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4:34 pm EDT        83°F (28°C) in Dexter, MI

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I once again find myself having allowed 12 days to pass between updates here, as I prepare to head back out to the road later today. However, if events progress as I am hoping next week, this could be the last time I will head back out for another few weeks with my current company. I shall explain that, and anything else interesting that has happened lately, with the rest of this update.

From May 30 to June 4, I found myself running a total of three loads: the first one from Columbus, OH to Edwardsville, IL, just north of St. Louis; then a return trip to Columbus with a different load; and finally, a re-power of a load from the company’s Columbus terminal to Perrysburg, OH, near Toledo. There wasn’t much interesting to report there, except for some updates on road construction in various places; perhaps the one I’m most glad about is the impending completion of the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway in Toledo. This project, which has bedeviled Michiganders trying to reach the Ohio Turnpike for a whopping five and a half years now, will be complete with the dedication of the new fixed-span bridge carrying Interstate 280 over the Maumee River on June 23.

After getting home last Monday, June 4, I spent much of the next couple days hanging out with my friend Marc. He came over to the Detroit area for dinner on Monday night, and I headed out to Ann Arbor for dinner, poker, cribbage, and Xbox football on Tuesday. I got back home very late Tuesday night (technically Wednesday morning), after making quick midnight runs through a couple of car dealerships to check what they had in stock. (I’ll get to that more in a bit.) Also, I began the process of applying for yet another job, and this one actually is looking pretty good at this point; I’ll talk about that now.

This new job possibility would have me hauling fuel for a large truck stop chain, apparently being based out of one of its locations. From what their web site claimed, I could be making $50,000 per year to start, and best yet, this job would have me home every night and on the weekends. It would obviously require a tanker endorsement on my CDL; I took care of going to the Secretary of State this past Wednesday to add that endorsement, as well as the double/triple-trailer one. (I can now drive any road vehicle you can imagine, except a school bus — those require separate endorsements for some reason.) I submitted the online pre-application Wednesday night, and after receiving the “real” seven-page application via e-mail, I faxed that in on Friday. The hiring manager seems to be on a week-long family vacation now, but I am expecting to hear from him a week from today.

As you can probably guess, though, I couldn’t even get that done with my hypocrite father getting in the way. He keeps telling me that I need to “move forward in life” or some such line, but when I ask him to use his fax machine as part of doing just that, he stalls, bullshits, and hems and haws about it. That ended up costing me $11 I didn’t really need to spend, because I had to go to a Kinko’s to fax that application. Furthermore, I’m getting really pissed off with him making statements of his own opinion and then attributing them to my mother; he did that again here. “You know, your mother said she’s gonna be really nervous with you driving tankers,” he claimed she had said; when I asked her, I found that he had left out a vital bit of context.

As she so eloquently pointed out, it seems to be part of the job description of being a mother to worry about the well-being of one’s children. Of course she’ll be worried about me hauling fuel, she said, but it’s not as though she doesn’t see a major truck accident a thousand miles away from where I am at the time and worry about me anyway. One of my uncles is semi-permanently living in India, doing business there, and despite the heavy personal security his company provides for his family, my grandmother still worries about him every time she hears any bad news from the subcontinent. To the extent that this is just a sincere concern for the offspring’s well-being, and doesn’t turn into actively holding back one’s adult-age children, this is a normal and positive reaction. It turns destructive, though, when a parent does like my father did here and refuses even the smallest assistance.

Given the good prospects so far on this job, I came thisclose to pulling the trigger on a new car deal this past Thursday. Since I really couldn’t find Hyundai Sonata SEs with the option package I want at dealerships around metro Detroit, and since I had business to do in Monroe, MI anyway, I paid a visit to Brown Hyundai in Toledo. I kinda let them twist my arm into filling out a credit application; they came back saying that if I put $4,000 down as I plan to do, I would have payments of roughly $355 per month. They offered $1,500 for my Saturn, which surprised me (a lot higher than I expected); that would have cut the payments to about $325. I told them I wanted a day to think about it, despite the fact that they were being extremely pushy to make the sale right then and there.

After talking to a bunch of people, mostly including my mother, Marc, and several other friends, I decided that I probably ought to wait until I hear that I’ve been hired into the new job before I do anything. I mean, I don’t think pulling the trigger on Thursday would have killed me, even if I got stuck in my current job for the next five years; but I wouldn’t have a ton of room for huge unexpected expenses, like my appendectomy from last year. I could have found enough room in my budget in both 2005 and 2006 to make 12 payments of $325/month, by removing all of my huge one-time expenses for those years from the equation, but I wouldn’t have had a whole lot more room than that.

From Friday onward, not a whole lot of interest has happened. Last night, I returned to the truck, and it looks as though my first load back out will pick up tomorrow in southwestern Michigan. From there, I will be headed to Norfolk, VA.