Friday, February 28, 2014

Guess I'm driving a little longer tonight!!

Well, I'm in Edgewood, NM at the Wally here. Going in to do some grocery restocking and check out the dvd's...and I was either going to stay here or drive on to Milan, NM and stop at the Petro for the night.....then I got this Weatherbug Storm Alert...guess I shall be driving for a bit longer...I'll make it into AZ somewhere and stop....I am not going to get stuck here !!!!

LOL   I'll post some pics and info about my load later or in the morning. I'm headed for Las Vegas with equipment onboard. Would have been a nice run if I hadn't been fighting wind all day....it has not let up!

Later!!  :-D

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Empty in Corsicana

Just got empty a little while ago & waiting on a load. What I just dropped off was the thickest PVC pipe I'd ever seen.....until I got to this drop & saw some of their pipe they make fitting & "T's" out of! I just can't believe the thickness of some of the pipes! That's why I put my hat inside that one....you all know how big my Charlie Brown head is....it's little compared with the thickness of those pipes!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Quick stop in NHR

I'm at Tif & Cary's forthe evening.  A quick visit, wash some clothes, eat some dinner, take a shower then run to my drop under the cover of darkness.

I'll put more info out later!  :-)

Half-way to Corsicana

Well, actually over half-way. This is my favorite stop-over spot on 84 in NM. About 20 miles west of Clovis, peaceful...once you get used to the trains...and I have gotten used to them!  Slept like a log last nite!

They are calling for snow in Amarillo Sunday (maybe an inch)...but this late in the winter?  It was 12 there this morning, 19 here. Winter just seems to hang on this year. Calling for massive rain & mudslides in CA in the next several days!  A little shake & maybe it"ll slide to the west?????   Heheheheh

Time to roll for the day.  More later!  :-D

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Little Things We Accept....Should We?

I have come to the conclusion that when I have to sit for two days I tend to start thinking about things and seeing little things that seem to pass by in the normal "speed" of daily living. And living in a "confined" space that happens to have 10 wheels under it and a really good view of the world (looking down on the majority of it gives you an incredible view) let's you sit back and see things at a different pace.

I know folks think that my aversion to WallyWorld and other large companies is pretty well a dead and dieing outlook on life and daily living....but just when I think that I might have to accept it and just deal with the changing world.....some little thing will pop up and grab my attention and I just have to say...."damnit, I don't like being a number". Now what, you ask, brought on this soul searching moment again?

Welllllll.......as usual it is a little thing that set me off today and has absolutely no grounds in reality or commonsense, but is just another nail!  Heheheh

 This morning I got up to have a nice bowl of cereal for breakfast...made my cup of coffee, got dressed, watered the dog.....and prepared my highly looked forward to bowl of Rice Chex!  With styrofoam bowl dug out, spoon found, cereal poured into bowl, 100% natural cane sugar applied evenly on top of cereal I anxiously poured my cup (more or less) of milk over it and prepared for a little slice (spoonfull) of heaven!

First spoonful was great....until I was about to insert the second spoonful.....and....have you ever had that feeling that something was just not right with something that you had just experienced?!?!?!  Well, that sensation set in on my mouth! But too late....the second spoonful was already surrounding my tongue!  I sat back and thought "that just is not quite right a flavor for my cereal". I looked at the milk jug, and granted, the "best by" date was the 21st, but, my little fridge keeps things edible for days after that date, especially since that date is a "best by" date...and they have done news reports about that date and it is supposed to be a "best by" date....not an end date at which time the item self-destructs!! 




Now, for the past several weeks I have been buying the local "name brands" of milk, which usually costs me 5% to 15% more, but those items are usually good for a week past the "best by" date!  This in turn has gotten me to looking at the rest of my food items that I have in my pantry....and I came to the realization that 95% of all my "stuff" has fairly name brand "stuff". Even when I find items that are not "Name Brand" where I live, they happen to be a big name somewhere in the country. With the amount of ground that I cover each week, I have learned that "name brands" change from each area of the country and they are just fabulous. National brands are good, but you have to be careful which ones you get.

