Thursday, April 28, 2016

Robo Trucking Could Be Even Less Fun?
My response to the article above:

The trucking industry has a problem finding and retaining quality drivers because it is a lifestyle, not a job. At some point in the recent past, technology was integrated into trucks to help large companies track their drivers, and to micro manage the industry (sound familiar?), and many professional drivers don't like to spend weeks away from friends and family while being micro managed and treated like an emotionless robot while they are doing the brunt of the work for the mega carriers. Drivers are confined to trucks, but the one joy of working in the industry is getting to be in control of the large rig, to feel the power of the engine while rhythmically moving through eighteen gears with the precision of a classical musician.

 The toughest parts of the job include not being able to even have a cold beer after a long day of driving, and making split second decisions to avoid distracted four wheelers.   Most of the mega carrier companies own the drivers 24-7, and the profession can be terribly confining.

The Elogs and Hours of Service have been imposed on professional drivers, and to make any money in the industry, most drivers lives revolve around eat, sleep, and paperwork.   

The Simpsons had an episode showing driverless trucks, and it was highly amusing.   The video below shows a driverless truck test in Nevada.
 I think taking the actual driving out of the profession would only it more mundane, and highly controlled by the micro managers reaping all the profits in the home office.  
The Wired writer of the article above should have spent some time interviewing actual drivers, and talking to them about their thoughts on the industry.  In its current state, the drivers need to go on strike, and shut down the trucks driven by hard working men and women, to show the public how dependent our society is on trucking. Driverless trucks are a non issue, as this industry needs less technology, and micromanaging, but even I know this will only happen if truckers take drastic steps to achieve the levels of freedom and independence this industry once enjoyed.  I don't think the next great American novel will be written behind the wheel of a driverless truck, but the trucking industry would make a great topic for a nonfiction book on the way workers in this country are being made into indentured servants providing profits to the one percent...the one percent only interested in exploiting other to turn a profit, and avoiding taxes on their millions. 
For independent drivers....keep on trucking and safe travels.  Appreciate ya! 10-4, over and out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Query Letters, Red Sofa Literary and Tons of Links for Millenials, Hipsters, and even Trump Followers!

Quote from her interview:
"I do believe the marketing departments play a huge role, in that they may focus more on some titles than others. We’ve all seen this internally in publishing. Yes, it can affect the rise and fall in the marketplace. Yet, there are steps any author can take to also keep a buzz around his/her book. Social media is extremely accessible, and once a person meets the right people in the social media – good things can happen as those relationships develop. In the pre-internet days, one had to depend on the marketing departments to help in the promotion of a book. Now, there are multiple outlets and ways to reach out to readers and fellow writers. My theory is that it’s in the best interest of any author to come up with a detailed marketing strategy and execute it, along with the publisher’s plan. Additionally, authors need to be prepared to promote that book for at least three to five years [after publication]."
–Dawn Fredrick, Red Sofa Literary

From Writer's Digest: Read more than 60 examples of successful query letters. Study queries that worked, and hear from literary agents on why they cut through the slush pile.

2016 Internship Opportunity (deadline 4/30/16)

April 2016 – INTERNSHIP posting (for Red Sofa Literary)
Meet interesting people! Discover new authors! Build your publishing street cred! Chat on social media about things other than my breakfast! If you’ve ever wanted to the learn the ins and outs of life at a literary agency, we sure could use your help.
Red Sofa Literary is currently looking for two interns (unpaid) to join the summer/fall staff. Duties include but are not limited to: beta reading manuscripts, promoting authors on the @teamredsofa Twitter account and Facebook page, and maintaining the RSL calendar and Wiki page. A keen eye for great books, Excel and Word proficiency, and strong social media skills are a must.
Hours: 5-10 hours a week.
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Northern Virginia, remote if available by Skype.
Please send your cv/resume and cover letter to apply.
Deadline: April 30, 2016.
  Check out their publishing boutique here:

Free Classes in Digitial Marketing and Coding with Links

For students interested in avoiding the boring work world of dealing with bosses and overpaid paper shufflers, coding and digital marketing may allow a career at a decent employer like Google, which has a carnival like setting for the up and coming millennial, concerned with thousand dollar fat tire bikes, longboarding, growing beards, micro brews, and acting like hipsters. (I am a jealous, Gen. X dude myself). 
Notice the ear plugs, beard, and hair jelly.   I smell a dirty hipster!
Sure, I like fat tire bikes, but I can't afford them because of my choice to go into education.   Well, fellow idealists, let me tell you.... the world of education hasn't become any more interesting or devoid of political is a microcosm representative of the current U.S. system of good ole boy political tactics and little intelligence to back up major life changing decisions affecting tax payers and students. 

So, forget about changing the world and go into something working with technology.  In the near future, all education will be virtual, and the money pit education system will go the way of the dinosaurs.

