Monday, December 17, 2012

Reserved Parking for 18 Wheelers

One of the major truck stop chains has started a new campaign recently. The TA/Petro chain has been going and putting in a few 'reserved' parking spots at their locations. Now they are only using about 2-5 percent of their total parking capacity at this point to do this.

The concept I believe is a good one.  They have a number you can call into and reserve a parking spot for the night (or day) for a fee ranging from 8-13 dollars. 

This allows you to plan your routes easier since you don't have to worry about whether or not you will find a spot when you are about to run out on your 14 hour clock.   This also allows people that pull oversized loads to acquire parking easier, although depending on how big the load is they might have to pay for 2 spots.

Now there are a 'few' drivers in the trucking community that do not like this new idea, hence my nice little picture above in the corner.  These are your drivers that, I swear, if you told them the sky was going to be blue, would argue with you over the point.  There are some out there that you just can't make happy. 

I have heard complaints ranging from 'they charge how much? well thats @#$%2 bs' to 'they are taking spots away from other drivers, if you can't make it there, tough, find another truck stop'.

I'm going to let you in on a neat little secret guys.......

The truck stops OWN the land that their parking lots are on.  Also, that kinda sorta makes it PRIVATE PROPERTY which allows them to do with it what they please.  There are truck stops out here that charge you to park in their parking lot....period.  You have drivers that don't buy fuel, or purchase items at the truck stop, but they want to take up a parking space there.  The truck stop has to spend money to clean and maintain the parking area.  They do have a business to run that needs to make a profit.

 Do you think that money comes out of thin air?  Well if you think our government is doing just fine you might so scratch that thought.....

It boils down to this neat little thing called CHOICE.  If you don't like it, don't use the service, its as simple as that.  Honestly, I'm not surprised that more truck stops haven't gone to the 'pay to park' model more.  Keeping up a large parking area is not cheap.  Quite a few truck stops now have security roaming around at night to help keep things safe.  Where does the money come from to pay for that?  Everything costs money guys, its just a matter of what you want to pay for.

As for me, I'll pay for the service when I need it.  I've already used it a few times and I have enjoyed the fact I didn't have to prowl the parking lot hoping to find a spot or catch someone leaving.  If your an Owner/Operator, its also a tax write-off, a deduction, so why all the whining?

Monday, November 26, 2012

One down one to go....

Well, I was able to make it back in time for Turkey Day. It was a pretty decent day overall.

I was able to relax for a few days before getting back on the road.  Note to self....don't go back on the road in the middle of a holiday weekend.  What can go wrong will.

I had a nice load going up to the northeast, but there was a massive screw up with the paperwork when I got there.  They gave me a mediocre load after that, ugh.

Now to get ready for the fat man in the red suit.  After that, we have New Year's.  This time of year it seems there is so much going on.

So did everyone else have a good Turkey Day?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Busy time of the year

The one thing I can say about the end of the year is that freight picks up pretty good. I mean heck, how do you think all of those gifts and stuff get to the stores? lol

I have been keeping pretty busy since the last time I have blogged and I apologize.  Right now I am helping out one of our many dedicated fleets that we have.

I am up in Corinne, Utah running with one of our Wal-Mart dedicated grocery fleets delivering to the stores in their area.  I have done this before for some of our other fleets and have always given them a very good performance, so when I wander in their area, they like to snag me up to help.

The nice thing about running this freight is that I can make more money running it vs OTR.  Now if I was to stay on the dedicated fleet and sign the contract it would drop back down to about what I made OTR so that's one of the reasons I like to run the 'surge' as they call it.

Well, I just got another load so I better get back to work.  I am hoping to be home for Thanksgiving, so chat with everyone later.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Evaluation time.....

Well, its time for me to evaluate where I'm at and where I need to go, and figure out a general direction on how to get there. Right now I can say I am rock bottom emotionally.

 I haven't ever felt this drained, or numb....ever. The first thing is to figure out how to start picking myself back up slowly but surely. I do know all of the 'alone time' I have in this truck doesn't help but I think I am getting a grip on those damn pesky voices that like to question everything. A few of the other voices got tired of them and they are currently tied, gagged, and thrown in the closet. Hopefully they don't get out for a while. lol

 Driving a truck really leaves me with zero time it seems to spend with anyone. I have been searching but I've yet to find anyone willing to take someone who is gone weeks at a time. I have a feeling that search isn't going to get any easier.

 I know I need to be happy, but what is happiness? I thought I knew but it looks like I didn't have the whole thing down. Some people say you have to be happy with yourself. Easier said than done. One of my problems is that I always have sacrificed my happiness so that others could be happy. In thinking that seeing others happy made me happy. Its just how I'm wired, and I don't know how to rewire myself.

 I guess I just feel if I do things to just make myself happy, I'm being conceited, etc concentrating on myself instead of others.

 Right now as you can see, I'm struggling hard on the 'make me happy' part, so does anyone have any suggestions or sage advice?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Getting off the Rollercoaster Ride

Well, as some can tell I have been on one of the worst emotional roller-coaster rides I have ever had in my life for the last few months.

I finally decided to try and take a few steps to get off of this thing, so I sat down and typed out the hardest letter for me to type.

It was something I know I had been putting off hoping that the ride would smooth out, but just when I thought things were leveling out, I would crash again.

All I can say is I hope I did the right thing in the right way.  I'll admit its hard to think straight when your in so much pain, but I don't want any others to suffer at all.  I guess I'm one of those guys that would rather take the whole burden.

I had decided to step back into the background and fade back.  I've tried seeing other people but there is just nothing there, so I'm done in that respect.

I guess I need to order my 'crazy cat guy' kit as it seems that's the direction I'm destined to head.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Love, accepting it...

One of my friends had an interesting poll the other day that got me to thinking, which can be very dangerous lol.

 She asked, 'in life we accept the love we think we deserve, true or false'. But she then followed it up with a zinger, are you getting the love you deserve, or not accepting all of the love out there.

Now lets break this down. I'm sure most would think that we would accept the love we deserve, because heck, we deserve it all. In fact we want more than is offered usually, and that's where the problems can ensue.

 When you want more, you go out seeking someone to provide it. The problem is, you rarely find it. What a person should do is continue to build on that foundation of love that they are currently receiving to expand it, not go looking over the horizon for more. Also, you have to keep in mind, love is a two-way street. The other person needs to know about and feel the same level of passion you do so they too can expand upon it.

 You see, it should be a self-sustaining circle, growing and expanding on itself. Now I'm not saying you can't love more than one. We are human and we have many people in our lives. What I am saying though is that there should be a positive feedback from the ones that you do love.

 If your trying to spread your net far and wide, to get love, but your not giving any back, you will find yourself in a pretty lonely place. So its pretty clear to me what a person should do.

 How do you feel about this subject?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Worn out...

I have to admit, right now I feel like our feline friend here.

I feel like I am drained, worn out in mind, body and soul.

My biggest problem right now is trying to figure out what the cause of this is.

I do know one part, and that is a few 'what if' scenarios that keep playing through my mind right now.  I've tried to dismiss them, put them to rest, but until I get a definitive answer to these I feel like I am spinning my wheels.

I know that's not the whole cause of everything, and that right now is my dilemma.  I went back to the hometown this weekend to try and relax and that hasn't happened so much.  A small repair job I had for my pickup turned into a 12 hour monster, so that blew my whole day.

