Well, this issue officially marks a new era. Our Associate Editor Ernie Macias recently ditched his "newbie" status, and stepped up to the plate big time. Not only did he just step up to the plate, he knocked one out of the park! Honestly, I've never been more proud of someone. And it's a different kind of proud; not like how a dad is proud of his son, but more like how a really good friend is proud of his friend's extraordinary accomplishments.

But where do I start? This month was absolutely insane. I've been editing this magazine for a while now, and honestly, this month was the busiest, most hectic month we have ever faced. We're currently in-between art directors, so our friend, Nick Crouch, has been filling in until we can find a permanent replacement. Nick has been more than helpful and done an amazing job, but time has run out. That puts an extreme amount of stress on me to get someone in here who will care about the look and feel of the magazine as much as I do. But enough about that, back to why I'm so proud of Ernie and the rest of our talented crew.

It's not often that a boss is able to express his appreciation to his crew, in print. So, I wanted to take the chance to do so here. This month was different than most other months because we had just put the SEMA show behind us, and were preparing for one of the biggest trips we make all year, Truck Masters, in Japan. This time, Ernie and I had the chance to travel together again, but instead of going as friends, we were co-workers now. Even though I thought the fun would end, and that the work would be overwhelming,.I couldn't have been more wrong. To prepare for the trip, we had to finish this last issue in an inhuman amount of time, but that wasn't reason enough to stop Ernie. We banged out the entire issue in time, and that was only the beginning. Our cover shoot was a mess because the model fell through at the last minute, and then our flight was scheduled to depart the very next day. Well, Ernie got back to LAX a few days before me and immediately had the cover-truck owner on the phone to set up the cover shoot and make it happen, no matter what. Even though this was his very first cover shoot, (and under some of the worst circumstances) I had complete faith in him, and knew he would not let us down. And indeed, he came back with some amazing photographs which were exactly what I was looking for. That might not seem all that hard to undertake, but anyone who knows anything about photography, knows that black trucks are harder to shoot. Timing is everything, and even though Ernie was nervous, because it was his first chance at a cover shoot, he pulled off a spectacular photo shoot.

Overall, Ernie has really impressed me, and as his dedication to this job grows, my faith in him is strengthened by knowing that he'll do the best job he can, and help put out the very best magazine each and every month. Because he's caught on so quickly, my job has, once again, become more stable. And even though burnouts can happen to anyone, with Ernie on board, I have much more time to really focus on the production of the magazine. Also, I know that I can send him anywhere in the world and he'll come back with exactly what our readers want to see!

Our staff has come a long way, and we're really beginning to solidify as a team. This month, we also were able to see the dedication of the rest of crew, so special thanks goes out to everyone who works just as hard as we do, just so all of you get your monthly fill of the most hardcore, minitruck action to be found! Be on the lookout for some badass online action coming soon. Enjoy our labor of love, Please Drag Thru.-L88888888888888888