Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Snapshot From The Road: Trucker Dogs

These people were loading next to us.  We wound up being at the shipper ALL DAY.

I felt just like this dog looks.

Bored and wishing I could escape.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

2013:  The Luxurious Nomadic Life
2012: He’s Just As Handsome In Black And White
2011: Crab Cakes And The Chesapeake
2010: Young, Poor, Footloose And Fancy-Free
2009: Badass Badlands
2008: Proof That God Exists
2007: Spring In The Desert
2006: Shadows Of The Setting Sun
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Choice

I've been watching The Voice a little more regularly this season and although I love many that are now in the top spots, my prediction for the winner is twenty-year-old Christina Grimmie.

I'm in love with her version of Drake's song, "Hold On, We're Going Home". She's so good. The moment she gets up from the piano gives me chills.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Pregnant And Dating

2012: They Really Don’t Want You Coming Through This Gate
2011: Deep Down, She Knows She’s A Princess
2010: A Three Hundred And Fifty Foot Long Dream
2009: Dillinger The Horror Hog
2008: Supernatural Hair
2007: They Must Have Been On Sale
2006: Sorry, no post on this day.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Flying Through The Links

Photo by Mike Kelley
Check out some of the links I came across this week:

New York in 17 syllables

Books, books, and more books.  Who doesn't love that idea?

Probably not the best places to be if you're afraid of heights.

Classic literature dishes brought to life.  Which would you eat?

I'd love to buy items in packages like these.

This might explain one of the many reasons I dislike going out west.  There's nothing (and no one) there.

Hanging out with your sisters and catching up on the last 100 years.

I may not do #1 but I'm really great at #2 and a few others on the list.

What a fantastic idea and what an unusually beautiful result.

We were in Arkansas when the tornadoes ripped through.  Thankfully our location, which was supposed to be hit with wind, hail 2" in diameter, and lots of rain, wound up being 100 miles south of the tornado's path.

Remember VCR tapes, 3.5" floppies, Zip disks which could hold oh-so-much more, and 8-Tracks?  I do.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: It All Started With A Tweet
2012: Waiting For Summer
2011: It Should Have Been Titled Boringpants
2010: Ed Blows A 750
2009: Another Reason I Love The Great Indoors
2008: We Think The Only Thing Worth Stealing From The House Would Have Been The Fresh Baked Apple Pie
2007: Not Nearly As Appealing As Gnocchi
2006: Working The Yard
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Life That's Good

Lennon and Maisy Stella, real-life singing sisters who play TV sisters on the hit show Nashville.

I, too, have a life that's good.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: The Big Weekend Event

2012: Bringing The Sea To The Sleeper Bunk
2011: The Lonely Road
2010: Boys’ Town, Old Digs And A Non-Working Number
2009: She Needs To Wear A Bell
2008: Budding
2007: I Hate When He Does That
2006: The Toes Of Summer Are Peeking Out
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

She's There Already

Last week we stopped at home for a few hours.  Did laundry, picked up mail, had some delicious homemade stew.  And then I asked my mother to drive me to the grocery store.

Usually I drive but she has a rental car (her car is in the shop) and my name isn't on the rental agreement.  She sped out of the driveway and into the neighborhood doing forty miles per hour on streets marked twenty-five. 

I thought it was going to be my last trip to buy Cuties.

"Ma, why are you driving so fast??"

"I'm not."

"Ma, the speed limit is twenty-five, you're doing forty.  Holy shit.  SLOW DOWN."

"Well, I don't always drive like this..."  Yeah, right.  She claims I've told her she drives too slow so now she was driving faster to "please me".  

Whatever.  She was scaring the shit out of me.

We sped through the neighborhood, cutting every corner as we did.  It felt as if she had no control of her foot pressure on the gas pedal.  Or the car.  It was like a runaway vehicle.  Less than two miles later we were in the grocery store parking lot.  

With other cars.  And people.  Oh, dear lord.  

The way home wasn't any better.  She careened into our cul-de-sac and pulled up to the mailbox so closely I thought the little red flag was going to poke me in the eye.

