31 July 2011

Day 211 (I Really Don't Like Humidity!)

We started this morning from Matthews, MO, a small town in the southeastern part of the state. I made a stop in West Memphis, AR to top off the fuel, now we are continuing our way west. It's quite muggy out here. It's not the heat I detest, it's the humidity! Dry heat is a LOT more bearable. It's days like this I really long to be in Arizona, or even the California desert region (which, if I make it out there sometime, there's a guy I know, via Twitter and Facebook, whom I may take up on his offer to partake in a Prime Rib dinner, of his own culinary skills).

As we make our way to our employer's terminal in North Little Rock, we are enjoying the plethora of music I have on my iPod, first starting off with the tune "Voodoo People" by The Prodigy, a tune I first heard during last year's VloMo, and featured in a video offering during the afore mentioned event. Which reminds me, VloMo 11 is just 3 months away, and hopefully I can be disciplined enough to post a video each day.

I uploaded a few last year, but I'm hoping to cover each day of VloMo this year. Last year I was encouraged & inspired to become involved by a really cool cat I've only known via Twitter, @ernmander. I've not only subscribed to his YouTube page, but viewed many of his videos (of which, more often then not, are hilarious). I hope one day @ernmander and I will be able to meet in real life, it's rather difficult at present since he lives in England and I don't.

One day... and when we do, the tea will be my treat, mate!

- Another rant via BlogPress

30 July 2011

Day 210 (Soon To Be Texas Bound)

Clinton and I parked at the Flying J in Lebanon, IN last night, where we showered at this morning, as well as taking my short walk to the local Starbucks. We got the fuel topped off in Indianapolis, the trailer washed out, and now we are sitting in the dock door on the west end waiting to get loaded. This load delivers Monday at 1700 in Grand Prairie, TX (an urban town in the Dallas area).

This, as usual, has been a peaceful and pleasant Sabbath. The weather has been a bit warm, but there's also been a nice breeze blowing. I'm hoping we can make it into Missouri before we shut down for the night.

The plan so far is to go by the terminal in North Little Rock and get a shower, then do the laundry before finishing off the trip toward Dallas. One never knows how many things play out until they happen, such as how long a customer takes to load the trailer, etc. The traffic shouldn't be too bad, since Little Rock, AR and the Dallas area are the only major cities we'll have to drive through (Memphis won't be that bad, since we can skirt the brunt of it). But, as with many things, we'll just take it as it comes.

- Another rant via BlogPress

29 July 2011

Day 209 (I'm In "Children Of The Corn" Country)

We arrived here in Lebanon, IN at around 1400 (ET) for a 1600 appointment, only to find that this customer adheres to their appointment schedule, so we had to wait. At the present moment (and it's 1700 eastern time now) it is still unsure what we will be doing next. By the looks of it so far, we may be here all weekend, which would mean a restart on our logbook.

One thing is for sure, I really don't want to be here at the customer's facility after sundown, since - judging by the surroundings - that could be rather unsafe, possibly even detrimental... in a Stephen King sort of way:

That picture is just across the dock where we are unloading. I did mention to Clinton how it did look a bit creepy. He replied, saying, "it's probably not that bad", to which I responded, "do you want to stick around here until after nightfall to find out?" - his answer: "No, not really."

As the day winds down, and the Sabbath approaches, I hope this evening finds all of you well... I'm on my way to seek out some coffee.

- Another rant via BlogPress

28 July 2011

Day 208 (One More Short Run For The Week)

We unloaded this afternoon in Moberly, MO and are now sitting in the door waiting to load here in Jefferson City (which, as I had mentioned in a previous post, is one of the few state capitals that does NOT have a major interstate.). This is a short run, it only goes to Lebanon, IN for tomorrow afternoon.

It's been hot today, real hot, and I'm so grateful for having an air conditioner that works great. I am very ready for winter to begin, and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. I've tried that concept of imagining something cold (such as ice cream, snow, etc.) to try to trick the brain into cooling the body down, but that psychological mumbo jumbo doesn't work worth a hoot. I'll just stick with my a/c. Hot weather I really don't mind, it's the humidity I can't tolerate. Give me a dry desert heat any time!

27 July 2011

Day 207 (Not A Bad Day)

We made it as far as Eaton, OH last night, which is 10 miles from the Ohio/Indiana state line on I-70. Yesterday's delay (traveling 40 miles then having to go back to the shipper) really set us back. Today, though, hasn't been too bad; got a shower, mild traffic, good (but hot) weather, and - at the moment, at least - driving down the road while listening to Heavy Shift on my iPod (their cd The Last Picture Show makes good driving music).

