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Tom's Trucker Travels & Audio Podcast
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
  November 30, 2004...
November 30, 2004 -- I dropped my loaded trailer this evening at Kennesaw, Georgia north of Atlanta. I picked up another one going to San Antonio, Texas.

Right now I've stopped for the night about 60 miles north of Mobile, Alabama along I-65. I've still got around 741 more miles to go to make it from here to San Antonio.

I drove in rain almost all day long today. Much of the rain was fairly heavy.
Monday, November 29, 2004
  November 29, 2004...
November 29, 2004 -- I was able to drop my loaded trailer at Peru, Illinois this morning and pick up an empty. I deadheaded to Chicago, Illinois and live-loaded a load of candy going to Kennesaw, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

It was snowing and raining in northern Illinois. I've been in snow, rain or drizzle all day long. I've stopped at Sonora, Kentucky to spend the night. As I came down I-65 in Indiana there were two separate major traffic back-ups due to accidents. The first traffic back-up (north of Indianapolis, Indiana) was a good 10 miles long by the time I got caught in it. The traffic had come to a complete stop. In the second back-up, which was south of Indianapolis, the traffic was moving slowly so I wasn't delayed quite as long.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
  November 28, 2004...
November 28, 2004 -- I've made it to Peru, Illinois. I was supposed to drop my trailer at a drop yard here, but the drop yard is chock full of trucks and trailers with no space available to drop yet another trailer. I'll just have to hang out here until tomorrow morning and see if a drop space becomes available by then.

Saturday, November 27, 2004
  November 27, 2004...
November 27, 2004 -- I've made it to Metropolis, Illinois where I've stopped to spend the night. I've still got about 344 more miles to go to make it to Peru, Illinois where I'll drop this trailer at a drop yard there.

I came through a lot of rain and drizzle today. The temperatures seem to be hovering around 45 to 50 degrees.

I got a replacement battery for my laptop. I tested it a bit last night and it seems to have solved the short battery life problem I was experiencing with the original battery that came with the machine. I don't run it on the battery very often, but when I need to, I need to. The laptop is about three years old. Batteries wear out over time even if they aren't relied on much.
Friday, November 26, 2004
  November 26, 2004...
November 26, 2004 -- I dropped my loaded trailer at Kennesaw, Georgia this morning and picked up an empty trailer. The interior of the empty trailer was dirty, so I had to take it to a truck wash to get it washed out. I took it back to Kennesaw to a different warehouse and dropped it and picked up a load going to Ashburn, Georgia. I dropped the load at Ashburn, Georgia and picked up an empty and brought it to the WSE Atlanta yard. I hooked up to a loaded trailer that drops at an MCT drop yard at Peru, Illinois.

The Christmas shopping season for 2004 has started in earnest. I usually don't do much Christmas shopping. The idea of being obligated to buy presents for friends and/or relatives has bothered me for years. I don't mind giving people gifts, but I hate feeling obligated to do so. Most people already have everything that they could possibly need, so buying them gifts just because it's a societal tradition is a total waste of time and money.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
  November 25, 2004...
November 25, 2004 -- I left Harrisburg, PA this morning -- it was quite warm at around 60 degrees or more. I stopped for lunch near the PA-MD border along I-81 and when I came back out the cold front had hit and it had already cooled off considerably. I stopped for fuel late this afternoon in southern Virginia and it was about 32 degrees with a fairly stiff wind. Right now I'm in the Atlanta, GA area and there's a bit of frost and the dew on the grass is frozen.

I don't know what to expect after I drop this load off. WSE's office is closed again tomorrow so it's really hard to say if I'll have to sit or if they will get me another load right away.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
  November 24, 2004
November 24, 2004 -- I got to Dayton, New Jersey around 3:00 AM Tuesday morning. They backed me into a dock door around 5:00 AM. I went ahead and stayed up once I got there until they backed me into the dock door. They came out around 8:00 AM and woke me up to tell me the load was unloaded. Afterwards, with their permission I parked for a few hours on their property to sleep a few more hours.

Around 11:00 AM, the company sent me new load information. It was a drop and hook load that picked up at Palmyra, Pennsylvania. I stopped at the Petro Truck Stop at Bordentown, New Jersey at exit 7 on the New Jersey Turnpike to drop my trip paperwork off in the "Trip Pak Express" box and get the empty trailer washed out. Afterwards I came on over to Palmyra, Pennsylvania. It took me much longer than usual, since there was a lot of Thanksgiving holiday traffic out on the roads. Several times the traffic slowed and even came to a complete stop because of all the traffic volume.

