Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I'm getting to the point that I absolutely despise ATT.
I don't recommend anyone sign up with their service unless you are like, part of ISIS or something, then you won't be able to communicate with anyone and that would be great.
The fact of the matter is, they have very poor coverage in most areas that I go to.  Often times only 1 bar of signal strength such as I have right now.  It makes for very slow internet, considering the premium price I am paying for this service, I expect a heckuva alot more. 

All I wanted to do today was get on my account and check how much data I have left.  I knew I was using a lot, even with being at a hotel last night and using their wifi, and I was not wrong.  I have 19 days left on this cycle and I have used almost half of my data up.  BUT, the system had locked me out and I couldn't access my account.  I had to spend half an hour on the phone with these people to get it unlocked. 

Whatever.  Note to self: listen to your internal voice next time when these phones are paid off and do NOT go with ATT EVER again.  As much as I despise Verizon, they have the best coverage and the price is not any different than what I'm paying now.

On to other things. I am at the yard in Brownsville, waiting on this trailer to show up.  If I'm driving out of here today, I'd like it to show up within the next hour to hour and a half so I can make it back today. Otherwise, I'd rather just sit here another night, get more detention pay and spend another night in the hotel.  I'm up to 34 hours of detention pay right now, which is incredibly good.  I guess I don't care when it shows up, I'm going to leave regardless, just have to spend the night on the road somewhere.  I'd like to get a full day off in between runs is the only thing I'm barking about lol.

You see, the only reason, I found out, that I haven't been getting dumped with Cheniere runs is because the plant shut down due to some problem. Hence, I've been getting gravy runs ever since.  Twice up to Mapleton with one of those runs an overnighter with good detention pay, a trip to West Virginia and now 2 trips down here, this particular one having a gob of detention pay.  I definitely want to get back no later than tomorrow afternoon so I can get this run on next paycheck.   Oh wait, this is pay week, I have until next week for this pay period, never mind. This paycheck coming up should be excellent.  But, if Cheniere opens back up, which it is supposed to by Friday, well, you know the deal.  Crappy run, crappy pay.  My only contention with Cheniere is that it shouldn't be dumped on the same people, over and over and over.  Everyone should have to take one load down there, none of us would be going there frequently at all.

Well, that is, until the new Cheniere plant opens up.  It's more miles but it still isn't going to be a great run because it, like the plant we go to now, will eat up 2 days.  In 2 days on the road with one run, you want  a good number of miles to make it worth it.  The new cheniere is like 412 miles from the loading plant. Much better than this one that is 242 miles and wastes a second day.  But still, 550 miles is minimum I want for any given run for each day out.  The Brownsville run is 562 each way, which is very good because you can do it in 2 days unless, such as now, you sit and wait for a trailer. But, I'm making as much detention pay as the miles currently and it's still going up : )

Anyway,  I guess I won't watch any more  movies or streaming video until next week.  I don't want to pay extra money for access to the internet.  I can write in my blog, get on Facebook, etc, its the streaming stuff that eats up the data. 

In fact, if I am here much longer, I'm probably going to go to a cooking site and see about tips for certain things that I like to cook.  Really just want to expand my cooking horizon. I don't want to be limited to certain areas of cooking, that gets old. Not cooking it, but eating the same stuff.  I'm kind of limited because the lady of the house has some pickiness to what she will eat, I had to cut back on smoking because although she likes the flavor, she doesn't want to eat smoked food every single time.  Fair enough. 

But new pasta recipes and things to do with hamburger meat, some casseroles, just check out different types of cooking and see what's available. I really got away from cooking when Rene was living there and doing literally all the cooking - by her demand lol.  It wasn't that I didn't want to cook, just she did it and enjoyed cooking for us.  But, the crowd I'm around now - they neither like nor dislike cooking.  After working all day they just don't feel like it and frequently end up eating - non-dinner dinner I'll call it.  Just throw together stuff that is ok once in a while, but every night? Naw, no thanks.  One night I caught them eating crackers with sausage slices for dinner lol.  They say they like my cooking, I guess you never really know but I like most of what I put out.  A few things in recent times I overcooked slightly making it a bit dry, so I'm working on getting internal temps precise - meaning paying more attention to it when it's getting close to done. 

It doesn't take long to go over that perfect temperature for chicken or pork and end up with a drier meat than one would like.  Even plain chicken is good with just a few spices on it - IF - it is juicy.   It was really fascinating watching those chefs in that contest last night. They were sweating it big time because of the time limitations they put on getting the finished product done, but the diverse cooking methods were a learning experience to watch.

Okay, I guess I'll have to talk with my manager in person to get any info she may acquire about buying a truck through the company. I don't have the wherewithal to buy one on my own - tho they definitely allow that.  I guess in my mind if I am going to take on such an endeavor, I'd want to buy a company truck and have some assurances that if the engine or tranny goes out, there will be assistance to fix it.  You can spend 20 grand on rebuilding or replacing a diesel engine.  I have a buddy that owns a truck repair shop in Indianapolis.  It would be a go - to scenario in any type of expensive repairs if I could, indeed, get the truck over there.  He does excellent work and I could be assured of a finished product that isn't going to fail me.  Neither here nor there, but this idea has been in my brain for a while now. 

