Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crab Cakes And The Chesapeake

We finally made it back to Maryland; we're about ten miles north of Baltimore, hanging out waiting on a load. We delivered early this morning and then went to sleep for a few hours. By the time we got up and ready to go, it was either a late lunch, or an early dinner. We opted for an early dinner at Al’s Seafood restaurant; early enough to feel like we were seventy years old.

We had an appetizer and then both ordered Captain Doc's Broiled Seafood Medley; lump crab cake, flounder, crab imperial, shrimp, scallops, and a petite lobster tail served with drawn butter and a side of rice pilaf. It was just okay; not the best seafood I've had and not worth twenty-five dollars per entree, but not bad. Also not really good enough to ever go back, but hey - how else could we have known unless we tried?

Because it was still beautiful out, we decided to take a ride; we wanted to get near the water, which in this area would be the Chesapeake Bay. The following are screen shots from my iPhone. We started out in the Essex area and wound up at the blue dot.
The drive took us to the very tip of this peninsula, ending at Rocky Point Beach Park in Essex. I love how the GPS system can pinpoint our location exactly.

As we zoom in, you can see that we took a very skinny road to a parking lot at the very end. Since it was Saturday, there were several families at the park utilizing the pavillions for parties and barbecuing. Apparently, the site of a very big rig lumbering through is an unusual site since all of them stood and stared as we passed by. I was driving, so I couldn't do the Princess wave, like Kate Middleton did yesterday, as she took the carriage ride from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

We wound up at the last parking lot in the park, overlooking the peaceful bay. We sat for a while, enjoying the dessert and coffee we picked up along the way. See the blue dot? That's us.
Since the park closed at sunset we decided to leave when we were done with dessert because driving along a skinny road with a stream of other cars was not the most ideal situation.

We made our way back to our parking spot, a nice location in a large, roomy parking lot, close to Barnes & Noble, Dunkin' Donuts, and for Eddie, The Tilted Kilt. I have a feeling we might be stopping there again this weekend.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Young, Poor, Footloose And Fancy-Free
Badass Badlands
Proof That God Exists
Spring In The Desert
Shadows Of The Setting Sun

Friday, April 29, 2011

Deep Down, She Knows She's A Princess

This morning I was up at 4am to catch the Royal wedding. I had seen Diana's wedding, I had seen Diana's funeral, and there was no way that I was missing Prince William marry beautiful Kate Middleton. I know there are photos all over the internet, but I can't possibly be the only one who photographed the TV screen.

Really all I wanted was to see the dress. I mean, we've all seen plenty of pictures of the Royals, but to see a commoner marry a Prince (again), well that gives all kinds of hope to womankind and if ever in the position, I need to know what to wear. The dress was of utmost importance.

I watched the arrival of the guests, the groom, the Queen and finally, the bride. She did look beautiful. Like a Princess. But alas, she is not an actual princess, even though she married a prince. Just hours before the ceremony, the Queen bestowed the title "Duke of Cambridge" on William, depriving Kate of the title Princess Catherine; instead, she's a Duchess. Not bad, I guess, considering where she came from.

I thought the ceremony was beautiful. I loved the outfits of the women and men attending; we really need to wear more hats in this country. I think Harry looked especially handsome; there's something about him that makes him so appealing (and I'm no fan of red hair on men). And the uniforms took them both up a few notches.

So there you have it, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. May they have a long, happy union. Or at least as kickin' a life as Royals can possibly have.

Must go nap now, hopping the pond so early for this wedding really wiped me out. Cheerio!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A Three Hundred And Fifty Foot Long Dream
Dillinger The Horror Hog
Supernatural Hair
They Must Have Been On Sale
5 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post on this day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It Should Have Been Titled Boringpants

I recently joined, the website where audiobooks go to breed and make little audiobook babies; there are more selections than there are stars in the sky. I've had the app on my iPhone for a while now, but I've mostly used it to deplete my PayPal account by buying everything Gervais. I've recently run out of Ricky Gervais material to listen to, and needed something new. Something else to make me laugh.

As I was browsing the offerings, I saw the new book by Tina Fey, Bossypants. I read some of the reviews on the Audible site and after several had said, "Don't drive while listening to this, it's so funny you'll crash/pee your pants/spew milk out of your nose", I said to myself I have to have that book. So I bought it and began the download.

And I listened to it. But I didn't laugh. Not even once, I don't think. OK, maybe once. But I wasn't peeing my pants or spewing milk out of my nose, and I certainly wasn't crashing into any concrete barriers, as promised. The book was read by Tina Fey herself, which I thought would be a plus, since half the time with an audio book you get someone with a snooty British accent you can barely understand. I thought her reading the book would be as if she were sitting in the passenger seat next to me, telling the story herself. It wasn't. It was just eh.

