Saturday, May 5, 2018

I'm losing track of days.  It's Saturday, yes that's what it is.  I got back to the yard from Houston only to get a text from the interim manager.  Don't leave the yard yet!  A total guess, but immediately I knew I was going to be asked to take a trailer to the plant and preload it for someone.  I hadn't even told her I was in the yard, she obviously was monitoring me from the Quaalcom/GPS.  I had just gone off duty, actually.

Sure enough.  There is an ISO tank in the yard I need to you take to Eastman and load it for another driver.  I didn't have to look, "there is no ISO tank in the yard".  Are you sure? Positive.  Ohhh, she says, let me contact Dusty.  I told him to take the trailer to National but then I told him to just bring it back to the yard.  And yes, Dusty had gone taken the trailer to National and left it there.  She went on and on and on about how he hadn't done what she told him to do. At the end of it, I became convinced that she was just attempting to cover up her mistake.  I didn't say that to her, but what was the point in going on for several minutes like that? I certainly didn't need to hear it.

So, instead of going home after a 4 day trip and my mind and heart all set on it, I dragged my sorry @$$ back to the truck, went back on duty (had plenty of hours left, the trip from south of Little Rock back to the yard was less than 4 hours), found this ISO trailer at the repair shop (if you don't know what an ISO trailer is, simply Google ISO trailer on images, it will come up with a pic of one) , spent several minutes trying  to hook up to it. I had never hooked up to one and it was different because the front of the trailer is out of view of your mirrors.  You have to be in alignment when backing in for the kingpin on the trailer to match up to the opening on the front of the 5th wheel. I kept having to get out - like 5 times, before I finally got it right and got hooked up to it.  A bit embarrassing if only to myself because I normally can hook up to a trailer, plug in the air line and get the landing gear cranked up in a couple of minutes. I figured the guys/gals that haul these trailers have a trick for hooking up to them, I also figured I am not going to be hauling ISO trailer so why bother finding out.

Off to the plant, which is only a mile away from the repair facility.  They got to loading the trailer right away, so I thought I would be there maybe an hour and a half, a little more.  Not so fast, Benny Boy.  I got to the scale house and waited and waited and waited - well over an hour. Watching the clock tick away. My afternoon melting away into the sunset.  Why such a big deal? Because Sheila had also texted me a run for tomorrow (which is now today) - the early load.  Have to be on the scale at 5 am.  I absolutely hate the first load, I have to get up at 3 am to get everything done and get to the plant on time.  I don't do 3 am. Well I do with this company.  I hadn't had to do one in a while, it sucked as bad as I thought it would when I walked out of the house this morning, dogs in tow, took them over to the other house,  drove the 35 miles to the yard, got in the truck and, gag, I felt really bad. 

Anyway, it was an almost 2 hour wait at the scale house for the certification to come through.  I mean, I finally got up and asked how much longer it was going to take.  I don't normally do that, but my gosh, I was facing going home and basically going to bed if it was going to take much longer.  Not quite that bad, but it felt like it to me.  I was dismayed at the wait and eating up my personal time. Remember, I had just gotten back from a 4 day trip.  Well, I finally got to the other house. got my beautiful doggies, took them home and had a great time bantering back and forth with everyone. 

It then came up that James had found a job!  He went into a machine shop, had an interview and the didn't let him go home, he started right then and there!  Oh but life is going to suck for him at that place for a while.  They have a backlog going and they are working him 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.  He was cranky when he came home that day. It's only going to get worse. But, that's 44 hours per week of overtime, they will get caught up in no time.  I am wanting them to take at least one of the house utility or entertainment payments over once they do get in a better financial place because I'm paying quite a lot.  I'm around $550 a mouth.  Well maybe that's not that much, but I have all the utilities, the satellite and the internet coming direct pay out of my bank account.  I do a lot around there when I am there.  Cleaning, mowing, sweeping, etc etc. Plus the upgrades I have done to that place.

Don't take that as complaining, tho, I'm just thinking out loud it would be nice to drop about $100 per month on those payments to equalize everything out a bit.  But they're good people and now close friends and I really have desire to change my living arrangements any time soon. Grow old and die with people that care about me and me them.  That would be ideal. Whether that happens or not? No clue, not even counting on it. Life sucks at times, fastballs are thrown at you, never know what's going to happen. 

Ok, so this morning.  I get up at 3 am.  The new routine.  Shower, get dressed, make the bed - that's not new but it costs time - but, the dogs are versed in this now.  They automatically know what's going to happen. When I open the bedroom door, they aren't heading for the back door to go pee, they head for the front door because they know they are going to the other house.  This is a good thing.  Dogs like routine, I think.  I'm praying this to be a one day thing, get down there, get the truck unloaded, get back up to the yard before the clock runs out.  I was surprised when I got over there ot see Rene up and at-em.  It was 3:30 am.  What are you doing up?  She is watching the boys now during the day. She says she needs to get up that early to get prepared  So even when she isn't going over there to watch the boys, she is still getting up that early. Whatever suits her fancy.  At 3:30 am, I am in bed, sleeping or attempting to sleep.  Unless work lol.