I'm hoping tomorrow will be a better day of rest before I go back to work on Monday.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Honesty and Excuses

Ok, one of my bigger pet peeves is when someone does not seem to be honest with me. Tie that in with excuses and it gets even worse.

What do I mean by that?  Let me break it down.

On the honesty part, I would much rather have the 'gut wrenching' honest truth than have someone give me a 'little white lie'.  Lies always build.  They usually start off small, but then grow as you have to add to it to keep it going.

Yes, the truth can hurt, but I would rather deal with that pain in the short term, than deal with the lie WHEN, not if, it is discovered and exposed.  You see, that's the other thing about lies, they are always exposed at some point in time.  No one can keep a lie going forever, but the longer it goes the more hurtful it can be.

Now for excuses.  Yes, I realize things come up in life, at work, heck just out of nowhere.  The problem with excuses is when the same one, or same type of excuse is used over and over again.

Do you remember  reading the fairy tale, 'The little boy who cried wolf'?  This goes right along that same concept.  After the same excuse, or same series is used time and time again, it is less believable.  Now I'm not saying it couldn't be true, but perception would be that it's less believable because of the excessive use.  I also know that people do tend to get themselves into 'situations', but when you see that your using the same excuse over and over, maybe its time to re-evaluate things and get yourself out of that situation.

Combining these two can be pretty devastating.  Like I said before, I would rather have someone be completely honest with me.  The problem is when there are the same constant excuses, its also a hit on the honesty part.  The reason being, is that the person is not being honest with me, or themselves about the situation they are in.  By using that line of logic, if your using the same type of excuse over and over, your not being completely honest, which begs to ask what else your not being honest about.

I'm getting tired, worn out, of trying to figure out with people if they are truly 'crying wolf'' or if they are being completely honest with me in these type of situations.  I'm to the point where if I have someone I think is doing this, I might need to cut them loose and move on.  This kind of 'what if'' thinking can really be taxing on a person.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Path Least Travelled

I have to say from what I have seen that anyone that does extensive traveling for their work can have a difficult time building and maintaining any type of strong relationship.

 What do I mean by this? Let me break it down this way.

Everyone travels different paths (ideals) in life on what their destination is going to be. Now the majority of people are on the main road.

 What I consider the main road is having that significant other with you most of the time. There are times you might be joined at the hip. You see each other every day for hours on end and do everything together.

 Next you have those that branch off and have a little 'alone, or me time'. You have some common interests but you also have a few of your own. You might go out individually once a week or so.

Following these are your people that only see each other a few times a week. They are fairly independent but enjoy being in each others company on occasion.

 Last, you have those that are blazing their own trail through the dense underbrush. Those of us that are gone for 2-3 weeks at a time in order to make a living. The time spent communicating, and the time spent together is meant to be a special time.

 I know I am one of those that's blazing his own trail. The problem that I run across is finding that 'other half' that would compliment and complete me. It seems that the vast majority of people I talk to fall into the first two categories.

 I'll admit its getting harder to find people in the category where they only see each other a few times a week if that. The main thing I'm trying to figure out, is whether or not if this is a general shift in society, where everyone wants everything closer to them, vs allowing their partner to be a little more independent.

 Am I too far off in this observation?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sexuality, what does it mean?

Today I had a very interesting discussion with a very dear friend of mine. We got on the topic of sexuality.

Now first off, I do know that everyone does have their own opinion, or version of Sexuality.  With that being said, here is what I consider it.

At this point and time in my life, I consider  a person's sexuality to be directly connected to that 'inner self'.  What I mean is that it is connected to their personality, how they portray themselves to the world, (and in their mind) and how they interact with others.  

For me, physical beauty plays a very little part in sexuality at this point in my life.

Now I'm sure why some of you are wondering why I keep referring to 'this point in my life'?  Its pretty simple.

We evolve as we get older.  What a 18-25 year old might consider a persons sexuality WILL be different than someone in the 40-45 range.  The reason?  LIFE.  That's right, those older whippersnappers have learned a thing or three through the years so they have adjusted their view of things accordingly.  Now before you say it, yes, there are those few that NEVER grow up, and I understand that.

A younger person might consider sexuality to be directly connected with beauty, and little else.  That's fine.  They haven't experienced any wonderful lessons life has had to offer at them at this point.  Once they start learning those lessons, they should adjust how they view and define things.

I'll use my friend as an example.  We have known each other for oh, 14 years or so.  I can honestly say I can look back, and admit how my view of sexuality has changed over those years.  Bottom line?  In my eyes, her sexuality has INCREASED over the years as she has grown and expanded her knowledge, and that has affected how her personality has changed. 

It's pretty interesting to look back and view things like that.  See what you thought 10 years ago vs what you think now.  Any person that says their view have not changed at all I call BS on.  Everyone changes their views, either for the better or worse.  If you try to tell me you haven't changed at all then you must have been living in a bubble.

So for me, sexuality is that person's inner being, their fire, their zest.  Yes a little is still connected to outer beauty, but that is more superficial.  One other thing you have to keep in mind, 'Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder'.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Driving habits and traffic

I got suckered the other day in taking a load to Long Island there by New York City. The last time I was there was over 8 years ago. I can safely say that traffic has gotten a lot worse, not better.

I had a little over an hour buffer to be able to deliver my load on time.

That didn't happen.

I was in 3, count them 3 traffic stoppages that made me 2 hours late to my delivery.  Two of the traffic jams were in what I call choke points, where the traffic was down to 2 lanes.  I swear people don't know how to drive in the major cities anymore.  Everyone is focused in their own little world and they can't see past the end of their nose.

What some people don't understand is that a drivers license is a 'privilege', not a right given to you by the government (state government).   For a license to drive a car, you really don't have to do much here in the US.  I know overseas in Europe, they are very stringent with how they issue their licenses AND quite a few over there have you retest every 3-4 years or so to ensure your skills are still up to par.

That's something that we need to do here I think.  Not only that, but if your involved in a major accident that injures, I think you should get the license suspended.  Remember, you don't have a 'right' to drive. 

Everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions, held to a higher standard than what we do today.  When people take personal responsibility things would improve out there I think.

That's all my personal opinion, but I think we would do better if we headed in that direction, retesting or more stringent penalties for accidents.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dashcam, why get one?

I have recently went and bought a dashcam to have in my truck. There are a variety of reasons a person should do something like this. Now you do have to keep in mind I am a former law enforcement officer so I do look at this in a slightly different way.

I have posted a short clip below to show the quality of the picture and how it would look as it is recording going down the road.
video
Now this camera is a basic model out there that is sold by a variety of vendors. It is a DVR 027 720p high resolution camera. A great site to go look at so you can compare cameras is dashcamtalk I have mine with an 8GB SD card. I have the camera set up to loop, meaning it will record over the oldest file so it can constantly stay on. My card lets me store 5 10 minute sessions before it loops over, they are big files after all. So if you have something happen, or see something happen find a safe place to pull over, download the contents of the card on your computer for safe keeping, then move on. For the price this a a very good camera for the money.

 The model I have does fairly decent at night also. The one thing to look at in the clip above are the side mirrors that are visible. If you watch the clip you see the car coming up the side of the truck before it passes and comes into view of the camera. Also, it shows current date and time of recording.

