Monday, July 21, 2014

A Decade Of Love, Travel, And Monkey Business

I'm not one to count anniversaries when it comes to dating.  Some women do the 16-year-old, "this is our one month/two month/three month/eighth month anniversary" thing.  I hate that.  But I do think it's valid to count years.  I did a post for our first year together.  I did one at seven years.  And today's marks ten years.

Ten years from the day I had my first date with Ed! 

Eddie and I have had some really great moments on the road.  In ten years we've been a lot of places together - 49 states, 10 of the 13 Canadian Provinces and Territories, Italy, Mexico, Honduras, Turks and Caicos.  Two cruises.  Numerous bike rides.  Millions of driving miles.

Thanks for the good times, Eddie.  Here's to many more!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Thirty-Thousand Square Feet Of Stuff To Spend Money On
2012: Truckin’ With Ed
2011: Way Better Than Seven Years In Tibet
2010: His Charm And Understated Humor Is Totally Contagious
2009: The Creature Comforts Of Home
2008: Checklist
2007: Happy As A Clam
2006: Two Things
2005: Good For Licking

Sunday, July 20, 2014

An Instagram Glimpse Of Interstate 64

Waking up in cloudy Mount Sterling, Kentucky.  One notable resident of Mount Sterling is Nancy Green, who was the original Aunt Jemima.  

Stopping for lunch in Nitro, West Virginia.  Its name was derived from the chemical term Nitro-Cellulose, which was a type of gunpowder that was to be produced in the town during World War I.  

Catching a glimpse of the gold-domed Capitol building in Charleston, West Virginia.  "The magnificent 293- foot gold dome which tops the structure is five feet higher than the dome of the U.S. Capitol. The entire dome is gilded in 23 ½ karat gold leaf applied to the copper and lead roof in tiny 3 3/8 inch squares."  It is magnificent.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: More Fun Than Mr. Potato Head
2012: Triage
2011: They Claim To Have The Most Sky
2010: No Escape
2009: Help Wanted. Must Have Own Cassock.
2008: It’s All An Illuuuuusion
2007: Tipping Point
2006: Snap Decision To A Healthier Life
2005: Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Embrace The Heat Of Miami

Grandma and Elvis in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami
Whether you're looking to spend a few days on the beach, heading off on a cruise, or just need a few days of sunshine, one of the closest places to get it - especially if you live on the East Coast - is to hop a flight to Miami, book a hotel room with the Venus of Travel, and start your adventure.

It's not all beach.  You're aware of that, right?

And it's not just a giant cruise ship embarkation point.

Yes, they have sun.  Yes, there are thousands of cruises in and out.  But they have culture too.  And ordinary buildings with extraordinary art - like this one, in the Wynwood Arts District, emblazoned with an intricate, eye-catching pattern.
And food.

And fashion.

Oh, the list goes on.  If you don't believe me, check out Pinterest for all the different parts of Miami people are pinning about.

And once you're done getting your tan on, check out places like Little Havana for authentic Cuban food, or Churchill's Pub in the Lemon City neighborhood for food (from breakfast to burgers) and music - from Latin Rock to reggae to jazz.

Since 1979, Churchill's has been known for the place to for bands new to the Miami music scene.  Next door to Churchill's is Sweat Records, a place that's keeping vinyl alive - you can walk into this café/music store/coffee shop/event space and pick out locally made items in addition to CDs and good 'ol fashioned records with hand drawn labels.

Lemon City was named for the copious lemon groves in the area and was initially a small farming community.  It eventually transitioned from agricultural to residential and became an area known for attracting immigrants from Haiti.

La Petite Haiti (Little Haiti) manifests itself in the brightly colored building reminiscent of the Caribbean homeland of its residents. 

In the cultural heart of the Haitian Diaspora you will find a little pocket of shops selling Haitian art, food, and books, in addition to nondescript variety shops selling inexpensive kitsch.
There's also the Little Haiti Cultural Center, whose objective is for the residents and visitors to the area to gain exposure to Afro-Caribbean culture.  The center opened in 2009 and houses a theater, art gallery, event space, art and dance studios, ceramics studio, and educational spaces.  And on the third Friday of every month they have a free event called Big Night In Little Haiti, bringing the entertainment, food, and fun together in one place.

