Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

The New Web Site Is Finally Here. Try Not to Pee Yourself.

April 4, 2013

ATTENTION TO ALL READERS/SUBSCRIBERS OF THIS SITE:

As you can see by the title, I have a new website. Therefore, I will no longer be posting to this site. All traffic will be directed to AboutTruckDriving.com and I hope you also check out the new podcast in iTunes.

IMG_1563Yeah, yeah. I know what you’re thinking. It’s about freakin’ time! Believe me, I feel the same way. Had I known how long this was going to take and how much work it entailed, I don’t know if I would’ve had the gumption to start. But hey, as one pudgy Prime Minister once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Now that it’s all said and done, I think it came out pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. So what took so stinkin’ long? Did you see that pretty black bar with the Play button up there? That’s what took so stinkin’ long. The written blog now comes as a podcast for all you people who are too friggin’ lazy to read. You know. People like me. 😀 But let’s go back to the beginning first.

This whole ordeal started because I hated the name of the blog.

Admit it. The About Trucking Jobs blog is a horrible name. It was even worse because at the time, the free version of WordPress wouldn’t allow me to have a custom URL. Therefore, I was stuck with AboutTruckingJobs.wordpress.com. You can pay a small fee to get rid of that now, but that wasn’t the case when I first started thinking of self-hosting. As for the blog name, I admit that I read one too many articles on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I thought that if I had the words “Trucking” and “Jobs” in the title, I’d have a much better chance of being discovered. I guess we can thank the trucking industry’s ridiculously high turnover rates for making those keywords so stinkin’ popular. Clearly it isn’t that important though; because after 4 years of blogging, Google still barely acknowledges that I exist.

I was also starting to run into other limitations. I couldn’t use all the cool plugins on the free version. I couldn’t store video or audio files on the site either. I could always link to my YouTube channel for videos, but the teeny-tiny audio files baffled me. I guess with it being free, I couldn’t complain. It had served me well until I started getting too big for my britches.

You also can’t monetize on WordPress’ free site. Yes, that means you’ll notice a few ads now. Hopefully they aren’t too intrusive. I’ve gone out of my way to make sure they aren’t. If you want to help the show and the blog without spending any money you weren’t already going to spend, there’s an Amazon.com ad in the sidebar (you don’t have to use the search functions–just click on the Amazon logo). Click on it and I’ll receive a small portion of what you spend. Again, your price isn’t affected. Amazon pays me from their cut. If you really want to be nice, simply set your Amazon bookmark for AboutTruckDriving.com and click on the ad before you go to Amazon. It’s only one extra click and although it isn’t much money, it’ll help cover my hosting costs. You’ll also notice a HostGator banner at the bottom of each post. Click that if you ever want a cheap, but good web host with good customer service. At least I’ve had good luck with them. Okay, enough of that.

So that’s when I decided to leave WordPress.com. Within about 30 minutes of paying HostGator for my hosting and buying my domain name from Hover.com, I had a crude Web site up. Using WordPress’ wicked-cool exporting feature, I quickly copied all my blog posts and comments over too. But it did screw up some of the pictures, formatting, and links, so that took some time to sort out. But man, oh man, the site was still as ugly as the backside of a Holstein with the runs. That’s when I discovered that self-hosting wasn’t going to be that easy.

I couldn’t find a free theme that did everything I wanted, so I wound up buying a custom one from WooThemes. That took a lot of tweaking in itself. It’s amazing how hard it is to have different header images on two different pages. Or at least it is when you aren’t a computer programmer. Took me for-freaking-ever to figure that one out. Oh, and did I mention that I had to find good header images and experiment with 8 million different fonts, layouts, and colors to find a combo that I liked? Yeah. Doesn’t help that I suck at that kind of stuff, either.

Having a custom theme also means you have to choose everything to make things look the way you want. Do you want a boxed look? How wide do you want it? What style of navigation bar looks best? What color is your background? What font are you gonna use? What color is that font? How thick do you want the borders of your sidebar widgets? What about page layout? You can imagine how long this took with my sense of color and style. I’m still not convinced it’s all that whoopie either. Let me know what you think.

And by the way, I’m well aware that the mobile version of the Web site isn’t working worth a toot. I found out after-the-fact that I need a plugin to make my custom theme display correctly. A $60 plugin! As you well know, I’m a cheapskate. LOL So that means for the time being you’ll have to use pinch and zoom to read the Web site or listen to to the podcast on your phone. However, if you’ve got an iPhone, you’re in luck. Using Apple’s Mobile Safari app, click on a blog post. See that blue button that says “Reader” in the URL bar? Tap that and you won’t have to zoom in. It cuts out all the junk and gives you nice big text to read. It’s an awesome feature than many people overlook. Unfortunately, Google’s popular Chrome mobile browser doesn’t seem to have this feature. At least not on the iPhone it doesn’t. If you non-Apple users find a way to do this on your phone, shoot me an email at TruckerDump@gmail.com and I’ll pass the word along.

So, anyway. What’s new on this fancy-pants Web site?

Well. It looks a lot different, that’s for sure. I think it’s easier to navigate than my old page, too. It’s got a new FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page that will undoubtedly grow over time. The site now has a prominent Contact Me link in the navigation bar, too. It was buried on the old site. That might come in handy for your Frequently Asked Questions. And the site’s got a page with free stuff. For now, there is a cool 1-page PDF that shows you how to slide your tandems and fifth wheel to get a load to axle out. Even if you don’t need it, download it and print a few copies for those times when you see a rookie struggling to axle out properly. Another cool thing is the full versions of my podcast intro and outro songs are available for free. That’s courtesy of the band, Walking On Einstein. If you find something that looks like a good, free resource for truckers, let me know and maybe we can add it to the Free Stuff page. And of course, the podcast itself is a huge difference. But more on that in a bit.

Other than the addition of the podcast, the biggest difference is the name changes. The Web site is now AboutTruckDriving.com, which I feel is a heck of a lot better than AboutTruckingJobs.wordpress.com. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it rolls off the ol’ tongue better. It’s also more descriptive of what I do. I thought the old name sounded too much like one of those job-hunting Web sites.

And then there’s the name I’m most proud of. The blog/podcast has been rebranded as Trucker Dump, with the tagline: One driver’s insights and sometimes humorous views of truck driving and the trucking industry… and anything else he feels like dumping on you. See? Now isn’t that perfect for me? Bathroom humor galore. There will be more content added to the Web site later on, but you’ll have to settle for this for now. And the Welcome page for AboutTruckDriving.com is well… totally lame right now. I did try to make it amusing at least. And keep in mind that this is a work in progess. Let me know when you find bugs and I’ll do my best to exterminate the little buggers. Again, that’s what the Contact Me page is for.

