Tuesday, March 31, 2015

After All Others

Last night there were still a few trucks left in the Papa John's parking lot, the last of the truck show attendees.  This morning, we were the only ones left.

After breakfast Ed did a once over on the truck, changed the oil in the generator, and made sure everything was ready to pick up our next load.  Once he was done, we were ready to leave.

We pulled out of  the once extremely packed parking lot, saying goodbye until next year.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: This Red Giant Is Also A Star

2013: Turn And Burn
2012: The Landscape Just Runs All Together After A While
2011: Flippin’ Swag
2010: Warm Fuzzies
2009: I’ll Get You My Pretty
2008: The Kind Of Misunderstanding That Can Never Fully Be Explained
2007: Let The Adventure Begin
2006: Coming Soon
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, March 30, 2015

This Is Why

I often hear people ask what the purpose of travel is.  Why do you do it?  Why can't you just see the same places on TV?  Why do you have to go there?  This is why.  And for this very reason, more people need to do it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Fill'er Up!

2013: Texas! Texas! Margaret...
2012: He Forgets He Lives With A Maven
2011: Does Anyone Notice The Shoes Of A “Very Important Person”?
2010: Do You Think Raquel Owns A Dog And Gets Enough Potassium?
2009: No Need To Do Anything Drastic; There Will Always Be Re-Runs
2008: Beautifully Retro
2007: Ready, Set, Go!!
2006: Giving New Meaning To An Ambulance Chaser
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The 43rd Annual Mid-America Trucking Show Comes To A Close

Yesterday was the last day of the Mid-America Trucking Show.  On his way to the convention center, Ed took this picture of the Papa John's parking lot, which is where we are parked.  They offer free truck parking for the show, with a shuttle service that runs all day, every thirty minutes, to take attendees the two miles to the convention center.  There are 3,000 passenger vehicle sized spots in this lot, which might give you an idea of how big it is.

This year, the parking lot was PACKED.  I don't think I've ever seen it this full.  Usually they block off the far end of the lot, not having a need for it, but this year we actually parked on that side since we got here late Thursday afternoon.  

A packed parking lot translates to a packed show floor.  The convention center this year was more zoo-like than usual.  Ed and I both commented about how many people seemed to be jammed into the place.  Even with over 1.2 million square feet of space, so many people makes it hard to see all the exhibitors.  The crowd moves slowly, there's a lot of bustling,

In the ten years I've been on the road, Ed and I have been to the show seven times.  It's generally the same every year, and we do notice when there are some new companies exhibiting, but unless we're looking for something specific, our attendance just involves a bunch of wandering around collecting free pens and baseball caps and stickers and really, crap.  And then dining out with our friends.

Don't get me wrong, there's tons to see.  People from all over the world attend this show, and if you're serious about trucking it's the place to be this time of year.  It outshines every other truck show out there.  There is no other place that showcases as many companies, products and services as MATS does.  They have everything from tools to seminars to trucker hats.  If you haven't been, you should try it at least once.

Before the show I usually sit down with the show directory and go through it to see if there's anything other than the old standbys that I want to see.  I take the map out of the book and with a black Sharpie, circle all the booths I want to visit.  And then I ask Ed which ones he wants to visit and circle those.  The exposition center is massive, I need a plan.  And I have to tell you, even with a plan, I get lost every single year.

Yesterday we went together - today I stayed in the truck - and did find the booths we wanted, looking at a new ARI sleeper, the Bose Ride seat Ed likes, and the Knoedler Power-Chief seat I really want.  We renewed our OOIDA memberships, and we checked out the truck beauty contest outside to take some pictures.  But overall, I didn't see anything that I absolutely loved at the show.

I did see a little something I liked though...one very tall, very handsome German that I kind of stalked.  OK, so I didn't stalk him stalk him, but he was beautiful in all his fashionable European glory that I couldn't help but notice him.  And c'mon, he was so easy to spot - his shirt covered his belly and he wasn't wearing anything that smelled like livestock.  Clearly an exhibitor.  Ed made fun of me for snapping his picture but I told him that this guy was my version of the girls the men at the show pretend they're not going to gawk at when they intentionally pass by the Hooters booth twelve times.

