Podcast Email From 9/7/2005

Your lack of compassion for the people of New Orleans affected by that damn
hurricane is , to use your favorite adjective, AMAZING! It just AMAZES me
that someone can be so callous and uncompassionate. You spoke of how YOU would react and behave, well, Tom, unfortunately not everyone is as
determine and self-sufficient as you. Furthermore, why would anyone to live
in New Orleans? Maybe some of those people have lived in that location for
GENERATIONS. After all, the city is over 300 years old. Perhaps entire
family networks live in that area. Well, as much as I like your show, I
can't listen any longer. I realize that your loss of my listenership isn't
important to an OAK such as yourself. I just hope that I am not the only
one taking you to task on your AMAZING lack of compassion. Harry


Now you see why I don't do well with office politics!!! -- TOM


Hi Tom,

I agree you should stay for a year, but when the one month great the
nest. Then they fall off. I can't get a head to be able to weather
the down time. I can't wait till December, and not be bankrupt.

I intent to drive for Xpress at least for a year. I usually on an
anniversary of a job. Do an assessment of it to see how it's going.
I just can't wait that long this time.

Anther Wi-Fi question. Have you used anything like skype from your
truck, and if so how did it work out.

Be safe



We were talking about you in our show......were your ears just kidding.

Kindest regards,


I think podcasting is popular because
it offers eyes/hands-free participation.

If I had to guess, it would be that many
podcasters will begin offering short video
clips to cover all of their podcast shows --
mostly to hook-in an image with the voice.

...but there isn't much of an advantage
watching someone sitting there with their
lips moving for 40 minutes -- in fact, that
could be a distraction to the message.

In your case, a short clip could have you at
the wheel of your truck, maybe going thru the
gears as you talk. That would be a useful image
for folks to store in their visual memory.

The imagination can handle the visual chores
if it's primed with a short moving image
every now and then. Photographs help, but
there can be something called cognitive
dissonance -- meaning the visual image doesn't
quite match the voice-produced image in the
listener's mind.

I think, if I can find the time, I'll make
a one-time, five-minute intro type video so
listeners can attach an image to me. I have
a webcam sitting on my computer that I've
used a few times with Yahoo phone conversations.
For a $40 gadget it works amazingly well.

Thanks again,


Hi Tom,

We enjoyed your latest recording. The emails were interesting, but it was especially fascinating to listen to Mike (whose wife started the Disney podcast) talk about his neighbor's sudden change of heart regarding truck driver podcasts. I guess it shows that love and hate aren't really that far apart sometimes (especially when truck drivers are involved). BTW, there's a driver on HWY Blogs who wanted to know more about podcasts, so I shared a whole bunch of info with him- probably way more than he was expecting. I hope podcasting clicks with him, because his blogs are very poignant and funny, and I think he'd make a great podcaster. That reminds me- what has happened to Trucker Curtis? Oops, never mind. I just checked his feed and there's a new segment that snuck in under the radar. Okay, it's been added to my download files. Two quick notes: (Oh, and I hope your time at home is relaxing and fun!) First, the Hawaiian song was very cool. Ya know, back in the 60's, there were a bunch of songs like that- songs just for the fun of it. Like the "One-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people-eater", and such. But, like you say, commercial media has become so limited that those kind of songs just won't be played. That's too bad for them, because non-commercial music is getting more and more airplay through podcasting. Actually, back in the early 80's when I was living in Southern California, there was a station called "The Wave" that started out as an experiment to see how eclectic a commercial station could be. When it started, I listened constantly, because the songs were unique and fun and new. One song in particular was a dynamite version of "Tequila" that grooved all the way to the top and then way over the top! Well, it turns out it was a very popular station, and that was the beginning of the end. The experiment failed. In a very short time, the content devolved into a very unimaginative mix of commercial Yuppie elevator music. The same songs played over and over, and I kept listening much longer than I should have, hoping that maybe some of the brief initial spark would be revived. Well, the spark was eventually revived, but through podcasts instead of radio. Commercial Radio is dead- long live the Pod!

