Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

10-4 Good Buddy

I must be stupid.

No, I'm a conformist.

Wait, I'm hopeful.

Nah, I'm just 'Dude', I guess. Some dude. Just that guy over there, and I'm perfectly happy with that.

Life is cool. I haven't been doing much around here, I just haven't had much to say in recent weeks. The marriage is going as well as folks that have been married a year and some change can go. We have ups and downs. We have disagreements and make noise like the next couple and then turn around and go out to dinner, come home and act like a disagreement had never taken place. We're in our movie renting phase where we'll get stuff the other one probably will never see. We also have separate TiVos and record different stuff. I hang out in my man cave downstairs and do stuff. Sports related stuff. X-Box related stuff. Writing stuff. I pass out on the couch just like the next guy. She scrapbooks. She's also an associate professor. Yep, she teaches and develops her business. We multi task and interact.

We do most of this at home.

We need every square foot of what I like to call the compound in order to be effective in what we do business wise and to also be effective in being with each other. For the most part its hit and miss. The other parts are bulls eyes that probably need game film so we can successfully get the do overs correct on the next spin. Marriage is indeed a great balance, and since November of last year we've been delving deeper into the inner workings of each other. Most times by choice, other times by necessity.

Most of y'all know that I was a truck driver contracted out to one of the big trucking companies that sent me across the cracked roads that stretched across America (Canada and Mexico too). Last fall, I decided to do something different and hopped out of the truck, partially to save my marriage and to be closer to home so that we could start a family. I gathered my tax info and got myself an EIN and started down the road of business ownership as a private courier. The business was good and I enjoyed being home every night with my other half. The being home thing was new to us because I actually enjoyed being on the road, so before I quit driving the rig my wife started coming with me. What we found out was that there was a lot of stuff we didn't know about each other due to my absence and she adjusted to traveling in the truck with me. And we had a little fun.

It was a bit different November, December and January because I was no longer on the highways and byways, calling home to see what was going on. No more hotels and 'exotic' foods. No more city hopping and souvenir buying because daddy was at the spot weekday evenings and weekends. I missed being in the truck and she actually missed going out on the road with me when she had down time so in January... I called and asked to get back into a truck.

Now I have to add that the tax breaks I had as a courier was a bit better than being a truck operator or lessee due to everything being expended as a part of business, but my wife started looking at houses and the money going out to pay for fuel, lunch and licensing was going to keep me working until December of this year when I would have gotten much of it back in taxes. We couldn't wait and my getting back into the truck would have gotten us the 10 to 30% needed to put down on a home. Plus truck drivers can amass a ton of cash quickly and with the market tanking we could take advantage of the real estate prices being down in 2009 until...

The big trucking company telling me to step off near the beginning of this month.

Thing is, we didn't sweat because we were saving money and after sitting down and getting to the deep end of how our relationship works I asked my wife if I should buy a truck (meaning tractor-trailer) as opposed to going to another company and leasing one or just being a company based driver for so beer or soda company. Reason I wanted to continue driving the rig is because the trucking industry is recession proof. Everything you have in your house or apartment right now was either shipped, delivered or hauled in the back of a 53 foot trailer. And, as a driver a couple of years ago for another trucking company (as well as the one I was just driving for) I've hauled everything from laptops to frozen goods to airbags for hybrid-electric vehicles. Truckers run the economy.

Oh, did I mention that truck owner/operators make somewhere from $2 to $5 per mile and averages 2500 to 3000 miles per week. I just never thought of becoming an owner operator because i knew how much time it would take away from being at home, and I know this is a little late in the game but... I just got to know my other half on a much deeper level and I kind of got used to being home weeknights and weekends. Maybe it was the holidays. Nah, it was the time spent. When you drive for a company as opposed to owning your own rig you'll never get more than 60 cents per mile. If you lease a truck from a company like I did a few times the truck isn't really yours and the weekly fees and such will suck up the $1.30 (on average) per mile you make. Also, you gotta do your own paperwork, logs, accounting as well as find your own accounts to drive and that's why a lot of drivers just go to xyz company and let them do all of the back office work. And that's why they (the drivers) only get damn near 60 cents per mile.

