Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Historical sites and so much MO

Historic Liberty Jail
Kansas City
Swim?
The Long Ride Home

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Awkward laughing


We ran across this video tonight while looking through Kate's baby pictures. In addition to the hilarious cars.com parody, it's one of Meg and Jake's favorites because it's a great example of Luke's desperate need to be in the middle of everything. His awkward chuckling as his big head edges into the shot makes this a family classic.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nuttin' but Mutton

While up in the Great North, we celebrated Magrath Days with my parents. Part of that weekend extravaganza is the tradition of 'Mutton-busting', where terrified young kids struggle to hold on to the back on an equally terrified sheep.

For whatever reason, Luke wanted to do it. After waiting for at least two hours to get him on a sheep, I promptly fumbled the camera and missed his exit out of the chute. But, at least I got the ending.

He wipes the dirt out of his mouth just like a real Cowboy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Clown Car Chronicles

Last week I traveled to the Washington DC greater metropolitan area in order to do some research. I spent most of my time reading through the state department records at the National Archives in College Park, MD. But I also found time to visit to National Mall, take in an Orioles game in Baltimore, and visit the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. As an added bonus, I spent time with my good buddy Porter, who in a former life was a member of my MTC group.

I managed to do all of this despite some one serious transportation challenge. When I showed up at the car rental counter to pick up my 'economy' car, this is what was waiting for me:


I had no idea the economy was doing so poorly. You should have seen my double-take when the guy at the rental counter informed me of the model I'd be driving. This was our conversation:

Rental guy: So, right now all we have left in 'economy' is the Fiat 500.


ME: Are you serious? Is that a real car?


Rental guy: Of course. It's very stylish and fuel efficient.


ME: So's a motorcycle. Do you rent those too?


Rental guy: Well, you can upgrade. But all we have left is a Ford Mustang for $40 more per day. Honestly, I think you'll really like the Fiat and it will cost you a lot less.


ME: Fine, I'll take it.


Rental guy: Just don't drive it on the freeway.


ME: What?

But to be honest, I didn't hate it. It looked like a clown car, but it was great on gas, had an amazing turning radius, and I could park it anywhere. If there wasn't any parking, I'd just put it in my shirt pocket and take it with me. Plus, I got invited to all the best Shriner parties.

Of course, there were safety concerns. It was half the size of any other car and wouldn't go faster than 65 mph. Whenever I was on the highway some 3/4 ton truck would bear down on me like a chase scene from Road Warrior.

And it turns out Clown cars don't have the greatest equipment. Large SUV's couldn't see me putting along, and I didn't like to use the horn because it played, 'Baby Elephant Walk.' I got into a fender-bender in Baltimore, and instead of deploying an airbag the steering column just sprayed me in the face with seltzer.

The worst part was the looks I would get. People would drive by, stare at me until I made eye contact and then give me a sarcastic thumbs up, as if to say, "Nice car, Frenchie!" I thought about getting a bumper sticker that said, "I'm just renting this car."

One night I pulled into a gas station where I parked in front of a group of surly teenagers and had the following exchange:

Surly Teen: Nice car, man. I didn't know the circus was in town.


ME: Yeah, circus. Because I drive a clown car. You're sharp.


Surly Teen: Oh, you think you're funny, huh? Well come on then...make me laugh, clown!


ME: Right, I'm the clown. Am I the one wearing big baggy pants pulled down to my knees?


(Savage beating ensues).

The whole experience taught me to re-think car size requirements for the next time I travel. In my defense, when I asked for 'economy car' I was thinking of something produced by the US economy, not Greece.

In spite of all that, I have rather fond memories of my time in the clown car and have even considered purchasing one. I think Luke would really enjoy driving it around the basement.