Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Cell Phone Rule For CDL/Truck Drivers

I got through the internet frequently to find whatever new is coming from the Feds in the terms of new regulations.  The level of expertise that is required to be a truck driver in having to know so many regulations - the trucking industry is the MOST regulated industry in the United States - is going to the levels that the pay level is going to have to be increased significantly to attract people who have actual brains and can do more than handle a steering wheel.

Why should I have to spend my own personal time looking at all of this stuff and educating my company about things they haven't even heard about and not getting paid extra for it?  Why should I have to be dumped with exhaustive numbers of regulations that are predisposed to the opinion of a law enforcement officer?  That's right - you could ask 100 commercial enforcement officers the same question about whatever - especially technical questions - and get numerous different answers that have no relevance with other answers that would be received.

I am exposed to more risk than most people realize.  I have to concentrate at high levels the entire time I am driving - certainly in city driving which is most of what I do.  I CONSTANTLY watch traffic not only in front of me, but beside me on both sides and behind me, plus side streets coming up and attempting to constantly change the level of reaction to the potential threats that are coming.  If I run over a car and there is a family in it, even if it is not my fault that I just turned human beings into mince-meat, I would have to live with that in my mind and heart the rest of my life.

There is absolutely no way, in my mind, that with all this regulation coming out that the same Federal agency isn't forcing every  single driver in the United States to go through exhaustive training on more than just that stupid test they are giving for a regular driver's license that an ape with half a brain could pass.

The Brainiacs that are coming up with these regulations are completely clueless.  I would like to have a video camera installed on my truck dashboard and have all driver's that are breaking laws in front of me be ticketed by virtue of that camera.  I want all drivers to have to go through training - including graphic video illustration - on the effects of recklessness enacted in front of a semi-truck.  If we are to absorb this kind of stringent, potentially career-ending regulation, then the rest of the motoring public should have to be subjected to the same thing, because honey, it's the drivers of car and pickup trucks that are causing the most accidents with heavy trucks.

I predicted when I started reading about CSA2010 that there will eventually be a huge reduction in the CDL driver pool because of elimination and that it is going to in turn, affect the American economy.  Trucks delivery almost everything.  If vast amounts of drivers are going to be disqualified either by the Federal Government or by the companies that hire them. you are going to eventually see serious shortages of all kinds of merchandise in every venue.  This new ruling?  It's a potential $11,000 fine for the company that the driver is driving for if he/she is caught talking on a hand-held set while driving and up to $2,700 for the driver.

This new ruling came out at the end of last month and goes into effect  - 2 days from now, I am just finding this out today and NOT by my own company.  I was going through the FMCSA site and saw the "final rules" coming out.  I just sent out emails to the general manager and to the operations manager.  I will not be answering the phone in my truck while driving, period, unless they want to get hands-free, blue-tooth devices installed in the truck or blue tooth headsets with voice command.

I'm not paying for it, either.  Let the trucking companies absorb this cost, they have more of a voice to the Feds than individual truckers do, though if truckers would truly unite, it would be a different story.  For example, if it were truly possible to coordinate a shutdown of all trucks everywhere in America for a week - that would change the entire situation immediately. Truckers could, actually, shut down the American economy if they really wanted to.

Money talks.  That's all I have to say about this.  I may not be flying a commercial jetliner, but I am subjected to more regulation than any of them are.  It may take more technical knowledge to fly an airplane, yes, but they aren't flying in city-type traffic, either.  They aren't being "cut off" by other airplanes numerous times per day, etc. ad-nauseum. Why should I settle for all this increasing regulation and not demand more pay to equalize it?  Yes, it IS going to affect the economy and that's that.

Josie

So, I am cruising along today, cleaning the ponds out and doing this that and the other thing type of minutia. Temps are perfect, weather great, what could happen today?

Josie calls me totally out of the blue. I had thought about her yesterday while with Mary.

Josie is the widow of one of the best friends I have ever had who died 1 year ago, yesterday/New Year's Eve Day, quite suddenly and out of the blue, btw.

She started crying on the phone immediately. Her family has all but abandoned her.  She has tried to commit suicide 3 times, she confesses, in the last year.  She got aneurysms from the cuts and has had to spend time in the hospital because of it.  She is at the end of her rope - the bottom of the barrel - and she called me because she had no-one left to call.

It got intensely emotional quickly.  But, I have only 1 answer to life and what it deals us.  She was married to Boe for 46 years, I think it was.  Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of his passing. She doesn't know what to do, she doesn't know where or who to turn to.  I could do nothing present the Lord to her.  I have no other answers.  I wouldn't try to give other answers because there is nothing to fill a void like that excepting the love of the Lord.

