Saturday, May 30, 2020

Well it's almost 3 pm and I haven't heard from the manager about a run for tomorrow, so I'm going to assume that it isn't going to happen. He doesn't deal with this the same as the old manager did.  He gets the runs out much earlier - something I very much like - easier to prep for a run when you know well enough in advance how much time you're going to spend on the road.

I have really no idea what's going on with runs and the schedule.  I got back in after he had left the office yesterday.  We're still being held in our trucks at the loading plant - and if that continues much longer, we are all going to be frying like roasting chickens in an oven for the temps have been going up.  I really don't see how they make us wait in a truck that is shut off and no AC when it's 90 plus degrees outside with high humidity.  I'll get out and stand under a tree, thanks. Anyway, if I knew what the schedule was I could have a guesstimate of how long it will be before my next load.

Paychecks will start showing the last few weeks of nothingness.  Vacation hours taken for this week, 2 runs on the books for next week - but the first one was less than 400 miles.  All the gains I have made in recent times will just evaporate into thin air.  Oh well.


Getting up early to take Maria to the Amtrak station.  She is headed to Houston for the C-section of her first grandchild, scheduled for Friday if I recall correctly.  I dunno what's going to happen over there, the other 2 ladies are at each other's throats. The one just moved in, she just got dumped by her mate, the other is cranking about the fact that the new one doesn't do her share of the work around the house  It won't surprise me if one of them is moving out by the time Maria gets back. Maria has been playing intermediary. But hopefully the one that promised to take care of her bird and dogs will stay.  If not, all of that animal burden will end up over here until Maria gets back.

As for me, I pulled a muscle in my leg attempting to race a 5 year old.  Yup, I didn't stretch and therefore, I am now paying for it.  It's rather painful, I must admit.  Ice, I know, but it's on the back side of my leg, just below my butt, just going to go to bed and hope it will feel better in the morning.


Didn't feel like starting another post.  So, it's now Thursday morning, took Maria to the train station, she got word on her way down there - well she's still enroute - that the baby was delivered. Baby boy, 6 pounds, 4 ounces.  So she's all excited, happy, tears of joy, etc.  I'm happy for her, especially getting a break from that house and getting out of there for a while.  Especially in a house with 3 ladies.  They all go at it at times.  It would have been nice to get a male in there, but there were none to be found, at least not during the times we were looking.  Maria will have to figure out how to come up with the extra $100 per month tho.  The owner of the house isn't backing down - tho if we were to move out I doubt he would find anyone to take that house for that much money.

I've been watching rentals in this town and alot of them just sit there - seemingly forever - too small and over priced. The same true with this house.  But we have no where - yet anyway - to move to.  And moving costs.  Switching the services isn't free and moving everything I could do with some help, but still it's a lot of work and free time spent.  I haven't actually made my mind up yet - but I will soon because we are going to be getting down to the wire once we get into June.

Meanwhile, my kabob skewers are going to be great today! I hope anyway lol.  Marinated chicken, beef and cajun seasoned shrimp with tomato chunks, pineapple squares, seasoned mushrooms, onions and something else I can't remember right now. Last time I made them they disappeared with only a couple left over. But since Taylor wanted 3 meats on them, there will be a lot left over - which is cool because I'm going to Oklahoma tomorrow and would like to take at least a couple of them with me.

Okay. Taylor won't want anything on hers besides the meats and mushrooms. Everyone has their tastes lol, I like different flavors on the skewers and some vegetables are necessary IMO for that effect.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Brownsville trip uneventful.  I was the first load down there since the shutdown I found out this morning.  Strange they only had one empty trailer sitting there. I'd think after all this time they'd have a yard full of them.  Well whatever, hooked up to it this morning and got back up to  - well almost the yard when my my manager called.

Hey what's up! he asks. Oh, just finishing out the run.  Oh, are you on the road? Yes. What run?

I'm coming back from Brownsville? lol  Okkkkk, the dude is new, he doesn't have this all down yet. 

Oh, well never mind.  Uhh - not knowing what he needed - "I'm 20 minutes from the yard".  Ohhh, ok, well someone bailed out on doing a run tomorrow, but you are way back in the line". 

