Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Deserved A Ticket

I'm cruising down I-10 through Chandler (Arizona) area.  They started a construction project in a spot a couple of weeks ago.  The lanes are not narrowed, they are working in the middle of the freeway and put up those heavy concrete dividers.
The - 4 or 5 times I've been through there - since they started it, I have NOT seen a reduced speed speed limit sign.  I looked.  I really did. Construction sites are autonomous with reduced speeds.  Well, cars were buzzing by me going much faster as I was coming up to that today and STILL did not see any signs, so I zoomed along with them.
I saw the DOT Arizona Highway Patrol pickup sitting there, thought nothing of it.  I slowed down a little bit, but just kept cruising.  Apparently the car drivers didn't see whatever signs were posted, either.  They were going at least 10mph FASTER than me past they ADOT pickup, but I had this feeling.  Sure enough, I see this pickup in my rear view mirror come speeding up behind me, put on his lights, I pull over.

This guy was not your typical Highway Patrol officer.  He was totally laid back, about my age and very cordial.  I see him on the right side walking up to the cab of the tractor - a good thing, I don't much care to see people walking on the driver's side of a car or other vehicle on the sides of these freeways, there are too many stupid drivers out there paying no attention to anything.  They have run over HP officers around these parts in the past.  He opens the door, climbs up, says hello, I already had all kinds of documentation ready and handed to him, but yes, I did greet him.

He didn't say anything about speeding - so I thought maybe there ARE no signs and I didn't miss anything.  Instead, he asks me how long those pipes are on the back of my truck?  20 feet.  This goes on for a while, yes it does, yes it always does.  They want to see things working - lights, this that and the other thing.  If you don't drive trucks and you have never had this special attention, trust me, you aren't missing ANYTHING.

He mozies on back to his pickup, pulls out a tape measure and measures the pipe.  He goes back to his truck, puts up the tape measure and mozies on back to me.  Tells me I need 4 straps on that pipe.  I have 3, the legal amount necessary for that length and weight of pipe.  I mean, the straps I had on there are good for about 10 times the amount of weight I had on there.  No matter, DOT is always right and you sit there and listen to it, cause' - you have no choice.  You can argue with them, yes, and you will get reamed if you do.

I know PLENTY of truck drivers that thought arguing with them is aye okay, whatever dudes.  You can sit there and mouth off all day long, it isn't going to help you in the end.  I was raised to respect law enforcement, I keep to that pretty much.  The end result for those drivers is usually nothing good.  Tickets, fines and points. Pass.

He asks me if I can put another strap on the pipe if I have another strap.  Yes, officer, I can put another strap on there, no problem.  He continues, well it can be a 2 inch strap if you don't have any more other straps.  No , sir, I have plenty of straps and winches to strap them to.  He admonishes me to look out for traffic getting out of the truck - a VERY busy stretch of highway with a speed limit of 65MPH and drivers going much faster than that?  I totally agree.

I throw the strap on there, winch it down tight, done.  Oh, the pipe is 20 feet, 7 inches long.  It's 7 inches into needing a 4th strap.  Sort of.  The reason for excessive straps is that trailers without bulkheads have to add an extra strap.  The third strap I had on there was plenty and I thought was sufficient, but, our paperwork all says that pipe is 20 feet long, not 20 feet 7 inches long.  I have never measured it.  However, I had secured cargo in front of the pipe, by law, eliminates the requirement for the extra strap, so, legally, the third strap should have covered it.

Then comes the bombshell.  The area I was travelling through is a construction zone and is posted at 55mph.  I told him I did not see the signs and I was looking.  How did I miss them?  How did I miss them the 4 times or so that I have been through there since this construction started?  But, I was being totally honest: I did NOT see those signs and no, I'm not looking at freaking test messages while I'm driving.  I have no clue and still don't. Well, I didn't argue it with him, he came up looking for a serial number on the trailer, told me I can just kick back in my truck and he'll be back with me shortly.

