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The Megabus has Arrived in Knoxville!

We recently took 5 of our 7 member family to Washington DC for the Rally to Restore Sanity. The round trip plan tickets were roughly $250 per person bringing just the airline cost to $1200. Had we brought the two older boys, the cost would have been $1700.

Knoxville now has a new travel service. Megabus! Tickets are on sale now and service starts December 15th. I just ran the cost of a trip identical to our flight to DC and it came to $27 for 7 people. That’s not $27 per person per way. That’s $27 round trip for the entire family! $7 from Knoxville to DC and $20 from DC to Knoxville. That’s a savings of $1670! The trip time doubles from 5 hours to 10 hours each direction but you don’t have to get naked, irradiated or groped to ride the bus. Plus the double-decker bus has free wifi for the entire trip! You could work or play the entire 10 hours. is the first, low-cost, express bus service to offer city-to-city travel for as low as $1 via the Internet. Since launching in April 2006, has served more than 4 million passengers throughout 28 major cities in the Midwest and Northeast.

Our luxury double deckers offer free wi-fi, panoramic windows and a green alternative way to travel. Meticulously maintained with professional drivers at the wheel, when you travel with us, you will be riding in comfort and confidence. We provide low-cost and reliable bus services serving 28 cities from two hubs at New York and Chicago. We offer the highest level of comfort and safety and look forward to serving you!

[Source,, About Megabus]

Imagine the possibilities! Date night in DC. Out of town Tweet up in DC (can your virtual friends stand you IRL for 20 hours?). Holiday shopping in New York City (adds 5 hours each way…30 hour round trip). Business meetings on the bus that culminate in a night on the town in DC. Oh, I’m excited!

See more at

UPDATE: Look for more of these services in a town near you. Here’s Chinatown Bus covering the Northeast and New Century Travel which may just be a marketing site or affiliate of Chinatown Bus.

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They grow up so quickly

My youngest has been to kindergarten 2 days this year. They were short days with only the teacher and 2 other students to acclimate Evan to the environment and the routine. On those days, I drove him to school and Cathy picked him up.

Today, Evan went to school full time. He is very excited and insisted on riding the bus with his sister. He was first in line and I missed the picture because I was introducing Evan to the bus driver. Amy, 8 years old, is proud to be taking care of him, holding her head high as she shows him the ropes. This is her realm and she will be his guide. His same aged friend also rode the bus so I know I’m not alone in putting my baby in a big orange box and entrusting his safety to someone I don’t know. We do have a great bus driver! I’m excited for Evan. It’s cool to see him growing up. I just wish it happened a little slower.

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My child’s safety is more important than your schedule

Update 31 Aug 2009: Mr. Roy Mullins contacted me today to say the stop will be returned to Aspen Drive and Huntington Road. My many thanks to Mr. Roy Mullins, Knox County Schools, and the Transportation Department!

Dear Knox County Schools,
Today is my anniversary. The present that you gave me is a rejection letter with a line of bull regarding my child’s bus stop. See, 8 years ago you and I spent 3 years establishing a new bus stop for the elementary students that gets them safely away from S Northshore Drive and adds no time to your route. I’ll grant you an added 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on traffic. For 5 years the bus route was run without problem safely within our neighborhood on a road parallel to S Northshore. Now you’d have my children stand on the edge of a 40 mph road with a blind corner and a blind hill. Already once this first week of school, I had to move a child from the left side of the road where he was standing in the path that cars use to whip from 40 mph down to the 25 mph neighborhood road. The corner is blind with overgrown bushes and had a car turned in the child would have been dead long before the driver saw him. Is that what will have to happen for you to see this stop as dangerous? Will a child have to die? You also seem to have a stop prior to ours. I am not yet sure how that is possible because anything before us is supposed to be in the parent responsibility zone which means all the other children in our neighborhood should now be granted busing. It’s a shame that you and I both have to put resources into this needless battle (a 2nd time) when our time could be spent doing something productive for our school system.
Doug McCaughan

ps. You know. I really had hoped that KCS had reached a point of wanting to work together to improve our education system instead of playing games and fighting.

