Along the road in Missouri:
* Fireworks Galore--Fireworks up to near sub-atomic bomb size seem to be available everywhere around here, in huge tent sales all along the road. Zak was just dying to get some fireworks so we finally stopped at something like a factory outlet that looked pretty good. Two employees were taking a smoke break outside, right in front of 2 large 'No Smoking Inside' signs, as customers walked out with arm-loads of rockets, mortars and other explosives, making me a little nervous about the whole thing. I was thinking about getting some firecrackers and maybe a few other lightweight fireworks like bottle rockets and things that don't seem too harmful if they go in the wrong direction. The kids gleefully ran into the store looking for the largest, most powerful explosives available to amateur pyros. After a few minutes of looking around, the power failed and all the lights went out. Great... hope no one even THINKS of lighting a match. Maybe there's a good reason to go to one of the outdoor tent sales instead. We finally left with a fairly serious arsenal and, of course, some very happy kids.
* Knife Country--Knife City, Knife Emporium, Knife Central and Chicago Cutlery billboards dot the country side along the highway. The eastern half of Missouri along route 44 appears to have some kind of strange infatuation with knives... not sure what that's all about, but be careful if you ever hang around there.
* The Wallgate CMEA45 Automatic Hand Washer/Dryer--"The no-move, no-touch hand washing experience". At rest stops across Missouri. Pretty slick devices. You hold out your hands, soap sprays, then water and finally, warm air blows. Like a car wash for your hands. But forget about washing your face or brushing your teeth or anything else that you normally do with a good old fashioned sink. Gotta go out back and do that with a hose and a towel, I guess. Technological achievement doesn't come without a few sacrifices.
* Billboard for Turbo chargers for Diesels. God, I wish we had a turbo! The semi's just blow by us, especially on the uphills, where this bus is slower than a giant tie-dyed banana slug. Those trucks must have 400 or 500 horsepower, with turbo-charged Diesel engines that sound like jet turbines and carry tons of cargo and machinery and whatnot up hills faster than we go down. Next time, we're gonna get a turbo.
* Photo by Barbposted by mark at July 2, 2004 09:11 AM