23 January 2013

Road Weary

Typically my work sees me traveling heavily the first month of each new quarter, moderately for the rest of each quarter. Things changed due to an acquisition late last year and as a result I've been racking up the miles and have had virtually no time outside since early November.

Looks like there's some light at the end of this tunnel, two more weeks of it then some much needed downtime!

One of the interesting aspects of travel across a large cross section of the US is seeing how different people and places are in the same country, sometimes even in the same state. Another aspect, just how differently the fallen economy has impacted people and places. Some seem as they did back in 2007, others are pale shades of what they once were. I'm continually shocked and surprised at how different some places are.

Something else that's shocking to see is how much prices on common things differ or have changed. Part of traveling this much requires keeping receipts and expense logs. As an example, in January of 2009 I was paying between $1.80 to $1.90 for a gallon of gas, now it's over $3.00 a gallon and closer to $4 in some places. Another is milk, I'm a fan and drink it heavily. I was somewhere around $2 a gallon in 2009, it's over $4 now virtually everywhere I go.

When I consider the increasing cost along with the decline both in jobs and quality of jobs I get hit with a stark reality of just how harsh it has gotten in some places. While my company is always hiring I've found that the number of applicants has dropped, along with the general quality of applicants. This to me doesn't quite compute with what I see related to unemployment rates, I would have expected more applicants with higher levels of competency but this is oddly not the case.

Ramble over, here's hoping for some dirt time soon!


  1. get out there, soon A.G.!
    I for one miss your posts and look forward to the next one.
    As for economy I personally think we are going through a correctional phase. It has been too much; too much growth, too much expenses, too much debt, too much luxury... simply too much.
    Now people everywhere are being brought back to the basics, often with terrifying consequences. I just hope and pray that some good will come from it, because history has repeatedly shown us what evil can happen during and after prolonged periods of poverty and need.

    1. Reading my mind again, we couldn't agree more on the issue. Absolutely a correction is occurring and the excesses of the past 30ish years and the bubble building is coming home to roost. I doubt we get out of this in the next five years and you are absolutely right, evil does indeed tend to happen during phases like this.

  2. Missing your post Jim. Looking forward to having you back in action for hopefully some "Snow" time.

    The hard work times make the fun woods times that much better. You'll really appreciate your first fire back in the bush.

  3. I am looking forward to you getting some "dirt time" as well AG.
    Stay warm when you get out into the cold!

  4. Praying for things to get better for you, Brother.

    I miss the "old" posts about your time in the woods amongst the critters, the cool gear, and the great photography.

    Hyar's luck!

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  10. Although I did run across some very different people and places, it was quite shocking to me to find just how similar many people and places truly are while I was out there trucking from coast to coast. For I could wake up in Wisconsin and think that I was still in northern Arizona--or even western New Jersey! In regards to people, it was certainly a shock to my redneck-raisin' to find some of the friendliest people anywhere in Brooklyn, New York, and some of the ugliest in South Carolina. Granted, they weren't as bad as many Californians, but that was expected.

  11. I have lived in different parts of the US, and overseas, and a lot of the states are just as different as the countries in Europe. And in my homestate of WA, there is a big difference depending on what side of the Cascade Mts you are on.