Sunday, August 13, 2017

6 am in Torrance, CA.
Yesterday, I witnessed the most beautiful wedding I'm likely to ever be a part of, ever.  I'm still just amazed how wonderful it was.
Caleb has a lot of close friends and those were his grooms men. They took the wedding seriously, definitely, but at the same time they did the same kinds of fun things with each other that you might expect young men to do that are filled with the love of the Lord.

Mom and I were actually the first ones to walk down the aisle, apparently as tradition would have it. I'm not sure, but it was my former pastors that showed up to run it, namely, Susan, who has done a large number of weddings and has the protocol down to a science.  I am quite sure that if she hadn't been there the whole thing would not have turned out as amazing as it did.

It was funny because when the grooms men came up, they had obviously practiced special handshakes with Caleb. Each one did a different one with him and it was quite comical but still they were in the state of mind of, this is Caleb's big day. Anyway, it was almost magical the whole experience.  Out doors, gorgeous, beautiful day, maybe a quarter mile from the beach.  Trump golf course below the facility, I didn't know there was a Trump course out here. This particular area is very ritzy, it was amazing that there would be a Salvation Army facility here at all.  They said it has been there for at least 50 years, so I am assuming the Salvation Army College was there before this all got built up into a fancy, pricey area.\

There are no large signs at the entrance, just two small signs that say what it is and then an unassuming driveway down a steep hill to the entrance of this rather large facility. The Uber drivers that lived there all their lives had never heard of it and said they probably had driven past this place a hundred times and never saw it.

Anyway, after the ceremony was picture taking time and of course mom and I were in that.  But our portion of it was over quickly and we left the area to go to the reception area, where there was a chocolate and vanilla fountain set up replete with strawberries and various types of fruits to dip into it.  That was outside, and then we were ushered indoors to have a marvelous dinner of fresh salmon and chicken cordon blue.

I got to visit with friends I hadn't seen in many years.  Some of them, the last time we visited, our relationship not going so well, especially with other former pastors of long ago. That was a falling out from long ago that was well documented in this or one of my blogs, but I think this one.  But the past is behind us, we are older now and it isn't worth carrying around that kind of baggage. At least not for me and she didn't either. In fact, we sat together at one of the head tables and had a good time.  That, including my first ex wife.  We didn't talk much, my ex and I, but we had to be amiable for the sake of our son.

When Caleb and Grace came in, about an hour later actually, apparently they were taking all kinds of pictures down there and whooping it up, they went straight to the dance floor and had their first official dance together.  This place had dozens and dozens of people that are in the college there that had volunteered to serve the guests.  In other words, it was much like a restaurant.  I will certainly be writing my version of a letter of thanks to the college when I get home.

Anyway, it was an evening full of all kinds of quirky stuff. Such as the money dance. Where some of the guys stood with baskets to take donations of any kind to have a dance with the bride or groom.  It may have looked gay, but it really wasn't. Just young people having a good time.

The evening progressed and the activities started to die off and it was obviously time to start thinking about leaving. Mom was pretty tired out by that point anyway. She is in her 80's and I was escorting her everywhere.  She dressed up for the occasion and was very beautiful, took a nice pic of her and posted it on my FB wall.  It was nice that Caleb's grandma could show up. Grace's entire family lines appeared to be there, including grandma and great grandma.

The thing that got to me was that Grace and Caleb were going to spend the night in one of the dorm hotel rooms.  I mean, I found that out as this was all happening in the reception, but then one of the young men came up and said don't worry, we have that covered. We are surprising them with a hotel stay overnight at a very nice hotel just down the road from here.  Awesome.  They had made a gift basket up for the occasion. Later on, Caleb asked what is in there. I smiled and giggled a little, uhh, son, stuff you will probably need tonight.

It had dawned on me that my ex was having her son leave the nest.  Yes, Caleb is 24 but he's been living with her since I left Phoenix and when he's been in town.  That obviously isn't going to happen now and she is going to be having an empty room. The Susan said no, I'm going to fix that room up. She helps out with people that need a place to stay that are affiliated with the church, I am going to see to it that she isn't living in an empty house.  I have no ill will against her.

I didn't intentionally set myself up to be living with people that love me as family, and they are currently in Georgia, but that's exactly what is happening in my life.  As it stands, my only real family are my mom and my son.  My brothers are pretty much permanently out of the picture. I found out yesterday from mom that my middle brother went into a tirade against her on Mother's Day, of all days.  I know mom can be a little bit difficult at times, but nothing worth blowing up over.  She's older, she is set in her ways, but she generally has a sweet demeanor about her. I can't even imagine what it was that set off my stupid brother on her special day and I don't really want to contemplate it, for it will just irritate me to no end. She was saddened by the fact that he hasn't spoken to her since then.  I doubt he's spoken to my oldest brother, so his prophecy about me when he went off on me was it earlier this year or late last year? Can't remember, but is actually coming upon his head.

