Remembering Sherman Hemsley

From George Jefferson to Amen's Deacon Frye to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's Judge's to you Sherman Hemsley.

Basement Junk #015


This week's assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers:
Things that are green.
Simple enough. Here are some of my favorites...

Other green stuff from around the League? 

Check out Brian's Hulk collection over at Cool and Colelcted. Of for a sweet cameo appearance by Jake "The Snake" Roberts, take a look at Infinite Hollywood Time's toy collection.


I've constantly got little random things floating around in my head but most are not blog-worthy. Once they build to a certain point, they become FASTE Notes.

1. I read Dustin Diamond's tell-all book about his time on Saved By the Bell and was somewhat surprised. I expected to hate the guy by the time I was done reading but I didn't. I actually kind of like him a little bit more for his book. Whether his content is true or not, just having the guts to put that out there deserves a little bit of credit. Too bad the book seems to have been edited by a 10-year-old.

2. Saw this A-Team lunch box a few weeks ago at a local shop for 12 bucks (nevermind the price tag).

Didn't buy it and I keep thinking about it. What do you think? Twelve bucks or no?

3. I've been working my butt off lately on a pretty major overhaul to one of my other websites -- Cleaning things up and making the site a little more clear and simple. Hoping to have the updated site ready to launch in a month or so.

4. Speaking of my other sites, the Neighborhood Archive continues to grow every day. The new show from the Fred Rogers Company -- Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood -- premieres on September 3rd!

5. Perry Baggs died. He was the original drummer for one of my favorite bands -- Jason and the Scorchers. Here's a video of one of the Scorchers songs Perry co-wrote.

6. Ron Santo was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame today. Better late than never.

7. I'm going to see the Black Angels with my brother in a few weeks. Saw them a few years ago. One of the best live shows I've ever seen.

8. Anyone have a functional Sega Genesis that they're willing to part with for next to nothing? I've had an urge to play some NHL 96 lately. If you're selling, I'm buying.

9. I can't stop listening to Eric B. & Rakim's album Paid in Full. Looking beyond Run DMC's Raising Hell as my favorite rap album of all time, I'm pretty sure hip-hop doesn't get much better than this.

10. I hate sports right now. I knew the Cubs would be horrible this summer but now the Knicks make some pretty suspect moves. Signing has-beens and letting young talent walk -- not the way to build a championship team.

11. I don't care about the Olympics.

12. I go back to work for a new school year two weeks from tomorrow. Two weeks. This is usually the point in the summer when I try to cram in all of the things I planned to do and didn't.

You've Been Federlined

There's no hiding the fact that I have my share of guilty pleasures. I've mentioned several in past posts here of FASTE, but tonight it's full disclosure time.

Not only do I own Kevin Federline's CD, I paid full-price for it when it came out and I still listen to it on a semi-regular basis.

When I was a kid, I hated certain foods and my mom would trick me into eating them by mixing them into other things and not telling me what I was actually eating. In the same way, if I played a couple tracks off this album for you and didn't tell you who you were listening to, I'm pretty sure you'd nod your head to the beat in approval. But if I told you it was K-Fed from the get-go, you'd never give it a chance.

The sound of this album is decent. Really.

Lyrically though? Ol' K-Fed's got a little work to do. See for yourself:

"I married a superstar. Never come between us no matter who you are." (Lose Control)

I think we all know how that story ended.

"It's okay. I got something for ya. I'm handin' out ass kickin's like diplomas." (America's Most Hated)

That's just ridiculous.

"Never been to Denver but I rock them nuggets. One earring cost more than your budget." (Lose Control)

Also ridiculous.

Here's my favorite...

"I got cake with no icing. K Federline. I snap like Mike Tyson." (Snap)

FYI, K-Fed. Any toughness expressed through a Mike Tyson reference is immediately negated by mentioning cake and icing in the same lyric.


There you have it, loyal FASTE readers. Starting off your weekend, consider yourselves Federlined.