She talked a lot about growing up, her experience with the Second City comedy troupe, how she got to Saturday Night Live, her success with 30 Rock; much of it about her struggle as a women not only in the comedy business, but in a position of power, such as being an Executive Producer. How the business is still very much a boys club, etc. Yeah, yeah, yeah. OK, great. She made it. But she didn't make it funny. And that's what I was expecting.

The best nugget I got from the book was where she was talking about her problems in the business, in particular, how men don't think women are funny. She felt that if those people weren't her boss, she really didn't care what they had to say. Her "unsolicited advice" to women in the workplace was that if that person wasn't between what you and what you wanted to do, ignore it and move on. If they were in your way, tackle the problem like they did on Sesame Street by going over, under and through. Basically, she boiled it down to "Do your thing. Don't care if they like it."

Great. I just spent twenty dollars to hear advice on something I'd been doing my entire life. I reluctantly finished listening to the book knowing it wasn't going to get any better, but since I paid for it, I endured. It would pass the time and I needed something to keep my mind occupied as I traversed the plains. My final thought? Don't buy the audiobook. I wouldn't even buy the book in print, but that's up to you. Your "voice" in your head might make the reading more exciting than her reading it did for me.

So there you have my two cents. Now i
f you want to read a real review, check out what the New York Times had to say.

Next up for my listening pleasure, The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani. I've started it already and so far, am loving it. I'll let you know how it turns out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ed Blows A 750
Another She Needs To Wear A Bell
We Think The Only Thing Worth Stealing From The House Would Have Been The Fresh Baked Apple Pie
Not Nearly As Appealing As Gnocchi
Working The Yard

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Lonely Road

This is just another repeat of a past blog post - the one where I complain about not having time to write anything because I'm busy driving and sleeping. We're currently on a dedicated run back and forth across the country, on the northern route as I mentioned, taking us along I-80 through the east and then after Chicago, hitting Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington state.

This photo is from somewhere in the middle of North Dakota. Although it looks desolate, it's not the same desolation that I feel when I'm driving through the states across the Southwest. That area makes me want to slit my wrists. Up here, you see trees and water, birds, a little bit of leftover snow. And cows. Lots of cows. And not the kind of cows that are walking around in their own shit, like in San Antonio, or Anthony, Texas, waiting to go to slaughter. These cows are roaming plains. And pastures. Places with barns and silos. They're happier cows. I can tell. Even if they also eventually become a nice rib eye.

And in North Dakota, we also get to see
buffalo (or bison, or whatever they're called). I tried to stop at the Painted Canyon Visitor Center to try to catch them again, but both times I stopped they weren't there. Must be busy grazing in the fields.

So that's about it. One lonely cloud picture for you to know that I'm still out here, alive and kickin'. Hopefully, I'll have time to sit down and write something substantial one of these days for your reading pleasure. Don't go too far away!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Love This Lookout

Spending the week going back and forth across the country makes me fall behind in my blog writing. That's probably the least favorite part about doing a team run for me. On the other hand, this run takes me through the northern part of the country (from east to west) and two places I love driving through are Montana and the Idaho Panhandle.

This photo is from Lookout Pass, on the Montana-Idaho state line. It's not the best shot, but I LOVE being able to see the snow and get out in some of that wonderful cold weather.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There Ain’t No Rodeo On This Rodeo
Covering All The Bases
Ed Fantasizes Out Loud
Better Late Than Never
The Last Best Chance

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not So Lucky

Cruising across North Dakota, I came upon a road closure. Turns out, this was the reason. We were routed around it, via the rest area, where I stopped to take some pictures.
Here's a close up of the truck.
I honestly don't know how this happens. The guy was facing the wrong direction, but I didn't see where he came from. The roads were dry, and in North Dakota, it's not like there is any kind of traffic to have to worry about. Did the guy fall asleep? Did someone come upon him and cause him to crash? There was another vehicle there, but it didn't look like he could have caused the accident.

It didn't appear as if anyone was hurt and there were no emergency vehicles on the scene. I saw the truck driver walking near his truck, so he was unharmed, which is great. I just always want to know more about the situation when I see it happening in the middle of nowhere.

The one thing I do know, is that I always thank my lucky stars that it wasn't me!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A Capitol Idea
Blooming Where The Sun Don’t Shine
Eddie Wakes Up Smiling Friday
Gnocchi From The Gods
Blurry Super Hero

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chicks And Kids

My brother (on the right) and I, Easter 1969, at my grandparent's house in the Bronx. We were playing with the chicks that my uncle bought us for Easter. I was 18 months old and my brother was 6 months old.