Okay, back to a saner place. (Sorry, I'm running on about 2 1/2 hours sleep right now.) I have a feeling that a lot of people who listen to the fine podcasts produced by us truck drivers are not using the podcast RSS feeds, but simply going to our websites and linking to the files from there. I think a lot of people are intimidated by RSS and XML, just like I was initially. So (get ready for a plug), my two most recent podcasts (as of August 31st) are a couple of hands-on tutorials to help listeners experience the joy of using a free internet service called "Bloglines". I've been using Bloglines for a while now, and I love it. All my feeds are together in one place- blogs, podcasts, photo galleries, etc. I just realized you probably listened to those casts already, that is, if you aren't helping defrag someone's computer right now. (I hope not, mister!) Okay, now that you gave me a plug, go ahead and plug yourself. Just read the following script:

Thanks you for listening to Trucker Tom's podcast- the best podcast on 2, 3, 4, 18 or 96 wheels. Recipient of the "Out Here on the Road" seal of approval. And stayed tuned for important information on the upcoming "Tom Wiles Invitational Golf Tournament".

Happy Trails!

hi tom hope you and your family are safe and well ive just seen pictures of the devistation from the hurricane you are in our thoughts , ron


good day tom i m a trucker from holland (no job) can y drive allso for the
company my name is peter thanks
if you want to send a mesage my e mail is
drive safe

Hey Tom,

Do you have rates for deliveries cross-country for house hold goods. Our warehouse is in North Hollywood, CA and we have shipments to Florida, Texas and elsewhere. Please call me or Tony or email. Thanks.

Matt Kuiper
Aerostar Moving & Shipping
818.766.7671 fax

Proud Members of the HHG FAA

Hey tom!

I'm from Vancouver Canada and I came across your podcast on

I just wanted to say I love your podcast, truckers are too often taken for
granted and stereotyped and I'm very happy to see that some of them are
getting their voice out there. You are an inspiration and overall a top
notch guy. I also totally dig your badass truck , beats the hell outta my
lame nissan sentra. hehe

Keep the goods movin you highway hero !

Your fan

Michael D. McKnight


Hi Tom,
Got to checking my feed here on Podnova and noticed my website is listed as my feed. The website is actually I know you are busy, (aren''t we all, eh?) but when you get a chance I''d appreciate it if you could make that correction.

Thanks, Curtis


I started laughing when you sat your stat to 90, in your house. Thats cooking hot, you might as well turn it off.

Been away awhile, trying to catch up on the PODS.....

good to listen to you again,



Tom: quick question for you. I listen to a lot of podcasts while
driving in my car through an adaptor that plays via a vacant fm freq.
on my car radio. That works pretty good most of the time except in
cities where the stations overlap in strength or in the country where
the signal weakens. Do not like to listen via the earphones while
driving due to safety concerns and its against the law. Had the
bright idea of trying to listen through a cell phone combo mike and
earphones which are legal for now. Only problem is that the mini jack
on all of these driving dodads do not fit in the input jack for the
iPod. I know you do not have an iPod but was wondering whether you
have ever tried this with your mp3 player and have any thoughts?
Listened to your cast today and do not know whether your on the road

Friends and fellow podcasters,

I sent the following letter to Adam Curry. Today, I interviewed several refugees of Hurricane Katrina. Many drove to Shreveport from New Orleans to escape the storm and others were bused here after being rescued from their rooftops. Please feel free to use any part of the podcast to promote giving to the Red Cross or other organizations to help the people in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Permission is granted to edit as you see fit. By the way, I tried to find someone from the Red Cross for an interview but the person I needed was not available at that time.

Hundreds of refugees from New Orleans have come to Shreveport and are placed in several locations throughout the city. This afternoon I went to the Hirsh Coliseum where at least 500 people filled the main floor. Mattresses lined the floor with paths about 1 foot wide between them for the people to walk through. I talked to several people and it seems that all had left family members behind in New Orleans and no way to contact them. One volunteer told me 2 buses were on the way from N.O. bringing 200 more refugees. Security was tight but I managed to get in by telling them I was there to interview the Red Cross for a radio news show. They told me where to park and where to go and how to get inside. I got permission from the police to go to the main floor to interview the refugees. Everyone was egar to tell me their story. Bobby and Pat Turner told me their story. They were sleeping in the attic because the water was 1 foot from the ceiling. The refrigerator was floating and all the food had spilled out. They hid from looters and rescue teams because they didn't want to leave their home. Please listen to my podcast. Also, understand that it's worse then what is on the news. It's like a war zone, lots of people have guns and some of the rescue boats have been shot at and even an attempted hijack of one. Communication with the people in N.O. from the officials is NOT taking place. People are hiding in their attics guarding what little they have left. I will go back for more stories this weekend. As far as I know this will be the first podcast with interviews from survivors of Hurricane Katrina. No TV news story can give you a one on one interview like podcasting can. I left that place with tears in my eyes and could hardly tell my wife what I had just witnessed. I'm hoping these interviews will touch the hearts of podcasters and listeners so they will do something. Even the smallest gift is so important. If you want to use any portion of these interviews please feel free to do so.