This is Miami, my friends!

Start exploring.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2013: Oh, To Be A Kid
2012: Kind Of Like A Virtual Celebrity Bodyguard
2011: Jack & Jill Went Up A Hill To Fetch Some Aircraft Parts
2010: Live Longer. Live Better. And Be Sure To Have A Devil Dog Once In A While.
2009: How Can You Not Be In Love With The Man Who Invented Kisses?
2008: And We Wonder Why We’re The Fattest Nation On Earth
2007: Star Gazing
2006: Only A Southerner
2005: Do You Take Wolfgang Winkelmeyer To Be Your Lawful Wedded Husband?

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Original Walking Dead

I saw this door at Camp Lejeune and loved the bright red color against the muted tones of the bricks. 

The phrase painted on the door - "The Vietnamese called them The Walking Dead" - piqued my interest.  Ed, a former Marine, didn't seem to be able to recollect anything about it so I turned to Google. 

I found that The Walking Dead referred to the 1st Battalion 9th Marines infantry battalion formed during World War I.  During the Vietnam War, the "One Nine" as they were known, sustained the highest casualty rate in Marine Corps history.

Betty Jean Pulliam, former National President of the American Gold Star Mothers, who lost her 21-year-old-son in Vietnam on Mother's Day 1967 said, "Ho Chi Minh told them that he was going to kill them all, so just consider themselves dead walking.  So they called themselves the 'Walking Dead'."  

According to Wikipedia, "The battalion endured the longest sustained combat and suffered the highest killed in action (KIA) rate in Marine Corps history, especially during the Battle of July Two. The battalion was engaged in combat for 47 months and 7 days, from 15 June 1965 to 19 October 1966 and 11 December 1966 to 14 July 1969. Based on a typical battalion strength of 800 Marines and Navy hospital corpsmen, 93.63% (747) were Killed In Action (KIA) and 0.25% (2) were Missing In Action (MIA)."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Hey! It's A Million Degrees Outside. Wanna Help Me Move?
2012: Kind Of Like A Virtual Celebrity Bodyguard
2011: Things Are Going Just Swimmingly
2010: A Real Truck Driver Meets A Real Housewife
2009: Stars Glowing, Wine Flowing, Sax Blowing
2008: Western Ed Friday
2007: Salena Kandinsky
2006: Bam! Traumatized.
2005: Swing Low Sweet Chariot

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dreaming Of A Craftier Life

I've been crafty and creative my entire life.  From making macrame planters from the twine my father brought home from the post office, to painted dough Christmas ornaments, to beaded eggs (made with real, hollowed out eggs) for Easter, to sewing costumes for Halloween.

For a while, I worked for a woman who was a cloth doll maker.  She got me into it and even allowed me to participate, through the doll makers group she was a founder of, in a doll exchange with doll makers in Canberra, Australia.  Our doll group made dolls for them, their doll group made dolls for us, and we shipped them to each other.  She even went to Canberra to meet the women in the other group and brought back fabric for me that was emblazoned with kangaroos.  I still have it.

She made all kinds of dolls, amazing dolls.  She was extremely creative and had such varied ideas, and introduced me to all kinds of well-known doll makers in the industry, like Patti Medaris Culea, who was one of my favorites.  

Of the dolls I made, the pattern for the one above became one of my favorites.  I don't remember who I adapted the pattern from, but I used it many times and it got popular among my friends.  I sort of got sucked into making several of them because people I knew saw them and wanted to buy them from me.  I would ask color preferences and then put together a doll using whatever fabric I had that fit their request.  Before I knew it, I was spending my evenings sewing and stuffing.

I should have taken more pictures of the ones I made, but these are the only ones I can find.  I wasn't as good with the camera then as I am now, so the pictures aren't the best quality and I can't even tweak them to make them better, but at least you can see the different fabrics.  Not everyone loved the dolls - some thought the faces were creepy.  Clearly, those people didn't get one of my masterpieces. 

