31 July 2012

Year 2, Day 211 (Homeward Bound Very Soon)

Though it may have taken a while to get loaded yesterday, Nathan and I did get out of there with a little time left to drive. I stopped in South Beloit, WI to scale out, then I shut down for the night in Rochelle, IL. Even though there was still nearly 1 1/2 hours left of available driving time, I chose Rochelle because there was a Pilot nearby where we could get a shower. There was also a Petro (which is where we parked where we could get a good meal while I washed what was left of our laundry.

The food at The Iron Skillet (Petro's in-house restaurant) has always had good food, and last night was no exception. Nathan had the Sirloin Steak Sandwich, while I went with the 7 Pepper Whitefish.

Today gives me a little over 500 miles to cover on this load. It's due tomorrow morning, but we do have a drop trailer there, so I can do a drop & hook and be out of there. No telling if I will load up something else and have it re-powered to another driver, or if I will just get sent home from there. One thing is certain, I'm ready to go home and relax!

Now to get some coffee.

30 July 2012

Year 2, Day 210 (From Beer To Candy)

Due to running very low on hours yesterday, Nathan and I called it a day at about 1700 in Effingham, IL. That left me a total of 200 miles (give or take) left on this run. We were both hungry, so we feasted at the Panda Express, which is just across the parking lot from the T/A Travel Center (across the street from the Flying J where we were parked), then afterwards, Starbucks. This meant that I had to get up pretty early (about 0530) to get on the road. After I finish here unloading the rest of the beer, I'll head up to Delavan, WI to pick up a load of Andes mints. That load is going to Covington, TN for Wednesday morning, but I'll be able to do a drop & hook sometime tomorrow. That load will also be getting the both of us to our current place of residence.

I've enjoyed having Nathan along for the last few weeks, it was anything but typical and mundane. It's hard to believe that one more year of high school, then he'll be off to college. My youngest son, with his eye set on either USC or UCLA.

29 July 2012

Year 2, Day 209 (300 Miles To The First Drop)

I made it from Rockwall, TX (just east outside of Dallas) to Hayti, MO (on the southeast corner of the state, 19 miles north of the Missouri/Arkansas state lines) before I shut down for the night. The traffic hasn't been very bad at all along the way. However, I did take a detour. Just east of Little Rock I know there is some construction going on, and the drivers being normally inconsiderate, that area can get pretty jacked up. So I took a detour north that brings me into the south side of Jonesboro, thens skirts a little south, then back east and north again, putting me on the east side of Paragould, AR, where I pick up U.S. 412, which then brings me to Hayti, MO. That route may take a little more time, but it's also a little shorter.

Once Nathan and I leave out of here, I'll more than likely make a stop in Effingham, IL to top off the fuel (and of course get us some Starbucks) before finishing for the day.

28 July 2012

Year 2, Day 208 (On The Road... Finally)

My appointment to load in Ft. Worth, TX was for midnight, and I arrived at 2350. I checked in, went around the building to get the required bulkheads, then waited. After I while I went into the sleeper bunk to get some sleep while waiting. The yard driver finally came around at told me to back into a door (it was a little after 0230 at this point). I backed up to the dock, then went in to the shipping office to get those preliminary measures taken care of. Back to the truck, back to sleep. By the time I was loaded, billed out, then getting sealed at the gate on the way out it was after 0530... and I don't plan on going very much further.

One of the downsides about dealing with this broker (C. H. Robinson) is that they treat each load like a dictator holding a government secret. The way I have always planned my trips is to have everything taken care of from the beginning... everything. But because I'm having to deal with them, they won't give me the directions for the final drop until after I've made delivery on the first.

At least I have until Monday morning to get there, so I will have time to get some sleep... and Starbucks.

Shabbat Shalom!

