Monday, December 21, 2009

The Plan

Well, I've spent the last couple years devising my plans for my next career move as I've been trucking around the country, and the time has come to put the plan into action. I have finally put a deadline (though tentative) on my transition from trucking to the next thing.
The plan is to have enough money saved by next fall (2010) to enroll in the cosmetology program at Fullerton College in California. It's going to be challenging since I intend to have enough, not just to pay for school and supplies, but to pay for room and board for the duration of the program in the event that I can't find a job that will work with my school schedule. Most importantly, I want to pull this off myself without going into debt again. So yeah, I have a lot of saving to do in the next 9 months.
What makes this easier is that my only expenses at the moment are my cell phone and insurance on the 4-runner which together only amount to about $106. Besides that there's food and incidental stuff that I am trying to keep at about $140 a week, but every week is different when it comes to that stuff.
Other than that I do have a small worry in the back of my mind that maybe cutting hair won't be as enjoyable as I imagined at the outset. In particular I worry about finding a salon I will be happy working at. I dunno. Some people have been surprised at my interest in cutting hair and site my loathing for the shallow, image crazed culture so prominent in Los Angeles as one reason I should think twice about it. I can't deny that I will be confronted with this culture, but I also don't think all stylists or all salons or even all salon customers will be this way, in the same way that not all truck drivers fit the stereo types common to the trade. Even so, there is a sort of majority culture in trucking that I have learned to put up with that doesn't make my job any less enjoyable and I am hoping the same will be true in cosmetology. Any comments on this topic in particular would be welcome.
Other than that there is the challenge of saving the money itself. It's a rather aggressive, though I think achievable, savings plan amounting to about 75-80% of every paycheck (and this only possible because my expenses are so low).
Still, I realize that many of my friends and family are going through hard times and I need to remind myself of how many times I have received help in the past and not be a miser. I hope I will always be in a position to help my friends and family, though even there I should remember moderation so I don't end up needing to borrow again on my own account. The sort of "borrowing money from Peter so I can loan some to Paul" situation is just the kind of thing I can imagine myself doing. Anywho, hope everyone is doing well and preparing for a happy holiday. Those of you that I will see soon, I can't wait. I miss all my friends and family, I wish I could be with you all.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Drawing


I drew this little doodle as I sat watching people at a truck stop this morning. The overhead speaker was playing some appallingly cheery Christmas music, but the faces I saw did not look cheered.
So many people are without jobs, some without homes, and some even without food this holiday season. Some can't afford to be with family, or feel they are not wanted or welcome. Be grateful for what you have, and try to be more generous to those who clearly don't have what you have. Who knows, someday it could be you sitting in that truck stop.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors." - Thomas Henry Huxley

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No Sleep No Sanity

It's been a very emotional night. Fits of rage. Tears. I need to sleep very badly but can't. Also I am hungry. I really need to take better care of these things. I have a full day ahead today and I don't feel prepared to face it.

Something I saw that cheered me up a little.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Law is the crystallized prejudices of the community - Anonymous

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Alarm Bells To Ring Me To Sleep

Just parked for the night and as I am getting ready for bed, I notice a black VW Jetta pull up to the building next to my destination. I notice because it's a large-ish office building in the middle of a large-ish quite industrial commercial complex and it's around midnight on a Saturday. Kind of an odd hour for people to be showing up for work. A guy and a girl get out and head towards the door. They pause a minute, then the guy gets out his keys and unlocks the door and goes in. I figure the guy left something and dropped by to retrieve it. In fact I really didn't think much about it at all until the alarm went off. Then my thoughts shifted from, "Huh...that's interesting," to "Wow, that's annoying." Dufus forgot to turn off the alarm I guess. Super loud. I waited as I visualized him picking up the call from the security company, giving the company password, explaining that he didn't get to the alarm on time, or forgot the pin number or something like that. I wait...and wait...and wait some more. The alarm is still sounding quite loudly as I begin to wonder if perhaps maybe there is some other explanation. Then I watch the girl come out and start the car, soon followed by the guy who exits the building, alarm still blaring, gets in to the car and rides off into the night. that's when I think, "WTF?" I sat wondering what to do. Call the police? No, most likely they were already on their way. Then all I could think was, "Well I hope they hurry up so someone can turn the damn alarm off. Then I thought, "Aw crap. Now there's going to be alarms and sirens most likely in conjunction with flashing lights." Not knowing what else to do, and not really being able to sleep with an alarm bell screaming at me just outside my window, I got out my computer and decided to blog about it (I considered posting I cry for help via twitter but figured it wouldn't be very effective). Right about the time I decided on a title for the post (My first idea was "No Alarms And No Surprises, Please") the alarm stopped. Peace and silence reigned again. So what the heck was that all about? No idea. Don't know don't care, so long as it's quiet again. And it is. So now I will sleep.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