His anger and hate are coming back upon him in ways I doubt he imagined.  Mom said because of his ego and pride, he won't apologize and so, because of that, he is stuck there.  I fully agree.  I made my apologies but he didn't accept them. He wanted more apologies and then went off into a 1,000 word texted tirade of how terrible I am, how I need psychological help, on and on and on.  I don't imagine a person in that sort of mind frame having much of a peaceable life.  I almost feel sorry for him, but now that he's done it to mom, I don't much care anymore.

Well, I probably should wind this one down.  I need to leave out of here in an hour to get to LAX which is about a 30 minute ride.  Need to find an Uber a bit in advance and leave myself a couple of hours at the airport to get everything taken care of. I am always apprehensive about TSA because you never know how long the line is going to be, how long it's going to take to get through it or what potential trouble they may give you.  If it weren't for that, you could easily arrive at an airport less than an hour from boarding time with no problems. It's not a chance worth taking, you don't want the airplane to take off without you.

I planned this particular day out so that I wouldn't have to be rushed early to get this all done, which mom apparently did not do.  I would have liked to go with her to the airport but she had to leave much earlier than me and I just wished her a happy journey back home. She had a great time though, she was all smiles and laughter last night until fatigue settled on, but she did remarkably well considering.

I will have more writing to do when I get home, but I think I better wrap this up, take a shower, get ready to go.

Final full day here.  The wedding starts at 4 eastern time today and probably will go on into the night as far as the reception goes.
Mom was exhausted last night and considering her age, I thought she did very well to be able to last as long as she did. In fact, for being in her 80's, she is doing very well indeed.

We met for for free breakfast earlier.  The golfing lady came in and sat down right next to us, so we got into yet another conversation. She is going to do some practice golfing today before the real deal starts tomorrow. I wished her good luck, she is in contention with 52 other ladies for 15 spots.  I dunno how good a golfer she is, she didn't too her own horn which I found very nice, indeed, especially in this world full of braggarts and self-exalted human gods floating around telling everyone how superior they are to everyone else.

I've had a pleasant time here.  The loud, obnoxious "neighbors" must have checked out, for I didn't hear a peep last night and I slept like a log.  I was seriously tired after a fitful night of not sleeping the night before.  Or very little sleep, anyway.  So, I got in 9 hours worth.  I'm enjoying my hotel room today, I'm going to go for a swim in a bit, have a lunch with mom a little later and then get out my wedding outfit, iron it nice and tight and get ready for the grand affair. I was contemplating going to the beach, but I suspect that would take too much of my energies away for the wedding ceremony and ensuing reception.

Caleb - isn't having a honeymoon afterwards which I found disappointing though I said nothing.  It is obvious the money situation is tight and they just couldn't afford one. From my perspective, and it's just IMO of course, but I think your wedding night should at least be a hotel stay at a fabulous resort and have the time of your life if you aren't going to do anything else.  I gave him the money I had to give him last month, it was the best I could do at $350.  Good thing I gave it to him then, I'm seriously going to be hurting after this trip lol, even trying to be frugal the expenses are adding up.  If it wasn't for Uber, it would really be costly.

Dangit. I just looked up the number of the dropped call from yesterday. It was an employer trying to contact me about a job. It was Chem-Air. They are a huge company hauling all kinds of products for various types of plant operations and such. I hope I didn't blow it, but the call kept cutting out until it totally dropped. I am pretty sure I would love to go to work for a company like that as long as the starting pay is good. Wait, this is a different job. They go around spraying chemicals out of helicopters, you pull up with a tanker filled with the chemicals they spray. The helicopter actually lands on top of the truck to refill. Pretty crazy stuff, but they are advertising a good pay package, definitely going to give them a call Monday.  I'll be back in town and I took off Tuesday as well. It makes little difference now in taking vacation time since we are stuck at 8 hours mostly and no OT.

Before, taking a vacation meant giving up the OT and taking a smaller paycheck, not anymore.

Dangit, I'm really not happy about that call dropping.  Best I can do is apologize Monday and hope that they see that I was very busy with important family stuff.

However, the tanker company across the street from work is advertising for CDL jobs.  I have no qualms going over there and at least inquiring about it.