As of yet I have no idea what awaits us tomorrow, as there is not a pre-plan on us. Even though the delivery appointment isn't until 1300 tomorrow, I would prefer to get pre-planned today so I know what I'm doing next, thus I can plan accordingly. As I may have mentioned before, I like to plan ahead. The less I have to do "at the last minute" the better - and less stressful - I am. I guess that's the Marine that's still in me.

When I spoke to Michelle earlier, she was telling me that our oldest son, Paul, was going to a doctor's appointment in Oceanside, CA. I told her I wish I'd have known before, then I would have sent him some money to get me some things from one of the military stores there. When she asked what, I told her, "I don't know maybe a REAL carabiner... I might start rappelling again. Wanna do it with me?" She replied, "No thanks, I'll just watch you from the ground."

Rappelling doesn't sound bad... perhaps I will start doing it again. First I may have to move to another state, as Arkansas probably doesn't have any viable locations for it.

At least they have Starbuck.

Rappelling gives a better, and faster, rush.

- Another rant via BlogPress

26 July 2011

Day 206 (Heading To Missouri)

We were unloaded in pretty short order this morning, after which I drove us up to Franklin, PA, a small town east of Erie. We arrived there, were loaded fairly quickly, then on our way. However, once we were about 40 miles away (almost into Ohio), Monica, my fleet manager, sent me a message to call the broker. When I called, I was informed that I had to go back because the customer loaded a few bundles of the wrong product.

I drove back, they fixed the problem (in about 30 minutes) and we were on our way - really on our way. We pulled in to the Pilot truck stop in Lodi, OH, got some fuel (though it couldn't be too much, since we are pretty heavy: about 79,200 with a 1/2 tank of fuel), then went across the street and partook in the consumption of Popeye's chicken and... you guessed it - my special coffee at Starbucks.

Clinton is driving right now, which is why I'm able to get this post up (albeit, a little late). We are heading towards Columbus right now, hopefully making it into Indiana before we shut down tonight, though I hope we are able to stop at a Dollar General sometime soon, since there are a few things I need to get. There's not a major rush on this load, we are not expected in Moberly, MO until 1300 on Thursday, but I would like to get there tomorrow night and roll in to the customer first thing in the morning, hopefully get unloaded early. The sooner we can get unloaded, the sooner we can go pick up our next load... that is, unless we don't get pre-planned tomorrow.

I'm debating right now whether or not to keep training. It's not a bad gig. The only problem with it right now is if I get a student that doesn't have a passport - and they usually don't - then that takes me off the availability list for the Canada loads. There is the option of taking the student up that way, then dropping him off at a truck stop just before the border, going in to deliver the load, then pick him up on the return... but I don't really consider that an option. If it's something that I wouldn't want done to me, why would I want to do it to somebody else?

Your thoughts?

- Another rant via BlogPress

25 July 2011

Day 205 (This Load Is Almost Done)

Unloaded this morning in Youngstown, OH (at least the first drop), and we are now sitting at the Walmart Distribution Center in Wintersville, OH. Once this drop is done, we'll head to Harmony, PA to finish off this load in the morning.

The next load, which we are already pre-planned on, picks up in Franklin, PA and delivers Thursday afternoon in Moberly, MO. On the way here, though, I was contemplating making a stop at a Starbucks before I left Youngstown, but decided against it, as I wasn't sure how long it would take to get down to Wintersville, or what the traffic would be like. When I pulled into the Valero Truck Stop, I still had two hours until my appointment (at Walmart we can't go in earlier than 1 hour before). Needless to say, I'm wishing I made that stop.

Just to give you an idea of where Wintersville is, I am approximately 35 miles west of the Pittsburgh, PA area... that's including the little "spike" of West Virginia I will be passing through on the way.

Now I think I'll take a nap ( I should have stopped at Starbucks!).

- Another rant via BlogPress

24 July 2011

Day 204 (On Our Way To Youngstown)

I made it into Kentucky (just across the state line) at 0400 this morning. We started the day at around 1400, stopping for fuel in Jeffersonville, OH, and doing some grocery shopping in Grove City, OH. Clinton is going to drive us the rest of the way in for our first drop in Youngstown, OH.

