Thursday, January 23, 2014

Odessa, TX.....still windy and dusty!



If you might not be able to tell from the above picture.....I am back in Odessa, TX tonight!  And hiding behind my favorite Dollar Tree and next to Home Depot here.  Nice spot that is quiet, basically no traffic and free wifi (and it is usually pretty fast!)  It is 20 degrees and windy (as usual). The low tonight is supposed to be in mid teens, and cold tomorrow.  


Last night I spent the night at a little county park about 25 miles south of Shamrock, TX.  It is a nice little park, even has an RV park attached to it, always clean, always quiet, and very limited parking...especially for trucks. I thought that only 1or2 trucks would fit...when I woke up this morning there were 5 more trucks there....scrunched in....but there.



The load that I brought down to Odessa was a trailer full of well drilling gear that they use to "unplug" a well drilling operation that has hit a plug or blockage or something like that.  That little bit of stuff you see on the trailer is about 35+ thousand pounds of stuff!



As I was traveling alont yesterday I stumbled upon this project car being taken home by someone.  If I'm not mistaken, it is the body of a Jag XK-E, about a mid 60's model. He will have quite a bit of work to do to get this on the road again.


And to say that my day started early on Wednesday is a slight understatement (as far as I am concerned now-a-days!)  We started the loading process of the two pump assemplies and the power supply/control assembly at about 5:15am.  I just barely had a cup of coffee drank when they showed up to start loading. Their lifts were not large enough to pick up the things by themselves, so they had to get on each side of them and lift them and I had to back up under them. Very interesting in the dark.  It was an interesting day,

Tomorrow I load out for Rock Springs, WY with a load of drilling pipe that will be due up there on Monday. So I get to be under a load this weekend.  The load pays well and the really good news is that the weather forcast for that area during the next 7 days is clear to partly cloudy, cold but not lumpy white stuff or frozen stuff!!  It has been a while since I was up in that area, so I am looking forward to the drive, because it is a really pretty area.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In the middle of fields in OK






I just got done unloading in the middle of some lovely farmland outside of Shawnee, OK.  It is really some nice looking country here. The water pipe I hauled here is for 6-8 miles of new water main that is going in.  Driving into here, though, about a mile back went through an area that was hit by a tornado in the recent past.  It's always sad to see the havoc that "mother nature" can deal out!  But the folks here just clean up, rebuild & continue on.  It's just a part of living here that they deal with...just like anyplace else!

Maybe I'm mellowing, maybe just getting a little more real....like I've always said...it takes all kinds to make this world.But as time progresses, I have come to see that the folks that run on the outter fringe of "society" seem to take care of a large part of that society.  From feeding & fueling to transporting & clothing the vast majority.So YEA!!! for the fringe runners....without them.....where would the majority be??? 


 Oh...I almost forgot.....no matter where you go....always check out the local city & town names....never ceases to amaze me!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

AHHHHHH.......The Last Sunday for Football!!! (SuperBowl doesn't count!)

A quiet Sunday, wandered thru Best Buy this morning before the church crowd hit the roads. Spent a little time in Target.  I have run on down to the TA again and I am setup to watch Broncos/Patriots....kickoff in just a few minutes. Then a very short break and 49er's/Seahawks......and then my withdrawal symptoms begin!!!!  LOL

And I am definitely fixed up for a 2 game marathon of football....corndogs, chips & dip, a few sodas.....and a good dog curled up next to me......  ;-)

So I will close for now and be back after the games!!!!   YaHoooooooooooo!!!  Heheheheheheh  :P

Saturday, January 18, 2014

In Amarillo Again!!

Well.....I'm in Amarillo again....becoming a regular occurance.  Since my last post I have run to Merkel, Tx, Moore, Ok, Carlsbad, NM, Albuquerque, NM and am now back in Amarillo....again!!  LOL  I deliver Monday morning and have no idea where from there yet.

Stopped a few days ago to have a PM done and the oil drain plug was tightened so much last time that it wouldn't come out. And you can't force too much because it is set in an insert in the pan that Volvo puts in the pan....crack the insert and you have to get a new oilpan.....not very nice.....about $1500 to replace. So I will be headed back to the Tye, Tx area in a few days to get with my Volvo shop there and have to let the office know what the last shop did (since it is a local shop in Weatherford) and see what happens when my Volvo guys get hold of it.

Abbie got to have a long overdue spa day this morning at PetCo here. She was about 2+ weeks past due.....she was just a four legged dust bunny!  But now she looks good, smells good and feels good!  :-)

I will be giving myself a cleanup day tomorrow at the TA here. Need to get my last couple of loads faxed into the shop to get them in the system. Then wash clothes, shave and shower, and then settle in to watch a last few hours of football for the season!

