Me And More Problems With The Highway Patrol

About two months ago I wrote a blog post about getting stopped by the Highway Patrol in Montana, titled “Almost Getting Caught By The Montana Highway Patrol With 20 Pounds Of Methamphetamine”.

How that all began, was my room mate in Dickinson, the owner of the house where I live, was acting so mentally ill and offensive, that I felt that I needed to move out of his house.  I quickly and unexpectedly had to begin moving my property back to Idaho.  I put a 4,500 lb Toyota truck on a 2,000 lb trailer, and I began towing this 6,500 lb load behind a two wheel drive 4,000 lb truck back to Idaho.  There was a sudden unexpected snow storm, and I got stuck on the interstate in Montana, right behind a tractor truck that was also stuck in the snow.

The 25 mile tow to the nearest town cost me $365.  The roads were snowy and icy all the way back to Idaho.  It was a horrible drive, towing the trailer.  I had to drive under the speed limit all the way back to Idaho.  And I drove under the speed limit all the way back to North Dakota.  It was unbelievable to me when I got stopped by the Highway Patrol in Montana.  I am not going to repeat the whole story again here.

My room mate changed his ways when I got back from Idaho.  He had believed that I was unable to move, but now he realized that I could move.  He needed the money that he got from me for rent, because he did not have a job.  Back in Idaho, I found that there were still very few jobs, so I was thinking that I would be better off staying in Dickinson, where I had been living.

Gradually over the past two months, my room mate began acting worse and worse, again.  During the hours from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., is when his behavior is the most troubling.  He begins talking to himself, with periods of shouting, shrieking, and yelling out, things like, “I wan’t to commit suicide!”, “I tried!, I tried!, I tried!”, “I’m sorry!, I’m sorry!, I’m sorry!”  There are also periods when his talking to himself seems to deal with threats and anger towards me.

I had worked with adults with dementia, “sun downers” delirium, alzheimers, brain injuries, schizophrenia, and many other mental disorders, for three years.  My opinion was that my room mate was mentally ill, but mentally ill for the fact that he was deliberately acting crazy in order to get attention and be an asshole.

I talked to my room mate’s brother about this in private, and I asked him if my room mate had had mental health problems and treatment in the past.  His response was, “No, but our father did the same thing.”

I was having a harder and harder time living in this house.  I was not making very much money at my job in Dickinson.  I wondered if I should move back to Idaho.  I thought that it would be a mistake for me to move into an apartment with a one year lease in Dickinson, because I was making so little money, and there were so few jobs currently advertised in Dickinson.  A property manager might not even allow me to lease an apartment if I could not demonstrate a high enough income.

I was having one of the worst periods of my life in April and May.  I kept looking for jobs and applying for jobs in Dickinson.  Even jobs that I was very, very qualified for, and had done in the past, I was not even getting called for an interview.  I wrote some blog posts about this, that the local human resources personnel in Dickinson were hiding job advertisements, in order to do everything they could to hire their relatives, friends, and neighbors.

At the same time that I could not get a job in Dickinson, my room mate, who was unemployed and always home, was deliberately acting grotesque, obnoxious, offensive, and mentally ill.  Though this period of reduced work at my job could have been a time where I did things that I enjoyed, like watching movies, cooking out, exercising, going kayaking, and riding my bike, my room mate’s constant presence and his mental illness was getting me down.  Which I think, is what he was trying to achieve, to make me unhappy and miserable, because he was unhappy and miserable.

Miraculously, I went to interview with a company in Dickinson where the managers had a very high opinion of my resume and my work experience.  They even offered to pay me more than what I had asked.  The job that I was hired for, and the company that I was hired to work at, is potentially one of the best jobs that I have ever had.

I was happy that I got hired, but I was somewhat stressed because I realized that I could not afford to mess this job up.  The way things were going in Dickinson, I was very lucky to get this job, and there probably would not be another chance like this for me in Dickinson.

When I got home the day of my job interview, my room mate was trying to be obnoxious and offensive, so I just went to my bed room and stayed there, like I had been doing for many days recently.  The next day, when I had to interview with a second person, and I got hired, when I got home, I nearly got into a fight with my room mate.  On the third day, when I got home after my company orientation and training, I then told my room mate that I had gotten hired, and I told him what company.  I explained to my room mate that I had to get up at 3:30 a.m. the following morning in order to go to work.  In a short while, my room mate began acting very hostile and shitty, and I just about could not handle it at that time.