Clinton seems a nice fellow. I won't say that I'm an excellent judge of character, but after the first day I can usually tell if we will be compatible enough to endure 3 weeks together. He lives in Memphis, unmarried, and in his early 40's. We get along pretty good... plus he either likes the music I have on my iPod, or at least tolerates it. I haven't gotten any Starbucks, but - on a whim - I tried the Pacific Northwest Iced Coffee from Denny's. I must say, it's not too bad... considering it is a restaurant chain's interpretation of the real deal - but not too bad.

- Another rant via BlogPress

23 July 2011

Day 203 - (Haven't Left Russellville Yet)

Another peaceful Sabbath, though I'm still in Russellville, AR. I think HaShem had arranged it this way, to I would be able to partake in this week's Torah portion and enjoy this quiet time. That's always a good way to start off a training period with a new student.

This load wasn't ready last night because it was scheduled to load until tonight, which would explain why I am still here in Russellville. Since it doesn't load until today, then the deliveries will NOT be Sunday & Monday, but Monday & Tuesday. I guess that's what happens when I rush through things. What my plan is (at the moment) consists of getting the load, heading east to pick up Clinton, then, hopefully, making it into Kentucky before I shut down for the night. Tomorrow I'll give Clinton a little time behind the wheel, so I can try to gauge where his driving skills are. As usual, my goal is for him to be doing everything required on his third week. For now, I'll just take it one day at a time. In order to take it one day at a time, I'll have to start the days off the right way... time for coffee.

- Another rant via BlogPress

22 July 2011

Day 202 (4 Weeks To Go)

I'm back on the road now, sitting here in Russellville, AR picking up a load that has two drops on Sunday in Ohio, then finishes off Monday morning in Pennsylvania. Once I'm done here, I'll stop at our North Little Rock terminal to pick up Clinton (my student). After being home for a few days, it's usually hard heading back out on the road, but since I've been home for a week, that makes it even more difficult to leave.

As some of you know (more specifically, those on Twitter and Facebook) I have been transferring some of the posts of earlier this year from WordPress to Blogger. I'm doing this to get all of my posts consolidated in one location (though I'm wondering if WordPress has become the better blogging platform). Blogger or WordPress seems to be the ongoing question among many different bloggers. The reason I chose the former is, when I first ventured in this realm of blogging (though at that time I wasn't even remotely avid in it), Blogger was the only platform I had heard of - so it stands to reason that would be the one I stick with... as opposed to the ones that jump to the "latest and the greatest." If you're a tech reviewer, then, yeah, check them out. I am not, nor am I a "power blogger" (nor do I do it for any financial gain - though it would be nice to write AND make money), but why jump around?

The only reason I started using WordPress was due to the fact they had an app that was iPhone compatible - Blogger did not. It was once I found the BlogPress app, that I went back to Blogger. Sure I can have even more flexibility with WP if I get a subscription, but if I'm going to pay, then why not start a website? I may go the website direction, but not now. Right now, I need to get some coffee.

What say you?

- Another rant via BlogPress

21 July 2011

Day 201 (I Will Have A New Student)

Today I'm enjoying my last day at home, for tomorrow it's back to work. I found out from Monica, my fleet manager, that I will be training a new student. His name is Clinton, he's from Memphis, and... that's all I know for right now. So far as I know (at the moment) he doesn't have a passport, so I may have to wait a while before I can get a load to Canada. That will be a bummer, since I'm excited about going.

As the last few days, this will be short. Since Tikvah has been sick this week, I'm going to head into the kitchen and start making some Matzoh Ball Soup with some chicken stock, hopefully that will help her. I've been at home for a week now (not making any money), and I'd much rather be here to take care of her until she's back on her feet, but unfortunately I don't have a disposable income. She is feeling better now than she did a couple days ago, so I hope this helps her more. Please (for those that do so) keep her in prayer.

Day 200 (Almost Time To Go Back To Work)

These last few days have been very relaxing, very enlightening, and quite enjoyable. Yesterday my medical procedure went well, tomorrow is my last full day at home. Our friend, Rabbi Cohen, will be heading out tomorrow, and the fellowship we have had with him has been - to say the least - eye opening. I have been hungry for that deep studying for a long time, and I now have a few resources to utilize for that type of study.

