Saturday, August 29, 2009

28th August 1955 - the Death of Emmett Till

“Have you ever sent a loved son on vacation and had him returned to you in a pine box, so horribly battered and water-logged that someone needs to tell you this sickening sight is your son –  lynched?” – Mamie Bradley, mother of Emmett Till

“Twas down in Mississippi no so long ago, When a young boy from Chicago town stepped through a Southern door. This boy's dreadful tragedy I can still remember well,
The color of his skin was black and his name was Emmett Till.” – Bob Dylan

Fifty-four years ago today at about 2.30 am on 28th August 1955, a fourteen-year-old boy named Emmett Till was kidnapped at gunpoint from his great-uncle’s house in Money, Mississippi. His kidnappers then drove to a disused plantation shed in neighboring Sunflower County, where they brutally beat the teenager, gouging out one eye. A witness heard Till's screams for hours until his tormenters finally shot him in the head with a .45-caliber pistol. They then tied a seventy-five-pound cotton gin fan around his neck with barbed wire in an unsuccessful attempt to weigh down Till’s body before they dumped him into the Tallahatchie River. A white teenage boy discovered the tortured, swollen, and decomposing body three days later. He had been so badly beaten that he could only be identified by his father’s ring that he wore. The brutal murder – and the antecedent and subsequent events – was instrumental in launching the civil rights movement.

Emmett Louis “Bobo” Till was from Chicago and had been raised by his mother, his parents having separated in 1942. His father, Louis Till, was drafted in 1943 during World War II and executed by the U.S. Army for raping two Italian women and murdering a third. On August 20th, Till’s mother, Mamie Till Bradley, who worked in the Chicago branch of the Air Force Procurement Office, sent Emmett and his cousin, Curtis Jones, to Mississippi on vacation to stay with their uncle, Moses Wright. Mamie warned her impulsive son about the difference between segregation in the North and South, and advised him not to speak to white people .

In 1955, only fifty-five residents lived in Money, Mississippi, a cotton gin town with a gas station and three stores. On the evening of August 24th, Till and several of his cousins drove to Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market, a small shop owned by Roy and Carolyn Bryant that served the local poor black sharecroppers. Till had boasted to his cousins about life in the North, and claimed to have a white girlfriend. When the Mississippi youths dared Till to go into the grocery store and flirt with Carolyn Bryant, an attractive twenty-one-year-old mother of two, Till took the dare. Carolyn Bryant would later testify that Till said, “Bye baby,” “What’s the matter baby? Can’t you take it?” “You needn’t be afraid of me,” and “I’ve been with white women before”; other witnesses say that Till merely “wolf whistled” as he was leaving the store. Whatever the truth, his actions were clearly shocking; Till was warned by an old man playing checkers outside the store to leave the area immediately. When Carolyn Bryant came outside to get a gun from her brother-in-law’s car, Till and his cousins fled the scene.

News of the northern teenager's impudence quickly spread throughout the black community. Till, realising the seriousness of his actions, wanted to go back to Chicago but the Wright family reasoned that if he stayed away from Bryant’s store he would be safe. Three days later, however, Carolyn Bryant’s husband, Roy, who had been in Texas on a trucking job, returned home and discovered what had happened in his absence.

“Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up.
They said they had a reason, but I can't remember what.
They tortured him and did some evil things too evil to repeat.
There was screaming sounds inside the barn, there was laughing sounds out on the street.” – Bob Dylan

In the early hours of the morning of 28th August, Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam drove to Wright’s cabin and demanded to see the boy from Chicago. Wright and his wife, Elizabeth, offered to pay money for any offense caused and pleaded with the two men for mercy. Bryant and Milam ignored the pleas and ordered Till into the back of their pickup truck. After warning Wright not to cause any trouble, they then drove off to mete out their revenge.

Sheriff George Smith was informed the next morning that Till was missing. The sheriff questioned Milam and Bryant, who both admitted abducting the adolescent, but insisted that they had released him unharmed that same night. They were arrested and charged with kidnapping, which was then changed to murder when the body was found.

“Let the people see what they have done to my boy.” – Mamie Bradley

After her murdered son was returned to her in Chicago, in her grief and rage, Mamie Till Bradley’s decision to display the savagely brutalised body in an open casket brought national attention to the crime and its underlying iniquities. During the four days of the viewing at the Rainer Funeral Home in Chicago, thousands of northerners saw Till’s body and could no longer ignore the truth and horror of lynching. Till’s photograph gained national attention in newspapers and magazines, but while it inflamed northerners it also served to rally southerners. Until the publication of the photograph, sympathy in the south for the defendants had been non-existent and no lawyers would take the case. But as soon as Till’s murder became a national event, five prominent Mississippi attorneys suddenly came forward to defend Bryant and Milam.

The trial lasted only five days; jury deliberations took just sixty-seven minutes - one juror said they took a break to stretch the time to over an hour - and, on September 23rd 1955, an all-white, all-male jury of twelve acquitted Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, who celebrated their whitewashed freedom on the courtroom steps.

“I saw the morning papers but I could not bear to see,
The smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs.
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free,
While Emmett's body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.” – Bob Dylan

In a 1956 article for Look magazine, J.W. Milam admitted that he and his half-brother had killed Till.

The hasty acquittal and miscarriage of justice outraged people throughout the United States and Europe. Protest rallies and lectures were staged worldwide, drawing attention to the plight of black Americans. Most significantly, future civil rights activists and leaders cite the Till murder as their consciousness-raising moment. In the wake of the tragedy, the civil rights movement would be mobilised. 

Eight years to the day after Till’s murder, on 28th August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr would deliver his landmark “I Have A Dream” speech.

Edward's Co. Ltd North York, ON. Fraud Watch

Alex at Edwards Co. running a scam in the GTA hiring owner operators and double brokering loads to other companies with no intention to pay. They are also involved in insurance fraud by providing false insurance papers to owner operators.

Edward's Co. Ltd.
Phone: (416) 913-7523 (phone number recently disconnected)
120 Norfinch Drive Suite 31
North York, ON M3N1X3

Edwards Co Ltd.
160 Pony Drive
Newmarket, ON

All victims please contact the Peel Regional Police

Mike Plante #1064
Fraud Bureau -Organized Crime Unit
Peel Regional Police
905-453-3311 X3340

Eastbound And Down, Loaded Up And Trucking...All Roads Lead Right Back To NoMi...(Part One Of Four)

I don't like leaving North Minneapolis for long periods of time. There are committees a-meeting, blog posts to be written, and endless opportunities to socialize in the back yards of friends...which is what the civic-minded neighborhood types do a lot around here, to the point NoMi has the feel of a small town.

