Driving It Home

Life happens fast. So fast that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. It doesn’t help that the speed that it happens is the same speed that it happens to everyone (at about 1 second every second) so it feels like you’re failing at life while all the other people really seem to have it put together.

The secret is that we all suck at life in some way, but some of us are better at hiding it. The ones who are best at hiding it become leaders, and then everyone else admires their ability to hide it, thinking it’s their ability to deal with it, but forever deluded that they themselves can’t get to that level of awesome.

But, like I said, that level of awesome is simply a matter of appearance. Sure, there are productivity tricks, laziness prevention tricks, tubby-fatty-removing tricks. However, most people simply praise the consequences of things and don’t realize how much steady unrelenting work it takes to attain something.

Tomorrow, I’ll be heading off to truck driving academy with Swift. The recruiter I talked to has arranged for the academy to be paid entirely by the company, and after getting my written CDL (commercial driver’s license) permit I’m on the fast-track to Paidville.

Change is a universally hard experience for most people, but does become easier over time. The support we can glean from others also helps. However, the looming dread from my change-ophobic parents partly invalidates the affirmations my Shnooky Toobers and several other friends have expressed.

The stereotype of a long-haul truck driver is a pretty well-known one, and my parents imply that I will fit that stereotype perfectly as soon as I start: staying in one place only long enough for a one-night stand, losing any form of physique as I blob up on junk food and soda, having the social skills of a half-feral raccoon as I lose touch with all of humanity and finally drive off into the sunset until I dissolve in a fading of broken dreams and worthlessness.

Since my imaginary phantoms of the past are haunting me, I’ll share a few rebuttals for the buttals being thrown my way:

“You won’t make it; you’ll quit this job like all the others.”

Maybe so, but if I stick with it for 4 months after only 1 month of training, then I have the advantage of it paying for itself. Besides, I’ve always wanted my Class A license and it allows us to upgrade in the future to a much larger box-on-wheels, since a bus-sized box is roomier than something a normal driver’s license can haul around.

“But Greg, you’re smarter than this! Why don’t you do something more…analytical?”

Well, apparently being analytical doesn’t hire right now. Also, it doesn’t seem to pay as much. Right now I can make $55,000 a year or more doing truck driving, which is more than I’d be making if I had studied and passed a newly minted CPA certification! I’m sure you’d agree that the smartest thing right now is to follow the money, especially when my Snubby Tummers and I like being able to pay bills and eat. Keeping me close to my family is good, but no income on either of our ends is a government check away from trailer trash.

“But isn’t truck driving an unglamorous job? Shouldn’t that accounting degree take you farther?”

I put this idea in more detail on the Philosopher Accountant, but suffice to say I don’t believe that a college degree is as relevant as the expertise it provides. Seeing as how the accounting industry finds my adventurous and bold personality a bit off-putting, I’ll take my talents elsewhere. However, I know I’m not the only one who’s doing this sort of thing.

“So how are you going to keep your brain sharp? You’re constantly learning and making blogs, and truck drivers don’t do that!”

It’s simple, really. When I’m on the road, I intend to read the hundreds of books I’ve wanted to read, mostly those “classic works” that everyone praises and nobody reads. If it’s got an audio book version of it, I can “read” it.

Also, while I’m undistracted, it’s a perfect time for me to pump out the dozen or so book ideas I’ve been bouncing around in my head for a few years. Those Flying J truck stops have Wi-Fi now!

“But you’ll have all that time alone! How will you cope? How will your wife cope?”

Unlike the truck driver of the 50’s, the USA now has a gigantic cellular telephone network spread across the continent. Though there are spotty parts, phone signal can still come in across much of the country. My Gooey Dumplings and I intend to keep each other updated on all the things that happen in both our lives as we both set off on these respective adventures.

Also, my Honey Nummers won’t be alone. Right now as we speak, the owners of the property we live on have finally been able to come home and live on it again, meaning that she’s got awesomesauce neighbors. Also, we have multiple friends that want to hold Kiwi and make funny faces at him, so my Quickly Sticklers is a high-demand commodity.

“So how are you going to not become fat-fat-tubby-large-fat? Truck driver diets are not healthy, and you’re already a big guy!”

My career ambition is still to become a transportation officer in the Army, and that requires hefting away another 45 lbs of weight. Since I have a deadline of about 4 years, I’ve got to hustle! My Honey Yay-Yay and I will create a nice list of “approved truck stop foods”, and I won’t deviate from that list, and will start PT once I learn the ropes/tie-downs.

…”

Haters are still gonna hate, and the secret to life is to treat it like an overworked vacuum repairman: pay attention to what you absolutely must work with, but otherwise avoid the ones that suck the most and be more familiar with the ones that suck the least.

