Sunday, May 27, 2007

Baby Dedication

I sat in worship this morning as three families brought new babies forward to dedicate them to the Lord. Pastor held them and presented these infants before us to the Lord and he asked that the parents commit to raising these children in the way the Lord has planned for them. He then asked us as a congregation to commit to helping and teaching these children the ways of the Lord and to protect them by walking with the Lord in our own lives. We were asked to walk holy in order not to cause these young ones to stray and to give them an example that they can follow as they seek God in their lives.

I have never really paid that much attention to the impact my own life has on those around me outside of my own family. Sitting there this morning and committing to God and these parents that I would walk with the Lord in order not to cause their children to stray brought home some things to me. Can my own actions come between a child and God? Can I cause another to struggle in their walk with the Lord by my own behavior? I don't like to think of that responsibility but I believe it to be true. I, as an adult, influence the lives of the people around me whether I like it or not, and whether that be for good or for evil. An awesome responsibility and one that I am not real thrilled to carry. But I carry it whether I like it or not. By the grace of God I will do my best.


Sunday morning comin' down. It was an old Kris Kristofferson song from back when he was still runnin' around with Rita Coolidge and before he became one of the Highwaymen with Johnny, Willie and Waylon. I loved their first album. Second one didn't do so much for me.

Anyway, I always think of that song when I sit at the computer on Sunday morning. Not that I'm comin' down or anything cause Saturday night is usually not anything to come down from unless you count chips and salsa while reading Stephen King any kind of high.

I like his voice though. Kris's not Stephen's. Although I do like Stevo's voice when he reads his books but I've never heard him sing. He is in a rock band though so maybe he does sing. I don't know. "The Rock-Bottom Remainders." That's the name of his band. Steve's not Kris's. I doubt Kris is still in a band.

Gotta go shave my head before church. See ya

Saturday, May 26, 2007

New Truck, well almost

My old truck backed into a dock in Chicago. I am standing on the opposite curb. Not a lot of room there to put the truck and trailer in that little hole. This is a 91 Volvo with a 48 foot trailer.

My new truck in our company yard. It's a 2002 Freightliner with the same size trailer. It's a much sweeter ride than the Volvo. I get a little over 8 mpg in this as opposed to about 7 in the Volvo.

Seven things to make Ann regret she tagged me

Numero Uno:

I had a heart attack in November and then Diverticulitis in December which required twenty days in the hospital in Columbus, major surgery and a total of three months off work. My job is soooo great that my boss paid me for 40 hours for three months and told me I could make it up with my overtime whenever I got back. The last paycheck finished paying back my overtime. Now all the OT is mine to keep. I now have a quite beautiful scar that starts at my belly button and runs south about seven inches. I told the doc I was gonna sue cause my belly button is a half inch off center now.

Il numero due:

I have no toenails on my big toes due to a work accident many years ago. Dropped a steel I-beam on my feet and my tennies didn't save me.

Nummer drie:

I never graduated college although I went for many, many, many, many years.

Zahl vier:

I am bilingually illiterate; I can't read in two languages.

номер пять:

My wife and I were separated for six months once while I was working for a tour bus company. They were keeping me so busy that I never found another place to live. I just carried my stuff in the bottom of the bus and went from trip to trip. I am happy to say, most of the time anyway, that we are together and doing fairly well.

Antall seks:

I believe that ham cooked in Sprite with cloves, brown sugar, and pineapples is proof that their is a God and that He loves me very much.


I like to mess with people's minds. If you are reading this then you know how to play around with the font button on your computer. If you are not reading this and still have no idea what it says then you have not figured out that particular button and so this will remain a mystery to you. Have a good day.

Utter Ramblings

Exhaustion top the list. I am tired and my feet hurt. Spent all day yesterday loading trucks, pushing windows across the floor. Old fat truck drivers are meant for sitting, not manual labor. I was sweating like a stuck hog. Now isn't that a pretty picture.

Read in the paper this morning that one of my friends from church is dissolving his business relationship with his partner and going out on his own. His partner goes to church with us as well although I haven't seen him in a while. Hope there's no big problems there. It's got me a little worried.

