In college I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. As you do. It’s part of the unofficial required reading list when you get to college, along with The Autobiography of Malcolm X, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez and pretty much anything by Ayn Rand.
I was disappointed it wasn’t actually about motorcycle maintenance. No, seriously, I fully expected to be able to lube a chain or replace leaking fork seals by the end of that book. I was very disappointed. For those of you who haven’t read it, the book is about….well, I still don’t know what this book was about. I’m sure there was a motorcycle towards the beginning. And something about a road trip between the author and his son. But, that’s about all I remember. Nothing about actual motorcycle maintenance, though.
I mention this because I want to quell people’s expectations about this blog. I originally started this as a day-to-day diary of my time in CDL school. I never expected to continue this after I had finished those four weeks of training. However, because I received such a positive response, I just continued writing. I’m a creative person, and I’m always happy to have another outlet for expression. What I’m saying is that I don’t have a plan, I haven’t written a mission statement, for this blog. It will be what it is.
My last post contained much self-reflection, and maybe was kind of a downer.
Know that I’m not apologizing, I’m just saying it is what it is. Sometimes I’m going to post funny stories from the road. Sometimes I’m going to post searching, questioning thoughts born out of hours of quiet self-reflection. Sometimes I’m going to post my photographs of light industrial buildings for no reason other than I think they’re cool.
It will be what it is.
I will, as always, be thankful for anyone and everyone who reads my humble blog. Your support of this project is very much appreciated. Thank you for visiting, and I hope you get as much from reading my entries as I do from writing them.
And remember that I have no idea where all this will end up. Just so you know.
I’ll end with what I hope will be a continuing segment here on Turn All The Wheels, which is my advice for 4-wheelers. In this context, “4-wheelers” isn’t referring to off-road vehicles, but to anyone who drives a regular car, truck or SUV. I have 18 wheels, you only have 4. Deal with it. If you drive a car, truck or SUV, please:
1: GET OFF THE CELL PHONE!
Seriously, I hate sounding like a government shill or stale public service announcement, but I see this every day, people who are distracted by staring, for long periods of time, at their cell phone. I’m driving in the right hand lane, which is ending soon. I’ve got my turn signal on to move to the left lane when a car had pulled up to pass me. Instead, they just stay beside by my drive tires while they check their cell phone. They should have passed me, or moved to another lane, but no, the driver is staring straight down at her cell phone. I actually had to use my air horn to get her attention. Incidents like this happen every day. Please, I beg of you all, put the phones away.
2: If you are a passenger, nobody wants to see your nasty bare feet on the dashboard.
Maybe because it’s summer, but I’ve seen more and more passengers with their feet up on the dash. No socks or shoes, just bare feet right up there near the windshield. I assure you, nobody wants to see your feet as you drive by. Put them in the footwell, where they belong.
3: When you are entering a freeway, please ACCELERATE to get into the flow of traffic.
This one isn’t unique to trucking, I’ve had the complaint for many years. I am tired of people driving up the on-ramp into freeway traffic, see my truck, then do nothing more than to match my speed. Or even slow down. Like, they are waiting to see what I’m going to do. Listen, I’m rolling with 70,000+ lbs, and more than likely I’ve got other traffic to my left so I’m not going to change lanes for you. You need to go faster.
OK, let’s do this. If you drive a car, raise your right hand. Good. Now, use your right hand to touch your right leg. Now, at the end of your right leg, which you’ve obviously just discovered, is a pedal. That pedal is called an ACCELERATOR. If you are entering a freeway, please press down on it very hard. Maybe even down to the metal. Got it? Good.
That is all. Until next time, drive safe out there, friends.