27 July 2012

Year 2, Day 207 (These Oddball Hours Can Be Rough)

I arrived at the North Little Rock terminal about 20 minutes before my scheduled appointment for some repairs on the truck, but my truck wasn't pulled into the shop until about 1230. That caused a delay on the driving part, as I ran out of hours before I made it to the customer. Therefore I have to get up (only taking an 8 hour break instead of a full 10... we call that taking a "split sleeper berth") at around 0500 and start rolling just before 0530. It was there that I witnessed quite a display of unprofessionalism. The security guard was texting as I walked up to the window. Apparently that was such an important text, because she didn't look up, nor interrupt what she was doing until she had finished.

While we were waiting for the truck to get worked on, I took Nathan around and introduced him to some people in the office. We also went out with the company vehicle to grab something to eat from Jimmy John's, and a little something from Starbucks (of course).

At midnight I will be picking up a load in Ft. Worth with two drops heading to Illinois. What I find to what amounts to poor planning is that my first drop is in Alsip, IL (in the Chicago area) then I finish off in Champaign... which is going back south (what do you expect from a broker load). Perhaps I'll be able to get myself back in some sort of rhythm over the weekend. I guess it shouldn't matter, since Nathan and I will be heading home next Wednesday... and by "home" I am referring to the house in which we currently reside, "home", in the true aspect of the word, will be once we make the move to California - around this time next year.

May your Sabbath be blessed!

26 July 2012

Year 2, Day 206 (Texas Bound For Tomorrow Morning)

I made it to Erlanger, KY just in time for my appointment to pick up a load of ice cream. Nathan and I made a couple stops afterwards, one of which was a run to Starbucks. We shut down in Union City, TN with less than 30 minutes left on my logbook, at an early enough time to get a decent parking spot at the truck stop. Today I have an appointment at 1300 in the shop at our North Little Rock terminal (I had enough foresight to schedule it yesterday) to get some repairs done on the truck. Hopefully it will not be a long, drawn out process.

While in North Little rock I hope to make another Starbucks run for the final leg of this trip, though I don't like having a 0600 delivery appointment in Lufkin, TX. It happens sometimes, but it seems that everyday this week has started with an early morning. But I feel blessed nevertheless, as I was able to fully keep the Sabbath last week. I'm due home a week from now, and I am (as always) looking forward to it. I was considering extending it for another week to get a load going up to the northwest, but as I look at the logbook I see that my initial plan, most likely, wouldn't happen. That plan is, as in the past, to get up to Woodinville, WA on Monday night and get a re-start. Unfortunately I wouldn't have the hours to get up there at that time.

It happens.

25 July 2012

Year 2, Day 205 (I'm Beginning To Feel A Little Ragged)

I started out later than I had planned on yesterday, by nearly 2 hours. I made it to the customer, but unfortunately my sleep was a bit broken: up at around 0300 (ET), then on the road again (after my 10 hour break) at around 0630 (CT), in order to make my appointment for this load on time, which was 1000 (ET)... and being 150 miles away was no easy task, especially since my truck only runs 62 MPH. This load delivers Friday morning (at 0600 CT) in Lufkin, TX.

I probably could have made better time yesterday, had I taken a different (albeit longer) route... those hills on I-68 in Maryland can be pretty rough. Another unfortunate thing is that I'm going to try to stop at the North Little Rock terminal to get some work done on the truck. Yesterday afternoon, while driving through West Virginia, one of the tail light mounting brackets on the truck broke... yes, a steel bracket broke. That may be a common occurrence on an older truck, but this truck is only 1 1/2 years old.

I need some Starbucks... in a major way!

24 July 2012

Year 2, Day 204 (On The Way To Kentucky)

I was up at 0530 (CT), my second day in a row, to make sure I spent some time in the Torah before heading out to make the delivery in Bethlehem, PA. I arrived 45 minutes before my appointment time, but it took a while to get unloaded. From there I headed to Souderton, which is just north of Philadelphia. Fortunately it was a drop & hook. What was unfortunate was that there was a bit of damage to the trailer... which leaves me to get the repairs done.

