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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Driving Independent Can Pay Off in California, Study Shows
Seems hard to believe with the cost of living and taxes in California! I'd be doing a lot more research before jumping in. 
Article thanks to and David Cullen. Links provided:
Oct, 2015  California owner-operators can earn substantially more than company drivers in the Golden State, per a new study released by the California Trucking Association and theInland Empire Economic Partnership.
The Owner-Operator Driver Compensation Study found that drivers who operate independently have the ability to earn up to a six-figure income. And it determined that, based on recent figures, owner-operators scored net earnings more than $17,000 higher than do company drivers.
The report is based on 2013 data reported by 2,648 owner-operators based in California who operate in the port drayage, over-the-road and refrigeration sectors as well as from 2015 government data on company drivers.
The study found that owner-operators earned $17,400 more than the median pay for employee drivers in California.
The 2013 median net income for independent truckers was $59,478 while company drivers in 2015 attained median annual earnings of $42,078.
What’s more, the report noted that, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2014 median annual wages of employed drivers nationally was just $39,520.
The study also determined:
  • The 2013 median net earnings of the highest 25 percent of owner operators was $102,087
  • For the second 25 percent, it was $68,936
  • For the third 25 percent, it was $47,005
  • And for the fourth 25 percent, it was $28,297
  • The majority of the independent truckers exceeded the median of $42,078 for company drivers.
“This study is a strong indication that independent owner-operators continue to thrive” said study author John Husing, Ph.D., vice president of Economics and Politics, Inc.
“Estimated to make up nearly 20 percent of all trucks on the road today, nearly 75 percent of independent owner-operators are still earning more than company drivers," he added.
In the report, Husing referenced the controversy in California over whether drayage providers at the state’s ports should be required to use only company drivers because owner-operators in that segment have been perceived by some as being underpaid.
“During the 2007-2008 development of the [California] Clean Truck Program at the San Pedro Bay port complex, a proposed mandate would have required trucking firms to hire drivers as employees,” Husing pointed out.
“Some [back then] claimed that independent owner-operators were underpaid," he continued. "Other drivers, most trucking companies and port interests claimed that IOOs earn more as independent contractors and that the existing trucking model should be maintained. Ultimately, the appellate court decided that the employment mandate violated the federal preemption related to state regulation of 'rates, routes and services' under the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act.”
Noting that the battle over mandating company employment of drayage truckers hasstill not ended, he added that “as the economist who conducted most of the economic analysis of the Clean Truck Program and being familiar with the issues surrounding this controversy, this report has been created to supply hard data to the discussion of this issue.”
In the report’s conclusion, Husing remarked that, given the data, “it appears fair to conclude that as entrepreneurs, independent owner-operators can choose to put in levels of activity that allow them to earn incomes rivaling or exceeding those found among the highest paying occupations in logistics.”
“Some of the largest and most successful carriers started as independent owner operators with a single truck,” noted Shawn Yadon, CEO of CTA, in a statement on the report. He added that the association “will continue to support our professional drivers who choose to utilize the incredible entrepreneurial opportunity that comes from being a part of the trucking industry.”
The owner-operator pay report may be downloaded here.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Is full-time RV living for you?
Article thanks to Howard Jaros and his wife Pam. Links provided:
Full-time RV living is a dream for many and a mystery for some. People wonder if full-time life on the road, in an RV, is for them. Others see the lifestyle being lived by others and decide to start searching out a possible full-time RV living home without really considering what it may be like.
My wife, Pam, and I recently attended America's Largest RV Show, which took place Sept. 16-20 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. While there, we had the opportunity to meet many people who were there looking for their first RV and wanting to retire soon so they could begin their full-time RV lifestyle.
There were others there who have RVs but wanted to upgrade for the same reason. They wanted to embrace this style of living but really didn't know what to expect. They had lots of questions for us as we had chances to visit with them while manning a vendor booth.
Let me step back a little and review how Pam and I began our journey. We started RVing back in 2002. For five years, we rented everything we could. We tried Class A RVs that had both gas and diesel engines. We rented Class C gas engine RVs, and we spoke to others about their experiences with fifth-wheel RVs while we were staying at RV parks.
In those five years on the road, we put on 35,000 miles and took trips that lasted anywhere from two and a half to five weeks. At that time, we lived in the mountains of Colorado and loved it. When we went away on vacations, we always enjoyed coming back home because we felt we lived in paradise.
But, along came RV travel. Once we started to enjoy being out on the road in a home on wheels, our 3,800-square-foot home in ski country USA did not seem so desirable anymore. Neither did the amount of work it took as far as upkeep.
After we returned home from our first trip out in the RV in 2002, I said to Pam, let's sell the house and get an RV and live in it full time. She was not in such a hurry to do that given we had just spent nine months building our dream home ourselves after years of planning it.
You see, our dream even before marriage was to live on the road. We had no idea at that time how we would accomplish that goal. We are both nomadic, and the lifestyle appeared it would suit us perfectly.
So we kept on renting RVs until 2008 before finally deciding to make a change. Late that year, we finally decided to purchase our full-time RV.
Now, when we went out on these trips in rented RVs, we brought along the things we like to do with us. We are outdoor folks, so biking and hiking were something we liked to do at home. We found we could easily enjoy these activities while traveling in the RV. It was easy to put a bike rack on the back and take our bikes along.
Since we love being outdoors, the RV lifestyle fit us perfectly. After all, you don't want to spend all your time in your RV. The RV should be a way for you to take activities you enjoy doing at home and expand upon that. You want to be able to enjoy those things while adding the additional benefit of being on the road in an RV.
When considering full-time RV living, be sure you are able to bring those things you have enjoyed doing in the past into your new lifestyle. You want to be able to take those things and perhaps enjoy them in a different way while being able to travel where you want in your RV.
To some, this may seem obvious. To others, it may seem mundane. But I mention this here because we have seen many of our RVing friends wind up leaving the full-time lifestyle because they were too unhappy. They felt like they had left too many things behind — the grandchildren, the tool shop, the craft room, other family members, more living and storage space, etc.
When considering full-time RV living, you have to be able to enjoy the things you did in the past while living in your RV. Or, you have to find new things to replace those old things before you make that leap and sell everything. Either way, be sure to spend time thinking about these things before jumping in and possibly making a big mistake!
Pam and I considered it carefully before we did sell all our "stuff" and hit the road. Fortunately, we had many miles of experience in RVs, and we had found we could do many things we enjoyed in new and better ways. We were able to go from a large home down to only hundreds of square feet with ease.
We hope those of you considering joining us on the road have been helped by maybe just a few things we have shared here. Making a big lifestyle change is something to not take lightly, and we want to help you do just that with eyes wide open.