Happy Easter!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ultima Lavada 9:00 PM
2 YEARS AGO: Eddie Touches Up The Old Girl Friday
3 YEARS AGO: The Morning Sun Greets Guadalupe
4 YEARS AGO: Starting Soon. No, Really.
5 YEARS AGO: This Mary Doesn’t Go To Pre-School

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In Need Of Some Color

I'm not really a beach lover (don't like the heat), but I'm in dire need of a tan, so I guess we'll have to eventually head south soon. This photo was taken on South Padre Island, Texas.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

1 YEAR AGO: 122 Years And Counting
2 YEARS AGO: Sixteen Days Old
3 YEARS AGO: Racism Comes With A Convenient Handle
4 YEARS AGO: Evening Tide
5 YEARS AGO: Glittering Pasties And Swinging Tassles

Friday, April 22, 2011

New York Always Stands Out

Even among all these colorful rubber bracelets, the I LOVE NY one pops out and catches your eye! This photo was taken at a souvenir shop in Times Square.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Visitor Number 933 To Room 525
2 YEARS AGO: Makes A Nice Desktop
3 YEARS AGO: Leaning Tower Of Texas
4 YEARS AGO: It Should Be Called “Thimble Shot”
5 YEARS AGO: Southern Hideaway

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Man I'm Spending My Nights With

I discovered this artist through Glee; he portrays of Blaine Anderson, the lead singer at a rival school's Glee club. He stole my heart right away with his stunning good looks, obvious talent and amazing voice.

His name is Darren Criss. He's a classically trained violinist who began playing at the age of five. He later taught himself guitar, piano, cello, mandolin and drums. He's also played Harry Potter in productions done by Team Starkid, a theater company formed by fellow students at the University of Michigan.

It took me a while, but eventually I said to myself, I wonder if he's done anything else? So I looked into him on iTunes. Turns out, he released a self-produced EP (extended play) album containing five songs. It set me back $4.95. Best five bucks I've ever spent. I've been listening to those five songs obsessively, and daily, as I drive back and forth across America in the wee hours of the night. I am sick that he doesn't have anything else for me to listen to. What the hell is he waiting for? Doesn't he know I need the music in me??

On those five tracks, he plays guitar or piano as his only accompaniment. I love the guitar work; the scratching, the sliding of the fingers over the frets. LOVE. He doesn't have any "videos" really, other than ones I've found that people have recorded at live events, but the audio quality of those aren't so great. So here are the five songs, which play via YouTube, but it's just audio, no video.

Check them out by clicking on each title. It'll take you to YouTube and you can listen to it there:

Human (Fun!)

Sami (LOVE this one! In fact, I'm humming it as I type this.)

(The guitar on this is fantastic. It's addicting.)

Don’t You (Catchy.)

Not Alone (Beautiful song.)

I can't wait for him to come out with more stuff. I'll be looking for it on iTunes and I'll definitely be buying whatever he puts out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Let’s Hope This Industrious City Can Get Our Truck Fixed
2 YEARS AGO: Free Range Horns And Humps
3 YEARS AGO: The Earth Is Sending The Paper To The Folder
4 YEARS AGO: Some People Are SAD; I Am Not One Of Them
5 YEARS AGO: An Eye For Fashion...And Other Things

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Turning Tables With Adele

If you don't know who Adele is, you're truly missing out on one of the greatest voices of our time.

Listen to her sing "Turning Tables". Listen to it twice. If you listen a third time, close your eyes. Drink in her voice. Feel her take up residence in your body and mind. She's amazing. This is her performance from LIVE AOL Sessions:

Last night, Gwyneth Paltrow (as Holly Holiday) tackled the same song on Glee. While no one can really compare to Adele, I have to say that I LOVED Gwyneth's version. And if you're a Glee watcher, and know what's going on between her and Matthew Morrison's character (Will Schuester), it will have even more meaning. Watch her version here .

In addition, here's a short little video interview with Adele. I'm totally loving the whole British accent thing. Must be all that Ricky Gervais I've been listening to!

Now go out and buy Adele's new album!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: A Different Kind Of Dumpster Diving
2 YEARS AGO: Federal Glow
3 YEARS AGO: My Mother Is An Oxymoron
4 YEARS AGO: The Restroom Shell Game
5 YEARS AGO: The Pressure

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How I While Away The Hours

This week, I posted this over at Life On The Road and when I got done writing it, thought it would be a good post for over here. So, enjoy...