Now for the burning question....Why should I get one of these? It's pretty simple really. A dashcam can be your greatest ally if someone tries to say you did something that you didn't do, such as run up on their bumper, lane changes etc. If your in an accident it can help determine what actually happened. Now keep in mind it can be a two-edged sword since it is recording everything as it happens.

 In today's society, a person has to 'CYA, or cover your Ass' more each day and the dashcam is just another tool you can use to do that.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Expectations

I'm one of those type of people that likes to make, and keep plans to an extent. When you really think about it, my job revolves around scheduling, and it can get pretty tight so I can be a little anal about scheduling.

This brings me to expectations.

What I mean by this is if someone makes a promise that they are going to do something, I kinda expect them to keep it.

Now before you say anything, yes, I do realize that things do come up and that can cancel out the promise.

My issue is when it 'appears' to happen the majority of the time.

Like I said before, I am a thinker.  I go and think back to the last few times or whatever the case may be and see if I see a pattern.  The problem is that I do.

I don't know, along with everything else, if no one has any expectations anymore.  I don't consider my standards high by any means.  I figure mine are average like anyone else.  The trend I'm noticing though, at least in my corner of the world, is that I am to the point of dropping expectations down to near zero so I won't be disappointed when something doesn't go through.

You know, that's pretty sad, lowering expectations that low.  It doesn't give a person anything to achieve for in life.  It doesn't give you a set of goals to strive for.  Setting them that low just means you are simply in survival mode going from day to day.

Well do you know what?  Survival mode SUCKS.  I absolutely hate feeling this low, when I know I can and should achieve higher, AND expect the same out of others.  I expect the best out of people and they should get the best out of me, not just what gets everyone by.

So I guess this goes out to those people who either have low expectations, or fail to follow through on a consistent basis.  The advice is, you need to shape up and raise the bar, or move on.  Yeah, I know giving an ultimatum is not the best thing but there is no middle ground where this is concerned.  Keep in mind I need to continue to work on this on my end too since it is a two way street, but its pretty simple.

Shape up, or ship out.  Simple expectations.

Out of nowhere

Have you ever had something come at you from out of the blue and flat knock you over?

How about the classic 2x4 in the back of the head?

Well, I had something along those lines come at me a few days ago.  I'll have to admit it was something I never dreamed would be asked of me.  Before you ask, no I'm not going to say what it was, some things are meant to be kept private.

Now the thing is, when a person gets hit with something like this their first reaction is usually the worst because it is instinctive, meant to protect them.  Quite a few people will either try to ignore the problem or pass off the decision to someone else so they don't have to do it.

After getting over the shock, I went and started to think through what was asked of me.  Now I am a very analytical person, who likes to try and look for every possible angle before making a decision on something this huge.

A person has to take into consideration everyone or everything that will be affected by this decision.  It is a life changing event, and will change more than one life, but many.  You have to look at all of the pro's and con's and try as much as possible to make an informed decision.

I will say I am EXTREMELY glad I have some great friends who make good sounding boards, and informed opinions of their own.  It never hurts to run things by an unbiased third party that is not involved in any of the potential changes in the event.  They usually give you a good solid understanding of things on how they do stand.

The decision was not easy to make, and hurts like hell, BUT I know in my heart it was the right decision.  The thing about it is that I realize I will have to live with it for the rest of my life, and I'm prepared for that, and I hope that makes it a little easier.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clearing things up

Have you ever had a relationship or a close friendship end all of a sudden without very much warning?

Have you ever thought that you were doing the 'right thing' by cutting off all communication at once to end something?

Now for the next question.  Were you able to figure out WHY things reached the point they did?  Or better yet, were you able to move on with the specter of the last relationship/friendship hanging over your head.

I'm going to guess that you had a pretty difficult time.

Going off of personal experience, I have seen that when a person does this, there is no real 'finality' to anything.  You still have that voice in the back of your head playing that god awful 'WHAT IF' game.  At least it does with me anyways.

That little voice can be the most destructive thing in your life.  I know I have a pretty active imagination so I can come up with some pretty good 'what if' situations that can just drive you nuts.

I have became one of those type of people in the last 5 years or so that would rather have the truth, than even a little white lie, or even worse, silence.  I know like anyone else I don't want to make the same mistakes again.  Like anyone else, I sometimes don't want to hear the truth, but it has to be said, and repeated at times until it sinks in.

The thing about it, is the fact when both parties can talk about what they think happened with things, it really helps with the closure of everything.  That specter, that 'little green monster' of what if, is taken out of the picture, and it helps the healing process.

Now I didn't say hearing the truth wouldn't be painful.  But the thing is, sometimes you have to deal with that short amount of pain, to be able to heal and move on.  If you don't, it can color how you approach any other relationship or friendship and that can doom it to failure from day one.

I look back in my life, and I see a few friendships and old relationships that I have not done this.  The closer I look the more I see how damaging it was not only to me, but to the other party.  It can hurt that person for years if left unchecked.

Also looking back I see who my true friends are.  The ones that don't pull punches.  You know, the ones that can be irritating at times because what they told you hurt, but it was the truth.  They are the ones that stand beside you through thick and thin if you let them.

I can say, I am truly grateful for my true friends and I hope they know who they are.  It might hurt for a short while to hear the truth, but its needed, and I hope I can return the favor by being a true friend to them.

Lets face it, in this world, what would we be without our true friends and family?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Randoms, how random are they?

Yesterday, I received a message that I needed to go by one of our terminals. Don't pass go, don't collect 200 dollars lol.

When I got the message I had a pretty good idea what it was all about.  Last week my DM(driver manager) asked me if I was going to go to one of our terminals in GA when I was in the area.  I informed her I wasn't since it was way out of my way and there was no reason to go there.

At that point it really didn't sink in.  Then when I went and did a 34 hr reset in Muskogee I was asked at that point if I was headed to the OKC terminal to do the reset.  Again, no it was over a 3 hour drive out of the way and I saw no reason.  At this point I suspected something was up lol.

I went in and got to do a random alcohol screening.  It was kinda funny to me when the nurse asked me if I have ever had a breathalyzer test done.  I commented in an off hand fashion, 'of course, but I used to give them since I'm former law enforcement'.  At that point she just kinda stared at me for a second then continued on.

The thing that gets me is that I seem to average a 'random' at the company I work at every 8-10 months or so.  Now it is a rather LARGE company with somewhere in the neighborhood of over 20k drivers.  With that many drivers, I tend to get selected for a random quite a bit.  Makes me wonder if the company is just wanting to test someone they hope will pass with flying colors.  Who know, but I just find it a little funny that I get so many randoms.

When I was in the military, it seemed to be the same way.  I swear we had 'randoms' every 6 months or so then.  I remember one time we had 3 in a 4 month period.  That was crazy!

So who thinks randoms are computer generated out of the complete pool?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Communication, a two way street

I noticed something when I was going through my phone today. The majority of the time I am the one that initiates contact with any of my friends or family.

At first, I told myself, 'I'm sure they are busy with other things and just didn't make the time.'

Well, the more I thought about it, the more I considered that is probably the lamest excuse in the book.  Yes, I have told myself that before so I too have done this with other people, and you know how that makes me feel when I look back?

Ashamed.

Ashamed that I could not take 15 seconds to send a text or an email, just to see how they are doing. 

Ashamed that I couldn't take the time to call them, even if they can't pick up their phone at work, and leave a simple voice mail.

