The Summer of Tim Continues!

I can't let it go. Although not in a structured day-by-day format, the Summer of Tim continues!

It's been almost two weeks since we sold our house and bought a new one which has incited the stress and chaos you can image that comes with packing and moving a family of five. My summer of relaxation and fun took a turn towards anxiety in a hurry. But fear not, FASTE readers, it's still summertime. So rather than day-by-day, let me catch you up topic-by-topic...


For real. I'm gonna lose my mind stressing out over this move as we're closing on both our current and new houses on the same day. We've started packing a little bit which most people would take as an opportunity to weed out some unnecessary possessions. With a collection of well over a dozen different Cap'n Crunch boxes, it's pretty clear that everything I own is going with me. I just keep telling myself that two months from now we'll be in our new home and everything will be fine. It's just the time in between that's stressing me out. All in all, I'm pretty excited. Out with the old and in with the new.


Prior to several days of storms recently here in the Midwest, we were able to spend a few days enjoying the sun and water. My kids love the water whether it be the small plastic get-up in our back yard or the full-meal-deal at my in-law's place.


Mr. McFeely!

Much to my liking, my kids love Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood -- the relatively new PBS program based on the characters from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Just like last year, we took the quick drive to Indy for "PBS Kids in the Park" where the hottest guest this year was Daniel Tiger himself. But let's not forget my favorite guest, Mr. McFeely...


2nd Place Press!

Speaking of Mister Rogers, check out these fantastic prints by 2nd Place Press. My set is on its way. Get yours while you still can (limited to only 20 and 25 of each print!).


Painted Office!

I painted my office at work last week. Took our youngest with me when I taped the walls and our oldest when I painted. Next week, our middle kiddo and I will head over to hang up some shelves and frames. Stay tuned for the final product.

Sweet Tea Vodka and Cap'n Crunch!

A glass of tea on a hot day with this stuff tossed in is perfect. Just perfect. And, yeah, I found a new Cap'n Crunch box.


The Local "Zoo"!

There's a small "zoo" (if you will) nearby with random animals for kids to stare at. We took our kids there a few days ago on a very hot afternoon. I forget that summer heat does not matter until you are around age fifteen. Until then, it's just fun fun fun. Needless to say, my kids were fired up to see ducks, llamas, and goats.


Hang Time!

After spending more time a few weeks ago than I'd care to admit watching City Guys on YouTube, I recently realized that all but a few episodes of Hang Time are also online for my free viewing pleasure. So, yeah. I've watched a lot of Hang Time lately and don't plan on slowing down any time soon.

Graffiti Rock!

It takes a lot to get me behind a Kickstarter project...but this one I could not back fast enough. As a lover of all things 80s and all things early-hip-hop, I urge you to join me in making this happen...

The Summer of Tim continues...

The Summer of Tim: Days 13 and beyond

DAY 13 AND BEYOND... - June 13... - Real life is getting in the way

It was inevitable. Real life is getting in the way of the Summer of Tim. You may have noticed that I am several days behind now in documenting my summer break, but for good reason. As quickly as we sold our house, we found and settled on another.

So needless to say, the Summer of Tim has become the summer of packing and moving. Having just drawn in a handful of new readers to my "exciting" life of mundane activity, I regret that these posts will likely be slowing down significantly as real life takes priority. I'm not saying they'll stop, but they'll definitely slow down.

Rest assured knowing that the Summer of Tim's just a whole lot less exciting to read about now (unless you're in to cardboard boxes and packaging tape).

The Summer of Tim: Days 11-12

DAY 11 - June 11 - Summer at its finest

When I think about summer, I think about days like this. It was a lazy morning and a lazy evening with an afternoon at my in-law's pool sandwiched in between.

DAY 12 - June 12 - SOLD!

After an early morning trip to the dentist and my wife and daughters spending the morning at a weekly gardening camp at a local park, I headed out to check out a new shop I just recently caught wind of.


When I stopped in at Vintage Villains recently, I learned that Live Action Games was just up the road from my house.

Wait. What?

There's a shop within five minutes of my house that sells nothing but vintage games? How was I not aware of this until now?!?!

With my NES recently crapped out on me, I stopped in at the shop to pick up a new pin connector which easily solved my problem. The shop itself showed a lot of promise. I'll definitely be back.


At work, a co-worker retired at the end of this past school year and I moved into her office. A new office needs a new look so I'm abandoning my Chicago Cubs decor of my old office and piecing together some stuff for my new digs. Pun completely intended ("piecing together"), the first item I've decided on for my new office is a puzzle my wife bought me for Christmas last year. I spent the better part of the afternoon putting it together in preparation for gluing and framing.