You're welcome.

Atari 2600 Duplicates. Any takers?

Sorting through my Atari 2600 games last night, I came across two that I've got duplicate copies of. Anyone interested in one or both of these?

If you've got any duplicate games yourself, I'd be up to trade you for a game or two that I don't have. Actually, considering the awesome condition these two games are in, I can drop them in the mail to anyone who might want them.

Let me know if you're interested.

Treasure Hunting: Daddy-Daughter Edition

My daughter and I headed out this morning on a treasure hunt (known to adults as going to the flea market). In addition to the chocolate donuts with sprinkles in our guts, here's what we came home with.

This guy had me intrigued as soon as I saw him. I always check in with my favorite vendor as soon as I walk in the door as he's usually got a cool spread of random stuff for good prices. Many of the Fisher Price Little People I've picked up over the years have come from this guy which is why I was especially curious to find this sheepish-doggy-pig at his table.

Okay, after a little detective work I was able to figure out that this is a mid-1960's Little People dog -- minus his ears.

Speaking of Little People, the late 80's boat captain came home with us, too.

With two of the late-1980's McDonald's Changeables on my shelf already, I grabbed this guy to go along with them.

And I was able to round out my collection of Tang mouths from Hardee's with the last of the four I was looking for.

This late 1970's Ronald McDonald doll was among the handful of toys at my grandmother's house when I was a kid. For a cheap price, I couldn't pass it up.

I stocked up on some quality reading with the story of the punky QB known as McMahon, Reggie Jackson's "most controversial sports book of the decade", and Bob Uecker's Catcher in the Wry.

And don't think my daughter doesn't enjoy treasure hunting just like her daddy. She's pretty happy with her haul as well.

Less than ten bucks got us a stop at Dunkin' Donuts, a handful of junk we didn't need, and a fun morning together.

Calling All Toy Geniuses

Okay, toy geniuses. Somebody tell me what this is.

It's made of wood similar to the original Fisher-Price Little People. About the same height and with the same size base as the original Little People, too.

This is apparently some sort of animal but the animals from the original Little People sets that I've come across are all of the four-legged variety.

I'm stumped. Any ideas?

UPDATE: The mystery is solved thanks to the People ID section of Apparently this is the remnants of a mid-1960's Fisher-Price Little People dog. The yellow plastic on either side originally held larger ears in place. Now I can sleep tonight.

Bust Your Attitude: The Guys Next Door

Okay. I outed myself a few weeks back as a closet New Monkess fan so let's just take this the whole nine yards. Shall we?

I admit it. When I was a kid, I loved boy bands. Not in an "oh they're so dreamy" type way but in a "man, these guys are cool" kind of way. All the girls at my school loved these guys so I'd be crazy not to show some sort of an interest in them, right?

Of course, there were the New Kids on the Block who I listened to despite being made fun of by my brother. I had their videos, their tapes, and even a respectable stack of New Kids trading cards.

Then, as I discovered a few weeks ago, I was apparently the only person in the country to watch the New Monkees and get into their music. So, with that in mind, let's move on to Round 2...

The Guys Next Door?

Anyone? Anyone?


Riding the coat tails of the New Kids were a group of five guys put together for an NBC Saturday morning show called the Guys Next Door. They sang, they danced, and they did goofy sketch comedy -- and I loved it.

The Guys Next Door featured Chris Wolf, Eddie Garcia, Damon Sharpe, Patrick Dancy, and Bobby Leslie. You may recognize a few of these guys -- Patrick was Brian on the date auction episode of Saved By the Bell and Eddie was Johnny Dakota from SBTB's "no hope with dope" episode. And while you may not know his name, Damon Sharpe has gone on to an award-winning career as a music producer and songwriter.

Last week, I couldn't help myself. I was digging through some old tapes and got the bug. It was time to upgrade my 22+ year old Guys Next Door cassette to a CD copy. It's times like this that make me say, "Internet, I love you." A quick buy on eBay, a few days wait, and my Guys Next Door CD had arrived.

