Friday, March 25, 2011





The Bumper Sticker of the Day Club

The brilliant Albert Einstein struggled his whole life to boil the essence of the universe down to a mathematical equation, and came up with E=mc2. I am more of a wordsmith than a mathematician, so I am attempting to boil the essence of the universe down to a Bumper Sticker. But it turns out that the Universe is so varied that it takes a new Bumper Sticker every day to describe it. So far, these have been the Bumper Stickers of the Day for the year 2011. If you would like to submit a Bumper Sticker of The Day….please forward it to Cheers, Robert

Jan 1 I started with practically nothing, and I still have most of it left.

Jan 2 God has a plan for me, but I’m not paying any attention to it.

Jan 3 I have the same deal with God that I have with bears. I don’t bother them and I

don’t expect them to bother me.

Jan 4 The goal of life is to ameliorate emotional anxiety. The purpose of life is to

reproduce. The meaning of life….well, life has no inherent meaning, so each

individual can ascribe to life any meaning that he chooses.

Jan 5 “Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all.”

Arthur Balfound 1848-1930

Jan 6 FEE: Forgive Everyone Everything

Jan 7 A one word summary of the Universe: YOU.

Jan 8 A two word summary of the Universe: Space Available.

Jan 9 All intelligent creatures Dream, but no one knows Why.

Jan 10 Expect others to do unto you, what you have done unto them

Jan 11 Debt Crisis: It’s already too late…There is nothing you can do about it. Get

over it.

Jan 12 Humans are not the end of evolution….Progress is not inevitable.

Jan 13 Wasting Time is completely pointless…..but fun.

Jan 14 The Law of Romance: It either works out, or it doesn’t. Otherwise


Jan 15 You are what you are….the why doesn’t mean a thing.

Jan 16 “Why the hell not…I’m going to hell anyway” Charlie Harper

Jan 17 My life was more exciting when I was penniless.

Jan 18 We’re psychologically programmed to move toward Light.

Jan 19 If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages.

Jan 20 It all depends on who your God is.

Jan 21 Thoughts lie…they lie a lot. Don’t believe everything you think

Jan 22 Nothing is more unproductive than trying to tell people things they don’t

want to hear.

Jan 23 The brain is 80% water….man overboard.

Jan 23 Think Positive. Do your best. Find your dream. Live your passion.

Follow your passion, and the Universe will do the rest.

Jan 24 I’ve always wanted to be a procrastinator, but I never got around to it.

Jan 24 To give more to the world, than the world gives to you. That is success.

Jan 25 What doesn’t fit in my car, doesn’t fit in my life.

Jan 26 Live every day as if it were your last…for one day you are sure to be right.

Jan 27 Let go of my ears. I know what I’m doing.

Jan 28 Everyone is responsible for their own orgasms

Jan 29 Tragedy + Time = Comedy

Jan 30 Live simply…love generously…care deeply…speak kindly…leave the

rest to God.

Jan 31 I can’t reach the remote.

Feb 1 Definition of Genius: The ability to recognize the obvious.

Feb 2 I never understood how someone could love you and still yell at you.

Feb 3 The sign of wisdom is a continual cheerfulness

Feb 4 Crop Circles: the most important event taking place in your lifetime

Feb 5 There is only a problem because you have so much. You already have all

you need.

Feb 6 Life is too short of one ply toilet paper

Feb 7 The End of Everything…is the beginning of Everything Else

Feb 8 Save the Earth…it is the only planet with Chocolate

Feb 9 Stay loose….Stay lost

Feb 10 God will reward you for being nice to me.

Feb 11 I pray only for your Happiness

Feb 12 It’s easier to plagiarize

Feb 13 Not all who wander toward awareness are lost.

Feb 14 Every road goes somewhere

Feb 15 Perfection=Stagnation

Feb 16 The history of the earth is successive mass exterminations. 98.5% of earth

Species have gone extinct.

Feb 17 No one cares what you think. But don’t take it personally.

Feb 18 There is no Free Will…there is only hard wiring and hormones.

Feb 19 “All religion is primitive superstition.”

Richard Dawkins, author “The God Delusion”

Feb 20 Recipe for a Happy Life: When hungry eat, when tired sleep. Adopt the Golden

Rule. Ask for nothing, refuse nothing. When in doubt….don’t. If it isn’t fun,

don’t do it. And remember, Denial is grossly underrated so don’t ask

questions that you really don’t want to know the answer to.

Feb 21 There is absolutely no proof that we are nothing more than insignificant blobs of

protoplasm, on an insignificant planet, in an insignificant galaxy, in an

insignificant Universe

Feb 22 If you’re looking for a Sign from God….here it is.

