Friday, July 31, 2009

Getting to know each other!

If you've been tagged or you are reading this, you have the honor of copying all these goofy questions, writing your own response, and tagging 25 other victims. You have to tag me so really you just need 24 more people. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you - but not in a creepy stalker kind of way.

You can feel free to post your results in a comment or if you have your own blog, post it there and post a comment here so I know you've done it.


1. What time did you get up this morning? 6 AM

2. How do you like your steak? Medium Rare

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Monsters Vs. Aliens and Star Trek at the drive in

4. What is your favorite TV show? too hard to pick one ... (in no particular order) Smallville, Eureka, Ice Road Truckers, Dollhouse, Heros, True Blood, House

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? a Caribbean island

6. What did you have for breakfast? Full Throttle energy drink

7. What is your favorite cuisine? is steak a cuisine?

8. What foods do you dislike? I'm a fat guy so there isn't much.

9. Favorite Place to Eat? LoneStar

10. Favorite dressing? Ranch or Russian

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? 2000 Chrysler Cirrus

12. What are your favorite clothes? A pair of jeans and a button-down shirt

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Greece, Russia, Japan, Hawaii, Caribbean

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 full

15. Where would you want to retire? Caribbean island or maybe Montana

16. Favorite time of day? night

17. Where were you born? Wilmington, Ohio

19. Who do you think will not tag you back? Not sure

20. Person you expect to tag you back first? Not sure

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Everyone

22. Bird watcher? Only if it is a cooked bird on my plate

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night

24. Do you have any pets? do kids count....OK, 2 hampsters

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? nope...boring as ever

26. What did you want to be when you were little? rich

27. What is your best childhood memory? I don't remember too much.

28. Are you a cat or dog person? depends on the animal

29. Are you married? Yes

30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes

31. Been in a car accident? Yes

32. Any pet peeves? toilet paper roll going under, the thin plastic they put on things to protect them (remotes, etc)

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? MEAT

34. Favorite Flower? MEAT ... WHAT!?!?!? Meat isn't a flower....then no preference

35. Favorite ice cream? Chocolate with brownies with chocolate with fudge with chocolate

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Burger King

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Didn't...I almost aced it (100% on written, 95% on road) (my 4-wheeler license...haven't done the CDL yet)

38. From whom did you get your last email? Facebook Notification

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? I no longer have credit cards.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Spontaneity...hmmm...I'll have to put that in my calendar

41. Like your job? Some days

42. Broccoli? raw and cooked

43. What was your favorite vacation? Orlando

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? wife and kids

45. What are you listening to right now? Two and a Half Men on TV

46. What is your favorite color? black or green

47. How many tattoos do you have? one

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? any one who reads this and a handful of others.

49. What time did you finish this quiz? 7:47 PM EST

50. Coffee Drinker? YES!!!!!!!!!!!

NOW, YOUR TURN

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A couple news articles to bring to your attention:


Troopers Become Truckers In Undercover Operation
Indiana State Police said 56 percent of all wrecks that involve a tractor-trailer and a passenger car or truck are caused by the driver of the car

http://www.theindychannel.com/news/20139742/detail.html

Stopping aggressive drivers around commercial trucks
Starting next week, the Idaho State Police are increasing enforcement to see if you got the message.

http://www.kidk.com/news/50980577.html

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's All In How You Ask The Question

I read an interesting post over at Land Line Media Blog talking about a poll that was done regarding increasing the size and weights of heavy trucks on the highways. The questions in the poll were definitely designed to lead the taker in responding in favor of the increase.

I recommend you check out the post which you can find here.

You can check out the poll questions here.

You can also find an in-depth piece that appears in the July issue of Land Line Magazine on the subject of increasing the size and weights of heavy trucks on the highway here.

So what do you think about increasing the size and weight limits?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound?

(This post is not about religion, it is about standing up for what you believe in. So please read it all.)

I was raised with the idea: "The squeaky wheel doesn't always get the grease, sometimes it gets replaced." Silence is gold or so they say but it seems that in today's society, those who scream the loudest get their way.

A good example of this is religion or the lack thereof. There has been a trend in this country (and I'm sure in others) where a small group of people who are against the idea of having anything to do with religion being a part of government, schools, sporting events, etc., seem to be winning. It seems like there is always something on the news about prayer being banned or the word "God" being removed from something. In a country that was built on the ideal of freedom of religion, more and more is being done to remove any sign of religion.

Now pick up any phone book and look up churches and see how many listings are there. I'm sure you will find a lot of listings. Or drive through town and see how many churches you see. There is a small town not far from me that in 2007 had a population of about 1,400 people and at one point had about 5 churches. I've also seen poll after poll after poll that shows a majority of people believe in God.