Okay, I replied, I like to treat drivers fairly so it's no problem.  He started to go into how I was one of his best drivers and that customer service is more important - and then he cut himself off.  That was interesting.  But not anything new.  We have several drivers that are on their own schedule, they used to get away with whatever - taking their time basically, stopping all the time, not getting to their destinations when they are supposed to. 

The problem, of course, is that the customers have time windows when they want the product there. People taking 14 hour breaks instead of 10, getting to destinations 8 hours late -etc - doesn't make customers happy. 

Well I didn't get the run, of course, he found someone up the line on the queue for getting the next run.  So I dunno when I'm going out again, didn't ask, it is what it is. 

Home.  Maria is going to Houston on Thursday.  C-Section coming up for son's wife's baby.  They wanted her to be there.  She has no intended return date - the son told her they'd figure it out.  So any runs coming up my dogs well be at home - out back during the day and probably getting into trouble lol.  But it's fine, James will take care of the dogs. 

Tomorrow: No clue.  But I just thought - best go out and get some food out of the freezer and defrost.  Taylor has been wanting a replay of the kabobs I made a while back - but not with just chicken.  Chicken, steak and shrimp. Yea maybe, just one package of frozen shrimp, have the beef and chicken already.  She doesn't want anything else on them, but on mine and James? Put some mushroom, onions and bell peppers. That's going to be quite a bit of kabobs tho. 

I was actually thinking ribs tomorrow tho.  Grilled - slow cooked like I used to them.  Not smoked this time.  Get them nice and tender with a nice texture and then coat them with BBQ sauce.  Yessssss

Well, tomorrow, I do believe I'll take the trailer to a tire shop and have the tire fixed. We loaned it to a couple that needed it to go to Dallas and get a commercial sized refrigerator.  For what? I have no clue, a 3 person family, but that's none of my business. I just saw that one of the tires was flat - must of picked up a nail or something on the way, the tire isn't destroyed.  And since that trailer will be out of the way,  a LOT of leaves there. And probably snakes.  Unless the rain continues, I'll likely clean all of that up.  Oh yes, every time I've cleaned that area out, I've run into Copperheads. 

Yea, I'd love to go boating tomorrow...and now that I have a fishing license, throw some rods over the side and go fishing as well. 

Well, that's it for today!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Day...3? No Day 4 of this stuff.  Stuff being nana here and kids - now getting on daddy's nerves and he was spanking them earlier, telling them he's had enough and will just spank them if they continue to ignore him.  Kids woke me up this morning, much earlier than I wanted to wake up with them running around the house making all kinds of noise.  I should have thought about it last night and set up my box fan next to the bedroom door and turned up on high.  That will sufficiently drown out the noise and allow me to sleep in. 

100% chance of thunderstorms today, according to the forecast. The forecasts, however, are notoriously bad about accurately predicting the weather in these parts.  I don't really believe them anymore.  Just look at the weather radar and figure out if there might be rain or not.  If the radar is accurate, then we are in for one heckuva storm around 4:00 pm.  Last night we were discussing just getting the generator out.  High probability if there is a thunderstorm, there is going to be a power outage.  Yesterday morning, the power went out momentarily during the thunderstorm that had developed, but, it came right back on and amazingly stayed on after that. 

But I don't know.  I think we can just wait and see.  If the power goes out, we might get a bit wet getting it out of the shed but I'd rather leave the thing in there versus pull it out and have to put it back in. The thing weighs over 200 pounds.  James tore down the rotten ramp into the shed, it's about 3 feet up off the ground. I have ramps for my trailer that we can use to get it out, but we just lifted the thing up in there last time.  There's lots and lots of thieves around here, we don't have a camera in the back and it would be easy for a thief to just come back there and take the thing.  I suppose it would be easy to break it out of the shed, but at least they'd have to understand that it's actually in there and go to the trouble of breaking the lock off.  There is a dog - their dog - back there all day long.  It's a small, scraggly thing that I doubt would scare many people, I'd really like to get a camera back there for asset protection. 

Between a 4 wheeler, a freezer full of meat, the brand new generator, a $500 Oklahoma Joe's grill and other things, I think the $5 per month for continuous recording on a wireless camera would be worth the money.  The problem is that thieves will come up the creek behind the house.  Since there's a chain link fence, they are protected from any dogs before trying to make any moves.  Now if Addler is back there, thieves will think twice.  Unless they are going to try and poison or shoot him, they will get bitten if they try to come into the yard.  I know, Addler is a big old goofy, loving dog. But when it comes to his property, he will defend it.  He has the right, private property, fenced off. 


