Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Trip done and over with.  Now, the funny part: the morning I left, another driver before me had loaded for Brownsville. He is still in Brownsville, waiting on a trailer.  I dunno why I can't seem to hit those gravy runs where you're sitting for days and days collecting a paycheck, doing nothing.  Well, I'd do something, but the point is, his next paycheck is going to be quite healthy. 

But it's whatever.  I got a 4 day trip done in 3 days - pushed it hard - too hard actually, I'm pretty trashed right now, glad I didn't get sent out on a run today,  My truck - which is in the shop - is getting picked up now.  I offered to go get it today, but the mechanic was well ahead of me on that one.  I just can't drive that auto pile of trash again, not if I don't have do and with my truck being ready to go, I don't have to. 

2 days ago, I pushed it hard to get from Cross Plains, Tennessee, up to Charleston, WV, and back down to Smiths Grove, Kentucky.  If I don't get back that far the second day, it's unlikely I'll make it back to the yard the 3rd day.  I was pleasantly surprised.  They tore down the old, junky building at the truck stop and put up a brand new, massive building in it's place.  It's not open for business yet but they are still allowing trucks to park in the massive parking lot.  Across the street, they built a brand new truck stop as well.  Very nice, clean and there is an IGA market next door, with .69 cent coffee.  That is always my goal, to make it there the second day.

Yesterday, my required 10 hour break was over at 5:41 am.  I got on the road just before 6 am and got to hoofing it down to Nashville, in a futile attempt to beat rush hour.  There is no way to beat it when there is a major collision blocking lanes.  When the GPS sounded that warning - crash ahead - take an alternate route - I just gave up on getting home yesterday.  The GPS told me to get on highway 155, so I got in those lanes - backed up for miles, stop and go.  No thanks, I got back out of it and decided I'd rather just wait in traffic on I-67 than sit in that long line. 

Well, however many miles down the road, traffic stopped, GPS told me to get off at I-24 west.  What the heck? It's an interstate, might as well try it.  I was the only one getting off there, all 4 or 5 other lanes were filled with stopped traffic. But as soon as I got onto 24, it told me to get off at 155. Huh? That's the highway with all that traffic.  But I was miles down the road, the traffic wasn't bad at all!  it was like 11 miles on that highway and only one part slowed down for a few minutes.  I got to I-40, looked at my available hours, figured I would have anywhere between 30 and 50 minutes "left over" to get to the yard, so my hopes were somewhat renewed.

But it was raining and that usually slows everyone down. That was the second miracle, everyone was moving right along even on the wet roads. But - I had to make it through Memphis without any major disruptions and Little Rock as well.  Traffic was flowing nicely through those towns as well.  So I was kind of surprised it made it back in time yesterday.  It was around 670 miles of driving - which is quite a lot in a truck that goes 67 mph top speed. 

I'm doing today a recovery day. I'd go see a movie but this little town's movie theater doesn't open until evening time.  Just not enough people going to movies during the daytime during weekday hours to  support opening it up. I don't feel like driving 35 miles to go see a movie in the nearest town where there are theaters that are open and showing flicks, so scratch that off the list. 

Now, the newest person to move in the other house - is already moving out.  One of the reasons given was that "you're too picky", talking to Maria in text messaging.  From reading the rest of the texts, that was only a small portion of it, but it was still a part of the reason.  Maria is putting me in a difficult position here.  People come and go and come and go.  I need someone in the third room that will stick around for a while.  I met this newest lady, she seemed nice. Albeit the reason she ended up in the house is because her girl friend dumped her off there after they broke up. That is really her deal, so the nitpicking isn't the major reason.  Just that this situation is getting very old.  We have no place to put her here in this house, I don't want to be continually shelling out extra money every month for that house, at least not too much.  This month I had to eat about $250 - the new lady came in half way through the month. It's highly likely it will take a while to get someone else in there, so Ill end up eating even more.  I'm trying to save money, not pay for a second house that I don't live in.

I like helping people in life, but this is starting to eat at me.  I'd really like to be able to save enough for the down payment I need for land and a house on that land.  I am doing it anyway, just started dumping even more money into a savings account with automatic transfer every month, it will take a few years to get that much money saved up.  But meanwhile, this situation. I don't want to throw her out on the street, that isn't something I will do. But this idea that she gets to picky and probably even bossy with other people in the house has to end.  At least eliminate that as a reason why people come and go. It's a very tough market to find renters here, I've said that several times in the past, but it's still quite true. Even with all of these colleges in this town. But the colleges here have huge dorms, most students live on-campus.  It's a small town, just not that big of a market. 

And the interim manager just sent me a load for tomorrow.  I could easily take two days off right now. I guess I'm getting old, pushing it that hard takes it's toll on me more than it used to.  But, this is an Oklahoma run, so one full day of driving and then 3 hours the next morning.  That will go along with the WV run, I'll be back in time to have it count on next week's check, so that's going to be very helpful.  Interesting that she sends out the load much earlier than Ann used to.  It's only 11:00 am, Ann never sent out loads that early to anyone.  There have been times she didn't send the loads out to the drivers until 9 pm.  usually it's around 5 or 6 pm. This is much more helpful - you can actually prepare for the next day's run in advance. 

The plight going on a the terminal - is a bit interesting.  An old timer who's been working there for 25 years was pulling out of the yard - but pulled right up to me instead, threw on the parking brake and jumped out of the truck.  Went straight to complaining about Ann being let go - this dude never complains about anything.  He was shocked when he found out and nervous about what's going to happen. However, he's only a year away from retiring, not sure he has that much to worry about.  He's only working to keep health insurance. Another driver I encountered yesterday in the office had been pushed out of our division and back to call out.  He's still based out of our terminal, but he is working for another terminal manager who is based out of Amarillo and hauling LNG.  The plant where we go in town doesn't produce LNG, he has to drive 150 miles just to load the truck.

So what's going to happen next? Who knows.  Take a day at a time with this situation.  See where they're going with this.  I literally have no clue.  A "new direction" could literally mean anything.  No announcement of any major changes have come forth tho. Just the idea that they want to expand the operation to include other types of chemicals that the local plant produces - and again, I have no problem with that, let's do it and keep us busy, this 3 and 4 day off stuff doesn't work.  I hate doing back to back deliveries as well, my happy medium is a day or 2 at most off between runs. 

Anyway, this next run will nicely round out the next week's paycheck, so I'm happy about that.  My truck is at the yard, very happy about that as well. 

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...