Saturday, October 29, 2011

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Injustice

Nazi Storm Troopers Raid Gibson Guitar Headquarters
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out-
because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out- because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade union and I did not speak out because I was not in the Union. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

                                                        -Pastor Niemoller
                                                   (Victim of the Nazi Party)

Freedom was yesterday in this great nation and today we have been brainwashed to nark on our friends and family just to stay out of prison and forced not to eat jail beans and green bologna for dinner.   Bring plenty of hard cold cash once you grab the Alpha Wolf by its teeth and go into the United States legal system. Our judicial system is blind. The more money you have, the blinder it becomes. It will be a financial disaster of hellish proportions and will scar your mind forever. Remember, you are less then dog shit to the federal government. Please do not lock me up officer. I’ll be a good citizen.
I am guilty. I will be subservient. Have mercy on my pathetic soul.

Just ask Henry E. Juszkiewicz, CEO and co-owner of Gibson Guitars located in Nashville, Tennessee facing his second raid by Nazi law enforcement. On August 24, 2011 the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service came in without warning and seized over $500,000 of ebony planks, high-end rosewood guitars and computer hard drives. During a press conference Juszkiewicz stated,  that the government is abusing its power and accuses the Obama administration of selective targeting.  “It was a nightmare, Mr. Juszkiewicz explained.  We had over 20 armed men descend upon three factories in Arkansas, Montana, and our Corporate Headquarters in Tennessee. They [Obama’s Justice Department] evacuated unarmed employees at gun point and put them on the streets and parking lots.”  He also mentioned a law that was passed regarding anyone who transports a musical instrument across borders, would need to know the specifications of every piece of wood and where it was acquired. If you own rosewood from the rain forest, you will go to jail and your guitar will be confiscated as illegal contraband.

For the past 17 years, Gibson Guitars has been in compliance with authorized permits, purchasing ebony and rosewood. Madagascar’s government authorized controlled harvesting of timber, as part of cleanup initiatives following typically devastating monsoon season. Gibson is a well-respected,  all-American company that employs 1200 workers in the United States. If Big Brother can abuse and bully a guitar manufacturer, then just imagine what "They" can do to you and your family.

It’s a liverish fragment of discernment to lay on our freedom loving musicians. However, we are all criminals in this country. Whether you smoke cigarettes, marijuana or play the guitar. You are guilty!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Hunt For The Teriyaki Owl

A strange and hungry saga inside 100 Hooters restaurants across The United States of America.

I am a brother of dragons and a companion of owls.
                                   -Job 30:29 (King James version)

Only a few of my constituents know more about trucks than I do.  And fewer have traveled across the nation to eat and rest inside the nest of Hootie the Owl.  Peterbuilts, K-Whoppers, Volvos, Freightliners, you name it, I drove them for the last 15 years with over 1 millions miles of cross-country driving under harsh weather conditions. My fingerprints have been cleared by the F.B.I. and Homeland Security to transport nine classes of Hazardous Materials. In fact, these chemical agents are so deadly that they can destroy man, beast or any structure on the face of the Earth. It’s not suggested to smoke three packs of cigarettes a day during a trip hauling division 1.3 explosives, and always have a written route plan for shipments such as Blasting Agents and Inhalation Hazards. The last thing a driver needs is to wipe out a bridge or a small town in Ohio with a bomb strapped to his back. Not to worry folks, I am also one of the good guys and hold credentials for Highway Watch and Info Guard to keep America safe form blood thirsty terrorists and evil trucking companies. This is what I was born to do. This is my gig and my way of life and I refuse to take any guff from a dispatcher that invites me to break the law.

There are no safety regulations, under The CSA 2010 that restricts   a professional driver to visit and eat at more than 460 Hooters Restaurants in 44 states across the country. However, CDL drivers should comply under CFR Part 395.8 and log their 1hour safety break before doing so, only to avoid any infractions created by Nazi-esque law enforcement. I was employed by USA Truck, located in Van Buren, AK. and the commercial vehicle assigned was a 2005  white 9400i series International that read over 800,590 miles on the odometer.  A real smoke bomb and highway menace that created a trail of diesel smog a half mile long. The rig was covered with military insignias of a star that one would see on a F/A Hornet, a highly maneuverable, supersonic fighter jet from the U.S. Navy with a top speed of Mach 1.8. Unfortunately, this rig was governed at 62 mph and resembled that of a noisy P-51 Mustang fighter plane. A slow crafty bastard that struck fear into the hearts of Germans. With that in mind, I decided to call this unit The War Machine.