The loaded trailer I picked up at Palmyra, Pennsylvania had light problems, so I came to the nearby T/A Truck Stop at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to get the lights worked on. It turned out to be an electrical grounding problem with the trailer, which the shop here was easily able to solve by installing a "grounding strap" on the trailer.

I'm spending the night here. By tomorrow most of the holiday traffic should have died down. The load I have is going to Kennesaw, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. It delivers at 2:00 PM Friday afternoon.
Monday, November 22, 2004
  November 22, 2004...
November 22, 2004 -- I came back to work today. They gave me a load that was on the Elm Springs, Arkansas yard that delivers early Wednesday morning at Dayton, New Jersey.

Right now I've stopped at Brazil, Indiana to sleep.

I came through a bunch of drizzle in Missouri and Illinois. It's currently dry here at Brazil, Indiana.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
  November 18, 2004...
November 18, 2004 -- I ended up sitting in Waco, Texas until about 3:00 PM Tuesday afternoon I was waiting on a load to load that dropped at the Elm Springs, Arkansas yard so I could come home for time off. Something finally happened and my fleet manager sent me a message telling me to just deadhead with an empty trailer on to the yard.

I just redid the "Passion of the Christ" review in Windows Media format. Here's the link:

Tom's Video Review of the Passion of The Christ in Windows Media Format
Monday, November 15, 2004
  November 15, 2004...
November 15, 2004 -- I was able to stop through Arkadelphia, Arkansas for about four and one half hours yesterday and have lunch with my parents. We ate at the local Cracker Barrel which is just up the street about half a block from the truck stop.

I was able to stop by a department store and buy a portable battery-operated camping lantern to provide me with some extra light. I was able to re-record my video movie reviews and upload them here to my website. Here are the links to the updated files:

Tom's Video Review of Van Helsing

Tom's Video Review of The Day After Tomorrow

While I had time I also completed the next review, The Passion Of The Christ. Here's that link:

Tom's Video Review of The Passion of The Christ

I dropped my load late last night here at Waco, Texas and picked up an empty trailer. At the moment I'm waiting for my fleet manager to come up with a load that will bring me home for a few days off work.

It's now later in the evening. They didn't get a load for me, so I'm spending the night here at Waco, Texas.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
  November 13, 2004...
November 13, 2004 -- I've made it to somewhere between West Memphis, Arkansas and Little Rock, Arkansas where I've stopped to sleep.

My parents happen to have their motor home parked at a recreational vehicle park along I-30 at Arkadelphia, Arkansas at the moment. I'll be passing right by there Sunday the 14th, so I'm going to stop at a truck stop there and they will come and pick me up. I'll stay long enough to go eat a meal with them. After that I'll head on to deliver my load at Waco, Texas.
Friday, November 12, 2004
  November 12, 2004...
November 12, 2004 -- I ended up picking a new load up at the same warehouse where I dropped my loaded trailer at Hazleton, Pennsylvania. This load drops at Waco, Texas. It was cold and raining at Hazleton. They were talking about a possible rain/snow mix overnight.

Right now I've stopped to sleep at Glade Springs, Virginia, which is along I-81 about 29 miles from the Virginia/Tennessee border. It's chilly and wet here, though the rain stopped a few hours ago.

I just recorded another video movie review, this time about "The Day After Tomorrow" DVD. Here's the link to the review:

Tom's Video Review of The Day After Tomorrow
Thursday, November 11, 2004
  November 11, 2004...
November 11, 2004 -- I made it to Hazleton, Pennsylvania late this evening and dropped by load. The warehouse where I dropped it at didn't have any empty trailers available, so I will have to wait for one to become available sometime on Friday.

It's raining here in this part of Pennsylvania and sort of cold, though not anywhere near cold enough to worry about freezing rain or snow.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
  November 10, 2004...
November 10, 2004 -- I dropped my loaded trailer late last night at Kennesaw, Georgia north of Atlanta, Georgia. I picked up another load at Kennesaw, Georgia going to Ashburn, Georgia. I dropped the load at Ashburn, Georgia this afternoon and picked up another load going to Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Right now I've stopped at the T/A truck stop at Cordele, Georgia to eat and check my email. I'll likely head towards Pennsylvania in a bit and drive part of the way tonight and the rest of the way tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
  November 9, 2004...
November 9, 2004 -- I've made it to White Pine, Tennessee, just east of Knoxville, Tennessee where I've stopped to get fuel as well as get on the Internet a bit.

I corrected the audio buzzing problem in my video movie review of the "Van Helsing" DVD. The link to the review is Tom's Video Review of Van Helsing.