Now of course, switching my web address means a couple of things. First, I will soon be redirecting the old site to the new one, so if you have the AboutTruckingJobs blog bookmarked, you’ll find yourself jumping over to the corresponding post on Trucker Dump instead. Secondly, I won’t be posting to the AboutTruckingJobs blog in the future. And that means that those of you who were subscribed to the old site will need to re-subscribe to the new one. I thought about trying to figure out who all was subscribed and just transferring your information over to the new subscribe list, but in the end I decided against it for three reasons.

  1. I didn’t want to assume you still wanted to be subscribed. So if you’ve been looking for a chance to gracefully escape, here it is.
  2. I wasn’t exactly sure how to find out who all was subscribed, so I’m taking the lazy way out by having you re-subscribe yourself.
  3. Even if I could figure out how you were subscribed, I didn’t want to presume you’d want to stay subscribed in the same way.

Unfortunately, subscribing to a blog isn’t as easy as it used to be. That’s mainly because not all web browsers support RSS anymore. If you click on the orange “Subscribe to RSS” label on the right side of the navigation bar and the page does something you aren’t expecting, just click on the Subscribe button in the navigation bar and it will take you to a page that should help you figure it out. It will also show you other ways to subscribe to the blog and/or podcast. If you just want to subscribe by email, there’s a subscribe box at the end of each blog post. Type your email address in there and you’re done. You’ll find a similar box on the Subscribe page.

Okay, now back to the subject at hand. I have to say that if I could have just concentrated on the Web site itself, I’d have been up and running in 2-3 months, even with my limited down time out here on the road. No, what took so long was making the content for the Web site. You see, I had a butt-load of podcasts to do. For instance, this is my 90th blog/podcast. And every time I did another blog post, that tacked on one more podcast I’d have to do. And that’s why I turned to my guest posters. I’m grateful that Noble, Sam, Kevin, and Doug were there to take some of the load off. But if you read those posts, you’ll know that I added to the content too, making even more work for myself. That’s why you haven’t seen a blog post for a while. I finally got caught up enough that I didn’t want to put myself behind again. I figured ya’ll could just wait until the new site went live. I trust you’ve survived.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the term podcast. . .

First, I guess I should explain what a podcast is for those of you who don’t know. A podcast is kinda like a little radio show that is distributed over the Internet instead of the airwaves. Most of them are free, as is Trucker Dump. Some are horrible due to poor production values and/or people who just turn on the mic and start yammering. I can’t do that without boring you and me both to tears, so luckily most of mine is scripted. Other podcasts are awesome. Now I doubt mine falls into that category, but I do think my production value is pretty dang good. The content? Well, that’s your call I guess. LOL I’m just hoping to fall somewhere in the middle. Have a listen and let me know what you think I could do to improve the show. Constructive criticism is welcome.

If you truckers aren’t listening to podcasts yet, you’re wasting a heck-of-a-lot of free listening content. If you have an interest, someone is doing a podcast on it. Sports? Check. Politics? Check. Quilting? Check. Foot Fetishes? Yep, even that. Go to the iTunes Store and type your particular interest into the search bar. I’d be shocked if it weren’t already being covered by somebody.

So what exactly is so hard about making podcasts?

Well, it would’ve been even harder if I didn’t hold an associate’s degree in Music and Video Business. If I wasn’t already familiar with audio editing, I probably wouldn’t be rolling out this podcast until I was checking into a nursing home. So here was the process. Bear with me.

For each blog post turned podcast, I needed to have relative quiet. That’s not easy to come by when you’re constantly surrounded by idling trucks and busy streets. Sometimes I just had to grin and bear it. Yes, you heard that right. I do all the recording in the bunk area of my truck. I’m betting that’s even more of a challenge in the future since I won’t have the benefit of waiting for the perfect moment of truck stop silence. Still, I think for the most part my microphone does a pretty good job of keeping the worst of the noise out. By the way, I know someone will ask, so I’ll just tell you now and get it over with. I use a Blue Yeti microphone and do the recording on my beloved 15″ MacBook Pro using the built-in GarageBand software. The Yeti is a good mic, but if I had it to do over, I’d get one with less sensitivity so I could block out more noise. Not to mention the stinkin’ thing’s as big as a freakin’ tuba.

So for each blog post, I had to write an introduction and outro (which are both unique for each individual podcast), record the intro, then read the blog post, then read the comments from readers (and future listeners), and answer them (starting at Episode 24), and then record the outro. Since I’m apparently incapable of speaking in coherent sentences, this took longer than it probably should have. In the beginning it took an hour to record a 5-minute podcast. And that’s not even counting the editing! I’m a lot better than I was in the beginning, but it still takes me about 20-30 minutes to record 10 minutes of audio, depending on how well my tongue is working that day. And you know that many of my blog posts are waaaaaay longer than 10 minutes of reading.

As for the editing process, it can take 1-2 hours to edit an average length podcast. I have to insert the music and sound effects, cut my original recording into about a million pieces, put them all back together, and mix the sound levels. Surprisingly enough, I manage to do that well enough to keep people from thinking I have a speech impediment. Now add in all the time experimenting with different formats, intros and outros, and general trial-and-error that comes with learning a new skill, and you can start to get an idea of why this took so friggin’ long.

So now I’m done with that podcast, right?

Nope. Now I have to convert it to AIF (to have a good archive copy), convert that to MP3 (for you good folks), insert the album artwork (which I also had to create), enter the name, episode title, length of the podcast (and all that other good junk), write the show description (complete with clickable HTML links for the show notes), create the RSS feed, upload the file to my web server, insert the little audio player you see above into the blog post, and then hit my knees and pray for 3 days that there won’t be any technical glitches. Then do it all 89 more times! I have to say that all of this little crap would’ve been 1000 times harder if I didn’t use an app called TextExpander. If you’re on a Mac and you do a lot of repetitive typing, just go buy it and I’ll let you put one of my nephews through college when you feel like paying me back. Yes, you’ll love it that much.

So all that to say this. Sorry it took so long, but I hope now that you’ll give me a break after hearing the whole monotonous process. I’m going to try like the dickens to get back to writing and recording on a more regular schedule than I did before. Don’t get too anal with me though. I can’t control my loads, where I’m at, or how loud my surroundings are. I’ll do my best to make up for the long absence though.

But alas, I’ve encountered one major problem.

I need your help with something. Do you remember when I mentioned that I read and respond to comments from readers and listeners? Well, those comments have been building up for the last 4 years. I no longer have the luxury of time, which means I’ll be strapped for content to fill the feedback section. So here’s what I need from you. If you’re a curious non-trucker or you’re considering becoming a trucker, write in with your thoughts and any questions you’ve ever wondered about how trucking works. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll ask around and try to find out.