For some reason, I always wind up driving at night; in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to look at, and not much on the radio. So I listen to podcasts. I make sure before we head out on a long run, especially a team run where we have to keep the wheels rolling, that I have plenty to listen to in case the radio just starts to get to me. I can listen to the re-hashing of the news only so many times.

hese are some of the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis. If you have an iPod, you can get most of them through iTunes. Some of them can be heard on the radio (if you happen to be driving at that time) and some can be streamed directly over the computer. Whichever way you do it, it's a great use of time as you'll definitely be entertained and you'll most certainly learn something!

The Splendid Table
Hosted by Lynne Rosetto Kasper, a food writer and cooking teacher whose cookbook The Splendid Table has won both the James Beard and the Julia Child Cookbook of the Year awards, and billed as “the show for people who love to eat” this podcast is chock full of information for people who appreciate food. It’s comprised of segments that blend culinary, culture and lifestyle, celebrating food and the role it plays in our lives. I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned from these podcasts! She also features contributors Jane and Michael Stern, who specialize in books about travel, food and popular culture. They maintain a website called
Roadfood, which highlight places all over the country where one can get "the most memorable local eateries along the highways and back roads of America”. Who better to visit those places than a truck driver??

Real Time With Bill Maher
This is one of my favorite podcasts of all time. Every week I can’t wait to listen to the new episode. If you have HBO, you can watch it on TV every Friday night, but if you don’t, you can download it for free on iTunes. If you’re not familiar with the show, Real Time always starts with an interview of one featured guest, either in studio or via satelllite, then moves on to a panel of people who discuss current events in politics and the media. The panel is made up of three guests (most well known) with an occassional actor or celebrity thrown in for good measure. Bill himself is extremely well-read and intelligent, but the people he has on his panel are very well-versed in the subject they're discussing and he includes many experts such as journalists, professors and politicians; from ALL political parties.

Car Talk
You can catch this show weekly on NPR, but you can also download the podcast from iTunes. I don’t know anything about cars, nor do I really care, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE these two guys. And I’m obviously not the only one since they have more than 4.1 million listeners weekly! To learn more about Tom and Ray Magliozzi, click
HERE to read their funny and fascinating biographies. Both graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the genius of these brothers is brilliantly entwined with their humor, to provide a hilarious show with actual useful information (if you own a car, that is). I only wish they had a program like this for people who have trouble with big rigs!

This American Life
This is a weekly public radio show, produced by Chicago Public Media, broadcast on more than 500 stations to about 1.7 million listeners. It is often the most popular podcast in the country, with more than a half million people downloading it each week. Hosted by Ira Glass, the stories presented are first-person and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising. There are many ways to get the show; stream it online, listen to it on the radio, subscribe to the weekly podcast, download old episodes on iTunes, stream it through iPhone or Android apps and more. Check the website for more information.

Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio explores “the hidden side of everything”. It will tell you things you always thought you knew but didn’t, and thing you never thought you wanted to know, but do. The podcasts cover things like why we can’t predict earthquakes, if college still matters and the power of poop. That’s right, poop; human feces, as it turns out, may represent a new frontier for science. How can that not pique your interest?

The Ricky Gervais Show
I've saved the best for last - The Ricky Gervais Show. This is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE podcast. This comedy show, which originated in the United Kingdom, stars Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. All these three really do is just talk, and the real star of the show seems to be the round-headed little buffoon Karl, but you'd have to decide for yourself. The podcsast was so popular, that in 2007 it appeard in the Guinness World Record for the world's most downloaded podcast. According to the BBC, by September 2006, the podcasts had been downloaded nearly 8 million times. And that was in 2006!

An animated show, based on the original podcasts, now airs on HBO so you can catch it on TV too. I've downloaded all the podcasts I could find on iTunes and I purchased other podcasts and audio shows on I can’t really say what my favorite part of the show is because all of it provides me with such extreme pleasure, but Karl’s Diary is certainly one of the highlights.

So there you have it, some my favorite ways to pass time while driving. There are thousands of other podcasts out there to cater to a variety of listening tastes. If you're tired of what you're hearing on satellite radio (which I often am), this is a great way to increase your knowledge on all sorts of subjects. And it makes the time spent on long drives whiz by, in what feels like minutes instead of hours!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Incredibly Average, Yet Heroic If Necessary
May I Take A Message?
Doing The Speed Limit In Your Sleep
Now I Can Go Back To Watching The Show
Ten Of Life’s Simplest Pleasures

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Switch Between Morning Glory And Country Strong

Today we spent the day bopping around Washington state. We started the morning in Everett, made our way up to Mukilteo, then continued north to Tulalip. We went grocery shopping, where among other things, I bought these beautiful eggs (pretty excitin' folks, isn't it??). I'm totally into the Eggland's Best eggs lately. They are always absolutely perfect. Bright white, with the little "EB" stamped on the end. And I've been brainwashed by their commercials to actually believe they even taste better! While in the grocery store, I saw this guy. Yes, I said GUY. He was very "earthy" with his long, braided hippie hair, freestyle beard, manpri pants and rope sandals. Who the hell wears rope sandals?? I take that back; we are only forty miles from Seattle. After the grocery shopping was done, we settled back into lounging around since we don't have to pick up our load until late tomorrow. That didn't last long, as there was a casino nearby calling Ed's name.