My procedure that was done yesterday has not left me in pain, but rather a little discomfort, so I know HaShem has His hand... after all, I did just fulfill a mitzvah. I do believe that I'll be seeing things through different eyes, studying scripture in a whole different way. Basically, HaShem will be taking Tikvah and I into a much deeper level. As I mentioned last night, I may start a different blog with these study insights, but they may not be for a couple weeks, or months.

19 July 2011

Day 199 (I Am Now An "Ish Chodesh")

This morning I went into my doctor's appointment, for an out patient procedure... no big deal, it's over and done with. All afternoon my wife, Tikvah, and our dear friend, Rabbi Cohen, and I have been enjoying the conversation, fellowship, and studying (not to mention the lunch, coffee, cheesecake, then later, wine). Rabbi has been opening our eyes to some bind-blowing things in scripture. Things I may have to blog about in my other Blogger based blog, A Voice In The Wilderness (perhaps I may even cancel that one and start anew).

Plans tonight: playing it by ear.

... and coffee.

18 July 2011

Day 198 (Toady Is My Birthday... Whoop-a-dee Doo)

Yes, today is my birthday, but also the birthdays of Vin Diesel and the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. My plans: I don't know... something, nothing, or everything. So with today being my birthday, why the heck am I blogging? I don't want to miss a day.

I'm done now.

Going to pour myself another cup of coffee.

17 July 2011

Day 197 (Sunday: Relaxing And Work?!)

A nice day, very enjoyable to be home. Came home after services and my lovely wife, Tikvah, made a wonderful spicy Spaghetti for lunch/dinner, after which we lied down for a nap. We are up about now, but I'll have to leave in a couple hours. No big deal, though... it's just a quick run to Jonesboro, AR and back. My fleet manager, Monica, called Friday and asked if I could do this favor. The original driver tried to see if the customer would unload it early, but they wouldn't. So he came out here to the truck stop where I park and swapped both the trailers out.

I went out yesterday to check the level of the trailer fuel, and since it was low, I topped it off. I'll leave here about 1915, head to Jonesboro (the delivery appointment is for 2200), and once I'm empty, I'll head back - which means I'll have to set the DVR to record the latest episode of Leverage. Tomorrow I'm going to relax... it's my day.

16 July 2011

Day 196 (Another Peaceful Sabbath)

It's been a very quiet and peaceful day, though it has been very hot outside. Another lazy day (they can be very therapeutic), and for dinner, I'm going to have breakfast. I've been putting it off for a while, but I'm finally going to try a recipe for English Pancakes that I got from fellow blogger (and a great person to follow on Twitter) Julie at Telling Tales. I'll first make the pancakes, then I'll fill put a cream cheese filling in the center and wrap them up and probably top them off with some powdered sugar and...

... I'm starting to get hungry, time to start cooking.

15 July 2011

Day 195 (My First Lazy Day)

Today it was very nice to do nothing, except drink coffee and watch a House marathon. Which, as it's plain to see, I must have gotten a bit too lazy, since it's long past 1630 and I'm just now getting the post up. I'm rather upset, because I tried to open up iTunes earlier, but (and I'm guessing it's due to some virus that got in from one of the programs one of my sons downloaded) I'm unable to open, uninstall NOR re-install. I can't even update my iPhone nor my iPod. Anybody have any idea how this can be fixed?

14 July 2011

Day 194 (A Welcomed Surprise)

Last night I shut down at the Pilot truck stop in West Memphis, AR, where I obtained one of the last 2 parking spot in the lot. Started rolling around 0745, continuing my trip to Ardmore, OK, when, about 75 miles east of North Little Rock, my fleet manager sent me a message NOT to go past our terminal there, that another driver was going to re-power the load. Once I arrived at the terminal, I inquired into the matter. I was then told the other driver was going to take the load the rest of the way, because the CSR (Customer Service Rep. a.k.a., the load planner) didn't think they would be able to get me another load that would ensure my making it home by Monday.

So I went in and got all my laundry finished, linked up with the other driver and did the trailer swap. My next assignment: go home. Yes, go home! Not that I'm complaining at all, though I would like another short run before Monday, but if this is the order of the day... then, I'll go home. This will be nice... I'll have a few extra days of relaxation (maybe).

By the way... yes, I got some coffee today!

