About that time a drove a Trojan horse across the country…

4 07 2012

This seemed like a fitting day to post the account of my recent cross-country horse-towing sprint. For America.

You can see the related gallery (and original post) here, but it’s reproduced here in all its lengthy glory down below:

There are as many ways to receive the Sacrament of the Open Road as there are roadside tourist traps. Some choose to make meticulous road-trip plans revolving around specific destinations. Others crisscross the country on a Kerouacian voyage of self-discovery until the allure of the road begins to fade.

Sometimes, however, the opportunity to hit the highway arrives spontaneously, leaving you no time to prepare. You must ditch reason, abandon any attempt at proper planning, fly out to California and then spend two days trailering a giant, wooden Trojan horse to Detroit.

I should know, because that’s exactly what I did a few weeks ago. It all started with a Thursday afternoon text message from my buddy Kolin:

“Wanna go to california and then drive back a mr perks size animal across the country?” he wrote.

A bit of background: Mr. Perks is a giant fiberglass pig that Kolin and I drove around southeastern Michigan for a state senate campaign a few summers ago.

I soon learned that the “mr perks size animal” in California was a massive Trojan horse. Apparently once you break into the giant-novelty-animal transportation business, it’s hard to break out.

Kolin didn’t know why the horse was in California or who, exactly, needed it in Michigan—or when it needed to arrive, for that matter. A former boss passed the job on to him, but little else about the assignment was clear. Faced with a lack of details, I told him I’d have to think about it.

Minutes later I came to my senses. When you get the chance to road-trip a giant wooden horse cross-country, you don’t say no. Read the rest of this entry »


Down at the Mid-Ohio

28 06 2012

Last weekend, I headed down to Lexington, Ohio for the Vintage Grand Prix at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. I beat the heat and had a great time.

Cars on the paddock between races

Anyway, I got three posts out of it, all of which include some pretty nifty pictures. Check them out and enjoy!

Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, Day 1: Ready to race

Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, Day 2: British invasion

Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, Day 3: Weekend wrap-up

This event really deserves a lot more publicity and promotion. I’ll be sure to share the details of the 2013 event when they become available.


By this time tomorrow, I’ll be on my way to California

2 06 2012

…with my friend Kolin. To pick up a giant Trojan Horse and tow it back to Western Michigan. Non-stop.

Yeah. That’s about as much as I know as well.

A gift from the gods, maybe

What could go wrong?

Freighterspotting at the Boatnerd HQ

30 05 2012

You probably didn’t know boatnerd.com existed, let alone that it had a World Headquarters, but it is very much a real thing. Its real-world HQ is right on the St. Clair River in Port Huron – a prime location for freighter-watching (freighterspotting?).

It also happens to be a prime day trip opportunity for anyone in the Detroit Metro area. I decided to head up on my motorcycle May 14, the day before I surrendered to adulthood and started working the 9-to-5 (the main reason I haven’t been posting at all lately).

I had spent the previous night in East China Township, so I was well-positioned for a quick jaunt to Port Huron. The weather was great, and the ride was just long enough to clear up the last vestiges of my hangover. Perfect.

The boatnerd.com HQ in all its glory

You’d think dedicated freighter-watching would appeal to a pretty small subset of the population. If it does, they all must be in Port Huron, because the Great Lakes Maritime Center was busy – and there weren’t any freighters due to pass by for over an hour. People were playing dominoes, knitting, and having business meetings/lunches; the GLMC, as it is known to insiders, must be a hotspot for Port Huron’s movers and shakers and bored senior citizens. Read the rest of this entry »

Why can’t we have nice things?

25 02 2012

I never really got why American tourists abroad were always accused of passing up local fare in favor of McDonald’s. Sure, it could be nothing more than a stereotype. Then again, those snobby Europeans might be right–we’re far too attached to what we’re familiar with to try new and exciting things.

But maybe…just maybe…we can’t resist the temptation of the McBaguette.


This tasty bit of cultural bastardization is, in fact, a burger–

a burger made from France’s famed Charolais beef. McDonald’s said the burger will be topped with French-made Emmental cheese and mustard. It will replace the chain’s current special offer here: three limited-edition burgers featuring locally produced cheeses.

Wow. And we red-blooded Americans had to fight tooth and nail to bring back the McRib. It doesn’t stop at the McBaguette, either: Read the rest of this entry »

Under surveillance? Eh, maybe

3 01 2012

Looks like we can now add “missing spaces” to the pantheon of poor punctuation and typesetting, which already includes favorites like the “unnecessary quotation marks” and the notorious “awkwardly misplaced apostrophe.” From a rest stop on I-94:

Then again, maybe not

I can only assume that whatever security company manages this operation said it would watch the monitors, but seemed a bit ambivalent about it.

That, or this is sign is a concession to our over-litigated and heavily-bureaucratized present–Don’t try anything funny at this rest stop. We’re required to tell you that you’re under surveillance. Maybe.

I’m probably the only one who finds this amusing, but that’s perfectly okay with me. Doesn’t take much to make my day.

Motorcycle Mania: Barber Vintage Motorsports Musuem

10 08 2011

I’ve been trying to talk myself out of my desire to own a motorcycle for years. They’re unacceptably dangerous, I tell myself–and completely useless during Michigan’s endless winters. Besides, I’m the last person who needs another form of motorized distraction. So as seductive as the idea of buying and building up a cheap mid-seventies Honda is, I’d been able to shelve my bike lust to focus on matters that I’ve been told are important. Like college.

More and more, though, I've begun to realize that this guy had his priorities straight

That’s why, in retrospect, visiting the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum was a terrible, terrible idea.

Read the rest of this entry »