If you’re a trucker, I really need you. You see, I’d like the Trucker Dump blog/podcast to be an excellent source of information for those interested in the trucking industry. I really think it could be, considering that most of my topics can be classified as “evergreen,” meaning that the information doesn’t change much over time. So you can see, I really need you experienced truckers to weigh in with your opinions, insights, experiences, and stuff I may not have thought of. If I’m right about something, back me up and lend credence to what I’m saying. That way the readers/listeners won’t think I’m just a blow-hard… even if I am. On the other hand, pipe up and tell me when I’m out of line or you have a different opinion on a subject. It’s always good to hear both sides of the story.

So how can you comment?

Well, if you’re on the blog, keep scrolling down and leave your thoughts in the comments section where everyone can see them. Or if you’d prefer, you can shoot me an email at TruckerDump@gmail.com. So help me out here, folks. This feedback section is going to get lame pretty quick without your help. And speaking of the feedback section, if you’re listening to the podcast, you may find yourself playing a fun little game with each new episode. Well, I hope you find it fun anyway. Cuz it’s a pain-in-the-tookus to do. I’ll leave it at that.

Guest Post: Truckers with Sleep Apnea: How to Know If You Have It And What to Do About It. by Doug Thomas

January 10, 2013

Photo by JohnnyJet via Flickr

Photo by JohnnyJet via Flickr

Hey there, sleepy-head! Silly you to think you could just jump right into today’s guest post without me blabbing for a bit. You’ll never learn, will you? So you may be asking, “What’s up with another guest post, slacker?” Well, hopefully this will be my last one for a while. The new Web site is pretty dang close to being ready; bugs, quirks, and all. But for now we’ve got yet another guest post that fits my critera perfectly.

In the last guest post, You Can’t See America from the Trucker’s Lounge, by our friend Kevin McKague, we discussed something I know very little about; exploring as a trucker. (And by the way, since Kevin guest posted for me, he’s since started a blog of his own called, Kevin’s Untitled Travel Blog. Check it out when you get a second.) In that same line, I don’t know much about today’s topic: sleep apnea. Had this post not been brought to my attention, you’d have probably never seen this subject covered on my blog; and that’s too bad considering how important this topic could be in the near future. How so?

Because every trucker’s favorite organization-to-hate, the FMCSA, is considering making all overweight truckers have mandatory sleep apnea tests, that’s why. And considering a recent article I read said that 73% of truckers are overweight, it stands to reason that a lot of truckers are going to need to wake up to this issue (pun intended). And as you’ll soon read, this sleep apnea thing is a problem that likely haunts more of us than we’d like to admit. So without further ado, I give you… HEY YOU! WAKE UP! I said, without further ado, I give you:

Truckers with Sleep Apnea: How to Know If You Have It And What to Do About It. by Doug Thomas

Hey, everybody. On reading through this blog, I was once again reminded how much of an issue sleep and tiredness is for truckers. I’m not a trucker, but I’m a driver, and I know how tired I get after long trips. Most truckers can get back to “normal” after a good night’s sleep or two. Others can’t. And that could point to a serious problem called sleep apnea.

People with sleep apnea often go undiagnosed, because the early symptoms could point to all kinds of things. We’re talking mainly tiredness during waking hours, a feeling of mental fogginess that makes it hard to concentrate and focus, and snoring. A device called a CPAP machine is the therapy of choice – assuming the person with this condition gets diagnosed.

A very under-diagnosed condition

Of the estimated 100 million people around the world who are thought to have sleep apnea, about 80 percent are undiagnosed, because, like I said a minute ago, there are many possible reasons for being tired and not being able to focus well. And there are plenty of people who snore and don’t have sleep apnea. Most of these people just self-treat and hope for the best. CPAP machines can do a great job in treating diagnosed sleep apnea, as we’ll see a little later. But first, what is sleep apnea?

It is a genetic condition that causes the throat to close while a person is sleeping. The result is the breathing stops – for as long as a minute in some cases – and the brain is immediately deprived of oxygen. You may be saying, “Well, Doug, I can hold my breath for a minute and not go stumbling around the next day unable to remember my address.”  That’s true, if you deprived your brain of oxygen for only one minute.

What if this happens 50 times a night? Or 100? Not all “apneic events,” as these breathing stoppages are called, last a whole minute, but the seconds add up. What CPAP machines do is deliver pressurized air to the nose through a tube and mask to prevent the throat from closing. But who thinks of going out and buying a CPAP machine just because they’re tired?

Not most of us, including most truckers. Sleep apnea isn’t a total mystery in society, but I’m amazed at how many people have never even heard of a CPAP machine. Likely there are many people who suspect they may have this condition but put off seeing a doctor about it. This can be dangerous, particularly for truckers, whose lives depend on clear thinking, alertness and quick judgments.

Sleep apnea can lead to many dangerous health issues

Sleep apnea doesn’t just “go away.” There is no cure for it. It may or may not worsen as you age – but it’s always going to be there. Like I said, the early symptoms are tiredness, fogginess and snoring. But more severe situations can crop up if the condition isn’t treated. Sleep apnea has been linked serious health problems including:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart attack
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Stroke

Does everyone with sleep apnea wind up with these conditions? Certainly (and thankfully) not. But it’s not worth taking a chance. Truckers who snore loudly, are chronically tired, and have trouble concentrating should check with their doctor. After doing an initial screening, if the doctor thinks you may have sleep apnea, you’ll be scheduled for a sleep study before starting therapy with a CPAP machine.

A sleep study involves spending a night at a sleep center, where technicians will monitor your breathing and oxygen levels during sleep. The results of the study will go back to your doctor, who will make a diagnosis.

Using a CPAP machine and mask while you sleep at night will take some getting used to, but it’s well worth it – as you’ll find out as soon as you begin living with more energy and clarity. And as soon as your spouse stops waking you up and saying, “Can you keep it down with the snoring?  I’m trying to get some sleep over here!” 

****This is a guest post by Doug Thomas, freelance writer for The CPAP Shop, a retailer of equipment used in sleep apnea therapy including CPAP machines, masks and various equipment and accessories.

A Quick Update On the Blog

August 10, 2012

Okay folks. I realize my last blog post was on May 17. I’m also fully aware that I haven’t been reaching my snark quota on Twitter lately. I’d like to explain myself. I’m lazy. Okay. That’s not at all true. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite.

I thought that by now everyone knew I was working on a new Web site. Yet when I recently tweeted that I was working on the new site, someone asked me, “What new Web site?” Apparently, I was once again wrong. Imagine that. I swear. One of these days I’m going to get something right.

