games of war and an attack on a year's worth of sticks which had accumulated on the driveway and play area rocks.


The summer purge continued with the Little Tikes workbench and sandbox Tonka trucks taken out to the road and labeled with a "FREE" sign. The kids have long outgrown these and haven't touched them in months.

It was all gone in less than ten minutes.

. . .

Speaking of the summer purge, I dropped off two boxes of books at the non-profit book store I used to go to often. Despite the fact that I was told where to put the boxes and otherwise ignored without even the slightest "thank you," it felt good to get rid of it all.

Whatever. I'm not out for recognition -- but still.

Seriously, if I could trade every book I own for a digital copy -- even if I had to pay a buck or two in order to do so -- I'd do it in a second.

Next up in the purge is the CD collection.

. . .

By the time Amy got home on Friday, I was done. Five straight days of one-on-three parenting for ten hours each day. I needed some time for Tim.

I love my kids. I love my family. But sometimes I reach the point where I just need to be left alone.

. . .

Antenna TV is making it very hard for me to unplug completely this summer as they've been airing old episodes of The Hogan Family and Head of the Class.

When it comes to stuff from my childhood that I've not seen in decades, I have little self control.



. . .

Finally, as much as I want to sound off, I'll keep my daily dose of political chatter to a minimum today. Not because I don't have plenty to say, but because I'm otherwise likely to have a stroke before the summer ends.

Republicans. Conservatives. Trump supporters. Hear me out.

This stuff happening at our borders with children being separated from their families is some of the most inhumane behavior I've ever heard of. Trump claims he's just "following Democratic laws," which is another full-on dose of bullshit. Please fact check your pretend "president" HERE.

Jeff Sessions and Sarah Sanders quote the Bible in support of these actions?!?! WHAT?!?

Let's stop for a second. Really. Hear me out.

I was brought up in the church. I went to church camps and youth groups and, to this day, my faith is a big part of who I am as a person. Everything I have ever been taught through all of that is completely contradictory to these kinds of behaviors -- despite the fact that some of the people who taught me these things are in complete support of our country's current administration and their actions.

I don't recall ever being taught that we should love all people -- unless they have brown skin, or they cross a border, or they believe differently than we do, or they speak a different language.

What is happening at our borders is unacceptable! It is sick. It is not American and it is certainly not Christian.

Those of you who have tried to challenge the "Black Lives Matter" movement with "all lives matter," you cannot have it both ways and you should be going crazy over the current administration's actions.

Right?

Otherwise, you're exactly as I've said before -- a disgusting and bigoted hypocrite.

We are not talking about people being denied citizenship or work. We're talking about children being forcibly taken from their families and moved to detention centers where Trump's smug face is on the wall to be "admired" while they're treated like prisoners and wondering if they'll ever see their families again.

This is sick.

You don't think so? Think about your own children or grandchildren being taken from you or their parents against their will. Despite the law. Despite the reason. These are human rights that are being violated in an ungodly way.

What's crazy is that this isn't something happening halfway around the world that we see on the news, feel bad about for a minute, and forget by the time we're at the Dairy Queen drive-thru after dinner.

This is happening in our country right now.

In the United States of America.

And our currently leadership -- regardless of political party -- is allowing it to take place.

So what should you do? At the very least, call these people who supposedly represent you and let them know that their support of and/or silence towards these actions is unacceptable.

I've called. Several times.

Take that phone in your hand and close out Facebook or Candy Crush or whatever stupid app you've got open, and dial the number 844-872-0234. You will be asked to enter your zip code and will immediately be connected to your state and/or federal representatives.

If you aren't speaking out in some way -- big or small -- you are a part of the problem and you're allowing this to happen..

And the next time you claim to be a Christian, I'll tell you how ashamed Jesus would be of your apathy, arrogance, and hypocrisy.

Pool Bulls, Positive Punk-Folk, Cousins

DAYS 29-31 -- I really wish I had something ground-breaking to share with you from the past few days, but sticking with my goals for the summer, I'm glad to say that it's been nothing less than easy-going.