We stayed at the show until the very last minute, trickling out with some of the exhibitors, then got lost on the way back to the shuttle.  Did I mention it was freezing here?  So freezing, there were snowflakes falling when we left the building - the giant building we had to walk completely around outside to get back to the shuttle pick-up point because we ended the day on the wrong end of the convention center and once you're out, they don't let you back in.  I was thisclose to calling a cab.

When we got back to the truck, my feet were killing me which was only one of the reasons I decided not to join Ed today.  He took his camera, his backpack and his winter jacket and kissed me goodbye, leaving me to a leisurely breakfast and a day filled with HGTV.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Heading On Down The Highway Until Next Year
2013: Thirteen Ten Clinton
2012: Better Than Team Drivers
2011: The Three Musketeers Make Dinner Plans
2010: Try To Find A Parking Space For This
2009: If The Life Expectancy Of A White Male Is Over Seventy Five Years, You Have Plenty Of Time When You're Ten
2008: Sweet Suite Sugarland
2007: The Superbowl Of Moving
2006: Catching Flies
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Straight Up Show Truck

These are two cab-over trucks I saw at the PKY Truck Beauty Championship area of the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
I kinda like this style of truck, it's a bit retro to me.  I know a lot of old-timers used to drive these and every once in a while you'll see one on the road, but they're just not as common here as they are in other countries.

If you're a fan of this kind of rig, you're just going to have to hit a truck show.  The "Pride and Polish" events always have their fair share of COEs.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: One Line Sums Up The Entire Show

2013: Howz About Them Howitzers?
2012: I’ll Hobble On My Walker To Visit
2011: In The Still Of The Night
2010: The Final Count
2009: Eddie My Little Ex-Marine Friday
2008: Delayed By Lipgloss During A Period Of Elevated Security: A Travel Debacle Ensues
2007: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
2006: Your Cat Is In My Garden
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's Show Time!

We arrived in Louisville late this afternoon.

We decided to come to the Mid-America Trucking Show, a last minute decision made just a few hours ago.

When we left Tucson at the beginning of the month to go back to work, I didn't even take our badges with us - I pre-register for the show every year just in case - because a) I knew our friends wouldn't be at the show and it's always more fun when we're hanging out with them, and b) we were just planning to work since we'd been off for so long.  But then the stars aligned and had us delivering a load three hours from Louisville.

Going to the show now seemed like a possibility but first we had to make sure there wasn't a load calling our name.  So after delivering we spent most of the afternoon looking at loads and said only if we didn't find one, would we head to the show.  

Well, we didn't find one so here we are.  

Ed wandered around for a few hours this afternoon while I napped.  I'll go tomorrow.  We don't really have anything specific to look at but Ed has been talking about getting a bigger sleeper (What the what??  I'm the one who has been wanting a bigger sleeper!) so we'll definitely be checking those out.

The rest of the day will involve wandering aimlessly.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Determined

2013: Nashville Is One Of Their Greatest Picks
2012: Monday Is A Smash Hit
2011: Home At Last
2010: Wake Up In The Morning, Put Your Hand On Something Useful, And Take Care Of Yourself And Your Family*
2009: Copter
2008: Atchafalaya Whaaaaat??
2007: There’s A Skirt On The Door For A Reason
2006: South Of The Beijing Border
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Live It

Kona, Hawaii
Yesterday I wrote about us cancelling our upcoming Maui trip, but that doesn't stop me from regularly scouring travel blogs and websites to find the places we'd like to travel next.  