So what is this new Web site? Basically, it’s just a re-branding of the About Trucking Jobs blog, with some additional features that I couldn’t get through WordPress.com, which is the free service where I’m hosted now.

I’ve already got new hosting, a new theme up and running, and most of the data transferred. Yes, I realize that doesn’t sound like a big deal. It really wasn’t. It did take a while to find a theme that suited all my needs, but once I did all my blog posts, pictures, and comments, transferred over with a few clicks. So what the heck has been taking so long?

For one thing, tweaking the Web site has been harder than I expected. The majority of it looks fine, but every once in a while, I can’t get some weird little thing to work. For instance, on my main blog page, I keep getting the wrong picture on one of my blog posts. I can’t for the life of me figure out why. Another time, I couldn’t figure out how to have two different header graphics on different pages (one for the main site and one specifically for the blog). My theme provider, WooThemes, has been extremely helpful with making changes to the programming code that looks like gobbledygook to me. But they’re busy lads, and sometimes it takes some time for even them to figure out what’s going on. In short, I really had no idea how much more was involved with moving your Web site from a free service to a self-hosted one. Still, necessity won out. Gotta do what you gotta do.

I’d really love to tell you all what to expect from the new Web site, but as of right now, I’m keeping most of it hush-hush. The blog will have a new name and a new layout with different colors. There will also be links to stuff my online friends do (if you’re interested in swapping links, shoot me an email at AboutTruckingJobs@gmail.com).

There are much bigger things afoot too, but as of now, only a handful of people who REALLY needed to know are aware of those new features. So if you want to find out, you’ll have to figure out who those people are, kidnap them, take them to an abandon warehouse, and whip out the vise grips and wire cutters.

Once the new Web site is live, it’ll be clear why all this took so freakin’ long. With the grand opening of the site, I’ll also be doing a blog post detailing the new features of the Web site, with further info on what it took to put it all together. Until then, I’m working with a couple of people to provide guest posts for you. In keeping with my guidelines, these posts will be about subjects I know little or nothing about. I think you’ll enjoy them. Of course, I’ll also be adding my thoughts to these guest posts.

So for now I ask for your patience. I swear that when I’m not posting blogs and I’m absent from Twitter, I’m either driving, working on the Web site, or at home where I actually get to cohabitate with real live people. And FYI, I tried having Twitter open while I worked on the site, but quite frankly, my mind isn’t capable of it. Every time a tweet popped up, I totally lost my train of thought. Now that I think of it. That’s probably why it always took 4-5 hours to write a blog post. I’m starting to think Twitter is truly evil. Still, be suere to hold my place until I get back in the swing of things. From what little I’ve seen, it looks like you people are providing plenty of snark to keep Twitter afloat.

Okay, enough explanation. Back to trying to figure out why that stinking picture keeps showing up where it’s not supposed to. Ah screw it. I’m not that smart. Time to contact to the WooThemes dudes. Ciao.

Time to Step Up and Help Some Fellow Truckers

May 17, 2012

An unhappy Lou

Ever been in need and wished someone could help you out? Well that’s where a couple of our fellow truckers are right now. They need our help so it’s time to step up, folks.

The people in question are Lou Obadal and Heather Pontruff. So what’s going on? Well, Lou has had back pain for months, but being the macho trucker (like we all think we are) and needing the money, he toughed it out and kept driving until it totally took him down. I’m no doctor, but it has something to do with a couple of herniated discs. That just sounds painful.

So we’re looking at a case of bad timing here folks. No insurance, no workman’s comp, and to take the proverbial knee to the junk, the company they worked for cancelled their contract after Lou got injured. Ahhhhh, yes. There’s nothing quite like an employer who sees you through the hard times. For the full story, check out Heather’s article clevery titled, Your Back Doesn’t Always Have Your Back. If you’re a super-generous person and you’ve already decided to donate to the cause, well God bless you. If you need convincing as to why you should help Lou and Heather out, the price you pay is having to read on. Actually, I hope you do.

So why should we help Lou and Heather? Well, because there’s that whole “Do Unto Others” thing to consider. There’s also the fact that they’re fellow truckers and if we can’t take care of our own, then who will? Well, wait a second here. Actually, Lou is the “official” trucker. But anyone who knows Heather knows she’s really a trucker too. She may not do the actual driving but she rides along with Lou, takes care of most of the business stuff and still manages to do lots of good in this world. What kind of good? Well I’m glad you asked.

First of all, let me say that Lou and Heather had absolutely nothing to do with what I’m about to say. Knowing them, they’ll probably be shocked and humbled by it. All they asked of me was that I help spread the word by retweeting the link to their fundraising site. While I’m doing that whenever I get a chance, I think these two truckers deserved a whole blog post. And let me tell you why:

  1. Because Lou and Heather are funny. Just check out Heather’s YouTube Channel for verification of that. My personal favorite is the one where Heather is tormenting a totally wasted Lou. Funny stuff.
  2. Because they’re nice folks. For instance, Heather can have a completely opposite viewpoint from you and still carry on a civilized conversation that doesn’t turn into name-calling. Case in point; we both think each other’s spiritual beliefs are nuts, but we can have heated debates about it and still walk away friends. Not being a meanie is always a plus in my book.
  3. Because Heather speaks out for truckers. I especially appreciate the fact that she writes in-depth, well researched articles about today’s trucking issues. And that means yours truly doesn’t have to do any research. I can just wait until she posts an article on her Web site, Trucker’s Voice, and then retweet it with the words “yeah, what she said” tacked onto the end of it.
  4. Because they’re our Twitter buds. I know Heather’s active on Facebook and other social Web sites too (check out Trucker’s Voice for all the places you can find her).  While Heather does most of the tweeting, Lou pops in every now and then. What is it with husbands and boyfriends that don’t tweet? Perhaps Heather and @raysunshine77 could explain this phenomenon to us. I’d ask @ChrisandCasey (cancelled Twitter account) too, but Casey seems to have dropped off the face of the planet. I’m hoping the boys at the space station will snag her with one of those cool robotic arm doohickeys before she slips past them.
  5. Because they are two of the most generous people I know. In 2010, they started an organization called Trucking Santas to help provide a decent Christmas for families who weren’t going to have one. As part of this program, they also adopted three facilities within the United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland. They tweeted some heartwarming pictures of their visits to these facilities last Christmas season. Now how many of us can say we’ve done that? Don’t expect me to raise my hand. I’m busy twiddling my thumbs, looking around non-chalantly, and whistling.

