Tuesday, October 22, 2013

O Tireneers

I downloaded the audio book* O Pioneers by Willa Cather yesterday and listened to maybe a fifth of it last night. It's about immigrants in Nebraska  in the latter 1800s, especially Swedes, particularly one family. It was tough out there on the Great Plains in the beginning, according to the book. The father dies. There are two boys, 17 and 19, but he leaves the eldest child, a daughter, in charge, and over the next couple decades she increases the family holdings and wealth until they are all well to do with their own farms, with her having the most land and wealth.

That's about where I am now in the book. Based on what I've heard so far, I'm kind of surprised I don't hear this book referred to in "feminist circles." I may have, but not enough for me to have thought of it as a feminist tract. Maybe there are non feminist parts forthcoming.

The Phoenix driver I relay with in Holbrook gave me a trailer with a flat tire last night. Right in the middle of the tread it had one of those sheet metal screws of the type they fasten tin siding on tin buildings with. It was about 1/4 inch in diameter. He probably wasn't aware it was in there, but it was out of air when he got to Holbrook.

The freight I haul is "time sensitive," as we say. People are waiting for it back in Albuquerque and it has to be sorted out, loaded into vans and delivered by 10 a.m. The Phoenix driver was very late last night and I'd already be getting back in Albuquerque at 8 or  8 :15.

With a flat, one has a choice -- call someone out to fix it in Holbrook, and wait for them, or, try to make it past the New Mexico weigh station at Gallup. You have eight trailer tires. These are light loads, and you can easily run with one flat tire, and from a distance it's hard to see that it's flat. If they stop you at the weight station, they'll make you stop there and call someone out to fix it, so you'll wait pretty much the same amount of time either way. But if the tire stays in one piece and doesn't come apart, there's a good chance you'll get through the weigh station without them seeing it.

I won't say which choice I made. The NSA is reading, too.

* There are many, many fine books and short story collections available at Librivox.org, where volunteers make audio recordings of books that are in the public domain.


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