I opted out of the smokey casino, so I bid goodbye to Ed as he left on the shuttle and headed over to the
Tulalip Resort Casino.

After he left, I headed over to the Red Box and stocked up on movies for the night. I got "The Switch" (with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston), "Morning Glory" with (Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams), and "Country Strong" (with Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester).

I've already watched the first two (which I LOVED) and I'm on Country Strong now. I love movies that include music, and so far I love the music in this one. I might even hit iTunes for the soundtrack. And Gwynnie has a beautiful voice. She rocked the house on Glee and she is doing a great job in this movie. I recommend all three's the perfect "Girls Night Out".

I hope Ed enjoyed his night out as much as I'm enjoying mine. And I hope he comes home with some winnings!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Name That Tree
2 YEARS AGO: Getting Plowed
3 YEARS AGO: Eddie Friday In Squares
4 YEARS AGO: The Color Of Elizabeth’s Eyes
5 YEARS AGO: The Result Of A Little Flax In Your Diet

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Taking Possession Of The Sound

This is the Mukilteo ferry, making its way across Possession Sound, which is part of Puget Sound, just north of Seattle. Don't believe what they tell you; it doesn't always rain up here!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Bridge People
Knocking Us Off One Candy Bar At A Time
How To Entertain Yourself When Hanging Out With Sight Impaired Adults
Is It REALLY Such A Mystery??
Heading South And Going Country

Saturday, April 16, 2011

If You Happen To Have A Few Hundred Million Lying Around, Have I Got A Deal For You

Today we delivered thrust reversers to the Boeing factory in Washington state, where they are building their new 747-8 Intercontinental airplane.

The 747-8 is the biggest commercial airplane Boeing has ever built. It can seat 467 passengers in a 3-class configuration, 50 more than it's predecessor. Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager of the 747-8 program said, "It flies further. It flies faster. It's more economical and it carries more passengers than ever before. It really is a fabulous airplane."

Seeing the plane in its factory setting, before the paint has been applied, not knowing who's getting it, was kind of cool. According to their website, Boeing has gotten 33 orders for these planes already, at a price tag of $317.5 million each.

Read more about the fabulous first flight of the 747-8 HERE.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Another Day At The Port
Buggin’ Out
Hangin’ Out With Ray Stoker Jr.
Sunset On The Move
Happy Easter

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Sun Sets On The Roughrider State

Driving west across North Dakota, just as the sun was getting ready to set. The cloud cover was very low, creating a small strip across the horizon; that's where the sun was peeking through. I like the way it created a starburst on both the horizon and the hood of the truck.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Diamond Studded Proof
How A Book Defies Its Cover
How To Up Your Chances For A Sweet Monkey Lovin’ Romp
Activities Director
Ah, But It Is SO Worth It

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Drop It Like It's Hot

This run, we've got a little something different going on. Instead of using our flatbed trailer, we're doing a load pulling someone else's trailer. This trailer belongs to the customer. They own it, they load it and we haul it.

This is a double-drop curtainside trailer. The item we're picking up is too tall for our trailer, so they put it on a drop trailer, which makes the load "legal" in height. It's extremely lightweight, so we don't have to worry about permits and as you can see, it's not over-width.

There's also no work involved; we just back under it and go. We're able to leave our trailer at their secured facility until we return. We're going across the country with this load and then coming back empty. It's a pretty easy run.

There are two things we have to watch with this trailer. First, the rear axles are much further to the back than the ones one our trailer, making it necessary to turn a little wider, since the trailer tracks differently. This means that the tires of the tractor lead and the tires of the trailer follow, but they don't follow in the same tracks as the truck...they're wider. So we have to be careful going around turns, swinging wide to make sure we clear any curbs, etc.

The second thing is that we'll have to be aware of how close the bottom of the trailer is to the ground. The drop-deck sits about eight inches off the ground. That's not much clearance. We're used to having tons of clearance, meaning we can hop a curb if necessary, or clear a rock that might be in the road. We have to pay more attention with this one.

