July 22, 2010


Thirteen years ago today, my husband, Dustin, was in a horrible car accident.  Dustin and his sister, Shannon, were nearly home when a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit their car head on.  The impact of the crash killed Shannon instantly.  She was only 21 years old and had only been married for 10 months.  Dustin miraculously survived and had a quick physical recovery.

For six years, I worked for a large oil company.  I worked closely with numerous trucking companies and drivers.  I learned the business.  I know the rules companies and drivers need to abide by.  The rules are simple, clear and only exist for the safety of the driver and other people on the road.

Drivers are not paid by the hour.  They are paid by the mile.  And, because the rules specifically state drivers should not be on the road for more than a certain amount of hours per day, abiding by the rules could mean earning less money.

Insert driver log fraud.

Drivers are required to document how long they drive, where they stop to get fuel, etc.  However, it is common knowledge in the trucking industry that many drivers have two sets of logs:  the logs they use if they are pulled over by the police (or any other official that could punish them for inaccurate logs) and logs they use to get a paid check.

Other parts of the industry are aware of this type of deception, and, out of greed, cater to it.  For example, truckstops that supply fuel for the drivers (like Flying J or Travel Centers of America) do NOT put time stamps on their receipts (the next time you're at a place like that, check out your receipt.  Even if you're just buying a candy bar, you won't see a time stamp).  Do you see the issue?  Without that time stamp, when a driver is on the road the only record of his time is what he puts in the log, allowing him/her to get away with breaking the rules should he/she get pulled over during their route.

Now, don't get me wrong, just because the time stamp is not printed on the receipt does not mean there is not an electronic time stamp somewhere in the system.  There are ways to get the actual time drivers' fueled.  And, the Department of Transportation (DOT) do audit trucking companies regularly to make sure the rules are being followed.  But, getting an electronic time stamp is a long, time-consuming process.  Things could be regulated so much easier if the time were on the receipt.  There is WAY too much room for deception.

 The driver that caused Shannon's death and nearly killed Dustin had been on the road for close to 72 hours.  He never apologized for his crime.  His sentence consisted of 30 days in jail and the loss of his CDL.  Our family has since learned he is driving a truck again.

I know there are good drivers out there.  I know there are drivers that take pride in their work, follow the rules and are concerned about others on the road.  I know the trucking industry is important, and we rely on it more than we probably realize.  But, that doesn't mean we can't demand more of the drivers.

I encourage all of you to learn more about this industry.  If you are on the road and see a driver going too fast or being wreckless, contact the company.  The number is usually on the truck.  If you tell the company where you were, what time you saw the driver, etc., they should be able to find out who the driver was.  Here are two sites that I recommend viewing.  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Parents Against Tired Truckers.

Knowledge is power.  The more people get involved and demand honest, ethical trucking companies, the safer the roads will be for all of us.

July 12, 2010


Today Kathie at Just a Happy Housewife gave me the Sugar Doll award.  I thought it was so nice of her to think of me, and I was really excited to be recognized!

Once you have received the Sugar Doll award, you have to follow... 

A Few Rules

1.  Thank the person that gave you the award
2.  Share 10 things about yourself
3.  Pass this award onto 10 bloggers you recently discovered and think are fantastic
4.  Contact the bloggers and let them know you picked them for the award

10 Things About Me

1.  I'm left-handed
2.  I play the violin
3.  I earned a Bachelor's degree in Family Studies
4.  I grew up in Utah
5.  One of my favorite pastimes is browsing iTunes for new music
6.  Dr. Pepper is my drink of choice
7. 30 Rock is my favorite comedy TV show
8.  I enjoy doing the laundry
9.   My 5 year anniversary is only 22 days away
10. My favorite color is black

  Pass this award along
I haven't discovered 10 new blogs recently, so I'll just name a few.
Cheap Wine and Cookies
Diamond Potential
 Stuff I Think About

Thanks again for the award Kathie!

July 6, 2010


Tracy:  "I'm gonna make you a mixed tape.  You like Phil Collins?"
Jack:  "I've got two ears and a heart, don't I?"
-30 Rock

During my high school days, I used to make mixed tapes for my friends.  I had such a fun time putting these together and I think, for the most part, people enjoyed getting them.

I also loved GETTING mixed tapes (or CDs, as the years evolved).  It was always interesting listening to each song and wondering why the person picked that song to be on the tape.  Of course, sometimes it was a little pathetic how much I could read into the songs.  

I remember one such experience.  

A guy I was dating made me a mixed CD.  It was during a confusing time in our relationship.  Our commitment to each other was kind of up in the air, and I was pretty certain he was ready to move on.  Then came the mixed CD.  It was full of a lot of really great songs, songs that were about love, but not in a cheesy way.  Given I knew this guy really well and the songs he chose weren't what I expected, I began to wonder how he felt about us.  But, then I thought more about it, thought more about this guy and things suddenly clicked:  he was messing with me.  Oddly enough, it didn't bother me.  One of the reasons I liked him so much was because of his sense of humor and his incredibly ability to get under my skin.  People don't usually have that effect on me, so when they do, I take notice.  So, I called him on it and we both got a good laugh out it.

In the end, I was the one that left him. 

So, are mixed tapes/CDs a thing of the past?  Am I the only one that still think they are cool?  Do people still enjoying making or receiving them?  Is it time for me to move past the awesomeness of mixed tapes?


July 1, 2010


"UR V8K8SH1 iz baqon."
-Text message from Cerie to Liz Lemon, 30 Rock

In case any of you can't decipher the above, it is an abbreviation for "Your vacation is back on."  I'm a huge 30 Rock fan.  I have quoted the show a few different times on this blog.  If you're not watching 30 Rock on NBC begin immediately.

Today's thought is about texting.  I'm a big fan of texting.  I like sending random texts to my friends and family.  It's just a fun thing for me to do during the day.  Plus, texts about small items of business like, "What do you want for dinner?" come in handy when I want to get ahold of my husband while he is at work.

While texting is really convenient and fast, it can sometimes be difficult to type out everything you want to say as if you were typing an e-mail or writing with a pen on a piece of paper (do people still do that anymore?).  Insert:  text abbreviations.  It seems as though any and all words have some sort of abbreviation in the world of texting.  Why spell out "you" when you can just type "u?"  Makes sense, right?  It's easier, faster and everyone knows what you're talking about.

So, why do I have such a hard time doing it?

I'm seriously OCD when it comes to how I send a text.  I can't abbreviate.  It annoys me.  For the most part, I spell everything out, and if I don't, I cringe as I hit "send."  

Of course, there are a few exceptions, like LOL.  Who doesn't use LOL?

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