When Art Turns Ugly

violenceI decided to spend my time working on an art concept I had. It involved finding actual photographs of violent acts (non-fatal) such as punching, slapping, kicking, choking, etc. and converting them into line drawings, stamps, prints and such with the possibility of making a collage or series of some sort. The initial attraction to the idea came from the sheer energy of the images, and how simplifying the images, stripping away colors, shades, etc. distilled the energy of the original image. As I continued however, something more emerged; being confronted with violence  in this way, often with women or children as the subject, couldn't help but evoke some emotion. Eventually some of the images I found, even though the victims suffered no worse than bruises, became so disturbing that I had to take a break. I think for  me it was the emotion displayed by the attackers that finally got to me. The emotions ranged from mere passionate rage, to utter malevolent hatred. I think for this reason alone, I am motivated to go through  with the project. Whatever art comes from this is not likely to sell much, but I think it will do a good job of illustrating the ugliness of violence and explore what creates it. If only I could find a way to not be "preaching to the choir" so-to-speak.

Update

While sitting here relaxing at Starbucks is nice, it does mean that I am not working and therefore not making any money. This my second day back on the road, and things seem to be going pretty well, except for this fact. I do have a load but can't pick it up until 2:30pm, and it is going east (Salt Lake City) but doesn't deliver until Tuesday. This is the kind of pace I enjoyed when I either was new enough to still need to take things this slow or just didn't really need to make that much money. As it is I am still trying to pay off the expenses I incurred during my Tonsillectomy and recovery. Well, stressing about it isn't going to change anything, so I suppose I'll just enjoy the gorgeous weather and find something constructive or at least enjoyable to do with my time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Adventure of the Haunted Copper Mine

hauntedmine

This is by far the spookiest place I have ever visited in my travels, and definitely the spookiest place I have  ever had to spend the night. At the end of a long winding dirt road that lead me far from the beaten path in the back hills of Montana, I arrived at my assigned destination. To say the place is "remote" would be a drastic understatement. It was the dead of night when I arrived, and only the stars and a waning moon lit the cluster of abandoned and dilapidated buildings that must have been the original copper mine. The buildings look very old. The one pictured above was the largest of the buildings and happened to be the one I parked next to. I managed to get that shot using a 15 second exposure and then lightening it up a bit more in Photoshop. Even as I type this I can hear the wind howl softly and the building next to me creak, whine, and moan as if shifting in its sleep. I hope it doesn't wake up. Out of sight of any town, with no cell phone or internet reception, with not even the faint glimmer of a city or highway on the horizon, I think it's safe to say I am thoroughly spooked, and those who know me well know I don't believe in spooks of any kind. Fortunately there is another Interstate truck here to keep me company and make me feel that I am at least not alone. It should be an interesting night. I can't wait until morning.

Monday, August 03, 2009

She Passed The Torch...And He Dropped It.

In case you hadn't heard my Fleet Manager (aka Supervisor, Dispatcher, etc.) is no longer with the company. I can't even begin to explain how dramatically that changes things for me as a Truck driver. It literally feels like I am working for a different company. The new guy (and yes I mean that in the most demeaning way possible at this moment in time), has so far botched every load I have gotten so far - which normally wouldn't bother me, but he has botched them in such a way that makes me look like I am the one screwing up. I obviously can't prove anything since I haven't bugged his phone or cubicle but I am getting the impression that he is blaming his mistakes one his drivers (i.e. me) which is really unnerving. If this really is the case then there are going to be problems and soon. I am still debating how to play this one, but for now I think I will wait and see what develops. If he really is blaming me for stuff and his supervisors don't see through it he will have to confront me directly at some point, and if that happens then we will definitely have some words and I will have his supervisor on speed-dial.
On the other hand...all this could just be chalked up to settling in to a new Driver-FM relationship, especially as he just inherited 50+ drivers basically overnight. Time will tell. If things start running smoother over the next few weeks then maybe that's all it is. We'll see. Anyways, if you call me and I sound grumpy, this is why.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." -James Thurber

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tonsillectomy Update

Phone photo0352

I am currently in Huntington Beach recovering from my Tonsillectomy. The surgery went very smoothly and even waking up from the general anesthesia was much easier than my knee surgery all those years ago. I was awake and lucid and able to think and communicate clearly so the hospital staff was able to keep me very comfortable during my post-op recovery time. They offered pain killers after surgery but the local anaesthetic hadn't worn off yet so I wasn't yet in much pain, and I was enjoying feeling so rested and alert. Unfortunately I had failed to fill my prescription for the pain medicine I was supposed too take home with me before going into surgery so I had to wait until the next morning for that pain medicine - completely my fault. Also my uvula after surgery was approximately five times the normal size so I was dealing with an awkward gagging sensation that night in addition to the pain that increased as the local anesthetic wore off, but the next morning I got set up with my pain meds and everything else I needed thanks to my mom, my brother Ben, and his fiance Kareen (Ben & Kareen are graciously hosting my recovery here in Huntington). Yesterday I even had a visit from my friend Nicole though I didn't get a chance to visit with her man Yannis as he just returned to France. We went to Soup Plantation and I tried several soft foods (I was starving since I hadn't eaten for two days) but the only real success was the Jell-O. Kareen graciously made me a batch when I got back and that's been my mainstay. Today my uvula is much smaller so less gagging sensation and my throat is much less tender in general. The weather is gorgeous and my pain medication is working beautifully. That's all for now. Thanks everyone for your concern and help and support and love.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tonsils Never Say Die

It's beginning to be difficult to swallow food. Good thing these bad boys are coming out next Thursday. That one on the right is really becoming a problem. He's starting to have his own personality. And I think he just decided he doesn't like me. Well, it's mutual, buddy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Truckers Like Starbucks Too

Starbucks is missing out on a huge potential customer base.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Tonsils Strike Back

The tonsils are making a desparite last stand sensing their eminent removal. Especially the one on the right. He's got the heart of a champion. I can't help admiring my adversary. Anyways, I'm coming home to get them out.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Map Format

I figured out an easier way to update the map using "My Maps" on Goolge Maps. It's going to look a little different - not as dynamic as before with the close up maps, but it will be way easier to update, and anyone who wants a closer view can do so just by zooming in, etc. Anywho, I'm happy I found a way to keep the map!

Tonsils vs. Jeremy Round IV: The Final Confrontation

I have been dealing with a cold lately, which always sucks on the road. It's not as bad as one's I've had in the past, I am still able to drive, etc, but it seems to be hanging on longer. Gradual sickness rather than the sort of flash-in-the-pan illness the blew my tonsils up to jumbo marble size back in March. Speaking of which it looks like I may finally be getting those tonsils removed as soon as I can finish jumping through all the medical hoops of referrals preliminary appointments and such. Taking the time off to get all that done is the hardest part. Since I can't wait around home for my next appointment along the road to tonsil removal the appointments are being spread out anywhere from 3 weeks to a month apart meaning at this point I expect it to happen some time in October. Meanwhile I am dealing with obstructive sleep apnea and this gal-darn cold.  Luckily however, the cold is not messing with my tonsils at the moment so I am at least grateful for that. If those two team up on on me, that could be pretty miserable.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hard to Keep Up

I have been so busy with loads over the last month that I have not had time to really keep up with this blog, especially the map. Although I love having the map, it's not much good if I don't use it so I am thinking about removing it. Updating the map involves going to Google Maps, entering my stops, generating the code for an embedded map, cutting and pasting that into my blog's code, editing the code to keep it consistent with my blog and updating the date. If I could find a quicker easier way to do it maybe it would be worth keeping. I dunno. I'll think on it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

5 Things To Know About Obama's Public Health Insurance Option

Whatever you think about President Obama and his policies, I think it is worth while to hear what this plan is really about, especially considering all the false information circulating in the media. Try to suspend your forgone conclusions about whether or not you think public healthcare is a good idea, and really think about this.

1. Choice, choice, choice. If the public health insurance option passes, Americans will be able to choose between their current insurance and a high-quality, government-run plan similar to Medicare. If you like your current care, you can keep it. If you don't—or don't have any—you can get the public insurance plan.2

2. It will be high-quality coverage with a choice of doctors. Government-run plans have a track record of innovating to improve quality, because they're not just focused on short-term profits. And if you choose the public plan, you'll still get to choose your doctor and hospital.3

3. We'll all save a bunch of money. The public health insurance option won't have to spend money on things like CEO bonuses, shareholder dividends, or excessive advertising, so it'll cost a lot less. Plus, the private plans will have to lower their rates and provide better value to compete, so people who keep their current insurance will save, too.4

4. It will always be there for you and your family. A for-profit insurer can close, move out of the area, or just kick you off their insurance rolls. The public health insurance option will always be available to provide you with the health security you need.5

5. And it's a key part of universal health care. No longer will sick people or folks in rural communities, or low-income Americans be forced to go without coverage. The public health insurance plan will be available and accessible to everyone. And for those struggling to make ends meet, the premiums will be subsidized by the government.6

Sources:
1. "Words Designed to Kill Health Care Reform," Huffington Post, May 7, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51414&id=16123-15078537-lh8gaTx&t=4 
2, 3, 4, 5, 6. "The Case for Public Plan Choice in National Health Reform," Institute for America's Future http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51396&id=16123-15078537-lh8gaTx&t=5

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Dream Fulfilled?

character01 copy

I have been daydreaming for a while now about one day making my very own web comic but until recently have not had the tools. At least not the tools that would make it possible for me to crank out comics on a regular basis. I recently stumbled on a program however, that might make it possible. I am still limited by my knowledge of the program and my very limited illustration skills, but it at least seems more possible now than it did before.

The main challenge is making organic or even basically spherical shapes. Robots are no problem but as tempting as it is to settle with a world peopled entirely by squarish looking robots, I think I'd like to push for something a little  more interesting. Will I be able to pull it off? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

On my way to Las Cruces, NM

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SHARP MR-990 Boom Box with built in mini-organ & sequencer

sharp01nr2 Click to see full size image It's not often that I blog about something I saw on eBay.com but this one ranks pretty high on my list of coolest things I've ever seen. The MR-990 has a built in mini melody computer keyboard in sliding shelf and it's detachable.
The melody computer has sequencer function, so you can program your melody by step by step
and the melody computer automatically adds suitable accompaniment (chord and bass) for your melody. You can also just play this keyboard alone. According to the seller, it has a very warm analog sound. There are 3 sounds and 4 rhythms are selectable, has 2 octaves.
Lest we forget, this thing is also a boom box equip with twin cassette tape player/recorder, FM/AM radio tuner, 5-band equalizer,
detachable speakers and each control knobs etc.
If you want to check out the auction, it is eBay item#110370471690...and just a reminder, my birthday is coming up in a few months...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

♪ Somewhere on the wrong side of the Rainbow... ♫

weatherThere's no place like home [click click]...there's no place like home [click click]...there's no place like home [click click]...
Darn. Well, that didn't work (friggin' converse shoes...) so here I am in the flattest state of all, and I thought I was off to see the wonderful mechanic of Fontana, in the Emerald truck yard (in my emerald truck!) with my cat To- er, I mean Bowie...but anyways, it looks like I am going to be here for a while; and by here I mean this:
Phone photo0221 Yeah. I am not moving in this picture. In fact I am still not moving as I write this. I have not moved since last night. I used to say I was a "middle of the road" kinda guy but this is ridiculous. There was a snow rescue crew out here earlier who asked if we wanted to be taken into town, but I and the driver ahead of me declined as it is generally company policy to stay with your load, besides which I have the added problem of a battery that won't last more than a couple hours with the truck shut off. Now however, it occurs to me that I am low on fuel (I am 4 miles away from my fuel stop) so I won't be able to idle my truck much longer...I wonder how long it will be before I can move again? To be continued...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The New Setup

After reviewing my budget and my progress towards my financial goals, I have somewhat revised my proposed music gear setup:

setup copy2 The Wallpaper makes it cool so I'm okay with it. It's also several hundred dollars cheaper than my other idea - which is admittedly the most attractive feature. There is something to be said about simplicity in performance as well. Fewer moving parts means fewer things can break, so to speak. There is also the space issue - this set up would be infinitely easier to transport.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I missed the beginning of the Apocalypse! Must've slept in that day...