Long week. Left Sunday evening for Grand Rapids, MI and didn't make it. Got about 3 hours from GR and just ran out of steam. Spent the night in Ottawa Lake, MI. Got up the next morning and went to GR and then on to Chicago. I had 5 stops to make in Chicago but due to the late start I only got two done before I decided to go on to Milwaukee and get those windows off before Monday was over. Parked in Racine, WI at 830 Monday night. Got up at 5 and went back into Chicago and got the other three stops done and was out of town and headed back home by about noon. My usual backhaul was already taken when I called the broker so I came home empty.

Got to Mansfield about 7 pm and loaded all the windows for the Thursday run to Pittsburgh and headed out again. Got about two hours down the road and went to bed. Up at 7 and on to Pittsburgh where I made those two drops a day early. All this running around so I could go with Sheila to Columbus on Thursday to a Dr.'s appointment regarding her knees. I was back home Wednesday about 6pm and went to the house. Had Praise practice at 730 and crashed at home at nine. Up at 6 to get kids ready for school and get ready to leave town. The rest of the day was nice. Just me and Sheila in the car easy driving. A busman's holiday, you might say.

The doc says he agrees that she needs the knee replacement surgery but he is a arthritis doc and doesn't do the surgery. He referred her to another guy. I offered him an extra twenty to tell the ortho doc that he had to do the surgery. He turned me down. Oh well. So now she waits for an appointment to see the ortho doc. Maybe she can get in before Christmas.

I took her to Cracker Barrel on our way home. The nice thing about her knees being in bad shape is she can't shop for long. Lunch was $736.29, or so it seemed.

Thursday and yesterday the heat was pretty bad and I hadn't gotten the air conditioners back in the windows yet. I've been waiting for all the snow to melt first. Looks like I waited too long. My wife gets quite grumpy when she's hot. Of course she's hot when the temp is at 65. At least we don't fight for the covers in bed. She throws them off and I pile them on.

Be right back.

Ok, I'm back.

My doc says I need to quit smoking so now I only smoke after sex. I'm down to half a pack a day.

Everybody else in the house is asleep except Isaac and Preston and they're both grounded from the computer so that's the only reason I'm on here now. It's like a war zone for the chair. "Can I get on? Can I get on?!" We hear that more than any other phrase in the house.

Got two new tires on my truck this week. Actually they're used tires. I went to check my front ones and cut my hand on the inside edge. Not a good thing when steel is showing. Guess my front end is out of alignment. I will make no comments at all about my rear end. thank you very much.

I've never bought a house but this fellow probably wishes he hadn't bought this one.

The house is stirring and I have to get to AM's response. She tagged me. I think she may be sorry for that. Seven things about me. That's gonna be fun. heh heh.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

For Julie and Ann

Ben, Isaac, Grace, Caley, and Hana

Caley and Isaac

Ben, the 18 yr old gaming genius. Off to college in July. YEAH!!!

Caley, Trina's daughter and Hana, our 20 yr old rebel.

Isaac, our 10 year old getting ready to go into the zoo.

Preston, our six year old foster son.

Trina and her girls on Mother's Day; Leah, Grace and Caley

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Long Night

My son, Ben, is graduating from high school this year and the only thing he asked for for graduation was for us to allow him to use the house for an all-night video game party. We said sure and ran for the hills. Well, last night was the party and actually it's still going on. There were a couple of adults who work with the youth group who stayed the night while Sheila and I went on to bed. I got up this morning about 6 and they were still going fairly strong for the most part except that the host of the party was asleep on the couch as was his little brother. He rearranged the living room and had six TVs with video game systems all attached. (This pic was taken about 11:30 this morning as the party was winding down.) There were kids playing Halo, Halo 2, Guitar Hero 2, House of the Dead, Gears of War, Risk and some watching movies. Actually I was surprised nobody woke me up with the noise. I had forewarned them all that the party did not go outside. Ben had a couple teens from school that he invited that offered to bring some beer and pot. Ben said they could if they wanted but when they got here he would call the police on them himself. "You can do that in your house if you want but not at my house", he told them. I was pretty proud of him. Overall it seemed like it was a fairly fun night for them. Actually, I played a little Guitar Hero myself and seemed to hold my own for a while. Maybe, just maybe, I'll go back to bed. Oh yeah, my in-laws are coming today from Virginia. Yeah, I'll go back to bed.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I was at Wendy's with Preston, our six year old foster son, and we were standing at the counter waiting for our food. There was an employee sitting at a nearby table taking his break drinking a coke. Preston stared at him for a minute or so and then said to me, "Daddy, is that man invisible?"