But everybody needs a vacation now and then. I think the best vacation is one where you get paid. Besides, I'm such a notorious workaholic that I prefer to take "micro vacations" which last only as long as, say, 45 seconds. A micro vacation is, for example, when you're hauling cargo in Dixieland and you pull over to the side of the road to check something of concern on your vehicle and to orient yourself on a map. And, at that moment, you notice....

A local farmer is growing TOBACCO in a field near your truck, and you've never seen tobacco being raised as a crop you walk over to the racks of leaves drying in sunlight, crumble the edge of a leaf in your hand. Sure enough. Tobacco.

See photo below.

And then it's back to work driving the truck because your time is not really your own--not until you clock out after your legally allotted number of driving hours--but for a few seconds, you saw and experienced rural Kentucky (or Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, plus one little corner of Tennessee) and it was like you were a tourist on vacation, taking in the sights and local culture.

Thus a "micro vacation."

Most of the time, my day looks like the photo at the top of the post. The black spots are "bug mash" on the windshield.

That is the vast majority of the time, hours upon hours of "keeping it between the lines." It is both tedious and exciting because when 26,000 pounds of "straight truck" and cargo hits a bump at 70 miles an hour, you feel that moment of speed and inertia combining in scary and unexpected ways.

And this happens...a lot. You might listen to a song on the radio, your mind may wander into the tapestry of the tune but then...whoah. WHOAH!!!!!!!

Suddenly eighteen wheels are blowing past really really CLOSE while an annoying motorcycle is on your front bumper like a metal INSECT. Gotta pay close attention. All day long, hours upon hours, gotta pay close attention and not make one...little...mistake with all that flying metal and cargo.

So just to make one thing very clear: just because I'm going to write a few posts about some interesting sights and some enjoyable personal moments out on the road...the vast majority of the time I am working my butt off, it's hard work, and I'm not just goofing around while I'm on the clock. But due to my diagnosed-yet-untreated chronic workaholic lifestyle, I am the master of the 45 second vacation.

That's about as long as I care to relax. And then I have to be DOING SOMETHING productive.

Oh, look. Here's a picture of me "on vacation."

That's right. I wear cowboy boots when I drive. I like the way the heels keep my foot a couple extra inches off the floor, closer to the brake. I like the way I fit in at the truck stops when I walk in wearing Dan Post boots (made in El Paso, where I was stationed in the army) and a Dixie Chicks t-shirt.

Second point: all roads lead to and from NoMi. I can go anywhere in the world to be a tourist or obtain momentary economic opportunity. But with an ultra-affordable house in North Minneapolis, I have a base of personal stability from which to operate. Nothing beats home ownership. I try to tell my rent-slave college aged friends that owning a house doesn't tie you down, but frees you.

So here is me, NoMi homeowner, experiencing the enviable freedom of the open road. More later. 

Road to Riches [Final]

John, a hardworking manager, has been fired from his job at Herfty`s Trucking. Anxious to put his boss out of business, John decides to open his own trucking enterprise. An initial investment puts him on the move for On-The-Road orders. Steer your truck at breakneck speed on the Road to Riches in this entrepreneurial Time Management pursuit. Choose your own orders and show "The Man" who`s really in charge!

this management game will teach you all the skills and secrets of the trucking business. Through 5 action-packed levels, you will rise from a simple local driver to managing a fleet of 8 trucks interstate. TAC-CM PWNED Sara! Spare-parts, human resources, advertising and finance must all be optimised to become the leader, while your lovely wife Claudia and experienced friend Andy help you along the way!

Help Big John move his trucks to make a profit in this fast paced business venture game!
Speedy Time Management game
Crisp graphics
Start your own enterprise!

System Requirements:

OS: Windows XP/Vista
CPU: 600 Mhz
RAM: 256 MB
DirectX: 7.0
Hard Drive: 55 MB

39.5 mb

thanx to TAC-CM


Random Untold Stories

So in the past few months I've had a bunch of other interesting experiences/stories that I haven't yet blogged about mainly due to the reason that they're not big enough events to dedicate an entire blog entry to. They're still fun to mention though, so this blog entry is dedicated to all the short little random stories I have, explained in no particular order, with no particular continuity, nor with any particular point.

I transported a coffin up the coast once, complete with a body inside. The coffin arrived at the airport early however on the back of a pickup truck, and we couldn't take it until later in the morning. So the driver of the pickup ended up cruising around town doing his errands for 3 hrs with a casket and dead person riding around in the back. Yep, we're up north. When we unloaded it from the airplane we muscled it out of the airplane and loaded into the back of another pickup truck, and off they went.

I've also hauled gravestones on a different occasion, earlier in the summer. Those things are HEAVY!

A couple days ago I did another sightseeing flight, which is about 4 for me this summer. I like doing them, because my passengers have all been very appreciative which makes my day. I also haven't done so many that it becomes "just another flight" however. My latest tourists were a couple guys from North Bay, I think a father and middle aged son. They thanked me after we landed and said it was great. I also heard from our dispatcher afterwords (who gave them a ride back from the airport) that they also had lots great things to say about my aviating, how they could tell I was a really good pilot and the landing was very smooth. Complements like that always make my day and give me warm fuzzies. There was another older tourist lady I took up earlier in the summer, just by herself. It was a bumpy day, but she didn't care because she said she was determined to go for a "bush plane ride". She was so thrilled and thankful, and when we landed she told me her life was now complete.

Today during my landing flare the nose cargo compartment door became unlatched and flew open and up. There was nothing in the compartment to fall out, so no harm done, but is awfully distracting when it happens. That's the 3rd time its happened in the last 2 months. The Last time was also during my flare just before touchdown, the other time was during my landing rollout after I touched down. Last inspection the AME's looked at it and ordered a new latch for it, and also in the meantime made an adjustment on the latching mechinism in the hopes that it would help. We're due for inspection in another couple days, so hopefully the new latch is in and it'll get changed out. Its kind of embarrasing when it happens and I have passengers onboard.

I've finally passed the 1000 hr mark. As of my writing this I'm at 1014 hrs total time. Pretty exciting.