About the Author

Howard Jaros
Howard Jaros and his wife Pam have been traveling the country in RVs for the past 14 years — eight of which have been as full-time RVers. They currently run an RV inspection business out of their RV, and they work with the NRVIA to assist RV buyers and sellers by performing a type of home inspection on RVs. They provide a valuable service by helping to determine if an RV is safe, road-worthy or a possible money pit. For more information about them and their activities, please visit or

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Watch out for this LinkedIn scam
Article thanks to Kim Komando at Links provided:

Sept, 2015 As a small business owner, you know how hard you've worked to forge relationships with clients, potential clients and colleagues who keep you informed about what's going on in your industry. Which is why you work hard to maintain contact, whether it's with phone calls, emails or after-work drinks.

Of course, these days, a lot of your small business socializing takes place on LinkedIn. The social media network has 380 million users, most of whom are on there looking for work, looking for employees, or keeping up-to-date on industry news, including from posts written by industry leaders.

This is all extremely useful for you and your small business, but you have to be careful on LinkedIn, just like you do on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The problem with LinkedIn is that it's so easy to let your guard down. After all, it's a site specifically designed to conduct business, and it has a great reputation for doing that.

Keep your guard up, though. As with other social networking sites, LinkedIn has its fair share of scammers who want to steal your valuable information. We're going to give you some tips for keeping your business, and yourself, safe on LinkedIn.

First, a little good news about LinkedIn. Cybercriminals on LinkedIn aren't going to do you much harm simply by becoming your online friend, or connection. They need to engage you, either by convincing you to click on links to their phony websites, or by having you share information with them. Once you do, they can infect your computer system with malware, and steal financial and other sensitive information.

You're a smart businessperson, so you're not going to get duped, right? You may even be really good at spotting red flags, like misspelled words and bad grammar. But scammers are clever. Here are two ways they'll try to trick you.


The message system scam works a lot like a regular email phishing scam. You get a message in your LinkedIn inbox pretending to be from a business person or company that wants to get to know you, do business with you or provide you with a huge money-making opportunity. Just click a link to connect with them.

Except, if you click the link, you're taken to a malicious website that tries to infect your computer or asks you to give up sensitive information. Just like with regular email, you need to be on your guard and not click on links in unsolicited email.

