Sunday, March 26, 2017

Of further service...

Truckman's self-imposed absence here has led to angst and consternation among those readers who find it difficult to navigate life's pathways without the guiding light of Truckman showing the way...They need fear not as Truckman will resume his duty to humankind shortly...In the meantime, while converting his digitally produced wisdom to the printed page, Truckman has also composed a lexicon of terms used here which may be unfamiliar to some readers...

Being the magnanimous publisher that he is, Truckman has published it here also as another added benefit to his readership...Ignoring the profound advice given by WC Fields to "never smarten up a chump," Truckman instead feels that anything that increases the sum total of man's knowledge also benefits mankind...This newly published glossary can be found by clicking the "Glossary" button found under the main heading banner on any page of this blog...

You're welcome...

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Friday, March 17, 2017

The natural progression...

Progress is often thought of as a circle, as we seem to pass the same landmarks in our journeys toward our goals...We begin new directions in our lives, clearly seeing in our minds' eyes that point where our future joy waits gleefully for us...Knowing what we want, we make a beeline toward it, knowing that our headlong rush will soon culminate in the answer to all our dreams, big or small...

Then as we madly plunge in what we know instinctively is the right direction, we also know of the small details that must be attended before journey's end...We realize the goal may be an optical illusion, only seeming to be so close, and so clear...Life must be sustained in the meantime, as this may take a bit longer than we first anticipated...And look! There's a shiny penny we may as well pick up along the way...When did it get dark?...Where was that path I was on before that darned penny caught my eye?...

And so it seems that same scene has played out in this project...The faithful follower(s) of my poor attempts at keeping my audience entertained may have noticed a falling off in the production of new articles...Long time seekers of Truckman's wisdom have already noted how his thoughts seem to spring forth prodigiously in one form, only to slacken somewhat as a new method takes root in his mind...

Readers of past years have become accustomed to seeing Truckman's thoughts appear in an internet forum, then inexorably begin to spread to other forums across the web until he suddenly vanishes from view...The burden of providing food for thought to the inhabitants of 34 different discussion boards having taken the joy of participation from Truckman's efforts, he reduced his production of posts to one forum, where now over 35,000 nuggets of information await new discoverers...His video channel on YouTube, brought forth in the beginning as an entertainment device for his forum friends, but found to be an outlet for many more cleverly hidden comments on life, began to lose its charm, and then sat dormant, only to be re-activated on the occasional whim...

Blogging  became a new challenge, first with a comedic flair as Truckman presented satirical slices of life featuring the mostly fictional characters who populate a vague and hazy neighborhood where world events are re-interpreted in a mix of absurd surrealism against a background of harsh reality...Wishing for a more serious outlet for a few of his ideas and concepts, Truckman then created this blog, where he attempts to scatter a few kernels of his inner being for the digestion by a few hardy souls who think they might benefit from some alternative views...He even created a photographic blog to accompany it, and to leave a visual record of a few of the events of his life...

Life's path being what it is, even Truckman takes the occasional glance over his shoulder in wonderment at the convoluted trail he has left when all those goals seemed so clear at the beginning...It seems one shiny penny after another has revealed itself to him, diverting him from that original path...What did that goal look like again?...Oh well, I'll find it again as soon as the latest penny starts to get a little dull from too much handling...

For those who haven't been paying attention, that newest penny appears under the "Print Media" button on all Truckman's blogs and his video channel, as he has proven again the validity of a timeless adage: "All things old are new again"...This of course is paraphrased from the word of God as presented in 2 Corinthians 5:17, passed down to us from Paul the Apostle...

Even Truckman must recognize his missteps on occasion, and correct his course...His attempts at bringing the wonders of the internet world to his Mom all failed as he butted his head against the stone wall of her resistance...Not wishing to bring any further harm to an innocent stone wall, he set about fulfilling one of her oldest dreams, to see her baby boy's name in print as an author...Therefore he took it upon himself to reprint as many of his articles as might interest her between the covers of an old-fashioned, hardbound paper book...

Having become far too accustomed to interspersing his writing with convenient weblinks for the further enlightenment of his readers, Truckman was challenged to re-write many articles to accommodate a reader without the benefit of an internet connection...This resulted in the expansion and re-wording of many articles, taking valuable time, but in the end seeming a worthwhile effort...Along the way, this first volume grew from its size as a 240 page first edition to what now looks to be a 430-plus page effort in what will become its fourth, and final edition...The original intent was to present the book in time for Mother's Day, but health issues being what they are, the decision was made to give it to her early...Therefore Truckman Publishing went into high gear and cranked out the first edition...

