Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My Wife, Centerfold Model

Glenna's centerfold spread
Closeup of GlennaMove over, Keith -- there's another model in the family!

This full page spread appeared in the AM Magazine section of the Allentown Morning Call newspaper on Friday, October 27, 2006. The cover story is a fashion article about finding jeans that fit, and Glenna is the model in the center of the page! Jill Strickland, owner of Frox, the store in Perkasie where Glenna buys most of her clothes, is featured in the story, and had asked Glenna a few weeks ago to pose for the story, along with several other of her customers. She looks great, don't you think?!!

Click on the photos for a larger view.

Dodge Nitro

Dave's 2007 Dodge NitroHere's a quick photo of Dave's new 2007 Dodge Nitro, sitting in our driveway. I haven't had a chance to take a ride in it yet, but it really looks sharp.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Band competition at the Georgia DomeI'm headed home tonight from my Georgia trip -- four coaches, two trucks and a trailer, and, of course, a band ... and they are winners! There were 43 bands competing in the super-regional competition we took them to at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA, and they were competing at a higher level than they'd ever competed before. Their hope was to make the finals -- 12 our of the 43 bands would make the finals and have a second performance for the final awards. They made it! And they finished 11th overall in the finals competition. The kids were absolutely thrilled to have done so well. The competition was almost unbelievable -- I wouldn't have believed I was watching high school bands if I hadn't been so involved myself. Their movements on the field, the quality and difficulty of the music they played, and the lengths they went to with props and set design on the football field was unlike anything I've ever seen -- all for fifteen minutes of fame! In fifteen minutes, they had to move the band and all their equipment onto the field, play their program, and then have everything off the field for the next band to begin their fifteen minutes. Amazing. The photo above is of the band I drove, performing in the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

We left the Atlanta area at 6 AM this morning. I drove almost ten hours to Winchester, VA, where my relief driver took over and will take the group the rest of the way home tonight yet. I'm spending the night here, then taking a van back home in the morning. I'm off the next two days, then have day trips every day this weekend -- Friday through Sunday.

Band Practice in Atlanta, GA

The band practicing inside the hangarProblem: You've got a high school band -- about 140 members strong -- taking part in a major regional band competition, and they need to do some final rehearsing before the big show. You need a football field. But it's raining, and the competition begins tonight! What to do?!!

Solution: Fortunately you have a good friend with connections to top brass at the local Naval Air Station -- in this case, Dobbins Naval Air Station in Marietta, GA, just north of Atlanta. With a phone call, they agree to move a jet out of a large hangar on the base, and allow four motorcoaches and two trucks, one pulling a trailer, onto the base, drive onto the skirt of the runway and park right in front of the now empty hangar. Problem solved!

Believe it or not, that's about exactly what happened Thursday when the high school band I drove to Georgia needed a last minute place to practice in the rain. Previous contingency plans called for practice in a local high school gymnasium in case of bad weather, but that would have severely limited their practice -- it's a large band, with very complex movements across a 100 yard football field, most of which they'd have been unable to practice effectively in a gymnasium. So one of the parents of a band member, who's husband is in the Navy Reserves, made a couple of phone calls, and the photos here are the evidence of the results!

Coaches parked in front of the hanger at Dobbins Naval Air Station

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Wheels for Dave

Dave got his new wheels yesterday, and this time they're brand new: a 2007 Dodge Nitro. It's a very sharp looking small SUV, a new model. I haven't seen it yet, unfortunately, as I'm in Georgia on my 8-day trip with the band from North Penn High School in a large competition here. But Glenna said it's beautiful, and Dave sounds extremely happy with it. About all I know is that it is black. I'll post a photo of it when I get back from this trip.

There are three other coaches here in Georgia with me (photo above; I'm driving #66, third from the left). We're staying at a Drury Inn in Marietta, GA, just north of Atlanta. The hotel is quite nice. We took the band to a football field in a public park today to practice; tomorrow they're practicing at a local military base -- don't have too many details yet, but I'll find out in the morning. Then Saturday is the competition in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Sunday they do some sightseeing, and Monday we head for home. I won't be home until sometime Tuesday.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jon!

Today is Jon's 30th birthday ... hard to believe he's reached that 3 decade mark already! Glenna and I called him tonight, and unfortunately he's sick with a bad cold and was in bed already when we called. Jon, hope you're feeling better soon!