If you do get an email like this, look up the person or business on your own to see if they're on the up and up.


The other scam has someone set up a fake profile or two and try to connect with you. To grow your business network, you might accept a lot of LinkedIn invitations from other people without really checking them out.

Having a fake profile linked to you on LinkedIn is actually a big problem. Not only does having a number of linked legitimate profiles mean that the scammer has an easier time tricking others, the scammer can send you private messages.

These are going to be more targeted phishing scams designed to trick you out of money or information. Because the person is a contact, and has used your profile information to tailor the message to you personally, you're more likely to go along with it.

Warning: Think twice before you share your company's physical address, or email addresses, with anyone on LinkedIn. If you want your LinkedIn connections to be able to contact you, they can do that with "Send a message" on your profile page. Restrict your communication to there, until you're completely confident they are legitimate business people.

When it comes to protecting your business, and yourself on LinkedIn, you have plenty of options. Most important, don't panic if you have added a connection who turns out to be scammer or cybercriminal.

You can simply remove them as a connection. Double click "Connections" in the LinkedIn menu bar; under their name, choose "More," then "Remove connection." Before you do that, though, you may want to alert LinkedIn, so they investigate this person. Fortunately, LinkedIn makes it easy to do.

Here's how to alert LinkedIn:

1. Go to the person's profile page; click on their name (you may need to do this twice, depending on which page you start from).

2. Click on the down arrow to the right of the "Send a message" and "Endorse" buttons.

3. Select Block or Report.

4. Choose Report, to submit a person for review. Then, it's up to LinkedIn to figure out if that profile is legitimate, or a scammer. You can also choose Block if you just want to keep them away from your profile.

However, if you're really confident that your connection is a scammer or has a fake profile, you can submit a Notice of Inaccurate Profile Information. Click here for that form. LinkedIn will start an investigation of that person. Then, if you haven't already, be sure to block them from your connections (see No. 4 above).