Sunday. Raining.  A couple of hours before I have to go to sleep.

Called my son and wished him a happy Birthday, fortunately  he had a few minutes to talk, we don't do that very often anymore, we mostly text.  Hard to wrap my mind around having a son that is 27 years old.  His life is currently going well, from the sounds of it. He has one class left he needs to take to finish his degree in college.  He said he has excellent credit and they almost have enough saved to buy a house.  And he's been writing a book! I didn't know this at all!  6-8 months he figured he'd been working on it  A fun work, he described it as, I can't wait to see what he has come up with.

Anyway a pleasant conversation. 

Today was spent watching kids screaming about getting into a swimming pool.  Digging out a large hole for the other rose bush - yes I got that done, mostly cause' Taylor wanted it done, lol. The lady of the house pretty much gets her way haha.  Foot races,  playing catch, lots of chatting, taking it easy other the rose bush - tho James helped this time. Dig, find tree roots, he took a spade and cut them out. Dig some more - more tree roots.  No wonder the other roses we had planted there died out  Bad soil, loaded with tree roots. 

Yesterday's 400 miles was good for helping me start to get back into work mode.  My Keurig machine arrive today - a small one I bought for the truck. Countless times I've been in situations where coffee? Not available. have to get up, get on the clock and drive down the road. Or in Brownsville, if I stay at the yard, I have to drive up to the trucstop to get it.  Not the end of the world, but I really want that first cup shortly after I get up.  I already buy K-cups for my Keurig at home and Ollie's sells the varieties I like at much reduced pricing.  I always carry bottled water, so I have everything now to just make my own coffee. Oh yes, and I always take heavy cream with me, it's part of the Keto diet, load it up with fat filled cream, drink, lose the weight, done.

These companies and their packaging. This thing comes in it's own box. It's then put into a larger box. A box in a box.  Waste.  And then, it's filled with - usually plastic bubble wrap but this on was unusual.  It had a ten foot long "thing" of brown paper tubing.  I have never seen it before.  Paper versus plastic.  Not a fan of this disposable plastic junk. It's filling the world with waste.  I'm not a tree hugger, but plastic everything needs to go.  We don't need plastic bottles, plastic fillers, plastic endless.  The floating islands on the oceans got me to thinking about that.  Especially the island that they estimate is the size of TEXAS floating out there. 

Oh, and a charging cord I ordered.  I received a box big enough for a laptop computer. I opened that up to find another box inside of it. Inside of that box was the box the cord came in?  What one earth are these people thinking? 

Anyway hopefully I'm mentally prepared enough to get back into the work mode. These long intervals off I never like at the beginning because I know what it does to my psyche. And then, when I'm off too long, I don't want to go back to work. Okay, call me a whining baby, it's just the way it affects me.  I'll be good tomorrow - about 300 miles into the trip lol. 

Finally, the rain. It's nice actually to hear the rain falling.  Some sort of comfort or peace comes from it.  Tranquility?  Whatever it is, it's all good for me. 

Time to make a bit of food for the road tomorrow and go to bed.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

So the house has gone to hell.

There isn't really any other way to put it.

When grandma comes, the kids - get away with everything, want everything, break house rules, engage in continuous whining, crying and complaining, don't sleep well, then get even more ridiculous.

Compounding the problem is she hasn't been here in months - coronavirus - no can do.  It came to a boil a few minutes ago and I decided my bedroom was a good place to be.  Mama is angry, papa is caught in the middle and grandma - well it's all good I guess.

Now, mama said no pool, the kids are crying, the pool is covered back up and - it's whatever to me.  I don't care if anyone goes swimming or not.  She - made some remarks and went into her bedroom and that was that.

Although some shape and form of this happens every time she comes here - grandma - this time has been particularly bad.  Whatever the case, that was last night.  Mama was pissed, said a few things to me in whispers - not happy things tho nothing about my actions since I was no part of any of this - and went off to her bedroom.