So I took the last couple of weeks and redefined my transport company from courier to freight forwarding/intermodal - interstate haul. I obtained my own authority to broker and carry freight across interstate lines and got myself an easy pass (tolls are a bitch). And I asked my wife to be my partner with that whole back office thingee. The paper trail needed to maintain this kind of business is horrible, but worth every penny. And then I went and found my horse.


yes, it's black. No Irony here



I guess I'm back to hauling freight over the road.

One thing, this time I'll have control over when I get home and how long I stay there and also what we'll do when I am there. I never had aspirations of being a truck driver. I never had the wherewithal to actually own a tractor and go thru the red tape and paperwork that comes with ownership. I never knew that I could make so much money doing this either, but my wife asked me for a house and my initial response was "okay, we'll look". When I saw that having an actual home was attainable I wondered if I had it in me in sacrifice.

Then I remembered that this is the same woman that gave up her life on the other side of the planet to make a home with my stank ass.

And then I was called to service by my commander in chief.

This is exactly what was asked of me last night. Put in the work, make the sacrifice and pay the cost and in the long run, we'll be alright. If I can stay safe and keep my drivers license this wouldn't be a full time gig based on how I decide to run my miles. This also means that I can get back on the road and enjoy just being out there. This also means that we can make more than one baby, cause I was wondering where the loot was going to come from for number one...

That and the mortgage
And the car payments
Stuff like that.

I'm telling you, it can be done. You just gotta' give something. Some of us have to figure out exactly what that is.

So to celebrate this magnanimous decision I've decided to head to the Big Easy for a few days to celebrate heathen style. I figure now that Mardi Gras is over I could actually creep around New Orleans with a little elbow room.

I really just want a little etouffe.

10-4 good buddy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obey

Other people's actions remind you that you're in this all alone. You have no one else to turn to when it comes to what you think you're responsible for. If you let em', they'll put all of their shit first, not giving thought to your comfort or humble opinion even if you shout them at folks every damn day. They always question your appreciation but never mention appreciation when it comes to you. And they expect you to stay right there.

Loyal and willing.

Just how loyal are you? And are you willing to stay right there?

A View From The Cheap Seats

I was going to quote Terry from his blog post today but that would not give the post as a whole justice. I know I have broken links over there and some of y'all just never made it to his blog from mine, so I give you his entire post for today and a link.

And a reminder.

Visit the Cheap Seats often.




The Cheap Seats
http://rydioflyertwo.blogspot.com


Elephants and Monkeys

As everyone knows by now a cartoonist drew a carton in New York newspaper. We all know what it looked like – we all know what it was.

But for me here’s the worst thing about it. The man who actually drew the cartoon didn’t have a racist intent. Race never crossed his mind. That’s even scarier too me than if he actually had done it on purpose. Do you know why? That means that he didn’t even recognize racism while he was doing it. He was totally out of touch. He had no sensitivity to it at all. That boys and girls is how far we have come. A professional cartoonist for a major newspaper creates a racist imagine, and doesn’t even know he did it. So I ask you, how ingrained is racism in white America if racism can happen, and someone not even see it?

Some might argue that he did know. I’ll be honest, I wish that he did. Then the problem might not be as bad as I thought. But I believe the he truly didn’t know what he was doing, and like I said, that makes the crime even worse.

The Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, took a beating yesterday for saying that the United States is a “Nation of Cowards” because we will not confront the issues of race. He went on to say that we have not come as far as we might think despite the election of Barak Obama. I’m paraphrasing, but he said that as long as we only deal with other races on strictly social terms, nothing will change. We are in fact divided and race is still a big issue in American. And we as a nation, after all of the years, still don’t want to deal with it.