Should-you-learn-python-c-or-ruby-to-be-a-top-coder-infographic Free courses and a great deal of information, along with....wait for it....
An infographic for those of us too lazy to read the article. "Ah...the beauty of the ADD generation."

Free Online Digital Marketing Courses  TONS of information on how to learn digital marketing and get some credentials in the topic for free!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Eating on the Road While Living in a Semi, Van, or RV: Trucker Tips

Posts from :

Responses to eating on the road:

"-------Those truck stops are always trying to squeeze the truck driver, but I recently discovered how to eat at the T/A Petro buffet for $1.25 a meal. That's Right ! The Buffet is $12.95 to $14.95 if you sit there and eat all you want.

BUT, you can ask for the buffet to go. They give you a to go container and charge $5 a pound.

A pound is a lot. Most ppl can survive on a 1/2 pound = $2.50. Some can survive on a 1/4 pound = $1.25.
--------------Invest in a lunch box cooker - $20. They're great for slow cooking meats while going down the road and they plug right into a 12 volt outlet. I would use those for my dinners with a bag of frozen veggies or rice thrown in, about $6 a day. Breakfast a box of cheerios or oatmeal $5 for both, PBJ,a loaf of wheat bread, lunch meat or canned tuna for lunch - $7. A case of water or seltzer $4, bag of apples and a bag of almonds $10...all in for a week about $60.00!

---I go to walmart twice a week. I buy a 5 dollar fully cooked chicken and Ramen noodles. I break the chicken up and put it into bags and make soup throughout the week. Sometimes I'll buy a premade salad or some crackers. Once a week I might stop for some fast food, usually at wendy's and usually a triple stack.

I grew up with very little money throughout my 20's and have realized that the next day will come no matter how much you spend on food. Everyone used to tell me, "when you start making more money you will change your habits out there". Rubbish I say! I'm just as hardcore as ever!

On a side note, I still do buy sugar drinks. I'd say they cost me double a week what I spend in food, hahah. Pick your poison I suppose.

-I typically BBQ a large family pack of chicken breasts, I take fajitas, lettuce, tomato, apples and pears. Couple of frozen dinners (for a change) and yogurt and granola. Typically less than $50 a week.

------Uncle Ben's microwave rice pouches $1.84 @ Walmart
Whole chicken $5.99 @ Walmart
Bag salads on sale 2 for $3.99.
Barilla 60 second microwave Italian entrées $2.50...guess

-----------Corn dog or mac and cheese @ Pilot, figure $80,000 heart procedure

-----Peanut butter and bread and crackers.
Inverter + kettle to boil water for oat meal or instant soup.
Disposable bowls and spoons for cereal in the morning (buy the milk daily)
Cases of pop or water.

Saves a lot. Even with all this I still eat in the truck stop too often. I still enjoy a hot meal at the counter of knowledge. Or subway. Or good fried chicken. I am not a peasant. I spend probably $120 a week while I am on the road by a combination of the above meals and the restaurant meals."

Friday, April 8, 2016

Today, Allergies SUCK!

Today, I have reached a weird threshold of shitty weather and some kind of
allergic reaction I am having to mold spores due to the slow onset of spring.

So, I went and bought Flonase, Claritin, and some Naphonol eyedrops, and I started to think....

What did dudes do fifty years ago when they were being affected by allergies?

I think the answer is...they were too tough to get allergies, or maybe allergies didn't even exist.

Or, maybe they just guzzled vodka and rubbed dirt in their eyes until they became immune.

I am going to blame hand sanitizer, and living indoors for nine months out of the year, to my sensitivities.   I hate allergies!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Screenwriter Robert McKee Interview

Storylink Interview: Robert McKee

His discussion of "Inciting Incident":
In terms of Inciting Incident, to name just two of its many principles, Placement and Effect are interrelated, mutually influential, and dependent on the writer's subjective sense of function.
One, Placement: The Inciting Incident radically upsets the life of an empathetic protagonist. Therefore, do not waste the audience/reader's time. Bring the Inciting Incident into the story as soon as possible.
Two, Effect: But do not introduce the Inciting Incident until it will have its full emotional and intellectual effect on the audience/reader.
When is that moment? Who can say? In every story it is different. How much understanding of setting, history and character does an audience/reader need to know prior to the Inciting Incident so that when it arrives it will have its full effect? In some stories nothing; in some stories a lot. How and when will an audience/reader fall into empathy with a protagonist? In some stories immediately; in some stories never; in some stories somewhere along the way. The answers to all these questions require the writer to develop a rich intellectual understanding of their story world and its characters as well as a deep subjective sense of the feelings, textures and emotions flowing within the story and outward to its audience/reader. There are no rules. All artists who wish to write must stop thinking that way.