Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Warm Fuzzies

My mother belongs to a group called The Holy Needles, a knitting group through one of the local churches. They formed the group in early 2009 to create beanies, blanets and booties for needy newborns in the Tucson area; in just one year, they've delivered over 1,500 items to local hospitals.

They were recently asked to make small fleece blankets for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Arizona Medical Center. In researching their fleece options, someone suggested they look into
Polartec who may provide end bolt pieces or scraps of fleece for them to make the blankets with.

Well, not only did Polartec step up to the plate, but they donated SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY YARDS of fabric!! And paid for the shipping. Holy Shi Needle!!!

I'll admit I don't know a whole lot about Polartec, but isn't it nice to see a company doing something for someone other than themselves? Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

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I’ll Get You My Pretty
The Kind Of Misunderstanding That Can Never Fully Be Explained
Let The Adventure Begin
Coming Soon

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do You Think Raquel Owns A Dog And Gets Enough Potassium?

I am 42.4 years old, but according to RealAge test results, I'm 43.7 years old. At the end of the test, it gave me a plan, showing the things that made my RealAge younger and the items that made my RealAge older.

It breaks each category down into Health, Habits, Relationships and Fitness and within each of those categories, it tells you what you need to do to lower your RealAge. According to the plan, the following are the things I do good and bad.

Apparently, it does me good to be a non-smoker, to sit in the non-smoking section (since secondhand smoke kills more than 40,000 people a year - hear that, all you smokers out there??), to not speed, to wear my seatbelt and to get just the right amount of sleep. It also keeps me young to drive a large vehicle (uh, like I have a choice), to have a diversified diet (I wonder if they see Dunkin' Donuts as diversified?), to brush my teeth often and to have perfect blood pressure (I'm always at 120/80).

As for the bad...I need to floss (I'm big on brushing, not so much on flossing), learn my cholestrol levels, not talk on the phone while driving (even though I do it hands-free by using a headset!) and work on getting an air-bag in the truck.
I also need to get more Vitamin E, boost my folate, potassium, and omega-3 intake and eat more fruit. And apparently, I should also buy a dog. Yep - supposedly they keep people young (well, pets in general, so I might have to get a rig kitty).

The fitness area is where I fall short. I need to get my heart pumping, lower my heart rate and shed the extra weight. No shit. Eddie and I did exercise in the truck today - my Walk Away The Pounds video. It was actually pretty awesome; we had enough room for the both of us to do the video and it only took thirty minutes. I can handle thirty minutes.

Overall, I think I can make some minor adjustments and get that 1.3 year spread to lessen a bit. In addition to getting in more exercise, I think I'm also going to print out pictures of Raquel Welch and post them all over the truck for inspiration. She may wear wigs (from her own line) and she may have had some plastic surgery, but at 69 years old, she still looks damn good.
Find out how old you really are. Take the test HERE.

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No Need To Do Anything Drastic; There Will Always Be Re-Runs
Beautifully Retro
Ready, Set, Go!!
Giving New Meaning To An Ambulance Chaser

Monday, March 29, 2010

Try Finding A Parking Space For This

We thought we had seen the biggest truck on the road until we saw this:
The Big Red is the longest 5th wheel tractor known in the United States. It's 45 feet long from bumper to bumper with a 21 foot sleeper and two 11' x 6' LED screens with sound on the sides! It has slideouts like an RV - one on each side. It was awesome!

But...since it's primarily to be used for advertising and not actual work, it's not something we'll ever be seeing on the road hauling freight anytime soon but it was definitely a show-stopper.

Go to their website to see some video of the Red Giant in action!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

More Than Halfway To A World Record

The world record for the most female CDL holders in one place is 416; and it's held by The Netherlands. The Netherlands? Can't they be happy with all their tulips, windmills and wooden shoes, do they have to get in on the women truck drivers too??

Although we didn't break the world record, we did set the record for North America; this weekend, 275 of us girls came together to celebrate at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY. Check us out! If you click on the picture to make it bigger, you'll be able to see me - I'm on the right hand side of the picture, directly behind the woman in the pink cowboy hat holding the Canadian flag. This is not the "official" group picture, Eddie took this one for my blog.

Among the women in the group, there were sixty one-million milers, twenty-eight two million milers and fourteen three million milers. THREE MILLION miles. Fourteen of those women drove three million miles EACH. Truly amazing.
But you know what the best part of the day was, completely unrelated to the Women in Trucking event or the group photo?

As I was leaving the event, a man I saw earlier in the room said something to me as I approached him. I didn't hear what he said, so I moved a little closer and said, "Excuse me?"

And then in a bolder, louder voice he said, "You are HOT."

Who really gives a shit about a world record after that kind of compliment??

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When You Need Your Hump Fixed, This Is The Place
The Flight, The Hotel, The Walk And The Sleep Deprivation
A Lot Of Beauty, A Little Citrus And A Mini Moo

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Final Count

This is the official photo taken by the photographer hired by the Women In Trucking organization. He was standing on a ladder which allowed him to see the entire group at once.

The final count came to 290 female CDL holders. Definitely a record; for North America, that is. There's always next year!!

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Eddie My Little Ex-Marine Friday
Delayed By Lipgloss During A Period Of Elevated Security: A Travel Debacle Ensues
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
Your Cat Is In My Garden

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wake Up In The Morning, Put Your Hand On Something Useful, And Take Care Of Yourself And Your Family *

Today at the MATS, Eddie and I met a television icon; actor John Ratzenberger. Who hasn't had Cliff Clavin from Cheers in their household at least once in their lives?? John Ratzenberger was at the show to pay homage to the working class men and women of the trucking industry. In a recent article in Road King magazine (the one on the table in front of him, which I got a signed copy of!) it was written that he is using his fame to raise awareness about the importance and rewards of blue-collar jobs. He was quoted as saying "Being an actor is not a necessary job, nor is being a baseball player or a rock star. They're nice jobs, they're fun, but driving a truck is necessary for civilization."