Communication is a two way street.  You can't expect everyone to always make the first contact to you as it should ebb and flow like any other type of communication.  Humans are social beings, and we don't handle not being communicated to very well.  There are some people that will take bad communication, i.e. cussing, put downs etc over no communication. 

Knowing this, it strikes me to know where I stand with what I consider my close friends and family.  There are some that I have not heard from in weeks.  Now I do know that people are at different communication levels.  You have some you chat with on a daily or weekly basis.  Others, maybe every few weeks or so. 

The thing that stands out is when that communication suddenly cuts off.  Those are the ones that you notice right off the bat.  Yes, I do know like I stated above that people do get busy, things come up, but I am one of those type that if nothing else, will let that other person know that I have been thinking about them in some form. 

Communication will make or break any type of friendship, and that can be one of the worst things to happen.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Worn down

Have you ever reached that point where you are just completely worn down? I'm talking mentally and physically?

I know on the physical side I have definitely reached that point.  I usually try to take a '34hr reset' once a week while I'm out on the road.  It does two things.  One it resets my logbook which can usually use it.  The other thing it does is let me relax a little and recharge.

Well,  I have been going for the last 10 days straight, and I can tell.  I feel myself slowly grinding down and I know here soon I need to take a break.  The problem is doing it at the right time in a decent place.  There is nothing worse than shutting down for 34 hours out in the middle of nowhere.

Mentally, is a variety of issues.  Part of it is the running I have been doing, and dealing with some of the BS that corporate has thrown in our way.  Another, is the changing seasons.  The season change might not sound like much, but for a person that has suffered from PTSD and depression, it can hit you hard.  Then there is the other part which is much more personal, that I won't go into at this time.

Both of these combined have worn me down to the bone.  I know I could use some extended time off, meaning more than a day or two.  The problem with that is that my financial obligations 'seem' to keep me from doing that.  Notice I said seem.  It's all a matter of perspective.

I do know one other thing.  I'm tired of being ALONE.  I can safely say this single crap is for the birds.  I would love to share my life with someone, but trying to find someone that understands how my life is seems to be the challenge. 

At times, I feel like throwing in the towel, say screw the world, quit everything I am doing, and do nothing.  Become a 'moocher'.  Do you know what though?  It's not in me.  There is NO way I can ever take myself down to that level.  Just the thought of it makes my skin crawl.  How others do it I can't figure out.

So since I can't bring myself to become a moocher, or go into the entitlement class, I'll continue to plug along as I have been, and see if I can improve my situation.  There has to be a light at the end of this tunnel.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to be strong....

I sit here and look back and have a few friends who are in different situations but it is the same premises. They have something going on with their life and it appears to be at a turning point.

They are usually at a crossroads where they need to make an important decision that can affect how their life will be from that point on. 

I know quite a few people would want to step in, give advice, but they ultimately end up taking the situation over and making the decision for that person, which is not a good thing.

 When you reach a crossroads in life, the only way you know for a fact that it was the right decision is for you to make it yourself.  Now that doesn't mean that you don't ask for or receive any help to carry out the decision.  After all, that's what friends are for, and most would gladly help you in this regard.  The biggest thing though is that you have to ultimately make that final decision yourself. 

Drawing strength from friends and family is the biggest power a person can use.  You don't have to feel alone out there when making a major decision.  Your friends and family should stand with you side by side, to lend you their strength and knowledge to help you through that crossroads.

I know that's where I'm at right now, standing by to give my friends the strength they need to make the decision they need to so they can continue to move down the path.  I wish I could make the decision for them, but that's not my job.  I can give advice, and strength for whatever decision that they do make, and know that ultimately that they made the right decision.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Same old grind....

Do you sometimes feel like you get in a rut? Doing the same thing day in and day out? Do you feel like Bill Murry in Groundhog Day?

I'll admit at times I feel that way.  Not like the exact same event is happening every day, thank god, but maybe in life in general.

I'm sitting here thinking about the fact that I have been back on the road for over a year and a half, going on two years.  I know I chose this life again, but the one thing I didn't consider was how bad the economy really affected the trucking industry.

Confused?  Let me explain.

Before I left as an over the road driver in 2006,(due to being deployed overseas) I could schedule home time every 2-3 weeks and make a very good living with no issues.  Loads were there, cost of living wasn't too bad out on the road.

When I came back in 2011, I have discovered in order to make sure I can meet all of my financial obligations, I have to stay out 3-4 weeks, and the cost of living out on the road is much worse.

What that means, is that what little social life I had a few years ago, has now drifted down to an almost absolute zero.  I've had people tell me I should find myself a girlfriend, have fun etc etc.  Well if you have read my previous blog, you'll see that I've noticed that as a society we have changed to wanting things 'NOW'.  I have found that it seems like when someone finds out I'm a truck driver, any interest suddenly evaporates.  I saw this to a lesser effect when I was in law enforcement,(yes I worked ALOT of hours then too), but wrote it off as someone not wanting to deal with someone in that lifestyle.

I've re-evaluated that thought.  I look back and it was that person wanting things 'NOW'.  They want you around at their beck and call, when THEY want.  I am thinking people have forgotten the art of 'compromise' and figure out good middle ground that both can handle.  That is part of what being in a relationship means, communicating and working things out.  Another part is realizing that you are only one part in the relationship and there are other many parts, besides your partner, such as kids, grand kids, family etc.

Now back to this feeling in a rut thing.  I know part of this is due to not taking any time to have FUN, take a break, cut loose.  I keep telling myself I need to take a cruise, but I keep putting it off because that logical side of me says 'you can't afford it'.  Well, I'm figuring out if I don't do something like that soon I might just wither up and die inside, becoming a working 'robot' for all practical purposes with no zest, no feeling for life.

A very good friend of mine has a nice quote. "Love today, for tomorrow is not promised".  They are so right in that a person should LOVE for today, live it, have fun because you never know what tomorrow will bring if it even arrives.  I'll freely admit, I haven't done this.  I've taken tomorrow for granted, taken for granted that people will always be there for you no matter what.  Do you know what?  I KNOW I have missed out on a lot, and I kick myself for it.  I know there is nothing I can do to get any of that back, but I can turn over a new leaf, and just LIVE.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Do we have to have it now?

I have been noticing something here lately. It seems that we, not only individually but also as a society currently have the mindset that 'We want it and we want it now!'. I know this isn't something that came along overnight. 

You hear major media outlets talk on how they need to get the message they are trying to get across in less than 30 seconds or they lose the audience.

Look at Twitter.  Yes, I use Twitter, and it can be a good information source when links are added, but limiting a post to 140 characters really makes for a short conversation.

I know it was a market selling point, but it seems that more people have fallen into this mentality of wanting things NOW.

Lets move the focus to relationships.  I can remember, oh, not even 4 years ago when I got divorced that conversations with others seemed to last longer.  You took more time to get to know someone.  Now, it seems if things don't 'click' within the first few exchanges, one or both of the person's move on to the next one.

How much can you truly learn about someone in just a few short exchanges?  Not much I contend.  Even if they have a detailed profile you are looking at, that is still just a small snapshot into who they really are.  The only way you are going to find out it to spend some time and effort to get to know them.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like to get to know the person before I make a decision like that.  You don't know what kind of an impact this person could have in your life as a friend, best friend, companion, etc.

