Sunday, March 30, 2014

At Bruckner's Volvo in Tye, TX....Late Publish

Actually got here yesterday morning (yesterday morning having been last Monday) to have work done to Bertha. Yesterday ended up being the diagnostic day and today is turning into the fix it day!

I knew I was going to have to get a new oil pan. But my A/C has been out since last October, but with the cooling down for the fall and winter, I couldn't see spending the money on getting it looked at or fixed...and it wouldn't have mattered actually. The "on/off" button for the A/C is what has been bad....and it is an integral part of the "climate control panel" (which apparently is the way all the vehicle manufacturers have gone) so you get to replace the entire thing....it is basically a mini-puter....IC boards and all!!  And it is only a little over $300!  So when you think your A/C is going, just pray it is not a switch....or be sitting down when they tell you the cost!

But at least there is a decent driver's lounge...and fresh coffee...so life will survive for the moment!  And as usual I have my technology to keep me busy...heheheh....no withdrawal symptoms as of yet!

I hope to have a load out in the morning from Brownwood, TX to Grand Prairie, TX. Then we shall see from there just where I end up for the coming weekend. Never can tell, I just might be headed back to the east!

Update:  Well.....the oilpan is replaced. The climate control unit is replaced...and still have no A/C...Rick kept getting a "magnetic clutch" error code that wouldn't go away, and it was cool, so couldn't really tell if A/C was working or not....NOT!  LOL  Got into some 85 degree plus weather and it is delinitely not working. Sssoooooo, soon as I make my drops Monday and Tuesday in MO & IL, trying to get a run down into Alabama, drop by and see the kids and get a little restocking done, then run back up to IL and get a load back out to the westcentral Texas area.  Will have to have the compressor and dryer replaced and the mounting block on the motor that the oil filters mount to replaced because it is leading around the freeze plug on the front side.

I had not noticed that I didn't get this published the other day....thought it had been....so here it is.  I'll have another post tomorrow or Tuesday with this run I'm currently on and how things are going....and hopefully will be in the Gadsden area by the end of the week for a day or so.  :-)


1 Pick, 5 Drop Run :-D

.....this all transpired this past week....little late in posting.  :-)

Here I sit in unpeaceful bliss!  Got to first drop in Bourbon, MO @ 0745....it is 0900 and still waiting to get unloaded. Safety is good until it starts costing unreasonable time frames. I was loaded by forklift...these guys are "looking" for load lift straps?  WHY?  I'll add a pic of the load later.

Now I know why the straps....drove out to a site where they are putting in new service, underground service, and they have to use a bucket truck boom to unload me.  Patience, Frog, patience!!  LOL  Took about 2 hours to get this drop off. That's the way it goes!

Once I was in, I asked when the last rain way....on a gravel roadway, narrow, one wide spot, and I was making ruts in the road that their bucket trucks were running over and not making any ruts!  I knew this would be fun!  I had them move 3 of their vehicles and it was still TIGHT!!  I thought it looked soft, it was acting soft....but I had no idea until I started getting turned around....you can tell from the picture that it was real soft off the gravel....in fact....I brought a fair amount of that field with me out onto the highway!  LOL  :-D

I got to my 2nd drop in Centralia, IL about 12:45pm. It was easy, just park on/in the street and get unloaded at a electrical supply business.  :-) 

Now my next drop is in Decatur, IL at what sounds on the phone like a BIG electric/gas company....the automated phone menu just goes on and on!!!  But they receive from 0700 to 2:30pm....I couldn't get there until 3:30pm at the earliest....soooo...I am in Vandalia, IL at the Wally here (it likes trucks!!! :-)  They have parking spots painted on the outside end of the lot for trucks). I will wander around for a bit, see if there are any DVD's that I don't have (probably not) and then come back out and relax. I'm 84 miles from Decatur, so will probably just wait until in the morning or late tonight before I head that way.

By the time I get dropped in Decatur I'll have 2 drops and less than 250 miles to make on this run and then I told Vanessa to find me a run to Atlanta/B'ham/Chattanooga/Huntsville etc so I could run thru Gadsden for a day. 

Update....I went ahead and had repairs done at the Petro shop in Gadsden.  So when I come out Monday morning I'll be ready to roll for a few weeks.

"Affordable Health Care"????? RIGHT!!!!!

Hi gang, this is just a quick post...I'm headed for Bourbon, MO to deliver in the morning, and only about 3 hours out if that far. Working on a 34 hour restart....but....while sitting here I decided to be "a good citizen" and take another shot at the "AHC" (Afforable Healthcare) site....AND......

I just wasted about 2 hours wandering around the site...which is still a pain in the butt, to me at least....using my Alabama zip for quotes...I use the word "quotes" loosely because the only "supplier" in Alabama for the "Marketplace" is BC/BS.  The lowest quote for me, my age is approx $490/mo thru them. 