I was both happy and stressed about my new job. My room mate’s behavior took away any happiness and optimism that I had, and he added to the stress that I was feeling.  I think that he was angry that I got a good job, and he felt that he needed to cause me problems and make me miserable.  With my new job and everything that I had to do, I was in no position to move out of his house, he thought.  He looked at this as an opportunity to start acting hostile, nasty, and shitty.  It almost came to a fight.  I knew that if I hit my room mate, that this assault would be the end of my new job.  Of course, my room mate knew that too.

I couldn’t take the problems that my room mate was causing me.  His always being home and getting on my nerves, trying to be offensive and grotesque, and causing a fight.  I could not get into a fight, and be charged with assault.  This would cause me to lose my job.  Even though I was tired, needed to prepare for work the following day, and needed to be able to wake up at 3:30 a.m., I instead had to now spend several hours on the internet looking for some place that I could move within a few days.

When I woke up at 3:30 a.m. the following morning, I could hear my room mate in the living room talking to himself, making threats towards me.  I went to work, and I was unexpectedly done by about 6:00 a.m.  I was asked to go work out of town for the next several weeks, starting Monday.  I was very happy that I would have the entire rest of the day to look for someplace else to live.

At about 7:00 a.m., I went to the addresses of the apartments that I was interested in, to see what they were like.  By about 8:30 a.m., I was able to talk to a man who owned an industrial property, and after discussing things, he tentatively agreed to let me park my two equipment trailers and one pick up truck on his property for $150 per month.  By about 9:30 a.m., I was at a property management office filling out a rental application.  The property manager agreed to meet me at the apartment that I was interested in at 12:30 p.m.

I went to the bank and I withdrew some money to pay my current room mate rent for the month of June.  Even though I did not have a lease, it is customary and kind of legally required to give 30 days notice prior to moving out, and pay rent through those 30 days.  I drove home and I gave the rent money to my current room mate, and I told him that I would have all of my belongings, vehicles, and trailers off of his property by the end of the month.

I drove to several more industrial and commercial properties to find out what they would charge me to my park my two equipment trailers and a pick up truck.  I eventually found a slightly better deal, than I had found earlier this morning.  I paid a commercial property owner rent for the month of June to park my trailers and a truck.

When I met the apartment property manager at 12:30 p.m., he said that my background check and credit report was very good.  He showed me the apartment that I wanted to see, but he offered to rent me a much nicer apartment for less than what was advertised.  I couldn’t believe how nice the other apartment was, and how large it was.  This was about the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me in Dickinson.  I paid rent for the month of June, and was scheduled to move in next week.

I drove back to where I lived, and I started putting my belongings into my two equipment trailers.  I asked a neighbor kid if I could pay him to help me carry a bed up the stairs where I was moving next Saturday, and he agreed.  By about 2:00 p.m., my first equipment trailer was loaded.  I hooked a truck up to the first equipment trailer, drove it to the commercial property, unhooked it, and returned home to load the second equipment trailer.

It was a very hot and sunny day.  It was about 97 degrees in the sun according to my vehicle thermometers.  I was trying to hurry up and load kayaks, bicycles, and other things into my trailers.  I wanted to get as much done as possible, so that I could get out of this house, and get away from my room mate.  I was also trying to get one of my trucks ready to drive out of town for work the following week.

I hooked up the second equipment trailer to my truck at about 3:30 p.m., and I began driving it to the commercial property.  There was a vibration in the truck.  I could not tell if it was transmission shudder, or if it was another coil over spark plug module that was going bad.  The number eight cylinder coil over spark plug went bad about one year ago, and it cost $250 to replace it.  I was hoping that I didn’t have this problem again right now on a different cylinder, I needed this truck to not break down.

As I was making a left turn onto the intestate on-ramp, a lady driving an approaching car in the right exit lane to make a right turn onto the interstate ramp, changed lanes just before she got to me, and went straight instead of taking the on-ramp.  I was able to stop just in time to avoid a collision, but I was mad about it.  I needed this truck for work at my new job next week, and I didn’t need to be in an accident.  The shudder in the truck, the near miss collision at the on-ramp, all the events of the past few days, and what I had to do in the coming week were all going through my mind as I drove on the interstate.

When I exited from the interstate onto the off ramp, I did not come to a complete stop at the stop sign.  As I made a right turn, I could then see the blue police lights in my truck side mirror.  Fuck!  He got me.  I pulled off the road into a parking lot, and I could see that the Highway Patrol had got me.  I thought that the failure to come to a complete stop at the stop sign was a traffic violation of about 3 points, which I was willing to accept.