His largest initiative according the the article, is
Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs; the foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturer's Association. He said the mission of the foundation is to "Give children tools and watch them build America". I love that. In fact, the foundation's motto is the "Dedicated to nurturing the tinkering spirit".

The sad thing is that not many parents nurture that tinkering spirit in their children. John Ratzenberger said "We're running out of people who know how to make things and we've neglected to teach kids the skills that can capture those jobs. Where are the mechanics, or the people who are going to build trucks, or operate the machines that make their parts?"

John Ratzenberger got the idea for Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs when he was traveling around the country filming his show, Made In America, for the Travel Channel. Many of the employers he visited thought the problem of the diminishing workforce was just a local thing, but it turned out to be a nationwide trend.

There was a survey done in 2009 that found only 17% or Americans named manufacturing in which to start a career and only 30% of parents said they'd encourage their children to go into the field of manufacturing. That same year, another survey was done that listed electricians, carpenters and welders as among the hardest jobs to fill in America.

When I met him today, I told him that my grandfather was a welder in the Bronx and worked on the Tappan Zee Bridge (I figured he'd know the bridge since he was from Connecticut). He joked and said, "He must not have been afraid of heights." I explained how I was aware of the fact that not a lot of people are going into the fields that our parents and grandparents were in, any of the skilled labor trades. He said, "Right. They're telling their kids to "go to college". But you know, you can make $80 an hour being a welder."

I told him my brother owned his own company for over 20 years, that he was a tile contractor and essentially started out as his own labor. He continued to build his business and now, although he still does a lot of the custom design work himself, is involved in large projects with small crews on each job, but that it's very hard to find people who want to learn a trade, perfect a craft.

In the article he said he believes part of the reason fewer and fewer students are going into trades is something truck drivers are familiar with - the portrayal of blue-collar professions in TV and movies. "The media has played a big part in demeaning anyone who works for a living, so why would a child watching that depiction want to go into that? They don't understand the manual dexterity, the intelligence needed to create something."

When I see my youngest nephew play in the dirt in my mother's backyard or pile bricks to create his own "building", I see someone who is passionate about what he's doing. After all, this is the kid who asked for a jack-hammer and blow torch for his birthday this year.

I think it's our responsibility to encourage more kids to ask for jack-hammers and blow torches. Teach your kids to tinker. Show interest and help them when they express the desire to build something. Encourage creativity. Set an example by showing your child how to work with their hands by doing so yourself. Make your mission the same as the Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs foundation's mission.

Nurture the tinkering spirit.

* The title of this blog post is a direct quote from John Ratzenberger.

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Atchafalaya Whaaaaat??
3 YEARS AGO: There's A Skirt On The Door For A Reason
South Of The Beijing Border

Thursday, March 25, 2010

That Beotch Owes Me Dessert

I have ZERO tolerance for annoying things. That said, I also have to admit that I find a LOT of things annoying. Today, I'm only going to tell you about one of those things.
No, not the ones in my head, the ones of other people. Before I tell you what prompted this post, I'll tell you another short story that will illustrate my dislike of annoying voices...

I had moved out to Arizona and needed a job. My brother owns his own company (he's a ceramic tile contractor) and although he didn't have anything for me to do for him - I don't do manual labor and that was the only thing he had, work that required a lot of labor - he got me a job at a carpet store where he knew the owner.

Well, the first day was just miserable. Not only was the place visually depressing (I must have aesthetically pleasing surroundings), but the girl I worked with, at the desk next to me, had a voice like Minnie Mouse on helium. I couldn't take it. Every time she answered the phone, I felt like I was the only dog in the neighborhood hearing this high pitched horror.

So when I went to lunch that day, I left a note on my desk telling them that I wouldn't be back and they could send my check for the hours I worked to my home address. I never went back. Of course, my brother never helped me get a job again, but oh well. At least I didn't quit by leaving a Post-It note on my computer screen like my friend Kim did. We worked at the same place when that happened and I must say, it was a delicious day. The owners of that place are Evil Overlords and their henchmen were just one step behind that evil...obviously hired for their likeness to the head EO's.

Anyway...that was just one experience with an aggravating voice. Another one happened last night when Ed and I went to dinner at Maggiano's. We were seated in a cozy little corner booth in the back, which I liked because we only had people on one side of us, but that wound up being the problem.

There were three men and one woman. And the woman, within the first five minutes of us being seated, was driving me nuts. They were all talking business and all she kept saying as the men were talking was "Right. Right. Right. Right. Right." No "I see what you mean.", "Absolutely.", "Oh, definitely." or even an "Uh-huh." Just rightrightrightrightrightright. Over and over.
And not only was that word the only thing I could hear, her voice was SO nasal and so pinched, I couldn't focus on anything else. Picture Fran Drescher toned down with a little Katie Couric. I tried to tune her out but it didn't work, and since she was sitting facing me, I couldn't even ignore her.

Nothing ruins the pleasure of dining out for me (except kids in a restaurant - that'll ruin a night out in a heartbeat), especially if I'm eating gnocchi, but this woman almost did. I actually couldn't wait to leave.

I even gave up tiramisu just so I didn't have to sit there another minute!

