Category: Roadside Stuff

Haaaaaay, Look at this Kickass School Bus!

Haaaaaay, Look at this Kickass School Bus!

I don’t have a unique method for finding oddball stuff. There is no special radar or a giant U-shaped magnet that draws me to it. But I do sit in front of a computer all day and I do mentally (and electronically) catalog things that interest me.

Map pins aside, I sure do stumble across a lot of neat stuff serendipitously – like this hay bale school bus in eastern Pennsylvania. Could it just be that I’m tuned in to seeing things that other people might ignore? Perhaps. Maybe it’s simply that when I’m riding my motorcycle I am hyperaware.

And really, stuff like this is just dying to be seen:

hay bale school bus

Awesome, right?!

hay bale school bus

 

A Surprise Roadside Animal Menagerie in Pennsylvania

A Surprise Roadside Animal Menagerie in Pennsylvania

While I was on my way to see the Snoopy barn in Nazareth, Pa. I happened to pass by this house with a great menagerie of critters in the front yard.

If I had just one of these animals, I’d be happy. But to have them all? Man. Sadly I can’t remember exactly where this place is. The only thing I know for sure is that I was between Belvidere, New Jersey and Nazareth, Pa.

I love the look on this guys face. It’s like he fell asleep on the train and woke up here and has no idea what’s going on.

Just look at this collection. That crazy bear who’s all hell yeah! about his fish? I mean, c’mon!

Can you imagine the conversation about the buffalo on the far left? “No, babe, let’s turn him around so everyone can see his balls!” I could absolutely imagine dying of laughter in the front yard while directing Kenny to turn Buff around. The people who live here are probably just the right amount of weird.

Relationship Goals:

 

Roadside Snapshots: Take Two Cows and Call Me in the Morning

Roadside Snapshots: Take Two Cows and Call Me in the Morning

Along with dinosaurs and my favorite, the Giant Chicken Army, cows have to be one of the most abundant roadside animal statues.

I saw two more big ladies of note while road tripping in September, both in Pennsylvania.

The well-loved big cow of Wilkes-Barre. She’s just up the road from the dilapidated big coffee mug.

This big mama stands outside of the Turkey Hill Experience.

A fine roadside specimen. Plus, there is gas and ice cream right there. But I suppose if you’re lactose intolerant, those two things may always be together. ::ba-dum-dum-tsss:: Try the veal! Ooooh, awkwaaaaard…

Pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before but, why, why, why do they have to make those milkbags so veiny?! GROSS!

Apparently I Have A Giant Lobster Antenna

Apparently I Have A Giant Lobster Antenna

While puttering around the house on this rainy morning, the notion of posting some of the photos from my most recent road trip flittered in and out of my thoughts. That idea was swirled between the need to do laundry, buy dog food and have another cup of coffee.

Needing to buy dog food. Now, there is an unquestionable purpose and benefit. The dog has to eat and you have to feed it. The result is a happy dog and a happy person. The same can’t be said about sharing the dumb stuff I take pictures of while I’m out riding my motorcycle. There isn’t a direct need nor benefit.

What’s this thing, this compulsion to document and share? What purpose does taking a picture of a giant lobster and then showing you serve? None, really. And yet, it’s like an automatic behavior. At least the picture snapping part, as evidenced by the thousands of oddball photos on my iPhone.

This morning, I read an article in The Economist’s 1843 magazine: Japan’s pioneering street photographer about Daidō Moriyama. This quote, in particular, stayed with me:

He still prowls cities at the age of 79, although he now prefers to use a compact digital camera, snapping unobtrusively from waist-level. “We perceive countless images all day long and do not always focus on them,” he says.

It got me thinking about all of the things I like to take photos of – the whimsical, the artful, the goofball, the nostalgic and fading moments of our continuously hardening society. When people say to me, “you find the craziest things,” with regard to the 5-foot lobsters of life, it seems strange to me. Those things are right there all the time! Why don’t some people see them?

I suppose that while some of us are focused on buying dog food, our antennas just don’t pick up on those other signals. “We perceive countless images all day long and do not always focus on them.”

Maybe my riding and photo-snapping is a gentle reminder to myself to try to remember to see. See the things that make me smile, make me laugh, that keep youthful feelings in my heart.

A Great Big Cup O’ Coffee in Wilkes-Barre

A Great Big Cup O’ Coffee in Wilkes-Barre

This big coffee mug sits vacant in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Spring street. A wonderful dream – unrealized.

Are we all standing at the edge of greatness? Is it always there waiting for us to take a leap of faith and grab hold of it?

Happiness – is there anything greater than that? At times, it can seem like a moving target. But, when I stop and think about the core elements of what brings it to me, there are some simple truths. It is only after I start meddling by over-thinking, turning knobs and flipping switches that things get complicated. That’s when peripheral garbage distracts me from what is at the center of things.

The relaxed part of the mind knows the way. If only I would listen to it.

Perhaps I should switch to decaf.

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