Monday, June 27, 2016

Give 'Em A Brake!

I’m sure I’m not alone in my dislike of construction zones. But since I drive over 700 miles a day, I probably despise it more than the average person. They slow me down, making my day longer. Especially, this year.

There are currently seven construction zones on my route, with the speed limit reduced to 50 mph. That may not sound like a lot and I’m continually told by construction types that they only slow me down for a few minutes and then I can be on my way. That is true. But the problem is I don’t just make one pass through. So for me, it becomes a little more protracted. I make two round trips through each of these zones. That means the seven construction zones have become 28. That’s how many times I have to slow down and I usually wait behind traffic about half of the time. It generally adds an hour, or more, to my day. You can see why construction is one of my many pet peeves.

It helps to keep a sense of humor—otherwise, I’d just be upset all the time. Thankfully, the level of intelligence of those in charge of said construction makes that fairly easy. For instance, one day this past week, I was chugging along down he road when I noticed the dreaded familiar orange signs in the distance—more construction! Yay! Like the seven I had already weren’t enough. Wondering what they had decided to “fix” now, I kept driving—like I really had a choice in the matter; this is the only road I can use in this particular area.

The first sign I passed was a lighted reader board that advised me the left lane was closed two miles ahead. Okay, that’s no big deal. There are two lanes on the freeway after all. I’m driving a slow truck and usually stay in the right lane anyway. But then, not more than a half-mile further, I see a sign that says right lane closed ahead.

So, of course, I’m driving along thinking that someone messed up. Obviously, one of the signs was wrong. But which one? Figuring I’d take a wait-and-see approach, I kicked off my cruise at the 50 mph sign and continued on, a little amused by it all.

And then, rounding the next corner, I’m greeted by this:
         


Really? I thought. Both lanes are now closed for construction? I guess that wouldn’t surprise me considering the convoluted methods they sometimes use. But almost immediately, I knew it couldn’t be. I was traveling on a busy freeway and if both lanes were indeed close ahead, I felt pretty confident I would have already been in the resulting traffic backup—and I wasn’t.

By this time, I can see the orange and white barrels ahead, lined up down the shoulders. Yep, BOTH shoulders. And then I saw the workers. Well, two of them. They were standing on the side of the road, engaged in what appeared to be quite an animated discussion, oblivious to the traffic whizzing by. Both were shouting (I assume, since I couldn’t really hear them inside the truck but their lips were moving rapidly and their red faces going through all sorts of contortions), both were shaking their heads forcefully, and they were wildly gesturing, pointing in what looked like all directions. I got the distinct impression there had been some miscommunication somewhere along the line. A miscommunication that had for the moment left both lanes OPEN! That worked for me! Except that meant I’d had to slow down to 50 mph for nothing. But that was okay. Just this once anyway. It had allowed me a better view and a little more time to enjoy the show as I passed.

The entertaining diversion didn’t last long though. By my next trip through, they had figured it out—at least I think they had. There still were no lanes shut down but the signs had been changed. They now read, “Shoulder Work Ahead.” But that may have had nothing to do with any construction. It might have simply been to allow the workers to finish their argument in relative safety. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Patent Pending

I’ve never actually filed for a patent. There’s a good reason for that; I’ve never invented anything. Wait! That’s not quite true. But I don’t think combining two different steak sauces to make my own special blend really counts!

Still, the fact that I’ve never come up with anything deserving of a patent didn’t stop the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office from sending me a letter. A letter to inform me that my patent application had been received and recorded. My patent was now pending, it said. They even gave me a number. Great! I only wish I knew what it was for!

I found the whole thing a little more than odd. Don’t they require a patent attorney for such things? And wouldn’t they send all correspondence through the attorney? Maybe not, I guess, because after all, I did get the letter.

Perhaps they were just making everything ready in anticipation of some forthcoming invention—something I have yet to conceive or devise. Or not. That would require a remarkable level of efficiency. And I’ve never seen anything run by the government that’s even remotely efficient.