A guy I knew wanted me to make Crash Test Dummy dolls.  These are the two I did, and the only photos that exist of them.  I did a rush job, using black and yellow fabric paint to decorate them, and although they were very crudely sewn - with a very uneven stuffing job since he insisted on helping me make them - I still think they're kind of cute.
Every once in a while out on the road, I crave doing something crafty.  I have a sewing machine with me, I have a glue gun and Popsicle sticks from one of my past projects, and beads and wire earring posts from some other things I made.

I often think about jobs I'd like to have - working from a loft in a cool city, or living in a barn in the country - making a living from selling the things I make.  Here are ten items I'd like to attempt:

I envision natural ingredient soaps, in large chunky bars, wrapped in glassine paper and tied with rustic or colorful string.

Chèvre, Burrata, Ricotta, Gruyère, Asiago...oh, the list is so, so long.

Sterling silver, hammered metals, glass beads, unusual stones. etc.  I see the magazines in Barnes and Noble all the time and dream about starting the minute I get back to the truck.  Never happens.

Just bread.  Not a bakery with all kinds of bakes items, only bread.  The desire for this becomes stronger when I'm in a place like Beyond Bread or a local bakery and the smell of it baking makes its way to my nose.

Knitted  or Crocheted pieces
I don't know that I'd want to wear these pieces myself, because I'm always hot and don't see the need for a sweater-like item, but I have seen some really awesome pieces that I would love to create or expand on.  When I was in Montréal with Marlaina, out and about on our spa day, we went to a store called Myco Anna.  They had hats and scarves and gloves that were a creative mix of knits and fabric.  I loved them.

Stuffed animals and toys
There are so many really great stuffed items, mostly for kids, but also for adults that are unique and fabulous.  I see them in boutiques or unique shops in small towns and always say to myself, "I have to make something like that."  Some people just have incredible imaginations.

Up-cycled clothing using items you already own, or items found in thrift stores
This comes from a place of wanting something unusual.  No matter where you shop, there's always the chance someone else will be wearing what you are.  My grandmother used to say "you see yourself coming and going" when girls all shopped in the same store, buying the same stuff.  Of course we have online shopping now, which takes some of that away, but I've seen a few movies where the characters in them made a clothing item from other clothing items, creating something you'll never find anywhere else.

Along the lines of the ones in these pictures, meaning cloth, but more like these creative examples.

I actually looked into this about eighteen years ago.  My friend and I did a lot of research and I gathered a lot of information on pillow making.  It seemed to be an easy endeavor and after seeing pillows in stores that costs hundreds of dollars, I was sure it was going to make me rich.  I did not get rich from pillows.  Damn my doubts!

Gourmet foods.  Jellies, candies, breadsticks, chutneys, olive oils, spice rubs, etc.  Anything and everything to enhance a food experience.

How on earth am I going to fit everything into one life??

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2013: A Surprise In The Park
2012: A Little Red Water Never Killed Anyone
2011: Instantly Sexy
2010: Natural Light In Waterloo
2009: So, What Brings You To My Neck Of The Blogospher?
2008: Eternity Is Going To Be SO. MUCH. FUN.
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
2006: That Eddie Guy
2005: Pee Bum Head

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nature's Bounty Fills My Fridge

It's probably not the best idea to buy a giant watermelon when we have such a small fridge, but I can't go through the summer without them.  And I like 'em cold.  I like all my fruit cold.  So we loaded up on blueberries, strawberries, apples, white peaches, cantaloupe, apples, grapefruit, and lots of vegetables.  Yogurt, Eggs, a stray Diet Coke, cottage cheese in the back, milk tucked behind the cantaloupe.

The one thing I want to make sure we have in our next truck, is a bigger fridge.  I have a great pantry space, where I seem to be able to stock with pretty much all I need when it comes to dry goods, but the fridge area is just not big enough.

Although we still eat out and do hit the fast food joints, we do our best to have good food in the truck most of the time.  Ed's dropped 25 pounds in the last two months by eliminating bread and sugar (something he's never had much of in the first place) and eating salads, lean proteins, oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, and fruit for dessert.  He hasn't done a stitch of exercise and his weight loss is noticeable.  I haven't been doing as well, only losing about 8 pounds in the same amount of time, but hey, eight pounds is eight pounds.

We love the bounty summer brings and will continue stuffing our fridge and keeping the fruit bowl on the counter full with seasonal goodies for as long as we can.