Off to work, had already hooked the truck up to the trailer yesterday, to the plant.  Got in and out of there in 2 hours, pretty reasonable for that place. A bit over 4 hours to the plant and then?  Yea.  Clusterfreak. I was there an hour and a half before we finally got to hooking up the trailer.  I'm getting good at it.  At the places where I am responsible for the truck end of unloading - of which this one is - I can get that thing hooked up and get the pressure up in no time on most trailers.  So ti was. but I knew I was screwed for getting home for the amount of time I sat there, after checking in, waiting for them to come out and get this going.  Still, I felt good about my performance, I had that thing up and cranking quickly.  Strive for excellence. In the totally unknown world of cryogenics, might take a while to get there, but yes, that's what I'm striving for. 

We got that Ethylene dumped out of there quickly, and hour and 15 minutes, then pumped the pressure out of it, well some of it, we are never totally without pressure.  I looked at the clock.  Awe. I'm not going to make it back today.  Drove around the back of this place through a veritable maze, back on the scale. This dude running the plane, I had to go back into the control room says: "That's the fasted unload I have ever seen". I figured he was fooling around with me.  No, seriously, that is by far the fastest I have ever seen here.  I uhh, thought about that for a moment. Okay, thank you, I'll take that as a compliment!

I got out of there and on the road and fatigue set in quickly. Serious fatigue, like, I should pull over to the side of the road and rest for a few minutes.  But, I came up with a plan.  Well I had 2 plans. Either make it to Lufkin where i would totally run out of hours or stop at Livingston where there is a truck stop and a hotel right next to it.  A hotel. Like a dream come true.  I made it to the truckstop in Livingston and said enough.  It was almost 13 hours on duty anyway.  Only had another hour's worth, what's the point? It'll take 2 hours to get to the yard in the morning, I'll feel much better.  I truly feel. I mean, I was totally dragging when I pulled into the truck stop, parked the truck, left it idling tho, went to get a room, went to the BBQ joint and got some fine, smoked meats, got into the room and collapsed on the bed.  Its just an old motel.  It's nothing fancy, they attempted to upgrade this room  but failed lol, still not that bad. It doesn't smell and the carpet looks new even tho some person dumped what appears to be a vile of ink on the carpet.  The bathroom much better than expected, updated and no mold/miildew.  The Dish Network works, it has a fridge and a mircowave, the bed is comfortable, the AC works, I'm good.  I'm literally laying in bed typing this, I'm just out of it.  But, the sun is still up, it's much too early to go to sleep. 

Oh, "the other guy" living there also scored a job.  But, it's with Halliburton and rest assured, they work your butt off.  He hasn't had a job in a couple of years I think.  He's been just hanging out and not really doing much.  I dunno about that job starting back to work after that much time off. 

I'm really, really tired.  I hate feeling like this.  I'm going to sleep as soon as it gets dark. I don't care what time I get up, either.  I could get home early if I want. But what's the rush? If I sleep well here, I'm staying here until 7 or 8.  I've only got 7 hours left on my 70 hours so I have to have a 34 hour reset.  I can't go back to work until Monday.  I'll take a run if she asks me to Monday morning.  I would rather have a couple days off and then go back to work, but after she had me sitting for 6 days, better off taking whatever she has when she has it. 

That catches me up on my life as it goes.  Thoughts of property fill my mind.  50 acres at least, 100 better.  My credit is starting to rise.  I see how it's working. As each month of the late payments on the mortgage fall off their horizon from however long ago, a couple years now?  it comes up slightly. They say it should be at 97% on time payments for good credit. I'm up to 90% now. 

My son has contacted me in quite a while.  We were going to do emails to make it more convenient to talk, so that started. I sent him the last 2 emails - quite a while back now - with no response.  I"m giving up on it.  Let him go.  When he decides he wants to communicate with his parents, he will. I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't call my parents at least once a month and when email came out, much more frequent communication.  I can't hold it against him. I just figure it's a time of life.  He got married, he's got a full time job, he's studying at the college and he's got a wife.  I figure a person could squeeze out an email at the very least once a month, but that's me and obviously not him.  I spent my free time raising my son, giving to him whatever I had to impart.  Just makes me sad. 

It's also the reason I am living several states away and with people that show me love on an unconditional basis and love me as family. 


Okay, this is the same night - fixing to go to bed - but something amazing.  This post hasn't been published so even more amazing to me.  My son just called me!  Amazing, cool, nice conversation.  Anyway, just a bit odd that I was speaking about this here and while writing it he calls?  Really wonderful to connect iwth him tho.  Very nice.  And with that, I'm off to sleep land. 

Short trip, got that over with. I no more than got back to the yard and left for home when I got a text from yet the newest version of a di...