Thursday, August 2, 2018

So here we go. 
Same old thing loading at the plant yesterday - except that it was early load.  IE: be there at 5:00 am.  Definitely wasn't liking it since I haven't done an early load for a while now.

Spent the day yawning, trying to stay awake, etc.  I mean, it was after 4:00 pm when I finally felt awake and not groggy.  Long day.  But what made it longer? Around noon, my Iphone crapped on me. Yup, the screen did a funny dance and then, boom, black.  The phone was still working but I couldn't do anything with it.  Now, that's a problem because I use GPS off of it.  My truck has a Quaalcomm with GPS but they don't have it enabled for whatever reason.  It's also a problem if I have an issue or if something happens out on the road.

We are reminded of terrorists and potential hijackings allllllll the time.  Company newsletters, sheets handed out to us, even training we have to do all mentions it.  I can see it being used as a giant bomb, that stuff if you could get it to explode would take out a city block from what I'm being told.  Don't know if that's an exaggeration but I do believe it has lethal potential.  The experts at the plant loading it know more about it than anyone and they reluctantly stated that yes, it can explode.  Not sure why they were reluctant to confirm that, everyone else was saying it all along.  Just kind of the "fear of God" thing they want you to apparently have while transporting it. 

I got over that quite a while ago.  I have utmost respect for it, yes, but fearing it doesn't work. That would just create a lot of tension every time I drive and I can't have that. 

Anyway, I already knew where I was going yesterday. 67 to I-55 and then a short jaunt on I-55 and then stop in a small town at a restaurant that has truck parking. After that? I would have to look on the map.  Good thing I carry one with me just in case.  I got to my favorite restaurant annnnnd.....they had put up "No Overnight Parking" signs all over the place.  Note, trucks only parked in a dirt lot where no one else parks, not in the way of anything, not a parking spot for cars.  This is what truck drivers experience everywhere.  The last time I was up there, I parked there overnight and so did a few other trucks with no problems. I spent money in the restaurant, I tipped well.

I'm really getting tired of this anti-truck sentiment around the country.  I would love for all of us to just stop driving for a week and then we wouldn't have annnnnyyyyy more problems.  Like magic, truckers would be respected again, the hate for trucks would be magically turned into where the hell are they and why aren't they bringing us.... everything.

Nix that one.  Drove back down to the 2 truckstops I had passed the small town before and they were already completely filled up, no parking spaces anywhere.  Ugh.  Well, out of the other small town I had noticed an empty lot.  Note: I was almost out of time.  It's park the truck now scenario or go over hours and then issues with the company.   I went back up, looked over this lot, there was a semi trailer already parked there, just went for it. No signs saying not to.  This is America today.  Truckstops are full and mostly any other places don't want you there.  I mean, it was 5:30 pm and those two places were already full!

No one bothered me tho.  Truck driver came in at around 4:00 am and hooked up to his trailer. I was getting up at 4:30 am anyway so not a big deal. Meanwhile, I had unplugged the phone after trying everything else, I couldn't get it to reset because when you push the reset button, it brings up a prompt on the screen asking if you want to shut it down. Well since the screen wasn't showing anything and touching it all over didn't do squat, it wouldn't reset.  Well, I got going around 4:45 am.  The low battery signal did finally show up on the screen.  I just kept pressing the button hoping to drag the battery down so far even that wouldn't come up.  After a couple of hours - I was 3-1/2 hours away from my destination - I finally just decided to plug it back into power outlet and hope it would work.

Walaaaaah!  The thing loaded up, the screen came on asking for password, input that and here we were, back in business.  It took 17 hours to do that.  I can tell ya, I learned alot about myself in those 17 hours that I didn't know.  Or didn't realize I should say.  First off, I have become totally reliant on the phone and that lady that is crammed inside that phone telling me where to go.  It was odd to have to pay attention to every sign to make sure I didn't miss my exit. I thought, if I did miss my exit and didn't see it when I passed it, I wouldn't even realize it!  Maps interrupts you if you miss a turn and tells you to turn around or take another route.  I don't remember using a road atlas in any recent times.  Maybe 15 years?

But it wasn't bad, actually. It as making me think.  When I was at the parking lot, I had nothing to do so I got out of the truck, got out the road atlas and planned the rest of the trip for today.  It was just an interesting experience to go without a smart phone for that length of time.  Can't watch videos, get on Facebook, look at the news, nothing.  I can't say it was bad, it wasn't great but it gave me a new perspective. 

Now, getting up here. Here being somewhere south of Peoria near Chicago.  We have a regular customer up here. In fact, this is the place where I was driving that Volvo and it broke down and spent time at a hotel waiting for it to be repaired.  Same place.  I got to the plant hoping it wouldn't take too long to unload so I could get some hours driving in and get back down the road. 

Not so fast.  