Since it was a drop & hook, I was able to be in & out relatively quickly. I was hoping to have covered more miles, but with the damage, that cut me shorter than what I wanted. My original plan was to get into West Virginia then shut down someplace there, but the repairs had been done in Greencastle, PA (about 5 miles north of the Maryland state line), so that was the end of the line for the night.

I only have 530 miles left to cover, but the fact that my delivery appointment in London, KY is for 0300 (ET) on Wednesday means that I was up at 0530 (CT) this morning...again.

Coffee was definitely in order this morning.

23 July 2012

Year 2, Day 203 (Yesterday Was A Full Day)

After getting a re-start on my logbook, I had a full day ahead of me yesterday, just to keep on schedule. I left from Knoxville, TN at a little after 0700 (CT). I stopped to get fuel, twice (the last one being in Pennsylvania, on I-78), as well as a couple of "pit stops" and one to pick up a few things from the grocery store. Nathan and I called it a night at around 2000 (CT) in Shartlesville, PA, only leaving a little over 45 miles left to cover. Normally I would have gone straight to the customer, but this particular customer does not allow overnight parking.

By now, the tragedy that happened in Colorado is emblazoned in all our minds. the question is: what can be done about it. There will be a plethora of theories and opinions, so here is mine. Had Colorado allowed for a concealed carry law, the casualties and injuries would have been much less than what we now know. There are many that support stricter gun laws, most politicians feel this way. However, no matter how much stiffer the existing gun laws become, the fact of the matter is that the ones that are already committing the crimes are not law abiding citizens. Think of this: Phoenix, AZ allows for concealed carry, Chicago, IL has some of the stiffest gun control laws; yet when you search for some statistics, the crime rate of Chicago is higher than that of Phoenix... see the trend? Had the Denver area allowed for a concealed carry mandate, there would have been several well-trained good Samaritans in that theatre and the injured & casualty counts would have been substantially less, possibly near non-existent.

"When the government fears the people, there is freedom; when the people fear the government, there is tyranny" - Thomas Jefferson

Does our government fear "We the people"?

22 July 2012

Year 2, Day 202 (A Piece Of History Off The Beaten Path)

The other day (Friday, to be specific), after I had unloaded in Chattanooga, TN, I was told by Monica (my Fleet Manager) to head to Mt. Juliet, TN (just east of Nashville) to re-power a load from another driver, so that he can go home for his time off. Once Nathan and I were on the road, I received a call from the other driver. He informed me he would be there in Mt. Juliet at around 1530. Having mulled over a thought for a few minutes, I decided to take a slight detour - about 12 miles north of the interstate - to a small Tennessee town named Whitwell.

Whitwell is not a thriving metropolis by any means, but what drew me in that direction is one particular attraction they have: The Holocaust Memorial, located in front of Whitwell Middle School. I won't go into detail as to how that transpired, but I will strongly encourage you to rent (or purchase) the video Paper Clips.

For starters, to see the Memorial, just go to Whitwell Middle School (located at 1 Butterfly Lane, Whitwell, TN 37397), but for visitation after school hours or during Summer, you may get the key from Smith Brother Grocery, about 1 1/2 miles north on TN 28, about 2 blocks north of City Hall (both of which are on the west side of the highway). One thing that's very interesting to note is the Memorial is in an actual railcar, used by the Nazis (built in 1917) to transport the Jews, Polish, etc. to the concentration camps (I chose to take those photos in black & white, mainly for the feel of that era).

There are several plaques, both inside and out, giving different information, as well as memorials to this structure, as well as this tragic time in history.

Inside can be found not only the paper clips that were donated - symbolic of the 6 million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust - but also several other interesting artifacts (note: the school has displayed the 6 million paper clips, but has had many more than that donated... they stopped counting after 30 million.).

One thing I found to be very emotional was their grasp of the Judaic traditions, by their addition of a mezuzah on the right side of the entranceway into the Memorial:

I took the opportunity to go on this detour for two reasons: a) I don't travel this way very often, and, b) it would be a very memorable experience that I was able to share with my youngest son... a piece of history that he can carry with him forever.