Okay, well today, Saturday, was supposed to be the first day the plant fired back up.  I was rather surprised to get to the yard and find all truck there.  All the driver's trucks and all the spare trucks.  How is the plant back in operation and none of our trucks at the plant loading? This is why I bit my tongue the other day when he sent me a Monday load - when i was originally scheduled to get back to back Brownsville loads starting today.  I get far more information from the manager if I'm in his office and chatting.  Then he apparently feels compelled to spill the beans - all of it.  So, maybe we aren't getting any loads until Monday? I have no clue. 

I have the 3rd load Monday.  Normally i would think, cool, there is a high probability of getting overnight detention pay. But since we're just firing back up? Nope.  There should be a yard full of empty trailers sitting down there.  How do we get ahead? Well, if we get down there and there are empties, we leave after the 10 hour break. That will happen until all empties are gone and they aren't, as normal, keeping up with it. Then we start getting the layover pay.

Today's run was uneventful. I didn't sleep worth a crap last night, woke up at midnight and got to sleep somewhere between 3 and 4 am.  I turned the alarm off, if I do get back to sleep, I don't care when I wake up, the run today is a short one, I'll get home today regardless.  What woke me up today?  Extremely loud thunderclaps.  Major storm with pounding rain.  It was 7:00 am.  I dragged myself out of bed, got the Keurig machine fired up, got in the shower, let the water run and wake me up, a cup of coffee, force the dogs out the back door. Addler wanted nothing to do with it, Aspyn was already trembling with fear from the thunder.

But I wanted them to go pee, please.  I don't know if they did or didn't. I left them out there until I got my other stuff done and let them back in, put them in my room and asked James to please deal with them today.  He likes my dogs, thankfully, so it was no problem. 

I got to work, dragging.  Just told myself, it's only 400 miles today.  Half of it will have no trailer attached and I am going home today.  Well, my old church showed up on Facebook with a Zoom meeting.  Not a meeting, but prayer and bible verses.  Zoom is both ways. You see them, they also see you.  I mean, what I'm doing shouldn't make any difference, if they don't want to see it, don't look at it.  What I was doing was driving the truck, shifting gears, looking in mirrors, looking at the sites going by but also listening to everything.  This is a huge church, was interesting there were only 27 other people online for it.  It was funny when the pastor, at the end, made mention that the format works - literally wherever or whatever you are doing, referring to what I was doing lol.  He wasn't complaining tho.

I got down to this itty bitty yard  - hadn't been here before, the trailer I was hauling as a methane gas trailer - dropped the trailer and decided to take an extended nap. No time limits here, there was 9-1/2 hours left on the 14 hour clock and plenty of drive hour.  Sleep did not come quickly, for whatever reason, but it did finally happen and I felt much better after that. 

Back to the yard, all the trucks still there, back home.  Nope, they didn't go swimming today either.  They bought this pool what, a week ago at least?  But I imagine she was still unhappy.  Well, I know she is.  After Monday, the house will get back to normal after nana leaves, but the kids will take a while.  I'm not saying she's a bad person, but whatever happens when she comes?  Those kids get very different attitudes - mostly bad attitudes.   They are cranky, they don't sleep well, they get petulant and don't want to listen.  A week or more of "recovery" has to occur before it actually gets back to normal.  I hung out with the peeps for several hours, but I decided to hibernate to my bedroom and chill.  Dogs chilling with me : )  Addler is zonked out, I dunno what he's been doing all day lol.

No agendas for tomorrow. Some things I'd like to do. Plant the second rose bush, the first one is in the ground.  Clean up the side of the house - natural disaster.  Clean up the firewood pile. Take your pick, I'm not doing all of them, lol, I may not do any of them if the weather gets as bad as the forecasts say. But, it's really hard anymore to believe any forecasts around here....

With that, watch a bit of TV - no news - and go to bed.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Being exceedingly bored with the internet, sick of the endless political war over the virus and generally wanting to do something else, I spent the entire day working around the house. The list was rather long.  Wash the kitchen rugs, wash my dog bedding and rug, clean the kitchen, smoke a brisket, mow the front lawn, pick up piles of sticks from the giant tree out front that have accumulated everywhere, get out the pressure washer and begin cleaning the exceedingly dirty driveway.  Mixed in a run the coffee shop, took a drink to Taylor at her work, went to Walmart for a 3 wheeler for Jaxon - he's the 3 year old, gets quite unhappy about the 5 year old's bike because isn't capable of riding it yet.  Put that together as well. Didn't quite expect heavily part laden project to put it together, but that's what it was.