I have posted before that I am a firm believer that people come and go in your life.  Some are around for a few weeks or months, others a lifetime.  The times that they enter your life are usually during an event that they can help focus, if you let them.  Everyone that enters your life serves some purpose, the trick is letting them fulfill that purpose.

That brings me back to the 'me me me' society we have today.  I honestly believe that people are cutting those links too fast before that person fulfills that purpose in your life.  A life with unfulfilled purpose is really no life at all as it would seem shallow and empty.

So lets do the age old adage, 'stop and smell the roses'.  Lets not only smell the roses, but look at the petals, see how full they are.  Look at the stem, and see the thorns as you carefully hold it, admiring its beauty and intoxicating smell, but also remember that it can cause pain.  A rose is a good symbol showing that an item can be both pleasurable and painful, depending on how you look at it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

EOBR's, the truths and myths

Ok, so today I was listening to my XM radio while driving down the road. One of the topics was the EOBR mandate that congress put in the highway transportation bill. Now right off the bat I know there are some pretty uninformed drivers but today most of them just set me off on the deep end.

I mean heck, almost to a man they all lamented on how they wish we were back in the 'good old days' running the paper logs how we used to over 10 years ago.

I started driving in 93, and from day one I dealt with paper logs with the job I had.  I'll be honest, the morons that want to go back to those days are just flat out stupid, and that's being nice to the stupid people.  The rules we had at that point were over 50 years old!!!!! 50 years!!!!  Do I need to say it again? 50 years!!!!!   They were initially enacted back when trucks were just a wee bit different than they are now.

So yes, the rules needed to change with the times.  Manufacturers made the trucks a heck of a lot more comfortable to drive and ride in.  A person was not as worn out driving a full day vs 15-20 years ago.  The old rules were that...old.

Now I'll admit, no one likes it when the government gets involved in regulation and rulemaking, but when the industry won't voluntarily do it themselves they have to step in and this is where we are today.

The first myth is that when running an EOBR, you will drive less miles vs paper logs where drivers could 'fudge' things once in a while.  Well I have been running with an EOBR for over a year now, and you know what, my revenue on my truck went UP...not down.

The key to making the EOBR work for you is this neat little thing called 'time management'.  Even when I ran paper logs I did time management down to the point I could inform anyone when I would deliver and be there ON TIME, EVERY TIME.  If a driver isn't doing time management, he is wasting alot of time I can guarantee that.

An EOBR also helps with those pesky shippers and receivers that like to keep you over their allotted 2 hours to load or unload.  It's really hard for their billing department to argue when you have devices with GPS capability that your equipment was there when you said it was.  Unless they like paying the massive detention time that I know companies are charging, the more companies running EOBR's, the quicker they are going to unload those trucks.

Another myth is that you can't change anything on an EOBR.  Well I know with the model I have, a Qualcomm MCT200, I can edit any line BUT the drive line. 

This one is probably not a myth, BUT any company pulling this kind of crap won't have quality drivers for long.  Companies are forcing their drivers to drive their full 11 hours, or get back on the road right when their 10 is up.  The one I drive for doesn't do that.  To micromanage a driver like that is really not worth it.  The companies that do this kind of a practice have an extremely high turnover rate I'm willing to bet.

Once you drive your 11, or reach your 14, you have to shut down or get a violation.  The log rules didn't change people.  The exception for bad weather etc of 2 hours still applies.  It just means you have to DOCUMENT what the reason is.

Only the big companies want EOBR's.  Really?  The large carriers only make up about 10 percent of the total companies out here.  You would be surprised to see how many smaller carriers have 'electronic logs in use' stickers on their trucks so that myth is a wash.

My final thing is that as we continue to get more technology, its going to get used.  A person can either flow with the times, and be vigilant, to make sure the rules are fair.... or they just flat need to get out of the industry.  Things are NOT going to go back to the 'good old days', trust me.

New addition to the truck

While I was home this weekend I added a new item to my truck. an 18' stepbox by Sturdy-Lite.  When I put my Dynasys APU on, they installed the blower motor box in my right sidebox taking up all of the space.  That was where I normally stored my snow chains,(that I have yet to use thank god lol) so I needed some more storage.

I was planning on getting a box eventually so  this worked out.  I had ordered one at the beginning of the week from a site online, but was told the next day they were out.  I found this one at Southwest Trailer Sales in Oklahoma City.  The other nice thing was that it cost me 100 dollars less than the one I would have gotten online.  So instead of costing 450, this one cost 350, which was really nice.

The one thing I might have to do is put some bracing on it, but the jury is still out on that.  Other than that its a pretty solid box built here in the US.

Decisions of the heart

Have you ever heard of the old saying, 'If you love something set it free, if it comes back it was meant to be'? I have and for the longest time I thought I knew what it meant. Well, now I can safely say I actually do.

I'm sure everyone has the idea in one way shape or form that this would be an easy idea to follow.  I mean heck, its a pretty simple decision isn't it?  Well I have found out there are just a few pitfalls to this kind of a decision.

I guess part of the 'test' of this kind of saying is the thoughts and feelings you go through while that person that you have fallen in love with is away.  I mean there is really no communication with them at this point to let them know the depths of how you feel since setting them free means not communicating the depths of your soul to them.  You have to operate off of 'faith' that things will work out in the end.

Faith.  That is probably the hardest thing for a person to have it seems.  It hinges on believing in the unknown, the unseen, that things will be as how they should be with no influence from your part.  Faith is probably the ultimate, highest aspect of trust.  Without one, you can't have the other.  I honestly think having faith in religion is a lot easier than having faith and trust in a person.  As far as I'm concerned this is the ultimate test of a relationship, if it can make it through this then it can make it through anything.

One of the other pitfalls, at least for me, is quieting your mind and just let things flow to the conclusion that will happen.  Not the conclusion you want or desire, but the one that should naturally happen.  You see, I am a thinker, I always have been.  It was something that I refined when I was growing up on the farm.  All of those endless hours spent out in the field on the tractor gave you 'plenty' of time to think through different ideas and problems.  I would look at things from every conceivable angle I could to determine the best course of action.  The sad thing though is that with all of that time, over 30 years basically, I have recently found one angle I can't figure out or even remotely consider, 'Free Will'.

 Free Will.  That is the one thing I can't account for, the one thing I can't change.  Everyone has it.  Everyone one uses it.  Even if that person has allowed someone else to make their decisions for them, their first decision of free will, was to allow another person to take it, so they had it up to that point.  I'll admit, free will scares the crap out of me because its the ultimate 'ace card'.  I have no idea what it is going to do.

So that is where we come back to Faith.  A person has to have faith, they have to be open to change, whatever it may be and let it and free will take its course.  It's the scariest thing I have ever encountered in my life.  I would almost rather be back in the middle east being shot at or blown up, or back on the beat putting my life on the line every day.  It scares me that much, but I know I have to let go, let things run their course, and have Faith that it will turn out however it is suppose to be.  No matter how it turns out, I know I will be stronger for it.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An interesting direction

I have to say you never know when something interesting will drop by. Here today a few owner operators and I were discussing some issues privately online. Out of the blue we have all came to the consensus that we needed a more official organization for the things we are talking about.

Now I have to say this is surprising as this type of thing had been suggested before but was either shot down, or no  one made any real moves with it.

