Things to read...

If time is short, I'd suggest reading at LEAST The Prologue and Legend of The Pinto Bean Posts!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Well hello everybody! Being that I have a few hours to kill before heading to my next stop, I figured I'd drop a short blog for your reading enjoyment! I stayed the night with an Engineer for GM, who was kind enough to let me stay there, and allow Rockstar to terrorize his children. RTD was a big hit as always, and spent most of his time running in circles as fast as he could while occasionally stopping by anyone willing to lavish a little attention on him. The look on his face is undescribable in words, but think "DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" and that ought to conjure an appropriate image. his tongue lolls out, flapping violently in the wind. Drool streaks down both sides of his face as his ears flop behind him like giant garbage bags stuck to the top of a big semi truck. Occasionally there will also be drool striped around his noce from where he has paused to violently shake his head. Now take this and attach it to a musclebound and tiger striped little body, and set the control to "SPIN" and turn him loose. "DEEEEEEEEE", indeed. Finally after the kids had gone to bed and we'd traded stories of motorcycle daring do, we all retired to call it a day. As I got ready top plop down on the mat, I see RTD go into the kids room and sniffed at the poor child curled up on the floor. I truly expected the young guy to wake up to a huge drooling Boxer face breathing hot air on his cheek, and go into cardiac arrest. I know I've awoken to RTD three inches from my nose before, so to a kid this should firmly cement the term "Bogeyman" in his little head. Luckily, this did not happen, and RTD finally came over and went to sleep, and peace was to be had at last.

As for the housekeeping matters I just thoughtr I'd answer a few questions. Several people have written asking about the people I'm meeting, or if I've gotten to meet anyone yet. So far I've opted to keep the conversations to myself, as I kinda feel that those are intimate in that they are face to face, and are directed at me. I think maybe I may start posting generalities about the people I've met, but I doubt specific conversations will make it unless they become particularly impassioned or inflamed. My fear is that people may read these conversations and start attempting to asign a political agenda to them. Let me state for the record, again, this ain't the case! A phrase I like to use is "my views are my views and they're not your views." Basically, i'm saying that I have no desire to change anyone's mind on issues, nor do I feel that I need to be persuaded to believe the same way as others. Most people will probably label me a conservative based on my arguments, but the truth is my views are known only to me, and I will almost ALWAYS take the counterpoint in the interest of good conversation, so don't be fooled!

I will say that most of the conversations are similar, and usually revolve around the politics of today, the war, and the troops. The reception I've received has been outstanding everywhere I've been, and no one yet has had the nerve to say anything "bad" to my face. The closest I've gotten was yesterday when a car with an obviously middle eastern and apparently muslim couple (headscarf, full beard) drove by on the highway, and the occupants gave me dirty looks and the driver was gesticulating wildly and did not appear to be happy at the moment. Before anyone fires up the "reply" button with hate mail for either side, I'll also mention that within the hour another carload of obviously middle eastern guys came by and honked, smiled, waved wildly, and gave me the thumbs up. It takes all kinds.

The biggest complaint I've had so far is this though, and this may ruffle a few feathers and cost me a reader or two, but whatever. While everybody is very supportive of vets, most people seem to have this idea that we are "losing" this war. The cite the horrendous body count and all the other stuff espoused by the 24 hour news channels, without ever stopping to consider a few things. Here is my general view based on my own reading and experience. We have lost just over 4100 people in this war since 2001. If you were to poll any military leader in the last 3000 years and tell them about a country waging war on two fronts, controls both countries they occupy, and has fought this for about seven years all at the loss of 4100 troops, they would call it the greatest military victory in the history of man. One must remember that there have been battles in past wars where 20,000 troops on one side were killed in less than twenty MINUTES of combat. Those are staggering losses. We as Americans lose more lives to drunk drivers every year than we lose in combat in seven. Just a few things to consider....

Anyhow, I hope to be able to integrate some of the things I learn from people into the blog in the next few weeks, but no promises! Tonight I'll try to get the story about the GM plant up online for your reading pleasure. This is all contingent on my travels this afternoon, so hope for the best!

In other news, I filled the Bean up today. Usually I've just been topping it off after every stop, just to give RTD time to drink and drool. I took a few pictures of the subsequent robbing that happened along the way, so enjoy! I think they tell the story well enough!


I'm hip... I'm cool... I'm fillin' the Bean!


CRIKEY!! HOW MUCH?!! Sadly it was on 1/4 of a tank...


He he... I'll show them! Get me a little return on this "investment!!"


Anonymous said...

Well, I personally don't want to know word for word conversations, I just was wondering at general reaction -- you know, like when people just look at you with that "excuse me, you're doing what again??" look.

And as far as looks or waving from other cars -- yeah, just how fast were you going at the time? One could possibly blame that just as much on your driving "abilities" as anything. (I'm teasing you a little, but -- hey, not everybody is as great a driver as they think they are sometimes.)
Keep having fun, it sounds better every day.

TheBronze said...

Excellent point on us and the war Daniel.

joyce said...

Our country needs you to speak up about the truth over there to combat the horrid main stream media. So, please keep writing and observing. Only when men like you come home and speak up, and vote, and run for office, and raise families will our country survive.

Some of my favorite blogs are stories like yours:

davintosh said...

Ooh; bummer about the many tollbooths. You must've taken the I94/I90 route. Been that way a few times, and it's a pain. As if we don't pay enough in fuel taxes.

Wisconsin has lots of old fashioned German pubs that serve up some great brews and bratwurst. Make sure you hit one or three, if you're not through WI yet.

I enjoyed reading your history from the Tuesday post; yours reads much like my own... didn't give a rip about high school & college, went to work right out of HS, encountered some dork who made me realize what was in store if I didn't do something to better myself, took the military route, and... This is your story, not mine so I'll shut up. But keep up the great writing (gotta work on your spelling though dude!) and enjoy the ride and the people you meet along the way.

Couldn't agree more with your assessment of the war. You're not alone.

Sheila - JC, TN said...

I enjoy reading your blog every day or so. I envy what you're doing and hope to one day be able to do the same thing (although I don't know about warming up beans on my car engine, I might opt for bologna and cheese sandwich instead). My family is from Buffalo, NY so it was cool to see pics of the falls. If you haven't ever been it is a wonderful experience. Travel safely and I look forward to more reading as you go.

HollyB said...

Thanks for another great story, Daniel. And more great pics of RTD.

It sounds like you're having a good trip.

I posted a link to your blog on my blog and sent an email out, so I hope some of my friends and readers made a donation.
I'll make another one, asap.

And you're right about the MSM...they get it SOOOO wrong about the war, ANY war. IMHO, it's b/c they go for the readership/listener numbers rather than truth these days. They have NO historical perspective.
While the loss of ANY soldier/marine/sailor/airman is a tragedy...these are a cost of war and are not indicative of losing a war. We lost over 50 thousand in 'Nam and still lost that war after 10 years of Official conflict. With 7 yrs and less than 10% of that mortality in this War...the MSM is blowing smoke up our collective skirt.
As the Sister/Aunt/Cousin/Friend of Soldiers and a Marine I pray for their safety. And I thank all Service Men and Women and their families for the sacrifices and Service they give our Country.
/end soap box rant for today, returning you to your normal programming ;)

Anonymous said...

You know that filling up more often causes more loss of gasoline to vapor? It's more efficient to run until the gas gauge is below 1/4 tank before you refill.

If I'm in the city, I'll run it pretty close to empty before refilling. (Because I'm looney.) It's always fun to get a receipt for more gas than my tank supposedly holds. (Yes I know about the reserve tank.)

Auntie K