. . .

Have you seen that inflatable bull that's making its rounds on social media? Of course, it found its way to my in-law's pool and all of my kids are now professional bull riders.

Sort of.


. . .

I've been listening to a ton of Frank Turner lately and he's amazing. Let's call him positive folk-punk.

Don't skip the link.

For real.

Frank Turner will brighten your day.


. . .

My niece and nephew have been staying across the street with Grandma and Grandpa this week which has made for lots of fun cousin time in the pool and in our yard.


. . .

The garden?

Doing well.

It's not getting as much sunshine as I'd like, but we're starting to see some fruits!


. . .

Amy's been gone during the day this week for some workshop, workish, professional development, something-or-other she's got going at work.

God bless my in-laws for taking on our three kiddos this morning in addition to two cousins while I attacked our house which was long overdue for a legit cleaning.

1. Our house now smells like lemon Pledge and scented candles.

2. I'm just kidding about Amy's "workish" stuff. She's passionate about what she does and that's great despite that fact that my own professional passion may be questionable.

. . .

I received a text message from an old friend last night that made me feel awesome.


With some thanks due to my brother-in-law Matt, I'm apparently still in tune with good music.


. . .

You may have been seeing a lot of Mister Rogers chatter this week thanks to the recent release of the Won't You Be My Neighbor documentary. I'm telling you, with all of my Mister Rogers investment aside, go see this film!

And take a few tissues with you.

No joke.

Prior to seeing Won't You Be My Neighbor, I'd only shed a tear at one other movie.

(If you're curious, that scene in The Rookie when he calls his kid to tell him that he's been called up to the big leagues......it got me.)

Really, though. Go see this if you've got the chance. I promise, you won't be disappointed.


. . .

Finally, if you're someone who has had a problem with athletes taking a knee during the national anthem because it "disrespects the flag," but yet you're chanting "USA USA" while Trump has rubbed elbows this past week with Kim Jong Un, I'll kindly ask you to eff all the way off.

An athlete taking a constitutionally-supported peaceful knee in protest of serious social issues taking place in our country versus our flag flying side by side with that of a murderous dictator?

Piss off.

If you're okay with that, you're part of the problem and nothing short of a disgusting hypocrite.

. . .

Happy summer.

Karaoke, Bob Ross, Sleeping Bag

DAY 25-28 -- Amy and I celebrated a birthday dinner with some friends a few days ago and followed it up with a trip to Star Karaoke -- a place in the area where small groups can take over their own personal karaoke room for an hour or two.


For those curious, I can still knock out Ice Ice Baby without skipping a beat.

Anybody remember this night in Osh Kosh about twenty years ago?


On the other hand, mmmBop is definitely out of my range but I did knock out the female portion of Afternoon Delight with pretty decent authority.

. . .

Bob Ross moved in to our house this weekend. Chia Bob Ross, that is.


While I recall watching the Joy of Painting on days I was home sick from school when I was a kid, Charlotte is obsessed with this guy. She even wrote a report for school once about her hero.

We'll see where Bob's awesome chia hair goes over the next few weeks.

. . .

When my brother was younger, he heard the Ronnie Milsap song Daydreams About Night Things and assumed it was about monsters. Of course, it's not.

This morning I put on some ZZ Top while I was in the shower and one of my favorites -- Sleeping Bag -- came on.


It occurred to me in that moment -- after all these years -- that the lyric is not "zipped inside my sleeping bag" but rather "slip inside my sleeping bag."

Total game changer.

. . .

We had lunch with some family friends today and ate as we watched a thunderstorm pass by outside. Apparently it was a bit more than that as this is a picture of a house from about a mile south of where we were having lunch.


[Image courtesy of The News-Gazette]

. . .

Man, the Summer of Tim has hit its stride. I start each day really having no idea what it'll bring and I go to bed at night feeling like I've accomplished at least a little bit of something.

Perfect.