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A Peek Behind The Sacred Pantry Door
Thistle Or Thatle
Big, Rich And Free
Look, Honey! A Grist Mill

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Silver Shoes, Cliff Clavin, And A Guinness World Record

I've been on a shopping tear for about two weeks now. I was bored with what I have and I'm tired of looking at the same clothes; I just needed new stuff. I also needed to get the rat's nest on the top of my head taken care of and was hoping to get that done before the end of the week.

I have already purchased two new pairs of jeans, four tank tops, four great blouses, two bras, a new purse, and yesterday both Eddie and I got haircuts. So that's done. But I still needed to get shoes, which is as much if not more of a nightmare than bra shopping, so when today started out as an especially productive day, I was hoping that tone would continue into the shopping portion of the afternoon.

Eddie changed the oil in the generator this morning, worked on the trailer a little bit and then replaced the driver side headlight that had been flickering the past few days. Once that was done, we headed off to the nearest mall, which happened to be one we had been to before. Let me refresh your memory - it's the place where some lady
thought Ed and I were terrorists. Yes, seriously.

Anyway, we specifically went there so I could hit Nordstrom's for a pair of desperately needed flats. Nordstrom's is just one of a very small number of stores that carry shoes for my gigantic, Amazonian feet (sometimes an 11, usually a 12!). And they usually have a large variety of styles. You can imagine how thrilled I was when the salesgirl brought out boxes of shoes that fit my boats! I got
this suede one in a beautiful taupe color and this fabulous metallic one in pewter. I'll eventually order a few more pairs online, but this should hold me for the next few months. We're going into summer and my summer footwear consists primarily of flip-flops, which I bought six new pairs of last week, so I'm good.

My super score of the day though, came in the form of a pencil. The highly prized
shu uemura Hard Formula (H9) eyebrow pencil! I have been trying to buy this for months but you can't just get it anywhere; regular department stores like Macy's and Dillard's don't carry the shu uemura line and Nordstrom's or Neiman Marcus aren't on every street corner. I could've ordered it online but that would mean I'd have to go home to get it and I just knew I couldn't wait that long. Perfect brows, here I come!

Once those two critical items (shoes and eyebrow pencil) were purchased and tucked safely in my Nordstrom's shopping bag, Eddie and I hit Maggiano's for dinner. It's the only place on the road where I know I can get gnocchi, and although they're not my grandmother's gnocchi, they usually satisfy my longing. But, after our stuffed mushroom appetizer and salad, I found that I wasn't all that hungry and I knew there was no way I was going to finish the giant portion, so I had them pack it up to take home. Yay! lunch for tomorrow.

And speaking of tomorrow...
Tomorrow we go to the MATS!! MATS, The Mid-America Trucking Show, is held in Louisville, Kentucky every year at this time. It's the largest trucking show in the world. Thousands of exhibitors, thousands of attendees and thousands of square feet to cover; almost too much to see in the three days it runs. In addition to all the exhibitors, every year one of the large companies sponsors a free concert for the attendees, and even the years when I wasn't too familiar with the peformers, the show was still great! And two years ago, I got to see my favorite group, Sugarland! This year it's going to be John Anderson and The Grascals. I'm sure it'll be a good time.

I'm always excited to go and this year is a little more important to me because an organization I belong to, Women In Trucking, is going to do a "Salute To Women Behind The Wheel" by taking a group photo of women drivers in an attempt to set a world record for the Largest Gathering of Women Truck Drivers. I'm going to be part of that photo!

The other thing I'm excited about is meeting John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin from Cheers), the host of the TV show Made In America, which ran from 2004 to 2008. During that time, he traveled the United States visiting factories and workshops, meeting the people who make real things and take pride in what they do. He's now working to bring attention to the jobs in our country that are disappearing every day as people start to retire, and points out that there aren't people being trained to step into the vacancies left by those workers. Jobs like electricians, carpenters, welders, machinists and yes, truck drivers. A survey in 2009 done by Manpower, Inc. said those first three jobs are the hardest jobs to fill in America. No one really learns a trade anymore and he believes the portrayal of blue-collar professions in TV and movies has played a big part in demeaning anyone who "works for a living." I think too many kids out there think they actually have a chance at making millions playing pro ball or worse, becoming a contestant on a reality show!

Other than those two highlights, Ed and I love to walk the show to check out any new items the industry might be introducing, get ideas for things we want to buy for the truck (every year, Ed buys something), meet some of the other drivers who are leased to our company (and get free lunch!), renew our OOIDA memberships (it's always cheaper at the show), check out the truck "beauty show" and just enjoy the people watching. And let me tell you, the people watching is soooooo worth it. And I will tell you right now - there won't be another soul in the 300,000 square feet of that convention center who'll be wearing silver shoes, but I will bet my pay for the month that I won't be able to count high enough to keep track of all the people I'll see wearing wolf and wildlife t-shirts!

As I people watch and gadget shop, I also pick up free stuff for my nephews. There are tons of vendors who give away free stuff that kids love; baseball caps, stickers, toy trucks, keychains and the ever present yardstick. Yep - every year you will see hundreds of attendees walking around with a wooden yardstick displaying some vendor's name on the face of it. I don't know what these people do with that yardstick, but I do know they're very popular. And year after year, I don't think I've ever come across the booth that hands them out. WTF?

Sooo...I will report back with any interesting tidbits and hopefully won't post pictures mocking anyone who reads my blog. Those of you sporting mullets - you have been warned!

See y'all tomorrow!

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A Bevy Of Pavo Cristatus
How Much Happy Can A Dollar Buy?
The Heat Is On
The New York Catch And Release Program

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dick. Not A Dick. Which One Are You?