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Driving Forward

The more you live life the less time you have to talk about how much you’re living it. The converse is true as well, which is why the people who seem to really be succeeding at life spend more time doing things with others and less time advertising what they ate that day or reposting something a famous dead person said.

Given that God has designed the family my Gummy Squishers and I have been making into a bold experiment in abnormality, there is a public presence to our lives that ought to be formally shared, and therefore I’m vaguely updating people who actually read this about the changes about things with stuff.

To start with, my work as a helper coordinator at UPS has stopped. I can stand having most of my character flaws pointed out, but I can only stand public shaming about actual faults I have. My then-boss publicly stated I was a liar using far less appropriate language, and I decided to make my leave instead of drop to his level.

If he had been willing to discuss this in a civil discourse, I would have been able to indicate how I couldn’t have done anything after my shift was over and how the entire system was based upon the faith that driver helpers were going to legitimately show up to their work, but it was more clear that he wanted to verbally abuse me out of a frustration tied to mismanagement that he was being blamed for.

I call this management style Trickle-Down Abuse, and nobody with any shred of self-respect should put up with it. However, to put up boundaries as a subordinate can sometimes cost you your job. This isn’t as big of a deal as you may imagine, since people with bad boundaries often give an ultimatum of “learn to take the abuse or find somewhere else”.

Thankfully, I walked out due to having another wonderful job lined up. After I pass my driver’s license permit for a Class A, Swift will pay to train me, then will pay me to drive things for them in a large vehicle across the country!

Since I’m the type that likes to play with future possibilities, my Dumpling Stickers and I have already been crafting the perfect lifestyle to accommodate the, um, occupational hazards that come with living on the road.

The biggest risk that comes with a truck driver is the unhealthy lifestyle. Between truck stop food, sitting in a truck for hours, having nothing to do while sitting in said truck, and the need to keep awake, most truck drivers can develop a little bit of an eating problem.

Therefore, in order to prevent me from becoming Mr. Tubby McFatFat, my Jolly Snookers has taken it upon herself to feed and ration out food for me to eat during the trips I go on. Since she knows how to actually cook instead of the common American add-butter-and-lard-until-the-taste-buds-surrender technique, I still have a fighting chance at getting into the Army in the future!

On the subject of family, our Little Watermelon’s paternal grandparents have started the grandparenting process. They’ve filled out the forms, notarized them, submitted them with the appropriate documentation, and our local Bureau of Family Affairs is reviewing their application for eligibility.

My parents are quite ambitious to the task of tending to the human sapling, but the problems we are trying to unpack are strictly philosophical conflicts that show themselves in physical ways.

In our family, we believe that discipline is necessary as an aide to discovery, but many other parents philosophically consider discovery of good things to be superior to any form of discipline. As much as possible, our child needs to learn that there are consequences for actions, and it is our responsibility to teach that. He doesn’t have any trouble getting into things he shouldn’t, but needs to learn from us how to be a functioning and decent human being about it.

This very idea is controversial. Many people, especially newer parents and parenting magazine journalists, strongly believe that children need the freedom to be protected from all bad things while being exposed to the full experience of everything that makes them happy. Unfortunately, in this world doing things that makes us happy in the short-term can often destroy us in the long-term.

As parents, my Subby Woofers and I have decided to play the long game and instruct him with the idea that he can be a self-learning self-teaching responsible individual in as fast a time as he is capable and desires to learn it. In effect, we treat him as a very naive and very inexperienced person. On the other hand, our Guava’s grandparents treat him as a helpless individual with the incapability to even think rationally or consider things more intimately, a bit like a highly intelligent cow or a talking dog.

We’re not sure how these boundaries are going to play out, especially given the radical and tubular lifestyle changes we’re rollin’ up in this biznass. However, the power to say “no” goes a very long way, and in fact is our greatest defense from what we’re both gearing up to expect from the individuals that have spawned us. In truth, this is soon to be the greatest opportunity we have had to avoid not knowing no “no” skills and truly know “no”.

Rebranded

Since I’m so cool and hip with it, I decided to read up on net neutrality over this Thanksigiving weekend. I’ve left a more in-depth analysis here and one specifically for Christians here, but on a personal note this has changed a lot of how I’ve thought of the Internet.

If you’re around my under-30-ish age range, you’ll probably agree with me that the Net has been a large part of at least the latter end of your life up until now. Obviously your cat videos, fail images, memes and other haberdashery have contributed a significant collective experience to your otherwise historically consistent life.

However, imagine if that changed and the Internet stopped being a mish-mash of information and instead became an trained algorithm-run feed of content specifically meant to satisfy you and make you happy enough to keep coming back for more but not happy enough to ditch the whole social media thing altogether.

This is the future of the Internet, at least the way that a number of the people who helped invent it believe. Soon, it will become a relic of the free open-range information archive that we’ve become accustomed to.