I spent much of the day working on re-creating my EightWheels.com site. I liked the basic layout and what was included there, but I didn't like the appearance, so I started from scratch -- mostly the same information, but reorganized slightly and really spiffed up with an all new look. I'm very pleased with the outcome this time; check it out when you get a chance:


The roofer showed up unexpectly today (we were expecting him next weekend) to replace the roof on our garage, and by late afternoon he had completed it. There were enough shingles left over to do the small roof over the steps by the back door, so he'll do that tomorrow yet, and then we're all set for the winter -- we have to be, as that's all we can afford to do for now. I'm hoping we can do the roof on the rest of the house next year.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Beautiful Day in Washington, DC

The Washington MonumentI had a really nice trip yesterday to Washington, DC. The weather was perfect, and I had a full bus, always nice for a Hagey Tour. The day went very smoothly, I had a wonderful group of passengers, and we ran on time or ahead of schedule all day. I parked near the fish market in the afternoon and had fried shrimp for lunch; dinner was with the group at Union Station. I put a few photos in a "Washington, DC" gallery on my photo page in addition to the one shown here of the Washington Monument.

Earlier trips this week were nice, too. I took a group of mostly ladies (Questors) to Harrisburg on Wednesday, and learned more about Harrisburg than in all my previous trips put together, I think, thanks to a great step-on guide. Thursday was a long day in Gettysburg; I was lead driver of nine coaches -- four from our company, and five from another (we didn't have enough available). Two of the other company's drivers overslept and were 45 minutes late, so the day got off to a rocky start, but the rest of it went okay. Friday I did a tour of the historic area of Philadelphia for a group of Korean Veterans visiting here from all over the US, concluding with a visit and ceremony at the Philadelphia Korean Veterans Memorial, which I've driven past many times but hadn't ever really looked at it before -- one of the most beautiful memorials I've seen! There are photos from each of these trips in the Photo Gallery.

I have two days off in a row -- pretty unusual for this time of the year, but it's partly because of my upcoming eight-day trip to Atlanta on Tuesday. So I'm trying to get caught up on everything at home before I leave.

We got a new roof installed on our front porch yesterday, so once again we can sit on the porch when it's raining and not get wet! The old slate roof was in pretty bad shape, long overdue for replacement. We're also getting the roof replaced on the garage this week, and then Glenna plans to begin painting the exterior walls. Not sure if that will get done before the winter, but at least the roof will be in good shape for the coming snow. I've heard the Farmer's Almanac is calling for more snow than usual this winter; get your shovels ready.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Week of Shows

This past week was a busy week for me -- but an interesting one, too. I attended four shows on my various trips: one local play at Bucks County Playhouse, where "La Cage aux Folles" was playing; and one variety show put on by Joey Vincent at Ehrhardts Waterfront Resort in the Poconos (both were senior citizen groups). Then on Saturday and Sunday I saw Broadway shows in New York CIty on Hagey Tours: "Spamalot," and "A Chorus Line." I enjoyed all of them, but none made my top five list.

Today was my only day off this week until Sunday. I've been spending lots of time the last few days either taking photos or uploading them to my new photo site; as of this moment, I've uploaded over 400 photos in more than a dozen galleries. Stop by and take a look when you have some time.

Tomorrow I'll be in Harrisburg; Thursday is Gettysburg; Friday, Philadelphia; and Saturday I have a Hagey Tour to Washington, DC. Next Tuesday I leave on an eight day trip to Atlanta, Georgia with a local high school band (and three other coaches in addition to mine). That should be a fun trip.

Friday, October 13, 2006

New Photo Site

One of the projects I've been working on the last few days (at the expense of updates here) is a new site to share my photographs with family, friends, and passengers, more easily and with less of an investment of time and energy. I've been taking more photos than ever, it seems, but had no easy way to share them with others -- until now!

I've set up a photo sharing site at an online photo sharing site called Zenfolio. The actual address is eightwheels.zenfolio.com, but you can also reach it at photos.ninthwheel.com, which might be easier for you to remember. Plus there is a link to it in the links sidebar of this blog.

