Tuesday, June 4, 2019

My finances are going to start looking pretty bleak if this work drought continues much longer.  That's usually the time I start looking at other job prospects.  Such as the line haul one I was asking a recruiter about the other day.  This week's paycheck will gross maybe $700 or $800 - one run on it and backpay for detention that wasn't paid out.  It's about half of net pay I should be getting on a weekly basis. This isn't the time of year that we should be experiencing a down turn in work.  I blame the new company and their bad reputation.  They may have changed their name after the 2 company merger, but everyone knows who it is.

I really think I"d like to get on with Gemini, just the daily commute would be a bit ridiculous.  Like 60 miles from here.  My company has a different division in Shreveport, that would be around 40 miles each way.  Still a lot, especially driving the vehicle I am with the fuel consumption it uses. I would have to get a motorcycle to drive to work - which I am more than a bit leery about getting back on a street bike.  Just too many idiots out there not paying attention to the road and running motorcycles over.  I also haven't been on a bike in years, that would take some getting used to, not to mention I don't even have a motorcycle license.

But still, it would be home daily work.  Either of those jobs.  There's a mom and pop company that's about 30 miles from my house that I would really love to work for - but they want minimum 4 years tanker experience.

I still look for jobs regardless of my pay/work situation just because work is up and down like a yo-yo.  It's a bit ridiculous and the fact that they keep hiring more people or bringing people in from other divisions doesn't help anything.  I should be en queue tho to getting another run rather quickly - IF - there are any runs to be had.  I don't have a copy of this week's schedule so I don't know what the load situation is.  But, on Sunday, a lot of drivers went out on longer trips so I know I beat all of them back, and there were only 4 trucks in the yard last night when I got back in.  I think I should be getting back out on the road either tomorrow or Thursday. A brownsville run would be good so I could get it on next week's check - otherwise, I"ll only have one run on next week's check as well.  That would only be around $700 gross pay - again.

Well well well.  Just found a job that pays minimum 75k per year, is a local job, home every day, 10 to 12 hours per day hauling crude oil to "injection sites", whatever that means.  High rated company from current and previous employees.  I have all the qualifications I need for  that job.  So, I filled out the app.  Hmm, maybe injection sites are new or renewing oil pumping locations that need primed.  I dunno, but I'll take that guess for $500.

Okay. Another hour and a half wasted with ATT - cell service. They tried to charge me $298 for last month, a non-happening event.  The first guy I talked to wouldn't budge.  I kind of figured that tho, they likely don't have any authority to change anything.  His manager, however, was a bit surprising.  He didn't even want to talk, he said fine, I'll hook you up with the disconnect department. After he did that? I was ready to walk.  Verizon has some deals, they have better coverage, screw ATT. But, I got to the loyalty department before disconnect, where I explained the whole situation - a third time.  I was on the phone for a long time with this guy.  It ended up I will pay what I was paying before but I will have more data.  I'm pretty sure I could get the same deal with Verizon - but with unlimited data and free hotspot.  The thing is, I still owe about 6 more months on these phone payments.

I was really trying to get them paid off first.  Then, if you want, you can bring your phone with you to a lot of other carriers.  ATT would have to sign off on it, but when they do, your phone is unlocked.  Instead of buying even more new phones, just continue on with the old ones.  And lose monthly payments on the phones in the process.  So, now that I have a "deal" - yet again - with ATT, I'll see how this works out.  The only contract I have are these phones, the rest of it I can get out of anytime. It's just ridiculous that I've had to spend so much time over the last couple of months trying to get this corrected.

That kind of soured the day.  The last thing I want to do is spend quality time with ATT customer service for endless hours seemingly on the phone.  Just not my cup of tea.  In fact, it took up so much time I won't have time to smoke a turkey today, which was my initial plan.  Just have to wait and see if I'm going out tomorrow.  If not, that turkey is calling my name.  Taylor wants a smoked turkey, amazingly enough.

So, for the rest of the day? No clue.  Probably a lot of nothing.  I keep looking at boats and I keep finding stuff that needs too much work. One guy was selling a dual engine, inboard on a very nice looking boat for $2,500.  Of course, read the fine print. Both motors are blown, making that boat veritably worthless.  I dunno how these people crack the blocks on these boats all the time, but it's an issue I will be investigating.  At least on car engines, it's pretty rare to crack a block. You'd have to wayyyyy overheat the engine to do that.