I then decided to go back to the start page and use Tif's zip...to see what the "marketplace" would show me....and it mostly showed me one provider, but it was cheaper.....$476/mo.

Now this peaked my curiosity, so I went outside the AHC site and did a Google for "medical insurance coverage" and came up with all the big names....Humana, eInsurance or something like that, Aetna, etc.....and you know what.....they actually had policies, catastrophic, which is what I was looking for, and even with my age and checking "tobacco"....I could have gotten it for $124/mo....I could live with that.  But it had a disclaimer at the bottom of each window that stated (more or less) that these policies did not meet the AHC requirements!  So basically they are useless.

I then looked around to see just what was going on in the minds of the American public. I hit the Gallup site to see what they had....yes, we're at 6 million subscribers....the majority of the newly covered insured are low income and/or black individuals.....young folks insured is up (and I am proud for them, really am for getting insurance if the tax credits will be really, really good)....Americans overall still don't like being told what to do....over 66% of the public are currently and have felt that the medical system did work for them.....hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

So, in short.....I am still not "covered" and probably won't be.....not until I am 65 or over. I still don't like the "grand scheme" of the AHC reality and won't be. And I hope this does not bring the healthcare system to a screeching move into reverse in the quality of care that is now out there....because it is not all that great to begin with!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

In Abilene, TX...Once again! :-)

I'm in Abilene, TX again!  And taking a 34hr restart so that I can deliver Monday morning and then be at the Volvo shop for 2 days...finally have made it back to Tye so that I can get Bertha straightened out.

On the way up here from Houston, things went well....until I got about 10 miles out of the city.  Apparently they were having some sort of a money raising bike ride event and I got just a little pissed at the riders....Now don't get me wrong, I have no real problem with bike riders....as long as they stay in their lane or on the shoulder!


The trucks that I delivered in Rosharon, TX to the Mamoeth Yard for heavy haul got taken off my truck by "elevator"....they used a 2 inch thick piece of steel on the forks of a 10 ton forklift to back the trucks onto, then I drove out from under it, and they lowered each one like an elevator!

  A really novel solution to a problem that existed due to the fact that there was not a unload ramp/dock at that yard. And some of the equipment that they have for moving really big stuff is just amazing!




Of course, coming out of Houston was a blast, as usual!  Between the rush hour traffic, and then the construction (which almost got me lost/stuck!) it was just a blast!!  And Texas seems to have this "thing" for overpasses....they are everywhere you look!
 

I've been parked at a WallyWorld here in Abilene all afternoon and evening and will be staying here for the night. Really quite peaceful here, and right next to a large grassy area for Abbie.  I have gotten a little bit of "room" cleaning done, and a little rearranging....and I am surprised at how much room is appearing in my truck....one of these days I will get everything put up in its own little spot and all the useless stuff moved/thrown away!  Maybe!!  LOL

But right now it is about time to get ready for some sleep...and try to sleep with the smell of another pot of stew cooking!!!  And boy does it smell good!!!  I'm settling down to one pot of stew a week...and get about 3 meals out of it each time....and it is really getting better each time!  :-)

Everybody have a good night and a good Sunday....I'll watch the race, get Abbie some spa time, finish my "resting" for the weekend, and get ready to get Bertha all fixed up.  I am hoping to be in Alabama in just a couple of weeks, then again in June and August for a little time off each time.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Running to Houston!


Today was a pretty good day of driving....a bit windy, but overall a good day. Until I got to Houston...and you can tell from the pic, fuzzy as it might be, that there was quite a bit of traffic....at 11:20pm!

Apparently there was some sort of Rodeo Extravaganza at the big coliseum on the south side of town and it was closing down for the night as I was coming around town....it was like rush hour!  Unbelievable traffic for this time of night.  But got thru it fairly easily and when I took my exit to come down to Rosharon I left what seemed like 80% of it behind!  Thank goodness!

I will be offloading the two trucks that I have onboard tomorrow morning and then running up to Liberty, TX to load out for Abilene.  I deliver there Monday morning and will be in Tye, TX for 2 days or so getting maintenance done on the truck. 

Time for a little sleep and rest...hopefully!  I'll try to add more tomorrow and also a few pictures.

Monday, March 17, 2014

CA to OR to TX :-)






Just a quick update so that I don't forget to do it today. I got empty yesterday in Weston, OR with that whopping load of stainless steel equipment (5,835 lbs  :-D ) and am about to head to Clarkston, WA to pickup a 30' trailer to take down to the Houston, TX area.

It was a good drive up here from CA.  No issues, smooth sailing and good fuel economy.  

