Posts from the ‘Thoughts before school’ Category

In San Antonio

Easy drive from Austin. The motel is not a dump but they won’t be winning any awards either. Younger guy for a roommate. He seems nice enough. Doing some reading in the CDL manual. Thrilling ain’t it?


End of the current road

Tomorrow is my last day at my job that is an extension of the last 24 years of my life.  Explicitly the last nine years with this company.  Friday was very strange in that the company founders came  to my going away party and there was some overlap between them and the current management team.  Frankly that either group came was very cool, that both came was even cooler.

So off topic for a while here.  I mentioned in the first post, the part about biting the bullet.  I have come to the conclusion that we are not programmed to do the same thing for our entire lives.  Regularly we see articles about professionals who are not happy with their lives.  It is not like 25 years ago they made the wrong decision it is just that after 25 years they are no longer enamored with the decision they made.  The point I want to drive home to the younger readers is that you need to prepare for this change in your life, something I have not.  While what you are doing now may seem to be the coolest thing in the word it may not in the future.  On the other hand you may love your choices but if you prepare for not loving them you will still be in better shape down the road.  I know several of you are reading various books on getting your financial life in order.  They all say basically the same thing.

  • Pay yourself first – put some money in the bank every pay day and leave it there.
  • Don’t get tied up in credit card debt.  Have one card with a low limit that you use to do things like pay for airline tickets and rent cars.  Pay off the card when the bill comes in.

If you do those things then when the time comes to make a change in your life you will have the financial strength to make the change and not have it cause major disruption.  Change is inevitable but if you prepare for it it won’t be a big shock.

The background

What Started This?

I got fed up with my high tech job of nine years and career of 23 years and I quit.  On July 15th, 2009 I start at the Swift Academy in San Antonio Texas.  Sounds classy doesn’t it.  It is a truck driving school for Swift Transportation.  I am not going in to all the reasons but a frankly a huge part of it is I don’t think we are meant to do the same thing all of our lives and we have to be ready to bite the bullet and move on. More on this thought in a later post.

The Cast of Characters.

SmokeTX – more commonly known as Shawn.

Liz – my wife.  She has driven before for about 16 months a few years ago and should be starting again in about two weeks.  The plan is that no later than Thanksgiving we will be driving as a team.

Erin – Eldest child.  Married to Angelo and proud mother of Aidan, Moira and Olivia.  Erin is a stay at home mom.

Conor – Eldest son.  Married to Amanda and proud father of Ethan.  Conor is in the Navy learning how to take care of a nuclear powered engine.

Ian – Youngest son/child.  Still living at home but working at a Hyatt resort.  Works out great that he is here since someone has to take care of the animals while Liz and I are gone.

I am very proud of my children and their spouses.  They make for a very wonderful family to have.

There is a large supporting cast including parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who will be introduced as they enter the story.  As of this writing most of them don’t know anything about this.

What Next?

I have never kept a blog and only wrote a diary one summer while I was an exchange student so I don’t know how successful this will be.  Many posts will come via my iPhone so will probably be much briefer.  There will also be Twitter posts, smoketx.


I’ll try to keep this polite but I won’t promise to make it all happy all the time and I won’t promise to make it kid safe.  There are going to be some tough times ahead and you will probably hear about it here in all the gory details.

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