You can smell the sizzle from here:

| 3/26/2008

Although the actual trade show doesn’t begin until Thursday, Land Line Magazine and “Land Line Now” staffers have been on the ground at MATS since Tuesday. Below are excerpts from a few of their early entries in “The Pork Chop Diaries” blog.

Click on the headline above and bookmark the Web site so you can go to the blog any time you get a hankerin’ for the show floor. Click on the individual bloggers’ names below to read what they had to say in the way of first impressions. And don’t forget to check back often. The best is likely yet to come with Managing Editor Sandi Soendker and Senior Editor Jami Jones expected to blog late Wednesday.

Bill Hudgins
“My friend and ace gearjammer Rufus Sideswipe will be there, too. He spent most of February replacing all the “Alabama Chrome” duct tape on his old Cornbinder with shinier aluminum tape in hopes of winning some prizes in the Paul K. Young truck competition.”

Terry Scruton
“Mark, Barry and I were among the first to arrive in Louisville today (Tuesday). The first in the OOIDA gang, I mean, not the first ever. I’m not sure who (the first people to arrive) were, but I bet they didn’t learn as much as I did on the way down. Mark (that’d be Reddig, your host of “Land Line Now”) and Barry Spillman, our beloved sound engineer, are both full of completely useless trivia and information. It was a fascinating drive down, let me tell you. I'll spare you the details and you can thank me later.

“But we’re here now and Wednesday we head on down to the expo center to start setting up the recording equipment so we can bring “Land Line Now” to you live from Louisville.”

Mark Reddig
“I call the Truckin’ Bozo Radio Show every day to tell Dale what’s coming up next on our show – a natural thing to do, since we follow him in the XM schedule. ... Unfortunately, for all of us, he won’t join us this year at Louisville.

“Dale’s health hasn’t been the best this past year. Most of you know that. And it truly pains him that he is unable to walk among those folks he has talked to for so long.

“So we’ve all decided we’re going to bring the show to him, at least as much as we can. I’ll continue to make my daily call, but we’re hoping to get some of our other Land Line Magazine and “Land Line Now” staffers to call in as well, to bring as much of the flavor of the event to Dale as we can.”

Suzanne Stempinski
“On auto-pilot, I headed straight to the show truck lot. And to my delight, I saw the best looking truck stop in town. Cleaning rags at the ready, polish crews hard at work. It’s all happening right here. As I pulled in and parked, I saw old friends – and new ones I haven’t met yet. Chrome and shiny stuff. Slick paint jobs. The sun came out and the temperatures rose.

“It’s a family reunion of epic proportions.”

Charlie Morasch
“Last year my blog schtick was focused on being a newby, wowed by MATS’ bright lights, shiny chrome and products marketed by slogans like ‘Soot Sucks.’ That’s not gonna cut it this year.

“I’m hoping to get to talk to manufacturers about how they’re making products available to meet the ever changing emissions regulation landscape.”