I was going to stay at the overlook on I-84 before you drop off to Pendleton, OR, but after watching the weather on the news from Portland, I decided to drive on into the drop. They were calling for rain/frozen mix on lower levels and snow in the passes of the Cascades....so off the mountain I came!


Got unloaded yesterday morning and Erin found me a load out of this "left coast country" and I'm headed back to the warmer climates!!  It was 38 degrees this morning with winds that went from steady 34mph up to gusts of 54mph....and with the damp.....IT WAS COLD!!!


Made it to my pickup point yesterday...thought I was loading up another flatbed trailer, but as you can see, that is not what I got!  LOL  Two pickup trucks headed for Rosharon, TX...I should be there by late Thursday evening.


Time to sleep. I'll try to get more on here tomorrow evening if I have signal.  :-)  I think it was Joshua that posted this....It is sooooooo true!!  LOL   I think that is the way a lot of the "new" drivers get in this world!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Waiting in CA....Oh the Joy!

All I can say is.....Here I sit in peaceful bliss....you know the rest!!

 As you can tell from this picture I am currently in one of my most unfavorite states in the union....and have been here since Sunday evening. I really have no love lost for CA...and it isn't getting any better as time passes on!!
 

I loaded out from Boyd, TX Friday afternoon. I have two items on me right now...they are car displays for a dealership in Milpitas, CA.  Actually they are quite neat...you drive the car up into the frame of the display, and then you raise it up to the top of the display. There are racks for signage on all 4 sides and light arms for night viewing (of which most of them are in boxes inside my cab..can you tell I'm thrilled!! ). But the really neat part is that once you have the auto raised to the top, and the doors closed and the signage in place....you turn it on and the auto rotates 360 degrees around on top...pretty neat little operation.


Be that as it may, I am still out in CA and sitting here waiting for delivery, because the forklift won't be there until today, but better yet, the signage is going to the house of the guy that is installing them, due this afternoon, and he lives 7-8 hours away, sooooo, needless to say, I won't be able to load out until sometime Thursday morning. That is just so exciting!!!!

But, the west does have some nice sunsets.....not CA.....tried to get a sunset shot out here and I don't think that they exist here!!  This shot is from AZ.

And the scenery on the road out to and back from CO is very nice! That white lumpy stuff is quite nice to look at...as long as it is not on the road
    
And I am always amazed at some of the houses that I see being built and already built....back to the Middle Ages???

And the cars that I stumble onto while on the road is amazing..I believe the first one is a early 60's Austin Healey, then on the car hauler is a 70's MG Midget, and this last one is a 1950's Chevy (I think, went by too fast to notice for sure!)


 
And 2 loads back, coming back out from CO it was NASCAR Hauler day!!!  They were headed for Las Vegas for the race and I saw a bunch of them rolling that way...both cup car and NationWide car haulers....eat your heart out, Brad!!  Hehehe!!! And the number of semi loads that it takes for the broadcast of the race is unreal...I stopped counting at around 9......mercy!!!!





 Well, it is time to go wash some clothes, stretch a bit, take Abbie out and do some fetch (her that is....I just throw and fight to get it back!!).  Then time to watch another movie or two and this afternoon I am making another pot of stew!!! Really getting used to having hot "home cooked" meals here in the truck...practicing for retirement!!!!
 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Made it to Kingman, AZ-Bath time for Bertha!

In Kingman AZ, getting Bertha a bath. Downside to this stop is im 8th in line...oh well...ill still be in Milpitas by end of the night.  :-)

Headed for CA

Spent the nite in Bellemont, AZ last nite.  About to roll the rest of the way to Milpitas, CA.  Will be there late tonight....then have to do another 34.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Back in Colorado

I'm back in Colorado again. Made a run from Kingman, AZ up Delta, CO. Dropped 3 pieces of pipe at the CDOT yard there.

 Then ran on up to Grand Junction, CO to drop 3 more pieces of pipe and 2 pallets of joints and connectors. 




Got it all off this afternoon and right now I'm sitting next to the Home Depot in Grand Junction using the wifi from Target across the road.  :-) 

It was a nice light load....it didn't break 10,000 pounds. So that made for a nice economical run....except for the roads in AZ and UT and part of CO....they were so rough that I ran about 55 mph for about 1/2 of the run.

 Erin has found me a run out of CO for tomorrow, should have the dispatch sometime fairly early in the morning. As far as I know right now, I'm heading for Lawton, OK from somewhere out here on the west side of CO.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Just a quick update!

Loading out of Kingman AZ. PVC pipes & joints going to Grand Junction & Delta CO.  Just for Brad....I've been shooting pics of N&S AR Cup & Nationwide haulers!  Heheheheheheh.   More later this evening.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Las Vegas tonight...from there?????