I said, "Can you see him?"


"Then I guess he's not invisible."


The young man grinned a little and said, "Sometimes I sure wish I was."

I've felt that way myself.

Although probably not for the same reasons.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


My son wrote this short essay on Revenge. I was amazed. He has captured all the emotions that I went through over the past few years. I only wish he had written it about 10 years ago.

I am Revenge.
I am Revenge. I am motivated, innovative, and can take any form. I am a retaliation against wrongs committed. I will show all of your enemies the pain that they showed you. I will bring murderers and rapists to their knees. I will help you mete out punishment as you see fit. I will allow you to judge all those you deem wicked. I am viewed a friend by the downtrodden or abused. I am more than I promise you. I promise you peace, yet I give birth to war. I promise you justice, but I will only grant you more pain. I promise you life, but I will kill anyone I deem fit. I promise you joy, yet I will leave you with the waking nightmare that you have become the same as your enemy. I cloud your mind, twist your motives, manipulate your thoughts, and crush ideas of forgiveness. I can dwell in the minds of many while fostering anger carefully in your mind. Tainting otherwise clean hearts, I instill a burning desire to act upon hellish impulses. I transform saints into devils incarnate. I stifle any good intention or pure motive that you have ever held. I wound both you and your offender equally, though not always in the same way. I bring temporary bliss while I hide the emotional suicide that I am pulling you towards. I give you the illusion of satisfaction, while leaving a desire for more pain. I punish those who are innocent, kill those who are blameless, and torture any who believe that I am the answer. I am degrading to all involved. I am a blemish, a stain on the canvas of your life. I crush your hope for a bright future. I will make you leave your dreams behind as I force you to chase after an illusion of justice. I cause death, debt, broken hearts, and blood to stain your hands. I am always pushing for more pain and anger. I am the dirty little secret. I am the last punch thrown. I am a shot in the dark. I am a long pursued grudge. I am the darkest manipulation of the heart. I am Revenge.
Amazing. He scared me with his insight.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I live on a fairly busy street corner. It's a four way stop right across from a city park which is very nice, for the kids especially this time of year, and I am one block from the busiest video store in town and three blocks from the high school. I love my house and overall I love the location. But...

Our town, like most in this fine country of ours, has a noise ordinance. If I can hear your music outside your car from 25 feet away it's too loud. At least that's what the town fathers think. Actually, I would think 5 feet is more appropriate but then that's just me. The old fat man with bad ears and a chip on his shoulder.

Now before you right me off as a curmudgeon, let me finish.

I'm sure you've all heard of kickers; those monster speakers that kids put in their cars so that the bass can vibrate their fillings out. Not only do they cause brain damage, which was recently proven in a study conducted by the National Society for the Prevention of Idiot Drivers, but they also rattle the screws of your car loose causing various automobile debris to litter our streets and highways. There was a young man at work who had one in his car and he thought it would be cool to see how loud it would go. He proceeded to crank it up forgetting that noise is made up of multiple waves that move and like most waves can possibly cause damage when it comes into contact with a stationary object. The stationary object in this case being the two back windows of his car. It was real sad to see him coming to work with plastic covering his back windows after they were shattered by his "fun" but we chuckled anyway. That's what old people do mostly is chuckle.

Well, with a four way stop in front of my house right down from the high school, I am exposed to these "kickers" on a regular basis. Therefore I have come up with a solution that I think you will love and you will probably want to install yourself. This will be fine and I will send you the necessary forms to fill out for franchisee rights if you are interested.

I call my invention The Kicker Cooler.