So, if so many people believe in God, why is anything to do with religion becoming taboo and politically incorrect? Why, because the smaller group screams the loudest.

If a group has a larger number of people, why don't they scream louder than the smaller group? That can be explained easily with the phrase, "someone else will do it". Yep, so many people are willing to sit back and let someone else take care of things. We are more than willing to sit back and complain but we aren't willing to do anything about it. We aren't willing to "scream". If you believe in something, do something. Make your voice heard....SCREAM. Get other people to scream too.

You would think that "organized religion" would be able to organize and stand up for what they believe in but I've seen a lot of churches that are willing to "scream" while in church, be it from the pulpit or wherever, but they aren't willing to organize and do things outside the church to stand up for what they believe in.

OK ... so where am I going with this you might ask?

The truck driving community needs to take a page from the anti-religion group. We need to "scream" louder not just sit around and complain. We all agree that truck drivers are targeted unfairly for a lot of things whether it is the environment or taxes or accidents. We need to organize. I'm not saying unionize...organize. Too many people say that truck drivers can't organize because they are always moving. In today's technological world, you don't need to be in the same physical place for meetings or rallies, etc. I'll let you in on a little secret … a secret called the Internet. Have you heard of it? How many of you have met and exchanged ideas with people not only across the country but across the world?

We can use the Internet to exchange ideas and to organize. How do we do that you might ask? We can do that in many, many ways. You can do things like posting blogs, joining forums, posting on major media outlets. You can keep up on current legislation proposals. You can use it to contact Congressmen, Senators, Governors, legislators. Don't just contact the officials from your home state; contact those that are sponsoring the legislation. (Check out the Contact Elected Officials page over at www.usa.gov.)

Join organizations that support what you believe in. OOIDA is a good example of a group that helps support truck drivers. They don't only support owner/operators, they support all truck drivers even company drivers. They actually go and speak with legislators. They follow the legislations that affect truck drivers. (Check out the OOIDA “Issues and Actions” page.) But, they can't do it alone. We must be willing to do our part not just sit back and figure “someone else will do it". Write your representatives. Call them. Stop at their offices. And I repeat, not just the ones from your home state. Let them know the problems that you face and where you stand on certain legislation. Do so in a calm, professional manner. Get non-drivers involved.

Truck drivers as a group are smaller than non-truck drivers but we can scream louder, if we choose too. Most of the time, we are fighting against ignorance.

Educate others outside of the industry. I said "educate". You don't want to come across as complaining. Believe me, before I became interested in truck driving, I didn't have any idea of the problems that faced the industry. I've researched a lot. I've read a lot of blogs and forums. I've had people who have helped to "educate" me. I may not be a truck driver (heck, I've never even ridden in a big rig) but I still try to do my part to educate people on the problems truck drivers face.

We have to make sure the “4-wheelers” of the world learn about the problems that truckers are faced with. They need to know that some laws and industry policies can actually make a driver unsafe. Yes, the driver of that 80,000 lbs missile they are driving next to is a professional driver, but they must do their part to help keep everyone safe. They need to know about the “No-Zones”. They need to know what it takes to stop a big rig. They need to know that anti-idling laws are endangering everyone on the road by making it harder for drivers to sleep. They need to know the dangers that truckers face by not having safe places to park (Jason’s Law).

Leave information or a copy of ‘Land Line Magazine’ in the doctor’s office waiting room or at the mechanics. Print out information, such as fliers available at the “No-Zones”, and put them up on the bulletin board at the grocery store or at the gym.

By educating “4-wheelers”, maybe, just maybe we will add more voices to our “scream”. We need all the voices that we can get. We must be heard. There have to be changes not only for the safety and well being of truck drivers but also for their families and for the families in the SUV driving next to that big rig with the driver who had to try and sleep in 100° temperatures without air conditioning.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blog Changes

Made some changes to the blog (colors, etc). Let me know what you think of them.

You can leave me a comment or use the "Reactions" buttons below ('good', 'bad', 'try harder').

Friday, July 10, 2009

Truck Driver DAC Report – Stop the Abuse

<----- please take part in my poll. It will be open until 07/24/09


I found this over at AskTheTrucker.com


Trucking companies abuse the DAC reporting system which can end the career of professional truck drivers. Please sign the petition to STOP False DAC Reporting. We believe this abuse by many trucking companies and the DAC Services is in violation of The Fair Credit Reporting Act and employee rights. Help end this DAC reporting abuse . . . sign the petition.