I've encounterd some interesting things on the runways up here. One time a pack of some sort of canines crossed the runway just as I was coming in to land, so I just added a bit of power for a second to extend my touchdown point. After I touched down however, there was a large flock of seagulls milling about on the runway in front of me. So after making the effort to lengthen my landing I found myself having to brake quite heavily. All turned out ok. A few weeks ago there was someone on an ATV trucking down the side of the runway. Technically he wasn't on the runway, he was just on the other side of the row of lights, so I didn't see any harm in landing. He was trucking along at probably 40 km/hr in the same direction I was landing, and we bothed looked at each other as I cruised past him on my rollout after landing. It was an odd feeling. It felt exactly like that scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Cruisade where the Nazi pilot flies into the tunnel, rips off his wings, and goes sliding past Indy and his father as they're driving through the tunnel. Except lucky for me I still had my wings and landing gear.

I finally received my spiffy new Canadian Aviation Document pilots license. The new passport style booklets. They look much more professional then a tattered piece of blue paper, but the ratings on my license are no longer spelled out in english, but have been given a acronym code. "SMEL" doesn't sound nearly as impressive as "All single pilot non-high performance single and multi-engine land airplanes". Oh well.

I'm sure there are others that I have since forgotten about, but I'm gonna start making notes now and when I remember/aquire more mini-stories I'll compile another post like this.

Deconstructing the Hired Truck Scandal: An Introduction

To understand the Hired Truck Scandal, I go back to something that Charles Krauthammer said about scandals in general. He said that the difference between a scandal that captures the public's imagination and one that gets ignored is simplicity. Krauthammer was making the thesis in the context of the scandal surrounding the bribery of William Jefferson. By then, it had been reported that about $60000 in cash were found in Jefferson's freezer. It didn't take much imagination for the public to imagine how it got there. In contrast, Krauthammer used the example of the Whitewater scandal. At this center of this scandal was a very complicated real estate deal and from there it wasn't clear who did what if anything. That didn't capture the public's imagination because instead it lead to nothing more than confusion.

The Hired Truck Scandal involves elements of both. On the surface, this scandal had everything for a titillated public. There were bags of money, run down trucks, the mafia, and all sorts of corrupt politicians and power brokers. Beyond the surface however, there was a complicated web of corruption that, if totally unravelled, would also have unravelled most if not all of the structure of corruption in the city of Chicago. Yet, after several months of a breathless public and insatiable press the scandal wound down. It took down several very powerful and important people with it, but ultimately, what we know about this scandal only scratches the surface. Worse yet, those held accountable only scratch the surface of those involved.

The Hired Truck Scandal grew out of the city's use of Hired Trucks to do little or no work. The trucking companies often used former cons and others of dubious background. As such, their drivers could be paid significantly less than most truck drivers. The corrupt power structure in the city saw a boon for everyone. Because the truckers were paid dirt, $7 an hour or so, these trucks became cash cows. As such, power brokers began taking bribes in order to secure city jobs for these companies.

The scandal grew and became even worse. Often, the city would secure a plethora of trucks for city jobs when their use was unnecessary. Trucks were used for menial tasks like picking up pencils and other simple supplies so that the trucks could be kept busy. In reality, often trucks were hired entirely so that city money could be dished out to the companies and then the principles would turn around give politicians their cuts. It was the classic shell game.

The whole thing would have very possibly never been discovered without the courage of average citizens who just happened to work as plumbers and other laborers on these jobs. Several started to notice that the trucks were just sitting there doing nothing. They also noticed that the trucks were rundown. They complained to their superiors and even to their union representatives. Like most whistle blowers, for the most part, rather than superiors investigating the corruption, it was the whistle blowers that were retaliated against.

Eventually, largely due to the reporting of Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun Times, the Hired Truck Scandal exploded in the Chicago media. It was so scintillating that it received all sorts of national media attention. It represented a sort of turning point in the way that many Chicagoans viewed its Mayor, Richard M. Daley. While the scandal never reached him directly, it was unmistakeable just how many top aides were implicated. The most notorious was likely Robert Sorich, who was Daley's patronage chief. Another was Donald Tomczak, the city's water chief, and very powerful political power broker. Tomczak admitted to taking $400,000 in bribes. Several other folks were implicated but the scandal never reached Daley directly. Though, later it was revealed that many of these trucking companies contributed to the campaigns of Daley and his allies.

At some point though, the twists and turns of the scandal became to complicated and the public, and apparently prosecutors, lost interest. Taken together, this scandal, if unravelled entirely, would also unravel most if not all of Daley's corrupt political machine. It's a machine in which politically astute allies of Mayor Daley are rewarded with cushy city positions. Then, those positions are used to line their own pockets and the pockets of their friends and anyone else that can benefit the mayor and his friends. That's why the Hired Truck Scandal happened. Daley rewarded folks like Tomczak with city jobs and then Tomczak used his position to line his pocket and as such steal millions from the tax payers.

Because the scandal had its day and fizzled out, it only took down some but left the structure in place. For instance, Donald Tomczak was instrumental in electing the current White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel to his first elected position. This is common knowledge and political insiders and junkies point this out, but it clearly didn't stop Emanuel from continuing his own rise in the world of politics.

What's much more troubling is how many folks with a lot to answer for continue in positions of power, and a good wage, within the city or surrounding government. For instance, there's John D'Amico. He's currently a State Senator in the Illinios Senate. He was also an assistant foreman on one of the jobs, the Jardine Plant, implicated in the Hired Truck Scandal. Then, there's Michael Tierney, another foreman on one of the jobs implicated, who continues to be employed by the city in another capacity. Then, there's Alderman Pat Levar, of the 45th ward. He was seen at the Sunnyside Plant, another one implicated in the corruption, while the scheme was unfolding. When news of the scandal broke, he stopped showing up. He continues his role as alderman today. The most troubling unanswered question is the corruption surrounding Angelo Torres. Torres was both a major player in the city government and in his free time a gang banger. It's still unclear how a gang banger was able to accumulate so much power within the structure of the city of Chicag. Torres was eventually convicted of shakedowns in relation to the Hired Truck Scandal.

I could go on and on, but that would require a book not a blog post. What is clear is that a scandal this large wasn't just a few rogue politicians and power brokers but the result of an entire city structure. The sheer magnitude of the scandal is evidence enough. More evidence can be found in the way that whistle blowers like Pat McDonough, who was fired as the case exploded. In McDonough's case against the city, he alleges systemic violations of Shakman decrees. Shakman was designed to make sure that city and county jobs did not go to folks based on political connections. Yet, according to the suit, McDonough alleges that the city systemically violates the decree and thus hiring and firing in the city winds up all too often being political. All of these issues remain unanswered today. Meanwhile, the Daley administration has been hit with several more scandals since the Hired Truck Scandal and of course, the city is on the verge of hosting the Olympics in 2016, which would give Daley access to far more power than he's ever had before. The kind of clout, influence and corruption in Hired Truck would be exponentially expanded by the Olympics if Daley's administration administers the Olympics the way they administered Hired Truck. So, I hope to use the next several months to unravel Hired Truck and unpeel as many of the layers of corruption as possible as it leads to the heart of the city's corruption.

