Volume I, Edition III


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Greetings as always, Chieficionados!

First of all, begging a million pardons to those of you out there faithfully fighting The Good Fight, i.e., forcing all Swift trucks to the side of the road and checking to see if your boy The Chief (tm) is at the helm. (My sources tell me that this activity has, on occasion, been met with what can best be described as “consternation”.) You see, you were given bad information! That's right! Because The Chief (tm) is not at the controls of a Volvo VNL 780, but of a Freightliner Cascadia Evolution instead. And he forgot to tell you all! But keep up the good work.

On the topic of “work”, we (that's the truck and I) have been pinballing around pretty good, from CA as far east as AR & LA and back, and so on. Lots of interstate work but also the backroads. Have seen gas prices as low as $1.799 (OK & NM) and temperatures as high as 119 (Phoenix). Have passed through many towns which are clearly on the downslope in terms of financial / commercial viability; some in which the only still-operating entities are churches and gas stations, and 95% of the cars are dented up, faded GM products of mid-'90's vintage. Oh, and FWIW, you do not see too many Teslas anywhere outside of California...

Also some gems though, perhaps my favorite of which was a roadside sign in central Arkansas which read, simply, “Liquor & Boots”. About five miles later, on a two-lane road in the middle of nothing but trees, there was a free-standing store whose two separate marquees read -- in the same exact typeface as the sign -- “Liquor” over one door, and over the other, “Boots”. So they apparently weren't kidding around! Between liquor and boots, pretty much all else a body needs to survive is velcro and beef jerky.

One day we were at a gigantic air-conditioned Amazon distribution center where you pull in and someone comes over with a handheld wireless device that scans the barcode on your truck, prints out a slip, and directs you to which dock to swap trailers at.

The very next day we were at a hot, filthy, dusty (but mercifully not smelly) recycling yard in Albuquerque to pick up 38,000 pounds of recycled plastic, quite a bit of it from discarded baby products (riding & pushing toys, floor-based game sets, etc.) And we drove that plastic all the way to Springhill, LA, to a manufacturing plant in which the plastic literally goes in one end and comes out the other -- as railroad ties!

And just today we carried (according to the bill of lading) 87,125 items -- but which only weighed 6,100 lbs. WTF? Empty plastic bottles, going to a bottler of Arizona Iced Tea and Gatorade!

So you never know.

Anyway, hope all is well with everyone. Chief (tm) oot!

-- Sincerely,
The Chief (tm),
a.k.a. The Pacific Standard (tm)