Closing this one out to write a new one.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Well, interesting day.
I got up somewhat early and was trying to decide if I wanted to do anything - or nothing at all.
I decided on mostly nothing at all, because the people next door kept me awake half the night.  Or at least until 1:30 am and yes, I did make a complaint to management who got them somewhat subdued, at least the yelling stopped but they were being obnoxiously loud.  I actually don't know when they stopped. I suddenly dawned me at the hour of the morning that there is probably a youtube video that has fan noise on it - a thing that can help tune out that noise and help me go to sleep.

Sure enough. There were many of them, but I picked the one that sounds like my box fan and, extra added bonus, it's an 11 hour playing video, lol.  Yes, it is a YouTube video that goes on for 11 hours and plays nothing but the sound of a fan.

I got to sleep after that but still woke up early for unknown reasons.  So, I got up, made some coffee, went and had free breakfast, and then sat outside for several hours talking with a lady who is here on an amateur golf competition.  I dunno, man, this lady just sat down at the table, we started talking and it literally went on for 2 hours straight.

She got up and left, I saw a missed call from Caleb so I tried to call him back. Hunger hitting me, I decided I was going to walk half a mile to the nearest, decent place to get a good meal, but, there is a Chinese restaurant attached to the front of this hotel.  I opted for that instead.  This is a real Chinese food place, not one of those buffets.  I was the only white person in there, the place was full of Asians talking their languages.  I was brought a bowl of soup, a large pot of tea and a menu right off the bat.  I decided on double spicy beef, which turned out to be beef with a LOT of jalapenos mixed in with it.  They had chopsticks - fancy ones,  not the disposable kind - on the table and no, there was no silverware.

This turned into an instant adventure.  Can I actually eat this plate of food without a fork or a spoon?  I was determined to at least try.  I just wasn't getting it at first until I started observing other people using them. After close scrutiny, I mimicked them and sure enough, I started getting the hang of it.  Now I understand why they like their rice sticky - it's much easier to pick up with the chopsticks clumped together (but not gross like way over cooked or anything like that).

That fairly well killed the afternoon, got a text from mom: in Uber.  She flew in today, took an Uber to the hotel, but at the same time I got a call from Caleb: we are having a wedding rehearsal and dinner. I know he has a lot on his mind, so I didn't give him a hard time about telling us 30 minutes in advance of what was going on, lol.

It turns out they really should have had a couple of rooms for us at the college hotel facility.  People were surprised that we were staying in an off site hotel, but we weren't given an opportunity to stay at the next to free place.  It would have saved me hundreds of dollars on this trip.  But, it is what it is and I am not going to get pissy about it, it's his wedding let's have a good time.

Well, I saw a bunch of faces I hadn't seen in years. Well I see them on Facebook but not in person.  One of them was a kid I practically raised - who is not a kid anymore lol.  He's a budding actor, actually, trying to get his career off the ground.  He is now 33 years old, he informed me today which was shocking. Yes it was shocking. I mean, I've known him since he was 7 years old, I just had no idea that that kind of time has passed.

My pastors from Tempe were there, we visited for quite a while. My ex was there, though she gave me a very strange look when I first saw her. I said hi and she said nothing, so I figured I would just avoid her if that's the way it was going to be.  I'm not going to let someone else's "stuff" get me down, I want to be full of joy and happiness at my son's special day.  Well, I got to meet Caleb's bride to be, a very sweet girl with a nice family.  It was nice to meet everyone, excepting her dad who continued to ignore my mom and I, so, I just let that go as well. I don't even know the man, have never met him, no clue.

There was a nice dinnerprepared by the bride's mom, very tasty stuff.  We ate and then headed down to a grassy area where there were seats set up for tomorrow.  So it is an outdoor wedding.  I filled in for a person in the guy's side of the ceremony since he hasn't made it yet and got to talk to a bunch of Caleb's friends.  He's pretty popular guy.

The funny thing about this is, mom and I will be the first walking down the aisle.  I thought that strange, but we are to walk down to where our seats are and then take a seat for the rest of the ceremony. Well it was fun anyway.  All these young guys bantering back and forth, I joined in the fray lol.  Well this went on for several hours and mom was getting tired, so I got on Uber and we had a driver there in 10 minutes.  I kinda like Uber. It's much cheaper than a taxi, you don't have to call, you just input the addresses of start and end point, it gives you a price and you agree to it. That's it.  It puts out the search for the nearest driver.

