Wednesday, May 13, 2020

I believe I finally found a mechanic shop that can fix the boat motor - or whatever's wrong with it. 
I asked the dude that oversees the house - the one that Maria lives in - if he knew anyone. Yes, they're throwing us out, no I don't much care for it, no I don't hold it against them.  It's their house, it's whatever, the onus is on Maria and the other tenants - if they really want this to continue - to find another place.  I'd prefer it be in this town, but I think it's going to end up the bigger town 35 miles away.  As long as it's on the way to work or not too far out of the way, I have no problem with that. 

Well, I mean, it is what it is.  There are far more rentals available over there. I haven't given up hope here, yet, but it's pretty slim pickings.  It's either high priced or it's junk.  If they find a place that is junky and they are good with it fine. Otherwise, I don't expect them to stay in a place that has a lot of issues.  I am not going to buy a house just for this endeavor tho.

Oh, way off subject. Anyway, the guy texted me back 2 places, nothing close but I didn't think I would get any suggestions for anything close. The boat specialists in this town are dealers and they won't work on a boat that old. Anyway, one of his suggestions I looked up reviews. Boats that are as old as early 70's this place has worked on and has rave reviews. I told him the boat has a black max 150, yup we can fix it.  Lol, ok!  I have to keep trying til I find someone that is an authority on these types of motors. I'm kind of stuck with it.  New boat motors are unbelievably expensive.  More than the entire boat is worth.  You can get good used ones - for $3000 and up.  Just want the thing to run right, not much to ask for? lmao

I really don't get the cost of boat motors, they far exceed the price of any car engines.  Even high performance car engines mostly don't match the price tag of a new, higher horsepower, regular - boat engine.

Whatever the case, if they can fix that issue, I am going to get the rest of the problems solved there as well. Lights that don't work, gauges that don't work - I'd really like a working fuel gauge if nothing else.  I have no idea how much fuel is in the tank.  Kinda scary to think about running out of fuel in the middle of a lake, well away from the ramp.  James is going to build a heavy anchor.  We wanted to stay in place at various locations last weekend for fishing, the wind was blowing the boat all over the place.  Other things I'd like on the boat as well, but nothing that a mechanic or shop has to do. 

Of course, I have a bunch of time off coming at me here. I am mechanically inclined.  I could learn this stuff.  But I don't have the motivation to take the carburetors apart. That is a lot of work and in my view, best left in the hands of someone that knows what they are doing. It is a possibility at the very least the carbs need rebuilt.  Something in the fuel system, I'm sure of that. But what, I have no clue. 

Today was a bust.  I just cleaned the kitchen and got nothing else done.  The kitchen was a disaster tho, so I felt good about that anyway.  It's pretty normal for me to get back from a run and do much of nothing the next day.  Nice to spend some time with the doggies too.

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End this one. Get up relatively early in the morning and take the boat to the next place to look at it.  Come home and start smoking a turkey.  I don't think I'll smoke it all day long, just long enough for a decent bark and then finish it off in the oven. Of course, that really depends on what time I get home.  It can wait until Friday if tomorrow doesn't work.


Getting to the Brownsville yard last night, there was 1 empty trailer, with a driver having had pulled one out of the yard and parked on the street for some odd reason, I have no clue.  I texted the manager - any other drivers down here waiting on trailers? Nope, but don't take E001.  Well, I replied, the other driver is under E001.  So, I figured I was getting detention pay and went to bed.  Woke up the next morning, the other driver had dropped E001 and taken the other trailer. Went back to sleep after seeing that lol.  2 hours later, a call from the manager. 

You won't believe what they want to do now!  They being the plant that owns the trailers.  What?  They now want us to take the trailer up to Lawler and drop it.  Ohh,  great, I could have left 3 hours ago if I'd known that.  Yup, he said, and you're going to get those 3 hours detention. 

So, another Brownsville trip going to Baytown, dropping the trailer and hoping there is enough time to get back to the yard.  I actually didn't care if I made it back tonight from the perspective of getting home, I did care that I want to get back in the queue for the next run.  

Anyway, I intend on taking the boat to a mechanic tomorrow.  It's 42 miles one way, but whatever  Hopefully they figure it out and get it going and I don't have to worry about that anymore. All of us want to go on more boat outings.  Summer is coming, we got the itch.  

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Well the whole situation has changed.  Manager calls me up at 9:00 am.  I was just thinking about getting out of bed. I'm not a slacker, lol, I was up til 1 am. Had some relax time after getting back late from the Brownsville run. He started discussing other drivers who would not be in the queue for 2 weeks and if I would consider taking vacation time from today until - Sunday of next week apparently.  The issue that I didn't even know about until today was that the plant is shutting down for a week to do maintenance. 

They usually do this during the fall each year.  No clue why they are doing it now, not really of great importance excepting that it's disrupting the work schedule greatly. I also didn't know that the Oklahoma run had already been down for 5 days, hence the slow down in work as it stands.  I'm usually last to find out about such things unless I learn it from the plant - but since the plant has us staying in our trucks now the entire time excepting at the scale house, I don't have any conversations with the workers.  My manager profusely apologized for not informing me, he thought everyone knew.  Nope, I don't hang around at the yard very much. I'll stay and chat for a while if someone is in the office, but I've been getting in late the last several runs so I've seen no one.

Lots of the drivers are OTR - they don't live in town or even anywhere  close, so when they aren't doing a run, they are sitting in the yard waiting for one. 

This has to to be THE worst time to be taking a vacation. There is no where to go. I can't go to Phoenix to see mom - she is isolating and sure as hell am not putting her at risk of getting the virus, I have no idea if I might have it or not.  They say you can have it for up to 14 days without even knowing about it AND you can have the virus and be asymptomatic - meaning you have it but you show no signs of it and therefore don't know you are sick at all. 

Nothing is open.  Well I dunno if the beaches are open or not, I'd have to look that up but going to the beach alone wouldn't be that much fun anyway.  My boat needs work and I'm hoping to get it in today. If not today, definitely tomorrow. I'm just taking my time doing anything since I'm facing all of this time off. 

Anyway, the manager politely asked if I would be interested in taking time off since I have more vacation hours available than anyone else.  That seemed strange.  I haven't used any in quite a while, but there are far more senior drivers that get a lot more vacation hours dumped into their accounts each year, the idea that they have taken that much time off when it's only May seemed odd.  He said there was no pressure whatsoever, so I asked a series of questions about when I would be going back to work, what my hourly pay is for vacation time (it's different than detention pay, which also seems odd) etc.  He said he'd get back to me. 

This week, however, I'm only getting paid for an Oklahoma run. That's only $500 gross pay.  Next week would be brownsville run and if I take vacation time.  That would be a good paycheck if I took enough vacation hours I guess. Which I'd have to to make up for this week and more than a week off. 

I agreed to it - but not because I wanted to. He said I am in line for a Brownsville run on Saturday or Sunday.  But it became obvious without him every saying it that it could count against me in the future.  I know how this works.  You do them a favor and they may or may not treat you right in the future. But if you refuse, you can expect to get unfavorable treatment for a long time to come.  This will end up eating up the cash I have accumulated in my checking account, but I don't see any options here.   No pressure, but yes, pressure. 

So it's whatever.  Nothing to do, nowhere to go, stay home and do cleaning projects?  I can't imagine these people being forced to isolate all this time.  Restaurants around here at least finally opened back up, but that isn't exactly a vacation. 

Whatever the case, best get moving. 














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...