After 10.5 months I am almost done getting the truck setup and a home for everything. I will be adding a few pictures to this post later tomorrow. Should have a few pics of the truck, the last few loads, and of Abbie (she came out of spa time with a blue feather behind her right ear! LOL ).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Maintenance Break!

Since I have time to spare on this run to Carlsbad I'm taking time to get a PM on the truck.  Brace yourselves......oil change,  filters ( oil & fuel), lube, tire pressure chk, & whatever else they chk...... $264!  Amazing what 14+gals of oil costs!  :-)

Monday, January 13, 2014

From the rubble of a tornado.......

I am sitting in Moore, OK and have just gotten done unloading at the elementary school there that a tornado took out several months ago. The one that hit the national news and where several of the children were killed.  It is a really strange sensation to look out the window and see a "normal" street next to a shopping center.......

And then you come to a curve and make a turn and you run into what I can only imagine was total
desolation and destruction just a few months ago.......
It makes you sit back and think about what you have and just how lucky you are to be where you are today and look forward to where you will be tomorrow.  And make the most of today......there might now be a tomorrow like the today we are in now!!! 

Now back to driving.....I love doing flatbed hauling....never know what you are going to run into. Being a construction area in a residential area that is being rebuilt make for very interesting entry points.....as in they are very tight and very limited! 
And once you get in and get unloaded.......
the route out of the area can be even more challenging than getting into the area!!!
So that is my excitement for the day!  I am hiding behind a Home Depot, mooching wifi (as usual) and waiting for a load.  I might be rolling today and I might not be rolling today.....so time to take the pooch out for a little fetch and do some more cleaning on my room!

More to come later!!!  :)




Sunday, January 12, 2014

A restful weekend......now to roll again!

Well, I've been at Tiffany and Cary's for the weekend and it has been pleasant. I will be rolling out of here later this afternoon. Next stop is Moore, OK....I will be delivering at the school that was in the news several months ago that got leveled by a tornado that came thru there. When I punched up the address for the school, all you see is the outline of the school building and cleared ground for several blocks in each direction and the path looks about 3/4-1 mile long. Kind of like a very large vacuum cleaner came thru there!

If you pull up 852 SW 11th St, Moore, OK with BING maps, you see this address from back to before the tornado came thru there. It is quite a built up residential area in the suburbs of Oklahoma City.  Then pull up the same address on Google maps.....the Google Maps has been updated since the tornado.....and you will see just how much devastation was wrought upon the area by just one tornado....and that area has been thru several of them....it is really just amazing at the amount of manmade "stuff" that Mother Nature can remove in a matter of seconds!!!!

Which in turn makes me look/think about the fact that we are here for an allotted amount of time....and what we do with that time is what matters. The legacy that we leave behind is what really matters. Just what have we accomplished over this span of years that we call "our life"?  Is there something that we will leave behind that will be remembered when we are gone?

It is like I have always said about a job.....no one is indispensable, but when you are gone, you want them to say "we really miss him on this job"!! And that might be the same with life....you want to be missed and for people to realize that you made an impact on them in a way that will still travel a long way even after you are gone!!

For me, I have had my years here, and still hopefully have a few more to go....and when I am not here anymore, have I influenced my kids and people around me enough that it has mattered that I was here at all?  Hopefully so!  But time will be the judge of that.  :-)

As of right now, I am at peace with judgements and decisions that I have made...time will tell if they were right or not! Now to get back on the road and see what I can see for the next several years, visit where I can visit, record what I see and hear and feel for these years and enjoy the world and work around me that I have set my path towards. 

After this short break and visit with the kids here, travel time again and then after a couple of weeks, break time in Alabama with the rest of my herd and see how life is treating them there.

And I might even embark on a run up to the cold country of Michigan when the white is gone to see how "norhterners" live!!!  HEHEHEHEH!  :P

But for now, time to pack and get ready to roll to OK tonight!  More to come soon!!  Cya!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ahhhh.....Snow......Aw-Caca!!!!

Just spent several days in CO and know what?!?!  They have that damn white lumpy stuff all over the place up there!  But I have made it back to the desert of West Texas and it is heavenly!!  But of course I will be loading up in just a little while with a load of stone headed for a school in Moore, Ok....back up the the "cooler" areas....but at least it isn't white lumpy stuff...right now anyway!