My friend Charlie sent me an email yesterday explaining how he became more courteous on the road (he's a New Yorker too, and we all know us New Yorkers aren't known for our courtesy) due to something he learned on my blog. Here's what he had to say:

"Thanks to you I am now a very courteous driver. I flash my lights when a trailer clears my nose, give merging trucks the right lane, and no longer race to beat a rig to the toll plaza. Today I was driving the Cross Bronx in the rain. There is a nasty merge where trucks coming off the Deegan Expy have to cross four lanes of the Cross Bronx to get to the upper deck of the bridge... all in less than 1/4 mile. So I slowed down and essentially held traffic for a lady hauling a bunch of pipe. She made the merge and flashed her lights. When I passed her on the bridge she held up a handwritten sign that said 'Not A Dick". You have taught me well."

I actually think I know exactly the cross-over he's talking about, but even if I don't have it right, getting on the bridge is a bitch. Even in a car. I'm very familiar with that area as my cousin and I drove it many times as we left Westchester County to head into the city. And unless you know what you're doing and where you're going, don't expect anyone to let you in. You have to move fast and be precise. They don't cut you any slack.

So not only did Charlie learn a valuable lesson, but he was able to put it into action and see immediate results. If only everyone was so quick to learn and willing to apply it.

I think I might even have to pen my own sign, Lord knows it'll get a lot of use.

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First The Poultry, Now This
California Moon
Ryno And Rob
Living The Dream

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sometimes It Takes A Libra Two Weeks To Make A Decision

When I was home a few weeks ago, I had to take my camera in for repair. We have several cameras in the truck but I personally have two; my big one, that I only use when I feel like carrying it around and the little one which is always with me. Always. And it was the little one that needed a little fixin' up.

So I took the camera back to Best Buy for them to send it in for the repair, which wasn't even anything all that crucial and didn't even affect the operation of the camera (it was just some odd pixelation on the LCD screen), but I figured since it was still under warranty I should have it fixed while I was there. The Geek Squad said they'd contact me when they had some news.

Well today I got the news. My camera was not fixable. Nooooooooooooooo! Seriously? But I la-ha-hoved that camera! Then, I got more news; I was told that I could get a new camera at any store nationwide as long as it was comparable in spec and price. Oh, yay. So Eddie and I went shopping! This kind of shopping is a harrowing experience for me because I like to do all of my research beforehand, compare models and features and know exactly what I'm going in for. I really didn't have time to do that today and since we weren't home, we just punched the nearest store into the GPS and headed over there.

When I bought my camera less than two years ago, I paid $299.99 plus tax. It had 8 megapixels, a 4x optical zoom and my favorite feature, the 3" LCD screen. It was easy to use and perfect to slip in my purse or pocket no matter where I was going. I was used to its size and weight in my hand and every single one I picked up in the store just felt so foreign. I was certain they all just too heavy, too bulky and didn't love my palm the way my last one did.

They all had more mexapixels, as was expected since it's two years later and whenever you buy something these days they seem to come out with something better the next week, and they all seemed to have smaller screens. I was so undecided, I thought I was going to have to leave the store. Not only couldn't I make a decision, but it was a gazillion degrees in the store, so I wasn't going to be able to stay much longer anyway and my head was sweating as I walked round and round the camera counter looking and touching.

One thing I did know; I wanted a Canon. That was not negotiable. And the real thing that was killing me was the damn zoom. One had a 14x optical zoom and the other had a 4x optical zoom. My old camera only had a 4x zoom, which worked fine, so I really could have gone that way, but 14x zoom was just staring me in the face. Besides, I'm a very lazy photographer; most of the photos you see on this blog or on my Flickr page have been taken from the seat of the truck, out the window. I like to get stuff as I'm driving by. Man, that 14x zoom was just calling my name.

The dimensions on the new one are slightly, and I mean slightly different than my old camera. It's .4" longer (you do understand I mean less 1/2 an inch, right?), .5" thicker (my old one was 1" thick, this one is 1.5" thick) and just a wee bit wider, which didn't matter so much. It just feels different in my hand. And, t
he 4x zoom one had a 2.7" LCD screen, the 14x zoom a 3" screen, although it was weirdly rectangular, I love a 3" screen. But then, the 2.7" screen, 4x zoom one came in this crazy ass orange that I LOVED. Arggghhh!

I had to consult with Ed. He helped me decide by telling me that not only did the one with the 14x zoom have a faster shutter speed, manual modes like an DSLR, new features that the other didn't have, but it also had the ability to shoot HD movies.

So I
got it. Spec-wise, it's better than my old one and it cost me next to nothing; I got a $300.00 credit based on the old camera and this one was $350.00 so I only had to pay the difference. But damn that indecisive Libra zodiac sign of mine, because I got it in black and am now thinking I should return it for the purple one.

I'm not even opening the box until I make that decision. Thank God I have 14 days.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
What The Hell Is This?
What It’s Like To Bee Watched By More Than Twelve Million Eyes
My Man Is Ripped!
Take Two Caramel Lattes And Call Me In The Morning

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Changing It Up

As you can see, I'm making some changes to the ol' bloggerini. Initially, I really wanted to utilize more of the page, spread it out a bit. Now I'm not sure if it looks TOO spread out. And because I'm a total novice at this, I can't figure out how to make the pictures in the posts themselves, BIGGER. They look a little puny now.

To see what my blog used to look like, the width of it, go over to Gi-Gi's new blog,
The Other Side Of Gi-Gi Roxx and check out that template. That's what I used to look like, only with a white background. Tell me what you think. Oh, and tell Gi-Gi what you think of her new blog too, while you're there!