Obviously, they had the wrong Bruce Borders. They apparently got Bruce the inventor, mixed up with Bruce the truck driver/author/artist/songwriter/dental technician—among a few other things. But I didn’t feel any compulsory need to tell them that. Not my responsibility. How they got my name, I’ll never know. Even more baffling is how they came up with my address for this other “me.” I’ll never know that either.

This was quite a few years ago and no, I never contacted them or responded to the letter. I just threw it in the trash. I didn’t figure my effort would do any good and it wasn’t really my problem anyway. Besides, I didn’t want to encourage them in their incompetence. No doubt, I’d still be trying to convince them they had the wrong guy! (Yes, I’ve dealt with government agencies before and they all seem to operate under the same erroneous assumption—that they never make mistakes).

I never heard anything else and I suppose they eventually located the right Bruce Borders. But, who knows? I could still wind up making a fortune off “my” invention—whatever it is. I’ve heard these things take time. Maybe it’s still pending. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

50 Years!

Today is my anniversary—and my wife’s too! Strange how that works. We’ve been married 29 years and while that may seem like a long time, it sort of pales in comparison to another couple, namely; my wife’s parents. They celebrated their 50th annivesary this past Saturday. 50 years! That’s longer than I’ve been alive!

What’s a little scary is when I first met them they’d only been maried 17 years. Not that 17 years isn’t commendable but compared to 50... Well, you see why I said “only” 17 years.

Unfortunately, my wife and I live 2000 miles away so we couldn’t be there this weekend but we plan to celebrate with them later this summer. The plan is for their entire family to attend; children, grandchildren, great granchildren, as well as the many spouses who have been accumulated. I’m looking forward to getting together and seeing everyone. I know that’s not the stereotypical thing to say—in-laws notoriously do not get along. But I’m not the typical stereo playing the same old tired song—I actually like my in-laws. Really!

When I moved to Wisconsin, away from my family and everyone I knew, they became like family to me; a second set of parents. They always treated me like a son and for that I am grateful.

In the many years I have known them, they have always been selfless and strong, supportive of each other, and even tempered; it’s no surprise they made it to 50 years. These days, not many couples make it to 10 years, much less 50. Just wanted to say congratulations to them and acknowledge their accomplishment. Happy (now belated) Anniversary! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Trains Or Trucks

It’s no secret there’s no love lost between the trucking industry and the railroad. Being a truck driver, it’s obvious which side I’m on in this grand debate over which mode of transportation is better, safer, more reliable, etc. The railroad types are continually telling me that trains are the safest, most reliable, far more efficient than trucks, better for the environment, and do not cause traffic problems like major backups or accidents.

Um, yeah, sure. I suppose that’s why I’m currently sitting here on a two-lane highway, at a dead stop! Actually, the reason I’m sitting here, as I have been for the last six hours, is because on the other side of the river, where the freeway is, and where I normally drive, there is a huge fire, which has produced at least one explosion, and has closed the freeway as well as caused an entire town to be evacuated.

What is on fire? Well, a lot of things, trees, wooden bridges, and maybe even a few buildings. Oh yeah, and an oil tanker. A train oil tanker. That’s literally adding fuel to the fire! Not only is the train burning but it has derailed as well, taking out a lot of track, bridges, and other structures.

So, here I am, along with what looks like about a million other people who made the mistake of wanting to go somewhere on this Friday afternoon, at a standstill due to the massive traffic jam—thanks to the train. It’s taken me six hours to get here, and “here” is exactly twenty miles from where I started this detour.

So, tell me again, dear railroad people, how trains are better, safer, and more reliable. And as for being environmentally friendly, I doubt the fish are convinced of that at this point—not after swimming in burning oil-laced water and then being doused with flame retardant.