Oh, I see.  You have to drain the engine in the cold months apparently and if you don't and it gets cold enough, yup, cracked blocks. I could see that on the boat with 2 motors and 2 cracked blocks. I'm not sure I would want that boat even if it were given away.  I'm guessing around 10k to fix both of those motors.  I can see having to replace upholstery - most of the older boats people obviously don't go to the trouble of covering them up when they aren't in use.  A $350 investment to save that much money in upholstery recovering fees seems worth the effort to me.......

And there is just a bunch of junk pontoon boats at lower prices. You have to really stay on top of the ads to find a decent one - they go fast, like same day.  I don't want or need boat payments.  I'll just wait until I find the right one or just give up on it and move on to something else.  The other thing I don't want is a perfectly fine pontoon boat - but with an itty bitty motor.  Who on earth would think the idea of a 24 foot long boat should be equipped with a 25 or 50 horsepower motor? What were those manufacturers thinking?  This itty bitty little motor to power a rather large boat - and if you have a lot of people on it, it might as well be just a glorified trolling motor. There is a 28 foot pontoon boat advertised with a 150 horsepower engine, but the flooring needs replaced and the carpet.  I dunno how much of a project it is to replace the flooring, but it's probably a lot more than i want to get involved with.  Maybe if they bring the price down so I can pay someone to do it for me.

Anyway, my idea is to go out on the lake with James and Taylor when they want to - and they definitely want to. They could even bring the boys if I get a big enough boat, tho they probably would opt for a babysitter.  Bring the dogs wouldn't be out of the question on a large enough boat, either.  I would want to learn how to launch and reload the boat at the boat ramp by myself so that when they don't feel like doing anything, I can say ok, c'ya later! Hop in dogs, we're going to the lake!  Aspyn would love the water, Addler maybe not so much.  But I figure if I can get him on the boat without having to get wet he'd do it.

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And finally, a fruitless trip to Kroger's to get chicken drumsticks that are on sale - but they didn't have any and didn't offer any substitute or rain check. After getting that treatment from the meat department, I left the entire basket of stuff I had picked up in a cooler right next to where a bunch of employees were hanging out, told them they should have the stuff they have listed on sale - available and left the store.  Super 1 foods has a mega whatever sale where you buy 4 things of chicken and it's like $5 a piece.  So, I got 2 whole things of chicken drumsticks and the rest was chicken wings.  I didn't appreciate Kroger's attitude about it one bit and called the general manager of the store up to let him know - they normally don't treat their customers like that. 

In Phoenix, at Fry's -- which was bought out by Kroger's - if I came in for something that was on sale and they didn't have that brand available, they would substitute a different brand - always more expensive since I am always doing sale priced stuff on meat - and make the customer happy.  Customer service has slid to unbelievable lows in the last several years. I don't really get it.  Some of the mom and pop places in this town have far superior customer service.  And if they have a policy that customers might not like - usually about returns - they post it for you to see before you buy anything. 

Super 1 foods, unfortunately - cannot compete with Kroger's in terms of pricing.  And Walmart overall pricing on groceries is always more expensive on certain items, most notably meat.  Not to mention I hate going to Walmart and  limit my trips there to 1 per month, sometimes 2 if necessary.  A further strike against Walmart is they're doing away with live fish for aquariums (and ponds lol) nationwide.  Probably not a big money maker for them - and likely because they experience so much problems with sick fish.  It's just become 100% more difficult to obtain Koi fish in this region. 

Anyway, I'm getting offa here. I have, by some miracle, a Brownsville run tomorrow.  Ugh, well it's a good run but we're smack dab in the middle of Roach Check 2019 initiated by CVSA every year.  Going down to Brownsville there are 4 check stations and coming up I think there are 6.  Dollars to donuts most if not all of them will be open and doing truck inspections.  And high percentage I will get one of those inspections.  I can only hope everything turns out okay.  So far, in this company, the inspections they have done have come back clean and no negative points on  me.  It usually boils down to how you treat the trooper/s doing the inspection.  Respect them and ask them about family wife kids and the dog you will sometimes get them to give a blind eye to minor infractions. Give them a hard time, which many truckers do and to their own peril, they'll invent ways to find something wrong with the truck and write you up. 

There is an ABS light on in the truck, I turned it in, hopefully the mechanic will check it and get the light off.  Troopers will get up inside your cab and look for everything.  They'll check your electronic logs and if they know what they're doing, they'll ask for info off the logs that you have to know how to show them.  Not really looking forward to this, but, everyone is being subjected to it. 













































































Brownsville. There was a trailer here last night when I got here - after driving in the rain for hours and hours on end - no tractors in th...