I know I'm on a soapbox, but I finally realized that I had fallen into the trap we all get into and that is believing that "they" have our best interests in mind with all the little "helps" that we are given each day! I'm even getting more in-depth watching who and what is used on my truck, clothes, books, electronics...etc. I have gotten back into the habit of reading about what I am wanting to do, learning the basics of things I don't know, so that I can actually make an "educated" decision on it all.  Maybe it has taken me a few bumps to get back to this, and maybe I am hoping you all will think about this for yourselves....but we have to do something for ourselves, if not all of it for ourselves....and the "it" I am thinking about is thinking for ourselves, not just following others lead.

I'm sitting here listening to "Face the Nation"....and God help us...I'm not sure there are many, if any, good choices out there for leadership. Been here for almost 60 years and I am hearing the same stuff, worded a little differently maybe, that I have been hearing for the past 40 years. 

I say that I am "wired" more than most folks are, especially for a truck driver...
and there might be some truth to that statement!!  LOL  But I am staying with what I have because I have been reading up on the "new, improved, stronger, faster" stuff coming out that would replace what I have and also tasked my researcher (Joshua, heheheh) with seeing if any of it would make my life better...and the resounding reply in my brain is NO!!  So I think I just might be stabilized for a while, maybe for the duration. On CBS Sunday they had a piece on a little newspaper in a little town in CO that was still being published on a lithograph printing machine, built in the 1800's....and I was so glad to see it. Maybe we need to get a little more in touch with the past that we have left so far behind in our race to embrace the growing world of technology. But I digress.

I just downloaded pics from my camera that go back to Christmas....and something just dawned on me....simple is better! Smaller is larger than bigger! I hope that makes sense, because I'm not sure that I can explain that right now. But the following pics just might explain it better than my words!








Maybe as I get older I might soften with my feelings of circling the wagons...but as I do get older, I feel more strongly about the circling....my years are closing slowly, but the circle is still there, and I see it strongly in my kids....may the circle always be there. I'll just keep running around and holding up the outside of the circle. The inside of the circle has become a self-sustaining organism....and I love it!!  :-)

Not sure just where this installment has ended up, but it has ended for now!  LOL  Time to take mutley out and do a little more housecleaning....

Later, Ciao, C'ya!!  :-)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Parowan, UT for the Weekend

Spent a quiet nite on a ramp north of here last night. Got a pretty good night's sleep and just enjoyed the view. Drove on down to Parowan, UT's TA this morning...and set up camp until early Monday morning.  I'll fuel up and run 22 miles into Cedar City for my pickup. Will be headed to Corsicana, TX with 3 sections of pipe, 50' long, 36" diameter....light load but interesting in the wind.  

While here at the TA Abbie has discovered some really big dogs!!!
LOL  I don't know if I have ever gotten her this close to "big dogs" before!  She was on her best form with barking and squaring off against those big intruders!!  Sat there for about 15 minutes working of her getting a little more at ease with them. 

And you can tell I am here for what is for me an extended period of time....first of all I'm in a truckstop for longer than 30 minutes......

second....I'm parked as close to the building as I can get!  LOL  Going to go in later and see if I can empty the boiler of hot water, then I'm going to wash what dirty clothes that I have onboard, then tomorrow I'll try to run the boiler out of hot water at least one more time!

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Olympics!

I'm sitting on a ramp on I-15 southbound watching the Olympics. I have really enjoyed watching them this year. I have even gotten into the skating this year. And as of now the US is in the medal lead....not on top with gold, but on top with medals. And watching these athletes has been very good this year.

But, I am rather, oh how would I say.....disappointed in the coverage that NBC has done on this Olmpics. I'm sorry, but this is not the time or the place to make political statements or to bring up past (and current) issues in the world of politics and even "human suffering"....this is supposed to be a time of holding up the "human spirit" and putting the spotlight on the participants. 