I didn't get that together until tonight, Jaxon was in bed before I got it done, he can try it tomorrow. Phoenix - the 5 year old - got on it instead and was riding it in the dining room.  Grandma showed up today and is apparently staying until sometime next week. Grandpa is coming after work on Friday.  It's always interesting when they are around lol.

Anyway, I felt much better about spending the actually doing something than just sitting around watching TV or browsing the internet. That gets boring after  a while and I've been off 8 days now with allegedly 2 more to go.  My alleged schedule is working 4 straight days with 2 Brownsville trips and yes, working through yet another holiday.  But after being off work so long, I will be ready to hit the road and get some trips going for paychecks.

Speaking of that, the company sends me a run down of the trips they're paying me for and what is being paid for what.  Noticing that an entire Brownsville run was missing, I contacted payroll via email. She replied that there was no such run and no paperwork.

Lol, okay.  I contacted my manager and gave him the trip number.  He came back 2 hours later and said there is no such run, no such run in the system, no paperwork and you didn't turn it in.

The hell I didn't.  I never leave the yard after a trip without turning in the paperwork before leaving. I want to get paid for it, sitting on paperwork does absolutely no good.  I distinctly remembered turning in that paperwork because there were so many anomolies with it.  Being told to wait for a trailer even tho there were empty ones there. Then being told 2 hours later to take one of the trailers to Baytown, TX to a repair facility. The loading plant - the pump wasn't working and I was almost 5 hours there.  There was extra pay associated with that trip, it stuck out in my mind.

So it was whatever to me. "Someone is going to have to research this and find the paperwork".  No reply from my manager.  I then sent him the dispatch he sent me when I got that run.  I was prepared to send all the subsequent text messages, but I figured that should be enough.  Hours later, he finally replied he had found the paperwork that he originally said didn't exist and was working on getting it onto my next paycheck. Yes, please and thank you.  Just a bit disconcerting to have 2 people in the company tell you the trip number didn't exist and the run never occurred.  Lol, OKKKKK. What it tells me is the new manager probably screwed up. I mean, all's well that ends well, so no particular biggie to me, this kind of thing has been happening since I started working there - tho never to the point of being told the trip number doesn't exist lmao.

No word on the boat, I'll start getting impatient after 2 weeks. Then I may call them. After a day in the shop, my SUV engine light came back on.  Okay, I spent good money getting this fixed, now I have to take the thing back? gag.  It's running fine, but that light irritates me. I spent over $500 to get rid of that light.  It means something is wrong.  I may just go to Autozone tomorrow and have them hook up their computer and see if it gives any codes.


Friday. Presumably last day of "vacation".  Can't say I'm ready to go back to work now. Just the way it is, when I'm off work too long, I usually don't feel like going back.  Much better to keep busy.

Okay well I just found out that the plant is reopening tomorrow - but that the Brownsville run canceled 5 loads.  But, there were still 5 loads going.  I've been off work the longest, I should have gotten the first load going out, instead, he's got me doing Brownsville on Monday and asking if I can take an empty to Conroe, Texas tomorrow.  Well I can, I thought, but why am I not getting one of the first Brownsville runs to go out?  I didn't ask him that, I dunno if he forgot that I was off that long or if - other things I won't mention. Just won't go there unless evidence arises to back suspicions. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Was going to smoke brisket today, but the lady gave me a frozen brisket so i guess we'll do that tomorrow.  I want to start early and cook it around 200-225 for however many hours - probably at least 12 - to get it to the falling apart with a fork mode.  The price of food is rising - that was predictable and coming to pass.  Ground beef is up several dollars per pound - the meat supply was disappearing around here but now it's slowed way down after the rising prices.

Supply and demand.  I was at least happy to see that the toilet paper chaos appears to be over.  Cleaning supplies with bleach - Lysol especially - is still a rare find.  This cattle ranch has higher prices, but that's to be expected for quality cuts of meat.  I wouldn't want to have to rely on them solely for meat.

Texas is every so slowly reopening, but we're far from being out of the woods.

Anyway, my vehicle is running great, the engine lights are off, the bill was $536 so I'm as happy as can be considering spending even more money on that thing.


