Sunday, February 15, 2009

Trucking Sucks! At least this week.

Ya know, truck driving has slowly grown on me thru the past few years. It is a love/hate relationship. I enjoy it more than I don't now - and will enjoy it alot more, once winter is over. But, these last 10 days or so have sucked big fat rotten eggs. We have had truck problems to the point of having to be towed off of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, on a hill with no shoulder, in frigid temps, in the dark. Not fun. Since we were broken down, we had 3 pre-planned trips, that were going to give us really good miles for the following 4 days, but those got taken away, and we got no miles. Oh well, crap happens.
So, we figure we will rebound get a load west and hopefully do better this last week. Ha! Exactly a week after being towed, the same problem hits again in the middle of freakin' Wyoming. Not a good place to be with a truck that doesn't want to stay running. So, we have to go into a shop AGAIN. We are then late on another load, so we get a crap load out of Portland, due to being late. A storm is rolling in and so we decide to try to out drive the storm. We fail in outdriving the storm and so we here we sit 14 miles from the California border. I-5 is closed at the moment due to an accident. It has been alternately closed due to snow, ice and wind - or has been limited travel with full chains over the mountain passes for the past 2 days. Our load is very light and I don't chain if anyway possible. If I have to put chains on, then I shouldn't be on the road. This is my philosophy, I have chained, I have pushed the limits of my truck and my skill, or lack there of and I have finally realized that it is not worth the stress, the agony and the probable accident. No freight is so important that it is worth hurting someone because I was stupid and was on a road I had no business being on. Alot of drivers give me crap for my attitude about chaining, they call me a pussy girl that doesn't want to get her hands dirty. I am usually not very nice to these boys, and I usually give them an earful, which is kinda fun. Don't underestimate the short fat white girl.
If we had known we were going to be stuck, we would have hung out in Portland and visited with the Dad and family. But, alas, this is not the case. Idiot Me. So, here I sit in a dirty old truckstop, with dirty old truck drivers, and I whine to you, because I have nothing else better to do. I have slept till I can't sleep anymore, I have read until I can't read anymore, I have wandered until I can't feel my toes. I have played more games of Hearts and Freecell on the computer than I have in my entire life. I AM FREAKIN' BORED and I want to get driving and get some miles, because I am tired of being poor. Okay, I am done whining. (for the moment).
We will deliver our load of furniture to Modesto, Ca and Santa Fe Springs, Ca. as soon as we can get over the hill. We then have to put our truck in the shop for an oil change and tire rotation, we will then hopefully be able to get a few miles toward the end of the week.
I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day. Steve and I were wild and crazy. We said Happy V Day to each other and that was it. WooHoo! Well, I am going to go into the truckstop and see if there is an interseting movie to buy. If I can't make any money today, I guess I will go spend some. Love and miss you all, T
P.S. I will get into a better mood before blogging again, so that you are not subject to my ranting. : )

The Twinkie vs. The Butterscotch Krimpet

So, if you are a Stephanie Plum fan, you will know what a Butterscotch Krimpet is - or if you are a regular East Coast visitor. Steve and I finally found a display of Tasty cakes in New Jersey last week. So, being the adventurous souls that we are, we bought a variety of Tasty Kakes and to our sadness, we were disappointed in our purchases. Hostess kicks Tasty Kake butt!

A Butterscotch Krimpet is a dry sponge cake with frosting and no filling. We were hoping for snack cake utopia, but alas we were disappointed. Oh Well, life is full of disappoinments.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

In California, Again

We are in Barstow tonight, at least for a few more hours. We are 75 miles from our delivery point in Fontana. We did a beer load to Montana the first of the week and then got a flour load back into Ca. We had the choice to drop the load Saturday night/Sunday morning and go to Milwaukee, Wi, ICK! Or we could deliver our load at 2 a.m. Monday morning and then get a killer load to Greensboro, NC. The Milwaukee load had numerous drops on it and would have taken us forever, plus it would have put us up into the winter tundra that is Wisconsin. We chose the one stop Ralph Lauren load. We pick up a loaded trailer Monday afternoon and then drive 2500 miles and drop the loaded trailer at Polo/Ralph Lauren in Greensboro, grab an empty, yes we don't have to wait and unload - WooHoo - and hoof it to our terminal in Hickory about 80 miles away and wait for a furniture load coming from there to another one of our terminals back on the west coast. We should be in Greensboro by Wednesday evening, but we probably won't be able to drop the trailer until Thursday morning, but that is alright, that will give us a load out of Hickory Thursday night and that will be our weekend load. It will give us about 5000 miles in 5 1/2 days. That is a good week in truck driving, especially lately. Freight is really slow for everyone, so we are thankful for what we get, but is sure is nice to have a good week mixed in with all the bad to mediocre ones.