So what do you think? Are Lou and Heather worth dipping into your checkbook? I sure think so. You don’t have to give a lot, but I’m sure there won’t be any complaints if you do. 😀 I’m sure anything will be appreciated. You can be a proud sponsor when you donate or do it anonymously. You can even hide the amount you give. Better hurry though. The fundraiser ends on May 27! Quite frankly, if I’d realized it ended that soon, I’d have done this earlier. My bad. But please don’t let my procrastination issues keep you from helping to reach their goal. They’re just over halfway there! Donate now! And please pass the word along to whatever social networks you belong to. Let’s get this puppy moving!

TV Casting Call for A New Show about Truckers

May 3, 2012

In my 15 years of watching truck drivers interact with waitresses, cashiers, shipping clerks, forklift drivers, mechanics, and heck, even other truckers, I’ve discovered that 99% of truckers think they’re in some way either, funny, amusing, interesting, unique, extremely handsome, or most likely, all of the above. Sadly, a big chunk of us aren’t any of those things. If you need proof of that, I’ve got over 80 blog posts you’re welcome to peruse. 😀

But that doesn’t mean that all of us are as annoying as a truck-trapped fly equipped with a bullhorn and a teeny-tiny jetpack. I’m sure there are some drivers out there who actually are funny, amusing, interesting, or unique, and possibly even too sexy for their shirt. Well here’s your chance to prove it.

The Speed Channel is looking for drivers who are interested in being on a new show about truckers.

It’s called Payload, and it’s being called an “adventure race.” While they’re naturally keeping the details of the race locked up at CIA headquarters, I can tell you that there will be four drivers competing for a whopping $70,000! There will be seven legs of the race (each worth $10,000) and all four drivers will do all seven legs. So if you’re the super-trucker that you think you are, you could win all seven legs and be $70,000 richer! Just remember that I’m your friend if that happens. I’ve had my eye on a decked out 13″ MacBook Air. 😉

I’d say from the looks of the Payload video that this show looks like it’s got a heck of a lot of potential for making truckers look good for a change of pace. Check it out for yourself. And if my server is slower than a Prime truck at full throttle, you can also see the video at www.payloadcasting.com.

Let me clarify something that was in the text at the end of the video. When I watched this video for the first time, I thought, “Oh great. Since it mentioned showing off your skills in YOUR rig, they must only be looking for owner/operators.” Well, I’ve got good news for you company drivers. I contacted Marc Levine (one of the casting directors for the show) and found out that casting is open to ALL truck drivers, both owner/operators and company drivers!

Marc said that finding the right drivers was first and foremost. And if that means that some of the “right” drivers wind up being company drivers, they’d supply a truck for him/her to drive. Cool, huh? You know, now that I think about it, Marc actually said they were looking for the right “characters.” I’m not sure how he meant that, but I know some of you fit that category for sure. 😀 Or maybe you know someone who’d be perfect for the show?

Well here’s the thing. If you or a buddy wants to be a part of this show, you’d better kick it into Georgia Overdrive and get your video and application in quick. The deadline is May 18 and they don’t want you waiting around until the last minute. So don’t screw around and mess up your chances. Pretend like you’re hauling an expedited load and get it to them ASAP.

If you’re interested in putting your name in the hat, go to www.payloadcasting.com for more details or you can contact Marc Levine or Heather May directly at PayloadCasting@gmail.com. Be sure to include a brief description of yourself, a history of your trucking experience, two recent photos of you and your truck, and a phone number to reach you. A brief video would also help them get a good idea of your camera mojo.

So what are you waiting for? You could either sit around here and wait another month for me to put up another blog post, or you could get yourself on Payload, earn some extra dough, buy me a 13″ MacBook Air, and finally convince everyone that you’re as cool as you’ve been telling everyone for years. And let’s face it. About the only way that will ever happen is for everyone to see your ugly mug on the Speed Channel.

A Trucker Visits Carhenge

March 5, 2012

As a trucker for nearly 15 years, I’ve traveled all across the United States and parts of Canada. Along the way I’ve had the opportunity to explore many things. Yet, for the most part, I haven’t. Why not? Well, it basically comes down to one thing: I can be a lazy tightwad when I put my mind to it.

You see, I drive a truck to earn a living, not to have fun. Every time I’ve tried to go exploring, it ended up costing me a fortune. Like that time The Evil Overlord (the wife and ex-codriver) and I went into Portland, Oregon when our company couldn’t find us a load. The cab fare to and from downtown was almost $40. The meal we had at Jake’s Famous Crawfish was unbelievably awesome, but it set us back over $100. By the way, The Evil Overlord and I both highly recommend the Halibut stuffed with Brie.

Another time, we were stuck in Salt Lake City for five days due to the combination of a broken air conditioner, a holiday weekend, and a bonehead who ordered a wrong part. Long story there. There’s another venue for that. Again, The Evil Overlord wanted to go sight-seeing. Another expensive meal or two (not so great this time), a car rental, and a trip to the zoo, aquarium, and lots of other places I have no recollection of, and we spent nearly as much as we would have made if we’d have been driving all week. Had The Evil Overlord not been there, I’d have ordered a couple of pizzas and glued the remote control to my hand. That’s just how I roll.

Again, my point is that I spend 2-4 weeks on the road to make money, not spend it. And that’s what I choose to do. If you choose otherwise, you could see a lot of cool junk as a truck driver. You’ve just got to be motivated enough to do it and be willing to spend the dough. Your call.

Now having said all that, sometimes an opportunity just presents itself. That’s what happened when I found myself out in the middle of freakin’ nowhere in Nebraska. As if Nebraska itself isn’t in the middle of freakin’ nowhere. Anyway, I saw the signs for Carhenge long before I got there. Somewhere in the back of my amoeba-sized brain, I recalled the name and remembered reading about it somewhere. So what to do? Should I stop or not? For a change of pace, I had plenty of time on the load. Hmmmm. . .

Ultimately, I decided that I wasn’t going to go out of my way to see it. Yea, I know; surprise, surprise. If it wasn’t within viewing distance of the road, or it was, but the parking looked tight, I’d drive right on by. In other words, if I had to put any effort whatsoever into this little endeavor, I was going to pass. As fate would have it, the parking lot was empty and it was right on the main thoroughfare.

I ended up being there for 45 minutes. Not because the place was so interesting, but because I thought I’d finally reach into the depths of my soul and explore my artsy-fartsy side. This is something that @darkstaff, @alanqbristol, and @DriverChrisMc have been trying to get me to do for a long time. I don’t really have an eye for that sort of thing, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Here’s what I came up with.

The video was shot with a Flip Mino HD and all the pictures were taken with my iPhone 3GS (the one with the older, crappier camera). The pictures were all taken and edited using the Camera+ app, which totally rocks, by the way.

The music is a song called “Segue Jazz” from the band Walking On Einstein. You can find it on the “Commoners Among The Masses” album. They are from the Joplin, MO area and I went to high school with the drummer and bass player. Although the band is no longer playing, I love ’em and still listen to their stuff all the time. Let me know what you think.