It has been a very restful time in the glorious city of Kingman, AZ....well, it has been quiet, anyway!!  Found a couple of really great parking areas, and within 5 minutes of driving there is Wally, Home Depot, Staples, PetCo, PetSmart, Big Lots, Sonic, Micky D's, Pizza, Wells Fargo.....LOL, get my drift!  A very good spot!

Just finished a new crockpot of stew...and getting better each time. This "brew" has the consistency of pulled port bbq...and did a little differently in the spicing of it and it has actually come our real well!!


 

On the way over here yesterday, between Flagstaff and Kingman I drove thru rain, sleet, rain, sunshine, sleet, snow and then the winds started up again! It was an interesting drive. But we got here all in one piece! And last night Abbie finally got to have a spa day....so she doesn't smell like a dust mop anymore!!

And of course, the scenery here is just fabulous! I am a little bit partial to it...in fact, I'm very partial to it. I just feel so much like this is where I will be a lot of the time once I get into my motorhome and stay on the back roads to see just what all I have been missing all these years!

 And, I have been looking for a "stealth bomber" antenna for my television for over a year, and out here I finally found one at the Pilot outside Gallup, NM. I just have to figure out where I am going to mount if on the truck now.  :-)

 
I am going to head on out to Vegas in a little while and find a spot to hide until in the morning. I delivery around 7-8am their time (9-11am CST), so hopefully I'll be rolling with a load by early afternoon to somewhere. But it has been a good run, except for the wind, again!  The last tank of fuel I averaged 4.38mpg...that is not acceptable!


 And of course, I can't sign off from here without sharing a pic of the sunset from the desert area of northwest New Mexico. I just love the skies out here...they really just can't be beat!!

Good Evening from the Sunny Southwest!!!  :-)





Saturday, March 1, 2014

The english language and life are perplexing!!! NOT!! :-)

"Obama revs up Dems as election year encroaches" ( http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/us_politics/2014/03/obama_revs_up_dems_as_election_year_encroaches )  Now I realize that I have always rather lagged behind in the English department of life....probably just my way to rebel against certain aspects of my younger life (yes, I was young at one time! :-p)...but since when can a non-living or non-emotional "thing" encroach on anything?!?!  Either I am slipping or the finer nicities of the english language have escaped me...and the article didn't make much sense either! Of course, it did come from the Boston Herald which might be the answer to all of this!!  LOL

Anyway, good morning! It is almost 8am CST and I am in Gallup, NM, spent the night in the Home Depot parking lot so I could have some good wifi. I have to give my drop a call this morning and let them know that I won't be there until Monday morning after all...the wind was hellish yesterday and it is still rocking my little apartment on wheels! But, soon as I finish this and eat some breakfast and go get some fuel, I will be headed on down the road to get away from the rain and Winter Storm Warnings that are all over this area. Time to get back to sun and shorts weather!

 This is an interesting load. Picked up 2 lifts in Irving, Tx, then drove down to Waco, Tx for the 3rd one. It is basically an interoffice transfer to the Las Vegas, NV office!  Las Vegas is the corporate office for Aherns Rental Company and they are out of these lifts.
 You can't really tell but the horizon is only about a mile out in this picture. I was trying to get a decent shot of the dust on the way thru the Panhandle of Tx, but it just wouldn't cooperate! But it was another very windy day. In fact, my fuel milage is pathetic again....I am about to just run along the coast and stay south if this keeps up for many more loads!
 BUT....the sunset was fabulous once again!  I got several shots, but this one looked the best. I have to admit that the sunsets in the west are probably some of the most scenic that there are in the states.
 And I stopped at a Pilot last night to get some DEF fluid ( I hadn't paid attention to the gauge and my little warning light came on with the warning that if I didn't get some REAL soon my enging would be degraded and I would not be a happy camper), so stopped to get $20 worth....and found this antenna for TV....and I had been looking for this antenna for over a year!  Then when I got stopped last night to look at it and decide where I was going to mount it I realized that it is missing the adaptor that goes from the antenna to the coax!!!!...and I think it had already been sold one time!@@!@! I Hate Pilot!  So I shall run 9 miles back this morning and either swap it out or get my monies back....but it really TICKS ME OFF!!!!!!

 http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/03/01/crimean-putin-russia-ukraine/5922731/   And why do we get all upset about the European turmoil when they have been tribal for eons (just like the Arabs)???  Why not just let them fight it out amongst themselves and it would simplify things...there would end up with one top dog eventually, their monies would be pretty well useless....and it would probably do a lot towards cleaning up their gene pool for a slightly better individual to emerge!!!

Well that sets me up for a good day of driving.....heheheheh!  I shall now get dressed and start my day out with my morning handful of capsules and pills and ASEA!  And it is about time for my 3rd first cup of coffee this morning!  

Later gang!!  :-)