Afflated, I am Not

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Dictionary.com word of the day is

Afflated, To be inspired, which I certainly am not. I think I’m still recovering from blog block. An affliction that seems to have wrapped its tentacles securely around my consciousness.

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Saturday Scene

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This morning I woke up early, 02:00, to find I had been blocked in by another driver. One of my pet peeves is parking stupidity. One would think that another truck driver would have the courtesy to make sure they weren’t blocking someone else’s access or exit, prior to going to sleep but no, that is far too much to ask for evidently.

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Truck that parked blocking me in

I had to wake the other driver and ask her to move so I could get out. What you can’t see in the picture is the truck right beside me. I would have to pull forward far enough to clear his front end with my trailer before I could turn to leave. If the C.R. England truck had at least parked her trailer straight I would have be able to get out.

I nearly made it out of Wyoming, but ended up being held up in traffic because of a truck accident involving a propane tanker pulling double and another truck. A sideswipe had occurred, causing one of the propane tanks to rupture. This of course required a HAZMAT response, which ensured the road would remain closed for many hours.

This Saturday has been a long and tiring one.

Back to The Land of Wyfi

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I finally made it home last Saturday. I drove all night and got in at 04:00. Jennifer picked me up at the Freightliner dealership, and we went home to get a couple hours of sleep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. We had to start out early Saturday morning and get the move underway.
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We picked up a U-Haul truck and set to work. Jennifer had everything all packed up, so all I had to do was load and unload the truck. The kids came by and helped out also. It took us about half the day to load a 26 foot moving truck, and it was jam packed.

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Completely loaded 26 foot U-Haul

Another half day to get it unloaded. When Jennifer got home from work, we started unpacking everything. Let me tell you, that gorgeous lady is amazing. She kept at it for three days, and worked all three days also. I just provided a little muscle, moral support, and did what she told me.The house is basically unpacked, except for the craft/sewing /office room.

I did have a couple little projects to do. I had to cut shelves for two antique pieces Jennifer picked up, and make her a window seat with storage for her LP albums.

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Window seat with storage for LP albums

I got it built, but will have to finish sand, stain, and seal it next time I’m home. Jennifer is going to sew a cushion for the seat in her free time. I think it’s important to note that she works seven days a week, so free time isn’t all that free.

Of course there was an arctic cold snap going. Temps were down to -22, just a little brisk. The furnace wasn’t working the day before, but luckily the landlord was able to get it fixed. The the pilot light on the water heater blew out the first night, so we had no hot water the next morning. Just the fun of moving into a new house

Unfortunately, the internet did not get turned on before I left. My service was limited so I wasn’t able to post daily. I’m going to have to figure out what to do about that, because I go to a lot of places that I don’t get service, so no internet. That is obviously going to have an effect on my wanting to post daily.

Hurry Please

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I’m backed into the dock, waiting for them to unload me. It’s 2 degrees with a wind chill advisory. Yes, I’m idling, gotta keep the heat working.

I took Peanut out to do his thing, and he looked at me like I was crazy. I’m sure I don’t want to know what his little brain was saying to me. He’s been around truck drivers for too long, and has picked up some foul language.

All I can think is “hurry up please so I can go home to my lovely lady”.

Company of Moon and Stars

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The moon has been a fairly constant companion of late. For the last few nights, I have been driving late. Something I don’t really like doing. I would rather start out early, 02:00 to 03:00 than drive late. Not for reasons most people would think, but because it’s far easier to find parking mid afternoon than it is at 02:00. 

Last night the moon was nearly full, and came up fairly late in the evening. Of course that means it sets late in the morning.

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I’m still homeward bound, just running behind in that department, but the load is on time!

Vicariously Homeward Bound

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I put in for home time about three weeks ago. I was supposed to be home on Wednesday night, the 7th of January. Plans do seem to go awry in this industry. At least as they pertain to our (drivers) wants and desires.

I had a load that delivered in Phoenix on Monday the 5th. It had three drops, beginning at 06:00 and going on until 14:00. The first went smooth as silk, only having to wait an hour for the receiver to open shop. The second one though, was a long, slow wait. Phoenix Sysco, is not a well oiled operation! I was backed into a dock door for six and a half hours. Four of those hours they were actively, however slowly, unloading the trailer. It was only fifteen pallets, but they managed to drag the process our for a considerable time. Then I had to wait for them to count the product! With taking for hours to unload, one would think they would be able to count it as they pulled it off the truck. It’s pretty easy really, count how many levels of cases per pallet, how many cases per level, and multiply. But no, they have to do it separately, and charge me $190.00 to do it.

Finally done, I had just enough time to make my last  appointment with one minute to spare. They, Penguin Cold Storage were great, got me in a dock right away and had me unloaded in less than fifteen minutes.

Here’s the problem. Because Sysco took so long, it burned up much of my fourteen hour clock. You see, I can drive for eleven hours per shift, as long as I do it within fourteen hours. As soon as I start my pre trip inspection, go on duty, that fourteen hour clock starts ticking away the time. Now, because of Sysco, I have only three and a half hours left available to drive. Needless to say, I was unable to get a new load until today.