The Highway Patrol officer was more concerned than I was expecting him to be.  He didn’t like that I was not wearing my seat belt.  He informed me that both my trailer and my truck had crossed over the “fog line” several times.  He asked me if I had been drinking.  He believed that I had been drinking.  He did not like that my truck had an Idaho license plate, instead of a North Dakota license plate.  He explained the law to me.  He did not like that I had an Idaho driver’s license instead of a North Dakota driver’s license.  He explained the law to me.  I told him that my registration sticker was expired, but I had my registration renewal payment receipt.  He was not happy about this.

It looked to me that I was going to get enough points for traffic violations from this traffic stop, to lose my new job.  I knew from the job application, the interview, and the company orientation, that if I had 6 points on my driving record, I would lose my job.

I couldn’t believe it.  I had been looking for jobs and applying for jobs, for months.  Miraculously, when circumstances were very grim, I got a job that might be one of the best jobs that I ever had.  I couldn’t let anything go wrong.  I couldn’t risk getting into a fight with my room mate, so I paid him rent for the month of June, found an apartment and paid rent for the month of June, and I paid rent for a commercial property to park my equipment trailers and truck.  Now, it looked like I was going to be instantly out of a job because the Highway Patrol officer believed everything I was doing was wrong.

I couldn’t believe it.  Between 2002 and 2017, fifteen years, I had driven to Florida, to Texas several times, to Arizona about ten times, and back to Idaho about twelve times, and I had never gotten any kind of ticket in the past fifteen years!  I had not been in a car accident for the past twenty years.  Why, why, have I been stopped by the Highway Patrol twice in the past two months?  Again, I had not gotten any tickets in the past fifteen years, why am I getting stopped now?

I believe that the Highway Patrol is being aggressive in stopping people with out of state license plates because of suspicion of drug trafficking.  I kind of understand this, but I don’t like it when I get stopped.  I was asked to explain myself and what I was doing.  I cooperated because I was not doing anything illegal.

I was grateful that I was only given a ticket for failure to wear a seatbelt, and given warnings for the other things.

Why do I have an Idaho driver’s license?  Because my home is in Idaho, and I expected to go back to Idaho many times.  I believed that I was going back for good in March.  I believed that I was going to have to go back for good at the end of  June if I didn’t get a job.

Why does my truck have an Idaho license plate?  My Toyota truck sitting in my driveway in Idaho, has a North Dakota license plate.  Two of my trucks that I drive frequently have Idaho license plates, and two of my trucks that I drive frequently have North Dakota license plates.

Why did my trailer tires and my truck tires cross over the white “fog line”?  My trailer width from outside of tire to outside of tire is a little more than 8-1/2 feet.  My truck width from outside of tire to outside of tire is about 7 feet.  I could hear and feel that my trailer tires were sometimes running on the milled strip.  This is O.K. with me, because I know where my trailer tires are, they are on the milled strip, and the trailer is not near vehicles in the left lane.  The trailer tires stick out wider than the truck, and it would be a problem if I drove more to the left, and the trailer tires went into the left lane.  But it is not hurting anything for the trailer tires to run a short while on the milled strip, which is what happens when you drive more towards the right side of the right lane.

The whole time I tow a trailer to Arizona or to Idaho, from time to time the trailer tires run on the milled strip, and you just ease back away from it.  It is safer for passing vehicles in the left lane, if my trailer, which is wider than my truck, never crosses into the left lane, so I try to stay to the right side of the right lane.

When I got to the commercial property to park my trailer, I didn’t feel well at all.  It had been a lot of work to make arrangements to get moved, and it was very hot when I was loading my trailers, and I had gotten too hot.  I felt week, faint, and dehydrated.  I was upset about getting stopped by the Highway Patrol.

This is why people do not like the police.  When life is going O.K., you have a good steady job, a good place to live, a new trouble free vehicle, and live in a town with family, relatives, and friends, it doesn’t make much difference if you get stopped by the police.  However, if you don’t have a good steady job, a good place to live, a new trouble free vehicle, and family, relatives, and friends to help you, getting stopped by the police sometimes starts to look like the police are going to get you where you have so many points on your license either this time, or when they stop you tomorrow, or the next day, you won’t be able to drive, won’t be able to keep your job or get hired anywhere, and won’t be able to pay your rent and other bills.

I am starting to feel like the police are people that cause other people to lose everything.  This is how poor white trash and poor blacks feel, that the police are always going to try to get you for something, to cause you to lose what you have, and get you into jail.  When the police officers go on duty, I think that they are intending to perform law enforcement.  I don’t know if they realize that many people look at them as trying to victimize others.

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