After the ordeal I Tweeted about my near death experience.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  Still Waters Run Deep

2012: The Princess Of Fruits Welcomes You
2011: I Love This Lookout
2010: There Ain’t No Rodeo On This Rodeo
2009: Covering All The Bases
2008: Ed Fantasizes Out Loud
2007: Better Late Than Never
2006: The Last Best Chance
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Even His Feet Are Handsome

Ed trying on a suit in Nordstrom Rack with some Bruno Magli shoes to go along with it.

Shoes really do make the man.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Not Evolved Enough To Clap Just Yet
2012: A Cat’s Life
2011: Not So Lucky
2010: A Capitol Idea
2009: Blooming Where The Sun Don’t Shine
2008: Eddie Wakes Up Smiling Friday
2007: Gnocchi From The Gods
2006: Blurry Super Hero
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

State Line

I've spent enough time looking at this landscape.  We crossed the state line from Texas into New Mexico and I didn't even know it happened.

I can't take another day of this.  Get me out of here!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2013:  No Pity
2012: Stop Grackling!
2011: Chicks And Kids
2010: Ultima Lavada 9:00 PM
2009: Eddie Touches Up The Old Girl Friday
2008: The Morning Sun Greets Guadalupe
2007: Starting Soon. No, Really.
2006: This Mary Doesn’t Go To Pre-School
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ghosts Of Retail

Courtesy of Google Images
So yesterday I mentioned the new Fountains at Farah shopping center in El Paso, Texas.  Today I met an old friend there for coffee.  After she left, Ed and I did a little more shopping - Ed bought a new pair of shoes, and then we hit Nordstrom Rack to have Ed try on suits for his million miler awards banquet in July.

When I first saw the name, Fountains at Farah, I said to myself, Farah is a Middle Eastern name.  That's unusual here in El Paso where Spanish words and names seem to be the norm.  I wonder what the significance of Farah is?

So today I did a little research.

What I found first was this 1998 obituary for William F. Farah, the descendant of the Lebanese family that settled in Texas at the turn of the century, and ran a large men's apparel business founded in 1920.  His father, Mansour, was the Farah behind the name.

The Farah family made millions on one of the most popular clothing items of the seventies, the leisure suit - I remember my father and uncles wearing leisure suits, they were the height of fashionable polyester.  By 1972, Farah became the world's largest manufacturer of men's and boy's slacks.

But that same year the company suffered an enormous blow when the plant's workers went on strike.  The strike, which was the second largest of its kind, lasted almost two years (22 months) and effectively crippled the company.  They lost millions of dollars simply by workers and their supporters spreading the word to NOT BUY Farah products.

Imagine what it would be like if people today, not just workers at companies, boycotted products in this manner?  It's one thing for workers to want fair wages, better benefits, and reasonable working conditions - no wonder Walmart doesn't want their workers to unionize - but it's another for consumers to have their voices heard by not buying something that causes others to suffer.  The power of that decision was seen in this strike - over forty years ago.

¡Viva La Huelga! (Long live the strike!)

That said, the union contract in 1974 did include pay increases and job security amount other provisions, but Farah still suffered financially and later contracts removed many of the benefits won in the strike.  Farah, Inc. had significant losses in years following, and went through some changes, but the company is still around today.

So that sort of solves the mystery of the name.  The original manufacturing plant was the subject of some
debate.  Back in 2008, the City Council said, "If taxpayers are going participate in the retail development of the old Farah site, then City Council doesn’t want just another mall or pretty shopping center with the same old stores but something special, unusual, innovative and new to El Paso."

The construction began in 2012 and was finished in late 2013.  There are still some stores that are "Coming Soon" - like West Elm (love!) - but with its fountains, live entertainment area, and outdoor space, El Paso ultimately got a beautiful new multi-level shopping center.  They even have electric car charging stations!

And now I have a reason to stop in a town we usually breeze through in the wee hours of the morning.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  Orange Is The Devil
2012: Sixteen Hundred Miles Makes All The Difference
2011: In Need Of Some Color
2010: 122 Years And Counting
2009: Sixteen Days Old
2008: Racism Comes With A Convenient Handle
2007: Evening Tide
2006: Glittering Pasties And Swinging Tassles
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ciudad Juárez En La Noche

Beyond the lit trees in the foreground of this picture is a view of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico's fifth largest city.