What I did was run a sprinkler line from my house water line to the street corner in front of my house with an electrical line running along side the water line in a separate conduit. At the end of the water line I installed one high pressure sprinkler head with a reservoir adapter between the head and the line. A reservoir adapter is similar to one of those chemical weeder things you attach to the end of your garden hose to keep crab grass down. As the water runs by the reservoir it sucks up a little of the chemical thereby saving you the trouble of having to mix your chemicals beforehand. The electrical line goes from the house to the sprinkler and operates the sensor unit which I installed. this sensor is sound activated and is set to go off at a certain decibel level. Exactly what the level is I am not sure as I am still in the adjustment phases.

So here's what happens. A young man or woman, ideally in a convertible pulls up to the stop sign in front of my house. There music volume is set to "deaf in two years" on the dial. I meanwhile am on the porch awaiting the show. The rest of this scenario occurs very quickly so try not to miss it.

Teen in car at stop sign

Loud music coming from car

Loud music triggers sound sensor

Sound sensor trips water valve at house

Water valve opens sending water down sprinkler line

Water rushes through sprinkler line to sprinkler head which is aimed 36 inches off the ground at 8 feet of distance

As water passes reservoir it picks up a small amount of nail polish remover

Water/NPR mixture rushes out head of sprinkler and blasts the car at the stop sign

I know, I know. You are all amazed at my genius. But here are a few things you may not know. Nail polish remover also acts as a paint remover on automobile paint thereby making the locating of the offending noise violators much easier for the police after I have called them. Also the sprinkler head that I installed is one that I modified from a tombstone maker. In other words, with the right pressure it'll cut through stone. A Dodge Neon can't stand up to that kind of force. (chuckle chuckle)

Plus I added small motor at the end of the line that will twist the sprinkler head back and forth and up and down insuring (or is it ensuring) full coverage. If the car windows are down, the effects are that much more enjoyable.

That is until last week. You see here's the problem.

In our town like most towns, there are things that make loud noises, that are coincidentally loud enough to trip my sensor, that are also supposed to be that loud. I can see you're already ahead of me.

We had an accident about two blocks from me and while no one was seriously injured in the accident, the police and ambulance and, yes it's true, the fire department were all dispatched to the scene. And here they come. Racing down my street. Cars are moving aside for them but it's still busy and they are not really making good time. That was their first mistake.

The police car was the first one to the stop sign and he paused to make sure a little old woman at the cross street was going to stop for his siren. That, friends, was his second mistake.

My ingenious system went off like clockwork. A high pressure blast hit the door of the police car at about 2100 feet per second. The spray wobbled back and forth soaking the car and the officer who, unfortunately had his window down. As I sat on the porch watching the show and dreading the repercussions that I knew would occur, I was amazed to see the sign "Protect and Serve" begin to slide down the officer's door until all that was left was "Pro.....n.......e". The irony was not lost on me at the time for I knew I would be "prone" as well before long.

But, to my surprise, the officer did not completely stop but continued to the accident. This was his third mistake. Because right behind him were the ambulance and the fire truck in close order. I was not certain if my "Kicker Cooler" would have time to reset itself before the ambulance or the fire truck reached it but apparently my engineering skills are better than I had previously thought.

The town of Galion now has three, yes, count them, three municipal vehicles with what appears to be a tie-dyed stripe down the driver's side, one police officer with a new blond streak on his left side, and one of it's finer citizens awaiting a court trial on charges of "criminal mischief". Luckily bail was pretty low since the judge had a hard time hearing the case. For some reason he couldn't quit giggling. I don't think he liked that particular officer but I don't know that for sure.