Saturday, December 19, 2015

For Bart Starr, the fight goes on after Thanksgiving's 'magical moment'
Article thanks to Gary D'Amato and the Milwaukee Links provided:
December 15, 2015  A week or so ago, Bart and Cherry Starr were turning in for the night when Bart turned to his wife of more than 60 years and said, "Honey, do you have the front door locked?"
It was a question he once asked out of habit. But his wife hadn't heard those words in 18 months.
Recovery continues in small steps. A spark of recognition here, a task performed without assistance there. Starr, the five-time NFL champion quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, is fighting with his winner's heart.
For months, he prepared for his Nov. 26 halftime appearance at Lambeau Field as if he was going through two-a-days under Vince Lombardi. Rehabbing from a heart attack, two strokes and a series of seizures and supported by his family and a team of doctors and therapists, Starr made enough progress to fly to Green Bay for what Cherry called "a magical moment."
Carted to midfield at halftime of the Packers-Bears game, Starr hugged Brett Favre, who had tears in his eyes, and beamed from ear to ear as Favre's name and retired number were unveiled on the stadium fa├žade.
"Oh my goodness, it was just a magical moment; that's the best way I could put it," Cherry said. "We weren't sure it would ever happen. It took a lot of effort and a lot of sacrifice on a lot of people's parts. He definitely was ready. I'm so glad we went through what we did with a lot of help and a lot of support.
"It definitely was the most special moment that I've experienced with him in a long, long time. I could tell how much he was enjoying himself and just responding to all the people cheering for him."
It was an emotional reunion for the Starrs, for Favre and for Packers fans. One more indelible memory for a franchise built on them. But when it was over, Bart and Cherry returned to Birmingham, Ala., and resumed their daily routine of rehab and therapy without the adoration of 80,000 fans washing over them.
It's hard work. It's exhausting not only for Bart, but for Cherry. Zeke Bratkowski, Starr's best friend and his former backup quarterback and assistant coach, visits regularly and is worried about her.
"She's Cherry Starr," Bratkowski said of the woman known for her warmth, charm and impeccable manners — the quintessential Southern belle. "She takes care of everything and everybody. But she is worn out."
Cherry laughed softly when Bratkowski's comments were relayed to her.
"Zeke doesn't have to worry about me," she said. "I'm thankful that I'm healthy enough to do the things I do for Bart and the guests we have."
They're a team, Bart and Cherry. They've experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. They've lived remarkable, philanthropic lives. And Bart's recovery is a battle they're fighting together.
"He still has lots of issues and I don't know that Bart will ever be the same man that he was," Cherry said. "But he's still Bart."
Starr, who will turn 82 on Jan. 9, started showing signs of advancing age five years ago, Cherry said, when he was diagnosed with short-term memory loss. She took over the driving duties after her husband got lost a couple times. But physically, he was in excellent shape for a man his age.
That's probably what helped him survive those traumatic few days in early September 2014 when he suffered a stroke, then a heart attack, a second stroke and a series of seizures.
"He's so gentle and kind and sweet, but he's tough as he can be inside," Cherry said. "He had to be for 16 years (in the NFL). He's just a fighter. He has defied all odds. An 80-year-old man almost never survives that much trauma. But he fooled everybody."
Starr was hospitalized for 2½ months and lost 20 pounds. When he came home, he couldn't even sit up in bed unassisted.
Progress was slow but steady. He improved enough to travel to Tijuana, Mexico, for a stem cell treatment. But then a bronchial infection left him, once again, in grave condition. His temperature flared and Cherry called 911. In the ambulance on the way to the hospital, his heart rate spiked at 200 beats per minute.
"At the hospital they told me, 'Cherry, it is amazing. A man his age will almost never survive a heart rate of 200,'" she said. "It just shows you how tough he is."
The Starrs recently returned to Tijuana for a second stem cell treatment, and Cherry said there were signs that it was working.
"Just in the last two weeks it's like a switch has been turned on," she said. "His cognition has improved dramatically."
Starr is walking independently and reminding his wife to lock the door at night. When Bratkowski visited a couple weeks ago, Starr greeted him with, "Well, hi there, Coach." Previously, there were flickers of recognition when his old friend visited, but Starr had never been able to verbalize it.
His physical therapist told Bratkowski that Starr had been throwing short passes with a football as part of his therapy, and that he'd thrown a perfect spiral.
"I said, 'Well, that's the first time he's ever done that,'" Bratkowski said. "That got a big smile out of him. Every time I see him, he's a little bit better, he's made more progress."
The people who work with Starr — his medical team and family members and friends — are optimistic he will continue to improve. They haven't put a ceiling on his recovery. Cherry said a third stem cell treatment was possible.
"I think we're just starting to see the potential in him," she said.
She had a message for Packers fans, who have inundated the Starrs with an outpouring of love, messages of encouragement and prayer.
"They gave us one of the most beautiful moments of our lives when we came out on that field," she said. "We felt the love for both of us, but mostly for Bart. We felt it so strongly. I've always said we were the luckiest people in the world to go to Green Bay because the people are so special there.
"The fans are so loving and supportive. We're just so grateful to them. They've given us so much and it's just been a blessing to us. We could never repay the people for all the love and support they've shown us."
They already have.
Just by being Bart and Cherry Starr.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Florida Justice
Suspected Burglar Killed By Alligator While Hiding From Police In A Pond

Article thanks to Links provided:

Dec, 2015  A suspected burglar has been killed by an alligator while hiding out in a pond.
The body of Matthew Riggins, 22, was found in water in Barefoot Bay in Florida ten days after he was reported missing.
Police said Riggins was attacked by an 11-foot long alligator while he was hiding out after a series of planned break-ins.
Before he was reported missing, Riggins called his girlfriend to tell her he would be in the area breaking into homes.
Two men dressed in black lurking behind homes were spotted by residents, leading to a police search of the area that involved a helicopter and dog units.
The search was called off but Riggins was reported missing by his family the next day.
Major Tod Goodyear, from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, told BayNews9: “He probably went into the lake to hide from the officers and the dog, and came across that gator.
“To hide somewhere to try and get away, and then meeting up with an animal like that, no, I’ve never had that happen before.”
When a police dive team located Riggins’ body, they also came across the alligator, which was euthanised.
Some of Riggins’ remains were found inside the animal’s stomach.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Bus Driver

Here's a guest post thanks to and written by my brother Russ, a Metro Transit Bus Driver for the city of Minneapolis. Those buses that bend in the middle with the rear drive tires pushing are very scary to me! I'm sure glad I don't have to drive them things.

November 30th, 2015 
A snowstorm during the night. The first of the season. It's 7 AM and the sand trucks have not started yet, as usual for the initial storm.

My start for the day gives me a long 60 foot articulated (accordion) bus that has the flexible joint in the middle, with the heavy engine in the back, and the drive wheels are the rear tires. Very difficult to drive in snow and ice.