Ed and I visited El Paso's newest shopping center, The Fountains at Farah, and this is the view from the parking lot's top level.  They have a Barnes and Noble, ULTA, Nordstrom Rack and a Grimaldi's Pizzeria. Believe it or not, my amazing Eddie found extremely close truck parking so we will definitely be back.

I love my job.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  Live It Up!
2012: The Last Supper
2011: New York Always Stands Out
2010: Visitor Number 933 To Room 525
2009: Makes A Nice Desktop
2008: Leaning Tower Of Texas
2007: It Should Be Called “Thimble Shot”
2006: Southern Hideaway
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sitting In The Sun Of The Southwest

On this last trip we drove through White Sands in New Mexico, a place we've been through countless times.  Here's a drive-by photo of the rest area at the top of the hill before descending into Las Cruces.
While in Las Cruces we had lunch at Nopalito's, a restaurant I found through the RoadFood website.  I listen to a podcast (The Splendid Table) that features a segment by Jane and Michael Stern, the RoadFood founders, who travel the country specifically to find places to eat.  I often check them out to see if they've done a write up on anything in the area that interests me.  We hadn't eaten Mexican in a while, so this place fit the bill.

The day after lunch we delivered our load; it took less than an hour.  After we faxed in all our paperwork to get paid, we were heading to do laundry but got sidetracked by Redbox.  We rented four movies.  Yeah, we had loads of time.

We saw "Out of The Furnace" (such a stupid time suck, and I couldn't even tell you what it was about), "12 Years A Slave" (heartwrenching tearjerker), "Philomena" (charming true story, superbly acted, with Steven Coogan doing a great job in both the writing of the screenplay and the acting of his character) and "The Book Thief" (I loved the story - apparently it veered a bit from the actual book - and the acting of beautiful Sophie Nélisse in the lead role).

Now we're waiting on another load.  As Ed would say, "That's trucking."  We run for two days, sit for three.  Run hard for three, sit for five.  I'm okay with the sitting as I have no problem finding things to do, but I do often find myself squandering valuable time.  I've even found myself doing more things on this list than I'd like to admit.

We tend to be night owls, and not just regular night owls.  We're what you'd call extreme night owls.  I don't even think we have circadian rhythms.  
The challenge we have is waking up early enough to start looking for loads, especially if we're in the Pacific time zone.  This time of year it means being up at five to catch the east coast loads that start posting at eight.  If we go to sleep at two, five in the morning comes awfully quick.  

Which reminds me - I have to get up early to make the most of my time squandering.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: The Sunniest Black Hole

2012: A Visit From Woodland Creatures
2011: The Man I’m Spending My Nights With
2010: Let’s Hope This Industrious City Can Get Our Truck Fixed
2009: Free Range Horns And Humps
2008: The Earth Is Sending The Paper To The Folder
2007: Some People Are SAD; I Am Not One Of Them
2006: An Eye For Fashion…And Other Things
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Feed The Children Of The World

My best friend Vicki told me a few weeks ago that she needed a new tote bag.  Something to carry to work for her lunch, snacks, whatever she needed for the day.  She knows I'm always out and about and since I know what she likes, she asked me to keep my eyes open for something.

I scoured the web in my free time, checking places like Amazon,, and Etsy.  When I was out in the brick-and-mortars, I checked Nordstrom Rack, Ross and Marshalls.  But I didn't find anything i liked.  Until I came across the FEED bag.  

I've seen these bags before in magazines I spent many hours reading.  And after reading the FEED website, I decided it was the one I wanted.  It was created by Lauren Bush - model, designer, activist - in 2006 to benefit the United Nations World Food Programme's School Feeding Program.

I knew immediately this was the bag for Vicki.  Not only does she love to feed people - and the bag says FEED on it - but she's also very passionate about young children and helping them in any way possible.  She's a beacon of sunshine at her daughter's school, where children from all walks of life run up to her in the halls to say hello to a get a hug from "Miss Vicki".  

The purchase of this bag will provide 1 child with school meals for 1 year.  I couldn't not get it.  Hell, we spend more on one meal when we dine out than this bag costs.  The bag, in the original burlap of the bags food rations were distributed in, was the perfect casual accessory for my very low key, very non-flashy friend.

