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December 17, 2008 Vol. 4, No. 26

These days it’s hard to see through the haze of economic woe — and those nasty visions of a later retirement than I’d been hoping for, like 3 decades later — but I take real solace in the fact that there’s still a ton of stuff to watch on the product front. When you’re a gearhead like me, and presumably like most of you, the world can collapse in a heap but you’ve always got widgets and gizmology to keep you smiling. That and a bottle of Laphroiag, preferably full.

So what have I been watching in the last couple of weeks? Well, it wasn’t so much watching as listening, but I had dinner with a few of my favorite Cummins people visiting from Indiana, and we had a great off-the-record chat about, oddly enough, engines. I learned some interesting stuff about 2010 but like I said, it was off the record. Still, I’m smarter than I was before that dinner, and you’ll reap benefits from that as I write about ‘010 motors in the future. That’s how this writing gig goes — you learn lots of little things, and some big ones too, and gradually you get a progressively better grasp of the whole picture.

I also hit the streets of Long Beach, California since my last missive, where I was somewhat confused. Sitting on the balcony outside my downtown hotel room, I heard the pleasing sounds of Christmas carols wafting up three floors from the lobby. But I was also hearing young folk in shorts and t-shirts clattering by on their skateboards. The two sounds didn’t mix. I tried to imagine colored lights strung around the tall palm tree that finished its climb to the sky right at my third-floor level, but that didn’t work either. How can people possibly celebrate Christmas in such a place?

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Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to Trucknews.com.

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