I dunno what else. I get the feeling tomorrow is going to be an emotional day for numerous people.  Me? I dunno. I am just happy that my son is happy. Dunno if this is the best choice or not, it's not my life to live, I wish him the best and prosperity and a long and happy marriage.  And with that, I think this one is done and over with. I had no idea how late it actually is, we were there much longer than I realized.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Started at 2:50am our time over there and ended up here 15 hours later.  I can drive a lot of miles in 15 hours lol, actually 186 of those miles coming over here was driving.  But, no way I would have really wanted to drive a car clear over here for such a short trip.  I mean, I'm here til' Sunday but that really isn't that long.  The flights were uneventful, which is a good thing. The second flight wasn't even an hour long, I don't think, the hope from San Francisco over to LA. I was going to take a city bus to the hotel, but the darn bus station was over a mile a while. After getting up that early, I just didn't feel like walking that far.

So, I called Super Shuttle, parted way with yet another $25 plus tip and got myself over here to the hotel.

So, I laid down as soon as I got in the room and took an hour plus nap. Which made me feel much better.  Walked up to El Pollo Loco, the nearest food place, got some tacos and feeling much better though still tired.  But, I can try to sleep that off tonight.  Mom is coming over sometime tomorrow, not sure exactly when, and coming to this same hotel.

The hotel isn't bad. I don't think it's $100 plus per night quality, but I relented from finding another, cheaper hotel to help her out.  She hasn't done any traveling like this in a good while.

Now, getting on my facebook and seeing pics appear.  These pics are from old friends turned enemies turned acquaintances, is the best way I can put it.  And whose face was with the old friend'w wife, who are all over here somewhere now as well?  My 1st ex.  Of course she's coming, I knew that, he's our son.  But the thought of showing up at his wedding with her there is not really all that wonderful, to be honest.  We haven't talked in years now, after she said she never wanted to talk to me again, I said sure, no problem!  lol

I have no idea where they are staying, hopefully she isn't staying here. But if she is, oh well.  The registry lists this hotel as the one to stay at, but that's just suggestion, you still have to pay for it yourself, it's just the closest one to the facility apparently. I haven't even looked that up yet, another expenditure in getting to the wedding location. If it weren't my son getting married, I wouldn't be over here right now.  As it stands, I am going to relax tonight, try to meet up with my son tomorrow and maybe hang out at the pool here for awhile.  There are going to be a lot of faces here on the wedding day that I haven't seen in many, many years.

I guess the point is that I really don';t want to run into judgmental people that have that in their genes, apparently. I simply won't tolerate it.  You can take that stuff and pile it on yourself while looking into a mirror as far as I'm concerned, my life and my lifestyle are none of your business, thanks.  I'm here to celebrate Caleb's wedding and that is the only focus I will have with all of these people. I do hope to see some people that i had a good relationship with, I just really don't know who is coming.

Anyway, seeing her face almost was crazy. I was like, okay, we have to be in the same area together for much or part of a day. You see, my biggest beef with her is her lying tongue. She has always made up stories or exaggerated things that happened to fit a narrative. He's bad, I'm good type of narrative.  It's part of what drove me away from her.  But, we both have no choice but to put on happy faces, meet and greet whoever and everyone, and also the other people I was talking about.  I know some of them will be there and I doubt they have changed any.

Alrighty.  It's a good thing this hotel has free wifi cause ATT stinks here, too. The second this plan I am on with them is over, I'm switching, probably to Verizon.  I hate their customer service but their coverage is wayyyyy better than ATT.  I got almost another year to go, unfortunately.  But I'm in a metro area, there is no way that I should be having this bad of a service here.

Well anyway, that was my day. Tomorrow is just a lazy day too. This is sort of a vacation albeit I doubt I will get much of anywhere since it will just mean spending even more money to get there. Would love to go to the beach though. Still haven't ruled it out.  The ocean is about 4 miles from here.  The facility for the wedding looks to be about 5 or 6 miles.  I'll figure out what I want to do tomorrow.  The pool here looks inviting enough.  Just would be nice to have access to wheels without having to pay extra for it.

Well enough of this for now.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

So, I am getting ready for the trip.  I decided that since I had to pay for baggage on the Spirit airlines trip back (which was still far cheaper than anything else available), I might as well not try to cram everything into a little piece of luggage for the trip there. Yes it will cost me $25 but in this case it's worth it as far as I'm concerned.  I have a much bigger bag, I can fit everything into it and then some.

I tried to get a Southwest Airlines flight there and back when I was looking at all of this, but their prices were, frankly, outrageous compared to the other offerings available.  Even with free checked baggage, they weren't even close and yet, I checked out at least 30 different ways to get reduced airfare tickets, they weren't even in the running.  Funny how I have to take on airline here and another back to get the best price instead of the normal - book-it-round-trip-through-one-carrier - method.  Trust met, I spent hours on this, days and days worth of looking at different times, using incognito window so they couldn't pick up my "cookie" trail left behind and have them understand I wasn't here the 2cd, 3rd and 4th time.