When I started to comb through the website, I saw another bag I wanted to buy, for my cousin who's getting married next month.  I didn't attend the bridal shower (I was at the truck show in Louisville) and hadn't sent a gift yet.  Sure, it's not on her registry, but you don't have to get something on the registry, right?  
Instead, I got this bag, which provides 1 child with micronutrients for 1 year.  And it's a keepsake.  And, my cousin is very "green" and very conscious of how her eating, purchases, and actions affect others, so I knew she'd like that it not only takes care of a child, but it's also made of organic cotton. 

When each bag is purchased, a confirmation screen comes up with these two kids.  How can you not feel good about providing a way for a child to grow, learn and thrive??  Just look at those faces.
Information on the FEED website states, "school feeding is one of the most effective solutions to stopping hunger and empowering children to break out of the poverty cycle they were born into...The food gets kids to attend school, gives them energy they need to learn, and empowers them to better their lives...When boys and girls are given a fee, nutritious meal in school. research has show that attendance and performance greatly increases.  Girls with just a few years of education have fewer children, have them later in life, and are better prepared to care for and education them....and for many children, a school lunch is the only meal they will receive all day, and often take home rations of their school lunch to provide dinner for their families."

Leftovers to feed their families.  My God.  What must that be like?

My friend loved her bag so much when she received it, and her daughter was impressed with the message and meaning the bag represented, that the next thing I bought from the FEED website was for her, this coin purse.  The purchase of the coin purse will provide 20 micronutrient packets to children in Guatemala.  For the price of three lattes.  

There are other items on the website that I loved as well.  T-shirts, bracelets, backpacks, messenger bags, etc.  I think it's a great idea to keep in mind when you want to get someone a unique gift.

I'm very happy to have come across these bags and I'm thrilled that they were so well received.  I'm even happier knowing good comes from their purchase.

Which is more than I can say for most of the things I spend my money on.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Burst Of Power
2012: If This Worked, I’d Become A Cannibal
2011: How I While Away The Hours
2010: Incredibly Average, Yet Heroic If Necessary
2009: May I Take A Message?
2008: Doing The Speed Limit In Your Sleep
2007: Now I Can Go Back To Watching The Show
2006: Ten Of Life’s Simplest Pleasures
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Break Time Selfie

We took this picture last week but for the life of me I can't remember where it was. Somewhere in Jersey for sure, but I can't imagine that I would lay in the grass for any reason.

Well, whatever.  Here we are.  A selfie of my toothpick totin' boyfriend and me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: The Glories Of Our Journey
2012: The Herb Whisperer
2011: The Switch Between Morning Glory And Country Strong
2010: Name That Tree
2009: Getting Plowed
2008: Eddie Friday In Squares
2007: The Color Of Elizabeth’s Eyes
2006: The Result Of A Little Flax In Your Diet
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Where Are We?

Coming down the hill into Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Not that you'd have any idea because this could be any hill in the Southwest, they all basically look the same.

For all you lovers of the western United States, this is for you.

Don't burn your eyes looking at all the beauty.

That was sarcasm just in case you didn't catch it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Where You'd Go For Camel Repair
2012: The Color Of Happy
2011: Taking Possession Of The Sound
2010: The Bridge People
2009: Knocking Us Off One Candy Bar At A Time
2008: How To Entertain Yourself When Hanging Out With Sight Impaired Adults
2007: Is It REALLY Such A Mystery??
2006: Heading South And Going Country
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More Important Than Taxes

I hate video games.  All video games.  Well, except for Pac-Man, Asteroids, Pong and Tetris.  But I haven't played any of those in more than thirty years, so they kinda don't count.

The ones I dislike are the kinds that swallow time.  The interactive, first-person-shooter, go on an adventure like Indiana Jones through an ancient tomb, become a soldier without actually going to war, drive rice burners through the streets of L.A. types. They're all-consuming and when one is playing them, the walls could crumble down around them and they'd just step over the rubble and continue into the next room looking for the zombies or soldiers or whatever the hell they're shooting at.  

Yesterday Ed's phone rang but he was busy and didn't answer it.  Then my phone rang - same number - so I answered it.  It was our accountant.

She said she had just tried to call Ed but it went to voicemail.  I said, "Oh, I know.  He's right here but he was in the middle of something important and couldn't reach the phone in time.  Let me put him on the line."  He was sitting literally two feet from me.