Lease Purchase is it right for you?

Most Drivers have the dream of being independent. Coming up with the financing to purchase a truck is not easy. That is why many trucking companies have lease purchase plans. But, is owning your own truck right for you? That depends on the person and how dedicated they are to the road. Most of the drivers I know are working a 70 hour week just trying to make a living.

Becoming an independent owner operator means you are building a business. Can this be accomplished by the lease purchase plan? I once read that only 1 out of 100 are successful at building an independent company using the lease purchase plan.

From all the research I have read Leases are simple.

1. First if its not a walk away lease, don't sign.

2. Second if you can't use your own credentials, don't sign.

3. If the company mandates that you must use their insurance, base plates, fuel tax preparer, etc. walk away from it.

That's not being an owner operator. An owner operator is independent, which means just that. Getting into a lease option program without having financial backing of your own is a mistake.

It defies the progression of building a business. You can't possibly run a sucessful business if you start off with using someone else's money. If you can't afford a base plate you shouldn't be in business. If you can't take your truck to another company, your not independent. Not being independent defeats the purpose of becoming an Owner Operator.

The way you build a business is to work hard save hard and when you have enough capital saved then you venture out and start your business, anything else is doomed for failure.

Maybe 1 in a 100 will succeed but 99 of you will fail. being a driver is one occupation being a businessman is another occupation, all together different.

These are just words of the wise, do what you want with them.
Just remember freight has always been and will always be. It takes a smart person to win at this game and the game gets harder year after year.

Trucking is NOT an easy business.

Trucking Trash?

This from

The bulls are stampeding into YRC Worldwide today, betting on a recovery for the debt-laden trucking company.Stock volume in YRCW was more than three times average and options activity was twice normal levels. The shares rallied sharply after reported management had appointed a new chief strategy officer and hired Tenex Capital Management to help manage its finances.YRCW rose 14 percent to $2.27 in late morning trading and is up 48 percent in the last month. The company, with a debt load of 10 times market cap, also benefited from positive headlines yesterday when Standard & Poor's removed it from CreditWatch list following concessions from the Teamsters union that will cut about $45 million in monthly expenses.YRCW rallied all the way to $2.90 when the labor news came out on Aug. 10 before returning to the $2 level. Options traders today are betting the stock will return to rally mode in coming weeks and aggressively purchased the October 2.50 calls for $0.40 to $0.65. Volume at 4,044 was below open interest. New money flowed into the October 4 calls, which traded 1,746 times. Most of the volume priced at $0.35. Calls in the name exceeded puts by 25 to 1, reflecting the bullish sentiment.Given the company's perilous finances and short interest of 29 percent on Aug. 11, YRCW apparently fits the "dash for trash" bargain-hunting trend that has emerged in recent weeks.

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, August 28, 2009

Trucking Along!

This first week of training has been tough, but I've definitely been motivated to really get in shape and force myself to do some sort of activity every day. My legs are super sore from running/walking the hills in the neighborhood, but it's been good. I went to work out at Wayne's (formerly known at Coach Shaw) this morning. He stills scared the crap out of me, but he offered to make me a running schedule, so I'll post that when I get it. I figure it'll be good to have a variety of running schedules, and we can all figure out what works best for us and our individual fitness levels.

I went through my triathlon training files and found this outdoor circuit workout that I thought I'd share. It looks easy, but half way through, I'm usually ready to pass out. Here it is:

Start with 2 easy laps around the track

Circuit-4 sets total, 10 reps of each exercise:

Step-ups on each legJump ups (squat and jump)Sit ups or crunchesPush upsLunges on each legRun 1 lap around track and repeat circuit

Cool down with 1 lap around the track

**Don't forget to stretch before and after the circuit!

I also have some good swimming workouts if ya'll are interested, just let me know. I know for myself, I'm going to integrate a variety of workouts to build my endurance because I think I'll get burned out from so much running. I plan to follow a running schedule, but also have different things in there like swims, circuits, bike rides, and yoga. Yoga really helped me when I was training for the tri, but we had free classes, so I don't know if I'll be able to integrate that as much as I'd like.

Anyhow, I think that's all for now! Keep up the good work!



p.s. did I mention how much I LOVE omg!


A recent AAJ article reports that a petition is pending requesting that the Supreme Court allow active duty military personnel to sue the government. Petty Officer Nathan Hafterson died on March 26, 2006, at Naval Hospital Jacksonville after being admitted for trouble breathing. His attorneys state that it would put military members on the same footing as civilians under the Federal Tort Claims Act. This malpractice action was denied by the lower courts because a federal law (known as the Feres doctrine) prohibits active military members from suing the US government. Paul Becker

Trucker Terminology

Now I thought I would share some of the terms we use out here on the road over the CB radio every day (at least the ones I can)! The CB radio is pretty much the life line of our communication.

1. City Kitty..........Local city police officer
2. County Mountie..........County sheriff
3. Smokey Bear..........Usually a state trooper, but can be any of the above
4. Full Grown Bear..........State trooper
5. Diesel Bear..........DOT Officer (Dept of Transportation/Vehicle Enforcement)
6. Plain Wrapper..........Unmarked Trooper Car
7. Evil Knievel..........Motorcycle Cop
8. Chicken House..........Weigh Station
9. Locked up and Nobody Home..........The Weigh Station is closed and no one there
10. Pickle Park..........Rest Area
11. Lot Lizard..........Truck Stop Prostitute
12. Hammer Down..........Don't be afraid to get on the gas
13. Hammer Lane..........Left Lane on the Interstate
14. Granny Lane..........Right Lane on the Interstate
15. 4 Wheeler..........Everyday vehicle (Car/Pickup/Van)
16. 6 Wheeler..........Box Truck or Truck with only 6 wheels

That should give you all a pretty good idea of how we communicate. Those are pretty much the everyday ones. There are others, but I won't go there!!

All is good here at the house. Weather has been nice and hot! Better than rain. Sara is taking Paul to the airport this morning, he is going to Germany for 10 days. He says business, I say yea, right!

