Archive for January, 2010


I have always been proud of all my children but at certain times they have each done things that make me extremely proud.  Last week was Conor’s turn. He graduated from the Navy Nuclear Power School. Because of a couple of illnesses it took him six months longer than it should have. This was no fault of his own and actually made it a good deal harder as he had lengthy breaks between sessions and an opportunity to forget what he had learned before.

Because the Navy is pushing more students through the system than they have capacity for he now gets to sit and wait for between two and four months before going on to the next phase of training. Hopefully what ever task they find for him to fill the time will be one he enjoys but I know that getting a break from the very long days of study he has been going through will be much welcomed by his wife and son.


Probably Pissed Them Off

We started out with a nice set of trips and actually cleared $1,000 last week. This week began with a run from El Paso to Columbus, OH which had a short follow up to Lewistown, PA for over 1,900 miles to get things started. As we were wrapping up that run we got a preplan to go to Phoenix, AZ and deliver on the 19th. Would have been great but we requested home time in South Carolina for the 20th. Now it would be OK if we didn’t get there until the 21st so we asked if we could t-call the load in Phoenix on the 18th and get turned around. The answer was no so we turned the load down. We then received a preplan for a FedEx load from Newark, NJ to Hapeville, GA but it was revoked less than a minute later. Now we sit because they don’t pay attention to home time requests when planning and we have to be punished for turning down the trip by going to the bottom of the list.

US Hwy 95 – Idaho

OK, back to trucking stuff.

We ended up in Lewiston, ID right across the river from Clarkston, WA. We got there via Denver, CO and Hamilton, WY and a delivery to a K-Mart. As I mentioned in my tweets it was crazy cold on that trip. When the started to unload the truck one of the first things they found was a case of soda in glass bottles all of which were frozen. After that were a bunch of boxes that had fallen over because of a lousy loading job. Fortunately they recognized that it was not our fault although the shipper tried to pin the frozen liquids on us. They asked if we had stopped anywhere. Of course we had but we were still two hours early for the delivery. Given the temps in Denver I am betting things were frozen before we left.

The person who unloaded the truck noted on the bill of lading that there were problems but that they were the shippers fault. To cover our butts we sent in an O,S & D (overage, shortage, and damaged) report. As usual our being proactive created problems. Because no product was refused they didn’t know how to handle the report. We explained we sent it because if the comments on the BOL and they “made a note.”

We then were told to deadhead to Lewiston, probably because we had an odd sized trailer. Fourteen feet tall instead of the normal 13′ 6″. We got to see part of I-90 in the daylight that we saw in the dark last time. Very beautiful.

Lewiston has a small problem. It has a paper mill. They will never have a tourist industry. We are now hauling paper to Corona, CA for delivery Monday morning which brings me to the title of this post.

As usual Liz drove first and it didn’t look like it was going to be pleasant. US 95 is a two lane blacktop that us not listed as a truck route in our Motor Carriers Atlas. For our model tractor we have to make sure that the distance from between the drive tires to between the trailer tandems is no more than 37′ 8″. This implies a curvy road. Next the weather was overcast and rainy which turned to slush and snow at higher elevations. The first 50 miles was not fun for Liz. Then we left the percipitation behind us, although not the clouds. It was a spectacular run through what I think is called Hell’s Canyon along the Salmon river. Most definitely want to go back in the spring and summer. In the end Liz only ran 250 miles today because it was a hard run but well worth it.

Childrens Mind’s

My youngest granddaughter is about 20 months old. She speaks as well as anyone her age, which is not much. She certainly understands a lot and has a few American Sign Language signs that extend her ability to communicate. But I have to wonder how does she think? Most of us think with words. I know artists and musicians have more imagery and sound involved but most of us use words. What do children that young use?

For Christmas Olivia got some infant Cabbage Patch dolls that she adores. The other day she put them in time out. No one knows why. What was she thinking about?

For little children everything is new and an adventure. I wish I had a picture of the look on her face when she pushed a button on a mirror we have in the truck and a light came on.

My grandson Ethan is 22 months and at Christmas he gave the baby Jesus in the crèche a marshmallow. Somehow he got both the message that the baby was special and deserved a gift. How did he get that?

At the other end of the spectrum is Olivia’s big brother Aidan. He is half way through first grade and already being pushed into a box. The adults were playing Rock Band on the Wii the other day and he wanted to drum. He wasn’t doing well and understood the game well enough to know he wasn’t. This made him want to quit. I hate that and it happens to all kids. We mess them up as they grow.

The song Back When I Could Fly says it all. It talks about how our imaginations are crushed as we grow. Young parents reading this need to do what you can to keep your kids imagining.

Wonderful Day

Under any other circumstances today would have been miserable. We are stuck in a tiny truckstop waiting for a load and it being a holiday weekend we will probably be here until Sunday or even Monday. It became wonderful when my son, daughter-in-law and grandson drove up from Charleston to Laurens, SC to visit. The ulterior motive was for Conor to get the computer we were going to deliver at the end of the month but it was still a great day. Ethan is a pistol. He is just non-stop energy. I feel sorry for the rest of the world as I have the four most beautiful/handsome grandchildren on the planet.

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