The important thing he was in the middle of?

Playing a fucking video game.

That's right, people.  I covered for my 15-year-old-in-a-39-year-old-body boyfriend.

I know, I rock.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  Stadium Seating
2012: Where Ed Was Found Roaming The Aisles
2011: If You Happen To Have A Few Hundred Million Lying Around, Have I Got A Deal For You
2010: Another Day At The Port
2009: Buggin’ Out
2008: Hangin’ Out With Ray Stoker Jr.
2007: Sunset On The Move
2006: Happy Easter
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Compliance By Guilt

Don't want to be responsible for killing kids?  Shut off your engine.

At least this sign wasn't in a truck stop.  I came across this in a city park in New Jersey.  On the fence near the basketball courts.

Makes sense.  And there were no cars idling, so maybe it works.

Perhaps we do need to put these up in truck stops.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  The Difference A Zero Makes

2012: Pre-Digital
2011: The Sun Sets On The Roughrider State
2010: Diamond Studded Proof
2009: How A Book Defies Its Cover
2008: How To Up Your Chances For A Sweet Monkey Lovin’ Romp
2007: Activities Director
2006: Ah, But It Is SO Worth It
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Power To The Tree

Yeah, so, there's really nothing going on.  We've spent the weekend goofing off, eating out, and riding bikes.  The weather is beautiful but there hasn't been anything too exciting to write about or photograph.

Here's a picture of a tree and some power lines.  I noticed it when I looked up from the bench I was sitting on.

Oooooooh, a tree.

It's the best I could do. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2013: For Mommy
2012: There’s Always Room For La Dolce Vita
2011: Drop It Like It’s Hot
2010: The Art Of Being Tardy
2009: Vantage Point
2008: Cape Cahd Hadba
2007: Waxing Brilliant
2006: Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seveeeeennnn!
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mysterious Exercise

On our bike ride in Jersey we found a park that had exercise stations set up along the path.  I didn't try any of them, but Ed attempted several.

This is the pull-up station.  Here is Ed getting ready to do one.

Whether he succeeded or not shall remain a mystery.

PS:  He's a former Marine.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2013: Doris Day Spends The Weekend In Texas
2012: Evening Ball
2011: Taxes And Ta-Tas
2010: Ah, The Subtle Contrasts Of New Jersey
2009: A Fishy Pishy Is Never Dishy
2008: Before The Luck Ran Out
2006: Five Guys I’m In Love With This Week
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

You Look Hungry, Take These For Later

We are hanging out in New Jersey again for the weekend, and since today was so beautiful we took the bikes out for a few hours.  The day started with an iced latte from Dunkin', then a trip to the post office, then a bike ride through Secaucus which took us to a "park" on the Hackensack River - it was really a few walking trails through what looked like an abandoned dump site where people take their dogs to take a shit - then halfway to the Dinosaur Field Station.  Halfway because I was pooping out.

After all of our riding, about ten miles, we headed to Linda's Thai Kitchen for dinner. Linda's has nothing but rave reviews on Urban Spoon, Yelp, Google and Trip Advisor.  And for good reason.  It's not a fancy place, but the food is good - we tried the Heaven Beef appetizer and Drunken Noodle entree based on the many good reviews of both - and the service is better than some high end places I've been to.  Linda herself greeted us and took our order. She was as nice as the reviews said she is.  She has a little area set up in the back corner of the restaurant that looks like it could be a corner of her apartment.  It's very Mom & Pop.

And dessert was on the house, fresh baked brownie cookies, two each.  I had read that she did that, gave out little complimentary sweets, whatever she baked that day.  I was caught wrapping ours up in a napkin because I wanted to have them later, back at the truck, with tea.  I explained what I was doing and she asked if I wanted more to take with me.  "Oh, no, no.  This is fine." I said.  But as we were leaving, I was handed a Ziploc bag with two other cookies in it.  How great is that??  It was like leaving my grandmother's house with her still trying to feed me.