I am a firm believer in that things do happen at certain times for a reason.  The key is to be able to recognize that it is happening and let it flow and see what comes out of it.  It's the same concept that you have certain people that either come into your life, or re-appear at the right time to help you through a situation.  A person just has to be able to recognize the fact and let it happen.

That's how I feel about this current item.  I feel it is at the cusp, the breaking point of suddenly flowing and turning into something that could be really fun, and helpful in our lives.  Here is to hoping I see more signs such as this and recognize them for what they are.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Political Ponderings...the upcoming GOP Convention

I swear, sometimes you have to just laugh your butt off when you read about politics today. I mean, shoot a person has to wonder how some of these people really think, other than the 'do as I say, not as I do'.

What I mean by this is the wonderful example going around with the liberal pundits stating it would be an 'act of God' for Isaac, who has a high potential of turning into a hurricane, to wreck the GOP convention in Tampa.

This is coming from the side that wants you to respect their rights, their sexuality, but how DARE you believe in any type of religion.  They want a society without that kind of icky stuff such as religion, morals etc.

But when it suits them, they will use that kind of language all day long.  Like I said, this is coming from a group who really doesn't have a religious bone to speak of.  Yes I know I am generalizing, as there are always some out there that are religious and spiritual.  But if you look at not only the main media pundits, but also the twitter feeds etc, you have the liberals making those kind of jokes.

I don't have an issue with jokes, what I have an issue with is when you turn the tables on them as a group and do the same thing to them.  When it happens, they scream bloody murder and throw the hissy fit of all hissy fits.  Another wards, they can't take what they give out.

So what do I say to these type of people?  Grow some thick skin, grow a set a balls and roll with the punches.  If you can't stand the heat when its brought down on you, get out of the oven.  Yeah there's quite a few sayings I could throw in here lol.

Now as far as the convention goes, I hear that the locals are preparing to throw one of their grand 'hurricane parties' along with the convention.  To be honest, I kinda wish I could go to this one just to be part of that.  Honestly I think it would be fun to have the convention, and party with a hurricane outside.  Afterwards, they could proclaim a new beginning, a clean slate to start with repairing the country and bring it back from the brink of economic collapse.

So do you know what........LETS PARTY!!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Computer crashes and other ponderings

Ah, the one screen no one wants to walk in and see on their computer. Its bad enough to open your laptop and get the screen showing that your 'system' didn't boot down or reboot right, and asks if you want to continue. I'll admit, there are times I'm not sure if I want it to continue normally lol.

How often do you update or clean your system out?  Have you ever?  It 'seems' that the newest operating system seems to be pretty stable.  I can remember with windows 95, heck, windows XP, that you had to go in and defrag that drive at least once a week, and clean up the files.  Every time I check this Windows 7 version, it tells me my defrag rate is too low to run a sweep, so I guess that's a good thing right?  Old habits die hard though, as I wonder why my system still seems to run slow.

In other news, I went and pulled myself off of the dedicated account I was running on.  This month I saw a drastic reduction in the amount of loads that I was pulling on the account compared to the last 3 months averaged out.  It makes a guy wonder when you average 6 loads per month, and in the last 20 days have only pulled 2.  So I put myself back on the OTR fleet where I have a few more options on how I run.  I hope I made the right decision there...whistles

So in closing, when is the last time you have seen 'the blue screen of death'?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stop and smell the roses

I was speaking to a friend tonight and we were talking about how crazy our schedules seem to have been here lately and it got me thinking. The more I thought about it the more I realized that it seems that here in the last few years, everyone has seemed to have been working more and more.
      The sad thing is that means people are taking less time for themselves to relax. Now this time from what I can tell seems to coincide with when we hit the last major recession here close to 4 years ago. From what I can tell everyone is working more, but not really getting anywhere with it, do you follow me?
      We have all gotten to the point to where we are getting by, but not making any headway with life in general.  To me this seems like a pretty huge problem, like we are getting close to a tipping point.  From what I can see, if things don't start to improve here in the near future, I'm afraid that instead of barely being able to hold the ground we have, we will start to quickly slide back.  If that happens, the recession we had will look like a cakewalk.
      One of the other things that I thought about in this regard are the relationships that we have with other people.  Now relationships do ebb and flow like they normally do, but I do think when we have events like what I am describing above happen, it can affect those too. 
      The relationships that are strong, which have a very good foundation, can handle this kind of shakeup.  Those are the type that shrug this kind of a thing off and move on, while others that are either just starting, or are shaky will fall apart under the additional stress.
     I'm fortunate that I have some relationships with friends and family that are strong, and I consider those my core relationships.  They won't ever really disappear, but will always be there.  I know everyone gets busy from time to time, and things can seem nuts, but a friend with a strong relationship will always be there for you when needed.
     I know personally, I have been way too busy as of late.  I keep telling myself I need to slow down, just a little, so I can enjoy life a little.  It seems little things keep popping up so I promise myself I'll slow down later, but you know what?  Later never comes.  So I know, I need to just dig in, and make myself take that time, for my own good.

                          I promise to slow down a little to smell a few roses along the way.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our 'Seasoned' Citizens

Last night, I stopped in Iowa at a small truck stop that had a pretty nice diner. Now I'll admit, when I sat down, I didn't realize I was close to 'coffee row' (one of the many names for the area) where the local gentlemen like to sit and just chat. I will say out here this is farm country so the talk did range around those type of things. Since I am a country boy, who grew up on a farm I can relate to just about everything they were talking about.

The talk ranged across the spectrum, minus politics.  From what I can remember growing up, I know most of the farmers considered politics a very personal thing, along with religion.  Those were two subjects you never heard spoken when they got together.

It was very easy to follow along, and at one point, I was asked to join the conversation when it switched over to whether or not one of them needed to get a CDL.  After listening to what he needed, I explained that at this point, it wasn't required since it was farm equipment hauling product from the farm.  We also talked about how testing had changed over the decades.

 One of the gentlemen had driven a bus for the school for close to 50 years!  With all the routes he had, hauling sports teams etc we figured he easily should have had over 1.5 million safe miles driven.  What brought that up was that he had to go and take a driving test for getting airbrakes put on his license.  He thought it was crazy some of the things that the examiner pointed out to him after he passed the test that he needed to look for.  We talked about how times had changed since he had started driving.

The conversation switched over to the current drought, and how people are calling it 'the worst in 50 years'.  Well, at least in Iowa they quickly named off over 4 other periods that had been just as bad if not worse as it is now. 

People tend to be pretty short sighted or forgetful on what has happened in the past.  The thing is though is that we learn from that past, unless we forget about it.  I tell you what though, if you want to know about the past, go find the local coffee group in town.  Be polite, and they will welcome you into the conversation and you will learn a wealth of information, ideas and history.

Try it, you never know what you might learn.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cohones...Do you have some?

I swear it seems that people are getting worse and worse about wanting to make a decision. Early this morning, I had a 6am appointment to get my truck loaded. There was a screw up yesterday with the shippers system and no one released the loads to be loaded today. They finally started loading me at about 12:45pm cst.

It took almost 6 HOURS for someone at the shippers corporate to grow a set and release the product.  It wasn't the fact that the product wasn't ready, or didn't pass quality control.  They were waiting for the 'big man' upstairs to finally give the order to release it.

In no way am I blaming the warehouse.  Those poor guys wanted to load the trucks and get them on their way.  They are now WAY behind schedule and they have to somehow make it up.