Here are ten blogs and website I really like:

1.  Chris Guillebeau's Travel Hacking Resources

2.  Travel + Leisure

3.  A Luxury Travel Blog for those of you who like to do it up all fancy-like.

4.  Nomadic Matt - Great travel tips, tons of ways to save money, and tons of destination guides.

5.  The 36 Hours column in the New York Times.

6.  If you don't have 36 hours, you can always do 12.

7.  Travelsmith - specifically their destination guides.

8.  Velvet Escape - consider following him on Instagram too, he's got some great pictures!

9.  I know I'm naming three here, but I'm counting it as one since they're similar. Lonely Planet, Frommer's, and Fodors - guidebooks (gone internet, now) I discovered over 25 years ago when I worked for a major bookstore chain.  When the new travel guides would come in, they'd let the employees take as many of the old guides that they wanted.  They're always the ones I check first because they've been around forever and have great reputations.

10.  And  a new site I recently discovered called Fathom.  It's pretty amazing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Blizzard To The East, Clear Skies To The West

2013: The Discriminating House Hunter
2012: Oh, Sweet Cream Cheesus
2011: Pit Stop
2010: Sorry, no post for this day.
2009: A Peek Behind The Sacred Pantry Door
2008: Thistle Or Thatle
2007: Big, Rich, And Free
2006: Look, Honey! A Grist Mill.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Starwood Is Still A Star

Lahaina, Maui coastline taken from our boating excursion
Even though we just had a long vacation, I find myself doing research for the next getaway.  We were supposed to go to Maui, which is what I'd been researching because Ed bought a package at the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas almost a year ago,  and picking the dates was the only thing left to do.

That proved to be a bit more difficult than one might imagine.  First of all, the rooms had to be booked 60 days in advance.  That turned out to be much harder for us to do than we thought, because every time we called to get dates, they didn't have what we wanted and we had to go back to the drawing board to choose new ones.  Then we had to look for flights, but of course we couldn't book a flight until we knew we had a room and we couldn't get a room.  Then, I got called for jury duty, which makes planning a vacation a little iffy.  What if I get picked to be on the jury?

So Ed finally just called to cancel the trip, which was a little bit of a nightmare.  They told Ed they wouldn't cancel it - several times he asked - then after talking to a supervisor, they agreed to give us our money back minus $100 for "time invested".  I couldn't pull the phone out of Ed's hands fast enough.  I was gesticulating wildly for him to hand it to me.

I worked for Starwood Resorts and Hotels for several years, both at Westin and Sheraton properties, and this was just unacceptable to me.  They didn't invest any time with us, they now had the rooms to sell to someone else (which clearly were going fast), and I felt like they were fleecing us.  I talked to the supervisor Ed was chatting with and explained to him about my time with Starwood, how I know they're one of the biggest hotel chains in the world with several brands under their umbrella, and how them trying to snake $100 from us for doing essentially nothing - Ed responded to an email to accept the package offer - was going to leave a bad taste in my mouth.  I told him that I'm on the road over 300 days a year and stay in hotels often - the implication, that I have a choice at which hotels those might be.

I'm happy to report - and thrilled at the wise decision this supervisor made - that I got all of our money back.  And because of this satisfactory customer service, I will likely spend that money on another Starwood property in the future.

Tomorrow, I'll share some of travel blogs and websites I like to look at to get ideas.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Transylvania Has Better Internet

2013: Can I Get An Amen?
2012: Imagine Life Artificially Sweeter
2011: Sweets For The Sweet
2010: Silver Shoes, Cliff Clavin, And A Guiness World Record
2009: A Bevy Of Pavo Cristatus
2008: How Much Happy Can A Dollar Buy?
2007: The Heat Is On
2006: The New York Catch And Release Program
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Patiently Waiting

This week we spent a lot of time at Southeastern ports.  I've written about ports in the past and the absolute time suck that they are.  It's maddening.  I'm always surprised freight gets moved at all.  I guess they must be doing something right considering all the containers that go through these ports - millions of them - because stuff does eventually get where it's going.  Their success rate must be pretty decent.

But the waiting.  Oh my God.  In the photo above, it looks like the trucks waiting are behind us, but really, that's just the first line of trucks waiting.  We have to wait for all of them to get loaded before we even get in to the port area.