Ron Stroope
ZIP 71101
Shreveport, Louisiana


Dear Tom,

Greetings. This is Dale Parkes of Los Alamitos, California. I saw an
article about you in SPIRIT Magazine.

I have been driving commercially for nine years. Until about a year and a
half ago I've pulled freight for ten different motor carriers. One gig was
pulling a refrigerated trailer; the others were dry van. Lately, I've been
transporting new or used trucks from one point to another; the vehicle
itself is the cargo.

I also notice you ride motorcycle. I don't but I do know some people who do.

I have some questions for you:

1. Do you ever face pressure to cheat or cut corners on your logbook?
2. What do you think of electronic logging/black boxes?
3. Do you attend church on Sundays while on the road?
4. Do you wear boots while riding motorcycle?
5. When riding your motorcycle do you ever get stopped/ticketed for Loud
Roaring Sound?


Dale Parkes



I have to tell you that it was hard to look into the faces of those people who've lost everything. The look of despair in their eyes stabbed my heart. When I drove away to go back to the comfort of my home I could still see their faces. As I told my wife of what I had just seen, I couldn't finish the first sentence because my emotions overwhelmed me. I plan to go back later this morning to work as a volunteer and perhaps record some more conversations with these precious people. There are only a few TV sets at the Hirsch brought in by some of the refugees. Most of the people staying there DO NOT have the latest news. Some have newspapers and radios but that's it. They only know what they are told. There were about 600 people there when I was there but now the number has grown to over 1000 and another building has been open and set up for another 800 on their way from New Orleans. Here in Shreveport one of my sources told me there have been car hijackings and an increase in crime. The hospitals have had to lock their doors and place guards around the buildings because people walking trying to get drugs and cause problems. One food service here is providing FEMA with food and is working around the clock loading truck after truck and sending them to New Orleans. It takes time to get this stuff out and due to the damage to roads and highways and long lines of traffic, the trip that once took only 6 hours now takes 12. The damage area, just in New Orleans alone is over 100,000 square miles. During 911, the damage was only several blocks and fire fighters and police managed to get control quickly. In New Orleans, I was told that only one air strip was available to fly into the city right after the flooding. Roads and bridges have washed out making it near impossible to get into the city. Routes had to be found and cleared just to get help into the city. The news media is making the story worse. They have commentators that are making statements about things they know nothing about so they place blame on the president and his administration. This country has NEVER had anything like this before. No president has had to face what George Bush has since he took office. Just think about it. 911, the war on terror, and now hurricane Katrinia covering three states and the flooding in New Orleans. That's a plate full. Plus he has to run the country, deal with Congress and world leaders and oversee the safety of our country and deal with other problems we never hear about. Whew, let's give the guy a break.


Hi Tom,

I was visiting your site when I noticed a broken link for " StartLogic Web Hosting Offer -- Find out why I switched web hosting companies"
It results in:

"You have an error in your SQL syntax. Check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near '' at line 1"

Be well, Tom.

By the way, we'll be driving (a Jepp Wrangler, bot a big rig :-0 ) San Francisco to Phoenix late September to visit my folks. Any advice on interesting routes or whatever is appreciated.

Nice podcast, Tom. It always sounds sincere to me, and straight off the shoulder.


Phil Schlesinger

Much respect for you holding your own against the guy's email. And you're
right, saying something along "We send best wishes, etc" does nothing for
the people, and it shouldn't make you feel any better of a person for saying
such - whether you feel about it or not. Unfortunantley, many people feel
the need to keep reminding and probing such a devastating subject such as
this (and 9/11 - don't get me wrong, I'm not happy it happened, but since no
one in my family or friends died through it, I will not show much sympathy;
personally, when people draw it out I feel like people are just looking for
attention, but that's how I look at things.) But people don't like to see
things from someone else's perspective, they judge and fight anything that
they are not used to.

And with people battering and bitching about being calleous, why can't they
respect one's own views on things? Why can't they just forget about what
other people think - or, even better, open their minds? This country's
populace would be off much better if they weren't so close-minded - but
instead they choose otherwise and assault anyone that is otherwise, that
looks at things from a different perspective, that "dances to the beat of a
different drummer."