While putting together the puzzle, I took a listen to the new Bob Schneider album that just came out this week. Not his best stuff but still pretty good.

Here's where things get crazy.

With three kids and only two bedrooms to put them in, my wife and I tried to have our daughters share a room. This, in a nutshell, has been a disaster and so late this past spring we put our house on the market in hopes of moving to a home with an additional bedroom. After learning a two-month lesson in patience, we got an offer last night and (after some negotiations) came to an agreement.

Our house is now sold.

So we now have until the end of July to find, buy, and move in to a new home.

The Summer of Tim just got hectic...but it continues nonetheless...

The Summer of Tim: Days 9-10

DAY 9 - June 9 - An early morning and a simple day

I'm an early bird. During a normal work week, my alarm usually goes off at 4am. This gives me a few hours of time to myself to work on my website, drink some coffee, and watch the news. About once every few weeks, I have a night where I just wake up and can't go back to sleep. I have a rule that if I wake up and don't go back to sleep after ten minutes, I might as well get up and do something -- regardless of what time it is.

So with this in mind, yesterday got off to an early start -- around 2:30am. But this isn't a bad thing as I got more done between 2:30 and 7:00 than most people do all day. I did some laundry, worked on my websites a bit, did some reading, went for a walk around the neighborhood once the sun came up. Trust me, this is not unusual. I've been known to change the oil in the cars in the middle of the night when I can't sleep.

Anyway, after the family woke up, let me sum up my Sunday like this: church, nap, dinner, NBA finals, sleep.

DAY 10 - June 10 - A natural playground and a podcast

This morning was awesome. There is a forest preserve park about fifteen miles from my house that I truly consider to be one of the area's best kept secrets. There's a lake and trails, but my wife recently told me about a "playground" there made of things from nature. It's a fairly new feature of the park so I didn't quite know what to expect -- but it was love at first sight. The kids climbed around for a few minutes before deciding it was time to take a dip in the rippling brook. The sun was shining and we had the entire place to ourselves as we waded in the water, built a makeshift dam, and skipped a few stones on the lake.

The entire time we were splashing around in the water, I was continuously reminded of a 1986 trip my family took to visit my aunt, uncle, and cousins in Tennessee. We spent some time in Cades Cove -- the highlight of which was stopping along a highway where we did much the same thing that I did with my family today (only on a little bit larger scale). Yeah, that's a ten-year-old me in the red t-shirt.

The afternoon? Lunch. Naps. Grocery shopping. Bike ride. Lawn mowed. Dinner.

With the kids in bed, it was time to resurrect the podcast portion of my "all things Mister Rogers" site, the Neighborhood Archive. I've been looking forward to this for several days since I first scheduled this conversation with a couple of friends. If you're interested at all in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and have some time to kill, check out the Neighborhood Archive Podcast sometime. You'll find everything from interviews with former cast members to conversations with other fans.

Plans for tomorrow include an early morning and a late evening.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Evolution of the Hardy Boys

To Frank and Joe Hardy:

Don't ever change.


Oh. Nevermind.

The Summer of Tim: Day 8

DAY 8 - June 8 - A fox, garage sales, and a 0.0 mile run

Two things were bound to happen. First, I'm barely a week into the summer and I already have no clue what day of the week it is. That's such an awesome feeling. Second, a semi-lazy summer day was coming sooner or later...although there are certainly much lazier days to come. Trust me.

I headed out early today to check out some garage sales on my way to an electronics recycling event across town -- I'd been carrying around some old junk in the trunk of my car for several weeks now and was glad to get rid of it all. Keeping in mind that I live in a mostly urban/suburban area, I was surprised to see a fox on my way through one neighborhood (with his breakfast in his mouth).


That's not important. What is important is all of the junk I picked up for just under three bucks.

I actually spent four dollars this morning but part of that was on a glass of lemonade and a cookie from a kid selling snacks at his parents' garage sale. Somebody once told me to never turn down a kid selling anything that's homemade. When I heard the kid ask another garage sale shopper if he'd like some lemonade and was completely ignored in response, I had no choice.

Fifty cents for the cookie. A quarter for the lemonade. Keep the change.

After lunch, the kiddos crashed after a late night last night and I won't lie -- I wasted the afternoon away in grand fashion. Two hours of watching City Guys episodes on YouTube. Really.

