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April 2011

The Wind from Mexico

Right this minute I am sitting in the Petro Stopping Center at exit 37 in El Paso, Texas. The wind is blowing from the south, and the dirt is blowing up from Mexico, just a few minutes from here. I didn't take a shower yet, it wouldn't make any sense.

El Paso gets most of its wind from across the line where so many poor souls have been murdered. It's possible after a walk across the parking lot that you are indeed wearing someone's heart on your sleeve; but, it seems like nothing can be done to stop the violence. The handsome border patrol guys across the room are trying to do something, but they aren't sure what. The Sheriff's patrol in the back room talk shop, but none of their days are normal anymore. Local law enforcement, and the general public, has this horrible cloud hanging over their heads.

Recently, I read a story in the news (The Houston Chronicle frequently features pieces on border violence) about a young kidnapped man in a car trunk texting his family. Suffering and afraid, a victim of senseless and heartless cruelty, he was probably hungry, uncomfortable and praying for his life to be saved. I think he was later identified in a morgue, one of 70 or 80 bodies stored in a refrigerated trailer. 

Down here on I-10, us truckers live with the mountains, the mysterious desert, and the wind. I turn my radio onto Fox, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, and I hear "Libya, Libya, Libya, Syria, Syria, Syria," an endless chant of repititious news, but very little about the Mexican wind, the dust, or our neighbors, the tortured dead. When you consider the enormity of this problem, the lack of interest is perplexing.

We are not doing enough to help. We are not saving ourselves.


The Good Friday Load: The Petro Cashier

Today I stood in line beside a tall thin man and we gossiped together about the cashier working in the Petro. We wondered why he was tending a fuel desk, so strangely official and bankerish. Bald and polite, he is well known for his friendly chuckle, miscounted change, and pump mix ups. Speculating, we pondered his past while standing in line; we fabricated a story for our banker-like cashier, placing him at a mortgage desk at the now vanquished Washington Mutual. We watched patiently as he fumbled one exchange after another, until finally my turn arrived, and the room was suddenly quiet.

Well known for my sometimes outrageously rude comments, my cashier stood in suspense while I slowly rolled my request off my tongue. You could see the sweat bead up on his brow.

Peaceful and polite, I quietly said, "Pump nine please, just the ticket."

Obviously relieved, he printed up my invoice and handed it over the desk with a broad smile.

 Tomorrow is Good Friday, and I am feeling beautiful about a new spring. I think our banker is going to make it at Petro.

Trucking, Child Predators, and Politics: too much PC rhetoric?

Obama is without a doubt the most butt kissing president we have ever experienced. When Calderone was here last month from Mexico, he practically licked his boots on this cross border trucking deal. All of this makes me very suspicious, and it is so outlandishly unfair to the American trucking industry. We are giving the Mexicans our marketplace, and they have handed us nothing. When we signed onto the NAFTA agreement 20 some years ago, no one would have believed that Mexico would have descended into the corrupt bloodbath it is now. In last night's Houston Chronicle (left leaning and highly supportive of the Mexican invasion into American trucking) the article stated the United States Department of Transportation would spend millions to outfit Mexican trucks with tracking devices so the public could be assured of safety. How ridiculous! If this is true, then we are paying millions in tax dollars for equipment that will rob us of American jobs. Our own truckers can't even safely travel to Juarez in a taxi to visit the famous bordellos anymore. All of this is blatantly unfair!

It reminds me of the female science teacher busted this week in Fort Bend Independent School District. I read about her mess, and then I was shocked to learn it was a female on female molestation. The weirdest things take place in our new politically correct world. The paper was so "deadpan" on this issue, you almost wouldn't even have noticed it was a female on female molestation unless you read it super carefully. We are so polite these days...almost to the point of glossing over important details. We can allow Mexico to push our president around in public, and truly perverted people weasle their way into mainstream society--all of this in the name of 'tolerance.'

Probably the most disgusting spectacle ocurred this week with the budget discussion. The whole mess was one big bribe, one side against the other. It had nothing to do with real money, just ideology. If we really want to quit spending money, let's just get out of Iraq. We didn't have any business over there in the first place, and we rolled Hussein into his grave eons ago. Let's secure our country, find out who in the heck is here, and get on with our business before we end up like Tom Cruise in "The War of the Worlds."

Remember how all of that mess just came blowing up out of the ground while ultra handsome Tom Cruise stood in disbelief? It was a really scary movie!

The Engineers at Volvo and Freightliner Need a Wake up Call

All trucks have an automatic air dryer. The purpose is to filter the moisture out of the air supply in order to prevent clogging and freezing. The bright team at Volvo designed this thing to sound like an air cannon. First it makes a huge sucking sound, (which is totally appropriate since it has to suck to drive something like that) and then it blows off so loud the hair on your arms will literally stand up straight. Not only that, it goes off repeatedly, and with rhythm, so your nerves are frazzled just from the constant sucking and blowing. This is not a pleasant experience and should never be confused with anything erotic.

Since the weather is warm, the parking lot is full of Volvo trucks and Freightliners sucking and blowing.

I drive a Peterbilt, and unless it has a definite mechanical problem, I hardly ever notice my air dryer. My truck doesn't suck and it doesn't blow. It doesn't get on anyone's nerves, and it dries the air perfectly.

Freightliners are so cheaply made, and poorly designed; they constantly suck and blow, usually over and over. And many of the drivers are inexperienced and do not even realize the air dryer is broken. They think it's normal for their air pressure to drop up and down.

This means I gotta "suck it up" and try to sleep. Good night all.