I am often asked what kind of interesting people I meet on the road and I admit I have been remiss in my account of the various characters I run into. I intend to be much more faithful in blogging about these encounters in the future, but in the meantime I hope this one will make up for the opportunities I have missed so far.

draconian_orderToday at a truck stop in Oklahoma I met the head of the American branch of the Draconian Order (he's a truck driver). I guessed that they must claim some affiliation to the old Templars of the crusades like the Masons and Shriners (and hundreds of other societies), but according to the Draconians, those guys were just "hired swords - mere mercenaries..." and the Draconian Order (aka The Order of Light) are the "True Knights of God."  The order actually claims some affiliation with the real Count Dracula though I regret to say I didn't get a chance to explore this connection further. Apparently the order recently discovered an empty Egyptian crypt that supposedly had held the Anti-Christ, thus the events of the Apocalypse began on March 17th, 2009. Wow. We both expressed some sympathy for President Obama who besides being elected in the middle of a national financial crisis and a mess in the middle east, was also unfortunate enough to have become President during the advent of the Apocalypse. Geeze, and I thought my job was tough! This all came out in a  discussion about why freight was so slow. I guess that would pretty much explain it.

He continued the conversation with an air of someone bragging about their custom hot rod that he was also a "reader" and has been developing his clairvoyance since age 11. He entertained me further with some anecdotes which demonstrated his prowess as a clairvoyant and I was tempted to ask for a sample but I didn't want to give the impression that I was questioning his abilities. He seemed like a nice guy, describing himself as "spiritual but not religious" (remind me to watch out for that designation on dating sites in the future) and as a good person with a "Santa Claus" like affinity for children, and I gotta admit, the conversation beat "talking shop" about suicide and anti-depressants with the other truck driver who was also there. The head of the Draconian Order was kind enough to let me take a picture of his signet ring (see above), as he told me all about  the creatures (including dragons, of coarse) that existed in the world before God created light. It was a pleasant conversation, and I especially appreciated that while he extolled the virtues of his Order, he made no effort to recruit me or draw me into an argument, but simply shared the things that he was impressed by, or proud of, or especially passionate about until at length he excused himself as he was eager to get his character to the 21st level on World of Warcraft.

Just one more reason that I love my job. Now I wish I had been blogging all those years I was riding the city bus. So many stories.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Most [superlative] Trip Ever.

This trip was the most...narly? no, exhausting? scenic? mountainous? off-the-beaten-path? I guess maybe all of the above. Nearly 1,000 miles of mountain roads all in two days (and on less than 8 hours of sleep). The moonlit mountains, the snowy vistas in the California Sierras, redwoods, lakes, the rugged high desert mountains capped with snow, the skyline of snow capped mountains...did I mention there was snow? and Mountains? I wish I had some pictures to share but I was concentrating on driving. Maybe next time.



Monday, March 09, 2009

Watchmen: Reflections on the graphic novel

Warning! Spoiler Alert: This blog post may give away plot lines to the graphic novel and the film, Watchmen.

watchmen

After hearing about the eminent release of a film version of this comic book classic, I decided I'd better go back and read the whole thing before seeing the film. Amazing. I rate this right up there with Huxley's Brave New World and Orwell's 1984 only I think this one hits closer to the mark, confronting issues that became all too real and relevant less than two decades after it was written.

For those who haven't read it yet, first I recommend stopping here, and either reading the graphic novel or (for those with shorter attention spans) seeing the film. I haven't seen the film yet, but if it touches on half the material in the graphic novel, it would be worth checking out. For those who have already determined not to do either, I will briefly sum up.

Rather presenting a possible future, the story presents a possible present, much like our own with a few very important differences. Rewind the clock to the early twentieth century, and the advent of fictional heroes like The Shadow, The Green Hornet, and early Superman. Inspired by the fictional characters, real life masked heroes begin to emerge and soon vigilante-ism becomes not just accepted, but popular. It quickly becomes an important part of American society. The presence of masked vigilantes causes important shifts in the historical events of the twentieth century as these heroes participate in everything from WWII to Vietnam. The  result (in the graphic novel version) is a present where Richard Nixon is still president (by changing legislation to extend term limits) the cold war is still gaining momentum, and technology has developed in a slightly different though not necessarily any better direction. Along the way, the popularity of masked heroes fades in the wake of civil unrest and police strikes.

[Here comes the spoiler - seriously, turn back now! last chance!]