21 July 2012

Year 2, Day 201 (A Re-Start On The Sabbarh)

After making my way to Mt. Juliet, TN yesterday to re-power a load, I shut down in Knoxville, TN and decided to get a re-start here. I may have put more work on myself by doing so, since the load is due in Bethlehem, PA at 1000 (ET) on Monday, but I felt it was more important - for me, anyway - to honor the Sabbath... a day of rest. I actually feel more rested and at peace today, after spending all afternoon getting caught up on my readings of The Daily Dose Of Torah, and especially after reading this week's portion with my son Nathan. I find myself more relaxed, especially since I have pushed out all work-related thoughts, and focused more upon HaShem, and more importantly, how I can seek G-d's guidance to be more of a positive influence in a society presently riddled with negativity.

It says in Scripture how we are to always remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy (Exodus 20:8 is the first place where this is mentioned), and I've always jumped at the opportunity to shut down for the Sabbath, and, basically, "unplug" from whatever circumstances are going on around me, yet if there is a chance to share with another about what my studies have taught me, I want to be open and receptive to the guidance of HaShem's Spirit to do so.

May you all be blessed.

20 July 2012

Year 2, Day 200 (Another Re-Power On Another Weekend)

Yesterday as we made our way towards Chattanooga, TN, Nathan (my youngest son) and I made a stop in Florence, KY and had lunch at Izzy's, as well as paying a visit to Starbucks, which just happened to be next door. For those of you that may not know, Izzy's is home of the 110 Challenge sandwich (which I had posted about last year). It had been a while - a long while - since I had last been there, but it was nice to be remembered by not only John (the manager at the Florence location), but some of his employees as well.

As I understand it, once I finish unloading in Chattanooga I am to head up to Lebanon (just east of Nashville) and meet up with another driver to re-power his load going to Bethlehem, PA, which probably won't deliver until Monday. If that's the case, I just may be able to get a re-start after all.

May your Sabbath be a joyous one, as well as a peaceful rest!

19 July 2012

Year 2, Day 199 (Chattanooga Is Not Where I Want To Be On A Friday)

Due to the fact that the customer took a while to get us loaded yesterday (as is usually the case with broker loads), I did not get as far as I really wanted. Which means from Brampton, ON to Batavia, NY to the Ohio rest area I shut down at last night, I was only able to cover 386 miles before running out of hours. This morning Nathan (my youngest son) and I, along with my topping off the fuel in the truck, with make a trip to Starbucks, which is located at the truck stop across the street from where I will be fueling... how convenient. I was really hoping to take Nathan up to the northwest, but with my time off approaching soon, the only way I'll be able to do that id to extend my time on the road to allow that. Whenever I get in touch with Monica (my Fleet manager), I may have to tell her this. But I'll make it clear that I will extend my time out if, and ONLY if I get said run, and not before. Let's see if the CSR's can keep their word.

As we continue our way south, this load is due by 1300 (ET) tomorrow, but I'm hoping I can get it there tonight. The best laid plans of mice and men.

18 July 2012

Year 2, Day 198 (I'm Back From Canada)

I arrived at the customer in Brampton, ON last night at just before 2330 (ET), and was unloaded this morning, but had to wait until my mandated 10 hour break was completed until I began driving. My next load (which I was pre-planned on yesterday) has me returning to the Buffalo area to pick up a broker load in Batavia, NY, just east of Buffalo, and will deliver on Friday in Chattanooga, TN. The unfortunate thing about that destination is that I will get my weekend load either, a) through another broker, or, b) from Tyson. Neither of which are very appealing to me.

The weather up in this region is very mild and, yes, very nice. I do find it interesting that several years ago, the last time Nathan was on the truck with me, was also during my birthday (which, by the way, has either already passed, or has yet to come - but I won't share that). That time we were in Orlando, FL and spent a couple hours in the huge mall there, which had an M&M's store, an indoor surfing wave, and, of course, an Apple Store.

Good times!