- Another rant via BlogPress

13 July 2011

Day 193 (Oklahoma Bound)

I unloaded this morning at Elkton, KY, waited a couple hours before my next load, which I'm now on. This (another broker load) picks up in Franklin, KY (about 45 minutes north of Nashville, TN) and delivers Friday in Ardmore, OK. It seems to me that if a company (in this case, the shipper) schedules an appointment time for a load, they should keep to their own schedule. My appointment was for 1300. I was not late. In fact, I arrived 1 1/2 hours early, only to find out I will be waiting at least 3 hours, because the load "isn't ready". I spent 8 years in the military, so I understand (especially in the Marine Corps) the importance of schedules and being on time. With many of these facilities, if the driver is late - the driver is punished (either by waiting several hours to load or unload, or having the appointment rescheduled); but if the delay falls on the shoulders of that particular customer, well... we, as the drivers, are forced to "deal with it" or to "suck it up".

Believe or not, this is a fairly common practice. Many don't understand what we have to endure on a daily basis. Many don't care. Some have actually said, "that's life." No, that's not life, that's incompetence. If you set a schedule - then can't keep it - adjust your planning practices. If that doesn't work, get better management. Incompetence is something that has so infiltrated our society to the point that it's common practice. I have made it a habit to strive for efficiency and excellence. I try to plan where I want to be when I shut down for the night, before I start the day on my load. I plan in accordance with the load destination and the time I have to be there. I do this so I can make the best use of my driving time available. If this routine is delayed due to poor planning of a customer's managerial staff, then I can get a bit irritable... I'm not able to make the best use of my time, which takes away the time I had allocated that allowed me to stop for Starbucks - which, in turn, could elevate my irritability.

I have't had any coffee yet... can you tell?

- Another rant via BlogPress

12 July 2011

Day 192 (A Visit To Izzy's)

This afternoon, I made my delivery in Mason, OH, now I'm on my way to Elkhart, KY for tomorrow morning. Rather than my usual banter, I want to make you aware of a fabulous place to eat. This is a place that has a challenge similar to that of The Big Texan steakhouse in Amarillo, TX (72 ounce steak, with all the "fixins", in an hour or less), but more befitting my fellow foodies who may prefer to frequent the deli's in their area. In Florence, KY (about 10 miles south of Cincinnati, OH, and the location I'm familiar with - as there is a Starbucks next door) about a large variety of stores, shops, and other eateries, is a place that is worth a visit at ANY time. Izzy's is not new to the food industry by any means. In fact, the birth of Izzy's goes back to 1901, when they first opened the first store in Cincinnati. I've eaten there before, ordering just a standard Reuben sandwich. I say "standard" because they also have what is called "The 110 Challenge."

What this consists of is the complete consumption (on the premises, of course) of their massive (and that is not an exaggeration) sandwich. It has one full pound of Corned Beef:

as well as all the other items of a Reuben: sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, PLUS a huge potato pancake (which is actually 4 of their standard potato pancakes cooked as one):

all this, as well as a large pickle... after all, what's a Reuben without the pickle?

This entire masterpiece even has a specially made rye bun to accommodate it's contents. When it's all put together, it's quite a site:

For those that may brave enough to take this challenge, this gastronomic behemoth must be consumed in 30 minutes or less... and it has been done! To get it as it is (as in my case - to go) it will run you about $30 (just under $32 with tax), if you attempt to eat it at their restaurant, and are unsuccessful, they will only charge you about $20, and get a pin-on button:

If you, however, take the challenge... and succeed, you get the sandwich for free, plus a t-shirt:

Look on their website for other locations, in case you happen to live near one, or if you're traveling through the Cincinnati area. Even if you don't take the challenge, their sandwiches - and their potato pancakes - are amazing! By the way, my completed sandwich weighed in at 5.70 pounds... this is going to take me a few days to complete (I'll be taking a few bites for you, Dad... may you rest in peace!).

- Another rant via BlogPress

11 July 2011

Day 191 (One More Week Until I'm Home)

This morning was, well... a morning. I was up at 0530 (eastern time, though my body was protesting since it's still on central) and checked in. The facility was in such disarray, it was hard to believe how they are still in business. I was told to back into a door that still had a truck backed up to it, while the driver was waiting in line to get his paperwork so he could leave. Once I did get backed in, then to the receiving office, it was an hour before I got up to the window.