Nap time for me. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Find Out Where You Can Dine With Giraffes

2013: Sputtering With Excitement
2012: Water May Not Be The Only Liquid Nourishing These Flowers
2011: Nappy Time
2010: Dick. Not A Dick. Which One Are You?
2009: First The Poultry, Now This
2008: California Moon
2007: Ryno And Rob
2006: Living The Dream
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn't start until May 2005!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Looking For Our Container

A rainy day at the Port of Savannah, driving around trying to find our container in the stacks of thousands.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014:  Bringing Sexy Back

2013: The Veteran And The Rookie
2012: Spring Has Arrived In Culpeper
2011: Food. Essential.
2010: Sometimes It Takes A Libra Two Weeks To Make A Decision
2009: What The Hell Is This?
2008: What It’s Like To Bee Watched By More Than Twelve Million Eyes
2007: My Man Is Ripped!
2006: Take Two Caramel Lattes And Call Me In The Morning
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Get Excited!

I know I missed the first day of spring - what was it, yesterday? - but saw this on our way to deliver a load somewhere in Indiana.  If you can't quite read it with the shine on the letters, it says "I'm so excited it's spring, I wet my plants."

How clever is that?  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: They're Not Just For Babies Anymore

2013: Winding Down For The Weekend
2012: Towering Peach
2011: Trucks, Friends, Life On The Road, And A New Throne For My Queen Sized Ass
2010: Changing It Up
2009: They Gots Lots Of Soul
2008: Eddie Calculates Everything Friday
2007: Working On It
2006: The Bird On The Hill
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Drive Less, Make More

This week in Shipshewana when we were getting the truck worked on, we met a guy at the shop who drives team with his wife.  They run 6,000 miles a week.

What the WHAT???  Six thousand miles???  

Last year we ran 100,000 miles.  I can't even imagine doing more than 2,300 to 2,500 in a week, and if Ed even suggested a 6,000 mile run I'd stomp my feet, cry, and probably refuse to drive.  I can count on one hand how many times, in almost eleven years, Ed and I have driven anywhere close to 6,000 miles in one week.

Here's my advice for you in two sentences:

Don't try to get more miles on a run.  Know what your operating cost per mile is, and negotiate to get a higher rate per mile.

That's it.  Drive less, make more.

Gotta run!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: While You Were Sleeping
2013: Between Brattleboro And Bennington
2012: Man At Work
2011: Under A Rock
2010: Practicing For Retirement
2009: Truckers Are So Sensitive
2008: Light Sweet Crude
2007: A Antiquing Conundrum
2006: How Can You Not Love This Face?
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We Entered Through The Big Mouth

When we pulled into port in Cartagena, Columbia  I didn't expect to see modern skyscrapers.  I don't know why, but since all the countries we had been to so far didn't have New York-worthy skyscrapers, I just figured this wouldn't either.  But it is the fifth largest city in Columbia, second largest after Barranquilla, so it makes sense.  This skyline is known as the Bocagrande (Big Mouth) and is where the majority of the tourist facilities are located.

We boarded the buses at the dock and prepared for our tour of the old and new areas of the city.  The first thing we did was stop at the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas (Castle of San Felipe de Barajas), a large fortress positioned at the top of a hill, considered to be the greatest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in their colonies.

Our guide gave us an extensive presentation on the history of this fortress, but since we did it standing in the blistering heat on the sidewalk next to the fortress, I was too hot to focus on what he was saying.  I'm pretty sure I blacked out from the heat.  

 A little hardware store we passed on our bus tour.
A plaque on the wall that indicates Indian Crafts (Artesanias India) from Cartagena de Indias (Cartagena of the Indies), which is the official name of the city, founded in 1533 by Pedro de Heredia and named after Cartagena, Spain.  
Below are Las Bóvedas (The Vaults) which used to be dungeons.  There are 23 cells that prisoners were held in but which are now shops and boutiques.  
Each dungeon shop has a number above each door.