I do have to give the railroad credit though. They are on the ball. It only took them a matter of a few hours to bring in all the necessary equipment and supplies to repair the tracks and bridges. They’re ready to fix things and get the trains rolling again—well, as soon as the fire gets put out. There are thousands of railroad ties, loads of rock, and rails, along with bulldozers, backhoes, and a various assortment of other heavy equipment. All the needed supplies and equipment is lined up down the nearby exits and on ramps and down both sides of the freeway. Yep, the freeway. On TRUCKS! They had it TRUCKED in. But then, how else were they going to get it on site? The railroad is sort of, well, gone. The trucks are still running though! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

The Cost Of Freedom

Memorial Day. The day America remembers those who have died while serving in the armed forces. Those who died in war. Those who gave their life for freedom. And there have been a LOT—over 1.3 million to date. This includes all wars since the Revolutionary War but that is still a huge amount of people. That is the cost of freedom.

More than 1.3 million lives. And every single one of them had a family. They were someone’s son or daughter. Maybe a husband, a father, or brother; a wife, mother, or sister. An uncle or aunt, niece or nephew. The point is, the loss of these lives reaches even farther that the 1.3 million. A lot farther. The impact has been heartbreaking for many families who lost a love one. That is the cost of freedom.

1.3 million people who never reached their full potential in life. 1.3 million people who never got to pursue their dreams. Never got to watch their children grow up—or see their parents grow old. They never had a chance to experience all the world has to offer. And never had the opportunity to enjoy the freedom they fought for. That is the cost of freedom.

And that’s why we have Memorial Day. A day to remember those who sacrificed, those who gave their all—and then some. But one day doesn’t really come close to being adequate. It seems so insignificant in light of the price that has been paid by so many; especially since so many individuals these days do not appear to care. They take their freedom and life of ease for granted. As for me, I choose to remember the price that is the cost of freedom.

Just something to ponder as you go about your fun-filled holiday; that is, the cost of freedom. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Sounds Like Work

I’ve never liked taking my vehicles to a shop to be fixed and most of the time, over the years, I’ve worked on them myself. However, a couple of weeks ago when my pickup started making an odd noise, and having a little vibration, I didn’t want to deal with it—for a lot of reasons; I’m getting older, it’s harder to work on vehicles these days, I never seem to have the right tools anymore, and it was raining. Besides, I just really didn’t want to work on it.

So, I took the pickup to a local shop. After telling them what it was doing and when it would occur, I went home to get some sleep, thinking the over-inflated cost of the mechanics might just be worth it this time. I’d sleep while they worked. An ingenious plan.

Well, things rarely work out so easily.

Later that afternoon, I called to see what they had found and was told they’d found nothing wrong. The truck made no noise and had no vibration, they said. “Probably just normal creaks and rough roads. Replace your shocks and it’ll be fine.”

I’d barely made it onto the street before the loud popping noise and the vibration returned. But since I was on my way to work, I didn’t take it back. I spent the next several days, looking for loose parts on the suspension—among other things. And on the weekend, I put new shocks on, front and back. It didn’t help. And the problem seemed to be growing worse. It now felt as if the left front wheel was going to fall right off.

After a few more days, the noise and grinding sound didn’t just come and go; it persisted. And the wheel became wobblier. So, I made a return trip to the shop, figuring this time they surely would be able to find something amiss. But no. Even though I was riding with the mechanic who drove it, and could feel and hear what I had described to him, he didn’t and said there was nothing wrong. We even took it back to the shop and raised it on a hoist. Examining underneath, I made sure things were tight—and they seemed to be. I mentioned the possibility of it being a hub but the guy dismissed my suggestion. Obviously, I had no idea what a hub going out sounds or feels like—at least that was what I got from our conversation. It had to be something on the suspension, he said. And then he sprayed some lubricant on all the bushings and connections, telling me that should fix it.

Well, I’m a little stubborn and since I had checked the suspension myself, I wasn’t convinced that was the problem. Still believing it was a hub going out, and not wanting my wheel to come flying off while driving down the highway at 70 mph, I checked some prices and found the cost would be around $500.00 to have a shop replace it.

Well, that was way too much, especially since I wasn’t sure if it would even fix my problem. So, purchasing a new hub, back home I went.

