After a summer full of daily posts here on FASTE, a short hiatus was a no-brainer. But here we go again.

Refreshed and ready to continue archiving the insignificant.

Sparing you the details of work stress and my kids' rec league soccer seasons, here's a quick rundown of the past few weeks.

. . .

There is a beautiful human being somewhere on this planet of ours who has been uploading all of the Kid N Play cartoon episodes to YouTube.

At a time when we're facing daily violence in the news and we're a handful of weeks away from choosing between two semi-polished turds to lead our country, this reminds me that it's still a beautiful world.

. . .

At the end of the summer, I read Ruthless -- a book by Jerry Heller who was best known as the manager of N.W.A. and co-founder or Ruthless Records.

A few weeks after I finished the book, Jerry Heller died.

If you've ever written a book, I suggest you do everything in your power to prevent me from reading it.

. . .

Back in the spring of 2013, I contributed to a Kickstarter campaign backing a film documenting Graffiti Rock -- a one-episode hip-hop dance show from 1984.

Over three years later, there have been no updates from producer (and original Graffiti Rock host) Michael Holman and (obviously) a final product has yet to be produced.

Recently, a message was finally posted by Mr. Holman stating that shipping would begin within two weeks.

That was three weeks ago.

Hope you're enjoying my 25 bucks, Mr. Holman.

. . .

NIL8, a long-time Illinois-based punk band and one of my all-time favorites, has a few dates scheduled for October, as usual. Hobgoblinspookadelic, you know.

The buzzing rumor mill is suggesting that Eric and Lance (former guitarist and drummer from back in the day when I first listened to NIL8 in college) will be on stage for these dates.

I wonder if I could grow my mid-90s hair back between now and late October.

. . .

The Cubs are good, everybody. Really good. And I'm not quite sure how to handle this.

And just to be clear, I proclaimed my fandom prior to the season so despite the opinions of some self-righteous sports fans, I'm okay to cheer for the Cubs in the playoffs this fall.

Seriously though, I've been a Cubs fan since I was a kid. Have I ever talked about that here?

I like to think I've been a little anti-establishment since a young age. In 1982, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. Kool & the Gang's Celebration played ad nauseam. With St. Louis being the closest baseball city to my hometown, everyone was Cardinals-crazy.

Everyone but me. I wanted to be different.

I didn't just want to be different, I wanted to be the opposite of everyone around me.

So in the fall of 1982 -- at the age of six -- I became a fan of the Chicago Cubs.

. . .

When I was in college, a friend of mine put together a homespun soundtrack to Ferris Bueller's Day Off (thanks, Napster). You see, as surprising is it may seem, there has never been an officially released FBDO soundtrack ... until now.

La-La Land Records did it. Finally. A real, honest to God, Ferris Bueller soundtrack.

Despite what I may have already owned compliments of my friend's bootleg, the official version is clean, crisp, and complete with the film score and some fantastically detailed liner notes.

Now I just need to figure out a way to play Track 31 -- Celebrated Minuet -- every time I step into my bathroom.

. . .

Hey, gang. The League is back!

You may recall the many posts here on FASTE that were based on topics from an open group known as the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. Well, Brian over at Cool and Collected has resurrected the League (under a slightly different name) and I couldn't be more excited! I haven't had a chance to chime in on any of the topics yet, but I've loved reading the posts of those who have.

If you're interested in general pop culture nerdery, I highly recommend checking out the League posts. Your best bet is to start out with the topic posts at Cool and Collected or keep an eye on Twitter.

. . .

I may have taken a break from this site over the past few weeks, but I've certainly kept up with my need to dig up random junk from thrift stores and online outlets. I could bore you with the titles of the random items I've picked up for a quarter here and fifty cents there, but let's just take a quick look at the highlights.

The Baseball Bunch was one of my childhood favorites -- a show hosted by Hall-of-Famer Johnny Bench which included many of my childhood heroes like Pete Rose, Ozzie Smith, and Gary Carter. I finally pulled the trigger on a bargain-priced copy of the Baseball Bunch Fun Book but a few weeks later the rain turned to a downpour. A few years ago, I had copies of the three Kool-Aid-sponsored Baseball Bunch VHS tapes. For whatever reason, I recorded them to a digital format and sold them off for profit -- something I've kind of regretted ever since.

Typically priced at 15-20 bucks per tape, the stars aligned recently and I was able to pick up all three tapes (in separate purchases) within one week for a total less than I'd pay for just one of the three titles.

Along similar lines, back in college I sold off some of my childhood stuff thinking that I needed money for beer, pizza, and concert tickets more than I wanted to hang on to my memories. Again, actions I've regretted. One such example of items I sold was my collection of Marvel Secret Wars figures and accessories...

...including the Tower of Doom...

...which I recently reacquired. (Rock, Hulk, and Velma not included)

Remember Fun House? It was a Saturday morning game show for kids that was a pretty elaborate rip-off of Double Dare.

After being a part of a conversation about Fun House on The Nerd Lunch Podcast quite some time ago, the topic came up again on Twitter recently which led to a mention of the NES version of the game.

A Buy-It-Now and one week know.

I have no self-control.

Speaking of which, I bought this LP recently, too.

Truth told, I bought this for two reasons: 1.) I watched Slim Goodbody shows as a kid and have one of his other LPs. It was for a good price, so why not? 2.) My buddy Elvis looked like Slim Goodbody when he was younger and I think that's amazing.

And last but not least. The big one.