Cause' I have noticed that when you do that without being incognito? The price goes way  up even the very next try with the same parameters.  They're tricky little buggers.  I also went on the company computer to ensure that I wasn't screwing myself and it was coming up with the same deal.

I will save myself about $80 or maybe a little more by getting up 7-1/4 hours from now at 2:45 am to drive to Fort Worth instead of going to a hotel tonight. I couldn't justify the money spent.  I'm likely to be tired and there is nothing I can do about that, but I didn't think driving there straight after work today and checking into a hotel would do me much good, either, so why waste the money?  And the reason I haven't gone to bed yet is that it is WAY too early for me to try and go to sleep.  I'm shooting for 9 to 9:30 pm which is  in  a couple hours. I'll drink a couple cups of coffee, I'll be wired anyway, no way will I be too tired to drive there.

And flying, I usually can't sleep. I always get a window seat and I'm looking out the window most of the trip.  I have zero fear of flying, never have had.  I have gotten sick a few times but that was some special circumstances that I was already sick on one flight and on another, a much smaller plane that was getting bounced alllll over the place by turbulence. I literally kissed the earth after I got off that second one.  Never deterred me though. I think airline captain is a missed calling for me.  I even thought about taking flying lessons when I was working at the airport in the early 80's, but the price was far too steep for my minimum wage job.  Interesting sometimes to muse how life might be different had I taken different steps.  Note that I did not say pouting, just curious.

Well. I ironed my new shirt - it's one of the ones I got for dad's funeral but didn't use, it was a 2 for 1 deal and this one is much more apt for an affair such as a flight than the other one which presented much more formal. They are both formal wear, I just like the look of this one for flying.  My slacks are very comfortable, more so than blue jeans so that will be a comfortable fit during the flight.  Something about flying in a huge aircraft and the prestige of it, for me anyway.  Now if I get stuck beside some person that is wearing pajamas as I have seen flight attendants complaining about in the news......

Just about ready.  Gun out of car, car cleaned up, new bag of dog food in the container for them to feed the dogs with, clothing in bag, not much else to do now but wait until around 9 and try to go to sleep.

And with that, I'm ending this one.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Well this is kind of the blitz/marathon weekend.
I have to go to the bigger town about 35 miles away and find clothes for Caleb's wedding.
Need to get a hair cut.
Have to do my share of the monthly grocery shopping.
Figure out what clothes to take with me on the trip and figure out how to get all of that into
a small piece of luggage.
Get housework done around here.

The only reason I'm not out there right now getting all this stuff done?
I forgot last night that I have zero clean pants to wear.  So, waiting on the dryer to get my
clothes dried, get in the car and get moving.


Sunday Evening. Most things done that needed to be.
Not everything, but the minutia I can deal with in the next 3 days.
I still haven't bought the parking for my car at DFW, and I still haven't
bought the fare for the ride from the airport to the hotel.  But these things
are stuff that isn't time consuming and I will get around to it the next couple of

I guess I still have to buy a pair of shoes for the affair so I'll try to get that done
over in Shreveport after work.  Other than that, just trying to figure out how to stuff
enough clothes into a small suitcase.

And then I just realized that the flight leaves at 8:03 am on Thursday. Why did I do that? Oh, yes, to save money.  The question begs itself: Do I leave early Thursday morning and drive there or leave Wednesday after work and not have to worry about getting up at - 4am I guess, to drive clear over there and be there early enough to make sure I don't have any issues with security check points?  I will be pondering that the next few days.  I really don't want to spend any more money than I have to, my finances are at negligible levels and there are plenty more expenses on this trip than just getting to the airport and parking the car somewhere.

The days of worry about finances returned? Hmm, not to the degree it used to be ten years plus ago.

Iphone maps just told me it's a 2 hour and 30 minute drive from here to DFW. Plus you always have to show up early, I like to show up 2 hours early in case there are problems.  So 4-1/2 hours early, plus include time to stop and fuel and get something to eat, park the car, anything else.  Figure 5 hours.  Meaning getting up at 2:45 am to get out of here at 3:00 am.

Money be damned, I am fairly sure my trip to Fort Worth will occur Wednesday night.  But I'll think about it.  Well would you lookit there. Deals online to stay at  hotel overnight and have free parking and shuttle to airport to and from the airport.  There's at least $30 worth of free parking and that's with a coupon.  That reduces the actual price of the hotel down to $45.  Oh forget it. going into doing the deal, they added almost $17 to the price for "fees".  Whatever dudes!  In other words, parking ain't free!

I guess we are just a bunch of sheep that are supposed to fall into the ditch with each other, blindly doing whatever the man tells us to do.

