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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On the Road with the original florida kid week 28

"On the Road" with the original florida kid
Hello again fellow truckstars!! It's Week 28 and.......
...you're on the road with the original florida kid......
Grandma, Barbie and all the gang here at the ranch say a big cowboy howdy "hey!"
KITCHEN TABLE TALKIN'-
Grandma has a fresh pot of her famous coffee ready - so pull up a chair, grab a cup, an ashtray and let's get to it!
Do you remember the movie starring Marlon Brando, called "On the Waterfront"? Some of you younger truckstars out there might not, if you don't, it's a great old black and white film about crime, corruption and the toll it took on one guy, an aging prize fighter turned longshoreman, who took a wrong turn in life.
I've always remembered Brando's line in the film when he says to Charlie, "I could'a been a contenda!"
Sometimes, looking back on my life, I feel like I could'a been a contender, too....maybe.......
Don't think for a second I'm sitting here feeling sorry for myself, because I'm not.....it's just that my life has been a wild ride, a really wild ride and I can't help but think back and wonder how things might have turned out.....if things had played out differently when I was younger...and how it all would've ended up affecting my life now........I don't know if everything has to have someone or something to "blame", I mean, I don't think like that. Sometimes, and I truly believe this, I think the things we want maybe wouldn't be the right things....I mean is anyone capable of understanding ALL the ramifications of hopes and dreams? I'm damn sure not.... We all have hopes and dreams and most of the time they don't work out like we had hoped or planned, at least for me they didn't.....my deepest regret is not making it to the pros as a baseball player. I was a pitcher, one of the first of the new crop of speedburners throwing in the 90mph range in the early seventies, I was on a pony league, a high school and triple A team at the same time in one season, I think it was 71' or 72'. I was by far the youngest member on the triple A team, a second stringer. I remember once in awhile one of the guys would just suddenly be gone and then everyone would be woopin' and hollerin' once we heard the guy got called "up", we were all just waitin' our turn, only, mine never came because I got hurt.
I injured my foot pretty bad foolin' around up at the beach one day, and as I was limping home, I knew....I knew it was over, and it was. You have to be so on your game, even at that level. I went to a tryout for a major college, hoping to sign into the pros out of this school, a lot of guys did, but I couldn't throw a strike to save my life that day. The foot I had broken, or cracked an instep bone in, was my push off foot. Speed without control isn't any good so I just walked off the mound that day, I never said anything to the coaches, by the time I threw 10 or so pitches they were all lookin' down at the ground anyway. I just walked off........
Every year when October rolls around and the World Series starts, right when the first pitch is thrown, I get a little misty....wonderin'............I do every year, since then.............I could'a been a contend'a......
I guess maybe I'm feeling the same kinds of feelings lately...that sense of dread and fear about the future, and that something I love very much is slipping away.....Yeah, I'm going to face it all head-on, that's my style, and it's not a "scared of the dark" kind of fear I'm talking about here, but I guess I'll never get used to that "cold slap" of reality that life has it's own unique way of delivering....it always seems to catch me off-guard......like the couple of hundred dollars - LESS - I made off this last run because of fuel costs.....and that was even after setting the cruise at 59mph(I did get better mileage, much better than trying to bump 70 all the way down the road....)but, shock and awe....I'm sportin' a brand new shiner on my eye.......some drivers will survive and some won't.......
Barbie's at work right now and I'm sittin' here wondering when my next run will be.....the un-certainty kicks my rear end........something is going on in the trucking industry, (I know you already know this.....) but this time, it feels like more than just a little speed bump.....the economic indicators are off the charts, this isn't just another lull or a mild recession. Listen to the business programs and read the business trade papers, and not just the agenda based trucking ones either....watch CNBC too, you'll see what I mean.
It's hard to tell when you look at the truckstops all over the country, at night they're all full, the rest stops are full too, but when you talk to drivers, right away you hear what's really going on and no one seems to know, for sure, what's up ahead, but everyone agrees that the "big picture" is the worst it's ever been. Fuel, freight, freight pay, maintenance, and licensing costs, Mexican trucking, more and more legislation against everything from idling sanctions to new drivers certification standards, road construction, American off-shore production is at it's highest level in history.....it's a long list and no one expects costs to ever go down.....but when you read the trucking business news, a lot of companies in the industry are making big profits....still. Everyone seems to be making money - except the drivers.....Why ?
Sure, freight will always need to be hauled, but the question is what's it going to take to do it and who's going to be able to do it?
Thank God the OOIDA goes to bat for our industry's drivers every single day.... I hope you'll decide to join up...even if you're a company driver.....hell, even if you're not a driver at all......www.landlinemag.com Dave Sweetman is at Landline magazine now....(Dave will be the last trucker on earth and God will use him to haul wine and food for the "end of the world after-party")
WANTED: HEROES- Truckstars - I want to put a call out for a little future trucker named Chance Rodgers, grandson of longtime truckdriver and OOIDA member Jim Rodgers out of Oregon. Young 12 yr. old Chance has osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, and he's undergoing extensive treatments for it. His folks Jennifer and Jim Jr. along with his 3 sisters are in the fight for this kids life. A hero named Miles Verhoef has taken up the cause for Chance and he'll be at the Mid America Trucking Show later this month for an auction in the boys name : MARCH 27-29: MID-AMERICA TRUCKING SHOW, (Kentucky Exposition Center - Louisville, Kentucky) More info at the official web site - http://truckingshow.com (for more info on the auction contact Colleen Sims at Gulf Coast Filters: 1-800-398-8114) If you can spare anything at all I'm sure the family , and Chance, would greatly appreciate it. He wants to be a trucker when he grows up - "like my Papa Rodgers!" Chance says. You can see how he's doing and leave him a note on this great site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/chancerodgers Truckstars, this is one of our own and we need to step up to the plate - so Please, Please stop by to say Hello to the little fella and help out if you can...maybe you know someone who can.....okay? Wha'd'ya say truckstars? Keep Chance and other kids like him, as well as their families, in your prayers......and heartfelt Thanks to LandLine writer Suzanne Stempinski for the article about Chance on pg. 60 in the March/April issue! I've found, in my life, that, even when I'm in a tough situation, making the choice to help someone else who may be in a tough situation too, well, it makes something of value out of my situation, even if it's bad.....you'll have to ask God how that works....but it does......