The pain is, she stated and it was obvious, as intense today as it was 366 days ago when he passed.  I asked some pointed questions.  I can't not.  It's vital to dealing with the issue if you are really going to get to the root of the problem. You can play mushy-mushy and say how it's going to get better - when you know unless something changes, it is not going to get better, it is going to get worse.  She will, eventually, find a way to take her own life if this situation isn't radically changed.

I offered to walk with her through this - but through the church.

So, I contacted the pastor through email and awaiting his reply.  I am asking him to contact her and hopefully pray with her and give her some of the warmth that comes through someone that has that anointing on their life.  He definitely has that.  I know he will call her, it's a granted given.  That is his heart towards the Lord and for people.

The "stuff" in life is never-ending.  I can only explain it through my beliefs.  We aren't here to just live our lives and that's that.  We are here to love the Lord and love one another.  I know, what are you saying when you just posted such and such about your neighbors.  Yup, I don't much care for them.  But I have also hoped and prayed that some sort of conclusion that is amiable in the end will come.  I don't know how, but with God, all things are possible.

I came back in the house shortly after that call, sat down, began to absorb all of that and Caleb came out of his bedroom.  I shared with him the phone call and we both shed some tears.  I don't care what anyone thinks, it's a tragedy when a person has lost hope in life to the point that they want to end it on their own.

For the sake of the my long-time friend who is now in heaven and because of the love the Lord and the love that the Lord has for all of us - and for the sake of Josie, I am going to exert whatever energies I have and can give to trying to help her walk through this.

350 Man

Short and sweet:  the City of Phoenix had removed 350 man's property across the street from the active list.  I decided this time, the third time, to write the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services department and tell them that if they didn't enforce the same rules that they do with everyone else, namely: no storage is allowed on a residential property unless there is a structure on the property with at least 750 square feet ( I think, somewhere around there) - that I would call the City Council and file a grievance with the City.

Well, as I stated in the last entry, ponds are on the priority list today.  The pumps get clogged up because of the time of year it is  and leaves falling all over the place, getting into the ponds and the pumps are powerful enough to drag all that stuff on the bottom of the ponds to the pump.  I was out front dealing with the smallest pond when I looked up - for no particular reason - and realized that all of that stuff had been removed from the property.

Meanwhile, the people next door - the other side of which I have had years worth of problems with - are collecting vehicles.  I am going to look into just how many vehicles a person can have for one residence.  I don't know that there is a restriction, but I am going to find out.  Between the 5 vehicles on the street and the 3 vehicles in the driveway - we have a total of 8 vehicles, only 2 of which are ever used.

The hoarders behind me? Left a bag of grapefruit on top of my shed and made a cute little statement on it.  I don't know if that's a peace offering or perhaps they have injected poison into the fruit itself.  Lol, probably not the latter, but who knows.

Randy - is talking to me through Mark.  That's the way it is.  I will not speak to him until if/when/if ever he apologizes for his total and pure BS.  Other neighbors drive by his property, stop in front of it and start shaking their heads.  And not nods of approval, either.  The situation with my neighbors is hardly made up or even exaggerated even a little.  They are slobs and hoarders, period.

Back to 350 man, I received a letter from the Justice Court yesterday, but only saw it today when I got home from Mary's.  350 man's appeal has been dropped because he took no action on it.  I was prepared to write up a lengthy rebuttal to whatever he might say, but I didn't actually do it because?  Not worth the waste  of time going through that if he isn't going to follow through with the appeal.  Now he is stuck with the Injunction Against Harassment for the full 365 day's worth and Randy is also considering filing against him.

350 better not bother me - at all - is all I can say about it.  He is such a d*** that I would have no reservations, whatsoever, in calling the police, handing them the paperwork and telling them what happened - provided there are witnesses anyway - and having him prosecuted.

Oh, back to the hoarders behind me: they have done absolutely NOTHING to clean up the property that is in violation.  Not only have they not cleaned it up, they have brought even MORE junk onto that property.  The status on that case is still at "ticket issued".  Freaking human pigs. I am also going to inquire with the City about that  - well they aren't going to be opened tomorrow, so on Tuesday or this coming week, whenever I remember to do it during their normal business hours.

Even more.  Mark just came in and said that Randy asked him to ask me if I wanted to go halves with him to finish the fence near the back of our properties.  Yeah, half my @$$.  The guy is so cheap he'll find the stuff for free, the stuff he finds won't match the block that is already there and it will look like s***.  He won't care what it looks like, either, meaning he won't try to align the new block with the existing block.

In other words, it is a project I am going to have to do, unless he starts doing it without my input or help and then I will hope to be able to cover over his job with enough stucco type stuff to make it look good.

I had no intention of this entry getting so long, especially about this particular subject, but there it is.  The ponds are finished - for today anyway.  The bathroom is clean and only have light cleanup in my bedroom and yes, I am done for the day.

