Friday, January 4, 2019

First and foremost on my mind.
Started at 9:30 am when my son called me. They were about to take him in for the surgery.
He was nervous. Dad, I looked up this stuff on the internet and people can die from the stuff they use to put you under. 

Wow, ok, he's thinking he's going to die on the operation table.  I reassured him: that hardly ever happens.  This is in God's hands, you are going to come out of this alive and well! I was on the road, somewhere in northern Arkansas.  I'm sure I would have some nerves going into an operation too.  I reassured him the best I could, we "hugged" over the phone, told each we love you and that was that.

I prayed after that.  My thoughts went to the Lord.  And asking Him to intervene, to give Caleb peace and to guide the doctors.  As bad as the injury is, tho, this isn't anything difficult for specialists.  They do this every day.  They know what they're doing and they do a good job at it, usually anyway.  But they told him he would likely have wrist problems the rest of his life. 

It's motivated me to find out who did this, why they didn't stop and yes, make them pay.  I'm going to be contacting some private investigators and see if they can say whether they can find this person or not. From what I was hearing, the police weren't especially motivated to find whoever committed this crime. Hit and run, injuries? Definitely a crime.  I'll be working on that next week.

Well, I drove all the way back to the yard, spent an hour and a half there with the mechanic and doing paperwork, drove to some stores and went home before I heard anything.  That's when my mom forwarded me a communique from Caleb's wife, he's fine.  It was a pretty short thing.  Well, I'm over at the other house. A new person moved in with 2 dogs and they didn't want to introduce the dogs without me being there.  Neither of them would be capable of stopping a dog fight if it occurred. I've stopped a large number of vicious dog fights throughout my life, it's not that hard.  You pull the dog on top off and get in the middle of it.  Or, in certain situations, you pull the top dog off and pull back away from the other dog with the top dog collar in your hand and pulling him away at the same time. 

Whatever the case, my phone rang, the screen showed Caleb.  I answered the phone.  My son? High as a kite. Slightly slurred speech but going off into ridiculous, hilarious tangents.  I was cracking up. 
My wife has nice calves! he opined without asking. Did you know that crackers are good when you are down?  I mean, this went on for 20 minutes, the Caleb Entertainment Hour. I've never heard him like that, I wish I could have recorded it.  The surgery is over with, the damage is as fixed as they are going to get it, I imagine there is going to be therapy visits.  That phone call set my heart straight.  I was totally relieved.  I don't know what kind of hardship he might endure from this ordeal, but he's going to be alright.

Umm, anyway, the truck? Yup. all those same old idiot lights came up, the same s*** I've been dealing with forever. But this time, those lights were actually on when I came into the yard.  So, I found the mechanic, working on a trailer with another much more tenured driver. In fact, I think he's been there the longest.  A really delightful person, he always has a good attitude. If someone comes at him with crap, he just smiles and shines light back at them.  We chatted for a while. The trailer? A brand new one, already having a problem with the lights and shorting out. 

But my turn finally came, I wanted this mechanic to look at these lights - just some proof that I'm not making this stuff up considering this truck has been in the shop 4 times for this problem.  Well lookit there, he actually had the $10k software to diagnose problems.  Amazing.  So he got into the codes and the huge numbers of pages that showed up was unbelievable.  After 30 minutes of going through stuff, he informed me that it would take a full day - at least - of doing nothing but going through each of those procedures to finish all of that.

Whatever.  Not my job lol. But he's not doing it now. 
Cause when I went in to turn in the paperwork, my manager informed me I am going back out again - tomorrow.  This is a shorter run tho, thankfully, I'd like a day or two off right now.  It's a run to Barnsdall. The run used to have me going to a bowling alley parking lot for the night and enjoying fine Mexican food at a restaurant and sometimes bowling.  A few times staying at the hotel next door.  But now, this is a drop and hook run. Get up there, drop the trailer and hook up to an empty.  I can get 2/3rds of the way back.

IN fact, if I'm lucky, I can get back to the casino just at the Oklahoma/Texas border and maybe win some more money? Or just keep driving as long as I can before I have to find a place to stop.  But it's only like 2 hours from the casino back to the yard.  Who knows, I'll figure that out tomorrow, I just have the Jackblack bug in me. 

Oh, this last run. Didn't post anything about that.  Well, I got to the plant to load the trailer on time, but I sat on the scale for 45 minutes waiting for anyone  to show up and weigh the thing so I could go to the rack.  I ended up at the plant 3 hours.  That pretty much kills any idea of getting to where I normally would on this particular run. Worse, I had awakened at 1:30 am for whatever reason and never got back to sleep. So I drove all day on 4 hours sleep.  There is a truckstop that the app I use never had on there before.  There's a corridor south of St Louis where I can stop, but most of the stuff is already full when I get there.

Not this little gem. It's off the beaten track. It's only a mile off the Interstate but it's nothing you would just "find".  I found myself a place to park and an extra added bonus: a grill/bar next door.  It was 24 degrees when I got there lol.  Next morning, up to the plant, no detention.  I was hoping for a free stay at a motel and get some sleep.  But, no problem.  The head honcho guy there and I always yak it up.  He's big time into smoking meats and I learn a lot from him.

For example, my disasters with smoking brisket.  Yeah, that's a cut of beef that you actually go WAY higher than what you would think for say, a beef roast.  I pulled that Prime Rib roast out at 130 degrees on the last one and it was perfect!  I never imagined a cut of beef that you need to heat up internally to - 195 degrees?  My mind goes to stiff leather.  Like, the roast coming out looking like a piece of charcoal?  Inedible?  Turns out, that's what actually gets the toughness of the meat to collapse and turn nicely tender and juicy. 

Guess what I'm doing when I get a day off?  And Kroger's has it on sale.  It's not cheap even on sale but it's oh so wonderfully nice cut of beef!  I'll be back - I hope - from this trip on Sunday late morning.  My guess anyway.  Nope, I'm wrong. I have the 3rd load so I probably won't be back until early afternoon on Sunday. 

I'm a little busier than I'd like to be.  Trying to find a tenant for the other house was a huge headache. Just a small market out here and lots of rooms available vying in contention.  I lowered the price and got what I needed. I'll be eating maybe $100 per month, maybe a bit more in these cold months for gas heating consumption, but that's fine.  And likely more like $50 to $75 during summer months.  But I'm looking to change this situation after this lease is up coming April and make it a zero sum game. No output on my part, people paying to live in a place at a reasonable price and be done with it.

It would be far easier, however, to deal with the current place and either have them lower the price of the rent, or upgrade the insulation in the house, or upgrade the AC unit.  Anyway about it the house is not large and isn't worth as much as they're charging in this market.  I took it to deal with a deadline.  I shouldn't have tho.  Other houses were available but they were being picky.  We could have a 4 bedroom house right now at less rent.  It is what it is, but this situation will have to change. I'm not into losing money at all. There is an exchange of Rene watching my dogs in payment for the rest of the utilities that are unpaid for, but in reality, she loves the dogs as much as I do and misses them greatly when I take them home. It's just been tough to keep get  that 3rd renter and the rooms aren't exactly large in that place. 

March, I will be looking for houses that have a rent-to-own option, or as house with owner financing - and still wanting to get into this auction business of homes and land.  I figure something will work out to make this a cash-free proposition for me. 

Ugh, well anyway it's starting to get late and I need to get some other stuff done. 

Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...