Mark called from the Phoenix house.  We got into a conversation for short period of time and then? He informed me that Lynnette left at the beginning of April.  What?!!!  Mark takes care of the house, Lynnette went off to work. Lynnette paid their portion of the rent - quite modest at $250, mark took excellent care of the house . Now what.  Mark has no income.  He can't work. He's 72 years old.  He's dealing with the house, but he's in fear of losing his situation.  He dumped $700 onto the card reader last month, unbeknownst to me until he said he had and I just checked and yes, it's all good.  There's enough on there to last until somewhere in August, maybe even September. 

So, he's basically paid up 3 months of their portion of the rent in advance.  He then went into worrying about getting everyone to pay rent. But lengthy discussion came to the conclusion that those that were put out of work are all receiving the $600 per week stimulus from the government on top of the state unemployment.  They are well saturated with funds to take care of their living situation.  So what? He's broke.  Lynnette used to give him money for his projects and things.  Not exorbitant but it's money.  His work around the neighborhood has fallen off because - of course - the virus. 

So what now?  I dunno.  Give him rent free living for the next 3 months, sure.  But do I go further with it.  Probably  At least give him $100 to keep out of the rest of the rents collected to help him out a little bit.  Crunch the numbers, see what I can do to help him.  I need the house to pay for itself.  I don't need him to fall out into the cracks and end up on the street somewhere. THAT is undoubtedly what he's worried about. I speak highly of him because he really is a man of moral character.  He did some things in his life that got him into a bad situation, but that was decades ago.  People change. Things people did a long time ago and have obviously changed their ways shouldn't be held against them, for the most part anyway. 

I'm going to do what I can to help him, that's what I can say. I wish I could start a go fund me for him, but I doubt it would go anywhere, especially in this financial climate. 

The other "news" that came today was that the grandmother is coming here - tomorrow. She hasn't been here in months, she lives hundreds of miles away.  I mean, there are things that happen when she comes here. First, she tries to take over the entire household.  Her way.....

Second, she spoils the hell out of the kids.  They become infected with the idea that they can act out and do whatever they want. I completely resist that nonsense and if I'm around, those kids aren't getting away with the nonsense.  3rd.  The kids get spoiled to the point that when she leaves? It takes a week at least for things to get back to normal.  In a normal situation, the kids GO to grandma's house. What happens there? Is whatever.  When they come back, the normal rules still apply. 

We had a discussion about that today as Taylor invited me to Chili's after she was done with work today.  We're friends, let's get that clear. Yes we all live together, but we are just friends. It doesn't go beyond that, in case anyone reading this starts wondering.  After she told me grandma is coming, I also observed the exasperated look on her face.  It's all about the granny's effect upon the household.  She can deal with it for a couple of days, after that, it's too much. She is coming from tomorrow - Wednesday - until at least Sunday.  Lol.  Taylor is not in love with the way she treats the kids and the last time granny was here, she started to put limitations on her.  You just can't come into someone's home and expect to radically change it with the flip of a switch. That's ridiculous, selfish and disrespectful.

Now what? Nothing, lol. Getting late and I have an agenda for tomorrow, not the least of which includes smoking a brisket, but also mowing the front lawn.  The kid (he's actually 18 years old but in my view he's still a 5 year old in the way he conducts himself) next door was paid on Thursday to mow the lawn the next day. Nope, I didn't pay that, Taylor did.  We have a lawn mower, one of us can do that.  I dunno why she offered him to do it, waste of money but it's whatever to me. Just that if he doesn't get it done by noon tomorrow, I'm doing it and he can Taylor can deal with the aftermath.  Yup, I told her I would do it. 

I think I've had enough for one day.

7:30 came around. I dragged myself out of bed - went to bed late last night - got a cup of coffee and headed out the door.  Took the SUV to the Ford dealership where I was informed that they don't have a shuttle.  Geeze.  There is no Lyft or Uber in this town. There used to be on Uber driver but they stopped for whatever reason, probably not enough business.  Whatever the case, I walked the 2.6 miles home and found out just how out of shape I am in lol.

It wasn't a "specific" appointment time, it's drop your vehicle off and they get to it in the order that it was received.  So no way I'm going to sit around there and hope they get to it immediately.  They might not even get to it today, I was informed, but I'd rather take it to the dealership than any other place in town.  That's because everywhere else here is actually a lot more expensive for car repair and I would like to hope the dealer would have more knowledge and specific equipment for Ford products.