If you would like to contribute to my defense fund please call 1-800-Free-OFM (OFM=Old Fat Man). An operator will walk you through the steps and give you a confirmation number for your tax records. I take Visa, MasterCard, Am ex, Discover, Pay pal, Cash, Checks, and Green Stamps. If you would like a "Kicker Cooler" system of your own please indicate that as well. Operators are standing by.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


This is something that I have noticed over the last few years and it seems to becoming more and more prevalent. It really has me concerned and if there is anyone out there that is in a political position to help do something about it I sure would appreciate your help in this matter.
As you know I spend a large amount of time on the road traveling the highways and byways of this great country of ours and there is an epidemic of massive proportions that needs to be addressed. I have tried to contact several people in authority but it seems I have just been written off as a nut job or a simpleton. This hurts my feelings but I have not let it stop me in my campaign to solve this public safety dilemma.
It seems that more and more cars these days are being manufactured without any turn signal (or TSI) of any kind. I know, I know. I was shocked and surprised as well but it has become more and more apparent that these cars are leaving the factory without a turn signal that operates in any way shape or form. From all appearances they seem to be equipped with the required turn signal stalk on the steering column when they leave the factory and it would even appear that some of the cars actually have a working TSI when they hit the road. But it would appear that the system fails shortly after the car is purchased by an individual and driven for a short period of time.
Some other things I have noticed is that, and this is just my own observations, the more expensive the car the more likely it is that the On-board TSI, if it is so equipped, does not function. I have noticed older cars such as 90's era Oldsmobile's and Chevrolet's that have TSI's that appear to work fine but then the majority of Mercedes and Porsche's seem to have no functioning TSI's whatsoever. I have never seen a Rolls Royce with one that works.
I have addressed this problem to a number of congressmen and senators and I feel that I have just been brushed off. They speak to me as if I am an idiot or something. Now seriously, do I sound like an idiot to you?
I see these cars driving down the highway and I have even taken to looking inside the car as it passes to see if it has the appropriate stalk on the column and all of them do have a TSI stalk as far as I have been able to ascertain. And yet they don't appear to be functioning.
At this point I have a petition filed with the Department of Transportation and the American Automobile Workers Association as well as with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to try to initiate an investigation into this horrendous oversight in safety for the publics well-being. I'm not trying to be a busy body but it also concerns my own safety. I can't tell you the number of times I have had cars dart into the lane that I was occupying with no warning at all. Now considering that Chicago and DC drivers are ranked among the most courteous drivers in the world I have no other option than to assume that their cars are coming to them without the requisite TSI's. Surely they wouldn't be just ignoring those wonderful convenient stalks that hang right there on the steering column and are so useful and handy while making turns and changing lanes. That, my dear friends, I refuse to believe.
So please, if you do nothing else this year, join me in this fight for public safety. Call your congressperson. Call your senator. Call your President even. Let us not allow this travesty to continue unabated. Let us join the fight for public safety. Whether the public wants it or not! That is all.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Another plus. I saw this beautiful sunset on 94 just west of milwaukee headed for my last stop of the day. I was pretty tired by then but not so much i couldn't enjoy this scene. What a perfect end to a long day.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The company I keep

One of the pluses of being a truck driver is that when you finally park for the evening and go inside the diner to eat dinner, you run into all sorts of conversations. We spend so much time alone in the truck, 10 to 14 hours a day or more, that when we finally get around those of our own kind it seems we can't shut up. When it comes to politics you can hear every imaginable variation on why the government is the way it is.
Here are some of the comments that I've heard over the last few days in various truck stops and trucker hang-outs.

  • One of the jobs of the President is to control the amount of drugs that come into this country and he gets an extra $12,000, yes, that's twelve thousand, dollars a year to do this task. Why else would he spend 25 million to get a job that only pays $400,000? It's the side benefits.
  • The reason gas prices are so high is because the oil companies want to make more money so that they can push through the super highway that's supposed to go between Mexico and Canada and so that they can hire cheaper labor.
  • If they wanna be here illegally then at least make sure they pay taxes like the rest of us.
  • We're gonna miss Anna Nicole!
  • Paris Hilton should have gotten a whole lot more time than that. I bet she won't be such a brat when she gets out.
  • That tornado in Kansas reminds me of the time that I got caught in one just outside of Lufkin, TX or Tulsa, OK or comin across I-10 or Nebraska or another time in Kansas.

I actually heard, this evening three different tales of being caught in tornadoes by three different drivers. All of them, obviously, survived their ordeal with the twister.

The best story I heard this evening though, by far, was from an elderly African-American gentleman who sat across the aisle from me and told me of the time he heard God tell him to go see his brother.

