Monday, January 27, 2020

I was wondering what happened to the ultra large keto group I am in.

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What on earth? There were over a million and a half people in that group!  Oh well, there's a bunch of other groups out there, I just use them to find new recipes.  I don't need to learn any more about the keto diet, but there's always some new recipe someone is putting up somewhere that looks  delicious and many times is delicious.  

Anyway, I'm spending the night here in East Saint Louis, Illinois at a Flying J truckstop.  It's about as far as I can get without worrying about finding a parking spot.  There's a Love's 36 miles up the road - but yeah, it's tough to take that chance going up there and finding out there isn't any parking.  Run the clock out and then what?  A very nice discovery, however, is that they are building a brand new Love's literally a mile away from this Flying J.  I try to buy all my fuel at Love's.  If I make at least Platinum status every month (1,000 gallons of fuel purchased), I get unlimited free refills on drinks - that's soda or coffee, I think it's 3 points on my account for every gallon of fuel purchased (you spend them in the store, I have almost 90k points right now) and you get free showers.  Love's has, by far, the best rewards program for company truck drivers.  I've been told that Petro has the best rewards for owner operators who get actual cash back for buying X amount of fuel, but don't quote me on that.  

They get that Love's going and that will be my destination when I come through here.  Tho, I don't even remember the last time I got a trip up here. The Mapleton plant blew up - yes, it literally blew up and they are busy rebuilding it right now - and the place I'm going to now gets most of our product via rail car.  It just happens that from time to time, the rail cars aren't going to make it in time and they have to use us to bring them the product.  I left this morning, I'll have it there tomorrow morning around 9 am.  Always a nice bit of detention pay too, at least 4 hours usually.  Sometimes 6 or 7.  Just can't have them keeping me there too long or the trip goes from being a 3 day trip to a 4 day trip.  As long as I make it back at least to the Saint Louis area, I can make it back to the yard on the 3rd day.  

I count myself lucky to have gotten this trip. I was looking at this coming week's schedule, spartan.  Hardly any runs until the weekend.  When I get back, it's likely I won't get another run until the weekend, if that.  But, the sooner I get back, the sooner I get put on the waiting list and beating other drivers to get on that list.  This trip is worth around $1,100 - I'm guessing that's going to be it for this pay period.  Unless she can give me a s*** run - one of the worthless runs that would actually be okay combined with a run like this, well, it is what it is. 

The problem is that the Brownsville run has shut down yet once again. They must be having problems at the plant because they have canceled a bunch of loads.  That really hurts us when it comes to talking about having enough loads to keep us busy.  This business is crazy. These plants shut down at random times. Something breaks and the entire plant is shut down until they fix it.  So, if I had gotten the Brownsville run today? I would have had nothing.  That was the first load and I ended up getting the first load and whoever got the canceled run? Gets put back on the waiting list - from scratch. That's hardly fair, but I've been on the receiving end of it.  

Well anyway, tomorrow fireworks start up again in the Senate. Excepting now, the President's legal counsel actually gets to speak.  

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...