I am going food shopping for the truck at Wally World!! Supposed to be leaving here sometime tomorrow. Guess we will see how that goes.

Here is one last tip. When you are traveling and you come up on a big traffic backup, pay attention to which lane all the trucks are moving into. That will let you know which lanes are open.


March 7, 1988, Divine was in LA to film some scenes for Married... With Children. That night, after going to dinner with friends and then back to his hotel room, he leaned over the railing and sang "Arrivederci Roma" to them as they left for home. That night he passed away. In his will, he requested that no one donate money anywhere in his name, but to send flowers instead. Divine to the end.

Prospect Hill Cemetary, Towson, MD
2008, photographer Amanda Qichao
from qichao's flickr stream

Fly Fishing on a Bubble - What a Hoot!

This summer I was invited up to the lake to do some fly fishing with some good ole boys I know from Missouri.

But I balked at the thought of blowing out my arm trying to cast to rising fish just out of my reach.

No, No, No, they told me.

Forget the fly rod.

We’ll be fly fishing “hillbilly” style, with a bubble and a spin casting rig, that is.

Knowing I was about to enjoy some fine company, even better camp cooking and lots of good fishing, I was digging out my bass rod in no time.

Now when I first got into fly fishing I’d had the occasion to meet an older, Hispanic, gentleman from Taos up at Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal in Northern New Mexico.

He was tying up Wooley Boogers off the back of his old Jeep so he could go after one of those lunkers the boys from state Game and Fish like to stock up there.

He swore you couldn’t beat dangling one of his boogers below a bubble if you were serious about catching one of those big, high country fish.

But I was new to the game then and lacked a spin casting rig so I spent my time and effort making long laborious casts with a fly rod and watching as my caddis fly landed just out of reach of some big risers.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t catch fish at the lake with a fly rod but it requires a long leader and incredible diligence, squinting at your fly out there on the still water and waiting, always waiting, for that strike to come.

And sometimes the wait pays off, like the time I took a moment to clamp the rod handle between my teeth so I could free up my hands to unzip my pants and take a much needed whiz.

As I’m fumbled about in my shorts, I saw a snout break the surface to sip at my fly.

I whipped my head back in a futile attempt to hook him and watched as he dove out of sight.

Self induced whiplash, a blown out shoulder and too many near misses diminished my enthusiasm for fly fishing on lakes and I only indulged when necessary.

But now I’ve seen the error of my ways since meeting up with the Davis brothers at the River’s End Campground at Taylor Reservoir in Colorado this summer.
From left to right: James Davis, 72, of Coldwater Mo. is a retired manufacturing maintainance technician. Bud Davis,70, is a retired trucking company manager who lives in Jackson, Mo.. Raymond Davis, 66, of Imperial Mo. is also retired from the trucking business. Edward Page, 69, retired from the automotive industry and his wife Ellie, a homemaker,live in Scroggins Tx. They are cousins to the Davis family. Eddie Davis,63, of Patterson Mo. is a retired school teacher. The Davis brothers all teach Sunday school and are avid hunters, anglers and cooks. The author with his trusty dog, Wiley, 17, of La Cueva, N.M.

I happened across these camo clad, back slapping, good ole boys during a roadtrip to fish the Taylor River’s trophy waters last year. I was up there to see how some of our neighbor’s tail waters stacked up against New Mexico’s legendary San Juan River.

And boy was I happy I did (see related article).

So when they invited me back again this year I quickly emptied the spare change jar and left the sweltering, summer days of Santa Fe behind.

I arrived to cool mountain temps, afternoon thunderstorms and a hearty welcome.

I would be fishing with my Abu Garcia, Cardinal 100, a six and half foot long, medium action rod with a factory matched, five ball bearing, #102 spinning reel.

I picked it up one day while wandering around the Sportsmen’s Warehouse in Albuquerque. I was there hunting for a general purpose spinning rod for bass fishing and upon seeing the huge selection available, I asked a fellow customer, who looked like he knew what he was doing, to pick out a good rig for me.

He did and I’ve been happily hauling in bass and walleye from the boat ever since.

But fishing for trout with it was something new and the first thing Ray Davis did was hook me up with some new line on my reel, Mr. Crappie, six-pound test , camo line from Bass Pro Shops.

We then threaded the line through a medium sized, clear, plastic bubble and then added a swivel, making sure it moved freely in the mouth of the fat end of stem inside the bubble.
You fill the bubble up by pushing the skinny tip of the stem back inside the bubble, I used the flat blade of my knife to push down on it.

Then you dip the bubble in the water with the little hole at the tip facing up. Air bubbles should emerge from the little hole at the tip as it fills up.

Fill it about half way or for even longer casts, about three quarters full. Jam the stem back into place in the hole and you’re done. Keep in mind that you’ll have less flotation and won’t be able to see the bubble on the water as well, the fuller it is.

And the length of line you use to attach your fly will depend on the fishing conditions but as a rule we just peeled off a piece of line about the length of our outstretched arms and tied the fly to one end and made a small loop knot in the other and hooked that to the swivel.

I found it helped to cut this piece of line off the spool before attaching the bubble.

I also found casting side arm really heaved it out there with less slack line to reel up but I also enjoyed watching the rig fly like a mortar shell when I lobbed it overhand out in front of me.

Once the bubbles sets down, reel in the slack until you see the bubble shimmy on the water and the line grows tight, then slowly, with the rod tip down and pointed in the direction of the bubble or just off to the side, reel it in, stopping occasionally to let it settle or to jig it a little.
Strikes on the bubble are subtle and many times I felt a slight tug or bump on the line but found they were long gone before I could set the hook.

You have to develop a feel for the fish and need quick reaction to set the hook I was told - a number of times.
Gazing off at the surrounding mountaintops as the clouds rolled over and bird watching didn’t help my fishing success either.

But during our trip to a Mirror Lake above the little mining town of Tin Cup - a scene straight out of a Clint Eastwood western - our group of seven caught and released well over a hundred stocker rainbows and wild brookies while fishing on the bubble.

Most were hooked on the lip and released with no harm done.

And during much of that time you could hear Bud Davis crooning into his walkie talkie, “fire in the hole, there’s another one on Moffatt’s high country special.”

My winged, pheasant tail, bead head, nymph proved to be deadly on that trip and tying up some for the group earned me plenty of accolades and my breakfast in the morning.
Now I've just got to get back up to Shuree Ponds before the season ends and see if those Wooley Boogers on a bubble really work.