As with the boat, I'll be lucky to get it back out of there under a grand.  This is why I'm considering trading it in, it's not been a cheap vehicle. I've had several issues with it - the thing only has 132,000 miles on it but it acts like it has 300k, just for the issues it's had and the issues have been cheap fixes.  I never had these kinds of expensive issues with that old Buick I had for 10 years. Yes, it had some issues, the interior was falling apart by the time I got rid of it, but as far as repairs, it was light on the wallet - excepting when I got the front windows fixed at $800.

I really would like a GMC diesel pickup, a bit older model, nothing new.

And they already called me.  An ignition coil needs to be replaced.  I figured. They wanted to do all kinds of other "maintenance" that would amount to over a grand.  With just the coil, an oil change and fix the wheel tire sensor - the light is on showing a low tire, none of my tires are low - we're around $500.  The maintenance they wanted to do included replacing spark plugs that we already replaced, no need for that thanks.  I couldn't believe they wanted $350 just to replace plugs and the boots that go on them.  Hopefully the coil fixes it and I can get down the road without any other expenses for a while with it, if I decide against a new vehicle. Just haven't really decided, I'm looking at my financing options atm.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday. Day 5 of being off work.  6 more to go if what they say actually occurs.  The manager texted me on Friday, so you want an Ohio run going out on Sunday? NO, I thought, Sure!! I replied  Why now? I just don't like that run, but considering 11 days off, I'd take just about anything. After sending me the info for the run, he literally called me up 2 minutes later and said, you aren't going to believe this. 

In this industry? I can believe anything.  During that short time frame, the plant called and said the load was cancelled. Not the load he was going to give me, but a load that another of our drivers was going to take for another division hauling Liquid Natural Gas.  I was getting the load he was originally going to get. See how that works? With at least some other drivers, they aren't selfish and willing to do whatever to keep everyone busy.  Hence, my 11 days off instead of 5.  So I said no problem.  He said, well see? At least you know I"m thinking about you.  True.  I'm not an ass kisser type of guy, but I will talk shop and attempt to at least put myself in a decent position when he "thinks" of me.  You get on a negative bent, those people thinking of you think of negativity. 

The truth of the matter is, I still could get another run before the Saturday start up for me, which will be back to back runs to Brownsville. That is, of course, subject to change.  I'd actually be surprised if it doesn't.  Just the nature of the business.  Still just amazed that we only have 13 drivers in our division now. I really didn't know that. I thought we were still at 20 or 21, wasn't sure which, especially considering they had brought some drivers back from call and demand.

Call and demand fizzled out. Our division is one of the few left this is still get decent amount of runs. 

Anyway, this morning, one of the drivers got on group text and texted to everyone: "Ok. So."  I sat there and watched for a while to see if anyone would reply. Ok, so is rather meaningless, I had a clue what he was inferring but still, a bit short on context.  So I texted back after 10 minutes ??  Another driver - the first driver's friend - texted "Me too". I texted: What are you all talking about?  After another 10 minutes, a 3rd driver and in that group of friends - those 3 or buddies outside of work - said "probably drunk text". 

But I knew what they were referring to. 5 days off.  Well deal with it.  Not the first time we have had the plant shut down, happens every year actually.  I said Vacation time! and the first driver came back with the pic of a man face palming himself. That dude is a chronic whiner as it stands.  He must have his way or the world is going to hell and the sky is falling.  I got over it the first day the manager asked me to take vacation time off.  All 3 of those drivers have worked since Tuesday when I said fine, I'm just make the best of this.  They really have nothing to complain about, but that's human nature and we all do it from time to time. Well, some do it all the time. 

Today? It's Sunday.  The Louisiana 14 quarantine mandate that Governor Abbot in Texas decreed to anyone coming from there was lifted and now, some of James and Taylor's friends are over today. Nice people.  I smoked a turkey - it only took 2 hours, I didn't realize how small the thing was. We'll have that thing devoured today for sure. 

The 5 year old was clinging to me today for whatever reason. He does that sometimes.  So after the turkey was done, I took him out back and got him back on the bicycle.  A little kid bicycle with training wheels.  He had no clue.  James came out shortly after and we said, yup, the tires are flat, so he went and got his air pump and pumped the tires back up to 35 pounds. The boy? Has no leg muscles to speak of and had no coordination.  It was a test of my patience to the boy's resolve to learn.  Angle your feet back as you try to push down!  Don't push backwards, that's the brake!  He wasn't getting it, so I took him to the carport and got him up against the neighbor's fence.

