Oklahoma has got some of the worst roads in the country. My eyeballs try to vibrate out of my head every time we cross that state, and it doesn’t mater which highway we are taking. There are some smooth spots, and I’m hoping once all the construction is done there will be more smooth spots. But, with the economy in the state its in, I don’t have high hopes for continued road maintenance.
In fact, I expect most of the roads in the country to get quite a bit bumpier. And I mean that in both the literal sense and the figurative. They say we are in a recovery, but I don’t see how when every month’s numbers are worse than the month before. If people don’t have jobs, they aren’t going to buy stuff, if businesses aren’t selling stuff they have to lay people off, or go out of business altogether. That means less people have money, and the cycle repeats. The less money people and businesses make, the less tax revenue the government gets to pay for things like unemployment benefits or road repairs.
The most optimistic news reports and blogs are calling for a stalled recovery, or a double dip recession. The most pessimistic for a Greatest Depression, or even complete economic collapse. If those are our options, I’d say we’re in for a rough ride over the next few years.
Or, maybe I’ve just been reading too many gloom and doom reports lately.
Maybe things will get better.
But I’m pretty sure they will get worse first.
On a lighter note, Mike had his hernia surgery and has recovered nicely. The three week break from driving was nice, too. But we’re back out and rolling as usual.
We got a few days off to visit with my folks down in Alabama, and that was fun.
We're rolling through Omaha, NE this morning in the pouring rain. Traffic is thick, nearly standing still. It's morning rush hour, and I don't understand why they call it that when no one is getting anywhere fast.
Kinda like the poor stranded airline passengers in Europe. I was glad to hear that things were going to start moving over there this morning, for both the people who were stuck, and for the sake of the world economy. It kind of drives home just how fragile our modern transportation and supply system is, though. This eruption is a baby eruption on the scale of volcanic activity, yet it has caused havoc for so many.
Mike and I have talked many times about how easily transportation in this country could be disrupted, and the serious consequences of such a disruption. So many businesses work on a Just-in-time system that a three day interruption of transport in this country could empty grocery store shelves, and bring manufacturing to a halt. Imagine going to a grocery store and finding the shelves empty, or a gas station that has no gas to pump. It's kinda scary to think about - almost enough to make you want to buy a survival cabin in Montana.
We live in a technological house of cards that could tumble with the slightest disruption. (Diesel shortages, volcanic eruptions, massive power failures caused by solar storms, category 5 hurricanes, oh my...)
Now, for most folks the solution isn't too difficult. Keep your pantry full of non-perishable foods, make sure you've got an alternate way to heat your home and cook if the power fails, plant a garden, etc... There are hundreds of books dedicated to survival in just such a situation. And even if you don't anticipate the collapse of civilization as we know it, it's smart to be prepared for local emergencies like tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and such.
But what do you do if you're stuck on the road a thousand miles from home when disaster strikes? Do you just hang out and hope it gets sorted out soon by the Powers That Be? Considering how our government handled things in New Orleans after Katrina I don't have much confidence in them being able to handle a nation wide catastrophe. I'm sure there are perfectly competent individuals in FEMA and the other disaster response agencies, but the monstrous bureaucratic system ties their hands in too many ways for them to be effective. No, I have the feeling that we'd be pretty much on our own.
But hey, I always try to look at the bright side. A cross country hike or bicycle ride on lean rations would be just what I need to take the extra weight off.
On an unrelated side note - I want to know who it was who thought stainless steel toilets in Nevada rest areas was a good idea. Northern Nevada gets cold. When you first walk into the rest area the heater is turned up to about 90 degrees and it feels like your're walking into a sauna. Then you find out why. Those metal toilets. Feels like frostbite on your nether-regions. And they get even colder when they auto-flush while you're still sitting on them.
We're sitting in Pennsylvania this weekend. The cold weather and snow followed us across the country from California, made us late on our delivery Friday, and threw off our whole schedule. But, we didn't end up in a ditch, which is more than I can say for quite a few unlucky drivers whose rigs we passed on our trip east.
December was pretty busy for us, we ran back to back loads from Omaha to Orlando and back again almost all month. My diet got derailed due to the hard schedule we had to keep, but I'm back on it now, and have lost another 3 lbs for a total loss of 18 lbs since late October.
I'll try to keep up with my updates on a more regular basis this year.
Blogs I Read
Dear Mark: Roundup Safety and Polyamory to Monogamy - For today’s edition of Dear Mark , I’m covering two entirely different topics. The first is a fairly familiar topic to readers of this blog—whether a pop...1 hour ago
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