The Fellini Road Trip …

Lara and I drove up to Pennsyltucky for Joannie’s annual pickin’ party. The trip up was almost as much fun as the destination. Along the way, we saw …

— A truck in East Tennessee with a “Bland Ministries” logo on the site. Nuff said.

— A one-legged man hopping around beside broken-down bus

— A dreaded Rastafarian and his woman fixing a car on the side of the road while Hank Hill was pulling his pickup truck over to lend a hand.

— A plane crash in Maryland (well, we didn’t actually see it crash; a Cessna-type plane apparently crashed on takeoff, and we drove by shortly after it happend).

— A sign at the beginning of a Pennsylvania construction site that read: “Slow down. My Daddy Works here.” The “s” in works was a Z, and the sign was done in a child’s handwriting. (On the way back, the sign on the southbound side of the interstate said, “Slow Down, My Mommy Works Here.” Those Pennsyltuckians sure ain’t sexist.

— A semi in Tennessee with “Student Truck Driver” plastered all over the side of it. Needless to say, we gave that one plety of room.

— On ramps with long stripes in Virginia (this is a Lara note; she was pretty upset that the dotted lines on on ramps didn’t get closer together, signalling the lane was about to end. Hey, we all have our peeves.)

— The Great Wall of Bristol. In the five years or so that I’ve been going up I-81, the fine city of Bristol has been hard at work building a massive wall along the interstate. I assume it’s to reduce noise. I hope it’s effective. It’s gummed up traffic for a long time.

— Our soundtrack during the drive:

10,000 Maniacs, In My Tribe

The Be Good Tanyas, Blue Horse

Dave Alvin, Public Domain

Whiskeytown, Faithless Street

Son Volt, Trace


But wait! There’s more!

NPR had a great feature this a.m. on Ron Popeil, the infamous TV pitchman. Great spots from those bizarre commercials (including the Veg-O-Matic). My all time favorite had to be spray on hair. I also was amazed to realize the Popeil went bankrupt after getting rich, and returned to county fairs and small venues selling his products to amass another fortune. You have to give the guy credit. The NPR site includes some cool video and other materials, including a shot of Dan Aykroyd running a bass through the Bass-O-Matic. Way cool. And refreshing, too.

If NPR has pulled this down by the time you read this, you can always order the book, “But Wait! There’s More!


Kinky soccer …

This one is pretty bizarre. I didn’t realize soccer could get so kinky. It’s a game that I never really understood, until the 1994 World Cup. I was still in Albuquerque and watched several of the matches with a soccer fanatic I knew. It helped to have him explain basic strategy. When I started looking at it as a slower, more thoughtful version of hockey, I finally got it. I still don’t go out of my way to watch it, but the highlight reels are pretty cool. Wonder if the photo from the link above will make those reels …