Rather than give my review of the album and the show two decades late, let me just tell you about two things related to the Guys.

1. If you're looking for Guys Next Door stuff online, be careful. When you search for "guys next door" your results will include a lot of videos featuring buff naked dudes.

2. Among the tons and tons of stuff I've held onto from my youth, I've still got this...

Yes, ladies and gentlemen...I actually wrote a letter to Damon Sharpe in the Fall of 1990 to tell him how much I liked the Guys Next Door. Because that's what guys who have just started high school do, right?


Don't judge me.

The response to my letter included a fan club form letter on NBC/GND letter head which explains that there's a tour coming up and so on and so on...

Still, both the picture and the letter appear to be legitimately someone.

The letter suggests calling 1-800-NBC-GUYS for a "free personal message" from the Guys Next Door so I decided that I'd give them a call...22 years later.

Not a good idea.

Remember those buff naked dudes I mentioned? I think they have a phone line, too.

The only movie that makes me cry...

After a week off, the League of Extraordinary Bloggers goes soft and is asked:
What movie, TV show, book, etc. turns you into a blubbering baby every time you see it?
When I was a kid, there were a handful of times that I remember crying during a movie -- E.T., Savannah Smiles, Fox and the Hound. But as an adult -- heck, even since my late kid years -- there is only one movie that has brought me to tears...and it does so every time.

The first time I saw The Rookie, I was on a flight headed for San Diego with my wife to visit her sister. My wife probably read a book while I spent two hours of the trip watching the in-flight movie. Any regular readers of this blog knows that I've loved baseball my whole life -- from backyard baseball games as a kid to current summers spent wondering why in the world I continue to love the Cubs. With that as my background, I was immediately sucked into this film.

At first, I thought I was in for just another baseball flick, but in an early scene when Guy Clark's Stuff That Works plays in the background as Jimmy Morris tests his arm on a dark Texas highway, I knew I was in for a treat (starting at 05:22 on the video below).

But this wasn't the part that grabbed me by the gut. That didn't come until later when Jimmy was called up to the big leagues. He gets the word from his team's skipper and calls home to share the good news. As he talks to his wife, the lump in my throat starts to form. Then she puts their son on the phone and it's a done deal. Gets me every time.


There's just something about this scene that represents what every guy dreams of...what every dad and husband on this planet desires. Not necessarily sharing the news of becoming a big league pitcher, but the feeling of sharing with those you love something you've worked extremely hard for and for them to respond with nothing but pure heartfelt pride and joy.

Typing this now, the hair on my arms is standing up.

Movies don't get to me. Old Yeller? Bah. He's just a dog.

But when General Hawk tells the kid from Two and a Half Men that he's going to the majors, I'm done.

The Ultimate Picture of Awesome

I'm guessing you have no idea what you're looking at in this picture.

With the Fourth of July just under our belts, you might think this is a crappy shot of some local fireworks display. But let me set the record straight. This is the coolest picture you will ever see.

Back in my home town this week for a few days, I had the chance to catch up with an old friend of mine. I don't get home as often as I'd like so unfortunately my contact my him is basically limited to an occasional email and semi-regular Facebook comments dripping with sarcasm. As he and I talked, he made mention of the fact that most of the pictures I share online have been run through an Instagram filter making me a....hipster.

A.) I'm no hipster.

and B.) I'm no hipster.

But that debate aside, I'm here to prove that Instagram really is a pretty cool app. For my example, I chose to use a screenshot from my friend's favorite television show of all time -- Full House. We'll start with Michelle Tanner giving the hilarious "you got it, dude" thumbs-up.

Since Instagram is so awesome, I didn't just run the picture through one filter -- I ran it through all seventeen consecutively to make it extra cool.

So here you have it, old friend. Your favorite television character run through all seventeen hipster Instagram filters making the ultimate picture of awesome.

Have mercy.