That choice turned out to be the correct one, as the second edition which she now has (and seems to be committing to memory after innumerable readings) has brought much joy to her since she received it more than a month ago...The plan now is to give her a copy of the revised, corrected and much expanded fourth edition in time for the original target date of Mother's Day...In the meantime many of the articles may not even be recognizable to faithful readers of their original forms, as Truckman has expended considerable effort toward new clarity and focus for the printed page...

The reader(s) here may be tempted to view the changes in person, but it is advised to wait until the printing of the fourth edition is announced here...At that time a new printing of less expensive paperback editions will also be revealed (thanks to the urging of Truckman's agent, Dan) as certain articles are being categorized for those readers who prefer Truckman's wisdom in smaller, more concentrated doses...In the meantime, Truckman's original, more satirical blog has been published in a final second-edition volume totaling more than 600 pages...It is available for a limited time in the Truckman Bookstore (a branch of Truckman Publishing) located conveniently in the "Print Media" button at the top of any page here...

As time permits, the original articles here may be updated to the expanded versions available in book form, but don't look for such an event any time soon...Even Truckman's time has its limits, and the demands on it are many...But regular readers may rejoice as no plans are being made to end this blog, or any of the others, or even the video channel...New additions are in the works for each project, and will appear as time and waning energy permit...

More articles concerning Journalism...

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Update to print version...

After carefully perusing the proof copy sent by his printer, Truckman, in his never ending quest for excellence, decided his first edition did not satisfy his own requirements...The volume was therefore completely re-written, with approximately 150 pages added through additional topics, and expansion of existing articles...Proof copies are now in the hands of major literary critics for the purpose of gathering any suggestions which might make the reader's experience more enjoyable...

For those who missed it, the collectible first edition has been withdrawn from the market, but the revised second edition is available at this date, and can still be ordered for purists who must have complete libraries...Soon it will be withdrawn to be replaced by the expanded and revised third edition...These valuable bonuses are available to Truckman's readership at no additional cost...The original price of the book remains at its discounted offering in gratitude for your loyalty...

A convenient new online store for the ever-growing list of Truckman's literary output is now open 24 hours per day for your shopping convenience...Feedback is being quickly gathered and compiled from the critics, and their more useful suggestions will be available later this month as the third edition goes to press...

Please enjoy these valuable benefits as part of the Truckman audience...You're welcome...


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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Distribution...

As in walks of life, no activity survives for any appreciable length of time unless the product or service offered reaches the intended user in a timely fashion...Journalism is no exception...Printed-on-paper services have suffered reduced numbers of readers with the advent of first radio broadcasts, then televised news, and finally internet-based news services...

Each has its advantages over others, just as each presents its own challenges...The one advantage newspapers have over the others is passive time-shifting, in which the consumer can merely choose a time to read a daily slice of news without setting a video recorder for a scheduled broadcast, or searching the internet for newsworthy events happening at an earlier point...But even this advantage disappears when a newspaper fails to appear at its allotted and expected time, whether in the driveway or at the local newsstand...

I have been a continuous subscriber to the local newspaper here for 15 years, even though I prefer the internet for news sources on a state, national and global basis...I can get local news, letters to the editor, obituaries, legal notices and my favorite comic strips (Alley Oop and Monty still crack me up) all in one convenient source...But the convenience disappears when the product is no longer on the driveway at the expected time...

At the beginning of my subscription, and right up until just over a year ago, I could walk outside anytime after 5AM and find my paper waiting for me, wrapped against the weather...Only once did it fail to materialize, and a call to the distribution office brought my carrier promptly to my front door with my paper, and an unasked for apology...For this level of service, a generous tip was included with each annual check...

Alas, after so many years he decided to retire from his route, and included a "thank you" letter with his final delivery...A succession of carriers afterward produced mixed results until those in charge of hiring settled on one carrier...If I were to be generous in my assessment of the latest contractor's performance, I would characterize it as "sporadic"..."Consistently late, if at all" might be more accurate...

The hapless soul left to apologize on the phone for such poor service has explained in the past that the latest hire is a single mom with other demands on her time...As much as I sympathize with her allotment in life, it is still the responsibility of the business to provide the service on time...Lately, the complaint desk doesn't even bother to call me back with the excuses, they merely send someone out with my paper...