This certainty isn’t just because the computer geeks said so. It’s also because as a Christian I know the end times are coming someday. To get everyone unified against the Christians and Jews the way that Revelation speaks of it, the powers that be need to do a much better job on clamping down those free expressions of thought. The easiest way is through a misdirecting algorithm to keep those pesky free-spirited individuals from getting too much exposure.

In light of this, I’ve repackaged the 3 websites to reflect that, and you can see the results of it by looking to your left (and probably scrolling up).

This isn’t really meant to scare you, just to inform. Obviously God saw this was going to happen, and the very back end of Revelation makes it quite clear that everything in history is going to get wiped out and society will get rebooted, so no harm no foul, right?

Increasingly Thankful

My Sniffly Peppers and I have experienced quite a lot in the past few weeks! Since we’re now dead in the middle of the Christmsgiving season, it’s a great time for us to share about everything we’re thankful for:

Thankful for God’s Providing

Up until recently, we have been suffering the results of what happens when a single-income household suffers the loss of one of the main family member’s incomes. In all of this, the Lord hasn’t failed at anything, even when we started watering down our water to save on the water bill.

Thankful for Family Reconciliation

Like weed at a Bob Marley concert, the conflict with my parents disappeared almost overnight. We are spending Thanksgiving with them in a way that doesn’t involve mean words, knives, restraining orders or dead pets. Not much can be said about my Gummy Badgers’ family, but miracles aren’t worth waiting for.

Thankful for Work

As much as writing is intriguing and tasty to me, it also pays very little without the time it takes to build up a reputation. Therefore, when UPS calls me up through a completely different placement agency to give me precisely the same job, it’s clearly God at work.

Thankful for a Career Trajectory

The Army is still on my mind, and I have been deliberating truck driving as a great excuse to get to hearing audio-books of all the classic novels I need to read before I can feel safe at making The Most Amazing Book Anyone Ever Wrote Ever. Once I’m done stomping out fires as a supervisor, I intend to get paid the exact same amount sitting on my butt making sure the cruise control works. In the meantime, I still intend on dropping the last 45 lbs to get me into the most efficient government job possible.

Thankful for a Meaningful Hobby

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and it’s my own personal ambition to turn the Philosopher Accountant, this site and Profiting Much into much more meaningful websites. It’s going to take a ton of work and might not pay out, but it’s a far shot better than getting a world record for “Most Hours Played on SimCity”!

Thankful the Potato is Growing

Our little Kiwi is getting larger and more coherent, and the sin condition inherent in him has started to surface. As language skills develop, screaming at the top of his lungs won’t be as much of a rational option, and we get to move to the next stages of child-rearing: good boundaries.

We are completely unprepared, and we’re thankful that we’re so oblivious about what we’re oblivious about.

An Overstimulating Discussion

As you may know by now, my Wummy Tribbles and I have been raising a small Melon. This small person has a plethora of needs that both fascinate and confound us. Most of those needs are rather easy to resolve (the needs for holding, attention, keys being dangled, etc.) but some of those have this nasty habit of requiring that fiat currency that’s all the rage.

By God’s grace, my Yucky Grippers and I have never been in severe need. Even when the fiat currency isn’t around and the digital representation of it becomes a negative number, somehow the Lord gives us what we need at precisely the right time.

This timing is no different, and we are at a place where we won’t have phone/internet access by the 19th, presuming God doesn’t do something. Seeing as how we’ve been surviving and, dare I say, occasionally thriving since last December with nary a consistent non-temp job that pays the aforementioned fiat currency, I’m sure God might find it a small endeavor to hook us up some fiat green from His rather lavish and amazing Kingdom.

In light of a flat fiat account, I’ve stumbled across a fascinating realization, which my Krumbly Numbly can testify to. For some reason, Christians in the USA have a very strange definition of the virtue of work.

Very often, the secular American virtue of work is “you are working if you make money”. This is far from a Christian viewpoint, but the Christian subconscious proverb seems to be something like “you are working if you are either making money or in professional ministry”. However, not all ministry is done by professional ministers, and true ministry is devotion to service of others for the sake of God’s will.

Eight days ago I received a call from God to take my experience wandering through the barnacle-encrusted deserts of life overcoming my unofficially diagnosed autism through 53.5 major life mistakes and write a guide book for the younger people with autism of some sort that want to integrate into society at large.

After boatloads of spiritual warfare and multiple sleepless nights, I’ve finally created the book and published it as How to Stop Looking Autistic. If you float on the spectrum somewhere or know someone likely autistic, this should fill in the blanks about your/their failings to capture the public’s good graces. It’s made for people on the spectrum, so it’s a bit more data-heavy and a bit more direct.

