Archive for July, 2008


Saturday, July 26th, 2008

When I brought this subject to the fore a few posts ago, its appearance was occasioned by several local readers of my novel, 3ACES, who professed puzzlement over the terms they were crashing into in their dash through the book. Of course, after nine years on the road as a long haul trucker, the terms were second nature to me…I had thought they would be largely self-explanatory, as most of them applied directly to the ongoing actions of the scenes in question…but to my readers, they remained a deep, dark mystery begging explanation. (more…)

AL GORE: 3 BILLION clean-up act…

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Sunday morning, on NBC’s MEET THE PRESS, Al Gore and Tom Brokaw softly traded punches on the energy crisis. Truth be told, both were pretty much on the same side: adherents for energy reform. If there was any argument, it was about how, when, and where which one of Mr. Gore’s many proposals might be carried out. (more…)

Prose With Panache…

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Last night, before turning out the light, I reached for an old friend–a copy of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ “Cross Creek.” Twenty years ago I made my first visit to her home, now a State Park. It’s just a little Florida ‘cracker’s’ farmstead near Cross Creek, on a back road southwest of Gainesville that runs over to Rte. 301 and the settlement of Island Grove. That first visit is graven in my mind: a sultry summer day following a rain shower; dripping vegetation; the rich smells of a deep south countryside at the juncture of two lakes mingling with the call of birds and the occasional growl from a restless ‘gator. (more…)

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)…

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

First of all–the definition of this medical mouthful: A psychological condition affecting those who’ve experienced a traumatizing or life-threatening event such as combat, natural disasters, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults.

Okay, so far as definitions go…. But let’s understand trauma as: An emotional shock following a stressful triggering event–sometimes leading to irrational or depressive thoughts or similar behavior.

Now it’s beginning to sound like something really nasty, eh? Well, it is; and depending on the triggering event, the effects can range in severity from mildly annoying to life-threatening; and at their terminal worst, suicide.

Who gets PTSD? It’s a matter of what you “saw”…or what sort of untoward action was visited on you-such as violent street crime, rape, or unspeakable bodily mutilation. No, this is not going to be nice. (more…)


Friday, July 4th, 2008

Well, it sorta ranges from a touch of Montanaese to a bit of Arkansasese …maybe just a general conglomeration of plain old Country and Western Americanese. And though not wholly the invention of the American trucker, their CB radios have surely propagated truck drivin’ lingo over the big roads and skinny byways of North America. Truckerese is sometimes incorrigable, usually dogged, and always evolving. As proper truck-speak, it’s not about to curl up and drift away.

Let’s take an example,”hand…” What do I mean by calling you “hand?” Well, that’s short for handy fellow. Likely a term you’d hear on a Montana ranch or out on the Texas prairie. Has a kind of negative connotation, doesn’t it? It’s almost friendly, yet can be “handed” out like a slap on the face. I frankly have no idea where “hand” came from. But some guy spouted it once on his CB; someone else liked it; and pretty soon it was all over the road. It does, however, rest a few notches above that Dispatch favorite–“bud.

Consider how fast a likable bit of slang can spread. In five days one driver can spread it coast to coast–North to South, East to West; and every driver that hears and likes it can joyously speed it on its way. Holy cow, talk about viral marketing!

For the neophyte, let me quickly list a few of the most common terms I heard during my 9 years of long haul driving. The story in my novel, 3 ACES, was set against a backdrop of the trucking industry in 1988; so in reading it, much of the truckerese you’ll likely stumble upon and puzzle over may have changed or disappeared by now:

“Appreciate it”… This one was worked to death. it’s a kind of thank you for any help offered a driver, either in person or over the truck radio.

“Bear”… A State cop, not a local. (more…)


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