And if they want to attack someone from being so cold, then why don't they
attack the people that packed up their luxurious cars with their luggage and
left, and wouldn't take anyone with them that didn't have that option? I
don't like watching the news, but I remember a scene of a lady complaining
about how the upper-class wouldn't help them get away before the hurricane
came - to help them to leave when they were all told to leave. Those people
stuck there, they couldn't get out as easily as everyone else did - and look
what happened? But people decided to bitch and moan about how someone that
wasn't even there couldn't give a flying fuck.

Now I feel some sympathy for the people, but there's nothing that I can do,
and that's just how it is. I can't go down there and show them love, I
can't give them money, nor a place to live. So why should I send "best
hopes & wishes" to them? What good would that do? "Make them feel better
about themselves"? Like feeling better is going to keep them from dying,
from eating one another (in the end, cannibalism is not wrong, and is
actually rather current in the US more than people would think, at least I
believe)? If people really felt the need to do something, they would GO and
do something. If they donated to a fund, good for them. If they go down
there and help them? That's where I would give them respect - or if they
donate a couple thousand to a fund. Ten bucks? Get out of here.

Ugh, sorry, I think I've ranted a bit too much, my apologies. But, take
care, and keep speaking YOUR OWN MIND. Screw what anyone else thinks. And
keep the 'casts coming, they're some fresh flavor over here in Southern York
County, PA, and I much enjoy them.

Take care,
-Chris Griffith


sorry Tom, your 'cast isnt about truckdriving anymore. You tired of the
"how to be a truckdriver"
series, and havent offered up anything except your opinions. I can get that
in so many other places.

Best wishes
so long


As I said once before I ran out of "how to become a truck driver" topics. In
order for me to not become bored with doing the podcast, I have to talk
about what's currently on my mind. I would quickly grow bored with talking
about the same "how to become a truck driver" steps mindlessly over and over
again. Ultimately, my podcast is not commercial radio. I talk about what's
currently on my mind, and people are free to listen in if they wish and are
free to go if that's their wish. I talk in the podcast just as if the
listener was sitting next to me, and the object of the podcast is not to win
the maximum number of listeners. If you are bored with me in the podcast,
it's likely you would quickly grow bored with me in person because I make
absolutely no distinction between what I am thinking and talking about to
people currently as opposed to what I'm thinking and talking about in the
podcast. Also as I've said before, if people want more truck driving-related
content, they need to send me trucking-related questions. Even though many
of the questions people send in are repetitious, I'm more than happy to
answer them again. What I can't do is simply keep automatically delivering
the same content without something sparking some spontaneity.

Talk to you later,


A city was built in a sinking swamp between a lake and a
river in prime hurricane affected real estate and people wonder why
disasters happen to it on a semi-frequent basis. It's too bad that this
tragedy happened to the people of New Orleans, but people choose to live
where they live, nobody forces them to live there.




Hey Tom.
Just wanted to let you know you still have me as a listener.ha. I was curious how you would answer that email and I want to commend you on your answer. You gave the best description of podcasting in your answer that I've ever heard. Podcasting is uncut, raw, and it's your own point of view. People will understand that after while I guess. You probably gained more listeners from that than you lost, if you lost any.
Thanks for such a great podcast!!

Hi Tom my name is Scott and I would like to talk to you about Shaffer
Trucking. I am wanting to get back into trucking. Right now I am thinking
about going back with CR England. I want to go Lease Operator with them. If
you could email me your cell # and maybe we can talk. Thanks

Scott Dunn

Hi Tom,

First of all, I pretty much agree with you on the ghettos of american
cities, north miami comes to mind. More locally, for me, southeast DC.
Another thing strikes me, this is kind of an insensitive observation,
but living in europe all this time makes it more noticable to me, we
have the fattest "poor" people in the world. Some of the scenes reminded
me of the riots in LA after rodney king's arrestors were found innocent.
I will never forget that truck driver who was brutally beaten by those
people, their excuse "black rage". My view on welfare is that it should
be there, but without a mechanism to get them off of welfare, they are
just dependent on it such as the pidgeons in the park. EVERYDAY people
with nothing but the clothes on their backs sneak into the US, without
education, without english, and they make a life for themselves without
any assistance at all. So it is difficult for me to have sympathy. But
that is another discussion.

