Hand in Hand. Across the Nation.

It's the time of year when the grills are hot, the beers are cold, and flags are flying on front porches all across town. Leading into the 4th of July, the League of Extraordinary Bloggers has been asked:
What movie, TV show, comic book, etc. makes you want to stand up and salute Old Glory?
In thinking about this topic, strangely enough, the first thing that came to mind was something I remember reading in TV Guide when I was a kid (maybe around 1987?). Although I never saw it on the show (and I definitely tried to see it), there was supposedly a subliminal message of partiotism hidden in the first episode of the animated ALF series. A quick Google search and sure enough, there was the image I remember seeing in the TV Guide article.


I realized that I have a copy of this episode as an extra feature on the ALF Season 2 set so I put it in to see this first hand. Sure enough, it's right there. The image only appears for a fraction of a second, but it's there. You can watch for yourself on YouTube.

There's also tons of great music out there that makes me feel proud of my country and equally proud of my freedom to have political views that may or may not be the same as the person standing next to me.
Will Hoge's America EP is always one of my favorite things to listen to when I'm feeling even remotely patriotic.


Then there's Todd Snider who's always right on point when it comes to interpretting the current state of our country.


But what really gets me fired up about America? I'm talking about the land of the free! The home of the brave! Super highways coast to coast! Smokestacks and fatback and many miles of railroad tracks!

You'd better believe it!!


Nothing gets me jacked up for my country like the Godfather for Soul - JAMES BROWN!



I dare you to watch this video and not feel proud of the red, white, and blue.

Apollo Creed may disagree.


Take a look in the comments section over at 
Cool and Collected and see what brings out the patriotism in other League members.

A Crunch in the Mouth

This photo of my uncle was taken in 1971.


Want to make me happy? Find one of these shirts for me.

Considering "CRUNCH" is in all caps, my best guess is that it's a promotional item for a "Crunch" brand of something -- maybe Nestle Crunch?


Either way, how awesome would it be to wear a shirt that asks people -- HOW'D YA LIKE A CRUNCH IN THE MOUTH?!

Things I Like Better Than Kurt Russell

This week, the League of Extraordinary Bloggers has been assigned to write about a very open-ended topic -- Kurt Russell. That's it. No more instruction than that.

I wouldn't say I dislike Kurt Russell, but I'm not a big fan. Never have been. So using each letter in his name, here are eleven things that I like better than Kurt Russell.

Kool-Aid Make mine Purplesaurus Rex.
Under the Overpass One of my favorite books.
Ragamuffin Gospel Another of my favorite books.
Tabasco Sauce I put this on everything from eggs to popcorn.
Run DMC Rhymes so def. Rhymes galore.
Usual Suspects Flip you for real.
Starks Forget Jordan. John Starks is my all-time favorite.
Scorchers As in, Jason and the Scorchers.
Extra-Crispy KFC It's already bad for you. Why not enjoy it?
Letterman I'd like to have a word with whoever told Leno he was funny.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo Play them loud in the morning. You'll wake up.
Take a look in the comments section over at Cool and Collected and see what other League members think of Kurt Russell.

Basement Junk #010

Clearly a Karate Kid Weekend

This was clearly a Karate Kid weekend.

First, I stumbled upon this awesome creation by Alex Pardee.


Of course, it's perfectly titled Karate Kid N Play but is unfortunately quite a bit out of my price range ($850.00 for the original).

Good things come to those who wait.

I've been looking off and on over the past several years for a solid replica of the All-Valley Tournament poster seen in the Cobra Kai dojo.


I've seen a few pop up here and there that just didn't hit the mark -- font wasn't right, color was off, etc. But then I came across this:


There it was. The gem I'd been searching for. I downloaded the image, printed it at a local store as a 12x18 poster, and had it hanging in my basement all within just a few hours.


Now to shift my attention elsewhere. Somebody want to create a replica of the I Sold My Mom's Wheelchair poster from High Fidelity for me?

So Long, Cypress Hill T-Shirt

Today, I say goodbye to an old friend -- dear to me for the past two decades.

Goodbye, Cypress Hill t-shirt.

I remember when I brought you home from the mall in the fall of 1993. You were brand new.


I'll remember wearing you when I put peroxide in my bowl-cut hair.

I remember when I got my first job and your helped me decorate for prom at the school where I worked.

But now, Cypress Hill t-shirt, you are worn beyond wearing.

Your sleeves were cut off long ago when your status was reduced to lawn-mowing-shirt. Now your fabric is splitting and your design is cracked.
 

It's been a good run, Cypress Hill t-shirt.

So long.

A Beatbox and a Speedy Delivery

My wife and I took our kids to Indianapolis today for PBS Kids in the Park -- an opportunity for kids to meet many of their favorite characters from PBS Kids programming. My kids were most excited to meet the gang from Super Why!, WordGirl, and Curious George.

The headliner for this year's event was Shock from the new Electric Company program. As one of my daughters and I waited in line to meet WordGirl, we enjoyed Shock's stage performance.


But the real highlight of the day -- honestly, the reason we decided to go to this event in the first place -- was a much more familiar face.

