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2:33 am EDT        67°F (19°C) in Somerset, PA

Calendar of Updates

It is said that the best — or worst — advertising comes from word of mouth. Testimonials from (dis-)satisfied customers will either make you or break you in business. That said, I begin with this nugget for all of my trucker readers out there:


Last Thursday afternoon, as I mentioned in that day's update here, I arrived at the Freightliner shop to get work done on my sleeper A/C blower. It would be late Thursday night before they could even get the truck in for a look, and it was 1:30 am Friday before they could order the part they needed. This late ordering time meant the part would not arrive until midday Saturday, so the company put me up in a motel with which they have an account.

Supposedly the truck was fixed and ready to go around mid-afternoon Saturday. I caught a ride back over to Freightliner and picked the truck up. Lo and behold, that blower was working. Remembering I had left something fairly important at the motel, I called them — the front desk said they had already retrieved my item and were holding it for me. I jumped back in the truck after paying them that visit, and I just about had to flip out … the blower motor was ONCE AGAIN dead.

I called the breakdown department of my company; personnel there instructed me to go right back to Freightliner. Needless to say, I really had to try hard to avoid re-arranging a few faces, but I managed to avoid doing that. Due to their 6:00 pm closing time on weekends, Freightliner mechanics couldn't even look at it again until Sunday, and then the morons went and ordered the wrong part. Of course, they were too fucking stupid to see to it that I would know they had done this; I mean, they had a cellphone number for me. Seriously, they could have called me, admitted their mistake, and said, "it'll be tomorrow" — I would have at least known not to check out of the second motel. Instead, I wasted hours of my time, and money of the company's, having to get more rides and another motel room.

When they realized their part-ordering mistake, they turned around and ordered the correct part, which arrived Tuesday morning. By late afternoon Tuesday, they had that part installed and my truck ready to go. However, despite my improved luck, I still have to relate a story that shows just what a shitty place Freightliner of Harrisburg is: Another driver had been waiting a couple days to get his truck looked at — they hadn't even touched it. This gentleman was a smoker, and went outside to light one up; while puffing away, he saw a mechanic jump in his truck. Finally, I'll bet he was thinking. Get this: The mechanic proceeded to grab a couple chains, chain a non-running truck to this other driver's frame, and use his truck to pull the non-running one into the shop before parking the running one back in the lot — all while this driver was out there watching! I stayed in the driver's lounge the whole time, so I didn't see this sequence of events — but I'm told this driver went ballistic. I don't blame him; I would have ended up in jail for breaking a few noses if they had pulled that shit on me.

At least there was a bright side to all the downtime: I finally got a whole bunch of pictures put up in the Photography section. Everything I've put up so far is from my recent trip to "Da U.P." a month ago. I have one set from Da Yoopers Tourist Trap near Ishpeming, and most of the rest are from nearby places in Marquette County. Check them out and say yah to da U.P., eh?

Finally, I must also mention the passing of the first President I can remember, Ronald Reagan. As everybody knows by now, he died Saturday at the age of 93. While I can say I have great respect for many of his achievements in office, including his work toward the destruction of communism, I must also say that today's conservatives — many of whom claim allegiance to his vision — are going to claim "Reaganism" in support of things of which the 40th President would have been aghast. Despite all the platitudes we're going to hear regarding "the rebirth of conservatism," Reagan was in many respects a moderate who recognized that conservatism was but one viewpoint in an ideologically diverse United States. That lesson, unfortunately, is lost on today's Republican Party, which is more apt to tell you to go fuck yourself if you're not white, Baptist, male, heterosexual, and extreme-right-wing.

To quote some of Reagan's own sayings, the shining city on the hill will miss him, but will go on knowing that he remains eternally optimistic for its future. I suppose one can say that his death is his final "ride into the sunset"; I hope he enjoys the trip and finds something good when he reaches the sunset. Farewell and Godspeed, Ronald Reagan.