Thanks to the number miles on the pickup and stubborn parts that didn’t want to come off, working on it was a pain. But a few days and several new tools later, I finally put it all back together and... it works! No thumps and pops, no vibration and grinding noises! It’s a nice feeling when that happens. Even nicer when I have the opportunity to go tell a mechanic he was wrong! And after the looks I got when I suggested the hub might be the problem, you can bet I’ll be making a special trip down to tell them!

My experience wasn’t totally without reward, however. I did get some new tools out of the deal—and had the chance to spend quite a few hours lying on the hard concrete, in the rain! You can’t beat that! Well, I could have I guess, if the shop had fixed it in the beginning, like I’d intended. But it turns out my dad was right—again—if you want something done right, do it yourself! It’s usually cheaper. Even with buying the new tools, I didn’t spend the $500.00 they wanted to charge. I think they just wanted to make a few extra bucks off of me. Then again, maybe the mechanics suffered from the same symptoms I had—and they really just didn’t want to work on it. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Walking The Line

As a truck driver who covers thousands of miles per week, I’m treated to all sorts of scenes on the road. Some are pretty, like snow-covered mountains, cascading waterfalls, and slow-moving rivers. Some are funny, such as the time I saw a Volkswagen Bug pulling a huge U-Haul trailer. Others are puzzling; a tire perched precariously atop an exit sign—yes, I have seen that. But a few are downright creepy. Morbid.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I was traveling down the freeway, minding my own business—sort of—when I got passed by a State Patrol. He was following right behind another car and I kept waiting for him to pull them over but the lights didn’t come on.

Both cars soon disappeared into the night but then a ways ahead; I saw the red and blue lights start flashing. I watched as the lights came to a stop on the side of the road and assumed he had stopped the car he’d been following. But as I neared the location, I noticed there was no other vehicle in front of the cop. I had only a brief moment to wonder why the officer had made a stop of himself before his spotlight came on. And there, fully illuminated on the shoulder of the road, was a body! Yes, we’re talking a human body, a male. He was lying facedown on the side of the road, just off the fog line. (The white line on the right for you non-professional drivers).

Later, I learned the man had been struck while walking; a hit and run. Obviously, he had not survived.

I know sometimes walking down a freeway is necessary but why anyone would do it when there is no reason, especially at night is beyond me—I’ve seen the way people drive! Actually, when traveling at freeway speeds, it is extremely difficult to see people on the road at night. Yet, quite frequently, somebody is out there walking down the line. In fact, as I was thinking about writing this blog post, I saw one who must have had a death wish of his own.

I was traveling through a construction zone, a single lane with concrete barriers on either side. And there he was, a man who acted as if he had not a care in the world, slowly ambling along, reading a newspaper. He didn’t seem to flinch as multiple trucks and cars flew past barely a foot away.

Like I said, I know walking down the freeway may, at times, be necessary, but please, do me a favor. If you find yourself in a situation that requires hoofing it on the highway, walk on the other side of the guardrail—or at least far enough away from where my trailer could clip you if the wind happens to be blowing. I could do without all the extra paperwork! Thanks.

Oh, and the fool who was calmly standing in the lane mere inches from death? I heard from another driver that the police had showed up soon after I’d gone by and they’d apparently “explained” the situation to him and then escorted him out of the construction area. But, about five hours later, when I made my return trip, there he was again, strolling down the road, halfway in my lane. As I passed him, I’m sure I saw his lips moving, and his body was swaying back and forth rhythmically, almost as if he were singing. And maybe he was—his death song, I presume! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

A Driving Hunger

While making my rounds of 700+ miles per day in the big truck—semi for those who may think a “big truck” refers to a monster truck—I occasionally get hungry. Actually, I pretty much STAY hungry these days. That’s because I’ve decided I probably shouldn’t eat anything and everything in sight all night long as I drive. (Not if I do not want to look like the typical truck driver anyway). But a guy can only take so much hunger, and once in a while, I treat myself to a meal.