It's all a slight down hill angle, I thought if anything, it might help him.  He kept wanting me to push him, which I refused. Cycling isn't a push sport, you move it yourself with your feet and legs.  I didn't want to get the boy upset, but I didn't feel he was going to learn without figuring it out on his own with a little instruction.  The downhill worked, he finally started getting the hang of out. It got to the point where he was going to the end of the carport, getting off, pushing it back to the fence and doing it over and over and over without being prodded.  Now that's more like.  Mommy came out after about 45 minutes of this and declared it's nap time.

Everyone went out to smoke cigarettes so I went into my bedroom lol.  Been messing around all day long, just taking a break. I got them the new pool 2 days ago - but we haven't been able to put it up yet.  It's been raining and we all decided that the concrete needs to be dry before setting it up.  That way no mold will grow under it, because once the thing is full of water, water isn't going to be able to seep under it.  Yes I bought the pool - but yes they reimbursed me for it the complete purchase price.  I had to drive clean to Shreveport to get it.

Even at that, the Walmart I went to that claimed they had 2 in stock - had zero in stock of the 18 footers, they had a 23 footer that was too big.  The other Walmart over there went from 1 in stock ot zero during that time.  I did ask why they still showed the 2 in stock. WEEEEEEELLLLLLLL, THAT THING IS AAALLLLLLLWAAAAAYYYYYYSSS WRONG.  I wasted a total of 90 miles of driving to go over there and come back empty handed.  They tried to call other Walmarts, but amazingly, those other Walmarts hung up on them several times!  At least they tried. 

I looked online, Target - 19 miles the wrong direction, showed they had one.  But I decided against it. Time to go home.  On the way home, on the west side of Shreveport, is a Walmart right off the Interstate on Pines road.  It showed no pools in stock, but I wondered if the opposite could be true? It says they have none but they actually do have one?  So decided to pull in there, no loss if they don't besides a bit of time.  I got back to where the pools are and low and behold, a 14 foot wide by 42 inch tall pool!  It was the only one left.  I could probably sell the thing for double the price right now on Ebay, above ground pools have virtually disappeared at Walmarts and other stores where they are cheaper and you can't even order them online.  No, I'm not going to try and get another pool to test my theory, that's a lot of dough to be out for hoping it will sell.  And anyway, I'm not really into this idea of hoarding or price gouging. 

Meanwhile, I listed my Keurig Rivo R500 latte machine on Ebay. Why not?  It's been sitting, it works, I want to get rid of stuff.  I tried a while back to sell it and no buyers. But looking ebay, people were trying to sell those things for more than double that price.  So, it sold for $54.89 plus shipping, which has already been paid. Get that sent out tomorrow.  I was just going to give it away otherwise, no one here wants it. 

In fact, I am going to go through stuff and see what I can sell, give away or chuck.  Too much stuff. It's for a whole house, not a single bedroom. I chose this lifestyle to live with others, if there is too much I want to keep, I'll either buy my own shed or store it.  I don't want to get rid of stuff just to get rid of it.  Sentiimental things and things of family origins I would rather not just discard.  But cleaning up the back yard  and with them helping got me motivated to go ahead and start dealing with the back yard again. 

The boat - in the shop.  I don't expect to hear back from them for a while. The SUV is going into the shop Monday, get it fixed once and for all and then determine if I want to stay in that vehicle or trade it in for the truck I really want.  I'd say it isn't a good time to be buying vehicles because of the virus, but it looks like it's the best time to do so and if I can keep payments near where I'm at now, I'm good with that.  Not a priority tho, just something that I have been musing.  Property is higher on my list, but I'm just nowhere near getting that at the moment.  I still might try and apply for a loan at a lender and see what happens.  Been a long, long time since I've been late on a mortgage, car or credit card payment.

And with that? A lazy sunday.  Nothing to do but relax and take it easy.  And head back out of the bedroom and be social-able lol .

Well it's almost 3 pm and I haven't heard from the manager about a run for tomorrow, so I'm going to assume that it isn't go...