Catching Up After a Once in a Life-time Trip

Betty Plowman – Membership Services Director NorCal

My vacation back to Louisiana and the east in July was absolutely one of my life’s greatest experiences. I have put off for way too many years reconnecting with family members there. The “Cousins Reunion” in Baton Rouge cured that for now.

I must admit, I did experience withdrawal symptoms when I first left for my trip, knowing I was going to be “out-of-the-loop” with our members, staff and the many things I feel passionate about. I experienced rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath, but fortunately learned years ago, a big bowl of gumbo or crawfish can certainly cure anyone’s anxiety. It didn’t fail me!

After a spell with family in the south, we traveled northeast and eventually landed in Pennsylvania. I made it to Gettysburg (#1 on my Bucket List) and I took a two-hour guided horseback ride through the battlefield. Needless to say, I paid dearly for that about 24-hours later.
Short Lived Feelings of Euphoria

Of course, after the shortest two weeks of my life, I came back to the sadness and devastation I had somehow managed to put out of my mind (where’s the gumbo?) reading through the new CARB 15-day rule amendments. Can anything be more confusing and worthless?

I am still involved with the Alliance for California Business, and each week, the news seems to get worse about diesel engine and DPF failures and fires of all kinds, not just retrofits but newer models as well. At a time when many are struggling financially, the continued down-time and repairs are taking a huge toll on our industry.

Members are calling left and right saying the DPF failed and no one is taking responsibility. The manufacturer points to the installer and the installer points at the manufacturer and no one is calling the truck owner back. It’s all totally unacceptable.

My Glass Cleaner Busted by CARB

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, I also learned I am likely now categorized as a “gross polluter.” Since I subscribe to CARB’s on-line newsreel, I was notified that my eyeglass cleaning wipes (that I buy in bulk from Sam’s Club) have been responsible for emitting 22 tons of air pollution. Turns out, Carl Zeiss Vision (with U.S. headquarters in San Diego) has now been fined $278,000 for selling these in California.

Evidently the fine comes because of additional claims made on the product label list which placed it into a general-purpose category and subjected the product to related air-quality regulations.

I am not exactly sure what other uses these small wipes might have, perhaps as toilet tissue in case of an emergency, but CARB is greatly concerned. On the same day I received this announcement, a friend told me that Dr. Oz had told his audience about the miraculous cleaning powers of vodka on eyeglasses. Perhaps everyone needs to carry a flask of vodka, for cleaning purposes only of course.

Oh wait, you can’t carry booze in your vehicle; better just wipe them off as best you can until you get home. And when things get really bad, such as when your engine fails or your filter is in the shop, I’m sure you can also find another use for it.