Taz, Tazzer, Goober, or The Little Old Man

Sometimes I just don't know what to do about our little old man. One day he acts like a puppy and the next day all he does is cry. Well, he sleeps about 20 hours, so anything he does is in very short little spurts, cuz he wears himself out. I can't believe how attached we are to him. When my Mom asked us to take him, it was a total no brainer. I never really wanted a dog in the truck, but if we were going to have one, Tazzer is the one to have. The Vet says he has Doggie Dementia which is so sad, along with all of his other ailments. We only notice it when he cries, and we have to hold him to mellow him out, and when he stares at the wall. He goes into this sort of tranze and just stares at the wall. He doesn't respond if you talk to him during his little moment, but if you touch him he jumps like you totally scared him and then he is fine. We are very lucky to have our little old man.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Is it new dishes?

We spent Christmas in Bakersfield with some of Steve's family. He and his brothers and sister got together and bought their mom a laptop for Christmas. This is the filet mignon of laptops. She had no idea what they had been cooking up, at least that is what she claims. Someone suggested that the heavy box must be a set of new dishes, and she believed it, until she read Toshiba on the box and then realized, Toshiba doesn't do dishes. She is loving her new computer. Her old one made it miserable to even check her email. Now, she is turning into a computing maniac.

Winter Driving

Isn't is beautiful? - NOT! I love winter, when I can stay home and look at it and shovel snow. I hate it when I have to drive a truck in it. This is I-90 in South Dakota on a good section of road that day. We were going about 10 miles an hour. Luckily we were heavy, the lighter truck were having to chain up, because they couldn't get enough traction on the ice to keep themselves moving. I was driving, but it was so bumpy on the ice that Steve couldn't sleep and so he pulled out the camera and took a few shots.

I love it when we are up together. That was the only good part about having to drive in the mess was that Steve was up with me for a few hours.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What we lost when Steve hit Bambi X3

I didn't get a picture until the remaining parts of the mangled bumper with hair accents had been removed. It was the saddest thing. Gotta love the tacky zip strip attached license plate. He did this damage back in November. We had to sit in Missoula for 5 days waiting for bumper parts. It was not a fun week.

One of the cutest people in my life

Okay, you can't tell me that this sweet face isn't one of the cutest kids you have ever seen. I took this picture while on vacation in Utah this past summer. This is Stacie's youngest and she I bonded over the week. Kids like me at this age, cause they don't know any better. Pictures like this make me miss ALL my kids. The best part of having sisters is their kids. (Sorry Girls, but it is the truth, heehee)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

3 Years, Yesterday. . .

Can you believe that yesterday was my 3 year anniversary of being a truck driver? I was "officially" hired by Watkins and Shepard on January 13, 2006. Time flies when your havin' fun? I guess that is what the quote is supposed to be. Seriously, I do enjoy this job more than I ever thought that I would. It won't ever be my dream job, but it has it's perks, like any job.

We are in Baker, CA at the moment. I was done long before I should have been, according to the odometer. We spent most of the day circling L.A. It was a day of getting loaded, scaling, moving tandems to try and get legal weights on all of our axels - which is not fun when you have a low fuel warning going off and you don't have enough weight available to fuel and still be legal - Diesel fuel is heavy people - 8.7 pounds per gallon - as an average. This is the moment when the thoughts of "How do I get this to work?" turns to leaving the husband and the dog on the side of the road with $20, a baggie of dog treats and telling them good luck, and see ya when I get back from Montana. Would I do think that? No, not me! Or we could try and drink our weight in beer and then we should be able to fuel, oops, that won't work, I don't think we would pee it out before the next scale house. Man, I think I am running out of options. Anyway, i figured it out, while Sleeping Beauty snored behind the curtain, and that puts us in Baker.

The only things that I am going to accomplish tonight are taking my turns in Wordscraper - on Facebook - my mother is killing me. Walk into the Del Taco to borrow their potty, and buy something with cheese in it - too many oranges the last few days, oh, sorry, a bit t.m.i. Put on my jammies - my Christmas ones, I think. Feed the little ole' man, the big ole' man can fend for himself, we are parked next to a Del Taco. Then read my book until I fall into exhausted slumber.

Hope you all are having a nice evening, talk to you again soon.


Friday, January 9, 2009

The Wonderful Wind

Hi Ya'll,
Well, our trip has finally run into a bit of a hitch. We were hoping to be into Vancouver, WA this evening, but alas, no such luck. Steve was driving thru the middle of Montana last night and got pulled off the road by the Road Gods (Montana Highway Patrol) due to high winds and blowing snow. We only have about 7000 pounds on our trailer and so that basically means that we are a giant wind sail. This makes it so we can't make it to our 1st stop by the time they close their doors this afternoon. So, we will get unloaded in Spokane, WA Sunday morning and then head into Vancouver Sunday afternoon. I am still not sure weather we will have a load waiting for us or if we will sit there over night. I was hoping for a visit with my Dad or Steve's brother, Rick, but I doubt that either of those things will be happening now. Bummer!

The black ice and snow is starting to melt in the canyon that is about 10 miles in front of me, so I am going to get going and get us into Missoula for a shower and a hot meal. Hope you all have a good day. Love you, T