Man, look at that grey! When did I get old?!
With the kids gone to a birthday party in the afternoon, I was able to use that time to take care of some Mister Rogers business for the Neighborhood Archive site. One component of this "hobby that's gotten way out of hand" (as my wife once put it) has been tracking down individuals who appeared on the Neighborhood program and talking with them about their experience. The most recent of these folks was Bob Brown -- an extremely talented puppeteer whose career of entertaining children has spanned over five decades. You might recall that I received a signed picture from Mr. Brown in the mail just a few days ago.
I connected with Mr. Brown through my computer in order to record the conversation and he and I spoke for roughly an hour -- a wonderfully enjoyable and lighthearted conversation full of terrific stories.
One particular story he shared was about a gentleman who had called to schedule a show and was complaining to Mr. Brown's wife, Judy, about the cost of the performance. He said to her something along the lines of "my brother is a brain surgeon and doesn't get paid that much by the hour!" Quickly, Mrs. Brown replied, "Well, that's exactly why we got out of brain surgery and pursued a career in puppetry!"
The biggest news of the day came from my basement. Anyone familiar with the NES game Contra knows the "secret" UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT-B-A-START code that gives you 30 lives instead of the normal amount of three. Over the years, I've played and beat this game with ease but have always done so by moving recklessly through each level knowing I was essentially invincible. I've always assumed it's next to impossible to beat Contra using only the regular allotment of lives. This has been something that I've never attempted and even mocked in public forums.
Over 25 years after the first time I played Contra, I decided it was time to play it like a big boy. No code. Three lives plus whatever extras I earned throughout the game.
Twenty minutes and six lives later (I earned a handful of extras throughout the game), I was done.
Eat it, Contra. No code.
Let's just go ahead and call this the greatest success story of the summer.
Once the kids were in bed, Amy and I wound down the evening with a few episodes of Friday Night Lights -- the show we've been binge watching on Netflix over the past several weeks. Unfortunately, I'm losing interest in this show very quickly. What started out as a show about football has evolved over the three seasons we've watched so far into nothing more than a mediocre teen drama.
I'd much rather have been watching Beat Street. It was released on this day 31 years ago. So to make me feel better, here's this.
The Summer of Tim continues...