Watchmen 02 - 26That brings us to the current day and the main events of the story. Here's the quick and dirty version. As the world hurtles towards an inevitable nuclear crisis an subsequent self annihilation, a plot is uncovered that could save humanity from almost certain destruction, but would involve deliberately killing half the population of New York City, then covering it up citing some new previously unknown threat as the cause. Needless to say, many ethical questions arise at this point. If you knew of such a plot, would you try to stop it? More importantly, the person responsible for the plot thinks himself a watchful protector (a phrase used to describe Batman in the recent film "Dark Night" incidentally), but that gives rise to the question (currently one off the tag lines for the upcoming film) who watches the watchmen? The protectors who are supposedly making sure the rest of the world is held accountable for their actions - who holds them accountable for theirs? This question cuts to the core of the ideals behind vigilante-ism.

If there is one over all theme to the graphic2392444614_38f8a08116_o novel it would be summed up in that tag line, "Who watches the watchmen?" but there are plenty more moral dilemmas and complications in the actual reading. Questions about justice, forgiveness, the basis for morality, torture, retribution, etc. Unfortunately some of the content is pretty disturbing, painting a pretty bleak picture of the human condition which I think is frankly a little pessimistic and exaggerated, but then again, much of this is from the vigilante's point of view, so maybe that's part of the point. I did however, appreciate not just the moral dilemmas, but the political implications. It was interesting to compare the plot to save the world with the Bush administrations "War against terror" and it's justifications.

[here comes another spoiler]
In the story, the basic idea of the scheme to save the world, is to fool humanity into thinking that there is much worse enemy to be feared than any human rivals, with the idea of uniting the world in light of this new threat; this being accomplished by introducing a sort of alien biological bomb into New York City which wipes out a good chunk of the local population while psychically attacking survivors causing madness and nightmares in another large percentage of the population. Had this been written post 9-11 the parallels would be a little suspect. Regardless, what's really interesting is comparing the aftermath in both cases. The idea of uniting people via fear of a new threat, whether real, contrived, arranged, or imagined, is the driving force of the scheme in the book, and was also used to garner support after 9-11. In the graphic novel it seemed to work - peace was achieved and a nuclear war was averted. In real life however, we became engulfed in a war. A generation that had become notoriously apathetic suddenly became passionately political.

Bush - Yes I Did 

9-11 was used to justify a lot of executive actions that followed, not the least of which were the Patriot Act which removed rights of privacy and fair trial to anyone suspected of having terrorist ties (though many Americans seem to have forgotten the difference between suspected of a crime and actually being guilty). We watched our government use methods in treatment and questioning of prisoners that we had condemned in other countries less than 50 years ago. At the same time, the reaction on the other side was a passionate revival in concerns for human rights and a more global awareness. So some good came out of it, right? That makes it all okay, right? That sounds like the architect of the world's salvation in Watchmen as he asks a colleague in the closing chapter, "I did the right thing, didn't I? It all worked out in the end..." to which his colleague replies, "In the end? Nothing ever ends..."

So basically a lot of good food for thought in the book. How far should one go for the sake of "justice"? At what point does the "greater good" out-weigh the good of the few or the one? Do the ends justify the means? What's worse: punishing the innocent, or failing to punish the guilty? What's better: justice or mercy? And of coarse, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Who watches the watchmen?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

"We have labored long to build a heaven, only to find it populated with horrors." - Alan Moore (Prof. Milton Glass in Watchmen)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Just a Quick Update

Just wanted to let everyone know i got back form the Hospital OK. They gave me a couple shots and some anti-biotics and I am doing better already. More later!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Me VS. My Tonsels

These things have gotta go, man. I put up with the pain and the swelling for more than a week but when I woke up gagging tonight I had to draw the line. I called a local clinic near the Tacoma, WA Interstate Yard and the nurse told me I should just go to the ER so here I go. The midnight fleet manager didn't want me driving there but there's no way this calls for any personal medical escort with flashing lights on it (too expensive - I think they must charge extra for the flashy lights) so I am calling a cab. Anyways, like I told my fleet manager, it's only a problem when I try to sleep - as long as I am awake everything is honky dory; and I am awake...here at 3:00 am...and I really really don't want to be awake. So I'm off to see the wizard in a yellow cab. I am taking my cell phone with me, but here's the hospital info just in case:
St. Clare Hospital
11315 Bridgeport Way,
Lakewood, WA‎ - (253) 588-1711

PS
Like I said, this is no big deal - worst case scenario, I get my tonsels out - yay!

Friday, February 27, 2009

On The Mend

Feeling much better. Turns out I had the flu. No doctor restrictions on driving but he recommended more rest. So I rested. Now I am feeling much better (though my throat is still a little sore), and I am waiting on a load. Apparently freight is slow in these parts at the moment so it may be a while so I am catching up on laundry and some other things.