I got in the plant, the dude gets on the phone with me at the guardhouse: You're going to have to wait until tomorrow.  Lol.  My "let's get out of here as fast as possible" sails completely deflated and my "let's get paid to sit for 30 hours at a hotel prepaid by my company " sails arose.  Really?  I became jubilant at that point.  How can you complain about sitting in a hotel room all day long, watching movies, on the net, or just sleeping and getting paid for it the entire time?   These are the trips that I truly love.  I don't care if I don't get back tomorrow.  It's really not that important. My dogs are in loving hands.  The baby at the house is extremely sick with a nasty cough and I don't need to be around that anyway.  I was running from him anytime he started coming at me - he likes me for whatever reason and always wants me to hold him.

But when he's that sick? No thanks bro! I was glad I was going on a 3 day trip and now it's going to be 4.  I was just sick with that same crap not that long ago, the whole house was.  Getting out of there is the best thing.  So here I am, in a company paid hotel, using hotel free wifi, in Pekin, Illinois at a Holiday Inn Express on the top/3rd floor.  I'm loving life right now.  It's not even noon yet and I have the whole rest of the day ahead of me to do nothing or find something to do if I want to or whatever

BTW, this happens frequently on this run.  I haven't had it in quite a while, I've been boogying to Brownsville and back, but that's shut down until next week.  It's only shut down cause the customer down there forgot to order more product and the slots for it filled up for other companies.  Once the slots are full, that's it. There's no slipping anyone in there.  You have to wait your turn and that probably means someone is in trouble at that plant in mexico, cause they are normally getting at least one load a day delivered down there.  The product I haul will shut a plant down if they don't have enough of it in their storage tanks.  Up here, the customer has full tanks sometimes and they just wanted the product because of that "slot" thing I just mentioned.  They order it whether they need it or not, if they don't need it, they pay for the driver to spend however much time at a hotel.  It's that or yes, they shut down as well and they are screwed. 

What I really like, besides getting paid to do nothing, is the Holiday Inn Express is a nice hotel.  And there is a Walmart across the street I can go shop for supplies and there's an Applebee's across the other street to have lunch or dinner at.  But I am not hungry, I stopped for breakfast up the road since I knew it would take a while before they would actually get my hotel room. 2 hours, actually. I have lunchmeat and fixings in the truck and am trying to discipline myself to not eat out on the longer trips.  The Brownsville trip I made an exception. There are plenty of places where I can stop and get a quick bite to eat and on the cheap.  I'm not broke but I see no good reason to just waste money just .... because?  I haven't lived my life like that up until this job, no sense in changing now.  I'd rather "waste" the money on things that I have wanted for years or even decades.

I paid most of the outstanding amount on the dentist - yes I have payments on it but the cash I had to pay is almost done.  I wanted that out of the way before buying anything else.  The SUV I bought on payments only, they didn't ask for a down payment so I didn't give them one.  The payments are quite reasonable considering the kind of ride it is. That thing was over 50 grand when it was new.  It's in excellent condition.  Not good, not fair, excellent condition inside and out.  I'm not complaining about that, I am going to complain about the high insurance rate I was given by my existing insurance company, so I'm currently looking at quotes. 

The next thing I want is a 55 inch TV for my room.  Or, rebuilt my desktop computer - it's going on 6 years now, it needs gutted and redone.  Or I may just replace the hard drive in it and sell it. Hard drives are cheap and you don't have to worry about someone getting your stored info, even if you have "erased it", which we all know it can be recovered.  And I need a new laptop.  Considering waiting til' black Friday or Cyber Monday for either or both of them tho. It's not really that far off.  Well, okay its almost 4 months until Black Friday, but the deals are incredible.  That's one where I would show up to Walmart and buy a very large screen TV at an incredible price. 

None of those are imperative to have, excepting the desktop really is starting to slow down. I was just going to replace the hard drive but I thought about it, this thing being as old as it is, I should just start from scratch and have a whole new system.  It's hard to decide what to get tho. There are so many different motherboards and processors available out there.  Hard drive, power supply will be easy, but also a good video card without spending a fortune. 

Well anyway, I think I will double my hourly pay and get some of the online training I need to get done - done.  I can drag it out for hours and hours and get paid the same for doing that as I am for sitting here waiting.  A memo was sent out to all of our terminal's drivers to get all of it done.  I had no idea how much training they had dumped in there.  "If you don't get some of those done, they will stop giving you loads to certain places".  Oh, does that include Cheneire? Lol, they can not give me those runs and I"d be as happy as a bug in a rug!  They weren't enthused, I didn't care, it eats up a lot of time watching these long, boring videos with some dude with a monotone voice making it even worse.

Nothing else new in my world.  I don't think.  I do think I'll do another Trump post cause' I'm tired of people beating down Trump supporters as if we have some sort of deadly disease. I am not one to back down to such things, especially the amount of lies and exaggerations the left is making about Trump and his supporters.  Read: supporters.  We don't worship Trump, we aren't in a cult, we support him as much as the left was supporting Obama.  There is no difference.  The narratives have gone to the point of being outrageous, frankly. 

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, ...