17 July 2012

Year 2, Day 197 (On Own Way To Canada)

We arrived in Dayton, NJ at just before 0100 (ET) and, surprisingly enough, were put in a door to begin loading rather promptly, though the loading appointment wasn't until 0800 this morning. Once I finished my 10 hour break, Nathan and I headed out to make our way to Brampton, ON. On the way, I treated him to the all American breakfast of Dunkin' Donuts. The traffic wasn't too terribly bad, compared to what I have experienced in the past. As of this writing, I have pulled off just east of Buffalo, NY to top off the fuel, and to pick up a pizza for dinner (Nathan did make me promise him that, at some point, he wanted some pizza from Flying J). As we finish the last 100+ miles on this trip, I had to make this stop stretch out a little longer in order to get this post put to bed, as I will not have any access to the data network once I cross the border.

See you later, eh?

16 July 2012

Year 2, Day 196 (Not Sure What Will Come Next)

I shut down in Mill Hall, PA last night, leaving less than 100 miles to go for the destination. Nathan and I went in and took a shower as well as getting our laundry done. My delivery appointment isn't until 1815 (ET) tonight, so I not really rushing to get there. Not only that, but one of the CSR's called me to ask if I could do a short run on a load I guess he couldn't get another truck on (though why he book said run is beyond me). I really didn't want to take it, primarily because it would be late by the time I picked it up. Even if I play it just right, it's still going to be tight to pull off, because Walmart - even though they have the capabilities to unload a truck, and take care of whatever breakdown is needed, in 30-45 minutes - they will use their entire 2 hour window... and there's not a thing we can do about it.

As of 1330 (ET), I just found out that I will not be taking that short run. Instead, I will pick up in Dayton, NJ and taking the load to Brampton, ON for Wednesday. I am really wanting to get a load that will put me in Tulsa, OK on Friday, but I guess that's not going to happen.

It sure is pretty warm today... thankfully my a/c is in good working order.

15 July 2012

Year 2, Day 195 (Heading To Pennsylvania)

I made it to Auburn, IN at around 0100 this morning, where I unloaded at the Walmart Distribution Center there. Once I finished with my required 10 hour break, I made my way to Newport, MI where I met up with one of our other drivers to swap trailers. His trailer was loaded with Coca Cola product heading to Pottsville, PA for tomorrow evening. Nathan and I made a few stops along the way: Meijer (to pick up a few groceries), Pilot (to get fuel), and, finally, to the Commodore Perry Service Plaza (to get a dose of Starbucks, as well as Lox & Bagels from Einstein Brothers Bagels).

This was Nathan's first experience with Lox & Bagels (there's not a lot in the way of kosher food establishments and/or deli's in north central Arkansas), and, from what I gather, he seems to like it. I figure I'll try to get us into Pennsylvania, probably about 100 miles, before we shut down for the day. All in all, this turned out to be a pretty productive day.

Did I mention we got some Starbucks?

14 July 2012

Year 2, Day 194 (I'll Be Busy Until Monday Night)

Nathan and I have been sitting here since yesterday afternoon, but the trailer has finally been loaded and we are heading up to Auburn, IN. I took advantage of the downtime and read through this week's Torah portion. As I get ready to put today's post to bed, I am brewing up some coffee and taking care of last minute preparations before heading out. It's been raining off and on here in Goodlettsville. Fortunately I don't have to head back down through Nashville, as (according to another driver whom just came up from there) there are several accidents, and quite a bit of traffic backups through the city on the interstate. Better them than me.

13 July 2012

Year 2, Day 193 (Short Day, Unproductive)

I unloaded this morning in Lebanon, TN, and while I was unloading, I received a pre-plan. However, the next load wasn't too fruitful, as it doesn't pick up until tomorrow evening, and only 40 miles away from where I unloaded. On the way to the customer (to drop the trailer, in the hopes of getting it loaded early; since it's Tyson, I won't hold my breath), I made a stop at K.O.'s Pizza for Nathan and I to get a Gyro for a late lunch. That's one of my favorite things to get from there, as well as the Nammora, which is absolutely out-of-this-world delicious.