I just got through listening to Bob Costas again make a long spiel on the "evils" of the Russian state and the inequalities of the system, etc, etc. Now, granted....I don't like Costas, but leaving that aside.....I am very disappointed in NBC taking the Olympics and making them a platform for "exposing" shortfalls in all the systems.....it is just not the place.

So, enough of my soapboxing.....back to the events!  I watch them on tv, then catch the full events online....Thanks Jason!!  :-)

I'm sitting this weekend, loading out Monday morning from Cedar City, UT with 3 pipes to go to Corsicana, TX. Easy load, light load, hopefully good run. Then I think Erin and I are going to keep me in the Confederacy for a while. These folks out here want to tarp stuff that has no need to tarp. So I think I will work out of the ports for a while and see how that works out.

Weather here has been very nice....pleasant....once the winds finally blew themselves out! It was really nasty for a couple of days. I'll be driving down to the TA in Parowan, UT for the rest of the weekend, a small TA but decent parking area and has been clean every time I've dropped in. So I'll wash my few dirty clothes, take a couple of HOT showers (try to loosen up my shoulders) and just relax. Because when I come out Monday I will be running hard for  days and then take a 34 next weekend.

Johnny Weir is strange!  Maybe I should just say eccentric in his dress!!  ROFLMAO!!!!  I DO BELIEVE HE IS WEARING FALSE EYELASHES!!!!  LOL!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

SLC for the night

Made it to Salt Lake City for the night. Can't get unloaded until in the morning at 8am (mountain time....9am for my time). So I am settled in to watch the Olympics for the night and resting. I'll run on up to my drop under the cover of darkness sometime tonight and be there when they get in to work.

Erin is working hard trying to find me a run out of here that will run over the weekend. Have no idea where I will be headed from here....as usual, chasing the dollar!!

On the way up here from Lubbock the winds were terrific! I'm in a flatbed and it pushed me around all day and into the night. In fact, once I got to US-491 and was headed north from I-40 it really got interesting.
 
This shot above was on right after I got onto US-491. The light spots that you see on the highway are actually sand being blown across.
 This shot was obviously at sunset...but you couldn't see the sunset due to the dusty air. As the night dragged on....the blowing wind borne dust got to the point that it was like a whiteout.....only brown....your lights don't penetrate a wall of dirt....needless to say, it is rather unnerving! 

One of these days I will stop here and have a look at this place. I've seen shows about it, and ads for it, and there is no telling how many times I have driven past here....and have yet to stop to check it out. There is a rest area about 1/4 mile north of it, but I still haven't been there!!!!  Oh, and if you can enlarge this picture, take a look at the top left side of the rock...I didn't notice until I was uploading the picture, but there is a Jeep on the top of the rock...now that is some serious rock crawling!!  LOL


US-491 runs up from Gallup, NM thru Cortez, CO and into Utah thru Green River and then thru Moab. Depending on your outlook on "beauty", this run up 491 thru the Moab mountains and then thru Price, UT and the Price Gorge is just absolutely gorgeous. In fact, even if you don't really care for the barenness of this part of the world you will be struck by the just outright massiveness of the hills and mountains and the plains. And the colors...you are inundated by red all around you!!

 But this is the first time after many trips thru this area that I have ever noticed this blue/green coloration of some of the dirt and rocks. I am going to have to do a little research, but the color makes me think that it is a high iron ore content....hmmmm....I'll have to find the answer!!  LOL