Videos: How To Do a Full-Body Workout Inside the Cab of a Semi

January 5, 2012

Okay people. It’s the beginning of a new year. We’ve all spent the holidays stuffing ourselves with turkey, pumpkin pie, fruitcake, and roast beast. Then many of you drank enough to drown a hippo on New Year’s Eve. Then in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, you promptly puked every last calorie of your holiday gluttony into the floorboard of your best friend’s car. Better make that your EX best friend’s car. So what’s next?

Why, it’s New Year’s resolution time, of course! Personally, I don’t make resolutions. I’ve pretty much mastered the art of disappointing myself enough without the added pressure of a bunch of resolutions that I know I’ll never keep. But I know some of you are gluttons for punishment, so this post may help you out.

Undoubtedly, at least one of you out there have decided that this will be the year you’re going to get in shape. Well, I’ve got something that can help you out. It’s really designed to help truckers, but it can be used by anyone. It all started when I decided to start working out and being the whiner that I am, I started tweeting about it. That’s when I got the question:

“How do you do a workout inside your truck?”

Man, I’ve been asked this question at least a million times (give or take 999,996). In the past I’ve always said, “One of these days, I’ll make a video and show you.” Today is that day.

I’ve made two videos, each of them a little under 15 minutes long. In typical fashion, I’ve tried to spruce them up a bit with a little bad humor. I’ll let you decide whether I succeeded or if I earned a spot on the FAIL Blog. Doing these videos has taught me one thing for sure. Video is hard. As long as it takes for me to write a blog post, it’s much quicker than doing videos. So don’t be expecting this to turn into a video blog anytime soon.

As a matter of fact, let me give you a bit of a disclaimer here. The audio and video quality isn’t exactly what I’d call stellar. In fact, it kinda sucks. I tried using both of my good video cameras, but neither of them had a wide enough lens to get the shots I needed in such a cramped space. That left me with the built-in camera and microphone on my computer. And sometimes they just weren’t up to the task as you’ll easily see by some poorly framed shots. Unfortunately, I don’t have one of those fancy pants new MacBooks with the high-definition camera. I’ve got the older, “it sucks but it’s better than nothing” camera.

The lighting made it worse. I tried to shoot during the daylight, but the contrast between the sunlight and the interior of the truck made it virtually unwatchable. So I shot it at night, using only the interior cab lights in my truck. I did the best I could, so don’t be too mean when you leave a comment. You were planning to leave a comment, weren’t you?

So what have we got for you today? Well, Video #1 is the Introduction and the abs workout. Video #2 is the dumbbell workout. Perhaps another disclaimer is in order here. I am NOT a professional trainer. Never have been. Never will be. So do all these exercises at your own risk. Start out easy and work your way up. I’d tell you to see a physician before you start any exercise program, but you and I both know that you’re not going to give a doctor any dough for something as trivial as that. I guess there really isn’t a lot more to say, so for once, I won’t. Here you go. Let me know what you think by leaving that comment we discussed earlier.

One last thing. This is a G-rated video. I’m wearing a short-sleeve shirt and shorts. Trust me. You really don’t want to see my Austin Powers chest hair. Enjoy!

Here’s a couple of links that might help:

The Men’s Health Abs Diet Workout

Proper techniques for dumbbell exercises

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: Trucker Style

December 19, 2011

Well, it’s that time of year again. Christmas is here and you and your brother have finally settled out of court over that ugly turkey drumstick incident. The house is filled with holiday cheer. Everyone is happy to be together while they snort chocolate shavings, smoke cookie dough, and mainline eggnog.

But what about those truckers who didn’t make it home on Christmas Day? Well, I’ve written a poem in their honor. I hope it puts you in a Christmasy kinda mood. Here goes nothing. Pick your poison. You can listen to me or read it yourself. Enjoy!

Click here to listen

‘Twas the night before Christmas: Trucker style

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the truck,

the only thing stirring was a case of bad luck.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

but thanks to my job, I wasn’t there.

The nephews were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of Modern Warfare 3 danced in their heads.

With The Evil Overlord at home in her teddy (hey, it’s my poem) and I on the road,

We had both settled down to take off a load.

When outside my truck there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bunk to see what was the matter.

I reached for my clothes, knowing I was certain,

Prepared for the worst, I opened the curtain.

The moon in the sky gave off such a great glow

It made the parking lot look like it was covered with snow.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a flatbed loaded with big green John Deeres.

With the driver outside looking at my truck,

I knew right away I had more bad luck.

As I jumped outside to check out my bumper,

Something flew over my head and then took big dumper.

My luck continued as I took it in the eye,

It was such a huge load it almost made me cry.

As I looked to the sky I swore I heard a jingle,

I took cover and prayed it didn’t need to tinkle.

Alas, I did not see what dumped on my head,

But I thought I glimpsed something that might have been red.

I thought, “Could that have been good old St. Nick?”

Nah, couldn’t be. My eyes had just played a trick.

So back to my problem, the wreck, not the poop.

I called my Nazi safety department to give them the scoop.

We exchanged information and he went on his way,

I guess he was too embarrassed to back in and stay.

Next thing you know I was getting a call,

The Evil Overlord sounded like she was about to bawl.

It seems that some fat guy had squeezed down through our roof

He didn’t seem too happy that he burned his caboose.

He was all dressed in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all covered with ashes and soot.

She said, “Why would a man be wearing so much fur?”

“I bet he’s one of those drag queens, Do I call him sir?”

“His eyes-how they twinkle! His dimples how merry!”

“This dude must be wasted, I’m guessing it’s cooking Sherry.”

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the Sherry had stained his beard, like a dead deer in the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And she said, “Holy cow, I think that’s weed!”

He had a broad face and a big ol’ gut,

Every bit of him was fat, yes, even his butt.

He was chunky and plump, a right jolly old guy,

She said, “I’d be jolly too if I was that high!”

A wink of his eye and a shake of his head,

“Are you kidding me, perv, not even if I were dead!”

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings with Doritos and beef jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh and they lurched into flight,

As she leveled the shotgun, she had him in sight.

As he started to exclaim, she squeezed off a shot,

“That’ll teach you to let your reindeer poop in my husband’s eye!”

The End.

Merry Christmas

*If you enjoyed this little ditty, please give this post a good rating and tell all your friends to check it out. If you didn’t enjoy it, keep your rating to yourself and your trap shut.*

Getting Sideways: A New Book by Lisa Nowak

December 11, 2011

Okay kiddos. We’ve got something a bit different in store for you today. I was just on the verge of starting a new blog post when I found out a friend of mine was releasing a new book today. So now she’s an even better friend because she got me out of writing a blog post. Say hello to my new best friend, Lisa Nowak.