Friday, July 3, 2009

All Men Are Created Equal

I sit here pondering the 4th of July holiday and I'm sure that I'm not the only one that sees that too many people see this holiday as a time for fireworks and backyard BBQ.

I read something today that I thought was interesting. It was said by a man who wasn't even an American and who had only visited the United States on official business. That man was Pope John Paul II.

On December 16, 1997, Pope John Paul II was welcoming the Ambassador from the United States to the Vatican. The Pope gave the Ambassador (The Honorable Lindy Boggs) a little history lesson.

"The Founding Fathers of the United States asserted their claim to freedom and independence on the basis of certain 'self-evident' truths about the human person: truths which could be discerned in human nature, built into it by 'nature's God.' Thus they meant to bring into being, not just an independent territory, but a great experiment in what George Washington called 'ordered liberty:' an experiment in which men and women would enjoy equality of rights and opportunities in the pursuit of happiness and in service to the common good."

He went on to say:

"Reading the founding documents of the United States, one has to be impressed by the concept of freedom they enshrine: a freedom designed to enable people to fulfill their duties and responsibilities towards the family and towards the common good of the community. Their authors clearly understood that there could be no true freedom without moral responsibility and accountability, and no happiness without respect and support for the natural units or groupings through which people exist, develop and seek the higher purposes of life in concert with others."

I find it a little disconcerting that someone that never lived in America and wasn't an American citizen seems to understand the meaning better than most Americans.

This day is not to celebrate a day off work; nor is it about setting off a bunch of fireworks; nor a bunch of festivities and food; it is about the founders of the United States declaring that we would no longer be under the tyrannical rule of the King of England. It is about declaring that 'all men are created equal'. Now I know it took a long time before MOST people were equal in the eyes of the law and that there are still some groups are not equal in the eyes of the law and that as a society, there are still a lot of groups of people that are STILL not treated equally.

I think that if more people would take that time to read and think about the Declaration of Independence, maybe, just maybe, people would be more open to the ideal that ALL men and ALL women, "are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".

Now I'm the first to admit that I do not necessarily like a lot of people but I still believe that they have certain rights, deserve a certain amount of respect and equal opportunities. By opportunities, I'm not saying that because a person is a member of a certain race, etc that they should be given special considerations for opportunities. Equality should be the same for EVERYONE. What has happened is that in order to try and promote equality, some groups have been given special privileges/opportunities that are causing other groups to be discriminated against. A good example of this is one group has a special college fund that is specific to a particular race. Now, let another race do the same thing and it is considered racism. By trying to promote the equality of one group, we've become blinded to the idea that we are in turn causing racism and inequalities to other groups.

Critically acclaimed actor, Morgan Freeman said in an interview with "60 Minutes" that aired back in December 2005 that the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it". "I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man," Freeman says. What I believe he is saying is that as long as we keep categorizing people in groups by race or groups by religion or groups by sexual orientation, inequality will continue to exist. We are all guilty of saying 'my black friend said' or 'my white friend said' or 'my Jewish friend said' or 'my gay friend said'...during most of our conversations, does it really matter what race or religion or sexual orientation a person is that we are talking about? No it doesn't. We should just say, "my friend said" and stop dividing people into groups unnecessarily. I'm not saying that a person shouldn't be proud of their heritage but a person's heritage shouldn't give them any special rights. Should I go around calling myself a German-American because my family lineage can be traced back to Germany? Heck no!!! Should I be given special considerations or be treated differently because my family lineage can be traced back to Germany? Heck no!!! I'm an American. Should it matter if I'm black or white or brown or yellow or red, etc? Heck no!!! I AM an American. Should it matter if I'm straight or gay? Heck no!!! I AM AN American. Should it matter if I'm male or female? Heck no!!! I AM AN AMERICAN!!!!

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

I look at my children and I'm thankful that they do not see people as black or white or gay or straight. They see people as just that people. They don't understand why a person should be treated differently because of their race or religion or sexual orientation or gender. I hope that this is a sign that future generations will truly understand equality and that race, religion and orientation won't matter.

I think I've rambled on enough but let me leave you with this additional thought:

There have been a lot of people who have died and sacrificed so that America can have the opportunity for its citizens to be treated equally. Because of those people's sacrifice, I have the right to post this. You have the right to read this.

Please take the time to consider what the 4th of July holiday is about. Please take the time to consider what equality is SUPPOSE to be not what it currently is being represented as. Please take the time to thank someone who has served or who is serving to protect our right to equality.






IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its
powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is
their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. -- Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove
this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.


He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our
legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province,
establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as
to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same
absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty
& Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract
Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which
Independent States may of right do. -- And for the support of this Declaration,
with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge
to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

-- John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton