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Pat Dickson - Tue Apr 01, 2014 @ 12:46PM
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This morning there was something very strange - and about 8' tall - standing there outside the office, just across the railroad tracks. It may have appeared over the weekend. I'm not sure what it is, but I have two guesses:

Voodoo Doll Tucson 1
1. It is an art project. It appears to contain a metal frame which may be welded together from various pieces of scrap metal. The body may consist of bound straw and sticks. There are many painted sheets of either paper or fabric forming its skirt. It could represent a human-like figure.

Voodoo Doll Tucson 2

2. It could be a voodoo doll, and even worse - it could be a curse! Tucson is close to the border, and there are rumors of voodoo magic in the area.

Anyway, if you have any ideas what this thing may be, please send me an email at pat@patdickson.com

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Pat Dickson - Sat Feb 08, 2014 @ 04:37PM
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I do not fear death when I am living.

I am afraid to die only when I am not living. 

When I am living, I do not fear death. By living as fully as I can, I will be able to say farewell to this world without regret and without shedding a single tear of sorrow. If I do shed a single tear, it shall only be a tear of joy. 

To be living is to have a purpose in this world, to know my purpose, to know how to achieve my purpose, and to be achieving my purpose each moment. Only I can tell myself my purpose, discover it, dream it, take responsibility for it, or achieve it. 

Only I can know how to live and then go on living a meaningful life. No person, no divine being, and no external force or power is going to tell me my purpose, show me how to achieve it, or instruct me on how to live. 

My purpose, my living each moment, is my solitary burden, responsibility, and glory. I cannot rely on anyone else in achieving my dreams, and these dreams are possible to achieve through my will and hand alone. 

My life's work, my purpose, is my own masterpiece. By giving birth to my masterpiece, I am conquering not only the fear of death, but death itself. 

Comment 1: I realized I did not need to fear death so long as I was writing each day and seeing the world. This realization came in a dream. I was in a room with a bookcase and a world map on the far wall. A door to death's unknown dimension was between the map and the bookcase. On the bookcase were all the books I have written and could ever write. On the map there were red 'Xs' on all the places I had visited and could ever visit. When I saw that I had written everything I could ever write, and had been everywhere I had ever desired to go, I realized death was nothing to fear. I could open the mysterious door and pass through. I had done all I could possibly do in this world, my work was finished, and there was no fear in saying farewell. For me, living, or achieving my purpose, is writing and traveling. I have chosen them. It is possible to do these things, and I only have to rely on myself in achieving them. So long as I am truly and honestly endeavoring to publish more works and to visit the new places I desire to see, I'm doing all that I can do with my life. I do not fear death.

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While tribal wars are raging all over the world and natural disasters have recently taken incredible humanitarian tolls, we, in The United States, seem more concerned over a few things Phil Robertson, "Patriarch" of The "Duck Dynasty" (an A&E cable reality program), said about homosexuals. 

In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Robertson expressed the opinion, among other things, that gay people were not going to be admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven and compared them to drunks, adulterers, and so on. In retaliation, A&E kicked Robertson off the program for an indefinite amount of time. 

In connection with this situation, I find two things interesting:

First, the way in which so many people can be so obsessed with the opinions of a particular reality show celebrity. Some embrace what Robertson said about homosexuals, and others want to lynch him. It is fun to watch. It is like a violent sporting event on the 24-hour tabloid news, to wit CNN and FOX. And, at the same time, it is sad that mainstream television journalism in the United States doesn't have the class it once had.

Second, I find most the most interesting thing to be the way in which people deal with such issues as The Duck Dynasty versus Homosexuality. Whichever side is taken, it seems either's proponents are only concerned with yelling and screaming and fighting for their point of view, as if in a boxing match. They aren't objectively thinking about the problem. Whatever their bias may be, they burst out from the gut without first using their brains. The casualties they cause are seemingly of no concern. So, I will attempt to show you how I try to think through the homosexuality-Duck Dynasty problem. I'll at least give you a taste of my approach herein.

But first let me say, I really don't have an opinion on this matter. I just like to ponder how it plays out, or should play out, whether legally, logically, practically, compassionately, via the pros and cons of policies expanding or limiting gay rights, or even via the force of violent public opinion. As far as I'm concerned, I'm just as happy being friends with gay people as I am being friends with "hillbillies." I'd attend and support a wedding of a gay person just as willingly as I would the wedding of a redneck, an atheist, or a Bible thumping radical Christian. I say live and let live. Sticks and stones may break my bones.

Nevertheless, I think one thing is kind of unfair. It seems to me, anecdotally at least, that society seems a little more able to laugh about redneck incest jokes, but gay jokes are taboo. I have to admit I laugh at all jokes, even ones which create laughter at the expense of the American Indian, and I am half Comanche. 

And really, the Duck Dynasty vs. Homosexuality problem isn't even about gay rights, or is it? Robertson's words have nothing to do with how the fight over gay marriage will ultimately play out in Utah, right? The affect of his opinions on homosexuals won't be to influence (either positively or negatively) the future of gay rights or equality, will they? Too tenuous a connection or not? Are we not just talking about what a celebrity, or even an average citizen, can or cannot say about homosexuals? I don't know. For the sake of simplicity, for now let's cut the argument down, and limit it to one question:

Should Phil Robertson be punished (or precluded) for saying (or allowed to say) homosexuals don't get to go to heaven?

Let's start with the legal side of things: 

The First Amendment. The First Amendment does not protect Phil Robertson because it only protects him from the Government. The First Amendment does not shield Robertson from being fired or suspended from his job by A&E. A&E is a business, not a government. The First Amendment would only be an issue if Robertson worked for the government (state, county, city, or federal), and he was fired or sanctioned for his comments made to GQ magazine.

The Civil Rights Act. Phil Robertson may have a very tenuous or colorable Civil Rights claim. In short, the Civil Rights Act prohibits an employer for discriminating against an employee for religious reasons. Robertson could claim he was suspended for honestly expressing his religious beliefs, thus A&E violated the Civil Rights Act. But, if my experience in such Civil Rights actions is telling, Robertson's claim of his employer having religiously discriminated against him will fail. Why? The didn't fire or suspend him for his being a member of a particular Christian Sect or following its practices, they will argue. His widely published and discriminatory words were the problem. His mouth, not his religion was the problem.

Hate Speech. Maybe the Duck Dynasty's Patriarch engaged in hate speech? No, I don't think so, plus, to prosecute him the government would have to step in and then the First Amendment would also step in. All he did was say homosexuals didn't get to go to heaven. Most Christians say this about each other. I don't think telling anyone they aren't going to heaven amounts to hate speech. There is no violence, abuse, or harassment involved. If I were gay I'd be relieved to know I wasn't going to be admitted to Phil's version of heaven. What a relief! And besides, if the Patriarch's words were to be treated as hate speech, wouldn't we really become quite a police state? How much scrutiny do we want the police to have over the very words we mutter?

Contract Law. Long story short, if Phil's contract says he can't say negative things about homosexuals, A&E can suspend or fire him. However, even if A&E had the right, contractually, to suspended him/to punish him, the irony is that he is now more popular than ever. A&E likely made the mistake of ultimately enriching the Duck Dynasty for not allowing homosexuals into their version of heaven and being vocal about it. They will now be even richer for having made published, negative comments about homosexuality. Maybe A&E did this as a publicity stunt? Who knows?

So, as we see, there really isn't much of a legal issue here, as far as we are concerned. The Constitution and Civil Rights Act are not involved. The words at hand didn't amount to hate speech. It all comes down to contract law. Legally, we are not involved. This is between Duck Dynasty and A&E.

The real question: what should we do about Duck Dynasty and its views on homosexuality?

If you don't like what Phil Robertson said about homosexuals, don't watch Duck Dynasty or pay for any programming carrying the show. Don't buy any Duck Dynasty shirts, hats, or whatever. Encourage your family and friends to do the same. Support gay marriage at the voting booth. Make charitable contributions to politicians or groups advocating gay rights. If you like what he said, do the converse. Watch Duck Dynasty and buy its memorabilia, and so on.

Ultimately, what does it matter? Does it matter if Phil believes homosexuality is wrong? Maybe not. You may believe the problem is his using his celebrity status to spread anti-gay ideas. But ultimately, we need to look inside ourselves. What if a nice gay couple lives next door. They are married. They have children. Their house and lawn are immaculate. They are active in the community and work good jobs, pay taxes. Their children are well tended, emotionally and physically thriving, and they get good grades. 

Does it matter what Phil Robertson says? Can his words make you hate the gay couple next door, or believe they are not going to make it to heaven? Do his words simply sting of illogical and unloving religious bias which only make you want to invite the nice family next door to dinner? Can we not have our own version of heaven where all walks of good people are permitted to pass through the Golden Gates? Maybe our version of hell is the same as Phil's version of heaven? His god may be the devil?

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Pat Dickson - Wed Dec 18, 2013 @ 08:09AM
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Before I answer the question: Was there a Great Flood? I want to tell you why I am blogging on such a topic, as this is my first foray into a subject which may be called by many names. E.g. religion, mythology, literary history, cross-cultural archetypes, and the like.

I have lately been reading (or rereading) ancient writing, texts, fragments, and recorded testimonies of all sorts. It is amazing to me how so many myths and stories are connected. This study has really been an eye-opener for me. It has filled my daily life with small but cumulative epiphanies. It has fulfilled my need to be nourished with a never-ending flow of increasing insight and knowledge. 

More and more, I don't have to have questions answered. I could not comprehend them given the limits of my gray matter. Just reveal to me the universal art, woven in ephemeral silk! I only desire to see the next strand of the universal web which seems to tie everything together. I am certain this is the best I can do. I am near certain no man or woman will ever be able to envision more than a millionth part of this Nature of Things, whatever it might really be, especially given the constraints of the human mind or brain. 

Or perhaps the limits I speak of are not even intellectual. Instead they may be biological, physical, spiritual, or emotional?

Nevertheless, this daily, and usually early morning, self-education (or shall we say "Meditation?") still gives me a greater and greater intellectual, spiritual and emotional grasp on the world/Universe and the meaning of things. Yet at the same time it does not fill me with hubris (yes I am lying): As the cliché goes, and it is so true, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. I am humbled, yet made docile. I am ready to learn and continue doing so. 

Yet, what have I learned so far, during my course of recent morning (and lifetime) studies? I will speak generally at first, by giving you three principles by which I am currently viewing all that I learn. Or shall we say this is my paradigm for learning and exploring the religious, mythological, anthropological, or whatever? Of course this may change, or be enumerated and expounded, or even deleted in its entirety over time. Do not fret. In the end I will give you an incomplete answer to the question, "Was there a Great Flood?"

The Three Pat Dickson Principles:

1. All things are connected.
2. Everything is true.
3. We do not need to know anything.

So, I answer you this: There was a Great Flood.

Given most of my friends and family are Christians, or derivatives thereof, I have just this moment perhaps saved myself a bit of scorn and the consequences of their vituperation which was to come should they have had the fortitude to read thus far. If not, angry emails, texts and phone calls are soon coming my way. As such, their morning reading was limited to the first few sentences of my main paragraph.

So to expand my answer, I say to you there was a Great Flood because the Great Flood was in the Bible. And there was a Great Flood because it happened in Ovid's Metamorphosis. There was a Great Flood because it happened in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

I won't go into much detail beyond what I have just offered, but to say a few things about Noah. He existed too. He was Noah in the Bible. He was Deucalion in the Metamorphosis/Greek/Roman History/Mythology. And Deucalion was Utnapishtim in Gilgamesh.

I only give a few references, but there are many others. For instance, what about Atlantis? Something cataclysmic put that place under water!

Now we have arrived at the point where my answer that the Great Flood happened will disappoint many of you. It does not matter to me whether the Great Flood "really" happened or not. Why? It makes no difference. The historical evidence, as written, will stay the same. We cannot rewrite the Bible, Gilgamesh, or the Metamorphosis. Archaeological evidence and contradictions will not justify the burning of false books. 

These stories, such as the Great Flood, archaeologically true or not, have become a part of us, as a human race. They connect us and give us depth to our language, or practices and rituals, and most importantly, they give us the closest thing to universal meaning we can hold in our hands and share with one another. What of Santa Claus should a Historian or Archaeologist "prove" him untrue? It would do our children no good to just permanently wash away a series of rituals which tie to our wishing one another "Happy Holidays" every Christmastime. 

So, let us talk about the Great Flood briefly, as it may run the gauntlet of my three principles.

1. Everything is connected. Humanity seems to accept a great flood from a number of different cultures, myths, religions, and the like. The question is not did the flood happen? The question is why does everyone need a great flood in their scripture or literary history? Could not the Great Flood be a warning to all people? Perhaps if we as a society run too far afoul and out of control, something big and bad may happen? Economic collapse? Nuclear war? What does the Myth of the Great Flood advise? Do not ask, did it happen, but what does it teach? Seek not a final answer, but look to answer as many questions as possible. What are the connections? Where does this web lead? And don't look for a final destination so you may put away the question forever. Should we eliminate the Great Flood, we take away its moral instruction forever.

2. Everything is true. If we deny the great flood, don't we deny ourselves the joy of learning more from it? To discount something, to declare it false, is to stop learning the lessons it teaches. There was a Great Flood. Now let's explore why. There is ESP for instance. We can read our own thoughts. There is telekinesis. Is not my typing at this keyboard my mind moving my fingers? An open mind that does not negate anything learns the most and never stops.

3. We do not need to know anything. In reality, I don't even need to know whether there was a Great Flood or not. I just need to leave my mind and spirit open to learn about it until the day I die. In this context, I'm just warning against "knowing" anything. To KNOW something is to pretty much decide you don't need to learn or explore anything about it ever again. It is an excuse to call something black or white then to close your mind to the subject forever.

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There is nothing worse than turning off the light and going to bed, and just as soon as you are about to fall asleep, a pesky fly lands on your nose. 

No telling where that fly has been! Let alone, how dare it deprive you of a good night of sleep?

You jump up, turn on the light, grab your flyswatter, and go on a killing rampage!!!

You swat and swat and swat, and finally you hit the target. You make the kill, but there is an awful cost: 

The terrible germ-ridden mess, half a fly smashed on your closet mirror, and the other half somewhere lost and unknown, a little disease bomb of tiny organic mass now lost in the carpet or in a fold of your bed covers. There is only a slight wet shimmer on the flyswatter.

If only you could kill flies without a flyswatter! Anything that didn't make a mess, was more hygienic, and didn't require a great batting average. 

Never fear, I offer you my personal remedy, and I believe because this trick involves the use of ammonia and alcohol, and does the job without smashing pesky flies, all of the negative implications of using a flyswater are circumvented.

The trick to killing a fly without a flyswatter:


The result is incredible! One well aimed squirt set to 'STREAM,' and your nemesis drops straight from your closet mirror to the floor, its entire body intact. The germs are killed by the ammonia and alcohol, there are no fly guts squished onto anything, All it takes is a tissue and a flush, and the problem is solved. Plus, you can give your closet mirror a quick shimmer.

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Pat Dickson - Mon Dec 16, 2013 @ 07:32AM
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You are desperate for a relationship. This probably means you just broke up with someone, you are married or are with someone but they are like ice to you, you are married but separated, or you are recently divorced. Given your emptiness and agony, I offer you a riddle:

  • Being hungry for love turns your heart into a stomach.

Yes, another way to say what my riddle portrays to us is exactly what the psychologists often advise when a relationship dies: give finding a new relationship time because you still aren't mentally or emotionally in the right place. But, I am not a psychologist. I am just a lawyer who once practiced divorce and family law, and over the years I have seen so many of those close to me grind through bad or serial relationships. In fact, I don't necessarily claim to have more life experience than you have in having watched friends and family (or even ourselves!) so often experience severe consequences by doing just one thing. Being desperate for a relationship. My riddle is not professional advice as much as it is personal advice. It is just a contemplative way to look at a problem involving lost love or romantic loneliness.

Let us explore the riddle for just a moment. Being desperate for a relationship is like being hungry or starved for love. The heart is the metaphoric organ of loving. For the heart to be too hungry, it desires to feed, to consume, to devour, and to digest. It becomes more like a stomach than anything else. It is supposed to be an organ that thrives on love, or on loving, not on ingesting. So if it is starving or hungry (or desperate) it desires to consume love to fill its vacancy. To feed the heart the love it so desperately needs is to allow it to devour and digest, to utterly destroy the very object of its desire. The solution destroys itself. Does the heart thus not become as a vampire? An unfortunate victim is required. And once you are sated, what of your own guilt and remorse for having shed another's blood for the sake of your hunger? Not only this, the ultimate problem may be that once your heart has fed upon and digested the love it so desired, once again it is just as empty as before.

I have not answered the question of how to cope with being desperate for a relationship. I believe the answer is simple. Do not feed your heart as if you are a starving vampire in the night. Wait until your heart is ready to give love, not to devour it. In fact, wait until your heart finds joy in its emptiness, so that it never has to be fed again. It will find its greatest purpose in loving, not in being loved - not in consuming. Let your heart fast for a while. The hunger will diminish with time. Your heart will become a healthy organ again and will regain its color. 

As a closing remark, it is so often ironic to me that the people most desperate for a relationship are those who should be the least lonely of all of us. So often they are surrounded by their children, family members and friends, yet still they still seem to suffer the greatest of lost love's agonies. They are the most blessed. They have so many people to love.

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Are You Not Sure if Your Shipment is Over-Sized?

Karen Franco Freight Broker


Karen Franco
AA Freight Brokers
(520) 338-4576

email me

If the item or items you are going to ship might exceed the height, width, length, or weight restrictions of your state, or any state they will be traveling in, you need to get very good measurements to your freight broker.

In the instance that you cannot get an accurate weight because you lack the equipment to do so, you need to have the weight estimated using a reliable method. With this information, your broker can help you determine the right trailer needed, and advise whether or not permits will be needed. Your freight broker should take care of obtaining all permits. There will be a cost that varies state by state. 

The Importance of Accurate Shipping Information:

Once on the road, a truck (with your material or goods) can be held up for inaccurate information. Once it is held up, it must be remedied before it can be moved from that weigh station, or location that it has been stopped. If this happens many states away from you, not only do you have to count on your goods being safely trans-loaded, but expect a hefty cost for having it done. Give your broker accurate information.  Include any dunnage that affects the dimensions. 

STATE BY STATE: For your reference, this link contains the contact information for each state's department of transportation. http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/sw/permit_report/index.htm#obt

Your shipment will require a permit for each state your goods will travel through.  Occasionally a city will require additional permitting.  Limitations for each state will be similar to those I have listed below for Arizona, but, may have some varying restrictions. Some cities also add restrictions. Keep in mind that older parts of the country, such as in the east, may have bridges and overpasses, and some areas of cities will have overhead lines that have not been upgraded to modern standards.

Basic restrictions for the State of Arizona:

Legal Loads:
Length: 65’ on non-designated highways - including truck, trailer, and your goods
Overhang:3’ front or 6’ rear (with permit). legally, you can usually overhang 2' front and 4' back
Weight: GVW 80,000 lbs.--GVW- gross vehicle weight- includes the truck, trailer, and your goods 
Width: 8’ 6”
Height: 14’ on Interstate; 13’ 6” on secondary road- this measures from the ground to the top of your freight, including any dunnage, lifting supports, etc...

Pilot Car - Escort Car Requirements:
Width: On 2 lanes over 14’ requires 1 pilot car or escort vehicle in front of truck and 1 the rear of truck. On Interstates over 15’ wide you are required to have 1 pilot car in front of truck.

Height: Over 17’ requires 1 pilot car in front of truck.
Length: On 2 Lanes:Over 120’ requires 1 pilot car in front of truck and 1 rear of truck.
On Interstates:Over 120’ requires 1 pilot car in front of truck.

It is important to remember that the permitting offices will provide the route for the truck driver. They could possibly add miles to avoid bridges, overpasses, city roads, etc... I had a route for an over-height load from San Antonio to Dallas, and the permitting office added over 100 additional miles to that route. Your freight broker will not know this until the permit has been issued.  Give her plenty of time for accurate pricing for miles.  Permits expire within 96 hours.  If the load is delayed, another permit will need to be purchased.

Permitted loads have restrictions for travel during certain hours, called "hours of movement". Usually, you cannot be on the roads in the many city limits during rush hour traffic. If you are in the city, you will have to wait until after that time to leave your yard. Also, the driver must pull over at certain times so they are not travelling at night when restricted to do so. They cannot just stop where they are, so, even if they can travel until a half hour after sunset, they need to stop at a place they can stay the night. You need to plan around these time restrictions to make sure you do not miss your own deadlines with your customers.  Some loads will need to travel with escorts at night time.  

This is something that is often not well understood by shippers. If your load is divisible, it must be shipped in a way to avoid it being over-sized.  Example: If you have two or more pieces that will be more than 102" when placed side by side, you must re-arrange them so that they are not over-width, or you will need to arrange for additional transportation.  A “non-divisible load” is one piece or item which cannot be separated into units of less weight or width, or height, without affecting the physical integrity of the load. Examples of non-divisible loads include, but are not limited to single poles, girders, columns, wood or metal trusses, buildings, houses. A state may require you to remove a part of a heavy piece of machinery, such as a bucket, to make it under the weight restriction.  It would then be shipped on a separate truck. If it is too time consuming to do so, you may have to provide proof to the permitting office of such.

The design and/or planning department at your organization should consider you as an invaluable resource when planning projects that will eventually be shipped to another location. It may be better to design and build projects within shipping limitations to avoid additional costs and/or delays when it comes time to ship. For example, if you are designing a sign, you may need to design it to be constructed in two or more pieces and then assembled at the installation site. Involving the shipping department at the beginning can often times save an organization big headaches! 

Please request a copy of trailer types and guidelines, including illustrations, by emailing: SEND TRAILER TYPES AND GUIDELINES to: karen.franco83@gmail.com

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Pat Dickson - Mon Aug 26, 2013 @ 04:48PM
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I gained 4.5 lbs of muscle and lost 2.5 lbs of fat in 39 days.

I've posted my results. I'm a 44 year old man. I don't take any supplements. My secret is threefold:

  1. I eat one time per day
  2. I work out with weights and walk
  3. I have added modified German Volume Training to my workouts

Herein I want to emphasize my addition of a modified form of German Volume Training to my fat burning and strength training routine.

But before I get to this point, let me start by saying that at my age I have had a ton of success managing my weight by eating one meal a day, and I've blogged a lot about this diet. Additionally, I have been very successful maintaining my muscle and restoring my strength to historic levels by using a pretty low volume, but heavy weight training program. So, before today I had a great program for losing weight while increasing my strength to old highs.

However, never before, not even as a young man, was I ever able to gain weight while losing fat.

This means adding muscle weight while getting leaner! And I'll say it once again. All it took was adding a third step to my diet and exercise routine. I added German Volume Training, granted I modified it a bit. By "modified" I mean I'm doing it a little less rigorously than the strength coaches advocate.

First, let me explain what I understand German Volume Training ("GVT") to be. Opinions differ, but it is essentially working out with a weight you can lift for 10 sets of 10, pausing between sets between 20 seconds to 2 minutes. By weight you can lift, the "experts" say you should be using a weight between 60-70% as heavy as you can lift for a single set of 10. Granted, coaches and trainers will vary in what they describe to be the rules of GVT. I've read a lot of conflicting authority, and I'm not sure who invented GVT.

But for argument's sake, and to keep it simple, let's assume GVT consists of doing 10 sets of 10 with 60% of your 10 rep max, with a minute of rest in between. You only hit each major muscle once a week with one exercise for 10 sets of 10. E.g. if you are hitting your chest with GVT, you pick one chest exercise to do for 10 sets of 10, and you use 60% of what you can do for 1 set of 10. Then, you don't do another 10 sets of 10 of anything for chest for at least a week. Do the same for your back, quads, or any other muscles you want to build. I personally stick to the big muscle groups, e.g. back, chest, quads, and traps. Sometimes you can do smaller muscle groups, like biceps or triceps, maybe every other week. Besides, GVT for back really gets your biceps. In other words, doing the major muscles usually sufficiently hits the minor ones.

Now that we have a consensus on what GVT is, I'll tell you how and why I modified it by only doing about 40% of my 1 set of 10 max instead of 60%. And I rest as long as I feel it takes to get the next set of 10. This can mean resting up to three minutes between sets.

We know the reason I have to go easier than the standard program requires. As I said, I'm 44. My joints and other working parts just can't take as much as they once could. Yes, I'm even a bit of a hypocrite because now I'm advocating GVT when my originally proposed exercise routine (which we are now supplementing with high volume) is based on lifting weights at a low volume level, for as little as one heavy set per muscle with lots of warming up. My only defense is that my modified German Volume Training program is very low weight for high volume. My basic routine (which may appear contradictory) avoids high volume with heavy weight.

So in conclusion, I've added 4.5 lbs of muscle and lost 2.5 lbs of fat in less than 5 weeks. All I did was add modified GVT to my standard diet and exercise routine. This means, I eat once a day, do my regular weightlifting routine every morning, and at the end of each routine, I throw the old GVT at a muscle I haven't punished in a week: 10 sets of 10 at 40% of my 1 set of 10 reps max, resting as needed to make sure I can pump out the next set of 10. And given the short duration of my exposure to this new program, I haven't even gotten to periodically increasing the weight.

I will keep you posted

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When you need the best freight broker you can find, there are a few important things to consider

where to find the best freight broker

Quick Response Time:

A responsive freight broker will always be quick to respond to you and will keep you informed, even if just to reply back to your request for quote or a reliable lead time, that they are "working on it!" You should never feel you are abandoned, especially when the pressure to get a shipment out is mounting. 

All of Your Questions are Important:

A knowledgeable freight broker welcomes all of your questions and answers them. She knows that you are the best source of information for planning ahead and avoiding the problems you've often experienced shipping your materials or manufactured equipment and goods. You have to work as a team to get from dock to dock, and she knows two heads are better than one. Together, your questions and combined knowledge will lead to your freight being shipped to its destination in good condition. It will arrive within the anticipated lead time, and with as few administrative, highway department, and red tape hiccups as possible.

Trust is Key:

Find a broker you can trust. They should treat your company and business as their own, with care, concern, and seriousness. After all, they really are an extension of your company, and one of its representatives. They are your agent. How do you know the trust is there? Actions speak louder than words. As a freight broker, I call all of my consignees to make sure they are expecting the shipment, sometimes multiple times. I always verify the delivery address. I always ask lots of questions about delivery to make sure there aren't any surprises. For instance, will we be able to back the truck up to the dock without any trouble? Such an approach, being proactive, not only establishes trust with my clients, it shows them that I really care. It also fixes a lot of problems before they arrive. Finally, I never forget that when I call the consignee, I am truly representing my customer. I need to be professional, patient, and prepared.  

No Old "Bait and Switch:"

Have you ever been given a freight price and then the lined-up truck suffered 'a service breakdown'? It happens. But, does it ever seem to happen with the same broker over and over? Many brokers will give you a rate, say they have a truck secured, but, they are just trying to cut all the other brokers you are going to out of the equation. There never was a truck available to suffer a 'service breakdown' in the first place! Nevertheless, this old shady trick gets you gouged. Remember the trust. It is better for you to have an honest broker who will tell you when there is really a truck available and when there is not.

I refuse to commit to a price without a carrier ready to take it. If I give a quote and do not have a truck, I will let my customer know I'm still looking for a truck. I will give my best estimate based on normal rates for that lane, and let you know it is based on availability during the time frame you need the shipment to be made. There are a lot of variables, and risks with pricing. Both broker and customer need to balance the risk and cost, and to do so honesty is the best policy. For instance, we both know the weather can change the availability of trucks. If there are 20 trucks and 10 loads out of that area for pickup, I can negotiate a good price. If there are 10 trucks and 20 loads, the carrier pretty much can have their pick and they WILL raise their prices to the broker, which unfortunately passes to the customer.

Good Communication:

As I've emphasized before, It really doesn't take that much time for me to keep you informed of the status of the pick ups and deliveries of your shipments. If your broker isn't doing this consistently, you need to find one that does. To always know what is happening with your freight keeps your worry away and it makes you look smart in the eyes of your superiors, as well as in those of your own customers.


Your freight broker needs to be able to quickly answer questions about load and material restrictions, highway conditions, the weather, and the transportation laws and regulations over the highways your load will be traveling, just to name very few. She will either immediately inform you, or she will find the answer and call you back promptly. She will always have knowledge of the resources available, or will diligently pursue the answers you need so that you can be properly advised. The greater the knowledge of all the conditions through which your freight will traverse, the better positioned you are for a safe and on time delivery. 

Always remember that some lanes are tougher than others. Just because you paid $1.90 per mile on one lane doesn't always mean that you will pay $1.90 a mile on another. The nearest truck may be 100-200 miles away this time. The location to which you are delivering may offer very little outgoing freight. Lots of variables can increase your costs. The drivers are another variable. Their costs for leasing, operating and maintaining their trucks vary from driver to driver. If a driver thinks your lane will cost them money at your expected price, they will move on to another less risky opportunity. 

Your broker should share all of her knowledge with you. You should inform her of all the considerations and pitfalls to which you are aware. Sharing information and knowledge will empower you both, keep your prices as low as possible, and result in the best and safest on time delivery. Always be prepared to let her know of any possible height, weight, or width issues. Let her advise you on ways you can save money in the loading, shipping and delivery process. She will do the same. You may not have thought of everything. Remember, you and your freight broker are a team!

I hope these tips help you find the best freight broker out there!

Karen Franco Freight Broker



Karen Franco
AA Freight Brokers
(520) 338-4576
email me

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I remember reading about Bill Gates quitting Facebook because it was a time sink. In short, it took him too much time to manage all his social media friends. Gates sees technology as a means for saving time, not taking it away.

Computers, smart phones and social media should improve our lives and give us more freedom, not entrap us and devour our time.

Right after reading about Gates giving up Facebook, I started noticing how I and others were virtual slaves to our smart phones. Everywhere I looked, people were texting or talking on their cell phones. It didn't matter if they were walking, driving their cars, or even having dinner with friends. It was absurd.

I started seeing groups of people out to dinner, and they weren't talking to one another across the table. Instead they were engaged in cell phone conversations (or texting) with someone else that was somewhere else. I started seeing people on nature hikes, and what were they doing? Talking business or family affairs on their cell phones, or otherwise texting something I could not hear. I even watched a man cross the street without looking for cars. He was nearly killed, but luckily a non-texting driver had put on the brakes and come to a screeching halt in the nick of time!

I decided to start using my smart phone only when it helped make my life better, and not when it made my life worse. I wasn't going to be part of the madness! I refused to become one of the Borg!

So, I changed the way I used my cell phone, and ever since I've freed up a lot of time, and have been able to focus more on the things that mattered most.

With all this said, here is my smart phone make-your-life-better adage and Smart Phone 3 Steps to a Better Life Program.

"To the extent we use our smart phones to save time in our daily endeavors, we free up time to enjoy more of the things that make our lives worth living"

My Smart Phone 3-Steps to a Better Life Program:

  1. Put your smart phone away. If you are going to go to work, go into a restaurant to dine with friends or business associates, go to a party, or meet someone for a social event or activity, leave your smart phone at home or in your car. Remember the good old days when people couldn't call you on the phone unless you were home? Go back to that. At first, I had a lot of complaints from friends and family, but when I told them my new smart phone rules, they understood, and now some of them are doing the same! I can't tell you how much more fun my activities, dining out, and conversations have been since I've learned to put my smart phone, The Great Interruptor, in its proper place. My smart phone works for me. I don't work for it.
  2. Put your smart phone on silent. In my opinion, noise, beeps, buzzing, vibrations, etc., do nothing but distract us. We can only really perform one mental task at a time, and to suffer interruptions to whatever we are focusing on only impedes us. In fact, research shows these constant interruptions from our cell phones are making us dumb. Anecdotally, my work tasks, especially my financial accounting and writing endeavors, have really improved in efficiency, just because I've turned my smart phone's vibrators and noise makers off. When I'm interrupted, I lose my train of thought and waste time getting started again. Really, I think the trick to this tip is simply putting a stop to being distracted mid thought.
  3. Text instead of talk. Here is where I'm not being possibly too old school. I'm not being a retro guy who says talking on the phone is only fun if it is attached by a cord to a wall. Phone calls take a lot more time than texts. If you call a friend to ask them to dinner and the movies, it might take 30 minutes. It is only polite to catch up, and that takes time. Text a line "can you do dinner and the movies Monday at 6:00 pm?" and it just takes a second. Save the chatting for face to face at dinner, and leave your cell phones in the car! Texting also helps with work tasks. Sometimes you can save a lot of time by texting a long winded coworker a simple yes or no question, and if they have a long explanation, you can read it rather than listen to it. Texting can also be done outside of real time, unlike a phone conversation. Deal with your texts when you are taking a breather from focused activities. See how if you are texting you and others can follow my 3 Steps and still communicate effectivly and without interruptions to either of you?

I know this article will probably rub a few people the wrong way. They will say their jobs and their families require they be plugged in like a Borg. I agree there are cases when you simply need to be tied at the hip to your Smart Phone, but there are also a number of cases when you don't need to be a slave to your gadget.

You can make your Smart Phone work for you. You can use your technology to make your life better!

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