Well anyway, this is winding down, finally. After this trip, I'm shutting down spending money on anything but what I have to for a while.  Not  a pleasant prospect, but I've been here, done this before.  Nothing new in my life.  Never really expected that I would ever be going through this again though.
I did finally find a church locally.  That is different news on a different realm.  I was looking through all kinds of ads and google and this and that and found a church 5 minutes away.  :Looked good, went this morning.  Great worship service - though they didn't have drum player or any guitars, it was just a keyboard, but it was still good.  Pastor and animated man but very much down to earth.  Smaller church.  I mean, the auditorium can hold a lot of people but the place isn't even half full.  I don't know how they are supporting that facility with such small membership, but it's apparently been there for quite a while.

The sermon was also spot on, certainly spoke to my heart and spirit.  He also used enough scripture to make me happy.  Spirit filled, deliverance, all kinds of stuff that I really liked and agreed with . Anyway, I'm hopeful that I might find a new church home here.  I won't be able to go next weekend and I doubt I will make the Wednesday service since I am leaving for CA the next morning.  What to do, what to do.  If money weren't such a consideration, I would have already dealt with this and it would be over with.  I guess I can get up at 2:30 am or 2:45 and drive and save myself the hotel money, get a coupon for parking and spend around 5 per day for parking which makes it $20 and change instead of almost $100.

I'm still going to reserve commitment on that until Wednesday and really decide whether I can get up that early, drive at night for 2-1/2 hours to get to the airport early enough.  I'd far rather just drive there after work and have a full night's sleep.  The flip side is that besides flying and a layover, I have nothing I have to do that day after that.  Just get to the hotel, relax, rest.  Likely not even meet up with my son that day, I expect to spend a day to myself in the hotel doing much of nothing, or if the beach is close enough, I will spend some quality time there.  I expect I will just spend some time alone, reading, lounging, doing much of nothing.  Because I like hotels and I like being along in an at least decent room.  I can't tell you why, I just do. Probably child hood thing and traveling a lot and staying in lots of hotels while growing up.

Hmm, maybe I'll go to church on Wednesday, not stay too late, come home, go to bed, set the alarm for 2:45, get out of here and on the road, get to the airport and start the adventure. I just hate being tired while doing the air travel/airport layover thing.

Anyway, that's it for now.  There's more that has nothing to do with any of this, but I don't feel like going into it.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Well now I'm on the cusp, sort of, of the next travel adventure.
Had to ask several people in various venues about "Summer Outdoorsy" or whatever that style of dress is.
I have decided on light colored,button down shirt and probably either khaki's or some sort of slacks, who konws, I'll figure it out once i get to the store. Though I can hardly afford this kind of expenditure right now, really have no choice.  I never really did buy any more formal style clothing after my house burned down years ago.  I mostly just bought work clothes and extremely casual stuff.  Excepting for a few pairs of church clothing.

Well, that is changing since I bought to more formal style button down shirts for the funeral (it was a two for one sale) and some dress slacks, but that isn't going to work at this wedding.  One thing at least, after I buy whatever I am getting I can wear it on any given day after that, it won't just sit in my closet.

I have to get that down before or on this coming weekend. After that I won't really have a lot of time for it.  I'm not good at buying clothes if you can't tell.  I just don't have the knack for matching stuff when it comes to formal wear.  I had to ask the lady at JC Penny's about whether she thought the stuff I bought would look good on me.  There were plenty of colors and variations of styles available.  Anyway, that one turned out well, I'm hoping for a second success and hopefully keep it lower on the price tag.  Guess I better see if there are any sales now that I think of it.

It's Wednesday morning.  I've been on a Bible reading marathon so I have been ignoring watching TV or seeing much of any news.  Not a bad thing, I"m finding out. Well I don't watch that much TV anyway, excepting the news.  I take in large doses of that on a daily basis.  Perhaps I really don't need to be doing that so much.  I've got til Sunday to try and finish the entire New Testament, an undertaking that I didn't realize would be so difficult.  Not that I don't like reading the Bible, but there is a lot of content and I find myself getting caught up in certain Scriptures instead of continuing to read through and get it done.  Perhaps I'll adjust the goal and make it two weeks so I can take in more content and reflect on it.

But, I have done Bible marathons in the past where, at least one time, I read the entire New Testament in 2 days.  It was quite the adventure for me and really eye opening some of the stuff that came at me.
So that's what I'm doing with my free time right now, that and putting out an application here, an application there.  Just got to keep plugging away at it until the right offer comes along.