1/1/2012 Sunday Happy New Year!!!!!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I managed to stay up until around 1:15am last night.

An interested night, to say the least.  Mary decided that she wanted to drag some firewood over to a party that was going on out in front of a house a few blocks away.  She asked if I wanted to come with her. No.  She basically had a mini-cow so I relented - but I've been there and done that, most likely everyone would be drunk and acting - drunk.

I was not off, in the slightest little bit, with that assessment, either.  My sister-in-law had called - I find out she lives like 5 blocks away from Mary - we all headed to this party.  I was having a few beers, yes, but I was determined that I was not going to go overboard with anything.  We got there and I was offered shots of fine Vodka and numerous beers.  I had a couple, but I then quit.  There was a fire pit out front in the driveway and Mary shoved a log into it.

Then some woman - drunk and belligerent - started trouble.  It was a no burn day in Maricopa county - they issue those when the pollution gets too high and they don't want people using their fireplaces - the woman started barking at Mary about how much smoke the wood she put on there was making.  The rant went on and on and finally Mary dished some pork back to her, which made this woman really mad.  Turns out she doesn't even live there.  There was a simple solution to this problem, btw, something I learned when I was a kid.

Simply throw more kindling on the fire, get the fire really hot and get the wood burning well and the excessive smoke will dissipate.  I wasn't getting into this argument, I wanted nothing to do with it, I didn't even want to go in the first place.  Well, I was chatting with perfect strangers but finally had had enough.  Let's go, Mary, now, thank you.  We left and went to Susan's house - my sister-in-law and spent 45 minutes over there.  Then back to Mary's house to blow off some fireworks with the kids, ring in the new year and that was the end of that.  I crashed there for the night - no hangover for me but going to bed that late throws my internal clock system off so I'm tired today.  I knew I would be.  Mary wanted me to come back today and tomorrow - no thanks. I have stuff to do and I haven't seen anyone in the New Year at my house, including my son.

My ponds need some attention - not too much but still.  I want to get up on that trailer and finish the other project I started up there now that the AC project is done and that thing is up and running.  I don't know that I will do that today, probably tomorrow. Basic house cleaning duties, etc etc etc.  Not to mention Coco was starting to get rather annoying over there - she wanted to go home this morning and that was that.  She is all kinds of crashed out right now.

So, I am sorta kicking back right now, trying to get the motivation up to get some things done and I am sure I will at least get my bathroom and bedroom cleaned today and the pond pumps unclogged, but if I get nothing done other than that?  I'm good with it.

We are officially in the year when the earth is going to end and life is we know it is going to disappear.  At least that's what those that believe the Mayan calendar hubba bubba believe.  I don't happen to believe that - at all.  It is also allegedly the year that another recession or even depression is going to hit.  I have no "belief" systems on those kinds of things, if it happens it happens.  Nothing I can do about it.   Certainly, it seems to me, our society is changing to reflect the financial circus that is going on all around us in terms of the way people are living.

Perhaps, in some sense, it isn't such a bad thing.  Such as the news that a lot of people have shut off cable/satellite tv because they can't afford it.  Cool, find something else to do like we did in the "old" days where we watched a bit of TV here and there, but certainly our lives didn't revolve around it.  Perhaps the roots of where we came from might take hold.  I have no faith in the politicians to do anything but spend more money.  I don't really like any of the candidates that are likely to win the GOP nomination, I think they are all full of it.

Eventually, some degree of civil unrest will undoubtedly have to occur to change the course of America back to some semblance of what it once was.  I have at least some degree of certainty that that is what the Occupy this and that people are up to.  I only know that I have armed myself and if some civil chaos starts, my home is my castle and that's all I am going to protect - the castle and the people that live in it.  I hope that doesn't happy, really.  But, people are getting tired of this economic condition, especially the have-nots.

I am not going to make any New Year's resolutions this year.  I have already resolved to do several things in my life which started last year and I am continuing on with.  So, I guess I could say I resolve to continue on with what I had resolved to do and started to do some time ago.  Church being the biggest one - getting back into the flow of it and getting past internal issues of the heart and mind.  The trailer is another one, though not a huge priority, the thing is well underway with it being paid off, new wallpaper, AC fixed and in position to get more done on it.  Other things that are my own, personal business that I won't go into on an internet site that is readable by anyone in the world.

So, I have no idea what 2012 is going to bring. But, good, bad or ugly, God is in control and my faith is in Him.  There IS no-one else to turn to.  That's the end of the story, for me anyway.

So, I am going to enjoy today, the first day of the year.  It is a beautiful, gorgeous day outside, at least in Phoenix, AZ, the weather is perfect and though I am a bit tired, I am going to go out for a while and enjoy it. Probably come back in and take an hour's nap and then see what I might do with the rest of the day.

Happy New Year, again.

ben