Here’s the other rub. Home is in the Twin Cities area, 1,800 miles from where I am. In supposed to be home tomorrow night. I don’t think it’s going to happen. Anyway, the company set me up with a swap. I have to pick up my load in Casa Grande, Az. That is supposed to go to Dallas, and take it the opposite direction to meet up with my swap. I sure hope this works out.

Saturday, it was supposed to be Thursday, we’re moving out of the apartment into a house out on the country. Reservations for the rental truck have been moved once, and can’t be moved again. I have to be home by Friday night or really early Saturday morning.

This is probably the one party of being an over the road trucker that really sucks. It’s hard to make plans and stick to them when my time is considered less important than the loads. I will say John Christner Trucking is far better than CR England. At least I am getting home once a month, instead of once every six months.

Wish me luck and fair roads folks.

Time to Break My Own Rule

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Quite some time ago, when I first started blogging, on that other platform, I decided not to discuss religion. It can be an intense stimulus for argument and evangelistic discourse. Yet recently I came across an article on CNN about the Atheist Non Commandments, that I knew I would eventually have to explore. I had decided back then to write a post about this, but had put it on the back burner. We all know what happens when you do that, it gets pushed aside and shoved out of the way, until the importance fades. Today though, I’m going to pull that little item back up to the front burner, and turn up the heart some while I stir it up to see what flavors come forth.

Tonight, while perusing my feed reader, I stumbled across a new find. Just Plain Ol’ Vic, had done an article on this very subject, Ten Non – Commandments. I liked the way he had written his post, and decided it was time for me to explore my own ideas.

I have never been a religious person. As a matter of fact you could almost say I’m anti – religious. What I mean is that organized religion, any of them, has shown me far too much greed, double standards, and hypocritical behavior. I spent a good number of years wearing a badge and gun, enforcing the law, a story for another time. What my time as an L.E.O. showed me, was that some of the worst offenders of all laws, both written and moral, were the same people that got up in church on Sunday morning, proclaiming their righteousness. This, along with several other reasons turned me away from religion.

My personal beliefs are not in a single deity, creator of all, but more along the lines of a paganism belief. Not a series of gods, but the spirit of all things. Trees have a spirit, the wind has a spirit, all things have a spirit, and at times it can be felt. At the same time, I believe in evolution and the progression of life along that path, science. Ok, enough with my belief structure, that is not what I’m writing about. I just thought it pertinent to put it out there for examination.

The CNN article stated that there had been an increase in atheism, or non believers, nearly 40 percent increase. Atheists and Agnostics have created their own “church” where people of similar mind can gather and congregate. This movement has become so prevalent that a college professor and a humanist Chaplin, Lex Bayer and John Figdor, wrote a book to try to define the basis of beliefs for this grouping of people. Atheists Mind, Humanists Heart, The Huffington Post calls it

a kind of philosophical roadmap to essential beliefs for nonbelievers.

I like article from the Huffington Post because it has their first draft of the Non Commandments. The one they wrote prior to creating a competition that resulted in the latest rendition. They wrote the book because

“There are lots of books out there about why you should not believe in God,” Bayer said. “But there aren’t any about what do secular people believe in. I think that’s the question John and I felt hadn’t been adequately addressed.”

I’m going to include both lists, I’m curious to see what reactions and comments I’ll be getting from this post.

The original Ten Non Commandments

I. The world is real, and our desire to understand the world is the basis for belief.
II. We can perceive the world only through our human senses.
III. We use rational thought and language as tools for understanding the world.
IV. All truth is proportional to the evidence.
V. There is no God.
VI. We all strive to live a happy life. We pursue things that make us happy and avoid things that do not.
VII. There is no universal moral truth. Our experiences and preferences shape our sense of how to behave.
VIII. We act morally when the happiness of others makes us happy.
IX. We benefit from living in, and supporting, an ethical society.
X. All our beliefs are subject to change in the face of new evidence, including these.

And the revised, after competition, Ten Non Commandments.

1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.
2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.
3. The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.
4. Every person has the right to control of their body.
5. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.
6. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.
7. Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.
8. We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.
9. There is no one right way to live.
10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.

Each one is unique and interesting in its own light. I feel like there are parts of each that I appreciate, and parts of each that don’t conform to my personal beliefs. I tend to veer away from ones that impose a steadfast “belief” that feels non negotiable. It makes me feel like I’m pushing a belief system on other people. That is one thing I can’t stand being done to me, so I would never do it to others. Both lists have valuable concepts, and are worth digesting and viewing from many different vantage points. Just Google Atheist Non Commandments, and you’ll have plenty of views to examine.

Sunday Quote

Because I’m too tired to write, I’ll let someone else do the talking.

“Tomorrow is never another day. It is only a new vantage point from which memory and premonition widen their perspectives under the merciless neutrality of light.”

 
Author, R.V. Cassill, from the novel, Clem Anderson.