The Old Town of Cartagena is its biggest attraction.  Thick walls surround the city and were built to protect the city from its enemies.  The city is colorful and displays fine examples of Spanish colonial architecture.
The walled city area is best seen on foot.  We began our walk here and were guided through the walled area with stops along the way.
Our first stop was the Palacio de la Inquisición (Palace of Inquisition), located in Plaza de Bolivar in the historic center.  Here is Ed standing at the palace entrance.
The palace has been called one of the best examples of late colonial, civil architecture.  It was completed in 1770.
 Crumbling walls and irons bars.
The Inquisition Palace was the eighteenth-century seat of the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Cartagena. 
It was where the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition - commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition - tortured, judged, and convicted men accused of crimes against religion.  Torture devices on display inclued La Garrucha, the rack, the guillotine, the witches' scale (which would determine whether or not a woman was a witch based on what she weighs.  WTF?), 
A plaza located just outside of the church we visited.
 There were street vendors selling everything from bracelets to hats to belts to purses.  Everything was beautiful and so colorful.
I don't know why I didn't buy one of these bags.  Or five of these bags.  They're so fantastic.  And I'm a purse/tote bag freak.  I love bags.  I didn't shop a lot on the trip but not getting one of these for myself is one of my biggest shopping regrets.  At this point, they were hurrying us back to the buses because this was the last stretch of street before we got to the parking lot area, but I seriously don't know what I was thinking that I didn't at least grab one of these.  I guess I'll just have to go back.
On our way out we saw a low-clearance area (not for buses) with taxis exiting old town.
And people sitting in the window openings of the high walls surrounding the city, looking out onto the Caribbean Sea. 
Cartagena is absolutely a city I would visit again.  We didn't have nearly enough time to walk around, shop, eat, etc.  We weren't able to have any time on our own because we were part of the cruise ship tour and had to do everything as a group.

This is the last of the cities we visited on our cruise.  After this we would be on our way to Fort Lauderdale.  This ends the long blog posts to recap each of the cities we visited. Although I'm still not sure how I feel about 32-days on a cruise ship - there are some things I can pick on if pushed - overall I had a great time and think a cruise it a great way to see so many countries on essentially one trip.

From what I learned from the other passengers on board, some who have been on as many as 70 cruises, I know what I'd research for any future trips.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014:  Getting Ready For The Really Big Shooooo
2013: You'll Know You're Getting Close When You See The Zebra
2012: You Can’t Go Wrong At ShopRite
2011: When The Feelings Get Too Strong For Words
2010: Looking For Loads In All The Wrong Places
2009: CTRL Freak
2008: 1. Cut String 2. Walk
2007: Amish Down The Lane
2006: The Competition Is Stiff
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ocean To Ocean

The reason we chose the cruise we did is because it was going through the Panama Canal. Going through the canal is something Ed has been talking about for years, but I really didn't get the interest or appeal of being on a boat that was just going through a few locks, it didn't seem very exciting to me.  It turned out to be more interesting that I'd thought.

The Panama Canal has a long history, dating back to the early 16th century.  According to the history section of the Panama Canal website, the dream of creating a canal "can be traced to the 1513 Isthmian crossing of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa. He discovered that only a narrow strip of land separated the two oceans".

France began work on the canal in 1881 but had to stop due to disease and deaths - it's been reported that 22,000 workers died during their construction period.  The United States took over the construction in 1904 - losing more than 5,600 workers - and took a decade to complete the canal, officially opening on August 15, 1914.  It was one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever attempted.