As I start out my bus route I've picked up a few passengers. Each time I try to pull over and pick up someone, the bus keeps sliding forward a few feet no matter how slow I'm going. Very dangerous for the one standing outside next to the front door. That's why we try to keep 4 feet from the curb.
Every intersection seems to be packed down with snow, and icy. Black ice, the worst and most slippery. Very hard to stop or start without sliding or spinning the rear tires.

I'm coming down a double lane divided main road to an intersection with stop and go lights. There are several cars stopped in each lane waiting on a red light. I'm going very slow trying not to brake too hard so the tires don't start sliding. I'm only going 5 miles an hour, but every time I push on the brakes, the back end pushes forward and starts the bus to jackknife. The worst of all scenarios. I see the nightmare happening in my side mirror. I have to let off the brake and keep rolling to stop the disaster. But I'm getting ever closer to the stopped cars. I retry braking to slow the bus down further but the same thing happens. Jack-knife starts again. It's a time game, waiting for a green light so the cars will have a chance and start moving. But its a long light. I see an out with a right lane turn only possibility, but then I would be making a turn and not being able to continue my regular route. It would take a half hour to get back on track in this weather. I continue to play the nightmare out in slow motion, hoping against hope that the light will change, the cars will move forward, and I won't run into the back of the car ahead. My heart is thumping. My eyes darting from front, to the right turn lane, to the side mirror watching my bus jackknifing. I would be crossing my fingers if I had the time. Black ice, sliding bus, hoping against hope.

And then the light turns, the cars start moving, and once again I have avoided an at-fault accident that would have ruined my 22 year safe driving record. Holy crap!

I won't even get into the later problems of the air brakes losing the air due to constant braking, requiring constant pull overs to rev the engine to get back some air. It was a very bad morning.

Footnote: There would be over 400 reported traffic accidents statewide that day.

Russ Bridger, Metro Transit Bus Driver – Minneapolis Minnesota

Here's a couple of links to related posts:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wrong Gun? Glock Pistols
Interesting info if your in the market for a new pistol. Article thanks to Bob Owens and Links provided:

Wrong Gun: Why The Most Popular Gun For Law Enforcement Is A Mistake

May, 2015  The Los Angeles Times has published an editorial this morning that is sure to cause some uncomfortable conversations (and more than a little denial) in law enforcement agencies around the country:
In terms of mechanical design, there are few flaws with Glock pistols. If a law enforcement officer, soldier or citizen does exactly what they are supposed to do all of the time with cyborg certainty, there will be no problems with the Glock or other popular pistols mimicking its basic design. Unfortunately, “RoboCop” is only a movie, and humans are liable to make similar mistakes over and over again.
The underlying problem with these pistols is a short trigger pull and the lack of an external safety. In real-world encounters, a short trigger pull can be lethal, in part because a significant percentage of law enforcement officers — some experts say as high as 20% — put their finger on the trigger of their weapons when under stress. According to firearms trainers, most officers are completely unaware of their tendency to do this and have a hard time believing it, even when they’re shown video evidence from training exercises.
For more than 35 years, officer-involved accidental discharges with Glocks and Glock-like weapons have been blamed on a lack of training or negligence on the part of the individual cops. What critics should be addressing instead is the brutal reality that short trigger pulls and natural human reflexes are a deadly combination.
As the comments to the article clearly show, people are getting spun-up about the article, without really understanding it… or maybe they are simply in denial.
Mechanically, Glocks and similar pistols are incredibly solid and reliable designs. What they aren’t is forgiving.
Utterly predictable and normal human physiological responses (startle response, symmetric sympathetic response, etc) and psychological mistakes (forgetting the check the chamber on a design that requires the trigger to be pulled for disassembly) have repeatedly lead to hundreds, if not thousands of negligent discharges. Many of those have been fatal.
Agencies that switch from other pistol designs to Glocks (and to a lesser extent, other short trigger pull, no external safety guns) typically see their number of negligent discharges soar. Agencies that switch away from Glocks to more forgiving designs typically see their negligent discharges decrease.
There has been institutional resistance to admitting that Glocks and similar designs are not good guns for law enforcement officers, and for each and every negligent discharge, there is a rush to blame the individual officer and the lack of training time most agencies have with their firearms.
That’s all well and good… and utterly irrelevant.
It has been proven time and again that no amount of training will eliminate the issue. In one videotaped training session after another, about 20% of officers end up putting their fingers on the trigger of their guns when they shouldn’t, and most of them don’t even realize it, and are stunned when they are shown the undeniable truth in the video. According to experts I interviewed who have trained tens of thousands of police officers this is consistent, regardless of the level of training. 
We can continue to deny that “humans are gonna be human,” or we can accept that people will make mistakes and switch to designs that have longer first-shot trigger pulls which are more forgiving.
DA/SA handguns like the Sig Sauer “P”-series, the Beretta 9 series and PX4 series, CZs, Smith & Wesson’s metal-frame semis,Ruger’s SR series, etc. can be shot just as fast and accurately as any short trigger pull design (the claim that the long double-action first pull creates misses is a myth), and that longer first-pull requires more deliberate action and is far more forgiving of our physiological and psychological mistakes.
Glock has an incredible marketing machine and customer support and a solid design that works exactly as designed, each and every time.
Unfortunately, until they start manufacturing failure-proof people, Glocks and other short trigger pull guns are going to be a bad choice for professions where high stress is a constant.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Avoid Being Scammed By “Curbstoners” When Buying a Used Car