I know this is something that I have noticed here in the last 5 years just in life in general.  There are way too many people running around that don't want to make that 'big decision' or 'be on record'.  Really?  Your getting paid to do it, so just grow a damn pair.   If you make a bad decision, learn from it an move on.  So many people are afraid of making that 'bad decision' that they paint themselves into a corner where they won't make ANY decision.

I'm sorry, to me that is just plain worse.  I'd rather make a bad decision, and be able to learn from it than be frozen in 'fear' and not make any decision at all.

Quit being so damn indecisive America.  Grow a pair, and use them!  Like I said before if its not a good decision, LEARN from it and move on.  The same thing goes for those good or great decisions.  You learn from those too.  But when you don't make any decisions, your just spinning your wheels, hoping someone will do it for you so you don't have to be accountable.

So in closing, take control of your life, grow a pair if you don't have any, and USE them.   Make decisions, move forward....LIVE.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Have we reached the boiling point?

Have you ever gotten into an argument with someone that you reach the point of what our feline friend here is doing? One of the alarming things I have noticed in the last few months or so are the downright dirty nasty attacks that people have been doing to each other in various forums.

Yes, part of this does have to do with the current political climate that we are in, but it's not just limited to that.  I have seen it slowly creeping into everyday life with just common issues.

Is there something in the water that we don't know about?  I'm being serious about this. 

Ok, on the political side, here in the wonderful U.S. we have 2 main political parties.  Yes I know there are others, but those are the two that hold the vast majority of the power right now.  The sad thing is, instead of talking about their ideas, and solutions to the various different problems, BOTH sides have degenerated into flat out mud-slinging to the maximum degree that they can.  I know it has been a problem that has been slowly growing for the last 20-25 years.  I know it goes further than that, but considering I'm 42, I've only been paying attention to politics for that amount of time and can use it as a personal reference.

This last decade seems to have been the worst by far as it steadily gets worse.  I used to enjoy a lively debate with someone who had different ideas just to be able to expand my knowledge base.  I find myself unable to have these kind of debates anymore.  It seems that there are too many people out there that just can't seem to think for themselves, so they use what I call 'one liners' over and over which have no real substance in the discussion for their side of the debate.

Honestly, I don't debate or talk to people that do that since its no fun to 'go into combat' with an unarmed person.  If you don't know any facts about what you believe in, do some damn research!  Form an opinion, then look me up.  Don't base your knowledge off of what some 'talking head' said on t.v. or radio.  There are times I think the general population is getting dumber with all of this technology instead of smarter.  With today's technology, there is NO excuse about not knowing about what you are talking about.  If you don't, your just being lazy, and you know what?  Lazy people do not get anywhere in life.

So all I can say is this.  Get up, research different things, get involved.  Do SOMETHING besides sitting on that couch.  I don't care if we disagree on things but arm yourself with the knowledge.  It does make discussions much more fun and interesting when you take out all of the BS and stupid talking points.  You never know, you might be able to come up with a few SOLUTIONS to the problems.

 If people will do this we won't reach that boiling point I was talking about.  If people don't wake up soon though I have a bad feeling things are going to go downhill in a way no one really wants to see.  The last thing we need is for this great country to be destroyed by its worst enemy......APATHY.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My New Dynasys APU

Well here is my new Dynasys APU on my truck installed by Boomer Diesel in Oklahoma City.  I have to say these guys are very top notch and will do anything to make sure the customer is happy with the product.  The install went very well and was done in under 6 hours which was amazing.

I would recommend these guys for any of this work.  They did great.  I am hoping that with this investment I should have a good ROI (return on investment).  If you need financing Hodyon has an easy finance plan that can work with almost anybody.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another 'Gun Control' amendment... here we go again

Good morning everyone, I see that our wonderful 'leaders' up in Washington D.C. are once again at it with the knee jerk reactions, or are they?

(RTTNews) - Exactly a week after a shooter in Colorado killed 12 moviegoers, Democrats in the Senate attached an amendment to the recently passed Cyber Security Act of 2012 to limit purchased of large capacity weapon feeding devices, such as magazines.
S.A. 2575, or the "Large Capacity Magazine Ban," is identical to a separate bill proposed by amendment sponsor Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) that would make it illegal "for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device."
This is defined as "a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition," according to the amendment's language.
Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) introduced the amendment to the Cyber Security Act on Thursday before the act heads to the House of Representatives for debate.
The move comes a week after a shooting rampage at a midnight premier of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" resulted in the death of 12 Colorado moviegoers. James Holmes, the suspected shooter, obtained his four guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition legally.
Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Senator Schumer said the bill was meant to be an answer to "reasonable" calls for gun control, stating it was not his purpose to limit Second Amendment rights.

"We can debate where to draw the line of reasonableness but we might... be able to come to an agreement in the middle where we say, yes, there's a right to bear arms and yes, there can be reasonable limitations on the Second Amendment," Schumer said.
"Maybe, maybe, maybe we can tell those who are at the extremes on the far right and the far left that we disagree with you," Schumer adding, saying, "and maybe, maybe, maybe we could pass some laws that might, might, might stop some of the unnecessary tragedies that have occurred.
"Or, at the very least, when you have someone who was mentally infirmed, like the shooter in Aurora, limit the damage that they are able to do," he added.
The amendment was proposed the same day Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-N.V.) said the schedule was too packed to debate new gun control legislation during this session of Congress.
On Thursday, White House Spokesman Jay Carney made it clear the president was still in support of an assault weapon ban and tougher background checks, but that he wasn't planning to introduce new legislation before the election.  "There is an issue about the stalemate in Congress [on gun control legislation], and there are things that we can do short of legislation and short of gun laws, as the President said, that can reduce violence in our society," Carney told reporters Thursday.
"I know [the president] will continue to press the Department of Justice to try to enhance the enforcement of existing laws, try to further develop our background check system so that it prevents criminals and those who should not have weapons from getting them under existing law."

The ONLY statement in the whole article that makes any sense was at the very last.   "I know [the president] will continue to press the Department of Justice to try to enhance the enforcement of existing laws, try to further develop our background check system so that it prevents criminals and those who should not have weapons from getting them under existing law." 
This is the only thing at this point that the government should be looking at.  We have PLENTY of existing laws on the books that nobody follows.  Just following them might cut down on some of this.

Another thing to consider that I can't help but wonder.  Who in god's name THINKS that criminals follow laws?  Being a criminal is the very act of breaking the law.  Do you honestly think that a criminal is going to reconsider what he is about to do because you make something illegal?  I am a former law enforcement officer so I think I have a pretty good idea to the answer to this question.  I never met a criminal who DIDN'T commit an act because it was illegal.

The ONLY thing these 'gun control' and 'gun ban' laws is disarm the law-abiding public at large, making it EASIER for a criminal to commit the act he wants to commit.  At this point, we still have very little information on the Colorado Killer, because we have to let the justice system run its course.  From the information we have so far, there was NOTHING in his past that would have flagged him for this kind of act.  Something people tend to forget sometimes is that there are just EVIL people in the world that want to do others harm irregardless of how they do it.  If it wasn't weapons, would it have been IED's?  Would we then be banning basic everyday items that can be used in this fashion?