Truck stop food being what it is—overpriced bland sustenance that leaves you feeling half sick—I try to go to an actual restaurant when possible. Not a sit-down restaurant; there’s no time for that since I need to keep moving. (No miles equals no pay and I haven’t yet figured out how to live without money)! So, I visit the fast food places like McDonald’s. Some would suggest that McDonald’s food is no better than truck stop food but I beg to differ—I happen to LIKE McDonald’s!

But I also like a little variety and there’s a very good chicken place on my run—southern style fried chicken with all of the fixin’s! The food is delicious, the service is good—well, the people are friendly anyway. The service WOULD be good if I could ever get what I ordered. That, is sometimes a chore.

I prefer white meat and I always specify ALL white meat. The person taking my order acknowledges my request, it’s even printed on my receipt. But somewhere between taking my order and filling it, there is a disconnect. Out of the nearly ten years I’ve been stopping there, I think I’ve gotten only white meat about three times. Usually, I end up with a breast and a thigh. Sometimes, a breast and a leg. And once in a while, no white meat at all.

I’ve decided this has more to do with ignorance than incompetence—no one has bothered to teach the younger employees which pieces are white and which are dark. At least that WAS my theory.

I stopped in for some chicken the other day and was glad when the manager, an older and seemingly competent woman, took my order—and then worked on filling it herself. Maybe this time, they’ll get it right, I thought. But my hope was short-lived. I opened my box to find two thighs.

I’ve considered offering all their employees classes on white meat vs. dark meat. Or maybe making up a little chart for them, with pictures—for all the Facebook conditioned people who NEED a visual aid. But they probably aren’t interested in my input. And even if I managed to educate one or two of them, with a fairly high turnover rate, I’d never be able to keep up and still would probably not get what I ordered. So, I guess I’ll just stick to driving a truck. And stay hungry! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Loads Of Fun

I really should be folding laundry right now... but I had a blog to write. There are several loads, four I think, just waiting. They’ve been waiting a while so a little longer won’t matter, right? Hope not, ’cause I have a blog to write.

So, why do I have laundry waiting? Well, because my wife didn’t do it. Seriously. But then again, neither did I. (I’m not really that mean of a guy). While my wife does do most of the laundry, she is a busy woman. Very busy. Sometimes, (a lot of the time, actually) other things are more pressing than the laundry. So, I try to help. Not just with the laundry but other chores as well. Not nearly as often as I should, but occasionally—when I think of it anyway. Hey, I’m a busy person too!

This past weekend was busier than usual for us; we had three parties to attend, birthdays and retirement, as well as other things to do, so not all of the household chores got done. So, here it is Sunday night, it’s just the two of us, she’s sleeping and I’m the only one up. Well, me and the dogs but so far, they haven’t offered to help. So, I decided I would fold the laundry, all four loads. But first, I needed to write a blog.

But then, now that I think about it, perhaps I shouldn’t fold any of it at all. Because my wife did have some time that she could have spent doing it. Instead, she chose to, well, play games apparently.

My son was visiting this weekend and he brought along some laundry. He does his own, he just takes advantage of the opportunity to use our washer and dryer when he visits because Laundromats are expensive. He had a few loads that were done but not folded—being a normal guy, he doesn’t see any reason to fold the laundry—and while he was out visiting friends, my wife “helped” him out. Now, I mentioned he does his own laundry. That is by choice; he doesn’t really want his mother to do it. In fact, he would actually prefer she NOT do it. So, just to bug him a little, and being a typical mom, she folded his clothes.

Yes, he was duly agitated when he returned and saw his basket with the neatly folded clothes. “Mom folded my laundry,” he said with a shake of his head and just a hint of disgust. “Why would she do that?”

“She’s your mom,” I said.

That didn’t satisfy him and seeing our overflowing baskets, I could almost read his mind as he wondered why she would fold his clothes and not hers and mine. For a minute, I thought he might dump the clothes and unfold them but I’m sure he realized that would be pointless. Although, he did make sure to tell her what he thought about it.

Of course, his complaints fell on deaf ears. Well, not entirely deaf ears. She did smile and laugh. I think it made her happy to fold his clothes again, even if it did irk him.