There are three sets of locks that make up the canal system - the Miraflores Locks, the Pedro Miguel locks, and the Gatun Locks - t
he length of the lock system is 1.9 miles long, including the approach walls - here you can see us approaching the last of the three locks, the Gatun Locks, that will lead us to the Atlantic Ocean.  We are approaching one of the two lanes, which you can see already has a ship in it.  On the right there is another ship waiting to enter.   
Here you can see the top decks on the bow of the ship lined with passengers taking pictures and watching the passage through the locks.  We had a historian on board who narrated the entire trip through the canal.  The audio could be heard outside on the decks and inside in the public areas.
On each side of the walls of the canal are electric locomotives on tracks that hook up to the cruise ship.  They are there to help eliminate side-to-side motion of the ship, and they provide braking through the narrow channel.  They don't pull the ship through, they just guide it.
The electric locomotives, known as mulas (mules), keep the guide lines taught in tandem, making their way along the channel and even up a slight incline to the next lock.  
In this photo you can see the mule approaching the incline, and the doors to the next lock.  The original electric locomotives were 170 HP, built by General Electric, and cost $13,217 each.  Today's locomotives weigh 50 tons each, operate two traction units of 290 HP each, are built by Mitsubishi, and cost $2.3 million each.  
According to Wikipedia, the lock chambers are 110 feet wide by 1,050 feet long.  The Gatun locks, the one we're in, has three steps, which will raise us 85 feet to get from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.  As each lock fills, it takes the ship to the next lock.

In this next photo, we are waiting for the water to fill the lock.  Each lock chamber uses 26,700,000 gallons of water to fill it from the lowered to the raised position. Twenty-six million, seven-hundred thousand gallons!  And it only takes 8 minutes to fill the chamber.  The same amount of water is drained from each chamber to lower it again.

The double doors of the lock gates are a safety feature.  If a ship were to hit one of the gates, it would unleash a torrent of water that could flood the lands downstream.  The double gates assure that the water is always contained.  

In the photo above you can see the doors and how the water level in front of us is higher then the chamber which we're in.  In the photo below you'll see that we are now at the same level (that the water raised us to) and we can move forward to the last set of locks. 
Again, here's the ship slowly making its way into the second lock.  The progress into each lock is slow - making sure the ship, which doesn't have much room on either side, doesn't hit the walls - but as mentioned earlier, the filling of the lock itself is quick.  
The gates separating each lock are strong enough to hold back the millions of gallons of water that fills it.  The gates are 47 to 82 feet high depending on their position and they're 7 feet thick.  The hinges alone weigh more than 16 tons each.  
Here we are entering the last lock.  It won't be long now before we're in the Caribbean Sea and on our way to the Atlantic Ocean.
The distance through the canal from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean is 50 miles. It took us all day - from approximately 7:00 am until 5:00 pm - to traverse the canal.  The average transit time is 8 to 10 hours.

Not only does it take all day, but it's not cheap either.  The toll for a cruise ship averages six figures.  One of the highest toll ever paid was by a Norwegian Cruise Line ship in 2010 that had to fork over $375,600 to make the journey.  

Today more than 15,000 ships go through the canal, 15 times the annual traffic the first year it opened in 1914.

Not only does using the Panama Canal allow ships to avoid the notoriously dangerous Cape Horn of South America, where "the waters are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs - dangers that have made it notorious as a sailors' graveyard" but it also shaves 7,872 miles off the trip.

During our transit we were also able to view the construction of the newer, wider canal which will sit beside the existing canal, and is being built to allow wider vessels to pass through.  But Panama has competition, because Nicaragua is planning a canal of their own, even against the advice of scientists who claim it will wreck the environment.

It doesn't really matter what Nicaragua does because they'll have done it more than 100 years after Panama did, and now we can say we've been through the OC, the Original Canal.

We can also now check another item off Ed's To-Do list.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Where We Go To Squeeze Melons
2013: Yet We're The Ones With All The Rules
2012: There Is No Problem Here
2011: If This Is What Being A Loser Means, Count Me In
2010: The Only Thing It Extends Is The Humiliation Of Having A Small Johnson
2009: Wishing You All A Happy Lá Fhéile Pádraig
2008: There Should Be Some Sort Of Award For This
2007: Table Talk
2006: Cats And Grandchildren Make Great Indentured Servants
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!