Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Retirement Goals

On November 7, 2009 I was physically far past ready for retirement. The fact that my nerves got to me last week after driving a taxi for less than two weeks pretty well makes the case that after nine months I am still not ready to return to a job that requirs the time and effort that most jobs today require. At least the jobs that I can qualify for. So, the way it looks, I am now permantly retired from the job market.

However, this does not mean that I am mentally ready for retirement. It just means that it is time for me to be a little choosy about the kind of work that I do. And, I believe I have worked hard enough to earn the right to choose the kind of work that I want to do. That does not mean that I have a guarantee of success at what I do. It simply means that I have earned the chance to try my hand, brain and talent at whatever I want to work at.

Perhaps I will someday be able to afford to buy new camera equipment. I hope so. I would like to keep shooting, and prove to myself that I have the talent to make a living doing the kind of photography I want to do. Perhaps I will finish writing some of the stories I am now working on. And, perhaps I will be able to turn one or more of my blogs into commercial enterprises. But, right now, a lengthy writing project does not appeal to me. So, I will write what I can, when I can. Past that, I am just not interested in worrying about writing.

What I should have done on November 8, 2009, which is the day that I retired from a 35 year career of over-the-road trucking, was what I finally done just over a week ago. What I should have done was march my fat little body down to the music store to spend a healthy portion of my savings on all of the music equipment that I could afford. If I had done that I would now be nine months closer to realizing a long forgotten dream. I do not expect to become a professional rock or country music star. What I would like to accomplish is to write some songs, get them published and recorded by professional musicians. And, what I would like to do is get good enough, and have the confidence to play for my family and friends. I have no desire to tour for months at a time with a band. Local work will make me happy.

Since the mid-1990's I have realized that I have a natural, but still raw, talent as a rythym guitarist. I play a decent second lead guitar, and I am trying to become an accomplished lead guitarist. All I need to do is work as hard at doing this as I have worked all of my life as a professional trucker. There will be no problem there as long as my health will allow it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The U.S. Government vs The American Trucker

The following article is a re-post of my (probable) final post to Trucks * Truckers * Trucking
Writing for the Masses in not closing down.
**********

For the first 15 years of my trucking career I fought hard to improve the system. I wrote more letters to government officials than I care to remember. I bitched and complained to everyone I knew, and to a lot of people I did not know. Some transportation magazines were viewing my letter writing as regular contributions to their magazines. But, all of that work went for little gain for the men and women on the front lines. In the last 20 years I stopped trying to change things. I stopped yelling, screaming, bitching, complaining, and letter writing. I kept the driver's door shut. I rolled the windows up. I turned the c.b. off. I turned the a.m. on. And, I drove. And, I accomplished just as much change.


What I am trying to say is that there is only one way to change this industry. Letters from drivers won't do it. Shut downs won't do it. An occasional deadly crash on the highway won't do it. A thousand new rest areas, and 500 new fuel stops won't change a thing. By the time anything is done by a government entity you will find that it was done 20 years too late. Those are not idiots in Washington, but they are deaf mutes. If you want to change this industry you will have to tell the truth about this industry to prospective drivers. Convince them not to enter the industry. You will have to leave this industry. And, when there is nobody left to deliver the toilet paper to wipe their butts you will find that the ears will come unplugged. And, changes will be made.


This site (Trucks * Truckers * Trucking) is essentially null and void. For now it will not be deleted, and there may be an occassional post. And, in the future I may have the desire to work with the site again. I am a retired 35 year veteran of the trucking industry. I have started a new life. And, while I still enjoy photographing trucks I have no desire to write about the industry. I am, however, currently working on fictional characters, some of which are truckers, to be used in fictional stories that I have planned or am working on. But, I have fought the rules and regulations for 35 years. For now, the only reference I wish to make about government regulations of truckers, and all of the other crap truckers have to deal with, - well, that will be done in my stories.


Thanks for your visits to this blog.

The U.S. Government vs The American Trucker

The following article is a re-post of my (probable) final post to Trucks * Truckers * Trucking
Writing for the Masses in not closing down.
**********

For the first 15 years of my trucking career I fought hard to improve the system. I wrote more letters to government officials than I care to remember. I bitched and complained to everyone I knew, and to a lot of people I did not know. Some transportation magazines were viewing my letter writing as regular contributions to their magazines. But, all of that work went for little gain for the men and women on the front lines. In the last 20 years I stopped trying to change things. I stopped yelling, screaming, bitching, complaining, and letter writing. I kept the driver's door shut. I rolled the windows up. I turned the c.b. off. I turned the a.m. on. And, I drove. And, I accomplished just as much change.


What I am trying to say is that there is only one way to change this industry. Letters from drivers won't do it. Shut downs won't do it. An occasional deadly crash on the highway won't do it. A thousand new rest areas, and 500 new fuel stops won't change a thing. By the time anything is done by a government entity you will find that it was done 20 years too late. Those are not idiots in Washington, but they are deaf mutes. If you want to change this industry you will have to tell the truth about this industry to prospective drivers. Convince them not to enter the industry. You will have to leave this industry. And, when there is nobody left to deliver the toilet paper to wipe their butts you will find that the ears will come unplugged. And, changes will be made.