Having spent the past several years researching and documenting the life and career of Fred Rogers through, there are a few pieces of Mister Rogers memorabilia that have come to be my "Neighborhood holy grails." Once such item has been the mid-80s Mister Rogers' Neighborhood record player. I've seen it twice -- one owned by David Newell (aka Mr. McFeely) which was shown on the Speedy Delivery documentary and the other in possession of the Fred Rogers Company.

I had resigned myself to the fact that I'd never come up with one of these for my own collection. But then there it was.

Sparing you the details, another holy grail in now in hand.

Day 80: Farewell to the Summer of Tim

In late May, I knew this day would come.

Day 80.

The final day in the Summer of Tim.

Looking back over the last eighty days, I'm completely blown away by what a great summer this has been! From visiting the bowels of Wrigley Field to meeting a favorite band. From a Michigan vacation to reconnecting with old family and friends. From swimming and weddings to yard work and turning 40.

It's been absolutely wonderful and I'd be lying if I said I was ready to see it end.

Tonight I'll set my alarm. Tomorrow I'll wear socks.

But for now, to those of you who have checked in here a few times over the summer, it's been a pleasure sharing these eighty days with you!

Farewell to the Summer of Tim.

Day 79: Milwaukee Wedding

Amy decided to spend part of the afternoon resting up for the wedding so I set out to explore downtown Milwaukee a bit on my own. Looking back at the pictures on my phone, here are the highlights of my afternoon:

1. A blue building. Not sure what the building is, but it was blue. It was reflecting the sky. The sky is also blue. That made the building really blue.

2. A huge used book store where a dead cat was on a chair. He might have been sleeping.

. . .

The wedding was fantastic -- a formal affair giving Amy and I the chance to dress up fancy and play grown-up.

Watching my wife's uncle walk his only daughter down the aisle, I learned something about myself...

I'm going to cry like a baby when it comes time for me to do that with my own daughters.

Day 78: Milwaukee

Have you ever wondered where happy is made? Happy is made in places like this.

. . .

We arrived in Milwaukee today for Amy's cousin's wedding and a kid-free weekend. Having never been to Milwaukee before, I had a few preconceived notions about the city which included all things beer, all things cheese, and all things sausage.

Based on the gift bag waiting for us at the hotel desk, I wasn't far off.

We had places to be, but after almost four hours in the car, a cold beer sounded pretty good. It was time to put my college education to good use.
Warm can of beer + sink full of ice + spinning the can for 90 seconds = cold beer.
As I spun the cans in the sink, Amy seemed skeptical.

Amy is no longer a skeptic.

. . .

Sharing the ride north with my brother-in-law and his wife, our first stop in Milwaukee was the Lakefront Brewery tour which had come highly recommended. Ten bucks or so covered the cost of the tour, four ten ounce pours, and a pint glass at the end. If you're ever in Milwaukee, count me among those who recommend this tour.

That said, I was a little annoyed with the clearly scripted humor of the tour guide and the belly laughs that came from the crowd of seemingly-first-time-beer-drinkers as a result of his inauthentic punch lines. I swore that if he had us repeat the word "adobe" I was going to ask where the basement was and make a break for the nearest red bicycle.

Wow. That's a lot of obscure Pee-Wee's Big Adventure references wrapped into one sentence.

. . .

Dinner was at a place called Stubby's which came at the suggestion of a guy from the brewery. It was okay, I suppose, but I got the feeling that it was not much more than a glorified Applebee's -- just with more beer options.

Additionally questionable, Stubby's website currently redirects to a "Best Online Casinos" page.


I went after the "Pork Bomb Sandwich" but almost went with the "Humboldt Hipster Black Bean Burger."

The Pork Bomb was pretty solid but I have to admit, I honestly would have preferred the black bean burger. I just couldn't bring myself to order anything with "hipster" in its name.

. . .

The bride and groom and several of their family and friends gathered for a drink or two at an Irish pub later in the evening. It's my understanding that the place was actually called The Irish Pub.

I chuckle.

Maybe our hotel is really called "The Place Where People Sleep."

. . .

So far, as a first time visitor to Milwaukee, here are my take-aways thus far:
  • Walking over the river, I smelled all of Milwaukee at once. Beer, meat, and sewage -- all in one breath. It was like Wrigley Field had become its own city. And it was glorious.
  • I had never used Uber before today...but now, I'm an Uber master. You're telling me I can pay somebody with a clean car five bucks to transport me safely from THE Irish Pub back to my hotel in an unfamiliar city where I've had a few drinks? Sold.
All of this was a great start to our visit to Milwaukee, but my favorite moment so far came as we walked down the sidewalk from the brewery to Stubby's. Passing by a tall man in his late 20s carrying a small paper bag, we were energetically greeted from at least twenty feet away with a hearty wave, a toothy smile, and a "HI, HOW ARE YOU DOING?!?"

I'm not sure what was in this guy's bag and I'm not sure where he was coming from, but I'm pretty sure I want to go there tomorrow.

Day 77: Family First, Right?

Family first, right?

A good friend of mine from back home is the vocalist for a pretty amazing Southern Illinois band which hasn't performed together in years. When Brian told me last spring that they were planning a show for August, I knew I wouldn't be missing it for anything!

I went to add it to my calendar only to find that there was already something there.

I suppose I should've said I wouldn't be missing it for anything...except my wife's cousin's wedding in Milwaukee.

. . .

Tonight I spent an hour being more thankful for the internet than I've been in quite some time. As the band rehearsed for Saturday's show, some wonderful human being thought to live stream it through Facebook.

The next best thing to being there, I suppose.

And after a pretty low key day, this is how I spent my evening.

Watching their rehearsal.

Twice. Once live. And then again.

I'll certainly be fully present at the wedding this weekend, but I can't say that a part of my spirit won't be with Gogatta.