Thursday, April 21, 2011

Friday 4/22/2011

Friday

Now it's REALLY Friday, lol.
Yesterday was a very long day at work.
3 different trips, out until almost 4:00 pm.

Of course, today has almost nothing to do in the routing system, se la vie.

I haven't got much this morning. I woke up out of a really strange dream that I can't quite seem to shake from my head.

I was living in a house on the side of a large mountain with a bunch of relatives. That's strange in itself - who wants to live with their relatives? Anyway, one of my Koi ponds was up in a giant barn/garage like structure on the second floor. The thing caught on fire and I was, for whatever reason, trying to catch the fish and save them (In real life? the fish would burn! I ain't riskin' my life for fish!).

It was in a remote area of the wilderness, the house that is, but it was set on this REALLY steep mountainside. I remember leaving to get out of there as the house was burning, walking along a dirt road, looking up and see at the top of the mountain a wave of lava coming over it. The next thing I know, I'm climbing up a huge tree to escape the lava.

As I said, it was a strange dream. Why it's stuck in my head, no clue, usually dreams just fizzle out of my mind - but, obviously - not always. Not only that, the alarm clock had been going off for over a full minute before I finally woke up out of it!

Oh, Caleb's graduation. This should be lovely. My dad and my mom - who haven't seen each other since 1985 - will be "forced" to be in the same place, at the same time. Not only that, my brothers are coming. My brothers haven't spoken to my dad in like 6 years. I am guessing this whole situation is going to be VERY uncomfortable for all of them. Well, they don't HAVE to come. I guess they don't even have to sit together, I'm guessing they probably won't.

One thing that is good out of all of it: My brothers and mom are pitching in together to buy Caleb a brand new laptop as a gift. You can't beat that with a stick!!!

G'day.

ben

Thursday 4/21/2011

Note: I had it stuck in my head this morning that it is Friday, when, in actuality, it is Thursday. Get to do a do-over tomorrow.

Friday

Performance review given out yesterday. Mostly good marks but with a black eye punched. Of course, the issue with the DOT giving me out warnings. I get pulled over frequently enough - in fact just a few days ago. But my truck was not inspected, just weighed. The truck was almost empty, they weighed two of the 5 axles and then moved me on.

Oh well. I am sure there are drivers all over the country that are getting this kind of junk and there isn't much you can do about it. There are also other drivers in my company that have received tickets with fines - I received no such thing.

But in this new era of new rules and regulations that have just come out, it almost makes no difference on your record whether it was a violation with a warning or a violation with a ticket and fine. You know, I have no control over god-attitude DOT officers, especially the 20-somethings that have attitude written all over themselves. This has been going on for decades, there is nothing new here.

They pull you over to find violations. They don't care how petty it is or the fact that it has nothing to do with "safety", they will write you up for a loose bolt on a passenger seat that no-one ever sits in. Companies with management that has no knowledge of the trucking industry and how DOT officers approach these situations simply point at the driver and blame you. You have to be perfect, but more: your truck has to be perfect as well.

I also got a mark on "communication". Yes, well, I have to say that I communicate with everyone in the company that I need to communicate with, when I need to communicate with them. I was asking about that and didn't get any specific instances - which is what I need to see whether I am really guilty of that or just because it's an inexperienced manager - who - btw - went through a divorce and would show up to work listless. I was dumped with the workload while he sat in his office with extreme depression. I didn't care about the workload, but he wasn't communicating with me - almost at all.

But, whatever. I can't change the review if I wanted to, I do care, but there is nothing I can do about it.

Regardless, there is a huge volume of work to do today, stuff got dumped into our routing system just before I was leaving to go home yesterday. I doubt it will all get finished - too much work in too little time to accomplish. I always try, of course, but I have enough experience to know what can be done with a 2 man crew and what can't be done.

As for right now? Go read the news.

G'day.

ben

Wednesday 4/20/2011

Wednesday

Ummm, I always hate when I forget to update this blog and get the entries on comments to their own spot.