Article thanks to Paul Duchene and Links provided:
Nov, 2015 There’s a shadowy world of car selling that makes the scumbags of Kurt ­Russell’s 1980 comedy, Used Cars, look like poster boys for the Better Business Bureau. “Curbstoners” are individuals who pose as private sellers to gain the confidence of a prospective buyer. Sometimes they’re dealers who pose as car owners to more easily dispose of undesirable stock. But the definition can also apply to people who sell enough cars to qualify as a dealer but never register as one in order to avoid the costs and the resulting paper trail. Either way, curbstoners aren’t who they appear to be, since they don’t ­usually own the car they are selling. By keeping their names off the title, they can leave you in the lurch when, for example, you find out your new purchase can’t be registered. Without a name, the curbstoner slips off into the ether with your money.
Called curbstoners because they sell their wares on curbs, as a private seller would, these people typically deal in cars that have troubled pasts. Salvage titles, odometer rollbacks, cars that won’t pass inspections, flood-damaged cars, and even stolen cars can be flipped onto unsuspecting buyers who believe the seller’s untruths. “It’s a great car, I’ve had it for years,” they might say. “But with a baby on the way, I have no use for it.”
A curbstoned car will almost often have some issue with its title. To avoid being scammed, only buy a car from a seller whose name is on the title. Before handing over the cash, ask to see the seller’s driver’s license and make sure it exactly matches the title. If the person you’re dealing with tells you he’s representing the seller, find out why, and then be sure to get the s­eller’s contact information and arrange to meet with that person. If a car has multiple names on the title, as can happen in marriage, watch both of the listed owners sign. If the title is already signed, meet with the sellers to make sure they’re the ones who signed the title.
Any paperwork issues that exist when the buyer goes to register the car quickly become the buyer’s problem. Perhaps there’s a messy divorce, or the seller is dead and somebody else signed the title before the estate was settled, or the name on the title is that of a Nigerian prince. All are problems you inherit if you buy the car. Doesn’t pass smog or other state inspections? Your problem. To help mitigate any trouble you may encounter, and to get any necessary legal recourse, you must be able to find and contact the owners of record.
Curbstoners will have an answer for every question. Posing as caring owners, they can engender enough confidence that the buyer will fall for any story. They can be hard to distinguish from trustworthy private sellers, so, as always, buyer beware.

You May Already Be a Curbstoner

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles isn’t screwing around. “Selling a vehicle can put a person in violation of the law and subject to criminal prosecution,” an agency spokesman tells C/D. That’s even if you never tamper with an odometer, misrepresent ownership of a vehicle, or otherwise half-assedly cobble together some junk to sell as safe-and-sound machinery. In California, if you sell even one car for a profit you fall under the definition of a dealer as described in Section 285 of the state’s Vehicle Code. And if you are not excluded amid the word salad in Section 286, you need a license. Without a license, or the requirements demanded by it such as dealer insurance, you’re a curbstoner.
Laws vary from state to state, of course. But, used-car-dealer lobbying groups are powerful across the country, and they’re all too eager to clamp down on curbstoners who threaten their retail business.
In April 2014, California’s DMV Investigations Division (yes, they’re armed) cracked down on curbstoners across the state, issuing 93 citations, impounding 109 vehicles, and arresting four individuals. This past August, Florida’s Palm Beach County passed new regulations allowing law enforcement to tow vehicles from improvised used-car lots. And it doesn’t take much Googling to find recent anti-curbstoning activity in areas ranging from Texas to Wisconsin.
“We receive complaints and focus on proactive investigations for internet sites and physical locations,” the California DMV representative explains. So selling a single rehabilitated project car seems unlikely to attract the law’s attention. But if there’s a question at all in your mind whether you’re a dealer, the spokesperson recommends contacting the DMV. Here at C/D, we’d call a lawyer. —John Pearley Huffman