What are some of your summer favorites?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Bags, Boxes, And Bikes
2012: Wrappers Delight
2011: Breaking The Spell
2010: It Never Ends
2009: 275 Square Miles Of Brilliance
2008: Four Standards, One Newbie
2007: Semantics
2006: 36 Hours Of Hell On Earth
2005: 11:11:11

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Looks Like A Regular Moon To Me

I don't know how people get such great pictures of the moon, especially when using their iPhones.  Even when it's a supermoon such as this one was supposed to be.

This was the best I could do from the front seat of the truck in a parking lot in Virginia.  

The moon is the blurry orb in the top right of the photo.  You know, just in case you couldn't tell the difference between the super parking lot lights and the super celestial orb all on your own.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Laundry Options For A Modern Trucker
2012: It Can Only Mean One Thing
2011: It’s Like Cheers, Where Everybody Knows Your Name. OK, So It’s More Like Where Just One Guy Knows Your Face.
2010: Social NOTworking
2009: Scattergories
2008: Time Isn’t The Only Thing That Flies When You’re Having Fun
2007: Anything I Want
2006: Burglar And Idiot Proof
2005: Virginia Is For Lovers

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Real Weekend

We were planning to go to Virginia Beach for the day, but the thought of the weekend summer crowds coupled with the thought of tracking hot sand back to the truck, made us change our plans.  I wasn't really in the mood to dig out all our beach stuff and then vacuum up sand grains for a week.

Instead, we got up late, had a good breakfast, took showers, went shopping, spent a few hours at Barnes and Noble, had dinner at Bonefish Grill, went to the grocery store, and then tried to get pictures of the supermoon.  I might tackle laundry tomorrow before the bag gets too heavy for me to move alone.

We actually had a real weekend - delivered our last load on Friday, pick up our next one on Monday - which is unusual for us.  What are you doing this weekend?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Gary Hits Me Up With Another Gem

2012: After Dinner Pusch
2011: Moments Before Sleepy Time
2010: Bakin’ It The Fake Way
2009: The Elegant Gathering Of A Life
2008: My, What A Nice Berg You Have
2007: The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Grapes Being Crushed Into Wine
2006: There Are No Words To Explain The Misery Of A Three Digit Temperature
2005: New York State Of Mind

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Total Throwback Thursday

I was looking through some old photos this week and came across these.  This was my first day "on the job" back in 2004.

I wasn't really a trucker yet, as I didn't have my license at this time, but it was one of the very first loads I went on with Ed that he let me get out and help him.  We were at the Newport News, Virginia marine terminal.  I don't even remember what he instructed me to do - throw this strap, tighten that one - but I was so excited to be part of it.

I'm wearing Ed's favorite fishing hat, his work gloves, and his plaid jacket.  It's probably the most trucker garb I've ever worn at once in the ten years I've been out here.

I don't know, maybe he was trying to scare me off by putting me to work on a cold, windy dock at a port, but it didn't work.

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.  I'm still here, baby!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  Attack Of The 50 Foot Chicagoan

2012: The Art Of The Merge (And Other Simple Courtesies Of The Road)
2011: Montana Fluff
2010: Stop The Presses!
2009: Fiesta Ed Friday
2008: Crotchety Old Woman
2007: One Side Of A Coin
2006: Why Oh Why
2005: Sign Of The Times

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Dodging Locals Under The Oaks

Heading south through Georgia to the Florida state line.  We drove past a lot of old plantations, complete with the old wooden shacks nestled among the Spanish Moss covered Oak trees.

I love driving these smaller back roads.  Drivers are crazy as loons, popping out of side roads without looking, and passing on double lines up hills and around curves.  But it sure is pretty!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: The Best Trail In Town
2012: It’s Even Better Than Having A “Plan B”
2011: Who Says Truckers Don’t Have Nice Legs?
2010: Boy, Have Times Changed!
2009: I’ll Have A Short Stack With A Million Scrambled Eggs On The Side Please
2008: It Came At A Perfect Time
2007: Experimenting With Scrotum
2006: Can Anyone Spare A Roll Of Pennies?
2005: Matching Purse And Flip Flops??