I figured with the straps, a warning, the speeding - a ticket.  He said I was going 70mph - but I looked when I saw him, I was going 68mph.  In the world of commercial vehicles and licenses, a WORLD of difference.  15mph over the posted limit is enough to have your CDL suspended.  Yes, it is.  I think it's a 60 day suspension, not sure of that, but I think that's what I read.

I dunno, 10 minutes later.  I'm sitting there thinking about what I am going to do about this speeding ticket, you HAVE to fight it in court, regardless.  Especially a charge of going 15mph over.  Bummer, the day is going sour.  He gets in the side of the truck after mozying back up again, has the paperwork in hand, says that no checks, cash or credit cards will be needed.  It didn't register with me at first.  What is he talking about?  He begins to explain what's on the paperwork.  I still am not getting it, because he isn't coming out and saying it.  He says something else that starts me thinking that I am getting warnings, not tickets.  I asked him: You mean you aren't giving me a speeding ticket?  No, he says, just sign on this paperwork and we're done.  

I'm not going to lie and act like some egomaniac by saying I didn't thank him for not giving me a ticket for speeding, especially for that kind of speeding ticket.  I thanked him more than sufficiently, signed the paperwork, he wished me happy holidays, I bid him the same and that was that.



2 more work days - including today - to go before another 3 day weekend.

I left the non-paying tenant a Notice Of Abandonment AND a Quit or Pay notice yesterday. She came "home" overnight, left me a note and left. I'm guessing she probably did a bunch of laundry as well, which really sucks because my power reader is almost out of money. Not that I'm out of money, I got home yesterday and found the thing beeping and $8 left on it.

Which is plenty, unless you have a tenant that thinks electricity is free and use as much of it as possible. 

Anyway, she left me 2 week's rent in the envelope and called it even, saying how confused she is about where I come up with another week's rent owing on top of it. I'm not confused: this week, last week and $75 for the week before. Now, if she is saying she is paid up UNTIL this week, fine, that's true. But, rent is due on the first day of the week, not the first day of next week, thank you.

Regardless, I was happy to receive anything from her, but she did state that she "is sorry you feel I have abandoned the room", yada yada yada. Abandonment notices are for those people tha disappear, in this case for a minimum of 7 days AND are past due in their rent a minimum 10 days. Well, she was gone 8 days up until yesterday and she was 14 days past due in rent. 

This is the trouble with weekly renters who are unemployed but don't want to lose their room. However, I did get the 2 weeks worth of back payments, I am going to call her later as she has requested and we will discuss the legal intentions of posting a Notice of Abandonment when a person completely disappears and is way past due on rent. If she was paid up, she can disappear as long as she wants to, I don't care. Just like the other female tenant who is paid up until the beginning of the year. She has been gone a week. Well, her room is paid up, whether a person wants to live in the room or not is their business, whether they pay the rent for it is mine. In reality, that lady is in Alabama right now visiting kinfolk and I have no idea when she is coming back, but unless it's way past the 1st, she won't be finding abandonment notices on her door. 

A huge storm front is moving through the state (well, since people are visiting this site from around the world, this state would be Arizona and I am in Phoenix), just as predicted. It is supposed to dump a bunch of rain all day long today and then tomorrow night, it's supposed to get very cold (by our standards, anyway). Well, I haven't had to water plants in at least 2 weeks and from the looks of it, I can move that another 2 weeks out. 

The dogs will get their nice little sweatshirt/vest thingies on them tomorrow when it's going to be very cold outside and that will be that. 

Hmmm, well I have a lot to do today, amazingly enough, I just checked the truck routing system. A trip to Queen Creek then to downtown Phoenix and then over to Casa Grande. I am wondering, however, if it's going to stay that way once the rain starts dumping out of the sky.

Anyway, work day is here and I'm done with this one.



Well enough of that - the previous post that is. Excepting that I found out the hard way this morning that there is ammo hoarding going on, ...