Men in the media gave him a beaten about his statements. While the New York paper flowed from news stands, everyone else was saying how awful Mr. Holder’s comments were. That he should not have made such a remark and he was dishonoring every person who has ever defended this country.

Well let me say this about that.

He honored the people who have fought for this country. I think I can speak to that point because I have literally raised my hand, took on a weapon and stood my post. I have defended this country’s policies under the worst conditions imaginable. I will say, The Attorney General of the United States doesn’t just honor me - he speaks for me. If he stood by and let the rickety wagon of racism roll on by, that would be dishonoring. He speaks to what I have fought for…a country where all men truly are created equal.

The right wing mouth pieces are all over Eric Holder, and they defend the newspaper. They simply don’t get it. And that boys and girls is the real evil of racism in America today. They are so programmed that they actually don’t see it.

I am not the normal white American. It is an unfortunate statement but true. My parents taught me that African-Americans in America aren’t allowed to play on a level playing field; they told me that when I see racism I must point it out, or better yet, I should do something about it. But mine is not the story of most in white America. Their story is, don’t worry about the Black Man. There is no racism in America now because the chains have disappeared from sight. We’ve moved him from the fields to the factories. All is well.

Yeah...all is well.

So now, a man picks up a pen, draws the leader of the free world as a monkey, in a major news paper in America, and he never had a clue it was wrong. All is not well.

In America my friends, racism is still the big white elephant in the room, with the emphasis on white.

My view from the Cheap Seats.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Day Of Reckoning

I think about dying a lot.

I've been thinking about how and when I die a lot lately.

I try to think of what value or worth I have to the ones that are close to me, I don't see much. Now more than ever I feel patronized and emotionally coddled by those that don't want to see me snap the fuck off and do something stupid (in their eyes).

Things are terribly normal.
I am home every day, not a good thing for a traveler like myself.
I have been writing but nothing worth posting here or anywhere else for that matter.

I read blogs and news on the daily and I have no political opinion on anything. America is still very racist and are going thru buyer's remorse with the current sitting president one month in.

I literally live around the corner from the first family and 3 people were murdered in this area in the last 21 days. Imagine that...

I have no clue about my motivation in living in the midst of madness. Black people are sick with hero worship and even the spiritual have grossed me the hell out waiting with a hand out (as usual), looking to a person that can only inspire them to help themselves.

Change comes from within, fuckers.

Remember something family: The same folk that ignored our suffering, dying and drowned in New Orleans during Katrina are the same folk that ignore us now. Imagine the death and destruction due to lack of privilege. Broken promises and no shows as folks shopped and stimulated Atlanta, Southern Cal and NYC. These are the politicians of non action, criticizing the current stimulus bill asking for a tax cut for the top five percent.

And a lot of the 60 percent of the voting populous that put the current sitting chief executive in office really believe that having our troops overseas bringing democracy is more important that having them home. Defending us.

And no one wants to reinvest in our homeland. No one wants to share. Everybody hates the new welfare state. A bunch of corporate welfare recipients judging us, not willing to share but willing to criticize. I am beginning to hate living here in the midst of madness.

We are have nots and the well to do's have never given a damn about us.

And I live here.

As I move to change all things around me to benefit my existence it seems that everything and everyone else simply refuse to do anything regarding real change.

Whatever man.

And you expect me to want to live in this bullshit?

I am so ready to meet my day of reckoning...
I also look forward to seeing those meet their day as well, even if it is by my hand.

It has to be better than this.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back At It...

Yep.

I'll be back on a regular basis come tomorrow.

Not a lot to say but I will speak my damn mind, trust me.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Is Everyone Okay?

I just haven't had the urge due to all of the abnormality.

I'm talking bout stuff happening outside of my house, things are swell here.

Maybe now that folks are use to mentioning the chief executive's name we can gain some semblance of normality around here.

I hope.