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Proposed 'Mattress Tag Rule' Angers ATA's Engineering VP
Article thanks to Tom Berg and Links provided:
Sept, 2015  Ted Scott, vice president of engineering for the American Trucking Associations, had a succinct assessment of a recent federal regulatory proposal: “FMCSA has finally gone crazy.”
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would require trucks and trailers to each carry a label certifying that the vehicle adhered to all federal safety standards on its date of manufacture. If the label is missing, the owner must procure a letter from the manufacturer that the vehicle is in compliance with those standards.
The proposed rule has “no value to safety,” Scott said during his semi-annual equipment and regulatory update to members of ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council, who concluded their fall meeting near Orlando on Thursday. That’s why he dubbed it the “mattress tag rule” after another an old federal requirement that identifies materials used in a mattress but does not make it safer.
ATA has told FMCSA that “there is no safety benefit… only unnecessary administrative compliance costs” connected with the proposed regulation, Scott said. The rule would interrupt interlining of trailers and other equipment among carriers, roadside inspections would take longer, and that would lengthen driver on-duty times. 
“Eleven motor carriers out of the 26 responses to a TMC survey indicated that they had missing or unreadable certification labels” on their equipment, he said. “Several commercial vehicle manufacturers are no longer in business, having gone bankrupt, been sold, or just closed their doors, making the ability to obtain a lost- or defaced-certification letter impossible.”
Furthermore, the proposal is the result of a motor coach crash in which the driver was at fault, not the equipment or the standards under which it was built, Scott said. And the recommendations by that National Transportation Safety Board that led to the proposal “have nothing to do with trucking operations.”
Last year FMCSA touted its elimination of the post-trip inspection report when a driver finds no defects, which it claimed would save the trucking industry $1.7 billion, he noted.  
“Now, less than a year later, FMCSA is proposing a way to replace that savings with a totally unnecessary, costly burden with no apparent safety benefit,” Scott concluded.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Time to Lock and Load?

A couple years ago, after the girls grew up and moved out, we sold our Draper home and downsized to a 55 and older mobile home park here in near Calt Lake City, Ut. We found a nice older double-wide trailer for sale with a huge yard and reasonable lot rent, compared with most other parks. Within the confines of our walled and fenced in community, we’ve been very satisfied with the lifestyle. The neighbors are fantastic and everyone takes care of their property and watches out for each other. The entrance is not gated, but there is only one entry and exit point for motor vehicles and pedestrians.

This past Tuesday night, about 3am in the morning, I was awakened by a very short burst of a high caliber fully automatic weapon firing. It was only about 4 or 5 rounds, boom, boom, etc, but I knew it was gunfire and not firecrackers. I’ve fired an M-16 on full auto when I was in the Army Reserve and knew the difference. It was loud and had to be close to wake me up like that, but we live next to a major east-west street just over the fence. My first thought was “should I call the police?”. I laid there for a bit, listening intently, and figured that maybe some gang-bangers were driving down the road next to our park and just fired out the window for the hell of it. Calling the cops would probably be useless and I drifted off back to sleep. Mary was up front working on her sewing machine, had laid down on the sofa for a nap and never heard it.

I got up in the morning and went to work and after returning home that afternoon Mary told me that she got a call from our next door neighbor about 7:30 am after I was gone. She told Mary that she and her dog were awakened at about 3 am with someone banging on the side of her trailer! That was about the same time I heard the gunshots. She said that she was scared to death and her dog was barking like crazy. I asked Mary if she told her whether she had called the police and she had not. She wanted Mary to keep an eye on her trailer that day after she left for work. I walked around our places and couldn't find any shell casings or bullet holes in anything.

Pretty scary stuff. In my early years back in Milwaukee I was the victim of armed robbery twice and ever since have kept a weapon close at hand. I’m thinking of upgrading my firepower and having it at the ready. The problem with that is, with kids and grand-kids coming over, you have to make sure they don't have access to them, as well as someone who may break into your home while you are out. It's also pretty useless to have a weapon accessible, but have to scramble around for ammo to load while an emergency is happening.