Now that it's over, I'm on this broker load that I've already loaded in Fulton, NY (north of Syracuse), then to Sharonville, OH (just north of Cincinnati) where they will unload this and reload my trailer with product that goes to the final destination of Elkhart, KY (where ever that is). All this is to be finished by 0600 Wednesday morning. It's not too bad though, since this is a really light load. The most frustrating thing so far is that of all the service plazas on the New York Thruway (I-90 toll road), not one of them has a Starbucks. The way it's looking so far, I may have to wait until tomorrow for my coffee fix.

This can not end well.

- Another rant via BlogPress

10 July 2011

Day 190 (Another Week To Begin)

This trip is now finished, tomorrow comes the oh so exciting task of an early morning delivery. The day started off rather well, as I paid another visit to the Grace Church congregation in Harbor Creek, PA. Good service, great worship (awesome team!), and enjoyable fellowship. I also extend my thanks and gratitude to Mike, Paul, and Dustin for making it all possible (and the weather was pretty mild, too).

Now that this trip is finished, one of my self-appointed assignments tomorrow will be to seek out a Starbucks... seeing as I was derelict in getting to one today.

Oh well... you win some, you lose some.

- Another rant via BlogPress

09 July 2011

Day 189 (Heading East... Again)

I was loaded last night, but due to my hours, I didn't leave Franklin Park, IL until this morning... with my first grandé triple Marble Mocha Machiatto from Starbucks in three days. I'm presently on the Ohio Turnpike, continuing east, and stopped on the Commodore Perry Service Plaza, where I obtained a refill of the aforementioned tasty beverage as well as getting a Lox & Bagel from Einstein Bros. Bagels.

The weather has been a little warm, but nice, and traffic hasn't been too bad either. Lovely days like this are such a blessing from The L-rd, and especially so on the Sabbath. It makes one truly thankful to be in good health - and employed... more so considering the tumultuous times we are currently in. As we see how drastically our society is changing (unfortunately not for the better), and those very changes are being choreographed and conducted which are leading us down a destructive path toward Socialism (or in the theme of Ayn Rand, a country of "looters"). Where the very idea of wealth is being told to us as being "bad"... ironically enough, by the very ones who are wealthy, and are so off the work & sweat of others' labor - NOT their own.

But I digress... even in the midst of these economically stressful times, we should find our joy not in what we have, but in the surroundings around us (trees, mountains, birds, etc.) and, more importantly, The Creator that has provided these for us. Take joy in these things. Do something impulsive, like breaking out in a dance in the middle of a grocery store, all the while offering praise and thanks to G-d that He has given you that joy. Remember, wherever we go and whatever we do, G-d is always watching us... the least we could do is be entertaining!

- Another rant via BlogPress

08 July 2011

Day 188 (What A Day!)

As I mentioned yesterday, I had just enough time (after I got loaded) to make it to the truck stop before I ran out of hours. Therefore, I was leaving out of Washington Courthouse, OH at about 0900 (Eastern time) this morning, drove straight through to Peoria, IL and arrived there at a little past 1430 (they gave me until 1500, otherwise I would have to wait until Monday to get unloaded). They made short order of the unloading process, after which I (after making a fuel stop) made it to Franklin Park, IL, (the Chicago area) and still have 52 minutes of driving left.

I would have made it sooner, except I hit rush hour traffic. The problem is that during the afternoon rush hour, the heavy traffic is usually on the side leaving the metro city (in this case, Chicago), but the heavier traffic was on the north bound side of I-55 - going into the metro area. I figure that the reason is, perhaps, there is a baseball game going on tonight (why bother with either the Cubs or the White Sox... they BOTH stink - here that, Chris?). Speaking of baseball, my Red Sox are back in the #1 spot for their division again (YANKEES STINK WORSE THAN SKUNKS!!!).

In other news, we now have a new addition to our family, which my lovely wife, Tikvah, just adopted from our local Humane Society shelter. So, ladies & gentlemen... meet Lady:

- Another rant via BlogPress

07 July 2011

Day 187 (Doing Something Long Overdue)

I made it here to Walmart (how I so detest them) in Washington Courthouse, OH. My next load actually picks up literally around the corner from here and goes to Peoria, IL, to which I should be theresometime tomorrow. What I will be doing after that is still unknown.

I started doing this blog at the beginning of the year on a challenge by some good people on Twitter. When I first began, I was using the WordPress blogging platform, as there was an app for said platform that was iPhone friendly. Though I already had an account on Blogger (and actually preferred that better), I was still a bit limited with what I could do on Blogger via iPhone. Over time I came across an app that supported both. I kept the WordPress going for awhile, but eventually transitioned back to Blogger (and, sadly, lost a couple subscribers whom didn't follow me over). Over the next coming days and/or weeks (whichever case may apply), I will be re-posting those earlier posts here on the Blogger account - not in lieu of the daily posting, but to make them accessible here.