Long Trip

So hope you are all sitting comfortable as I have some catching up to do.

I do not have mobile internet yet except on my phone in Canada so im looking for something for the US as when you are driving team, you don’t get to stop at the truck stops and use theirs so any suggestions from you guys already trucking in Canada let me know. Then I will be able to update my blog more.

Ok back to before my test.

Joe my trainer had to go home at short notice so I ended up doing another couple of days in the day cab with Mark. Then Joe came back so we got into 766, an International Eagle with 1.3 million Km’s on it. We went on a trip down to Fredericton then over to Montreal and back covering just under 1000 miles. Then I had a day off before getting into another International Eagle with 1.1 million km’s on it. We only had that for about 16hrs just to do a trip down to Nova Scotia and back. We got back at 0400 the following day. Joe said to me call in about 10am to see what else they have for us. As my test was in four days so I needed to keep on the road for the practice, and that was the last time I seen Joe. He never phoned in to show his availability. it took me some pulling out of bed just to phone in to find out he had not phoned. I never went in another truck till 10mins before my test. I was not happy with the lack of practise, but there was nothing I could do. But as you know, I didn’t need the practice anyway because I passed.
Soon as I passed it was arranged for me to team up with Bernie. Great guy, very knowledgeable on the roads. When it was my turn to drive, he would say wake him at mile marker so and so just so he could direct me through the cities etc. he would also know how long it took to get from point to point.

Our fist trip was to our Brampton depot in Toronto. We set off gone midnight , got there the following afternoon. Our next collection was at 11pm going to Winnipeg so we had time to kill so we went to watch Transformers at the movies and get a bite to eat . We took the scenic route up the 69 along the 17 then on the 11. That is 17 hours of pictures views along the Georgian Bay, North Channel, and Lake Superior. There was 850 miles of just lake after lake after lake, between Toronto and Thunder Bay. There was at least one lake for every mile driven.

Bernie was driving through the night and had to give up early hours in the morning as he had seen too many moose. Had to jam brakes on hard twice to avoid them so he got his head down too till it was light. Me I never noticed a thing. I sleep like a brick. Good thing to be able to do when driving team as you normally sleep while the truck is on the move. 
From Thunder Bay it was still another 8hrs or so to Winnipeg. You know when you are close to Winnipeg as the roads just become flat. no more hills etc. a lot less trees also, just flatter than flat. In the winter, it gets a lot colder for the longest in Winnipeg because of it been flat and open.
Once we dropped our trailer at Winnipeg, we had already got our next trailer going to a small town outside Chicago. I can’t remember the name, {I was asleep when we got there). We drove down through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin into Illinois. From there again we had our reload in Chicago. One of the really good things about Ayr Motor, is that 9.9 times out of 10, you have your reload before you make the drop you have on. If you like to do the miles. This is the company to work for as the owner is full hands on and does not allow any truck to be empty waiting. The only waiting you have with this company is waiting to unload or collect at a certain time and that’s it. that’s why this company is getting bigger by the day and more and more drivers from out west our coming east to work for us. We are one company that is speeding up and not slowing down like the rest. We can do more miles a week than a company twice our size. A single driver averages 4000 miles a week. We as a team are doing 7000 miles a week. They would like us to do more but with the new law of all trucks been governed to 105km per hour, it limits us now.

Anyway back to the route. The load we collected was going to are Brampton depot in Toronto. So we went up through Michigan to the Detroit/Windsor boarder. If you have been out of Canada for more than 24hrs you get to go to the duty free store. I spent some of my Birthday money in there on aftershave. Then up to Brampton we went. We dropped our trailer and collected another for Stellerton Nova Scotia. Offloaded that, then off to Port Hawkesbury where we dropped that trailer and collected another going to the states but we was taking it to Woodstock as Bernie had booked some days off. So they had arranged for Keith, another guy I had met at the house to team up with me. We got back to Woodstock about 11pm. We had covered 6652km in less than 6 days, so not to bad for my fist week with him having to show me around and a bit of sight seeing on the way etc.

The air con had been getting worse over the last 2 days but by the time we had got to the shop. They only had the night guys on which only do the basic services. So we had to set off without it fixed. We took a trailer to Brampton ON and the air con was none existent by then so they gave us a trailer for Montreal then one back to Woodstock. Again getting there at night so another trailer to Moncton yard switching for a trailer going back to Woodstock so we would arrive in the day. Turned out the core had cracked and leaked all the gas out. Once we was sorted, off to Brampton we went. When we dropped there we had some time to kill as we did not have to deliver the following morning till 8am in Montreal. So off shopping we went. Well Keith spent the money anyways. Then when we got back to the truck we have several messages to ring the office. Another guy was running out of hours and had a 2am delivery on for Monreal so we had to go over and do a swop with our load. Then as we are doing that, we get another phone call. They needed me to be put up in a hotel then I was going to be taking over a truck the following morning at our Brampton depot. As a team was leaving when they got back and like I said Joe does not allow any truck to be sat around. The team finally arrive about 5.30pm in 826 a nice new International Prostar. I like them better the Freightliner Cascadea that I drive with Keith. The condo has more stowage space in a Prostar than the Cascadia.

Anyway, I had to bobtail down to Mississauga ON, collected an empty trailer, then go to Concord to load for Woodstock. At Woodstock I switched for a load going back to Montreal. After the shop checking the truck over, i then went into the truck stop next to the yard, to get my rest ready for the trip to Montreal. I got up and fuelled then set off. I went all the way there stopping once for the bathroom. Switched with another guy who was taking it for delivery, while I took his trailer back to Woodstock without stopping. I just made it back in my 13hr driving time. I was well impressed. Like I said before, its not hard to dive for hours here. The new trucks have satellite radio built in where you get 156 channels or pure music for every taste without the adverts. There is loads of rock channels so I just had that on all the time and you just do not notice the time flying by.

The following day I had to take the truck into the dealer for some warranty work. I was supposed to be then taking a load back to Brampton as the truck driver assigned to the truck run out of there. I was then going to jump back in with Keith. But we was not going to arrive the same day so Keith got runs into the states and someone else took the truck and load back to Brampton. I had covered 2753km in two and half days. I then had a few days off giving me chance to finally find a car the wife wanted, as she was the one that would always drive it. If it was left to me I would have got a monster truck, but she would not drive my American Ford Excursion I owned in the UK. It was wayyyy too big for her, 19 foot long. It took up 4 parking spaces in Tesco car park, So I had to get a girly 4 X 4 instead. Now I had to find a place for us to live as they was arriving in 4 weeks time but I was joining Keith again so I hoped the next time I was off I would find a place straight away or we was stuffed.