PBR- Well alright, former world champion Chris Shivers took the win at the Tacoma Invitational this weekend in Tacoma, Washington with a monster 91.25 point ride aboard Cooper. When Chris is ridin' well there's nobody better..... Young Brazilian superstar Valderon De Olivera took second followed by North Carolina cowboy, young gun and fan favorite J.B. Mauney. Earlier in the weekend at an event in Portland, Guilherme Marchi, overall points leader and the PBR's number 1 rider took the Portland Invitational. It was a double event weekend of bull riding at it's finest. But, noticable, were the absence's of American superstars Justin McBride, Ross Coleman and Mike White. Somebody check the barn, I'll go down and check by the lake.......
NASCAR- Bristol Motor Speedway in Tenn. was the site for the Food City 500 and Childress racing took the 1-2-3 spots, Burton, Harvick, Bowyer in a team finish of Chevrolet's. Awesome work! Bristol seems, to me, to be too short of a track for this type of car..........
TRUCKSTAR TECH- try this site: www.cyberlinklive.com - and this one: www.hulu.com - Let me know what you think. Also next week more on where to find an affordable laptop you can upgrade the ram in, with a pci mobile broadband slot.....At&T is makin' a run at bein' top dog in the mobile internet arena.....you go boy!.......
THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT- This week I want to talk about STRESS.....now, listen to me....stress can be both internal and external at the same time, meaning, internal can be how you think about what you need to think about, AND, from what you eat and drink. External stress for the most part you can't do much about, however the way you deal with it is the key....Me? I try to pray and think my way through every situation, all the while watching what I'm putting in my body, and when. If you tend to think like a forgiving parent with situations in your everyday life and while you're out on the road, and you're capable of unconditional patience, the effects of stress will go down ....a lot. But, if you're like me(strung tighter than new barbed wire), then, coffee, sports drinks, soda's with caffeine in them, foods with lots of salt and sugar - Please be careful about how much and when you drink and eat this stuff...limit yourself as much as you can....and pace your caffeine intake. Hell yeah I drink coffee and once in awhile I like a cherry Pepsi but you have to remember this stuff stays in your system for several hours whether you "feel" it or not, salt too. It affects your body chemistry and most importantly - your brain chemistry. Caffeine has drug-like properties, in that, it has an "acidic" affect on the nutritional quality of your blood while it keeps you alert, but, the overall effects include mental fatigue and physical depletion, both of which amplify stress. How? Why? Isn't it harder to deal with stress when you're tired, especially the mental kind, like driving strategies and home life? It's the same thing as driving the piss out of your rig while running "bad" high octane fuel through it. Over time, years even, the end result will be irreversible poor health. Vitamins, protein drinks and protein bars will give you a much higher grade fuel source for your body and mind and there are NO side affects...you'll sleep better and feel better when you wake up. Please truckstars, find a way to break the cycle you're in of lousy foods and too much caffeine, okay? ( Muscle Milk is sold almost everywhere, including Wal-Mart and most grocery stores, as are MetRx protein bars. Vitamins are too but I want you to find a source for "whole food" organic vitamins, get a bottle that says the daily dose is ONE pill, bring em' on the road with you......more on this next week!
Also next week - an update on my, so far, fruitless, ongoing saga on trying to find educational/financial help to go to helicopter pilot school..........
Don't forget about the Great West Truck Show in Las Vegas - June 26-28 here's the link: www.greatwesttruckshow.com
I want to Thank all you truckstars for stayin' with me here "On the Road" with the original florida kid......
Take a minute and PRAY for our troops around the world - with me - truckstars....whether you agree with the war or not - I think we can ALL agree that these are OUR men and women over there, our KIDS, and, the politics involved is way over my head, not to mention the idea that there's probably a lot going on we DON'T know about, so......and let's not forget about GOD in this equation....it's HIS will I want done, not some profit crazed business man's, not the government's, and damn sure not my own, I'm just not capable.....how 'bout you truckstar?
Here they are, bookmark these sites ;
To find your Representative - www.house.gov ( just enter your zip)
To find your Senators - www.senate.gov - scroll to your home state.
Write them often, tell your friends to write them often....and tell them too that prices are not going to go down on Mexican shipped goods either......just more dope, crime, junky un-safe trucks with bad drivers, accidents and public costs.....
DON'T FORGET TO JOIN THE OOIDA(.com)..............
Don't forget about National Truckers Prayer Day!
Contact Billy Mack on Bozo Radio, or the other radio trucking shows! Let's do this!!
Billy Mack on(XMchannel171) Bozo radio's "Open Road Phone Line"on-the-air - 12noon - 4:00pm - mon thru fri -
you can call into the show at 817-451-6055
Okay truckstars - I gotta go - I'm trying to find a haul and a back-haul, so until next week....(truck payments....know what I mean vern?)
Remember - NO load and NO paycheck is worth dyin' for !!!!!
Pray for us all, our nation, the world and the lost..... and try not to worry!!
God hears prayers, trust me - I know.
As always I want you to remember - I love ya' and I'm prayin' for ya' !
So - Play nice, drive safe and pull it on home...........
Are you ready? Let's roll..........
......you're on the road with the original florida kid...................we gown..........

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