I considered telling him he would understand when he was a mom but somehow I don’t see that happening. I think it’s more likely my dogs will start helping with the chores.

Okay, blog’s done. I’m off to fold the laundry now. ~


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Going For A Ride

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a kid again? Just forget about the daily grind, the concerns and responsibilities that go along with being an adult. To laugh, to play, and relax. To just have fun.        

Had the opportunity to join my two-year-old grandson at a carnival this past weekend. My family, me included, love the rides. Even after I got older and the bumpy, jarring effects punish my body, I still like them. I just don’t get to go on them as much anymore. But, back to the grandkid.

His mother and I took him to ride the rides. He was so excited; he could hardly stand to wait in line. And when we got on the first ride, the Berry-Go-Round, he sat waiting for it to start with a serene look of happy anticipation. “This is going to be SO fun!” he said. And it was. As were the rest of the rides. We went on several. And no, he didn’t want to leave. Truth be told, neither did I, but with the high cost of amusement these days, we couldn’t afford to stay all day and night. See, there I am being an adult again; worried about paying for our adventure!

On our way back to the car, we saw, or actually, the grandkid saw, they were giving pony rides. Of course, he wanted to ride and yes, we let him—with grandpa walking alongside in case he forgot to hold on or suddenly decided something on the ground was more interesting. He was fine but you never know, the kid is only two after all.

It has been a few years since I’ve been to a carnival—my kids are no longer small and thus, I lost my excuse to go—and I’d forgotten how much fun it is. I’m not sure who had a better time, the grandkid, or me. (His Mom may just have been in the running too). But more than being fun, it was relaxing—and exhilerating at the same time. Rejuvenating. And, rather refreshing to forget about everything else and just have a good time. In a way, I guess I was a kid again—for an hour or two anyway! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Fire Starter

I think I’m going to have to quit my job—so I can stay home and keep an eye on my wife. It may be the only way to keep my house intact. I might be only half serious but that half is what concerns me.

Got a call from her the other day and she told me she’d started another fire. Now, we don’t have a fireplace or a wood stove. The fire she started was in the oven. Problem is, we don’t have a wood cook stove either—just a normal electric range. And this was an actual fire. Another problem is, this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Over the years, she’s had a habit of creating some of the most unusual fires; for instance, the time she caught a pot of water on fire. Yep, water.

It had been a while since her last episode and I thought perhaps her firebug tendencies had abated. But, no. The bug had apparently just been lying dormant. Until the other day.

The fire in the oven was the element. That’s not good. Elements are, by design, not supposed to burn. The makers of our stove obviously haven’t met my wife. This one was definitely burning, she said—with flames.

At first, I thought it was probably only grease or food that had collected on the element and then burned off. But no, the element burned up and no longer works. So, I spent a few minutes finding the model number and then ordered a new one. In a few days, the stove will be good as new—and all ready for my wife!

I shouldn’t really be surprised, at her preclevity for burning things I suppose. After all, her name is Brenda, which means “firebrand.” I always assumed that was figurative and referred to her demeanor or readiness to “discuss” things passionately. But obviously, with her it is quite literal!

To be fair, she didn’t burn anything else and she got the fire out but, well, I’d still feel better if I could find a way to make money from home. It may not be safe to leave her alone! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Overweight, Again

As regular readers of this blog know, I am a truck driver in my “real” life. I haul bulk garbage from the city to the desert in a semi, usually around 70,000 pounds per trip. And just in case anyone is wondering, that is a LOT of garbage. Fortunately, I do not dump it, or load it for that matter. All I do is drive the truck, drop the trailer, and then go get another load.

Due to sudden braking or other driving-related causes, the wet garbage can sometimes shift, and over the years, I’ve had my share of overweight fines. Normally, the loads are pre-weighed and legal—we don’t have to scale the truck, we just drive. If there is a problem, the company pays the ticket, since the driver has no way of knowing if the weight is legal or not. Because the company pays and the ticket doesn’t go on the driver’s record, we don’t really get too excited about it. The only thing I don’t like is that it costs me time. For some reason, the DOT is never concerned with my time, though.