Right now I'm sitting in the Volvo shop in Tye, Tx while they are trying to get my "manual shift" turned back on so that I can manually downshift when I get to heavy grades on the road.  I have found out that if I can keep the rpm's at around 1300-1400 on the truck she will pull like a really big truck!  LOL

About time to roll so I'll close this installment and get a little more on here this weekend....I'll be at Tiffany & Cary's tonight thru Sunday afternoon.  And if all goes well, I will be hitting the Alabama herd in about 3-4 weeks.  :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A New Year Is Here....Hello 2014

Another Year has come and Gone!   2013 has passed by and 2014 is upon us. And as I sit here in Amarillo in my truck, I look back at last year, and the year before and keep on looking back and I wonder...."Where have I been, what have I done and just where am I headed??"  I guess that is a question that we all ask of ourselves over time....but just how deep do we go for our answer to us!?!?  I am not too sure that I have ever really looked very deeply at what/where/when/who has been involved in each year that I have lived through.  So I sit here and wonder just why I am penning this....too much time to just sit and think?  LOL  Possibly!!  

For those of us that came out of the "Flower Child Generation" we have all (for the most part) succumbed to becoming a part of society in order to survive each day...funny how "things" like food, a roof, toys, getting around..... These things will and do change the way we look at all that "stuff" around us that we think we have to have to be comfortable.  

This installment might get a bit wordy...but it just seems to be flowing out right now so I had better continue writing this down while I wait for the football games to start, the temperature to rise some (hopefully) outside, and I spend time cleaning out my room a little bit more!  
For those that don't know, my "room" is sitting on 10 wheels inside the cab of a 2013 Volvo 780dn Semi. I had said that I was just working until 2016, age 62, and I was done...so what do I do...I am in the middle of purchasing this truck and trailer and I guess I will be an "indentured servant" for a few more years!!  LOL  :D  
As I traveled through this past Christmas season and the New Year I actually spent quite a bit of time thinking about what I had left in my path over the years. And that made me wonder just why I was thinking about it when for so many years I had not even had these thoughts pass by my thought process. And it dawned on me that a lot of the folks that I went to High School with were no longer with us and that made me wonder....."Why am I still muddling along each day and why am I, overall, so satisfied with where I am right now?"   

I have had the honor of traveling through all 50 states and 39 countries. And that has given me a rather different look at what I have and have had and will have. And my horizons are a little wider that the average person. I have rubbed elbows with "Stars" (Jane Fonda, Sophia Loren, opera singers, politicians (Gerald Ford), BIG money and little money, haves and havenots, cubicle monkies & "no fences hold me" people. Where I fit in that listing has not been totally decided....but I do know that I am not normal!!!  Whatever "normal" is!!  LOL   

As I sit here and look back I see many, many miles....5 beautiful kids with great minds and great potential....5 beautiful grandkids....having had the opportunity of trying many different things.....seen many beautiful things....seen many depressing things.....seen fantastic man-made things.....seen horrific man-made things.....been in desert so dry that spit won't make it to the ground.....driven thru snow so deep that it came up over the hood of a '78 van (and me thinking "ok stupid, how are you getting out of this one!!!).  

I'VE BEEN ABLE TO ENJOY A VERY FULL LIFE!! AND STILL GOING!!

I've learned over the years that "good" in man is not natural, but learned. That Love is grown, nurtured and looked after. Hate comes on fast and furious and is hard to overcome. That beauty is all around us, but you have to look hard sometimes to see it.     

I don't feel like I have lived through 59.5 years....but each morning when my feet hit the floor my body reminds my brain that I HAVE lived through 59.5 years....some mornings I am reminded of it even more that others!!  But that is life and we all have one (a life that is) and hopefully I  have been able to help a few folks thru it and possibly kept a few from making it harder on others. Time will tell.   

I carry too much "technology" with me, but it has become such a part of my life that I have to put up with it. Don't get me wrong, I like my technology....but there are times that I turn it all off and just drive along listening to the wind, or sit on a picnic table and stare up at the stars and listen to the wind. And listening to the wind and nature and the stillness of the wild is something that we don't listen to enough. We extend our day into the night with lights and noise....and we don't listen to the little voices around us.  We rush too much.   Guess what, most of the stuff that we rush around for will still be there, even when we take a few minutes longer to get there by taking that side road that has a view instead of runing helter skelter down the interstates  of life!!   

I think that is enough "philosophy" for one day....my brain is fogging up and my eyes are blurring!!  
My hope is that each of you will have a Great 2014 and the things that you hope to achieve this coming year will come to fruition. That each day will bring on a new adventure of some sort so that each day will be a memory.   

And to each of you was a part of my 2013, Thank You! 

And I look forward to you being a part of my 2014!  :-)