A Trip to the Treasure Store

Fear not, FASTE readers. I will not bombard you further with another link to the recently released Mister Rogers remix -- Garden of Your Mind. I've saturated all other parts of the internet that I have my hand in with that clip so I'll leave this one alone.

To follow up on a recent post, Pitfall Harry and I are having some issues but we are making progress. After multiple failed attempts at collecting all 32 treasures in 20 minutes or less, my hope still remains. As a matter of fact, my first attempt at conquering Pitfall! lasted the full 20 minutes during which time I collected 31 of the 32 treasures. Probably early luck. But it will happen.

I hit up a local flea market tonight with one of my daughters [A side note to parents: Flea markets sound cool to kids when you call them "treasure stores"]. Spending not much more than I would on a trip through the McDonalds drive-thru, I didn't do too badly.


I hadn't played Tetris or Double Dribble in years and felt the urge when I saw them for sale. I popped in Double Dribble when I got home and played for the first time in a couple decades. I won 101-22.

As I may have mentioned before, I love the original Fisher Price Little People. It may be because I played with them a lot as a kid but I just think they're one of the coolest lines of toys ever made. Their simplicity leaves so much to the imagination of the kid. Any time I see Little People with a cheap price tag, I can't say no. The Mini-Bus and three Little People (including a Cookie Monster in great condition) ran me two bucks.

Then there's the stupid Tang mouth. In one of the first posts here on FASTE, I talked about these things and mentioned what ridiculous promotion this was for Hardee's back in the day. Of the four characters offered through this promotion, I've got the two I had as a kid. Digging through a 50 cent box tonight, I couldn't say no to Awesome Annie the Lip Sync Kid.

These were my treasures. My kid got a Beanie Baby duck. That was hers.

FASTE Notes

1. I have a date tonight. A date with Pitfall Harry.


Pitfall! was released for Atari 2600 in September 1982 -- 30 years ago this fall. In those three decades, I have never collected all 32 treasures in twenty minutes or less. One of my top summer goals is to right this wrong before Pitfall! turns 30. My quest begins tonight.

2. A replica of the Ferrari license plate from Ferris Bueller's Day Off now hangs in my basement just below my General Lee license plate.


This seller on eBay is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites. I assure you that the Back to the Future plates are next.

3. I never win anything. I don't necessarily have bad luck but I never win contests. This week, I won a contest. Shawn, at Branded in the 80s, was offering up various sets of some awesome Hot Wheels cars including two that I wanted badly -- Knight Rider's KITT and the A-Team van.


If I can't win the lottery, this is the next best thing. Thanks again, Shawn!

4. Speaking of contests, I've got one going on my other blog if you're interested. A powerful documentary called Mister Rogers & Me was recently released by friend of the Neighborhood Archive, Benjamin Wagner. The soundtrack from this film includes some of Benjamin's fantastic original music and is available for download on Amazon and iTunes. A small run of 300 CDs was produced -- one of which is up for grabs on the Neighborhood Archive (signed by Benjamin, by the way).


I'm taking entries until the middle of the month.

5. Richard Dawson died this week. I honestly thought he died several years ago.

6. Twitter is a funny animal. Last Sunday night, I cooked up some Mr. Breakfast for my family and shared a picture online via Twitter.


By the end of the evening, my dinner had been retweeted by Pee-Wee Herman (or at least his official account) to his 1.2 million followers.


#summer

FASTE Top Ten Movies

Although this week's League assignment may seem like a chore, I have a feeling that most people with an affection for pop culture nerdery have their short list in the backs of their minds just like I do. While I'd love to impress everyone with ten obsucre titles here, I'd be willing to bet that many of the movies in my Top 10 list will be seen many times over in the lists of others.

Let's get at it.

First, the honorable mentions -- the ones that I love but just didn't quite make the list.



CLUE

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
To make a long story short....too late.



GET ON THE BUS

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
A powerful 90 minute sociology lesson. Spike Lee's best.



THE SANDLOT

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
Comparable to backyard baseball games in my neighborhood.

Read More on FASTE:

Now for the Top 10...



10. PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
My parents hated Pee-Wee Herman.



9. DREAM A LITTLE DREAM

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
Ridiculous story. I want to hang out with Dinger.



8. POISON IVY

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
My rainy day, go-to movie.

Read More on FASTE:



7. SUMMER SCHOOL

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
Much of my inspiration for working in education. Seriously.

Read More on FASTE:



6. A CHRISTMAS STORY

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
Capable of bringing out Christmas spirit in a rock.

Read More on FASTE:



5. THE GOONIES

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
Every kid's dream come true. Action-packed fun.

Read More on FASTE:



4. BACK TO THE FUTURE

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
Time travel? Whatever. Skateboard and Walkman? Awesome!



3. HIGH FIDELITY

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
Story of my life. Kind of. A little bit.

Read More on FASTE:



2. FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
The coolest kid in the history of cool kids.

Read More on FASTE:



1. THE KARATE KID

Appeal in 12 Words or Less:
Underdog gets the girl...and kicks the bully in the face.

Read More on FASTE:

Take a look at some of the other Top Ten lists coming from the League: UnderScoopFire! has never seen some of my top favorites! Also, a new blog, Green Plastic Squirt Gun, is on the scene this week...