OHHHH YES!! I believe I am seeing the trailer I am to take back  up north! 

13 hours and 45 minutes so far.

Detention pay at hourly rate : )

There was a trailer waiting for me down here when I got here - Brownsville that is - but my manager said no, I need to wait for another particular trailer to show up. That was yesterday, I pulled in at 12/45 am - exhausted, out of it, but wanting to get here since I knew the earlier I get there, the more money I make doing nothing.

Now, I texted my manager earlier and confirmed - there is a trailer here, but you want me to wait for this other one?  Yes.  Okee dokee.  So that's that.  About half an hour ago, I went into the office of the person that runs this yard and asked if he knew when the trailer was going to show up? Well, it's sitting at the plant right now. We were going to have it here today, but for unknown reasons there is a hold up. It won't be here until tomorrow.

That's when I said fine, I"m going to a hotel.
See, they had me do that other run down here a few days ago for the same thing: a particular trailer. Except I didn't even pull a loaded trailer down here on that run.  I just wanted to confirm with my manager this is what she wanted me to do since it's going to cost someone a large amount of money to keep me down here - but that's what they do in this business and waiting is expected. She even said to me today: everywhere you go, you wait. Yup.

So, with that in mind and not wanting to sit in a truck for the rest of the day and all night, I did indeed go and get a hotel room at the place I normally stay in down here.  Clean rooms, well upgraded, very nice for $47.  It's sort of a gamble getting the room cause I don't know if they know that the trailer isn't going to be here today, but since I already asked her about it and she said yes, wait and  yes, it's a lot of waiting - I wasn't complaining at all - I can sit back and relax and let them do their jobs.  I have gone beyond what I am supposed to do - most drivers wouldn't even ask her, they would just go get a room right away and not even wait.  The only ones that don't are the owner operators, I don't think they get detention pay but since they're making so much money it doesn't really matter.

So whatever.  I'll be over there at around 8 am tomorrow and just sit there and wait until it shows up - tho I will ask again if it's showing up for sure?  People have waited down here for up to 3 days, this is nothing new.

Meanwhile, I also asked about the truck purchase program they have in this company. She didn't know the exact details, just that yes, they have one and she would ask her supervisor about it.  Okay.  I want the full details to mull over for a while and see if it's anything I want to get into.  I dunno what kind of truck, new or used (used tho, I don't want a note for $150k), how much the payments are, all the particulars on company help with discounted fuel and tire pricing, things like that.  There's no dentention pay but with the money you are making you don't need detention pay.  But, I want to see the fact sheet. What they expect and how it all works.

Anyway, it's after 3 now and no word from manager, I'm hoping to stay until tomorrow, that would be a huge payout for one run that's usually only 2 days.  At least 32 hours of sitting around pay, it only takes 2 hours of detention pay to pay for this hotel, the rest is gravy and more money than the actual run itself is worth.  Well I take that back. It's worth about the same as the run itself is worth.

Well enough of work. Donny sent me a message via Rene's phone today. He understands he totally screwed up. It's strange tho, it wasn't a "I just screwed up" and quit deal, it was a " screw up for 3 days" thing.  Not that I want to judge him.  But, when you are addicted to a substance like that, you both have to want to get freed from it and you really need people to help, preferably licensed therapists that have a plan to bring you out of it.  The thing is, you know it's getting to the "really bad" point when you steal other people's money and then after that, take your valuables and pawn them off.  That's not a casual user.  God bless him tho, I hope he finds his way out of this, he's going to pay back my money.

Meanwhile, what to do here? I think nothing but surf the net and check out whatever movies might be on.  Or play a movie on my notebook since it's free data useage.

Wednessday Morning.
I ended up finding this cookoff show on the Food Network that was pretty interesting.  They took accomplished chefs from various different cities and pitted them against each other in a challenge that I ended up watching 5 episodes, I think? before they had the final cookoff between the finalists and an ensuing champion. The reason it was interesting is because they only gave these chefs 30 minutes to come up with the various aspects of dining.  One was the appetizer, then the entree and then the dessert.  They gave these chefs some rather bizarre foods to have to make a delicious meal out of and it obviously threw some of those chefs for a loop.

It really was fascinating.  I'm trying to learn more about cooking and what foods work together and how to make different foods and what spices you can mix together for a good result.  Just a challenge to myself to become a better cook. I've gotten heavily into smoking meats in the last few years but I am also doing all kinds of other cooking based on oven baked to frying to crock pot. 

Anyway it's almost 8 am and I think I'm going to get out of the hotel and go play the waiting game over there.  I don't want to be sitting here when the trailer shows up over there. In reality, that could be 5 hours from now, but I'm used to waiting in the truck. Can't say it's a lot of fun, but the sooner I leave here the better chance I have to make it home tonight.  After around noon? Probably  not unless I really want to drive late at night to get it over with. 

Not much else.   I sort of miss the days of newspapers and sitting down with a cup and opening up the local and world news versus getting on the internet.  I guess they still produce newspapers, none available around here lol.

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...