Cheers.

DAY 80 -- Here we are. The finale of yet another Summer of Tim.

In eighty days I've accomplished plenty as I've amassed a ton of new Hardy Boys books, dollar CDs, and other random junk that continues to fill my shelves.

I was successful in fighting my first battle against poison ivy and also in maneuvering a public bathroom splattered with human feces.

I competed my collection of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes and have set a goal of having all undocumented episodes covered on NeighborhoodArchive.com by the end of 2017.

With the exception of a few large projects, my to do list looks very much like it did at the beginning of the summer (as expected) but I managed to buy my brother's Masters of the Universe collection from him and I saw Ferris Bueller's Day Off on the big screen. Those weren't on my to do list but I did them.

I tracked down the elusive mmmHops beer and also came to the realization that my brother-in-law's band is amazing. Both in the same day.

I've caught up with some old friends and also made some new ones.

I've started wearing earrings again for the first time in over twenty years. But I decided against my first tattoo (for now).

The camping fire was rekindled in me and after a trip to upstate New York I also realized that I actually do like to travel.

In the end, as always, it's been a great summer that I couldn't be happier to have shared with you here. Thanks for joining me along the way!

. . .

And now, I'll close out the 2017 Summer of Tim the best way I know how.


Cheers.

My First Tattoo

DAY 79 -- I've thought for years about getting a tattoo.


I've had ideas and locations in mind but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I started thinking about it with any sincerity. I was browsing random Karate Kid stuff online ... because, you know, sometimes I browse Karate Kid stuff ... and I came across this amazing image.


[Image courtesty of @micheltrip via Instagram]

It was time for me to get a tattoo.

. . .

For those who may not recognize this image, it comes from The Karate Kid (of course it does) -- specifically Daniel's headband.


The plan was to put this image on the inside of my left forearm with only two rows of dots on each side. I thought this over for a few weeks, drawing it on my arm with a Sharpie a few times to be sure I liked the look and feel if it. I found a few other more accurate images of the headband that I would mesh with the original image.


With my summer winding down in a hurry, I decided that on Tuesday (today), I'd close out the summer with a bang and go get my first tattoo.

. . .

I got to the tattoo shop -- a very reputable place in the area which also happens to be where Anna got her ears pierced last spring. I was doing this.

Upon meeting with one of the artists, I learned that this image would need to be a little larger on my arm than I had planned in order for it to "translate" -- not to mention it was going to cost me over double what I was expecting having talked with several friends with tattoos.

The size wasn't a big deal but the cost was harder to swallow.

So for the time being at least, my pure skin prevails.

. . .

One day left, gang...and the Summer of Tim is done.

I've been to the promised land.

DAY 78 -- I've been to the promised land...and I assure you...it is beautiful.


My initial plan was to leave my dad's in time to stop half-way home for lunch with an old friend I'd not seen in several years; however, with the consignment store being closed for the week, there was no need for me to wait around for it to open and we adjusted our plans a bit to have coffee instead of a gut bomb from McHugh's Double Drive-Thru.


As always, it's so great to catch up with old friends. Rachel and I go back almost thirty years and we figured it'd been at least fifteen since we'd seen each other. As I've said many, many times before, old friends are good for the soul.

. . .

After a healthy dose of caffeine from Starbucks, I had some time on my hands and decided to stop at an outlet mall for a new pair of shoes. From there, I still knew I was in no hurry and thought I'd wind my way through some back roads for the last 30 miles of my drive. This took me through downtown Tuscola, IL where something quickly caught my eye.


A Big Bird chair under a sign that says "collectibles." Interesting.

Reaching the door, the lights were on and the sign said open...but the door was locked. A quick peek inside and I knew I had to get in this place. Then I saw the handwritten note on the door: "I'm at the senior center next door. Find me there."

Walking into the adjacent senior center, I approached four older folks enjoying their coffee and their conversation which I can only assume was about corn crops and the potential of this year's local high school football team. As politely as I could, I interrupted their conversation to ask about the store next door.

No one smiled. No one made eye contact. No one spoke. Not until one of the men bellowed: "There's a gentleman here for the store!"

I was clearly out of my element.

A woman emerged from the back with a set of keys in her hands and invited me to follow her next door. As she opened the store, she asked if I'd been here before and what kinds of items I was interested in. Assuming this was just small talk, I answered her questions but realized upon entering the store, I was in for much more than I'd bargained for.


Whoa.

With work to do at the senior center, she left me alone in the store with full freedom to explore. And that's just want I did.


How did I not know this place existed only thirty minutes from my house?!? Apparently it's been in business for fifteen years! This was more than just a collectibles store -- it was something of a cross between collectibles, an overcrowded thrift store, and a museum. While I shimmied down narrow aisles and stepped over boxes and random pieces that had been from other arbitrary locations in the store, it was clear that the place was much more organized than it appeared.

Looking for Dukes of Hazzard items? There was a bin marked "Dukes of Hazzard" complete with a Colorforms set, old McDonalds cups, and action figures.


You like E.T.? Why not browse the E.T. section?


A drawer full of Little People...


Two baskets full of Viewmaster reels and viewers...


Maybe the Incredible Hulk is your thing? There was a section for you, too.


A rack of action figures...


A Vanilla Ice doll...


These pictures don't even begin to do justice to the massive amount of pop culture goodness stacked in this place!

I was in heaven and I wanted one of everything!

Snapping myself back to reality, I did manage to narrow down my shopping to just a few items. Unfortunately, one of those items was located on a ledge above the front door. Stacked between two He-Man boxes and a Fisher Price Little People garage set was the Playskool Holiday Inn -- a set on my short list of items I'd been hoping to find for a long time.


With a step ladder balanced over various boxes, I had just enough room to reach the set by standing on the very top of the ladder (a big no-no among amateur ladder users). Rescuing the Holiday Inn from it's dusty perch, we agreed on a price and into my car it went...

...along with a few Hardy Boys books and a Garfield tin I had when I was a kid.


Needless to say, I will be back to this store again very soon! Until then...expect a band and dancing every Saturday night at the Holiday Inn.

Closed For Remodeling

DAY 77 -- I made a quick trip back home with a car load of odds and ends to drop off at the consignment store. It's quite a deal. We give them our stuff, they price it and sell it taking half the profits for themselves. We get the rest and never once have to hold a garage sale.

Anyway, the consignment store is apparently closed for the week so my dad now had a giant pile of stuff in his garage to drop off when they reopen.

Laziness, Bikes, Tattoos

DAY 76 -- Lazy morning. Afternoon bike ride with the fam.

. . .

Here's Mason.


. . .

99% on board for my first tattoo. Maybe Tuesday. Stay tuned.