Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sunday night.
A bit after 10 pm
I don't have an ultra early start tomorrow, so I am staying up a bit later than I normally would on such a night.
I have a run to some small town in South Carolina, I expect this to be a 3 day trip minimum.

The cool part of this trip...well there's a couple cool parts. This trip is a fortune in terms of pay.  A grand minimum for 3 days out, maybe a portion of a 4th day.  The second is it goes right through Atlanta. The owners of this house and my friends live on this side of Atlanta near the amusement park. 6 Flags, that is.  I"ve already talked to the misses.  It's almost guaranteed that I am stopping in there for a 10 hour - legitimate btw - break  on the way back. Just works out that waay. 

And it doesn't matter on the way back anyway.  It's getting there. This is an ASAP load, meaning get it there as fast as possible.  This stuff apparently just comes up on Ann's screen and she puts the next available driver on it. Or so it seems. I'm really out of the loop on that for now.  I'll figure it out as time goes on.  I do know that I don't waste time getting anywhere and I normally don't waste time coming back. But stopping in Atlanta is a must.  There are no pressures to get back quickly, I would have 2 days off or a day and a half at least from my limited experience with this place.

I can tell ya, this place and this job is starting to grow on me. . I never expected this kind of time off in between trips. The way it was spoken about left it up in the air.  Had no idea, just knew that I wasn't staying at the Mississippi job and needed to move on.  This hazmat stuff i can deal with, the loads are a bit much in terms of weight. They are filling these trailers up to the point your truck is just below 80k weight. That's legal, getting the axles to 34k, 34k and 12k can be a different storry. 

Anyway, if I really end up staying here - not on my part, I'm staying, but on corporate part and the 90 day probation period - I'm going to stack the truck out with a regrigerator, microwave, coffee pot and possibly a 22 inch flat screen tv with satellite. The tv stuff is negligible, but I do like watching movies.  And we already have all the movie channels on Direct Tv and a fairly decent package at my house in Phoenix on Dish Network. I could hook up to either but Direct TV would take preference since it already has all the movie channels.

These are thoughts crossing my mind, not counting chickens before the eggs are hatched.  Refrigerator and coffee pot bare minimum, coffee pot coming soon. In fact, if I had thought about it before just now, I would have gotten one on this two days off I've had.  I guess it doesn't matter. I figured to buy a large inverter at Love's going through Shreveport and I can get a coffee pot specifically designed for trucks there tol.

Ugh. So much I wanted to write about but the day grows long.  I need to go to bed. Going to get up much earlier than I have to but still, it's a late start at work so i can afford to do that. I would rather get up early than stay up late. 

Merry Christmas!
Just thought I'd throw that in there.
Just got home.  2 day adventure to Brownsville, Texas.

It's quite the drive down there, about 600 miles one way.  I can't say that I've been to Brownsville since I was on the mission field in the mid 80s to early 90's.  It was an entry point we'd take to get into certain parts of Mexico.

Anyway, the worst part of this particular trip was driving through Houston.  I hadn't been through there in a long time, either, but I already knew it was going to be hell going south because I was going to hit rush hour traffic about the time I got there.  And sure enough, I did.  I think it was an hour and a half to get through that city.  Coming back earlier today was even worse.  I hit it right at rush hour and it was dreadful.

But whatever.  I was actually lucky on Monday that the trailer I hooked to had half of the running lights out.  Okay, I didn't care for that at all, but it set in motion the length of time it took to get the mechanic out of bed, to the yard, discuss the more important things in life, namely: ATV's (he had a brand spanking new one sitting on the trailer he pulled into the yard when he arrived) and then get down to attempting to figure out what was wrong with the damned trailer.

He didn't have a replacement pigtail, so I went to Eastman, got the thing loaded with that wonderful chemical and came back to the yard to get the part installed and get out of there. But, a very well experienced driver was there and told me allllll the details of doing the Brownsville run, including the best place to stop and get a burrito.  He likes food. We probably all like food, but he really  likes food.  It's like his go-to subject as far as I can tell for the several times I have encountered him now.  Anyway, the information was invaluable.

For example, no one bothered to tell me that if there wasn't an empty trailer at the yard at Brownsville?  You are to wait until one arrives.  We take them to Brownsville, drivers from Mexico come up and take them into Mexico to a plant in the interior.  I don't know why we just don't drive them to the plant.  Ummm, well, I don't know if the faint of heart could handle that kind of driving. Well, when I got there, dropped the loaded trailer and went hunting, there were none of our trailers on the property. The man running the yard said there was one coming up - it would be a while. I contacted Ann. You get paid for waiting. I didn't ask her that, she invoked it.  I assume I'm going to get paid for waiting for an empty trailer that has nothing to do with the loaded run I just made.

I took the tractor out of the yard and searched out a place to eat.  Shaved and brushed my teeth while I was at it, stopped a Dollar General for cleaning supplies and went back to that yard.  The truck I am driving is just a giant ashtray. Whoever drove it before me must have been in it a while, it's a rental truck. There are ash and congealed ash deposits literally everywhere.  I'm considering charging the price back to the company, I shouldn't have to deal with this shit.  The friggin' truck is a giant ashtray and it's disgusting. I have been cleaning it here and there, today I spent much more time just cleaning out the numerous drink holders that were filled with congealed, dried out ash shit.  It's just freaking disgusting.  And smells like hell. Well I don't know what hell smells like and I don't want to find out, but they should add this smell to it for good effect.

A few hours later and this dude from Mexico drives the truck into the lot, stop in front of me (I'm in the tractor, backed into a hole, view of everything, waiting for the trailer to arrive) and he's waving his hands at me. Well drop the thing, let's get with it, what's the problem here? So he did. Big ole', giant fresh ding in the side of the trailer. I mean, I don't know that that happened on this particular trip down there, but I'm not getting blame for someone else's bs.  So I snapped a photo and sent to manager: not my doings, thanks.


Alright, next day.  Texted Ann. When am I going out again? Friday.  Ugh.  I thought didn't say.  Okay, do you know where?  Nope, I'm just in the queue for Friday.  A short run could get me back Saturday night and able to possibly get down to the ride on Sunday.  A day's worth would be fine.  Not counting chickens before they hatch, but one can be hopeful.  Otherwise, I think I just need to load the thing up and go to the nearest riding place and see if the thing is actually going to work and/or if it needs more repairs.  I'm considering doing that tomorrow since I have the day off.  Considering being the operative word. More fun to go riding with other people than alone, tho alone does have it's virtues. If there were mountains around here I would definitely love to go alone, get up in the woods far away from civilization and just meditate on things.  But, the same may possibly be had around here, who knows.

I won't however, drive clear to where the group will be on an alone trip. It's 83 miles one way and that isn't worth it for me to do the alone thing.  What I really need is 2 more ATV's and then the other 2 here can go and we can have day or even half day trips out of this house - they really need to get out more.

Forgot to post this. Will finish up in another post. 

Well enough of that - the previous post that is. Excepting that I found out the hard way this morning that there is ammo hoarding going on, ...