There was nothing to report along I-20 near the outskirts of Monroe, Louisiana as the sounds of “Girls, Girls, Girls” blared from the cheaply stocked radio, installed with cassette player playing Motley Crüe. I was hauling a 45,000 lbs load of paper heading toward Concord, New Hampshire on a warm and gloomy afternoon. Hooters was just a few miles away form a Pilot fuel station and I needed something more then just a few corn dogs and a cup of hot coffee. Perhaps a nice thick cheeseburger or some hot wings would fill my animalistic and raging appetite I thought to myself. And it sure beats eating at the choke-n-pukes with a case of heartburn and paying 10 bucks for a lousy burger with some cold fries and a limp pickle. I slowly backed into a spot at the parking lot and asked the fuel manager if I could drop my wagon and grab a bite to eat down the road.  “No problem.” she said with a warm smile. And off I went to find The Teriyaki Owl.  

Bobtailing into a small Hooter’s parking lot, I parked the rig, climbed out and walked inside the empty establishment.  CNN was broadcasting the horrible news that was played by local authorities regarding the three nooses that once hung under the “White Tree”.
A black Jena high school student asked staff officials if it were okay to sit under the tree without any trouble from the white students. District Attorney, Reed Walters had much to say about the incident that later triggered a violent outcome.
Let’s not get off track; I was here to interview Vanessa and to find out why she enjoyed working at Hooters.  Our great nation will always have some type of preconceived prejudices, and if you’re a truck driver, you know first hand that we are loathed by many and understand the pain of less than acceptance from our society. Again, I need to stay focused and learn more about the Hooters girl. To me, they were more than eye candy. They were someone’s daughter, sister, mother, or wife and should be respected because they work long hours in order to put food on the table for their families. In fact, waitressing is the only occupation where a girl can have a flexible schedule and finish her degree in college.

Vanessa was a 23-year old brunette and a graduate at ITT and holding a degree in Information Technology. She was wearing a white tank top with “Hootie The Owl” (Hooters company mascot),
bright orange athletic running shorts, a brown ticket pouch, nylons and white sneakers. The logo Vanessa was wearing is from the imagination of Tami Brooks. The wife of the late Robert H. Brooks, former CEO of this fast growing franchise in 1983.  I ordered some hot wings and a tall glass of ice tea and asked, “ What is the best thing that you like about working for Hooters?”  “This job helped pay for college education, she replied.  The tips are good and it’s a fun place to work.”  That was all I needed and decided to eat at each and every in Hooters Restaurants in America and share the experience with my fellow drivers on the road.  Jumping back into The War Machine and hooking the 53ft trailer, I was off like a prom dress at midnight to the next customer in New Hampshire.

The hunt continued north bound on I-93 near Derry and on that day I would live free or die as the summer season began to change into fall. The leaves had burst with bright yellows and fiery red colors along the eastern sea board. The sky was blue and the driver side window of The War Machine was rolled down on this warm and sunny afternoon. Driving a mile a minute, listening to Santana and early for my 3:30pm appointment the next day. Life was great!
So, I parked the rig inside the parking lot of The Mall of New Hampshire, in Manchester. Only a fool would dear take a 53ft dry van into an unfamiliar city and try to find parking. Good luck!
My bus fare was only a dollar and well worth it. The # 5 bus took me closer to the downtown area where I had transferred to the #11 bus, only to find out the bad news. There were no Hooters in New Hampshire.  The New England Wings Group filed bankruptcy and put those poor girls out of work. 
As for me, I drove to exit 1 & Rt. 28 after my load assignment was complete. Then feasted on a $16.00 lobster tail dinner at a place called the Weathervane, just a few miles form the Atlantic Ocean.

My next stop was Salt Lake City, Utah and the fleet manager was running The War Machine at approximately 3,000 miles per week. Just five days early, the warm autumn sun glowed in the sky. Now it was a dead, lifeless light covered by thick gray clouds and wet light snow flakes, hitting the wind shield.
The state of Utah does not plow the interstates like they should on the east coast Turnpikes. High mountains winds, black ice and adverse driving conditions made this part of the job dangerously exciting and just think, four days ago, it was Indian Summer. However, my 34-hour restart was due and there was only 1 Hooters in the entire state of Utah and my crosshairs where set on this location for sure. The city train dropped me off at 7200 West and High Tech Dr. It was less then a mile to walk to State Street. I felt unwelcome here. After all, this was Mormon country and outsiders are never invited to this party. So, I order a sandwich and a cup of coffee and hit the slopes on The Greatest Snow on Earth.