Did I Just Get Taller?

Hey guess what? I am 6' 4.5"! I know, that may not be a big deal to anyone older than 5 but it was news to me. For the past 10 years I have been quoting my height as being 6' 3" or at best between 6' 3" and 6' 4". Now it turns out I am at least whole half an inch taller than I thought. More like 1.5" because I had seriously settled on 6" 3' in recent years. Did I get taller? That seems unlikely. But I guess anything's possible.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Down For The Count

I pushed until it became clear I was getting too sick to drive. I made it as far as Orland, but this morning I was feeling even worse and the symptoms seemed to be pointing towards strep throat. After handing off the load at Orland I made an appointment to see a doctor tomorrow. I sure hope this doesn't turn into Albuquerque all over again. So long as nobody says the word "vertigo" I think I'll be okay. Also, if I have a concrete day when I can go back to work that will help too. Meanwhile I feel pretty crappy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Faces (#004): I don't feel so good...

This is the 'caughy achey sneezy I wish I could rest' face.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Shoes

This where my feet belong.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Band Stuff

Just daydreaming about my one man band set up again. I think I might have a possible set-up:

gearsetup Yes I am such a nerd that I actually looked up pictures of my gear and made this in Photoshop. If it makes it any better this is more for my own reference than anything. I don't have all the pieces yet but almost. The basic idea is that this will all (theoretically) fit in my truck so that I could do music on the road. Not sure though. Even small amps take up a lot  of space. Maybe a small pa would be better. I dunno. I am excited that I finally discovered a loop pedal with all the features I am looking for including the ability to link up to a sampler (or drum machine - which is what I'd basically use the sampler for anyway) so that the loops will sync with the sampled beats. The Casiotone MT-70 I have already and it is sweet. It's one that Hot Chip uses - though I didn't realize that until after I got it. One of the greatest things about this set up is that it will allow me to faithfully perform my older songs while at the same time giving me a ton more flexibility to write new material. The loop pedal (by the way)  also allows me to make 4 separate loops that I can start and stop individually. Sweet, huh? Oh yeah, and you can pan them too. Stereo output. That accounts for two of the three amps. Of coarse, you could just manage those as two separate outputs instead of R and L stereo, but I digress....

Anyhow this is just band nerd stuff.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thus Far Shall Ye Go And No Further

After getting a little bit of a late start  this morning (having slept in a little) I reached the several mountain passes that interstate 5 winds through as it crosses the border between Oregon and California. Just before the boarder I found myself on slippery ice and snow and had to slow down quite a bit. I was actually surprised that chains were not required and was considering putting them on regardless when conditions improved as quickly as they had deteriorated. Not long after the border however, and just before the final mountain pass between me and the much easier terrain that begins just north of Redding and continues south all the way until the Grapevine, I came upon a road closure. The last pass was closed, due to snow and ice no doubt, and I was obliged to stop for the night. I'm not sure when the road closed so it's hard to say whether an earlier start would  have helped, but most likely it would have. Temperatures tend to drop at night, and with the low visibility and poor conditions, road closures (at least in this area) seem more common after dark - unlike Wyoming where winter road closures can come at any time day or night and can even last for days at a time. With any luck, I'll be back on the road early tomorrow - with a rather more daunting days drive ahead. I am expected in Los Angeles at 10 am day after tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

34 Hours Turns into 64 Hours

Sometimes you just can't know what's going to happen. For the last week my assignments have come in before I was even finished with the one I was working on. This is ideal because it allows me to plan ahead and figure out how to make the best use of my hours. I was driving so many miles and burning up so many hours that I was about to run out so, in order to make the most efficient use of my available hours I opted to take 34 hour reset upon my arrival to W. Sacramento (allowing me to show a full 70 hours available instead of a dozen or less for my next assignment). This seemed to be a good idea, and I got up bright and early this morning ready to roll. No assignment came until 1:30pm and the load doesn't pick up until tomorrow at 2:00pm. Bleh. So I sit around half of yesterday, all of today, and half of tomorrow waiting to roll. At least it's not too cold.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Oh, So Wireless!

Oh hell yes. Once again technology triumphs over the lack of internet access. Now only one dilemma remains...Pandora.com or Last.fm?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bowie vs. Del Taco

Bowie attacking fish tacos...with extreme prejudice.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Explaning the title of my last post...