Feb 23 Cell Phone Buying Advice: A new cell phone is like a new husband…you will

be looking at it every day… get what you want.

Feb 24 Only a fool does not co-operate with the inevitable

Feb 25 “ I believe we’re here on earth to help each other.” Reggie Redding, pizza

delivery guy

Feb 26 The election will make no difference. Why? Because no politician

can fix your life

Feb 27 The Universe wants you to be happy

Feb 28 Work hard your whole life and I guarantee you that you will be forgotten

Mar 1 Truck Driver Advice: drive friendly, and park in the spot of least resistance. A

truck driver never predicts more than a mile down the road.

Mar 2 You’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own set of facts

Mar 3 Crazy people don’t think that they’re crazy. Crazy religions don’t think they’re crazy. Crazy nations don’t think they’re crazy. Crazy species don’t think they’re crazy

Mar 4 The Universe has no edge and no center….every spot in the Universe is it’s


Mar 5 May all your Hours be Happy Hours. Bon Voyage

Mar 6 On March 6th we left for a seven day cruise to Mexico

Mar 7 ???

Mar 8 ???

Mar 9 ???

Mar 10 ???

Mar 11 ???

Mar 12 ???

Texas Ice Skate Party

I usually make sure that I am not trucking in the wintertime…but this year was different. I had a good job running from Los Angeles to Charlotte North Carolina for Fed Ex Ground. We used a southerly route, through Tucson, El Paso, Dallas and Atlanta and with a bit of luck there would be no storm dramas to deal with.

However, in one of the worst winters in recent history, our luck ran out when we hit a massive February Ice Storm. For some reason the Jet Stream warps south into Texas, which allows frigid arctic air to invade the area. Add some precipitation and you have a nasty ice storm.

The storm set a record of 100 hours of continuous sub freezing temperatures. The single digit lows were the coldest temperatures in 15 years. During this time it was actually colder in Texas than in Alaska.

Some in the north might not think much of a Texas winter storm, but for a number of reasons they can be dangerous. Not the least of which is the inexperience the locals have with such weather. They don’t seem to understand the need to slow down. The number of vehicle crashes was stunning. The City of Ft Worth had 480 crashes in 4 days.

“We love driving in the snow," said Dieter Sturm, 55, of Wisconsin, in town for the Super Bowl. "We can handle that without a problem. The icy roads are another story."

I was running with Andrew on this trip. We had double trailers which do not do well in icy conditions. Andrew hit the edge of the storm while I was sleeping. I woke up at dawn to start my shift. It was deep winter…snow everywhere. At this point the trucking wasn’t so bad…the road was clear. But around Abilene I started to hit ice. To understand why the ice formed here, all you had to do was look at the hills beyond Abilene. They were filled with hundreds of these new wind turbines.

Obviously this was an especially windy area. Wind blew the snow across the road where it would be compacted by passing vehicles. Soon I was on either glazed glass or gray rutted ice.

Soon I had slowed down to 15 MPH and was in line with other trucks that were trying to avoid spinning out. It was really dicey…just one touch of your brakes and you could jackknife. You can imagine what a helpless feeling it is to slide inexorably into a ditch at 4 MPH. Often we waited in huge traffic jams as spun out trucks struggled to get moving.

Of course the chatter on the CB radio was on-going. One guy summed the day up nicely. He said “OK fellows, just remember, keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down.”

In my ten hour shift I managed 147 miles. In that stretch I counted two dozen big rigs in the ditch. 5 had jackknifed, 4 others had skidded and turned over. All the other trucks had lost steering and slid into the ditch. There were probably 60 cars that were also stuck.

The ice was so slick you couldn’t even stand on it….trucks would spin 180 degrees and wind up in the ditch facing the opposite direction. The worst wreck was a deluxe refrigerated truck that had spun 180 then rolled over a number of times. The tractor was crushed and I am sure the driver was killed. The trailer had split open and the load had dumped on the road. Hundreds of heads of ice berg lettuce were strewn about…most of it frozen into the road surface. This trucker was just one of many that died in the storm.

In an eventful day, the most astonishing thing I saw was this. I was in a long line of slow moving trucks on glazed ice. Even at 15 MPH it was tough maintaining steering traction. Suddenly a fully loaded car carrier goes blowing by in the fast lane. He was probably doing 50. The guys on the CB were astonished….no one thought he would last long. In 30 years on the road, I would have to say it was the single stupidest bit of trucking driving that I had ever seen.