Monday, July 07, 2014

Shoving Off

After twelve days off - which included two and a half days for the Million Miler banquet and one day dedicated to 4th of July festivities - we are going back to work tomorrow.

Above is another container ship photo from Savannah which I'm using to illustrate us leaving the harbor of relaxation and heading back out into the big sea of freight.  Except with roads.  Aren't I clever?

Anyway, it's been hellishy hot and humid here in the South, but at least Hurricane Arthur missed us.  Unfortunately, the entire country is still painted the color of summer, not a blue spot on the entire map.

I don't know where I'm going to hide until Fall.    

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Bean By Day
2012: The Honey-Do List
2011: Following The Trail Of The Father Of Our Country To The Place Where A Cuckoo Flew Over A Nest
2010: Amid The Corn
2009: I’m Going To Be A Millionaire!!!
2008: How I Do Love A Colorful Lunch Plate
2007: Lucky Sevens
2006: My Head Has Been In The Clouds For Weeks
2005: Chunky Cheese

Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Value Of This Place Continues To Increase

If you're heading across the country on Interstate 90, and you happen to make it into the state of Montana, you'll want to stop at Lincoln's $50,000 World Famous Silver Dollar Bar, nestled in the beautiful Lolo National Forest.  
The bar was started in 1952 by Gerry and Marie Lincoln and has been family owned and operated since then.  The facility consists of a bar, restaurant, motel, gas station, and gift shop.  Inside, you'll see why they began by calling it the $10,000 Silver Dollar Bar, but have upped it to $50,000.

The silver dollar tradition started when someone got the idea to embed one into the top of the bar.  The silver dollars in the bar top are covered with a thick polyurethane coating.
It's been said that over 2,500 silver dollars are added each year.  When we were there in 2011, the "Today's Total" board read 58,390 silver dollars.
The bar has been full of coins for years, so in order to accommodate tourists and yearly donations, they started displaying them on the walls.
Each of the silver dollars display the name, and sometimes the location, of the people who donated them.  The ones on the walls are embedded in wood first, dated, and then the panels are numbered and nailed to the wall.
In addition to the unbelievable display of silver dollars in the bar, is the unbelievable display of kitsch in the gift shop.  They have the most unusual collection of...well, one internet reviewer said, "This place is completely loaded with crap. 30% Flea Market, 25% Grandma's Basement, 45% who knows what, but 100% manufactured in China."

He's 100% right.  But it's so much fun to sift through.  There's so much stuff, I can't imagine not coming away with at something.  Beaded Native American-style necklaces, bracelets, and eyeglass "leashes", anyone?  

Silver bracelets - real and costume.  The amount of faux bling in this place is fantastic.
 Plagued with joint pain?  Copper jewelry abounds.
We didn't patronize the bar or restaurant, so I can't speak to the quality of either, but this place is definitely worth a stop.

You can't miss it.  The billboards will lead you right to its treasures.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Bursts Of Light And A Bean

2012: Cool As A Cucumber
2011: I Think We Have A Winner
2010: Progressively Yours,
2009: Spill It
2008: I’ve NEVER Colored Inside The Lines. Why The Surprise?
2007: I Didn’t Make It, But I Ate It
2006: Sorry, no post for this day.
2005: Slim Or None! I’ll Take None.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

True Independence

Since we were still in Savannah, we decided to watch the fireworks show the hotel we were staying at put on for the Riverfront 4th of July festival.  We were parked in the adjacent convention center lot and took our bikes to the waterfront to get closer to the festivities.

There were a lot of people.  They brought tents, BBQ grills, tables, lawn chairs, coolers, snacks, drinks, and tons and tons of kids.

I didn't realize so many people made such a big deal out of this.  I guess it's an evening out with cheap entertainment.  We never went anywhere to see a fireworks show when we were kids.  My father and uncles would give us sparklers and then they'd shoot off a bunch of fireworks in the yard, but we never left our own property.

Actually, I never intentionally went anywhere to see fireworks as an adult either.  It's been more of a thing in the last few years because we're out here on the road anyway.  And even then, it's not really a planned night out, it's more of a can-we-get-close-enough-to-see-them-in-the-truck? sort of thing.