That having been said, there are a few days (somewhere between 3 and 5, to be more precise) that will NOT be posted, due to the fact that while playing around with the BlogPress app, I deleted those posts - permanently. Call it "being unfamiliar with the app's capabilities" if you like, but I prefer (only because I tend to be my own worst critic) to call it "a temporary case of Cerebral Flatulence".

I think I may also try to contact those prior subscribers and ask if they would consider... I dare say that it is "new & improved" (as it is neither), perhaps the best thing is to be honest: get on my virtual hands & knees and beg for a second chance. If that doesn't work, I'll just bribe them with a drink from Starbucks (well, it would work for me).

- Another rant via BlogPress

06 July 2011

Day 186 (Heading To Ohio)

This morning I rolled into Olathe, KS and the load I picked up was ready and pre-loaded. This can be surprising at times considering it's a Tyson facility. This load is taking me to Washington Courthouse, OH for tomorrow afternoon. It's not a bad run, but I wait, patiently, for this company to acquire some new accounts that will have some good runs. It gets rather mundane to run just in a certain regional area. Trust me, I like the work, but I'm longing for a change of scenery.

I enjoy going into the northern states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, both Dakotas), and of course, the west, as well as the Pacific Northwest. Winter time in those states don't bother me. Many drivers refuse to go up there in the snow, but I don't mind (then again, I like snow). As long as you don't drive like some moron, snow is not bad. The northern states have the equipment to deal with it, and are not afraid to use it... which is more than I can say for the state of Arkansas.

I guess the reason I'm going on about snow is, since it's summer (and hot), the imagery might play some sort of psychological trick on the mind and help to cool you down... it's working for me (then again, my truck's a/c is working - well!).

Now I'm off, continuing my venture down the road to Ohio, and perhaps seek out some Starbucks (who am I kidding... that is a requirement for me).

- Another rant via BlogPress

05 July 2011

Day 185 (Back To "Business As Usual")

I didn't think it fitting to have as my parenthetical title "Back To Work" as I had not really been away from it, I was still on the road and away from my family. I am, sadly, used to it; being away from home, and especially during a holiday. This is the life I lead, then again, there's not much other options to choose from, since where I live the other available employment is retail, fast food, or factory. In an area where the main factor at play that determines what position you can occupy is "it's not what you know, but who you know", there's little left to be desired. Sure, that may be an unspoken policy everywhere, but at least in a larger city you don't notice as much because, at times, what you know actually does matter... and can bear a favorable outcome on one's behalf.

I've made my delivery in Springfield, MO this morning, and once I get unloaded at this Walmart in Moberly, MO, I'll be on my way to Olathe, KS (another Tyson) to pick up my next load going to Washington Courthouse, OH (another Walmart). It could be worse... I could be without coffee.

That could be bad.

VERY bad.

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04 July 2011

Day 184 (Independence Day)

Today is Independence Day, the day we declared our independence from British rule, so no history lesson is needed here. However, elected officials are so great in setting a theme for celebrations that are so inappropriate for the occasion. For example (and this is a true story), in Effingham, IL, the theme for their celebrations are "Remembering 9/11". Don't get me wrong, the tragedy of that day should NEVER be forgotten, but to focus upon it on the day where the celebration should be that we became our own nation away from the rule of Monarchy (as our forefathers did) is, in my opinion, not only ridiculous and absurd, but also disrespectful to the memory and historical purpose of the reason we celebrate this day to begin with.

Let us NOT forget our fallen heroes that gave us this freedom to begin with (240 years, and counting). This is the reason our country is in such disarray... leaders (from the local level all the way to the Federal level) taking things out of perspective, yet such things continue as planned because the masses keep silent. If the people of Effingham had said, "There is a time and place for everything. Independence Day is neither for your agenda." then the whole theme would have been scrapped.

We are a nation with a government "for the people, by the people" yet the same servants "of the people" have strayed so far from what was intended at the founding of this nation, it's no longer the same country, nor is it better. When we have members of congress preparing to end annual pay raises for the military, yet continue to vote their own raises in every year, then there is a serious problem. Consider this: most members of Congress make 6 figures a year, while most of our troops are below poverty. As far as health care is concerned, I have no problem with my taxes going to provide health care for our military, but with the annual salaries these politicians bring in - make ALL politicians pay for their own!

