January 27th, 2004

i'm ready for my close up mr demille

random bits

Location: Dexter, Michigan

A random collection of events and thughts from the past couple of days:

- Driving across Nebraska the other night was surreal. The snowstorm that had crossed through there in the previous days had made the highways especially treacherous. The interstate was littered with cars buried in the snow and the shoulders and median. I saw nearly a dozen overturned tractor-trailers along the way, too - one of which had apparently caught fire and completely burned up. It is what I always imagined driving across Europe during/after World War II might have looked like - the shells of abandoned vehicles like gravestones on the landscape. It was eerie.

- My stay in Omaha was a protracted affair, lasting nearly 24 hours. After getting my truck serviced early on Tuesday morning I proceeded to leave when the guard at the gate informs me that I need to go see the good folks in the safety department. Turns out they need to do my annual review and they also want to do a random drug test. There's one problem, I just went to the bathroom, so all-in-all, this took about 4 hours. Completed, I proceed to leave again when the guard informs that my truck is flagged to have tires. What?!?! Why didn't they tell me this before so that it could be done while I was wrangling with the good folks in the safety department? So I go to the tire shop, they had been looking for me for a while and intended to put me in the shop after they completed the truck they were working on. I park the tractor across from the shop and sure enough, about 30 minutes later they come out to get me. I go to pull out of the parking space and it won't budge - the tires are just spinning in the snow. I make a feeble attempt to dig out the tires to no avail and seek assitance in the truck shop to have someone come pull me out. They guy adds me to "the list", heh. Turns out, there are quite a few tractors stuck in parking spaces around the lot. I decide to take a nap and four hours later they wake me up so they can pull me out. Out of my snowy confines a find more suitable parking and tell the tire shop I'm out and ready. They get to me about 30 minutes later and have the new tires on the truck in about 30 more minutes. A 30 minute job that could've been done that morning had it been told to me ended up taking nearly 10 hours due to their lack of my communication and my misfortune with the snowy parking spot. Of course, now this means I have to drive all night and finally make it to Benton Harbor, Michigan - about 30 miles from my first delivery - at 7am in the morning with only 2 hours to spare. I shut down and sleep til about noon and manage to get 4 stop off today. Not too shabby. Tomorrow, I get to drive the wonderful, rut-worn streets of Detroit. Weeeeee.

- I finished playing Ghost Recon the other day. Turned out to be a much more enjoyable game than I was anticipating. They worked out a lot of the annoying problems you encountered in earlier versions of the Tom Clancy games like Rainbow Six so that you just didn't get frustrated with it and say "fuck it". So now I'm gameless and probably will be until I do a computer upgrade sometime this spring with my tax return. There are a ton of titles that I want to get to. Splinter Cell, the new Medal of Honor installment, Deus Ex 2... and something I saw in the stores the other day, available for "reserve your copy today", Doom 3! Hell yeah! The original first person shooter has a new installment. Hopefully, it won't suck.

- Interesting oxymorons: "Press release", "Turned-up missing", "Recorded live"

- The Bob Newhart bits I had were great. Most of his comedy is not your standard joke/observation fare, but more conversational, situation stand-up. He'll setup a situation for the audience, for instance "Ben Franklin In Analysis" or "Abraham Lincoln's Press Agent" then carries one side of the conversation. One makes them so entertaining and funny is his brilliance sense of timing, which if you've ever watched any of his television programs, you know what I'm talking about: his stammering and pauses.

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