Willie in your pocket, biodiesel in your tank

Contributors to a new line of pocket-sized books on “significant public policy topics” include three former U.S. senators, a former Colorado governor – and, of course, Willie Nelson, author of the biodiesel guide “On the Clean Road Again” ($9.95 from www.fulcrumbooks.com). Of its 91 pages, 23 are transcripts of Nelson’s conversations with truckers on Bill Mack’s XM radio show. “We started Farm Aid to try to help save the American family farmer,” Nelson writes, “but now it looks as though the family farmer may save America.” We’ll forgive him the title for the chapter on the history of the petroleum industry: “To All the Oils I’ve Loved Before.”

Colorado governor – and, of course, Willie Nelson, author of the biodiesel guide “On the Clean Road Again” ($9.95 from www.fulcrumbooks.com). Of its 91 pages, 23 are transcripts of Nelson’s conversations with truckers on Bill Mack’s XM radio show. “We started Farm Aid to try to help save the American family farmer,” Nelson writes, “but now it looks as though the family farmer may save America.” We’ll forgive him the title for the chapter on the history of the petroleum industry: “To All the Oils I’ve Loved Before.”


THE WRONG SIDES OF THE TRACKS
We don’t know how this truck got into such a fine mess in Manitoba, only that the photos have circulated all over the world via e-mail. To see the others, visit www.snopes.com and search for “Hood on the Tracks.”


THIS MOVIE MOM’S A TRUCKER
Cross your fingers: the just-announced film “Trucker” may turn out to be more thoughtful and realistic than the usual Hollywood big-rig picture. Michelle Monaghan (left), Tom Cruise’s leading lady in “Mission: Impossible III,” plays the title character, who takes in her estranged son when his dad becomes ill. Writer-director James Mottern (beside the heroine’s International 9900ix) recently won a prestigious Nicholl Fellowship from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “Trucker” drives into theaters in 2008.


EQUAL OPPORTUNITY HIGHWAY SNOOZING
“And in case you think falling asleep at the wheel is a problem only for long-distance truckers, in a survey done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 26 percent of women admitted to nodding off while driving.”
– From Julie Scelfo’s article on sleep problems in the September 2007 Good Housekeeping

THE GOSPEL TRUTH, ACCORDING TO ED
“In the palace of truth and justice, we would lease that baby.”
– Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell tells a Bucks County audience that his plan to lease the turnpike was a laudable ideal; quoted in Harrisburg’s Patriot-News

PULL PLUG ON FLOOD OF LAWSUITS
“We can argue about whether to raise the gas tax, hold a special session, or require a new bridge to be light-rail-ready. But we should be able to agree that we don’t need to compound our disaster by letting loose a flood of lawyers.”
– Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten on ambulance chasing after the I-35W bridge collapse


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