Oh well.

Brewer vetoes the requirement to check presidential candidate's credentials as to place of birth. Good. I don't like Obama, at all, but our state has enough contention going on to need to heap even more upon it. It is a useless waste of legislature's time to be drafting this kind of bill up and then going through all the motions to get it passed.

They have better things to do.

The price of food is continuing to rise. Especially seeing that scenario in the meat department at the local grocer's. Dairy products, too. In fact, just about everything. I'm beginning to wonder if some of this stuff I have been hearing for some time now isn't going to come to pass: food is going to get so expensive, some people aren't going to be able to afford to buy it. Others are going to be severely affected by it.

I dunno. I am not feeding a bunch of mouths right now so it really isn't affecting me that much. The trailer tenants are already complaining about it - they have limited finances and this kind of thing happening isn't helpful to their situation. I can always tell when they are down to their last pennies - they start eating mac and cheese or other types of noodles. I gave them a 3 pound package of ground beef yesterday, it was on sale.

But, the sales aren't that great - at least right now - as it is. That 3-pound pack at $6.19 on sale would have been around $2.50 in a similar sale only a year ago. The regular price of ground beef has soared, actually, to the point I don't even buy the stuff right now. If a good sale comes up on it anytime in the near future, I will be a lot of it.

Another example are the 5 pound chubs. A year ago, not even that long ago: $9.99 and you could get it much cheaper if it was on sale. Now? Over $13 for that same chub. That's a substantial rise in the price.

Things at work, completely changing the subject, are going in a - strange direction. I won't go into details, but even the feel of it is pretty much out there. I'm not sure what is going on, where it is leading to or what the final results will be, hold onto my seat and let's go for another roller coaster ride.

In reality, when times get rough in most societies, more people turn to God. I was just musing about that. I wonder if that's true in these current times. Especially America. The land of the free - and increasingly a lot of corruption at all levels. Meanwhile, people are homeless, hungry, broke. It's all around you, you may not see it because you haven't really looked. Or you may not WANT to see it. Who knows.

I am done with this one, as I seem to be wandering all over the place.

G'day.

ben

Tuesday 4/19/2011

Tuesday

This will be a short(er) one. Not much time left before work.
The only item of interest is a conversation I had yesterday with Lynnette, one of the trailer dwellers.

She started telling me this story about the kid tenant - again. I had thought we had gotten past some of this stuff. Apparently and definitely not.

What she told me started to make me mad. She told me she was mopping the kitchen floor and that this kid came out -- and walked on the still wet floor. She asked him not to do that, can he wait 10 minutes until the floor dries? No, he replies, he his hungry.

So, you are so hungry that you can't wait a few minutes until the floor dries? Please? No, he replies again, I am hungry right now and I am not going to wait. The third request fell on deaf ears.

UNBELIEVABLE. WHAT planet did this kid drop in from? Planet EGO, apparently. I am god, I can do whatever I want, do not interfere with my activities.

It goes on. She has told him in the past to NOT start the dishwasher. He used to start the thing half full. Seriously, the machine wouldn't be even half full and there is he, wasting my electricity, hot water and those dishwasher tabs - which are expensive btw - on half a load of dishes. Apparently Lynnette's fuse blew on that one: Do not EVER start this machine again!! I guess she lectured him on the fact that I usually have the thing crammed full - more than she has ever seen anyone get into a machine and still have the dishes come out clean.

Well, as a matter of fact, that is true : )

This isn't the end. I was informed that he goes out my side door where the fish are to - allegedly - piss if he wakes up and the bathroom is being used. ?@!!!!!@#$@#$%Q$*@$)@$

Lynnette said basically he's being doing that since he moved in. I had no clue. I have never seen him going out there - not to do anything. Well, that door has a double deadbolt on it - meaning it is keyed on BOTH sides and yes, the door is now deadbolted shut.