Those wishing to argue that the carrier's woes are legitimate reasons for the ever-lessening level of performance, will find I am already familiar with the newspaper distribution business, having been involved in it for several years following my first divorce...At a time when I already worked a six-day-a-week full time job, and operated my own business at night, I took on the added responsibility of a paper route for the now defunct Houston Post...

After a short period of learning the route and adjusting my sleep patterns, I delivered approximately 325 papers daily and 350 on weekends with the lowest complaint level of any carrier in the division...Having the pickup point a block from my home helped, and I often found I could pick up extra money running a second route when another carrier failed to show up for work...After about four years, my post-divorce debt level decreased to the point where I could resign, allowing me to sleep in to 6AM instead of 2:30AM as in the past...

Needless to say, I am familiar with the issues faced by my current carrier, as I know of the problems of working sick, having transportation problems, family emergencies and all the other excuses offered for her by the complaint desk lady...Unfortunately, none of this helps as I take my puppies outside for their early morning rituals, and find I have no newspaper to carry back inside...

The Conroe Courier will now have to make do without my annual offering to their budget, and the carrier will enjoy one less expected complaint as I will not be renewing my subscription...There are many more reliable sources for the products I use...

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Monday, January 30, 2017

History moves a little closer...

One of my favorite aircraft, one with a history unique unto itself, is moving a little closer to home turf for Truckman...Well, not just for me, but you know what I mean..."Texas Raiders" was the name applied to this particular B-17G after its acquisition by CAF, the Commemorative Air Force (formerly known as the Confederate Air Force)...Of the more than 12,000 B-17's sent to battle during WWII, only eleven survive as flightworthy today, and "Texas Raiders" was among the first to be chosen for restoration nearly fifty years ago...

One of the last to be constructed during its manufacturing period, built by Douglas Aircraft Company under license by its designer, Boeing, it was assigned to the US Navy as a PB-1W...Its history can be read here...Its military duty, which included service as the very first AWACS airframe, and subsequent retirement was followed by a civilian career in photographic mapping of the Alaskan wilderness...

Its golden years in retirement now find it providing enjoyment, thrills and nostalgia for new generations of airshow attendees and history buffs who get to hear the roar of the mighty Pratt & Whitney radial engines, and see it become airborne again...I count myself lucky to have seen three of the remaining flying museums, and perhaps the day will come when I can hitch a ride on one...As this one (and don't tell the others, but it's my favorite) moves a little closer to home, maybe I'll get to visit it more often...

Incidentally, when CAF made its formal name change several years ago, many people became upset...I was not one of them, as I saw the change in its true light...It was done to reduce divisiveness, and attract more positive attention to the preservation of history...I put it in the same category as MLK Jr. Day which coincides with Confederate Heroes Day which happen to fall on the same day in Texas...People are welcome to celebrate either as history never changes, only its interpretation, or misinterpretation...

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

New service for readers...

It has been brought to Truckman's attention that there are still some internet challenged students struggling to learn of the causes and effects of our way of living in these modern times...Those readers with disobedient eyeballs that strain at tiny print were heartened to learn of the large print version of the World Wide Web (CTRL key + mouse wheel) thereby opening a whole new vista of wonderment to an information-starved cyber-public...

However, there are always some holdouts in every era who refuse to take the steps necessary to enter a new century...Some, like Truckman's Mom, feel more comfortable safely tucked away in a previous millenium where new things stay out of reach, and therefore can't snicker at her when she steps toward a new learning curve...But these people are also depriving themselves of the benefits of the knowledge Truckman is willing to impart to the masses...

For those students teetering on the brink between centuries, Truckman Publishing (a wholly owned subsidiary of Truckman Worldwide Enterprises) announces a breakthrough in education as the first in a planned series of old-fashioned, printed-on-paper and stuck-between-hardcovers books are now rolling off the presses, ready to jump onto your bookshelves where you keep bronzed baby shoes and framed photos of family members no one will recognize in a hundred years because you didn't write any information on the back...Truckman, recognizing his duty to pass down his wisdom to future generations, offers this service as a parergon to his other available blogs and video channel...

It is to be noted that information configured for the internet does not transfer easily from your computer screen to a piece of paper...The handy clickable links found in these blogs just won't work on the printed page no matter how hard you tap them...Truckman was obliged to spend many hours re-writing his articles into a form which translates easily from paper to brain...As in all high quality textbooks, this volume also contains a glossary of terms plus an index located at the back of the book...