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1 YEAR AGO: They Gots Lots Of Soul
2 YEARS AGO: Eddie Calculates Everything Friday
3 YEARS AGO: Working On It
4 YEARS AGO: The Bird On The Hill

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Humor That Needs A Humidifier

Tonight Ed and I were watching TV and as I flipped through the channels, I came across the Chiller network. They were showing a documentary on the world's most "spine-chilling" sites. One of those sites was Lake City, Colorado, where cannibal Alferd Packer was known to reside.

As we watched the re-enactment of a guy eating people's flesh, I winced and turned to Ed and said with disgust, "How do you eat a person??"


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Eddie Is He Wearing Trousers?? Friday
Soon To Be Yummy Snack Food
This Is What I’ve Been Doing Lately

Friday, March 19, 2010

Practicing For Retirement

So the RV park won out. Here's a picture of the truck in our spot and as you can see, it's not too busy but we do have neighbors. If you enlarge the picture, you can see my head sticking out of the back screen door.

I think I could get used to this, but we really need a way to get around when we're sitting in one place. For right now, the Smart Car is out but we have been thinking about either mopeds or bicycles. I actually went on a bicycle "test drive" the other day and was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. OK, granted, it was inside the store and there were no hills, but there was a breeze in my hair!

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Truckers Are So Sensitive
Light Sweet Crude
A Antiquing Conundrum
How Can You Not Love This Face?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Looking For Loads In All The Wrong Places

Well, we're sitting around Virginia Beach trying to find a load to Nashville. I am planning to visit my best friend for a few days before the truck show in Lousiville, so Eddie is trying to find us a load that goes directly there. So far, no luck.

The plan is, if we don't find a load by the weekend, that we'll go hook up in an RV park and hang out for the weekend. We had our truck outfitted to hook up to power, water and sewer the last time we were at ARI and since then, Ed has been dying to see if it works.

The only plan for the day right now is lunch, Barnes & Noble and then maybe a nap. It's exhausting looking for work.

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CTRL Freak
1. Cut String 2. Walk
Amish Down The Lane
The Competition Is Stiff

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Only Thing It Extends Is The Humiliation Of Having A Small Johnson

Today I saw a commercial for Extenze, another "male enhancement" product. In addition to telling you that there is "no reason" for a man not to have a larger penis and a better love life, they introduced Jimmy Johnson (former football coach and sports broadcaster) as their new spokesman.

What better person could they have gotten as a pitchman for their product than a guy whose
first name and last name are slang for "penis"?

And you know what's even better than that?? They're having some kind of contest in which you can win the opportunity to have dinner with him.

Yeah, cause that's what every guy using Extenze wants; a dinner date with an old man so they can talk about the length and girth of their penises and how much it's changed since they started using Extenze.

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1 YEAR AGO: Wishing You All A Happy Lá Fhéile Pádraig
I Suppose There Should Be Some Sort Of Award For This
Table Talk
Cats And Grandchildren Make Great Indentured Servants

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Yeah, Cause Heidi Klum Is So Easy To NOT Notice

The list of my favorite TV shows is short, but on that list of favorites is Project Runway. I've even convinced Eddie to watch it with me. Although his eyes aren't glued to the screen every minute like mine are - I watch the cutting of the garment, the stitching of it, the fitting of the models...just everything! - he definitely sits through the runway show at the end and allows me my comments as he just shakes his head. He rarely has a comment. I don't even think he knows what he's looking at. But I know he watches.

In one of the recent episodes, the challenge was to make a dress that a celebrity was going to wear on the cover of Marie Claire magazine. That celebrity turned out to be the host and judge, Heidi Klum (who I love by the way). The winner of the challenge was Anthony Williams (who I also love), and that is his dress in the cover photo above.

Fast forward to this week when Eddie and I were doing one of our "magazine and latte" visits to Barnes and Noble. I roamed the store and picked up my armful of magazines while Ed set up his laptop to do some work on learning more about building websites.

He got up to get us coffee and as he sat back down at the table, he pointed to the magazine on the top of the stack and said, "Hey! That's that guy's dress."

"What?" I said.

"The guy. From the show." he said.

"Ohhhh. Oh my God. I can't believe you noticed that. Wow, baby, I'm really impressed. I didn't think you even paid attention to the show."

"Yeah... Well... I don't. I just know stuff." he said.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Busy Week
Small, Yet Mighty
Riding The Rusty Rails

Monday, March 15, 2010

Would You Rather Sit On Your Ass All Day Eating Cheetos And Watching TV, Or Would You Rather See?

We're driving along the interstate when all of a sudden Ed blurts out, "That's what I'm going to do when we have some down time...I'm going to have Lazy Guy surgery."

"Lazy Guy surgery??" I said.

"What???" he looked at me, crazy like.

"You said you're going to have Lazy Guy surgery. What the hell is that?? Do they put the lazy in or take it out??"

"Not Lazy Guy, you dope. Lasik. Eye. I'm going to have Lasik Eye surgery."

"Oh. Well that makes much more sense."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The First Bit Of Spring
Pop Secret
The Kind Of Shopping That Makes Me Want To Commit Suicide, Right There In The Middle Of Macy’s
The Benefits Of Memory Loss

Sunday, March 14, 2010

If Only It Were Dollars Instead Of Miles

This month marks my having driven over 225,000 SAFE miles! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you crazy California drivers!! Well, if you can call sitting in traffic for most of your day, driving.


Only 775,000 to go before I hit the big time.

Stay out of my way you wiley four wheelers!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Last Bit Of Winter
Eddie Fr-eye-day
Authorized Personnel
Stolen Zillow

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Joke's On Us

I recently read an article that covered trucking humor. As they pointed out in the article, everyone at some point is a newbie driver, so these jokes apply to almost everyone at some point. But the interesting thing the author discovered, was that maybe ten of the country's largest carriers accounted for eighty percent of the jokes.