I met Lisa by freak chance. She was doing some research for a character in a book she was working on. That character just so happened to be a trucker. Well, apparently Google’s algorithms were screwed up that day because she somehow landed on my blog. We struck up an email conversation and I quickly discovered Lisa’s great sense of humor. And because of that, I bought the first book in this series, Running Wide Open.

But wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s let Lisa tell you what these two books are about and then I’ll come back and give you my thoughts.

Getting Sideways: Book 2 in the Full Throttle Series

Getting shipped off to live with his uncle Race was the best thing that ever happened to fifteen-year-old Cody. Then a wreck at the speedway nearly ruined everything. Cody’s making every effort to get his life back on track—writing for the school paper, searching for the perfect girlfriend, and counting the days until he gets his drivers’ license—but there’s no escaping the nightmares that haunt him.

A chance to build his own car seems like the perfect distraction. Until Cody realizes he’ll have to live up to Race’s legendary status. But that’s the least of his worries, considering he doesn’t have his dad’s permission. All he has to do is the impossible: keep Race from discovering his lie until he can convince his dad that racing’s safe.

Yeah, sure. That’ll be easy.

Haven’t read the first book? Running Wide Open is on sale now for 99 cents.

Running Wide Open: Book 1 in the Full Throttle Series

Cody Everett has a temper as hot as the flashpoint of racing fuel, and it’s landed him at his uncle’s trailer, a last-chance home before military school. But how can he take the guy seriously when he calls himself Race, eats Twinkies for breakfast, and pals around with rednecks who drive in circles every Saturday night?

What Cody doesn’t expect is for the arrangement to work. Or for Race to become the friend and mentor he’s been looking for all his life. But just as Cody begins to settle in and get a handle on his supercharged temper, a crisis sends his life spinning out of control. Everything he’s come to care about is threatened, and he has to choose between falling back on his old, familiar anger or stepping up to prove his loyalty to the only person he’s ever dared to trust.

Praise for Running Wide Open:

“It doesn’t matter if you are a racing fan or not, Running Wide Open will captivate you and capture your heart.” – Cari J, Amazon reviewer

“The roar of engines practically explodes off the page in this compelling, heart-thumping debut. Cody Everett is a straight-shooter with attitude, smarts, and whip-cracking wit; he doesn’t pull any punches, and neither does author Lisa Nowak. The collision of Cody and the world of stock car racing makes for a great story, one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Running Wide Open is a book not to be missed.” – Christine Fletcher, author of Tallulah Falls and Ten Cents a Dance

“The racing is easy to understand and does not get in the way of a rattling good story. I still couldn’t put it down on a re-read.” – Elisabeth Miles, Amazon reviewer

“We race stock cars during the summer and even though this is a recommended read for Young Adults, we are seniors and enjoyed every page. We can hardly wait for the sequel to come out. MUST READING!” – Maxci Jermann, Barnes and Noble reviewer

“I say read this book, it’s fun, it’s beautiful, it’s a very cool read that will give you a feel-good state of mind. Awesome read.” – L.E.Olteano, Butterfly-o-meter Books

Author Bio:

In addition to being a YA author, Lisa Nowak is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are. She enjoys dark chocolate and stout beer and constantly works toward employing wei wu wei in her life, all the while realizing that the struggle itself is an oxymoron.

Lisa has no spare time, but if she did she’d use it to tend to her expansive perennial garden, watch medical dramas, take long walks after dark, and teach her cats to play poker. For those of you who might be wondering, she is not, and has never been, a diaper-wearing astronaut. She lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her husband, four feline companions, and two giant sequoias.

Connect with Lisa online:

Thanks Lisa. Now first, you peeps need to understand that I’m not much on Fiction. That’s The Evil Overlord’s department. I enjoy listening to Fictional audiobooks sometimes, but by and large, I stick to Non-Fiction. I figure if I’m going to take the time to read a book, I may as well be learning something while I’m doing it. Still, Lisa’s witty emails had caused me a few gut laughs, so I figured, what the heck; I’ll give it a shot. Me being a tightwad and all, it helped that the e-book version of Running Wide Open was only 99¢.

Well, I have to tell you. I don’t regret my massive outlay of cash one little bit. I was amused throughout and always looked forward to the next time I could get back to the book. This being a YA (Young Adult) book, I wasn’t expecting subject matter that made me ponder the meaning of life. Stuff like that hurts my brain too much anyway. What I got was a book with interesting characters, great dialogue, and a lot of laughs.

I have to admit that Cody got on my nerves a few times. So much so that I found myself wanting to reach into the book to wring his scrawny little neck. Then again, he’s a teenager so I guess that’s natural, right? I mean, who hasn’t wanted to strangle a teenager at least once in their life? Just the fact that I had that strong of an emotion about a fictional character is a testament to Lisa’s writing. Cody wasn’t always choke-worthy though. His quick wit and smart aleck attitude earned him some brownie points in my book. Another thing I loved about Cody’s character was his choice of shirts. He was always wearing a tee-shirt with some funny little saying on it. They never failed to get a chuckle out of me.

Cody’s uncle, Race is probably the second coolest uncle in the world. Sorry Lisa, but I’m claiming the top spot in that category, despite what my nephews say. Race is the kind of guy you want to have as a best friend. As I turned the pages, I almost had to concede that he was a cooler uncle than me, but in the end my delusion held up. I still win. But only by a bumper.

What really made Running Wide Open a fun read was the banter that goes on between all the characters. Cody, Race, and some of the characters that hang out at the race track are as snarky as can be. And y’all know I love me some snark.

Perhaps the best praise I can give to Lisa Nowak’s writing is that I care about the characters enough that I’ve already bought Getting Sideways. And it was more than 99¢. Looks like Running Wide Open is still 99¢ too. So why don’t you good folks give it a shot and support an indie author. If you like it as much as I did, you can move right into Getting Sideways. If not, well, you’ve only wasted 99¢. And heck, even I wouldn’t whine for more than a week or two for losing 99¢.

A Trucker’s Thanksgiving

November 21, 2011

Gobble, Gobble

Photo by r_gnuce via Flickr

Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s time to slap-fight your siblings for the drumstick and have spoon duels over the last dollop of Cool Whip, because we all know pumpkin pie just ain’t right until you can’t see the plate beneath the pie.

More importantly though, it’s time to look around us and give thanks for everything we have. For being blessed with an annoying brother who called dibs on the drumstick before you. For your superior health, which enables you to punch him hard enough to leave a giant bruise. For the job that you hate. You know, the job that put that turkey on the table. The job that paid your bills all year. The job that the dude in the unemployment line would kill for. Yes, I know I’m among the guiltiest in this regard. Thanks for pointing that out. Now shut your face.