For those wondering whether an e-book version will be offered, there are no plans for it as you can easily read the blogs instead at no charge...A proof copy of this collectors quality first edition is on its way to Truckman's doorstep for inspection and approval by our Quality Assurance Division...This article will be updated at that time, and eager buyers may order dozens of copies as Christmas presents for their families, or convenient doorstops and paperweights...

Please be advised that this library-quality volume of priceless prose, does carry a small nominal fee to offset the costs of publication, and to finance the lavish lifestyle to which Truckman would like to become accustomed...Those cheapskates and economically disadvantaged students who wish to continue using Truckman's invaluable web-based information services are invited to do so...

You're welcome...


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Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Letter...

No, we're not talking about a letter from the IRS, or any ex-girlfriend's lawyer...Today's topic concerns the letter "H"...In doing my periodic inventory of articles I've written (I have to make sure none of them escaped), I find quite a few topics centered around the letter "H"...Naturally Herr Hitler figures prominently considering my interest in WWII...

History in general is a common topic here...Health gets a few write-ups too, although I can't point to my own as exemplary...Even my admittedly odd sense of Humor figures into a few of my topics...Add to these Handguns, Honor, Heredity, High courts, etc.; well, you see where I'm going with this...

I also discuss Heart to some extent, and not only in a Healthwise fashion...Heart also describes a combination of courage and decision, the kind that we never know we possess until the moment comes when it defines us...Few of us even know whether we have it in quantity or quality until the time arrives to show our cards...

My congressman, Kevin Brady, who represents me and his other constituents in Washington DC, had his moment a few years ago during an occasion which brought back memories of my own earlier days...Those who know me know that I do not attempt to hide my abuse of alcohol when I was a much younger man...Many of us bear this cross to varying extents, and willingly or not, we accept its consequences...

When I read of Congressman Brady's moment of truth, I took particular interest remembering my own reactions when faced with the same encounter...My own experiences with lawmen who found my condition behind the wheel to be unsafe ended as I knew they must...Inevitably, the law comes out on top, and, knowing this, I complied with whatever was required of me by the law's representatives, accepting the consequences of my actions...

My own experiences ended long before DUI became the seriously taken subject which it rightly has...Congressman Brady's dilemma on the other hand, was compounded not only by increased public awareness of the problem of impaired driving, but also the attending publicity he must have known would result from media coverage of an elected official...

In following the story in the news, I found that Congressman Brady at no time attempted to shirk his responsibility by hiding behind his office, or claiming any special privileges as I have seen many other public figures do in similar situations...From the moment he faced a lawman at the side of the road, he complied fully with what was expected of him, later stating he would accept the decision of any court which heard his case, even if the result was detrimental to his career...

Other high-profile officials might have, and have in many cases, tried every trick available to avoid responsibility...To his great credit, and the credit of those whom he represents, my congressman stood in the harsh light of reality, accepting the court's decisions, then returned to the job for which we hired him...Those who know me, also know of my belief in limiting the terms of those we elect to office...But when a shining example of everyday heroism steps forth, an exception is made in my mind...

Obviously others share my estimation of Congressman Brady, as he has continued his career in Washington, now chairing the House Ways and Means Committee, directing the budgetary requirements of our nation...He also is known as a champion of the welfare of veterans, seeing to it that our needs are addressed even in an ever-increasing workload of those medical professionals attending to those of us in need...

Yes, Heroism is one of those "H" words, just as Heart is...Congressman Brady, by his actions and demeanor, has earned my trust, and continues to have my support at the polls regardless of my stance on term limits...Hardiness is another trait of which he must be in possession; otherwise, 20 years of service as my Congressman in the meatgrinder of Washington politics might have reduced a stack of tough cordwood into sawdust...I'll see him again at fundraisers and ceremonies, and no doubt he won't recognize my face, but may see in my eyes that glint of recognition from one who has been there with him...

"H" also stands for Height, and having stood in close proximity to him at various local fundraisers and swearing-in ceremonies, I suspect, at my height of 6'4", I may have a slight advantage over him in a game of basketball, but considering the amount of Heart he displays in everyday life, he stands tall in my estimation...Like many other Texans of whom we native born folks know and approve, Kevin Brady wasn't born in Texas, but he got here as quick as he could...

We expect he'll stick around for a while...We need his kind...


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