Most importantly, let's bring this country back into perspective... into a country we can continue to be proud of for generations to come.

- Another rant via BlogPress

03 July 2011

Day 183 (I'm Done Until Tuesday)

Yesterday my plan was, once I finished unloading, to head to Rogers, AR and shut down for the night. That didn't happen. Thanks to the ever vigilant efficiency of Walmart (note the sarcasm), I did not have the time on my logbook to make it the 90 some odd miles to Rogers. As I mentioned yesterday (I think), my next load is going from Rogers to Springfield, MO (Tuesday morning at 0900), then finishing off in Moberly, MO (that afternoon at 1525). Surprisingly enough, I called Tyson last night to inquire of the progress of that load, to find out that it was already loaded.

So I slept in a little this morning, made a couple stops in Springdale (to take care of a few things), up to Rogers. There I did my drop & hook and prepared my ingredients for tonight's dinner, via my crock pot. Last night I put my (just under) 3 pound roast in a Lock & Lock container, pierced it with a fork, then emptied the contents of 2 bottles of Liquid Smoke (1 Hickory flavored, 1 Mesquite flavored) where the roast sat, marinating in the refrigerator for 12 hours. In about 1 more hour it should be ready for consumption (along with the other ingredients of garlic, red pearl onions, and a chopped dried chipotle pepper). I intended to add some fresh green beans for the last 1 1/2 hours, but the grocery store I stopped at had none, so the beans were substituted with petite mushrooms.

I am about 18 miles from the customer of the first drop, and I will remain at this truck stop (T/A in Strafford, MO, I-44 exit 88 - in case somebody is in the area and feels like popping in for a visit) until about 0715 Tuesday morning... and I'll be able to get a restart on my logbook.

Oh yeah... yes, I stopped at a Starbucks - just in case you were wondering.

- Another rant via BlogPress

02 July 2011

Day 182 (A Short Weekend, Yet So Long)

I am sitting about a quarter mile from the Walmart D.C. I'll be delivering at shortly, but I figured I should get this out (even though I'm already past my deadline). Once I'm finished at Walmart, I'll make my way up to Rogers, AR. What I said in my parenthetical title is due to the fact that I'm picking up this next load at Tyson, and it may not be ready. The latest they have to get it loaded is 0400 Tuesday morning, to which my first drop is due at 0900 in Springfield, MO, then finishes off at 1535 in Moberly, MO. For a total of 299 miles, it's not much, and doesn't afford me the luxury of going home. I hope the trailer will be pre-loaded, as I would much rather sit at the customer waiting to be unloaded then being out on the road at zero-dark-thirty, against my body's natural sleeping rhythm.

Other than that, it's been a peaceful Sabbath... hotter than H - E - double hockey stick, but peaceful. I really shouldn't kvetch too much about the next load... it's better than the previously pre-planned load, which didn't deliver until Wednesday morning in Springfield, OH (though I wouldn't mind a load with more miles on it). At least I'll be able to get a restart on my logbook.

... and coffee (Starbucks, perhaps).

- Another rant via BlogPress

01 July 2011

Day 181 (Reschedule, Refresh)

After the long day of yesterday, it was nice to be able to slow down a bit. I didn't get loaded last night in Crown Point, IN until after 2200, and by then I had less than 45 minutes left on my logbook. Once I shut down in Merrillville, IN (for those of you who are music aficionados of the Industrial/Cyber Punk genre, you would probably know that Merrillville was where Ministry filmed their In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up concert), I sent a message to my company that I wouldn't be making my appointment on time, which was set for 2030 (not 1830, as I had mentioned yesterday) today. This morning I called the broker of this load to inform him of the same, and of the circumstances as to why the previously set appointment could not be kept.

Last night did bring some rain, which made for a relaxing mood, and a good night's sleep. This afternoon I received the confirmation that the appointment had been rescheduled for 1830 (that is the correct time) tomorrow. Today's travels offered 3 stops along the way: the Lincoln Oasis (a service plaza on the I-80 toll road south of Chicago - yes, a Starbucks stop), a rest area (self explanatory), and our terminal in Madison, IL (shower, laundry, and Starbucks). Tomorrow's adventures will be... well, told tomorrow.

- Another rant via BlogPress