There was some love in Loveland, Colorado as I tagged and flagged my logbook for my one hour off duty after making my escape off I-25, unloading a shipment of radioactive metals to a hospital just outside of Denver. This place was trucker friendly and located at 4230 Byrd Drive, with plenty of room to parking several. big rigs. Despite the gloomy, chilly weather and the lunch time rush, it was time to eat. I grabbed a seat near the corner and Emerail Vaughn took my usual order of wings and coffee. The place was packed with customers and I was granted a brief  interview with this soon to be school teacher. I ‘m working my way through school right now.” Explained, Vaughn. I graduate next simester and I’ll miss working here, adds the 24 year old Hooter’s hostess. I enjoyed my stay, but it was time to get back on the road and if the wheels did not roll, then I did not make any dough. It was that simple.

From the Rocky Mountain skyline at 14,100 feet through the concrete jungles of Los Angels, Chicago, Detroit and Houston, the trail of doom continued. Late for a 2:00 am appointment and lack of sleep, added to the work related stress. My mental and physical condition was not keeping me focusing as a professional driver.  In fact, I had failed to fuel at the last truck stop and this poor judgment made matters worst. “The War Machine” got stuck in Texas clay as I tried to maneuver this large beast down a small country road.  I was at my breaking point once the fuel tanks went dry and the truck could not rock back and forth to slip out of the Muddy ditch.  Working over 95 hours a week for seven weeks straight, caused me to make some bad choices as these dispatchers pushed me to the edge of insanity for the greater good of economic pressure. Then I remembered yesterday, when a tanker exploded on I-35 North near Lewisville, Texas.  Wow, His wife and children will miss him. However, that trucking company with a jerk-boat on the phone and behind the computer, will find another rube to risk their lives with apathetic feelings. Life goes on, better him then me, they [dispatchers] say and next week a help wanted ad will appear in the newspaper, right next to the obituaries section. The notion that we are expendable, no matter what the occupation, can be a bone chilling though in this game of greed and fierce competition. According to philosopher Emanulle Kant, murder is wrong because it uses the victim as a means rather then respects an individual as an end. But what was is considered murder and what is considered suicide? That tanker driver had a choice and pushed the envelope to make that mighty dollar. Sorry, Jackson. Not this driver and as I said in the beginning, no load, no amount of fast cash or some bone-head dispatcher is worth my life.

Okay, sorry to be Johnny Raincloud. However, my mood is foul regarding the moral values inside the trucking industry. So, let’s move on and talk about my 10 hour break and getting drunk at Hooters in Shenandoah, Texas.

The Wreaker pulled “The War Machine” into small Ma & Pa truck stop. The load had been delivered early that afternoon and now it was getting late. As I stood in line to talk to the fuel attendant about calling a cab to Hooters. I noticed a nerdy little fellow with glasses and on the back of his jacket was a picture of rifle’s crosshairs that read “When The Hammer Drops, The Bullshit Stops.” I like your coat mister, I said with a smile, that’s pretty funny stuff. It’s not a joke, he said, as he glared at me with his beady blue eye. I took a training class form a Navy Seal and can kill a man with a magnum 45 at 50 yards.” This dude was six cent short of a nickel and I need to get out of here and fast. “Sorry to upset you sir, how long was your training? I asked. 

He told me it was three weeks and that they gave him this jacket when he passed the course.  I got the Hell out of there and jumped into a cab to avoid $17,000 find that great state of Texas imposes for driving impaired. As they say down south, “Don’t Mess With Texas.”  It was time to get stone-cold drunk and have some fun. However, when you from out-of-state it’s crucial to think before you drink and being an outsider one must plane three moves ahead like a game of chess. Otherwise, three things will happen. You could have your ass stomped buy bunch of dirty hillbillies, dead or even worst, go to jail and forced to work 120 days in a chain gang in a Texas department of correction.  

“The War Machine” was parked safely thirty miles south of Shenandoah, Texas. It was Wednesday evening as I arrived at this Hooters location. The waitresses wore black uniforms and not the bright orange volleyball shorts and white tank tops. The place was slow and quite that night. So, I asked to speak with the manager. After our introductions Vanessa Parga explained their promotions such as King of The Wings and Kicking for Chicken. These were great ideas and offered free hot wings to the winner. I placed my order of the 911 toxic hot wing with a nice cold glass of Shiner Bach. Several Guinnesses later I attempted to interview Brook and  Kimberly Handily students at Montgomery Junior College. “We have a chart for the floor” said 20-year old Handily. We play card games for our stations and once a week there’s pink champaign for our customers. Kim added that she had employed at Hooters for six month and enjoys working in a lively atmosphere. Vanessa called a local cab company and I made it back safe to my fiberglass box that I call home.

My conclusion for this article is that most Hooter establishments are just moments off the interstates and easy to find. If you need assistants, one can contact the Hooters toll free hotline for directions. I am pleased to report that 3 out 5 Hooter girls will be college graduates and will shape our country for a better tomorrow.