Monday, September 17, 2018

Pop In Anytime

Here's a photo of custom sleeper trucks being worked on at ARI Legacy Sleepers in Shipshewana, Indiana.  We stopped in to have a few things done to the truck and buy a few new parts and I got to see the addition they built and the new amenities they added.  The last time we came through, I was sleeping so I didn't see the new building and other changes they made.

They now have parking for at least 20 trucks, water, and power hookups, an RV dump, a gift shop, a small parts and sleeper accessories store, a beautiful driver lounge, vending machines, and the very best addition - two washers and two dryers!  In the past, I've done laundry at the small laundromat in town, which was fine, but it's SO convenient to just walk across the parking lot and do a small load of laundry while we're here.  I was thrilled to be able to get that done while we were waiting.

Seeing all the new trucks they're building is very tempting.  Ed and I have talked many times about getting a bigger sleeper, and we may eventually do that, but for now I think we'll just keep what we have an continue to save money until the truck craps out or we can't bear not having more space. 

It's always fun to come to take a peek at the new sleepers they're building and each time we pop in, I collect more ideas.

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Downtown Flower Power

2016: You Don't Need A Hard Hat To Tackle A BIG AZ
2015: In Line For Service
2014: Nebraska. In Color.
2013: Ominously Beautiful
2012: Signs Of Fall
2011: Life Explained…By Graphs
2010: An Amazon Sized Beverage Supply
2009: He Wasn’t Hiding His Face Once The Camera Started Rolling
2008: Waiting To Be Served
2007: The Men In Mexico Are Snappy Dressers
2006: A Mystically Beautiful Day
2005: Rock It!!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

Haulin' Paulin

This week we had our entire tarping system replaced.  Well, not the hardware, just the tarping material.  The tarp was original, came with the trailer when we bought it from another driver in 2013, and although Ed has done some repairs over the years they've only been small holes or rips, nothing major.  The average life on this kind of tarp is two to three years and this one, being the original tarp that came with the trailer, had lasted almost ten.

Recently, though, he started to notice more spots that were wearing.  The trailer has a series of ribs inside, which slide along a rail, allowing it to open and close like an accordion to make loading freight easier.  The tarp along the ribs on the top had worn through enough to let some water in.  And we can't have that since one of the main functions of a tarp is to protect the freight from inclement weather.

Earlier this year I helped Ed repair some of the velcro closures on the back flap which involved hand sewing.  I had to buy a heavy duty 5" needle and coated heavyweight thread and then wear canvas gloves and use a pair of pliers to pull the needle through each hole.  It was a slow process and Ed helped, as there was no way I could have done it alone.

It was probably the hardest sewing job I've ever had, which includes the one time I helped my brother make a fitted cover for my nephew's sandbox in the backyard - my sister-in-law was worried that the cat was going to shit in the sand and contaminate the entire thing, so she wanted it covered somehow.  We installed snaps on the cover and on the sides of the sandbox so my brother could just snap the thing in place at the end of the day and take it off the next time my nephew wanted to play.  It was a big sandbox, at least 5' by 8', and looking back now, I think it was a genius idea!  But still not as hard as hand sewing heavy tarp material.

Quick Draw Tarpaulin Systems are the makers of the tarping system and they're the ones who did the repair.  It took them less than three days and it looks beautiful.  Well worth the money!

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2017: A Tree Sort Of Grows In Tucson
2016: And It Shows
2015: A Little Pizza Local Tastes
2014: The Longest Shortcut 
2013: The Only Way To Enjoy Texas
2012: Bleu Evolution
2011: They May Look Pretty, But They’re A Bitch
2010: Food, Family, Fun, And Poker Winnings
2009: Ring Of Moving Fire
2008: Everything Is Weathered In Weatherford
2007: Eddie The Professional Tourist Friday
2006: East Coast Tag
2005: Float And Set

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Between The Swell

Spotted Wolf Canyon rest area on Interstate 70 in Utah, about 30 miles west of Green River.

The interstate bisects the San Rafael Swell, dividing it into north and south sections.

The plaque at the rest area reads as follows:

"They call it the San Rafael Reef, a 30-mile long stone barrier, a sawtooth ridge at the eastern edge of nowhere.  For centuries, only the most intrepid travelers found their way through its narrow slot canyons and on to the Green River crossing.  The early Spanish explorers detoured 20 miles north to avoid the forbidding wall. 

In 1883 the Denver and Rio Grand Railroad also avoided breaching the Reef, laying track just east of its sheer walls, north to Salt Lake City.  In 1957 the decision was made to increase the nation’s interstate highway system and I-70 was engineered to bisect the San Rafael Swell. 

Here, at Spotted Wolf Canyon, workers would stand and touch both walls of the canyon before construction began in October 1967.  Engineers and surveyors used body harnesses and ropes to work as high as 400 feet above the canyon floor.  Crews excavated 3.5 million cubic yards of rock from the area at a cost of $4.5 million for eight miles of road. 

On November 5, 1970, the Utah Department of Transportation opened the 70-mile section from Fremont Junction to Green River for two-lane traffic.  Two more lanes were added in the mid-1980s."

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Don't Monkey With The Meat

2016: The Image Character Of Poop
2015: Buckeye Affluence
2014: Snaking Through Idaho
2013: Fun Funky Freaky Friday The 13th
2012: Scooting Around Town
2011: Eureka! Sand For The Golden State
2010: Eddie Lounging In Black And White
2009: Not Quick Enough For A Sunset
2008: We’ve Got Onions, Cream Cheese, And Choppers!
2007: Just Steps Away From The River
2006: The Anything But Itty Bitty Co-Op City
2005: What The Hell Are You Looking At? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

It's Really All About The Chee

Ed and I first heard about Tom + Chee in 2013 when they appeared on Shark Tank and recently while in Cincinnati we came across one of their locations and decided to try them for lunch because the right time for a grilled cheese sandwich is always. 