This site (Trucks * Truckers * Trucking) is essentially null and void. For now it will not be deleted, and there may be an occassional post. And, in the future I may have the desire to work with the site again. I am a retired 35 year veteran of the trucking industry. I have started a new life. And, while I still enjoy photographing trucks I have no desire to write about the industry. I am, however, currently working on fictional characters, some of which are truckers, to be used in fictional stories that I have planned or am working on. But, I have fought the rules and regulations for 35 years. For now, the only reference I wish to make about government regulations of truckers, and all of the other crap truckers have to deal with, - well, that will be done in my stories.


Thanks for your visits to this blog.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On My Own

On My Own
Copyright, 2010: Keith Birmingham
**********

This is a new one. It has a hard driving beat, but stays close to a monotone, if you will. I am still working on the arrangement. But this is close to what it will be. The added benefit is that it is very open to lengthy or shortened arrangements and lead patterns. Experiment and enjoy.

G A G A
A C D
A C D
A
You said your love was true,
         C                          D
And, you would never do me wrong.
A
You said your love was true,
          C                          D
And, you would never do me wrong.

G A G A

Now there's another man,

And, girl it didn't take me long.

Now there's another man,

And, girl it didn't take me long.

G A G A C D A G A

Girl, I'm through with you,

And, now I'm back out on my own.

Well girl, I'm through with you,

And, now I'm back out on my own.

G A G A C D A C D A C D A fade

Do You Love Your Children?

Before you send your next text message,
before you drive a car again, before you take your next drink - please
watch this. http://ping.fm/RUzC8

Monday, August 23, 2010

Seven Turns - Allman Brothers Band

China's Nine-Day Traffic Jam

Thank God your not truckin' in China.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100823/sc_afp/chinaroadtraffic

Thirty-Five Years

Thirty-Five Years
(Takin’ Back My Life)
Copyright, 2010: Keith Birmingham

Em, A=verses
F, Em=chorus

1.)
Em
For thirty-five years I’ve been breakin’ my back

A
In the heat of a July sun.

Em
For thirty-five years I’ve  busted my butt

A
On those cold December runs.

F
For thirty-five years I gave the man

Em
The best years of my life.

F
And now I think it’s time for me

Em
To be takin’ back my life

F.
And now I think it’s time for me

Em
To be takin’ back my life.

2.)

For thirty-five years I gave the woman

Everything I could

For thirty-five years I have done exactly

What I said I would.

But now she’s gone. I’m on my own.

And, Lord I love this life.

“Cause now I think it’s time for me

To be takin’ back my life
.
Now I think it’s time for me

To be takin’ back my live.

3.)

Thirty-five years of sorrow and pain

And now I’ve been set free.

To talk the talk, and walk the walk,

Of the man I want to be.

So look out world I’m steppin’ out

In the prime of my life.

And now I know it’s time for me

To be takin’ back my life.

And now I know it’s time for me

To be takin’ back my  life.

I said now I know it’s time for me

To be takin’ back my life.

And, I’m takin’ back my life. 

The Second Coming of a Legend

Well folks, get prepared. The second coming of Eric "Slowhand" Clapton went out yesteray and bought himself a brand-spanking new guitar. Admittedly, it's a cheapy, but I like it so far. The case cost 1/4 of what the guitar cost. I have a tendency to buy high-dollar second componant equipment for their future use.  I bought a little Fender acoustic/electric CD140SCE NAT. That is a little dreadnought guitar. In the hands of an accomplised (I'm not there - yet.) picker this little instrument gives off an excellent bluegrass sound, and a stunning country melody. For the low price (it list for around $430) I don't think I could have asked for a better playing guitar. But, dang, the fingers on my left hand are sore this morning.

Bummer. My son has my camera. Sorry, no photos. No autographs.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Peak Preview from CSA - 2010

Your employer can now get a peek preview of their safety rankings under the agency’s new enforcement and compliance program, the Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010. Click here for complete details.
Your employer can now get a peek preview of their safety rankings under the agency’s new enforcement and compliance program, the Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010. Click here for complete details.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Come on, Get Rythm

The lead guitar in this group (the white Gretsch) is played by the son of a family friend, Mike Mayes. This band - well, here is Mike's words:  This was during the"lead-in" for a Wanda Jackson concert in OKC last Nov. Then they actually played back up for her during her concert. After it was over, Wanda turned around to TJ & told him that he was the best lead guitar player she had ever had in her 50 yr.... career. She still puts on a pretty good show, tho her voice is not what it once was.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Convoy - C.W. McCall

Satisfied - Jewel

My life is in a whirlwind these days. I am chasing dreams that I had put off chasing. I am having fun, but I am very tired. I may try to save a little of my energy for my next life. I just hope that I take what I have learned in this life with me to the next one. These days every morning when I wake up my mind is boggled by the possibilities in front of me. I have taken a gazillion photographs. I have experienced so much good in my life that it is almost incomprehensible. There are so many memorable events that they seem to be spilling out of my soul. And, sometimes all I want is nothing more in my life than to sit around, pick a guitar, write songs, and drink a cold beer now and then. But, sometimes I just take a deep breath, and I ready for the second half of life.

Most artist of any persuasion can relate to this song:

Rose in Paradise - Waylon Jennings