Sammy Bailey was my fellow diners name and he was coming through Florida bob-tailing a tractor back to the terminal. (That's running without a trailer on the truck for those who are uninitiated in the trucking world.) He said," I was sitting there parked right off 95 finishing some paperwork when ah heard a small voice say, 'Go see ya brotha.'

"Now mah brotha was just up the road a piece and ah did consider it but ah hadn't seen mah brotha in a few years and ah didn't really wanna go see him today. Mah brotha was a bishop in his church and ah hadn't been all that faithful so ah really didn't wanna listen to his preachin'. At least not in his own livin' room. But I said, 'God, is that you? If this is you, God, then send me a sign.' It was at that very moment that ah remembered that little scripture in the bible that says something about only the wicked look for a sign. Well, ah didn't look for no more sign but ah decided ah was gonna go ahead and get that truck home anyway.

"Ah pulled out on 95 and headed north and as ah got to the end of the ramp ah pulled in behind a moving van that said Bailey's moving company on the back of it and I said, 'God, there's my sign.'

"You see my brotha's last name is Bailey and so is mine for that matter."

I had to chuckle a little at that particular comment. But he went on.

"Well, ah pulled right back over behind that moving van and followed him on down the road and wouldn't you know it, he got off the exit that goes towards mah brotha's house. So ah figured here was another sign that ah was supposed to go see mah brotha.

"Ah pulled up in his yard and went and knocked on the door. His wife Erlene answered the door and she looked at me like she was seeing a ghost. She backed up down the hall and hollered for her husband. 'Bishop! You gotta come see this!'

"He come around the corner there in the hall and he was a'sayin' 'Who is it, sweetie?' An' I'll tell you right now, when he saw me you coulda knocked him over with a piece a paper.

"'What you looking at me like that for?' ah said. He said, 'We thought you was dead.' Turns out he and his wife were just about finished packing so that they could go to Decatur, IL for mah funeral."

At this point, this elderly man laughed loud enough so that everyone in the diner turned and looked and he said, "Ain't that a hoot. Ah nearly missed seein' mah brotha cause I didn't wanna listen to that voice which ah believe was God talkin to me. Maybe He was tryin to tell me that ah was already dead." And there came that laugh again.

He continued to tell us that apparently someone in Decatur, IL had stolen his identity and that person had been killed in a bar fight in Decatur. He said after his brother made sure that he wasn't a spirit, he told him that he wasn't sure which upset him more; the fact that he was dead or that he had died fightin in a bar.

Can you see why I love my job so much. If I was working in a factory I never would have met Mr. Sammy Bailey, who has the same last name as his brother, from St Petersburg, FL.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

I sent this pic to my boss telling him that i had a problem with my latest load. He was not amused. Some people have no sense of humor. And he's the one always playing practical jokes. He once had me mail a letter from St. Louis for him to his pastor that was supposed to be a bill from an adult magazine demanding payment. I thought that was a good one.

Here we go

And we're off! I have been encouraged by an old friend to write a blog and since I think quite highly of her I have taken her advice. So if this doesn't work out, blame her.

I was noticing the other day that the hair on my knuckles is grown back. Maybe I should stay away from the barbecue grill this summer and let it grow longer. I've seen guys with handlebar mustaches but I've never seen anyone with handlebar knuckles. I seriously doubt I would succeed in avoiding the grill once the weather warms up. I love those country style ribs way too much. So bring on the bare knuckles. Sounds like a rock band, don't it?

Being a truck driver, I'm sorry, I mean a professional freight relocation engineer, I have quite a bit of time to notice things around me. Some would seem obvious in reflection and others may be surprising.

  1. Old men drive convertibles more than women do.

  2. A black car is more likely to be driven by a young man.

  3. A red car is more likely to be driven by a young woman.

  4. An SUV or a minivan is more likely to be driven by a mother or middle-aged woman.

  5. A car with more than one color on it's body and a bar with flashing lights on top is more likely to be driven by a police officer and he or she is more likely to not have good news for you.

  6. A horse and buggy is more likely to be driven by an Amish person.

  7. A car with a large number of dents is more likely to be driven by my daughter.

These are just a few of my day to day observations.