March 23rd 2016
Top your mug off and settle in for another serving of Clean Shot, the best source for the latest and greatest shipping and hauling news. Heading up this great big ol’ infotainment convoy is none other than yours truly, Craig Burton.
First off, I want to thank everyone for all their suggestions on my upcoming haul. As some of you less-than-regulars out there may or may not know, every year I try to find some time to get out from behind this desk and get behind the stick to run a contract myself. I think it’s important to drag some crates around the ’verse every once in a while, so that when I sit here and rattle off advice and wisdom, I’m coming at it from experience. Plus, it’s easy to forget that there’s a reason I got involved with hauling in the first place, and it wasn’t to be a famously handsome host. It was always about the flight for me. The quiet. The fact that sometimes the call of the black is just too hard to ignore. My dad used to say that his one week of retirement was the hardest week of his life. Even better was that my mom said the same thing.
Anyway, keep the comms coming. You’ve been giving me some great ideas on what routes to take and what gear to test. Starting to look more and more like I might be taking a Reliant Kore out for a spin. Figured I could get a firsthand look at all this new Xi’An tech MISC is going on about, and see if it’s actually worth a grain. Sure, the ’Lancer handles nice with the few upgrades they’ve done here and there, but the Reliant is a different beast altogether. That thing is alien to its bones. Almost like a Xi’An wearing a Human mask. Sure, it might be able to sneak into the wedding, but it probably wouldn’t be good enough to pass for the groom if you know what I mean. Stay tuned for more updates on the planning as the trip gets closer. Oh, and Skinny just reminded me, chime in if you have any thoughts on what QD I should bolt on.
Now, I know many of you were as dismayed as I was a few weeks ago upon hearing that the Cargolympics were canceled this year. Don’t get me wrong, with the Vega tragedy still fresh, I completely understand why the Cargo Handler Association might have been looking to take a year off out of respect. After so many of our best, brightest and beloved were cut down that horrible day, it’s hard to put aside that kind of pain, but I firmly believed, like a lot of you from the messages we got, that the ones we lost would have wanted the Cargolympics to carry on in the face of such trials. At its core, the Cargolympics were a celebration of Humanity. They took something laborious and mundane, and elevated it to an art. And bless us if that isn’t something real inspiring about us Humans; our ability to elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary. Beyond the crates and lifts, that’s what the Cargolympics was, and I’m proud to announce, will still be.
I just got word that the C.H.A. have reversed their decision and will be holding the 16th annual Cargolympics on March 25th. Thanks to a generous donation from sponsor Torreele Foodstuffs, an older shipping facility is being remodeled into a stadium on Titus right now. Fittingly, it will feature a memorial sculpture of former champ Terri Santos, who perished in the attacks. Full disclosure, Torreele is also a sponsor of Clean Shot, but even if they weren’t, I would be singing their praise. Not only are they shelling out the credits for a new venue and pumping much needed money and tourism back into the Vega system, they have sworn that all proceeds from this year’s event will be going to Operation Solace to help continue the relief effort. How about that? Tickets will be going on sale later this week, and I fully expect them to sell out in minutes.
If all of this wasn’t exciting enough, they have announced a new event for the 2946 games. A Load / Unload Relay where teams will compete to see how fast they can load a ship, fly a course, unload it, and repeat two more times. What’s interesting here is that it’s not just about the speed of the handlers; balancing the load will really affect how fast the ships will be able to make their way around the course. Plenty of the teams are still searching for some qualified pilots, so if any of you are interested, head to the C.H.A. spectrum for more info. Did I mention how excited I am? I am excited. Cargolympics, folks!
All right, time for our first break. When we come back, we’ve got a TroubleZone where we’ll see how the recent Vanduul strikes in Oberon are affecting routes, and I’ll take a look at a new cargo manager app that Skinny loaded onto my mobi this morning. Pretty excited to see how many bananas it helps me to fit into a Hull E. And then later on we will be talking to Special Agent Naron about how haulers can streamline their wait at scan checkpoints. Plenty more Clean Shot just few moments away.