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Headed for SLC, UT

 Good afternoon from New Mexico.....enroute to Salt Lake City, UT. The panorama above of from the site that I loaded out from Lubbock, Tx yesterday. The windmill that you see is the first one of its kind built in the US. It is there for testing and trial runs. The crane that was used to put it up is what I was there to pick up...2, count'em, TWO of the counterweights that went on it. There were 11 or 13 of them.....at 22,046 pounds each!  That is why two of them made for a full load for me.....44,092 pounds.  But it does make for a really sweet load to pull! 
Right now I am taking a lunch break and rest break in Edgewood, NM, hiding behind the WallyWorld here. It is one of my parking spots that I use on a regular basis. Abbie needed to get out for a little bit, and I needed to eat and take a break from the wind!  There is a High Wind Advisory in effect until tomorrow morning 10am. Winds right now are fairly steady at 19-26mph, gusting to about 40-45. Later they are calling for 30-40mph steady with gusts up to 60-65mph. I changed lanes a while back without turning the steering wheel. I'm just glad that I have a very low load....does make it just a bit easier to navigate.
I caught this shot of the "cabin" for the crane pulling out. The operator's cab is in the front, turned sideways for transport. This is the part of the crane that has the electric motors and majority of the cables. The weight of this "cabin" is 123,000 pounds. Each track weighs about 103,000 pounds, and the base of the unit that the tracks and cabin hook up to I forgot to get a weight of.  One of the Heavy Haul drivers said that he thought this was either the largest or 2nd largest "crawler" cranes in the US.

My last load that got me to this load was from New Iberia, La to Carlsbad, NM.  It was 10 steel pipes, 20' long, 3' in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. They weren't real heavy, but the load was 9 feet high....
 it makes for an interesting drive when you run into wind....and with the load being hollow, the wind passes through them and almost creates a vortex out the rear end of the trailer that makes you feel like you are chasing the rear of the trailer around at times.  Keeps you on your toes!

On the way up to Carlsbad, I passed this little incident....actually, pretty large. It is several tight curves just west of Sweetwater, Tx where I-20 and US-84 split. This was in the last west bound curve, and the curve tightens just a bit towards the end of it. Not sure just how this occurred, but he hit the very start of the guard rail and ran it almost to the end before laying over. The truck is pretty well torn up and the trailer didn't look in much better shape. I hazard to guess what happened. Looked like either he fell asleep, wind caught him, or he was running way too fast for the curve. Whichever it was, he is probably looking for a job today!

Well, I think I am going to try to get the rest of the way over the pass into Albuquerque before the wind gets much worse.  Not sure just how far I will get today. I am not going to take many chances.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Back in the truck......

It was a nice relaxing day with the kids.

I finally have the video that I shot and couldn't get it to load of the LA trooper that was parking in front of me at the Welcome Center on I-20 day before yesterday. He would park in front of me and get out and radar the traffic coming out of MS. Got to "visit" with him for a little bit while taking my break. He told me that he sets there often, for a whole shift a lot of times. And I can see why! I was there about 2.5 hours and he pulled out at least 9 times....and as I was leaving he was coming back into the rest area after that 9th one....so I guess he continued there for a while....one thing is for sure....he makes his salary sitting there and popping folks that come across from MS hauling butt!!  LOL


The load that I have on now is from the New Iberia, LA port area. I'll get a shot of the trailer tomorrow and add it here...but this is the yard that I loaded out of.  There are 10 pieces of pipe on me that area 36"x.5"x20', steel pipe.  Not a real heavy load, but interesting pulling....it is 9 feet tall and when in wind it gets interesting just staying in my lane.

 On the way up here I passed this heavy haul. There were 27 axles total on truck and trailer rig. But the really interesting part was the two trucks following. Look closely at them. They are bracketed to the rear of the trailer and a pushing the load! I hadn't seen that in a long time. So you had a semi pulling the trailer, then you had 2 (count them....TWO) semis pushing the load....that is one massive load! The really funny part of this is that I met them the next night after loading and getting back towards my drop....still heading the same way, but they had only been able to cover about 35-40 miles!


Well, I am about to crash out for the evening. I will be headed out in the morning...at whatever time I finally get up!......and should be in Carlsbad, NM by early evening, if not late afternoon.Just not sure how long I want to sleep in in the morning!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

NHR for the day

It's been a peaceful day here today. We did the park thing....I have one load of clothes to go....and just relaxing. It's currently 66° & just perfect!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Our Tax Dollars at Work!