This book took a lot out of me, which is why I’m writing like I got a discount cyborg implant right now. I had to dive deep into my past to recall the expectations I at the time unknowingly failed, reconcile the past memories of failure that I was completely unprepared for, and confront the shame brought upon me by parents that never acknowledged that I had special needs out of their own desire for lazy parenting.

Since I end up being tethered between two worlds as a spectrum spy in the neurotypical base, I soon plan on making a related book, How to Start Looking at Autistics, but I first have to market this one to enable my family to eat, pay bills and not die.

So help out and tell your friends!

Greg Stucky For City Council

As you all may know by now and as evidenced by all the previous blog posts, I state many things that are politically correct. Amidst those politically correct things I also say many politically incorrect ones, but I still can honestly testify that all of my conjunctions and punctuation are politically correct.

The reason why is because I have decided to campaign for Beaumont, California’s city council! After discovering this article in my daily newsemail, I figured that I could probably do as good a job as everyone else in there has been doing, if this website is any indication.

Therefore, I put in my application. After thinking long enough and hard about the questions, I submitted it for review:

  • Why are you interested in serving on the city council at this particular time?

I believe in serving my country and community, and after hearing of the continued stories of Beaumont’s government having corruption tied to it, I desire to take the strong values I’ve developed through my moral convictions and accounting experience and render it for the common good. The city council would simply be a means to that end.

  • Describe your personality, and how you would deal with differing personalities.

I have a strong and commanding presence, but tend to be selective in what I speak about. I believe there is always a “third option” worth finding, and my highly analytical tendencies mixed with a creative streak drives me to that end. Others would describe me as amiable, generous, committed, direct and forward-thinking.

  • Based on your life experiences, what tools would you bring to this city council team?

I’ve been dredged through the bottom of society, and I understand fully what it’s like to be destined for failure and rise above it. My work experience spans half a dozen industries, and I’m relentlessly determined to solve the problems that sit in front of me. The city council team would utilize my gifts most effectively with a seemingly impossible or improbable challenge ahead of them.

  • What do you see as the roles and responsibilities of the city council as a body, and what do you think makes a good council member?

The city council is a body meant to serve the people of the city as representatives of it. A council works on behalf of the citizens of the city as a whole, and since the ideologies can vary vastly a good council member will represent the values and ideas inherent to the city and work to the best interests of the collective masses.

  • What do you see as the major issue(s) or challenges currently facing the city, and why?

Most of the issues connected to the city’s governance are tied to corruption, allegations of corruption, high taxes from prior corruption, poor city services from prior financial management and a general image problem from all of the above. I don’t think I need to go into too many specifics, since the person reading this has all of the details already.

  • Please provide a brief statement on how you view the following:
    Projects: a. Potrero Interchange Project b. Economic development c. Housing growth

a. The Potrero interchange isn’t an inherently bad idea, but a rather expensive one. Unless an end is in sight and attainable by conservative estimates it will likely become a boondoggle and then a punchline.
b. Economic development is easier than it may appear. If it’s possible to cut taxes in any redundant departments, then it will attract business owners. As it currently stands, California is suffering a brain drain from the best skills moving to lower-tax states. Make Beaumont a lovely incentive and they’ll consider here as home.
c. Beaumont is at a critical juncture. If it’s not careful, it will become a zoning patchwork quilt that places a universal damper on property values. With that said, zoning for tract homes should be limited to allow the rest of the region to catch up with it. It may increase population and taxation, but it will come at the cost of the beauty and attractiveness of being a hybrid of countryside and mainline California city.

  • Where do you see the city in the next 5 years? 10 years?

At its current trajectory, I see the city having thousands more homes with a large portion of them being commuters. The city will become a higher-valued city, and Banning will have taken its place as “that one city everyone lives in but can’t find a job in”.
In 10 years, I don’t really know. However, my guess is that the trend will continue and Beaumont property values will climb as strip malls and copy-paste housing crowds out anything original or memorable to the town.

I anticipate the phone will be ringing off the hook soon with those statements. Notice how I didn’t affirm the quality of the current city council. This ensures that they’ll want to earn my respect by bringing me on-board. I also didn’t shy away from their corruption image problem. This demonstrates bravery, and I’m sure they’ll provide a ticker-tape parade in my honor even if they don’t hasten to put me in office.

I’m just kidding. This probably got me on their watch-list. It will probably lead to me accidentally drowning in my shower stall when nobody was watching or I go on a spontaneous vacation to West Greenland and never come back. If I die, tell my family I love them and will see them later when God finally sorts out this mess we call a planet and tell my extended family that they suck.

There’s probably a middle ground in there somewhere, though. Most likely, this will be my rising stardom of 45 minutes ago cut down in its prime before it could reach the heavens, ever fated to be scorned by the powers that be simply due to a dramatic injustice grounded in Bluntophobia and everything truly un-American.