The following are some from the article and a few others I found online:

Rookie driver comes into a hardware store. “What do you need?” asks the owner. “I just started working for a truck company and was hoping you sold CB handles.”

Why doesn’t Werner have a tanker division?
They lost too many drivers due to drowning when they tried installing load locks.

A trucker sees a road sign in the distance that reads “Low Bridge Ahead.” Sure enough, he gets stuck under the bridge. When the police officer arrives at the scene, he approached the drivers and said, “Looks like you got stuck, huh?” The trucker replies, “No, officer, actually I was delivering this bridge and I ran out of fuel.”

Did you hear about the Schneider driver that got arrested in El Paso for hauling dope?
He had two Swift drivers in the bunk!

What happens when you knock over a Schneider egg (orange barrel)?
It cracks open and a Yellow Freight driver is hatched!

A veteran driver sitting in his rig at a truck stop sees a Swift driver trying fruitlessly to back into a parking space. Finally the Swift driver gets on the CB and asks for help. The vet goes over and helps him get into the space. The Swift driver offers the vet $10, but the vet declines, saying “Keep your week’s pay, but if your truck had a trailer on it, I would accept it.”

What does WERNER Stand For?
We Employ Rednecks No Experience Required!

What does CRST Stand For?
1) Caution Really Stupid Trucker!
2) Caution Really Slow Truck!
3) Crash, Roll & Stunt Team

What do you call 365 Swift trucks traveling in the same direction?
A year’s worth of experience!

How can you tell where the JB Hunt drivers fuel up?
All the lot lizards have engagement rings!

Why did McDonalds ban JB Hunt drivers?
They kept tearing up the playground equipment!

Why does JB Hunt paint their trailer doors yellow?
So the driver will know which end to hook up to!

What does Prime Inc stand for?
Please Remember I Mortgaged Everything. I Need Cash!

How do you know a JB Hunt Driver has been to your house?
Your old lady is knocked up and your mailbox is knocked down!

What does ROADWAY really stand For?
Really Old Ass Driver Working Another Year!

What does JB Hunt stand for?
1) Just Beginning to Hold Up Nation's Traffic
2) John Boy Has Us Numb Nuts Trucking
3) Just Been Hired UN Trained

What's the difference between a Jehovah's Witness & a Freightliner?
At least you can close the door on the Jehovah’s Witness!

What do you call a “chicken truck” without the lights?

Why does JB Hunt paint their truck frames orange?
So when they roll their truck everyone will think it’s a Schneider truck.

What do you get when a JB Hunt driver leaves a truck stop?
Two parking spaces!!

Did you hear Peterbilt, Kenworth and Freightliner are going to make a truck together?
They are going to call it a “Peter Worth Shakin”

How do you make a million dollars in trucking?
You start with two million!!

What do you call a JB Hunt driver with a reefer unit?

Why do some Roadway trucks only have one seat?
So the driver knows which side to get in!

What does Swift Stand For?
1) Slow Wagon In Fast Traffic!
2) Sure Wish I Finished Training!
3) Sure Wish I Had A Faster Truck!
4) Stop Whining I'm Fucking Trying!
5) Slow Women In Freightliner Trucks!
6) See What I Fucked Up Today!

This Swift drivers with a hot load hit snowy weather. It got worse and worse, so finally he pulled over and called dispatch to say he was going to wait for it to blow over. “Unh-unh,” said his dispatcher. “You find a snowplow, get behind it and go. That load has got to get there!” So the driver did as instructed. He spotted a snowplow and off he went in pursuit. An hour or so later, the snowplow driver radioed the big rig. “I’m done here at the Walmart. If you wanna keep following me, I’m going over to the Target next.”

While driving along the back road of a small town, two rookies came to an overpass with a sign that read, Clearance: 11’ 3”. They got out and measured their rig, which as 12’ 4”. “What do you think?” one asked the other. They driver looked around carefully, then shifted into first. “Not a cop in sight. Let’s take a chance!”

Why are Interstate Dist. Co. trucks painted green?
So you won’t notice them laying on their side in the ditch.

How do you say JB Hunt in German?

What does ENGLAND stand for?
Every New Guy Leaves After Ninety Days

Why did JB Hunt stop running doubles?
Because the top one kept falling off.

What did the driver say to the truck?
I play with your stick all day and all you give me is gas?

A JB Hunt driver was wandering around the truck stop in a panic. A Swift driver walked over and asked him what was wrong. The JB driver told him that he was 2,500 pounds over gross and although he only had to go five miles, there was a scale on the way. The Swift driver said, “Well, when you get up to the scale, turn off your lights and coast on by.” The JB Hunt driver thanked him for the good idea and went on his way. When he passed the scale, he was pulled over by the DOT. The Swift driver explained to the officer what the JB Hunt driver told him and was surprised it didn’t work. The DOT officer told him it would have worked….if it had been nighttime.

What’s the difference between JB Hunt and Schneider?
30 gallons of orange paint.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eddie Monsignor Starbucks Friday
All The Better To Smell You With, My Dear
Neon Railroad
I Left My Heart…

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Voice Of Tucson Speaks

The Tucson Citizen has been the evening paper for Tucson, Arizona for at least a hundred years longer than I've lived there, but the print version has gone the route many newspapers have gone these days, out of "print". Fortunately, The Citizen is not gone forever; it has an online version. And I'm in it!!! (Eddie, too!)

First, let me give you a little blurb from The Tucson Citizen's own website:

" is a compendium of blogs that serves as The Voice of Tucson, written by Tucsonans for Tucsonans. The bloggers and citizen journalists here provide news, information, opinion, commentary and perspective on the issues, interests and events that affect daily life in the Old Pueblo.

