Belle Fourche, SD
I will be picking up something here that's going to the Houston area (out by Sugarland I presume) so waited the night out at a Conoco truck stop. I cruised through this town when I came in...came down US 85 and went on down to Spearfish 10 miles yon looking for gloves, and some cables for my 1000 watt inverter, which air conditioner cord I had made into an extension cord had begun to melt and was making the inverter buzz and blip and shut off on me, i.e. overloaded. I now have the inverter hooked direct to the heavy cables coming off the batteries.. it works just fine. I am so delighted... my little life gets a little less miserable.Alas. For a long time, years, I resisted the urge to fix up the interior of the truck, which would make it more livable of course but I did not want to seem to be enthusiastic about the truck driver part of truck driving. Just watch the movie Thelma and Louise to see why. The woman who wrote it, bless her, uses several different caricatures, stereotypes, and sets them up as straw men. She has pretty good purpose in mind. That was thought of a "watershed" movie. But it wasn't one for truck drivers.
I found a K-Mart in Speargar..the only Kmart I can think of with "no truck parking" signs, apparently the one store in that corporation that doesn't need any extra business.
There is no radio here, which leaves NPR. By "radio" I mean anything but country music and the most slobbering of Republican Conservatism talk shows. NPR has been entertaining themselves by recounting their first crushes, first record albums, and so forth.
Poor NPR. Their audience, besides themselves, is congress and the donors. They take care of congress with the news department -- by giving an entirely one-sided accounting of the Palestine-Israel issue, and by otherwise censoring themselves to avoid offending the conservative ruling mainstream, which also take cares of the big, important donors.
Then there is the rest of the coverage, the Terry Garr and the classical music and the financial advise shows for the suburban self conscious donors who would rather think about their first albums and first crushes than the bulk of the population that is now just two steps from the bread line.
I actually heard not long ago NPR do an little amusing piece that said sales of Spam were up, in a voice dripping with fraudulent concern.
Oh, we must be in a recession.
Yes, mock us, you sons of a bitches, we the unclean out here eating Spam, and dog food, some of us. Did you hear about that?
Oh wow I caught it on my way to the gym. How depressing is that?
Yes, you slimy bastards, dog food, if we can find it. You've got yours, right? So all is well. Spam sales are up. So amusing. How many NPR listeners after hearing that touched their Blackberry, caressed its smooth surfaces and punched up their financial advisers? The price wasn't as good as it could have been. The NPR people had already called.
Anyway back at the Spearcrab Big K, it was odd. I found myself picking up things I'd been thinking about getting, like a wastebasket, a folding chair, which I'd thought about before, but tonight just picked up on impulse, and a folding table, upon which now sits the laptop I am typing upon. It puts the keyboard very convenient to my seat, the edge of the bunk, which was recently unburdened of its crappy mattress. I now sleep on layers of cotton rugs, sleep better, and have more room as a result of ditching the mattress, and a better perch, too.
I got me some nice warm gloves, too. I was needing warmer gloves. Summer is well over in much of the country now. It's 39F in Spearweary, and good gloves will surely come in handy when I tarp this load. It was chilly even when I emerged from the Spearguppy K-Mart.
I bought a heavy duty light stick to more conveniently run my electrical gadgetry, that is the fan I exhaust the sleeper berth with and the smaller inverter that powers the computer, and my light. This organizes cordery better.
So yes. It's becoming lovely in here. A lovely drive down here too, despite seeming a long one, 295 miles. Golden brown hills and about as remote as it comes.
Someone mentioned on the radio today or last night that the US population is more than 300 million people now, which, I'll bet, why it seems so crowded on the roads all over the US now. That's at least double the population of the country when I first became aware of the population. The later 1950s or early 1960s. I think it was maybe even 135 million. I could probably look it up.
I have been hearing rumblings about whether this is too many people. I don't mean about whether this given piece of land, North America, can support a given number of people. I mean, some are wondering if we have passed some upper limit to the number of people that can govern themselves under our system. It was designed when the population was tiny. The question has to do with things like the number of people in the congress -- senators, of course, but also representatives, and the number of people whose interests they have to represent, and if thee i an upper limit to the size of the bureaucracy beyond which it can't respond the peoples' needs, or even function internally?
And whether or not government becomes dysfunctional, the income gap, between the very wealthy and the rest of us, having tripled in the past 30 years, makes it that much easier for that top 1 percent to control the rest of us through our government.