Sunday, November 30, 2008

Infrequent Updates

My apologies readers. I have no excuse. I just haven't been updating my blog. I have been distracted by other things to play with on the internet.

So what's happened lately? Well, I have paid of almost all my debt. My two biggest outstanding loans are now paid in full and I am hacking away at one remaining smaller debt. ETA for debt free living, January 1, 2009. Next two financial goals are saving and building credit.

Meanwhile my truck driving lifestyle has become much more comfortable over the past few months. My spending allowance is a bit more generous (but still modest) and I have added several comforts to my mobile apartment (the one here behind my driver seat) including custom made bedding (thanks to my Grandma who helped and guided me in my first sewing project), an new and improved on-board dispatch computer (courtesy of Interstate), an upgraded stereo system (with a subwoofer under the driver seat), a portable DVD player, and of coarse my new  Eee PC laptop computer (it's so cute!). I also added wall-to-wall carpeting to my living space, as well as a couch bolster thing that my mom and grandma also helped me make.

I have to say that the one thing that has not improved has been my social life. It has gotten a slight boost from getting a new laptop and being able to socialize online, but there really is nothing like seeing people in person. Also, I have been staying out on the road for longer runs - two months or more at a time instead of just three weeks. This has helped my work experience to be so much more positive not to mention increasing my overall income, but even though I can spend up to a week off when I get home, I feel myself drifting from friends and family. A few I have managed to stay in touch with, and I find myself more motivated than ever to make the effort - which is nice, since a few of us Shackelfords are not great at keeping in touch, and I feel am now much better at it than I was before - but still, there are people I used to see everyday that I am now lucky if I  talk to once every couple months and that makes me sad. Not that I feel anyone has abandoned me, it's just that some people just aren't real good at keeping in touch.

That being said, on the other hand I must say that I have been seeing more of some people than I would have otherwise like my brother John and his family, and my dear cousins and friends in the Northwest, not to mention (now being motivated) family and friends I have re-connected with back home.

People are the most important thing in the world to me. I wish I had more time to get to know more people and spend more time with the people I already know. Time. That's another thing I have become more aware of. Time in itself is nothing. It's what wee do with our time that is worth so much. And for me it is now time to sleep. Till next time! Adios.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mae West - "I like restraint, if it doesn't go too far."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dreams and Goals

In no particular order:

  • Publish a compilation of independent  desert musicians
  • Open a cafe / venue / art-space in the desert
  • Have my own music studio again
  • Start a collective / record label (publish compilations, split EPs and Vinyl LPs
  • Finish writing my book and publish it
  • Write and publish several other books
  • Write, direct, produce, star in and/or compose the sound track for a feature length independent film
  • Travel in a complete circle all the way around the world (flying as little as possible)
  • Travel on a steam-ship from New York to London
  • Walk on Mars
  • See Antarctica (very briefly)
  • See the Sahara
  • Sail on the Mediterranean
  • Meet someone worth falling in love with
  • Finish all of my unfinished recordings
  • Be an obscure indie icon
  • Teach Philosophy, English, and/or music
  • Climb El Capitan
  • Be in a band again
  • Own a house (preferably in Fullerton or some similar town)
  • Drive an El Camino
  • Meet the President
  • See Washington DC
  • Help people by opening a psychology / psychiatry / physical therapy clinic
  • maybe have a kid or two
  • maybe adopt a kid or two
  • Live for a very very very long time...maybe forever
  • and go to bed soon because I am very sleeeeeeepy....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feeling Better. Back on the Road.

I am back in business, and headed right back to Tacoma. Again. Eastward please!! Not north, not south, and definitely not west. EAST. East where the flat states are. East where thousands of miles of road stretch out before me. East! East! East! So that when it's time to go home, I will cover a thousand more miles (at least!) coming back! Or you could just send me to New Mexico. That would work too. Especially with winter coming. Yeah, on second thought just run me between California and Texas for the next 4 months and I will be pretty content. Oh well. We'll see what really happens.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sudden Illness; Go Back 2 Spaces!

(Moan) Oh man. I don't feel so good. I was going through Weed, CA on the way to Orland, CA (which was on the way to the first of 3 drops) when a gurgling in my stomach alerted me to the sudden need to pull over and find a restroom forthwith. Luckily one of my usual stopping places was close at hand and I narrowly avoided a rather messy disaster. 50 miles later I was not so lucky. Same occurrence, but this time 15 miles from the yard at Orland. Too far. I didn't make it. I'm sorry to even make you read about this. I'm sure all of you my dear readers are right now saying "Eeeeeeew!" but this is one of the harsh realities of trucking.

Earlier today - in fact for the last few days - I have not been feeling my best, and today I was especially headachy, even a little dizzy just a few hours ago, which made me a little suspicious, but I shrugged it off until that episode 15 miles from where I am now. That confirmed my suspicion that maybe I was better to pass this load on than try to make it in my current condition. Actually my current condition is slightly better. I am at Orland now wiith a restroom close at hand and a full nights rest ahead of me. I did have to give up this load but I got most of the miles off it already anyway. I do feel bad for the dispatchers, CSR, planners, etc. that have to scramble to get the load delivered now, not to mention the driver that has to do 3 stops on a load with practically no miles left on it, but there really was no feasible way for me to do this. I'd need a HASMAT team to clean my truck when I got there. Plus with having to stop, and the headache and the dizziness. Just no good. Bad news bears. Anyhow  I hope to be feeling better tomorrow but I'm not going to push it. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Restless! Restless!

My new computer is a blessing and a curse. I thought it would be harmless to put a game on there. Bad idea. I need to cleanse my new computer of all the time-eating elements that I have added since I picked it up. Another day wasted away while I clicked here and clicked there. I'm just glad I don't have any deadlines tomorrow. I can take it slow and spend all day driving with the windows down.
I'm also way behind on my paperwork and I am finally doing laundry. It's gonna be a long night but at the end I will be glad to have taken care of all the things that have been neglected over this past week. I'm going to put the computer away for a while and catch up on everything else. Then maybe I can come back to it and do the cleansing. Cast out the computer demons that keep possessing me each time I open the cursed thing. Keep it basic. Keep it simple. It's a tool, not a portal by which to live some alternate reality. This reality is just fine, thanks. Things it is good for; Writing. Music. Communication. Managing time and finances. Getting information quickly. Things it is not good for; pure recreation, finding romance, learning new devious computer skills (hacking) just for the fun of it, etc. etc. etc. I really need to use it as a tool and a tool only. Otherwise it will consume me. I think I have just been so long without a computer that I have forgotten how to control myself and how to stay off the darn thing. Plus I guess I was really excited to get a new computer. Whew! Anyways, I'm taking a break.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Back to the road

And I'm off again into the wide countryside. After taking a week off I'm having a little trouble re-adjusting back to driving mode. Plus there have been some changes in my truck.  I brought my winter clothes etc. with me this time and they installed a new computer and scanner in my truck so I have less room than I did before. It's a little weird but I'll adjust. Anyways, I really need to be rolling instead of blogging. More later.