So far I've uploaded over 100 photos, with more to be uploaded on almost a daily basis as I have time and new photos to add. In addition to sharing photos with family and friends, I expect to use it to refer passengers who often see me taking photos but never get to see the results. So I'll be adding lots of photos from my various trips around the country.

I'm really impressed with Zenfolio so far. I did quite a bit of research of both free and paid photo sharing sites before making a final decision. Zenfolio isn't free, but it isn't too expensive, either -- $25/year -- less $5.00 if you have a referral code. If you're inspired to set up a Zenfolio account, use this referral code to save us each $5.00 -- QQN-VEK-W9V. Of course, there's no cost to view the photos I've uploaded there, nor do you have to register, view ads, or anything else to see the photos. Just go look at them, and read the comments that go with many of the photos.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Week in Review

The Patriot It's hard to believe tomorrow is Friday already ... this week flew by. I'm working six out of seven days this week -- Tuesday was my only day off.

Monday night was the Eagles football game in Philadelphia, and I drove for my usual group, the same ones I've been driving for the last three seasons. The Eagles beat the Packers, 31-9 -- yeah! I watched the game on my 5-inch "widescreen" TV in the bus.

Wednesday I did a Hagey Tour to St. Michaels, MD. The group took an hour boat ride on the bay aboard the Patriot, shown in the photo above. I didn't go along this time, as I've done it before, and wanted to take pictures from the shore instead. Following the boat ride, we had lunch at the Crab Claw, a wonderful restaurant right on the waterfront in St. Michaels. I had Crab Imperial and it was delicious.

Today I had a trip to Atlantic City, NJ, to the Resorts Casino. Of all the places I've gone since I've been driving motorcoach, Atlantic City is probably my least favorite place to go. I don't like the atmosphere there, either of the city itself, or of the Atlantic City Transportation Center, which is the only place I'm allowed to park. I passed the afternoon by doing some work online from the coach, and taking the self-portrait shown below. At least the trip went very smoothly.

Tomorrow I take a school group to the Renaissance Faire in Cornwall, PA. We will have at least five coaches there, so I'll get to socialize with some of the other drivers for a change. Saturday I go to Liberty State Park (Statue of Liberty) with another school group. Then Sunday I finish the work week with another Eagles game! They play some team from Texas, I think -- should be no problem. Go Eagles!


Bob sitting behind the Ninth Wheel While I was sitting in Atlantic City today I updated my portrait for use here (and I'll probably use it on EightWheels.com, too). The lighting was just right outside, the background okay, and I was driving my favorite coach (Coach 69, our newest), plus I had my tripod along today, which I don't always carry with me. Click for a larger view.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Today was one of the first Sundays I've had off work in a couple of months (except for one we went to visit Dad a couple of weeks ago). It was good to be in church for a change this morning. Glenna and I went to Zenjava for brunch afterward -- the food was really good, along with great coffee. Zenjava is the new coffee shop that opened just a few doors down the street from us on Walnut Street in Perkasie. I'm going to be doing some photography for them on Tuesday, and did a test shot this afternoon -- one of the photos above is a favorite of mine, showing Nikki (sp?), one of the owners, behind the coffee bar in the restaurant. They have done a terrific job fixing up the building inside and out, and besides coffee of all kinds, are now offering sandwiches and other baked goods during the week. Highly recommended!

Fall Fest

Making Apple Cider Today was Perkasie's Fall Fest at Menlo Park. It was a beautiful fall day, and the park was crowded -- an excellent turnout. One of my friends and an active member of the Perkasie Historical Society, Ken Barndt, is shown in the photo above making apple cider with his old cider press.

Libby and Jeff I also ran into this handsome couple at the Fall Fest! Jeff and Libby posed for the photo at the right just before I left the park this afternoon.

As I was parking the car down the block from the Fall Fest, I heard a loud "pop" toward the back of my car, and when I got out discovered my left rear tire was flat. I'm not sure if I ran over something or what caused it -- couldn't find anything sticking in the tire or on the road that I might have run over. I was only a block away from the garage where I have repairs done, so I slowly drove it there planning to have them repair it in the morning. My trip tomorrow isn't until late afternoon (Eagles game), so I figured that would work. Then this evening I remembered I have to be at Hagey's at 8 AM for a drivers' group photo. So Dave "volunteered" to help me change it tonight. I'll take the spare to the garage in the morning after the photo session at work.