I have been watching the events in the US from here and like many I
wonder what is going on. I cannot understand how it got so political so
fast. Then after a few days, I began to see what I think really
happened. People are always going to blame the government, but it seemed
like they were holding bush directly responsible for their suffering, I
cannot understand this, it seems to me the local people have let them

As far as I can tell, that mayor did not follow his own plan, apparently
it called for using school busses to get people out, there is one video
shot they keep showing of that mayor where he is complaining that
washington needs to send busses, and you can see the rooftops of all his
busses parked in the background.

I hope they do investigate.

Another point, is that that governor paid half a million dollars to a
consulting firm just last year (wesley clark also works there) to study
just this sort of problem, now, that governor is hireing him back. If
the alligation the mayor made about that governor is true, I suspect she
is just consulting some of these ex clinton cronies all the way.

That mayor should have been telling his people to "get off their asses"
instead of whining to the federal government.

I just think there are a few hundred questions that could be asked
before you would even get to blaming the federal government. The local
people in my opinion should have had something set up to hold out a day
or 2, they were in kaos immediately.

I think the biggest mistake Bush made was trusting the local leadership
in Louisiana was competant.

The first time I heard that mayor speak, I thought he was one of the

Here is a nice funny like of someone who has too much money and too
little brains

Here is a nice article in the washington post explaining how the
louisiana governer blocked the federal government from taking control of
the situaion because she was afraid that once they had control,
(democrats hate giving up power don't they) they would blame the locals
for everything. Also it points out how she did not reach out until late
wedsday for assitance. And as of Saturday she STILL had not declared a
state of emergency.

Here is an article on this clinton buddy james whitt, he was paid half a
milliion dollars to develop a disaster plan. Now that blanco just hired

And another great photo

And more

mY favorite story was the one about the 18 year old who stole one of
those busses and got 100 people out, and he did it so efficieently that
they were the first to arrive at the astrodome. Yet the mayor couldn't
do the same.

It seems to me there is a big political game going on in louisiana, the
other 2 states were hit just as hard but I don't hear those people
complaining, true there are not many cameras there.

Anyhow, it will hopefully all come out in the end I supposed, what
bothers me most is that now billions of dollars are going to flow to
that incometent governor who will try to take credit for her own

Anyhow, it is times like these I wish I was behind the wheel of a truck.

One thing, I have been waiting for Howard Dean to stay something stupid,
they must have given him a tranquilizer.

Anyhow, I am home, sick with the flue for a couple days so I will try to
educate myself on some of the facts.

Looks like gasoline prices are almost the same over there as here, so I
am not in such a hurry to move back.

I hope you steer clear of the affected area.

Ok, I better get some medicine and get to bed. Basicly I worked too much
over the last few weeks and got too little sleep and it caught up with



Hi Tom,

Just a quick note to say to keep up the great work. I love your show,
especially the shows you do actually on the road. I'm sure a lot of your
listeners all feel like you take us with you throughout the country even
though we're stuck at home!

Have you ever thought about adding a dashboard cam to your site? I'm not
sure if you can access the internet as you hit various wifi hotspots, but
that's obviously one way to upload the photos automatically through various

If you ever need any internet-related services just let me know.

Thanks for a great Podcast!

Take care,
Phil Iovino - Principal, NxTek Solutions Inc
Award-winning hosting, development, and Ecommerce services - 877.Get.NxTek - ICQ: 1712482 - MSN:
82,000 Sq Ft Datacenter, 11 Backbone Providers, 19 Gpbs of Premium Bandwidth


Hi Tom!

After listening to your recent podcasts, I had to comment on them. I honestly didn't find anything you said about New Orleans

to be offensive. The guy who called you "supertrucker" must not have listened to you very much. Your honest comments

were just that, not some swaggering statements made by an ignorant, ego inflated individual.

My brother was living in Metairie right near the 17th street levee break. He made the decision to ride out the storm

in his two story brick townhouse and luckily was OK. He and his girlfriend made it out safely after a few days to stay with

relatives in North Carolina.

I live in Southern California, earthquake country. I have carried emergency supplies in my vehicle for years. I have emergency

savings and a plan to get to a safe area in the event of a large earthquake here. I certainly don't plan to sit on my butt waiting

for the government to take care of me! I want to move from here because it has gotten very congested and I can see major problems

in the event of a disaster. Almost everyone that I talk to thinks that this place is heaven. Maybe it was in the 1950s.

The pictures of your family's home after the storm damage were interesting. I didn't see you guys standing around waiting for help!

That must have been one heck of an experience being in your car as the entire house was blown over you!

Take care and keep the honest commentary coming,