Other than those two difference, I think it should be a piece of cake. And, it looks really nice with our truck, since the curtains totally match the carpet!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Art Of Being Tardy
Vantage Point
Cape Cahd Hahba
Waxing Brilliant
Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seveeeeennnn!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Taxes And Ta-Tas

We're still in Baltimore waiting on our load. They keep telling us it's going to be ready, but then we find out they're still not done building it yet. I'm sort of thinking they should know how long it takes to build these things since that's what they do here. I really don't mind though, because I love hanging out. And we're getting paid for it, so I can't complain.
We spent most of the afternoon at Barnes & Noble where Ed worked on our taxes. He's already paid the IRS, but just had to finish up the paperwork to send the accountant. We secured a large table by the window and hunkered down with lattes (for us) and magazines (for me). I think in the past few days, I've read almost everything in my usual repertoire; I'm going to have to move on to crafting magazines next.

This was a new Barnes & Noble for us, located in a small outdoor shopping mall. When we left the bookstore, we walked to the nearest restaurant for lunch called
Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery. I was in the mood for what might be construed as "pub food".

We walked in and were smacked in the face with a wall of girls who looked like this:

Ed and I did a double take and immediately looked at each other. We had no idea we walked into a Scottish Hooters. And boy, were there hooters. Nice ones and lots of them. The girl who seated us even had a tattoo on her belly and side (sort of like the ones in the photo), words of some sort, words which would have been too hard to get close to, squinting, in order to read.

Have you ever tried to give your lunch order to a pair of enormous breasts? It's awkward. And I like breasts. Probably as much as any guy. But it's distracting. More distracting than a Hooters girl in her tiny orange shorts. Put one of these girls next to a Hooters girl, and it looks like the Hooters Girl is wearing a parka.

First, Hooters girls wear a tank top. As tiny as it is, it covers a lot more than the Tilted Kilt girls' uniforms did. They were wearing plaid bras, showing ALL KINDS of cleavage and breast. Smooth, creamy breasts. Tanned breasts. VERY LARGE BREASTS. And then they're wearing kilts. Well, "kilt" is a little generous. It was more like they were wearing plaid napkins as skirts. To finish off the outfit, white knee socks and black Mary Janes. Sexiest waitress outfits I've ever seen outside of a strip club.

Lunch was pretty good. The appetizer was unremarkable, but my sandwich and sweet potato fries were deeee-lish. Ed had a meatloaf sandwich and mashed potatoes. He seemed pleased.

In the past few weeks, Ed and I have been talking about going on another European vacation. I wanted to go to either Ireland or Scotland. Ed was on the fence, not sure he was interested in either place.

Scotland is now on the table.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ah, The Subtle Contrasts Of New Jersey
A Fishy Pishy Is Never Dishy
A Dash Of Ignorance Makes For A Tasty Treat
Before The Luck Ran Out
Five Guys I'm In Love With This Week

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Raining In Baltimore

Since it's raining, and I'm in Baltimore, I leave you with the Counting Crows song "Raining In Baltimore"...

This circus is falling down on its knees
The big top is crumbling down
It's raining in Baltimore fifty miles east
Where you should be, no one's around
I need a phone call
I need a raincoat
I need a big love
I need a phone call
These train conversations are passing me by
And I don't have nothing to say
You get what you pay for
But I just had no intention of living this way
I need a phone call
I need a plane ride
I need a sunburn
I need a raincoat
And I get no answers
And I don't get no change
It's raining in Baltimore, baby
But everything else is the same
There's things I remember and things I forget
I miss you I guess that I should
Three thousand five hundred miles away
But what would you change if you could?
I need a phone call Maybe I should buy a new car
I can always hear a freight train Baby, if I listen real hard
And I wish, I wish it was a small world
Because I'm lonely for the big towns
I'd like to hear a little guitar
I guess it's time to put the top down
I need a phone call
I need a raincoat
I really need a raincoat
I really really need a rain coat
I really really really need a rain coat
I really need a raincoat

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Back That Ass Up
Shaved, Slivered, Sliced, Grated, Chunked And Best Of All, In Meatballs
Too Small For America?
Waiting For A Beautiful Balsamic Splash
Other Weird Things In Utah

Monday, April 11, 2011

Not For The Shy

Woke up after a hellacious overnight windstorm ready to pick up a few HUMVEEs at the AM General plant. This is a super-easy load to haul - they drive 'em on, Ed chains 'em down and we go. It's also a type of load that gets a lot of attention.

No matter where we go, people look. They wave, they point, they take pictures. Kids love them too, pumping their arms up and down, asking us to give them an air-horn toot. I always do, Ed is a little more reserved; it's really not a load for a shy guy.

We're not going very far, will be unloading tomorrow and then heading up to pick up our next load in Baltimore. Looks like we'll be following the cold and rain east, which I am totally loving. I like to stretch winter as far into spring as I can; if there are clouds in the sky, I'm there.