The title of my last post actually came from a line in this cartoon - here it is for those of you who haven't seen it and have no idea what I'm talking about.

The Heart of a Champion!

Your result for The LONG Scientific Personality Test...

ENFP - The Champion

You scored 64% I to E, 26% N to S, 19% F to T, and 53% J to P!


Your type is known as the Champion type, which is part of the larger group called idealists. Nothing occurs that does not have some deep and ethical significance in your eyes. You see life as an exciting drama. You are very charismatic, yet tend to be too harsh on yourself for not being as genuine as you think you should be. 3% of the population shares your type.

As a romantic partner, you need to talk about what is going on in your life. You are a strong supporter for your partner's efforts to grow and change and be happy. You need to feel that same support from your partner. Expressive, optimistic, and curious, you are eager to enjoy new experiences with your partner, whom you wish to be your confidant and soul mate, as well as play mate. You are uncomfortable sharing negative emotion, though, and tend to withdraw from confrontation and process your feelings privately. You feel most loved when your partner appreciates your creativity, accepts your uniqueness, and sees you as the compassionate person you are. You need to hear your partner tell you how much you mean to them and would love if they did thoughtful spontaneous things to demonstrate it.

Your group summary: idealists (NF)

Your type summary: ENFP



Take The LONG Scientific Personality Test
at HelloQuizzy

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dual over head cat

This is Bowie looking down at the driver seat from the overhead compartment.

And I'm Off!!!

Garland, TX here I come! This is kind of a rush load with a lot of security restrictions on it, but I may try to see if I can stop briefly somewhere close to my Aunt & Uncle's house in Phoenix, AZ. We'll have to see. Otherwise, this is just exactly the kind of run I've been wanting. Long, straight, flat, and warm!

100 Loads

So...uh...I'm still in Fontana. The good news, I guess, is that the temporary loss of my cell phone did not affect my departure date whatsoever. The bad news is that my company is currently 100 loads short of having a load for me. I'm not sure if that is nationwide or just here in Fontana, but either way it looks like I'll be here for a while. So stop in! Say hello! Meet my cat! It is kinda nice to have a sort of mandatory respite to let me catch up on all the little stuff that piles up and becomes overwhelming. But not too much respite. I need to work too. Oh well. At least I am stuck in sunny Southern California. I swear this gorgeous weather is making me soft.

Wifi from my cellphone? Hell yes.

Now that I have my cell phone back and I have fully repaired and restored my computer, I have decided to combine them (via Bluetooth) to create the ultimate multimedia/communication force. Yes, now that I hold all the talismans of internet power I can combine them to give me the ultimate power of the universe - WIFI FROM MY CELLPHONE!! MWA HA HA HA HA HA! (maniacal laughter) Yes! Now I can access the internet wirelessly (I don't even have to plug anything extra into my laptop or cellphone thanks to built-in Bluetooth technology) and I can do this anywhere in the country where I get cell phone reception! And all this for the same as it would cost for me to have internet in my home! Now I can fullfill my dream of taking over the world - and I can do it while truck driving! MWAHAHAHAHA! (again with the maniacal laughter).

So. Yeah. I'm pretty pumped.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I found my phone! Yaaaay!

The cell phone has been located.Thanks to everyone who helped!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Cellphone is MIA

Hey everybody. It looks like I am going to have to borrow a cellphone for a while until mine is found or replaced. This also means, however, that I have lost all of your phone numbers. Please email me your number so I can keep in touch with you! Thanks.

jeremiah@shackelford.org

Friday, January 23, 2009

Has Anyone Seen My Cellphone?

I am stuck here at the Fontana yard, unable to call anyone, unable to get calls from anyone, because I apparently left my cellphone somewhere at my grandma's house. I think I left it on the nightstand next to the bed, or possibly in the upstairs bathroom. Maybe next to (or under) the recliner in the living room. There's also a slim possibility it could have sliped out of my pocket and gone under the seat in the car. The one thing I do know is that it is not here. I have gone over everything I brought down twice, and called my phone to see if I could here it ringing. It's not here.
So I guess all I can do is sit and wait and hope someone finds it and brings it here. I am a little more than slighlty frustrated and uterly powerless to fix this situation so...yeah. I'm not real happy right now.
Good news is I fixed my computer. Yay! But, uh...I need my phone.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Kitty at the wheel

I sometimes let Bowie drive...

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Dark lord of table condiments

now that i am master of both salt AND pepper, no one can stop me! Aha ha ha ha!