The manager is down in Baton Rouge right now, tho.  I don't have any great hopes since I really have no reason to have such, but both he and the GM said they would look into getting me a better paycheck.  I don't have til' the 9th of never to deal with this.  They tend to take their sweet ole' time in making such decisions and then come back and tell you that they aren't going to give you any more money because it isn't a good move right now.  Whatever. Their pay certainly doesn't come down any when they determine that times are tough.  In fact, the only people's whose pay comes down in our company is the drivers and yard hands. everyone else's stays intact.  Of course the flip side of that is that if really hard times come, corporate starts giving management pink slips and saying adios to them.

Well whatever.  I am just going to keep plugging away at finding the job that suits me best.  I have had several offers yet again, but this is all crazy stuff. One of them is 120 hours per week!  Yes, the pay is 120k to 140k, but how do you work 120 hours per week?  That's like something for a 20 something, not a 50 something.  I'd take such a job for a year or so if I were young and had a bit more stamina than I have now, work it for a year and save up some serious money. I mean, with those kinds of hours, you'd have no for anything, really.  Your life on hold, lol.  I am guessing there is some serious turnover in a job like that.

I found another one that offers free hotel for every night you're out, but it's still out for 21 days. I just don't want to do that right now.  If my hand is forced, then yes, I'll go OTR or Regional and eat it.  I'm gertting close to that, yes, but not quite there yet. Lots of local companies still left to go to apply at.  At least there are some jobs available out there that are regional and get you home every weekend in a worse case scenario.  I'm not really looking to live in a truck, though. Just keep hoping that I find something local that pays decent.  So far that has been all night driving offers that I just can't do.  I get too sleepy after around 10:00 pm and I just don't think I could handle driving until 4 am every day.  I don't want to quit current job and "try it out" to find out.  I'd be stuck with it and I can't afford that kind of risk.

Well, time to be off to work.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

As the days pass, I get broker and broker.
I have definitely not been in this position in a long, long time.
And it sucks, to be frank about it.
But, stuff like this motivates people.
Since the wedding is only a few weeks away, I have started the job search - this weekend actually.
Currently, I am mostly applying at tanker/hazmat positions, but there are other jobs out there that aren't hazmat that also pay quite well.  I'm applying at all of them. I just need a crack in the door to get into tanker, someone to give me a chance.

Though, I see tankers roller over at least once a week in the area I work in.  Just saw another one yesterday.  Dunno how the guy did it, but the entire truck was rolled off the side of the on ramp coming onto the Interstate, there was a large wrecker there trying to pull it up.

I wouldn't mind getting into heavy haul or even one of those giant wrecker trucks.  I have some experience at heavy haul, zero at wreckers.  Again, it's all about someone giving you a chance.

Since I am so broke, I have nothing else to do this weekend anyway.  Might as well spend it filling out applications. And these trucking applications are quite lengthy. It takes at least 30 minutes if not more (wasn't keeping track of time) to fill one of them out, they want so much information.

Definitely wouldn't have opted to go to California if it wasn't a life event.  My son getting married is definitely up there at the top.  But, I still have to pay to get to Dallas, pay to park the car 4 days there, pay to get from the airport to the hotel, pay to get from the hotel to the wedding location.  I've got at least $125 or more in those expenses plus I have to eat.  That's really hundreds of dollars that I don't have to spend.

If it weren't so far away, I would have driven there instead.  But at almost 1,700 miles, I don't think so. It would have saved me a lot of money though.  Now I'm hearing a rumor from my ex pastors that my son doesn't have a ride to California to his own wedding? Uhhh, okay.  Take a Greyhound.  That's my best advice.  Apparently his ride fell through.  He hasn't contacted me about that, but I'm in no position to help him anyway. I gave him the money I had saved up as a wedding gift when I was in Phoenix last month. It seems since then my financial status has deteriorate quickly, all due to these small paychecks I am getting due to the boss cutting hours.

However, I can sort of understand the plight. The store was only at 600k in sales as of yesterday, something I didn't know until I looked it up.  Still, the first people they take pay cuts out on are the drivers. No-one else gets a cut in hours resulting in cut in pay, it's always the drivers that get the shaft.  I'm pretty tired of it.  This has been going on in this company for years, but when I was in Phoenix, my hourly pay was much higher and was easier to ride out those storms.  Now, when hour cuts come, not even possible.  I forgot about the auto insurance pay that just went through.  And then I have the phone payment coming up....

However.  I did put extra money on the electric last month at the Phoenix house.  There should be enough on there now that I won't have to add but maybe a couple hundred dollars to keep that going through til September. Oh if it were the winter or even fall months right now, my expenses would be much cheaper.  that house goes down hundreds of dollars in electric use in the winter and the water bill goes way down as well.  That's a reprieve I could use right now.