Summer will be here soon enough.

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A Barge And A Lady
Easter Preparation Takes Its Toll
Eddie In Blue Friday
The Man Filter
There Is Still A Chance

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Man Unmasked

"The closing years of life are like the end of a masquerade party,
when the masks are dropped."
~ Cesare Pavese (Italian poet and novelist, 1908-1950)

Photo courtesy of Ed, taken in Reynosa, Mexico.

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Fingers Crossed For All Things Motorized!
Eddie Forces A Smile Friday
A, B, C, D, DD: No Matter What The Letter, The Trauma Is The Same
How To Watch American Idol The Right Way
Dings And Hos

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Zumba In My Dreams

Today began lazily. We didn't get up until noon, after having had a late night of TV watching. We're in Indiana for the weekend, picking up a load on Monday. I love days off and I love laziness.

When we finally lumbered out of bed, I made Ed breakfast; steak and eggs, homemade country potatoes, toast with pear butter and hot coffee. I had my standard cottage cheese and fruit, but added a toasted bagel with strawberry cream cheese to it. Washed it all down with hot tea.

Once we got cleaned up and dressed, we kicked around the idea of heading over to Notre Dame to walk around the campus, but instead, got sucked in by a Zumba infomercial. I started to sway my hips to the latin beat, saying "I can do this!" Ed looked at me with that a whatever expression. Having witnessed seven years of me doing everything I can to get out of all forms of exercise, he clearly didn't believe that I would be interested in anything that required paying money to get cardio in exchange. I still maintain it looks more like fun, than exercise.

After we finished the entire infomercial, we headed to the mall. I hit Ulta, to get some hair product I'd be searching the entire country for (no one has had it!) and some makeup that I needed. Well, wanted.

Ulta was right next door to Barnes & Noble, so once I paid for my goodies, I met Ed in the bookstore and staked out our favorite table; we've been here several times before. Our table is a large, four top, with a power outlet right next to it for the computer. It's tucked in a corner, right across from the magazine stand; this is a perfect location for me because I dislike being at a table where people are passing by on their way in or out, or bumping my chair when they get up to get sugar or stir sticks.

We spent most of the night there, but left for dinner just after nine. Tonight we were hitting Five Guys Burgers and Fries, which I consider to be one of the top five burger joints in the country. It blows In-N-Out right out of the water, and serves some of the freshest fries in the fast food industry.

They even have a chalk board that tells you where the potatoes come from; today's fries were courtesy of Blackfoot, Idaho. As we ate our burgers and shared an order of large fries, it was clear that Zumba was far, far from my mind.

The rest of the night was dedicated to TV watching and internet surfing. I'm considering doing laundry tomorrow, but since I haven't exhausted my clothing supply yet, it's easy to talk myself out of it. So easy, in fact, I'm starting to do it right now.

As I drift off to sleep tonight, I'm going to be doing the Zumba dance moves in my head. And next time I'm home, I might actually say yes to my friend Kim when she asks me if I want to go work out.

If she takes me to a Zumba class!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eddie Peep Show Friday
Some Like It Hot
The Desert Blooms With Irritants
Squeeze Me?
Relationship Deal Breakers

Friday, April 08, 2011

Make It Yourself Or Just Stay Home

Tonight, Ed and I ate a brand new restaurant in Mishawaka, Indiana called Flat Top Grill; a create-your-own stir fry restaurant. We didn't know it was new, we just happened upon it when we were heading over to Five Guys. Ed said, "Hey - wanna try this place?" Of course I said yes.

As soon as we sat down, we saw these bowls at each place setting. There is a pamphlet on the table instructing how to create your own stir fry and also instructions on the wall above the grill. They say the following:

1. Write your name on the wooden stick.
2. Grab a bowl caddy.
3. Top it off.
4. Choose a stick. (lettuce wrap, soups, roti bread, shrimp, egg, etc.)
5. We'll bring it to you.

Ed was immediately displeased. He hates to make his own food in a restaurant. He's okay with a buffet on occasion, but if we go to a nice restaurant and the only option for salad is a salad bar, he refuses to go up and get it. His thought is that if he's paying for a good meal, he doesn't want to have to make any part of it. He wants to be served. In the case of a steakhouse with a salad bar, because I know he likes salad, I will go get it for him.

But here? He was visibly uncomfortable. If you're a reader of my blog, you know that Ed never complains about anything, that's my job. But as we stood in line, he was muttering "I hate this." and "I really want to leave." I told him we couldn't leave, we already ordered drinks and an appetizer, and we were almost at the ingredients bar. So he gently stomped his foot and stayed in line with me. It cracks me up because this is a man who will eat a sandwich out of a vending machine, yet he won't stand in line to fill up his own stir fry bowl.