The show was pretty good.  Lots of giant, colorful bursts.  Music from two different bands playing for the crowds on the river.  And Ed brought our folding camping chairs, so we had really great seats.

Hope you all had a great Fourth wherever you were!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Pyrotechnic Parade Across The Midwest
2012: Plane, Train, Or Automobile – Just Get Me To Canada!
2011: Hello, Kitty. Who’s Your Friend?
2010: If It’s Good Enough For Homeland Security, It’s Good Enough For Me
2009: The Top At Dock
2008: Night Interrupted
2007: Just A Train And A Tree
2006: This is One Lawn Boy I Have No Desire To See Naked
2005: Not So Cuddly

Friday, July 04, 2014

Have A Berry Happy Fourth Of July!

photo credit:
Who needs fireworks when you have a berry galette?  Or crostata, as we call it in Italian.
Since there's ricotta in the dough, I deem this one Italian.

Get the recipe HERE.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Relieved Of Civic Duty Just In Time For America's Birthday
2012: Blind With Patriotism
2011: Independence In The Town Of The Big House
2010: It’s So Much Prettier
2009: Soap Box Derby – Spavinaw Style
2008: Eddie’s Independence Friday
2007: Miss Independent
2006: Independence Day
2005: The Mother Road To Independence

Thursday, July 03, 2014

River Alarm

This ship's horn woke me up yesterday morning.

As they move slowly up the Savannah River, they let you know they're coming.  The sound is long, deep, and loud.  So loud, I heard it inside the building, under the covers, over the hum of the room air conditioning.

It's cool seeing these ships passing by, we've hauled many of the containers that go on them.  The most amazing thing - which was more noticeable when we were down by the river watching them pass by - is that they're so quiet.  You don't hear them at all.  They cut silently through the water.

They share the water with the old-fashioned paddle steamers, the hotel ferry, and local boats, all of which are dwarfed by their massive size, slipping past the riverfront shops and restaurants.  If you make the picture bigger, you can see the paddle steamers docked in front of the gold-domed City Hall building.  They're tiny in comparison.

And if you want to track the container ships going in and out of the Port of Savannah, you can follow them at Marine Traffic.  The information on the vessel in the photo, the MSC Melissa, can be seen here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: A Face Only A Mother Sniffer Can Love

2012: Rolling In The Deep
2011: A Castle On A Bluff
2010: The Skies Really Are Friendly, No Matter Who Is Flying In Them
2009: Eddie Beach Feet Friday
2008: Panoramic
2007: My New Motto
2006: Fake It Till You Make It
2005: Feria Colour Strands

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

A Successful, Safe, Million Mile Driving Man And His Timepiece

Last night was the Million Miler Awards Banquet.  There were one, two, and three million milers, and one guy who received the Lifetime Achievement Award for driving four million safe miles.  Four million miles.  Can you even fathom driving that much?

We had a nice dinner, sat with a real decent group of people, and watched as each inductee joined the CEO on stage for photos, recognition and gifts. 

Each of the new one million milers were given a jacket displaying their one million mile status, and the Presidential Clock Ed is holding.  Will you look at that?  Isn't that just gorgeous?  No, not the clock.  Oh, the clock is nice - it's got a hand-finished solid forged brass case perched on a rich, solid mahogany base, and comes from a company that's been making clocks for over 115 years - but I'm talking about Ed.  In that suit.  SO handsome.  He's the real star.

OK, so back to the clock.  It's engraved with Ed's full name and yesterday's date, in addition to the company logo (very tastefully done and not at all noticeable from the front of the clock, thank God) along with the words "Million Miler".  It's the perfect gift, a great way to remind us how valuable time is.  It also reminds us that working too hard isn't the best way to spend that time.  Because you can never get that time back.

So the next million miles will be more of what we've done in the last million - trucking, travel, dining out, meeting friends, visiting family, snorkeling, picture taking, and keeping track of the good time we're having.  With that clock.

It's going to look so great on the dashboard.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2013: In Hot Pursuit
2012: The Spotlight Isn’t Just On The Community
2011: The United States Of American Cheese
2010: Waiting
2009: My Mother The Jihadist
2008: Perfectly Reasonable Defense
2007: Provocative
2006: Sidewalk Sushi
2005: $4,000 Worth Of Tupperware