After eating, I finished heading up to Goodlettsville, TN to drop the trailer, then shut down for the remainder of the night. I hope they do load it much earlier than 2100, even a little earlier than 1700, because I don't want to run an all-nighter to deliver in Auburn, IN by 0900 Sunday morning. I will, however, brew up some coffee tonight.

May your Sabbath be blessed with peace and joy abundant!

12 July 2012

Year 2, Day 192 (A Short Day, A Short Run)

We made it to Rend Lake, IL where we shut down last night. Rend Lake, being about 90 miles south of Effingham, and about 70 miles north of the Missouri state line/Mississippi River. When Nathan and I started rolling this morning, at about 0945, we had about 200 miles to go to the customer I was delivering to, do a drop & hook onto another loaded trailer, then about 200 miles from there to Lebanon, TN to deliver at 1100 tomorrow. I was hoping I would have been pre-planned this afternoon, but that didn't happen. I was actually preferring that I would have re-powered the load from another driver and take that to Tulsa, OK, but I guess that other driver wasn't making well enough progress. At least I can hope for a decent run to keep me busy for the weekend... just so long as it doesn't go up to the northeast... except Boston, I would go to Boston.

As Nathan and I finish the last 60 miles of this trip, we are listening to the unabridged audiobook of By Order Of The President by W.E.B. Griffin (probably my third time listening to it). Once this one is finished, I'll probably give the audiobooks a small break, so Nathan can hear some music, thus not be completely bored.

11 July 2012

Year 2, Day 191 (A Change Of Course)

Yesterday, after I was unloaded, I headed up to Milwaukee to pick up the load I was pre-planned on. Once I arrived (after making a stop to pick up some bulkheads) everything seemed to go fairly smoothly... until I checked in to the guard post where I would be getting the bills. It was then I found out that my load had been "double booked" (that is, one load assigned to two different trucking companies). Since the other truck had arrived before I did, the load went on that truck. I had to wait until this morning to get another load, so Nathan and I went to the Pilot just south of Milwaukee and shut down for the night. Our dinner was some spaghetti that I made in the crock pot.

This morning I was sent to Delavan, WI (about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee) to pick up the load I am now on. While we were waiting, Nathan pulled out his guitar and played a few songs.

This load will take us to Covington, TN for tomorrow, where I am also pre-planned to pick up my next load, which goes to Lebanon, TN for Friday morning. Still, all is quiet on the mid-western front.

10 July 2012

Year 2, Day 190 (Soon To Get A Short Run)

We left out this morning from the terminal in Madison, IL to finish this run to Rochelle, IL. Yesterday I had been given a pre-plan, this morning it was taken off, then it was put back on me this afternoon. This next run will have me picking up a load of beer in Milwaukee, WI and taking it to Lansing, MI. It's not due until Thursday morning, but I'm hoping that the customer will unload it when I get there tomorrow. That is only because there is a possibility that I may have to re-power a load from another driver and deliver that load in Tulsa, OK, from there, I will probably get a load going up to Woodinville, WA and finishing off in Burnaby, BC, in which case I will probably get re-loaded in Lewiston, ID, where I can make a stop in Clarkston, WA to visit some family on the way. All of this is purely speculative right now... first I'll wait to see how these next few days play out.

It's fun having Nathan (my youngest son) on the truck with me, but I'm putting a major responsibility on him: he's tasked with helping me to quit smoking... we'll see how that works out.

At least I will still have Starbucks.

09 July 2012

Year 2, Day 189 (The Adventure Begins)

My son, Nathan, and I left out this morning picking up a load going to Rochelle, IL. On the way, I was told my truck was due a service, so I went to our terminal in Madison, IL. Since there was a waiting list of trucks getting work done, we were put up in the DoubleTree hotel for the night. Tomorrow I'll do a drop & hook in Rochelle, then head up to Milwaukee to get my next load, which will take us to Lansing, MI.