This is a still from the last video I shot on my phone....I'll upload the video when I get stopped tonight and it is uploaded from the phone.....it is a video of  "got'cha number 7"!!  LOL  That is 7 fines in less than 2 hours of my sitting here and him using me as a "block" or "blind" for his lazer shooting!! LOL

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snow, Sleet, Mud!

I just don't seem to be able to get away from the messes! In southern LA and no frozen stuff.......but it is mudpie heaven! If you like mud, that is!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It's just cold!

I turned dpwn a run to KS, OK & Tx Panhandle.....tired of the cold!  Sssooooooo.......Abilene tonight, already 19°, calling for 1"-6" of snowossible from midnigh to noon tomorrow.  I JUST CAN'T GET AWAY FROM IT!!!  LOL

But, I have to get some maintenance done on Bertha, Abbie needed a spa day and....I found 2 of my favorige stores next to each other....share an entrance!   Home Depot & Tractor Supply!  Love it!  Got my pretzel refill and s rews to fix tbe hardware on my dinette table. So all is good!

I'm probably going to park at the Flying J in Tye, need to wash a few clothes.  And im bobtail for the nite so better enjoy it while I can!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Morning from Houston, Tx

Good Morning from the wet city of Houston, Tx....actually, from the Houston Port area. I'm loading out this morning for Midland, Tx. Not sure yet what I'm hauling, but after yesterday, I'm not too worried about it...just get me out of here!  LOL

Was supposed to load out pipe for a company yesterday (the company shall remain un-named) & it turned into a fiasco!  They/He kept telling me that "the coversheet" from Erin never got there. Then they had me 1,500 lbs over-gross, then after several calls, I was informed that "she", my dispatcher had "lied" to him.....well, that was/is a crock of ca-ca! And pretty well set me off! I kept my mouth shut (for a change) and worked with Erin on it. The guys/company where I was loading out of were great! The company I was about to haul for sucked!

So, after going in circles for about an hour & a half, finally just told them to unload me, pull the pipe off my truck. Erin was never even sent a rate confirmation....and after he ran his mouth one time too many....that was it....I wouldn't have carried their pipe for anything!

Anywho!....I'm sitting at my pick-up spot (hopefully!) for my load this morning. This is the correct building, but i might have to go to another yard to actually check in before loading. You just never know here at the dock area just how the companies are set up to do their paperwork. I think the last time I hauled from this group I had to go to the "pre-load" yard about a 1/4 mile back to check in & be told where to go for loading. But that could have just been for the type of stuff I was getting that time. We shall see in about an hour.


But I will be back in Midland by tomorrow afternoon, no matter how they do it!  :-)

More on the continuing saga of The Trucking Frog later today!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Supper Bowl? Oh....Super Bowl!

Sitting here watching the Super Bowl behind the Wallyworld in Brenham, TX.....and it is not very pretty...for Broncos, anyway!  Denver has just not come to play...well, not play very well!  I guess I'm just an 'ol fart....halftime was not much for me to look at or listen to.....watching another episode of BBC Top Gear is looking better every play!!

It has been a quiet weekend, sat in Killeen yesterday, made it to Brenham. I'm 62 miles from my drop....but it doesn't look like there is much space to park at my drop, so I will probably head in hat direction after the game and see how close I can get to it and find a little room to park.  Soon as I get empty.....

The KIA K900 commercial was pretty good!  Matrix reloaded!!!  :)

The Hunts ketchup one was cute!!

I will be headed back to Midland....and just maybe be able to catch a load back to Houston and back to Midland. They pay well.

OMG.....the Broncos just can't do anything right tonight.....Top Gear is getting better looking every minute!

The Honda/Bruce Willis commercial was cute.

The Budweiser "Welcome Home Soldier" commercial was excellent!