Mark B. Evans and Ryn Gargulinski, veteran journalists who worked for the print edition of the 139-year-old Tucson Citizen, administer the site. They also have blogs.

Their goal is to provide a Web site that gives voice to people who want to inform their community about issues that might not attract the attention of the daily newspaper or TV news and to provide their fellow citizens different points of view about the issues of the day that differ from that of the dominant editorial voice in the city – the Arizona Daily Star."

One of those veteran journalists, Ryn Gargulinski (and I don't know which I love more, her first name or her last name....I've said both out loud several times and still can't decide....Ryn? Gargulinski? Ryn? Gargulinski? Damn, it's such a fun name!), has done a column on me (and Eddie) in today's edition.

Please click
HERE to check it out and let me know what you think, good or bad. I can take it, I'm a trucker.

And if you have a little spare reading time left over, be sure to check out Ryn's own personal website to see some of her poetry, her fun wacky yard art and her AMAZINGLY creative, original and loveable (check out the cats!) illustrations. Hey...I wonder if she's ever thought of drawing a truck driver? Hmmmm. Go get Gargulinskied!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Crossing Over To The White Side
Eddie Voyager Of The Seas Friday
Indiscriminate Discrimination
Dancing Queen

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bonnie And Clyde Meet Toni And Frank

Today when I woke up, I had a text message from my mother asking me to give her a call when I got up. So I did. It didn’t sound urgent so I thought it might just be to give me the latest gossip or to fill me in on whatever boobery (to quote the Hags) was going on in the 'ol homestead. Apparently, there was much boobery.

“Hey Mommy. Whatcha doin’?” I said when she answered the phone.

“Ugh. You wouldn’t even believe.” Exasperation in her voice.

“What??” I said.

“Well, Frank came in the bedroom this morning while I was making the bed and he was looking for his shoes and jacket as if he was going somewhere, so I said to him, ‘What are you doing?’”

He said, “Well, Billy’s coming to pick me up.”

“Why?” my mother said.

“Well, I didn’t want to say anything because you can’t drive, so I’m having him come get me.” he said. My mother has a “boot” on her foot because she broke her ankle, so she hasn’t been able to drive. The broken ankle incident is a whole other story.

“What is he coming to get you for? Where are you going? What’s wrong? Are you having heart palpitations, because if you are, Billy isn’t taking you anywhere. I’ll call 911 and you’ll go right to the hospital.” She was worried because Frank has a habit of not telling anyone when he’s not feeling 100%. Let's just call it Old Stubborn Man syndrome.

“No, no, nothing like that. I just found out yesterday that my license expired, so Billy is taking me to get a new one.”

“Oh,” said my mother, “they didn’t let you know it was expired?”

“No.” he said.

“Well, that’s unusual. I should go check mine too. I have no idea when it's due to be renewed.”

So she went to check her license and found out that hers had also expired. In August.

But that’s not the best part. When she asked Frank when his expired, he hesitated. Then he pulled out the license, looked at it and said, “2008.” Great. So she’s been driving illegally for seven months and he’s been on the lam for almost two years!

What’s next, grocery store holdups??

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Finally…A Bib That Is Both Functional And Accurate
Trickling Down
Anonymously Yours,
Over 7,000 Feet Of Pristine Beauty

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't Miss The Latest On TDR. Today At Eight, Noon, Six And Midnight!!

I hate when I get behind with my blog posts. This week we've been working like crazy. Lots of driving, not a lot of down time and no time for me to formulate and type up my blog posts. Every once in a while, I will have posts written in advance for times like this, but I'm fresh out. It's kind of hard for me to do that anyway, since I usually write about stuff that's currently happening. If there are no posts, it usually means they're stored in my brain and I don't have time to write them. Or I don't have any, period.

I can't say anything too exciting has been happening, we've just been running back and forth clear across the country; California to South Carolina, North Carolina to Texas, Texas to Pennsylvania, New Jersey to California and then California to Tennessee. Non-stop on the move. I haven't cooked a meal in a week and haven't left the truck in days.

Next week I hope to be in Nashville visiting my best friend, and the week after that Eddie and I will be attending the
Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY. That's always a good time and there is so much to see. And they always host a free concert for the attendees, which I usually love.

Let's see, what else? Well, my cousin's boyfriend is turning fifty this year and she's planning a trip to Italy in October to celebrate. We've been invited to join them, so I've downloaded a bunch of podcasts from to try to learn some Italian before I go. I might as well learn something while I'm driving in the wee hours of the night. Anything is better than hearing Brooke Anderson's annoying voice; she's one of the hosts of Showbiz Tonight on HLN. Even that annoys me - HLN - they used to be CNN Headline News. I guess they want to be a three letter network like the other guys.

Speaking of three letter names, perhaps I should start referring to my blog as TDR; The Daily Rant. "Today on TDR we'll be talking about the latest antics of Salena's mother..." or "TDR reports that the fuel prices are on the rise again..." I think I kinda like that.

Well, I guess that's about it for now. I have a few posts in the works and I'll try to get them out soon and next week I'm sure I will have pictures from Nashville and then the truck show. Finally, it's picking up around here, so do come back.

Stay tuned to a special announcement on TDR this week! You won't want to miss it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
No Hothouse In Sight
Till The Cows Come Home
Salt Lake City Special
It’s More Expensive To Say No

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It Once Had A Life

I took this picture while we were stopped at a traffic light in Indiana. The first thought I have when I see buildings like this is, what did that used to be? I try to imagine what it was like when it was brand new, perhaps on a street where horses and buggies rode by. Maybe it was the local merchantile or soap factory or feed store.