It's been a few years since Nathan has been on the truck with me. He's going to be a senior in high school this year, so this may be my last chance to bring him along.

There is much fun to be had (we started the trip by singing along with the Broadway Cast to Rent, so we're off to a good start)!

08 July 2012

Year 2, Day 188 (Last Day At Home)

Tomorrow I will head back out on the road, and will be taking Nathan (my youngest son) along with me for the next few weeks. This morning I was up pretty early, only because I had to be at the church building at 0730 for a rehearsal before the two services. Coffee was my most welcomed ally. The weather was a bit warm earlier today, but now the skies are looking as if it may rain. If it's anything like it was yesterday, it will be another tease.

Just the other day, my wife, Tikvah, had her hair cut and colored. This first picture was taken about 1 1/2 months ago (just after her Dad's funeral), with our son, Erik:
 After this past Friday, her hair is shorter and lighter:
I like the new look... what say you.

07 July 2012

Year 2, Day 187 (Much Cooler Today, And More Relaxing To Be Had)

The temperatures have come down quite a bit today, making it a little cooler, but still some level of humidity. Today I've been occupied not only with this week's Torah portion, but also transferring my audiobook library onto my iTunes. I'm doing this because I have over 50 audiobooks (many of them having multiple parts), and with only a 16 GB iPhone 3GS, there's only so much room in memory. Therefore I'm putting the library on my iPod... at least until I upgrade the phone. This evening, Tikvah and I went over to her mother's house for dinner. Since my birthday is coming up in a couple weeks, Patricia (my Mother-in-law) made a roast as a birthday dinner for me, with a Strawberry Pie for dessert.

Our youngest son, Nathan, is spending the night at a friend's house tonight, so Tikvah and I have the house to ourselves.

Yes, there is wine that will be consumed... and Jazz music... I think you see where this is heading.

06 July 2012

Year 2, Day 186 (I Really Dislike This Humidity)

One year from now and we will no longer be living in Arkansas. The plan that my wife, Tikvah, and I have is that we will be selling our house, and my Mother-in-law will be selling her house, and we will put our money together and buy one big house in California. I am really looking forward to moving back to California. Sure, it will also be hot out there, but there won't be the level of humidity that is common out here. With the weather being as hot as it has been now, I really don't look forward to what it will be come late August.

It may be hot, but it's never too hot for coffee!

05 July 2012

Year 2, Day 185 (Just Trying To Stay Cool)

I slept in a little this morning, but my wife, Tikvah, had to work. I really felt bad for her, because today she was working in the greenhouse at the farm of her employer. It was hot as it was today, but I can't imagine having to work in a greenhouse all day. I did pull the bike out, not for a standard ride, but to run a few errands, though I made sure to pace myself. I went to the bank to make a payment on my credit card, and as I was leaving (as this really impressed me), the manager walked up to me and offered some water, "because it is pretty hot outside" she said (she also knew I had rode my bike there). Now that's good customer service.

This evening, at Tikvah's request, I began making Matzoh Ball Soup. However, probably due to the humidity, they didn't turn out as usual. they were runnier than normal, so I added some extra Matzoh meal, but that didn't help. I ended up scrapping the entire soup, and we ordered pizza for dinner.

04 July 2012

Year 2, Day 184 (Independence Day - My First Day Home)

I have released John today to take his final evaluation and made my way home. I arrived home at around lunch time. Obviously, this is no ordinary day, it's the day in which we remember what our forefather's did - and what they risked - in order for later generations (us) to continue the culture of sovereignty from British rule, a.k.a. Independence Day. There were a lot of sacrifices made, and a lot of lives lost, in the process of this nation becoming its own. This day is about more than shooting off fireworks, barbecues, and beer. People have lost their properties for this country's sovereignty, some have lost their lives... but all have fought for a new life in a new world, something they felt very passionate about. Passion and dedication. Has our present society lost their way? It's time we make our country's pioneers proud; let not their effort be for naught!