About a week ago, I was thinking that it had been a while since I’d had a ticket. I shouldn’t have been thinking, I guess, because last Friday, I had the privilege of getting pulled into the scales on the freeway and then told to park and bring my papers—like I was in a foreign country or something. Once inside the building, I got to chat with the guy about how I was (apparently, single-handedly) responsible for the rutted condition of the roads. Nevermind the fact that if my company, or any company, wanted to haul more weight all they have to do is pay a little more money and the extended weight permit is amended to allow for whatever weight they want or need. So, it’s not really about the roads, but as most things with government are, it’s the money.

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox and back to the story... Turns out, my entire truck was not overweight, just the drivers—the wheels on the tractor—they were 2,300 pounds over the limit. The trailer was about 3000 pounds underweight, which meant the load had obviously shifted. I was given a citation and instructed to legalize my load before leaving. Great! There was just one problem with that.

Most semis have the ability to move the weight around using sliding tandems or fifth wheels. The trucks at my job have neither. Which meant the only way for me to legalize my load was to back up as fast as I could get going and then slam on the brakes. This technique is sort of frowned upon by the DOT. Not that they care about the truck or the load, they are only concerned with the damage it may do to their lot! That didn’t concern me much; what I was concerned with is getting home on a Friday night. But as you can imagine, this method of moving the weight around is far from a scientific approach. It took several re-weighs before I was legal. Finally, an hour after pulling into the scale I was on my way.

But then, just before hitting the freeway, I HAD to hit my brakes—pretty hard too. And I felt the load come rushing back to the front of the trailer. So after an hour, and a citation, nothing had changed; I was right back to being overweight on the drivers! But I wouldn’t have done that on purpose—would I? ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

My Happy Birthday

By the time anyone reads this it’ll be over but as I’m writing, it’s my birthday. My 49th birthday to be exact. Not that the number is too important. It’s not like a big milestone or anything.

I should preface this with clarifying that I had a good day and I really didn’t mind the events as much as this post might make it sound...  It started with being awakened by my two-year-old grandson. When he learned it was my birthday, he was ready for a party and extremely disappointed when we told him I wasn’t having one. “I will give you a party,” he said. I explained that after people get older they really don’t get gifts and have a party; that we do that for kids. The look he gave me said he thought that was not a very good plan but he went with it.

Later, one of my daughters, and an “adopted” daughter, announced their plans to take me to lunch. But first, my wife wanted to make a quick trip to the store. Everyone—except me—went with her; I stayed home to wait. That was taking quite a chance, women and shopping, you know!

But true to their word, they returned just a few minutes later. It was then I learned how my day was going to go.

In the back of the vehicle was a big box. Apparently, my wife had found a deal—a motorized kid’s car. The price tag said it was regularly $149.99 but it had been on sale. And at just $37.00, my wife couldn’t pass it up. She was happy she’d been able to make the purchase.

But me, I saw immediately what was printed on the box: “Contains 71 parts. Requires assembly.” The reason it was so cheap because the rest of the husbands had gone with their wives to the store and said, “Don’t buy that.” But I wasn’t there to issue the words of caution.

So, after a nice meal, we returned home and I set to work. The task went about as expected for a Made in China product; deciphering directions, figuring out what they meant by phrases like “the fastener,” and then figuring out how to really put it together when what they had didn’t work.

The process took about two and a half hours! But I did get it done and yes, it runs! Unfortunately, my grandson had to leave before it was finished. He’ll be back Monday evening and I’m sure he’ll be running the battery dead—about four hours according to the specifications. The bad part is, I’ll be at work. The good news is, my wife will be home and it will fall to her to chase the kid driving the car, until the battery gives out—in an estimated four hours! But maybe then she’ll reconsider next time she sees something to buy that requires assembly!

Oh, before my grandson left he felt compelled to inform me that even though I’d said I wouldn’t be getting presents, I DID get one—the car! I said the car was his. He so sweetly replied, “But YOU get to put it together!” Yeah. Happy Birthday to me! ~



Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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