Then there was the coup de grace. Imagine listening to all of this in one conversation. He got up yesterday morning and was having a cow about the bathroom being full. One moment of humor, yes, I was laughing. That's because fully 3 people in a row used the bathroom including taking showers - keeping him out and apparently complaining loudly to Lynnette.

I told Lynnette I would deal with him on the floor cleaning issue, what a freak. No, she exclaims loudly, do NOT do that!! She didn't want to be seen as a tattle tale. Well who cares? What's the kid going to do? I very reluctantly agreed to not say anything, but the issue of the dishwasher DID come up.

You see, it wasn't just that he started the machine, he started it with a casserole dish in there, a small one, but it was over the top of the telescoping thing that raises up when the machine starts and sprays water on the dishes on the upper rack. Without that, those dishes do not get clean. Further, he did not rearrange the silverware so that it wasn't all crammed into one compartment. Half of that didn't get clean and he also didn't arrange the dishes so that water could get through all of it.

I addressed him on that and flatly told him to never operate that machine again, did not say please or thank you, just don't touch it.

I have my own plan about forcing this kitchen floor issue. I will just clean the floor when he is home and hope that he comes out while the floor is wet. I have already had one show down with him about this quite some time ago. I had thought THAT situation had been taken care of.

That's it. My time is up anyway. There is actually more to the story with this kid, but, no biggies.

G'day.

ben

Monday 4/18/2011

Monday

Tax Day.
The day of Fear. The day the Federal Government through the Department of the Treasury via the IRS wants to instill the fear of man into you. File your tax returns or else.

I guess it's the whole fear thing that they try to convey that turns me off.

So here we go again with rising fuel prices. I mean, some parts of the country are already paying over $4 per gallon, it was $3.67 at a station I saw on the way to work today. They have you by the throat. You wanna drive, you will pay the price and there isn't a thing you can do about it. I have no choice. Well, I suppose there are always choices, but getting up at 3:30 am to ride a bike to work doesn't sound like much fun, neither does taking a bus that would take 2 to 2-1/2 hours to get to work. How high is it going to go, that is my question.

Here's some humor: the House has passed Ryan's bill to cut the deficit. Humorous because everyone knows it's not going to pass through the Senate and even if it did - Obama would most certainly veto it. I don't know about anyone else, but I would like to see a plan that, since it's going to take 10 years to do it - would call ALL of the deficit out, regardless of what that means cutting out of the FAR-too-long reach span of the Federal government.

The interest payments on our debt alone is staggering when put into visible numbers (versus "them" just talking about it in generic fashion). One thing I hope remains true: that the pressure is on from the American people - a lot of us anyway - to get this mindset that they can just spend as much as they want and it doesn't matter what we think - out of Washington. Good luck with Obama, right? lol. Still, there IS pressure. They can't just ignore the entire caucus anymore. Some people may hate the Tea Party, but that grouping of individuals has done more to force the issue of spending than any other grouping in modern history.

Just sit back and take a totally neutral look at the Federal government, the money it gets in on a yearly basis and the money it spends, including the interest to pay for the loans that we continually seem to be acquiring to keep the government's doors open. If you could get past party line and emotion in such a view, then perhaps you might start to see that regardless of who got us here and into this mess - something HAS to be done about it and now, not 10 years from now, now.

This mentality of living in debt and that it's somehow acceptable needs to go out the window. Statistics show that many Americans are paying down their personal debt - if they can - getting out of credit card debt and attempting to even save more.

I upped my 401k deductions to 5% so that I could realize the full benefits given by my company in their match. Dollar for dollar on the first 2 percent and 50 cents on the dollar on the 3 beyond that. It's free money and I ain't gettin' no pension. My only trepidation is the doomsayers forecasting that later this year, the stock market is going to take a dive again and so are your stocks.

Ahhh, well, I am going to probably dump all of my money into the safest venue I can find in the next month or so. I did that last time and I didn't lost near as much, percentage wise, as several people I know who said they lost almost everything. BUT, the same people came back a year later and said they had gotten it all back!

Regardless, work day approaches and there is some driving to do.

G'day.

ben

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