The place was very bright and kind of idiot-proof since directions for everything were painted on the walls in tomato soup and American cheese colors.
Ed reading the menu board deciding what he'll be eating.  They offered soups, sandwiches, salads, sides, deserts, and drinks.
Ed chose a cup of Classic Tomato Soup and the Westsider (Pepper Jack, Hearty White Bread, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Goetta, Fried Egg, Hot Sauce) and I had a cup of Classic Tomato Soup and just a regular Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Hearty White Bread, American Cheese).
Ed didn't love his sandwich, he thought it was way too cheesy.  And I think the Goetta threw him off a little - he said it was okay, but not remarkable.

My sandwich was delicious.  The bread was crisp and grilled to toasty golden brown perfection.  It wasn't greasy or soggy and the cheese was delicious and melty.  The soup was not my favorite, though.  It was way too tomato-ey, like eating a cup of pasta sauce.  Not creamy and smooth like the Campbell's Classic Tomato Soup of my childhood.
It's probably not a place we'd go back to - Ed said he wouldn't return - but I'm glad we tried it.  Grilled cheese sandwiches are a must-have every once in a while and I've found the best places to get them are East Coast diners and surprisingly, Dunkin' Donuts.

Much easier to find than a Tom + Chee.

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2017: Passed
2016: Ed Is The Estrella In This Scenario
2015: The Haus Of Cream Puffs
2014: Five Guys Fries Cap Off The Week
2013: Give It A Try
2012: The House I Live In
2011: Through Chicago To Cheese Country
2010: Ghost Rider
2009: I Only Think I Know A Lot Of Things…Here Are Ten Of Them
2008: Texas Love Bugs And Hurricanes
2007: Pimping For The Presidency
2006: Demographics Of A Lifetime
2005: Glacial Impact

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Apple In The Eye Of The Beholder

I grew up in New York.  Born in the Bronx and raabout 9ised 0 miles away.  I didn't go into Manhattan much when I was younger - once for the Barnum & Bailey Circus, once to see Annie on Broadway, a concert here and there - but did venture into the Big Apple once I was able to drive myself and visit with my cousin or friends.

Every time I drive into the city or even past the city, I love seeing it.  I love glimpsing it when crossing the George Washington Bridge, or while waiting at a train station, or from the other side of the river, or from the top of the Empire State Building, or from the streets within.

Although I haven't visited yet, I'm not in love with the look of the One World Trade Center building as it appears in the skyline.  I preferred the look of the Twin Towers.  It was more distinct.  Sure, you can still see the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building at night, both of which are classic New York, but without the Twin Towers, the skyline just looks weird to me.  I guess I just have to get used to it.  Work with it.  That's what New Yorkers do.

And no matter how you see New York, it's always beautiful. 

From any angle.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2017: Geometric Perfection
2016: Getting Ready To Hit The Friendly Skies
2015: A Community Of Makers
2014: He Can't Be Trusted Around Electronics
2013: Light As Air
2012: Remember The Living
2011: In The Pink While Manning The Wheel Of A Big Rig
2010: Still Standing
2009: Eddie Dumps It Friday
2008: Vicki Goes Hollywood
2007: Market Flora
2006: Now Where The Hell Did She Park My Truck???
2005: Channeling Angelina Jolie

Sunday, September 09, 2018

A Little Bit Of Emotion

Recently I downloaded the Bitmoji app to my phone.  And now I'm obsessed.

Believe it or not, my mother got me hooked on it.  My brother downloaded it on her phone, she created her own cute little avatar and then started sending them to me. 

I couldn't resist.  I had to make my own.  It's fun to create - pick your hair, facial features, clothing, etc. - and then use in everything from text messages to emails.  I picked the chubbiest body they had and dressed my avatar.

In turn, I've recruited Ed, Marlaina, and MacG.  Now we all send cute and ridiculous Bitmoji messages to each other. 

I'm warning you - it's so much fun.  

Get yours HERE.  

You'll love it.

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2017: Rainy Arezzo
2016: Snippet Of Texas
2015: Half The Size, Twice The Violence!
2014: Wildly Fierce Candy Cactus
2013: How I Spent The Day
2012: From Farm To Table
2011: Ups And Downs
2010: Three Men, Two Generations, One Passion
2009: Miss Tooth Reigns Supreme
2008: And This Is Why She Will Always Be A Maid At A Hotel
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
2006: Family Reunion Rules
2005: Chillin’ In Anchorage

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Art At The Arroyo

This week I came across some new art in Tucson.  I don't know how long it's been here since I don't venture to this part of town too often, but I thought I'd stop and take a few pictures.

I don't know what the name of the installation is, but I do know the artist's name is Chris Rush.
The drawing above says:

The smell of a fur coat; of tar; of an oil lamp blown out.  The taste of olives; of pastry; of chocolate.  Warmth of hot water bag; cold of a piercing wind.  The buzz of an induction coil vibrator; the preliminary a of the violin; singing in the car.
These can be found near the Arroyo Chico Greenway on East 15th Street and South Cherry Avenue in Tucson, Arizona. 

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Natural Endorphins

2016: The Road That's Actually Less Traveled
2015: The Glowing Red Triangle
2014: I Prefer IPY To DIY

2013: Heading To Primm
2012: Fashion (And Country) Forward
2011: Slowly Meandering Through Farm Country
2010: Long Beach Lights
2009: 4423 Humboldt Avenue
2008: Eddie Tourist Friday
2007: Ripe For A Dognapping
2006: What Lies Beneath
2005: Big Sky Country