The last couple days, I've been doing some research on products that may be commercially available to solve the problem and have found some things that could be very useful. I don't want to get into specifics for obvious reasons, but you can try doing your own research by using some common sense keywords.You never know what may happen these days, and the police may not be able to come to your aid quickly enough.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bart Starr on schedule to attend Favre ceremony
Thanksgiving night is going to be a special time for all Green Bay Packer fans, as Brett Favre's number will be retired during the Packers/Bears game and Bart Starr scheduled to attend. Article thanks to jsonline and Martin Hendricks. Links provided:

Bart Starr Jr. is keenly aware of the significance of his father's return to Lambeau Field on Thursday as fellow iconic Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre's No. 4 jersey is retired in a halftime ceremony of the Packers-Bears game.
Barring an unforeseen change in his health, Bart Starr Sr. will fly to Green Bay on Wednesday. Exact details of the ceremony and Starr's role are unknown.
"Dad is determined to make it happen," Bart Jr. said Friday afternoon of his 81-year-old father. "At the beginning of the year, I didn't think he had much of a chance to walk out on Lambeau Field for one last time.
"But here we are, and it's going to happen. Nothing is going to stop us now."
Bart Starr Sr., a Hall of Fame quarterback, played for the Packers from 1956-'71.
Starr suffered two strokes, a heart attack and multiple seizures in Sept. 2014. A big part of his recovery has been the focus on his return to Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving night.
"It's been the goal; we talk about it every day, and that's what athletes respond to," Bart Jr. said. "He's always lived his life that way."
The Starr family has been inspired by the overwhelming support from Packers fans.
"Letters, cards, emails, texts, phone calls, you name it," Bart Jr. said. "The outpouring has really been inspirational."
Bart Starr Sr. completed his second stem-cell treatment two weeks ago in Mexico, but the family has not discussed the impact of the experimental clinical trial. He underwent his first stem-cell treatment in June and has continued extensive therapy to regain strength, motor skills, speech and memory for the past 14 months.
The elder Starr suffered a significant setback in late August, when he was hospitalized for four days with a viral bronchial infection.
On Starr's trip for his follow-up stem-cell treatment, he had dinner in California with former NFL coach and Packers assistant Steve Mariucci and his wife.
"It was my 60th and I couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday than with Bart and Cherry Starr," said Mariucci, an NFL Network analyst.
Former Chicago tight end and head coach Mike Ditka offered his perspective.
"To have three Hall of Fame quarterbacks of that caliber play for one team is incredible," Ditka said. "I hope Packer fans know how fortunate they are. Bart Starr. Brett Favre. Aaron Rodgers. Those are three MVP and Super Bowl players, but also great people who represent the game with class. They are the real deal.
"Lambeau Field will be something else on Thanksgiving night."

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Indiana Trooper with a Facebook Page

Trooper Builds Relationship with Truckers Through Facebook Page

Article thanks to Deborah Lockridge and Links provided:

Sept, 2015  One state trooper is working to improve trooper-trucker relations through a Facebook page.
"These guys are out here on the road 24/7, so are we. Why not make it a better working relationship?" Brent Hoover, with the Indiana State Police, told
"With the trucking industry there's so many federal regulations and there's so many different ways those regulations can be looked at and scrutinized," Hoover said. "A lot of cases there's very short limited time for both parties to basically step off on the right foot."
"If they do have a question or something they can't pull into a scale house comfortably and ask, say about a bad tire, because they're worried about getting ticketed or placed out of service."
So earlier this year, he created the "Hoover Club" on Facebook. In the "about," section, he says the page is "Teaching the public and trucking individuals what DOT Inspectors do. I want to bridge the gap and create positve [sic] interactions!"
He shows photos and short videos of violations -- worn bushings, fuel leaks, chafing airlines, flat tires, bad tiedown chains, cracked wheels, a loose axle bolt -- plus other items of interest, from pictures of superloads and antique trucks to a short video on how to figure the working load limit for load securement to "did you know" posts. ("Did you know that if your air tank moves more than 1 inch in any direction it falls into the Out of Service Criteria?")
The interactive nature of Facebook allows drivers to comment and ask questions on items and gives Hoover a chance to answer those questions.
What a great way to improve trucker-trooper relations and educate drivers about the important safety rules, to help keep highway safe and CSA scores down. As of this writing, he has 2,600 "likes" and counting. I would love to see more troopers do something like this.