My next project will likely be to record a video review of "The Day After Tomorrow" DVD. Making these video reviews is a lot of fun, but I can see how it could quickly eat up a bunch of my storage space on my website hosting server.
Monday, November 08, 2004
  November 8, 2004...
November 8, 2004 -- I got to Hazleton, Pennsylvania late last night, dropped my trailer and picked up an empty one. This afternoon I picked up a new load at Palmyra, Pennsylvania, this one delivering at noon on Wednesday in Kennesaw, Georgia, which is a northern suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Right now I'm spending the night at a truck stop at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

I spent a bit of time this evening putting together a video movie review of the movie Van Helsing, which I recently watched on DVD. Here's the link:

Tom's Video Review of Van Helsing

You will have to pardon the noisy audio. The interference noise is generated by my DC to AC power inverter I power the laptop with here in the truck. While I was recording the review, I turned off the power inverter and tried to operate the laptop on its battery. I didn't realize it, but the battery has seemed to have become weak -- the computer went into "hibernation" while I was trying to record the review. Therefore, the only way I could record it was with the computer running on AC power from the inverter. I'll have to try to re-do it later once I've figured the battery problem out.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
  November 6, 2004...
November 6, 2004 -- I left Carlisle, Pennsylvania yesterday evening. I stopped to sleep at a service plaza along the Ohio Turnpike/I-80.

I got to Manteno, Illinois around 4:15 PM this afternoon and dropped my loaded trailer. I picked up a new load, this one going to Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

I've spent some time today listening to "Air America" which bills itself as a "Liberal Talk Radio Network." God, talk about sour grapes!!!!! They don't seem to "get" why Liberalism (so-called "progressive politics" -- it's all the same thing) was so resoundingly rejected by ordinary American voters.

Bush won the election primarily because a majority of everyday Americans realized that Bush would better protect the country from terrorism than Kerry. To people like me, Kerry came across as wishy-washy and willing to say anything with a straight face, whether he believed it or not, in order to garner votes -- constantly contradicting himself in the process. Modern liberalism has been resoundingly rejected at the ballot box. Simply trying to "repackage" the liberal or so-called "progressive" message in a different way won't make any difference. The Democrat Party has been taken over by the more radically left elements of the party, and everyday Americans see this.

I have a lot of liberal friends and when I try to talk politics with them I almost always end up being unable to really connect with them because they resort to vitriolic emotionalism and name-calling, ultimately refusing to be intellectually honest or to really listen to what I have to say. The back and forth exchanges almost always end with them giving up, since it’s impossible for them to upset me with their name-calling.

A political movement based on angry fringe-groups will never appeal to the “Red” people like me. Liberalism at its foundation is based on hatred. If you cannot give up your hatred, you lose.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
  November 4, 2004...
November 4, 2004 -- I picked up a new load this afternoon at Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. It has a flexible delivery date at Manteno, Illinois. So, I'm spending the night at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. It's nice to be able to have some time just to "hang out" and not have to worry about meeting a tight delivery schedule.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
  November 3, 2004...
November 3, 2004 -- I made it to Palmyra, PA and dropped my loaded trailer. I picked up an empty trailer and came to one of the nearby truck stops along I-81 at Exit 77.

I informed my fleet manager that my log book would be very close to being out of hours, so I should have a relaxed schedule Thursday.

I had someone email me with problems regarding a trucking company breaking a written promise to employ him after he got a CDL. This is his email to me:

The Co I work for broke a non written promise I could drive for them. They are saying I have no experience. How can you drive for a Co when nobody will give you a chance? If you got any leads to any truck Co that willing to give a driving student a chance please let me know. I need verifiable miles. Thanks again John

And you can post on your blog

Side note. Thanks for the Pics

Here's my reply:

Call the company I work for, Willis Shaw Express at 1-800-643-3540 and ask for recruiting. They put driving school graduates with driver/trainers all the time on an ongoing basis.

Glad you enjoyed the photos.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004
  November 2, 2004...
November 2, 2004 -- I got them to back the delivery appointment off from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM, which I was able to make okay with no trouble.

After I unloaded at Hannibal, Missouri, I reloaded at Edwardsville, Illinois. The new load is going to Palmyra, Pennsylvania. I'm spending the night at Effingham, Illinois.

The election is just about over. It looks like President Bush has almost won the election. I hate going to bed without knowing that for sure!!!!

I just figured up that I've driven 3,502 miles since I left home Thursday afternoon.
Follow Trucking Tom's travels as he trucks around the U.S.A. Tom comments on everything from trucking and technology to politics, music and more.

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Location: West Fork, Arkansas, United States

I'm an over-the-road truck driver, full of opinions and attitude. I call things the way I see them. See my photography and more at www.truckerphoto.com.

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