(you’ll have my official letter soon)

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Thank you Twitters!

We just had an enormous scare. It was expected. Sarah entered Rocky Hill Elementary School in the third grade. On her first day home, she failed to get on her bus and we drove to the school to pick her up. On her second day home, she rode the bus but did not get off at her stop which was no problem; the bus driver drove her back to the school and we picked her up. Amy now shares a similar story.

On Monday, I picked Amy up in the carpool because we had to rush over to the Expo Center to work the School Matters booth. That confused the teachers so on Tuesday they sent her to the carpool instead of putting her on the bus so I picked her up in the office. Today was her first day riding the bus home. I could not find Cathy and assumed she was napping. Tweet! I leashed Dharma for some much needed training, donned by iPod with some Jimmy Buffett playing, and walked calmly to the bus stop where I realized my cell phone (doubles as my timepiece) was still sitting on my desk. Much to my surprise, Cathy walks up to me announcing, "that’s strike 2!" referring to my failure to respond to her text message asking about where the children get dropped off this year. The bus pulls up and 4 neighborhood children bounce out but not our Amy. In our stunned silence, the bus just starts to pull away. We were too far away to converse with the driver. I almost whistled for him but assumed Amy was in the office at the school. A moment later one of the children is explaining that Amy was on the bus! I have transportation’s number on speed dial on my cell phone but the phone is on my desk 1/4 mile away and we are on foot. Cathy calls the school as we make haste toward the house and they explain that they don’t have a way to call the driver. No worries. The bus will just take her back to the school at the end of the run.

I return to the house and decide to get back to work. Cathy is going to run around and fetch Amy, and her older sister and a friend from the high school. Everyone is calm. We part company and a few seconds later my cell rings to tell me the school called and Amy got off at Dunbarton Oaks! Tweet! That’s on the wrong side of the dangerous and busy, dreaded Northshore Drive! With Amy’s hard-headedness I could easily see her crossing Northshore. I direct Cathy, "take a right on Northshore then immediately turn left into Dunbarton Oaks." She calls back, "I’m at Kingsington." I picture her in Farragut (which she’s not) hours away from being able to reach Amy who is obviously playing Frogger on Boothillshores Drive. I race out the door and pretend like I’m still a sprinter in high school track. Tweet! It doesn’t matter if I have a heart attack as long as I reach Amy in time! I reach and cross Northshore. Cathy calls to say she has been in Dunbarton Oaks and one road closer to our neighborhood, which I’d forgotten existed, and there is no sign of Amy. Tweet! By this time, I’m at the same cross road as Cathy and I take the drivers seat in the van along with my wheezing. Tweet! Cathy gets a call to say a mother, who used to be a teacher, has Amy in her yard in Dunbarton Oaks and is waiting for us. Tweet!

Thank you to everyone who Twittered your thoughts as we lived this scare! Thanks to @Critter, @nathanblevins and here, @Digitarius, @knoxgirl75, @MariAdkins, @bobmissy07, @alanstevens, @overtlytrite, @dwneylonsr, @mwoodvols, and @areynolds65! And thanks to all others that were thinking of Amy. Hope I didn’t miss anyone. Thank you all! It would not have surprised me (nor Amy) much if someone pulled up and said, "I’m from Twitter! Stay right here your parents will be here in a moment." Of course, I hope she would not get in the car unless she knew you.

Related: I do blog the kids lives

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Quit Moving My Cheese!

I think my wife got into the Someone Moved My Cheese a little too much. I try to live my life as if I were blind. Blue socks are on the right hand side toward the back in the sock draw. The flashlight has a specific home and so forth. Things have their place. My wife thinks things should randomly move around the house!

I plan ahead for the children’s lunches. Everyday I have to have $8.75 cash on hand to make sure the children get to eat. So the day before I make sure I have 8 ones and then I get 75 cents from the coin jar. Today we are running late. One child is already in hysterics over missing the bus. The moved cheese? The coin jar is nowhere to be found.