Being a former law enforcement officer I can already see the abuse that this statement can be taken in the above amendment:  This is defined as "a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition," according to the amendment's language.  I can make that argument for the VAST majority of weapons out today.
This knee jerk reaction kind of crap just needs to stop and people need to actually think things through for once.  Yes I know I'm asking for a lot but it would save a lot of headache later.

The only other conclusion I can come up with is that we have leaders in this country that want to find a way to negate the 2nd Amendment as much as they can.  Remember, that amendment was put in place to keep a government from getting out of control, or if it did, the people would have the ability to address the issue.  A disarmed populace is a compliant populace that has no options.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Truck Driving Schools, to go or not to go

Today I was perusing my Facebook account when I noticed an interesting post. I had someone on my friends list post advising new and up and coming drivers to go to a driving school either sponsored or ran by a trucking company to get into the industry.


I'm sorry, but I have to totally disagree with that statement as it shows a narrow knowledge about just how large and diverse this industry is.


What do I mean by that?  Well its pretty simple, and I'll start it out with a short story on how I got into trucking.

Way back in 93' I had just gotten off of active duty, and I was looking for a new career.  I had heard about a local owner/operator who had a few trucks along with a brokerage.  He needed a new driver since his son was getting his own truck.  He took me under his wing and a few months later I was the proud owner of a CDL.  I drove for him for 2 1/2 years learning all I could.  He was the type if your truck needed any work on it, the driver at the bare minimum would assist with the repairs.  Suffice it to say I became very knowledgeable with the basic mechanics of 18 wheelers.   I then decided to drive over the road and the first company I contacted eagerly hired me and put me through a 3 week training program to learn that dreaded Qualcomm lol.

My point, is that a CDL school is not for everyone.  I live in Oklahoma and the vast majority of drivers that I know where I live never went to a school to learn how to get their CDL.  Your construction, oilfield or other local hauling industries usually will train drivers and help them get their CDL as part of their condition of employment.  I do agree most major trucking companies either want you to have experience, or to graduate from a certified CDL school before they will hire you.  One thing a person has to remember is that over 80% of the trucking companies in the US are considered 'small operations' of 1-50 trucks.  A lot of those companies will also help you get your license.

The biggest thing about going into the trucking industry is that you just need to do your homework.  Talk to the local companies in your area.  Ask lots of questions.  The only dumb question is the unasked question.  I am not trying to downplay the CDL schools and they have their place.  But a person just needs to keep in mind that there are other options out there and it doesn't hurt to 'shop and compare' before you decide.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Truck pictures as promised



I was finally able to get my truck clean, and take a few decent shots of it with my camera so I could post just how sharp this thing can look.  I also did promise in another post to do this so here it is.

On another note, I have been looking at having an APU installed on the truck.  What is an APU? Its an Auxiliary Power Unit that will help keep my truck cool in the summertime, warm in the winter and keep the batteries charged up without idling the truck.  Idling a truck can be pretty hard on the engine as you will shorten the life of it through wear and tear.  The APU is much more cost efficient to run and uses a fraction of the fuel that idling does.  Using various calculations my estimated savings with running an APU in fuel alone will be over 9k.  That doesn't include the savings that I will get from the wear and tear of not needing to idle my truck.  The APU I will go with is the Dynasys APU manufactured by Hodyon.

auxiliary power unit, apuTheir site if you want to look over things is hodyon.com

Purging the 'Friends list'

Today, I decided to do a purge on my Facebook 'friends list'.   I was rather surprised at the amount of people that were listed on my list that I know I haven't spoken to in quite a while. I started with over 380 people on my list and in a matter of an hour took that number down to 290.  There are probably a few more that I will cut after giving it some more thought but those were the ones that I have rarely if almost never spoken to.

I do hold the belief that people come into your life at certain moments to help you deal with things.  There are some friendships that will last a lifetime.  Others will only last a few weeks or months, but I can bet that there was something that you needed, or learned from that friend before you both went your separate ways.  I have always cherished the friendships I have made in life, but I do realize that there are times when you do have to move on with things.  It's all a part of life.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Atlas Shrugged, a very interesting book

The above picture is a movie poster from the upcoming movie, Atlas Shrugged part II. Now how about we dive into the book for a minute.
      Atlas Shrugged was written by Ayn Rand, who was a Russian immigrant that came to the US after communism took over her country. It took quite a while for her writing career to take off and her greatest work was Atlas Shrugged. The book has quite a bit of detail in it and some very interesting lessons. I will say how I try to boil it down here really won't do it any justice so you are better off going and reading it.
      In the book the country has been in the grip of a rather long recession (sound familiar yet?). The government is in the process of taking over or 'over-regulating' all business to try and make things 'fair and equal'(are we getting closer?). In her book there is an unknown 'destroyer' going around who meets up one by one with the last few successful businessmen in the country, and one by one they slowly disappear throwing the country into more turmoil as the government takes more control. These men also seem to disappear as capitalism is slowly whittled away by the over-regulations and government take-overs which spirals everything out of control at a faster pace.
      The one thing you can look at back in history is that when a government moves in to take this kind of control, society really doesn't last very long after that point, it WILL collapse in one way shape or form. Now in her book you have a few people in business that hold out to the very bitter end, but must finally admit defeat. They join the other creators and capitalists, waiting for the system that the government created to destroy itself before they move back in and offer their assistance to rebuilding the country in its proper form. We are a free society. That is how this nation was founded with the ability to have free will. When the government makes the attempt to take this away, even for 'our own good and welfare' our system will not be able to sustain it and by going down that road it will crumble. The scariest thing right now is that for all practical purposes, it appears that we are headed down that scary path right now. I think the more the government tries to regulate everything and make things 'fair' for everyone this slide will pick up momentum and speed. I am hoping we are not past the point of no return on this, and I feel this next election will show us if we are or not.
      I know this is entirely my personal opinion on the subject, but I do dare you to pick up the book, or just see the movies, take in the message that they speak and compare it to our society today.

 Visit the Official Atlas Shrugged Movie Web Site! This site might give you a start on where you might want to start your journey if so inclined.

Friday, July 20, 2012

General Stereotypes

                                                   Warning, Warning Rant Ahead!!!
      This morning I was looking through my Facebook timeline and there is something that I have noticed. There are quite a few people out there that like to take ONE specific example and put it up against ONE specific example of their liking to try and prove their point. Let me state that this is not a slam on any specific group but of ALL groups that use this tactic. Do you honestly THINK that the average person out there is going to see that and automatically agree with your point of view? Ten years ago that might have been the case, but with today's media a large percentage of the population is a lot well more informed than what they were even 10 let alone 20 years ago.
      I know that with myself I always try to dig up as much information on what I am looking at before I make a decision on it. I'll admit, there are still quite a few lazy people out there in the world that won't do their own research but you know what? They were out there 20 years ago, and that is the small segment of the population that will never change in that regard. One of the other things that the people that use General Stereotypes use is taking a small part of the statement, or even worse taking the statement completely out of context. I like to take the WHOLE statement that was given, the person's history on how they speak and what they truly believe and then make an informed decision about it.
      Here again the people that use that tactic have yet to figure out they are actually losing more people to 'their side' than they gain by doing it. We are a more well informed public now. So to those that like to do this.... give it up. Why don't you try something original, you know, like an actual DEBATE on the subject and bring your backing information for your view, not just your opinion and/or feelings. Ok...Rant over, have a great day all.