Keith got in the night I picked the car up. so I joined him the following morning. By the time the shop had finished servicing the truck it was midday before we had chance to set off with a load to Montreal.. We switched there for a load going to Winnipeg. At Winnipeg they took off a couple of pallets off then off to Edmonton we went. We had two drops there. Then it was off to Calgary to switch trailers for one going back to Winnipeg. Then we switched trailers again for one going to the states, but we was only taking it to are Winnipeg depot. Our next load was going back to Montreal but had nine hours to relax and do abite of shopping. They gave us that time off as Keith was having a hard time adjusting to teaming as he could not sleep very well, and doing 1000 miles a day between us was taking it out of him. So he managed to recuperate. Then started to sleep better as we went along. When we got to Montreal we then switched trailers for one going to Edison New Jersey. (just outside New York for those of you that don’t want to look it up. So we crossed the border at Champlain, straight down the 87 to New Jersey. On route we called at a petro pass truck stop. Now Keith was still struggling to sleep in less I drove through out the night so it seamed as though I was driving from A-B then at B Keith would take over and go to the customer. I had been looking into getting a GPS so I would be able to find my way around without having to wake Keith back up (if he ever did go to sleep) I had a truck specific one back in the UK and that was excellent. There is only two in Canada that cover both the States and Canada truck routing. The worldnav got real bad write ups the PC Miler did a little, but the software was updated on the 1st July But there was no way off telling if the ones on the shelf was the updated or not. There is two others just come out but they are only truck specific in the States and just normal for Canada. Garman was one and Goodyear was the other. Keith decided to get one at the Petro-Pass thinking it would help him get more sleep. We set a test run as we needed to fuel, (cant use Petro-Pass anymore for some reason). So we set off following this GPS. It totally messed up trying to send us down this residential street, then wanted to turn us up this dirt track to the road we needed when all it had to do is turn us off the Highway and it was there. But we thought we would give it a chance. After fuelling we set it for the address in New Jersey. As soon as we got across the border, the detail of all the map and points of interest just shown every detail. So much better. Could tell it was made in the US. Must have thought, “cant be bothered with Canada, lets just give them the basics”. Anyway It got us straight there. Keith did not like the way it took us though. He is old hat. Does not like change, or computers, but was slowly coming round when it got us there. Then we had a pickup five miles down the road and without going back to the Highway (like Keith would have done) it took me across town, even taking us around an underpass that was too low for the truck. Keith was very impressed by then, but still did not like the way it sent us back to Canada for our drop in Guelth Ontario. So I had to put way points in to go the way he liked plus the border crossing we needed etc. We dropped off in Guelph. Then I set it to take us back to our yard in Brampton 50 miles away to drop our trailer and pick up another going to Kentucky. The day I stayed in the hotel, the taxi driver that took me to the yard to collect 826 put the address in his GPS and that put me outside a house on the other end of the road, so I knew I was going to have fun. So to get around not been at the residential end I put junction with the road at the other end, & what did it do? Still put us right in the residential end again. Find out in the end, that some of the settings was still wrong so it thought it was still routing a car, so we sorted it out. Anyway we set off for Kentucky. Sure enough the maps improved as soon as we crossed the border. I stopped at the flying J states side to grab a shower etc. there they had the same GPS but a lot cheaper, so I thought I better get one myself just in case I ever get sent out on my own. While sat eating my Flying J all you can eat buffet. After the 3rd course, the heavens just opened up. I only had to run 50yrds back to the truck. I got more socked than the time I had to walk to the bank. So I had two showers and two changes of clothes in a space of an hour. Back at the truck Keith set off while I set my new GPS up putting the truck info in etc. at the same time finding things was different with mine to Keith’s. thinking nothing of it I put it in the box as we didn’t need two to get us to Kentucky. Once we was empty our reload was in Batesville Mississippi. Keith’s GPS would not find the road, so I got mine out to see if mine would, and it did. So looked like I had got the updated version which was done in July and Keith had got the old version that came out last year. He was not a happy bunny. Anyway I set off down the road using mine. There was some dust on the road name I was due to join so decided to wipe it of with my finger. Bad mistake. The screen totally froze no matter what I pressed it would not work. So I got Keith to set his up to get me to the area I needed to be. The volume is really bad on them so I plugged my headphones into it. Which was so much better. When I got to the collection. Keith was still awake (he just can’t sleep in the day) so he decided to have a play with the GPS to learn more on how to use it. Next thing, his had no sound out of it, except through the headphones. So now we have two brand new sat nav’s, one with no sound and one that does not work at all. So while we was waiting to load. (5 hours) we set Keith’s up to take us back to London Ontario. But putting in several waypoints in to take us on the roads he said was best. On the way back he stopped at a truck stop to buy a extension speaker so we didn’t have to have the headphones in. then while Keith was playing with it as usual. He messes it up and gave it to me to sort out. At the same time I discovered one of the settings was wrong and that’s why it was sending us ways Keith would not normally go. So sorted that too so we did not have to keep putting in the way points to take us the way we wanted to go. Anyway that night I stopped off at a “J” to take my duff one back. They gave me my money back saying it was not the first to come back with the same problem. So I was thinking of getting the software for the laptop instead so left it for a few days. Keith got his from a Petro-Pass, they was not so good to deal with. They would only exchange it. If he wanted his money back, he had to go back to Winnipeg where he got it from. Fat chance of that anytime soon. With this job you never know till just before you make your drop off as to where you will be going next. That did not stop him going and buying the Brand new Garman for trucks the first chance he got. Now he is like a big kid, will not leave it alone, even when he is driving he can not not touch it for five minutes. We both agree it is the better one of the two, but it only does semi-truck routing in the 48 states and not Canada. In Canada it is just like any other GPS for cars. Where as the PC Miler covers the whole of North America for truck routing. I bought another a few days later after trying them out at a couple of truck stops to find they was the old version like keiths then one night I woke up to find he had stopped at the Flying J where I bought my first one so I went straight in and got another and luckily it was the updated version. Well me and Keith will not be teaming too much longer so I have to make sure I can find my way around. For those of you thinking of getting one of these truck Sat-Nav’s, if you have any questions I will gladly answer them and also tell you how to know if the PC Miler is the old or new version. Anyway enough of all that, back to where we have been and going.
Back at London Ontario we had a collection just down the road going back to Woodstock, which I was really glad about as I had seen an house on the internet the night before I went back on the road, so planned to go and have a look at it while the truck was been serviced. Turned out that there was no-one to show me round on a Saturday. Something about it was going to be too hot. Good customer service I thought but the house was worth it. So I only got chance to look through 3 windows, then shot off to the Ayr Motor House to use the Wi-fi Just to look at the pictures of the house before I made the decision to have it. I did not have time to look for any others as my wife and kids are due to land on the 1st September and my container was already in the country waiting for me to get back to clear it at customs. I did not expect it till the end of the month but the company we used did a fantastic job. From boxing everything up in the UK to cleared at Customs was less than two weeks. I will put their details in a separate post. I knew I was going to be on the road till when I guessed it might arrive, so I accepted the house over the phone.

