October 14, 2004 -- I unloaded early this morning at Grandview, Washington. I ended up reloading at Paterson, Washington with a load of wine going to Liverpool, New York.

While I was at Paterson loading my load, I ended up with a bunch of really irritating flies inside my truck cab. They make every driver that's loading bring his or her keys inside the building and hang them up on the wall next to the loading dock door, presumably so he or she won't drive off before the loading process is complete. The problem with that is I had to roll my windows down to avoid being too hot. The place is crawling with flies, probably attracted by the grapes in the surrounding vineyards. I've already killed a number of them -- I've still got quite a few to go. These flies won't stay still -- they are very active, and seem to enjoy landing right on me and crawling around. The darned things are really annoying. If The next time I have to go back to the same place to load I'll drop my trailer in the door instead and pull the truck away from it so that I won't have to roll down the windows if it's fly season. I've spent almost an hour now killing the ones I can. I'm using a large envelope as a flyswatter. It works, but not as well as a real flyswatter. I've got to try to get rid of all of them before I lay down to sleep -- I DON'T enjoy being woken by flies crawling on me!!!! The ones that are left alive right now don't seem to want to land very often!!!!

When I signed for my load at Paterson, I was informed that I was supposed to play yard jockey and move four of our company trailers into and out of doors, waiting until they were loaded to move them out. The company will pay me $30 per trailer so I should make an extra $120 for the effort. Otherwise I wouldn't do it. It's a strange situation. Virtually all places that load multiple dropped trailers have their own yard truck with one or more employees that's capable of spotting a trailer in a door to load or unload.

I'm spending the night at Baker, Oregon. That leaves me with about 2,488 more miles to go to make it to Liverpool, New York, the load's destination near Syracuse, New York

The past few days I've deliberately turned off any newscasts. In fact, I've been listening to music CD's. Last night as I was driving late in the night I realized that I was suddenly becoming a lot more optimistic. It seems to me that newscasts are nothing more than highly negative gossip presented in an entertaining way, as entertainment. They give you enough information, presented in such a way that it leads you to their conclusion -- that humanity is a worthless, hopeless scourge that's doomed to be self-obliterated from the Earth.

This is a good lesson in the very real evils of gossip. Gossip not only hurts the people who are being gossiped about, but it also hurts the people engaged in the gossip, whether it's national gossip about politics, in the workplace or in personal lives.

I've turned the news off for long stretches of time in the past. However, in the past I've always ended up being tempted to start listening again, thinking that since I know what their purpose is I can listen anyway without being affected by it. It's not true. It's not possible to listen to that crap without being overwhelmed by the negative spirit that gives the "news" its life.