Category Archives: The Howl

Why I Live in a Van While Traveling

Van DwellingAn abandoned, apparently lived-in van somewhere in Kentucky. When people learn that I live in my van while traveling America, I hear one of two replies: Seriously! and Seriously? I’m always shocked that anyone could think this way of traveling is anything less than awesome. Generally, people seem intrigued that I spend a good part of my year tooling around this vast and magnificent land, but it’s the “living in a van” part that many seem aghast at. Sure my van, Purple Thunder, doesn’t have a couch or a television. It does not have a refrigerator or an oven or… Continue Reading

Bon Adieu Philadelphia!

Philadelphia's riverfront, as seen from Camden, NJ, across the Delaware River. After three years in Philadelphia, I’m moving home. My worldly possessions stuffed inside Purple Thunder. Waiting for the mail to arrive. Then I’m out. I’ll miss the city. (Parts of it.) Great restaurants, museums and architecture. And the grit. Loved the grit. Never settled in Philly. Never felt like a home. To much traffic, grime and so many people. And the heat. Never liked the heat. (It alone was a deal breaker.) So long Philly! It was never meant to be.  … Continue Reading

Top Ten Road Trip Movies

Soaring gas prices mean many are unable to take long road trips this summer. Hell, if gas goes any higher, I’ll have to hitchhike rather than drive around America. It’s hard to imagine that when I began driving gas was around a dollar a gallon. Ah, the good old days. At any rate, for those of you unable to venture far from home in the coming months, here is a list of my favorite road trip/travel flicks that may assuage the pain of spending more to travel less. The Wages of Fear Sherman’s March Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN Little Miss Continue Reading

Steve the Pig’s Crazy Adventure

Ridley Township, PA – Some stories are just plain ridiculous. On Thursday, a four-month-old Vietnamese potbellied pig named Steve managed to cut loose from his Clymer Street home, where he lived with his owner, Brian Maguire, 24, and Maguire’s girlfriend, Bernadette Broadhurst. Early Thursday morning, Maguire realized his six-pound buddy was missing. After scouring the neighborhood in this Philadelphia suburb, he called the Delaware County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who told him that police had the baby pig. To Maguire’s dismay, police had nothing but bad news. They informed Maguire that keeping farm animals as pets… Continue Reading

My 200 Day Weekend Begins

End of the RoadYesterday officially kicked off my 200 Day Weekend, being that Friday was my last day at work. Still, I woke early, brewed coffee and made French Toast and spent more than 12 hours watching a Star Trek: Next Generation marathon. The rain fell hard most of the day, so I don’t feel bad wasting the first official day of my elongated weekend. Unless misfortune strikes, I have 199 more in my pocket. I’d like to begin traveling ASAP, but I’ve got business to shore up in Philly before my lease expires on April 30. More importantly, Purple Thunder needs some… Continue Reading

7 Ways to Save Money on Road Trips

CanoeThe Wisconsin River at Spring Green. Memorial Day weekend may bring with it record gas prices, which doesn’t bode well for those like me who’ve planned an entire summer of traveling by motor vehicle, in my case a gigantic gas-guzzling Ford E-150 Conversion Van. Luckily, there are numerous ways to get more mileage from your dollars. Here are some money saving tips for every road tripper. City Pass City Pass offers an affordable way of taking in museums, zoos and other points of interest. Available in nine major American cities and one in Canada, City Pass shaves 50 percent off… Continue Reading

Final Days in Philly

Philadelphia schools have made dispiriting headlines lately. Last year, more than 6,000 students and 500 teachers were assaulted. This elementary school sign near my house is emblematic of the tatters the city and its schools are in. At last, April is here, which, for me, means shoring up life’s odds and ends in preparation for another journey around America. Namely, this entails getting Purple Thunder, my trusty Ford E-150 Conversion Van, in proper working order. Those that follow this blog regularly will recall the electrical mishaps that put a wrinkly in an otherwise spectacular adventure last summer. While that issue… Continue Reading

Snoop Raps with Puppet for Airline

I’ve never been to New Zealand, but from those I know who have visited its two main islands in the south-west Pacific Ocean, it sounds like nothing short of paradise. With so much topographical beauty, history and a fair climate, you’d think it’d be difficult to turn one off on the idea of traveling there, at least on the country’s primary airline. Enter the ad released today by Air New Zealand, featuring its controversially misogynistic icon, Rico, a puppet developed with help from The Jim Henson Company. Rico is no Kermit the Frog, mind you. In fact, he looks more… Continue Reading

Beautiful Freaks

Olde City Sideshow co-founder Danny Borneo says sideshows and variety arts are reasserting themselves, because "people are sick of watching assholes on Youtube."Olde City Sideshow co-founder Danny Borneo says sideshows are reasserting themselves. Olde City, Philadelphia – During intermission, Danny Borneo, co-founder of the Olde City Sideshow, a neo-vaudevillian variety hour, steps outside to smoke a cigarette. The show has returned to Philly, performing at National Mechanics restaurant, housed inside a former bank that was built more than 200 years ago by William Strickland, in his day a pioneer of Greek revivalist architecture. On stage, Borneo and his three cohorts – Candy Mayhem, Reggie Bugmuncher and other show co-founder Martin Ling the Suicide King – had performed a variety of cringe-inducing skits,… Continue Reading

The Home Stretch

PurpleThunderWinter wreaks havoc on the regional rail lines, causing frequent delays, which usually means long waits in the cold. For me, a late trolley equals a missed train equals a missed bus to the office, resulting in tardiness and smaller paychecks. Sometimes the train ride becomes a debacle. Earlier this month, on my way home, the train lost power between stops. For 45 minutes we sat in the dark, cold vessel until it coupled with another train that pushed us to the next station. There, we unloaded and waited 30 minutes for yet another train. I could air grievances all… Continue Reading
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