Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I don't know what a jake brake is.

A lazy post today, because I have many, many things to do and am already (before 8:00 a.m.) running behind. A sign on Route 201, coming into Gardiner, says "No Jake Brakes," and every time I pass it, I think, "What is that?"

This is what Google is for; I looked it up and discovered that a Jake brake, or Jacobs brake, is an engine brake that uses compressed air to stop a truck quickly. It makes a lot of noise, which is why towns ban them. Gardiner's had a sign banning them for some time, but the current sign is new, because construction on 295 is routing lots of trucks through that part of town.

I know very little about the practical realities of driving a large truck. Late last night, as I was coming home from Portland, I saw a Hannaford truck turn down a drive to a grocery distribution center on the edge of town. It was after 11:00 p.m.; I wondered whether that was the end of the truck driver's day, and if so, where the truck driver would be spending the night. Do truckers sleep in their cabs? Gardiner doesn't have any hotels or motels.

Five Random Songs

"Shoplifters of the World Unite," The Smiths. My only weakness is ... well, never mind, never mind.

"I Can't Figure You Out," Gin Blossoms. Did you know that the Gin Blossoms are still together, and touring? Yeah, I didn't either. But they are.

"Seventeen Again," Eurhythmics. I had dinner last night with friends I've known for more than 25 years, and talked, among other things, about how much easier it is to be this age than it was to be that one. I would not be 17 again for all the money in the world.

"Summer, Highland Falls (Live)," Billy Joel. A nostalgia set from the iTunes shuffle ... I am not as big a Billy Joel fan as some of my friends, but I do love this song. Though we choose between reality and madness, it's either sadness or euphoria...

"Bless the Beasts and the Children," 4 Non Blondes. A superior track from the cover album If I Were a Carpenter. I know I saw this band live at least once, but have no memory of their own music.


Larry said...

Not only do some large truck have a bunk for sleeping, they also have mini-kitchens and a shower.

Anna said...

Ha ha. I'm actually learning Summer Highland Falls on the piano right now!