We'll be back.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  A Dumpster Diver's Dream
2012: Reigning Over Sitting 300 Days A Year
2011: Raining In Baltimore
2010: Back That Ass Up
2009: Shaved, Slivered, Sliced, Grated, Chunked, And Best Of All, In Meatballs
2008: Too Small For America?
2007: Waiting For A Beautiful Balsamic Splash
2006: Other Weird Things In Utah
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, April 11, 2014

I Lost Sleep Looking At All These Links

Near Snoqualmie Pass along Interstate-90 in Washington state
Finally finished with our cross-country run from Seattle to Newark.  Today we took the day off.  Over the past week I've come across some stuff on the internet.  Some from FlipBoard, others by using valuable sleep time to surf the web.  Here you go...

Lots of lists.  I lost quite a bit of time on this site and I'm slightly inspired to create my own category for lists. 

City lights.  Lots of them.  

Muscadine grapes.  I did a post about them a couple of years ago, calling in to one of my favorite radio shows for some ideas on what to do with them.  These people made juice.  Why didn't I think of that??

Cookie dough bites?  With coconut??  Wow.

I'm pretty sure I couldn't do 500 miles, but I love the Hudson Valley.  I bet I can do it in 25-mile chunks.

Vermont and Heroin?  I never knew.  I did hear from a Vermonter that this isn't new news to them, it's just recently become quite public.  Whatever.  I will still always think of Vermont as the place to get maple syrup, Ben & Jerry's, and Cabot Cheese.  Not Smack.

This article was sent by a friend, and Blow is absolutely spot on.  We SHOULD be in a rage.  Start ragin' people.  Start ragin'.

This came a little late but now I think I somewhat understand how this shit works.

This is interesting.  Totally eliminates the whole pesky buckling part.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Five Facets Of Comfort
2012: The Daily Rant Brings You The Daily Commute
2011: Not For The Shy
2010: A Barge And A Lady
2009: Easter Preparation Takes Its Toll
2008: Eddie In The Blue Friday
2007: The Man Filter
2006: There Is Still A Chance
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

No Wonder China Is The Exporting Superpower

It's been over a year since we've been to a port.  Now I remember why we hate going.

It's an all day affair.

Granted, our most recent visit to the Port of Newark was hindered in part by Ed having to get a new SeaLink card, which took several hours more than it should have, but being in the port creates an even longer delay.

Going to the port should be easy, but it never is.  The procedure in theory isn't that hard - you pull in, you're squawked at by a very loud guy coming over an intercom asking you for your booking number, container number, and trucking company name.  Then they check that and send you to the next gate where you weigh the truck and have the container inspected.  After that, you're told where to go to have the container removed from the truck.  Sounds simple, right?

But right at that intercom is where the runaround begins.  God forbid anyone give you a map to a place where the thousands of containers stacked four high look exactly the same.  Directions are impossible because nothing's marked.  And if it is marked, you're never given a number coordinating with the markings.  Eventually, you get so frustrated you wind up asking a forklift driver where to go.  He points.  If you catch his neanderthal gesture, you head in the general direction of the pointed finger until you find another equally uninterested forklift driver who tells you go to see "that guy".  "That guy" tells you to go to another guy, who tells you to go back to the first area.  

After driving around aimlessly, someone inevitably points you to the trouble window.  That's actually what it's called, The Trouble Window.  At this aptly named window, they are supposed to root out the trouble.  For us the trouble was that our truck wouldn't fit on the scale because it was too long.  And if you can't get weighed, you can't unload your stuff.

So what did they do?  They took the weight off the Bill of Lading, which was there all along, from the moment we entered the gate.  After they recorded the weight, they sent us back to the guy who checks the seal on the container, who then wrongfully sent us to a slot to unload.

Which wasn't where we were supposed to be.  At ALL.

So the slot guy said to go back to the scale guy, the scale guy sent us back to the seal guy, the seal guy sent us back to the slot guy, who sent us back to the scale guy, who sent us back to the seal guy, who sent us back to the slot guy.  You see where this is going, right?

I say it every single time we load or unload at a port....

I'm fucking amazed that anything imported or exported ever makes it any further than our shores.

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2013: 109 Miles Of White Knuckle Passengering 
2012: Strong
2011: The Man Unmasked
2010: Fingers Crossed For All Things Motorized!
2009: Eddie Forces A Smile Friday
2008: A, B, C, D, DD: No Matter What The Letter, The Trauma Is The Same
2007: How To Watch American Idol The Right Way
2006: Dings And Hos
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!