The second thought I usually have is, wouldn't that be cool to fix up and live in?? There are so many building that have great bones, lots of space and just sit, abandoned and forgotten. I think of the character in the movie Flashdance, and how she lived in an industrial building, turned into a great loft space. Or those people in Country Living magazine who turn an old firehouse into their home. The problem with a lot of these buildings is that they happen to be in depressed areas of town, in the "bad" neighborhoods, some of them clearly houses for bums and drug addicts to hang out in. Obviously, that's not the kind of neighborhood I'd like to live in.

But it's just a shame that someone doesn't see the potential of some of these downed areas and try to revive them; bring them back to life. People would rather go build somewhere else and leave these areas to deteriorate and fade into the past. Instead, they could keep part of their town alive and make it an area where others would want to live, work or shop.

I think of how we'll never be like Europe, with buildings that are centuries old, where the architecture has been preserved and celebrated. When they find our civilzation, thousands of years from now, it'll be a bunch of hollowed out Walmarts and vast, vacant parking lots strewn with shards of bargain dinnerware and pieces of clothing stamped Made In China.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Encased In Plastic

Because I am a nut about dirt/mud/dust/etc. in the sleeper, Eddie came up with a solution even I hadn't thought of. I told him he was going to have to take off his shoes outside but then he said, "What if I wear plastic bags?"

GREAT idea! So that's what he did. He was the only guy on the jobsite with plastic booties and a happy girlfriend.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
No Lifeguard On Duty
Palm Sketches
You Know Who You Are
I Fear The Family

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Ed Unloads An Oil Platform

Ed takes the straps off our load of oil rig platforms. One of the rare times we've actually loaded and unloaded on a weekend.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
You Never Know When You Might Need It
Eddie Climbs A Wall Friday
What Showing Off For Your Kids Looks Like
What’s It All About?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Oh, Mother!

About a week ago, I ran into a girl I hadn't seen in 13 years. I was buying perfume for my mother and went into a local department store. We used to work together in cosmetics at this very store, I at Estee Lauder, she at Clinique. I was surprised to see her but it was a good surprise. She's a great woman. Always smiling, always in a good mood and always letting out her great laugh. She hadn't changed a bit.

I said to her, "I heard you had a baby..." and she said, "My baby is now twelve." Oh. Well, it had been a long time, I couldn't possibly have known. She caught me up on what all the girls we used to work with were doing and who she still kept in touch with. I was telling her all about Eddie, my nephews and Mommy.

"Mommy??" she said, laughing.

"Yeah, Mommy." I always call my mother "Mommy", especially when talking to friends.

I guess a lot of people might think it's odd, since I'm forty-two, but what should I call her? "Mom" seems so sixteen-year-old boy, "Ma" so unfinished and "Mother" so uptight, formal and cold. I used to know a girl who called her mother, "Mother".

She was from the South, so I suppose that's normal down there, but every time I heard her talk of or to her mother, "Mother bought me the most fabulous couch this week." or "Mother. I told you I'd pick up Daddy this afternoon, so don't you worry." it always sounded so disconnected and like she didn't even really like her all that much. Like she was talking about a stranger. Or to a stranger. It's just weird.

Calling my mother mother, would be like calling her Helga. It doesn't fit her, it's not warm and loving and it's like calling her by a stranger's name. "Mommy" is just so loving and sweet and encompasses all that a child really feels about their mother...even when pushed to the edge of annoyance by said mother.

I will always call my mother Mommy, no matter how old I get. Besides, like my step-father says, "Mother is only half a word."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eddie Adds Culture To His Day Friday
One Armed Bandit
Having A Good Reason

Friday, March 05, 2010

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I Like To Call Him The Kite Master

I was talking to my mother today about all the stuff Ed was doing to the truck and about the new surveillance cameras he bought.

She said, "Wow. What made him think of that?"

"Well, he wants to have cameras on the front, sides and rear of the truck so in the event something happens, it can all be recorded with a DVR." I said.


"Digital Video Recorder. He's even thinking he might set it up on the internet, so people can log in and watch us in real time as we travel around the country."

"Boy, he's amazing. He's really good with all that electricity stuff." she said.

"Yeah," I said, laughing. "He's a regular Benjamin Franklin."


"Benjamin Franklin. You know, the guy who supposedly discovered electricity." I said.

"Oh. I thought you said Benjamin Button and was thinking, Benjamin Button? but figured I heard you wrong."

Wrong is right. I'd rather be dating some balding guy with tiny wire rimmed glasses who has a penchant for flying kites in thunderstorms than a guy who is progressively getting younger and may reach the point where I have to start changing his diapers.

Yeah, that's not gonna happen.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Talk About Making Good Use Of Your Time
Don’t Three Feet Equal One Yard?
New And Improved!
Maybe I Don’t Need To Know Everything

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


I'm dedicating this song, The Climb, by Miley Cyrus to someone close to me who is in a transitional place in their life. Just remember...

I love you. I'm here for you. You have my support.

And I believe in you 100%.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I’ll Get To It As Soon As I’m Done Churning The Butter, Dear.
Trees At Sunset
Giving Directions To This Place Is Easy
A Cloud Of Words

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Don't Lose The Fun

"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way."
~ Dr. Seuss

How could anyone get through childhood without a fun, fantastical story from Dr. Seuss? His fun, simple, rhyming phrases always bring a smile to my face. He embraces the child that so many people lose. Growing up doesn't mean losing the fun. Take today to remember what you loved and who you were when you were young and carefree.

And try to incorporate that person into who you are today. Go on, it'll be fun!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Writing Is On The Wall
Eddie Waits For A Ride
Truckers And Travelers Know Good Food