Friday, February 3, 2012

Oh, By The Way...(Rant Alert)

I have to unload so bear with me.  I'll have my tantrum, stomp and hold my breath and then be over it.  Easily offended readers may want to take this opportunity to surf randomly for the duration...

Since I do occasionally read something other than blogs, I really am aware that we're in the midst of the quadrennial political circus/spending spree that somehow elects a President of these semi-United States.  After blowing more money than the GDP of a medium-sized country, it's pretty sure that one of the candidates will either stay or move into the White House and we can all get back to arguing over who's at fault for everything.  Congress can revert to glaring at each other across the aisle and accomplishing nothing just like the last couple of years and all the bureaucracy will be content.  Of this much I'm certain so...

If I might just take a moment out of my usually non-partisan blog time to let all my acquaintances, Facebookers, passersby, email forwarders, spammers, pollsters, unknown phone callers and everyone else who is so wildly determined to influence my vote in said elections're too late. 

Sorry to shatter your hopes and dreams, but I already have a decision made regarding who's going to be blessed with my one, solitary little piece of the Democracy pie.  Not only do I know, but I'll have an absentee ballot filled out ahead of time to make sure that candidate recieves that vote.  Hence, you're only burning up your phone minutes, postage, bandwidth and my inbox space with dire warnings and hyperventilated 'news' of either red or blue tint.  Really...I've thought about it a lot and if you're that interested, I might even let you in on the how and the why of it all but since politics makes for awful dinner and locomotive cab conversation, you'll have to come looking and be prepared to not like what you hear.

One thing I know for sure about me (and there aren't that many sure things) is that I'm an opinionated SOB.  Just ask Chris about that single-minded streak that drives her so crazy sometimes.  For that reason, I'm a tough sell politically and therefore it's highly unlikely that I'll change my mind based on a Facebook or email forward no matter which way it slants.  I'm tickled to have an intelligent conversation regarding politics and happy to engage in occasional sparring over things Federal, State and Local but I'm not much interested in conspiracy theories or predictions of our imminent downfall. 

You might have surmised by now that I've had an unusually large amount of junk hit me lately.  Yep, I've been informed in the last week or so that "only 'True Americans' will forward this"; "the 'mainstream media' won't report that"; and if we don't do something RIGHT sign a meaningless email petition, God will punish us and our progeny forever.  Right after the aliens land and the Long Count runs down.  What?  And could someone...anyone please tell me why I should care one whit about what Trump thinks?  Frankly, I'm weary and my trash folder runneth over.

Particularly fast-laned into my spam-dumpster is the stuff that comes in with 57 prior email headers still attached and the message body in 6 different fonts, usually all-caps (see above).  These are instantly zapped unread.  I know that I'm rolling the dice here but in all honesty, I can't see that any national crisis has been precipitated nor has any body part ever fallen off or my luck changed due to my refusal to forward this crap to 'everyone I care about' on my email list.  I really love hearing from people I don't see all the time (which is almost everybody these days) but send me something about you, not about a political party.

Likewise, 800 number "polls" with a PAC pitch go to my answering machine unless I feel like entertaining myself by talking nonsense to the the English-as-a-third-language operator as long as possible in order to run up their phone bill.  As you can see, I'm easily amused sometimes.

But enough of this.  The beauty of owning a blog is you get to say whatever you want when the mood strikes you and then moving that, mission accomplished for today.  I'll climb down off the box until the next attack of grouchiness but until then...if we could just take a breather from posting the latest news of Newt's laughable moral standards, Mitt's equally hilarious concern for anyone not listed on Forbes, the laundry list of Barack's latest conspiracies; along with any and all Internet rumors and anything remotely connected to AM radio, I'll be ever so much happier.

We now return to our irregular programming.  Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

On The Road Again...

So yeah...I'm on a road train once again.  A couple of weeks into it and I've already lost track of what day it is.  Suddenly I'm watching the train line-ups and going to bed early, trying to grab some sleep before the midnight hour; like I've done so many times before.  Almost without fail, Crew Management will jingle the phone at an odd time and away we go again.  The dogs look at me like I've lost my mind when I get up and let them out at three in the morning after another early call.  They woof to come in about the time the coffee is done and usually re-crash somewhere by the time I get my thermos loaded, give Chris a smooch that she won't remember and roll my little truck out the driveway.  Suddenly, time seems a bit scarce when I have to keep one eye on the clock and listen for the phone.  The Home suffers.

I was almost getting used to having a regular show-up time and weekends off like most people in the real world.  What a concept...knowing when and where you're going to work.  It's been a long time since I did anything remotely like that.  About 15 years to be exact.  There was a little while along the way in the last couple of months when I had my cell phone set to only ring as an alarm clock and I even had my night-stand phone unplugged but I knew it couldn't last.  My work-train temporary home was abolished for the winter and so here I am, rolling along behind the headlights and wailing away at the crossings again.

A few months on those local jobs and I just about convinced myself to forget what the long-haul grind was like.  Wee-hour phone calls from the little automated voice at CMC; drives to work in the pre-dawn dark; crummy mini-mart food and burning eyeballs from too little sleep.  Sometimes it seemed like I'd been doing this all my life and the merry-go-round just kept on spinning.  It gets old.

Having said that though, I guess I really am a mileage guy most of the time.  After a few trips, I remembered why I tend to like the road.  Yes, you run the same track over and over but the scenery is always changing and sometimes dawn through a windshield is absolutely spectacular.  Besides, I'm probably lucky in that I still actually like what I do...the nonsense that goes with it I could live without but running a train from A to B and back just seems to suit me.  Good thing because I've got a long way to go before I can throw out my rulebook and call it a career.  Years of living out of a grip and trudging off to work when everyone else is sleeping seems like some form of normal to me most of the time.  I've done this so long that I fell right back into the groove after the work train ended.  It'll take a while to get used to not having the same day off from one week to the next but for now, this'll have to do.

It'll make everything a bit of a challenge for a while...till the next regular job comes along anyway.  Till then I'll fumble along like always...maybe even a bike ride now and again in between trips and snow flurries.  The Wayward Home might get a little neglected but just like the real home, I always find my way back sometime.  No matter how far I go or where the rails lead, it's always good to be back.