I see a handful of people post on Twitter and Facebook about their physical activity. You know what I'm talking about: "I just ran 114 miles in six minutes. Check out the pattern I made with the route I ran." That kind of stuff. Thoroughly enjoying my lazy afternoon, I made myself laugh by sharing my own workout details.

With the kids fully rested, we hit the yard for some fun before throwing together some dinner (our friend Cynthia's sesame noodles, for anyone who's interested).


Man. It's been a rough day. Time to relax.

The Summer of Tim continues...

The Summer of Tim: Day 7

DAY 7 - June 7 - Waffles, cheap CDs, and coloring book Mr. T

A late start this morning meant a late breakfast. That didn't stop us from firing up the waffle iron though. It's weird. I don't care for pancakes but I love waffles. And now you know that.


The weather here has been absolutely wonderful for the past week or so -- sunny skies and highs in the 70s. After a good chunk of the morning spent in the yard taking care of important things like building a small castle out of extra bricks and discovering the world's tiniest slug under a rock, I was off to Goodwill. Hadn't been there in a while and was feeling the need to look at the same junk I always see when I'm there. I always hear stories about people finding great things at their local Goodwill -- but not at mine. Unless you're looking for clothes or Disney movies on VHS, you're pretty much out of luck.

Today though, a bin had been filled with CDs, VHS tapes, and books with a sign on the side declaring an all out clearance -- fifty cents each. With such a cheap price tag, I grabbed a few CDs that I'd probably never pay full price for, but for fifty cents...why not?

Yeah. That's a TLC album. Shut up.

When we recently celebrated my brother's birthday at the Schlafly Tap Room in St. Louis, a friend of ours was very clear about the distinct taste of Schlafly's Flanders Red. Although some may question his taste comparison, I felt like I needed some answers directly from the source.

No response yet other than Schlafly now follows me on Twitter. Stay tuned.

It also happens to be flea market weekend at the market I visit most often. The girls had plans with my wife so the dudes took off for the flea market where I didn't find much, but at least what I found was fun.


I'm quite certain that there is not much in this world more awesome than coloring book Mr. T.

The Summer of Tim continues...

The Summer of Tim: Day 6

DAY 6 - June 6 - A Mister Rogers remix, a broken NES, and a cold bottle of racism

Returning from a bike ride through the neighborhood with my little guy this morning, I was thrilled to find that John D. Boswell had done it again. You may remember a year ago at this time when Mister Rogers was autotuned into the remixed Garden of Your Mind. Back at it again, John D. Boswell has put together another gem for PBS Digital Studios -- Sing Together.

There's a little more about Boswell and his remixes on my out-of-control hobby site, The Neighborhood Archive.

While the girls served me a pretend meal in the basement, I decided to fire up the Nintendo for a bit. The Nintendo had other ideas as it chose today to seemingly crap out on me. The pin connector inside the system was replaced a few years back but I'm hopeful that another replacement will fix the problem. Any NES experts have any ideas? I'd love a simple, cheap, and quick fix if possible.


The kiddos nap time allowed me to head to a nearby antique shop that I stop by once every few months just to snoop around. It's not your typical antique store where everything is pristine and polished -- that's why I like it.

Some of the sights...

A shelf full of sock monkeys and some overpriced promotional glasses.


An E.T. party hat and a Dallas puzzle.


Some Scuff Kote polish (I liked the artwork...reminded me a little of the old Dennis the Menace cups from Dairy Queen) and a Muppet Babies lunch box.


An A-Team lunch box and a Bionic Woman thermos.


A giant homemade beer drinking cup and a shelf packed with bottles...


...including Pleasure Time and a bottle full of racism.


I was tempted to buy this picture of the "happy Christians" (couldn't find a picture of the angry Christians) but decided to keep it simple and went home with a Tab bottle.


When I got home, I had a small package in the mailbox -- a new Track Size Neighborhood Trolley. Now I have three. My wife says I don't need three. BUT THEY'RE ALL DIFFERENT!


After a late afternoon and evening around the house, the kiddos were in bed and I was off to take in Game 1 of the NBA Finals with some friends.

With the Knicks out of contention, I guess I'm pulling for the Spurs here. Even though the Heat earned some points in my book with their awesome Harlem Shake video and I do have a man-crush on Chris Andersen, I have to respect the quiet but effective style of San Antonio.

On a side note, I visited my friend at Wake Forest in the spring of 1995 and saw Tim Duncan eating a tray full of Taco Bell. He was wearing a Cypress Hill shirt.

Yeah. I'm rooting for the Spurs.

The Summer of Tim continues...