Sure enough, five miles down the road the car carrier had crashed. Not badly, it had just slipped partway into the median. There was already a cop car behind it, lights a blazin, to warn others of the blocked lane. As the truckers went by they blew their horns and waved to the idiot driver.

Andrew and I had to chain up twice. We were able to maintain traction quite well until we were forced to stop on a hill. When it came time to go again, our wheels spun uselessly. So we donned our winter gear, and dragged out the heavy truck chains. Few things are as amusing as lying on your back on the ice. You’re under the truck trying to get the frozen heavy chains into place…in the middle of a blizzard with ice water running down your back. But I guess that is what makes trucking so much fun sometimes.

Somehow we got through. When we got to Charlotte they were stunned. “You made it” Most of the cross country Fed Ex trucks were still stuck in the snow. With all the stuck trucks we had to go off our regular route and deliver “late loads.” From Charlotte we returned to the icy conditions of Dallas, then up to Memphis.

Super Bowl: From Memphis we were sent to Salt Lake. We stopped at a truck stop outside of Cheyenne Wyoming Sunday afternoon to watch the game. But alas, a winter storm had blown the satellite dish off the roof the night before. Now, presumably it was somewhere in the next county. We finished up with Sacramento and then, thankfully, we got home.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Marie's House....My Car


I thought I would give everybody an update on my living quarters. Since October I have been living, along with Steve, in Marie's house. Marie has a nice house in a planned community in Tustin CA. I met Marie a number of years ago on an internet dating website, and we have been very close since. Here are some photos.



I began this blog in November of 2007 to document the wildfires that destroyed hundreds of houses in Orange County. Since that times a large number of those burned homes have been rebuilt...supposedly incorporating the latest in fire-resistant technology.

Here is a report from our locale paper about such a re-built home. Nick-named Fort Carterosa it is a "6000 square-foot steel, rock and concrete house...that is located atop Modjeska Canyon. At 1600 feet, it is located at the highest elevation for a home site in Orange County.

"The house has been made fire resistant. The outside skin is made of cement, plaster and real rock. The roof is metal and the window frames are aluminum. THERE ARE NO OUTSIDE EAVES OR VENTS THAT COULD ALLOW A FIRE TO PENETRATE THE INTERIOR....the new owner said."

Wildfires are events that can be expected every year during the Santa Ana wind season in the late fall. It seems all one has to do to protect their domestic investment, is to construct their house out of non-burnable materials, and ELIMINATE ALL VENTS THAT ALLOW BURNING EMBERS TO ENTER THE ATTIC.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Easter Earthquake

Easter Sunday this year dawned cloudy and cool. With friends, I attended an outdoor Easter Service in Anaheim. Afterwards we returned to their home for a nice BBQ and socializing. A couple of hours later, six of us were around a table playing a board game called Sequence.

Then it hit. We all felt it...looking at each other in amazement. The light fixture above the table began swaying. “Earthquake” Abe said. Soon a couple of people had left their seat and headed out the front door. I had not left my seat. This quake was a roller, not a shaker. A slow roller is little problem as they are generated far away. A big, local earthquake, however, would produce a sharp jolt and collapsing buildings instantly.

The swaying lasted about 15 seconds. It felt like being in a canoe in the middle of the ocean. Soon everything felt normal again. After everyone told their earthquake stories we resumed the game. There was no damage at all.

A couple of minutes later the report was on the computer. A 7.2 magnitude quake, centered in Mexicali, Mexico. Just over the border from Calexico, CA. Mexicali is over 120 miles from Los Angeles, at the very top of the Gulf of California.

It was the strongest earthquake in decades in Southern Ca and Arizona. In 1992 we had a 7.3 earthquake.

This quake was generated by the Laguna Salada fault, which last fractured in 1892. This fault is inactive for long periods of time, but when it does slip it produces a large jolt. Despite the strength of the quake there was little damage. Luckily, the primary force of the quake traveled in a NW direction, right into the heart of the deserted Mojave Desert.


There were two deaths in Mexico. One occurred when a house collapsed on a man. The other happened when a man ran across the street in panic and was hit by a car. Otherwise, over 100 people suffered injuries. Most injuries were generated by shattered glass, falling light posts and collapsing walls. The Mexicali hospital had to be evacuated due to structural damage. In general it was a bad day for liquor stores, as shelves across the Southland were emptied.

20 million people, from Phoenix to LA, felt the strong shaking. Currently, in less than 24 hours, there have been 160 aftershocks in the 3-5 category. These are little noticed in LA, where there are 10,000 faint earthquakes a week.

Southern Californians cannot help but wonder if this is the precursor to the BIG ONE. If a 8.5 or 9.0 quake struck the San Andreas fault, there would be catastrophic damage.