03 July 2012

Year 2, Day 183 (My Last Day Out - And A Political Rant)

Last night, John and I shut down in Collins, MO, which is about an hour north of Springfield. This turned out to be a good call. When I spoke to Monica (my Fleet Manager) this morning, she said that coming down to the terminal in North Little Rock (before continuing to West Memphis) would be too far out of route. The tentative plan, as of now, is to swap in West Memphis, AR, deliver in Memphis, then drop John off on Bald Knob, AR (where he will then be shuttled to the NLR terminal), then go home. However, since I have dealt with the customer in Memphis before, dropping John off may not happen until tomorrow. Whichever plan transpires, it won't be until tomorrow.

In recent years I have withdrawn from much of my involvement in political diatribe, as there are too many underhanded and back-door deals going on within the higher echelon structure. For example, the Health Care Law (aptly dubbed as "ObamaCare") and the recent Supreme Court decision upholding its constitutionality. This screenshot - which was posted on Facebook - pretty much sums it up:

Allow me to offer this: Politicians make 6-figure salaries, while the taxpayers foot the bill for their medical care; they get their full pension upon retirement, and are "against" the "wealthy elite" and corporations? Let's break this down: 6-figure incomes - they can afford to pay their own health care, thus taken the burden off the taxpayers' shoulder (notice how the politicians NEVER show, nor admit, their problems with substance/alcohol abuse and/or financial corruption until they are exposed of such); the military - whom actually fight for our freedoms and liberties - only get a salary that's generally 1/10th of what the politicians make, only get a fraction of their salaries for retirement (should they be lucky enough to stay in for 20 years, unlike those who are "forced" out of service by, yep, you guessed it... the politicians) - and let's not forget the REAL civil servants of our country: policemen, firemen, paramedics, etc.; those politicians who are "against" the wealthy elite, are themselves wealthy elitists (not to mention, it would be interesting to find out who the "corporate sponsors" are for their campaign coffers).

You can GUARANTEE that the Health Care Law they have shoved down our throats is nowhere NEAR as good as what they get themselves. Let's make some Federal budget cuts where they will really matter: 1) politicians' salaries, 2) frivolous projects sponsored by those politicians (do we really need a national Tea Cup Museum, or a Woodstock Museum? It has been said, "those who remember the 60's, probably really weren't there." This especially holds true for Woodstock).

02 July 2012

Year 2, Day 182 (Sweet Run, Soon To Be Home)

Today we didn't get dispatched on a load until this afternoon, then it was through a broker, but this will be a sweet load on several different levels. First, it's a load of candy coming out of Abilene, KS; second, I've already received word to route through our terminal in North Little Rock to release John for his final evaluation; finally, I'll meet up with another driver in West Memphis, AR, where he will take the load on to Cookeville, TN... he delivers this load then goes home, I swap with him then I go home, a win-win situation. This doesn't deliver until Thursday morning, but I'll be home by then, relaxing at home.

This has turned out to be a productive time out this time, and I'm sure John will do well out on his own. In fact, I'm confident he will do great. We've covered several different scenarios, been through different cities, hence, different cultures/attitudes. We'll cross paths somewhere down the road, I usually see previous students at some point or another.

01 July 2012

Year 2, Day 181 (Chillin' Out In Olathe)

We arrived in Olathe, KS at 0015 this morning, did a drop & hook, and now are getting a re-start. We are getting a re-start due to the fact John and I were both low on hours, that and the fact we didn't have a load pre-planned on us after this delivery. While we were heading this way, I put the rest of the roast in the crockpot to heat up for dinner. We stopped in Booneville, MO where we topped off the fuel, as well as took care of some other, more personal, business. This morning has been uneventful, but not a waste of time. I, as my first activity of the day, partook of my daily studies in Torah. This afternoon has been spent cleaning the few dishes left over from last night, then watched a few movies. The first was the re-make of Conan The Barbarian, which I didn't think was too bad. Either way, this day has been quite relaxing and refreshing.

Now it's time for coffee.