So that’s what I’m here to do today: count my blessings. And since I’m such a ooey-gooey, touchy-feely, sentimental kinda guy, I’ll do so in my typical fashion. Here are the things that this trucker is thankful for. As expected, let’s start out with:

  • Thanks to the inventors of electronic logs for wasting my valuable time. As if my trips to the mall with The Evil Overlord weren’t enough torture for one man.
  • Thanks to the driver who insists on going the speed limit in the fast lane. I hadn’t realized it was your job to police me. Thanks for keeping me in line.
  • Thanks to all those drivers who slow down when you see a cop, even when you’re not speeding. I hear that if a cop sees you do this, he’ll pull you over and give you an ice cream cone.
  • Thanks to all you good folks who overspend your budgets. Your greed = my freight.
  • Thanks to all the credit card companies who promote this overspending. May your consciences be clear as you sleep on your $800 pillow lined with kitten fur.
  • Thank you to the medical profession for extending life expectancy. It’s going to take every last second of life to pay off these stinkin’ credit cards. Dang. My balance just went up again. Who knew there was such thing as a badmouthing fee?
  • Thanks to all the rubberneckers who bring traffic to a near standstill, even though whatever is happening is on the opposite side of the highway.
  • Thanks to that police officer who issues me a ticket for having a light out. You know, one of those three tiny, but extremely crucial clearance lights that are above my trailer doors. Whew! Did you see that? That airplane almost rear-ended me!
  • Thanks to all the drivers who try to close the gap when I flip my turn signal on to switch lanes. No worries. It’s not like I can’t take the spot after you pass. Aw crap. The next guy punched it too. And the next… And the next…
  • Thanks to all the truckers who tailgate 4-wheelers. Nothing says “professional” quite like a rear-view mirror full of grille.
  • Thanks to the woman who puts on her makeup in 65 mph rush hour traffic. We all know how important it is to look pretty when there’s an open casket.
  • Thanks to all those 4-wheelers who like to hang out in a trucker’s blind spots. Oh well. Out of sight, out of mind. Never you mind that pesky turn signal light that’s making the side of your face glow.
  • Thanks to the driver who locks up his brakes in front of me because he missed his turn. I’ve really been needing to check the integrity of my brakes. Too bad they work.
  • Thanks to the DOT, the FMCSA, the CSA, and all the other organizations who love truckers enough to regulate them. It’s nice to know that you can make me log it if it takes more than 7 minutes to pee, but you can’t make a receiver unload me in less than 3 hours.
  • Thanks to the trucker who parks in front of the fuel islands for extended periods of time. Yes, I know you had fuel card problems. I saw your fuel receipt through the Subway bag with toilet paper stuck to it.
  • Thanks to all the drivers who figure out where the gas pedal is after I start to pass you.
  • Thanks to all the 4-wheelers who go 5 mph under the speed limit on 2-lane highways. It’s a good thing I’m not driving this truck to make money or anything.
  • Thanks to the driver who writes SHOW YOUR HOOTERS in the dust on the back of the trailer. Public opinion: 1 Trucker’s reputation: 0
  • Thanks to the truck who parks crookeder than a homemade TV antenna. I hope you weren’t emotionally attached to that side-view mirror.
  • Thanks to the state of California for making us truckers stay in the far right lanes. It’s not like that’s where all the other vehicles are trying to enter the roadway or anything.
  • I’d also like to thank California for making trucks go 55 mph. We all know how dangerous those tumbleweeds can be.
  • Thanks to the driver who pulls out in front of me from a side street. I’ve been meaning to work on my slalom skills.
  • Thanks to my company for banning all cooking devices from my truck. There’s nothing quite like a cold bowl of Captain Crunch on a blustery winter’s night.
  • Thanks to the inattentive or unyielding trucker who won’t back out of it for two seconds so a slightly faster truck can get around him quicker. I’m sure all those drivers stuck behind you will be talking about the nice trucker when they get to work.
  • Thanks to the DOT for their hours-of-service rules. How would I know when I’m tired without your infinite wisdom?
  • Thanks to the drivers who feel the need to go 25 mph in a 45 mph construction zone. Good thing you’re clairvoyant. Those construction workers are always putting up the wrong speed limit signs.
  • Thanks to all the businesses who put up NO TRUCK PARKING signs. I nearly forgot that my money is less valuable than everyone else’s.
  • Thanks to all the worthless pile of dung truckers who use these parking lots as trash bins and toilets. I’m sure that has absolutely nothing to do with those NO TRUCK PARKING signs.
  • Thanks to all you 4-wheelers who are so kind as to allow me to hang out in the fast lane after I’ve scooted over to help you merge onto the highway. Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were on the phone.
  • Speaking of on-ramps and phones, thanks to the driver who can’t be bothered to put away his cell phone as he’s barreling down the on-ramp. I guess the two cars to the left of me forgot to use their X-ray vision to see you trying to push me over. I know, right? What a waste of super powers.
  • And yet again, thanks to all those wishy-washy 4-wheelers who can’t make a decision when they get to the end of the on-ramp. Yes, I know being 3 car-lengths ahead of me will make it an impossibly tight fit, but why don’t you try anyway.
  • Thanks to the Christians who write Bible verses on the bathroom walls. Nothing says “Jesus loves you” quite like vandalizing someone’s property.
  • Thanks to all the shippers and receivers who value my time so much. Everyone deserves a 5-hour nap in the middle of their workday. Right?
  • Thanks to the soccer mom who cuts across three lanes in front of me to get to her exit ramp. My doctor has been saying I need to increase my heart rate more often.
  • Thanks to the person who flips me the bird for riding out in the left-hand lane. Clearly I misread that sign that read, TRUCKS LEFT LANE ONLY. My bad.
  • Thanks to all the good citizens who vote for anti-idling laws for trucks. While you may not die from harmful gas inhalation, you’ve dramatically increased your shot at getting run over by a trucker who was unsuccessfully trying to sleep in a pool of his own sweat.
  • And finally, thanks to the truck stop owners who wants $37 for a small bottle of Pepto-Bismol. When you’re looking for your place of torment in hell, just follow the signs that say, EXPLOITED A DIARRHEA SUFFERER.
Well, there you have it; a list of things to be thankful for. Yes, I know. Heartfelt is my middle name. That’s just me.
So, what are you thankful for this Turkey Day? As soon as you get done clobbering your brother with that drumstick you stole, why don’t you pop on over to the comments section and leave your thoughts. I’d appreciate it if you’d wash your hands first. I don’t want you touching my comments sections with those greasy turkey fingers. I swear. We can’t have anything nice in this house.

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