The choices were abundant when we get to the ingredient bar. First, you chose rice (white or brown) or lo mein noodles. Then, veggies (scallions, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, celery, red and green peppers, snow peas, etc.). After the veggies, you choose your sauce; they had at least fifteen sauces to choose from; hoison, korean bbq, garlic water, soy, etc.). Last, you choose your protein (chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, tofu). The last stop are the "sticks"; each stick is a different color and coordinates with an ingredient or process; make it a lettuce wrap, a soup, add egg or shrimp, or serve it with
Roti Prata bread, the blue stick. By the way, Roti Bread is the most delicious thing I think I've ever tasted.

You then place your bowls on the counter near the kitchen and they cook it on, you guessed it, a flat top grill.
One they're done stir-frying everything, they bring it to your table, with your original wooden stick in it, identifying who it belongs to.

I thought the meal was pretty freakin' delicious. I made some great choices with my vegetables and didn't really know what I was doing with my sauce choices, but they turned out great. I think it was the extra garlic I added. Ed liked his meal too, but I don't think we'll be returning anytime soon since he practically broke out in hives having to endure the whole create-your-own-meal deal.

But that shouldn't stop you from trying it! There are other places like this across the country (we once went to a Mongolian BBQ in New York with my cousins that had the same set up), but if you want Flat Top Grill, they're located in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Don't forget to try the Roti bread!

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1 YEAR AGO: If It Walks Like A Duck…
2 YEARS AGO: Pink In Tacoma
Not The Kind Of Flower You Pick
Exclusive Holiday Visitation
Basket Of Knowledge

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wooden You Love Some New Toys?

I remember wooden toys from when I was a kid; block, puzzles, Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys. Those are all made out of plastic now. But in an effort to be "green" and "environmentally responsible", some companies are now making toys out of wood. As if it's a new idea. I'm okay with that, though.

Especially if they're as cute as these are. I found these adorable wooden toys, called Anamalz in Barnes & Noble. They're hand made out of maple, use child-friendly paint and fabric and are safe for children over three years old.

I want one (or a few). Do I need to point out that I'm over three years old??

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In Truck Portrait
The Quickest Way To Get Ready For A Nap
One Stop Shopping

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Spring Buds And An M3

There really hasn't been much going on the last few days here at The Daily Rant. Well, except for some pretty little buds on the trees as spring is approaching.

Ed and I have been recuperating from our whirlwind weekend at the truck show, with all the walking around and late nights, both of us are exceptionally wiped out for some reason.

Today we took our truck in for a 300,000 mile service. It's what Freightliner calls an M3 Maintenance Interval Operation. The M3 incorporates everything in the M1 and M2 operations, plus extras.

The M1 covers things like fifth wheel and suspension lubrication, driveline lubrication, knuckle pin and tie rod lubrication, fan clutch check, driveline inspection, fifth wheel inspection, etc.

The M2 covers all of M1 plus things like engine noise panel inspection, alternator, battery and starter check, tie rod inspection, wheel nut and rim nut check, air dryer inspection, slack adjuster lubrication, fuel filter replacement, checking the air conditioner, door seals, latches and hinges, cab suspension, etc. There are way too many things to list.

The M3 covers all the M1 and M2 stuff (several pages worth of checks and balances), and then additional things like radiator pressure-flushing and coolant change, transmission fluid change, axle lubricant and filter change, power steering fluid and filter change, air dryer desiccant replacement and more.

Just typing all of that stuff made my head hurt. And it's hard to write when my eyes have glazed over. They pretty much check

I know these things are crucial and Ed doesn't play around when it's time to get them done. In fact, I'm sure he was crying inside a little because we were a smidge over 300,000 miles when he took it in today. He's such a perfectionist when it comes to the maintenance of our truck. Which is great, because if it were me, we'd be driving around with sludge in the oil pan and a filter so thick with gunk, you'd be able to ring it out and cause an oil spill in an ocean.

The whole process was supposed to take about five hours, but took TEN. Yes, ten. And the entire time, we have to hang out in the driver's lounge because we're not allowed to be inside the sleeper of the truck while it's in the shop. I brought a book, a bunch of magazines, my iPhone, a notepad and snacks. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night, so I also napped. But now we're done and ready to get back to work (I think?). We're start looking for a load out tomorrow. Gotta stay busy over the weekend!

Hopefully something interesting will happen, if not I'll be back with some photos to fill the days!

Until then...
keep on truckin'!

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1 YEAR AGO: International Relations
2 YEARS AGO: Waiting For The Storm In Ohio
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