Bugs bug me


Ok, I know they are necessary and all but man they make a mess of my job.

Then there was this one guy…wait I’m getting ahead of myself.

While driving from Texas to Ohio I was having a great day. Driving with the windows down through Arkansas, the sun shining and the day a lovely 71 degrees. I had my music going and I was just smiling at the pure joy of my life. Suddenly I felt a weird pain in my back. I moved and suddenly felt two more sharp jabs of pain. I reach back, pinch, and find there was a wasp who somehow got between my seat and my back and was not happy to be in such a precarious position. He was quickly tossed out the window and they went up, sealing me off from any other potential intruders.

Gone was my lovely day in the blink of an eye. I drove for the next 300 miles with my back screaming at me and my skin crawling thinking over the encounter. I won’t repeat the string of profanities I spew during that drive.

Luckily I’m not allergic but it still sucked.

This was one of the most horrifying drink dispensers I’ve seen. Besides the filth, the cobwebs (or were they spider webs) left me not so thirsty.

I’ve been kept mostly central with a jaunt here or there to Florida. Now it looks like I may be headed into the home office for a talk.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Tj has been bad.

So the new trucks are loaded with computers and sensors. Things that report back what is going on. This data is analyzed and used to determine risk. We have things called Critical Events. A critical event can be anything from taking a turn too fast (check) or getting a collision warning in relation to cars swooping in front of you and slamming on their brakes (check, check), or a hard break warning (check). If you rack up too many of these they call you in to have a safety talk with you and make you do some simulations.

So the logical part of me understands this. It’s akin to actuaries calculating risk for insurance companies. The thought is that his may be a pattern showing that I may have an accident in the future. Le sigh..:.

Some of these things can’t be avoided. Really the only one of these I could have avoided was taking a turn too fast. That was my F up and I owned up to it, but the others? Too often cars are trucks as an annoyance. You know you have at least once in your life. Yes we are big and slow, but that distance we are leaving in front of us isn’t so you can conveniently swoop in there and get .05 seconds ahead of where you were before. It’s for our and your safety.

The most nerve wracking part of my driving day is anytime I have to go through or bypass around a major city. Cities themselves don’t scare me. Hell, put me on four wheels and I will own that road, but in a truck weighing over 70,000 pounds…I hate it. I drive paranoid. I drive slower than usual. I’m always waiting for the next dumbass to swoop in front of me and slam on their brakes (which happens almost every time). Atlanta is by far the worst. Two of my critical events happened in Atlanta. Both of these were drivers being completely stupid and putting themselves and me at risk. I’ve gone over these events in my head time and time again and there was no way to predict or to avoid them.

If you are in the habit of cutting off trucks or swooping in front of them just to hard break, please stop. For your sake, for that drivers sake, for everyone’s sake. If you don’t believe me, I’ll be happy to take you on a drive through Atlanta anytime. It will be like an episode of Scared Straight. Trust me, one week with me and you’ll reevaluate the way you drive.

Anywhooo, the next load I have is taking me to Missouri. Not sure if this is when I’m going in but I guess I’ll find out. I’ll take my lumps, try not to roll my eyes, and get out of there as quick as possible without being a complete ass.

I’ll leave you all with a bit of good news. I was asked to give an interview about my journey by a lovely friend who was given a writing assignment. I will post about it more later with links once published.