Guess I will end this for now and decide just what I am going to do for the rest of the evening until I run on into Houston. :-)

Wellllllll......36-0 Seattle.....Hmmmmm.....2:58 to go in the 3rd quarter....wonder who is going to win!?!?!?!?   DUH!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Lot Of Miles Under the Rubber!

Well folks....there have been a lot of miles passed under my tires since I left Buford. Headed on up to Rock Springs, WY and unloaded. Erin tried to get a load out of there....and found one, baled scrap steel.....Wrong!  The "sales rep" for the broker she found the run from was either stupid, ignorant or just a schmuck!  It ended up being crushed cars. And we/I don't haul crushed cars...DOT loves to see a load coming, because they can usually find leaking fluids...antifreeze, oil, hydraulic fluid, the usual car fluids....and that is a very big NoNo on the road for EPA reasons. Ended up driving back to Saratoge, WY to get a load of rough cut 2X4's out to Denver.

Then loaded out from Denver with roofing tar drums and made the run to Abilene. That load was a mess....told the loader that 20 pallets would put me over gross, but Owens/Corning's "rule" is load 20, truck goes and scales, if over gross they have to come back, give papers and scale ticket to loader, he has to go to his boss and he has to call his boss to get permission to take a pallet off, then the pallet comes off!  But they see no compulsion to reimburse the truck for the additional miles/time/fuel that is used to meet their requirements! So, needless to say, Owens/Corning is now on my shit list and I will not carry any more of their loads. They do the same thing with their shingles and so I have had to deal with this 3 times now...no more!

Erin got a load out of Brownwood, TX to Houston for me, a load of 4" coiled PVC pipe that delivers Monday, so I have 2+ days to travel 5 drive hours...relaxed weekend!  I'll be in Houston sometime tomorrow morning and get settled in to watch the Super Bowl (since it is on FOX) and just chill.

Already have a load out of Houston back to Midland. I have to get back to Tye, TX to get some work done on the truck.  Then I start working my way back through Alabama to take a couple of days off to visit the kids and do some "upgrading" to my truck. Going to add several work lights to the truck, some step lights on the side, and adding a couple of backup lights on the rear of the trailer so that I can "light it up" when I have to backup at night. I have gotten tired of backing up with brakelights for 1/2+ miles in the desert at night!!  LOL



 

Buford Trading Post has DIED!!!

Stopped at Buford, WY for the night last night and was looking forward to seeing the Trading Post and visiting with Don.  Wwweelllllllllllllllllll........that hope was dashed when I got into the parking lot last night. There are NO signs saying Trading Post any longer. It has been painted all brown and tan. They don't have any mainline gas in their pumps any longer.  Sooooo....when I got up this morning I went inside once they finally opened up....and boy, was I amazed! 

The place is now called "Phen Deli, Town Buford".....what deli?? There is no deli. There is coffee.....Vietnam imported....did you know that Vietnam is supposed to be the 2nd largest exporter of coffee in the world?  All the "tourist" stuff that dealt with Buford, the Wild West, the Native Americans, Wyoming, etc are basically all gone.

Such a sad day....apparently the buyers of the business when the auction went off a little over a year ago, are from Vietnam. I have no idea of what life over there is like now....but they turned a place that had its own history into just another interstate quickshop that really basically has not independent personality.  Not to mention that I was definitely not impressed with the customer service.

So another minor icon in the American past has passed away!  But I'm not sure that there are any "minor icons" when it comes to where we have been and where we are and where we are headed!  It seems like we just have to hurry into the now and future and damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead....no matter what the road looks like that is in front of us.

In the far west, which is where I am right now, the past is still sitting on the sides of the road, you can see it as you roll along, the weather here lets it stay in one piece for MANY years....yet we roar on by and look at it and say....."dang, I remember when I used to stop there".....and then run to the next exit and bustle into the overglorified "travel center" that is supposed to be a truck stop/gas station/"gift shop"......ahh, the lies we tell ourselves!