From Woodstock, we had a load going to Columbus, Ohio. As soon as we unloaded, we went straight up to Dayton, Ohio. For a load going back to Ontario. It took too long to load so we was going to be too late for unloading so we dropped the trailer in our yard in Brampton, Toronto. Hooked onto another took it down the road to be loaded and off to Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Once we off loaded we went straight to Hanover, Pennsylvania, for our reload back to our Brampton yard again. We then Bobtailed over to Weston , Ontario to collect our reload going to Halifax Nova Scotia, but we was dropping it at Woodstock, which was great for me as I could collect the keys for the new house while the truck was been serviced again. I even managed to have a very quick look before shooting off back to the truck to set off with our load going to Spartanburg, South Carolina. Its all go go go here…….

We dropped in Spartanburg , then noticed we was not suppose to be picking up till 3pm the following day. So as we was making plans to kill time dispatch told us to go straight down to load, which we was happy about because we only get paid when the truck is moving. So we get down there only to be told go away till 3pm tomorrow. I was asleep at that time as the plan was for me to start driving about 3am. It took Keith 2hr’s of driving to find a place to park that night, and that was not in a truck stop. Anyway the following day we managed to get loaded 3hr early and off we popped back up to Toronto, dropped the trailer at the customer then bobtailed to our yard in Brampton Toronto to collect our next trailer going to just outside Dallas Texas. I got there at 1am our time 11pm local time. It was still 25 degrees outside. The security guard said just back onto one of the bays and they will unload us at 6am. As I walked to the back of the trailer the chock the wheels all these great big bugs was hopping around. They was massive. Glad I don’t live down there. Once off loaded we went straight for our collection closer to downtown Dallas. That took so long to load my driving and working hours ran out so Keith had to drive out of Dallas. Now Keith is an Hillbilly, counrty bum. He can not stan been near any city. He would rather drive 100 miles out of his way to avoid a city so I said just follow the GPS and it will get you out safely. So whats he do, as soon as he seen a road name he did not like he totally ignored it, and guess what, we was heading straight into downtown . His face was a picture, panic set in I could not stop laughing calling him an hillbilly. It was so funny. Anyway I sat with him and directed him out using the map to keep him calm, and by the time I had got him back to the outer loop road, he had started to get colour back in his cheeks. How he has managed to keep away from the big cities in his 15 years driving I don’t know, but then again he said no loads normally go to inner cities so I guess that’s how. The is only Toronto but we go there all the time so I guess he is used to it but does not stop him complaining about how busy it is though. Anyway our collection was going to Toronto but we was going to be 12 hours early for delivery so we got to drop it in the Brampton yard for them to take it for delivery, while we switch for a trailer going to Montreal. Once unloaded we went to our drop yard there and switch for another going back to Dallas again. But I needed to be back in Woodstock in two days to clear my container and move into our new home before my wife and kids land on the 1st, so we just took that trailer to our Brampton yard where they had to unload it so we had an empty. 455 trailers on the fleet and not one empty to collect our load down the road going to Moncton New Brunswick, but we was just taking it to Woodstock where someone else would take it from there, so we could go and have a week off after been on the road for so long. Thats where i am now so will update you soon.

This is how they transport New Trucks

Long roads
Canada US Border near Winnipeg

Some of the lakes

Down Town Dallas

One of the tunnels through a mountain

Meet 766 International Eagle

854's Dash

My new cup which took place of the 2lt Bottles

Meet 826

Meet 854 Freightliner Cascadia

Not small hay

Where my 2lt Bottles go in the Freightliner Cascadia's

old fire engine

this town is wayyyyy behind the times
More of the Lakes

Indians are in town

If you think my truck is long at 73 Feetthis is 125 Feet long
houses in Quebec
Houses in Toronto

trains in Toronto

Holiday season

I guess these had too much luggage their car in there really

Montreal 1230am, do they ever go to bed?

The Obligatory Post About Ted Kennedy

I'm a huge fan on the movie "Shattered Glass", a film in which journalist Michael Kelly is portrayed as a brilliant editor for The New Republic magazine. After leaving TNR, Kelly went on to edit several other news and opinion journals and was eventually killed while covering the war in Iraq.
I immediately bought a copy of "Things Worth Fighting For", a collection of Kelly's collected journalism pieces. One of my favorites in the book is this gem, which was originally published in GQ. The link is much shorter than the original. I hope you'll go there and get back to me. It's pure, undiluted greatness.

Next, imagine if GW Bush had done this....

But, as Shakespeare said (or maybe it was Christopher Marlowe), the evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones. Here's Nick Gillespie, of Reason magazine on Kennedy's major accomplishment:

There is, buried deep within Kennedy's legislative legacy, a different set of policies worth exhuming and examining, precisely because they were truly a break with the normal way of doing business in Washington. During the 1970s, Kennedy was instrumental in deregulating the interstate trucking industry and airline ticket prices, two innovations that have vastly improved the quality of life in America even as—or more precisely, because—they pushed power out of D.C. and into the pocketbooks of everyday Americans. We are incalculably richer and better off because something like actual prices replaced regulatory fiat in trucking and flying. Because they do not fit the Ted Kennedy narrative preferred by his admirers and detractors alike, these accomplishments rarely get mentioned in stories about the late senator. But they are exactly the sort of legislation that we should be celebrating in his honor, and using as a model in today's debates about health care, education, and virtually every aspect of government action.

So at least he deregulated the trucking industry. I owe him a big one.

Here's a picture of him coming out of the swimming pool, shortly after killing somebody.

Multiple coats of high gloss Whitening to Instapundit for the collections of links.