The only thing I have to look forward to is my son getting cut off from my health insurance.  That should be around $300 per month in savings.  Hey, it's not my choice, once he gets married, that nixes him being on my company plan.  I let him know a couple months ago about that.  I wish him well, but I hope he doesn't go through hard financial times, but reality is about to hit him. He has never had to pay for a place to live and he's 24 years old.

Well enough about him, love the boy dearly but I am kinda focused on my situation.  It would be grand if I could get at least one call to go to the store this weekend to service a customer and get the extra $100. So far, nothing. Ready to go at a moment's notice though.  In fact, I wouldn't mind being on call ALL the time for that kind of payout. Even during the week at the middle of the night.  I'd do pretty much anything right now to make some extra cash excepting taking on a second job.  I'm not doing the work 2 jobs thing, I'll go find a better single job instead.  I mean seriously.  I would even have to consider taking a regional driving job the further in the hole I get.  At least get paid 60k per year and not have to worry about money - but - out on the road 5 days a week.  That kinda sucks. Not as bad as OTR, but still bad enough.

Okay, I guess I need to make up a resume.  So, spend an hour or more doing that. But I am applying at Haliburton and I want to give myself the best opportunity I can get to make a good first impression.  They are an excellent company to work for, excellent pay and benefits.  Would love to end my working career with them.  They have some job openings available, but like any other company in high demand, I will be competing with a lot of other drivers for one and same position.

Oh well.  I'll motivate myself to write up that resume, I got to that point and ended that one.  Most of these companies just make you fill out extensive applications instead of uploading resmes, but I've had a couple that want one, likely if you don't supply one, they will just delete your application.  First I need to find a format for one and then fill it out.

I guess that's all I'm going to do this weekend. All of this financial stuff is really draining.  It keeps me awake at night and I have little motivation to do anything else, such as finish the 4 wheeler and load it up, take it out for a spin somewhere.  It's freaking hot outside anyway, the humidity is killer.


Sunday early afternoon.  I felt impressed of the Holy Spirit that I need to read the New Testament in 7 days.  The Word is a treasure if you treat it as such, the gems that you get from it can be awe-inspiring.  At the point I am at in my life with my finances drained and the prospects looking bleaker and bleaker by the day, my only hope that I have ever truly have relied on is God, His Word, the Holy Spirit and my relationship with Jesus Christ.  Where I find the answers that I need in the word, if I take the time to seek it out.

I don't even know what I am supposed to be doing now in life.  If I am at an unseen crossroads, then I want direction from the Lord, not from this world.

In fact, after my dad's death and reflecting on his life and seeing all those people that were influenced by him, and reflecting on things I have done earlier in life for the Lord, I have come to the conclusion that I am basically wasting my life at this point, accomplishing no heavenly good or seeing souls won to Christ.  That...should be more of a concern to me than what I am to eat, what I am to wear, how I am to pay my bills.  Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all these things shall be added unto you, the Scripture says.  All these things being the daily things of life that you need.  Many, many more scriptures that relate to this as well, but the point is made.

So, I divided up the number of pages in the New Testament against the number of days and see that I have 130 pages to read per day.  I'm almost done with today's allotment, though during the week this will be much more demanding. Though, I don't watch that much TV anymore, I do spend time on FB admittedly.  But today, while getting absorbed in the Word, all of that just sort of floated away.

It helped that it is a nice day outside, actually.  I mean, it isn't 70 degrees but compared ot what we have had all this week, it was a cool day.  I much prefer reading outdoors than indoors is the point.

The art of quiet reflection, meditation and prayer are things I have kinda let slip out of my life. I am seeking a return to that  To not let the actions and words of other people bother me.  To not worry about finances.  Yes, take whatever action I can take, but worry about it? no.

So, that will be my main endeavor for the next 7 days, tho I am still going to put in applications.  I filled out a resume maker yesterday and then got sidetracked.  It's a minimal cost - $1.79 - to be able to copy and save it into a file, but unfortunately I turned m computer off and lost all of that, so will have to start over.  Oh well.

The days are short until Caleb's wedding.  It's the 30th today and I leave on the 10th. There are things I need to get done but waiting until some more money comes in before I do that.  Wedding attire should be relatively easy to find at the mall.  Paying in advance for parking at DFW and the shuttle to the hotel in LA.  I have a 2-1/2 hour stopover in San Francisco.  Wish it were longer, actually, I wouldn't mind taking a trip around that city for the fun of it.  But 2-1/2 hours isn't long enough to do that and always a hassle getting in an out of airports, so I'll pass.

Well, I think that's enough for one entry.


6 am in Torrance, CA. Yesterday, I witnessed the most beautiful wedding I'm likely to ever be a part of, ever.  I'm still just amaz...